Your Bill Is Coming Due.


PaymentDueThroughout this post, the JST ( http://centerplace.org/hs/iv/ ) is made use of instead of the KJV.

If you agree that Jesus spoke the words attributed to him in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible, and if you agree that by entering into the waters of baptism you have entered into a covenant to be obedient to him until the end of your life, or if you have partaken of the sacrament, then you have witnessed unto God, the Father, that you are willing to keep the commandments of the Lord.

Moroni 4:3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

JST John 14

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

If you love Jesus, keep his commandments.  You love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and he will bring the Father to you.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

The visit spoken of is literal, and in this world.

D&C 132

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to [my] glory.

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

Remember, the idea that one receives Jesus in one’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.  To receive Jesus therefore means to take him into your home.  If you do not receive him in the world, then you do not know him, and you do not receive exaltation.  If you receive him in the world, then you know him, and will receive exaltation.

Putting it all together, you love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and you will receive him into your home.  If you receive him into your home, he will bring the Father to you, and you will receive your exaltation.

Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

If you do not keep his commandments, you have no promise of any of these things.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:21 [W]hen we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

So what are the commandments of the Lord?  For brevity, here is the shortest version.

JST Luke 6

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

These teachings are repeated three times throughout scripture.  Three times.  Thrice.

 3 Nephi 12:20 Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Are you keeping these sayings of Jesus?  Are you performing them daily?  Are you giving to every man that asketh?  Are you lending to all, not hoping to receive again?  Are you returning reviling for reviling, or are you patiently enduring abuse?

These are, after all, the things you witnessed unto God that you are willing to do.

And, remember further, great promises are offered to those who both do and teach.

JST Matthew 5:21 Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so to do, he shall in no wise be saved in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever breaks the least of these commandments, and teaches men to do likewise, are promised they shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, while those who both do them and teach them are promised they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

JST Luke 14

25 And when he had finished these sayings, he departed thence, and there went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

He meant it.  And do not think to claim that by your loyalty to the prophets and apostles of the Church, or any others, that you can bypass the requirements Jesus has set.

35 Then certain of them came to him saying, Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?

36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

37 But if the salt had lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

38 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; men cast it out. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. These things he said, signifying that which was written, verily must all be fulfilled.

So likewise if you keep not his sayings, even while claiming loyalty to prophets, you are as salt that has lost its savor, a covenant people claiming Jesus for king yet not obeying the king’s laws, and therefore are covenant-breakers, good for nothing but to be cast out.

Those who teach you that you owe less to the Lord than you have covenanted to do are the unjust steward, who will be sharing lodging with you in everlasting habitations if you agree with them (see JST Luke 16).  Time is short, and your bill is coming due.

Therefore, do not procrastinate the day of your fulfillment of your own words, covenants, witnesses, or agreements, but begin today to keep the commandments of the Lord that he delivered by his own voice to his people, that you may be accounted faithful in all things.

 Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain [bring into your home] strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.

And who knows but that the angel in disguise might be the Lord himself, seeing if you are one of his disciples.

Vision of the Abandoned Temple


RuinedTempleI had not expected to write publically again. I thought my shared ministry was over. In my mind I had sealed my writings and closed the books. I even told the Lord so and felt His acceptance of my offering. Yet for the last three days, including this morning – it is now 5am as I start this – the Lord has been clear He wants this shared. I don’t know why. Perhaps it will be helpful to someone else. We shall see.

It took me ten minutes to relate it to Carol last night. I will try to condense it to a less time-consuming post. It has to do with dreams, specifically flying dreams. I’m not an expert on the subject, and my interpretation of these dreams is from years of pondering and praying. I have experienced flying dreams all my life. They have been the most common type of dream I have experienced for years and years.

Again, I had not expected to prepare this for public consumption, but for my journal. However, when it stays on my minds for three days in a row, I know there is something in it meant for someone other than myself. First a little background on how I interpret flying dreams. They come in four flavors or levels. Level one is the beginning’s level – baby steps. In each step, the flying action is accomplished through faith and your own will.

A little about flying dreams

In the first level of flying, you find you are able to leap up, take a few steps of simple will power to get yourself to some other place not far away, usually that can be seen. “Poof,” you’re there. Nine times out of ten you crash into things as you travel on your way, including bumping into people, chairs, walls and other obstacles. This is the level of “baby steps.” You may or may not turn horizontal in your short journey at this level.

In the second level, you have discovered you can exercise some level of control around obstacles and are able to do the “hop, skip and jump” type of flying that becomes progressively longer over time and with practice. In other words, you can go from one end of town to another with a willful amount of faith, without impaling yourself on the fireplug as you whiz by. It is a quick, but still a bit shaky mode of travel.

In the third level, you soar. It is glorious. You go high. You go far. You reach great distances in an instant. In fact, you can find yourself lost, because you are visiting areas you have never seen on the ground. You can look in airplane windows, skim the tops of clouds and mountains and – this is the especially neat part in my opinion – you can pause in mid-air, look down at a lighted city and discern things going on there.

Watch out for Imposed Limits

One big drawback of level three is the wires. There is something about high-tension electric wires that is simply catastrophic to this form of spirit travel (all taking place in your dreams). They represent severe limits and must be avoided at all costs. If you run through one you are severed in half and find yourself tumbling to earth in an uncontrolled, frightening descent with a painful landing require time to heal.

In the fourth level of flying, one could say you have mastered the skill and have it under control. You are capable of great bursts of speed and energy, but rarely use it because it is not needed here on earth. For the most part, it is for taking advantage of situations where a quick assessment of the territory would be helpful. With this background I can now give you an example, which is what I believe I’m asked to share.

