The Path of Discipleship


JST Luke 14

25 [T]here went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

JesusTeachingWhat he is saying is, if you desire to be his disciple and to take him to be your Master, then commit to living his teachings in all things. If you fail in your discipleship, if you refuse the sacrifices commanded, then when you are in hell, the denizens thereof will hate you above others. If you know you cannot bear the loss of your career, your reputation, your home, your friends, your family, and even your life, then don’t start the path. Discipleship is not for you.

Religion, on the other hand, might seem to offer a way out. “If I follow the prophets, surely this would suffice, and I wouldn’t need to worry about losing all earthly things according to the teachings of Christ.”

35 Then certain of them came to him saying, Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?

36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

37 But if the salt had lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

38 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; men cast it out. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. These things he said, signifying that which was written, verily must all be fulfilled.

Matt712If you know these things and do not do them, you shall be cast out.

Hence, “ALL THINGS whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

What is the reward for following the teachings of Christ with diligence and exactness?

JST Matthew 10: 21 Remember, the disciple is not above his master; nor the servant above his lord. It is enough that the disciple be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

JST Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

You will be even as Jesus is. It is possible to be perfect.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:125
125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.

Charity is the bond of perfectness. And with it, you are even as God is while you are in this world.

JST 1 John 4
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

So how do we obtain charity? Is it developed over a lifetime of home teaching, temple work, and tithe-paying?

Moroni 7:48
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Follow in his word and pray for charity until you receive.

JST John 8
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This is the path of discipleship.

JST Luke 6
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Determining Your Mission in Life


JacobBlessesSonsFirst of all, YOU determine your mission in life. Nobody else can do it for you. YOU decide what you want to do with your life. YOU decide what it is that God would like you to do with your life. If you feel God would like you to be a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then you be the best damn member of the LDS Church you can possibly be.

If you feel God wants you to become an expert on LDS Church History, then by all means, do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Obviously you’ll want to be balanced in your pursuit. We all have a regular life – you know, work, school, family, sleep, church, social and the like. But if God has given you a desire to pursue something and you feel it is right, then give it your heart.

Don’t take crap from anybody who tells you how wrong you are to be focused on something that gives you pleasure and provides you with enjoyment. Especially beware of well-meaning people who want you to adopt their modus operandi in life as yours. Just because they can’t understand what makes you tick, doesn’t give them the right to tell you how wrong you are for your focus.

May God Bless the LDS Church

For example, on my last post, a well-intentioned individual decided to let loose with all kinds of advice that apparently works well for that person in their life, but is so full of judgement and fear I could hardly read it without laughing out loud. I won’t name the reader. I value their comments and they are welcome to post them as they please, but it was so, so very wrong for my situation.

LDSChurchOfficeBuildingI love the LDS Church. Always have. Always will. It has a special and sacred mission. It was established by divine mandate. It was led by the Lord for many generations. The hand of the Lord prospered the LDS Church and just about everything it did. No matter how many ways the imperfect leaders and members messed it up, it always came out on top because God blessed it.

The Lord is still blessing the LDS Church, the members and the leaders. They are sustained by the prayers of the faithful members. I continue to pray for them, every night, by name, and ask the Lord to bless them in their work. I pray for those who are sick. I ask the Lord to join my faith with the faith of millions of members of the LDS Church all over the world praying for them.

How You Judge Reveals You to Others

I was a member of the LDS Church for over fifty years. I continue to attend the LDS Church. I love the local leaders and pray for them each night. I enjoy listening to the counsel of these leaders and see the hand of the Lord upon them. There is no doubt they have prayed for the help of the Lord to magnify their callings. They are blessed according to their faith and prayers.

speaking-in-churchPlease don’t judge my motivation as to why I write about the LDS Church. Don’t assume to know what makes me tick. Don’t think you know what my mission in life is. Don’t proclaim I have a fixation with the LDS Church when you have no right to proclaim any such thing. You have no idea what my mission is. You don’t know what the Lord has shared with me about this.

Just because you are offended by any mention of the LDS Church doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about it. You don’t have to read my blog. Go elsewhere. What you’ll find here are good things about the LDS church, the leaders, the programs and the much good accomplished by the LDS Church. I don’t care about the cost of City Creek mall. I gave my tithing willingly. So there.

Seek to Find Common Ground

My desire is to minister to the good people of the LDS Church. I am most familiar with the inner workings for the church, having served in a local leadership capacity for over twenty-five years. I have no desire to tell, persuade or convince anyone to leave the LDS Church. There is too much good in our local wards and stakes. I look forward to my continued association with my friends.

josephsmith.jpgYou don’t know my mission. I am not here to shake anything up. I am here to bless and bring attention to good things wherever they may be in the LDS Church or in the culture or in any one of the many Mormon groups that claim to be part of the restoration movement. If you know and love Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon then you and I have a lot in common.

I love the LDS Temples. I wish I could go. I miss attending the temple. The LDS Church has not done me wrong in any way, shape or form. They have gone out of their way to be nice to me, to see to my spiritual needs and to truly befriend me as best they can. Nobody is perfect. No leader can be everything we think they should be. The burden we put on local leaders is so very unfair.

Seek to Strengthen Your Marriage

I pray for the success of the mission of the LDS Church. I pray for the continued success or the missionaries, local and foreign. I pray they will be a good example and not mess anything up. They are young and inexperienced. I am so grateful they are blessed with good and faithful mission presidents and mothers who look out for them. Some were my missionary companions.

EldersBookOfMormonIf you choose to leave the LDS Church out of your life, that’s your prerogative. It will be a big part of mine until the day I die. The LDS Church has a mission. I intend to watch it fulfill that mission. I will never be a member again but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a friend. I am married to one of the most dedicated, faithful, loyal and protective members of the Church in all the world.

I have watched her become stronger in her beliefs, her practices and her prayers. She is studying the atonement of Jesus Christ and shares with me her observations as she reads. Carol reads the scriptures every night before she goes to bed. I’m more hit and miss in reading. I tend to spend a lot of time on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the scriptures – the days I work from the home office.

Your Mission Is Not My Mission

Your claim that I have a fixation with the LDS church is wrong. Your statement I am looking backward not forward is wrong. Your claim I must forgive the LDS Church is erroneous. Your proclamation that I am full of judgment and fear more likely applies to your own life, not mine. People tend to see in others what is most bothersome in themselves. I suggest you repent of that.

new-heavens7You ask why I feel the need to talk about the LDS Church now that I have resigned. Has it ever occurred to you maybe that Lord wants me to write about the LDS Church? Have you thought maybe the Lord and I have discussed this and have come to the conclusion my best work can be done by reaching out to those like me who have been faithful all their lives but have questions?

You don’t know me. You never will. Nobody can. My family doesn’t know me. My wife doesn’t know me. The only person who knows me is God. He and I talk every day, all day throughout the day. We discuss the challenges I face. We talk about solving problems together. We laugh about the silly things people do and say. We cry together about misunderstandings and injustices.

Come Place Your Name in the Temple

recorders-clearinghouseWe cry together about the calamities that are coming upon the earth. We discuss ways we can do more to reach people to warn them without sounding like a fool. We mourn for those who judge me and my friends because we are so adamant the Lord is actively moving among the good LDS people in a way most of them don’t recognize. He is finding a few here and there who will listen.

There are thousands who have heard the message of the messenger He sent. Yes, thousands. I wish more people would come forward and record their names on the register. Do they just not realize how important this is? This is the list of names to be presented to the Lord in the temple when He comes again. My name is on that list. Is yours? Why haven’t you sent it to be recorded?

You advised me to let go of the Church soapbox. Sorry. If what I write offends you, don’t read my blog. This is what I know. This is how the Lord works with me. Maybe he works differently with you. I honor that. You can best serve your creator by honoring the choices of others. Don’t pretend you know what is best for another. Only God can tell them that. God reveals missions.

 

Hedging the Law: Two Variations on a Theme


The Problem with the Precepts of Men

hedge-rowThe Jews taught for doctrines the commandments of men and built a hedge around the commandments of God. The reasoning is understandable – if you have to keep the commandments of God to be saved, and if the commandment says not to labor on the Sabbath, then if you forbid your congregation from doing even so much as separating toilet paper on the Sabbath, there’s no way they can drive close to enough to the edge of the cliff to be in danger of falling off.

roll-toilet-paperThe problem is, this is like sheathing the sword of God. You may suffer guilt by tearing up toilet paper on the Sabbath, because of the creeds and traditions you’ve been raised with, but you will not be convicted of your sins by the Spirit of God, because this isn’t one of the commandments of God, therefore you will not feel to cry mightily to be forgiven and cleansed from your sins, that you may experience the mighty change of heart and the joy of God at your return to him. And being ignorant of the actual laws, when you do break a commandment, you do so ignorantly, and again, aren’t convicted by the Spirit – ignorance is an excuse with God. Thus the purpose of the commandments gets blunted, and the law no longer serves the function it was designed to.

And then the commandments of men are what get taught, and not the commandments of God. Thus hypocrites, and not saints, are produced by the Church – guilt-ridden perfectionistic pretenders. That was the state of the Jews when John began his preaching. This was symbolized by the fig tree that Jesus cursed.

This impulse – to sheath the sword of God, building a hedge around the law, for the safety and protection of the flock – is common in every age.

abinadi-king-noahA hypocrite is one who is playing a role he has been taught. The word simply means “actor.” We’ve seen fake love. That’s hypocrisy. We’ve seen “friendships” which are struck for the purpose of conversion. That’s hypocrisy.

These are the wolves, the goats, the older brethren, the wild olives, the tares.

A saint is one who has cried mightily unto God from the depths of their soul and been cleansed from their sins by fire from heaven.

These are the sheep, the prodigals, the tame olives, the wheat.

That is why priests are to teach the commandments of God that the children of men may likewise enter into his rest, rather than the precepts and commandments of men.

That’s why Abinadi had some harsh words to say about Noah and his priests.

Teaching Vs. Hedging

There are eternal worlds of difference between these two sentiments:

“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee. But remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

And

“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”not-even-once-club1

In modern LDS terms, we might liken this last unto ourselves as: “Not even once.”

The first affords opportunity for obtaining wisdom and knowledge through experience, while the other damns people quite literally.

Here’s how.

Moses 5
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

adameve.jpgThose who do not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are yet children. Sometimes, they are adult children, who have even borne children, whose children themselves have borne children, but spiritually they are yet children, or less (Isaiah calls them miscarriages). In eternal worlds, they do not have seed, they are not exalted. Because children in adult bodies are actually kind of unpleasant to be around. They lack self-control and must be dictated to in every trifle, being belligerent and aggressive, or passive and apathetic. They can’t keep God’s law, neither are they his friends.

prodigal-sonThat’s the reason the prodigal got the ring, the robe, the shoes, and the party – here is one who knows by experience the good from the evil and has chosen the good and returned to God; the depths of his depravity convinced him of his fallen and sinful state and motivated his return. In the eternities, he will have seed. The elder brother is one who “not even once” transgressed the commandment of his father. He doesn’t know the good from the evil, doesn’t understand the way the outside world actually is, and resents his brother. He’s unpleasant to be around, and hostile – he doesn’t even bother going to the house to find out why there’s a party going on (since it wasn’t his and he wasn’t invited – it indicates his stand-offishness and sullen pride), but instead asks a servant the meaning of things. He gets to rule the house and property, but the prodigal gets the love and unity.

These are two types in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Until the Elder Brothers realize that everyone is fallen, and all are under sin, they cannot repent and call upon God for deliverance from their sins and fallen state, for they will perceive themselves as just and righteous, even while they mouth the common platitudes that “nobody’s perfect” and “everyone sins.” They don’t really believe that. That’s why they take anti-depressants; their guilt doesn’t make sense to them, since they never transgress.

It’s still not too late to pray mightily to God to be cleansed from all stain and have one’s guilt wiped from one’s soul. But if you don’t believe he’ll answer, or if you don’t believe you have sinned, you won’t even try. And thus you have been damned by those who taught you “not even once,” who built a hedge around the law lest you should at any time transgress.

Hence, the role of a priest is to teach the commandments of God unto the children of men, that they may likewise enter into his rest, and it is not to build a hedge around the commandments of God for safety, lest they damn the children of men.

Bonus questions:

  1. What do you suppose will happen between the Prodigal and the Elder Brother once the Father has passed away and sole control of the house and property falls to the Elder Brother?

  2. What was the inheritance the Prodigal spent?

Addendum:

The Parables of Jesus and the Interpretation of the Scriptures, TPJS pp. 276-277

In reference to the prodigal son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon; that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subjects of the scriptures; and even the Elders of this Church have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretation. What is the rule of interpretation? Just no interpretation at all. Understand it precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire, what was the question which drew out the answer, or caused Jesus to utter the parable? It is not national; it does not refer to Abraham, Israel or the Gentiles, in a national capacity, as some suppose. To ascertain its meaning, we must dig up the root and ascertain what it was that drew the saying out of Jesus.

While Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Him; “and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” This is the keyword which unlocks the parable of the prodigal son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who were querying, finding fault, and saying, “How is it that this man as great as He pretends to be, eats with publicans and sinners?” Jesus was not put to it so, but He could have found something to illustrate His subject, if He had designed if for nation or nations; but He did not. It was for men in an individual capacity; and all straining on this point is a bubble. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”

And he spake this parable unto them–“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them doth not leave the ninety-and-nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons which need no repentance.” The hundred sheep represent one hundred Sadducees and Pharisees are in the sheepfold, I have no mission for you; I am sent to look up sheep that are lost; and when I have found them, I will back them up and make joy in heaven.” This represents hunting after a few individuals, or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Sadducees despised.

He also gave them the parable of the woman and her ten pieces of silver, and how she lost one, and searching diligently, found it again, which gave more joy among the friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost; like I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons that are so righteous; they will be damned anyhow; you cannot save them. (Jan. 29, 1843.) DHC 5:260-262.

In the interest of community participation, I won’t be commenting on this post.

The Truth about the Retreat


RemnantFamilyReunionOver the past week there has been a great deal of misunderstanding and accusation concerning the Remnant Family Reunion. It is time for this drama and divisive contention to end. It is time to clarify truth amongst all of the chaos and rumor.

For the purpose of placing our focus back on the Lord Jesus Christ. And for the purpose of clarifying error, so that we might all move forward, I offer the following:

In November of 2014, I was directed by the Lord to facilitate a “Remnant Family Reunion.” Since that time He has given me some direction through the Holy Spirit concerning this event. These messages have been received in the usual manner-and are simply the result of sincere prayer.

This morning, I went to the Lord and first begged Him to forgive me of my sins. Then I  simply said: “Oh Lord, what would thou have me say or do? Direct me, and I will obey. Lead me, and I will follow.”

JesusChristDelParsonThe Lord Responded: “A revelation will not be provided, so that it might be mocked and create more mourning among this people…I will however continue to speak unto you and unto all of my children, for I am a God of Mercy and I love you all.”

“As your Savior, I have travailed the darkness of wrath, and each of you, who walk after me, must do the same. Fear not, to abandon fear. For in so doing, you find Me.”

“I see all things, and know your heart. I see all things, and I know the heart of Samantha. Carry on, focusing on me, and I will bring you home to a place you have not yet known.”

“Those who have eyes to see, will see…Let the residue go.”

“Those who have hearts to hear, have already heard, and already seen the Majesty and Power of My Father.”

“I allow you to answer once, but I forbid you from rebuking evil at this time. For my ways are not your ways, and in me the course is sure.”

Bret: Is there anything else Lord you would have me say?

The Lord: “Tell the people watching, that you do not speak for me. That I speak for myself through each of you. That I am both the Father and the Son, that in me, we might become ONE.”

“Tell them, that they need not rely on any man, for if they do, the gates of hell will swallow them whole, leaving the Zion that could have come, desolate and bare.”

And finally, tell them that my angels are watching, that they might know who to “watch over,” when the destructions come and the people flee.”

Tell them these things Bret, and if the gates of hell open wide the mouth after thee, know thou my son, it is for thy good, and I will lead you home.”

Amen.


77TruthsI understand that sharing this message will invoke more judgment and harassment from those who are under the influence of darkness. I cannot control the misinterpretations and persecution that some choose to inflict. However, I can do, and will do, exactly what the Lord directs. Nothing more. Nothing less.

With that acknowledged, the Lord allows me to clarify some issues at this time. These words that follow are my own-and they are not perfect. So I ask in advance that you forgive me for my weakness. With my wife, we have prayed for the pure love of Christ to overcome our wounds and selfishness. What is written below is our best effort to share the truth, without creating more contention.

Clarification #1:  God is truth, and there is great peace in Him. In relation to attending this Retreat, I have repeatedly pled with people to go directly to the Lord for confirmation. Many beautiful souls have felt led to come, and many beautiful souls have not felt led to come. Follow Him. Do as he leads you, and for those who believe this gathering is all an inappropriate deception, I say again: Go in peace and serve the Lord as He so directs you! We send you only His good will and best wishes.

Clarification #2: There will be no apologies for what the Lord has spoken. There will be no minimizations of what He has directed. I cannot own the exaggerations and intentional distortions which have been promulgated. It is important that those who are coming know  nothing has been “dialed back” in response to these fears and rumors. God willing, the Retreat will go on exactly as the Lord has directed. Ironically, and as an example of the insanity we have all endured, there never was going to be a “honeycomb dance” at the Retreat. There was then, and is now, going to be sacred Jewish dance that introduces the participants to the sacred beauty of worshipping through the vehicle of praise. I must say, some of us Remnant Saints tend to think we are “out of the box,” but then when  something greater is simply introduced, we still fly to pieces like glass. No wonder Joseph struggled and struggled with the early Saints, but despite our weakness and unbelief, all that God has directed continues to be provided. No apologies. No compromise. No fear.

Clarification #3 My wife Samantha is a Holy Being of Light. If the Lord would allow me, I would rebuke all evil away from her, nevertheless, I submit to His wisdom and simply witness that my wife is respectful of sacred things. In contrast to what was reported, she does not trifle with that which is holy. If there is anyone to blame, it is me. Last year when our family visited Lynne and her husband, we had a nice conversation. Because Lynne was so obsessed with deception and everything relating to Heavenly Mother, and because I had tasted some of the Holiness that attends the Honeycomb event, I had a strong desire to share with Lynne that not everything occurring in relation to Heavenly Mother was a deception. In my desire to offer an alternative perspective, I encouraged / pushed Samantha to share some of her experiences. This was a mistake on my part, and even though my wife spoke very little about the honeycomb, (probably less than three minutes), Lynne has now taken those “sound-bites” out of context and turned them into a mockery of fear. If you must blame someone, blame me. Samantha is Holy. I am the one who in the past has been impatient and impulsive. I do not believe Lynne has intentionally done this, but I do believe her wounds and fears about being deceived overcome her words and actions. Perhaps all of us, including myself, could now go forward-and leave the judging to the Lord.

Clarification #4 Language is powerful, and much of what I shared with Lynne on a personal basis has been distorted and exaggerated. I want to clarify that when the Lord commanded this Retreat to occur, He suggested that there would be 8 Speakers. I immediately hoped Denver Snuffer could be one of them, but the Spirit said “no.” I then hoped that I could speak, and the Spirit again said “no,” I was told that I was to facilitate this event and testify with the group when led to do so. Then the names of those who were called to speak came very clearly. It was direct and it was exact. Lynne McKinley was one of those names, and I have no regrets in obeying the Spirit and asking her to speak. I did not know at the time she would choose to play this role, but the Lord did, and so the wisdom of God plays out before us. He is the Master of this storm and every storm! In Him, the miscommunications and misleading assumptions become clear and discernible. In Him, truth prevails.

Clarification #5. We all have a testimony of Christ, we all have personal revelation, and we all need to become prophets and prophetesses within our own ministries. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator, and living in constant fear of having a “strongman,” wouldn’t it be wise for all of us to instead be strong in the Lord?

When I write of the Lord personally talking to me, or calling me, or giving me a message to share, it is indeed very personal. With that said, if it helps the reader in some way, I have not yet received the Second Comforter in the flesh and I do not claim an interest in leading anyone. I mean I have to laugh, haven’t we all had enough of organized religion? Haven’t we all had enough of some leader mistakenly thinking we need them? In response to this “strongman” stuff, I say: Go to God, stop projecting your issues onto me, and I assure you that in response, I will honor your personal and unique experience with the Father. (I shouldn’t write this, but I can’t help myself. I mean can you imagine trying to “lead” Rock Waterman? It just isn’t going to happen!…In response, I say smiles to all, let’s move forward. Go in peace as the Captain of your own soul!) There is no strongman here.

Clarification #6:  Finally, there are so many accusations and distortions floating around out there, I can only respond to most of them in this summarized manner.

  • We are not attempting to establish Zion, but we are attempting to repent deeper, that in time we might be gathered by the Lord and His Angels, unto His Zion.
  • We are not interested in starting a new church, but we are interested in being saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We do not all have an LDS background, but we are all committed to Preserving the Restoration and receiving the Truth of All Things.
  • We are not rushing up the pass, but we do intend to contribute to the sacred nature of the Grand Mesa. If you feel like it is inappropriate to gather on the Mesa, then honor that intuition within you, and follow Him in your way.
  • We are not taking our eyes off the Savior, but we do acknowledge our Mighty Father and our Holy Mother. Without apology, and without omission.
  • I am not deceived, but I am not the point, and it doesn’t matter if it looks that way to others.
  • I was gratefully rebuked by Denver Snuffer, (but for the hundredth time), his correction was not about this Retreat. The fact that this continues to be used against me is quite amazing, and another example of how honest communication with those who have an agenda is impossible.
  • It is true that this Retreat is not a party, and it is not just a social gathering. Those who come out of curiosity, or to fault-find, will experience exactly what they expected. If you come in a spirit of fear and fault-finding, you will go home spiritually empty. In comparison, those who come to Know God, and be lifted up by His Spirit and His angels, will experience that also. One of the great ironies about all of this chaos, is that in reality this retreat has nothing to do with men, leaders, speakers, and people, and everything to do with your personal relationship with the Divine. For the last time, if the Lord hasn’t led you to come, please go in peace and serve Him in another way. You will not be comfortable here in this space. Let it be understood: I will not own your criticisms, and I will not own your self-sabotage. If you come to destroy, you will destroy yourself. I have my own sins, and will not carry yours. My wife and I have no agenda or need, or attachment to having anyone come to this Retreat. If necessary, Samantha and I will go up the mountain alone, and in fact, in many ways, we already have. For in the end, all of us journey unto The Christ alone. He is the miracle, and nothing less will do.

Clarification #7: In closing, I want to share a personal witness about the Lord and this Remnant Family Reunion.

A long time ago, when the plans for the Retreat were just coming into focus. My wife and I knew that we would be misunderstood and misjudged.

This past week has reminded us of another time-when we stood before the High Council at our church trial and assured the brethren that we as a church were not being loyal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. During the excommunication process we read from scripture, while they referred to the church policy manual. We testified of Christ, while they talked about the brethren. It was really quite telling, and the Lord smiled on us all. At the end our church court, the vote to end my church membership was not unanimous, and now the “Alma” which sat on the High Council – who had opposed the decision, will also be worshipping with us in May,

But the greater point, is not about our life experience. Rather it is about how the Lord suggested I end the church trial, and how He now suggests I end this message.

Trust in the Keeper of the Gate

O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken. O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

2 Nephi 9:40-41

For surely! Holy, Holy, Holy, is our Lord!

A long time ago, Samantha and I determined that we would trust in the Mighty Keeper of the Gate!  We promised that when He spoke, we would do His will, enact His direction, and share His message.

We make no apologies. We offer no minimizations. There will be no compromise.

And so it is.

Now and forever in The Christ,

Bret and Samantha Corbridge

 

Remnant Family Reunion Controversy / Apology


Rock_Waterman_SayingsI must apologize here for the tone of the questions in my April 15th, 2015 post. As someone pointed out in another blog, written words can seem cold. We don’t see each other’s facial expressions, body language, or eyes. We don’t hear each other laugh. I wish I could write more like Rock, in that warm, conversational way. He’s the undisputed master of that comfortable style, in my book.

Perhaps I’ve spent too many years drafting legal arguments to the US Patent and Trademark Office Examining Attorneys – a cold-hearted crew. My mentor was a talented intellectual property attorney whom I respected. I valued his relentless editing of my work to search out and replace any emotion. So I do acknowledge that my words can seem clipped and cold. There is no need for warm expansion in legal writing, but there was here. What I intended to convey was deep concern from a position of love, but I missed that mark and caused considerable contention among a body of friends with whom I hope to be reunited someday in true community. Please forgive me.

beedanceI thank Marti for her sweet and vulnerable description of the honeycomb dance and her part in bringing that forth. As she described it, I felt that even I, too, would like to join in that simple physical outpouring of love and joy dedicated to God. She shed light on something which I, and many others, obviously misunderstood. For that, I am sincerely grateful to her. If you haven’t read her description about how the Utah version of the honeycomb dance came to be, I hope you’ll wade through the comments section of the questions post and do so. However, please understand that whatever The Lord creates, Satan copies and corrupts. There are other Asenath dance versions out there, of which I have personal knowledge, and which are absolutely pagan. It was another version, from a personal message to my Facebook account, which generated my rhetorical questions.

Descriptions of the honeycomb dance costumes, head jewels, moonlight dancing on the mesa, the presence of a mother entity and the cloud/moon signs in the night sky came directly from Samantha Corbridge and her daughters when their family visited me and my husband in our Orem home on Thanksgiving eve. Bret and my husband Ron were in the room. So no, I didn’t just make all that up, as I have been accused of doing. Bret sent me a detailed email about his planned events and activities a few days before he sent them out to any of the other speakers. So yes, I did know what was in the works, and it was not merely guesswork on my part.

I expected personal attacks for daring to ask uncomfortable questions, but was surprised by the anger, outrage and identity of some of the attackers.

I paraphrase someone in another group who wisely commented: “We can see ourselves doing to each other here exactly what the church has done to us by telling us to shut up and sit down, saying it’s fine to have questions, but certainly NOT fine to talk about them or post about them on the internet because they might cause some people to actually listen and consider those questions as being possibly valid. That’s a very familiar accusation to those who have been excommunicated recently.

We may not all agree with each other but that doesn’t make any of us an authority on the writer’s thoughts or reasons for posting the questions. But isn’t asking questions what got us to where we are right now? And sometimes, unless someone else poses the question, it never even crosses our minds to ask, let alone take such a question to The Lord. People who are willing to ask hard questions can cause us to think about things we hadn’t considered before, and that is absolutely worthwhile. Disagreeing is fine, and often produces productive discussion. Attributing motive to [and attacking] the person asking the questions is where we should all take issue.”

At this writing, four days after the original post, there are nearly 2,000 views, 120 comments and 200 Facebook shares on this site alone. So there are evidently a few others besides me who care about the issues raised in the questions. To therefore dismiss all this discussion as “silly” and something that will now please just fade quietly off into the sunset tells us all (in a warm conversational way) to just shut up and sit down.

As usual, Log, a master of synopsis, waded through all the angst and anger in the comments section of the original questions post and pinned it to the real issue in his brief comment on April 17, at 11:38 pm.

For me, it all boils down to this:

Is Bret Corbridge actually a prophet of God who speaks personally with Christ? Does he organize all things pertaining to this gathering under the direction of Christ? He says publicly that he does.

RemnantFamilyReunionIf this is true, then I need to repent, get on board, do whatever I can possibly do within my own sphere of influence to advertise and promote it, get myself over to the Remnant Family Reunion to show love, solidarity and support for the emerging Zion family, and do the honeycomb dance with my sisters.

Or is he a delusional, hallucinogenic individual who thinks he talks with Christ, but actually doesn’t? If so, wouldn’t I want to warn the people I care about so they don’t get hurt? This option seems extremely unlikely to me, since Bret Corbridge is a respected, credentialed family therapist in the business of identifying and detangling delusions in other people.

Another possibility is that we’re ALL delusional here on Tim’s blog, none of this stuff even really matters since Thomas S. Monson is the only true and living prophet on earth with all the keys – if we follow him he will never lead us astray, the call to gather will come in general conference, and Zion is a bank. That option also seems extremely unlikely to me, since the LDS church is currently in the business of creating, maintaining and enforcing delusional thinking.

But what if Bret actually IS conversing with someone who comes self-identifying as Christ and directs all the efforts of this gathering, but is not really Jesus Christ? Could this be the rush (to gather) to the pass that Denver talks about, where the man who would not wait is destroyed by the beast? In that case, my brother Bret, whom I love, is in a deadly situation and many people whom I care about could likewise be destroyed by following him into that pass.

I remember Denver saying that there WILL be a gathering, but “if some great man wants to put his name on it, then I will not gather.” Bret has worked very hard to stay in the background as, he calls himself, merely the facilitator of this event. However, by publicly quoting verbatim the words of Christ to him to organize the event and instruct others to gather, by picking the “sacred” mesa venue, by choosing the speakers and doing most of the groundwork to get the gathering off the ground, then in my mind, Bret Corbridge has essentially put his name on it.

If Denver Snuffer is a prophet, and I believe he is, then Denver’s comment about what kind of gathering he specifically WILL NOT attend has relevance to me, and generated my question to Bret about whether or not Denver was invited. The exact answer was no, he would be a distraction, and had in fact rebuked Bret.

I’m a writer, Bret’s a writer. We tend to use language with some precision. So the word “rebuke” then, also has some relevance in my mind, and generated another of my original questions.

ProphetJosephSmithJoseph Smith said he talked to Christ, and I believe him. That belief gave me a framework for life. Denver Snuffer says he talks with Christ, and I believe him. That belief frames my current life choices as I value the perspective of one who delivers a message from Christ.

Bret Corbridge says that he talks personally with Christ who leads this gathering. In my mind that would, should, make The Remnant Family Reunion holy.

I care, therefore, to determine if Christ is at the helm and actually conversing with Bret Corbridge as His messenger, or if Bret is delusional, or a pathological liar, or if Bret is talking to a counterfeit Christ. The Remnant Family Reunion was never represented as merely a social gathering by Bret, who provides the direct words he received from Christ in the information packet.

I get it that some people here just want to go to a good party, and basically don’t care whether or not Bret is on the Lord’s errand. But I care deeply, since that has been represented to be the case, just as I care deeply to know that Denver is on an errand from the Lord and is not just freelancing with his own agenda.

Whenever someone says, in effect, “Thus saith the Lord God” as Bret has done by publicly quoting Christ relative to the Colorado gathering, then in my mind that moves the whole gathering out of a good time party place and into a sacred space – a consecrated ramp up to Zion.

There should be deep reflection, pondering (questions) and prayer about how God views The Remnant Family Reunion. Nobody else was asking questions, so I did. I know that my tone could have been softer. I’m sorry you didn’t feel my love and concern, and you didn’t know how sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night thinking about all this, about you, praying for you all, loving you all.

There were some uncomfortable questions people should have been asking at the front end of Jonestown, Waco and Manti – the same kind of questions people need to ask about Denver Snuffer or any other man who says publicly that he talks with Christ and delivers a message to us from Him.

I’ll end here and move on now to other things in my life with this quote from my friend Tim Malone in his preface to my original questions post of April 15, 2015:

“I have prayed to know God’s will…. God wanted this posted.”

Rules, Contraries and Zion


voting-in-dissent1Whenever you have a society that has rules or laws that are unknowable, or rest in the end on the offense of the audience, there you have sufficient conditions to persecute, cast out, stone, and slay the prophets.

Let us take, as an example, two rules from a private internet forum.

  1. “No profanity. No inappropriate sexual content.”
  2. “No Trolling, flaming, spamming, baiting.”

These seem reasonable, don’t they? But, understand well, you cannot know beforehand whether any particular action or words or set of words will violate #1, and #2 relies, in the end, on the response of the mob.

Why? Because profanity is not defined except with respect to a particular person’s own internal, whimsical line of offense – that person being the judge of the speaker. It is inherently subjective, being purely a matter of taste. So it is also with propriety. #1 therefore functionally means “thou shalt not offend thy judges.” Thus the judges’ capricious, unknowable sensibilities, and not Christ’s commandments, become the standard of right conduct within that community.

And look more closely at #2. Trolling is the art of sowing discord. But most discussion only takes place because of discord, which simply means disagreement. But wait! How can anyone sow disagreement? They cannot; a person can only express something that someone else disagrees with. So, #2 ends up, in the final analysis, meaning “thou shalt not offend the mob.”

But these both may be rephrased and combined into one rule: “Thou shalt not offend.”

And if there are penalties for violating that rule, you have sufficient conditions for casting out, stoning, and slaying the prophets. Any call to repentance offends the guilty, and the easy way to deal with it is to persecute the one calling, as opposed to repenting; with such rules in place, one has a built-in public justification for such persecution – the Nuremberg defense – “I was just following orders / the law / the rules.”

Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. Our sense of offense is our own fault; it means we are ourselves offenders.

Titus 1:15
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

I made this point explicit and offered up my membership in another community in demonstration of it – no matter how well-meaning the administrators of such laws are, you will be cast out even if you perfectly keep the law of heaven.

Romans 2:1
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

No community which has any variant of “thou shalt not offend” as a rule can become Zion. What it produces instead are fragile, passive-aggressive, guilt-ridden hypocrites whose greatest commandments, truly, are “Thou Shalt Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In.” If a society is intended to participate in or become Zion, such rules must go.

“By proving contraries,” Joseph said, “truth is made manifest.” But if you dwell behind the walls and gates of “Thou Shalt Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In,” you will be damned, for no contraries will be permitted to be proved; they don’t fit in. You will either never hear the truth, or you will yourself persecute, cast out, stone, and slay them you are sent.

Matthew 23:34
34 ¶Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.

The commandments of God are not for us to enforce on one another, nor to build a hedge around to prevent any from transgressing them, but for us to discipline ourselves therewith.

When I write these things, it is not so that people can say “Oh Log is so wise, isn’t that good stuff he’s written?” It is so that people might gin up the courage to begin applying these principles in their own lives.

So go have a peaceable conversation on religious topics with someone who is not of your faith – like an orthodox Christian, say. Open up your secretive Facebook societies and forums, cease stabbing each other in the backs, and listen to one another without trying to prove yourself right. Let the light of truth shine in and let contraries be proved, as uncomfortable as it may be. If you don’t like the results, then change. Abolish the unfair, capricious, whimsical, and unknowable rules that serve as excuses to silence uncomfortable truths and messengers.

Or you fragile flowers will be wilted by the blasting heat of the glory of the coming of the Lord. Zion is not for you.

Reunion Responses


Hello Friends,

The previous post on this blog asked a series of questions about the upcoming Remnant Family Reunion Retreat in May in Colorado. The questions have troubled me, but I’ve avoided answering the questions for a couple of reasons—mostly because I’m not the event organizer.

But these questions need answers, and so I’ve sought and received permission from the Lord and the event organizers to provide some answers. In doing so, I realize I’m quite imperfect, and ask for your patience and forgiveness of my weakness. I’m doing my best to answer as correctly as I know how.

Disclosure: Bret and Samantha Corbridge are the organizers of this event. I am not. But because Bret has asked me to help with some of the planning and logistics, I have intimate knowledge of the event. I have also done what I can to publicize the Reunion on my blog. I’ve made it no secret that I plan to attend. I’ve been directed by the Lord to do so.

I give the above disclosure because I think you ought to know my intent, where I’m coming from, and why I’m at least somewhat qualified to answer the questions that have been asked.

So here are the questions that were posed, together with my answers:

1       With the limited time and financial resources available to me, what valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to the first remnant retreat/gathering, when the organizer told me that Denver Snuffer was specifically not invited to attend because he would be a “distraction”?

Actually, the correct wording is “Denver Snuffer was not specifically invited to attend.” In other words, this event was not designed or set up to be about Denver Snuffer. It is about Christ. Denver IS absolutely invited to attend, just like anyone else. If he does choose to attend, we hope all the other attendees be willing to not let Denver be the focus.

2       What kind of gathering would Denver Snuffer be invited to?

He’s invited to this one, as is everyone else who wants to come. A more important question is why should Denver’s attendance affect mine or yours? Whether he comes or not should not be the determining factor for anyone else’s attendance. Nobody is coming to worship Denver.

3       What kind of gathering would he attend?

I guess you’d have to ask Denver. I know he’s been to bike week in Sturgis a number of times.

A more important question might be, “What kind of gathering would Christ attend?”

4       How do I get an invitation to that one?

I hope we’d all agree that the invitation that matters most is the Lord’s invitation to gather to Zion. We all hope to be invited to that one. This Reunion in May is NOT that Zion invitation. Those who are led by the Lord to come to the Reunion should come. Those who are not, should not.

5       What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering conceived of and organized by a man who told me that he was personally rebuked by Denver Snuffer? Why would Denver Snuffer rebuke anybody?

Bret Corbridge provided the following quote:

“Denver Snuffer is a prophet of God. That’s what real prophets do, they rebuke errors. And since I am a flawed man, I stood in need of being rebuked. I am grateful for the correction, and I have learned that not following this man’s council, when it is in harmony with the Holy Spirit, is unwise.

“What is really sad is that someone would use his rebuke of my weaknesses, to imply that the rebuke related to this Remnant retreat.”

6       What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering which the second witness at Denver Snuffer’s Phoenix talk is not planning to attend?

If your requirement is that Denver Snuffer and Keith Henderson attend any event you attend, then this is clearly not the event for you. It might be worth considering why there is this desire to elevate Keith Henderson or Denver Snuffer as the determining factors whether this event is worth attending. Would Denver or Keith be comfortable with people doing that?

7       What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where three of the six original speakers (myself included) backed out after praying to know whether or not to attend/speak?

Some were invited to speak, and have chosen not to. The reasons are between them and the Lord. I have no problem with the idea that some have chosen not to speak, and their reasons are not my concern. Those who have consented to speak have received the Lord’s approval to do so.

8       Who are the three substitute speakers?

The speakers have not been announced. They absolutely do not want attention, notoriety or acclaim, nor do they want anyone to attend to hear “them.” This event is focused on Jesus Christ. It shouldn’t matter who speaks, as long as Christ’s word is spoken.

9       What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering and listening to a featured speaker who has an active internet blog where they advertise and promote the gathering at which they themselves are scheduled to be a featured speaker?

Several of the speakers have blogs. Should they be excluded from speaking because they blog? Or because they promote an event they believe will be uplifting and worthwhile?

10      Is it possible that they may increase in status among their own blog followers, and attract even more followers as a result of speaking at the Remnant Reunion?

It seems to me that they would be announcing their names if self-promotion were the goal. The fact is, they are specifically trying to avoid exactly what you are speaking of in this question! The speakers do not seek acclaim, position, “followers” or any other worldly honor. All the honor is Christ’s. This isn’t about the speakers.

11      If so, does this fit any definitions of priestcraft?

Steps have specifically been taken to avoid any appearance of priestcraft. I find it perplexing that on the one hand you want to take away the speakers’ self-imposed anonymity and provide them notoriety, but on the other hand question whether they are practicing priestcraft. They certainly are not seeking followers. Each of the speakers is there for the sole purpose of delivering the messages they feel the Lord wants them to deliver. It is a burden and a challenge for each of them. The focus is on Jesus Christ, not the speakers. I don’t know how to make that more clear.

This gathering is about Jesus Christ. Not Denver Snuffer, Keith Henderson, the speakers, or the event organizers. Let’s not make it about men.

I note with some sadness, that despite knowing the above and the speakers’ desire for anonymity, the original questioner has chosen to betray confidences and reveal some of the speakers’ names elsewhere. 

12      What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where, as the organizer’s wife told me, women and their daughters may decorate themselves in blue and white clothing (similar to depictions of the Virgin Mary) and wear head jewels as they dance together on the mesa?

There is no plan for costumes or jewelry. There is a group dance planned, but it is not on the mesa, and it is not a ritual or ordinance. It is a Jewish folk dance, similar to what you would see at a Jewish wedding. It is fun, exhilarating, and communal. It is designed to honor God, but is NOT a ritual. Also, there is a a regular evening dance planned with country, swing, and waltz music. Any who don’t wish to participate are under no obligation to do so.

But golly, are we really that afraid of dancing?

14      What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may perform rituals using honeycombs that they bless in a “sacred ordinance” (which a Utah woman says she has received from the Lord for this purpose, based on Asenath, who used the technique to change her vibrational energy in order to convince Joseph to marry her)?

There is nothing in the plans that has anything to do with what you asked in this hypothetical question. There will be no honeycomb rituals or ordinances. (My sarcastic side wants to add, nor will there be nudity, human sacrifice, incense burning, peyote, or washings and anointings. Please forgive my sarcastic side.)

15      What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where decorated women and their daughters may again exclude men from being present while they dance in the moonlight on the Mesa?

There will be no decorated women dancing in the moonlight on the Mesa. I would suggest you look at the agenda again. (I’ve linked to it at the bottom of this post.) The only time the men and women separate is during the day, and it is not for the purpose of performing rituals or ordinances. There’s no reason to ascribe unholy motives to men and women meeting together with people of their own gender (ahem…priesthood…relief society…) I appreciate the opportunity to be with and learn from my brothers, and my wife similarly appreciates the opportunity to do so with her sisters.

16      What valid reasons are there for me to spend my time and money going to a gathering where women and their daughters may anticipate that an entity they call Heavenly Mother will again be present and that there will again be physical manifestations of her presence in the clouds surrounding the moon, as there have been in the past when women gathered with the wife of the event organizer (to perform their Asenath honeycomb dance) on the Mesa?

I’m not sure where to even start with this question and its implied circumstances. Nobody will be worshipping or praying to Heavenly Mother. If there are physical manifestations in the heavens, that’s up to the heavens. The event planners do not control the clouds. The focus is Jesus Christ.

17      What is the difference between today’s LDS remnant women dressing up and dancing in the moonlight on a mesa, trying to change their vibrational energy, excluding their men folk, focusing on a female Goddess – and the ancient Israelite women doing the same thing?

I have no idea. Since this will not be happening at the retreat, I’m not sure how to answer this hypothetical. I suppose one could make up any circumstance and ask it as a hypothetical question. Again, if you want to know what’s on the agenda, I suggest looking at it.

18      Is there any difference?

See above.

19      How might God view such a gathering?

If you’re referring to the fictional scenario you painted above, I have no idea. If you’re referring to this reunion weekend gathering in general, I would suggest asking God. The event organizers and speakers are doing all they can to follow His will. We all hope for His approval. A great deal of time, effort, planning, sacrifice, fasting and prayer have gone into learning and doing the Lord’s will for this reunion.

20      How has God viewed such gatherings in the past?

See above.

21      If some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but others who have prayed about it say that they have been specifically warned by God not to go, what am I to make of this?

My suggestion would be that God guides each person in the way they need to go. Blessed be His name.

23      If some people say they have prayed and God has told them to go to this gathering, but the person they have publicly said that they pray to is an entity they call Heavenly Mother, what am I to make of this?

I’m content to leave that between each person and God. I’m certainly not the judge of whether they prayed in the right way, to the right person, and got the right answer. I’m only responsible for myself.

24      If some people say they are just going to this gathering for social reasons, do not plan to pray about it or feel the need to, and say publicly that God is perfectly capable of stopping them from going if that is His will, what am I to make of this?

That’s their business. Is it our place to judge their reasons for going? All are welcome.

25      Will the spirit, approval and protection of God be over this gathering?

Probably better ask Him. I’m certainly praying it will. If you love your brothers and sisters, I invite you to pray it will, too.

If so, how do I personally reconcile all of the above questions?

You have not sought to personally reconcile the above questions. You have sought to do so publicly and in so doing have sowed many seeds of doubt and fear, based on fictional scenarios. You personally know the event organizers, and could have easily asked them these questions privately if your intent was merely to get answers. Your actions and efforts are proof that your intent was to publicize your problems with this event and its organizers.

Bret and Samantha have stated from start to finish what this event is about and have invited all to ask God whether they ought to attend. That is how you get your answer. All the above questions are irrelevant if God directs you to attend.

26      If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the organizer, who says publicly that the reunion gathering is directly commissioned and led by Jesus Christ, who has communicated in person with him about the details of the event on numerous occasions?

And likewise, what might that say about the attendees, speakers, and even the vocal persecutors and detractors? We should all, every one of us, seek God’s favor. Failure to do so does NOT condemn the organizers of this event any more than the errors of the LDS church condemn Joseph Smith.

27      If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the speakers?

See above.

28      If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, what might that say about the participants?

See above.

29      If the spirit, approval and protection of God will not be over this event, how might that affect all the innocent, impressionable children attending the event with their parents?

If the spirit, approval and protection of God ARE over this event, how might that bless all the innocent, impressionable children attending the event with their parents?

As to the above 4 questions about the Spirit, approval and protection of God not being there, I would ask what if the Spirit, approval and protection of God ARE there? What would that change?

Which assumption should we start with? And what does our starting assumption reveal about our motives and our faith?

30      How can I find out how God views this particular gathering?

I recommend asking Him. I did ask Him. You’ve asked 29 questions so far, and now, with question 30, you’ve finally hit the nail on the head. 

But of course, you already knew the answer to this question. You know that posting questions on the internet is not the way to find out God’s will. Therefore, whatever your intent was in posting these questions, your readers are left to conclude it was not about seeking to know God’s will.

31      Why would I want to do so?

That’s for you to answer. I wanted to do so because I care deeply about doing God’s will. So I asked His will for me in this matter, and I’m trying to do it.

32      Does Denver Snuffer’s April 10, 2015 blog post: “A Reminder” have any relevance to my questions?

That’s for you to decide. Or you could ask Denver.

Now having done my best to answer the questions posed, I’d like to pose some of my own.

  1. What if this reunion is not what the above fictional scenario questions imply, but rather is exactly what has been represented by the organizers? That is—focused on Jesus Christ, led by the Spirit, and carefully planned to only follow God’s will?
  2. What if this event turns out to be uplifting, sacred, and wonderful for those who attend? What if they attend with the expectation that it will be so?
  3. What if Christ is honored, truth is taught, friendships are formed, and the attendees are strengthened in their ability and resolve to follow the Savior?
  4. What if the speakers deliver messages from the Lord, filled with light and truth?
  5. What if angels attend?
  6. What if spiritual gifts are manifested?
  7. Do you think the Lord wants this positive scenario to take place?
  8. If those who are planning to attend want the above to happen, how might they prepare?
  9. If those who are planning NOT to attend also want the above to happen, how might they lend their prayers and faith to the Lord’s purposes?

I ask these questions because the intent of the organizers is the scenario I’ve written above. Hopefully, the intent of most of the attendees is likewise. If the above outcome is worthwhile, I can’t imagine why any follower of Christ would seek to prevent this from happening.

Even if they aren’t attending themselves (especially if they aren’t attending themselves) why would anyone spend their time and effort criticizing, finding fault, or seeking to undermine this event? (There absolutely are those seeking to do so.)

I would ask such people to please search their hearts, consider their motives, and perhaps consider doing what they can to uplift and help their brothers and sisters have a wonderful, Christ-centered experience. I would also warn them, in the spirit of love, that perhaps the best approach is not to fight against this event, lest they should inadvertently find themselves in opposition to God, or responsible for harming others.

I think Gamaliel’s advice is as sound today as it was when he gave it:

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)Reunion Cover 2

May God bless us all to love one another, make allowances for one another’s weaknesses, and allow one another to obey His will in peace. I invite all who are attending the reunion and all who are not attending to join with me in praying that Christ will be honored and His purposes will be fulfilled in this event. May He bless it to be so.

For those who need it, here’s the link to the information packet where you can find the Reunion agenda and schedule.

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