I See… Awake!

i-see-awake-mendenhallI’m surprised. I thought I knew Doug. A private email list is not enough. Yes, word of mouth works, but someone needs to start the chain. I’ll start it if no one else will. This post is about a book. Some may think it a simple book. Others may dismiss it as just another of millions of self-published books. Doug, this is an important book and it needs attention. It needs marketing.

May I help? I know you didn’t ask for it, but as I prayed about it the Lord asked me to do all within my power to get the word out within my sphere of influence. I admit my influence is small, but there are some who will appreciate this. Adam, for example, who has a distinctive interest in this subject, will want to read it. Adam, keep the books you borrowed as a gift.

It’s not a pleasant subject for some. Never has been. Many reject it outright. Don’t believe it. Never will. That’s okay. This is not for them. This book is for those who have been warned and who understand the powers of the adversary that are becoming stronger and bolder as the time of the Lord’s return draws near. Denise will appreciate this post. Why not – she contributed much.

Part One of a Two-Part Book

Doug, may I express my love for you again. I did so on during out visit last May. It was a cold and windy afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, but you were so kind and gracious to receive me. I told you I came on behalf of the Lord, with a message to encourage you to finish this book. Apparently you didn’t need it. The book is now available and it is exactly what the Lord wanted published.

I know because I asked Him. He loves you Doug. You are a brave man. You are a blessed man. If there is anything in my power to do or say to bring blessings unto you, I invoke them upon you and your household, including your daughter Denise. I don’t mean to embarrass you Denise, but I consider your father a good friend, one who loves the Lord. You are blessed to be his daughter.

Doug Mendenhall of Publishing Hope, Mt. Pleasant Utah, has published another book. He did not announce it other than in a private email list. The book isn’t available on Amazon or even at Confetti Books. Doug is the author of Conquering Spiritual Evil, a handbook in dealing with the devil in these last days. This will appeal to few. That’s okay. My writings also appeal to so few.

Open Your Eyes and See

So consider this a semi-private endorsement of a wonderful new book, written from the heart, with the spirit of the Lord as guide. It is not a Denver Snuffer book so don’t expect the same kind of pronouncements. It is a Doug Mendenhall book. Doug knows what he is talking about. He has a mission in life that is closely tied to being the father of Denise Yale. God bless you my friend.

ConqueringSpiritualEvilI have almost finished the book. It is easy reading. It is almost like a quiet, easy-going, private dialog between two friends. I felt he was writing it just for me. I needed it. I appreciated it. I was spiritually fed by the content. Some will be offended by what they read. Some won’t have the necessary background to understand what they are reading. That’s okay. Others will be blessed.

The book is about opening your eyes – your spiritual eyes. It is about encountering the adversary, his devils and minions. Again, an uncomfortable subject, but one that needs to be brought to the forefront of our attention NOW. The battles are real. These battles are being fought in the secret chambers of our homes, our bedrooms, our closets and places where we invite God to be with us.

Healing the Spirit and the Soul

It is about healing, something I have been seeking for a lifetime. It is about faith, the kind of faith that goes way beyond what an institutional organization encourages or endorses. This faith is the kind that gets the attention of angels, who come and hear the mighty prayers of those who seek to have the thorn in the side removed, yet are powerless themselves to do more that share peace.

There is but one who can heal, yet in his wisdom, He lets us deal with these fiery darts, and other devices of the adversary through our own faith and learning. Perhaps we would not seek learning if we did not suffer so. Thanks be to a loving Savior who stands just outside the circle of our sight, yet makes Himself known as we cry unto Him in pain, sorrow and even intense suffering.

Did not He do the same? Even He was amazed at the intensity of the experience, the power of the adversary to inflict torment, torture, evil, pain, sorrow, sickness and abuse. Undeserved and unjustified, we suffer with him in like manner. Our pain is just as real, but not as intense. Or is it? God knows how much we can stand. He knows how much we can overcome and yet remain.

An Endorsement and an Invitation

I have said nothing about the book other than to mention it and to invite you to obtain and read it. You can only get it from Doug as far as I can tell. It is $25. The money is not the issue. What is at stake is your willingness to learn and to accept the reality of what goes on around us, unseen to our mortal vision, but real nonetheless. Be wise. Be educated in the ways of the opposing spirits.

Perhaps you are so far above such afflictions that this book will serve no purpose in your life. Have you been in the presence of the Lord? If so, you don’t need this. You already understand. If not, you will gain much from what you find in these pages. I offer no review, only a final plea to those whose hearts are pricked by this post. Obtain a copy. Read it. Pray about it. God bless you.

PublishingHopeTitle: Awake…I see! – Publisher: Publishing Hope, a private publishing house, 320 pages

Author: Douglas H. Mendenhall, with insightful contributions by Denise and Kitten

No ISBN. Contact Doug at publishinghope@gmail.com http://www.publishinghope.info/

Price: $25. Send checks to PO Box 282, Mt. Pleasant UT 84647 – Spiral bound

Reorganizing the Family of God

the-divine-councilIn the Boise rescue, Elder Oaks spoke much of the temples as evidence of the fruits of the LDS Church. They are beautiful buildings aren’t they? So many resources are poured into these edifices. As President Hinckley once taught, the buildings of the church are not income producing, and constitute a major expense. A lot of tithing money goes into maintaining these buildings, including the wards and stakes.

For over forty years I went to the temple on a regular basis. I went there with thousands of family names my mother had gleaned from years and years of family history work. I performed countless baptisms, inititories, endowments and sealings. I am not alone in my participation in temple work. The focus was always on doing something – proxy ordinances – for family members they could not do for themselves.

While studying the early history of the LDS Church, I noticed a major adjustment in my thinking about the purpose of the temples. I kept wondering about the idea of being “sealed to the fathers.” More and more I found I was contemplating exactly who the fathers were or are. Even after a lifetime of family history research, members of our family could never find family records back any earlier than 1650.

Salvation, Resurrection and Exaltation

CityOfZionI am fairly certain there are some individuals who have been able to trace their family history back to the earliest known records of civilization. I believe I even recall someone telling me they found proof they were related to an individual named in the Bible and could therefore trace their lineage back to Adam. I suppose that’s the ultimate goal of family history research, to find every single ancestor back to Adam.

Growing up in the church I recall being taught we will not be able to complete the family history work that needs to be done because the records are lost. The Millennium is the time when all this work will be completed, because family members will come to those who are living, tell us who they are, when and where they lived and accompany us to the temple while we perform those saving ordinances for them.

Eventually, by the end of the Millennium, everyone will be found, everyone will be sealed and everyone will be joined to the fathers. The objective of life, as I have been taught and believe, is to prepare for a glorious resurrection. That’s individual salvation. But what about exaltation? That only comes about when we are organized by God into His family and participate in ordinances not found in LDS Temples.

