Preserving the Restoration


MormonismDividedMormon history is full of breakoff groups, splinter groups, divisions, and all kinds of off-shoots. Most of them have been failures. Tell me why you think this new movement will be different.

First, let’s be clear I’m no spokesperson for this movement. I’m not even sure you can classify it as a movement. There is no leader. This is no organized church. It is simply a group of believers.

But you base your beliefs on Mormonism.

Yes, the majority of what we believe was at one time taught in Mormonism.

Okay, so you’re a group of former Mormons…

No, we believe we’re still Mormons – even those who have left the LDS Church.

Fine, so you consider yourselves Mormons. What sets you apart from other groups who have left the Mormon Church – the fundamentalists for example? Do you believe in Polygamy?

I’ll bet some do, but I don’t. Even though I accept section 132 as doctrine, I have no intention of practicing plural marriage.

Why is that, especially if you accept section 132?

If there’s any one thing that unites this diverse group of believers, it’s a message that was delivered throughout the Mormon corridor over the past year or so (Sep 2013 to Sep 2014) in a series of lectures.

You’re referring of course to Denver Snuffer and his teachings.

Yes. One of those lectures – delivered in St George – was aimed particularly at the subject of polygamy. Included in the message was the mandate that plural marriage be abandoned.

So you don’t consider yourself a fundamentalist movement.

I suppose it depends on how you define fundamentalism. If you’re referring to the multiple groups who practice polygamy, mainly based in Utah, you are correct. We don’t feel the need to keep polygamy alive as they do. In fact, most of us are still members of the LDS Church.

Really … but you aren’t.

No, I resigned.

Why is that?

I had been accused of apostasy by my local leaders. It was only a matter of time before I would have been excommunicated. In fact, many of my friends, individuals who have studied and accepted the message delivered by this man we consider the Lord’s servant in the last days have been excommunicated for apostasy.

The Lord’s servant …How do you know this? I mean, how do you communicate?

Come on. We live in the information age. We have websites, blogs, Facebook groups, email lists and cell phones. We keep in touch with each other. Many are organized in small groups.

Are you a member of a group?

Only on the Internet … There are simply not enough people who believe as I do here in Southern California to meet on a regular basis. We are spread too far out. However, I can tell you there are many groups in Utah, Idaho and Arizona who meet each week, and sometimes during the week.

Is there a directory of these groups?

Yes. But as you can imagine, many wish to keep their groups secret and private.

Why is that?

Hello. They are still members of the LDS Church.

Okay. So this is a clandestine movement. They are afraid of the Mormon Church.

Yes, I believe that’s an accurate statement. Some are afraid, some aren’t. Many more are coming out in the open about their beliefs. They are inviting their family members, friends and neighbors to join them.

You say they meet on a regular basis. Why?

… to partake of the sacrament, to pray, to study the scriptures, to strengthen each other.

Just like a church…

I suppose. Small fellowships or communities would be a better description. Remember, there’s no hierarchy. They – we – consider ourselves seekers desirous to be members of the Church of the Firstborn, the Church of the Lamb of God.

I’m certain you don’t mean one of the groups that use those names, especially in Utah.

Correct. We refer to the Church of the Firstborn as used in the scriptures. There is no earthly organization to this movement. No leader.

So you meet in homes to take the sacrament, read the scriptures, pray and do all the things that new churches do when they are getting started. Yet, you say you are not a church. I don’t get it.

The problem with a formal church organization is that it can be hijacked, taken over by a strongman, if you will. A legal organization can be controlled by government intervention. Our main focus is to come unto Christ through baptism, and prepare ourselves for Zion.

Okay, now this is getting weird. Do you know how extreme that sounds?

What part, performing baptisms or getting ready for the return of Zion?

Both… So you practice baptisms?

Yes. I was baptized September 21st. I’m aware of hundreds of LDS people who have been baptized again just in the past month or so.

Really … What does the LDS Church think about that?

I think you know the answer. Its grounds for excommunication, just like participating in the Sacrament in your home or praying in your home the way we do in the temple. The LDS Church wants to control these things.

So how large would you say this movement is?

Hard to tell … There were six or seven hundred people at the final lecture in Mesa on September 9th. I’m fairly certain there are thousands of LDS members who have read the books or listened to the lectures of Denver Snuffer. That’s a drop in the bucket of the total membership.

Do you think the Mormon leaders know about it?

Of course they do. Elder Nelson referred to a point from Denver’s book recently in General Conference when he said, “No Prophet has ever been elected.”  Brigham Young recorded, “I was unanimously elected President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Just a matter of interpretation. I think Brigham meant sustained.

Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. The local leaders are becoming much more aware of Denver Snuffer because they are hearing about it from their members.

In a good way or bad way?

Both. Some are bringing questions from Denver’s lectures to their Bishops they can’t answer. Some Bishops are calling members in to question them about things they have heard or read.

Such as?

Oh, you know. A home teacher or a neighbor will tell the Bishop someone in their ward is reading Denver’s stuff. Or the Bishop will ask them about their comments on Facebook.

You’re kidding.

I wish I were. Apparently it’s considered an offense worthy of discipline to read Denver’s writings or to talk to anyone else about his stuff. In fact, there’s a whole group of blogs the leaders don’t want you to visit or talk about.

Seriously …

I speak from personal experience.

So you know of people who have been excommunicated for reading Denver Snuffer’s works?

Yep. There’s a website you can visit that used to keep track but it’s not up to date. There was a couple excommunicated just last Sunday evening because they wouldn’t say the words, “The living prophet and apostles hold all the keys of the kingdom of God.”

Let’s get back to the point. Why do you think this movement is different and will last?

I’ve been watching it for two and a half years. I’ve been intimately involved in reading, studying and praying about the material published by Denver, especially the recent lectures. I participate in the email dialogs. I publish many posts on my blog discussing the ideas in the lectures. I see more and more people willing to give up their membership based on their own experiences.

What kind of experiences?

The same kind that brought them into the LDS Church or helped them become faithful, contributing members throughout their lives. For the most part these are good, humble, sincere individuals and families who are convinced – no, converted – by their feelings in prayer, in worship and in service. In other words, they act upon impressions from God upon them.

So they believe God told them the LDS Church is no longer the only true church?

Yep. They see it as an organization of men, not as the church that will bring about Zion.

So, without a controlling organization at the top, these people who are leaving the LDS Chuch to follow Denver Snuffer…

Wrong. To follow Jesus Christ …

Yes, but based on the teachings of Denver Snuffer…

I’ll grant you that. They – and I – believe the message Denver delivered in the lectures over the past year was inspired by, authorized by, and received by revelation from the Lord.

What is so special and different about this message?

I suppose the primary and perhaps key doctrine, if you will, is that the Lord has wrested the authority or the “keys” of the LDS Church away from the men who lead it.

Based on what?

Based on the principles of unrighteous dominion outlined in D&C section 121.

Wow. That is one amazing claim. I assume it has been refuted.

Of course. You can read all about it on the FAIR website. I’m sure they’ll add more.

And intelligent, regular LDS members are willing to resign or be excommunicated because they believe this, this idea that the LDS Church is no longer authorized of God to … to do what?

Officiate in the ordinances of salvation.

Such as …

Baptism, the Sacrament, temple ordinances…

Really, even temple ordinances?

Even temple ordinances.

Do you know how angry this sort of claim will make regular members of the church?

I was one of them. It made me a little angry the first time I pondered the possibility.

Yet you eventually gave up your membership in the LDS Church because you believe this guy.

No, I resigned from the LDS Church because it was the honorable thing to do, at least for me. Others are willing to go through the excommunication process. I had been through enough of those serving in a High council and Bishoprics over twenty-five years.

But you resigned based on the word of a man you hardly know.

No, I resigned because I prayed about this man’s message and felt it was right.

I go back to the same line. Do you know how crazy that sounds?

I do. I’m well aware I’m seen as a crackpot, a lunatic, a crazy person, or worse. Resigning or being excommunicated from the Mormon Church is considered losing your eternal salvation.

And you apparently don’t believe that?

I used to. Not anymore.

Why not?

Because I feel I have something better, a more sure word of prophecy.

Wait… that phrase has special significance to Mormons, doesn’t it?

It does.

And you’re saying…

That I know the Lord has accepted of and approved of my actions.

Have you seen the Lord?

I have not.

Have you heard his voice?

I have.

Can you describe it? Tell me about it.

Just like it’s described in the scriptures: quiet, peaceful, powerful, deep in the heart and soul.

Wait, you’re describing a feeling. You said you’ve heard His voice.

I have.

What did it sound like?

It wasn’t an audible voice, although there are those who have heard the Lord’s voice. Actually Boyd K. Packer described it best, or maybe it was Marion G. Romney. I forget. One of them said the voice of the Lord will come into your mind without the use of the auditory channel. In other words, you ask a question, wait and the Lord will answer you in full and complete sentences.

Oh, come on…

It works for me.

How do you know it’s not your own voice or maybe the whisperings of an evil spirit?

You just know, or at least I do. It takes years of experience in reading the scriptures.

Let’s wrap this up. You’ve admitted what you’ve done and what you believe sounds crazy to most Mormons. You seem like an intelligent guy. If someone else wanted to duplicate your experiment, so to speak, I assume you recommend they read Denver’s books and lectures.

Yes, but I’ve found something from another witness that has opened my soul as I have read and studied from its pages. I wrote about it previously on my blog after I read the first chapter. I’ve now read the second chapter and am in the third. I want to put a plug in for this book again.

Okay, go ahead. What is it?

The book is entitled, 77 Truths and the author is Bret Corbridge from Montrose, Colorado.

What’s so special about this book?

Besides the fact it is chock full of quotes, scriptures and commentary supporting powerful truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, many of which are no longer taught in the LDS Church, Bret feels so strongly this book will help people understand truths of the gospel, he is giving it away.

How many pages is the book?

460.

How long did it take him to write it?

Not quite sure. Somewhere between two and four years.

So you’re saying a lot of the ideas taught by Denver Snuffer are in this 460-page book from Bret Corbridge, which he spent years writing and now he is willing to give it away free?

Yep.

That’s crazy.

It’s called consecration. Bret’s a good man. And the book is wonderful. I highly recommend it.

Okay, so how do you get one?

Email bret@77truths.com and ask for a copy. The PDF is free. You can buy the physical book on Amazon for about $15, but he says if you want a physical copy and can’t afford it, email him.

Any concluding thoughts for this interview? I’m still not convinced this movement will last.

I don’t blame you or anyone else for being skeptical. I’m convinced the very last days are upon us. I’m also convinced the events foretold in prophecy about the breakdown of society are about to come to pass. It may be years, but the day will come when society breaks up into tribes. The message delivered by the Lord through Denver Snuffer is a message of preparation. We have been invited to practice consecration in communities to care for the poor among us. That’s one of the signs of a Zion society – no poor among them. We use our tithing for that purpose.

So you pay tithing to this man.

No. We pay tithing to the Lord and use it in our local groups or communities. We don’t build malls.

Do you have a temple?

Not yet. But we will.

Why?

To present to the Lord a list of names of those who have been baptized.

Who will pay for this temple?

I have no idea. I haven’t thought about it.

Sounds familiar to Warren Jeff’s group and the YFZ temple in Arizona.

I know. I know. Lots of Mormon fundamentalists have similar ideas from the restoration.

The LDS Church is the biggest group that came out of Joseph Smith’s visions and dreams.

Yes, and it will probably remain so. I’m grateful to the LDS Church for all it has done for me over the fifty plus years I was a member. I gave a lifetime of service in the LDS Church. I have friends and family whom I love who faithfully serve and give to the LDS Church.

But you left to follow… not this man Denver Snuffer as you say, but what you believe the Lord asked of you. And you don’t think you have been deceived.

That’s correct. I suppose time will tell, won’t it? I don’t believe a man should be required to accept or acknowledge another living man, even if he claims to be a prophet, in order to come unto Christ. As far as I know, Denver has not claimed to be a prophet. I have written in my blog he has acted as a messenger, a prophet and a servant of the Lord. He has delivered his message. However, belief in and acceptance of a prophet should not be a requirement for membership in Christ’s church.

Well, good luck to you. You have chosen an unusual path for someone with your background.

Thank you. I recognize what I have done would be especially difficult for someone who has multiple generations of Mormonism in their heritage. My family members were converts when I was a child. I have studied and lived Mormonism all my life. I never expected to leave the LDS Church. I still consider myself a Mormon, but more accurately, a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want to follow the Savior. “Follow the Prophet” is not my mantra. It may be for others, but not for me.

97 Responses

  1. Was this a real dialog?

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    • No real journalist worth their salt would throw such softballs.

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    • Full disclosure: I am faithfully LDS and, having read much of Denver Snuffer’s writings, reject them for many reasons that are irrelevant in this thread. That said, I am being honest and not seeking to agitate, rather to engage in dialogue, in my comment/question. I also am not angry with those who accept Snuffer’s readings, and suspect most members aren’t. Everyone has their own journey, which I respect.

      I do not understand the issues with the mall. Here is my perspective.
      1.When the risen Lord returns to the Earth the Church will be a theocracy. Through most of ancient and latter-day history the Church has been a theocracy, so it makes sense to me that the Church should be engaged in temporal and spiritual matters (and abstains from government matters only because of needs to ‘play nice’ with world and local leaders, but will one day also govern as well, likely not until Christ has returned).
      2. The areas the Church is growing are, generally, poor, meaning they will draw more money than they contribute. The mall is an investment to mitigate this emerging and growing challenge.
      3. Ultimately it boils down to faith. We cannot expect to understand the mind of the Lord in everything. By design faith enters into every person’s conversion. Even people who have received their calling and election do not know all of the Lord’s reasoning. There could be other reasons for the mall that, with our reasoning we do not know. Perhaps it is to train leaders to manage other temporal matters for when the Church is a true theocracy again. Perhaps it is another reason entirely.
      4. Even if it is an issue of poor use of Church funds that does not influence the truthfulness of the gospel, or the authority of the Church. All men are capable of making mistakes, including our Prophet.

      I am curious for a response regarding the mall within the above context.

      Thanks.

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      • Well, I’ll take a shot at a response. The Mall is symptomatic of what the modern version of Mormonism has become. On one extreme, we have members who believe that everytime the Brethren speak, it is the voice of God. Thus, any critique of what the Brethren do is defacto apostasy, and to question God himself. The problem with this view is obvious after a few minutes of studying Mormon History: for example, Brigham Young at various times taught, as essential doctrine, the following now-discredited teachings: 1. Adam-God 2. Blood Atonement 3. Plural Marriage 4. Inferiority of Blacks. If you believe that everytime the Brethren speak, the Lord has spoken, then how do you extricate yourself from the dilemma that either Brigham had it right, and the modern Brethren are wrong to change these teachings (this view is still held by many fundamentalists), OR, the modern Brethren now have it right and Brigham was wrong, thus popping the bubble of essential Infallibility of past leaders. Except, having popped that bubble for past leaders, how do we know our modern one’s have it right? On the other extreme, we have splinters, apostates, atheists and agnostics who believe that when the Brethren speak, they NEVER are actually speaking for God on anything. This side of the aisle will never be pleased with anything the Brethren do, usually viewing them as well-intentioned, but self-deceived pretenders, who have duped some 15 million mormons worldwide into following their shenanigans. The Brethren are viewed as Billy Graham or Robert Schuller types, in fact worse than that, because they do suggest that they ARE speaking for God, when they are not. The truth must lie somewhere in between. But where exactly? The Brethren get it right most of the time, but occasionally do not? They get it right 50% of the time? When the Saints entered the valley in 1847, for about 15 years they nearly starved to death; during this era until the coming of the Railroad and opening of mining, there was justification for the Twelve to be deeply involved in temporal affairs, because the Saints were in a very desperate situation. However, the tradition of the Twelve up to their hips in temporal affairs continued on and on, way past the time where their time had to be devoted to these temporal matters. In fact, the calling of an Apostle is specifically to attend to spiritual things; there isn’t a particle of Revelation that asks an Apostle to sit on board of directors for a sugar company, for example, or one of dozens of other corporate jobs, which the Brethren have been holding and directing for decade after decade after decade. For many devout LDS, the mall, with a $2 Billion investment of tithing funds, coupled with the perception that not only are the Brethren not experiencing open revelation, but are even downplaying the extent of inspiration they receive from day to day; well, for many devout LDS this is just too much too deal with. Modern Mormonism in fact seems to be infected with many of the same problems that seem to become epidemic when you centralize power and authority to the top of any organization, and then depend upon that central authority to dispense back a set of top-down military directions to the plebian ground troops below. This is nothing new; the Romans eventually concentrated vast power in the Emperor, he dispensed with the Senate, and eventually Rome fell. Our own central govenment here in the USA, is setting up spy stations (one right here in SLC) without a peep of protest, that would make the Russians blush with jealousy. Problems in Mormonism? Yes sir, right here in River (er, Salt Lake) City!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for your detailed response. I honestly appreciate the opposing perspective. The positions you cite, drawing comparables to the Roman Empire, are only accurate if you accept the position of the Prophet to be as is outlined in your response. I fully agree that there are members who believe as you have outlined, but that is not the official doctrinal stance. From a Church manual (https://www.lds.org/manual/print/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/enrichments/enrichment-f-as-if-from-mine-own-mouth-the-role-of-prophets-in-the-church?lang=eng):

          “No claim is put forth by the prophets of God to suggest that they are infallible, that everything they say and do is what the Lord would say and do. Only when they act in harmony with the will of the Lord do they become the Lord’s mouthpiece. Each President of the Church has been quick to point out that he has weaknesses and imperfections. These facts, together with the Lord’s endorsement of His servants, raise questions about how one should respond to the counsel of the prophets. Following are some of the more common questions:

          Is every word of a prophet inspired? The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “A prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such” (History of the Church, 5:265).

          Elder John A. Widtsoe commented on the Prophet Joseph’s words: “That statement makes a clear distinction between official and unofficial actions and utterances of officers of the Church. In this recorded statement the Prophet Joseph Smith recognizes his special right and duty, as the President and Prophet of the Church, under the inspiration of the Lord, to speak authoritatively and officially for the enlightenment and guidance of the Church. But he claims also the right, as other men, to labor and rest, to work and play, to visit and discuss, to present his opinions and hear the opinions of others, to counsel and bless as a member of the Church.” (Evidences and Reconciliations, 1:182.)

          Elder Widtsoe went on to say, however, that the “unofficial expressions [of a prophet] carry greater weight than the opinions of other men of equal or greater gifts and experience but without the power of the prophetic office. …

          “… The unofficial views and expressions of such a man with respect to any vital subject, should command respectful attention.” (Evidences and Reconciliations, 1:183–84.)”

          And further in the same document:

          When are the words of the prophets to be considered scripture? The Lord said: “And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” (D&C 68:3–4.)”

          The doctrine is that the Prophet is fallible – he is human. To that I would add, that he is learning, just as we are. Only one perfect person has ever been on this Earth. Hence the comparison to Rome, etc., while has interesting historical information, is flawed.

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        • John Smith: you are misunderstanding my posting. I am not advocating either extreme; I believe, with you that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I am suggesting, however, that the common perception and current orthodoxy in the church, amongst leadership and laymembers alike, is that despite the clear statements by Joseph Smith and other general authorities throughout the years, that there has developed a tradition and perception of practical infalliability amongst the leadership and their actions. This perception is not aided by the fact that the Brethren do not have any accountability to leadership or laymembers “below” them. Further, that the Brethren do not invoke direct revelation, and rarely reference even inspiration as a basis for their decisions. A few weeks ago, I suggested in a priesthood lesson that a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such, and that one must have the Holy Ghost in order to understand when and what portion of that taught to us is actually inspired vs. what is not inspired. The reaction of the priesthood brethren was typical: well, what right do YOU have to criticize the Brethren and pick and choose what you will believe? One brother said he was grateful for conference, because we would be able to here the pure word of God given to us through the Prophets, etc., etc. In other words, the local brethren are always relieved that they do not have to think things through for themselves, having delegated this responsisbility off to the Brethren. Anything even that can be remotely perceived as a challenge to the words of the 15 men is immediately viewed in a hostile manner, by the believing orthodox members. This is why when faithful members try to point out some of the problems in history and doctrinal development in Mormonism, the reaction can be swift and unpleasant. This orthodox intolerance is crippling the ability of the Brethren to analyze and then adjust to these many issues. Eventually this will all come to a head, and the Brethren will be forced to deal with it, but for now church operations procede along as they have for several decades. If none of the operations of the Brethren bothers you, that’s OK as you fit right in with 98% of the church members who never think about any of this. Each individual must go to the Lord and receive answers by revelation through the Holy Ghost, and then believe and act accordingly. Best regards.

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      • Government is supposed to be subject to and to be afraid of Zion. They are to be totally separate.
        Moses 7: 13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
        And we learn more about this relationship in D&C 103: 7 And by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given unto the saints, to possess it forever and ever.
        8 But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them.

        Who is prevailing against who? The corporate church is an appendage of the state and is subject to it, not the other way around. This is clearly not God’s plan.

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  2. I’m definitely wanting to find a group in Utah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • http://www.zion.community/forums/forum/utah-forum/

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      • Thanks, Tim!

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  3. Genius Tim….you are sooo not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The reason the movement will “work”, kind of, is because the Servant who has been promised, the man like unto Moses who will lead all who hear the voice of Christ from bondage, will soon be made known to the world.
    Denver and many others have been used by God to wake many people up. The spirit of Elias has been used in preparation. I believe people who have been baptized may even need to be baptized again but if so they will do so gladly when men and women are receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. This power had not been seen since the time of the Nephites.
    We will be like many who were told to “marvel not”. When the power of God is shed forth upon the elect the world will never be the same. Greater truths than have ever been revealed openly will become known to all who remain. Elements will be glad to obey the command of priesthood holders who have been sanctified by the spirit of Christ, and little children will grow up with the powers of heaven as common as iPads and cell phones. Sorrows will be forgotten.
    I implore all to be open for greater truths, for more false mortar to be scraped away and more false traditions cast off.
    Denver has done what God had planned and no doubt has more to do, so do many others. God bless

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “The Servant ……will soon be made known to the world……”

    Do you describe soon as between 1 week and 10 years? Or do you have something more concrete by chance?

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    • Great question

      I have not received revelation on what “soon” means. Lol with God “soon” could mean anything but fortunately the fig trees leaves are sprouting and summer is nigh.

      I do know that many things are happening behind the scenes every day. Jesus will come and teach the laborers face to face. He will teach them many truths and make things plain. I have been told this plainly. Then the laborers will go out with Christ at the helm and begin gathering the fruit and casting off the fruit and even whole branches that are evil.
      People soon will have to decide and babylon (all nations) will go to war against the saints. When great miracles follow Christ and His people soon the world will think they need to kill these people! As if they could stop the power of God. Isaiah prophecies very plainly of this. They will think the miracles are some new science and that God would never cause the death of so many, or they will explain it as the beast and false prophet etc. the ONLY way we can know the truth is by knowing the voice of the Good Shepherd. There will be too many new doctrines that the world perceives as strange. We will not be able to rely solely on the written word or other men’s testimonies or even our eyes.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Tim, GOD bless you. This was perfect. All is well in Ogden, 5 months into the big D. I haven’t been to CJCLDS Inc since they refused to give me a pass to baptize my 8 year old son 2 months ago. My SP said I was not apostate, my Bishop said GOD told him not to let me baptize my son and that they had their eye on me. “Don’t make me have to excommunicate you” was one of the last things my Bishop said to me. I guess they are going to have to. It’s neither here nor there.
    I say that as long as we remain unorganized and led by the spirit of GOD, there is a chance to bring down Zion. I already feel zion in my heart and see it in the lives of those I interact with here in the community gatherings I have witnessed. We must keep the doctrine of Christ simple and pure. Everything else does not matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • just for your info Bishops don’t excommunicate anyone!

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      • Hi Rick. Having served in many bishoprics and sat in on dozens of disciplinary councils, I can promise you bishops in the LDS Church can and do excommunicate members, both male and female.

        You are correct that the disciplinary council of an endowed Melchizedek priesthood holder is normally held at the High Council level, but even that can be delegated to a local bishopric.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tim I also have been in a number of bishoprics and high councils and i have never seen a Bishop ex anyone He goes through the channels which is the stake pres. delegation is something else but according to the D & C the person is to have 6 councilmen speak for them and 6 for the church and then the Stake presidency deliberates and the The stake pres. hopefully by the spirit hands down a decision that will best help the person to come back .

          Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Rick. I like what you’re saying. As far as the High Council, that’s the way it’s supposed to be: six HC are to see the interests of the church are met and six HC are to see the interests of the accused are met.

          But in reality, not all Stakes do it that way. Even in the dozen stake disciplinary councils I participated in when I was on the HC, we did not always designate individual HCs to represent one side or the other.

          And again, I can tell you from personal experience from my time in bishoprics, I am aware of individuals excommunicated by the Bishop. I know because I wrote up the reports to Salt Lake as the ward clerk.

          In one particular case, we were certain the individual would not show up for their disciplinary council. They didn’t. Evidence was presented by the bishop, we deliberated and prayed. He decided. They were out.

          I’m sure you are aware that when Kate Kelly was excommunicated, it was her Bishop that convened the council and made the decision. It can be at the Stake level but such discipline is usually at the ward level.

          But yes, Melchizedek priesthood holders are always supposed to have their council held at the stake level. The only exception is when a Melchizedek Priesthood holder resigns. The ward processes the action.

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  7. A brief version of my testimony…

    I believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. I believe in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. I believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. Yes Brother Joseph had some faults, but so did Abraham, Moses, Peter and every other ancient prophet and apostle.

    I share many of the same concerns that other visitors to this blog have regarding the current state of the LDS Church. I have yet to earnestly study some of the books and transcripts mentioned frequently on this blog. But I have prayed and received an answer for my own situation.

    The answer is that I should follow the example of the pioneer Levi Savage. He was openly rebuked by priesthood authority for warning that the 1856 Willie handcart company would encountered potentially fatal snow storms and freezing weather while crossing the Rocky Mountains.

    But Levi declared “What I have said I know to be true; but seeing you are to go forward, I will go with you, will help all I can, will work with you, will rest with you, and if necessary, will die with you. May God in his mercy bless and preserve us.”

    So the Lord wants me to stay with the LDS Church because that is where I can give the most service.

    The Lord tailored this answer to my own situation. I do not say that it applies to others. I readily acknowledge that the Lord may give different answers to others.

    But I am curious if anyone else has a received a “Levi Savage” answer to his or her prayers.

    In the mean time, I sincerely hope and pray for improvements within the Church, such as a clearer focus on Christ, honesty about Church history, tithing being allocated to help the poor, etc.

    I also hope for an embrace of the Hebraic roots, interfaith fellowship with the Jews, etc, which I have covered in my various blogs and Facebook groups.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you. I have a friend who has received a very similar impression. He knows the church is corrupt in many ways but God wants him in the ward he lives in and active so when the time comes he can testify to the people there.
      God is setting up board right now and He has drawn some people out and awakened others and told them to stay in. All for the benefit of us all when the time comes. I felt the spirit reading your testimony. Just be open and watching because at some point you may get the call to abandon ship and you will need to jump out quickly to avoid calamity, sounds like you are in tune enough to know this.

      Liked by 2 people

      • the church is not corrupt ! the people in the church are less than perfect ( including yourselfs) You should stay in the church and try and perfect the saints that we may all raise together perfected in one,the Lord Jesus Christ.

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        • Rick, in spite of what I have done by resigning, I agree with your advice. We should strive to stay in the church and help perfect the saints. I don’t recommend anyone follow my path. Unfortunately, the spirit often causes us to keep our mouths shut about certain things.

          I recommend you take a look at Bret’s book. It is full of examples of truths of the restoration we used to hold dear but are no longer taught or even tolerated as far as discussion in our classes and quorums: Second Comforter, Calling and Election, Holy Spirit of Promise…

          Liked by 2 people

    • tomirvine999,

      i have, just as you’ve described it, thanks for sharing your testimony…I’ve also recently stumbled upon your blog as well.. i enjoy your words and your take on things, i have added you to my list of “messengers from my Father” that i’m looking for.

      Like

    • Yes, I am a witness that the Spirit wants me to continue INSIDE the church, because at the core, it still has truth, power and real authority. I too am not blind to the many historical, doctrinal, and administrative problems facing the church, but I think that more good can come from within the organization, not out. I will not judge those who have left, but my perception is that they do so at great spiritual peril to themselves and risk their individual eternal progression in the process. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And just to add to this. I stay because this is MY church as much as anyone elses. It is not the church of Boyd Packer, Thomas Monson or David Bednar, as much as modern custom tries to force this interpretation on us. It is the Church of Jesus Christ, and I have as much a stake in it as any man. I don’t need a leader to lead me by the hand; I can go to the Master directly. I can apply for and receive direction through the Holy Spirit directly. That’s the key. We do not need to be dependent upon any man, for all men are unreliable.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Karl,

          You seem to have a “Bishop Woolley” testimony.

          * * *

          On one occasion, Bishop Edwin Woolley and Brigham had a heated discussion about a business deal. President Young, who could be very sarcastic, turned as he was leaving and said, “Now, Bishop Woolley, I guess you will go off and apostatize.” To which Edwin rejoined, “If this were your church, President Young, I would be tempted to do so. But this is just as much my church as it is yours, and why should I apostatize from my own church?”

          Liked by 2 people

        • AMEN!!

          Like

    • Dear Tom and Tim and Karl and all,

      My ancestor, Nathaniel Henry Felt, was there when Levi Savage made his declaration and it made a great impression upon him. That’s why my blogger name is Salem Man of the Cloth because Nathaniel haled from Salem, Massachusetts and felt is a cloth. I think you get it.