I have had dozens of flying dreams over the years. They almost always come either after learning of some major change about to happen in my life or as a prelude warning or announcement of upcoming change. Up until two nights ago, all my flying dreams were of level three – look out for the wires. In my real life, I had either just received or was about to receive a promotion or complete some major intense project.

A Visit to the Dream-world

Two nights ago I experienced my first level four flying dream. I was with a group of about eighty other “servants” I will call them. The number is significant. There were four countries in my mission. We had about eighty missionaries in each country. On this day we were all together, something that in reality would never happen, but of course, in symbolic dreams, anything that is necessary can happen to you.

We were travelling through a “burned-out” district, and I mean physically burned out. Devastation and destruction surrounded us. The infrastructure was destroyed – no electric or phone communications, no roads – all broken up and buildings destroyed, burning or burned. There were also no people. They had all left – in a hurry – several days earlier. It was your typical post-apocalyptic scene but without zombies.

Large buildings had toppled, small buildings had burned. The only edifices still standing – and this was a point of great curiosity to our group – were temples. They were built in a short, squatty style, by which they were able to survive the devastation. These were sacred buildings of this culture – the timeframe could not be determined – modern, past 200 years, or whenever. Nor could we determine the location.

Dreams Can Be Symbolic

Those things were not important. Remember, dreams are symbolic. The key to interpreting dreams is to look for the symbolism, or rather to pray to have the symbolic elements revealed to you right away. In this case, I did so and you will understand why when we reach the end of the dream. In this particular vision, we found ourselves marching up a curved, ascending entryway to the doorway of a temple.

We were naturally drawn to temples because we were missionaries. We had been sent to this place and time on a particular mission, even though it was not revealed to me in the dream, I have an idea what that mission was, and perhaps may still be. We entered the temple. It was not lit. It was night. The light from fires burning outside the building through curtain-less windows allowed us to barely see our way around.

We immediately began to explore. Most stayed in a group, but we seemed to be in a hurry to want to know what had happened to the people who we hoped we would find in the temple. It was at this time I was either asked, volunteered or just knew my flying skills would come in handy and so I rose and began to rapidly move through the hallways. All the doors were open. Nothing was blocked, including stairs.

We Had Arrived Too Late

In an instant, or so it seemed, I was able to determine the building was devoid of inhabitants. I quickly returned to my group, hovering just about them and beckoned them to follow me. I led them because I had the flying gift and could get them to where we wanted to go in short order. I took them directly to the altar of the temple. Now I need to mention something about the feelings we shared in our group.

We were warriors as well as missionaries. We were like the first wave in some immensely important battle. We were chosen or had volunteered for this mission specifically because of our skills in a certain area, which I feel constrained to not mention at this time. However, imagine a group of missionaries, men and women, who, after many, many long years – perhaps fifty or more – had experienced no success.

We were sad. We were tired. Yet we were true to our mission and were about our duty. We were seeking a people who had a rare kind of understanding – a kind of empathy not found in the rest of the society. We had searched for these people for years, always just missing them as they moved ahead of us to stay away from the rest of the world that followed after them, trying to steal whatever they possessed.

We Can Be Visited In Our Dreams

As we passed on the way to the altar of the temple, we each noted this was not a brand new temple. It had been used for many years. The carpets were worn. The bannisters were in need of a coat of varnish. It was especially clear around the altars by the indentations of knees on the cushions. This was a building that had been used for many years and served some great purpose but now had been just abandoned.

We had failed. Our entire life’s mission was to find these people. We had searched for a lifetime in vain. We reached the main altar and, as if on a signal, but without a word, lowered our weapons, dropped to our knees, still clothed in our protective armor, surrounded the altar and bowed our heads in sadness. Nobody said a word, the Eldest of the warrior missionaries on one side and the youngest on the other.

This is the conclusion and then perhaps one of two interpretations of symbolism. As we knelt and from the side where the eldest of the warriors knelt, a soft presence began to be felt. Descending from the heavens were angels – no wings – golden in color. They gently came down and touched each warrior. As they did so the feelings that permeated the room transcended any joy they had ever felt in all their days.

Dreams Serve a Real Purpose

At this moment I awoke and found myself sobbing. That feeling was in my heart. Although but a dream, I knew I also had been touched by one of the golden angels. I had never felt such feelings before. They stayed with me for at least fifteen minutes as I cried and sobbed out of sheer exhaustion and joy. I knew my efforts had been appreciated, my work had been finished and I could now go home if I so desired.

As I shared at the beginning, this was originally intended to be a private journal entry. I have no idea how it will be received or why it needed to be shared. You decide who the warriors represented. You decide why the number was so small. Perhaps you can determine what their mission was and why they had been sent to find these people. What were they to do when they found them? What gifts did they have?

Incidentally, in the third level of flying, the wires represented bounds beyond which one should not go. They were there to protect the travelers / flyers from rising too high too fast and being burned by unseen or unknown forces. In my life these level three dreams have ALWAYS come just after I recognized for myself that I had achieved or mastered some new skill. The wires were a warning to practice humility.

Dreams Can Be Considered Visions

I’ll offer nothing more. I think that’s all I should share. I could tell you who the warriors are or rather who they represent, but those who are members of that group probably already got that right away. For some people this is nonsense and gobbledygook. That’s okay. I did not write this for them. I think the Lord wants those in the group of eighty to rethink the value of what they have been doing and have done.

