Determining Your Mission in Life

JacobBlessesSonsFirst of all, YOU determine your mission in life. Nobody else can do it for you. YOU decide what you want to do with your life. YOU decide what it is that God would like you to do with your life. If you feel God would like you to be a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then you be the best damn member of the LDS Church you can possibly be.

If you feel God wants you to become an expert on LDS Church History, then by all means, do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Obviously you’ll want to be balanced in your pursuit. We all have a regular life – you know, work, school, family, sleep, church, social and the like. But if God has given you a desire to pursue something and you feel it is right, then give it your heart.

Don’t take crap from anybody who tells you how wrong you are to be focused on something that gives you pleasure and provides you with enjoyment. Especially beware of well-meaning people who want you to adopt their modus operandi in life as yours. Just because they can’t understand what makes you tick, doesn’t give them the right to tell you how wrong you are for your focus.

May God Bless the LDS Church

For example, on my last post, a well-intentioned individual decided to let loose with all kinds of advice that apparently works well for that person in their life, but is so full of judgement and fear I could hardly read it without laughing out loud. I won’t name the reader. I value their comments and they are welcome to post them as they please, but it was so, so very wrong for my situation.

LDSChurchOfficeBuildingI love the LDS Church. Always have. Always will. It has a special and sacred mission. It was established by divine mandate. It was led by the Lord for many generations. The hand of the Lord prospered the LDS Church and just about everything it did. No matter how many ways the imperfect leaders and members messed it up, it always came out on top because God blessed it.

The Lord is still blessing the LDS Church, the members and the leaders. They are sustained by the prayers of the faithful members. I continue to pray for them, every night, by name, and ask the Lord to bless them in their work. I pray for those who are sick. I ask the Lord to join my faith with the faith of millions of members of the LDS Church all over the world praying for them.

How You Judge Reveals You to Others

I was a member of the LDS Church for over fifty years. I continue to attend the LDS Church. I love the local leaders and pray for them each night. I enjoy listening to the counsel of these leaders and see the hand of the Lord upon them. There is no doubt they have prayed for the help of the Lord to magnify their callings. They are blessed according to their faith and prayers.

speaking-in-churchPlease don’t judge my motivation as to why I write about the LDS Church. Don’t assume to know what makes me tick. Don’t think you know what my mission in life is. Don’t proclaim I have a fixation with the LDS Church when you have no right to proclaim any such thing. You have no idea what my mission is. You don’t know what the Lord has shared with me about this.

Just because you are offended by any mention of the LDS Church doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about it. You don’t have to read my blog. Go elsewhere. What you’ll find here are good things about the LDS church, the leaders, the programs and the much good accomplished by the LDS Church. I don’t care about the cost of City Creek mall. I gave my tithing willingly. So there.

Seek to Find Common Ground

My desire is to minister to the good people of the LDS Church. I am most familiar with the inner workings for the church, having served in a local leadership capacity for over twenty-five years. I have no desire to tell, persuade or convince anyone to leave the LDS Church. There is too much good in our local wards and stakes. I look forward to my continued association with my friends.

josephsmith.jpgYou don’t know my mission. I am not here to shake anything up. I am here to bless and bring attention to good things wherever they may be in the LDS Church or in the culture or in any one of the many Mormon groups that claim to be part of the restoration movement. If you know and love Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon then you and I have a lot in common.

I love the LDS Temples. I wish I could go. I miss attending the temple. The LDS Church has not done me wrong in any way, shape or form. They have gone out of their way to be nice to me, to see to my spiritual needs and to truly befriend me as best they can. Nobody is perfect. No leader can be everything we think they should be. The burden we put on local leaders is so very unfair.

Seek to Strengthen Your Marriage

I pray for the success of the mission of the LDS Church. I pray for the continued success or the missionaries, local and foreign. I pray they will be a good example and not mess anything up. They are young and inexperienced. I am so grateful they are blessed with good and faithful mission presidents and mothers who look out for them. Some were my missionary companions.

EldersBookOfMormonIf you choose to leave the LDS Church out of your life, that’s your prerogative. It will be a big part of mine until the day I die. The LDS Church has a mission. I intend to watch it fulfill that mission. I will never be a member again but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a friend. I am married to one of the most dedicated, faithful, loyal and protective members of the Church in all the world.

I have watched her become stronger in her beliefs, her practices and her prayers. She is studying the atonement of Jesus Christ and shares with me her observations as she reads. Carol reads the scriptures every night before she goes to bed. I’m more hit and miss in reading. I tend to spend a lot of time on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the scriptures – the days I work from the home office.

Your Mission Is Not My Mission

Your claim that I have a fixation with the LDS church is wrong. Your statement I am looking backward not forward is wrong. Your claim I must forgive the LDS Church is erroneous. Your proclamation that I am full of judgment and fear more likely applies to your own life, not mine. People tend to see in others what is most bothersome in themselves. I suggest you repent of that.

new-heavens7You ask why I feel the need to talk about the LDS Church now that I have resigned. Has it ever occurred to you maybe that Lord wants me to write about the LDS Church? Have you thought maybe the Lord and I have discussed this and have come to the conclusion my best work can be done by reaching out to those like me who have been faithful all their lives but have questions?

You don’t know me. You never will. Nobody can. My family doesn’t know me. My wife doesn’t know me. The only person who knows me is God. He and I talk every day, all day throughout the day. We discuss the challenges I face. We talk about solving problems together. We laugh about the silly things people do and say. We cry together about misunderstandings and injustices.

Come Place Your Name in the Temple

recorders-clearinghouseWe cry together about the calamities that are coming upon the earth. We discuss ways we can do more to reach people to warn them without sounding like a fool. We mourn for those who judge me and my friends because we are so adamant the Lord is actively moving among the good LDS people in a way most of them don’t recognize. He is finding a few here and there who will listen.

There are thousands who have heard the message of the messenger He sent. Yes, thousands. I wish more people would come forward and record their names on the register. Do they just not realize how important this is? This is the list of names to be presented to the Lord in the temple when He comes again. My name is on that list. Is yours? Why haven’t you sent it to be recorded?

You advised me to let go of the Church soapbox. Sorry. If what I write offends you, don’t read my blog. This is what I know. This is how the Lord works with me. Maybe he works differently with you. I honor that. You can best serve your creator by honoring the choices of others. Don’t pretend you know what is best for another. Only God can tell them that. God reveals missions.


The Truth about the Retreat

RemnantFamilyReunionOver the past week there has been a great deal of misunderstanding and accusation concerning the Remnant Family Reunion. It is time for this drama and divisive contention to end. It is time to clarify truth amongst all of the chaos and rumor.

For the purpose of placing our focus back on the Lord Jesus Christ. And for the purpose of clarifying error, so that we might all move forward, I offer the following:

In November of 2014, I was directed by the Lord to facilitate a “Remnant Family Reunion.” Since that time He has given me some direction through the Holy Spirit concerning this event. These messages have been received in the usual manner-and are simply the result of sincere prayer.

This morning, I went to the Lord and first begged Him to forgive me of my sins. Then I  simply said: “Oh Lord, what would thou have me say or do? Direct me, and I will obey. Lead me, and I will follow.”

JesusChristDelParsonThe Lord Responded: “A revelation will not be provided, so that it might be mocked and create more mourning among this people…I will however continue to speak unto you and unto all of my children, for I am a God of Mercy and I love you all.”

“As your Savior, I have travailed the darkness of wrath, and each of you, who walk after me, must do the same. Fear not, to abandon fear. For in so doing, you find Me.”

“I see all things, and know your heart. I see all things, and I know the heart of Samantha. Carry on, focusing on me, and I will bring you home to a place you have not yet known.”

“Those who have eyes to see, will see…Let the residue go.”

“Those who have hearts to hear, have already heard, and already seen the Majesty and Power of My Father.”

“I allow you to answer once, but I forbid you from rebuking evil at this time. For my ways are not your ways, and in me the course is sure.”

Bret: Is there anything else Lord you would have me say?

The Lord: “Tell the people watching, that you do not speak for me. That I speak for myself through each of you. That I am both the Father and the Son, that in me, we might become ONE.”

“Tell them, that they need not rely on any man, for if they do, the gates of hell will swallow them whole, leaving the Zion that could have come, desolate and bare.”

And finally, tell them that my angels are watching, that they might know who to “watch over,” when the destructions come and the people flee.”

