We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet

ProphetJosephSmithI attended our ward Sacrament meeting today. Because of General Conference next week, we held our monthly Fast and Testimony meeting. A majority of the testimonies were from the sisters sharing their thoughts about the Women’s meeting last night. The number of testimonies of a loving God and Savior were about equal to those of a living prophet. I appreciated that.

I’ve become more attuned lately to the expressions of gratitude for a living prophet in our testimony meetings as well as in the material we teach each Sunday. I’m obviously going through some adjustments in my thinking about prophets. Yes, I fully accept Joseph Smith was called of God as a prophet and acted as such. But yes, I also feel something was lost after Joseph.

Was Brigham inspired? Yes. Was he a prophet? I never knew the man. The people sustained him as such. The first prophet I knew was David O. McKay, but I don’t think I paid attention until the days of Spencer W. Kimball. Yes, I felt he was a prophet, else I wouldn’t have responded to his call to serve a mission. Did he speak for the Lord? I believed so. In fact, I still believe he did so.

Prophets Who Don’t Get in the Way

What about Presidents Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf? Our opening song this morning was “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet.” I always think of Joseph Smith when we sing that song. Do I think these men are prophets? We sustain them as such, or at least members of the LDS Church do so. I am no longer a member of the LDS Church. It makes me think of President Hinckley.

When he was asked the question, “Are you a prophet?” he responded, “The people sustain me as such.” I have always wondered why he didn’t just come right out and say, “Yes, I am a Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Of course that invites the follow-up question, “Does he talk to you?” and the inevitable answer, “I believe he inspires me today,” or some words to that general effect.

At least President Hinckley went out and spoke to the media. President Monson is getting a bit old and has short-term memory loss. I hope we will see him in good spirits and good health next week. He was at the Woman’s Conference last night. I hope we will hear from him. I still pray for the leaders of the LDS Church. I desire the Lord’s blessings upon them as well as local leaders.

Deny the Sacrament for Asking Questions

I’ve tried to make it clear I hold no animosity toward my Bishop and Stake President for placing disciplinary restrictions upon me as I was going through my faith crisis. I know they were just following the handbook. But I do feel it is wrong to withhold the sacrament from someone just because they are questioning their faith and belief in the authority of the LDS Church leadership.

In fact, I have said it is an abomination and anti-Christ to do that. The handbook is wrong in this matter. To withhold the sacrament because someone is not so sure they see the hand of the Lord on the current LDS Church leadership does not seem like a good idea. I know the Lord said to not administer the sacrament to those who are unworthy, but for wondering about a prophet?

I was willing to sustain these men as prophets, seers and revelators because that’s what we have always called them. I told this to the Bishop. Apparently that wasn’t good enough. I felt as if I was being asked to bow down to them, that they were to be as Gods to me. This is wrong. Our God is a jealous God and has commanded we have no other Gods before him, especially idols.

This is What the Lord Said About That

I ask myself, as do many, what have these men prophesied lately? What direction have they offered and then followed that with words to the effect of, “The Lord required me to tell you this,” or “As I asked the Lord about it, this is what He told me to say.” And just because I ask these questions, the church handbook says I am an apostate and should be denied the sacrament?

This is part of the reason I resigned. I do not believe asking questions makes one unworthy. I do not believe the church has a right to deny the Lord’s sacrament, of which He commanded we are to partake often, from those who ask questions. So when I heard another man say, referring to baptism, “The Lord has renewed this commandment to you this day,” I asked the Lord about it.

I refer of course to the invitation from Denver Snuffer, given at the Phoenix / Mesa Lecture to go and get baptized in living waters as a sign we accept the message the Lord caused to be delivered by a servant, called from outside the hierarchy of the LDS Church. The Lord knew very well that such an invitation would separate out those who believed the Lord sent this messenger to teach us.

Centralized Control – Secret Ordinances

We each must rely upon our own feelings about how we feel the Lord answers our prayers. In my case, it was unmistakable. I heard the voice of the Lord say to me, “Yes, what this man has spoken is the message I asked him to deliver. Yes, you will be blessed for being baptized again.” Simple logic told me I had to keep it secret or else I had to resign from the LDS Church to do so.

One of the advantages of resigning from the LDS Church is I can now partake of the sacrament at home in the way I feel the Lord intended it – with wine. Of course you don’t have to resign to do this, but you’ll have to keep it secret because the LDS Church wants to control it. I believe the ordinance was changed and became invalid when we substituted water for wine in the prayer.

My letter from Confidential Records included the wording, “If you want to become a member of the LDS Church again, see your local unit leaders.” Of course, that would require I go back to no questioning, especially in a public format like this blog. It would also require I accept some of the doctrines and ordinances I am now convinced have been changed. That won’t be happening.

Perform Ordinances in Your Communities

The funny thing is, as a non-member, I could have taken the Sacrament today. The Church, in order to be politically correct, does not forbid non-members from partaking of the Sacrament. But if you dare raise questions about some of the history, doctrines or legitimacy of the current leadership of the LDS Church, you are forbidden to take the Sacrament. Yes, that’s anti-Christ.

I don’t want to be one of those angry former Mormons who rails against the LDS Church. I would much rather focus on what I believe is about to take place in the near future. I was once again reading the Mesa Lecture last night and noted these words, which struck me powerfully. I have always felt strongly about the idea of the disintegration of society before the Lord’s return.

“Before the Lord’s appearance to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Therefore, part of the preparation by God’s house for coming social chaos is likely to include some preliminary preparations by families and friends to fellowship with one another in local gatherings.”

Organize Communities to Build Zion

He indicated these communities would be completely apart from control by the LDS hierarchy. “Only by independently functioning can they hope to prepare for social chaos prophesied to accompany Zion and precede the Lord’s return.” (D&C 45:66-68) One of the things I know I am going to miss is the sense of community I once felt with my ward and stake. That is gone now.

Yes, you can say I am the one who resigned, but I promise you it was only a matter of time before I was excommunicated for apostasy. The bishop made it clear. The handbook mandates, requires, demands and states unequivocally a disciplinary council must be held in the case of apostasy with only the two possible outcomes of disfellowshipment or of excommunication.

I was labeled apostate because I was questioning why we don’t believe and teach some of the things we used to believe and teach. Because of that questioning, and because I was finding answers in the writings of a man who the church cast off, it was determined I was also apostate. You simply don’t question the Brethren in the LDS Church. If you do, you are no longer worthy.

To Bear One Another’s Burdens

I seek community. I have found some community online, but that can’t replace getting together to take the Sacrament, to mourn with those who mourn and to bear one another’s burdens. I also feel that Zion can’t be built up unless we seek to eliminate the poor in our communities. I want to participate in such communicates. I may need to travel to them since we are spread out so far.

If there’s anything I got out of the Mesa lecture besides the distinct impression from the Lord I needed to be baptized in living water, it was the idea of communities. I could see them in my mind’s eye spread all across the land. They were small groups at first, meeting secretly out of fear of discovery, just as the believers in Alma’s days had to hide from the searches of the King.

I had a reader ask me why I didn’t focus on the invitation Denver offered in Grand Junction. If you’ll recall, we were invited to organize into communities with the express purpose of learning to care for the poor and needy among us. He quoted Denver’s words in which the purpose of tithing is to bring to pass the words, “and there were no poor among them.” I share them here:

Build Zion Communities with No Poor

“So, given the fact that you are commanded to pay tithing, and some of you are unable or refuse to do so because of the particular circumstances that you see in your church of choice, and given the fact that the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves,’ I would suggest one small thing you could begin is to collect your own tithing in a group. You manage it among yourselves. You assist the poor among you.

“If you disagree with what your churches are doing but recognize the obligation to pay, then take control over the funds to do what you believe God would have done to help others. As groups of common believers, pay tithing into a common fund. Then by the voice of your own group, dispose of it by common consent so that everyone in your group knows everything that comes in and everything that goes out. Then you begin to have no poor among your group.

“You provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education, and transportation. Do it without a leader. Do it by the voice of your own common consent, by your own unanimous approval. Do it by united agreement. Now, if some of you who hear this decide to begin to do this you will learn firsthand in a pragmatic lab experiment just how difficult it is to become ‘one.’ You will learn how greatly this world opposes the idea of Zion.

The Cost of Discipleship Can Be High

“You will learn from the criticism of others how to suffer for your Lord’s sake. You may even be deprived of fellowship with others who do not agree it is your obligation to care for the poor, but that the church you belong to owns that right to the exclusion of your opportunity to participate. You may lose a temple recommend, or a church calling, or even your church membership. And you will learn how much churches care for money above all else.

“Even in a small group you will find challenges. You want to know how far away you are at this moment from Zion; this will tell you. If you want an accurate barometer of ‘what lack you yet?’ Then organize yourselves and you, unitedly in small groups, gather your tithing into the storehouse you maintain, and by your common consent take care of those who are poor among you. You will receive an education like none other in the reasons men fail to have Zion. The fact that men fail doesn’t excuse you from your own failing. Rise up!”

Seven Women Shall Take Hold of One Man

Now back to the Mesa lecture to conclude my thoughts. On page fifteen, we can read more about organizing communities for fellowship. Denver quoted the Lord, “There shall be a minimum of seven women to sustain the man in any vote, and if the man is married, his wife shall be one of them.” When I heard these words, I felt very sad. I wanted to participate but knew I couldn’t.

Later on the page: “If the man is married, his wife must be among the seven women. If his wife will not sustain him, he is unworthy to provide priesthood service in the fellowship.” I have thought much about this. I am in this specific situation. Once again, I am found unworthy. Not only can I not officiate in ordinances outside my home, I can’t even contribute to help the poor.

In this case, “The word ‘unworthy’ is not a statement of condemnation, but of qualification. There is nothing implied in the word about a man’s standing before God, only the fact that within the community of fellowship until the wife is prepared to support him acting outside the family, his effort should remain within his family until the wife sees value to her husband serving others.

Unworthy to Contribute, but not Condemned

“The word ‘unworthy’ was the Lord’s and therefore I do not feel at liberty to change it. But I want it clear that when He used it I had a definite understanding that no condemnation was implied. Only an orderly arrangement was given.” I can accept this definition of unworthy. It works. I can accept it because I know it comes from the Lord, not from interpreting some Church handbook.

It’s important to see that the Lord quoted “seven women” to Denver. You can see it yourself in the transcript in the middle of page fifteen. He was specifically quoting the Lord. There has been much discussion of this … “unusual” … aspect of the lecture. As Denver pointed out, the Mesa lecture has become a turning point for many individuals. I see so many who have stalled out.

Those who were expecting just another lecture on doctrine came away shocked. Those who were looking for direction from a servant of the Lord came away pleased with instructions to organize communities in preparation for Zion. I want to contribute financially and in other ways. I wait upon the Lord. Perhaps someday I will be able to do so. For now, this blog is my contribution.

148 thoughts on “We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet”

  1. That is good insight, Tim. I will be baptized on this Saturday according to the Doctrine of Christ. I will follow the words of a true servant. Much love and respect to you and yours.

    1. Congratulations. I am aware of many dozens of baptisms now. I am reading about them each week. Oh, how I pray we can each find the community support we need. It is a miracle witnessing the faith of those who recognize the voice of the Lord in the message Denver delivered.

  2. One of my favorite Old Testament stories is when Moses lifted up the brazen serpent so that the people could be healed from their wounds simply by gazing at it. (Numbers 21)

    This story is referenced three times in the Book of Mormon.

    Also, Jesus taught:

    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up (John 3:14).

    So the purpose of the brazen serpent was to point the Children of Israel to Jehovah.

