Most Abominable above all Sins . . .


Denver Snuffer said in Lecture One: “We equate in large measure, repentance, with whatever it is you’re doing with your genitals. Joseph equates redemption and repentance with whatever it is you’re doing with your heart and with your mind.”

It’s under this umbrella I wish to discuss Alma 39.

the-red-light-districtFor decades, the Church and its handbooks have been a harsh punisher of sexual sin—in Brigham’s time it could have resulted in death. People who mess up before marriage get their weddings postponed for months or cancelled, often they are dis-fellowshipped. Others are stripped of their blessings. Others are told they must marry in order to avoid judgment from the Church, causing years of torment in a bad marriage. Others are denied service in the Lord’s kingdom, even AFTER they are declared temple worthy through annotated records that chase them from ward to ward and year to year. In other terms, sexual sins have been described as heinous. For LDS doctrinaires, the scripture that is used to justify such judgment by Church leaders is Alma 39:

“5 Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?”

Yep, there it is . . .the most abominable sin. Or . . . is it? Is this another example of the Lord giving us the easy answer when it takes effort to find the correct one?

Instead of highlighting what is “most abominable” perhaps what we should be doing is highlighting “these things.” What are these things?

Again, the easy answer is the previous verses:

“3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.”

So the easy answer is sex outside of marriage. But does it actually SAY that. What the verse says is that Isabel, the harlot, stole his heart. He left his ministry to go after his own heart, his own lusts. I don’t know if he even accomplished the task of getting her into the sack. The verse isn’t clear. But we sure have extrapolated a lot about the sin equal to murder based on this one verse, so I think it needs another look. The simplest answer is not necessarily pre-marital sex, but forsaking your ministry (notice that Alma repeats himself about him abandoning his ministry), in order to chase harlots. When put that way, if you can imagine an missionary today leaving his companion, his ministry, total abandonment, and trying to date or bed a harlot, that would be pretty bad, maybe close to the sins of murder and denying the Holy Ghost.

Maybe . . . but there’s more

Alma in verse 5 says, “these things.” This is obviously plural. It’s a combination of things that Corianton does that relegates his sins (plural) as to being close to murder. Maybe it would be good to list them as Alma lists them and put them together to get a better picture.

  • Did not give heed unto his father Alma (verse 2)
  • Boasted of his own strength (verse 2)
  • Forsook the ministry (verse 3)
  • Chased prostitutes (verse 3)
  • These sins could have had him sinning against the Holy Ghost (I’ll get to that later)
  • Went after the lusts of his eyes (verse 9)
  • Going after vain and foolish things (verse 9)
  • Poor example among his potential converts, possibly leading them to destruction (verses 11-12)
  • Seeking for riches and vain things (verse 14)

When placed in context, the behavior of harlot-chasing seems to be a result of his other, grosser and more entrenched sins. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first sin explicitly listed is “boasting of his own strength.” When one does such things, one thinks it is because of THEM and THEIR efforts that give them success. How many Priesthood holders look at their own efforts, their works, their charisma, their leadership as evidence of their own successes instead of looking to Christ and being merely a tool in His hand? In this list, boasting of one’s own strength is a gateway drug that leads to the other sins.

When one takes strength unto themselves, they see themselves as deserving of the things they desire. In Corinaton’s case, it was a harlot, vain things, and riches. These are all under the umbrella of “lusts of the eyes.” The harlot in this instance, is merely the hand caught in the cookie jar. How many Latter-day Saints see themselves as deserving because of their own strength and works? How many lust after riches because they see themselves as righteous? How many of them feel they deserve the most perfect, most sexy, most engaging, most successful, and most “spiritual” spouse and will not marry until they get the perfect companion? How many indulge in pornography? How many would line up at the bishop’s office to get more wives if polygamy were to return? Truth be told, I’m not sure many Mormons are out chasing harlots, but I’m sure there are a few.

Finally, how many of our behaviors are seen by outsiders in such a way that it turns them away from Christ because of our bad examples? In a way, we murder them because we kill AN opportunity for them to be saved by Christ. This should give all of us pause in how we behave and how our behaviors are noticed by others, starting with how serious we take our discipleship. But that then leads into what we buy, what our worldly habits consist of, to yes, our sexual behaviors (cheating, porn addiction, serial marriages, etc.) But I also find that sexual behaviors are much less visible than how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, or what we spend our time and money doing.

CHISimply stated, the sin that is next to murder is pride. Sexual sins are often a direct result of pride, but pride is the originator! Perhaps when the Saints are prideful and seek after riches and boast of their own strength, or misuse their Priesthood, it would be wise for a handbook to “amen” their membership privileges for at least a year or so, and if they repeat it, excommunicate them.

Or better yet, we stop some of the restrictions we place on people because we think they are going to be damned when they mess up in the bedroom with someone else. Perhaps pride should be the theme of judgment and not the sex itself. Ask yourself these questions. Do these sexual sins, in and of themselves, feel like they are close to murder?

  • An engaged couple who messes up before marriage
  • A single woman who is preyed upon by men who succumbs to advances because she doesn’t know how to say “no” (Women are punished unequally in the Church)
  • A person who desperately wants to avoid sexual sin but is compelled out of addiction
  • People who cohabit but don’t marry legally for some reason or another

If any of these people come to me and want to fellowship with me, and show a repentance spirit, I would not deny them the ordinances of the Lord! I believe that a repentant attitude of replacing darkness with light will be successful at removing the sin from these people’s lives more than putting a restriction on partaking of these ordinances. The latter feels like punishment, and often serves to only push the offender away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s the nature of the heart, not the sin, that matters the most.

I don’t want to minimize sexual sin. It is still sin and needs to be forsaken and repented of. But we like to shine a light on it more than other sins, and often it serves for those not ensnared in it to boast of their own strength and of their own pride, knowing that “not even once” did they ever partake in such things, and they are now blessed because of it. Yet, they are ensnared in the insidious sin of pride and they know it not.

Denying the Holy Ghost

When verse 6 is included, we have a different kind of instruction. We learn about denying the Holy Ghost. Here you have a missionary who has not yet had the Holy Ghost. We know this because he was not yet converted to Christ. Had he been, these things would have been affront to his conversion. He would have forsaken the Lord and there would have been no forgiveness. He would have had to suffer for those sins himself or become a son of perdition. But thank goodness he was a naive youth. Instead, he did things that are forgivable by the Atonement of Christ. I think this is helpful when we see many of our young people who mess up, whether before, after, or during a mission or even after entering an ordinance they do not yet understand or have interred, such as a temple endowment. We ought to be more forgiving of their youthful sins and teach them the doctrines of Christ and let those doctrines convert them so that they will be fortified against sin though the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost.

The next three chapters have Alma expounding doctrine and not railing upon his son’s sins. We should take note.

Charity NEVER Faileth . . .


Let me repeat. Charity NEVER Faileth . . .

In our quest for Zion, Charity may be our number one weapon both personally and collectively. Here’s what Paul said about it (essentially mirrored by Moroni) in 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Charity is everything in forming Zion. Charity is the key to knowledge (along with meekness) to discerning truth from error.

Faith is the first part of the exercise for individual salvation. Faith IN and through Jesus Christ, understanding His character, motives, and intentions is the first step . . . but for some people, they are smitten with unbelief and faith fails them. For others, they have the next step, hope. Hope comes after faith has been tested and the Power of God has been made manifest to at least some extent in a person’s life. Hope then becomes the wellspring that can be counted on for the person to continue following the Words of Christ unto Eternal Life. Yet even with hope the vicissitudes of life can overwhelm our patience and set us back.

charityCharity can overcome the setbacks that a person may encounter with either faith or hope. When you practice charity, it may not even matter if you believe–there are agnostics that can exhibit many of the principles of charity which literally calls down the Grace of God to overcome any obstacle from which you may be suffering. Stumbling blocks are removed, forgiveness is granted, unbelief is destroyed, hope is made perfect, and ultimately, if one has not had the Baptism of Fire and the Second Comforter, those things are promised through charity.

Since I like to write about practical things, and these topics are often very abstract, let me drill this one down for you.

Charity can be practiced in a few ways.

  • Denying not the beggar – I’ve discussed this before, but it is the starting point for any discussion about charity because our Western minds gravitate towards charity as the term for “helping the poor and disadvantaged.” But let me take it a step further. One may give a dollar to a man, but to give a dollar with love, with kindness, with care, and with taking a few minutes to show love, that is a thing a beauty. There is a clip on youtube that I saw a few month ago that showcases this perfectly. Notice the look on the beggar’s face after the surprise that he gets from these three helpers. He is puzzled and bewildered, but touched as well. His heart changed a little from the kindness showed him by three strangers. I know of a ministry of remnant Mormons, anonymously, who visit some very shady places where the homeless hang out. They go down not just to feed them soup, give them a meal, or a handout. This isn’t a “shelter program.” Instead, they meet with them on their terms, in their “homes” on the sidewalk and spend time talking to them, getting to know them, loving them. Yes money is exchanged, but that’s almost beside the point. Several of them have been healed by the laying on of hands. Sicknesses and injuries where there is no money to fix have been healed by the Power of God. The next time you think about what kind of charity needs to be practiced by those aspiring to Zion, I want to call attention to their unsung example.
  • Loving Thy Neighbor as Thyself – And who is your neighbor? Jesus gave a parable on this, and it certainly isn’t the person who lives next door. To put it in today’s context, it is a Christian who has the opportunity to serve a gay couple (think less wedding cakes and more fixing a blown tire on the side of the road), or as what happened to us last weekend, helping a Mexican family find their drunk husband and father who had wandered off in the city park–even though we didn’t speak Spanish. We ought to show genuine care and kindness for anybody that comes in our path, whether they have tattoos and piercings, or wear garments with stiff necks.The Boy Scout virtues apply here.
  • Forgiveness, Praying for our Enemies – We answered who our neighbor is, but who is our enemy? While it may be a distant political leader that doesn’t share your persuasions, I suggest that it’s more likely a mother, a father, a spouse, a fellowship member, or anyone with whom you have had a falling out over one thing or another, justified or not. Injustice is never an excuse not to forgive. Neither is pain. If you are struggling with answers to prayers or with an endowment from the Lord, may I suggest you check your heart for an “enemy” that needs your mercy, forgiveness, and prayers. From the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, we find these gems:
    • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    • 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    • 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

    • 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    • 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    • 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

    • 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    • 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

  • Praying for Zion – The last example of charity I wish to discuss is one I have learned recently as I have sought blessings from the Lord. I often feel compelled in my instruction from the Spirit to pray for my fellowship groups, for long periods of time, extending my heart until it will break for a brother or sister. The prayers are intense and personal. Usually they are accompanied by an outpouring of love from the Spirit. What this does is prepare me to accept their needs and wants in my life to be above my own. If we are ever to achieve Zion, it must be so. I believe the reason I feel compelled to pray and love my group more intensely than any other group I associate with, including my extended family, is that we are all willing, our hearts are broken and ready . . . to receive the Lord. I believe charity to this group is where the Power of Zion can be found.

If Anything will Doom us . . .

As I’ve talked about charity, and meekness, I have cased other forums, Facebook, etc. where I have seen anti-charity and hard hearts, particularly over the discussions of gay rights and plural marriage. We can all agree the Church doesn’t have Priesthood keys, we can break bread over that, but we will break off fellowships, destroy the peace of others, and otherwise create contention over a hard-fought position on a thing. We may even have some revelation to back up our position–whether it’s of the right source or not. Some of us are well-learned and we lean upon the understanding of the world–science and historical consensus–to inform our opinions and it lifts us up past the fog of the simpletons to declare our position as sound. We need to stop all such nonsense and re-establish our positions as one that knows NOTHING. Only then can the Lord teach us His ways.

There are even some who wish to co-opt this movement from the beginning. We ought to flesh that out as unsound and wrong. The statements Denver Snuffer has made on plural marriage ought to suffice for the attention given to that thing IF you are a Zion seeker. No . . . it’s not because he’s impervious to error as a servant of the Lord . . . it’s because he’s right . . . we need to focus on our own personal attention to the principles of repentance, finding a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and coming unto Christ in a way that can soothe our feelings and iron our errors so we CAN come into a unity of the faith. The Grand Key of Discernment will teach us that this is right.

I declare this as truth at least to me–anyone who sets up stakes BEFORE they are redeemed will a) never be redeemed and b) most likely turn out to be an agent of the adversary before it’s all over. There is a group of folks out there who have had an idea about what would happen when the Lord would begin rising up servants to cleanse the Church. This has been informed over decades as a core doctrine. I imagine the Zealots in the time of Christ when they began seeing the signs. They expected one things, and got another. When that promised political delivery didn’t happen, many ceased walking with the Lord at that time. When Denver Snuffer began his testimony and lectures, there was much hope imbued upon him to be the guy who was going to “set the Church in order.” He has perhaps tacked to a different path on this issue than many have hoped. Some have ceased to walk with the remnant at that time. I cannot help but notice the shift in some of the forums that declared Denver to be a false prophet right after the polygamy talk. At least they were honest to their own stakes, but many haven’t been as transparent about their change of heart. They ought to be.

711299Others have read deep into his talks to find the silver lining of the future reality of polygamy. I wish we would not do this. I reminds me of when Joseph Smith publicly declared that he was against polygamy, but then was teaching it in private (as the historical record describes), or when Wilford Woodruff declared that polygamy was suspended, gave his infamous statement about the prophet not being able to lead the Church astray, and then STILL authorized polygamous marriages in secret. When one “seeks deep,” I an reminded of this scripture in Isaiah:

“Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”

If anything has brought great mischief upon the Church, it is HOW polygamy came into the Church, and HOW it left the Church. If anything has caused people to be lead astray, led to strong-man fundamentalism, set up prophet worship in the Church, led away into secular paths, destroyed the tender feelings of the daughters of God, it is HOW this principle was handled (note: I’m talking about it’s application here–the reality of such a doctrine is a discussion for a different time). I am not keen on trying to scope out a “wink, wink” from Denver Snuffer over the eventual return of polygamy doctrine to the Church of the Lamb of God. Instead I say let it lie, and let a man’s words be “yea, yea, and nay nay.”

Finally, others are so pained by the damages done in the name of plural marriage, sexual abuses, iniquity of the marital yoke, that while they laud the monogomist language of Denver, their stakes are even putting them at risk for future guidance from heaven that may challenge those stakes. I don’t believe this will happen, but I loath to never allow for something to happen. It is enough to know a thing is not true today. Let the future take care of itself and be humble. There may be other sacrifices that are possibly harder to accept than plural marriage. We must be willing to accept such sacrifices.

I am reminded of 1 Nephi 14:1:

“And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.”

That verse is talking about us, about Mormons, right here, right now. There IS a stumbling block. I would state that ultimately it’s how Mormonism set a man between a person and God through the misapplication of Priesthood keys–but the best example of how Priesthood keys have been misapplied has been the entrance and exit of polygamy. Almost all of the break-offs are related to these two issues. It is the stumbling block prophesied, and I for one, would like it removed, no matter which direction the removal takes us. I want to be part of the Church of Lamb of God who the Lord will gather in along with the remnant of the House of Israel.

Back to Charity . . . 

And that requires us to use charity on this issue. We ought to throw a cloak of charity over our brothers and sisters who have a different view on things. We ought to pray for them. In doing so, we may find our own stakes to soften, to moderate, to be more pliable to the workings of the Spirit, insomuch that we CAN come to a unity of the faith. I challenge all of us to apply charity to the stumbling blocks of our day–be it plural marriage, gay marriage, or Church authority. Pray for our enemies, love our fellowships, our wards, and I believe we can work all of this out. I hope that we do, and the Lord has PROMISED me that it will work out if we do!

Call for Tithing Conference


money-pitThis is the initial call for conference for a worldwide Conference on Tithing Experiences.

On 4-12-14 an invitation was extended to gather into fellowships and begin a tithing experiment. We were encouraged to govern ourselves and avoid contention and jarrings in caring for the poor among us and in distribution of tithing funds. We have had over a year to work out the kinks in each of our own fellowships and to put enough experience behind us to have established good hindsight of our own successes and failures.

As individual voices in our groups we have worked forward and learned what worked best for us and what caused problems. We have had time to iron out wrinkles in our process. Each fellowship has had their own methods and unique challenges.

The purpose of this conference is to facilitate communication between the fellowships.  Perhaps a particular solution found by one group is fitting for another, or there were problems that have been worked though by one group that another is just beginning to experience and council can be given and accepted. Again, the purpose is to facilitate communication, that we may be closer and more towards one body.

Malachi3What this conference is NOT:

This is not a call to further organize or hasten anything. This is not a call to discover a “right” way or a “wrong” way. What worked well for one group may be disastrous for another. This is not a call to correlate. This is not a call to organize funds, although of course individual fellowships are free to work together if one group is experiencing a surplus and another overwhelming need.

This call for conference is the initial call, asking that those who wish to participate can share a voice in the organization of the conference. As the purpose of the conference is to facilitate communication, we are looking at options to increase participation outside of a physical gathering, although that will occur. There have been suggestions of podcasts afterwards, webcast of Conference, web conference, transcripts of talks, etc..

If you are interested in having a voice in the organizational effort please have a representative contact us at remnantministry555@gmail.com or use our contact page http://www.remnantministry.org/contact.html

jesus-healing-blind-manThis call to conference was put forth by Remnant Ministry fellowship, second by Little Zion. Note from Little Zion: We don’t like any formal meetings. We don’t like any control. We don’t like any leaders. That is what we have felt in our group. But we love all you guys so if you wanna hang for a weekend and talk about the gospel, then we’re game.

 

Opening the Conduit to Heaven


the-heavensI read a lot of blogs. You probably do too. What or who we read can tell us a lot about each other. I’m especially interested in keeping in touch with those who are on a journey similar to mine. Below are a few blogs I check on a regular basis. Although I don’t spend a lot of time there, I also check in from time to time on the top four LDS group blogs at the bottom of the list just to see what’s being discussed.

Denver Snuffer Pure Mormonism – Rock Waterman
To the Remnant – Adrian Larsen In 200 Words or Less – Will Carter
The Gospel According to Scoot Just and True – Spektator
Anonymous Bishop Bare Record of Truth
Thoughts on Things and Stuff 77 Truths – Bret Corbridge
2nd Witness Upward Thought
The Perfect Day My Journey to the Fulness
Latter-day Spence – Clean Cut Thoughts from Salem – Russell Anderson
By Common Consent Times and Seasons
Mormon Stories Podcasts Wheat and Tares

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned anything from one of my recent favorites. It’s not even on my blogroll: The Gospel According to Scoot. Today I’d like to share something from Scott that has just made my day and my week. I’ve been pondering a post – this one – for a long time. I knew it was coming. I knew I wanted to study the subject and post it. Scott helped me nail this one down.

My Interview With Denver Snuffer

Over the past few months, I’ve been elaborating a little on the subjects from my interview with Denver back in May. At the bottom of this post you’ll find Denver’s answer to question eight. It was a difficult one dealing with the subject of leadership. Although I asked it poorly, I used the example of the discussion we were having on this blog about the Asenath honeycomb dance.

hosts-of-heavenWhat I asked in my question was what I believed at the time about what was happening with these dances. Of course, those in attendance at the retreat know that what was presented was nowhere near what I described in my question. That doesn’t mean that such practices aren’t happening. It just means I have no personal knowledge, so I shouldn’t have used the example.

Long-time readers know this blog is not and never was dedicated to the insights of one man. This blog has explored writings from dozens of Mormon authors. It just so happens that the Mormon author whose works I have been reading for the past few years are so prolific, I have felt a desire to share many insights. There are nine posts from the interview so far. The first is an overview.

5-13-15: A Visit With Denver Snuffer 5-21-15: The Fullness of the Gentiles
5-27-15: The Snuffer Interview – Part Two 5-30-15: Reconnecting to the Fathers
6-6-15: They That Come Shall Burn Them 6-13-15: Baptizing with Power and Authority
6-16-15: Reorganizing the Family of God 6-28-15: A Wild Man Hath Come Among Us
7-4-15: Opening the Conduit to Heaven

Conversing With the Lord

jacob-altarNow on to what I learned from Scott Stover about opening the conduit to heaven. First, from personal experience, I can tell you it is real. We can literally open a conduit to heaven. I have done so. Contrary to what some have written here on this blog, it is something over which we have some control. When we approach the heavens correctly, our prayers are heard and shared.

In response to prayer, like Scott, I have received revelation, as I’m sure many of you have, and have recorded it in my revelation book. As I have shared before, images, scenes, words, phrases, sentences and whole paragraphs have come, almost as dictation. Most of what I have received I have not shared, nor have I ever felt a desire or the right to do so. They are personal and sacred.

On the other hand, when I have asked the Lord for enlightenment on a specific subject with the clear understanding up front that I desired to share it, He has been most generous. The insights are my interpretations of what I have received, meant to inspire, encourage or otherwise prompt you to take your own questions to the Lord and receive direction and inspiration for your life.

Knowing the Voice of the Lord

isaiah-recording-revelationAs Scott shared in his latest post entitled, “Come Unto Me #2 – Scriptures,” the key to hearing and knowing the voice of God compared to our own voice or that of the adversary is found in Moroni 7:11-19. This should be no surprise to anyone. “According to this revelation, there is a grand key whereby we may know that the voice we hear is the voice of the Lord.

“If the voice: 1) Encourages the worship of Christ, 2) Promotes charity, humility, and the power that comes only from them and 3) Does not engender a desire for control, compulsion, or dominion (D&C 121:34-46), …then it is His voice.” Did you know you can use this same formula to ascertain if someone is sharing ideas that contain eternal truth when they write responses to blog posts?

As my regular readers are probably aware, or at least those who read the comments in response to some of my posts, especially those that address some observation I share about an insight I have gained from Denver, there is great opposition to just about anything that comes from the man. That is a sign to me, along with what I hear from the Lord, that he is speaking the truth.

The Gift of Discerning of Spirits

heavens-glory“There always did, in every age, seem to be a lack of intelligence pertaining to this subject. Spirits of all kinds have been manifested, in every age, and almost amongst all people. … All have their spirits, all have a supernatural agency, and all contend that their spirits are of God. Who shall solve the mystery? ‘Try the spirits,’ says John [1 John 4:1], but who is to do it? The learned, the eloquent, the philosopher, the sage, the divine—all are ignorant. … Who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints?

“A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. …

“As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles…”

Source: Joseph Smith, HC, vol 4, pp 571-581 – Editorial in Times and Seasons, April 1842

Use the Keys God Has Given Us

Where there is no vision, the people perishA man or woman can go astray from the path approved by the Lord at any time in their life. The path I have chosen, to withdraw my membership in the LDS Church so I can experience greater freedom of expression in what I share here on my blog, is NOT the best choice for others. The important thing is to KNOW you are on the right path. Of course, the only way to know is to ask.

As you can imagine, I have been told over and over by loving, well-meaning individuals that I have been deceived in my prayers and in the confirmations that have satisfied my soul. All I can say is God bless you. My path is not for you. For those who say Joseph was a fallen servant or Denver is a false prophet or fallen servant, I say, you believe what you want and act accordingly.

Don’t let my confidence in my path dissuade you from your confidence in yours. They don’t have to be the same. As long as what we are doing encourages the worship of Christ, promotes charity, humility and kindness toward others, and does not produce a desire for compulsion or control or dominion over others then we’re good. Teach me of Christ and I will listen. God bless.

Opportunities to Go Off the Rails

Question Eight: A follow-up to the last question about the need for leadership in this movement can be illustrated by a recent post from Keith on the Recorder’s blog. In there he noted some people are submitting names of children baptized as young as five years old. The scriptures specifically teach the age of accountability is eight years old. He also noted the fact that some baptisms are being submitted for recording as having been performed by a woman. He quoted, again from the Phoenix lecture, your statement about priesthood being confined to men because of the Fall. You elaborated much on the idea there are so many opportunities for believers to go off the rails. I see it all the time when we discuss doctrinal questions on my blog.

For example, the worship of Mother in Heaven is a subject about which some people feel very strongly. They advocate a practice – a sacred dance – in which the objective is for a manifestation of divine favor. Specifically, they look for, expect, and report they have experienced the presence of Heavenly Mother in their ritual. This is similar to what happened with the children of Israel when Moses was up on the mountain for forty days communing with the Lord. In the end, Moses wore himself out because he had to judge every little thing that came before the people. What is the right way? How will the Lord provide leadership for His people who are awaiting His return? I’m looking for a practical answer here, not idealism.

A Few Comments on Heavenly Mother

ANSWER (Denver): For those who think they can please and appease a Heavenly Mother by that sort of innovation, I think they will be very surprised when they finally have an opportunity to meet Her. She may not be at all the soft, kindly, genteel little old lady some people imagine. She may be tougher by far than our Father.

Do you imagine for a moment that Lucifer would have been cast out of heaven without the Mother consenting, approving, and advocating? Do you think for a moment that could be the case? Do you think that those who were cast out with him had some weak-willed woman weeping at their departure? Do you think She wasn’t protecting Her Family, and approving the compulsory exile? I don’t talk about Her, but I think there is a lot of imagination about Her that needs to be reined in. When Her fearful presence is revealed the fools will then shut their mouths. Stop rushing forward because what you find in your impatience may condemn you and your foolishness.

Gifts Are An Open Conduit

Gifts are an open conduit. What flows through the gifts will include opposition. Just because you have a gift doesn’t mean that this gift is not equally accessible by the opposition as it is accessible by God. “It must needs be that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Ne. 2:11.) You can’t bring about righteousness without there being an opposition in all things. So how do you avoid mistakes when you allow something to influence you through your gift that actually comes from the adversary pretending to be the source of light? The pretentions of the Bringer of light, the Light Bearer, which is what Lucifer’s name means, do mislead.

road-to-emmausWell, to avoid mistakes, first of all, I would look to the scriptures as a standard against which to measure any new revelation given to you. If you look at Christ on the Road to Emmaus, and you look at Moroni’s lectures to Joseph, everything communicated was scripture-based.

I’ve given a more comprehensive restatement of the Restoration than anyone since Joseph, but have almost entirely confined it to the scriptures and statements attributed to Joseph. That measuring standard is where you first find the anchor needed to keep the truth. People who don’t read their scriptures are subject to all kinds of foolish presumptions about things that aren’t there. If you go back and look at the exact wording, sometimes the foolish presumption is not justified by the actual language and content of the scripture you think justifies what you are doing. Study and compare everything to the scriptural standard. The more familiar you are with their language the better equipped you will be to recognize truth.

Personal Worthiness a Requirement

Second, personal worthiness. We have to live our lives in conformity with the light that we have. We cannot ignore commandments, or excuse ourselves from departing, and expect that we can avoid deception. If we are willing to disobey and excuse ourselves, then we become unable to distinguish the light from the shadows. It’s just the way it is. If we lie to ourselves, we love a lie. And if we love a lie we’re going to be deceived by lies. We make ourselves open to lies, we make ourselves willing to accept them.

We have to rely on light and truth and the Holy Ghost. D&C 45:56-57:

And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins. For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.

The way you do that is by knowing what is in the scriptures with some considerable care, living according to the truth that you have, and allowing the Holy Ghost to become your guide, even if what you hear from the Holy Ghost challenges, disappoints, or even frustrates you.

The Strong Man Model is Flawed

(Tim): Do you want to address the part about leadership? I know it was kind of an add-on. It didn’t quite fit.

(Denver): Yes, the narrowness of the question at the end was delightful, because it allowed me to avoid that. But I do think the work that I have been doing, the lectures that were given as part of a single talk, and the stuff that I am trying to remind people of, it’s all in the scriptures. It is all in the foundation of the Restoration. I don’t think that “leader as micromanager” is an answer to anything and failed in Joseph’s day. “Teacher” as someone who brings material to your attention, allowing you the freedom then to choose, is good and worked for Enoch and Melchizedek.

prince-of-egyptIf people engage in the sort of inordinate wickedness Moses found when he came down from the mountain—if that is practiced anywhere among those that are responsive to my message, they simply won’t be gathered. They will be left behind. Those that are patient and humble will inspire the confidence of angels who will do the gathering, and they will be gathered. Gathering won’t be because some boss manages to whip people into line. They need to be given the freedom to get out of line. And then once out of line, they must be permitted to go their way.

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 eight: http://3tcm.net/question-eight.pdf

 

Being in the World, but not of the World


Actually . . . Don’t even be IN the world if you can help it

Minimize the first, so you can accomplish the latter. Things will transition and eventually we will not have to tolerate being IN the world. In the meantime, there is much we can do to lessen being IN the world. We have two things to accomplish before Zion is created, 1) Being prepared to receive Zion, God doing the gathering, gathering those who are prepared, and 2) Being patient.  I do not begrudge some who genuinely feel to quit their jobs, move to a place of refuge, and try to live the law of consecration, I fear that some of this may be “rushing the pass” just a bit, but I do not judge, only warn of being too eager. We ought to let the Lord do His work upon us first, so that we may be qualified . . . eager repentance comes to mind. When we are qualified it will come one of two ways 1) We will be called as a member of the 144,000 missionary force that will go first to be the vanguard. I believe that what is happening now as part of that process–it is part of the Lord’s strange work that will take place largely in a way that will not be noticed by the world, and 2) We are to be sufficiently prepared so that we can be rescued by the angels (144,000) to go to Zion after we have received our Baptism of Fire, which the 144,000 will likely provide, being anointed by the Lord personally (meaning under His hand). Either way will work. Either way requires us to come unto Him and become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. Some will break their hearts in the din of Babylon to prepare the way, others will have their hearts broken for them by the Lord and will come later. I’m kind of wanting to the do the first, but perhaps I’m called to do that, while others will be called to tarry a bit longer.

Even though this is what excites us about Zion, I want to focus on patience in this post, patience as a practical matter. There are things we can do to “break our own hearts” as we patiently wait for instruction from the Lord.

Work

We all have to work to put bread on the t63271889able. This is part of living in this dying Telestial world, and it will be so until the world is transfigured to her paradisaical state. What that means is that we need to continue to work, but we may not have to continue either working the same kind or work, or doing it in the same way. There are some challenges that can come from working, some of it in the nature of the work that we do, some of it in the interpersonal dynamics that we are forced to encounter, and some in how we are compensated. I will look at each one individually.

  1. Nature of the work – What kind of work are you doing? Aside from working in the Adult Entertainment industry, the nature of one’s work is rarely that blatantly Babylonian, but we ought to consider carefully what the fruits of our work are producing. Bad fruits can numb us as we rationalize it, and can actually damage us spiritually. It’s like working for the adversary by day but trying to become a Saint at night. Ask ourselves these questions? Does what we do for work make a customer’s life better at the end of the day? Is the business trade-off value fair? Does it “level” with the final customer or is there a level of dishonesty in it? Does our product largely benefit society or does it drag it down? Does it rely upon products and vendors who achieve through ill-gotten gains? Some of these questions we should ask ourselves, and whether the time is long or short, we ought to carefully pray to the Lord to change our work if we need to in order to remove ourselves from the stains of Babylon. it don’t think this is totally possible–we are way too entwined to do it, but we can minimize it as a personal project. I’d research and find a few ways. Then follow the Lord’s instruction and do it. It may require finding a new type of employment.
  2. Interpersonal dynamics in the workplace – When we work, we are usually forced to interact with people. We deal with difficult customers, difficult employers or subordinates, and difficult vendors. The stress from such interactions often cause people to sin by becoming angry or anxious, digging a pit, envying, jealousies, and strife, judging, and other such things that will make our necks more stiff, and our hearts hard. The good news with this type of problem is that these very same thing can exalt us if we go about it differently. Perhaps when we have the wrath of someone at work, we use that opportunity to “turn the other cheek” to “give them our cloak as well as our coat.” We pass the test of avoiding gossip. We use this as an opportunity to practice kindness. We do this by deciding that work is less about our own careers, and more about God’s crucible for our own salvation, in many ways, just as it is with the family and the dynamics that come into play there. We accept many of the burdens placed upon us with cheerfulness and willingness, and we cease to place burdens upon others, often taking them also upon ourselves.
  3. Compensation – Of all the difficult things to do, deciding how we are compensated is probably one of the most difficult. Most Latter-day Saints are taught to get an education insomuch that they are compensated well and can provide for their own needs and the needs of others. On the other hand, can you be compensatmbasaled TOO well? Do we continually move up for more money or do we ask where the Lord can best use us? Do we charge more than we need? I’m going to pick on the medical industry a bit here, because it’s a good example, but not the only. In a place where people are sick and dying we find the best compensated workers on the planet. Should this be so? We may feel we are providing something for someone that is a benefit to society–and we are. But are we doing it honestly or is there a smidgen of extortion that goes on? How many of us in this industry chose it because of it’s great paying compensation rather than the effect of helping the sick? Let’s go back and ask question one about how it may also drag down society by placing extraordinarily large burdens upon them by how we choose to charge people. A Zion-like attitude would indicate that at whatever level you are in this vast industry, you ought to attempt to minimize the financial burdens you place upon others. This may include taking a lower cut in pay, or charging less for something, even at the expense of what is considered fair-market value for salaries and services. Perhaps we need to lower our own standard of living so that we do not need this extra income to provide for our own excesses. That is one way we can patiently wait to be refined by the Lord to be prepared for Zion. In our so-called services sectors of banking, medical, law, accounting, etc. I believe there is much room for improvement in ceasing the iniquities that occur. The Book of Mormon has some very prescient warnings to these industries in 3 Nephi 6, as well as any who are involved in Priestcrafts. If I was a very-well high-paid minister in a church, or a highly-paid church employee or compensated General Authority, I would take pause and consider what I could do to not waste the “widow’s mite.”
  4. Work Tips – Here I want to give some tips that can help make your work productive in the Lord.
    1. Silent Times – Use commutes and work trips to pray and talk with the Lord. They can be very productive as long as we turn off the music, books, and talk radio.
    2. Bad boss or customer – Pray for them by name every day, learn to love them
    3. Use breaks wisely – Instead of water cooler talk, how about shutting the door to your office, turning off the lights, and communing with the Lord.
    4. Manual labor – Find times where you can exert yourself in your employment. Physical work brings us all down the the same level–we strain and notice the limitations of our bodies. Some of the best jobs in the world exalt us precisely because they have no hierarchy. Blue collar labor has some added benefits to finding the Lord that white collar jobs do not have. If you have a blue collar job, use that precious time in repetition with your own thoughts to pray, ponder, and meditate on the things of the Lord.

Leisure and Recreation

When we are not at work, our time is ours for the most part. We need to find the most worthy things to do. Leisure trips, cruises, vacations, camping, may be useful if done with the right spirit, recognizing that funds may be best spend on other more worthy projects such as helping others. Simple leisure vacations may work the best, as they are often less stressful, allow us for time to be close to the Lord, and if camping, allow us some inconveniences that can humble us. I find that staying in nice hotels often makes me feel more privileged and does not help with myfishing refinement. Anything from boating, fishing, cooking, camping, hiking, horse-back riding can be places of quiet contemplation, and if undertaken with the right spirit, CAN be temples dedicated to our God. I would avoid noisy recreation and crowded experiences–these tend to create avenues of comparison–even lust, or experiences that focus our attention on the world, such as rock concerts, motorized ATV trips that disturb your own peace and the peace of others. It’s not that these things are necessarily BAD in and of themselves, but there are better uses of leisure time. Include plenty of time for personal and family solitude.

Some of us have been “meeting oft” to partake of the Lord’s supper. There is no prohibition on how many times we can do this in scripture. This in and of itself can refine us as it focuses us on the Lord. Make them productive. Casual gospel discussions or complaining about other churches get us nowhere. We ought to start with prayer, song, and decided upon a topic of discussion in the scripture. This IS church. You may want to figure out the best days to worship, such as Sabbath days (according to Jewish and lunar calendars) It may not be necessary, but shows an added effort to meet on the Lord’s timetable. Other feast days should be observed as well, for they reflected the signs in the heavens and honor the covenants the Lord made with the Fathers. For a good resource on Israel feast and Sabbath days and how they correlate to our calendar, this is a good resource.

Service time is crucial. It is our charity that will refine us and bring us heaven’s blessings. I find that if I’m stuck in a spiritual rut, if I do charitable service, I’m blessed with the grace of heaven. I would look for efforts to serve in your own fellowship groups, your LDS wards and stakes (even if you’re not attending), praying to find someone who needs a hand up that day–perhaps a beggar you feel called to serve. Some followers have made it a practice to go to places where the homeless congregate and help them, not just give them money, but give them your time, attention, and love. You may be inspired to use the Gifts of the Spirit on their behalf. Do it! If you like to Blogging-Wordswrite, ask what He would have you write for the benefit of others. If undertaken with the right spirit, it could become a form of scripture, particularly if you are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. Far from being crazy, we internet bloggers who spend all of our time staring at computers in our pajamas and not doing our home teaching or visiting teaching (which we SHOULD still do), blogging can be an incredible source of assistance to others. In days of old we would stand out on street-corners and cry repentance. These days, the lions’ share of that crying out comes through social media and blogging. Do it! Missionary work is different among the remnant. It’s less intrusive than LDS missionary work. It’s quiet, unassuming, and requires a level of discernment to know if someone is ready. Pray to find someone who is ready to hear more and whose heart is softened and will have faith to go past the boxes they have been placed in by their church leaders and the arms of flesh. Then Do it!

Time is Short

I really do believe time is short. I find no value in watching television or movies, or wasting time. I think that we are months away from critical tribulations that will try us all. Even if it’s not the big one, tribulations of this sort tend to happen every 70 years in America, and we are overdo. So whether it’s the natural business cycle of depression, collapse, and war, or whether it’s something larger, it WILL happen, and happen soon. There isn’t a moment left to waste. We can use the crisis to refine us or we can run and hide. Food storage and emergency preparation may be helpful, as it may keep us alive, but it will not refine us. Spiritual preparation is paramount!

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