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.

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?

Changes in Heaven and on Earth


SolarWindsI’m not sure if I’ve ever published two posts in a single day. I know I’m going to be busy next week so I probably won’t have time to write then or say what’s in my heart this afternoon. I hope this is helpful to someone. It has to do with the signs of the times – that’s what my blog is all about – and this recent statement by Denver Snuffer. Here’s the quote from his second post today:

Changes in Heaven and on Earth Recently

“Ninth, there have been changes in heaven and on earth recently. I’ve done all I have done in obedience to our Lord. Things will unfold and everybody will have a more fulsome understanding of things. Be patient. Be believing. Do not despair as God’s work unfolds.” It’s numbered nine because it came from a post in which he wanted us to know ten things.

Warnings to not Despair as Events Unfold

I was pretty sure I knew what fulsome meant but looked it up anyway because it’s not a word I use every day. I would have used the word complete. It also means generous, excessive or abundant. I had to ask myself, “What changes have taken place in heaven and earth recently?” My wife asked, “How does he know this?” And why the warning to not despair as things unfold?

Electric Universe – Plasma More Powerful Than Gravity

Many of you know I have been an ardent student of the writings of Anthony Larson, which are based on the works on Immanuel Velikovsky and later, on the work of the proponents of the Electric Universe – Dave Talbott and Wal Thornhill in particular. I’m not going to bore you with their theories. I would like to share a few scriptures that came to mind as I read point nine above.

The Arm of the Lord Will Be Revealed

The first has to do with the arm of the Lord being revealed. Comets have always been considered a sign of something significant. We know they are naturally occurring objects in our solar system. Every time a new comet makes an appearance the whackos come out of the woodwork to promote their latest theory about how we had better be ready because this is it – the big one.

Watch and Be Ready – Be Prepared

We’ve been counseled to be ready for catastrophe for as long as I can remember. We have been warned to watch and be prepared, to have on hand a good supply of food, fuel and whatever else we need to survive on our own in the event the normal distribution channels are messed up. I’m going shopping for perishables in a few minutes and am grateful to have a year’s supply on hand.

Church Promotes Emergency Preparedness

Our stake had an emergency preparedness expo today. We hold it every year in conjunction with our city. Here in California, the big expected event is of course an earthquake. We’re due for a big one. Where I live in Camarillo, the elevation above sea level is 54 feet. I’ve watched the videos of Tsunamis on YouTube over the years. I wonder what I would do if one hit in my home town.

Second Coming will be a Catastrophic Event

We know the second coming of the Lord will be a completely different kind of event from his first advent when he came as a lamb. He now comes as the Lion of Judah, with a vengeance. From Isaiah: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4

The Day of the Lord is Accompanied By Fire

Psalms 50:3 – “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” What will cause this fire that will accompany the second advent of the Lord? Will his coming be accompanied by loud noises? What will be tempestuous? When it comes, it will be quite noisy. It will be a time of burning, a time of fire.

The Arm of the Lord is a Significant Phrase

Isaiah 40:10 - “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” What is the arm of the Lord? Is it symbolic of some natural phenomenon? What is his work that will come before him? Is this in reference to a cosmological event? Our ancestors wrote of the arm of the Lord seen in heaven.

A Day of Vengeance and Great Tribulations

Moses 7:60-63 – “… the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance … the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; … be looking forth for the time of my coming; … a New Jerusalem.

The City of Enoch will Accompany the Lord

“And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there … and they shall see us …” The Lord will return with the City of Enoch, which was once a piece of the earth. Everyone will see it. The City of Enoch was “taken up” from the earth and “fled.” A large portion of the earth will return. It may remain in close orbit above the earth when it comes.

The Sign of the Son of Man

Matt 24:3-5 speaks of the sign of the coming of the Lord. The sign of the son of man in heaven is described. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. Everyone shall see his coming in great glory. There shall be the sound of trumpets accompany his return. I other scriptures these sounds are said to be loud and long, lasting perhaps for days or weeks. What is the sign of the Son of man?

Close Encounter With a Celestial Object

Joseph said the world will tell us it is a comet or a planet. It will be. The earth will have some sort of close encounter with a celestial object that will cause great destruction. Is this something that will come to pass in our lifetime? Is this perhaps what Denver was referring to when he said changes have been made in heaven and on earth? What are these changes? Who will tell us?

The Powers of Heaven Shall Be Shaken

Luke 21:25-27 – “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” The scientific mind in me asks, “Could this be some sort of an EMP?”

The Sun and the Moon Shall be Darkened

We should look for unusual things happening in the sun and the moon at the time of the coming of the Lord. In other places we read that the sun and the moon will be darkened and that the moon will appear blood red. Even the stars will look different. Perhaps they will be in different places in the heavens because the earth will change on its axis to align with a celestial visitor.

The Moon Shall Turn to Blood

D&C 34:7-9 – “… the time is soon at hand that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory. And it shall be a great day at the time of my coming, for all nations shall tremble. But before that great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood; and the stars shall refuse their shining, and some shall fall, and great destructions await …”

The Stars Shall Fall to the Earth

The Lord has forewarned us and given clear indication of things that will happen before he comes again. We should look for the sun to be darkened, the moon to be blood red in color, the stars to look different, and great destructions on the earth. Some stars shall fall [to the earth] perhaps refers to portions of the earth returning. We can read more in the book of Revelation.

Signs of the Exodus Will Be Repeated

Section 45 contains in-depth details of the signs that will precede and accompany the Lord’s advent. Every one of these phrases has particular meanings that have been used by the Lord’s prophets for millennia. We would do well to take them one by one to study and understand. Many have occurred in the past, especially during the Exodus. Will they possibly occur again?

New Heavens – Portions of the Earth Returned

Isa 65:17 – “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Things are going to dramatically change when the Lord comes again. The phrase “new heavens” to me indicates that there will be portions of the earth hovering close by. New earth means that the earth will look dramatically different.

The Polar Configuration of Planets

We are told elsewhere that the continents will be joined again. I am of the opinion that the waters of the ocean will be gathered at the poles, exposing much of the earth. You can read a fictional account I am putting together based on these scriptures in a book I tentatively have entitled, Red Sky. It’s all conjecture, but I’m especially pleased with the outcome of chapters 4, 6, 11 and 12.

Remember, it’s just fiction. What do you think?