    But over time, the people began to worship the brazen serpent itself as if it were an idol. King Hezekiah thus destroyed the serpent as well as other idols. (2 Kings 18:4)

    Perhaps there is a rough parallel…

    Brother Joseph came to us as a “John the Baptist” figure to point us toward Christ and to prepare us for His second coming.

    But somewhere along the line, many Church members began to worship the office of prophet as the Children of Israel did the serpent.

    On Sun, Sep 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Latter-day Commentary – Last Days – Signs

  3. I had to chuckle Tim when you mentioned that your resignation from the church now enables you to partake of the sacrament..lol

    I’m under informal probation so am forbidden from having the emblems and speaking or praying in meetings.
    Today was my first church meeting with these new restrictions. I had to leave after sacrament meeting because the pain of it all was too much. Not sure if I want to go back..
    Trying to figure what to do from here.. I’m prayefully considering maybe resigning as that seems to be the ONLY way to get my privileges back!

    Most might wonder Tim why you’re still going to church if you’ve resigned.. Can you expound on some of that?

    So basically if I’m understanding you correctly Tim, resigning is enjoying all the privileges of church worship and participation like a member except your name is not on the rolls of the church?

    I’m still a bit unclear on what the similarities or differences might be between excommunication and resignation…

    1. Hi TruthSeeker: You asked if I could expound on why I still attend church even though I have resigned. Two reasons: I am concerned about Carol having to deal with all the “you poor thing” looks and comments. She doesn’t want to be pitied. Besides, I like to sing.

      I want people in our ward to know this hasn’t changed our love and support for each other. Yes, it has put a strain on things, but we are working through them. I don’t attend Sunday School or the High Priest group anymore. That’s when I have my own sacrament at home.

      The Second reason is community worship. I love to sing the hymns with Carol. I enjoy hearing ward members do their best to teach the gospel from the pulpit and share how the Lord is involved in their lives. That’s why I’m hoping and praying for the day to find a new community.

      I won’t be at Church every Sunday. For example, I’m aware of some more baptisms taking place this coming weekend in Southern Calif. Do I stay home and watch Conference of do I travel three hours to take the sacrament with people who feel as I do and witness their baptisms?

      The biggest difference between excommunication and resignation is that you don’t have to go through the disciplinary council process for what I consider to be a bogus charge of apostasy. If you have found answers elsewhere, which I have, then make it easy on everybody.

      This is a serious and difficult thing for those with large LDS families and a heritage that goes back to Nauvoo or Kirtland. Carol’s ancestors all joined the church during Brigham’s presidency. My family joined in 1962 and we were the only LDS members in our extended family.

      Don’t rush into this. Don’t leave the Church just because you are having difficulties with the truth claims of the Church. If you want to get baptized, do so, but don’t blog about it like I did. If you want to attend a community sacrament meeting, do so, but keep it quiet for a season.

      I know, I didn’t do that, did I? I told the Lord I was going to be very open and honest about this from the moment I started my blog. Of course that makes me a target. I can take it. I enjoy critical thinking. It’s the emotional knee-jerks that are difficult to deal with. God bless.

    2. tim rails on the church than says he doesn’t want to rail on the church . don’t leave the church it is what gave you all the opertunities to have the sacrament .

      1. Hi Rick. You’re right. I do have a few disagreements with the handbook of instructions. I wish the church used the scriptures instead of the handbook in matters of salvation such as the Sacrament and Baptism.

        I don’t encourage anybody to leave the Church. I am grateful for the sense of community I found in the LDS Church for over fifty years of my life. I miss that and seek a community in which to prepare for Zion.

        I am grateful to know that priesthood is not dependent upon a Church. With that priesthood I can administer the Sacrament in my home the way I feel the Lord intended it to be done. Peace be unto you brother.

  4. I think it’s ok to drink wine for sacrament, but Section 27 says it really doesn’t matter what we eat or drink, as long as we do it with an eye single to the glory of God. Water’s ok, wine’s ok.

    1. I think it important to take the whole context of that section 27. In that one instance the angel instructed them not to partake of the wine they were headed to purchase, because it was going to be poisoned by the local enemies. I will research this. But I believe that partaking of the Ordinances as commanded of Christ is paramount. As with Baptism. Cheers, Dave Park

  5. Tim

    This was a good insight about the wine. You are correct. Your statements imply much more than you may have been thinking. If using water made the ordinance invalid what year did this occur? If the basic ordinance of the sacrament was invalid, could the rest be valid?
    Jesus first gave to the Disciples in the Book of Mormon, who in turn imparted the bread and wine to the other followers.
    Nowhere in scriptures does it claim that a deacon should ever pass the sacrament. I have hope that Jesus will appear and administer the sacrament to His servants, who will in turn impart to others that come. Great things are happening and the adversary is furious that people are beginning to awake. We are blessed to be living now and have a great responsibility. Do not think on unworthiness. King Benjamin taught clearly that we are all unworthy creatures. This is wonderful to acknowledge and rejoice in the great mercy of God who has laid the path for our redemption. Thanks for your continued faith and writing. So many people love to say things about how Joseph Smith taught this or that and that is where their seeking ends. Question everything.
    Paul taught that when we have the Spirit we are not under the law. You quote Part of Denver’s message as if it is binding upon your soul. Can a man filled with the Spirit be under the authority of any mortal?

    1. Hi Minorityofone: I want to respond to your point and question in your last paragraph about how I perceive the message Denver delivered and how I have let it affect me, because it’s obvious I have responded.

      Is his message binding upon my soul? Yes, it is. Why? Because I asked the Lord if it was authorized. I asked if Denver was a true messenger and a servant sent with a sanctioned, God-given task.

      Does that place me under Denver’s authority? You tell me. If I believe the Lord has wrested the keys of the kingdom from the leaders of the LDS Church, then who now has them? Would that be Denver?

      1. Tim

        Thanks for your response. I have a testimony that every man who has the priesthood inherently has access to every key of the priesthood. If a man teaches you differently it is a lie.
        You may outright dismiss this but if you pray about it in earnest you will receive the same witness.
        From what you said you received from God, that Denver was sent from God with a God-given task, and he was a true messenger etc.

        No this answer does not mean one thing for you. I have a testimony that mlk junior was sent to the earth as a messenger and fits into the parameters of what you described about your witness from God. I have a testimony similarly of Ghandi, Joan of ark, etc etc.
        Have you received a witness from God specifically stating that you need 7 women to ratify your priesthood? Drop everything you have been told about how great Denver is. I mean that one particular principle of 7 women. Have you received a confirmation by the burning of the Holy Ghost that that specific principle is necessary for you?

      2. Monority of One: Correct: I have not asked about the seven women to sustain me, because it’s not something I am seeking. If I were, then I would ask. There is no need to ask until it applies to me. My ministry is not outside my home right now, thus the Lord would have no need to provide such an answer. Others who are seeking to or have been asked to minister outside the home can and should confirm with God.

  6. Tim, though I disagree with Denver’s interpretation of seven women will cleave to one man to sustain him as worthy, I would point out that if Carol doesn’t agree with your decisions, how can her vote even be sought? It would seem pointless to ask for a vote of worthiness to sustain you if she isn’t even there. Thus, wouldn’t the Lord view her as holding you back if Denver’s message is true? In D&C 132, Joseph said that if a woman doesn’t sustain her husband seeking a plural wife, he is absolved from needing that and he may go forward honorably. I’m sure Carol shouldn’t have to sustain you in following this path. Likewise, you should be able to honorably go forward following your heart to God. Another woman could sustain you. Perhaps the other sisters could ask Carol that IF she was following this path you’ve chosen, would there be any reason not to sustain you? If you verbally or physically abuse her, which the other sisters wouldn’t know, she could say you aren’t worthy and they’d know you shouldn’t be sustained. But I’m sure she’d say yes you are worthy, so seven sisters within you community could do the sustaining. So seek clarification of how to go forward when wives are not part of the community. The Lord always has a way prepared.

    It’s interesting how even in small communities there are issues that arise. Organizing millions of small communities is daunting.

    Also, I wanted to add my gratitude for living prophets who have been serving during this era of the preparatory gospel. The Lord doesn’t speak and reveal as directly when the higher priesthood is withdrawn. But they are inspired many times. I’ve felt the Spirit too many times to count. Last night, the sisters who prayed and spoke were prophetesses in their own right, speaking holy words of great wisdom. Pres. Uchtdorf was equally wrought upon to speak pure truth. The prophecies we need have apparently been prophesied. How well we study them, or ignore them, is on us. But last night, the opening session of General Conference was pure light. How blessed we were.

    May we each seek the Light of the World in the paths He has prepared for us, follow the Spirit, and trust God forever.

    My best to You and Carol, Tim. I hope you show her great love as never before.

    1. Always Pondering: You are correct. It would be pointless to seek to exercise the priesthood outside my own family without Carol’s approval. Thus, I have no intention to seek to minister in a group.

      I have long pondered that verse in section 132. I had a good sister explain it to me as “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” She said it felt as if it didn’t matter what her opinion or feelings were on the matter.

      I have desires to bless and to minister. I can do that best in my own family. I can practice virtue and holiness. I can and will strive to be kind, long-suffering, patient and loving while I wait upon the Lord.

      I agree with you that inspiration continues to rest upon the leaders of the LDS Church. I also felt the sisters who spoke were blessed as they asked, enticed, invited the sisters of the church to focus on the temple.

      Blessings upon you my friend.

  7. Tim,

    I’m working on part 3 of a multi-part response to the tenth lecture, because Good Will said, if I were willing to “walk through” it, he for one would be willing to listen.

    It’s not easy, and I don’t know how effective it can be, either, given the subtlety and complexity of the deceit Denver has woven. I try to touch upon the main points, the touchstones he has so carefully constructed, which, if people don’t understand, leaves them set up to fall for his snares.

    The easiest way to do a walk through would be in dialog mode, but there’s not been a peep out of Good Will, or anybody else. I don’t want to write a book, I just want to point out important things in the tenth lecture that people should know, and then address why they don’t know them, and what it implies, and I can do that, if they will engage.

    I realize it’s not going to help you, but others might benefit. Part 1 and 2 are on my blog now.


    Part 3 will be posted in a few days. If you feel up to considering such a “walk through,” at this point, after you have settled things in your own mind and have acted upon it, then by all means do so, but I will understand, if you can’t bring yourself to do it.

    This is a tortuous path Denver has embarked on, and I don’t know who, if anybody, can reduce it to a few clear issues that will persuade others, but we must try for the sake of the innocent, who are now suffering, and who will suffer in the future, needlessly.

    1. dbundy: I read through your 2 rebuttals of #10 hoping for some well reasoned responses, but alas, that was not found.

      It is so full of ad hominem, name calling, false attributions of positions (straw men), and vitriol that you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind that has been convinced by Denver’s teaching.

      If you want to show how he is an impostor, save that name calling for the conclusion, after you’ve logically, and according to the scriptures, made the case that such a thing is demonstrably so.

      Far too often, you give a parody of Denver’s position, answer with an assertion, without evidence, that such a thing is obviously false, and go on to the next. It isn’t convincing.

      Even in your response to Joseph’s dream, why not repeat it exactly as it was recorded, instead of paraphrasing. If you had, you would have seen it wasn’t “a clear picture of the land of Zion, the land of MO.” At least such an interpretation isn’t self evident, since Joseph reported the farm was in Kirtland. But you give no reason to suppose it should be MO, you just stipulate that it is with no support.

      Another: “It enables him to claim that he is a prophet of God sent to re-order, once again, the house of God, in accordance with the ancient pattern, while avoiding the charge of apostasy.”

      Citation where Denver claimed the title of prophet explicitly? He mentioned that eventually there would be a Temple, but didn’t say He was responsible to build it. In fact, in earlier teachings he was clear that it was to be build by the remnant of Lehi, not the gentiles.

