Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why Do Ye Transfigure the Holy Word of God?

If it was not taken lightly, (D&C 84: 54-57) if it was clearly understood, (Mormon 8: 33) if its precepts were really believed, (D&C 84; 54-57 and 3Nephi 21: 9) the Book of Mormon would entirely destroy the false traditions of our fathers by which we as a people are bound.

Many of the most spiritually destructive and damaging "traditions of their fathers" of the latter day saints cannot stand up to the light of truth contained in the Book of Mormon. The truth contained in the Book of Mormon, should be allowed to destroy everything that is false and untrue about the traditions of our fathers when those traditions are not based in absolute truth. Because, as we have learned, it is by the tradition of their fathers that the evil one takes away light and truth and thereby arranges for the destruction of God's children. (D&C 93: 39)  Much of the truth that could lead to the destruction of all that is false and untrue in the tradition of our fathers is contained in the precious Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, from very early on in our history, the latter day saints seem unable to see in the words of the Book of Mormon the condemnation of our traditions, nor do we seem able to hear the truth when it is spoken in plainness to us from the words of the Book.

As early as September 1832 The Lord pointed out His displeasure at the latter day saint's inability to believe the truths contained in the Book of Mormon. According to the Lord, it was "unbelief" (specifically concerning the Book of Mormon) and "vanity" that led to His condemnation of the church and it's people. (D&C 84: 54-59) The condemnation of the Lord has never been lifted and remains intact and in effect still 180 years after it was first placed upon the church. This has been re-affirmed in our day by both Ezra Taft Benson and Dallin Oaks. 

The effects of "unbelief" and "vanity" make the eyes of the latter day saints unable to see and the ears unable to hear when truth is presented in plainness. The Lord called this a "darkened mind." (D&C 84: 54) According to Moroni, the latter day saints "transfigure" the holy word of God to mean something that would bring "damnation to your souls." (Mormon 8: 33) "Transfiguring" the holy word of God found in the Book of Mormon renders the latter day saints unable to recognize who and what they are in the prophecies of the Book. That which is written in "plainness" and in truth in the Book of Mormon, is "transfigured" in the minds of the saints by the false teachings of the traditions of their fathers. In this way, the false traditions are perpetuated, protected, and falsely supported. The perpetuation of those false traditions because they "transfigure the holy word of God," is what leads to "the damnation of your souls."

The Lord spoke to the Jews in parables with the intent to hide in the open, truths which if understood would save them. Like the latter day saints, the Jews suffered from unbelief and vanity. They too were rendered unable to "see" and "hear" truth. The Lord explained, (Matt 13:)

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Latter day saints have "dumbed down" the entire meaning of the Book of Mormon to be nothing more than a collection of doctrinal discourses. When it is understood properly and believed, the doctrine of Christ contained in the Book of Mormon is indeed important beyond measure for the salvation of Gods children. The Book of Mormon contains the "fullness" of the gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning everything necessary to teach Gods children how to "receive" Him in this life is found in the Book. This is the fullness of the gospel of Christ. Even the proper understanding of the fullness of the gospel of Christ contained in the Book of Mormon, has been "transfigured" and largely replaced by precepts of men that teach it is not important to receive the person of Christ and His testimony to you in this life. We are taught instead, "smooth" words that falsely pacify, comfort, and ensure us that there will be plenty of time after this life is over to do what needs to be done. We are taught the false doctrine, "odds are, we will all be exalted" if we simply "follow the brethren" and keep dead center in the mainstream of the church.  When in fact, as Isaiah said, "this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us." (Isaiah 30: 9-11) By the false tradition of their fathers and the way they have "transfigured the holy word of God," the Holy One of Israel has in very deed "ceased from before us."

