I Have Been Visited By An Angel


AngelsInThirdNephiMoroni Upbraids our Lack of Faith

I’ve written about Moroni chapter seven previously, but it’s been on my mind lately, especially verses 27 through 37. I’m sure you know the verses. They have to do with angels. Moroni shares the words of his father about the importance of angels in our lives. This is not a subject we talk about much in church these days. I’m not quite sure why. Perhaps we no longer believe in them.

Angels were Abundant in the Restoration

I hope that’s not the case. More likely, we have accepted the common teaching that the visits of angels were meant for the restoration, the beginnings of this church, but not necessarily for our day. There are quite a few writers bucking this false belief. I applaud their efforts. I mentioned the work of Marlene Bateman Sullivan in my January NDE post. She has three books on angels.

We Don’t Talk About Modern Visits

We seem to have no problem with the idea angels were needed to deliver messages and restore authority in the early days of the church. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable people get if someone stands up in Fast and Testimony meeting to talk about a visit from an angel? I have – in a previous stake. They usually get talked to after the meeting by a member of the bishopric.

Angels Prepare Us to Receive Christ

Well, what if you not only had a visit from an angel, but this angel then took you to meet the Savior and eventually brought you into the presence of the Father? “Yes, that’s all fine and good,” we say, “as long as we’re talking about Joseph Smith or some of the early Brethren.” That’s the beauty of our church. We believe angels came to restore the gospel to the earth.

This is Not About Denver Snuffer

I’ve written dozens of posts about Denver Snuffer who claims to have seen the Savior. One of my readers told me he was tired of seeing me write about the man’s books. OK, I’ll move on to someone else who has gone public. If someone declares on a web page they have been visited by an angel, how do you and I respond? Do you take the time to read it seriously or do you scoff?

Breaking the Unwritten Rule

Daniel Rogers has declared he has been visited by an angel within the last year who took him into the presence of the Savior and the Father. He put up a web page to declare this. What if you were this man’s bishop or stake president – what would you do? Would you ask him to remove his site? Has he broken some rule in our church that we don’t talk or write about sacred things?

Don’t Cast Pearls Before Swine

For those who aren’t aware of the unwritten rule when talking about sacred experiences, it goes like this: “Those that don’t know speak….. while those that know don’t.” In other words, it is implied that if someone talks or writes openly about a sacred experience, such as conversing with an angel or being visited by the Savior, they must be lying. Seriously – I’ve heard it many times.

Scriptural Support for Keeping Silent

If you want something written to support this rule, you are usually referred to Matthew 7:6 – “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine…” (They forget to read the next two verses). D&C 63:64 is also used often – “Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the spirit.”

Don’t Tell Others What to do

OK, I get it. Don’t go around telling people you’ve had a vision, especially in the LDS Church. It’s ingrained in our culture now. Visions, dream or visits from angels are to be kept to ourselves. This goes way back to Hiram Page and the peep stone incident (section 28) in which we read in verse 6, “And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church.”

Only Share Approved Statements

Fine, like I say, I get that. I think most people in the church get that too. But at the same time we are commanded to open our mouths to declare our witnesses of the truth of the gospel and of the things the Lord puts into our hearts and minds to declare. That is, as long as what we say is in line with what the current prophets and apostles are teaching. We call that a correlated testimony.

Seek Spiritual Experiences Within Guidelines

The Church has no problem with the members having spiritual experiences. We are encouraged to seek after them, not for the sake of “consuming them upon our lusts,” (James 4:3) but to both strengthen our faith and to assist us in doing the work of the Lord – teaching the gospel. We are especially encouraged to get that initial spiritual witness for ourselves that Joseph was a Prophet.

Specifically Limit Your Public Testimonies

We have been asked to limit our public testimonies to these five key points: 1) God lives and is our Heavenly Father, 2) Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world and was resurrected, 3) Joseph was called as a prophet, 4) The Book of Mormon contains scripture, the word of God, and 5) The current prophet is authorized of God to lead and guide this church and its members.

An Apparently Inappropriate Testimony

So what Daniel Rogers has done is apparently out of the norm. He has ostensibly been asked to remove his web page. You look it over and see if you can find inappropriate material in it. Is it because he referred to Denver Snuffer, a now excommunicated / former member of the church? Or is it because he was very specific that he was visited by an angel, the Savior and the Father?

I Applaud Daniel’s Testimony

As I wrote in the comments on his page: “Thanks for your courage in sharing. Would that more people who have had this sort of experience would be as open about it. Testimonies like this help those of us who are still seeking to know the Savior and come unto him as he commanded us. God bless you in your continued efforts to follow the promptings of the spirit in spite of the fears and doubts others may cast in your face. Moroni 7:37 came to mind as I read your wonderful testimony and felt the need to strive harder to remove my own doubts and fears.”

Denver and Daniel Are Not Alone

I think we’re going to see more and more testimonies like this coming forth. Isn’t it prophesied in Joel? Here’s another. I’m aware of at least a half dozen others who have claimed on private forums to have been visited by angels or by the Savior. To me, this is exciting. I hope we will be wise as a people and not castigate each other for sharing these spiritual experiences among ourselves. Pray for your own witness.

God Bless us to Come Unto Christ

I want to keep this post short. I tend to be very wordy. It’s the writer in me. I pray for the editor in me to become stronger. In case you didn’t get it, I was not referring to myself in the headline. Most writers know headlines are important to grab your attention in this fast-paced world. I have not yet seen an angel (of which I’m aware). I continue to seek to come unto Christ. As always, I appreciate those who feel impressed to add comments and pray we’ll all do so with kindness.

