Remnant Family Retreat May 2015

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All my life, well at least for the last fifty years or so, I’ve wondered about the last days and my participation in the events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. I know I’m not alone in this desire to understand the last days and how I can prepare for that which is to come. I’ve made it a life-long pursuit to study the scriptures and prophecies of the last days.

I’ve been taught, and have long believed that we have been living in the latter days, as opposed to the last days. I won’t take the time to point out all the differences between the two. The main difference is that in the last days, great destruction shall come upon the earth. I’m of the opinion we are now on the verge of crossing over into the last days in which terrible catastrophes occur.

Mocking the Prophets of Doom

Nobody likes to hear about doom and gloom. The world scoffs at and mocks those who attempt to share such a message – that of imminent destruction. Nevertheless, the scriptures are clear such events will come to pass – eventually. What everyone really wants to know is when. We want to know when because we want to be prepared for when the promised destruction arrives.

There are those who ask when because they want to know how much longer they can continue their current lifestyle. Some want to know when so they can hold the believers feet to the fire, so to speak. They want a deadline proclaimed by somebody so when it passes uneventfully, they can say, “You see. Nothing has changed here. You have frightened our children needlessly.”

Reference Material on the Last Days

Some of my favorite books on the last days include “The Coming of the Lord” by Gerald Lund, “Prophecy: Key to the Future” by Duane Crowther and of course, the Prophecy trilogy by Anthony Larson. The first two present the conventional or orthodox narrative of the expected events. Anthony’s work presents the winding up scenes from the viewpoint of a catastrophist.

Other books I enjoy include “65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming” by David J. Ridges, “Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond” by Hoyt W. Brewster Jr, “The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon” by Abraham Gileadi and “Understanding the Signs of the Times” by Donald W Parry and Jay A Parry.

Walking Back to Missouri

Of course, these books are all commentaries or the interpretations of scriptures mingled with the opinions and philosophies of men. Some of the quotes are from men sustained as prophets in the latter days, while others are second or third-hand quotes of Joseph. I suspect a lot of Mormon tradition of how the last days are going to go down is based on some of these uncertain quotes.

I’ve read and reviewed “Visions of Glory,” and pondered the scenes of what Spencer said will happen in the Intermountain West and the journey to Missouri. I’ve read Suzanne Freeman’s “Through the Window of Life” and “A Greater Tomorrow” by Julie Rowe. Each book contains a similar Mormon theme of a journey from Utah back to Missouri to build the New Jerusalem.

California Falls into the Ocean

CaliforniaFallsIntoOceanI’m skeptical. I’ve always struggled with the idea of walking to Missouri. I’m a California boy. I’m aware that many hold to the idea of California – in fact, both coasts – falling off into the ocean because of the cataclysmic earth-shattering destruction preceding the Savior’s return. I have prayed about this many times, wondering if I should move my family away from danger.

So far, the Lord continues to assure me the best preparation I can make is spiritual. Of course, we have a large supply of food stored away in our garage and I carry emergency food, water and even a blow-up mattress in my car in case I’m stuck at work, fifty miles from home, after a big earthquake destroys freeway overpasses. I’ve even written a fictional account of walking home.

Zion and New Jerusalem are Different

But walking to Missouri? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to go. At least not until the way is prepared. Heber C. Kimball gave us the Yellow Dog prophecy: “The Western boundary of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.”

According to the scriptures, the New Jerusalem will eventually be built somewhere in the land around Independence Missouri. But before that day arrives, Zion will be established in the tops of the mountains. I’m more interested in seeing that prophecy fulfilled because I believe it will be in my lifetime. And no, I don’t believe Salt Lake City qualifies as the tops of the mountains.

Up on the Mesa

I’ve written about this previously. It generated some interesting dialog, especially the suggestion that perhaps someday, Independence Missouri might be suddenly lifted by cataclysmic forces. I don’t know. The more I study, the more I feel that the city of Zion where people flee and where the Lord protects them from their enemies is different from the eventual city of New Jerusalem.

In the meantime, I’ve pondered and prayed about Zion, where it will be and how soon it will be needed. One of the purposes of Zion is to unite for protection. I have a friend who, like me, is convinced Zion will be established on a large mesa. He has visited with the Hopi Indians and been on their mesas. Hopi traditions contain prophecies about the Great Spirit coming to them.

The Remnant Family Retreat

GrandMesaViewThe purpose of this post is to announce what I hope will become an annual tradition. Next May, I will be travelling to Grand Mesa in Colorado to meet with friends I have made online over the years who, like me, are convinced the Lord is inviting us to prepare for Zion in a real way. This event is being organized by my friend Bret, the author of 77 Truths, a book I highly recommend.

