The Aaronic Priesthood Holds the Keys to the Ministering of Angles

People dressed as “angels” form a wall in an effort to shield counterprotestors as the RaYnbow Collective hosts a Back to School Pride Night for BYU students at Kiwanis Park in Provo, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

People dressed in angel wings shielded LGBTQ students attending BYU from protesters

LDS Apologetics 101

Why do people leave the LDS Church?

See also:

LDS Sexual Abuse Cover Up

– Tom Irvine

LDS Sexual Abuse Cover Up

Over my 61 years, I have heard or read about numerous, contemporary scandals and cover-ups of scandals. One U.S. president, a recent UK primer minister, numerous CEOs, university deans, athletic coaches, Catholic Church Cardinals and so many others have resigned from their positions accordingly. Some did so to avoid or minimize legal, political and financial consequences. But I like to believe that most others did so to preserve the honor of the church, business, university or other institution. Such resignations open a way for needed reform and in some cases healing, although these can be long, drawn-out processes.

Just yesterday, a college football coach resigned over some apparently hurtful language. I do not know the whole story and am uncertain whether this incident really warranted his resignation. But I respect his integrity and decision in which he put the honor and reputation of the university and its football program above his own career.

No, I am not calling on any LDS leaders to resign over the sex abuse coverup scandal. But I would hope that they would give this option some prayerful consideration.

… all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops. Mormon 5:8

Nearly All Men Can Stand Adversity, But If You Want To Test a Man’s Character, Give Him Power.

– Tom Irvine

See also:
Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen

How Mormons are addressing sex abuse: Too little, too late

Two Things the Church Can Do Now to Improve Its Response to Child Abuse

The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church

Mormon Abuse Cases

Command Responsibility


When Brutus is defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, two years after orchestrating the
assassination of Julius Caesar, rather than run away he takes his own life. As Shakespeare
has him say: “Hold then my sword and turn away thy face/ While I do run upon it.” Finding
his body, the victor Octavian says: “Within my tent his bones tonight shall lie/ Most like a
soldier, order’d honourably.” From this tale and many others from Roman times we take the
phrase to fall on one’s sword as accepting responsibility for a calamity.

While this sounds like an archaic act of chivalry, the reason that the phrase is still with us
more than two millennia later is that there is an expectation that the person at the top of an
organisation is accountable and will take responsibility for a collective failure – even if they
are not personally to blame. While there have been some honourable examples of this, they
are outnumbered by the occasions when those at the top have hung on.

At a time when chief executives, presidents, and managing directors are remarkably well
paid, it is especially important that when something goes wrong under their command, they
accept that the buck stops with them and that they do not try to pass the blame on, or hang on
— on the basis that they are “best-placed to clean up the mess” but instead offer to resign.
The offer may not be accepted — but all the more reason to offer it before it is demanded.

— Jonathan Harris CBE, FRICS

The Ethics of Resignation


Mixed Messages & Cognitive Dissonance

See also: Elder Holland Salt Sermon

– Tom Irvine


See also:

LDS Boy Scout Abuse Settlement

Behind the NZ Mormon church’s millions

Jana Riess: My new way of paying LDS tithing has given me a new perspective

They Don’t Need Your Money

– Tom Irvine


I am an active but very nuanced member of the LDS Church in the Seattle area. I went to the Saturday morning cleaning assignment at our ward building this morning. I talked with two very faithful brothers at the end. They were outraged that the trash in the outside dumpster is piling up. The trash removal company is no longer providing service because…. they have not been paid since last October! Apparently, the LDS Church has some company in Atlanta, GA that is supposed to pay the trash collection bill.

The tithing that my wife and I pay would more than cover the trash removal fee. What is going on?

Is this how the LDS Church drums up investment funds for Ensign Peak using the interest on float / pending payments?

The Church teaches its members to be honest and financially self-reliant. I assume this means that members should pay their bills on time. Why does the Church exempt itself from this counsel?

– Tom Irvine

Warning Signs

Have well-intentioned but misguided LDS Church members and leaders formed a cult around the gospel of Jesus Christ? Teaching for doctrine the commandments of men? Do we ever speak of getting our “muskets” out to defend the Church against its heretics?

– Tom Irvine

Brad Wilcox, a Man of His Time

Brad Wilcox is a “man of his time” who has echoed themes from past and current hardline LDS leaders. The difference is that we have changed. We have become more tolerant of diversity and less accepting of bigotry, sexism, etc. We are holding our leaders accountable in ways that we never have before. Wilcox’s talk and the resulting outcry may well be an historical turning point.

