Baptizing With Power and Authority


TimBaptism2aCroppedA month ago today I spent a few hours with Denver Snuffer. I am grateful for the time he took to answer some of my questions, allowing me to record and publish his answers. I asked the Lord for inspiration in which questions to ask. They came after much study and prayer. The question addressed in this post starts off with a summary of the previous four. They are very direct. If you haven’t read his answers, I recommend you first do so. He was just as direct in his responses.

Some of those responses, summarized in the opening paragraph below, are difficult for most orthodox LDS folks to accept. They are stark in their claims that something new is afoot in the heavens and now upon the earth. In question five, I wanted to know how the last lecture in the series of ten lectures, 40 Years in Mormonism fulfilled the title of “Preserving the Restoration.” Specifically, I wanted to know how being baptized again would help in building up Zion today.

The Key to Receiving the Holy Ghost

alma-baptizes-helamI find it interesting that Denver’s post yesterday touched on this very subject of Baptism. Take a moment to go there and read it. Then consider carefully the answer to this question below. I have addressed the subject of power at least a half dozen times on this blog in the past. Each time the idea of power in the priesthood comes up, it seems everyone has a different idea of what it really is. Power in the priesthood is real. Authority was restored and will never be taken from the earth again (D&C 13).

You decide what kind of priesthood is being addressed here. Do you have it? Do you exercise it? Has it been exercised in your behalf in helping you connect with heaven? Did the Holy Ghost fall upon you after you were baptized? If not, I suggest you seek this baptism again. Go out and find someone who knows how to administer it properly as demonstrated by Alma in the Book of Mormon, by first obtaining power in the priesthood. Authority without power has no real effect.

Question Five: You have proclaimed God has ended the way he works with his children on the earth today. You have announced yourself to be a witness of this fundamental change. You have declared yourself a second witness of the many works of God through the prophet Joseph Smith. You have reaffirmed the importance of the Patriarchal Priesthood, the law of adoption or sealing to the Fathers in the family of God. You have announced the LDS Church can no longer claim to be led by the priesthood of God, virtually making it no different from any other church today

Yet the title and focus of the last lecture in the series “Forty Years in Mormonism” is “Preserving the Restoration.” You have counseled those who have accepted this message and you as the Lord’s servant, witness or messenger in this great change, to be baptized. Specifically, you quoted 3 Nephi 11:26–27 and said, “I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again by Him today, to you. This is His command … confirmed again today.” Thousands of individuals have been baptized at your invitation. Will you elaborate on how your declarations and baptismal invitation preserve the restoration, as opposed to tearing it down?

waters-of-mormonANSWER (Denver): All—universally—all of the various iterations of Mormonism are less and less like the foundation and we need to return. If you go back to what I said about baptism you will find that on the topic of baptism, there is an example taken from the Book of Mormon in which Alma, who had been ordained in the court of King Noah, he was chosen precisely because he was wicked. Alma, who probably had a line of authority compromised by wicked men. He went out to baptize Helam. Before he did so, he asked heaven to give him the power to baptize. He got the power to baptize, and he baptized Helam.

What I suggest in that talk, is that everyone who has been ordained in the LDS tradition, who fits in the category President Boyd K. Packer in General Conference lamented—we have done a good job with spreading the authority of the priesthood, but we’ve done a poor job of getting power in the priesthood[1]— therefore we must go out and obtain from heaven the connection that gives power in the priesthood. The temple rites tie together “power in the priesthood” with conversing with the Lord through the veil. It is an appropriate connection. I explained all this in the lecture on Priesthood given in Orem, Utah. Accordingly, it is necessary for now those who are to baptize others to get the power from heaven. Let us have them go out and baptize again with power from heaven, so we know it is done with God’s power and not done merely relying upon an authoritative tradition lacking in power that cannot be accepted by heaven.

The Purpose of Renewing Baptism

JosephBaptizingOliverThe evidence of Alma’s authoritative baptism was the outpouring of the Spirit. There have been those who have been baptized and spent their life in Mormonism, or some other sect of Mormonism, who say they never felt like they had the confirmation of the Spirit. They have gone out, sought for, obtained power from heaven, been re-baptized, and the ordinance has had an effect upon these people.

The purpose of renewing baptism is to take what may be a hollow gesture, performed by people who have authority but no power, and turn it into an event with power that connects people to heaven. This is how we can renew the Restoration, like it was renewed in the days of Alma, through Alma and the model of the Book of Mormon. That book answers so many doctrinal imponderables for us today.

Why do we have authority and no power, as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles in General Conference lamented to the Church? It’s because we are not doing what we should be doing. It’s not necessary to have a revolution that divorces us from the Restoration. It’s necessary to have a revolution that connects us back to the Restoration and its beginnings.

baptism-saratoga-springs[1] “We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be.” The Power of the Priesthood, April 2010 General Conference. The talk contains interesting admissions about how Correlation revolutionized the Church: “During those years of correlation, the whole operating face of the Church was changed. The entire curriculum was restructured. The objectives and relationships of the organizations one to another were redefined. The key word during those years of correlation and restructuring was priesthood.” He presumed this was a good development, not the catastrophe President David O. McKay predicted. President McKay was, however, correct. Elder Packer cannot recognize that the lack of priesthood power is attributable in part to the assertion of improper control over others in the name of priesthood.

Link to Sources:

Transcript One: http://3tcm.net/a-visit-with-denver-snuffer-transcript.pdf
Note: This version has been reviewed by Denver, missing material added

Transcript Two: http://3tcm.net/tim-malone-Q&A-with-denver-snuffer.pdf

Link to the MP3: http://3tcm.net/Denver_Snuffer_QA_13May2015.mp3
Note: The file is 60MB. It’s best to right-click on the link to download it.

Link to a PDF of answer to question five: http://3tcm.net/question-five.pdf

 

46 Responses

  1. “Power in the priesthood is real.”

    Is it?

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    • “And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have POWER, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God.”

      https://www.lds.org/scriptures/jst/jst-gen/14.25-40

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      • “power, BY FAITH…” but not “power, BY PRIESTHOOD.”

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      • D&C 121:41 – “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood[.]”

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      • Good points. I conflated the two, didn’t I? See, even after all these years of discussions, teaching and writing, I still do it. Bad habit.

        You are correct, Power is by faith as we are taught in the lectures on faith. The priesthood which was restored or given by John was the authority, NOT the power. Two completely different things.

        I went back into the post and changed the wording slightly, adding a reference to D&C 13, which is our record of where the priesthood authority was conferred.

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        • Hmm. Yet the only power in the priesthood that I know of is this.

          18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

          19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

          20 The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.

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        • A little off topic, but somewhat germane to the discussion:

          “…the real definition of priesthood is an association between, mankind on the one hand, and those on the other side of the veil on the other hand. It is a brotherhood. Oh my, and it is potentially also, a sisterhood.

          “And it is a fellowship, and it is a ministry if you will, in which there is connected together, and the real definition of priesthood is a connection between, a fellowship between, the ‘Powers of Heaven’ on the one hand, and you on the other.”

          “By and large when the scriptures speak about priesthood having authority, priesthood having power, it is obtain[ed] by a mortal who has become connected with a fellowship that extends into the immortal, to the other side. It’s a relationship with ‘the powers of heaven.'”

          (Snuffer, Priesthood, Orem 11-2-13)

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        • No, that is on topic. If priesthood is fellowship rather than right to govern, then “power in the priesthood” is … well, a category error, as would be speaking of the taste of purple, or the scent of middle C.

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        • Why can there not be power in fellowship?

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        • InsightProwler: Indeed, why not? I feel great strength when I meet with like-minded individuals. For example, when I visited my friend in Colorado, we had perhaps thirty or forty people in his home one night to visit, strengthen one another and to partake of the sacrament. For me, it was one of the most power-filled nights of my life. I felt the strength of the fellowship in those about me and felt to bless them, which I did, when called upon to do so. I will never forget that night.

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        • “And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have POWER, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God.”

          This order is what we currently call the priesthood and it adds powers that Melchizedek did not have before he attained this order. So isn’t there indeed POWER associated with the order/priesthood that is exercised BY FAITH that could not be exercised BY FAITH before attaining this order/priesthood?

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        • You could read the scriptures to believe that such POWER, BY FAITH, is the result of attaining fellowship with God – or, you might read it as meaning such FAITH is the prerequisite to obtaining such fellowship.

          You get to pick. I personally read it as the prerequisite.

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        • Log,

          (Sorry, Log, I couldn’t see a reply option to your comment, so I’m replying to yours through mine.)

          So I agree that faith is the prerequisite, but until God pronounces something like this…

          6 Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

          7 Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

          …do you think it is possible to obtain THAT kind of power? Isn’t this illustrating that one obtains such power by God directing the powers of Heaven to obey such a person and until He so directs, wouldn’t the powers of heaven be unable to accommodate, regardless of the person’s faith? Can we call the attainment of this kind of power a prerequisite?

          If I earn a promotion that expands my income and authority in the company, was the promotion the prerequisite or the result?

          David S

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  2. Tim,

    Do you have the authority to baptize? I ask because I live in the Central Valley, and have no one here who could do this for me. I am a 50 year believer in Jesus, Joseph, and The Book of Mormon.

    JSP

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    • JSP: Like everyone who received the priesthood before the April 2014 General Conference, I can use that priesthood in my own family. Priesthood is governed by the heavens, not by man or any earthly institution. But I know what you’re asking. No, I am not sustained by a group of seven women to perform priesthood ordinances in a community outside my own family. As I am married, one of those women must be my wife. Therefore, in the words of the Lord, no, I am not worthy and cannot baptize you.

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  3. “The Charismatic Movement is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals. Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts. Among Protestants, the movement began around 1960. Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967.”

    Let me state upfront this is a serious evaluation and I am not trying to be funny. What this whole post literally describes is a Charismatic Movement in Mormonism, or at least the hopes of one. It is fun to study the Charismatic Movement in mainstream Christianity. If you look up the “infilling” you can find so many account of people who have been baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost outside of Mormonism.
    This is what I don’t understand, and I am hoping someone will help me out here. Denver, in his recent post, seemed to use a tactic that many modern preachers use. He pointed to a passage of scripture purportedly spoken to nephi over 25 centuries ago, and claimed that we see God commanded US, lifetimes later, to be baptized because someone was told to do it way back when. In fact I will quote it below.

    “There can be no doubt baptism is necessary. As explained in the Book of Mormon:

    And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. (2 Ne. 31:5-11.)

    It is required of us for our salvation because Christ made it so and the scriptures unequivocally state that is the case.”

    So he is saying that it is required because Jesus made it so, and nephi recorded his personal revelation about it two and a half millennia ago. So if that is the case, then this statement that Tim quoted by Denver has no meaning…

    “I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again by Him today, to you. This is His command … confirmed again today.”

    The reason being is because that statement can be made by any of us, at any time. How can a supposedly perpetual commandment, that applies to everyone on the earth because Jesus said it so long ago, be renewed? Or why would it need to be renewed, if it applies to everyone already? Does my question make sense? I may not be explaining myself very well.

    I happen to believe that no commandment given to other people applies to me. Only Gods commandments to me apply to me. We don’t go around claiming God commanded us to kill drunkards in the street because He commanded it once to Nephi so long ago. Yet for some reason people have always thought that when Jesus commanded some people to perform ordinances at one time, it applies to them. Perhaps I am missing something.
    I have had so many thoughts on baptism lately. Here is another question. Joseph smith taught (it is a matter of canon in the LDS church) that a baptism that does not include the baptism of the Holy Ghost is worthless. He said you might as well baptize a bag of sand or something like that. So was joseph smith teaching that John the Baptist was indeed in serious error performing all of the baptisms he did, because it explicitly states in the bible that johns baptism did not include receiving the Holy Ghost in any way. So I have to conclude that joseph smith taught false doctrine in that instance, and that there is indeed a baptism of repentance that has absolutely nothing to do with receiving the Holy Ghost, and yet it is still valid and serves a purpose.

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    • Minority said: “How can a supposedly perpetual commandment, that applies to everyone on the earth because Jesus said it so long ago, be renewed? Or why would it need to be renewed, if it applies to everyone already? Does my question make sense? I may not be explaining myself very well.”

      I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment, thou shat not commit adultery, is renewed again by Him today to you (everyone).

      Okay, I see what you mean. LOL

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      • Yes exactly.

        Thank you. In other words if what he teaches about baptism is true, any person on earth could make the same statement any day of the year with equal validity. So is it like, we were commanded before coming to mortality that we must be baptized in order to come back, whether or not God tells us to in mortality?

        And how in the hell does baptism for the dead fit into multiple mortalities? (I am not swearing I am taking about getting out of hell when someone takes a bath in mortality as proxy) In fact, if I was baptized in my last life, have I already fulfilled that commandment in my journey so now I don’t have to do it in this mortality? Ha ha I mean the only way one can know if God really commands them as an individual to be baptized, is if God commands them as an individual to be baptized, otherwise they are just taking some other human beings word for it.

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  4. I love that picture of Keith performing a baptism. I was standing there as he baptized….he was dressed in blue. 🙂

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    • Must have been nice to be baptized at the hot springs. When Mike, Will and I were baptized last September, it was just a little chilly in the Ventura harbor.

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  5. And even more off-topic, but because I’ve been impressed by this interesting tidbit in the priesthood talk several times now, note this from Moroni chapter 3 verse four:

    “And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST, which was in them.’ Therefore, if you have the power of the Holy Ghost, you have the power to ordain.”

    That’s on page 40 if anyone wants to look it up. To me, Moroni is referring to offices in the church, NOT in the priesthood. And from page 42, this made me think of Nate’s comment above. It seems to be somehow connected: “In large measure your faith matters far more than you think it does…”

    “We think there is some magic, big-whammy voodoo, which the Church possesses like a franchise from God. We envision the franchise holders are able to use this powerful magic in order to, push away or gather in people to salvation. We can bless and curse. We can seal and loose. We think we have the power.

    “This enables Church leaders’ families and favored insiders, and the beneficiaries of their favor, and their cronies, can use that franchise from God to get supercharged celestial blessings. And in like manner ‘the least’ can be shunned and held away from this power, thereby costing the disfavored their position in God’s kingdom.

    “All they are doing is behaving like a parade of fools when they act this way. Don’t be taken in. Your faith matters. Your confidence matters. Your driving the power of the Spirit into your life matters. You want an authoritative baptism? Go get someone to baptize you who claims that they know the ordinance and can perform it. You go in faith believing, and let the Holy Ghost ratify the event.”

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    • I really like some of the stuff in these quotes. I disagree wholeheartedly with this part

      “and they ordained them BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST, which was in them.’ Therefore, if you have the power of the Holy Ghost, you have the power to ordain.”

      That is a complete logical fallacy. It is like saying that members of the army legally killed their enemies by shooting a gun, therefore if you own a gun you can legally kill your enemies. Because someone has the Holy Ghost, that does not mean they have the power to ordain, the Holy Ghost may be operating in them to do something completely different.

      I do like his ideas about people being silly thinking they have some celestial super power simply by being members of an organization. That is nonsense. Seriously though, don’t you think that that has been happening in the Denver movement though? They now act like being baptized to join their club is somehow different than all the other baptisms in all of Christianity and it has some celestial super power that people outside the movement are not privy to. I do not discount baptisms in Denver’s movement to be clear, but they definitely discount baptisms outside of Denver’s movement. And now I hear there is a July 1st deadline of some sort. Would someone mind explaining what the deadline is all about? If the names have not been submitted by July 1st what will the consequence be?

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      • http://www.recordersclearinghouse.com/recorders-message/times-up/

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        • Thanks for the link. Cool. If Denver is the mighty and strong one then that would be awesome. I would love to see the prophecies fulfilled concerning so many things. So theoretically if Denver is the one prophesied of in section 85, is there a theory going around about who it is that set his hand to steady the ark and fell like a shaft of lightning? Just curious how that would be fulfilled? Do people believe it is thomas s monson?

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      • I don’t think Denver is the one mighty and strong. I postulated that years ago on the blog. Too many helpful responses caused me to discount that idea. Besides, we probably won’t know who it is until the work has been completed.

        I also don’t think he is the latter-day Davidic servant for the same reason. When someone steps up and does the work, then we can know. I consider Denver a teacher.

        By the way, I also see the Charismatic Movement in the Mormon community as you noted. Some people are uncomfortable with this movement. It doesn’t fit the subdued worship style most have grown up with in the LDS faith. Thanks for your thoughts.

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        • Tim, do you mind recounting or summarizing the specific reasons why you don’t think Denver is the mighty and strong one? Keith seems to imply on the recorder’s website (you linked to above) that he is – at least he references D&C 85:

          What will be impossible for us, will be to record your name into the main body if it is not submitted by the date specified above.

          So, let me see if I can drive home the seriousness of what is being done here with a scripture:

          Starting in the last part of D&C 85:7 we find spoken of, a person who will come along, and “…set in order the house of God, and arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.”

          And then skipping to verses 9 and 10 in that same section: “And they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among the unbelievers, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill.”

          So, of what book does this scripture speak? And do you want to take a chance it is not this one? Many things given before have been renewed again now, and we need to do as the Lord has directed, moving forward in faith.

          And then Denver said this in the 10th talk:

          All of Israel will receive this witness that His work has commenced. “And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ…”

          These are Christ’s words. We touched on these words in the beginning back in Boise. It was quoted by the angel Moroni referring to Joseph Smith, Acts 3, verses 22- 23. “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”

          That prophet is Christ. It does not say Christ is going to come and deliver His words, it says “His words.” “Those who will not believe my words, who am Jesus Christ, they shall be cut off.” And the angel Moroni said to Joseph in verse 40 of the Joseph Smith History, “The day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.”

          That prophet is Christ. His words are what I have spoken to you today. We must all respond to His words, because if we will not we will be cut off from among the people.

          Do you think the mighty and strong one and the servant mentioned in 3 Nephi 21 (“the life of my servant shall be in my hand…”) are the same person?

          It sounds like you might think the Davidic servant is a different person than the mighty and strong one too. Could you elaborate and summarize that as well?

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        • I watched a DVD docu-lecture presentation entitled, The Prophet Joseph – More Than we Know” from the Joseph Smith Foundation (James Stoddard and his daughter Hannah). Link:

          http://josephsmithacademy.org/store/index.php/prophet-joseph-more-than-we-know.html

          It got me thinking that Joseph will come back as a resurrected being to perform the work of the Latter-day Servant. So many people have claimed to be the one mighty and strong. Why could it not be the Savior himself? Here is a link to the previous discussion:

          https://latterdaycommentary.com/2014/01/19/ascending-the-ladder-to-heaven/

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  6. Interesting quotes re: the Davidic Servant … I know many people believe Joseph will come back as a resurrected being but there is absolutely no pattern in scripture where a resurrected being, except for Jesus, comes back to fulfill his mission. And part of Jesus mission was to come back as a risen Christ. There are instances of people being resurrected, but they are not resurrected to any kind of glory. As Denver has stated, the reason people are translated is to continue a mission in power. Never has Denver stated that Joseph is coming back as a resurrected being … Unless we understand Isaiah, then the misunderstanding re: Joseph just continues to cloud our minds.

    However, if Tim is correct, then what are we to do with D&C 77:9 and 14 wherein Joseph identifies the Elias (whom I believe is the Davidic Servant) as John the Revelator who has been a translated being since his ministry with Jesus. Did anyone listen to the webinar where Avraham Gileadi spoke on the Davidic Servant? And the upcoming Exodus? It was fabulous! And Brinkerhoff’s insights were mind-blowing.

    I support rebaptisms and I think it is a great way to recommit. However, I am not convinced that it is only LDS that have the power and authority to do such. You just have to look around the world and see miracles happening in all congregations. We get stuck with the what we have been taught for years – we are the covenant, choice people, we are the “select, favored, chosen ones” wherein reality we all God’s children. We choose God and then we are chosen. When he is our priority it does not matter what religion or congregation we belong for we now belong to Him …

    Denver has been a great teacher. The years he spent writing and teaching on coming into the presence of the Son, then the Father was incredible. But now, instead of concentrating on the Church of the Firstborn he has gone backwards and introduced us back to the telestial aaronic priesthood. Is it working for you? According to Gileadi, the upcoming Exodus is going to be so huge in both trials and miracles that throughout eternity people will refer to the 2nd Exodus and will no longer mention the first Exodus because of the magnitude of the second. Denver is telling everyone that we need to revive the Aaronic Priesthood. Seriously, this was the priesthood that was given to the Israelites because they refused the higher law and refused to enter into the Lord’s presence. Do you see the similarity here with Denver? First he offered the knowledge re: the Second Comforter and now he is telling us to concentrate on the Aaronic Priesthood. To me that is stepping backwards … I don’t want that … But I suppose we all have decisions to make … Second Comforter/Church of the Firstborn vs. Aaronic Priesthood … Thanks Denver for making the choice so evident! I guess Denver is still a great teacher.

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  7. I’ve been watching the Avraham Gileadi / Val Brinkerhoff “Awake and Arise” series of lectures. I really enjoyed Val’s discussion of John the Beloved and D&C 77:9&14. Because of vs 14, I was certain for several years that John the Beloved would fulfill the role of Davidic Servant, then a couple of years ago I had a chance to talk with Dr. Gileadi at one of his seminars about my belief that John is the latterday servant. He said that it was not a doctrine that he accepts and that he believes the vs in section 77 is only presenting John as a type (of a translated being) for the servant. Since then I’ve heard Avraham strongly condemn the doctrine and accuse those who teach it of not having an understanding of Isaiah. However, I didn’t discard my belief concerning John but did allow for the possibility that Avraham’s version is correct. I was a little shocked though when Val started his presentation of the end time servant being John the Revelator. I had to wonder if he and Avraham were aware of one another’s position on the subject before hand. I hope it wasn’t an awkward moment for either of them. 🙂

    I really liked the things that Val taught about the timing of the servant’s appearance and decided to buy his book “Seven Heavenly Witnesses of the Coming of Jesus Christ”. One of the things that Val said that I found extremely interesting was that he knew of two people who had met John the Beloved. I also have a friend who believes that he has met John. I wonder if anyone here knows if Val has an email address setup to take emails from his readers. I would love to compare notes.

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    • You can reach Val at 7witnesses@gmail.com

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  8. So the questions is, why re-baptism? I was baptized into the LDS church when I was XX years old, so why should I be re-baptized?
    What happened when John the Baptist wrested authority away from the Pharisees? Why did he then set about “re-baptizing” anyone (Jewish) who came to him requesting “re-baptism”? Why was “re-baptism” thought by John (and obviously also by Christ) to be necessary?
    Was there a cusp event unfolding…the end of one dispensation of the Gospel and the beginning on a new dispensation of the Gospel…same Gospel, different dispensations?. Did we just see a cusp event unfold?
    What was Denver talking about at the 10th lecture in Mesa when he said the leaders the LDS church no longer have priesthood authority because of their blatant disregard for the Lord’s instructions in D&C121 about the proper use of priesthood authority?
    Power in the Priesthood is actuated or activated by the power of the Holy Ghost. It has nothing to do with any institution, therefore, no institution has a franchise or control over Priesthood power…it comes exclusively today just as it did 2500 years ago, through the Holy Ghost.
    James Russell Uhl

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  9. David S.,

    Unless we are using words to signify the same things, then we will talk past one another.

    When I use the word “priesthood,” I mean to signify a set of beings having a relationship to one another – in this case, the set of priests, those who are consecrated as teachers of the word of God, and servants to all. This is just as the word “neighborhood” signifies a set of beings in relation to one another – in this case, the set of people who live in residences near one another. Or “brotherhood,” &c.

    Priests are they who are sent forth to teach the commandments of God to mankind, to perform certain ordinances, and, as a result of keeping the commandments of God and exercising mighty faith, they have an understanding of the spirit of prophecy.

    That’s all the word means; if you are a member of the priesthood, you are a priest, no more, no less. You are in, and have, an association with other priests, prophets, angels, and the elohim, meaning the divine council, of whom Jesus is the head. There are levels of association. The fulness of the priesthood, I believe, is to have association with God Most High.

    Power is another topic altogether. The only power a priest has, as a priest, is pure knowledge, persuasion, and so forth, as recounted in D&C 121:41-46 (and such things, note well, are not unique or specific to priests!). Whenever you see someone attempting to manipulate, compel, or coerce others into conformity with their will, there you see someone who is not a priest.

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    • Log,

      Well, I like where you’ve steered this–to D&C 121:41-46, which I believe is where Nephi was focused and it’s what Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount and it’s where we do the only work relevant to us in this realm. Worrying about power instead of righteousness is a distraction.

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      • David S,

        The only real power, respecting agency, is persuasion. Nothing else matters.

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  10. Here is another question about baptism.

    In the Book of Mormon it teaches that baptism of little children is an abomination. Is an 8 year old a little child?

    Before answering think on this. I have read countless articles mentioning Jesus fulfilling the law perfectly. Meaning he was circumcised at eight days old, presented at the temple, took part in the holy days and jewish customs to fulfill the law perfectly. He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Yet how old was Jesus when he was baptized?

    Now the doctrine and covenants teaches something about how if parents of a child do not prepare that child to be baptized at the age of eight years old they are sinning. Was that a subtle condemnation of joseph and Mary who didn’t prepare Jesus to be baptized at eight? Or if you believe God the Father was the literal parent of Jesus then did the Father not raise Jesus right?

    Or better yet is it time to throw out the new idea that Jesus was baptized at 8 years old? That one would be something I have never heard before. Anyway it is my understanding that baptizing a little child (of which 8 year olds are a part) is an abomination, so if you were baptized as an 8 year old, then that definitely could be a reason one would feel to be rebaptized. Because they were not baptized for the right reason and there was not sufficient understanding or comprehension of what it means to repent and be born of God.

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    • I generally try to avoid discussions because there is so much speculation and contention and so little of solid truth in most.
      However, consider this: Jesus was called “Rabbi” by those of His own home town when he ventured among them. Jews in that time were baptized. Does it seem likely that Jesus would be called “Rabbi” by people who knew Him all His life if He had never been baptized? Just because the only baptism of Jesus recorded in the scriptures was John’s baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, does that preclude Jesus having been baptized previously…at 8 yrs old, or even at 12 yrs old?
      What does that imply about re-baptism?
      Puzzle this while you are considering…Jesus was addressed as “Rabbi” by the Pharisees. In that time, in order for a man to be a “Rabbi” he had to have a wife.
      Do we see anywhere in the scriptures that Jesus was married, aside from circumstantial evidence (marriage at Cana, His unexplained intimacy with Lazarus’ sisters, Mary Magdalene being the first person to see Him following His resurrection, etc)?
      James Russell Uhl

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      • James,

        Do you believe 8 year olds are little children? Should they have the right to make binding legal contracts? How about get married if it is consensual? Are they mentally capable of doing these things?
        Ok I know it could be argued baptism is not as important of decision as these things (isn’t it?), but I think the same mental capacity might be necessary to really understand the working of spiritual conversion. Perhaps a whole lot more. I have an 8 year old daughter. She is as pure as any person on this earth and she has not been baptized. In fact, it would be an attack on her purity to suggest that she needs baptism at her age to be saved. It is exactly what was warned about in the book of mormon. But if people choose to believe little children ought to be baptized, that is their choice. There is zero evidence that Jesus was baptized as an 8 year old. There is zero evidence that anyone in the Bible or Book of Mormon was.

        Here is part of the heading from Moroni 8

        “The baptism of little children is an evil abomination—Little children are alive in Christ because of the Atonement”

        This follows the language of the chapter. Mormon didn’t say that the baptism of INFANTS was evil (we often picture christenings of babies) he said little children. That 8 year olds are little children is understood by just about everyone in the world. Of course babies don’t need baptism either, but at least they don’t remember it. 8 year olds are manipulated and coerced into baptism in the lds church, in every single case that 8 year olds are baptized, whether the parents care to admit it or not. Of course the 8 year old will want all the attention and the pats on the back. They want to “be good.” 8 year olds believe being good involves doing what parents and authority figures say is good.

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  11. I’m confused about Jesus being baptized. Jewish tradition and law was that they used Mikvah’s for ritual cleansing and purification. Can anyone share with me something that supports Jesus being baptized before John the Baptist? I understand that he was a rabbi and that he was married, but that he was circumcised but I have never heard of him being baptized before the River Jordan experience.

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    • Very speculative position, in my opinion, that Jesus was baptized (by immersion, etc.) prior to John. Besides, did not John purportedly wrest the keys when he was 8-days old (according to JS, who is the revelatory medium being quoted on this matter), which was prior to Jesus even being born? Would Jesus not have gone to the legal administrator only to receive such a thing if the Pharisees were then only pretending to authority, etc.? This bucket seems to have holes in it. Does anyone want the truth? Come, let us reason together, with the Lord.

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  12. Denver’s claim of “wresting the keys” from the LDS Church is innuendo or passive at best – it is his followers who keep saying this, apparently from reading between the lines and extrapolating from statements he made, particularly in the Mesa 10th lecture. Perhaps I don’t possess “eyes to see” or “ears to hear” and lack discernment, but I’ll keep going anyway. To my knowledge, Denver does not overtly or publicly claim having personally wrested any such “keys”, (I try to keep up, but please correct me if I’m wrong – if these claims have been made overtly and publicly), nor has he publicly and plainly declared he has any “keys.”

    Nor is Denver actually performing these baptisms/rebaptisms himself. Rather, he is the instigator of the baptisms/rebaptisms. So the parallel/precedent with John the Baptist breaks down.

    The parallel/precedent with 3rd Nephi and Christ breaks down in that rebaptisms were not performed until Christ Himself came and instituted the new “dispensation.”

    If he wrested the keys, which ones did he wrest? The Aaronic Priesthood, which is all he teaches they every really had after Joseph & Hyrum died? And while we’re on the topic, if he wrested the “keys” from the LDS Church, did he wrest them from all the other JS off-shoots who supposedly passed on Aaronic Priesthood authority in their respective movements?

    So does Denver have “keys” or what? Didn’t he teach keys were just knowledge?

    What “priesthood” or, according to his definition of it, what association with heavenly beings, does Denver possess, or claim to possess? Does he just teach what he thinks “Patriarchal” (highest) priesthood is, or has he claimed to possess this? Does he claim he was introduced to the Father by the Son? Where does he make this claim. All the claims to this effect I have read have been second hand by followers, again seemingly extrapolating or reading between the lines of his teachings. Like, how could he teach about it if he had not experienced it, if he didn’t KNOW what he was talking about? Have any of you prayed and asked specifically about these things and had the truth manifested to you by the power of God?

    How many of you believe Denver is the Davidic Servant and/or the Mighty and Strong One and/or the servant mentioned in Jacob 5 and 3 Nephi 21? I am very curious about that. Tim said he doesn’t believe Denver is any of those and he’s about as close to him as anyone I’ve heard.

    Do you believe that baptism/rebaptism is required of everyone in this life? Or would fulfilling ordinance requirements in previous rounds/lifetimes have counted (do you believe)? Do you believe this movement is universal (and universally applicable) or just reserved for a special audience? Do you believe you are spiritually elite/chosen? Just curious what many of you believe.

    I would much appreciate and respect your sharing and answers to these questions, if you have them. I really want to understand where you are and what you believe, more fully, and the easiest way to discover that is to just ask you. I hope these questions are not offensive to you. And I will ask God myself while I’m at it, to determine what I believe. I’ve found the Lord to be quite accommodating and non-uprbraiding when it comes to my ignorance on the unknowable and undiscoverable.

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  13. And I give you these commandments because of the disputations which have been among you. And blessed are ye if ye have no disputations among you.

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  14. I’m with Jesef on this … and I hope someone can answer Jesef’s questions. I have two others questions that have been bothering me … one is that according to D&C 76, Joseph saw Alvin in the celestial kingdom and Alvin had not been baptized. Then in this same chapter Joseph said that all children who died before the age of 8 went immediately enter into the celestial kingdom. Hmmmm. what about multiple mortalities? Have these children who died before accountability already completed their work of ascension? I am finding that there are just too many questions regarding Joseph Smith and D&C that cannot be answered with any kind of assurance. For instance, Denver claims that Joseph never practiced polygamy, and says D&C 132 was changed by Brigham, yet the Nauvoo Expositer seems to argue otherwise, claiming Joseph was having illicit affairs and this was long before Denver proposes Brigham changed D&C 132. There are also too many diaries of men and women claiming Joseph was secretly taking wives unto him and also having intimate relations with them. To discard these claims is unwise.

    I believe here are too many discrepancies regarding Joseph. Has anyone seen the program – Queen Elizabeth – (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSnIHLVa2Qw) – it has so many elements of Joseph Smith and polygamy it is rather startling. What I came away with from watching the program is that anyone with spiritual gifts has the burden of seeing so many different spiritual realms and having to discern which realm they are in … and receiving revelation from. AT the time of Joseph Smith, there were a host of other people receiving incredible knowledge from heaven — Swedenborg, Jakob Lorber, etc … It seems that there was a portal opened and many were able to access it … Joseph definitely had revelations and saw different dimensions … the question is what visions were from God and what visions were from lower realms?

    After watching the John Dee program, one also comes away with understanding that polygamy (plural wives, or sex outside the boundaries of marriage between one man and one woman) is a test. Though Joseph did have some amazing and true revelations from God, Joseph was not a sacrificial lamb. Someone on this site wrote that the reason Abraham had to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice was because of Abraham’s sin of taking Hagar to wife. I believe that. Abraham was never commanded to take Hagar … that is found in D&C, not in Genesis.

    Once someone comes to the rational that Joseph did practice polygamy and that it was not a revelation from God, then one has to begin sorting out all of the other revelations in D&C and the BOM … it is a very hard endeavor. But my understanding is that we have to let go of untruth and false traditions and align ourselves with eternal truth. To ignore the evidence will only prolong our misery.

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    • I hope people who are searching things like this don’t have too much misery. People within the LDS system can attain spirituality and have gifts of the spirit manifest, all the while believing in everything the LDS church teaches. I believe it is less about escaping misery and more about ascending to higher gifts, powers, associations, and light that are not available if certain beliefs are not dismissed.
      Also has denver ever specifically said joseph didn’t practice polygamy? At one point he said that what joseph did concerning plural marriage would have been considered immoral in our times, so it seems he believed joseph practiced polygamy at one point. All he said was that it could not be proved in a court of law, and that joseph was virtuous, or something to that effect. He was not forthright with what he personally believed about it other than that joseph smith was awesome and held the keys until the day he died etc. then he condemned Joseph’s greatest apostle, brigham young, which in my understanding is also condemning joseph whether Denver knows it or not because brigham only carried on with what joseph taught and instituted, maybe adding a vengeance clause or two in the temple endowment but that is about it. Brigham young was absolutely loyal to joseph and called his name upon his death bed. Brigham was more loyal to joseph than to Jesus Christ, and that has been the problem since the beginning, at least from my own spiritual witnesses.

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      • From Denver’s Plural Marriage talk, page 2:

        “There are a lot of people who, looking at the historical record through the distortions of the many
        events we know about have concluded Joseph Smith was sexually promiscuous, given to having
        sexual relations with several women other than his wife, Emma. There are claims he was
        involved in the very kinds of sexual misdeeds he condemned. Some careful researchers who
        have written about the subject have carefully examining the record and have dialed back
        dramatically their conclusions about Joseph Smith’s conduct. Those who have looked at it most
        carefully become the most equivocal about what Joseph Smith did. I am no longer willing to be
        equivocal. I am going to say that from the totality of the circumstances, I do not believe Joseph
        Smith was ever involved in adultery or bigamy. It would be bigamy to marry another woman for
        this life while having an existing wife. Joseph Smith had a wife. If he added others, it was for the
        afterlife and not for bigamy.”

        When you say Brigham was only carrying on what Joseph taught and instituted, what material from Joseph–and not from someone claiming Joseph grabbed him by the elbow and escorted him out on a walk and told him privately–can you cite? If it’s only section 132, then I think Denver has presented a plausible explanation of the limits of who and what the referred to.

        Or is it that as with blood oaths, Brigham massively expanded and liberally interpreted what was attributed to Joseph?

        David S

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        • We could go over evidence all day long. I choose to actually look at all testimonies, and then only rely on one witness, and that is the witness of the Holy Ghost.
          There are many witnesses that joseph committed adultery and practiced bigomy, polygamy, etc. people choose to believe Joseph’s word over the countless witnesses, including his wives. Fine whatever. People are using worldly evidence to support their personal theories and biases. I simply don’t care to do that.
          The spirit has confirmed david whitmers witness to me, it has confirmed William marks testimony of Joseph’s admission that he was wrong with the doctrine of polygamy. It has witnessed to me that oliver cowdery told the truth about the fanny alger adultery, and it has witnessed to me many other things concerning this. So of course I will not be swayed by anyone’s agenda or all of the supposed evidence they throw out. I have done a thorough investigation myself and I believe the evidence leads to all of the conclusions that the spirit has confirmed.
          You want words from joseph smith read the letter to the Whitney’s regarding Sarah Ann Whitney, his latest wife. If you read it unbiased it is really quite plain.
          Also if you believe joseph did not have sex and just was sealed to spiritual wives, then you must admit he is not following section 132, which explains clearly the purpose of polygamy is procreation. Why would section 132 have to justify david, Solomon, Abraham etc if sex were not involved in what he was commanding joseph to do? Section 132 is clear that sex is involved with that so called revelation. By the way the Spirit has confirmed section 132 was not revelation from God.
          Then the spirit has confirmed to me that the nauvoo expositor was written according to the will of God and they were sincere when they said they knew that Mormonism in it’s initial implementation was true. These people that the LDS church has made out to be enemies and fallen, wicked liars was all actually a lie. The nauvoo expositor is perfectly accurate and inspired and they actually clearly lay our the contents of section 132, proving beyond reasonable doubt that the circulation of section 132 and the polygamy doctrine was being heavily circulated.
          And finally, please, what just judge, even of earthly things, relies solely on the testimony of the defendant and will disregard the testimony of dozens of eyewitnesses.
          It comes down to this for his defenders. They think joseph was just so awesome he wouldn’t be involved in all that, and all of his most loyal supporters, his trusted disciples that he chose, all turned against him and they are all liars, and no ones word matters but Joseph’s. You would think one of those people that supposedly conspired against him would have broken with guilt and admitted the whole thing was a sham by the end of their lives, but none of them did.
          Anyway joseph repeatedly taught false doctrine the longer things went on, he falsified a translation of Egyptian papyri which lead to intense racism that is still alive today in the LDS movement, he created so called revelations that repeatedly contradicted the Book of Mormon, which is clear if people actually compare them without bias, and few even batted an eye because they adored the man. I respect that people come to their own conclusions, but it is laughable to say there isn’t enough evidence (even without the spirit) to conclude that joseph was involved with adultery and bigamy. So I choose to ask questions in prayer and then heed the answers I get, then I don’t have to worry about all the conflicting opinions and sifting through evidence. That is my personal method of truth finding. It has worked very well for me this far.

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  15. well this was a fun read….but a question?

    so what is the difference between blanket faith…Faith to move a mountain versus Priesthood authority over something? Yet Faith is needed to do anything, yet authority is critical. Jesus has authority to forgive sins and Satan is given authority to tempt mankind. so priesthood authority vs faith…I’ve never quite understood the difference….and in all of scriptures people always doing miracles “In the name of Christ” and never cite their priesthood authority to do it. yet in my personal experience I’ve seen where in the name of Christ is sufficient and in other cases I needed to add the priesthood authority part…but I could be just doing it all wrong?

    It is interesting to note that little children do not get baptised yet 8 year olds are little children.

    It was also interesting to consider whether or not Jesus was baptised before John because He was a Rabbi at that point. it could be a poorly translated record, but if its not it is curious that Jesus does it fulfill all righteouness as one might assume He would’ve already done it?

    Though I wouldnt hold the fact He was circumcised as proof that His parents were good Jews and thus followed Jewish law to the letter. Circumcision as Abraham understood it left the foreskin on….it would be over the course of thousands of years that it would go from a mark on the foreskin to removing part of the foreskin(Likely Jesus’s day version….as such Jesus was raped…that sounds terrible but then again Jesus did come to suffer all sins….but regardless cutting off 1/3 of someones penis does count as rape and mutilation)….and of course todays circumcision which removes all of the foreskin and usually all or most of the frenulum unlike only some of it in the days of Jesus making todays circumcision the most barbaric form of widespread rape that goes on in silence which is ironic beyond words. todays circumcision can cut off as much as half of a newborns penis….rape and mutilation indeed.

    yes it’s rape….and it should be noted the version that goes on today is truthfully only a bit over 100 years old and can only be done with technology that exists today and has nothing to do with religion, it was done to prevent masturbation and by man hating bastards. at one point it cured blindness and other diseases…it was snake oil.

    so don’t hold up Jesus was circumcised as some proof that His parents were good Jews or that He was following the law to the letter as we understand the law….Few have ever practiced that law correctly….and even still the book of mormon, D and C and the new testament all do away with it and condemn it. circumcision in the book of mormon it should be noted is pointed out right next to infant baptism and solemnly mocking God.

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