Tell them these things Bret, and if the gates of hell open wide the mouth after thee, know thou my son, it is for thy good, and I will lead you home.”


77TruthsI understand that sharing this message will invoke more judgment and harassment from those who are under the influence of darkness. I cannot control the misinterpretations and persecution that some choose to inflict. However, I can do, and will do, exactly what the Lord directs. Nothing more. Nothing less.

With that acknowledged, the Lord allows me to clarify some issues at this time. These words that follow are my own-and they are not perfect. So I ask in advance that you forgive me for my weakness. With my wife, we have prayed for the pure love of Christ to overcome our wounds and selfishness. What is written below is our best effort to share the truth, without creating more contention.

Clarification #1:  God is truth, and there is great peace in Him. In relation to attending this Retreat, I have repeatedly pled with people to go directly to the Lord for confirmation. Many beautiful souls have felt led to come, and many beautiful souls have not felt led to come. Follow Him. Do as he leads you, and for those who believe this gathering is all an inappropriate deception, I say again: Go in peace and serve the Lord as He so directs you! We send you only His good will and best wishes.

Clarification #2: There will be no apologies for what the Lord has spoken. There will be no minimizations of what He has directed. I cannot own the exaggerations and intentional distortions which have been promulgated. It is important that those who are coming know  nothing has been “dialed back” in response to these fears and rumors. God willing, the Retreat will go on exactly as the Lord has directed. Ironically, and as an example of the insanity we have all endured, there never was going to be a “honeycomb dance” at the Retreat. There was then, and is now, going to be sacred Jewish dance that introduces the participants to the sacred beauty of worshipping through the vehicle of praise. I must say, some of us Remnant Saints tend to think we are “out of the box,” but then when  something greater is simply introduced, we still fly to pieces like glass. No wonder Joseph struggled and struggled with the early Saints, but despite our weakness and unbelief, all that God has directed continues to be provided. No apologies. No compromise. No fear.

Clarification #3 My wife Samantha is a Holy Being of Light. If the Lord would allow me, I would rebuke all evil away from her, nevertheless, I submit to His wisdom and simply witness that my wife is respectful of sacred things. In contrast to what was reported, she does not trifle with that which is holy. If there is anyone to blame, it is me. Last year when our family visited Lynne and her husband, we had a nice conversation. Because Lynne was so obsessed with deception and everything relating to Heavenly Mother, and because I had tasted some of the Holiness that attends the Honeycomb event, I had a strong desire to share with Lynne that not everything occurring in relation to Heavenly Mother was a deception. In my desire to offer an alternative perspective, I encouraged / pushed Samantha to share some of her experiences. This was a mistake on my part, and even though my wife spoke very little about the honeycomb, (probably less than three minutes), Lynne has now taken those “sound-bites” out of context and turned them into a mockery of fear. If you must blame someone, blame me. Samantha is Holy. I am the one who in the past has been impatient and impulsive. I do not believe Lynne has intentionally done this, but I do believe her wounds and fears about being deceived overcome her words and actions. Perhaps all of us, including myself, could now go forward-and leave the judging to the Lord.

Clarification #4 Language is powerful, and much of what I shared with Lynne on a personal basis has been distorted and exaggerated. I want to clarify that when the Lord commanded this Retreat to occur, He suggested that there would be 8 Speakers. I immediately hoped Denver Snuffer could be one of them, but the Spirit said “no.” I then hoped that I could speak, and the Spirit again said “no,” I was told that I was to facilitate this event and testify with the group when led to do so. Then the names of those who were called to speak came very clearly. It was direct and it was exact. Lynne McKinley was one of those names, and I have no regrets in obeying the Spirit and asking her to speak. I did not know at the time she would choose to play this role, but the Lord did, and so the wisdom of God plays out before us. He is the Master of this storm and every storm! In Him, the miscommunications and misleading assumptions become clear and discernible. In Him, truth prevails.

Clarification #5. We all have a testimony of Christ, we all have personal revelation, and we all need to become prophets and prophetesses within our own ministries. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator, and living in constant fear of having a “strongman,” wouldn’t it be wise for all of us to instead be strong in the Lord?

When I write of the Lord personally talking to me, or calling me, or giving me a message to share, it is indeed very personal. With that said, if it helps the reader in some way, I have not yet received the Second Comforter in the flesh and I do not claim an interest in leading anyone. I mean I have to laugh, haven’t we all had enough of organized religion? Haven’t we all had enough of some leader mistakenly thinking we need them? In response to this “strongman” stuff, I say: Go to God, stop projecting your issues onto me, and I assure you that in response, I will honor your personal and unique experience with the Father. (I shouldn’t write this, but I can’t help myself. I mean can you imagine trying to “lead” Rock Waterman? It just isn’t going to happen!…In response, I say smiles to all, let’s move forward. Go in peace as the Captain of your own soul!) There is no strongman here.

Clarification #6:  Finally, there are so many accusations and distortions floating around out there, I can only respond to most of them in this summarized manner.

  • We are not attempting to establish Zion, but we are attempting to repent deeper, that in time we might be gathered by the Lord and His Angels, unto His Zion.
  • We are not interested in starting a new church, but we are interested in being saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We do not all have an LDS background, but we are all committed to Preserving the Restoration and receiving the Truth of All Things.
  • We are not rushing up the pass, but we do intend to contribute to the sacred nature of the Grand Mesa. If you feel like it is inappropriate to gather on the Mesa, then honor that intuition within you, and follow Him in your way.
  • We are not taking our eyes off the Savior, but we do acknowledge our Mighty Father and our Holy Mother. Without apology, and without omission.
  • I am not deceived, but I am not the point, and it doesn’t matter if it looks that way to others.
  • I was gratefully rebuked by Denver Snuffer, (but for the hundredth time), his correction was not about this Retreat. The fact that this continues to be used against me is quite amazing, and another example of how honest communication with those who have an agenda is impossible.
  • It is true that this Retreat is not a party, and it is not just a social gathering. Those who come out of curiosity, or to fault-find, will experience exactly what they expected. If you come in a spirit of fear and fault-finding, you will go home spiritually empty. In comparison, those who come to Know God, and be lifted up by His Spirit and His angels, will experience that also. One of the great ironies about all of this chaos, is that in reality this retreat has nothing to do with men, leaders, speakers, and people, and everything to do with your personal relationship with the Divine. For the last time, if the Lord hasn’t led you to come, please go in peace and serve Him in another way. You will not be comfortable here in this space. Let it be understood: I will not own your criticisms, and I will not own your self-sabotage. If you come to destroy, you will destroy yourself. I have my own sins, and will not carry yours. My wife and I have no agenda or need, or attachment to having anyone come to this Retreat. If necessary, Samantha and I will go up the mountain alone, and in fact, in many ways, we already have. For in the end, all of us journey unto The Christ alone. He is the miracle, and nothing less will do.

Clarification #7: In closing, I want to share a personal witness about the Lord and this Remnant Family Reunion.

A long time ago, when the plans for the Retreat were just coming into focus. My wife and I knew that we would be misunderstood and misjudged.

This past week has reminded us of another time-when we stood before the High Council at our church trial and assured the brethren that we as a church were not being loyal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During the excommunication process we read from scripture, while they referred to the church policy manual. We testified of Christ, while they talked about the brethren. It was really quite telling, and the Lord smiled on us all. At the end our church court, the vote to end my church membership was not unanimous, and now the “Alma” which sat on the High Council – who had opposed the decision, will also be worshipping with us in May,

But the greater point, is not about our life experience. Rather it is about how the Lord suggested I end the church trial, and how He now suggests I end this message.

Trust in the Keeper of the Gate

O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken. O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

2 Nephi 9:40-41

For surely! Holy, Holy, Holy, is our Lord!

A long time ago, Samantha and I determined that we would trust in the Mighty Keeper of the Gate!  We promised that when He spoke, we would do His will, enact His direction, and share His message.

We make no apologies. We offer no minimizations. There will be no compromise.

And so it is.

Now and forever in The Christ,

Bret and Samantha Corbridge


Sharing Spiritual Experiences

FreedomOne of the binding ties all human beings can have in common, if they want it, is the sharing of spiritual experiences. Because we are children of God, we have His promise and an opportunity to approach Him in prayer, obtain revelation for ourselves, and, when appropriate, share it with others. This has always been the basic premise and core of my blogging efforts over the years.

