Understanding the Historical Record of Priesthood

TheHighPriesthoodOne of the things that always bothered me is the lack of a historical record for the ordination of Joseph and Oliver to the Melchizedek Priesthood. At one time, probably in my seminary days, someone mentioned John Whitmer had the record. He was the first “official” church historian. When he left the church in 1838, he took the record with him. That satisfied me for a long time.

No Doubt About Aaronic Priesthood

Oliver was an unofficial church historian before John Whitmer in that he recorded, as Joseph’s scribe, many of the events of the early days of the church from 1829 until 1838 when he also left. Of course we have section thirteen of the D&C which records the ordinations of Joseph and Oliver under the hands of John the Baptist. It is clear the Aaronic Priesthood was restored to the earth. But what of the Melchizedek? We find these words in the heading of section thirteen:

Interpretive Doctrine in Section Heading

“The angel explained that he was acting under the direction of Peter, James, and John, the ancient Apostles, who held the keys of the higher priesthood, which was called the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The promise was given to Joseph and Oliver that in due time this higher priesthood would be conferred upon them. (See section 27:7–8, 12.)”

Ancient Apostles Visit Joseph and Oliver

We know Peter, James and John also came, but what transpired is not recorded. Oliver said he and Joseph went into the forest and prayed “until a glorious light encircled us, and as we arose on account of the light, three persons stood before us dressed in white, their faces beaming with glory.” The Apostle Peter introduced himself along with James and John. But what did they do?

No Recorded Account of Higher Priesthood

There is no recorded account of Peter, James and John conferring Melchizedek Priesthood. There is passing mention of the event that was added to section 27 by Oliver Cowdery. It was not there when Joseph first received the revelation on 28 August 1830. It is also mentioned in Section 128, a letter Joseph wrote to the Saints while in hiding, on the subject of Baptism for the Dead.

Section 27 Added to by Oliver Cowdery

In the words added by Oliver to section 27, we read the Lord will drink of the fruit of the vine…

“…with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I revealed unto them, unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last time; and for the fulness of times…”

Keys of the Kingdom Held by Apostles

Parsing Oliver’s words, we should ask ourselves who it is that possesses the keys of the Lord’s kingdom. To whom were they committed: Joseph & Oliver or Peter, James and John? We might also profit by asking who it is that possesses the dispensation of the gospel referred to in Oliver’s words, added in September. Who is identified as “them?” The words refer to the ancient apostles.

Keys of Their Ministry are Different

If we accept Oliver’s September addition to be authorized by Joseph as accurate and binding, what we can surmise is the following:

  1. Peter, James and John were sent by the Lord to Joseph and Oliver. We don’t know the date.
  2. Peter, James and John ordained Joseph and Oliver to something, but we don’t know what.
  3. Peter, James and John confirmed Joseph and Oliver to be apostles.
  4. Joseph and Oliver were also confirmed to be especial witnesses of the Lord.
  5. They were also confirmed to bear the keys of their ministry.
  6. They were to bear witness of the same things the Lord revealed to Peter, James and John.
  7. The Lord committed the keys of his kingdom to Peter, James and John.
  8. The Lord committed a dispensation of the gospel to Peter, James and John.

It does NOT say:

  1. The keys of the Lord’s kingdom were conferred upon Joseph and Oliver.
  2. Anything about the Melchizedek priesthood being conferred.

Scriptural and Historical Evidence Missing

Let’s parse the words in section 128, where we read, “…Peter, James and John … [declared] themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times.” Where in our scriptures or historical record can we read that Peter, James and John conferred upon Joseph or Oliver the Melchizedek Priesthood or the keys of the kingdom?

By the way, in D&C 128:14, we learn another definition of keys is simply knowledge. Think about it.

Keys Exercised by Peter, James and John

The wording is clear in section 128 the three ancient apostles possessed the keys of the kingdom. This we already knew from Matthew 17 – the Mount of Transfiguration, although it’s not very clear there. In Matthew 18:18 the Lord declares the apostles possess the sealing power. But what keys did Peter, James and John give to Joseph and Oliver, if any, or did they only exercise them?

Just Asking Questions, Looking for Evidence

What does seem clear is the historical record does not shed a lot of light on the conferral of the priesthood in these latter days other than the Aaronic. That conferral seems certain and verified with scripture. But the conferral of the Melchizedek priesthood is a different story. It is simply not as cut and dried as we set it out to be in our doctrine, our lessons and our official curriculum.

There is Only One Priesthood of God

In section 84 of the D&C, also known as The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, we read in verse 33: “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining of these two priesthoods…” Didn’t Joseph say there was only one priesthood, and that all priesthood was Melchizedek? What about the patriarchal priesthood, does that make three priesthoods, or are they all still one priesthood?

Expected to Receive God in the Flesh

Back to verse 21 of Section 84, note the words, “in the flesh.” I am convinced the whole reason we have that phrase in the revelation is to encourage us to understand and believe we can and should receive the Lord in this mortal life. That’s one of the purposes of priesthood, and I’m not talking about ordination in the church. Priesthood power is only received directly from the Lord.

Priesthood is an Association with God

This is not new doctrine. It is clearly taught in section 84 but we haven’t understood it. Would to God we had a record of Joseph’s teachings on the subject in greater detail – perhaps a few of the lectures in the School of the Prophets. We have records of prayers offered with hands uplifted in that school when witnesses record Joseph reporting God the Father had passed between them.

Power of God Cannot Be Passed on

Not all that we call priesthood is what God calls priesthood. We pass an ordination between us, but the doctrine is clear. God’s power is only received directly from the Lord, not by the laying on of hands. When a man dies, he takes his priesthood power with him. Joseph taught that all prophets who have held the Melchizedek Priesthood were ordained directly by the hand of God.

All Priesthood is Perishable – D&C 121:37

Even if you receive priesthood power from the voice of God, you can lose it if you are unwilling to restrain and to contain yourself within the bounds the Lord has prescribed. Even the fullness of the priesthood with sealing power, can be lost (see D&C section 124, verse 28). Otherwise, why would the Lord say he needed the temple to be completed so he could come and restore it?

Would God That All Men Were Prophets

Joseph taught on page 322 in TPJS, “The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law.” Can you imagine what kind of church we would be if we taught that today – that all communication from God must only come from one man we uphold by common consent as our Prophet, Seer and Revelator?

Melchizedek Priesthood is to Bless, not Curse

If someone claims to hold Melchizedek priesthood but uses it to offer up condemnation, control, judgment, compulsion and authority over the souls of men, you can mark it as a sign they hold no such authority. The purpose of the higher priesthood is to bless, to uplift and to raise you up by bringing you light and truth, which is the glory of God, or intelligence (see D&C 93:36).

End of Part One – More to Come

I’ve gone on way too long. These are my study notes for today. My original desire was to trace the historical record for evidence of the Melchizedek Priesthood being conferred upon Joseph and Oliver. I have no intention of introducing doubts. These are simply questions I have. I invite and welcome your instruction and correction. Thank you my friends for taking the time to share.

Study the Gospel, Blog About it, Share it

I’m glad the church has encouraged us to a) Study the gospel on a regular basis, b) Get involved in the Internet conversations, perhaps even starting blogs and c) Share the gospel with our friends and neighbors. I’m grateful for Facebook and for WordPress which allows me to do all three at the same time. I have renewed friendships and made literally thousands of new friends online.

Learn the Doctrine, Be Ready With Answers

I’m also grateful for Peter’s advice to “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…” I’m especially grateful my church encourages me to ask questions.  I love to ask questions, including difficult ones. I then feel more prepared to answer others.

Study Things Out, Don’t Rush to Judgment

It’s good to know we can’t be saved in ignorance, nor can we judge a matter if we do not hear it out completely. Only a fool would judge another without trying to understand them first. God bless us all to take the time and trouble to build bridges and understand those in our midst who don’t think like we do. It’s good to be true and faithful and just as good to have an open mind.

Go to lds.org for Official Church Doctrine

Disclaimer: Because many have misunderstood my intent in publishing these study notes on a semi-regular basis, let me reiterate here: I am not declaring doctrine. I am not trying to teach you anything contrary to what should be provable in the scriptures and by the whisperings of the spirit. It is not my intention to destroy faith in Jesus Christ but to build it up and strengthen it.

Sources for This Summarized Material

Email me privately if you want a copy of my sources besides the ones I’ve shared in this post. A lot of this is not my original material or thinking, but I learn by writing. Many of you will recognize the source. I’m not plagiarizing. It’s just my style. I write my questions out. I answer them. It’s how I study the gospel every day. Some days I publish my thoughts.

This Material May Not Support Official Doctrine

Usually my study notes are supportive and in agreement with the official narrative of the church. Sometimes they aren’t. For example, today, in this continuing series on priesthood, I have asked some hard questions and not bothered to share the official LDS view. Some people will find it distressing and perhaps blasphemous because it does not agree with the standard narrative.

A Final Question About Blogging

Here’s my question: Should I refrain from posting this because it has controversial elements? Should I make sure I especially do not link to it from Facebook for fear of offending all the members of my current and previous stakes who might not understand why I blog? Is it worthy of discipline? Should I not share and ask the difficult questions because they take some thought?

80 thoughts on “Understanding the Historical Record of Priesthood”

  1. Please see/read Doctrine and Covenants, section 107, verses 18 and 19…….
    My belief is that IF the GA “enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant.”…..where is the new information? …the WORDS of the Father and the Savior…..?….The New Revelations….? …
    I believe they are too caught up in the “business” of the world-wide Church and the praises of the World to be able to “listen” and “commune” and “be in the Presence of The Lord”….(My humble opinion at this time in our LDS history….)

  2. I would absolutely share. From Brother Brigham: “He who takes offense when offense was not intended is a fool, yet he who takes offense when offense is intended is an even greater fool for he has succumbed to the will of his adversary.” If you have the ability to field the comments and keep the Spirit with you, I think it only helps awaken us readers to the awful state Nephi saw us in. Wo unto him that is at ease in Zion, right?

    1. Thanks Jen. I have done a poor job of communicating intent to many of my Facebook friends. Some have responded passionately as if I had violated their trust. I dislike disappointing anyone. I just want to come to an understanding of the truth in the only way I seem to know how to do so – by writing and sharing. Some don’t have the need to share. I do. In any event, I enjoy the comments, no matter how distressed they seem. I enjoy the dialog. I can then prepare answers that I hope are helpful.

  3. It’s interesting how various keys are chained together:

    The sealing & binding power & the keys of the kingdom & the key of knowledge (D&C 128:14)

    Keys of the kingdom of heaven & “whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19)

    Key of the mysteries of the kingdom & the key of the knowledge of God (D&C 84:19, maybe HC 4:443)

    “[K]nowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (TPJS, 298)

    Key of knowledge & the “fullness of the scriptures” (JST Luke 11:53)

  4. There several men that indicated June 6th, 1831 at the Morley farm was the first time the Melchizedek priesthood had been given in this dispensation. Others who later tried to reconstruct these events concluded that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had received the Melchizedek priesthood from Peter, James and John in 1829 but Joseph (or Oliver) reported only that they received “the keys of the kingdom and ordained to the holy apostleship”. Of this ordination in June 1831, Joseph said ” …the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred FOR THE FIRST TIME upon several of the Elders.”


