Of One Heart and One Mind

OneHeartOneMindI will present three cases for your consideration. I know each of these men, although one only through correspondence. I’ll include a few facts, then a few observations and perhaps draw a conclusion or two. There is a theme I’m hoping you’ll see. There is also a unifying factor in each of these cases which I believe can bond each of us even though we are mostly connected online.

Doug Mendenhall and the Jedi Workshops

First, consider the case of Doug Mendenhall. I met Doug about five years ago at a symposium he was hosting for my friend Anthony Larsen, the author of the Prophecy Trilogy of books on the last days. Doug wrote Conquering Spiritual Evil. He is the father of Denise Yale, a wonderful young lady and mother who lives without a veil, a very difficult thing to do in this dark world.

Doug conducts a series of lectures which he calls Jedi workshops. I think it’s funny, because as you’re probably aware, there are some in this world who have declared their religion to be Jedi. They take it very seriously. Doug’s material has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or even Yoda. Well, maybe a little bit of Yoda. It’s all about the spirit world around us.

When I heard Doug was coming to California to present a weekend workshop I knew I had to be there. A dozen open-minded people gathered in the home of one of our group in Oceanside and for twelve hours over two days we were introduced to ideas about how things work on the other side of the veil that, frankly, would blow your mind if you haven’t read some of Doug’s books.

Insights Into the Spirit World

Much of what Doug knows about the spirit world comes from Denise and Katherine or Kitten as she is called. Kitten is also sighted or lives without a veil. Life is very painful for Kitten. She has paid a terrible price in physical pain and near death, meaning she has been to the spirit world on many occasions, as has Denise. If you can open your mind and your heart, I recommend Denise’s book.

I enjoyed myself immensely during the weekend instruction. Could Doug prove all the things he was sharing? No. Did I accept everything he was sharing? Yes and no. I did not disbelieve. I had no reason to do so as I had limited experience with some of the things he was sharing. If you are interested in knowing details, email me privately and I’ll share some of the things that he shared.

Update: So many people have emailed to ask for a copy of the notes I have created a new post here: https://www.latterdaycommentary.com/2014/11/27/doug-mendenhall-jedi-workshop/

My observation: Doug has been called a whacko and worse by neighbors who should have been more loving and accepting of the difficult life through which his family has passed over the last dozen years. I love Doug. I appreciate how hard it must have been to write that book. I learned a lot from the book. He helped me through a difficult situation. His book was an answer to prayer.

When an Appeal is not an Appeal

Second, consider the case of Keith Henderson, the man who sealed Denver’s Phoenix / Mesa lecture. Keith was recently excommunicated, as one might expect. I shared his original letter to his local priesthood leaders here on my blog. It was an eye-opener. Some saw accusations in his letter. I didn’t. I saw statements of facts, observations and perhaps a few challenges to do right.

Keith and I have kept in touch. I have found him to be man of integrity and honesty. His words are thoughtful, cut deeply to the heart of the matter and caused me to ponder things of eternal significance in my own life as I had recently passed through a similar experience of having to decide how I felt about the influence the LDS Church wielded in my life. It was disconcerting.

Keith shared his letter of appeal with me this evening and gave me permission to share it on the blog. I am more than happy to do so because it illustrates a point of disorder in the church – that of announcing excommunications from the pulpit. I thought that practice stopped years ago. How does that fit into the appeal process? It doesn’t. It’s wrong and should not be done. Here you go:

Keith’s Letter of Appeal

November 3, 2014 – Appeal of Disciplinary Council Decision
The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In care of *** * ******, President of the Clinton Utah Stake
[Emailed and post mailed November 4, 2014]

Dear Presidents Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf:

I have been excommunicated from the Church on the vague charge of apostasy. I did not attend the Stake Disciplinary Council because I asked President ****** what definition of apostasy I would be tried under, to which he took out the Church Handbook of Instructions. I said that I was already familiar with the definition contained therein. He said there would be no use in wasting my time or his by re-reading it. I then stated to him that I desired, and felt to have the right to be tried as pertaining to the instructions in the scriptures, and not by the instructions of men mingled with scripture as contained in the semi-secret Church Handbook of Instructions, and if this cannot be, then I refuse to attend such a farcical hearing.

I therefore appeal to the First Presidency to overturn the decision to excommunicate me from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immediately reinstate me to full fellowship for the following reasons, and under the following premises:

D&C 102: 27 says, “should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.”