Visualizing the Day of the Lord


MeteorsHittingCityHave you ever thought about what we will see, feel and experience when the physical events of the Lord’s return begin to unfold? What will your life be like on that day when the catastrophic destructions that have been prophesied start to happen? Will your day be different? Will there be anything unfamiliar in the skies? Will the weather be strange, perhaps a little rare and unusual?

Prophets Have Seen the Day

I know many prophets have thought deeply about this. In fact, they have done more than think about it. They have prayed about it and asked the Lord to show them what it would be like. The revelations have come. They have recorded them and shared them with us. Most were a result of asking specific questions. One of the questions I have asked is “Will it happen all at once?”

Signs Precede His Return

The answer is no. While the Day of the Lord can be pinpointed to an actual day when the world sees the Lord return, there is much that will happen first. The Lord has given us many warnings that contain clues. We call them signs. He has told us to watch for the signs. We talk about the signs. We teach each other the signs. We discuss them. We write about them. We read them.

Destructions Accompany His Return

Some of the questions I have asked and prayed about are “How will these destructions take place? What will cause these destructions? Why must there be destructions anyway?” I am not the only one who has asked these questions. In fact, the method or catalyst of the destructions that will come upon us in the last days has been known for thousands upon thousands of years.

Everyone will Be Affected

What if you don’t believe in a) God, b) The Lord, c) religion d) prophecy or anything of a spiritual nature that you can’t see, feel or touch with your natural body? What if you don’t care about these prophecies, feel that they are a waste of time and have no desire to understand them? That’s OK. I suspect when the day of the Lord arrives, you’ll want to learn about them quick.

Exact Day is Unknown

We are living in a day when so many of the pre-cursor signs have happened or are happening that more and more people are “jumping the gun,” so to speak, in assuming that the big day is about to burst upon us. Remember what the scriptures say: Nobody knows that exact day, not even the angels in heaven. Only our Father in Heaven knows the exact day of Christ’s return.

Understand the Signs

There are many reasons we know the great and terrible day of destruction is getting closer each day but there are many things that must happen first. The Lord loves His children and has given us distinct signs to watch for. There have been multiple books published on the subject. One of my favorites is 65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming by David J. Ridges.

The Sequence is Unclear

I’ve been told it’s not wise to try to put any of these signs in order or precedence. We have been advised to simply study, know and understand the signs of the times. Anybody who tries to put them in any particular order seems to get into trouble, meaning others will vehemently disagree with them. I suppose that is inevitable, since the Lord didn’t specify an exact sequence either.

Signs in Heaven and on Earth

In my book, I focus on the cosmological signs and the events of nature that go along with them. For example, the sun will be darkened, the moon will become as blood. Diseases, plagues and pestilences will sweep the earth. There will be famines, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. Signs and wonders on earth and in the heavens, the rainbow withdrawn.

All Nature Will be in Commotion

In particular, I focus on the great sign of the coming of the Son of Man, the return of the great hailstorms that will destroy the crops of the earth, the great earthquake such as never before, the burning that is prophesied to accompany His return, and the elements that will be in commotion. I have always wondered what it would be like to live through these terrible disasters of nature.

The Whole World Will See

What could possibly cause the earth to reel to and fro like a drunken man? What could cause the mountains to melt with fervent heat? How will we feel when these storms, tempests, whirlwinds with their thunderings, lightnings and sounds of the trumpets come upon all people? It’s evident that the whole world will experience these last great events. They won’t be localized or confined.

Wormwood and John the Revelator

What did John the Revelator mean when he talked about a third part of the sea becoming blood, the third part of the creatures of the sea dying and a third part of the ships destroyed? Why? What is this great star that falls from heaven, burning as a lamp that falls upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters? Why is it called Wormwood? What does that mean?

Hail of Brimstone not Ice

Are the great hailstones that fall made of ice? If so, how can they be mingled with brimstone and with fire and with blood? Others have written about the deteriorating social conditions through which we are now passing. Who can doubt the wickedness and abominations that are beginning to sweep the land? I believe the prophecies that the governments will be overthrown and wasted.

We Don’t Need Specific Details

I know it’s easy to simply say, “The coming of the Lord will cause all of these things.” Details, my friends, I want details. The Lord uses natural causes and obeys natural laws even if we don’t fully understand them. For example, I have to ask “Why will it be a day of burning?” Well, yes, from the brightness of his glory, but is there something else that might accompany his return?

Return of City of Enoch

Don’t the scriptures say that the Lord will come down with the inhabitants of the City of Enoch? Hmmm…how is He going to do that unless the part of the planet on which they reside, which was taken up when they left, returns with them? In other words, isn’t it possible or probable he will be accompanied by the return of the remnants of the planet with those who left with Enoch?

Return of Lost Ten Tribes

And what about the lost Ten Tribes – won’t they return first? You know, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I know I’m stretching it here since so few – read hardly anybody – believes that the Ten Tribes were taken from this earth. The prevailing theory is that they are simply mixed in with all the people of the earth or – gasp – hiding under the ice somewhere.

The Sound of Great Trumps

And what causes the great sound of the trumps? There are lots of them. I know, it’s the angels, but couldn’t there be a natural explanation like the oscillations of two very large celestial bodies when they come close together. Uh, oh, the scientist in me just kicked in – that goes against all the laws of nature – two planets can’t get that close together without one of them disintegrating.

Thunderbolts of the Gods

We have so many historical and scriptural evidences of great thunderbolts or lightnings that flash from the heavens. And we’re not talking from the local clouds. We’re talking about the kind of electrostatic discharge that occurs when two large celestial bodies come in close contact. Oh, wait, scientists don’t believe such a thing could happen. It’s never happened before, has it?

Highway in the Great Deep

What is this highway that shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep? Where will it go? How high will it go? Of what will it be composed? Is it possible that this great highway could connect two planets? Is it possible that these planets were connected at one time in the past? If the speed of the earth’s rotation slows, what will happen to all the water at the equators? Where will it go?

Great Sign of the Lord

What exactly is the great sign of the Lord that He told us about and Joseph described in more detail? Will the world see the sign coming for some time before it arrives? Could it look like a planet or a comet or both as it comes close to the earth, on an intersecting course? I’ve always wondered about this curious statement of the Lord. How will the world react when they see it?

The Lord Will Reveal The Details

Well, that’s enough conjecture for a while. The Lord has said unless we ask questions, we get no answers. I can tell you that I have asked these and many more questions. I think I’ve got some answers, at least enough to satisfy a part of my curiosity. I have more to ask the Lord, but He has made it clear I am not quite ready for the additional detail he will reveal until I am prepared.