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58 Responses

  1. I know Daniel, personally, and believe his testimony and support his sharing it.

    [blockquote]
    Moroni 7
    29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
    30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.
    31 And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him.
    32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.
    [/blockquote]

    These verses clearly refer to more than just church authorities. And the purpose of their declaring the word of Christ unto chosen vessels of the Lord is so those vessels “may bear testimony of him [Christ].”

    There is also a litmus test outlined before these verses in the same chapter, Moroni 7, for deciding whether something is good or evil, and I’ll give you a hint: it’s not tradition.

    [blockquote]
    Moroni 7
    15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
    16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
    17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
    18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.
    [/blockquote]

    Daniel’s testimony certainly invites to do good and persuades to believe in Christ.

    The pearls and sacred things which must be guarded are not the visits, but some of the content of the heavenly messages, which are the mysteries of God and not for public consumption or ridicule.

    I hope this aspect of our Spirit-quenching, Western/scientific/worldly culture/tradition, which has very much crept into the church today, will change. We must be allowed to testify with surety. By the mouth of many witnesses, He will establish His word. It’s very exciting to me.

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  2. I so relate to this discussion and wish for more open dialogue on spiritual experiences. I appreciate the other testimonies you linked and I was blessed in the journey along my path.

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    • That is my goal. I wish we could have a class in church entitled, “How to open the heavens”, but no, such a thought seems so foreign today. Joseph would have loved it. A School of the Prophets of sorts. I am saddened that we can’t seem to talk about sacred things such as these other than on a forum or a blog. I am amazed at the number of people who have a similar interest. God bless you in your efforts to do so.

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  3. Your post reminded me of this vignette (on pages 233-234) from F. Enzio Busche‘s autobiography, Yearning for the Living God (Deseret Book, 2004):

    In one assignment, I was called to watch over what was happening in various temples throughout the world. One of my responsibilities was to safeguard the translation of sacred texts into various languages. At a Christmas social once, I was sitting next to a woman from a recently opened country in Eastern Europe who was in the West for the first time and who was helping with the translation work. She was a convert of a little over a year.

    I asked her how she liked America, and she was very enthusiastic and positive and had many good things to say. She told me that she was living with a family in Salt Lake City. She went to Church with them every Sunday and enjoyed the meetings and admired the members of the ward. Suddenly, she stopped and said, “One of these days, I wish I could invite all the members of my Salt Lake ward to come to my home branch.” I asked her about her branch.

    She told me about the poor circumstances they were all living in and about how difficult it was for the members to get to their Sunday meetings and the many sacrifices that they joyfully made. She said the most inspiring time for the members in her branch was testimony meeting that was held on the Sunday of fasting. They all looked forward to hearing their fellow members report about the Lord’s working in their lives. They, of course, would not part until everyone had given a testimony because they were all anxious to share the many miracles happening around them. They could not say enough about the love and most gracious care of the Lord. Then she said, “Once in awhile, we have holy angels visit and comfort and strengthen us.” She added with a smile, “Can you imagine? I have found people in Salt Lake City who have never seen an angel.” She laughed as if that were the strangest thing she had ever heard.

    While teaching a lesson as a substitute in Elders Quorum a few years ago I read Elder Busche’s experience in casting a spirit out of a possessed missionary on one of his first assignments as a new General Authority. (Story on pages 268-273.) I remember one of the other regular instructors was amazed but cautioned the class that normally GA’s aren’t supposed to talk about things like that. After class he came up to me privately and asked to borrow the book, which I happily lent him. He read it and was amazed. We had a good chat when he returned it later.

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    • Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. Elder Busche was at the disciplinary council of Mel Fish as a witness on his behalf. Things are different in Europe as far as being more accepting of ‘unusual’ experiences and different ways of healing. By the way, thank you for the book on correlation I received from you in the mail. I meant to send you an email but got distracted. I appreciate the gift very much.

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  4. Tim, thanks for supporting Daniel. While you were studying in Sep and Oct, you received over 600 posts on one of your threads. During that time Geoff had many excellent posts and Daniel showed up and bore his witness. It was powerful enough that Geoff was not only able to change some of his views, but he also became good friends with Daniel.

    So your blog is helping and influencing us! Let the visits and miracles continue!

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  5. Hi Tim
    This is very interesting. I wonder if the “tradition” of not acknowledging or denying spiritual experiences in a public forum is self perpetuated. I wonder if it is “generational” or just situated to members of of the Church who are not converts? I ponder this with all due respect. I used to think it was just east coast vs west coast ( I am on the east coast (mid Atlantic).

    A brother from Ghana, bore his testimony on a miraculous healing of a chronic illness. He told us of how sick he was and for how long. He was in the hospital, literally dying and he was asleep or in a coma, and he had a visit from an angel, and this angel spoke with him and comforted him, and asked him if he wanted to get better. Of course he did, and he awoke from his sleep/coma and was better 100 percent, complete with baffled doctors, etc.After sacrament he was called to the Bishops office, and I heard people saying things like, “Wow, what a weird story, or He’s gone off the deep end, or worse, it must be an African thing. So I defended him. I think that the reason why people react in less than positive ways is because no one cares about a persons back story. The back story involves that deeply personal relationship each of us has with the Savior. Healing and other spiritual phenomena don’t just happen overnight. Everything that happens in our lives is appointed to us in faith, and there is an order. If someone testifies of this, then it is a sign for those whose belief needs to be bolstered. Signs and miracles follow those who believe and then those signs can bless those who stand in need of proof of their own miracles. If others choose to scorn and scoff, then maybe the mote needs to be taken out of their own “eyes”.2 Nephi 26:13,

    How do angels come to us? Sometimes “veiled” and sometimes in their full glory. Sometimes through other people, through friends and strangers, sometimes through dreams. I dream, and although I have not dreamed where the Savior revealed his face or person to me, I know he was there, and he sent messengers to me in my dream. It was not a life altering dilemma I was facing, only a question, only a wish for a moment to know what to do. In my dream the Savior was there, but he was not visible to me, but He was mindful of me and shared that with me. So I felt better, and I blogged about it and no one threw rocks.(If you click on my icon, the post is still up).
    My favorite scripture is this
    Mormon 9:15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.

