In pre-1900 Americian football, a field goal was actually worth more points than a touchdown—the field goal was 5 points while a touchdown was only 4 points. Soon both plays were equally worth 5 points, and by 1912 it graduated to modern-day scoring (3 and 6 points respectively).
In addition to the evolution of points, the positioning of the goal posts for a field goal also changed. Originally, goal posts were on the goal line. When the NCAA moved them to the end zone’s backline in 1927, the NFL followed suit. In 1933, however, the NFL adopted its own rule book and placed the goalposts back on the goal line. NFL goalposts stayed there until 1974 when they were moved to the back of the end zone.
The evolution of scoring and positioning of the goal posts literally changed the strategy of the game. Consider a modern-day American football game where it was not as important to punch it in on the goal line but seemingly more effective to get it within an adequate distance of the goal posts in favor of kicking it through the uprights for more points. It’s debatable which version would be better to play or more fun to watch from the stands. Literally and proverbially, the goal posts have changed and thus have changed the game altogether.
Throwback to the Original
It has been said, “There’s nothing like the original.” In many ways, I tend to agree. Classic Doritos and Cheetos over any other new flavor for sure. No Indiana Jones sequel is better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the early music and albums of U2 are timeless classics compared to recent albums. I digress.
The doctrine of Christ taught to and experienced by Adam and Eve is the original (Moses 6). The doctrine of Christ in and throughout the Book of Mormon is a restoration of the original (see also The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide.)
In the original, your personal salvation is just that—personal. It’s found “in and through” your personal relationship with the Lord (2 Ne 2:6; Mosiah 16:13; Alma 38:9). And your personal relationship with the Lord is your fingerprint. It’s like none other. No two are alike. He knows you like you are His only friend. How? Because of the divine nature of God (male, female)—they are omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and perfectly just and merciful. (This is hope in Jesus Christ, not faith.) The Lord is not only chronicling your earth experience but He is doing way more for your mortal journey than you imagine.
His doctrine invites you to work out your own (personal) salvation with Him, and none other:
O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.Mormon 9:27
And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before GodAlma 34:37
He is literally the author and finisher of each soul’s faith:
And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.Moroni 6:4
Individuals were supported by a very simple organizational structure of common believers seeking to fulfill the invitation to “come unto Christ.” Imagine regular gatherings of like-minded seekers to worship the Lord with praise, song, maybe dance, and praying with people, praying for people in need of support, exercising the power of God through gifts of the spirit [prophecy, revelation, healing, speaking in tongues, visions, etc. (Moroni 10:7-27; 6:9).]
I absolutely love the Lord, and I absolutely love His doctrine. It’s not just the original but the ultimate spiritual foundation. Not only is it plain, simple, beautiful, and transformational—but I know it’s so amazingly personal, too. Yes, Christ’s doctrine is universal for all, but His doctrine—the doctrine of salvation—is absolutely personal and personally empowering.
In Doctrine and Covenants section 10, the Lord, by revelation, highlights some very important points of His doctrine related to the latter days:
- Despite the lost 116 pages (v1-42), the Book of Mormon still contains a fulness of the everlasting gospel (D&C 14:10; 20:9; 27:5; 42:12); yes, “all those parts of [His] gospel which [His] holy prophets, yea, and also [His] disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.” (v38-47)
- His holy prophets asked the Lord that whosoever should possess this promised land in future generations that if they “should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life.” The Lord granted the request according to their faith in asking. (v48-52)
- According to the faith of His holy prophets, the Lord agreed to set up His church on that promised land if they would “harden not their hearts.” He then sets forth His credibility through the fulfillment of His promises. (v53-59)
- He sets forth the things that will be restored through His church including His doctrine/gospel. He explains that he will do this to dispel and any contentions or disputations about His doctrine/gospel. (v60-63)
- He declares that in the last days he conduct a spiritual gathering and declares the simplicity of His doctrine, which is, “if [any soul] will come [unto Him], they may [are able], and partake of the waters of life freely.” (v64-67)
- He declares what His church is—”whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.” (v67)
- He declares a warning to anyone that declares doctrine different than His—”Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.” (v68)
- He offers a promise that whosoever receives and fulfills His doctrine (which is to receive personal salvation from Him… this is what it means to ‘endure to the end’) will be protected against evil. (v69)
- He signs His name to this revelation (v70)
Two things stand out to me:
- His offer of personal salvation is available to all—”He [the Lord] doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female [young and old]; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” (2 Ne 26:33)
- Individuals were supported by a very simple organizational structure of common believers seeking to fulfill the invitation to “come unto Christ.”
