Bringing On the Apocalypse


CoronalMassEjectionI was invited to join a panel of fellow authors who enjoy writing about the catastrophes of the last days. Randy Lindsay is the author of a recent work of LDS fiction entitled The Gathering. I must be candid and tell you up front I have not yet read it. I have a copy and have perused it. I intend to read it within the next month or two. The book was published by Cedar Fort in January and is available from Amazon or your favorite bookseller. Reviews on Goodreads are favorable.

Promoting Discussion of the Last Days

The idea behind the panel is obviously to promote discussion of the last days, the apocalypse, the end-times or whatever you want to call them. The bottom line of course is Randy and Cedar Fort want to sell copies of the book, as does any author and publishing house. Inasmuch as I also have been working on a novel on the subject, I agreed to participate on the panel. I’m honored but feel a little unqualified because my own book has not even been completed yet, let alone published.

Fiction Based on Prophecy

In any event, I took a few minutes to ponder and answer the first question presented to the panel. Randy proposes to present a new question each week. It’s a good idea. If you’re interested in this subject, you might want to pop over to Randy’s blog and add your two cents. Just remember, it’s a work of fiction, even though he’s asking us to comment on the premise or doctrine behind it.  In my response to Randy when invited to join, I wrote the following rather pessimistic stuff:

“I’ve got to tell you from years of gauging interest of the Saints in end-of-the-world type stuff, it’s woefully disheartening. To be frank, most LDS folks don’t want to think about it, don’t believe it will happen in their lifetime and are terribly uneducated on the signs of the times or especially what will happen when the Savior returns.

“To most, it is all very generic: ‘Oh, there’s going to be some destruction and the wicked will be killed, but then the Savior will come and all will be well.’ They either do not understand or believe what they read in our own scriptures, especially the books of Revelation, Joel, Daniel and other key sources.”

Recent Publications on The Last Days

I admit my assessment may have been a little harsh. There are those, like my High Priest Group Leader, who is extremely interested in the Last Days. He recently taught us on the subject using the book, 65 Signs of Times Leading Up to the Second Coming by David J. Ridges. The book is more than a checklist. I highly recommend it. Another LDS author I like who writes about this subject is Hoyt W. Brewster. His book is Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond.

Earlier Publications on The Last Days

Of course we can’t forget some favorites from times past: Prophecy: Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther and The Coming of the Lord by Gerald Lund. I would be remiss if I did not include the Prophecy Trilogy from my friend Anthony Larson: 1) And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood, 2) And the Earth Shall Reel To and Fro, 3) And There Shall Be a New Heaven and a New Earth. My novel, Red Sky is based on the opening scenario presented in Anthony’s first book.

The First Question to the Panel

Randy asked, “Which situation or event that is currently happening do you think most easily could result in the apocalypse?” And the response I posted over there:

My Definition of the Apocalypse

First, let’s agree on the definition of apocalypse. I’ll offer mine by expressing what it is not. The apocalypse is NOT the end of the world. Yes, it is a period of great destruction and catastrophe with billions of people killed by the natural events prophesied, but the world survives. And so do a lot of people. It is these natural events, including the close approach of another celestial body which Anthony has already described in his comments above that brings on the apocalypse.

We Cannot Bring On the Apocalypse

Second, the apocalypse is not something we can control or avoid. The Lord has warned us and warned us over and over again in so many different scriptures it is already on its way. The arm of the Lord is a phrase that has great significance. It refers to something happening in the heavens that the world will see. The Lord has told us he is returning with the armies of heaven, and with the City of Enoch, a piece of this earth that was physically removed and taken up into heaven.

We Can Observe Signs of the Times

We read terrible things in the news that are significant to LDS theology and say to ourselves, “Ah, hah. Another sign of the times,” and indeed we are usually correct. Wars and rumors of wars, economic turmoil, man’s loss of natural affection for his brethren demonstrated by deeds of atrocity, nations coming to an end, rampant wickedness, corruption, immorality and the list goes on and on. I have one thing to say about all these: “Man, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”

You Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet

Obviously, Anthony and I are in agreement as this reflects what he has already stated. Even when we talk about hundreds of thousands killed by earthquakes and tsunamis, the size of these catastrophes are nothing compared to what will happen when a “great mountain burning with fire [is] cast into the sea,” or “there [falls] a great star from heaven,” or the sun moon and stars are smitten so that the sun is darkened and the moon glows red as blood with heat. Catastrophic!

Watch For Signs in the Sun

In my mind, the event that is currently happening is the sun is not following the normal pattern scientists are used to seeing for many centuries of observation. The eleven-year cycle seems to be a little out of whack. Watch the signs in the sun. Coronal mass ejections from sunspots are the thing we really need to be watching. One massive CME can produce an EMP that could wipe out power grids and communication systems all across the globe. Stay tuned to SpaceWeather.com.

You can read more about my work of fiction based on the close approach of a large celestial body under the Red Sky tab here on my blog.

LDS Members Persecuted For Reading Books


KeepCalmReadABookIn light of the excommunication of several LDS Church members recently for apostasy, and one in particular for simply reading a book, I’d like to discuss a couple of the temple recommend questions, which the church makes available on their website. The two questions deal with sustaining our leaders and agreeing with individuals who teach or write what is not found in the official curriculum of the church. In other words, those who go beyond the basics in their writings.

Standard disclaimer: This is all my opinion

Please remember I’m not a scholar, theologian, attorney or an expert at philosophical arguments. I’m just a regular old member of the church who likes to read books and write book reviews. The temple recommend questions I linked to above are from LDS Tech, an official LDS website. Technically, they are the questions on the Melchizedek Priesthood Ordination Record, but are almost exactly the same minus two questions about keeping covenants and wearing garments.

Deviating From Temple Recommend Questions

I know this has been discussed in many forums and websites, notably on the Stay LDS site. I’m not sensing a purge going on, but wonder why more and more of my readers and online friends have written me privately about their discussions with Bishops or Stake Presidents. They are being asked probing questions that go beyond the specific ones that are supposed to be asked in the temple recommend interview. By so doing these leaders are not following the Handbooks.

This is the Kingdom of God on the Earth

It has been standard policy for over thirty years that leaders “…should never deviate from or go beyond the specific questions contained in the temple recommend book…(First Presidency letter, 5 January 1982).” Let’s take the easy question first. I consider it cut and dry because it deals with the kingdom of God on earth, NOT the kingdom of God in heaven. If you keep that distinction in mind, you should have no problem answering yes to the question without any elaboration at all.

This Earthly Kingdom is Only Temporary

“Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?” The church is an earthly institution. According to section 65, the purpose of the church is to prepare us to join with the Kingdom of Heaven. The church is the Kingdom of God on the earth. It is temporary. It will be absorbed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The LDS Church Has Certain Keys

Therefore, I have no problem affirming that the man we sustain or uphold as the President of the earthly institution holds priesthood keys or authority to preach the gospel, publish scripture, collect tithing, build and maintain temples and meetinghouses and perform, through delegation, a myriad of other tasks and activities that will build the Kingdom of God on the earth. I also affirm that permission or those earthly keys can be and were passed on from the prophet Joseph Smith.

Difference Between Authority and Power

This includes the right to perform ordinances, including the exercise of the sealing power, albeit a limited kind of sealing power, that are invitations to go and get the real thing. Everyone knows this from the prophet and apostles on down. President Packer has taught this repeatedly – there is a world of difference between earthly authority to act in the church and heavenly sealing power. Earthly sealing power is not the same as heavenly sealing power. You and I should know this.

Seek Ratification From Holy Spirit of Promise

Don’t confuse the Kingdom of God on the Earth with the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Don’t forget what we’ve been taught about the Holy Spirit of Promise. Our ordinances are simply not complete until they are ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise. I’m concerned too many leaders in our church don’t understand or teach this. I know this because so many members don’t get it. We focus way too much on getting people to the temple without teaching them what to do after that.

Keeping the Church Free From Polygamy

I’m going to skip down to the other, more troubling question: “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” Everyone knows why this question was placed in the interview process. It was and is still intended to weed out those who practice plural marriage. It was not included to keep us from reading non-LDS books or going to lectures.

Criticized and Disciplined For What One Believes

I wrote previously how deeply troubled I felt upon learning of online friends being harassed by being placed on informal or formal probation or officially disciplined through disfellowshipment and even excommunicated – all for reading a book or going to a lecture. This is crazy. This is wrong. This is not righteous exercise of priesthood authority. It is unrighteousness dominion. No LDS leader has the right to tell a member of his congregation what he should or shouldn’t read (see discussion in comments).

Trying to Control Reading Material is Wrong

In the selected policies of the church, we are encouraged to read the King James version of the Bible as opposed to other editions, to read the church magazines and to read the weekly lesson material assignments in advance. Other than that, I could find nothing in the handbook that says “Though shalt not read anything from Signature Books,” or “Thou shalt only buy and read books from Deseret Book.” It especially does not refer to reading D. Michael Quinn or Denver Snuffer.

We Have the Right to Read What we Choose

So what if they have been excommunicated from the church? Big deal. We’re all adults here. If I want to read what Michael Quinn had to say about our history, then that’s my prerogative. Yes, I know it’s contrary to what we’re taught in the official curriculum, but that’s the beauty of it. I get other viewpoints and additional information to help me understand our history. The same thing goes for reading Denver Snuffer’s Passing the Heavenly Gift. It’s just a man’s different opinion.

Multiple Points of View is Healthy

I’ve received private emails from readers who say they have been persecuted for reading Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman, a faithful LDS member and temple sealer. Why are some LDS leaders afraid of opening their minds to other possibilities and interpretations of our LDS history? So what if it differs from the official material we receive in the classrooms on Sunday or in Seminary, Institute and church university religion classes? That just seems so closed-minded.

The Temple Recommend Question is Flawed

Paraphrasing the second temple recommend question we’re discussing, it could be read as “Do you agree with any individual who teaches a different version of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” In my opinion this question is wrong and should be changed to simply read, “Do you practice plural marriage?” Strangely enough, the doctrine of plural marriage is still accepted by the church and found in our scriptures. We just don’t teach it.

The Church Has Already Given Guidelines

This is my blog so I’ll express my opinion a little more forcefully as if I were speaking directly to some Bishops and Stake Presidents who have excommunicated some of my readers. I would tell them to seriously back off and stop prying into the personal reading habits of their members. It’s none of their business. That 1982 letter included this line about sex: “you…should never inquire into personal, intimate matters involving marital relations between a man and his wife.”

Let the Members Work Out Their Own Doubts

I wonder if we need another letter from the First Presidency stating, “Do not ask your members what books they are reading or if they are attending lectures that are not put on by the church.” If a member says no to the second question we’re discussing, then leave it alone and go on with the next question, even if you have heard stories that the member is struggling with the standard narrative of the church when it comes to our history. Let them work it out with their own agency.

