Saturday, May 16, 2020

Cover art

Cover art: Temporary Temples.
Bottom – Two Old Testament alters of uncut stone.
Center – The Endowment House, used until the Salt Lake
               City Temple was completed.
Top      – Some possible local architectural themes that might
               conceivably be found in the announced Shanghai
               Temple. The assumption here is that the building will
               alternate between temple status and meeting house status. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Chapter 28

LDS Church Grand Strategy:
Past, Present, and Possible Future

Where are we? Where are we going?
What is the present state of the church, and where do we go from here? In recent times the net growth of the church has been very small, and we keep hearing of many people leaving the church, supposedly because of the Internet and the opportunity for members to hear many questions raised about the accuracy of the church history taught within the church system.

Perhaps it would be useful to list a sampling of some of the theories and opinions which have been suggested for why we find ourselves where we are, and where we think we are going. Jana Riess lists a few of these theories and opinions in her book The Next Mormons, and I have found a few others:  

1. Catholic sociologist Thomas O'Dea, in his 1978 book The Mormons, based on his research from the 1950s, was pessimistic about the future of the LDS church arguing "among other things, that higher education would introduce such a strain of theological relativism to the LDS Church that it would decrease faithfulness among the religions brightest and best." But, as Riess points out in her book. "In fact, the opposite happened; … it is often the best educated individuals who have the strongest ties to Mormon orthodoxy." Nonetheless, perhaps we can say that, in the end, Thomas O'Dea was correct in probably unknowingly anticipating the arrival of the Internet which has had the negative effect that he predicted for higher education, simply coming from a different source.1

2. Rodney Stark, an American sociology of religion professor, made some very optimistic projections in the 1980s which would put the church membership at 250 million by the year 2080. Actually, I think his rejections were reasonable based on the data he had. It simply seems that he did not anticipate that the LDS church would actively take steps to neutralize itself so that his projections were short-circuited. Many of those growth-destroying steps were taken in the 1960s and 1970s and apparently had not yet shown their full depressing effects.2

3. A survey of over 3000 individuals, done by a group of volunteers, and a related summary and interpretive book completed in 2013, entitled LDS Personal Faith Crisis, seems to do a good job in describing many of the individual symptoms of faith crises, which have resulted in many of the best and brightest leaving the church. It points to the Internet and social media as the main disruptive forces, as they have quickly introduced large amounts of "uncorrelated" church history data to unprepared church members. However, it does not seem to offer any specific solutions to these problems, although it does express a sense of urgency about finding a good operational theory and solution. Nonetheless, there are hints that a much more comprehensive main church website might counter the many negative sites, but that appears to be a nearly impossible and Herculean feat at this point. In my opinion, that gigantic research and writing effort would be of limited value because it would not be addressing the main problem. Just expressing love and concern for those in faith crises seems to be the main proposed suggestion.3

4. David B. Ostler has experience as a stake president and mission president and has an MBA and has managed businesses focused on improving healthcare. He has written a book entitled Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question. He does not seem to offer a theory about the reasons for the problems the church is having in gaining and retaining members. His emphasis seems to be mostly on finding ways to ease the mental and emotional pain of members who are feeling doubts and conflicts, with listening and seeking understanding as the main activities.4

5. John Gee is the William (Bill) Gay Research Professor in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. As expressed in an article in the online Mormon Interpreter, he thinks that Jana Riess is too pessimistic in her conclusions about the future of the church. He claims to have seen surveys that give more optimistic results for the future, but that optimism only seems to go so far as to indicate that the church is stable and will likely remain static. It appears that he would be perfectly happy if the church stayed stable and did not shrink, although in my opinion, if the gospel is as great as we claim, it ought to be growing quickly.5

