Parting the Veil

BeStill_FribergI yearn to connect with the powers of heaven. Each morning in my prayers I ask the Lord to walk with me. Each night I ask Him to part the veil that I may see and understand His will for me. On occasion, He does just that. May I share two such experiences from many years ago that remain with me still? I have often wondered why the Lord revealed them to me when I was so young.

Expanding the Mind

At seventeen years of age, most young people don’t have sufficient life experience to know how to keep themselves within the bounds the Lord has set. In fact, they usually don’t know just what those bounds are or why He has set them. New friends come into their lives, bringing new ideas and new things to share. Sometimes, the things shared seem to open the mind but are deceiving.

Cryptic? I think you can read between the lines. After six months I decided I had been deceived long enough. I found myself on my knees pleading with the Lord to redeem my soul from hell. Night after night I cried unto my God. I apologized. I begged for forgiveness. I felt the pains of a damned soul. I could not seem to shake the feeling of being lost, or of having lost my birthright.

The Lord Calls Unto Me

I was not an addict, or was I? Cravings to turn to old ways of sin enticed me day and night. Yet in my prodigal days before going cold turkey, I felt the constant beckoning of my Savior. “Come back to me,” he cried. “This is not what you want. This is not real. I have something better. I can show you what is real.” I held on to this promise through days and nights of pure torture and hell.

I turned to scriptures I had casually carried with me every Sunday, but had not taken seriously. I was especially drawn to the large print, early-morning edition Seminary scriptures. I found in them passages I had underlined. They reminded me of lessons taught by loving and sacrificing seminary teachers who gave of their time and sleep in an effort to reach out to me in my youth.

Putting Off the Natural Man

One night, after an especially difficult day, I found myself in the Book of Mormon, reading the discourse of King Benjamin to his people, sharing the words of an angel he had received only the night before. “Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.” I pondered the idea of being taught by an angel.

Closing the book, I knelt in prayer and poured out my soul for the Lord to save me. I had read once again that “…the natural man is an enemy to God…unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man…” How many times had I read this before? I knew it by heart. Even in the 1970’s we had scripture mastery. This was one that always impressed me.

The Sin of Rebellion

I next remembered another scripture lesson from my Old Testament teacher. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee…” Me, stubborn, rebellious? Yes, you, my son. It sank deep into my heart. I had rejected the word of the Lord. Does that mean he had rejected me?

I cried unto the Lord for peace, but no peace came. I pled for mercy, knowing I did not deserve it. After what seemed like hours of wading through the darkness with a broken heart and contrite spirit, I began to feel a lessening of my burden. I sensed a change in my body. I felt lighter. Did I imagine it or were the cravings really gone? In their place I felt something different in my heart.

An Angel Sent to Teach Me

“Be still, and know that I am God.” I stopped my crying. I became aware of the presence of something or rather someone powerful. This was a new experience for me. This was the first time the heavens had parted. Did I see anything? No, my natural eyes saw nothing. In fact, they were still closed. I sat still for the first time in hours – perfectly still, hardly daring to breathe.

I had never sat this still before in my life. I was not alone. Someone was there with me. I could sense his presence. Somehow, I knew it was not the Lord, but someone sent to teach me or show me something. I literally felt a hand pass across my face, over my eyes, slowly from left to right. I was impressed the Lord wanted to show me something. I got off my knees and lay upon my bed.

An Entry From my Journal

May 1974: “After prayer, I am overcome by the spirit. I lay upon my bed but can’t sleep. In my mind’s eye, I see myself speaking to an overflow gathering of people wanting to be taught the gospel. We are in Southern Utah. It is inside a building like a tabernacle. The feelings are very overwhelming. It is incredibly quiet and reverent. People are listening to me intently as I teach.

“There is an unbelievable outpouring of love and the Spirit. What I am relating is intensely important and has to do with the end of the world and preparations for the Second Coming. The building is filled to capacity and the crowd spills out into the street. People are standing at the windows, straining to hear. The building is lit by candles. It seems there is no electricity. Why?

“I can see I am an older man, in my seventies or eighties. I remember these intense feelings for the rest of my life – they were very real.  I believe it was the Spirit of the Lord showing me what the Lord expected of me. He knew this vision would be motivational to make myself worthy for the gifts of the Spirit – prophecy and revelation – as promised to me in my Patriarchal blessing.”

Another Entry From my Journal

June 1974: “After prayer one night, I remember lying in bed unable to go to sleep because of the intense feelings associated with what I am seeing in my mind’s eye.  I see myself speaking at an outdoor gathering.  It is late summer or early in the fall. It is not cold or wet in any way. There is a green sunshade stretched over the podium and speaker area. There are trees to either side of us.

“I am on the stand with many other individuals participating in the Lord’s work. It is later in my life and I am an old man. There is a gathering of thousands upon thousands of people stretched out for what seems like miles before me.  I am one of the speakers.  In fact, it is my impression I am conducting the meeting at that particular gathering. I am confused by this impression. Why?

“Shortly after we are married, Carol and I visit the Valley of Adam-Ondi-Ahman. I realize I have been there before – it is the same place I see in my mind’s eye this night. I am overcome with the same feelings of that night. I remember most intently the feelings associated with speaking to this large gathering to this day. I am not sure this is an event I will experience during mortality.”

We Can Receive Revelation

These were the first of many revelatory experiences in my life. The Lord gave me permission to share these. In fact, He asked me to share them this evening. I don’t know why. I am not trying to call attention to myself and say, “Hey, look at me. I’m so good. I got revelation.” As you have read, I am not so good. I did not deserve these experiences. I still wonder why I received them.

The only reason I can think the Lord asked me to share these particular journal entries is because there is someone out there who needs to read this. I speak to you, whoever you are. Don’t doubt the Lord is willing to reveal things to us. I am a witness he does. Our Mormon culture seems to forbid the sharing of sacred things such as this. Not so. They are given to strengthen each other.

Share When the Lord Asks

Over the years, I would try to work these and similar experiences into my priesthood, Sunday school or Seminary lessons. I even occasionally tried to share them over the pulpit in a talk or a testimony. I knew the Lord was OK with me sharing them, because He prompted me to do so. For some reason, I have not been prompted to share experiences such as these in recent years.

There have been a few more similar revelatory experiences the Lord has asked me to share. I have done so on my blog over the years. Some He has forbidden me to share. I don’t know why. Some I will only share in private. I don’t try to second guess the Lord. If He says share, I do so. If He says keep it to yourself, I shut my mouth. The point is, revelation is real. I am a witness.

Daily Conversation With the Lord

For the past few years I have had a daily running conversation with the Lord. He knows what I want. He tells me to be patient. He does not say no. He tells me to wait. He is testing me. He told me so. There is more He wants me to know. It can only be known by revelation. Meanwhile, I study and pray because that is what He asks of me. He is constantly directing me in what I study.

I suppose that’s also a form of revelation. I sometimes take it for granted. When I was younger I thought everyone was directed by the Lord in what they should study or learn. I was surprised to learn otherwise. Everyone has spiritual gifts. I know I’m not the only one.

From My Patriarchal Blessing

“You will be guided and directed and schooled in your mission by the whisperings of the Holy Spirit unto you … as you share these blessings with the Lord, He will pour out more blessings upon you. Your cup will run over, your heart will be full. You will have the peace of mind that brings great comfort to the soul.” The Lord has asked me to share, so I share what he requests.

The more I share, as directed by the Lord, the more I feel His pleasure at what I am doing. The more I bear witness of the revelatory process, the more I sense the joy He has promised. As I am blessed, I desire to share that with others. As I do so, He pours out more blessings and fills my heart with joy. I know He is pleased. Revelation is real. The Lord is willing to speak with us.

Remember His Long-Suffering

I did not appreciate the Baptism of Fire I received later that year when I was seventeen. I wish I understood then how fragile a thing it is to retain a remission of your sins. The great secret is to always remember the Lord’s goodness and long-suffering toward us. I remember those days as the Lord called out to me to return to Him. I remember His long-suffering and patience with me.

Lately, my days have been filled with anticipation. Like many of you, I know something is about to happen. Too many of you have shared with me privately and in the comments of this blog to think this is just me experiencing this feeling. There is something afoot. The heavens are open for business. He is willing to reveal Himself to us and show us wonderful things. I know this.

“And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.”

104 comments for “Parting the Veil

  1. August 7, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Wow Tim! This post was the very subject of my conversation with Father last night. This has been the object of my heart since my ‘baptism of fire’ and even after reading much I still ask, “how do I part the veil?” What does it take? What within me is the barrier?

    This is an ongoing process for me.

    Isn’t it interesting that “something is afoot”? 18 months ago I was worried about the days ahead and quite concerned about my preparation. Many messages of ‘do not worry’ later and I realize that the ‘days ahead’ are now. It is not T-10, we are off the ground.

    The call of the Spirit to “Repent and Come Unto Christ” should not go unheeded whatever beliefs and traditions we ‘cling’ to now. The Savior will help us through the rest.

    Thank you for this post.

  2. Honor
    August 7, 2014 at 12:35 am

    I love this blog post. Thank you for sharing these experiences. God is good and just so full of mercy and grace and love. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Good Will
    August 7, 2014 at 5:23 am

    I was inspired and uplifted by this post, Tim. It was something I needed to hear now.

    Many of us are amazed at the acuity of “hearing” you have developed. We would like to have your sensitivity, conviction and confidence and faith to “hear” — and act upon — the “voice” of the Lord. Many also would like to experience the revelatory dreams you have experience and feel the baptism of fire of the Holy Ghost you have felt. Many yearn for a “mission” — and a “remission”! — as you have described.

    Whether in the future you stand and preach in a crowded room by candlelight or preside in an open field addressing a vast throng, you are doing so now. Your words are now going forth in fulfillment of the prophesy you received and your voice is being heard. You are exercising power in the priesthood as it should be exercised: in humility, meekness, with love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge, with faith in Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for showing us all the way to both come unto Christ and to serve in the Church simultaneously. “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” (Luke 2:52.) And so are you.

    May God continue to bless you.

  4. Bob
    August 7, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I’m the guy that needed to be strengthened by this. And not a moment too soon. Thanks for your attention to Fathers prompting and willingness to share with me.

  5. John
    August 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Thank you for sharing, Tim. This was something I needed to to hear today.

    I’m 24 years old now, and ever since I was in Jr. High I have felt that we are experiencing the breath before the storm, like when the water recedes before a tsunami, or the birds fly away before a hurricane. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in feeling this way, and to receive additional insight from you and Denver as to why we feel this way. It is also nice to see someone who is aware of the various failings of the LDS church, yet who is not angry or sarcastic about it. I have a hard time reading and sharing articles from other authors, such as Alan Waterman, because while I agree with most of what they have to share, the way in which they present it is often contentious.

    It is also reassuring to hear from someone else who is having conversations and receiving revelations through the veil. Most people I talk to don’t seem very comfortable with the idea, especially in practice. Sometimes I find myself doubting my own experiences because of how uncommon they seem to be. I feel that most people receive promptings and feelings, but hesitate to take it further than that. I don’t think they realize how important it is to do so.

    I have been struggling with sexual addiction for about a decade now. I am a very sensitive and spiritually-minded person who has grown up in the church, so it has been quite a challenge for me. The Lord has used this weakness to teach me more than I could ever have learned without it, especially in terms of empathy, discernment, self-love, mercy, and humility. I am grateful to Him for this, but still long to be free. It is particularly challenging to date anyone seriously and ask for a temple recommend while I still struggle with addiction. I have tried everything I can think of to overcome it, from 12-step programs to fasting and praying, from psychologists to emotional release work.

    Despite my weaknesses I still have a tender heart, and have been building a relationship with my Savior and the Powers of Heaven. I enjoy frequent conversations with angels and with the Lord, which has been taking me a long time to get used to (mostly due to the shame that I have been having a hard time letting go of). What drives me nuts about all this, and why I appreciate this post of yours so much, is that when I ask the Lord what I need to do in order to move on with my life and find freedom, He tells me to “relax, be patient, and trust in His timing for me.” I know this is something I need to work on, as I tend to be very uptight mentally and physically, but it is also hard for my mind to understand, because when I think of being patient I wouldn’t normally apply it to something like overcoming sin. Surely that is something that we want to experience as soon as possible, and surely the Lord sees it the same way? Yet as my spiritual education continues line upon line, the directive I receive from the Lord remains the same: relax, be patient, and trust in His timing. And for heaven’s sake, don’t let one weakness make you feel like a bad person! (That one’s taken me a long, long time to acknowledge)

    Anyway…thanks again for sharing. I normally don’t feel the urge to comment, but today I did. I want you to know what an impact your words have been having on me for the past few months. Your humility and honest desire to learn and do good set you apart in our day and age. You aren’t afraid to kneel down, and you aren’t afraid of the truth. It shows, and it makes a big difference.

    • August 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      John, I admire your courage in sharing details to which many people can relate. I’m an old man – 57 years – but I remember what it was like to be 24. Ah, to be young again. Dude, you are not the only one who has ever gone through what you have described. You’ll find no judgment from me – only love, compassion and empathy.

      I will ask only one question and you can respond via a private message if you like – my email is plastered all over this blog. You are obviously sensitive to the influence of the spirit world around you. I assume you believe there are spirits who want to use your body for their own pleasure and sexual gratification.

      Wait, that was the question I wanted to ask. I shouldn’t have assumed. Do you believe there are spirits hanging around who want to use your body for their own pleasure and sexual gratification? Alright, a second question might help here. Have you read Visions of Glory, particularly the chapter that describes the EQ Pres. struggling with porn?

      I would very much like to continue this dialog on the blog if you’re comfortable doing so. If not, shoot me a private email. There is a whole lot more that can be said and a whole lot more that can be done if you are serious about coming unto Christ and controlling your own body.

      • August 8, 2014 at 3:36 am

        John,

        Thank you for sharing your story… as you say about Tim’s post… “I want you to know what an impact your words have been having on me for the past few…” minutes.

        I’m not as sensitive to the spirit/veil as you and Tim are. I did have an experience with the adversary when 11. It terrified me for decades, but I can sense ‘that’ kind of spirit since then. I also get answers to prayer on-the-fly most of the time. Just not deep, detailed oriented ones very often. I marvel at your gift.

        I will go on record and back up your claim….”He tells me to “relax, be patient, and trust in His timing for me.” He has said the same thing to me regarding my sins and weaknesses. I feel He has taught me some truths about the Atonement and Grace of Christ that helps me make changes,… line upon line as you said.

        Only in the last week have I been able to forgive myself and that was an amazing and ‘strength building’ event nearly as powerful as my ‘born of fire’ experience. This was only possible because of things DS taught me in one of his books that the Lord directed me to.This has taken me like 6 months to do.

        Anyway, I’m glad you responded to Tim because I needed and enjoyed your post. To bad you’re not living in my town.

