Defining Bounds the Lord Has Set


PtHG_GoodreadsOf all the comments in my recent posts on Priesthood, this one got me thinking, pondering and praying. I have split Darin’s comment into a few paragraphs. I was especially interested in the third paragraph because I have heard it before from someone I love dearly. I don’t find Darin’s comments offensive. In fact, I’d like to share my conversation with the Lord about them.

On 5 June 2014 at 9:33pm, Darin said

“You quote Snuffer as though he was Joseph Smith or the prophet, be careful. You can see why Snuffer got in trouble. People begin quoting him like he was in charge and was The Prophet. This is not good.

“You have some good ideas, but I implore you to follow the twelve and the FP, as they will lead you in the ways of salvation. Be careful in not going beyond the bounds the Lord has set.

“So if all this does not happen to us in this life are we just damned? Should I live my life in depression because these things have not happened to me or even some of the most righteous people I know?

“I am not a new comer to all this, meaning I have studied and thought and prayed on these things for years. I am not saying you are totally wrong, but straying a little can take you far off the path. There is great wisdom in staying with the main part of the church and its appointed and known leaders. Best wishes to you.”

Endurance to the End is Enough

I’ve heard Darin’s excellent point in the third paragraph phrased this way: “Can’t we just endure to the end? The Lord doesn’t want to talk to me. I’m not a prophet. I’m just a regular member of the church. I’ve been baptized, endowed and sealed in the temple. I go to the temple as often as I can. I try to fulfil my callings and be kind like the Savior. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?”

We Determine How Well We Endure

As far as I have been able to determine, the answer is up to us. We determine what it means to endure to the end. We decide if there is more to the temple than we have received. I know the Lord is pleased with any efforts we make to follow His example. Any relief we can give to the poor, the hungry, the suffering is met with appreciation by the Lord and our Father in Heaven.

Use Temple Instruction at Home

Isn’t it possible there is more to the temple than we receive there? What if the Lord intended for us to practice some of the things we are taught there, such as the True Order of Prayer, in our own homes? Is that going beyond the bounds the Lord has set? And, by the way, who is it that determines what those bounds are – the Lord or the Prophet? Should they be one and the same?

Here are the Keys of the Priesthood

When I prayed about a response to Darin, the Lord reminded me of section 121, which has been a part of the dialog in the last two posts. The phrases that came to mind are found in verses 41-42: “…by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge…” Then the Lord surprised me with some additional insight.

The Powers of Heaven Defined

Part of the dialog on priesthood revolved around the word “powers.” We have discussed not just power in the priesthood but powers of heaven. What are the powers of heaven? We determined there are at least angels, archangels, principalities, powers, dominions, thrones, cherubim and Seraphim. Above those are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, which we strive to be.

How to Relate to True Messengers

The thought that occurred to me in prayer was this: How do I relate to the powers of heaven? We teach the right way to deal with our fellow man is by using the guidelines in verses 41 and 42. If you back up and look closely at verse 36, or parse it, as someone we know is wont to say, you’ll find it includes instructions on how to relate to the powers of heaven, including true messengers.

The Way of Life and Salvation

After all, isn’t that the first step we should be taking – to receive true messengers from God? As far as I remember, it is these messengers who will lead us in the way of life and salvation. Have I prepared myself to receive true messengers? Do I know what I would ask of them if given such an opportunity? Would I be kind to them, gentle and meek? Will I persuade them to help me?

Do Not Violate Sacred Obligations

Going back to the title of my post, you will note I’m discussing some aspects of the temple in this post. In fact, I have discussed the temple many times on my blog, including the True Order of Prayer. As I pointed out in that post, I asked the Lord if it was OK to share my thoughts on the subject. The Lord said yes. To me, that was evidence I had not violated any sacred obligations.

Blogging as a Gift of the Spirit

I feel the same way with each of my posts lately. I pray about each one of them. I ask the Lord what he would have me share. I seek inspiration as I write. I believe writing in an informative, uplifting and inspiring manner is one of the gifts of the spirit we should seek. I know some people are uncomfortable with some of the things I share. Again, who is setting the bounds?

Testimony of Jesus Spirit of Prophecy

Now for my responses to Darin: Yes, I do quote Denver Snuffer as if he were a prophet of the Lord. That’s because anyone who has a testimony of Jesus and speaks in His name under the power and influence of the Holy Ghost has the spirit of prophecy and is therefore a prophet. I know what you mean by THE prophet. Perhaps we could discuss this to better understand.

Would God that all were Prophets

Just because President Monson is an inspired man whom we sustain as a prophet, seer and revelator does not mean that there are no other prophets. This is obvious because we also sustain the other members of the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers and revelators. Does that mean only they can receive revelation?

God Speaks to Many People

Of course they’re not the only men to whom the Lord speaks. We agree they are the only ones the Lord will inspire with direction binding upon all members of the church. But this doesn’t mean there can’t be other prophets who deliver messages from the Lord. It is up to us to decide for ourselves if we accept messages from others who claim they have a message from the Lord.

Don’t Put Limits on the Lord

I know this is a hard concept for members of the church to accept, but it is true nonetheless. I know what you’re thinking. Follow the Prophet. Amos 3:7. If the Lord has a message for us, he will deliver it through the President of the Church. Wait a minute. Not so fast. Don’t put limits on the Lord. I know he doesn’t want us to be confused. That’s why we have D&C section 28.

Write Not by Way of Commandment

The story of Hiram Page, the seer-stone incident, is instructive for all who write under the spirit of inspiration or revelation. In D&C 28, Oliver was taught “…thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church…” He was instructed to take Hiram Page aside and teach him this principle.

Write by Way of Wisdom

I’m glad we had this little incident early on in our church history. It has helped tremendously when others have claimed to speak on behalf of the Lord by way of commandment. And that’s the key here. What Denver Snuffer shares in his books, on his blog and in his lectures, as far as I have been able to tell, is not by way of commandment, but by wisdom, for us to consider.

Lead us to the Lord’s Scriptures

Just because I can quote Denver Snuffer doesn’t mean I can’t also quote President Monson or any one of the fifteen men who lead this church. Besides, quoting Denver isn’t so hard. Anyone can do it. Just look up a keyword on his blog and there you go. I quote Him because I find his words to be enlightening, uplifting and instructive. They have turned me to the scriptures.

Controlling What Members May Publish

You wrote Denver got into trouble because people began quoting him. I don’t think that’s why he was excommunicated, unless you know something I don’t. He was cast off because he would not withdraw Passing the Heavenly Gift from publication. You can read the letter from his stake president on Denver’s blog. Even his stake president referred people to Denver’s blog for details.

Press On Until We Meet With the Lord

I finish this post the way I started, by referring to that third paragraph in Darin’s comment. I hear you, Darin. I don’t think we should choose to live in depression if we feel our prayers haven’t been answered and we haven’t been visited by the Lord. I think we should continue to humbly petition the Lord to help us prepare to come into His presence either in this life or in the next.

Appetites and Passions, Not What we Write

I appreciate the reminder from Darin to not go beyond the bounds the Lord has set. I’d like to open the dialog with that thought. It has been on my mind a lot lately, ever since two fellow bloggers were excommunicated for referring to PtHG and writing they found good in the book. I feel the same way. I found wisdom there. Is Denver’s book beyond the bounds the Lord has set?

Divine Discontent and Enduring to the End


EndureUntoTheEndThe Need for Denver’s Message

One of the main ideas Carol and I have discussed concerning Denver Snuffer is the necessity of the message he has delivered. Carol has made it clear she did not and does not feel there was or is any need for someone like Denver Snuffer to remind us how important it is to literally come unto Christ. The discussion always ends with her pointing out enduring to the end is sufficient.

Endure to the End is Sufficient

“We’ve been baptized. We’ve received the Holy Ghost. We’ve both served missions. We’ve been endowed and sealed in the temple. We try to live faithfully, accept callings and pay tithing. We try to do our home and visiting teaching although we can do better. Now all we need to do is endure to the end. That means keep going to church as long as our health permits. Right, Tim?”

An Investment in Understanding

That’s almost a direct quote. After two years I have learned to simply say, “Yes, dear.” Actually, I learned to say that a long time ago, but particularly in this situation. I’m grateful she doesn’t begrudge the money I’ve spent purchasing his books, the time I’ve spent studying what he has written or the effort I’ve put into sharing this journey on my blog. After all, she’s a writer too.

More than a Casual Reader

I suppose I’m more than a casual reader of Denver’s material. In addition to the books, some of which I’ve read two or three times, I’ve read most of his blog, bought every recorded lecture and printed them so I could study them. So that’s hundreds of hours? I suppose so. Is it time wasted? Could it have been better spent in scripture reading? Trust me, it includes that and gospel study.

Attending the Lectures

I was this close to flying up to Boise for the opening lecture. I have not been able to attend any of the five talks given so far on his current lecture tour due to conflicts with my work commitments. Carol and I have already agreed to travel up to St. George next year to hear that one in person. Well, it’s agreed we’re going, but it’s anyone’s guess if she actually goes to the lecture with me.

Denver’s Message Not For Everyone

Maybe it’s different for men. I feel driven to understand Denver’s message and to be received by the Savior in a literal, physical way while yet mortal. Carol does not. I think I’ve shared on my blog previously how I fasted before my mission for three days and the results of that fast. The Lord answered my prayer and spoke peace to my mind that my efforts were sufficient for then.

The Maturing Process of Life

I heard his voice in my mind, but He made it clear I was not ready. I had not yet been endowed. After my mission I got involved in my career and somehow the desire to receive the Second Comforter left me. I began to say to myself, as I heard in so many talks and lessons, “Enduring to the end is sufficient. Just live a good life, remain temple worthy and magnify your callings.”

The Return of Divine Discontent

I lived with that belief for over thirty years. Then I read Denver Snuffer’s books and everything changed. The feelings I had from before my mission that I should seek to enter into the presence of the Lord in this life returned. I call it Divine Discontent. I think I first heard that phrase in a talk by Neal Maxwell from October 1976 General Conference: Notwithstanding my Weakness.

Accused of Being Divisive

I suspect the scenario I just described is why some of my readers have left comments either here or on Facebook that Denver is divisive and wrong. Carol has said that his writing frightens her. I continue to do all I can to show, by my actions, there is no threat in Denver’s messages, which I now put into two categories: 1) Receive the Second Comforter, 2) Understand our history better.

Not Asked to Gather Anywhere

When I have responded to her, and some of you on this blog who have raised the same point that Denver is not asking us to do anything other than items one and two above, the response I get is, “not yet,” or as some of you have said, “this isn’t over yet,” referring, I’m sure, to the fact that he has not completed his lecture tour. “Who’s to say what he is then going to ask of his followers?”

Come Unto Christ, not Denver Snuffer

She knows I like to counter with “We’re not followers, we’re readers.” I’ve also made the point in my writings I’m not a Snufferite. My standard response is I simply want to come unto Christ. I enjoy Denver’s style of writing. I understand Carol’s point what he writes frightens some people. It means change. I’ve already addressed the idea of unity in marriage. “If ye are not one…”

Voicing that Divine Discontent

Depending on what blogs or forums you like to read, there seems to be much discontent with the way things are going in our nation, and in some cases, in the church. Some promote the idea we take a more active role in voicing discontent through dissent. Some have even suggested we go to the Conference Center as a block to cast an opposing vote in the annual sustaining process.

Investment in City Creek Mall

I never could or would do something like that. First of all, I do sustain the Brethren, meaning, I am happy with their efforts to lead this church. Maybe it’s a Utah thing, but I wasn’t upset with the church’s explanation for where the money came from to build the City Creek Center. I accept that it came from interest earned on our tithing money. For some reason, that doesn’t bother me.

Prepare for Collapse of United States

Other popular LDS-related forums seem to be advocating we get prepared for more than a natural catastrophe. There’s talk of what we should do when the government is overthrown or fails of its own accord. These people are deceiving themselves. It’s good to be involved in the political process. We know it’s prophesied the United States government will collapse.

Spreading rumors of massive violence

Some of the private emails I receive from readers are repeating a rumor that we’ve got until just shortly after Denver finishes his lecture tour before things start to get really dicey here in the United States, meaning they fear economic collapse will soon turn our nation into a land of roving gangs with no central government or police presence to control the violence. What?

Visions of Glory – One Man’s Opinion

One of the most-read posts here on Latter-day Commentary is still my book review of Visions of Glory written by John Pontius. If you read my review (Jan 2013), you know I gave it a mixed response, meaning I agreed with many things in it, especially views of the spirit world found in the first third of the book. As I wrote there, I had problems with the latter parts of the book.

God Will Fight His Own Battles

I didn’t and still don’t object to Spencer’s idea that we will experience great natural catastrophes. If there is anything I find in common with messages from the prophets, it is the prediction of global destruction to occur in the last days. That’s how the nations will be overthrown, not by any act of man. God will take care of things. He has warned us this has long been on its way.

Israel is Central to Events of Last Days

I’ve already expressed my opinion that the world, including the United States will soon turn against Israel to the point of war. I have no doubt Israel will soon act to remove the nuclear threat it sees from Iran. Because Israel will have to act alone with no support from the United States – not politically correct anymore – every nation will gather to fight against them. It’s in prophecy.

Be Prepared For These Events

When the prophesied events of the last days happen, they will be rapid. Things will dramatically change around the world in the period of just a few years. What bothers me is that most people, including most LDS, have not been listening to the message of the prophets, ancient and modern, that the best and most needed preparation we can make for the coming destruction is spiritual.

Don’t Forget Cosmological Signs

That’s why I feel that Divine Discontent is a good thing. It’s driving me to understand better what the Lord will do in these last days. If you want to say that it’s all going to start as soon as Denver finishes his current lecture tour next year, fine. I can accept that. I wonder why so many good LDS writers and bloggers exclude the writings of Anthony Larson in their pontifications.

Writings of Anthony Larson

I can understand if you don’t like the predictions found in Anthony’s books. After all, he has taken the writings of a man rejected by the scientific community and combined them with the scriptures to come up with his unique combination of what is about to come upon us. The word most commonly used by his critics is pseudoscience or ideas of man mingled with scripture.

Signs of the Times Explained

My long-time readers know I disagree. Just like I have gone out on a limb in my claims that Denver Snuffer is a prophet because he is delivering a message he says the Lord asked him to deliver, I have long advocated that LDS folks read Anthony Larson’s prophecy trilogy. It was in Deseret Book stores for years. If you really want to understand the last days, Anthony can help.

One More Writer I Recommend

I know both writers are unorthodox. I know they both have their critics, some very vocal. I might as well add to the list one other LDS writer who can best help you prepare for the last days. I’ve written about him before: Mel Fish. Mel is not the only one who teaches what he does about how to remove the influence of the adversary from your life, but he has published more than others.

How I Have Tried to Prepare

So there you have it. If I were asked whose books should I read to be best prepared for the last days and the eminent destruction which is prophesied to shortly come to pass, these are the three men I would recommend. Their writings have done more to help me understand what the Lord is about to do very soon than those of any other LDS writer. “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”

Promptings of the Holy Ghost

The basis for everything these men teach is found in the scriptures. In other words, if you have the gift of the Holy Ghost and the scriptures, you don’t need what these men have written. There is much disagreement about their interpretations of the scriptures. I have chosen the Holy Ghost as my guide. He has led me to the writings of these men. The spirit may lead you elsewhere.

Perhaps Only Philosophies of Men

I confess I am a weak man when it comes to understanding what I read in the Bible and other standard works. The language of the scriptures is different from the way we speak and write today. That’s why I’m grateful for what I have learned from these men who have studied and written much of what they felt the Lord wanted them to share. I feel forewarned and prepared.

Inspired Writings From Many Sources

Maybe you don’t need the interpretations of others to understand the Lord’s strange act of the Last Days. I do. I appreciate the words of our living prophets and apostles. I simply ask myself, why has the spirit led me to the writings of these particular men? The answer always comes, after years and years of reading, studying and praying: “These men were also inspired of the Lord.”

Wrapping it Up

You may say this post is all over the place. You’re probably right. What was my point? It had something to do with Divine Discontent, right? My point is the Lord may inspire you to study the teachings of other men and women besides those we sustain as prophets, seers and revelators. My point is that the writings of these men have helped me in dealing with Divine Discontent.

What Drives You May Be Different

Maybe you don’t suffer from Divine Discontent. Carol doesn’t. She is perfectly happy with her life as a writer of romance novels – or whatever genre she decides to tackle. Please don’t take this as a sexist remark: Maybe Divine Discontent is a malady that only strikes men. Maybe I’m unique in that I feel so driven and have felt driven by the Lord to read the writings of these men.

My Blog feels Completed

If this ends up being the last post I ever write on my blog, I will be happy. I have shared what I intended to share when I started blogging six years ago. I have introduced you to the writings of three men whose messages I felt the Lord wanted me to receive. I have tried to explain them and in many cases, to defend them. I feel I have done what the Lord wanted me to do with this blog.

Enduring to the End

Starting tomorrow I’m back to work. My week of vacation was well spent. I re-read Come, Let Us Adore Him and made good progress on my third reading of The Second Comforter. While I’m not there yet, meaning I have not received the Second Comforter, I feel my time was well spent. I’ve appreciated everyone’s comments on my last few posts. Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.

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