We Cannot Hasten the Work

HastenWorkI’ve wanted to write this post all week, but I’m glad I waited. It has given me a chance to ponder Denver’s latest lecture last Saturday in Grand Junction Colorado. No I wasn’t there but listening to Doug’s recording was just as good as being there. I suspect there may be a few things on the CDs and in the transcribed lecture that probably won’t be in the final MP3 when it’s fully edited.

Lectures Will Be Available Free Online

For those who don’t know, and it’s no secret, Denver has said he will post the lectures as MP3 recordings available for free on his website when the lecture series has been completed. I buy Doug’s recordings because I want to get a jump on what was taught and compare them to the transcript. It takes a lot of pondering to understand the messages contained in those lectures.

Join One of the Online Discussion Groups

I make no bones about it. I am enthralled by the messages being delivered. I am also grateful for the online discussion groups that have added so much to my understanding. They discuss things I had not thought of. They are anxious to put into practice the concepts being taught. It is exciting to associate – at least online – with people so willing to help each other experiment on the word.

The Internet May Not Last Forever

I feel a little lonely out here in Southern California, away from the Mormon corridor, but find great comfort in the blessing of the Internet. Take advantage of this means of communication while we still have it. The day is coming and it may be soon, that we will lose this marvelous invention which allows us to find and keep in touch with people anywhere who think alike.

Can’t Answer All the Emails

I apologize to everyone who has written me a private email message of encouragement or with questions or asking for advice or just wanting to chat. I get overwhelmed each time I post one of these and am frankly astonished by the response. I never expected to have so many readers. It has grown tremendously in the last few months. I thank you each for your kind readership.

I’m Open to Chatting by Phone

I stand by my offer in the upper right corner of my blog. If you want to chat, shoot me an email with your phone number and I’ll call you. Otherwise, it may be days or even weeks before I get all the emails answered. I’ll usually answer comments in the blog before I get to the individual emails. I prefer to be out in the open with communications about this phenomenon taking place.

Hastening the Work – the Surge

Obviously, by the title of the post, you know two things: 1) Denver discussed the concept of hastening the work in his latest lecture and 2) It goes contrary to the current focus of the LDS Church, which has been in full swing since October 2012 when President Monson announced the lowering of the missionary age to 18 for men and 19 for women. You know the results:

Baptisms per Missionary

Year Qty of Missionaries Qty of Baptisms Baptisms per missionary
2013 83,035 282,945 3.41
2012 58,990 272,330 4.62
2011 55,410 281,312 5.08
2010 52,225 272,814 5.22
2009 51,736 280,106 5.41
2008 52,494 265,593 5.06
2007 52,686 279,218 5.30
2006 53,164 272,845 5.13
2005 52,060 243,108 4.67
2004 51,067 241,239 4.72
2003 56,237 242,923 4.32
2002 61,638 283,138 4.59
2001 60,850 292,612 4.81
2000 60,784 273,973 4.51
1999 58,593 306,171 5.23
1998 57,853 299,134 5.17
1997 56,531 317,798 5.62
1996 52,938 321,385 6.07
1995 48,631 304,330 6.26
1994 47,311 300,730 6.36
1993 48,708 304,808 6.26
1992 46,025 274,477 5.96
1991 43,395 297,770 6.86
1990 43,651 330,877 7.58

Most new Missionaries are Sisters

I’m sure you also know the majority of those responding to the call, at least from the United States, are sister missionaries. And they are doing a marvelous job. We have them in our homes and delight to share in the spirit of enthusiasm and dedication they bring. I am always blessed to remember my own mission experience with fondness as I visit with these sister missionaries.

Social Media and the Church

I am grateful to pay my tithing and offerings to the LDS Church. I fully support the work of the Church. I pray for the success of the missionaries. I love the new focus on teaching, the new focus on family history work, and the incredible strides the church has made in Social Media. I don’t want to embarrass him, but my friend Larry Richman does a wonderful job in this area.

I Love the LDS Church and Faith

I love this church. In the immortal words of Steve Benson, cut me and I bleed Mormon. I like nothing better than to teach a Gospel Doctrine class, a High Priest’s Group Meeting or to speak at the pulpit in front of my ward or stake. I miss my days on the High Council but am grateful to serve as a Stake Clerk. I am pleased and happy to share my time and talents to help my leaders.

