Answering the Affiliation Question

 

TempleRecommendWhen I turned in my temple recommend I didn’t expect it to upset so many people. It might have had something to do with blogging about it. There is wisdom in keeping some things private. But blogging about the issue paid off in droves. I received countless emails with advice and ideas on how to solve my dilemma. The solution: Most people concluded I was simply being too honest.

I know what you’re thinking. You can’t be too honest. Oh, yes you can. For example, what’s the correct answer to the question, “Does this dress make me look fat?” More to the subject at hand, think about the Lord’s instructions to Peter, James and John from the first time he sent them to see what was happening with Adam. There are times it is appropriate to withhold information.

The Affiliation Question

For those who aren’t familiar with the question, from what I remember, it reads like this: “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?” You can read the temple recommend questions online in many places including the church website.

This question has been discussed ad infinitum in dozens of LDS forums and blogs over the years. It’s still a current topic of discussion. The young people in our church have grown up Internet-savvy. They’re concerned about all the different information they read online about doctrine and history. There are so many things online that simply aren’t taught in the official LDS curriculum.

Become Independent Witnesses

We study and research the facts. This is good practice. We need to think about things. We need to make our own decisions. Hugh B. Brown said: “We must preserve freedom of the mind in the Church and resist all efforts to suppress it.  The Church is not so much concerned with whether the thoughts of its members are orthodox or heterodox as it is that they shall have thoughts.”

One of my long-time readers emailed me this morning. He casually mentioned a chat with his Elder’s Quorum President in his home. My friend was excited about some of the things he was reading and shared them with his Quorum President. What was the response? “I don’t think you should be reading that stuff.” When asked why, he replied, “It’s not published by the church.”

Amen to the Priesthood

This sort of answer causes me to think of the words in Section 121 about control, dominion and compulsion. I know the Brethren want us to be educated. I know they want us to be informed. It is not right to tell a man what he can and cannot read. That is contrary to the plan of the Lord. We are here to gain knowledge or light and truth. The Church doesn’t have a monopoly on truth.

We should encourage free thinking. We should encourage our members to study things out. We should not be telling our members to avoid opposing points of view. That causes blindness of the mind and eventually hardness of heart. I’m serious. How can you treasure the truth if you don’t know what others think? We become unbalanced if we don’t know both sides of our doctrines.

Accepting Counsel and Direction

I know cautions like those expressed by the EQ President of my friend are motivated by love. I feel the same Christ-motivated love from my Bishop and Stake President. Like my wise friend expressed in his email, he appreciated the counsel of his priesthood leader. I also appreciate the counsel of my priesthood leaders as they express their concerns for me in what I read and write.

Because I know they love me, I ponder carefully their counsel and direction. Ultimately, what I read is up to me. I read what I feel inspired to read. Sometimes, the material is not particularly uplifting. That doesn’t matter. It’s what the Lord wants me to know. Not everything in life is all light and rosy. While I would prefer direct revelation, the Lord always tells me to study it out.

Traditions of Our Fathers

As I shared previously, when I turned in my recommend, it was because I felt it was the honest thing to do. I have been very open and clear about my study of the writings shared by a former member of the Church. When I started reading his material, he was a member in good standing. I found in his writings an enormous amount of light and truth, as witnessed by the spirit to me.

Here was my reasoning: I agree with many things this good brother has shared. However, he is no longer a member of the church. Therefore, I can’t answer the affiliation question with a “no.” The tradition in our church is when a man is excommunicated you should no longer consider his words of any value and should refrain from reading anything he may write, or so I’ve observed.

Truth is Truth, No Matter the Source

I was wrong for several reasons. First, the only reason I knew the man had been excommunicated is because he felt it important to be open and honest about his standing with the church. I greatly appreciate that openness. Next, the Church has not published anything to indicate we should not read what this man has written or listen to his lectures. How do we know the Church’s position?

I don’t know if his teachings are contrary to those accepted by the Church unless they tell me. I must rely upon my Priesthood leader to tell me. He receives notices from the First Presidency. He can consult with the Stake President – we already have – and the Stake President can then consult with the Area Authority Seventy. But I doubt there will ever be an official statement.

My Answer to the Affiliation Question

Therefore, my answer to the affiliation question is not only no, but an unqualified no. I’m certain the Church will not direct its members to stay away from reading books or attending lectures in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, or would they? In Handbook 2, section 21.1.40, we read the current policy of the Church in regards to certain kinds of “Symposia and Similar Gatherings.”

“The Church warns its members against symposia and similar gatherings that include presentations that (1) disparage, ridicule, make light of, or are otherwise inappropriate in their treatment of sacred matters or (2) could injure the Church, detract from its mission, or jeopardize its members’ well-being. Members should not allow their position or standing in the Church to be used to promote or imply endorsement of such gatherings.”

Beware of False Prophets

Similarly, Elder Ballard has taught in General Conference,

“Therefore, let us beware of false prophets and false teachers, both men and women, who are self-appointed declarers of the doctrines of the Church and who seek to spread their false gospel and attract followers by sponsoring symposia, books, and journals whose contents challenge fundamental doctrines of the Church. Beware of those who speak and publish in opposition to God’s true prophets and who actively proselyte others with reckless disregard for the eternal well-being of those whom they seduce. Like Nehor and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, they rely on sophistry to deceive and entice others to their views. They ‘set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion’” (2 Ne 26:29) CR, Oct 1999, pp. 77–78 or Ensign Nov 1999 pp. 62–63.

Attending Lectures and Conferences

I have been to one of the lectures of this excommunicated individual I am discussing. I found it to be uplifting and enlightening. I came away feeling edified. To be frank, I am fairly certain the policy of the Church is referring to certain Sunstone Conferences of the past. It is also clear the intent of the affiliation question is to weed out those who are members of polygamous groups.

It is unfortunate the policy causes some members of the Church to consider all lectures about the doctrines of the gospel not sponsored by the Church to be “off limits.” I don’t think that was the intent of the Brethren when they published the symposia policy, nor do I think it was the intent of Elder Ballard to discourage learning when he spoke about the subject in General Conference.

Forty Years in Mormonism

I have listened to and studied each of the seven preceding lectures presented by Denver Snuffer. I found no fault in his material meaning I heard nothing that disparaged, ridiculed, made light of or was otherwise inappropriate in the treatment of sacred matters. I have also read nothing in his material that could injure the Church, detract from its mission or jeopardize my well-being.

I have declared previously on my blog that the man presenting the lecture series, “Forty Years in Mormonism,” has a message well worth our time and attention. I consider him a messenger from the Lord, with a “Testimony of Jesus” I have not found elsewhere. Specifically, the man claims to have been ministered to by the Lord and will be talking about that subject this very weekend.

Please Don’t Resign Your Membership

To those who plan on resigning their membership from the Church this week on Pioneer Day, and especially to those of my friends who I know have made that decision, I ask you to please reconsider. Instead of resigning, I invite you to consider the message of the man who claims to have been ministered to by the Lord and claims to be sharing a message given him of the Lord.

Yes, this borders on advocating, but I recommend it to the alternative being considered. To those of you who have no problems with the “untaught” history and changes in the Church over the years, this message is not for you. For those of my friends who are unhappy with the perceived deceptive practices and lack of forthrightness of the Church in the past, please heed my plea.

We Need You – Don’t Leave Yet

You can do much good as a member of this Church. Many of you are young, intelligent, returned missionaries, married in the temple. I have heard you teach. I have heard your testimonies. I have seen your loving concern for your brothers and sisters in PEC meetings and in ward council. We need you. We need your voices, if nothing more than to make Gospel Doctrine class interesting.

I express my love for you. I hope you will come back. I have sought the Lord diligently for all my life. I have found no better place to associate with like-minded individuals than within the membership of this Church. I know there are problems. I know it is difficult to attend when you hear the same thing over and over again. There is wisdom in the practice of “milk before meat.”

You Are Some of Our Best and Brightest

I had a long-time reader tell me privately “these are not our best and brightest” that are resigning. I disagree. You are smart and talented. You are savvy as to the ways of the world because you have had to deal with things in your youth we older folks never encountered. You know how to make a convincing presentation and how to passionately persuade others to your views on truth.

You have energy and drive we need. You are knowledgeable about the scriptures, the doctrines of the Church and especially about the issues that face it. Many of the older members are blind in that they do not see these issues. To them, all is well in Zion. You and I know otherwise. Yes, you will make a big splash with lots of media attention on Pioneer Day but what about after that?

I Have Been in the Lord’s Presence

I have been asked if I have been ministered to by the Lord. The answer is yes. I have not seen Him but I have been in His presence. I have never shared this before. The baptism of fire is real. I have also been in the presence of the adversary. They are both real. So is the Holy Ghost. We can talk with the Lord. We can converse with Him through the veil. Please let Him guide you.

I long for the day when I will be ushered into the presence of the Father again. It is the Son that takes us there. It is true there are some things too sacred to share but bearing witness of the love of the Savior is not one of them. You’ve heard me teach. I wish I could be in your presence so you could feel my words. I pray the Lord’s blessing upon you. He asked me to share these words.

91 comments for “Answering the Affiliation Question

  1. July 22, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I remember when I went in for tithing settlement and told the Bishop I would be two weeks late. Not a good answer. He took my temple recommend away from me and told me he also wanted my wife’s recommend also. I informed him we would have to see a general authority about that. After that I took my recommend out of my wallet and threw it at him and walked out. I talked to the clerk about what happened and he said, “Don’t you know your suppose to the him what he wants to here”. I learned something that day

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 11:00 am

      two weeks late for what? I am really curious.

      • July 24, 2014 at 3:09 pm

        Probably to pay tithing before the end of the year, but that doesn’t make sense, does it, because nobody requires you to pay tithing on a particular date. I suppose some bishops might take a temple recommend for that, but I find that hard to believe as well. This could be a troll comment.

