Progress Report on Denver Snuffer


DenverSnufferPagesI apologize for the misleading title. This is not about Denver Snuffer. This is about my progress in reading and digesting what Denver Snuffer has written. If you’ll recall, about a month ago I ordered, received and wrote about Denver’s latest publications. I just finished reading volume one of Remembering the Covenant and want to share a few things I learned from that volume.

Remembering the Covenant is a reprint of Denver’s blog. Volume one covered approximately the first five months, from 1 February 2010 to 7 June 2010. It is about 435 printed pages. I took my time reading it because I had several other reading projects going on at the same time. I read each entry twice, highlighting with a different colored marker on each pass, pondering as I read.

This is still a solo project. Carol is not interested in what I am reading, although I do share a few quotes with her on occasion. She usually likes to point out that if the Lord wanted me to know what Denver had to say, the Brethren would have told us to read his books. Sigh. Carol’s not big on doctrine. The social aspects of the church are more important to her. We balance each other.

Careful, Ponderous and Solemn Thought

Many of the entries were familiar to me, having read them at one time or another on his blog. I was also impressed that a lot of content was shared here the first time in this volume and found full expression in his book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. It’s obvious the ideas found in PtHG were developed a long time before they were put together so powerfully in that controversial book.

My objective in the methodical and deep reading of Remembering the Covenant is obviously tied to my desire to obtain what Denver has written about in his first book, The Second Comforter. No, I have not yet obtained an audience with the Lord, but then, I’ve only been asking seriously for the last year or so. I started asking in earnest after my first reading of The Second Comforter.

Maybe my approach is all wrong, but what I’m trying to accomplish here is prove one way or another that a regular member of the church can have the same experience Denver Snuffer says we all can and should have – to receive a promise from the Lord of Eternal Life. And yes, that means a personal visit from the resurrected Lord, and to receive that promise from his own lips.

Why I Haven’t Received the Promise Yet

I found many helpful entries to explain why I haven’t had that sacred experience yet. One of them is found on page 261. You can read the entry on his blog dated 27 April 2010 – God is No Respecter of Persons. About halfway through the post he discusses what alienates us from the Lord. He makes an interesting point that it is not our sins per se, but the way we offend Christ.

Specifically he says, “He is offended when we are forgiven by Him, and then return to the same sin. This shows a lack of gratitude for His forgiveness.” Denver acknowledges that some struggle with addictions, compulsions and weaknesses for years, even decades. That’s me. He then offers what I found to be a sad commentary. It made me think that I must still have a long ways to go.

He writes, “When at last, because of age or infirmity, a troubling weakness is at last overcome, He will readily accept your repentance and let you move forward, clean, whole and forgiven.” This makes me sad because it causes me to feel that those who struggle with addiction will not be accepted by the Lord until the biological temptations of the body go away due to old age.”

I Sin Differently Than You

Perhaps you can help me out in my thinking here. Maybe some of you know what I am talking about. I’m going to be frank. They say confession is good for the soul. I’ve written about this before on my blog and got a lot of positive feedback from folks who said it helped them to be so open and honest about such a sensitive subject. You may think less of me after reading this.

Mental illness runs in my family. So does addiction. I’ll bet they go hand-in-hand. I recall a line used by President Uchtdorf in a recent General Conference address (April 2012). I believe he said it came from a bumper sticker. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” In my previous blog post on the subject I wrote I was exposed to Internet pornography in 1995.

However, that wasn’t my first exposure to pornography. It seems the adversary knew what my weakness was before I ever understood. I struggled with pornography from the time I was eight years old, long before the Internet. I find it interesting that this temptation came into my life right after I was baptized. It has been a constant battle with many ups and downs for nearly fifty years.

A Common but Serious Weakness

I have never confessed this in a public forum before. I am pleased to say that I am a recovered addict and have been clean for many years, but like an alcoholic, it can come back in a second. My state of mind is something about which I have to be constantly wary. I must always be careful about what I look at, what ads I see, what TV shows I watch, what web pages I visit.

This is not a secret from Carol. We have worked on this together over the years. I am amazed at how kind, patient, loving and accepting she has always been. This is an intimate part of our lives but human sexuality is a big part of the mortal experience so it has eternal ramifications. For me, the biggest part of this struggle has always been feelings of guilt and of disappointing the Lord.

The last time I tried to confess this sin to a bishop, I also tried to turn in my temple recommend. This was many years ago, early in my married life. He pushed the temple recommend back at me and said, “I want you to go to the temple more frequently and I want you to stop confessing this. This weakness is between you, your wife and the Lord. You work it out among yourselves.”

Broken Souls Are Loved by the Lord

I came away from reading Denver’s entry that God is No Respecter of Persons thinking that I will not be worthy or qualified for a visit from the Lord to obtain the promise of Eternal Life for many more years, probably just before I am ready to leave this life. Perhaps someone who struggles with an addiction is a special case, who can’t be trusted until they’re almost dead.

I found some consolation in reading his entry on Broken Souls on page 387 which can be found on his blog dated 25 May 2010. In it Denver describes his work with and love for those who find it difficult to associate with other members of the church because they struggle with feelings of anxiety and depression caused by addictions. I could immediately relate this to my life-long hurt.

He writes that he has close friends who struggle with addictions so haunting and so terrible a force in their lives that rising each day to face the coming fight takes greater courage than he could imagine. “They are acting in faith at every waking breath, as they fight against a foe that I do not comprehend and could not face.” Yep, that pretty much describes my daily walk in life.

Forgiveness for a Former Addict

Hope came as I read there, “I marveled at how very much these broken souls, these discouraged people … are the very ones with whom I feel the Lord’s presence and love as I have the honor of meeting and talking with them about the gospel. These are the ones He loves the most. These are the ones with whom he associated during His ministry. He associates there, still.” I like that.

I made a decision a long time ago to continue to follow the gospel path, to attend my meetings each week, to accept and faithfully serve in callings when asked, to attend the temple and to do all within my power to prove to the Lord that I loved Him and wanted His forgiveness. But I also accepted the fact that I would never really feel that I belonged, that I was not worthy of the Lord.

All this, because as a former addict, I did not feel I could be trusted. I could and would do all that we are supposed to do, including prayer and gospel study, but deep down, I knew my weakness and it terrified me that I was capable of such betrayal. I had known the Lord’s forgiveness early in my life, but my constant struggle over the years caused me to feel I had offended the Lord.

You Deserve Your Insecurities

On page 408, in the post entitled Developing Your Faith dated 30 May 2010, Denver writes, “Insecurities are a result of a lack of faith. You deserve them. You have not acquired knowledge yet. You have them as a gift, as a warning that you have not yet received what you need. Nor have you developed faith yet.” He then admonishes us to go and re-read Lectures on Faith Six.

Of course, that lecture is about offering sacrifice to obtain sufficient faith to be saved. In this lecture is found the famous quote that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” I have thought and pondered about this for at least twenty years. I have yet to figure out what more I can sacrifice.

According to Denver, it is my fears and insecurities that I must sacrifice. It is my lack of trust in myself that comes from years of being a former addict that I must sacrifice. I know the Lord has forgiven me. That’s a given. I have asked and know that He has forgiven me. There has never been a hesitation when I have asked for forgiveness. But does he trust me enough to visit me?

Timing for the Visit From the Lord

I suppose the real question is, “Do I trust myself enough to let the Lord visit me?” Of course, we do not set the timing of the Lord’s visit. So the mechanics of how this works puzzles me. Let’s say I finally figure out in my mind at last a way to give up that lack of trust that I put there so long ago as I began my recovery from my addiction. I give up the fear that I can’t be trusted.

Well, that’s nice. That is, it’s nice to be able to say to myself that the Lord trusts me, but unless I hear the Lord say it to me personally, perhaps it’s just self-deception. The Lord has commanded us to drop doubts and fears from our hearts. I am willing to do so. For non-addicts I assume it’s a simple thing. You simply say to yourself, “I trust myself that I will not participate in sin again.”

I’m sure I’m over-analyzing this and making it way more complicated than the Lord intended. The gospel is supposed to be so simple that even a child can understand it. We are supposed to become child-like in our trust and faith in the Lord. I know I can trust the Lord, but I am not certain I can trust myself, even after all these years. There simply are no guarantees, are there?

Invitation to Dialog

For any other Snuffer readers out there, what do you think? Am I going about this wrong? Denver reports on page 421 in “Be Still and Know That I Am God” (2 June 2010), “Study what I’ve written carefully and anyone will find it is all there. Several people have done so, and have received the promised results.” That’s nice to know. I believe Denver and am happy for them.

I’m still pondering the approach I need to take to accomplish this work that only I can do for myself. One approach is to hang onto the belief that because I am a former addict who has offended Christ by returning to my sins after having been forgiven, that I must wait patiently until my life is nearly over before the Lord will visit me to proclaim I have Eternal Life.

The other approach is to give up all doubts and fears left over from years of sin, trust the Lord implicitly that He is willing to come to me now and ask all the more sincerely for that blessing. Perhaps I have missed something in The Second Comforter and need to go back and re-read it yet one more time, asking the Lord to show me what steps I missed the first few times I read it.

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31 Responses

  1. Tim, here are some thoughts that may or may not add anything. I don’t claim to have any superior knowledge or understanding, but feel a kinship to your journey as I became aware of Denver Snuffer’s writings via your blog, which I also had just discovered, in March last year.

    1) First off, you have more courage than I do to publicly confess some of your deepest struggles. I just want to thank you for that. It helps put my own struggles in perspective, and I’m sure it will help others who read it.

    2) You may be closer than you think. I recall John Pontius describing his own journey and it was just at that moment when he thought all was lost, and he prayed into the night and then experienced what sounds like baptism of fire, calling and election, direct words from Christ, and then a vision the following day (although I don’t think he experienced the Second Comforter at that point). The concern you have of having offended the Lord is perhaps an important step towards having a truly broken heart. Even though you have been clean for many years and forgiven, you still have to approach the Lord completely impoverished in your soul to truly turn everything over to Him. Your struggle for the greater blessings is working towards that end. It has to be a struggle, and one in which I think you eventually have to realize you can’t really win, you will always be deficient, and that will help you turn it all over to the Lord.

    3) There may be intermediate gifts, manifestations, etc. that you should seek first before the Second Comforter. This is, of course, between you and the Lord and he can let you know what you need to seek and when. I am currently seeking a vision of my future, and a greater measure of the gift of charity. These were things that through prayer I sensed were the next steps in my progression. I am still seeking the face of the Lord, but my personal understanding is that many miraculous things might happen in my life before that culminating event.

    4) There have been many times when I’ve sensed that I need to spend less time reading and more time communing through prayer. If you have struggled with addictive behaviors, is it possible that your voracious reading habits are yet another compulsion? Perhaps an even more difficult one to find balance with, since a certain amount of gospel reading and study is essential and desirable. Anyway, this is just my personal experience that one day I’ll receive the impression from the Spirit to study more deeply Denver Snuffer’s writings, and then a couple of days later I’ll feel the need to read more slowly, be more ponderous, and give a higher priority to prayer and learning directly from the Spirit.

    5) Is your wife averse to reading Pontius? I find his approach much gentler than Snuffer, yet it is ultimately encouraging the reader to seek similar things. I’ve recently gifted several copies of his first book to people who might be put off by Snuffer, and while that book may seem light in comparison to Snuffer, his second text, Triumph of Zion, goes further than Snuffer does on certain topics (e.g. seeking the gift of translation). To help persuade her, you could mention that President Hinckley supported Pontius’ first book when an Area Authority tried to condemn him for publishing it. Pontius is also really good at teaching that the Church is fulfilling its role, and it’s really up to us individually to build on that foundation and seek the greater blessings.

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    • Thanks Matthew. All great ideas. Much appreciated. I’ve noticed an interesting thing about Carol when it comes to studying the gospel. If I take the lead and offer to read something to her, she is much more involved and amenable to what we are studying. But if I offer her a book or article to read on her own, she won’t do it. She is an avid reader – of romance. She is also a writer so she spends all her spare time either reading romance novels or working on one of her own. She has eight manuscripts in various stages of completion and will probably e-publish at least one of them sometime within the next few months.

      I like what you have to say about intermediate gifts. I guess I would call them intermediate spiritual goals. That’s great advice. One of my short-range goals is to have a return in prayer to some of the feelings I used to have when I was preparing for my mission. I would study for hours, ponder what I had read and then pray specifically to understand it better so that I could teach it when the time came. Sometimes I would get this amazing feeling that I can only describe as being in tune, as if my soul, and especially my mind, was vibrating with something infinite and eternal. I have recently had a return of those feelings, absent for so many years. It’s kind of like spiritual bio-feedback for me. I want to experience that more often.

      I also like what you suggested about reading John’s books with Carol. I have not done that. I have been wanting to re-read Following the Light of Christ. Like you say, he comes across more gentle than Snuffer. I have not read Triumph of Zion, even though I have it in my library. As far as my voracious reading habits, you nailed it. I spend every spare moment reading to keep my mind occupied. It’s a habit I developed years ago. I think my recent episode with migraines a few months back that put me in the hospital may have been because I could not unwind – too much focus and concentration between work and study. My poor old brain was probably trying to tell me it needed quiet time to absorb everything I had been feeding it for so many years.

      Thanks again for the ideas and feedback. I appreciate readers who take the time to offer suggestions.

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    • Matthew, I loved your comments about the intermediate gifts and manifestations. This goes along with the teachings about receiving line upon line, precept on precept, here a little and there a little. From what I’ve learned, even Christ didn’t immediately commune with the Father face to face. This makes me think I need to study more about His 40 days in the wilderness and His transfiguration.

