Wisdom Through the Ages

I wish I could attend this upcoming conference. I’m grateful to those making the effort to broadcast portions of the conference live. Years ago, it was easier for me to get to the various lectures, symposia, conferences and fellowship gatherings. Life has become much more complicated. Click on the image on the left if you are interested in learning more about the conference to be held in Mesa 24-25 March 2018.

Another upcoming event that may be of interest to some, especially those in the Southern Utah area is a regional fellowship gathering to be convened 20-21 of January 2018 in Parowan. The invitation is posted publicly on Facebook and I’m sure you will be welcomed. Living in Southern California all my life, I’ve treasured the times I have been able to get to events like these. I’ve come to appreciate the value of fellowship among those who hold the same beliefs.

Fellowship in the Last Days

Two friends have asked me to answer a few questions publicly and share some thoughts on a difficult subject. This last day of the year seems like an opportune moment to do so. They have to do with why I continue to identify with or associate with the remnant movement and how this has affected my marriage. The question on marriage was, “How can I make my marriage work when my wife and I no longer believe the same things about the LDS Church?”

I made a very public statement a few years ago that got a lot of attention, at least among the LDS blogging community. I decided to get rebaptized after reading Denver’s books and attending a series of lectures on the gospel. In the early days of the LDS Church, it was a common thing to get rebaptized. Today, if you do so, you open yourself up to discipline from those who preside over your local congregation.

In my case, having served in numerous local leadership councils and not wanting to go through that process, I simply resigned my membership in the LDS Church. I don’t mean to imply I did so without much soul-searching and prayer. I spent many a night on my knees envisioning the ramifications of what I was about to do. My greatest concern was how this would affect my marriage. At times I was certain my wife would divorce me because of my decision.

The Rest of the Story

I was baptized over three years ago. Before I tell you how I think it’s going, let me add some background in response to my other friend’s questions. He asked me to record my thoughts in video format to post on the blog, Zion’s Return. I’m pondering that request. I did a video interview with KUTV a few years back about the LDS Church cracking down on bloggers. It’s funny how news organizations can ask enough questions to record a half hour of footage but only use two or three five-second snippets. I invite you to visit Zion’s Return.

Question One: “How did you come to find out about what the Lord is doing today and about this movement?” That’s an easy one to answer. I was standing in the Celestial room of the Los Angeles temple about six years ago when a friend asked me what I thought about Denver Snuffer’s latest book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. I said, “Denver who?” He repeated the name. “Never heard of him,” I said. End of conversation.

But the name stuck with me. Over the next few weeks, often while praying, that name would pop into my mind. I love to read about LDS Church History. Carol and I have a large library. I inherited many books from my parents who at one time had an LDS book store. I was in the habit of adding new books about the LDS Church to my library on a regular basis. Finally, after about three weeks, I bought the book on Amazon.

A Book that Changed my Life

Question Two: “What brought you to the point of feeling like something was missing in your spiritual life/journey?” I suppose I always had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something wasn’t quite right with what I was being taught in the official curriculum and what I was reading in the books in our family library. My mother loved biography. She was a public school teacher and read voraciously. I’m fairly certain we had every biography published about the prophet.

Even after forty-five years I can still remember raising my hand in response to a question in seminary, responding with what I had read in one those biographies and receiving a blank stare from the teacher. She seemed a little uncomfortable. Finally, she said, “no, that’s not right,” and proceeded to read the official response from the approved curriculum. I asked my mother about it when I got home. Wisely, she asked me, “Well, what do you think?” I said I thought the teacher was wrong. “I’m just glad you’re reading, son.”

Living With Cognitive Dissonance

I learned to keep my thoughts to myself, or more accurately, I learned what the expected responses were to the typical questions and what the sources were for those questions that always come up when studying church history. I kept thinking if I just study harder I’ll understand things the way they were explained in the Sunday School manuals I taught from and the Institute manuals from which I later studied. I went on a mission, got married in the temple and began thirty-five years of service in Elder’s Quorum Presidencies, Bishoprics, High Councils, High Priest Group Leaderships and finally as the Stake Financial Clerk.

I saw the book had arrived when I came home from work a day or two after ordering PtHG, started my usual quick perusal of the book and ending up reading it until two o’clock in the morning. I simply could not put it down. Here was someone who had done the research, presented the evidence and let the reader draw their own conclusions. My prayer that night was one of the most memorable of my life. I knew my life was going to change forever. I finally had my answers. The cognitive dissonance lifted from my mind. I literally felt encompassed in light. This was not the first time I had experienced such a thing, but never this powerful.

Standing on Top of the Wall

Question Three: “What is the greatest blessing you have received since going [into] this movement and / or hearing the message the Lord is delivering in our day?” Again, another easy question. I have received a baptism that will be recognized when the angels begin to sweep the earth with the foretold destruction and, just as important, I have received a covenant that allows me to join with the Saints when they gather to Zion for protection from the events of the great and terrible day we read about in Matthew 24.

Because these answers may seem so out there, I sometimes feel like Samuel the Lamanite standing on the wall of Zarahemla. Let me be clear: The baptism to which I refer and the covenant I mentioned are not administered in the LDS Church today. Another blessing I hope to receive in time, if I live long enough, is to enter a temple to receive instruction directly from the Lord about walking in the paths of heaven. “But Tim,” I can hear you say, “You’ve already had those blessings since you were endowed in the LA Temple over forty years ago.”