  2. johnD
    July 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Tim,
    I too will testify that the baptism of fire is real, I too testify that I have been in the presence of the Lord, twice, I did not see Him but was awash with His love. The second time was so profound my head glowed all to the effect of keeping a pitch black room lite all night, and I spent it with His love and with the Holy Ghost. I too will say, there is now where else to go. This is the only church with the priesthood, with Joseph Smiths teachings, with the Book of Mormon. Without modern scripture we wouldn’t even know the true nature of God or his work!
    See you in Henderson and St George?

    • July 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      We will be there.

    • LDS SSA Resources
      July 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      What is happening where and when in Henderson and St. George?

      • July 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm

        Las Vegas Lecture

        Date: Friday, July 25, 2014
        Time: 9:30 a.m.
        Place: Fiesta Henderson Hotel & Casino
        777 West Lake Mead Parkway
        Henderson, NV 89015
        Seats: Cancun Room A/B, seats 150
        (but I know they also got C/D – total 300)

        St. George Lecture

        Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014
        Time: 9:30 a.m.
        Place: Lexington Hotel and Conference Center
        850 Bluff Street
        St. George, UT 84770
        Seats: Ballroom, seats 275

  3. Steve
    July 22, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    My dear friend, Tim, you are making some serious mistakes, and I and many others are worried about you because of your insistence on doing things your way. You need to stop writing endlessly about why your personal perspectives are distancing you from other faithful Latter-day Saints. You need to put far more effort into being the kind of person who can clearly be seen as worthy to enter the Lord’s House. Being unemotional about losing your temple recommend is not the right direction. Being “honest” in this way is not the kind of admiration people need to have for you.

    There are deeper understandings to realize about the Gospel than the typical Mormon person comprehends, for sure, and you have been blessed with gifts that can bless your life and the lives of those around you. But it is not helping you or others for you to become a well known blogger who insists on seeing things a different way than the chosen leaders of the Lord’s Church see things.

    I encourage you to take time away from all this activity to truly ponder what is wrong with this picture in your life, make the needed adjustments, and share your enthusiastic devotion to what the leaders of this, the true Church of Jesus Christ, teach. And I am certainly always willing to talk things out with you. We need wonderful people like you; it would be tragic to lose you to something you think in your mind is better.

    • July 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Steve, I have always appreciated your kind sincerity and concern for me. You have been very diligent in reaching out to me. Thank you so very much. May I offer a few clarifications to your comments?

      I gave up my temple recommend voluntarily. I was not asked to turn it in. I followed my Bishop’s counsel to take a break from blogging and think about things. I did. I last posted on July 5th. That’s a long time ago for me. I’ve thought long and hard about things.

      I came to a conclusion that I misunderstood the intent of the question about affiliation. It is now clear in my mind, as I shared in the post. I will meet with the bishop again after returning from the lectures. He holds the keys of discernment. We will leave it up to him.

      I don’t seek admiration. I seek to do the Lord’s will. Who am I to say no when the Lord asks me to share something in response to all the media attention those who are resigning from the Church this Thursday will be receiving? It was my intention to offer an alternative.

      As I explained in the post, I have friends who are leaving. These are friends I served with in the councils of the church. I love them. I don’t want them to leave. I am trying to persuade them to stay. They are bright, smart, funny articulate young people who love life.

      I’m not sure you read my entire post. Isn’t it clear that I love this Church and that I love the Lord? What more can I say to convince you? I will not leave. Where would I go? I love to serve wherever I am called. Perhaps you can be specific about the serious mistakes I am making.

      God bless you my friend.

      • Sharon
        July 22, 2014 at 10:33 pm

        I for one, truly appreciate you sharing your views and perspectives in the REAL HUMAN and CANDID manner that you do….I struggle and reading your “vulnerable” journey is a STRENGTH to me!!! I am not alone in this crazy journey of trying to have a REAL relationship with my Heavenly Father and dealing with the subtle ways that Satan desires to keep from that relationship and trying to tell me that the inconsistencies here and there within the way that “chosen leaders of the Lord’s Church see things” and where all this correlation leads us and the doctrines that are “missing” in our church teachings. I won’t go into my particular concerns, but there are many people with a variety of concerns. Tim, you ARE helping. Thank you!!

      • Sharon
        July 22, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        test….I typed up a post and it didn’t hit immediately nor tell me it was in moderation….

      • Sharon
        July 22, 2014 at 10:41 pm

        OK, now that I see my test post….this is shorter than what was lost…
        I for one, am truly grateful for Tim’s REAL and HUMAN posts…I feel like I’m not alone in this crazy journey trying to make sense of “inconsistencies”, “removed” and “hidden” items.
        Tim, you ARE, making a POSITIVE difference.
        THANK YOU!!

    • Julie
      July 23, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Steve,

      There is a huge difference between worthy to enter the Lord’s House and “being the kind of person who can clearly be seen as worthy” to enter.

      Also, I believe there is a big difference between having “enthusiastic devotion to what the leaders…teach,” and giving devotion to Christ Himself.

      It is a matter of how you focus your lens. We are both looking through a lens and we both see the big picture, but we have focused on completely different points. I know which is a better focus point for me.

      Julie

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 6:34 am

      hmmm, this is interesting.

      We need wonderful people like you

      Quote from person above. Who is “we”, and isn’t that quite patronizing?
      I guess I hadn’t realized how much of that is considered acceptable, to patronize others.
      “Other faithful Latter-day Saints”–

      that is so vague; what does it mean? What does faithful mean? Is there some kind of hidden social, cultural meaning here?

      Someone I know and care about did not attend the entire block in order to help a sick family member. This was not a common thing; most of the time the sick family member is/was able to care for him/herself. A home teacher arrived and close questioned that person as to why he/she was not there in all his/her meetings (he/she had attended sacrament meeting)–
      A guilty answer was given; the person felt rebuked. The sick person was sitting nearby when the rebuke was given.

      Who is faithful here? The home teacher or the person who helped a sick family member?

      “having or showing true and constant support or loyalty” is the modern first definition of faithful.

      Which is yours?

      Was the person who went home unfaithful? Or faithful? Do *we* take the home teacher as the standard for faithfulness or the person who left church to care for a serious matter at home?

      I would like to know what Steve thinks?

      • Sharon
        July 28, 2014 at 11:45 pm

        Jesus was rebuked for healing the sick on the Sabbath….

  4. July 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    In our ward a distressing new interpretation of D&C 121 is being taught: it is just fine for priesthood leaders to control, so long as it is done “righteously”; it is being taught that 121 only says priesthood authority is lost when control is exercised in unrighteousness. (Nevermind the fact that that interpretation defies all rules of grammar and basic logic. :( )

    I haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn how this leader defines “righteous” control. I look forward to it with mixed feelings. :(

    • July 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      There is only one way to exercise priesthood power and that is by “persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge…”

      Control and compulsion by virtue of dominion is not the way I have been taught by the Lord. Gentle, kind, meek, loving, knowledgeable, long-suffering persuasion is the only righteous way.

      • Dave Park
        July 23, 2014 at 9:40 am

        Hi Tim, Thanks for this blog. I wish you well and always appreciate what you share via the the Lords request. I just want to take time here to thank “Good Will” for his latest and final post over at http://in200wordsorless.blogspot.com/
        You, Denver, Will and many many others help me consider the never ending journey deeper into the Saviors endless love and patients. Keep going, peace to you. David Park

      • July 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        Dave: Thanks for heads up about Good Will. I wrote him a private email. Long-time readers may also note the absence of “log,” who added so much over the years. Seeing his work here was done, he has moved on to other blogs. I have benefited from his kindness and personal friendship. I think he is gone on to Wheat and Tares or a few of the other LDS group blogs. If you see him there, say hello for me. Thus closes another chapter in LDS blogging history.

    • Always Pondering
      July 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Wasn’t righteous control the adversary’s plan for us? Control is his way. The Savior’s is by gentleness, meekness, persuasion, and love unfeigned. I hope you have the opportunity to clear this up, Annalea. I always love your comments. Thank you for them.

      • July 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm

        The Standard Works aren’t completely clear.

        It’s hard to say if a third part of the hosts of heaven rebelled because they wanted a plan under which they would be even more controlled.

        My belief is that Lucifer’s plan involved “automatic salvation for all.” That seems more appealing to the carnal mind.

  5. July 22, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Steve,

    Are you Tim’s Bishop? Thank you for your service, love, and support for Tim and others under your stewardship. I am certain that your concern for Tim mentioned above is motivated by love.

    I just want you to know that I have been edified by Tim’s Blog. I’m guessing that you haven’t had the same experience. I don’t know why Tim’s writings edify me but fail to edify you in the same manner. It may just be that I am further behind in my reach for God.

    It is comforting to me to know that there are others that think like me. Others that process the scriptures similar to how I have. Others that feel like they can’t quite yet connect to heaven like they know is possible. Others that are earnestly seeking after truth. I don’t want my father’s tradition. I want Christ!

    The elephant in the room is Denver Snuffer. Yes, he has been excommunicated, but you cannot excommunicate the doctrine contained in our scriptures. The problem is, no one is willing to have a conversation about what our scriptures actually teach. I applaud Tim for encouraging this dialogue.

    The discussion is fairly simple. No bible-bashing needed. You don’t even need to cite specific verses. Just read our canon. Can the Lord call prophets outside the institutional hierarchy? Did the LDS Church loose the fulness of the priesthood? Can a person see God the Father and Jesus Christ in the flesh and continue to live here on earth? Who will build Zion and when?

