Public Statement on my Status

The sacred power of marriageOwing to the many private inquiries as to my status in the current “purge” of bloggers and Mormon activists, I would like to share this comment I wrote a few days ago in response to a reader’s questions. I hope it demonstrates where my loyalties lie. If you want further information, my email address and cell phone number are prominently displayed on this blog. Please don’t assume anything. I have not received notice of pending disciplinary action.

My statement:

The church has a mission and authority. There is no doubt about that in my mind. It was restored for a purpose. It is still a place where the Lord’s work is being performed. It has a commission to preach the gospel, publish the scriptures, build and maintain meetinghouses and temples and to perform or administer ordinances. Because I am commanded to pay tithing, I choose to pay my tithing to the church. I still accept what the church does with it.

Something was Lost With Death of Joseph

It just seems to me that something was lost. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I noticed it about twenty-five years ago when I was called into a Bishopric. There seemed to be an inordinate amount of administrative work and not enough of a focus on ministering to the spiritual needs of the members. But since I have never been a bishop, I chalked it up to the nature of my callings over the years – secretary, clerk, counselor… I saw my job as an opportunity to take some of the burden off the bishop.

I Love Serving in my Ward and Stake

I still feel that way. I appreciate the opportunity to assist the stake presidency with the financial management of the stake. I love this church. More correctly stated, I love the people in it. I love the opportunities I am occasionally given to teach the gospel in Sunday school or priesthood. I feel the spirit of the Lord working within this church. I appreciate taking the sacrament. I love going to the temple. I love going to baptisms. There’s always a special feeling at baptisms.

I Love the Leaders of This Church

I love the leaders of this church, local and general. I have no animosity toward them. I question some of the decisions made by leaders in other stakes who have excommunicated some of my online friends. I love the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve. I sustain them. I pray for them. I help pay their salaries and that’s OK with me. I accept their leadership. I know they have a tough job. I would not want to be in their shoes in this instant age of the Internet.

Church Discipline seems Displeasing to Christ

Because I disagree with the excommunications taking place in other stakes of individuals I have come to know and love – first online and then in person – I felt it would be less than honest to keep my temple recommend. I turned it in because I could no longer answer no to the question about “affiliating” or “sympathizing” with individuals who the church has cast out for apostasy. I do sympathize with them and I do intend to affiliate with them, many of them next month in St. George.

Let’s Educate Ourselves on Issues of the Day

Many readers have a “cut to the chase” way of observing and summarizing the problem I have been trying to identify for the last twenty-five years. I’m not sure I would have phrased it so directly, but then I assume they are relating it in the negative way they have seen it asked. I also have seen it asked in a negative manner and it somewhat pains me because of the love I have for this church. Surely we can seek to educate ourselves on the issues of the day without being negative.

Denver Snuffer is a Catalyst for Discussion

Like it or not, Denver Snuffer is one of the issues of the day. He is a catalyst for many people who feel the way he does about something being missing. I am one of those people. Although I have not met the man – I will next month – I have read and agree with the vast majority of what he has written in his books, his blog and delivered in his lectures. Instead of recognizing the man for helping us to obtain a better grasp of our history and predicament, the church has excommunicated him.

Disagree with Strengthening Church Members Committee

That bothers me. I disagree with what was done. I disagree with the idea of a “Strengthening the Church Members Committee.” It seems so wrong. It’s like controlling what we read, think and write. I chafe at the feeling of fear and suspicion I sense just knowing such a committee is reading my blog, looking for content worthy of some sort of corrective or disciplinary action. I don’t believe such a committee has any place in the true church of Jesus Christ. It’s just wrong in my view and opinion.

I Want to See the Church Succeed in it’s Mission

I want this church to prosper and continue to grow. I want to see it succeed in it’s mission. I want to help with that mission. I have given most all my life to furthering the work of the church as a missionary and as a “volunteer” leader on the local level with whatever I have ever been asked to do. I have grown tremendously in this church, but I can no longer stand idly by and see injustice done that I have witnessed. Many say I am wrong. My heart and the Lord have told me otherwise.

God bless and thanks to all for your thoughtful comments.

Update: I was interviewed on Friday afternoon by Brian Mullahy of KUTV2 via Skype specifically for this story. I would never have chosen to do something like that on my own, but had the opportunity to testify of Christ and of the service LDS bloggers can and do provide. Of course they cut my testimony and used only two short clips about the SCMC. You can see it here:

http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/whats-lds-panels-role-mormon-disciplinary-actions-11952.shtml

Update2 (6/20/14) : The facts remain: The SCMC is behind the disciplinary action of at least one blogger / author. You can read the very detailed facts here:

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-facts.html

 

158 comments for “Public Statement on my Status

  1. June 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I’ve been pretty busy lately and have missed a couple of your posts, but our feelings are so similar that it is almost eerie. I am VERY curious and, dare I say, excited, to see where all of this leads. It’s all coming to a head. I feel it in my bones. It’s an exciting time to be alive and to see the true Gospel of Jesus Christ blossoming in the hearts of those who can see the difference between it and tradition.

  2. June 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I share your concerns. I am holding onto my Temple recommend. But I respect your decision.

    My bishop has already had a call from a non-GA official regarding my own website, as I mentioned in a previous post.

    So I already know that I am on the “short list” should the purge continue…

    • June 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Meant to say from a “non-GA COB official.”

    • Jen
      June 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Tom, may I ask for a link to the website you’re referring to? Would love to read what you’ve got.

    • marginalizedmormon
      June 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      oh, DARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      *mad face*

      Nope; must repent. Anger leads to warring and I want to be a peaceable follower of Jesus.

      • Jen
        June 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        Tom, I’m not seeing a reply to your comment – only to marginalizedmormon’s – hope you can see this. Um, I think Tim should do a post on your work!!! HEBREW translation of the Book of Mormon??? AWESOME!!!!! Why should this be cause of discipline? And how did they find it, unless they knew the extension? Pretty awesome idea. Why has it not been done already?

        Marginalizedmormon – appreciated your thoughts on this thread.

      • June 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        Jen,

        My translation effort has already been covered at:

        http://www.jewishjournal.com/jews_and_mormons/item/the_book_of_mormon_in_hebrew_–_a_labor_of_love_39120507

        The COB’s position is something like:

        1. The LDS Church made an agreement with the Israeli government some 40 or so years ago that no missionary work would be performed in Israel so that the Jerusalem BYU center could be constructed.

        2. The LDS Church withdrew from publication a partial translation of the Book of Mormon in Hebrew that it had briefly offered due to the agreement.

        3. The LDS Church has not since published a Hebrew Book of Mormon due to the agreement.

        4. Since the LDS Church cannot publish one, then clearly I cannot either.

        5. Such an unauthorized publication by myself would lead to the closure of the BYU Center.

        6. Besides, the Brethren have not authorized me to do this work.

        7. The Brethren have sole authority over scripture translation.

        I am not trying to be a rebel, but my membership in the House of Israel compels me to do this work. The House of Israel is God’s true house.

        I do not want to minimize the role of the LDS Church. But both the Book of Mormon and the House of Israel predate the LDS Church.

        And the House of Israel is an eternal family unit.

        I have never had a visitation from Angel Moroni or any other heavenly being, but I have received a burning in my heart from the Holy Spirit that I must press forward despite the opposition.

    • June 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      A few years ago I started studying Hebrew. I never got very far, but I have great aspirations! Anyway, I looked into getting a Book of Mormon in Hebrew and was told there wasn’t one. Really? There are 5.3 million people that speak Hebrew as their native tongue, and we have no Book of Mormon for them? I thought the book was for both Jew and Gentile!

      4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
      5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

      (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 29:4 – 5)

      We sell out 5.3 million people so we can have the Jerusalem Center?!!!

      Such treachery! Such betrayal! Small wonder the LDS church is cursed.

      God bless you, Tom, for what you are doing.

      • mayberrymaiden
        June 13, 2014 at 11:02 pm

        Why do you feel the LDS church is cursed? It is one thing not to agree with a policy of not printing the Book of Mormon in Hebrew, a policy that was not made lightly or with out a tremendous amount of prayer and the LORD’S approval, but to make out the church is cursed because of it is to say you are greater than the Lord’s anointed and know more then they in matter’s of what the LORD wants and His reason’s for waiting on translation. Any curse upon us is upon us individually and NOT the church main frame.

        I think you have missed learning about all the amazing things the church has been able to do because of the Jerusalem center’s presence in Israel, that would not have been afforded us any other way.

        All things in the Lord’s time….Not ours.

        Do I agree with everything church “culture” has created…NO…except when I observe and compare our stalwart youth to the youth of the world, then I know that despite the weaknesses of men in the church and some poorly chosen policies I’ve seen through the years, the church as a whole is rolling foward “boldly, nobly and independent”.

        We have lost many deeper truths thanks to our pride (as President Benson warned us) and we are suffering for it, but the church IS HASTENING THE WORK! The miracle of our missionaries in so great a number hearing, with in their hearts, the call of God to go and serve in numbers, even beyond what President Kimball once fortold, is amazing! Our youth are trying harder to be righteous in many ways while batteling the greatest flood of immorality ever to overcome our world. THAT IS hastening the work and it is the one principal I just simply do not agree with with when it comes to Denver Snuffer or Tim. When one of our Elders recently returned, he testified about how the age change was made in the middle of his mission and what a DIFFERENCE it made! He testified of how he saw the work Hastening, and in that moment of his powerful testimony, akin to the testimonies of early Saints, I felt the spirit bear powerful witness to the truth of his words and so I take GREAT exception to the idea that the work is NOT being hastened in our time. That is simply not true. However, I don’t believe it is worthy of excommunication to not agree it’s being hastened as one’s interpretation of “hastening” may differ quite a bit from another’s.

        I’m guessing my version of “Hastening” is more in line with the Church of getting the attention of more people and helping them learn to repent and call on the Lord

      • June 14, 2014 at 6:28 am

        MayBerryMaiden,

        The Lord’s anointed are those who have been anointed by the Lord. I don’t think any of the top 15 have received that.

        I think the gentile church is cursed, per 2 Nephi 29:5.

        There are many miracles taking place in the church. This is the Lord’s work. It is vanity to ascribe the miracles to our own righteousness.

        The church is not hastening the work. They are gumming it up. They have changed the ordinances, thereby breaking the everlasting covenants. They do NOT teach the fullness of the gospel, i.e. the higher spiritual blessings; they flatly reject them and those that receive them. Rather, they teach: Follow the Prophet, do what you’re told, endure to the end as a good church member, be a better person, etc…

        We can’t even get the ordinance of the sacrament right. Instead of eating until we are filled, we get a tiny morsel or crumb of bread. Instead of whine we use water. Instead of kneeling we sit on our fat rear ends. This is all symbolic of the spiritual realities. We do not feast upon the spiritual blessings until we are filled; we get a watered down gospel; we do not bend our knees before the Lord in real humility. Consequently, we are not renewed and enlivened by the Spirit to the extent which we should be during that ordinance.

        I could write pages and pages on how we have departed from the faith outlined in the Book of Mormon and the D&C. This is just a sampling.

      • Log
        June 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

        The Lord’s anointed are those who have been anointed by the Lord. I don’t think any of the top 15 have received that.

        Do you know what you are looking for?

  3. June 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    That’s a lot of integrity. God bless you and your wife Tim. May the Temple now be in your home and in you.

  4. Good Will
    June 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Beautiful sentiments. Couldn’t have said it better — or as well! — myself. (Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have been excommunicated! It makes me wonder.)

    I’m actually pained to read your words, Tim. It brings me sadness to know that Church leaders — in their blindness and naivete and arrogance — would intentionally inflict such pain and damage upon me and my family, thinking they are doing God a favor!

    Jesus said “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

    I wonder: “How many LDS leaders will survive the Lord’s judgment, when they are judged by the same standard they impose upon others?” (My former bishop and stake president both declared they will gladly be judged by the same standard they have imposed upon me! God help them when they ask Him, repeatedly, “What have I done wrong?! Why have I been cut off?!” and He says unto them….nothing.)

    If LDS leaders today can condemn faithful, commandment-keeping, law-abiding, temple-going, active members of the Church for merely suggesting that the Church doesn’t “have it all”, that there are yet “many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God” that have yet to be “revealed”, how can these leaders then expect to not stand condemned before the Lord while they themselves claim to “have it all”, when clearly they do not? When they seek to take away from others even that which they have?

    Thieves! Pretenders! Liars! Hypocrites!

    Those who say they “see” do not confess their blindness. Consequently, they do not ask the Lord for help. They not not cry unto Him for mercy, because they say within themselves “We have enough.” They trust in the arm of flesh.

    I wish no evil upon any man. Still, it pains me to see such ruin. Such blindess. Such hardness of heart.

    And, most of all, such love of many waxing cold.

    • June 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.” Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

      President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Are you sleeping through the Restoration?” April 2014

    • June 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      “And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: … Who is it that has corrupted my vineyard? And it came to pass that the servant said unto his master: Is it not the loftiness of thy vineyard—have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? And because the branches have overcome the roots thereof, behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves. Behold, I say, is not this the cause that the trees of thy vineyard have become corrupted?” (Jacob 5:41, 47–48.)

      • Jen
        June 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        Beautiful application of scripture. I’ve read this many times but it never processed like it did just now. Thanks Warren!

  5. June 12, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I can only imagine the sadness that your heart was weighed down with (and still must be) when you handed over your recommend. I hope it was received with great compassion for the integrity you showed. I hope it gave priesthood leaders Pause. That act was and is truly a sacrifice for you…and your sweet Carol.

    My heart is broken, Tim. Truly broken. Two days ago I received an email from someone I have developed a respect and sisterly fondness for. That respect and fondness came after much personal tribulation, struggling through many emotional moments with the Lord in prayer for understanding and greater wisdom to comprehend all this person has shared with me. I am amazed at all this individual and their family have experienced and are still enduring faithfully. Their hearts are centered upon Christ, and isn’t that where all our hearts should be? But what was shared in that email has left me crying for these last two days–this friend is being officially investigated by church leadership. And each day I learn of more sorrow within this beautiful church, or rather, more suffering in her member’s hearts. My soul is aching, but what can I do? I dislike this premise that members are not free to speak their thoughts, or else. I dislike this ‘spiritual abuse.’
    Do not publish your book.
    Do not sell books.
    Do not maintain your website.
    Do not share your experiences or opinions in blogs and books and meetings.
    Do not…
    Do not…
    Do not…or else you will be disciplined, or else all that you have sacrificed for in the name of the Lord and for His Church, all that binds you to your loved ones, will be ceremoniously blotted out. So they say. What is going on???

    I spent this morning thoughtfully pondering and reading Mosiah 26-27, attempting to glean from those chapters if the Lord’s people then reflect the Lord’s people today. Are there any correlations to be drawn there? I’m attempting to grasp the meaning behind these excommunications, and even those that have occurred in rash numbers before. What are the goals of these actions? How are these individuals being nurtured? Is the church experiencing the peace and prosperity, and “receiving many, and baptizing many,” as we learned of in Mosiah 26:37 as a result of this ‘purging?’ I feel like I’m rambling. I have so many thoughts that match every tear I am shedding these days. I am just so very heartbroken…and confused by the lack of Christ’s Light and Love. THAT is what I am not discerning. Where is the Love of the Lord in all of this. I hear many words ringing hollow, like a tolling bell after the funeral. There is no comfort, only great sadness.

    • June 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Lori,

      To read your post broke my heart. It brought back memories of a time when the “cross” I was made to carry brought me down to the depths of despair and prostrated on the ground.

      I begged for the Holy Father to release me, through His Son, and it didn’t happen. I bore it……but I can now say that I am a better person now and I have come to know that all of this pain and sorrow will be compensated as we struggle through this “vale of tears”. He does care.

      Men (and women) are fallible. He is not.

      Excommunication or disfellowshipment from the church is not the end of eternity. It’s a simple period of time for reflection. Do I want to stay on the course I’m on or do I want to change. And the disciplinary councils of the church are not meted out always fairly.