      • John
        August 8, 2014 at 9:40 am

        Thanks Tim, and everyone else who responded to my post. I wasn’t expecting so much love and support!

        I have read Visions of Glory, though it has been a few years. I remember the chapter that talked about corrupt spirits being one of the most disturbing for me, especially because I could sense the truth of it. I have had several direct encounters with spirits of darkness over the years, a few of which were surprisingly intense. I don’t remember if VoG discusses this or not, but I believe “evil” spirits basically fall into two different categories: those who have lived and died, and those who have never lived. I’m pretty sure it is the ones who have lived and died who have the physical cravings, as they know what it feels like. They miss it, and are controlled by their appetites; they will do anything to get their high. The ones who have never lived, however, could care less about physical appetites. I believe what makes them tick is simply seeing God’s other children act in ways that are contrary to God’s will.

        It seems to me that though “a third” of the host of heaven fit into the category of spirits who have never had bodies, it isn’t 1/3 in terms of numbers. It’s more like “a third kind of spirit.” My experience leads me to believe that the “third” are relatively few in number, and operate more like puppet masters working under Satan. I also believe that the hungering spirits, the ones who have lived and died but are still bound by worldly appetites, have the potential to be freed if they turn unto Christ. I don’t exactly sympathize with them though!

        I am a big believe in spiritual/emotional healing and energy work, directed by both men and women. I have experienced it firsthand as both a recipient and a practitioner. I have seen it have a direct effect on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. The spiritual gift of healing is very real, can show up in different ways, and appears to be more naturally prevalent among women. Most of my dealings in this arena have been with the Institute of Healing Arts in Lindon, Utah. Great place, great people.

        I would love some help in reclaiming my rightful place as steward of this body. And so far I feel comfortable continuing this dialogue publicly; if that changes, I will let you know and we can continue the dialogue privately. Thank you for making yourself available to do so. In the meantime I figure that one day we’ll all be familiar with each others struggles anyway, so we may as well get used to it now, right? Besides, what a waste it would be if others were denied the opportunity to learn from my mistakes! Heaven knows how much I have learned from others who were willing to share the hard parts of their journeys.

    • mckilee
      August 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Hi John,
      Thank you for your post. It was wonderful. It is such a healthy thing to relate our experiences with our weaknesses. I, like Tim, am acquainted with what spirits can do – their operations – and have studied the works of Mel Fish in regards to the workings of spirits. They are real and can really get in the way: as in the form of sexually addicted spirits who function as Tim just related and as recounted in the book he also just referenced. I have seen miraculous differences in people who are aware of ‘their workings’ and are able to dismiss ‘them’.

      It seems to be a constant, as “they” are the indigenous species here upon this earth, as they were cast here before we came. So, ‘they’ are not something to fear, but to be wise of their operations and their reality and how to ‘deal’ with them. We are so blessed to have a glimpse into their mission and our relationship to them through our temple experience. May you continue to be blessed through your pivotal journey.

      • kathryn
        August 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm

        John

        I’m not sure about the type of techniques Mel Fish used to help individuals heal. I’m finding there are several people in the area that do “Energy Healing.” Last year I designed a website for a woman by the name of Melinda Lee who is an Energy and Spiritual
        Healer.

        She says she does not do the healing but Christ does. I use to be skeptical until I read the testimonials from those all over the world who have had amazing results with both physical, mental and addictive issues. (I’m not undermining priesthood power, but I believe some have the gift of healing that is not with the confines of the priesthood.)

        Six months ago, I had a close friend who saw a woman in St. George who, like Mel Fish, works with spirits. She went to see this woman to appease a daughter. My friend, being very traditionally LDS was very reluctant, but went anyway. The results was amazing. She had been sexually abused as a child by her mother’s boyfriends and a spirit had been clinging to her for over 50 years. She was release and many angry feeling vanished, she felt lighter and her productivity has increased 100 fold. She said she had not realized was a burden it has been until it was gone.

        You may want to discuss this more with Tim privately… I’m sure he can get you in touch with someone, if your are interested in looking at other possibilities for healing. Or, I would be happy to give you a contact.

        • August 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm

          Amen, Kathryn. Mel and Jan are not the only ones who have spiritual gifts in this area. Bless you for the additional examples and recommendations.

      • Rodney
        August 8, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        Kathryn or whoever,

        I’m interested in getting my wife to a spiritual healer. Not knowing any I’m at a loss, and trust is a big issue with me. If anyone has personal success or someone they know personally, who had success, I’d be grateful for the name and contact info of the healer. We’d be traveling from the Twin Falls direction.

        Thanks

    • August 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Awesome testimony. Gives me hope.

  6. johnD
    August 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Tim,
    In many ways you and I are at similar places in the path of gaining further light and knowledge from the Lord through the veil.
    I’ve found it’s not possible to hurry the Lord in these matters, its time when it’s time and that’s when He knows we’re ready. So I practice patience, humility and meekness until then, which takes longsuffering :)
    As I look back at the great spiritual manifestations in my life, I can see one common denominator however. A broken heart and a contrite spirit.
    So the question to you and the group is this; can a person “make” their heart broken and spirit contrite?
    Or does it take circumstances in your life to force it on you? In the past where I have had “mighty prayer” that reached the heavens it’s been with a broken heart and contrite spirit caused by “circumstances” outside my control.
    Let me know what you think!

    • Annie
      August 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      JohnD,
      I’ve been pondering the exact same question. I’ve spent my share of time in life really struggling. Now that I understand a little bit more about the baptism of fire, I know I need to offer a broken heart and contrite spirit. But as it so happens, I’m experiencing one of the more content periods of my life. My self esteem is higher than it has been throughout much of my life, and I am also constantly battling prideful thoughts because I feel like I understand things others don’t. And there goes the pride thoughts again. “How righteous of me to recognize my pride.” None of this helps when trying to obtain a gift which requires recognizing your own nothingness before God. I logically acknowledge that, but am having no success in mustering the proper feelings, though I am asking for them. It increasingly seems that establishing a connection with heaven is an urgent matter. I don’t want to be caught unprepared and suffer needlessly when I could have mustered the necessary humility beforehand. I would really like anyone’s thoughts about whether there is a way to attain a broken heart and contrite spirit without having to wait for circumstances to cause it.

      • johnD
        August 8, 2014 at 7:08 am

        Annie and Rodney
        I believe it’s our “ignorance” of just how dependent and pathetic a beings we are compared to God. Life will kick us to our knees, or backside, we get humbled, broken and contrite, we reach the heavens in mighty prayer. Then we dust ourselves off move forward and wow, I’m pretty cool, that was a really difficult experience, and I made it, with the Lords help of course. Now we’re not so humble, broken or contrite and our prayers don’t seem to penetrate to the heavens.
        It’s GRASPING that knowledge of just who we are in comparison to God that can keep us humble, broken and contrite before him.That is easier said than done, but having that belief penetrate deep into our heats appears to be something we “must” master to move forward. OR, have the Lord keep lowering the boom to get us there. 
        Well that’s what I’m working on, and my current thinking is it will require much more and better quality of fasting than I have been applying in my life to get and keep me there!

    • Rodney
      August 8, 2014 at 4:21 am

      JohnD,

      While I’m a work in progress I wish to say that “YES” we can go to Father and ask for help in cultivating a broken heart and contrite spirit without the need to be compelled,

      2 Nephi 2:7

      7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

      but I don’t find a scripture (in the BoM at least) that suggests anyone with a BHaCS was compelledl… just compelled to be humble.

      Alma 32:14

      14 And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?

      In my experience I’ve continuously prayed to become more and more humble and to develop a BHaCS “without the need to be compelled”, The touch of the Masters hand in my life as I’ve prayed for these things ‘specifically’ have made such a huge impact in my life… but like I said, I am a work in progress.

      • Sam
        August 8, 2014 at 9:22 am

        Alma 42:27
        Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds.

      • Annie
        August 8, 2014 at 10:57 am

        Thanks for the response and the shared scriptures. It’s encouraging to see that someone is making progress along these lines.

      • johnD
        August 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

        If we consider a softened heart to include a broken heart and contrite spirit then we have this in
        Alma 24:8
        And behold, I thank my great God that he has given us a portion of his Spirit to soften our hearts, that we have opened a correspondence with these brethren, the Nephites.

        The negative side of me worries that the Lord is preparing an across the land “opportunity” for us to be compelled into a broken heart and contrite spirit.
        I keep seeing something akin to the earthquakes described in Visions of Glory.
        I have experienced the baptism of fire many years ago and would sure like to get further down the road spiritually before something catastrophic, without some horrible personal experience to do it for me. BUT whatever the Lord wishes!!

  7. boo
    August 7, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Tim, very good post. I can see greater clarity of purpose in your writing than I use to see. Keep it up. Unfortunately we rarely hear from those who are the recipients of substantial spiritual gifts. To do so gives courage to all of us to humble ourselves and seek what the Savior so freely offers us.Incidentally thanks for leaving the comments up .It benefits those who are willing to learn

  8. kathryn
    August 7, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Tim

    Thank you for this post, it has been most encouraging and uplifting. I too have had experiences that were so powerful that there was no doubt that the Lord and His angels were involved during a very difficult 3 year period of my life. Amazing things happened.

    However, for some reason, for several years now, the heavens seem to be closed to my pleadings. I feel as though I cannot identify the voice spirit from my own thoughts as I have done in the past…. even though I have be much more diligent than ever before.

    Anyone else experiencing a “Shut Out?”

    I too have felt the rumblings of change coming soon. However, soon to the Lord could mean 20, 30, 50 years from now. The early Saints thought they would see Zion in their life time….and here we are… nearly 200 years later.

    This feeling of urgency would be great for a blog discussion to see how many others are having the same heightened feelings.

    By the way Tim, if you are going to be an old man when you preach to a multitude then I will be joining the crowd from the other side the veil.

    • laruebrough
      August 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Kathryn, I too experienced a Mighty Change years ago and have had many trials and spiritual experiences. But now I struggle. I Study and pray and end up feeling like a failure because I do feel shut out. I wonder what am I doing wrong? I desire with all my heart to experience parting the veil.

      • August 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

        I have experienced the same, larue. The two most common conditions have been 1) there is some instruction I’ve received from the Lord that I’m not carrying out, or 2) there is unbelief I need to cast away in order to receive more from Him.

        In the case of #1, I have been able to press into prayer and receive more understanding of the instruction not as yet carried out. (I usually find myself stuck in obedience when I don’t have enough understanding about how to go about something.)

        In the case of #2, I pray to know what the next item of unbelief is that I must put upon the altar. He has always answered, and beautiful blessings have followed.

        I’m in awe of your faith and persistence, sister. May God bless you richly!

  9. Brian B
    August 8, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Kathryn, John, Tim and all,

    Great discussion on these matters of conversing with the Lord through the Veil, coming events, operation of spirits, natural man and addictions, and being shut out. I usually do not commment but WOW I really felt I should.

    Kathryn, I hope you see this post, I have been through several long “dry spells” where it seemed like the Heavens were shut. What I realized is it helped me deepen my conviction and love for the Lord. I realized I would continue to seek Him regardless of whether or not he opened to me. Following is link to a chapter where Jeanne Guyon (16th century saint who was imprisoned by Catholic church for believing a person should pray and talk with the Savior all the time) discusses dealing with these “dry spells”…I really like this quote

    “The Lord Jesus is looking about everywhere for that Christian who will remain faithful and loving even when He has withdrawn Himself. If the Lord finds such a faithful soul, when He does return, He rewards the faithfulness of His child. He pours out upon that faithful one abundant goodness and tender caresses of love.” http://www.evanwiggs.com/revival/prepare/dryness.html
    John, I have been through the same and more addictions and understand well. God is speaking to you, and as it says in D&C 1: 19 it speaks of the “weak things of the world” and how they would break down the might and strong. We are given the weakness we have to protect us from pride, and to remind us of our need for Him at all times. Knowing these will keep us humble, and “his grace is sufficient” for all. Thank you for your courage and your willingness to share, it is important.

    Tim, I appreciate your willingness to share these spiritual experiences, a wise man once told me that we have them to share with others, so that ALL may be uplifted and edified. I find this is true, the early saints would share their experiences and learn from each other. The body of Christ needs each person to grow. I am very grateful you are willing to allow the scrutiny that comes from putting these things out, its well worth it in Heaven and though some are suspicious I believe that by your fruits you can show your good intent.

    Tim, I also wanted to say the Spirit bore witness that the things you were sharing were true, particularly about the talk in S Utah and the vision of speaking. I have had similar, and I thought it better share my second witness to your words.

    I wish you well in your path, and look forward to more conversations with you in the future on these matters and of conversing with the Lord through the Veil.

    Your New/Old Friend , Brian

    • kathryn
      August 8, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Brian

      Thank you for your encouragement. I did read the link you suggested. It was very helpful.

    • kathryn
      August 9, 2014 at 12:34 am

      Brian. Thank you for the encouragement. I enjoyed the information from the link you provided.

      • Brian B
        August 11, 2014 at 7:21 am

        Kathryn, God is still with you in the slience. As I said, he reaches out for us and waits for our hearts and our souls to be in the right position. I know He does it for us, as His own feelings would be to immediately speak with us, but if He did it would not allow the experience and the growth we need.
        I know how much He likes speaking with us, so trust in Him and do let his justice and his mercy have place in your heart, and determine to wait upon Him no matter what.
        Thank you for your posts. I feel you have a very good spirit and many of your answers will be very clear soon.

        • Jared
          August 11, 2014 at 7:42 am

          ” Determine to wait up on him no matter what” Is spot-on advice. There is great beauty in the doctrine of being LONG SUFFERING “durring the seemingly flat moments in life” live in a spirit of great gratitude for God “don’t slacken your strength” serve and love others around you feast on thewords of God…. consistent beautiful joy and revalation awaits! 2 nephi 425:26 chp of the day! :)

  10. Adam
    August 8, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences. It has helped me a great deal. I have had experiences with evil spirits and with, I believe, the adversary as well. I have also felt the love of the Savior. I have not been to church in a long time. I always felt like something was off and that I don’t fit in there. I long to see the Savior, but on the other end of the spectrum, my carnal self seems to win. Thanks to people like Tim and Denver, I have come to realize the love that the Lord has for me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. That the gospel was restored through Joesph Smith. I wish that I could feel the same way about the GA’s now.
    On a side note, one of my employees is a strong member and a year and a half ago I had a strong impression that something is going to happen in 3 years time. We are now at a year and a half. Could be nothing…….

    • August 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks for this Adam.

      I’ve always been a believer of a timefram likes whats mentioned above…. say- 50 or 60 years away…. BUT, a year and a half ago, I was heavily impressed something was gonna happen and soon. After that I got ahold of Avraham Gileadi’s writings and I’ve noted there seems to be 3year warnings that are typical of the Lord. I have been told not to worry though, that I and my family would be fine and that I would be given a ‘sign’ with plenty of warning. I’m hoping “fine” doesn’t mean a “quick death” fine.

