Awhile 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.