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Preview of my Upcoming Book

The book I am working on is coming along in its due time. The title is still a work in progress, but the following is currently a rough draft of the 'Introduction'. Footnotes have been removed, therefore, if you would like the reference, send me a message. After reading this and you would like to donate to help free up my time to write this volume, you can head over to the donate page here. If not, enjoy the read anyway. I hope it draws us all to come unto Christ just a little bit more:

Literature from various authors who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has virtually always focused on providing an encyclopedia-like format in order to explain doctrinal, historical, or cultural details of the Church. The various literary works that come to mind are:
These books usually sit on our bookshelves and are never really read cover to cover. They simply serve as a reference guide to various questions that we might come across. This book (the one you are holding in your hands) is to be a playful, but edifying, take on those volumes listed above. Those books list various topics and then give information. This volume will do something quite novel and something that I feel is needed in our day.

In the digital age in which we live so many of us simply type our question or keywords in the ‘google machine’ to see what kind of answers we will find. With this approach, we become susceptible to falsehoods, or even worse... HALF TRUTHS!

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained:

“Now, never in the history of the world have we had easier access to more information—some of it true, some of it false, and much of it partially true.
Consequently, never in the history of the world has it been more important to learn how to correctly discern between truth and error.”

In this same spirit, the following statement from President Russell M. Nelson inspired me to write this volume:

“One by one, our best efforts as individuals will be required to correct errors that have crept in through the years.”

The quote above from President Nelson is used in a context where he is speaking about the proper name of the Church. What is interesting is the plural use of the word 'errors'. To me, this suggests that there are multiple errors that have crept in among the Saints over time and that one by one our best efforts will be needed to overcome them. I am not sure how many of these 'errors' exist, but it is my opinion there are many.

This volume will take the reference guide approach as we go through each error one at a time. I do not claim that this is an exhaustive list of President Nelson’s suggested ‘errors’, but I do feel it is a pretty good start to help set many things straight. It is also understood that I am very fallible and that the information in this book should not be considered as official doctrinal statements from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many scriptures and many statements from the General Authorities of the Church will be quoted, but use this volume as simply a reference guide.

My hope and prayer for this book are that describing and uncovering these errors can do much in our mind to overcome faulty thinking. This can range from emancipating us from unmet expectations that rest on a belief that something is true but actually isn’t. This can also purify our thoughts, language, and behavior. The closer our understanding comes to what the Savior has actually said and taught through his prophets in the scriptures the more light intensive and holy our thoughts, language, and behavior can become.

“Heaven does not send forth the Spirit to sustain weak doctrines. It is the power of the doctrine that attracts the power of the Spirit.”

I personally like how 3 Nephi 7:18 highlights why it is important. In this verse, we have Nephi teaching apostate Nephites. In this verse we have what is, to me, one of the most looked over and startling lines in scripture:

"... it [was] not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily."

How does one get power in their teaching like that? Even further, couldn’t power like that carry over to every other aspect of our lives? I would like to think that Nephi had his speech so purified and theological fluff so removed that he was able to invoke unmatched power from the Holy Ghost.

A focus on Christ should be paramount, but on top of that, there are ideas that need to be corrected in order to grow our relationship to him.


This volume will be separated into three main parts:
  1. A look at various aspects of Latter-Day Saint doctrine and theology that our culture so often misunderstands.
  2. A look at many scriptures in the standard works that we are all guilty of ‘proof-texting’ (e.g. interpreting them as saying one thing when they often say something completely different).
  3. A look at historical details we often get wrong in the realm of Church History.
Each topic will begin with a pair of “quotes” that will caricaturize how that specific topic is often expressed in Latter-Day Saint culture. What will follow after will range from short to somewhat lengthier explanations that will, hopefully, adjust our understanding of the topic.

An example is provided here:

“The Sacrament renews my baptismal covenants”

This is isn’t necessarily false. The problem lies within not understanding fully what the scriptures actually say about it and, therefore, missing the point...



