Friday, December 21, 2018

More Unwitting Fulfillment of Book of Mormon Prophecy

The Pattern of Unexpectedness

Unexpected fulfillment of prophecy is a hallmark of how what the Lord foretells actually comes to pass. There are some great examples of this in the Book of Mormon. Here's one in particular.

From the following revelation the Lord had long ago given to Nephi, it was "well understood" by the Nephites at the time of Amlici that the "mark" spoken of was the "the skins of the Lamanites [that] were dark" (NC Alma 1:18), having been given as a sign of their cursing due to their own rebellion and attempted murder of their brethren:
Behold, the Lamanites have I cursed, and I will set a mark upon them, that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed from this time henceforth and for ever, except they repent of their wickedness and turn to me, that I may have mercy upon them. And again, I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren, that they may be cursed also. And again, I will set a mark upon him that fighteth against thee and thy seed. And again, I say, he that departeth from thee shall no more be called thy seed. And I will bless thee, etc., and whosoever shall be called thy seed, henceforth and for ever. (NC Alma 1:20)
It was assumed that this natural result from the intermarriage of Laman & Lemuel's seed with others already in the Americas when they arrived was what was meant by "a mark" upon them. They apparently considered it the only possible meaning of the prophecy.

What these rebellious, apostate Nephites (the Amlicites) did not anticipate when they marked their foreheads with red was that the Lord also had them in mind with the prophecy given to Nephi:

Now the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God when they began to mark themselves in their foreheads. (NC Alma 1:20)
It was an unexpected fulfillment that perfectly satisfied what the Lord had predicted. He had had it in mind all along, but it was not understood until after it had been fulfilled. The Amlicites had been just like Nephi's brethren (i.e., had been rebelious, fought against "the seed" of Nephi, refused to repent of their wickedness, and brought the curse entirely upon themselves) and so had "a mark" set upon them.

Book of Mormon Accounts Selected as Patterns of Our Day

The prophet-writers of the Book of Mormon were very familiar with our day. Christ Himself had shown him you (yes, you, the reader), me, and our modern "holy church of God" in vision, as Mormon testified:

Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shewn you unto me, and I know your doing... (NC Mormon 4:5)

What they chose to include in the less-than-1% of their records that they wrote for us to read was carefully selected to be pertinent to our situation. Many of the accounts selected for inclusion are perfect patterns and types for what they saw happening today.

Two Inadvertant & Unwitting 2018 Fulfillments of Prophecy

In my statement made to the high council at the disciplinary hearing we attended, I outlined two examples of this sort of startling fulfillment of prophecy that happened in the course of events leading up to the council. (I did not become aware of the two fulfillments until shortly before the council took place, when the spirit made them manifest.) You can read those in pages 4-6 of 2018-03-01 Disciplinary Council Statement by Vaughn Hughes.pdf. The first example was derived from the procedure adopted in the court of King Noah. It's well described in the statement.

A Simple Exercise from the Second Example

For the second of the two examples, when I suggested on page 6 that "sometimes all you have to do is change the names," I was referring to a teacher of truth deemed apostate by a corrupt institution of our day that mirrored what the corrupt Zoramite Church did in deeming Alma apostate. (and those who saw truth in his teachings) The stake leaders were very aware of the context of my comments, since they had conducted the interrogations. You, the reader, may not be.

So, here is the rest of the suggested exercise in simple name-changing (with a few added notes) that illustrates a fulfillment of this prophecy:

And it came to pass that after the more popular part of the Zoramites <LDS Church> [that is, 'popular' meaning sustained leaders] had consulted together concerning the words which had been preached unto them1 [by Alma <Denver> and his brethren], they were angry because of the word, for it did destroy their craft2; therefore, they would not hearken unto the words. And they sent and gathered together, throughout all the land, all the people <LDS Church members>, and consulted with them [that is, interviewed them] concerning the words which had been spoken3. Now their rulers, and their priests, and their teachers did not let the people know concerning their desires; therefore, they found out privily the minds of all the people4. And it came to pass that after they had found out the minds of all the people, those who were in favor of the words which had been spoken by Alma <Denver> and his brethren were cast out of the land, and they were many.5 (NC Alma 16:40-41)
Fulfillment footnotes:

1  There are multiple leaked pieces of evidence making it clear that the LDS Brethren have "consulted together concerning the words" taught by those they perceive as a threat. One is a leaked slide listing those threats by name. Another is a private acknowledgement by a local leader of contact from an LDS apostle expressing concern about and directing the expulsion of a specific individual.

2  Given that LDS Church leaders are now documented to not only receive bona fide salaries but also quite a few other perks and benefits, and given that the 2/3rds of LDS Church members who are "less active" garner no attention or discipline from leaders, it can only be concluded that those few believing members who are targeted represent a threat to the craft of its leaders. (these crafts by leading priests are termed "priestcrafts" in the Book of Mormon and defined in NC 2 Ne. 11:17)

3  In my only two interviews with stake presidency members in Sandpoint, Idaho, before being called up to be excommunicated, both constituted very deliberate, extended attempts to determine what I thought of the teachings of Denver Snuffer. In neither one did I bring up Denver nor did I express any interest in or engage in any conversation about him. I willingly discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in our scriptures and by Joseph Smith. They expressed great disapproval of my lack of interest in satisfying their curiosities about Denver.

