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?

 

Tithing, the first step to Consecration


mormon-tithing5I used to diligently draw 10% of my income from my monthly paycheck and hand it over to the bishop. I knew I was doing the Lord’s will. I would encounter a sense of relief for doing my duty (as my paychecks got bigger, the sacrifice did as well), as well as a sense of peace for keeping the commandments. I didn’t think much about how my tithes were used. As far as I was concerned, it was the Lord’s to do with what He wanted, and He would direct His Church in the wisest and best uses of my funds. I also gave a generous fast offering (1% usually), and that was the end of my charities. I had very little to give for other endeavors after all of this, and I trusted the funds would be best used in Church hands. My mind was little engaged in such a task, other than in the satisfaction that I was being obedient.

Developing Charity

I have since adopted a different strategy for tithe-paying, under the Lord’s direction, with a little help from a great article on tithing. We give our tithes directly to the poor. We typically tithe at least 10% of our surplus income and sometimes more as directed. Under the old system, my wife had to work so that we could pay a gross tithe. Now, we have found that our tithes are more vibrant and fruitful. We find ways to pay our tithing that engage us with the Lord instead of making it a mindless habit. Such ways include helping a poor immigrant family we find on the roadside, paying to help a battered woman leave an abusive relationship, and paying tithes to local fellowship communities that distribute them through common consent. All of these methods have enriched our lives and made us feel more charity for the poor, and we have been blessed with an added measure of the Lord’s grace as we have done so. Furthermore, when we were paying under the old system, our mentality for our material blessings typically consisted of feeling grateful for them, feeling that our righteousness in our tithe-paying was earning us such blessings, and feeling justified in enjoying those blessings because we were full tithe-payers. Now . . . we still feel blessed, but we also feel burdened in a good way, we feel the burden of material wealth, even though we are not wealthy. We have noticed a marked decrease in covetousness of our neighbor’s wealth, his home, his status. We measure a dollar differently, for we can feel and touch the needs that dollar can do to lighten another, and we are much more careful at spending that dollar for our own needs.

Defining Down Needs

Which brings us to the next benefit. We are now searching to downsize our home, our vehicles, all of our needs, so that we can increase our surplus income,needswants so that we can afford to tithe more. I feel the Lord’s wisdom in this as we are slowly defining down what we consider needs. We want to have more resources so that the Lord can direct us in giving, the benefits thereof we have found to be energizing to our spiritual lives. We pray for the Lord to direct us and He has. The result has been an overflow of love and grace into our lives. Here are some concepts we are using to give:

Deny not the Beggar

 16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

 17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.” Mosiah 4:16-17

21202651_BG1We like to consecrate some of our tithes to those who we see on the street that are in need. We don’t care if they are panhandlers. We don’t care if they are going to spend it on booze. We care about giving them love. We look for people that need love, not money. We listen to Spirit and actively search out a giving situation. The money is just an excuse to go up and spend some time with them and give them a hug. Once the money is donated, it is their stewardship to do with what they want. It’s the love, not the handout, that has the potential to help change a person who is begging. Not to mention the fact that we take Hebrews 13:2 seriously:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Giving in Communities

Giving in communities is where we will be able to bring Zion. In communities we have the capacity to bear one another’s burdens, helping lift a brother, become one in purpose, and have “no poor” among us. I have actually seen this occur over the past couple of months. My wife and I have occasionally attended a fellowship community called a “tithing meeting.” In this meeting, we take the sacrament to remember the Lord, but also to sanctify each of us to discuss solving each others’ needs. Here is how the meeting goes:

  1. Sacrament is served, along with prayers and hymns to bring in the Spirit of the Lord
  2. Tithing is collected. There are no slips, no receipts, you get no charitable giving deductions on your taxes.
  3. Everyone is given an opportunity to report needs. This has since been split into defining primary needs (typically food, housing, some health, etc.) and secondary needs (debt obligations, utility bills, etc.). Everyone is given the agency to define what is a primary and secondary need because individual situations differ.
  4. An account is made to the group, which assigns the funds first to the defined primary needs, and then to the secondary needs by common consent (no strong men here, in fact, I’ve seen mostly women in charge of the welfare effort). (In the meeting last week, all primary needs were met, and there was a handsome sum left over to cover some secondary needs.)

The potential for bickering, anger, resentment, abuse, finger-pointing all have the potential of undoing such a meeting. It was the reason primarily that Zion failed in the early church. So far, the meetings I have attended have gone smoothly, and I have seen an outpouring of love. But there is always potential for problems, and I’m sure some day these problems will arise. How does one deal with any of these potential situations:

  • People that attend only to take from others; they are slothful and rely upon others resources for their sustenance?
  • People that are more liberal in defining their own needs, while others withhold and sacrifice?
  • People who define their surplus more conservatively than others, and thereby, give less?

All of these problems will occur as some date. The question is, how do we handle them? The Church has set up rules in welfare (working, going to Church, callings, accountability of time) etc. that they exchange for the benefit of receiving Church welfare. In this new system, no such ability exists, and to be frank, people who have been on Church welfare (I was at one time in my life as a youngster) find it a little degrading. In this system, people are generally taught the principle of giving generously on one hand, and not taking from others if they need not, on the other. There will be a variety of applications and a variety of responses. I just assume that at some point, my gift will be misused, that there will be moments where the distribution is unfair and I have to be okay with that.

A Refining Process

Yes, people will misuse and mistrust. But when undertaken with the right heart, the process can be a refining one. For the giver, the process of giving, even under abuses, can remind one of how the Savior was abused, how HE was treated unfairly, how HE gave all that he had, even the most precious gift, and some took it for granted. For those that accept with a humble and glad heart, a gift given can strengthen the bonds of love. It brings the giver and the receiver closer in the bonds of a sealing-type of relationship, a Zion-like one. For the poor, receiving a gift given reminds us that we all must receive the greatest gift given, the gift the Savior gave us with his atonement for all of us, who are indeed “poor.”

new-jerusalem1Right now, this process represents another kind of practice for Zion. Eventually, however, when Zion is redeemed, and we repent enough to be considered in that great endeavor, all who participate will do so without any attempt to dig a pit or take advantage of a brother, or to withhold because of mistrust or vanity. Any who would attempt to enter such a place would find it impossible to do so. They will have to be redeemed in the cleansing fire of sanctification to be permitted such entry. They will have to be . . . perfected.

38 And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;

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

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;

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

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that wouldborrow of thee turn thou not away.

43 And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;

44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, andpray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new.

48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. 3 Nephi 12:39-48

Special Consecrating Circumstances

When we get to the point where we are willing to part with large sums of money, when there are a few rich after the manner of the world, that repent and undertake some of these challenges, they may want to consider some unique types of tithes and consecration of wealth that could truly lift this movement. Some of these may include:

richyoungruler

  • Helping the Saints to cancel debts and mortgages, which thereby increases their ability to donate more and extend grace to others and themselves
  • Purchasing simple homes or vehicles for the poor
  • Financing conferences and reunions to gather for the sake of worshiping the Lord and practicing other Zion-like efforts
  • Helping to construct a temple
  • Publishing reading materials or advertisements for missionary efforts

There are diverse ways and means one could consecrate their wealth to the efforts of the Lord, and it is between YOU and the Lord. I can only imagine the great sacrifice that would be to consecrate great sums of wealth, but then there must also be corresponding blessings. Remember the rich man in the Bible:

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark 10:21

Reconnecting to the Fathers


Matt 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…”

D&C 20:73 – “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

Mosiah 18:13 – “I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.”

Baptism of Repentance

jacobs-ladderThe first two scriptures I’ve quoted are performed in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Those who have been endowed and are familiar with the sealing ordinances in the LDS Temples will also recognize the use of the phrase, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Few men on earth are authorized to use this phrase today.

At the end of the series of ten lectures delivered by Denver, Keith got up and offered his witness, sealing it in a similar fashion. Surely there must be some significance to this phrase when it is used. It must mean something in heaven. It does. It caused me to sit up and take notice. I knew he was using the sealing power, but not in the same sense it is used in the LDS Temples today.

“I stand as another witness with Denver, in the law of witnesses, that these things are true. And I expect to be held accountable for this in the days and the eternity to come, before God and my Father and to all men. I bear this testimony humbly and solemnly, but in the power of the most holy priesthood. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.”

The Patriarchal Priesthood

abraham-isaac-altarI have been re-reading, studying and praying about the priesthood talk given in Orem back in November of 2013. Its chalk full of information about the higher or patriarchal priesthood. I remain convinced not many people understand there is such a thing. In the LDS Church, we are used to referring only to the Aaronic and the Melchizedek priesthood. It seems there is more.

Yes, I know and have read the arguments that there is but one priesthood and that the patriarchal priesthood is lesser than the Melchizedek. I agree there is really only one priesthood, but within that priesthood, I hold the Patriarchal to be the higher priesthood. I understand it can only be received from the Lord, which is why Joseph was so insistent on completing the Nauvoo temple.

This higher priesthood is not received in the LDS temples. It is not obtained by going and being sealed in the temple. It is only obtained when one meets with God in His temple. That’s why I was not concerned and remain unconcerned about resigning from the LDS Church. The church does not control the priesthood. It is controlled by God, confirmed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

The Holy Spirit of Promise

psalm-2-7I have not yet heard the voice of the Lord say to me, “Thou art my son. This day have I begotten thee.” I know that day will come. The Lord has told me so. It was in a dream but when I asked for the interpretation, it was clear. I rejoice in this promise. I rejoice I have a calling and election. I rejoice in knowing it is what the Lord desires of me. I am working to make it sure. It will be so.

I understand receiving the Lord is an ordinance. I await further light and knowledge on this. I am grateful for the blessing of time. It teaches me patience. I know a man’s life can be snuffed out at any minute. I take my life in my hands each day I drive to and from work on the freeways of Los Angeles. I wait upon the Lord. When He is ready, I will be connected to the powers of heaven.

In the dialog below you will find Denver’s answer to my question about the higher or patriarchal priesthood. He was smiling at me as I read it to him. I think he knew what I was asking. Note the humble response deflecting honor and attention to John the Beloved. There are others as well. I pray the Lord’s blessings upon each of us to connect to the Lord and prepare to live within Zion.

Question Three: In the Phoenix or Mesa lecture (9-9-14), you stated, “The Lord has said to me in His own voice, ‘I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.’ Therefore, I want to caution those who disagree with me, to feel free, to feel absolutely free to make the case against what I say. Feel free to disagree, and make your contrary arguments. If you believe I err, then expose the error and denounce it. But take care; take care about what you say concerning me for your sake, not for mine. I live with constant criticism. I can take it. But I do not want you provoking Divine ire by unfortunately chosen words if I can persuade you against it.”

In Genesis 12:3, The Lord said unto Abraham, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” Abraham was further blessed to be the father of many nations, that in him “shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Abraham was a prophet. Isaac and Jacob were prophets. Abraham referred to the Fathers going back to Adam. You spoke about that in the talk on plural marriage and elsewhere. It seems there is something significant about connecting to the Fathers. Abraham was a patriarch. The LDS Church no longer has a presiding patriarch, or even such an office. Is there a patriarch on the earth today who can connect us to the Fathers?

ANSWER (Denver): Well, the simple answer is there’s always one on the earth. That has been true from Adam to the present.

(Tim): John the Beloved.

(Denver): Yes.

nauvoo-1844Remember that in Nauvoo the Lord had offered to reconnect the Saints, with the clearly defined condition that for that to happen it was necessary for an acceptable temple to be constructed where He could come and restore the connection. The reconnection is ordinance-based, and will require an acceptable temple before it goes beyond the single representative.

First, ideas need to be advanced and accepted. Then second, we need to act on the ideas primarily by repenting and opening ourselves to the influence of God. Third, we have to be humble and patient and willing to practice the religion before we can have any hope of God deciding to gather us.

Practical experience is absolutely necessary. Theories and pretensions are not going to get us anywhere. The gospel requires hard won virtuous experience and not just theoretical or imaginary virtues. Everyone can theorize the virtues that are necessary to gather people together and live together in harmony. Everyone can envision themselves as one of the residents of the City of Peace. But the practical experience required to iron out our selfishness and competitiveness so that we can actually live in peace is another order of magnitude harder.

In the Nauvoo City Council minutes you see them grappling with a society that is trying to be composed of Saints, and the practical problem-solving that happened. There were moments when I was reading the Nauvoo City Council minutes when I was laughing out loud, because they go to solve one problem but the solution creates another.

Basically people are discourteous of one another. Because they are discourteous of one another the City Council adopted an ordinance in order to end one discourtesy, only to create yet another discourtesy on top of that.

Practicing Zion in Nauvoo

zion-imageFor example, one of the problems that they had was that Nauvoo was organized as a city in which everyone had a garden plot. Because most of the garden plots were not fenced, horses and foot traffic would go through the gardens. That killed the plants and caused the destruction of needed foodstuffs. They couldn’t get people to build fences around their gardens despite encouraging them to do so. The solution to the problem to was to turn the hogs loose, because when the hogs are loose they go in the gardens and root around, killing the plantings. And so they adopted an ordinance that let hogs in Nauvoo go free. In pretty short order that produced the required fences they wanted, at the expense of creating a hog problem. There were hog wallows in the middle of the streets of Nauvoo. Until finally some guy, tired of the hog problem, went out and killed, butchered and ate a couple hogs that another guy said belong to him. The owner sued him, and they had the public fight over it.

The point of this isn’t hogs and the Nauvoo City Council, the point of this is we need practical experience and not theory. The way in which the practical experience can be had is in gathering in fellowships and societies, collecting our own tithing, and then grappling with the fact that there is a pile of money sitting there, which is ever a temptation, and to deal with that in a responsible way. That forces individuals to confront their own self will, their own pride, their own desires, their own jealousy, their own envy, their own ambition, and their own covetousness.

Practicing Zion in Fellowships

CityOfZionIn the fellowships that have been organized there have been moments of profound breakthroughs in the kind of attributes required for Zion. One group, when they begin their meeting, gathers all the needs on written slips of paper and put all of the needs together in an unopened basket. Then they gather the money, which is always cash, into another unopened container. They don’t know how much cash there is. Without opening the cash then, they first open the needs. As a group they reason together and agree on what the priority of the needs are, so that they have a list of the most compelling, and on down.

Once they know what the most compelling, the second, the third, the fourth are, they open and count the money. On one occasion, there was a married couple whose need could be satisfied because there was enough money, but they looked at the person next in line in priority behind them, and concluded that in their heart, they thought that need greater than their own. If they satisfy the next person’s need, there would be nothing left for them. So they voluntarily passed on their priority and took none of the money, and allowed it all to go to the next person in line behind them.

That is a couple that I would willingly add to a community, because they’ve learned self-sacrifice. They are no threat, and are instead an ideal contributor.

Seek to Benefit and Bless Others

Someone who advocates incessantly, “We’ve got the live the United Order! We’ve got to have consecration,” –because he intends to benefit from that change and better his circumstances—is unfit to be gathered. He would destroy Zion because he is selfish and thinking of what he can gain. Someone who says, “What can I give?” at the cost of his own self-sacrifice, and yet is willing to live the Law of Consecration in order to bless and benefit others, not expecting themselves to be blessed or benefited but instead expect themselves to carry a burden, those people can be gathered. They present no threat. They can be “one” with others. They are willing to lose themselves, as Christ instructed.

The way in which those people get identified is by practical experience, which is what the fellowshipping communities are designed, by the inspiration of God, to allow to now begin to take place. Every one of us theorizes themselves a great candidate for Zion. But go out and get some practical experience and see how great a candidate you truly are. You will be disappointed in yourself. Most of us would be anyway.

Sources:

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

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

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

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

The Lord Requires Us To Take Action


TimBaptism2aCroppedI was blessed to witness three baptisms last week. Although he lives 120 miles from me, it was good to be there with a friend for his baptism. The ordinance was performed by the same man who came from Utah to baptize me. Our community is small and scattered here in California. In fact, for the most part, our communities consist of our own families, or simply a few individuals.

Baptisms are evidence of faith. They demonstrate to the Lord we believe the message delivered by His messenger. The message is the doctrine of Christ without any added requirements. If we have faith in Christ we will be baptized. The requirement for baptism is to repent, to change, to turn to Christ. There is no requirement to believe in any prophet, only that we believe in Christ.

Beware of False Messengers

40-years-in-mormonismI suppose an argument can be made that baptism is evidence we believe the messenger, but it is not a requirement for baptism. Only Christ can redeem our souls from hell. Only Christ can give us new life. Only He can forgive sins, create in us a new heart and take away our sorrows. I am grateful for the messenger, but a true messenger will always point us to Christ for our direction.

We are disciples of Jesus Christ. It is He that directs our lives, tells us what to do, teaches us how to bless and serve our fellow beings. Nobody should come between us and our relationship with the Savior – no man, no messenger, no prophet. Any man who insists you defer to him for any kind of direction is not a true messenger. The Holy Ghost is a true messenger. He leads to Christ.

An Offering ONLY for the Savior

BreadAndWineWhen we preach the gospel, we should preach of Christ. We should help people understand how faith in Christ requires daily effort. He commanded us to remember Him always. We do this in part by participating in the sacrament on a regular basis. The sacrament is action on our part that demonstrates to the Lord we do remember him that we may always have His spirit to be with us.

LastSupperLargeThose two actions – baptism and the sacrament – witness to the Lord our willingness to take His name upon us and keep His commandments. One of His commandments is to pray often. Prayer brings the guidance and direction we need in our lives. It demonstrates submissiveness and our humility before Christ. We offer to Him, and to nobody else, a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

No Church Controls The Holy Ghost

NewScripturesThere is no organization that controls the Holy Ghost. There is no organization that controls priesthood. Priesthood is not dependent upon membership in any church. It is independent of Israel, independent of the LDS Church and independent of any man. It is without father or mother. It has always existed and always will. It comes not by the will of man but of God.

The Holy Ghost can and does speak to everyone. Period. Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jewish, everyone. It doesn’t matter what faith tradition you may claim. The Holy Ghost can and will speak to you. His mission is to testify of truth, no matter the source. No one group or religion can claim to control the Holy Ghost. That is a false and damning concept.

Social Chaos In The Last Days

SchoolOfProphetsIn a recent post I tried to make it clear Joseph Smith was no fallen prophet. I am convinced he fulfilled his mission under difficult and trying circumstances. He repented when he sinned, was chastised by the Lord for mistakes in judgement and taught what the Lord asked Him to teach. He brought forth the Book of Mormon but was unable to fulfil his desire to bring again Zion.

civil-unrestJust before the Lord appeared to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Don’t be surprised by the coming social chaos. The only safety in the last days will be to flee to Zion. But Zion will not be brought forth by an institution. It will be formed by small groups.

Preserving The Restoration

MoroniAndJoseph“It is not God’s purpose to abandon the Restoration. It is His purpose to preserve the Restoration, which at this moment is in terrible jeopardy. The Restoration must be rescued and preserved. If you cannot detect the terrible changes it has undergone and is now undergoing, then you are blind indeed. Shall God forget the work He began through Joseph?

“Shall this now universally downward course be permitted without His hand being bared again? Or should a kind and merciful God take steps to give us a chance to preserve it with His assistance, if we choose to act? There are many willing to act. We only need some indication from God of how to do so. Thankfully, the pattern was given to us through Joseph Smith.

This Action Is Required Of You

baptism-saratoga-springs“Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. From the days of Adam, it will continue through the end of the millennium. Whenever there has been believing people upon the earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith.

JosephBaptizingOliver“Authority was restored as part of the ministry of Joseph Smith and should be remembered.  In fact, everything accomplished by the Lord through Joseph should be remembered, preserved and respected. We should not abandon or neglect anything that has been given or commanded by heaven. We should not be forgetful. It is a sign of ingratitude when we forget and neglect.

A Community Of Believers

“No corporate church organization, or man claiming authority should hijack your obedience to God. You are accountable to Him. You are accountable only to Him… When Joseph wanted to know his state and standing before God, he asked God. It is to God alone that you must answer and it is to God you must be grateful. Only before Him must you be humble.

waters-of-mormon“…true religion, when it is present on earth, always exists as a community of believers. Community is required … to be willing to mourn with those that mourn … to comfort those that stand in need of comfort… and …to stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and in all places. With community, we can …bear one another’s burdens that they may be light…”

Receive The Holy Ghost

john-the-baptist-confers-priesthoodThe last six paragraphs were edited excerpts from the Phoenix talk. I shared them to demonstrate the need to be baptized anew if we desire to participate in the bringing forth of Zion. Believe in Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and become as a little child. The Holy Ghost will be given, according to the doctrine of Christ, to any who repent and are baptized in faith.

The authority to baptize was restored through Joseph. He received it by the laying on of hands from John the Baptist. This authority can and was passed down from man to man. I received this authority from my father. Thus, if sustained by a fellowship, I can baptize and administer the ordinance of the sacrament for others. I can also administer the sacrament in my own family.

Administering Ordinances

RemnantFamilyRetreatI administered the sacrament the other day to our little gathering after the baptisms. I felt it was appropriate to do so because of the unique arrangements of our fellowship. We seem to know each other fairly well through our online interactions. As I’ve noted before, I am not worthy to perform baptisms without the sustaining vote of my wife. Those are the Lord’s words, not mine.

As yet, I have not participated in a conference. Some of our group here in Southern California proposed one, but we were unable to gather seven women to authorize any additional brethren. I, along with most everybody on the Internet have been invited to a conference to take place next month in Colorado. Carol and I decided not to attend due to distance. I know many others are.

Grateful For My Local Community

I continue to attend the local ward sacrament meeting each week. I am grateful the Bishop and Stake President allow me to attend. Since I no longer believe many of the things taught in the correlated curriculum I decline to attend Sunday school and Priesthood meeting each week. I have been graciously invited several times by instructors and other members, still my friends.

speaking-in-churchFor the most part I enjoy hearing the talks, singing the hymns and partaking the sacrament. I’ve wondered about the sacrament – I believe those administering it have authority, but I choose to believe the sacrament should be administered with wine, which I do in my home. The wine symbolizes the blood of Christ and the bitter sacrifice. I know this: when He comes again, He will use wine.

Preach Nothing But Repentance

3-Ne-11-22-28I’ll close with something I’ve shared before but feel to share again. This also comes from the Phoenix lecture. These are the words that rang through my mind all the way home. It was as I was crossing the California border I probably made my mind up I would be baptized, and that I would require to have my name removed from the records of the LDS Church before doing so.

Denver quoted 3 Ne 11:22-28 – The Lord’s instructions to the Nephites on baptism, delivered as some of the first doctrine after He appeared unto them. Denver then said, “I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again my Him today, to you.” That statement sank deep into my heart. The spirit bore witness that what Denver had taught was from the Lord.

Conferences Directed by the Lord

Immediately following this post, I am going to post an article, a series of questions really, from my friend Lynne. It has to do with the Remnant Family Retreat taking place next month near the Grand Mesa. I have prayed about posting the article. As you will see, the questions are rather direct. Lynne knows more about some of these things than I do. But I have prayed to know God’s will.

storm-warningThe natural man in me hesitated to post them. I don’t believe there is a spirit of accusation in the questions, but they are hard questions to answer. I count Bret as my friend, as I do Lynne. This blog has a wide readership, developed over the years. I have let others use it as a platform to discuss doctrines about which I don’t necessarily agree. With some guest posts, I heartily agree. God wanted this posted.

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