      It used to cause me pain as I thought how could my Lord be two-faced. He isn’t and He wasn’t.

      Peter’s denial of the Lord was used by the Lord to help Peter. He loves us so much that He allows us our weaknesses so that sometime in the future we can see our strengths.

      I am pained for your friend. If there is anything that can be done by me or other’s please let me/us know.

      Men and women are fallible. They make mistakes.

      But Heavenly Father loves us too much to allow us to just wander. If we ask He will supply, that I do know.

      May the Lord be with your friend.

  6. Jen
    June 12, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Tim, what courage that must’ve taken. Thank you for the update.

  7. Donald
    June 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for your thoughts and feelings Tim. I have recently given a great deal of thought to the meaning of the word surveillance. I too feel troubled that a SMC exists….I’ve quietly observed things generally since the days of president Lee. I have grown more silent these days. What will be will be. Thank you for your blog.

  8. Sister Friend
    June 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Wow!!!!!

  9. June 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    The Church’s statement that it has nothing to do with the activities of local priesthood leaders in disciplinary actions is difficult to accept by many people who are aware of the church’s activities in directing those disciplinary actions. It all stems from the SCMC.

    Here is the church’s statement:

    http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-responds-to-church-discipline-questions

    This Wikipedia article is pretty good, but a little dated: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strengthening_Church_Members_Committee

    A more recent discussion from Wheat and Tares: http://www.wheatandtares.org/7595/who-on-earth-knows-what-the-strengthening-church-members-committee-is-or-does/

    I even wrote a little bit about it earlier this year: http://latterdaycommentary.com/2014/05/04/concluding-testimony-at-my-disciplinary-council/

    And, for what it’s worth, in Denver Snuffer’s appeal letter, you can see that Elder Nelson was intimately involved in Denver’s excommunication:

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2013/11/appeal-letter.html

    In fact, he reemphasized that directly in his post today:

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/06/church-discipline-top-down.html

  10. marginalizedmormon
    June 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I’m very torn between being sad about all this ‘purging’ and the feeling that most people I know (in real life and in blogs) seem to be forgetting this:

    D&C 112:25

    it helps to read the verses before and after–

    Because we, as LDS, have professed to know Jesus but have not followed Him.

    Perhaps we were not held accountable for not feeding the little children of the world who do not come under the LDS ‘tent’, but when the numbers of little LDS children who go to bed hungry every night continues to grow–
    how can *we* as a people, as a church, escape the wrath of God?

    http://www.liahonachildren.org/#/home

    Because *we* as American Mormons have not been awake to what our nation has done in stirring up things in many of these countries (for decades), it has been easy to write this off as, “how sad that LDS people have to live in countries with such corrupt leaders”–

    but now it is becoming clear that U.S. rogue agencies have taken over and are exporting heartache and hunger–

    while here in the U.S. the middle class disappears, but there is still enough prosperity that most LDS in America are not going to be hungry–

    But I shouldn’t get political on here; I really want to know what anyone thinks of D&C112:25.

    • June 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Add to that 1 Peter 4: 17.

      How can the Lord be happy with us when we treat each other with so much animus against another.

      I am better than you because I have a bigger “?”, or more of “?”, or a greater “?”. The I in the “we” is definitely silent.

      The Lord in the 105 section of the D&C is very clear about what “principle of the law” He hopes His people will live. Read vs 2 through 6 very slowly and absorb.

  11. marginalizedmormon
    June 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    And, no, I do not think those being purged are being punished–

    I believe this will end in greater heartache for those who are not truthseekers in the church, even among its leaders–

    I don’t see those being excommunicated as being ‘sinners’. But often it is the righteous who are persecuted who cause the Lord to declare, “this is enough!”–

    I had to get political to explain why I think it is completely illogical and unrighteous to assume that LDS who live in very poor countries somehow deserve it.

  12. June 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Tim,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I think what you did takes courage. We are taught that the ability to have a temple recommend is the pinnacle of righteousness, and that the blessings of exaltation are only to be had in the temple. It takes a lot of courage to actively do something that tells God that you recognize the difference between the traditions of men and the words of scripture, to recognize that these things are only types and shadows.

    I expect that sooner or later I will be in a similar situation. I have been contemplating what to do for some months now. I have not attended the temple in some months because I have not been able to reconcile in my mind whether the covenant to consecrate my entire being to the Church for the building of Zion is approved of God or not. Right now I am unwilling to make that covenant again, even if it is on behalf of someone else.

    Thanks for your willingness to share your experiences. They have been helpful for me, and doubtless for others too. God bless you, brother.

  13. June 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I like Section 112 also. Do you think verse 27 is a call to endure to the end? Thank you marginalizedmormon for thinking about verse 25 “And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord.” but verse 27 says, “Therefore see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord.” — I am 95% with you, Brother Malone, minus the total devotion to Denver Snuffer who wasn’t wrong about his theological opinions but who published details of his discipline on the Internet. Snuffer’s stake president should not have been humiliated in public and the action demonstrated contempt. The work of the SCMC is chilling and hypocritical. Our church has a special latter-day requirement to tolerate one another which is taught clearly in Section 86 with the Wheat and Tares parable. The Lord knew this day was coming and warned us to leave the tares, but the SCMC hasn’t gotten the message because they see themselves as avenging angels who couldn’t possibly be wrong. I feel the same uneasy foreboding excitement in the air. God bless you.

  14. Donald
    June 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve been thinking about it too. It will have an effect on me as an ordinance worker…..so far the answer from Heaven to me has been “the choice is yours.” So be it. :)

  15. marginalizedmormon
    June 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    we (husband and I) have been told to be quiet and stay in the church, so far, but we’ve already come through a terrific amount of persecution–

    we were even told to renew our TRs–

    but my husband is often mocked for bearing his testimony of Jesus Christ in his HPG.

    How long can people remain quiet? If God tells us to, we will, but this is becoming very painful.

    We will need to fast and pray some more.

    Tim, I can see now why you have been concerned.

  16. June 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    This is your “Here I stand” moment. Everything you expressed above is honorable and if they come after you, you will not deserve it. Your courage inspires me. I wish I could do something, but I left the church over 20 years ago, and I had nowhere near as much courage as you and others are showing now. I’m so glad I lived to see this day, when so many are saying what needs to be said. God be with you.

    • June 13, 2014 at 4:49 am

      Integrity is the courage to do right regardless
      of the consequences and the inconvenience.

      — Elder Tad R. Callister

  17. Eric Barom
    June 13, 2014 at 5:04 am

    What could be worth losing your temple recommend over?

  18. June 13, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Hi Eric: I voluntarily turned it in, based on the two questions, “Are you honest in all your dealings with your fellowman?” and “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    As I explained in the post, I affiliate with many friends who have been excommunicated. I sympathize with their plight. I agree with their observations about certain practices of this church especially the whole idea of a committee that looks for dissenting opinion and reports it to others for “action to be taken.” It’s controlling and deceitful.

    • Eric Baron
      June 13, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Tim,

      I understand your rationale, and we all must do what we feel is right, but my question wasn’t why you did it, but why would you value those ideas over your temple recommend when you stated earlier that you recognize the authority of the Church. I recall Elder Bednar’s talk about less actives (not saying you are a less actice) but his piercing question “Why are you letting keep you from the blessings of the temple? From activity in the church?” To me, and I know this may sound naive, and I will say again I respect your own personal decisions on this matter, but to me, nothing, not even my pride or my own doubts, are more important than holding that temple recommend.

      • Michael A. Cleverly
        June 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

        Based on the question:

        Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

        I sometimes wonder how anyone can be both temple attending and a member missionary at the same time.

        Such is the power of rationalization I guess.

        • Sister Friend
          June 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

          I had been wondering about the question of affiliation with family members or neighbors who are very anti-Mormon. Don’t we friendship them (do not judge) and affiliate with both
          at times?

      • June 13, 2014 at 8:54 am

        Eric: Thanks for clarifying your question. I recognize the authority of the church to administer the ordinances of the temple, but they won’t save me without the power of Godliness – the power that comes from righteous living, which, to me, includes honesty and integrity.

        To me, it’s cut and dry simple: I am going to Denver Snuffer’s lectures in Las Vegas and St George in July. Denver Snuffer has been excommunicated from the church for apostasy. I cannot in good conscious answer the temple recommend question about affiliation.

        I also disagree with the church’s actions in lying about the “local involvement only” when it comes to church discipline for prominent or high-profile members. Why would the church need to put out a press release that is false? Why is the church covering up the SCMC?

      • Log
        June 13, 2014 at 9:24 am

        affiliate

        AFFIL’IATE, v.t. [L. ad and filius, a son.]

        1. To adopt; to receive into a family as a son.
        2. To receive into a society as a member, and initiate in its mysteries, plans, or intrigues – a sense in which the word was much used by the Jacobins in France, during the revolution.

      • Adam
        June 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

        I propose that the average American member would understand “affiliate with” in the 2nd sense given at dictionary.reference.com/browse/affiliate:

        2. to attach or unite on terms of fellowship; associate (usually followed by with in U.S. usage, by to in Brit. usage)

        It seems to be Tim’s friendship with excommunicated bloggers that caused him to give up his recommend.

      • marginalizedmormon
        June 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

        Eric,

        would you divorce your wife if she had a ‘faith crisis’ and was seen as, somehow, an apostate and excommunicated?
        Is your own marriage more important to you, or not.
        Do you have any idea how many marriages and families (some very large) have been destroyed, because one parent has been excommunicated for having ‘ideas’ that are not mainstream, and the bishop told the other spouse to ‘divorce him/her’, and that person obeyed?
        I can only imagine the deep disappointment such a person will have when he/she gets tot he pearly gates and is told, ‘you let go of the most important relationship you had on the advice of a man? We need to talk about this, and no, that didn’t make you more righteous.’

        TRs are important, and I’m hanging on to mine, but it is self-righteousness to say that it’s more important than anything else in life–

        Sometimes a person will have a spiritual experience, have a wake-up call, have an experience with Jesus, etc.–

        and have a paradigm shift and not see things the same way–but still be honest and good–
        don’t throw such people away for a TR.

  19. Steve
    June 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

    @Eric,

    Is there nothing more important than your temple recommend? your honor, integrity? It seems inconsistent to me to get one through the violation of core principles. I find almost impossible to sustain our leaders when they cast out good people over doctrinal disputes, leave in others who also have disagreements and lie about their orchestrating it all.

    @Tim,

    Thank you for your integrity in this. With all that is going on, I don’t understand how you can sustain the GA’s.

    Steve

  20. Eric Baron
    June 13, 2014 at 9:05 am

    @Steve there is scriptural precedence for members of God’s church claiming that the brethren, be they biblical or modern day, are out of the way, that they don’t know what’s going on anymore, that they are out dated, old fashioned, corrupt, etc etc. And every single time, anciently and more recently, those people have been found on the wrong side of the fence. I don’t know your or Tim’s situation personally, and I’m not judging you in any way, I’m saying when one goes against the prophet, one finds himself out of the church, and more importantly, out of God’s presence. In those circumstances where there has been church corruption (such as with Samuel anciently) the Lord took it upon himself to remove him. In other words, if there was corruption, or if the church did need to be corrected, our friend and Brother Denver Snuffer, nor myself, would not be the person to do that. I don’t steady the arc. God does.

    • Sister Friend
      June 13, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Perhaps God Is Calling out The Elect from what has become of the modern day LDS Church.

      • Eric Baron
        June 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

        @ Sister Friend, that’s an interesting idea. I don’t think I could ever get behind that idea as I believe the true church of God was restored through Joseph Smith, that the presidency as it exists today holds all of the keys necessary for salvation, and any organization that claims authority outside of the exercising of those keys is illegitimate, if not apostate. Furthermore, I have my own witness of the Holy Ghost burning the truth of the gospel into my heart. So despite the fact that all logic and sound thinking would point to the truthfulness of the restored gospel, the Holy Ghost confirms and synchronizes my mind and heart. Ultimately, and I understand this, it is a personal decision by each of us what path to follow, and if anyone feels that path lies outside the church, we of the church pray for their well being and hope they find happiness.

    • Adam
      June 13, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Can you point me to a concrete example of where Denver has attempted to “steady the ark”? Expounding scriptures shouldn’t count, in my opinion, since that is a responsibility devolving upon all of us equally.

      • Eric Baron
        June 13, 2014 at 9:16 am

        @Adam, I admittedly don’t read Denver Snuffer’s material, as I can barely make time to read the essential standard works, and if I misspoke about Denver, then I apologize. My point about steadying the arc as referencing the idea that IF the church was in error (which I feel it is not) then it would not be our collective job as members to correct that error. More specifically, Denver’s job is not to proclaim or clarify doctrine. That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the presidency of the church, who hold the keys (which I believe is an essential point). Fair question though.

      • Adam
        June 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

        Eric,

        I would invite you to use https://ref.erenc.es/ds/cites/ in your study of the standard works.

        Is it not also our duty to declare the doctrine we know and have (e.g., D&C 88:81)?

        The limitation, such as it is, is on declaring new doctrine. [After all, if non-GA's couldn't preach and declare existing doctrine from the scriptures then the Brethern would sure have an awful lot of sacrament meeting talks, primary & sunday school lessons, missionary discussions and baptismal programs to conduct! ;-)]

        And again, I’m not familiar with any instance of Denver declaring any doctrine not already found in the standard works or teachings of Joseph Smith, but if you find any, I’d love to have them pointed out.

      • Eric Baron
        June 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

        @ Adam, absolutely agree, we all have the duty to clarify doctrine to our friends and neighbors. I don’t really want to bicker with you about the pros and cons of affiliating with Denver Snuffer, and you know more about the subject than I do. The principle is that the Lord’s key holders on earth, his representatives, excommunicated a brother, and following his teachings, his clarifications, his explanations, doesn’t seem to be holding to the iron rod. My original question, was why would you let yourself become “un-temple” worthy.

      • Adam
        June 13, 2014 at 9:57 am

        The principle is that the Lord’s key holders on earth, his representatives, excommunicated a brother, and following his teachings, his clarifications, his explanations, doesn’t seem to be holding to the iron rod. My original question, was why would you let yourself become “un-temple” worthy.

        Eric, I’m ready to reconsider and discard any false teaching that anyone can articulate. Is any teaching from Denver, no matter how well grounded in the scriptures, toxic? Because I refuse to believe that I need to give up the Book of Mormon in order to be temple worthy.

      • Lizzie Nelson
        June 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        I think steady the ark is a bad parallel. The ark is not a representation of the church or the organization. It’s a representation of God. Is it not?

    • Log
      June 13, 2014 at 9:26 am

      And every single time, anciently and more recently, those people have been found on the wrong side of the fence.

      Isaiah was on the wrong side of the fence? I mean, sure, he was cast out and put in a log and sawn in half, but is that the fence we’re talking about?

      Jeremiah was on the wrong side of the fence? I mean, sure, he was cast out and put in prison and his end we know not of, but is that the fence we’re talking about?

      Abinadi was on the wrong side of the fence? I mean, sure, he was cast out and burned to death, but is that the fence we’re talking about?

      Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

      • Log
        June 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

        To make my point more clear – none of these individuals were “the prophet”. None of these individuals were among “the elders”. All of them did what you say puts one on the wrong side of the fence.

        And they were obeying God in so doing.

      • Eric Baron
        June 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

        @Log, I can see I was overly ambiguous, and I apologize. Maybe I should clarify what fence we’re talking about. The right side of the fence would be the Lord’s side, and all of those great prophets you just mentioned were surely on that side of the fence. The wrong side of the fence would be those that go against God and his church (and I grouped those collectively on purpose as the church is God’s church). There is no precedent for members of God’s church taking it upon themselves to call out the brethren, and to take action because they feel something is amiss. That was my original point.