2. D&C 20: 80 states with no equivocation, “Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.

• The Church Handbook of Instructions neither purports to being part of the canon of  scripture, nor does it come up to any definition of such. For instance we have in the Bible Dictionary the following definition; “[Canon] is used to denote the authoritative collection of sacred books used by the true believers in Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called standard works.” The Church Handbook of Instructions is not part of this collection, neither has it [unlike the others] been voted upon by the common consent of the members as being binding as scripture upon them.

• If I had been tried according to the requirements of the scriptures I would have been tried in a court of two or more Elders, the court having been initiated by at least two accusers who were worthy members of the church and eye witnesses of my crime. The scriptural requirement is that they be of my peers (not leaders), whom I would have been able to question; and then, whereupon having been found guilty, the verdict would have then been presented to my congregation. They would have then voted by the raising of the arm to sustain or not. This scriptural requirement for dealing with transgressors or those at fault was not followed, nor even suggested, except by me.

3. Current church practice in church courts creates conflict of interest.

The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony are, and should be biased, but the High Council and particularly the Stake Presidency take the role of judge, and consequently are supposed to be unbiased and impartial. This requires that neither of these two sitting councils can act as witnesses or make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as witnesses or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial, and thus should recuse themselves from voting on the guilt or innocence of the accused. This then should make such a court null and void as there could never be a fully impartial council under these circumstances. Otherwise it is nothing but a farce.

4. Evidence is not enough.

There is a scriptural process called the Law of witnesses and it is in place for a reason. Evidence or hearsay of wrongdoing without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints, and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes his ideas in a paper, but none of the saints are offended by it, or bring up accusations against the author, the Stake Presidency has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the High Council, nor does the Bishopric. Charges and accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints for any of these councils to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first, and the final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

So let the scriptures themselves reiterate: “But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42: 81.)

I submit that not even a modicum of proper evidence has been established against me as perpetrating even a hint of the crime of apostasy and that judgment of me as committing such was done with prejudice and partiality on the part of both my bishop and stake president, because they acted as both accusers and judge. I do not say that I have not written papers concerning my beliefs and understanding of the scriptures. But I do say that if they caused any offense which might have warranted excommunication, it was not handled in any sort of a proper manner by any of those charged as my leaders who have the responsibility of following the scriptures, which delineate the proper procedures to be used.

I therefore repeat my request, and appeal before you, that you take all these objections to that which has been done so far, and overturn the horrendous mistake which has been made by those concerned, and reinstate me immediately to full fellowship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sincerely, Keith M. Henderson

Observation: What will happen if the First Presidency decides the appeal has merit and reinstates Keith into full fellowship? What will the bishop do in view of the fact he has stood in front of the priesthood, the relief society and in fact, the whole ward in Sacrament meeting specifically to announce that Keith has been excommunicated for apostasy? Is there a procedure to retract?

A Wild Man Has Come Among Us

Third and final case: I know the majority of LDS Church members have not heard of Denver Snuffer. They are not aware of or read his publications, nor have they considered the message he delivered up and down the Mormon Corridor over the past year (Sep 2013 to Sep 2014) at his own expense in a series of ten lectures. He claims to have done this at the direction of the Lord.

I have considered the message he has delivered. I have read his books, listened to the lectures, studied, fasted and prayed about the message I heard and the claims made. I suppose this is the heart of the matter I want to consider tonight and why I’m sharing this with you. Denver has had a tremendous influence upon thousands of Mormons, both in and out of the LDS Church.

Now that the message has been delivered, he is busily engaged in revising, editing and preparing the message for publication in a book form. It is all about the restoration, what was originally revealed and what the Lord tried to accomplish through Joseph Smith – preparing a people for Zion. With Denver spending every free moment on the book, a sort of vacuum has developed.

Looking for a Strongman

People are attracted to confident leadership. We seem to gravitate to those who speak with authority and sound a clarion call to action. It is actually a rare commodity in today’s world. Business leaders tend to get action through force, threats, fear and coercing. It is rare to find a leader who wields power and influence through love unfeigned, long-suffering and persuasion.

I know many people, especially those in my son’s generation, have said, “now what?” They have said it directly and they have implied it in what they are writing and sharing on the blogs and in the forums. They are looking for leadership – someone to tell them what to do. They are looking for a strongman to take charge, to make things happen and to lead them to the Promised Land.