Not All Members Fit Into the Same Mold

I know these leaders justify their inappropriate questioning in the guise of love, claiming they simply want to help their members, but they do more harm than good when they try to mold all members into their idea of what a good Latter-day Saint should be like as far as what they read. Sure, we can all preach against the evils of porn but are we going to tell our sisters they can’t read romance novels? You would have half the church up in arms over that, including my wife.

Inappropriate Reasons to Deny a Temple Recommend

Just because a person reads Denver Snuffer and happens to agree with some of his viewpoints is no reason to deny them a temple recommend. Reading Denver Snuffer does not make someone an apostate. I’ve written about apostasy previously here on my blog: It’s defined as deliberate and open opposition to the Church or its leaders, teaching as doctrine something that is not Church doctrine or to belong to an apostate sect, such as those that practice plural marriage.

Temple Recommends Not Used in Heaven

A temple recommend is simply an earthly receipt used by the LDS Church to show that you have paid tithing. You’re not going to need a temple recommend in heaven. They’re not used there. Trying to control what a man believes about our history is not righteous behavior. Threatening a man with church discipline because he tells a few friends his opinion of a book and recommends they also read it is simply not right. Leaders who do this are abusing the priesthood of God.

Face it: We Failed the Test in Nauvoo

To say that someone needs to be disciplined because they have a difference of opinion over how to interpret a document is the worst kind of priestcraft. If this really is the Kingdom of God on the earth we will be looking for ways to include more people, not exclude them for what they read or believe. We’ve got to stop being so sensitive about what happened in Nauvoo. We failed the test, didn’t build the temple in time and suffered hardships for the next four generations.

The Gathering of the Elect of God

With the passing of our last patriarch, Eldred G. Smith, those four generations have passed now. The Lord has put forth his hand again and is gathering the elect through the angels. They are ministering to men and women upon the earth, teaching and preparing them to come into the presence of the Lord. There are many members of the LDS Church quietly doing the Lord’s bidding as asked by Him or as assigned by His angels. This is contrary to the traditional hierarchal institution model.

The Angels Are Inviting and Teaching

I’ve written enough. I hope you can tell I’m a little bit passionate about this subject. I simply cannot believe the church I love and have been a member of all my life would persecute its own members for claiming to have received the Lord or assignments from angels. It’s almost as if the church is jealous of its own members who exhibit spiritual gifts that bless and edify others. The hierarchy of the church cannot control who joins the Kingdom of Heaven. The angels do that.

I’m Interested in Your Feedback

What do you think? Is it right for LDS leaders to deviate from the temple recommend questions? Is it OK for them to ask you what kinds of books or authors you read? Should they be allowed to ask you what you believe beyond the first three basic testimony questions? If you would rather share your story privately, feel free to email me at tmalonemcse @ gmail.com. God bless us all.

A few links to articles on the Temple Recommend Interview process:

Wikipedia article on LDS worthiness interviews

An Ensign article on being worthy to enter the temple

Frequently asked questions from lds.org on temple interviews

Excerpt from the 1982 First Presidency letter from Upward Thought Blog

Article from The New Era on Temple Recommend Interview

Lesson from Young Men’s manual on Recommend Interviews

Lesson from Temple Preparation class on Recommend Interviews

Ascending the Ladder to Heaven


IsaiahDecoded1I’ve been reading Isaiah Decoded by Avraham Gileadi. It’s taking me much longer to read than I thought it would. This is not a review of the book but I would like to share some observations. This is only the second book from Gileadi I have read, the other being The Last Days (2nd edition 1991). That was the book that got him in trouble with the church but please read his disclaimer.

Scholarship on the Book of Isaiah

Avraham Gileadi is eminently qualified to write on the subject. If you go to his website, you’ll see there are actually five sites dedicated to his works. I’ve been receiving invitations to his seminars for years, but being a California boy, alas, I don’t get up to the Mormon corridor that often anymore. Other than Claremont College, there is not much LDS scholarship in the LA area.

Jacob’s Ladder / Isaiah’s Ladder

I’ve read a lot about Jacob’s ladder but have never understood it completely. I’m learning some amazing things from this wonderful book. I’m a little over halfway through the book (page 211 of 357 pages). I’ll tell you one remarkable thing that struck me right away. This book, or rather Isaiah, confirms the prophecy of a latter-day servant other than Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ.

Gentile Church is the LDS Church

It also confirms for me something I struggled with for a long time when I first started reading Denver Snuffer’s books. As I noted a couple of years ago, Passing the Heavenly Gift was the first of Denver’s books I read. In there, he clearly makes a case that the Gentile church (read LDS church) will reject the fullness of the gospel (see 3 Ne 16:10, especially last few lines).

Gileadi and Snuffer both cast off

Well, Denver was excommunicated for teaching the same thing that Avraham taught. Avraham was re-baptized a few years later. In his disclaimer, he states, “the church made a mistake.” I wave written in my blog the church did the right thing in excommunicating Denver Snuffer and gave my reasons, which mainly had to do with the threat LDS leaders felt from Denver’s book.

Denver Snuffer – the Davidic Servant

I’m going to retract that statement. I now believe the church made a mistake in the same way they did with Avraham Gileadi. However, I don’t think we’ll see the church doing an about-face in Denver’s case as they did with Avraham and I’ll tell you why. It’s because Denver Snuffer is the servant prophesied to come forth in the last days to prepare the people to receive the Lord (1-22-14: see update at end of post).

LDS Church Rejected the Fullness

What I just wrote is so contrary to what I have been taught and believed all my life, I struggled to write it. We read in Daniel 2:44 the Lord will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed. I have been taught and have always believed that kingdom is the LDS church. This church I love is so filled with good people I can hardly believe it could possibly have rejected the fullness.

Christ Teaches We Lose the Fullness

Yet, that is what the Book of Mormon teaches. The Gentile Church is the LDS Church (D&C 109:60). There is no doubt about that. According to the scripture, it is not a matter of if we reject the fullness but when. 3 Ne 16:10 distinctly says, and these are the words of Jesus, “I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them.” Has this already happened and if so, when?

Don’t Make Assumptions I Believe This Yet

There are two points I need to make here: 1) I am only reporting what I have now seen clearly stated by two LDS scholars (yes, I consider Denver an LDS scholar). 2) Don’t assume I either believe or teach this. I am simply making a few observations of what I have read. Yet, I was amazed to find some of the same things taught in Avraham’s book as I did in Denver’s PtHG.

Fullness of Gospel / Fullness of Priesthood

Is there a distinction between the fullness of the gospel and the fullness of the priesthood? The answer is yes, there is a distinction. The fullness of the gospel is to bring people into Christ’s presence. That is what Moses tried to do and what was attempted by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. Moses partially succeeded with seventy elders. Joseph tried but the people did not qualify.

LDS Church Rejected the Fullness

Joseph specifically said he had a difficult time teaching the people new things because they would fly to pieces each time he tried to introduce more of what the Lord wanted him to teach. In short, the people of the LDS Church rejected the fullness of the gospel in Joseph’s day. They were not ready. They did not build the Nauvoo temple in time and suffered (D&C 124:46-48).

Need to Receive the Fullness in Mortality

The distinction between the fullness of the gospel is everything that is needed to bring men into God’s presence. The fullness of the priesthood is what the Lord confers upon men once they are brought into his presence. This is supposed to happen in this life. We are to strive for this. It is not something that is given to us by other men, but by the Lord. Angels prepare us to receive it.

Similarities Between PtHG and Isaiah Decoded

You can see I have shared a lot of what is found in PtHG. Now let me return to Isaiah Decoded and show some corroborating evidence that there is to be a servant in the last days who is not Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ. I ask you to have an open mind about this and look for yourself if you have the book. If not, I highly recommend it. I intend to get more of Avraham’s books.

Church Broadcast to Southern California

In our stake conference this weekend, we reviewed our stake mission plan, which focuses on how we can hasten the work. It is a simple three-fold plan: 1) attend the temple often – we always have a chapel session before stake conference, 2) Bring souls unto Christ either by preparing them to hear the discussions or fellowshipping those less active and 3) Study the gospel more.

My Efforts to Fulfill our Stake Mission Plan

Well, I’m trying to do all three. I spent seven hours in the temple Friday, I write this blog, which requires a lot of gospel study with the specific intent of helping my readers focus on Christ. In the temple Friday I asked the Lord what he would have me share next on my blog. This is the result. He clearly brought to my mind the impression I needed to write about Jacob’s ladder.

My Impression of Gileadi’s Writings

I’ll point out something from the outset if you’re not already a reader of Avraham’s works. He can be obscure and vague in his writings. I think he does it on purpose. He leads you along to a certain point then lets you make your own conclusions. This is a different style of writing which my Western mind had a problem accepting at first. I guess I’ve always liked things spelled out.

Draw Your Own Conclusions

Avraham doesn’t do that. I was amazed how he can turn on a fire hose of information that goes on for pages and pages, yet never writes, “And thus we see,” or “and therefore I conclude…” I suspect this is why his membership in the church was returned to him. You must draw your own conclusions from his writings. Compared to Avraham, Denver’s conclusions are clearly shared.

Prophecy of the Davidic Servant

While chapter one introduces the ladder to heaven – I guess you can also call it Isaiah’s ladder – the prophecy of The Servant is clearly spelled out in chapter two. Interestingly, he is identified by first contrasting him with the archtyrant, personified by the king of Babylon in Isaiah’s day and an unnamed individual today, who must be on the earth because The Servant is also here.

The Servant Contrasted with the Archtyrant

I was surprised at how casually Avraham introduces The Servant on page 43 in these words, “Although the archtyrant may seem to wield all power, his influence won’t be the strongest force in the world. Jehovah and his servant, whom he sends to minister to his people, provide a powerful counterforce to which all who keep God’s law may look for deliverance.”

The Servant has Spiritually Progressed Helpers

He also wrote, “Persons on the highest spiritual levels will labor with the servant to prepare the way for Jehovah’s coming.” Who is this servant and who is the archtyrant? Page 44-45: “Like Moses, he leads God’s people in a new exodus to the Promised Land, this time not to escape the plagues of Egypt but the worldwide catastrophe engineered by the archtyrant.” I’ll stop there.

Isaiah’s Prophesied Servant in LDS Curriculum

Since I haven’t finished the book yet, I don’t feel comfortable writing more until I ponder and pray about what I have felt inspired by the Holy Ghost in my interpretations of what I have read. Now I know my conclusions will not go unchallenged so I reiterate, I am simply sharing what I have read. Let me ask you this, “How many of you know about Isaiah’s prophesied servant?”

Three-year Ministry of Davidic King

I’ve been a student of the scriptures all my life, yet I don’t recall being taught specifically in the curriculum of the LDS Church anything about a servant of Jehovah to come forth in the last days that will prepare the way for Christ’s return. Avraham calls him the Davidic King. He will have a three-year ministry that reaches to the world and warns the entire world of what is to come.

All Will Be Required To Choose

The angels will gather the righteous from throughout the world. Members of the Gentile church (the LDS church), will have a choice to make when the servant arrives. We will either harden our hearts to our own condemnation and destruction or we will repent and prepare to join Zion. The day of a complete division between the righteous and the wicked is coming. Is that day soon?

Yet Another Marvelous Work and Wonder

I leave you with this question: Who is the servant referred to by Avraham in his interpretation of Isaiah? Could it possibly be Denver Snuffer, one who claims to have seen and been ministered to by the Lord Jesus Christ and is teaching of a great and marvelous work yet to come forth and about to begin? This is different from the great and marvelous work of the original restoration.

Invitation to Dialog

If you’ve never heard about any of this stuff or think it is crazy, you’re welcome to comment and tell me so. I am really looking for comments from some who have read both Snuffer and Gileadi and have put them together as I have. Am I wrong in what I felt inspired as I read? Is it possible Denver Snuffer could be this Davidic servant prophesied by Isaiah to come forth in our day?

1-22-14 Update:

I’ve received numerous kind emails pointing out where I’ve made some mistakes in my assumptions and statements. Thank you my friends, 1) Denver is a servant, but may not be and probably is not the servant. 2) Denver is definitely not the Davidic King. There are too many reasons / requirements he does not meet. I just wanted to acknowledge the kind and gentle corrections. I’m learning with your help.

Jesus Teaches of the Last Days


JesusTeachingI’ve been reading Isaiah Decoded by Avraham Gileadi. I just started it Friday (thanks for the recommendation, Roy). I’m halfway through the book and hope to finish it this week. I have mixed feelings about what I’m reading. I’m not ready to review it yet but it got me thinking about some things relating to the last days, especially what the Savior taught in Matthew 24.

Sign of the Son of Man

You know Matthew 24 is a fairly important chapter. Joseph “enhanced” it enough that we include it in the Pearl of Great Price as a chapter worthy of independent study. It contains a bit of a roadmap to the last days, one of my favorite subjects. It’s also in Matthew 24 that we find the phrase, “…the sign of the Son of Man in heaven…” Joseph called it “…one grand sign…”

False Prophets – Signs and Wonders

I often wonder what it must have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus as he taught his disciples privately about the last days. They specifically asked, “…what is the sign of thy coming…?” He gave them so much more as he answered their questions. He spoke of false Christs and false prophets who shall show great signs and wonders. What do you think – have we seen this yet?

Return of City of Enoch

He made it clear that His return shall be seen by all the world, accompanied with power and great glory. He tells us elsewhere in the Pearl of Great Price (Moses 7:62-63) that he will be accompanied by the City of Enoch. That is going to be one amazing sight. I don’t know that we talk about it much. Can you imagine looking up and seeing part of a planet coming toward you?

All People Shall See It

Joseph was also impressed by this. He must have seen it in vision. As he described the scene, he said, “What will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet…But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east.” D&C 88:93 confirms “all people shall see it together.” Amazing.

A Planet – Looks Like a Comet

Joseph didn’t say the world’s assessment of the scene would be incorrect. He simply confirmed that the sign could indeed appear to be a planet or a comet. In other words, the scientists will tell us a comet is approaching. As it gets closer, it will become obvious it is a small planet or part of a planet. We have no idea how large the City of Enoch was. I’ll bet it’s a good-sized chunk.

Accompanied by Great Destruction

John wrote in Revelation (8:8-10) about meteors crashing into the sea before the Lord returned. He called one “…a great mountain burning with fire,” and the other “…a star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp…” The Lord spoke many times of the sun being darkened, the moon being darkened and later glowing red as blood, unable to dissipate heat, and other stars falling.

Nobody But Father Knows When

He told his disciples that no one but Heavenly Father knows exactly when this shall happen. I will say something about Avraham Gileadi’s interpretation of the events of the last days (I have that book as well). He mentions possible nuclear holocausts. I don’t believe the Lord will allow that to happen. He doesn’t need to. With one EMP he can wipe out all man-made weapons.

EMP or Fire From the Sky

Of course my friend Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) will tell you the chances of an EMP hitting the earth are slim to none (see Death From the Skies). He also tells us the idea of fire from the sky as in fire and brimstone a la Sodom and Gomorrah is nonsense. In fact, he dismisses as bunk most all the cosmological events foretold by the Savior in the scriptures at the time of his return.

Media Seeks Expert Opinions

But to whom will the media turn when they want an expert opinion on what it is that is coming towards us? They will turn to people like Phil Plait and other scientists. Now, I know many good scientists do believe the signs foretold by the Savior will happen and will accept them for what they are: signs of the return of Christ. But if their opinions are sought out, they will be mocked.

Stuff Hitting Planet More Common

Why is it so hard to accept the things the Savior taught us in the scriptures about his advent? I suppose it’s because we haven’t seen anything like it in our day. It’s rare to see news footage of something from space hitting the planet. When it does, as we saw last year in Russia, it’s notable. The day will come when such events will be more common as we get closer to the Lord’s return.

Secular Versus Revealed Knowledge

Don’t get me wrong. I like Phil Plait. I read his stuff all the time. I love science, especially as our knowledge of the cosmos expands. Of course there are those at the other end of the spectrum, who ignore science in favor of what they believe in sincere faith. There will always be those who take both sides to the extreme. I seek a balance between science and the words of the prophets.

The Sound of the Trump

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Matthew 24 and overlooked the obvious implications of verse 31. Have you ever wondered why the sound of trumpets accompanies the second advent of the Lord? It is because when two celestial bodies come close together, they oscillate back and forth with electromagnetic vibrations that grow louder and louder the closer they get to the other.

Science Can Support Prophecy

Now science will tell you that Kepler’s laws of planetary motion will not allow two planets to come close together. Once inside the Roche limit of the larger planet, the smaller body would begin to break up. We saw that with the Shoemaker-Levy comet hitting Jupiter. What science does not take into account, at least some scientists, is the attraction of electromagnetic energy.

The Electric Universe Trumps Gravity

If you want a fascinating alternative view to the worship of gravity as the God of the universe, take a look at what the proponents of the Electric Universe have been proposing and attempting to demonstrate for years. It is a growing body of scientists who understand the laws of physics but have added the additional knowledge that electromagnetic energy is a much larger force.

The Abomination of Desolation

I wonder if I dare end this post on this note. Don’t stone me for this. I know it’s controversial. I’ve written about the Abomination of Desolation before. The Lord specifically mentions it in Matthew 24. I have recently come to a different conclusion as to what it is. Besides, scripture can be interpreted in multiple ways. It can also be fulfilled at different points in time through history.

Gay Marriages in the Temples

I’ll leave you with this quote: “When an abomination that renders sexual relations desolate (they don’t produce offspring) occurs in the holy place, you can know the promised destruction is soon at hand.” I know of individuals who are gifted with dreams and visions. They tell of having seen court orders presented at temples to enforce the law of the land – gay marriages in the temples.

Look to the skies for the signs

I know this will anger some folks, especially of the younger generation. Just remember, I’m an old guy. I am convinced gay marriages in the temple are inevitable, in spite of what the Church recently published on the subject. I read the disclaimers from those advocating gay marriage, that such a thing will never happen. I disagree. When it does, Matthew 24 will be fulfilled in earnest.

An Open Invitation to Dialog

What do you think? I’ve written about signs of the times many times. In this post I put a few of them together in ways I hadn’t thought of before. It all started with pondering Matthew 24.

For more information on these unusual interpretations of the signs of the last days, see:

Website – http://mormonprophecy.com/
Videos – http://youtube.com/user/toeknee1943/
Blog – http://mormonprophecy.blogspot.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/keystomormonprophecy
Scribd – http://www.scribd.com/anthonyelarson

One Nation Under God


McNaughton_OneNationUnderGodA Land of Destiny

Many years ago I had a dream or a vision about the destiny of this nation. I’d like to share it with you. It has some unique elements I have not found in prophetic statements that others have given us, be they prophet or scholar. By the time you finish this post, I hope to persuade you to take another look at how we view what I believe will shortly come to pass here in our great nation.

Jon McNaughton Painting

This afternoon I was sitting in my rocking chair soaking up some afternoon sun here in my California home. Next to me is a painting from controversial artist Jon McNaughton. Since we hope to retire there someday, we visit the St. George area Parade of Homes every year. A local art dealer was in the garage of one of the houses displaying and selling McNaughton prints.

Separation of Church and State

The painting is entitled “One Nation under God.” My friend Seth Adam Smith created a video that explains the background of the painting. So far, it has garnered some 3.4 million views. That’s not too shabby. The painting is about our founding fathers and the separation of church and state. Many found the painting to be divisive. We found it to be inspiring so we bought it.

We Live in a Beautiful Country

As I sat and rocked, reading and thinking, I thought how beautiful it was and how blessed we are to live where it’s warm most of the time. OK, Camarillo can get cold at night in the winter but it’s nothing like the temperatures in the middle of the United States. As I write this, it’s 17 below zero in Montana. Current temperature outside is 55 degrees. California truly is the golden state.

A Dream of What Could Possibly Happen

I thought upon the painting and the message it portrayed. I got to thinking about the future and what’s in store. Now, of course, nobody can know the future unless it’s revealed to them by the Lord, so take what I say with that in mind. What I’m about to relate was a dream, more of a feeling, really, that has been growing on me over the years, each time I ponder on the subject.

Prompted by Study of Prophecy

This dream or vision came to me during an intense period of studying the signs of the last days, especially as they relate to this nation. For my study texts I was using 1) the scriptures, ancient and modern, 2) Prophecy: Key to the Future by Duane S. Crowther, 3), The Coming of the Lord by Gerald Lund and 4) The Prophecy Trilogy of books from my friend Anthony Larson.

Gangs of Roving Thieves

A major component of the dream was the idea that the government of the United States had been broken up. The government of this golden state was also no more. In fact, much of the state had been obliterated by earthquakes, fires and yes, even volcanoes in the Northern parts of the state. But the most memorable images were the bands of roving thieves or thugs. They were merciless.

Caused by Natural Destruction

Somehow, I knew that this break-up of our great nation and my home state was of a two-fold nature. Although the state suffered tremendous damage along the coastline, the majority of the damage was from the slide of the tectonic plates that separate the Pacific Plate to the West and the North American Plate to the East. As everyone knows, they meet at the San Andreas Fault.

Firestorms, Burning Hail, Whirlwinds

The earthquakes, and there were many, were not the only thing that caused the destruction. There were an exceeding number of fires, not just the kind that came from broken gas mains, but those caused by, yes, burning hail falling from the sky. There were also great whirlwinds of fire that swept across the land, literal firestorms, burning everything in their path moving East to West.

A Worldwide Calamity

The other part of the breakup was indeed economic. It was entirely related to the overwhelming destruction caused by the natural catastrophes. California was not the only place suffering. These scenes of burning hailstorms, earthquakes and volcanoes were happening all across this great nation, indeed, all over the world. There was no nation that could cope. No place was untouched.