By the way, my prayer that night before I retied to sleep with filled with pleadings to the Lord for help and direction in my career and my life. I am going through some big changes and challenges right now. Some are relationship-based, some have to do with feelings of security, some deal with anticipated future events, real and based on scripture. I believe this dream was an answer to that tearful prayer.

I pray you’ll forgive me for not being very responsive on my blog. In my mind, it is over. I left it up because I offered it to the Lord in a sacred prayer a couple of years ago. In a clear and unmistakable answer to that prayer – at least to me – he accepted the blog, used it for a season, and then released me from continuing. The cost of this blog has been high and painful in many profound and personal ways.

God bless. I love you all.

These Signs Shall Follow those that Have Faith


I was talking to someone and they were troubled over someone who was very sick….after sometime I messaged them more or less what I am copying and pasting here. This person thought it was good and inspiring so I will leave here for all the readers of this blog. Do with it what you will.

I will explain what I know on miracles and I will try and be brief.

Miracles come about via faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is as you have heard I am sure is a hope in things unseen. That is a bit vague…..but another way of putting this is one must be literally willing to make themselves a blind and stupid fool for the sake of their faith in Christ trusting that God will not abandon them and they actually won’t be made a blind and stupid fool….essentially all vanity and pride and self-consciousness and doubts and fear must quite literally be ripped apart. You must have none of it. Faith can to a point exist with those things, but the less of those things you have the more faith you can have. Think of it as a scale that must be balanced to 100. X + Y = 100. X is faith, Y is that other stuff. The formula you are seeking is essentially X (100) + Y (0) = 100. But this can be any combination of numbers….but you are trying to get it to X (100) + Y (0) = 100

believe2-373x259

 

To this end….there are two types of blessings really. There is the kind the church is quite familiar with which I like to call a blessing with training wheels. And there is the kind that can move mountains; this is a kind without training wheels.

 

The kind with training wheels….you give a blessing and you just sort of say whatever you feel prompted to say, and in some cases some folks don’t feel prompted so they just say whatever and hope for the best. One might say I bless you to be well and to recover and to feel better…this is very vague and perhaps the person will feel better. Many will then say see blessings work this person recovered but never mind the fact it took a long time. Sometimes these blessings might even say I bless the doctor to know what to look for. though to be sure sometimes these blessings are quite powerful and quite effective and will actually work quite well….but the point is it is a random crapshoot like playing at Vegas….one never knows what will happen. I once read this quote:

 

“Years ago as a missionary…I believe it was Paul H. Dunn came through our mission….and we chatted about doctrine. He said “You want to know why Elders don’t heal more people…because their chicken!! They are afraid to pronounce healing to a sick person and to have that person not immediately recover”. He also said that “Too many Elders don’t even attempt to know what the will of the Lord is in a blessing….they just start talking…they don’t pause to consider what the Lord’s will is.” Whether you consider that a valid source or not…it is still intriguing….and it has stuck in my brain. ”

2-michael-jordan-ive-failed-over-and-over

The Will of the Lord is plainly stated in several places concerning healing.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 63:9

9 But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.

 

Mark 16:20

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

65 And these signs shall follow them that believe—

 

66 In my name they shall do many wonderful works;

 

67 In my name they shall cast out devils;

 

68 In my name they shall heal the sick;

 

69 In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

 

70 And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;

 

71 And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;

 

72 And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.

 

Mormon 9:24

24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

 

98 And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison;

 

100 And what if I will that he should raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 24:13

13 Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons;

General Conf2015oct-Priesthood

 

As you can plainly see The WIll of The Lord is THAT WE HEAL THE SICK MIRACULOUSLY!!!! None of these blessings and 2 years later you are better if at all nonsense. Make a lame man jump from his chair, restore a missing limb, open the eyes of the blind, and even raise the dead. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TOLD TO DO!!!! I could quote even more scriptures on the topic…it is literally all over the place in scripture

 

So this blessing without training wheels. Interestingly enough I had just written this follow story down somewhere yesterday.

 

 

A couple of years ago….my old man, asked me to give him a blessing the next day. Giving me a night to think about it. Now my old man was going to see the doctor as he was having heart problems as he had already had had two heart attacks and a bypass surgery and I think a stint put into his heart….so heart problems.

 

Now I had already discovered this unholy thing known as circumcision and had already begun to study this topic of miracles in some detail…..and upon pondering and praying…..God made this clear to me. I was to direct this blessing myself. I was to place my hand on his heart which I would rub with consecrated oil and to say it clearly “In the name of Jesus Christ I command your heart to be healed from this day forth”

 

You’ll notice here….there was no relying on The Spirit to direct the blessing. This is a blessing without training wheels. yes God informed of how to do this….but I think only as a teaching exercise, with the point being “you can go into blessings and direct them yourself and provided you have faith and priesthood and are a righteous man aka you don’t violate the verses that say “amen to the priesthood if you do these certain things” then I God will honor it”….I asked about this Amen to the priesthood…..God in prayer took me through that chapter line by line and it was explained I don’t do anything that breaks the priesthood….though a sinner yes, though you’d fail a temple interview yes, but you don’t abuse priesthood, you don’t use it unjustly, you don’t exercise authority and abuse others with it, so it’s okay….use it. Be not afraid. Have faith.

 

I think what I ended up actually saying was “In the name of Jesus Christ I command your heart to be healed and from this day forth it shall trouble you know more if you have faith”

 

Before I gave the blessing I explained to my Dad what I would do be doing. And at the moment I felt prompted to open with The Lord’s Prayer. Then gave him the blessing and then closed by all of us standing in a circle and saying a prayer of thanks to God.

