Opening the Conduit to Heaven

the-heavensI read a lot of blogs. You probably do too. What or who we read can tell us a lot about each other. I’m especially interested in keeping in touch with those who are on a journey similar to mine. Below are a few blogs I check on a regular basis. Although I don’t spend a lot of time there, I also check in from time to time on the top four LDS group blogs at the bottom of the list just to see what’s being discussed.

Denver Snuffer Pure Mormonism – Rock Waterman
To the Remnant – Adrian Larsen In 200 Words or Less – Will Carter
The Gospel According to Scoot Just and True – Spektator
Anonymous Bishop Bare Record of Truth
Thoughts on Things and Stuff 77 Truths – Bret Corbridge
2nd Witness Upward Thought
The Perfect Day My Journey to the Fulness
Latter-day Spence – Clean Cut Thoughts from Salem – Russell Anderson
By Common Consent Times and Seasons
Mormon Stories Podcasts Wheat and Tares

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned anything from one of my recent favorites. It’s not even on my blogroll: The Gospel According to Scoot. Today I’d like to share something from Scott that has just made my day and my week. I’ve been pondering a post – this one – for a long time. I knew it was coming. I knew I wanted to study the subject and post it. Scott helped me nail this one down.

My Interview With Denver Snuffer

Over the past few months, I’ve been elaborating a little on the subjects from my interview with Denver back in May. At the bottom of this post you’ll find Denver’s answer to question eight. It was a difficult one dealing with the subject of leadership. Although I asked it poorly, I used the example of the discussion we were having on this blog about the Asenath honeycomb dance.

hosts-of-heavenWhat I asked in my question was what I believed at the time about what was happening with these dances. Of course, those in attendance at the retreat know that what was presented was nowhere near what I described in my question. That doesn’t mean that such practices aren’t happening. It just means I have no personal knowledge, so I shouldn’t have used the example.

Long-time readers know this blog is not and never was dedicated to the insights of one man. This blog has explored writings from dozens of Mormon authors. It just so happens that the Mormon author whose works I have been reading for the past few years are so prolific, I have felt a desire to share many insights. There are nine posts from the interview so far. The first is an overview.

5-13-15: A Visit With Denver Snuffer 5-21-15: The Fullness of the Gentiles
5-27-15: The Snuffer Interview – Part Two 5-30-15: Reconnecting to the Fathers
6-6-15: They That Come Shall Burn Them 6-13-15: Baptizing with Power and Authority
6-16-15: Reorganizing the Family of God 6-28-15: A Wild Man Hath Come Among Us
7-4-15: Opening the Conduit to Heaven

Conversing With the Lord

jacob-altarNow on to what I learned from Scott Stover about opening the conduit to heaven. First, from personal experience, I can tell you it is real. We can literally open a conduit to heaven. I have done so. Contrary to what some have written here on this blog, it is something over which we have some control. When we approach the heavens correctly, our prayers are heard and shared.

In response to prayer, like Scott, I have received revelation, as I’m sure many of you have, and have recorded it in my revelation book. As I have shared before, images, scenes, words, phrases, sentences and whole paragraphs have come, almost as dictation. Most of what I have received I have not shared, nor have I ever felt a desire or the right to do so. They are personal and sacred.

On the other hand, when I have asked the Lord for enlightenment on a specific subject with the clear understanding up front that I desired to share it, He has been most generous. The insights are my interpretations of what I have received, meant to inspire, encourage or otherwise prompt you to take your own questions to the Lord and receive direction and inspiration for your life.

Knowing the Voice of the Lord

isaiah-recording-revelationAs Scott shared in his latest post entitled, “Come Unto Me #2 – Scriptures,” the key to hearing and knowing the voice of God compared to our own voice or that of the adversary is found in Moroni 7:11-19. This should be no surprise to anyone. “According to this revelation, there is a grand key whereby we may know that the voice we hear is the voice of the Lord.

“If the voice: 1) Encourages the worship of Christ, 2) Promotes charity, humility, and the power that comes only from them and 3) Does not engender a desire for control, compulsion, or dominion (D&C 121:34-46), …then it is His voice.” Did you know you can use this same formula to ascertain if someone is sharing ideas that contain eternal truth when they write responses to blog posts?

As my regular readers are probably aware, or at least those who read the comments in response to some of my posts, especially those that address some observation I share about an insight I have gained from Denver, there is great opposition to just about anything that comes from the man. That is a sign to me, along with what I hear from the Lord, that he is speaking the truth.

The Gift of Discerning of Spirits

heavens-glory“There always did, in every age, seem to be a lack of intelligence pertaining to this subject. Spirits of all kinds have been manifested, in every age, and almost amongst all people. … All have their spirits, all have a supernatural agency, and all contend that their spirits are of God. Who shall solve the mystery? ‘Try the spirits,’ says John [1 John 4:1], but who is to do it? The learned, the eloquent, the philosopher, the sage, the divine—all are ignorant. … Who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints?

“A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. …

“As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles…”

Source: Joseph Smith, HC, vol 4, pp 571-581 – Editorial in Times and Seasons, April 1842

Use the Keys God Has Given Us

Where there is no vision, the people perishA man or woman can go astray from the path approved by the Lord at any time in their life. The path I have chosen, to withdraw my membership in the LDS Church so I can experience greater freedom of expression in what I share here on my blog, is NOT the best choice for others. The important thing is to KNOW you are on the right path. Of course, the only way to know is to ask.

As you can imagine, I have been told over and over by loving, well-meaning individuals that I have been deceived in my prayers and in the confirmations that have satisfied my soul. All I can say is God bless you. My path is not for you. For those who say Joseph was a fallen servant or Denver is a false prophet or fallen servant, I say, you believe what you want and act accordingly.

Don’t let my confidence in my path dissuade you from your confidence in yours. They don’t have to be the same. As long as what we are doing encourages the worship of Christ, promotes charity, humility and kindness toward others, and does not produce a desire for compulsion or control or dominion over others then we’re good. Teach me of Christ and I will listen. God bless.

Opportunities to Go Off the Rails

Question Eight: A follow-up to the last question about the need for leadership in this movement can be illustrated by a recent post from Keith on the Recorder’s blog. In there he noted some people are submitting names of children baptized as young as five years old. The scriptures specifically teach the age of accountability is eight years old. He also noted the fact that some baptisms are being submitted for recording as having been performed by a woman. He quoted, again from the Phoenix lecture, your statement about priesthood being confined to men because of the Fall. You elaborated much on the idea there are so many opportunities for believers to go off the rails. I see it all the time when we discuss doctrinal questions on my blog.

For example, the worship of Mother in Heaven is a subject about which some people feel very strongly. They advocate a practice – a sacred dance – in which the objective is for a manifestation of divine favor. Specifically, they look for, expect, and report they have experienced the presence of Heavenly Mother in their ritual. This is similar to what happened with the children of Israel when Moses was up on the mountain for forty days communing with the Lord. In the end, Moses wore himself out because he had to judge every little thing that came before the people. What is the right way? How will the Lord provide leadership for His people who are awaiting His return? I’m looking for a practical answer here, not idealism.