Sudden and Unexpected Destruction

Dreams are hard to explain. Somehow I knew this worldwide destruction was unexpected. It came upon us suddenly, without warning from scientists, government leaders or even spiritual leaders other than the same generalized warnings we have been hearing ever since Christianity has been preached and the vivid messages in the Bible and Book of Mormon have been shared.

All is Well in Zion

The natural calamity caused the economic collapse and thus the failure of government. It was sudden. Up until the day it occurred, the powers that run our nation, indeed this world, continued their message: “All is well. There was nothing to worry about.” In effect, it was the same scene found described in the bible before the great flood. Very few believed it could possibly happen.

Our Attitude About Future Events

Those who take the time to research, learn about and share the Lord’s message of catastrophe are called crackpots. People respond with a shrug of the shoulders, saying, “There’s nothing we can do. Everyone knows the end of the world is coming.” These comments and attitudes come from good people who believe in God. Those who don’t believe in God usually scoff at such talk.

Not Total Destruction

In my dream I saw the world was in chaos after the initial destruction had passed. There were no more organized nations, no governments, no police forces, no banking system. Most of the infrastructure was destroyed. The means to move armies or weapons of destruction around was destroyed. In other words, warplanes, military ships and missiles had all been rendered useless.

Life Continues for Many People

Yet people survived. They learned to live without electricity that was no longer available in most places. If this sounds like what Spencer saw in his book Visions of Glory as told to John Pontius, you’re right, which is why I was so intrigued by that book. Again, my dream seemed to focus on gangs of roving men looking for food, weapons that worked, ammunition and places of refuge.

Not Quite the End of the World

Those who survived this first initial onslaught of the natural catastrophes from the skies were stunned to realize this was not the end of the world, nor had the Savior returned as promised. Those who believe in God began to take a more serious look at the prophecies. They came to realize they had not understood the prophets, especially John’s view of what would happen.

The Nations Were Destroyed

They saw clearly these things had been foretold but not understood. There was more to come. This was just the first round. This was just the Lord getting the people ready for his return. It’s at this point that I woke up and recorded the dream in my journal. What impressed me most about my dream was clearly the timing. The world changed dramatically but it didn’t end at the time.

Waiting Upon the Lord

Because of this dream my passion for studying the signs of the last days increased. I discovered many quotes from early leaders of this church that we seem to have forgotten. Time does that to a people. We wait and we wait and we wait. Finally we say to ourselves, “Every generation has been told the same thing, to be ready. Yet nothing happened. It will not happen in my lifetime.”

Returning to the Center Place

The Lord said, “I come quickly.” He taught us parables in Matthew 24 about the importance of being ready. The prophets over the years have counseled us to be prepared with food and fuel storage. We do not hear much anymore about the idea of returning to Jackson County Missouri, but it remains in our history – the idea that we need to be prepared to walk there from where we are.

Western Missouri Swept Clean

I’ve often thought about that long walk. Spencer described in his vision one possibility of how that may come about. If you have studied the subject, you know about the “yellow dog” quote thus: “The western boundaries of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that … when we return to that place there will not be as much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.”

Mormon Stories of the Last Days

I suggest we all do ourselves a favor and look up some facts regarding these two points – the long walk to Missouri and the “yellow dog” quote. I have, but won’t take the time to comment more on them here other than to say you may be surprised at how they got started and continue to be retold. We have dozens of stories like that in our collective lore of signs of the last days.

Zion in the Tops of the Mountains

While I do believe there is to be a temple complex built up in Zion, I’m not so sure exactly where that is to be. Will it be in Independence or perhaps in some other place that is more in line with the words of the Old Testament prophets that Zion will be in the tops of the mountains? I’ve written about this in the past if you care to refer to that for a bit more detail on that subject.

Constitution Hanging by a Thread

Back to my dream: We’re all familiar with the White Horse prophecy and the quote that the Elders of Israel will save the constitution when it is hanging by a thread. In my dream, it was clear this great nation – the United States was no more. The roving bands were everywhere. However, as prophesied, they would not go up to Zion, which was in the tops of the mountains.

Day of the Gentiles Over

WashingtonKneelinginPrayerYes, I believe the constitution was and is an inspired document. That’s why Carol and I bought the McNaughton painting. We originally intended to hang it next to the painting of Washington kneeling in prayer beside his horse. Instead, it sits in my study, where I see it every day. To me, it is a reminder the day of the Gentile is almost over. Does that seem a strange interpretation?

One Nation Under God

I have come to realize those who believe as I do are in the minority. I know the phrase “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance by Eisenhower in 1954. He was the president of my very early childhood. I was named after him (my middle name is Dwight). I have watched with sadness as this phrase has been challenged again and again. I hope and pray it is never removed.

God Will Destroy All Nations

I realize I have rambled a bit in this post. My intention in writing this has simply been to get us thinking about how we feel about the destiny of this nation. It has been prophesied to fail. God will destroy all nations before he comes, and that includes the United States. How is He going to accomplish this? It will be through natural means – the calamity of destruction from the skies.

Only the Father Knows When

I do not know if the prophesied catastrophes will occur in my lifetime. It doesn’t matter. I have found great solace in simply knowing the destruction of nations is foretold. In other words, if it does happen in my lifetime, I have the comfort of knowing the advent of the Lord is near. I will continue to ponder my dream that the second coming is AFTER the cosmological upheavals.

Interest in Establishing Zion is High

After all, it’s simply a dream, a vision, that until this day I have kept mostly private. I repeat what I said in the beginning. It goes right along with what I said in my review of Visions of Glory. What Spencer saw was one possibility. Even Joseph spoke with some uncertainty when he said, “one way I see this happening…” after he was asked how we would gather to Zion.

Much Remaining to be Accomplished

I know there are people who are adamant they know how these things are going to come about. I don’t hear the Brethren saying much by way of prophecy as to how current events relate to the coming of the Lord. In my mind, it seems there is much remaining to be done before Zion can be established. God bless us to focus on preparing our hearts to be a people worthy of that blessing.

Invitation to Discuss

I know this is not a forum. It is a blog. But the comments are wide open – always have been. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. I’ve touched on a lot of ideas in this post. I know I’ve probably struck a nerve in someone who feels strongly about something I’ve written here. Are you convinced the United States will survive or will it soon come to an end as prophesied?

Divine Discontent and Enduring to the End


EndureUntoTheEndThe Need for Denver’s Message

One of the main ideas Carol and I have discussed concerning Denver Snuffer is the necessity of the message he has delivered. Carol has made it clear she did not and does not feel there was or is any need for someone like Denver Snuffer to remind us how important it is to literally come unto Christ. The discussion always ends with her pointing out enduring to the end is sufficient.

Endure to the End is Sufficient

“We’ve been baptized. We’ve received the Holy Ghost. We’ve both served missions. We’ve been endowed and sealed in the temple. We try to live faithfully, accept callings and pay tithing. We try to do our home and visiting teaching although we can do better. Now all we need to do is endure to the end. That means keep going to church as long as our health permits. Right, Tim?”

An Investment in Understanding

That’s almost a direct quote. After two years I have learned to simply say, “Yes, dear.” Actually, I learned to say that a long time ago, but particularly in this situation. I’m grateful she doesn’t begrudge the money I’ve spent purchasing his books, the time I’ve spent studying what he has written or the effort I’ve put into sharing this journey on my blog. After all, she’s a writer too.

More than a Casual Reader

I suppose I’m more than a casual reader of Denver’s material. In addition to the books, some of which I’ve read two or three times, I’ve read most of his blog, bought every recorded lecture and printed them so I could study them. So that’s hundreds of hours? I suppose so. Is it time wasted? Could it have been better spent in scripture reading? Trust me, it includes that and gospel study.

Attending the Lectures

I was this close to flying up to Boise for the opening lecture. I have not been able to attend any of the five talks given so far on his current lecture tour due to conflicts with my work commitments. Carol and I have already agreed to travel up to St. George next year to hear that one in person. Well, it’s agreed we’re going, but it’s anyone’s guess if she actually goes to the lecture with me.

Denver’s Message Not For Everyone

Maybe it’s different for men. I feel driven to understand Denver’s message and to be received by the Savior in a literal, physical way while yet mortal. Carol does not. I think I’ve shared on my blog previously how I fasted before my mission for three days and the results of that fast. The Lord answered my prayer and spoke peace to my mind that my efforts were sufficient for then.

The Maturing Process of Life

I heard his voice in my mind, but He made it clear I was not ready. I had not yet been endowed. After my mission I got involved in my career and somehow the desire to receive the Second Comforter left me. I began to say to myself, as I heard in so many talks and lessons, “Enduring to the end is sufficient. Just live a good life, remain temple worthy and magnify your callings.”

The Return of Divine Discontent

I lived with that belief for over thirty years. Then I read Denver Snuffer’s books and everything changed. The feelings I had from before my mission that I should seek to enter into the presence of the Lord in this life returned. I call it Divine Discontent. I think I first heard that phrase in a talk by Neal Maxwell from October 1976 General Conference: Notwithstanding my Weakness.

Accused of Being Divisive

I suspect the scenario I just described is why some of my readers have left comments either here or on Facebook that Denver is divisive and wrong. Carol has said that his writing frightens her. I continue to do all I can to show, by my actions, there is no threat in Denver’s messages, which I now put into two categories: 1) Receive the Second Comforter, 2) Understand our history better.

Not Asked to Gather Anywhere

When I have responded to her, and some of you on this blog who have raised the same point that Denver is not asking us to do anything other than items one and two above, the response I get is, “not yet,” or as some of you have said, “this isn’t over yet,” referring, I’m sure, to the fact that he has not completed his lecture tour. “Who’s to say what he is then going to ask of his followers?”

Come Unto Christ, not Denver Snuffer

She knows I like to counter with “We’re not followers, we’re readers.” I’ve also made the point in my writings I’m not a Snufferite. My standard response is I simply want to come unto Christ. I enjoy Denver’s style of writing. I understand Carol’s point what he writes frightens some people. It means change. I’ve already addressed the idea of unity in marriage. “If ye are not one…”

Voicing that Divine Discontent

Depending on what blogs or forums you like to read, there seems to be much discontent with the way things are going in our nation, and in some cases, in the church. Some promote the idea we take a more active role in voicing discontent through dissent. Some have even suggested we go to the Conference Center as a block to cast an opposing vote in the annual sustaining process.

Investment in City Creek Mall

I never could or would do something like that. First of all, I do sustain the Brethren, meaning, I am happy with their efforts to lead this church. Maybe it’s a Utah thing, but I wasn’t upset with the church’s explanation for where the money came from to build the City Creek Center. I accept that it came from interest earned on our tithing money. For some reason, that doesn’t bother me.

Prepare for Collapse of United States

Other popular LDS-related forums seem to be advocating we get prepared for more than a natural catastrophe. There’s talk of what we should do when the government is overthrown or fails of its own accord. These people are deceiving themselves. It’s good to be involved in the political process. We know it’s prophesied the United States government will collapse.