      I would also agree with you that most of us could spend less time reading and more time communing. As I stated below, the Lord, through the Spirit, is our best teacher and we will profit by asking and receiving directly from Him moreso than from any book. Thank you for your thoughts.

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  2. Tim, I disagree strongly in some ways with his approach, but I hope you obtain that which you seek.

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    • Thanks Ray. Denver is a controversial, even divisive individual in many ways. Although I’ve never met him, I’m sure he doesn’t mean to be. Those who have met him assure me he is the nicest and most genuine individual you could meet, sincere and dedicated to doing what he says the Lord told him to do. I respect that.

      It seems that people either love what he has to say or are very disturbed by his writings. I started out as being very bothered by what he has published but that’s probably because I read his most controversial book first. I thought he was a troublemaker, an apostate, a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a deceiver.

      But I decided to read the rest of what he had written before I rejected it. I probably would not have read his books if I had not been asked by a friend what I thought about them, especially Passing the Heavenly Gift. All I seek is to know the Lord and to know my standing before Him. I’d like to know that before I die.

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  3. I just want to say that I’m an addict and have struggled with addiction for over 25 years. I was inactive from the church for several years after my mission, thinking I wasn’t worthy and felt very ashamed. Admittedly, I’m very weak and struggle with other things as well, but I make no excuses and blame nobody.

    However, however,10 years ago I was in the Lord’s presence and my shame was swept away as I was encompassed about by His indescribable love. He also blessed me with a sweet wife that was aware of these struggles before we were married and we’ve worked together on these things.

    Now I’d love to say that I never struggled with addictions after that, but unfortunately, roughly 3 years after that experience, I began to struggle again with addiction. Despite all of that, within the last year, I’ve received very sacred promises from His own voice out of the heavens.

    I have no answers as to how one such as I can be so blessed. I’ve stopped trying to figure that out and I’ve also stopped trying to tell the Lord that I know better than Him what gifts, or lack thereof I should be given. Although I continue to fight a difficult battle on a daily basis, He is my strength and His grace is sufficient for me, for all of us.

    More than anything, I’ve wanted to help people feel the way He made me feel while in His presence 10 years ago, where I saw as I was seen. He lives and He’s intimately involved in our lives and wants to be more than we realize. He has a wonderful sense of humor and wants us to sometimes not take ourselves so seriously. He’s my King, my friend and my all. I long for the day when He comes to reign. I testify in His name that He can wipe away all our tears and blot out all our transgressions. And if he can forgive one who has struggled with temper, pride and addictions as I have, He can do that for anyone, according to His timetable and way. I leave you with the below scripture, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

    41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.

    42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?

    43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

    44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

    45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.

    46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

    47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

    48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

    49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

    50 And he said to the woman, Thyafaith hath saved thee; go in peace.

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    • Thanks for sharing DJ. I could relate. I had a sacred experience with the Lord when I was at Rick’s College before my mission. I can’t say that I saw anything because I didn’t but I felt His presence and also felt my guilt and shame swept away. I have written about this in a couple of places on my blog, the first one here:

      http://latterdaycommentary.com/2008/05/21/a-different-kind-of-religious-education/

      I added more detail in a later blog post here:

      http://latterdaycommentary.com/2010/01/30/lettertoareader/

      I don’t think I appreciated what the Lord had done for me on that occasion. I know I received a gift but I didn’t realize how valuable it was until I lost it some time later. I missed the peace of mind, peace of conscience and the feeling of confidence in the presence of the Lord. I had to work hard to recover and never fully did.

      I guess that’s what my quest is now – to regain that sense of self-trust that I once had. I appreciate you sharing your comments about hearing the voice of the Lord and receiving promises. To me, that’s what the gospel is all about and what I am seeking. The scripture you shared is very appropriate. Thanks.

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      • I’ve not seen Him outside of dreams but, like you, I *have* felt His presence in waking life.

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    • Wow, DJ, that was awesome.

      It makes me wonder how the Lord chooses who to visit, and why. His ways are certainly not our ways, nor His thoughts ours.

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  4. Wow this is a heavy thread! I am going to have to reread this. There is a lot here and some good tidbits also.
    Tim, I’m just a nobody, but I would just say take your time and give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Always try your best ya, but don’t fret if the desired results don’t happen right away.

    To be honest I never considered seeking the Lord in this life. Was never a thought I payed any attention to. Honestly, I’m not sure I would want that experience (at least where I am standing now)…the burden of that knowledge would release a legion of bad guys on me both real and spiritual…and well, I don’t know if I am a soul that could withstand that sort of onslaught of attack.

    I had a lady friend years ago share with my that her patriarchal blessing revealed that she would have her calling and election made sure in this life. I was stunned that she would make a claim to me and share such a thing. Even in a casual conversation, why would someone bring this up? Why would some one even lie about such a thing? I don’t think she was lying, even as I don’t think most members of the church really understand what this means.

    I’m so concerned about just trying to get back in the church right now to be baptized…its been a struggle and downs and downs…very few ups. Some people don’t realize how good they have it or where they are on the map. I am so envious that I can’t even get to the baptized level because of my history and wrestle with the flesh. Its painful to the greatest degree. So I totally feel for people that struggle with stuff day to day.

    I have been jealous a great deal of my life because I haven’t had very many spiritual experiences. For many reasons. Life style, rebellion, anger, pride, sin…People are surprised that I don’t get prompting or “feelings” that “everyone” gets. And thus being exd from the church, I don’t have that constant gift of the holy spirit…However if it worked, I don’t know if I would reconise it , as I am not familiar with it. So for me I had to settle on the, if i can make it to baptized level then that’s cool…followed by if my only “gift of the spirit” is believing on someones words, than that has to do for now I guess.

    I am currently writing my own biography and plan to print it up. I’m not looking for fame or fortune but if my story helps someone then that will be cool. I have shared a few bits with some people already and response has been good and encouraging. I don’t have anything totally Earth shattering to say per se, other than my experiences. However I do have one original insight I think…lol…

    awesome thread.

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    • Hi again Warren. Thanks for the comment. You are right about the onslaught of a legion of bad guys. I have been dealing with those bad guys for the last few months big time, mainly because I have been trying to get my act together spiritually speaking, much like you are. We’re in the same boat, you and I. We simply want to feel the approval of the Lord. We want someone important to tell us we’re doing a good job. And of course who is more important than the Lord?

      This life is tough. That’s why your goal to get baptized again and get the Gift of the Holt Ghost is such a good one. We need the first comforter. I am grateful for the private dialog you and I have had. You have caused me to appreciate things that I take for granted – like the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You write well. God bless you in writing your biography. I know it will be appreciated, especially by those who love you. Everyone has a story to tell.

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      • Tim, Thanks for the nice words. That makes me smile, I would like to get a book to you and see what you think.

        I think the writer above makes a good point that we shouldn’t always take ourselves so serious. I have come to realize a little insight that is nearly always over looked…and cliche. WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE…then Mormons add the sub sentence, “after all we can do…” Its funny how ingrained this is, and that some LDS don’t consider this is little basic principle….they run faster then they are able..