The Lord Has Called Other Prophets

So why am I so adamant in declaring that Denver Snuffer is a prophet of the Lord, or at least a true messenger? How can I possibly say that and answer the temple recommend question that is specific to keys only being held by the prophet and the one about sympathizing with apostate groups? 1) Denver has not declared his keys and 2) He has not asked us to follow him anywhere.

Readership of Latter-day Commentary

I know my readership is comprised mainly of others who feel as I do about Denver. I also know I have a few readers in the Church Office Building – and the Administration Building. If you don’t know the difference look it up or ask – you should know these things. My local leaders do not read my blog so this is not written for them. I desire only to serve them and cause no trouble.

Forty Years in Mormonism

I am looking forward to meeting Denver when he comes to St. George sometime in the next few months. Doug has said there will be lectures in Ephraim, Las Vegas, St George, and Phoenix. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to share that but he did. And that should wrap up this lecture series, “Forty Years in Mormonism.” So far, I have simply been blown away by what I am learning.

My Own Forty Year Search

I can identify with the period of forty years. It was forty years ago that I first began to study the doctrine of Calling and Election. It was forty years ago I received the Baptism of Fire and of the Holy Ghost. It was forty years ago I received visions of my future ministry, some of which has yet to come to pass. I can tell you the Lord is very specific about certain future events and places.

The False “Strongman” Model

So why did Denver teach the work cannot be hastened? You’ll have to discover that for yourself. Download the Grand Junction lecture and read it. You will learn more about Zion than you ever did by studying it in Primary, Sunday school, Priesthood or Relief Society. I know I did. You’ll want to focus on the concept of the false “Strongman” model. It was a real awakening for me.

Zion Must Be Ready To Receive Christ

The Lord will not return until Zion is ready to receive Him. Remember, he comes with Enoch and that portion of the earth that was taken up. The City of Enoch must return and the Lord will come with them because He made it His abode forever (Mos 7:21). The key to the return of the Lord is having a people prepared to receive Him – a people who are equal and have no poor.

Follow the Prophet – He Knows the Way

You’ll also want to read or listen to the lecture to understand why Denver says our current mantra or emphasis on following the prophet, drilled in to Primary children in song and to adults is a false dogma: “The Lord will not allow the Prophet to lead the people astray.” Yes, Denver teaches this is false doctrine and I agree with him. You’ll find it on pages 4-5 of the last lecture.

Connect with Christ Directly – No Intermediary

I know this is a shock and causes a strong reaction among lifelong faithful members of the LDS church. The correct doctrine is we must connect with Christ ourselves. There is no intermediary between us and our Savior. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. A true prophet will invite you to come unto Christ and will do nothing to stand in your way of making that important connection.

Be Competent in the Things of God

I conclude with these words from page 2 of the latest lecture: “The glory of God is intelligence. The ‘rest of the Lord’ is the fullness of His glory, or in other words light and truth. Or in other words, it requires a people who are competent in the things of God, who have an understanding that will reach unto heaven.” I offer you that challenge: Are you competent in the things of God?

Make Your Calling and Election Sure

God bless us all to become so if we not already. Learn how to open the heavens and walk the paths of God. I promise you he is willing to speak with you, to show you His paths, and bring you along on your journey until you are ready to enter into His presence, even in this life. “I exhort you to go on. Continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure.”

The Lord Hastens the Work

In case I wasn’t clear in the post, it is not us that hastens the work. There is nothing we can do that will change the Lord’s timetable other than preparing ourselves by becoming a Zion people, among whom there are no poor, neither poor in goods or poor in spirit. The angels will gather people into groups when they are ready. Zion will not be brought about by an organized institutional effort.

A Serious Denver Snuffer Study Tool

I forgot one more thing I wanted to bring to your attention. Michael C. has created a wonderful set of cross references to all the scriptures used in Denver’s lectures. You can find it at this link: https://ref.erenc.es/ds/ I have perused it and found it to be extremely useful. You can also download it. Take a look. Every book, every paper, every lecture and even every blog post has been indexed. What a work of love. God bless you Michael.

 

108 comments
Micah
Micah

Does anyone have the source of those missionary/baptism statistics?

Adrianne
Adrianne

Ok. This post is either going to be very simple minded or hard to follow. Please bare with me. Many of you probably already are familiar with what Roger K. Young and Christopher Parret do. For those that don't, ill give you a quick run down(I promise it will come together. Hopefully

mjcunningham
mjcunningham

I have never heard the term bivalent. Sometimes I think we make it harder than it needs to be, but that's just me.

Eric
Eric

Just out of curiosity, I have a question for everyone: "A prophet is someone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ." To you, is the above statement TRUE or FALSE? (Under bivalent "either/or" logic you can only pick one answer or the other.)