Spreading rumors of massive violence

Some of the private emails I receive from readers are repeating a rumor that we’ve got until just shortly after Denver finishes his lecture tour before things start to get really dicey here in the United States, meaning they fear economic collapse will soon turn our nation into a land of roving gangs with no central government or police presence to control the violence. What?

Visions of Glory – One Man’s Opinion

One of the most-read posts here on Latter-day Commentary is still my book review of Visions of Glory written by John Pontius. If you read my review (Jan 2013), you know I gave it a mixed response, meaning I agreed with many things in it, especially views of the spirit world found in the first third of the book. As I wrote there, I had problems with the latter parts of the book.

God Will Fight His Own Battles

I didn’t and still don’t object to Spencer’s idea that we will experience great natural catastrophes. If there is anything I find in common with messages from the prophets, it is the prediction of global destruction to occur in the last days. That’s how the nations will be overthrown, not by any act of man. God will take care of things. He has warned us this has long been on its way.

Israel is Central to Events of Last Days

I’ve already expressed my opinion that the world, including the United States will soon turn against Israel to the point of war. I have no doubt Israel will soon act to remove the nuclear threat it sees from Iran. Because Israel will have to act alone with no support from the United States – not politically correct anymore – every nation will gather to fight against them. It’s in prophecy.

Be Prepared For These Events

When the prophesied events of the last days happen, they will be rapid. Things will dramatically change around the world in the period of just a few years. What bothers me is that most people, including most LDS, have not been listening to the message of the prophets, ancient and modern, that the best and most needed preparation we can make for the coming destruction is spiritual.

Don’t Forget Cosmological Signs

That’s why I feel that Divine Discontent is a good thing. It’s driving me to understand better what the Lord will do in these last days. If you want to say that it’s all going to start as soon as Denver finishes his current lecture tour next year, fine. I can accept that. I wonder why so many good LDS writers and bloggers exclude the writings of Anthony Larson in their pontifications.

Writings of Anthony Larson

I can understand if you don’t like the predictions found in Anthony’s books. After all, he has taken the writings of a man rejected by the scientific community and combined them with the scriptures to come up with his unique combination of what is about to come upon us. The word most commonly used by his critics is pseudoscience or ideas of man mingled with scripture.

Signs of the Times Explained

My long-time readers know I disagree. Just like I have gone out on a limb in my claims that Denver Snuffer is a prophet because he is delivering a message he says the Lord asked him to deliver, I have long advocated that LDS folks read Anthony Larson’s prophecy trilogy. It was in Deseret Book stores for years. If you really want to understand the last days, Anthony can help.

One More Writer I Recommend

I know both writers are unorthodox. I know they both have their critics, some very vocal. I might as well add to the list one other LDS writer who can best help you prepare for the last days. I’ve written about him before: Mel Fish. Mel is not the only one who teaches what he does about how to remove the influence of the adversary from your life, but he has published more than others.

How I Have Tried to Prepare

So there you have it. If I were asked whose books should I read to be best prepared for the last days and the eminent destruction which is prophesied to shortly come to pass, these are the three men I would recommend. Their writings have done more to help me understand what the Lord is about to do very soon than those of any other LDS writer. “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”

Promptings of the Holy Ghost

The basis for everything these men teach is found in the scriptures. In other words, if you have the gift of the Holy Ghost and the scriptures, you don’t need what these men have written. There is much disagreement about their interpretations of the scriptures. I have chosen the Holy Ghost as my guide. He has led me to the writings of these men. The spirit may lead you elsewhere.

Perhaps Only Philosophies of Men

I confess I am a weak man when it comes to understanding what I read in the Bible and other standard works. The language of the scriptures is different from the way we speak and write today. That’s why I’m grateful for what I have learned from these men who have studied and written much of what they felt the Lord wanted them to share. I feel forewarned and prepared.

Inspired Writings From Many Sources

Maybe you don’t need the interpretations of others to understand the Lord’s strange act of the Last Days. I do. I appreciate the words of our living prophets and apostles. I simply ask myself, why has the spirit led me to the writings of these particular men? The answer always comes, after years and years of reading, studying and praying: “These men were also inspired of the Lord.”

Wrapping it Up

You may say this post is all over the place. You’re probably right. What was my point? It had something to do with Divine Discontent, right? My point is the Lord may inspire you to study the teachings of other men and women besides those we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. My point is that the writings of these men have helped me in dealing with Divine Discontent.

What Drives You May Be Different

Maybe you don’t suffer from Divine Discontent. Carol doesn’t. She is perfectly happy with her life as a writer of romance novels – or whatever genre she decides to tackle. Please don’t take this as a sexist remark: Maybe Divine Discontent is a malady that only strikes men. Maybe I’m unique in that I feel so driven and have felt driven by the Lord to read the writings of these men.

My Blog feels Completed

If this ends up being the last post I ever write on my blog, I will be happy. I have shared what I intended to share when I started blogging six years ago. I have introduced you to the writings of three men whose messages I felt the Lord wanted me to receive. I have tried to explain them and in many cases, to defend them. I feel I have done what the Lord wanted me to do with this blog.

Enduring to the End

Starting tomorrow I’m back to work. My week of vacation was well spent. I re-read Come, Let Us Adore Him and made good progress on my third reading of The Second Comforter. While I’m not there yet, meaning I have not received the Second Comforter, I feel my time was well spent. I’ve appreciated everyone’s comments on my last few posts. Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.

A New Prophet in Town


ProphetJosephSmithThe Thesis of this Short Blog Post

This is a small Mormon-based blog read by few people. I don’t think I appear on anyone’s list of recommended LDS blogs any more. That probably started when I went public with book reviews of the now-excommunicated Denver Snuffer. In this post, I would like us to consider for just a moment the possibility that the Lord could send a messenger or servant to the LDS people who did NOT come from the rank and file of the General Authorities or the Quorum of the Twelve. It has happened in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Isn’t it possible it could happen in our day?

A Small Diversion for My Aching Head

Friday night Carol and I went to see Catching Fire, the latest episode of the Hunger Games series. It was a welcome distraction from a difficult week at work, and a sort of celebration for me for having completed 712 hours of advanced technical training over the past nine months. For those who follow my blog, you’ll remember it was also some nine months ago I had what I considered a couple of undesirable existential experiences that drove me to the ER for treatment. I still suffer continual headaches but have made recent progress in other, more important areas. I’ve shared details in previous posts. Email me if you want to know more and can’t find it.

A Surprising Whispering of the Spirit

At the end of the movie I was surprised to hear the spirit whisper something to me I was not expecting. It had nothing to do with the movie, but rather was an answer to questions I carry in my heart. I don’t have doubts about the church – never had. But I always have questions – still do. In my interpretation, I heard, “You are to be an observer and a witness. You were not sent here to manage or control anything.” I was astonished because it answered a long-standing prayer about my mission in life. I was also surprised because that seemed like an unusual time and place to receive inspiration or revelation. Perhaps it’s because my mind was disengaged. My spirit soared as I considered the implications of what I had just heard or rather felt in my heart.

Witnessing the Fulfillment of Prophecy

I started this blog some six years ago with the intention of sharing personal commentary of things coming to pass in my day that could possibly be based on scriptural prophecy, such as the surprising news today that the United States has made a deal with Iran to admit them into the nuclear weapons club. In my mind, this pulls the trigger of Israel’s attack on that country, and the response by the rest of the world, including the United States, in uniting against Israel in what will ultimately be WW III. I now consider myself more of an interpreter of current events that are LDS related, specifically about what is happening among church members. I do this mainly by writing reviews of books that deal with topics recommended to me by some church members.

Questioning the Traditional Narrative

In January of 2012 I was introduced to the writings of one now persona non-grata among our LDS writers, a man recently excommunicated for writing a book of doctrinal analysis that also happens to contain a lot of LDS history, told from historic and scriptural sources. Passing the Heavenly Gift was not written by collecting and combining anti-Mormon stories circulating out there. Denver Snuffer, an attorney by trade, questioned the traditional narrative of how we have taught ourselves what happened to the LDS Church at the end of the Nauvoo period in 1844. Denver Snuffer is also the author of the widely-recommended book, The Second Comforter.

Cursings Instead of Blessings

I wonder why nobody has commented on Denver’s latest blog post yet, also published this last Friday. Perhaps I’ve missed where it was shared among all the Mormon blogs out there. If so, someone kindly point me to the source. I’ve been pondering it for three days. I even re-read the scriptures regarding this post with Carol on Friday night. Before we had completed reading the passage, she said, “Well, of course that’s right. I taught the D&C in Seminary and remember this well.” I am referring of course to the verses in Section 124 where the Lord promised “Cursings Instead of Blessings” if the Nauvoo Temple was not completed within the designated time.

Pondering in the Temple

I went to the temple yesterday specifically to ponder what I felt in my heart on Friday night. Yep, I heard it right. The feeling remained the same. What Denver wrote in that post deserves our serious consideration. As Carol said to me, “Everyone knows the saints were cursed for not completing the temple like they were supposed to. They had too many other building projects going on.” We discussed their having to leave Nauvoo in the dead of winter, crossing over the frozen Mississippi River, a miracle of sorts, although not as uncommon as I once thought. We talked about the difficulties and hardships of crossing the plains. Carol served her mission in Independence, Missouri. She knows what winter is like in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. Brrr…

This Post Qualifies as Sunday Worship

It is Sunday morning as I write this. I hope somehow to get this post published by the end of the day. Our Sundays have become too full with the addition of ward and stake choir practices both before and after our regular block of meetings. It takes a lot of energy for me to memorize and harmonize Christmas choral numbers even though we have both been doing it for years. When we’re done with choir practice, Carol wants to sit and vegetate in front of the TV. ‘Tis the season for Christmas shows. Since I can’t get this off my mind, I’ve asked the Lord to help me get this published tonight. I’m taking a vacation next week to catch up with the ton of private emails from readers. I hope to publish this tonight for subscribers to read Monday morning.

Thesis Revisited for Clarification

I want to state it again and ask you to ponder it seriously. Is it possible the Lord could or might call a man to deliver a message to the general population of the church? We know that flies in the face of D&C 28:5-7. It also goes contrary to the standard narrative (now mantra) taught in this church that any message from God to his people will come from the prophet and only from the prophet. Today, this of course refers to Thomas S. Monson, the man we (and I) sustain as the president of the church. We have also given the fifteen men who lead this church the title of “prophet, seer and revelator.” I also sustain these men as leaders in our church. But could there possibly be other men, not among these fifteen, sent by the Lord with a message that the Lord wants his people to hear and understand? It’s unthinkable, isn’t it? It would be too confusing.