Set in Order the House of God

zion-city-of-enochWe need a temple to which Christ can come and reorganize the family of God through an ordinance that seals us to the fathers. As I have written previously on this blog, I hope to be alive when that temple will be built. I hope to contribute to the building of that temple, either financially or with my labor. I want my name to be on the books to be found in that temple. I am grateful to Keith for compiling those records.

Eventually, someone will come along, and “…set in order the house of God, and arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.” This is found in the last part of D&C 85:7. I have no idea who this person is, but I want my name available to him on the books that are to be found in the temple.

Because “… they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among the unbelievers, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill.” That promise is found in later verses of the same section (D&C 85:9-10).

Why Christ Will Come to His Temple

Question Six: You proclaimed Jesus Christ has revealed Himself to you. You declared you have seen Him, embraced Him and have been given specific assignments of things to teach, which you have done at your own expense in publications and lectures. The focus of these teachings is the establishment of Zion. You have counseled those who wish to prepare for Zion to institute fellowships for gathering and practicing the principles of Zion, specifically to use tithing as a means to help the poor. You have taught there is to be no new church, no legal entity to receive and centrally manage funds and property, yet you acknowledge the need for a temple.

A new website has been established for a central recorder, where those who have been baptized are encouraged to submit their names. The purpose of this gathering of names is to present them to the Lord in a temple. You said in Mesa, “We do not need numerous temples, but we will need one to which Christ can come. We will not need to perform endless work for the dead until first there has been a covenant made for us. We must be first connected to the fathers in heaven. Only then can we do something to liberate the dead.” You have already taught much on the sealing to the fathers, but will you take a moment to elaborate on the difference between the visit of Christ to an individual and the visit of Christ to a temple yet to be built?

ANSWER (Denver): Yes, I can. Individual salvation and promises of eternal life are just that, they are individual. A restoration of the family of Israel requires more, including cooperation and interrelationships that will be formed by God Himself. Promises made to individuals give the individual hope. If you take the vision of the redemption of the dead in D&C 138, he saw a vision where:christ-in-spirit-world

There were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality; And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name. All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. (D&C 138:12-14, emphasis added.)

All of them. These were the righteous. They were in Paradise and all of them were worthy, they had been given hope of a glorious resurrection. Not only did the Savior give them hope before death, He visited with them in the spirit world during the time between His death and His resurrection. But that did not get them reconnected to the fathers in heaven, nor did it even get them resurrected, because it goes on to say in the transcript of the same vision:

…from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead. (D&C138:30, emphasis added.)

So the righteous who departed this life firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, who had offered sacrifice in the similitude, many of whom had seen Him in the flesh, who witnessed Him and were ministered to by Him, and given authority by Him, in the spirit world, remained in the world of the dead to preach to the dead. They were NOT resurrected.

Joining the Family of God by an Ordinance

Only the organization of God’s family through a temple and associated rites, results in finishing the family of God in the House of Order. IF this were to be done it would allow the recipients to follow the results achieved, or allowed the results achieved by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which are described in D&C 132:37. Abraham Isaac and Jacob:

…did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

carl_bloch_the_christNote that in D&C 138:41 Abraham, the father of the faithful, Isaac and a Jacob were also there in the spirit world among the dead seen in the Vision of the Redemption of the Dead. In verses 41-22 of 138, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were there. But in the revelation recorded in 1843 they were sitting on thrones. They were not left behind in the spirit world proselytizing. Instead they are sitting on thrones.

The difference between these two categories of the righteous are the differences between individual salvation, which gives hope of a glorious resurrection, on the one hand, and reorganizing the family of God which must occur by an ordinance in a temple to be acceptable to God, on the other hand. This was why the command was given to build the temple in Nauvoo. And why God offered to restore to them the fullness that they did not achieve.

We need to let God take the lead, and then we need to patiently await each step along the way. This is the stuff of which the prophecies speak, and it is the stuff that will be fulfilled. But the rites and the ordinances necessary to accomplish that? People in this generation don’t even have a clue how that necessarily has to roll forth. But rest assured it will. God intends to set His house in order. He alone will do this.

Sources for the Interview:

Transcript One: http://3tcm.net/a-visit-with-denver-snuffer-transcript.pdf
Note: This version has been reviewed by Denver, missing material added

Transcript Two: http://3tcm.net/tim-malone-Q&A-with-denver-snuffer.pdf

Link to the MP3: http://3tcm.net/Denver_Snuffer_QA_13May2015.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 six: http://3tcm.net/question-six.pdf

Doug Mendenhall Jedi Workshop

Yoda1How do you condense twelve hours of being immersed in the heavenly element into a few short paragraphs? It’s an impossible task. There is no way what I am about to share can be understood unless you were there. I prepared myself for the instruction offered by reading and praying about ALL of Doug’s and Denise’s books as well as ALL of Denver Snuffer’s books, blog posts and lectures. I also prayed specifically to ask the Lord if I should attend Doug’s Jedi workshop.

Conquering Spiritual Evil

No, you don’t have to go to that extreme to understand what Doug shares, but at the minimum, read, ponder and pray about “Conquering Spiritual Evil.”  I suppose my initial preparation came at age sixteen when I encountered a gaggle of those little demons Satan sends out when he wants to take possession of someone’s soul. I’ve shared it before, but you can read about it in this post if you want. I don’t think I’m all that unusual. Lots of people have dealt with these little buggers.

Dealing With Unclean Spirits

ConqueringSpiritualEvilAnother preparation for me came in my encounter with two unclean spirits last year, which, of course the doctors explained away as a hypnagogic episode. Whatever. I know what I saw. I know what I felt. I’ve shared the experience before. You can read it in this paper if you like. So I guess what I’m saying is it helps if you have an open mind to the idea that we do indeed live in the spirit world, meaning we occupy the same space as they do. We just don’t normally see them.

Understanding One Eternal Round

Oh, two more books I read that helped me tremendously with what Doug presented were “You Have Been Here Before” and “The Unquiet Dead,” both by Edith Fiore. And, for what it’s worth, I’ve read and reviewed several dozen books on Near Death Experiences. Again, I emphasize, you don’t need to have read all this stuff. I suppose if you are familiar with the literature in the early history of the LDS Church, you’ll have a good background. We were more open back then.

Doctrine of the Spirit World

EnergyWorkRobertBruceBy that I mean members of the LDS Church, including leaders, believed in and spoke openly about the spirit world in a way that is not taught by today’s leaders. Heber C. Kimball had an encounter with the adversary and a whole bunch of little devils and demons while in England. Jedediah M. Grant, a counselor to Brigham Young, taught Heber about his visit to the spirit world just before he died at the young age of forty. I’m sure you can think of many others.

