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posted Mar 21, 2017 03:56:57 by RyanAllen
I feel like I need to apologize for some comments I made yesterday on two posts that have, fortunately, been removed from the forum. I criticized a brother who apparently is a member of this forum and feel that I did so unfairly. Some of the things this brother shares on his blog did not resonate with me, but I feel that my response was harsh and overbearing. I hope he will forgive me. I am sure he is a wonderful man and is doing what he feels the Lord wants him to do. In our digital world, it's easy to react to words on a screen, not realizing that there are actual people involved.

I should explain that I am very sensitive to teachings and practices that I feel could potentially lead to apostasy. I am currently serving as a bishop. One of the first things that happened when I began serving in this calling was the apostasy of a young family in my ward. The husband asked to be released from his calling. He told me that he and his wife were going to step away from the church. He told me he was pursuing the church of the Firstborn, having his calling and election made sure and receiving the Second Comforter and did not feel like the church would help him achieve those goals. He then proceeded to unload all of his grievances against the brethren and the church. The list was long and difficult to hear from a return missionary and formerly faithful brother. I didn't know much about Denver Snuffer at the time, but after reading some of his writings, it is apparent that this man is a follower. His family has not returned to church since that time and he is quite vocal about his opposition. As a new bishop, this was a sobering experience. It has bothered me ever since and I think about this family all the time. A number of other families in my ward have apostatized recently due to church policies regarding gay marriage, inability to reconcile church history issues, etc. Each of these affects me deeply. This is my flock. These are the sheep under my stewardship and I feel like I am losing them to cunning and ruthless wolves.

I am providing this background to help any whom I have offended understand my concern about teachings that go beyond official church doctrine and circumvent church leadership. I understand that there is a vast amount of knowledge regarding the eternities that has yet to be revealed. I am conscious of the times we are living in and recognize that the Lord will begin revealing things which have never been revealed to man. The world is changing and God is raising up men and women who will possess power that this world has yet to witness. I hope to be a part of that.

I hope to be more kind, more patient, and slower to judgement moving forward. That being said, I stand by my comments regarding the Adam-God theory. If there is truth in these teachings, it is not fully developed and not for the consumption of the general membership of the church. I stand by the warning from God's prophets against it. For those of us investigating doctrinal concepts accompanied by a claim of divine origin, we must be cautious. Even if they are authentic, they may be misunderstood or more than we can bear and can lead into error and apostasy.

I love you, brothers and sisters, and enjoy so much our associations on this forum. Let us continue to seek the will and the face of our Beloved Master, Jesus Christ.
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15 replies
SusanMalone said Mar 21, 2017 04:06:43
you burden as Bishop watching some of your flock be destroyed must be so heavy and difficult. Your humility is a wonderful example to me. I hope the Lord will bless and comfort you- and bless and guide us all.
LoryVanValkenbur said Mar 21, 2017 04:16:58
Hang in there Bishop. Just keep clinging to the rod and cleaving to your covenants. I'm grateful you are here.
AliciaBlickfeldt said Mar 21, 2017 04:21:07
That was very nice, Ryan. Thank you for your sentiments.
ShelleMcDermott said Mar 21, 2017 04:21:31
The thread was a healthy one. You need not worry. It was just appropriate that we take it down due to sensitivity.

I appreciate your apology, not because you needed to, but because you are trying to let the spirit guide you in all things.

Sadly, we are just seeing the beginnings of a tidal wave that is coming with people leaving the church...almost as if they are hypnotized. I don't get it, and yes, it is so heartbreaking and can only be described as experiencing a physical death of a loved one, only this is spiritual.

For anyone who may be going through this, please keep in mind the atonement and the power you have at your knees to have the Lord remove the pain from you. Trust God to answer your prayers and "be still" while God works miracles.

JulieWoodbury said Mar 21, 2017 04:21:59
What a wonderful example of love and humility you have given us. Thank You so much. I cant imagine the tremendous burdens you carry. I can see why you would be sensitive to these issues. I for one am so grateful for your heartfelt council. Thank You Bishop.
David.Clark said Mar 21, 2017 04:36:50
Ryan, I sincerely appreciate your post. It's no secret that I am the one that was leading the charge on Saturday and Sunday. I have similar concerns to what you said. I have a daughter in college who apostasized from the Church about a year or so ago. She was home this past week on spring break. Dealing with her situation becomes more challenging when she's home.

The concerns and substance of what I expressed over the weekend remain. Detailing those concerns in the way I did, however, caused grief and confusion for members of the forum. For that grief and confusion, I extend an apology to the anonymous author, Brother Stroud, and the NFP forum members. I concur with your post and wish to join you in the substance of what you said. Thank you for leading by example with your post!
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
SusanMalone said Mar 21, 2017 05:05:47
@Shelle- thank you for your comforting words... I, like many, find myself watching two of my children on that path...
AngaleeJackson said Mar 21, 2017 05:23:04
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was in the middle of reading some of the last comments on the post when it was deleted. I noticed that you asked a few questions and I really wanted to know your opinion on the matter. Like I said, I was led to read the book last week and others have shared similar things with me that are not sitting well. I have been praying and studying, and asking for answers. What you said has finally brought me peace. I have desperately wanted to seek counsel on this from a priesthood leader who would have the ability to receive my concerns with understanding and without false judgment. You have answered my prayers in a huge way.
Dawn said Mar 21, 2017 06:58:25
Ryan, so interesting. My husband's first week as Bishop in our previous ward, he got a letter from a life long friend asking for he and his wife's names to be taken off the records. It was clear his letter was a form letter he got from somewhere. So sad. Blessings to you in your service.
RyanAllen said Mar 21, 2017 15:21:21
@AngaleeJackson, I'm glad that you have peace on the matter. Sometimes even true principles need to be received in the correct order and at the right time.
CindyLigouri said Mar 21, 2017 15:38:50
@ Ryan and Angalee, I suspect that the receiving of true principles in correct order and at the right time is not a sometimes thing, but an always thing. Everything has to be done within the will and timing of the Lord. Patterns, patterns, patterns.
AngaleeJackson said Mar 21, 2017 16:11:51
I agree, Ryan & Cindy. Timing is everything, the same way it was when the law of Moses was fulfilled. This article has given me more understanding about that process.
AdelaSmartMaxfield said Mar 21, 2017 17:15:59
Love to you and your adorable family! Thank you for your hours of sacrifice each week to be a humble servant of the Lord and a wonderful example!
Sharee Poyfair said Mar 21, 2017 19:30:50
What a wonderful post followed by wonderful comments. I am so inspired by all of you on this forum. We are living in great but difficult times and I gain so much strength and insight from all of you. Love your post @Ryan.
JanacyHorsley said Mar 21, 2017 20:03:55
I was struggling with a few of the comments from the posts you spoke of. I prayed to have peace and know what His will was for me regarding all of the information and if it was something I should be focusing on and reading.

In my scripture studies yesterday, Jacob 4:14 jumped out at me and gave me my answer and the peace I was searching for. I'm not trying to offend in any way either. This was just my answer :)

Thanks for posting this!

14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.

Faith in God includes Faith in His timing ~ Neal A Maxwell
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