What to Expect When You’re Excommunicated

WhatToExpectRockWatermanIf you’re drawn to this blog post by the title, I ask you to look past that to the subtitle. It is “The Believing Mormon’s Guide to the Coming Purge.” Although this will be a review of Rock’s book, I hope it will also provide background and detail on why long-time members of the LDS Church would be willing to lay it all on the line in defending an idea that many find shocking.

The idea is this: The LDS Church is in a state of apostasy and has been since before the death of Joseph Smith. The first time I posted about Denver Snuffer, I invited dialog on his teachings. I certainly did receive it – from both sides. One comment in particular stuck with me. I have been pondering it for years, wondering if it represented an accurate summary of Denver’s message.

This is the comment: “Snuffer’s position can be summed up as follows: I was personally visited by Christ who made my calling and election sure, told me I was part of the true church within the dead church, that he would soon call others like me, and it was my job to help with that.” This was from reader “Fred” on 27 April 2012. I wondered what Fred meant by “…the dead church.”

Gentiles Shall Reject the Fullness

Rock’s book answers that specific question. Rock, of course, is Alan Rock Waterman, proprietor of the “Pure Mormonism” blog, a saucy site that dishes out hot servings of LDS Doctrine with a small twist: “…much of what passes for doctrine among my fellow Saints appears to contain ‘the philosophies of men mingled with scripture.’” His writings focus on early restoration doctrine.

Rock examines the warnings of the falling away of the latter-day saints in our day as foretold in the Book of Mormon. Of course, most Mormons scratch their heads and say, “What warnings?” The discussion centers around 3rd Nephi 16:10 where the Lord says, “…when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel…” Just who are the Gentiles?

In the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple (D&C 109:60), Joseph said the “revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.” In other words, the Gentiles the Lord referred to in 3rd Nephi 16:10 are in the LDS Church. I have heard the arguments opposing this idea and remain convinced Joseph had it right. We are the Gentiles.

The Higher Priesthood Was Lost

Of course, the next question to be answered is what is the fullness of the gospel? Regular readers of this blog know we have examined that question in particular. In summary, the fullness is the higher priesthood. It is actually more than that, but “higher priesthood” is a good summary. That includes the idea of entering into the presence of the Lord and receiving the Second Comforter.

When did the LDS Church reject the Higher Priesthood? Joseph taught in D&C 124:28 that the higher priesthood could only be restored in the Nauvoo temple, and urged the saints to complete it as soon as possible. Sadly, the temple was not completed before Joseph’s death. Instead of the promised blessings of verses 40-45, the church received the cursings promised in verses 46-48.

Joseph desired to bring the Saints into the presence of the Lord in the Nauvoo temple, where the Lord promised he would “bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life.” This is the same thing Moses desired to do for the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, but they insisted God speak only to Moses on their behalf, something Enoch and Melchizedek were able to overcome.

Introduction to Rock Waterman

That’s enough background. If you want more, you can read Denver Snuffer’s books and lectures. He certainly has enough of them to help anyone understand what the Lord was trying to bring about through Joseph Smith and which was cut short by his death. The Lord placed the entire church under condemnation. A modern prophet confirmed we are still under that condemnation.

On to Rock’s book. You’ve got to ask yourself why someone would write a book with such a provocative title. Rock tells you why right up front. He was told by his bishop, who said he was speaking on behalf of an unnamed general authority, that Rock must either 1) Quit blogging, 2) Resign from the Church or 3) Face Church disciplinary action in the form of excommunication.

I was immediately interested in reading Rock’s book for three reasons: 1) I have been an avid reader of Rock’s blog for years, 2) I recently met Rock at Sunstone and 3) I have also been told by my Bishop to stop blogging. I have tried to do as my Bishop requested but after a week-long examination of my feelings and beliefs, have decided I would rather do as the Lord has directed.

Not the Same Church of Joseph Smith

I can’t speak for Rock, but my blog has been a journey of discovery. It has been my vehicle for learning and sharing what I have learned. I love to study the gospel and early church history. I found Rock had a common pursuit in his blogging activities so naturally I was drawn to what he was writing. Rock is a talented writer who has an entertaining although somewhat acerbic style.

The book is 160 pages and can be read in a few hours. I took longer because I wanted to digest the content and compare it to what I was experiencing in my blogging activities. This is the story of a life-long Latter-day Saint who has overcome the blind loyalty to the current managers of the Church operating out of Salt Lake City, which is NOT the same church restored through Joseph.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. If you are convinced the Church today has not changed from the time it was restored, you will not appreciate this book. If, on the other hand, you have seen in your lifetime, as I have, evidences that the Church has become more and more corporate in nature, managed by professionals, then you will find the book helpful in facing the inevitable.

Correlation got Caught by the Internet

Am I suggesting there will be a mass exodus of Latter-day Saints from the Church? It is already happening and has been happening for many years. It started when the Internet became popular. Stories that were once suppressed were being shared in online forums and email reading groups. Today, social media is ablaze with groups dedicated to the sharing of the history of this Church.

The Brethren have made it clear they are concerned about the losses among our Internet-savvy young people, especially returned missionaries, where the losses are said to be as much as fifty percent. Many of these young people are not just going inactive, but are actively resigning from the church, even staging mass-resignation days and sharing form letters online to make the exit.

Why are they doing this? The answer lies in Rock’s book. Remember I asked at the beginning of this post to focus on the subtitle: “The Believing Mormon’s Guide to the Coming Purge.” That’s the key. These young people grew up being taught the “correlated” gospel, went on missions, got married in the temple and then found out surprising things about Church history on the Internet.

Listen to the Prophets but Follow the Lord

Rock is a believing Mormon. I am also. The problem is we apparently believe too much. We believe in things the Church has now abandoned, such as the importance of seeking an audience with the Lord in this mortal lifetime and not resting until it is received. Joseph taught this clearly as being of utmost importance. Today, this doctrine is not found in the LDS Church curriculum.

Instead, we are taught the most important thing you can do as a latter-day saint is to “follow the prophet.” Now, in and of itself, the phrase seems innocuous. The problem is that the phrase is false doctrine. You cannot find it in the scriptures. Or sure, you can find injunctions from the Lord declaring “whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

What the Lord said was “Come, follow me.” We are to listen to the prophets, consider their words carefully and then pray about them in order to know the truth of their words for ourselves. But that’s not what we teach our Primary children. We teach them the prophet can never go astray. That is simply not true and the Lord never said it, although Wilford Woodruff did.

There is Room for Everyone in This Church

Rock examines these and other examples of how the Church has changed from one led by a prophet declaring the word of the Lord by revelation recorded in the presence of others to a church that only responds to important doctrinal questions through corporate PR staff. He shares the recent case in point of how the church handled the Kate Kelly excommunication debacle.

One case that has come to light in recent years if that of the resignation of the daughter of Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen, a recently deceased emeritus General Authority of the Church who became famous for his direct involvement in the excommunication of one member of the September Six. As it is contrary to scripture, General Authorities should not be involved in disciplinary actions.

Rock even mentioned my case (on page 106) in which I have been feeling the heat from local leaders for my blog writings about “Maverick Mormons” such as Brent Larsen, Will Carter, Denver Snuffer, Rock, Mel Fish and others. My heart goes out to these individuals who I have met, interviewed and shared their stories. Each is accused of or has been cast off for apostasy.

Get Ready for the Coming Purge

Rock concludes his work with detailed advice on how to prepare for a disciplinary council. Although I have serious questions about the guidance of the church today, I will not resign. Rock has stated the same. Why should we? We believe in the original revelations and in the mission of Joseph Smith. We know the Book of Mormon is scripture and the word of God.

Rock steps you through the process of what to expect from a Bishop’s council to a Stake level council. They are similar but with key differences. Having participated in both for many years, I can tell you he has it fairly accurate. Rock supplies scriptures that dictate how such councils should be held, but of course, the Church Handbook of Instructions supersedes the scriptures.

I highly endorse this book. I give it five stars out of five. I found only two typos, not bad for a self-published work put together in just a few short months. I’ve already given my reasons above why you might not like it. I recommend you read it anyway. Try to put aside anger you might feel about the sharp presentation. If you have an open mind, you’ll find the book enjoyable.

95 thoughts on “What to Expect When You’re Excommunicated”

  1. The hardest part Tim will be looking into the faces of friends holding the stones and the worst yet those who are holding the coats. GOD bless you for your courage in defending TRUTH. Rock’s book is timely and relevant. Love, Peace…

  2. Tim, you should know better than this, but you have convinced yourself by degrees that the Church leaders have erred, have not sought wisdom, have sinned, but have not repented, have not humbled themselves that they might be made strong and blessed from on high and receive knowlege from time to time.

    Do you think you are justified in this rebellion, but Cain was cursed for looking on his drunken father’s nakedness? The Lord has determined a consumption in all the land, and the scorners and all those that watch for iniquity shall be consumed, but do you think his servants, who are laboring to build up the kingdom of God on earth and establish Zion, are the scorners? Are they watching for iniquity? Are they making you guys offenders for a word? Are they laying a snare for you? Are they turning aside the just for a thing of naught?

    You will answer for yourself, but, for someone who seeks to be so enlightened and guided by the Spirit of God, you don’t seem to understand the scriptures very well, or else you would be able to discern the difference between the Gentiles who are numbered with the house of Israel, through acceptance of the fullness of the gospel, and those who have hardened their hearts against it.

    The Lord promised the Gentiles that, if they would not harden their hearts he would establish his church among them in these last days and he has done so, and he has declared that its message shall go forth to all the earth and no one shall escape hearing it, and it shall go forth unto the fulfilling of the scriptures and no unhallowed hand shall stop it, because it is the great and marvelous work that Jesus said the Father would work for his sake.

    But you say it is bogus and its leaders misguided? You are so mistaken my friend, so mistaken. If all those misguided souls Rock asserts are about to be cut off, are cut off, it won’t be because the knowledge on the Internet enlightened them. It will be because it deceived them.

    1. Dear dbundy, Thank you for your kind and gentle loving words to your fellow man kind. You have blessed us this day. As you are without sin as you have declared with stones ,please share with me how I may acquire your righteous judgement. And fall in line. Peace ,,David Park..

    2. I think Brother Tim’s attitude is much more enlightening than dBundy’s. The problem for dBundy is he assumes the promises to the Gentiles is all past tense. If dBundy would read the scriptures with a future tense in mind he might have more understanding if his acquires some humility.