I know not everyone agrees. I am questioned over and over in private emails, and in comments on this blog, why I feel the need to share some experience or some event from my life. This has been especially true when what I have shared is contrary to what others believed appropriate. I’m not sure why there seems to be this wide-spread fear we’re not supposed to speak of such things.

enospraying.jpgA Call for More Personal Revelation

In 2008 I shared an early experience of hearing the voice of the Lord at age 18. This sacred and powerful spiritual event occurred in prayer at the conclusion of a three-day fast. I was preparing spiritually and intellectually for my mission and wanted to be certain about some aspects of LDS church history I was learning. In the post I detailed how I went about obtaining the revelation.

I was surprised at the response of some readers who wrote privately to say they were offended or that I had offended the spirit. They warned if I continued to share such experiences, I could be certain the Lord would no longer trust me and would withhold any future revelations. I found through personal experience they were wrong and wondered why they felt the need to warn me.

RicksDevotionalLetter to a Reader

In 2010, at the request of a reader, I shared details about my experience of receiving the baptism of fire at age 17. After writing and posting my recollection of the event, I received more private emails announcing such events were for my own edification only and were to be kept private. I puzzled once again over what could have motivated these individuals to urge me into secrecy.

It was as if what I was sharing was foreign to them, that they had never experienced such a thing, and therefore felt either threatened by my account or felt I had been deceived by evil spirits. In fact, some who knew me from the rebellious days of my teens were very specific in accusing me of having simply experienced hallucinogenic flashbacks. They were wrong for several reasons.

TCaliforniaJamhe Attitude of Mocking

The poor decisions of my teen years which led me away from the safety of the Lord for a season caused me to feel like the proverbial coal on the hearth. Away from the warmth of the fire, I felt cold and lonely, even lost. I was away from the fire of the spirit and treading in outer darkness. Seeking comfort in the great and spacious building brought nothing but fear and paranoia for me.

On the other hand, repentance, or the turning from sin, brought immediately relief and a sense of the presence of God in my life again. This was ratified by not one but two sacred events in the summer of my 17th year that have caused me to wonder at the mercy of God in offering such real and powerful experiences to an undeserving and rebellious youth as me. They were profound.

BeStill_FribergParting the Veil

I shared these two experiences earlier this year in my post on parting the veil. If you go through the hundred plus comments you will find grateful readers who experienced something similar in their lives and expressed appreciation for what they read and the feelings it generated. However, what isn’t shared is the number of private emails and contrary comments from my priesthood leaders.

It was about this time I was undergoing regular meetings with my Bishop in which my loyalty to the LDS Church and the idea of following the prophet was being emphasized over and over. It was a difficult thing for me to sort out my feelings. On the one hand I felt the Lord whispering to my soul about what He would like me to share. On the other hand, I had feelings of oppression.

The day of the Lord will come quicklyThe Doctrine of Additional Prophets

I didn’t recognize those feelings until my friend Log pointed them out to me. When disciplinary measures were invoked upon me shortly after this time, I struggled with powerful feelings of frustration and resentment. I knew I was being led by the Lord to share my experiences. Yet I was being told by my priesthood leaders my detailed posts made some members uncomfortable.

My poor bishop was being bombarded with dozens of complaints from members of the stake who were telling him he needed to rein me in. When he shared this with me I about fell off my chair. Was the material offensive? The events were true. They were shared with a desire to bless and inspire, to uplift and to strengthen feelings of appreciation for a God who reveals truths.

Adam-and-Eve-Kneeling-at-Altar-PrayingThe True Order of Prayer

In fairness, perhaps it was not these posts in particular that others found offensive. It was more likely the posts in which I shared my experiences in prayer – the true order of prayer – that caused him to take disciplinary action. I was reading, pondering and sharing my thoughts as I studied the writings and lectures of a man I considered a modern-day Abinidi or Enoch.

You read my post on the true order of prayer and tell me if it was offensive. I was told this post in particular was one that brought many of the complaints. It caused me to marvel and mourn at the unbelief and unwillingness of others in my own stake, some in my own High Priest’s group, to consider that such a practice in the home is not only authorized but encouraged of the Lord.

MormonTempleWhy I Resigned From the LDS Church

My decision to resign instead of go through the disciplinary process was one I considered most carefully. I reflected again and again upon the promises in my patriarchal blessing about being led by the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. The patriarch worded the blessing in such a way as to have great affect in my understanding the Lord did speak to me and I could hear His voice.

I felt like Joseph. I had heard the voice of the Lord invite me to share my revelatory experiences. Yet priesthood leaders in my ward and stake were condemning me for sharing such things and demanding action be taken to control or compel me to cease such sharing. How could this be? Why did sharing my thoughts, feelings and spiritual experiences cause them such discomfort?

LecturesOnFaithYou Want Me to Sacrifice What?

It has been a long journey these past seven years. The Lord had been prompting me to start a blog for at least two years before I finally heeded the promptings. Things started small. I knew they would. I hoped to simply reach a few people who might be experiencing similar feelings of cognitive dissonance between what the LDS Church taught and what I knew had happened.

I prayed constantly over the blog. I asked for inspiration and revelation. It came. I shared. I confirmed it was what the Lord wanted in visits to the temple and intense efforts in fasting to make my spirit more contrite. He tested me. He asked me to give up my comfortable job to see if I would be willing to walk away from worldly security. I never imagined such a requirement.

Keys-of-the-KingdomWresting the Keys of the Kingdom

When I was introduced to and read PtHG from Denver Snuffer, I once again had a profound revelatory experience that could not be denied. At that moment I knew where it would lead. I knew the LDS Church and I would eventually part ways. I did my best to stay within the church, but eventually it became too hard to keep what I was experiencing within the orthodox tradition.

The Lord sent a messenger, a trusted servant, one who also was not shy about declaring a witness that eventually got him cast off from the LDS Church. I studied, I prayed, I studied some more, I prayed more intently. I continued to tell the Lord the things I was learning did not jive with what I had been taught growing up. Yet I could not deny it. The Lord was clear and specific in reply.

TimBaptism2aCroppedA Day of Rejoicing – A New Beginning

I knew I needed to show the Lord I believed him – both the messenger and what I was receiving directly from the Lord. I knew what the response would be. It has been the same from the day I started blogging and sharing spiritual experiences. “You have been deceived,” I was told. “It is not the spirit of the Lord telling you these things,” they said. “You must follow the prophet.”

Well, I suppose I agree only my definition of a prophet and theirs are two different things. I’ll conclude with this thought: What if the Lord did send a prophet among us in our day, to tell us the events of the last days pertaining to the establishment of Zion were about to unfold? What if the Lord really did send a messenger from outside the hierarchy of the LDS Church? What then?

77Truths77 Truths – Removing False Traditions

It’s only been five weeks ago I was baptized. I thought I was comfortable with and understood how the Holy Ghost works in our lives. I can see now I have been in a preparatory and schooling priesthood all my life. There is a higher priesthood available to us and it doesn’t come from the LDS Church. It comes directly from the Lord and in no other way. It is not received from man.

I invite you to consider what is happening in the LDS Church today. My friend Log has given us good advice in his post to contend against no church save it be the church of the devil. I will not speak evil of the LDS Church. It has been a blessing in my life for over fifty years. But there is another church we need to seek to join. It is the Church of the Firstborn and it resides in heaven.

Seeing the Lord Jesus Christ

JesusChristDelParsonTo start off I want to thank Tim for following the Spirit. He has received the assignment that he claimed he received. I know it. He knows it. Many wonderful things are happening in the world right now, and many wonderful things are happening in the hearts of individuals. This is where Zion is built, right within the hearts of God’s sheep.

I have felt impressed to share some things that I learned for my own spiritual progression in the past. Many of the things that I have received by revelation concerning certain scriptures may not directly apply to you, but in the small chance that they do, I am glad to share.

Quick, ask yourself, “Why do I want to see Jesus Christ?”…..What comes to mind? Was an answer available immediately? Why do most people want to see Jesus? Seriously, I mean what is it about seeing the Lord that is so intriguing? So many rumors, so many claims, so many people who would love this opportunity, and yet at times we must ask if our hearts are in the right place. I would have to guess that a great many people want to see Jesus Christ to “consume it upon their lusts….”.