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    • I will always be impressed with Denver’s story of walking to the priesthood session in the conference center where there is an abundance of homeless people gathered. He relates how he stopped to talk to one, learned their story and spent time simply relating as one human being to another. That night was his first visit from the Savior.

      I am convinced angels do come to us to test us. We pray for blessings. We pray for spiritual experiences. Then someone obnoxious or less than “normal” comes into our lives. I found this in being assigned as a home teacher to a young man confined to a halfway house trying to function with mental illness in a love-starved world. Sometimes I failed, sometimes we connected, but I’ll never forget my brother and the love I felt for him as he tried to get out of the mental hell in which he lived.

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  6. Well, I have been called into bishops’ and stake presidents’ offices several times for things I have done and said… If we are all required to give the same testimony, then we risk transforming the pulpit into a Rameumptom.

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    • While serving in the bishopric, I was always been bothered at the practice of giving those whom I asked to speak in church a list of strict guidelines, which included several “thou shalt not’s” as well as the general direction and specific scriptures or quotes to use. I guess that’s fine for someone who has never given a talk in church before, but to me, it was another indication of how controlling we have become in our church. Having seen some speakers do terrible jobs of staying on the subject, I can defend the practice, but have seen it squelch the spirit of inspiration as they felt impressed to say something at the pulpit then decided they had better not, because of the written guidelines received.

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  7. I have been keeping an eye on your blog Tim for some time. So many comments I’ve wanted to make. Absolutely, angels in all their forms (in dreams, visions, manifested beings, mortal form) assist individuals along the path to Christ and to Father (Moroni 7 is such a powerful testimony of the endowment process–which completely testifies of angels / true messengers sent from the presence of Father to facilitate His covenants). Reading your blog, I have often wondered how many individuals have actually received and experienced (not read and learned) the “words” they are sharing. It seems that, any true encounter with the divine leads to compassion and charity, not comparison and contention. If you have experienced first hand the eternal reality that is the mortal endowment.. while it is sacred, you are also called upon to testify. Even Nephi (1 Ne 11), when the angel is preparing him to receive his Father’s vision, tells him that after receiving, he must testify of the things he has received and seen. The pattern is clear; desire, believe, behold and testify, “and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God.” I’m not entirely sure the entire reason we withhold, well actually I do. The natural man, our ego is so easily offended. When some hear the testimony of others maybe they think there is only a set number of angelic visits allowed by Heaven at any given time, and if one person has one, that may limit their ability to receive? Maybe hearing about a spiritual experience triggers experiences within a person of true covenants not completely honored? Maybe hearing triggers judgment, insecurity, comparing? Maybe they aren’t shared or spoken of because they aren’t happening for many? My experience (which is completely limited) is that overall / generally speaking, individuals are not receiving those experiences. Yes, they are happening and being recognized as such, with more frequency — such a transition, even restoration, is so needed. Culturally, Mormons, really have created quite the box. Speaking as a Mormon for over 40 years. Our views have become quite myoptic. Just an observation. I personally know that angels minister and bring necessary knowledge that assists us individually along our path. Their testimony, their work, their tutoring is very specific, and is typically not mistaken (not talking about the home teachers showing up with a plate of cookies). Meaning, there are moments of angelic interventions along mortality’s path … and then their is angelic fulfillment of a Heavenly assignment in assisting one on the path to the presence of Father (maybe I’m wrong, splitting hairs, all divine assistance is unique). It still happens in our day!!! You can not correlate God’s work.

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    • That makes so much sense in light of my experience of hearing the spirit whisper to me a few weeks ago: “You are here to observe and share your witness, not to control or manage anyone else.” When the time comes, I promise you I will share what I am allowed to share, but that time has not yet come. Soon, I’m told. Very soon. [This added later:] I have some repenting to do. I have felt the hand of the Lord any many junctions in my life. He has preserved my life. In one specific instance, I was coming home from a priesthood meeting, driving down a hill. California freeways are often compared to speedways where people drive 80 mph less than twenty feet from each other.

      I was one-handing the wheel as I am wont to do when I am confident of the route. I had been down this hill thousands of times. I was in the #3 lane out of 4. I felt a hand upon my hand turn my car slowly into the lane at my right. I already knew there was nobody there. As I did so, I heard myself saying in my mind, “why am I changing lanes?” Just at that moment a car in the #4 lane, beside and slightly behind me, turned into my lane. He was now occupying the spot where I had been just a moment before. If someone had not moved me over, he and I would have tangled. He apparently hadn’t seen me. It all happened so fast. I did not make that lane change. I felt a hand on my hand for just a moment until I was out off danger. I saw nothing but I felt the hand. An angel?

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  8. “So what Daniel Rogers has done is apparently out of the norm. He has ostensibly been asked to remove his web page.”

    By his Church leaders? or what does this mean?

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    • Hi Steve, I won’t betray confidences. If Daniel wants to share the story in public, he can add a comment. He shared the story in a private discussion group. I won’t add any more than what I’ve said. You can read into it what you want as to who it was that asked him to remove his website with his profound testimony. I’ve referred to the same idea many times in my past posts: See, for example, my post entitled: My defense before the High Council:

      http://latterdaycommentary.com/2013/08/27/my-defense-before-the-high-council/

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      • Okay, no problem. I thought maybe it was referring to something more public, and I just wasn’t understanding what you were saying.