  5. Tim,
    As I have said before, these discussions are critical in our church, it keeps us thinking, testing, stretching, and challenged to learn, understand, grow and not get lazy in mind or spirit.
    Regarding this discussion, I just can’t see how you can get past D&C 107, the whole section. This would be a very misleading revelation if your premise were true. To go through all that, and not say oh and by the way that Melchizedek priesthood I just told you about, the one that all the Elders, High Priests, Apostles etc. hold, needs to come from God Himself! Sooo get your crud together, because the whole church is on hold, as well as the restoration, Zion etc. until you all receive the Lord in the flesh?
    However, I’m studying this out, because I also have read DS books and have also felt something missing. But I believe it’s not the priesthood and its authority we’re missing, but the power and fullness, which I believe most definitely comes from heaven only!

  6. In 1829 and 1830 the offices of Elder, Priest, Teacher, and Deacon were merely church offices, not priesthood offices; and men were ordained to these offices without the Melchizedek Priesthood. Joseph and Oliver were ordained as Apostles and Elders in an Aaronic church. See D&C 20.

    In D&C 124 when the Lord says he wants to come to restore the fullness of the priesthood, I believe he is referring to what Elijah had. Joseph indicates in TPJS that Elijah was the last one to hold that fullness.

    If and when Joseph and Oliver received the Melchizedek Priesthood, it still wasn’t the complete priesthood unless it was received directly from God the Father, per the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. See D&C 84.

    I assert that the church today is still very much Aaronic, if even that, in spite of all pretenses to the contrary. If it were fully Aaronic, we would enjoy the ministering of angels as a common occurrence. If it were Melchizedek we would be Zion with Jesus Christ walking visible among us.

    Bottom line: we still have much to strive for. We need to stop pretending we have so much when really we have so very little.

    And as for me, I could care less about “official doctrine.” I only care about truth. Only the truth will save. So by all means, ask the hard and difficult questions, even the forbidden questions. Dare to be curious. Dare to challenge the official history and doctrine. If it is true, it will be strong enough to withstand all scrutiny; if it is false, it deserves to fall!

    Tim, your post is very reminiscent of Chapter 1 of PtHG. I just happened to read it today.

  7. I found this on the calling of apostles…..

    “Calling of the Apostles
    President Smith proposed the following question: What importance is there attached to the calling of the Twelve Apostles, different from the other callings or officers of the Church?

    After the question was discussed by Councilors Patten, Young, Smith, and M’Lellin, President Joseph Smith, Jun., gave the following decision:

    They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is no presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys of this ministry, to unlock the door of the Kingdom of heaven unto all nations, and to preach the Gospel to every creature. This is the power, authority, and virtue of their apostleship.

    OLIVER COWDERY, Clerk.(Feb. 27, 1835. DHC 2:200.)”

    Am I reading it correctly? Keys of the ministry? Travel and preach? Unlock the door of the Kingdom? (is this baptism?) These sound Aaronic to me.

    1. Tim, we are alike in that we both learn by writing…I am answering my own questions:

      In section 107, 33, 35
      33 The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.

      35 The Twelve being sent out, holding the keys, to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews..

      Duties to build the church, regulate affairs, proclaim the gospel. Sounds like outward ordinances to me. Aaronic.

      Continue to verse 40
      40 The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.
      41 This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner:
      42 From Adam to Seth, who was ordained by Adam at the age of sixty-nine years, and was blessed by him three years previous to his (Adam’s) death, and received the promise of God by his father, that his posterity should be the chosen of the Lord, and that they should be preserved unto the end of the earth;
      43 Because he (Seth) was a perfect man, and his likeness was the express likeness of his father, insomuch that he seemed to be like unto his father in all things, and could be distinguished from him only by his age.
      44 Enos was ordained at the age of one hundred and thirty-four years and four months, by the hand of Adam.

      The order of THIS priesthood is given from one man to another.

      Joseph Smith said “All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself.”

      THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING: We have record of 2 of Noah’s ordinations:

      D& C 107:52 Noah was ten years old when he was ordained under the hand of Methuselah.—Noah ordained by man–Aaronic

      Moses 8: 19 “And the Lord ordained Noah after His own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch” (and what did Enoch do with that order of the priesthood? He brought forth Zion. A civilization that can bear the personage of the Lord).—-Noah ordained by the Lord after the Lord’s own order–Melchizedek

      Yes, all priesthood is Melchizedek. That includes the Patriarchal priesthood. The Aaronic is to be used in the telestial world. Those who are ‘prepared to officiate’, may be ‘chosen’ to advance and use the Melchizedek Priesthood, which is administered by the Lord. This is significant, because it is the pattern of the temple endowment. Eventually, the person receives the Lord himself. I think there’s also more to the ‘law of chastity’. I think that’s the temporal law, but I think the spiritual law is inclusive of our fidelity to Christ. When we literally take upon ourselves his name, are we true to that? It’s a spiritual law of chastity. When we are faithful, we may advance to the father. That’s where we find the Patriarchal Priesthood. That’s where women become queens and priestesses, and use that priesthood in connection with their husbands for the benefit of their posterity. It is the Priesthood of Eternal Families. At least that is how I understand it. I’d love to hear other thoughts/ideas.

      1. I wonder if another potential interpretation is that Methuselah is one of the noble and great ones referred to in Abraham 3:22-4, 4:1 (therefore qualifying as a premortal God with a capital “G”).

        “That in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven” (D&C 127:7).

        Divine beings have “the record of heaven” and “that which knoweth all things” within them (Moses 6:61).

        What one God did/does/will do, all Gods did/do/will do.

        (Uh, oh . . . “do wah diddy diddy dum diddy doo” is infiltrating my mind . . .)

  8. What does it require to be subject to the unpardonable sin? The heaven’s must open to one and while witnessing the Heavenly Hosts one has to say that he/she see’s them not….or fights against the knowledge.

    Read D&C 84 carefully, especially these versus:

    33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.

    34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.

    35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;

    36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;

    37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;

    38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.

    39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.

    40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.

    41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.

    Are we sure this speaks of the Aaronic and the Melchizedek? Could it be speaking of the 1. Patriarchal, and 2. Melchizedek. I don’t think being ordained unto the priesthood of Aaron would make me qualified to even commit the unpardonable sin.

    Now if the Heaven’s were opened to me, and I witnessed the Holy Father, and He ordained me to the “Fullness of the Priesthood”, then know fully that with those heavens opening I could qualify to commit the unpardonable sin.

    So is the covenant that we will come unto the Father, through the Son, and be witnesses of His calling us to His “Fullness”…..even the “Church of the Firstborn”!

    I’m not trying to throw a flaming fire into our discussion but there is value in determining just what these “two priesthoods” really are.

    Most, if not all, Priest’s who are ordained an Elder would not possibly have the knowledge to commit the unpardonable sin.

    Ponder and Pray.

    1. “And it shall be manifest unto my servant, by the voice of the Spirit, those that are chosen [elect]; and they shall be sanctified” (D&C 105:36).

      And of course there’s good old Moses 6:59-60: “ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified“.

      So for me, the warning in v. 41 is for those who have been “sanctified by the Spirit” (v. 33) and are “the elect of God” (v. 34). I believe the “elect of God” are those who have their calling and election made sure.

    2. Maybe verse 33 refers to “these two priesthoods” just as a reminder that one needs to receive more than just the Aaronic Priesthood.

      I agree with Joseph that there’s only one true priesthood. Verse 35 refers to “this priesthood” (singular).

      So my belief (and I’m willing to be corrected) is that referring to the “X Priesthood” is more for convention; it’s easier to say that than “the X division of the Priesthood” each time.

  9. Tim – I think this is one of your best posts yet. This is a valuable line of inquiry and I’m glad you’ve taken it up. All the questions you’re asking seem very reasonable to me. By asking such questions, I think you’re taking the responsible approach to our history and doctrine. We need to do more of this.

    There’s a pearl of great price to be found at the end of this line of questioning. And when we begin to discover what great things the Lord has made available to us, without respect to persons, what lies within our own reach – not through any mortal intermediary – we’ll be willing to to forsake every earthly thing to obtain it.

    “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Matt 13)

    Where is the kingdom of heaven to be found? The Lord said “…behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17)

    We’ll turn inward and no longer depend upon any man because the Lord has promised:

    “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14)

    We struggle under the yoke of feelings of inadequacy in the church because we receive commandments of men and we are not taught the peaceable things of the kingdom of heaven. Our doctrine does not teach us that the kingdom of heaven is to be found within us, that we find it by way of the spirit within us that teaches us all things and brings all things to our remembrance. And this is only the very beginning of the process.

    When we know that we can enter into the rest of the Lord, that we can receive him as the second comforter, this inspires and fills with hope. This gives us power and motivation to lay aside our sins that so easily beset us.

    What is the doctrine of the priesthood that will distill upon our souls as the dews from heaven if we let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly, which virtuous thoughts and desires cause our confidence to wax strong in the presence of God? What is the oath and covenant of the priesthood? Where is this explained? I don’t recall making either an oath or a covenant when I received the priesthood.

    No, I don’t think this has anything to do with what I received under man’s hand. This is something received by God after we have progressed through stages symbolized in the temple ordinances. In my mind, it seems there can be no doubt what this is talking about.

    “…he that receiveth my servants [angels?] receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood. Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved. But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.” (D&C 84).

    I don’t think I have yet received anything that if forsaken would cause me to not have forgiveness of sins in this world or the world to come. This is speaking of the sin against the Holy Ghost. As described in Section 84 above, I would have to progress from contact with angels, to contact with the Lord to contact with the Father, “receive this oath and covenant of my Father” and then altogether turn therefrom.

    Indeed, something tells me this isn’t talking about the priesthood I received under man’s hand. This must be something more generally available to both man and woman. Something tells me that this has more to do with a power that flows from the ordinances we all receive, if properly understood. I think it has something to do with the power of godliness spoken of in Section 84.

    All of this seems to come back to this line of inquiry that you’re pursuing that I think is meant to give us a more accurate understanding of what priesthood is. Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple – these both seem to hold greater and more general significance than the current doctrine of the church allows.

  10. Q1: Should I refrain from posting this because it has controversial elements?

    A1: You should not refrain because it has controversial elements. The only reason not to post is if God does not want it posted – that is up to you to find the answer to.

    Q2: Should I make sure I especially do not link to it from Facebook for fear of offending all the members of my current and previous stakes who might not understand why I blog?

    A2: Offending is not the problem, harming is. If this would harm even 1 person who is your Facebook friend then you should seriously consider not linking unless the spirit of God tells you otherwise.

    Q3: Is it worthy of discipline?

    A3: As written, no. Your Bishop reading this should then speak to you to help answer the questions (assuming he has answers). If he does not have answers to the questions then he has no reason to discipline you for asking them. If he does have answers and you outright reject them, then maybe there is a reason for discipline – though even there the answers have to be incontrovertible.

    Q4: Should I not share and ask the difficult questions because they take some thought?

    A4: It is fine to share, it is fine to ask difficult questions – just make sure that you do not harm someone who still needs milk by giving them meat before they are ready for it.

    1. Antony: A big thank you for your help in answering the questions at the end of the post. Awesome, extremely helpful answers that I needed to read right now. Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom. God bless you my friend. This clearly puts a big responsibility on my shoulders to ensure what I write is pleasing to the Lord. I accept that.

  11. How can one be ordained an Apostle if he does not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, isn’t the office of an Apostle an ordained office in this priesthood?