Energy Work and Healing

I guess the best advice I can give for anyone wanting to understand what the Jedi workshops are about is to think about how you feel about alternative healing, faith healing and such as that. Is it a part of your belief system or not? Oh, what about energy work? Have you read “Energy Work” from Robert Bruce? How about “Remarkable Healings” from Dr. Shakuntala Modi? It’s long but very thorough. One that I really love and use is “The Emotion Code” by Dr. Bradley Nelson.

Spirit Attachments and Negative Entities

FoolsCrowFools Crow: Wisdom and Power” from Thomas E. Mails is wonderful preparation. You might want to investigate the works of Dr. Melvin Fish, especially “Healing the Inner Self.” There are a dozen more including “Spirit Releasement Therapy” and “Healing Lost Souls” by Dr. William J Baldwin. And of course I always recommend Karol Kuhn Truman’s book, “Feelings Buried Alive Never Die.” Finally, be sure to check out the work of Jan Graf on Stress Management.

Discussion of the Priesthood

Now on to the workshop: I came away with a couple dozen handouts so I’ll use those to jog my memory. There was a lot of information presented about priesthood. We had quite the discussion about the history of priesthood in scriptures and in LDS Church history. We discussed what constituted the fullness of the priesthood, the function of the higher priesthood and offices in the priesthood, which are actually only offices in the LDS Church and are not priesthood at all.

Verify Everything with the Lord

Doug was very open to questions as he presented his thoughts. One of us in the room – and there were a dozen of us besides Doug – would ask in conjunction with what was being presented, if such and such a thing might be possible. His answer was invariably: “That’s a good question. Why don’t you take it to the Lord and ask him?” I don’t think that was a cop-out. Doug was speaking from experience. Denise doesn’t want to be anybody’s “Oracle chick.” Doug is not our answer man.

Dealing With the Unusual

DowsingRodWere there some weird and unusual things presented? Yes, of course there were. We talked about dowsing, or divining rods. Many people don’t know that Oliver Cowdery had a gift in working with the rod. (D&C 8:6) The original wording of the revelation was “sprout.” The word sprout meant “the end of a branch or shoot” In other words, Oliver would walk around looking for water with divining rods. This was a perfectly normal practice back in the early 1820’s.

Working with Energy – Practice

Doug talked quite a bit about working with energy and why it is applicable to us or something at which we should become proficient. He talked about practicing by putting a piece of paper on a needle in a corked-up bottle – just to hold it in place – and then to practice making it spin, first one way and then another, simply by focusing energy on it. He also talked about practicing cloud dissolving, something I had never considered but certainly harmless enough. Yes, a little weird.

Energy Balls, Chi and Spoon Bending

EnergyBallProbably the most unusual part of the workshop for me was the idea of creating energy balls, manipulating them and using them as a tool to achieving focus in your life. I’m very familiar with the idea of Chi, having been introduced to the energy meridians many years ago. Some people call this quackery. I have written an entire website on my experience with energy work. We also talked about spoon bending as an exercise to practice and develop psychic energy.

The Gospel in the Stars

One of the handouts shared is entitled The Zodiac Testifies of Christ, published by John Pratt in Meridian Magazine. John, an astronomer specializing in ancient calendars, has written numerous articles for Meridian. In fact, if you visit his website, you’ll see he is quote prolific. I’ve enjoyed John’s articles over the years. I’m pleased I’m not the only one who finds them worth studying. I have a special fascination with the stars and the planets especially as they relate to the last days.

Opposition in All Things

YingYangFireWaterWhen speaking about some of the things Denise and Kitten have viewed or shared, Doug was careful to point out such knowledge did not come without a price. Both women have suffered terrible physical hardship, pain and near-death. Living without a veil is not a life of roses. He shared a handout with a few quotes, some from Denver, on the subject of opposition.

“Light and knowledge are not gained in abstract reflection, but gained in battle in the trenches … you cannot simply learn. If mysteries are given to you, you are going to have to fight in the war.”

“There will always be opposition to the truth. No truth goes unchallenged. No event will be testified to without an alternative explanation of the event offered in opposition.”

“Opposition is required in all things. However wide heaven opens to you, hell will open just as wide. The adversary gets equal time. There must be balance. When you walk in a room full of light, the adversary takes notice. It is unavoidable.”

A personal note: Because of this law of opposition, it will manifest itself even among those who should be promoting loving kindness, openness and teach-ability. In other words, those who are in positions of authority will warn you against the things you learn in this workshop or from anyone who has become enlightened. Even leaders in the LDS Church will come out against having an open mind. There is nothing worse than bigotry toward truth from such individuals.

Four Basic Concepts

BD1234-001.jpgKnowledge comes through reading. Leaders are always readers. How much scripture study do you do every day? Do you attend workshops or lectures? The best way to gain knowledge is through information shared one on one, verbally. Seek for a mentor in the scriptures, or better yet, ask the Savior to be your teacher. The scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim for you. If you seek a mentor, find one who has accomplished what you are trying to do – see the Savior.

We must be teachable or coachable. We must have the mindset to listen to everything and not challenge it by disagreeing but also never blindly follow what we learn. It’s okay to question but not okay to judge upon first learning something new. Listen, take notes, then go home and think about the things you have learned. Ask the spirit to teach you as you ponder, then take all of it to the Father in prayer for a witness of the truthfulness. Using this method you’ll never be deceived.

Thinking or the thought process is 99.99% of what is needed to accomplish anything in life. If you focus on the how something is to be accomplished you will fail. What you think are facts are mostly people’s opinions. When your thought processes are right, the rest of your body will get for you what you want. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Thoughts and feelings always go together. Thoughts are energized by things that go on in the heart. This is the WHY of life.

Our goal should be to raise our vibrational frequency to match that of the heavens. If you want to be a master, you must master the basics. The biggest secret is that there are only a few secrets. The key is in mastering them to a level that most people never achieve. Your brain transmits and receives frequencies. Everything on earth is nothing but a combination of vibration or frequency. Frequency affects physical matter. You must transmit what you want with intensity and power.

Note: I recommend the book Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration by Penny Peirce.

Taught by the Angels

In order to understand these concepts or anything in life that you desire, you must be taught by the angels. You must have the powers of the spirit world teach you. Your main motivating force in life is love – your love for your Heavenly Father and your love for one another. It is a triangle with Heavenly Father at the top. You need to focus your heart and mind in prayer to receive the spirit of the Lord. Make everything a spiritual event. Meditate, breathe, and focus on the light.

The Importance of Meditation

DogMeditating1I am often asked by readers why their prayers are not answered or why they don’t hear the voice of the Lord speaking to them the way the scriptures teach. My answer is almost always to urge them to learn how to meditate, to focus on altering their vibration or energy state. The way we live, think and act in this world will not bring the results we want and need in prayer. It truly is about changing our vibrational state to match that of heaven. It can be done with patience.

Calling and Election

We also talked about the difference between receiving the Second Comforter and having one’s calling and election made sure. They are different. We discussed the patriarchal priesthood, the fullness of the priesthood, making it through the veil and bring brought by the Son into the Father’s presence. It is the Father who confers the highest priesthood upon a man. We need to focus on the first step which is to make it through the veil. The Son will then teach us from there.

Loss of the Higher Priesthood

We discussed this subject but most people in the room were already familiar with and accepted the idea the Higher Priesthood had been lost. In 1841 the Lord stated to Joseph, “For there is not a place found on earth that [Christ] may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fullness of the priesthood.” (D&C 124:28). I have written extensively about this on my blog so I won’t go into it in any detail in my notes here.

Spiritual Shields and Swords

SwordAndShieldAnother unusual subject, but one that is covered fully in Doug’s book is the idea of spiritual shields. Having read his book a few years ago, I have practiced this for the past few years. To me, it is real. I have always said I gained something special from Doug’s book that was an answer to prayer and something I needed at that time in my life. I have noticed a difference in my life since I started placing spiritual shields in my home and around my office at work.

Multiple Mortal Probations

There was quite a bit of discussion about this concept. Doug was very careful to introduce it by ascertaining what we already knew and believed. I shared my experience of having been totally opposed to the idea when I first learned about it, then slowly being introduced to the truth of the concept and finally embracing it once the Lord revealed to me the right way to understand it. The bottom line is it is not essential to our salvation to understand or believe in the idea of MMP.

Difference Between Satan and Lucifer

I confess this was a relatively new concept for me. I had only been introduced to the idea a few weeks before the workshop. I am also still studying it and have not made up my mind how I feel about the idea of Satan and Lucifer being two separate beings – one the brother of Heavenly Father and one the brother of Jesus Christ. I’m not sure how important this knowledge is for our eternal progression. Maybe it is for others, but for me, I still ask “what difference does it make?”

The Third Eye or Pineal Gland

PinealGlandI loved the discussion of the third eye. I have had much direct experience with the mind’s eye throughout my life. It is real. The pineal gland is in the exact center of the brain. It secretes a number of essential fluids required for good mental health such as melatonin, which allow one to sleep, and serotonin, which gives one a sense of wellbeing and happiness. In addition, it helps us to visualize images in our mind. You can read more about this in DMT by Dr. Rick Strassman.

A Few Miscellaneous Subjects

We talked about the idea of adoration or hero worship. It is poisonous to the soul. Adoration should be reserved for God and Christ only. Doug discussed and provided a great handout on spiritual senses and using your mind to see, hear and even feel others in our mind. It is an awesome concept that has a lot to do with how well you can communicate with the powers of heaven. There was also a handout on the meaning of numbers and one on ancient cosmology.

A Few Thoughts About Marriage

MarriageHandsDo not make the LDS Church an idol and do not judge God by that idol. Realize the church is an organization staffed by frail men trying hard, but with very difficult circumstances facing them in this fallen world. Be charitable to these men.

The “role” you occupy is not just your test, but also a test of your husband and Mormon men in general. The Lord has allowed your husband to “suppose” he has “a little authority” when in fact, he has nothing more than an invitation to arise and receive it from heaven. (D&C 121:39)

The Lord intends to judge your husband and all Mormon men on the basis of how the man conducts himself to see if he uses the wrong kind of “authority” to impose and control and exercise dominion (D&C 121:37)

No authority can be claimed by virtue of the priesthood. Men, especially those in a leadership position, can lose their priesthood by attempting to exercise dominion or control over others.

To prove the heart of a man, it is necessary to put you and your husband into this probationary relationship to see if he follows the Lord or is blinded by the craftiness of men who deceive among all sects, including our own (D&C 123:12)

The typical man chooses to ignore the Holy Spirit and proceed ahead on his own desire for patriarchal supremacy. The Lord intends for you to ultimately be his judge because you are now apparently subject to him and will learn best what is in his heart.

The conditions for the salvation of men are different than the conditions for the salvation of women. They will be judged differently by how well they have met their obligations.

The primary obligation of men is to preserve correct doctrine, God’s approval to bestow ordinances, and practice correct faith. How well have men performed this obligation throughout history? How well do men perform this today?

NewFamilyWomen have a primary but not exclusive obligation to bring children into this world, care for and nurture them and live chaste lives. Women will be judged primarily in their role as mothers. How well have they performed this obligation throughout history? Unlike men, there has never been a worldwide “apostasy” by women where children were no longer born or cared for in the world.

The illusion of man’s patriarchal and priesthood power allows them to put on display what is in their hearts. (D&C 121:35) When they begin to “exercise a little authority, as they suppose” in a way which gratifies pride, or exercise control, dominion and compulsion over the soul of another, they “prove” who and what they are. The one most immediately affected – the wife – would be the one most able to judge the man’s performance.

Therefore a wise man will seek to elevate his wife, and a fool will abuse and dominate her. A wise woman will trust in the Lord and know that He is the judge of the living and the dead, and He will always restore only what is right, pure, merciful, just, true and worthy. (Alma 41:13)

Marriage was intended by God to be cooperative. The relationship is intended to make of the two “one flesh.” (Gen 2:24 and Matt 19:4-6). It is in the becoming “one” that both the man and woman become like God. The real value of the man and the woman is to be found in their unity, not in their disunity. Therefore, we must look to what the unity should include to know the real answer to questions that alienate, divide spouses from one another, and make women feel subjugated.

Women come into this world to pull men up spiritually. Women have natural tender loving hearts. They have come into mortality to help men become men.

A Few Concluding Thoughts

Doug’s workshops aren’t for everybody. If you have the opportunity to attend one, be sure to ask the Lord first if you should attend. Seriously, it takes both an open mind and a bit of spiritual maturity to not be threatened by some of the stuff we discussed. If you do feel this might be helpful or useful to you, don’t listen to the detractors. There are plenty of them.

For example, the first time I was introduced to muscle testing as a tool to help me determine answers for my own health, I was blown away by the things I was discovering. I tried to share my excitement with others. Several well-meaning friends were very put-off by my enthusiasm. One of the things they said was, “I don’t think the Brethren approve of this kind of stuff.”

That’s always been a big problem for me. I guess I’ve always been much more unorthodox than I thought because I immediately knew what I was learning was good for my soul. Just because it’s not taught in an LDS classroom or across an LDS pulpit doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial. I wish I could shout, “wake up” to some of these well-meaning people. They’re missing out on so much.


Of One Heart and One Mind

OneHeartOneMindI will present three cases for your consideration. I know each of these men, although one only through correspondence. I’ll include a few facts, then a few observations and perhaps draw a conclusion or two. There is a theme I’m hoping you’ll see. There is also a unifying factor in each of these cases which I believe can bond each of us even though we are mostly connected online.

Doug Mendenhall and the Jedi Workshops

First, consider the case of Doug Mendenhall. I met Doug about five years ago at a symposium he was hosting for my friend Anthony Larsen, the author of the Prophecy Trilogy of books on the last days. Doug wrote Conquering Spiritual Evil. He is the father of Denise Yale, a wonderful young lady and mother who lives without a veil, a very difficult thing to do in this dark world.

Doug conducts a series of lectures which he calls Jedi workshops. I think it’s funny, because as you’re probably aware, there are some in this world who have declared their religion to be Jedi. They take it very seriously. Doug’s material has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or even Yoda. Well, maybe a little bit of Yoda. It’s all about the spirit world around us.

When I heard Doug was coming to California to present a weekend workshop I knew I had to be there. A dozen open-minded people gathered in the home of one of our group in Oceanside and for twelve hours over two days we were introduced to ideas about how things work on the other side of the veil that, frankly, would blow your mind if you haven’t read some of Doug’s books.

Insights Into the Spirit World

Much of what Doug knows about the spirit world comes from Denise and Katherine or Kitten as she is called. Kitten is also sighted or lives without a veil. Life is very painful for Kitten. She has paid a terrible price in physical pain and near death, meaning she has been to the spirit world on many occasions, as has Denise. If you can open your mind and your heart, I recommend Denise’s book.

I enjoyed myself immensely during the weekend instruction. Could Doug prove all the things he was sharing? No. Did I accept everything he was sharing? Yes and no. I did not disbelieve. I had no reason to do so as I had limited experience with some of the things he was sharing. If you are interested in knowing details, email me privately and I’ll share some of the things that he shared.

Update: So many people have emailed to ask for a copy of the notes I have created a new post here: http://latterdaycommentary.com/2014/11/27/doug-mendenhall-jedi-workshop/

My observation: Doug has been called a whacko and worse by neighbors who should have been more loving and accepting of the difficult life through which his family has passed over the last dozen years. I love Doug. I appreciate how hard it must have been to write that book. I learned a lot from the book. He helped me through a difficult situation. His book was an answer to prayer.

When an Appeal is not an Appeal

Second, consider the case of Keith Henderson, the man who sealed Denver’s Phoenix / Mesa lecture. Keith was recently excommunicated, as one might expect. I shared his original letter to his local priesthood leaders here on my blog. It was an eye-opener. Some saw accusations in his letter. I didn’t. I saw statements of facts, observations and perhaps a few challenges to do right.

Keith and I have kept in touch. I have found him to be man of integrity and honesty. His words are thoughtful, cut deeply to the heart of the matter and caused me to ponder things of eternal significance in my own life as I had recently passed through a similar experience of having to decide how I felt about the influence the LDS Church wielded in my life. It was disconcerting.

Keith shared his letter of appeal with me this evening and gave me permission to share it on the blog. I am more than happy to do so because it illustrates a point of disorder in the church – that of announcing excommunications from the pulpit. I thought that practice stopped years ago. How does that fit into the appeal process? It doesn’t. It’s wrong and should not be done. Here you go:

Keith’s Letter of Appeal

November 3, 2014 – Appeal of Disciplinary Council Decision
The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
In care of *** * ******, President of the Clinton Utah Stake
[Emailed and post mailed November 4, 2014]

Dear Presidents Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf:

I have been excommunicated from the Church on the vague charge of apostasy. I did not attend the Stake Disciplinary Council because I asked President ****** what definition of apostasy I would be tried under, to which he took out the Church Handbook of Instructions. I said that I was already familiar with the definition contained therein. He said there would be no use in wasting my time or his by re-reading it. I then stated to him that I desired, and felt to have the right to be tried as pertaining to the instructions in the scriptures, and not by the instructions of men mingled with scripture as contained in the semi-secret Church Handbook of Instructions, and if this cannot be, then I refuse to attend such a farcical hearing.

I therefore appeal to the First Presidency to overturn the decision to excommunicate me from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and immediately reinstate me to full fellowship for the following reasons, and under the following premises:

D&C 102: 27 says, “should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.”

2. D&C 20: 80 states with no equivocation, “Any member of the church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with as the scriptures direct.

• The Church Handbook of Instructions neither purports to being part of the canon of  scripture, nor does it come up to any definition of such. For instance we have in the Bible Dictionary the following definition; “[Canon] is used to denote the authoritative collection of sacred books used by the true believers in Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called standard works.” The Church Handbook of Instructions is not part of this collection, neither has it [unlike the others] been voted upon by the common consent of the members as being binding as scripture upon them.

• If I had been tried according to the requirements of the scriptures I would have been tried in a court of two or more Elders, the court having been initiated by at least two accusers who were worthy members of the church and eye witnesses of my crime. The scriptural requirement is that they be of my peers (not leaders), whom I would have been able to question; and then, whereupon having been found guilty, the verdict would have then been presented to my congregation. They would have then voted by the raising of the arm to sustain or not. This scriptural requirement for dealing with transgressors or those at fault was not followed, nor even suggested, except by me.

3. Current church practice in church courts creates conflict of interest.

The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony are, and should be biased, but the High Council and particularly the Stake Presidency take the role of judge, and consequently are supposed to be unbiased and impartial. This requires that neither of these two sitting councils can act as witnesses or make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as witnesses or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial, and thus should recuse themselves from voting on the guilt or innocence of the accused. This then should make such a court null and void as there could never be a fully impartial council under these circumstances. Otherwise it is nothing but a farce.

4. Evidence is not enough.

There is a scriptural process called the Law of witnesses and it is in place for a reason. Evidence or hearsay of wrongdoing without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints, and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes his ideas in a paper, but none of the saints are offended by it, or bring up accusations against the author, the Stake Presidency has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the High Council, nor does the Bishopric. Charges and accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints for any of these councils to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first, and the final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

So let the scriptures themselves reiterate: “But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42: 81.)

I submit that not even a modicum of proper evidence has been established against me as perpetrating even a hint of the crime of apostasy and that judgment of me as committing such was done with prejudice and partiality on the part of both my bishop and stake president, because they acted as both accusers and judge. I do not say that I have not written papers concerning my beliefs and understanding of the scriptures. But I do say that if they caused any offense which might have warranted excommunication, it was not handled in any sort of a proper manner by any of those charged as my leaders who have the responsibility of following the scriptures, which delineate the proper procedures to be used.

I therefore repeat my request, and appeal before you, that you take all these objections to that which has been done so far, and overturn the horrendous mistake which has been made by those concerned, and reinstate me immediately to full fellowship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sincerely, Keith M. Henderson

Observation: What will happen if the First Presidency decides the appeal has merit and reinstates Keith into full fellowship? What will the bishop do in view of the fact he has stood in front of the priesthood, the relief society and in fact, the whole ward in Sacrament meeting specifically to announce that Keith has been excommunicated for apostasy? Is there a procedure to retract?