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    • You know, the recent dustup over the black priesthood ban ought to have laid to rest the anti-scriptural and damnably false doctrine that leaders in the Church, even the united 15 apostles, cannot lead the Church astray, and lay it to rest on empirical grounds. QED.

      And, because it actually does just that, one must consider – if a priesthood leader were to command one to do something, and one had received contrary revelation from God, it is clear the priesthood leader is operating outside of the priesthood – meaning he has no authority from God in that which he does.

      One must, of course, obey God, even if it is in the face of contrary commands from priesthood leaders who are not obeying God.

      Acts 5:29
      29 ¶Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

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  9. The collective consciousness of society moves and evolves through time, perhaps blinded with this idea that now we have it all figured out.

    And then there are the people who see things a little differently. The people who can see what other people do not see. And these are the heretics, the brave souls who drive the collective consciousness forward.

    The world needs free thinkers to help it to evolve, no matter how hard it pushes back. In speaking your truth, you will likely meet resistance.

    There will be people who will feel threatened by what you have to say. Keep on saying it. In being true to who you are, there will be people who will be threatened by your courage…be who you are anyway.

    Have faith in who you are. Have faith in what you have to say. You are the salt of the earth, the breath of fresh air, and the balancing force of the world.

    - Anna Thompson

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    • Where’s the comment “like” button in WordPress? Oh, there isn’t one. Tom, I thank you for your multitude of comments here and on my Facebook page over the past six months or more. Thank you for sharing that quote. Knowing a little of your background, and what you have faced, I can see how that quote is especially encouraging. I know you are doing a good work. For those who don’t know:

      http://www.vibrationdata.com/Book_of_Mormon_Hebrew.htm

      You remind me of my HPGL who spends so much time as a local representative of the church with the Jewish community, escorting Southern California rabbis on tours of temples just before they are dedicated (obviously travelling to Utah to do so). I believe he still teaches a class at the American Jewish University here in Los Angeles.

      http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705380361/Rabbis-take-tour-of-church-sites-in-Utah.html

      Wish I had more current links. He loves the Jewish people and has taught us so much about our commonalities every few months when it’s his turn to teach. He collected and contributed to the church a lifetime of work – original articles and lithographs from the 1800′s about the church. A former bishop, he retired and moved into our ward. God bless.

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  10. There is beginning to be fruit in the vineyard again. Wonderful!

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  11. Tim stated, “You can read into it what you want as to who it was that asked him (Daniel) to remove his website with his profound testimony.”

    I don’t understand how a church founded upon a young boy’s sincere petition, an answered prayer by Father himself, which is now a recorded testimony, and is scripture .. the same church is currently asking individuals to remove such similar testimonies from public view? (I have gone ahead and jumped to my own conclusions)

    …for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.

    …how oft would I have gathered you … and ye would not.

    I remember some time ago that Christ made a significant change in the path I was walking, which included me stepping away, not from Him, but from the church. At the time, I remember speaking with members in their homes about this very topic. Members who had received such experiences, maybe not Christ, but angels, and who said that they were either afraid to share such experiences in church, or worried that they would receive authoritative disapproval for the sharing of such experiences.

    I guess on the one hand I do understand, I do. But on the other hand, it is so terribly sad. We really can’t hold the experiences of others? Church, of all places, no longer accepts the testimony of Christ? No longer accepts that the path walked by the faithful in the Book of Mormon; if walked in our day, today, will yield the same fruit? No longer accepts the testimony of those who have acted on such faith? The fruit that testifies that He lives! That He personally ministers! That He personally comforts! That the gospel of Jesus Christ is so, so REAL! and that it is to be experienced, not just read. Who would fear such as testimony?

    We all begin with pretty much the same rule book (the ten commandments, do unto others, etc.). But we step onto the path (baptism) and receive a more mature set of guide-posts (scriptures; and the brethren) … but it doesn’t stop there. Individual commandments are offered (a Mormon example might be an individual’s patriarchal blessing), for some, the baptism of fire (another transition of individualized commandments, among other things) …deepening continues, the individual receives more and more light, additional commandments (although, the paradigm has long since changed, and they are no longer seen as “commandments” in the traditional sense); tutoring from true messengers, ordinances, keys and priesthood (no, I am not referring to a movie). In the end, the one-heart becomes the place where the individual and Christ reason together, “After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God.” Although, I hesitate to characterize interaction with the Divine as simply an impression of the heart; because that is inaccurate.

    Words fall short. Each path is individual! The greatest testimony, and maybe this is going to come out wrong, but the greatest testimony is not that angels and Christ appear, but that the work allows for individuals such as the likes of me to experience Him. God’s love!!! which is all a part of the testimony of the Christ, receiving His testimony. Which takes one even deeper.

    All things are created spiritually and then physically. We inaccurately point fingers at the likes of Denver Snuffer, Daniel .. even “the church” or “the brethren”. For there are forces currently at play, forces whose origins are not of men. It is Father’s work. We would be wise to not mistake the voice that is calling.

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    • Hermit: Your comment deserves a response, meaning an acknowledgement I read it, thought about it and pondered how to apply it to my own journey. I confess I sense a depth beyond me, yet I caught a glimpse of sacredness and divinity in the comment. In other words, I feel you have been down the road I am travelling. All that you wrote makes sense. I thank you for sharing and confirming what I feel when you wrote “Individual commandments are offered” and referred to a patriarchal blessing, baptism of fire and tutoring from true messengers. Each path is indeed individual yet their is but one gatekeeper for “he employeth no servant there.” Thank you for sharing and God bless.

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  12. Can you tell me what the title of that picture is? I have been looking for one like that with the golden glow of glory around angels.

