77 Truths – A Book Review


77TruthsI promised my friend Bret I would provide a review of his book, 77 Truths. I usually wait until I finish a book before I write an analysis. In this case, I simply can’t wait. It’s too good. I thought I would read at least the first 21 Truths before writing anything. He recommended that would be a natural stopping point, but I decided after the first three Truths I just had to share something.

Bret’s book is filled with quotes and scriptures. Original content is actually quite sparse, but Bret didn’t need to add much to the collection he provided. If he had, his book would have been much larger than 460 pages. I don’t see how he can publish this for $17.95 and still make a profit, but maybe that’s not his intent. The book is on sale for about $15 at Amazon today, an amazing deal.

For Personal or Group Study

The format of the book is large – 8.5 x 11 – and the layout is unusual in that the scriptures and quotes are center-justified. Thus, most of the book has that appearance. What Bret has done is collect, arrange and comment on his selections in order to make a point or establish one of the truths presented in each chapter. His comments are full-justified, so they’re easy to distinguish.

So why is this book better than Especially for Mormons, which is also a collection of quotes, stories and poems? It’s simple. Bret is not focusing on emotional, feel-good, or inspirational stories. He is presenting truth and backing it up with evidence. Each truth is three to five pages, making it ideal for teaching and discussing in a small group setting lasting an hour or two.

There are seven chapters:

  1. Father’s Eternal Life
  2. The Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ
  3. Apostasy by Omission
  4. Cleansing America and the Church
  5. The Fall of Babylon
  6. Gathering the Remnant
  7. Latter Day Zion

I hope to write more about the other chapters in a later post, but for today, I will share a few thoughts about the first chapter. In fact, I’m going to do something unusual. I’m going to let Bret’s words speak for his book. Omitting all the quotes and scriptures, I’ll share what Bret has written only about the third truth, and if the post isn’t too long, I’ll add a few words at the end.

——— Beginning of Material from Bret ————

Truth #3 – Those seeking salvation in this life and exaltation in the worlds to come must have an eye single to the glory of God. Centering our faith on a “Lesser God” is not spiritually sufficient.

Note to Reader: The purpose of this section is not to criticize the brethren or speak evil of the Lord’s anointed. There is a difference between being intentionally negative about the church versus providing the light needed to obtain a proper hierarchy of focus and worship.

[Quote from Neal Maxwell removed] The gospel of Jesus Christ invites us to have an “eye single to the Glory of God” (D&C 4:5). Nowhere in scripture are we instructed to worship the prophet, church, or family, and yet much of today’s Mormon conversation repeatedly focuses on these secondary aspects of the gospel.

[Quote from President Kimball removed] It is an individual and collective choice whether “our god” will be the telestial toys of Babylon, the terrestrial treats of the church, or the Celestial Gods of this Universe.

Growing believers may initially place their faith in the church and its prophet. This trend is summarized as emotional stories and vain repetitions. Heartfelt proclamations such as “I know the church is true,” “We are led by a living prophet,” and “I love my family” are commendable beliefs. Unfortunately, when these supportive elements become the core of our testimony, we may have looked beyond the mark of Christ (Jacob 4:14)

[Quote from Joseph Smith removed] In Mormonism today, emphasis on prophet, church and family frequently overshadows focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Savior is mentioned, it is often implied that He is supportive of “the church” instead of the other way around!

A Jealous God

[Exodus 20:3-5 omitted] Being a “jealous God” means the Almighty wants our problems, praise, devotion, focus, worship, affection, and sins. Thus, a significant difference exists between knowing Jesus Christ as Savior, Redeemer, and friend and having a testimony based on “following the prophet.”

Who is your God?

[Quote from President Benson removed] The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that remaining dependent on other human beings – even if they are true prophets, correlates with telestial glory (D&C 76:99-101). Those who place their trust primarily in church leaders and fail to demonstrate a valiant testimony for Jesus Christ, do not qualify for celestial glory.

The Glory of Men

[D&C 76:98-102 omitted] Under Father’s tutoring hand disciples grow from emphasizing other men to worshipping God the Father personally without apology. This essential shift occurs through sacrifice and adversity, for it is when our hearts have been shredded and torn asunder that we finally stop making excuses and reach out to the only being who can truly save us.

In the Mirror

[Quote from Jeff Ostler omitted] To assist us in surrendering our entire souls unto Christ, endowed members are invited to consecrate themselves, time, talents, and all that they possess to the building up of the kingdom of God on earth. To fulfill this covenant requires that we honor the true Bridegroom and end our “affair” with any of the “lesser gods.”

Father First

[Story omitted about visit from General Authority] Gratefully, our Father did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but “that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Because of His divine patience and endless love Father stays with His children until they are ready to grow beyond mortal distraction and worship Him as the only living and true God! (D&C 20:19). The result of this process is a proper hierarchy of worship.

Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God (Jeremiah 30:22)

Another type of “false-god” involves trusting in our own “arm of flesh.” With so much focus on goals, personal performance, and “hastening the work,” is it possible our obsession with doing good works actually represents a subtle form of self-worship? Does being active in the program of the church and answering a few temple recommend questions really make us worthy? [Quote omitted from Jeff Ostler]

Under the chastening hand of our Father, a mighty and disturbing day arrives wherein you realize that what “you want,” your passions, desires, and vain ambitions, and all that you have sought to do with “your life,” is a form of idolatry. During this disturbing and freeing moment, the growing disciple realizes that he or she has been worshiping self over God. This awakening can result in a needed “coup,” which involves our personal spirit again becoming dominant over the natural man. It is then that individual enters into God’s sacred errand.

In relation to this process, consider Joseph Smith’s observation … “all the religious world is boasting of righteousness; it is the doctrine of the devil to hinder our progress, by filling us with self-righteousness.” His warning requires us to ask, have we become too prideful about being active in the Lord’s church?

Saving Ourselves?

[Quote omitted from Jeff Ostler] To imagine ourselves independently “worthy” is an illusion of the ego. The shadow within loves to focus on self and proclaim, “Now is the day of my power!” When this occurs, our imagined “righteousness” delays us from receiving the only one who can really save us. Author M. Catherine Thomas provides an excellent example of growing from a “self-salvation” mindset to a place where we can be transformed by Christ. [Quote omitted]

Just Come

In choosing God and His gospel above all else, much of the world becomes superficial and meaningless. The previous glitter of Babylon fades and we discover, “it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8). With consistent effort, every believer can come to that glorious day when he or she makes an irrefutable stand for Christ, and with broken heart and bleeding knees, proclaims, “The Kingdom of God or Nothing” (John Taylor).

——– End of Material from Bret ———

I see my friend Kathryn has purchased the book, written a short, five-star review and posted it on Amazon. I hope more people will do the same. The book deserves a grassroots effort to bring it to the attention of thoughtful readers. I will post my review there as well as on Goodreads. Having Bret visit my home and talk about the process of writing the book helped tremendously to understand.

The source for each of the 802 quotes is listed in the Bibliography at the end of the book. You will recognize many if not most of the 100 names of individuals he quoted. I was surprised to find my own name acknowledged, along with several of my friends. It makes me want to take the time to finish the book even sooner. I wonder if something I wrote is included in the book.

Proper Hierarchy of Worship

I stopped after truth #3 in my reading and included it above because I was so impressed with what was shared. It loses a little something without the quotes, but it gives you a flavor for the boldness with which Bret states each truth. I can tell you from personal experience, as I’m sure many of you can, Bret is right on that Mormonism today puts the church ahead of the Savior.

Those steeped in LDS culture are shocked if anyone suggests they are following a man, even if he be a prophet. Isn’t that the most important thing? Well did Denver Snuffer nail it when he wrote there is but one doctrine left in the LDS Church – follow the prophet. That seems to be mantra to solve every problem, answer every question. Wrong – so wrong. We are to follow the Savior.

Visit the Website: 77Truths.com

One last thing: Visit Bret’s website. As of this moment, there are unfinished sections. I look forward to seeing his blog get started as well as work on the dictionary / glossary I see planned. Bret has put a tremendous amount of thought, effort and time into this work. He told me he finished the majority of the book a couple of years ago but the Lord asked him to wait until now to publish it.

I wonder why.

27 Responses

  1. Is Elder F. Whitney Clayton going to have a “training session” with Bret’s stake president?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tim, it took a long time for me to gain a witness of Denver’s message, I don’t know how long it will take to gain one of another. I suppose I can just start reading like I did with Denver, but I have my hands full with the material I already have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Micah I hesitated also but the format is simple… easy on the eyes and easy to understand. Many of the “truths” are only 3 to 4 pages long… which is much easier to digest for one sitting than a long manuscript. The messages support much of Denver’s thesis of following Christ first and how to prepare ones self for Zion and much more.

      Where Denver’s work is scripture and restoration based, 77 Truths also includes quotes from other sources as Tim has illustrated. This approach may easier to accept for those who have not heard this message before. Compared to Denver’s writing… this was a bit of “Light Reading” with much of the same message.

      Even though the information is direct with no back off, it is softer in presentation than Denver’s approach. They are put in such a way that you could share selected truths with selected friends and ward members in baby steps. As Tim said, there are substantial quotes from Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, recent prophets and over 90 others, which include Denver, John Pontius, and Tim to support the thesis.

      

There is a lovely detailed index in the front so you can locate a truth quickly. I would encourage you to get the book to to give yourself a break from Heavy Duty study.

      It was nice that Tim had an opportunity to personally meet with Bret. I too wonder why the Lord ask him to wait until now to publish it. I personally, we are on the cusp of something big.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Your take on Bret’s book is useful to me, kathryn. Thank you. Who wouldn’t be drawn to such a resource?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. D&C 101: 55-69. All the tower parables are meeting in today’s timeline. This may be the last time for the gathering and seperation of the wheat and the tares. The point is which side of the thresher are we?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I echo what Tim has said. I have the book already and have enjoyed the first 3 truths tremendously, also. Its one of those books that gives you just enough to chew on so you can ponder and learn more from the Spirit. I also believe that it has presented, from my readings thus far, a great progression to help the reader grasp what exactly is being taught in a manner that would promote thought and not be to jarring to someone completely unaware of such thinking. I believe this will be a great go-to manual in the event someone wants to learn more about a truth taught in this book. I look forward to learning more.

    I’d give it 5 out of 5 stars so far! It will be great to finish the whole book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very compelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for introducing us to Bret’s work, Tim. As a Gospel Doctrine teacher I’m always looking for insights based in truth that go beyond the correlated, milk-level fare of the manual. I can imagine this being useful to me. I’m not so much trying to subvert the manual as to be a catalyst for getting folks to think and to study on their own. At the very least it’s a good day when I can poison the well of our collective complacency!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Tim and Bless you all….I appreciate the kind feedback.
    I believe the Lord insisted I wait to publish the book for many reasons. One of the reasons is that the literal time of cleansing and separation is coming closer. The book is intentionally set up so that it gets deeper and deeper as the reader progresses. It has been provided as something that could be given to souls when they FIRST begin to question and awake-but without hurting their initial beliefs. The book is meant to increase light within the soul…but without throwing the new learner into a spiritual crisis. With so many false traditions in our culture, it is a delicate balance, but the shift from leaving all idolatry and worshipping only Deity is non-negotiable!

    Ironically, the book pleads with all Latter Day Saints to follow their own doctrine! The later chapters reveal the many teachings we have changed and then encourages the reader to Follow the Spirit for real and then stay loyal to the revelations and prophecies provided through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love Joseph. I miss him. And I honor him because He takes me to the Holy One.

    I pray the 77 truths will be used to increase the Lord’s harvest-as we grow into a real and literal millennial Zion.

    In Christ, thank you all.

    Bret

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bret, it has to be asked: do you make any money off of this book? Where do (or will, if any) the profits go?

      Like

      • Hi Jesef, thank you for asking about the money part…I have prayed and pondered about this issue….The Lord suggested I resolve part of this dilemma by offering the book for free digitally on 77truths.com. An earlier poster ask if it was on Kindle-and so I tried to set it up on Kindle, but they require I stop offering it for free….so it will not be on kindle for a long time-because the gospel is free and so is the text.

        As far as the physical book. It cost approximately $13 to publish each copy. (its a large book-and there were a lot of costs during the six years it took to get it ready ) I thought that if I charged $17, then the message would get out better. It was never about money…..So if the book sells on amazon for $15, I do get a few dollars over time….When I pray about what to do with that money, I am led to

        1) Buy more books to give out.
        2) Update my food storage. ( which has been consecrated )
        3) Continue giving to the poor.

        I am at peace in God with this.
        Thank you for asking.

        Like

      • Thanks for answering. I wish you would offer it free in an electronic format, if not Kindle, then pdf (like Denver’s talks/papers, for example), or on your website as you said. I would very much prefer pdf. I bought the paperback but that pretty much binds it to my house. I can take a pdf anywhere.

        Like

        • Hey Jesef, I have great news! It is for free on my website, in PDF….just send me your email and I will send you the book for free.

          Best to you,
          Bret Corbridge truthworksnow@sopris.net

          Like

  8. my problem with the book is that it quotes Brigham Young too much. He may have been the Lord’s instrument to get the Saints from the East to Utah, but he was no prophet, and no doctrinal expert…lucky for him he is sealed to Joseph Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for giving us a peek into the reasons why the Lord ask you to wait for publishing this book.

      I’m more than half way through and have enjoyed every minute of my reading. Below, Pott Sketerson is concerned by the many quotes by Brigham Young. You must have your reasons for including them.

      From my view, I see using them was wise in that fact that new beginners are use to having him quoted regularly. The fact that he was the Pres. of the Church for so long gives the text support for those new in this thesis. And prophet or not… many of his word were wise.

      It looks like the book was published in June…. what has been the response? I hope you have not been challenged by less informed brethren.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Does a Kindle version exist? 90% of my reading these days is done electronically, and having a Kindle version lets me easily switch between my tablet and my phone, picking up where I was on the other device.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dear Kathryn, Thank you for being such an angel….I am truly grateful…The book was 99% done in 2012. I am impatient and the Lord is wise. So we waited…As far as Brigham Young, I think he said many wise things because of what Joseph Smith taught him. We should focus on what is true, even when flawed men share the truth. Brigham made many errors, but some of his quotes are incredible-I attribute that to being under Joseph’s tutoring hand.

    The book has only been out since September 5th. It is going great.
    I expect to be excommunicated due to misunderstanding and that is fine. I am at peace in Christ. The longer I live, the only peace is in Him.

    Bless you all.

    Bret

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am reading the book now. I am enjoying it.

      My question is: “Call to Zion” excerpts of John Pontius. I find it confusing as I am familiar with all of John’s writing, and know none of his books have this title. I’m guessing your book was written before John changed the title to “The Triumph of Zion”, which is one of my all time favorite books. John mentions in his firesides that the publisher ask him to change the name of the book.

      Just trying to clarify….. Thanks, Melanie B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Melanie….as you mentioned it was “Call to Zion” before it became the Triumph…the challenge was that John changed the quote I used in that case, and I liked it in the original form….so it was referenced accurately in the 77 truths as Call to Zion….take care.

        Like

  11. Bret, I too have just read through 3 truths, and I find the book amazing and uplifting. It has a positive spirit, appeals to the real TBM, and hopefully will speak in a rational voice that instructs about what is going on.

    My problem is trying to explain to my family in 15 minutes all the things that are in this book and in my heart. Which can’t be done. I end up getting tongue tied and don’t even say the right things comprehensively.

    This book lays a foundation, and then teaches through scripture and quotes the truth of what is.

    True, someone must read and acquire information if they are to be converted, but this book is a key to me, and I will buy one for each of my family members to explain what I cannot even begin to explain.

    Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Here’s my personal book review of 77 Truths:

    I just got the book 77 Truths and raced through it. Just a thought: if one of the 3 Nephites was in deep camo mode, hanging out in suburbia as a regular guy (2,000+ years old, but not trying to look like Gandalf or call attention to himself in any way) and he was given the task by the Lord of writing an easy to read book that pretty much laid it ALL out for this day in the Last Days R Us timeline, it might look, feel and sound a lot like this one. (And then when we get hold of the rest of the plates in the Book of Mormon, they would likely fill in truths 78 to 100.)

    Like lizzievalentina ^^^, I too will buy one for each of my family, with a hope and prayer that they will trust my love for them enough to read it. Thank you Bret, just thank you.

    Like

    • Thank you Lynne, those are very kind words…my wife and I spend our day in the mountains worshipping the Lord, and to come back to your message was very comforting….Your thoughts about what a lonely solitary climb it is (even when married) also reminded me of how our Lord was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief….For surely He has borne our sorrows and carried our grief…I send you peace and hope. Thank you again,

      Let us all-no matter our station in life, refuse to give up!

      Bret

      Like

      • I just purchased 77 Truths on Amazon. Thank you Tim for recommending it and thank you Bret for writing it. I’m really looking forward to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Tim – your parting comments on this post were: “… finished the majority of the book a couple of years ago but the Lord asked him to wait until now to publish it. I wonder why.” I have just finished my second focused read of this book, and I believe I may have one answer to that question. The tenderness of the author’s voice, the love and genuine charity behind the words washed over me with such recall and remembrance of The Voice we know and are so core-familiar with that as I pondered the difference in the approach to truth between Denver Snuffer and Bret Corbridge I had my own personal aha moment. Truth is truth. Both men have had a job to do, commissioned by The Lord. Both delivered the message in print. Footnotes and quotes are accessible and can be nitpicked – historians, scholars and Pharisees can argue about context for another millennia. But the messages here are not different, only the delivery is. Denver’s role as an Abinadi required that the hard truth be delivered hardcore, without mincing words. Boom. 10th talk was a nuclear warhead. Then, as the ground zero folks are scrambling, new wake-ups are smarting from the fallout everywhere, here comes 77 Truths saying the same things, softly, gently, with such incredible love. I was reminded of D&C 121:43 – “Reproving betimes with sharpness, (by Denver) when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love (by Bret) toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.” So my personal answer to your question, Tim, about why the Lord would possibly ask Bret to hold off on publishing until after the 10th talk is that the Lord is doing precisely what he told us to do – showing forth an increase in love, by example. Same message, different tone, incredible reassurance of His love for us. What wonderful times we live in. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynne, I don’t even know what to say….you know us guys aren’t supposed to cry, but you made my day…what’s funny is around here I am the one who says the terrible harsh things….anyway, Christ is our only solution. He is the power. Anything that is love and truth is of Him.
      Thank you for the kind summary. I’m just grateful the book is helping. And you are right, it was written to ease those willing to wake up into an understanding of our Latter Day Apostasy. No matter what the church does, the real question is if we will stay loyal to Christ!

      Blessings to you and all,
      Bret

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you so very much for the effort you put into this book. I have been living with it for the last few weeks since I got it. IT was my evening companion every night. I finally had to go get one of those ring bindings put on it so I wouldn’t destroy the book every time I fell asleep reading it.
    That doesn’t mean it was boring and I fell asleep reading it; it meant that I couldn’t put it down long past the time I should have been in bed!

    Now I have to go back through it more slowly and absorb each truth. In my first reading I was so eager to hear it all that I raced through it and it deserves a lot more contemplation than just reading through it so quickly.

    I agree with the comparison between this and Denver’s work. I attended as many of his talks as I could and read them and reread them. And this work was so much easier to understand.

    Thanks to the person who spoke about the Brigham Young quotes. I was amazed at the insightful things he said.

    I have not been a member all my life. After playing catch up for 15 years, I realized that if I really wanted to know anything about Mormonism I would have to find it out for myself. I have had some wonderful gospel doctrine teachers who made it come alive, but truthfully I became bored and sought to find out for myself with outside reading what it was all about. People like John Pontius kept me in the church and put my center on Christ and for that I am grateful. And I have begun delving into the Prophet Joseph on my own as well.

    But I have been hungering and thirsting, so thank you, Tim and for all the other bloggers that have helped me. I just kept wondering why they were all getting exed for bringing so much light to my soul

    I have read about the great apostasy that would happen in the Church in the last days and I have slowly begun to realize that this is not what people think. The church itself has become apostate and is casting out the humble followers of Christ.

    Thank you for this book!

    Like

    • OH yes, THANK YOU to Lynne for your insightful comments!!!!!

      Like

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: