Yes, PTHG is a painful, even horrid, book to read at times - but the conclusion reached at the end of the book is that the LDS church is still Jesus' church. He is still working with it. And the fact that it has been fulfilling scripture does not make the author who points that out apostate, nor a devil, nor a demon - nor misguided.
Recently, someone said this:
I have noticed numerous instances of problems related to logic, consistency of argument, rhetorical manipulations and other devices that I found troubling. When read with charity and a sincere desire for light and truth, these earlier works can be thrillingly inspiring, albeit flawed. No book is perfect, and we have the Holy Ghost to aid us in discerning light and truth.This person is a person who I believe is attempting to bring us poor "apostates" back to the fold. To some degree the person seems to be sincere, yet they do not "feel" right. My gift of discernment tells me this person is one to be wary of. My reply is below:
The above problems I have noticed in DS's earlier works seem to have multiplied considerably in PTHG.
I can see this point of view if one does not recognize Denver as a biblical-type prophet of God. Much of what he says is colored by the fact that he has seen "the vision of all," that he has seen and spoken with both the Father and the Son, and that he has conversed with Joseph Smith jr.My point in bringing this up is not to diss the person who wrote his/her feelings. My point is this: We humans think we know so much. If we view ourselves as learned, then we think we are wise. I see this all over. The person above is simply the most recent example I have come across.
We, lacking those experiences, view all that Denver has written from a carnal, Babylonic mindset. We believe we see flaws. We believe ourselves not only justified, but saintly when we point out what we believe to be errors based upon our mere pittance of experience and understanding. Surely Christ is tempted to laugh heartily at our vain and self-serving justifications of what He attempts to teach us through the servants He has called by His own voice. Surely we are puffed up and wise in our own sight. Surely we are so stiff-necked and high minded that we think we know more than God, thus considering ourselves virtuous when we reject truth in whole or in part.
We think ourselves wiser than God. We think we can parse His words, critique the manner in which His servants speak, find fault and flaws because what is said does not match our reasoning nor our understanding. Rather than being humble, rather than recognizing the voice of the Master, we would prefer to debate, criticize, and do anything that does not entail the possibility that we are in need of repentance, that we are - indeed - less than the dust of the earth, unworthy of salvation, unworthy of the time and effort that Christ puts into us again and again in the hopes that we will at last turn and face Him.
As for me, I am a sinner. I am less than the dust of the earth. I am unworthy of the incredible love and patience my Lord extends to me. I am overawed by the fact that He has deigned to speak through a servant who fears no man, no institution, no government. I am humbled by the fact that I had never supposed before: that the Lord often speaks through those who are not part of the accepted hierarchy. Yet, there it is in scriptures. Even Jesus had no ecclesiastical authority. He and the general authorities of His time would often butt heads.
We are just like the ancient Jews - whether in Jesus' time or in Jeremiah's or Isaiah's time. "If our days had been in those days," we opine, "we/I would have listened to the prophets. We/I would not have cast them out, nor persecuted them, nor killed them."
And what does Jesus have to say to our opining? This:
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
34 ¶ Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
This scathing rebuke belongs to us, folks. It belongs to our self-satisfied generation, we who think it is impossible for us to go astray as long as we stay with the humans who lead a corporation even if they contradict the words of Christ as given through his prophet (Joseph Smith) who we are taught didn't really understand things like we do today - and that "new prophets supersede old prophets" and can even contradict the scriptures with impunity.
If we are the holy church of God we are, according to the scriptures, under condemnation. If we are not under condemnation we are not the holy church of God. This is according to Moroni who saw US.
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.Let us awake to our awful situation. The times of the gentiles is nearly fulfilled. We are about to lose what we think we have, and it will be given to the righteous descendants of Lehi, as promised by Jesus when He came and preached to them after His resurrection. Let us humble ourselves even to the dust of the earth. Let us view ourselves in our polluted state, with our tables covered with vomit (regurgitated, predigested food instead of the meat of the gospel).
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
Let us repent of our unbelief and turn to Christ, searching in humility and patience with our whole souls to see his His face in this life, for if we cannot stand in His presence now, what makes us think we can stand in His presence when He returns again with the hosts (Fathers) of heaven?