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  13. Acts 2:17

    And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

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  14. No one should pay attention to me. Christ is the one that saves. There is really only one thing we contribute to the process. In Zion, we won’t spend our time marveling over these type of experiences. They will be so common that knowing the Lord is a given. We will all be unified in sharing and learning how to be like Him. Focus on Him and Him alone. The first principle is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and only in Him.

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    • An observation:
      There seems to be a great swelling of sentiment and faith being expressed in various forums of late regarding the personal ministry of Christ. It also seems to be gaining energy and momentum. Equally forceful and energized are those who oppose and distrust these experiences. Lines appear to be materializing that divide these two camps and challenge even the tenderest feelings among family and friends. It is a time of great introspect for each member of our faith to determine what it is they actually believe and who they will follow. Interesting how truly simplistic the choice really is.

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      • It’s almost as if the visions and blessings of old are returning and angels are coming to visit the earth.

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      • The tearing of the Jerusalem Temple veil upon Jesus’ death laid open the sacred place, or “Holy of Holies.”

        The veil rent top to bottom gives ample space for all to enter, to approach the throne, receive God’s grace and to commune with Him.

        God’s presence is now accessible to all who humbly seek Him.

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      • Amen….and Amen!

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    • Daniel,
      I would like to exchange contact info with you. I too have received my own Blessed Event a couple of years ago, and I know many others who have been received by Heavenly Hosts, or by Him and Father.
      If you would like, you may go to LDSFreedomForum and look up my posts under Elias Returns to view what I have declared here to you.
      Brother, I look forward to being able to connect with another “Friend”….
      Blessed Be You Always,
      Elias Returns

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  15. Forgive me for not reading all of the comments and participating in the general discussion. ;) I just wanted to share that God teaches me through dreams . . . and I have talked with all of my grandparents (who have been on the other side of the veil for between 3 & 24 years). The interactions have been so, so short . . . most often expressions of love, points of connection, to people that I love and miss so, so much. But some of them have had things for me to do, or things to teach me.

    God WILL teach us in whatever ways we’re open. I’m slowly learning to be more bold, and to share what I’ve learned, even though it’s *really* not correlated-material friendly. ;)

    Take care, Tim, and be watchful. I keep getting a feeling that the adversary has begun to take a different, far more subtle tack with you, and I pray for you earnestly.

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    • Hi Annalea, I have recorded in my journal a three-page document describing the details of a dream in which both my deceased parents came to visit me. It was highly symbolic from the clothes they were wearing to the locations from which they came in the house – dad from the kitchen (he did all the cooking in our family) and mother from the opposite side of the house (the house of my youth). The message was from my mother – one of admiration and instruction.

      My father was anxious to be on his way, his manner of dress was that of our Irish / English ancestors. This demonstrated to me he was being taught and was accepting of all that was offered. My mother, on the other hand, seemed hesitant to leave. Before Dad died, he told me when mother visited him, she told him her first assignment was helping new brides feel comfortable in the temple. In this dream, she came to tell me I was ready for an assignment that had to do with my hands / writing and I needed to get busy to do the work.

      So have I been visited by angels? If dreams count, then yes. Thanks for your comment that reminded me of this incident from a few years back. It was sacred to me and as vivid as can be, which is why I wrote it immediately upon waking. I still ponder the meaning of the work to which mother was referring: my blogging, my book? She hugged me before she left. I awoke in tears. I’ve had dreams before but never that powerful. The spirit told me to record it right away so I did and am grateful to keep it next to my patriarchal blessing.

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      • Wow, Tim. Thank you so much for sharing that.

        I know the difference between imaginings of my own mind and prophetic dreams. (Prophetic in that they hold truth from God, not that they’re foretelling.) It really is unmistakable. I remember, so clearly, those experiences I’ve had in dreams . . . losing nothing over time. Much to the contrary, actually: I’ve come across other things that have increased my understanding, and opened my mind to deeper meaning of the dream, not to mention God teaching me through the Holy Spirit further keys to my dreams.

        Go ahead and pursue the clarifications you need to the instruction your mother gave you. God will tell you what she meant . . . and the more you know, the better you can fulfill that role.

        A couple of months ago, God showed me something he wanted me to do. I had a very clear image in my mind of one small part of it, and I knew what the overall task was. But I just couldn’t do it . . . I tried and tried, prayed and read scripture, pondered and praised, the weeks went by, and God just kept giving me that same single image, and the powerful impression of urgency. It wasn’t until I really pressed in in prayer, insisting He tell me the rest of my instructions, really exerted myself and even did a little mental foot stomping that He gave me the missing key to be able to really do what He had been telling me to do. It was so simple–but I had never considered it. I was able to begin fulfilling His instruction the next day, as naturally as day follows night.

        To borrow one of my favorite phrases: God is talkative. :)

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  16. I’ve had very similar experiences with very close, deceased family members, the Lord, and Angels. The Lord is moving among us, a marvelous work and a wonder truly! I think something is about to happen and He is preparing us for it through His Spirit and ministrations.

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  17. One of the things that had made Joseph Smith unhappy with the protestants of his time was their claim that all miracles had ceased with the passing of the early apostles. Now we are acting as though all miracles ceased with the passing of the early latter-day prophets! Will history ever stop repeating itself?

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  18. I found Denver’s writings over 4 years ago. I absolutely believe in the reality of the Savior ministering to his people today.

    Even so, a year or so ago, a middle-age brother was baptized into our ward. When he bore his testimony for the first time, he spoke about an experience he had where he sensed the Savior in his room, which led him to seek out the missionaries to be baptized.

    My first reaction was of dismissal. “Oh, he was probably mistaken in that, probably just over dramatizing,” etc. I had to mentally back myself up. Here was a man who had just been led by the Lord to the waters of baptism, testifying of how he had been led.