A Few Comments on Heavenly Mother

ANSWER (Denver): For those who think they can please and appease a Heavenly Mother by that sort of innovation, I think they will be very surprised when they finally have an opportunity to meet Her. She may not be at all the soft, kindly, genteel little old lady some people imagine. She may be tougher by far than our Father.

Do you imagine for a moment that Lucifer would have been cast out of heaven without the Mother consenting, approving, and advocating? Do you think for a moment that could be the case? Do you think that those who were cast out with him had some weak-willed woman weeping at their departure? Do you think She wasn’t protecting Her Family, and approving the compulsory exile? I don’t talk about Her, but I think there is a lot of imagination about Her that needs to be reined in. When Her fearful presence is revealed the fools will then shut their mouths. Stop rushing forward because what you find in your impatience may condemn you and your foolishness.

Gifts Are An Open Conduit

Gifts are an open conduit. What flows through the gifts will include opposition. Just because you have a gift doesn’t mean that this gift is not equally accessible by the opposition as it is accessible by God. “It must needs be that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Ne. 2:11.) You can’t bring about righteousness without there being an opposition in all things. So how do you avoid mistakes when you allow something to influence you through your gift that actually comes from the adversary pretending to be the source of light? The pretentions of the Bringer of light, the Light Bearer, which is what Lucifer’s name means, do mislead.

road-to-emmausWell, to avoid mistakes, first of all, I would look to the scriptures as a standard against which to measure any new revelation given to you. If you look at Christ on the Road to Emmaus, and you look at Moroni’s lectures to Joseph, everything communicated was scripture-based.

I’ve given a more comprehensive restatement of the Restoration than anyone since Joseph, but have almost entirely confined it to the scriptures and statements attributed to Joseph. That measuring standard is where you first find the anchor needed to keep the truth. People who don’t read their scriptures are subject to all kinds of foolish presumptions about things that aren’t there. If you go back and look at the exact wording, sometimes the foolish presumption is not justified by the actual language and content of the scripture you think justifies what you are doing. Study and compare everything to the scriptural standard. The more familiar you are with their language the better equipped you will be to recognize truth.

Personal Worthiness a Requirement

Second, personal worthiness. We have to live our lives in conformity with the light that we have. We cannot ignore commandments, or excuse ourselves from departing, and expect that we can avoid deception. If we are willing to disobey and excuse ourselves, then we become unable to distinguish the light from the shadows. It’s just the way it is. If we lie to ourselves, we love a lie. And if we love a lie we’re going to be deceived by lies. We make ourselves open to lies, we make ourselves willing to accept them.

We have to rely on light and truth and the Holy Ghost. D&C 45:56-57:

And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

The way you do that is by knowing what is in the scriptures with some considerable care, living according to the truth that you have, and allowing the Holy Ghost to become your guide, even if what you hear from the Holy Ghost challenges, disappoints, or even frustrates you.

The Strong Man Model is Flawed

(Tim): Do you want to address the part about leadership? I know it was kind of an add-on. It didn’t quite fit.

(Denver): Yes, the narrowness of the question at the end was delightful, because it allowed me to avoid that. But I do think the work that I have been doing, the lectures that were given as part of a single talk, and the stuff that I am trying to remind people of, it’s all in the scriptures. It is all in the foundation of the Restoration. I don’t think that “leader as micromanager” is an answer to anything and failed in Joseph’s day. “Teacher” as someone who brings material to your attention, allowing you the freedom then to choose, is good and worked for Enoch and Melchizedek.

prince-of-egyptIf people engage in the sort of inordinate wickedness Moses found when he came down from the mountain—if that is practiced anywhere among those that are responsive to my message, they simply won’t be gathered. They will be left behind. Those that are patient and humble will inspire the confidence of angels who will do the gathering, and they will be gathered. Gathering won’t be because some boss manages to whip people into line. They need to be given the freedom to get out of line. And then once out of line, they must be permitted to go their way.

Transcript One:
Note: This version has been reviewed by Denver, missing material added

Transcript Two:

Link to the MP3:
Note: The file is 60MB. It’s best to right-click on the link to download it.

Link to a PDF of answer to question eight:


They That Come Shall Burn Them

The day of the Lord will come quicklyI’ve been thinking and learning about connections lately. This may seem a rudimentary subject, but its importance has been revealed to me in ways that have helped secure it in my mind. I’d like to share a few thoughts that have caused me to reconsider the idea of human connections as being imperative to our happiness, eternal salvation and oddly enough, even our very survival.

Consider this scripture as delivered by the angel Moroni to Joseph that September night in 1823, “For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” As he said, this is slightly different from Malachi 4:1.

The difference of course, is that it is not the day that comes, but “they that come” which shall burn up they that do wickedly, even as stubble. This has caused me to wonder who they are. It has also impressed upon me that in order to avoid being burned at the day of the Lord’s return, it would probably be helpful to be on friendly terms with those who are coming to do the burning.

We Must Be Sealed To The Fathers

new-heavens2I don’t think they intend to burn the inhabitants of the earth on purpose. They can’t help it. They are so filled with light and glory that their very presence burns those who are not used to being in their company. See, that’s where the idea of connections comes in. When you are connected to someone, you like to hang around with them. You’ve been with them before, even quite often.

You have conversed with them, discussed important subjects with them, perhaps asked favors of one another and, in general, have come to be a part of each other’s families. There is a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood between you, a common set of goals and interests. You miss each other when you are apart and yearn for the day when you can be reunited. You are connected.

This connection is the kind of bond that cannot be severed by time, distance or even death. There is no death, really. That belongs to the world of time and mortality. Those who will come are the fathers or parents of the human race. They are the patriarchs – and matriarchs – who have been faithful and who have claim upon those who are sealed to them. We should seek that sealing.

That Temple Has Not Yet Been Built

Jacob Blessing SonsWithout such a familial sealing the whole earth would be utterly wasted at the time the Lord returns with the fathers. When the Lord comes with the City of Enoch – now that will be a glorious and dreadful sight – they will come to a place prepared for them – Zion – a place with a temple. Those who are awaiting them will receive them, fall upon their necks and kiss them.

This temple or tabernacle is required in order for the Lord to seal us to the fathers so that we will not be burned at their coming. The fathers include Adam down to Noah and Melchizedek, as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. These and many more will return with the Lord and the City of Enoch. It is in the temple that has yet to be built where we are sealed to them.

There is much work to be done before heaven will look down and see what is so comfortable, so familiar that it appears to accurately reflect a pattern that exists in the heavens. When they see what we have here, then they will come to a sister and brother on the earth, united by belief, by covenant, by knowledge, light and truth or in other words the glory of God which is intelligence.

The Snuffer Interview – Part Four

SaltLakeTempleNightWhat I’ve summarized in this post so far is based mostly on material found in the lecture on covenants given October 2013 in Centerville. I learned a couple of things I had not imagined previously. One is that we don’t make covenants, God does. We can only accept or reject them. We can make vows, although the Savior counseled against it, but we do not make covenants.

Isn’t that an interesting thing to learn especially when you think about the temple? Think about that the next time someone accuses you of breaking your temple covenants, especially the law of consecration. The other thing I learned is the importance of understanding to whom we are to be sealed. Moroni was very clear about how critical this is. It fulfils God’s covenants to the Fathers.

When I interviewed Denver last month, I asked him for ideas on how to help multi-generational LDS families deal with some of the distressing things he has declared as a messenger or servant of the Lord. I found his answer to be revealing. I had no idea just how distressing this message has been for Denver, as a convert, to accept and deliver. I hope this helps you understand better.

Question Four: In the same lecture, you quoted from your journal, describing the disciplinary process you went through, your appeal and the significance of section 121 which contains the phrase, “Amen to the priesthood of that man.” You then read, “Last general conference (April 2014), the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along.”

This is an astounding declaration. It has been the subject of much discussion on the forums and blogs. It was and is a difficult thing for many LDS members to hear or read. FAIR and other apologetic sites have fallen all over themselves to show how impossible such a claim can be. The idea of a modern, living prophet, authorized and in possession of all priesthood keys held by Joseph is the bedrock of the LDS Church claims to be God’s kingdom on earth today. Your claim evokes emotional distress in some who consider it. It’s been a while since this declaration came out. Is there anything you would add now to help multi-generational members of the LDS Church deal with such a devastating, all-encompassing foundational claim? What would you add?

ANSWER (Denver): I would add that it’s a mistake to focus on me when you think of this issue. The issue is larger than a single man, and the issue deserves careful consideration of everything that was covered in that first answer in this interview.

I am no happier than others are about this. Does anyone really think that this does not upset me? Does anyone believe that I have pride in this, or it makes me pleased to say what I have said? Those that think that, have no idea who I am or what is in my heart. I’m probably more brokenhearted by the things I’ve been told and commanded to teach that the audience could be. I receive unwelcome news and then deliver it to others. This is an ordeal, nothing else. Unwanted, unwelcome, unsought, and unpleasant. I do it to please God, not to get praise. It does not inspire praise from most people who hear what I say or read what I write.

I have spent days mourning, unable to speak about some things, even with my wife, as the events have unfolded. There have been times when I have been so upset that have not been able to carry on a conversation about what is underway. It has required two and three days for me to adjust to unwelcome news. I could give you an example but I’ll pass on that.

How The Lectures Were Received

On second thought, I will give you one example: The section you read in the question quoted from my journal was written months before it was read to an audience. When it was written, I thought that writing was only for my family, my kids. I did not expect it to become public.

There are some times when the Lord gives you the words to write, and there are some times when you compose it yourself. That particular entry was given to me to write. I considered it extremely private. I considered it extremely personal. Outside of my wife alone, no one was aware of that entry in my journal until the talk made it public.

Every one of the 10 talks were given by inspiration to me in outline form before they were delivered to an audience. On the day I first began to prepare to give the talks, I sat down and in one sitting I wrote all the outline notes for the first five talks. I ran out of time that day and so only the first five were outlined. I also didn’t want to put any notes down for the next series until after I delivered the first two, so I could gage the time it would take to cover the topics. The first two talks were given in fairly rapid succession, only eighteen days apart. It was after those were given that I went on to outline the sixth, seventh, eight, and finally the ninth talks. But I never got anything for the 10th talk.

You should understand these outlines were prepared months in advance. I had a long hiatus between first and second parts of the year—between talks given in the beginning months and the conclusion the next year. During winter we didn’t drive, and so I had all nine talks outlined but I had nothing for lecture 10. Nothing. My eventual conclusion—because the content had been given by inspiration to me on lectures 1 through 9—ultimately, was all the 10th lecture was going to contain was a summary of the first nine. So, literally, I began to go back to the notes and to highlight what I would use as a summary in the 10th and concluding lecture. I prayed about it and nothing was given to me. So left to my own I thought it was a reasonable conclusion.

I finished the 9th talk in St. George and with it concluded all the notes I had. But on the night that the ninth talk was given, that night I was awakened and the content of the 10th talk was revealed to me. If I had known anywhere along the line the content of the 10th talk I would have done something to prepare the audience for what was coming. I didn’t know what was going to be in it. When I got the content of the 10th lecture, it was so distressing to me that I told my wife the next day while on a walk down in St. George (we stayed in the area for a while) that this was not going to be good. This was not going to be a pleasant thing. She asked me about it, but I told her I would not be able to discuss it right then.

I wrote down all the notes, I transcribed what needed to be said, but I didn’t give any preview of the talk to her. Unlike the other ones, I just continued to try and change the Lord’s mind about the content. She heard the talk for the first time with the audience. She knew how upset and distressed I had been and what I had been saying about the material. At the first break in the lecture she got up, came up to me and said, “I now get it.” That lecture was not easy to give.

No Ulterior Motive In The Message

People who think that I’m enjoying this, and that I look out and say, “Good! Now I’m giving the Mormon Church their comeuppance!” don’t realize anything about what it takes to do what has been asked of me, or how extremely difficult all of this is. I’m not happy about the burden. It ill-suits me.

Multigenerational families may have their family traditions, but I was truly converted at the age of 19. I invested my heart and soul into the Church. It was like coming home for me. I believed I was the Church’s best friend and loyal supporter.

I was the single most successful missionary in the mission in which I was baptized, as just a lay member of the Church. I produced investigators continually, and baptized many of them, the missionaries baptizing many others.

When I transferred by the military to Texas I was called as a stake missionary. There was a third missionary serving there who was waiting for a visa to go to Brazil. In those days it was difficult to obtain visas. Every night when I came home from work, that missionary showed up and he and I were missionary companions. We went out and tracted, and taught, and baptized. There was a young couple, the husband was studying to become a minister in the Church of Christ. We began teaching him with him trying to convert us, and us convert him. We got the couple to the point of having a testimony of the Restoration. They got an answer from prayer. They had a testimony, but they were faced with the crisis of losing his profession and of alienating his family. They concluded, despite the fact they had been converted, they couldn’t pay the price to be baptized. They told us they didn’t want us have come by anymore.

I taught Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School for nearly 3 decades. I was on the High Council. When I spoke as a High Councilor in my Stake, the Bishops announced in advanced who the visiting High Councilman would be, because attendance would go up. I loved the gospel and I was devoted to the Church. To say it is more distressing to multigenerational families than to me is incomprehensible to me. It is a tragedy what has happened to the Restoration. But it has happened. Ignoring it will not change the events. To focus on me when dealing with so important a matter is ridiculous. Forget about me and study the issues.

Transcript One:
Note: This version has been reviewed by Denver, missing material added

Transcript Two:

Link to the MP3:
Note: The file is 60MB. It’s best to right-click on the link to download it.

Link to a PDF of answer to question four:

The Colorado Remnant Family Reunion

albert-einstein-solving-problems“If I had one hour to solve a problem, and my life depended on the answer, I would spend 55 minutes formulating questions, and 5 minutes solving the problem” – Albert Einstein

I’ve needed to ask myself a few good questions lately:  

  1. With the limited time and financial resources available to me, what valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to the first remnant retreat/gathering, when the organizer told me that Denver Snuffer was specifically not invited to attend because he would be a “distraction”?
  2. What kind of gathering would Denver Snuffer be invited to?
  3. What kind of gathering would he attend?
  4. How do I get an invitation to that one?
  5. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering conceived of and organized by a man who told me that he was personally rebuked by Denver Snuffer? Why would Denver Snuffer rebuke anybody?
  6. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering which the second witness at Denver Snuffer’s Phoenix talk is not planning to attend?
  7. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where three of the six original speakers (myself included) backed out after praying to know whether or not to attend/speak?
  8. Who are the three substitute speakers?
  9. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering and listening to a featured speaker who has an active internet blog where they advertise and promote the gathering at which they themselves are scheduled to be a featured speaker?
  10. Is it possible that they may increase in status among their own blog followers, and attract even more followers as a result of speaking at the Remnant Reunion?
  11. If so, does this fit any definitions of priestcraft?
  12. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where, as the organizer’s wife told me, women and their daughters may decorate themselves in blue and white clothing (similar to depictions of the Virgin Mary) and wear head jewels as they dance together on the mesa?
  13. asenethWhat valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may perform rituals using honeycombs that they bless in a “sacred ordinance” (which a Utah woman says she has received from the Lord for this purpose, based on Asenath, who used the technique to change her vibrational energy in order to convince Joseph to marry her)?
  14. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where decorated women and their daughters may again exclude men from being present while they dance in the moonlight on the Mesa?
  15. What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may anticipate that an entity they call Heavenly Mother will again be present and that there will again be physical manifestations of her presence in the clouds surrounding the moon, as there have been in the past when women gathered with the wife of the event organizer (to perform their Asenath honeycomb dance) on the Mesa?
  16. What is the difference between today’s LDS remnant women dressing up and dancing in the moonlight on a mesa, trying to change their vibrational energy, excluding their men folk, focusing on a female Goddess – and the ancient Israelite women doing the same thing?
  17. Is there any difference?
  18. How might God view such a gathering?
  19. How has God viewed such gatherings in the past?
  20. If some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but others who have prayed about it say that they have been specifically warned by God not to go, what am I to make of this?
  21. Pure-waterIf some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but the person they have publicly said that they pray to is an entity they call Heavenly Mother, what am I to make of this?
  22. If some people say they are just going to this gathering for social reasons, do not plan to pray about it or feel the need to, and say publicly that God is perfectly capable of stopping them from going if that is His will, what am I to make of this?
  23. Will the spirit, approval and protection of God be over this gathering? If so, how do I personally reconcile all of the above questions?
  24. If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the organizer, who says publicly that the reunion gathering is directly commissioned and led by Jesus Christ, who has communicated in person with him about the details of the event on numerous occasions?
  25. If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the speakers?
  26. If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the participants?
  27. If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, how might that affect all the innocent, impressionable children attending the event with their parents?
  28. How can I find out how God views this particular gathering?
  29. Why would I want to do so?
  30. Does Denver Snuffer’s April 10, 2015 blog post: “A Reminder” have any relevance to my questions?

“If I had one hour to solve a problem, and my life depended on the answer, I would spend 55 minutes formulating questions, and 5 minutes solving the problem” – Albert Einstein


Speaking With The Lord About Joseph

The Prophet Joseph SmithNearly forty years ago I spent six months preparing to serve a mission for the LDS Church. I had graduated from High School, attended Ricks College for a year, worked for six months and was now engaged in extensive preparations to understand the doctrines of Mormonism I would soon be teaching. I was blessed with the time and financial ability to do nothing but study the gospel.

What I wouldn’t give to have that blessing in my life again. My years since have been consumed ensuring the computing needs of my employer are met on a daily basis. On days I make the time and effort to study the gospel I think back on that long-ago year when I did nothing but ponder, read, study, fast and pray about what the Lord is going to do before He returns in the last days.

d-and-c-commentaryIn the spirit of Oliver Cowdery, those were days never to be forgotten. My tutor was the Holy Ghost. My texts were scriptures and commentaries I had obtained from a local book store that carried LDS books. I especially enjoyed studying the Doctrine and Covenants Commentary from Hyrum M Smith and Janne M Sjodahl, the 1972 reprint edition. It’s a lengthy book at 864 pages.

A Promise From the Lord

I lived with two of my unmarried siblings who worked or attended college, my parents having sold their home and sent us out in the world to fend for ourselves. The summer before I attended Ricks College was a spiritual awaking for me, filled with sacred moments in prayerful revelation to my mind’s eye. Asking in faith, the Lord opened my mind to visions of personal future events.

RicksDevotionalIt was at Ricks, after many hours of heart-wrenching prayer, I obtained a promise from the Lord which remains with me to this day. He has not left me, even in my darkest hours. He can and will walk with us through our life’s journey. He will speak to our minds. We can hear His voice. As part of that meeting, detecting the voice of the adversary and his emissaries also became clearer.

I have shared this story before, but have visited it again with a different understanding. Having resigned my membership in the LDS Church, I wanted to know if anything had changed about the revelations I received in my youth. Were they still valid? Had I been deceived? I asked the Lord recently. He answered, assuring me it was He that spoke to my mind that long-ago night.

Always Knew the Book was Scripture

The Book of MormonAfter a few difficult retirement years in Utah my mother moved back to California and stopped attending the LDS Church. I have shared her story previously, including her disappointments with what she found in the Utah LDS culture. Upon returning, she gave me many of her church books along with her journals and papers, asking only that I not share them before her death.

In the ten years since her passing I have reviewed most of her papers. Recently, I have felt the desire to make one of her papers available online. It is entitled “How I gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon.” Mother was a teacher and scholar, well-read, endowed with a keen intellect and a profound ability to teach. She loved preparing lessons, passing her love of learning to me.

If you can, take a moment to review mother’s story. She and I were very close in the years just before and after my mission. She wrote this paper while taking Institute classes. We had many deep discussions about the gospel and church history. She knew so much about Joseph Smith. I was amazed to discover her difficulties with the Book of Mormon and why it troubled her so.

