A Few Administrative Notes

LotsOfEmailsIt seems no matter how hard I try, I am unable to keep up with the private emails asking for additional information from something I’ve shared in one of my posts, particularly those that deal with doctrine and private religious practices such as the True Order of Prayer in the home.  I still have about 35 unanswered emails from April. I apologize to those who are waiting for answers and thank you for your patience. I truly appreciate those who read my blog and take the time to write privately.

Get-Together in LA Area

I am filled with gratitude this morning. It’s 4am as I write this. I can’t sleep because of all the things I’m pondering. A few regular blog readers and contributors got together for dinner last night to discuss current events in the LDS blogging community. We chatted about the apparent ongoing rash of excommunications for those who write about Denver Snuffer. We discussed mutual experiences with private religious practices such as being born of the spirit, conversing with the Lord through the veil and the difficulties of blogging or contributing to an LDS blog.

Continued Growth of Latter-day Commentary

I continue to be amazed at the number of subscribers listed in the upper left of this blog. It keeps going up and up, sometimes by dozens per day. I’m not doing anything to promote the blog. I read and comment on very few other blogs – only those that deal with similar subject matter – coming unto Christ, being Born of the Spirit, Conversing with the Lord through the veil and being instructed by angels. In other words, stuff that the LDS Church says you should keep private and never talk about. Here’s a simple test: How would you respond if someone got up in Testimony meeting and said they had been visited by an angel, or by the Savior? They did not share what they were taught, only that they had received visitors from the spirit world.

Online  Community Seeking the Savior

That’s the kind of stuff we talk about on this blog. That’s what I write about, that’s what the readers share in the comments, and that’s the primary subject of the majority of the private emails I receive. They usually start out like this: “Brother Malone, you don’t know me but I felt impressed to write and share this with you…” and then they proceed to share some of the most uplifting and faith-promoting experiences having to do with dreams, visions, healings, temple manifestations, visits from the spirit world and sacred prayers in which they were instructed by angels or had words given to them by the Holy Ghost. They are simply delightful. Some have been labeled kooks by their ward members. Some have been excommunicated for sharing.

Moroni 7:37 Has Come to Pass

I suppose that’s one thing we all have in common. Of those who met last night, over half were no longer members of the church, one having been excommunicated within the last few weeks. He has yet to receive a valid answer from his priesthood leaders as to what exactly he did wrong. He keeps asking for an explanation of what doctrines he taught that were offensive so that he can repent. No answer. Yes, I know I’m only reporting one side of this, but it’s similar to dialogs I’ve had with other readers. Why is this church so hell-bent on casting out some of the most faith-filled and spiritual members of the faith just because they write they have been visited by the Lord, by angels, or they read works published by others who have been?

Not OK to Talk About Spiritual Experiences

Apparently it’s taboo to talk about your spiritual experiences in this church anymore. It didn’t used to be. It’s OK to talk about the approved or correlated experiences of early leaders of this church. We’ve become a church that celebrates the revelations of our founders, claims to encourage personal revelation, but discourages the sharing of such experiences. “Not appropriate,” they say. “Not correlated by the Brethren,” another will say. “You must be lying,” the most direct will say. It puzzles me. The old adage rears it’s ugly head again and again: “Those who have, don’t talk about it. Those who haven’t, do.” That’s false doctrine. If you have a visit with the Lord and ask permission to share it, or he tells you to share it, then by all means, do so.

We Have Become a Church of PC and Fear

This church has become a church of fear – members afraid of being disciplined for talking about charismatic or spiritual experiences. No, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s simply not politically correct to mention being visited by angels or hearing the voice of the Lord. “Why, that’s limited to the Brethren only,” you’ll hear. I know I do. “You can’t say that. Only the General Authorities have the right to share such things,” is another common saying. Look people, we who have been to the spirit world or have had visitors from the spirit world come to us, know such events are sacred. We understand they are intended for our own edification and instruction, but occasionally someone comes along who says the message they received was important enough the Lord asked them to share it with others – not by way of commandment but to edify and uplift.

Systematically Squelching the Spirit

And that’s where we seem to get into trouble. It’s the old Hyrum Page seer-stone incident all over again. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say most bishops and stake presidents don’t know how to handle if someone were to get up and share they had received communication from the spirit world that was powerful, sacred and blessed their lives. In their enthusiasm or naivety, some new to the exciting experience of receiving revelation may want to share it with everyone they meet or from the pulpit in Testimony meeting. What do our Priesthood leaders do? They take them aside afterwards and say, “That’s simply not appropriate to share in Testimony meeting. I also don’t want to hear you’ve been sharing that privately with other members.”

Priesthood Directive – Don’t Share Revelation

That’s a real conversation. Don’t shake your head in disbelief. Yes, it really happens and is considered the responsibility of our priesthood leaders to make sure they “nip in the bud” any such occurrences before they “get out of hand.” If necessary, they warn the offending members they will be subject to disciplinary action if they don’t tone it down or learn to keep such things to themselves. Here we work so hard to get new converts, teach them they can get revelation and then chastise them when they feel led by the Holy Spirit to share spiritual experiences with others. Their only desire is to convey joy and excitement at what they have learned as well as to testify, as did Joseph Smith, that God answers our prayers in this modern day and age.

TestimonyGloveThe All-Encompassing Testimony Glove

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is apparently only one acceptable type of revelation you are “allowed” to share in this church and it must fit neatly into the testimony glove – 1) God lives, 2) Jesus is the Christ 3) The Book of Mormon is scripture, 4) Joseph was a prophet and 5) President Monson is a prophet. You may also substitute “The Church is true” for the last one or to encompass all five. Anything beyond those five items will make the Bishopric squirm and call you in for needed counsel and correction. You may think I’m kidding. I’m not. We need the enthusiasm of new converts who are not afraid to speak out about their relationship with the Savior. We need their new blood, their new life and their excitement in this church.