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Eric and Log: I want to thank you both for taking the comments to a whole different level. I had never heard the word multivalency before. I very much appreciate your comments, both of you. Thank you so much.

superlativereality
superlativereality

Tim, in getting back to one of your points "Connect with Christ Directly – No Intermediary" I would recommend visiting this blog (if you haven't already) that makes a small change contrary to the possibility.

Log
Log

A word on the "right-wrong" thing: It is taught in the scriptures that God cannot lie, and he cannot contradict himself. Further, we are given this definition of truth. 24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; 25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. (D&C 93:24-25) Moreover, we are also blessed that we may see clearly to distinguish between truth and error - error (or lies, or deception, &c.) being that which is more or less than truth. It is therefore not the case that "everyone can be right, albeit from differing levels of understanding," and it is part of our proper function to divide truth from error. By making statements we claim are true, we are simultaneously implicitly making claims about what is false.

Brian B
Brian B

Nephi “followed the prophet” in two ways: First, he PHYSICALLY followed his father out of Jerusalem. If he had not done so he likely would have been destroyed or taken captive. Second, he SPIRITUALLY followed his father’s example and ultimately became a prophet himself. So did his brother Jacob. Lehi’s reaction to the fact that two of his sons had followed his example and had obtained favor with the Lord is instructive. Notice that he expressed extreme joy, and was not threatened (even after Nephi at one point had to chastise him). True messengers don’t just say “follow me.” They point the way to Christ and encourage us to receive every blessing they have received and more. Unfortunately that seems to be missing in the church today; testimonies from our leaders seem to be given more as a credential for their office or position as a leader rather than as an example of a witness that can be obtained by all. Denver’s message resonates because he is saying, “you can receive these things too.” And those that have followed the path he outlines consistently share the exact same message: “Jesus lives. I’ve seen him, and so can you.” Tim, like you I am looking for messengers from my Father, and I think I have found them.

Log
Log

Bivalent, in this context, means "having two possible values," ie., true or false, with no middle ground. Multivalent means, in this context, "having more than two possible values," or "statements that can be neither completely true nor completely false," which the Lord says "is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning." (D&C 93:24) Philosophies of men mingled with scripture kinda stuff. Both of these are non-standard usages of the words - rather than "valent," "valued" should have been used.

Inspire
Inspire

Eric, Here's a question for you (or anyone else): Why are we so interested/obsessed in the "prophet" figure. It's pretty clear that we Gentiles end up worshiping them or killing them (both, in the case of Joseph). Look at King Brigham and the follies that have come to light about him. What good is a prophet, anyway? Israel had them only because they refused to approach God individually. And like Log is saying, it's just a word which the leaders prop up only so that they can maintain the compliance of the members. Compliance of the members = growth = money. I suspect there will be no prophets in Zion, or at least the residents won't use that word. Everyone will know the Lord, so the fruits of that will be evident. Some will prophesy, some will heal, some will speak in tongues, etc. No need for some title/category/label to describe them. I say it's time to move on from the whole prophet/king thing and just embrace our individual and collective gifts.

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

I'll jump in here if I may: We all know there are multiple levels of testimony. From the fledging convert who feels something different for the first time in his or her life upon learning about any of the following, depending on where they're already at: God, Jesus Christ, truths from the Bible or the Book of Mormon, the life and mission of Joseph Smith, the receipt of he Holy Ghost, the Baptism of Fire, and on and on... And then there is the "Testimony of Jesus," which is the result of being ministered to by the Savior in the flesh - you embrace and he blesses or ordains you with His hands upon your head. Eventually, He takes you to the Father. This experience is not limited to prophets, but since it involves both receiving the Second Comforter and having one's Calling and Election made sure, I say such an individual is a prophet. I'm struggling with the bivalent "either/or" logic when it comes to matters of the spirit. I consider the fifteen men we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators to be prophets with testimonies of Christ, to varying degrees. I suspect some may have been ministered to in the flesh, yet am confident that others have not been - mostly by their own historical admissions. I consider them "administrative apostles." I can't do the bivalent thing without agreeing on a definition of a testimony. And since testimonies are variable by degrees, I can't pin it down to a cut and dry true / false conclusion. I disqualify myself from further discussion of the question and will leave it up to others more qualified in logic and reasoning. To me, we can all be prophets, but in our church, only the president of the High Priesthood is "the" prophet.

Log
Log

Define "testimony".

