What To Do With Your Treasures


my-treasure-is-in-heavenI am hesitant to publish this post, but feel persuaded by ponderous and solemn thought it may do someone some good, even if it’s only me. It has been on my mind for quite some time, possibly even years, perhaps ever since I first met my friend Jared (Log) whose focus is clearly on the Sermon on the Mount. I am comforted by this scripture, which gives me courage to write and share:

Fools mock, but they shall mourn. And my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me. For if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will shew unto the Gentiles their weakness.

Source: Ether 12:26-28 (LE) or Ether 5: Sentences 35-51 (RE)

Gentiles Must Repent

tenth-article-of-faithI am a Gentile. I feel my weaknesses. The natural man (Mosiah 3:19 LE) is strong in me in spite of my efforts to subdue those natural tendencies. The Lord has clearly shown unto me my weaknesses. I am humbled by my own nothingness in this Telestial state and by my ever-present mortal frailties, always before my eyes.

I glory in the grace of my Lord unto me, for He is kind, long-suffering and gentle, patient and full of love unfeigned. He persuades me to desire his righteousness and to seek after holiness. He teaches me to repent. In fact, He has never ceased in the enticings of the Holy Spirit for me to put off the natural man and become a Saint.

Treasures on Earth

Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Source: Matt 6:19-21 (LE) or Matthew 3, Sentences 83-85 (RE)

the-rich-young-rulerCouple this instruction from the Lord with these words of counsel to the rich young man, who, the scripture reports, went away sorrowing, for his much wealth. I also wonder very seriously if what I have laid up in store will vanish away as the slippery treasures of the Nephites in their days of wickedness. (Hel 13:31-32 LE)

Sell All That Thou Hast

If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Source: Matt 10, Sentences 34-35 (RE) or Matt 19:21-22 (LE)

I think those scriptures provide sufficient background for what I desire to share. I am in a conundrum. I have worked all my life to lay up for myself treasures on earth, as in the Great American Dream, in preparation for my retirement. Now I am confronted with the understanding that in order to become individually qualified for Zion, I must sell all that I have and give to the poor. Or have I misunderstood?

Provide For His Own

worse-than-an-infidelConsider these words: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” (D&C 42:22 LE) and “Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken.” (D&C 83:2 LE).

Also, “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim 5:8) “And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.” (D&C 75:28 LE)

As I have pondered and prayed about these scriptures, I have felt impressed that all I have is given me to take care of my family, especially my dear wife, whom I love with all my heart. Yet I desire to enter into a covenant to build up Zion. What am I to do? I also desire to contribute to the building of the temple and helping the poor.

Zion Established for Protection

IndependenceTempleSignIn the spirit of prophecy and revelation, backed up by many scriptures, Zion is to be established before the Lord returns. It is established specifically as a place to provide a refuge from the deterioration, collapse and eventual destruction of this and all other nations. We will want to gather there. It is a specific place and from everything I have read it is in the tops of the mountains and not in flat Missouri.

I very much desire to go to Boise for the Conference in September with the intent to cast my vote and let my voice be heard. I want to enter into the covenant offered by the Lord with the anticipated benefit of obtaining the right to dwell here in this land in safety and to assist the remnant of Jacob build the Holy City in preparation for the return of the Lord before that Great and Terrible Day of Destruction.

The Gathering May Soon Be Upon Us

zion-place-of-refugeNot to get too personal or share too much information, most of my long-time readers know Carol and I do not see eye to eye on this subject. In fact, she was quick to point out many years ago the end result of the path I have chosen to follow, that of believing the scriptures in regards to the literal gathering of the house of Israel and the believing Gentiles who desire to assist them is NOW.

I do not see things unfolding in the orthodox viewpoint of the LDS Church in this manner. They provide no timeline. From everything I have observed, teachings about the gathering have been watered down until they are meaningless. The standard teaching of gathering in the Stakes of the Zion, interpreted to be the LDS Church, is bland and without any requirement of sacrifice. I hope that’s not harsh.

Behold, I Come Quickly

CityOfZionI believe we have an opportunity NOW to open the heavens and to call down the Powers of Heaven to join us. Specifically, I am convinced the return of the City of Enoch is nigh at hand, and, as we know, the Lord has made that His abode forever. That is why I desire to gather to Boise for this conference. I believe for we who enter into and accept this covenant, things will begin to move very, very quickly.

Because Denver has stated it will be years before the people become fully ripe in iniquity, I have decided to forego my plans for retirement. I have been seeking new opportunities and am very close to deciding between several prospects that will likely result next week in multiple offers of long-term employment. Conceivably, I will work in another twelve years in order to build up more treasures on earth.

A Few Questions In Conclusion

doctrine-of-christ-boise-Sep2017I’m still seeking definitive answers to a few questions: Must one be there in person at the Boise Conference as a sign in order to demonstrate a desire and willingness to enter into the covenant and obtain the promised blessing of protection? What about those who simply cannot attend due to distance and travel expense? Will there be some arrangements made for streaming the conference over the Internet? [Edit – Yes]

Once the covenant is accepted by the Lord and by those who desire to enter into such a covenant, I am convinced an announced gathering place will shortly be forthcoming. That is a big deal and will cause all kinds of opposition. I have to answer for myself if my plans to spend most of my energy to labor in this world is the best thing for me and my family. Nobody can answer this for me but the Lord.

Reality of These Prophesied Events

restoration-scriptures-infoAm I alone in these thought and questions? Have any of you pondered the reality of what we will be called upon to do once we accept and enter into this covenant? Am I missing the big picture or is it clearer to you how things will come to pass after the conference this September? What are your plans in regards to how you will respond to an announcement of a gathering to a specific place? Am I way off?

I’m not trying to create division. I desire unity. Carol says she doubts she will live more than a few more years. I disagree. While none of us can predict with any degree of certainty how long we will live, in my conversations with the Lord, I have seen myself participating in many of the winding up scenes in my mind’s eye and in the dreams of the night. In most of them, gratefully, Carol was by my side.

An Invitation to Dialog

Your thoughts?

 

They That Come Shall Burn Them


The day of the Lord will come quicklyI’ve been thinking and learning about connections lately. This may seem a rudimentary subject, but its importance has been revealed to me in ways that have helped secure it in my mind. I’d like to share a few thoughts that have caused me to reconsider the idea of human connections as being imperative to our happiness, eternal salvation and oddly enough, even our very survival.

Consider this scripture as delivered by the angel Moroni to Joseph that September night in 1823, “For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” As he said, this is slightly different from Malachi 4:1.

The difference of course, is that it is not the day that comes, but “they that come” which shall burn up they that do wickedly, even as stubble. This has caused me to wonder who they are. It has also impressed upon me that in order to avoid being burned at the day of the Lord’s return, it would probably be helpful to be on friendly terms with those who are coming to do the burning.

We Must Be Sealed To The Fathers

new-heavens2I don’t think they intend to burn the inhabitants of the earth on purpose. They can’t help it. They are so filled with light and glory that their very presence burns those who are not used to being in their company. See, that’s where the idea of connections comes in. When you are connected to someone, you like to hang around with them. You’ve been with them before, even quite often.

You have conversed with them, discussed important subjects with them, perhaps asked favors of one another and, in general, have come to be a part of each other’s families. There is a bond of brotherhood or sisterhood between you, a common set of goals and interests. You miss each other when you are apart and yearn for the day when you can be reunited. You are connected.

This connection is the kind of bond that cannot be severed by time, distance or even death. There is no death, really. That belongs to the world of time and mortality. Those who will come are the fathers or parents of the human race. They are the patriarchs – and matriarchs – who have been faithful and who have claim upon those who are sealed to them. We should seek that sealing.

That Temple Has Not Yet Been Built

Jacob Blessing SonsWithout such a familial sealing the whole earth would be utterly wasted at the time the Lord returns with the fathers. When the Lord comes with the City of Enoch – now that will be a glorious and dreadful sight – they will come to a place prepared for them – Zion – a place with a temple. Those who are awaiting them will receive them, fall upon their necks and kiss them.

This temple or tabernacle is required in order for the Lord to seal us to the fathers so that we will not be burned at their coming. The fathers include Adam down to Noah and Melchizedek, as well as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. These and many more will return with the Lord and the City of Enoch. It is in the temple that has yet to be built where we are sealed to them.

There is much work to be done before heaven will look down and see what is so comfortable, so familiar that it appears to accurately reflect a pattern that exists in the heavens. When they see what we have here, then they will come to a sister and brother on the earth, united by belief, by covenant, by knowledge, light and truth or in other words the glory of God which is intelligence.

The Snuffer Interview – Part Four

SaltLakeTempleNightWhat I’ve summarized in this post so far is based mostly on material found in the lecture on covenants given October 2013 in Centerville. I learned a couple of things I had not imagined previously. One is that we don’t make covenants, God does. We can only accept or reject them. We can make vows, although the Savior counseled against it, but we do not make covenants.

Isn’t that an interesting thing to learn especially when you think about the temple? Think about that the next time someone accuses you of breaking your temple covenants, especially the law of consecration. The other thing I learned is the importance of understanding to whom we are to be sealed. Moroni was very clear about how critical this is. It fulfils God’s covenants to the Fathers.

When I interviewed Denver last month, I asked him for ideas on how to help multi-generational LDS families deal with some of the distressing things he has declared as a messenger or servant of the Lord. I found his answer to be revealing. I had no idea just how distressing this message has been for Denver, as a convert, to accept and deliver. I hope this helps you understand better.

Question Four: In the same lecture, you quoted from your journal, describing the disciplinary process you went through, your appeal and the significance of section 121 which contains the phrase, “Amen to the priesthood of that man.” You then read, “Last general conference (April 2014), the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along.”

This is an astounding declaration. It has been the subject of much discussion on the forums and blogs. It was and is a difficult thing for many LDS members to hear or read. FAIR and other apologetic sites have fallen all over themselves to show how impossible such a claim can be. The idea of a modern, living prophet, authorized and in possession of all priesthood keys held by Joseph is the bedrock of the LDS Church claims to be God’s kingdom on earth today. Your claim evokes emotional distress in some who consider it. It’s been a while since this declaration came out. Is there anything you would add now to help multi-generational members of the LDS Church deal with such a devastating, all-encompassing foundational claim? What would you add?

ANSWER (Denver): I would add that it’s a mistake to focus on me when you think of this issue. The issue is larger than a single man, and the issue deserves careful consideration of everything that was covered in that first answer in this interview.

I am no happier than others are about this. Does anyone really think that this does not upset me? Does anyone believe that I have pride in this, or it makes me pleased to say what I have said? Those that think that, have no idea who I am or what is in my heart. I’m probably more brokenhearted by the things I’ve been told and commanded to teach that the audience could be. I receive unwelcome news and then deliver it to others. This is an ordeal, nothing else. Unwanted, unwelcome, unsought, and unpleasant. I do it to please God, not to get praise. It does not inspire praise from most people who hear what I say or read what I write.

I have spent days mourning, unable to speak about some things, even with my wife, as the events have unfolded. There have been times when I have been so upset that have not been able to carry on a conversation about what is underway. It has required two and three days for me to adjust to unwelcome news. I could give you an example but I’ll pass on that.

How The Lectures Were Received

On second thought, I will give you one example: The section you read in the question quoted from my journal was written months before it was read to an audience. When it was written, I thought that writing was only for my family, my kids. I did not expect it to become public.

There are some times when the Lord gives you the words to write, and there are some times when you compose it yourself. That particular entry was given to me to write. I considered it extremely private. I considered it extremely personal. Outside of my wife alone, no one was aware of that entry in my journal until the talk made it public.

Every one of the 10 talks were given by inspiration to me in outline form before they were delivered to an audience. On the day I first began to prepare to give the talks, I sat down and in one sitting I wrote all the outline notes for the first five talks. I ran out of time that day and so only the first five were outlined. I also didn’t want to put any notes down for the next series until after I delivered the first two, so I could gage the time it would take to cover the topics. The first two talks were given in fairly rapid succession, only eighteen days apart. It was after those were given that I went on to outline the sixth, seventh, eight, and finally the ninth talks. But I never got anything for the 10th talk.

You should understand these outlines were prepared months in advance. I had a long hiatus between first and second parts of the year—between talks given in the beginning months and the conclusion the next year. During winter we didn’t drive, and so I had all nine talks outlined but I had nothing for lecture 10. Nothing. My eventual conclusion—because the content had been given by inspiration to me on lectures 1 through 9—ultimately, was all the 10th lecture was going to contain was a summary of the first nine. So, literally, I began to go back to the notes and to highlight what I would use as a summary in the 10th and concluding lecture. I prayed about it and nothing was given to me. So left to my own I thought it was a reasonable conclusion.

I finished the 9th talk in St. George and with it concluded all the notes I had. But on the night that the ninth talk was given, that night I was awakened and the content of the 10th talk was revealed to me. If I had known anywhere along the line the content of the 10th talk I would have done something to prepare the audience for what was coming. I didn’t know what was going to be in it. When I got the content of the 10th lecture, it was so distressing to me that I told my wife the next day while on a walk down in St. George (we stayed in the area for a while) that this was not going to be good. This was not going to be a pleasant thing. She asked me about it, but I told her I would not be able to discuss it right then.

I wrote down all the notes, I transcribed what needed to be said, but I didn’t give any preview of the talk to her. Unlike the other ones, I just continued to try and change the Lord’s mind about the content. She heard the talk for the first time with the audience. She knew how upset and distressed I had been and what I had been saying about the material. At the first break in the lecture she got up, came up to me and said, “I now get it.” That lecture was not easy to give.

No Ulterior Motive In The Message

People who think that I’m enjoying this, and that I look out and say, “Good! Now I’m giving the Mormon Church their comeuppance!” don’t realize anything about what it takes to do what has been asked of me, or how extremely difficult all of this is. I’m not happy about the burden. It ill-suits me.

Multigenerational families may have their family traditions, but I was truly converted at the age of 19. I invested my heart and soul into the Church. It was like coming home for me. I believed I was the Church’s best friend and loyal supporter.

I was the single most successful missionary in the mission in which I was baptized, as just a lay member of the Church. I produced investigators continually, and baptized many of them, the missionaries baptizing many others.

When I transferred by the military to Texas I was called as a stake missionary. There was a third missionary serving there who was waiting for a visa to go to Brazil. In those days it was difficult to obtain visas. Every night when I came home from work, that missionary showed up and he and I were missionary companions. We went out and tracted, and taught, and baptized. There was a young couple, the husband was studying to become a minister in the Church of Christ. We began teaching him with him trying to convert us, and us convert him. We got the couple to the point of having a testimony of the Restoration. They got an answer from prayer. They had a testimony, but they were faced with the crisis of losing his profession and of alienating his family. They concluded, despite the fact they had been converted, they couldn’t pay the price to be baptized. They told us they didn’t want us have come by anymore.

I taught Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School for nearly 3 decades. I was on the High Council. When I spoke as a High Councilor in my Stake, the Bishops announced in advanced who the visiting High Councilman would be, because attendance would go up. I loved the gospel and I was devoted to the Church. To say it is more distressing to multigenerational families than to me is incomprehensible to me. It is a tragedy what has happened to the Restoration. But it has happened. Ignoring it will not change the events. To focus on me when dealing with so important a matter is ridiculous. Forget about me and study the issues.

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

Investigating Alternative Viewpoints


Solomon_Temple_PrayerMy bishop asked to visit with me again on Sunday afternoon. We spent an hour discussing my health – both mental and physical – my career, my financial condition and my blogging activities. Although he doesn’t read my blog, others in the ward do and have shared misgivings about me. I thanked him for the concern, reassured him all was well. He then offered a few pieces of advice.

Tone it down, Get it off Facebook

He suggested I tone it down on the headlines and not link my blog to Facebook. I agreed with his counsel. Here’s why. A large number of my Facebook friends are members of the Church. These are people from my present stake and former stake with whom I have grown up and with whom I have served side-by-side in various callings, including multiple bishoprics and one High Council.

I’m no longer a Correlated Mormon

If you read my bio, you’ll note I have characterized myself as an orthodox, conservative, toe-the-line or correlated kind of member. However, if you have read my blog over the years, you’ll see my content has changed, especially over the last two years. Yes, that coincides with reading the works of Denver Snuffer, Doug Mendenhall, Mel Fish and other writers with unorthodox views.

Don’t Fit the Mold of Orthodox Conservative

I’ve changed. It’s my observation that some people are uncomfortable with my change. For the most part, they attribute that to what I read. I no longer fit the mold of orthodox, conservative or correlated member. Some are a little shocked by what I read but more especially by what I write. I confess I have chosen some headlines with the specific purpose of grabbing people’s attention.

Headlines and the Ways of the World

The Bishop and I discussed this very idea of controversial headlines. He said I was using “the ways of the world” to get readers. He said as long as I’m writing about truth, there was no need to use headlines that evoked emotion or shock. Knowing he doesn’t read my blog, I didn’t want to argue the point my blog is not an official publication of the church. That should be obvious.

Downplaying our Unique History

I also didn’t want to argue my blog is my way of finding like-minded people with whom I can discuss the unique aspects of our theology. By that I mean ideas from our past on which we no longer focus. It seems the mission of the church today is to play down anything about our history that makes us unique or different. Church PR efforts paint us as just another Christian Church.

Concern for the Welfare of my Soul

This is the third time in as many months the Bishop has asked to see me. I am convinced these interviews are motivated by genuine love and concern. Yes, they may have been precipitated by a comment or two from other members of the ward or stake, but I genuinely appreciate the visits. I know he’s a busy man. I’m sure he would rather spend Sunday afternoon home with his family.

Uncomfortable With What I Share

The visits are directly related to what I write on my blog. Obviously someone is troubled about what I share enough to express it to the Bishop. They are troubled about my testimony, about my understanding of the gospel, about my mental and emotional health and about my salvation. I’m honored and grateful but disturbed what I write about makes some people feel uncomfortable.

Keeping Covenants Most Important Thing

I’d like to investigate that idea with you in this post. When asked to give counsel in a Bishopric, I decided long ago I was not so anxious about what someone believed, read, thought or wrote. I was much more worried if they didn’t keep their covenants. I was glad I was not in a position to judge someone’s worthiness, only to provide an opinion to a priesthood leader when I was asked.

Covenants Entered Into Early in Life

Like most of you, I made sacred covenants with the Lord when I was younger. It’s interesting to note the covenants made upon receipt of the Melchizedek priesthood and when endowed are both entered into when so young, at least when I look back from the view of many intervening years. Those are some fairly serious covenants to take upon ourselves at ages eighteen and nineteen.

Covenants Associated with Ordinances

My family members were recent converts when I was baptized. My parents had been members for only a few years when I turned eight years old. I remember my Primary teachers discussing baptismal covenants more than my parents. I’m not sure my parents understood the significance of the covenants. I know I didn’t appreciate the seriousness of my actions at the age of eight.

Instructed by the Stake President

I’m grateful the final worthiness interview for receiving the Melchizedek priesthood is with the Stake President. I will always remember the hour I spent with the Stake President as he taught me from the scriptures, especially section 121, about the differences between the authority and power in the priesthood. I had the same experience when I was later interviewed to be endowed.

Opposition, Temptation and Blessings

I received my patriarchal blessing at age fifteen. A barrage of temptation came upon me shortly after receiving that blessing, just like it did right after I was baptized. When it was time to go on a mission, the adversary stirred up trouble in my family in an effort to prevent me from receiving my own endowment. I have noted this pattern of opposition around sacred ordinances all my life.

What is the Next Ordinance?

It was the same when I was married to my sweetheart in the temple and when I was ordained a High Priest at age 38. I know there must be opposition in all things. Many of my readers know about the recent struggles with health and opposition from the adversary I have encountered in the past year. Based on my life’s pattern of opposition, I should be receiving an ordinance soon.

Receive Further Light and Knowledge

But wait. There are no more ordinances to receive, or are there? Upon being ordained a High Priest I felt impressed to speak with the Temple President about what we could and could not do with knowledge obtained in the temple. This was about the time Jim Harmston was circulating a document surreptitiously on the Internet entitled, “Receiving Further Light and Knowledge.”

Prayer Circles Outside the Temple

I was especially intrigued by the idea of prayer circles outside the temple. Please don’t think I’m revealing anything sacred here that I shouldn’t. It’s a matter of record that prayer circles were held outside the temple until the First Presidency asked us to discontinue the practice sometime within the last fifty years. In addition, I wanted to ask about the wording used to describe prayer.

Can’t Even Ask in the Temple

Even though it was nearly twenty years ago, I remember the temple president’s reaction as if it were yesterday. He wanted to know why I was asking about such things and seemed to be upset that I would “dare” to ask such a question. He did his best to play down the importance of what I had asked, stood up and escorted me out of his office. This interview was now over, thank you.

Proper Place for True Order of Prayer

I thought the question was innocent enough. If we were taught the true order of prayer in the temple, then any other kind of prayer would be less than true. That seemed a logical conclusion in my mind. I simply wanted to know if it was appropriate to use it in the privacy of our own homes either alone or with our spouses and if the robes of the priesthood could be used at home.Yom_Kippur_Prayer

Deceived by an Angel of Light

Doesn’t it seem kind of ironic we are taught sacred things about communicating with heaven and then told to never use those tools on our own? I know the Brethren are concerned we’ll be deceived by an angel of light, but Joseph has given us the keys by which we can identify our visitors from the spirit world. The scriptures and the temple are replete with detailed instruction.

Church of the Firstborn

Joseph was zealous in trying to teach the saints to “go on and make your calling and election sure.” His last few public sermons were dedicated to this subject and the idea that each of us needs to become prophets, seers and revelators for our own families. He spoke of the Patriarchal order and the importance of being prepared by the angels to enter the Church of the Firstborn.

Joseph Encouraged us to Seek Knowledge

These are all subjects I have been studying for years. Isn’t this the sort of thing we are supposed to seek after in our individualized study? I’m concerned to learn someone objects when we even mention such subjects and phrases in writing. It’s as if I’ve violated some secret unwritten code to not discuss such things on a blog. Correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not breaking any covenants here.

Sacred Doesn’t Always Mean Secret

If what I write about makes you uncomfortable, write me directly and tell me so. You can remain anonymous if you desire. My email address is prominently displayed up there in the right-hand corner of this blog. I am of the opinion that if writing about these things causes discomfort then we are not talking about them enough. I know they’re sacred. That doesn’t mean they’re secret.

I Seek Your Viewpoint on Prayer

I was going to entitle this post, “Proper Place for True Order of Prayer” but I’m trying to follow the bishop’s counsel to tone my headlines down. You can Google “True Order of Prayer” and get all kinds of stuff, including the actual temple ceremony with the associated instruction. I know I’m not the only person to ask the Temple President my question. What’s the correct answer?

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