That’s the Background for my Novel

I’ve been studying this for about thirty years. I remain fascinated and am anxious to learn more. I pray about it most every night. Sometimes, I make it a matter of fasting and temple pondering. I can tell you that as I have written some of the chapters, the words just flowed as if I was taking dictation. Maybe the book is just for me, but perhaps it’s good enough to make it to publishing.

We Can See The Day of the Lord

I would like to see the day of the Lord. I am convinced many prophets have seen it. We have a record of their visions in the scriptures. We also have the records of ancient civilizations that experienced similar visits of planets and the destruction they caused. That is the basis for my novel – what will happen to the inhabitants of the earth if a planet came alongside to meet us?

Sample Chapters Available to Read

I’ll conclude with this book jacket synopsis from the novel. If you are interested, you can read some of the rough drafts on the “Red Dust – LDS Fiction” tab. I hope to soon register a domain name, do some serious work on applying the edits from the feedback I already have and finish this book project that has been on my mind for so many years, even if it’s only to say it’s done.

Book Jacket Synopsis for Red Sky

The sky is falling…literally. Four scientists race against time to reassure the world as it encounters a rogue planet. Astronomer David Mitchell is the face of the government. He must provide play-by-play advance notice of what to expect next. But how can anyone predict what will happen when two planets come together? It’s never happened before. Or has it?

Manny Volynsky is on a mission to tell the world the truth about this rogue planet. He’ll stop at nothing to get to the scientific conference where he’ll have a worldwide audience. There is can share answers about the red dust that has started to fall. But Manny is a nutcase history professor who has no credibility in the scientific world. Will they listen to his stories of the ancient myths?

Death from the skies is impossible. Everyone knows that, especially David who has taught it repeatedly over the years, using scientific evidence to prove it. When fire begins to accompany the red dust, the conflict between science and myth is blurred. Manny’s predictions of future events have come true. David must decide if he will give Manny a voice to warn the people.

The Lord Prepares Groups of People


TheSaviorKirtlandTempleI was pleased to be asked to substitute teach Gospel Doctrine class this week. It is about the closing of the Kirtland period, the first missions of the early Saints to Canada and later to England, then the exodus from Kirtland. Of course that exodus was not as dramatic as leaving Nauvoo, but it was nevertheless undertaken under duress, especially by the prophet Joseph.

Preparing to Teach

I enjoy teaching the gospel whenever I’m asked, just as I enjoy speaking in church whenever I’m asked. I have found over the years that I tend to over-prepare. I probably spent twenty hours this week reading various sources of church history, but mainly in The Life of Heber C. Kimball by Orson F. Whitney. I was amazed to read again the way the Lord prepared groups of people for the missionaries.

Entire Congregations

Both Heber C. Kimball and later Wilford Woodruff, converted and baptized entire congregations of hundreds, including most of their ministers. At one point in time, it was estimated that a full 80% of the church membership had descended from one of these early English converts. I know that’s true in my wife’s family. I, on the other hand, still consider myself to be a first generation Mormon.

A True Believing Mormon

While my wife’s family is from Utah – and wow there are a lot of them – I’m a California boy. I only bring that up because I tend to think of myself as not your typical Mormon. Although I have described myself as orthodox and conservative everywhere I write, I like to think that I’m more open-minded about some things. Let’s take Denver Snuffer for an example. Uh-oh, I know what you’re thinking.

Books from Denver Snuffer

When I first encountered the writings of Denver Snuffer, I knew right away that the Lord had either asked him or inspired him to write his books, or both. There’s just something about his style, his tone, the authority with which he writes, the depth and the importance of his subjects that causes him to stand out in my mind as someone who has something special and something very different.

A Divisive Individual

So I began to mention him on my blog, write a few reviews of his books and generally bring him to the attention of my readers. I was amazed and shocked by the response of some who found that my suggestion of even considering his legitimacy could have any merit. “How could you be such a fool, Tim? How could you be duped by someone who is an obvious charlatan and one who will lead you astray?”

Read the Material First

They didn’t use those exact words, at least not in the public comments, but in essence, that is what they were saying. Invariably, when I asked if they had read his material, almost all those who were opposed to his ideas, had not gone directly to the source. They were only responding to what they had read from others. Occasionally I’d have an intelligent private dialog with a few who had taken the time to read.

Beware of False Prophets

I have found that when people comment on Denver Snuffer on my blog, they tend to fall into one of two groups. The first believe he is another Warren Jeffs, Jim Harmston (died June 2013) or some other recent wanna-be prophet claiming that the LDS Church is apostate so they start their own. Most have no idea what Denver Snuffer has written. The second group has taken the time to seriously read his writings, consider them, pray about them and attempt to improve their lives by following his suggestions.

Stay Active in LDS Church

I guess I tend more towards the second group. I have read most everything he has written, or at least enough to know that the man is not inspired from the wrong source. There is some real substance to what he has written. Some of it is above me – way above me – but most of what he writes makes sense, especially the part about staying active in the LDS Church. I like that because I have lots of friends at church that I love dearly.

Private Discussion Groups

There are a number of online groups that discuss Denver’s writings, some public, but most private. I confess I belong to a few of them. I don’t contribute much there. I prefer to write on my own blog. This has always been my own spiritual journal so to speak. I have a separate journal that I have kept all my life, but I use my blog to “push the envelope” on spiritual areas I’m pondering so I can get feedback.

A Year-Long Lecture Tour

If you know anything about Denver or follow his blog, you know he has announced a series of lectures beginning on September 10th in Boise, running in various Intermountain West cities and ending in Phoenix a year later on September 9th, 2014. I’m glad they are being recorded because I would very much like to attend one of them but it doesn’t look like he will be making a visit to California on this road trip.

More and More Missionaries

One of the things Denver has pointed out is that the gathering of the elect in the very last days is a two-fold project – one conducted by the institutional LDS church – and one conducted by the angels of God. I am convinced the missionary changes announced last year by President Monson and which are already bearing fruit, at least in the number of missionaries we send out, is not the final gathering prophesied in the scriptures.

Hastening the Work

I believe it is simply a hastening of the work. The Lord is using the LDS Church to gather the elect. There is no doubt about that. But the Lord is also causing something wonderful to happening to various members of the church that puts them in another group – a group that is being prepared to be taught by angels and to eventually receive an audience with the resurrected Lord in this mortal life.

