Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #12 - Elder Rudd Helps Save a Mission

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            On Monday the 18th, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin called me about conditions he had found in the Corpus Christi Mission. He wanted me to go there as fast as I could and try to straighten out the problems. I tried to call Elder L. Tom Perry, who was my first contact in the Twelve, but could not reach him. I immediately arranged airline tickets and flew to Corpus Christi.

            Upon arrival, I was met by President G____ F____, who was a splendid man, but who looked haggard, worn, and very unstrung. We had a very good talk and then drove to McAllen, Texas, to meet with the stake president, Tim Olsen. We also visited in Harlingen. I had the opportunity to visit with seven very depressed and discouraged elders who were just waiting around for President F___ to decide whether or not to send them home. I immediately told him not to send anyone home and not to hold any more disciplinary courts [now “membership councils”] on missionaries.     

            During the next three days I toured the entire mission with President F___. I found many serious problems among the missionaries. Apparently, the president had lost control of the mission and was now in a very distressed and depressed condition. I felt very sorry for him and his situation. He was not sleeping very well and he had lost any ability to relax. Altogether there were 189 missionaries in the mission, and I interviewed at least 55 of them. By the time I was ready to go home, I knew what the problem really was and that something serious was taking place in this fine part of the Lord's vineyard. I had a good, honest talk with President F___ on the way to the airport, outlining some things he could attempt to do to turn the mission around.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #11 - Elder Rudd’s Opinion of the Biggest Eating General Authorities (of His Day)

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            Among the General Authorities I traveled with, I discovered that many were capable of doing a really thorough job at the dinner table. However, after some degree of thought, I have concluded that the biggest eater among them was Elder Alma Sonne, with Elder Sterling W. Sill as a close second. Those two were magnificent at the dinner table. Neither one was bashful nor willing to quit until the food was gone. They made everyone feel good. On the other hand, I was a rather poor eater and embarrassed myself, as well as many people, with my inability to do justice to the lovely meals that were provided for us over the years.

            On one occasion, Elder Sonne and I were assigned to a stake conference in Cheyenne, Wyoming. While flying to Denver where we would rent a car to drive the rest of the way, Elder Sonne mentioned a place between Denver and Cheyenne where "they sell the best steaks in the world," and where we would stop and order a great big steak for our lunch. He described in minute detail the restaurant and quality of steaks served there. After talking about it a good part of the flight, by the time we got to Denver, I was close to starvation.

            After renting a car and proceeding on to Cheyenne, Elder Sonne proudly continued on in detail about the marvelous steak we were going to have. I finally told him we needed to stop now and eat, because I didn't think I could last. I was starving to death just listening to him. But he was intent on getting to his favorite steakhouse. And, indeed, when we finally arrived an hour later, the steak we were served was a masterpiece.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The "Radical Orthodoxy Manifesto" Bunk and Baloney

By Dennis B. Horne

            I get very tired of having to do step by step or even line by line refutations of the nonsense that comes from the Givens’ et. al. Yet here we are again. When I first skimmed it, red flags went up everywhere and I was again grateful for the spirit of discernment and the guidance of prophets. Quotations from the document are followed by my refutations:

“This polarization [and contention of the world] is driving members of the Church to spiritually dangerous extremes, tempting some Latter-day Saints to reduce fidelity to knee-jerk traditionalism and others to abandon fidelity for worldly philosophies.”

            We have always had weak and ignorant members of the Church, in various quantities, foolishly camping in dangerous extremes (until they get excommunicated). That is nothing new. From Godbeites to Snufferites, even the elect are being deceived.

            “Fidelity” is (later) defined as “We are loyal to Jesus Christ and His Restored Church and submit to His divine authority by sustaining and following the local and general leaders of the Church”—which sounds great until you realize how those truths are being defined and it suddenly falls apart.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Jana Reiss Needs to Have Her Temple Recommend Pulled


By Dennis B. Horne

             I have thought for years that Jana Reiss, a dissident blogger that the Salt Lake Tribune unfortunately and foolishly reposts, should have her temple recommend pulled (and also receive membership restrictions or loss). Her loud public criticisms of the church she is allegedly a member of, and of its leaders, should have long ago been cause for forfeiture of temple privileges.

            Now, she has again loudly and openly declared her opposition to paying tithing in the prescribed method, and one must be a full tithe-payer  as defined by the Church to hold a temple recommend. She states in her column for all to see:


            The short version of all this is that while I am still a full-tithe payer, I have not paid a dime of it to the church in 2020.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #10 - Some of Elder Rudd’s Thoughts on Difficult Welfare Issues

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)


            I had a rather interesting meeting with L____ W____ who was one of the directors [in the Welfare Department]. I told him I was greatly distressed with the treatment we were giving to our Deseret Industries workers. It sometimes seemed to me like we were in the business to make money, which was not the way it should be. We talked over basic concepts, and before we were through, he reversed the policy on cutting hours and furloughing some workers when sales were down. I felt that we ought to keep our people busy regardless of how we were doing financially—I still do.


            A rather sad thing happened in Welfare on the 24th. 'Two of our top men flew to an eastern city and fired our area manger there for some stupid thing he had done with Church funds. I was greatly distressed. Bishop Burke Peterson of the Presiding Bishopric heard about it and spoke to me. Bishop Peterson met with President Hinckley to talk about the situation. President Hinckley ruled against firing the man and commented that what the manager had done was, indeed, stupid, but that we should not fire good people for being stupid. So we brought the man back on the job, transferred him to another place and let him carry on for several more years as a valuable employee. I was very grateful for the attitude of Bishop Peterson and President Hinckley.