Yes, I said it. A lot of people really want to see the Savior because, well, it would be so awesome! Who wouldn’t want a quick peek at our Redeemer? Just to be surrounded in His glory would be amazing. Melvin J Ballard saw the Savior in a dream, and said that he would do ANYTHING to make it back to the presence of the Savior. Many in near death experiences relate that just to be in His arms and feel the unsurpassed love He has is the greatest feeling imaginable.

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to delve into the scriptures and point to some things that I learned about coming into the presence of the Lord, and what the purpose of such an encounter might be.

2 Nephi 32
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
7 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.

First off, a teaching that many are learning at a rapid rate, and that is that in order to see our Savior, we must follow the Holy Ghost. We must obtain the Holy Ghost, and trust in His voice in all things. There is no teaching here to trust in any man. We have heard this a lot lately, and it is beautiful to see many people waking up to this fact, but the meat of these verses that I want to focus on is in verse six. Notice that Nephi doesn’t say “…and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you. And when he shall manifest himself unto you, the things…”. Nephi put in a key that is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to this whole process. He stated unequivocally that the visitation he was talking about was “in the flesh”.

Then he explained that when Jesus does come unto us “in the flesh”, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do. There it is. The purpose of a visitation from our Savior is to receive higher commandments, higher truths, and then observe to do them.

Wait a minute! Hang on….. just before this Nephi stated that “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, wherefore they speak the words of Christ…”. Also Nephi said that the Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do..”

In countless occasions in the scriptures, we learn that God speaks to individuals by the Holy Ghost. The spirit of revelation is real, the voice of the Lord is real. God can speak plainly to us by the Spirit. We can receive commandments by the Spirit, the very scriptures we read were given by the guidance of the Holy Ghost . So what exactly does Nephi mean that when Jesus appears IN THE FLESH, that “the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do…” Why would we need such a visitation in order for Him to tell us anything? We know right after this Nephi was told by the Spirit to go no further… The Spirit stopped his utterance, and he was left to mourn…

I want to testify that I know that the reason for this is something that God wants revealed to many of His chosen people in this day. The laborers must know, so that they can be prepared to go forth “armed with power”. I pray that I can relate this plainly and in the Spirit, and that a few of the readers might be pierced to their very souls, and learn of God’s desire for them to prepare NOW, so that He might appear to them “in the flesh.” There will be no 144,000 sent, no mighty and strong one raised up, without the truth of these things not only being known, but also being experienced by those chosen vessels.

Let us start with the beginning of the process of being “sent”. In Hebrews 5:4 it is written that “no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God.” The young Samuel heard the voice of the Lord calling him by name “Samuel…” . When Saul was visited by the Savior, the first words spoken to him were “Saul, Saul!…” (His name was called twice, we will come back to this).

Alma 10:6-7 “Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God…. As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house…..”

From the Doctrine and Covenants, “behold, ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice, and harden not their hearts…”.

So a question that we all can ask ourselves, have we been called? Have you heard the voice of the Lord’s spirit calling to your spirit? Even now we can bow our heads in reverence and listen… Listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd. Be still. He will call your own name. We must learn His voice and recognize the call. I know many have heard, and many more will….

“Many are called, but few are chosen….”

How many in times past have heard the voice of the Lord and turned away? How oft have I done it in times past? The answer to my own soul is “Way too many.” I have acted a little like Jonah way too many times. (Sorry Jonah). Man that guy takes a lot of heat. He was actually called, and chosen, and was perhaps one of the best guys around, but he just happened to run away and get swallowed by a whale (or a big fish)!

We each have reasons of the flesh that keep us from hearkening to the voice of our Redeemer; pride, unbelief, fear…it could be anything. The Savior taught that thorns and weeds can choke out the word, a hardened heart, or the wicked one can come steal the word away from us in a variety of ways. We must press forward, feasting on the words of Christ, and not turn back from the call. Again to the scriptures…

Hebrews 3:15 “…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”

So Paul is speaking to those who have heard the voice of God.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Paul sees fit to reiterate this over and over again in Hebrews. Jesus Christ is the Redeemer! He prepared the way. He paid the price! Our sins are happily forgiven when we look to Jesus! We can look to God in boldness and great faith. There are so many occasions when people begin to pray in faith, and they feel the closeness of God, and then a sin or weakness comes to mind and faith is lost. We are our own biggest critics, and this is just what the adversary wants. We think of all of the reasons why Jesus would not appear to us, and we think of all the reasons why we are unworthy, and find ourselves in despair. In reality this is nothing but a lack of faith. Did Christ atone for us or not? The debt is paid. The deed is done. To think that it cannot work for us FOR ANY REASON is denying the power of God. It is like if someone paid off a giant house for you, and you refused to enter it because you felt too poor to live there. The house is paid off, it is in your name, so why not enter in?

Hebrews 6: “4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

God wants us to realize, that once we have truly tasted of the heavenly gift we seek, and know certain things and have been given access to certain powers, that there is no turning back. What we are asking for is not something to take lightly, and God will not give us such a thing unless we understand the commitment involved.

17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. – Hebrews 6

Here is another key. Paul teaches us again that we can trust in God’s promises. What promises has He given you? Have you obtained a promise that Christ will appear to you? Have you asked God if He will? Go get the promise! If God tells you anything by revelation then He has sworn by no greater! God cannot lie. His word is Truth. Have faith to lay hold of the promises we have been given. We cannot rely though on other’s promises. We must obtain our own.

In Hebrews 9 Paul teaches us of the tabernacle of Moses, which is a shadow of heavenly things. The first he called a “worldly sanctuary”. This was after a veil was parted, where one would enter in and reach the candlestick, the table, and the shewbread. One was introduced to the presence of the Lord (symbolism of shewbread). The Spirit has taught me that this can be likened to us being born again IN SPIRIT. When we receive the Holy Ghost, and a remission of sins, we are CHOSEN. We have the opportunity to receive in the flesh (if faithful) the things which have been given to us in the spirit.

Many people since the beginning of our earthly existence have obtained this worldly sanctuary. We are reborn unto God and He places a new spirit in us. Our spiritual desires are changed and we walk with peace and joy (most of the time). The problem here is that being born spiritually does not change are bodies. We still have to war against the flesh and we continually have to be reborn spiritually and plead with God daily for forgiveness. There is something greater, and not only something greater but also something absolutely necessary for redemption!

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; -Hebrews 9

I could paste the whole of Hebrews which I highly recommend studying, but suffice it to say that Paul is teaching that before the coming of Christ, the way was not open for people to enter the “Holiest of all”, save for the high priest, once a year.

Because Christ came and obtained the resurrection, the way is now available for all men and women to enter the Holiest of all! Not only speaking of entering a room in a building on earth, but entering the heavenly sanctuary and coming into the presence of God in heaven. He tells us so many times to have a full assurance of faith, and to not waver. Jesus has done the work, and we need to believe it, and then hearken to His voice until we are lead into His presence.

Paul speaks of testators, and how if we truly want to be chosen and sent, we must be willing to lay down our lives if asked. In fact we must be willing to do anything we are asked! Do we really want this? It seems many people want to behold the Lord, and then come back and continue on with normal life. They do not want to be sent to the Lamanites, or to Ninevah, or to the people of a variety of false religions, or anyone. Who wants to be ridiculed and rejected, and spit at? Do we really want to to “take up our cross?”. Sadly, many people have good desires, but God can see that many also would stumble and fall, if they were chosen for too much, too fast. On the other hand, there are mighty spirits of incredible potential, who have no idea of the power of God that will be placed upon them.

This post is getting long, and this is the first time I have written for a blog. I will continue in a week or two with this line of thought. So far everything that I have mentioned above applies to us seeing Christ in a vision or a dream. We can have these experiences, and they most likely will come before Christ appears in the flesh, but these experiences, although they can be very edifying and uplifting, are not enough. They do not redeem us. In the next post I want to share what I have learned about what people sought after and obtained in the days of Peter, James, and John. It used to be common (ok maybe common is not the right word) for men and women to overcome the elements of the flesh. People became HOLY. They obtained the High Priesthood and saw the Lord “in the flesh”. This power of redemption has not been on the earth for a very long time. Some have gotten close, and God could have blessed many with these things, but many of these blessings have been reserved for this time of the earth, for the times of refreshing, and the restitution of all things. The angels in heaven rejoice for the things developing on the earth!