        So we when I speak with someone and discuss this…I ask them to reflect on Grace. We are saved by Grace….period. There really isn’t anything we can “do” per se other than obey the commandments….but people beat themselves up with the “being perfect complex.” Its something that I have learned…but haven’t put my finger on totally. Other then we are saved by that Grace….we are saved by His mercy. Not because WE save(d) ourselves, cause we can’t. Its our childlike pride that gets us in trouble over and over again. From a young age we are told how big of a kid we are, but when life eventually happens we really learn we really aren’t. The Lord said to be perfect like god, but he did say how long that would take, only that we be WORTHY, cause those are the ones that walk with him in white. There is a difference. So I would assume that if you have a temple reccomend then a person is doing pretty good and on their way…

        I would also have you reflect on the OBE experiences that you have read. I have only read a few, but many of them have many things in common. I think if you look at them you would see, what we really get “graded” on in the end…its a simple concept but deep in its possibilities. I really dig that comment above from the bishop saying that comment to you, “Go to the temple more often, this is an issue between the Lord and your wife.” Holy cats! I was struck hard with that! If the bishop was in the spirit on that wowzers……Dude, the Lord is way more merciful then we give him credit…even if we can’t conquer this flesh right away…

        I heard an analogy a few years back. I want to share it with you. You may have heard something similar in your reading the zillions of books you have. You’re house would be one to want I would want to visit and marinate in your library of your books….at least you have some cool stuff to talk about other then Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and Hair-dos. Well at any rate, I think this story can illustrate in a small way we can understand how God loves us. Most of us have pets, a dog or a cat…we will use a cat in this example. I believe these animals were placed here for us and have not suffered the effects of the fall because some humans need to learn love. So these animals have a dark side or a side that we don’t like, cats, for example are vicious stupid creatures. They will catch something and play with their prey, then eat part of it, and leave the aftermath on the porch for us to discover. They have this carnal nature about them that does this horrible and irritating thing, and we have to go pick up the mess…but we don’t stop loving them do we? We don’t stop being excited to see them when the jump up by us or when they greet us when we arrive home do we? No, we still embrace them the same time, every time. I think in this small way the Lord looks at us like this…I think we do a lot of stupid crap in our lives…we make multitudes of mistakes, we do foolish things, we sin. We are children (John 21:5) and the Lord has to come and clean up the mess, but for some reason his stubborn love covers all that messedupness to make us feel his love again, and he pets our head saying, “Good Boy!”

        Sounds like you’re doing pretty good to me…

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  5. I was reading on Robert Smith’s blog Upward Thought today. I think I was led to it in answer to prayer, thinking specifically about my questions in this post.

    If you haven’t been there, take a look: http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/

    Especially read the story of his visit from the Savior: http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2013/03/my-witness.html

    Today I was reading his wonderful post on the endowment: http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-historic-meaning-of-term-endowment.html

    Towards the end, he writes: “The endowment itself (the modern sense–the ordinances and lessons in the temple) are not the end. As Snuffer says, if they were the end you would come out of your own endowment a changed person. You would have power. But you don’t have power. You have a little more knowledge, but nothing anyone can’t get from studying outside the temple. The temple is a symbolic display of the process of receiving power from heaven. I didn’t say “getting” power from heaven, because it is clear that God has to give it to us, and he does so when he dang well feels like it. Our task is to grow as close to him as we can, and to better learn how to do so. The endowment ceremony gives us a symbolic pattern of how it happens. Of course, a LOT of people totally miss that.”

    I had a moment of epiphany as I read that. The Lord will appear to us when he dang well feels like it. Our job is to get ourselves ready, to be always ready and to remain true and constant over time, no matter how long the wait. The whole idea is that the constancy over time will prepare our hearts and minds to receive Him when He does come to us so we won’t be overwhelmed. That means we always need to be listening to and following the promptings of the spirit – living in the moment and not in the past or the future. And perhaps it means being a bit more respectful of the Lord. Maybe I can illustrate with a little story:

    I went to the temple Saturday and ended up in the Spanish session. I have no problem with that and enjoyed participating in the entire ceremony hearing it through the language of my mission. I must have been a little too relaxed towards the end. I put my right foot up on my left leg. I suppose my shoe was touching the chair in front of me. Now, I’ve probably done this hundreds of times but this time, one of the temple workers came to me and asked me to put my foot down. Of course I did right away. I was a little shocked at what happened and thought about it for quite some time.

    I’ll confess it was a real temptation to take offense at him for doing that. Surely my foot touching the back of the seat in front of me couldn’t have caused any harm. Why would he single me out like that? The brother sitting next to me commented afterwards what an unusual thing that was. Was there some new directive from the Temple Presidency about correct posture among the patrons? I’m not sure if the ordinance worker even thought about what he was doing. But I think I know why he did it. As I thought about it I think the Lord was trying to answer my prayer through this incident.

    I had prayed when I went to the temple that morning and asked the Lord to help me know what I needed to learn at this point in my life. This good brother reminded me that Holiness to the Lord is more than just a phrase we chisel on the outside of our temples. It is an attitude of respect we should feel for the Lord when we are in His house. It is also an attitude we should carry with us as we go through each day. I suspect I have not been understanding that there is something special about ceremony that means something to the Lord. Our private prayers are a little bit of a ceremony, aren’t they?

    I think I have been too casual with the Lord in prayer. So I have decided to make a greater effort to be more disciplined when I kneel down to pray at night. Even though I feel like I talk to the Lord all day long, there must be something special about our formal prayers. I feel the need to be more heartfelt, more earnest, more sincere and more respectful as I pray. I need to bring a greater sense of holiness to the ceremony of prayer. Sure it’s private and nobody sees me, but the whole idea of prayer is to build and strengthen a relationship. In effect, I have been putting my shoes on the furniture. The Lord deserves better from me.

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    • Another good quote from upwardthought on the timing of receiving the Second Comforter: “When Jesus appeared to me, one of the things he said was something like ‘why should this happen to you instead of anyone else?’ There was absolutely no reason. I did not deserve it in any way. I had been praying and praying to know him, but he had no reason to reply. I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can’t force him to come. It’s not like he automatically appears to everyone who hits a certain degree of righteousness the second they do. I don’t think it works like that. I think it is more that he appears to those who it is expedient to appear to: be they sinners or saints. Does that make sense? He doeth nothing save it be for the benefit of the world.” http://upwardthought.blogspot.com/2013/04/an-email-from-friend-about-making.html

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      • Matthew, this is getting curiouser and curiouser. “Worthiness” is not a reason. “Not sinning” is not a reason. “Perfection” is not a reason. Position in the church is not a reason.

        So, what is it that breaks through and prompts the Savior to part the veil and visit someone, to allow them to see and touch Him, to tell someone that they have Eternal Life, to prepare them to meet the Father?

        Is it faith? Do these people mentioned in these comments have great faith, even though they may not recognize that they do?

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    • Tim, You know I have mixed feelings or ideas about disclosing a meeting from the Lord…I think its too be a special witness and not something to blab around or cast your pearls before swine…but I suppose, if someone is lead to “share” then so be it. You know, I have the belief that the general priesthood have “seen” the Lord, but they don’t really say as much, I hear them hint, but they don’t boast about it as the scriptures do. In the Book of Mormon numerous times it mentions visits from angels, god, and translated people…but that “pattern” of witnessing doesn’t seem to happen in this day.

      P.s. if we also believe in “scripture patterns,” wouldn’t the current prophet, as in times of old, have to inscribe a record on golden plates? Just saying….

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  6. Toni, there must be some complex equation that takes into account everything that occurred before your mortal life, assignments accepted for this life, your current progress, faith, etc. So ultimately, each individual’s moment when Christ parts the veil is somewhat unique and tailored to their eternal progression. I doubt we could even come close parsing that equation, but one day we’ll reach a perfect understanding.

    One thing I find interesting is that those who have experienced it, still seem to be somewhat in the dark. Obviously, they have a gift that we all hope to obtain, but they still seem to be learning precept upon precept. It seems as though even though it is perhaps the greatest event in mortality, it is still just another doorway opening up to a pathway that leads to even more glorious blessings.

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  7. I recently read Denver Snuffer’s first book after feeling drawn to it. I haven’t read any of his other works, including anything from his blog. I tend to be quite skeptical of anything miraculous, and I think it might be wise to be skeptical of these things if they aren’t happening to you personally. That being said, I felt spiritually invigorated and motivated by Snuffer’s book. Whether or not he has actually seen Christ, it seems to me that his book outlines the proper preparations for such a visit. I don’t see anything controversial in the book. It rings true to me. It resonates with me. It inspires me. Thus, I choose to accept Snuffer’s story and I am now hoping to have a similar experience myself.

    In his book, Snuffer says that Christ will appear in part because you KNOW that he exists, not in order to give you that knowledge. (I hope I’m remembering and paraphrasing him correctly on this point.) I wonder if something similar can be said about the visitation itself. That is, I wonder if we have to get the point where we KNOW in our hearts that Christ can appear to us, before He will ever do so. At this stage, I think my attitude is still such that I have a DESIRE to receive a visitation, and I have HOPE that it can happen, but I still WONDER if it can really happen to me. Perhaps a visitation won’t come until I have ZERO doubt that it can happen TO ME. I think that will require a lot of faith and growing on my part. I think it might require me to be content with it NOT happening, because at that point, whether it happens or not will not change my perspective on whether or not it’s possible. What do you think? I want to seek for it, but I want to be faithful enough that I’m not being impatient or secretly wondering if it’s all true. Maybe finding that balance is necessary before a visit can occur. Sadly, it might take a while to find that balance.

    (Sorry for the obnoxious use of caps in order to emphasize certain points!)

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  8. I think those who struggle longer might appreciate the experience more when it does happen. Abraham and Sarah waiting for Isaac; someone finally defeating an addiction; someone finally receiving health after being sick for a long period. The journey – line upon line – is important, not just the event.

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  9. […] publically confessed that I have struggled with an addiction to pornography since I was eight years old. It was a habit […]

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  10. Dear Tim,

    I don’t have time to read all the comments above (as I commented at length on another post earlier today). But I wanted to address a few issues you mentioned.

    First off, it is by the grace of Christ — not of yourself — that you will never sin again (lest you boast). It is His power, not yours, not your “resolve”, not your “commitment”, not your “keeping your covenants”. We are all “unworthy creatures”. We are incapable — because of the Fall — of being perfect in ourselves. But we can be perfect in Christ. Read Moroni’s final words to us again:

    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.” (Moroni 10:32-33.)

    Now, what perhaps you have not understood is that you do not “deny [yourself] of all ungodliness” by your virtue, grace, power or strength, but by His. And whence comes this virtue, grace, power or strength? By His love. The love of God Lehi and Nephi spoke of. The fruit of the Tree of Life. The love of God — charity, the pure love of Christ — is the only power or influence sufficient to motivate us to drop our load of sin at His feet and never take it up again. We simply receive love from Him in such abundance and feel love for Him that is so great that we never want to lose that love or offend the opportunity to receive it again by sinning.

    Love is the mechanism by which eternal beings are sanctified and perfected, through the power of the Son, which is the exercise of perfect love. Without love, “eternal life” would not be possible or worth it (even if it were possible). Who would want to live in an eternity without love?

    Stripped of the sexual component of carnal lust, romance mimics the pure love of Christ. Do you remember the emotions of euphoria, devotion, concern and consideration you felt for your spouse (either while you courted or shortly after you first wed)? Do you remember how careful you were to please her, how you never wished to offend her, how you cherished and respected her, and sought to always do as she pleased? To come unto God and be perfected in Him, we need to love Him as we first loved our spouses — with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. And in feeling and receiving that love, we will never want to sin again in the slightest.

    The “secret” is to maintain that perfect love.

    How to do it?

    Well, how would you regain (or maintain) “perfect love” with your spouse? Return again to the “old” ways. Do what you did before.

    First you labor to repent (and never sin again). Cast aside every distraction. If your sin is a carnal sin (lasciviousness), sever all ties to things that entice. (Cable tv, in my book, is a definite “no-no” for those who are enticed to look and feel that somehow they are deprived or lacking in fleshly things. The siren seductions of television (even just the advertisements!) are so great, they truly manifest the power of Satan to do “many marvelous works in heaven and on earth” “signs and wonders”.) I would let these things go and gain control over what entertains you, in every moment.

    In time (over years, if necessary) you will lose alldesire to entertain lustful programs to watch or music to listen to. Even lustful thoughts — heretofore your “constant companions” — will leave you, as the devil will, if you resist him. (He eventually gets “bored”, being of an impatient sort.) This will give you a “foothold” on gaining confidence before God, to ask and say “I’m trying to believe (and receive). Help, Lord, mine unbelief.”

    Now you may fear that you might return and sin again. (You have a long history of “trying” and doing so.) I submit to you that never during all that time have you ever been enraptured in the love of God. Or, if you have been, that you stopped doing so. When you were filled with His love, did you ever sin like this? No, I submit to you that you didn’t. Your mind and heart would not allow it. It would be like cheating on your beloved spouse with another, even in her presence. You are not dishonest in heart.

    However, I submit that you have not been enveloped in His love to an overflowing fullness, or, if you have, that you are not so enraptured now. You have “fallen away”. After tasting of the fruit, as it were, which is most precious and delicious, you slipped away, perhaps ashamed, perhaps distracted, perhaps not careful to preserve what you had, thinking you could always “come back for more” when you wanted it.

    But it doesn’t work that way. The Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. God will not continue giving food — or an extraordinary manifestation of His love — to those who will not receive it.

    Whenever we neglect feeling and protecting the love of God (as we would the love of our spouse), we take license to commit sin — and thereby become entrapped again in our lusts.

    How do we preserve the love of God forever in our hearts, after we first obtain it?

    First, obtain it.

    The only way to experience this love is to turn unto God, to give Him back your sin and say, “Here! I don’t want it! I love you more (than this)!” And mean it.

    If you don’t mean it (yet) then humble yourself (even more). Acknowledge that your life is not filled with a fullness of unselfish love as it ought to be, that your marriage is less than it could be, that your focus is on not what it should be — that you are destined for hell unless you repent — and that you will lose all you ever received, even have taken away that which you have, because you refused to receive more.

    You have to be able to say (and mean it) “And I will give away all my sins to know Thee”.

    Are you really ready to make that trade?

    Then I testify that Christ will minister unto you if you abandon your sin and lay aside all that you now “worship” rather than Him. Take your carnal delights, if they entice you, and confess them to God. Say “Here, Lord, I want this! But I want You more! Here, Lord, I love this! But I love You more! And I confess and acknowledge that all that I have is ruin and loss without You.” And stay on your knees until you mean it. Look to the ends of your live, both beginning and end, and see what all your sinful devotions and practices have brought you. Acknowledge before God that His judgments are just and that there is no way for you to receive a fullness of joy in that which you have worshipped. Admit that you have followed after “false god” and “graven images”. Come unto Christ instead.

    As you repent, casting away all sin — For what sincere man would get off his knees and immediately return to his sins? — calling upon the name of Christ for deliverance, look for Him to send you His love! Look to receive from Him the heavenly gift! Pray with ALL the energy of your heart, unto the pouring out of your spirit, to the watering of your pillow (literally), to staying up all night (if need be). Draw out your soul unto Him and, as the Lord liveth, He will answer your prayers. Do not faint, but continue until you receive.

    And once you’ve received this love — and realize that it is a gift to be cherished above all things, not to be had by any “strength” or “virtue” or “grace” or “power” of yourself, but by His gift of grace unto you — then, in humility you may live, day by day, never feeling that you will ever slip back into your “old ways — but living “in fear” (or “remembering”) how precious and cherishable the gift of forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit is in your life, and “trembling”, daring not to offend again, lest you lose the gift and the grace of God.

    Rather rejoice in the peace and love you will feel toward your wife and children! Rejoice in the peace and love you will feel toward those you erstwhile hated and despised. You will have compassion for them! And pray for them! For you will remember that you, too, are undeserving and yet God showed His grace to you. Even so, you can love those who are undeserving, knowing that charity, indeed, never faileth.

    For charity never fails. If you have charity — the pure love of Christ, both giving and receiving — you will naturally never commit sin. You will never live in fear of falling again. You will walk again as a son of God on earth, having been redeemed from the Fall. Though mortal, and experiencing all the pains and sorrows of the flesh, including death, you will no longer labor in sin, but will be at peace. You will, at long last, know the gentle yoke of the Master, that He rules with perfect love.

    God bless you, brother. Now go and do.

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    • I have been pondering this all day and will continue to do so for days to come. You, my friend, are a Godsend. If your write somewhere on a regular basis, I want to read it. Are you a blogger? Are you published? What you have shared above is not taught anywhere that I have found before and I have been looking for all my life. I’m sure you don’t want to bring attention to yourself, but you are a rarity and I want to read more. Don’t mean to embarrass you, but you got to the heart of the matter so succinctly that I’ve got to know more about how you have discovered and know these things so well. I have been studying this subject all my life – overcoming the flash – and have come nowhere close to what you have just described. Details?

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      • Dear Tim,

        I’m a nobody. At best, I am “thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets” (Rev. 22:9) and, at worst, I am a sinner, continually reliant upon the tender mercies and grace of the Lord. I am no one of consequence or accomplishment. I have a
        blog
        , but it is hardly worthy of your interest.

        As for being a “godsend”, I was thinking the same thing about Log and Denver Snuffer! I have found their contributions to my understanding to be invaluable!

        Since discovering Snuffer’s blog several weeks ago (and reading it voraciously from its inception), I’ve undergone — and am still experiencing– a rather dramatic “re-birth” of sorts.

        Why is that?

        Because in the LDS faith “all we, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isa. 53:6). Well, almost all (2 Ne. 28:14). And even those who have not, who are “the humble followers of Christ”, still err.

        How so?

        Before explaining, let me state categorically and in no uncertain terms that (1) I know this Church is true; (2) I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God; (3) I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; (4) I sustain Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, seer, and revelator; and…oh, ya…(5) I know God lives and that Jesus is the Christ.

        Those are the five (and only five) things we’ve been instructed by our bishop and stake president that we are allowed (“supposed”) to say during Fast & Testimony Meeting. We are reminded of this month after month. (Maybe we can squeeze “I love my family” in there. I’ve heard it done, by young and old. But I don’t really consider that a “testimony” and so maybe we shouldn’t “count” it.) I’ve suggested to the stake president that, perhaps, we could just record those five statements and play them, over and over again, during the entire meeting. It was serve the same purpose.

        In a nut shell, that’s our problem. The Spirit of the Lord has been so thoroughly restrained that no one anymore bears “testimony” of anything they’ve “seen and heard”. A testimony of what? What has been “witnessed”? If it is a witness of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and the miraculous transformation of a human soul, I’m all for that! That’s the greatest miracle in the Church today. In fact, it’s a miracle that anyone ever joins this Church anymore!

        But the heavens are closed, by and large. “Miracles” have ceased. (And we all now what’s the cause of that! From the Bible Dictionary: “Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If miracles cease it is because faith has ceased. See Mark 6:5–6; Morm. 9:10–20; Ether 12:12.”

        There is a place for feelings in the Church: “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32.) But who “opens scriptures” in Church any more? Just a few years ago the First Presidency announced that members were to refrain from inviting others to open their scriptures during Sacrament meetings! Strange goings on there! More importantly, when was the last time you heard a Church leader, teacher or speaker interpret a passage of scripture in such a way that had never crossed your mind before or that struck you with such power that it transformed your understanding and behavior?

        Almost never.

        I’ve been moved by talks from General Authorities, bishops and stake presidents. Great speeches (like Elder Holland’s recent Conference addresses defending the Book of Mormon or Elder McConkie’s testimony of Christ) will never be forgotten. And certain accounts relating personal experiences have been instrumental in helping me develop my own faith sufficient to pierce the veil — like my stake president’s recount of actually hearing (with his physical ears) a voice saying simply “No!” when, in prayer, he proposed buying a new airplane.

        But our meetings, by and large, are correlated, micro-managed, and “corporate” controlled, right down to the white shirts and ties, to the point that Jesus Himself would not be permitted to bless the sacrament in many wards if He dared to show up without a proper “uniform”. Worse yet, His name is spoken in vain in virtually every talk and prayer uttered from the pulpit. Few who speak propose to do so literally “in the name of Jesus Christ”. They do not realize what is asked of them: to stand and speak in His place and utter eternal words as He would speak them. We are promised that He will “fill our mouths” if we are humble, prayerful and spiritually prepared. Yet our “prayers” (if you can call them that) are, by and large, repetitive, meaningless exercises, expressions of phrases invariably closing without so much as a passing thought about the words that follow “And I say these things in the name of…”. There is no “crying unto the Lord” in our houses of worship. There are no pleas or petitions for mercy, no confessions, only “we are truly indeed grateful for our many blessings” as we mount our Rameumptom to proclaim how especially “greatful” we are to belong to “the Lord’s one and only true Church”.

        Not altogether muted voices of “dissent” to the “apostate” influences we discover in the Church (if we are praying, reading scripture, and serving in the Church) have renewed my faith and helped me see that I am not alone in starving in the Church. The balm of healing is not found, by and large, in Church pews or in bishop’s courts. The ordinances of the priesthood are not, by an large, administered with power — to the casting out of devils or the healing of the sick, the blind or the lame. The church, by and large, is not being fed the “feast” recommended by Nephi that we might enjoy eternal life.

        And why is that?

        Because of who we are.

        I was struck by the dearth of real “converts” among the youth with whom I socialized upon joining the “Mormon” Church. Few had ever seriously studied the Bible. My stake president had never even read the Book of Mormon before he was set apart to that position. The words of the prophets are unfamiliar strains, even today, among the body of the saints. Fewer still have ever experienced anything like what the prophets have known. We are a Church of “cultural” Christians, more than anything else. We keep the commandments “because it’s the right thing to do”, not because we know the Savior or love Him. Sure, we suppose He’d be “really disappointed” with us if we fornicated. But what would really bite would be if we couldn’t serve that mission, go to BYU, or get married in the temple!

        Our focus is always on the mundane, the things of this world. Do we do anything nowadays because we simply love the Lord? Must our motivation always be because it is our duty or our calling? “Oh, I just love my new calling!”

        It is very easy to get our “ass turned aside out of the way” (Num. 22:23) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. No doubt the path to the Tree of Life needs an iron rod for good reason!

        Reading blogs like “Pure Mormonism” and “from the desk of Denver Snuffer” has piqued and challenged me in ways I haven’t experienced since I first joined the Church many decades ago. Why? Because I stopped doing what I did many decades ago: namely, I stopped seeking the face of the Lord.

        And why is that?

        As you know, the Church hierarchy doesn’t actively encourage members of the Church to seek the Lord’s face anymore — even though doing so is plainly and prominently recommended in our scriptures! (See Ps. 27:7-8; Ps. 105:4; D&C 101:38; D&C 93:1.) We’ve had so much trouble with “would-be Josephs” claiming they’ve had another “First Vision” and then endeavor to start their own version of the “one true church”!

        Unfortunately, every other course but seeking God’s face invariably leads away from the Tree of Life, salvation, the delicious fruit of Christ’s pure love…and the only power sufficient to motivate anyone to “endure to the end” at serving God at all costs.

        I suffered the “misfortune” of knowing George W. Pace and reading his wonderfully inspiring book “What It Means to Know Christ” while I was at BYU. It was also about that time that the Lord more personally revealed Himself to me — to the overwhelming of my heart and mind. Then I heard Elder McConkie give a talk in which he severely castigated Bro. Pace for suggesting that we should “worship Christ” or seek to develop a personal “relationship” with our Savior. (Elder McConkie later claimed that he was never referring to Bro. Pace in that talk, but was denouncing other apostate splinter groups, like those mentioned above.) Because I so revered Elder McConkie and trusted so unflinchingly in his opinions, I shied away from seeking the Lord’s face anymore. “It wasn’t in the program”, I concluded — even though seeing the Lord had been the most thrilling (and “rooting”) experience of my life! I have never been able to deny the Lord’s existence or excuse myself for committing sins after that. I simply know “it” is true and, though I myself have not always been “true”, I am certain that He is true. I know He lives.

        Those in the Church who advocate doing good works are not wrong. Every prophet advocates doing good works. But whenever we focus on doing good, fulfilling our callings, keeping the commandments, “saying” our prayers, etc., we turn away from loving Christ — unless what we do is motivated by love for Him.

        As Mormon (through his son, Moroni) taught: “For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly [without love]; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God. And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such”. God does not receive those who do not love Him, regardless of what they do. (Moroni 7:8-9.)

        Having charity is most important. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him [that is, filled with love], for we shall see him as he is [that he is filled with love!]; that we may have this hope [to be filled with love]; that [by His love] we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”

        It’s that simple. Love God (the first commandment) and receive His love (thereby having power to do all the rest and be saved). “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16).

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    • Echoing what Tim said. I would love to read more of your insights.

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  11. Good Will, that was simply beautiful! That really summed it up as well as any could. Total surrender to Christ sets us free. Free from fear. Free from doubt. Free from guilt and shame. Free from sin in our lives. And free to forgive ourselves and never look back. “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” (D&C 93:1) All of the requirements mentioned above Good Will has made clear. When we are tired of struggling and finally are willing to surrender totally to Christ, relying solely upon His merits and His perfect love and not ourselves He will come to us. He is knocking. May we open the door and receive Him into our lives completely.

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  12. By the way, in reading this thread, I wanted to comment on something DJ wrote:

    “I’ve wanted to help people feel the way He made me feel while in His presence 10 years ago, where I saw as I was seen. He lives and He’s intimately involved in our lives and wants to be more than we realize. He has a wonderful sense of humor and wants us to sometimes not take ourselves so seriously. He’s my King, my friend and my all. I long for the day when He comes to reign. I testify in His name that He can wipe away all our tears and blot out all our transgressions. And if he can forgive one who has struggled with temper, pride and addictions as I have, He can do that for anyone, according to His timetable and way.”

    The Lord, indeed, has a wonderful sense of humor.

    In another thread (somewhere else, I suppose) I wrote about His voice. His amazing voice! (I’m sure what I heard was “enhanced” by the power of the Spirit. I mean, the Lord doesn’t speak “American” with a slight tinge of British accent, does He? But He does! By the power of the Spirit!

    But the other quality of Him I noted, surprisingly, was His sense of humor. (It makes me cry even now just to think of it — 30 years later!) Our Lord of Hosts, the Greatest of All, the Firstfruits of them who are and were and will be Sons of God, the Creator of all things — He is kind and generous and very witty and genuinely humorous.

    We have no truly “funny jokes” in the scriptures. He reveals those Himself. (I guess He doesn’t want His “material” to get “stale”!) He made me laugh…before He made me cry.

    Thank you for reminding me of that, DJ. I’d almost forgotten.

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  13. Good Will, you said that “As for being a ‘godsend’, I was thinking the same thing about Log and Denver Snuffer! I have found their contributions to my understanding to be invaluable!”

    Who is Log? I’ve seen comments by someone named Log on another blog, but I don’t know anything else about him/her. If you put Log on equal invaluableness as Denver Snuffer, I’d love to know more about this mysterious person.