Kingdom of God on the Earth

Thus, as I have written before, the church was right in following established procedure of having Denver Snuffer excommunicated or barred from membership in the organization of the church. It has happened many times before and will happen many times again before the days of the LDS church as an established organization are over. Wait, did I just imply that the LDS Church as we know it today could possibly be dissolved or disorganized when the Lord returns? Haven’t I used that phrase all my life in teaching classes, speaking from the pulpit, in private and public prayer? I have. Isn’t the LDS Church the Kingdom of God on the Earth today? Aren’t we Zion? You mean this church we belong to will no longer be needed when the Lord comes? Poppycock!

Be Careful What You Write in This Church

I brought this up once before and was severely castigated by a former colleague on the High Council, now a Stake President at BYU Idaho. As he wrote in response to my Aug 19 post in a comment left on Facebook on Aug 21: “The statement that the LDS Church will not be on the earth when the Savior comes is a provocative statement and not true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth and is awaiting the kingdom of heaven to arrive where they will be united (See all of D&C 65). The Lord’s Church is the way wherein Israel and Gentiles are brought to a fullness and to fully come unto Christ.” And my response:

We Have Changed What We Teach These Days

“…you’ll have to forgive me. I’m an old guy. I grew up in an era where High Council speakers would shoot from the hip (not read prepared talks). I always loved listening to High Council speakers, especially those who took it seriously to prepare. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that statement growing up in the old Covina Stake, that ‘someday, there will be no more LDS church. We won’t need it. The Lord will run things without this institution we have built up over the years (that’s paraphrasing).’ The closest thing I could find to back this up is this quote from Daniel Peterson: ‘The church today, as has often been noted, is simply the essential but temporary scaffolding that surrounds an eternal family-priesthood structure in the process of construction; until that construction is complete at some point in the postmortal future, priesthood is mediated through and associated with the church.’ I think Brother Peterson and I see priesthood similarly. The church needs the priesthood, not the other way around.

The Church is Just a Temporary Scaffolding

“I even seem to recall either Elder Packer or Elder Perry talking about the church being the temporary scaffolding that won’t be needed when the Lord comes because the priesthood will run things – everything – in that there would no longer be a need for the LDS institution as we know it today. Not trying to argue with you. I do appreciate your comments and getting me to read section 65 again. Thanks for leading me to the scriptures. PS – No response necessary. I know you’re a busy man.” Adding to that Facebook comment: I feel stronger today than I did back in August that the LDS Church is a temporary institution, and was NOT what the Lord intended to be the conclusion of what he tried to accomplish through Joseph Smith. What the Lord wanted to reveal to the Saints was never revealed. It had everything to do with the Nauvoo Temple not being completed and therefore, the church going into exile, disorganized and cursed by the Lord.

Love and Devotion in the LDS Church

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love this church. It has blessed my life. I have tried to be as submissive as I could from the day the Lord told me at age 17 the following: “Joseph could not teach the people everything because they would not receive nor could it be taught outside the temple.” That’s almost a direct quote from personal revelation recorded in my journal. I’ve written about this before as part of my testimony in the early part of this blog. I have been blessed by choosing to serve a mission, seeking and receiving revelation as to who to marry in the temple, accepting every calling ever issued and even by singing in the choir when practices consume so much from me besides time. I love to teach, I love to preach. I love to take the sacrament and I love the temple. As I’ve said so many times before, if asked by my leaders, I would delete this blog without a second thought. I’m more interested in keeping covenants.

Only Christ Can Provide Certain Things

I’ll conclude with this: I’m missing something I cannot receive from this church and so are most of you. I feel like my friend the Stake President mocked me when he asked: “…if you’re saying you aren’t being fulfilled at church, or by the standard works, where else are you looking to be fulfilled? Is Denver Snuffer going to tell you something more powerful than President Monson? Is Max Skousen going to reveal something more relevant than Abinadi? It would be like a thirsty man leaving the safety of the oasis to go seek water in the desert wastes. So again, my question is, what can Denver teach me that the Savior cannot?” I answered him there but I’ll also answer here. I want the world to know why I think the Lord has sent us a legitimate prophet in the form of Denver Snuffer. I know that is a blasphemous claim to some. Please try to understand.

Church is Filled With Men Who Love God

I have loved every Bishop with whom I’ve served as counselors or clerks over the past twenty-five years – a dozen. I have loved every Stake President who presided over me, inspired me, led me, helped me learn how to administer so well, and some even how to minister better. My bishop asked me to come in to talk recently. I’ve never had a bishop do that. He said the Lord told him to do so. The first words out of his mouth were, “I don’t know why the Lord prompted me to have you see me, but I feel impressed he wants me to tell you that you are loved. We talked for almost two hours about what it’s like to raise a son who is both a genius and is afflicted with mental and drug issues. I did a lot of crying in that first meeting. I could not help myself. But I never got around to what I really wanted to talk about. The spirit didn’t prompt me to do so.

Called In To Speak With The Bishop

We met a second time about a month later. This was within the last week. Once again I hoped the spirit would prompt me to bring up the real issues that were troubling me. We had a visit that I would describe as two servants of the Lord talking about what it’s like to stay on the path while serving in this church. He taught me from the scriptures. I went home and shared them with my wife that evening in our scripture study. They are found in Ether 12:27 about why God gives men weaknesses – so they can be humble. The other was in 2nd Nephi 9:28-30. He emphasized verse thirty where Nephi has Jacob teach us the importance of having our hearts set in the right place. I wanted so much to talk about specific steps one must follow to be taught by angels or have the Lord visit me in my home as my patriarchal blessing promises me I shall be. But again, I felt constrained by the spirit to not bring the matter up. I have asked myself why that would be so.

The Church No Longer Teaches Detailed Steps

I feel better about it now. As I write this section, it is after church. The assigned teacher for our High Priest’s group did not show up. The group leader was out of town. The First Assistant asked, “Has anyone read the assigned talks from General Conference we were asked to discuss?” A good worthy brother volunteered and led the most inspiring discussion of the Redemption of Jesus Christ and the desire of the Savior to forgive. You’ll find both in the April 2013 General Conference addresses. During the discussion someone mentioned the idea of a checklist of things we need to accomplish before we die. He even mentioned “that some people feel you must have your calling and election sure, but we’re not supposed to talk about that.” I felt I just had to add a few comments and spoke for nearly five minutes about the idea that not only can we receive the Second Comforter, but that we were commanded to do so by Joseph just before he died in 1844.

Discussing The Second Comforter in Church

Nobody was aghast. Nobody complained. Nobody said, “I’m going to tell on you for talking about something that is forbidden.” To the contrary, I felt the rapt attention of all twenty or so High Priests in the room, nodding their heads in agreement, saying, “That’s right,” and adding their comments that, to me, seemed to be in agreement to my words spoken with passion, “I don’t know why we hear we’re not supposed to talk about receiving the Second Comforter. I shared my witness of seeing the Savior in the Garden and then explaining in my own words what really happened that night that to me, answers the question, “How is it done?” asked by Enos. I ended by asking, “Why do we feel in this church that we can’t talk about receiving the Savior? Why don’t we teach each other how it is done, step by step? Of course I didn’t mention Denver Snuffer but I basically taught them a combination of Denver’s witness from Come, Let us Adore Him from memory, as well as my own witness. Was that wrong? No. The Spirit had prompted it.

Back to the Thesis for a Conclusion

Why did the Church excommunicate Denver Snuffer? He was cut off for publishing Passing the Heavenly Gift and for conducting the lecture tour in which he is now engaged and which he is almost halfway through. A convert to our faith, who claims to have done as we were taught by Joseph Smith – he received the Lord in person – has been expelled from our association solely for delivering a message he claims he was commanded to deliver. I believe the Lord has sent us a legitimate prophet or messenger with a specific message and as an authorized representative of the Lord. After nearly two years of reading his many works, pondering his words and praying numerous times, I want to go on public record – hardly anybody reads my blog anyway – that Denver Snuffer is a servant of the Lord, doing what the Lord told him to do. I have asked this of the Lord too many times to count. I knew it the first day I read PtHG and it has not changed even though the man has been separated from our association by force. I am not saying the fifteen men we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators are not authorized by the Lord to lead our church.

A Final Thought

What I am saying is we need to open our minds to the possibility that the Lord could and has sent a messenger, another authorized servant, a prophet with a message that we should consider, and to which we should give heed. I know the man is not perfect, but I do know he was asked by the Lord to teach what he has taught – at his own considerable personal expense – and that the Lord will bless him for being obedient, in spite of being cut off by the institution of the LDS Church. I am not the only one who feels this way. There are many who have received their own witness. I may be one of the most vocal and the most visible due a simple fluke of how search engines work. I feel like Joseph Smith when he said, “I had seen a vision, I knew it and God knew it. How could I deny it?” (paraphrasing) You can tell me I’m deluded, that I’ve been deceived – join the crowd – but that will not change the fact that the Lord has told me over and over that the man cut off by our church for apostasy was simply doing what he was asked to do by a kind and loving Savior. I am like Brigham Young. I studied this for nearly two years. The witness only grows stronger.

Invitation to Dialog – Open to Discussion

I know many of you disagree. I have written about this over twenty times. It started out as a simple book review. Until today, I don’t think I have ever come out and directly expressed my feelings that Denver Snuffer’s books and lectures were inspired by and accepted by the Lord. In other words, why excommunicate a man for doing what he felt the Lord told him to do? I did not find the books to be a trial to my faith, although I know others differ with my opinion. I don’t feel this is a competition between Thomas Monson and Denver Snuffer. What I know about keys is that they give the one who holds them permission to perform a specific assignment. I have no problem answering the question: “Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?” The answer is yes. But I cannot deny when the spirit tells me the Lord gave Denver Snuffer an assignment that he is doing his best to fulfill. I simply do not see any conflict. What do you think?

Gratitude for Those Who Build the Kingdom


TeachingsLorenzoSnowTeaching the High Priest’s Group

I’ve been asked to substitute teach the High Priest’s Group this weekend. I always enjoy teaching but wish we had more time. After the opening section of priesthood, we get about a half hour to teach. That’s barely enough time to say hello and introduce a topic. Well, I prayed about what the Lord would have me do. He said, just discuss the key points. The brethren will participate. That’s good because I don’t want to have to talk much. Let them teach the lesson. My job is to lead or guide the conversation. Hopefully we’ll all come to the same conclusion the manual leads us to and that is “Don’t follow the ways of the world or be worldly. Live the gospel principles.”

Precious Little Time to Prepare

I’m OK with this assignment. I feel I can do it, especially after having asked the Lord what He wanted done. I’ve known about this assignment for two weeks but have been swamped with the last two weeks of my annual technical training classes. I have been burned out every night. The Lord did not say I needed to prepare any material. It’s all in the book. I’ll just ask some of the brethren to tell the story of what happened that caused Kirtland to fail and how we can avoid it. If your quorum or Relief Society group is like mine, we’ll have no problem with participation.

Just Have to Lead the Conversation

I’m grateful the Lord answered my prayer about this. I’d been concerned about preparing a whole bunch of material, having to explain the details of the Kirtland Safety Society, give some examples of speculation and why it can lead to worldliness and cause one to forget their religion. But I don’t have to do that now. I have the promise of the Lord that He will teach the lesson. I love when that happens. To me, its evidence the Lord loves me and understands my desire to be a conduit for the spirit. After all, isn’t that what the teacher really should do – just subtly guide?

A Report on Digesting Denver’s Lectures

For those who are interested, I wanted to offer a few thoughts that have come to me as I have listened to, read and digested Denver’s last five lectures. But first I want to express gratitude. I should do this in private, but sometimes it’s better to put it on the blog. Doug Mendenhall, if you read this, please accept my thanks for several things: 1) Recording the lectures. 2) Allowing me to pay for them so I’m on the list to get them right away. 3) Then sending them out USPS so I get them just a few days after they transpire. Even though I can’t be there, I feel like I was there.

Thank You for Transcribing the Talks

Second, I want to thank Denver or Stephanie for taking the time to transcribe them and then Denver for adding all kinds of stuff he intended to be in the recording but later added under the spirit of inspiration. I am just fascinated as I listen and read at the same time. The recording with voice inflection and powerful emphasis in some places causes me to delight with the way I am affected by both hearing and reading the words. And to whoever took the talks from Scribed and put them in a PDF (I won’t name you), for email distribution, thank you, thank you, thank you.

A Study Notebook to Get the Big Picture

I’ve made a notebook of the five talks so far, printed out the PDFs and put tabs at the beginning of each one indicating location. The subject of the talk given at each location is at the top of each page and I have ripped the CDs so I can sit in my favorite easy chair, play it on a podcast and highlight the talk as I listen. I stop often, pondering what I am hearing or looking up the scripture to make notes in the margins. I’ve done the same with the Elijah talk and The Road to Emmaus Talk and the Temple Talk. I think I’m missing others (First Three Words, Brigham Young’s Telestial Kingdom)but I’ll eventually add them to the book (Links anyone?)

A Series of Lectures for Such a Small Group

I wish I had some insightful thoughts to offer but so far, I’m still trying to figure out why the Lord asked (commanded) Denver to do this. As he said, he is paying to come talk to us. He pays for the rental of the hall if he can’t find one for free. He is paying his own travel costs. I wish he would come to California but who would come listen to him? Nobody has even heard of him. I’ve made up my mind I’m either going to St George or Phoenix to attend one of his last lectures. I can see there’s an order to what he’s doing, teaching certain subjects first. There are 132 pages so far. That doesn’t include his earlier talks – just the last five. That’s a lot of pondering to do.

A big Thank You to Denver for His Sacrifice

I know he said he does not like it when attention is given to him but I want to express my personal gratitude to Denver for doing this. He gave up his membership to do what the Lord asked him to do. As he wrote on his blog, we should be thinking about the Lord and the message He asked Denver to deliver. And again, this should probably be in a private email but I want more people to wonder who this man is and why he is doing this series of lectures. I want people to go back and see what I have written about him, then go to his blog, read it, buy his books and read them. He doesn’t need a spokesman. We don’t know each other. I just want to say thanks.

Reminder of What You’ll Find on This Blog

I know my blog readership is small. That’s OK, 200 people is just fine. It’s not even the same 200 people who come by each day. These are usually people who Googled Denver Snuffer or Visions of Glory or Excommunication or Casting out Devils or Near Death Experiences. These are all subjects about which I have written. I reached a new milestone the other day – 360 posts. This blog is becoming more of a journal. Because I get new readers every time I write, what you’ll find here are a lot of fringe LDS book reviews – and commentary on a few of my favorite authors – Denver Snuffer, Doug Mendenhall, Anthony Larson, Mel Fish and Jan Graf. Jan hasn’t written much but for those who know him, you know why I want to write about his work.

I’m Feeling Better, Thanks for Asking

For those who are interested, my health is improving. I have found a very strict psychiatrist who is making me get off the medication that was putting me to sleep all the time. You know, it’s so easy to abuse prescription medication. The Anti-anxiety drug I still take works wonders, but it works just as well in small doses. I was taking three times as much as I needed each day. No wonder I barely had enough energy to stay awake through my training classes. I have also found a local psychologist who’s agreed to take me on. He was recommended by another psychologist because he thought he was Mormon but he’s not. So what? We’re going to have some nice chats.

Visits From the Spirit World

I recognize that for those who don’t know me, reading that I’m seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist may cause you to wonder what could be the matter with me. It’s a long story. I’ve explained it dozens of times in emails so I finally posted most of it in a recent blog that has links to the full story. In a nutshell, back in February, something turned on my ability to see and hear dead people. It scared the crap out of me because I wasn’t ready for it. The family doctor is a good man who gave a prescription for anti-anxiety medication that really helps but it also turns off the ability. So this will be an interesting journey as the psychiatrist weans me off the drug and the psychologist and I talk about the visits from the spirit world – no big deal for some people.

Visit the Spirit World to Gain Knowledge

So if for nothing else, come back every once in a while to see if I go off the deep end or if I come up with some unique insights into what the spirit world is like, at least for me. I can also have conversations with the spirits at will but I have purposefully kept from doing that because, well, frankly, I need to learn more about it and why it started happening. Some people live with this and have no problem. For me, I’m still getting used to it. I know when they’re around and they know I know it, so I have to clear the room or the house frequently. Otherwise it’s not good. My goal is to turn this into a way to live with the presence of angels as promised in a recent blessing.

Keep Patriarchal Blessings Sacred

My patriarchal blessing says my “home will be a refuge from the ills of the world, a place where you can go before the Lord and invite Him to be with you.  It will be a sacred place; a fit abode for heavenly visitations.” It also says that the adversary will “seek to destroy you and your work,” but I suppose that applies to all of us. I am supposed to “use every possible moment in your development for the work that you have been called to do.” So what is that work? Is it just the basic job we all have to live worthily and righteously so we can return to live with God or was there something I promised to do. That’s for me to find out. I’ve pondered it for 41 years.

The End is Near and Yet…

It’s late Friday night. I’ve been up since 5:45. I went and looked for the comet but there were too many clouds. They say it is now visible with the naked eye but a backyard telescope is better. Why am I so interested in comets? Because Joseph said the Grand Sign of the Lord’s return will be seen by all the world. The world will say it is a comet of a planet. I’m of the personal opinion that the Lord will come with the City of Enoch. Isn’t that our doctrine? But I also believe it’s not going to happen right away. There will be forerunners – great destruction that will change our world and our civilization. That’s another reason I’m such a fan of Anthony Larson’s books.

Catching up to Private Email

I express my deepest apologies to those who wrote me private emails in October. The medication and the constant study of the material I need to pass completely took over my life. I could not muster the energy to respond the way I wanted. I’m slowly weeding through them. We all have lives – lessons to prepare, weddings, temple service, home teaching, family time. I hope you’ll understand. Some of you wrote some very interesting things. I’m not putting you off. Now that I’m beginning to feel better and not always sleeping, I’m confident life will return to normal.

A few Closing Thoughts

God bless you one and all. God loves each of us and wants us to love and serve each other. We each have different gifts. Many of you have shared you’re gifts with me of also being able to see or hear spirits and how to work with them. I thank you. I am almost done with “Spirits and Spiritual Interactions” by Dr. Christopher E. Palmer. I hope to finish it this weekend and write a short review both for my blog and for Goodreads. Thanks to whoever recommended the book. I know the Lord is cognizant of each of us, our situation in life and what we deal with every day. Nobody’s life is pain-free, physical, spiritual or emotional. I am certain we are supposed to learn from each other. So again, I think you for all the comments over the years – all 4,323. Cheers.

Life in the Church for an Old Guy


StuffIBlogAboutI wrote this yesterday after my tech class was over for the day. Would have published it last night but we went to the local Community Writers Group to learn more about how to be a good poet. Ah, the things we do for love. Somehow, it looks like our empty-nest years are going to be filed with lots of reading and writing. I’ve got a library of over 1,000 books about halfway read.  By the way, this is more of a post of just a bunch of personal reflections. Skip it if you want.

Just a Normal LDS Guy Who Blogs

From the day I started this blog six years ago, I’ve always tried to make it clear that I’m just a normal LDS guy, happy with the church here in California, including the orthodoxy that seems to bug some people to no end. I’ve also tried to make it clear from the beginning I like the controversial stuff that can easily have multiple points of view without any of them being absolutely correct. It doesn’t bug me to have an absolute answer of exactly the way things are supposed to be.

Thanks For Reading My Blog

If I haven’t said it before, please let me express it now: Thank you for sticking with me. I know I have some long-time readers from way back when. But according to the stats, most have subscribed or visited for the first time in the last year or so. For that reason I sometimes give a quick summary of why I write and what you can expect to find on this blog. I get about 200 visitors a day. Most of you read a couple of posts then move on. That’s OK. I hope you find what you need.

What You’ll Find Here

If you don’t want to take the time to read my “About me” tab, in a nutshell, I’m an old guy in the church, grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, love the doctrine, or at least the idea of studying the doctrine, love to read other’s points of views on the doctrine, do not consider myself a scholar, but am interested in the controversial stuff (I think I said that). I’ve gone back and forth from orthodox conservatism to libertarian, constitutionalist to even being a little liberal on some important issues.

Why I Write – Because I Read

I write because I feel the need to share my thoughts. We have one son who lives up the coast, my wife is a published author and I am a computer guy with some free time late in the day and in the evenings. I don’t watch TV, prefer to eat at home rather than eat out, am forever buying and starting books, and sometimes even finish them in a short period of time. I think I have some eccentric or weird viewpoints of life.

Last Days Seem to Be Closer

For example, like many of you, I feel the end days are near, even upon us, perhaps much closer than we think. I know the gospel is supposed to go into all the world before the Lord returns but it seems to me that it is doing that through technology. I believe we are in for some catastrophic events in the near future. I am a follower of the Electric Universe theory of science. Most scientists don’t know what it is and would vehemently disagree with many of the components.

Connection to the Spirit World

I believe in the reality of the spirit-world, seem to have some sort of gift or unusual sort of connection where I can sense the presence of those from both sides, especially the dark side, and can constantly hear their thoughts if I don’t tune them out. I can pick and choose someone nearby and have a conversation with them. I don’t do this on a regular basis. It’s kind of spooky and I haven’t figured out what good it does so I don’t pursue it. Lately, they’ve been bugging me, causing me anxiety with strong feelings of panic and tremendous constant headaches.

Healing – But Not Just the Body

I’ve sought all the typical Western healing modalities with no success. I’ve pursued and am still pursuing alternative healers and have decided it’s time to seek psychological help. I’ve got nothing against it. I know they go to school a long time to become certified in how to help people work through their problems so I’ve visited a few in the hopes of finding one that can understand what I’m going through. I’m meeting another one for the first time this Thursday.

We Need to Heal the Spirit Too

Of course, most psychologists would say I have a psychosis with this idea that I’m bothered by spirits around me. It’s too bad he’s not LDS. There are few in California, so I’ll have to explain why this is such a big deal to me. I’m specifically doing this because my home teacher said in the latest blessing I should pursue every avenue of healing the Holy Ghost brings to my mind. This is one of them. Besides I look forward to telling my story. I’ve shared it in previous posts on this blogs including links to documents detailing specifically what happened.

Publishing a Book – Not an Easy Goal

Did I mention I’m a big fan of Anthony Larson and his prophecy trilogy of books? I am. I’ve written dozens of articles about the stuff I’ve found in his books and on his blog. I think what he has written explains so much about what is going to happen. I hope he gets some credit for having foreseen it once it comes to pass. I’ve been writing a fictional book about a few characters who deal with the events he describes in his books. So far it seems to be fairly well received. We shall see.

Controversial LDS Authors I Like

Some of my favorite authors are Anthony Larson, Doug Mendenhall, Mel Fish, and lately, Denver Snuffer. I have read most of what Denver has written and am in the process of reading the transcriptions of his recent lectures. I have purchased the audio recordings / CDs and have enjoyed listening to them but want to understand better the scriptures he uses in the lectures, thus the transcriptions. Would love to write a review of each lecture, especially his latest on Priesthood.

Boise: 9-10-13, Be of Good Cheer
Idaho Falls: 9-22-13, Lectures on Faith
Logan: 9-29-13, Repentance
Centerville: 10-6-13, Covenants
Orem: 11-2-13, Priesthood

My Thoughts on Denver Snuffer

I understand he has five or six more lectures next year and hope to make it to at least one in either St. George, Las Vegas or perhaps in Phoenix in about a year. In the meantime you can find these lectures discussed ad infinitum on the private Denver Snuffer forums found about the Internet. I’m grateful for these smart people, many who know him, who have some radically different viewpoints than I do about what he teaches. I happen to think he’s a pretty good teacher and am sorry he was excommunicated but that doesn’t bother me. I know truth when I hear it.

We Invest So Much In Temporary Knowledge

I’m finishing up a technology recertification year this week. I just did the final tally. My employer was gracious enough to allow me to attend 94 days (752 hours) of Microsoft, VMWare, CompTIA and other technology classes this year. I now have sixteen exams for which to prepare. Some of the exams are five hours. I haven’t heard it called this, but in my book, it’s like getting a Master’s degree in Network Administration. I’m not looking for a new job but it’s nice to bring my knowledge current in the small world of technology I inhabit. There are so many others. Not bad for an old guy. No high-five’s until I’m done.

My Work in Technology Mixed In

But what will the technology certifications matter in the end? They are already outdated. It’s the hours studying doctrine I need to increase. For that reason I printed out each of the five lectures from Denver Snuffer today. Having already listened to then, I know there are some amazing things in them. 132 pages so far. Denver has stated the content was given to him by the Lord, something he wanted us to know for our times. No matter what you think of Denver Snuffer, that is quite an accomplishment so far and he still has I think five more lectures to do.

Personal Religion Brings Happiness

Carol and I continue to read the scriptures every night before our nightly prayer. Some nights the readings are short. Other nights the discussions are deep and heart-felt. We love this church and gospel both. You may wonder how I can say I like to read what Denver Snuffer has to say about things, but it doesn’t bother me. The Church has blessed my life and I am extremely grateful. It brings me happiness, friendship, fellowship and opportunities for service. God bless our prophets, apostles, bishops and Stake Presidents. None are perfect, but I’m amazed at the hours they put in. I know the General Authorities get a living allowance, but I work and have worked all my adult life in bishoprics. I know these men love the Lord and the Saints.

Summary: Just some personal thoughts

I guess my point is I want to make it clear someone can read the writings of an excommunicated member and still remain faithful and love this church. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. There is nothing in the temple recommend interview that asks if you read books from former members.  The only question that comes close is “Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?”  No matter how you slice it, I can’t see how reading books by former members could put one in that category. What do you think? Will the day come when we’re called to account for what doctrinal stuff we read?

Conversation with an Indian


EnosPraying“Halt, who goes there?”

I stopped cold in my tracks.

The voice spoke again, this time with a bit more gruffness, “Identify yourself, or I will let loose this arrow that is ready to fly into your heart.”

“My…”

“Speak up,” the voice commanded.

“My name is Tim,” I almost shouted.

“What a strange name. What are you doing here, Tim?”

An old man showed himself. He had been hiding behind the tree just ahead to my right. He seemed to be dressed like an Indian, with long white braided hair.

There was something different about the markings of his clothing. I couldn’t quite place it. If I didn’t know better I’d say those markings were Hebrew.

“I’m lost. I’m sorry. Did I frighten you?”

“Ha! You could not frighten a mighty hunter. But you did frighten the deer I was stalking. What was that strange noise you were making?”

“Huh? Oh, you mean the whistling. We do that when we are fright…”

“Yes, I can see you are still trembling. This…whistling…will not increase your courage. You must face your fears squarely, like a man. Like a mighty hunter.”

He had taken the arrow out of the bow, put it in his quiver. He wrapped the bow around his body in a fluid motion. I imagined he had done it thousands of times before.

The Indian walked closer toward me, stopped within an arm’s distance. He crossed his arms, stood proud and erect. He had broad shoulders and was at least a head taller than me.

He looked me over, as if curious to see who dared walk through his forest. He pushed back my hoodie and ran his fingers over my glasses.

“Glasses,” I said. “To help me see better.”

“You are weak,” the Indian said. It was a statement of surprise, but not contempt. “You do not answer my question.”

“Huh?” I said. “Oh, like I said, I’m lost. I’m looking for a way out of this place.” I began to look around as if that would help him see I meant it.

“I have never seen one of your kind in this part of the forest before.” He completed a circle around me, taking in the belt on my blue jeans and my sneakers. “How did you get here?”

“I read your story a few moments ago. Then I knelt down to pray. The next thing I knew I was walking here in the forest looking for a way out.”

“My story…?”

“Yeah…You know. Enos the mighty hunter. Everyone knows your story. You go into the woods to hunt beasts. But instead you get to thinking about what your dad Jacob taught all those years so you…”

“Stop. How do you know my name and that of my father?”

“Oh, come on. Everyone knows your name. You’re Enos, Jacob is your father, mighty preacher of righteousness. Your grandfather was Lehi who crossed the ocean and brought you to this land. I live here too.”

Enos knelt down on one knee and bowed his head. I couldn’t help but follow his example. I watched him closely. He seemed to be praying, but to himself. For a moment I thought I saw tears forming in the corners of his eyes.

I didn’t want to seem rude so I closed my eyes while he finished his prayer. I could tell he was done because I felt him staring at me, but he still knelt.

“So, the promise was fulfilled. But you’re not…”

“A Hebrew or a Nephite like you?”

“You don’t even look like a Lamanite. What are you?”

“I’m an American. I think you guys called us Gentiles.”

“Ah. I see, Tim. You are indeed a Gentile. I can see it now. Nephi told us about you.”

We both rose, He extended his hand as if to shake, I tried to grab it, but he reached past my hand and grabbed my wrist. He held my arm for a long time and looked deep into my eyes.

I felt something pass between us, some sort of energy. It was a positive feeling. There was something special in the arm grasp. It was as if he was greeting a brother. He broke the grip.

“You have great courage to come here, after all, my Gentile friend.”

“Why’s that?”

“This is the spirit world. There must be some doorway nearby or you have some gift. I have been hunting in this forest for many generations. You are the first Gentile I have seen.”

“I’m in the spirit world? Wow. Does that mean I’m dead?”

Enos looked at me closely, squinting. Perhaps his eyes were as poor as his ears.

“No, you are not dead. But I can see you nonetheless. You must be a man of great faith or have some spiritual gift otherwise I could not see you.”

I smiled.

“Do you know what this means?” Enos said.

“Uh, I’m dreaming in my sleep?”

Enos looked at me with sternness. I felt like he wanted to reprimand me.

“No. It means the end of time is approaching. God has shown me your day. He told me the Gentiles would inhabit this land.”

“He told me someday I would meet a Gentile. If you are a Gentile then tell me a little about your world. I want to learn.”

He sat down crossed-legged in front of me. I followed suit.

“Uh, where do I start?”

“Tell me of the record where you learned my name.”

“We call it the Book of Mormon.”

“I do not know this Mormon, but tell me more.”

“Well, Mormon lived after you…a long time after you. He took all the sacred records of Nephi and the other prophets into one place then made a long book from all the little books.”

Enos look at me strangely. “You have seen this book. Someone read it to you?”

“No, we have thousands, even millions of copies of this book printed on paper.”

“I do not know paper. My father told me the Egyptians used something they called papyrus to record their records. He said Nephi had seen them. But I have only these metal plates on which I write the history of my people.”

“That’s right,” I said. “The Gold plates. That’s what Mormon used to put together the history of your people. Then his son hid it in the hill Cumorah until Joseph Smith got them.”

“Curious. I am glad to know our history is so well known. God is truly faithful. He promised me our people would not be forgotten.” Enos looked sad for a moment.

“Tell me. What happened to our people – the Nephites?”

“All destroyed in one huge battle. Even Mormon was hunted down and killed. You guys had a terrible hatred for each other.”

Enos bristled. “They will not listen to reason. They are a stubborn people. I myself had to kill many of my own brethren because they tried to destroy our village. We have moved much.”

“Well, we have your record. It is all over the world. It makes it easier because we have machines that automatically copy them over and over onto the paper or papyrus as you call it.”

“And the Messiah? He came and visited my people as was prophesied?”

“Yes, that’s one of the best parts of the book. He taught his gospel, commanded us to have faith in him, to repent and baptize one another. Having faith is the hard part for me.”

“Yes, I can see it affects your confidence. You must practice like Enos.” He stood. “I prayed all my life to have this gift. You must do the same. It is a most important part of life.”

“Are you leaving?” I said.

“I must go and tell the others that a Gentile has been seen in the forest. It is one of the signs we have been waiting for. I am glad you asked God to help you have faith. It must have opened the door so you could come into this far part of the spirit world. Nobody comes here.”

“Why is that,” I asked.

“This is where the dark spirits stay. They do not like the light. It is also the part closest to your world. You must pray harder to move past the dark area. It is not good to stay here long.”

Once again he extended his hand. This time I grasped his wrist as we had done before.

“Goodbye Tim. I am glad to have met you. You have much to learn but I can see you have found how to access the spirit world. You must be careful from now on.”

“Thank you, Enos. I hope to see you again.”

“That all depends on you and your faith. Pray for the gift. Pray all day long if you have to. God will speak to you. He has spoken to me many times. I will await you in the light.”

And with that he disappeared. Slipped behind the same tree I suppose but I didn’t see him go. I thought for a moment, felt sleep come over me, closed my eyes and awoke in my own bed.

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