      When Nathaniel returned to Salt Lake that October day in 1856, it was he who went directly to Brigham (a long time friend) and counseled to get aid back up the trail as soon as possible. There were others who took credit as is always the case. My ancestor, was one of the first to lend substance and time in bringing them down from Wyoming. Our Ephraimite ancestors were great examples to us. Afterward in Bishops training meeting during the winter, Bishops Wooley and Felt sat with their arms crossed in the old tabernacle next to one another while President Young railed about the decisions made that led up to the disaster. According to Truman Madsen, he looked at the both of them and said, “so, I guess you plan to apostatize?” where upon they said, “No, President Young, this is not your church. It is the Church of Jesus Christ and it is our church.”

      I’m with you Tom, and I wish Tim could be with us, frankly, but that is water under the bridge now.

      Yes. I live (among other places) in Brooklyn, New York and work daily with a group of Hasidim Jews who have their headquarters on Eastern Parkway about a half mile from my apartment. They are not what I expected because, as a gentile, I had such a skewed view of Jews. One thing, however, keeps pulling itself from my conscious spirit which is, we are not yet fully restored. Our Josephite Moses started to give us the keys to knowledge, but his life was taken before he could finish the telling of it all. President Young carried on as much of it as he could remember, but the act of gathering new revelation has mostly ceased and we became a pretty good well-managed people full of good traits and strengths. Look, even a gift like Avraham Gileadi attached himself to us and is helping us (our gentile tribe) fight our way into Zion. It doesn’t get much better than that.

      Part of being of a lost tribe is that we are lost. When we speak of the gathering of the Lost 10 Tribes, we omit the idea we are in one of those lost tribes! The key may be in remembering daily the Lord’s admonitions to remember our flight from Egypt and to practice the Mosaic Law again (at least the parts which have not been fulfilled). I don’t think we do ourselves any favors by saying, “well…we don’t practice the Law, because we live the ‘higher Law.'” Really? Do we know of what we are talking when we say dumb things like that?

      Ok. I am willing to be taught. Please someone set me straight. Am I wasting time? Tim? Tom? Karl? Anyone?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting Tom that we took the same story from our brains. My ancestor, time and again, was the Forest Gump of church history. Often there, but never given much credit. He as sitting next to Bsp Wooley, but Wooley had more powerful descendants. The best way to get yourself forgotten is to not have children. I could related dozens of similarly interesting tales.

        Like

    • I should have been more clear in my question. Does anyone feel as Tom and I? Does the restoration of the whole gospel include the Law of Moses? When Christ said he came not do destroy the Law, but fulfill it, did he mean to stop observing the good things the Jews do daily to remember Him? Did he really intend for us to stop worshiping on the 7th day? Did he mean for us not to start the Sabbath at sunset with our families? Did he mean for us to forget the real new year (start of autumn in the northern hemisphere)? Did he say to stop having a remembrance of the Book of Life with our names in it and an accounting of our lives before God each year? Think how simple it is to follow the Lord when practices like the Jews are observed often and repeatedly. They have been keeping their covenants for 3300 years while our lost tribe didn’t fare so well in history. If Latter-day saints would observe the holy days of the House of Israel to a tee, would we be closer to Zion? Would we have stopped talking about the Messiah and Zion and Jackson County and all (we’ve almost stopped the dialog about it). Would we be such a an un-peculiar people?

      Jonathan C. Felt

      Like

      • Jonathan,

        Thank you for your comments. Need to go to bed now. But again everyone is welcome to join me at:

        http://hebrewteachings.wordpress.com/

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/hebraic/

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jonathan, Those are some serious comments. I’m afraid I don’t have any profound answers on the questions you raise. Just from personal observation there’s no question in my mind that the Gentiles (both in and outside the church) are heaping condemnation upon themselves because of the way all restraints have been loosened up. Within the church, many members are pretty nearly assimilated into the culture at large, and the danger there is that far from pointing towards Zion, we become content at just “getting along” with the world, and become satisfied with being just a little big better than the fallen culture around us. Being a bit better than the world around us may keep us from hellfire, but it won’t get us as a people really moving towards Zion. My wife was surprised when I told her that my impression is that although the LDS people are overall getting better, that the LDS culture itself is drfiting away from Zion, not towards it. If Zion is defined as the pure in heart, and is both the state of the people and a real physical location ultimately, and you actually analyze the activities that laymembers of the church and leadership have actually been investing the bulk of their time and resources in during the past 100 years, then you start to get the idea of the tremendous gap between the vision of Zion, and the actual establishment of Zion. Best.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tom and Karl and Tim and Kathryn: Is it possible we have been misreading the Lord’s intent for us all along? We say we understand the covenant of Mount Sinai and how it points to a Savior. Indeed we know in our hearts Messiah Ben David is our Joshua and Lord who died for us as the Pascal Lamb and great sacrifice on the Passover and rose (not on the first day of the week) but on the Sabbath to fulfill the Law. Abinadi said, “And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.”

          Did the prophets of old say all the law should be thrown out? Why is so much of the Law still effective in pointing Jews (the bonafide proven House of Israel by blood) with ordinances and remembrances to God? Abinadi said, “The the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law..?” Did we jump the gun with the rest of fallen Christendom to ignore the aspects of the Law which could be helping us root ourselves to regain a footing toward Zion? If we did the ordinances (minus the sacrifices) and kept the holy days would we be more ready for Messiah? Did Abinadi mean for the future Messiah to be our focal point in this day? Will we wake up and say, “Oh I am of the House of Israel, therefore I must act as a member of it with the understanding of the nature of G-d and His Son. Therefore I will allow His sacrifice to replace any animal sacrifice I might offer for sin.”

          “I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law..” Are we sure we are not supposed to keep the parts of the law which are not the sacrificing of animals?

          Jonathan

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  8. I got ahold of Bret, the author of 77 Truths, and am excited to read his new blog as well. Mahalo

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tim,
    WOW! Awesome post, among many you have delivered. Minorityofone, also very uplifting statement.
    I was told by the Spirit a few days before the last Genl Conf. that I would hear that wh. would confirm to me that membership in the church is no longer essential to my salvation, and I did…suffice it to say the first few speakers on Sunday AM drowned me in their “follow the prophet” false doctrine, and it was NOT a baptism of the Spirit!
    I was told some time ago by the Spirit that the Doctrine of Christ is exactly what we need to be studying in our time. Denver, in his 10th lecture in Mesa, AZ, on 9/9/14 emphasized exactly, precisely, what the Spirit has told me is the truth for our time. Is Denver a Prophet? I would answer that question with a resounding YES! Do we follow him, i.e., is he the “new sheriff” we are supposed to follow now? Not even close. Denver has been preaching and admonishing people to repent and FOLLOW THE SAVIOR ever since I started reading and listening to him 6-7 yrs ago. NEVER ONCE has he tried to get anyone to follow him, in fact, he runs from those who would do so.
    Last night I was prompted to read up on Samuel the Lamanite and the message he was sent to deliver. Reminded me of Denver, and more importantly, reminded me of the time we live in. His message, and Denver’s message, resonate with our time. Come unto Christ, now while you may still do so!
    James Russell Uhl

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Brothers and sisters,

    Is it necessary to oppose error to establish truth? Is it not possible to speak truth by the Spirit in gentleness and meekness?

    Is it necessary, for example, to decry “follow the Brethren” to cry “follow the Savior”?

    Is the perfect the enemy of the good? Is it not taught to contend against no church save it be the church of the devil (D&C 18)?

    There is a truth which I wish I could speak clearly enough to penetrate the heart – opposition breeds opposition. Abuse breeds abuse. And abuse is anything short of the Golden Rule.

    And why speak of one’s revelations if the point of those revelations is not useful in bringing souls to the depths of repentance wherein they may cry unto the Lord in faith and be redeemed? Who profits from that vanity?

    “And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing.”

    Moroni 7
    45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

    47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

    48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matthew 23 King James Version (KJV)

      23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

      2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

      3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

      4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

      5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

      6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

      7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

      8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

      9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

      10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

      11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

      12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

      13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

      14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

      15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

      16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

      17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

      18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

      19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

      20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

      21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

      22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

      23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

      24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

      25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

      26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

      27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

      28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

      29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

      30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

      31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

      32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

      33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

      34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

      35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

      36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

      37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

      38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

      39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

      It seems in cases it is necessary, no doubt this was said with Charity, but obviously the Pharisees thought Jesus was a judgemental hypocrite. They thought he was arrogant and blasphemous and worthy of death.

      All truth is edifying to those willing to receive it. All truth leads to Christ. Christ is the Truth. Love cannot exist independent of truth, because they both are contained within the glory of God. The more one learns of truth, the more one is filled with love, and vice versa. Both can only come from pure intelligence, or light and truth flowing into us by the power of the Spirit.

      Like

      • The Lord seems to feel a bit differently; it is insufficient that a thing merely be true.

        D&C 50
        13 Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained?

        14 To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth.

        15 And then received ye spirits which ye could not understand, and received them to be of God; and in this are ye justified?

        16 Behold ye shall answer this question yourselves; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto you; he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong.

        17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

        18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

        19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

        20 If it be some other way it is not of God.

        21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?

        22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

        23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

        24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Were the Pharisees edified with Jesus? Did they receive His teachings by the Spirit or some other way?

          A man or woman may preach truth according to the Spirit, and others choose to reject it. There is no edification. The man or woman preaching truth are edified with God and His Spirit while those who rejected the message are left with no edification.

          The scriptures above do not imply that if the hearer is not edified, than the preacher is in the wrong.

          16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. 17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons , and in the market daily with them that met with him . Acts 17

          29 And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Acts 9

          8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 19

          11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

          12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

          13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Ephesians 5

          2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
          2 Timothy 4

          87 Behold, I send you out to reprove the world of all their unrighteous deeds, and to teach them of a judgment which is to come.
          D&C 84

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Log,
    Dear brother, there are times when simply speaking the truth is to oppose error. To fail to oppose error is to tacitly support error. Speaking the truth, at times even with vigor, is no sin.
    JRU

    Like

    • It is true that there are times when simply speaking the truth is to oppose error, which is why I find it interesting to note who opposes the truth when it is spoken, and what justifications they bring to bear in so doing.

      But is it truly the case that failing to oppose error is to tacitly support error? Taken to its logical extreme, would not such a principle mandate eternal contention until all error, as it is supposed, is stamped out?

      Like

      • Even more interesting, would not such a principle, if true and correct, indict God?

        Mosiah 2:21
        21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

        I mean, God even supported Hitler.

        Like

        • he didn’t support him he let him hang himself

          Like

  12. 14 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

    2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

    3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

    4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

    5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

    Among disciples of Christ there should not be disputations. When Jesus said “there shall be no disputations AMONG YOU.” He was speaking to a specific group of people.

    Unfortunately now unbelievers are so mixed in with the believers and so many unbelievers proclaim themselves to be believers and even have persuaded themselves that they are, that only the voice of God can lead one to other sheep. Soon the sifting will come and there will be such a polarized gap that people will know when they are among friends, and at last in the end, only one group will remain.

    I am fully persuaded in my own mind, as our others that disagree. God knows who is eating herbs, and who is fit to eat all things. Some people eat their own dung and enjoy nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. JST 1 Corinthians 8
    1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

    2 And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

    3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

    4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things which are in the world offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing, and that there is nothing, and that there is none other God but one.

    5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge; for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol, and their conscience being weak is defiled.

    8 But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

    9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

    10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

    11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

    12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

    13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

    If our goal is to save souls, then Paul’s counsel here seems wise to observe.

    Doctrine and Covenants 19:31
    31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

    Like

    • I want to be very clear that we can ONLY trust something the Holy Ghost has told us.

      The Holy Ghost has told me that the joseph smith translation of the bible is not all correct and not to be trusted. There are also many falsehoods in the doctrine and covenants. I am not ashamed to declare I know that these things are true. Now this testimony may cause a loss of credibility in many peoples eyes, but I pray that even one person reading this might consider. The doctrine and covenants, JST, pearl of great price and teachings of joseph smith and other modern “prophets” have a lot of truth, and they have falsehoods. One must pray over every doctrine and principle taught and receive an answer from the Holy Ghost in order to “prove all things”.

      This may help you to understand that when people throw so called scriptures around they are pointless. People can throw seemingly contradicting scriptures around and prove nothing. We can only learn Truth by pure revelation from God and in no other way. If we lack revelation on any given subject we cannot claim to know it one way or the other.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if someone might find fault with this teaching?

        At a subsequent period a Shaker spirit was on the point of being introduced, and at another time the Methodist and Presbyterian falling down power, but the spirit was rebuked and put down, and those who would not submit to rule and good order were disfellowshiped. We have also had brethren and sisters who have had the gift of tongues falsely; they would speak in a muttering, unnatural voice, and their bodies be distorted like the Irvingites before alluded to; whereas, there is nothing unnatural in the Spirit of God. A circumstance of this kind took place in Upper Canada, but was rebuked by the presiding Elder; another, a woman near the same place, professed to have the discerning spirits, and began to accuse another sister of things that she was not guilty of, which she said she knew was so by the spirit, but was afterwards proven to be false; she placed herself in the capacity of the “accuser of the brethren,” and no person through the discerning of spirits can bring a charge against another, they must be proven guilty by positive evidence, or they stand clear.

        Or this?

        Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree wholeheartedly that being under a false spirit can do a lot of damage. Hence, the position of the earth today. 1John4 has a test.

          Perhaps even worse is when someone “follows after their own spirit”. They feel at peace and speak to themselves in the mind and think it is the voice of God.

          Very few people have learned that any revelation from God is always accompanied by the burning outpouring of the Holy Ghost. You can feel where the Holy Ghost is sweeping through the body. It is unquestionable. People unfortunately have begun to teach that the fruits of the Spirit, and the Spirit are the same thing.
          The Spirit brings the fruits of the Spirit, but the fruits of the Spirit alone are not the Spirit. I can feel peace, joy, light, love etc without having the Holy Ghost. But some do not like this truth because it exposes to their minds how little revelation they have actually received in their lives.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Perhaps even worse is when someone “follows after their own spirit”. They feel at peace and speak to themselves in the mind and think it is the voice of God.

          That would be a neat trick – if it were true, there would be no need of antidepressants or anxiety meds, and such a capacity would be worth a lot of money therefore. Can you teach others how to feel at peace like that?

          Very few people have learned that any revelation from God is always accompanied by the burning outpouring of the Holy Ghost. You can feel where the Holy Ghost is sweeping through the body. It is unquestionable.

          Is it truly the case that any revelation from God is always accompanied by the burning outpouring of the Holy Ghost?

          People unfortunately have begun to teach that the fruits of the Spirit, and the Spirit are the same thing.

          Who has taught this, and where?

          Like

      • revelation given to you is for you and not for you to decide what should be said is false or not .If the Holy ghost did indeed speak to you than keep it to yourself that he may trust you with other truths

        Liked by 1 person

        • Good comment Rick. Thanks for sharing. What if an individual asks for revelation with the intent of sharing it? In particular, in order to fulfill their responsibility to teach the gospel or proclaim the restoration?

          For example, I pray over my blog posts. I ask the Lord for inspiration, even revelation. I can tell you it comes. It is real. The Lord puts ideas in my mind and helps me flesh them out when I go to write and post them.

          When I was given assignments to speak in wards as a High Counselor I did the same thing. I prayed over the assignment, asked for ideas and could scarcely contain the flow at a rate I could record it. It is real.

          The same thing would happen when I taught the High Priests or when I taught Gospel Doctrine class, or even when I taught in Primary. I asked for revelation, I received it and I shared it because it was authorized.

          But I think I understand your point – some things are not meant to be shared because they are sacred. If they are shared inappropriately, the Lord won’t trust us with further light and knowledge. Or so I believe.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. I recall that there was a war in heaven, wh. has continued even to this day…is it not our duty once we receive the testimony of the Spirit, to speak that truth lest by our very silence we tacitly agree to that wh doth oppose our Lord?
    JRU

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, when you can answer the questions I posed you, you may have your answer.

      Like

  15. I found Tom’s experience, that he related in his above comment, to be similar to mine. I too have received the “Levi Savage” answer to my prayers. (Not sure I would follow it unto death, however.)

    I have had two interesting experiences in the last week that have confirmed the message I received from the Lord that I was to stay put for the time being. (I have to say, it was not what I was expecting the answer to be.)

    1. Our RS has just been reorganized. The bishop came to release me from my present position of teaching in the RS. After 40 years of teaching in that organization I was somewhat disappointed. I wondered if someone had complained because I had been softly introducing some of doctrine I have been learning into the lessons.

    Went I met with the new RS president, I found that was not that case and was ask to act as a substitute and 5th Sunday RS teacher as well as my new calling… which is Humanitarian Service Chairman. She said my name had come to her numerous times during the previous week. Together, we have decided not to take the standard approach but take our services outside of the ward into the community where we can contribute to needs among the poor, who are not of our faith, that are not being met. We have a wonderful plan.

    2. Last week I attended the Book of Mormon Evidences Conference here in Orem at UVU. It was wonderful to say the least. In one of the lectures, the presenter answered several questions that I have had concerning a couple of chapters in Ezekiel. After the lecture, I went to his booth and ask a few more questions and he ask me to sit down and we talked for nearly 45 minutes.

    This gentleman understood very early on (as a child) that he would be a scholar in doctrine and history and his mission would teach “sound” doctrine to many and that his understanding would be vital and much needed in the future.

    I confided that I had been torn and grieved over some of the things that I had seen taking place in the Church Organization. He admitted he had also been concerned as he observed huge discrepancies in doctrine and activity in the leadership. 

He related two experiences, one was about his grandfather’s life. The other was a dream where his grandfather appeared to him. He was told to be “Very Careful” how he represented himself or his information because he had a lot to lose if he unwisely handled his knowledge. He was encouraged to stay within the Church framework.

    He said he was not blind to error in the leadership and it was his responsibility to make correction within his own home. He says that every time some a erroneous doctrine is taught or other nonsense is conveyed, he gathers his family and he shows them by way of scripture and history where the doctrine is wrong. It does not matter from what source the misinformation is coming from… he makes the correction within his family.



    He said that there have been many times that he has had to tell his children they will not be participating or following counsel of the bishop, stake president or conference etc…then shows them why, but is careful how he presents the information as not to condemn his leaders. He confided that nearly every talk from conference contained some faults doctrine.

    He is a humble man and in all his presentations, he teaches “true doctrine” but does not openly oppose his leaders. He is to “Be Careful.” “Those who have ears to hear and eyes to see… will hear and see. Those who are deaf and blind will not.” “You would be surprised how many people have ears to hear.” He said… he would serve within in the framework of the Church unless told other wise.

    (By the way…. he said BYU is just a mess and corrupt doctrine was being taught everyday without being corrected. I have two sisters in the ward who teach at BYU and says the same thing. He personally knows of a Stake President who teaches the doctrine of evolution and is a firm believer in that theory.) Apparently all is NOT WELL in BYU Zion.)

    He cautioned me not to shut my eyes to error, but to serve in the Church, teach correct doctrine and “Be Careful.” And, that there are faults prophets among us.

    The last thing he said to me, as he looked me directly in the eyes. “I want you to know….. I KNOW Christ lives… and that he will not allow his prophets to lead us astray……. for very long.”

    This man was a “Godsend” to me. He was the second witness that what the Lord has told ME to do is the right thing for me, for the time being. I have slept better the last few nights than I have in months.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. My question was rhetorical, not asking for an answer. The Holy Ghost gives answers in many ways, not always (or even often) accompanied by the burning in the bosom. As Isaiah mentioned, the Spirit oft times speaks in a still small voice to those accustomed to hearing it.
    JRU

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helaman 5:30-31

      Even though it is still and small it pierces to the very center. The burning of the Holy Ghost is the still small voice. You can have an outpouring of the Holy Ghost and a person two feet away may not even be aware of it.
      I know what revelations I cannot share Rick because when I am given one that is not to be shared God tells me.
      I actually consider it an act of love to testify that certain things that others believe may be keeping them from spiritual progression.
      To believe in your statement would prohibit any type of missionary work. If I say there are falsehoods in the doctrine and covenants it is not like I am sharing some mystery that is hard to understand. It is simple and perfectly acceptable if someone was willing to receive it.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. A general comment to the previous comments on the Holy Ghost. I would caution all to be careful of their approach and motives when they believe they have learned something from God through the Holy Ghost. My experience suggests that it takes quite a tutorial and patience to discern and differentiate the source of these impressions. The difficulty to using personal evidence of the Holy Ghost is that such impressions are personal and though real to you can and should never be used as a “club” to make another individual conform to your point of view. This is a form of spiritual blackmail, and I don’t believe the Holy Spirit ever uses this tactic. Like priesthood, the Holy Ghost uses kindness, persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, etc. to get through to us. The Adversary, on the other hand, is very persuasive in appealing to one’s ego: he is the great accuser, and the fruits are contention, accusation, the anti-thesis of Christlike virtues. So, when you are tempted to pull the spiritual trumpcard of “God” told me this, or that, please be cautious of what your real motives are. As Log mentioned above, if what you are bandying about as “Revelation” is not leading souls to humility unto repentance, then what is the real purpose? To puff up your own ego at the expense of your brothers & sisters in Christ? Remember that if two individuals come up with what they are sure is revelation, but those two ideas are polar opposites, then by logic both ideas cannot be right (they may both be wrong). Getting revelation through the Holy Ghost is a great aid to us, but one needs to pray for humility to accompany us in our journey, lest we get carried away in our own pride, and that very revelation redounds to our condemnation rather than our exaltation. Remember that before the Kirtland Temple was dedicated, many of the 12 had remarkable spiritual experiences, but within a year after the dedication 9 of the 12 had apostatized. Why is that? I believe because once we start getting some remarkable spiritual experiences, the Adversary can plant the notion into our head, if we are not humble, that we are great and mighty Saints, extraordinary and special, etc.,etc. This is the sickening reality that many Sants surrounding Joseph Smith fell into: thinking at every turn that they knew better than the Prophet how to lead the church. In that state, unless we repent with all humility, we are on the highway to spiritual oblivion. God bless all those who post on this blog. Peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Karl

      I believe you have valid points and that we must be careful how revelations are shared.

      The person sharing is always responsible for his or her own relationship with God and will be judged accordingly. The person who hears or reads a message is also responsible to analyze the teaching independent of the messenger. If there is a message that we read and we cannot say we know for certain if it is true or not then my opinion is it should not be dismissed.

      This has been a rough road for me. I used to be the TBM arguing that everything was perfect and justified in the church etc. After God had cut me down and cut me down I have arrived at a point where I will literally pray about ANYTHING that I have not received a clear answer on. We must set biases aside and realize that defending a position that we do not have a sure knowledge of is not really a worthy cause. Although we will all be judged according to our hearts anyway.

      I am eternally grateful to people who have testified of hard truths, even if at first it angered me and I thought they were bonkers. My favorite thing is to hear of others revelations. Especially the ones that seem to contradict my own because it provides an opportunity to see if both can be harmonized and perhaps shed new light on a subject. I do not cling to anything so strongly that it cannot be clarified or added upon, or even taken away from to a degree if it means seeing the bigger picture more clearly. I can’t, because I tried that with the LDS church and God through His mercy proved me wrong. If I think I know it all God quickly gives a revelation that throws me for a loop.

      I have a testimony of multiple mortal probations now. I know it is a true principle. When I first learned it by the Spirit I had so many questions that almost hurt, but slowly I got answers line upon line.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is interesting that Eliza R S Smith reportedly discussed “plural mortal expiations” as a principle she reportedly said Joseph discussed with her. At about the same time, other Kabbalistic ideas were entertained by him at the end of his life. The Jews call it Gilgul and believe they are the same spirits which occupied the bodies of those at Mount Sinai. We have our own form of it with the “pre-existence” and “being set apart for the last dispensation.” Eliza said Joseph said we move along progressively from dispensation to dispensation and it makes perfect sense to me. Inclusive Mormon reasoning mostly rejects such ideas because it isn’t found with plainness in the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants, but are mysteries supposed to be plain and common? It also poses a threat to our Roman Christian ideas of heaven vs hell and other such ideas. The old false doctrine of our Plan of Salvation Chart rooted the ideas of linear progression with eternal damnation into our tidy Mormon heads. An expiation is an atonement. Atonement is progress back to G-d. The Jews call each of their iterations on earth a tsar (Yiddish for sorrow). Now, what can we do with such ideas for ourselves? Does it expand our minds our create confusion?

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Tom, Rick, Salem, Kathryn, Karl etc

    I was intrigued by your conversation. I have wondered on many of those things about the Jewish faith that perhaps should have been incorporated into Mormonism. Paul in the New Testament spoke of having to be in Jerusalem for the Day of Pentecost and they continually went to the Jewish temples to do something…

    On a different note, I wanted to just give one alternative view about something you were discussing. You all felt prompted to stay in the LDS church, which to me is perfectly believable and fine.
    I just wanted to suggest that when Nephi was shown that “there are save two churches only, the one is the church… Etc”, that perhaps he was shown something different than most have thought about. Jesus has said that He knows His sheep, and they are numbered. He spoke all through the scriptures about how He would gather His sheep and His jewels and separate the wheat etc. in the New Testament we read about thousands accepted the gospel “who were ordained” to do so. Paul spoke of predestination (not in a way that negates free agency or creates inevitability).
    In the doctrine in covenants it states. “You are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts”. All of these scriptures point to the fact that God know who will accept the gospel and when.

    It is my belief that the two churches Nephi saw consisted of the sheep and the elect, which are spread throughout the world in any number of religions, some could even be atheist… And the other church is everyone else…
    God does not see us as members of particular religions.. He simply knows us. He knows our spirits. He could convert an elect soul in a second because that soul has acted in faith for eons of time before this mortal lifetime and has gained sufficient attributes that when the Holy Ghost actually carries the truth to that soul he or she will resonate with the truth and love it.
    Anyway I am sure all of us have met people from other faiths that we just know are elect souls. Are they not members of God’s church?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The concentric spheres by Tom of Irvine . . .

    Starting from the center and then going radially outward…

    1. We are individuals. Each individual must humbly go before the Lord to work out his or her own salvation. (Mormon 9:27)

    2. The family is the basic unit of the LDS Church. A man must enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in order to reach the highest level in the Celestial Kingdom (Family Proclamation, DC 131:1-2, etc.)

    3. We are part of a Ward. The bishop presides over the weekly sacrament which is most sacred time of the week for us (even if we have had our calling and election made sure with a personal encounter with the Savior in the Temple that week). Also, the bishop has keys regarding collection of tithing, first level temple recommend interview, etc. He has these keys even if he sometimes makes mistakes.

    4. We are part of Stake. The Stake President holds keys over our second temple recommend interview, conferring the Melchizedek priesthood, calling bishops, patriarchal blessings, etc. He has these keys even if he sometimes makes mistakes.

    5. We our members The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The First Presidency and Quorum of Apostles hold keys to preside over Temples, missionary work, calling Stake Presidents, receiving revelation for the whole Church, etc. They have these keys even if they sometimes make mistakes.

    Now most LDS Church members stop at number 5. But wait there is another sphere….

    6. The House of Israel!

    3 Nephi 30

    [1] Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

    [2] Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

    * * *

    The House of Israel predates the establishment of the LDS Church and will continue on throughout eternity. The LDS Church by its very name is limited to the Latter-day dispensation which will presumably end when Christ returns to the Earth and establishes his Kingdom anew from the gathered tribes of Israel. He may well call his renewed Kingdom as the Church of the Firstborn.

    Sphere no. 6 is where we reunite with the Jews who are God’s “ancient covenant people.” (2 Nephi 29:4-6)

    Do the Jews need baptism? Yes. That is why they have a mikveh bath.

    Do the Jews need priesthood? Yes. They have the Levitical priesthood.

    Of what possible use are the Jews to the Ephraimite LDS Church? Well, to start with, they have given us the Messiah and the Bible. (2 Nephi 29:4-6)

    But Ephraim has the birthright! True, but Judah and Ephraim ultimately have coequal roles.

    The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:13)

    But the LDS Church is Zion!

    (Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem just outside the walls of the Old City. Mount Zion has been historically associated with the Temple Mount.)

    And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that thank you. I am going to look into the Jews having the Levitical Priesthood. This must mean mixed blood lines with the Levites and priestly lineage which I am sure exists.

      The question that may have been implied is whether or not there are a lot of members of the LDS church that are not members of God’s church? Just food for thought. I am going to have to check out your website. Good info.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Tom, it makes sense also to me. The House of Israel circle has been with us since the start of Joseph’s marvelous work. It’s odd we have neglected it, but that’s what correlation does.

      The two types of reasoning I can get my brain around are deductive and inclusive reasoning. I believe members of the church prefer the inclusive; by having everything neatly tied up in a bow because, for example: “I know the Church is true,” and we have the answers. But many questions about the restoration gnaw at me constantly including the “how” parts of bringing in Messiah. Avraham Gileadi’s books have affected me deeply over the past two and one half years. My friends in Brooklyn today are busy celebrating Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) and remembering G-d’s protection of them as they fled out of Egypt, but they have almost no recognition of their likable Sabbath Gentile. Don’t I need to remember G-d too? Aren’t I in one of those lost ten tribes you talk about? They remember me when it’s time to get back to work or to turn off a heater for them in a stuffy upstairs bedroom. When I ask them my gnawing questions it gets them to think about what will become of me when they are happily in the presence of Messiah, but they still mostly think Mormon Christians and others will be separate from them. At first they simply referred me to the 7 Noahide Laws and that was, well, “that.”

      WAIT A MINUTE, I asked urgently, “when Messiah comes, I will want to be like Him. Right?” They nod yes. “If I desire to be like Him and do as he says, will he deny me a place at the feast with you?” They acknowledge with a tacit “no.” “OK@#$%, why then would I be satisfied with the lower 7 Noahide Laws? Who made up that rule?” Like our “Follow the Brethren” Mormon counterparts, they say, “G-d says so.” Why? Because their rabbis said G-d said so. I don’t give up. I tell them (because they’ve never thought about it) the wonderful connections between the House of Israel, England, the founding of the United States and the split tribes of Joseph and our roles in the bringing of Messiah. Like Mormons they are interested and mildly thoughtful about it, but it’s mostly new information. It has to sink in. As Gileadi rightly points out in his books, the “Marvelous Work and a Wonder” was scarcely begun by Joseph because most of the work for us is still future. Hmm…our foolish leaders scourged him for such things, but that is for another story.

      So here we have it. A whole big deductive puzzle in front of us to solve. What will become of us (the Brighamite Mormons)? How will we include all the House of Israel in our circle? Will there be other rival branches of Ephraim to include? Will we have too much pride (as if we haven’t already exhibited pride) to include others? What of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon? What about the Mosaic Law parts which have not been done away? Just because we keep a whole bunch of Roman Christianity rules, is it still a good idea to do it that way? Do we need any more recognition from the World. When does the law of diminishing returns start to kick in?

      “OK, why then would I be satisfied with the 7 Noahide Laws? Who made up that rule?” One of the more thoughtful looked at me seriously and said, “you’ve told us a lot about why we and you are similar with the same goal of Messiah and all. If you are going to come to the light (with the 10 Commandments and the Torah) why not come all the way to the light?” His challenge has changed me.

      The Lord is making us uncomfortable with traditional Brighamite Mormon thinking. It no longer makes sense to continue as we were without drastic big changes. Here we are talking around the edges of a major revolution in our collective thinking which will affect every one of us (leader or not). For me, Denver Snuffer is not “the answer,” because so much more is necessary. Tim, I personally wish you hadn’t resigned from our church, but I am awfully grateful to you and all in this cyber community for including me. I am confident you (Tim) are not “lost.”

      Jonathan

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s only a matter of time for our silly (and immoral) ideas like correlation and the “Strengthening Church Members Committee” to be swept away. There won’t be time to think about them because so much will be sweeping us along.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I wish you could come to my priesthood quorum and liven things up! Keep those brain cells firing; your mental acuity is inspiring.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Karl and All

    There is no doubt that the ability to hear God’s message is a personal one and can be difficult to discern from which source that message comes from. Yes, I believe we can be mislead.

    I feel it is important to learn how the true spirit talks to YOU as an individual. One person may hear a voice in their mind. Another may feel an over whelming peace… etc. My pattern of discernment may be different than yours. I feel the Lord is merciful in the personal way he delivers messages so we individually know His voice.

    Tim says he hears an audible voice in his mind. That has only happened twice for me and there was not doubt at all what it was. The first time it was a full on conversation because I argued. I could not believe what I was hearing. But… reluctantly I obeyed and the reason for the message was not revealed until several years later…. and it came in a huge “Ah Ha… got it.” The second time, the voice in my head was clear and unmistakable. I acted promptly, without question, and the results were immediate.

    My usual pattern is a strong feeling and peace. Then the “natural man” takes over and I begin to wonder….. “Did I hear it right? What if the message was from the adversary….etc.” I may laps into this routine for several weeks. The Lord in his mercy, begins to send physical witnesses as a confirmation of the original message. (I have had incredible witnesses come forth.) This pattern seems to be my MO and I have learned to trust it. It seems to be the way I hear his message best.

    I don’t feel it’s my place to challenge another’s message or from what source it comes from. It is their experience. The experience or learning process of discernment is between them and the Lord… even if they stumble.

    I find it interesting that the Lord has to send messengers or prophets at all. The fact he does send them show the weakness of the natural man. It seem to our nature to look for someone outside of ourselves for the word. This issue certainly existed in the early church. There are many examples where Joseph tried to wean them off their dependence upon him and make them independent followers of Christ and the principles of the restored gospel….. but they would not.

    Again… the weakness of men want a leader, one they can depend on to take full responsibility….one that will tell them everything to do….one they can admire and adore, one they can say…. “Guess who lives in my ward?”….. etc. etc.

    
I feel the LDS church has made the saints lazy and dependent through the “mantras” that we repeatedly hear and have no intent to change that mode of operation. Dangerous business. If methods of communication go down….then what?

    

Wouldn’t it be exciting if they said… “We will give no more direction or advice from now on. You have the scriptures and the restored gospel. Now get busy, study and develop your relationship with the Lord. He will tell you directly what YOU should be doing to prepare for Zion.”

    If we were cut off from the brethren… for what ever reason… talk about weeping and wailing because most would be forced off of the “hind tit.”

    I believe, no matter the messenger, we eventually must become independent of the messenger and depend upon direct instructions directly from the Lord…. then we will be ready for any future event.

    Now… that is a challenge.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good Sister Kathryn,

      Thank you for sharing such a well composed message of truth. Your brother.

      Roy

      Like

  21. Tim,

    This is my first time reading your blog. I saw reference to it from Rock Waterman.

    Are you familiar with this blog post?

    http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/an-evening-in-boise-with-denver-snuffer-part-one/

    It’s from a very committed church historian that takes issues with Denver’s claims. Not from an apologetic’s standpoint, but from a church history and scriptural standpoint.

    Would love to read your comments on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started reading OneWhoIsWatching. Wow. How deep is this well I wonder. For a long time I have been curious and stunned at the number of gifts and blessings accumulated by the Jews as a people. Their chosen-ness is obvious in some ways. So it is with the Lord’s other “chosen” and these blogs (there are so many of them) is another example of gifts. Thank you for introducing me to OneWhoIsWatching.

      Jonathan

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome Jonathan.

        That well is pretty deep. I’ve maybe read 60% of what’s there. There’s so much to read, ponder, pray and search the scriptures over.

        I have to say, that there have been several mind-altering discoveries that have come from studying the scriptures along with what has been proposed there.

        Enjoy!

        Ryan

        Like

    • Hi Ryan. Yes, there are several reviews out there of Denver’s work – his writings and his lectures. I hope the authors of the rebuttals on FAIR will continue their work. It’s good to see both sides of things, or so I believe. I love honest inquiry and comparative research.

      Like

  22. Wow, Tim, you really kicked off a deep and interesting discussion. Keep up the good work. Your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. After reading all of these comments and all the differing views of how to feel the spirit, there has never been more of a need for a reformation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol your comment was just vague enough as not give us a hint as to what your opinion is in the matter.

      Regardless. I agree with your comment 100 percent. Call it reformation, restoration, awakening, or just the Truth of God being shared in a manner that is plain and with power from God to back it up, we definitely need it. I pray continually for it. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  24. The drive for doctrinal conformity is a major factor in how we got where we are today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Is your statement doctrine? : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • My statement is history. I recommend reading “The World and the Prophets” as well as “Mormonism and Early Christianity” to those who are interested in the course the primitive Christian church took away from Zion as a historical matter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed, the drive for doctrinal conformity is interesting to observe.

          Whether one styles it as “an act of love,” “combating error,” “a court of love,” “correlation,” or “holding a doctrinal synod or council,” many seem to agree it is proper and necessary to make others agree with them, and the only point they disagree on is whose views shall prevail.

          Liked by 1 person

        • After reading Log’s (well- and sharp-) pointed reply, I can see the appeal for “following the brethren” because then I needn’t think on my own; there is no need for pain. FTB has had the advantage of keeping a lid on us without much controversy in the ranks. Most of us have not been doing our deep inquiring very long (at least that’s true in my case). I always just put everything on that shelf. I was such a nice guy 11 years ago. What happened to my world? It was so tidy before then.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. Came back to take a peak, very much enjoyed comments by so many on this post. Truth seemed to build with inspired momentum towards the tail end. Still believe what we have been told that the body of Christ is and should be the representation of “a UNITY of faith” Kathryn, speaks beautifully of how and where this is best obtained. The cleansing is coming quickly. May we all be fortified in Christ.. Jared

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Language warning on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBiQE4hjOsk

    Feel free to not watch it. However, the satirical approach the video narrator is taking towards reviewing the singing skills of the kids involved is the non-satirical approach people inside and outside the Church take towards striving for doctrinal uniformity. The only difference between the know-it-alls in the Church and those outside of it is who has the bully pulpit. The attitudes of mockery, scorn, pride, and vanity remain the same for both camps. The driving force is the same on both sides – insecurity. Wanting to be assured of acceptance, wanting to be accepted as an authority, wanting to no longer fear the possibility of being wrong, as if numeriority implied correctness. Striving for the day when “none dare molest or make afraid,” indeed.

    The cry is “if ye are not one, ye are not mine!” Surely this is true. However, the contrapositive of this statement is “if ye are mine then ye are one.” It is not “if ye are one then ye are mine.” Thus we may discern a fundamental error. Unity is necessary to be Christ’s, and unity is not sufficient to be Christ’s. Any number of people may agree on any number of topics and yet not be Christ’s. On the other hand, all who are Christ’s will agree as one in all things, and this without compulsion or coercion. This unity is the product of being one in God, and having the Comforter dwelling in them. Being one in God, and having the Comforter dwelling in them, is NOT the product of the imposition of doctrinal uniformity. Creeds are abusive, whether in or out of the Church.

    Nobody likes having their behavior dictated UNLESS it is absolutely necessary for their good. Therefore God has commanded exactly one law – all things you want / wish / desire men to do to you, do it to them. ALL other commandments and precepts are but pedagogical examples of how we can, and how we cannot, keep this law.

    Nobody likes being commanded in their beliefs UNLESS it is absolutely necessary for their good. Therefore God has commanded exactly one belief – that you believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    What characterizes the church, or the community, of God? Just this.

    Mosiah 25
    22 And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God.

    That teaching, repentance and faith in God, characterizes the true church of God, or the community of those upon whose hearts he has written his law. Repentance is entirely ceasing your abuse of your fellow man, and keeping the Golden Rule, while faith is believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and hearkening to his words.

    Doctrine and Covenants 19:31
    31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

    That was the commandment of God to his servant Martin Harris; inasmuch as we are his servants, we either do and teach what we are told and are rid of the blood and sins of our generation, or we scatter his children because of our vanity and pride and bring their blood upon our garments. God does not have double standards – what he says unto one, he says unto all.

    This is a public forum, and each must figure out for themselves how they ought to conduct themselves. However, inasmuch as we style ourselves inspired teachers we had ought to keep these things in mind.

    2 Nephi 9:48
    48 Behold, if ye were holy I would speak unto you of holiness; but as ye are not holy, and ye look upon me as a teacher, it must needs be expedient that I teach you the consequences of sin.

    Alma 12:9
    9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

    A true priest uses persuasion through pure knowledge with real love, and keeps the commandments always.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Amen, Log. I thought about adding a bunch of comments reaffirming my belief your words are true, but feel to share this from Jon McNaughton instead. I don’t think he will mind me sharing this here as well as the original source:

      “I wanted to share something here regarding all those involved in this group. I had a strong spiritual impression yesterday that I can’t get off my mind. Those of you here that have begun this journey to find your spirituality beyond what the Church can offer, may not realize the significance of the choices you are making. Many in this association, the Lord is preparing to be a part of an important work that was foretold in the scriptures.

      “Revelation 14:1 …”And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” and also 14:12 …’Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ The name in their foreheads refers to their anointing and these are they who shall be a part of the gathering of Zion before Christ’s coming.

      “I felt a strong impression that WE are not focusing on what is important. Many of the conversations on this page have to do with our frustrations with the Church. We laugh and joke about improprieties and look for as much negative as we can find to validate our positions. (I’ve been guilty of that.) The Spirit told me strongly that this is NOT where our focus should be. We need to be focused on developing our spiritual gifts. We need to be praying and asking God relentlessly for revelation and knowledge that will lift us and prepare us for what is coming.

      “We spend too much time leaning on Denver and others instead of the Lord. You say, “But they know stuff.” How do you think they learned it? You need to trust in the Lord to receive for yourself. You may ask, “But how do I receive these revelations?” You start by listening carefully to the thoughts that enter your mind after asking sincere questions. Then write it down and ask God if it was a true revelation. As you develop you spiritual gifts they GROW. We all need to be talking about these kind of things MORE. Each of YOU should be a prophet or prophetess! Ask God if what I’m saying is true. This is all I’m going to write today. I love all you. Jon”

      Source: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ldsremnant/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tim, I have been away for awhile for this very reason, the spirit told me to STOP looking to others for answers and or recognition, seek these thing of the Lord and the Lord only and they will be given. And they have, I have enjoyed great spiritual blessings these past few weeks
        Your brother in Christ.!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Log, Zion is one heart and one mind. It is to easy to be mostly head and lip service to heart when we step out side the “framework”. Jon’s Observation of the “community” probably speaks of this? Christ is king! he is our foremost focus. As I listen to modern day leaders messages with faith and not fear– the fruit is: Christ grows and does not dimminish in my life. It is too easy to be relegated to the camp of those who are learned” but struggle in the ” hearken camp because they knowingly “trifle” love and hope for all of us, Jared

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      • I am afraid I do not understand your comment.

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  27. Oh God our Father

    Hear my prayer for mercy. May grace be shed upon my soul. May mercy and grace be given to those who have wronged me, and who I have wronged.
    I pray Lord of heaven for the souls of Israel, that they will turn their hearts to Thee, and that their sins and idolatry will be forgotten for they Names sake. Blessed is the name of the Most High, who continually stretches forth His arms in mercy. I am weak, and sins and temptations continually reach for me, and often I am beset with pride and think I have done something of myself.
    All goodness is of Thee. Thou art the Author of faith. Thou art the Master and King of Creation, and I can do nothing of myself. All glory be to Thee forever.
    May the earth be blessed once again with The Spirit of The Lord! May the brightness of His coming cause the wicked to tremble, and those who have trusted in Thee since the beginning rejoice in the time of judgement and restitution! All darkness will flee, and Thy Spirit will cleanse the very earth of pollution and filth.
    God forgive Thine elect. Forgive thy servants and laborers who know not who they are, though many are still bound in idolatry. I trust in Thy power to gather the laborers and then the fruit into Thine arms. Please bless the ends of the earth that they might hear Thy voice again, and respond to their everlasting glory, or to their peril. May the sifting now take place with great power. Thy will be done, Thy kingdoms come now in our hearts, and spread from there. Amen

    Forgive me any who I have wronged on this blog. May the 144000 be ready. The great day of God is upon us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. Simply wow. My eyes are wet with tears as I write this. Thank you. Thank you.

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    • Amen and Amen!

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  28. Tim and All
    I share this for one reason and that is to recognize God and the great blessings He is bestowing upon us.
    I am a divorced man, single now fro over eight years, I didn’t know the below was even possible to me. These are some of the words I received from the Lord 3 weeks ago after and during much study and prayer.
    This was part of my experience in having my calling and election made sure.

    Verily, thus saith the Lord, receive his will concerning you!
    Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.
    Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friend that it may abide in your heart, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
    This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
    Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son.

    You may recognize them as a personalized version of D&C 88:1-5
    AGAIN, I share this only to praise God and give hope to any who need to hear it! These things are real and happening NOW!

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    • John D, I am not surprised. Congratulations:) you are an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing. Love for you, Jared

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  29. Log
    No, I did NOT receive the second comforter! I’m not sure He could get me to leave once given a visit to everlasting burnings. 🙂

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    • John thanks for sharing. I know it is true. God bless. So many wonderful things happening to so many. Many are being called and chosen. Soon they will be sent. I love it.

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  30. Sitting in hundreds of bishopric meetings over the years, we read more from the handbook than we did from scriptures. I’m grateful when I served on the High Council to have had a Stake President who recognized that problem and insisted we read from the scriptures in our High Council meetings. But at the Bishopric level in two stakes, reading from the handbook was on the weekly agenda. How I missed reading from the scriptures. I asked one time why we couldn’t just read the scriptures and then sit and discuss them. The answer: That’s what your High Priest Group meeting was for. Nope. Sorry. Never happened. Always had to “teach the assigned lesson.”

    I’ve been reading Bret’s book every night – very slowly. This quote hits home for me. I just had to share it. When I thought I was ready to get my temple reccomend back – having resolved in my own mind and heart how I would answer the “affiliation” question – I was confronted with “but you don’t sustain the brethren.” I was shocked. Reading this quote tonight explains the problem and why I finally felt I had to resign. My worthiness was being judged by how well fifteen men were doing in their role as leaders of the LDS Church. It was the final straw for me that opened my eyes to what we had become – a church where perceived attitudes outweighed coming unto Christ.

    “Today, some local leaders refer to the policy manual as if it were scripture. Rules, regulations, codes, and protocols are accessed first instead of immediately turning to Jesus Christ for specific guidance. Global policies supposedly trump local inspiration, and universal conformity is expected regardless of unique purpose and context. Of what value is the mantra to “follow the Spirit” if local leaders think the brethren have already decided all the answers? There are of course, many leaders doing the best they can in their unique stewardships. The problem is usually not the heart of the local leader, but the hierarchal management system they labor within.

    “The process for obtaining a temple recommend offers one example of how religious standardization and uninspired uniformity can at times negate the will of God. Perhaps with membership growing in so many third‐world countries, there’s just no other practical method for young local leaders to determine worthiness. And yet passing a questionnaire with “yes” and “no” answers is incredibly similar to the laws of rote obedience enforced by the Jewish Pharisees. Included in this global litmus test are questions about a member’s willingness to sustain other men in their callings. The person being interviewed must agree, (even though there is no real evidence of seership, prophecy, or additional revelation), that the church is indeed led by prophets, seers, and revelators. Very few notice how odd it is that a member’s “worthiness” is imagined to be directly connected to the effectiveness of the brethren in fulfilling their apostolic calling. Despite a church history where previous leaders struggled spiritually and/or apostatized, a broad stroke of support and agreement must be professed by the member—or the result is to be banned from the temple.

    “What is a soul to do when he or she prefers to stand in the truth and “please God,” rather than just be “recommended” of men? It has been the experience of some that simply observing that we as a church have not received additional prophecy or scripture for many years, will result in losing temple privileges. It is unclear how mentioning the truth makes a member “unworthy,” but perhaps the greater problem is the assessment tool utilized by other men to determine “worthiness.”

    Source: Bret Corbridge, 77 Truths, page 190

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did I tell you this one? I helped produce an amazing choir performance 2+ years ago in my area. A young gifted conductor wanted my help to manage the singers and do all possible to promote it. Since it was a regional choir made up of 200 singers we performed more than once in more than one stake center. To accomplish the goals, I thought it a good idea to have posters printed in order to get the word out. In order to pay for the posters I signed the contract with the printer after going to my stake leaders to discuss having a professional recording made of the performance by another gifted audio man. The plan was to sell the recording back to the choir members and their families for $10. You see, I called Salt Lake to make sure I could do the recording on their property. They said the process would take 90 days for approvals and that I needed the copyright release from the composer and publisher. I told them I could get the release, but the 90 days was a problem. The helpful brother on the phone said, “there is the possibility of you obtaining permission at the local stake level.” “Thanks, ” I said and got in touch with our local stake presidency. Permission was granted and I did my job. On the night of the performance (2 hours prior) I was called into the stake president’s office. The stake president wasn’t happy to deliver the news and to lower the boom on me, but he did it anyway. He explained he’d been out of town when his counselor granted the permission and that after reading the handbook of instruction etc he had come to a different conclusion. What? We were thus denied the right to record the performance inside his stake center and there was nothing I could say to persuade him otherwise even after explaining everything to him in detail. The handbook rules again. His only consolation was to say he would have taken the $860 out of the stake budget for the posters and flyers, but he knew such a misuse of money would go against the book.

      Even after experiencing that, I was so grateful to have been part of the experience of the 200+ voice choir I didn’t care much even after having egg on my face. The singers were very disappointed, but the posters did the trick. Performance after performance was a big success and the final performance drew 1,462 people in addition to the 200 singers in the hall. We were beyond the fire code and I’ve wondered since how that fact reconciled with the handbook 🙂 . Regrettably at the time I was unemployed and losing my house also, but (not to worry) I have been paying $17.38 per week for a while now to pay off the debt which resulted from a strict interpretation of the book of books. I am grateful also (really) for not feeling any bitterness toward my fellow Telestial world traveler, but the experience was instructive for me.

      If I have the chance to do it again I will accept and produce the choir 🙂 sans the posters and handbills.

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