    Can two mormons hold different views on these questions? I believe the Church is big enough for people to have different views on these topics, but apparently you, your stake president, the SCMC, or General Authorities think otherwise.

    If Tim is excommunicated for stating that Denver is a prophet, you would have to carve a sizable amount of doctrine out of our scriptures. I care deeply about this doctrine, and talking about it with others helps me find my way back to God.

    What I like about Tim is that he is always willing to admit when he is wrong. I can think of multiple times when Tim has eaten humble pie and said: I was wrong. At some point, Tim may be persuaded that Denver is a fraud, and if he is, Tim will be the first to say: I was wrong.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is how we learn. We have to act, put our faith or trust in a principle and try it out. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. We learn. However, being coerced into a certain action or belief is the first sign that the instigator is the devil.

    Let’s have a discussion about the doctrine before any disciplinary action is taken against Tim. I agree with him i.e., that the Lord can call prophets in addition to having a presiding high priest. Should I be excommunicated for having this belief, or wanting to discuss it with others online? I honestly don’t know, but I feel very unwelcome to discuss it with others at church.

    I think that is why Tim has so many readers. It’s not Tim’s fault.

  6. Good Will
    July 23, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Tim,

    I very much enjoyed this post. I, too, upon reflection, considered amending my claim that I had never “come back into the Savior’s presence, in the flesh, in this life”.

    Like you, I have been a recipient of His ministry by the power of the Holy Ghost. I have been pierced by His all-consuming love! I have felt His influence, have audibly discerned — as clearly as any man’s voice — His voice, although His pierced me to the very center. I have melted, as it were, under the influence of His redeeming love.

    Have I seen Him in His flesh? Not yet. But I have certainly felt His Spirit and I’ve been the recipient thereof. I do not think that seeing Him would impart any more feeling to me than what I have known already.

    But I’m willing to give it a try! If He is willing! ;o)

    Thanks for your wonderfully inspired post.

  7. Helorum
    July 23, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Here are some quotes from Denver Snuffer’s Passing the Heavenly Gift relating to how he feels about the Church. These are from another forum.

    “ I have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sustain the churches officers and authorities.” page 37

    “…temples remain valuable as a witness of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Page 284

    “…the church remains the Lord’s, just as ancient Israel was the Lord’s, despite removing Moses and the higher priesthood. It always had and continues to have, the right to continue to preach, teach, exhort, expound, baptize, administer the sacrament, and perform other preparatory ordinances. It has the right to elect officers to preside through common consent, and when they are sustained in their offices they have the right to receive and provide direction to the church and its members.” page 313

    “Those who dissent away from the church only do themselves harm. They would be better advised to remain among the saints, and preach the truths as they understand, to correct and be corrected by others who share belief in Christ and his latter-day restoration of the gospel.” page 315

    “The Church remains part of the Lord’s plan.” page 346

    “It is not the responsibility of church members to judge the church authorities. The Lord will judge all and render just recompense to every person. He knows there are abominations among us… (D&C 50:4–8)” page 422

    “We should draw close to the church, receive all it has to offer, and be blessed because of it.” page 455

    “Withdrawing from fellowship in the church interferes with redemption. Voluntarily leaving it is almost always wrong.” page 456

    “Some skepticism is required to prevent worshiping mere men. But to go beyond that, and altogether reject the church is too far. It has a role still, and a prophetic future. The Lord still works through the church.” page 469

    “The prophecies foretell a time when the Lord will send “ one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God.” (D&C 85:7.) Since the revelation foretells the “Lord God will send” him “to set in order the house of God” it compels the conclusion the house of God necessarily be out of order. It would not be necessary to set it in order if disorder had not set in…Fixing it will be the Lords doing. No volunteer will assume that role” page 497-498

    • Steve
      July 23, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Thank you for collecting these quotes for us that describe how Bro. Snuffer sees the Church. We should also include his quotes where he says that the prophets in the Church since Joseph Smith have all been pretenders and that people who question his unhumble claims are smug. His attitude concerns me. Frankly our friend Tim is much more humble and teachable.

      • Steve
        July 23, 2014 at 7:01 am

        I keep discovering disturbing things Denver Snuffer is saying…

        “I’m very through with the LDS Church. At the present it is only important as a side-note to history. Now they no longer have the rights once given them, I intend to press forward with what God is doing at present and in the future. I will never again belong to the LDS Church. I wish it well and bear no animosity toward it whatsoever. I don’t have anything to say to it or its active members. But the disaffected (which comprises over two-thirds of the claimed membership number) may still believe in Joseph Smith’s original mission, as I do. I’d like to talk with them, and all others who are not Latter-day Saints. Content, active Latter-day Saints I intend to leave alone. If they overhear something I say I apologize to them and their church. I don’t want to disturb their peace or awaken them.

        “My next talk will be in Ephraim at the end of June. I hope no active Latter-day Saints attend.”

      • johnD
        July 23, 2014 at 7:24 am

        Steve
        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, either Denver Snuffer is working with the devil himself or he is on an errand of the Lord as a true prophet. Which means things are wrong with the current church and he is here to put things in order for the return of the Savior!
        And there is only one way to find out, listen to what he is saying, study it out and then put it to the Lord.
        He is not just some guy sharing an uplifting message that’s cute and sweet. It’s either of the devil or the Lord!

      • July 23, 2014 at 7:26 am

        Hi Steve. You are a good man, happy and faithful to the LDS Church. Denver’s words are not directed at you. His words reach out to those who are NOT happy with the Church for whatever reason. He invites them to come unto Christ. If we want to find some good in the man, that is where we should focus.

        Don’t waste your time seeking faults. Anyone can do that. Seeking faults will help neither you nor me. I know the man has faults. Anybody who has listened to Denver knows that. Let’s not focus on the arm of flesh – either Denver or the men we both sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. Let us seek the Savior together.

        Agreed?

      • SteveF
        July 23, 2014 at 8:37 am

        The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Kingdom of God on earth, and is and will be the vehicle by which Zion will be established in these latter-days, and will be the governing body in Zion and over the world.

        This was the vision and original mission of Joseph Smith. This mission is understood and believed in by faithful Latter-day Saints, and I can also testify that it is the truth, for I have also seen it in vision.

        Therefore, any man who teaches that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at any stage in the process and road to Zion is merely “a side-note to history”, I know with a surety that he is a false prophet.

        And by minimizing the importance of Christ’s Kingdom on earth, which is literally the only way and means to enter the celestial realms of Christ’s Kingdom in heaven hereafter, that person is also anti-Christ. Many people will say lo here is Christ, and claim to want to bring you closer to Him, Denver surely does so, but by merely claiming it does not make it so. Drawing people away from the established Kingdom to bring them unto Christ, is like drawing someone away from Egypt to Canada to bring them unto the Great Pyramids. Once in Canada, you might start moving closer to the pyramids, but you will never get to your hoped destination without going through Egypt’s borders first, the move from Egypt to Canada will overall always be counterproductive to the end goal.

        There is literally no other way to come unto the celestial realms of Christ in this dispensation save through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it will be so until the end of this earth. Be wary of those that claim Christ is to be found in the secret chambers of Henderson and St. George, etc. Christ’s authority and Kingdom are here, join the work in the light of noon day and put your shoulder to the wheel on the arduous road to Zion. Focus on the good branches and strengthening our roots, for as promised the bad branches and the tares will be rooted out in the due time of the Lord.

        Your brother.

        • July 23, 2014 at 2:05 pm

          Well stated, SteveF, well stated. My friend Ross Barron agrees with you. His words: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and is awaiting the kingdom of heaven to arrive where they will be united (See all of D&C 65).”

          1 Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one sent down from on high, who is mighty and powerful, whose going forth is unto the ends of the earth, yea, whose voice is unto men—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. 3 Yea, a voice crying—Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom.

          4 Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people. 5 Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth. 6 Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen.

          My words: The LDS Church is authorized to administer the ordinances of salvation. We MUST be baptized to enter into the kingdom of heaven. We are commanded to pay tithing. The LDS Church is authorized of the Lord to accept our tithing. I choose to pay my tithes to the LDS Church. The endowment as administered in the LDS Temples teaches us how to enter into the presence of the Lord. The LDS Church is commanded and authorized of the Lord to build temples. The Book of Mormon is scripture and the word of the Lord. The LDS Church is authorized and commanded to publish the Book of Mormon and share it with all the world.

          I am an imperfect man and need repentance and the sacrament often (each week) to show the Lord I remember Him and desire to have His spirit to be with me. I am grateful to partake of the sacrament each week with my friends in the LDS Church. It is in the LDS Church that I am able to fulfill opportunities to serve my brothers and sisters in whatever capacity I’m asked, be it in visiting families in my ward as a home teacher, to administer priesthood blessings, to perform the duties of a stake financial clerk or to do whatever else I’m asked to do. I am grateful to be a member of the LDS Church. It is in the church each week I am reminded of how much I need the Savior. I thank God for my membership in the LDS Church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God bless you SteveF.

      • mm
        July 24, 2014 at 6:40 am

        this is actually in response to another one of your posts about Snuffer.

        I’ve never met or heard him speak; I have never listened to any of his transcripts or read his books–
        But the man was kicked out. It’s very hard to feel friendly towards those who reject you. Even Jesus didn’t.

        I think you are missing the point.

        I wouldn’t know, but does he use the word “pretender” with regards to the presidents of the church since Joseph?

        If so, that was a poor choice for a man who wants to teach well, but the fact is that Joseph Smith was kicked out, too; quite violently.

        And those who remained squabbled. All of that is well known.

        Commenting on it makes a person ‘unfaithful’?

        I am so grateful to know that all those men were merely human, including Joseph Smith, though I am very grateful for his mission.

        Since I have been on the earth I have learned from all of the presidents of the church, but I don’t necessarily believe their mission is the same as that of Joseph Smith. Why would it be?