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    • I don’t really know much about either Log or Denver Snuffer — though I am aware that DS has written books. (I had the privilege recently of reading online part of the first chapter of one of those books. I knew I had to finish the whole thing! But I’m barely into July of 2010 on his blog!)

      “Log” is a brother who posted several comments on one thread — a very tight yet comprehensive scriptural analysis of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. I found his treatise to be positively spot-on, a breath of fresh air!

      When was the last time you heard anyone in Church speak about the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost? It is as if the doctrine and practice don’t exist! (That’s because, for all intents and purposes in the Church, sadly, they don’t.) I don’t know much more about Log — other than his name. We have corresponded a bit.

      Each of us contributes his tiny piece to the puzzle. That’s the nature of fellowship. I am grateful for this discourse. I, for one, have found a wealth of knowledge here sufficient to captivate my attention and energies for months and years to come. (I just pray I live long enough to put all of it into practice!) I’ve lost so much time! I feel like the man who just discovered he has been sitting on a field of diamonds for many years, unaware of what he has had beneath him. “So that’s what those sparkly things are!”

      Denver Snuffer and Log, by synchronously divine coincidence, helped me put the pieces together, unlocking a wealth of understanding in my heart and mind.

      It is blazingly simple. (To think I wasted all those years arguing over scriptures, doctrine, history, evidence, etc., trying to prove this or that. I had the “proof” in my possession all along. I just didn’t know it. And neither do most of the members of the Church, unfortunately. To share it with them, I will have to abandon all of my former tactics and, quite simply, become more like Christ.

      Well…duh!

      I feel rather sheepish now.

      God still has surprises for us yet!

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      • Yeah, it is rare that anyone would talk about baptism of fire (or its many synonyms) in a way that fully impresses upon the mind how essential it is, what it truly feels like, and how to approach God in order to receive it. Never mind the Second Comforter, Calling and Election, entertaining angels, translation, etc., we’re very rarely even discussing how to truly get into the “gate” by receiving the baptism of fire.

        I’m trying to figure out how to discuss these things with other members, as I’d love to discuss these things in person with someone! I’ve gifted some books to family and friends, but have yet to have anyone respond to it in any significant way. I’m always expecting them to call me up the next day and say they couldn’t put the book down. As you suggest, I guess I need to become more like Christ and then I guess I’ll be better able to share and teach some of these principles (or at least better understand through the Spirit how I can help each person individually).

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  14. Thank you all for your insights, as well as your validation of some inspiration that I have received recently. Hearing that someone else has received the same insights makes me think I may be on the right track! Although the frequent and diverse reiteration of some of the same principles has already done that for me, as well.

    Good Will, you took the words right out of my mouth regarding having trust and confidence in the Lord rather than in ourselves. Every time that Tim wrote those words, they just jumped out at me as being part of the problem. I highly recommend James Ferrell’s book, “Falling to Heaven: the Surprising Path to Happiness” (He is the author of “The Peacegiver” and “The Holy Secret” which are also excellent.) In it, he points out many divine paradoxes that exist in the scriptures. For example, you must lose yourself in order to find yourself, when your burdens are too heavy you must take Christ’s yoke (might be seen as an additional burden) upon you and you’ll find rest, to be the chiefest you must be the servant of all, and when I am weak – then am I strong. One of the things I most got from the book is that in order to feel good about ourselves, we must realize that we are less than the dust of the earth. It is realizing our need for a Savior that saves us. Not eloquently presented here…read the book. :)

    I also feel Good Will is right on in stating that the key is to focus on having charity and doing all that we do because we love the Lord and we love His children and we want to serve and obey Him in order to move His kingdom forward and to bless the lives of His children. For years I have been a voracious reader of gospel doctrine and spiritual insight. I could easily study all day, every day if other responsibilities didn’t interfere. But recently I had an epiphany, or should I say a series of small ones that amounted to something huge in my life. The Spirit made it known to me that all of my learning is of no value to me sitting here in my house by myself studying day after day. Yes, it will help me grow and I will be that much ahead of the game knowledge-wise when I reach the other side, but it’s real value comes only as it causes me to learn, develop and exercise charity to bless the lives of others. Since then the focus of my efforts has changed from learning, to loving and doing. It is a slow process, especially since I am facing some major life changes and challenges at the same time that tend to distract me. But I have had an increase in answers to prayer and in understanding the symbolism in the temple since I have been trying to be more charitable/loving.

    I read something yesterday, I can’t remember the source, but it said that when the scriptures tell us that we receive “grace for grace” it means that as we share the Lord’s grace with others, we receive more of His grace for ourselves…we receive His grace in return for the grace we have shared. I like that a lot. It makes sense to me. So it all starts with love – of the Lord and of others – and it never ends. I guess that would be why those are the first and great commandments!

    Through this recent journey I have begun to taste of the blessing of having “no more disposition to do evil” and it is an amazing feeling! I am still working on the “but to do go continually” portion of that promise…that is tougher for me. More sins of omission than of commission these days, but I won’t give up the fight.

    Good Will, I think the reason the brethren don’t talk much about the higher laws and higher gifts is because the majority of the people aren’t ready for it. Many are hardly doing the basics, so they have to keep reinforcing those. I find that the more in tune I’m becoming (and believe me, I am a virtual rookie at this) the more I can hear things within the Conference talks and Ensign articles that I wouldn’t have noticed before, or wouldn’t have interpreted them in that way. I have come to realize recently that while the scriptures and our leaders can and do teach us much, our best learning comes directly from the Lord through the Spirit. He knows us better than anyone, and knows what we are in need of and when we are ready to receive it. Insights and ideas can be triggered by anything you read or listen to, religious or not, and I am finding that when I am sincere in finding answers and willing to make the effort, He directs me to those verses, BYU Channel broadcasts or many other sources that give me the next little piece of my puzzle. Sometimes it almost seems like every talk is about what I am currently studying and praying about, but I believe what is really happening is that the Spirit is converting what is being said into what I need to hear.

    Good Will, I sensed perhaps some bitterness or maybe just frustration in your post about the present state of some Church members. I know once you “get it” it’s so hard to understand why everyone else doesn’t. I just try to look back to my previous state of “not getting it” and realize that the more I learn, the more I see just how much I have yet to learn! As much as I feel like my understanding has increased, I know that I must seem like a beginner to many who are so much further along the path than I am. I believe that one of the dangers of growing, learning and progressing is that we have to be careful not to let pride enter in and make us feel superior to those around us. You know Satan loves that one! I try to constantly express gratitude to the Lord for the Gifts of the Spirit and the revealed truths that He has poured out on me and to acknowledge that all of it is a gift from Him and then I pray Him to help me know how and when to share it. I hope that you can be patient with those who are behind you on the path, which I’m sure includes me. I’m sure that you will be a great light and example to some of us in finding our way.

    Thank you all again for your great insights. I hope that what I have said makes sense. This is my first time to put my thoughts and feelings out there on a blog, I pray that you’ll be gentle with me! : ) May we all continue on “in so great a cause.”

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