The Process of Readmission

Question Four: “What insight/understanding do you now enjoy that you didn’t have before and how has that impacted your life?” I’ve been labeled crazy, deluded, deceived and possessed of a devil. My bishop at the time of my resignation wrote in his formal letter of response that went to my file in Salt Lake: “I fear your blindness has come from looking beyond the mark (Jacob 4:14).” He also noted that because I was under discipline for apostasy, approval from the First Presidency would be required for readmission.

I think the greatest insight or understanding I have received and now enjoy is the confidence of knowing my path is pleasing to the Lord. That is one of the things Joseph taught we must know to exercise faith in God. Carol and I have talked several times about starting that process of readmission to the LDS Church. While I enjoy attending sacrament meeting with Carol each Sunday and especially enjoy singing in the choir, I have felt there is no way I could write that letter to the First Presidency. There are still too many things taught in the LDS Church that I consider doctrinally damning, such as the concept of keys and authority.

The Reality of Baptism of Fire

Question Five: “Have you had any significant personal experience or witness that you can share that may benefit someone else who is seeking truth? * A witness that God answers prayer? *Baptism by fire? * Pivotal experience that shaped your spiritual journey?” This is a tough one, mainly because relating events from your life you consider sacred can be and are easily misunderstood. I still like President Packer’s analogy of explaining spiritual experiences to someone who has never had one: “My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt and you have not. I am [not] able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come…” If you want some fascinating responses to this anecdote, Google “Packer Salt Story.” Especially read the Reddit post.

However, unless two people share the same spiritual experience such as Joseph and Sydney, there can never be a complete unity or common understanding of what just happened. I know. I have tried on many occasions and in many posts on my blog. One is the baptism of fire I experienced when I was just seventeen. You can read it but may come away with only a cursory understanding that I had a nice long prayer and felt good when I was done. Yet, to me, it was a baptism of fire, pure and simple. I knew I had been in the presence of the Lord. I heard the voice of the Lord declaring I was His son, begotten of Him that day. I make no claim to having received the Second Comforter at that time nor any other promises or blessings besides forgiveness.

The Power of The Covenant of Christ

Question Six: How has your worship and relationship with God, your family and/or others changed because of the added truth you’ve received? Hmmm…while Carol and I have always read, studied and taught from the scriptures (we both taught seminary), we have implemented a practice of reading aloud and teaching each other from the scriptures every single night. Up until a few years ago it was hit and miss. We’d go for a few months then peter off. I treasure these nightly sessions of reading and teaching each other as the highlight of my day. Of course, I slip in insights gained from reading Denver’s commentaries. We’ve had some especially interesting discussions lately about what it really meant for the Savior to lay aside his glory, his exalted status.

There are some subjects we don’t discuss because they are too painful. For example, imagine how Carol feels as a fifth generation Mormon believing all her life that the highest LDS goal is to marry in the temple. She felt terribly betrayed when I resigned from the LDS Church. There are still bitter tears when the subject comes up in Sacrament meeting or especially when we read something about marriage in the scriptures. My relationships with others have changed. I am much more interested in people I work with every day, and how I can serve them. I attribute this directly to rebaptism and acceptance of the covenant of Christ at the September conference. Once again, let me express how grateful I am to those who arranged for me to participate from home.

Time to Fish or Cut Bait

Question Seven: “Is there a particular book or talk that impacted you profoundly (of Denver’s) that you can tell us about?” Well, I’ve already related my experience in reading Passing the Heavenly Gift. I suppose lecture ten in Phoenix / Mesa was profound for two reasons. It was the conference where Carol and I parted ways in our response to Denver’s message. Denver had gone out of his way to invite us to have dinner with him and his family before one of the lectures. Carol attended several of the lectures with me, but could not handle what she heard in lecture ten. So, it was a bittersweet experience for me. Here’s why:

On the drive home from the lecture, as Carol napped through the California desert, I had a long talk with the Lord about what had just happened. Lecture ten was not like the others. It was time to take action. I heard it clearly. I think Carol also felt it but was not prepared, and still isn’t, to make the kind of changes that were brought up at that last lecture. I knew I needed to show the Lord I believed his servant by an outward sign, the ordinance of baptism. This was a deep, profound, and thoroughly life-changing talk. By responding as I did, I knew I’d be laying everything on the line, all because I heard the voice of the Lord tell me the words of his servant Denver were pleasing to him, and required action if I wanted to continue to grow and progress spiritually.

The Lord of the Vineyard

Question Eight: “How [have] your family, friends and other relations been impacted by this, and how do you deal with that?  Why are you willing to risk everything for what you are learning?” Interestingly, my siblings have said nothing of my leaving the LDS Church. We still communicate regularly, get together occasionally and express our love for one another. My sister closest in age to me will be leaving to serve a mission in England in a few months. I recently had an interesting conversation with my niece about how millennials perceive the church. She sees so many of her friends who have left and attributes it to the stuff they find on the Internet. On the other hand, some members of Carol’s family are not happy with me and have told me so very clearly.

