Meeting with the Bishop --
I had a very positive discussion with my bishop last night.
I didn't really intend to do this, but I ended up pretty much unloading all the historical issues, from the 1832 first vision to the mysterious disappearance of the pistols from the modern rendition of the Carthage Jail story. He didn't really attempt to deal with any of that, but I didn't really expect him to. He didn't attempt to argue or try to discredit the information. He allowed as how our church leaders aren't perfect and have never been perfect, and he bore his testimony of the humility of the apostles, their inspiration, and that they do what they feel is in the best interests of the church. We don't always have the big picture or understand the circumstances behind those decisions, but in his case he had faith in the Brethren to make the right choices most of the time. I reiterated that my issues aren't with the events themselves as much as the intentional deception of the membership. I mentioned that it was a punch in the gut to get blindsided with information like the Council of Fifty, Helen Mar Kimball, and the use of seerstones in translating the Book Of Mormon when we had never been told any of this before, and I expressed my feelings of betrayal at not having been told these things.
He reiterated that I was a good and honorable person and was grateful for my forthrightness in wanting to make him aware of my situation. He felt comfortable with what I was doing in my callings and trusted that I wasn't going to teach false doctrine to the youth or members, seeing as how this has been going on for over a year right under his nose and he wasn't even aware of it. I mentioned I could no longer sustain the 1st Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators. I continue to believe they are inspired, in the same way that the Pope, Billy Graham, Mr Rogers, etc, are inspired, but I don't think their actions in misleading the membership about our history meet the standard for prophet, seer, and revelator. i.e. inspired by God to lead the One True Church. I mentioned I believed the church was true, but there are many sources of truth out there, and the church is not the exclusive, or even the best, dispenser of wisdom. Despite having said all that he left up to me whether I qualifed for a recommend, and if I had asked for one he would have whipped out the book and given me one.
He mentioned his sadness, not that I was being unfaithful to the church or anything, but that I was going through this, and he understood my position given the information I had been exposed to. We both agreed that this should be discussed with the stake president. He asked me to say a closing prayer, and after an hour and a half we parted on an extremely positive note.
So, round 1 is complete. I'm not expecting an interview with my stake president to be so touchy feely. He's more stern, and being raised in the church he's a scriptorian. We'll see what happens next.