February 10, 2005
Dear President Hinckley,
This is the third letter I have written to you in the past year. The first letter was apparently answered by an underling who sent a photo-copied talk which did not answer my concerns. The second letter was not answered, although I was told by a member of the Stake Presidency that it had been forwarded to them. I would really like this letter to be answered by you or one of the First Presidency.
I am going to be blunt here. I believe that you, President Hinckley are leading the Church into apostasy and the upper Church leadership is going down the primrose path with you. No, let me state quite unequivocally that you have led the church into apostasy. The Lord speaking through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:20 stated “Do not be children in your thinking... but in understanding be adults (translation taken from the original Greek; “0 adelfoi mh paidia ginesqe taiV fresin alla th kakia nhpiazete taiV de fresin teleioi ginesqe”. You read Greek don’t you?)”. The Lord has told us to think and to think as adults. And so I have been thinking (AND PRAYING) and have found a lack in the Church that I began to notice approximately ten to twenty years ago when the change to only reading church approved books was started and when the tithing monies began to be completely sent to Church headquarters. And I am sorry to say that I find you and the Twelve lacking as leaders of the Church. I would expect the Leaders of Jesus’ Church to be men of integrity that loved truth and fought for it. But I have seen that your dissembling has shown that at least on your part you are not an advocate for truth. Need I remind you of your interviews with various journalists where you disavowed the teachings of the prophets on God once having been as man and other topics? Or need I remind you that your dedicatory prayer at the Samoa temple did not come to fruition where you blessed the temple to be safe from the ravages of nature? Where was your blessing when the temple burned?
And speaking of temples, I have it from reliable sources that aspects of the temple rites have changed once again? I was shocked in 1990 when the ceremonies for the endowment changed. Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet? Do you believe what he taught?
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”
"Now the purpose in Himself in the winding up scene of the last dispensation is that all things pertaining to that dispensation should be conducted precisely in accordance with the preceding dispensations.... He set the temple ordinances to be the same forever and ever and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them." Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol.4, p. 208
"As temple work progresses, some members wonder if the ordinances can be changed or adjusted. These ordinances have been provided by revelation, and are in the hands of the First Presidency. Thus, the temple is protected from tampering." W. Grant Bangerter, executive director of the Temple Department and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy, Deseret News, Church Section, January 16, 1982
"...God is unchangeable, the same yesterday, today and forever... The great mistake made down through the ages by teachers of Christianity, is that they have supposed they could place their own private interpretation upon scriptures, allow their own personal convenience to become a controlling factor, and change the basis of Christian law and practice to suit themselves. This is apostasy." Prophet's Message, Church News, June 5, 1965
"...the endowments have never changed and can never change; as I understand it; it has been so testified, and that Joseph Smith Jr., himself was the founder of the endowments." Senator Reed Smoot, Reed Smoot Case, vol. 3, p. 185
"...build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein. For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.... And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein... For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times. And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house, and the priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built." Jesus Christ Himself, Doctrine and Covenants 124:27-28, 40-42
"The Gospel can not possibly be changed.... the saving principles must ever be the same. They can never change.... the Gospel must always be the same in all of its parts.... no one can change the Gospel... if they attempt to do so, they only set up a man-made system which is not the Gospel, but is merely a reflection of their own views.... if we substitute 'any other Gospel,' there is no salvation in it.... the Lord and His Gospel remain the same--always." Prophet's Message, Church News, June 5, 1965
Brigham Young said that the endowment provided all that was necessary to make it past the angels to enter heaven. If something is removed what are the ramifications in light of what was said in D&C 124? If Joseph said that the ceremonies, the ordinances, can not change, then why have they changed? I have heard some apologists state that the ordinance has not changed but only part of the ceremony. But is not the ordinance in fact the ceremony? A dictionary meaning of ordinance is ceremony. Another thing that has always bothered me is the inaccuracy of translation of parts of the temple ceremony. I speak, read and understand a number of languages other than English. When I was a veil worker in the Mesa Arizona Temple I discovered that the veil ceremony in Navajo was wrong (yes, I speak Navajo and at that time was fluent). It was missing a section. Although I reported this to the temple presidency I do not know if it was ever fixed. Was this done on purpose so that Navajos would not have the signs and keys necessary to pass by the angels of heaven? Where was the inspiration here?
Suffice it to say, there are some problems here. And as I noted in my prior letter, there are some major problems in the Church today. You have the opportunity now to set many things straight that are being whitewashed and lied about. In many respects the Church leadership is trying to become mainstream Christian in outward appearance. But what did Jesus say about white-washed sepulchers? I hope that you and the Twelve will realize that you must come clean and embrace the past and accept it; not continue to white-wash it. And that you need to return the Church to its foundation on the simple teachings of Jesus as given in the Gospels.
As with my last letter I expect that this one will go unanswered by you and that it will be forwarded to the local ecclesiastical leaders. I find this a breach of confidence, but then I now expect that from Mormon leaders.
William E. Wilson