Sinning Against the Greater Light


MoroniAndJosephWhen I resigned from the LDS Church, I thought I would continue to support Carol in her desires to sing in the choir. I grew up playing the piano for a few years, performed in a school band and have generally loved music all my life. I married a woman who has a beautiful voice, who loves to sing and understands, as I do, that singing with a choir is a way to worship God.

I am on the ward and stake choir email lists. I received invitations to practice for our upcoming stake conference and for our annual Christmas concert. The ward choir director approached me personally about participating in the choir. There are only three or four tenors who will sing. I suggested he check with the Bishop to make sure it was okay with him. Apparently it was not.

Come Sing Praises Unto the Lord

Having been a counselor in the bishopric over the ward choir in years past, I know how hard it is to get people to sing. Sometimes, we have even issued callings to people to sing in the choir as a way of getting them to come out to practices and perform. I clearly remember asking members to invite their friends who are not LDS to come join us in the choir to bolster that worshipful sound.

I won’t take the time to review the handbook. If someone else wants to look it up and correct me, they are welcome to do so. I’m confident there is nothing in the handbook stating someone who is not a member of the LDS Church can’t sing in the ward or stake choir. In fact, I am fairly certain I remember places in the handbook where inviting non-members to sing is encouraged.

Where Much is Given, Much is Required

Carol and I discussed this. She said she also spoke with the bishop about me singing in the choir. I wasn’t there so I can’t share exactly what was said, nor can Carol remember the exact words. However, the phrase, “sinning against the greater light” (D&C 82:3) was brought up. That took me by surprise and got me pondering and praying about that scripture. So I took it to the Lord.

“For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.” I have a few questions for discussion by this group if you are willing engage me in dialog. First: Is it a sin to resign from the LDS Church? If so, why? Do we automatically assume one who resigns from the LDS Church has sinned against the light?

No Claim Until the Work is Completed

Look, I’ve been clear all along. I have not had that personal visit from the Lord. I have not had that physical embrace with the Lord. I have heard His voice and I have been born of the spirit. I can even make an argument for saying I have had my calling and election made sure, but I won’t because the Lord and I are still working that out. Some of you know what I’m referring to here.

I think I understand the bishop’s concern. Because of my blog, my case is well known in my ward and stake. I think it was a shock to many people when I resigned. It would make people uncomfortable to see me singing in the choir. I get that. I agree with the Bishop’s decision. But I don’t agree with the statement, either said or implied that I have sinned against the greater light.

The Holy Ghost Brings Light and Truth

The Bishop doesn’t know how much light I have. I know the scriptures and the LDS Church place the Bishop in a position of being a “Judge in Israel.” I believe the Bishop is entitled to inspiration. I have seen it in action. But my judge is not an LDS Bishop, nor is it an apostle in the LDS Church. My judge is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to him I answer. I seek to please the Lord.

I’ve raised this point before. I prayed deeply about resigning. The Lord and I discussed it often. I studied and prayed about the message delivered by Denver Snuffer for over two years. I knew I wanted to be baptized as a sign to the Lord I accepted His message and His messenger. I knew it would not go over well with my local priesthood leaders. Thus I resigned. That’s old news.

The Holy Ghost Comes to Those Who Obey

AlmaAndAngelThe definition of light in the scriptures is synonymous with intelligence and truth. Light comes to us as we study truth, ponder and pray about it. The glory of God is intelligence or light and truth (D&C 93:36). We know it is impossible to please God without exercising faith. Faith is a principle of action. It is one thing to believe something is true. It is another thing to act upon it. Faith requires action.

As Carol and I discussed it, we agreed just about any bishop in the LDS Church would have done what our good Bishop did. He called me in for counseling. He expressed his loving concern for me. We discussed my spiritual growth and my testimony. My testimony was moving away from accepting the LDS Church as being authorized to administer the ordinances of salvation.

Keys of the Kingdom Were Lost

Joseph was and is a prophet. The Book of Mormon is scripture. It contains the word of God. The LDS Church was at one time “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.” (D&C 1:30) I was willing to sustain President Monson as a prophet, seer and revelator because that’s the title we have given to our leaders. I agree with Denver’s claim that the LDS Church lost something.

The higher priesthood was lost when Joseph was killed. The remaining authority, the keys of the kingdom, was lost when the LDS Church exercised unrighteous dominion in casting off Denver Snuffer for apostasy. He did what the Lord told him to do in publishing PtHG. I have asked the Lord. I have discussed it with Him. He has told me in no uncertain terms Denver was authorized.

Never But One on the Earth at a Time

ProphetJosephSmithStatements like these are annoying to true believing Mormons. I used to be one of them. I think I still am – a Mormon, that is. I claim the right to call myself a Mormon because I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I am simply not a member of the LDS Church. There is only one man on the earth at a time that can exercise all the keys of the priesthood. (D&C 132:7)

If the Lord told me Denver was authorized to speak in the name of the Lord, that the message he has delivered was authorized of the Lord, that he had the sealing power as well as all the keys of the priesthood that can be bestowed upon man while in the flesh, then where does that leave President Monson? Who do I believe? Do I believe the Lord or do I believe LDS truth claims?

Light Comes In Acting Upon Truth

As always, the bottom line lies in personal revelation. There is only one counter to a claim from someone who says he is authorized to speak on behalf of the Lord and has a message for all. We normally reserve that for a prophet. Therefore, Denver is a prophet. The counter claim, of course, is that Denver is a liar and I have been deceived. This is not new. I’ve been told this many times.

Back to the original point of determining how much light an individual has. In my pondering on the subject, I have decided the more light a person has the more quickly they recognize truth and act upon it. Wealth is not a determining factor of light. Social position does not determine light. Even position in the church does not help us ascertain the amount of light someone has acquired.

Careful and Ponderous and Solemn Thoughts

The only determining factor I have been able to use for my own purposes in deciding who I should listen to and allow to influence me is how deeply they have sought for light and how quick they respond to new light they gain. I am impressed by a man who can not only use the scriptures in preaching the gospel but can use his own personal revelations to confirm them.

“The things of God are of deep import, and time and experience and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O Man, if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost Heavens, and search into and contemplate the lowest considerations of the darkest abyss, and expand upon the broad considerations of eternal expanse; he must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart, none but fools will trifle with the souls of men.”

The Lord is the Keeper of the Gate

Joseph taught clearly the need we each have to commune with God directly, to spend our time in careful, ponderous and solemn thought. In other words, if we want to be filled with light, we must search and contemplate the things God has revealed through others, and then verify them for ourselves in our conversations with the Lord. We must then act upon the light we receive.

Each of us can know for ourselves the things of eternity. We do not need to rely upon another man to tell us the way things are in the heavens. While we are yet tender in our knowledge, it is understandable we would lean upon others more experienced and wise in the ways of the Lord. But in the end, it is the Lord we must meet at the gate which is meant to be opened in this life.

Confidence in the Presence of the Lord

TimBaptism2aCroppedI am grateful I can say I have done as the Lord has asked me. I am grateful to feel my confidence waxing stronger in the presence of God. (D&C 121:45) I have felt the power of the Holy Ghost in my life to a greater degree than ever before over the past six weeks since I was baptized. The promises of the Lord are real. The Holy Ghost is real. We can obtain and know the Mind of Christ for ourselves.

Have I sinned against great light? I don’t think so. I simply resigned from the LDS Church. I do not recommend this for everyone who comes to know the message delivered by the Lord through Denver was inspired, revealed and authorized. In my case, it was the right thing to do. I have felt the sustaining hand of the Lord in my decision, in the gift and companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

But that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is resigning from the LDS Church a sin? Is it more important to remain a member of the LDS Church than it is to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost? Can we be confident an invitation to be baptized anew is authorized of the Lord? How confident are you in your relationship with the Lord? Have you heard His voice to you?

The signs of change are all around us now – both within the Church and in the world. No man knows the hour, but we know the Lord sends prophets to warn us. (Amos 3:7) Is it possible the Lord can endorse a man’s decision to leave the LDS Church? I claim He did – for me. On the other hand, he may tell you to stay and work within the Church to help prepare others for the coming of Zion.

40 Responses

  1. It’s not a sin if you are doing what God asks of you. Some people’s mission in life would require them to stay in the church. And some would require them to leave. The point is to learn to live by the Spirit to know which it is individually. And to allow others the same courtesy of following the spirit in their lives even if it doesn’t look like what the church teaches it should look like.

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    • I thought by resigning you would be able to keep singing in Church! (That is what I miss most.) You should be able to stand up and bear your testimony, too. (Good luck with that!)

      Really, I’m feeling less inclined to even go to Church anymore…not because I don’t want to but…because it’s so pointless. What? I need to go to be reminded incessantly about what they won’t let me do? Even my kids are bored stiff and can hardly stand it! My wife says she enjoys our sacrament meetings at home more (even though they are more chaotic at times). We’re learning.

      Have you sinned against greater light? No, I think you’ve obeyed greater light. The sin was forcing you out. For that there is greater condemnation.

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      • Will, it’s interesting that if I wanted to, as a non-member I could take the sacrament in church, while I couldn’t previously when I was a member. I had a great conversation with my friend Mike this morning about being baptized and taking the sacrament. He is not a member and never has been.

        He asked a profound question. He said, “If I wanted to get baptized, should I have the LDS missionaries baptize me or will it be meaningless because of Denver Snuffer’s claim the LDS Church no longer has authority?” He also asked if he should take the sacrament when he visits the LDS Church.

        I told him he should ask the Lord and determine for himself what the Lord wanted him to do. He has been investigating the church for a long time. He has studied it thoroughly and knows LDS history and doctrine very well. He sees there is something afoot with Denver’s claims. He is thinking seriously.

        Will, I know your family loves music. Carol and I enjoyed hearing your wife and daughters sing for us up in St. George. They are so talented. Music can be such a blessing in our lives – uplifting, edifying and comforting. I am glad you are finding success in worshiping in your own community – your family.

        I have always felt the disciplinary action taken against you was unjust. I did not want anyone in my stake to go through a disciplinary council because of my decision to follow the promptings of the Lord in being baptized. God bless you my friend for being baptized with me. And God bless your family too.

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      • sorry i have followed this whole thing and no one forced him out He took himself out . and seems to me like you all want to pic what part of the cake to eat and trample the rest

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  2. Another beautiful post Tim. I feel the Holy Spirit every time I read your words. You obviously have light to share with the world. I have been considering re-baptism since Mesa. I have tried not to move in haste…carefully examining all sides of my decision and the implications. I have a testimony of Denver’s standing and authority. I admire your faithfulness to the Lord. I feel like the guy standing at the edge of a cold swimming hole. I need to jump in but the shock of it all is giving me fits. Sacrifice of all things produces the faith unto salvation. I look forward to hearing your voice in the choir in Zion.
    God Speed…..

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  3. Tim, when did the the “Church” become the “Light”? How and when did that false doctrine arise?

    The Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not the “Light”.

    You are not allowed to sing in the choir because it it typically the salt that is willing to share their voice talents with others and praise GOD in singing prayer. I am confident that if the bishop allowed you to be close to and associate with the choir, half or more would see the “Light”.

    The guardians of darkness want to keep you away from the dimmer control on the light switch.

    Love and peace brother TIM. Tell Carol hello, she is an angel.

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  4. Tim

    Short answer no. You answered your own question and said you have felt more light since you resigned.
    I have to point out that just because Denver is “authorized” it does not mean that the LDS church has zero authority. I have a testimony that section 132 is not from God. I urge all of you to pray until you receive a sure answer on whether section 132 is from God or someone else.
    If there can be only one man with all the keys then was it Jeremiah or lehi who held them, or nephi? Was it alma or king mosiah? Was it nephi and lehi performing great miracles with the sealing power or was it one of the apostles in Jerusalem? Same discrepancies all over the scriptures. President was a word not used in scripture ( I think, not sure) until doctrine and covenants.
    Again please consider that keys are inherent in the priesthood and can be obtained by anyone. Section 132 needs to be thrown back in the fire.

    Nephi said the Holy Ghost gave him authority to write. The truth is the greatest authority there is. It stands alone and will be justified and proven of itself, even if no one believes it for generations at a time.

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    • Good points Minority of One. You’ve got me thinking and pondering Section 132 again. I think I know where I’ll be spending some time in today’s scripture study.

      I’ve read your point about keys several times now. I think I’m beginning to see a little clearer in this area. That’s another subject to consider again – one of my favorites. It has been an evolving area of understanding for me over the past several years.

      Your words encourage me. Thanks for sharing.

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    • I like section 132, but it causes problems for many of us mostly because we are not allowed to live the law of plural marriage. How can we gain any kind of “testimony” of it when the whole subject is taboo. Are we damned because live now? The other problem(s) start with the words in parenthesis about there being only one on earth authorized to hold all keys. Were the words in parenthesis added by someone after Joseph’s death? It sounds like something we would add in the Brighamite traditions. The other question I have about it are regarding the term “world.” Does world include only this Telestial phase of earth or does “world” include the oncoming Terrestrial world we call the Millennium? Clearly the Millennium is staged on this world (as will the Celestial Kingdom). As I was reading 77 Truths, I got a similar question in my mind when it referred to parting the veil and completing our Telestial probation. Hmm…I thought we parted the veil at the Terrestrial phase of our probation(s); at least that’s how it is taught in the temple.

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  5. Tim,

    As it has been said previously, It is never a sin to follow the Spirit. My wife and I have been guided out of the LDS Church also. Our work, like yours, will be done from the outside. Like you, we chose to resign. There are others who are directed to stay active and work from within.

    I was baptized, two weeks after you were, in the Pacific Ocean. The clarity and sensitivity of the Spirit have been incredible since that day. And, like you, I too have heard the Voice of the Lord. This is His work we are about.

    I add my witness and testimony to everything you have said today. Blessings to you and Carol.

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  6. 1. Behold, the temple of God is dedicated to His holy work and purpose. Wherefore, all you to whom the Lord brings these writings, see that you trifle not with them. For, God will not be mocked, and woe unto him that makes a mockery of the ordinances of God.
    2. The temple is a place of instruction. Wherefore, let all that would learn of God, enter therein and receive of Him instruction into eternal things. Behold, this is the word and will of God, that none shall prevent anyone who has desire to learn from entering the temple. Wherefore, it is also not good that you compel any to go up into the temple. Yea, you shall neither restrain nor compel, but unto the soul filled with good intent shall the temple be open.
    3. Yea, also let the principles be taught without it, that those who wish to enter therein may prepare their hearts and be worthy. But let no man or woman determine the worthiness of any other, for this is wickedness and compulsion. Behold, if any man or woman act in compulsion upon another, let them be brought before the council. For it is by compulsion that the Gadiantonhem do corrupt the ways of the Lord.
    4. Now let all they who enter into the temple be purified in body and heart. Let them purify themselves with much prayer and fasting. Let the bodies be pure and clean, and free of distraction. And let their minds and hearts be single to the glory and purpose of God. And let their spirits be not encumbered with the things of the world.
    5. For behold, we carry with us into the temple that which inhabits a temple of our spirit. Wherefore, if any man or woman carry bad intent in their hearts, behold, they carry it into the temple with them. In this is the Spirit greived. Let not that person think they shall receive anything of the Lord.

    Alma 18:32
    32 And Ammon said: Yea, and he looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.

    1st. Samuel 16
    7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

    Have we fallen that far?

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    • I wonder if we’ve fallen this far.

      3 Nephi 18:28-29
      28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;

      29 For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.

      Beware false prophets.

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      • Thanks, Log. And for a whole lot more on the subject from Log:

        https://latterdaycommentary.com/2014/10/25/the-sacrament/

        The ensuing discussion was also enjoyable, at least to me.

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      • Not baptized. I think we have been through this. I know your treatise on this, but it is not being baptised already covenanting. This is context from verses just above your verses in 3rd Nephi 18.

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        • I’m not interested in justifications for false statements.

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    • Sfort

      Where was this quote from? I have been thinking on something you wrote a while back and I am curiouser ever curiouser… : )

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      • Here’s a link for you, Minority of One: http://zionspath.com/?p=278

        The source is the Nemenhah.

        You can read more here:

        http://www.nemenhah.org/

        and to be FAIR, here:

        http://en.fairmormon.org/Forgeries_related_to_Mormonism/Mentinah_Papers

        You decide.

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  7. Nemenhah huh?

    I have never heard of this and I will have to check it out. The things out there that I have never even heard of. Fortunately for us all the Spirit can guide and teach us anything even if there is nothing written on the subject. Thank you for your example of faith Tim. Like I said back when you first resigned the adversary would love to pound you down and make you think you have sold your pottage or that you have cut yourself off. You have chosen the path of faith and it is not without obstacles and trials of faith but the very fact that you have to rely on the spirit and seek God on His and your terms will bring greater rewards. Keep plugging away

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  8. Tim

    Pray for the less than tactful bishops in the Church. As in so many other areas, having been ordained to a particular office certainly doesn’t mean one automatically has the skill or sensitivity to administer with long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, without hypocrisy and guile. As in your case, so much for showing an increase of love after reproving in his office.

    Suggesting to Carol that you had “sinned against the greater light” was completely inappropriate as she is already sensitive to the situation…. and he knows it.

    A little more tact would have probably been appreciated by both you and Carol. He may have said something like, “Carol, I’ll have to check in the handbook for the written policy and I will call Tim this evening with my findings.” “Tell Tim hello, and let him know of my love for him.”

    Sounds like this bishop is “ticked.” Perhaps he is mad that you resigned rather than allowing a court to get their “two bits” in… so he’s getting his “licks” in now. Who knows?

    So many that have left the Church for various reasons are finding that some Saints and leadership are less than compassionate, as our friend Will and so many others have experienced.

    Self-righteous words always seem to flow from their mouths first thing…. as if they really think anything they say will really make a difference. “I set “So and So” on the right path with my moralizing words of salvation.”

    I’m sure the Bishop feels you have been deceived. I think one can be easily deceived when one has not recognized that their may be a possibility they could be deceived. I cannot imagine that the Lord would allow deception when you sincerely ask for his guidance in serious matters. He is not a God of duplicity when one’s heart and soul really wants to know the truth and is willing to accept any answer he may give.

    That kind of humility is a challenge we all face when going to the Lord for answers. Tim, I see that you have gone to the Lord with great humility after studying and pondering. The Lord has revealed HIS answer to YOU for is own purposes and for your growth. My answers may not be you answers…. but I know he listens and answers just the same.

    I love the last words that Ardian Larsen shared on his blog.

    These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 
    (John 16:33) 

    Blessing to Carol and you, my friend.

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    • Hi Kathryn,

      We continue to pray for our Bishopric and Stake Presidency every night. As I noted in the post, I actually agree with his decision to not allow me to sing alongside Carol.

      I continue to ponder what light I have been given, and if I have remained true and faithful to the covenants I have made. I believe I have been and still am.

      I still wear my garments. I was not told I could not wear them. They represent a sacred reminder to me of the covenants I have made with the Lord.

      Thanks for your encouraging words and the uplifting scripture. Cheers.

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  9. As far as section 132 goes, I believe it was originally inspired of God. However, as with many other documents, I believe it was doctored after the move to Utah. I believe the parenthesis portion of verse 7 was definitely added after the fact.

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  10. In questions asked by my Bishop for a temple recommend I was asked if the priesthood exists outside the LDS church. I answer yes and I get asked how. I have said the priesthood has been on earth since Adam and Eve and JS had it before the church was formed. I say if a man that is worthy is wrongly removed from membership from the church he will not loose his priesthood because God knows the truth. I have never been questioned about it and always gotten my recommend. But my answer now would never get me a recommend….it would get me the boot because I don’t believe Joseph Smith ever truly had the Melchizedek priesthood. It seems to have just showed up. I believe it truly belongs to the tribe of Judah….but that is another story.

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    • Hi Elda. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There’s a lot I don’t understand about priesthood, but I do know Joseph had the higher priesthood. This I have taken to the Lord in prayer and received revelation in response confirming Joseph was a prophet. You don’t get to be a prophet in the true sense of the word without the higher priesthood. He received it directly from God.

      My experience in confirming this was more than a prayer. It was the conclusion of a three-day fast specifically about Joseph. I intensely – twelve hours a day – studied his life and his revelations for six months prior to my mission. I prayed hour after hour upon my knees in my closet. I shared the details in my blog six years ago:

      https://latterdaycommentary.com/2008/06/09/a-call-for-more-personal-revelation/

      Joseph had the higher priesthood. This I know. The voice of the Lord declared it to me. I have received a lot of revelations in my life. This one was memorable because I had never fasted for thee days before or since.

      Tell me how you know Joseph did not have the higher priesthood. Tell me you have heard the voice of Lord declare it to you. This is a black and white issue. Either he did or he didn’t. Was he a liar? Did he bear false witness?

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      • Tim

        I am intrigued by your comment and I hope you don’t mind me asking something regarding it because in your comment it was unclear to me.
        You said you know that joseph smith was a prophet and that he had the higher priesthood. But what I got from your comment was that the spirit told you joseph was a prophet… Then it was unclear whether the spirit actually told you that joseph received the higher priesthood, or that you just knew he did have the higher priesthood because he was a prophet…
        I hope my question makes sense. I guess I am asking if the spirit specifically told you word for word that joseph received the higher priesthood. Like you I am always interested in specifics. I too have been told he was a prophet, but God has shown me very plainly that being a prophet does not mean you have the higher priesthood. (This is not to imply that joseph or anyone else could not have obtained it)

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        • I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that being a prophet, or being sustained as one by the voice of the people, does not mean you have the higher priesthood. I know very few men who do. The higher priesthood is received by hearing the voice of God declare it unto you as in D&C 84:42.

          Joseph was obviously there that day because he was the one receiving and declaring the revelation. Therefore, Joseph had the higher priesthood, as did many others present in Kirtland that day.

          I did not share everything the Lord told me that night, nor can I. Just as the Lord told me Joseph could not share some things He had received, I cannot share things that can only be experienced.

          I don’t know how else to explain it. There are no words that will convey meaning. When the Lord pours pure light and intelligence into your soul, you simply know things that are impossible to share.

          I’m not trying to be evasive and it’s not some big secret. Again, I totally agree with you that being sustained as a prophet, seer and revelator in the LDS Church does not mean the man has the higher priesthood.

          Unless he can say he has heard the voice of the Lord declare it unto him, he cannot say he has the higher priesthood. Joseph demonstrated he had the higher priesthood by his works – the revelations he received.

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  11. Tim,

    Thank you for the awesome post. I have read a few other posts on here and I have felt the spirit about different things so thank you for putting this all together.
    I didn’t read through all of the comments so you may have already had you question answered but I want to share my experience that was similar to yours. About a year ago I began my spiritual awakening and started believing more in grace as a member of the church. I had my born again (in the spirit) moment about a month latter and truly started receiving true revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thought I was feeling the spirit as a member before but it was just the light. When I felt the Holy Ghost go through me for the first time I knew I had been baptized as it dropped me to the floor because of the love and power that entered me. From that point I knew that was the only thing I could trust. I wanted a testimony of everything after that ,receiving that same power as a witness. Only problem was things didn’t always come that i wanted as a member of the church. I started praying and receiving things that did not match up with the church. As things progressed my bishop and I met a few times to discuss some of the things I had learned that were againstthe church doctrines like polygamy, tithing and other things. As time went on I was threatened with disciplinary actions. I prayed about many things as things progressed and prayed about resigning from the church. I was worried about losing priesthood powers and the gift of the Holy Ghost that I had recently received. As I prayed about things the voice of god came to me and said” I am the one that gave you the priesthood powers and no one can take it away”. I should have been satisfied with that answer from god but a few days later I asked again to make sure and the spirit filled me with the assurance that I was okay taking my name off the records. I was comforted and took my name off. Ever since then, I have felt the spirit more than I ever have. I have learned to trust in the Spirit and only in the spirit. I’ve been humbled numerous times the last year or so when I forget to trust only in god and put trust in the church , friends, family members, scriptures or even myself, even if for just short moments. The bottom line is I only trust what I have learned by the spirit as I am sure you do as well. I was grateful to read this post and see that there are many others that have gone through and are going through similar experiences. Thank you for this great website. God bless.

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  12. Hi Tim,

    Regarding this paragraph:

    If the Lord told me Denver was authorized to speak in the name of the Lord, that the message he has delivered was authorized of the Lord, that he had the sealing power as well as all the keys of the priesthood that can be bestowed upon man while in the flesh, then where does that leave President Monson? Who do I believe? Do I believe the Lord or do I believe LDS truth claims?

    It’s hard not to read this with the traditional LDS interpretation of the terms, and thus pit DS against TSM, but I’m wondering what you mean by DS having the sealing power and all the keys that can be bestowed on man in the flesh, etc.? How do you KNOW this? Can you be more specific? How do you KNOW that the voice you are trusting is the Spirit of Truth? In other words, how have you calibrated and verified that it is indeed the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God the Father? A voice may give some degree of knowledge but not perfect knowledge. Have you seen and heard and touched? Has the Lord revealed to you and then brought to pass only what He could have foreknown and brought to pass. For example, the enemy does not have power to control the heavens. I think he and his servants are adept at guessing and even influencing our thoughts, feelings, and even dreams – every medium can be compromised.

    I’m not challenging or accusing. I am sincerely interested in the truth and validation of the source of spiritual experiences. As much truth as DS has taught, as much as he has rightly pointed out has been and is wrong with the current LDS Church, as much light as he may have transmitted, his claims must still be confirmed and validated (or denied) directly to a person by Heaven. I observe people on both sides of the fence claiming such validation. Many of DS’s claims do very much seem to contradict those of the 15 presiding LDS apostles. Logically, it does not seem possible that they can both be right.

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    • Hi Jesef,

      Thanks for adding your comment to the dialog. You asked a question, actually several, but each is summarized by this one: “How do you KNOW this?”

      I have not seen or embraced the Lord. He and I have discussed this. The timing is His, not mine. That day will come, when the Lord determines I am ready.

      But that is irrelevant to the question about knowing what I know about Denver Snuffer and his claims, especially those found in the Mesa / Phoenix lecture.

      I asked the Lord for permission to be a witness of those claims. He granted it. I am satisfied with what he has bestowed upon me through the voice of His spirit.

      In addition, it is clear I am not the only one who has received this witness. Many others can vouch for the claims of Denver, having verified them with heaven.

      It is good to be skeptical. It is good to ask questions. It is especially good to ask those questions of the Lord. Have you presented them to the Lord to answer?

      I recognize there are many who say they have also prayed about Denver’s claims and received a “bad feeling” or felt a “sense of darkness.” I understand.

      How long did Lehi wander through the mists of darkness before he called upon the Lord for deliverance? It was many hours. How many hours have you prayed?

      I don’t mean to challenge or accuse you, nor did I take your comment as any kind of accusation or challenge. We all have a right to know – and to know from heaven.

      This has always been the issue. Pray without ceasing until the Lord grants you what you ask. I have done so. I have received what I have desired. It is enough for me.

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      • I love the bit on how long Lehi was in darkness before seeing the Light. This was an epiphany for me. Thank you Tim.

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    • Jesef is actually asking a question of a type I see all the time and is rubbing me wrong, on rational grounds.

      The question seems to me to be on par with these questions.

      How do you know you don’t live in The Matrix?

      How do you know the world wasn’t poofed into existence last Tuesday and all your memories predating Tuesday are fabrications?

      How do you know what I see as blue is what you see as blue?

      Or, in fine, what counts as knowledge and how can you know that; and there’s an associated issue which is how do you compel others to accept your standard of what counts as knowledge so you can disqualify claims which fall afoul your standard?

      That’s something that maybe should be discussed.

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      • Profound, Log. Profound. Especially, the line about compelling others. I hope nobody reading these comments is interested in compelling others to accept their point of view or their idea of knowledge. I hope we each accept the axiom that knowledge can be obtained in various ways, and is therefore of different grades or values, depending upon how it was received.

        My knowledge was not received with my natural, mortal eyes, or through my mortal ears, which often ring with tinnitus as I age. Hearing the voice of the Lord, and being able to differentiate it from a) my own thoughts, b) the whisperings of the adversary or c) voices of random spirits hanging about is a talent, skill or gift that we each must pray for, develop or receive from God.

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    • Jesef,

      Excellent comments. What I’ve discovered is that evil has its bounds in terms of ability to deceive and fabricate.

      This goes beyond the “handshake” (or really, token) test of ministering spirits. It is much more simple than complicated; it’s simple enough that literally every mortal spirit child of God can process it, even with the veil over them.

      That which is good, will be known by the heart. We can recognize it if we look inside.

      I’m sorry if it sounds corny or shallow to say something like that. A lot of insincere people repeat such notions. But they have little understanding of what that sort of integrity to God and to goodness means.

      I don’t know how else to say it. You can believe that which feels good and right in the “heart of hearts”. If you are unsure, watch for the “fruits”. God will leave no one on the wrong path for too long.

      Keep your heart open. I can tell you are honestly seeking the truth.

      Victor

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  13. Hi guys, I assure my comment is not meant to offend or stab. I think the question of what constitutes knowledge (vs desire or belief/faith) and its degrees of surety is fundamental. One of the pretenses of modern LDS/Mormonism is the overuse and misuse of the phrase “I know…” and of the true meaning of knowledge.

    I’m not sure why you, Tim, or Log, would refer to “compelling” so quickly in response to my comment. All I’ve done is presented an idea (about knowledge and its nature) using words, statements, questions, and persuasion. If you are not persuaded or interested in what I’ve presented, that is totally fine. But how have I compelled or used force or coercion in any way?

    Please don’t take offense (and become defensive) where none is intended.

    All I’m forwarding is that there are degrees of knowledge and some are more sure. I have seen so many forms of spiritual manifestation “misinterpreted” or even over-“extrapolated” if you will, not to mention contradicted from one person to the next.

    There is a more sure word of prophecy or a more sure knowledge of the word of prophecy. I hope we are all seeking that.

    There is a reason JS said that which is more important would be manifested by open vision, by the seeing of the eye and the hearing of the ear, and why the 3 grand keys in D&C 129 involve detecting tangible visitations.

    I’m not discrediting less sure forms of knowledge just highlighting more sure forms. I’m not undermining or questioning all reality or experience or sentience (which would be nonsense). Don’t you seek a 3 Nephi 11 type perfect knowledge?

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    • Sorry Jesef. My comments in reference to compelling were more in response to Log’s comment. It elicited in me the feelings I expressed. I don’t want anybody to feel anything less than total acceptance by me or anybody else in the comments they share. I promise you I did not take offense at your comment. It was and is very thought provoking, at least to me.

      I did NOT think or feel you were trying to use compulsion in any way. Besides, how can one do that on a blog? It seems impossible to me. Persuasion is what we use in our dialogs here. It is welcome.

      I agree with your point that there are degrees of knowledge or “sureness.” Indeed, the more sure word or prophecy is what, I hope, we each seek. I know I do. And yes, I do seek a 3 Ne 11 type of experience as well as D&C 93:1, D&C 88:68, D&C 97:16 (defining the temple in this instance as our bodies) and D&C 107:18-19.

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    • Jesef,

      Nobody’s accused you of compulsion or coercion, neither has anyone been defensive.

      If you, like me, take experience alone as constituting knowledge, then there is no point to asking how someone knows anything except in a bid to reject their claims – after all, if they say they know something, and say they haven’t gotten that knowledge by experience, then their claim to knowledge ought to be rejected, since it doesn’t meet the definition of knowledge.

      Why is that the only reason to ask? Because suppose the claimant says they have sufficient experiential basis to make the claim to knowledge, and even describes it – the asker cannot know the answer is true, having no experiential basis for judging the claim to experience the claimant is making. Experiences are nontransferrable, after all. The asker is then merely sitting on a report of a claim to knowledge, the truth value of which cannot be determined.

      At that point, all words can do is persuade that a person most likely knows what they’re talking about, or not, since, again, experiences are nontransferrable. But one never can be quite assured, through words alone, that the claimant is using words in the same way the asker is, can one? And one never can be quite sure all relevant information has been communicated, can one?

      And this is true even with respect to revelation – D&C 19 addresses this topic.

      Anyways. Just some musings on the utter pointlessness of asking other people what they know. And why sign-seekers cannot be satisfied. And why disqualification is so much easier than determining truth. And why, in the end, one must get all answers from God.

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      • Log

        Hello brother I was curious about your statement that experiences are not transferable. This is not a challenge I just wanted to ask if you have really thought that through and are sure of that statement?

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  14. Thanks, Tim. I, too, seek a perfect and sure knowledge, which I believe the scriptures and the LoF promise. I believe when He shall appear we shall be like Him and we shall see Him as He is. May we come to KNOW Him, as surely as we know we live. The perfect day and perfect knowledge erase ALL doubt. No misinterpretation, no extrapolation. Experiential knowledge. Because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil nor could any revelation be withheld. God is no respecter of persons. I believe these things.

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  15. @Log  This is a comment left by Minority of One that somehow disappeared, probably because it was posted just as the new comment system was being implemented. All old comments were copied into the new system. This one didn’t seem to make it so I’m adding it back in for MoO as a test:

    “Log: Hello brother I was curious about your statement that experiences
    are not transferable.  This is not a challenge I just wanted to ask if you have
    really thought that through and are sure of that statement?”

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