What is the source of this latest Mormon rumor?To finish I feel impressed to share a dream that I had years ago. The dream began with me sitting across from Thomas S Monson in an office. “So you have a mission to fulfill!” he said. I nodded silently and felt happy to be sitting across from the president of the church. He then pulled a wad of cash from his back pocket and reached it out towards me. “You know that if you don’t go on this mission you can become rich…” he continued.

I smiled and slowly pushed the money back. “President, you know that to a man of God money is meaningless.” I responded. He smiled and the scene immediately changed. I stood in front of a great white temple with gold doors. I knew I was in a heavenly realm and was filled with light and peace. I reached out and touched one of the doors and I KNEW that Jesus Christ was inside of the temple.

I was filled with the spirit and reached out to the handle of one of the doors to walk inside. I had all the confidence in the world to open the door and go see my Savior, but just before I opened the door, Thomas S Monson appeared in front of me. He smiled warmly and said. “Don’t go in to see Him, I will bring Him to you!”.

I woke from the dream immediately and knew it had deep spiritual significance for me. At this time I was an active member of the LDS church and I had studied the second comforter and the second anointing and what others had suggested. God had told me that I would “enter the Holy of Holies” and see the Savior.

I thought for some time that this dream meant that I would be called by the first presidency and receive the second anointing, at which time the Savior would appear. I thought it meant that Thomas S Monson had the keys to bring me into the presence of the Lord. What do you think?

Wresting the Keys of the Kingdom

KeysOfTheKingdomThe Lord woke me at 3am the other morning. I wasn’t sure what He wanted. I prayed, felt led to search and ponder some recent email communications. He asked me to respond to a good brother with whom I had been conversing about the sacrament. The dialog had turned to keys. I wrote him an email. The Lord told me to make it public. I did not heed the prompting. It kept returning.

This morning the Lord woke me at 2am. Okay. I get it. In a Fast and Testimony meeting a few years ago, a ward member got up and said, “I’m supposed to tell you …” Even though I wasn’t there, I can promise you that testimony was discussed in bishopric meeting. You don’t use those kinds of words in the LDS Church from the pulpit these days. Why? He was not in leadership.

Tradition Shall No Longer Rule

I guess I’m still struggling to shed years of tradition about how messages from the Lord are to be delivered. In the LDS Church, you don’t get up and say, “I have a message the Lord asked me to share.” It goes back to D&C 28:1-7 where Oliver was admonished in verse six, “And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head.” It also relates to the seer stone incident (D&C 28:11-13).

Well, things have changed. I’m not used to having the Lord ask me to do something and share it in a public manner as anything other than my opinion. I have a need to repent. This post is an act of repentance for me. The voice of the Lord was clear and direct, even emphatic. It is not my place to judge if it is appropriate or not. I am not to assume it might offend. My desire is to please the Lord.

Listening to the Voice of the Lord

This is the response I wrote to this good brother. He lives in California. He has contributed a lot to the FAIR website over the years, presented at FAIR conferences. I suspect he is the author of the recent postings on that site related to Denver’s book, Passing the Heavenly Gift, as well as several of the entries about Denver’s blog. I was wondering if someone would respond to those.

Thanks for the ongoing dialog. I appreciate your response to my point about keys. I assume you know my background, having been a member of the LDS Church from the time my family joined when I was five years old until just last month, when I resigned at age 57. Keys, Keys, Keys. I’ve heard it all my life. I’ve taught it from the pulpit as a High Councilor and in the classroom as a High Priest Group Leader or Gospel Doctrine Teacher. I’m fairly certain I know the church’s position on keys. I’m more interested in what the Lord has to say to me about keys. If we can agree on the definition: keys open things and can be either knowledge or authority – you tell me which way you lean – then I’d like to know why you say Denver’s claim that the Lord wrested the keys from the LDS Church is false doctrine.

Actually, I suppose I would prefer to focus on how we can each know the truth for ourselves. I know this is a fundamental basic of Mormonism 101 but it applies to this most important of claims. I don’t care about others who have made such a claim. I don’t know them. I do know Denver – a little. I have read his books, studied his blog postings, attended his lectures and, most importantly, prayed incessantly for the past two and a half years (since February 2012) about what he has shared. According to my Bishop and Stake President I have been deceived. According to your words, Denver Snuffer has been led by Satan in his proclamations. I’m sure you know he said the following in the Phoenix / Mesa lecture. I was there with my wife. We both heard it. I was thrilled. Carol was not.

“The Lord has said to me in His own voice, ‘I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.’ Therefore, I want to caution those who disagree with me, to feel free, to feel absolutely free to make the case against what I say. Feel free to disagree, and make your contrary arguments. If you believe I err, then expose the error and denounce it. But take care; take care about what you say concerning me for your sake, not for mine. I live with constant criticism. I can take it. But I do not want you provoking Divine ire by unfortunately chosen words if I can persuade you against it.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never heard anyone, at least not to my recollection, be they leader – local or general – or regular member, who has EVER said the Lord spoke to them and made such a declaration. When Carol heard this, she turned to me, with obvious annoyance, even anger in her voice and said, “He makes himself to be equal to Joseph Smith.” Someone later told me it would be more appropriate to say he made himself equal to Abraham (Genesis 12:3). In any event, it was at that moment, even though I already had prayed and received numerous witnesses to my soul about Denver’s teachings, I felt the spirit of the Lord whisper to me, “This man is authorized to speak for the Lord. He has keys.”

You know, I’m not so sure we need to rehash what Joseph said, or what Denver said. I only care about what the Lord said. When the Lord tells me something, I sit up and take notice. When the Lord whispers to me, I listen and I take action. That’s why I was baptized – as a witness to the Lord I accepted the message delivered by his messenger, Denver. I feel to bless Denver, and do so in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now you tell me he has been deceived by Satan. Wow. That goes so contrary to what I have felt as I have read his books and have carefully studied his witness of the Savior. I can tell you the teachings of this man have brought me closer to Jesus Christ than the words of any LDS Prophet.

Charles, we don’t need to read everything written against Denver on FAIR or review what Watcher has written in his reviews. If we want to continue this dialog, the focus needs to be on personal revelation to your soul and mine. If you can say the Lord has told you “in His own voice,” that Denver is deceived of Satan when I can tell you the Lord has told me “in His own voice” that Denver is authorized to speak on behalf of the Lord, then there is no point in continuing this dialog. Help me understand how you know the voice of the Lord. I would be more than pleased to discuss my experiences with the voice of the Lord. But if you’re going to curse Denver Snuffer, I don’t want to continue this dialog. What say ye?

I have not heard back from D. Charles Pyle. When I awoke at 2am this morning, in addition to posting my response above, I had an email waiting for me from Keith Henderson. You remember Keith. He was the man who stood at the end of the Mesa lecture and sealed it in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. In his email, he gave me permission to share the following:

The Witness of Keith Henderson

Bishop B——- & others who may read: (I have elected to leave out the bishop’s name.)

I can no longer consider myself in line or in agreement with many of the tenets or “doctrine” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it exists today.  The Church has, in my opinion, moved itself so far from the original idea of the Restoration, and the pure Doctrine of Christ, as restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as to be almost un-recognizable to me.

Those things that are particularly offensive to me, and I feel to the Holy Spirit also, are: (See 1-4 below)

1.  The requirement to espouse a belief in and follow a man as though he is equal to God, or as though he can stand between me and God and arbitrate my salvation.  This is an unauthorized addition to the pure Doctrine of Christ as revealed to us by Nephi, Christ Himself, and Joseph, wherein the scripture says anyone adding to His doctrine is not of Christ, but is against Him, and therefore it follows that anyone believing in such an unauthorized addition makes them also against Christ, and not of His church. (See D&C 10: 57-70.  See also 2 Ne. 31: 5 through 2 Ne 32: 6.  Also 3 Ne. 11: 31-49.)  I believe in the scriptures and not in any such additions by other men.

I have in the past sustained Thomas S. Monson as the man who fills the seat entitled President of the High Priesthood or President of the Church, and have offered my prayers in behalf of him and his counselors, in faith and confidence as required by scripture (see D&C 107: 22).  I have offered these prayers that he would measure up, and be sustained by the Lord in the great responsibilities and requirements of this holy office.

When the Church began requiring me to sustain the First Presidency as prophets, seers, and revelators; presumably using the instruction in D&C 107: 92 where it says, “…And to be like Moses; yea to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church;”  I complied, believing, and understanding this to be descriptive of a hope, or ambition, not as an office, and to be given as gifts to them, if God willed to do so.  I never did presume that sustaining them as prophets, seers, and revelators, empowered them to make the claim to possess these gifts in the absence of God bestowing these things upon them.  So I waited for God’s hand to vindicate the expectancy, never thinking that by merely voting I could elevate a mere man to possess what is God’s right alone to give.