            Brother Edwards had worked closely with the First Presidency for a number of years and had been their personal financial advisor. He had also been the stake president in New York City several years earlier. I knew him to be an exceptionally important man. I had met him on several occasions so I felt we should make his trip pleasant. His wife was the sister to Camilla Kimball (President Spencer W. Kimball's wife) and was a lovely and delightful person. Their visit, which took four days and much of our time, was well worth it. I drove them to see the Waitomo caves and some other beautiful areas of New Zealand.

            We enjoyed Brother and Sister Edwards' visit. They were both 80 years old, but were bright and intelligent. A number of years ago, he had been hired by the First Presidency to make an audit of the entire welfare program—why we were in it, what we were doing, and so forth. His report was very negative and upset Harold B. Lee, Henry D. Moyle, and Marion G. Romney, and me. If the Brethren had followed his suggestions, we probably would have closed down the welfare program. He was a financial man, and welfare was not making money. Anyway, welfare survived, and I still had great respect and good feeling for this fine man and his wife.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #9 - Elder Rudd Corrects Some General Authorities

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)  

             [Editorial Note: I was able to question Elder Rudd and learn the (deceased) names of the fine general authorities he found himself correcting (which is a nicer word than rebuking) on these exceedingly rare occasions. I inserted them in bracket. Most modern readers won’t recognize those names. Elder Rudd told me that almost the only reason he was able to correct these good brethren without fear of reprisals was because President Lee covered his back. Any time one of the brethren didn’t like something Brother Rudd did and got after him for it, he would call Elder Lee and let him know, and Elder Lee would make sure nothing happened to Brother Rudd. These were the years before Elder Rudd became a general authority himself, and was serving on the church welfare committee.]

            One of the powerful General Authorities [Elder Thorpe B. Isaacson] with whom I traveled was a very interesting man. He was high strung and was easily upset, but he always treated me with great dignity and honor.

            I enjoyed being with him very much, but on one trip, out of the state, we were stranded in the airport because our connecting flight to another city was cancelled. I remember my friend raising heck with the man at the check-in stand. I was standing next to him when he lost his temper and began to berate this poor man who was checking us in and who had nothing to do with the cancellation. The situation became so bad I walked away because I did not want to be so close to this man who had raised his voice so loud that everyone in the airport was watching.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Learning Doctrine and Hearing Apostolic Testimony from Elder Marion G. Romney


(Prepared by Dennis B. Horne)

            Note: the below material is my Christmas present to all those who admire Elder Romney and love his teachings and testimony. Hear them below, all messages given before he entered the First Presidency.

            Elder Marion G. Romney, who passed away in 1988, has been called an apostle’s apostle. He was one of the greatest of their number, according to those who knew him best. One of his associates among the general authorities said that, “President Romney was much greater than most people knew.” There is no question that Elder Romney, through faith and righteous living, received marvelous spiritual experiences and manifestations (that he did not describe in detail) during his ministry. These continued until the day came that he could testify, albeit indirectly, but with little question for those with ears to hear and hearts to understand, that the Lord Jesus had personally shown Himself in very deed to this pure and humble apostle (listen to the final minutes of the last talk in the below list to see what I mean.)

            Highlights from the below audio file conference talks include his apostolic acceptance speech (that was actually video and is superb); his April 1953 message when he became almost upset with those church members who taught/teach the false theory of evolution instead of the true doctrine of the origin and mission of Adam; and those select and special occasions when he humbly but forcefully bore his special witness of Jesus Christ—his language was persuasive and powerful and convincing, as was the Spirit that accompanied his testimony.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #8 - Elder Rudd’s Reminiscences about President Joseph Fielding Smith

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            In May 1959, I went with President Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife Jessie to a stake conference in Kanab and across the border to Arizona to dedicate a small chapel.

            Following a long day of meetings, we began our drive home. After we had been driving for a while, the aged President Smith said he would like to drive. I was willing, but "Aunt" Jessie, as we called her, was absolutely positive that he should not drive. She had already told me earlier that if he asked, I was to tell him no.

            The two of them had quite a little debate; both were kind but very hard headed and insistent. When I could see that the debate was going nowhere, I made one of the great mistakes of my traveling experiences. I said, "Let's vote on it." Immediately, she voted that he should not drive, and he voted that he should. Which left me in the middle with the deciding vote.

            I turned to the back seat and looked at the very anxious look on his face. She, on the other hand, was giving me all kinds of signals. I finally gave the following vote: "I want the two of you to know that I have tried to live the gospel and sustain the Brethren. I have had a lot of experience in the Church; and I know the worst thing I can do is tum against the priesthood. I vote that President Smith, as the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, drive if he wants to." After all, it was his car and he should be familiar with it.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #7 - Some Stories about Glen Rudd’s and Tom Monson’s Friendship

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            [Editorial Note: Brother Rudd reminisces about earlier days in his life when he became friends with a man who would become the President of the Church.]

            Once a month, all the bishoprics in our stake met with the stake presidency in a lengthy meeting, after which almost everyone was most anxious to go straight home.

            But Bishop Thomas Monson of the Sixth-Seventh Ward, a young fellow of only 22 or 23 years of age, was never anxious to call it quits. Frequently, at his suggestion, we would go get our wives and end up in the local ice cream parlor to enjoy a sundae or banana split and visit about the interesting things we were doing.

            I always marveled at Tom's capacity to keep going. After those long stake meetings, I was usually ready for bed. However, those little visits together at the ice cream parlor were worthwhile and payed off greatly for each of us.


            The “Monson Building”

Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Walk Through Time with Elder Bruce R. McConkie

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne) 

            Note: This material constitutes my Christmas present to those who admire Elder McConkie and rejoice in his gospel teachings and testimony.