  12. From an abstract to “Educating the Saints—A Brigham Young Mosaic”.

    Young people who discover the world of scholarship for the first time may accuse the Church of keeping them in darkness, and catalogue the defects and miscalculations of the prophets. But if we had heeded Brigham Young, the urge to study and criticize would be running in fruitful channels. We may fight it all the way, but in the end God will keep us after school until we learn our lesson to study things out in our own mind.

    The entire essay can be found here.

    Indeed, I think there are several excommunications, both past and upcoming, which could have been, and could be, avoided if only that bolded principle were applied.

    But now I am confused, Tim. If your questions as to whether you should post these kinds of things is not rhetorical, then are you not posting according to direction from the Lord? And if you are posting according to direction from the Lord, why do you ask whether you should post these kinds of things?

    Because those questions admit of only one answer in this context, here’s the counsel I would give.

    If you do not have an active directive from the Lord as to what to post, post nothing that can harm someone else. Stick to the milk – unless you have meat to give – and there is no meat in this post.

    The milk of the gospel is repentance and faith, unto the baptism by fire.

    Doctrine and Covenants 19:31
    31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

    Meat is what comes after men are sanctified.

    2 Nephi 9:48
    48 Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.

    Because unless one has received the baptism by fire and has thereby been made holy, and dwells in holiness through continual diligence unto prayer, there is no message which matters other than repentance and faith on the Savior, because whoever is not holy has not repented of all their sins, therefore what possible good can speaking to such about when or where or how the Melchizedek priesthood was first introduced into the Church?

    If you open your mouth on the gospel as a teacher, and your blog is YOU teaching your readers, ought you not seek their salvation in everything you do and say? And if it does not lead to repentance and faith, where does it lead to, and what does that imply about your own priesthood (Alma 13)? Teach the path if you know the path and have partaken of the fruit thereof (1 Nephi 8:12); if you do not, why open your mouth?

    I may not always have followed this counsel myself. I think I’ve made comments on your blog about what should be made of prophets who don’t prophesy, seers who don’t recount visions, and revelators who reveal nothing. I would take back those questioning comments if I could, and replace them with this:

    1 Nephi 15:11
    11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

    Because I, too, have to answer my TR questions honestly, I diligently sought of the Lord whether the 15 are, by any definition, prophets, seers, and revelators, that being *my* issue. I have by my own experience verified Nephi’s words.

    The “affiliation” question is no issue to me: “affiliate” means far more than “hang out with, attend talks by, feel badly for their excommunication” and so forth – it means “to formally join with”. With respect to teachings and views, I agree with whomever agrees with the word of God, and I disagree with whomever contradicts the word of God, whether in or out of the Church. The scriptures are the official teachings of the Church. Even the “eternal bunghole” guy says some things which conform to the word of God, and even General Authorities in the Church say some things which do not.

    1. If your questions as to whether you should post these kinds of things is not rhetorical, then are you not posting according to direction from the Lord? And if you are posting according to direction from the Lord, why do you ask whether you should post these kinds of things?

      I have to agree with Log on this. “Did this really happen the way we said it happens?” and “What does this all mean?” are worthwhile questions, but “Should I ask this question publicly?” isn’t really.

      However, I did want to say that asking questions is really important. In my calling (Gospel Doctrine teacher) I’ve felt prompted over and over again that I need to push the boundaries of what my class is comfortable with, otherwise they will never be weaned from the “milk”. And since I’m not that great at explaining things, I’ve found the best way to do this is to ask probing questions and guide the responses in the direction I felt prompted. It’s important that everyone figure things out for themselves!

      So, back to your post, I think you are posing very good questions about the origins and meaning of this thing we call priesthood, and I thought we had stopped taking into consideration whether the church approves of us or not!

      My understanding of priesthood has been re-shaped pretty profoundly by your posts from the past few months, and I’m grateful. This is the understanding I’ve arrived at most recently: true priesthood/the fullness of the priesthood is the actual power of God. This includes the power to move mountains, call down the protection of angels, and seal on earth and in heaven. A key is a clue or a bit of knowledge that prepares us to access that power. The first level is receiving the ministration of angels.

      What we generally call “priesthood” and “authority” within the church is pretty much just an imitation of the order of heaven, like children playacting. It’s a useful learning exercise, and helps us keep things organized and structured within our community, but unless it helps us graduate to the real thing, it is ultimately powerless.

      1. This is the direction I’m in also, just like baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the temple endowment or being sealed in the temple, they all require the real thing, and that comes from heaven, and that is where power is found.

      2. Sorry for the misunderstanding about the questions at the end of the post, Julie. I know why I posted. I wanted to see how people would respond. Now I know. I also agree with Log – some things, left too wide open, are not helpful to those who don’t see the underlying pattern of the questions. There will probably not be a part two of this particular study session made public. I don’t want to be the cause of doubts.

    2. Log, I agree with you on this one. Tim is “laying it out there”, and what good will it result in? So the authorities have a long rope to hang him with in his discipline apparently. Personally I believe in trying to be “wise as a fox, and harmless as a dove.” I don’t care one iota how the authorities phrase the TR questions: my worthiness is an issue between me and the Holy Ghost. I am intelligent enough to phrase the answers correctly enough to pass the exam, and without violating my internal integrity. As long as I am born again (I am) and as long as I have the constant companionship of the HG (I’m close here) then at this juncture, nothing else much matters. I do not believe it is wise to set up a direct confrontation with church authorities, because I don’t think that I can win that battle: I won’t wage it unless the Lord were to require it directly, and I was completely certain that it is the Lord asking that. And you are correct: GA’s have and do speak many things each conference that are out of harmony with the Standard Works. This would be more apparent to the general body of the church, if in fact lay members were exercising their right to have the constant companionship of the spirit and were truly hungering and thirsting after righteousness. The straight and narrow pathway takes much effort, but the principles of salvation are quite simple and easy to comprehend. I agree with you that hairsplitting over what level of priesthood is in the church is really a moot point: the relevant question for each individual is whether the Spirit is guiding, and to what level the charismatic gifts are evident (to each individual).

      1. Karl, from the recent church press release on blogging: “Church leaders have encouraged civil online dialogue, and recognize that today it’s how we communicate and discuss ideas with one another. Our whole Church was founded on the basis of sincere questions asked by a 14-year-old boy.

        “Having questions and seeking answers is normal. Within those earnest questions may lie the seeds of faith. The scriptures are full of examples of how to receive answers to our questions — to find truth and align our will with God’s — and that process includes studying, praying, learning and discussing Church doctrines. Millions of people do this throughout their lives.”

        I appreciate those who like to discuss doctrine, even when the questions are hard. I appreciate your feedback. Based on what you and others have shared, my open-ended questions were too vague and have caused some concern, but hopefully not doubt, which was not my intent. I’m beginning to see Log’s advice to keep my study notes to myself and focus on coming unto Christ as wise counsel. Thanks.

    3. I think differently of the milk/meat situation.

      D&C 6:11 And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.
      12 Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things.

      Only share these things with those who are of your faith–like-minded persons. I think unlinking from FB is wise, because many people might not be looking for more, and that’s not really fair to them. But by finding the mysteries, you may” bring many to the knowledge of the truth”. The people coming to your blog are searching. Whether searching for truth or an argument is up to the individual, but your blog has to be sought out. Those who find here are accountable for what they do with what they find.

      In regards to 1 Nephi 15:11 as quoted for Log, I think can go a couple ways. Yes, each individual must seek knowledge from the Lord. But, in this case, Laman and Lemuel were presented knowledge from Lehi and Nephi. They didn’t know what to do with it, and were admonished unharden their hearts and ask the Lord. Lehi and Nephi presented meat to them. The Lord would have given understanding to them, had they not hardened their hearts. As I ask the Lord for further light and knowledge, he leads me to sources that give me bits and pieces, that I may fashion together and take apart and re arrange again like a big puzzle. I go to Him again to confirm, or clarify, but I don’t necessarily think He means us to go to Him to receive directly every answer. It’s meant to be work. It means more to us if we have to work for it.

      It’s good to be able to discuss these ideas and things. I was reading in Triumph of Zion today (John Pontius), and he quotes President Hunter:

      “With God our Heavenly Father, all truth, wherever found or however apprehended, is circumscribed into one great whole. Ultimately, there are no contradictions, no quarrels, no inscrutable paradoxes, no mysteries.”

      He further says: ” In other words, all truth belongs to a greater body of truth. The works “one great whole” suggests that the collective sum of all these truths is perfect. Nothing is missing. No truth is outside of this great whole. Nothing can be added. It is simply a perfect whole. It also means there are no isolated truths floating out there that are not perfectly fitted into this greater whole.”

      There is more truth for me to learn here, and I intend to keep searching for it until at last I am presented at the veil to get it directly from its Source.

      Thanks Tim. We are all on a journey, and I find it no coincidence that all of our lives cross paths in such a way that we can share what we are learning.

    4. Jared, these are my study notes from a lecture I read. Just thought I’d share them. I’m not trying to teach doctrine. Just thought it might stimulate a little discussion. Sorry for the confusion it caused.

  13. Hi Tim. Your posting pattern is starting to remind me of Denver’s pattern. Some posts are good, other posts create doubt. I call it “The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome”.

    While those who agree with you and Denver will like this post, it will create doubt in the church for others. And you will be responsible for that.

    Once you create doubt in the church, by your version of church history, and/or the leaders, the whole thing falls apart. Someone/s will go inactive, resign, or get excommunicated.

    Your personal study and beliefs are fine for you personally. If you choose to make them public, then you will be held to public scrutiny, including that of the church.

    The worth of souls are great. Bishops and Stake Presidents know that and have the keys to watch over the flock in their jurisdiction. I don’t know if yours will act on what you are doing or not. But if they do decide there is danger for the flock, then they will.

    Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, Denver Snuffer and others decided their cause had to go forward. They believe firmly in it, and each made the choice that their cause was important enough to put their membership on the line. You are doing the same thing.

    The fruit I see coming from Denver is excommunication, resignation from the church, going inactive, turning in temple recommends, etc. This fruit will be generational. If a person/s have children at home, it will impact them and the posterity after. This is serious stuff.

    Where would you be today, if those families who sent out missionaries that impacted your life, had decided that the church really didn’t have the priesthood so why bother with the sacrifice of missions? Some of the families that are currently being impacted by this belief set will not send out missionaries which will impact untold numbers of souls.

    Yes, the worth of souls is great. Greater than your confusion about the priesthood.

    1. Rick,

      As one who was just excommunicated for this very thing — apostasy for reading and discussing with others Denver Snuffer, Daymon Smith, Rock Waterman, etc., and for posting my views on my blog (in200wordsorless.blogspot.com) I can attest to the truthfulness of what you say with regard to the Church’s fearful reaction toward those who ask questions “too close to the bone” or who reveal doctrine from Latter-day scriptures and Church history that does not comport with generally accepted practices or current understanding.

      Church members seemingly never ask “What is true?” Rather, they ask “What does the Church say?” Whatever “the Church” says, that has become the consummate definition of “truth” (according to most Mormons), until the Church changes its stance, position, doctrine, or practice. Then the change becomes the new “truth”. A perusal of the past will reveal a pattern: today’s “doctrine” is yesterday’s “heresy”; today’s heresy is, potentially, tomorrow’s “true doctrine”.