Didn’t Always Know About Joseph

I prefaced what I am about to share with reference to my mother because it was she who gave me the intellectual curiosity to ask the Lord about things which she herself did not know. Her habit was to refer me to a book, then encourage me to take my questions to the Lord. I have her papers on Joseph, the Savior, temple ordinances, celestial marriage and more on the Book of Mormon.

ProphetJosephSmithI learned to read at my mother’s knee. We read the Book of Mormon together when I was young. I experienced first-hand her lining out all the instances of “and it came to pass,” as she shared in her paper. She had a hard time with the Book of Mormon. I loved it from the first time I read it with her. I knew it was the word of God. Always have. But I didn’t always know about Joseph.

That’s what I really want to share in this post. From my notes in front of the D&C Commentary, I’ve recorded the dates I consumed the book. Fifteen pages a day is not much. I also noted a few choice observations the Lord shared with me as I read, one of them being, “No amount of study can take the place of obedience,” and “When ignorance is removed, obedience is expected.”

Some Things Not Lawful to Share

When I finished the book, I felt inspired to take it to the Lord in prayer. I wanted to know if the revelations recorded from Joseph were from the Lord. It was an interesting experience. I did not expect it to take three days. I expected it would take a few hours at most, similar to what I had experienced at Ricks College. I think this was the only time in my life I fasted for three days.

JosephSmithInLibertyJailI would study during the day and pray for hours at night. I took literally the admonition to enter into my closet and pray in secret. Sometimes, after a few hours of study during the day, I would continue my quest in prayer. I wanted an answer. I needed to know. I burned with the desire to receive a response. I had talked to the Lord previously. I had heard his voice at Rick’s College.

As I recorded in my journal and in a previous post, I was surprised at the answer. I want to be very clear about this. We can hear the voice of the Lord. He told me the commentary was written with the intent to encourage faith. But He was more emphatic when He said to me, “Joseph did not tell everything he knew and neither can you. Some things can only be experienced in prayer.”

Joseph Was No Fallen Prophet

At the time I was satisfied with the answer. I should not have been. I should have pressed for more. But it was apparently sufficient for that season of my life. Now I want more. In fact, I have wanted more for many years and have been pressing the Lord to share. Each time He tells me the day will come but is not yet. He and I both know I have not yet met the requirements. So I wait.

JesusRedRobeI want to keep this post short. There are only two things I wanted to share. I hope I have been clear. The first is that we can speak with the Lord, we can hear His voice. We can enter into His presence. He is willing to reveal Himself unto us. The second is that the Lord does call men to speak for him as prophets today. Joseph was the Lord’s prophet and still holds keys given him.

The restoration of the Lord’s work with men on the earth commenced with Joseph Smith. He performed his mission admirably, as did Hyrum. I have been studying the Book of Mormon for over fifty years and have never felt any doubts of the authenticity of Joseph’s claims. The Lord will bless those who speak up for Joseph. I do so with this post. Joseph was no fallen prophet.

Escape From Idolatry

golden-statueI notice a pattern with people who escape idolatry. I would dare say it is nearly universal. It is perhaps the most difficult and treacherous path to navigate in this life, but if we endure to the end, it leads to the riches of eternity.

In the worst of idolatry, men and women will put their trust solely in external things. Usually this consists of pastors, bishops, preachers, ministers, and whatever books that happen to be approved within their belief system. If they run into a question or concern, they speak to the nearest “authority” on the subject, who has enough knowledge with the approved books to pacify the person and lull them back to sleep.

golden-calfIf the person keeps seeking greater truth, they will soon begin to see contradictions coming from the pulpit. The local “authority” will sometimes say things that are not coinciding with the approved books, and the seeker begins to see that the local authorities are fallible, and not to be trusted as far as Truth is concerned.

In the next phase the seeker will begin to seek the words of the “greater” leaders and “authorities.” They will seek the words of the founders of the religion, the dead prophets and popes, the great men and women of the belief system. The seeker will begin finding others who see the fallibility of the local leaders and they will enjoy seeking words of the greater leaders of the belief system.

money-idolatryEventually if the seeker persists in the journey, it will become clear that even the founders and the great ones of the belief system do not agree on all things. Hopefully the seeker at this point has begun to receive revelation and is developing his/her own relationship with God. Slowly their eyes are opened as they continue forward.

The next step in the pattern comes to a point where the seeker will cleave to THE ONE person that seems to have all the answers. THE ONE prophet, or pope, whether living or dead, who was or is guided by God. This will be THE ONE who was truly infallible because he/she was God’s voice, instrument, prophet, pope, king, or whatever the title may be. This also can come in the form of THE ONE book, THE ONE philosophy, THE ONE trustworthy source of Truth besides God.

golden-calf2If the seeker does not rest, and will truly endure to the end, at some point they will see that even THE ONE has things that are not true. This can only be done by receiving revelation line upon line on every subject that the one remaining idol has taught. Sometimes things outside of the one remaining idol are used as tools to help the seeker break the shackles.

It can be THE ONE book or idol that others have pointed too. It can be the Laotzis and the Buddhas and the Emmanuel Swedenborgs and the Apocryphas etc that point out truths that the one idol does not have and even teaches or has taught against, but the spirit will bear witness to.

golden-calf1Of course the last phase, and the only True Way is when the disciple learns to only trust in the Spirit of the Living God, the Spirit of Truth. When one enters this zone, Truth comes quickly from many avenues because the chains of idolatry have been broken. There is no damning limit to what the Spirit could tell you, because the only creed is Truth, wherever it may be found.

Outward authority never can exist to the true disciple, because the holy oil of God is giving truth to the inward vessel. The only things to conquer in this last phase are the devils and powers of darkness which will fight with desperation and fury. All of the powers of hell will be used to stop the seeker from becoming a holy disciple of God.

academic-idolatryAs one progresses from phase to phase in the escape of idolatry, the seeker will find less and less human companionship, but more and more association with the angels and righteous on the other side of the veil. Most are not willing to trade the outward forms of spirituality for the inward blessings of discipleship. To escape each phase, more strength is needed than to escape the last, and only the Lord can provide it.

food-as-an-idolIn each of these phases there will be many who will try to persuade you that you are in the right spot. You have made it to THE GROUP, to the elite, “you have escaped! This is the place!” the mortals and devils will call, yet the seeker must learn to heed the call of The Only One that matters.

Of course many would call the seeker a person that “picks and chooses.” They will call it a “buffet style” approach and call the wisdom of God foolishness. “You can’t just pick and choose!” will be the voice of the devil. “You can’t trust personal revelation!” They will say you must check it with all of the idols and if it doesn’t match up it must be discarded. Think deeper about some verses in Matt 13:41-50

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I pray God’s blessings upon each of us as we shed idolatry and falsehood, and come unto the Truth. Those who will not be cast into the furnace of fire will be those who have sold all the filth, who have cast all the bad away, before the coming of the Lord.

Mormonism Without The LDS Church

SaltLakeTempleNightI am a Mormon. I am not a member of the LDS Church. There is a difference between the two – a big difference. The LDS Church does not define Mormonism. The LDS Church has changed dramatically from what God revealed through Joseph Smith. That memory has been lost, altered, redefined, added unto, retracted from and otherwise transformed by leaders of the LDS Church.

For the most part, I believe the change was unintentional. In fact, it was well-intentioned. The leaders were, and I believe continue to be, fundamentally interested in the greater good the LDS Church can do in the absence of direct revelation. The desire is commendable. The outcome is tragic. The death of Joseph Smith was more than tragic. It marked the beginning of forgetting.

In some cases change was done on purpose. It was intentional. The narrative was altered to fit more in line with then-current political expediency. It continues to change today. I have watched it change gradually in my lifetime. The LDS Church has redefined itself in an effort to appeal to a larger audience. In doing so, it has lost the foundational authority and endorsement of the Lord.

Absence of Direct Revelation

The majority of revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants were received in a ten-year period from 1828 to 1838. Many of the revelations were received in the presence of others who witnessed the physical effects upon Joseph as he dictated the words flowing into his soul. This was a prophet, one through whom the Lord spoke. He received revelations even as did Moses.

With the death of Joseph, his followers were lost. They did not know what to do. Joseph had appointed a successor, but his brother Hyrum was killed seconds before he was. The church wanted a replacement leader like Joseph. For a season the quorum of the twelve led but soon Brigham took the reins and was voted in as the new president. Joseph was still “The Prophet.”

Every time we sing Praise to the Man, I wonder if the congregation singing the hymn thinks about these lines: “Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.” Joseph was revered by his followers, but nobody could replace him, no matter how they tried.

Authority and Endorsement of Christ

At one time the LDS Church was authorized by Jesus Christ as the only true and living church upon the face of the earth today. This is no longer true. There are two types of authority. One is to perform preparatory ordinances. The LDS Church had that authority until recently. The other is to perform the higher or sealing ordinances, authority lost upon the death of Joseph Smith.

In a recent correspondence with a humble and sincere seeker of Jesus Christ, who had left the LDS Church, joined the AUB, then came back, I was deeply impressed with his lament about the loss of the keys. I know what the official LDS narrative says about Brigham proclaiming he had the keys, but some keys cannot be passed on from man to man. This has been made clear to me.

“I am really looking for someone to whom the Lord is giving revelations and is a true successor of Joseph Smith. I am really hoping and praying that the keys as described in Section 132:7,18 & 19 are still on the earth and that there is one anointed and appointed with the ‘power and the keys of this priesthood’ to seal by the Holy Spirit of promise. As verse 8 says, His house is not one of confusion, so there must be only one. If the keys have been lost then I fear the earth will be wasted at the Lord’s coming.”

Verse seven notes “… there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of the priesthood are conferred …” My friend says he is looking for a true successor to Joseph Smith, one who holds the sealing power. Is that man Thomas Monson? Did he receive it in an unbroken line going back to Joseph Smith? You’ll have to decide that question for yourself.

Follow the Savior, not the Prophet

JesusRedRobeWould God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. I honor prophets. I have seen inspiration flow through men upon whom the LDS people have placed the title of prophet. But I do not and will not accept the modern false doctrine espoused that a prophet cannot lead the Church astray.

By tradition, the President of the LDS Church carries the title of prophet, seer and revelator as do each of the members of the quorum of the twelve apostles. I accept them as being some of the best men in the LDS Church, each blessed with gifts and talents used by the Lord to bless and inspire members of the LDS Church. But they cannot claim to secure my salvation in eternity.

I am confident they would agree were I to ask them this question directly – “Can you save me?” Their answer would have to be, “No, I am a man like unto you. Only Christ can save you.” It is to Christ I offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. That is not something I offer to any man. I confess my sins only to Christ, not to any man, no matter what his position in the LDS Church.

Remembering The Work Of Joseph Smith

I am on a mission to re-evaluate everything I learned growing up in the LDS Church about the history of the restoration, and especially the significance of the revelations received by Joseph. For a man with limited formal education, he certainly was prolific. Not much of a speller or even composer of succinct sentences, he employed scribes to record and edit the revelations received.

The process of revelation is an interesting one. I am familiar with how it works. While closely tied to inspiration, it is a step higher in the idea of placing one’s mind and spirit in tune with the infinite. It requires faith, practice, discipline, effort and a disposition to place the will of the Lord above all that the natural man within us desires. It does not lend itself to purposes of contention.

Joseph recognized this, shared his experience in being unable to translate because of a quarrel with Emma, and taught us how important it is to have a spirit of peace about us as we strive to be in tune with the will of the Lord. Revelation is sacred. It is a gift as is prophecy. Joseph had these gifts in abundance, given him by the Lord to communicate His commands to man upon the earth.

Modifying the History of Mormonism

josephsmith.jpgUnderstanding the history of Mormonism is important if we are to understand what the Lord was trying to accomplish through Joseph Smith. I submit categorically that Joseph did not complete the work he was sent to accomplish. He was cut short. He was rejected by the members of his own church. The doctrines he tried to teach were too radical for their then limited understanding.

We have come a long ways in understanding since the days of Joseph Smith. We have the luxury of one hundred and seventy years of analysis, review, criticism and discussion about what was the real intent of Joseph in sharing some of the things he was allowed to teach. We have forgotten much of what he tried to accomplish. Even the official history was not authored by Joseph Smith.

I hope the efforts of many good people and groups will continue to sort through the deliberate efforts of the LDS Church to conceal the truth and modify the record. Keeping accurate historical records were not as important to the early leaders of the LDS Church as it was to provide to the members a faith-promoting history. Some things were significantly altered, others covered-up.

Restoration Not Meant to Be Institutionalized

I have long been on a journey to reconcile what I have discovered over the years of studying the history of the LDS Church with what I found in documents, journals and diaries that have been coming to light in recent years. I applaud the Church’s efforts to be forthcoming with faithful reproductions of the original source material. I look forward to the ongoing publication efforts.

The restoration of the Lord’s work in these later-days does not belong to a single institution. It is the Lord’s work. He opened the heavens to show that each of us could have a direct relationship with our God. Woe be unto the man or woman who says they are content to receive the word of God from the leaders of the LDS Church. This is wrong. This is not what God intended for us.

I reject the new order of things perpetuated by the LDS Church in which leaders claim the right to issue commandments and direction, followers fall in line, and nobody is encouraged to go to the source to get revelation beyond the rudimentary testimony of the Book of Mormon. Leading a worldwide church through public relations is a fiasco in the making. This is not God’s doing.

LDS Church Has Morphed Mormonism

I have watched as many of the unique aspects of our religion have been denigrated or completely removed from the acceptable orthodoxy in the modern LDS Church. Orthodoxy is a strange thing. What is considered an acceptable view or practice in one generation is completely wiped out in the next simply by the leader’s general conference addresses and key curriculum changes.