      I am one who has a hard time with lecture 10. I have not left the church, not sought rebaptism, not joined a community, etc. I’m looking for the other side of the argument, to weigh things in the balance. I should be your perfect audience, but it was much more off-putting than illuminating.

      1. Ben, You are right on. I realized that earlier today, when I re-read it, after posting here. Thanks for taking the time to read it and for the well-deserved criticism. I have to do better, much better than this.

    1. Carol is going through the stages of grieving. Denial and anger have been evident – perfectly understandable. Right now she seems to be dealing with the issue by ignoring it.

      Timing is everything in marriage, just like it is in getting the boss to approve an expensive project. You wait until he’s had a good day – in my case, when he’s sold a plane and made a healthy profit.

      I wait upon the Lord. He will tell me when the time is right. It may be years. I’m okay with that. I will continue to grow.

  8. Dbundy

    I read part 2 on your blog. Thanks for taking the time to do that. You raised some interesting points. While you and I would disagree on a lot I would like to point out something that I was pondering on while I read your article.

    I would like to tell all readers that it is a false doctrine that God “depends” on us to do anything. Thomas a monson recently said that God “depends” on each of us, and that we are His hands who need to go about doing His work.

    I get the same vibe from Denver often. I will not take the time to get direct quotes but he has suggested we need to go out and try to fulfill things that Gos purportedly commanded people to do almost 200 years ago. He suggested that the restoration is in trouble and needs rescuing, and seemed to imply that God needs us to rescue it.
    There have been many times he has used such language. Just so perhaps one person will think on this, God does not need any of us. He does not need Denver, He does not need Thomas S Monson, He does not need me. He could gather the saints, build up Zion, and do anything He desires by speaking with His own voice from heaven.
    I am humbled that God would ever use us to do His work. He uses us as instruments at times so that HE can so HIS work. God is never surprised at apostasy. His plan is perfect and it is perfectly known by Him. We cannot “hasten” His work or slow it down. If you do not gain a testimony of His Omniscience you will not have faith to be brought into His presence.
    Like it was pointed out in the 77 truths book many members of many religions worship their works and believe that they are doing Gods work because they fulfill their calling or “serve” their neighbors or do home teaching etc.
    I would like to propose a question. Has God commanded anyone here to pay tithing? I mean commanded you as an individual by His own voice? Do you have a witness by the Holy Ghost that God commanded Joseph to initiate tithing?
    If not then why do you pay tithing? The same could be said for so many things. joseph smith taught at one time that we can’t rely on promises given to others at other times. We can neither trust in a “commandment” given to others. We need a confirmation ourselves or we are stepping into a precarious position where we are unsure if we are doing Gods will or not.
    If one continues to add more and more commandments and beliefs to his system of religion that remain unconfirmed by the Holy Ghost eventually that individual will find himself entangled with the philosophies of men and he will no longer see where truth ended and falsehoods began.
    I would suggest to gain a witness of the Book of Mormon, then slowly go through the doctrine and covenants and pray over every section, every doctrine, and follow nothing (or at the very least don’t simply believe it) until you have a witness from the Holy Ghost that it is true. You may find this laborious but answers will come faster and faster as you learn only to trust in the Holy Ghost and not any writing or teaching of men that may or may not be from God

    1. Moses 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

      God might not “depend” on us but we are definitely integral to His work and His glory. Without us what would His work be?

      1. iI agree, I have always looked at this verse (Moses 1:39) as an ivititation. His work, His assignmenrt.

  9. Tim, three thoughts:

    1. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. You love to say that you (and others) were just asking questions, or just had doubts, and thus draw conclusions about the rightness of leaders’ actions. I think there may be some valid arguments as to whether discipline is warranted or effective in some of these cases, but let’s at least be honest. You’ve done much more than just asked questions or had doubts.

    2. It’s interesting to me that you feel so strongly that it’s anti-Christ to forbid to take the sacrament, which does at least have a scriptural basis. But you’re just fine with being prevented from serving based on this new revelation that a man’s wife plus six other women (or seven if unmarried, as I understand it) must sustain him, which has no scriptural basis as far as I can tell. It’s also interesting to me that there was supposedly no hierarchy in these communities.

    3. I appreciate the discussions you’ve had on your blog. I’ve learned a lot and it’s caused me to think a lot. I do not feel that all is well in Zion, but I feel peace about the path that I’m on, and the conversation here is at odds with the answers I’ve received and is no longer uplifting me, so I’m going to take a break. I wish you well.

    1. Nonrandom Set:

      1) You’re right. I went beyond questions and doubts. I found answers. I shared them. I advocated them. That’s why I have no problem with my Bishop’s concerns. He was looking out for his flock. Good for him.

      2) You make an excellent point. Yes, it is scriptural to forbid to take the Sacrament if the individual is known to be unworthy. I wonder if the use of the word was the same then as we use it now. Is it referring to moral worthiness or to not being qualified in some way – like not baptized?

      3) Thanks for all your contributions over the past year and a half. I have seen my readership change considerably in this time. I will miss your well-reasoned views, helping me think. God bless you my friend.

      1. Well, and on point 2, isn’t it also anti-Christ to forbid people to take the sacrament as it has been ordained and commanded to be administered. I.e. With Wine. Which is precisely what the church has done. “Anything more or less than this is not of me…” There is a scriptural basis for “worthiness” but the scriptural predicate for sacrament is wine not water. So I have to disagree with Nonrandom Set.

        Additionally the definition of worthiness is, as Tim suggests, debatable. President Hinckley once addressed this question at a meeting I attended. I paraphrase, “Many have asked what it means to partake of the Sacrament unworthily. It is to come to the Lord’s table with an unforgiving heart.” Our version of worthiness looks upon the whited sepulchre and ignores the heart, so often filled with dead men’s bones.

        Tim, I’m very happy for you. Know that many people support you and pray for you.

      2. Thanks for clarifying on #1. Here are several places from this post where that clarity would be helpful:

        “But I do feel it is wrong to withhold the sacrament from someone just because they are questioning their faith and belief in the authority of the LDS Church leadership.”

        “I know the Lord said to not administer the sacrament to those who are unworthy, but for wondering about a prophet?”

        “And just because I ask these questions, the church handbook says I am an apostate and should be denied the sacrament?”

        “I do not believe asking questions makes one unworthy.”

        “I do not believe the church has a right to deny the Lord’s sacrament, of which He commanded we are to partake often, from those who ask questions.”

      3. Nonrandom Set: #1 and #2 are connected. Help me understand worthy vs. unworthy, especially in the context of forbidding to partake of the sacrament. The issue here is not moral / sexual, it’s doctrinal.

        How is forbidding to take the sacrament supposed to help someone who is sharing answers that have been discovered in the process of asking questions? Doesn’t that seem like unrighteous dominion?

        Here’s my interpretation of what happened, and I know it’s one-sided. Now unless you’re my bishop, you can’t share his side, but I sense you could easily see things from the point of view of a bishop:

        I asked questions, I discovered answers through study and prayer. I shared them. Many of them are contrary to the current orthodox teachings of the LDS Church, but not contrary to what Joseph taught.

        I believe my bishop was dismayed by what I was discovering. He felt I was wrong. He sensed I was moving away from the idea that whatever we teach in our curriculum is correct because it’s from SLC.

        He wanted me to go back to the belief that all things that come out of the correlated curriculum are the only things we should ever talk or write about. I promised him I would follow the curriculum in Church.

        But on my blog, I continued to investigate things that were making more and more sense to me. I was excited about finding answers to questions I had put on the shelf, some as many as forty years ago.

        Now, put yourself in my Bishop’s shoes. What do you do with someone like Tim? Well, you call him in and talk to him of course, but that doesn’t seem to be changing anything. He won’t change his thinking.

        So you forbid him from taking the sacrament. Really? I know, it’s what the handbook suggests. But how does that help? Is it possible the handbook could be wrong in this case? What else could he do?

        And that’s where I’ll leave it for you. You’re asking for clarity. So am I. The Bishop is concerned. He is getting complaints from members of his ward. He knows he must act. What is the best course of action here?

        1. They may be connected, but however you feel about a bishop restricting sacrament participation, it is still not true that he did it just for questioning. That is what I mean – it seems as if you are always trying to get away with saying that.

          I think I’ll stay neutral for now on the question of whether it’s helpful to restrict sacrament in cases of apostasy, because it’s likely to depend very much on the person/situation. I would note that if it is helpful in cases of moral transgression (and I believe it is), I don’t see any reason why it can’t also be helpful in cases of apostasy – of course it depends on the attitude of the person. It could certainly be abused/misused on the bishop’s side, but I don’t think it’s automatically unrighteous dominion.

          I can certainly imagine a typical bishop’s perspective, and although I don’t know your bishop, I don’t imagine he believes, in your words, “whatever we teach in our curriculum is correct because it’s from SLC,” or “all things that come out of the correlated curriculum are the only things we should ever talk or write about.”

          I do imagine he was dismayed, worried, and sensed you were moving away, and he probably hoped his actions would lead you to repentance, to a broken heart and a contrite spirit (I don’t mean any offense here, just that obviously if he believes your direction is wrong, repentance would be called for). I don’t imagine he was trying to force you to do anything, or wanted to compel any action. If he is anything like all of the bishops I’ve been lucky to have, he was sincerely trying to help, to counsel, to advise, to guide, to shepherd.

          To get back to my original point, though, even if you don’t agree with any of this, I still think you need to be more accurate in describing your actions and stop with the “just asking questions” routine.

      4. Nonrandom Set: OK, I finally get it. Sorry to be so dense. Thanks for explaining it to me. I can only suggest I was too close to the situation. In my mind, I was still at the beginning stages of this journey. I often still feel that way.

        There is so much to learn and so many others who understand our history and doctrines better than I do. You’ve helped me see, as my bishop obviously saw, I had progressed and was in the latter-part of my decision-making process.

        Seriously, thank you for helping me see how I was coming across in a different light. You persisted in stating I had changed gears. I guess I am more committed to a way of thinking than I thought I was. I’m not just asking questions.

        You have been very kind and patient. Bless you for that.

  10. A just judge sets aside all prejudices and biases and self-interest in weighing a matter. If it is merely possible that the accused can be innocent, a just judge will always find in favor of the accused. A just judge will judge only according to knowledge, being strict to remember that in the absence of witnesses and evidence there is nothing to judge. A just judge does not pretend to read a man’s mind, neither does he judge a man’s heart.

    If you have not either experienced it directly, nor have you heard it from the mouth of God himself, you do not know it – it is at best hearsay, at worst lies.

  11. Tim, I don’t see any reason why you cannot donate your tithe to any of the needy in any communities, or even any needy person or situation anywhere.

    I donate to any needy person to whom I feel inspired. Without record, without approval. Just when and because I want to, if they have a need that isn’t being met. And I call it my tithing.

    1. Lizzie: I agree. We can donate to any needy person we feel inspired to help. I often give a few dollars to the guy on the freeway corner entrance on the way home from work every day.

      But to effectively participate in building Zion, a community is needed where we can work and sacrifice to ensure there are no poor among us. In my case, I desire and seek Carol’s willing participation.

      1. There was a guy visiting the branch yesterday, a member who moved away a while ago, and I saw him in the kitchen after sacrament meeting eating the leftover bits of bread. I caught him alone after the block and gave him the money I had planned to give as a fast offering and told him to go get something to eat. I’m sad that our church welfare mechanism doesn’t move more quickly, and that we in general aren’t more aware of each other’s needs.

  12. Within the Introduction to the Book of Mormon it still reads: “Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.””(Book of Mormon, Preface Introduction:6)

    This quotation is still included in The Book of Mormon; it is still quoted by the leaders of the LDS church; it still appears on the LDS church website (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/introduction); and yet it is definitively not followed by the current leaders of the LDS church. Today, the Church Handbook of Instructions ALWAYS takes precedence over the precepts outlined within the Book of Mormon.