In steps Bret Corbridge, who has called a conference to be held on May 15th on the Grand Mesa in Colorado, a sacred land and a land of promise. Bret is the author of 77 Truths but don’t call him a strongman. Bret has said his role in this conference is to organize, not necessarily to teach. Some are wondering about this conference, it’s significance and if it is the start of something such as the building of Zion.

Surely Zion Shall Dwell in Safety Forever

What do each of these men have in common? It is a love of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a desire to help others come unto Christ and to experience the joy that comes from knowing him. Each has expressed and demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice and to obey the promptings of the Lord. Except for Doug, they have each been cast out of the LDS church on vague charges of apostasy.

Consider the phrase the Lord uses in Moses 7:18 – “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” I know many who are contributing their tithing to various groups with the specific intent of helping to care for the poor among them. But I’d like to consider the idea of one heart and mind.

I’d also like you to think about how we interact with one another on this blog. It is my belief that almost everyone who comes to this blog loves the Lord, wants to know Him, to please Him, to serve Him and to help others to come unto Him. Each is blessed with different talents and many different ways of seeing life, current events, interpreting scripture and exercising spiritual gifts.

The Holy Ghost Fell on Many

My friend Log has been trying to make a point about the Golden Rule. Some of his observations are astute and astounding. They have helped me as I have had to deal with a difficult situation in my business dealings over the past few days. Log has a need, a desire to express himself under the cover of anonymity. He has his reasons. He is not anonymous to me. I love Log as a friend.

Lynne has shared an excellent post about Having Skin in the Game. I loved and appreciated her forthright comments. I found them inspiring else I would not have posted them under her name with her permission. Nate – Minority of One – has posted some of the most read and commented posts about the Savior and Mother in Heaven that I have found both enjoyable and enlightening.

Accept Imperfections in Each Other

I have in my email archives thousands of private emails from the past seven years. Readers come and go but they all seem to have one thing in common. They are searching for something. We want community. We want to share. We want to express ourselves and to be understood. But the most basic thing I see is we are all of one heart and one mind – we love and want to please God.

I have invited a few other regular readers to share posts, which they will be doing in the near future. I invite each of you who come here to read and share to make the effort to remove any kind of judgment from your heart. I know its human nature. I don’t like receiving emails or texts or phone calls discussing other readers or writers. We love the Lord. Let’s be united in that love.

24 thoughts on “Of One Heart and One Mind”

  1. No wonder there have been no comments. I had tightened up security to block spam. Had to loosen it up a bit. Thanks, Log, for pointing out the problem. Sorry, folks.

  2. Keith’s original letter contained at least one accusation – that the Brethren were seeking deep to hide their counsels from the Lord, thus accusing the Brethren of bad intent towards the Lord in the administration of tithes. This accusation was presented without evidence.

    It is intent that divides between good and evil, and no man knoweth the thoughts and intents of heart except 1. the accused tells you what is in his heart, or 2. the Lord tells you.

    Keith may respond that it was revealed to him by God that the Brethren truly intend to hide their counsels from the Lord in the acquisition and administration of tithes.

    Joseph taught this:”[N]o person through the discerning of spirits can bring a charge against another, they must be proven guilty by positive evidence, or they stand clear.” TPJS p. 214

    Positive evidence is the publicly accessible stuff, like recorded statements of intent by the accused.

    It is to be noted that I am simply pointing out Keith made an accusation. I am not taking a position on whether Keith’s accusation is true. I have no skin in this game. I pointed it out because just judgement is important, and I plan on addressing this in a future post.

    However, all that being said, I see no error in his appeal letter.

  3. Hi Log. I’d like to offer two things here. 1) I’ll back up what Keith has said. The council on the dispositions of tithes hides their doings or actions from the people. That’s not an accusation. It’s a fact. All things are to be done by common consent. The fact that the Brethren choose not to reveal the details of the financial dealings of the LDS Church in regards to tithing money I have given over the years shows what is in their heart. You interpret that how you will.

    2) I’d like to add my witness of Denver to Keith’s. The spirit bears witness to me of who an individual is by what I feel when I hear or read their words. My witness was received the first time I read Passing The Heavenly Gift back in late January of 2012. I could not put it down. I stayed up until three or four in the morning to finish it. The Lord bore witness to my soul that what I was reading was written with authority and permission from Him.