A Wild Man Has Come Among Us

Third and final case: I know the majority of LDS Church members have not heard of Denver Snuffer. They are not aware of or read his publications, nor have they considered the message he delivered up and down the Mormon Corridor over the past year (Sep 2013 to Sep 2014) at his own expense in a series of ten lectures. He claims to have done this at the direction of the Lord.

I have considered the message he has delivered. I have read his books, listened to the lectures, studied, fasted and prayed about the message I heard and the claims made. I suppose this is the heart of the matter I want to consider tonight and why I’m sharing this with you. Denver has had a tremendous influence upon thousands of Mormons, both in and out of the LDS Church.

Now that the message has been delivered, he is busily engaged in revising, editing and preparing the message for publication in a book form. It is all about the restoration, what was originally revealed and what the Lord tried to accomplish through Joseph Smith – preparing a people for Zion. With Denver spending every free moment on the book, a sort of vacuum has developed.

Looking for a Strongman

People are attracted to confident leadership. We seem to gravitate to those who speak with authority and sound a clarion call to action. It is actually a rare commodity in today’s world. Business leaders tend to get action through force, threats, fear and coercing. It is rare to find a leader who wields power and influence through love unfeigned, long-suffering and persuasion.

I know many people, especially those in my son’s generation, have said, “now what?” They have said it directly and they have implied it in what they are writing and sharing on the blogs and in the forums. They are looking for leadership – someone to tell them what to do. They are looking for a strongman to take charge, to make things happen and to lead them to the Promised Land.

In steps Bret Corbridge, who has called a conference to be held on May 15th on the Grand Mesa in Colorado, a sacred land and a land of promise. Bret is the author of 77 Truths but don’t call him a strongman. Bret has said his role in this conference is to organize, not necessarily to teach. Some are wondering about this conference, it’s significance and if it is the start of something such as the building of Zion.

Surely Zion Shall Dwell in Safety Forever

What do each of these men have in common? It is a love of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a desire to help others come unto Christ and to experience the joy that comes from knowing him. Each has expressed and demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice and to obey the promptings of the Lord. Except for Doug, they have each been cast out of the LDS church on vague charges of apostasy.

Consider the phrase the Lord uses in Moses 7:18 – “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” I know many who are contributing their tithing to various groups with the specific intent of helping to care for the poor among them. But I’d like to consider the idea of one heart and mind.

I’d also like you to think about how we interact with one another on this blog. It is my belief that almost everyone who comes to this blog loves the Lord, wants to know Him, to please Him, to serve Him and to help others to come unto Him. Each is blessed with different talents and many different ways of seeing life, current events, interpreting scripture and exercising spiritual gifts.

The Holy Ghost Fell on Many

My friend Log has been trying to make a point about the Golden Rule. Some of his observations are astute and astounding. They have helped me as I have had to deal with a difficult situation in my business dealings over the past few days. Log has a need, a desire to express himself under the cover of anonymity. He has his reasons. He is not anonymous to me. I love Log as a friend.

Lynne has shared an excellent post about Having Skin in the Game. I loved and appreciated her forthright comments. I found them inspiring else I would not have posted them under her name with her permission. Nate – Minority of One – has posted some of the most read and commented posts about the Savior and Mother in Heaven that I have found both enjoyable and enlightening.

Accept Imperfections in Each Other

I have in my email archives thousands of private emails from the past seven years. Readers come and go but they all seem to have one thing in common. They are searching for something. We want community. We want to share. We want to express ourselves and to be understood. But the most basic thing I see is we are all of one heart and one mind – we love and want to please God.

I have invited a few other regular readers to share posts, which they will be doing in the near future. I invite each of you who come here to read and share to make the effort to remove any kind of judgment from your heart. I know its human nature. I don’t like receiving emails or texts or phone calls discussing other readers or writers. We love the Lord. Let’s be united in that love.

A Mormon Reviews The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

TheAfterlifeOfBillyFingersStorytelling in a Non-Fiction Book

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan is a wonderful book. I give it five stars. One of the Amazon reviewers said she read the 191 page book in 90 minutes. It took me about three hours. I had to stop often to wipe away the tears. The book was an emotional and spiritual roller-coaster. Thank you, Annie for that superb and captivating storytelling in a non-fiction book.

Messages From the Spirit World

The book extends three challenges to its readers: First, is it fiction or fact? Annie didn’t have to expend a great deal of effort and energy to persuade me it really happened. I was convinced right away by the down-to-earth, day-to-day events of Annie’s life as she dealt with the loss of her older brother Billy to a tragic accident. I have no doubt Billy came to her to share his transition.

Traditional Heaven and Hell Missing

Second, you will need to re-examine what you know about the after-life, especially if you have accepted traditional heaven-and-hell teachings so prevalent in this world. Billy describes what he goes through in a much-needed healing process, then the oft-mentioned life review. He becomes one with the universe, then back to a being of light and, at the end of the book, describes his final dissolution.

Different Paths in the After-Life

And there’s the third challenge: What happened to Billy in the end is not what I expect or want for me. I suppose this is a spoiler alert, but again this is not fiction so maybe that doesn’t apply. I was saddened by what Billy passed through on his journey as Annie described it in part three of the book. I’m not questioning that it really happened, only that may not be the path for everyone.

Many Mansions of God Prepared

Annie / Billy make reference early in the book to what Billy entitled the “Supra World.” It immediately caused me to think of the words of the Savior, “In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you.” Billy very rarely described being with other people in the after-life. Perhaps that’s as he desired it or what was best for him.

Multiple Degrees of Glory

For LDS folks, some may be asking themselves, was Annie deceived by a false spirit? You’ll have to read the book to decide for yourself. As I’ve already shared, I believe Annie’s story and what she learned from Billy. I’ve been a believing Mormon all my life which includes faith in the revelations received by Joseph Smith. In D&C 76 we learn of the Three Degrees of Glory.

We Are Gods and Goddesses

In her bio, Annie describes her interest in and practice of Eastern spiritual traditions. Meditation and Yoga have brought peace to her life. There are references in the final chapters of the book to chakras, Sanscrit – the sacred language of ancient India – and Billy’s encounter with Shvara Lohana. Annie asks, “Was she his personal God or was she God? Is God actually a goddess?”

No Resurrection for Billy – Yet

I wonder if Billy completed his journey or if there was more to be experienced. There is never any mention of resurrection, something most Christians, including Mormons believe in and to which we look forward. It is my desire to have a glorified and exalted body at some point after the resurrection. We are taught and I believe our resurrected state depends on our life’s choices.

No Judgment – More to Come

Which brings up another point – Billy does not pass through a judgment. Again, I suspect Billy has not completed his journey. He was only allowed to share with Annie what would help her deal with her grief and, at the same time, share with the world some of the things through which he passed. Some people don’t believe in a judgment and resurrection. That’s just fine with me.

A Journey Not Yet Complete

I loved the book and highly recommend it, but for my LDS friends, I suggest you’ve got to be open-minded about it. If you accept the idea that Billy was describing only a portion of his journey you’ll be OK. Don’t get wrapped up about how Billy’s experience does not match what we ultimately believe about the after-life, especially with our focus on the eternal family unit.

Find the Good in Everything

There are so many amazing quotes in the book which I find uplifting and encouraging. There is a Facebook group which shares them on an almost daily basis. There is much truth in the book. In fact, I’m not going to say there are any false ideas, both out of respect to Annie and because if there’s one thing I know about the afterlife, it’s that I know very little, but look forward to it.

An Emotional and Spiritual Experience

Thank you, Annie for sharing Billy’s story. Thank you for your courage in publishing it to the world. I’m pleased to see most of the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are favorable. It is a well-received book from everything I have seen. Congratulations on your success. I feel blessed for the experience I’ll always remember of reading The Afterlife of Billy Fingers. God bless.

A Few Administrative Notes

LotsOfEmailsIt seems no matter how hard I try, I am unable to keep up with the private emails asking for additional information from something I’ve shared in one of my posts, particularly those that deal with doctrine and private religious practices such as the True Order of Prayer in the home.  I still have about 35 unanswered emails from April. I apologize to those who are waiting for answers and thank you for your patience. I truly appreciate those who read my blog and take the time to write privately.

Get-Together in LA Area

I am filled with gratitude this morning. It’s 4am as I write this. I can’t sleep because of all the things I’m pondering. A few regular blog readers and contributors got together for dinner last night to discuss current events in the LDS blogging community. We chatted about the apparent ongoing rash of excommunications for those who write about Denver Snuffer. We discussed mutual experiences with private religious practices such as being born of the spirit, conversing with the Lord through the veil and the difficulties of blogging or contributing to an LDS blog.

Continued Growth of Latter-day Commentary

I continue to be amazed at the number of subscribers listed in the upper left of this blog. It keeps going up and up, sometimes by dozens per day. I’m not doing anything to promote the blog. I read and comment on very few other blogs – only those that deal with similar subject matter – coming unto Christ, being Born of the Spirit, Conversing with the Lord through the veil and being instructed by angels. In other words, stuff that the LDS Church says you should keep private and never talk about. Here’s a simple test: How would you respond if someone got up in Testimony meeting and said they had been visited by an angel, or by the Savior? They did not share what they were taught, only that they had received visitors from the spirit world.

Online  Community Seeking the Savior

That’s the kind of stuff we talk about on this blog. That’s what I write about, that’s what the readers share in the comments, and that’s the primary subject of the majority of the private emails I receive. They usually start out like this: “Brother Malone, you don’t know me but I felt impressed to write and share this with you…” and then they proceed to share some of the most uplifting and faith-promoting experiences having to do with dreams, visions, healings, temple manifestations, visits from the spirit world and sacred prayers in which they were instructed by angels or had words given to them by the Holy Ghost. They are simply delightful. Some have been labeled kooks by their ward members. Some have been excommunicated for sharing.

Moroni 7:37 Has Come to Pass

I suppose that’s one thing we all have in common. Of those who met last night, over half were no longer members of the church, one having been excommunicated within the last few weeks. He has yet to receive a valid answer from his priesthood leaders as to what exactly he did wrong. He keeps asking for an explanation of what doctrines he taught that were offensive so that he can repent. No answer. Yes, I know I’m only reporting one side of this, but it’s similar to dialogs I’ve had with other readers. Why is this church so hell-bent on casting out some of the most faith-filled and spiritual members of the faith just because they write they have been visited by the Lord, by angels, or they read works published by others who have been?

Not OK to Talk About Spiritual Experiences

Apparently it’s taboo to talk about your spiritual experiences in this church anymore. It didn’t used to be. It’s OK to talk about the approved or correlated experiences of early leaders of this church. We’ve become a church that celebrates the revelations of our founders, claims to encourage personal revelation, but discourages the sharing of such experiences. “Not appropriate,” they say. “Not correlated by the Brethren,” another will say. “You must be lying,” the most direct will say. It puzzles me. The old adage rears it’s ugly head again and again: “Those who have, don’t talk about it. Those who haven’t, do.” That’s false doctrine. If you have a visit with the Lord and ask permission to share it, or he tells you to share it, then by all means, do so.

We Have Become a Church of PC and Fear

This church has become a church of fear – members afraid of being disciplined for talking about charismatic or spiritual experiences. No, I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen it firsthand. It’s simply not politically correct to mention being visited by angels or hearing the voice of the Lord. “Why, that’s limited to the Brethren only,” you’ll hear. I know I do. “You can’t say that. Only the General Authorities have the right to share such things,” is another common saying. Look people, we who have been to the spirit world or have had visitors from the spirit world come to us, know such events are sacred. We understand they are intended for our own edification and instruction, but occasionally someone comes along who says the message they received was important enough the Lord asked them to share it with others – not by way of commandment but to edify and uplift.

Systematically Squelching the Spirit

And that’s where we seem to get into trouble. It’s the old Hyrum Page seer-stone incident all over again. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say most bishops and stake presidents don’t know how to handle if someone were to get up and share they had received communication from the spirit world that was powerful, sacred and blessed their lives. In their enthusiasm or naivety, some new to the exciting experience of receiving revelation may want to share it with everyone they meet or from the pulpit in Testimony meeting. What do our Priesthood leaders do? They take them aside afterwards and say, “That’s simply not appropriate to share in Testimony meeting. I also don’t want to hear you’ve been sharing that privately with other members.”

Priesthood Directive – Don’t Share Revelation

That’s a real conversation. Don’t shake your head in disbelief. Yes, it really happens and is considered the responsibility of our priesthood leaders to make sure they “nip in the bud” any such occurrences before they “get out of hand.” If necessary, they warn the offending members they will be subject to disciplinary action if they don’t tone it down or learn to keep such things to themselves. Here we work so hard to get new converts, teach them they can get revelation and then chastise them when they feel led by the Holy Spirit to share spiritual experiences with others. Their only desire is to convey joy and excitement at what they have learned as well as to testify, as did Joseph Smith, that God answers our prayers in this modern day and age.

TestimonyGloveThe All-Encompassing Testimony Glove

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is apparently only one acceptable type of revelation you are “allowed” to share in this church and it must fit neatly into the testimony glove – 1) God lives, 2) Jesus is the Christ 3) The Book of Mormon is scripture, 4) Joseph was a prophet and 5) President Monson is a prophet. You may also substitute “The Church is true” for the last one or to encompass all five. Anything beyond those five items will make the Bishopric squirm and call you in for needed counsel and correction. You may think I’m kidding. I’m not. We need the enthusiasm of new converts who are not afraid to speak out about their relationship with the Savior. We need their new blood, their new life and their excitement in this church.

LDS Bloggers Now Being Excommunicated

I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. I’ve preached this sermon at least a dozen times over the years here on Latter-day Commentary. It pains me to do so. I only see the problem getting worse. Some say it’s inadvertent, that the leaders don’t intend to cause new members or even old members feel uncomfortable when they step outside the “sharing” boundaries. The worst part of this epidemic sweeping our church is when a normally shy and reticent member finds the courage to tell in a blog of a sacred experience they had with reading the book of someone, member or not, from which they learned more about the spirit of revelation, how it works, how they experimented upon the word, were blessed and received revelation themselves. Yep, members are being excommunicated for even referencing the works of individuals like Denver Snuffer in their blogs now.

Following the Counsel of Elder Ballard

I’ll get off my soapbox. This is one of those posts I can’t link to Facebook because it will upset too many faithful members who are my friends. I’m trying to follow my Bishop’s counsel to keep my ranting and ravings to myself. This is the one subject that gets me riled up to no end. Just like John Dehlin has become a spokesperson for the LDS LGBT community, I have taken it upon myself to speak up for my blogging friends who are being chastised for following the counsel of Elder Ballard in which he admonished us to get involved in the Internet conversations about the church that were and are happening with or without us. So we get involved, share a few thoughts about our own spiritual experiences and get reamed for doing so. Is this any way to run a church? I’m not critical of the Brethren. I’m pointing out a deficiency in getting the directions to the local leaders.

Tim’s Up On His Gospel Hobby Horse Again

I’m done. I just gave up an hour of sleep because the Lord woke me and told me to write this. Now that’s an audacious claim all by itself, but it’s true. I have learned I can’t ignore these promptings any more, even when they come at inconvenient times in the wee hours of the morning. It has not been my desire to upset you. It has not been my desire to cause you to be offended. I’m fairly certain by now most people are aware of this problem, but then I’m always surprised by the blank stares if I bring this up to my TBM friends. They don’t see a problem. Perhaps I’m trying to steady the ark that doesn’t need steadying. I’m not trying to tell the Brethren what to do. I have full confidence in their abilities to lead this church. I love and sustain them. I’m sure they are aware of this problem. I pray for them. I am certain they are working to address this as best they know how.

Comments Open and Welcome

God bless. Feel free to leave me a comment telling me I’m off my rocker or I’ve understated the problem. Comments open.

Led by the Hand of Christ

LedByTheHandOfChristI love reading books about NDEs – Near Death Experiences. Last year I gathered a few dozen from my library and wrote short reviews. It continues to be a popular post. Since that time several readers have written to advise me of additional NDE books I might enjoy. For example, in December I read and reviewed Home and Back Again by Imelda and Thomas Fowler.

Email from the Author

Suzanne Freeman wrote me a few weeks ago and suggested I might enjoy her books, starting with Led by the Hand of Christ. I purchased them and sat down one evening last week to read the first one. I couldn’t put it down. It was an easy read – straightforward story-telling, fascinating material and inspiring. I don’t think it took more than a few hours to get through the 150 pages.

Additional Works by Suzanne

As this was her first book, Suzanne used the services of Shirley Bahlmann, a professional author. Although I haven’t read her second book, Through the Window of Life, the synopsis contains wording to the effect that makes the book comparable with Visions of Glory with scenes from the future. Her third book is entitled The Spirit of Liberty, relating yet more of her spirit world vision.

Favorable Book Reviews

The book generated favorable reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble and Google Books. I few readers mentioned the same thing I felt as I read the book, that perhaps there was some embellishment or writer’s license involved. After all, the writer did not experience the NDE, so she had to interpret what Suzanne was telling her. Still, Shirley interpreted it well.

Died on the Operating Table

No two NDEs are exactly the same, but many of them have similar elements. Suzanne’s had a very unique beginning. She died on the operating table of an ectopic pregnancy. Hovering in the upper corner of the operating room, all she wanted to do was return to her body. Her family needed her. As Suzanne relates it, she was stopped by the hand of Christ upon her shoulder.

She Told the Savior No

There was no long tunnel, no sense of going toward a bright light, only the desire to get back to her body and return to her family. The Savior told her there were some people who wanted to see her. Suzanne said no and struggled once again to return. The Lord had to hold her back, sternly calling her name to let her know it wasn’t time, but promising she could eventually return.

A Tour of Paradise

With this reassurance, Suzanne began a tour of the spirit world, meeting family members and famous individuals. She met prophets of the Bible and LDS history, as well as founding fathers and many presidents of the United States. An especially touching chapter relates a conversation with mother Eve, whom she describes as being very tall, at least seven feet, as well as Adam.

A Tenacious Mama Bear

A humorous theme throughout her travels is that everywhere she went she was celebrated and recognized as the woman who said “No” to Christ. She continually downplays the action, explaining her only desire was to return to her children who needed her. She even equates it to the tenacity of a “Mama Bear” when someone is standing between her and her little children.

Writing in the Book of Life

Suzanne learns much from the Savior, including the importance of building our self-esteem. He illustrates this when he takes her to a room full of white books, where he takes one down – hers – and writes in it of her desire to return to her children. She relates she was astounded, mentioning she knew lots of mothers who would have done the same. The scene seems highly symbolic.

Prayer for a Return of Memories

In fact, you may perhaps feel that much of what she relates is symbolic and maybe it is, but it is how she remembers it. Oh, about that. Suzanne tells when it was time to return to her body, the Savior told her she would not remember anything, but if she prayed, the memories would return. I can relate as my own experience in the spirit world at age seventeen took years to remember.

Some Complained is was Too Mormon

I always read the one and two star reviews after I write my own. I can relate to what they were saying – mainly that it was told from a very Mormon perspective. Yet, at the same time, some of the Mormon reviewers wrote the story did not jive with what they believed about paradise, so go figure. I guess it depends on what you expect. Again, I stress perhaps some of it was symbolic.

A Well-Edited, Well-Told Tale

I recommend the book. It was well-told and well-edited. I’m always delighted when reading a book that is well-edited. This was not self-published so it had the advantage of good editing. I have read a few books from Spring Creek, and recognized several of the authors and titles when I went to their website. It’s good to see an independent publisher making it in the Mormon world.

I Recommend You read the Book

I look forward to reading Suzanne’s other two books, which I also bought, and wish her well on her continued publishing journey. I am pleased to add her books to my NDE collection and to be able to recommend at least the first one so far. It takes courage to tell your story, even today with so many NDE books on the market. Read it and determine for yourself how much truth it relates.



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