The Holy Spirit of Promise


Sun-Behind-Clouds-Over-OceanI continue to ponder the dialog in one of the last High Priest Group meetings I attended. The lesson was on marriage. The discussion focused on the temple sealing ordinance. I was a little concerned by the comments I was hearing from the brethren in the group about how grateful they were to have been sealed in the temple. While I too was and am grateful to have been married in the temple, I felt impressed, deeply impressed, to share the first part of D&C 132:19 to consider.

After reading the scripture, I made my point, which is this: It doesn’t matter what ordinances we have received in the temple. If they are not sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, they are null and void in the world to come. According to the words of the revelation, such marriages “are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead.” They must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. That phrase must be important. It is used four times in the revelation.

As I’ve noted previously, I was profoundly shocked by the response from some brethren in the group as they proceeded to castigate me for bringing up the phrase and ascribing importance to the necessity of receiving such a promise. The subject turned to the tradition of “following the prophet” and that whatever was done in the temple was permanent. I didn’t bother to quote any of the words of prophets that state just the opposite, but I’ll add two of them here for emphasis.

Holy Spirit of Promise Required

“The sealing of earthly covenants and performances is conditional and depends upon the recipient’s personal commitment and worthiness. If a person who has received the Holy Spirit of Promise subsequently becomes unrighteous, the seal is broken until full repentance and forgiveness occur.” (Joseph Fielding Smith)

The Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit of Promise (Acts 2:33). He confirms as acceptable to God the righteous acts, ordinances, and covenants of men. The Holy Spirit of Promise witnesses to the Father the saving ordinances have been performed properly and that the covenants associated with them have been kept. (LDS Guide to the Scriptures)

Update: A friend has shared a paper with me that demonstrates the Holy Ghost is NOT the Holy Spirit of Promise, but is something more profound. I have asked permission to share the paper. He agreed. Here is the link. It is from Nelson Whiting. In short, the paper proposes the Holy Spirit of Promise is the Second Comforter. The logic seemed sound as I read it.

There are way too many LDS members under the false assumption that just because they have gone to the Temple they have made it. This is not true. A temple sealing is just the beginning of the journey. From there they must go on in righteousness until that temple sealing is ‘sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise’ as are all the other ordinances in a person’s life.

A Recent Online Conversation

“…I am worried about what you might do with your marriage. Just as you have given up your relationship with the church the Savior restored, might you someday come to a similar conclusion about your marriage to someone who may remain an unbeliever of your new path? What will happen if you conclude that the temple ordinance that bound you together for all eternity was without proper authorization, just like your original baptism? You covenanted before God in the temple to be dedicated to her forever and to work together for eternal goals.

“You have now rejected things that would have been shocking to you earlier. Please don’t ever give up on the imperfect people in your marriage, and always maintain this covenant of eternal family. Then, no matter where your thinking takes you, you will have a chance at those eternal blessings with your wife and posterity. Of course, success in marriage takes two, and what might happen if your wife sees you rejecting your former covenants? You’ve got yourself into a sticky situation, but I trust you will always trust in God, and that means hope is never extinguished.”

My Response to Such Judgment

“D&C 132:19 – And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection;

“The LDS Church does not control the priesthood, the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit of Promise. That covenant made before God, angels and witnesses is in full force, just as is the authority of the priesthood I received from my father, just as are the blessings of the Holy Ghost, who abides with me still. The LDS Church does not have a monopoly on these things. God controls them.”

Reply from My Online Friend

“I’m glad your new views encourage you to keep that covenant. It is worrisome to people like me that you no longer recognize the divinity in certain aspects of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, and it makes us wonder what you might reject in the future as your new beliefs develop.”

Nothing Has Been Lost

I did not get re-baptized because I felt my original baptism was invalid. I got re-baptized as a sign to the Lord I accepted of his messenger and the message delivered. In spite of what any local or general authority of the LDS Church may say, my resignation was from a church that, because of unrighteous dominion, recently lost the right to claim they are led by the priesthood.

I did not turn my back on my God or the Lord. I did not turn my back on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, repentance, baptism and receipt of the Holy Ghost are all required by the Savior. The Lord works though whatever means he desires to bring about his righteous purposes. One of His purposes is to establish Zion. That will NOT come about through a large institutional church.

Marriage Can and Should be Eternal

My marriage is of the utmost importance to me. I strive to serve my sweetheart in every way I can. The Lord looks upon marriage filled with love as being fruit worthy to preserve. I desire that great blessing and will continue to do all within my power to unite two souls – man and woman – in the way God intended it. He has a hand in my marriage. He makes it clear to me every day.

A covenant or vow must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise to be made eternal. We have prayed for that blessing almost every day of our married lives and continue to do so. Nothing has changed. The promises remain intact. I have them memorized and can quote them. The Lord has made it clear to me I have done the right thing even if others disagree. Only He can judge me.

The Example of Loving Parents

I share the following because the Lord asked me to. I’m just a regular guy. I’m nobody special. I was born to parents who loved me and taught me the gospel. That is a joy to my soul. My parents were not perfect. They disagreed and argued about various things just as all married couples do. Yet I know they loved each other. They forgave each other often. They told me they loved each other. I could see they loved each other. They had their problems but love kept them together.

I have tried to pattern my marriage after their example. From my father I learned how important it is to express love often. He did a better job at buying flowers and cards for mother because he knew she appreciated them. He rarely if ever raised his voice at her or caused her to feel in any way unloved. He bit his tongue. He went for long walks when he needed to blow off steam. He did everything he could to encourage my mother and help her find happiness in this life.

Receiving the Holy Spirit of Promise

I love Carol. We do not currently agree on some matters of LDS Church history. She has a long tradition in her family of Mormonism. Her great-great grandparents joined the LDS Church in the mid 1800’s, after the time of Joseph. They crossed the plains and settled in Brigham City, Mantua, Plain City and in Paradise, Cache Valley, Utah. My mother was raised a Presbyterian and my father a Baptist. They came from Oklahoma in the mid 1950’s to live here in California.

Mother and Dad joined the LDS Church in 1962. We all went to the temple in 1963 to be sealed as a family. I was married in the Los Angeles temple in 1982. Carol and I have had our ups and downs but I believe we are still committed to each other in spite of my recent resignation from the LDS Church. Because this has been on my mind, I asked the Lord in prayer last night if the Holy Spirit of Promise was present in our marriage. The answer: “Yes, you have that promise.”

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

I guess is always comes down to hearing the voice of the Lord. Am I so different from others in that I hear the Lord speak to me in my mind and am certain it is His voice I am hearing? I think not. The Lord has promised He will answer us when we pray and ask in faith, nothing doubting. It does not matter what any local authority or general authority of the LDS Church has to say on this most important subject. This covenant is between me, Carol and the Lord. His voice matters.

If you have resigned from or have been excommunicated from the LDS Church for apostasy, I urge you to take a moment in prayer and confirm your promises with the Lord. You will find they are intact. You can continue to take the sacrament each week in your home. You can go to the Lord in the true order of prayer before an altar you have dedicated to Him for this purpose. You can join with and worship the Lord in new communities that are forming all over the world.

Join With Those Seeking Zion

I invite you to join in a conference that has been called to take place on the Grand Mesa in May of 2015. Anyone can call a conference. Bret felt inspired to do so. I hope and pray we will join in partaking of the sacrament together at the conference. There will be three days of activities, with selected speakers, sacred music and worshipful activities, including time to approach the Lord in prayer, in sacred places, in small groups. I intend to be there to petition the Lord to bless others.

I want to reiterate what the Lord has revealed to my soul, as he has to others. Zion will not be established by a large institutional, hierarchical organization. It will be established in small groups that gather in humility in homes or parks or up on mesas. Zion will be gathered first to the tops of the mountains. The opportunity exists today for us to rise up and prepare ourselves to be with the Lord. He will come and make His abode with those who seek Him in constant prayer.

Forgiveness


Woman-At-The-Well3 Nephi 12:21-24
Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God; but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.

For some, who have yet to receive the baptism of fire, this might be the one thing holding you back. Put the Lord to the test and see if he doesn’t receive you when you do exactly this.

D&C 64:8-10
My disciples, in days of old, sought occasion against one another and forgave not one another in their hearts; and for this evil they were afflicted and sorely chastened. Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin. I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

This gives one a thing to check on if one is being afflicted and sorely chastened. This passage also implies, logically, that in the end, the only real sin is not forgiving others of all their trespasses. That, in turn, leads one to the conclusion that it is lack of forgiveness that characterizes those who are cast out.

I knew a man, upward of 10 years ago, who was cast out of his home by his soon-to-be-ex-wife. He felt betrayed by her; a burning coal of pain was placed in his heart and he had no relief from it. She owed him! And he obsessed about it for a couple of weeks, until it occurred to him that given the way he felt about her, they could not both be exalted, for the exalted dwell in unity and harmony, mutually indwelling, knowing all there is to know about each other. It would be intolerable to exist in that unity with those who bear the pains of betrayal in their hearts towards them. Moreover, even if she would admit her fault in the matter, she would not change her course, and she could not make him whole. There was therefore no purpose served by holding on to her debts, so he freely forgave her of all her debts to him, both temporal and spiritual. Maybe someday they could be friends again, and maybe in the next world they could dwell happily in each others’ presence. If it were not to be so, at least it would not be because of him. And because he did that, the glowing ember of pain was taken from his heart, and the Lord invited him to see what Joseph saw.

This doesn’t mean that man gets along with his ex.

May we all forgive all.

Doug Mendenhall Jedi Workshop


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

Conquering Spiritual Evil

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

Dealing With Unclean Spirits

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

Understanding One Eternal Round

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

Doctrine of the Spirit World

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

Energy Work and Healing

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

Spirit Attachments and Negative Entities

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

Discussion of the Priesthood

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

Verify Everything with the Lord

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

Dealing With the Unusual

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

Working with Energy – Practice

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

Energy Balls, Chi and Spoon Bending

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

The Gospel in the Stars

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

Opposition in All Things

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

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

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

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

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

Four Basic Concepts

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

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

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

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

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

Taught by the Angels

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

The Importance of Meditation

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

Calling and Election

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

Loss of the Higher Priesthood

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

Spiritual Shields and Swords

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

Multiple Mortal Probations

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

Difference Between Satan and Lucifer

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

The Third Eye or Pineal Gland

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

A Few Miscellaneous Subjects

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

A Few Thoughts About Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Few Concluding Thoughts

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

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

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

 

Of One Heart and One Mind


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

Doug Mendenhall and the Jedi Workshops

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

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

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

Insights Into the Spirit World

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

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

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

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

When an Appeal is not an Appeal

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

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

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

Keith’s Letter of Appeal

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

Dear Presidents Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Evidence is not enough.

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, Keith M. Henderson

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

A Wild Man Has Come Among Us

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

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

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

Looking for a Strongman

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

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

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

Surely Zion Shall Dwell in Safety Forever

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

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

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

The Holy Ghost Fell on Many

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

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

Accept Imperfections in Each Other

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

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

Remnant Family Retreat May 2015


RemnantFamilyRetreat

Printable PDF Flyer of Remnant Family Retreat

All my life, well at least for the last fifty years or so, I’ve wondered about the last days and my participation in the events leading up to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. I know I’m not alone in this desire to understand the last days and how I can prepare for that which is to come. I’ve made it a life-long pursuit to study the scriptures and prophecies of the last days.

I’ve been taught, and have long believed that we have been living in the latter days, as opposed to the last days. I won’t take the time to point out all the differences between the two. The main difference is that in the last days, great destruction shall come upon the earth. I’m of the opinion we are now on the verge of crossing over into the last days in which terrible catastrophes occur.

Mocking the Prophets of Doom

Nobody likes to hear about doom and gloom. The world scoffs at and mocks those who attempt to share such a message – that of imminent destruction. Nevertheless, the scriptures are clear such events will come to pass – eventually. What everyone really wants to know is when. We want to know when because we want to be prepared for when the promised destruction arrives.

There are those who ask when because they want to know how much longer they can continue their current lifestyle. Some want to know when so they can hold the believers feet to the fire, so to speak. They want a deadline proclaimed by somebody so when it passes uneventfully, they can say, “You see. Nothing has changed here. You have frightened our children needlessly.”

Reference Material on the Last Days

Some of my favorite books on the last days include “The Coming of the Lord” by Gerald Lund, “Prophecy: Key to the Future” by Duane Crowther and of course, the Prophecy trilogy by Anthony Larson. The first two present the conventional or orthodox narrative of the expected events. Anthony’s work presents the winding up scenes from the viewpoint of a catastrophist.

Other books I enjoy include “65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming” by David J. Ridges, “Behold, I Come Quickly: The Last Days and Beyond” by Hoyt W. Brewster Jr, “The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon” by Abraham Gileadi and “Understanding the Signs of the Times” by Donald W Parry and Jay A Parry.

Walking Back to Missouri

Of course, these books are all commentaries or the interpretations of scriptures mingled with the opinions and philosophies of men. Some of the quotes are from men sustained as prophets in the latter days, while others are second or third-hand quotes of Joseph. I suspect a lot of Mormon tradition of how the last days are going to go down is based on some of these uncertain quotes.

I’ve read and reviewed “Visions of Glory,” and pondered the scenes of what Spencer said will happen in the Intermountain West and the journey to Missouri. I’ve read Suzanne Freeman’s “Through the Window of Life” and “A Greater Tomorrow” by Julie Rowe. Each book contains a similar Mormon theme of a journey from Utah back to Missouri to build the New Jerusalem.

California Falls into the Ocean

CaliforniaFallsIntoOceanI’m skeptical. I’ve always struggled with the idea of walking to Missouri. I’m a California boy. I’m aware that many hold to the idea of California – in fact, both coasts – falling off into the ocean because of the cataclysmic earth-shattering destruction preceding the Savior’s return. I have prayed about this many times, wondering if I should move my family away from danger.

So far, the Lord continues to assure me the best preparation I can make is spiritual. Of course, we have a large supply of food stored away in our garage and I carry emergency food, water and even a blow-up mattress in my car in case I’m stuck at work, fifty miles from home, after a big earthquake destroys freeway overpasses. I’ve even written a fictional account of walking home.

Zion and New Jerusalem are Different

But walking to Missouri? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to go. At least not until the way is prepared. Heber C. Kimball gave us the Yellow Dog prophecy: “The Western boundary of the State of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail.”

According to the scriptures, the New Jerusalem will eventually be built somewhere in the land around Independence Missouri. But before that day arrives, Zion will be established in the tops of the mountains. I’m more interested in seeing that prophecy fulfilled because I believe it will be in my lifetime. And no, I don’t believe Salt Lake City qualifies as the tops of the mountains.

Up on the Mesa

I’ve written about this previously. It generated some interesting dialog, especially the suggestion that perhaps someday, Independence Missouri might be suddenly lifted by cataclysmic forces. I don’t know. The more I study, the more I feel that the city of Zion where people flee and where the Lord protects them from their enemies is different from the eventual city of New Jerusalem.

In the meantime, I’ve pondered and prayed about Zion, where it will be and how soon it will be needed. One of the purposes of Zion is to unite for protection. I have a friend who, like me, is convinced Zion will be established on a large mesa. He has visited with the Hopi Indians and been on their mesas. Hopi traditions contain prophecies about the Great Spirit coming to them.

The Remnant Family Retreat

GrandMesaViewThe purpose of this post is to announce what I hope will become an annual tradition. Next May, I will be travelling to Grand Mesa in Colorado to meet with friends I have made online over the years who, like me, are convinced the Lord is inviting us to prepare for Zion in a real way. This event is being organized by my friend Bret, the author of 77 Truths, a book I highly recommend.

Bret is calling it a “Remnant Family Retreat.” I did a lot of studying yesterday and today about the remnant in the scriptures. I think we have a pretty good idea of who the remnant is. We are not them, and they have a destiny appointed them by covenant and promise. We cannot substitute ourselves for them. Nor can we fulfill the prophetic promises without them. We assist them.

Plan to Join us in May 2015

I invite you to think about joining us for this gathering. I’ve expressed my hope to Bret that this becomes an annual event, growing larger each year. There will be a number of speakers as well as opportunities to experience the sacred and spiritual nature of the Grand Mesa. The Utes who once lived there called it, “The Place Where Ancestors Walk and Home of Departed Spirits.”

Bret has called a conference and I intend to go. I want to participate. My community is mainly on the Internet. This is an opportunity to meet and worship together. There are altars on the mesa. I hope the weather has warmed up enough to make it enjoyable for all. The list of speakers will be announced in January. In the meantime, email Bret to let him know you want to be there with us.

Here is a link to all the details in a PDF: http://3tcm.net/Reuniondetails.pdf

Do Ye Also to Them Likewise, Part 3


LightningBoltTo repeat vocabulary, the golden rule is this: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Rendered in modern English, it is: “Every last thing you wish people would do to you, do exactly those things to them.” It is to be noted that “what you wish people would do to you” is a stricter standard than “what you find acceptable,” “what is fair,” or “what you can tolerate.”

Abuse is action having intent which deviates from the golden rule – it is to do to someone what you do not wish to be done to you. Synonyms for abuse are evil, wickedness, and so forth. Abusers are those who do not observe to keep the golden rule.

Faith is belief or trust, allowing someone into a position from which they have power to abuse you.

We come into this world with the golden rule written upon our consciences. It may be overridden by fear. Fear is, or can be, brought about by abuse, or anticipation of abuse. As we, from our childhood, begin to experience abuse, we begin to taste fear in anticipation of future abuse, which gives the devil power over us to tempt us to abuse others.

It is natural to wish to avoid abuse; abuse is, after all, something we don’t wish were done to us. Because of our fear of abuse, we typically adopt behavioral strategies to avoid it, which, over time, become habits. These strategies include preemptive abuse of those who may be in a position to abuse us, threatening abuse against those who may be in a position to abuse us, preemptive acquiescence to abusers so as to hopefully invoke the vestiges of the golden rule in their consciences and thus minimize or mitigate anticipated abuse, uniting with others so as to insulate one from abuse and increase one’s capacity to abuse or credibly threaten abuse, fleeing abuse, lying to perpetrate or avoid abuse, withholding substance except on exchange or acquiescence to other conditions, stealing, and so on.

Self-defense is permissible, and not mandated, upon the second consecutive offense against us, if we do not revile, neither seek revenge, against our abuser for the first offense. We are also able to answer the abuse of our family under the same conditions as offenses against us. Nations have a stricter standard for justification before God. (See D&C 98 for full details.)

This opens up a common avenue for perpetrating abuse – or, in other words, to seek power. It is to portray oneself or others as victims of abuse so as to appeal to the fears of a particular constituency (a person or a group) and gain their support, or to appeal to a vestige of the golden rule – the permissible duty to protect the community – that they may visit abuse upon a disfavored constituency accused of abuse, claiming self-defense therefrom. By offering to lessen, or cease, abuse of a desired constituency, or visit abuse upon the disfavored, power mongers thus gain the support of the favored constituency, insulating themselves from abuse and acquiring means to inflict it.

Reviling takes the form of propaganda against the disfavored constituency – they must be made to seem vile or else the conscience would rebel at abusing them – and trumpeting the accusations of abuse against them, so that proposals to abuse them will seem permissible. Proxies for victims or abusers may be used in propaganda to sway opinions for or against those parties; one need neither belong to a group which has suffered abuse, nor does one have to have been abused, neither does the target person or group have to have abused anyone – this is done by convincing others that their situation has been worsened, or others’ bettered, by abuse which nobody in either group need have been an actual party to (like, for example, black slavery).

Abusers typically come in the guise of liberators from abuse, or avengers of past abuse.

These patterns of seeking for power by exploiting claims of victimhood or abuse, playing on fear, reviling disfavored individuals or groups, and trumpeting a duty to protect the community as a call to action against the disfavored, can be seen all over the Book of Mormon, history books, today’s news, and in the recent “Skin in the Game” post. It is the same spirit that mocked, scorned, cast out, stoned, and slew the prophets, crying that they were the power-seeking abusers and that the community was justified in protecting itself from them.

Not only do these patterns of power-seeking abuse – and there are more – come from perverted appeals to the golden rule, but to suffer abuses of these types is the reason we are here in the first place.

Nobody likes to be dictated to – to be commanded against their will. Therefore the golden rule implies persuasion is the only power to be wielded, and the golden rule places strict constraints upon the conditions for persuasion, described in D&C 121.

God can’t make us keep the golden rule – and, in fact, he can’t simply say “I am God so you must believe and do what I say,” because nobody likes being dictated to (commands come to those who have covenanted to accept and obey them). We must keep the golden rule, however, if we are to live together, eternally, mutually indwelling, in perfect harmony, love, and joy, knowing all there is to know about one another because we know what each other feels and thinks, for we are to be one in all things, equal in power, might, glory, and authority. Therefore, God seeks to persuade us to keep the golden rule of our own free will and choice – which means we have to become acquainted with societies, orders, and relationships that fall short of it. So we abuse and are abused – we betray and suffer betrayal, we steal and are stolen from, we beat and are beaten, we withhold our substance except on exchange and are in our turn deprived of substance except on exchange, and so on. All of this is intended to persuade us to choose the good; we are intended to see that there is no other way to lasting peace and harmony.

Nevertheless, we can choose the evil if we wish; we can abuse others, offering whatever justification we like, or we can choose to abuse without bothering to justify ourselves. We can silence the messengers who bring us the glad tidings of salvation through Christ – or we can obey their teachings, repent of all abuse, forgive all men of all offenses, and call upon God in faith, confessing our abuses to him and to those we have abused, and trust him to deliver us from our abusers as we obey his great command.

Salvation, remember, is to be placed beyond the power of our enemies – those who claim we are indebted to them, who call for the right to punish us according to justice, or who want to abuse us because they hate us, believing we have betrayed them, and wish for us to suffer as they do. It is, after all, by the wicked that the wicked are punished, and it is God’s punishment to allow us to be in the power of our enemies, that they may wreak their vengeance upon us. In the end, what God does is revoke his blessings, withdraw his Spirit and his protections from us, and lets our enemies destroy us, both temporally and spiritually; that is terrible indeed.

Therefore, let us cease abusing one another. Let us lay down our swords of words, and stop looking to draw blood and inflict misery and pain upon each other, or drive others out of our communities. Let us remember what Christ said: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Representing Christ on the Earth


ComeUntoChMany years ago, Elder Scott visited a Stake in Layton Utah to discuss an ongoing problem in the LDS Church, that of priesthood leaders putting themselves between Christ and His children. It has been twenty-two years since that issue was discussed, yet it remains rampant today. You would think over the years such an important message would be standard reading for leaders.

Sadly, the practice is alive and well. When I began blogging back in 2007 I did so after a great deal of prompting by the Lord. He had been asking me for years to get involved in the online discussions about the gospel and the LDS Church. I hesitated, dragged my feet, made excuses and in general ignored the promptings until I could resist no more. The Lord asked me to blog.

Blogging an Expression of Faith

I make this point because I consider my blogging efforts to be an expression of my faith in Jesus Christ. I experimented with different ideas and directions over the years, but always checked with the Lord to see if I was going in the right direction. He would give me ideas on what to explore in my gospel studies then give me additional ideas when I shared my thoughts online.

That’s why when my Bishop called me in and questioned me about my blog posts, I felt a little confused at first. I double checked what I was sharing. I made sure I consulted with the Lord in prayer before I posted something and in general, went back over the things I had written to see if I could discover what it was that was troubling my bishop. I did not understand his concerns.

Going in Different Directions

With each additional meeting, it became clearer my Bishop saw only apostasy in my writings. I continued to ask the Lord to guide me. I fasted. I prayed many long hours. I sought counsel from others I trusted. While I still had my recommend, I attended the temple with a prayer in my heart that I be not led astray. With each prayer, with each temple visit, I felt the Lord was guiding me.

Yet my bishop persisted in expressing his concern I was wrong. Not only that, he decided it was time to prove his point by placing me on informal probation. I had to ask my stake president for clarification of the charges. Another meeting with the bishop brought forth the verdict: Apostasy. I was judged apostate in my writings. I was a threat to the community because of my thoughts.

Submission to Christ, Not Man

ChristMemberLeaderWow. I was floored. How could I be so misled by the spirit in what I was studying and writing? How could I be so “out of harmony” with the Brethren, as my bishop proclaimed? He said I was taking pot-shots at the Brethren. Again, I was flabbergasted. My desire had always been to help others come unto Christ. It remains that today. The Church can’t save us, only the Savior can.

I remember one particular scene in our interviews that shocked me to no end. “You’ve got to be more humble and submissive, Tim. You’ve got to offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” I finally got it. He was saying I wasn’t being submissive enough to him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “To whom?” I said, “You mean to you?” I could see my response had stunned him.

Unintended Yet Real Indoctrination

Now my eyes were opened. The Church meant everything to him. There was no other way to salvation than through the LDS Church. Now I saw the gulf between us. I used to think that way. I guess I had come a long ways. He was right. I could now understand his concern. In his eyes, I was leaving the path of salvation. God bless my good bishop for his loving concern for my soul.

I remember leaving one of our meetings a few months earlier. Carol had attended. This was right about the time I felt I had come to peace in my mind with how to answer the affiliation question from the temple recommend interview. As we left that night, I turned to Carol and said, referring to the bishop, “This man represents the Lord to us as far as the temple recommend is concerned.”

Coming Between God and His Children

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that or said that in priesthood leadership meetings. Never having been a bishop, I have never thought what hearing those words over and over must do to a man who is called to that position. Surely it must take a lot of humility to keep such ideas from going to your head. The LDS people place so much importance on the role of the Bishop.

There’s almost a reverential worship involved. This is not right yet it exists. I have seen it and so have you if you’ve been a member of the LDS Church for almost any length of time. General Authorities have taught it – “Your local priesthood leaders represent the Lord in your stake. They face the Brethren. They get their direction from the Prophet and the leadership in Salt Lake.”

The Church Cannot Save You

LackOfConversionThere seems to be a conflating with representing the Brethren and representing the Lord. It is that hierarchal structure thing coming into play here. In other words, the Brethren and the Church have come between Christ and His children. This also is not right, but it exists. You can hear it over and over each week in LDS meetings, especially in Fast meetings: “The Church is true.”

You can read what Elder Scott had to say about this problem in the notes someone recorded from the Layton Northridge Stake Priesthood meeting. Copies can be found on many Internet sources, but with the illustrations, this one on the Bare Record of Truth blog seems to be the best. I highly recommend LDS priesthood leaders read it, ponder it and pray about it, then ask a few questions.

Come, Follow Christ

Until the Sunday morning session of the October 2014 General Conference, I used to think the highest leaders of the Church understood this problem and were actively working to eradicate it. The three talks in a row about “Follow the Prophet,” made it clear the problem reaches to the very top. The Lord said, “Come Follow Me.” The LDS Church teaches with great emphasis, “Follow the Prophet.”

I think that’s when it became blatantly obvious to me the LDS Church had lost it. The highest priority taught today of “Follow the Prophet” has become a form of idolatry. The Lord is not pleased with this focus. It is obvious to anyone who has eyes to see. Cursed is he who puts his trust in the arm of flesh (Jer 17:5 or 2 Ne 4:34). You do not need LDS leadership permission to “Come unto Christ.”

Questions for LDS Priesthood Leaders

Am I teaching the members in my congregation to “Come unto Church” or is my focus to get them to “Come unto Christ?” Is following the prophet more important than following Christ?

As I listen to the testimonies on Fast Sunday, do I hear more declarations that “The Church is true” or do I hear more expressions of “I love the Lord, and here’s what He has done for me?”

Do I get in the way of the Lord and his children? Have I placed myself between Christ and the members of my ward? Am I encouraging loyalty and obedience to Christ or to the Brethren?

Am I blocking the path of my ward members as they grow in their relationship with Christ? Am I showing by example I know Christ and know how to part the veil to commune with Him?

Am I teaching the members of the ward how to establish their own link directly to Christ or am I encouraging an over-reliance upon the Brethren, or even too much dependence upon me?

Finally, have I taught members of my ward or stake that the Church provides salvation? Have I put the Church in the place of Christ? If so, what can I do to correct that terrible mistake?

Salvation is Through Christ

JesusRedRobeI know statements like what I am about to share are difficult for some to accept, but I share them anyway, knowing the source of my authority. The Lord asked me to write about this particular message today. He led me to it earlier in the week. I had read it years ago, yet the Lord wanted me to emphasize it again. It comes from a man in the highest leadership of the LDS Church.

The “movement” of thousands in response to the message delivered by Denver Snuffer is very troubling to both the local and general leadership of the LDS Church. Almost everyone, at least along the Mormon Corridor, knows of someone who has read or listened to the message Denver has delivered. Because they are troubled, they are excommunicating such readers in droves now.

A Remnant to Build Zion

Tomorrow, on this blog and others (see below), you will read an announcement concerning the Remnant. Ask yourself what you know about this. What did the Lord teach us about the Remnant? The Remnant has been described as “what is left of a community after it undergoes a catastrophe.” Are we about to experience a catastrophe? Wake up people, the signs are all around us now.

Zion was always intended to be built upon the mountain top (Isa 30:17) or the top of the high mountains (Isa 40:9). Zion will not be, cannot be and never was intended to be built up by an institutional church. It is to be built by a small remnant, upon a mountain top. The question to ask ourselves is this: “How can I assist the remnant to build Zion in the tops of the mountains?”

Rock Waterman / Pure Mormonism: http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/

Adrian Larsen / To The Remnant: http://www.totheremnant.com/

Bret Corbridge / 77 Truths: http://www.blog.77truths.com/

Will Carter / In 200 Words or Less: http://in200wordsorless.blogspot.com/

Note: I will add my post Sunday after Stake conference.

Here is a link to a PDF of the flyer: http://3tcm.net/RemnantFamilyRetreat.pdf

Here’s a link to the reunion details: http://3tcm.net/Reuniondetails.pdf

RemnantFamilyRetreat

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