    I knew better than to dismiss him, but the years of cultural etiquette training about sharing such things kicked in. I learned something about myself that day.

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    • Ben, one of the most insidious things I’ve been brought to understand over the last couple of years is the habitual assignment of demonic whisperings to ourselves. We members of the church assume wrongly that the vast majority of thoughts that run through our minds are our own, except for the occasional powerful manifestations of the Holy Ghost. That since we’ve been told to receive the Holy Ghost, it has happened, and we are now impervious to the whisperings of the devil. That anything bad that runs through our minds is a product of our own carnal natures and must be struggled against.

      Not so.

      The vast majority of the thoughts that run through our minds are either from Heaven or Hell. I would dare to suggest that your initial reaction, Ben, those thoughts of rejection, were not your own, but the whisperings of a servant of the enemy of all righteousness, whose voice is so familiar that you automatically claim it as your own. I know, once I stopped to really listen to what I called “my” thoughts, I recognized that nearly all of them weren’t mine at all. As I realized their true ownership, it became easy to reject those thoughts that would serve the devil, and foster those that serve the living God; and far easier to determine which was which. And as I did so, those evil ones tried more and more desperate measures to regain my attention. But Christ has already won the victory over sin and death, and we are not subject to any evil spirit if we choose not to heed them.

      In addition to that we are beings of light, and came from the Father of Lights, in a place where there was no darkness. We’re taught in the temple that if we’re not perfectly obedient to the commandments and covenants we’ve made, we will be in the power of the devil himself. I don’t know about you, but even on the very best of days, I have to turn myself back to God many, many times. And until I turn back to Him, I am in a state of having relinquished some of my agency to the devil; I’ve put myself under that power, until I turn back and shake off those shackles again. Very few there are, indeed, who have sunk to the depths of evil required to originate evil thoughts. As John Pontius once said, if we could see ourselves as we really are, we would fall down and worship the glorious attributes we possess.

      The cultural training is absolutely there . . . but it’s not just custom. It’s the work of satan himself, and he delights in it. Let’s reject it, utterly, assigning it to the one to whom it rightly belongs; the one that prowls constantly as a lion, looking for whom he can devour.

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      • That’s a good point that I hadn’t considered, Annalea. I really like the work John Pontius has done on the 3 voices. It surely shows that the devil does not want us to consider such things as visitations as possible.

        I like the idea that it was whisperings of the evil one that day, and that I now had enough knowledge and faith to reject what he was selling.

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  19. And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.

    1 Nephi 10:22

    Thou hast seen and heard all this; and will ye not declare them?

    1 Nephi 20:6

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  20. I have often wondered how there can be such a difference in confirmation or spiritual experience? If so many individuals can receive Christ or angels, why is there not a convergence of testimony? Everyone seems so sincere in their testimony, yet there seems to be no end to the dichotomy.

    Having gone to a number of “Jedi” classes taught by the Mendenhall’s and the individual that was, at one time, teaching those classes with them, Kathleen, I always wondered why individuals received such different messages, such different manifestations of the spirit realm. Listening to everyone from “the Brethren,” to Snuffer, to the Mendenhall’s, to others (Ian Clayton, Margaret Barker, Michael Bernard Beckwith, David Hawkins, Ken Wilber, etc., etc.) … and numerous others along this long path, why is there not a greater synthesis of revelation? Or is there?

    I should say, that in the bigger picture, they all share common themes. But if they were all receiving Christ and / or God, wouldn’t Christ make the others known to each other, and if not why? Is it like Spencer’s book, a God that is so loving, and a universe so big, that truly, all realities are possible (ie, a world specifically created for each individual)? Does this convergence of light, here and now, allow for all these divergent possibilities? For example, why aren’t enlightened Buddhists having visions of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon?

    I know that we are just now opening doors, and there is so much yet to receive, to experience. Is there ever a convergence, or Zion-like experience, where multiple individuals together receive an opening of the celestial realm? I have never completely reviewed the history or experience that was D&C 76, where both Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon experienced the three degrees of glory together. I recall that it was recorded that they both received this together? Are others, today, receiving collaborative partings of the veil, or is it a completely individual experience at this point?

    Just pondering, thoughts?

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    • People often have (or at least claim to have) visions in the context of their own religion (if any).

      Good people of any (or no) faith will be on the earth during the Millennium, which to me represents a terrestrial level of understanding.

      Kind of like Plato’s allegory of the cave. People at this level are out of the cave now, and seeing the reflection of the sun in the water. The water of our mind has ripples from our own preconceived notions and ways of thinking, so still distorts the “true” visualization of the sun (celestial level of understanding).

      But what limited things they do see are wonderful to them. And at least they do know (see Alma 32) that this level of understanding is far better than when they were in the cave. They feel they are on the right path.

      But there is only one “true” sun. So I imagine that the “convergence” to the celestial level of understanding will someday occur for all those who are able to receive it.

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      • Eric, thank you for reminding me of Plato’s cave allegory. I have always been one to appreciate the linear path or ladder. I love steps, something my mind can easily wrap itself around. You’re right in many ways. So much is being revealed and preparing individuals to not only comprehend the reflection, but to look directly into the Son.

        As you mention, I too, was taken at first with the manifestation of the spirit. It can almost distract you if you aren’t careful. I remember some time ago, I used to run early, early in the morning, before the son would come up. At that time I could run and look up and see everything so clearly; the moon, stars… constellations, falling stars. But every once in a while I would run by a home, or a street light. If I wasn’t careful the brightness of the street light, or the lights on the home would out shine the brilliant lessons of the universe, and if I didn’t stop focusing on the street light, or house light, it would lead me off the road and into trouble :) Yes, I know … a very poor metaphor. But my intent is simply to say, I appreciate your comment, AND I have no intention of spending any more time at one stage of the path than is necessary. What an adventure. Thanks for sharing!!