            At the October 1946 general conference, 31-year-old Bruce McConkie sat down at the Deseret News press table to take notes to be published the next day in the newspaper he worked at. He was soon tapped on the shoulder by Brother Joseph Anderson, clerk of the conference, who asked him to meet with President McKay. Brother McConkie instantly knew what was wanted. He met with Pres. McKay in the general authorities room in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, were he was interviewed and called to become a member of the First Council of Seventy.

            Then conference started and the Brethren began speaking. Brother McConkie had to concentrate on the messages to take notes because he was feeling so flustered by the call. He wrote: “During the meeting I could not look around. . . . Pres. George F. Richards was one of the speakers, and I took the notes necessary to report his sermon. It was on the divine law of love. It calmed my nerves somewhat to be forced to concentrate on the sermon and make notes for newspaper quotation.”

Friday, December 11, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #6 - Some of Elder Glen L. Rudd’s Experiences with President Henry D. Moyle

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne) 

            [Editorial Note: President Henry D. Moyle was an apostle and counselor in the First Presidency. He became acquainted with Brother Rudd through extensive church welfare work. President Moyle was a very wealthy, high-powered, opinionated, strong church leader. These wonderful men came to have great affection for each other as the below accounts indicate; President Moyle loved and trusted Brother Rudd. These items are largely self-explanatory:] 

            President Moyle was the second chairman of the General Welfare Committee. He conducted most of the committee meetings and was in that position for seven or eight years, until he was called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

            He continued as chairman of the General Welfare Committee even as an ordained apostle. President Moyle was a great man who had tremendous talent. He was one of the most successful lawyers in the state of Utah and had a lot to do with building three oil refineries. He was a very powerful political figure in the state of Utah. I fell in love with Brother Moyle and he was exceptionally kind to me. I was honored to be his friend and was able to get in to see him any time I needed to. As a member of the First Presidency he would call me into his office just to visit. He was particularly pleased with what I did at Welfare Square in remodeling and building new buildings.

It’s Good to Be Right and Have the Truth Come Out

             Back in April of 2018, when the critical and slanderous publicity machine was at its height, I wrote the below blog post. Today’s news items beautifully proclaim my views to be correct. Denson was nothing but a publicity and money-seeking con-woman. She made up a sensational lie to get money, but even her own lawyers quit on her when they realized she was a sham and a liar. And then some of her rabid anti-Mormon supporters also found she had duped them and turned on her.

            But the sad part about all of this is that the result of her con won’t receive near as much publicity as did her false charges and claims. So people who aren’t paying attention will still think things happened that didn’t. But at least the truth has come out for those paying attention. Denson used the Metoo movement and other anti-Mormons, who were glad to be used. But now they all look like the fools they are.

Using Publicity to Criticize the Church: Some Perspective for Viewing Recent Events

By Dennis B. Horne

“This is an insult, especially, to women who have gone

through something like that [sexual assault] and really have been hurt.”

—McKenna Denson’s ex-husband (Arizona Republic) 

            When accusations and denials of sexual assault are flying around in reporter’s stories, when sex and religion (especially Mormonism) are mentioned together, a media frenzy can result. The international “Me-too” movement has inadvertently created the perfect storm, offering an irresistible opening for various individuals with manipulative and unscrupulous motives, to take advantage of it and milk it for all it is worth. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #5 - Some of Elder Glen L. Rudd’s Experiences with President Harold B. Lee (Part 2)

(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

  [Editorial Note: Part Two. Most of the below accounts are self-explanatory for Latter-day Saints. Elder Harold B. Lee was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and President of the Church who had a wonderful, righteous influence on Glen Rudd’s life. They had many adventures together while serving in the Church and Brother Rudd learned a great deal from him.]

            In April 1957 while visiting a stake conference in Santa Rosa, California, with Elder Harold B. Lee, the stake president announced the opening hymn and that a Brother Bybee would offer the opening prayer. As Brother Bybee passed us, Elder Lee nudged me and said, "That man baptized me." I said, "What did you say?" and he repeated, "That man baptized me." At that moment Brother Bybee began to pray and when he was through, I turned to Brother Lee and said, "You said he baptized you" and Brother Lee said, "Yes, why?" I asked, "Well, you can remember that?" and he answered, "Certainly, it was only fifty years ago. Anyone can remember something fifty years ago."

            I don't know the accomplishments or wealth accumulated by Brother Bybee, but I doubt if he ever did a single act as important and far reaching as performing that single baptism in a little pond on an Idaho farm for an eight year old boy who one day would become the Prophet of the Lord.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #4 - Some of Elder Glen L. Rudd’s Experiences with President Harold B. Lee (Part 1)

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            [Editorial Note: Most of the below accounts are self-explanatory for Latter-day Saints. Elder Harold B. Lee was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve and President of the Church who had a wonderful righteous influence on Glen Rudd’s life. They had many adventures together while serving in the Church and Brother Rudd learned a great deal from him. One of these reminiscences teaches us that sometimes church members don’t do as well as they ought, which is simply a part of our probationary mortal testing, with repentance always possible. Those wishing to gain some precious insight into Elder Harold B. Lee during this time period may want to copy and paste the following link into their browser, and watch him speak in the April 1952 general conference. This rare 11 minute recording has Elder Lee sharing some sacred details of how he obtained his special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.]

             While I was on the General Welfare Committee, I traveled with Elder Harold B. Lee to Idaho to reorganize a stake. We had no sooner taken off into the air when he told me I was going to have a new experience that I had never had before.