    3. Doug (for those who want to know Doug better, visit his website here: http://voicesfromthedust.org), You’ve been leaving comments for nearly a year but I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to reply in detail. For that I apologize. Your thoughtful, kind words this morning moved me with compassion. I pondered them most of the day. I would like to share a few thoughts in reply, hopefully in a reciprocal spirit of love.

      I think what caused me to want to respond the most is your use of the word rebellion. You see, that word and I have a special relationship that goes way back. I won’t bore you with the story. Anybody who has read my blog over the years will have caught bits and pieces of it as I wrote about the sore repentance of my youth. In short, the Lord made it clear to me I had a spirit of rebellion with me when I was a youngster.

      My rebellion was in not listening or rather not hearkening to the voice of the Lord as He called me in my youth. And call He did, incessantly. I kept replying I knew better, that I knew what I was doing, that this was my life and similar selfish responses. One day, the Lord showed me my life was in his hands. He allowed me to see the presence of evil spirits around me and hear their voices. It scared the crap out of me.

      Since that day, I have sworn to the Lord I would do whatever He asked of me, no matter the consequences, no matter how much it seemed to be contrary to the established way of doing things, in or out of the church. In return, the Lord shared some revelatory experiences that amaze me to this day. I have shared some of them on this blog.

      I prepared for my mission, was endowed, served with all my heart, received an education, married in the temple and began a delightful journey of loving a wife, raising a son, advancing in a career that the Lord managed for me and serving as asked in Church. I did not ask to serve in teaching or leadership positions, but tried to learn from the callings what the Lord wanted me to learn. I hope I learned to love.

      I am near the end of my life’s journey. What I do on my blog is done out of love for the Lord and a desire to please Him and nobody else. I have clearly been misunderstood in my intentions, especially by my local leaders who see only rebellion in my blogging efforts to reach out to and connect with those the Lord has asked me to befriend. I don’t know if you see rebellion in my review of Rock’s book or in simply blogging.

      Let’s address the idea of blogging. My Bishop asked me to stop blogging. He said it was hurting members of the ward and stake. We discussed it. It seems most of the problems started when I added a link to Facebook. Thus, many of the ward and stake members who are my friends on Facebook saw the announcements of my posts. Some of them complained to the Bishop that the posts were not uplifting to them.

      I removed the link to Facebook. Sadly, I have also removed several of my Facebook friends in the ward and stake. I did not want to offend them. My Bishop persisted. It wasn’t enough. He did not like the tone and direction of my blog. He wanted me to change how I write and what subjects I chose to write about. He wanted me to know he was serious so he placed me under priesthood restrictions. I get it. I am very familiar with the methods of the Church in administering discipline.

      I closed my blog for a week in an effort to show good faith to the Bishop. It wasn’t enough. I had an awakening in our last meeting. I realized I was asking him questions that were not meant for him. The Lord made it clear to me I was to turn to Him and Him alone for my answers. I am in the process of doing that. In the meantime, the Lord reminded me of my promise to Him to use my blog to reach others.

      He also reminded me He had accepted of my offering. My removing the blog in an effort to appease the bishop was not exercising faith. In fact, it was displeasing to the Lord and He let me know. In a sense, the spirit of rebellion had come back. I had allowed the “arm of flesh” to dictate my course in life. I know these words may be offensive to my Bishop. He has told me he reads my blog and some of the comments.

      Kathy tells me I share too much. I can’t help it. I trust people who take the time to read and comment on my blog. I trust you. I trust you’ll see what I am trying to accomplish here, or rather what I believe the Lord is trying to accomplish through my blog. I am just one of millions, but if my voice can help the Lord, then I willingly offer it and pray for Him to guide my thoughts and put words at the ends of my fingers to share.

      Doug, I look forward to your response. I hope you’ll see that Rock is a good man. I know he is. I have talked to the Lord about him in the same way I have talked to the Lord about Mel Fish, Brent Larsen, Will Carter, Denver Snuffer and many, many others I have met though my blogging efforts. I have talked to the Lord about you as well, which is why He asked me to reach out to you this evening. I hope we can be friends.

      God bless you my friend. Thanks for reading and sharing.

      1. “My removing the blog in an effort to appease the bishop was not exercising faith. In fact, it was displeasing to the Lord and He let me know. In a sense, the spirit of rebellion had come back. I had allowed the “arm of flesh” to dictate my course in life.”

        This is one of the reasons I have such respect for you, Tim. You pray, and then you LISTEN for the answer. Not everyone sticks around after the prayer for the listening part.

        I can tell you I never used to, which is why I wandered in the wasteland for so long.

        1. Tim, I just finished my webcast for today, so I can start on my response to your request now. In the meantime, I think you will find the webcast, on the controversies of zion, very interesting. You can view it on FB, Google+, YouTube, or on my website at voicesfromthedust.org/tv

          On mobile, it’s best on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTigdAvW3zI

    4. ” discern the difference between the Gentiles who are numbered with the house of Israel, through acceptance of the fullness of the gospel, and those who have hardened their hearts against it.” dbundy you hit the nail on the head: the BOM CLEARLY delineates between those Gentiles who accept Christ and enter into the covenant, and the disbelieving Gentiles who reject the gospel. I studied ALL relevant passages relating to Gentiles in the BOM & D&C and concluded that the Lord cannot possibly be referring to the LDS denomination here, let alone the leadership of the LDS church. He is clearly referring to the great body of Gentiles, who reject the gospel when it is offered to them. Baptism rates in Western Europe and North America have been declining steadily for 30 years; indeed, the prophesied rejection of the fulness of the gospel is happening in these Gentile Nations, as a prelude to the judgments about to be poured out upon these Gentile Nations, because they are rejecting Jesus Christ.

    1. Probably a lag in the DNS propagation. It takes a while for DNS changes to reach throughout the Internet. It helps to clear your cache, both in your browser and your DNS cache. At the command line, enter: ipconfig /cleardns. Or just wait awhile and it will fix itself.

  3. Dbundy,
    We’re the people with the BOM. Nobody else! So if Nephi is warning a future people in possession of the gospel ( not the Fullness, mind you), and Mormon included this part out of all the thousands of pages he had access to, don’t you think he is speaking directly to us, the LDS ???
    Remember, a type and shadow of all things to come.
    If you think Denver has made up everything he claims then you better be sure you have received a witness that it is all false and meant to lead the small group astray who actually believe him. I for one believe his words and feel he is indeed a prophet!
    We all still love the 15 and the LDS church, but it is just so obvious that we are off course. How can you not see it?
    Tim, I met you at Sunstone and am grateful for your words. Much love and respect.

    1. No. The people in the LDS denomination are among the Gentile Nations spoken in the BOM, but if you will read the passages carefully in the BOM & D&C you will see that the BOM is referring to a very large segment of the Gentiles (“the Gentile Nations”). Yes, some of those who are in the LDS denomination will of necessity be washed out, but it is because we do have some hypocrites in the church.

  4. dbundy-are you sure it was Cain who looked upon his drunken father? could you please help me find this in the scriptures? thank you….and thank you Tim for your blog.

  5. Thanks, Tim, for the post. I enjoyed it (and bought Rock’s book, based on your recommendation).

    I’m glad you’re writing again. However, your post above does not appear on your website. (Is it still de-activated?)

    Welcome back.

  6. Tim I for one are very glad you have decided to continue. I recognize what courage and inspiration this requires. I am teaching the gospel doctrine class next week about Jonah and maybe i will work your story into the lesson when we talk about the importance of doing what the Lord wants us to do rather than following the comfortable path

  7. Decided to continue kicking ass I see? I dig it Tim! But hey, that’s what those who proclaim the word do! You’re like Eastwood flinging those pistols and ain’t whistling Dixie.

  8. Thank you Tim for this review. I agree with you about the late Brother Jeppson (may he finally rest in peace) regarding the September 6. One of the excommunicated of the group said he/she had never seen a darker countenance upon the face of any man than Brother J.

    Note: Until I started reapplying gratitude to my dying church and nation, apathy was my constant companion. I always look forward to your posts.

  9. I just hope people who might read this blog will read those scriptures in the book of mormon themselves and ponder them to see if they believe this interpretation. It is only one interpretation and I would argue not a very persuasive one. It uses a out of context verse from another book of scripture thousands of years later to try to make this point.

    Read these verses and pray for understanding.

    1. Nonrandomn Set: Amen. I agree with your advice. My desire is also to draw readers to the scriptures. This post did not delve deeply into the interpretations of the scriptures presented. That was not my intent in this short book review. We have done that ad infinitum in numerous previous posts. As most readers know, these interpretations are not unique with me. As noted in the post, go to Denver’s blog, books and Lectures for detailed explication and exegesis of the scripture presented.

  10. The truth is that those who refuse to gather and build, when they are commanded to do so, cease to be saviors of men and are thenceforth good for nothing, but shall be cast out and trodden under feet of men.

    Though the servants of the Lord began to lay the foundation of the great tower, they didn’t finish it, and now the enemy has come as a thief in the night to destroy the Lord’s vineyard and scatter his servants.

    Who’s on the Lord’s side, who?

  11. You mean those who refuse to gather and build expensive shopping malls and apartment buildings?

  12. Brother Tim: I have been thinking about D&C 124:41-50 all day. I thank you for repeating it, but I’m not sure but that it was inevitable (the rejection and the apostasy). As Joseph taught us, the Children of Israel (including our Ephraim ancestors) deferred to Moses for their communication with God. If they had not done that, would we be here? Likewise if our 19th century ancestors had not started into apostasy and rejected Joseph’s restoration teachings would we now be here? I rather think the promise to attain Zion, such as Enoch did, would have changed our own foreordained futures in the same way it would have affected us had Mother Eve not partaken of the forbidden fruit. Where would that leave us in 2014 had they been given to Zion? I submit we would have missed some great Telestial action here in the latter-latter-days.

    P.S. — I was in church today for 3 hours scratching for something to make it interesting. Nothing. On the other hand, let’s get on with the Terrestrial so we can get back to learning from one another. Thanks again for the blog

  13. I too have read Rock’s book. (Twice) I found it very insightful, especially how scriptural and restored rules are not used sometimes.

    I now see how the ex-communication of my ex-husband did not follow correct protocol. Even though I feel the judgement was correct… proper procedures were not up-held.