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  21. I have had the same question, Hermit, for a good many years. As one is brought together with other ‘seekers’, all bringing their own gifts, their own voices to whom they listen, their own intents (motives, desires, wills) known or yet unknown, it can be a bit disconcerting, I have found that the more grounded I have become in ‘the more sure word’, the discerning of spirits, and clear intent, I am less and less affected by others’ experiences, and more discerning through tried, tested, and reliable witnesses from the true God.

    Interfacing with many people, all in various stages of ‘Coming unto Christ’ it is quite a rare thing to find others, even ‘seekers’, who have been ‘Born Again’, ‘Born of God’, ‘Baptized by Fire and the Holy Ghost’. We aren’t even through the gate until then, 2 Ne 31:17-18.

    Of course we each come to a point in our ‘Journey to find God’ when it becomes requisite that we are able to discern spirits and their diverse operations. Once understood and exercised in it, we are then able to begin the real work within the hidden recesses of our inner self — our intent, our motives, our desires, our wills which uncover our fears, our unbeliefs, our sense of worthlessness or unworthiness.

    I have found one of the greatest insights relating to desires and wills in Alma 29:3-5.
    . . . for I know that he granteth unto men according to their DESIRE whether it be unto death or unto life; (and everything in-between) yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them DECREES WHICH ARE UNALTERABLE, according to their WILLS, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. (and everything in-between)
    . . . but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his DESIRES, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience. ((or anything in-between)

    It is quite a work of introspection to be truly honest with ourselves, to be humble to the point of being willing to look at our core motive and intention which lies beneath our desire and especially our will. Indeed God will not superimpose His will over ours as he is bound by our true core agency, our real honest will. When we travel this ‘less traveled’ road to personal ‘knowledge’ of (not about) “my Jesus” (2 Ne 33:6), it becomes requisite for us to honestly look at what our intent is every step of the journey ~ what we pray for, what we think we want, what we think we need, why we serve, why we want to know Jesus, why we want to ‘seek an audience’ with Jesus.

    Also, when our intent becomes ‘intense’, it can keep us detained by counterfeit spirits, because our desires/will become the ruling factor and the heavens are bound with an unfaltering decree to grant us according to our desires, hence creating an opening for counterfeits, for truly they are willing and anxious to step forward and pose as ‘true’ messengers and do so readily.

    The Journey of being open to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Light, to shine Truth and Light on our intentions, is truly a walk for only the brave, as it is very revealing. It’s also a great time to experience the refreshing of real repentance and with His help replace our agenda with His. This is a sweet, gentle process of observing and letting go of any desire, motive, or will which is less than god’s.

    Any other insights?

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    • Wow . . . so well-said! I love how you expressed the process of seeking Jesus, and the application of passages you quoted. Thank you!

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    • Until only recently I have never come accross others who seek after Christ with the intent to ‘find’ Him. I felt alone. Your voice sounds the truth of my experiences so far, and yes, very well stated. I am yet only beginning to observe and let go having floundered on my own until finding latterdaycommentary.com and now others. I’m awaiting the arrival of: The Second Comforter:: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil as I work the process you speak of. I’m not yet ready for visitations,… thought I was, who wouldn’t… right? Line upon line is good and fortunatley I will have knowledge gleaned from others.

      I am so thankful for you ‘others’.

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      • Your private emails with questions encouraged me Rodney. I wonder if I would do so well as you have were I living halfway around the world. God bless you at this season as we remember the Savior even more. I suspect this next year will bring interesting things for all of us who seek that experience of receiving the Second Comforter. I am grateful for those who are willing to share their witness that it can be accomplished.

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    • Thank you for your comments Sara! Along my own path I have had to face these spirits, and continue to. I would be speaking in dishonesty if I didn’t testify that i have had many a false spirit appear to me. They along with others are sent to teach us. I didn’t understand then, what experience has taught me since.

      Its challenging to learn the lessons you speak of. It takes time to develop (its an on-going process), going deeper and deeper to our core, our essence. But where mortal man leaves of angels (of many orders) are sent to assist us. Helping to refine us further, preparing us to be lead into the presence of Christ. He then hold for us, what no other can hold, and holding it testifies … to us :) allowing us to receive our true relationship and identity.

      Thank you again for your words! i’m still pondering…

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  22. Tim,
    This Holiday season I have had some free time to review your blog (which I peruse weekly) and visit the links to Danial, Rob and others. I have been seeking my own second comforter for some time and have been uplifted and inspired as I have studied these things. Thank you for all your effort as it seems we have studied together for years (with Anthony Larson clear back when you began blogging). Today I simply feel to express my love and feelings of brotherhood that I have developed over the years though you do not know me as I know you from your willingness to maintain an open monologue.
    Don’t stop what you do. It has been a God send and a blessing to me.
    Deepest regards,
    Roy Barrus

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    • Roy: Thank you my friend. I hate to think where I would be, spiritually speaking, if I had not started blogging. I feel accountable somehow to so many good people like you with whom I have developed friendships yet have never met. I always appreciate those who become my Facebook friends or point me back to their own blogs (for those who like to write). I remember you and your family with fondness this Christmas season. God bless you my friend as we journey together.

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  23. I’m going to try and merge a few thoughts (and hoping my weakness in writing doesn’t get in the way), having read some responses as well as some other posts, on this site, of recent…

    Irish Poet, David Whyte, gave the following analogy, in his book “The Three Marriages…” Talking of an experience where he was asked speak to a group of students at the University of Anchorage he states, “I asked them to tell me what their usual subject was for this afternoon. One fellow at the front put up his hand and said, ‘English composition.’ The title floored me a little, because no serious writer ever thinks about English Composition, and if he did it would mean he had temporarily lost his mind or his way as a writer. English composition is for those looking from outside in. English composition is to real writing as Sunday school is to Moses before the burning bush.”