It now has become mandatory that I sustain those of the First Presidency as though these gifts are an office, never considering that perhaps the gifts have not been qualified for.  I will not continue to raise my hand to sustain men who never reveal, never prophecy, never demonstrate seership, nor who never translate.  And if any man has these gifts, he does not need my vote to vindicate his power before God, nor does my sustaining him vindicate his claims.  Rather than requiring me to sustain a man’s claims by my vote, perhaps you should require me to vote on the visible and tangible fruits of his claims, and whether I would have them binding on me by my part in the common consent.   I, however, do have a testimony of Joseph Smith demonstrating all these gifts by their fruits, thereby qualifying for my sustaining vote.

I have found it way more profitable to follow and rely upon my Savior, Jesus Christ, than to follow President Monson.  Actually I have yet to find a requirement in the scriptures stating that I have any obligation to follow any man, but I have found plenty of commandments requiring me to follow Jesus Christ.  I do not follow these men, nor will I continue to sustain them as currently required, in that I am required to say they hold all the keys of the Gospel on the earth.  I do not believe they do.  Further I do not believe they [the leaders] or you [their subservients], when you ask this question as part of the recommend interview, can give a delineated list of what these keys are.  Perhaps a list would be helpful, then I could know what is meant, and exactly what I’m subscribing to.  Others may choose to believe otherwise or however they please.

I think that for myself I will rather believe what it says in D&C 76: 99-100, that those who say they are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas, or of John, or Moses, or of Elias, or of Esaias, or of Isaiah, or of Enoch, or even of Thomas S. Monson; that they who say they are of one or another, or of the whole lot of these, qualify themselves as belonging only in a Telestial Glory.  I don’t want that for myself, and don’t think you should want that for me, or for any other, either.  Instead I will continue as I have come to believe, and as it says in 2 Nephi 9: 41-42,

“O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One.  Remember that his paths are righteous.  Behold the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.  And whoso knocketh, to him will he open…”

In other words, I do not believe that the First presidency can or should speak to God, on my personal behalf.  I do not believe the Twelve Apostles can or should speak to God, on my personal behalf.  I will speak to God directly, in the name of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, for and on behalf of my own self, and let Him whose right it is, arbitrate my condition with God, thank you.  The Children of Israel begged Moses to speak to God for them, and not require that they personally speak to God for themselves, and for such a revolution they brought judgment upon themselves containing much less than the fullness of the priesthood, as was God’s original intent.  Can you imagine that?!

“If the children of Israel in that day, were cursed by God because they said Moses must talk to God and not themselves, how much greater must be the damnation upon those today who say, you must not talk to God, because we have one who does so for you!  Who preach that “you are not entitled to receive anything beyond the bonds of your own limited position or calling, in this beehive we’ve constructed!” Damnable heresy!  Doctrines of devils!  Propounded by those who are purveyors of a false priestcraft!  Unauthorized by God! Unsanctioned by Him!  They suffer not themselves to enter in and would hedge up the way for me if I gave heed to them.”

Also I do not find anywhere in scripture, nor do I believe there is any kind of requirement to sustain the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators, or that they hold the keys of the Kingdom of God.  Nor do I believe that any of these above named men and in particular the Church President, are protected by God, in that they cannot do, or speak falsely, or lead others astray, because God will not allow it, or take them away first, or whatever.  For me to believe that, requires me to believe that God has set aside the agency of these men which I do not believe.  Others may think however they like, according to their own knowledge.

2.  The idea that any man, be he prophet or not, can arbitrarily change any scripture or doctrine or ordinance given by God to the Prophet Joseph Smith without direct revelation by God dictating the change, and the common consent vote of the membership making such a revelatory change binding upon the body.

There are too many instances where this has occurred for me to list all, so I will just use a couple as examples:

A.  For example D&C 89, commonly called the Word of Wisdom.  The revelation says at the beginning, “To be sent greeting, not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom…”  It has, however, been elevated (actually changed, not elevated) to a commandment, and made a “constraining” requirement for entry into the temple.  However, not all the revelation in this section is considered in this vein, only verses 5-9.  You tell me it is a commandment that I either abstain from these specified items or I will be “constrained” from attending the temple, where you otherwise say my “spiritual” salvation can be assured.  This revelation tells me, however, that these things are the will of God in regard to my “temporal” salvation, (verse 2) and says nothing concerning them affecting my spiritual salvation.  All other parts of the revelation, and whether or not I obey or disobey, don’t have any bearing on my worthiness.  I can eat anything, healthy or otherwise, and it means nothing.  But let alcohol or tobacco touch these lips, and I will be disqualified from almost everything, and especially the temple, wherein you say my salvation lies.

Has common sense taken leave of us?  I know of no place where further revelation changing this original revelation to a commandment is recorded, and know of no instance in which changes were voted on by common consent to be binding upon the body of the saints.  It was done by fiat, by a man, much later than its origination, and now I’m required to just bow and say Okee Dokee.  This is not for me.  I do not believe God works in any such manner as this.  I believe this to be the precepts of men mingled with scripture.  I believe, further, this whole section to be a “principle, with a promise,” (verse 3) and one of those items which Joseph meant when he said, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”  If a mere man can change God’s word on a whim, or even for what he considers a good reason, without God’s intervention commanding him to do so, then all scripture is suspect and only confusion can reign.  These are my thoughts and the religion I desire.  Others may think and desire whatever they like.

B.  Also for instance, the changing of the wording of the prayers on the Sacrament.  Every scriptural instance such as, D&C 20: 79; Moroni 5: 2; and the example given in 3 Nephi 18: 8, all tell us that “wine” is the emblem of His blood and you find if you look closely enough, that even though the Lord told Joseph, in one instance, as he went to procure wine from someone whom the Lord knew to be an enemy, that “It mattereth not what you eat or drink,” he never made any allowance for a change in the wording of the prayers.  By the way, Joseph returned home from that incident, and with Emma, Newell Knight, and His wife, and John Whitmer,  made a “wine” of their own preparation.  Water was never used. (see D&C 27: 2-4; also HC 1: 106-108.)   Again, where is the Lord’s authorization for the word change in the sacrament prayers, and where is the record of the common consent concurrence by the membership making it binding on the saints?  Do we think these things don’t matter to the Lord?  I for one, think they do. Others may think how they like.

C.  And one more example.  I have been a full tithe and offerings payer most all of my adult life.  I have felt confidence that my offerings were being used as I directed within the categories offered upon the tithing slip, and beyond that I felt it was indicative of my faith that I allow the use of my paid funds to be administered however the committee on the disposition of the tithes decided was appropriate within those categories.  Then all of a sudden a spurious and unsettling statement showed up on the tithing slip which says, “Though reasonable efforts will be made globally to use donations as designated, all donations become the Church’s property and will be used at the Church’s sole discretion to further the Church’s overall mission.”

Now I have no guarantee that any of the funds I designate in the titled categories on the slip will be used as I thought or desired they be used.  My desire has simply been wiped out of the equation by a legalese statement making my money the “Corporation Sole’s” money, and he (President Monson, the church’s sole owner) will damned well use it however he pleases.  Not on my watch he won’t!  Not with my money he won’t!  I will take charge of my own tithing and fast offerings and disburse and care for the poor among and around me as I’m commanded.  And others can pray and pay, and do as they like.

I further find out that huge investments are being made, and increased, in land holdings, cattle operations, fruit and nut farms, banks, communication facilities, etc., and that mega-malls and other “for profit” concerns are being built using the tithing funds.  I can hear the screams now.  “No! No! We are not using tithing funds, but only the investment income and profits we generate from all the investments we make.  No tithing is being used.”  Ye vipers!  Have you not read in Matthew 25: 14-27, the parable of the talents?  If so, you do not understand its meaning!  The man who receives one talent buries that talent and when the Master requires an accounting he says, “I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strewed: And I was afraid and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.  His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou newest that I reap where I sowed not, and gathered where I have not strewed:  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”

In other words He owns it.  He owns all of it.  He owns the interest, He owns the investment.  He owns it all and it is “His Tithing.”  And there is nothing that is generated from tithing that is not tithing, thus making it applicable to the requirements for tithing.   In the parable there is no such thing as “investment income.”  And have you (meaning the church leaders) shut your eyes and are you blind to the condemnation Nephi heaped upon us when he said, “Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their [our] churches have become corrupted, and their [our] churches are lifted up; because of pride are they [we] puffed up.  They [we] rob the poor because of their [our] fine sanctuaries; they [we] rob the poor because of their [our] fine clothing; and they [we] persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they [we] are puffed up.” (2 Nephi 28: 12-13. Insertions are mine.)  Who exactly did you think Nephi was speaking about?  Do you not know that the Book of Mormon is prophecy rather than history?  I personally cannot condone this use of my tithing money in this way, and will not participate any longer in this fraudulent use of the Lord’s money.

Then, the lack of financial accountability to the membership is another whole matter which I deplore, but will not go into other than to say it is a shame on your [the leader’s] part that you do not provide the required accountability and that you seek deep to hide your counsels from the sheep you are shearing [and the Lord].  And it is a shame on our [the member’s] part that we don’t refuse you our common consent, because you don’t provide the scripturally required accountability with clarity.

3.  The restructuring of the priesthood, and the correlating of everything to it.

If there is one proof that there is no effective priesthood within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is the hierarchal structuring of the priesthood, and the correlating of all offices, programs, policies, doctrine, and teaching beneath the umbrella of one man’s priesthood.  By doing this you [again, the leadership] have negated the priesthood instruction Joseph Smith gave as D&C 121: 34-37.  You have, by making a hierarchal structure such as this, built into the priesthood system “control, dominion, and compulsion.”  Now I fully understand that this works well for a “for profit” organization, but in the Lord’s church it is forbidden.  It furthermore is forbidden upon penalty of forfeiture of priesthood authority and power.  In the instruction it says,

“That they [the rights of the priesthood] may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control, dominion, or compulsion upon the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the priesthood or authority of that man.”

Now the scripture is written on a singular basis, but you [the church leaders] have managed to perpetrate this unrighteousness en mass.  A hierarchal structure such as this is all about control, and dominion, and is fertile ground for compulsion.  So I ask you, where in this church can priesthood be found?  Well, to answer my own question; it can be found in persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love un-feigned, by kindness, and pure knowledge, without hypocrisy, and without guile. (see D&C 121: 41-42.)  Isn’t it interesting that some of our wives are found abounding in these [priesthood] things, while we [the men] are trying to garner to ourselves more control and dominion, and a higher seat, and consequently lose priesthood power, and authority.

All Priesthood power is found only in connecting ourselves to heaven.  You might even say, only by connecting ourself to the power of heaven, or in other words connecting ourselves to Jesus Christ.  Fortunately some few have been able to do this, and by so doing have garnered to themselves a priesthood recognized in heaven: even as it says in JST Genesis 14: 29, “And it [this priesthood] was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.”  This is able to be done because, as I quoted before from 2 Nephi 9: 41, “God, the Holy One of Israel is the keeper of the gate and employeth no servant there.”  I would hope more of us would try it.  But then, I hope primarily without much faith, because, “few there be that find it.”

4.  That those we call prophets have caused the earth to be defiled under the inhabitants thereof by altering and changing the ordinances.

“They have transgressed the law, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant.”(Isaiah 24: 5.)  Furthermore, Joseph Smith said, “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.” (TPJS p.308.)  Now tell me how many times in your lifetime have you seen the ordinances in the temple change?  This will be dependent upon how old you are; for changes, alterations, subtractions, additions, changes to format, and changes to clothing, have been going on for well over a hundred years.

“Into the darkness that prevails in the minds of men who instigate or authorize changes to the ordinances, enters the devil with such arguments as: “Why do it that way?  It really doesn’t matter or mean anything.  It is arcane and outdated.  It really doesn’t matter as long as you continue to have faith in Christ.”  [That particular lie is very effective because it allows the person to presume they have faith, when in fact they haven’t faith sufficient to obey Christ].”  Continuing on with the lies: “People will get more out of the changes if we make them.  Our numbers will increase.  What we change isn’t important anyway.  If it were important, we would know that, and since it doesn’t seem important to us, and because our polling data shows it is not important to those who attend, it must, in fact, not be important.  Change is proof that God is still leading us.”  …And other such arguments and persuasions from our adversary.  And all that has happened  by making changes to the ordinances is we have been cheated out of God’s gift to us, and we have been carefully led down to hell.  I want no part of this anymore, either.  Others are free to choose their own course.

Now, after all this, my testimony is:

I believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  I believe that Joseph Smith was and is the Prophet of this Dispensation of the Restoration of all Things.  I believe the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God.  And I believe in the many other things Joseph received, which we as a Church have cast off as either not understandable or worthless. [i.e. The Lectures on Faith]. I believe in these revelations and in all the revelations which he wrote, and others yet to come, whether to myself, or to others whom He [Christ] will call as His servants.  In fact, I believe God has called a Servant to speak His words in this our very own day;  one, in fact, who does speak in the name of the Lord God, and gives His words to us.  I believe that Denver C. Snuffer Jr. is that servant and stands as an Abinadi or a Samuel on the wall, or as a Lehi required by God to preach a message to Idol worshipping Jerusalem.  And I believe that many will try to kill him or run him out, or destroy the word which God speaks through him.  I believe that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to come again on the earth and much is available today because of the translations and revelations of Joseph, and also now again, because of the words of Jesus Christ being spoken to us, in today’s part of the Restoration, through the many writings and revelations and talks of this Denver C. Snuffer Jr..  I believe that the fullness of the priesthood is available to anyone who qualifies and receives it by the voice of Jesus Christ, under the direction of the Father.  I do believe there is much worth yet in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in that its crippled ordinances, even now still point the way to knowledge which can be received for real.  And most of its people are kind and wonderful and many are my dear friends, but they do not rise up because they don’t know what has happened, and what is available, and simply where to find it.  I do not, however, believe that the church or its leaders or any other man can provide salvation for any man or woman, and that to the extent we think they can, we engage in idolatry, and move in proximity away from He through whom salvation comes.

In consequence of this testimony I will obey the will of the Lord in:

Seeking for His continual personal administration.
Seeking for Zion and its establishment.
Participating with and be-friending any individual or group I see fit, whether they be atheist, agnostic, lgbt, apostate, excommunicated or antagonist toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or even if they love the Mormons.
Speaking what I view as truth to whomever I please or am commanded, or to whomever will listen.
Holding study groups in my home on any subject I choose.
Attending study groups in other’s homes upon invitation.
Administering my own tithing and offerings. (See seeking for Zion above.)
Worshipping my God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and according to the will of His Holy Spirit upon me.
Influencing my family in my beliefs.
Influencing others in my beliefs.

At this point, I definitely want to state that no part of this account of my beliefs constitute in any way the resignation of my membership from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am simply exercising by right and claim that all men should be encouraged and allowed to believe and worship how, where, or what they may, and that I should be allowed to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience.  The beliefs of a man, according to Joseph Smith, do not determine his goodness nor his worthiness.  It is our acceptance and obedience to the scriptures and ordinances which we have all received which should dictate, and not any manual made up by men.

I will understand your desire to exercise your control and dominion over me, and will even tolerate moderate attempts at coercion.

I would like to invite you to exercise your priesthood in this matter, in the Lord’s way.  Threats will not sway me.  Sanctions you might try to impose will mean nothing to me.  Even ex-communication is not a daunting thing to me.  I have a priesthood, and an assignment in that priesthood.  It comes from a source you can neither influence nor abrogate.  You can bless yourselves in how you treat me, and my seemingly, rather unbelievable views, or you can condemn yourselves in the process of your actions; so I would advise you to rely rather heavily on the will of the Lord in any of your matters regarding this.

Keith M. Henderson
October 8, 2014

A Few Final Thoughts

If I were Keith’s Bishop I would be hesitant to act. We can be certain this letter has been seen by Keith’s Stake President, Area President, probably a member of the Twelve and possibly the First Presidency. I presume the Church does not want bad publicity right now, especially after excommunicating the wife of a fellow blogger last Sunday. I can understand why Adrian was disciplined but wonder why they excommunicated his wife in the same council, simply for being his wife and standing by his side. I also wonder what will happen to Keith. What do you think?

Answering the Affiliation Question


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

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

The Affiliation Question

For those who aren’t familiar with the question, from what I remember, it reads like this: “Do you support, affiliate with or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?” You can read the temple recommend questions online in many places including the church website.

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

Become Independent Witnesses

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

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

Amen to the Priesthood

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

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

Accepting Counsel and Direction

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

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

Traditions of Our Fathers

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

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

Truth is Truth, No Matter the Source

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

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

My Answer to the Affiliation Question

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

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

Beware of False Prophets

Similarly, Elder Ballard has taught in General Conference,

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

Attending Lectures and Conferences

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

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

Forty Years in Mormonism

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

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

Please Don’t Resign Your Membership

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

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

We Need You – Don’t Leave Yet

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

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

You Are Some of Our Best and Brightest

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

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

I Have Been in the Lord’s Presence

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

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

Concluding Testimony at my Disciplinary Council

MartinLuther95ThesesI shared my testimony in our regular monthly testimony meeting this morning. I wanted to make sure the Bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency present – he’s also in our ward – heard me say I sustain the general authorities and local authorities of the church. Of course these words were in addition to sharing comments reflecting my love of my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

Covering All the Bases

Carol asked me afterward if I did that to offset whoever it was that complained about my blog a few months ago. I assured her I was sincere, but yes, I wanted the whole ward to know of my feelings for those who lead this church. I continue to sustain them with my prayers and with my money. Yes, I know my tithing is used to pay their salary. It also helps pay my sister’s salary.

Follow the Bishop’s Counsel

As far as I know, I’m not under any priesthood leader’s watch list for an impending disciplinary council, but a few of my friends and fellow bloggers have been surprised, so I’m being careful. I’m doing my utmost to follow my Bishop’s counsel to keep my headlines non-inflammatory and to keep links to my posts off Facebook. Those links are apparently where I got in trouble before.

It’s Tough to Be a Bishop

I continue to be appreciative of my Bishop’s opening remarks when he called me to talk the first time a few months back. He said our chats – there were two follow-ups – were motivated out of love. I know I’ve shared this before but I believe him. Our bishop is a good man. I love him and appreciate all he does for our ward. It takes a lot of time to manage the largest ward in the stake.

If Ye Are Prepared, Ye Shall Not Fear

Specifically because some of my fellow bloggers were surprised at the rapidity of the course of events surrounding their disciplinary councils, I want to be prepared, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually in case I get surprised. In one case the good brother was notified on Sunday he was to be tried for his membership and was excommunicated 72 hours later on Wednesday evening.

Course of Action Planned in Advance

I’ve written my defense before the High Council in a previous post. Obviously it was imaginary, a defense based on years of observation of disciplinary councils in which I have participated as a High Counselor, a Bishopric Counselor or a clerk. I hope this will never be needed, but in that same spirit, I’d like to have my closing testimony prepared in the event I am allowed to share it.

How I Dislike Disciplinary Councils

In case you don’t know, there’s no guarantee you will get to say anything at your disciplinary council. Seriously. I know what the handbook says. About the only thing they have to let you say is how you answer to the charges – innocent or guilty. Don’t you just hate the whole concept of a disciplinary council? I do. It doesn’t seem right to have such things in the church of Jesus Christ.

Our Decision That You Be Excommunicated

But then, what do I know? I’m just a lowly member, happy to be here, grateful to serve. So with that in mind, and since I use my blog as an auxiliary personal journal, here is what I would like to say if I ever hear the words, “Brother Malone, our decision is that you be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Is there anything you would like to say?”

Shared Desire to Do the Will of the Lord

“Thank you President. I’ll be brief here. Thank you to my brethren of the High Council for their service. And thank you, President, for your thoughtful and prayerful consideration of my case. I know this is painful to you, not because you’re losing a financial clerk, but because I know you are a good man, with a desire to do the will of the Lord. I’m grateful we share that same desire.

Excommunication Difficult on Family Members

“There’s no need to go over the details of my case. The decision has been made and I sustain your action. I suspect the decision was made at a higher level in the church, but that doesn’t matter. I am no longer a member but will continue to attend with my wife for whom I pray night and day. This chain of events has been painful for her and a source of resentment and frustration.

Apostasy – Simply Writing a Few Book Reviews

“I will not be appealing the case. I have never seen it do any good for anyone else. Besides, I have no intention of seeking rebaptism. I was excommunicated for apostasy – for simply reading a book and sharing it with others. I felt led by the Lord in the entire process. I was introduced to the book in the temple. I prayed about the book in the temple and was answered in the temple.

My Issue is With Interpreting Church History

“The book has changed my life. It clarified for me many things I already suspected or believed. I know my path is not for everyone. There are fundamental differences in the way we look at the church. I suspect it will always be so. This is not a personal issue with you, your leadership, or anyone in this room. My issue is with the Brethren in Salt Lake, always has been and will be.

The Priesthood Was Taken From Israel

“I will continue to pray for them, but am no longer allowed to sustain them, meaning they will not accept my tithing. It won’t be missed. I will continue to love them. They are good men who have taught and inspired me. They have done a good job in leading this church. You may think me deceived and naïve, but I feel sorry for them. They are stuck. They cannot escape the past.

Gentiles Shall Reject Fullness of the Gospel

“I don’t want to offend anybody so I won’t say anything more. My reasons are on my blog and will be amplified with greater clarity now that I am free to share more openly. I hope you won’t consider my blog to be anti-Mormon because it’s not. I am not an enemy of this church. I love the church and pray for its success, but believe things about the church that are no longer taught.

Prophecy and Traditional Narrative Differ

“For the record, I refute the charges that I do not sustain the Brethren. Perhaps it’s semantics. I simply disagree with some of their interpretations of history and scripture. I’ve been told I need to repent until my thinking is in line with what the Brethren teach about those certain events in our history. I appreciate the invitation. I know it’s offered with love and concern for my welfare.

Testimony of Church History Not Required

“I’ll conclude with words I wrote privately to a long-time reader who was troubled by my blog: Thank you for your love and concern. My mind is made up. I choose to believe things about our history that are not taught in our church or are taught in a manner that leaves out key elements. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to have a testimony of church history to come unto Christ.

The Purging of the Two Percent

“Let’s focus on what is important – to know Christ. I love this church for the renewed focus we have on the Savior. I have watched it happen in my lifetime. I pray that priesthood leaders will leave good men alone who are striving to come unto Christ but don’t believe some of the history. But recent evidence shared with me privately indicates the purge of men like me is accelerating.

The Truth Will Set You Free

If the church continues on this path, they will alienate and lose the strength and backbone of the priesthood brethren who faithfully pay tithes and administer in wards and stakes in the church. Can the church afford that? Perhaps – perhaps not. God bless us each in our pursuit of the truth. It is the truth that sets us free. When I finally accepted the truth of our history, I indeed felt free.”

This Could Never Possibly Happen

I don’t want to end on a negative note. Other than the interviews with my Bishop and the private correspondence with several bloggers who have recently been excommunicated for apostasy, this is all speculation and supposition. You may say it’s a product of my imagination. “You’ve been under a lot of stress, Tim. Nobody at Church headquarters even knows or cares about your blog.”

Strengthening Church Members Committee

That may be true. I hope the book reviews I write on my blog and what I choose to believe about the contents of those books has nothing to do with the status of my temple worthiness or church membership. Recent evidence from others is contrary. The SCMC is real. They really do determine that certain authors and bloggers are a threat to the church and need to be disciplined. It happens.

We Pay People to Read Member’s Blogs

God bless us all to stay in the good graces of the members of the Strengthening the Church Members Committee. I know I have communicated with a few of them. One is a Facebook friend and a blog follower. He is also a church employee. I have lots of church employees who are friends and read my blog, but this individual is vehemently opposed and vociferous in his opposing comments.

Lo Que Será, Será

I served my mission in Central America. They never used this phrase, but I like to use it. It fits in this case. I do all I can to follow what I believe is the will of the Lord. I know there are consequences of being misunderstood. After I have done all I can to make things clear to those who want to know the truth, all I can do is wait. I used to mock sites that said they had the truth of church history. Now…

As Always, Comments Open

What do you think? Is it possible the church is on the lookout for bloggers like me who write about church history in a way that differs from the standard narrative? Is it possible the church is out to squelch opposing viewpoints from among their own members? Am I a wolf in sheep’s clothing? My patriarchal blessing warns me about such individuals. Do you find my blog offensive? I’d love to read your views.


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