      • Log
        June 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

        Eric,

        I don’t think it is sound to judge a man after the sight of one’s eyes, or the hearing of one’s ears. Whenever I attempt to judge a man, I find what I am really doing is asking “what would it take for me to say or do as this person has done?”

        3 Nephi 14
        1 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

        2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

        3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

        4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

        5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

        I think also it is inappropriate judgement to condemn a man without first hearing him out.

        John 7:51
        51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

        Proverbs 18:13
        13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

    • Mike
      June 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      There is a lot of bad information in that comment, sorry to say. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, for one, would disagree that they fell “on the wrong side of the fence,” when they disagreed with their leaders. Excuses might be made for Jesus, being the Son of God, but the fact of the matter is His authority to correct the church was unrecognized by the contemporary leadership, and He underwent the most brutal of excommunications. John the Baptist is especially relevant, seeing as his authority was recognized by the people, and Christ, but not necessarily the leadership. When the leaders kept their distance, it was out of fear of the people who respected John, they actually feared popular backlash. Not because they recognized his authority.

      Samuel the Lamanite and Abinadi are also good examples of men correcting the church, who did so against the grain of chain of command. Abinadi was not King Noah’s hierarchal superior, he was an outsider nobody, who also happened to be a prophet. Samuel the Lamanite was, at very best, perhaps a stake president equivalent from another stake, inserting himself into the Nephite stake where he had no jurisdiction. Yet, as it turns out, they were both called of God to do what they did. Were they on the wrong side of the fence? If our scriptures have anything to say about it, God frequently corrects the leaders through prophetic nobodies because nobody in leadership will hear His voice directly. Only when He has no one on the earth in the place of need does He seem to more directly stir things. (That is not speaking to His willingness to be personally inserted into individual lives, He doesn’t expect us to only rely on others He has had contact with). Prophets and the gift of prophecy are not confined to the regulated pattern of priests, and never have been. And the priestly body struggles with and is frequently offended by that.

      As for the steadying the arc defense used so frequently, that could warrant a whole post of its own to discuss its total misapplication by us LDS when used to prevent the bottom from questioning or observing the top. It simply doesn’t apply, at all. Noting a problem, one one hand, does not constitute taking it upon oneself to strip those intended to resolve it of all their power and authority to do so while simultaneously claiming said power and authority for oneself and attempting to exercise it. When we complain of errors by our government, we don’t accuse one another of trying to step on Congress or the President’s toes or supplant their authority with our own. And the formation of America was inspired by God in the same way that the formation of the Church was, according to LDS doctrine. So why can we note leadership errors in America without crossing lines, but not church leadership errors? That frankly sounds rather tyrannical, and would be recognized as such in any other organization in the world. Noting problems isn’t steadying the arc, it is far more equivalent to seeing the arc tipping and saying “hey, guys who are in charge of steadying the arc, it’s tipping. You guys might wanna do something about it, I’d hate to see it take a tumble.”

      And if Tim had to lie to keep his recommend, because it’s supposed to be a higher priority than his honesty, then he’d be defeating the whole purpose of an interview which includes a requirement of honesty, and perhaps even defiling the temple with his presence, according to our teachings. I agree with Tim’s careful, personal evaluation of truth as he understands it, and his worshipping of God according to the dictates of his conscience.

      • June 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm

        Mike,

        They were True Prophets. A True Prophet does only as Heaven would want. I would ask any to show me where a Prophet, who holds Apostolic keys, who communes with the Heavens, is known by his works, has led the Lord’s people astray.

      • Log
        June 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm

        Judas.

      • Log
        June 15, 2014 at 8:18 pm

        1 Kings 13 contains another interesting account.

      • Mike
        June 15, 2014 at 8:43 pm

        Heber J. Grant put an end to conferring the priesthood on people for about 20 years. The church resumed its practice after his death. Either he was wrong in what he taught and required during that time, i.e. he led the church astray during that time and we later corrected course, or he was right and we’ve since been led astray by the course correction.

        Brigham Young taught that a man I’d literally incapable of exhaltation if he doesn’t practice polygamy, regardless of their generation, and if it ever ended so would exhaltation. Now that we excommunicate for it, our doctrine would state a man is incapable of exhaltation if he does practice it. These are mutually exclusive, so either he was leading people astray, or we are now.

        There’s two Presidents of the church, I think both theoretically fit your qualifications, at least from the standpoint you appear to be speaking from. Correct me if I’m wrong. Either they stood in need of correction, or we do now.

        If the argument would be that those below them didn’t try to correct them, that would be incorrect. Many tried, including other general authorities. A leader’s refusal to accept counsel is not proof that counsel wasn’t offered, wasn’t needed, or wasn’t inspired.

    • HSM4
      June 16, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Eric – there is also scriptural precedent of “the church” being in the wrong. The two main examples are of course the leaders of Israel at the time of Christ’s mortal ministry and the Nephites before they were destroyed. In both of these examples, the churches’ leadership were very corrupt – the Sadducees and the Gadianton Robbers (who had infiltrated not only the civil government, but also church leadership positions.) These examples have been given to us, we are told in the Book of Mormon, as a type and example, for our benefit and learning.

  21. Steve
    June 13, 2014 at 9:20 am

    @Eric,

    I am not trying to steady the ark. How can you hope to be on Christ’s right hand if the leaders are doing as described and you sustain them?

    Steve

    • Eric Baron
      June 13, 2014 at 9:28 am

      @Steve, when Samuel’s sons fornicated with members at the altars, and Samuel did nothing, (as with Eli before him), the response from members was not to form their own group, to leave the church, to cease offerings, or to change their worship. God removed those who were corrupt. The pattern then, is that if anyone feels the church is corrupt in any way, they should simply respect that God, not man, runs his church on earth, and that God will make right what needs to be corrected.

      • Steve
        June 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

        Eric,

        You’re not hearing me. How can I be expected to sustain my leaders when they apparently influence/direct local excommunications (violating scriptural precedent in doing so) and then deny their actions? How can I sustain them is my question? Am I to sustain unrighteousness? Joseph did not like people being cast out for differences in opinion on doctrine. Should I sustain them when they do so or should I sustain Joseph?

        Steve

        • June 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm

          Steve,
          We think what we know therefore we know what we think. I have seen a lot of this and that but are we judging these men without their opportunity to defend? Are we being a little one sided?

  22. Ross Baron
    June 13, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Tim,
    I read with interest your recent blog post. I honestly cannot understand how you would sacrifice your temple recommend for a false prophet. The pattern in Church history, Biblical history, and Book of Mormon history is that the duly ordained authorities of the Church are to be sustained by our prayers and faith, and that their words are to be treated as the words of God to the people. Those who opposed the prophets, whether it was in the days of Moses, or in the days of Joseph Smith, met with swift judgment. Joseph F. Smith spoke of people like Snuffer when he said that “They are led to believe that something is wrong, and the next thing that transpires, they find themselves believing that they are chosen specially to set things right. It is very unfortunate for a man to be taken in this snare” (Gospel Doctrine, p. 40).
    You said that you loved to go to the temple, but one of the main teachings of the temple is that Adam does not care about any teachings unless those teachings come from authorized servants of the Lord. Metaphorically you and I are Adam and a main test of mortality is to discern the authorized and true messengers of God.
    Unlike many of those who commented on your post, I do not think you are a hero. I do believe, however, that you have integrity because you turned in your temple recommend. The best thing to do now is to repent and get your recommend back – observe your covenants by sacrifice (D&C 97:8) even if you have to sacrifice your current belief in the teachings of someone who is not ordained to teach or build up the Church (D&C 42:11). I implore you to rethink your decision, to go to the Lord, and to do everything you can to have a current temple recommend.
    Your friend,
    Ross David Baron

    • June 13, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Hi Ross,

      I feel your love and concern through your words. I thank you. I appreciate the call to repentance, although I’m struggling to determine of what I need to repent. I’ve noted in the post and twice in the comments why I felt it necessary to relinquish my recommend. Adam nailed it up above when he wrote: “It seems to be Tim’s friendship with excommunicated bloggers that caused him to give up his recommend.” Are you suggesting I give up my friendships?

      I felt especially troubled when Will Carter (Blog: In 200 Words or Less) was excommunicated back in April. Now, as Carol and I have discussed this, she has often reminded me, “You don’t know the full story and you never will. You only have Will’s side of things.” True, but Will and I met and discussed what happened. I find him to be a man who wants to come unto Christ. Why would his Stake President excommunicate this father of seven?

      I have used Denver Snuffer as one example only because of his prominence in the blogging community. I also have the examples of Will Carter, Brent Larson, Rock Waterman, Lynn Bernhardt, Mel Fish, Doug Mendenhall and the list goes on. These are all individuals, mostly bloggers, who have recently been excommunicated or are about to be. We could also add the examples of John Dehlin and Kate Kelly but their cases are not related to why I did what I did.

      Ross, I did what I did because I felt it was the right thing to do. I did so after fasting and prayer. I know the significance of a temple recommend in this church, but they don’t check your temple recommend in heaven. What they do check is how submissive you were to the promptings of the spirit. What if the sacrifice I was being asked of the Lord to offer were the sacrifice of my temple recommend? What if I were asked to sacrifice my church membership? What should I do?

      The Lord does not want sacrifices commanded of men. I’m not aware of having broken any covenants, but look forward to being instructed by my local priesthood leaders when the time comes. If they tell me I have broken a covenant, I’ll consider and weigh that against what I feel the Lord telling me as I pray about this matter. Let’s be clear. I did not give up my temple recommend for Denver Snuffer. That would be foolish. I gave it up because I asked the Lord what I should do about answering the honesty and the affiliation question. He answered me.

      Now, you may say, “Well, Tim, it’s obvious you got your inspiration from the wrong source.” Did I? How can you know that? I’m willing to kneel in prayer with you after a day of fasting and converse with the Lord through the veil. I’m willing to do that with my stake president. But I’ve got to tell you, what the Lord reveals to me, may not be what he reveals to you. It may even be different from what my own stake president feels prompted to say is the will of the Lord for me.

      The bottom line, Ross, what it comes down to is this: Will I accept what my Stake President tells me to do as the will of the Lord or will I accept what I have already received in prayer as the will of the Lord? I know my Stake President would not tell me to lie. So again I ask you, of what sin do I need to repent? What covenant have I broken? I seek true messengers from the Father and will accept nothing less. I will know them when they are sent to me. I have keys to test them.

      God bless you my friend. I know you care about me. I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m trying to do what the Lord has asked me to do. Essentially it is a private matter between me and the Lord. I asked permission from the Lord to share this on my blog. He gave permission. There are some things I won’t share, but this one is meant to be shared. This is a serious issue. My eternal salvation and exaltation are at stake. I do not do this unaware of the consequences.

      Cheers

    • Sister Friend
      June 13, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      It seems obvious to me that many who post here forget that Jesus Christ was “raised in the Church”….and was hated and cast out By “those in Athority because he taught against what was their commonly held beliefs in following the laws of Moses”…..surely he was considered the Ultimare Apostate by the Leaders of the Church in His day.

  23. Michael A. Cleverly
    June 13, 2014 at 10:52 am

    You said that you loved to go to the temple, but one of the main teachings of the temple is that Adam does not care about any teachings unless those teachings come from authorized servants of the Lord. Metaphorically you and I are Adam and a main test of mortality is to discern the authorized and true messengers of God.

    Setting aside whether or not Denver is, or isn’t, a true messenger, I’m confused why anyone who has read the Book of Mormon would, a fortiori, conclude that he (or any other potential “true messenger” candidate) must not be simply because he is not a general authority and/or because some of the legitimate religious hierarchy doesn’t like him or what he has to say?

    The Lord clearly showed us in the Book of Mormon that he can call someone from outside of the reigning religious hierarchy irregardless of the worthiness of the religious leaders of the time.

    Cases in point:

    1. Abinadi was sent to deliver an authoritative message (expounding the scriptures) to wicked King Noah (who was the legitimate leader) and his people. (Alma did not need to receive any new priesthood authority once he listened and repented.) We recognize Abinadi as a prophet now, thousands of years after his martyrdom, but contemporaneously he lacked any credentials other than his message.

    2. Samuel the Lamanite was sent to deliver an authoritative message to the Nephites even though their leader, Nephi son of Helaman, was so righteous that the Lord conferred the unconditional sealing power upon him by His own voice. Nephi did not ordain Samuel or assign him to speak, yet the Lord clearly worked through him.

    From grossly wicked to exceedingly righteous, the worthiness of the Lord’s religious leaders was not any impediment to the Lord sending the people a true messenger with a message.

    Why, a fortiori, would the Lord not be able to be the same today as he was yesterday?

    • Fernando Valenzuela
      June 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      The answer why is because the Lord has already said that this is the final restoration. That means the keys and authority of the kingdom rest with the church and its leaders. That wasn’t the case back then.

      Since the beginning of time, people have always felt it easier to follow dead prophets rather than the living ones. Those who won’t follow the current prophet will gladly proclaim that they would have followed Joseph, Brigham or Moses.

      Please, Brother Malone, heed the wise words of your friend Ross.

      • June 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        “Final” meaning “last” in the sense it is used in D&C 76:22, that is to say “most recent”. I believe no man has the right to dictate what God may or may not do or how He is permitted to do so. King Noah, the head of the Zeniffite religion was also the “living prophet”, but it didn’t exempt him from having to follow what the Lord gave through Moses. Similarly in our time, *no one* has the right to alter, add to, or remove from what the Lord laid out through the head of our dispensation (Joseph Smith). Nor does any have the right to contradict the scriptures. These are not popes (as the old endowment put it) that I sustain at general conference–they are not infallible. We should not treat them as such. And they are certainly not Joseph’s equal in just about any way.

      • Julie
        June 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

        It’s statements like this that I have been learning to question. I’m happy to be corrected, but so often we take statements like this as “doctrine” without doing the work to find out what the Lord actually said on the topic.

        So: where did the Lord say this is the final restoration? (Typically, I’m hoping someone else can tell me rather than researching it myself…) It seems to me that the work of restoration is an ongoing endeavor, being renewed constantly within individuals. Last I heard, there was still much to be revealed (AoF) and gifts of the spirit to be poured out on young and old, men and women alike, regardless of their positions within the Church (Joel). Oh, and the scriptural prophecy that the leaders of the Church would be envious of its members in the last days (Mormon or Moroni somewhere). So I would be very hesitant to put limits on what/when/how the Lord may or may not reveal to anyone.

        The argument that this dispensation is somehow different than previous ones is the same argument other churches have always used to justify their lack of prophets and apostles. Why would the Lord change the way He has always done things? You will need a much stronger argument to prove He has changed his methods than you would need to argue He was operating the same He always has.

        By the way, this is not a question of whether we would follow Joseph or Moses over current leadership! If you think that’s the issue, you’ve missed the point. The question is whether your allegiance is to the hierarchy/legal entity/culture/community that is the church today (of which most members are truly good and faithful people; that is not the issue), or to the Lord. The interests of the worldwide church and the will of the Lord are not the same thing.

      • Michael A. Cleverly
        June 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

        The answer why is because the Lord has already said that this is the final restoration. That means the keys and authority of the kingdom rest with the church and its leaders. That wasn’t the case back then.

        Please take some time to reread Helaman chapter 10 in the Book of Mormon.

        If you still think that Nephi lacked keys and authority, I’d like to understand how you reconcile that notion with the Book of Mormon.

      • June 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

        The Book of Mormon prophets such as Nephi, Mormon and Moroni “saw our day” and wrote for us.

        See President Benson’s talk:

        https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/11/the-book-of-mormon-keystone-of-our-religion

        The Book of Mormon is still the “keystone” of our religion, dead prophets and all.

        Our living prophets wisely counsel us to “search, ponder and pray” over the teachings in this book.

