I’ve been asked to substitute teach the High Priest’s Group this weekend. I always enjoy teaching but wish we had more time. After the opening section of priesthood, we get about a half hour to teach. That’s barely enough time to say hello and introduce a topic. Well, I prayed about what the Lord would have me do. He said, just discuss the key points. The brethren will participate. That’s good because I don’t want to have to talk much. Let them teach the lesson. My job is to lead or guide the conversation. Hopefully we’ll all come to the same conclusion the manual leads us to and that is “Don’t follow the ways of the world or be worldly. Live the gospel principles.”
Precious Little Time to Prepare
I’m OK with this assignment. I feel I can do it, especially after having asked the Lord what He wanted done. I’ve known about this assignment for two weeks but have been swamped with the last two weeks of my annual technical training classes. I have been burned out every night. The Lord did not say I needed to prepare any material. It’s all in the book. I’ll just ask some of the brethren to tell the story of what happened that caused Kirtland to fail and how we can avoid it. If your quorum or Relief Society group is like mine, we’ll have no problem with participation.
Just Have to Lead the Conversation
I’m grateful the Lord answered my prayer about this. I’d been concerned about preparing a whole bunch of material, having to explain the details of the Kirtland Safety Society, give some examples of speculation and why it can lead to worldliness and cause one to forget their religion. But I don’t have to do that now. I have the promise of the Lord that He will teach the lesson. I love when that happens. To me, its evidence the Lord loves me and understands my desire to be a conduit for the spirit. After all, isn’t that what the teacher really should do – just subtly guide?
A Report on Digesting Denver’s Lectures
For those who are interested, I wanted to offer a few thoughts that have come to me as I have listened to, read and digested Denver’s last five lectures. But first I want to express gratitude. I should do this in private, but sometimes it’s better to put it on the blog. Doug Mendenhall, if you read this, please accept my thanks for several things: 1) Recording the lectures. 2) Allowing me to pay for them so I’m on the list to get them right away. 3) Then sending them out USPS so I get them just a few days after they transpire. Even though I can’t be there, I feel like I was there.
Thank You for Transcribing the Talks
Second, I want to thank Denver or Stephanie for taking the time to transcribe them and then Denver for adding all kinds of stuff he intended to be in the recording but later added under the spirit of inspiration. I am just fascinated as I listen and read at the same time. The recording with voice inflection and powerful emphasis in some places causes me to delight with the way I am affected by both hearing and reading the words. And to whoever took the talks from Scribed and put them in a PDF (I won’t name you), for email distribution, thank you, thank you, thank you.
A Study Notebook to Get the Big Picture
I’ve made a notebook of the five talks so far, printed out the PDFs and put tabs at the beginning of each one indicating location. The subject of the talk given at each location is at the top of each page and I have ripped the CDs so I can sit in my favorite easy chair, play it on a podcast and highlight the talk as I listen. I stop often, pondering what I am hearing or looking up the scripture to make notes in the margins. I’ve done the same with the Elijah talk and The Road to Emmaus Talk and the Temple Talk. I think I’m missing others (First Three Words, Brigham Young’s Telestial Kingdom)but I’ll eventually add them to the book (Links anyone?)
A Series of Lectures for Such a Small Group
I wish I had some insightful thoughts to offer but so far, I’m still trying to figure out why the Lord asked (commanded) Denver to do this. As he said, he is paying to come talk to us. He pays for the rental of the hall if he can’t find one for free. He is paying his own travel costs. I wish he would come to California but who would come listen to him? Nobody has even heard of him. I’ve made up my mind I’m either going to St George or Phoenix to attend one of his last lectures. I can see there’s an order to what he’s doing, teaching certain subjects first. There are 132 pages so far. That doesn’t include his earlier talks – just the last five. That’s a lot of pondering to do.
A big Thank You to Denver for His Sacrifice
I know he said he does not like it when attention is given to him but I want to express my personal gratitude to Denver for doing this. He gave up his membership to do what the Lord asked him to do. As he wrote on his blog, we should be thinking about the Lord and the message He asked Denver to deliver. And again, this should probably be in a private email but I want more people to wonder who this man is and why he is doing this series of lectures. I want people to go back and see what I have written about him, then go to his blog, read it, buy his books and read them. He doesn’t need a spokesman. We don’t know each other. I just want to say thanks.
Reminder of What You’ll Find on This Blog
I know my blog readership is small. That’s OK, 200 people is just fine. It’s not even the same 200 people who come by each day. These are usually people who Googled Denver Snuffer or Visions of Glory or Excommunication or Casting out Devils or Near Death Experiences. These are all subjects about which I have written. I reached a new milestone the other day – 360 posts. This blog is becoming more of a journal. Because I get new readers every time I write, what you’ll find here are a lot of fringe LDS book reviews – and commentary on a few of my favorite authors – Denver Snuffer, Doug Mendenhall, Anthony Larson, Mel Fish and Jan Graf. Jan hasn’t written much but for those who know him, you know why I want to write about his work.
I’m Feeling Better, Thanks for Asking
For those who are interested, my health is improving. I have found a very strict psychiatrist who is making me get off the medication that was putting me to sleep all the time. You know, it’s so easy to abuse prescription medication. The Anti-anxiety drug I still take works wonders, but it works just as well in small doses. I was taking three times as much as I needed each day. No wonder I barely had enough energy to stay awake through my training classes. I have also found a local psychologist who’s agreed to take me on. He was recommended by another psychologist because he thought he was Mormon but he’s not. So what? We’re going to have some nice chats.
Visits From the Spirit World
I recognize that for those who don’t know me, reading that I’m seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist may cause you to wonder what could be the matter with me. It’s a long story. I’ve explained it dozens of times in emails so I finally posted most of it in a recent blog that has links to the full story. In a nutshell, back in February, something turned on my ability to see and hear dead people. It scared the crap out of me because I wasn’t ready for it. The family doctor is a good man who gave a prescription for anti-anxiety medication that really helps but it also turns off the ability. So this will be an interesting journey as the psychiatrist weans me off the drug and the psychologist and I talk about the visits from the spirit world – no big deal for some people.
Visit the Spirit World to Gain Knowledge
So if for nothing else, come back every once in a while to see if I go off the deep end or if I come up with some unique insights into what the spirit world is like, at least for me. I can also have conversations with the spirits at will but I have purposefully kept from doing that because, well, frankly, I need to learn more about it and why it started happening. Some people live with this and have no problem. For me, I’m still getting used to it. I know when they’re around and they know I know it, so I have to clear the room or the house frequently. Otherwise it’s not good. My goal is to turn this into a way to live with the presence of angels as promised in a recent blessing.
Keep Patriarchal Blessings Sacred
My patriarchal blessing says my “home will be a refuge from the ills of the world, a place where you can go before the Lord and invite Him to be with you. It will be a sacred place; a fit abode for heavenly visitations.” It also says that the adversary will “seek to destroy you and your work,” but I suppose that applies to all of us. I am supposed to “use every possible moment in your development for the work that you have been called to do.” So what is that work? Is it just the basic job we all have to live worthily and righteously so we can return to live with God or was there something I promised to do. That’s for me to find out. I’ve pondered it for 41 years.
The End is Near and Yet…
It’s late Friday night. I’ve been up since 5:45. I went and looked for the comet but there were too many clouds. They say it is now visible with the naked eye but a backyard telescope is better. Why am I so interested in comets? Because Joseph said the Grand Sign of the Lord’s return will be seen by all the world. The world will say it is a comet of a planet. I’m of the personal opinion that the Lord will come with the City of Enoch. Isn’t that our doctrine? But I also believe it’s not going to happen right away. There will be forerunners – great destruction that will change our world and our civilization. That’s another reason I’m such a fan of Anthony Larson’s books.
Catching up to Private Email
I express my deepest apologies to those who wrote me private emails in October. The medication and the constant study of the material I need to pass completely took over my life. I could not muster the energy to respond the way I wanted. I’m slowly weeding through them. We all have lives – lessons to prepare, weddings, temple service, home teaching, family time. I hope you’ll understand. Some of you wrote some very interesting things. I’m not putting you off. Now that I’m beginning to feel better and not always sleeping, I’m confident life will return to normal.
A few Closing Thoughts
God bless you one and all. God loves each of us and wants us to love and serve each other. We each have different gifts. Many of you have shared you’re gifts with me of also being able to see or hear spirits and how to work with them. I thank you. I am almost done with “Spirits and Spiritual Interactions” by Dr. Christopher E. Palmer. I hope to finish it this weekend and write a short review both for my blog and for Goodreads. Thanks to whoever recommended the book. I know the Lord is cognizant of each of us, our situation in life and what we deal with every day. Nobody’s life is pain-free, physical, spiritual or emotional. I am certain we are supposed to learn from each other. So again, I think you for all the comments over the years – all 4,323. Cheers.