      I even tried to get my wife to keep our money out of the bank… it just goes to show that ‘worry’ can go too far; however, I just don’t think my wife believes me even though she says she does.

      I have petitioned Father to know what lies ahead but it’s not been given. The kicker for me is… I’m working in the Middle East and would require an exit visa to get out… a two or three day event without a world epidemic or financial meltdown.

      I must trust the Lord.

  11. Aaron
    August 8, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Tim,

    I’m a nobody. You can ignore everything I’m about to say. I say it with good intentions because I like to read your stuff. You seem like a great guy. I don’t pretend to any great visions or in conversing with the Lord through the veil, yet. So consider me a weak and dull human just giving his two cents.

    Not every message or messenger out there is credible. It’s not all some sort of perfect tapestry weaving together right now. We all must be aware of those who might mean well, but who are frauds. I will not mention names out of respect, but they are the witch doctors of Mormonism or ex-mormonism, who pretend to have special healing powers and who claim to be prophets who hold seminars and “only charge a small fee to cover their costs.” They record visions and sell transcripts and books and tapes. They walk with alleged 8 foot tall giants and travel around soothsaying and allegedly speaking in his name. In my opinion, it’s mostly a load of crap.

    Denver’s message is real. He is who you say he is. But I will not sit idly by while his message is mingled with those who have no idea what they are doing or talking about.

    If I’m being candid, I’m also uncomfortable with what feels like a new direction in your posts. “The Lord has told me to share this with you.” Tim it feels like you are trying to hold yourself up as a light. No offense. I believe you are trying to help. But it feels a little to me like you are trying to lead people to believe you know more and have experienced more than perhaps you have. Maybe I’m wrong but when you cite to some of these frauds, it leads me to wonder if you are enlightened or if you are just out there winging it. The mega dittos and kudos and back slapping will not get any of us any closer to what I think we all want. It’s your blog. Do what you want with it. It just feels off to me lately. I am an east coast mormon and so excuse my frankness. But if you have seen what you allude to, you won’t be throwing names out there that you do as credible sources.

    As for me, I want to be so damn firm minded that I will not be coddled by the folklorish crap that is peddled by so many amongst this fringe of people, whose names appear on this blog from time to time as healers and mentors and gurus. I have met these people. I will not fall for their nonsense. I will not pay for their services. I will not support their craft.

    Denver has a message from God and we can all dance around and pretend like we are in the wedding party, by virtue of our going to his talks and reading his books. We can assume that all these magicians that affiliate themselves with him are also good sources. We can enjoy our own “all is well” version of reality because of our new Denver club status. We can lull and coddle one another on blogs until our blogging reality replaces our very attempts to reach Him correctly. We can preach of Spencer and Anna Lee and who the hell ever else until we are blue in the face. But we will still go to hell, even while singing frickin koombaya and holding hands. As for me, I want to know the Lord.

    Tim, I think you are a man of great courage. From what I read and observe. I think you have a gift. I like to read your blog, but I’m just not feeling it these last couple of posts. There are so many pretenders out there who are free lancing and Denver calls it. If we are going to be anywhere near the establishment of Zion, we need to forsake such things, not promote it.

    • August 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Aaron. You are somebody. You took the time to share your thoughts, feelings and concerns. I appreciate that. I can tell they were shared out of love. Thank you.

      I agree with you about messengers and messages. I have encountered many who have sent me private information that once I ponder and pray about it, I feel to “put it on the shelf.” It is not in my nature to deceive – or so I believe and hope – so I find it difficult to believe someone else could want to intentionally lead others astray.

      As the saying goes, “Follow the money.” When someone shares something in private with me, I have to ask “Why the secrecy?” I put more credibility in open comments, especially from those who have been commenting for a long time.

      Therefore, I immediately took your comment seriously, as you shared it publicly. Because I have been subject to “hearing voices” for most of my life, I pray for the spirit of discernment every day. A major breakthrough in dealing with these “voices” came just about a month ago. I won’t go into the detail unless someone asks, but I think that may be why my direction has changed.

      I especially appreciate your warning to not hold myself up as a light. I agree. If I come across that way, then I need to make it clearer who the source of light really is. Nevertheless, we are commanded to let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. In other words, don’t hide our talents or gifts. We are to use them to bring ourselves and others to Christ.

      When I write, “The Lord has told me to share this with you,” perhaps I could express it better or in a way that helps you and others feel more comfortable. In the church we are used to hearing people say, “I feel impressed to share…” or “My ponderings have brought me to the point of feeling the need to express…” or any other watered-down phrase. That’s fine, but in my case, when I write, “The Lord has asked me to share this with you,” it’s as direct as I know to be.

      Let me give you an example. Three times this week, the Lord has impressed upon me to finish Rock’s book and write my review. I even had a PM from a long-time reader who has already finished it and encouraged me to get my review posted. Yet I have put it off each day. The impression came even more forcefully this afternoon. If I were to put it into words, it would be something like, “Tim, I’ve asked you to do this and you said you would. It’s important…”

      As far as citing frauds, assuming you are referring to the owner of the Greater Things website, please remember I am an open individual. I look at everything anyone recommends to me, then share my impressions and gather feedback. I process new things both externally and internally, but external processing comes first. Thus, I blog. I am no guru or seer. I seek knowledge.

      Can we get specific about fraud? Can we name names? Would you prefer a private message on that? I think it would be helpful to all if we were to discuss publically. Are you referring to Jan Graf or Mel Fish or Doug Mendenhall, or am I going in the wrong direction? If I am naming the right individuals you say you have met, tell us why you think they are peddling folklore crap.

      I want to be clear as to what is nonsense. When you refer to craft, I assume you are referring to priestcraft. Yes, Mel Fish was excommunicated for priestcraft. Are we talking about the same people? If you meant John Pontius, and Visions of Glory, tell us why you feel what he shared from Spencer is a fraud. If you have read my review, you know I have mixed feelings about the book. Someone recently wrote that Denver “snubbed” Spencer in one of his talks. True?

      Why can’t we find truth in what someone has shared, even if they don’t have everything just right? Can’t we trust ourselves to discern truth from error? Just because a name is mentioned, or a particular chapter of a book, why does that have to be offensive? I’m not taking offense here. I just want to be clear and not beat around the bush. If Spencer is a fraud, then just say so. You won’t be the first and it won’t hurt my feelings. I have never met the man. Apparently you have.

      Is it wrong to read what someone has written, ponder their writings, share thoughts and ideas with others and then draw our own conclusions? Is it so wrong to blog? Is that the real problem here? Not everybody processes information the same. Some keep it to themselves – all internal – before they come out and share anything. You’ll never know what they’re thinking or what they feel. For me, blogging is how I connect with others and get feedback that I need.

      I get the impression you are saying we ONLY need the scriptures and the Lord. OK, I’ll accept that. In a perfect world, where we’re all completely infused with the Holy Ghost, then that is the way it should be. When I ask the Lord for truth about something, he always says “study it out.” To me, that means share with others – they are also a valid source. Maybe that’s wrong. That’s how I study. That’s how I learn. I confess it’s a deficiency which is why I appreciate those who help me through the learning process. Your words have helped me re-evaluate that process.

      You say my last few posts have been off, that you’re “just not feeling it.” What would you have me do? I’m not trying to lead a church or tell others what to do or what is what. I’m simply trying to learn the truth the best way I know how. I don’t want to be a pretender or free-lancer. Help me understand your last line. What do we / I need to forsake? Referring to other’s websites? Again I ask, aren’t we all intelligent enough to find truth and discern error no matter the source?

      Thanks for your comment, Aaron. You’ve really got me thinking. What should I change? In my prayers and conversations with the Lord, I feel I am doing what he is asking me to do. When I sat down to write this last post, I specifically asked the Lord what would be helpful to others. I did not intend to share about my youthful sins or those journal entries from 1974, but there was no doubt in my mind that’s what the lord wanted me to share once I started writing, so I did.

      I appreciate your frankness and honesty. I look forward to your thoughts on my response. God bless you my friend for your “East Coast” approach with my “West Coast” way of sharing.

    • johnD
      August 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Aaron,
      I enjoyed your comment, there is a lot of truth in it, but I have to agree with Tim, we can take information from all sources and through the spirit discern for ourselves what’s truth and what isn’t.
      As far as Spencer is concerned, I have met him and he would curl up and die if he thought someone was looking to him as a light. I still don’t even know his real name and he appears to want to be left alone. Whether his experiences were visions or just medicated induced bad dreams to me isn’t the point, I enjoyed contemplating the information, and know of three people who reengaged in the gospel from reading of his experiences. I don’t know who else you were referring to but would apply the same thinking to them also.
      And regarding Denver, I’m with you, he talks as one having authority, but there are plenty, even most, who think he’s a fraud! And I say to them the same thing, fine, just take his message of Christ and the restoration and will be better for it!
      Your brother in Christ

  12. kathryn
    August 9, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Aaron, Tim, and John D

    First of all, I appreciate Aaron’s concern. There is so much fraud out there that one certainly has to be careful of. All I have to go on is how it makes me feel and what are the fruits of the discussion, information etc. Does it uplift me, does it heal me, does it help me draw closer to the Lord? Can I learn from it even if it is not traditional?

    Let me share an experience I had years ago. After nearly 30 years of marriage, my husband left me and 4 children for another woman and a child they had together. The story reads like a complicated soap opera that makes folks roll their eyes in disbelief.

    To say the least, it left me devastated and wounded to the point I could hardly function. The experience rolled over in my mind daily and I suffered for 8 long years. I had priesthood blessings, and spent hours on my knees begging for emotional relief. None came. I was so emotionally worn out that I contemplated taking my own life. The only reason I didn’t was that I could not add another blow to my children, who were abandoned by their father and had a “half there” mom.

    I have to admit, I refused to go to counseling or submit myself to a psychiatrist who would only put drug band-aids on my pain. Church social services was not an option as one of their counselors, and my best friend, was having an affair with my husband and no action by the church was taken against her and bishops are still paying to have her counsel their members. Heaven help us!

    One day my sister, who is not LDS, picked me up and said I had been doing it my way long enough and she was taking over. At that point… I didn’t care who she was taking me to see. She introduced me to an organization (which I will not name because I refuse to allow this group to be ridiculed in any way.) To make a long story short… within a month, I was freed of the emotional burden and hurt I had carried for 8 years.

    Their technology was so simple, I was amazed. It did not conflict with the gospel in any way. They were respectful of my belief system. The processes were not “Woo Woo” and no drugs were involved. The bottom is, after 8 years I had my life back. I will be forever grateful for those none traditional angels.

    Now… I don’t know why I did not get relief from priesthood blessings. I don’t know why my prayers were not answered by the Lord. Perhaps I was at the point I could not hear the spirit. Perhaps, for what ever reason, the Lord opened that door for me rather than through the priesthood and prayer channels. I don’t know and I don’t care.

    All I know is that I have been happy, healed and a productive person since. I raised my family entire on my own, have a successful business and have 15 grands that are the light of my life. Life is good.

    Father loves all of his children and has given gifts to many others who are not of our faith to bless the lives of his children. Non-traditional methods can be another blessing if it heals and changes lives for the better. He is not a respecter of persons. Thanks goodness for this tender mercy. The “Thirteenth Article of Faith” confirms this.

    Aaron, there is no doubt that we can be blind sited by people and organizations, including members of our faith, and be taken advantage of. We are all seeking truth and want to know the Lord for ourselves and his plan for us as individuals. What works for one, may not work for another. My path may not be your path. The way I connect with the Lord may not be your way. My way of hearing Him may not be your way. I’m not sure there is a “Correct way” or “Correlated” way to reach the Lord.

    Personally, I have enjoyed the different points of view that are expressed on this blog. There are many non-traditional insights that have caused me to ponder and think deeper.

    Not all dialogue resonates with me but the discussion does not have to meet with my approval. It may touch another persons life in a way that is life changing for them. Who is to say.

    For instance, Spencer’s story in “Visions of Glory” did not feel good to me toward the end for some reason. Yet, I trust author John Pontius (who’s book “Journey to the Veil” is inspiring and has added to my desire to seek the Lord.) A wonderful book. John must have felt Spencer’s account in “Visions of Glory” was accurate and since I don’t know Spencer I cannot be the final judge. There were just some things I was uneasy about. In some ways the jury is still out for me on Spencer’s experience and I will keep an open mind. For others, the book was life changing for them and put them on a spiritual path.

    As far as Denver is concerned…. Like John Pontius and the works of many others…I have been inspired by his words and until I am not inspired any more I will continue to read his material and attend his lectures. He is by no means my savior or my leader, etc. He is just a gifted messenger who’s words resonate with me like so many others who have influenced my life for the better.

    I am not part of a Denver club and he would be resent any worship on my part. I hold hands with no man or woman for salvation. I take full responsibility for my own salvation and my relationship to the Lord. I think many others who read Denver’s words or attend his lectures feel the same way. Perhaps appreciation has been mistaken for adoration.

    Tim is brave to share his experiences and point of view. It’s a little like we are peeking in to his journal of thought. He bravely set’s himself up for ridicule as he shares and sorts out information for himself. But like he said, he’s just looking for truth too and his way of sifting through various points of view is to write it down so he can see it better. We are the benefactors of that process.

    I sometimes get myself in trouble by the some of the things I say. But… speaking it is like taking it out of my head and placing it on a table so I can see it from a different vantage point. Some times I’m embarrassed by what I see.. but I learn from it and can change my point of view at anytime. I’m grateful for others who put up with me as I bumble along… looking for truth.

    Perhaps we should consider others participants in blog discussions are doing the same thing and be patient with the process… even when we think they falter.

    • Rodney
      August 9, 2014 at 3:40 am

      kathryn,

      An amazing post. I cannot help but be humbled. I for one would be interested in knowing what group you speak of. I feel my home (where my family is) has a special need, but I understand.

      I agree Tim is brave. I’ve nearly broken out in cold sweats reading some of his posts. This post; however, has been one that reached me, deep… not just his post but many of the responses. A direct hit.

      Thanks

      • kathryn
        August 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

        I have e-mailed and sent him the Tim and he has the information you are asking about if you want to e-mail him. His address is in the upper right hand corner. Thanks

    • Annie
      August 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

      I would like to know the group you are referring to as well. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  13. Ryan
    August 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Hi Aaron – I appreciate your thoughts. I think there is some merit to them and they somewhat echo things I’ve been thinking and feeling lately. I’ve had my own share of what I feel are substantial, meaningful spiritual experiences over the last several years, but they haven’t involved angels (that I know of), they haven’t involved near-death experiences and they haven’t involved encounters with evil spirits (that I know of). Except in a handful of instances, I’m not sure I can say I’ve had things come into my mind that could be described as the voice of the Lord speaking to me. I’m still trying to figure this out, trying to figure out what it means to hear the voice of the Lord.