        Three years ago the Lord told me to concentrate on the Book of Mormon, which I did, faithfully.

        It has changed my heart.

        I have had some powerful experiences with the Divine, but not necessarily in that three years.

        I just want to make a point that the Lord calls people to do certain things; not everyone who hears that call is acquainted with men (however good they might be) like Denver Snuffer.

        What does that tell you?

        It tells you that He will call people out, to do unique things, like focus on the Book of Mormon–

  8. Steve
    July 23, 2014 at 8:03 am

    Tim,

    It occurred to me that your change of mind on the affiliation question may be premature. You do affiliate and agree with Denver. And he was excommunicated for PTHG and the speaking tour, which you read and attend. So how exactly are you not affiliating with that which the Church has declared to be wrong?

    Personally I have no problem with either.

    Steve

    • July 23, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Steve. You are very astute and the first to point that out. Yes, I frankly admit I agree with and am going to associate with Denver Snuffer for a few hours (don’t know if that constitutes affiliation). Here’s what has changed: The Church has not declared this man to be an apostate. The Church has not announced they have excommunicated the man. The Church has not sent a letter from the First Presidency or from any Area Authority Seventy for public – or private – consumption stating: “DO NOT go see, read or listen to Denver Snuffer. The man is a false prophet.” I am a test case my friend. Counsel has been given, but not direction. We believe in teaching correct principles and allowing the Saints to govern themselves.

      I am exercising my agency. I am grateful for a Church that honors my agency. I feel loved by my priesthood leaders. They are NOT trying to control or compel me by virtue of their dominion over me. I honor them for that. Therefore they and I retain our power in the priesthood. Isn’t it great to know the truth? The scriptures are our guide – especially Section 121 for we who hold the priesthood. I will state over and over: my purpose is to come unto Christ. It is foolish to judge a matter without hearing it completely. I will not argue. I will not contend. Power in the priesthood is exercised by kind, meek and long-suffering persuasion. I have suffered long with this man, meaning I have invested thousands of hours studying his material.

      To me, this is a culminating weekend where I will decide if what the Lord has whispered to my soul in fasting, prayer and temple pondering is confirmed. To all those who continue to email me privately saying “be careful,” I thank you for your loving concern. I am being careful. I love this Church and I love the Lord and fully believe I am worthy of a temple recommend based on wise friends who shared counsel with me privately. I intend to ask for that temple recommend back and will continue to affirm that I do NOT (paraphrasing) support, affiliate or agree with any individual whose teachings are contrary to those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      Until the Church comes out and says so, this is just like going any other educational lecture where, in this case, it just so happens that we will be hearing the doctrine of receiving an audience with Christ expounded. God bless us all who are going to crowd into the lecture halls to have the spirit of discernment and not fear – mingled with love – that so many who oppose this course of action have expressed.

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 6:47 am

      wow–
      the way you put words together–

      “affiliating with that which the Church has declared to be wrong”–

      is this about a man; if so, why use the word “that”?

      WHAT has the Church (note the caps) declared to be wrong, and when did they declare it?

      Wrong–

      “an injurious, unfair or unjust act–action or conduct inflicting harm without due provocation or just cause”

      And, if you are not referring to a person, how can a person affiliate with a ‘that’?

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

      so, Steve, who is really only talking to Tim, and that is perfectly fine; I just hope you read what I have to say.

      What if a spouse is excommunicated for “apostasy” (even though a clear reason is not given, and the word is not even found in the Book of Mormon)?

      Should that spouse immediately disaffiliate with the excommunicated loved one?

      Have nothing more to do with him or her?

      The spouse was declared wrong, you see. I know marriages that have been destroyed by excommunications. It’s hard enough to stay married when spouses are completely equally yoked spiritually or ecclesastically–

      then throw that in there.

      Do you believe that marriages should be destroyed for this?

      If so, why?

      If not, why?

      You don’t need to answer; I am just hoping to help you to understand that you might be affiliating with the person you eat meals with–

      Of course, it would help to look at the definition of affiliate–

      “to bring into close association with” is one–

  9. Warren S. Black
    July 23, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I would like to add my voice to those encouraging reconsideration of the intent to resign membership – think twice (or even more) about it. Research the ‘gift of the Holy Ghost’. It is truly sad to see someone whom has lost the right to the ‘gift of the Holy Ghost’.

  10. July 23, 2014 at 10:06 am

    SteveF wrote:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Kingdom of God on earth, and is and will be the vehicle by which Zion will be established in these latter-days, and will be the governing body in Zion and over the world.”

    * * *

    The House of Israel is God’s Kingdom on Earth. The House of Israel predates the LDS Church and is an “eternal family unit.” The LDS Church pertains to a “latter-day” dispensation.

    The LDS Church has keys to establish Zion. It is doing so via missionary work, but no missionary work is being performed in Israel.

    The largely Ephraimite LDS Church has a mixed relationship with Judah.

    Ultimately, the Ephraimite LDS Church and Judah will have co-equal governing roles.

    The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

    Isaiah 11:13

    And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    Isaiah 2:3

    • SteveF
      July 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

      The groups of people that are given labels like House of Israel, Ephraimites, etc. seem to vary quite a bit from person to person, so not knowing your particular interpretation I cannot comment on most of what you wrote.

      But what I know is simple – where the keys are, there is the Kingdom.

      That body/group on earth which possesses the keys of the Kingdom from Christ is His Kingdom and government on earth, but where the keys are not, there can be no Kingdom. I have a witness from God that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints possesses the keys of the Kingdom and governs by and through those keys. Therefore I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Kingdom of God on earth, which Kingdom as prophesied and reiterated by Joseph Smith will continue to grow and roll forth until it fills and governs the whole earth. All other Kingdoms divided against it will not and cannot stand in the end, Christ has already won the victory. The ensign, the standard of truth, has been erected, let us then join together in moving this great work forward.

      • July 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        SteveF: Thank you for your passionate defense of your convictions. I am always grateful to read strongly started and well worded statements such as yours. I also feel strongly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s authorized vehicle for his work to roll forth in the last days. I have defended the Church all my life and will continue to do so. I am grateful for my membership in this Church with my dear wife at my side. we love worshiping the Lord together with our brothers and sisters in this Church.

      • Sue
        July 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        But what I know is simple – where the keys are, there is the Kingdom.

        I agree! It’s the Biblical model.

        At the birth of Christ the keys of the kingdom were held by the leaders of the Jews still, though His cousin had been ordained several weeks earlier to eventually overthrow their kingdom in order to make straight His coming once He began His ministry in 30 years. (D&C 84:26-28). So when He came he came to the Jews. When He sent an authorized messenger from outside the key holding heirarchy of His day he sent that messenger to the Jews, for where the keys were, there was the kingdom!

        Hence Christ telling the people to observe that which the key holders of the kingdom bid them observe (Matt 23).

        If I had lived in Jerusalem in AD 31-32, would I have aligned myself with the key holders or with John the Baptist and/or Christ? I would like to think so, but if I’m honest with myself, I can’t really say for sure. Imagine the weight of tradition, the strength of authority, leaders with keys who control my access to the temple that you’d have to overcome in those days to give heed to Jesus and/or John’s message.

        I do know that in spite of the keys of the kingdom being present among the Latter-day Saints the Lord will have to send someone to “set in order the house of God” (D&C 85:7). If the key holders in our day always kept everything in order the Lord wouldn’t need to send someone; since he’s said He will, I must allow for the fact that someday all might not be well in Zion. But when he sends messengers to make straight the way before He comes again he will naturally send them among the LDS, for there is Kingdom! That is ever his pattern.

        The commandments from scripture that the Brethern bid me keep, I try my best to. But I disregard their Babylonian advice (such as President Monson’s suggestion for everyone to go shopping at Citycreek).

        • SteveF
          July 24, 2014 at 1:37 am

          Sue, I appreciate your response. A few thoughts come to mind immediately:

          “would I have aligned myself with the key holders or with John the Baptist and/or Christ”

          John the Baptist, by virtue of his lineage as the son of temple priest Zacharias, was a key holder and an authority in the Aaronic priesthood that governed the Kingdom of the Jews. It was precisely because he was an authorized insider that he was necessary as a witness to prepare the way for Christ, for God is a God of order and will not send a random outsider to build/correct His Kingdom while it is established. John the Baptist was necessary so that all things were done in wisdom and order and the Jews having the testimony of one who held authority among them could no longer be blameless in their rejection of Christ when He came with greater authority/keys to establish the greater Kingdom.

          (It should be noted that this greater Kingdom is the very one that has been restored in this dispensation, so it would be a mistake to compare the greater Kingdom restored through Joseph Smith with the lesser Kingdom of the Jews, for a greater Kingdom on earth cannot be established than the one already restored through Joseph Smith. And as prophesied it will not fail. Contrary to what Denver would have people believe, Joseph taught rather that no unhallowed hand shall stop this work from progressing until it fills the whole earth as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.)

          As for D&C 85, I would recommend reading the full letter to W.W. Phelps from which this section was drawn from. In context, it is clear to me that the one sent to set in order the house of God was Joseph Smith himself. http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-a-1-23-december-1805-30-august-1834?p=247#!/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-a-1-23-december-1805-30-august-1834&p=247

          Joseph was to be sent to do so, because as the Joseph’s letter to Br. Phelps describes – Bishop Patridge was putting “forth his hand to steady the ark” at the time thus causing many troubles in Zion (Missouri).

      • Good Will
        July 24, 2014 at 7:39 am

        SteveF,

        John was the son of a temple priest, yes, but he was also ordained by an angel at eight days old, in much the same way that his father was visited (by that same angel?) – which is clearly “outside the norm” and “standard procedure” of the Church. John the Baptist was an “authorized insider”, yes, but he was despised and rejected by those “in authority” inside the Church, who refused to be baptized by him and resented that the people followed him. (They were more than willing to see him beheaded by Herod.)