    Although that was good enough for me, I knelt down in prayer that night, offered up my soul to the Lord and told Him what I felt. I said, ‘I felt thy spirit bearing witness to me that the words Denver Snuffer wrote were approved by thee. I believe the man is a prophet in every sense of the word. Wilt thou confirm this to my soul?’ I did not have to wait more than a few seconds. The voice of the Lord came into my mind confirming it.

    If you want specifics, here you go: The Lord said, ‘Yes, Tim. Denver Snuffer has shared the truth. He did so at my request. There is much more you need to read that I have asked him to write.’ And that was it from the first time I prayed about Denver. I have had at least a dozen similar experiences each time I read one of his books and especially as I prayed after each of the lectures delivered. I have heard the voice of the Lord.

    D&C 105:35-37

    There has been a day of calling, but the time has come for a day of choosing; and let those be chosen that are worthy. And it shall be manifest unto my servant, by the voice of the Spirit, those that are chosen; and they shall be sanctified; And inasmuch as they follow the counsel which they receive, they shall have power after many days to accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.

    Ezekiel 34:22-24

    Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

    1. Tim,

      What you said about Keith’s letter and what I said about Keith’s letter are not incompatible. I’m addressing a very narrow point which you did not address – Keith accused the Brethren of seeking deep to hide their counsels from the Lord.

      If Keith had left out that accusation – that the Brethren were seeking deep to hide their counsels from the Lord – or if he had documentation of a statement of such intent, I would not have said a word. As it is, he is not a witness, having no direct and admissible knowledge against them on this point, by the standard Joseph laid out. Revelatory knowledge doesn’t count when accusing.

      PTHG does not, to my recollection, include such an accusation against the Brethren, and, having read most, if not all, of Snuffer’s blog, I can’t recall reading any accusations against the Brethren in any of it.

      Indeed Snuffer has not, to my knowledge, accused anyone, neither has he shown the least bit of the spirit of contention, to my eye. I concede others have indeed accused him of such, but their accusations appeared, to me, to be mere projection.

      1. To also explicitly state a point – just because I don’t tell you something doesn’t mean I am seeking to hide my thoughts, intents, or counsels from the Lord. A narrow point, perhaps, but that can be the difference between fact and accusation.

      2. From pages 26-27 of the Phoenix / Mesa lecture:

        “And there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord.”

        “How might one better “hide their counsels from the Lord,” than to conceal all the money that is gathered from the tithes of His people? How better than to hide from view all the revenues paid to the authorities of the church, and even admonish the paid mission presidents that they must never disclose the revenue benefits that they are receiving? How better to hide your counsel, than to conceal it from the very sheep that are being shorn? By the people who sit in positions of authority, claiming they have the right to come to the stake that I lived in, as a member of the quorum of the 12, and hand my membership record to the stake president and insist that there be a disciplinary council held against me.

        “The church seeks deep to hide their councils. I participated in that conspiracy when I agreed I would conceal that Elder Russell M. Nelson of the quorum of the 12 came and called my new stake president and handed to him my membership record, instructing him that I must be disciplined. And to his credit, president Hunt took 18 months fighting that decision, because he knew I was an innocent man, before he submitted. Before relenting President Hunt was called in repeatedly, and finally “instructed” using the church Handbook of Instructions telling him he had no choice but to hold a disciplinary council. I will no longer participate in concealing the councils kept from the public! It is wrong! president Hunt should not do it. Elder Russell Nelson should not do it. None of them should do it! They should come clean and admit my excommunication was only from the top, although it required the stake to relent and impose their sentence.”

        1. Tim,

          Would you agree that it would suck if Keith managed to get himself excommunicated because he misread, and repeated his misunderstanding of, someone he trusted? Because, alas, you have shown me the most probable source of Keith’s accusation.

          The Church is indeed hiding its counsels from the people by not revealing, and not getting the required common consent for, the administration of tithing. However, the people are not the Lord, which was Keith’s accusation.

          Snuffer did not say the Church was hiding its counsels from the Lord, but asked how might it better do so than by withholding information from the people. By changing the question into a statement and answering it, Keith pulled the same kind of rhetorical legerdemain Greg Smith did in his PTHG review for the Mormon Interpreter. “Rhetorical intent,” Smith claimed, permitted him to rephrase questions as assertions at will.

          Maybe Snuffer does feel that the Church is hiding its counsels from the Lord – but he didn’t say that it was. I say again – because I don’t tell someone something doesn’t mean I am trying to conceal that something from another person.

          “The church seeks deep to hide their councils” does not refer to tithing at all, but rather to the disciplinary council which resulted in Snuffer’s excommunication.

          This incident also points up a problem here that I will address later – that all arguments from authority are necessarily fallacious, but violate the golden rule.

        2. Also, I guess I should point out that the Brethren / leadership are not coextensive with the Church – so even if a charge may be justly urged against the Church, it need not apply to any particular member of the leadership.

          And I meant to say “all arguments from authority are necessarily fallacious, AND violate the golden rule.”

        3. Good points, Log. You always get me thinking. Just to add a few more thoughts from page 27 of the Phoenix / Mesa lecture:

          “One of conditions of the employment agreement general authorities must sign is that all of their diaries become the property of the church once they die. This is to conceal their counsels from God and man. They do not want their affairs to be made public. If you knew, many of you would be horrified at what you would learn. A great deal of information about what went on in church history, spilled out into the public when the diaries became public. Church Historian Leonard Arrington opened up the archives. D. Michael Quinn did a pioneering job collecting, analyzing the journals and diaries, then publishing history we had never seen before.

          “Although he has been vilified, much of LDS history now written relies on D. Michael Quinn’s research and work. He donated a great deal of material to Yale University, and some of that has been published in limited editions. Richard Van Wagoner put together a large, five volume collection of all Brigham Young’s talks, greatly expanding what was previously available. The oftentimes-shocking information contained in the diaries, journals, letters and previously unpublished talks have shone a completely different light on LDS history. To staunch the flow of information, the church now requires the private journals and diaries to become church property; to better conceal from public view what has happened.

          “Seeking deep to hide their counsels from the Lord, and their works shall be in the dark,” is exactly what the authorities of the LDS Church now do! It is exactly a description of the hierarchy of LDS Mormonism. Put your budgets online. Disclose your revenue. Show us what you do with the poor in contrast to what you do with the rest of the revenue. Don’t hide it. We do not even know what the total annual revenue is. The Auditor’s Report only affirms the first presidency and twelve know and approved what was spent. That is a shallow assurance indeed.

          “They “seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them. Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up. They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up. They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, 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.”

          My point: Denver is the Servant, Keith is the Witness. Here is more from Keith. He has given me permission to share it:

          “Tim, just let me reiterate; I am a witness of the truthfulness of the things Denver has taught. I have been called on in several venues (probably not what you think) to bear that witness. I have the voice from heaven declaring these things and many more things that I have never spoken about. If I have any claim to fame whatsoever it is in my calling to witness of these things. And if any out there really do think I am something other than just plain and weak, I give that all up to God. I’m sure many others could do better than I in this effort, but God, as seems his pattern, has chosen one of the weakest to thrash the earth with his/His testimony. Otherwise I am really a nobody and seek no following. I’ll leave that up to you guys who know how to say so many different things. I just bear witness that the words His chosen Servant spoke are the words of the Lord to us who will listen. (See D&C 105: 35-37 and Ezekiel 34: 22-24.) The Lord has spoken. The Servant called to deliver those words to us has witnessed they are true, and I am a second witness that they are. That’s all I am.”

          In conjunction with the two scriptures Keith shares, I ask, how can it be any clearer? This is not a thought exercise. This is the law of witnesses in action. I asked the Lord if I could be a witness. He said no, not in the sense that Keith is a witness. My witness is that which has been burned into my heart by the spirit and by hearing the voice of the Lord in response to direct questions asked in prayer, such as: “Is Denver thy Latter-day servant?” Answer: You know he is.” Question: “Is Denver a prophet, seer and revelator?” Answer: “In every sense of each of those words.” What more can be offered? My soul is satisfied, else I would not be doing this.

        4. Then I have been factually incorrect and Snuffer did indeed accuse the leadership of hiding their counsels from the Lord.

          And Keith, if you have repeated him accurately, has evidentiary grounds to make the accusation he makes.

          The only question is whether to believe them on this subject, even if only insomuch as to make an honest inquiry of the Lord whether the accusation is true.

          If I were sitting in judgement on this matter, I would plead for mercy on the part of the accused, that they be not reviled, nor spoken of harshly, nor condemned, for they did not put themselves in this position, but rather inherited the system and the beliefs themselves.

          But that’s me. What will you, dear reader, do?

        5. … or, rather, “Keith, if you have repeated him accurately, has claimed sufficient evidentiary grounds to make the accusation.”

        6. “If I were sitting in judgment on this matter, I would plead for mercy on the part of the accused, that they be not reviled, nor spoken of harshly, nor condemned, for they did not put themselves in this position, but rather inherited the system and the beliefs themselves.”

          Amen. I have often thought the same thing. I feel like I know these Brethren who lead the LDS Church. They don’t know me and I’ve only personally met two of them – L. Tom Perry and Jeffrey R. Holland. I continue to pray for them each night. Frankly, I feel a great love for these brethren and believe they have indeed inherited a few things.

  4. Or, let’s take a thought experiment I was going to bring up in my post on righteous judgement.

    You watch, late at night, as a well-dressed man stumbles out of a seedy bar late at night. You watch as he wobbles his way into the alleyway to the side of the bar, lurch against the wall, and collapse in an apparent stupor. You hear snoring. A short while later, you watch as a muscular youth comes up through the alleyway to the passed-out drunk. You watch as the youth draws a pearl-handled, silver revolver from the drunkard’s waistband. You see him hold it up to the moon’s light, and draw a finger over the handle. After about 5 seconds, you watch in horror as the youth puts the gun to the drunkard’s head, and pulls the trigger, blowing his brains out onto the pavement.

    Did you witness a murder?

      1. Why, yes, yes it is.

        And for those who said “yes, it was murder” congratulations, you convicted Nephi.

        But how, pray tell, do we know – we who do know, that is, because not everyone does know – that Nephi didn’t murder Laban?

        Because Nephi told us his intent, and we know the law he operated under. Intent is what distinguishes evil from good.

        And it seems to me any standard of judgement which would, applied universally, charge God or his servants acting as such, with sin is unjust judgement.

  5. Jean Piere Peralta

    Ok, so based on your last comment Tim (the Ezekiel 34:22–24 quote in particular,) are you implying Denver Snuffer is the Davidic Servant? Also, since you claim to be at least somewhat well-read on Snuffer (even if you don’t exactly say it, let’s just assume you mean this for the sake of my question, since I have noticed in a lot of your posts or replies to comments that you claim you have studied Snuffer’s writings for a couple years now) can please, please tell me how it makes logical sense that the LDS church lost their keys by unjustly excommunicating Snuffer? Wouldn’t they have lost them back when people like D. Michael Quinn, Paul Toscano and others where excommunicated unjustly (in my view, what’s yours?) as well? What makes Snuffer so special? Ok, sure, let’s say he has seen Jesus; but shouldn’t make him any more special in regards to God governing “His House” (assuming the LDS Church, was at least at one point, Christ’s Church.) I have my conjectures, but I am curious as to your take on it.

    You know, if a fellow tells you need to baptized again…I mean that’s just throwing the out baby altogether, with the bathwater. I mean, if we really need to all be baptized again, what hell is the point of anybody being LDS anymore? I saw you wrote an LDS Missionary to stay on his mission or something like that. What the hell is the point of doing that…I mean is he supposed to go and get baptized for real on one of his P-days, and then preach a fake baptism for 2 years, in order to walk in truth these days? Don’t you see the cognitive dissonance in that (if that is the proper term?) My intent is not to judge you at all Tim, but I am judging principles and your arguments (if I understand them correctly. Please correct me if I’m wrong.) I mean to all “our” fellow LDS friends nowadays…should the message be…”Hey your lease is up. Time to renew it, the way God’s new landlord said to?”

    1. First of all, there is a lot of anger in your post. Name calling like “fake baptism” isn’t needed and I doubt anyone like Tim would ever call or think of it like that. Just because Jesus was baptized by John (outside the priesthood structure of the day), didn’t stop him from sending people to show themselves to the priests in the temple after that.

      It’s pointless arguing faith-based issues. People will believe what they want to, but a lot of people are waking up to the fact that the interpretation of the restoration that we’ve been taught and sold doesn’t hold up well against the facts (see Daymon Smith’s “Cultural History of the Book of Mormon” or even “Passing the Heavenly Gift” to see some alternate interpretations of history).

      What the church teaches is just an interpretation what happened in the early 1800s; they choose to leave things out in their interpretation, so does Smith or Snuffer or Toscano or anyone else (like me). Why shouldn’t we consider new options? weigh new opinions? build new models? break old ones down? As long as you are diligently seeking truth and the mysteries of God, I would back anyone (even if they make some mistakes along the way). If you aren’t seeking truth, you won’t find it (and are still in a deep sleep, nice and COMFORTable, so you can’t conceive why you would even need COMFORTERS).

      Here’s a guess (assuming Denver’s claim is true): maybe the church excommunicating let’s say Gileadi is equally unjust and uncalled for, but Gileadi is not someone who has stood in the presence of the Father and obtained a covenant from him. That may change things. But I agree it is a confusing claim.

      As far as the statement: “Hey your lease is up. Time to renew it, the way God’s new landlord said to?” There is scriptural precedent. 3rd Nephi for example. Who’d have thought the mighty Nephi that worked miracles, obtained the sealing power, was ministered to by angels would need to be baptized again? . . . Well it happened.

      See you can look at things from a thousand different angles, and I could probably shoot down my own arguments using other scriptures. I’m shocked at all the bickering and excommunicating that’s going on. There is a real lack of charity in this whole mess.

  6. Michael: I thank you for brining the dialog back to the point I was trying to make: don’t we all believe in and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, our Savior and our King? Are we not each interested in building Zion, where there is no poor among us? What will it take for us each to be of one heart and one mind? The Holy Ghost is the mind of Christ, or if you don’t believe that, the Holy Ghost can help us all come together with the same mind – or understanding – and the same heart. Is it not our heart’s desire to bless each other’s lives? Do we not all seek the welfare of each other?

    I desire your happiness, whoever reads these words. I would do anything for you, for that is the Golden Rule. I ask nothing in return. Let us dialog and converse in peace with no accusations sought or even pointed out if seen. Why must we seek such things? I hope and pray when we attend the Remnant Family Reunion in May, if we plan on attending, that we come with a desire to be united and to teach one another of Christ.

    “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

    1. “Let us dialog and converse in peace with no accusations sought or even pointed out if seen. Why must we seek such things?”

      Tim… I don’t ask to see what I see. I simply cast my eyes about and there it is, whether I will to see it or not.

      There is a reason to point it out if it is seen – maybe someone doesn’t recognize they’re doing it.

      After all, when entering someone else’s house, one needs to ascertain the rules of the house so as not to offend the householder – or so it seems to me. Hospitality to me would include informing guests of rules to abide by, if there are any – and there usually are. Some households, for example, the householder desires shoes should be taken off and left outside. Others might only request guests not defecate on the coffee table. And so on.

      And the point of Zion is that we are to all be one big family, all of us brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, all united as one – one household. That’s the point of teaching the gospel, teaching the commandments, warning one another against sin, and so on.

      But this is your house. What are your rules?

      1. Silly me. I wrote the guidelines seven years ago. They used to be on the menu. Somehow they disappeared. They are back on the menu. Here they are:

        Please keep the following in mind:

        • I’m writing as an individual former member of the LDS Church, sharing personal perspectives. I can’t imagine anyone assuming that I am writing officially for the Church. These observations, writings and opinions are my own. Go to the official church websites to get official church doctrine.

        • Remember that “a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). It almost never helps to argue or contend with me or others regarding your beliefs or to become defensive or belligerent.

        I try to share my essays in a kind and gentle way. I know that not everyone will agree with what I write—and that’s okay. All I ask is that you please remember to show some respect and consideration for my views and those of others when you leave your comments. Personal attacks and insults are not welcome.

        • Be friendly and polite, even if you comment anonymously. Act like you would if you were talking to your next door neighbor. How you comment may be just as important as what you say. Please point us to your own blog or website.

        • What helps the most are thoughtful and measured voices that explain your position on the issues being discussed and how your personal experiences relate.

        • Be relevant. Please stick to the topic of the essay. Be cautious about trying to force your ideas where they are not relevant.

        • Everything you say or write could be on the Internet forever. Remember you’re always on the record. So am I. Thanks.

        All original essays are copyright Tim Malone

        Source: https://www.latterdaycommentary.com/guidelines/

  7. I was thinking today, how would we act if every interaction was done as if the other party is Christ? I think we would all behave a wee bit differently and a lot of what may have been regrets would cease to be regrets.

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