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Responding to Comments on YouTube

Few nights ago, while searching Youtube for a video “If You Could Hie to Kolob” (hymn 284), I came across a very lively discussion in the comments section of the video. As the norm in Youtube regarding these video comments, it rarely talks about the video, and as the norm in the world, there are few who behave (in my opinion) hostile toward the Church and the beliefs stated by many Latter-day Saints who watched the video, and the teachings of the Lord that we have been blessed with in our lives.

I do not know this person, nor do I know or seek to understand the reasoning behind these individuals’ argument or manner of speech, but I noticed that as few of our members who are commenting on the same thread reply or try to defend their belief (which to a certain point was justified, we need to defend our faith), seemed to only add fuel to the fire. These individual who commented crudely did not come with the intent to enjoy the video or to exchange opinion and views, he/she came with intent to aggravate, with both mind and heart closed to any other opinion than his/her own.

I believe that when we found ourselves in a similar situation, we do not need to retaliate, or give in to anger.

If we choose to do so, bear our testimony with a sincere faith and love, for it is the Lord’s commandment that we love our fellow men, even unto ourselves. Pray for the promptings of the Spirit, that our words may touch and edify. Do not try to rely on our knowledge nor strength, for only the Holy Ghost can touch his/her heart. What great joy will be to have become an instrument in the hand of the Lord to proclaim His truth.

If this method seems to only provoke angrier responses, and the person has clearly closed his/her ears, heart and mind to any truth or promptings, then simply walk away.

This is not a debate contest where in which the winner receives a special trophy for convincing the other party of their beliefs. Remember that the Spirit of Contention is not of the Lord. Walking away does not prove him/her right and your belief to be wrong, nor does it imply defeat in any kind, for it takes a stronger will to walk away than give in to temptation to stay and aggravate matter further.

Another part of the discussion that caught my interest was a Youtube user ‘calivideoguy’ who claimed that he was a missionary who left the church 18 months into his mission because he “could no longer follow the teachings of Joseph Smith or believe that he is a prophet of the Lord.”

The account is now closed so I could not get more information on him, but unlike the other user who came with the intent to argue, this user seemed to have real arguments and a sincere purpose to warn us, he claimed that he still believes and follows Christ, and loves his Mormon brethren, he just does not believe in Joseph Smith and the Church.

He claimed that Joseph is a false prophet, he mentioned that Joseph has failed the test in Deut 18: 20-22 which says:

20. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the ord which the Lord hath not spoken?
22. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, But the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

To support his claim, he supplied D&C 84: 1-5 in which the Lord had revealed through his prophet Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders that a temple would be build in that generation, even in the appointed temple lot in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, a lot dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.

Calivideoguy argued that because the temple was not built in the aforementioned lot, during the specified generation, then Joseph Smith has failed the test as mentioned in Deuteronomy, and thus he could not be inspired of the Lord, which makes him a liar, and the gospel in which Joseph has claimed and testified to be the Restored Gospel of Christ was nothing more than his own teachings.

Now I never claimed to be a scriptures expert, as a matter of fact, I have not been vigilant and diligent in my daily scripture study, something I must work with everyday. But if each prophet must be tested with the test in Deuteronomy, the same test Calivideoguy claimed that Joseph has failed, he actually aced with flying colors.

The proof I will supply you is the revelation that Joseph Smith the Prophet received on December 25, 1832. A revelation and prophecy of war contained merely 3 chapters after the one mentioned above. D&C 87 prophesied a war between the Northern States and the Southern States, and ‘after many days, slaves will rise up against their masters’.

Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds similar to the American Civil War between the Union (Northern States) and the Confederate (Southern States), a war that took place during 1861–1865, almost 30 years after Joseph received the revelation we now know as Doctrine and Covenants 87.

As I mentioned, calivideoguy’s account is now closed in Youtube, so I did not have the opportunity to ask him of his opinion regarding this matter.

I could be wrong, he could be wrong, both of us could be terribly wrong, but one thing I know for certain, the Lord could not be wrong. It is stated in the Title Page of the Book of Mormon that:

“And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”

I know that Joseph Smith, Jun., was appointed by God himself to bring about His restored Gospel on earth, he was charged with bringing about the glorious work of the Lord. But I also do know that he is human, he has made mistakes, God had openly reprimanded him, and Joseph shared this with us in the Doctrine and Covenants.

The Prophets are not excluded from the weaknesses of the flesh, sometimes they do err, and it is our right and responsibility to ponder the words of our prophets, just as we ponder the scriptures to know the truth of the message given to us.

I have a firm testimony that Heavenly Father lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God to guide us in this latter days. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, amen.

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