    I cite three examples: 1) how we qualify worthiness for baptism and how we baptize, 2) how we administer the emblems of the sacrament, 3) and how we teach the doctrine of Christ. In at least these three instances we find major departures from the Book of Mormon in favor of the new precepts found within the Church Handbook of Instructions.

    Given the choice, and we always have a choice, I choose the Book of Mormon.

  13. I fail to see how worthiness is determined by how we sustain or bow down to church leaders. This seems like blatant priestcraft and idolatry.

  14. “The Church, in order to be politically correct, does not forbid non-members from partaking of the Sacrament.”

    Maybe I’m a glass half-full guy but I don’t think political correctness is the motivation. How can one renew covenants he or she hasn’t even made in the first place, let alone be damned for continually breaking those unmade covenants? Isn’t it simply just bread and water in this case?

    1. Eli: Agreed – just bread and water. I offer the following information for purely conversational material. When I conducted sacrament meetings back in the late 90’s, our instructions when announcing the sacrament were to say words to the effect, “The sacrament will now be administered to members of the church in the congregation.”

      Today, when announcing the sacrament, the one conducting is careful to explain the ordinance is for members of the church, *and that they are renewing a covenant*, but visitors can partake if they desire. If anyone wants to have the discussion about does the sacrament really renew a covenant, we can have that (it doesn’t).

      Oh, what the heck, I’ll offer this as well: During the Utah reformation period, the brethren were admonishing the Saints to be baptized again as a symbol of re-commitment to obeying the commandments and living the gospel more fully. Pretty soon folks were being baptized quite often. It got to be problematic for the Brethren to administer and record.

      In order to alleviate the problem, the doctrine was introduced that partaking of the sacrament should be considered a renewal of the baptismal covenants. Before that, the sacrament was performed as a witness to the Father that we “do always remember” the Lord. It is also a reminder we will partake of the fruit of the vine with Christ someday.

      I’m open to corrections, comments, or whatever you would like to share, especially if you have never heard or read this about the Utah reformation period. I am at work at the moment so I can’t look up my sources on when the doctrine of sacrament began to be taught as a renewal of baptismal covenants. Go ahead and correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. Brother Malone,

        I actually don’t think I’ve heard any conditions on taking the sacrament announced from the pulpit in about fourteen years. They’ve simply announced that it will be administered. I do remember a Bishop announcing what you said in the 90’s. That’s very interesting.

        I’m also somewhat familiar with the Utah reformation period and the changes you mention.

        I would disagree with the question of renewal but I think any discussion in those regards would take us to deeper underlying issues. I appreciate your willingness to look things up though.

        Thank you,


      2. Eli: You are correct. I spent a few moments during my lunch hour going through the handbooks available at the BYU library. Apparently, it has always been the policy, at least since 1976, to not make any effort to exclude those not members of the LDS Faith from partaking of the sacrament. Notice how each entry over the years gets shorter:

        1976: “Nonmembers should understand, with regard to those over eight years of age, that the sacrament is for baptized members of the Church. It is not necessary for bishops to indicate that the sacrament is to be administered to members of the church only.

        “Occasionally someone might give a talk regarding the meaning of the sacrament prior to its administration, but announcing publicly that it is for members of the church only might possibly result in offense. If nonmembers partake of the sacrament, nothing should be done to prevent them.”

        1989: “The sacrament is for members of the Church and their young children. However, the member of the bishopric conducting sacrament meeting need not announce that the sacrament will be passed to members only, and nothing should be done to prevent nonmembers from partaking of the sacrament.”

        2010: “Although the sacrament is for Church members, the bishopric should not announce that it will be passed to members only, and nothing should be done to prevent nonmembers from partaking of it.”

        I guess what I was remembering was some sort of carry-over of bad habits that have persisted over the years. You know how it is – Bishopric counselors are basically trained by example. They repeat phrases they have heard over the years. So here’s a case for the handbook being a good thing. There I said it. I praised the handbook.

  15. “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets.”

    In plain English: The entirety of the law of Elohim and the teachings of the prophets is completely summarized in the principle that we had ought to do unto others exactly what we would want done unto ourselves.

    I am a problem-solver. I am solving a problem.

    The problem I’m solving is not:

    How to change people’s behavior.
    How to change people’s views, whether doctrinal or other.
    How to correct people, whether behavioral or other.
    How to artfully phrase my contentions to avoid the charge of contention.
    How to point up anyone’s sins, Church leadership included.
    How to cover anyone’s sins, Church leadership included.
    How to lead people.
    How to guide people.
    How to exercise power, authority, or keys.

    The problem I’m solving is this: “How do I, in any interaction and in any relationship, obey the Golden Rule?”

    Zion is everyone who from their heart obeys the Golden Rule. It requires scrupulous honesty with oneself.

  16. Once the Golden Rule is fully understood and internalized, the significance of the example of the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi is clear. The example of Captain Moroni is clear. The conduct of Christ is clear. The divergences of the Church from Zion are clear.

    Indeed, once the Golden Rule is fully understood, one begins to mourn for the sins of one’s people and the world, for sin, fully understood, is any divergence from the Golden Rule. Hence the saying that if one offends in one point, one is guilty of all.

    Oh, why is it that people are so attached to their narratives and their status and standing and correctness that they do not hear their Savior’s voice?

    1. Log, I’m glad you broke your vow of silence (or whatever it was) to say this–I needed to hear it. Possibly it is an answer to prayer for me. Thank you.

  17. Log on

    I would only like to add on a thought that may or may not seem obvious. The golden rule is… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…”
    How many people truly have love for themselves? How many people like to treat themselves in a manner that is healthy for themselves?
    Many believe whole heartedly in the golden rule and yet do not believe in the atonement or divinity of Jesus Christ. Only Christ can elevate us through our faith to truly love others as we love ourselves. Quite frankly love cannot be obtained without faith in Christ. It can be mimicked, but not realized.

    1. While I’m not sure how many people truly have love for themselves, I’m also not sure it matters with respect to the Golden Rule.

      After all, one need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like being coerced or compelled.
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like being lied to.
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like being manipulated.
      One need not love oneself to recognize that “Gee, it sure would be nice if random strangers would come up to me on the street and hand me cash for free.”
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like being judged.
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like having one’s errors thrown in one’s face.
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like being punished.
      One need not love oneself to recognize that one doesn’t like it when others assume airs of superiority over oneself.
      One need not love oneself to recognize one doesn’t like to be stolen from.
      One need not love oneself to recognize that one doesn’t like granting requests which place one in jeopardy.
      One need not love oneself to recognize that one doesn’t like to be meddled with.
      One need not love oneself to recognize that one doesn’t like to be mocked.

      Because one need not love oneself to recognize departures from the Golden Rule, no other matter need be brought up. After all, if I were starving to death, someone apparently well-fed telling me that there is a feast for me prepared, but not telling me how I may attend the feast to partake, is not something I would appreciate.

      Wouldn’t you agree?

      1. Yes!

        I agree absolutely about the feast. That is exactly what we are invited to spiritually. The thing about the great feast is that God needs to tell us how to get to it, and it involves God telling us more than the golden rule or Jesus probably wouldn’t have taught so much more than the golden rule.
        There are unfortunately people who like to harm themselves and receive harm spiritually from others as they seek pleasure in a myriad a ways that will not lead to happiness.
        Some people do enjoy others lying to them, lest we would not have so many churches with preachers that teach all is well. People do like to be stolen from at times as they give their souls for pottage.
        People love the air of superiority thrown in their faces every conference. They love condescending dictators who can be responsible for their salvation.
        My point is simply this, the golden rule can only work perfectly if we love God first. That is the first great commandment and the other will naturally follow. All things must be done in order. But I do agree with the principle of loving our neighbors as ourself.

      2. Very good observations. So why do so many people, especially Christians, support government so strongly which is in complete opposition to the Golden Rule? righttoreason.blogspot.com

  18. Let me readdress the affirmative requirements of the Golden Rule.

    It actually requires faith to begin doing positive work in following the Golden rule.

    For example, we know that were we down on our luck and on the street, we would like our petition for aid to be answered. We know we would be very unhappy if someone were to hear our petition and judge us unworthy of assistance because we were LDS and held what they considered to be wrong beliefs or whatever. Therefore, we know that when a drinking, smoking, possibly drug-addled homeless person asks us for bus fare, we as self-styled disciples of Christ are on the hook to heed his petition for aid without regard to our personal disapproval of his lifestyle choices, for Christ has explicitly taught this both in his own voice and by the voice of his servants.

    But, initially, we have to fight the impulse to judge. We have to choke down resentment towards that person, which resentment is in actuality the spirit of the accuser within our hearts who whispers in our ears that this man’s afflictions are just and we ought not hear him in his pleas. We have to trust in Christ that he will keep his promises to us and bless us for giving to this man, who to all appearances is unworthy of our aid. We have to remember that if God were to judge us as we judged this man, neither would God hear us in our pleas, for he knows we will sin with the things wherewith he blesses us.

    And so we exercise faith, overcome our fear and judgementalism, and give. And we discover that it’s not so hard after all. Thus we experiment upon the word, and it begins to bear fruit, and it becometh delicious unto us.

    And eventually we discover that the angels who stand guard as sentinels are among those homeless bums we pass by, asking for our tokens and signs, testing us to see if we break the commandments of God for money, provoking us in every possible way to see if we will be true and faithful in all things.

    I suppose that Zion shall have no poor among them in part because the angels shall no longer have reason to come among us in the guise of the poor, but shall stand openly among us in their true characters as messengers from the presence of the Father.

    1. Grace is the ability to give a gift without regard to the uses to which the recipient will put the gift – the ability to give without resentment and without judgement.

    2. Log,

      I’m so grateful that you have undertaken to comment here. Your voice, your witness, your words and your knowledge are so very much needed and appreciated. This is what was intended when the Lord directed us to get together oft and let everyone speak in his turn, that all may be edified together.

      You edify us.

  19. Log on

    Thank you. Amen. That I believe is the very essence of the second great commandment. Without faith our works are dead.

  20. The Golden Rule is the key to everything – why we are here, how the Atonement works, why the Atonement is necessary, the nature of the eternal society, and our true relationship with God.

    It truly is the treasure hid in the field, the pearl of great price, the gospel itself. It is spoken openly, but few hear it. How many are willing to take it seriously?

    94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;

    95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.

    96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.

  21. Log on

    Great question. We must love God first with our whole souls, because God is the only way we can receive love for anyone else. That is all worship truly is is the highest love in our hearts. Our greatest love denotes our greatest priority. God is the pearl of great price. Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.
    We must be willing to pluck our our eye or cut off our hand if it is placed between us and God.
    The truth is if we love God with our whole souls THEN God will fill us with His love for His children.
    Even more than that then God will sanctify us to the point that He can use us to spread His love. Actions that originate from our own mind and motivation lack the power of Charity.
    Paul said we can give all our goods to feed the poor and still be nothing if we don’t have Charity.
    To answer the question on whether God lives the golden rule is a good question. The scriptures say He hated the lamanites and despises certain individuals which have evil characteristics.
    In doctrines of salvation Joseph F. Smith stated that “God undoubtedly loves the righteous more than the wicked”.
    I have received a personal witness that God loves all of His children but favors those who seek Him.