            When I asked him about it, he told me I was going to reorganize a stake. I said, "Brother Lee, I know how to help you do that, but you have the power and authority to do it. I'm a good usher and will help bring the brethren in and out so you can interview them."

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #3 - Brother Rudd Works with Various Brethren (Part 2)

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            My assignments to stake conferences continued until I was called to be a mission president in 1966. As I look over the list of the Brethren I have traveled with, it is hard to keep from telling a story or two on all of the Brethren. They were great men. I am not amazed, but absolutely thrilled to know that the Lord plans well ahead as to whom he wants to run the Church. Each of these men comes into the leadership of the Church, takes his place, and does his work in his own way.

            I want everyone who reads this book to know that my testimony increased constantly by the privilege and opportunity I had of rubbing shoulders with these men. They were great to travel with. We shared rooms and experiences over a good many years which was a great blessing to me. The one thing I learned over and over, week-after-week is that the Brethren are the greatest men that the Lord has on the earth.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd #2

 (Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

Brother Rudd Works with Various Brethren (Part 1) 

            [Editorial Note: The below excerpts from Elder Rudd’s autobiographical writings share interesting experiences he had working with various general authorities. Perhaps they would not be found in a formal correlated church manual, but they do provide a glimpse of the realities of the long, hard, and inspired work done by the Brethren in their ministries. While some of them may raise an eyebrow or give pause to ponder or wonder, they can also be very faith-promoting and refreshing.]

             In May of 1971, I was assigned with Elder Howard W. Hunter to attend the stake conference of the Denver Stake in Colorado. We flew over together and upon arriving, began our interviews to select a new stake president. We were a little slow interviewing together so Elder Hunter suggested that he go in a different room and we would each interview separately. I was instructed that if I should find someone that he should meet, we were to immediately get back together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Introducing a New Blog Series and the First Installment - Remarkable Experiences in the Life of Elder Glen L. Rudd


(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

             I herein introduce a new interesting and inspirational series of about 37 blogs. Elder Glen L. Rudd’s life was very unusual and filled with marvelous experiences and people. He traveled and worked closely with over eighty general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He came to know many of them well and some of them became close personal friends. He knew Elder Matthew Cowley and President Harold B. Lee especially well.

            Elder Rudd was a very able recorder of the events he participated in or witnessed and he also had a great memory. He prepared several autobiographical or life history-type manuscripts, filled with his experiences. He had them printed and distributed to his extended family and friends as widely as possible. His motivation for doing so was to strengthen the faith of others. He wanted to uplift and bless as many people as possible, and sharing the edifying events of his life was one way he sought to do it. Those who read the blog posts in this series will quickly see what I mean and just how remarkable many events in his life were.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

President Joseph Fielding Smith’s Experience with Weak Members and Apostates

 (Presented by Dennis B. Horne)

             It takes two things to keep church members from being sucked into the fad of having a “faith crisis” and apostatizing—gospel knowledge and testimony—and both of these result from exercising faith. President Smith explains all of this in a general conference talk from 1958. And one of the finest things he teaches, that most people don’t realize, is that the gospel is simple. Intellectuals, dissidents, dissenters, and anti-Mormons try to make it complicated either for self-aggrandizement or to cause doubt in others. Some scholars/academics are also guilty of this. Yet, if people exercise faith enough to follow this counsel, they can be fortified and inoculated against the doctrines of men and devils. I have placed a few editorial notes in brackets to update the general principles being taught by President Smith below:

             It is my judgment that there are many members of this Church who have been baptized for the remission of their sins, who have had hands laid upon their heads for the gift of the Holy Ghost, who have never received that gift, that is, the manifestations of it. Why? Because they have never put themselves in order to receive these manifestations. They have never humbled themselves. They have never taken the steps [hard spiritual work] that would prepare them for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Therefore they go through life without that knowledge [testimony], and they have not the understanding. Therefore when those cunning and crafty in their deceit [anti-Mormons and dissenters] come to them they disturb them in their faith, if they have faith left.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

President Marion G. Romney’s Spiritual Gifts

 by Dennis B. Horne

            [Editorial Note: These personal experiences in the life of President Marion G. Romney, a former counselor in the First Presidency, are found in his chapter of my book, I Know He Lives: How 13 Special Witnesses Came to Know Jesus Christ.]

It was while on his mission that Elder Romney enjoyed one of the great anchoring spiritual experiences of his life; one which left him forever changed. Serving at a time when there was less emphasis on companionships, he spent part of a preparation day alone at the library of the University of Sidney. On this occasion, among all the shelves and stacks of worldly books, he found himself turning to his own copy of the Doctrine and Covenants, soon becoming deeply absorbed in section 76 in particular; the vision of the degrees of glory given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Having lost track of time, his study of that section took him into the evening.

            Young Elder Romney finished reading, left the library, and was overcome with the impressiveness of what he had been reading. His later described what happened next:

Monday, November 16, 2020

President Heber J. Grant’s (Fun) Political Story

 by Dennis B. Horne

            [Editorial Note: With the 2020 election over and political tensions in the U.S. still high, I thought this story from President Heber J. Grant might bring some humor and fun to the situation. The setting is his last talk at his first general conference as President of the Church. I first encountered this story almost two decades ago as I was editing a selection of diary entries and related materials about Elder Abraham H. Cannon, a son of President George Q. Cannon who only served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve for some 6 years and died young. He and Elder Grant, along with Orson F. Whitney, were something of friendly rivals in their early years and had strong political views. They even dated some of the same women.]

            I have received a lot of anonymous letters, since I became President of the Church, telling me a great many things that people would like me to announce here, positions they would like me to take, etc., to all of which I shall pay no attention. Any person who wishes to write me a letter and give me pointers should not be afraid to sign his name. . . .

