BYU–Hawaii presented an international concert and devotional by recording artist, Dr. David Glen Hatch, on Thursday, April 4, 2023, in the McKay Auditorium. Brother Hatch, who has published sheet music as well as recordings at church-owned Deseret Book, performed some piano pieces and spoke to the audience in this devotional.
Brother Hatch warns of the “great destroyer”, also known as the “great deceiver”, who works daily to destroy people’s “self-concept” or self-worth and separate them from God. He states that the deceiver’s tactics involve focusing on people’s feelings, opinions, and personal preferences, and presenting a new gospel of “your own truth” that unfortunately distorts God’s truth. He reminds us that the Devil wants to destroy people and thwart God’s kingdom and plans, and will use deceit and manipulation to do so.
Brother Hatch references a common argument used by the “great deceiver” to distort the teachings of Jesus. The argument is that since Jesus told his followers to “love one another”, and not judge one another, who are they to judge how others love? He notes that this is a distortion of the teachings of Jesus and that the “great deceiver” is using it to present a “new” gospel that distorts God’s true word. Is “love one another” a distortion of Jesus’ teachings? He states Satan entices liberal followers by saying “A good chunk of [the outdated theology] is offensive enough to be considered a hate crime! Especially that bit about marriage and sexuality. I mean, Jesus told his followers to love one another, not judge one another. Right? So, who are you to judge how others love?”
This devotional has received a lot of flak already, citing Brother Hatch’s railing on about Satan and criticizing the followers of a “socially relevant, liberal Jesus,” and even suggesting that they would call the marriage doctrine of the church a “hate crime”.
My young brothers and sisters, we’ve just got to stop allowing other people to tell us whether we’re good enough, attractive enough, rich enough, famous enough, desirable enough.
Stop it! Just stop it! We should only care about what Heavenly Father says about us. That we are of immense worth.
In so doing, however, we must be aware of the great destroyer who is working daily, to destroy your self-concept. You know the great destroyer is the great deceiver. The ultimate lying liar who will stop at nothing to separate us from God. His tactics really haven’t evolved much since the garden, but he’s certainly adept at staying ahead of the curve. The great deceiver’s specialty is his keen interest in your feelings, and opinions, and personal preferences. He’s quite progressive that way, and wants to hear all about it.
Your concerns are his concerns and he knows exactly which rendition of Jesus is pertinent to your cause. Lately, it is likely to be a socially relevant, liberal Jesus who somehow cares more about “your truth” than the truth he came to personify, proclaim, and die for. The deceiver dishes out a new gospel, and I hate this (just so you know I don’t like that word hate but this one thing I do hate), “the gospel of your own truth”. You ever heard it, brothers and sisters? Oh “my truth is” and then he whispers to all of us. Ah, that’s much better.
To be clear, he won’t tell you to give up your faith in Jesus, but that: obviously some of His outdated theology needs revamping, because it no longer works today. A good chunk of it is offensive enough to be considered a hate crime! Especially that bit about marriage and sexuality. I mean, Jesus told his followers to love one another, not judge one another. Right? So, who are you to judge how others love?
That’s just how stealthily and insidiously the father of Lies leads members of this church astray. He distorts God’s word and presents a new different gospel to each generation, and he knows how to place deceit in our hearts. He’s well acquainted with our carnal desire to rule and worship ourselves, and he’s happy to show us how. Simply put, Satan wants to destroy people. He wants to thwart God’s kingdom and purposes and plans. He wants to hurt the people God creates and loves. He wants to wreak havoc on those who are chosen, by discouraging, disarming and derailing us. He wants to confuse people and lead them away from the truth of who God is. He wants to kill and destroy the soul of every man, woman, and child.
But guess what, we don’t have to be duped. Jesus told his disciples, you remember, Matthew 24: “Take heed that no man deceive you” (I might want to add, he’s not even a man). This warning is applicable to every biblical topic and all aspects of our daily Christian walk. There’s only one way to prevent The Great Deceiver from having great influence in our lives. We must focus on Jesus the Christ: his truth, his words, and the gospel he came to proclaim and die for so that you and I would never again be separated from God.