  22. From a purely philosophical standpoint we could argue that God obviously not live the golden rule according to how you stated it works.
    God is omnipotent. He could end poverty and give money to all that ask and supply good and raiment etc. He does not do so.
    This is why we must have revelation in order to truly practice Charity because I simply cannot know how to help someone in the best possible manner unless God tells me how to help them. Revelation only can come by faith, and this is why the golden rule cannot be used correctly without first loving God. Faith brings love…love always brings fruits of kindness and selflessness. It simply doesn’t work in reverse. That is why an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Someone who has not been changed from their carnal and fallen state cannot produce good fruit. They can give to the poor, start a thousand soup kitchens and still only produce evil fruit…

    1. Ending poverty would end agency. God doesn’t force us to act in any way. He encourages us and invites us to act in the ‘right’ way because He knows that will bring us the most happiness.
      If God took away our agency He would no longer be God as He would lose His “honor” which He told us is His power.

      Doctrine and Covenants 29:36 And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted of the devil—for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;

  23. Log on

    I know God is not a hypocrite. There is a higher law than doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do unto others as God would have you do, is the highest law, although this requires sanctification and revelation to such a degree that few have achieved it.
    These had power to restore life and take it. Elijah was acting out of Charity when he called down fire to consume the priests of Baal. Joshua acted out of Charity as he lead others to slaughter entire cities full of people. When nephi and lehi were given power to shut the heavens and cause famine, which caused suffering and starvation etc, it was only out of Charity.
    Some of the highest laws are not written in the current scriptures, and must be written in our hearts when the time is right.

    1. Well, Christ did say “this is the law and the prophets,” and I’m not aware of anything overriding this statement by Christ. If, however, you believe there is something higher than this, then you’re welcome to it.


      And, with that, I fall silent again.

    2. Minorityofone, Don’t you think the list you provide is exactly the Golden Rule in very deed? I held my child down on the surgical table and retsrianed him while the doctor proceeded to stop his bleeding. I caused him pain. He didn’t understand. He sufferd’ pain as a result of what I did. I would hope for someone to chasten me no matter the harshness if it meant my salvation.
      Just a thought.

      1. And we begin to see why we suffer what we suffer.

        If I were incompetent or ignorant, I would want someone to forcibly save me from danger. Thus infants and the ignorant are saved.

  24. Log on

    Thank you. Correct me if I am wrong, but Christ said the law and the prophets hang on the first 2 commandments. The first two great commandments are not encapsulated in the golden rule. The golden rule (as traditionally defined) requires no belief in Christ.

    1. As you have asked, I shall respond.

      Loving God with all one’s heart, might, mind, and strength, and one’s neighbor as oneself, is the Golden Rule in other words. The first great commandment does not require loving God above all, for were God to require that, he would himself fall afoul of the Golden Rule. God is no hypocrite.

      Remember – “When ye are in the service of your fellow man, ye are only in the service of your God.” Charity is the Golden Rule written in our hearts.

      I prefer the Golden Rule formulation because it avoids certain problems which came forth in our dialog. The Golden Rule allows us to perceive the purpose for our being here – the Golden Rule cannot be enforced, but it must be kept, or we cannot dwell one with another in eternal joy and peace; indeed, we cannot dwell IN one another eternally in joy, peace, and love save we all keep this rule.

      So, since the Golden Rule cannot be enforced, and God must himself keep it, how would you propose to persuade men to keep it of their own free will and choice?

      That is a question which if probed deeply enough will tell anyone the meaning of life.

      I also give away another truth: when we accept someone’s abuse and do not rail again but forgive it from our heart, we have literally taken upon us their sin in that thing, and they shall not have an accuser for it in the judgement. From this, and the Golden Rule, one may understand what the Atonement is and how it works.

      1. Incidentally, Christ gave the great commandments in direct answer to the specific question he was asked – namely, which is the greatest commandment in the law [of Moses].

  25. Log on

    Thank you for clarifying. I assumed you were using the term of the golden rule the same way 99.9 percent of the world does which means God has nothing to do with it. Now that you have clarified that to you the golden rule means the first 2 commandments and not to simply “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, I agree wholeheartedly.
    I already gave you two scriptural examples of God hating and despising different groups of people. He obviously does not treat everyone equally. (Don’t twist this because I know He will bless us all the same DEPENDING on where we are at spiritually)
    God blessed those who love Him more than He blesses those who don’t. He curses those who do not follow Him more than those who do. From your first comment you claimed that the golden rule meant we treat all equally in our actions. God doesn’t do that.
    You have changed your definition from one thing to another in saying it is not simply doing unto others as we would have them do…. to following the first 2 great commandments. Ah anyway yes of course the first two great commandments are all we have to follow because then we will follow God always. We are not to equate anything in this world with God in our worship. There is NO GOD BESIDE Him. If we love other things equally that sounds like it is right beside to me…

    1. Then you have misunderstood me – it does simply mean “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Others” includes God.

      If you are quick to heed his word, so shall he be quick to heed yours. If you are diligent in keeping his commandments, so shall he diligently bless you according to the covenant. If you serve his children with all your might, mind, and strength, so shall he do unto you and yours.

      I leave you with one question which should point the mind in the right direction.

      What is the point of this teaching?

      God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,–I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form–like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another.

      I will suggest an answer – God is like us, and can be related to and spoken with in the same manner as we speak with each other; he can walk right beside us in literality. He is, in us, crafting friends, family, and equals, not sycophants. Sycophants fall short of his glory.

      6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

      7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

      8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

      9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

      10 Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.

      11 Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

      12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.

      13 Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.

      14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

      15 Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.

      16 Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

      17 And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.

      18 And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

      19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

      20 And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth his finger he could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of his word which he had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.

      21 And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.

      22 And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

      23 And I said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;

      24 And thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.

      25 Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.

      26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

      27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

      28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

      29 And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;

      30 For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.

      31 For thus didst thou manifest thyself unto thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in thy name, thou didst show thyself unto them in great power.

      32 And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared.

      33 And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.

      34 And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.

      35 Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.

      36 And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity.

      37 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

      38 And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.

      39 And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things;

      40 And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing.

      41 And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.

  26. 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

    21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

    22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

    23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

    24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

    25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

    26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak will of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

    27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

    28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

    29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

    30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

    31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

    32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

    34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

    36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

    37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

    38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

    39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

    40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

    41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

    42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

    43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

    44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

    45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

    46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

    47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

    48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

    49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

  27. Log on

    I actually perceive that we believe many of the same things in some things you highlighted.
    Your question was what is the point that is made in 40 something verses and a quote by Joseph Smith? Isn’t that almost an absurd question based on all the information contained in those verses?
    I will try to work with what you shared based on what we have been discussing.

    Ok so we can BECOME like God. The spirits of men are seeds of God. In fact both of us would agree that the very essence of God is in each person at least until they wither and are cast off if they produce no fruit… The atonement is so much deeper than most understand in that the very soul of Christ was offered and the Spirit of Christ is given to every man… (I will leave it at that so we don’t go to deep)
    With all of these marvelous truths that we agree on it still does not equate us in our current state unto God. We are all unworthy creatures, less than the dust of the earth, have fallen and our current robes of flesh are corrupt and weak. Our very soul is minuscule in glory compared to God.
    We are never taught to equate men unto God. God is the Highest, Jesus Himself said The Father was greater than Him. Jesus said no man was good, only the Father is good.
    I think what you are getting at is something Mother Theresa often taught and that is to see Christ in everyone, literally.
    We could actually say that the 1st great commandment encompasses the law and the prophets, but that would require going further into this discussion.
    Until we are given the name of Christ and are brought to the level of sanctification and glory of Christ, through the marvelous power of the atonement, then we must always consider ourselves less.
    We are to rely wholly upon the merits of Christ, God does not rely on our merits one bit for now, although He can be glorified through us if we will rely wholly upon Him.
    I need grace from God for further exaltation, He does not need grace from me at the moment. There is such an immense inequality that to equate anything or anyone on this earth with God would be sin.
    Sometime maybe we can delve into some of these things but we are probably debating over minutia when our understanding is closer than either of us thought. I will digress and thank you for the thoughtful discussion . God bless my friend

    1. Who’s debating? 😉

      Let us listen to the Lord.

      32 When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory;

      33 And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats; the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

      34 And he shall sit upon his throne, and the twelve apostles with him.

      35 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

      36 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me;

      37 I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

      38 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee; or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

      39 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and clothed thee?

      40 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

      41 And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

      42 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

      43 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;

      44 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

      45 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

      46 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me.

      47 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

  28. Tim, I am not sure this is the best venue for this question, but your blog seems to be one of the more welcoming places for those who have questions regarding the movement toward building Zion. Admittedly, my observation and related question may just reflect a lack of information and research diligence on my part, but I am hoping someone can offer some guidance (and I also recognize that going to the Lord directly is always the best course to pursue). I apologize in advance for the awkwardness of my words and the verbosity of the following question.

    Like you, I have felt a strong desire to be rebaptized (though I have not acted on it yet). However, my spouse is fairly strongly opposed. Like Carol, my wife is a wonderful daughter of God and the love of my life. I have read about several couples who have been rebaptized together. I am also aware of a few single women who have been rebaptized or who at a minimum long to do so. I also know a few married men, like you and I, who believe they have received a witness, but our spouses disagree. What I have not seen are any married women who are longing for rebaptism but have a spouse who disagrees.

    Admittedly, this may just reflect my lack of awareness and my inability to discern the gender of the many pseudonyms used online. However, the sociologist in me finds this to be a curious observation, but I have no idea what it might mean, if anything. I am hoping your readers might be able help me verify if this is a correct observation, and what–if anything–it might mean? Overall this movement seems to be very male driven, but again, that may just reflect my lack of awareness.

    1. This is just the first thought but I have noticed something akin to this often.

      I believe in the Mormon culture that women’s spiritual growth has been suppressed big time because of so many factors. Polygamy, the LDS temple endowment, the “patriarchal” system that people pretend to know is perfect and cannot change etc etc.

      This may sound terrible but my observation is that more women per capita seem to be receiving the Spirit and having strong spiritual experiences outside of the Mormon culture where there are women preachers and less sexism etc.

      When women become church broke in the LDS church they often equate righteousness and spirituality to home making and becoming the “perfect” neighbor and wife and mommy.

      Has anyone else noticed in conference how all of the men get up and have stern and sometimes mean looks and often smile very little, but the women get up there and put a huge sappy grin on through the whole talk and often change their speaking style to match other women?

      I’m sorry this comment will probably piss people off…. My mother has had a spiritual awakening recently and has been receiving revelation consistently. We talk often of many truths outside of the LDS church, but when my father comes in the room she stops talking. Women in my generation and older have been taught that the male has the ultimate say in spiritual matters. If a woman has beliefs outside of the box, but has a mainstream Mormon husband, you can imagine the pushback from the husband
      He will try and dominate through false testimony and all of the LDS arguments and most women (through innate goodness and the desire for peace) will inwardly believe but for the sake of the marriage will outwardly remain faithful to her husbands belief system.
      This is a huge generalization but I have observed a woman is way more likely in Mormonism to have a spiritual awakening if her husband has one first, or simultaneously. Soon many more women will learn that their husbands should not stand between them and God and they will learn that they can go directly to God and their Mother to gain power and revelation etc.
      Just some thoughts ?

      1. Thank you for your thoughts on this. Part of the reason I ask is because in the LDS church, on any given Sunday, there are more women in attendance than men. Moreover, it is common to have an active wife, with an inactive husband, but much less common to see an active husband with an inactive wife. Anyhow, in my limited interaction with these communities, I seem to observe the opposite, that there appear to be more men actively participating than women, so I was just curious if others had witnessed the same thing.

  29. I think your observance of more women the men on Sundays at church has a lot to do with the sense of community and support from the relief society rather than anything spiritual in most cases. Men don’t need that sisterhood feeling like women do.
    Once there are major pockets of women in these communities that can support one another emotionally etc you may see a greater number of women catching interest. This is purely sociology mindset speaking and not spiritual but you asked somewhat of a sociological question…

    1. Since I am a woman… perhaps my point of view may be of some value.

      I speak in generalities because there are always exceptions.

      Sisterhood: I agree with MinorityOfOne when he says that there is a strong sisterhood among the women that they may want to give up. The very nature of their calling in RS is more than just taking in a meal now and again… it is more relationship based, especially where there are children involved. Women support each other in emotional ways as well as physical ways. Women also confide in each other, where men have a tendency not to do so. Visiting teaching is probably more personal in nature than home teaching.

      I love the sisters that I serve and go to the temple with. I probably would have excused myself from RS from shear boredom if it hadn’t been for the fact that the strength of spirit I feel from the sisters keeps me going back. These women are dedicated to the Lord…. at least they are in my ward. So, I disagree that it is more socially based rather than spiritually based. Most of us don’t associate with each other outside of our church based relationship… but they are meaningful in a deep way just the same.

      Risk Takers: I don’t think women in general are great “Risk Takers.” Security means a lot to them, especially if they have children. Joining outside distant communities and perhaps taking the risk of losing their membership may be holding them back. I believe that upsetting the apple cart when they have children still at home may be a huge factor.

      Patience: There is not doubt women have more patience when it come to putting up with nonsense. More women put up with cheating husbands etc. than men would even think of dealing with. They are more likely to stay in situations where they are abused for the sake of holding the family together. They are more likely to live in hope that the errant one will come to his senses and behave. ??

      Therefore they are more like to believe the “Church” will come to their senses and make the necessary changes to make things right. They are willing to hold on…. for a little longer. With this in mind… I don’t see women jumping into the new “community” concept as quickly as the men.

      Note: Without the women on board with the new community and baptism concept, I think the male eagerness will dissipate substantially. As you mentioned… more women are sitting in the seats at Church than men… which tell me… without their wives support, they will have a tendency to back off on their commitment… at least for a time.

      I do agree with with MinorityOfOne that women are not going to be leading out in this effort if her husband is not in agreement. Traditionally she will not go against the “Priesthood holder” in the home. She has been taught not too. It will take a lot to change that ingrained point of view.

      1. Its interesting to me that in my area it is the Women getting involved more with the Communities than the men. Baptisms seem to be almost 1 to 1 men and women. But that’s based on my limited area of sight and the people who are public about it. I would imagine that there are far more folks participating in private baptisms. Just the sense I get around these parts right now. I’m in Davis county , Utah. I hope that everyone will feel more freedom and liberty as truth becomes more sought after and cherished. Cheers, Dave.

  30. lizzievalentina

    Since baptism is between the Lord and a person, what’s to stop anyone from doing it? It’s no one’s business but their own. At least that’s my point of view. But then, I guess I don’t quite fit the mold described above.

    I’m quite likely to do it in my “secret closet”. It’s not something I feel that I would have to repent of. It’s something that I feel the Lord has invited all to do. So why not join in?

    What’s the problem? If the unbelieving spouse finds belief, then do it again with them next time.

    Being forced into not doing it, when one desires it, is a form of manipulation. What better person to have a spiritual rendezvous with than the Lord? Who could possibly be mad about that? At least, no one should be mad about that. People should be free to worship how, where, and what they may.

    1. Interestingly, there is no scripture that I know of that directs believers in general to persons authorized of God to baptize. I take it therefore that if God requires a person to go to someone specific or to an organization for baptism, he will so direct that person when they call upon his name in faith, confessing and forsaking their sins.

      However, there is scripture which requires of the baptizer to be authorized of God.

    2. Lizzie

      I agree with you, and you must be an independent lady, as I am. However, I don’t think most of the women in the Church are. They have been taught to follow outside authority and they obey. I have always been a little rebellious in that area.

      If you notice, most blog comments in this arena are from men and not women. Many are versed in scripture and seem to be well read and are highly observant as to the incongruous messages coming from Salt Lake.

      I have not attended all of Denver’s lectures, but I did attend in St. George. From my observation, there were more men than women there. I don’t know about the other lectures but I would say it would be the same. I was there with a friend and we wondered how many women were there in reluctance but were there “supporting” their man.

      There is no doubt, all of this a personal matter between you and God. I am a firm believer that you are to follow what the Lord wants YOU to do. It then becomes a matter knowing that you have the confirmation that what you are doing comes from Him. That is an individual process.

  31. “Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. If He acts again now (and He is), then we need to recognize that and respond. Baptism is a mandatory sign of penitence; turning and facing God, and then walking in a new path. From the days of Adam, it will continue through the end of the millennium. Whenever there has been believing people upon the earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith.

    “Authority was restored as part of the ministry of Joseph Smith and should be remembered. In fact, everything accomplished by the Lord through Joseph should be remembered, preserved and respected. We should not abandon anything that has been given by heaven, but we should also not neglect anything given or commanded by heaven. We should not be forgetful. It is a sign of ingratitude when we forget and neglect.

    “No corporate church organization, or man claiming authority should hijack your obedience to God. You are accountable to Him. You are accountable only to Him, and not to me or any other man. When Joseph wanted to know his state and standing before God, he asked God. It is to God alone that you must answer and it is to God you must be grateful. Only before Him must you be humble.”

    Denver Snuffer, Phoenix transcript, Preserving the Restoration, p.12

  32. “The handbook mandates, requires, demands and states unequivocally a disciplinary council must be held in the case of apostasy with only the two possible outcomes of disfellowshipment or of excommunication.”

    I don’t doubt that you are correct, Tim. It just seems to me that there Even if the proceedings reveal that there is no apostasy, the council must bring forth either disfellowshipment or excommunication?

    That is just wrong. Good thing that Elder Petaliah Brown didn’t live in our era.


  33. Tim and others

    I wanted to get some of your thoughts on something. I commented recently on how it is annoying when people like thomas monson and denver snuffer suggest we need to go do things or the Lords plan will fail etc…

    Anyway I read on Denver’s blog his piece on standing aside or stepping aside and my jaw just about dropped. I don’t know where to comment so denver followers will see this but denver taught some very flawed doctrine.

    He implied that if joseph would have made some other decisions and stepped back and let others lead that god could have built up Zion.

    Denver stated something to the effect that if we don’t repeat the same mistakes that we have a chance to do better.

    In part of the article he actually insinuated that joseph should have received a particular revelation (preface to the doctrine and covenants) and allow others to develop the faith to receive the revelation on it.

    Ok so here is the thing. A man cannot just simply conjure up a revelation from God on any given subject. Each revelation that any person receives on this earth was pre-planned by God to be given to that individual. If joseph should not have received a revelation God simply would not have given him a revelation. Plain and simple.

    If the restoration and the building up of Zion failed, then it was foreordained to fail based upon the agency of men and the foreknowledge of God. God knows exactly when Zion will be built up and exactly when the second coming will happen.

    His idea that if HE, Denver Snuffer, acts one way or another, it will effect the outcome of the building up of Zion, is somewhat revealing. This implies an error on his part in trusting in himself and his actions a little too much.

    No where did he state that Joseph should have simply asked God what to do and receive revelation on any given matter, he just said Joseph should have backed off and not received revelation and done so much.

    Denver even stated that Moses messed up and failed with the Israelites. This shows a blatant lack of understanding of Gods plan. Moses was so beyond any persons spirituality on the earth right now that God entrusted him with great power and trust. He is one of the greatest men to ever live and was the most meek of any men on the earth at that time. God told him that He would make Moses a God to the people. This was Gods decision not Moses’ decision.

    I am just wondering if people who are actively following Denver Snuffer do not have a problem with these teachings and will say he meant something other than what he meant…

    1. 28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.

      29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

      30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

      31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.

      32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

      33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

      35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

      36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.

      37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

      38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

      39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

      40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

      41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.

    2. Minorityofone,

      I don’t know if I can articulate a response to your comment, but I thought I’d try.

      I don’t believe DS is saying we can alter the future that is already “known” to God, defy God’s will, hasten the work, etc. What he is saying…or at least what I’m saying…is that unless men (and women) “awake and arise”, nothing will happen. If people “awake and arise”, certainly God “foresaw” that and THAT is part of the plan. If they don’t, God “foresaw” that, too, and THAT is part of the plan. Either way, the agency of man is honored.

      What can we do about it? “Awake and arise”! Heed the call! Who knows but what we are foreordained for this moment? We can’t know unless we DO! As Denver has said (I’m paraphrasing): “No one is ANYONE until they ACCOMPLISH something.”

      And that’s ENTIRELY up to us. If we ARE something, we’ll DO something. If we’re don’t do something, then we’re NOT “something”. It’s that simple.

      Sort of. I have found God to be EXTREMELY accommodating. Far more than we are. He practices the Golden Rule perfectly, doing unto us as He would have us do unto Him. And what would He want? He would have His prayers of faith answered.

      What does God want us to do? Feed His sheep. Establish Zion. Live the higher laws.

      If we covet our own substance — or fail to have enough to give to oithers because we give all we have (left) to a mall-building enterprise — then we miss out on the opportunity of being generous and charitable, etc. (I have discovered that I actually enjoy looking for people to “bless” with my tithing now. I enjoyed paying tithing to the LDS Church before, but only because I liked knowing I was contributing to the “kingdom”, building temples, etc. Now I know my money is going to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc. I think that is more in line with the Savior’s commandments anyway. And I get to see the results first hand. Sure, it’s not a monument, like a beautiful building. But what’s the worth of a soul?)

      Even so, don’t talk yourself out of rising up by saying “If God wanted us to rise up,” etc. It really is in our hands to ask in faith, believing. Our problem isn’t that we want too much from the Lord, contrary to His will. It’s that we don’t want enough of what He really would prefer for us to have and do.

      1. Good will and log on

        I’m agree there ought to be no disputations. That can only occur if we come in the unity of the faith and we are of one spirit and one mind, having our hearts knit together with love.
        I want to be sure that people can view different sides of this so they have the opportunity to ponder on different angles of this until they receive a confirmation. I love denver snuffer and he would not might this I’m sure.

        Good will- how can one seriously say joseph should not have received a particular revelation? That to me is saying God should have shut up and not given Joseph Smith section 1 of doctrine and covenants. We can look at this one question at a time…

    3. “denver snuffer suggest we need to go do things or the Lords plan will fail etc…”
      I couldn’t find that idea anywhere in the Article you sighted. Of course the Lords plan will not fail. I truly believe that. But we can fail to be a part of it. Isn’t that what he is saying?
      That’s the gist of his over all message to me from the Lord. (Wake up, remember and be a part of the Lords perfect plan. Or miss out when its offered to another. Its up to you Dave.) Please show me how you get the above from Denver’s message. I really would like to see if I miss understand. Best to you, Dave Park.

  34. That should be:

    I don’t doubt that you are correct, Tim. It just seems to me that if the proceedings reveal that there is no apostasy, the council should not need to bring forth either disfellowshipment or excommunication. Otherwise if the judgment has already been made, what’s the purpose of the council?

  35. Tim, random unrelated question I’ve been wondering about: what happens to your lds.org account when you aren’t a member anymore (whether resigned or ex’d)? Can you still login and access all your old notes in the gospel library app? Or do they void your login credentials?

    1. Hmmm…I know I can no longer see the ward or stake directory. I never kept any notes online so I don’t know how it would affect that. I still get the technology updates and press releases so those are separate lists.

  36. MoO,

    Snuffer is pointing up a problem that prophets have. Prophets are mighty in spirit and knowledge because they have paid the price in discipleship, being careful to always do good. Since the purpose of the gospel is to make of us an holy nation of priests and kings (prophets), for a prophet to serve as a strongman or an answerman stunts the development of others.

    Humans are, at their cores, economically driven beings, which should be obvious to the most casual of observers. If a person wants to know whether there are multiple mortal probations, for example, he could call upon the Lord in mighty prayer and faith for maybe years, being careful to bring forth good works in diligence and with an eye single to the glory of God and thus obtain the answer directly by the spirit of prophecy.

    OR he could be a lazy faithless bum and ask a prophet for the answer. After all, one may more easily weary a human into answering one and thus satisfy one’s lust of curiosity than one can weary God. God is notorious for not answering to satisfy curiosity.

    Which course entails the lower price? Obviously, asking the prophet. Which way therefore do we expect more people to choose? Obviously, asking the prophet. Which way have people historically chosen? Obviously, asking the prophet – and we have now got a whole church dedicated to that course, and quite a shortage of prophets.

    As an aside – sign-seekers cannot be satisfied. Their hearts are divided from God or else they would get the answer from God. They don’t trust the prophet of whom they inquire, so they cannot trust any answer he gives, even if it happens to be straight from God’s mouth – they can’t tell that because they have not the Spirit to discern. So they pester the prophet and provoke him continually until they have, as they suppose, cause to find fault and reject him, no matter how trivial in reality that cause is. Then they denounce him and congratulate themselves on their wisdom.

    1. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

      6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

      7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

      8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

      3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

      28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

      1. Log on

        I agree with that principle. I am sure joseph smith did as well. That was not the question. Yes we all need to go to The Lord and receive answers directly from Him. That is one thing I always strongly advocate.
        This wasn’t a situation where people went to ask the prophet for knowledge the prophet had already received. This was a circumstance where no revelation had been given for a preface to the doctrine and covenants. God gave the revelation to joseph smith. God spoke, not Joseph.
        Should I ever quench the spirit and not receive a revelation if The Lord is willing to impart one?
        Denver implied very plainly that joseph should not have received that revelation and should have somehow made the others receive it. It made no sense.

        Also do you believe that moses messed up the Israelites chances at seeing God? That is what Denver said.

        It is very clear that he taught we can alter the building up of Zion by choosing to not make the same mistakes (mentioned above) as Joseph and Moses. Do you believe that?

      2. MoO,

        You ask “Should I ever quench the spirit and not receive a revelation if The Lord is willing to impart one?”

        I have no idea how to even begin answering that question. I do not understand it. Can you please explain your assumptions and the purpose behind the question?

        You say, “Denver implied very plainly that joseph should not have received that revelation and should have somehow made the others receive it. It made no sense.”

        Yet, to me, Snuffer’s statement made perfect sense, and I summarized it above, and you said you agreed with me (“I agree with that principle”), yet you here say it makes no sense.

        Therefore, I cannot understand your questions.

        You ask, “Also do you believe that moses messed up the Israelites chances at seeing God? That is what Denver said.”

        I answer, “Snuffer didn’t say that.”

        You ask, “It is very clear that he taught we can alter the building up of Zion by choosing to not make the same mistakes (mentioned above) as Joseph and Moses. Do you believe that?”

        I answer, “If you believe human agency is irrelevant and affects nothing, what separates you from the Zoramites?”

        15 Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy, and that thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever.

        16 Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ.

        17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.

        18 And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.

        Aside from “doctrinal” quibbles about God being a spirit, and a professed belief in Christ, I don’t see the difference. Can you explain how your perspective differs from this?

    1. Correction. The fruits of spiritual and scriptural debate seem counterproductive and ironically to oppose the actual message of the gospel. It’s really hard not to differentiate contention from debate, like walking a dangerous edge. How do we become of one heart and one mind? Not sure debate is one of the tools. I don’t know.

  37. Wow

    It is a pointless debate if you refuse to take what Denver wrote at what it was meant to be. I encourage everyone to read that post by Denver and please open your eyes. I have not misrepresented anything he said. His meaning and implications were clear.

    He clearly portrayed that it would have been better for joseph to not receive section 1 of the doctrine and covenants. As if it was Joseph’s choice.

    My question was absurd about quenching the spirit! That is what Joseph Smith would have had to do to not receive the revelation he did.

    Denver clearly implied moses made a mess of things and made decisions that hurt the progress of Israel. If you refuse to see it oh well. You are lying to yourself to try to defend a position of error but that’s your choice

    1. I think my comment may have been misunderstood. What I meant is more like debate is pointless or often fruitless as arguing, often contentiously, fails to convince people because the manner of discussion repels the Holy Spirit, which only resonates with God. If the teaching, even if true, is not accompanied by His Spirit, then it won’t edify or convince/convict and it will not bear good fruits, and will therefore not be of God. His truth must be presented is His way to be of Him, and then it will bear His fruit:

      Galatians 5
      22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
      23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

      D&C 42
      14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

      D&C 42
      17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
      19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
      21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
      22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
      23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
      24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
      25 And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;

      Should not the Holy Spirit of truth govern our discussions, with its fruits attending, even online in our e-mails and blogging?

      I don’t mean this as another point of contention. Peace and love to all of you.

  38. Log on

    I often think that the LDS church is not much different from the Zoramites. They have a high pulpit instead of a rameumpton. I don’t know what you are getting at since I declared nothing about myself. I am claiming that Denver is teaching false doctrines. You are choosing to change the meaning of his words to make them more in harmony with truth while I am taking them for what they are and declaring them to be falsehoods.
    I am nothing, I know it, I know that no human being is equal to God, despite you saying we should treat everyone equal to God. This is also a falsehood. Either you would have to worship everyone or discontinue worshipping God if you were to treat everyone equally. If you are a pantheism then your position makes more sense….
    I am not chosen, I am not separated, I know God is no respector of persons, therefore someone in the LDS church who knows nothing of denver snuffer also lost nothing when Denver was wrongfully excommunicated.
    How is anyone’s position different than the Zoramites? All I seek is the truth and I will not justify peoples position just because I really want them to be correct. That seems to be what you are doing.

    1. Perhaps Denver was saying that it would have been better for the people if Joseph had not received so many revelations for them and instead had them seek knowledge themselves. Did the Lord give the revelation to him unbidden or only after he asked? If the latter, he could have not asked. If the former, perhaps he could have asked the Lord to allow him (Joseph) to hold onto it until the people got their own.

      Perhaps Joseph tried such and the people would not rise to the occasion. Perhaps Moses did the same. Not sure. I wouldn’t be telling those brethren where they had failed. Not my job. However, it would be useful to find common patterns of problems/failures and learn from them.

      1. Thank you

        That makes a little more sense. That begs the question if it is ever wrong to ask or not. It is possible. But you would think God would simply not give a revelation if it were not according to His plan…
        I was simply trying to ask if others actually believed what was being written and was not intending it to turn nasty.
        I have been told that Denver is a prophet and has a great ministry ahead of him in the future along with many other people. I believe that his position makes it ever more important for us to carefully read his teachings and be willing to find falsehoods as well as truths as lead by God. If someone teaches a falsehood none of us love them any less I am sure but no one should be above reproach

      2. That’s how Denver’s post was received by me. Makes sense to my spirit. Log said it better with the use of scriptures than I could though. Thanks for this conversation.Cheers, Dave

    2. Unfortunately, I must withdraw from this “conversation.” May you find what you are looking for.

  39. The kings and priests who rush officiously to the defense of God, with hue and cry against the sinners, do not trust God either to fight his own battles or to make his own judgments. When Pope Stephen III wrote Pepin to come to his rescue because “save for thy mighty arm we have only God to help us!” he certainly rated the power of God very low—”only God,” forsooth! And do those who offer to do God’s judging for him really trust his adequacy as a judge? God has never delegated his power and office of judging to anyone, Tertullian reminded the Roman clergy on one occasion.13 When Christ returns in glory, it will be to preside at the judgment, but while he was in the flesh he said, “I judge no man” (John 8:15). God is not easy on sinners; he says he cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but reminds men that “I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). “Judgment is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay” (cf. D&C 82:23, Mormon 3:15). “Judge not, lest ye be judged” (Matthew 7:1). “Man shall not counsel his fellow man, neither put trust in the arm of flesh” (D&C 1:19). We could go on, but the point is clear enough: God does not delegate to any man or institution functions which he has reserved to himself to exercise at an appointed time and place. As Irenaeus says, God wants men to do good, but he forces no man. Until the judgment day, he lets his sun shine upon the just and unjust; he who can do all things does not coerce to virtue—is it the business of men to do it in his name? The Lord was crucified as a blasphemer by people rushing to the defense of God, and those who killed the Apostles were convinced that they were doing God a favor. God asks no such favors of men. The power is his alone, and the judgment. But it remained for the Constitution of the United States to recognize that fact and act upon it. The most important thing about a man is what he thinks; the next most important, his contact—giving and taking—with the thoughts of others; last of all come the busy preoccupations of the organism, its bodily and social functions. It is in the first two of these areas that the despots of the past and present have sought to do their most effective work. And these are precisely the areas in which the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law . . .,” thus proclaiming in all its purity the ancient law of liberty.


    1. The astute observer will note that the “Law of Liberty” which Nibley is speaking of is simply the political implication of the Golden Rule.

  40. I would like to readdress something. Let us listen again to the Lord.

    32 When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory;
    33 And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats; the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
    34 And he shall sit upon his throne, and the twelve apostles with him.
    35 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
    36 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me;
    37 I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    38 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee; or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    39 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and clothed thee?
    40 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    41 And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    42 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
    43 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;
    44 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    45 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    46 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me.
    47 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

    Where’s any reference to having been a member of the correct Church, flying the right colors, believing the right doctrines, undergoing “authorized” ordinances, “following the Prophet,” or anything like unto it?

    Do you understand that the dividing line between the sheep and the goats is how you treated your fellow man, in particular those who are beneath your social status?

    But there’s more.

    23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

    Do you suppose there is a link between the tithes of which the Lord speaks and how one has treated one’s fellow man?

    10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

    What house does the Lord speak of? Where is the storehouse of the Lord?

    19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

    20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

    21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Apparently not here on earth (ruling out the Church perforce). Where, then?

    12 Then said he also concerning him who bade to the wedding, When thou makest a dinner, or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.

    13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,

    14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

    Let them with ears to hear, hear.

    1. With that in mind, re-read this.

      1 And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

      2 But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.

      3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

      4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

      5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts.

      6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

      7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?

      8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

      9 Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

      10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

      11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts.

      12 And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.

      13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?

      14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?

      15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

      16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

      17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

      18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

      Interesting note – the sorcerers are those pushing potions and pills on us – the modern pharmaceutical / psychiatric industry. The word translated “sorceries” in Revelation 9:21 (and “witchcraft” elsewhere) is ?????????, pharmakeia, which means the administration and use of drugs – your prescription antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiety meds.

      Likening the scriptures unto us for our learning and profit.

      1. 26 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

        27 He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou?

        28 And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.

        29 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.

        30 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbor?

        31 And Jesus answering, said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his raiment and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

        32 And by chance, there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side of the way.

        33 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked upon him, and passed by on the other side of the way; for they desired in their hearts that it might not be known that they had seen him.

        34 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.

        35 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

        36 And on the morrow, when he departed, he took money, and gave to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

        37 Who now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him who fell among the thieves?

        38 And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go and do likewise.

        “Take care of him, and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

  41. I have followed this debate with much interest.

    Like Minority of One, I read Denver’s post and had concerns. One statement in particular. “Joseph handicapped the saints by taking too much of their responsibility on himself. The saints refused to let him alone and required him to be their answer-man.”

    Is Denver handicapping his “following” (and don’t say it’s not a following because it is.) by taking too much of their responsibility on himself?

    Is he talking the role of the “Answer-man” and are we expecting him to do that?

    By his own statement, it seems he has taken that role. “We may fail also. But we will not fail because I accepted a role that has never worked before.”