6. Jana Riess is an American writer and editor, and a senior columnist for Religion News Service, who has written a book entitled The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, mentioned above. She chooses not to offer her own personal theory about Mormonism's future but favors the theory of Armand Mauss that "The LDS Church has accommodated change before, and it can do so again." That is a pretty thin and non-committal theory, not implying any particular direction to be taken, but at least it is mildly optimistic. My observation is that most past church changes have been driven mostly by economics, and one might expect future changes to follow the same pattern. Riess points out "that the literature about Mormonism and social science is so littered with failed theories that anyone should be humbled by the prospect of adding one more tombstone to that graveyard."6

7. Of course, church leaders and speakers would typically say that everything today is just wonderful, "all is well in Zion," and that the 2019 completion of the magnificent temple in Rome should be seen as a "hinge point," presumably the beginning of a story of great success for the church in "gathering Israel," also approximately coinciding with the 2020 marking of the 200-year anniversary of the restoration of the church. My concern is that the 200-year mark is also typically the point at which a restoration of the gospel starts to fall apart as in 4 Nephi, and apparently as also seen in the Jerusalem church, to a lesser extent. I fear that is the more likely outcome, as things stand.

8. In the face of these fairly limited and unconvincing attempts to theorize about the problem, about where the church might or should go, or the attempts to simply ease the pain of the symptoms, without trying to discover and deal with the cause, I am surely going to seem excessively bold in pretending that I have a fairly comprehensive theory about the nature of the problem and the appropriate and specific plans to deal with it. Still, the project should be worth the effort and the risk since there should be a big practical payoff for the church and, especially, its members, in finding a workable theory and answer.

My theory in a nutshell
In the LDS church we have a supposedly Christian church that does not practice, or barely practices, the main tenet of Christianity as taught in the New Testament – CHARITY. 1 Cor. 13. Less than 1% of the money that goes to Salt Lake City is devoted to humanitarian aid or other social improvements. What does that tell us about the church's attitude about the doctrine of charity? This seems to explain essentially all the problems with today's church, and also implies a set of answers.

Introduction to the Three Phases of The Modern Dispensation
The church started out on the right path under Joseph Smith, and then, 66 years later, at the time of Wilford Woodruff, veered off the path of the gospel of Christ and gradually reintroduced the law of Moses nearly 100% as did the Roman Catholic Church as it later developed. The law of Moses today is no more inviting and exciting and uplifting or "salable" than it was at the time of Christ, and I believe that explains why the LDS church is barely expanding at all, or is actually static or even shrinking. If we wish to see the Gospel reestablish its growth rates and good influence on the world on the same scale that happened after Christ organized his church in the Jerusalem area, where remnants of that distorted church still eventually established Western civilization, then we will have to disassemble and reverse the new installation of the law of Moses and go back to how things were during the life of Christ and for about the first 300 years thereafter.

Three Phases of The Modern Dispensation
1. Joseph Smith period (same as Christ's)
2. Today
3. Future Zion-establishing church (suggested)
●No tithing – No central collection of money, no paid central bureaucracy at all -- no professional priesthood.
●No charge for any miracle or ordinance
●Members were expected to take care of each other and perform other charitable works as wisdom dictated.
●No requirement for chapels or temples, yet all higher ordinances were available locally, no need for expensive communication or travel.
●With no building or travel or communication costs, all personal resources were available for charitable works.
●We have most of the ancient Old Testament law of Moses operating today even though Christ ended it completely at his time.
●The law of Moses consisted of paying tithing to support a large professional priesthood who performed animal sacrifices.  We have dropped the animal sacrifices, but still maintain many temple activities as just as necessary to salvation. We have the Sanhedrin, the large central bureaucracy.
●To support this vast and unnecessary bureaucracy, we have essentially ended all charity, the heart of the gospel of Christ.
●As under the Law of Moses, tithing and charity are mutually exclusive: if you have one you do not find the other.
●The cost of membership is about $500,000 for a lifetime membership; we might think of each important temple ordinance as costing about $50,000.
●Establish the "New China Program" which is the same as the old Christian program.
●End tithing again and encourage wise charitable behavior.
●Replace statist tax-and-spend welfare programs with charity-based programs which are 2 to 5 times more efficient and they also encourage freedom in general.
●Actively assert principles of freedom.
●Actively counteract worldly philosophies including organic evolution.
●Gather all freedom-loving people in one place for maximum mutual support.
●Set up systems to employ up to $10 trillion a year in charity operations in the world to raise social standards to a millennial level.