    • Ross Baron
      June 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      I will tell you how I know both a priori and a fortiori that Snuffer, et al are not authorized servants of the Lord. In section 52:14-19, the Lord says that he will give us a pattern in all things so that we are not deceived. One of the necessary conditions of being an authorized messenger of the Lord is obeying the ordinances of the Lord. Since Snuffer et al have been excommunicated from the Church (cut off) they are not in obedience to the ordinances, hence, not authorized messengers and no one needs to be deceived by them or their teachings. The Lord revealed additional keys so we would not be deceived in section 43:1-7, and in section 28:1-7. Also, the apostolic keys are in place so that we are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine by the sleight (craftiness, trickery, sophistry) of men (Ephesians 4:11–14).

      In the case of Abinadi, you made the claim that wicked king Noah was the “legitimate leader.” However, it is extremely unclear from the text that his leadership had anything to do with ecclesiastical leadership, it appears to be political as a result of being the son of Zeniff. Also, what were the fruits of Abinadi’s preaching? Alma repented of his wickedness, formed a Church, and then went and submitted to King Mosiah who then authorized him (Alma) to organize the Church (Mosiah 25:19). Abinadi and Alma both supported the Church and the Kingdom of God as then upon the earth that was in Zarahemla.
      Samuel the Lamanite is the best example of what Snuffer is not. He did not draw anyone to himself, did not speak ill of Nephi the prophet, and did not lead people out of the Church. In fact, the record clearly states that after his preaching, many believed on his word, and what did they do? They “went forth and sought for Nephi . . . desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord (Helaman 16:1). Instead of taking them away from the Lord’s authorized servant, Samuel motivated them to find them and to seek the ordinances at their hands.

      Ross

      • Log
        June 13, 2014 at 3:04 pm

        ordinance

        OR’DINANCE, n.

        1. A rule established by authority; a permanent rule of action. An ordinance may be a law or statute of sovereign power. In this sense it is often used in the Scriptures. Ex. 15. Num. 10. Ezra 3. It may also signify a decree, edict or rescript, and the word has sometimes been applied to the statutes of Parliament, but these are usually called acts or laws. In the United States, it is never applied to the acts of Congress, or of a state legislature.
        2. Observance commanded.
        3. Appointment.
        4. Established rite or ceremony. Heb. 9. In this sense, baptism and the Lord’s supper are denominated ordinances.

        I have elsewhere cited a GA acknowledging some people are cut off from the Church wrongfully.

        So much presumption. So little knowledge.

      • Sue
        June 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

        So while the Lord could choose to send the Church a true messenger as long as the Church were to cast the messenger out they would render him retroactively a non-true messenger via institutional shunning… genius! Truly has the Lord given his power unto men in this glorious last dispensation!

        I’m sure you accept Monson, Packer, Perry, Nelson, Oaks, Ballard, Scott, Hales, Holland, Eyring, Uchtdorf, Bednar, Cook, Christofferson, and Andersen as true messengers.

        But how can you, using your own criteria?

        At best, until they all die not having been excommunicated all we can know for sure is that they have not been excommunicated yet. Except, I suppose for Monson. In spite of the Lord revealing a procedure for trying the presiding high priest for his membership in the case of transgression (D&C 107:81-83) since 1890 we all know that’s really just a dead letter since the president of the Church can never lead us astray. We can be totally confident putting our trust in and following him…

        … The other 14, well, certainly not individually–at least as long as Monson lives. Possibly in them collectively as long as we can ascertain at least a bare majority. (Learned all that just again last Sunday in Relief Society lesson #11 from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual).

      • Mike
        June 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        “Since Snuffer et al have been excommunicated from the Church (cut off) they are not in obedience to the ordinances, hence, not authorized messengers and no one needs to be deceived by them or their teachings.”

        False. Speaking of Snuffer specifically, he was told that he was fully worthy of maintaining his temple recommend, i.e. he was keeping his covenants. That he was worthy of a temple recommend but not worthy of membership is one of the ironies that frustrates people.

        D&C 43:1–7 and 28:1-7 do far more to damage your argument than uphold it. A play-by-play is too long for a comment here. Suffice it to say, the Lord was speaking to and of Joseph and his role, and any type set forth was arguably lost/abandoned/destroyed with his death anyway.

        “Apostolic keys”… That’s a very misunderstood and ill defined thing. What are they? Define them. The current notion contradicts 2 Nephi 28:5, among other scriptures, not to mention the D&C verses you quoted above, though we rationalize otherwise. What they are not, is God giving blanket authority and power to men to do as they see fit because they have a title.

        Ephesians 4 says nothing of apostolic keys. It speaks of callings, which when fully and fruitfully realized, can help prevent us from being tossed about. The current distress is related to the question of whether those callings are being fully realized, which is debatable, thus the debate. If those were being fully realized, then yes, it would help stem the unsteadiness. It says nothing of keys, and this misrepresentation has doctrinal implications.

        Concerning King Noah, our records are in fact clear enough about his status. He was chosen to rule by his father Zeniff (Mosiah 11:1). When Noah reigned he removed all the sitting priests, who had been consecrated by his father (Mosiah 11:5). For his father to have consecrated the priests, he must have been the reigning high priest. Zeniff’s people are favored of God (at least when they repented, Mosiah 9:17–18, 10:10), so his role must have been legitimate. Zeniff then named his replacement in the same manner as King Benjamin did with Mosiah, a legitimate transition of high priest-kings. Noah then consecrated his own priests (Mosiah 11:5), and nobody argued against his right to do so. This even follows the pattern the Lord tried to establish for us in D&C 43:4, from your above cited scriptures. Noah’s status is clear, he was legitimately placed as high priest over his people, but he erred and Abinadi’s noting Noah’s errors was legitimate and endorsed by the Lord. Then when Alma and his people returned to Zarahemla, they were joining an existing “stake” if you will, with a sitting and righteous stake president. Had Mosiah become wicked, I think it’s safe to say Alma would have had something to say about it, though it probably would have looked more like a call to repentance than an attempted supplanting.

        “Samuel the Lamanite is the best example of what Snuffer is not. He did not draw anyone to himself…”

        Um, Snuffer doesn’t try to draw anyone to himself, he vocally and frequently states his repulsion to the notion.

        “…did not speak ill of Nephi the prophet…”

        First of all, speaking ill of someone would seem to require falsehoods. Speaking truth about anything never constitutes speaking ill. Noting error cannot be understood the same as speaking ill or evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, or many of the prophets who wrote our scriptures would be guilty of this and therefore theoretically not upheld by the Lord in their words. Isaiah, Micah, Ezekiel, Abinadi, John the Baptist, Christ… all noted the errors of their legitimate priesthood leaders. Are they guilty?

        Secondly, the debate of the propriety in calling the President of the church “prophet” as a proper title, regardless of whether they meet the qualifications, is a matter of hot dispute at present. It troubles a lot of people, because by this logic King Noah was a prophet. I doubt anyone would agree to that idea. Nephi clearly fit the qualifications of a prophet and righteous leader, so there was no repentance to be called by Samuel as it were. However if Nephi were wicked, or if decisions he made were wrong or even questionable, I doubt Samuel would have gone without saying something about the matter.

        “…and did not lead people out of the Church.”

        And neither has Snuffer. His constant exhortation has been for people to come to the church and come back to the church, to receive what it does indeed have to offer and help serve in any way possible. My understanding is he still attends regularly, though the church has placed restrictions on him as a non-member. He has never led someone out of the church, and in fact has led many to it, so you entirely misrepresent and falsely accuse your brother in your argument.

      • Michael A. Cleverly
        June 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        Ross,

        I make the claim that Noah was the legitimate leader based on Mosiah 11 where Zeniff confers the kingdom upon his son Noah. Also, verse 5 in that chapter implies that Alma was consecrated by Noah. Therefore Noah held both political and ecclesiastical leadership. But it looks like Mike already said all that, and more.

        I think it is worth pondering first in the abstract without any reference to Denver Snuffer because if the seemingly stronger argument that the Lord could not, would not call an Abinadi or a Samuel in our dispensation is true then there is no need to even have a discussion.

        In your opinion, what could the Lord do with the “holy men [we the Church] know not of” that he has “reserved unto [himself]“? (D&C 49:8)

    • June 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Mike,

      1. King Noah was a wicked leader and his people knew it, or at the least the righteous knew it. Abinidi was sent from the Lord to brings a wicked man to repentance (or was it to rescue another who would hear the Lord’s words and alter his path?).
      and….
      2. Samuel the Lamanite preached exactly what Nephi would preach. There was no conflict between these two servants of the Lord. Why would the Lord be two-faced? What would it gain Him?

      • Mike
        June 15, 2014 at 9:39 pm

        I don’t really understand this response, so I don’t really know how to respond. In my understanding, the initial issue was essentially whether someone without presiding authority, keys, etc. would be called of God to call people, including leaders, to repentance.

        I presented the argument that, exemplified by Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite, they can.

        Your comment is presented as a rebuttal of sorts, yet doesn’t refute my points, so I am confused. Noah was indeed a wicked man. He was also the presiding authority in his area. And Abinadi was not his presiding authority, by priestly hierarchal standards. So…

        As for Samuel, he was not the authority where he came to prophesy and call for repentance. There was an established authority there, upon whose toes he would have been stepping by today’s standards. I only mentioned him possibly correcting Nephi should Nephi have been wicked, which he wasn’t. To be clear, never once did I say Samuel was there to call Nephi to repent. But Samuel still wasn’t respecting our current understanding of “bounds of authority,” preaching on Nephi’s turf without Nephi’s solicitation. Yet Christ endorsed him, chastising Nephi for not including Samuel in their scriptures. No one suggested a two-faced Lord, or difference of preaching between Samuel and Nephi. Only that authoritative bounds of ministry are apparently viewed differently by us than the Lord, and therefore we should reevaluate our blanket dismissal of people not respecting our understanding of authoritative boundaries. So I don’t understand the straw man rebuttal against things I didn’t say…

  24. Jim
    June 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Tim,

    I don’t know why you have been on my mind lately but both you and Denver have caused me to wonder what is going on. Yes, we are all imperfect, including the church and Joseph Smith for that matter,and if I can say that about him I can say that about any of the Prophets. We have a history that has stinky parts because we are human, and yes the church has from the beginning tried to sanitize those parts. Does that mean we are fallen or that we give up, No. We forgive and move on.

    I have been reading more of the articles written by those who have been “purged” and I have found that they do indeed desire, thirst and seek greater knowledge, but it appears they have gone to the wrong fountain. I am sensing a cunning plan from the adversary to draw people away from the Lord. I am not saying they are in on it themselves but that HE HAS MANAGED TO GET A WEDGE IN, AND IS LEVERAGING IT. None of us live in a vacuum and the things we say do effect those around us. If we allow the adversary to use our words even though we don’t want to support him, we still give aid and comfort to the enemy.

    The first rule I always follow is that regardless of what ever I am doing if it brings me closer to the Lord then it is of the Lord, if it takes me away from the Lord then its not. Refusing to abide by my Temple Covenants freely taken does not bring one closer to the Lord, period.

    Second all things which promote contention is of the adversary. If I am performing or doing some action that brings pain and sorrow to my family because of the contention that I have created then I need to revisit what I am doing, and change.

    OK, enough soap box stuff, now to the pertinent points. Several things which have really bothered me about the doctrine/teachings that Denver is teaching and causing people to lose focus is:

    1. No prayer before his talks – It might be petty, but really, are we not going to plead for the spirit to guide us before we talk of Spiritual things. (violates the word of the Savior).

    2. Joseph got it wrong about Independence Missouri because we all know there are no mountains there? First off the Rockies are probably some of the youngest mountains on the planet. ONE OF THE OLDEST MOUNTAIN CHAINS ARE THE APPELLATIONS. They are the true everlasting hills and at one point they were taller than the Himalayans. They can rise as much as 2 miles depending on the shifting of the North American plate and the New Madrid fault. And lest we forget when looking for the location of Zion part of that mountain chain needed to have collapsed or as it states in the book of Moses fled away. Amazingly you actually find that independence Mo. is in part of the Ouachita mountains and they were connected to the Appellations by a series of mountains that have collapsed which created the Mississippi valley region. So for me the words of the Lord are verified as to the location of Zion. But Denver rails against this. So I question.

    I know you also have aligned with him on this but my question is what if he is wrong and the Lord and Joseph were right? How would this affect you and your family since you have a desire to be a follower associate friend (pick your own word) of Denver.

    3. There is nothing you or I can do to get into the church of the First Born, only those invited will be attending. So why all the concern and moaning and groaning, just be the best you can be in the stewardship you have been given whether it’s a 5,2, or 1 talent job.

    4. Finally my last point about Denver and some of his positions that I feel he has gotten wrong. I will admit I am a polygamist. Yes, I have two wives sealed to me. My first wife passed away from cancer. I have remarried in the House of the Lord and now have another Eternal companion. Much like Hyrum Smith who loved his first wife and then his second do we have to choose or has God prepared a way. We all know the obvious answer. But Denver has an apparent disdain for Brigham and feels that Plural marriage for the raising of seed or children is wrong, although according to the Book of Mormon that is the Only Acceptable reason for Polygamy. So if Brigham is following the Book of Mormon for his reasons then he is correct. Both of the reasons given by Joseph and Brigham work for me and because God is not a respecter to persons, both have standing before Him. It is things such as this that give me pause about Denver. It appears to me as I listen to him that he is building a cascading series of events about the failure of the church. As I said above negativism and contention is not of the Lord, destruction does not lift anyone but fulfills the desires of the adversary.

    I bring these points up because on these, I know that the teachings of Denver are wrong, even though he teaches with great passion. I must admit I like to listen to Denver but as I listen I am seeing the erring doctrine he is teaching. As to the temple question I am not agreeing or affiliating but I am becoming aware of the doctrines being taught and recognizing what can cause people to lose focus.

    Tim I am not calling you to repentance just pointing out something that I know is blatantly wrong and creates a false basis to form an understanding on. Please excuse the poor English, I hate typing and suffer from dyslexia so I spell and write poorly. If you want to know more about the mountain thing let me know and I’ll send you some links it is interesting and proves that Joseph was a prophet because there was no way he could have know about this stuff.

    Finally the Gospel of Christ should not cause pain or suffering. Christ loves us all and desires us to have joy. Seek not only for the light but for the Joy of the Lord.

    your Brother in the Gospel

    • June 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks Jim, I ask again: What temple covenant have I broken? All I have done is turn in my recommend because I could not answer the affiliation question and still be honest. I think this is the third time I tried to make that distinction in the comments, besides stating it in the post.

      I desire to come unto Christ. Wasn’t that clear in the post? I seek to come unto Christ. Where did I say otherwise? I love this church and the members of this church. I recognize the authority of this church to administer ordinances, but ALL ordinances are still only invitations to come unto Christ. They are earthly symbols of heavenly realities.

      Denver is not my source for obtaining enlightenment. He is but a catalyst. The enlightenment comes from the Holy Ghost. I’m not sure how I can make this clearer. My path in life is determined by what the Lord places in front of me. I try to respond appropriately.

      For example, I was interviewed a few moments ago by Brian Mullahy of KUTV2 via Skype specifically for this story. I would never had chosen to do something like that on my own, but had the opportunity to testify of Christ and of the service LDS bloggers can and do provide.

      You can see it here: http://kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/whats-lds-panels-role-mormon-disciplinary-actions-11952.shtml

      I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with your point that the gospel of Jesus Christ should not cause suffering. I don’t think that’s based in scripture. The Lord said we must take up our cross and follow Him. I don’t think it was a very pleasant experience for Him to carry that cross.

      However, I do agree with you that we must do our best to be an opposing force to contention. I have learned that contention can indeed be one-sided. If we respond with only love and kindness, we are on the Lord’s side and He will bless and support our efforts to persuade.

      Thanks for your loving concern. I appreciate it. God bless.

    • Sister Friend
      June 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Jim,
      I hate to inform you of this buddy, but you are so wrong about Polygamy, and Joseph Smith, and modern Revelation, you should seek out and search and read and find the rest of the two thirds of the Book of Mormon, The Sealed Portion, and read it in its entirety….your eyes and heart and mind will be opened to the Truth.

      • Geoff
        June 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm

        Have you sought and found and read in its entirety the sealed two-thirds portion of the Book of Mormon? I ask sincerely what you really mean by that. Please enlighten me.

      • Sister Friend
        June 15, 2014 at 8:35 am

        Geoff…..
        Yes….I have sought out and prayed about finding The Sealed Portion of the Book of Mormon….after I heard that it was available to those few who are ready and searching and seeking to receive it.
        I too, had thought it would only come forward through the established Presidency of the LDS church.
        It has come forth in a manner similar to the young boy, Joseph Smith…it has come forth through a young man who was a returned missionary, working as a security guard, for the Church in SLC.
        Apparently the resurrected Prophet Joseph, along with this man’s deceased grandfather, appeared to him in the chamber of the Twelve…after much prayer…and sincere inquiry regarding the leadership of the modern LDS church.
        The entire story of how this came about is online….look for The Sealed Portion of The Book of Mormon online.
        The story of how he came to have the two thirds of the plates of the Book of Mormon, and meeting with Moroni, and the Three Nephites, and Joseph Smith, is in the final pages of the book.
        Many who read my words will scoff, and say, not true! The rest of the Book of Mormon will ONLY come forth from the established Prophet, which is what I have always believed…being a faithful, Temple Recommend holder and believer…
        However, who am I to doubt the Ways of The Lord….His ways are Mysterious and perhaps we cannot tell him how He is to carry forth his messages to the Elect.
        People will say that this young man who brought forth this Sealed Portion of theBOM is an imposter, a liar, one who has been in prison! Hasn’t all that and more been said about the Prophet Joseph?

        • Mike
          June 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

          Someone close to me has introduced me to Nemelka’s work, being enamored with him and his work themselves. This topic of the Sealed Portion hits home for me.

          However, let’s allow the author of the Sealed Portion, Chris Nemelka, to speak for himself. Here are a couple other publications by Chris Nemelka, both published after his first edition of the Sealed Portion:

          http://chrisnemelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/I-Was-A-Fanatic2.pdf

          http://chrisnemelka.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Reality-Quest-1.pdf

          His alias, (one of many), of Adam Beneli, as well as authorship of “I was a Fanatic,” were attributed to him, without dispute by him, in a defamation lawsuit he filed in Utah’s Third District Court Case No. 070401714 against Vicky Prunty Batchelor, Lillian Bowles, Rowena Erickson, Tapestry Against Polygamy, Inc., John R. Llewellyn, Agreka Books, Inc., and Jon Does, 1-10. He acknowledges it is him and his publication.

          These publications and all contained statements were made unsolicited, of his own free will. He cannot blame anyone for cornering him into saying any of it, as he claims with many other things. (As an example shall be shown. He also claims he lies under direction of his God, because his honesty in this world isn’t necessary to his “marvelous work and wonder” he is accomplishing. He has claimed this numerous times, including in personal communication with my loved one who reads his Sealed Portion. This however seems to be inexplicably acceptable to many if not all of his followers).

          Some select quotes from Chris Nemelka’s own mouth:
          “What I did do was I deceived her [ex-wife Christine Marie] religiously. I played with her religious beliefs and mind, which I do not think a person should do…”
          “My whole purpose, though, was to write the sealed portion. Get the sealed portion done. Sell it to the church. My whole idea was to sell it to the LDS church. I was going to sell it to them, because all the Mormons are looking for the sealed portion to come back. I thought I had a good talent for writing. I was going to write it up and sell it to them. They could do with it what they wanted. They probably would have kept it off the market.”
          “I set about in my own mischievous and arrogant way, of which I’m not proud of now, to prove that a person could actually write scripture and present it to people who were looking for certain scripture…I was playing on the belief that LDS people have that one day the gold plates would be returned and the sealed portion would be translated. Basically, I set about to write a fictitious version of the sealed portion as I thought Joseph Smith would have written it had he continued to perpetuate his translation of the gold plates. Much to the chagrin of the LDS church and others, what I wrote was indeed well versed and quite appropriate for the scripture I was trying to portray. Anybody who reads it would just be totally amazed.”
          “My true intent was to somehow perpetuate a religion that would be based on true Christian principals of Christ-like love…Where I made my greatest mistake, for which I’m now extremely sorry for, is that I used deception to perpetuate what I proposed as the truth, assuming at the time that Joseph Smith had done the same thing.”
          “See, when I did that thing with the fundamentalist group, [showing them the first edition of the sealed portion, then once they accepted it as true, telling them he fabricated it] there were people who wanted to kill me. They were so mad. When I came out and told these other polygamists, fundamentalist guys, that I had really written the sealed portion, that I had done it just to show people that it could be done—they were very upset.”
          “When I deal with people, I am amazed at the ignorance and stupidity of most. People are so easily manipulated and deceived. Knowing this has made me a near master of manipulation. I try only to use this art, however, to help people. Sometimes the things I do seem terrible at the time, but usually the manipulation works to accomplish that which I intended.”
          “Yeah that’s, that’s all bull****,” Nemelka said from jail. “All the revelations are bull****, of course. I made ‘em up.”
          “I’m even glad you’re doing the article [the newspaper article referred to below], in a way…I am, so that the sealed portion will never go anywhere. There’s a lot to it, a lot more than what you’ve got. In the wrong hands it could really wreak havoc on a Mormon church, which I don’t want to do.”

          He was interviewed by a newspaper, while in jail, concerning his claims. He admitted that everything was a fabrication. But he now insists that his confession for the newspaper interview was all a lie to deceive the judge in charge of his case:
          “I knew I had to portray something to [Judge] Lindberg that would appease her personal opinion that I thought I was “above her law”, and more especially, above the laws of the powerful LDS Church to which she belonged. With her legal power, she could have easily had me confined to a mental institution, if she actual thought I was serious about my calling as the revelator of the sealed portion of the plates of Mormon. I was in her grasp and I wanted out.
          The conclusion I came up with was simple: Lie to Ben Fulton and get him to write something that would impress Lindberg into thinking that I was done with The Sealed Portion and would have nothing further to do with it in the future…Everything I said to [reporter] Ben Fulton of The City Weekly was an attempted manipulation to attempt to ease the mind of Judge Denise Lindberg…”

          He has been allowed to speak for himself. His life and confessions hardly reflect Joseph Smith’s, to whom he compares himself (and claims to receive direction from, after also calling him a fraud).

          As to the scriptural connections and requirements concerning the sealed portion, we have Ether 4:6–7:
          6 For the Lord said unto me: They [the sealed portion] shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.
          7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

          Have the Gentiles repented and come clean? Do they exercise faith like unto the brother of Jared, whose faith had already parted the veil, bringing him into the Lord’s presence and granting him the vision of all things? Is this an accurate general description of Nemelka’s readership? If not, then it is apparent that the scriptural prerequisites for its emergence haven’t been met, and his sealed portion cannot be the one referred to in the Book of Mormon.

          Then there are the troubles within the text itself. I have attempted to read it, but in my opinion, I find it entirely uninspired and rather evidently not what it claims. It is hard to read, because while it uses scriptural verbiage, it lacks in all other ways. It contradicts our current scripture, including the Book of Mormon, of which it is purportedly part. It is internally inconsistent, like all of Nemelka’s preaching. It is darkness.

          His position and claims seem rather undefendable, yet his followers also tend to be unshakable. So in addition to Log’s sigh, I have to add my *throws hands up in the air*…

          • Sister Friend
            June 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

            I too, must throw my hands up in the air! I have heard and read these things, and similar, also attributed to the Prophet Joseph.
            Yes, I wish I could counsel Nemelka to be like President Monson in his matter-of-fact, calm, quiet tone of voice. Please be more like able !!
            Alas, probably will not happen….
            God’s ways are mysterious…
            Again, I say read the ENTIRE BOOK….begin at the appendix….and ONLY AFTER READING THE ENTIRE BOOK….ask God if it is True….

        • June 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm

          Sister Friend,

          When the Prophet Joseph Smith brought forth the Gospel there were witnesses. The Lord God always works by the law of witnesses.

          He knows how feeble we can be to detect the evil one. I can witness to you just how powerful the adversary can be, I have both seen his dark and benighted spirits and battled them, and they have power and priesthood. Never doubt their ability to appear as children of light.

          Where are the witnesses of all that has happened with Christopher? Would God bring me to make a judgement on one man’s word? He has never done that in the whole of scripture. In light of D&C 129 and the three grand keys that the Prophet gave us; how did the Prophet pick him up off the floor? It was just a few years ago that the Prophets body was moved and some more studies were done on his corpse. So did the Lord give him a special dispensation of resurrection so that he could help up poor ol’ Christopher to stand up?

          But again, where are the witnesses? Joseph begged for them because the Lord told him that is how He (the Lord) works.

          • Sister Friend
            June 16, 2014 at 7:02 am

            Dear calling Michael 2050…..
            In all honesty, I’m not sure how I would have reacted to seeing Ezra or Nehemiah or Zechariah or others who “did not fit the mold” or even Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, if I were one of those selling doves for sacrifices in the Temple, in person. Remember, there were many in Joseph Smith’s time who hated the man, or loved him, even today his name is held for good and evil. You will see many, many publications saying he said this or that, that he was a scoundrel, and a liar, and a thief …..I am a seeker of Truth, I have an open mind. I will continue to seek after Truth until I meet My Savior again. I am open to an honest discussion, I will listen to another’s beliefs….and I do hope to condemn no man or woman.

      • Log
        June 15, 2014 at 9:23 am

        From “The OFFICIAL and AUTHORIZED website of The Sealed Portion – The Final Testament of Jesus Christ”

        The Bible was created by men, who, throughout history, wanted to present a philosophical idea of our relationship with a God as our Creator. The Bible has been the cause of much war and misery since its inception. Most of the world’s misery is caused by those who are misled by the Bible’s teachings and also by those who interpret and teach their followers that it is the ultimate “word of God.” It is NOT the word of God. It is the word of men.

        Versus the Prophet Joseph Smith:

        Believing the word of God, I had confidence in the declaration of James—“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” [James 1:5]. I retired to a secret place in a grove and began to call upon the Lord.

        We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

        Sigh…

        • Sister Friend
          June 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

          Yes…..sigh…hmmmm.
          Anyone can pick out phrases from ANY BODY OF WORK, including the Scriptures, and pick and choose what they want to believe or how, whatever has been written, can be interpreted…I can see that in the modern day interpretation of the WOW….how many REALLY believe and live the sayings of The Lord to eat meat sparingly, and it pleaseth me saith The Lord, if it be done not at all, except In times of famine, or winter, or drought.
          I will reiterate my claim, that I believe one must read THE ENTIRE BODY OF WORK….including the Old and New Testaments, The Book of Mormon, and if you choose to, the entire Sealed Portion of The Book of Mormon…..men’s comments aside…there are words of wisdom to be found…ask and Ye shall receive…How many have rejected the Book of Mormon for variations of hundreds of impossible contradictions of this and that. The Holy Spirit will reveal To EACH INDIVIDUAL THE TRUTH OF ALL THINGS.

      • Log
        June 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        Sister Friend,

        To make a long story incredibly short, and without going into detail, here’s the question I shall have at the end of reading this 600+ page document filled with internal contradictions, teachings which contradict the Prophet Joseph Smith, teachings which contradict the Book of Mormon, teachings which contradict the Doctrine and Covenants, teachings which contradict the Pearl of Great Price, teachings which conform to an improbable degree to the theological fads of the fringes of the culturally LDS, teachings which conform to an improbable degree to the modern scientific orthodoxy, and teachings which conform to an improbable degree to modern concerns of political correctness (and I am, at this moment, only up to chapter 8 [anyone else who wants to read it can do so here]) – my question shall be this: why should I reject those things The (So-Called) Sealed Portion (hereafter referred to as T(SC)SP) contradicts in favor of T(SC)SP, the author of which has publicly admitted, whether that admission is a lie or not, it is “bullshit?”

        Because, in the end, to believe T(SC)SP you would have to reject the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (to say nothing of the modern Brethren). So I put it to you directly: what could possibly motivate a sane, consistent, and rational person to believe T(SC)SP?

        • Sister Friend
          June 16, 2014 at 6:42 am

          All I can say, is read the entire body of work. I love all the scriptures. ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES. … There are contradictions in the OT, in the NT, in the BOM also. Do I still believe these works. Yes.
          I also have read VISIONS OF GLORY….do I believe that work. Yes.
          I have studied Buddhism and Hinduism …do I believe there is truth in those religions? Yes.
          From TSP 58:93
          “Do unto others that which ye would have them do unto you, and ye shall be one with Christ, who is One with God, who is the Father who desireth that all of His children be One with Him.”

      • Geoff
        June 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

        Sorry Sister Friend, but if Log says it does not even pass the plausibility test, and he’s only on chapter 8, then it is very likely, well, implausible. I will take a look myself just for kicks and because of your sweet endorsement. Perhaps you could share with us what you have found so enlightening or enriching about it. I’m sure even if it’s made up by a crazy guy that it could have some beautiful truths, particularly if it inspired you. Look at all the inspiring works of fiction which we have to date. At first glance it really doesn’t sound like it meets the real Book of Mormon’s timing description (when the Gentiles would repent and exercise faith like the Brother of Jared, etc.). It also does not sound like it is even the proper length? Wouldn’t 2/3 of the Book of Mormon plates probably translate to like 1000-1300 pages (if 1/3 translated to 530-650 pages, depending on formatting)?

        • Sister Friend
          June 16, 2014 at 7:47 am

          Dear Geoff, you sound so kind! Perhaps we all should be kinder to one another! Even if we agree to disagree.
          I will write here a quote from TSP…chapter 4, vs. 11 thru 15….
          (Even if one considers it fiction, the words are comforting…and enlightening…and do not some say the Bible is a work of fiction? Although, it gives me comfort, and I believe, is the Word of God.)
          “Now, I, Moroni, continue to relate the words of the brother of Jared which he wrote pertaining to the glorious vision that he had seen pertaining to the world in which the spirits of all men reside.
          For behold, all of the spirits of every man who have lived upon this earth were born unto eternal Mothers and Fathers in the world that the brother of Jared beheld. And it was on this world that our spirits received the learning and the nurturing of our Heavenly Parents, like unto that which we give our mortal children. Nevertheless, we were taught the eternal laws that pertained unto that world, or in other words, the world on which we were created.
          And this world that the brother of Jared beheld shall be know in mortality as the Celestial Glory, which is the highest degree of glory of all the glories I the kingdom of God.
          And it is a planet like unto the one on which we reside; and it is in another part of the kingdom of God, which kingdom is vast and eternal, in other words, it hath no beginning and no end, thus it is eternal.
          And it was on this earth where the Fathers and Mothers of our spirits were born into mortality and passed through the days of their probation, proving Themselves worthy of the blessings and power of the Celestial glory.”

        • Sister Friend
          June 16, 2014 at 8:05 am

          Upon reflection, as I’ve read through TSP once, rather quickly, and upon reading , felt great happiness, and also great dismay, and concern, and anger, and more happiness…I am on my second reading…( I will add, I read and ponder all the standard works daily, and have begun memorizing verses…)
          I believe I remember Moroni stating ( in TSP) he was counseled by The Lord, not to reveal certain things at this time, because of the wickedness of men, that if they knew these things, it would give them solace….something about the lower kingdom of Glory, as to its Glory being so much greater than that which we have here on earth now.
          So, perhaps, there is more to be revealed by Moroni and The Lord. I will not stand in the way of further Revelation.

      • Geoff
        June 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

        Dear Sister Friend, I have to take my hat off (figuratively speaking) to a guy who is willing to write 668 pages of scripture, even if it’s pretended. Christopher is certainly dedicated, prodigious, and prolific. In spite of his admissions of lying, I think he is very convinced of himself.

        I’ve read a few portions of TSP and I sense a complete lack of the depth, truth, and spirit that I do in the Book of Mormon. Since these are supposed to be parts of the same stick, that is a red flag to me. And I am open to unconventional and unorthodox truth.