Even apostles, who are to be "special witnesses" of Christ; in the early days of the restored church were required to seek a personal visit from the Lord before their calling to the office of apostle was considered complete, are no longer given that charge because so few, (perhaps none?) ever learned how that was to be done. (This reference goes to the apostolic charge given by Oliver Cowdery to all called apostles. The apostolic charge has now been discontinued.) The tradition of our fathers now teaches it is not necessary for salvation, perhaps not even possible, to receive a personal visit from Christ in this life. By this, the false tradition has rendered the fullness of the gospel meaningless for those who believe and follow that tradition. The Book of Mormon on the other hand tells us how Nephi, Jacob, Isaiah, Enos, Mormon, Moroni, the brother of Jared and others sought and found the personal presence of the Lord. (2Nephi 11: 2-3 and Enos 1: 4-8 and 3Nephi 7: 15 and Ether 4: 1 and others)

If the holy word of God in the Book of Mormon was never "transfigured" by the traditions of their fathers to mean something that was never intended, the traditions of the latter day saints could all be corrected and eliminated by the plain truths in the Book. If not transfigured, the holy word of God in the Book of Mormon:

Would leave no doubt about the identity of the latter day saints as the "Gentiles" and the Gentile church. (1Nephi 13: 34-35, 1Nephi 15: 13, 3Nephi 16: 4, 3Nephi 21: 2-6, D&C 109: 60, many others)

There would be a correct understanding that the "remnant of Israel" spoken of in the Book of Mormon is the latter day offspring of Lehi, the Lamanites. (Title page of the Book of Mormon, 1Nephi 13: 30, 1Nephi 13: 34,1 Nephi 15: 13-14,  2Nephi 28: 2,  2Nephi 29: 2, 3Nephi 20: 10, 3Nephi 21: 4, Mormon 7 all,  many others)

There would be no question about the prophetic destinies of both the latter day Gentiles and the remnant of Israel that will replace the Gentiles as stewards of the gospel of Jesus Christ when the Gentiles fall into gross error and reject the fullness of the gospel. (1Nephi 10: 14, 1 Nephi 13: 32-36, 1Nephi 15: 13-16, 3Nephi 16: 9-11, 3Nephi 20: 15-17, 3Nephi 20: 27-28, 3 Nephi 21: 2-7, 3Nephi 21: 14-21, many others)

There would be no question that it is they, (the remnant of Israel,) in the latter days who will build the city New Jerusalem and establish Zion when the Lord brings it (Zion) again. (3Nephi 20: 21-22, 3Nephi 21: 23-25, Ether 13: 8)

It would be clear to the latter day saints that "men" and "flesh" are not ever to be "followed" or relied upon. (2Nephi 4: 34, 2Nephi 19: 13-16,  2Nephi 28:4-5, 2Nephi 28: 14, 2Nephi 28: 26-29, 2Nephi 28: 31, and others)

It would be clear to all that the history of the latter day saints when fully disclosed, truthfully told, and correctly recounted, fulfills every prophecy in the Book of Mormon concerning the Gentiles, their rise, their work, and their decline and failure. (3Nephi 16: 10, see also D&C 124: 28, 32, 44-48)

Perhaps most importantly, if the holy word of God was not "transfigured," latter day Saints would know the arm of the Lord is stretched out still to them. (2Nephi 28: 32, 2Nephi 19: 17, 2Nephi 20: 3-4, Jacob 5: 47, 3Nephi 16: 13-14, 3Nephi 21: 6, 3Nephi 30: 2, many others)

They would know what is most needed of them is repentance and return to the Lord and His redeeming presence. (3Nephi 16: 13-14, 3Nephi 20: 15-16, 3Nephi 20: 20, 3Nephi 21: 6, 3Nephi 21: 14-22, 3Nephi 30: 2, Mormon 5: 22, Ether 2: 11, many more)

They would know they may yet be "numbered among" the people of the house of Israel. (3Nephi 16: 13, 3Nephi 21: 6, 3Nephi 21: 22, Ether 13: 10)

They would know they might yet "assist" the remnant of Israel in the building of the city New Jerusalem when the Lord will bring again Zion to reign in righteousness. (3Nephi 21: 23-24)

The holy word of God in the Book of Mormon need not be transfigured (Mormon 8: 33) to meanings that will lead to the damnation of anyone. The false traditions of the latter day saints could all be destroyed by the plain and precious truths contained in the Book of Mormon. It could be so if those so blinded by the traditions of their fathers would repent, open their eyes and ears and allow Him to heal them. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tradition of Their Fathers "The Arm of Flesh" Continued

Truth ought to be allowed to destroy everything that is false or untrue. The evil one, according to the lord, uses traditions of their fathers to take away light and truth from the children of men in order to destroy the work of God. (D&C 93: 39) Traditions of the latter day Saints that have come down from their fathers are strongly held and deeply entrenched within the church even though the church was originally established by, and continues to belong to the Lord. The lord allows all people to err, make mistakes, turn away from His counsel, and even drive the entire bus into the ditch if that is what they choose to do.  The Lord will never remove any man's right to choose even if the evil one instills the idea that the Lord will kill the man rather than allow him to make a choice that may lead you astray. The bus, if driven into the ditch by foolish, misdirected drivers, continues to be His even while in the ditch.

He has provided everything needed to show and instruct individual members of His church how to please Him and do His will. He has given everything His children need to "come to Him." And they need not "follow" any man in order to come unto Him. In fact, they cannot "follow" the prophet or anyone else if they ever hope to find His presence. (2Nephi 9: 41 and D&C 76: 98-101)

Despite His work to restore through the prophet Joseph Smith, the truth, ordinances, and power needed for individuals to find and traverse the path back to His presence, few ever find it. (D&C 132: 22) When the lord refers to "few," He is not speaking about something relative. "Few," means not very many at all. Isaiah suggests those that remain after the fury of the Lord is dealt out in the last days, after the "standard bearer fainteth," there will be so few remaining, a child will be able to count them. (2Nephi 20: 18-19) There are so "few" because although He lengthens out His arm to them from day to day, they will (and do) deny Him. (2Nephi 28: 32) They prefer the traditions of their fathers which include reliance on the arm of flesh (2Nephi 28: 31) and following men that can only lead them to a telestial reward. (D&C 76: 98-101)

The tradition and belief that there are men who will not be allowed to lead the church or it's people astray, is designed to draw focus away from the only one who really will never lead astray, to those who cannot save. If it is true there are men that cannot be led astray, then, there are men that are better, and in a higher class than the prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph was very fallible and prone to mistakes and errors just like every man that has ever lived. Joseph, because of his foolishness, was responsible for the loss of 116 pages of precious, sacred writings. The Lord had labored in unimaginable ways for centuries to construct, preserve, and bring forth in a miraculous way the writings of Lehi. Joseph, because he was only a man, was capable of throwing that all away because he was a man like all other men. The Lord pointed out Joseph’s mistake and foolishness in D&C 3.

I do not suggest there was anything of malicious intent in what Joseph did. What he did respecting the manuscript was just foolish. The Lord tried, as He always does, to persuade Joseph and to reason with him to do something wiser. But Joseph chose to push his own agenda and the result was disastrous. The undisputed fact Joseph was fallible and capable of error and mistakes like other men, does not make him any less a prophet and true messenger of God. I suspect if we had enough detail in the record of every prophet from the beginning of time, we would find Joseph is much more the rule than the exception. They were all flawed and error prone men. Joseph did not need the false cloak of "mighty prophet and mouthpiece of God who will not be allowed to lead astray." Joseph simply allowed himself to be a man who knew what it meant to need to repent often, probably daily like all other men.

Joseph never claimed infallability for himself. He understood what was needed in the church was to teach correct principles then get out of the way and allow people to "govern themselves." "Governing themselves," implies little need for central control, compulsion, or dominion. "Correct principles" when taught by humble ministers and servants of the people, become the government of the people of the Lord, including those that claim to be "leaders." Correct principles preclude the need for false statements like, "I will never be allowed to lead you astray." Correct principles never lead astray.

There has not been a man since Joseph Smith that was, or is, his equal. There have been 15 men since Joseph who have been sustained by the vote of the church as president of the church. Every one of those men was sustained by the members of the church as "prophet, seer, and revelator." Sustaining by the membership does not make a man a prophet, as Joseph was a prophet of God. The sustaining by members does not give a man the gift and power of seer-ship. Revelation, and the addition of new and salvific principles from heaven for the benefit of Gods children like the kind that came through Joseph, does not derive from the sustaining vote of the membership of the church. Those spiritual gifts do not derive from any "keys" that men claim to have been given by other men. Power from heaven comes by a man's personal connection with heaven and in no other way. (D&C 121: 36) Joseph was a great example of that. Joseph received his power and the spiritual gifts of prophet, seer, and revelator, from heaven in the one and only way any man can receive them, (JST Gen 14: 29) from the mouth of God Himself. (D&C 132: 45-46)

Several of Joseph's successors that we know of, though sustained by the members as "prophets, seers, and revelators," never had any personal contact from God's own mouth as is required to receive that order of power. (JST Gen. 14: 29) Among those of Joseph's successors who claimed in their own records that they never saw an angel or God, were Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant. I have read substantial portions of Heber J. Grant's diaries. My personal conclusion after having read the man's own record is that there was very little of spirituality about him at all. I don't fault him for that. It is just what he was. He was a businessman first and foremost, and apparently a very astute and good one. Business and politics made up substantially all of His personal activities and record. I learned that he had very deep and strong negative feelings about many of his fellow quorum members in the quorum of twelve, but especially George Q. Cannon. In His entire personal diary, I found nothing that suggested he ever communed with heaven. To the contrary, he said himself he was averse to direct contact and communication from God or angels. He seemed to fear direct contact from heaven. His diary is available on the Internet, anyone can read it. He was not a "prophet, seer, or revelator," in any sense except in the sense that he was sustained by the vote of the people as such. There is no power in the vote given to him or any other man by the members to produce the necessary connection with heaven where the power resides. (D&C 121: 36-37) Nor did the "keys" he or any other man received from other men produce the necessary connection with heaven. "Power" from heaven comes from the mouth of God to an individual man. There is no other way it can, or does, or ever has come to any man. (JST Gen. 14: 29 and Helaman 10: 4-7 and D&C 132: 45-46) 

The volume of new revealed truth from heaven virtually stopped after Joseph died. Joseph spoke often about all that remained to be given. His successors have not only failed to produce the added truth, knowledge, and revelation at anywhere near the order that it was given by Joseph; but much of what Joseph himself taught and revealed has been reduced, ignored, hidden, and outright discarded by his successors. Joseph's successors are sustained presidents of the Lord's church who hold primarily administrative positions provided for in the revelations received by Joseph. (D&C 107) Nothing more. We should allow them to be just that in order that the evil one have no basis upon which to trap the Lords children into relying on the arm of flesh needlessly.

Heber J. Grant, Brigham Young, and every other one of Joseph's 15 successors were/are flawed, fallible, imperfect men. We should allow them to be just that. They do not deserve or qualify to be adored, deified, or followed. They can be sustained as president of the Lord's church by common consent of the members and fulfill the responsibilities devolving upon that office without us needing to "follow" them. "Flesh" is not to be relied on or followed. Period.

The bright illuminating light of truth should summarily destroy every false tradition of their fathers. The Lord may yet be found. Anyone may be among the very few that find Him. He is not to be found by following men regardless of false claims that you need them to find Him.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tradition of Their Fathers "The Arm of Flesh"

Many who hold high positions in the church are good and honorable men. They are concerned for their families and want to do good. At conferences of the church there are some good talks that repeat meaningful and good principles. I try to meet my obligation to uphold the first presidency by my "confidence, faith, and prayers."(D&C 107: 22) When it comes time to sustain these men, I raise my hand, and I mean it. I want them to be what the Lord needs them to be as humble ministers of the people to bring souls to Him. Whether or not they actually do that has nothing to do with my obligation to "uphold" them. 

When I see mistakes, errors, and foolishness among leaders of the church, I have an obligation to forgive and pray for them. They are just men. I am taught by the giver of law, to love, forgive, and not judge all men, including them. There was a time in my life when I believed these men were more than what they actually are. There was a time when I believed they actually conversed regularly with God. There was a time when I believed the "keys" they purportedly held gave them power over my eternal success and salvation. There was a time for me, as Nephi said there would be, when I erringly believed God had "given his power to men."(2Nephi 28: 5)

As a continuation of the discussion about "traditions of their fathers" and how those traditions are a leading vehicle by which the evil one "taketh away light and truth" (D&C 93: 39) from the children of men, we ought to consider what has become the foremost "tradition" of the LDS people. Somehow, the enemy has successfully instilled the mantra "Follow the prophet" among those the Lord has commanded to "Come follow Me." (Matt. 10: 38, 16: 24, John 10: 27 many others) In order to appease the minds of those that might recognize the commandment to "Come follow me," there has developed the twin false idea and tradition that "following the prophet" is the same thing as following the Lord. The evil one has baited the hook so adeptly as to have the entire tradition wrapped in a foil that falsely convinces there are men that "will never be allowed to lead them astray." The tradition has it that as a sign of His displeasure, God would kill the man before he would be allowed to lead you astray. Therefore anything the man does or says, unless he dies in a way that is known to be God killing him, is to be taken as the word of the Lord. 

Interestingly, this is the very same tactic the evil one used to get the Catholic people to take the very same hook regarding their "infallible" leaders. This tactic of false tradition is tried and true. It seems to hook men every time it is cast into the stream of humanity. There seems to be recognition by the evil one that men have a natural penchant for relying on the arm of flesh. Works every time. 

A part of the reason this false tradition is so potent against men, and has been repeatedly throughout history, is that there never seems to be a lack of "leaders" ready to step up to the post of "infallibility." Rare is the "leader" of God's people who completely and correctly understands who and what they really are. This is why the Lord would say,

"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." (D&C 121: 39)

Almost all men when given a position and a title will immediately begin to think incorrectly they have "power." They, and their followers, begin to think incorrectly, there is something about them that has led to God's favor. Why else would anyone be called to "lead" people? In fact, the Lord's children need far fewer "leaders" and more of the kind of godly ministers the Lord always intended to have among His children.

The entire package of this false tradition is a slick way for the enemy to completely cover the hook of "relying on the arm of flesh" with bait designed to trick Gods children into thinking they are really following Him. And the bait has been swallowed along with the line and sinker. Despite repeated warnings in the Book of Mormon, "the arm of flesh" (2Nephi 4: 34 and 2Nephi 28: 31) leads the people in a way that even the humble followers of Christ are "led that that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2Nephi 28: 14)

In the restoration, the Lord provided a mechanism for offices and positions in the church to be filled so that the church would be able to function. That mechanism of common consent provides all that is needed to staff the organization of the church including the first presidency. If things were done as the Lord has revealed, even the first presidency of the church would be "chosen by the body" of the church. (D&C 107: 22) Even though that revealed procedure is ignored today, we still have an obligation to "uphold by our confidence, faith, and prayer... the Presidency of the Church."

"Upholding" these men does not mean we are under an obligation to ignore foolish or unrighteous behavior when we see it in them. When we see error or foolishness we ought to recognize it and see it for what it is. For example, it was difficult for me to take seriously or meaningfully the tears and emotion displayed at the pulpit during general conference by the very same man that three weeks earlier cut a ribbon with a big pair of scissors then shouted out, "LET'S GO SHOPPING!!!" at the grand opening of a major retail shopping complex in downtown Salt Lake City. In complete opposition to such a "prophetic" call, the beloved apostle John said, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1John 2: 15) Materialism is destroying people and families and our nation. Materialism has been preached against over and over at the pulpit of general conference itself. The Lord Jesus taught it is not possible for a servant to serve two masters. He said a servant would either "hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16: 13) I was left unclear given the true teachings of the Lord Jesus, exactly which master this man and those with him actually serve? If it is not even a possibility to serve them both, then which one was being served with a loud and hearty call to God's children, "LET'S GO SHOPPING!!!”? Is this now the clarion call of the "living prophets" of God? If the Lord Jesus or any of His true messengers ever taught such a thing, I completely missed it.

So, "leaders" are just fallible, erring men like all men. It is a spiritually fatal mistake to rely on the arm of flesh even, (or perhaps especially) when that flesh holds a title or position that should imply holiness. (2Nephi 28: 31) As has been pointed out before, "following" men and not the Lord Jesus Christ will earn a person nothing more than a telestial reward. (D&C 76: 98-101) 

We ought to pray for these men. We ought to "uphold them" with our faith and prayers. But above all our obligations, we ought never to think they are more than what they are. There is one and only one that deserves and should receive our love, devotion, and loyalty. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. He alone has power to save and redeem men. He has not, nor will he ever "give(n) his power unto men." (2Nephi 28: 5) The church is His. He invites men to be humble, godlike servants and ministers to His children. If they receive that invitation from Him, they are to be "even as (He) is," (3Nephi 27: 27) the least and the servant of all. (Mark 10: 43-44) Given the tradition of their fathers, this is increasingly rare.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Traditions of Their Fathers" and the Light of Truth

That which can be destroyed by truth ought to be drug out into the shining light of it, (truth) and annihilated. Truth is all that matters. Defending and holding tenaciously to long held beliefs and traditions should never be a consideration if truth is discovered or revealed that challenges the validity of that belief or tradition. Truth ought to take absolute precedence over every belief and tradition in every case. If a tradition or belief can stand up through a thorough examination of all evidence for and against; If, after that examination the tradition can yet be affirmed by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, then it ought to be retained and lived by.

The enemy of God uses two potent weapons in His arsenal for the destruction of men. In a revelation through the prophet Joseph Smith the Lord teaches: 

"that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers." (D&C 93: 39)

"Disobedience," implies knowledge or an understanding of a law or commandment that is then "dis" obeyed or disregarded. Violation of commandments or laws that are understood as principles of truth, is serious business. The martyr prophet Abinidi made this principle clear to King Noah and his wicked court of priests. He said:

"But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have willfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep themthese are they that have no part in the first resurrection.
Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim." (Mosiah 15: 26-27)

"Dis" obedience results in the enemy "taking away light and truth" from the children of men. In other words, men are led away from God and His redemptive powers by knowing a true principle then ignoring or "dis" obeying that principle of truth. 

The "traditions of their fathers" is the second way men are led away from God and His redemptive powers. "Traditions of their fathers" used as a weapon by the enemy to destroy men is different from disobedience. Disobedience begins from a premise of truth. Understanding a truth, men choose in a willful way to fall into non-compliance. When the enemy "taketh away light and truth" because of the "tradition of their fathers," the result is the same as disobedience, but the tactics used in the destruction are far different. The tactics of "traditions of their fathers" are specifically designed by the enemy to hide or cover truth so that it (truth) may never be discovered or understood and lived properly in the first instance.

"Traditions of their fathers" ought to be the very first area of inquiry when trying to discover what beliefs or practices of a people might be damaged or destroyed by the light of truth. If it is true that the evil one uses "traditions of their fathers" to take away light and truth from the children of men, then every tradition ought to be put on the examination table and dissected carefully from top to bottom, inside and out. This should be a welcomed process. There should be nothing to fear about the close scrutiny of every tradition under the bright illuminating light of truth. There ought not be any tradition, belief, or practice that should ever be held above the need for scrutiny and detailed, careful, examination. Otherwise, according to the Lord's words, we run the risk of having light and truth removed from us by the evil one. The result, if we are unwilling to identify and discard "traditions of our fathers" that may be in error, is just as bad, perhaps worse than disobedience. 

We tend to "get" the seriousness of disobedience. On the other hand, the seriousness of false traditions that lead astray is less of a pressing concern. Generally, we don't believe we have any false traditions that we should be worried about. Our convictions about our beliefs preclude the possibility in our minds of anything false being a part of our stable of guiding principles. If something has been believed for a long time, if that thing was believed by our father, and his father, and his father, if that thing continues to be believed by everyone around us, it must be right. The question of authenticity or adherence to truth of a long held tradition is never raised. It even becomes taboo under the enemies' plan to suggest a tradition ought to be examined. The evil one protects and perpetuates "traditions of their fathers" by instilling the idea that the mere suggestion of checking into a tradition is a sign of apostasy and a lack of faith.  The work of the evil one begins to unravel when the accepted and applied premise is, "that which  truth can destroy, should be destroyed."  Joseph Smith is the foremost violator of the false idea that traditions or beliefs should never be challenged or investigated. Joseph was neither an apostate nor was he without faith. He followed true principles and allowed the truth he discovered to destroy every false "tradition of their fathers." Joseph said, "to all those who are disposed to set up stakes to the almighty - will come short of the glory of God. To become a joint heir of the heirship of the son, he must put away all his traditions." (Words of Joseph Smith location 4989 of 7184 Kindle version) Joseph understood and taught the destructive nature of "traditions of their fathers."

Joseph was told by God concerning the sects of his day, "I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (JSH 1: 19)

All that Joseph did in the restoration of truth was to destroy false traditions and establish truth in its place instead. He did not hesitate ever to shine the light of truth on every idea or belief in order to establish the truth or error of it. Joseph never taught there was any subject we should not be willing to dismantle or investigate in order to prove its truth. Thomas Bullock recorded Joseph saying, "I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of godliness..." (Words of Joseph Smith location 6646 of 7184 Kindle version)
Neither did the Lord Jesus ever teach such false doctrine. He is truth. He is the way. His doctrine is "ask and it shall  be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matt. 7: -8)

I reject the idea and attitude that it is a sign of apostasy or a lack of faith or loyalty to explore and question every belief and tradition of the latter day saints. I have found by "searching deeper and deeper," as Joseph suggested we should do, that "the tradition of their fathers" is indeed a problem for latter day saints. I am not afraid to examine every scrap of evidence pro and con relating to every belief and tradition of the church. The hardest, most difficult thing I have ever done in my life is to face the destruction by truth of traditions that I believed for most of my life were salvific for me. But, I have come to understand by the whisperings of the Holy Ghost that the destruction of those traditions and beliefs were necessary in order for me to find and follow the only path that leads back to the presence of God. 

I have learned that exposure to truth, and the destruction of the "traditions of their fathers" and the false beliefs of the latter day saints does not destroy the truthfulness of the church itself. The church is not our enemy. The church is the Lord's, it belongs to Him. That is an absolute truth. He established it through the prophet Joseph Smith. That verity is unchangeable by the belief, or disbelief, or conduct of men. The church's disposition as belonging to the Lord does not change despite errant beliefs, practices, or false traditions of the membership or leaders. False traditions and beliefs of members and leaders only have the effect of precluding them from blessings,  and spiritual progress that would otherwise be available to them. 

The Lord's people Israel have a long and proven history of leaving Him to go whoring after other Gods and precepts of men. (Deut. 31: 16, Psalms 106: 39) Usually always in that sordid and complicated history, Israel continued to believe it was Gods chosen people and that they had and were entitled to the blessings of the Lord. Just like the latter day saints.