      Yet the LDS gospel “never changes”, according to most Mormons. (Those who fail to study Church history, however, will never know how false that statement is.)

      It requires a spectacular ability to compartmentalize, live in denial and tolerate cognitive dissonance to embrace all that Mormonism has now become.

      Of course, to those who view the Church as perfect, inerrant, infallible, and utterly dependent upon being “guided from the top” by “prophecy” and “revelation”, anything broached by the general membership that can be regarded as “corrective” or “revelatory” in nature is subject to Church-sanctioned discipline and rejection. (“Mocking” and “scorn” might be applicable descriptors as well.) This disgusts me. This is not the Church I first joined.

      I don’t want to talk about “changing the Church” or “wrestling” with The Powers That Be now because, I agree with you, for anyone not named Thomas S. Monson, any “battle” or even “disagreement” with “the Brethren” has the potential to not end well (for them).

      Meanwhile, “prophets” who do not prophesy, “seers” who disclose no new vision, and “revelators” who do not reveal anything are still regarded as such by the general membership of the Church…because they are required to do so now, even upon threat of excommunication. We are to take their word for it, even though they don’t take ours. It is a very undemocratic religion the LDS faith has become. (It wasn’t always that way. It used to be just the opposite.)

      I view this as a very pernicious change, analogous to the on-going metamorphosis of the American legal and governmental system: moving from representative republicanism to democratic despotism, from championing and protecting “the little guy” to entrenching power and wealth in the hands of a few, the “law” be damned! Just as the Constitution has become whatever the Supreme Court (or current White House administration) say it is, LDS doctrine is now whatever Church leaders say it is.

      I’d like to address your “generational” concerns. I very much loved and appreciated my experiences in the LDS Church (my conversion, mission, BYU experience, temple attendance, etc.) despite the many glaring incongruities, contradictions and profound disappointments I encountered. I wanted my children to experience the same — and perhaps do better than I did.

      I wanted — and still want — my children to “wrestle” with living virtuously, surrounded by individuals striving to do the same; I want them to be baptized, serve missions, get married in the temple, and raise generations of righteous posterity.

      By excommunicating me, however, the Church destroyed any confidence I had or could have (and I had great confidence!) in the Church’s leadership and inspiration.

      Perhaps someday you will experience what I have. When you put your trust in men, governments, institutions, etc., you are bound to be disappointed. You set yourself up for failure.

      Over those whom the Church wishes to exert absolute control, the Church practices a not-so-subtle form of “extortion”: “We will take away from you all that you hold dear, in heaven…and (if we can) on earth.”

      To them I say “You can go to hell!

      I have never felt that the Church leadership was unjustified in imposing any kind of censure or discipline upon me for matters of moral turpitude or misconduct. But the Church has refused to identify the “false doctrine” I apparently “espoused and persisted in teaching” and has imposed the ultimate penalty upon me for doing the same.

      This is unrighteous dominion.

      There is a time and place to excommunicate and discipline. Asking questions or proposing doctrinal answers that are not contradicted by scripture, but rather, are supported by them, do not — or ought not — qualify for excommunication.

      I did not join a Church whose leadership feels qualified and empowered to excommunicate whomever for whatever.

      Knowing that they feel and act this way now precludes me from ever exercising faith in their leadership or testimony again. They are “false priests who oppress”. The fact that Thomas S. Monson, Henry B. Erying, and Dieter F. Ucktdorf would not stop them from doing so only demonstrates that feckless nature of the LDS Church administration, going all the way up. (I doubt any of those brethren even read my appeal!)

      You may say “See! You are an apostate!” But I never was. They made me this way. “But now you don’t believe!” True. I no longer believe these men possess a particle of authority or testimony greater than my own, except with regard to the Church. I raised my hand to the square to sustain them and they wrested the kingdom (or what they think is the kingdom) from me. I gave them that right by voting to “support and sustain” them…and they exercised it. Those who now practice priestcraft in the LDS Church — setting themselves up to be lights saying “hearken to our precept” and getting gain for doing so — will bear the burden of God’s judgment. (They deserve our pity, not our praise.)

      Is our gospel so feeble, so inscrutable, so perilously ill-founded that it cannot withstand the weakest “puff” of inquiry or examination?

      I hope not.

      If it is, it is undeserving of our faith or fealty.

      Who are these LDS “apostles” who cannot offer “evidence” sufficient to counteract the inquiries of mere bloggers? Who cannot answer sincere — and foundational — questions? Who grope in the dark while pretending to walk in the light?

      I had no problem with God, keeping His commandments, or serving in His Church. My problems began when Church leaders began teaching for commandments the doctrines of men (not even mingled with scripture!); when they demanded unquestioning obeisance to their words and will; when they began to pretend that their calling entitles them to stand in God’s place; when Church leaders became followers of men, not of God, and demanded we follow them!

      These things I cannot countenance and will not tolerate or submit to.

      What “commandments” and “doctrines” did Church leaders begin to teach contrary to the truth? The evidence suggests that they are the very issues being addressed here.

      “What is the nature, status and history of “priesthood”?

      The Brethren won’t say…except in the most general of terms. “Trust us…we know what we’re doing”, they tell us. “We have the keys.”

      “Really? From where? How? When did you get them?”

      “Stop asking questions! Or we’ll excommunicate you!”

      This type of response is unworthy of our trust.

      There is a more comprehensive, definitive and scriptural exposition of “priesthood” in this one post by Tim Malone than one may encounter during a lifetime of Church attendance.

      That is sad.

      It is also inexcusable.

    2. Excellent! Really like what you shared Rick. Also, like Karl mentioned if we live for it–glorious wonders and manifestations are revealed to us through the restoration. I so testify and bear wittness. Live for it disciples of Mr Snuffer. Live for it! Replace your angst with love–for a perfect love casts out all fears….

      1. Sister Friend

        Is it perfect love to cast others out?
        Really, is not the question… “What would Christ do?”…vs. the “Corporation of the President?”….I believe many follow the Prophet/President blindly, and have forgotten how to think for themselves… if something is right or wrong, in other words, to test something out in their mind, heart, and soul…and may be in danger of following someone who may NOT be doing the Wil of Christ and the Father.

      2. Jared: Denver does not want disciples. His writings, as far as I have been able to determine, were intended to help us focus on the process of coming unto Christ. It is apparent numerous people have not seen that intent. Your use of the word angst seems a little harsh. Angst has a connotation of fear. Asking and answering questions should not be a process filled with angst and fear, but with joy at discovery. Such was my study session, but my shared notes did not convey that adequately.

    3. Response to Rick: I apologize for the doubts my questions have caused you. That was not my intent. I was hopeful there would be some willing to participate in answering some hard questions, similar to those I was asked while serving as a missionary.

      I disagree that I will be held responsible for doubts that people create in their own minds. Any other belief violates agency. I shared what I did in good faith, hoping it would stimulate thoughtful discussion.

      Rick, I have no version of church history. I simply have questions. Is it so wrong to ask questions? That is how Joseph found himself in the woods on that beautiful spring morning in 1820. He had questions.

      It’s a sad commentary you share with your belief that my blogging activities, encouraged by Elder Ballard, as I ask questions in the hopes of encouraging open communication are somehow supposed to be scrutinized by the church. Really? Why? Are they threatening? Surely the church has answers to the questions I have shared in the post.

      Although I feel I had the Lord’s approbation in sharing my notes, having prayed and asked for guidance, and once received, permission to share, I apologize for causing you to doubt your own understanding of the events of the restoration. Let’s focus on the idea of coming unto Christ and not let doubts you may have get in the way of that process.

      1. Tim, good brother, in your heart of hearts you desire not to sow doubts. At least your current expressions say as much ;however ,The pattern of your “sincere. Questions” are not asked on objective ground. There is an agenda being promoted beyond the enlightenment. Of the value that comes of askingthe well intended questions .this is my observation, at least. On a personal note I want you to know that I can tellthat I really like your personality:) I can tell that we would be good friends if I was in your ward. Love you brother

  14. I understand the interest in exploring areas that are not clear doctrinally (there’s a generous number of these topics that could be explored, believe me), but if you believe that Snuffer, Pontius, and others have really “run the course” on the pathway and actually received all the promises of Eternal Life which they sought, then what difference does it make? Apparently, there is sufficient priesthood in the church, to enable people to progress and receive all the important promises (even while still in mortality). Personally, I think we will find when we depart this life, that we had enough to get us moving on the pathway, but probably don’t have a “fullness” (in the sense of all there is) of anything. For example, a mortal man cannot actually receive Eternal Life while in this telestial world; the best that can be done is to receive the Promise of Eternal Life in the world to come. Priesthood should probably be viewed in the same way: when will a mortal man ever receive ALL priesthood? Not in this world. Even the sealing powers given to Nephi were limited by Nephi’s restraint in only using them sparingly. Create a world: now THAT would be a fullness of Priesthood, and obviously we are not going to get that assignment while in mortality.

  15. Denver, the clever sower of doubts is seizing fast upon the heart of Tim Malone…. Tim, lay hold upon / remember the many miraculous occurances exercising the Melchedidek Priesthood! Nothing shoots Denver and his misguided ways down faster than the pure manifestations given to me /you/ us through “orthox” adherence to the true restored working gospel;/church

    1. Thanks for your loving concern Jared. I do not have doubts. I do have questions. I do remember the spiritual experiences in participating in blessings of healing the sick and other ordinances. Thank you for suggesting I bring them to mind more often. They cause me to remember the Savior and my feelings of love for his tender mercies in my life – something I hope we each can and do share as disciples of Christ.

  16. “All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself” (TPJS, 181).

    People such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob “have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods” (D&C 132:37).

    “Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church; And to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand” (D&C 20:2-3).

    “The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods” (TPJS, 372).

    So if Elohim ordains prophets, and if Peter and James (and John as one promised/assured) are one with the Elohim, there may not be any contradiction.

  17. Tim,

    I feel like I am watching a discussion on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. This is so sub-nonsensical.

    1. the Priesthood is here I have seen it work not only in my life but in the life of others. So what are you going on about, it works, ipso facto it must be here.

    2. You are convoluting the fullness (Celestial access) with that which we have been given (Telestial access). Maybe an analogy is appropriate to explain this.

    Consider the Holy Spirit is like the Web. I don’t mean the Holy Ghost who is Son of God and has been called to that position, but that collective intelligence that comprises all intelligences which exist on the Celestial plane. All our priesthood is then is the access levels we have been granted to use the Holy Spirit.

    According the JS priesthood manual the Holy Spirit is the Glory/Power that the first Elohiem joined with to create a path for all other intelligences to achieve Elohiem-hood. This is the power by which everything was created and it is this power or force that causes the mountains to move, bodies to be healed and grants access to hidden knowledge stored in its Data Base. The power/ priesthood is not some magical force but a key of access granted to us. The administrator of that Key in this life is the Holy Ghost and only after his sanction can the desired petition be granted, period. All things have to be sealed by the Holy Ghost to be valid in this life and the Next. There are two additional levels of access. These additional levels are not governed by the Holy Ghost, but by their respective Administrators. In this world the next level of access is the true sealing Priesthood or Terrestrial based access which is governed by the Savior. He is the one we have to meet face to face to receive this access. Remember Nephi the son of Helaman was out doing all sorts of things with the priesthood but only after he met the Lord, and the Lord announced to the Holy Spirit (not the Holy Ghost) that Nephi could now have the Terrestrial level of Access where he could seal with his own voice. The fullness which is a Celestial access to the Holy Spirit is governed by the Father and is when you have full access to the Holy Spirit you become all knowledgeable, powerful, and an Elohiem because of that access.