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Done. I like the work you guys are doing over there - both the blog & forum. Thanks. I'll be visiting more often.

Eric
Eric

I guess for me, God's knowledge of what is "right" and "true" is just too far beyond the mortal mind's comprehension. If there's a scale from 0 to 1 (false to true), God is at 1. But for me, truth is not either 0 or 1 (bivalent). For me, it's multivalent. To me, it seems too prideful to think that my knowledge level of 0.2 is so much higher than the person with a knowledge level of 0.1. Log's right that "it is part of our proper function to divide truth from error." I do like to separate things into 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and so forth. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Embrace things of the highest level you can, but be compassionate, empathetic, and patient regarding people at a lower level, understanding that they just haven't gotten to your level yet. Perhaps if, instead of condemning or contending with people, I lovingly try to nourish people to raise them to a higher level, God will do the same to me. I try to keep an open mind that any "fact" or "truth" that I "know" can always be expanded, enhanced, or added upon. And until we are exalted, it is better to be good than to be right, anyway. (When we're exalted, they merge together.)

Shyloh
Shyloh

I don't think Nephi was 'following the prophet'.....Let me explain. In 1 Nephi, chapter 1, we find that there were many prophets that came....Lehi prays about the matter, and has a vision. AFTER his vision, he begins to prophecy and witness the Messiah. So Lehi was not one of those 'original' prophets mentioned. After he begins to testify, his life is sought, so he is warned to leave Jerusalem. Whole family goes with him. We know Laman and Lemuel didn't think of him as a prophet, yet they went too. Nephi, initally, just went along. He eventually prayed about it, after which his heart was softened, and he was visited by the Lord. But to start it off, he was 'honoring his father'. I don't think Lehi or Nephi would have considered themselves prophets. History makes it clear to us that they were. Both had dreams of the tree of life, and worked to get their families to 'partake' of that fruit: eternal life. . Likewise, I don't think DS considers himself to be a prophet. I think those with eyes to see and ears to hear, recognize the pattern, and perhaps history will tell a different tale than the status quo. DS is working to get others to partake of the fruit (receive the Savior, and have our C&E made sure). I think it's the same mission. Other interesting things about the tree of life vision: The man in the white robe whom Lehi follows....leads him to a dark and dreary wilderness. Lehi wanders for hours and has to pray for relief. Who was this 'angelic-like ' man dressed in white who deceived? The great and spacious building floating in air.... has no foundation....None of us have a foundation to speak of if it is not built on Christ. We potentially are like those who mock the others who are seeking the tree. The rod of iron is the word of God--scripture--not to be confused with prophets. It's talking about the words of Christ. I see a lot of parallels to our day. Do we build our foundation on 'principles' of tithing, service, fulfilling callings, meetings, home/visiting teaching....all good things, but still not Christ himself? What happens when we think we are holding to the rod, but don't realize we aren't holding the 'true' rod, and we get lost? We find ourselves in that big building, mocking and scorning those who are seeking to see Christ. We in our high-up station are too blind to see that we don't have it. The BOM is literally written for US in our day. Not for those in Joseph's time like so many people think. Those authors were commanded to write the things they did 'for a wise purpose in the Lord' -they didn't understand. They say history repeats itself? It is so incredibly symbolic to our exact situation. It IS our situation!!! When something is taught of the Gentiles in the last days, it is us, and OUR church. To take the time and truly liken the scriptures to myself and substitute Gentile with myself, and Gentile church with the LDS church today, is very eye opening. It's so plain to see, yet it is so completely hidden to those who don't want to believe it isn't so. Each of those witnesses ALL point to Christ and no one else-- Every single one of them.

Shyloh
Shyloh

I think there's a lot to learn from Lehi's story. Carefuly reading 1 Nephi 1, we first learn in verse 4 that in that year MANY prophets came and prophesied. Lehi then prays about the matter. He receives a vision. In verse 18 we learn that AFTER his vision, he BEGINS to prophecy. So we find that Lehi was not among those original prophets mentioned. He prophecied only of those things which he saw and heard in vision. Then because he manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, he was mocked by the Jews and they wanted him dead. So Lehi is warned to leave Jerusalem. I don't think those who went with him into the wilderness considered him a prophet. In hindsight, we can see this as obvious. Laman and Lemuel went along simply because culturally, that's what they did back then. We read in chapter 2 verse 16 how Nephi decides to pray over the matter, his heart is softened so that he doesn't rebel. After this softening, he visits with the Lord. So initially, Nephi wasn't totally on board either. So, I don't think Nephi was in 'follow the prophet' mode, rather 'honor thy father' mode. It's just interesting, because it seems that although they were both given instructions from the Lord, I doubt Lehi or Nephi would have considered themselves prophets. But to us, it is perfectly clear that they are. Can that pattern be applied to us today? DS may not consider himself a prophet, but those with eyes to see and ears to hear can recognize the pattern. While on the subject of Nephi/Lehi, I think there's a lot more to Lehi's dream, too. The man in the white robe who greets Lehi. It is suggestive that he might be angelic, yet Lehi ends up in in a dark and dreary wilderness and has to pray to find where to go. Hmm... who was that man dressed in white that led him to darkness? Is that a warning of following anyone other than God himself? The symbolism and similarities to our time is astounding. The great and spacious building floating in air....it has no foundation. It's simple. Christ should be our foundation. If not, WE (not just the evil world out there) are as those in that building, mocking those who are working towards the tree. The rod of iron (word of God, scriptures) is what we must cling to. Not the prophets. The words of Christ. The tree itself--eternal life, the love of God. Sounds a lot like a calling and election made sure. Maybe I read into it too much, but I really think the BOM was written FOR US. It was written ABOUT US. Nearly all those prophets who wrote in it taught that they wrote what they did for a wise purpose in Him (God) that they didn't understand. They saw OUR day. The more I read, the more I think it was specifically for our time. I know a lot of people think that when the BOM prophets speak of the last days, they view that as the time of the Restoration of the church to Joseph Smith. It seems that's how they reconcile the notion of the Gentiles. We are taught to liken the scriptures to ourselves. That means now, in our current state. When you look at it that way, it is undeniable. We are the Gentiles spoken of. When I read the BOM, I like to read through with a specific thought or 'theme' in mind. This time, I am re-programming my mind, to think of myself as a Gentile, and everywhere it talks about the Gentiles in the last days, I think in my mind of our church today. Really trying to apply it to myself and this moment in time. It has completely changee how this book is read. It's very enlightening.

Inspire
Inspire

Tim, This goes beyond the question at hand, but If your path is anything like mine, you'll eventually realize that if you don't fear the hierarchy, they have no influence over you or ability to harm you. Meaning that nothing they can do or say will matter. Think about it this way... if you ever were to be exed, the only thing that would happen is that your name would be moved from one database to another. A few keystrokes and that's it. Realistically speaking, do you think that "heaven" is connected to that database? Do they get regular updates from it? If so, what about the multitude of errors which are contained in the database? I know a programmer who used to work for the Church and he said that the system is so messed up that it is laughable. There is no transparency or accountability, and the methods are questionable (for example, if the records department has lost track of a person who is a "member" they won't take them off the database until they reach the age of 110, according to their records. And they have lost track of a LOT of people). I played the game for a while, doing gymnastics in my head every time I went in for a recommend interview. Finally, this last settlement season, they hunted me down (I tried to avoid them) and demanded I make a statement about my tithing status. Since we've been doing tithing differently for some time now (helping when it comes to our attention that someone needs it, but not paying to the corporation), we just said "no" to the question. Of course the first thing the bishop did was have me hand in my recommend, but it's okay. I don't mind. (Won't go into that here). Ever since that day, I think the bishop has been befuddled by us. We come to church and participate. Or not. Sometimes we spend Sunday as a family in the mountains. Sometimes we go to a movie. Ward members probably suspect something, but we don't care. We help out when we can, fellowship, and continue to be friends with some. People know that we are genuine, and if they talk about us... that's their problem. We don't go around preaching our opinions, but if asked by someone who is interested (not wanting to condemn us) then we tell them what we think, based on what we feel they can handle. Of course, I don't have a blog and am not monitored that way (as far as I know), but even if I was called on my beliefs and exed, I wouldn't care. The Spirit in my life is not tied to a blip in a database. Yes, other people would probably treat me differently, but again, it's not my problem. I've come to realize that this experience has helped me know who my real friends are. True friends won't care one bit. They won't try to make you a project or feel sorry for you. They might ask questions, but that's understandable. I realized a while back that I was in the wrong "line" for Heaven. The long queue I was in had men in suits at various intervals requiring a ticket to enter. Every time I would pay a little more, then go around the corner and realize that the line went on forever, with official ticket-takers all along the way. Not too far off I saw a gate where only one man stood (who looked like a janitor). No one was there but him. I feared if I left my place in line, everyone would laugh at me, or at the very least I would have to go to the end and start over. My curiosity got the best of me and went to the other place. I chatted with the attendant for a while and then finally inquired, "can I get through here?" He said, "Sure," and I asked him the price for entry (surely it would be like the super fast pass at Disneyland which is a lot more money). The man said, "Come on in. It's free. No price. No money."

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Hi Inspire. My interest in understanding the definition of a prophet is how it is used in the Temple Recommend interview and how it is used in disciplinary councils. My friend Will was excommunicated specifically because he wrote on his blog that Denver Snuffer was acting in the role of a prophet, something I have also posted here on LDC several times in at least two essays and in quite a few of my comments. Apparently it's a big deal as Karl pointed out earlier in the comments. The Brethren take umbrage when we use the word to refer to anyone else but one of the fifteen we sustain as PS&R's today, one of the past prophets or more precisely, President Monson. Both Brent and Will had statements from their blogs read back to them as evidence that they were apostates. Thus, my own intense interest in how I use the word. By the way, I agree with your succinct comment. We Gentiles seem to either worship them or kill them or both, as in the case of Joseph. We all know how hierarchy-driven the LDS church has become over the years. This institution is the best example of how a hierarchy instills fear in the members - fear to develop and use their own spiritual gifts without permission of the Brethren. It has become a very sad situation.

Eric
Eric

I should have specified that everyone can use their personal (best?) definition of the words in the statement. I was wondering that if everyone did so, everyone would answer "TRUE". But Tim's blog has moved on, so I will too...

Julie
Julie

Thou shalt not kill--right or wrong? Nephi, chop off Laban's head--right or wrong? I just have the feeling that bivalent/multivalent is not a useful way of understanding the issue.

Log
Log

I wonder if it's not bivalent logic that is the difficulty here, but rather the inherent problems honest men have when confronted by clear examples of equivocation - the fine art of redefining words mentally so that one's statements can be considered true, when there are other definitions of the words being used which, if intended, would render one's words false instead.

Eric
Eric

Yes, I've read it. Thanks for sharing.

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Thanks, Super. I've added the site to my blog-roll for regular future visits. I'm always on the lookout for insightful writings about the Savior.

log
log

"However, I am not God, so I do not absolutely know if that statement is 100% comprehensive." If you do not know it, then why teach it? How does the fact that God will reveal more things in the future become a license for teaching one's opinions, rather than the word of God?

superlativereality
superlativereality

It is one thing to quote others but it is a whole other thing to quote the Holy Ghost! The Holy Ghost speaks with words using charity. Intent speaks louder than words and Wisdom is embodying scripture not quoting them. I love you all. In repeated words "Why would someone settle for being, and doing, otherwise?"

log
log

You may cite me however you wish. I leave this conversation with this thought, expressed by the 12 in 1837. “Be careful that you teach not for the word of God the commandments of men, nor the doctrines of men, nor the ordinances of men, inasmuch as you are God’s messengers. Study the word of God, and preach it and not your opinions, for no man’s opinion is worth a straw. Advance no principle but what you can prove, for one scriptural proof is worth ten thousand opinions. We would moreover say, abide by that revelation which says ‘Preach nothing but repentance to this generation,’ and leave the further mysteries of the kingdom till God shall tell you to preach them, which is not now.” (History of the Church, 3:395–96.) Opinions are beliefs or notions or philosophies which are not certain. I do not understand why one who has the Spirit would wish to teach more or less than the word of God, neither do I understand why one who has the Spirit would seek to persuade others to adopt their opinions. Doctrine and Covenants 42:14 14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach. D&C 50 10 And now come, saith the Lord, by the Spirit, unto the elders of his church, and let us reason together, that ye may understand; 11 Let us reason even as a man reasoneth one with another face to face. 12 Now, when a man reasoneth he is understood of man, because he reasoneth as a man; even so will I, the Lord, reason with you that you may understand. 13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained? 14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth. 15 And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this are ye justified? 16 Behold ye shall answer this question yourselves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong. 17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? 18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God. 19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? 20 If it be some other way it is not of God. 21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth? 22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. 23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. 24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. 25 And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you; 26 He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. 27 Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ, his Son. 28 But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin. 29 And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. 30 But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; and as ye are appointed to the head, the spirits shall be subject unto you. Why would someone settle for being, and doing, otherwise?

Eric
Eric

"Proportionality of correctness"! That's it! In 3 words you summarized what I've been trying to say in this whole thread, perhaps a little lamely. A person can get "wet" from 0 (0%) to 1 (100%). I don't know the ultimate definition of "prophet", but it can range from: P(0) = any completely incorrect definition P(0.1) = leader of the Church = lowest level of correctness P(0.5) = True prophets can “see the future” P(0.7) = True prophets do have a testimony of Christ P(0.8) = Log’s definition is the most comprehensive of these And the atheist/Christian discussion: P(0.4) = our mortal father is the father of our mortal bodies P(0.8) = we have a father of our mortal bodies, and one for our spirit bodies My ebook's only been out less than a week, but now I need to do a second edition. Log, do I have your permission to use the phrase "proportionality of correctness" in the ebook? If so, do you want your name ("Log" or some other name) attributed to that phrase?

superlativereality
superlativereality

Knowing facts or knowing scripture is very different than making scripture part of you. Similar to knowing the words to or hearing your favorite song is different than being able to Sing your favorite song.

Log
Log

I apologize; I didn't know you were merely speaking of discussing beliefs and philosophies with others in association with multivalent truth values, which now seems essentially to mean "probability of truth," or "proportionality of correctness."

Eric
Eric

Yes, when prophets are speaking the word of God, which is always right, things snap to the right/wrong bivalence. I suppose my atheist/Christian example was meant to be in the context of 2 everyday people talking to each other cordially and without contention. I guess I picked the wrong profession. :)

Log
Log

Incidentally, I must agree that the "agree and amplify" tactic you mention is a wonderful tool to pre-empt objections before they arise in conversations. Successful communicators such as lawyers, pick-up artists, and salesmen utilize it. I'm not so sure, however, that its use is necessarily an indicator of possession of charity.

Log
Log

There's a reason true prophets (that is, those to whom God has revealed his council [Amos 3:7]) have historically almost always been killed - and it generally has to do with how they do not say "Yes, I agree with you, and in addition to that...." A survey of the scriptures on that topic is left as an exercise to the reader. (See, for example, 1 Nephi 16:2, and 2 Nephi 1:26.) Act honestly before God and man. Beware of Gentile sophistry; such as bowing and scraping unto men in whom you have no confidence. Be honest, open, and frank in all your intercourse with mankind. - Joseph Smith

superlativereality
superlativereality

I agree with this. There obviously is correct knowledge and facts that are right or wrong. It is important to eliminate erroneous beliefs which can be damning. The search for truth is of the highest priority. Knowing facts is different then embodying truth. Actually living it and experiencing it is important which connecting and experiencing it directly from Heaven (beyond the veil) is required before you actually know a fuller and grander picture (which makes the facts you think you knew obsolete) To elaborate and take it a little further (this is not to argue a but to give honest consideration). I would like to suggest of few questions which two people (or almost everyone) could answer differently. Though their answer's could be subjective, different level's of understanding/experience would produce different results with almost nobody giving the complete correct pure answer. What is the empirical answer to the Following: (Could two separate people have different perspectives and be correct?) What does Gods love feel like? How do you obtain it perfectly? What is Righteousness? Is it Borrowed? What does Charity feel like? What does Charity look like? How can you tell someone has Charity? What is the Holy Ghost? Who is the Holy Ghost? Describe the Baptism by Fire and How it is unto Sanctification? What is Godliness? Who are you? What are you? Who is Elohim? Define the Godhead and your role in it? What is Mighty Prayer and how does the true order of prayer relate? How are you the Temple and if so where is the Holy of Holies? How are you a bride and Jesus the bridegroom? How does the law of Chasity. we receive in a terrestrial room, relate to qualify as His Bride?.. Ultimately How does all of this make you connect with Christ, become like Christ, and get to His presence and KNOW Christ? How can we embody it and Have his Countenance IN us and SEE Him? Until we see things for how they truly are, where and will be (Always present) From God's perspective we will be wrong/wrong. RESPONSIBILITY IS THE PRICE OF TRUTH. With whatever truth we have Love others as He has loved you.

Eric
Eric

I don't have any problem with absolute truth statements, which do snap to bivalency (either true or false). Maybe it's more of "semantic" truths where I get more "right/right," like the definition of "prophet" or "wet." Who's to say my personal definition of a word is the best, or only possible, definition? Or when the atheist thinks his father is his mortal father, and the Christian thinks his father is his Heavenly Father. To me, it shows more charity for the Christian to say, "Yes, I agree with you. In addition to that, I also believe . . ." than to just say, "You're wrong."