Why is this needed? In summation, “there is no salvation in believing a false doctrine.” This idea should not scare us, though. We can be confident that we have patient Heavenly Parents and a Savior who will help us increase our understanding. For it is life eternal to know them. The Prophet Joseph Smith put this process in a refreshing way:

“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”

The acquisition of gospel knowledge, therefore, is a balancing act. For, perhaps, too long many of us have not seen the need to deepen our understanding of the Gospel. Now, with the prophetic guidance from President Nelson, we are being asked to deepen our gospel knowledge for the specific purpose to increase faith and power in our families. We need not get bogged down into how far we have to go, but at least appreciate the journey as we seek to know the truths our Heavenly Parents know.

This book does not mean to fully poke fun at LDS culture because there are many marvelous aspects about it. This book focuses on the part of our culture that perpetuates things that a not necessarily true. Things that are untrue, as they derive from our culture, come from mainly two different categories:
  1. We become so committed to what we think we know that we close off further light and knowledge that has been revealed or is yet to be revealed.
  2. Over time, we have let our culture slightly distort concepts from the way they are actually taught and discussed in the scriptures.
Category number one usually includes those who for too long have clung to the observance of rules and ordinances so much that they miss the commandment to seek further light and knowledge from the Lord:

“... people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source that even these persons, who think they are “the very elect,” find it difficult to discern the essential difference. Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently “an angel of light.”

These individuals are especially susceptible to these half-truths and falsehood perpetuated by culture. The Prophet Joseph Smith put it this way:

“[Speaking of] the present state of the church... that they were depending on the prophet [and] hence were darkened in their minds of neglect of themselves... they are also subject to an overmuch zeal which must ever prove dangerous, and cause them to be rigid in a religious capacity...”

Their rigidness derives from their zeal. In their quest for zeal, they cut off further light and knowledge. What is especially ironic is in their zeal, they still have not put in the effort to understand what the prophets have actually said.

Category number two affects the more general Church membership. Ideas are passed down over time that get regurgitated by the next generation. The gospel knowledge that has been acquiesced mainly grows out of what they have heard in Church over and over again. Elder Neal A. Maxwell sums up their plight:

"Some Church members know just enough about the doctrines to converse superficially on them, but their scant knowledge about the deep doctrines is inadequate for deep discipleship (see 1 Corinthians 2:10). Thus uninformed about the deep doctrines, they make no deep change in their lives. They lack the faith to "give place" (Alma 32:27) consistently for real discipleship. Such members move out a few hundred yards from the entrance to the straight and narrow path and repose on the first little rise, thinking, "Well, this is all there is to it"; and they end up living far below their possibilities.”

These individuals are mostly good and well-intentioned people but have let a culture of devaluing gospel scholarship end them up to live far beneath the power that Nephi posses in 3 Nephi 7:18 (see above).

This volume is not to make anyone feel guilty. Its purpose is not to elevate one above another. The purpose of this book is to incrementally fulfill the commandment for the Saints to be “of one heart and one mind.” To accomplish the Zion mindset (to be of one mind), every ‘error’ that President Nelson spoke about will eventually need to be addressed. The Zion mindset will allow us to access the power of the ancients.

“Our tendency—it is an almost universal practice among most church leaders—is to get so involved with the operation of the institutional church that we never gain faith like the ancients… May I suggest, based on personal experience, that faith comes and revelations are received as a direct result of scriptural study… Faith is thus born of scriptural study. Those who study, ponder, and pray about the scriptures, seeking to understand their deep and hidden meanings, receive from time to time great outpourings of light and knowledge from the Holy Spirit…. However talented men may be in administrative matters; however eloquent they may be in expressing their views; however learned they may be in worldly things—they will be denied the sweet whisperings of the Spirit that might have been theirs unless they pay the price of studying, pondering, and praying about the scriptures.”


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