I remember prayer circles outside the temple. Today you will be excommunicated for apostasy if you dare engage in such practices. Partaking of the Sacrament is tightly controlled by the church to the point where it is used as a weapon to enforce dogmatic beliefs and views. It is anti-Christ. This last straw broke the camel’s back for me, compelling me to resign from the LDS church.

It amazes me to realize early leaders of the LDS Church encouraged members to be re-baptized as a sign of their willingness to re-commit and more fully live their religion. Today, participating in such a baptism will get you excommunicated for apostasy. Tolerance for anything outside of the secret handbook of instructions is unthinkable. Independent worship is highly discouraged.

Mormonism NOT controlled by the LDS Church

bookofmormon.jpgMormonism requires study and contemplation. Deep thought, pondering and prayer are a must if we are to come close to what the Lord intended in the work commenced through the Prophet Joseph Smith. That work included preparing a people for Zion. No institution can bring about Zion. It must be done in small groups of like-minded saints which have no poor among them.

Truth is Mormonism. All truth, wherever located and from whatever source, in whatever form it is currently practiced, belongs to the Mormon religion. Mormonism is not what the LDS Church says it is. Mormonism is what the Lord revealed through the prophet Joseph, much of which has been rejected by the LDS Church, while trying to dominate and control it through correlation.

I am a Mormon because I accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, an instrument in bringing forth scripture I receive as the word of God, including the Book of Mormon and the inspired books in the Pearl of Great Price. I accept the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants with the recognition that many have been changed, edited, added to or reduced by unauthorized men.

Mormonism Is A Powerful Religion

The beauty of Mormonism is that it can free our souls from dependence upon man or a group of men to turn our hearts to God in strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ. My baptism and subsequent receipt of the Holy Ghost to an even greater degree in my life are marvelous to me. My sense of personal responsibility has increased and empowered me in tremendous ways.

Mormonism is a dynamic, truth-filled, confident and powerful religion. It reunites our souls with heaven. The Holy Ghost helps us to recognize truth from unorthodox sources, adapt it to our own needs in drawing us to feeling closer to our God and Christ. It is an exciting religion, as long as it is not restricted and controlled by those who feel it is their duty to limit what people can believe.

In Mormonism, true Mormonism, not the limited and restricted version found in the current LDS Church, all are equal before God. We are free to worship according to the dictates of our own conscious. I can participate in the Sacrament in my home. I can worship in the robes of the Holy Priesthood at a dedicated altar in my home. Priesthood is not to preside over but to serve others.

Zion Will Not Come Through An Institution

I am a Mormon. I am not a member of the LDS Church. I am one of many thousands who have come to realize the Lord has set His hand a second time to open the heavens to those who will take the time and trouble to seek the face of the Lord. He can and will reveal Himself to you and me. We do not have to receive the word of the Lord through another man, but direct from Christ.

I invite you to join with me in investigating this movement away from the control of the LDS institution and toward the Lord’s intended way of building Zion – in small groups who serve, teach and encourage one another as the spirit directs, not as the controlled correlated process from secret handbooks dictates. The rejection of the fullness by the institution was foretold.

The Lord has sent his servant with this message to remember the restoration. It was given as a gift to man in our day. The heavens are open again for business. Let every man know the Lord. We do not have to rely on the word of our neighbor. He will guide and direct our lives. He will walk with us. He will direct our paths. I am a witness of these things, one of many thousands.

To find communities for fellowship, visit:

To find someone to baptize you, visit:


Wars and Rumors of Wars

Matthew-24-7Nobody likes to talk about war, at least I don’t think so. Maybe there are those who delight in the subject. I don’t. However, the theme of war is found throughout the scriptures, indicating it is a topic about which the Lord expects us to be knowledgeable. I don’t think He wants us to become experts at waging war, but be informed about what will happen in the last days in regard to war.

We can’t go about with our head in the sand when it comes to international affairs, although one could make an argument to the contrary. For example, in my mother’s journal, referring to the timeframe of World War II, I recall this statement: “The war is so far away. We hear about it on the radio and see the boys who come home to the hospital, but for us, there really is no war.”

Now mother knew perfectly well there was a war going on. She worked on the base where she grew up in Norman Oklahoma. She was a cashier in the Naval Hospital where she met my dad, who was a cook at the same base. She saw one of the results of war first hand – the wounded and the maimed. But there were no bullets flying around her family, so in effect, there was no war.

War Always Seems So Far Away

I have never seen war. Of course I have seen videos and read the history of wars in my lifetime, but I have never lived in a war zone, so I can’t relate to those who do, such as a large population of the Middle East. I have watched lots of movies about war, some which glamorize it and others that show it in all its gory detail. But I have never experienced the heart-pounding fear of war.

Update: I remembered a time on my mission where I worked in a soon-to-be war zone. I wrote this little memoir a few years back for a writing class. The thing about memoirs is they can be “enriched” memories. I combined two separate events for this piece of writing. It’s the closest I came to feeling the fear of war some experience every day

The United States has experienced only one civil war so far and that was long before any of us were born, so it’s a distant memory in the history books. The closest thing to civil war now is experienced by those who live in downtown crime-ridden neighborhoods. Even then, it’s nothing like that experienced by those who live, for example, in Honduras, where I served my mission.

countries-at-war-2015There are over fifty ongoing armed conflicts being waged somewhere around the world as I write this. Although the Mexican Drug War can be considered close-by, most wars are centered around the Middle East and Africa. One of the longest running wars is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ongoing since 1948, when Israel was established as an independent state by the United Nations.

Prophecy Concerning War in the Last Days

Two of my favorite books growing up were Gerald Lund’s The Coming of the Lord and Duane Crowther’s Prophecy, Key to the Future. I have read or studied both of them almost constantly since I purchased them in the early seventies.  They are well marked-up and annotated, similar to my scriptures. Duane’s book was published before the Six Day War so lacks commentary there.

However, they both have considerable content dedicated to explaining the author’s interpretation of scripture and prophecy dealing with the subject of war. I’d like to focus on war in the Middle East in this post. I don’t believe the author of either book I mentioned above has taken sides, nor is that my intent in sharing this post. I simply desire to outline prophecies concerning that war.

Of course, one of the things about prophecy is that it is not intended to foretell the future, but to make us aware of the foreknowledge of God in such matters. Prophecy is not given to help us pin down an exact date as to when certain things are supposed to happen. It is to remind us of the love of our Savior in preparing us for that which is to come. Thus, we can avoid being fearful.

A Voice of Warning in the Last Days

sword-of-heaven“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed…” When I read this verse I see it being fulfilled in two ways, but primarily by the Lord. The phrase, “arm of the Lord” has special significance in terms of prophecy. It is referring to an astral event in the ancient skies.

But it can and does also refer to the destruction that is forthcoming upon the appearance of this frightening object in the skies. All the world will see it. The wicked shall fear and tremble. Even the righteous will be alarmed if they have not taken the Holy Spirit for their guide. Read chapter twenty-one of Ezekiel to learn more about the imagery of this bright sword bathed in heaven.

“For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof…” The word of the Lord is “quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow…” There’s that sword imagery again. This time it’s applied to the word of the Lord, which will prepare our hearts for the tribulation and desolation sent forth.

War Poured Out Upon All Nations

wars-and-rumors-of-wars“And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion…” There is no getting around it. We live in that day now. Peace has been taken from the earth. “…see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass…Behold I have told you before…for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

“And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations…And thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn…” If you think God has nothing to do with war upon the earth, think again. I’m not saying God causes war. Men are very well able to do that by themselves. But ask yourself, why would He use the phrase “war will be poured out”?

And when He says ‘all nations,” do you think He means the United States of America? I do. That day has not come yet, but is at the doors. The Lord said He would make an end of all nations. It could be through social unrest or it could be through invasion by other nations who have sworn to destroy “the great Satan,” which is their term for wickedness exported from the United States.

Sworn to Annihilate Israel

map-of-israelNow to the point of my post: Israel. As reader Linda pointed out in the comments section of my last post, nobody wants war. She linked to a YouTube video of an awesome TED talk about an Israeli designer who created an online peace sensation with his design, “Iranians: We will never bomb your country. We {heart} you.” If you haven’t viewed the short 2012 video, take a look.

Linda, you are right. Your average citizen of most any nation doesn’t want war. I believe that is true for Palestinians, Iranians, Afghanis, Israelis, Russians, Chinese or Americans. It’s true for the citizens of every nation that has weapons of mass destruction such as India, Pakistan, France, England, and even North Korea. Nobody wants war, or at least I would like to believe that’s so.

Sadly, we know that’s not true. There are individuals out there who do want war. They want it for various reasons. Some desire it to increase personal wealth, others want to change the balance of power in the world. Unfortunately, there are deranged individuals who want war for religious reasons. They have declared their intent to annihilate the nations of Israel and the United States.

Israel Not Powerless to Defend Themselves

The leader of Iran tweeted last year, “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” I think that’s fairly clear, don’t you? Yet, John Kerry is brokering a deal with Iran to remove economic sanctions and extend time to allow weapons-grade uranium development in their nuclear program. What is the man thinking?

As the Prime Minister of Israel said in his address to congress this week, “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. … For the first time in one hundred generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why … as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

I’m not choosing sides here. I believe the reports Israel has nuclear weapons. We know Israel will act in a pre-emptive manner. They demonstrated that in the Six Day War. I don’t think the Prime Minister of Israel wants war. But I do believe the leader of Iran wants war. He wants it specifically so he can annihilate Israel. He has said so. I just want to make sure we’re all clear.

No Nation Can Do More Than God Permits

“Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?” In spite of wars and rumors of wars, in spite of the whole earth being in commotion, in spite of men’s hearts failing them, meaning losing courage to stand up for what is right, in spite of Satan’s seeming success in promoting war and contention, please remember who is in charge.

The adversary’s greatest efforts will not stop the work of the Lord. “The Lord rules, manipulates and manages the affairs of men, of nations and of the world, and therefore, neither this nation nor any other nation can do anything more than God permits. He sets up one nation, and puts down another, according to the counsels of his own will.” John Taylor couldn’t have said it any better.

armageddon-countriesWe know Israel will be the focus of the great battle of the last days – Armageddon. The battle is essentially religious: one ideology and theology against another. One host stands for God and his cause. The other fights against Him. Both hosts are comprised of wicked and worldly men, but one is defending freedom while the other would destroy liberty and enslave men. You choose.

Government of the United States Will Collapse

Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that, “the government will be utterly overthrown and destroyed,” and that “Congress…shall be broken up as a government.” In addition the prophet Joseph is quoted as saying, “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government…”

President Woodruff was more emphatic when he asked, “…can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure…Sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” On another occasion he said, “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel…”

Perhaps you recall this statement by Orson Pratt, an early LDS apostle. “State will be divided against state, city against city, town against town, and the whole country will be in terror and confusion; mobocracy will prevail and there will be no security, through this great Republic, for the lives or property of the people.” This statement was made after the Civil War of 1861-65.

The Coming Civil War

civil-unrestReferring to the Civil War of 1861-65, President John Taylor said, “We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States…” He also said, “You will see worse things than that, for God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than even they have done before. There will be more bloodshed…”

“Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston…and numerous other cities will be left desolate…the whole nation will be broken up. There shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one state to another, from one part of the continent to another, seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied.”

The above quote is from Orson Pratt, who left us the best descriptions of the great American civil war of the last days, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. He said, “It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood…they will go forth destroying and being destroyed…going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land…the whole country…will be wasted away…”

“The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on…peaceable pursuits…these will be neglected and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives.” In one particularly foreboding statement, Brigham Young agreed with Orson and said the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…

Gather to Zion for Protection

tent-cityThe only protection for those who will not take up arms against their neighbors is to flee to Zion. Zion as a place of refuge has not yet been established. At one time I had a dream about a large piece of land behind our Stake Center. It was filled with tents. The members of our stake had come together to protect one another. Men took turns patrolling the area, armed with weapons.

I wondered about the dream and asked the Lord for an interpretation. The impression came this was one possible scenario. It was a temporary situation. The people were waiting for word from Salt Lake to gather to Zion. But no word came. We were cut off. Communications were down. But in fact, Utah and especially Salt Lake were in worse shape. Zion was not found in Utah.

It was just a dream. The LDS Church teaches preparedness. We are counseled to have a large supply of food, water and even money although it’s fairly clear money will be worthless if the government collapses and social chaos reigns. I never cared for weapons yet I now have a small arsenal in my home, next to my food storage. What? Here in California? I hope I never need it.

Zion Prospereth, All Is Well In Zion

I close in the same way I began. Nobody likes to talk about war. Nobody likes to think about the possibilities of social anarchy or the specter of financial collapse. Surely this great nation will last forever, right? As long as we serve the God of this land we will be blessed. Once the highest court of the United States rejects the principles of religious freedom, we lose God’s protection.

I hope and pray these things I have written about do not come to pass in my lifetime. We seem to be enjoying renewed prosperity in our nation as I write this. Employment prospects appear to be the best they have been in years. Crime is down to a level not seen since the sixties. In my ward and stake, families appear to be happy and growing. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.

You can dismiss this post on war as irrelevant from an old man out of touch with the realities of life. You can tell yourself the scriptures and prophecies I have quoted were taken out of context and have different interpretations than those I have offered. Of course they do. The spirit will guide you how to receive these thoughts. After all, they are only the ramblings of an old man.



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