Phase 1 economics

Under Christ and under Joseph Smith, joining the church cost nothing. All miracles and ordinances were free and available locally. It was hoped that church members would assist each other, and that would be their main financial commitment, although there was no specific requirement.

The Jerusalem Saints showed us that there was no religious requirement for building expensive chapels or the even more expensive temples, so that essentially all personal resources could be used for charity work. "Freely ye have received, freely give" is the rule on how to use priesthood power. Something similar applied to more worldly resources without any formal regulation. All saving ordinances should be free and locally administered, removing essentially all need for a paid central bureaucracy.

Until that crucial original policy can be restored, the LDS church will likely remain a mere tribal curiosity as was the Jewish church.  The Law of Moses rules and practices could not serve any but the Jews, being completely unfit for worldwide consumption and application. The same is true of the LDS church today among the Mormons.

Phase 2 economics

As with the ancient law of Moses, today the central bureaucracy of the LDS church collects up essentially all charity from the members and spends it on itself, with less than 1% going out as humanitarian assistance or other social improvements. Most of the rest is spent on unnecessary things.

In today's LDS church world, the expected cost of a lifetime membership is around $500,000. That could mean that if a single person received one set of ordinances, their "endowment," that would be the total return to them on their $500,000. At the other extreme we might have a family with 10 children who were all married in the temple, implying a cost of about $50,000 per ordinance. For someone who did 100 ordinances for deceased relatives, that might bring the cost per ordinance down to $5,000 each. Again, under the rules of Christ's Church, or Joseph Smith's church, there would be no cost for any of those ordinances.

Some Important Events Along the Way to Establishing Phase 2
Church contributions declared available to be used for church leader salaries
Formal beginning of priestcraft and attempts to maximize headquarters income through new tithing channel to be developed. The goal was to monopolize and monetize all important ordinances. Federal persecution was used to the central church's advantage.
Tithing re-invented and re-emphasized
The next step in maximizing headquarters income announced by Lorenzo Snow.
Church incorporates as corporation sole
Church cuts off all member participation in church administration. Headquarters claims separate, complete, and even hostile ownership of all church assets and property.
Church embraces pacifism for WW II
Church decides not to defend freedom in the United States or anywhere else. Considers itself above the U.S. Constitution.
Church makes full central tithing mandatory for temple attendance
This was the formal end of Christian charity. Tithing and charity are mutually exclusive in practice.
Doctrine of the Gathering abolished
Lowers general growth of church, but maximizes income from existing members. Foreign members are trophies and hostages to extract more money from more wealthy US members. 90,000 members came from Europe to Utah in the 1850s and 1860s to escape the bad conditions in their home countries and guaranteed church success in Utah. This vital growth process was officially ended.
Blacks given priesthood
It is nice to have all men treated equally, but notice that with temple privileges came tithing "privileges," as well, making it sound like a revenue measure as much as a fairness measure. This would let the church grow in size, but even more in revenue.
Abolish church patriarch position.
Finalize centralization, monopolization, and monetization of sealing ordinances. Stake patriarchs previously held all sealing powers, preventing central monetization.
Ban guns from church facilities
Another blow to gospel freedom requirements. Shows willingness to degrade U.S. Constitution, not defend it, even though it is incorporated into LDS Scriptures.

Since 1896, when the church began collecting tithing centrally and authorizing it to be used for salaries for church leaders and employees, a rough estimate would be that the church has collected about $1 trillion from the church members to be spent mostly on salaries and travel and office facilities for church leaders and staff, with a small portion being devoted to chapels and temples, perhaps much less than 10% of the total. For example, if we assign a value of about $30 billion to the church's holdings of chapels, that $30 billion is only about 3% of the trillion dollars which has been collected over the past 120 years. (30,000 chapels at $1 million each would equal $30 billion.) Most of the rest of the $970 billion collected has apparently been spent for living expenses for church leaders and staff. That is $1 trillion which has been almost totally diverted out of the set of vital charity applications it was originally intended to be devoted to by the members who paid it in.