LDS Bloggers Now Being Excommunicated

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. I’ve preached this sermon at least a dozen times over the years here on Latter-day Commentary. It pains me to do so. I only see the problem getting worse. Some say it’s inadvertent, that the leaders don’t intend to cause new members or even old members feel uncomfortable when they step outside the “sharing” boundaries. The worst part of this epidemic sweeping our church is when a normally shy and reticent member finds the courage to tell in a blog of a sacred experience they had with reading the book of someone, member or not, from which they learned more about the spirit of revelation, how it works, how they experimented upon the word, were blessed and received revelation themselves. Yep, members are being excommunicated for even referencing the works of individuals like Denver Snuffer in their blogs now.

Following the Counsel of Elder Ballard

I’ll get off my soapbox. This is one of those posts I can’t link to Facebook because it will upset too many faithful members who are my friends. I’m trying to follow my Bishop’s counsel to keep my ranting and ravings to myself. This is the one subject that gets me riled up to no end. Just like John Dehlin has become a spokesperson for the LDS LGBT community, I have taken it upon myself to speak up for my blogging friends who are being chastised for following the counsel of Elder Ballard in which he admonished us to get involved in the Internet conversations about the church that were and are happening with or without us. So we get involved, share a few thoughts about our own spiritual experiences and get reamed for doing so. Is this any way to run a church? I’m not critical of the Brethren. I’m pointing out a deficiency in getting the directions to the local leaders.

Tim’s Up On His Gospel Hobby Horse Again

I’m done. I just gave up an hour of sleep because the Lord woke me and told me to write this. Now that’s an audacious claim all by itself, but it’s true. I have learned I can’t ignore these promptings any more, even when they come at inconvenient times in the wee hours of the morning. It has not been my desire to upset you. It has not been my desire to cause you to be offended. I’m fairly certain by now most people are aware of this problem, but then I’m always surprised by the blank stares if I bring this up to my TBM friends. They don’t see a problem. Perhaps I’m trying to steady the ark that doesn’t need steadying. I’m not trying to tell the Brethren what to do. I have full confidence in their abilities to lead this church. I love and sustain them. I’m sure they are aware of this problem. I pray for them. I am certain they are working to address this as best they know how.

Comments Open and Welcome

God bless. Feel free to leave me a comment telling me I’m off my rocker or I’ve understated the problem. Comments open.

49 thoughts on “A Few Administrative Notes”

  1. HOLY SMOKE, Tim! How did you find time to write all that?!

    What a marvelous, insightful summation of the situation (and problem) facing the Latter-day Saints! I am simply astonished and gratified that SOMEONE would speak up! You are so naturally “meek and lowly” (it seems), but there’s a LION in there! A powerful voice for truth and righteousness!

    Thank you for sharing your fervent, valiant testimony. You are a strength to many, an example to all, and a friend to a lucky few.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    I am a convert and I’ve been in many other religions before I was baptized in 1986….I believe the Bible and the BOM are the word of God. Part of the reason I didn’t believe in the Catholic church any more was that it had become RIgid and frozen in its testimony…no new light and I’m afraid that’s happening with my dear LDS church…excommunicating persons of Faith and Love and hope and Trust in Christ!!
    This Church is Doomed if it continues on this path…This church no longer lives the Gospel of Christ. I asked a member last week at church if Christ were to show up unannounced, dressed poorly, and speak up against some of these things, would he be listened to or cast out!?…she replied..You have a good point there.
    I expect I may be excommunicated for posting this!! Hah!
    Joseph Smith must be rolling over in his grave…or laughing at the mess the modern LDS church has become!

    1. the church is true or it isn’t If it isn’t then get the heck away from it ! If it is then stop looking for every little thing you can complain about If its Christs church He will Handle it ! Tim it seems sometimes your trying to be a Denver wana be .
      I believe 100% in the visiting of Angels and of the Second Comforter but it also seems to me that so many on these blogs are not willing or able to do what is needed to receive such Heavenly blessings .

      1. Rick…you obviously are blinded by what’s going on. Why do you believe what you believe? You miss the point and it’s obvious you can’t take criticism…get the heck out of Dodge!!? What right do you have to tell anyone to leave the Church?? You’re NOT my God! I’m not telling you what to do or not do.

      2. Perhaps you miss the point, many on this blog are on the receiving end of MANY of these Spiritual BLESSINGS and many more spiritual Blessings not mentioned here. The point is….that the Brethren DO NOT WANT NEWS OF THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS SHARED WITH THE MEMBERS…keep it quiet!!! Shhhh! If Joseph Smith appears to you with…A Message for others AND YOURSELF….it’s NOT TRUE CAUSE IT HAS TO COME THRU THE PROPHET AND HIS COUNSELORS ONLY! Baloney! I’d love to hear TRUE REVELATION on the Word of Wisdom which is not FOLLOWED BY MOST of the LDS MEMBERS OR LEADERS because of Church business interests OR BECAUSE of gluttony. I’d love to hear some of their NEW REVELATIONS…Let the True Prophets come forth in these, the LAST DAYS!!

      3. Hi Rick. Thanks for leaving your comment. It deserves a response. Thank you for your invitation and providing the opportunity to share my feelings about a sacred subject to me – the pursuit of opening the heavens through faith and conversing with the Lord through the veil.

        I’m going to skip your first line and leave it to others to respond if they desire. The idea of a church being true deserves a much longer response than I care to make. Perhaps someone else can define truth as it pertains to the LDS Church. “…true or isn’t” is way too simplistic for me.

        I would like to respond to your second point in which you advise me to “stop looking for every little thing you can complain about…” I’ll not ask how long you have been reading my blog. I’ll not ask if you have read my testimony about how much I love this church and the people in it.

