Remember


recorders-clearinghouseFirst, Keith asked fellow bloggers to get the word out about the deadline to record 2015 baptismal ordinances. You can read more about it on his blog: Recorder’s Clearinghouse. And Keith, don’t be mad, but may I offer this: a new entry in an existing blog is called a post. So what Keith has written is a new post in his blog. If you received baptism in 2015, be sure it gets recorded in the book to be placed in the temple when it is built. The top link in this paragraph will take you directly to that specific post, not the front page.

money-pitSecond, please remember Rock and Connie Waterman in your prayers. Rock is suffering from some sort of blood poisoning. Rock is a fellow blogger who I met at the Sunstone Symposium last year. His blog is Pure Mormonism. One of the best posts there is his treatment on tithing. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. After years of reading what others had to say about the “right” amount of tithing to pay, I asked the Lord about it and was reminded of Rock’s post on the subject. It changed my mind and more importantly, my heart. Yes, tithing is a commandment and I still pay it, just not to the LDS Church.

doctrine-of-christThird, I’ve been asked to make sure the word gets out about the Doctrine of Christ general conference (lower case “g” and “c”) that will take place in Boise, Idaho this September. You can read more about it on the site dedicated to the event. At this point, as much as I would like to go, I anticipate a conflict with a major work project to take place precisely on that weekend. I’ll be lucky to make it to Sunstone but only because it falls on the same weekend as Carol’s family reunion. I hope to slip away for a few hours to hear Denver’s presentation. Living in California makes it difficult for me to attend events such as these. I can’t wait to retire to St. George.

Remember Christ

carl_bloch_the_christNow that the business has been conducted, I turn to the subject at hand: Remember, specifically, remembering Christ. Even though I attend our local LDS Sacrament meeting with Carol each week, I also participate in the ordinance of the sacrament in my own home using wine each week. I do this for two reasons: First, to show the Lord I remember Him and am grateful for his voice unto me when I asked if I should be baptized. Second, to show I remember his sacrifice for me, that allowed me to have that “born again experience” in my youth when I was first brought into His presence.

You’ll note I include Carl Bloch’s rendering of the Savior and not Del Parson’s. No offense to Del, but my experience with the Savior is depicted more in Carl’s version. There is a softness and gentleness about the rendition that if different from the red robe version from Del. You’ll find a copy Del’s painting in just about every Bishop’s office of the LDS Church. There is a sternness to that version that bothers me. It causes me to think that Satan was also a son of God. Would they not appear similar?

Finally, a note to those many readers who have been so kind to me over the years, many sending me their books and some teaching me privately. I remember you and I remember your kindness. Please forgive me if anything I have written has harmed you or your faith in Christ in any way. I ask this because I know we will meet again, if not in this life, then on the other side of the veil. I remember you. I remember your kindness. I remember what you have shared. I especially appreciate the sacred experiences related in private. God bless us each in our work. There is much to do. I pray to God each day to find the strength and especially the time to do what I know He wants me to do: write and teach.

It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone


Matt Slick and the Fall of AdamThis is unusual for me to post two days in a row. But, when I asked what I could do to bless my fellowman, this is the answer that came – write. For you it may be different. I asked the Lord what would be a good use of my time this Sabbath day. The answer: Share what you have learned over the last year or more about living together with your wife in love. I will do my best.

I resigned from the LDS Church in September of 2014. In some ways as I look back at it now, I can say without hesitation it was a mistake. In other ways, I knew, and still know, it was what the Lord asked me to do in order to act with full purpose of heart. I was baptized again, but not as a member of the LDS Church. I am not an LDS member and probably will not be for many years, if ever again.

Membership in the LDS Church

Am I striving to become LDS again? In some ways, yes. I have a long way to go. Why am I doing this? I desire to show my wife I love and respect her choice and her heritage. I believe as President Kimball said, “Any two good people can live together in love, as long as they are dedicated to the Lord.” Please, this is an essay on traditional marriage between man and a women.

Carol fulfills me. She gives me love. I believe she loves me. I know I hurt her when I resigned from the LDS Church. Yet, she bore with me. She expressed her disappointment. She has been at times, cold and distant. Can you blame her? I suppose I would be too if the faith I had been raised in was rejected by the love of my life, my husband. She could have divorced me. But she didn’t.

Working Together in a Marriage

I love Carol. In fact, I adore her. She gives me strength and purpose without even knowing it. I go to work each day, mainly motivated by the desire to provide for her a good life, and at our age, good health insurance. Don’t laugh. Wait until you get older. You will see how important good health insurance is, even if it seems like the silliest of reasons to hold a long steady job.

I love Carol because she challenges me. She is not shy about speaking up when we discuss the doctrines of eternity. We have much in common. I try to make sure we read aloud from the Book or Mormon each night and discuss what we read. Sometimes it is a partial chapter, and then a lot of discussion. I love the fact that Carol is committed to her heritage and her gospel testimony.

Compromise and Cooperation

Do we disagree on things? Of course we do. I interpret certain scriptures differently and I try to slip those interpretations in as we comment to each other on what we are reading. I love that she is willing to read the scriptures with me. I love that she is a returned missionary, that she taught Seminary and Sunday school and that she reads the scriptures on her own almost every day.

Is it difficult? Of course it is. I go to Sacrament meeting with her, because I love to fellowship with the Saints. I agree with so much of what I experience there. I was raised LDS and served in leadership positions for twenty-five years. I feel comfortable there. I am grateful for a bishop and for home teachers. I love that the LDS Church looks out for the spiritual welfare of the members.

Each Seeking the Truth

Does Carol resent that I resigned from the LDS Church? I am sure it hurt her terribly. She has made it clear in no uncertain words she blames Denver Snuffer, although I strive to do all I can to disavow her of those feelings. They are misdirected. I do not follow Denver Snuffer, although I have declared him to be a prophet. He has never said he is one, but I know otherwise.

Have I been deceived? Perhaps. My former bishop accused me of apostasy. I think he meant heresy but that’s a different story. The point is, I believe Joseph was a prophet but I also believe the LDS Church, specifically under the direction of Brigham Young, altered history to support the principles and policies he (Brigham) wanted to put forth. That rankles my dear wife. I understand.

Long-Suffering and Kindness

So I have learned to steer clear of certain points of view. I do not need to push them. They have been stated. She knows how I feel and most of what I believe that is different from her beliefs about the history and doctrines of the LDS Church. It is a good church. I enjoy Sacrament meetings and I enjoy the good it promotes daily both among members and through their PR efforts.

Am I follower of Denver Snuffer? Of course not. The man can do little for me and my efforts to find happiness in life right now other than to point me to Christ and encourage me to come unto Him – that is to Christ. I am striving to do so as never before. I love the encouragement I feel when I read his books or listen to his lectures. I say God bless Denver Snuffer, a servant of God.

Truth from Many Sources

But I also enjoy listening to the General Authorities in General Conference and when they speak at other LDS Gatherings, such as BYU or CES devotionals. I believe these are good men, and are also inspired of God. I’m a little concerned about some of the things they say, and the manner in which they put them forth with such passion and emotion, referring particularly to Elder Holland.

There has been much discussion lately of Elder Holland’s lecture in Arizona about the cowardice of those who leave the LDS Church. I understand. I am sorry to disappoint you Elder Holland, because I love and admire you – always have. Nevertheless, I felt I did the right thing when I left the LDS Church and was baptized as a sign I accepted the messages of a servant of the Lord.

Finding Good in Many Places

Yes, this rankles my wife and others. I understand. Nevertheless, I do not feel like a quitter, of which you accused people like me. I feel I did the honorable thing. Come what may, we shall all stand before the bar of Christ. You said what you said, I hope inspired of the Lord. I did what I did, also, I believe inspired of the Lord. I love you and pray the Lord’s blessing upon you friend.

What do I do to live in peace and harmony with my dear wife who is faithful in just about every way to the LDS Church? I do not fight or disagree with her when she makes her points about how much good the LDS Church is doing. I will not fight or challenge her views. There is so much being done by the LDS Church and faithful members. I applaud them for their efforts in service.

Some professional Guidance

Bret Corbridge published and distributed a book about staying together when one is faithful to the LDS Church and another in their marriage feels otherwise. I recommend it. I have read it, helped edit parts of it and highly endorse it. The idea is we can and should make every effort to be faithful to our spouses in spite of our ideological or doctrinal differences. God bless you Bret.

I’ll l try to keep this short. I simply wanted to express in writing my gratitude for a good woman who is true and faithful to what she believes, to her heritage and her traditions. Of course, that is a loaded word. It causes one to think of the Lamanites, but also of the descendants of prominent multi-generational (Nauvoo) LDS Mormon families. Carol and many of you come from such families.

Correlation Killed the Church

I acknowledge the miracle it is that Carol has remained with me, in spite of our now serious differences in beliefs in regards to the history and current indoctrination of the LDS Church. It is not viewed that way by those in the LDS Church, but it is clear to those who view it from the outside. It all has to do with correlation, something even LDS Presidents feared with a passion.

So much has been hidden or withheld from the approved correlated manuals. To even read a book not published by the LDS Church is frowned upon by some faithful members. How closed-minded and shallow can you get? It is not our place to judge but to declare what we know after study and prayer. Differences will always exist, especially about what IS the Gentile church.

Build Each Other Up

Enough. I end with this admonition: Seek peace. Strive for unity. If not possible, hold your tongue. Be kind, patient, loving, tolerant, and above all, allow others their differences of opinion. We all have our reasons for holding on to truth as we know it. It’s a difficult concept for the mortal mind to accept that we might each have a different understanding of what if true.

In the meantime, live together in love. Serve one another. Encourage each other. Help your spouse achieve their goals. Do all you can to bring the spirit of the Lord into your home with faith, prayer, scripture reading and gospel study. The Lord will bless you for your efforts and the spirit of peace will abide in your home. This load has promised this unto those who endure.

God bless.

The Church is like the Republican Party


I will quite possibly do a longer post sometime soon….but for now a simple one.

Watching the recent politician party debates for the presidential campaign and especially the republican party I cannot help but be struck by the stunning similarities to the church. Trump has no doubt brought in many new republicans, but many long time republicans are not a fan of Trump.

The question is often posed to many long time republicans, but I’ll basically paraphrase a conversation with my dad

Me: “So are you a Trump fan?”

Dad: “I like Rubio”

Me: “So if Trump wins would you vote for him?”

Dad: “Well I sure won’t vote for anyone on the democrats side”

do we not face a similar question with the church? Are we by leaving the church voting democrat?(politics aside I mean are we not voting for the opposite team?)

Dad has at times blasted our governor in South Carolina and ex-governor for saying basically “I won’t vote for Trump” to which Dad says “That’s like giving a vote to Hillary Clinton”. Dad also gets mad at Mitt Romney for his recent remarks.

Well he’s not wrong….so by leaving the church are we really just voting for the other side by default?

 

Imagine The conversation like this:

Me: “So are you a Denver Snuffer fan?”

Dad: “I like Thomas Monson

Me: “So if Snuffer wins would you vote for him?”

Dad: “Well I sure won’t vote for anyone on the *non-mormon church leader’s* side”

Just a passing thought is all

 

Your Bill Is Coming Due.


PaymentDueThroughout this post, the JST ( http://centerplace.org/hs/iv/ ) is made use of instead of the KJV.

If you agree that Jesus spoke the words attributed to him in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible, and if you agree that by entering into the waters of baptism you have entered into a covenant to be obedient to him until the end of your life, or if you have partaken of the sacrament, then you have witnessed unto God, the Father, that you are willing to keep the commandments of the Lord.

Moroni 4:3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

JST John 14

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

If you love Jesus, keep his commandments.  You love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and he will bring the Father to you.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

The visit spoken of is literal, and in this world.

D&C 132

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to [my] glory.

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

Remember, the idea that one receives Jesus in one’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.  To receive Jesus therefore means to take him into your home, or to embrace him physically.  If you do not thus receive him in the world, then you do not know him, and you do not receive exaltation.  If you thus receive him in the world, then you know him, and will receive exaltation.

Putting it all together, you love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and you will take him into your home, or embrace him physically.  If you thus receive him, he will bring the Father to you, and you will receive your exaltation.

Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

If you do not keep his commandments, you have no promise of any of these things.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:21 [W]hen we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

So what are the commandments of the Lord?  For brevity, here is the shortest version.

JST Luke 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These teachings are repeated three times throughout scripture.  Three times.  Thrice.

 3 Nephi 12:20 Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Are you keeping these sayings of Jesus?  Are you performing them daily?  Are you giving to every man that asketh?  Are you lending to all, not hoping to receive again?  Are you returning reviling for reviling, or are you patiently enduring abuse?

These are, after all, the things you witnessed unto God that you are willing to do.

And, remember further, great promises are offered to those who both do and teach.

JST Matthew 5:21 Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so to do, he shall in no wise be saved in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever breaks the least of these commandments, and teaches men to do likewise, are promised they shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, while those who both do them and teach them are promised they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

JST Luke 14

25 And when he had finished these sayings, he departed thence, and there went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He meant it.  And do not think to claim that by your loyalty to the prophets and apostles of the Church, or any others, that you can bypass the requirements Jesus has set.

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

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

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

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

So likewise if you keep not his sayings, even while claiming loyalty to prophets, you are as salt that has lost its savor, a covenant people claiming Jesus for king yet not obeying the king’s laws, and therefore are covenant-breakers, good for nothing but to be cast out.

Those who teach you that you owe less to the Lord than you have covenanted to do are the unjust steward, who will be sharing lodging with you in everlasting habitations if you agree with them (see JST Luke 16).  Time is short, and your bill is coming due.

Therefore, do not procrastinate the day of your fulfillment of your own words, covenants, witnesses, or agreements, but begin today to keep the commandments of the Lord that he delivered by his own voice to his people, that you may be accounted faithful in all things.

 Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain [bring into your home] strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.

And who knows but that the angel in disguise might be the Lord himself, seeing if you are one of his disciples.

Vision of the Abandoned Temple


RuinedTempleI had not expected to write publically again. I thought my shared ministry was over. In my mind I had sealed my writings and closed the books. I even told the Lord so and felt His acceptance of my offering. Yet for the last three days, including this morning – it is now 5am as I start this – the Lord has been clear He wants this shared. I don’t know why. Perhaps it will be helpful to someone else. We shall see.

It took me ten minutes to relate it to Carol last night. I will try to condense it to a less time-consuming post. It has to do with dreams, specifically flying dreams. I’m not an expert on the subject, and my interpretation of these dreams is from years of pondering and praying. I have experienced flying dreams all my life. They have been the most common type of dream I have experienced for years and years.

Again, I had not expected to prepare this for public consumption, but for my journal. However, when it stays on my minds for three days in a row, I know there is something in it meant for someone other than myself. First a little background on how I interpret flying dreams. They come in four flavors or levels. Level one is the beginning’s level – baby steps. In each step, the flying action is accomplished through faith and your own will.

A little about flying dreams

In the first level of flying, you find you are able to leap up, take a few steps of simple will power to get yourself to some other place not far away, usually that can be seen. “Poof,” you’re there. Nine times out of ten you crash into things as you travel on your way, including bumping into people, chairs, walls and other obstacles. This is the level of “baby steps.” You may or may not turn horizontal in your short journey at this level.

In the second level, you have discovered you can exercise some level of control around obstacles and are able to do the “hop, skip and jump” type of flying that becomes progressively longer over time and with practice. In other words, you can go from one end of town to another with a willful amount of faith, without impaling yourself on the fireplug as you whiz by. It is a quick, but still a bit shaky mode of travel.

In the third level, you soar. It is glorious. You go high. You go far. You reach great distances in an instant. In fact, you can find yourself lost, because you are visiting areas you have never seen on the ground. You can look in airplane windows, skim the tops of clouds and mountains and – this is the especially neat part in my opinion – you can pause in mid-air, look down at a lighted city and discern things going on there.

Watch out for Imposed Limits

One big drawback of level three is the wires. There is something about high-tension electric wires that is simply catastrophic to this form of spirit travel (all taking place in your dreams). They represent severe limits and must be avoided at all costs. If you run through one you are severed in half and find yourself tumbling to earth in an uncontrolled, frightening descent with a painful landing require time to heal.

In the fourth level of flying, one could say you have mastered the skill and have it under control. You are capable of great bursts of speed and energy, but rarely use it because it is not needed here on earth. For the most part, it is for taking advantage of situations where a quick assessment of the territory would be helpful. With this background I can now give you an example, which is what I believe I’m asked to share.

I have had dozens of flying dreams over the years. They almost always come either after learning of some major change about to happen in my life or as a prelude warning or announcement of upcoming change. Up until two nights ago, all my flying dreams were of level three – look out for the wires. In my real life, I had either just received or was about to receive a promotion or complete some major intense project.

A Visit to the Dream-world

Two nights ago I experienced my first level four flying dream. I was with a group of about eighty other “servants” I will call them. The number is significant. There were four countries in my mission. We had about eighty missionaries in each country. On this day we were all together, something that in reality would never happen, but of course, in symbolic dreams, anything that is necessary can happen to you.

We were travelling through a “burned-out” district, and I mean physically burned out. Devastation and destruction surrounded us. The infrastructure was destroyed – no electric or phone communications, no roads – all broken up and buildings destroyed, burning or burned. There were also no people. They had all left – in a hurry – several days earlier. It was your typical post-apocalyptic scene but without zombies.

Large buildings had toppled, small buildings had burned. The only edifices still standing – and this was a point of great curiosity to our group – were temples. They were built in a short, squatty style, by which they were able to survive the devastation. These were sacred buildings of this culture – the timeframe could not be determined – modern, past 200 years, or whenever. Nor could we determine the location.

Dreams Can Be Symbolic

Those things were not important. Remember, dreams are symbolic. The key to interpreting dreams is to look for the symbolism, or rather to pray to have the symbolic elements revealed to you right away. In this case, I did so and you will understand why when we reach the end of the dream. In this particular vision, we found ourselves marching up a curved, ascending entryway to the doorway of a temple.

We were naturally drawn to temples because we were missionaries. We had been sent to this place and time on a particular mission, even though it was not revealed to me in the dream, I have an idea what that mission was, and perhaps may still be. We entered the temple. It was not lit. It was night. The light from fires burning outside the building through curtain-less windows allowed us to barely see our way around.

We immediately began to explore. Most stayed in a group, but we seemed to be in a hurry to want to know what had happened to the people who we hoped we would find in the temple. It was at this time I was either asked, volunteered or just knew my flying skills would come in handy and so I rose and began to rapidly move through the hallways. All the doors were open. Nothing was blocked, including stairs.

We Had Arrived Too Late

In an instant, or so it seemed, I was able to determine the building was devoid of inhabitants. I quickly returned to my group, hovering just about them and beckoned them to follow me. I led them because I had the flying gift and could get them to where we wanted to go in short order. I took them directly to the altar of the temple. Now I need to mention something about the feelings we shared in our group.

We were warriors as well as missionaries. We were like the first wave in some immensely important battle. We were chosen or had volunteered for this mission specifically because of our skills in a certain area, which I feel constrained to not mention at this time. However, imagine a group of missionaries, men and women, who, after many, many long years – perhaps fifty or more – had experienced no success.

We were sad. We were tired. Yet we were true to our mission and were about our duty. We were seeking a people who had a rare kind of understanding – a kind of empathy not found in the rest of the society. We had searched for these people for years, always just missing them as they moved ahead of us to stay away from the rest of the world that followed after them, trying to steal whatever they possessed.

We Can Be Visited In Our Dreams

As we passed on the way to the altar of the temple, we each noted this was not a brand new temple. It had been used for many years. The carpets were worn. The bannisters were in need of a coat of varnish. It was especially clear around the altars by the indentations of knees on the cushions. This was a building that had been used for many years and served some great purpose but now had been just abandoned.

We had failed. Our entire life’s mission was to find these people. We had searched for a lifetime in vain. We reached the main altar and, as if on a signal, but without a word, lowered our weapons, dropped to our knees, still clothed in our protective armor, surrounded the altar and bowed our heads in sadness. Nobody said a word, the Eldest of the warrior missionaries on one side and the youngest on the other.

This is the conclusion and then perhaps one of two interpretations of symbolism. As we knelt and from the side where the eldest of the warriors knelt, a soft presence began to be felt. Descending from the heavens were angels – no wings – golden in color. They gently came down and touched each warrior. As they did so the feelings that permeated the room transcended any joy they had ever felt in all their days.

Dreams Serve a Real Purpose

At this moment I awoke and found myself sobbing. That feeling was in my heart. Although but a dream, I knew I also had been touched by one of the golden angels. I had never felt such feelings before. They stayed with me for at least fifteen minutes as I cried and sobbed out of sheer exhaustion and joy. I knew my efforts had been appreciated, my work had been finished and I could now go home if I so desired.

As I shared at the beginning, this was originally intended to be a private journal entry. I have no idea how it will be received or why it needed to be shared. You decide who the warriors represented. You decide why the number was so small. Perhaps you can determine what their mission was and why they had been sent to find these people. What were they to do when they found them? What gifts did they have?

Incidentally, in the third level of flying, the wires represented bounds beyond which one should not go. They were there to protect the travelers / flyers from rising too high too fast and being burned by unseen or unknown forces. In my life these level three dreams have ALWAYS come just after I recognized for myself that I had achieved or mastered some new skill. The wires were a warning to practice humility.

Dreams Can Be Considered Visions

I’ll offer nothing more. I think that’s all I should share. I could tell you who the warriors are or rather who they represent, but those who are members of that group probably already got that right away. For some people this is nonsense and gobbledygook. That’s okay. I did not write this for them. I think the Lord wants those in the group of eighty to rethink the value of what they have been doing and have done.

By the way, my prayer that night before I retied to sleep with filled with pleadings to the Lord for help and direction in my career and my life. I am going through some big changes and challenges right now. Some are relationship-based, some have to do with feelings of security, some deal with anticipated future events, real and based on scripture. I believe this dream was an answer to that tearful prayer.

I pray you’ll forgive me for not being very responsive on my blog. In my mind, it is over. I left it up because I offered it to the Lord in a sacred prayer a couple of years ago. In a clear and unmistakable answer to that prayer – at least to me – he accepted the blog, used it for a season, and then released me from continuing. The cost of this blog has been high and painful in many profound and personal ways.

God bless. I love you all.

These Signs Shall Follow those that Have Faith


I was talking to someone and they were troubled over someone who was very sick….after sometime I messaged them more or less what I am copying and pasting here. This person thought it was good and inspiring so I will leave here for all the readers of this blog. Do with it what you will.

I will explain what I know on miracles and I will try and be brief.

Miracles come about via faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is as you have heard I am sure is a hope in things unseen. That is a bit vague…..but another way of putting this is one must be literally willing to make themselves a blind and stupid fool for the sake of their faith in Christ trusting that God will not abandon them and they actually won’t be made a blind and stupid fool….essentially all vanity and pride and self-consciousness and doubts and fear must quite literally be ripped apart. You must have none of it. Faith can to a point exist with those things, but the less of those things you have the more faith you can have. Think of it as a scale that must be balanced to 100. X + Y = 100. X is faith, Y is that other stuff. The formula you are seeking is essentially X (100) + Y (0) = 100. But this can be any combination of numbers….but you are trying to get it to X (100) + Y (0) = 100

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To this end….there are two types of blessings really. There is the kind the church is quite familiar with which I like to call a blessing with training wheels. And there is the kind that can move mountains; this is a kind without training wheels.

 

The kind with training wheels….you give a blessing and you just sort of say whatever you feel prompted to say, and in some cases some folks don’t feel prompted so they just say whatever and hope for the best. One might say I bless you to be well and to recover and to feel better…this is very vague and perhaps the person will feel better. Many will then say see blessings work this person recovered but never mind the fact it took a long time. Sometimes these blessings might even say I bless the doctor to know what to look for. though to be sure sometimes these blessings are quite powerful and quite effective and will actually work quite well….but the point is it is a random crapshoot like playing at Vegas….one never knows what will happen. I once read this quote:

 

“Years ago as a missionary…I believe it was Paul H. Dunn came through our mission….and we chatted about doctrine. He said “You want to know why Elders don’t heal more people…because their chicken!! They are afraid to pronounce healing to a sick person and to have that person not immediately recover”. He also said that “Too many Elders don’t even attempt to know what the will of the Lord is in a blessing….they just start talking…they don’t pause to consider what the Lord’s will is.” Whether you consider that a valid source or not…it is still intriguing….and it has stuck in my brain. ”

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The Will of the Lord is plainly stated in several places concerning healing.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 63:9

9 But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.

 

Mark 16:20

20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

 

65 And these signs shall follow them that believe—

 

66 In my name they shall do many wonderful works;

 

67 In my name they shall cast out devils;

 

68 In my name they shall heal the sick;

 

69 In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

 

70 And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;

 

71 And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;

 

72 And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.

 

Mormon 9:24

24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

 

98 And these signs shall follow him—he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison;

 

100 And what if I will that he should raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 24:13

13 Require not miracles, except I shall command you, except casting out devils, healing the sick, and against poisonous serpents, and against deadly poisons;

General Conf2015oct-Priesthood

 

As you can plainly see The WIll of The Lord is THAT WE HEAL THE SICK MIRACULOUSLY!!!! None of these blessings and 2 years later you are better if at all nonsense. Make a lame man jump from his chair, restore a missing limb, open the eyes of the blind, and even raise the dead. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TOLD TO DO!!!! I could quote even more scriptures on the topic…it is literally all over the place in scripture

 

So this blessing without training wheels. Interestingly enough I had just written this follow story down somewhere yesterday.

 

 

A couple of years ago….my old man, asked me to give him a blessing the next day. Giving me a night to think about it. Now my old man was going to see the doctor as he was having heart problems as he had already had had two heart attacks and a bypass surgery and I think a stint put into his heart….so heart problems.

 

Now I had already discovered this unholy thing known as circumcision and had already begun to study this topic of miracles in some detail…..and upon pondering and praying…..God made this clear to me. I was to direct this blessing myself. I was to place my hand on his heart which I would rub with consecrated oil and to say it clearly “In the name of Jesus Christ I command your heart to be healed from this day forth”

 

You’ll notice here….there was no relying on The Spirit to direct the blessing. This is a blessing without training wheels. yes God informed of how to do this….but I think only as a teaching exercise, with the point being “you can go into blessings and direct them yourself and provided you have faith and priesthood and are a righteous man aka you don’t violate the verses that say “amen to the priesthood if you do these certain things” then I God will honor it”….I asked about this Amen to the priesthood…..God in prayer took me through that chapter line by line and it was explained I don’t do anything that breaks the priesthood….though a sinner yes, though you’d fail a temple interview yes, but you don’t abuse priesthood, you don’t use it unjustly, you don’t exercise authority and abuse others with it, so it’s okay….use it. Be not afraid. Have faith.

 

I think what I ended up actually saying was “In the name of Jesus Christ I command your heart to be healed and from this day forth it shall trouble you know more if you have faith”

 

Before I gave the blessing I explained to my Dad what I would do be doing. And at the moment I felt prompted to open with The Lord’s Prayer. Then gave him the blessing and then closed by all of us standing in a circle and saying a prayer of thanks to God.

 

The point here is….this blessing was direct and to the point and I do not discount The Spirit….but I was the one left in charge of directing things. How can we become Joint Heirs with Christ, Gods even, if we cannot direct and master what little we are in charge of here? Be not commanded in all things. Reason with God. We are given a brain that can Reason with God Himself. The parable of the talents….multiple your talents and return and report to God.

 

I learned many things from that….but one thing was I was too specific which reminds me of the young man who prayed endlessly to serve his mission in Charleston, but not be specific enough he got sent to West Virginia rather than South Carolina like he wanted….so only his heart was better but not the veins around it. His heart however was extremely well….doctors were quite amazed a heart that had had two heart attacks, a bypass surgery, and a stint was so well off.

 

I have taught you what I know….if this person you are worried over has faith, and asks for a blessing….then be not afraid to speak to this disease boldly without any fear “In the name of the Living God and His Son Jesus Christ I rebuke your cancer and command it to flee from you and for you to recover in this very instance” It may also be necessary to cast out a demon or many demons as sickness and demons go hand and hand.

 

Give it a shot….see what happens yeah?

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EDIT:

After posting this I just realized I didnt touch on the topic of demons all that much. I’m not going to write a big thing here just a brief word of caution. Demons can very often if not 100% of the time be related to illness of all kinds. As a result unless you specifically address them the illness isn’t likely to go away….however be advised not all demons are created equal. Douglas Mendenhall two books go into some detail on demons but I will just leave this here:

 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

I leave that there to state….if the illness is related to a demon and the demon happens to be noticeably more powerful than your average demon odds are you will have to do some spiritual preparation before hand of some kind and won’t be able to just waltz in there and cast them out along with the illness at least not until they claim to know you like Paul I’d imagine. But the point being….in attempting to heal which I believe is always God’s will you may encounter Satan and his demons and as such you will need to know how to handle them. Not all demons are created equal.  However some demons may very well easily depart without much of a fight. These demons if nothing else will test your resolve.

This warning will be especially true for beginners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning from our Restorationist Cousins


I had the pleasure of listening to Prophet-President Stephen M. Veazy from the Community of Christ church, the new name for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as of 2001 on one of the podcasts done by Mormon Stories.

He likes to be called Steve.

It was refreshing and enlightening to listen to one who calls himself a prophet-president of a nominally Mormon sect (although they eschew that name) discuss his uncertainty over faith issues, being honest about troubling early Mormon history, and his comfort with describing the process by which he receives revelation for his church. If I can have one takeaway from the Community of Christ (CoC) it’s how comfortable they are with canonizing new revelation every few years or so and adding to their Doctrine & Covenants and how good they are with transparency. Their section 164 was canonized in 2010 in a process similar to how the early saints accepted revelation from Joseph Smith. I rather like that! I find the later sections to be a bit vapid, but nothing that is less that what we see gracing the pages of the Ensign. Their courage and declaring it revelation is pretty brave, and the commitment to modern revelation should be applauded. So too, is their fellow-shipping of the marginalized and their willingness to forgive their members and their leaders for sinning and mistakes–just like Joseph. I believe that the ordination of women was in the Spirit of Joseph’s involvement of women in Nauvoo, even if they may take it further than it should at this point (heck, I don’t know).

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe all branches of the restoration that are organized and institutionalized are wrong at some things. The Community of Christ has, in my opinion, overemphasized ecumenical attachment to the wider Protestant community and with mainstream theology and academia. They emphasize the Bible over the Book of Mormon. They aren’t attached to the reality of the Restoration as far as Joseph’s reach into heaven, which I believe is THE defining characteristic that makes the Restoration worth preserving . . . coming into the presence of the Lord in a real and material sense. They do however, have a better grasp of the Christian teachings as outlines in the Book of Mormon. They care less about the genesis of the work, and more about its teachings and effects at bringing peace and community to a Christian brotherhood, which they interpret as Zion. In many ways, their efforts at building Zion are more heartfelt and effective than in the LDS Church, even if they have a greater Gentile attachment to Protestantism and liberal theology. I say good on them for their best efforts! I believe that those of us who would be classified as Restoration preservationists, Mormon refugee remnant types, those that have left the keyholding suffocation of the traditional LDS institutional church, and who have been re-baptized, would have place and fellowship in CoC congregations in a more accepting manner than in some of our LDS wards. Perhaps we can accept them as well and be tolerant of some of their unbelief as we work towards understanding and implementing the Doctrine of Christ and principles of Zion.

Which got me thinking. What else can we learn from other Mormon sects that would benefit a Mormon seeker of truth? I believe that many of them have some vital gems that would allow us to a) learn the good they have to offer as well as b) help them to come to their own better understanding of Mormonism – perhaps enough to recommit themselves to preserving the Restoration and understanding and applying its vital truths.

One may benefit greatly at this point from understanding the theological and historical tree of Mormonism. I will discuss some of them here.

While the first great schism happened as the RLDS/CoC Church “reorganized” itself in the Plains under the tutelage of Joseph Smith III in the 1860’s and 1870’s on Joseph Smith’s legacy of monogamy the next great schism would happen over 50 years later in Utah over the same idea but in reverse. Lorin C. Woolsey began the Council of Friends in the 1920’s which came out of the confusion of the post-Manifesto LDS world and the final solution of excommunicating and shunning any polygamist. The Council of Friends was the impetus for the many polygamist fundamentalists groups that exist today, and they are many. Some of them I believe have nothing worth preserving due to how they have conducted themselves in a manner inconsistent with the Savior. I won’t mention them. But some of the groups have to one extent or another, managed to adhere to some of the Christian principles that came to light during the Restoration. The largest of them being the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). If you watch the TV show, the Sister Wives, you will see an example of a plural family from the AUB “Work.” Now I believe that all polygamist sects are trying to return to a fundamentalism that was already corrupted, that had already strayed from the foundations Joseph Smith taught before 1844. Just as the LDS Church lost so much through the death of Joseph and Hyrum and through Brigham Young’s Machiavellian maneuvers, what came after with John Taylor had become too corrupted to be an appropriate return point. Too many of those groups have gone down dark paths, and we have decades of evidence that it has not brought Zion. But we can point out some things that we can learn from them to help us in our own journeys:

  • They don’t murmur or disparage the other churches including the LDS Church.
  • The unchanging nature of God’s word. New prophets can supersede past ones, they need to agree.
  • They recognize that Mormonism is “out of order” and they are waiting for the “one Mighty and Strong” to restore what was lost. They do not exempt themselves for having some level of apostasy.
  • The Kingdom of God or the Gospel being separate from the Church
  • Rebaptism as a re-commitment
  • Efforts at consecration and Zion living
  • The Law of Adoption (Sealing to a Saved man)

I’ve been amazed by how many of these people are willing to allow for a servant of the Lord outside of their own narrative to come and teach them truth. Many of them have accepted Denver Snuffer as a messenger from the Lord. For that, I pray they will be blessed.

Leaving Utah-based polygamy sects, I want to spend the next part exploring the Saints that were left behind, on the Prairie, and back east. Many of them place a greater emphasis on the doctrines in the Book of Mormon, which I believe is a key to pierce the heavens.

I’ve already discussed the Community of Christ, but many people are unaware of the foundational Restorationist traditions that were abandoned during the CoC’s ecumenical liberalization after the 1960’s. Many of those dissaffected by the change (when they were self-described as RLDS) have created their own break-offs and sects that adhere more closely to the foundation of Mormonism. They often practice a more “Mormon” religion. They generally believe in Joseph and Emma’s story of monogamy, as was the accepted narrative in the RLDS Church from the 1860’s to the 1970’s. They accept the Book of Mormon as historical, miraculous, and divinely inspired as the “most correct book.” Other churches predate the RLDS movement–they come out of earlier traditions. They have value as well.

The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broke away from the RLDS/CoC Church in 1999 as a result of the liberalization of many of their doctrines, mainly giving women the Priesthood and leaving the patrilineal succession of the High Priesthood (the Prophet not being a Smith). They recognize an apostasy and that no one on Earth has the authority to lead the Church, so they do as they can, follow the Doctrine of Christ until such a thing is made manifest. They believe that modern revelation must be consistent with past revelation. It does not trump the old stuff as one sees in the LDS and CoC churches. The remain committed to a geophysical Zion and consider themselves heirs to the original Church of Christ of 1830

Other Independent Restorationist break-offs number in the tens of thousands through the Midwest, a legacy begun in the 1980’s. Some of them are still members on the rolls of the CoC. They hold many of the same views as the more established Remnant RLDS break-off group, but are more independent and factiononalized along geographic and theological differences. Due to the open and tolerant nature of the CoC Church, the cross-pollination of this movement with the CoC Church cannot be overemphasized. Some hold the primacy of the Book of Commandments over the Doctrine & Covenants. Others believe in a more appropriate Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost where the laying on of hands is merely a prayer for the reception of the Holy Ghost by the member. They all eschew modern innovation to ordinances.

Other branches come independent of the RLDS church, some earlier.

  • Temple Lot (Hendrickites) – Believe in the Book of Mormon, Bible, and Book of Commandments. They have more human interpretation of Joseph Smith and follow many of the tenants laid out by David Whitmer. They have a looser and more democratic understanding of Priesthood. Their claim to fame is to have a “temple” on the supposed spot of the 1831 dedicated land in Independence Missouri for a temple.
  • Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites) – They are a Pennsylvania sect that follow the narrative that Sydney Rigdon was the rightful heir of the Church. Their current beliefs include dialing back their scriptures to the Bible and Book of Mormon. They practice the Washing of Feet as performed in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland. They focus many of their efforts on preaching the gospel to the Native Americans on both continents. They try to teach the gospel as is outlined in the Book of Mormon in its purity.

Only the largest corporation, The LDS Church, claims an unbroken chain of authority, with an impressive leadership genealogy, policies, properties, and works . . . yet as it continues to march forth, their take on the Restoration seems ever more distant as they focus more on handbooks and Ensigns. All of these other major groups to one extent or another recognize a loss. They see that the foundations built by Joseph Smith have been squandered, misused, misdirected, or forgotten to one extent or another.

joseph_preaching_groveYet it’s in recognizing the loss than hope comes, hope that we can reclaim the Restoration once again among those that have broken off. It won’t be easy. Many of their leaders would have to give up their claims to leadership, a high goal indeed, for many do not like to give up power, meager as it is in these small institutions. They are big fish in a small pond. Many will resist calls for re-baptism, or calls to form fellowships apart from the Gentile accouterments of the 501c3 status with paid or venerated clergy. But their people may feel the call of the Spirit, that after four generations, the Lord is moving once again as he prepares for the end to call out and create the Church of the Lamb of God.

I have no doubt that some of these groups were and are led by a portion of Lord’s Spirit, just as a portion still resides among Latter-day Saints. The explosion of Mormon break-offs after Joseph’s death speaks to me as many attempted to reproduce or claim the original spark. No one could have predicted in 1845 or 1846 that Brigham’s version would be the largest and most thriving system. Most of the rest of them recoiled in horror at the abominations practiced in Utah by Brigham Young (or the similar frauds of James Strang in Wisconsin). Many of them received revelations and visions, such as William Bickerton, or Alpheus Cutler, David Whitmer, or Joseph Smith III. Some of them tried to revive the Restoration, but with little to limited success.  Today we view these men as apostates, but I wonder if it would serve us better to see them as visionaries in understanding some of what needed to be accomplished, whether it was accomplished or not. We place their “fruits” against the emigrations west, 14 million membership, the hundred or so temples of the Latter-day Saint movement, it’s 60,000 missionaries, and billions in annual profits . . . against a building or two with a dedicated but dwindling group of people that wish to hold up such principles as consecration, a more democratic and charismatic Priesthood, and a reverence to the gospel as outlined in the Book of Mormon and it’s founder. But instead of material and programmatic fruits, impressive as they are, perhaps we should examine the state of the heart of the believers and the founders of these small groups, and see what they produced in the limited time they had? Did some ever rise up and claim the Heavenly Gift?

Perhaps we should view some of them as brave and unsung heroes.

Perhaps their fruits will be those who the Lord invites during the Parable of the Supper to come and feast with Him, because those that were bidden . . . did not come.

Perhaps in remembering the Restoration, we should find a way to live and invite our Restoration cousins to join hands with us, to come to a unity of the faith, to be the beginning of something greater that the Lord has promised since the beginning.

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