    Are are missing something, in the bigger picture…

    It appears we have become masters of “the quote.” Because maybe, just maybe, if I have read enough books, memorized enough scriptures, or find some ancient dead “righteous” person’s leftover words, then I pull it to the future, and use it to justify my current behavior (no judgment)?

    I guess some of the bigger questions will be, “What quotes did you leave regarding your own life?” You being the author of your own story, and thumbing through your own Table of Contents, what might a reader hope to find?

    So, we have become experts at grave digging, exhuming the dead, dusting off their epitaphs, and repackaging the prose?

    Considering the current events, we have become grossly cut off and abusive, not only in allowing others this practice, but of denigrating our own divinity. No one, and I repeat no one, is being persecuted for testifying of Jesus Christ or God. No one is upset when an individual testifies of angels coming to the ancients. The masses are being moved to revolt because individuals are, in essence, receiving the “testimony of Christ” and testifying of their own divinity.

    These experiences that individuals are having, and I testify, are not solely about some omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God who labors away in some far off galaxy appeasing himself with the servitude of the likes of us. Individuals are testifying that the experience is real, and happening NOW. And when individuals testify of this, and share it, only two things occur (going to make a generalization now). It either falls on ears that understand; meaning it falls on individuals who have had the experience and, in charity, understand that there is no limit to these experiences, and that Father is doing HIS work and is seeking to redeem, restore and lift all. Or it falls on those who have not had these experiences. In that case, it is either heard by the faith-FULL, those who seek in HOPE. Or it falls on those who, in bitterness of their own circumstance, are faced with the realization they are not where there verbiage asserts that they are. In which they (we all need) to repent. In repentance, we can either, in humility, look inward…and change. Or (sadly, what tends to happen) individuals look outward in anger. They shout, how dare someone claim their divinity? How dare an individual state their relationship with God, with Father? Cut them off! Excommunicate them!

    We live in extraordinary times! The veil is thinning! Individuals are declaring some pretty incredible things. It is so real! Not only on this blog, but on others…as well as in person, during firesides, during talks … across the kitchen table. More so than in the past, something is shifting! People are either experiencing what they are experiencing or they are not. Incredible! I pray that, in charity, we have the love, patience and meekness to look inward. For me, I want to change! I know what the scriptures will record of me, and I intend to make quite the entry :)

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  24. I’m definitely no master of the quote, but Hermit’s comments did remind me of some quotes!

    “Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, [which are basically the scriptures] can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject” (Joseph Smith, HC 6:50, boldface added).

    “There is one idea entertained by the ‘Mormons’ which is somewhat of a stumbling-block to the people, and apostates handle it to suit their purpose. It is, that we consider the Bible merely as a guide or fingerboard, pointing to a certain destination. This is a true doctrine, which we boldly advance. If you will follow the doctrines, and be guided by the precepts, of that book, it will direct you where you may see as you are seen, where you may converse with Jesus Christ, have the visitation of angels, have dreams, visions, and revelations, and understand and know God for yourselves. Is it not a stay and a staff to you? Yes: it will prove to you that you are following in the footsteps of the ancients. You can see what they saw, understand what they understood, and enjoy what they enjoyed. Is this throwing the Bible away? No, not at all; but it adds faith to faith, virtue to virtue, knowledge to knowledge, light to light, truth to truth; for truth embraces truth, light cleaves to light, and every holy principle cleaveth to its own” (Brigham Young, JD 1:243, boldface added).

    “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh [so all people, and not just LDS]; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:28).

    I like Tom and Sara’s comments about being humble.

    Ultimately, it is God’s grace (made available to us through the Atonement) that saves us (Ephesians 2:8, 2 Nephi 10:24, 2 Nephi 25:23). AMAZING GRACE. I cannot imagine any more powerful force. If God gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5), then it is perfectly clear that I should be humble.

    I like Sara’s comments about things being granted according to our desires.

    “Is there any revelation in the world? Yes, plenty of it. . . . everybody receiving revelation to suit himself” (Brigham Young, JD 13:281-2).

    Thinking of a couple of potential real-life scenarios:

    Someone prays, “Is abortion wrong?” The answer might depend on what our personal definition of “abortion” is (is it termination 1 day after conception? or 39 weeks after conception?)

    Someone prays, “Is evolution a correct principle?” The answer might depend on what our personal definition of “evolution” is.

    The Spirit is wise to give us silence as an answer many times, because if we get (or think we get) a simple “yes” or “no” (perhaps through forcing the issue?) we may be tempted to tell others what we think is “THE answer.” This can potentially mislead those who have different personal definitions of things.

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  25. “Those who know, do not speak. Those who speak, do not know.”

    -Lao Tzu

    This is a quote from the Tao, and has nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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    • That Lao Tzu quote is one of the most faulty maxims I’ve ever had the misfortune to come across.

      Yes, insecure folks tend to run their mouths about all the things they know, inflating their personal worth to shore up their precarious position. But in my experience, that maxim is most often trotted out by a blog commenter to discredit sincere attempts to share things that have helped the blogger (often who feels a mandate from the Holy Spirit to speak those things).

      You spoke truly, Paul; the quote has nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It stands in direct opposition to what’s in scripture: that he who has been warned should warn his neighbor (D&C 38:41, 88:81). Add to that what Joseph Smith had to say about speaking out:

      “A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.” ― Joseph Smith,Jr.

      and a recipe for confusion results if one ascribes to Lao Tzu’s way of thinking. Once again, Christ’s ways are not the world’s ways. We have to do what looks foolish to the world in order to keep close to Him.

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