        I will ask your help in pointing out where I have apparently failed in my communications. It appears my writing style comes across as offensive or of a complaining nature. I apologize. It was not my intention to offend or criticize. I’m more interested in open dialog, specifically between intelligent adults who recognize the value of discussion that edifies and uplifts.

        Your point that Christ will handle “every little thing” when it comes to persecution of those who seek to open the heavens and share their experiences seems a little naïve. Tell me more of your experiences in this area. I have shared a few of mine in this post. Apparently they came across with too much passion, enough to cause you to judge me and my motives as being insincere.

        When good men are excommunicated for claiming to have parted the veil or for confessing they read the writings of those who have parted the veil, then there is obviously something terribly wrong with the church. Either the local priesthood leaders or the General Authorities are taking offense that a mere member could possibly commune with angels or be ministered to by Christ.

        You say Christ will handle it. OK. I’ll accept that. As I have spoken with the Savior about what is going on he has asked me to speak up and make it known that what is happening to these men is not pleasing to him. Yes, Rick, I am saying I have spoken with the Lord about these men who have been excommunicated for reading and recommending others read Denver Snuffer’s books.

        I’d also like to respond to your point made in these words “Tim it seems sometimes your trying to be a Denver wana be .” I confess I have great admiration for Denver Snuffer. The man has courage. I appreciate his example in standing up to men in this church who abuse authority, in spite of the positions of leadership which we, the church, have given them by common consent.

        As far as me trying to be a Denver wannabe, you are welcome to your opinion. I will confess to have read, studied, prayed about, fasted about and gone to the Temple pondering just about everything Denver has written, spoken or shared in a public format. Why have I done this? It’s called due diligence. It’s the intelligent man’s way of making a decision – study it out first.

        Tell me how much time you have spent studying the words or writings of Denver Snuffer. Have you fasted and prayed about his messages? Have you asked the Lord, in the true order of prayer, to reveal to you if Denver Snuffer is a prophet or if he is a deceiver? Oh, I’m sorry, have you been endowed? I don’t know you so don’t know if you are familiar with the true order of prayer.

        You have apparently put my blog in a class with others. Please help me understand. Name a few of them. Specifically, you wrote, “seems to me that so many on these blogs are not willing or able to do what is needed to receive such Heavenly blessings .” Define “these blogs” for me. Do you mean the blogs of others who are seeking knowledge from heaven to commune with God?

        Please teach me. You write that people with blogs like mine are, “not willing or able to do what is needed to receive such Heavenly blessings .” To what are you specifically referring? What is it that is needed? What exactly is it I am “not willing or able to do” to receive desired Heavenly blessings? To which specific Heavenly blessing do you refer – the physical embrace with Christ?

        Again, please teach me. Your words cause me to think that perhaps you have experienced this for yourself. I would like to know more. I’m being as serious as I know how. I am not mocking you. I am asking in all sincerity. As God is my witness, I want to know and your words imply that you know. Call me: 818-257-0513. Email me: tmalonemcse@gmail.com. Or leave a public comment.

        But Rick, please don’t castigate me or my friends because we are being excommunicated from a church that no longer welcomes us. Please don’t imply you are knowledgeable in such things as having received the Second Comforter unless you can give me step by step instructions on how to have the Savior seal me up to eternal life and make my calling and election sure for eternity.

        God bless you, Rick. I want to be your friend, but you make it hard when you insult me and my friends. This is serious business. We are serious about coming into the presence of the Lord. We do not take kindly to being mocked. We take enough crap from members of the church who have no clue what it means to be born again, to receive Christ in the flesh or introduced to the Father.

        Again, please forgive my passion. I have given you an open invitation to teach me. Prove to me that you care and were not just trolling. Prove to me that you are a compassionate human being who wants to help a fellow High Priest who has spent a lifetime serving the Lord in the Church and in the temple and now desires the higher blessings of the priesthood as promised in scripture.

        Please call me anytime. I’ve given you my private cell phone number. I want to hear more from you about what I must do to open the heavens. Just shoot me a text before you do. God bless.

  3. Thank you for writing this, Tim. I appreciate your courage and honesty. I have had my own brushes with Church discipline over similar issues…

  4. Tim,
    I understand your feelings about the brethren. But, I find myself starting to worry.
    I’ve been asked to sustain them as Prophets, Seers and Revelators, just like Joseph, Nephi, Moroni, and Enoch?? Wait a minute, no, I don’t think anyone who stops and thinks for more than 60 seconds believes that! So what am I doing? Has any of claimed themselves to be? Has any of them shown any evidence of being? Has any of them said, Thus Saith The Lord? The evidence we do have you just laid out! What, local leadership all over the country just all of a sudden, on their own, decided sharing these experiences is a problem? Like most things in an organization of this size, it starts from the top, down! Whether intentional or not. It’s their dispensation, it’s their stewardship, and it’s on their heads! And it literally breaks my heart!
    Some of the best human beings to ever live on this earth are being drowned with 50 years of milk consumption, we’ve become spiritually brain dead from boredom and manuals as a people. But the masses are not going to believe you and me! It must come from the leaders or, it truly will be just a VERY few humble followers of Christ who survive what’s coming. And it’s coming, look at history, when the Lords people get to the point where the return on His investment falters, He lowers the boom in hopes of waking up those He loves. Do I know where to go from here? No. But for 6 years I have been teaching the “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Restored by The Prophet Joseph Smith” the gifts of the spirit and personal revelation in my ward callings and I will continue. And NO, I’m NOT using the manuals as requested. So for now, we all make whatever impact we can in our own sphere of influence until otherwise directed, by The Lord!

  5. How would you respond if someone got up in Testimony meeting and said they had been visited by an angel, or by the Savior?

    Wow Tim, ( is there some kind of “West coast” vs “East coast” disconnect?) I have read a lot of blogs with this “theme” of possible suppression of “testimonies” or rather “editing” testimonies so that they would be “PC”. So far I have only attended one ward, and I am a recent convert, but I have not seen that type of behavior at least in my ward or stake overall.
    One testimony Sunday, a brother bore his testimony about an angelic experience while he was recovering from a recent serious illness. I don’t know if anyone knew he had been sick, but he was out for a long time. So I can say that in our ward, we sometimes “forget” to check on our brethern. He had been really sick, and was admitted to the hospital. He was in a coma. He said that while he was in a coma, he was praying for his family, and he felt a strong presence in his room. He said that the presence identified himself as an “angel” and he was there to comfort him and let him know that he was not going to die. He said the angel shared a few other things with him that were personal. He was so happy and I was happy for him. Afterwards quite a few people came up to shake his hand and hug him. There were some people who spoke negatively behind his back too. In our ward there is a “tossed salad” diversity and you never know what people are going to say at the pulpit. My husband has been assisted by the Holy Spirit and I would even say by an “angelic presence” quite a few times and in recent history.He has borne his testimony about it and most people are really blessed that he shared it. He is a truck driver, and I joke that God has to assign at least two angels to ride shot gun and one in the cab. What I believe for my self when it comes to bearing my testimony, whether on Testimony Sunday or everyday, is to thine own self be true. The Savior noted three behavior patterns we humans tend to line up behind:Hot, Cold or Lukewarm ( which I feel are hypocritic tendancies) and Jesus reflects that he would rather us either be hot or cold, because he will spit out the luke warm.
    Tim I really appreaciate you and this blog. Thank you

    1. Hi Ramona. Loved your comments about the brother in your ward who bore testimony of the assistance of angels to comfort and help him heal. Awesome! To answer your question, I don’t think what I described is an East-Coast / West-Coast sort of thing. It’s more of a “what kind of Bishop and Stake President do you have?” sort of thing.

      Some priesthood leaders, including general Authorities and Apostles, have never experienced and are not comfortable with members telling of visits from angels, and ESPECIALLY of a visit from the Savior. It’s almost as if they are jealous of the members in their congregation.

      We call it unrighteous dominion. It’s well-documented in the church on the Internet in certain sites by those who have suffered it. I won’t point to them. I’d rather read about the kind of things you just shared here. Thank you for making my day. God bless.

      1. Tim! Please keep posting your insights and your thoughts and revelations! You make my day! And my week! Thanks again.

      2. Yet Another John

        I’d like a source for your second paragraph conjecture. I submit we really don’t know how commom these types of experiences are and whether or not the person(s) so blessed have been enjoined from sharing them. Even the Savior on occasion said to go ‘and tell no man.’ when he had performed a healing.
        For what it’s worth, I don’t find your blog offensive or worrying, but I do think you are getting just a little bit of an attitude! It’s almost as if you
        feel it’s your turn to be the excommunication or ‘martryr’ of the month.
        Why don’t you just step back for a while, take a breath, go on a vacation, don’t check the blogs for a month or two, etc. and see how you feel? If you still feel the same, then have at it. I’m not trying to change your mind, it’s just that after reading your blog over the years and months that you are almost railroading yourself into an untenable position: i.e., I support my leaders, BUT, they’re wrong.

      3. For Yet Another John: The blog vacation things sounds good. I’ve got three more points to make, then I’ll follow your good advice to back off and let life take it’s course. If I can make them in one post, I’ll see if I can’t get it together this evening (Mon, Cinco de Mayo), otherwise it will be out in three different posts starting tomorrow. It all depends on how much the inspiration flows. Sorry about the attitude thing. I just want to be prepared with what to say when someone, especially a priesthood leader asks me – “Tim, why are you doing this?” I want to be able to reassure them “It has nothing to do with local leadership. In fact, it really has nothing to do with SLC leadership. It’s just the way things have evolved in the church over the years.” Cheers and God bless.

    2. marginalizedmormon

      I like that; ‘tossed salad’–

      we have both extremes in our ward, too–

      the really humble and accepting and the proud and rejecting–

      and we’re east of the Mississippi.

      I don’t know if it is from the SP or from regional authorities, but every talk is on a general authority talk, and many of the lessons are on general authority talks.

      We are a mixed bunch here. Very much ‘tossed salad’.

      Thank you–

      I do believe it is very much a personal thing as to what a person shares about what experiences he or she has had with Diety (sp?) I have felt impressed when to share and when not to.

  6. I’ve been thinking about what “steadying the ark” means because I recently had to forcibly object to policies imposed by our district president, and I was a bit worried what the reaction would be when I brought up the issues. I wondered what my response should be if someone accused me of it. So as GD teacher and it being an Old Testament year, I thought of several counter examples from Moses’ life:

    1. Moses’ father-in-law (and priesthood inferior) takes him to task for poor and inefficient management policies. Moses takes Jethro’s advice without complaint and things work out great.

    2. Joshua complains to Moses about people prophesying in the camp, and Moses tells him to get over it–others are allowed to prophesy besides just The Prophet.

    3. Zelophehad’s daughters recognize that some of the inheritance laws are unjust, and they bring the matter to Moses’ attention. Moses considers the law, agrees with them, and makes some appropriate changes.

    4. Moses controls the outcome of a battle by holding up his arms. However, he is physically unable to hold them up by himself. Two people “steady” his arms by holding them up for him.

    Those are just four examples of people correcting, imposing on the supposed calling of, or “steadying” a priesthood leader–even one who was clearly conversing with the Lord Himself and was endowed with power from on high, and IT WAS OKAY FOR THEM TO DO SO.

    So why was Uzziah struck down for steadying the ark? It’s obvious to me that the ark cannot be symbolic of priesthood leadership or administration. I’m not sure I have a good answer for what it could refer to, although I suspect that steadying the ark is more akin to thinking you can forcibly propel the stone cut out without hands than to speaking up (gently and discreetly, whenever possible) about something that might be going wrong in the church.

    1. I agree. If the similarities between these events and steadying the ark were more important than the differences, ultimately we would have seen God handle them more or less the same. He didn’t. He handled them differently, which would point to the differences being more crucial to God.

      On one hand, He struck a man dead for his actions. On the other, God didn’t punish anyone for correcting Moses, and maintained His revelatory relationship with Moses uninterrupted as Moses took correction and counsel from those “below” him. This seems rather like endorsement from heaven. Of course when incorrect counsel came to Moses from Joshua, Moses merely corrected him, rather than excommunicate him. Meek indeed.

      It seems we have a God more interested in truth and righteousness than authority. What if authority (“as they suppose” – D&C 121) is given to man not as a traditional blessing, but as a great temptation? What if the real blessing hidden in authority is the opportunity it grants us, to learn to overcome its seductive whisperings of power and dominion when saddled with it?

      1. Honestly, for the last 8 years I was putting ALL the blame on the members. I figured we were so wrapped up in Babylon we didn’t care to hear about things of the spirit, so the brethren just gave us what we wanted, anecdotes and cute stories about growing up on the farm, at the cabin, making pickles, canning peaches and such.
        But now, that makes no sense to me. What prophet in the scriptures can you point to that let the Lords people fall into this condition without rebuke? Who didn’t put everything on HOLD, go out amongst them, testifying and calling to repentance?

      2. Jacob 4:14
        14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.

      3. Isaiah 30
        8 ¶Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

        9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

        10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

        11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

        12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

        13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

        I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine if Isaiah was speaking solely of the people and the prophets, seers, and revelators of his day.

      4. If Isaiah wasn’t talking about our day, Nephi was:
        2 Nephi 27:5 For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.

      5. Yes, but in context, one may plausibly claim Nephi was speaking of the time before the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

        1. Yes. Or it could apply to the condition of the modern day LDS church before the coming forth of the Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon.

      6. I forgot a relevant quotation.

        Amos 8
        1 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

        2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

        3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

        4 ¶Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

        5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

        6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

        7 The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

        8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

        9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

        10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

        11 ¶Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

        12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

        13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

        It surely seems that when the people are so wrapped up in the things of Babylon, they don’t care to hear the things of the Spirit. And are not many wandering, seeking the word of the Lord, and not finding it?

    2. Yet Another John

      Another example might be Korah and his buddies trying to counsel Moses. Of course, Moses and the Lord weren’t to amenable to their request (Numbers 16), so maybe that’s not a good example to fit with those you mentioned.

  7. marginalizedmormon

    I didn’t think anyone needed to hear from me again, but I thank you for this essay, blogowner, Tim.

    I have been driven from my sleep and comfy bed to write things to people (not ever a blog or on a blog, just things the Lord said I needed to say)

    Well written.

    I, too, am feeling somewhat ‘fearful’ about the things I say on blogs, because as my better half says, though he claims not to be afraid about it, our ISP is very visible–
    and he thinks the STMC has long arms.


    We could probably easily be identified, and I have felt impressed not to be as brave as some and not use my real name.

    But I have an odd thing to say. Or ask. How can a person be honest about the leaders of this church and not appear to be cynical or disrespectful?

    I do not know any of those men. There are some I genuinely like–and I have absolutely no quarrel with most of them, though some have said a thing here or there that has been disturbing to me. Just to me, perhaps. I don’t think there was ill intent. I have a POWERFUL need and desire simply to leave them alone, even those I think are really great men. They have their stewardships; I have mine.

    I used to know some general authorities, oh, so many years ago. I came from a family that once had some association with a few of them, by virtue of church callings. But all that ended long ago, as the church exploded in membership.

    Long gone. All those leaders in my family are long gone. I had a family member who had a very high leadership position; we used to think he would be a general authority, because he was so very diligent–he used to eat with one of the prophets, regularly, because of his calling. He is now living in utmost simplicity (verging on poverty) and has no regular ‘calling’, though I think he is no less sterling for it; in fact, he may be more refined now. And much more approachable.

    I just want to make sure that there is someone out there who can witness that my not being able to say, “I ‘love’ the brethren” doesn’t mean I want to interfere with them. I can’t love someone I don’t know. I just can’t. And I can’t say the words. I don’t love them. I am impressed that there are those who do, and I think it’s fine when a person can say, “I love those men”. But I can’t, and I don’t.

    Thanks for letting me get this out. IF I knew any of them, it might be different. There are other people in the world who inspire me, not LDS, and just because I think they may have good things to say doesn’t mean I “love” them either. Thank you.

  8. marginalizedmormon

    and how on earth can *I*, a little-known, almost invisible person out in the middle of nowhere who will probably never go to Utah again in this lifetime–
    who has no power, very little means, ‘sustain’ someone who has a lot of power (as in being empowered socially) and has much more in terms of material substance than I–

    how can I ‘sustain’ a person who has so much more than I have?

    This causes me some confusion and even consternation. I know that God loves me and needs me to be good and diligent and a wise servant–

    but what do those leaders of the LDS church in Salt Lake need from me? That they don’t already have. I mean; I am not really accountable to them, correct? I am accountable to He who created me.

    Thanks, anyone who reads this.

    I have been confused about sustaining for a very long time.

    And, no, I don’t speak ill of these men. IF one of them says something disturbing in a talk, I tell my husband. Sometimes one of my children. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it on a blog. Not specifically or which person anyway–maybe just that something in a talk made me troubled.

    As for the corporation, oh, my. Corporations are very problematic, wherever they are found. The entire concept goes over my head.

    1. I too have wondered about this bit of sustaining. So far, the old TBM tendency in me has come up with two things;

      1) I sustain them as having been called to a stewardship with keys to perform that stewardship (how well they perform that stewardship is between them and the Lord, same as my own stewardships that I am called to; D&C 121, many are called but few are chosen, etc.)

      2) I can sustain them by doing what I can to help accomplish any of the good things the leaders (whether local or general) are trying to accomplish, in my own life, my family, community, and congregation.

      Oh, and in the last conference, one of the speakers, while not saying anything I thought was wrong or out-of-place, did seem to have a preachy tone that I found offensive. Of course, I was quickly reminded that the reason his tone seemed offensive to me, is because I sometimes (often?) get preachy with the same tone, i.e. Romans 2:1-3.

  9. A couple of comments,
    1) Pillar number 3 of a testimony (The Book of Mormon) includes, or ought to include, all of the spiritual gifts you are talking about, as noted in your reference above to Moroni 7:37 – one of several in the Book of Mormon.

    2) That being said, I keep getting the thought that more important than these wonderful spiritual experiences and visitations and tender mercies (at least for me) is to learn to have true charity and love, as taught by Paul in Corinthians 13 and by Mormon in Moroni 7:44-48. Indeed, the first of Adam’s sons to receive all of these blessings, including to talk with God on a frequent basis, etc. lost it all, when in a fit of greed and jealousy he stopped having true charity for his brother Abel. Indeed, I wonder sometimes, if one of the most important mysteries of God, is the mystery of how through prayer and obedience, God teaches us and changes to have true Christlike charity according to Moroni 7 :48.

  10. Tim,
    Another gem!! So happy you listened in the wee hours and followed the Spirit! The revelation of Joel the Prophet is coming to pass…dreams…visions…revelations from on high…we just need to have the courage to share and honor The Lord! I love your blog and insight… keep up the good work!

  11. Yeah, learning about stuff in church history, changing doctrines, etc. is a lot easier to handle than fear-based efforts to control.

    I think we’ve definitely gone too far with a few mantras. One of my peeves is how people think that searching for mysteries is bad. I searched for “seek” and “mysteries” on lds.org and printed out 9 pages of quotes from the D&C. A lot of members are in ignorance and some church leaders seem to like it that way. Reminds me of the middle ages in too many ways. 🙁

    1. Yep! So true!! For some people, ignorance is bliss. And it’s easier to accept everything they’ve been told, and not to Question the leaders…
      Actually, this could be very scary and lead to severe Spiritual decline amongst the members.

    2. Jarom 1:11

      “Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.”

      I love how it was done then, and could you imagine how different it would be now if we applied to our day “Wherefore the prophets, apostles, SP’s, bishops and teachers did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence teaching them the principles and ordinances of the Gospel, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to make sure their Calling and Election, and believe that The Savior will come to them personally as He has shown Himself to others. And after this manner did they teach them.”

      1. Tim,
        How wonderful that you were able to meet face to face and have a real conversation about these things! I have yet to find someone who believes as I do that I can do that in person. How grateful I am to have the availability of internet/computers and such, that we may enjoy this fellowship if only in spirit!! Thank you for sharing.

  12. sharongreathouse

    It is definitely part of our Mormon culture to defer the most sacred of all experiences to those sustained as prophets, seers and revelators. I have had the opportunity to discuss these things with my brother-in-law who is in the 5th quorum of the 70. He is a highly spiritual man with a deep testimony. He has spent his life dedicated to the Lord and His church. I always enjoy our gospel discussions. Last year we shared our opinions of the book Visions of Glory. I loved reading it, as I love reading all near-death experience books. I always feel uplifted and get a greater sense of how involved people from the spirit world are in our lives and how much the Savior loves us and is aware of us. But brother-in-law’s experience was the opposite. He said that while reading the book he got a horrible feeling. He felt that such marvelous visions would or should only come to the apostles and prophets. Because “Spencer” is an ordinary member he must be deceived in some way to think he had such a vision. Basically, no ordinary member of the church, according to my brother-in-law, will receive such a vision or if he did he would not share it. Only a general authority would be allowed to share such things to the world.
    This year I discussed with my brother-in-law the idea of people seeing the Lord in this life. I was asking him is he thought the members of the 12 have seen the Savior and if they did, why don’t they share their experiences more openly. I believe myself that perceptive people will pick up that they have seen the Lord from comments like what Elder Holland said last year, “I know by the more sure word of prophecy that Jesus is the Christ.” But I have a friend who says she is SURE that all of the members of the quorum of the 12 have NOT seen the Savior because if they did they would be compelled to share their experiences clearly, not just with subtle statements. So what did my brother-in-law think? He has had a lot of personal experience working with the brethren. He says that because of the special personal relationship that the brethren have with the Lord, when they bear testimony it is with greater power. The Holy Ghost carries there words more powerfully into our hearts because they have a true knowledge of the Savior. But, those personal experiences with the Lord are too sacred to share, except a few special experiences have been allowed to go out to the general church membership (such as the experience of Elder Melvin J. Ballard).
    I myself love to hear about people’s spiritual experiences. Recently in Gospel Doctrine, the instructor shared an experience she had that was very sacred. She did baptisms in the temple for some deceased family members. One of them appeared to her and thanked her for doing their temple work and was especially grateful that the work was done before Christmas so that they could attend the “members only” Christmas party in the spirit world. I was enthralled with the story. But there were those in our ward who gossiped about the teacher behind her back because “such spiritual things should not be shared”. How I wish more such spiritual things would be shared because they strengthen my faith?
    It is definitely clear that there is a sort of Stake President, Bishop Potluck that goes on in the church. Meaning that what is acceptable and preached varies by stake and ward. Just last week in stake conference (in a stake that I will be moving to next month), the stake president began his address by quoting D&C 93:1
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
    He said this is the goal that we should all be striving for! Wow! I am excited to move into that stake. I think I won the stake president lottery!
    I am grateful when ordinary members share personal spiritual experiences. It gives me hope! I love it that lowly members are just as important to the Lord as those who hold important offices in the church. We can all receive glorious manifestations from God. We can all be prophets. The Book of Mormon teaches clearly that it OK to have “exceedingly many prophets among us.” (Enos 1:22). Moses said, “would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29) And Revelations 19:10 tells us, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” It seems to me that those sacred experiences can be shared when guided by the Spirit of God.

  13. Both the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem had an inner room called the “Holy of Holies” which had a thick curtain or veil that separated it from the outer room. This inner room was God’s special dwelling place in the midst of his people.

    Once a year the high priest solemnly lifted a corner of this veil to enter the room bringing blood and holy incense. This occurred on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The high priest then passed into the immediate presence of Jehovah.

    But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 9:7)

    * * *

    The tearing of the veil at the moment of Jesus’ death dramatically symbolized that His sacrifice, the shedding of His own blood, was a sufficient atonement for sins.

    [50] Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
    [51] And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

    Matthew 27

    Blood sacrifices from an unspotted firstborn lamb are no longer required. Christ’s sacrifice answers the ends of law unto all who have broken heart and contrite spirit. (See: Psalm 51:17 & 2 Nephi 2:7)

    [19] Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
    [20] By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.

    Hebrews 10

    * * *

    Furthermore, the tearing of the veil upon Jesus’ death laid open the sacred place.

    The veil rent top to bottom gives ample space for all to enter, to approach the throne, receive God’s grace and to commune with Him.

    God’s presence is now accessible to all who humbly seek Him.

  14. You comment illustrates very well the line in the sand that leaders of the church have drawn between themselves and the common members of the church. Personally I believe that nothing is actual doctrine in the church except what is clearly and unambiguously stated in the Standard Works and what is clearly and unambiguously stated by the living President of the church as doctrine established by revelation. Period. The problem in the modern church is that ALMOST NOTHING you hear coming from the GA’s meets this strict criteria. This means that many of the “doctrines” currently being taught are merely restatement after restatement of a previous leaders opinion/insight on a particular topic. I’m not suggesting that what we are hearing is false, but if the idea doesn’t meet the criteria for revelation, then it is subject to change, when a living oracle actually steps forth and presents something as originating by actual REVELATION. Ask your Brother in Law if any parts of his point of view meets this definition. A lot of the difficulty in the modern church stems from the fact that the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 have never officially accepted any standard for determining rock solid gospel doctrines. These days we interpret things way the other direction, assuming (incorrectly) that all words uttered by a GA (and especially THE prophet), come directly from the mouth of God. I don’t believe this for a moment. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young made very clear statements that a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such. I believe that inspiration through the Holy Spirit is sufficient to move the Kingdom along a righteous path, and I believe that that is very active in the church. However, I do not perceive much in the way of direct Revelation happening, and that is necessary when a major change in out perception is necessary. The error the Brethren are making, if it is an error, is being satisfied with inspiration, when actual revelation is both possible and probably necessary. I believe that modern Mormonism has been and continues to move in a very narrow doctrinal channel, in exactly the way that primitive Christianity began to change from the 2nd to 4th centuries which culminated in the Christian Creeds, which Joseph Smith labeled: “the very chains and fetters of hell.” The ONLY thing that will save Mormonism from this bed of Procrustes, is for leadership to wake up to the possibility that what is being taught is merely one plausible version of Mormonism (a very rigid, self-assured, and dogmatic brand by the way), and not the ONLY version that could be taught. So, when a Denver Snuffer or others arises and actually quotes Joseph Smith in regards to the individual being able, on his own, to ascend back into the presence of God in mortality, he is merely dusting off the “other” version of Mormonism, which has largely been left behind. The irony of course is that even the current leadership cannot cast off the clear and unambiguous statements made by Joseph Smith as false, without invalidating the foundations of Mormonism altogether. What leadership in the church has done, and a process that has been occurring for close to 100 years, in my opinion, is to continue to falsify our history and doctrine, not by telling falsehoods, but rather by selecting the evidence, and then ignoring certain unpleasant aspects of history and teachings, hoping that the unpleasant aspects will go away. For example, this is the case with Plural Marriage, where the Brigham Young manual not only had no references that he practiced Polygamy, but actually changed some plural references for his wives to the singular reference wife. This is falsifying by omission, and I believe this practice is rampant. Anyone, particularly a common member, who has the temerity to point out some of the glaring omissions, changes in teachings, and contradictions in Modern Mormonism (aka the “standard” line of Mormonism I mean, not the original Mormonism) is met with disapproval and hostility by leaders who apparently assume that the office “makes the man,” and that a statement of “truth” coming from a GA is somehow more important than a common member. Most common members are right on board with this assumption, and the respect being given GA’s is bordering on idolatry. Personally I love and respect our leadership, but I love Jesus Christ more. I don’t worship leaders, as they are fallible. I try to take direction and follow the Holy Spirit to the best of my ability, and I require ALL instructions coming from the leaders to be in harmony with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit coming to me and suggest to all members that they do the same. This means that I ignore certain directives of the standard party line. I do this deliberately but I do not make any protest or show of it. If I am in error in doing so, it is my responsibility alone. For example, I do not hold Family Home Evening. I don’t regard it as a commandment, because it was never introduced into the church by Revelation, and not even by Inspiration. And yet it is solidly embedded into Modern Mormonism. Still, I don’t fight it either. Same with the Scouting program, and many other aspects of the modern program. Modern leaders need to ask themselves this question, in all seriousness: is the pruning of certain branches in Modern Mormonism and the grafting in of new branches in any substantial way different from the way the ancient Jews grafted on ORAL traditions for hundreds of year onto the Law of Moses? The Oral traditions became so powerful that they were regarded as equal to the words of the Prophets. This comparison I know would be shocking to a Modern Mormon, but I believe it is a valid analogy.

    1. Karl, I think you are spot on…. when you say ” glaring omissions, changes in teachings, and contradictions”….Those changes in teachings are what “did it” for me. I was interested in a link someone posted somewhere from a talk by Ronald Poelman in 1984 fall general conference.


      I thought it was such an awesome talk, that I looked it up on lds.org to print out the text. When I read through it, I was confused, because it wasn’t the same talk. I clicked on the lds.org link to the video, and listened to it. I suspected the text version to have just been edited for the Ensign. No. The video was different too. I went back to the original link I looked at to compare them. And then I cried. And I cried, and I sobbed, and I sobbed some more. My words cannot adequately express the utter betrayal I felt at what I saw as blatant dishonesty and hypocrisy. I was heart sick. Especially considering the things that were talked about in that talk. He spoke about the church being like the vehicle used to get you to the destination, not the destination yourself. It was true doctrine! And it was taken out, watered down, and a wanna-be substitute put in its place.

      I mentioned that to an older family member, who said, “Oh, they’ve been doing that for years!” and went on to give me a couple other examples she could think of. Since then, I’ve had a really hard time taking anything the Church says for other than face value. But that’s a good thing, because it helped me open my eyes. And for that, I am grateful!

      1. Shylohw: Thanks for sharing this. I remember it and I noted the change when it happened. I thought it was strange. Last year I taught a High Priest Group lesson on the exact same subject that Elder Poelman addressed. I was so tempted to bring this up but decided not to do so after consulting with the Lord in prayer.

        I knew what had happened was wrong and some of the brethren in the group knew it was wrong, but my duty as a High Priest is to teach my brethren things that are uplifting and edifying. I follow the correlated material when I teach within the walls of the church.

        I am grateful for the kind and considerate way in which you presented this and shared it on my blog. I have seen others rip the church to shreds because of this documented case of control by the Brethren.

        Here’s the talk from Elder Hallstrom we taught last year on the same subject that Elder Poelman tried to teach eighteen years earlier:


  15. My comment above was directed to sharongreathouse; forgot to address it. Would love to hear some feedback from the rest of you, if you think I am on track in my criticism. Peace.

    1. Loved your comment above, Karl. Wish my (former) bishop and stake president would read it.

    2. sharongreathouse

      One thing my GA brother-in-law approves of is correlation. He mentioned how all the general conference talks are reviewed by a committee and approved or revised before the conference. That keeps all the doctrine given over the pulpit pure. That way we can trust what is said in conference because all false doctrine (as determined by the committee) is weeded out or revised. I have not asked my brother-in-law if he thinks every word at general conference is scripture. I doubt he would go that far? I don’t know. But I do think he trusts a lot in the review process by the committee to assure that what we hear in general conference lines up with standard church doctrines.

  16. Tim
    Just found your blog today Thank you for all your have shared I have met Denver several times, read all his works, listened to most of his public talks, met with him in small groups in private homes and with him in his office and in the Temple. He is a prophet. The leaders of the church have cast him out at their personal peril. We live in a time much like the time when Christ was on the earth in mortality The church has a remnant of authority, very little power, a great deal of pomp and bluster and is led by men who care more about their own well being than they do about the members of the church. Ezekiel 34 refers to our day. He indicts the shepherds and portrays them accurately. WHY do you suppose so many are so restless, seeking, groaning, praying for the Lord to come soon? Why are so many breaking out of the stifling church mold today? The wheat is being sifts from the tares. Thank you for your efforts and for your glad spirit of the Good News. Much love dear brother.

  17. In my current ward I have often shared dreams and visions during fast and testimony meeting. I even shared my meeting with the Savior. Ward members thank me for my comments; but so far, I have not heard a word about it from any leaders. I have no idea what they are thinking. I continually endeavor to find opportunities to witness of Him, speak of Him, and give others hope and faith that they too can be brought into His embrace. I have a wonderful bishop and stake president. I hope this continues. Anyhow, I just wanted to share that there are some parts of the church where faith and tolerance are still to be found.

    I admonish others to be bold, be sincere, stand for the faith, know and testify of the Savior. If you are called in for an interview, don’t let them intimidate you into automatic submission; thank them for their thoughts, then express your desire to ponder, pray, and study the issue, with the desire to meet with them again to let them know what you receive. It’s really hard to automatically respond the way you should when confronted in such a manner. Play the game and ask for an opportunity to collect your thoughts for a proper response.

    I had one experience several years ago where I was called on the mat for prophesying in testimony meeting. I was told that only the top 15 can do that in church. I was stunned. I just humbly submitted. I wish I could have responded better. I should have asked for time to ponder, pray, and search the scriptures on the topic. Lesson learned. Just thought I’d share.

  18. To Mike:

    Brilliant observation and understanding, referencing D&C 121 and the disposition of authority. Out of all the informative conversation on this subject, your thoughtreally hit me hard as a true statement. The key word there in 121is…”as they suppose”. Absolutely astute! Thank you for sharing. We have issues. It will not be resolved from within. I am edified there are so many willing souls that are not “anti” but are waiting for further light and knowledge and actively pursuing. God bless you all.

  19. Tim, when you have a moment can you give a link, or a number, or a list that gives me more of an idea of how big this “apparent ongoing rash of excommunications for those who write about Denver Snuffer” is? I’m aware of a couple that you’ve specifically referenced previously, but I want to know how many have really happened.

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