    I’ve felt my share of skepticism about things I’ve read of people’s visions or dreams or near-death experiences or encounters with evil spirits. When Tim speaks of encounters with evil spirits or the presence of angels or the Lord, I’ve tried to keep an open mind. I can be slow or have some reservations in believing the legitimacy of such things (whether Tim’s or someone else’s experiences). When people have shared openly about things that seem very personal, I’ve wondered if it is appropriate. At the same time, though, I’ve usually hung on every word that such people have said. As soon as someone begins to share experiences about dreams or visions or the voice of the Lord coming to them, I’m immediately attentive.

    Denver says that such encounters are always anecdotal. They’re not meant to prove anything. No matter how many of these anecdotal accounts we read about, collect and file away, they can’t prove anything to us. As we read in the second lecture on faith, these can only suggest an idea to our mind sufficient to cause us to act, or in other words to exercise faith. In Enos’s experience and in Alma the Younger’s experience, their minds caught hold of something they had heard said concerning Christ or concerning eternal life and the joy of the saints. In their moment of anguish or concern for their souls, they recalled these things they had heard. And did this save them? No it didn’t. Simply knowing about the experiences of others did not save them. What saved them was when they tried something themselves! So they called on the name of the Lord. And then they experienced things for themselves that formerly they had only heard talked about as others spoke of their own experiences.

    One thing that has struck me only lately is that we really don’t have much of a precedent to go off of in judging whether or not one or another person’s experience with spiritual or heavenly things is real, or whether or not their sharing these experiences is appropriate. What history or record do we have in our generation of such things happening or of people talking about such things? Think about it. And when I say ‘our generation’, I mean the generations of people stretching from now back to Joseph Smith. Who do we have that spoke of such things or who experienced such things? We have Joseph Smith! And now we have Denver. But aside from those, individuals with substantial experience or encounters with heavenly beings and heavenly things are few to none in our generation.

    What does this mean? Well the thing that struck me was that it means we really have very little idea what constitutes legitimate, genuine, substantial experiences with heavenly things. We have very little idea what is appropriate for someone to share and what’s not appropriate to share. That is, until we rise up, and begin experimenting ourselves and we exercise faith and begin to experience heavenly things for ourselves, we don’t know crap :-). Who determines what’s appropriate to share and what’s not? Us? No way. It’s the Lord who determines this. And if the Lord wants Tim to share things that, frankly, to me seem somewhat too personal or only meant for him, then who am I, with my meager experience with heavenly things, to say, “no way, that’s too personal, the Lord would never have him share that”. What do I know? What I know starts with a ‘C’ and rhymes with rap.

    So that’s what I’ve decided. I’ve decided I’m going to hear people out. I’m going to keep all these things and ponder them in my heart. In time, after careful and deliberate thought, I’m going to experiment for myself on these things. Who knows? What if the Lord wants Tim to share these things, which seem to be meant only for him, to suggest ideas to our own minds of things that we might pursue or ask of the Lord or experiment upon? This is precisely what the second lecture on faith says was the purpose of the testimonies of the fathers in the beginning. We have no idea how much they shared. They may have shared deeply personal experiences. Alma the Younger shared his experience of wading through affliction before receiving a remission of his sins. Lehi spoke concerning his dreams. King Benjamin said that an angel visited him in the night and gave him a message to convey to his people. Nephi spoke concerning his dreams. Joseph (who was sold into Egypt) told his brothers concerning his dream in which they all bowed to him. Seems pretty arrogant, doesn’t it? Or did the Lord ask him to share that dream?? Maybe so.

    Our records about the experiences of the fathers in the beginning are so meager. We can’t even guess how much or how little they talked openly about their encounters with heavenly things. We’re essentially starting over. We’re in a period of apostasy and drought as to spiritual things. We live in a day when miracles have ceased because faith has ceased. We’re starting over! And so, as we are starting over, as we are beginning the great experiment anew to come to know the Lord, there are almost none right now who can say, yes that’s legit, no that’s not legit, he’s deceived, she’s enlightened, he’s sharing too much! No, it’s time to suspend judgment, it’s time to listen carefully, it’s time to hear and it’s time to take everything we’re hearing and listening to and bring it before the Lord along with all our thousand questions. And then we say to the Lord: Lord, I want to know thee. I have read of these people having angels visit them. I’ve read of these people having dreams and visions. I’ve read of these people speaking with you and you have spoken back to them. I want to know you. I want to be taught by angels. I have a thousand questions! And I don’t even know which one to start with. Give me a broken heart. Give me a contrite Spirit. I want to know you and I want to have you speak to me in complete sentences in a manner that cannot be mistaken.

    Aaron, this isn’t necessarily directed at you. I’m actually just sharing my own thoughts about myself, and about how I’m trying to keep my own mind open. Because if there is something genuine in these things and if there’s something there that I can also have, then I want to have it! I appreciate all of you that are sharing (as moved upon by the spirit) your own spiritual experiences. May the Lord bless us all in our pursuits and make us Saints worthy of his presence. May the Lord make all of you and me a community of Saints and the nucleation point of a Zion society so that the promises made to the fathers may be fulfilled and they come down and fall upon our necks and kiss us. Then may the songs or the hymns of Zion be sung as one people, the body of Christ! May it be so, I pray to God.

    • Aaron
      August 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Ryan, Tim, Kathryn and John D,

      I really appreciate your thoughtful remarks. Not to be cheesy, but Ryan I truly feel like you (all of you actually) are trying to publish peace. I was touched by your comments and think all of you have given some great ideas. Here is a longer response now to Tim’s comments. I apologize in advance for its length.

      Dear Tim,

      I appreciate your taking time to respond to me. I’ve never really commented before and I’m really not looking for attention or to discourage your efforts, which I do see as valiant and sincere. So take my thoughts to your questions and comments with a grain of salt and know that truly, I am no one you need give heed to. I DO NOT have a message from heaven.

      As it pertains to some of these “frauds” I reference, let me start by saying that (a) I’m not referring to you in any way and (b) I don’t think most people ever think they lead or are trying to lead others astray. Our intentions in this regard are irrelevant. The effect of the misleading is what matters. Let’s look at an extreme example in Korihor:

      But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.

      Who can doubt the sincerity of someone who stood in the presence of an “angel”? I assume Korihor believed he was sent unto the children of Lehi to cry repentance, that he believed he had a message from heaven—from God.

      When Alma records that Korihor “had much success” I don’t think he is just suggesting that he was making money. Not all people seek money after all. In fact I think if you were to ask most people if they’d rather be rich or famous, many would prefer the latter. The “payment” of validation and adulation is an enticing reward indeed.

      Joseph Smith spoke often of there being all kinds of spirits. In TPJS he said the following:

      “The Egyptians were not able to discover the difference between the miracles of Moses and those of the magicians until they came to be tested together; and if Moses had not appeared in their midst, they would unquestionable have thought that the miracles of the magicians were performed through the mighty power of god. There always did, in every age, seem to be a lack of intelligence pertaining to this subject [of discerning spirits]. Spirits of all kinds have been manifested, in every age, and among almost all people. One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God…. [But ask:] Is there any intelligence communicated? Are the curtains of heaven withdrawn, or the purposes of God developed? Have they seen and conversed with an angel—or have the glories of futurity burst upon their view? No! but their body has been inanimate, the operation of their spirit suspended, and all the intelligence that can be obtained from them when they arise, is a shout of “glory,” or “hallelujah,” or some incoherent expression; but they [say they] have had “the power.”… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also had its false spirits; and as it is made up of all those different sects professing every variety of opinion, and having been under the influence of so many kinds of spirits, it is to be wondered as if there should be found among us false spirits….”

      In short, I do not trust myself to not be deceived. I am a gentile, perhaps a heathen. I am prone to such things. I am a loser. I represent every evil regarding this matter that Joseph warned against. Having said that, I too enjoy reading a variety of sources. I love that Joseph had a stranger spend the night at his house that preached something about reincarnation that apparently Joseph thought interesting enough to allow him to stay an evening, a night and a morning in his home. BUT eventually, at breakfast, Joseph exposed Matthais as a fraud and a murderer and told him to leave, by the power of discernment. It encourages me to know that it took Joseph some time to study the matter out and that he was willing to hear this messenger out nonetheless. BUT he eventually came to a point where he detected! Had he not “cast out” this fraud’s ideas from his mind (at a minimum) then he might have become subject to the evil spirits possessing this man, not having gained power over them.

      The reason Denver’s message is so important is because his message is from heaven. What if Elijah were to come back today, somewhat like Denver has come among us? Out of obscurity. Not from within the hierarchy. Would we compare him to Mel Fish or “Spencer” or any number of other people out there? If so, I think we are missing the entire message. I find it interesting that when the 3 true messengers appear to Satan (and the old false preacher in former days), they ask him, “What is being taught?” The answer and exchange: “The philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.” “How is this teaching received?” “Very well! Except this man (Adam) does not believe what is being taught.”

      In my opinion, any man preaching, whose message is not from an angel sent from God or from Christ or God Himself, is teaching the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, IMHO, myself included. I don’t believe this means we should not teach. But when we teach, we ought to do so with great care, for we present an interesting predicament/opportunity for ourselves and those around us. I think this is precisely why the precepts of men “always” eventually lead us astray. (I don’t know about you, but receiving his word before sharing it is a topic I struggle with.)

      That’s why “preachers” with special messages and with alleged “healing” powers frustrate me. I can’t explain why they might “heal” someone or make someone feel good any more than I can tell you how the magicians of Egypt made serpents out of sticks. I know it’s tricky, because we know that people can do things with faith, outside of our church etc. But just because it’s tricky does not remove the obligation we are under to discern and detect the false spirits and false messages all around us. As Denver would say, and “It oughta be so.” And last I checked Denver was not promoting Mel’s or Doug’s or John’s / Spencer’s books. I don’t think that’s an oversight.

      The Doctrine of Christ is the way. It is the method by which Denver is sharing his message with us. His message is from heaven. Sherem sought to overthrow this doctrine with Jacob – but Jacob stood unshakeable. Why? Because he personified the doctrine. He lived it. He had heard a true message amongst the many messages of his day. He chose to believe his brother Nephi’s and father Lehi’s message. The true one. He detected and discerned and persisted in “belief” until it became faith. He eventually received his own message from heaven and thus spoke with the tongue of angels. His message, unlike Sherem’s or anyone else who had not had the heavens opened to them, had the power to be carried to the hearts of the children men. Jacob spoke, and the very winds and trees obeyed. This is the only way. Why? Because it is the only way to lead a soul to Christ. Soothsayers and itinerate preachers who are often “just trying to cover their costs,” whether they know it or not, come as Sherem, they are “anti” Christ. They know not Christ and prevent others from entering into his presence. They are false precept peddlers and are no different than those of Deseret Crook whose shelves are filled with spiritual scat. Did Jacob refer to some of Sherem’s greater ideas in his talks, parsing between truth and error and using what he liked when he taught?

      Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with these people. In fact I am one of these people. We are all fellow sojourners. I think many of them/us are sincere. But all of us who freelance and have not yet entered in, and unwittingly at times preach to get gain, or set ourselves up as a light, are engaged in priestcraft.

      To your question, “Why can’t we find truth in what someone has shared, even if they don’t have everything just right? Can’t we trust ourselves to discern truth from error?” as it applies in part to Spencer, I respond: I don’t know “Spencer”. I guess I wonder if Spencer knows Spencer at this point. It all feels so embellished, so “Work and the Glory”-ish to me or better yet like the play “Harvey.” Is he a fraud? All I know is I don’t like how it all feels. It makes me feel way too warm and fuzzy. Not firm minded. It recalls feelings of CES for me, not enlightenment. The biggest red flag for me is how popular it is. Usually a bad sign. Just like Gerald Lund’s books some years back. I remember the days when families in my ward said they read those books in place of the scriptures and bragged about it.

      All this goes back to, I don’t trust myself or any man, period. I am vulnerable, misleadable, so prone to human error. If the very elect can be deceived then holy crap, I’m in trouble, because I’m sure not elect. I ask you this question. If Satan were giving a lecture at some symposium, would you go hoping to glean some eternal truths from his talk? Damn he must have a unique perspective of eternity after all – I mean he stood in God’s presence as an angel for who knows how many eons. And now he here is going backwards… Does the source matter? If Satan quoted scripture or better yet, if he came and gave the exact message as Moroni or Jesus Himself, would it matter? Would you feel the Spirit? Is it only the message that matters? If so, then maybe we should have Doug Mendenhall just read Denver’s next talk like we do in Sacrament meeting with regurgitated Conference talks? Denver could stay home and enjoy his family. The messenger is as important as the message, in my opinion, and hence the importance of the Doctrine of Christ. You either have it or you don’t.

      I like to read a few blogs, yours being one of them – from time to time. But I will admit that I become blog rabid on occasion and look more forward to reading someone’s post than the scriptures – which I don’t think is good (This is not your fault, it’s my own :). I don’t believe we should ONLY read the scriptures. I think reading and studying matters out is extremely important. I certainly love to do so and feel it is God’s way. I’m not afraid of any non-pornographic, non-jihadist website out there that makes interesting claims. I think I’ve entertained most ideas about most things. But my friends, we have a man among us who has seen GOD and CHRIST and has been taught by HOLY ANGELS and has been sent possibly to help establish Zion! Do we still yearn for soothsayers? Do we seek out peeping wizards and want to be coddled by warm and fuzzy precepts of men? Can we not tell the difference yet? Are we unable to even detect a measly false preacher or two? How shall we do when in the presence of Satan as an angel of light as part of our journey into His presence? It’s our choice, what we seek and pursue, and to some extent I think it is part of the path. On a good day, I feast upon the scriptures. And that includes Denver’s talks as I consider those to be such. I like to read Nibley occasionally. I love to read anything and everything written by Joseph. Add a few minutes of Drudge and a few blog posts from nice people like you who make me think and who has time for anything else?

      Tim, again, I respect you and think if circumstances permitted, we’d be great friends. I’d love to be in a gospel doctrine class with you. I find your blog interesting and insightful. This is not an attempt to derail you or anyone. I believe you are incredibly sincere in your desires. Not that you have to worry one whit what I think or believe about you. You do not need to feel threatened by me. I believe we want the same thing in all this. To truly behold Him and to all become more one in mind and faith and heart. I offer my insight for whatever it is worth that there are many who deceive and lead astray, whether they know it or not, and if we do not stop encouraging them because we simply can’t detect whether they are from God or not, then we promote false preachers and false precepts and indirectly lead people astray, who frankly, may not have a gift of discernment just yet.

      To your last question, “What should I change?” I’m a guest here on your blog and again I’m not looking to change you or to judge you. I guess my last thought may be in way of apology to you. If you really have literally entered into His presence and have had your calling and election made sure, then I apologize profusely for typing a single word on your blog. Who would I be to offer anything to you, when I have not had such a privilege? But, if your statements in this regard are simply metaphorical or hopeful or meant to be encouraging when you have not yet in reality had this experience, then I would lovingly throw out there that you may want to reconsider your wording. I think it might actually discourage people, if this is the case, because they still feel so far away from such things (i.e. “Damn, even that eccentric blogger from the West Coast has now entered into God’s presence, man I suck!” :) ) OR I think it encourages embellishments from others who may want to keep up, whose intentions may not be as pure as I think yours are.

      Thanks again Tim to you and others for giving me a warm welcome and for being thoughtful in your comments. You are in my thoughts and prayers especially as you stand courageously before your priesthood leaders at this time. I wish you and your readers God’s richest blessings as we all endeavor to figure these things out.

      A friend in Christ,

      Aaron

      • Ryan
        August 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

        Aaron – Thanks for taking the time to post this comment. I think you’ve just contributed something of great value to this whole conversation, particularly as it relates to the discerning of spirits. You’ve got me thinking about some new things I’m not sure I’ve considered before and you’ve got me thinking in new ways about old things. Thank you for taking the time to contribute these thoughts. I was only able to read fairly quickly through this, but I want to go back and re-read it more carefully.

        Anyway, as it relates to the discerning of spirits, I’ve reflected for many years on the following from D&C 50 (something has always felt profoundly important about this):

        31 Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that if you behold a spirit manifested that you cannot understand, and you receive not that spirit, ye shall ask of the Father in the name of Jesus; and if he give not unto you that spirit, then you may know that it is not of God.

        32 And it shall be given unto you, power over that spirit; and you shall proclaim against that spirit with a loud voice that it is not of God—

        33 Not with railing accusation, that ye be not overcome, neither with boasting nor rejoicing, lest you be seized therewith.

        34 He that receiveth of God, let him account it of God; and let him rejoice that he is accounted of God worthy to receive.

        35 And by giving heed and doing these things which ye have received, and which ye shall hereafter receive—and the kingdom is given you of the Father, and power to overcome all things which are not ordained of him—

        36 And behold, verily I say unto you, blessed are you who are now hearing these words of mine from the mouth of my servant, for your sins are forgiven you.

      • August 10, 2014 at 10:27 pm

        Aaron: You’ve taken a great deal of time and effort to reply to my questions. Thank you. Circumstances don’t permit the same response on my part. I am sorry I have only time for two additional questions.

        First, do you define receiving the baptism of fire as being in the presence of the Lord? He said, “… whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost…”

        Second, while I agree with what you have shared about Denver, I will continue to assert there are others who have detailed knowledge of subjects about which Denver either does not have or has not shared.

        I am satisfied with what I have learned over the past twenty years as the best way to deal with evil and unclean spirits. I have had numerous experiences too sacred to share. I have written on this blog about the individual from whom I first learned the Lord’s way of dealing with them.

        What I have learned from Mel Fish and Doug Mendenhall has saved my life. For people who hear voices of those who are no longer mortal yet hang around us, understanding how to deal with such voices in the Lord’s way is a requirement to maintain sanity and peace of mind.

        As Ryan shared, section 50 has always been my guideline. Here’s my question: What do you do if a spirit is manifested to you clearly, and you do understand what it wants? After asking the Father in the name of Jesus, he reveals it to you. I know what I do. What do you do?

      • Ryan
        August 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        Hi Tim – In your reference to D&C 50, you speak of the ‘spirits’ in a literal sense as, I assume, beings from the unseen world. In my personal application of these verses, I’ve typically (if not always) thought of ‘spirits’ in the sense of concepts, ideas, philosophies, impressions and influences that have entered into or operated on my mind. And it’s typically been in this abstract, less literal, sense that I’ve applied these verses to myself. But you (I take you at your word) have had experiences, literally, with spirits or beings from the unseen world. These verses, it seems, are taken quite literally by you.

        Not that you necessarily have time to reply, especially since you likely have other topics higher up on your priority list to address, but this has generated some questions in my own mind about what these verses mean. I have notebooks and journals full of impressions I’ve recorded over the last 10 years, some of which imply things that are to happen in the relatively near future, things that I feel like I’m to pursue, even things that I’ve felt the Lord might be calling me to do. Some of it seems quite significant in scope and importance and frankly things that could be flattering to my pride and could be a consequence of self-indulgent vanity. I don’t consider myself a particularly vain and self-important person, but all of us I think are vulnerable to self-flattery and pride.

        What I’m getting to, here, is that my application of D&C 50 to myself has generally centered around discerning the ‘spirits’, so to speak, in my writings and discerning from what source they might come. In some of my writing, I have felt swelling feelings of charity and self-renouncement for the sake of others, and I think this is a sign that those things are good and from the right source. In other portions of my writings, I’m less sure.

        What I’m somewhat curious about, in light of what you just wrote about ‘spirits’, is whether or not ‘spirits’ referred to in D&C 50 can usually, if not always, be interpreted literally as beings from the unseen world? If this is the case, then when I write things under some influence, either good or bad, is that influence literally a good or bad ‘spirit’ or being from the unseen world? Even as I write this, I feel like I’m revealing a certain amount of naivety about myself. Maybe I’m a simpleton when it comes to this subject, but I’m willing to put the questions out there because I really want to know more about this subject. The discerning of spirits is so important, particularly in a day (that we’re in right now) when the Lord’s hand is again in motion to carry out a great work. Such a work must always be accompanied and opposed by the works of the adversary. As soon as the good seeds are sown and the new blades of wheat are first sprung up, the adversary comes immediately and sows tares, that the counterfeit may spring up at the same time, to confuse and to lead astray.

        Joseph Smith spent time, in his addresses to the saints, describing keys to the discerning of spirits. This, I assume, was an important topic. I think it must still be an important topic.

    • Dave Park
      August 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you.

    • laruebrough
      August 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      Ryan, my feelings exactly!

    • sfort
      August 11, 2014 at 5:55 am

      Ryan,

      Well spoken and direct and truthful. A little wordy, but that is what feelings are. You are absolutely correct, we are in a drought. Amos 8:11 says, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.” I have been taught my whole life and taught this as a missionary that it was the great apostasy of the middle ages. We know that most if not all of the Lord’s prohecies in all ages have had dual implications.

      But good news; there is an awakening going on and it feels strange but good. It was so easy to live the traditional narrative to feel secure we were working our way to Christ. Am I not right? But the Lord had to time the awakening with technology, it seems. This is His timing. Tim is just part of the process. I can testify of the sincerety in his seeking. We all feel this but he has made the effort to put it out there. “Journey to the Fullness” is another where the Spirit is strong; Dan at Weeping For Zion also. There are others. The writing is beautiful and the comments show the continuation of the intent. Nice comment.

  14. Jared
    August 9, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Tim, I enjoyed your post:) Kathy, I have been thinking about you. If you will please permit me– I would like to reccomended 3 beautiful talks? Go to BYU speeches Neal A Maxwell. Please listen to these talks in this order. “Try the virtue of the word of God” “patience” “meekly drenched in destiny” I promise you sweet peace and comfort and bounteous insight and perspective will follow as you read/listen to these talks. God bless you choice dear sister. Love for you, Jared ps the “Malachi meausure” awaits you! :)

    • kathryn
      August 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Jared Thank you. I have downloaded everything and have listened to the first lecture you suggested and will continue until I have completed the three.

  15. August 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Tim,
    You said you might share what you learned in lately about discerning “voices”….I’m asking. This is an issue for many, I would love to read what you’ve learned.

    Kathy

    • August 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Kathy: Oh, how I would love to do so. I am glad you asked. I will give you the short, straight-forward, simple answer to a twenty-year labor of love through hell and back. The answer is, “talk to them.” If you are one of those who hears voices, then ask the Father in the name of Christ to reveal them to you. I promise you He will. It works every time.

      Ryan quoted section 50. It contains the answer, but I’m not sure how many people get it. I haven’t figured out if there are some people who never have and never will hear the thoughts of the unquiet dead, or if they don’t believe that is meant to be a part of our mortal experience, so they dismiss it as nonsense. I used to think everyone heard them.

      My big problem was in overcoming fear. Perfect love casteth out all fear. I had to learn the Savior’s command to love extends to those who are trapped in their progression and have not moved on to the light. I also had to learn to distinguish between evil and unclean spirits. I will forever thank Doug for helping me with that. Do not fear trapped spirits.

      Evil spirits can and should be dismissed. They can do you no good. They will only lie to you. Unclean or trapped spirits need help. They think you can help them. That’s why they hang around you. Some people mock because they have never experienced it. I have now met too many people to dismiss what the Lord has been trying to teach me.

      The breakthrough for me came when I realized the dichotomy I felt between what the proprietor of the Unclean Spirits Blog has shared and what Denver shared in Doug’s book is really non-existent. In other words, they are both right. But it will do no good for me to tell you if you haven’t done the research for yourself. I’m going to leave it at that.

      If you are lost by the references in that last paragraph because you are a new reader here are the links:

      http://uncleanspirits.blogspot.com/2012/04/15-helping-unclean-spirits.html

      http://3tcm.net/EvilSpiritsRepent.pdf

  16. nuckingfuts
    August 10, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Do you respond to private emails and if so what email can be used?

  17. August 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Yes, I respond to private emails. Use the email address in the upper right corner of this blog or on my “About Tim” page:

    I can be reached at tmalonemcse@gmail.com

  18. EricDL
    August 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    sniff. I smell something rotten coming your way from nuckingfuts, Tim.

    • August 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      I had to laugh at the online ID chosen. Hopefully my spam filter won’t block it.

  19. Jared
    August 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Oops 2 nephi chp 4 is what i ment to encourage — not just a verse or two :)

  20. kathryn
    August 11, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Hi all

    I find this dialog so interesting. I don’t know where all of this fits into the discussion so I will start a new thread rather than replying to an individual.

    There is no doubt, one can be easily fooled by those with evil intent not only in the case of spiritual and emotional healers but physical healers as well. (I worked for such a person.) Just because a person has an MD or a PHD behind his name, does not mean they always have the answer that is best for us. Submitting to any kind of “Authority” can blindside us if we are not wise. On a personal note, I think the amount of prescription drugs that are being prescribed is dangerous and a sin. (Perhaps not limiting the “Word Of Wisdom” to tea, coffee and alcohol might help decrease the need for these drugs.)

    The mental health field, it is even worse. The psychotic drugs given to children as well as adults are as dangerous and as addictive as heroin. Yet, folks are taking them like candy because the “Authority” said they are okay. Perhaps we should heed DC 50 in relationship to the the medical and mental health fields as well our spiritual heath.

    We are a society in trouble. What is the answer? There is no doubt it is Christ. Where is the gap between the dependence upon the healing arts of this world and the healing hand of all of our ills by Christ?

    We are told all answers are in the scriptures, and personal revelation and listening to the brethren and yet I don’t see an abundant of healing, physical or mental issues by this method. It seems to be getting worse within the membership. (I recently heard that more and more of our our fast offering money is being dispersed to those members who need counseling and help with emotional and mental issues.) Mental heath issues were discussed by Elder Holland in Oct. 2013 conference. He did not suggest turning to the Lord only but to the medical procession as well. In fact, touting the benefits of medical help was his primary focus in this day and age of the “Gifts” of medical science.

    I have been pondering this and feel there is a difference in having strong faith and having powerful faith. I have read how so many of the early saints, not only had strong faith, they had powerful faith (men and women) as they healed the sick, and manifest miracles. And, they did not back down from sharing their experiences. They wrote about them in journals as well as vocally sharing them. Perhaps the intent of sharing was to encourage others: “Activate your faith with power, you can do this too.” Certainly, Joseph was an example powerful activated faith.

    As Ryan suggested, our generation has lost the “edge” for various reasons, including condemnation. Perhaps, even if people are experiencing miracles, seeing visions etc. today, they are not discussed for fear of being called nuts, or accused of being taken over by evil spirits, or challenged whether or not the experience should be shared.

    Is it possible that we are being pacified with words such as patience, the Lord’s will, endure to the end, this is your test, this is your journey, when we are more powerful than we think?

    For me, Denver has opened the door into the understanding of the restoration that the early saints enjoyed. His lectures this year have opened my eyes to the greatest miracle of all in this life time and that is to see the face of Christ. What greater miracle could there ever be.

    The process will not only takes “strong faith” but “powerful faith” to accomplish this end. His lectures are a guide to that end, which include the scriptures, and personal revelation. For me, his insights encourage rather than pacify or discourage. His message: “Get moving.”

    If we can see Christ’s face in this life time, I have no doubt that He can heal us all of our ills if we have powerful faith and believe Him. I truly believe that this power will be the healing art of Zion. Doctors of all kinds will be out of business. To that end… there are a few Saints that are ramping up powerful faith for all possible blessings and the eventual establishment of Zion. I desire to be among them.

    In the meantime… because of the lack of faith or not having sufficient power in our faith… or that fact we are just physical beings trying to find our way in this “dark and dreary word,” we will continue to see doctors, go to counselors, take drugs, or see (so called) spooky energy healers. I see no difference in any of them. Take your worldly pick.

    • August 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      . . . to see the face of Christ. What greater miracle could there ever be.

      Calling and election made sure.

      Judas Iscariot saw the face of Christ. I don’t want to judge him, but I don’t think he has his calling and election made sure.

      . . . you have got to make your calling and election sure. If this injunction would lie largely on those to whom it was spoken, how much more those of the present generation! 1st key: Knowledge is the power of salvation. 2nd key: Make your calling and election sure. 3rd key: It is one thing to be on the mount and hear the excellent voice, [and see the most glorious, excellent face!] etc., and another to hear the voice declare to you, You have a part and lot in that kingdom. (TPJS 306)

      • August 11, 2014 at 4:24 pm

        Ezra Taft Benson’s words might also draw a distinction between the two concepts: “Now there is a lifetime goal—to walk in his steps, to perfect ourselves in every virtue as he has done, to seek his face, and to work to make our calling and election sure” (“Do Not Despair,” October 1974 General Conference, underlining added).

        The word of the Lord is precious . . . the veil spread over all nations will be destroyed, and the pure in heart see God (TPJS 93).

        And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together (D&C 101:23).

        (To me, this is nicely symbolized in the terrestrial room.)

      • kathryn
        August 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        Eric…Thank you. I agree…. However, it would be wonderful to have both happen at the same time. My understand is that those who are having their calling and election made sure in the temple at this time to not have the opportunity to see Him. Some are very disappointed and thought it was part of election opportunity.