        Were God to send His angel – or even Himself! – unto one in the LDS Church that is not a recognized “leader” – as He did with John the Baptist – would you be able to recognize as much? It’s not an easy distinction to make.

        God does this intentionally because only those able to hear His voice by the power of the Holy Ghost will be able to receive His message. That is by design. That’s not a “flaw”, but a “feature” in the “program.

        I believe you err when you write: “…a greater Kingdom on earth cannot be established than the one already restored through Joseph Smith. And as prophesied it will not fail.” It will not? Where is that prophesied? Joseph’s quote refers to the truth or the gospel going forth. It makes no such promise about the Church or the kingdom. We can certainly fail.

        If you didn’t pick that up reading the Book of Mormon, perhaps you might want to look at it again.

        • SteveF
          July 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm

          Good Will,

          I read your final post on your blog when Dave Park linked to it. I thought it was wonderful and I was moved by it. I felt you were very genuine, and if so I for one would wish to extend the arm of full fellowship to you back into the Church if I were in a leadership position to do so.

          It sounds like we may have a difference of opinion here, and I’m okay with that. I’m just sharing what has been light and truth to my mind in an effort to be helpful.

          Giving you the benefit of the doubt that your genuinely interested in where I am drawing my conclusions from, I’ll give some quick answers to your questions (and if you wish me to elaborate further I’ll do my best to further clarify where I’m coming from). In answering your questions, it is not my intent to convince you, but just to try and show you where I’m coming from.

          You said, “It will not? Where is that prophesied?” (referring to the Kingdom restored through Joseph Smith not failing)

          I think a good place to start a verse Tim pointed out ealier:

          D&C 65:2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.

          There are many scriptures pointing out that the Kingdom set up / restored through Joseph Smith is the final or last one:

          D&C 90:2 Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.
          D&C 90:6 And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom

          This is the prophesied destination of this last Kingdom:

          D&C 27:13 Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth

          You can see these same prophesies outlined in the allegory in Jacob 5 when the Lord of the vineyard goes to work and prune for the “last time”, starting in verse 61 and culminating in the success in verse 75.

          You also said, “Were God to send His angel – or even Himself! – unto one in the LDS Church that is not a recognized “leader” – as He did with John the Baptist…” I’m assuming your asking if an angel ordains someone in this dispensation, just as an angel ordained John the Baptist?

          With the greater keys already restored through Joseph Smith in this dispensation, this is what Joseph Smith had to say about an angel ordaining someone post-restoration in this final dispensation:

          “An angel, said Joseph, may administer the word of the Lord unto men, and bring intelligence to them from heaven upon various subjects; but no true angel from God will ever come to ordain any man, because they have once been sent to establish the priesthood by ordaining me thereunto; and the priesthood being once established on earth, with power to ordain others, no heavenly messenger will ever come to interfere with that power by ordaining any more.” (Millennial Star 8, pg. 139)

          I believe Joseph on this point, I hope that clarifies where I’m coming from.

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Tom,
      I agree with you, but with one disclaimer (not sure that is the best word)–

      The Jews (whoever and wherever they are, and it’s not always certain they are exactly the ones *we* all Jews, though I have no doubt many of the ‘real’ Jews are among them–I just think they are much more mixed among the nations than most of *us* realize–
      but there is definitely something there; I know, because I have Jewish relatives, and there is definitely something.

      Then there is the remnant of the House of Israel from the Book of Mormon, but nobody really knows, for sure, who they are either or where they are–

      we suspect; we THINK we know–

      Aside from the Jews scattered around the world and somewhat centered in the middle east now (and there is much Jewish blood among those who are commonly called Palestinians–yes, that’s a really interesting phenomenon)–

      who are they? Jesus knows, and He will gather them, and it’s important not to forget them, so I appreciate what you say.

      But as to what Joseph Smith said or didn’t say with regards to those who joined the early church (*ours*) being of Ephraim, I have some real doubts about that–

      The Book of Mormon calls us Gentiles–

      and makes it clear that Jews are of Israel and the remnant of Judah who came to the Americas are Israel–

      WE are gentiles; nowhere is Ephraim mentioned–

      I could be senile here for a moment, but I think Lehi might have been Manassah; I don’t know–

      if so, that’s not Judah–

      Early Americans were steeped in the romance of wanting to be of the “House” of Israel and became enamored of the idea of being Ephraimites, but all references to that are in the Bible/Old Testament, and we know how inaccurate that is, how many hands and translations it’s been through–

      A person is safer sticking with the Torah, in my opinion–as to the identity of Israel–

      and it will be known in time, but I have felt/sensed for a very long time that, no matter how white I am, how European I am, I am not of Ephraim, even if a little is in my blood; it would be in the blood of all the world–

      by now.

      And that this Ephraim belief that infected the early ‘saints’ really exploded their egos and made them much less humble and willing to listen to Joseph Smith.

      I know my words are very controversial; I know you seek for the restoration of Israel, the REAL one, and your sincerity is touching, because I believe that is the only Israel, Judah.

      • mm
        July 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        dna that matched Levi was found in an African tribe, but they were not really welcomed into Israel, even though anyone of Levi could be allowed immediate entry.

        These people had been practicing Jews, as well, for centuries–

        and very African.

        Jews really are all over. And only God knows exactly where. I like that. I think we LDS think we can play God.

        But I believe that He appreciates those who know that Israel will be redeemed. Literally. Not forgotten.

  11. Boo
    July 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Tim glad to see you came around to my way of thinking. Good work. As I also said I believe that Denver is a “true messenger” but have no real difficulty in sustaining the 15 as prophets,seers and revelators. i suspect you can do the same so I won’t elaborate on my reasoning. So it appears that there wasn’t any reason to turn in your recommend and I certainly hope you get it back. No one should be denied a recommend simply because they believe prophets are fallible and important doctrinal truths and spiritual gifts can and may have been lost over time. I will repeat my earlier admonition don’t empower fallible men to exercise unrighteous dominion over you by letting them judge you by erroneous precepts of men Good luck

  12. July 24, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Carol and I are leaving for Vegas and St. George this morning (Thursday) . I hope to meet many of you there. Thank you all for the comments and dialog that add so much to my understanding. I go not to hear a man speak, but to determine if the Lord speaks through him as He has spoken to my heart and mind through his writings. Cheers.

    • July 24, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      And we arrived safely. Carol surprised me again. We’re staying in the same hotel where the lecture will be presented tomorrow (Friday). Don’t have to get up as early as I thought. Yay.

      • July 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

        Just by chance….I hope you know about the time zone difference in LV. You will need to go by Pacific Time Zone. Denver posted something about it yesterday… Linda

      • johnD
        July 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Here also, 109 degrees, yikes, hard to believe 35 years ago I was riding a bicycle around this valley with my name tag on in this heat. Youth!

  13. Good Will
    July 24, 2014 at 7:47 am

    We, too, are also leaving for Las Vegas and St. George today, for the same reason. Yipee!

  14. kathryn
    July 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I can’t make it to Vegas but see you in St. George. Hope to meet meet many of you…. Tim, Will, JohnD.

  15. Karl
    July 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Mormonism goes through swings like a pendulum. On one side is a Catholic conception, on the other a Protestant. In terms of administration the church has swung far to the Catholic side in the last 100 years, which culminated in the McConkie conception of absolute Truth, formulated, dispensed and administered by the Priestly class to the lay members. Recall that McConkie dressed down George Pace for teaching that individuals can have a personal relationship with Christ, Eugene England for teaching Brigham Young’s view that God may be still progressing, etc. However, the pendulum has been swinging since McConkie’s death definitely in the Protestant direction in Doctrinal development (we actually are beginning to believe the BOM doctrines of coming to Christ personally, the BOM doctrines of Mercy and Grace). However, the conumdrum is that leadership has become even more entrenched with the Catholic conception of centralizing all administrative control (Follow the Brethren, When the Brethren speak the thinking has been done, etc). With the troubles in doctrine & history underscored by the rapidity of Internet communication, using the tried & true tools of control and suppression of thought and express just is not practical anymore. My conclusion is that the Brethren will have to change and soften up their insistence on lock-step conformity. I view Snuffer and other’s like him, as necessary thorns in the side of the Brethren, to make them more introspective about what their real role is in the Restoration. I believe that the role the 15 men play has been greatly overstated. Apostle’s, for example, have never been given the charge (or authority) to state Doctrine for example. Rather, an Apostle is to be a special witness for Jesus Christ, and to be a travelling high council in areas of the church that do not have established stakes. Sustaining all 15 men as prophets, seers & revelators does not make any sense, as only 1 man at a time exercising all keys and can actually create or modify Doctrine for the Church. Once the 12 can introspectively redefine what the real role of the top echelon is supposed to be, and decentralize much of the power and administrative control, then Zion may be on the way to rebalancing itself again. However, entrenched bureaucracy does not like to be self-critical. Let us pray with all of our hearts that the Brethren will receive the inspiration to move in the correct direction. Still, the administrative problems were not created in a day; this will take some time to change course. Meanwhile, be of good cheer: the Church still have sufficient authority to point the way to our individual salvation. A wise course is to recognize problems in administration, but do not allow yourself to be consumed by it. Stay focused on your individual goal of receiving all the promised blessings.