            Some years ago I preached a sermon in this Tabernacle. At the close of the service, on my way home, between here and the Eagle Gate, six or seven men complimented me for "spanking in public" Brother Abraham H. Cannon who had spoken just before I did. Two or three days later some seven or eight men were in the President's office, and I was summoned before them and taken to task for "spanking" Brother Cannon. They were very angry. They were all Republicans, and all those who had complimented me were Democrats. Brother Abraham and I were there at this meeting, and I asked him if he knew that he was spanked. He said, no, he did not; and I remarked, "If I spanked you in public, I must have done it in my sleep. I quite frequently sleep when other people are talking; but, up to date, I have not learned to sleep while I am talking. I am not aware of saying one single, solitary word that reflected on what you said."

            I requested that those two sermons be published in the Deseret News, one following the other; that neither Abraham nor I be permitted to read them before publication. When they were published I was to appear at the President's office and I would make any apology that was necessary for spanking Brother Abraham in public. Brother Cannon and I read them to ourselves and then read them aloud, and we could not find one single, solitary word, wherein I had found any fault with what he had said, neither could the Presidency. So I did not have to apologize. Do you know, it is a very easy matter for us to misconstrue what people say, and make such an application that it may appear partisan or as if it were intended for personal advantage, in some way, shape or manner. CONFERENCE REPORT, JUNE 1919, 139, 142-43.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Kent P. Jackson’s Article on Joseph Smith, Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary, and the JST at The Interpreter


by Dennis B. Horne

             The Interpreter online journal recently posted a strong and sound article by retired BYU Religious Instruction professor Kent P. Jackson. For some time now critics of the Church have been trying to use the (false) conclusions of Thomas Wayment and Haley Wilson-Lemmon to weaken or destroy the credibility of the Joseph Smith Translation (or Inspired Version) of the Bible. Their conclusions are that Joseph Smith borrowed heavily from Adam Clarke’s bible commentary in creating the JST, with Haley Wilson-Lemmon (who is now an apostate) declaring that the Prophet plagiarized much of the JST.

            Kent Jackson has now thoroughly studied their conclusions and finds them to be nonsense. The Prophet Joseph Smith did not use the Clarke commentary in producing the JST and did not even have the book. Wayment and Wilson-Lemmon are simply wrong about most everything. In other words, the anti-Mormons have latched onto an illusion (that should not have been created) for comfort in their disbelief; a puff of smoke that is now blowing away in the wind and leaving them looking as foolish as ever.

            In connection with this, FairMormon also posted an audiofile with one of the Church’s History Department Employees (Mark Ashurst-McGee) also speaking to this issue. It seems that much of what he said is also now shown to be erroneous as well, the major item being his number of 5 percent of the JST being taken from Clarke’s commentary, when it is actually none. (I encourage people to read and listen to these items themselves.)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Time Again for Dissidents and Apostates to Become Loud

 By Dennis B. Horne

 With General Conference upon us, we will again see and hear the racket and squawking from dissidents, anti's, and apostates, all trying to use the increased attention on the Church for their own nefarious purposes. The Salt Lake Tribune is leading the way, as usual. This quotation from President Heber J. Grant summed it up in his day and in ours, beautifully:

"I have received a lot of anonymous letters, since I became President of the Church, telling me a great many things that people would like me to announce here, positions they would like me to take, etc., to all of which I shall pay no attention." Conference Report, June 1919, 139.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Doctrine of Sex in the Spirit World and the Resurrection

 By Dennis B. Horne

In the proclamation on the family, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles averred: “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”[1] From this we are assured that male and female reproductive organs and sexual characteristics will remain in their proper place as gender identifiers for all eternity, worlds without end. President Dallin H. Oaks defined “gender” in the Proclamation as meaning birth sex.

Misled people can make use of all the science and surgery they can to modify these identifiers in mortality, but in the next life (beyond the veil) they will see that they still have the same essential characteristics they were born with to those same Heavenly Parents in their pre-existent home. God our Eternal Father is a perfect resurrected and glorified being with all knowledge and all power and he knows how to put a male spirit in a male body and a female spirit in a female body and he has never made one mistake in this regard in all the history of the world; nor will He ever. According to Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, “President Marion G. Romney said, ‘the God of heaven will never put a female spirit in a male body and he’ll never put a male spirit in a female body.’ You can write that down as God’s truth.”[2]

For those exceedingly rare incidents of abnormality, where some confusion (on our part) is present with these organs, if nothing sorts them out before then, death certainly will. Surgery cannot affect the eternal spirit found within the body of a man or woman in any way.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Repost: Another Mistaken BYU Harmonize-Evolution-with-Doctrine Movement


With BYU restarting, many incoming students will be forced to take biology. Reposting this information may be of use to some in countering many of the falsehoods they will be taught about evolution being part of the gospel. Also, if things proceed according to plan, I will begin a substantial series of blogs about evolution negating or corrupting the true doctrine of the creation of mankind this January, 2021.

“There is no need to attempt to harmonize conflicting views when some of the
views are out of harmony with the Standard Works. This is what life is all about.
The Lord is finding out what we will believe in spite of the allurements of the
world or the philosophies of men or the seemingly rational and logical
explanations that astute people make.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie[1]

“Informed members of the Church know that when they come across statements or
 doctrinal explanations which are contrary to what is in the revealed word, they are duty
bound to reject such.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie[2]

“I see others, [BYU Students] sharp, cynical, skeptical, in the know-it-all arrogance of blossoming young manhood and womanhood. They have inquisitive minds. They are easily taught—and easily led astray. Teach these with extra care.” Elder Boyd K. Packer[3]

            I may be behind the news, but I recently learned, to my dismay, that some professors in the Brigham Young University Biology Department are actively promoting another attempt to harmonize evolution with the gospel. Such a misguided and possibly even spiritually dangerous effort must not go unchallenged and uncorrected.
            I recognize and fully appreciate that BYU biologists must study and teach evolution for the school to be acceptable to the world as an accredited institution of higher learning. I also enthusiastically appreciate the almost inestimable value of the great majority of science for the betterment of the world.
            What is not appreciated, and what is unacceptable, is when the theories of the historical life sciences are forced to mix with the gospel of Jesus Christ as found in ancient and modern revelation—specifically, the theory (or theories) of organic evolution. Round pegs just don’t fit in square holes without causing damage; in this case spiritual harm. Where this latest BYU movement loses its way, as with its predecessors, is in supposing it can harmonize evolution of any brand with revealed gospel doctrine.

Monday, July 27, 2020

President Benson Warned Against Jana Reiss, Peggy Stack, Joanna Brooks, and their Ilk

            Editorial Note: President Ezra Taft Benson’s 1969 General Conference address could have been written this morning, as his warnings pertain to individuals right now who work against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—from inside of it. I use their names because they use their names, seeking as much publicity and influence as they can get for their views that are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Chris. I am awe-struck by the dead-on accuracy of President Benson’s descriptions of these people written over fifty years ago. He pegged these women and others like them perfectly. I don’t know why they still hold temple recommends, but it doesn’t matter, they are as President Benson declared anyway, and he even explains why they want to remain members. Below is some of the relevant portion of his address:

Disharmony of some members

            Sometimes we hear someone refer to a division in the Church. In reality, the Church is not divided. It simply means that there are some who, for the time being at least, are members of the Church but not in harmony with it. These people have a temporary membership and influence in the Church; but unless they repent, they will be missing when the final membership records are recorded. . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BYU Gives Aid and Comfort to the Adversary

Are there real golden plates and did God and Jesus appear to Joseph?

            “The idea that we must be neutral and argue quite as much in favor of the adversary as we do in favor of righteousness is neither reasonable nor safe,” stated President Boyd K. Packer. “In the Church we are not neutral. We are one-sided. There is a war going on, and we are engaged in it. It is the war between good and evil, and we are belligerents defending the good. We are therefore obliged to give preference to and protect all that is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have made covenants to do it.”
            The war in heaven (the pre-mortal existence), the great war of words and philosophies where a third of the hosts of heaven were lost to the adversary, continues among us today.
            I saw this BYU-published (Mormon Studies Review) 2014 interview that Spencer Fluhman of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute at BYU conducted with Ann Taves, a non-Latter-day Saint religious studies scholar. In answer to an inquiry, she replied: “But your question, I think, alludes to the work I’ve been doing on early Mormonism and the contentious issue of the materiality of the golden plates, which is what I’ve been lecturing on in various venues. The golden plates take us straight into one of the most interesting challenges: taking the whole range of evidence and views on contentious claims into account and making our way through them as scholars in as transparent a fashion as possible. . . . I’m sure it helps that I am setting up the ‘puzzle’ of the golden plates with a claim that each ‘side’ holds dear—that is, that Joseph Smith was not a deceiver or deluded and that there were no ancient golden plates” (emphasis added).
            This friendly non-Latter-day Saints’ views, that impugn the existence of the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated, are here found in a tithe-subsidized BYU publication, that is not supposed to be supporting the enemy in the war, but to be unapologetically defending the truth with no question about what really exists.
            In contrast, we have this statement, given in General Conference, from President James E. Faust:

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Elder Ezra Taft Benson Speaks Prophetically to Issues Seen in the News Media Today

Editorial Note: In this General Conference address from 1967, fifty years ago, Ezra Taft Benson, who later became a president of the Church, speaks prophetically to issues seen in the news media today. Some of what he said could have been written in the last few days and weeks. Sometimes we forget how insightfully prophetic the apostles and prophets really are, because their messages are buried in the past. We are now reminded. Some academics have dismissed Ezra Taft Benson’s General Conference messages out of hand because he spoke a lot about Communism. Such dismissal is now seen as unwise—as usual. On the issue of race and the priesthood brought up in this address, Brother Benson was present when the revelation on the priesthood was received in 1978 and fully supported it afterward and while church president; he would have referred readers to Official Proclamation 2 in the Doctrine and Covenants for resolution of that issue. As for now, Elder Benson’s message serves as a guide to how to view current events—as conspiring men and women seek to harm the United States of America. As would be expected, his words run contrary to many of the false philosophies of our day and point us in the right direction toward solutions and public improvement.

In the Book of Mormon the prophet Nephi exclaims: "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Ne. 4:34.)

Prophesying of our day, Nephi said, ". . . they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Ne. 28:14.)

Precepts of men or principles of God

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Correcting an Errant Perspective on the Restoration

            Some three years ago (2017), retired BYU professor Noel Reynolds gave an interview regarding his research about the authorship of the Lectures on Faith. While not all of his findings were convincing to me, I think the gist of his main thesis, that the Prophet Joseph Smith was not the main author of the lectures, is probably mostly accurate. His notions that they reflect the teachings of Sidney Rigdon who reflected the teachings of Alexander Campbell (an 1830s Protestant reformist), is less convincing to me (nor do I think we should assume Campbell’s teachings were all false). But much of Reynolds’ research seems to have some validity and therefore value, and such contributions, even if partially flawed, are generally welcome.
            However, in one regard, he said some things in the interview that were not accurate and showed that he had not researched at least one portion of his presentation very well. This is not a big deal and I don’t overly fault him for missing the mark, but I have decided to take occasion to do some correcting. (Part of the reason I do so is because in the last year I have heard a couple of prominent names voice criticisms of Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s statements on certain matters where, again, they showed a lack of knowledge.) It is in regards to Elder McConkie’s views that Professor Reynolds showed some ignorance. This becomes more clear almost every time President Russell M. Nelson speaks to the Church about the ongoing status and future of the Restoration.
            The issue at hand relates to what should be defined or categorized as part of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; more specifically, written texts. Professor Reynolds said: “He [Elder McConkie] seemed to have an enthusiasm that was fed by having more and more things [inspired writings] be part of the Restoration. I have to admit that I come from a different mentality, which is being skeptical and watching out for people who are trying to import things into the Restoration that really aren’t part of it.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pure Apostolic Witness and Testimony of the First Vision

(Part twenty of a series compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            As the concluding item of this series on the First Vision, I have sifted through most of the preceding nineteen pieces and selected brief quotations—nuggets of pure testimony—from those holding the holy Apostleship (including the keys of the Kingdom as received in direct line from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who got them from Peter, James, and John, and other ancient prophets), declaring their incontrovertible spiritual witness of the reality of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. In these testimonies, we find no doubt, just perfect knowledge:

            “I am grateful that early in my life I was blessed with a simple faith that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in a vision. He translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God. That testimony has been confirmed to me over and over again.
            “As one of the least among you, but in my calling as one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, I testify that He truly lives, that He is the Messiah. I do have a personal witness of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. I received this knowledge by the unspeakable peace and power of the Spirit of God.”

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Race Whitney in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

            [Note: The below narrative is taken from a chapter in the author’s biography of Elder Orson F. Whitney, called “The Misadventures of Race Whitney” (page 257), that describes his harrowing experience as a newspaper reporter (working for the San Francisco Chronicle) when the great San Francisco earthquake hit in 1906. This was also about the time his father was called into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Race Whitney was Orson’s oldest child, filled with promise and potential, but whose life was cut short because of drink—he died of alcoholism in his late twenties. Race, shortened from Horace, took after his father as a talented writer, journalist, and dramatist. Yet he became indifferent to the gospel teachings of his youth. As an older teenager, his father secured a position for him with a Salt Lake newspaper, and Race was one of a select company that travelled to St. George with President Lorenzo Snow in 1898, where President Snow received a revelation to reemphasize tithing to the Church. It would seem that after that experience, Race drifted from gospel teachings and standards, married a non-Latter-day Saint, and eventually drank himself to death. His account of being in the middle of the earthquake is well-written and thrilling. I have added some text from Race’s original correspondence with his father, that was published in the Deseret News, but that I deleted from the book since I thought it extraneous; this means the newspaper account found here is longer and has more earthquake details than the account in the book. Quotations are from Elder Whitney’s journal, mostly 1906, but I have deleted all the endnotes. From The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle:]

            Good as he was at what he did—writer, reporter, dramatist—Race struggled to stay employed for very long. He also made a poor choice for a wife. It is with this decision that he again finds mention in Ort’s diary: “Went this evening with my son Race to see Miss Rosemary Gloez, his young lady. She is not a Mormon but is a very charming girl, aged 20, finely educated, a native of Boston. . . . They are a Hungarian family and nice people. Race and Rose are madly in love with each other. They want to marry. While I hate to see him wed outside the Church, I prefer this to no marriage, or a life on the stage, which he says is the alternative.”

About two months later, the day of the wedding arrived:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

President Hinckley Comments on Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s Critics

(Part nineteen of a series compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            While the standard procedure for the First Presidency is to ignore the enemies and critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they do sometimes manifest an awareness of what the devil’s mortal emissaries are saying and doing. As a natural result, President Hinckley occasionally referenced their public and private efforts to disturb or distract, or to diminish or destroy faith in Jesus Christ and His modern prophets. As President Hinckley noted, many of them have targeted Joseph Smith and his First Vision—and (as he notes) while they have had some small success among the weak in testimony, the true and faithful have not faltered.
            The below statements and explanations given by President Hinckley over past decades are not exclusive to defending the First Vision only (his defense was much broader than that), but enough is mentioned on that subject to warrant inclusion here. Further, all can be benefited by his prophetic counsel on handling criticism of all kinds. His larger perspective placing the Prophet’s and the modern Church’s critics in their true context in relation to the kingdom of God and eternity is a valuable lesson to all. This prophet knew how to put the devil in his place:

            What about the critics of the Church who have been so vocal of late?
            We have them. We have always had them. They are not as vociferous as they once were. Noisy as they are, they are not as threatening. People ask whether we are fearful of research of our history. My reply to this is no, of course not, provided it is done with balance and integrity, as has been done by some scholars both in and out of the Church.
            However, we are under no obligation to spend tithing funds to provide facilities and resources to those who have demonstrated that it is their objective to attack the Church and undermine its mission. These funds are sacred. They have been consecrated by the faithful to advance the work, and that is the way they will be used.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

President Gordon B. Hinckley’s Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision

(Part eighteen of a series compiled by Dennis B.Horne)

            As far as I can discover, it seems to me that President Hinckley had more to say about Joseph Smith’s First Vision than any other modern prophet or apostle. As the below quotations demonstrate, he had studied the historical records, was informed on the scholarship (including the faulty arguments of the critics), had visited the sacred grove repeatedly, and had pondered and prayed and received a witness from the Holy Spirit, probably multiple witnesses, that what Joseph testified took place did. President Hinckley’s testimony of the First Vision must therefore be considered one of the greatest prophetic witnesses given since the event of the vision itself. The below selections are given in chronological order:

            Joseph Smith likewise was a figure of loneliness. I have a great love for the boy who came out of the woods, who after that experience could never be the same again, who was berated and persecuted and looked down upon. Can you sense the pathos in these words of the boy prophet?
            For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation. [JS—H 1:25]

            When I was a boy, twelve years of age, my father took me to a meeting of the priesthood of the stake in which we lived. I sat on the back row while he, as president of the stake, sat on the stand. At the opening of that meeting, the first of its kind I had ever attended, three or four hundred men stood. They were men from varied backgrounds and many vocations, but each had in his heart the same conviction, out of which together they sang these great words:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Missionary Receives a Testimony of the First Vision

and a few other like experiences
(Part seventeen of a series compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            A few years ago, a returned missionary who served in one of the Mexican missions shared with me a classic experience that illustrates the “diligence” principle in the acquisition of faith and sacred knowledge. I had conducted the stake president’s interview before his mission and sent his papers to Church headquarters. I remember that interview with him. He was 6 foot 5 inches tall and 255 pounds. He was one of the first two young men recruited from my children’s high school to play football at Brigham Young University. He was a fine young man, clean-cut and worthy in every way. I remember being impressed with his potential. I could tell from the answers he gave to the questions I asked that he was honest, but there was one crack in his armor. I knew that his testimony was based on the faith of others rather than on his own witness. However, he related the following story to me during his release interview at the end of his mission.
            As his mission began, Elder Stone worked energetically with his companion. Frequently he was called upon to give the first lesson. In the lesson it was necessary for him to tell the investigators about the appearance of the Father and the Son to the boy Joseph in the Sacred Grove and then bear witness of its truthfulness. After bearing testimony a number of times, his conscience began to bother him. Although he believed the story, he did not know that it actually happened. He had not been there, nor had he received his own witness. How could he tell others that the First Vision really happened? As doubts began to multiply and replace his belief and as the pains of conscience increased, he told his companion that he could no longer be a missionary. He was going home. He could not serve as a witness to something he did not know. His companion responded, “Elder Stone, why don’t you follow the counsel given the investigators? You need to study and pray more diligently. Put Moroni’s promise to the test. Exercise your faith, and you will receive an answer. Stay with me for a few more weeks.”
Elder Stone agreed to stay and put Moroni’s promise to the test. A few weeks passed, the missionary worked harder, prayed more often, was more attentive in his reading, but no witness came. Finally, during an interview with the mission president, Elder Stone expressed his frustrations and indicated his desire to return home. He could not continue. A wise mission president counseled, “Elder, do not give up! You have a desire to believe. If you continue faithful in your calling for a few more weeks, the Lord will answer your prayers. I promise you!”

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Sister Ida Romney Obtains a Testimony of the First Vision

(Part sixteen of a series compiled by Dennis B. Horne)

            Two edifying accounts of the same story relating how Ida Romney, wife of President Marion G. Romney (a former counselor in the First Presidency), gained a witness of the reality of the First Vision. The first is from a Church News interview and the second is a more detailed account shared by her husband:

            After I wrote about Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball in early March 2019, I began thinking about other women of faith I’ve met during my career at the Church News. One of them was Ida Jensen Romney, wife of President Marion G. Romney, who was then a counselor in the First Presidency. (He had been a General Authority since 1941; he died in 1988.)
            I interviewed Sister Romney in their home in preparation for a feature article about her that was published Jan 16, 1974.
            She reviewed a time when she had to know for herself that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. As a member of a stake Sunday School board, she was assigned to teach the teachers in the stake. Although she didn’t have a college degree, she had a teaching certificate.
“One man was a graduate of the University of Idaho,” she said. “His wife (who was not a member of the Church) was also a college graduate. She attended the meetings with her husband.
“It never bothered me to have her in the class until one day our lesson was about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. I was preparing it, and I thought about this woman.
“‘She’s an educated woman,’ I thought to myself. ‘She’s going to think I’m crazy when I tell this story.’”

Sunday, March 15, 2020

President Russell M. Nelson, As the Senior Apostle, Exercises the Keys of the Priesthood

            We are now seeing a remarkable and historic example of the President of the Church and Prophet of God exercising the keys of the priesthood which only he holds in their fulness. The active word is “exercising” of the keys, or rights and powers of presidency. This is something that is not and cannot be done in other (man-made) churches, simply because they don’t have the keys or the priesthood, despite all the good they do. They don’t have a Prophet who can turn the authorized work of the Lord on and off as the Lord directs. But such sacred power is vested in the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
            Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:

            The way these things work is this:  There is priesthood on the one hand (which is God’s power and authority), and then there are keys on the other hand.  Keys are the right of presidency which authorize the use of the priesthood for a particular purpose.  Peter, James, and John brought the priesthood, which is power and authority, and then somebody else came and gave the keys which authorized the priesthood today to baptize, to perform eternal marriages, and to preach the gospel in all the world—a whole host of uses.  On the other hand, we can’t use the priesthood today to resurrect somebody, because the keys have not been given and we are not authorized to use God’s power for that purpose.  The way the keys operate is that they center in one man at a time and that man is the President of the Church.  They are conferred upon all the Twelve, but they lie dormant in them unless they become the senior apostle, because keys are the right of presidency and only one man presides over all others.  So you can never perform an act by the authority of the priesthood, alone.  You must have the authority of the priesthood and in addition you must have the authorization to use the priesthood for a purpose, which is keys.