        Another red flag, to me, is his pretentiousness in correcting Joseph Smith and completing his work. He restores the 116-pages Joseph lost. He brings forth a better translation of Matthew 5-7 (3 Nephi 12-14) and calls it the fulness of the gospel. He fills in the blanks on the First Vision. I just watched his most recent MWAWtv segment and he does not seem filled with light to me. He seems rather full of himself. Reading some of the content of MWAW website, he seems to think himself (and testifies that he is) very great, the “one like unto the Son of Man” and the only true messenger.

        http://marvelousworkandawonder.com/cmnblog/2014/06/08/mwaw-tv-show-episode-40-the-bunkidity-of-mormon-bigotry-polygamy-and-religious-thought/

        Another one is that, so far, I have not read of any other witnesses to Christopher’s having the plates (JS had 11 other reputable eye-witnesses, 3 physical and spiritual, plus 8 more physical). Are there any other witnesses to Christopher’s, that he had the plates and translated them by the power of God? By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established…

        I know, I know, lots of true prophets have been classified as crazies: John the Baptist, Abinadi, Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joseph Smith, etc. Joseph Smith is the only one we have any real insight into his life and he just seemed like a Christlike genius. Christopher doesn’t strike me as either and doesn’t seem like he has a firm mind in every form of godliness (one of the prerequisites to ministry of angels) nor pure in heart (prereq to seeing God). I’m not saying he’s not, just that he doesn’t strike me as either. I do recognize spiritual light, but I don’t see it here. I see megalomania honestly.

        These are just some honest impressions. I have not fully considered all of his “fruit.”

        • Sister Friend
          June 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm

          Geoff,
          I can say that I do not disagree with your quick opinion of Mr. Christopher Nemelka. I, have felt the same way, and still do, at times.
          I have tried to contact him, but have not been able to. However, I, myself, feel that, for me, this is God’s test for me. I am studying and reading all of the books in this work. There are things in these books, relating to spiritual experiences I have had on my journey, that no one else, in this entire world, have touched upon.
          I prayed to receive more Truth than was in the Bible, and I was led to the BOM. After studying the 4 standard works for years, and hearing (remembering actually)….that the sealed portion would come forth at some later date…I wasn’t praying for that specifically…just more Truth and Light….I came across this work after looking into a blog site by John Pontius.
          I have begun reading….and waiting on The Lord.
          Perhaps The Lord is testing His people. I do know that C.N. Did NOT WANT THIS CALLING……ACTUALLY RAN FROM IT…AS DID JONAH. He has been ridiculed constantly, he has been called every name in the book, he has been in prison…
          However, there is something there….something in this work….I am still investigating, but there are things revealed that I cannot deny are TRUE.
          ….I love this LDS Church because I was taught we can have our own personal revelation….we can talk to HF ourselves…will it be, in a few years, that only the President/Prophet can talk with HF?
          Is it true that the Presidency no longer mentions the Sealed Portion of the BOM? Is it true that the picture in the LDS welcome center at the SLT, of the Gold Plates, no longer has the band around the sealed portion?
          Is it true that the First Presidency was given a chance to distribute the work and apparently chose not to?
          Why does Pres. Monson look worried and fearful during Conference. There are too many questions about so many things.
          Yes, CN is not what I want him to be like (I have not met him)…And on his TV show, he often appears full of himself, and boisterous, and makes fun of people, etc., etc.
          Actually, what is the “look” we are wanting? Someone who is a Spiritual Giant like Uchdorf? Someone who calms us and speaks kindly and lovingly? We have that with many Church leaders….again, he is NOT WHAT I am expecting as the Translator of this work.
          Do we want someone who delivers a letter in Love, and says “Come to a meeting where you cannot defend yourself and we are removing you from your family and associates”? All the while smiling smugly…”Oh, how right we are…How righteous! Yea…we are doing the Lord’s work, casting out these evil people!” (or saying, ” we don’t know what that dept. is up to.”…) I’m afraid they will have a surprise when they see The Lord face to face after falsely judging people….perhaps it will become a badge of honor for the Elect of The Lord to be excommunicated from this church. (…as in Martin Luther…)
          Remember, during His lifetime, the masses of people screamed “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Relating to Our Savior… I’m sure there are people who would love for CN to go away, or have him change to what they think a prophet or a messenger should look like. The man puzzles me. I’d like for him to behave differently. I am NOT IN CONTROL here. The Lord is!!
          I am asking questions. I do Not know all the answers. I am seeking more Truth. I will read and listen and pray, yes, pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the Truth of all Things to me. I will study all of this out in my heart and my mind.

      • Log
        June 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

        Hey Geoff, check out this fruit: [link removed by administrator - Yes, it was offensive. Ask Log to send you the link in a PM if you want to see it.]

        Language warning. Topic warning.

      • Log
        June 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm

        I’d say the fruit was dingleberries. Low-hanging, too.

      • Geoff
        June 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        Log, I think I found some of the links on Christopher Nemelka’s Marvelous Work and a Wonder site. If you follow this link and look on the right you’ll see a reference to one of his journal/blog entries that references “eternal gay… offensive!” and it proposes that Jesus Christ and all Christs are bisexual. It is offensive!

        http://marvelousworkandawonder.com/cmnblog/2014/06/08/mwaw-tv-show-episode-40-the-bunkidity-of-mormon-bigotry-polygamy-and-religious-thought/

        [blockquote]
        The advancements we make in technology will always favor and lean toward what exists in our real world. We get the ideas for these things from the experience that we have as advanced humans. And once we are finally convinced that there is no God but our True Self, then we will be ready to exercise the power of a God to create whatever situation and environment we choose for ourselves, AS LONG AS SAID ENVIRONMENT AND SITUATION DOES NOT AFFECT THE FREE WILL CHOICE OF ANOTHER!
        [/blockquote]

        He believes (or claims he knows) that we are the only true God, each of us. It actually reminds me of Theosophy for those who want to look it up. But he definitely teaches against Christ. He teaches that Christ is not our Lord and God, but just our servant. I’m not sure how to put his teachings in context with the Book of Mormon published by Joseph Smith. I don’t think they can be.

        Sister Friend, are you sure you’ve looked at all Christopher’s teachings? How do you reconcile a bunch of these? What truths were you referring to that you encountered on your journey that were validated by your reading some of his books?

        • Jen
          June 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

          After skimming only briefly the MWAW info, and having these luscious updates coming into my inbox, I thought I’d weigh in. I’d agree with those feeling it lacks the s/Spirit and depth of the Book of Mormon. It so quickly called to mind a situation described in Jacob 7:4. Reminiscent of a man named Sherem. For what it’s worth:

          4 And he was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil.

          https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/jacob/7.4?lang=eng#3

          I am the last to call good evil and evil good, and am open to hear Jehovah’s Witnesses on my door (until they trash talked Christ and called the BoM a devil’s book), read all of Denver Snuffer, much of Rock Waterman, and even fully read the platform info on Ordain Women. This man’s words sound so much like flattery, imitation, and deceit. I do believe it’s a test for you, Sister Friend. If it brings you closer to God, you’ll know it’s from Him. God can speak to us through the most surprising of ways, certainly. But if not, please take care.

    • Karl
      June 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Jim, Good points all the way through. I too have concluded that Snuffer is in error . I do not condemn or judge him as a person, only that what I think he has propounded is just clearly wrong. Best

  25. Julie
    June 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Tim:

    I would like you to know what a great example you have been to me of integrity and loyalty. I was having a conversation with my best friend earlier today that it used to be that my behavior and participation in the church used to be governed by fear of being forced to one day stand up for my convictions and the desire to continue being “popular” in the local church. However, in the past few months, that has begun to change. As I’ve observed changes in the worldwide church, tried to deal with silly bureaucratic issues in the local church leadership, and followed your blog (and a couple others), I have begun to feel more courageous. My focus has begun to change from wanting to fit in and feel important at church, to wanting to know how I can communicate what the Lord wants my branch to learn. I, too, feel that important things are happening, and we are running out of time to repent. … I am running out of time! I believe that because of your example, I will have the courage to do the Lord’s will when that time comes, no matter what He asks.

    I also love the temple, and talk about it constantly when I teach at church. Maybe someday soon I will also need to turn in my temple recommend, although last time I had the interview I did feel comfortable about my answers. But even if I lose the entrance card one day, what I received there can’t be taken away by anyone, ever. You do not lose your endowment if you lose the card–that, you can keep forever. The piece of paper and the approval of your peers and church leaders is worth nothing compared to your integrity and faithfulness to the Lord.

    Thank you for paving the way, simply by being courageous. I’m not sure I could have stepped up if I had to be first. But because people like you have gone ahead, I know I will be in good company if the Lord calls me down the same path.

    God bless!

  26. June 13, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Tim, your honesty, courage, and integrity is really refreshing. On reading your statement, I immediately felt the Spirit invite me to seriously ponder your response and its applicability to my own situation. I am considering it with fasting and prayer. It seems the central aspect of the question is: Who determines whether the “teachings or practices are”, in fact, “contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”? For example, does the fact that I agree with Denver, Rock, and many others (including Joseph Smith!) who teach that the Book of Mormon really is about *us* as a wayward LDS church mean that I therefore am agreeing with teaching that is “contrary to or opposed” by the Church? While the Church never issued a public statement on PTHG, they sure made it clear in the course of Denver’s expulsion that it was precisely because they “opposed” PTHG–that is they (Elders Nelson & Whitney Cayton and later the First Presidency) believed the scriptural/prophetic view of our church history (as PTHG contemplates) was false and wrong. Does it need to be an official PR statement for me to be persuaded that it “opposes” what is “accepted” by the Church? And which church are we talking about here anyway? The trademark to the Corporation of the President? the Brethren? the Brethrenites? or the church composed of the humble followers of Christ who have received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost? I’m guessing it means “the Brethren”, since they composed the very questions themselves, setting the church up as mortal replacements for the Gatekeeper. This question you brought up, I feel, is a very important subject to consider. Thanks, Tim, for your courage. I may find that I need to surrender mine, too, even having just “renewed” it this week.

    • Jen
      June 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      The Gatekeeper line is the best in this whole thread, imo. I think that is the very bottom line point of all those bloggers receiving discipline.

      Ironically enough, when we share the story of Joseph Smith, we shun the idea of judging the Book of Mormon poorly due to what one’s preacher might have said or thought about it, and invite the reader to investigate and suspend judgment until they have a chance to ponder its meanings, and then pray about them. It’s interesting to see diligent members of the church cast the same judgment on DS’s and some of the bloggers who write similarly, much like I used to see from my Evangelical friends here in the “mission field”.

      Tim, no matter what anyone says, you are a loyal friend, even if you’ve never met some of these bloggers. It’s very rare to find a soul like you. What a gift you are to the blogosphere and the universe. :)

  27. Log
    June 13, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Taking Jeremiah as an example (though we might look at Isaiah, Lehi, Abinadi, and, ultimately, Christ himself):

    1. Jeremiah was not the presiding high priest in Jerusalem (in modern terms, he was not “the Prophet”).

    2. The priests and elders of the Jews (in modern terms, “the Brethren”) held the keys of the kingdom (D&C 84 – they held them until John, the Baptist).

    3. The Lord told Jeremiah to preach (Jeremiah 1:5).

    4. Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord against “the Brethren”, in their roles as prophets (Jeremiah 23:26–40).

    5. The Lord changes not (Mormon 9:9).

    Conclusion: either the Lord shall send (or has sent) prophets from outside the hierarchy to to speak his word, or the Lord has changed.

  28. mayberrymaiden
    June 14, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Tim, why on earth if you answered “Yes” to the question about sympathizing or affiliating with those who have been excommunicated unfairly, would you voluntarily give up your temple recommend? You are honest in heart and of course when asked that question would answer yes, but that’s no reason for them to take your temple recommend away so why give it up?

    I don’t like the question either and I did answer the question honestly last time, even though I guess some would say reading your posts might say I’m “affiliating or sympathizing” with (I don’t remember the rest of the question) but anyway…so what? I sympathize with polygamous families that live an honest life and are good families and get persecuted by the press and I’ve had my temple recommend all these years. I don’t see a need to turn it in. I don’t see how anyone but the Devil can be exuberant about your decision, but it’s yours to make.

    I’ve got my son out on his mission right now. An amazing miracle as it nearly didn’t happen, but the LORD corrected him and moved his heart and recently he had a true baptism by fire experience in the presence of an Apostle visiting his mission. As much as I admire your desire to be more holy, the voluntary loss of men like you in the church will NOT strengthen or change the church, as leadership ignores those on the outside, it can only be changed from the inside and we need you. Do I feel you are correct on some things…yes, but when I have my son serving God, bringing souls to Christ on the other side of the world and I read you are leaving the very church for which he is serving (which is organized by God) I’m incredibly pained inside for the loss. We are the Kingdom of God, and no kingdom is with out it’s issues while on earth, but no kingdom can remain strong when people desert either.

    I’m scared quite frankly, but I guess it’s all in God’s hands. I love our Prophet and the apostles. I know they have a hard job and need to keep an eye on the flock, which is hard when there are millions to care for, and that has lead to the potentially abusive authority given to members of the committee reading blogs like yours. BTW, if any member of that committee is reading my post right now, just know that I DO NOT APPRECIATE the wrong’s you have committed in the name of God and how you are influencing the spiritual members among us to be excommunicated or abandon ship. It is wrong! I have a family member that should have been excommunicated for the evils he did to his family and was not…so I’m just a little more than bummed that bloggers, of all people, are being beaten up by your committee in the name of the Lord.

    • June 14, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Hi MayberryMaiden: Maybe I can answer your question this way: Is it not true that the correct answer to the affiliation question is no? Is it not also true that if you answer yes to the affiliation question, the local priesthood leader is obligated to answer, “I’m sorry, but I can’t sign your recommend.” In the many years I conducted temple recommend interviews, this was my understanding.

      If the questions aren’t answered in the “correct” manner, the recommend is not signed. Period. Am I wrong? Therefore, since I can no longer answer the question “no” the honest and right thing to do is to give the recommend to the presiding authority. Any other course of action would be dishonest. Let the common judge in Israel make the decision. That’s why we have bishops and stake presidents.

      This was not an act of rebellion. This was an effort to be honest. I have no desire to leave the church. I apparently have not been clear or persuasive in getting this point across. I am truly amazed how many people think I am angry at the church or a wanna-be apostate. Are we that much of a church of hypocrites that being honest is no longer the acceptable thing to do? Is honesty no longer required?

    • Steve
      June 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

      @Mayberrymaiden,

      Wihle I disagreed with your first post, I rejoice in your 2nd one. i don’t see Tim as leaving the Church, but I would be surprised if he were allowed to continue serving as stake financial clerk.

      Steve

      • June 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

        Rats. My secret is out. Now everyone knows I have been trying to get released from my stake calling :-) Just kidding, President!

  29. Robert
    June 14, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Tim, I wonder if your decision would have been different if you had children and grandchildren who were actIve, church members? Would you not want them to receive the ordinances? To go on missions? To marry an active member?

    Depending on how affiliate is defined, I would think most temple recommend holders affiliate with those they shouldn’t according to the question. Most also support through financial means a lot of causes in opposition to the church in many ways.

    Very few members actually live the WOW as contained in section 89.

    I could go on, but won’t.

    I find it honestly fascinating that you were guided to give up your recommend when I am sure that many others who are just as sincere and with just as much integrity have not.

    Despite all the flaws I think it much better to remain within and do what I can to change things for the better in whatever small way possible. Mostly by trying to teach children true doctrine so the can come unto Christ.

    Take care

    • June 14, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Robert. I know you would not want me to lie. Let me use this example that I hope will help. I have received assignments as a High Councilor and Bishopric Counselor over the years to extend a calling. We prayed for inspiration in our Bishopric meeting. We felt good about the calling – that it would bless the life of the individual being considered.