A Movement in the Church

I am being contacted by more and more individuals who want to talk privately about Denver and what they sense is happening in the church today. Some dialogs are via email, some on the phone, but all focus on the fact that we each want to receive a personal visitation from the Lord. Do you remember the terrible controversy this created when George Pace was rebuked by Elder McConkie for even suggesting such a thing?

An Audience With Christ

Maybe you’re too young but I remember it well. It put a real chill and damper on the church for a long time of anybody bringing that subject up again in Gospel Doctrine or a priesthood quorum. It’s almost as if we now give lip service to the idea of knowing the Lord, but we dare not say that we can indeed “know” Him, as in, have an audience with Him while in mortality. Why is that idea so bothersome to some people in our church?

Teach by the Spirit

I’m rambling and I know it. It’s late and I’ve got to get to bed to be ready to teach the gospel tomorrow. Although our block meets at 1pm, I still want to review the material I have prepared and petition the Lord for strength to teach by the spirit. I never want to be so married to the order or the exact content of my prepared material that I miss when the Lord whispers that I teach something a little differently that I had planned.

To my Regular Readers

Let me end by throwing this out there for discussion. Now I know I don’t have as many readers as I used to since I was dropped by ldsblogs.org, but the numbers show a couple hundred visitors a day – most who get here through a Google search on Denver Snuffer – in addition to a couple hundred subscribers who get my posts in an email or on their reader. I would like to know what you think about this.

A Risk of Missing Out

Specifically, what if the Lord really did appear to Denver Snuffer as he claimed? What if the Lord really did ask him to write his books? What if he is now asking him to take the message more directly to the LDS people via this series of lectures he is conducting over the next year starting in September? What if the Lord really does intend to see how we will respond to the message of this man some call an apostate?

Gathering the Elect

Did Jesus come from within the established ranks of the Jewish hierarchy when he came in the Meridian of Time to teach His gospel and establish his church? What if, just what if, the Lord really is sending Denver Snuffer out on these lectures to seek out and find those from within the church that are ready to be taught by angels and to receive an audience with the Lord? What if the Lord wants you to know something more?

Blogging the End of the World


AnotherMeteorStrikeI think I’m getting excited about blogging again. When I started back in 2007 I did a lot of work to promote this thing. I registered with all the appropriate sites. I left comments on numerous other sites similar to mine. I made sure I stuck to my three themes so my readers would know what to expect: Mormonism, Sexuality and the Last Days. I have only made one major subject change: LDS Book Reviews – both new and old.

My Review of Visions of Glory

I am amazed at the number of book reviews I have written over the years. I don’t know why I’m not more active on Goodreads. Maybe it’s because I like writing longer reviews. If I could figure out an easy way, someday I might transfer them over. What’s surprising is how popular they are. I’m especially pleased by the longevity of my review of Visions of Glory – now six months as my most popular post and still in the #1 spot.

Studying Doctrine has Become Rare

I’ll bet Cedar Fort is extremely pleased with the performance of the book. I also think they were extremely surprised. I’ll bet Deseret Book was even more surprised. If you’ve been watching what Deseret Book sells over the years, you will have noticed how much fluff and stuff it has become. It became rarer and rarer to find a book about doctrine. What’s the matter with us? Don’t we study the gospel anymore?

Feminist Mormon Housewives

Deseret Book knows that women buy books. Take this as a sexist remark if you like, but most LDS women I know don’t care to study doctrine as much as they like to talk about the social aspects of the church. Thank you Feminist Mormon Housewives. I love you for how you have connected the women of the church in ways the leaders of the Relief Society never imagined it could or would ever be.

Dropped by the Bloggernacle

I was recently dropped by LDSBlogs so I’m not too concerned that the important LDS bloggers will see this post. I am officially no longer a part of LDSBlogs or the Mormon Archipelago: Gateway to the Bloggernacle. Must have been something I wrote to tick them off. Who knows? I still have a small smattering of loyal readers (150-200) who are just as interested in some of the topics I write about regularly.

Catastrophic Changes Coming

I still write about the Signs of the Times and will continue to do so, especially as they become more obvious. I can’t wait for the day when the first of the prophesied apocalyptic catastrophes comes to pass. Folks, we haven’t begun to see what the Lord has in mind when he warns us about earthquakes in divers places, the sea heaving itself beyond its bounds or the increase of blatant evil and wickedness.

Study Signs of the Last Days

The kind of stuff the Lord is talking about in the scriptures only happens when the planets get knocked out of their orbits and start careening across the sky. Don’t doubt that it will happen because it has happened many times before, just not in the collective memory of anybody we know. But the prophets recorded it. It happened in their day and it will happen again in ours. But do we study the signs?

Abomination of Desolation

Has anybody bothered to figure out what Abomination of Desolation really means and especially what it means to see it in the Holy Place? The Supreme Court of the United States just set the last piece of that puzzle into motion. It won’t be many more years now. I’m beginning to think that some of the cataclysmic things the prophets tried to warn us about will come in my lifetime after all. It will be sad because the day of warning will then be past. My blog and every other piece of electronic gadgetry will be history.

Visited by the Angels

I recognize the tenor of this post is a little unusual for me. I normally try to be about as humble as I know how to be so as to not offend. I also recognize I’m in the minority – an orthodox conservative LDS blogger who entertains the published ideas from a man who claims to have seen the Lord. That’s a controversial subject. Even the men we sustain as the leaders of our church don’t talk about that. It’s just too sacred, right?

The Last Effort to Gather

I think the time has come that the Lord is gathering the elect in ways that are different from what we were raised to believe. The missionary effort of the LDS Church just kicked into high gear. I have no doubt we will see tremendous results over the next few years. But I refer to another kind of gathering – a spiritual gathering – that is different from the converts brought in by the huge number of missionaries we will shortly have.

Gathered by the Angels

The scriptures tell us that the elect will be gathered by the angels, not just the missionaries. The Lord is hastening His work in asking more of those who have been ordained to the priesthood. The endowed have been invited to come into the presence of the Lord. I am hearing more and more private stories of those who are being prepared by angels to come into the presence of the Lord and receive the rest of what we have been promised.

What to Expect Going Forward

This particular post is in response to a brand new reader who called and asked which of my posts he should read so he could get to know me better. I’ll make a list below that I hope will be helpful. But I think if you just remember my focus is on three things, you’ll know what to expect if you choose to follow my blog: 1) The Catastrophist movement and the Electric Universe 2) What the scriptures teach about the signs of the last days. Look for those signs in the heavens. 3) How to be personally prepared – prepared by the angels to be taught directly by the Lord.

Some of my Favorite Blog Posts

01. About Me – I’m about as open as I know how to be in this blog.
02. Visions of Glory – My review of the last book of John Pontius.
03. Near Death Experiences and Me – Yes, I had an NDE in my youth.
04. Conquering Spiritual Evil – My Review of Doug Mendenhall’s book.
05. Excommunicated for Priestcraft – This should never have happened.
06. Born That Way – Where I first proposed possession by evil spirits.
07. The Unquiet Dead – More evidence of opposite sex spirit possession.
08. And the Moon Shall Turn to Blood – Review of Anthony Larson’s book.
09. Eternal Lives, Past Live and Reincarnation – Still a controversial topic.
10. The Adam-God Theory – This is what I believe and I’m sticking to it.
11. Ten Signs of the Second Coming – These are straight from the scriptures.
12. A New Star Will Soon Shine Forth – Commentary on Denver’s final post.
13. You Have Been Here Before – Review of Dr. Fiore’s first amazing book.
14. Remembering the Covenant – A list of most of my posts on Denver Snuffer.
15. The top 50 most viewed essays – A good list from way back in Sep of 2011.

A Few Upcoming Essays

I’m currently reading Blake Ostler’s Fire on the Horizon. I’m going to the temple tomorrow to ponder the most important thing I have learned from his book so far – how to build a relationship with God that involves the “I-Thou” paradigm. I can’t explain it in one paragraph but hope to write a review of this wonderful book on the Atonement and the Endowment recently published. It has made all the difference in the world in how I see myself interacting with others and God.

The Mind of God

I also read a book from a reader who claimed to have seen God and was given the book through revelation. As I’ve said before, not many people have made this kind of claim so when someone tells me they have seen the Lord, I pay close attention to what they say or write. The Book is called “The Mind of God” and contains some amazing details of just how synchronicity works. I told him I wouldn’t write a review but I’ve changed my mind. I have been pondering it much lately. I think it needs wider exposure.

Clean Hands, Pure Heart

I’m also reading Clean Hands, Pure Heart by Philip A. Harrison. I’ve read a lot of books on the subject of Overcoming Addiction to Pornography. As I’ve mentioned in several previous blogs, I never really got over the effects of this youthful habit. I think I got some bad advice from a bishop way back before my mission when he gave me my Temple Recommend. I wrote about a paper from a reader in a previous essay. He tells me of a book that will help me overcome the false understandings of why I never felt truly forgiven. I thank my reader Greg Nelson for sharing.

He Restoreth My Soul

Update (7-12-13): The book I described above was not the one recommended by my friend Greg from my previous post. In his essay he refers to He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton, Jr, MD, which I just received from Deseret Book today. Sadly, I don’t think they sent me the latest version. I see on the Amazon listing there is a third edition. Mine is simply labeled “revised edition.” Hmmm… If you don’t hear from me for awhile it’s because I’ve got a lot of reading projects going on right now, besides work, family, church. Just like you, I lead a normal life.

What This Blog is About

So there you have it – what this blog is all about. It’s my catalyst to study the gospel. I don’t shy away from controversial subjects including pornography, masturbation, possession by unclean and evil spirits, and the fact that Satan is trying to destroy the brethren of the priesthood today. For me, writing helps. If it offends you, don’t read my stuff. I try to be uplifting and faithful to the teachings of the LDS Church but you’ll have to be the judge of that yourself. God bless.

A Few More Quotes From Denver Snuffer


DenverSnufferGoogleSearchI learn best when I share. That’s one reason why I blog. When I finished reading the first volume of Remembering the Covenant, I thought I would share a few quotes that I found unique and spiritually invigorating. This is the second in a series of quotes from the book and from the blog. I can see that there will be at least four posts on this volume. I am finding too many good quotes.

23 Mar 2010 – page 105: Ordinances are not the real thing

The power of godliness is tied to opening the heavens and receiving assignments, confirming revelation, or blessings from God.  Promises given to others are not promises to you.  Men are rarely reliable sources from which to attain the Word of God.  All power is tied to heaven.  When the powers of heaven are withdrawn from someone, then their authority comes to an end and they have no power. The ordinances as symbols point to the real thing. The real thing is Jesus Christ and His Gospel. If you want to have the power of godliness in your life, it must be gained through Jesus Christ; access to whom is available to all men on equal terms.

23 Mar 2010 – page 106: Our libraries interfere with knowing God

I’ve been marveling at the irrelevance of higher education to the process of receiving light and truth. … a scholar studies philosophy and then everything looks like it can be fit into a paradigm matching their school of thought. It isn’t the volume of the books we possess which helps our search into deep truths.  Indeed, our libraries may well interfere with knowing God.  It is the depth of how we live the basic principles contained in the scriptures which let the light of heaven shine into our lives. A bad education (which is most educations) is worse than no education when it comes to the things of heaven. Heaven is an endless source of surprises.  There’s nothing mundane going on there.

23 Mar 2010 – page 108: We must hear the voice of the Lord first

The ministry of the Second Comforter is to bring those to whom He ministers to the Father, and have them accepted by Him.  This means that the Father accepts them as a member of the Heavenly Family, or in other words, promises them exaltation. Joseph Smith … put the voice declaring a person’s exaltation first, and the visit of Christ and the Father with that person second. … they will take up their abode with him, & the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him & the Lord will teach him face to face & he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God…

24 Mar 2010 – page 112: We must each wage a war against spiritual entropy

…we are always going to learn more.  It is the nature of the Gospel that our light should increase.  Whenever we learn more, we must change to reflect what we have just gained. The Holy Ghost is should be a regular participant in our lives.  Its renewed companionship is also primary.  Its witness to us that we are on the right path is the only way to wage the necessary war against entropy which seeks to take you into darkness.  It is the source of renewed light that always enlightens when it comes. We must do this individually.