    3. So the question of priesthood or keys is really one in the same. It is access.

    With the world melting and the adversary raging I would hope we would not lose focus on what are responsibilities are. If the church has fallen and the Priesthood is gone we are all doomed. But it’s not I see it operating every day by imperfect beings. It appears we are all staring a gnat and missing the camel. Buck up, be men and get back to work and realize God will only up grade us when we have proven worthy by our actions which should be focused in charity, and love. Knowledge in of its self will not get us upgraded. Lets use a little wisdom and seek to do whats right. Not demand the Lord or his servants conform to our ideas of what is right. Let us not pick fights but be submissive and patient and long suffering because that is the only way well ever get to the next level.

    Finally I love to learn and seek knowledge from all sources in and out of the church. Does that mean I am supporting those seeking to destroy the church No. But I feel everybody has a little of the truth because God loves us all, even those who hate him. But I just try to remember to keep my feet on solid ground, because the undertow is always out their to get you.

    1. Exactly. The Gospel is one where behavior matters more than doctrine: Love of God and Love of Man, the two great commandments upon which hang ALL the Law, and ALL the Prophets. Let’s not allow a doctrinal fog to knock us off the pathway.

      1. Amen! Intelectual inquiry has its place. I personaly love it. However, when our learnedness usurps “hearking unto the counsels of God” the fruits of deception and enmity are born. We begain to” trifle” with the words of God through His holy servants . Wethen fail to open our ears that we may truly hear and fail to open our hearts that we may truly understand and fail to open our minds that the true mysteries of godliness might be unfolded to us.

      2. The two great commandments : proper adherence and follow through gives in abundance!–wonderful sustaining –witnesses–of all things beautiful pertaning to this true restored gospel and church. Give me more of the sugar of the John Pontious approach and less of the spice from the Denver Snuffer approach…

      3. Karl: I agree. Love of God and of our fellow man is more important than doctrine. Thanks for reminding us all of this true principle, especially when agreement over doctrinal concepts cannot be reached. Charity never faileth, therefore if my discussions of doctrine cause confusion for others, wisdom dictates such discussions should not take place. God bless you my friend.

  18. Tim,

    The most excellent source of the fullness of the priesthood or the selection of High Priests are found on OWIW blog. There are writings, diaries and events written down at the Morley Farm, June 1831. It is profound. There is no doubt that in Sec. 124 when the Fullness was officially put on hold, the Church extrapolated and used the comment from Joseph regarding PJ&J coming later to give a higher order as the commanding authority universally. Though this Patriarchal order that is only prparatory, it still allows us to come unto Christ. My wife always points out that I am hung up on the “Priesthood thing”, but not her. It seems to fit into the compartments of a man’s brain. There is much to be restored very shortly, and it will finally put an end to “disputations among us”. Though John Whitmer didn’t believe that their was a need of High Priests in these days because the New Testament and Book of Mormon didn’t effectively promote it and no High Priests were found according to him, nevertheless, what happened at the Morley farm was the precursor to the Law of consecration as noted shortly thereafter in the D&C after June 1831. Also the fullness was required to establish Zion. We are living in amazing times. It is a shame that the Saints rejected it so readily back then. It is nothing more than a dream today and it seems no one in the higher eschelon is searching for it. Therefore it will come from another source. Thanks for bringing this to light where this info can be spread more successfully.

  19. We can debate when, and how, it happened. But, if we take Joseph Smith at face value then we must consider that the Melchizedek priesthood was available in the church. D&C 107 is described as a revelation on priesthood, given through Joseph Smith … and verse 1 says, “THERE are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.” Thus, according to Joseph Smith, by 1835 the Melchizedek priesthood was in the church and played the role(s) described in section 107.

    It is possible that this church priesthood, called by the name “Melchizedek” is different from the priesthood after the order of the Son of God, or Enoch, or Melchizedek, that is conferred by God, himself. Thus, the naming of the church priesthood and of the eternal priesthood (given only by God) may be creating some confusion.

    One other thought, I like your observation that keys may relate to knowledge. In D&C 124:95 and 97 are references to keys that are to be given to Hyrum Smith and William Law. This is just prior to the giving of the endowment and seems to point to what we are all to receive through the endowment. Quoting from verse 97, William (as well as anyone who receives the endowment) is to “receive the keys by which he may ask and receive blessings.” Isn’t that interesting? Everyone who receives their endowment receives keys!

  20. “If we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph [Smith] asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. … How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know, but couldn’t get past the massive, iron gate of what we thought we already knew?” Deiter F. Uchtdorf


    And yet…


  21. “I think there is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord.

    “An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends. But the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be. …

    “I testify that if we shall look to the First Presidency and follow their counsel and direction, no power on earth can stay or change our course as a church, and as individuals we shall gain peace in this life and be inheritors of eternal glory in the world to come.”

    (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, (2013), 151–60)

    In essence, this quotation is saying that we can all have complete faith in the directions and teachings of the presiding leaders of the church; that if we will always follow their counsel and direction we will be exalted.

    Per this quotation, we no longer need faith in Christ, only faith in the church and obedience to church rule. Christ no longer grants salvation to us; the church does. God has done His work and has given His authority to man.

    Furthermore, per this doctrine, we no longer need to study the scriptures to learn the gospel for ourselves; all we need to do is study the church publications to learn what our leaders say about the gospel. We only study the scriptures to find support for what our church leaders say. After all, our leaders are collectively infallible, so everything they publish is de facto scripture.

    We don’t need to think for ourselves anymore. We only need to pay close attention to what is being taught: the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. What’s wrong with that?

    Per this quotation, the leaders of the LDS church are the light we should look to. They are a light unto themselves.

    This is idolatry and priestcraft.

  22. I am going to be out of town and without access to any things electronic so I will not be able to read and write the things that we collectively share here.

    It is good to seek learning. Seek learning from the best books. In this day and time books have definitely taken on an electronic aura.

    Can a person be saved in ignorance? The scriptures say no! There are different levels of ignorance. If I know not of Jesus Christ then my ignorance of that saving knowledge would preclude me of my salvation. I would have to have the Lord and His gospel preached to me at sometime. I will never be able to be saved in ignorance.

    If I progress in knowledge from whatever source the Truth comes from then I am so much the better than the souls who seek not the Truth. They must learn it sometime, just as I did, for there is no salvation in darkness. The bright shinning light of Truth, Truth that emanates from the very sources of light and knowledge, will never be contradictory. God does not live in confusion.

    The Lord has commanded me to seek Him and His Father God. Can I seek them in ignorance. Did not JS state in the Lectures on Faith that is impossible to exercise faith unto salvation without knowing who our Father God is. And does it not make sense to have an understanding about Father God it is His good grace and mercy that gives us the understanding. For who can discover the true characteristics of God without God revealing those characteristics.

    To know Father God is to have the spirit of revelation for Father God has revealed Himself unto us….that is the only way to know Him.

    Keys — keys have always been used to unlock closed doors. A key is the means of accessing something that otherwise would not have been available. The holder of the “keys” has the ability to open a door and allow the seeker to experience the Gospel. If I have a key and give it unto another can I still have my Key — of course you can. Keys open doors.and teach saving principles in the Gospel.

    It is not reasonable to think of Keys as some ray of knowledge and thereby allows the recipient to either accept or reject them. If the Key does not fit then it is as dross, it is like salt that hath lost its Savor, good for nothing but to be trodden under the feet of man.

    Keys open doors; always have and always will. Keys are there to grant access, but never prematurely

    Let your light so shine so as to never quench the fire and thirst of millions; preaching unto them The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I have been surprised at how many justify being left in the dark about so many Truths of the Gospel.

    Surely the Lord God will have access before He sends His Son to work His work.

    May God bless us that we never stray but always seek the truth.

  23. Ally Isom, Senior PR Manager for the LDS Church, in a radio interview with Doug Fabrizio of RadioWest, said “it’s not what they say, but how they’re saying it” and that if people are prayerful and respectful about what they are saying and thinking, it’s okay to put it on the internet.

    Although some feel otherwise, what I post – in every post here – is considered prayerfully. I try to write in a respectful and honest manner. It constantly amazes me the number of people who bring their own fears, worries, doubts and insecurities into the conversation.

    All I ask is that we stick to the facts. Let the record speak for itself. I love and appreciate those who add to my knowledge and help me correct the errors in my thinking by pointing out inconsistencies in logic or reasoning. God bless each of you for helping me in this area.

    For those who offer knee-jerk reactions of how offended they are that I would dare ask questions, God bless you. I wish there was something I could do to help you understand my love of this church and the doctrine but you have already made your own judgments. I’m sorry.

    1. In my opinion, one of the *best* questions of our time was one which was so simple in nature, one to which leaders of the time said there was an obvious answer, but someone innocently dared to ask. It challenged the status quo. It flew in the face of what some thought the Bible said. It even dared oppose what the asker’s parents believed. In fact, the question was so preposterous that the full powers of hell combined to oppose the question being asked.

      Lucky for us all, God has declared that He does NOT upbraid us for asking even the dumbest, most obvious questions, as well as further inquiring for greater understanding on the ones we think we already have the answers to. Might He not grant us an exponential increase in understanding, as He did Joseph? I would submit that as the Owner of Truth, He is pleased when we come to Him, whether through open blogs in writing out our thoughts, or quiet prayer. The forces that oppose Him are the ones that tell us to shut up. When I think of places and people that are told to “shut up and do as you’re told”, I think of slaves, children, prisoners, and dogs. We (as both individuals and the greater church itself) ought to take great care in imitating the oppressor and accuser. God does not oppress, nor accuse. He is the Mediator, the Intercessor, and the Liberator of all mankind. The Source of Love, Truth, and freedom of Speech.

      1. For the wanderer– please genuinely apply Ether 12:,6. Resulting in Alma 30: 35 JOY…. The true restored gospel is a beautiful paradox. Once you discover this–the freedom that alludes you –becomes yours… love and hope for you dear wanderers.

    1. Good stuff. Thanks Adrianne. IANDS has been doing a lot of good and helping people make sense of what they’ve been through with NDEs.

  24. My testimony to my wonderful bro in law who I feel is being led astray by Brother Snuffer and like mannered thinkers. I wrote this testimony/experiences to him on the ol phone. Editing needed. I only state this because I know the learned folk that I want this testimony to be seen by –my “sunstone” friends, will cringe at the hillbilly style of writing. 🙂 I also am positive these experiences/testimony will exceed word limit. I will email the entire bundle to Tim and see if he allows for it to be put on. here it goes:

    Jared, like I alluded to my brother, the heart and core of what you are encouraging is very appealing to me. To strive for perfection in becoming like Christ and entering into his presence (in this life) and building up to this glorious moment by receiving the wonders of the gospel along the way–love it!! My email will consist of personal testimony/experiences verses siting many sources. I will not draw many conclusions or give many explanations on “meaning” I will leave that up to you, the reader. Some 15 years ago I will never forget a very holy-spiritually-significant- day in my life. 🙂 I was attending a uvsc institute class where Scott Anderson was teaching. I can’t recall anything he said that day with the exception of his concluding powerful testimony. It blew me away! Brother Anderson bore witness of the promise in D&C 93 that of seeking the face of the Lord/ receiving the second comforter and striving to obtain it in this life time. At the time (along with being an amazing Institute teacher) he was a counselor in his stake presidency. I’ll never forget Brother Anderson bearing testimony of his personal eye witness of Jesus Christ. He stopped as he started to bear this witness– as if he was waiting for permission from the spirit–and then he shared it. 🙂 he did not go into detail, but he did testify he had seen Jesus Christ… and that this holy sacred experience upon qualifying ourselves is available to everyone!! That very day after brother Anderson’s class– I was waiting outside for my brother John to pick me up. We were driving to my oldest brother’s home for his son Christopher’s mission setting apart. As I waited for my brother to pick me up–I remember being so excited to tell him of this witness that had just been born to me and my Institute class. For sure, it was a very spiritually enlightening –joyous– experience for me. So my brother picked me up. I found out quickly that my experience bogged him down and did anything but enlighten him. He told me with a most annoyed voice. “I just want to be a scout leader– a good scout leader”… He expressed a few other feelings about his frustration having to be hyper proactive about spiritual things. That, that! course of action / life lived, was not for him. –My– feelings were beyond the fascination of what if, but of yes! I want this, and this could literally be my future experiance. So we had vastly contrasting feelings on this issue.

    Fast forward some 6 or 7 years later. I was in the break room at Maceys. I struck up a conversation with a new employee. Conversation turned to his health limitations. He was in a horrible bus accident on his mission in Central America. He explained that he had died. Not being an overly shy kid, and having an extreme interest in the “wonders” of God–I reverently asked him did you see Christ? We were sitting at the end of a long table across from each other. He looked over his right shoulder at the other people at the table turned his back slightly to them and made for certain they could not see but the side of his face and no part of his eyes. My instant thought was that the deliberate way he positioned his body was a wee bit strange. Leaning forward looking me directly in my eyes he said with complete certainty in his hushed Reverent voice ” I saw and spoke with Heavenly Father.” When he said this his eyes glowed with light. I Can’t even find the right words to describe this light– It was like a brilliant diamond like sparkly light! Never had i ever seen anything like it. The spirit was felt strongly…. Fast forward a couple more years. Once again I was in a Scott Anderson class at the uvsc Institute. After the class. I went up to him jokingly challenging Him about a funny shower habit he had. For The second time in my life and the last time it has happened–I saw a startling brilliant light in someone’s eyes, Brother Anderson’s eyes! I Actually felt to shrink within myself a little bit being around his spiritual aura and brilliant light filled eyes…. this was a man that I knew had been in the actual company of Christ, and Christ glory to a degree was still with brother Anderson as a result of his glorious visitation with our Savior…..

    Now let’s rewind time significantly–My first very clear and powerful “spirit” witness in my life was in connection to being in the presence of a Prophet Seer and Revelator. At 17/18?, my youth group in my ward, girls and boys, were going to go to the Sunday session of conference. Back then you had to get there late Saturday eve and stand in line that wrapped around T-square to get a ticket for entrance. Previous to this trip, I had opted out of every conference trip as a youth. Developing spirituality was not a priority. The gospel brought me guilt not happiness. I was not interested in previous trips for this reason. It goes with out saying that it was my poor actions and a sore conscience that brought the guilt and not the “gospels” fault. :/

    On this October occasion, I was going for one reason, and that was to catch the interest of one of the gals in my ward that I had a substantial crush on. A great blessing to me during this time in my life was incredible fear and shyness around girls… to my disappointment, I was not able to muster up enough courage to remotely get this gals attention. so, here I was, stuck! eventually seated in that ol’ majestic- historic- building awaiting messages that I was not wanting to hear. fortunately, I thought I would sleep through it, for I was 24+hours with out any sleep. I was 90% lulled to sleep by the “music and the spoken word. Positioned on the balcony left side– suddenly I was nudged as every one stood up. I was totally disoriented not knowing what was going on. It was apparent that the Music and the spoken word had finished and conference was about to begin. This would be my first exposure to “live” in the tabernacle general conference attendance. Never had I been in the company of living authorities– holy anointed men. Every one stood because President Ezra Taft Benson was being escorted in. I remember asking “what was going on”, and was pointed to the Prophet being escorted in with a helper on both sides of him.

    At the time, President Benson had not spoken in conference for a couple of years because of his health and age. It was a picture of an incredibly feeble and weak looking old man being helped to his seat. Upon witnessing this, standing on my feet, I was anything but a worthy vessel for the spirit to dwell– graciously however, I felt a “mighty” emphasis on MIGHTY wave of soul exhilarating, spiritually electric and invigorating–peaceful and joyous –feeling– (the profound effects of a powerful spiritual witness can you do justice in explaining!!:) ? splash upon me. it was as real as standing in the pacific ocean and seeing the big one come and filling the physical affects as it falls upon you. I was not knocked to the ground from this spiritual wave–quite the contrary– I was raised all the more up! as every good sense and feeling in my body was allowed/given an undeniable witness that God’s anointed prophet seer and revelator had entered and was now PRESIDING. by all estimations he looked and acted nothing like a Prophet. He was incapacitated in most every way…. again, in official capacity, it had been some time since he was able to lend his own voice. In fact, my favorite talk of all time “beware of pride” that E.T.B wrote– was delivered by President Hinckley in 1988. it was now fall of 1992/93?, and by all accounts he very much was just a “sitting” Prophet. Jared, as long as I live, I can never ever refute the witness I was given of TRUTH when God’s presiding Authority with all the keys of the kingdom and rights and privileges of that office, entered the tabernacle. again, this witness given to me despite E.T.B.’s voice being muted and his physical activities confined to his home in bed.

    Having read his bio a few times- I know the last few years of his life he was in this condition. In fact, his grandson a noted newspaper man in Arizona. Came out and publicly proclaimed that his grandpa could not be a prophet especially in this incapacitated state. He later began to criticize the church and was eventually excommunicated(I believe).. I remember reading (side tangent– but it applies) Elder David b. Haights testimony When he was walking through the airport In Chicago a Few days after The marvelous revelation came to the First Presidency and Quorum of 12 apostles that all worthy male members can receive the priesthood–I’ll never forget his near giddy most definitely happy voice as he explained upon reading the headlines at the newspaper stand ( at the airport) that read disparagingly “Mormon Church finally gives blacks priesthood”. He said he felt like rejoicing for he was there! He was a part of that amazing revelation– years later learning about president Ezra Taft Benson grandson and how he “disparagingly” mocked the prophetic mantle of his “invalid grandpa”– I recalled the joy and happiness and powerful witness I had been given that E.T.B was a Prophet Seer and Revelator and that this witness had been given to me during this time of president Benson’s incapacity. I knew different then and I know different now– and can rejoice without fear and complete certainty born of the Spirit –even with the most convincing of detractors– that God as my witness, I know…

    fast forward and go back two weeks ago. 🙂 Those who know me know that I am in my element and love love to be at Temple Square… we were in the bottom floor in the “Christus” building. In the back of this room there are beautiful Pictures And video displays Of authorized leaders of Christ’s Church the First Presidency and the quorum of 12 Apostles. I walked over to our Beloved Prophet Thomas S Monson’s video display and picture with faith in my heart wanting an additional confirmation of this living Prophet. President Monson bore a beautiful witness of Jesus Christ— wow, whew–I can’t even type this experience without tears streaming down my cheeks and a wonderful spirit-witness and warmth in my heart… As I listened to this living witness of Jesus our beloved Prophet with all the keys of the kingdom Rights and privileges of that office– I felt an intensity of warmth in my chest that I have never felt before. It was startling! This warmth in my chest was accompanied by the reverberations of the Spirit going throughout my body. I listened and rejoiced and marveled As tears welled up in my eyes. I stepped away for a brief minute pondering on what I just felt and experienced. I walked back to the display. Immediately the warmth and comfort came back to me. I said a silent prayer of gratitude to Father in Heaven. My kids had gathered around me at this time. I exclaimed in a humbled and excited- hushed tone “Do you feel that– do you feel the warmth of the spirit testify of God’s living Prophet Thomas s Monson and his special witness of Jesus?” Ethan with a wry look on his face, made a cute little funny remark about it being the “heat from the monitor or something, Dad.” 🙂

    Rewind 2002. Upon reading the newspaper–I learned that a good friend of mine in high school, his step mother had passed away . It had been sometime since I seen my friend, and I was wanting to see and support him during this difficult time. I was surprised to learn that the funeral would be held in a stake center. She was not a member, and my friends dad was a very less active member. In fact, I’ll never forget as a youth when he was driving me home one day, being told by him how that he knew the church was not true–that we were not led by men who were prophets and apostles who talked to God… During this occasion, though I was very less active and Numb to the things of the gospel. My heart rebelled at the declarations of this man; though my head dutifully nodded in agreement with him. Anyway, here we were Mary and I years later at his wife’s funeral in a stake center. I knew that my friends dad was into a meditation religion where you burn incense and believe in some type of Ying and Yang Harmony and balance in the universe thinking. Had They change their views; I wondered ? The answer was definitely no. Apparently the active older children had prevailed upon him to use the stake center. Meditation religion philosophies were what was expounded upon. Then the concluding speakers turn came. What would have been or was his bishop, came to the pulpit. Previous to this Presiding Authority speaking, the spiritual atmosphere/ feeling in the room was non-existent. All the Bishop had to do was walk to the pulpit, And just like my 1992 experience I felt something very similar–it was a powerful, profound, and strong spiritual witness—- it came via the same sensation like a wave lapping upon me….

    Fast forward and go back A couple months Sometime in March. Mary gave me the green light to go to a farewell Of A kid who I worked with At Fresh Market In America fork. It was good to be back in “God’s country” Utah County:) Adam, who had been out of school for a year was a 6 foot 3 260 pound muscle bound football stud. He made some poor choices in his early teen years making tens of thousands of $ growing and selling marijuana. Once caught–He spent 18 months of these years locked up in juvenile detention. Adam was a 19 year old senior when I met him. Loved this kid. At the time, he was living with his brothers family who were active in the church. Adam was not active and had not been for some time in his life. He Always chose to work on Sunday. I got to know this fun loving “salty” kid , pretty well. He was a kid gifted with incredible leadership abilities And a intelligent mind. He was a few months shy of having his record made clean., and off of parole. One of the perks of having a criminal record when you are a youth is that it can be expunged. Underneath his rough and tough exterior was a kid that I discerned had amazing potential to be a mighty missionary for the Lord.

    Every time I would tell him this, initially, not only would he say no! but he would say it with an amazing assortment of swear words to emphasize his point. again and again I would subtly weave into an our conversations how I knew that God had great intentions for him to be a part of his missionary army. I would tell him again and again that his abilities and strengths would make him an amazing missionary. The both of us liked each other, and we were developing a good friendship; however, it was always the same passionate negative response. I was unloading a lot of testimony and sharing special experiences and I knew others had in the gospel and sharing experiences that I had been blessed with in the gospel. Progress was slow. When progress did happen, it usually was dashed by his weekend exploits with his rowdy friends…. This Would always bring sorrow to heart, but I always felt (spirit induced) to be optimistic. Then the miracle happened. 🙂 Adam agreed to go on the Wyoming “trek” with the youth group in his ward. The first time I saw him after ( oh man here come the tears again) his Trek experience , I was in the back room of the produce department. When the appointed time came for him to show up at work where I would greet him in the back where he would retrieve his produce gear. The first time I laid eyes on him I knew I was looking at a changed young man. With a humbled voice void of his typical bravado–He kept repeating “how did you know, how did you know?” Knowing that he was referring to a spiritual experience(s) that he had on trek. I said matching his reverent tone “brother, talk to me, what’s happening?” He said Jared, my older brother who he died in a tragic accident after returning home from his mission– Was with me on the trek. I felt him so near. I heard him speak to me. He expressed his love for me and that I needed to serve a mission.

    Adam then went on to say that he literally felt his his brother’s hand on his shoulder when he expressed this” Adam then ask me again “how did you know” how did you know that I needed to serve a mission? And asked if I really thought that he could be the missionary I had been telling him that he could be”? at this point this big old boy was visibly choked up with tears welling up in his eyes. With emotions similar to his I shared sweet a exchange of feelings/ thoughts with him affirming this sacred witness that he had been given and reaffirming how amazing he would be in the mission field. Well, right quick after this moment Mary and I and kids moved up the Clearfield. I lost track of Adam in the move. infact I didn’t even have his number. This past January I received a most wonderful text from him. Telling me that I wouldn’t believe what he had to tell me” I rejoiced to learn that he received his mission call to Texas. The day of his farewell came. I was fasting for him. when I got to the church I felt impressed to visit the bathroom I got a feeling that I would see Adam there. Sure enough, right when I walked in this big ol soon to be missionary came walking out. We briefly got caught up. I Gave him 40 bucks from lingering tax return money. I told him I loved him and was thrilled to be able hear him speak. As I took my seat unbeknownst to me, his older sister was having her farewell too! Jared, to date, this has been the most spiritual sacrament meeting I have ever attended. The Spirit was so thick– at times I felt like I couldn’t even breath. It was a sweet a emotional hour for me. My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my chest! I’m going to share with you a very sacred experience I had which I have only shared with my two sisters and Mary. I do not know at what point this happened but I am guessing probably the first 10 minutes of the meeting. I saw light envelop everyone on the stand. A white glow surrounded everyone on the stand. It was particularly significant in size around the missionaries at the pulpit. Maybe you have had these experiences, too? I have had a half dozen of these in my life. They have always come when people have been sharing gospel thoughts or testimony at church. Also, They were not confined to just seeing them inside a building. I have seen an elders quorum teacher outside on a hot summer day, under the pavilion, surrounded by a brilliant glow. As I mentioned on this particular day, Everyone on the stand glowed with this brilliance. To my knowledge I have never seen angels. I take that back I had a sweet experience in Washington DC. I will choose not to share at this time. But I did see on this occasion (whether they were angels are not, I do not know) I am very much inclined to say they were, however. Behind the missionaries I saw silhouettes of glowing figures. This was a brief visual experience. The light surrounding everybody on
    The stand, however, lasted the duration of the meeting. At one point Jared, a conduit opened up to the right of the missionaries near the ceiling. What I saw was a continuous flow of light beams shooting in intervals of a half second at a time. While I observed it, I didn’t quite understand what it meant. I later was lead to feel that these were angels “family” of these missionaries there to partake of this glorious occasion. I remember looking away– looking back, blinking my eyes and still the beams were shooting in. After while, I stopped looking, and focused more intently on the messages. Again, throughout all of this occurring the most joyous feelings were felt within my heart. the ol nose was running and tears were streaming. Adam was the concluding speaker. Funny guy, he had the audience laughing and crying when all was said and done. A beautiful testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ, the power of repentance to bring healing and peace in ones life was taught and the fruits of this great gift with visibly observed in this now! very clean young man. 🙂 And then he went and did it. He quoted the missionaries commission by elder Bruce R MCconkie. http://www.ldsmissionarymoms.com/notablequotes/MMCsign.shtml
    I feel to hold back sharing much more details of the meeting. I will say this though, the remainder of the meeting– seeing clearly through my eyes was almost an impossibility. A lot of moisture. this was an experience never to be forgotten by me.

    Jared, through these and many more choice experiences in my life– I know without reservation that this is Christ true restored church upon the earth. That the saving ordinances and authority to administer them are found in Christ true latter-day church. His gospel is well and alive within its structure. Every dispensation has had keys and the priesthood . From Adams dispensation to every dispensation after leading up to the opening of this last dispensation. I testify that The keys priesthood rights and privileges of this dispensation did not cease with the Prophet Joseph Smith Our a mighty restorer of truth. They have continued and currently reside with power and great ability through our Prophet Thomas s Monson. I know that this beloved Prophet is a wonderful window into the grandeur of who Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is. Oh how I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer. “He is the way the truth and the life.” I’ve had it revealed powerfully to my soul through the Holy Spirit through wonderful weeping moments that he is the Christ. How grateful I am for the plan that he has made possible. I testify that when we choose to follow him that we choose to be changed– for the infinite better. To be spiritually born of God, to have the name of his son Jesus Christ written on our hearts is the most joyous of undertakings. Praise be to the Father for his glorious Son. Truly through him we have life and we have it more abundantly….. Whatever fruits of success my life has lacked. It has not lacked manifestations and confirmations that the order of this restored Church and Christ’s gospel Is true valid and efficacious. It Is run by Christ through His holy and anointed servants Who are and were chosen before they came. Their role is a great burden and choice responsibility. What a privilege it is to sustain them and uplift them and to pray for them.

    I testify that as we do, we are not unrewarded. I testify of the power of opposition to thwart God’s Work. I testify that as we exemplify and live to the best of our abilities the two great commandments to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves– we receive great protection from the buffetings of the adversary. That is, When we choose to unconditionally love– When have love as our watch-word and our ever aspiring action– When this becomes our Ever approaching reality– I testify and bear witness that We become sanctified and more pure in this holy effort. I testify That Clear beautiful revelation from God is known understood and manifested properly because of our willingness to love him and love his children as he would love them. To build and lift to affirm Christ like strengths in others and to eliminate that which tears down through judgment and criticism is his way. I testify that the enabling powers of the Atonement become seen known and unquestionably real to us when we “Are in the mix” and love as he would have us love: family ,friends, work associates, ward members, strangers etc. How profoundly grateful I am for His Holy Scriptures….. The Book of Mormon is choice and chief among them. I know that the mysteries of Godliness are found within the words of our modern day ordained leaders. That the attributes of Jesus which by learning them and applying them are found in abundance in their writings and words of testimony. I know that when we do not trifle with their words but hearken unto them we then are given ears that are open that we might hear and hearts that are opened that we might understand and minds that are opened that the mysteries of God(liness) might be unfolded unto us– that approaching the “perfect day” becomes expedited through this path. I testify that King Benjamin’s words are not diminished a specks worth through the words that are given through modern day prophets and apostles. I testify and bear witness that the glorious results are the same….. I know that it is our greatest privilege and reality to behold and see the face of Christ in this life. I know that sweet is the journey as we progressively day by day become more like him– resulting in having the wonders of the gospel revealed unto us. That again ,chief among these wonders, is to partake of the fruit of the tree of life– “which is most joyous to the soul which Love Sheddeth itself a broad in our hearts causing us to greater joy in the journey and hope with a more clear assurance of our future exaltation… How far from where I want to be, I am. But blessed I am. I am married to a wonderful elect daughter of God and have choice children. Christ’s grace truly is sufficient. And the effects and direction given by the Holy Ghost is mercifully & amazingly real. A true and great love for you Jared
    These things I humbly testify of their truth and validity in the Holy Name of our perfect exemplar even Jesus our Lord and Savior, amen.

    1. I also am positive these experiences/testimony will exceed word limit.

      WordPress doesn’t appear to have a word limit. It obviously must not be backed by an Oracle RDBMS.

  25. another sharing experience with my Bro in law:


    I found this article very cool. At the end of the day we are very much apart of this tellestial sphere.

    Bruce R. MCconkie stated ” I do not claim to know all the providences of God. I do know that he allows false doctrine to be taught in and out of the church. It is apart of the sifting process of mortality.” let’s stay anchored and not be sifted. Ethan, and I were at an amazing fireside last night on missionary work. I was lead to realize sometimes we grow –so– accustomed to the peace of the gospel in our lives that we forget how profound of a thing our membership is. hearing the sweet tear full testimonies of activated and recent converts—wow! the common theme was —“where I was blind and void of true happiness, perspective, and peace— I now can see feel and understand… Their witnesses of the Spirit were amazing! my right eye was leaking the whole time, nearly:)

    In regards to the article—I testify that nothing short of revelation lifted this ban. Read the accounts of the brethren who were there… I do know that this gospel is so very true and that the scaffolding that helps hold it up—the church!—- is the most true organization on the earth. It is Jesus Christ’s. It is led by him through –near– perfect follow through by his Holy servants. Grand will be the day when the scaffolding falls in a millennial state. A time where grinding opposition will be no more. A time where hearts minds and bodies will be perfectly in tune with God and his will. Church programs needed no mas!. A glorious terrestrial setting this will be. until then, “Thank thee oh God for a Prophet who -helps- lead and guide us in these latter days ” thank you for the keys of the kingdom that allow for lesser keys at a local level — allowing for baptism, priesthood ordination, receiving patriarchal blessings, and the passing and partaking of the sacrament etc. For none of these blessed events have efficacy with out keys. keys that are –alive– and working. keys that if dormant up top! leave us without validation and -true-actuality, underneath…

    So many glorious reasons to know by way of the Spirit that all is working according to how the divine engine should run. Thank you Dear Father that we can approach the veil with so much at our disposal for personal righteousness… That when there is an occasional puff of unsettling exhaust (teachings)(because of operator error– out of the divine tail pipe out of this divine vehicle known as the true restored church—- how grateful we are ( during these times) that we have allowed our selves to be anchored through all of these amazing resources that are available. Above all, thanks be that we have the amazing light of Christ amplified through all of the known restored resources to help lift and inspire and grow toward perfection in Jesus our Lord. D&C 128: 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing…. Dear family Read the article– let wonderful insight flow:) Love, JB

  26. I am saddened as I close my comments on this particular post. It did not turn out as I expected. It did not bring unity as I had hoped. I know the content was difficult. I was encouraged by the initial comments of those who tried to help me answer some of the questions I posed. But it soon became clear the content was offensive to others. I am sorry. Please forgive me if I caused you consternation.

    I like Jared’s comment above in quoting Joseph from D&C 128:22 – “Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing….” Thanks to all who participated in this little experiment. God bless us each in our gospel studies, either private or shared openly.

    1. I don’t know Tim, It sure seems like there are a lot of people being driven by fear around here. If these questions and discussions are shaking testimonies then I guess it’s better to keep them to ourselves? Suppress them? Maybe only discuss them with those you think can appreciate them? I kind of thought that’s what this forum was, like minded people with a desire to know more? Willing to ask and ponder the things that concern or intrigue us and gain from an active discussion with others? Most of us don’t have people in our lives who want to ask or ponder these things, I thought that to be the beauty of blogs like yours? But who wants any part of shaking a testimony?
      I do think however some here see making comments to the contrary of your post an opportunity to show what they believe to be, superior knowledge, truer insight or even greater skillset, more than legitimately disagreeing with your post?

    2. Tim, when a commenter and supporter. Of Denver tells you that your blog reads like a chapter and verse out of Denver’s first chapter of hiis controversial book. It becomes a promotion of an agenda. your current tone doesn’t resemble much when you first started out. Stay true to your soften heart tone. I have family I love that feel being excomunicated might just be fine, as long as it is in harmony with the agenda of D.S. this is sobering sad serious stuff for me. It goes waybeyond the virtue of the well asked pressed question (s)

      1. I find it interesting that it is you who are pointing out someone else’s agenda. Tim didn’t mention DS at all in this post, he was brought into this, again, by you anti-snuffers.

        I’m continually amazed at how DS is misunderstood and misrepresented by such.

        There really is a great big giant hole in the historical account about the coming of Peter, James and John to restore the Melchizedek Priesthood. We assume much about what happened, trying to work backward to reconstruct things. The fact that we have been left to do so has nothing at all to do with what DS has or has not said.

        1. Good brother bd, –let– the gospel work for you. Nothing grants peace of mind and ties up loose ends better …. Tim, use God’s wonderful gifts he has given you of research and expression to promote these type of ideas/truth, also:)

      2. Jared: The source of the study material was the first half of Denver’s lecture on priesthood in January of this year. I was trying to examine his claims openly and objectively but I guess 2 1/2 years of reading his books, lectures and blog must have slanted my focus. Sorry about that.

        I also sympathize with your love and concern for family members who you say “feel being excommunicated might be just fine,” but I sure hope nobody follows that route because they think Denver is telling them to do so because I have not read or heard him say that anywhere.

        Now if the Lord tells you to follow a certain course of action, such as share your study notes, which is what I thought I was doing here, and then you get called in for disciplinary action such as Will Carter, then there is something obviously wrong. God bless you and your family.

    3. Tim wrote, “It did not bring unity as I had hoped.”

      Perhaps the closest thing to agreement on this blog I’ve seen so far is that just about everyone who posted except Tim feels that the word “affiliate” should be used relatively narrowly. Since, as someone pointed out, if the word is used too broadly, it would make missionary work and reactivation efforts difficult (if you want to keep your recommend).

      I enjoyed reading Log’s various posts regarding “affiliate.” First it was a subtle, small voice, simply posting a dictionary definition. Then the posts gradually became more direct. Log stated how it applied to Log. Then even more direct, questioning Tim. Next, I picture Log’s hand reaching out from Tim’s monitor, grabbing him by the front of the shirt, shaking him, saying, “Listen here, you! THIS is what it means!” 🙂

      1. I am a fool, I admit it. I have made a mountain out of a molehill and surely offended my bishop and stake president. When I meet with them on Tuesday I intend to do two things: 1) Apologize for not keeping this as private as I believe they would have liked. To me, privacy means no literal point-by-point revelation of what is discussed in a session. But I’ll bet no discussion on my blog or Facebook was what was intended.

        2) Discuss the affiliation question in great detail. I’m a computer guy so my mind works way too binary sometimes. I would like my temple recommend back if they are okay with me going to Vegas and St. George to attend two of Denver Snuffer’s lectures next month. I have read many of the comments of others upbraiding me for “giving my agency to my local priesthood leaders.” I still don’t see it that way.

        I will be fasting all day Tuesday before our meeting. I intend to ask for and accept counsel, as well as discipline if that’s warranted. Apparently it’s a bigger deal than I thought to turn in your temple recommend. I see it as a sign of honesty. Others see it as a sign of rebellion or of dissent. Nothing could be further from the truth. Can’t tell you how many members of my former stake wrote to express disappointment.

        Thank you Eric. Your counsel is so very greatly appreciated, my friend.

      2. Funny — I don’t recall giving any counsel in that post!

        (That makes me wonder . . . how many other times have I been misunderstood?)

        Counsel wasn’t intended. I know that you already know that if a person is following the Spirit, he or she won’t let any number of other mortals sway them to their position (. . . even if we are right, in this case, heh heh).

        By the way, once when I was conducting the recommend interview, when we got to that particular question, the other person chose not to answer “yes” or “no.” Instead, they said something like, “Well, I work for such-and-such company . . .” and we discussed their situation.

      3. This is me reaching out from the monitor.

        The hierarchy has actually made plain what “affiliate” means – from “LDS Church responds to concerns over member questions”.

        The scriptures are full of examples of how to receive answers to our questions — to find truth and align our will with God’s — and that process includes studying, praying, learning and discussing Church doctrines. Millions of people do this throughout their lives. How and why one asks is as important as the questions we’re asking. What causes concern for Church leaders is when personal motivations drive those conversations beyond discussion, and a person or group begins recruiting others to insist on changes in Church doctrines or structure. When it goes so far as creating organized groups, staging public events to further a cause or creating literature for members to share in their local congregations, the Church has to protect the integrity of its doctrine as well as other members from being misled.

        Listen to that closely: here’s what gets the SCMC after you.

        1. Insisting on changes to “Church” doctrines or structure.
        2. Recruiting others.
        3. Creating organized groups. <—- that's "affiliate".
        4. Staging public events.
        5. Creating literature. <—- books and blogs qualify.

        I put "Church" in quotes because I do not believe the doctrine of Christ is the sole property of the Church, neither do I believe everything taught in the Church is the doctrine of Christ. Also, there are at least two definitions of "Church" – the body of the membership, and the body of the hierarchy – and it makes a rather significant change in meaning depending on which one you use. In this case, I think the intended meaning of "Church" is the hierarchy.

      4. Oh yeah, and as Geoff said, “don’t cross the streams.” Err… I mean “don’t touch the keys.”

  27. Tim,

    Forgive me if this is rude in adding to this after you ask to close them. I would like to point back to your topic, if you don’t mind.

    In subjects like this, I always find out that the more I dig, the more I learn I don’t know. If I seek to understand chemistry, I find that to understand something like carbon, I must understand how many protons, neutrons, and electrons there are to affect what it does and how it reacts, etc.

    In digging deeper into Priesthood (which I may say I believe we are mostly inadequate in even beginning to explain keys), I find that we conflate so many “particles” that it makes it so confusing, especially for the women who are not privy to the discussions focusing on traditions, as we are in RS and not Priesthood meetings. So when someone like Elder Oaks begins to talk about it in Conference, my eyes glaze over. However this might be of my benefit, as too many voices can distract from the core elements.

    God gives us great study manuals in the scriptures, does he not? And if we are visual learners and not auditory learners, we have to put down the audible narrative and go to the visual text.

    The past few weeks I’ve found great joy in going to the original text found in the Joseph Smith Papers, Revelations Book 1. (Thank you, Rock Waterman for alerting us to the sale at Christmastime!) Yesterday I landed on the Articles and Covenants, otherwise known as the original “Handbook of Instructions”. It is related to D&C 20, however after close examination, I would say that some things have been added to Section 20 that are not the way they are included in the original. Some may say the changes are good for clarification, but I would suggest that comparing the two, getting down a little into the protons and neutrons here, might help your dissection of the topic. Although it may make your eyes bug out.

    I got to the part on Apostles. In the original, the labels (such as elders and apostles are capitalized). Don’t know if that matters. However, as one person may have noted above (or maybe I saw it elsewhere?), it appears that there are to be more apostles than just 12, as they have duties which are similar to that of missionaries, in baptizing and serving other functions. This will be contrary to the traditional understanding, but perhaps in letting go of tradition and finding original meaning as set forth by the Lord through Joseph, we might be more prepared for when Christ returns. I always wondered how Paul could be an apostle, if there were to only be 12. This clears my understanding. I’ve only just begun though.

    I hope you keep sharing study notes. It’s obvious what your blog is about. If this were about the traditional narrative, you would have a giant temple as your blog background, and a picture of a couple in wedding attire, not planets and such. 🙂 Those unprepared for what you have here have a solid clue-in that this is not the average Mormon blog.

    God bless, always!!!

    1. Hi Jen. Sorry. Didn’t mean to imply comments were closed, only that I was not going to pursue my efforts in this specific post to persuade anyone to answer the questions I had posed in my original post. I looked back to see which book of the Joseph Smith Papers Carol got me for Christmas. It was not Revelations, but Journals. I’m looking forward to obtaining other books in the series as they are reduced in price from time to time. Thanks for your comment about Apostles.

      There have been more than fifteen apostles leading our church several times in the recent past. At one time, I think we had five in the First Presidency due to illness of ETB or SWK. And of course there was Alvin R. Dyer, a counselor and apostle under President McKay, but not a member of the Twelve when President McKay passed away. I feel the same way about prophets. I am convinced we have many, many prophets in this church but most members do not accept that statement.

      1. You’re in luck my friend. Well, at least if you have $19.99 to spare. http://deseretbook.com/Joseph-Smith-Papers-Revelations-Translations-Manuscript-Revelation-Books-Dean-C-Jessee/i/4389360. It’s on sale and shipping is free on orders over $10, which it is. It says there is an added surcharge for the weight, but even when I purchased it at Christmastime it was around $3.00 total. I have found it to be a most priceless gem. Not everything we have in our current copy is as it was, and learning the small details adds light, understanding, and as always, more sincere questions.

        That’s great to know about the other scenarios. Thank you for sharing. I’ll have to look into the Alvin R Dyer situation. Never heard of it.

      2. Thanks Jen. The book is on it’s way. Wow. I’m excited. Thanks for letting me know it was on sale. Although as soon as I ordered it, Carol said, “Hey, we could have just picked it up next week when we’re up there.” That’s OK, It’s a big book. It’s not like I’m going to read it overnight like I do with some of the books I buy. We’ll be dragging enough books home as it is. We always go to Deseret Industries and pick up dozens of old LDS books for $1 to $2 each. We don’t get that in California, just like we don’t get Cache Valley cheese either. Mmm…

  28. I received this very interesting comment on the Facebook side of this dialog. Standard disclaimer applies: I am NOT teaching this as the doctrine of the church. If you want official doctrine, go to lds.org.

    The President of the Church doesn’t necessarily hold the priesthood described in D&C 84.

    The scriptural (and Temple) priesthoods are best understood to be “fellowships.”

    There is a fellowship among men (aaronic1), a fellowship between men and angels (aaronic2), a fellowship between men and Christ (melchizedek1), and a fellowship between men and the Father (fulness of the Melchizedek).

    The scriptural “greater” or “Melchizedek” priesthood actually opens the heavens (we read DC 107:18-19 to add to the definition given in DC 84:19-22), which is a power absent from the institution since Joseph Smith died.

    Since that is the entire function of that priesthood, the heavens should be open to anyone who actually holds that authority.

    This is why the President of the Church doesn’t necessarily hold the priesthood described in D&C 84.

    There have been apostles, and even presidents of the church, who testified that they had not received these fellowships, Brigham Young being the most outspoken on this along with Grant.

  29. Another interesting thing someone pointed out to me.

    Read Joseph’s description of the endowment in D&C 124:94-96, where Hyrum, a “priesthood holder” already, had to use “the keys whereby he may ask and receive” in order to receive “priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood”. That’s because there was something greater to be had, a fellowship with the divine.

    1. Jeremiah 3
      14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

      15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

      How can one tell a Melchizedek priest?

      He is long-suffering



      has unfeigned love

      is kind

      has pure knowledge

      and cannot look upon sin except with abhorrence.

      What does a Melchizedek priest do?

      He repents

      exercises exceeding great faith

      works righteousness

      and teaches the commandments of the Lord that others may also enter into his rest, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

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