Obviously, this was written in the old formal (King Jamesian) language of prayer I was taught growing up in the LDS Church. I am comfortable with this language and still prefer it when I petition the Lord in a formal prayer such as this. Ordinarily I would not share this but feel prompted to do so. My study for many of the last seven to ten years has focused on marriage, the temple and especially the sealing between a man and his wife. I attended the temple for over forty years and always felt there was more.
Oh Lord, I am grateful for this woman who has chosen to live her life with me. Through the miracle of birth, thou hast allowed us to create and bring forth life, a son whom we dearly love. We know the means through which this came about was established long before our time, but like our parents before us, we are honored to have been participants in this miracle. We are a family because thou didst make it so. We are a strength to each other as we go through this life and witness the changes each day brings.
We thank thee for our parents, grandparents and ancestors going back for so many generations. We remember them and are grateful for their lives and all they have contributed to allow us to live the way we do with modern conveniences in this miraculous day and age. We thank thee for our many kinfolks, including brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. So many of us share a common love of thee, of thy Son and the teachings He shared with us that we read in the scriptures.
By tradition and a common interest, we have sought to learn more of the lives of our recent ancestors. We rejoice to learn that so many of them brought forth children in love, many at such a young age, that they were willing to bear children, to raise them, to teach them, to sacrifice for them and to share their faith with them. We are richly blessed by their memories, their stories, their photographs and so much by their individual character traits that we have received through the miracle of genetic inheritance.
Extended Family and Recent Ancestors
It matters not that we do not live close by or attend the same church. It matters not that some do not attend church at all. They are family and we love them. Some of our family members seek thee daily. They strive to hear thy word and to follow thy spirit. Some struggle, yet all are loved. We are grateful thou dost honor agency and give to each of us according to that which we ask, according to the heed and diligence we give to that which we receive. We are simply grateful to be allowed to live our lives.
We are aware of death, both from personal losses and from witnessing death in others – our friends and family members. We are not unknowledgeable of the purpose of life and death. We have been taught and believe that this mortal life is but part of a short time in the eternal scheme of things in which we leave thy presence, come to this earth to experience human life with all its joys and sorrows and then to eventually return to thy presence. We trust in thy promises that death a but a passageway to eternity.
Thou hast made us aware of the spirit world around us. Some of us have peered into that spirit world on occasion, have been visited by loved ones, warned of danger, and even taught by angels. We thank thee for the promises thou hast made through thy Son to never leave us alone. We thank thee for the spirit of the Holy Ghost, that thou hast made thy will and mind known unto us from time to time as we ask and search the Holy Scriptures. We thank thee for the Comforter which thou hast promised unto us.
The Fathers in Heaven
We love thee as our Father and our God and rejoice in that thou hast provided us a Savior, for we feel greatly our mortal weaknesses, which overcome us from time to time. We thank thee for thy many commandments unto us that guide us and give us hope. We are grateful for the language of scripture in which thou didst inspire men and women to speak in thy name. We revere our first parents, Adam and Eve, who came first upon this earth and brought forth the family of man, of which we are a small part.
Our hearts are turned to our fathers, those of the Old Testament times who inherited the birthright or lived their lives in such a way as to be given that birthright. We desire to understand better the faith of our fathers, meaning these first fathers such as Adam (and Eve), Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalalel, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem / Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ephraim, and many others. We are especially interested in understanding thy word that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are Gods on Thrones.
We know they loved their wives, for we read their stories in the scriptures: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob (or Israel) and Rachel the wife of his youth. We read in scripture that they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods. We also understand clearly that they are on those thrones jointly with their wives, and that they sit there only because of their wives.
They Are Not Angels, But Gods
Yes, we recognize that ultimately it is thy gift that exalts us according to the merits, grace, and mercy of Thy Son. We know that Eternal Life is the greatest of all the gifts of God. But we are intrigued by the belief and understanding that no man is exalted without his wife, and that she places him on that throne. This thing is a mystery, and we ask thee to teach us, to help us understand more. We love our wives and want to be with them forever. We believe in thy word which promises this can come to pass.
We have read, “And again, I say to you, Abraham and Sarah sit upon a Throne, for he could not be there if not for Sarah’s covenant with him. Isaac and Rebecca sit upon a Throne, and Isaac likewise could not be there if not for Rebecca’s covenant with him. And Jacob and Rachel sit upon a Throne, and Jacob could not be there if not for Rachel’s covenant with him. And all these have ascended above Dominions and Principalities and Powers, to abide in my Kingdom.” We are uplifted by this powerful language.
And more: “Therefore the marriage covenant is needed for all those who would likewise seek to obtain from me the right to continue their seed into eternity, for only through marriage can Thrones and Kingdoms be established.” Having grown up in the LDS Church we have inherited understandings that are imperfect about the marriage covenant. We seek and we study in thy revealed word to better understand this covenant and pray though wilt be merciful in guiding our thoughts and studies.
Ordinances of the Temple
We have been taught and believe that there is yet more to be revealed in the temple once it is built. We do not believe Brigham Young faithfully captured or understood what the Lord intended to bring forth through Joseph in the Nauvoo temple had it been completed in his lifetime. Therefore, we await the completion of a new temple, built in this new dispensation, where the Lord can reveal these truths that will help us understand the power of the woman in placing her husband upon a throne to bless her.
We know there are many who are offended by our belief that the marriage covenant must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. We believe this is a tangible, real, discernable event, and is not the same as the ordinance that takes place in LDS temples in which promises are made in the name of Christ and by virtue of a priesthood. We read and have been taught much about keys of the kingdom being involved in this sealing ordinance and are aware that the efficaciousness of such verbiage is questionable to many.
I share some very personal observations that lead up to the central question that is the object of this formal petition. We know it is not good for man to be alone. I know this from personal experience. I am a weak and foolish man without the presence and company of my wife. Perhaps it is a natural, mortal weakness, but I feel so much stronger, certain, sure, and confident when I am in Carol’s presence. She strengthens me by her very way of observing and commenting on things, by how she encourages me.
Not Good for Man to be Alone
We are long past the point of multiplying or procreating. Our love has matured. There is a deep and abiding trust between us. Carol has exhibited it many times by putting up with my departure from the LDS Church, from when I resigned my formal membership and by her continued trust in thee that the promises she heard in the temple as she made covenants with me and with thee will be fulfilled. She continues to exercise faith, to read and to study, to write and to teach. She is a woman of Godly faith.
She is a woman of wisdom. She counsels me. She encourages me. She helps me focus on what is most important. She has taught me so much about relationships that cause me to rejoice. I look back with sorrow and shame at my early years of selfishness and misunderstanding of how focused I was on my own happiness compared to how much Carol sacrificed and planned for our little family. She has been a great joy to me all of my life. I have never regretted listening to her counsel and hope to always do so.
We understand and know we must pass by angels to enter into our exaltation and to receive of the glory and fulness of God. We know there any many levels through which we must pass and are doubtful we have even understood them let alone experienced them. Although our prayers together are sacred and uplifting, I do not believe we have yet entered into thy presence together, which we understand is a requirement through which we must pass at some time, either in this mortal life of in the life to come.
Authority of the First Presidency
I am grateful that we continue to worship together, to pray together, to sing together, to attend church together, to love and teach our son together. It could not imagine life without my companion and desire her to be with me forever. However, she has been taught and believes some things about marriage in and through the LDS Church that I do not accept or believe. For example, she believes that in order for us to be together in the life to come, I must be an LDS member in full standing before I depart this life.
She also believes I must submit to and receive from the First Presidency of the LDS Church a restoration of priesthood blessings as promised and received in the temple when we were married. As part of that process, she believes I must acknowledge the current President of the LDS Church as the only man on the earth who is fully authorized to speak for God, that he holds all sealing power given to men on earth and that it is only through his word and blessing that I can be with her in the eternities, the life to come.
I have been told by my local bishop when I resigned my membership in the LDS Church that in addition to writing a letter of apology for everything I have written on my blog for the past fourteen years, I must also write and publish a formal letter of retraction denying all I have written about the man Denver Snuffer, including my personal witness that I know he is a servant of the Lord, all I have reported on that he has done and is yet doing many things to bring forth the Lord’s purposes in these last days.
A Restoration of Blessings
In addition, I must deny that the baptism I have received as a token or witness of acceptance of his work in these least days is valid, that the covenant I have taken upon myself in the Fall of 2017 in accepting the Book of Mormon as a covenant binding upon my life and that my vote is withdrawn in canonizing many of the words of Denver Snuffer as revelation and binding upon those who consider themselves followers of Jesus Christ today. In short, I would be required to denounce Denver as a fraud and liar.
Sorry, I can’t and won’t do that. I will go down to my grave without ever writing or saying such words. That means I will never be baptized into the LDS Church again, and I will never have their “blessing,” or “restoration of blessings” pronounced upon my head by the laying on of hand of some designated general authority. My mind is made up, I do not believe the LDS Church holds any such authority now, nor do I believe work done in the temples is anything more than an invitation to rise up to the real thing.
So, what does this mean to my marriage covenant? Do I have a marriage covenant? Have I broken my marriage covenant? I do not believe so. Am I doing my part? I believe so. I am being faithful to Carol, I am seeking repentance when I sin, I partake of the sacrament with her, I encourage her in her studies and in her writings. I am willing to discuss my beliefs with her, although I rarely do because I will not dispute or contend. She can believe what she wants. That is the way. She is an agent unto herself.
So, here is my prayer for an understanding of sealing:
Oh Lord, can a man and a woman who love each other and have demonstrated a lifetime of human love together and who believe in the life hereafter be together in the eternities even though one is a faithful member of the LDS church (Carol) and one has resigned their long-time membership in the LDS Church (me) and does not recognize or acknowledge the claims of authority of the President of the LDS Church to bind or seal on earth and have it recognized in heaven, or that authority can be delegated to others?
If she will yet have me, I will go down to my deathbed loving and serving Carol. She is the love of my life. I love everything about her. I want her happiness. I pray for her happiness. I love her family, her parents (now deceased), her bothers, her nephews and nieces and their families. I love being with her, I love doing things for her, and continually appreciate her encouragement of and faith in our son, an extremely intelligent, talented, and capable individual, who simply does not share our faith in God or in Christ.
What is required for us to have a promise of eternal life together as husband and wife? Will one of us be required to change our beliefs? Will such changes become obvious with the passage of time? In other words, will one of us be proven right and the other wrong, or does that even matter? What are thy requirements to bind a man and woman together through the eternities? Are we not ready for this kind of information just yet? Will it be revealed in our lifetime? Is it meant to be revealed only after death?
The True Purpose of a Temple
If so, then what is the purpose of the temple that is promised to be built in our generation? How can we convince the many millions of LDS folks who believe their marriage is sealed and guaranteed in heaven since they have been married in an LDS temple, or is that an impossible task? When this temple is built, will we be able to go there as husband and wife and be sealed? If so, by whom? Wilt thou come to that temple and perform the sealing or has that sealing power already been delegated to someone else?
And finally, since Carol does not accept Denver Snuffer as a servant of the Lord, and as of this writing has no intention of ever listening to him to, give heed to his words, nor would she ever consent to entering a temple constructed by the restoration movement, what is to become of us? We are both very stubborn, both convinced we are right and that the other is wrong. Yet we will not accuse of deny the other their right to believe as they choose. Who can judge such a union? Only a God such as thyself?