That was the original doctrine of Christ—a personal empowerment model where an individual seeks for personal salvation. That was the church of Christ (Moroni 6; D&C 20).
The Goal Posts Have Moved
While the personal salvation in Christ’s doctrine was restored through the Book of Mormon, the goal posts of salvation seem to have moved after Joseph’s and Hyrum’s murders. A new church hierarchy (vertical structure) was developed in place of the original (horizontal) church organizational structure. Brigham sought to build what he believed was the kingdom of God, but his version was not the original spiritual version that Joseph restored. Instead, Brigham’s was a temporal kingdom where ultimately he was the king. It has been an ever-evolving religious institution ever since.
In the modern LDS church and recent generations especially, the words of leaders all the way up to the president of the church have redefined salvation (LDS exaltation). Today’s LDS church is more about group salvation couched in a rebranded term called “The Covenant Path,” where you are rewarded for your conformity, loyalty, and obedience to church leaders, policies, procedures, and the teachings “for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (JSH 1:19). Points are allocated for mere participation in outward activities that give the impression of goodness, devotion, and personal righteousness.
Many would say that in contrast to the original, restored church led by a prophet, seer, and revelator (Joseph Smith), the church has instead become a globalist, modern Mormon monarchy led by profits, sayers, and regulators. (Each of these new labels will be explained in the leadership contrast section further down.) The modern church even appears to be more corporate and secular than ever:
- President Nelson is the sole owner, CEO, and chairman of the board—after all, the legal name of the church is The Corporation of the President of the Church
- Elders Oaks and Eyring are like managing directors under Nelson and also members of the board of directors
- The Quorum of the Twelve is a team of executive board members and geographic operators across the globe with Elder Ballard as chief among them (think COO)
- The church is an incorporated employer for thousands of people
- The missionary force is the sales and business development arm
- There is a marketing department, but just given a different name under “Media Services” and comes complete with its own internal public relations (communications) department
- There is an internal accounting department
- There is a technology services group
- Tithing is revenue collected from franchises (stakes, wards), managed by centralized accounting, and invested by third-party specialty investment firms also owned by The Corporation of the President of the Church
- and many more parallels
The church even appears to be moving to be investing in what is called “a refresh” in marketing. It’s when a corporation updates things with a new cosmetic look or feel in order to increase its appeal to its audience. While some are still catching their breath after changes to policies, procedures, and even new programs under President Nelson’s tenure, these are strategic moves and far from coincidental.
- New labels are added: “Ministering” replaces home and visiting teaching, “Tithing declaration” replaces tithing settlement, “Home-centered, church-supported” is introduced, new church logo, changes to church magazines, and more.
- Switch from three to two-hour church
- Crowdsourcing for the development of a new hymn book
- Once a divine revelation (2016), a reversal was given (2019) so that children of LGBT+ parents may be blessed and baptized in the Church without approval from the First Presidency. It appears they were able to get God to change His mind on this one.
- Civilly-married couples no longer have to wait a year before being sealed in the temple.
- Women are now allowed to participate in ordinances where they were once exclusive to worthy male priesthood holders (women and children can serve as witnesses of temple sealings and baptismal ordinances performed in temples and chapels)
- By command of the Lord and for the purpose of correction, members are told to use the full name of the church and avoid the use of the term “Mormon” because the Lord is offended. Interesting how upset the Lord has been with President Hinckley and the church all those years for investing tens of millions of dollars in the I’m a Mormon campaign.
- Youth programs are restructured, severed ties with Boy Scouts of America, full-time missionaries can communicate weekly with family, and in response to the growing number of youth or young adults going inactive or completely leaving the church, the church has invested millions once again in more youth programs like EFY for all. The goal is to cement their loyalty at a young, impressionable, early age to the point that they make it through the challenging young adult years to temple marriage.
Obviously, these are just a few of the dozens of other notable changes. But the common thread is that the church and its leadership are doing everything they can to soften their stances, be more appealing, and garner each person’s loyalty to the church. That might be a positive for some but unfortunately, it is distracting people from Christ’s real objective which is to directly “come unto Him.”
So, how did such a powerful, amazing restoration of original truth evolve into a modern Mormon monarchy?
Remember, in the game of football points determine success whether you are talking about earning points for your own team with a good offense or using good defense to keep the other team from getting more points than you. So when the scoring system changed, the game changed fundamentally, too. As a result, the strategy changed altogether. Gone are the days of putting all your effort into getting into sufficient range to kick for points. Instead, now you want to drive the ball all the way passed the goal line.
Well, like football, when the original doctrine of Christ was corrupted, it changed and even negatively affected everything else downstream—church leadership, church structure, and church culture.
So it started with the doctrine. The doctrine is the foundation—and your foundation has to be built on the rock, Jesus Christ. The doctrine is the ultimate context, the path and the way for the Lord to redeem or save each soul.
And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.Alma 38:9
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6
The doctrine is the backbone to the most intimate and powerful relationship each soul can have. It’s the first thing the Lord taught and clarified when He appeared to a group of seekers in the land Bountiful (3 Nephi 11-12.) When you alter the doctrine, you set people on the wrong course. No wonder the Lord said that if we add to or take away from the simplicity of His doctrine it is evil (3 Nephi 11:39-40). Because there are only two paths, and if you are not leading people directly to Christ, you are leading them into the hands of the devil.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.3 Nephi 11
Consider just a few contrasting points between the original, restored doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of the modern Mormon monarchy:
Original, Restored DOCTRINE
- Focus is on seeking personal salvation—being saved, redeemed, born again—through Christ. (Alma 5-8; 2 Ne 9:41)
- The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel (the doctrine of Christ) necessary for personal salvation.
- Salvation (LDS exaltation) is personal, individual, and worked out with Christ. (Mormon 9:27; Alma 34:37)
- Each individual soul is invited and personally empowered to come unto Christ and receive personal salvation from Him—he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female. (2 Ne 26:33)
- The personal sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit.
- Water baptism is the sign of entering into the everlasting covenant and membership in the Church of Christ (D&C 10:67)
- Exercising faith will lead a person to receive their second baptism (BOFHG), and becomes a member of the kingdom of God. That person receives the gift of the Holy Ghost which is the first comforter and reception of the promise of eternal life (personal ascension). The process leading up to this is part of “enduring to the end.”
- Exercising faith with the Gift of the Holy Ghost will lead a person to receive the literal presence of the Lord (second comforter). The process leading up to this is also part of “enduring to [another] end.”
- Book of Mormon teaches against polygamy. And by revelation, Joseph Smith revealed the principle of one man and one woman in any marriage (original Section 101; changed after martyrdom) and proclaimed polygamy (or any spiritual wifery) as a false principle, and publicly and privately denied any claims he secretly had other wives or intimate relationships with other women.
- Mysteries were available to each soul through their personal relationship with the Lord.
Post-Martyrdom, Modern Mormon Monarchy DOCTRINE
- Focus is on exaltation through the unscriptural “Covenant Path” that is peddled throughout the church and its curriculum.
- Salvation (LDS exaltation) is available through the LDS church.
- Women receive salvation through husband, the church.
- Membership in the LDS church is taught as membership in the kingdom of God.
- Water baptism is a sign of repentance and membership in the LDS church.
- At the time of water baptism, hands are laid on one’s head and a pronouncement of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is given.
- The temple is the ultimate destination to participate in rituals and make covenants.
- Your personal sacrifice is tied heavily to obedience to the church and its leaders.
- Personal worthiness and ability to maintain the gift of the Holy Ghost are determined by church authorities through interviews and sufficient obedience, participation, and compliance to church leaders, policies, procedures, and programs.
- “Endure to the end” is interpreted by the church to mean maintaining your “worthy” status up to mortal death.
- The promise of exaltation (second anointing) is received by a very select few people (usually prominent leaders and their wives) as a ritual in the temple with no literal presence of the Savior.
- Section 132 (revealed to the public by Brigham Young eight years after martyrdom and added to D&C forty years later) commands that all must enter into polygamy in this life to enter into the celestial kingdom and those who refuse will be destroyed.
- Taught that mysteries are dangerous and could lead them into apostasy.
The change in doctrine leads to unrighteous leadership, literally. (Righteous means saved, redeemed.) If the doctrine changes, people do not know the divine character of the Lord God that they should seek or how to come unto Him. If they do not know these things, then people will not receive the redemptive, saving experience and the power of the Lord, nor will there be any first-hand witnesses of the redemptive, saving power of God. If there are not any first-hand witnesses, then there are no righteous leaders to effectively lead others to Christ.
Consider just a few contrasts between the leadership of the original, restored church of Christ and the leadership of the modern Mormon monarchy:
Original, Restored LEADERSHIP
- Prophet, Seer, Revelator—Joseph Smith exercised gifts of the spirit [gift of prophecy, gift of seership (visions of past, present, future), gift of revelation] and was thus called a prophet, seer, and revelator by the Lord and others.
- Book of Mormon teaches no paid ministry (2 Ne 26:1; Alma 1:26; 30:32-34)
- Prophets—Q12 were supposed to seek for and then receive their endowment of power (Baptism of Fire and Holy Ghost; D&C 105) and then be full-time traveling missionaries (no purse or script; D&C 84) living by the guidance of the Lord, witnessing their redemptive, transformational experience (BOFHG), seek for and receive the face of the Lord, all of which is to be a special witness of the Lord (His divine nature, His transformational power, etc), and then invite people to repent and come unto Christ and receive eternal life (just as they did). The only authority they were to have was over newly established branches until a stake was established in which case they would have no more authority. (D&C 107)
- Focused on teaching the doctrine of Christ so people knew how to come unto Christ and receive salvation from Him; Invited all to repent and come unto Christ
- Condemned priestcrafts—setting one’s self up as a light to the people—empowered each soul to seek the Lord in all things and work out their personal salvation with the Lord.
- Experienced their own BOFHG and were able to teach that doctrine, share their own experience, and therefore inspire others to seek their own.
- Taught the reality of the spirits in the realms of darkness and how to counter their dark works, efforts
- Joseph taught the women to exercise great gifts of the spirit
- Teach generally from the scriptures
Post-Martyrdom, Modern Mormon Monarchy LEADERSHIP
- Profits (not prophets)—Paid ministry of Q15; Living stipends for GAs, mission presidents and similar positions; Paid full and part-time employees
- Sayers (not seers)—Teach “for doctrines the commandments of men” (JSH 1:19); Full of good common knowledge advice and platitudes that are pleasing.
- Regulators (not revelators)—The Q12 have outsourced their primary role as traveling servants, and missionaries to young men (18+) and young women (19+) who have not received their BOFHG (endowment of power) and do not know how to exercise essential gifts of the spirit. Honorably serving a full-time mission has become a right of passage in which they are also required to pay their own money to serve.
- Embrace their celebrity, rockstar, and priestcraft status among members and set themselves up as a light to the general membership and to the world.
- Do not witness of having received their own BOFHG and therefore do not teach it to the church members.
- Leaders administrate the spirituality of the members by reinforcing what is appropriate worship of the Lord, what is required to repent, when repentance is sufficient, what is true personal revelation from the Holy Ghost or not, etc.
- Their words are final and unquestionable on any topic—this is true even when they do not have a clear answer on behalf of the Lord, or even when they say something akin to “the Lord has chosen to not reveal that to us” (meaning they have no clue).
- A covenant was added to the temple endowment ritual to not speak evil of church leaders (the Lord’s anointed)—even when leaders get it wrong, it is right.
- Women of the Relief Society are under the thumb of male leadership.
- Reinforce that members should only read and learn from authorized, church-approved sources.
- Leaders tout their own words as oracles and then they quote one another instead of teaching the pure doctrine from scriptures (Isaiah 56:10-11; 3 Ne 7:8-9; 2 Peter 2:19-22)
- They wrest the scriptures for their own benefit (D&C 10:63, Alma 13:20; 41:1)
- Teach that leaders can never lead members astray
Speaking of church leadership, one of the most profound prophecies of the latter-day leadership came from Nephi:
1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass [in the last days]. 2 And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel. [the people that receive and accept this Book of Mormon as true] 3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches [congregations] which are built up, and not unto the Lord, [not in His name, not based on His true doctrine] when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, [pleasing, trite platitudes] and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. [instead of using the gift of prophecy which can only come through the Lord's Holy Spirit, they speak their own pleasing, trite words and platitudes] 5 And they deny the power of God, [gifts of the spirit] the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; [not because we have gifts of the spirit but because we have organizational, administrateive titles] for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; [leaders] 6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work. [If you are exercising gifts of the spirit without our permission or under our authority or control, you are wrong] 7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. [because we are members of the only true church] 8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. [because we are members of the only true church] 9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. 10 And the blood of the saints [the servants of the Lord that taught Christ's true doctrine, especially in the Book of Mormon] shall cry from the ground against them. 11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. [Nephi's words, not mine] 12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up. [uhh, umm, yah, what he said]2 Nephi 28
I have heard a few people defend church leadership from accusations that leaders don’t teach the true doctrine and the opportunity to have an intimate audience with the Savior Himself by saying, “They actually do teach it. It’s just a coded message. Only those with eyes to see and ears to hear will understand it.” Personally, I struggle to not laugh at this idea—that the Savior wants only a select few to come unto Him, receive eternal life and all that the father hath… that true prophets shouldn’t speak in plainness. Really? The scriptures teach the exact opposite. Regardless, the same few people tune in every six months to General Conference and walk away afterward saying to a select few friends, “[winking] Did you catch it? [high five, fistbump] Ah, yah. That’s what I’m talking about.”
If there are no righteous leaders, then mankind and those they prop up (sustain) as their leaders are left to their own natural man to not only be corrupted by the devil and his adversarial army of spirits (3 Nephi 6:17; Alma 34;39; 1 Nephi 12:17), but also the globalist stewards of the church of the devil on the earth (1 Nephi 14:10).
19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.Mosiah 3
Consider just a few contrasts between the structure of the original, restored church of Christ and the structure of the modern Mormon monarchy:
Original, Restored STRUCTURE
- Horizontal, flat (D&C 107) leadership organization to ensure unity—a balance of power of sorts.
- Joseph Smith was called a prophet, seer, and revelator for the church as a whole both because (a) the Lord professed it (D&C 21) but also because (b) he exhibited those specific gifts of the Spirit (prophecy, seership, revelation) for the body of the church. The balance of power would cause any revelation to be ratified by common consent from the other horizontal, flat leadership groups.
- Deacons, Teachers, and Priests were adults called primarily to be teachers of Christ’s doctrine.
- The Relief Society was its own independent group and operated outside the church. Joseph Smith taught that gifts of the spirit were available to all including women and through the Relief Society gatherings he taught them to exercise gifts of the spirit including blessings, healing, and more.
Post-Martyrdom, Modern Mormon Monarchy STRUCTURE
- Brigham Young (BY) dismantled the original balance of power in church leadership (D&C 107) and instead created a vertical, hierarchy. Brigham Young, followed by Joseph F. Smith (and later by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley) altered the role of the First Presidency and Q12 which are now the supreme levels of administration of the church. As a temporal kingdom-builder, BY set himself and the office of president as the unquestionable “king.”
- The members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve proclaim themselves as prophets, seers, and revelators by virtue of their organizational offices (titles). Their words are unquestionable, final and not approved by common consent.
- Brigham Young brought the Relief Society under the control of the church and its leadership which stifled the role of women.
- Non-adult young men are expected to fulfill roles as Deacons, Teachers, and Priests.
- Women are not allowed to exercise gifts of the spirit related to blessings, healings, and more.
- If they are left to their own natural selves and the corruption of the devil, they will build religious institutions centered on priestcrafts (2 Nephi 10:5; Alma 1:12,16; 3 Nephi 21:19; 30:2)
He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world [and its followers]; but they seek not the [spiritual] welfare of Zion. [Why? Because the Lord through His doctrine transforms souls so that they can participate in Zion]2 Ne. 26:29
Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching false doctrines; and this they did for the sake of riches and honor.Alma 1:16
Part 2—Who is Really Apostate?
In part 2 where we discuss how the corruption in doctrine, leadership, and structure in the modern Mormon monarchy has impacted church culture and, unfortunately, disconnected us from the Savior.