Bret is calling it a “Remnant Family Retreat.” I did a lot of studying yesterday and today about the remnant in the scriptures. I think we have a pretty good idea of who the remnant is. We are not them, and they have a destiny appointed them by covenant and promise. We cannot substitute ourselves for them. Nor can we fulfill the prophetic promises without them. We assist them.

Plan to Join us in May 2015

I invite you to think about joining us for this gathering. I’ve expressed my hope to Bret that this becomes an annual event, growing larger each year. There will be a number of speakers as well as opportunities to experience the sacred and spiritual nature of the Grand Mesa. The Utes who once lived there called it, “The Place Where Ancestors Walk and Home of Departed Spirits.”

Bret has called a conference and I intend to go. I want to participate. My community is mainly on the Internet. This is an opportunity to meet and worship together. There are altars on the mesa. I hope the weather has warmed up enough to make it enjoyable for all. The list of speakers will be announced in January. In the meantime, email Bret to let him know you want to be there with us.

Here is a link to all the details in a PDF:

11 thoughts on “Remnant Family Retreat May 2015”

    1. Thanks Susan. Your comments and that link have added much to the dialog. I wish I had included it in the original post. Was swamped all Sunday afternoon working with Bluehost trying to get the blog to be more responsive. Too many readers I guess. Their solution is, of course to throw money at it to add more processor cores and memory. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing the link.

      It’s interesting that some of the recent NDE literature from an LDS viewpoint has included this very scenario of walking back to the promised land. I was trying to focus on the idea of Zion being in the tops of the mountains, according to the scriptures cited, which is different from SLC or Jackson County Missouri.

  1. My wife and I look forward to attending the conference. I’ve been searching for the “mesa” for years. For the most part I’ve looked at the mesa’s (and mountains) in Arizona on the Hopi land. On our drive to the Grand Junction talk last spring, my wife and I talked about it and looked closely at the land and surrounding mountains. Eventually the light went on when my focus turned to the Grand Mesa area. It was one of those “flood of intelligence” moments that’s hard for me to describe. Again, we look forward to the gathering and conference this coming spring.

  2. Hi Tim
    How are you? This is a very good post, and informative too. I checked out the book 77 truths on Amazon, and read some of the reviews. This book is intriguing to me. You know , I am a convert of about 7 years. And I don’t know a lot of this stuff you are talking about and it seems to be “inborn Mormon baggage. ( I don’t mean this in a negative way) I have read articles about the “Adam-God” theory which was some pretty trippy stuff and scary and caused me at the time to really think about why I was joining the Church. My thought/question is that there are a lot of members of the church like myself, who are converts of less than say 20 years and we do not know about these things, but choose to believe in God and his son Jesus Christ. As we grow spiritually, from grace to grace, and precept upon precept, we have to belive that the scriptures are true, especially the book of Mormon. This is what I have to stand on as a convert. But what you are saying, seems to imply that some “Born in the Church”, and some Utah/Arizona/California based mormons are in a perceived “faith crisis” and these books will help through that crisis. Are other momons in other countries having the same problems?
    Also, the theory of “following the prophet” is not a political decison but it seems to come down from scripture. I was taught that the prophet points us to Christ and his Church. Is that still a valid truth? Have leaders become politicized in your neck of the woods?
    Thank you Tim for shedding some light on this for me.

    1. Hi Ramona,

      This “faith crisis” thing has been going on for at least twenty years. It seemed to start with the rise of the Internet. About twenty years ago I worked at an LDS-owned publishing company. We used the Internet to access shared databases we needed for the publishing business. The web was just barely starting. Email lists were the main way early Internet users communicated. One of those lists was hosted at BYU. As soon as it was discovered there were “dissidents” using BYU computers to share documents and discuss the gospel, the capability was promptly shut down.

      The “faith crisis” is different depending on who you ask about it. There is a large group that gathers around the Mormon Stories podcasts. There is another group that is centered on the Hub, part of Sunstone. You’ll find little pockets of discussion groups all over the place – LDS Freedom Forum, A Voice of Warning and just about anybody who wants to start a blog and share thoughts about the gospel. Facebook is full of various discussion groups that usually started from somebody’s blog.

      I’m not sure what you mean by equating the idea of following the prophet with a political decision. In theory, as you point out, following the prophet is a good thing, as long as you are certain the prophet speaks for the Lord. And yes, the prophet should point us to Christ. However, the mantra of “follow the prophet” has become a last-ditch effort on the part of some members to protect their spiritual turf.

      If you dare suggest that maybe, just maybe, their interpretation of what a prophet said might be flawed, well…watch out for fireworks. It’s a sacred cow. Try it sometime and see what happens. My favorite is when you quote a scripture in a class that is not included in the lesson manual. Maybe it hasn’t happened in your neck of the woods, but I have seen brethren come unglued because the use of the scripture wasn’t correlated for that particular lesson. It’s the strangest thing.

      I’m not sure if I have shed any light on anything. Feel free to clarify your questions.

  3. By the way, feel free to disagree with my point about Zion and the New Jerusalem being different. Consider Moses 7:62 – “And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.”

    1. Tim,

      The last known word of Joseph Smith also seems to point well away from Colorado as the place of the New Jerusalem, where the tabernacle of the Lord shall be. Lest anyone get a different idea, I don’t have “skin in the game” on this topic.

      President J Smith arose and said it is impossible to continue the subject that I spoke upon yesterday in Consequence of the weekness of my lungs. Yet I have a proclamation to make to the Elders you know the Lord has led the Church untill the present time I have now a great proclamation for the Elders to teach the Church hereafter which is in relation to Zion, The whole of North and South America is Zion, the mountain of the Lords House is in the Centre of North & South America, when the House is done, Baptism font erectd and finished & the worthy are washed, anointed, endowed & ordained Kings & priests, which must be done in this life, when the place is prepared you must go through all the ordinances of the house of the Lord so that you who have any dead friends must go through all the ordinances for them the same as for yourselves; then the Elders are to go through all America & build up Churches untill all Zion is built up, but not to commence to do this untill the Temple is built up here and the Elders endowed then go forth & accomplish the work & build up stakes in all North and South America, Their will be some place ordained for the redeeming of the dead I think this place will be the one, so their will be gathering fast enough here. President Smith lungs failed him and he appointed Elder G. J. Adams to occupy the time during the foornoon He however remarked that his proclamation just made was the greatest ever made as all could not come here; but it was necessary that enough should come to build up the temple & get an endowment so that the work could spread abroad. – WJS, pp. 282-3

      The temple being referred to is Nauvoo. There were multiple witnesses to this talk.

      Prophet it is just as impossible for me to continue the subject as to raise the dead—my lungs are worn out—I will do so anor. day. has led this Church by revn. I have anr. revn. a great grand & glorious revn. & this is what I am going to declare—you kno there has been great discusn. where Zion is & when the gathg. of the D is & which I am to—the whole America is the Land itself N. & S itself & is descd. by the Prophets that it shod. be in the centre of the land. the declan. is that as soon as the temple & B font is prepd. & so as we can wash & anoint the El of Israel there must be a place prepd for that purpose— there are provins made until the work is compd. to be as K & P of the mos H. God but as all to do with the hs of God—but there must be an express place built for that purpose & for men to be B for their dd for every man who wishes to save the F & M. B. S & F. must go thro the same—B—A. W. & all the protectn. of the powers of the Priesthood same as for themselves—the Elders of Israel shall build Churches unto the Ld. & there shall they build Churches unto the Ld: there shall be a Stake of Zion—it is a glorious pro—& I reserved it to the last & desn. it to be understd. that it shall be after the washg. & anointg. here—the place that the Ld. has estd. for the Sn. of the dead—there must be a parlar place. I verily belive this to be the place—& men who wish to save their dead must come here to be B for their dead—& then may go back agn.—& I shall leave m Brern to enlarge—it is my duty to teach those who err in doctrine—the Sp is willg. but the flesh is weak 13—if God made Aaron to be their mouthpiece & Made me to be their K. & their God 14 & if you dont like it you must lump it—I have give instron to El Adams in some principles—if he makes a mistake I will tell it. – WJS, p. 282

      And again.

      Made a proclamation.—I have another great and grand Revelation—great discussion where Zion is.— The whole America is Zion that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lords house shall be. about the central part of N. & South America.— soon as the Temple is finished.—Lord hath ordained where these last & most important ordinances must be in a house.—provided for the purpose.—when we can get a house built first there is the place.—Bap. washed. anointed, sealed &c for the dead the same as for themselves.— from henceforth the elders shall build churches where ever the people receive the gospel sufficient. then build stakes to this place. I verily believe that God will establish this place for the salvation of the dead. —those who want to save their dead can come hither. those who do not wish to come hither to live can bring their families and attend the ordinances and return. – WJS pp. 282-283

      Not saying Joseph knew the score – just saying if he did know the score, then that’s the score.

      1. I like it. Maybe the city of Zion will be in Central America, where I served my mission some thirty-eight years ago. There are so many mountains and archeological sites in Guatemala. A poor country, but rich in history.

        1. Especially since Joseph said it encompasses all of North and South America. Which brings me back to my studies Saturday and Sunday about the Remnant. I am a Gentile. I am not part of the Remnant of Jacob referred to in the Book of Mormon. They have a prophesied mission to perform. The Remnant is throughout all of North and South America just as Joseph said. I desire to help them fulfill their calling to build the New Jerusalem. Will they, like a lion go through and tear to pieces (3 Ne 20:16)? The Lord will bless the Remnant of Jacob.

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