Printed below is the translation of a recently discovered Nephite metalwork containing the non-scriptural, yet officially sanctioned writings of a spokesman for King Noah's court named Grima, carbon-dated to ~150 BC:
"Brothers and sisters, we live in a day of confusion and tribulation. There are wolves in sheep's clothing among us, even false prophets, who have caused doubts to spread among the flock concerning the favored status of our kingdom and the righteousness of our leaders, including our beloved King Noah. Look around you. Tell me you cannot witness God's providence and blessings upon us. For He has empowered us to prevail over our enemies the Lamanites! Yea, He has caused our vast vineyards to flourish abundantly and to excess! And lo, He has advanced our expansive and luxurious Zarahemla Creek redevelopment project! Indeed, He has poured out the riches of the earth upon us without measure! How blessed are we to live under the reign of such a righteous and wonderful king! A king that loves life and has taught us to do the same, who has protected our freedoms so that we may do as we wish with our free agency, who serves as our example, and whose words guide us in our daily lives! King Noah is the living embodiment of the legacy established by his great predecessor, even King Benjamin, for King Noah is a righteous leader of both the spiritual and the political affairs of our magnificent kingdom. How wonderful it is to have a king selected for us through the divine and simple process of birthright leadership! Rest assured, 'the Lord will never permit...any...man who stands as [king] of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God...the Lord would remove...any...man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.'(1) Trust in this, our leaders are the inheritors of an unbroken priesthood line of authority stretching back to father Lehi. All is well!
Now, most recently, this Abinadi fellow, and our former brother in the faith, Alma, have disrupted the peace in our kingdom and the church. For we have been taught that 'we can accept nothing as authoritative but that which comes directly through the appointed channel, the constituted organizations of the Priesthood'(2). And remember, 'the moment that individuals look to any other source, that moment they throw themselves open to the seductive influences of Satan, and render themselves liable to become servants of the devil;...and are on dangerous ground.'(2) Oh yes! 'whenever you see a man rise up claiming to have received direct revelation from the Lord to the Church, independent of the order and channel of the Priesthood, you may set him down as an imposter!'(2) And never forget, 'salvation comes through the Church. It does not come through any separate organization or splinter group nor to any private party as an individual. It comes only through the Church itself as the Lord established it!'(3) On the contrary, this man Abinadi came out of nowhere, judging the church leaders, preaching that they had fallen into sin and error, pleading with them to repent, and speaking as if he knew how to better conduct the affairs of the church and direct its course. We know our leaders are righteous men who follow the revelations of God while this Abinadi was nothing more than an imposter, an interloper!...claiming that God had spoken to him, yet he possessed no authority to do any such thing in the Church.
Abinadi came among us preaching a different Gospel of Christ. His message was filled with anger, criticism, negativity, and hate. We know that true prophets only speak positive, kind words, and bring peace. True prophets do not say things that will hurt people's feelings, or cause them to question their course or traditions. And they certainly do not criticize the current, righteous leaders of our kingdom or church for that is the very definition of apostasy! We warned him once, but he returned two years later bearing the same message. He was in clear violation of the holy principles inscribed on leaf 6.7.3. of our sacred handbook of instructions(4). Apostate! Yes, Abinadi had 'repeatedly act[ed] in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or[and] its leaders'. In very deed, he had 'persist[ed] in teaching as Church doctrine information that is not Church doctrine after [he had] been corrected by a higher authority' and obviously 'continue[d] to follow the teachings of apostate sects after being corrected by a higher authority' to the point that he had obviously 'formally join[ed] another church and advocate[d] its teachings.' We are fairly sure he was not 'in a same-gender marriage', otherwise this would have been a slam dunk case!
Brothers and sisters, our leaders represent some of the best minds in the kingdom. You could not possibly find a more well-informed, in-touch, and educated group of leaders....there are former lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and scholars among their ranks. So imagine, this Abinadi, from completely outside the inner circle of church leadership, with zero ecclesiastical training and certainly no priesthood keys to speak of, had the gall to read to our beloved leaders from scriptures as basic as Isaiah. He went on for hours about concepts as simple as the 10 commandments, the prophecies of the coming Messiah and His atonement, and the nature of God. As if our priests don't know those things already? How insulting and condescending he was towards them! Not only that, but when he was in their presence, Abinadi had some sort of power over our leaders, which stopped their speech and caused them to listen to his words, which he claimed was the power of God. We know, however, that his gift in speech, his powers of reasoning and discernment, his mastery of the scriptures and ability to connect them so eloquently, and his abilities in persuasion were only given to him by the adversary, who inspired him in such delusional wickedness. Think about it, our leaders don't need some outsider like Abinadi telling them what the scriptures mean for they are prophets, seers, and revelators. In fact, one of our wisest scriptorians asked Abinadi what he thought Isaiah meant by saying that peacemakers would be blessed. Abinadi could not give a simple answer. Instead, he turned the question upside-down and tried to apply it to the leaders! And Alma, we know that he had a weak testimony of the current leadership of the church to begin with. He was easily duped by Abinadi's deceit and then went off repeating only what he heard that false prophet Abinadi say before his demise....Alma is just a copycat Abinadi.
Look at how few people have believed in these imposters and their supposed "message". Look at their lives, these "Abinadians"! Their lives are in ruins! Family members have disowned or disavowed them, they have lost friends, they have lost the social support of the church, some have been divorced over these false beliefs, and some have lost their jobs and are now verging on destitution. They sneak around in these so-called "fellowships", secret meetings in people's homes, performing unsanctioned ordinances, and reading from the scriptures. They distribute sacred tithing funds to assist the poor and needy among them instead of supporting the ever growing kingdom, even Zion on earth! They study apostate literature written by Alma, based on the words of Abinadi, which they claim is based on the scriptures, some of which we rejected long ago because those scriptures did not conform to our current belief system. All we need are the writings of current church leaders anyway. Are these the fruits? It's chaos...where is the peace? These people are not peacemakers, they are trouble-makers! All of these things need not be. If only they would repent of their criticism of the Brethren and return to the fold of God, all would be well. For we are the Lord's people. We are blessed. We are secure. We are happy. You see, God does not support those who criticize the leaders of our kingdom or who believe in these false prophets! Did God spare Abinadi when he was tortured and killed for his apostasy? Alma barely made it out of the city alive with only a few hundred of his "followers". In any case, these were people that we really did not want among us anyway, for they doubted and disrespected the sacred unwritten order of things and did not unquestioningly follow the counsel of their wise and chosen leaders. Good riddance to them all, for we shall again have peace!
We know that God only works in ways that everyone can clearly see. God is a God of love and fairness and wants to make sure all His children are exalted. He will give them all a fair chance and would never send some obscure old man -- in a costume no less! -- to preach the scriptures and tell us we are off course. Certainly God would not desire us to believe in the words of some disaffected high priest who is preaching the gospel of Christ outside the boundaries of the church's superstructure and commences to perform baptisms among them as a sign of their commitment to Christ. Nor would God would require us to take the Holy Spirit as our Guide, which is not tangible and can lead to confusion, when we have church leaders to receive revelation and do the thinking for us. If anything, God would inspire someone on the inside of the church hierarchy, within the priesthood lines of authority, who would help us to lovingly understand that we are off course if that were to be the case.
These apostates will probably say in the future, to justify their claims, that the Lord always sends outsiders to bring a message of repentance when the church or its people go astray. They will probably even go so far as to say that the promised Messiah Himself will be an outsider, when we know that it is prophesied that He will be a great King, a King of Kings, descended from royalty and will be recognized, well-received, and accepted by everyone! We know that He will bring peace! How will those people in that future day not be able to see His light? How will they not be able to hear the words of truth fall from His lips? How will they not be able to feel His love and witness of the miracles He will perform? How will they not see the fulfillment of prophecy and have a burning testimony within them that He is the very Son of God!?!? It's ludicrous! No, the people of Christ's time will accept Him, they will love Him, they will all follow Him and treat Him like the King that He shall be! It will be clear for all to see! So, always remember, my brothers and sisters, that God will never use outside means to do His work...He will only work through His chosen and appointed servants....in them you can trust!
Now it is time to make 'an oath-like indication that we recognize'(5) the legitimacy of the reign of King Noah, blessed be his high and holy name, which is 'binding upon us.' All in favor, please raise your right hand....any opposed by the same sign? Thank you. King Noah, the voting has been unanimous in the affirmative. We encourage those who voted to the contrary to please meet with their local high priest to discuss the matter further." ~ Grima, Church Spokesman under the Most Holy and Righteous Reign of Beloved King Noah, 150 BC.
...or is it?
1. "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty." (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)
2. "We can accept nothing as authoritative but that which comes directly through the appointed channel, the constituted organizations of the Priesthood, which is the channel that God has appointed through which to make known His mind and will to the world. … And the moment that individuals look to any other source, that moment they throw themselves open to the seductive influences of Satan, and render themselves liable to become servants of the devil; they lose sight of the true order through which the blessings of the Priesthood are to be enjoyed; they step outside of the pale of the kingdom of God, and are on dangerous ground. Whenever you see a man rise up claiming to have received direct revelation from the Lord to the Church, independent of the order and channel of the Priesthood, you may set him down as an imposter.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. , 41–42).
3. "...salvation comes through the Church. It does not come through any separate organization or splinter group nor to any private party as an individual. It comes only through the Church itself as the Lord established it." (Mark E. Petersen)
4. LDS Church's Handbook of Instructions, Section 6.7.3
5. Elder Russell M. Nelson (Oct. 2014). Sustaining the Prophets.