  16. July 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    We have come to a time when all must choose: Either we will follow the Savior, or we will follow someone else. There are but 2 churches, the Church of the Lamb…and all the rest.
    Likewise, we have to choose: Will we follow the revelations laid out by the Lord thru His Prophet Joseph, or an ever changing program laid out by others? Joseph taught men not to follow him; to get revelation for themselves and follow the Holy Ghost into Christ’s presence. Usurpers and pretenders teach men to follow them and listen to their “revelations” telling them “odds are you’re going to be exalted”. A great key to choosing correctly is to notice “who is the man teaching you telling you to follow?” It is a day of choosing. Wo unto him who chooses unwisely!
    JR

  17. mm
    July 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    @Sue–

    responding to up above–

    you have so many knowledgeable and wise things to say–

    but I have a concern–

    you use the word “biblical model” as though *we* as LDS should follow that standard, and yet right there in the Book of Mormon–

    In 2 Nephi 29

    many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.

    *We* are the Gentiles, and most LDS believe they really don’t need another book (the Book of Mormon). It’s decoration. I have come to see this so clearly that it’s frightening.

    Brigham Young said that the Book of Mormon was just a sign of the miracle of the ‘restoration’ (of what, I ask)–

    and that the bible was good enough.

    And D&C 84 makes it clear that the people way back then were under condemnation for not taking the Book of Mormon seriously; nobody still does now–

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but I know that many are very confused about keys right now; I know I am. I continue to depend upon my good husband for blessings, etc.–

    I continue to believe there are some good things happening in the temples–

    but the fact is that I realize that a majority of LDS have rejected the Book of Mormon.

    I’ve read it every day for 40 years, and I’m just now beginning to understand it, after I put down the quad and began to read it without TG letters–

    after 3 years of reading on it, because Father in Heaven told me to.

    I don’t understand it yet.

    So, why do we need a biblical model. We’ve been schnookered, folks. It’s been the Book of Mormon all along, and maybe we would have Zion (and, yes, I know the Lord will bring it, as the Book of Mormon says; we can’t build it as humans, but we could be worthy of it)–

    if we hadn’t fallen for all the ‘stuff’ about how the Book of Mormon was only a sign or a miracle–

    it’s the real deal.

    I keep coming on here, hoping just one person will listen to me.

    I hope I have not offended you. It might be worthwhile to understand the history of the Jews from the bible–

    but the book has been through so many hands that it is very hard to know what is really accurate and what is not.

    Why do *we* keep going back to it, when we’ve been condemned for neglecting the Book of Mormon–

    and Ezra Taft Bensons said that condemnation had not been lifted, and it was over the entire church.

    I don’t want a biblical model; I want a Book of Mormon one, but I daresay few know what that would be.

    Other than repenting and coming unto Christ.

    • mm
      July 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      3 years of reading ONLY the Book of Mormon not ‘on it’–

      sorry for the typos–

    • Rodney
      July 25, 2014 at 7:29 am

      mm, Pardon me if interject something I’ve wondered about for a while now. This is not directed at you but a ‘wonderment’ I’ve had with a statement you said,… that many have said, and in the past… even I have said.

      D&C 84 makes it clear that the people way back then were under condemnation for not taking the Book of Mormon seriously…”
      “Ezra Taft Bensons said that condemnation had not been lifted…”

      Have you ever wondered about taking the gospel to people so they, as new converts of the church, are put under the same condemnation as the rest of us?

      I apologize for the distraction.

      • mm
        July 27, 2014 at 6:23 am

        No, I haven’t, because I believe that it’s in the Plan of Heaven to get the Book of Mormon to as many people as absolutely possible. What each person does with it is his/her responsibility, even though I feel that it is important almost to shout to the world that the Book of Mormon has been sabotaged–

        Obviously the Book of Mormon was very pivotal, and not just as a decoration or ornament or ‘sign’ or herald.

        Or Joseph Smith wouldn’t have been called. I do tend to believe that many of the other things he said, wrote, or taught were very much second in importance to the mighty task of bringing the Book of Mormon.

        No apology necessary.

        I wish the Book of Mormon could be found (besides the blue one) in an easily readable form without the Bible stamped onto it (topical guide, etc.)–

        but it really isn’t. Not a high quality printing. I think the ‘world’ needs the Book of Mormon, and that is why I believe young missionaries are still having positive experiences, even if many things about missions are not right–

  18. July 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    There is a way out from the condemnation (D&C 84:57–8).

    I believe the condemnation can be lifted on an individual level (baptism of fire, calling and election made sure, etc.).

    And at some point in time the Church will be “set in order” (D&C 85:7). That whole process could potentially be a wonderful, exciting time for (certain) members.

    • mm
      July 27, 2014 at 6:26 am

      No. It can’t be lifted except by taking the Book of Mormon seriously and reading it intently, without the bible stamped onto it, as it has been, especially by church publications/scripture issues.

      Those other things are wonderful, but they cannot come until a person takes the Book of Mormon seriously and obviously gets rid of his pride and vanity.
      Those other things are blessings–not a way out of a condemnation.

      But I think we may be quibbling over definitions. More than likely someone who takes the Book of Mormon truly seriously could have those experiences–

      but to seek those experiences without repentance over *our* neglect of the Book of Mormon seems like putting the cart before the horse.

  19. July 25, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Lehi was from the tribe of Joseph, through Mannasseh. (1 Nephi 5:14 & Alma 10:3).

    Ishmael and his family joined Lehi’s family on the journey. Ishmael was from the tribe of Ephraim. (The tradition in the Church that Ishmael was an Ephraimite is based on a discourse delivered by Apostle Erastus Snow, in Logan, Utah, 6 May 1882, regarding the 116 page lost manuscript.)

    Lehi and his family also considered themselves to be Jews.
    2 Nephi 30

    [4] And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

    The Mulekites were presumably from the tribe of Judah.

    * * *

    The apostle John prophesied that two witnesses would preach on the streets of Jerusalem in the last days. The two will have gifts and powers similar to Moses and Elijah. Moses was a Levite. Jewish scholars debate as to whether Elijah was from Levi, Manasseh, Benjamin, or Gad.

    (See Book of Revelation 11:1–14)

    The LDS Church has taught that the two witnesses would be two prophets on a mission to the Jews in the modern nation of Israel, possibly two members of their Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency, who are considered to be prophets by the church.

    “No doubt they will be members of the Council of the Twelve or of the First Presidency of the Church,” according to Elder Bruce R. McConkie.

    But this is metaphysically impossible because the LDS Church has made a “carved-in-stone” agreement with the Israeli government and ultraorthodox Jews that no proselyting would be conducted in Israel so that the BYU Jerusalem Center could be established. The LDS Church also discontinued publishing a Hebrew Book of Mormon as part of this agreement.

    Reference: http://president.byu.edu/content/jeffrey-r-holland

    Yet, the Book of Mormon authors, those “dead prophets” who saw our day, gave us an imperative to carry this Testament to the Jews, as twice noted on the title page and elsewhere throughout the main text. (The title page of the Book of Mormon was written by Moroni, the son of Mormon, according to Joseph Smith).

    Ergo, the Lord will call “additional prophets” to get the job done even if He has to revive Moses and Elijah from their translated states. This will be an independent and parallel effort to whatever is going forth as presided over by the Ephraimite 15 in SLC.

    Then Christ will personally come to the divided Mount of Olives. The Jews will see the wound in his hands and know that He is their Messiah. (Zerchariah 13:6, 14:4; Doctrine & Covenants 45:47–52)

    * * *

    Good – We should build up The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Better – We should work to gather Israel including Judah, so that they may know that Jesus (Yeshua) is their Messiah

    Best – We should develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

    Reality – We should spend time on each of the above

    • mm
      July 27, 2014 at 6:31 am

      thank you for giving me the specifics on that, Tom. And, you know, I know that McConkie had his mission; I do, but I don’t take him very seriously.

      I like your best–

      The fact is that many righteous Jews are becoming more righteous by the moment, and many, many are turning to the Savior. It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s happening right before us, but we LDS are not behind it.

      The Lord is. :) What’s new? :)

      And, yes, I realize that that agreement has really made things difficult; I have no doubt that is one of the things Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ might ‘sigh’ over.

      My wise father used to say, “the work of the Lord interferes with the work of the Lord”, and the point was . . . which are the works of God and which are the works of man.

      But I agree that the ‘church’ has fallen down is, as in other things; *we* also ‘let’ the remnant of Lehi ‘down’.

      I would say the condemnation has not been lifted.

      Thanks for teaching me something about the Hebrew Book of Mormon. Talk about frustration.

      I had assumed that about the Mulekites, but I hate to make assumptions about Book of Mormon history; I have learned to let the book say to my heart what is will say, as I am humble, and THAT is a big requirement.

  20. kathryn
    July 26, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Just got back from St. George and Denver’s message on Marriage and Family. Wow! Sooooo good! Very worth while. Met Tim and his wife, Carol. It was great to meet them both.

    Looked for Will but could not find him. The ballroom was packed with a very diverse group of people. They had to open up a little extra room that was attached to the main ball room. About 50% women and 50% men in attendance.

    I was surprised to see my cousin, Cynthia, from Arizona. She has invited me to Phoenix for the last lecture. I’m really considering it. I hate to see the lectures end.

    It will be interesting to see how Tim incorporates the discussions on this blog.

  21. July 27, 2014 at 8:45 am

    mm lamented:

    I wish the Book of Mormon could be found (besides the blue one) in an easily readable form without the Bible stamped onto it (topical guide, etc.)–

    10 years ago I typeset the Book of Mormon in a reader’s edition to give to my sister for Christmas. I got rid of all chapter divisions, verse #s, footnotes, etc. Isaiah is more readable when typeset as poetry.

    In August 2005 when President Hinckley encouraged everyone to re-read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year I had 3,000 copies printed. I’m down to my last handful of cases of books now, but if you want to email me your address I’d be happy to send you a paperback copy. (My email address is my first name @ my last name followed by dot com.)

    It’s also available free electronically as a PDF and in plain text or as a 720-page print on demand hardcover at Amazon (though note that high page count POD hard cover books doesn’t come nearly as cheap as an offset paperback printed in bulk).

    • John
      July 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      mm, you might also consider The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text, edited by Royal Skousen. I found reading the Book of Mormon in it’s original form to be a very good experience. And Skousen’s comments on his efforts to reproduce the earliest version as accurately as possible are very interesting. This version is currently available on Amazon for $22.33.

  22. John
    July 27, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Tim, I’m a first-time reader of your blog. I find it interesting that you consider Denver Snuffer a prophet. I attended the talk on priesthood that Brother Snuffer gave on 2 Nov 2013 in Orem, Utah. During the early part of this talk he made some comments about Elder Russell Nelson that were, in my opinion at least, sarcastic and disparaging. They got a laugh, so perhaps not everyone would agree with my characterization. I found it interesting that these comments are not included in the transcript of that talk. Since Brother Snuffer claims he has never criticized church authorities (a recent example of this claim can be found in his 20 June 2014 blog, “The Facts”), I can see why it would be to his advantage for these comments to be omitted. I do not know whether he is personally responsible for those comments being edited out, but the fact is, they are missing.

    Since you consider Brother Snuffer a prophet and seem to be supportive of his writings, I’m curious whether you agree with his 23 July blog, “Only One Doctrine Left”? Personally I find it amazing that he seems to think that the Church finds it “intolerable” that a member would follow Christ rather than the prophet in the (in my opinion, unlikely) event of a conflict between the two. I don’t recall the Church ever claiming the prophet is infallible, and I certainly don’t recall the Church ever teaching that in the event the prophet disagrees with Christ, we should follow the prophet.

    • July 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Hi John. You can find the comments about Elder Nelson in the recording. Take what you want from that. Yes, I agree with his 23 July 2014 blog post about following the prophet. It’s a sacred cow in our church my friend. If you want to stir a hornet’s nest in any priesthood quorum or Gospel Doctrine class, simply ask your question there. I speak from personal experience. God bless.

      • John
        July 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        Thanks for your response, Tim. I believe I will ask the question in my High Priest’s quorum this Sunday. The question will be this, “When confronted with the question of following Christ or following President Monson, which would you choose?” If my fellow high priests choose President Monson, I will be properly surprised. I’ll let you know what happens.

      • July 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

        There is an article in the April 2014 Ensign & Liahona that concludes:

        As we follow President Monson and try to be more like him, we will inevitably succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

        And the editors of the magazine selected this to be the pull quote.

        I found it a bit jarring.

        • John
          July 28, 2014 at 9:41 pm

          Hi Michael,

          I’m having trouble seeing what exactly you find jarring about the quote you cite from the April 2014 Ensign. Is it jarring because you believe that following a prophet of God and trying to be more like him (the prophet) will not help someone succeed in being a more faithful disciple of Jesus? Or is it jarring because you don’t believe that President Monson is a prophet of God and therefore following him, etc will not bring us closer to Christ? Or am I just missing your point all together? Help me out here.

      • John
        July 28, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        In response to Michael A. Cleverly’s post on July 28 at 5:36 p.m.

        I’m curious about what you find jarring about that conclusion. Is it your belief that following a prophet of God and trying to be more like him (the prophet) will not help us succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are you suggesting that President Monson is not really a prophet of God and therefore following him and trying to be more like him will not help us be more faithful disciples of Jesus? Or am I missing your point all together. Help me out here.

      • July 29, 2014 at 9:07 am

        Consider the pull quote rewritten to be from President Monson’s first person point of view:

        As you all follow me and try to be more like me, you will inevitably succeed in being more faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

        Would you find anything jarring in that? I can’t fathom him ever saying anything like it. On the contrary, I rather suspect he would echo Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, & Luke 18:19.

        • John
          July 29, 2014 at 11:11 am

          Hi Michael,

          OK, I see what you mean and I agree that President Monson would be unlikely to say anything like that himself (although Paul didn’t shrink from saying similar things: 1 Corinthians 4:15–17 and 1 Corinthians 11:1 for example).

          But to have someone else say it, as in the original quote, seems not inappropriate to me. Prophets are sent to lead us to Christ, so it seems appropriate to suggest that following the prophet will help us be more faithful disciples of Christ. Certainly no one should follow the prophet instead of Christ, but it is appropriate to follow the prophet as he leads us to Christ. Does that seem agreeable to you or is it still jarring?

      • July 29, 2014 at 11:03 pm

        John,

        In the context of the article itself the quote is not necessarily so jarring, coming as it does by way of conclusion and testimony. It is its use as a pull quote to frame the whole article that rubbed me somewhat the wrong way.

        All of the examples from President Monson’s life in the article itself are good and completely commendable. (Who could disagree with tending to the needs of their spouse? Or being positive and happy? Or being kind and loving towards children? Or following the promptings of the spirit? Or loving the temple? Or being kind, considerate and loving?) President Monson exemplifies these and many other positive traits. (As does my mother-in-law.)

        Perhaps a better word than jarring might have been incongruous. It doesn’t mean the statement is necessarily wrong, just that it struck me as being out of place.

        For example, when I was in high school I had a friend who was on the seminary student council. He told me once, in all seriousness (after rebuking me for missing an early morning devotional) that he was more humble than I was. That struck me as a rather incongruous thing to say, even though for all I know it very well might have been true.

        In the October 2010 general priesthood session
        President Uchtdorf taught
        that “we must not inhale” our cultural smog:

        When I was called as a General Authority, I was blessed to be tutored by many of the senior Brethren in the Church. One day I had the opportunity to drive President James E. Faust to a stake conference. During the hours we spent in the car, President Faust took the time to teach me some important principles about my assignment. He explained also how gracious the members of the Church are, especially to General Authorities. He said, “They will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you.” He laughed a little and then said, “Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.”

        Perhaps unwittingly I fear that the editors choice of how to frame the article will feed right into many members natural tendency to want to adore and venerate the prophet (creating the cultural smog that President Faust warned President Uchtdorf about). The principal noun phrase of the pull quote is not Christ. It is President Monson, but more than that even it/he is (in contemporary culture) a synonym for him in his role as the Living Prophet and President of the Church. Follow him and strive to emulate him and your success as a disciple of Christ is guaranteed (you’ll “inevitably succeed” after all).

        Is there a risk to the idea of “following the prophet”? Can it ever lead to idolatry? I think D&C 76 shows that it can, since there we learn that those who follow men–even when those men are true prophets–merit only a telestial reward. (The children of Israel seem to have almost always preferred to have a middle man between them and the Lord, even though the Holy One of Israel is the Keeper of the Gate and he employs no servant there.)

        It is absolutely proper that we thank God for a prophet (Hymns 19) but when we “sing of his goodness and mercy” and when we “praise him by day and by night” let’s make sure the antecedent of his & him that we’re focusing our adoration and veneration on is the Lord and not the mortal who temporarily leads his church. I wish the editors had avoided further fostering the cult of personality surrounding the office of the President of the Church by choosing a different pull quote.

      • John
        August 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

        OK, here is the result of my poll. I did change the question slightly, replacing “when” with “if”, so the question was, “If confronted with the question of following Christ or following President Monson, which would you choose?” Our Bishop preferred that I not take time during priesthood meeting to ask the question, so I polled individuals. These were the Bishop, one of his counselors, the High Priest’s group leader, 3 other male members and 3 female members. No one thought we should follow President Monson instead of Christ in the event of a conflict. Most thought it a silly question with an obvious answer. So, if the Church is teaching that we should follow President Monson first and that Christ is secondary, then they aren’t doing a very good job of it, at least not in the Pleasant Grove 9th Ward. I can’t speak for your Ward in California, but I suspect if you asked people there the same question, you would get similar results.

        I do not doubt that some think the Church teaches we should follow President Monson first and Christ second. At least Denver Snuffer and you, Tim, apparently believe that. You and any others who believe this are mistaken. Certainly the Church teaches that we should follow the prophet. We believe the prophet is inspired by Christ, so it only makes sense that we would follow him. But we follow him as he follows Christ. In the possible, but unlikely, event that he doesn’t follow Christ on some particular point, we have no responsibility to follow him on that point. Just as Eve covenanted with Adam to follow him as he followed the Lord, so we choose to follow the prophet as he follows the Lord.

        • Steve
          August 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

          There is much wisdom in John’s comment here. We are to be disciples of Christ by following the teachings of His chosen prophets in His Church, just as the woman follows the righteous leadership of the man in a family. Anyone who doesn’t see the Church teaching us to be disciples of Christ has some vision clarity problems. In the case of vision clarity problems, be very careful about who you feel is a prophet. You could be in error, and we have seen many examples of good people being misled by people claiming to have prophetic gifts. Don’t let anyone separate you from the Lord. And don’t let anyone separate you from His Church. Both things are foolish mistakes.

  23. EricDL
    July 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    @Michael, There is precedent for your revision of that quote. 1 Corinthians. 4:16; 11:1, Philippians. 3:17. However, I am of the same mind that one needs to seek and follow Christ.
    @ John, My two cents on “Follow the Brethren” is a simple question…to where are they leading? The great precedent is Joseph. “I want you all to know God, to be familiar with him, and if I can bring you to him all persecution against me will cease and let you know that I am his servant. (Words of Joseph Smith Pg.349. emphasis, punctuation and spelling added)
    And again for the Precedent: Alma 36
    23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
    24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
    25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;
    26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God (emphasis added). Vs 22 tells us that Alma had a great theophany, which was or resulted in his redemption; ergo many he taught had had the same theophany.