      However, when in the home of the individual, ascertaining their life situation before extending the calling, it becomes clear the calling would NOT be a blessing but instead a burden in that person’s life at that time. The calling is not extended. Surely I am not the only one who has ever experienced this while serving in the church.

      Just as we members are expected to make our priesthood leaders aware of changes in our life’s circumstances, so priesthood leaders are entitled to inspiration in regards to temple worthiness. I do not have the right to make that decision. The burden is upon the bishop and the stake president. They are the gatekeepers to the temple, not me.

      Did I do something wrong? I confided in my bishop. I told him of a change in my life’s circumstances. I made him aware of my situation. There was no animosity in our meeting. There was no anger expressed – only love and respect on both sides. The bishop did the right thing as he accepted my recommend. This was not an act of defiance.

      I am not leaving the church. I have no desire to leave this church. I make every effort to teach true doctrine every chance I get. I was pleased to be able to bear my testimony to KUTV2 news yesterday of the importance of coming unto Christ. Of course, they cut that portion out of the broadcast, but that’s their prerogative. I witnessed of Christ.

      God bless you my friend. I appreciate your loving concern.

    • June 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Robert. Thanks for the post. To affiliate means to join or to become a member of something. The Lord has said that there is truth in other’s, just not the whole truth. If I read that right I can see their “right(ness)” and still not affiliate with the whole.

  30. June 14, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I think were are at risk of developing “scrupulosity” regarding Temple recommend interview questions.

    I myself have deep qualms about such consequential questions for which one must answer in monosyllabic binary manner.

    Taking the questions to their honest and logical conclusion, we are all sinners and none is worthy to enter the Temple. But Jesus still wants us to visit therein anyway.

    We are a flawed people living in a fallen world. Jesus atoned for our sins accordingly.

    As for the particular Temple recommend question at hand…

    Jesus himself associated with some unsavory people including tax collectors, lepers, adulterous women, and a variety of sinners.

    Matthew 9:10

    And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

    • Jen
      June 14, 2014 at 8:14 am

      Tom, for some reason I couldn’t reply to your link earlier. (I don’t understand why wordpress only allows replies to particular areas.) Wanted to say, thanks for the links. The part in that article from 2 years ago with the double asterisk is particularly fascinating, especially if it means we’re perpetuating falseness when we say the country is closed to proselyting if it isn’t!

  31. mayberrymaiden
    June 14, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Tim, one other thought. Though Jesus was seen as butting authority, he NEVER decided NOT to attend the temple. Despite the fact that the temple was built under the wicked Herod’s rule and was under the heathen governance of Rome, he never stopped going to the temple. He had the authority to cleanse from God, yes, but despite the impure status of the temple and many of it’s reigning heirachy, the LORD attended the temple and so did his Apostles after Him. I just don’t see why the Lord would send you away simply because you have told the truth of who you associate with. As one other reader pointed out, Jesus associated with all kinds of people dissafected with the church at that time but he never stopped attending the temple because of it. I’m so sorry for your decision…makes me very sad as I don’t feel it was necessary, but it’s your call. God bless.

    • June 14, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Mayberrymaiden: It’s NOT my call. It’s the call of the Bishop and Stake President. They hold the keys of judgment to determine who is worthy to enter the temple and who is not. I have to wonder why are so many people expressing sorrow, even anger that I have done what I believe is the honest and right thing to do.

      I love the temple. I want to attend the temple. I look forward to meeting with my stake president and bishop to hear their judgment on my worthiness to attend the temple. I am very grateful the Lord has given us good men to guard the way to the temple. I love these brethren and trust they will do the right thing.

  32. Lizzie Nelson
    June 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I think it may be true that Tim is indeed worthy to enter the temple. So probably is Denver Snuffer (his stake president said so as he conducted the exing interview), as are many of the other recent exed members.

    Jesus may have entered the temple at odds with the leaders, but he might not have had the current interview questions that we now have so he probably didn’t have to worry about answering them–just speculating here.

    But the point is, there is a list of questions. It’s the leaders’ rules that set the standard, as apparently it’s their “game” right now. That list probably isn’t the list the Lord has to determine worthiness, but it’s the list we have.

    I think Tim is saying more here–correct me if I’m wrong–than that he affiliates and sympathizes with exed members and “apostates”.

    If I were just attending several of Denver’s talks out of curiosity then that would be one thing. But the problem arises if you agree and believe what Denver Snuffer is saying. That does indeed set you at odds with our leaders; it just does.

    So then the impact of the questions are entirely different to those who look at the history of the church and the passing of authority or rights — as explained in PTHG.

    Considering the way the church seems to be going these days–unjust exings, shopping malls, land purchases, exclusive hunting ranches, etc. gives cause to deep thought. Sustaining, answering yes to some of the questions, means that I approve and sanction these church directed activities. It means I approve of and agree with kicking out the humble followers of Christ. It says that I’m not bothered that the top leaders have thrown out a man that has received Jesus Christ and God the Father.

    I might say, that this post of Tim’s has me looking at the questions in much the same way. How can I maintain my integrity if I am slithering around the answers in word play and sophistry? How can I say that I support and sustain the GAs as PS & R if I don’t really think they are.

    It seems the TR questions are more designed to demand loyalty to the institution rather than loyalty to Christ. I’m just not sure I can play that game anymore.

    But I do believe that God can direct me and converse with me in the body of my own temple if he so chooses. He doesn’t need me in the structure of the temple if I can’t go there.

    • Adam
      June 14, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      But the point is, there is a list of questions. It’s the leaders’ rules that set the standard, as apparently it’s their “game” right now.

      They ostensibly hold the keys that will either save or damn us and our families. Kind of worth playing their game when the stakes are that high.

      How can I maintain my integrity if I am slithering around the answers in word play and sophistry?

      The questions–demanding only a binary yes or no answer–pretty much force you to. Even if you’re an apostle you’d have to play word games.

      After all, consider the question: “Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?

      In this last General Conference Dallin H. Oaks taught that there are keys that the President of the Church does not have (creation and resurrection were two specific examples).

      Now, the question doesn’t ask you to affirm that the President of the Church has the more keys than anyone and that nobody on the earth has a key that he doesn’t, it very plainly asks us to affirm that he has, and is authorized to exercise, all priesthood keys.

      Now, most people would play word games and say that there is an implicit quantifier. But consider how many lawyers and PhD’s are among the Brethern. They could have chosen to write the question differently, more precisely, more doctrinally accurate but they haven’t.

      So Elder Oaks ought not to be able to give the “correct answer” to this question–given that we have to answer with one word and aren’t allowed to give an explanation or nuanced answer–with a “no”. In his case, though, since General Authorities get lifetime temple recommends that never expire they don’t have to meet with their bishop and stake president every two years & go through these questions, so I guess this honesty dilemma wouldn’t ever apply to him personally.

      It seems the TR questions are more designed to demand loyalty to the institution rather than loyalty to Christ. I’m just not sure I can play that game anymore.

      Yes, institutional loyalty is what the troublesome questions are geared towards. There are some of the questions that are loyalty to Christ, but those aren’t the gotcha ones.

  33. Karl
    June 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Tim, I don’t think you are in need of repenting for anything, other than your own stupidity. I say this in a kindly way, without any desire to judge or condemn you for what you have done. However, I must say that since this is the church of JESUS CHRIST, and not the church of Thomas Monson, or Boyd K Packer, or any other man, then the only thing that matters to me is what the Holy Ghost tells me about my own worthiness. I have as much RIGHT to attend the temple as the President of the church. The specific questions in the temple recommend interview change constantly anyways, and often reflect the particular bias of leadership at that point in time. I believe that most of the questions have a relative element to them. For example, as pointed out above, the Word of Wisdom is not a COMMANDMENT. Just read the original revelation: “NOT by way of commandment.” Somehow in the 1920’s it morphed into a hardcore commandment, and now the thought of “breaking” it is appalling to ultra-orthodox Mormons.
    Ironically, only the NEGATIVE aspects of the WOW were codified into commandment, and the POSITIVE aspects (probably more important healthwise) never were, and so are never asked about. For example, a few weeks ago, the EQ instructor said, with a straight face, that he had never had any problem obeying the word of wisdom, and yet is some 150 pounds overweight. That illustrated completely the problem we are having in so many areas in the church. So much of what is “doctrine,” is nothing more than one plausible interpretation among many, that is in vogue because it has been codified by ultra-orthodox, wasatch front Mormons. Yet, I am not at liberty to vocalize concerns at church, because the ultra-orthodox wing of Mormonism is in complete control of the show. As for your current concern with honesty and the word affiliation: loosen up a bit, good Brother Tim. That question was specifically put in to ferret out those that were adopting fundamentalist polygamy and then trying to indoctrinate church members. It is not there to prevent you from attending a lecture by Denver Snuffer. I listen to all kinds of atheist and agnostic material on YouTube and that in no way “affiliates” me with these groups. If leadership in the church ever defined the question in that way, I would simply answer the question the church wants it and move on. If I were your Bishop or Stake President I would not have accepted your turn in over your recommend. Tim, you have as much RIGHT as any other member of the church to attend the temple, so please, do the right thing, and go get back your recommend.

    • June 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Good stuff, Karl. I look forward to meeting with the “common judges in Israel” in about ten days. I’ll let them decide if my upcoming attendance at a couple of Denver Snuffer’s lectures is considered an act of apostasy because I support, affiliate with and agree with many of the teachings I have read in Denver’s books, blog and lectures.

      It’s funny, because that is specifically what Will Carter and Brent Larsen were excommunicated for – saying they agreed with Denver Snuffer. What an imperfect church we have where you are excommunicated for your blogging activities in one stake and given a pass in another. Should I be given a pass or am I an apostate?

      • Karl
        June 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

        I’d give you the pass. If I’m ever called to a leadership positon, you can move to my “liberal” ward. Actually, since I’m not “connected” to anyone important, I think any leadership is a vanishingly remote possibility for me at this point. Since my blessing was full of promises in this regard, it has taken me some serious prayer to get reconciled to this reality, but I think I’ve come to peace with it. For me, my eureka moment was when I realized that to really follow the Lord is to be willing to descend here in mortality as far down as He requires it, and for many this is the test of obscurity, at least this has been true for me. Anyways, good luck with your meeting. Many of us are rooting for you out here. Best.

  34. Karl
    June 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    One more thought: in terms of “honesty,” there’s the philosophical question: if someone came to your house whom you suspected was a murderer and would murder your wife and children if he knew they were there hiding in the house, would you tell them they were home, because “honesty” is the highest value? That’s not difficult, because obviously, in this situation, the safety of your family is a higher priority than “honesty”, isn’t it? Please consider if you need to reconsider what you highest values really are, and why you are so intent on getting hung up on this one issue. Best regards.

    • June 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      I remember this exact same question from my philosophy class. Your advice is good. Let’s see, do I value honesty over a piece of paper that means nothing when I get to heaven? Hmmm…..

      • Karl
        June 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm

        No, you misunderstand my criticism, which probably wasn’t expressed very well. If the temple helps you in your quest to return to God’s presence, then why let the technical answer given to a relative question keep you out of the temple? What purpose does it serve? If the questions in the TR interview are subject to change and interpretation, then in my opinion, it is not dishonest to give the “right” answer. It’s just acknowledging that the process is imperfect and like everything else subject to error. There are a set of responses that are expected; that’s just the way it currently is. When Gandhi established his one man resistance to the British Empire, he just taught passive non-compliance with all the crazy stuff the British demanded. But, he didn’t deliberately create the provocation. If you go right in the face of men in any bureaucracy (certainly not unique to the church), you are going to get crushed. The Lord taught that we should be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove. Please, Tim, there are a lot of people who care about you here, please reconsider your actions, and be wise in the way you are approaching this. God bless you.

      • Karl
        June 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        Just one further idea: the church in its curriculum, missionary teaching, policies and procedures, swings back and forth from a “letter of the Law” approach, to a more liberal “spirit” of the Law approach. Eg., in teaching we have years where the teaching is spelled out in great detail in manuals, and then it swings the other way to just an outline approach (as currently being tried with youth). I think temple recommend questions go the same way: not enough detail, then too much, so this is all in a state of flux. Oh how I wish that ALL the TR questions could be reduced to this single question: Have the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in your life been more frequent and more intense since your last temple recommend interview? But this would require leaders to answer this question for themselves, and demand that they have the spirit of discernment, and frankly while we have some great leaders, we also have some leaders who are in effect dead to the spirit also. The lengthy lessons, and lengthy TR questions I think are a refuge for leaders that really don’t have the constant companionship of the Spirit, and possible don’t even trust God enough to give them the Spirit.

      • June 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

        Karl,

        My vote does not count. But I propose replacing the current TR questions per the following scriptural passage:

        Matthew 22:36–40

        36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

        37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

        38 This is the first and great commandment.

        39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

        40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

        • Sister Friend
          June 15, 2014 at 11:39 am

          Could we not also add….”Do you judge others?” And “Do you do unto others, that which you would have be done unto you?”………

          • Sister Friend
            June 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

            Another idea for questions to be asked regarding the TR? What would Christ ask…..? Have you fed the hungry, visited the sick and those in prison, have you clothed the naked?
            Is not true Charity the pure Love of God and the greatest of all? Do we have Charity?
            When we look into the eyes of Christ, we will see a reflection of our lives, our works…we will see ourselves. Will will be happy or will we be ashamed?
            Will CHRIST ask how many shopping Malls have you built, how many properties have you purchased….How have you spent my Tithing monies….many of those funds are sacred and have been given because of great sacrifice, in My Name.

          • June 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm

            Sister Friend,
            I agree that we could all use a little more of Matthew 25. There is just not enough effort to by the masses to do these works. They feel that if they pay a tithe and a fast offering that is all the faster they are able to walk, and the Lord has obviously told them to not run any faster. Oh well.
            But I differ on your take of the building of the mall in downtown. Two things come to mind — the many jobs that it created — the idea that the Church would not allow the area to become a “blight” — but maybe even more important was the fact that it was the ONLY MALL built at the time of great financial upheaval; and as such was saying to others ‘we believe in the greatness of the American people’ and we’ll get through this.
            At least I have the hope these were the case :)
            Those would be my reasons if I were the CEO of that vast holding.

      • Sue
        June 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        But I differ on your take of the building of the mall in downtown. Two things come to mind — the many jobs that it created — the idea that the Church would not allow the area to become a “blight” — but maybe even more important was the fact that it was the ONLY MALL built at the time of great financial upheaval; and as such was saying to others ‘we believe in the greatness of the American people’ and we’ll get through this.

        I bet King Noah’s constructions efforts created a lot of jobs too. And cut down on “blight”. (Mosiah 11.) And so what we are saying, at a time of great financial upheaval, is really “hang in there! All will be well in Babylon!”

        Truly the Book of Mormon authors saw our day.

        • June 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm

          Where did that come from?? King Noah and construction efforts? Really? If I read it right he was a very lazy, idolatrous, womanizing, unbelieving in Christ leader? Where is the corollary with the modern leaders? Really?

          Truly if one could have the “rose-colored glasses” then by simple deduction the possibility must be that there are those with “looking through a glass darkly” shades as well.

          Did your comment expose more of what your soul feels or did I miss something? I hope you are not that lost.

          I guess we’ll have to have that discussion as to who is “walking in darkness at noon-day”, posts like this or those who still believe in Apostolic ability see the Lord.

          Listen again to Elder McConkie’s last talk on the Atonement and tell me that he was a lost soul who was “walking in darkness”. You can read or listen to it here:

          https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/04/the-purifying-power-of-gethsemane?lang=eng

          Be careful to judge the Lord’s anger with the Church He established vs the people that are in the church…for they are not the same.

          Do you really believe that the triumvirate capsule of the First Presidency is a lost and forsaken, King Noah types??

          • Sister Friend
            June 16, 2014 at 6:33 am

            My belief is that there are indeed, many good and righteous men and women in the LDS church and its leadership today….however, there are silver cords and a web of silver cords binding people who follow blindly and do not think for themselves or question wrong doing within the sacred walls of the church leadership.
            I would like to quote something….
            TSP 4:42-43…..
            “And many of these things were touched upon by the prophets and are also touched upon by the holy scriptures that are among the children of men in our world. But there are few that understand the meaning of these things. And others have been led to believe that because God cannot be corrupt without destroying the work of God, then those who are His chosen leaders among the children of men cannot be corrupt, because they, too, would destroy the work of God.
            Behold, those that believe this are in great error, and are susceptible to the enticings of the devil, which are given unto them by those men and women who make such a claim. For those who claim that a leader of the church of God will never be allowed to mislead them, are being misled by those who proclaim this. For they have taken an eternal principle and made it carnal to fit their foolish and selfish desires.”

      • Sue
        June 16, 2014 at 7:22 am

        Where did that come from?? King Noah and construction efforts? Really? If I read it right he was a very lazy, idolatrous, womanizing, unbelieving in Christ leader? Where is the corollary with the modern leaders? Really?

        You cited several reasons why you had a different perspective on the billions of dollars the Church spent on the high-end City Creek development. One was that the construction of the mall provided a lot of jobs.

        Read these verses in Mosiah chapter 11:

        8 And it came to pass that king Noah built many elegant and spacious buildings; and he ornamented them with fine work of wood, and of all manner of precious things, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of brass, and of ziff, and of copper;

        9 And he also built him a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof, all of which was of fine wood and was ornamented with gold and silver and with precious things.

        10 And he also caused that his workmen should work all manner of fine work within the walls of the temple, of fine wood, and of copper, and of brass.

        11 And the seats which were set apart for the high priests, which were above all the other seats, he did ornament with pure gold; and he caused a breastwork to be built before them, that they might rest their bodies and their arms upon while they should speak lying and vain words to his people.

        12 And it came to pass that he built a tower near the temple; yea, a very high tower, even so high that he could stand upon the top thereof and overlook the land of Shilom, and also the land of Shemlon, which was possessed by the Lamanites; and he could even look over all the land round about.

        13 And it came to pass that he caused many buildings to be built in the land Shilom; and he caused a great tower to be built on the hill north of the land Shilom, which had been a resort for the children of Nephi at the time they fled out of the land; and thus he did do with the riches which he obtained by the taxation of his people.

        Should we excuse Noah’s decadence just because he provided a lot of good jobs for carpenters, miners, black smiths & metal workers?

        Do you really believe that the triumvirate capsule of the First Presidency is a lost and forsaken, King Noah types?

        No I do not believe that the First Presidency are lost. I merely think justifying their commercial real estate investment decisions by pointing to the jobs it created is not a persuasive argument in light of the Book of Mormon.

        Frankly, I’m surprised I’ve never run into someone who justifies City Creek by drawing a parallel to D&C 124:60-61. (That other construction project the Nauvoo saints were commanded to build–the one that no one disagrees about its lack of completion.)

      • Log
        June 16, 2014 at 8:04 am

        Doesn’t it require an accusation to require justification?

        What is the accusation against which CCR requires justification?

        D&C 121
        16 Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.

        17 But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves.

        The anointing of the Lord is the gift of the Holy Ghost, the baptism by fire wherein we are sanctified and made holy. To be cursed is to be without this gift.

        [N]othing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. – Joseph Smith

    • June 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      A little vignette from chapter 8 of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (a non-Mormon Holocaust survivor who has been quoted several times over the years in General Conference and lesson manuals):

      I bolted down the stairs, threw open the door, and pulled her inside…

      “She’s gone mad!” she sobbed. “Your sister’s gone mad!”

      “Nollie? Oh, what’s happened!”

      “They came!” she said. “The S. D.! I don’t know what they knew or who told them. Your sister and Annaliese were in the living room and I heard her!” The sobs broke out again. “I heard her!”

      “Heard what?” I nearly screamed.

      “Heard what she told them! They pointed at Annaliese and said, ‘Is this a Jew?’ And your sister said, ‘Yes.'”

      I felt my knees go weak. Annaliese, blonde, beautiful young Annaliese with the perfect papers. And she’d trusted us! Oh Nollie, Nollie, what has your rigid honesty done!

      It was Mietje … who kept us in touch with Nollie. She was in wonderful spirits, Mietje said, singing hymns and songs in her sweet high soprano.

      How could she sing when she had betrayed another human being! …

      Mietje relayed another message from Nollie, one especially for me: “No ill will happen to Annaliese. God will not let them take her to Germany. He will not let her suffer because I obeyed Him.

      Six days after Nollie’s arrest, the telephone rang. Pidwick’s voice was on the other end. … [He] waited until we were in the drawing room with the door shut. “The Jewish theater in Amsterdam was broken into last night. Forty Jews were rescued. One of them–a young woman–was most insistent that Nollie know: ‘Annaliese is free.‘”

      He fixed me with one of his wide-set eyes. “Do you understand this message?”

      I nodded, too overcome with relief and joy to speak. How had Nollie known? How had she been so sure?

      (Emphasis added.)

  35. Tom Irvine
    June 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Maybe we have all developed a severe “obsessive compulsive disorder” with the LDS Church, its policies, the Brethren, etc.

    The House of Israel predates the LDS Church and IMHO overshadows it.

    We can be excommunicated from the LDS Church but never from the the House of Israel. None of us rank-and-file members can receive revelation for the LDS Church. But any of us can receive revelation for the House of Israel, or at least for our role to gather it.

    I have strongly felt the Holy Spirit while visiting Jewish Torah study groups and Shabbat services. The Jews have always treated me with courtesy and respect even knowing that I was LDS.

    But sadly within the LDS Church, I have been accused of being “unfaithful to the Brethren” on multiple occasions…

    • June 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      My High Priest Group Leader, Dennis Williams, has taught at the American Jewish University for the past eighteen years. He is on the local Public Affairs Committee (Elder Perry oversees all the Public Affairs activities of the church) and helps coordinate tours of new temples for the local Southern California Jewish Leaders. He goes with them each time a new temple opens and helps them understand what goes on in the temples. He says it is always a spiritual experience.

  36. June 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Tim,

    I just watched your news video clip. I am not going to rehash my own experiences with the COB meddling in local-level discipline. But I know from personal experience that what you said is true.

    You have fortitude in your manly orbs.

    But now you have publically contradicted an offical statement from the LDS Church PR department.

    Might your local leaders consider that a greater concern than your association with Denver?

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, and with John and Kate.

    • June 15, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      My sister (Elder Perry’s secretary) emailed right after it aired and said, “Your face is all over the TV here in Salt Lake – it filled the whole screen.” That’s what a Skype interview will do for you. All she added was, “I worry about your last few posts. Be careful.” She even quoted the press release to me. I didn’t have the heart to respond. I know she loves me and I do need to be more careful I suppose, but it is true. I have the Google Analytics logs to prove it.

      • June 15, 2014 at 7:22 pm

        Years ago, Lynn Packer (nephew of BKP) exposed Elder Paul H. Dunn’s tall tales.

        Gordon Whiting, then chairman of the BYU communications department, fired Lynn Packer from his BYU professorship as a result.

        Whiting’s argument was something along the lines of it is wrong to criticize the Brethren even when the criticism is true.

        Elder Dallin H Oaks has declared a similar statement.

        So, Tim, I think you have take on a Lynn Packer-like role.

        For the record, I like my truth straight.

  37. June 16, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Update from John Dehlin:

    My stake president has assured both myself and a very close mutual friend that the recent action against me is 100% locally originated. Further data suggests that at least on the local level, this recent investigation was initiated by my former Elder’s Quorum president (who was recently put in the stake high council).

    As crazy as it may sound, I believe that such a coincidence is possible

    (End Quote)

    Still, the Brethren in SLC set the tone for local leaders.

    Also, the Brethren have the power to stop any excommunication just like a governor could make a last-minute phone call to stop the execution of a convict.

    In the mean time, I think that the unnamed former Elder’s Quorum president needs to review President Uchtdorf’s “Come Join with Us” because there is room for everyone talk.

  38. June 16, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I recently found this interesting quote by Brigham Young.

    “What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” (Brigham Young,JD 9:150)


    I think this counsel applies to Snuffer, Waterman, Dehlin, Malone and other bloggers who are discussing Mormon issues, as well as the leaders of the Church no matter where they reside. And, from what I gather from each of the bloggers I read, I think they would agree that the quote from Brigham Young is good counsel. Seek, Pray, and confirm ALL counsel with the Lord.

    Actually, I have never heard any of the bloggers say that they are the final word, or should be followed as an Icon. If anything, they say “Don’t Follow Me” I’m not your leader, ask Christ if what I have to say has any value. Stay true to the gospel.

    I have been reading these blogs for over a month now and have been strengthened in my testimony of the gospel of Christ. Many posts and conversations have driven me to the scriptures to validate various points of view. I don’t except all information in these discourses “Lock Stock and Barrel” but I have never felt I was expected to. However, like Tomirvine999, “I like my truth straight” so I can decide for myself.

    If the Church leaders are trying to protect the Saints from so called “Un-strengthening” information, they have certainly failed in their goal by ex-communicating or challenging these so called “apostates.” I bet Denver’s books sales as well as the attendance to his lectures have sky rocketed. I have an idea more folks will be flocking to the blogs as a result of this recent purging (if they have not already.) 



    My question is this: Because I read Snuffer’s books and his lecture transcripts, or because I read the blogs and happen to agree with some of the commentary and make comments…. does that mean my affiliation or sympathy would be under scrutiny for a temple recommend? How are others seeing this quandary?

    Tim, I have appreciated your approach because you have been respectful in the way you write and express your point of view. I wish you well. I watched the KSL clip and was disappointed they only focused on several comments and not your testimony and love for the gospel. I fear your comments will be taken out of context and used against you. I pray not!

  39. June 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Update from John Dehlin:

    My stake president has assured both myself and a very close mutual friend that the recent action against me is 100% locally originated. Further data suggests that at least on the local level, this recent investigation was initiated by my former Elder’s Quorum president (who was recently put in the stake high council).

    As crazy as it may sound, I believe that such a coincidence is possible.

    (End quote)

    I do not think that this negates any of Tim’s news broadcast statements.

    A state governor can make a last-minute phone call to stop the execution of a prisoner. Likewise, any of the “Fifteen men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators” could halt an excommunication proceeding with a simple phone call or Email.

    Furthermore, the top leadership sets the tone for the whole organization.

    * * *

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

    – Martin Luther King Jr.

  40. Karl
    June 16, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Wow, Tim if you wern’t in the crosshairs before, you are now. I’ll be praying for you (seriously). Best regards. Your friend, Karl

  41. JG
    June 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I read only a few comments. I am probably the only one who feels differently about what is happening. Emotions are running high and there are many knee herk reactions. It makes me sad for anyone to have to face a church court.
    I think that Ms. Kelly has done nothing to be excommunicated for. Of course we have to remember that a church court may disfellowship her, and not excommunicate. I do disagree with her decision to give her letter from her SP to the media. I think it is entirely wrong to publicize what is going on.

    Mr. Dehlin is an openly proclaimed Atheist. He has said he no longer believes anything LDS, and he stays and wants to stay in the church for cultural reasons. He has also been openly critical of all things LDS, and he is condescending to members who have a strong testimony. He is very careful and clever in what he says and how he says it. Why should an Atheist retain their membership in a church they no longer believe, and reject God to boot.
    Mr. Dehlin has dodged excommunication for a long while now, so that tells me the church has been very patient with him, moreso than with other people. I think he has had special treatment, which is not right, but it happens, unfortunately. He also gave his church court letter to the media and is publicizing everything, which is wrong.

    There are some things that bother me, like the Strengthening Members Committee for starters. I believe that culture has taken over many aspects of the church and needs to be purged. But I still believe the core doctrine. I still believe we have many decent and righteous leaders. I feel everyone needs to calm down.

    • June 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Let John be a “Cultural Mormon” if he wants to be. I have no desire to see him kicked out of the church. He has done much good over the years in helping others stay in the church.

      “Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”

      – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2013

      https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/come-join-with-us?lang=eng

    • June 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      The concern is that this could spread into a purge like September 1993. Bloggers are thus hypervigilant.

  42. June 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    There is something very right in all of the sharing of ideas. It truly is a mission of any servant of the Lord to share Love and support for anyone struggling with just about anything.

    A servant of the Lord is found in the women of the church and in the men of the church. It has been my experience that the women in my life have been especially close to the spirit and spiritual. And some of the most spiritual apotheosis I have witnessed has come from a variety of sources; Conference, books, talks, blogs, and so on; and see much theodicy while the war rages on.

    The evil takes its toll on the people and thereby it has to affect and effect families and communities. With all this bantering and “he said”, “she said” accusational animus we have to slow down and see what’s really happening. I am brought back to a time long forgotten when we all were engaged in a great battle and all drew lines.

    It would be nice if we could all simply get along. If one wants to believe that Joseph would go contrary to the church he organized then let them so believe, it is an Eternal destiny that is being created and no one should trifle with someone’s destiny.

    I can’t help but see the adversary’s hand in so much contention. He, and his fellow spirits, are the source of all contention. I know for I have seen these dark and benighted souls of the opposition. Think not that they are powerless. The have priesthood and they have power. I have fought them in a battle as real as the sun is bright. These are not things to trifle with. It is nothing to have these forces prepossessing features to deceive and to captivate.

    They are so anthropomorphically deceitful that the very elect can be lose their way. They thrive on the anguish of souls and it matters not if the anguish is immediate, in 5 years, 10, 50, 1,000 years or Eternity. As we cause pain in the life of others I can’t help but feel that these “workers of death” are laughing at us at all times.

    Is it just me who thinks it asinine that we have so many that try so hard to convince others of their error that we revert to name-calling and scoffing at another’s belief.

    And I have been the greatest sinner in this. I ask anyone’s forgiveness if I came across in any kind (or unkind) of judgement! I have no right to instill my beliefs on another, nor manipulate another into my way of seeing things. No one should feel fear in expressing their heart. The God of Heaven is still our common Heavenly Father, no matter what our station in life dictates to our centers of “belief control”.

    The common enemy are those forces who go undetected by almost all. They work in secret and not in the open. I have battled these very forces in the light of day. I was amazed at their organization and power. I was struck with fear when I witnessed their priesthood. My natural eyes saw their form. I witnessed their virulent capacity. They found pleasure in my utmost distress.

    I can’t help but feel deja vu as I see so many at each other over things that should be able to be openly shared without fear of reprisal.

    I found myself calling on the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver me from some very real experiences, and He did immediately.

    I hope He can come to our aide just as we captiously banter back and forth — and all the while the “hidden one laughs”.

    • June 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Thanks for the thoughtful response. Well said. You’ve revealed some deep truths in here that I hope won’t be passed over lightly. Having also been on the receiving end of visits from the adversary, or more correctly stated, by some of his minions, I know what they can do the mind and spirit of a suffering mortal. God bless you my friend and thank you for sharing your story in that personal email. If you blog somewhere on a regular basis, I’d love to read more of your stuff.

  43. Me
    June 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Tim,

    I admire your integrity, I never understand those who think it a small thing to answer questions dishonestly, or take upon themselves covenants that they know they may not be able to keep. Expecting to receive “blessings”. The same is a liar and a thief. God does not enter into, or keep covenants with liars.

    I have not entered the Temple or recieved my “endowment” for the same reason, I will not go about it dishonestly, It would not profit me anything. It is better not to give someone your word, then to give it knowing you may not keep it, or that you had lied to get to that point.

    Some have even made the WoW (according to their personal interpretation of it) an interview requirement for obtaining admission.

    If there truly are ordinances preformed within that are necessary for my eternal salvation, perhaps there will be a future time when they may be preformed, perhaps on my behalf. If this means I will be stuck in limbo for a time, It will have to be. I will not lie to qualify to enter into his kingdom.

    Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and (without humility and integrity) few there be that find it.

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