I think it is easy to imagine that if the church members had applied that trillion dollars effectively in charitable pursuits, instead of having essentially all of that money taken and consumed by church headquarters, those church members would have done a great deal of good in the world. People would see the good works of the members and would wish to join in themselves, having been shown how to be good Christians. That vast amount of individual charity work would probably be the most effective missionary work that anyone could ever do.

In contrast, the church has essentially ended all charity work of any significance, and they send their missionaries out, the church's salesforce, for the main purpose of getting new people to send tithing money into the central church headquarters, where all of it is essentially wasted, regardless of the amount received.

I am going to assert as highly likely that this expenditure of a trillion dollars in high-quality charity work would have easily caused the church itself to be 10 times as large as it is now, having generated enormous amounts of goodwill by that Christian behavior. If we actually have 5 million serious and active members today, we would then have 50 million serious and active members. It is vital to realize that a very important aspect of this charity program is that it would create a complete social insurance system for its participants, the members, which could replace all of the extremely expensive, wasteful, and corrupt government tax-and-spend "charity" programs that are now in existence.

All of those resources which are now taken by taxation by greedy governments would be available to provide charity-based social insurance which would be at least 2 to 5 times as efficient as anything found available today. That very large amount of government tax money could be added to the church "tax" money, which the church calls "tithing," to represent a very large amount of money available for serious charity work. With that original 10-times increase in membership, and the creation of this very powerful positive upward spiral, by now we could have actually already reached another 10 times growth increment, possibly reaching a total of 500 million worldwide.

Besides providing a promise of overcoming death with a clearly described afterlife, the church could also promise to overcome suffering in this life, so that fear of death and fear of suffering could be greatly assuaged. Someone said that "a church which cannot save us temporally cannot save us spiritually," and I believe I have just briefly described how both can be achieved through correct teachings and policies.

I believe it would be sensible for the church to increase in size by 10 times every generation, which would mean by the end of the second generation, or sometime about now, the church could easily have an effective size of 200 million members or even 500 million members.

As another way to compute this, we might notice that when the federal Social Security program was proposed in the 1930s, there was an option to create an alternate nongovernment system to take care of the pension needs of citizens. Those who did take advantage of that alternate system option have done extremely well, with their pension payouts being in the range of 2.4 to 5 times as great as the government pension system can produce. In many cases, the retirees receive $2.5 million more than received by those in the government system, and that money is owned by the pensioner and he can spend it as he sees fit or pass it along to his children or devote it to charity or missionary work.

If church members had been encouraged to set up such systems 90 years ago, the typical retirees under those private systems would have reaped about $10 trillion more in pension benefits then they would have received under the single option of a government Social Security pension. That extra $10 trillion could have done a great deal to accomplish charity work and missionary work, far beyond what has actually been accomplished under the actual system accepted by the church and its members.

Precise calculations are a bit difficult, but it should be easy to see that if church members had had an extra $20 trillion to spend on charity work and missionary work over the past 90 years, 20 times what the church took to itself for its short-term purposes, it is not too much to expect that the church would have reached a 200 million membership level. The world is eagerly waiting for this kind of a gospel solution to all of life's problems, and millions would rush to join in.

As it is, with a membership lifetime cost of $500,000, that is an enormous net loss as compared to an additional increment such as the $2.5 million alternate Social Security system could provide.

The main point here is that by taking this money to itself, as a huge and almost prohibitive tax on church membership and growth, the church has greatly discouraged membership growth and has made essentially impossible the most effective kind of missionary work imaginable which is individual charity work on a very large scale.

Phase 3 economics (suggested)

China is the new Rome
China is the new Rome (but so is Russia, only on a much smaller scale). Blacks were given the priesthood so they could go to the temples, after paying tithing, which they now have an incentive to do, accomplishing the main church goal of increasing revenue. That action brought the blacks completely into the current system. In the Chinese case, they ought to be given old-style patriarchs who could bring them all of the sealing ordinances without the need for temples. That would be inventing a new system to bring the Chinese into. The same strategy should work just as well in Russia.

If someone were looking for a test bed to verify my claims here about how the gospel worked so successfully before, just after the life of Christ, and could do so again under the right conditions, all they would have to do is quickly create a very simple "China program" that was indistinguishable from the church at Christ's time.  As under Roman rule, which fostered paganism as the state religion, in China there could be no visible LDS chapels and no temples to compete with the Chinese "state religion" of atheism, but all the saving ordinances, including all temple ordinances, could still be delivered there.  Also, the comprehensive social insurance system that is an inherent part of a charity-based religious society would probably be very well received and would likely cause the church to grow explosively. The church would also find itself gently supporting freedom instead of trying to suppress freedom for its own financial benefit, as it does today in so many countries by explicitly supporting freedom-hostile regimes, as the current method of expanding gospel penetration into new areas.

India could be a similar trial ground, and the new program should be a lot easier to apply there, since the fanatically totalitarian communists do not have such a tight grip on that country.  However, the temptation for the church to try to continue its law of Moses imposition in India as well, would probably doom that program to failure.  Apparently, the original gospel of Christ can only work properly and reliably, on a long-term basis, in an authoritarian country like Rome or China. That is, we have the strange situation where an authoritarian government helps to enforce the correct version of Christianity, where a free country allows the priests to hornswoggle the members and set up their separate and destructive religious priestcraft systems, as in the U.S.

The authoritarian countries try to suppress all competing centers of influence and power, especially including outside religions that have not been certified as authentic "warlord religions" supporting dictatorships. The LDS church would apparently be willing to do that, but, thankfully, has not been very successful at it. For correct Christian religions to be successful in that context, it requires that those religions operate at least semi-underground so that there is at least no visible political and "hearts and minds" influence and ideological challenge to the reigning dictatorship.

Obviously, if this proposed China test were successful, it could show the absurdity of what the "free" West has been trying to do to the gospel, and with the gospel, by imposing a greedy professional priesthood to exploit and neutralize the natural charity-based Gospel for short-term financial gain.

Perhaps this suggested program is what is going on already in China, with the LDS commissariat having been forced to do what it would never do willingly and spontaneously. But this new China program would have to be kept more secret in the West than it is in China, since if anyone in the West knew that they could be active members in good standing without paying tithing to Salt Lake City, the entire current financing system would collapse. As it is, here we could have one authoritarian government (China) keeping another would-be authoritarian government (the LDS church) straight. There is quite a bit of irony there.

I believe the church normally demands that an adequate banking system be set up to collect and transfer money from foreign member locations to Salt Lake City before the church considers itself to have been established in some country. In the China case, there could be no import or export of tithing money, especially not through any official banking system, without putting the church, and especially the members, in harm's way, so that the churches there would have to be self-contained as was intended to be true under Christ's church.  Again, we would have made a "virtue of necessity" and accidentally got the right religious answer.

If members were to travel from China to Hong Kong, for example, to receive temple ordinances, they would immediately reveal their identity to the Chinese dictatorship and potentially cause themselves a great deal of trouble. However, if all ordinances could be administered in China, and done quietly, it would very definitely not be visible, and the Chinese government may not feel any need to intervene, especially since there would be no government profit in intervening. If everything is free, there is nothing to tax or extort, so there may be no reason to intervene as long as the members are not proposing revolution.

If members were able to migrate out of China as part of the Gathering, that could give even more Chinese people an incentive to associate with the church, and the process could collect the most freedom-loving people out of China and give them a better place to live and operate. A gradual brain-drain from China of the most freedom-loving people, leaving behind the "dregs," so to speak, could perhaps be a gentle reminder to the Chinese Communists that the way to a nation's greatest success is through establishing freedom-enhancing policies.

The attempt by the LDS church to add its extra governmental layer of revenue-producing religion over the top of a communist regime in East Germany, as part of the USSR, did not work out too well. Hopefully that was taken to demonstrate that Mormonism and communism cannot be made explicitly compatible, and even complimentary on a long-term cooperative basis, although they might be able to be peacefully overlapping in the same space for a short period until greater freedom arrives as with the fall of the Soviet Union.

The results of such experiments could reasonably mean that we eventually add 200 million members each in China, India, and Russia, plus another 200 million in the United States and Europe, and then, at perhaps 800 million members, we could actually claim to be a world church, having established a worldwide gospel-based civilization. This is what could reasonably happen if the church would get out of the way of gospel progress, and stop compulsively trying to milk a huge, even obscene profit on every single person who joins the church anywhere in the world.

Totally charity-based organizations (such as The Red Cross and Father Flanagan's Boys Home, now known as Boys Town -- both of which could probably be improved upon) can do very well in a free society, demonstrating that there is no need to monopolize religious ordinances and extort the members to get religious operating funds. It just requires an adjustment in thinking and an adjustment in how one presents projects worthy of member support. We have the totally non-religious "GoFundMe" or "Facebook Fundraiser" type of Internet mechanisms for assembling funds for good projects.  Besides, with perhaps $200 billion in accumulated funds, the church could operate indefinitely without receiving another dime in tithing funds from anywhere in the world, although it might need to cut down on the number of structures built, which it probably ought to do anyway.

For some reason, the church has been afraid to use its $200 billion in reserves to use today's media outlets to prepare people to receive the gospel. That $200 billion is the same as about 200 presidential campaigns as far as being able to make people aware of what is going on. A media blitz on a much smaller scale would be more than enough to prepare the way for missionaries so that there would be no need for them to behave as independent unsupported door-to-door salesman, but they could simply become "order takers" in a system for those who would like to join the church, empowering missionaries to bring in hundreds of people every year per missionary. Presumably, those techniques have not been used simply because the church wants to make no ideological or political ripples anywhere in the world and is perfectly happy with the current size of the church budget, so it sees no need to make its presence any better known.

This charity-based technique or business model would allow the church to draw in hundreds of billions of dollars from sources outside of its current tithing extraction membership base. The church could become THE charity organization worldwide with multi-trillion-dollar budgets. Someone just needs to make the necessary changes in concept and direction.

Further information
For extra detail on many important points that underlie this paper, see, a blog which contains a book-length work entitled Is the Church as True as the Gospel? A Constitutional Approach.





4. David B. Ostler, Bridges: Ministering to Those Who Question (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2019).

5. John Gee, "Conclusions in Search of Evidence." Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 34 (2020): 161-178;

6. Jana Riess, The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 233-5

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Preface – Is the (LDS) Church as True as the Gospel? A Constitutional Approach

What follows is a nearly complete first draft of about a 250-page book intended to describe the major problems with the LDS church today, plus a few suggested remedies. This draft will probably need to go through numerous changes before it could be more formally published.

At the moment, four chapters near the end of the book each contain little more than a topic sentence and a few research notes. Those chapter numbers have an "x" in front of them.

The intent of this effort is to try to discover whether some portion of those people who are leaving the church (which one estimate puts at about 500 members per day) would be willing to put in a little extra effort to study my analysis of the current LDS church, and decide to use this book text as at least a partial guide to implementing some major changes to the church from the inside. I am hoping that about 20% of those people who "resign" from the church will be willing to consider a new option. Besides the two basic options of staying in the church and leaving the church, there may be a third option which allows people to stay in the church while gently making their views known and promoting change for the better.

I believe most church members do not typically have the time to study church history and church doctrine to the extensive degree necessary to form their own well considered opinion on all the most basic issues concerning religion and its management. Hopefully, this book will contain enough information for individuals to begin to form their own well-established opinions.

The biggest single problem which I see today is that the church has gradually chosen to end typical vigorous Christian charity activities, and instead to claim all of that member charity money for use at church headquarters, using the old law of Moses term of "tithing." The bulk of that "tithing" money I believe is used very poorly or even completely wasted, where judicious use of that money and the related human resources could be used to make enormous improvements in our society. I believe that if the church were making remarkable improvements to our society and our nation, many of those who are now unhappy with the church would have a reason to change their opinion and their actions.

In summary, I see Christian charity and "tithing" as mutually exclusive concepts: if the "tithing" (taxation to gain salvation) option is chosen, serious charity disappears, meaning that the most important sign of a Christian person disappears. This is especially true when every other level of government is constantly trying to raise taxes or "tithing" to build their own economic empires which compete with what should be more efficient voluntary religious activity.

Is The Church As True As The Gospel?

A Constitutional Approach

Table of Contents

Section 1 -- Introduction
             1. The problem. p.6
2. A suggested solution sent by letter. p.10
    -- Plus an unsent letter expanding the solution.

Section 2 -- The Overwhelming Historical And Scriptural Case Against A Paid Ministry And Related Tithing. p.17.

             3. The issue of financial classes in the church. p.20
4. Temples, altars, and work for the dead. p.23
5. A modern summary of the history of tithing. p.27.
6. The 1657 Quaker position on the evils of forced tithing -- partly based on the earlier work of John Selden p.29
7. An 1894 history of tithing, beginning with Christian free-will offerings.p.50
8. Excerpts from a 1618 history of tithing by John Selden, the predecessor to all later historical studies and arguments against tithing, asserting that no tithing was paid to the original apostles.p.57
9. The 95 theses (1517) of Martin Luther apply today for the same reasons they did then, demonstrating that tithing and charity are mutually exclusive policies. p.62
10. James Talmage and The Great Apostasy -- An argument for replacing one divergent religious empire with another.  p.72
11. Incidents of shock and awe to introduce Christ's new gospel, powerful enough to change the world for 2000 years. Dire threats issued to any who attempt to distort the new gospel. These are views of restoration history we usually ignore. p.81
12. Discussion of FairMormon questions and answers on professional clergy, paid ministry, and tithing p.105.
13. The uncertain basis for today's LDS tithing policies. p.144
14. The use of "increase" vs. "interest" in tithing scriptures. p.153
15. The terrible performance statistics this paid ministry creates. p.160
16. The LDS church is finally being called to account. p.165

Section 3 -- Amending the Gospel

x17. Are all living prophets given unbounded powers to alter the gospel? [Christ did not. He quoted them and fulfilled them..]  Our path of prophecy has given us the same result as the Roman Catholic Church reached. Is that good? p.178
x18. Are the historical Scriptures now treated as Secondary sources of religious truth? (see prophetic powers)-p.191

Section 4 -- Creation vs. Evolution

19. The Church drops creation and adopts atheistic organic evolution at BYU -- embracing the teachings of men presumably to increase membership and income. p.192

Section 5 -- Some Potential Charitable Activities

20. A major charitable activity suggestion concerning reducing abortions – much like occurred in Rome where saving discarded babies was a signature Christian activity. p.195
x21. Women's duties and opportunities under a proper program of charity -- A well-funded Relief Society. p.229
22. Creating and demonstrating a charity-based welfare system for the world. p.232 
23. A gospel-based program for developing countries. p.240

Section 6 -- Building Up Zion

24. Government corruption in Utah: Our non-Zion could be transformed into a Zion. p.241
25.  A breach of fiduciary duty by the LDS church. Straighten out church structure and procedures. The membership did not vote for that fraudulent takeover, which I call the lawyers' coup. "One man, no vote" – is our current condition. p.245
26. No time to relax. No "all is well in Zion." p.251
27. Other priestcraft Issues, including promoting one-world government on Satan's terms rather than resisting it. p.257

Section 7 -- Conclusions

28. LDS Church grand strategy: past, present, and possible future. p.270
29. Epilogue. p.278

Is The Church As True As The Gospel?
A Constitutional Approach

Section 1 -- Introduction