As you all know, life can be extremely challenging. In fact, it’s just plain hard. I hate to tell you young people, it only gets worse the older you get. But our Heavenly Father knows of our enormous potential and divine worth. He knows we can be victorious in the cause of truth and righteousness. So, I just want you all to think and to remember that when the gray clouds of life appear, always remember that the master understands, for he has already experienced these things.
He is the a perfect example for us to follow, and will always be here for us if we but allow him to be the great dominating force in our lives. No, he’s not going to barge into our lives, but he does stand at the door and knocks. You and I must let him in. One of my very favorite scriptures, for many many yearsm, in the Gospel of John chapter 15 verse 5, and I want you all to remember this, remember this daily, because I’ve learned this principle through my life and it’s so completely true. In John chapter 15:5, the Savior said “I am the Vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. For without me, ye can do nothing”. May we all recognize the value of the soul. That every soul has divine worth in the sight of God, and let us never forget, that the eternal value of our souls is the very reason he gave his life for us. The very reason that we are saved, by his grace.David Glen Hatch, International Concert and Recording Artist
BYU–Hawaii Devotional (April 4, 2023)
We should point out that Brother David Glen Hatch is not a church leader. He does not hold a leadership role in the church. He is a pianist and recording artist. The church-owned school has, however, given him a stage and a microphone to address students in a spiritual setting. He’s been able to share his musical talents as well as his take on gospel topics. Some will dismiss his talk because he doesn’t speak for the church and claim that he’s obviously speaking as a man here. But, this is a man who is also given a soapbox by the church to share his ideas in a way that is representing the church and that is an important distinction. He’s addressing BYU-Hawaii students (and the world) in a broadcast devotional. He’s not just publishing an article on his own claiming to represent the church and that’s an important distinction. He is representing the church when he’s invited to share his thoughts in a devotional like this. He may not be an ordained church leader, but he’s given this platform to represent the church. Here his words do represent the church unless the University or other church leaders state otherwise.
While describing Satan, Brother Hatch has actually described the church. The Mormon church does like to present a new gospel to each new generation. This way they can hide all the hate speech, racism, and offensive preaching spoken by past prophets to prior generations. Mormon doctrine even teaches us to ignore any past prophets in favor of current leaders. They have swept things under the rug for decades and centuries. The trouble they are now facing being that the dominant narrative of the church is simply not true, and not sustainable. They are working on changing this narrative before our very eyes! They are continually coming up with new renditions of Jesus! Church leaders are struggling to also come up with new renditions of Joseph Smith and church history that is palatable but also true. Previous renditions of church history was perhaps more palatable but sadly, not at all true. They seem to be behaving exactly as the Great Deceiver he references here!
Brother Hatch rails on about different renditions of Jesus, but this is also exactly what he himself is doing! Brother Hatch “knows exactly which rendition of Jesus is pertinent” to his own personal cause. He will point fingers at others for interpreting Jesus and his teachings in a way that he doesn’t agree with. He claims that his Jesus is true, and other Jesus’ interpretations are false. Which is also on par with what the church does. Mormons claim to be mainstream Christians, so they don’t look so weird, but they also claim to be the only true version of the Gospel. The only church with God’s authority, so it must follow that all other churches are not true.
According to Brother Hatch, Satan is trying to destroy the Mormon church. However, the Mormon church is doing an amazing job of destroying itself! It’s doing this by illegally managing its $200 billion investments. They’ve settled with the SEC with a 5 million dollar fine. But the leadership continues to lie to the members and the world. They are trying to hide their money from members, the world, and specifically the government.
What does his rhetoric teach? How does this compare to the recent message from the General Conference where President Nelson said “I am greatly concerned that so many people seem to believe that it is completely acceptable to condemn, malign and vilify anyone who does not agree with them.” Forget, if you can, how hypocritical Nelson’s message is following his talk condemning and vilifying the “lazy learners” and “lax disciples” which he disagrees with, but the devotional from Brother Hatch is not in line with the peacemaking stance Nelson is setting in the church this week. The message here closer reflects the fear-based teachings the church has used for centuries to tighten the grip on the well-meaning and gullible believing members. How does it feel for you that the church promotes a talk portraying a “socially relevant liberal” rendition of Jesus that would call current church doctrine “about marriage and sexuality” are “offensive enough to be considered a hate crime”?