 

The point here is….this blessing was direct and to the point and I do not discount The Spirit….but I was the one left in charge of directing things. How can we become Joint Heirs with Christ, Gods even, if we cannot direct and master what little we are in charge of here? Be not commanded in all things. Reason with God. We are given a brain that can Reason with God Himself. The parable of the talents….multiple your talents and return and report to God.

 

I learned many things from that….but one thing was I was too specific which reminds me of the young man who prayed endlessly to serve his mission in Charleston, but not be specific enough he got sent to West Virginia rather than South Carolina like he wanted….so only his heart was better but not the veins around it. His heart however was extremely well….doctors were quite amazed a heart that had had two heart attacks, a bypass surgery, and a stint was so well off.

 

I have taught you what I know….if this person you are worried over has faith, and asks for a blessing….then be not afraid to speak to this disease boldly without any fear “In the name of the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ I rebuke your cancer and command it to flee from you and for you to recover in this very instance” It may also be necessary to cast out a demon or many demons as sickness and demons go hand and hand.

 

Give it a shot….see what happens yeah?

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EDIT:

After posting this I just realized I didnt touch on the topic of demons all that much. I’m not going to write a big thing here just a brief word of caution. Demons can very often if not 100% of the time be related to illness of all kinds. As a result unless you specifically address them the illness isn’t likely to go away….however be advised not all demons are created equal. Douglas Mendenhall two books go into some detail on demons but I will just leave this here:

 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

I leave that there to state….if the illness is related to a demon and the demon happens to be noticeably more powerful than your average demon odds are you will have to do some spiritual preparation before hand of some kind and won’t be able to just waltz in there and cast them out along with the illness at least not until they claim to know you like Paul I’d imagine. But the point being….in attempting to heal which I believe is always God’s will you may encounter Satan and his demons and as such you will need to know how to handle them. Not all demons are created equal.  However some demons may very well easily depart without much of a fight. These demons if nothing else will test your resolve.

This warning will be especially true for beginners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning from our Restorationist Cousins


I had the pleasure of listening to Prophet-President Stephen M. Veazy from the Community of Christ church, the new name for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as of 2001 on one of the podcasts done by Mormon Stories.

He likes to be called Steve.

It was refreshing and enlightening to listen to one who calls himself a prophet-president of a nominally Mormon sect (although they eschew that name) discuss his uncertainty over faith issues, being honest about troubling early Mormon history, and his comfort with describing the process by which he receives revelation for his church. If I can have one takeaway from the Community of Christ (CoC) it’s how comfortable they are with canonizing new revelation every few years or so and adding to their Doctrine & Covenants and how good they are with transparency. Their section 164 was canonized in 2010 in a process similar to how the early saints accepted revelation from Joseph Smith. I rather like that! I find the later sections to be a bit vapid, but nothing that is less that what we see gracing the pages of the Ensign. Their courage and declaring it revelation is pretty brave, and the commitment to modern revelation should be applauded. So too, is their fellow-shipping of the marginalized and their willingness to forgive their members and their leaders for sinning and mistakes–just like Joseph. I believe that the ordination of women was in the Spirit of Joseph’s involvement of women in Nauvoo, even if they may take it further than it should at this point (heck, I don’t know).

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe all branches of the restoration that are organized and institutionalized are wrong at some things. The Community of Christ has, in my opinion, overemphasized ecumenical attachment to the wider Protestant community and with mainstream theology and academia. They emphasize the Bible over the Book of Mormon. They aren’t attached to the reality of the Restoration as far as Joseph’s reach into heaven, which I believe is THE defining characteristic that makes the Restoration worth preserving . . . coming into the presence of the Lord in a real and material sense. They do however, have a better grasp of the Christian teachings as outlines in the Book of Mormon. They care less about the genesis of the work, and more about its teachings and effects at bringing peace and community to a Christian brotherhood, which they interpret as Zion. In many ways, their efforts at building Zion are more heartfelt and effective than in the LDS Church, even if they have a greater Gentile attachment to Protestantism and liberal theology. I say good on them for their best efforts! I believe that those of us who would be classified as Restoration preservationists, Mormon refugee remnant types, those that have left the keyholding suffocation of the traditional LDS institutional church, and who have been re-baptized, would have place and fellowship in CoC congregations in a more accepting manner than in some of our LDS wards. Perhaps we can accept them as well and be tolerant of some of their unbelief as we work towards understanding and implementing the Doctrine of Christ and principles of Zion.

Which got me thinking. What else can we learn from other Mormon sects that would benefit a Mormon seeker of truth? I believe that many of them have some vital gems that would allow us to a) learn the good they have to offer as well as b) help them to come to their own better understanding of Mormonism – perhaps enough to recommit themselves to preserving the Restoration and understanding and applying its vital truths.

One may benefit greatly at this point from understanding the theological and historical tree of Mormonism. I will discuss some of them here.

While the first great schism happened as the RLDS/CoC Church “reorganized” itself in the Plains under the tutelage of Joseph Smith III in the 1860’s and 1870’s on Joseph Smith’s legacy of monogamy the next great schism would happen over 50 years later in Utah over the same idea but in reverse. Lorin C. Woolsey began the Council of Friends in the 1920’s which came out of the confusion of the post-Manifesto LDS world and the final solution of excommunicating and shunning any polygamist. The Council of Friends was the impetus for the many polygamist fundamentalists groups that exist today, and they are many. Some of them I believe have nothing worth preserving due to how they have conducted themselves in a manner inconsistent with the Savior. I won’t mention them. But some of the groups have to one extent or another, managed to adhere to some of the Christian principles that came to light during the Restoration. The largest of them being the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). If you watch the TV show, the Sister Wives, you will see an example of a plural family from the AUB “Work.” Now I believe that all polygamist sects are trying to return to a fundamentalism that was already corrupted, that had already strayed from the foundations Joseph Smith taught before 1844. Just as the LDS Church lost so much through the death of Joseph and Hyrum and through Brigham Young’s Machiavellian maneuvers, what came after with John Taylor had become too corrupted to be an appropriate return point. Too many of those groups have gone down dark paths, and we have decades of evidence that it has not brought Zion. But we can point out some things that we can learn from them to help us in our own journeys:

  • They don’t murmur or disparage the other churches including the LDS Church.
  • The unchanging nature of God’s word. New prophets can supersede past ones, they need to agree.
  • They recognize that Mormonism is “out of order” and they are waiting for the “one Mighty and Strong” to restore what was lost. They do not exempt themselves for having some level of apostasy.
  • The Kingdom of God or the Gospel being separate from the Church
  • Rebaptism as a re-commitment
  • Efforts at consecration and Zion living
  • The Law of Adoption (Sealing to a Saved man)

I’ve been amazed by how many of these people are willing to allow for a servant of the Lord outside of their own narrative to come and teach them truth. Many of them have accepted Denver Snuffer as a messenger from the Lord. For that, I pray they will be blessed.

Leaving Utah-based polygamy sects, I want to spend the next part exploring the Saints that were left behind, on the Prairie, and back east. Many of them place a greater emphasis on the doctrines in the Book of Mormon, which I believe is a key to pierce the heavens.

I’ve already discussed the Community of Christ, but many people are unaware of the foundational Restorationist traditions that were abandoned during the CoC’s ecumenical liberalization after the 1960’s. Many of those dissaffected by the change (when they were self-described as RLDS) have created their own break-offs and sects that adhere more closely to the foundation of Mormonism. They often practice a more “Mormon” religion. They generally believe in Joseph and Emma’s story of monogamy, as was the accepted narrative in the RLDS Church from the 1860’s to the 1970’s. They accept the Book of Mormon as historical, miraculous, and divinely inspired as the “most correct book.” Other churches predate the RLDS movement–they come out of earlier traditions. They have value as well.

The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke away from the RLDS/CoC Church in 1999 as a result of the liberalization of many of their doctrines, mainly giving women the Priesthood and leaving the patrilineal succession of the High Priesthood (the Prophet not being a Smith). They recognize an apostasy and that no one on Earth has the authority to lead the Church, so they do as they can, follow the Doctrine of Christ until such a thing is made manifest. They believe that modern revelation must be consistent with past revelation. It does not trump the old stuff as one sees in the LDS and CoC churches. The remain committed to a geophysical Zion and consider themselves heirs to the original Church of Christ of 1830

Other Independent Restorationist break-offs number in the tens of thousands through the Midwest, a legacy begun in the 1980’s. Some of them are still members on the rolls of the CoC. They hold many of the same views as the more established Remnant RLDS break-off group, but are more independent and factiononalized along geographic and theological differences. Due to the open and tolerant nature of the CoC Church, the cross-pollination of this movement with the CoC Church cannot be overemphasized. Some hold the primacy of the Book of Commandments over the Doctrine & Covenants. Others believe in a more appropriate Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost where the laying on of hands is merely a prayer for the reception of the Holy Ghost by the member. They all eschew modern innovation to ordinances.

Other branches come independent of the RLDS church, some earlier.

  • Temple Lot (Hendrickites) – Believe in the Book of Mormon, Bible, and Book of Commandments. They have more human interpretation of Joseph Smith and follow many of the tenants laid out by David Whitmer. They have a looser and more democratic understanding of Priesthood. Their claim to fame is to have a “temple” on the supposed spot of the 1831 dedicated land in Independence Missouri for a temple.
  • Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites) – They are a Pennsylvania sect that follow the narrative that Sydney Rigdon was the rightful heir of the Church. Their current beliefs include dialing back their scriptures to the Bible and Book of Mormon. They practice the Washing of Feet as performed in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland. They focus many of their efforts on preaching the gospel to the Native Americans on both continents. They try to teach the gospel as is outlined in the Book of Mormon in its purity.

Only the largest corporation, The LDS Church, claims an unbroken chain of authority, with an impressive leadership genealogy, policies, properties, and works . . . yet as it continues to march forth, their take on the Restoration seems ever more distant as they focus more on handbooks and Ensigns. All of these other major groups to one extent or another recognize a loss. They see that the foundations built by Joseph Smith have been squandered, misused, misdirected, or forgotten to one extent or another.

joseph_preaching_groveYet it’s in recognizing the loss than hope comes, hope that we can reclaim the Restoration once again among those that have broken off. It won’t be easy. Many of their leaders would have to give up their claims to leadership, a high goal indeed, for many do not like to give up power, meager as it is in these small institutions. They are big fish in a small pond. Many will resist calls for re-baptism, or calls to form fellowships apart from the Gentile accouterments of the 501c3 status with paid or venerated clergy. But their people may feel the call of the Spirit, that after four generations, the Lord is moving once again as he prepares for the end to call out and create the Church of the Lamb of God.

I have no doubt that some of these groups were and are led by a portion of Lord’s Spirit, just as a portion still resides among Latter-day Saints. The explosion of Mormon break-offs after Joseph’s death speaks to me as many attempted to reproduce or claim the original spark. No one could have predicted in 1845 or 1846 that Brigham’s version would be the largest and most thriving system. Most of the rest of them recoiled in horror at the abominations practiced in Utah by Brigham Young (or the similar frauds of James Strang in Wisconsin). Many of them received revelations and visions, such as William Bickerton, or Alpheus Cutler, David Whitmer, or Joseph Smith III. Some of them tried to revive the Restoration, but with little to limited success.  Today we view these men as apostates, but I wonder if it would serve us better to see them as visionaries in understanding some of what needed to be accomplished, whether it was accomplished or not. We place their “fruits” against the emigrations west, 14 million membership, the hundred or so temples of the Latter-day Saint movement, it’s 60,000 missionaries, and billions in annual profits . . . against a building or two with a dedicated but dwindling group of people that wish to hold up such principles as consecration, a more democratic and charismatic Priesthood, and a reverence to the gospel as outlined in the Book of Mormon and it’s founder. But instead of material and programmatic fruits, impressive as they are, perhaps we should examine the state of the heart of the believers and the founders of these small groups, and see what they produced in the limited time they had? Did some ever rise up and claim the Heavenly Gift?

Perhaps we should view some of them as brave and unsung heroes.

Perhaps their fruits will be those who the Lord invites during the Parable of the Supper to come and feast with Him, because those that were bidden . . . did not come.

Perhaps in remembering the Restoration, we should find a way to live and invite our Restoration cousins to join hands with us, to come to a unity of the faith, to be the beginning of something greater that the Lord has promised since the beginning.

Suffer the Little Children . . .


November 2015 may go down in history as the great Mormon exodus. It’s quite the zeitgeist and we can still feel it.

Last weekend’s decision about the children of homosexuals was something of a watershed in LDS culture. Usually when controversial decisions are made by the Brethren, mainstream, active Latter-day Saints come to rescue of the hierarchy, not only in spirit, but in wisdom. This wasn’t the case this last weekend. There were a plethora of stances that were all at odds with each other . . . even among the faithful. I could narrow them down into five categories:

  1. Outrage! Bigotry! Homophobia! – We understand that faction well, it’s been around awhile
  2. I’m saddened and hurt. Call me if you’re suicidal – For may progressive Mormons, this just hurts. They are hoping and praying that the Church will liberalize its stance on homosexuals.
  3. I’m shocked and upset, but I trust in the Brethren – After hearing from Elder Christofferson, I eased into the decision. Now I see the wisdom in it. If all else fails, just trust in the Brethren.
  4. Applause and inspiration! – What a wonderful decision! It’s for the best for the kids. Furthermore, it tells those homosexual activists where we stand! We Thank, Thee, O God, for a Prophet!
  5. Hmmm, this just doesn’t sit well with me – It doesn’t seem to follow the scriptures. I’m no supporter of gay rights, but there’s just something fundamentally wrong with it. It bothers me that it’s a secret policy. It bothers me that it’s punishing kids only two groups . . . that’s right . . . I’m learning that polygamist kids can’t get baptized either! I’m wanting to follow the prophet, but the Spirit seems to be telling me otherwise.

It’s this last group I wish to speak about.

As Rational Faiths blog puts it:

At my last count, I have 11 friends resigning over this issue.  Three of them have already written their letters. I think the mass exodus is a given. I keep hearing that these people just don’t have enough faith in their leaders. I suppose that is true.  But the theme among my friends that are resigning is this: They are putting their faith in the Savior, and not the arm of the flesh. The are following the Spirit. And it is leading them right out the door.

I have personally witnessed a heated argument on my ward’s own Facebook secret page, where most of the members were shocked and outraged at the decision, with one single soul signing up to defend the policy. LDS coworkers, colleagues, former church leaders, etc. are seen liking and sometimes commenting in support of either 2, 3, or 5 on comments that are not seen as supportive of the Brethren on social media.

I reflect on the comments that were made by Charles Dickens as he saw early Mormons departing Liverpool for America to join their new faith. There were 800 emigrants on the ship leaving Liverpool. Expecting them to be a rabble lot, he instead noted that they were “the pick and flower” of England. Likewise, those seen departing from the party line today are increasingly the “pick and flower” of the Church.

Looks like the Google apostasy is over. We’re now on the cusp of the Facebook apostasy. And it looks to be huge.

Look, the heat of the issue will blow over. The emendations by the Church, which softened the handbook language will help. But it also shows, ironically, that public pressure can cause reversals. But then we are faced with the numbing reality of yet another policy that doesn’t seem to be the will of the Lord, or at least people can’t connect the dots back to the Lord. For others it’s come down to the simple, if historically and scripturally flawed logic that the Lord won’t allow the Church to be led astray. This logic, in many ways, is more damning than ever. It’s a catchall. Once grasped and digested, it allows for any error to be made, any flaw to be perpetrated. It takes monumental groundbreaking decisions and places them on par with the bureaucratic and mundane. It covers for sins. It encourages conspiracy. The scriptures that forewarn of this kind of thought pattern are legion, particularly in the Book of Mormon, yet they awfully neglected. I would like to summarize some of the arguments used to uphold the policy and use scripture to discuss the truth of such statements.

The handbook is scripture. It is given to inspired leaders to govern and lead the Church. It helps to declare, teach, and instruct Church leaders on how to properly administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

President Monson has even testified that this is so

Let’s start with Nephi:

There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; and there is nothing which is sealed upon the earth save it shall be loosed (2 Nephi 30:17)”

Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark. (2 Nephi 28:9 quoting Isaiah 29):

12241209_10207534525857597_4017755373476722611_nThe Lord does not work in secrets, He does not have secret doctrines, secret policies, or secret oaths. Any such evidence is really evidence that Satan and secret combinations have crept into the church. We can trace much of this back to Nauvoo, unfortunately. But what about “casting pearls before swine?” one may say. I believe the Brethren have great spiritual experiences that justify their callings, but that those experiences are too sacred to relate. To this I respond, there are always doctrinal mysteries that will be revealed to us personally. Indeed the truth of all things must be revealed to us anecdotally through our own connection with heaven. Those things should not and in may ways, cannot be shared. A prophet, on the other hand, is intended to be an explicit messenger of the Lord. He must declare that message to be considered a prophet. The scriptures are rife with fine examples, whether they speak the actual words of Christ, of if they declare the message the Lord has sent them to give. No such declarations has been given with these recent policies. Thus, we can be assured that they can be subject to error. We are not bound by them.

Furthermore, one may always ask, does a policy or doctrine taught bring someone to Christ, or does it keep them from Christ? Is the policy or doctrine meant to protect the Church from creeping sympathy to “apostate” ideas? It may seem like a good idea to make decision in light of strategy of protection and insulation from error, but is it? Indeed the scriptures do give us a case for when we can deny ordinances to someone.

“And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily*, when ye shall minister it; (*I define unworthily different than the Church. Unworthy identifies those that do not have a willingness to believe in Jesus and His mission and to accept Him. To use it in any other ways is in error, for ALL have fallen short, ALL have sinned, and thus, ALL are unworthy).

For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid* him. (Simply put, don’t administer to unbelievers)

Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.

Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. (3 Nephi 18: 28-32)”

Question: Do children of polygamists or homosexual parents fit this category?

For added emphasis, the Savior warns those that keep not these saying in the next verse.

 “Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth”

These versus relate to the sacrament as well. What does the Book of Mormon say to whom we should administer baptism?

“And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. (2 Nephi 9:23)

“And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.” (2 Nephi 11-12)

Skip to 17: 17 “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”

“And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.” (2 Nephi 31:11 )

“And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (3 Nephi 11:33)

“And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.” (3 Nephi 11:33)

“Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.” (3 Nephi 23)

“And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.” (3 Nephi 23:5)

“And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.” (3 Nephi 27: 16)

“Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and bebaptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. (3 Nephi 27:20)

“Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.” (Mormon 7:8)

“See that ye are not baptized unworthily*; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.” (Mormon 9:29) (See my discussion above for what constitutes unworthiness–Jesus explains this in Moroni 6 (1-3)

And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. (They, the ministers, had to bring forth fruits of their worthiness–which I have defined)

Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins. (The worthiness requirement is a broken heart and contrite spirit)

And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.

For all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women, and children who have arrived at the years of accountability.” (D&C 18:42)

“And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.” (D&C 68:27)

So there you have it. This isn’t meant to be completely exhaustive, but as you can see, the requirements are as follows:

  • Repent, laying hold upon the gospel of Christ
  • Come unto Christ, having faith in Him
  • Have a desire to be baptized
  • Being worthy, or . . . having a broken heart and contrite spirit
  • Being the age of accountability, defined as eight years

There is one mention of a prohibition in D&C 137 where the Church declared they would not baptize slaves contrary to the will of their masters. This prohibition does not constitute doctrine. It was not considered revelation to the Church. The section still carries some controversy. Even so, I believe that the only modern prohibition of baptism that can even remotely correlate to this statement is the prohibition against some Muslims–which in essence is done to protect them from retaliation from their parents who are often justified in declaring murderous fatwas against their children for converting.

Other than this, I find no scriptural support for denying baptisms of the children, which brings me to the second argument that is made:

No scripture can be privately interpreted, Mr. Zion. That’s why we have prophets and apostles to interpret it for us. You are no prophet or apostle. We have the living prophets, and so in many ways that trumps even scripture.

It’s true that no scripture is of private interpretation. Communication being what it is, the only thing you can rely upon is the Holy Ghost. Relying upon modern prophets just inserts another layer by which a person must receive direct communication from the Lord. Be it the written word or a living oracle, the process is the same. Ultimate instruction must come from the Lord.

The idea that living prophets trump scripture is in error, an unfortunate one that was taught by Ezra Taft Benson (as an apostle) but censored by Spencer Kimball, who was THEN the prophet at the time. Benson seems to change his tune a bit after becoming prophet (see below). It’s a shame that the teaching manuals this year spent more time elevating the 14 fundamentals from Benson (for which he was censored) and less time discussing his teachings as prophet warning the Church that weren’t taking scriptures and the former commandments seriously enough.

Living prophets uphold, support, and communicate truth that are almost always already written down. Jesus quotes Old Testament passages uniquely about 50 times (some are repetitive).

To the idea that living prophets trump dead ones, I’m going to quote a dead one right now from his book, Doctrines of Salvation:

“It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside. My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them. Let us have this matter clear. We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3., (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), p. 203

God also doesn’t seem to be very happy with how we fare with our treatment of scripture, particularly the Book of Mormon. This attitude was precisely what the scriptures warned against in D&C 84: 54-58

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all*. (Note: it’s not just the average member)

And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written

58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.

One could say, that was then, this is now. We are so much better with all the temples and missionaries we produce. Well, as late as 1986, a prophet of the Lord spent a great deal of time updating this warning. Even a living apostle, Elder Oaks, gives us the smack-down as it relates to us not being diligent with the things already given!

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If He appears to have changed, indeed, if doctrines are changing, I’m more apt to believe that it’s the error of men, and not God changing His mind, or adjusting to the reality of the situation on the ground, or engaging in strategem, or as this blogger notes, comes from legal frameworks and not revelation.

I think that this is part of the test, and part of the next justification I often hear.

God is separating the wheat from the tares. This social media murmuring cannot compete with the power of God’s living prophets and apostles. This was prophesied to happen. I will stand with them.

Yes, God IS separating the wheat from the tares. Jesus spoke many parables concerning this, from the parable of the ten virgins to the parable of the Good Samaritan. All of these to one extent or another, describe a “wheat” from a “tare.” My favorite is the parable of the wedding feast.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. (ie, members of Christ’s church)

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: (They were more concerned about Babylon, about “church” reputations, about their own commerce)

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 24: 2-20)

You see, the Lord is separating the wheat from the tares. I dare say that the proper interpretation of a wheat is someone that practices pure religion, as outlined in King Benjamin’s sermon, not one who totes the party line, who wears the Church colors, or who upholds an institution. You MUST be serving the poor, gathering the weak, THIS is indicative of wearing the wedding garment. You accept the doctrine of Christ, and you practice it through emulating the Christ. Otherwise you will not be found worthy for Zion. For Zion has two criteria. We are all of ONE heart, and there are no poor among us.

We should not murmur. We should not complain. This is a correct assumption. Complaining gets you nowhere. Boldly testifying of truth, however, no matter how unpleasant, and no matter how it differs from the institution, is a true act of courage! Finding a way to get your testimony “in line with the Brethren” is Lucifer’s counterfeit. Get your testimony in line with the Lord! That is His way.

In the early days, the principle of common consent and horizontal authority of first presidency, apostles, seventies, and all high priests was a means for everyone to come to unity of Christ. It was the principle of becoming Zion. I’m not sure it ever got applied appropriately but it is a sound principle. Should not we all agree, independently of one another, by the Holy Ghost, on the doctrines of Christ? If we are to simply line up, what good does that do for our salvation? Anyone can obey a line leader. The Nazis did as well. It would do well for us as a church to insist that all come to a unity of the faith, not just one quorum of fifteen, before we become subject to it. In that way, can we not then say that God is behind us? Can we not ensure that there are no blind spots? King Benjamin’s people all cried together to accept their covenants. They did not simply accept them as so because the king said so. They were collectively AND individually convicted of the truth. Should it not be the same with us? Again, we must be of ONE heart to be of Zion, and have no poor among us. Indeed, we take the name of Zion in vain these days, it seems. Common consent, properly implemented, would help us become more of one heart and of one mind.

I will end with a scenario of pre-Earth life and the test we would take by coming down to earth as Latter-day Saints.

Scenario: You will be sent to earth as a Mormon. You will be raised in a good family, with the gospel of Jesus Christ taught truthfully to you for the most part inside of the Lord’s church. You will feel good when the leaders of the Church speak to you. You will feel of their love. But you will find anachronisms, inconsistencies, errors, and if you don’t you’re not looking hard enough. At a point, you will have to make a decision, and the two choices you can go are this:

A – You can chose to stick with the leaders of the Church, to “follow the Brethren.” You will feel their good messages given in General Conference. You will know they are good men. You will feel that testimony burning within you. When you cannot reconcile some things, you chose to put it on the shelf, close your eyes, walk into the dark, and keep with the majority of the Brethren as they lead the church.

or . . .

B – You can chose to approach the Savior. You can use the good examples and teachings that leaders give you to figure out how to approach the Lord. But you also know that the all men are fallen and make mistakes, even good men, even prophets like Moses, Jonah, Peter, and Joseph Smith. You know that many are called, but few are chosen. You see that mistakes that have been made by past LDS church leaders. So you close your eyes, walk into the dark, and do what the Lord asks you to do.

What nature of test do you think is the one that will lead you into the presence of the Father? I have chosen scenario B. And because I’m unencumbered from the need to “get in line with the Brethren,” the Lord has told me that this policy is not of Him – in particular those that forbid children from being baptized if their parents are apostate homosexuals or polygamists.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

jesus-suffers-the-little-children-to-come-unto-him

The blog is not over . . .


Tim Malone has retired the authorship of this blog for the time being.

However, Tim and I have discussed the importance of keeping the blog active, with continued posts from those that share in the vision and spirit of Latterdaycommentary. The importance of this blog for the Latter-day Restorationist Mormon community is essential and should be maintained as a place to come for news, ideas, and information on issues that deal with preserving the restoration, ideas that have been taught and espoused by Denver Snuffer.

Susan Boyle – Internet singing sensation


While watching the Mormon Messages Easter video of Elder Holland rise on the charts over the weekend, I couldn’t help but notice another rising star – Susan Boyle. If you haven’t watched her video yet then you haven’t been paying attention. In less than five days, adding up all the versions out there, it has achieved over 16 million views. That’s got to be some sort of a record.

Update: According to Viral Video Chart, it has now exceeded 91 million views and will shortly surpass 100 million, approaching the record of the most watched video on the Interwebs.

And no wonder! I confess that I have watched her stunning performance at least a dozen times and am floored every time I do. Susan is from a small town in Scotland and has never been married. In fact, she’s never been kissed. She lives in the same home in which she grew up with eight brothers and sisters. Her father passed away ten years ago and her mother in 2007.

Her choice of song is one of my favorites, I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. My favorite performance before this last weekend was from the 10th anniversary concert. That’s one of my favorite DVDs. The song fits Susan because of the message. She has a wonderful attitude in spite of the life she has been given. She developed her talent singing in church. You go, Susan!


For more information:

1. San Francisco Chronicle
2. One of many fansites
3. Times UK OnLine
4. CBS News Interview
5. AP story on Yahoo News
6. Why Susan inspires us

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