Log
Log

Category errors help nobody arrive at truth. "God lives, and Jesus is the Christ" is not a matter of "I like it a little" or "I like it a lot," neither is it a case of "it's true for me but not true for you."

Eric
Eric

Thinking multivalently, I cannot disagree with Log! :) Multivalency does include bivalency. Bivalency is at either extreme of a "truth-value continuum" (for lack of better words). Bivalency has 2 values: 0 "dry" or 1 "wet" Multivalency has potentially infinite: 0 "dry" --------- 1 "wet" (complete immersion), and everything in between (1 molecule of H2O touching the skin, 1 teaspoon, half the body, all of the body except for 1/2 a molecule, etc.) I'm glad Log questioned the "right/right" thing. Since I believe in multivalency and bivalency, there IS a "wrong." Bivalency is clearly noticeable in math, for example. 1+1=3 is wrong, 1+1=2 (in base 10) is right. Multivalency is more noticeable in subjective things. "I like them a lot," "I strongly feel that ..." Line upon line, here a little, there a little...

log
log

Incidentally, we speak of degrees only when we have first ascertained that an event or experience has taken place, which is a binary condition and statement. For example, Alice steps barefoot into a pool of water while Bob dives in headfirst wearing a swimsuit. Both Alice and Bob are wet, experiencing the sensation of the water on their skin, and therefore know what it is to be wet (binary condition), even if Bob is experiencing a greater degree of wetness (say, a greater percentage of his body is covered in water, leading to the possibility of comparative distinctions after the binary condition of wetness has been established as true). I wonder if the IRS would hesitate to assess an NSF fee for a check written for taxes due if the proposition that the check writer's bank account has sufficient funds to cover the check has a multivalent truth value less than 1.

log
log

To say experience is multivalent to you is logically equivalent to saying it is not the case that experience is binary to you - but that can only be known by experience, and it is itself binary - it is either true or it is false - therefore, it would appear experience is, in actuality, binary to you, too.

Eric
Eric

To me, experience is multivalent too. For example, there can be degrees to which one can experience God's love. There are degrees to which one has, or perceives, the Spirit. The scriptures use terms such as "more abundantly," etc.

superlativereality
superlativereality

Perception determines your experience and from God's perspective we are all wrong/wrong so I would like error on the side of charity and take the right/right approach... This in hopes that the judgement and knowledge I think I have doesn't judge me or YOU in return.--which it is guaranteed to do. The scriptures already testify of this fact if we are willing to not wrest them.. Or in Christ's more simple words " For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" Matthew 7:22

log
log

Experience is knowledge, and knowledge is experience; they are the same. Without experiencing something, one does not know it, said Brigham Young. Experience does not submit to multivalent analysis - after all, one has either experienced a thing, or not - there is no middle ground.

Julie
Julie

I agree with Shyloh about Nephi and Lehi. The "prophet" at that time was most likely Jeremiah, who was conspicuously NOT leading anyone out of Jerusalem. So I doubt Lehi thought of himself as a prophet, and I doubt that Nephi's obedience at the time was anything other than honoring his father. (The commandment to honor and obey your parents is pretty clear in the Bible.) However, Nephi was intrigued by the claims Lehi was making, and rather than naming Lehi prophet and tailing him everywhere, he puts Lehi's experience to the test and tries it for himself. That's how they both became prophets, not that the title matters.

superlativereality
superlativereality

Here is Selfassesment, foolproof self damnation test written in s simple formula. I'd suggest testing on YOUrself How damned you are= How resistant to being wrong you are = How how resistant to new truth you are.

shylohw
shylohw

Sorry, I guess there must be a delay for comments to post. My initial comment didn't post so I rewrote my thoughts. I apologize for the duplication.

mjcunningham
mjcunningham

Wow, Shyloh. I loved your comment, and I am going to do the same thing, reading the BofM with "gentiles" in mind. Thank you for sharing this, and I think you are right on with your opinion about Nephi and Lehi. Not many people WANT to call themselves prophets. We all know what happens in the scriptures to prophets.

Eric
Eric

Okay, good point. Let me rephrase that: I will teach that I know that the scripture "The spirit and the body are the soul of man" is true. If, in the future, God reveals new scripture, I will then teach that I know that the new scripture is true.

Eric
Eric

Because "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." For example, "The spirit and body are the soul of man." I accept that as "true." However, I am not God, so I do not absolutely know if that statement is 100% comprehensive. Although I will teach the above truth to others, I will remain open-minded and also allow the possibility that God may reveal to me that there is a third component that comprises the soul.