        The fact that recommendations for others to have the opportunity is ask for by the officiating brother makes me feel a little uneasy. I guess I’m a little confused as to who gets the opportunity.

      • August 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

        . . . it would be wonderful to have both happen at the same time.

        No doubt about that! :) They were lumped together in the case of the Brother of Jared and 12 Nephite disciples. (It’s nice that we have the Book of Mormon, D&C, and some General Conference talks to confirm and enhance what’s in the Bible.)

        . . . those who are having their calling and election made sure in the temple . . . I’m a little confused as to who gets the opportunity.

        I don’t know who decides who gets the opportunity for the outward ordinance either. The outward ordinance still needs to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise anyway (D&C 132:7).

        And we all know that God, and only God, determines who gets the actual EXPERIENCE.

        An ordinance is an earthly symbol of a spiritual reality. (John A. Widtsoe, Priesthood and Church Government, 348).

        A state of being is an experience. A description of a state of being is a symbol. Symbols and experience do not follow the same rules.The difference between experience and symbol is the difference between mythos and logos. Logos imitates, but can never replace, experience. It is a substitute for experience. Logos is the artificial construction of dead symbols which mimics experience (Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, 256).

        My friend observed that to him, ordinances are symbolic practices and therefore convey symbolic meanings. They serve to symbolize a transition of states, which are abstract concepts, and make it easier to demarcate this transition. Ordinances such as baptism are symbolic admissions into a particular covenant, useful to demarcate the transition from the “before” and “after” states.

    • Aaron
      August 11, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Ryan – I like the way you think. Very thoughtful. I’m still pondering. You really have me thinking and wanting to pray and ponder over the topic more.

      Kathryn – I love what you have written. Very bold! Thank you.

      Tim – to your questions/comments (and I know you are busy so don’t feel like you have to respond – feel free to email me directly if you prefer to talk) – I’m not sure the baptism of fire is the same as being in the presence of the Lord. I don’t believe it is. I think it likely precedes it although clearly in Christ’s time, Pentecost followed “Christ’s presence” specifically with Peter, who “knew” Christ (by revelation – the rock) before having been baptized by Fire. Although I suspect that Peter did not receive his C&E until after Pentecost.

      Regarding the people who have helped you, I think it’s wonderful when we can be of service to one another, despite our weaknesses. The person who led me to Denver was an “angel” in my life. Probably the most influential spiritual person in my life during 20 years or more. He now believes that Denver has fallen from his exaltation. Sadly, we don’t speak much anymore. I have had to sit back and contrast the messages of these two extremely influential people in my life. I have had to choose which message is true, effectively. After all, they can’t both be true when they at least in part contradict each other, especially on important points of doctrine. It came down to this for me — which one of my friends has been in the presence of Christ and angels and shares a message that enlightens me? Who is speaking with power and authority? This process took me more than two years. It’s not always easy to discern. My friend had given me so much “truth” and had offered so much insight. But, in the end, his real message was just CES on steroids. The philosophies of men (although impressive) mingled with scriptures and JS and GC quotes etc. I have had to let go of what I believed were spiritual pillars in my life in exchange for more firm mindedness and greater light and truth. This person “saved” my life so to speak, I believed, time and time again. But in the end he was not capable of practicing the Doctrine of Christ. I only hope at some point I can help him see the truth that, ironically, he now does not recognize, which has caused a gulf in our friendship. Don’t get me wrong – I have not thrown away all the good he shared with me – I still love him – but I now discern that he was a blind guide and could not lead me to Christ.

      I will state that I personally know people, dear friends even, who have not had the same positive experiences with the individuals you mention. I’m sure people could say the same of me and or anyone. My point is simply this — if you think Denver has a message from heaven, I’d be much more inclined to NOT mingle it with the messages of those who don’t. Doctrine of Christ v. Precepts of Men.

      If we promote those who priestcraft (i.e. most people) then we can never know who will have what experience with that person, but we can be certain that the message will not save their soul. I know that sounds harsh. I like Mel Fish. I have been in his home. I can say nothing negative about him personally. He’s a very nice man. But he is no prophet. He has not stood in God’s presence. He might have some interesting ideas, but he does not have the tongue of an angel, nor power from heaven. And if I am being candid, I believe people like him and others do far more damage than good. No offense to Mel intended. I’m grateful Tim, that he/they may have helped you. But I believe they are free lancing. They are preaching to get gain. They are guessing. What they do is dangerous. Especially for a buck. Dr. Laura and Dave Ramsey have some great things to say too. They offer truth. They are inspired to a degree. But… ? And now a message from our sponsor… I digress.

      On a good day, hopefully our efforts will help someone, maybe even save someone’s life. But, Denver’s message and Joseph’s message and the message of the BOM can bring us into Christ’s literal presence. Let the messages not be mingled. Your bold testimony of Denver’s mission and the courage you have shown in promoting his message is what has drawn me to your blog. My hat goes off to you for your kindness and your courage. Sincerely. But promoting Doug and Mel and VoG and other fluff, although you feel it may be helpful to you, just makes me feel like I’m at an Amway convention in Southern Utah. Not that you need to hearken unto my whims. It’s your blog and I’ll like you just the same… just saying.

      The time will come when the internalized half cocked precepts from these people, which may seem very precious to us now, will have to be discarded. Man cannot serve God and Mammon. I believe learning to discern these messengers is critical.

      Peace.

      • sfort
        August 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

        Regarding Mel Fish. It seems that the blogging community gets really technical regarding exhaltation, calling and election, seeing the face of Christ, etc. This is not an exam everyone. Unless you have been there, it seems speculation using the scriptures as cover. Mel Fish has a gift. He is not a prophet and does no one nor Christ himself harm, but does a lot of good. He has a gift, that is all. He uses this gift and should not be defamed for it. There seems to be much analysis regarding the principles of salvation. It is all through the Spirit, and no amount of analysis can take its place. I applaud the efforts to get there however. I am hoping when someone reaches the magnitude, we may all benefit in spirit. Regarding transformation:

        From Watcher:

        The Book of Moses reveals what the Covenant of the Father is

        We know that Adam is the first man and the first father of the human race. He is second in authority to Christ himself. The ordinance by which he made an oath and covenant, in order to obtain an oath and covenant from God, in obtaining the highest priesthood would certainly be the same ordinance for others.

        Having shown that the highest priesthood is the one referred to as being “after the order of the Son of God”, and having shown from the word of God that this highest priesthood is also referred to as being “without beginning of days or end of years”, please review a most remarkable passage from the Book of Moses which clearly shows that the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost is the New and Everlasting Covenant through which the humble follower of Christ obtains the highest priesthood.

        And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

        65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was aborn of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.

        66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

        And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

        68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.

        Our Father Adam entered into the highest priesthood after the order of the Son of God that is without beginning of days or end of years DIRECTLY through the oath and covenant of BAPTISM!

      • johnD
        August 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm

        Aaron,
        As far as baptism of fire and being in the presence of the Lord (without seeing him) being the same. I have been pondering that lately. When I received my baptism of fire I was on my mission some 35 years ago, I had no idea what had taken place until I read Pontius’ books 4-5 years back. I was seeking a stronger testimony of the Savior and had just read Jesus the Christ and was praying seeking a further witness of Him. I did, now I do think He was in my room, at the time however I thought it was an angel, but I came away with a testimony of Christ that is the next best thing to seeing Him.
        This is from my missionary journal, I have shared before, but I can’t remember when or I’d send you there, so forgive me if you’ve seen this before.
        This is from my missionary journal
        I feel so good about things, I’m doing all I should, and I’m where I should be, It’s a wonderful feeling to know that. I feel very close to the Lord, I have been studying the Savior and praying for a confirmation of my testimony of him. I want so much to know him better. We are working as hard as we can; my prayers are different now 45 – 90 minutes at night. I have to wait for my companion to go to sleep to have my real prayer or I feel funny and can’t concentrate.
        I had an experience last night, one that I don’t know how or if I should explain, but I don’t want to ever forget it.
        We live in the basement apartment of a member’s home and once you turn out the lights its pitch black, even after your eyes adjust. I had just finished Jesus the Christ for the 3rd time, I love that book! After my prayer I got into bed, I felt wonderful, so I continued to pray while in bed, but the spirit was so strong I got back out of bed and knelt down and prayed some more, I have never had a prayer like that, I really did speak to my father in heaven. After I finished I got back into bed, the spirit was stronger than ever. I was in tears with love for the Savior. My bed is in the corner of the room and as I sat there I realized that I could see the entire room, and that the light was coming from above and behind me, but as I turned to see what it was it moved and then I realized it was me, my head was glowing to the point that our completely dark room was light. I knelt down again and prayed some more and was blessed with the spirit in a way that is beyond words. It was wonderful. I think something more was going to happen but I started to feel a little overwhelmed, I was afraid to look up from my prayer and open my eyes, I think there was an angel (or the Savior even) in the room, but I think it was just more than I could handle, I didn’t feel worthy or ready for more, I don’t know, but the spirit lessened some and I got back into bed and thanked the Lord for what had happened and asked for forgiveness of my weaknesses. I was given complete peace with the Lord. My room was still light, when I fell asleep; the Holy Ghost spent the night with me, it was beyond anything I have ever experienced, it’s impossible to put into words. I think I had a very special experience not many people have and more could have happened had my faith been stronger. I’m pretty sure an angel was in the room but for what ever reason I was afraid to look up.

        I’m not saying I know for sure but, the love I felt from Him, and mine for Him went to the heavens that night.

        • Jared
          August 11, 2014 at 7:32 pm

          John D, beautiful… thank you so much for sharing :) love you brother

      • johnD
        August 11, 2014 at 7:14 pm

        sfort
        Just so you know you were in the service of the Lord today when you referenced the weeping for Zion blog. I respected your opinion and was prompted to go there and had a break through.
        Thanks!

        • sfort
          August 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm

          Thanks johnD. Dan has a gift in writing. I share hi writings with all my kids and they gasp ask who is this?

      • August 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm

        Aaron, I think we are in basic agreement so there’s no need to hash things out with additional defenses. None are needed. What I have written stands on it’s own. It may prove helpful to some people. I have never deleted a post, especially because there are so many comments attached to them. Mel Fish and others with their gifts have blessed me.

        I had to laugh at your Amway convention analogy. My blog is not dedicated to Denver Snuffer. It is dedicated to helping people receive the Holy Ghost, receive the Savior and receive the Father. It is about my journey to the veil and what I have done to part the veil. I wish it was something that could be done on demand. I continue to knock.

        There are those who wish I had never been introduced to the works of Denver Snuffer. They say the same thing about the writings of Rock Waterman. I just finished Rock’s book and wanted so much to post a review on this blog. But I will forbear due to extenuating ecclesiastical circumstances. I have no desire to cause harm to anyone’s testimony.

        I will continue to ponder your opinion about the baptism of fire not being administered by Christ. I was of the understanding that it is only the Savior who can baptize us with fire. I know I was young at the time, but I have NEVER experienced anything as profound since that day and I have had many revelatory spiritual experiences to compare it with.

        Thank you for joining in the dialog. You have added much. God bless.

  21. sfort
    August 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    The Father does give the gift. Even though Christ came down to extend the power of giving it. The reception is had by the Father bestowing it. 3 Ne. 28:11, “11 And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.”

    • August 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      I see the Holy Ghost, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of Fire as three distinct things. I felt the Holy Ghost before I was baptized as I read the Book or Mormon with my mother at age five and six. I received the gift of the Holy Ghost at age eight right after I was baptized and was commanded to “receive the Holy Ghost.”

      I feel the Holy Ghost working with me to teach me and to guide me throughout my life. But the Baptism of Fire for me anyway, was a one-time event, never experienced previously and never experienced since that day. I was given a gift I did not fully appreciate and did not fully understand until years later when I studied the topic in detail.

      There are many who can explain this better than I can. I am only relating my own personal experiences – things to which I can be a witness. To me, I felt I was in the presence of the Savior. I have felt the presence of angels, I have felt the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. When I was baptized with fire, I felt the presence of the Savior.

      • sfort
        August 11, 2014 at 8:39 pm

        Thanks Tim for your feelings. Many do not know what it is when they received it. The Savior remarked to the Nephites when he visited them that the Lamanites received it “and they knew it not”. This life is an individual journey for sure and the effects of the Lord’s investment in our life varies by degrees. Since we are unique as individuals, our experience conversely is different. Thank you for your thoughts helping us all to find Him.

      • johnD
        August 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

        Tim,
        That’s the way I feel also, as I shared with Aaron above, but like you, I was young, 21 and didn’t really understand what had happened.

      • August 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

        Tim, I can’t express how ‘out of the league’ I feel with, literally, all the comments. I’m going to print it up so I have a hard copy to read and mark up. I’m very interested in two specifics though.

        One: Just to add my two ‘widows mites’ worth. I use this term to say I don’t know much but it’s all I got… anyway…

        Aaron said, “I’m not sure the baptism of fire is the same as being in the presence of the Lord.” I feel pretty ignorant at times, but when he said this I related to my own *born of fire* experience and would not have classified it specifically as being in the presence of the Lord… (per say) since in my own limited view I feel I would have to actually see Him. But in considering your thoughts (and others) I don’t know how else to classify it for my own internal process. So I guess, for me, the jury is still out…

        You added another aspect that made me sit up and take notice…, you said, “I will continue to ponder your opinion about the baptism of fire not being administered by Christ.”

        Two days ago I read John 6 and as He is talking about being the ‘bread of life’ He says in two versus…

        37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

        44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

        So as I thought about my BoF experience again, like you I felt it was “administered” by Christ. Was that an assumption I made? I had no other ‘input’ to consider. I am so “not” awsome… Aaron said “looser, gentile and heathen”… yup, that’s me.

        But then I had an experience with prayer several days ago that I won’t go into because I am under a *promise* not to reveal, but I do know that Father does “give us to Christ”, which is also found in John, and validated by a recent experience. I had no idea at the time that Father ‘hands us off’ to the Savior or ‘gives His permission’ for certain things to be granted. This is new to me.

        I regret the ‘mystery’ aspect and I feel the great depth of the water here. I hope I was able to get my thought accross and really do appreciate the subject matter you and Aaron brought out here.

        ~Rodney

      • johnD
        August 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

        Tim, Aaron
        I think Rodney may have hit the nail on the head, I was praying to the Father to know Christ better as shared in my comment above, add these verses to his and it seems plain to me. The Father gives to the Savior and then He manifests Himself to us!
        John Ch. 17
        1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
        2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
        6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

  22. lizzievalentina
    August 11, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    The keeper of the gate is the Savior, Jesus Christ himself.