I currently work at a private company owned by a very well-known, secular individual. The yearly “diversity” training at this company is far more Christlike than the “musket” fire rhetoric coming from the Brethren.

If only the First Presidency would make an official apology for past racism and the priesthood ban… Even the Southern Baptist Convention has formally apologized for its past racism.

– Tom Irvine


Post from Lindsay Hansen Park

A lot has already been said about the (now infamous) Brad Wilcox fireside talk. Mostly about his egregious remarks defending the priesthood/temple ban, his disgusting sexism and more. I feel like that talk contains all the worst parts of my childhood church.

I’m still struck by the fear and anger in his voice. The intensity and urgency behind how he talked about apostasy and doubt. It was binary. This splitting, black and white thinking: The church is either the most true church or completely false. You stay or you leave. You don’t question god, and if you do, walk away from everything.

Whenever I hear such reasoning, I’m reminded that logic like this is a result of a traumatized brain. Unprocessed trauma leads the brain to be unable to see other choices, nuance and options.

The most generosity I can give Brother Wilcox (although I don’t think he deserves it after spewing such hatred to youth, especially in a position of authority), is that he’s clearly spent a lifetime traumatized by his own faith. It’s so obvious in his logic and reasoning that he confuses fear with love. He’s adopted a theology of pain, passed down from generations of Mormon trauma that accepts that God asks cruel things and it is us who has to call cruelty like that, love.

One of the biggest tragedies in Mormonism for me (mostly because I live in its wake) is all the unprocessed generations of trauma that has been codified as theology. It’s unnecessary and dangerous. If you look at the history, it’s the same- our leaders take their unprocessed trauma and preach it over the pulpit as God’s love.


Patrick Mason, the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at Utah State University, wondered if Wilcox was trying to protect the legacy of Brigham Young, who instituted the ban on Black men holding the priesthood.

“When he’s talking about the race-based priesthood temple ban he clearly does not want to impugn the motives or even actions of Brigham Young,” said Mason. “For him that’s a dangerous road. It erodes the foundations of faith in the Church’s leadership, both then and now.”

‘Mormon Studies’ professors weigh in on Brad Wilcox remarks


Brad Wilcox References: Alpine Utah Tri-Stake Fireside

Deseret News Article

When the Best of EFY (CES) is the Worst

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Brad Wilcox?

Bottgate 2.0: Wilcox’s Questionable Apologetics

The Wilcox Affair: Teach Your Children Well

By Common Consent 1 & By Common Consent 2 & By Common Consent 3

What Do You Do When Brad Wilcox and John Bytheway No Longer Have All the Answers?

Guest Post: Open Letter to Brother Wilcox

Guest opinion: Wilcox’s remarks expose deep-seated, harmful ideologies

Silence is Violence

The Daily Universe: BYU responds to religion professor’s comments on race

Additional videos surface of Brad Wilcox making controversial comments on race

1544: Top 10 Problems w/ Mormonism that Brad Wilcox’s Speech Unveiled

Brad Wilcox: The Same Talk – 2 Years Apart

Brad Wilcox and the Priesthood Ban

BYU Black Student Union members show up to Brad Wilcox class hoping for dialogue

BYU Black Student Union members react to Brad Wilcox remarks

It’s important to acknowledge past wrongs, however uncomfortable

LDS Gospel Topic Essay: Race and the Priesthood

See also: Elder Holland’s Salt Sermon


February 20, 2022 Fireside

Many Heavens, Many Truths

I have been working with a spiritual healer, psychic medium lady. I am healing from some generational trauma related to being bullied by work managers and church leaders.
Here is a brief excerpt from my session from the recording she made.

“He (Jesus) says that you have been searching for the truth for you whole life. But He says there are many truths. It is a matter of perspective. You get to decide which truth that you wish to live by, what your truths are.”

Amazingly, a similar thought has been on my mind for the last year or so. The Lord gave me an impression that there can be more than one right answer. For example, if someone is having a conflict with another person, then each could be “right” within his or her own respective sphere.

These thoughts may seem to be at odds with LDS doctrine. But there is actually a scriptural basis.

Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth. Genesis 1:1 Hebrew

And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. Moses 1:37

And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. Abraham 4:1

So if there are many heavens, then there must be many truths. 🙂

– Tom Irvine