25 Mar 2010 – page 117-118: We are required to offend and sound the alarm

Mormonism is either correct, or it has no reason to exist. Jesus Christ did not intend to let those who follow the work He was to commission through Joseph Smith to become popular, successful, or live in peace.  He intended to put them at odds with all the rest of the world. It is an instant challenge to the world. When we shape the message of the Restoration into a vocabulary which does not offend, we miss the point.  We are REQUIRED to offend.  We are REQUIRED to sound the alarm to “Awake! Arise!”  When the message to those who accept the Historic Christian faiths is that “you’re OK” we are contradicting Christ’s opening statement to Joseph Smith. All of this is only true if what we are doing is continuing the work begun by Joseph Smith.  If we have abandoned what he restored, then never mind.

28 Mar 2010 – pages 129-130: Not necessary for apostle to have audience with Christ

When someone in a position of Church leadership has an audience with Christ, we hear about it.  Joseph Smith told us.  Oliver Cowdrey told us.  Sidney Rigdon told us.  So did President John Taylor, President Joseph F. Smith and David B. Haight.  Their calling is to bear a witness of Him.  When they have an actual audience, I believe they tell us. The calling of the Twelve is to “bear witness” of Christ.  (D&C 107: 23.)  Because of that calling, they must proclaim they have a “witness” even if it could be more correctly described as a testimony born of the Spirit.  I accept their “witness” of Christ and believe it is authoritative.  However, I do not read into their testimony what they do not put there themselves. I accept the “witness” of the living Apostles, although it is a rare exception when one has an audience with Christ.  In recent talks Elder Scott has gone to some length to testify and describe his own spiritual experiences.  I trust in them.  I trust him.  I believe him to be an Apostle.  It is not necessary for an Apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to have a personal audience with Christ.

30 Mar 2010 – pages 133-134: We must feast upon the words of angels, not men

Isaiah prophesied about the effect of losing knowledge about God.  He wrote: “Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.”  (Isa. 5: 13.) This is an apt description of people when they are not “fed” with truth and light. In contrast, Nephi wanted the Latter-day followers of Christ to have a “feast” to consume while toiling in this fallen, difficult time.  But Nephi notes the “feast” will come to us from hearing the words of “angels” and not from the “arm of flesh.”  Nephi taught us: “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.  Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”  (2 Ne. 32: 3.) Whether we are to “feast” or be “famished” is up to us.  Seek, ask, knock: it will be opened.  Stay content, do not ask, seek, or knock: you will remain dried up with thirst.

31 Mar 2010 – pages 136-137: We have polluted the Restored Church

The great latter day “pollutions” referred to by Mormon in Mormon 8: 31 are the behaviors of men; not environmental waste.  Mormon identifies what those “pollutions” are:  “murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations.” Those are harsh indictments.  But it becomes even more harsh when Mormon identifies US as the culprits.  He calls us “pollutions.”  He tells us we have polluted the “holy Church of God.”  That can only mean the Restored Church.  Sobering indeed. “O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?”  (Mormon 8: 38.)  Remember that Mormon saw us.  Jesus Christ showed Mormon US. He was in a unique position to accurately tell us what ails us. (Mormon 8: 35.) So why do we think ourselves in good spiritual condition?  Why are we confident we aren’t condemned by the Lord?  Why do we presume that as Latter-day Saints we are safe?  Why do we think Mormon is talking to all those other churches; churches who will never read his book, and therefore cannot be warned by it?  It defies common sense, really. We are in a lot of trouble.  He’s trying to help us.  How foolish to think we can line up beside him and point the finger away from ourselves.  He won’t let us do that, you know.  He’s pointing the finger right at us.

02 Apr 2010 – page 142: The endowment ceremony misrepresents the creation

There are different versions of the creation.  The Moses, Abraham and Genesis accounts are similar in putting Adam alone at the point when the commandment was given to not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The Temple account does not preserve this. The creation (or transplant of man onto this world) is not really the reason for the various ceremonial accounts of the event.  They are intended to orient us to how we got here (by a deliberate, planned act of God), why were are here (to find our way back to God) and why conditions here are difficult (to gain knowledge of good and evil).  The accounts are really about us.  Each of us was born innocent in the beginning, gradually become accountable, feel ourselves outside the presence of God, and must work to return.

03 Apr 2010 – page 143: Thoughts are the key to come into the presence of God

Ideas are things. Real things. They come into existence as we create them. They will become subject to the judgment of God, because our thoughts are perhaps the most real part of us. (See Alma 12: 14.) We should guard our thoughts as we guard the lives of our children. Our thoughts hold the key to everything else. This is so important a matter that the Lord tied knowledge of priesthood itself to the thoughts we entertain in the privacy of our minds. Only when our thoughts are worthy are we able to bear the presence of God. (D&C 121: 45.) If you study the scriptures and then meditate upon them also. You will only develop power within as you do so.

05 Apr 2010 – page 148: Receiving Second Comforter not valued by this world

I was asked about the meaning of receiving the Second Comforter.  There is a chapter in the book (The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil) titled “What it Means and What it Does Not Mean” that summarizes the matter. The promises of God are helpful in enduring to the end.  But they have no value here apart from peace of mind.  They are not “property” which this world will value highly.  They are for the coming life.

05 Apr 2010 – page 148: God may require us to go public as part of a trial

All the prophets can do is offer encouragement to others.  They can affirm that the path back to God exists and can be walked even in a day of sin like today.  They cannot do the walking for anyone other than themselves.  Each person is obligated to walk on the path for him or herself. Examples of others offer encouragement, but can never replace the obligation devolving upon each individual. It would be easier for a person to live in harmony with God in obscurity than with public notice.  Sometimes, however, the Lord requires a person to take a public stand as part of the trial or obligation imposed upon them.  Whether the person complies with that duty is a measure of the person’s sincerity.

07 Apr 2010 – page 153: The church is flawed but necessary and good

I recognize weaknesses [of the church], have no intention of avoiding them, and am not an apologist in the traditional sense.  But I believe in the church, accept its authority, and think its role is necessary and even critical to the work of the Lord. Acknowledging the flaws is admitting the obvious.  But getting those who are discouraged, losing their faith, or have left the church to reconsider that decision is another thing.  They cannot be reached spiritually without some acknowledgment of the problems in the church.  They aren’t going to be deceived by offering a clever polemical argument. Once the varnish comes off the institution of the church, for many, faith dies. But that is not necessary.  Nor is it inevitable.  It is possible to see the frailties of men and still also see the hand of God. … the church may be flawed, but despite that, it is worthy, worthwhile, necessary and good.  I have had some success.

07 Apr 2010 – page 154: We should have faith in an imperfect church anyway

Some of the church’s most effective critics are former members.  Indeed, with the internet, the arguments against the church are multiplying, as are the number of critics. I try not to gloss over the flaws or ignore their existence or to pretend that there aren’t legitimate questions being asked about what has or is happening within the institution of the church. I’m saying that we can and should have faith anyway. The church matters and its mission has always been possible to accomplish. I also want those who sense we’ve retreated from the original scope of doctrine and practice to realize the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ remains on the earth.  It is as accessible to anyone living today as it was while Joseph was here.  The failure of others does not impose any limitation upon the individual who sincerely seeks, asks and follows. We are not dependent upon others or even the institution itself to receive that fullness.  Although the ordinances offered by the church remain the foundation upon which the fullness must be built.

08 Apr 2010, page 161: Sacrifice is required to produce faith sufficient to save us

…it is quite important to note the necessity of sacrifice to produce the kind of faith which saves.  Joseph’s explanation required us to sacrifice all things to be able to lay hold on saving faith.  Without the knowledge that we would give up everything, even our own lives if necessary, we cannot receive eternal life.  We have to trade this life for the next.  No trade, no exaltation. So when a man or woman reaches the point where she/he can be tested, the Lord will supply a test to them to prove (to themselves) that they will sacrifice all things.  [The Lord already knows, but we don't.  And it is OUR faith which is required to be tested.]

09 April 2010, page 169: Times of Gentiles ending – no longer a Christian nation

We are witnessing the end of the times of the Gentiles.  There is a worldwide collapse of the Gentile populations.  (Gentiles being the white, European populations.)  Although we have scattered Israelite blood in us, the LDS Church was founded by those who are “identified with the Gentiles” (D&C 109: 60). But their (our) time has run its course. The God of this land (North America) is Jesus Christ.  When people reject Him, they lose their claim on the land and are swept away.  (See 2 Ne. 1: 7-10.) We have now, by the popular vote of the Gentiles who possess this land, chosen a leader who proclaimed on April 6th, 2009 (the Lord’s birth date) that “we are no longer a Christian nation.”

Your can also read part one – A Few Quotes From Denver Snuffer

Becoming the Pure in Heart


ZionPureInHeartI’m grateful to worship with you in church today. I’m grateful also to remember the Lord through the ordinance of the sacrament. There’s something wonderful that happens when we partake of the sacrament. It’s not magic, but even after all these years, I can’t really explain why it’s so special and sacred. It just is.

The sacrament helps me to feel loved and closer to the Lord. I wish I could keep that feeling with me every day, all week long. I could not speak with you today about Becoming the Pure in Heart without the power of the sacrament and the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life. I am grateful for His gift of forgiveness.

I love the Savior. He has done so much for me and has asked so little in return. Actually, He has probably asked a whole lot more of me but I haven’t been listening. I have been dragging my feet about doing what He has asked. I am not pure in heart, but I want to be. Thus, I’m grateful for this assignment.

Promised Day is Approaching

When President Kimball spoke on this subject in General Conference many years ago (April 1978), he shared a scripture that impressed me. In section 58 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we read:

“Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.

Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come; And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;

And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come.”

President Kimball promised, “This day will come. It is our destiny to help bring it about.” He asked, “Doesn’t it motivate you to lengthen your stride and quicken your pace as you do your part in the great sanctifying work of the kingdom? It does me. It causes me to rejoice…”

Something Majestic and Divine

In a more recent General Conference address in Nov 2002, Keith B. McMullin, now an emeritus General Authority tells this story, related to a hymn we sing that pertains to the coming forth of Zion. He said:

“As a young boy growing up in southern Utah, the concepts of Zion were much less clear to me than they are today. We lived in a small town not far from Zion National Park. In church we often sang the familiar words (Hymn #7):

Israel, Israel, God is calling,
Calling thee from lands of woe.
Babylon the great is falling;
God shall all her tow’rs o’erthrow.
Come to Zion, come to Zion
Ere his floods of anger flow.
Come to Zion, come to Zion
Ere his floods of anger flow.

“In my little-boy mind, I saw the magnificent cliffs and towering stone pinnacles of that national park. Meandering through the high-walled canyons flowed a river of water—sometimes placid, sometimes a raging torrent. You can probably imagine the confusion experienced as this little boy tried to put together the words of the hymn with the familiar surroundings of that beautiful park.

Though it was not a perfect fit, lodged in my mind was the impression that Zion was something majestic and divine. Over the years, a grander understanding has emerged. In the scriptures we read,

“Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore let Zion rejoice…” (D&C 97:21)

We are Favored of God

The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; … they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory.”

As Carol taught, Zion is both a place and a people. The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion “because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Although we have certainly not yet achieved that state, we often sing hymn #5 as a reminder:

High on the mountain top
A banner is unfurled.
Ye nations, now look up;
It waves to all the world.
In Deseret’s sweet, peaceful land,
On Zion’s mount behold it stand!
For God remembers still
His promise made of old
That he on Zion’s hill
Truth’s standard would unfold!
Her light should there attract the gaze
Of all the world in latter days.

Zion and the Temple

In the meridian of time, when the sun was setting on the mortal ministry of the Messiah, he departed the temple at Jerusalem for the last time. Climbing atop the Mount of Olives with his disciples, the Savior prophesied the cataclysmic events that would precede the destruction of Jerusalem and his second coming. He then issued this portentous admonition to his disciples, ancient and modern: “Then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.”

Latter-day revelations provide understanding. They teach that in our day, amidst strife and catastrophe and pestilence, there are two kingdoms locked in grim struggle for the souls of men—Zion and Babylon. More than once they repeat the injunction to “stand in holy places” for a refuge from these storms of latter-day life. Prominent among such holy places, and key to all the others, is the temple of the Lord. The words Zion and temple belong in the same sentence together.

Summer Cottage in Babylon

Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become the pure in heart. “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,” said the Lord; “otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” (D&C 105:5)

The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.

To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon.

The Blessings of Heaven

We must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by offering a “broken heart and a contrite spirit.” We follow this by giving our best effort in our assigned fields of labor and callings. We learn our duty and execute it fully. Finally we consecrate our time, talents and means as called upon by our file leaders and as prompted by the whisperings of the Spirit.

In the Church … we can give expression to every ability, every righteous desire, every thoughtful impulse. Whether a volunteer, father, home teacher, bishop, or neighbor, whether a visiting teacher, mother, homemaker, or friend—there is ample opportunity to give our all. And as we give, we find that “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!” And in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all.