    Also, is he not taking the same attitude as present Church leaders by placing judgement on past prophets by questioning the revelations of Joseph and Moses? Are we not also guilty of judging the words of past prophets?

    I am bothered by the suggestion that Joseph should not have been dispensing the word of God. Perhaps Joseph was following the Lord’s direction as Denver claims the Lord has been directing his words in this day.

    If the lack of contention is a prerequisite for establishing Zion… we won’t have to worry about Christ’s coming for at least 1000 years.

    Hmmmmm…. Denver’s post did not set well with me.

    1. Kathryn, I understood that sentence differently. As in, if I accept the role that has never worked before, we will fail. Therefore, I won’t accept it, and if we still fail, at least it won’t be because of me.

  42. Well, I for one enjoyed the conversation. I was a little shocked at first when I read Denver’s post, but then I got to thinking about it. We need to catch up. I feel so far behind in my spiritual growth and development that yes, I have found myself doing what Log said the lazy man does: I kept looking to Denver for enlightenment. I had substituted one idol for another. That is not good. That post opened my eyes and so did Log.

    I can’t imagine being in the situation the brethren were back when section 1 – the preface to the D&C – was dictated by Joseph. He had a lot more practice than the rest of the Brethren in receiving revelation. Oh how they must have missed him when he was taken from them. I can see that Denver does not want us to make that same mistake in relying on him to be our answer man, although it is so easy to do so.

    We have got to become as familiar with the voice of the Lord as was Joseph, or, if we feel Denver qualifies, as is Denver. We must each become prophets, understand how to get revelation and hold the Lord to His word that He will provide us with that revelation when we ask. I intend to do just that even if it takes me years to develop the gift. It’s going to take a lot of humility and a lot of asking and listening.

  43. Log on

    Thank you for returning. Let us speak with love. Do our actions alone determine our standing with God? You love to use many scriptures and I appreciate that. What of the many scriptures that say if we only believe we will be saved, or in 1 Corinthians 13 Paul taught we could do any amount of good works like giving our body to be burned or giving all of our goods to feed the poor and it profits us nothing without charity?
    What of all the scriptures teaching us that by grace alone we are saved? Paul teaches plainly that the Spirit does not come by works but by faith.

    The way that I perceive the gospel to be based on what I have received by God and backed by countless scriptures is that FAITH is the key to everything.

    If we develop faith in Christ it always leads to repentence and the reception of the spirit when we receive a remission of sins.

    Once we receive the Spirit we begin little by little to receive revelation and we must follow that. We must not trust in any writing or teaching until it is confirmed by the Holy Ghost. This according to Nephi is the strait and narrow path. “The Holy Ghost will show is all things that we should do.”
    This is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be not other doctrine until Christ shall manifest Himself to us in the flesh.

    We can do many things like Martha and still not choose the better part. We are not capable of doing the works of God until God makes us capable. Mormon said that God did the work through him. He knew that he did nothing.

    I was concerned that you said that maybe Joseph was able to receive revelation because “he had done more good” than others. Do you believe that revelation comes depending on how much good we have done?

    There is no one good. All are sinners and no one will ever deserve anything but hell. Doctrine is very important. At some point we are promised that those who have erred in doctrine will be corrected.

    Over and over in Isaiah he laments that people are lead astray with false precepts and doctrines and ordinances.

    Tim and log on, yes the dark feeling can be both. When someone is close to a new truth often the devil attacks and the person stops seeking. Cognitive dissonance can feel like darkness as well. If someone is not open to new truth often a new truth will feel dark because that person is not open to it. The spirit never speaks through discomfort or darkness. Therefore it can not be used to discern whether something is of God or not. Only the Holy Ghost can tell us definitively if something is true or false

    1. I apologize again, MoO. It’s not that I cannot answer, but that I choose not to participate in contention.

      Peace be unto you, sister. May you find what you are looking for.

      1. I understand

        I have no contention with you as a person and nothing but love and respect. Same to you. God bless.

        All seekers of light and truth will meet up on their journey at some point as we are drawn to God by the matchless power of the atonement.

  44. How do we receive revelation?

    JST John 6:29 And he that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

    JST John 6:44 No man can come unto me, except he doeth the will of my Father who hath sent me. And this is the will of him who hath sent me, that ye receive the Son; for the Father beareth record of him; and he who receiveth the testimony, and doeth the will of him who sent me, I will raise up in the resurrection of the just.

    Ether 4:13
    13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

    JST John 9: JST John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

    JST John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

    D&C 76:114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;

    115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;

    116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;

    117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;

    118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.

    JST James 2:14 What profit is it, my brethren, for a man to say he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?

    15 Yea, a man may say, I will show thee I have faith without works; but I say, show me thy faith without works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

    16 For if a brother or sister be naked and destitute, and one of you say, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; notwithstanding he give not those things which are needful to the body; what profit is your faith unto such?

    17 Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.

    18 Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?

    19 Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well; the devils also believe, and tremble; thou hast made thyself like unto them, not being justified.

    20 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    21 Seest thou how works wrought with his faith, and by works was faith made perfect?

    22 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God.

    23 Ye see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    24 Likewise also Rahab the harlot was justified by works, when she had received the messengers and sent them out another way.

    25 For, as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.

    Ether 3:2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.

    JST Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, that men ought always to pray and not faint.

    2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, nor regarded man.

    3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

    4 And he would not for a while; but afterward, he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

    5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her; lest, by her continual coming she weary me.

    6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

    “Ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”

    Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

    33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

    Moses 6:47 And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence.

    48 And he said unto them: Because that Adam fell, we are; and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe.

    49 Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.

    50 But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent.

    51 And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

    52 And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you.

    53 And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said: Why is it that men must repent and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden.

    54 Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

    55 And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying: Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so when they begin to grow up, sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.

    56 And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves, and I have given unto you another law and commandment.

    57 Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

    58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:

    59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so 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;

    60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;

    61 Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.

    62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.

    63 And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.

    64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

    65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.

    66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

    67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

    68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.

      1. Needs to be repeated in this context.

        5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
        6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
        7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
        8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
        3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
        28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

  45. Log on

    First off, just so you know where I am coming from, I do not trust one thing in the joseph smith translation and I suggest you pray to know if everything was true that joseph smith changed in the bible because some of his changes were incorrect.

    Ok I only say that so you can understand me a little more. Now, speaking of revelation, what works or good did alma the younger, Saul (Paul), king Lamoni, and countless others in similar circumstances do in order to be worthy of the revelations they received when they received a mighty change of heart. Many scriptures you laid out were not given in the context of receiving revelation.
    Funny how you quoted “if you love me, keep my commandments”. Do you think Jesus could have said “if you don’t love me, don’t bother keeping my commandments…”

    Faith leads to love, love leads to works. This is the only way it works. Where there is no faith, works are meaningless. Faith certainly is dead (or doesn’t exist) where there are not works, because faith brings the spirit, which empowers us and enables God to work through us.

    You are teaching a dangerous doctrine for this reason. If someone with your belief receives revelation, they will think that it was because of their righteousness and good works. Even though they don’t know it they will think then that they must be more righteous and behaving better than others who have not received the same revelation. Then they will look at others who don’t do the same service and who have certain sins and they will think there is no way that other person is as spiritual as them because they are not behaving as well and doing the good works that the person is doing.

    Revelation is given because of faith and meekness and when God wills it. Works have nothing to do with it. Although like the Book of Mormon teaches, if we have faith hope and charity THEN we will always abound in good works.
    Jesus taught people to do things many times which you have shown with the scriptures you pasted. Jesus must also tell us through revelation what to do and we must follow, but we can never hear His voice without first having faith. You can read everything and try to act accordingly and it means nothing unless you first have faith and love given by God. It is so simple.

    This is why alma the younger and Paul made wonderful missionaries because they understood that they did not deserve anything, they were given grace freely and never thought any blessing was given because of their own good works or righteousness. The Holy Ghost sanctifies us because of faith in the atonement. Works do not sanctify us but we are justified by them because they prove God is working through us because of our faith.
    James was simply trying to teach people that if you really have faith you will always have works follow you. The works are because of faith and no good work can be done without faith.

  46. Log on

    You also must know that every time you use a scripture that is only showing a portion of truth and there might very well be many scriptures that shed a completely different light on it. I could keep posting “whoso believeth, and is baptized shall be saved!” and preach continually that we need nothing else, but that could be very misleading without the rest of the scriptures. That is why I like discussing things human to human. Do you throw scriptures around at people that don’t believe in scriptures or speak to them through testimony and reason, I would appreciate it if I could hear why YOU as an individual believe these things instead of posting multiple writings from other men. Do you know the men who wrote those things quoted the Savior perfectly and wrote His meaning in every instance? What is in YOUR heart? You shouldn’t have to quote anyone else to convey what is in you.

    1. Ask of God what is in my heart if you desire to know what lies therein.

      I do not know why you wish to sit in judgement of me.

      I do not know why you wish to contend with me.

      I do not know why you wish to impose your doctrinal views upon me.

      I do not find such discussions pleasant.

  47. Log on

    I have no problem with you. I am boggles as to why you think I am contending, pushing doctrinal views on you, etc, and somehow believe that you are not with your comments. Each comment and scriptures you have posted has an agenda and you do it for a reason. That is the case with everyone who writes anything that others will see. Everybody has a motive. Mine happens to be to share truth as I perceive it and learn it from reading others testimonies or thoughts if the spirit confirms it.

    I understand you don’t want to answer questions that don’t fit into your paradigm but I hope you will at least ask yourself those questions.

    1. Humans are motivated by motivations. Quite true.

      Since you have asked, I can answer.

      I think you contend because I have observed you contending in this thread, in particular attempting to with me. It was not only my observation, but others saw it as well and commented on it.

      I think you push doctrinal views because I have observed you pushing doctrinal views in this thread, in particular upon me.

      I do not interpret the scriptures for people, therefore I do not push doctrinal views. All are free to interpret the scriptures as they will, and I seek not to impose my personal views on others.

  48. I’m sorry one of my comments didn’t go through.

    I had asked what Paul or alma the younger or king Lamoni etc DID, in order to receive the revelations they received when they were born again.

    If we believe revelation comes because of personal righteousness or good works it will lead to pride. The truth is that revelation and righteousness only come from grace and grace comes from Jesus Christ.

    It is not true that revelation comes because of “good” that we do. We can do no good of ourselves. Works are pointless and mean nothing without first having faith in Christ. faith leads us to to works.

    He that doeth the will of the Father shall know of the doctrine. We cannot know the will of the Father in any other way than by receiving revelation on what His will is.

    We can go around doing things that we think our Gods will but this will not add one cubit to our spiritual stature unless God is working through us.

    “And see that you have faith, hope and charity, and THEN you will always abound in good works.”

    I know that when I receive revelation from the Holy Ghost day to day it has nothing to do with my works or my own righteousness. It has everything to do with Gods grace and mercy and love.

    Nephi was dead serious when he called himself a wretched man. He was wretched just like you and I are. His advantage was that he knew it continually and wouldn’t forget it. Until we are changed spirit and body and encircled with the robes of righteousness, in other words until we are not connected to these mortal, corruptible elements we will always be wretched and easily beset by temptations continually.

    No one is good, no one does good, but if we rely wholly upon the merits of Christ, God can do good through us and slowly sanctify us. Soon I pray men and women will begin to be translated once again so they can love perfectly according to the desire of their hearts and no longer droop in sin.

    I pray that you will see the magnificent awakening of the Almighty God and rejoice when all false doctrines and precepts are torn down and when the fulness of the gospel is finally taught with clarity. The sealed portion and records of the lost tribes will soon be translated but few will receive the truths revealed because they think they already know the truth. We know nothing except for that which God has revealed to is personally.

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