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

13 Responses

  1. Beautifully written, Tim. I love your posts. You are able to say things in a way that really touches me. I do not feel preached to when I read your posts. Thank you so much for sharing this and your experiences.

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  2. There are only a few who will openly say “soon” in regards to catastrophes ahead. We have become so mainstreamed that we no longer teach our children about the trek back to Jackson County and only if we believe it ourselves. I ask my children, “Do you have a good heavy coat? Do you have good strong shoes in the closet ready go?” My fourteen year old daughter looked at me Sunday puzzled and said, “I just don’t believe that anymore dad.” She makes me laugh, but she’s of the new generation now so very impacted by the Google Apostasy. Me? I was born there at a very young age while my father was in dental school (what is it about Jews and Ephraimites that attracts them so much to dentistry?). Yesterday I received a copy of my birth certificate from Jefferson City and there it was…Place: Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. I pinch myself when I realize my goal has always been to return there with my family to Zion some day. My daughter and I are walking talking metaphors of the dying old school Mormonite Zionists and the emerging “Nones” of the 21st Century. 

    For my precious dear children Christ said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” — Matthew 24:22

    Jonathan Felt
    Utah County and Brooklyn, NY

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  3. This post is flabbergastingly well written, Tim. Elder Scott’s teachings in this matter are true! And you have painted the picture perfectly.

    I want to add that I spent an entire day reviewing those three Sunday morning talks last General Conference, trying to make a “post” out of them. But I came across as “attacking” — and you have deftly avoided that. (Sister McConkie’s talk, if it were not so idolatrous, was the very best summation of the topic I had ever considered! She did a marvelous job! Too bad her premise was wrong!) 

    There was one other talk of this type I recall: M. Russell Ballard’s about staying in the boat and holding on. It was the most misguided of the bunch, I’m sorry to say. Pure appeal to allegiance to the leaders of the Church. (As I recall, he claimed the leaders can’t lead us astray!) Well, what makes them so special? I guess the Lord owes mankind an apology for all those other leaders who (almost invariably) lead His people astray. 

    You follow Christ…and come unto the Tree of Life Himself…or you wander in mists of darkness, find yourself lost, in filthy waters, or pointing the finger from the large and spacious building. 

    I don’t want to be seen as pointing the finger. I just know that this is true.

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  4. I’m very curious to know whom you think the remnant is.  I have my own point of view and would like more clarification.  I agree… we are coming to a crisis point.  I’m sad to hear of so many people who are being persecuted because they are standing up for Christ.  We are certainly living in interesting times.

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  5. From Denver’s blog on the Remnant:

    From Part VII
    “The promise of a remnant holding authority and performing a central work in the establishment of Zion, as prophesied by the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, would be a dramatic change in course for the church. This is something that will occur in any event. Indeed, coalitions, conspiracies and man’s arm will be powerless to prevent it. Unlikely history is the stuff of scripture.
    Prophecies will be fulfilled. Despite vanity and foolishness, error and unbelief, prophecies will be fulfilled
    From Part VIII
    To see the remnant’s role is more important than to understand their identity. Their identity will come. But their role is distinct and important. 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.

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    • Dear North_Star: I am wondering about your post tonight because I don’t understand it. Did you quote Brother Snuffer correctly? In a strictly technical sense, isn’t “The Remnant” all those who survive at Messiah’s Coming? What did you mean by quoting “We are not them, and they have a destiny appointed them by covenant and promise. We cannot substitute ourselves for them. ” That sounds like the 144,000 to me.

      So…In an Isaiah context, “The Remnant” include all those who keep God’s covenant and prove faithful in all things and under all conditions (like the 144,000) but that highest level of “The Remnant” are absolutely not the only ones. However, all of the remnant will be on the ladder of ascent above the wicked who refuse to keep covenants. As God proves us, he lifts us by his servants who are above us. When we repent and begin our return, we then are commissioned to lift others from a lower rung to where we are. This intra-personal iterative process thus refines all remaining mankind to bring about Zion. …And isn’t the definition of remnant a deductive phrase meaning all those who remain? The opposite of remnant are those who do not repent and who will be hewn down by the King of Assyria in the great disaster ahead. The remnant is symbolized in the name Shear Yashub meaning “A Remnant Shall Repent.” In Hebrew repent means to return so it also means “A Remnant Shall Return.” Couldn’t I therefore say, if I, Jonathan, am successful in this next coming phase of events by my repentance, I will be one who will return, and as I pass the test I will become identified with Zion and be a part of the remnant. I have hope of being of the remnant regardless of station on the Ladder to Heaven? Where have I erred?

      My point of reference come from “The End from the Beginning — The Apocalyptic Vision of Isaiah” by Avraham Gileadi pages 108-111.

      Jonathan Felt
      Utah County and Brooklyn, NY

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      • I posted a couple of items from Denver’s blog on the remnant that caught my attention and meant something to me. If you have not had a chance to view Denver’s 8 part blog on the remnant, you should take the opportunity to read them. His perspective is much broader than the two quotes I noted….and I suspect his understanding much better than my own.

        http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/09/remnant-part-i.html

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  6. I think that “remnant” is sometimes used to refer to a very specific group of people mentioned in prophecy and sometimes more generically to refer to a group of people that remains after “judgments” and calamity have come upon a much larger population.

    As for Denver’s “Remnant” posts, I thought that he was referring specifically to the use of the term in 3 Nephi. And if I remember correctly (I read the posts quite a while ago), I thought Denver interpreted the term “remnant” to refer specifically to descendants of that group of 2500 at the temple in Bountiful when Christ appeared after his resurrection.

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  7. Tim,
    Your posts lift and motivate me to continue to try. You put the thoughts of my own heart into words so very well. I have been aware of Elder Scott’s talk for a long time. It was part of my transition from born-again brethrenite to one who started feeling lost and alone in the church, to one who recognizes the church is lost and deeply into idolatry and leader worship. This transition came about over years and there were clear mile-stones I can now look back on along the way. Perhaps the biggest was right after I was fired from teaching Gospel Doctrine. I had taught for more than 2 yrs out of the lesson manual, teaching the church correlation committee approved material with minimal preparation each Sunday. One day, the Spirit moved on me to try to become a real teacher in the spirit of “if ye have not the Spirit ye shall not teach”. I started really laboring over my lessons, fasting and praying, and researching the scriptures for upwards of 20-30 hrs for each lesson. After teaching just 3 lesson by the Spirit, I was summarily “fired” from my calling because some members of the GD class complained to the Bishop that I was not sticking to the approved lesson manual. That really hurt me and as I brooded and pondered for days over what had happened, one early morning the Spirit audibly spoke these words to me, “this is what persecution feels like, and it will come first from within the church”. A few days later, very early one morning, the Spirit woke me from a sound sleep and told me to get up and open the Book of Mormon. I was led to read 2 Nephi 26-33, the apostasy of the church in the last days and the Doctrine of Christ. The next morning very early the Spirit again woke me and told me to get up and read the Book of Mormon. I was led to read Mormon 8-9, the apostasy of the church in the last days. The next morning again I was awakened very early in the morning by the Spirit and told to read the Book of Mormon. I was led to read 3 Nephi 16-26, where the Savior spoke of the apostasy of the last days, the restoration of the remnant of the House of Jacob, the coming of Zion, the destruction of the gentiles, and that only a (small) remnant of the gentiles who repent and come unto Christ would be instrumental in restoring that remnant of Jacob and THOSE GENTILES would be grafted into the House of Israel. After those experiences, I was convinced there was something about to come forth from the Lord wh. would shake the church to its very core and would result in the Lord doing as Ezekiel taught in Ezek. 34, “finding and feeding His sheep” because the shepherds of Israel were asleep and failing to do the work of the Lord.
    Very soon after that I heard of a book by a man with the strange name of Denver Snuffer, titled “The Second Comforter, Conversing With the Lord Thru the Veil”. As I read his book I found that the things that man had written LIFTED ME AS NO OTHER BOOK EVER HAD OTHER THAN THE BOOK OF MORMON. I knew I had to meet this man. When I did I found that he was just a man, with flaws and faults like everyone else. But his writings were marvelous, in fact I came to realize that his writings are a part of the scriptures we have been long promised would come forth in the last days.
    Your writings, Tim, have some of that same effect on me, and I suspect on many of your readers from what I see in the Comments section.
    When I was anticipating this most recent Genl Conf., I was pondering what to do about my church membership because I have now long recognized that while the church is deeply into idolatry and apostasy, there is also some good still to be found there. A few days before the conference, the Spirit said to me that I would hear in conference something that would convince me of the things that are true about my feelings and would resolve any lingering confusion.
    I was not able to listen to or attend any meetings on Saturday of Genl Conf. I did listen to the Sunday AM session. I was struck by the messages of the first 3 speakers who all essentially pounded on the pulpit exclaiming the dogma of “Follow the Prophet, follow the Brethren”. I heard the message I was told would be there for me, to the convincing beyond any doubt that the church has lost its authority and power and is no longer accepted of the Lord as “His church”. It has been shown to me that “His church” refers to the Church of the Lamb wh. was seen in vision by Nephi; the only church wh. stands in opposition to the great whore of all the earth, the church of the devil.
    All churches have some good in them. Baptists, Lutherans, Hindu, Moslem all have good people and some who are truly trying to serve God as they see their way to do so. All those churches are a part of the great deception, the church of the devil. They are not the Church of the Lamb. The LDS church, with whatever good it may possess, has lost its direction, has lost the spirit and sanction of the Lord, and has also become a part of that great deception.
    May the Lord bless you Brother Tim and continue to inspire you.
    James Russell Uhl

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  8. This is all very interesting to me from my own paradigm and relationship with God. The Lord has told me that some great things will happen around the time of the third blood moon. I believe that will be in April.
    Then i have been told that the church has never had the authority it has claimed to have, but in the last years The Lord has begun to withdraw His Spirit and their condemnation is being made sure.
    Now I have been told something very specific about this “conference” in grand Mesa. I encourage people to go and believe that marvelous things (perhaps some surprises and major paradigm shifts) will occur.
    The remnant depends upon if you are referring to the Book of Mormon or to Isaiah etc. often the remnant in the Book of Mormon refers to the remnant of the posterity of those who traveled with lehi and who will be taught as if from the dust.
    Isaiah speaks of those who will survive the devastation and calamities that are soon coming on the earth and will build up Zion on the earth and “build up the waste places”. I believe Denver may be referring to the native Americans or otherwise who are remnant of the nephite/lamanite persuasion and their part in things. I have been told there is about to be a great awakening among the native Americans and it will be glorious.
    I am just excited people are finding out in their own way the LDS church is not what it has claimed to be, even if they are wrong that it’s apostasy just started recently. Absolutely thrilled. Someday perhaps I will fit in with some group or organization but I continue to watch with interest as others organize and prepare within their own set of beliefs and groups etc. God bless each of us in our sincere search for greater things.

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  9. Mormonism swings like a pendulum between the Catholic version of the Gospel which is the need for order, and institutional control through a priestly hierarchy and the Protestant version that rejects priestly hierarchy and wants a spirit-driven, less orderly and charismatic experience. The last 100 years or so of Mormon movement has been almost entirely toward the Catholic direction. Since the coming of the internet age, which has suddenly returned power of influence from central control to the lay members of the church, we are simply experiencing blowback by central authority as they try to maintain business as usual. However, to conclude that Mormonism never had or does not now have actual, real authority to administer the gospel, is I believe a gross error in judgment. Those of you who claim individual revelation from the Lord need to understand that many lay members in the LDS Church (myself included) have and do also experience the sure witness of the Holy Ghost that sufficient authority to move and administer the true Church of Christ is still resident within the current leadership of the LDS Church. I do recognize the many errors that LDS leadership has made, especially since hindsight is 20/20, as the saying goes. However, I am willing to allow that the Lord can, and does call imperfect men to do his work, and in fact, that’s really all he has to draw from. To me, the solution to the problem Tim draws here, of leaders that insist on intermediating between the individual and Christ is simple: just sidestep it, individually, and go forge your relationship with Christ directly. Since all gospel covenants are between the individual and God directly, really leadership has no influence or control over this. If they are demanding something that is unrighteous, then you are under no obligation to pay attention or comply with it. I still hope that Tim, and others who are currently dissaffected, will rejoin the body of Christ soon, because you can have a lot more influence for change from within, then from without. From the very first days of Mormonism, you will notice that all along the way, rational people have come up with all sorts of reasons to leave, splinter off, and go do things their own way. What has come of all this? Nothing but hundreds of groups of disaffected Saints, moving away and living their lives in obscurity. Think of the powerful effect a single Saint can have. Take, for example Hugh Nibley. He knew as well as anyone that there were big problems in Mormon history and doctrinal development. But he never took a direct jab at leadership. He has had a huge and profound effect on the way Mormon scholarship has been done ever since. He never held office, but he did possess Moral Authority.

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  10. Karl,
    “And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, wh. is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.”
    1 Nephi 14:10

    “I still hope that Tim, and others who are currently dissaffected, will rejoin the body of Christ soon”

    Thank you Karl, that is precisely what many of us are trying to accomplish.
    James Russell Uhl

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  11. Tim, Thank you for this post! You teach truth. The LDS church and it’s members seem to believe that if you don’t believe Thomas Monson to be a prophet that you are worthy of church discipline. Prophet worship is damning, yet that is what we see in almost any church gathering, and seems to be the focus. If I were at the head of the church I would be sick to my stomach at people praising and worshiping and following me -a flawed mortal with NO power to save anyone! The head of the church should point everyone to Christ and deflect all attention to Him. Is not this what all the Holy Prophets from scripture did?

    My personal persecution has begun, and it started with those that should have been my friends. Interesting how the tables turn when someone you love finds out you no longer believe the traditional narrative of the church. I will pick up my cross and follow my Lord and Savior and no one else because salvation is to be had in no other way nor name given under Heaven. Glory be to God for the gift of His Son!

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