    • mckilee
      August 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      This is a comment in regards to sfort above. My husband and I have long wondered about “and the lamanites knew it not” when they were baptized by fire and the holy ghost. After both experiencing it individually, (taylor made uniquely for each of us). our conclusion is that there is really not any way that one can be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost and “know it not”! However, when one is baptized by FaHG, one knows that something has definitely taken place, but may not know what to call it or how to categorize it. That is the only logical explanation for such a marvelous experience performed by the Savior himself who says, “Him will I baptize by Fire and the Holy Ghost.”

      Any other thoughts?

      • August 12, 2014 at 8:52 am

        I know it doesn’t add much to the dialog when a participant simply replies, “Agreed,” but that’s what I feel like sharing this morning. I am agreed with where the conversation is going. But I want to emphatically agree with Rodney. I believe he used the phrase “hands us off.” That nailed it for me and explains so much. Now I know why most of my daily dialog with Deity is with the Savior. I don’t pray to the Savior when I have kneeling, formal prayer morning and night. I pray to the Father.

        Yet, when I have this running conversation each day – this prayer in my heart – it seems as if the individual with whom I’m conversing is the Savior. I have heard / read explanations that it is the Holy Ghost or it may be angels, but, in my mind at least, it is the Savior. I feel as if He is ministering to me. I know His work is not finished. What He finished on the cross He described as “preparations unto the children of men.”

        Just my two cents. I am simply a fellow traveler sharing what I think I have felt, what I believe I have felt and trying to make sense of what I know I have felt. Maybe there’s something about looking at life with a few years of experience behind us. I simply know the Lord has been working with me through the Holy Ghost and sometimes angels, most mostly – it is by direct conversation I have with Him in my heart and mind. I ask Him to direct me and He does. It’s as real as it can be.

  23. mckilee
    August 12, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Tim, my experience has been the same. I carry on conversations throughout the day with Him and his responses assure me that it is indeed Him. (Now the operation through which this transpires could be through the Holy Ghost as it says in 2 Ne 32:3 “angels speak by the power of the HG”)

    Here is a selection which indicates that it is Him.
    D&C 84:43-
    43 . . . give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.
    44 For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
    45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth, light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (All bold words are synonymous with Christ)
    46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
    47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.

    49 And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.
    50 And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.
    51 For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.
    52 And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.
    53 And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked . . .

    Mosiah 5:12
    12 . . . I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
    13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

    I love these, as they stand as a witness of what is available to us and gives understanding of whom it is we hear! (And of course, we can always ask who it is that is speaking to us. How glorious is that ! ! !)

    • August 12, 2014 at 11:02 am

      oh, oops, the words didn’t bold.
      Word, words, Spirit, light, truth, my voice, voice of the Spirit
      They are all synonymous with Christ!

      • August 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

        I hope you don’t mind. I edited your comment to bold the words indicated. I hope I got the ones you intended.

        And yes, I have asked the voice – the individual with whom I was having the conversation – who are you?

        Then I pause to wait for a reply. The response is unmistakable. A warm feeling fills my heart and I hear – in my mind – a response that fits the moment. Sometimes, the reply is almost a little teasing, like “Come on, Tim… how long have we been talking like this? You still have to ask?”

        Those not acquainted with the voice of the Lord may say, “How do you know you’re not being deceived?” All I can say is, you know. It is simply unmistakable and unique. It is filled with love and happiness. I know the Lord desires to walk and talk with us in our daily life struggles.

  24. August 12, 2014 at 11:21 am

    From my scripture study this morning, Section 129:

    There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages, having bodies of flesh and bones— For instance, Jesus said: Handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. Secondly: the spirits of just men made perfect, they who are not resurrected, but inherit the same glory.

    When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. If he be the spirit of a just man made perfect he will come in his glory; for that is the only way he can appear—

    Ask him to shake hands with you, but he will not move, because it is contrary to the order of heaven for a just man to deceive; but he will still deliver his message. If it be the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.

    These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.

    ———————————————-

    So, when we speak of being in the presence of angels, according to this scripture, they must have a resurrected body to qualify. Hmmm… that makes me re-evaluate my use of the phrase. I know I have been in the presence of beings of spirit who have been sent to help or guide or influence me. But according to this scripture, they were not angels.

    This scripture makes me think you see angels with your natural eyes. I have therefore never seen an angel. Yet, my mother and father have visited me in my dreams and they are in the spirit world. I have also had interactions with beings from the spirit world, but obviously not from heaven, but somewhere in between, according to this scripture.

    • August 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Tim,
      You brought something to the forefront with this blogpost. I’m curious about your take on the scripture you referred to about asking them to “shake hands” with us. I have always thought of this scripture to refer to angels that you can see.

      Are you saying that we can ask them to shake hands with us, even though we don’t see them, and if they are from God and are resurrected beings, that we will feel their handshake, even if we don’t see them? So if so, are they still under obligation to shake our hand even if we don’t see them?

      I’ve always had a desire that further instructions would have been given for angel that we don’t see, as usually our hearing seems to come into play before our seeing does. What’s your understanding?

  25. Ryan
    August 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I appreciate everything that has been shared about the baptism of fire and the holy ghost. Tim and JohnD have shared experiences from when they were much younger when they believe they received this. I haven’t had any comparable experience and it has caused me to reflect a great deal about when or if I’ve received the bfhg (sorry, it feels silly abbreviating it that way, but I’m on a mobile device). Actually I’ve been reflecting on it for some weeks now.

    I just want to insert some things into this conversation that might help add some other dimensions or aspects to the subject. My best reference point for evidences of the bfhg in my own life has been what Denver shared about his baptism in a few different places that I’ve seen. His bfhg seems to have coincided with his confirmation. He felt something through his body when he was being confirmed. Later that evening he tells of an experience where he had the spirit of prophecy. He has also shared the account of JS or Oliver Cowdery in which it was said that after they confirmed each other, the scriptures were opened up to their comprehension in ways they hadn’t experienced previously.

    One other thing I remember him saying was that baptism was a great sacrifice for him and he had to sacrifice friends and family for it. I believe (and I think Denver has said as much) that the bfhg comes in concert with or in consequence of making such sacrifices (ie things of the world in favor of heavenly things).

    As I said, I’ve never had experiences that were as dramatic or tangible as JohnD’s and Tim’s. At least not so acutely dramatic. I have, though, had three extended stages of my life that when I passed through, the difference in me before and after was dramatic and irreversible. One was as a missionary. One was as a graduate student. And one was the period between April 2012 when I discovered Denver’s writings and the present.

    During each of these stages, I’ve written profusely in journals and notebooks concerning experiences and impressions. I have accounts of many moments in time when I was willing to give up almost anything to know the Lord. I feel I have recorded impressions throughout these three stages that show dramatic expansion of understanding of things in the scriptures and that might even give me some idea of things that are to come.

    In talking about all of this, I have no intention of sharing personal spiritual experiences or making myself out to be something more than I am. I really am only sharing this as someone who is still trying to make sense of everything that has been said here about the bfhg. My point is that I haven’t had anything acutely dramatic similar to what JohnD and Tim have described and yet I do feel like I’ve experienced things that to me are very similar to what Denver has discussed in relation to the bfhg (except for the feeling he describes at his confirmation).

    I still don’t know if I’ve received the bfhg even though I believe that I’ve done what it takes (many times over) to receive it. If I need to experience something like what JohnD and Tim have described, then I don’t think I’ve received it. I’m hanging on all your words (those who have participated in this discussion).

    Also, in sharing this I’m hoping not just to benefit myself, but I think there have to be others going through the same self-reflection as me.

    • Jared
      August 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Ryan, this here link will offer the illumination You desire :) http://home.comcast.net/~mevans41/greaterthings/bofjmp.html

    • johnD
      August 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Ryan,
      The link from Jared is a great place to start, it’s from a book by John Pontius. I was seeking understanding about 5 years ago and the Lord literally took me to Deseret book, to a shelf, to a book and had me home reading it before I knew what had happened. That book by John gave me to some spiritual direction I was seeking, including Denver. It’s well worth reading.

      • Jared
        August 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        JohnD, Regarding thet theme to Tim’s blog–these Past couple of weeks I have desired to better understand how To have the longed for communion with Christ, repetitively I have neen directed to reading Jesus The Christ. The sharing of your experience solidified that impression. Gratitude and love Brother :)

      • August 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        That is a great summation of bfhg in John’s book. I was very distraught one day when in my 40s I read 2 Ne 31:17,
        17 . . . For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance an baptism y water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
        18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate . . .

        I had lived my entire life up to that point doing “the list”, from
        temple marriage,
        birthing, nursing & raising 8 children,
        family home evenings,
        family scripture study,
        genealogy,
        planting & harvesting gardens,
        storing food,
        church callings,
        visiting teaching,
        missionary working,
        choir practicing,
        studying,
        fasting,
        praying
        etc., etc.,
        and had not been baptized by fire and by the Holy Ghost,
        and wasn’t even yet through the gate!

        I broke into tears and sobbed in despair.
        I couldn’t understand how such a thing was even possible
        after so much work and sacrifice,
        nor how it could be that I was not even through the gate,
        let alone “in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life”!

        2 Ne 32:4 goes on to say:
        4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock . . .

        I obviously understood the words, to the point of it piercing my heart, but it was obvious that this was a doctrine I had not been taught nor had heard taught in church, having attended my entire life. In fact, I had been taught that my sins had been remitted when I was baptized at eight years old. Hence, it had never occurred to me to pray to ask for such a thing. So I started to pray, ask and knock. I bear witness that our God hears and answers prayers.

        Was it immediate? No, in fact the spirit prompted me to do something that I didn’t have time or space in my life to do — go tell the Bishop that I had experience with genealogy. Well, I ignored the spirit the first time, for I had a nursing baby and 7 other children, and that was my genealogy work for that time in my life! The next day I was prompted to do the same thing. So I got on my shoes and coat and off I went to the church house. Needless to say, before I knew it I was teaching a genealogy class and had been assigned a brother to help with the techy part.

        The class all went together to the temple to do initiatory work for about 90 names we had gathered. (A considerable amount for that time) That is where it occurred, at a time I was least expecting it. I was busily engaged in ‘an assignment’ at the Lord’s request. I left the temple that day, knowing that I was clean every whit as the spirit burned through me, like warm oil, from head to toe. I have never been the same. It laid a profound foundation, not only for me, but for our children as well! For then I was able to not only talk about a necessary ordinance, but to bear witness of it in detail to our children, and the glorious blessing is that because of their awareness, many of them have also experienced it earlier in their lives.

        Now, if anyone questions whether they have or haven’t experienced this, then simply ask of God and He will answer you with a witness either way! He will not ignore your request. Also, as is noted in the summary in the link given above, there are certain fruits that show up, as a result of it. One is found in 2 Ne 31:13
        13 . . . that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism — yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

        Lest ye be confused about the ’tongue of angels’ being the ‘gift of tongues’, I guess it could include that, but it is so very much more, and so very much more than I can even speak of here. But here is a starter: it is as if one is gifted with a new language, the language of the spirit, and truly can shout praises unto the Holy One, for the words are given, and they spring forth out of your core, and you can hardly refrain from praising Him.

        Also, 2 Ne 32:2
        2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost, ye could speak with “the tongue of angels?” And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
        3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak “the words of Christ”. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon “the words of Christ”; for behold, “the words of Christ” will tell you all things what ye should do.

        This is the promise to all who have been bfhg! We begin to ‘hear’ the ‘words of Christ’ spoken by angels to us directly, through the power of the HG! That is why we should feast upon these ‘words of Christ’ that come via angels through the medium of the HG, because they are specifically of us individually and they tell us ’all things what we should do’ in our own individual lives! ! ! This is when we are given our own Liahona! ! !

        These are not idle words. These are truths taught through the Spirit to Nephi to us, hidden in plain sight and are only visible in word and meaning, to those who are able to see. And on top of that, it goes on to say in 32:5
        5 Again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will SHOW unto you all things what ye should do.
        6 Behold, this is the “doctrine of Christ”, and thee will be no more doctrine given until after he shall MANIFEST HIMSELF UTO YOU IN THE FLESH. And when he shall MANIFEST HIMSELF UNTO YOU IN THE FLESH, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do!

        So we receive the HG, when baptized by Fire and the HG.
        It then enables us to receive the “tongue of angels”,
        which speak the “words of Christ” to us through the medium of the HG.

        *These “words of Christ” will “tell you” all things what ye should do.
        *The Holy Ghost will “show unto you” all things what ye should do
        *When Christ shall “manifest himself unto you in the flesh,
        the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do!

        A very profound pattern indeed! And I bear witness to the truth of it
        and the glorious goodness of our God, to us “unworthy creatures”
        who gives unto us breath, life, light, spirit, and even the desire
        to participate in this holy pattern!

        • Jared
          August 12, 2014 at 5:12 pm

          Beautiful! Dear sister, you brought the spirit strongly! Gratitude and love, Jared

        • sfort
          August 13, 2014 at 6:13 am

          Very profound

      • kathryn
        August 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm

        I have so enjoyed John Pontius writing. In reading his book Journey to the veil I was so moved by his commentary on faith and believing. It has made such a difference in my life.

        Mckilee…. I enjoyed your comments so much. You have a wonderful spirit. I would like to add a bit of insight I received in relationship to “knocking.” If you read the scriptures from the point of view of an endowed person… lights turn on left and right.

        For instance Matt 7:7–8 “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeith, and to him that knocketh it shall be open.

        Where to we knock? Have you noticed how quickly the Celestial room empties after a session? By the time folks get there… their minds are generally at the dressing room. They hug a few folks and they out the door they go. We have been promised that spending time there pondering can reap heavenly benefits.

  26. kathryn
    August 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Tim

    Man… this should be your new post… Post the angel question and open the flood gates of commentary.

    In D&C 30:5 it says: There are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.

    In Near Death Experiences I have heard of spirit being called messengers or spirit guides and not necessarily angels.

    I just read an experience by Harold Carlos Smith where he was saved from a car accident by a an unseen being. He referred to this being as an angel even though he did not see him.

    “Suddenly an angel was on my right side. I felt his power and presence. His hands were on my hands. A foot was on the brake. The angel took charge and saved my life. I’m greatly indebted to him and sincerely thank him from the bottom of my heart. The angel reacted like the speed of light. It’s hard to share or explain unless you were there in my shoes.

    If the being was a “just man” as the scripture says, Harold could not have felt his hands, but he saw no one. Perhaps it was an angel and Smith did not have the eyes to see. In connection with the scripture in 129 it leaves many questions about angels.

    I read another story where the author talked about his spirit guide.

    Here is an interesting quote from Elder Holland: Conference Oct. 2008.

    “From the beginning down through the dispensations, God has used angels as His emissaries in conveying love and concern for his children.”

    “Usually such beings are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen, they are always near. Sometimes their assignments are very grand and have significance for the whole world. Sometimes the messages are more private. Occasionally the angelic purpose is to warn.”

    What about translated beings? Here is what Elder McConkie said in the Millennial Messiah. “Some mortals have been translated. In this state, they are not subject to sorrow or disease or to death……They have the power to move and live in both a mortal and an unseen sphere. All translated beings undergo another change in their bodies when they gain full immortality. This changes is the equivalent of a resurrection.”

    If family members are around us… they would not necessary be called angels. How do you define a guardian angel?

    Like you suggest… Looking at D&C 129, perhaps we use the term angel too lightly when referring to unseen beings It leaves many questions about those who are called to administer to the earth.

    Or… does it really matter what they are called.

    Interesting conundrum.

    • August 12, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      For what it’s worth, the OT Hebrew malak and the NT Greek aggelos are both translated into either “angel” or “messenger.” (Another instance where I wish the KJV translators were consistent…)

      In one case (Psalms 8:5), they translated the Hebrew word Elohim into “angels;” perhaps that was to try to prevent people from thinking about the possibility of becoming like the Elohim.

      So there are at least 2 possibilities:

      1. An angel (with a lower case “a”) = messenger (mortal, immortal, whatever). D&C 129 simply subdivides the heavenly (celestial) angels/messengers into (1) “formal” Angels (with a capital “A”) who are resurrected personages, and (2) the spirits of the just. The change in case from “a” to “A” is the distinction between any old messenger (“angel”) and a resurrected messenger (“Angel”), similar to the way that we are pitifully weak “gods” trying to become resurrected as “Gods.”

      2. There are many “angels” (the aggelos Gabriel, the aggelos John the Baptist, etc.) that have ministered as resurrected personages before Christ’s resurrection. Needless to say, this hypothesis poses many doctrinal challenges…

      • August 13, 2014 at 12:36 am

        The way I wrote possibility #1 was too convoluted. :(

        To me, the literal names of things don’t mean much. And capital and lowercase letters are practically meaningless!

        Let me try it again:

        1. An angel is a messenger, of any kind. D&C 129 simply subdivides heavenly angels/messengers into (1) ones that are resurrected, and (2) ones that are not (yet).

  27. August 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    I’m supposed to be on a blogging hiatus. No new posts for a little while. Too complicated to explain in a public post, but you’re right, this subject is of great interest to most people. Some call them ghosts, some call them spirits. Many people claim to have seen them. I have had my own encounters but they were not with angels, that’s for sure.

    My father related that my mother had come to him shortly after her death. He was dozing in his chair. He awoke to see her seated at the computer desk, looking for her family history files. He smiled at her. She smiled back and was gone. He said she had come shortly before that to tell him her first assignment was helping new brides in the LA temple feel comfortable, especially if they were also being endowed.

    Here’s a more detailed story he shared with me about another angel:

    http://latterdaycommentary.com/2011/06/06/miracles-and-angels/

    • August 13, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Tim, I tried to e mail you but it will not send-it says it is an invalid e mail account. I am not sure why… so I messaged you on FB, I hope you will read it. Thank you

      • Jared
        August 13, 2014 at 5:52 am

        A melodias spirit-filled gift to all of you this morning. :)I Listen all the way through to the end– it builds beautifully!
        http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gPKpkrqBwNs

      • August 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

        Hi Lyn. I’m sorry the email thing didn’t work for you. I have two: tmalonemcse@gmail.com and tim@3tcm.net. I received your Facebook Message with the link. I’m reviewing the contents and will get back to you. Thanks for sharing. I feel the trust. God bless. -Tim

      • kathryn
        August 13, 2014 at 10:31 am

        Thanks Jared for this melodies gift today. Sometimes I forget how powerful beautiful music can be. I listened to it twice.

        • Jared
          August 13, 2014 at 11:18 am

          You are most welcome! :)

  28. August 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Kathryn (and Tim)

    Thanks for the information. I will be reading it today.

    ~Rodney

  29. Ryan
    August 14, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I have a number of miscellaneous comments that I’d like to list out here:

    Jared (and JohnD): Thanks for your reading recommendation on 8/12 around 3pm. I’ve read a little bit and will make my way through the rest.

    Mckilee: Thank you for taking the time (8/12 about 5pm) to describe some of your experiences. You seem to speak from experience and there were things in what you said that were helpful to me.

    Aaron: The feeling is mutual, there’s a manner that you have in speaking about things that connects with my own manner of thinking about things. And like I said, you have me thinking about some old things in new ways.

    There are two things that have been mentioned or talked about that I’ve had some additional thoughts about.

    1) Discussion about “healers” that might be “freelancing”
    2) Discussion about D&C 50 and the different ways in which or extents to which we might experience the presence of angels and/or ‘spirits’.

    In relation to #1, I am not a big believer in freelancing healers, although I haven’t rejected the idea. With that said, I was fascinated by this that I found in Denver’s talk on Priesthood (specifically his mention of Oral Roberts):

    “Can a man heal by faith without priesthood? Of course they can. Could Melchizedek as a child without priesthood, stop the mouths of lions? Yes, the scriptures say so. Could this man Melchizedek by faith quench the violence of fire without priesthood? Yes.

    “Therefore, this revelation through Joseph is evidence that faith and priesthood are not coequal. Both are independent powers. Even the evangelical minister Oral Roberts whose ministry was largely based upon healings could, through faith, is able to heal. Could he or anyone do so without priesthood? Yes of course. These are two different things. These are altogether two different things.”

    In relation to #2, Tim has mentioned being able to hear the voice of spirits. Tim and others have mentioned being able to literally feel the presence of beings in the unseen world. I cannot say with confidence that I’ve experienced either of these. But in our discussion about D&C 50, I talked about “…concepts, ideas, philosophies, impressions and influences that have entered into or operated on my mind…” and I wondered if these can ever be associated with spirits or beings from the unseen world of which we have come under the influence. Would these impressions or influences (from what origin, I’m not sure) constitute ‘spirits’ that need to be tried and tested after the pattern described in D&C 50?

    With this in mind, I’m wondering if the following, described in Isaiah 29:4, could fit within the idea that I’m suggesting: “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”

    I’m not trying to find scriptures that I can wrest to fit my own ideas. This scripture just popped into my mind today as I was thinking about these things. It just caused me to stop and think. Where do our thoughts and impressions come from. As spiritual beings, seen and unseen, I believe we are all connected by some “ethereal substance” (for lack of a better way to describe it) and we’re subject to each other’s influence. The light of Christ fills the immensity of space, the Holy Spirit or Holy Mind (note, the word for spirit and mind, esprit, is the same in French) which is the common mind possessed by the Eloheim is, I think, this “substance”. The Holy Ghost that resides within each of us is a personage of spirit that is susceptible or sensitive or responsive to this “substance” or light that fills the immensity of space. Our ghost is like an antenna or other receptor that “picks up” electromagnetic radiation (either analogous or equivalent to) “light” and/or “spirit” and/or “truth”.

    What about evil or unclean spirits or angels or beings from the unseen world? Their influence is darkness. But their influence can also be counterfeit light (since we know that they can appear as angels of counterfeit light, which can deceive). In any case, their influence can “bend” or exert some influence on the “field” that surrounds us and we, as receptors, can sense this and respond to it. External to these tabernacles we occupy and the crude matter of which the things of this earth are formed, there is an ethereal or refined “field” in which and upon which all spiritual beings, dark or light, exert their influence. And we feel these influences, hence our need to try the “spirits” or the influences.

    Anyway, I didn’t come on here to pontificate about things that seem like space doctrine. I’m not trying to do any of that. Something in this feels correct. I just don’t know how to describe it. But in any case, can there be some equivalence in the ‘spirits’ as I describe them (i.e. influences) and the ‘spirits’ as Tim and others describe them (i.e. personages whose voices they can hear or presence they can feel)? I don’t happen to be able to see them. I don’t happen to be able to hear their voices. I don’t even happen to be able to feel that they are physically present. But I do feel things come upon my soul that others might just describe as the whims of my mood. But maybe these aren’t just our moods! What do you think? Maybe we feel influences of spirit beings, good and bad, in the unseen world. And we’re to study these influences, impressions and moods. And we’re to apply the pattern of D&C 50 for testing them, whether they be of God or they be darkness.

    And most hopefully, what if when we use this pattern to discern the false spirits or influences on our being or our spirit or our mood, we can cast them out? Because at that point we are possessed of knowledge. And Joseph Smith and Denver have said that it’s knowledge that permits us to gain power over evil spirits. And it’s ignorance that allows the evil spirits to gain the advantage over us. D&C 50 teaches us how to expose them for what they are, then to rise up and declare against them and thereby cast them out! This feels true to me. And it feels profound and far-reaching and very important.

  30. Ryan
    August 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Hmm, sometimes my comments post immediately and sometimes I think Tim has to approve it or something. So I don’t know if this comment I just made went through or not. I’ll try again and I guess Tim can delete or just not post one of them if there are two.

    I have a number of miscellaneous comments that I’d like to list out here:

    Jared (and JohnD): Thanks for your reading recommendation on 8/12 around 3pm. I’ve read a little bit and will make my way through the rest.

    Mckilee: Thank you for taking the time (8/12 about 5pm) to describe some of your experiences. You seem to speak from experience and there were things in what you said that were helpful to me.

    Aaron: The feeling is mutual, there’s a manner that you have in speaking about things that connects with my own manner of thinking about things. And like I said, you have me thinking about some old things in new ways.

    There are two things that have been mentioned or talked about that I’ve had some additional thoughts about.

    1) Discussion about “healers” that might be “freelancing”
    2) Discussion about D&C 50 and the different ways in which or extents to which we might experience the presence of angels and/or ‘spirits’.

    In relation to #1, I am not a big believer in freelancing healers, although I haven’t rejected the idea. With that said, I was fascinated by this that I found in Denver’s talk on Priesthood (specifically his mention of Oral Roberts):

    “Can a man heal by faith without priesthood? Of course they can. Could Melchizedek as a child without priesthood, stop the mouths of lions? Yes, the scriptures say so. Could this man Melchizedek by faith quench the violence of fire without priesthood? Yes.

    “Therefore, this revelation through Joseph is evidence that faith and priesthood are not coequal. Both are independent powers. Even the evangelical minister Oral Roberts whose ministry was largely based upon healings could, through faith, is able to heal. Could he or anyone do so without priesthood? Yes of course. These are two different things. These are altogether two different things.”

    In relation to #2, Tim has mentioned being able to hear the voice of spirits. Tim and others have mentioned being able to literally feel the presence of beings in the unseen world. I cannot say with confidence that I’ve experienced either of these. But in our discussion about D&C 50, I talked about “…concepts, ideas, philosophies, impressions and influences that have entered into or operated on my mind…” and I wondered if these can ever be associated with spirits or beings from the unseen world of which we have come under the influence. Would these impressions or influences (from what origin, I’m not sure) constitute ‘spirits’ that need to be tried and tested after the pattern described in D&C 50?

    With this in mind, I’m wondering if the following, described in Isaiah 29:4, could fit within the idea that I’m suggesting: “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”

    I’m not trying to find scriptures that I can wrest to fit my own ideas. This scripture just popped into my mind today as I was thinking about these things. It just caused me to stop and think. Where do our thoughts and impressions come from. As spiritual beings, seen and unseen, I believe we are all connected by some “ethereal substance” (for lack of a better way to describe it) and we’re subject to each other’s influence. The light of Christ fills the immensity of space, the Holy Spirit or Holy Mind (note, the word for spirit and mind, esprit, is the same in French) which is the common mind possessed by the Eloheim is, I think, this “substance”. The Holy Ghost that resides within each of us is a personage of spirit that is susceptible or sensitive or responsive to this “substance” or light that fills the immensity of space. Our ghost is like an antenna or other receptor that “picks up” electromagnetic radiation (either analogous or equivalent to) “light” and/or “spirit” and/or “truth”.

    What about evil or unclean spirits or angels or beings from the unseen world? Their influence is darkness. But their influence can also be counterfeit light (since we know that they can appear as angels of counterfeit light, which can deceive). In any case, their influence can “bend” or exert some influence on the “field” that surrounds us and we, as receptors, can sense this and respond to it. External to these tabernacles we occupy and the crude matter of which the things of this earth are formed, there is an ethereal or refined “field” in which and upon which all spiritual beings, dark or light, exert their influence. And we feel these influences, hence our need to try the “spirits” or the influences.

    Anyway, I didn’t come on here to pontificate about things that seem like space doctrine. I’m not trying to do any of that. Something in this feels correct. I just don’t know how to describe it. But in any case, can there be some equivalence in the ‘spirits’ as I describe them (i.e. influences) and the ‘spirits’ as Tim and others describe them (i.e. personages whose voices they can hear or presence they can feel)? I don’t happen to be able to see them. I don’t happen to be able to hear their voices. I don’t even happen to be able to feel that they are physically present. But I do feel things come upon my soul that others might just describe as the whims of my mood. But maybe these aren’t just our moods! What do you think? Maybe we feel influences of spirit beings, good and bad, in the unseen world. And we’re to study these influences, impressions and moods. And we’re to apply the pattern of D&C 50 for testing them, whether they be of God or they be darkness.

    And most hopefully, what if when we use this pattern to discern the false spirits or influences on our being or our spirit or our mood, we can cast them out? Because at that point we are possessed of knowledge. And Joseph Smith and Denver have said that it’s knowledge that permits us to gain power over evil spirits. And it’s ignorance that allows the evil spirits to gain the advantage over us. D&C 50 teaches us how to expose them for what they are, then to rise up and declare against them and thereby cast them out! This feels true to me. And it feels profound and far-reaching and very important.

    • sfort
      August 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Ryan,

      These are all good questions. Answers come from asking questions. Concerning freelancers, and spirit discernment. They are all gifts. 46th section of D&C explains:

      11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.

      12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

      13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

      14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

      15 And again, to some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know the differences of administration, as it will be pleasing unto the same Lord, according as the Lord will, suiting his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men.

      16 And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the Spirit may be given to every man to profit withal.

      17 And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.
      18 To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.
      19 And again, to some it is given to have faith to be healed;
      20 And to others it is given to have faith to heal.
      21 And again, to some is given the working of miracles;
      22 And to others it is given to prophesy;
      23 And to others the discerning of spirits.
      24 And again, it is given to some to speak with tongues;
      25 And to another is given the interpretation of tongues.
      26 And all these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God

      We sometimes think the Latter-day Saints have some kind of monopoly on the gifts oy God, because the nearrative passed down is that we have the authority. A good friend of mine, Mel Fish never uses the Priesthood in casting out evil or unclean spirits. It is only through Jesus Christ. Therefore the Priesthood does not give us the authority; the authority comes from Jesus Christ. The evil spirits do not cringe when they hear the priesthood spoken. They cringe when they hear the Master’s name spoken. All are given gifts. Our task is to find the one’s we have been given, use them and ask for more when we are ready. Thanks for your inquiry.

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