    For some reason… the “Handbook” has usurped many things. I wonder what local leaders are now being advised in the new
    “Training.” From what we have seen recently…. commands from “Downtown”must be now legal.

    Heaven help us.

  14. Always Pondering

    Hi Tim, I’ve missed your posts and am grateful you are back.

    I believe our current leaders in Salt Lake are very wise and inspired men for the preparatory gospel the early saints were given after they failed to embrace the higher gospel. I love attending our meetings even when there’s not much new or interesting being taught. I go to worship God, so my heart gives, rather than always waiting to be fed. I love the music, the fellowship, the little children who wiggle and squirm. When I miss a week, I feel the loss.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I hope we’re all striving to live the preparatory gospel to the fullest, even if there comes greater awareness and knowledge of a higher one. If our leaders err, the errors are their own and they will answer for them. I’m not sure pointing fingers, or even throwing our own stones is worthy of us.

    Things of the Spirit bring peace, love and joy. The Spirit is not acerbic, harsh, or cynical. I believe we can study and grow without condemning those who give their lives by long days of service on our behalf. Can we not be grateful without the negative tones? Can we not inspire through sharing and discussing in more positive tones? There’s nothing wrong with the church that can’t be healed by what’s right with it—because the Savior said He would not forsake the erring Gentiles. He said He would remember them. And His word is good.

    My concerns about tone includes the commenters who rail on Tim. Surely you can speak in more Christlike tones so that all may be edified. Elder Bednar just gave a devotional where he admonished all of us to not enter into contention. Tone matters for Tim, who often self-corrects, and for me, and for those who disagree with him. Again, the fruits of the Spirit are peace, joy, love and a greater desire to seek Jesus Christ. Our tone tells us how in tune our expressions are.

    We’re all in this together, not one against another. We are here to create Zion in our hearts so we can build it all around us. We are here to come unto Christ who has no guile or pride in Him. I know it’s hard for each of us, but I hope we can be very careful with the tone we use as we journey forward to Zion, and into our Savior’s presence.

    Sorry this is so long, and I put myself at the front of the line. I hope my words have a tone of encouragement and inspiration. That’s how I truly mean them.

  15. The problem is that the only salvation remaining for the Gentiles is for them to repent and be baptized and thus to become identified in the same covenant and to worship at the same altar as Israel. This is the message with which the weak things of the earth are flooding the earth, to break down the mighty and strong that man might not counsel his fellow man, but that every man might speak in the name of the Lord.

    But, if it’s all a pantomine, the cause Zion is lost. DS is opposing the work and you can’t see it Tim, in part because you think he understands what the fullness of the gospel is, but he doesn’t.

  16. Doug, if you want to discuss Denver and the message he is sharing at the request of the Lord, then by all means, let’s do so. I did not want to detract from the discussion of Rock’s book, but since he quotes Denver along with many others in his book I suppose it fits. I suspect you read Denver because I see the reference to Pantomime, the subject of one of his recent blog posts, and one of his better efforts I might add.

    Remind me again of how many hours you have spent studying Denver’s material. Which of his books have you read? How many of his lectures have you attended? Will you be in Phoenix next week? Have you sat down and had dinner with the man and his family? How many times have you talked to the Lord about Denver and his message? What did the Lord tell you? Remember, his message isn’t for everyone.

  17. Tim, it’s late and I have a show to do in the morning, but I will begin to compose a reply tomorrow afternoon.

  18. It seems the focus of the last many posts is drawing more and more upon what’s wrong with the church and an impending disciplinary council and less and less upon the teaching of the Savior, coming unto him, and His promises to us.

    1. Good point, Kevin. I agree. Let’s fix that. I had already planned a post on Coming onto Christ for this week. Wanted to fulfill a promise to readers from nearly a month ago to review Rock’s book first. We’ll see how the spare time works out this week. Thanks for reminder to focus on the Savior more. By the way, I see your blog is marked as private. Do you write in a public forum anywhere?

      Update: Here is a link to the post about the Savior I had in mind:


      1. Thanks for the quick response, Tim! You’ll see my comments to that article and reference to my personal video that counters one of your arguments that current leaders don’t give their apostolic witness in plainness.

      2. In answer to your question about my blog – I participate in a closed blog with many wonderful souls about coming into the presence of The Lord. I have authored several posts there, but chose not to discuss those sacred topics in such an open forum as an open blog.

  19. Hi Tim,

    I read Rock’s book a few weeks ago. My younger brother saw it on the table while visiting me; he was shocked! I’ve been the one that served a mission, temple marriage, church leadership, etc. His life and mine have been opposites, yet we are brothers and are very close (as long as religion is left out of conversation). I have prayed all my life that I can lead my brother to the truth; Rock’s book is helping that happen. My brother and I are talking almost daily about the “truths” I have discovered in the very pages of scriptures I have read over and over all my life; yet not understood correctly (by me) due to my past TBM paradigm. Since I discovered Brother Snuffer, Brother Gileadi, Brother Malone, Brother Waterman, and others, the scales over my eyes (understanding) are gone. Thank you, Tim, for trusting the Lord rather than the arm of flesh. Your strength is contagious. See you in Phoenix.

    Your brother, Roy.

  20. Tim! My brother from a Heavenly Mother. I’m glad I rediscovered your blog; clearly I have some catching up to do.

    Thanks for the review. I’ll add this book to my collection.

    In reading the comments, I can’t help but see a common trend. I, too, get similar comments/messages about what I write. Family members, luckily not my immediate family, accuse me of apostatizing. Whoa! Talk about a tough pill to swallow.

    I wish people would simply see it how it is: a desire to know Truth; a desire to “share goodness”. Has the Corporation gone off course? I believe so. Is there still hope? Always! It will require a greater faith, though.

  21. Tim, I am so happy and relieved that you are back!

    A question that is bothering me: When Joseph Smith was about to flee to the Rockies to save his life from the mobsters, who were the members who deprecated him as a coward? If the Saints had been supportive and worked to save Joseph’s life, the Restoration would have been able to continue to develop, I believe, and Joseph Smith #3 or David Smith would have become the next Prophet and President Am I right? Would the Saints have eventually have left Nauvoo to join Joseph in the Rockies, or would Joseph have eventually been able to return safely to Nauvoo?

    1. Here is something from William E. Berrett that relates that story. I’ll see if I can get you the names of those who were traitors among the twelve.

      Certainly we shall never forget the fateful story of June, 1844. The Lord had informed him or inspired him to know that if he fell into the hands of the law at Carthage, he would be killed. Obedient to the revelation, he prepared to flee to the West and find a home for the Saints in the valleys of the mountains. He crossed the Mississippi to the Iowa side. The horses were ready; they were packed. But before the party could get underway, a messenger came across the river from his wife, Emma: “The people in Nauvoo are saying that you are running away. They say you are a coward, that you are leaving them to their fate.”

      He turned to his brother, Hyrum, and said, “If my life is of no value to my friends it is of no value to me. We are going back.” As he rode from the city of Nauvoo toward Carthage, which was to be the place of his martyrdom, he stopped at a little rise and turning back, said to those with him, “Oh, that I could but speak once more to my beloved people!” Yes, he loved people.

      Source: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1494

      Update: From The Fate of the Persecutors of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 121 “”Reynolds Cahoon, L.D. Wasson and Hiram Kimball accused Joseph of cowardice for wishing to leave the people…”

  22. Tim,

    Thanks for your prayers. I appreciate your thirst for righteousness, your faith in Christ and your joy in the fullness of the gospel.
    I rejoice in all those who believe the testimony of Joseph Smith, that he was the servant of the Living God in bringing forth the testimony of Jesus Christ in America, the Only Begotten of the Father, testifying of his resurrection from the dead and the resurrection of all men.

    The question which now arises and touches every one of us, is this: Do the weaknesses, the sins, the errors, the mistakes of the Lord’s anointed, which were prophesied to be plainly manifest to the members of this Church, justify the conclusion that the Father has not established his Church among those Gentiles, who harden not their hearts, enabling them to come in unto the covenant and be numbered among the remnant of Jacob, unto whom he gave this land for their inheritance?

    Or, to put the question another way, “Has the LDS Church been a pantomime all these years? Has it only been portraying the truth, and not the real thing, from the days of Joseph Smith?”

    The contention of Denver Snuffer is that this is indeed the case, and many have followed after him this day, including yourself. However, though he may appear to be sincere, Tim, he is not being honest with us.

    Let me explain. First, it is important to understand what the term “The Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” means. The use of the term the fullness of the gospel, the good news of Christ, implies that there exists a gospel that is not full. It is still the good news of Jesus Christ, but not all of it. What is missing from this incomplete good news of Jesus Christ?

    The answer is in the Book of Mormon. The voices from the dust tell us that an angel from the presence of God declared that when [the record of Judah] proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew, it contained the fullness of the gospel of the Lord, but the harlot church has taken away from that gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

    Of course, this is the cause of much blindness of mind and hardness of heart in the Gentiles, but the Lord has brought forth unto them, in his own power, much of his gospel, which is plain and precious, and the Father has established his church among the Gentiles to publish it to the world.

    And the Lord has declared that he has sent forth the fullness of his gospel by the hand of his servant Joseph, to the poor and the meek, as he explained to others, saying “Thou shalt preach the fullness of my gospel, which I have sent forth in these last days, the covenant which I have sent forth to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel.”

    And he said that, as he taught them:

    1 Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I Am, even Jesus Christ—
    2 The light and the life of the world; a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not;
    3 The same which came in the meridian of time unto mine own, and mine own received me not;
    4 But to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons; and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons.
    5 And verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth my gospel receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel receiveth not me. (See D&C 39)

    So, it is clear: The fullness of the gospel is the gospel that includes the covenant that the Living God has sent forth in these latter days to recover his people, which are the house of Israel. Now, it’s important to note HOW he has sent it forth, or maybe I should say, it’s important to note that he hasn’t sent it forth by pantomime.

    And that brings us to the next important topic, the keys of the priesthood as they relate to the administration of the fullness of the priesthood. It is Denver Snuffer’s contention that these “keys” are an invention, an invention of church mimes that exist only in their portrayal of them, and in the minds of those mesmerized by them.

    He goes on at length in an attempt to persuade his audiences that, while the church, which the Father has established among us, who are identified with the Gentiles, serves a useful purpose, which he surely appreciates and for which he expresses great gratitude. It is nevertheless nothing but an illusion, he asserts, an elaborate pantomime. It is not the real thing, and it only pretends to have priesthood “keys,” in order to wield power and authority over the members of the Church, in ostensibly directing the work, which Jesus said the Father would work, for his sake, a great and marvelous work that was to commence in all the world, in our day.

    That Snuffer’s assertion is false and misleading should be evident to anyone who understands the priesthood, as the prophet Joseph Smith understood it, and he did understand it, and he taught it in a plainer fashion than any man ever did. For example, in the book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 172, we read:

    “Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of the Priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and deliver the keys of the Priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing; but the sons of Levi were too prejudiced. ‘And I will send Elijah the Prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord,’ etc., etc. Why send Elijah? Because he holds the keys of authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood; and without the authority as given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness.”

    But Snuffer doesn’t stop there. While directly contradicting the prophet’s teaching on the nature and veracity of priesthood keys, he tries to convince us, by wresting the scriptures, that the keys, if they actually ever did exist, and were passed down from Elijah to the first two elders of this Church, in the Kirtland Temple, were never passed on to the Quorum of the Twelve, because, according to D&C 124, that could only occur in a completed, dedicated, uncompromised temple of God.

    Tim, you wrote that you were exuberant, when you understood what Snuffer was teaching, and you realized that you were not the only one to “get it.” You wrote, after you swallowed the false doctrine of Snuffer: “Power in the Priesthood is not and cannot be passed from man to man. Authority to act in the church is what is being delegated when we confer priesthood or ordain a man in the priesthood. The fullness of the priesthood means to have power in the priesthood from God himself,” and this, even though Joseph taught that man did have the power and authority to administer all the ordinances of the Priesthood, and sent a man (Elijah) to confer them upon another man (Joseph.)

    Have you forgotten what the prophet taught about the restoration of the Priesthood? He taught:

    “Thus we behold [that] the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah, that He talked with him [Noah] in a familiar and friendly manner, that He continued to him the keys, the covenants, the power and the glory, with which He blessed Adam at the beginning; and the offering of sacrifice, which also shall be continued at the last time; for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord. “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord.”

    No, you haven’t forgotten it, but you have let Snuffer convince you that you must “obtain the voice of Jehovah,” as Noah did, or else you cannot receive the “fullness of the Priesthood;” you cannot receive “power in the priesthood” without the personal visitation of the Son. You believe that you must see him, as the prophets of old saw him and were administered to by him.

    Well, though that be true, my dear brother, neither Abraham, nor Noah, nor Enoch did it the way you think you have done it. There is no shortcut to the Church of the First Born. We must come unto the Father by the Son, but the way to the Son is not through the spirit of rebellion. We are to be taught the peaceable things of the kingdom, as they are ordered and set forth through the keys of the Priesthood, which Joseph rolled off to the shoulders of the Twelve, to his great joy and relief.

    While you are out of harmony with the work of God on the earth, do you think you will be in harmony with it, after you go the way of all the earth? Will you be able to stand before Wilford Woodruff, at that day, and tell him that his testimony is false, that he didn’t hear the prophet say:

    “Brethren, I have had great sorrow of heart for fear that I might be taken from the earth with the keys of the kingdom of God upon me, without sealing them upon the heads of other men. God has sealed upon my head all the keys of the kingdom of God necessary for organizing and building up of the Church, Zion, and kingdom of God upon the earth, and to prepare the Saints for the coming of the Son of Man. Now, brethren, I thank God I have lived to see the day that I have been enabled to give you your endowments, and I have now sealed upon your heads all the powers of the Aaronic and Melchizedec priesthoods and apostleship, with all the keys and powers thereof, which God has sealed upon me; and I now roll off all the labor, burden and care of this Church and kingdom of God upon your shoulders, and I now command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to round up your shoulders, and bear off this Church and kingdom of God before heaven and earth, and before God, angels and men; and if you don’t do it you will be damned.”

    Truly, the Lord promised, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Those of us who have believed him and his words and opened the door, as requested, know that, if we endure to the end, we will be like him, for we shall see him as he is, and we have this assurance, because we have communed with him and he with us.

    But his house is a house of order and he is not going to establish his church, and see Lebanon become a fruitful field and the fruitful field esteemed as a forest, while teaching something contrary to a select few of his children, who fancy themselves enlightened enough to “get it.”

    Tim, I think you are a good man, but I beg of you good man, enter in at the door of the sheepfold and help others to do likewise. Soon the captivity of Bozrah will be upon us. There’s not a lot of time left, before the servants of the Lord awake and arise and flee away as the enemy destroys their works and breaks down the twelve trees of the Lord’s vineyard.

    I talked about this on today’s webcast. I hope you have a chance to view it.

    1. You have shared some wonderful quotes, Doug. I had a chance to listen to a little bit of your podcast today. I learned a few things. I confess I had never considered the captivity of Bozrah in that light.

      So the servants of the Lord will awake and flee away as the enemy destroys their works. I’ve got to listen to more of the podcast to get that one clear in my mind – especially how it applies to the church today.

      I’ll have some additional thoughts later, but these came to mind as you mentioned Wilford Woodruff, who also said the Lord would never allow a prophet to lead the people astray, something which isn’t scriptural:

      Joseph Smith:

      “And none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God… would despise the idea.

      “Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves.” (Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp. 593-95)

      George Q. Cannon:

      Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a Bishop, an apostle or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support will be gone; but if we lean on God, He will NEVER fail us. When men and women depend upon GOD ALONE and trust in HIM ALONE, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. (DW 43:322 [Mar 7, 1891]).

      President Brigham Young:

      “What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they will settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal security in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus Christ, that they are led in the right way.” JD 9: 149-50.

      Joseph Fielding Smith:

      “It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have that matter clear.” Doctrines of Salvation 3:203, emphasis in original.

      1. Tim, I’m glad you found the video interesting. I hope you get past the fact that I forgot to mind the camera and left my brother’s picture on the whole time, essentially turning it into a podcast. I have made every mistake in the book, but continue to find new ways to mess up!

        You wrote: “The LDS Church is in a state of apostasy and has been since before the death of Joseph Smith.” If I’m not mistaken, you insist that this assertion came to you directly from God.

        It’s not that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, full of sin and iniquity, but his followers, were apostates, not the apostates who plotted to murder him, but the apostates to whom he said they must round off their shoulders and bear off the kingdom of God or be damned, right?

      2. I find it interesting that you use quotes from prophets, who you claim have led the church astray, to buttress your points. But there is not any inherent contradiction between an admonition to not put trust in mortal man, while also saying that the prophet would never lead us astray.

        I also take issue with your claims that the church has abandoned the teaching of seeking an audience with the Lord. I assume you mean the second comforter (I don’t find any scriptural references to audience in that sense). Is there any evidence the church has abandoned such teaching? Or is it that it doesn’t get the emphasis that you think it should? In which case, you ought to also take issue with the Book of Mormon.

      3. But there is not any inherent contradiction between an admonition to not put trust in mortal man, while also saying that the prophet would never lead us astray.

        There isn’t?

        1. I don’t think there is. Saying not to trust in the arm of flesh does not mean that all men will always lead you astray.

          Of course, I interpret “lead you astray” to mean to not turn us out of the path of salvation, not that they won’t make mistakes.

      4. Saying not to trust in the arm of flesh does not mean that all men will always lead you astray.

        I agree that it does not mean that. (Are there people out there who think it does?)

        Of course, I interpret “lead you astray” to mean to not turn us out of the path of salvation, not that they won’t make mistakes.

        So in your understanding the president of the Church could make some sort of minor mistakes, but not any with significant eternal consequence?

        1. I didn’t say that anyone believes that, but that is why I believe there is no inherent contradiction.

          I also didn’t say that the prophet could only make minor mistakes. What I said was that it’s not incompatible to believe we should put our trust in the Lord and also to believe Lord will not let the prophet lead us astray. That says nothing about what kind of mistakes or sins the prophet makes/commits.

          Personally, I take that to mean the Lord wouldn’t allow the prophet to give false revelation or deceive us in such a way as to lead us away from the strait and narrow. Which still leaves open the possibility of errors in administration, all manner of personal weaknesses, incorrect understanding of history/science.

    2. JST Gen 14. From Gods own voice. The oath given by God himself. As in the 1 priesthood. The Holy order after the Son of God. Which cannot be ordained by men, but by God. Joseph knew this. So does Denver. They are speaking the same language.

    3. It’s an easy thing to quote God and say it is true. I also believe all things God has said. It is quite another thing to believe our church has not slipped gradually into apostasy from the time of Joseph until now and will continue to slip. Are you saying entropy and apostasy is not at work upon the whole church? Some of us absolutely do not fault the brethren any more or less than ourselves but we still think a “re-restoration” will be necessary before attaining Zion in the near future. What is your view about a general apostasy among all members? What is your view on another restoration and a much greater marvelous work which is to come?

      1. Salemmanofthecloth, assuming your questions are addressed to me, as I stated on the Shawn McCraney show, more than once, the Church is going down, temporarily, as explained in D&C 101, and confirmed by JS, in 1840, in a sermon recorded by Martha Knowlton.

        We discussed it today on the Voices from the Dust TV show (though it’s a streaming webcast, not a TV broadcast.) See it at


      2. I guess then, I don’t see your general disagreement with Brother Malone if you also know another restoration is eminent. I also can’t see why you take issue with his “I get it” thinking. Most of the Church is blithely following leaders without putting much effort into their obedience. It appears a massive shipwreck is needed to get back our attention which includes every member from the lowly to the powerful. I think you are a contrarian for the sake of being contrary. Can you delineate your disagreement and boil it down for us. We are the choir and we want you to preach to us.

      3. I’m always curious to know on what basis someone can claim that most of the members of the church are blithely following church leaders. Do you have some special insight into their hearts?

        I’ve heard this over and over, with terms like brethrenites. It is unsupportable, unprovable, likely untrue, and most uncharitable.

    4. dbundy

      I have enjoyed your commentary and will re-read it several more times. I have a few questions… and they pertain to the understanding of the word “Gentile.”

      Much of what I have read on this blog, as well as others, the definition “Gentile.” has become confusing. ??Let me express what my understanding is. I stand to be corrected if I have misunderstood 3rd Nephi.

      Let’s consider these scriptures.

      ??D&C 19: 26 Talks about the printing of the BOM. ??D&C 19: 27 states: Which is my word to the GENTILE, that soon it may go to the JEW of who the LAMANITES are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.

      In the scriptures, Jews and Gentiles are repeatedly used as the two groups of people most referred to. In the above scripture, the Lamanites are a remnant or a piece of the Jews.

      In the D&C the Latter-Day-Saints are grouped among the Gentiles as explained in the prayer offered at the Dedication of the Kirtland Temple, given to Joseph by revelation.?

      D&C 109:60 Nor these word, Or Lord we have spoken before them concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto US (meaning the members of the church), who are identified WITH THE GENTILES.??

      We are numbered as gentiles unless we are specifically told otherwise. In the D&C we are referred to as “The Saints” “Members” or the church (which generally means members not an institution.)

      I do not see the concept of the “Gentiles” being “out there” and we LDS being a chosen group.

      In D&C 1, Lets look at how the Lord refers to Latter Day Saints.

      D&C 1: Hearken, O ye People of my church, saith the voice of him….. (Take note of the word “YE.”) Then he goes on to mention other gentiles. Here the Lord is gracious enough to separate the gentiles of the church from the gentiles of the world.

      Now let’s go to 3 Nephi. Keep in mind… he is talking to a very specific people. Through out this wonderful treatise he refers to the group of people he is talking to as: “MY PEOPLE .” It is repeated over and over again. Not “YE PEOPLE”, not the “SAINTS” but “MY PEOPLE” (In this full treatise, we are not considered HIS PEOPLE, I’m sure to the disappointment of many LDS.)

      With this in mind…. Read all of 3rd Nephi with the idea that this group of people Christ appeared to are “HIS PEOPLE,” and we are not. It will give a whole new complexion to the verses. You will find the term “HIS PEOPLE” used through out the Book of Mormon and when it is mentioned, this specific group of people. The Lamanites and Nephites and their descendants are the ones he is referring to and not the Church members of this day.

      3 Nephi 21:6

      For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, they they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine that they may be number among MY PEOPLE who are of the house of Israel. (Again, My People is referring to the group of people Christ is talking to… not the Saints of our day.)

      ?In 3 Nephi 22-24 it now talking about this latter day… and tells us we will be numbered among the remnant of Jacob and in the latter-day members will assist HIS people in building Zion. In other words…. HIS people or the remnant will be called to build a city and we will be called to assist them. As members of the present day Church get pretty smug when it comes to the building of Zion… but we will be assisting HIS people.

      In the entire context of 3 Nephi, the LDS people are not HIS PEOPLE.
      And HIS people are the Descendants of those who stood before Him in 3rd Nephi. As far as I know… this present day remnant of Laminates has not be identified yet and have not yet been converted as a group of people.

      So in 3rd Nephi 16: 10… I have always understood these words to be for the LDS gentiles as well as the gentiles of the world. The fullness would be taken away from us also. The warnings are not just for the gentiles “out there” but the LDS gentiles as well.

      What this your understanding?

      Who do you think HIS people are?

      Where can the information about Bozrah and the twelve trees of the Lord’s vineyard be found? ??I would enjoy listening to your webcast. Will you provide a link?

      1. Wow, kathryn. I am impressed with your efforts to understand, as demonstrated here. Unfortunately, it’s late and I have tomorrow’s show to prepare in the morning, so I can’t respond until after the show tomorrow, but I am really anxious to do so. The best way to find the show, is to go to my website first at


        You can watch it live there, or recorded after the live show ends. You can also access past episodes, organized by month there. In addition, that page has links to our FB page, Google+ page and our YouTube channel, all featuring live and past episodes for your convenience.

      2. The BOM uses the term Gentiles to refer to all that are outside of the House of Israel. You are either in or out; if you are in, it means you are within the gospel covenant. In the last days, the Gentile Nations are invited to be grafted in as modern Israel when they join the covenant (administered by the LDS church). 3 Nep 16:10 is not referring to the LDS denomination; it is referring to all the Gentile Nations (mainly Western Europe and North America) which are offered the gospel and reject it (note the steadily declining baptismal rates throughout this whole region). The taking “from” them and giving to another group, refers to focus of preaching to be taken from the Gentile Nations and the emphasis returning towards the Jews (Judah). It does not, as Denver Snuffer incorrectly insists, mean that the LDS Church and/or leadership is entering apostasy and that the ability to preach the gospel will be removed from them. This is a false interpretation that is being imposed on this BOM passage, because Snuffer and others have not read all of the references in the BOM relating to the term Gentiles. There isn’t one single passage in the BOM that can credibly be interpreted that the LDS church itself, let alone the leaders, will fail. There are scriptures indicating that there are “bad apples” in the faith, which will be culled out; also, the prophesy against the fate of the Gentile Nations is horrendous. However, the book also prophesies as to the relative safety for the Lord’s people (those faithful to and inside the covenant).

    5. Doug: Again, I appreciate the many quotes you have shared. They give me food for though and cause me to ponder. Here’s one more I’d like to consider together. It’s from President Joseph F. Smith:

      “Then again, if it were necessary, though I do not expect the necessity will ever arise, and there was no man left on the earth holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, except an elder–that elder, by the inspiration of the Spirit of God and by the direction of the Almighty, could proceed, and should proceed, to organize the Church of Jesus Christ in all its perfection, because he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.”
      (Gospel Doctrine, p. 148.)

      Denver used this quote in his Pantomime post to make the point the President of the Church makes no reference to keys, meaning they aren’t what we’ve been taught they are. But I’ll use it in a different way.

      If there is a man on the earth who holds the higher priesthood – the kind that is received only from the voice of God – then he is obviously in communion with the angels and can get all the authority he needs to organize the Lord’s church again.

      There’s no need to respond because arguing about “what-if” scenarios is faulty logic. I’m just pointing out that, in my mind, after much study and prayer, there is a difference between what I received when I had the Melchizedek priesthood conferred upon me, was ordained and Elder and later a High Priest, and what a man can and should receive from the Lord which Joseph originally called the higher priesthood.

  23. Dbundy,
    With all due respect, have you had audience with Christ face to face, had his hands placed upon your head? Been taken by Him to the fiery throne of The Father and received the Fullness??
    If this is not your claim, as it is DS’s, I tend to believe his assurances over yours.
    He speaks to Christ and has scripture explained directly to him by Him. So if he says The ChurchTM is in apostasy and has gone astray, I believe him. I met Denver at Sunstone, looked him in the eyes and asked him if he has met Joseph Smith. He said yes, and Emma is always with him. I know he speaks the TRUTH.

    1. Well, if you believe the law of witnesses is valid, then my question for you is: where is Denver Snuffer’s second or third witness? Even if Snuffer has had the interview with the Lord he claims, when has Snuffer claimed that the LORD told him the church was in apostasy? Joseph Smith’s testimony could not be credible without the Book of Mormon, and the 3 and 8 witnesses, to back up the claim. Be careful what you believe and why.

  24. The problem that occurs in our discourse is one of extremes. We tend to do this. Perhaps it is more fun and entertaining or perhaps it actually gets your attention. The Church has apostatized!! Denver Snuffer is a prophet!! Thomas S. Monson is the only prophet and the Church is right on course!!!!

    It’s important to find the middle ground as it is surely here in this matter. As I see it, the message the Lord wants for us – those who can accept Denver as one of His messengers – is that the Church is functioning from the Aaronic Priesthood level and we as members are to step it up into a higher level, eventually Zion. The good news is that the Church does have the Aaronic Priesthood and it is still operative in our lives. This is no small matter. Look how much the Church has accomplished functioning from this level.

    The other good news is that within the Church we are all invited individually to receive the higher priesthood and its attendant blessings. We still can have these blessings!!! They have not been removed from us!!!! The time is not yet passed. This is a big deal. This is what Denver’s main message is – the heavens are still open for business for all who have this desire.

    We just have to see the truth. I find it funny that we are so indignant if someone says that we are not functioning from the Higher priesthood level. Isn’t this completely and totally obvious?? We are not in Zion, nor living her principles. Would not this fact alone issue forth some level of condemnation and the state we are in? This higher priesthood with the oath & covenant is no small thing. Very few in the history of the planet have even achieved it. O, the hubris. If the majority of the Melchizedek priesthood holders actually held the higher priesthood and used it with regularity, do you think that we’d still be in the state we are currently in? Would we not being seeing more miracles, more baptisms, more power, more revelations, more service, more sacrifice, more persecution, more everything? It’s really commonsensical actually. We’d be approaching Zion in a very real sense, but we are not, so we MUST be functioning from this lesser, more durable priesthood. We have to remove this façade, this illusion, this lulling asleep from before our eyes to know where we are actually at and how to get where we want to go. Again, I find this to be one of Denver’s messages.

    One last note: Someone posted the quote from Elder Bednar in a talk given at General Conference in 2010. In it, he states that the pronouncement of the four words, “Receive the Holy Ghost” is not a passive pronouncement but an active priesthood injunction to live your life so you will actually receive it. Now, if this is the case for the reception of the Holy Ghost, then would this not be the case (and even more so) for the Melchizedek priesthood, the Endowment, and your sealing? All of these are saving ordinances and yet the power and blessings of the promises do not come merely by following/obeying the ritual. If the Lord has truly granted these gifts and blessings to us, we’d know it. If I am ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood, yet I have not entertained angels, much less the Son nor the Father and no oath and covenant has been placed on my head from the Father, then I do not operate from the higher/Melchizedek priesthood level. Legally, I have the authority to confer it upon others, set apart, etc., but I don’t have the power that attends that priesthood.

    Take this quote along with Elder Packer’s comments on the distribution of the Authority outpacing the distribution of the Power of the priesthood and you have two modern, authorized witnesses to the truths that need to be taught within our Church frequently. This can be judiciously, delicately, directly, and boldly taught from the pulpit and in Sunday School and priesthood meetings. Follow the Spirit. I know it can be done, because I do it regularly. And it can be done without criticizing the Brethren and shaking anyone’s testimony. Some members respond while others do not. Is this not the same for any topic you teach? Teach these truths!! For truth will cut its own way. This is now our duty. No one else is forming another church. The LDS Church is it. Let’s see if we can be the vehicle for the Savior to awaken and to reach as many people as we can.

    1. Amen. Thank you for that clear voice of reason about the middle ground. The Church has the Aaronic priesthood and is doing a world of good with what we have. Let us individually strive to obtain the power of the higher priesthood directly from the Lord as he has promised.

    2. Perfect response and articulation of the issues.

      I really think using words like “apostasy” in reference to the LDS church really misses the mark. There is so much misunderstanding in that word that it really doesn’t become useful anymore, just polarizing.

      Similar with “prophet,” which despite the evidence of the scriptures, is really polarizing when used in reference to anyone outside the 15 or historical scripture.

      I love how you put it. Basically, we as a general body aren’t living up to our potential, we haven’t been claiming all that we need to claim. Apostasy (whatever that means, as far as I can tell, it is a word), doesn’t seem to fully apply because the path is still there an open. Just follow HIM.

      1. Ben, thank you for comments on “apostasy.” I forgot to include this in my post. Yes, I completely agree with you. Apostasy may even be accurate to certain extent, but it is too weighted – too much baggage of our perception with this word and thus it conveys complete loss, and turning away. And yes, it is polarizing. Great comment.

    3. Yes, I agree with nearly everything you say. I would like to point out too, that if we replaced the word “fullness” which we like to interpret as “everything there is to have or know” with “sufficient”, we would all be a lot better off. If the church and leaders have sufficient authority, then they can guide the church and members in a righteous course. If members gain sufficient light and knowledge, then they can continue until they receive more. In this regard, what level of priesthood we have or don’t have is irrelevant, as long as sufficient priesthood is there that enables us to progress forward. If and when we “arrive”, we will be given anything we still need.

  25. Doug, Karl and others:

    I’ve gone back, re-read and pondered 3 Ne 16:10:

    “And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”


    How can the Gentiles sin against the gospel? The Gentile nation in general has not accepted the restored gospel. Therefore, they could not sin against it. This clearly refers to Latter-day Saints.

    As much as it hurts to consider that the terrible things mentioned by the Savior might be found in the LDS Church, our history proves otherwise, Yes, whoredoms, murder, lyings, priestcrafts – we call can give example of each of these by quoting a paragraph of two from eyewitness who have recorded their testimonies of such.

    The key phrase is to focus on the fullness of the gospel, to be certain we understand it and have it well-defined from the Lord. Because the Savior is quoting the Father here. This is not made-up. Someday, someway, somehow, the fullness of the gospel will be or has been taken from among the Gentiles – and that’s us no matter how you look at it. We are the Gentile nation. Joseph clearly said so in D&C 109:60.

    Even if you choose to not believe it has already happened, surely you accept the Father’s word that it will happen – the fullness of the gospel, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with all the power he restored through Joseph, will be brought out from among the Gentiles. It doesn’t matter if you consider the LDS Church as part of the Gentiles or not. It will happen, if it has not already.

    1. How can the Gentiles sin against the gospel? See the many verses about the great and abominable church.

      I think it’s important to read the whole context, which I think makes the contrast between the believing and unbelieving of the Gentiles quite clear.

      Obviously the unbelieving can include church members, but it is a logical error to conclude this means all church members and church leaders.

      So, I do believe the Lord’s words, but I believe it means the fulness will be brought out from the unbelieving of the Gentiles.

      7 Behold, because of their belief in me, saith the Father, and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them.

      8 But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, and have been trodden under feet by them;

    2. Tim…. I would like to address your comments on the “Gentile” issue.

      I think the present common understanding of 3 Nephi 16:10 is that the sin and the rejection of the fullness (assuming we have the fullness) is the gentiles who will not accept the gospel when they are approached by the missionaries.

      This seems to be playing out because so many missions are closing or being combine. Europe has become secular and less and less people are willing to accept “The Good News.” The US, or the Promised Land is right behind in their adoption of secular views.?When the missionaries are called home from foreign lands, missionary work will also be curtailed within the Promised Land.

      We know what has been prophesied for this land when we no longer look to God. This included all “Gentiles” for which we are apart.

      I see no where in this scripture the differentiation between the gentiles out there and the gentiles in the church. I do not see the Church being singled out. It does fit with the commentary of the entire message of 3rd Nephi which includes the entire body of gentiles… including the LDS.

      To me… every gentile, including the LDS.. needs to sit up and take notice… because I think we are all in trouble. Especially us, as we have be taught higher truths and know better.

      I guess it does come down to the “Fullness of the Gospel.” You either stand in Denver’s camp or the follow the view of the Church. This is an issue that we all need to be praying to the Lord for clarification. I have not received my answer… I’m still studying both sides of the issue.

      Again…. as Jim stated… we are NOT living the principles that would establish Zion. As a body, if we were truly living those principles, which are explained in D&C 105: 1-5 we would see Zion established. We seem to be further apart from those principles than ever before and we setting ourselves up for verse 6. And… this message is direct to us.

      Personally, I don’t see Zion being established as a body. Individuals, who are preparing themselves will form the body. This is seems to be Denver’s ultimate message.

      1. kathryn,

        Sorry it’s taken so long to respond. You wrote earlier: “Much of what I have read on this blog, as well as others, the definition “Gentile.” has become confusing.”

        Ok, starting at the beginning, the word “gentile” is the translation of the Hebrew word meaning “stranger.” So, naturally, we use it to distinguish people who are of the house of Israel, from people who are not of the house of Israel.

        However, the believing Gentiles, who, before the time of Jesus knew nothing of the Living God of Israel, were grafted into the mother tree of Israel, as wild branches grafted into a tame and cultivated olive tree.

        To make room for them, the unbelieving Jews and other Israelies (I’ll use the term Jews, in the general sense, referring to the house of Israel for convenience) were cut out of the mother tree and cast into the fire.

        At the same time, some young and tender branches were cut off as well, but they were not cast into the fire, but were transplanted in various other spots of the vineyard.

        Thus, believing gentiles became no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints (believers), and of the household of God, as they were grafted into the tree, but the unbelieving Jews were scattered and destroyed.

        Well, as things turned out, the Gentiles became wise in their own eyes and overcame the strength of the roots of the tree into which they had been grafted, and, while they bore lots of fruit, it was more like the wild fruit of their past, than it was the tame fruit, which the Master was after.

        So the Master decided to cut these wild and distasteful branches off, as he had the original branches, and graft into their place the branches from the young and tender transplants, which by now had grown into trees in their own right.

        Thus, the descendants of the gentiles, who earlier had become fellow citizens with the saints, but had turned wild, now have to be cut off and replaced with natural branches of Jews, from the nether places of the vineyard.

        It’s important to note that all this work of cutting off and grafting in, both Jew and Gentile, is accomplished by the Lord and his servant (who calls other servants to help) in order to preserve the mother tree that produces the highly prized fruit.

        Now, we are in the latter days, and the Lord and his servants have rolled up their sleeves to go to work and prune the trees of the vineyard for the last time. This is the time, when it shall come to pass that the words, which Moses spake, that the Lord would raise up a prophet like unto him and whosoever would not hearken unto the words of that prophet would be cut off from the people, shall be fulfilled.

        That prophet is Jesus Christ and whoso will not hearken unto his voice, whether Jew or Gentile, shall be cut off. The Gentiles referred to in the BoM are the descendants of these earlier grafts, who do not have the fullness of the gospel, because the harlot church held back a lot of it, and so, while they are fruitful, the fruit they produce is bad.

        However, the Lord has held in reserve the fullness of his gospel to take away the stumbling block of the Gentiles, which has left them in an awful state of blindness. He has arranged to give it to them first, so it can go from them to the Jews, just as he gave it first to the Jews earlier, who then took it to the Gentiles.

        Ok, with this much understood then, we see that Gentiles who accept the fullness of the gospel offered to them in these latter days, are not cut out of the mother tree, but are spared because they begin to bear the prized fruit. The unbelieving Gentiles, however, are cut out of the tree, to make room for the believing Jews, who are descendants of the transplanted, faithful Jews.

        In this way, the first become the last, and, again, the last become the first. The mother tree is the inheritance of the Lord, which he promised to the children of Jacob, and, though they rejected him, he promised their fathers that he would never forsake them; that he would always remember them and would return them to the lands of their inheritances, where he would cleanse them of their sins and poor out the blessings of heaven upon them.

        Of course, no such promise was ever extended to the Gentiles. The only salvation remaining for them is to become identified in the same covenant and to worship at the same altar as Israel, by repenting, becoming as little children and entering into the waters of baptism, becoming members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which the Father has established among the Gentiles, as he promised he would, that they might be numbered with his people.

        So, in a sense the Church turns Gentiles into Jews, even though Jews would not consider them Jews, because they are Christians whose ancestors are Gentiles. (!)

        But now, it will come to pass, which the prophet prophesied in the allegory:

        “And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.”

        These servants are the Latter-Day Saint faithful, and the Lord said of them:

        “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.”

        Of course, Joseph Smith is at their head of them, but his own brethren sought his life, and these apostate Gentiles did with him, as the apostate Jews did with John the Baptist, who was also a forerunner, sent to prepare the way before the Lord.

        So, kathryn, a man can be a Gentile or a Jew, by birth or religion, but a Jew, who rejects the fullness of the gospel, becomes a Gentile, while a Gentile, who accepts the fullness of the gospel, becomes a Jew and will be gathered with them, as the Lord recovers them.

        I hope that makes sense. There are even more complicating factors, but the bottom line is that the servants of the Lord are not Gentiles, for the gospel’s sake, even though they were born and raised in a Gentile nation, and thus identified with the Gentiles, but even Jews by birth, who reject the fullness of the gospel are cut off and become, in effect, strangers to the house of Israel.

    3. Tim, Your interpretation of this passage is not correct. The Gentiles here are those in the Gentile Nations (Western Europe and North America). They sin against the gospel when they reject it when it is offered to them. In the same sense that all those who believe in Jesus Christ are members of the Lord’s church, though they are not within the gospel covenant. Let us reason together on this point: verse 4 talks about the Gentiles “scattering the lamanites.” Who did this? The Gentiles did this, not the LDS people (they were busy getting smacked down by the same Gentiles during the 19th C). Verse 6: talks of blessed are the Gentiles, because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost. Verse 7 saith blessed are the Gentiles in the latter-days, that the truth shall come unto the Gentiles. The term can’t refer to the LDS, because it’s the covenant that is coming to be restored to the Gentiles. Verse 8 condemns the “unbelieving” of the Gentiles. States these are the same Gentiles that have scattered the Lamanites. Obviously, this is usage of Gentiles in the wide sense. Verse 9 states that because of the judgments of the Father, and after the Gentiles have scattered the Lamanites, THEN Verse 10 kicks in. You and Denver Snuffer are insisting that verse 10 suddenly has a contextual meaning to the term Gentile that is different from the way the term is used in the 5 preceding verses. Please reread the passages starting at verse 5, and then read all the verses that have the term Gentile from the BOM & D&C. It only takes perhaps 4 hours to do this. I think you might change your perspective after reading ALL the relevant passages (I did anyway). Verse 10 requires: these Gentiles are 1. lifted up in pride above ALL nations 2. filled with ALL manner of lying, deceits, mischiefs, murders, priestcrafts, whoredoms, etc. Does this really sound like the LDS or it’s leaders to you? We have our bad actors, if is true, but I think if you compare the bad behavior of the LDS people against say a typical weekend behavior in Detroit of New York City, I would say the Gentiles are behaving quite a bit worse. As for the Saints being identified with the Gentiles, that is true: because the Lord’s covenant people are indeed a small subset of Gentiles. As for the gospel being taken away from the Gentiles, the words state “I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.” When I reread all the verses in the BOM relating to the usage Gentiles, my conclusion is not that the Lord is going to “pull the plug” and take the gospel covenant away from the covenant people, rather that the preaching of the fulness (or the covenant sufficient to bring people to salvation) will be redirected from the Gentile Nations back towards the Jews. As prophesied, the Gentile Nations are rejecting the covenant, since baptismal rates are in steep decline. At any rate, I believe that the fear that the majority of LDS will reject the fullness of the gospel is unfounded. My experience with normal rank and file Mormons is that they are doing better, on average, then any previous generation. I experience and see the Gifts of the Spirit operating on members in a stronger manner than when I was young. Anyways, it’s nice to see you back. God bless.

      1. I agree that it is irrational to simply point to ONE verse to support a particular doctrinal view. The scriptures are meant to be taken as a whole.

        I’ve tried really hard to sort out the “who are the Gentiles” question contained in the Book of Mormon. My conclusion: it is safer for me to conclude that I am in need of repentance than to conclude that I am already a part of God’s covenant and need no repentance. Thus, I have chosen to adopt the view that the LDS Church is a part of the group of people the Book of Mormon authors call “the Gentiles.”

        If I was advocating against my own firmly held belief, I would cite 3 Nephi 21:22, and ask: If the LDS Church is synonymous with “the Gentiles” where is the church the Lord promises to established among the Gentiles? If it is not the LDS Church, what church is it?

        My only response to 3 Nephi 21:22 and related verses: Is this a future church? Is this a church that has a legal status with the state? or a church where simply two or more are gathered in His name? Is this referring to the Church of the Firstborn?

        As a side note, when I read D&C 76 for the first time and learned about the attributes of those who are celestial beings, I said to myself: “How do I become a member of THAT church? I want to be a member of THAT church.” I asked those questions 15 years ago. I am sorry to report that I am no further along on figuring it out.

        I believe Nephi says it best when he plainly states: “there are save two churches only; one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” 1 Nephi 14:10.

        I guess my ramblings are boiling down to one point: If you believe the LDS Church is the church of the Lamb of God, it says a lot about how you view your Lord. Without trying to offend (because I have certainly held this view for most of my life), I simply cannot subscribe to this view anymore. However, I haven’t lost hope. The LDS Church may still become the church of the Lamb of God. I want it to. I want to be a part of that change. I blame no one. I don’t blame the hierarchy of the LDS Church. I’m not a member of the church of the Lamb of God (i.e., Church of the Firstborn), but I am willing to repent and seek for it.

        I want the LDS Church to seek for it too. It will, if more of us are willing to climb the fiery mount to behold the face of our God. Will you join me?

        If you want to know more about the scriptural support for my decision to classify myself as a Gentile, please refer to: http://awaketozion.com/zion-snuffer-excommunications/

    1. Yes, and thank you dbundy; I think your comments about the Gentiles above are right on. In passage after passage it is clear that the Gentiles are adopted, grafted, brought it, and become AT ONE with the natural branches of Israel, and literally become Israel. So while the faithful LDS are indeed a subset of Gentiles, they are a tiny subset, and they are entitled to PROTECTION from the dire prophesies for the Gentiles in general, because they are dwelling safely within the Covenant relationship with God. This is so obvious from anyone who takes the time to read all the passages in the BOM and D&C. Best.

  26. Thanks for the wonderful discussion all. I’ve enjoyed it. I’m with Kathy and will seek further light and knowledge. It’s not worth arguing. We all know the Lord condemned contention as a tool of the adversary. We will simply have to agree to disagree on the meaning of Gentiles.

    For those who wish to research the topic further, a great discussion recently took place on the LDSFF:


    In fact, the discussion seems to repeat itself every few years. Here’s another:


    Or, if you prefer the discussion from the Snuffer blog:


    1. I didn’t think we were arguing 🙂

      The problem is, if you read Gentiles that broadly, then doesn’t that include you and Denver, and whoever else believes the church is pantomiming? If the fulness is taken away from the Gentiles, it’s taken away from all if them, in your reading.

      1. I accept your logic. I’ve always maintained it’s imperative to understand what is meant by the fullness of the gospel in this context. A discussion from the Snuffer POV can be found here:


        By the way, Denver seems to make a distinction between the fullness of the gospel and the fullness of the priesthood:


        And, for those who care to look into it a little more, here is the Fullness as Denver sees it:


      2. This is in response to Tim’s 12:59pm comment on 9/2.

        I read those links from Denver’s blog and specifically D&C 45:27-32. It does not say what he represents it as saying. Especially about how there would be a few. It does not say few, it says His disciples.

        32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.

        Many things can be interpreted differently, but that is just misleading.

        Also, how could the fulness be taken from the Gentiles, which Denver claims means us, but still be with a few? That does not even make sense. And who’s to say those few are not faithful members of the church?

      3. You might consider it misleading if you take it in isolation.

        I believe Denver probably has 2 Ne 28:14 in mind when he classifies the disciples as “few:”

        “…they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.”

      4. “You might consider it misleading if you take it in isolation.
        I believe Denver probably has 2 Ne 28:14 in mind when he classifies the disciples as “few:””

        I took it the way it was presented, as a summary of the cited verses. But anyhow, I don’t think 2 Nephi 28:14 helps out in that case. If you look at chapters 27 and 29, that appears to be referencing a time prior to when the time of the gentiles is fulfilled.

        Chapter 30 is especially helpful to understand these prophecies:

        1 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.

        2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

        3 And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

        4 And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

        5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.

        6 And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people.

        7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.

        8 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

        9 And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

        10 For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.

        For the rest of the chapter, which ends his prophesying, he goes on to describe the Millenium. Seems pretty clear to me.

  27. dbundy

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It’s helpful to know the Gentile Hebrew word “Stranger” I certainly will be studying this parable with more insight. I appreciate the link to your site and I will definitely look at it.

    Tim Thanks for the additional links. Actually this is going to be fun studying and pondering this information. As always, I will be seeking the Lords help and confirmation, as you continue to do so.

    As jmhiatt expressed in an earlier post, we are missing the mark on so many issues or we would see the fruits of our commitment by way of miracles, more baptisms, more power, more revelations, more service, more sacrifice, more persecution, more everything.

    I am concerned. There seem to be a missing link some where. In my experience, we are not being encouraged or taught in a way that is piercing the soul to action. I’m not seeing a thrust toward urgency by meaningful action in the daily lives of the Saints. They seem lulled to sleep thinking “All is well in Zion.”

    No matter what our interpretation is of Gentile and Fullness, I believe we are entering a time when we are prepared to stand up to the plate or we are not. I pray, all those who are truly seeking truth and taking action will be prepared.

  28. NonRandom said, “I’m always curious to know on what basis someone can claim that most of the members of the church are blithely following church leaders. Do you have some special insight…”

    There’s nothing special needed for insight, and I thought your term “Brethrenite” is funny. Some also term the divide as between the “Liahona Saints” and the “Iron Rod Saints,” which sounds nicer because both types would want some of the gifts the other possessed.

    Blithe is a word for contentment and it would take a certain amount of contentment to be served gospel essentials at every meeting and say, “it’s all for our own good.” The blithely contented will also say things like “all that we essentially need for salvation is given to us at general conference; we can barely process what we have…” or “follow the brethren because there is safety there…” or “the Lord will not allow the prophet to lead the church astray…” or “those who criticize how the church is managed, only want to replace our current leaders; they are sore because they weren’t called…” or “revelation is too sacred to share; the Lord does not reveal things to those who blab…” or “Hiram Page! Remember Hiram Page…” or “the only revelation which can be shared is spoken by the prophet; the Lord’s house is a house of order…”

    I remember in my stake executive days a lament which was spoken by President Hinckley as he looked around at a gathering of many stake presidents when he said something like, “the church seems to have lost some revelation of late…what can we do to bring it back into our stakes and wards?” My stake president brought the question back to his executive meeting to kick it around on the next Sunday morning. The first suggestion which came to my mind was, “get rid of correlation to allow more freedom of thought again.” My suggestion was not what he was looking for because he kept working the point suggesting ward and stake leaders could provide the revelation as President Hinckley had suggested. The truth is we have lost a lot of freedom through our correlations and our Strengthening Church Members Committee. Why? Because we all know how to roll and how to be obedient. Something holds us back from saying what we think. I would say we are blithely following because there isn’t much else to do. If you do anything other than say “follow the brethren” you are branded an apostate.

    NonRandom, I would guess you like your role as watchman inside the church circles and I will guess you are good at defending the brethren, but that doesn’t satisfy the craving to know whether or not we are to seek our “calling and election sure” in this life. Have you ventured to read Lectures on Faith #s 6 and 7 lately? Do any of our quorums study it anymore? What prompted our leaders of the turn of the century to remove it? Did God authorize the removal as definitely as his prophet Joseph authorized and drafted the original version…or was it merely removed with no explanation. Nothing really was taught us regarding it. And so it goes with so many other things. One year we have an idea or a doctrine and the next year we don’t.

    It would be nice to hear something more stimulating than “follow the brethren” from the brethrenites.

    1. SaleM, I am understanding you. The solution, we may differ. Are things more abc in regards to what we are hearing? I don’t know. I can tell you that I assuredly value all and everything that covers the subject of becoming a King Benjamin Saint. A saint that surely is born of God. A Saint that has the attendant blessings that follow this new birth…. A Saint that finds themselves squarely on the path of receiving C.E.M.S and having an eventual audience with angels and our Savior etc. SaleM, when was the last time along with feasting on your scriptures– you did the same with conference talks? I can assure you that if you study, mark, pray, about what these latter-day leaders are sharing with you– the enemy that is your natural fallen man, even your inherited carnal fallen mortal condition will be elevated to your willing beautiful spirit within. oh what a difficult predicament we are in, in this tellestial sphere encompassed round about as nephi says by sin because of our flesh. Growth is, yes!? a line upon line process? ask President Packer, Denver, John P, Daniel, etc if putting the ox ahead of the cart– in way of processing and applying doctrine and their principles was what brought them to the state of “fullness” with in this true restored gospel? Where are you at on this path. If you can sing or are feeling to sing the song of redeeming love for Father because of your changed condition– does this fill you with discouragement or charity? are you apt to criticize or are you more apt to help others on this illumined path? are we spiritually born of God if our thoughts, language, and actions are laced with enmity? I would submit to you that we have been derailed a bit if this is our condition. test the abc’s and see if you are not illuminated and fortified and that the mysteries of Godliness are actually found therein… King B’s people were a happy lot who were fast advancing in the gospel… something to be said about their willing state: “And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.” the onus of gaining illumination and truth rest with who!?

    2. So no special insight, then? I figured as much, but didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Why do you think it is so obvious what is in other peoples hearts? Perhaps we’d all do better to focus more on what is in our own hearts, myself included.

      1. “So no special insight, then?” This is a mean Spirited thing to say.
        “I figured as much.” Why are you so angry?
        ” but didn’t want to jump to conclusions” Yet you have.
        “Why do you think it is so obvious what is in other peoples hearts?” God tells us He is the only one who knows our hearts.
        “Perhaps we’d all do better to focus more on what is in our own hearts, myself included.” Amen my friend.
        Peace,, David Park.

  29. NonRandom

    You ask on what basis the some of us feel that members of the church are blithely following the brethren. This is my point of view.

    When I attend my ward, I see the same families there each week, many with several children. I know it’s hard but they do it because they are committed. I love these Saints, and I know they are diligently trying to keep the commandments and be obedient. ??I don’t think they are blind sheep but just trying to be obedient souls. Because of their willingness to “get it right” I think they follow ideas or mantras without thinking or reasoning them out.

    Little by little, over the last 50 years, the Saints have been encouraged to be obedient to the mantra of “Follow the Prophet” or Brethren”

    These are only two of my reasons for believing the “Follow the Prophet” mantra is dangerous.

    1. It by-passes Christ. It puts the Prophet in front of Christ. The “Follow the Prophet” mantra has been so ingrained that it is the first thing that pops into many people’s minds when you ask them… “Who do we follow?” Try it… ask several primary children, “In the Church, who are we to follow?” Listen to their reply. Dangerous business.

    ??I debated this issue with a 83 year old friend, who I thought would know better. These were her words: “Yes, I know we follow Christ, but his words come through the Prophet so we should follow the Prophet.” Her thinking is not uncommon among the rank and file. It seems the Saints have been programed into thinking the brethren are their link to Christ for all issues and concerns. Dangerous business.

    The line: “The Prophet will never lead us astray” makes my hair stand on end. That one statement by Wilford Woodruff usurps all the warnings from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others that state otherwise. If a President of the US said that… we would be laughing and we are laughing, by the way.

    Because the Saints want to be obedient, the combination of “Follow the Prophet” and “He Cannot Lead Us Astray has become a most dangerous concept because it puts so much power in the hands of a few.

    Even though the last couple of years the Church is putting “Follow Christ” on some of their written materials… it will not usurp “Follow the Prophet” because it still sung in Primary songs, taught from the pulpit, and included in general conference talks. The concept has now been ingrained so well and it would take another 50 years to change it, if it is meant to be changed.

    2. It Has Made the Saints Lazy! As a child, I remember the talks given from the pulpit were always scripture based. Gradually that has change. Talks given by the brethren have slowly crept as the main source of our teachings… whether it is from the pulpit or in the classroom. Our manuals are proof of that because we teach what each prophet has to say about the same subjects. (Give us a break!)

    This “Brethren” format started with the youth talks but now I hear it from adults, including high counsel speakers. So many talks are based on conference talks, which they read or quote from and add a smattering of scripture to give the talk validity, when it should be the other way around. This format smack of “the philosophies of men mingled with scripture.”

    The last lesson in RS every month is a conference talk. Why not take one doctrine from the Book of Mormon or D&C and explore that using scripture. Or, how about one Commandment and explore it using the scriptures. Hmmm, what a novel idea.

    With this being said, I’m not saying the brethren should not speak out. Some of the most important narrative is their counseling against the ills of this day and time. It is appropriate to give direction and support it with scripture. ??However, I wish they would speak about the deeper doctrines, as in the old days, but I don’t see that coming so it’s up to us individually to study and search the promised gifts in the BOM and D&C and the teaching of Joseph Smith.

    “LISTEN To the Prophet” should be the brethren’s mantra. LISTEN to their words of wisdom and counsel and then it is up to us to confirm those words with the Lord. We should never take for granted what comes from the mouth any man.

    And yes… I will “LISTEN to the Prophets” and local leaders and abide their wise counsel …but like Tim and many others offering commentary…. “I FOLLOW the Lord” and his counsel first.

    1. Thanks for you comments Kathryn, I appreciate that you didn’t assume anything about me.

      I cannot argue that there are not members blithely following the prophet because I don’t know there hearts any better than anyone else, but that is my general problem with these types of comments. You said, “I think they follow ideas or mantras without thinking or reasoning them out.” Key word being “think.” For all you know, I could be in your ward and you wouldn’t have any idea that I was struggling trying to understand these concepts and delve into doctrines.

      The other thing I would note is that scriptures are just the words of past prophets, so I don’t really get the objection to using general conference talks (that was somewhat simplified: I believe scriptures are the word of God given through prophets, but I also think GC talks are, too). Even the scriptures have very little of these deep doctrines that supposedly use to be taught so regularly. In my (rough) estimation, at least 90% of the scriptures could be summarized as, “Repent.”

      I do agree with you on our responsibility to confirm the words of the Prophet with the Lord, and even though I don’t know anyone who I would characterize as blindly following the prophet, common sense would say there are at least some. I’ve also always understood that responsibility to be part of the admonition to follow the prophet, even if different speakers emphasize that to different degrees, and some not at all.

      I guess for that reason (that we should get confirmation), I am not as concerned about the admonition to follow the prophet. I mean, I could say the same thing about the scriptures – be careful that they don’t bypass the Lord. I just don’t think saying follow the prophet means putting him before the Lord. I don’t think listen is quite strong enough, but I kind of like heed – Heed the prophet.

      I’m just rambling now, but you’ve made me think!

  30. Tim I fail to see that you explain in your blog above why Joseph had to be alive when the Nauvoo Temple was finished in order for the blessings to be received instead of cursings. Seems to me that the saints faithfully endured and completed the Temple even after Joseph was killed and then they received their ordinances there before moving on further west. Why the assumption that they have been cursed or on what basis are you making the conclusion that the Church is now cursed?

    I find your comparison between Joseph and Moses quite intriguing, especially as you speak about Joseph desiring to bring the people into the presence of the Lord through the Temple. It might be noted the interesting correlation here between Joseph and Moses in that Moses desired to bring the people into the promised land but died before they were able to enter it. Joseph also died before the Temple was finished, but just like with Moses, it was after his death that his desire for his people was fulfilled.

    From what you say above, it seems that you agree the book is only going to be interesting to someone who already has an issue with the way the Church is now, so basically, you are saying that someone has to already have an opinion against the way things are done in the Church now before reading Denver’s teachings to actually agree with them.

    You say that the Church is more corporate now. I’m sure the case for this can be argued. However, many of the corporations of the Church that exist today have their roots in corporations created during the lifetime of Joseph Smith and these were set up at the time because the saints had to be very self-sufficient because of the number of enemies they had and because they in large part lived in communities apart from the rest of the world.

    Your perception is that there is no doctrine of seeking an audience with the Lord. It would be more convincing or concerning if you were to show that the Church actively taught against this or actively avoided this doctrine, but in the absence of such a claim, you must accept that what you are saying is only a portrayal of your perception of things. I for one seek daily to draw nearer to the Lord so that He may draw nearer to me and it is my desire that the veil may be removed from before my face like it was with the brother of Jared and as it is clearly still taught today from D&C 67:10.

    You refer to ‘Maverick Mormons’ very favourably. Perhaps you want to be a maverick yourself, to be different to the rest, maybe to be the underdog. I see that you live in California. Mormons are hardly the underdog or a minority in California in the same way that they are in other parts of the world, where being a Mormon, you would automatically be very different to almost everyone you know and building the kingdom is often an uphill struggle with a shortage of active priesthood with experience, ability and time to look after the multitude of struggling members with welfare issues and lives that are often far from rosy. Rather than entertaining an innate desire to be different by leaving the Church perhaps you would have had greater insight into the power of the PH by just moving away from the centre stakes of Zion and seeing first hand how the Church performs miracles in the real world amongst great opposition.

    Of course, handbook supersedes scripture on policy. It would be ludicrous to think that policy of the Church remains the same for time and all eternity even in the Church of God. If so, then what happened to sacrifice of animals and birds as required before the coming of the Lord the first time? How many health laws have there been since the dawn of time within the true Church of God? More than a few. Why then do you imply that disciplinary councils should remain the same now as when the Church in the 1800s was completely different in size and maturity?

    Perhaps you are failing to ask all the right questions when you go about your reasoning. Hopefully I have helped to put a few of those questions your way. It is all too easy to be deceived. There is no shame in that, but don’t close your mind to the possibility that you may be heading off down the wrong path while there is still time to turn back around.

    I know that God’s hand is in this work today, not only in Joseph’s day. I have seen it and I do see it… first-hand. I am at the battle front away from the centre stakes of Zion. I see miracles any time that I exercise faith. I did so today and was pleased with myself in so doing as I did not find it easy. Like so many times before, the Lord did not fail to reward me for it.

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