We can See the Lord

OK, I’ve finished sharing quotes from the assigned material. I’d like to add a few personal thoughts about my own struggle to become pure in heart. As I said in the beginning, I’m not. But I want to be. Why?

Blessed are the Pure in Heart for They Shall See God (Matthew 5:8)

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who
1. forsaketh his sins and
2. cometh unto me, and
3. calleth on my name, and
4. obeyeth my voice, and
5. keepeth my commandments,
shall see my face and know that I am;

D&C 93:1

My Personal Witness

I’ve asked the Lord in prayer for permission to share a somewhat sacred experience from my college days. He said yes. In this story I’m going to relate a great effort I made at that time to purify my heart. This is from my journal. It occurred over 35 years ago.

I was 17 years old at the time.  It was in the Fall of 1974.  My family joined the Church in 1962 when I was five. I feel I grew up as a member of the Church. I attended Primary, Sunday school, Mutual and Seminary.  However, during my Senior year of High School, there was about a six to eight month period of time that I hung with the wrong kind of friends and did not attend church.  In short, I had some repenting to do and felt a strong desire to know my standing before the Lord.

Apostolic invitation

Early in the Fall of 1974, I attended an assembly at Ricks College, now BYU Idaho, in which I distinctly remember President Henry B. Eyring introducing Elder LeGrand Richards as our devotional speaker.  I had heard Elder Richards speak in General Conference before but I had never been in the same meeting with him in which I could feel his spirit and sense his enthusiasm for the gospel.  Something in me caused me to sit still and pay careful attention to what he was saying.

As he taught the gospel and bore fervent testimony of the work of the Lord I remember thinking to myself how much I would like to be able to speak with the power, confidence and enthusiasm that he had.  A distinct impression came over me, and I attribute this to the whisperings of the spirit, that I could have that same witness that Elder Richards had and that I could teach like that someday if I would pay the price of study, devotion, obedience and especially of intense prayer.

Led by the Lord

As I left the devotional assembly I pondered long and hard the message I had felt from the spirit.  Like Joseph said, I reflected upon it again and again.  Never had anything penetrated my heart so deeply.  I felt drawn to the possibility that I could know what Elder Richards knew and that I could receive it in the way he testified – through humble prayer and revelation from the Lord.  I wanted to know what the Lord thought of my efforts to repent thus far and my efforts to become pure in heart.

On Friday, I determined I was going to put the promise to the test.  My roommate was gone for the evening to a dance so I knew I would have a few hours alone to talk to the Lord in prayer.  I felt filled with desire as I began my efforts and was impressed that the words flowed so easily.  It was clear to me that the spirit was directing my thoughts and helping me to express myself.  I am confident I went on for a solid hour reviewing my life with the Lord as I prayed aloud.

Painful confession

The second hour was not so easy.  In fact, it became very difficult to confess my sins of the year that had passed and to have revealed to me the effects my actions had upon myself and on others.  Tears flowed as I saw how I had hurt myself and others and again, the spirit impressed me how the Lord felt about my sadness and the misery that I had caused for myself.  I felt no judgment or condemnation, only that the Lord was pained because of my pain and that he wanted to heal me.

Finally, in the third hour, I was in agony as I pled with the Lord to forgive me and to restore to me the innocence and happiness I had once felt before the days of my rebellion.  I asked again and again for relief.  I wanted to know that I had been forgiven and that I would yet be able to make something of my life in spite of the sin and disobedience of earlier days.  I pleaded and begged for a witness or a manifestation of the Lord’s love for me and that I had been forgiven.

Opposition is real

Toward the end of the third hour I saw clearly in my mind’s eye the reality of the existence of unclean and evil spirits.  As I recalled moments of my sinful behavior, the Lord showed to me that I was not alone, that there were beings from the unseen world participating with me in my sin.  I was appalled at the scenes I was recalling and abhorred the fact that the adversary had used me during those moments.  My pain was real and I was suffering terribly.

Just as I was about to give up in despair that I would receive no relief from my torment, just as I had about decided that my emotional outpouring of grief and misery were in vain, I realized that something unusual was happening about and within me.  I began to sit very still and to pay close attention to what I was feeling or rather sensing.  A tangible feeling of peace descended upon me. A feeling of happiness entered into my heart and mind. It was powerful, almost a sense of euphoria.

Revelatory experience

Warmth filled my being from head to toe.  I sensed light all around and within me.  This is the most difficult and personal part to describe of what I experienced.  I did not see anything with my eyes.  I did not hear anything with my ears.  But I knew that I was not alone at that moment.  I sensed the presence of my Savior. I felt His love. I basked in it for a moment before I realized I was hearing words, even full sentences in my mind. I saw myself at some future time in my life, participating in sacred and powerful events related to the gospel.

I can’t adequately describe what I saw in my mind’s eye and felt in my heart, but I can tell you I sat transfixed for what seemed like another hour as scene after potential scene of my life was revealed to me.  I both saw and heard myself speaking and teaching the gospel with that same kind of confidence I had seen in Elder Richards earlier in that week.  I knew as I was seeing this that it was not guaranteed, but was conditional upon my willingness to prepare for it.

Everything changed

From then on, everything changed.  I knew I would soon be going on a mission.  I knew I would marry in the temple.  I knew I would accept and serve faithfully in many callings over the years.  I knew I would serve in leadership positions in my wards and stakes.  I saw myself doing all these things. I especially saw myself teaching and speaking from the pulpit, hearing specific things that I would be saying and teaching.  It was amazing to me.

Now, as I said this was a personal and sacred experience. I share it with you because I felt prompted by the Lord to do so. If you are not familiar with the revelatory process you could describe this as the frenzies of a deranged mind, brought on by emotional distress over the imagined need to repent for what I considered sins. Anyone can say what they like, but to me it was real. Nobody will ever be able to take away this experience that I still hold sacred.  The feelings that accompanied this revelation are indescribable but filled me with joy.

Conclusion and Invitation

At that time in my life, I knew I had been made whole. The healing came from being in the presence of the Lord. I knew He was there. I felt His presence. I was healed but I was not as pure as I should have been. He ministered unto me and showed me things about my life that allowed me to progress and grow. The pure in heart shall see God. I long for the day when I can return to the kind of faith I had back then and come back into the Lord’s presence. Perhaps then I will see Him. May we each seek to be pure in heart as we prepare to dwell in Zion.

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