4  This direction from the LDS Church "rulers" to local leaders is now publicly documented and confirmed though still publicly denied. It can no longer be claimed to be mere rumor. In some cases, it is very direct, prolonged control by topmost leaders at LDS Church headquarters. When I was called in for the second such "discovery" interview, it was done under false pretenses. I was asked to come in for an interview, where I was asked to tell them my doubts or concerns with "Church leaders." When I told them I had none to express, they insisted that I nonetheless come in. Upon arrival, the line of questioning immediately switched to a "leisurely" inquisition regarding my thoughts on Denver Snuffer, with many of his quotes being presented to me in a not-so-veiled attempt to find out what I thought of them. (i.e., "privily") Later in his ghost-written letter on behalf of the stake president, the stake presidency counselor who conducted the interview lamented that his quarry had been evasive in his lawyerly attempt. (see page 1 of 2018-03-04 Disciplinary Council Letter of Decision for Vaughn.pdf)

5  This is an ongoing activity that began in earnest the fall of 2014. For a sampling of believing LDS Church members excommunicated in precisely the way foretold here, see the list compiled here.

But Wait! There's More: Expert Devices

It turns out there was at least one more startling fulfillment of a prophetic Book of Mormon pattern as part of these proceedings, which I did not include in my statement but only recently learned of.

But first, the Book of Mormon pattern given:

In NC Alma 8:12, we find the leaders of the corrupt church in the land of Ammonihah stirring up their church members against two outsiders whose teachings they found to be a threat to their craft: Alma and Amulek. Our narrator and guide, Mormon, goes out of his way to specifically identify one particularly noteworthy tactic used by the chief antagonist in the story, who happens to be a lawyer: Zeezrom. Here it is:

Now it was for the sole purpose to get gain, because they received their wages according to their employ, therefore they did stir up the people to riotings and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ, that they might get money according to the suits which were brought before them [which is still the case today]; therefore, they did stir up the people against Alma and Amulek. And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: "Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you?" Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the Devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek, "Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?" (NC Alma 8:12)

Mormon repeats the question twice to call our attention to it. It's not a novice tactic. It's something an expert in such devices knows to use. It attempts to coerce the quarry into agreeing to yield to any line of questioning in advance by appealing to their own moral committment to keep their word. This is thus expected to make it easier to trap their quarry in their own words.

Consider how frequently this "device of the Devil" was employed during the brief interview just prior to our disciplinary council, where I had hoped to find out the charges against us. There is clearly a consistent, strongly expressed desire on the part of the stake president to ensure that once we arrive at his council we would, in fact, "answer the questions which [he] shall put unto [us]."

These are from 2018-02-15 Transcript of interview with stake president regarding Disciplinary Council.pdf, where my words are prefixed with a "V" and the stake president's are prefixed with an "R" :

Lines 33-35, referring to my expected responses to his planned interrogation of my wife and me during the council:
R: So ... are you going to be honest?
V: Of course.
R: Then that's all we need.
Lines 77-81, continuing to discuss his planned procedure of asking about our beliefs during the council:
R: And I'll ask you about it when we're talking about it. That's the beauty of it. You can answer honestly, you know, what your belief is about baptism, if you've been baptized <Unintelligible>... I mean I don't know for sure if these are the things I'm going to talk about with you...
Lines 105-110, attempting to use shame to compel us into committing to respond to his planned questioning during the high council:
R: Okay. So, who would be aware of those beliefs and behaviors? You certainly would be, wouldn't you?
V: I would hope so. Are you looking for me to incriminate myself, accusing myself? Is that what you're hoping?
R: Are you embarrassed by what you believe, or do you believe what you believe?
Lines 140-144, this time using mocking to compel us to commit to "answer the questions which I shall put unto you" by "sharing":
R: So, to back to you again, if "apostasy" is beliefs and behaviors generally speaking, all we need to do is have a conversation about yours. And we can share what quorums you do that in, and all you need to do is just be honest about what you believe and share it. Is that a hard thing to do?
Lines 216-221, where "conversation" is a euphemism for his planned "line of questioning":
R: You know, I think as long as we're honest with each other, I don't have any intention to bring in witnesses. There's not going to be...
V: No, you told us that we could bring evidence or witnesses, and I'm asking about that specifically. Not what you might bring.
R: Right. I think with behaviors and so forth, if you're just honest about what you believe, we can have a conversation about ...
Lines 230-232, expressing surprise that anyone would not agree in advance to "answer the questions which [he] shall put unto [us]":
R: And I think that I'm giving you an opportunity to defend your position, your beliefs, and where you present them, and I guess really I don't understand why a person wouldn't want to do that, either.

Once again, the Book of Mormon proves its veracity by virtue of its perfect prediction of what it calls the "Gentile" church would devolve into and the means it would employ.

Again, I need to add that I hold no animosity toward my former stake president. Despite his vehement denial, I am still persuaded that he acted precisely in the manner he was directed to use by the Brethren--his superiors that he must report to in the LDS Church. I would not choose to hold him responsible.

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