    These are some of the fruits I look for when I am asked to sustain the brethren as prophets, seers and revelators. Do they even teach these things? If so I am not aware of it. Maybe you can point me in that direction. I sustain them with the idea that although they do not now bring forth the fruit of a seer and revelator (They do as ‘minor’ prophets, I give that to mean they preach Christ but they don’t prophecy) the Lord can give them his word at any time (vs 26 above) and I would receive it. Gladly. My belief is that they who seek to follow Christ are already doing what the brethren are now teaching. At least. They just desire the further light and knowledge that the Lord promised to send.

    Perhaps what they teach is all that they themselves have “tasted” and thus, they who follow only them…well, you get the idea.

    • EricDL
      July 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      So much for the emphases being shown

    • John
      July 29, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      EricDL, I’m sure we all agree that following Christ is of primary importance. It seems to me that the teachings of the prophets, past and present, lead us to Christ and are therefore worth following.

      I don’t really understand all the fuss about this. It’s true that prophets, being mortals, are subject to error. Anyone who has paid attention to the scriptures and to our latter-day Church history can see that prophets (all of them, including Joseph Smith and Alma) have made mistakes. If a prophet teaches something contrary to the teaching of Christ (something I consider possible but not likely to happen very often), then we should not follow him in that thing. But I suspect a prophet is likely in error less often than I am, so I give what prophets teach serious attention and I consider that “following” them. If someone is really a prophet of God, I find it strange that anyone would suggest that we shouldn’t follow him. Are you suggesting that?

      • EricDL
        July 30, 2014 at 9:47 am

        @John,
        I guess it all depends if you believe that we who profess to be god’s people are a Zion people right now. If we aren’t, and I believe we aren’t…this is what all the fuss is about. I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t follow what they teach. They teach the words of Christ.

        Can we agree that the words of Christ have different/deeper levels of meaning? I believe what the brethren are teaching is the milk, 1% on up to whole.

        I’m suggesting that if it is milk that is their commission to teach, that those of us who desire meat should sit down to the table of the Lord where meat is being served. For we desire to be weaned from the milk.

        Hence my comment: “My belief is that they who seek to follow Christ are already doing what the brethren are now teaching. At least. They just desire the further light and knowledge that the Lord promised to send.”

      • EricDL
        July 30, 2014 at 10:08 am

        @John,
        I guess it all depends on if you believe (I believe that we are not) that we who profess to be the people of God are a Zion people right now…this is what all the fuss is about.

        I am not suggesting that we not follow what the brethren teach. They teach the words of Christ.

        Can we agree that the words of Christ have different/deeper levels of meaning?

        The brethren teach milk.(that seems to be their commission) 1% on up to whole. What I am suggesting is that we who desire the meat of the gospel should sit at the Table of the Lord where meat is being served. We’ve had milk. We desire to be weaned from the Milk. The Lord has invited all who desire meat to come.

        Hence my statement: “My belief is that they who seek to follow Christ are already doing what the brethren are now teaching. At least. They just desire the further light and knowledge that the Lord promised to send.”

      • EricDL
        July 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Hey Tim, do the posts have to be approved now? If so you can delete this one and the second one of this answer to John. I thought I lost it when it didn’t post immediately. thanks

    • EricDL
      July 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

      @John,
      I guess it all depends on if you believe (I believe that we are not) that we who profess to be the people of God are a Zion people right now…this is what all the fuss is about.

      I am not suggesting that we not follow what the brethren teach. They teach the words of Christ.

      Can we agree that the words of Christ have different/deeper levels of meaning?

      The brethren teach milk.(that seems to be their commission) 1% on up to whole. What I am suggesting is that we who desire the meat of the gospel should sit at the Table of the Lord where meat is being served. We’ve had milk. We desire to be weaned from the Milk. The Lord has invited all who desire meat to come.

      Hence my statement: “My belief is that they who seek to follow Christ are already doing what the brethren are now teaching. At least. They just desire the further light and knowledge that the Lord promised to send.”

      • John
        July 30, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        EricDL,

        OK, I see what you mean now. But your initial post and that of Michael seemed to suggest (to me at least) that there was something wrong with following the prophet. So I appreciate both of your further explanations that seem to boil down to, “Sure, follow the prophet, but seek also for greater things that the Lord has promised but which are not currently emphasized by official Church leaders.” Is that a reasonable summary of your position?

        It is good to seek as close a relationship with Christ as we can. You quoted from The Words of Joseph Smith that Joseph wanted us all to know God and be familiar with Him. Page 149 of Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith reads, “This principle [making our calling and election sure] ought (in its proper place) to be taught, for God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them…”

        Since this is not emphasized by the Prophet or by the apostles (at least not for general distribution, perhaps general distribution is not now the “proper place”), how should we go about seeking the Lord beyond the generally publicized teachings of the Brethren? I believe D&C 93:1 answers this question: “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” So here is the path advocated by Jesus, basically repent of your sins, call on Christ (for forgiveness), and follow Him. Following Jesus is fully accomplished when we truly love God and love our neighbor. Mormon counseled (Moroni 7:48) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love [the pure love of Christ], which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.”

        So this is what I work to do. I believe it is presumptuous of me to ask Christ to reveal Himself to me. When and if I am ever able to bear it, He will minister to me and I will see His face, but if it ever happens, it will be in His own good time.

      • EricDL
        July 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

        @John, I see all three of my posts came through. Funny. Yes that is a very reasonable summary of what I am saying. Where I would differ with you is here:

        “I believe it is presumptuous of me to ask Christ to reveal Himself to me.”

        The reason being is along with DC 93:1 (which is such a beautiful scripture) Are we not told to ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you? David describes is best in Psalms 27:8 “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” And we are given that charge in DC 101:38 “And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.” The best example is the brother of Jared, (Granted he was much further ahead on the path than most of us. To say the least) Ether 3:10 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me. (I’ll let you go back and read the context). And we can look to Abraham for what it means, exactly, to find him. Abr.2: 12 “Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;”

        As I’m sure you’re aware asking makes known to the Lord our intentions. Not so much for him but for us. And if that is our intent then I believe heaven moves for us to help us in that direction.
        I think what you listed that you are doing is Great!!! A true disciple. And you are correct: “When and if I am ever able to bear it, He will minister to me and I will see His face, but if it ever happens, it will be in His own good time.” DC 88:68.

        I believe You will eventually be able to bare it and He then shall minister to you. The question remains, do you desire it to happen here on this side of the veil, or on the other side? And when he does minister, is it not light and truth he imparts; i.e. intelligence. I will leave you with this last passage:

        DC 130: 18-19 “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
        And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.”

        • John
          July 31, 2014 at 11:37 am

          EricDL:

          I appreciate your point of view and wish you well in pursuing it.

          I used to ask the Lord to reveal Himself to me when He saw fit because I was encouraged to do so by someone whose point of view I respect, but I never felt quite right doing it. What came to my mind was something Jesus told His apostles when He sent them out into the world, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” If you look back at the quote I gave from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, you will note that Joseph gave the aside “in its proper place” when saying the principle of making our calling and election sure should be taught. A footnote to that aside written by the editors of The Words of Joseph Smith states (page 18), “As Joseph Smith here defines it, making one’s calling and election sure is the crowning achievement of a life of righteous devotion. However, the Prophet apparently senses that if this concept is too commonly taught it could easily generate within the Church a misguided devotion to a principle that could divert the Saints’ energy from the equally important principle of selfless devotion to others. Seeking blessings for oneself only is contrary to the principle that ‘He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it’ (Matthew10:39).” It occurs to me that this may be the reason our current general authorities do not openly teach that principle.

          So I will stick with doing all I can to learn to love the Lord and my neighbor and I will continue to pray as best I can for the gift of the love of Christ and the wisdom to exercise that gift appropriately. This, I believe, will lead me to keep the commandments God has given me and to do my part in building up the kingdom of God on earth. If through that I eventually grow to the point where I can bear a ministration from the Lord, then well and good. You asked, “do you desire it to happen here on this side of the veil, or on the other side?” My answer is that I desire it when the Lord sees I am ready for such a powerful experience.

      • EricDL
        July 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        @John,
        Sucess and blessings to you, then. I have not doubt that some day it will come to you. Thank you for this little dialog. It’s been enjoyable.
        See you on another topic, perhaps.

    • EricDL
      July 30, 2014 at 10:22 am

      @John. my response to you wont post. Weird that the one above does. Maybe I have some buzz words in there that won’t let it post. let’s see if this one does.

      • John
        July 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm

        EricDL. Yes, the comments on this blog seem to work kind of strangely. Some post immediately and others don’t post for hours. My double post to Michael on July 28 (one at 9:02 p.m. and the other at 9:41 p.m.) was a consequence of this. When my post at 9:02 p.m. hadn’t appeared after a half hour or so, I assumed it had been lost, castigated myself for not having copied it before posting, and tried again. The 9:41 p.m. version posted immediately, so I went to bed happy. Then, the next morning, when I saw both posts I was a bit chagrined and tried to delete one of them. No go. I could not find any way to delete my own post. It will be interesting to see whether this post comes up right away or not until tomorrow.

        Michael: Thanks for your long post. I take your point and consider it well made. There is delicate balance between respecting a prophet and his teachings and accepting everything a prophet says uncritically. I once began a lesson in High Priests quorum meeting by passing out a slip of paper on which each person was to write Yes or No to the question, “Is the Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints infallible?” I was happy to see that all but one wrote No, and surprised that there was even one Yes. So there does appear to be the danger of overkill by the Church in encouraging us to follow the prophet.

  24. Steve
    August 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Instead of putting so much stock in the blogger club (many of whom are on the edge of Gospel fidelity) and traveling hundreds of miles to soak in teachings of critics of the prophets (Snuffer and Sunstone), I recommend prayer, scriptures, and insights from people who support what the Lord’s prophets teach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *