Anxiously Engaged In A Good Cause


RestoreZionAwhile back, Daymon responded to one of my posts in a kind and gentle way which got me thinking about the phrases I use in my writing. His use of Skeletor as an object lesson was simply ingenious. Some of you may remember his objection to ascribing the voice of authority to our own thoughts in order to give them greater credibility or persuasive influence upon others.

In the comments section we discussed inspiration, prophecy, revelation and the whole idea of having “unique access to the Lord.” In the end, he suggested we be more humble and take our thoughts more seriously as gifts. I will be forever grateful to the newfound understanding I gained from Daymon’s humorous illustration. It helped me reconsider how I express thoughts.

A friend, let’s call him Log, recently counseled me in a similar manner with these words, “I feel it breaks the rule when we say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ without the Lord asking us to say that.  Whether we say it by ‘the Spirit told me’ or ‘I’m prophesying here,’ it is the same.” I’d like to expand on why I agree with Daymon and Log in this post and how it applies to LDS bloggers.

A Desire to Focus Your Attention

Sometimes I speculate. I think we all do. Other times I extrapolate and reason, based upon what I read or see, about the fulfillment of scripture amidst current world events. After all, the focus of this blog has always been signs of the times and the last days, or at least that has always been my intent. I read about the rise of evil power in the Middle East and ponder how it might affect me.

In a post simply titled “Babylon,” a man I consider to be a prophet recently wrote, “The God of Heaven tells me all the world should pray that Baghdad does not fall.” Like several others, I took his powerful one-line post, added a few paragraphs of history, background and current events then concluded my own post with words encouraging readers: let us pray Baghdad does not fall.

I tried to not use the voice of authority. I tried to not imply the Lord had asked me to add what I did to Denver Snuffer’s original message. I did not share I had prayed about what to write, nor did I use such phrases as “The Lord told me to add,” or “The Spirit prompted me to explain…” After all, I was responding to a request from yet another blogger who suggested the new post.

Speaking As a Prophet, Seer or Revelator

When Daymon referred to reframing the old models I had to think for a minute what he meant. It came to me as I considered how I described my conversations with the Lord in my blog posts. It became even clearer as I pondered the response of some readers in private emails asking me to talk to the Lord for them. “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets…” (Num 11:29)

In every case of such requests I have responded, “You can and should be talking to the Lord for yourself.” The idea of being a medium is appalling to me. Frankly, it shocks me to learn anyone considers it to be a valid way to receive revelation. Just as there is only one mediator between man and God, there is only one mediator between us and the Lord and that is the Holy Ghost.

So how do I respond to promises of gifts of prophecy and revelation contained in my patriarchal blessing? Why would a patriarch speak of the whisperings of the Holy Ghost that come to me or that I would speak the words of the Lord pertaining to the salvation of his children? Are all such promises null and void, not applicable now that I am no longer a member of the LDS Church?

Seek the Best Gifts, Covet to Prophecy

Be humble and grateful for inspired thoughts was what I gained from Daymon’s Skeletor post. Be careful in the use of attribution for such thoughts. I recall a 1993 made-for-TV movie about Ervil LeBaron called Prophet of Evil. Brian Dennehy did an excellent job of creeping me out with his portrayals of Ervil’s obvious manipulative “revelations” in directing his cult murders.

If anyone wants to know how Satan can deceive in the matter of revelations, just read about the LeBarons. In the comments on my Babylon post, I wrote I had no problem judging the evildoers in Iraq and Syria who commit atrocities such as burning people alive. I feel the same way about Ervil LeBaron. I have no problem stating he was evil. How could anyone follow such a man?

In contrast, when a man speaks under the influence of the Holy Ghost, hearers or readers will be enlightened, instructed, uplifted and motivated to action that brings one closer to the Savior. That does not mean every word is intended to cause us to feel good or to be comforted. Sometimes the whisperings of the Holy Ghost cause us to feel uncomfortable only because the task is difficult.

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

For example, when the Lord spoke through Joseph in section one of the Doctrine and Covenants, the voice of warning was unmistakable and clear. The revelation spoke of the anger of the Lord, secret acts being revealed, the rebellious being pierced with much sorrow, the wrath of God to be poured out upon the wicked without measure, peace being taken from the earth and judgments.

There are references throughout the Doctrine and Covenants to the dreadful day of the Lord. The Lord describes His word as being quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow. We are counseled to deny not the spirit of revelation or the spirit of prophecy. Obviously we need to be familiar with and understand this sacred spirit.

“…woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth…” We are admonished to cast out devils freely, without being commanded to do so (D&C 24:13). Tribulation and desolation are soon to be sent forth. The Lord will reveal himself from heaven with power and great glory. The wicked shall burn as stubble. Great hailstorms shall be sent to destroy the crops of the earth.

Words to Afflict the Comfortable

How does this kind of language make you feel? Does it come from the Lord? We could fill pages and pages with such statements, all attributed to the Lord and delivered through various prophets. When we hear or read such language today do we think they only applied to the members in the early days of the LDS Church, when the Adventist movement and belief was more predominant?

Here are a few more from section 29: There will be a pillar of fire again. A trump shall sound both long and loud. All the earth shall quake. The sun shall be darkened. The moon shall be turned to blood. The stars shall fall from heaven. There shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath. Flies shall be sent forth, shall eat flesh and cause maggots to come in.

The flesh of men shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets. I think that’s enough to illustrate the point. We accept section 29 as the word of the Lord. Does it make you feel comfortable? Lightning shall streak from the east unto the west. All that live shall hear the voice of thunders and tempests and hailstorms and famines and pestilences of every kind. Ugh.

A Voice of Warning to All Men

Why would the Lord talk like this unto us? Does he want to frighten us and cause our children to cry? Of course not. Such language is given in the spirit of prophecy and revelation by the Lord to His servants, the prophets. If a prophet is not sharing such messages, he is not doing his job. The Lord’s voice in our day is a voice of warning. We do not live in a day of peace. That is obvious.

26: And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth. 31: And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.

Those quotes are from section 45. 39: And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. 42 And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.  43 And the remnant shall be gathered…

The Remnant Shall Be Gathered

Who are the remnant? The remnant are those preserved by Christ. The Restoration given through the Prophet Joseph Smith is currently producing a remnant – those who remember. All who will remember will constitute a remnant that will be preserved and not abandoned by God. It has been the same in every dispensation. The remnant are gathering now, spiritually first, then physically.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” One of those good causes available now is to participate in the spiritual gathering of the remnant.

To this end, there are several individuals who have established various websites, blogs and social platforms. They are doing this on their own, without command, because the power is in them. In other words, they can, so they do. They shall in nowise lose their reward. I would like to mention one such endeavor as I close this post in the hopes of bringing it to the attention of good people.

New Remnant Gathering Website

The new social platform is RestoreZion.com. You are probably aware of other sites such as Approaching the Heavenly Gift on the LDS Freedom Forum. In addition, there are a number of Facebook groups where the remnant are gathering. This new site is privately hosted, includes a news feed, private messaging, an area for creating groups, events, forums, video chat and more.

As of this writing membership is open to all like-minded individuals who agree the Lord is now working through Denver Snuffer as His messenger and servant in our day. There are about fifty who have joined so far. I encourage you to check it out, join if you choose and participate in the dialog. There are many places hosting remnant conversations. This one is designed for safety.

To join, the administrator will review your request. I’m sure you can appreciate this is to ensure the participants can discuss Remnant events in a safe environment. As I looked at the list of those who are already registered, I recognize almost all of them from one of the other remnant sites or Facebook groups. Please don’t think of this as a gatekeeper type of site. It is simply another tool.

A Few Closing Thoughts

I hope you see there are no phrases or inferences in this post that this is intended to be the word of the Lord to anyone. It simply contains a few of my thoughts on various subjects I feel inspired to share this weekend. Have I prayed about this? Of course. Have I felt guided by the spirit of the Lord in what I have written? Yes. My intent was to inform, invite and encourage, nothing more.

Does this post contain offensive material? Yes, it does to those who are offended by the idea the Lord could communicate with his children through someone other than the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Denver Snuffer has delivered a message from the Lord in a series of lectures, to which a second witness stood and testified the message was authorized.

In Keith’s own words, “I bear solemn testimony that I have received the message by God’s voice of their truthfulness, and also of His desire for us to believe in and act upon these things that have been spoken.” Note the phrase “by God’s voice.” You will need to decide for yourself if you believe Keith as a true witness. I, for one, accept his witness. I invite you to act upon it.

 

10 Responses

  1. Tim, you mention that people have asked you to speak to the Lord for them. You were appropriately appalled. We both know this is inappropriate. Yet, how many of the D&C sections are the result of people asking Joseph to speak to the Lord for them? My point? WE need to be different. We need to be better! Not prideful, but we need to reject pride better than they did. We need to go humbly to the Lord – directly – better than they did. We need to cast off our love of riches – yes – better than they did. I don’t speak with pride here, but with responsibility. Those men blazed the trail – they made the mistakes that resulted in the failure of Zion and in the church we have today – which church most of us either have rejected or are in the process of rejecting. We will be honor them, and especially the Lord, by learning from their mistakes, and avoiding the pits that they fell into. If we are on the right track, and I obviously believe we are, we are making history. I think we would do well to recognize that awesome responsibility. The trick, as I said, is to maintain that spirit of humility and charity and responsibility.

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  2. “Sometimes I speculate. I think we all do.”

    I think we all do too.

    “A friend, let’s call him Log, recently counseled me in a similar manner with these words, “I feel it breaks the rule when we say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ without the Lord asking us to say that. Whether we say it by ‘the Spirit told me’ or ‘I’m prophesying here,’ it is the same.” I’d like to expand on why I agree with Daymon and Log in this post and how it applies to LDS bloggers.”

    I agree with them too, and perhaps I owe Log an apology (if that’s what he was saying.)

    I can be a little dull sometimes, and what often confused me was that Log seemed to have so much to say while seeming to say we shouldn’t say anything unless the Lord told us to.

    That sometimes led me to try to get him to clarify whether he had in fact received some “thus saith the Lord” on some particular subject (like not praying for either side in Iraq, for example.)

    It’s possible I often just misunderstood him, and if I did, I apologize.

    (I could say more, regarding his genuine kindness to me and my father this Christmas, but he knows what he did, and I hope he knows I haven’t forgotten it.)

    I still think he knows the corpus of LDS scripture better than most TBM’s, and better than most of you (and certainly better than me), and I hope he’ll share his thoughts, opinions, and speculations here ocasionally.

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  3. Tim,
    I tried to join the last group you mentioned and never heard any response and its been a long while. Is there anyway you can check and see if my request went through?
    Tim

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    • Hi Tim. Use whois (google it) to determine the owner of the domain. His name, phone, address and email address are listed. But since it’s a public record, here you go: Dustin Woodard, Riverdale UT, dustin.woodard@gmail.com. Good luck.

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      • Thanks Tim!

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  4. Would like to know why you get to see the list of who has joined and who else specifically has access to that info. What does safe and secure mean in this context?

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    • Hi Lynne. I think because the new site is a social platform, the design and function is similar to Facebook. Once someone has been vetted, the chat room is open. Any forum software does or allows the same thing – to be able to see who is a member and who is online. I suppose that’s why so many people use online identities. I don’t.

      Safe and secure. That’s a great question. I think Mike (Jensen) intends to create an environment where individuals can discuss the restoration and the remnant without having to worry that someone will report them to their bishop or stake president. I don’t worry about that. Never have, but especially now that I’m not a member.

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  5. There seems to be a lot of counsel, advice and reprimand expressed on this and other blogs. Frankly, I enjoy and learn a lot from the commentary. No matter what is said or how it is said, words give a spring board for thought and consideration.

    D&C 1:14 – “And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants neither give “heed” to the “words” of the prophets and apostles shall be cut off from the people.”

    The word HEED is interesting and is often misunderstood to mean only, follow and obey.

    Heed: Dictionary: Verb: Pay attention to, take notice of. (He should have heeded the warnings.) Noun: Careful attention. (We must take heed of the suggestions.)

    Heed: Thesaurus: Verb: Pay attention to, take notice of, take note of, pay heed to, attend to, listen to, bear in mind, be mindful of, mark, consider, take into account, be alert to, take to heart, observe, follow, obey.

    Noun: Attention, notice, note, regard, consideration, thought, care.

    It looks to me that I’m to seek and hear directly the voice of the Lord and his servants, (perhaps angels) but give “heed” to the words of the prophets and apostles. I suggest we can also heed the words of a parent, a friend, a mate, etc.

    Once I take heed, listen, consider, take into account, observe, etc., it is up to me to go to the Lord for confirmation by the spirit, whether the “words”, narration, interpretation, or the understanding of others is “truth” by the Lord’s standard, only then I am obliged to follow and obey.

    This procedure puts the responsibility of the acceptance of words and ideas squarely on my shoulders. I am held accountable for what I accept as truth. I cannot hide behind, “But Lord, the Prophet told me.” “Denver said….” “Tim said.” “Log said.’’ “Mom said.” And, of course the most famous one, “The Devil made me do it.”

    Agency carries with it a lot of common sense, maturity and responsibility does it not?

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  6. Love your reply Kathryn.

    Seems we are getting into the weeds so much so that people are taking offense for a word. Though I do appreciate the easy way that principles seem to slide off into man-made gospels, still don’t you know that Satan would just love to shut us all up: Don’t dare talk for fear of speaking wrongly, don’t dare heed any others’ wise words. Just shut up and pray and meditate on your own.

    That doesn’t seem quite the way it’s supposed to be.

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  7. Just going on your prophets part, I was invited to a stake marriage session with Elder Bednar last Wednesday. We went to my stake centre and were tuned into the meeting held in Auckland, I think it was. (I guess Elder Bednar is here in New Zealand on a bit of a tour.)
    The guy that introduced the speakers emphasised 3-4 times that tonight we will be in the presence of a prophet, seer and revelatory. Take this opportunity etc…
    It was a question and answer sort of a session when Bednar spoke. One of the parts I would like to share was, for me, a voice of warning. He talked about asking, knocking and seeking. He said that if we do not learn this pattern of gaining knowledge and help then the latter days would be VERY difficult. He then started talking about how we should not rely on the church to do everything for us. That we need to follow the ask, seek, knock pattern, and look to the Lord for help and direction in our lives, and not the church. He kept on saying that. Seek direction directly from the Lord as the church will not be able to help you. (I can only presume he was meaning the calamities of the last days.)
    I found this very interesting as a few blogs I read, talk about the theme of the last conference being follow the prophet, follow the leaders, get direction from them, they will never lead you astray.
    Then when I went to this meeting about marriage, Bednar is teaching about look to the Lord not the church. Why would a message to the world differ from a message to the saints in NZ? Its a little confusing.
    I like what you said about prophets being a voice of warning too. Wicked King Noah and the Israelites in Jeremiahs time had big hang ups about the prophets not telling them nice flowery words and instead, prophesying destruction which they didn’t want to hear.

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