I knew this would happen. The Lord showed it clearly to me all those nights I was praying about it before I resigned. I am grateful to our local ward and stake leaders who continue to reach out to me with love, kindness and respect. I am still invited to and attend ward socials. I still sing in the ward and stake choirs and generally enjoy Sacrament meeting. The biggest impact this change has had on me is obviously on my marriage. Carol does not like it when I write in my blog, which is a major reason I stopped for so long and rarely write here anymore. You asked about risk. The greatest risk I face is in not doing as the Lord asks. He has asked me very plainly to do all I can to reassure Carol of my love for her and yes, be willing to apply for readmission if it is the only thing that will save my marriage. The Lord takes marriage seriously and so do I. Marriage is the fruit He labors to lay up in store.

The Gospel Brings Hope

Question Nine: “Why does all this matter so much to you?” I don’t think I’m any different from anyone else when it comes to the gospel of Christ. It should be important to everyone. What’s surprising to me is how many people can’t separate the gospel from the LDS Church. Even the thought is abhorrent to so many who have opposed what I have shared on my blog. I can truly understand why Denver turned off comments on his blog years ago. I can only imagine the awful individual emails he receives from those who feel and express he has ruined their families. What a burden he must carry. I know a little about doing what the Lord asks, meaning, I have felt the displeasure of the Lord when I have been slow to hearken after I’ve asked for His direction.

This matters because it gives me hope. I have a goal in my old age to see Zion established, and that’s not going to come about through a large institution. The signs are becoming more and more evident that we are living in the generation that will see the return of the Lord. I rejoiced when I heard that a temple is to be a part of this effort to establish Zion. I want to contribute to the building of that temple. I want my name to be in the book that will be presented to the Lord when the temple is completed. I am grateful to know there literally is a book being kept and that my name is in it today. That baptism is so essential. Oh, how I wish more people understood this. I am saddened by but understand why so many can’t separate the gospel from the LDS Church.

Receiving the Higher Priesthood

Question Ten: “Anything of your background, briefly, that may have been worth noting at the beginning that would enhance what is shared.” There’s no way I can condense ten years of blogging into ten questions. I started my blog with the intention of providing sensible answers to all the misinformation about the LDS Church that was popping up on the Internet. Along the way I kept finding more and more legitimate questions being asked by young people who had real concerns about what they were reading in newly-available historical records and what they were being taught in the official curriculum of the LDS Church.

There’s a lot to love about what this great institution has accomplished, but it became obvious, at least to me, that something very basic was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so, like so many others, I put my concerns on the shelf. If I had not read PtHG I would probably still be serving somewhere in the Stake as a clerk, which for some reason I seem to do well, probably because I manage computer networks for a living. Two fundamental things changed. I realized open revelation had ceased with Joseph Smith. I also came to understand the priesthood very, very differently. The Higher Priesthood is not received the way it is taught in the LDS Church. It must come by hearing the voice of God declare it unto you.

Concluding Thoughts on Marriage

To my friend who asked for advice on how to make his marriage work when he no longer believed as his wife, I can only offer the following: Put yourself in her shoes for a minute. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Being right is not as important as being kind. I’ve referred to it earlier and I’ll reiterate it here. If the Lord were to ask me to apply for readmission to the LDS Church. I would do it in a heartbeat, especially if it would bring happiness to another, in this case, to Carol. I have received baptism in the way I believe the Lord has asked and have accepted the covenant of Christ as it was offered.

I can’t imagine the LDS Church asking me to deny or retract the covenant I have made with Christ, can you? It seems to me one should be able to worship and fellowship in the LDS Church or the Baptist Church or the Presbyterian Church or any fellowship that acknowledges Christ. A man can believe what he wants in the LDS Church. I’ve heard some pretty crazy things over the years from someone everyone would consider an orthodox member. Knowing what I know now about keys, I can sustain the Brethren. In fact, I do so every time we have a stake conference. I can pay tithing to the LDS Church but I would pay it differently than I have all my life because I understand it differently now. But who am I to give advice on marriage? Go talk to the Lord.

Update: The Video is up on YouTube. It’s about thirty minutes: https://youtu.be/_MD6wlP4LAA

As an alternative, I’ve also posted it on my domain site here: http://3tcm.net/TimMaloneStory01012018.mp4


Tired of Talking to Former Mormons

“Our numbers are small. There are a few here locally nearby you [in the Los Angeles area] but we are worldwide. At the moment we are composed mostly of former Mormons, and I’m really getting tired of talking to former Mormons. I would like to talk to Baptists, and to Lutherans, and a Methodist – particularly if they’ve made Wycliffe’s material a matter of study –you would add so much to a discussion among fellowship groups.

“Mormons know a lot, but Christians know a lot about the Bible. We would love to see a cross-fertilization of the Christian ideal in which we can bring to you some things that we have learned about the Christian faith and in turn hear from you what you have to share in fellowships. We want other Christians to fellowship with us.”

Source: Lecture one, 500th Anniversary of Christian Reformation. (page 8, paragraph 4)

“All are invited to attend a series of talks, which are free and open to the public, requiring no ticket, rsvp, or reservation. These talks will be delivered by Mr. Denver Snuffer who will discuss Christian history, the Reformation, Christianity since the Reformation, the Restoration movement, and Joseph Smith as a Christian thinker and Biblical preacher.

“Smithsonian Magazine identified Joseph Smith as the most significant religious figure in American history. Yet he remains misunderstood by most Christians, primarily because his legacy has been regarded as Mormon property. In many ways his life mirrors the Apostle Paul. He belongs to the Christian community as much as St. Francis of Assisi, Luther, Tyndale, Wesley, Knox, Williams, and Calvin.”

The Focus is on the Savior

I wish I could go to the second lecture in Dallas. I attended the first one here in the Los Angeles area. I have attended many of Mr. Snuffer’s lectures, read his books and have always felt his focus is on Christ and how we can increase our faith in the Lord. I have a cousin who is a Presbyterian minister. My mother’s family was mostly Presbyterian while my Father’s were mostly Baptist, including several ministers. I love how open they were about their belief in Christ, as evidenced by stories in our family histories from Texas, Tennessee and Alabama.

My family joined the LDS Church here in California when I was young so I grew up studying both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I married a fifth-generation Utah girl and remained a member of the LDS Church until a few years ago. I still attend LDS services on Sunday with my wife and enjoy singing in the choir. However, I’m now considered an apostate because I read Mr. Snuffer’s books and wrote about them in this blog over the years. Rather than be excommunicated for my beliefs, I resigned. Sadly, many of my friends who share my love of the Savior, are now being targeted by some of the LDS Church leadership.

Evidence of Concern is Increasing

The leadership of the LDS Church is becoming increasingly concerned about the loosely organized “Remnant Movement.” Mr. Snuffer is characterized as the de facto leader of the movement, although there is no official organization and no hierarchy in the movement. You can read more on Mormonleaks, including details of communications between Stake Presidents and General Authorities on how to handle the growing problem of those who participate in the “Remnant Movement.”

I share a concern expressed by one of my friends that our private worship practices are now being tightly scrutinized and condemned by some in the LDS Church leadership. What we read and what conferences we attend should not be subject to censure, even if we share our experiences on social media. The facts that we have been re-baptized and partake of the sacrament in our homes are especially frowned upon. I have no hesitation in labeling this scrutiny as Anti-Christ behavior. I don’t believe private practices worshiping Christ or inviting others to do so should be considered grounds for excommunication, do you?

Warnings From LDS Church Leaders

When I interviewed Mr. Snuffer a few years ago, I asked him directly if he considered himself a prophet. He was clear to point out that he preferred being referred to as a servant of the Lord or simply as a teacher. And, if you like, you can conjecture and infer even more by referring to this revelation presented for canonization by those active in the Remnant movement: The New Name David.

The image in this section is taken from a PowerPoint presentation prepared for instructing local leaders on false beliefs of those considered to be on the far right of the conservative spectrum. Note how Denver Snuffer is listed right next to False Prophets. In addition, I note it is apparently now also a sign of apostasy to study the last days or signs of the end-times. Can you image that, being condemned for wanting to be prepared for the last days?

Open Dialog is Welcome

If you click on the image in this section you can submit any question you would like to have Mr. Snuffer address in the next talk scheduled for this Thursday 10-19-17 in Dallas TX. I have been to a couple of Sunstone conferences where Mr. Snuffer was asked and answered all kinds of questions, including one seemingly controversial question on multiple mortal probations. He did not hesitate to answer openly.

I have thought a lot about why Mr. Snuffer would express his desire to talk with Christians other than former Mormons. Those who have come from a background in the LDS Church are often stuck on the idea that certain subjects are taboo to discuss in just about any forum, especially in a classroom setting. Its no wonder so many feel stifled and unfulfilled in the LDS Church. In the ten years I have been blogging about Mormonism I still get asked the same question, “Why don’t you follow the Brethren?”

Let No Man Come Between You And Christ

When I was discussing my church membership with my bishop just before I resigned, I remember distinctly asking him why the focus of the LDS Church seemed to be centered so much on following the Brethren. One cannot enter into the LDS Temples without swearing an “oath-like” allegiance to live by every word that proceeds from the mouths of the fifteen men who preside over the LDS Church. The practice of sustaining leaders in General Conference seems to place them between us and the Lord.

It seems idolatrous to place someone between you and the Lord. If you have accepted the Lord as your Savior and demonstrated it through baptism, it seems to me the Lord will then teach you what you should do to continue on the path to heaven until you reach His presence, or so I have read many times in the Book of Mormon. We must feast on the words of Christ and they will teach us all things we must do, including receive the Holy Ghost until He, Christ shall manifest Himself unto us in the flesh.

As In The Days Of Noah

The focus of this blog has always been the last days. Even the name suggests the topics will address events of the latter days. We are witnessing those events, both the good and the bad. With all the bad in the news lately, it’s sometimes hard to focus on the good. With this post, I hope to bring some good things to our attention.

In the news and especially through the online and social media, we have become armchair witnesses to the great destructions of the last days. We see terrible loss of life through natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis and fires of epic proportions. At the same time we have seen, or at least it has been my observation that evil has increased lately through world-wide events of terror, mass murder and the threat of nuclear holocaust.

The Pace of the Signs are Quickening

It’s easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom prophecies that are rampant with each new sign from heaven. We are inundated every time some catastrophic calamity cascades through our news feeds or on the walls of the social media pages of our friends. Such incidents have become a swelling tide that can overwhelm even the most positive and faithful among us.

One doesn’t have to look far to find a myriad of voices proclaiming they have some special insight to what all these things mean. They want us to know they can help us prepare by following some sage piece of advice that has been revealed to them. Their interpretations of solar eclipses and stellar configurations are especially fascinating. They fill us with wonder and amazement. We ask ourselves why we didn’t see all these clues earlier in our own observations.

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

I’m confident most who are reading this post are familiar with the parable of the wheat and the tares. The master of the harvest forbade his servants from gathering the tares to be burned until the wheat was fully ripe and had brought forth fruit. He made it clear an enemy had placed the tares among the wheat. He then focused the attention of his servants, and us, upon the upcoming harvest.

…the world shall be burned with fire. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father.” Perhaps that is how it will be easy for the angels to determine the wheat from the tares. The angels will gather the righteous because they shine forth as brightly as the sun. At our core, we are beings of light and must be connected to the source of all light. Otherwise, our imagination and thoughts of our heart, or desires, will only be evil continually.

The Destruction of the Wicked

The prophecies of great destruction at the end of the world are perhaps some of the best known among all peoples of the earth. It is in our collective consciousness and immortalized in our myths. Armageddon may be the most overused name in our day to describe the overwhelming nature of impeding disaster feared by so many.

And rightly so, for great and terrible are the descriptions used by the Lord in Mathew 24. “The sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Christ foretold his return and gave us clear direction all the world will see it together: “…then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn. And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.”

He Shall Send His Angels Before Him

“For the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” I’ve often thought about this passage in reference to the identity of the angels. An angel is a messenger sent from God, with a message from God. Thus they can be mortal or immortal.

And that’s the good news upon which I’d like to focus in this post. We live in the days similar to the days of Noah with all the terrible wickedness and imminent destruction. The wickedness is reaching unimaginable horror with mass murders that defy all logic and reasoning. In my view, what happened in Las Vegas last week is a clear example of an enemy sowing tares among the wheat. The wheat is still young and tender. As it matures, the insensible attacks of the wicked will increase to shock and terrorize.

500th Anniversary of The Christian Reformation

2017 marks 500 years since the beginning of the Christian Reformation when Martin Luther nailed a copy of his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle church. If you aren’t familiar with the story, I recommend you click on the above image, which links to a site containing highly instructive videos and essays describing this and many other important events of the Christian Reformation.

The good news of living in the days of tribulation is that, as in the days of Noah, there will be another Noah, a servant sent to warn the people of the need to turn from the ever-increasing wickedness of the world. He will also teach us how to be ready for when the Lord sends his angels to gather the wheat before the burning of the field, where the tares remain in bundles. In fact, there are many who are being visited by angels in our generation, which shall not pass before the Lord returns.

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?


Conference in Boise

doctrine-of-christ-conferenceIn the end-times events, where you live in the world can make a difference. I’ll not refer to the catastrophic events that are prophesied, but to something simple like a conference, to be held in Boise this coming weekend. I’ve pondered and prayed about attending, either driving or flying. Either way would work. I can afford it and I can take the time off from work for needed travel.

But in my prayers, the Lord has caused me to feel it is not necessary. In fact, when I specifically asked the question, “Should I go to Boise this next weekend?” the response, in the form of the voice of the Lord to my mind was, “It’s up to you.” And then the very next impression was about my wife. How I love Carol and wish to help her deal with the changes that are surely imminent.

I chose to go listen to Denver at Sunstone last month because it was convenient. I was going to be in Northern Utah that weekend anyway for a family reunion. I was grateful to have gone. I was especially pleased to get a copy of the lecture delivered so I could study it in detail. If you have not pondered each of the items in the lecture, I highly recommend you consider doing so.

Events of the End-Times

denver-snuffer-wikipediaI know it is annoying to my dear wife that I consider Denver a friend, even though I do not know him well. Every time I read something he has written I feel uplifted and edified. I feel a desire to know more about the subject and often experience the Holy Ghost opening my mind clearly to understand what he has written and shared. I think he’s a great teacher and appreciate his efforts.

My purpose in writing is not to praise Mr. Snuffer, because he has asked us not to. I suppose in the time of Joseph Smith there were a few newspaper writers and publishers who felt the same way. In our day, the Internet is where most people now get their news and learn greater detail about things that interest them. Just remember, to date, Mr. Snuffer claims to be only a teacher.

I like that. I come from a family of teachers and ministers. I taught in the LDS Church for most of my life and always enjoyed the opportunity to study and prepare, because surely it does take effort to be able to teach others truth, gleaned from the scriptures through the Holy Ghost. All my studies and prayers these days lead me to feel there are dramatic changes about to happen.

Abomination of Desolation

meteorimpact.gifI’ve made up my mind not to attend the conference. Besides saving the money required for the travel expense, I’m confident the material will be made available online shortly afterwards. In other words, while I will miss visiting with some friends (many, actually) whom I know will be there, I am grateful to know I will not miss inspired messages that I am sure will be presented.

I’m not one for rumors. When I read one, I consider the source and then say to myself, “We’ll just wait and see what comes to pass.” Many of you know of the rumored announcement that there will be a major policy change regarding marriage presented at General Conference. It’s all rumor at this point so don’t go getting all upset. But if it comes to pass, consider it a major sign.

Many people have studied “The Abomination of Desolation” and written much about it. I have as well, but have declined to write much. I think I wrote one post many years ago when I decided in my mind what the phrase meant. Maybe we’re all wrong. Maybe we are not as far along in the end-times as some have written and shared. All I suggest is we listen closely to announcements.

Building the City of Zion

IndependenceTempleSignIf the rumored events come to pass, what difference will it make in your life? Will you change anything about the way you conduct your daily activities? Will your prayers change? Will your worship activities be any different? In other words, will you continue to follow the Lord’s very clear commandment that we love others and treat them with kindness and respect? I hope not.

I think that’s the main focus of the spin that will accompany the announcement. It’s not bad. It’s reasonable and understandable, even commendable. But make no mistake in understanding it is a sign of the end-times or last days if it comes to pass. Our goal is to prepare ourselves to be more like the people who inhabit Zion. In fact, this sign indicates we must prepare for Zion very soon.

The Lord will not return with the City of Enoch until Zion is built and prepared. The heavens are open. We have an opportunity to commune with members of the Church of the Firstborn and to obtain knowledge about what the Lord is about to do. Events prophesied in the scriptures are for us to look back and know they were brought about by the hand of the Lord. He will direct this.

Gatherings Should Strengthen Faith

moab-gatheringI’ve written in the past about the location of the City of Zion. Don’t be so sure it is to be where the LDS Church has proclaimed it is to be in the scriptures. As we read in scripture, clearly it will be built in the tops of the mountains but not by a large institution as so many believe. If you want to understand this correctly, study the lecture delivered by Denver in Moab earlier this year.

I will miss being in Boise and hearing the talks, especially those on the agenda for Sunday. We all need to focus more on the Doctrine of Christ – to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. This is perhaps the primary duty of our life. Coming to hear and understand clearly the voice of the Lord is no small task. It takes constant effort and prayer. But He will help us.

For those who attend the Boise Conference, I pray God’s blessings upon you. As I said in the beginning, it makes a difference where you live in these end-times. Some parts of the world and the United States will see greater destruction than others. Likewise, some locations will play a greater role in hosting events leading up to the return of the Lord. God bless you, my friends.

Oh Babylon, We Bid Thee Farewell


One of the disadvantages of putting so much of one’s energy into a worldly career is the drain on both time and energy to focus on the true purpose of life – finding ways to bless one’s fellow man. Being at the epitome or last days of this worldly career seems to have sapped from me what I once felt in abundance – a desire to write and share about my experiences with the spirit world.

I have a friend who uses in jest the phrase “independently wealthy” when he describes me. Nothing could be further from the truth. While not in debt to my eyeballs like some I know, I anticipate another seven to ten years of continuous employment before I can retire comfortably. I enjoy my work, but there is a high price to be paid for devotion given to this world in Babylon.

I constantly ask myself, “What does the Lord think of these many hours I put into making sure my work tasks are completed successfully and the projects I’ve been assigned move smoothly?” Because of the distance I live from my place of employment, I spend several hours a day on the commute. Such is life in Los Angeles. It can be difficult to keep feelings of resentment at bay.

Living in a War-Torn World 

eisenhower-farewell-warningFor those who don’t know, I now work for one of the largest warmongers in the world. I don’t know how I feel about this. One of my long-time readers shared his feelings and eventually left employment with the military at a great reduction in salary along with a high price to his family happiness. Security seems high, what with the prophecy of continual wars of the last days, but…

It is a matter of constant prayer. I value peace. I abhor war. I am especially distraught to earn a living from a company that makes bombs and missiles. It seems war can be waged these days without putting oneself in harm’s way, at least not in the sense we have done throughout history. Those with remote control skills are rewarded for their many years of video game expertise.

President Eisenhower warned us over fifty years ago about the military-industrial complex. It only works when there is war somewhere, one that is often promoted by the United States. Please don’t think me a traitor or that I am not patriotic. I love my country, but do not care for the evil that this nation can and does promulgate upon the rest of the world, so often in abject secrecy.

Building the Lord’s Temple 

zion-city-of-enochRegular readers know I continue to pay my tithing, but because of a stalemate between my wife and me, the money sits in a bank account. I have asked her to not give it to the LDS Church and yet I don’t feel it would go over well if I used any form of compulsion or force to ensure the money goes to the poor as I feel in my heart it should. So there it sits, awaiting its future destiny.

I have a dream of being able to contribute to the building of the Lord’s temple someday. The LDS Church has clearly stated they cannot or will not guarantee the money we pay in tithing will go to the sources we designate. Thus it grows, held in bay by a lack of unity. “If ye are not one, ye are not mine…” I leave this matter up to the Lord and trust in His infinite wisdom to resolve.

You may think I am wandering in my writing thus far. True, there does not seem to be a central theme, so perhaps I can introduce one: “How does one live exact to what the Lord has revealed when a spouse is diametrically opposed to such a plan of action?” We compromise. For example, on our family vacation next month, I will slip away for a few hours to attend a Sunstone session.

Guidelines to Perform a Wedding

keith-on-marriageI will also next month, by invitation, perform a wedding ceremony for a dear friend using the guidelines shared by Keith on his blog. I am honored to have been asked to conduct such a ceremony and feel intense impressions from the Lord each time I pray about the occasion and visualize it in my mind. I cherish such events along with our occasional fellowship gatherings.

We are so few in California. I hope you in Utah who have regular large gatherings appreciate that blessing. I’ve probably mentioned before how we in California have met in groups of various sizes, always small, maybe a dozen times in the last two years. Perhaps it is for the best, as I continue to attend Sacrament meeting with Carol each Sunday. I enjoy singing in the choir.

My point is this: We can be true to what the Lord has revealed to us because it is filled with the spirit of love. In other words, sacrifice allows me to forego things I desire because I know the time is not right in my marriage for such things. I know the Lord has some things in mind that will change our world dramatically over the next few years. He needs stalwart, faithful disciples.

Fellowships and Friendships 

stake-reorganizationI miss writing on my blog more frequently but know what I write irritates at least a few of the men whose association I enjoyed when I served in leadership positions in the LDS Church. I did my best to remove them from the mailing list, but somehow, something I write always seems to get into the hands of the bishop or stake president, whose good feelings I desire to offend not.

Our stake was reorganized recently, so I have yet another new bishop. Having served almost five years, he will undoubtedly be released before the end of the year. Why do I bring this up? There is in my heart a desire to offend no man, especially those who lead the local wards and stakes. Each time I get a new home teacher, it seems I am required to tell my story yet one more time.

How do you avoid offense without stating clearly the differences in doctrine and history taught in the LDS Church today from what I have discovered in my studies and prayers? It is difficult. Thus I rarely speak up, especially since it hurts my dear wife to hear of such things. Oh, how I enjoy getting together with those who believe as I do and discussing the gospel of Christ.

Judgement Belongs to the Lord 

captain-moroni1Like Paul, I want to be able to say I love all men. I want to take no offense, no matter what is said or done. I continue to walk away when pornographic stories are shared. I strive to be tolerant of those who use foul language, especially those I supervise. I’m not so sure these are the “big things” the Lord is referring to when he counsels us to make friends with mammon.

Obviously this is more of a personal journal entry. I desire to be a righteous influence but to me, that means, “Do not judge.” I leave all judgment up to the Lord. I try to take no offense nor give any. I am grateful I have time yet in which to associate with those who are dedicated or even consumed with the building up of the worldly companies of this day and age. Yet I love them.

I feel like Moroni. He despaired for the salvation of the people or the troops he lead, yet he wet his pillow by night for their welfare (or was that Nephi…perhaps both?) Their focus is on the building if wealth. We know that such wealth is fleeting, momentary, and only for this world. We are commanded to give to him that asketh of us. How literally do we take this command?

If Ye Are Not One… 

i-see-ariseI am saddened to read of friends whose marriages are dissolving because of their acceptance of the idea of revelation coming through channels other than the “Brethren.” This is such a strident and contentious subject. On the one hand are those who feel the Lord would never do any work outside the “authorized” priesthood channels. What do we do if the Lord says to us otherwise?

“You are deceived,” they cry. If what you claim to have heard does not fall in line with what we have heard from the pulpit of the General Authorities, you can be sure it is of the devil. Really? I have always felt and been taught that salvation is a personal thing. We are born alone and naked and will enter the spirit world in the same manner upon our mortal death. How confident are we?

I recently purchased Doug Mendenhall’s latest book, “I See…Arise.” I look forward to reading it next week. Doug’s previous books have not disappointed. He writes from experience. There are those who cannot accept even the idea of the adversary working upon us and concepts such as portals or devices attached to us. I know otherwise. I have felt their influence. They are real.

The Importance of Unity in Marriage 

keiths-personal-writingsI also recently discovered…silly me for not paying attention…that Keith has personal entries on his blog that are well worth reading. For example, the wedding ceremony I will be following when I conduct the ritual in a couple of weeks. It is sacred, and from my contemplation, is very much approved of the Lord. Let’s just say the Lord showed me exactly how it would be done.

Someday, I still hope to construct an altar in my back yard where I can pray unto the Lord with outstretched arms in prayer. For now, I use a temporary altar in my home when I seek to open a portal to the heavens and commune with those on the other side of the veil. There is so much to learn and so much to do. It is hard to not resent the time I spend on my daily worldly pursuits.

In any event, I think as time goes by, it will become obvious to more and more people how the Lord is moving among the regular people of the world who seek Him. One does not need to be a leader in the LDS Church to commune with the Lord and receive revelation for himself, his family, or to know what the Lord has in mind as he works his marvelous works in these days.

The Spirit of Revelation 

last-days-imageI am convinced the last days are upon us as never before. The days of the Gentiles are coming to an end if they have not already done so. There is no reason to fear, but there is reason to be prepared for change and catastrophe. We often talk of economic disaster as being one of the most prominent signs of the last days. I feel otherwise. Look to the skies, to the stars and the planets.

Most of my readers know I don’t participate much in the discussion that follows my posts. It’s not a matter of not wanting to do so, it’s a matter of lack of time. My commitments are elsewhere as I strive to provide for my family and fulfil my temporal responsibilities. Man shall work by the sweat of his brow. It my case, ensuring the flow of electrons in networks I build and maintain.

God bless you all as these the last days become more and more obvious. Perhaps I am wrong. The spirit of prophecy is like the gift of the Holy Ghost. It listeth where it will. In other words, even I am not always able to clearly explain what I mean when I feel inspired to describe what I see in my mind’s eye or pronounce what I hear as I listen for the voice of the Lord. Be cheerful.


Strengthening One Another in Fellowship

HatchRockTwo weeks ago Carol and I travelled to Moab Utah for the weekend. We attended a conference of the Southern Utah and Colorado fellowships. We were asked to refrain from promoting it on social media, thus I wrote nothing in my blog. It was a wonderful gathering held at the Rockland Ranch (Hatch Rock) over two days with speakers from the various fellowships. I am so grateful to have been able to attend.

I am also grateful Carol went with me. I did not tell her much about it, nor especially did I mention that Denver might be there. Although Carol attended several of Denver’s lectures with me in 2014, and was especially complimentary of his lecture in St George on marriage, she is not particularly fond of the man. Perhaps it is because I resigned from the LDS Church after reading his books and attending his lectures.

On Saturday, I was asked to provide a short report of our fellowship activities in California, a difficult task since we are spread out so far up and down the length of the state, a few toward San Diego, a few here near Ventura, a few more in Northern California. I did my best – it was pouring rain – then sat down to enjoy the fine testimonies of others and they bore witness of how their various fellowships were blessing their lives.

And Their Number Were Few

FewInNumbersI have to ask myself, and upon receipt of a social email from Denver, I asked him, why so few? Why are so few willing to read the words he has written, or listen to the testimony he has borne of the Savior? He reminded me we are constrained by section 121: persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge… These are the tools of the Savior to persuade.

I also ask myself, after having served in the church for so many years, why was I unsatisfied? Why did I not feel fulfilled in my soul with a sense of purpose and meaning that should come from participating as fully as I could in what is proclaimed to be the true and living church upon the face of the earth? Was I not reading the scriptures or studying the gospel enough? I asked the Lord in prayer. That was not the case.

I want you to know I love the Lord. I wish I could tell you more of the things He has revealed to me, but He has asked me to refrain. I have hinted and tried to share as much as I dared in years past when He revealed them to me. I have been in His presence. He has encircled me about in His love. I have felt the reality of forgiveness from sins. He is quick to forgive. But there is so much more He would give us.

Correlation is Death to the Spirit

PriesthoodCorrelationLast week I attended a small gathering of our local fellowship – just five or six of us. We witnessed baptisms, partook of the sacrament and then discussed the gospel in a way that fulfilled my soul so much more as compared to sitting in a High Priest Group being fed the correlated lesson. And I was a HP Group leader. My point is the spirit is real and gives life but there is something missing in those correlated lessons.

I hope not to offend anyone. The LDS Church is doing a wonderful job, but something is lacking. I did not recognize it until a few years ago while serving as a High Priest Group Leader. There are many standard questions and equally standard answers. If your answer does not fit within the accepted nature of what is suggested in the manual, the brethren around you are quick to let you know. I speak from experience.

This should not be. Man should be free to speak his mind and expect respect and illumination from his brethren who share the same faith. Sadly, the correlated curriculum has destroyed that opportunity to be free with one’s thought and explications on the subject, quote or verses being considered. This is sad to me and is the very reason I refuse to attend Gospel Doctrine classes or High Priest’s group anymore.

A Loosening of the Tongue

start-a-blogBesides, as a non-member, the HP Group is considered a private meeting, is it not? I could be mistaken. My purpose of this post is not to rail against the tightly controlled structure of the LDS Church class meetings, but to write about the benefits and joys of fellowship among those who love you and feel the same about the Lord and the Restoration. For the most part they have been cast out or have resigned.

After witnessing baptisms in the living water of Ventura harbor, we sat on the grass a little inland, blessed and partook of the sacrament in the open air and under a bright sun. You may say that wine loosens the tongue but I tell you it caused those who partook to feel the love and blessings of the Lord. We do not drink wine to get drunk but to remember the Lord, his blood which was shed for us, and the life he imbues in us by so partaking.

We speak of what we write – three of us are bloggers – or what we read on various blogs. The gospel is discussed. The utmost importance of obeying the commandments, the reality of the Lord’s admonition to give unto the poor, without restraint. Tithing is to care for the poor, not to pay the salaries of the many General Authorities or build shopping malls.  I didn’t used to have a problem with that idea. Now it galls me.

Discussing the Gospel with Joy and Gladness

blogs-of-noteWe laugh. We joke a bit. We express love. We hug. We speak of deep doctrine and often speak of the foolishness of those who write on our blogs who have no clue what they are expressing, not having studied of contemplated the subject in depth. We are not perfect or scholars. We are each sinners as are all who have need of fellowship and the sacrament. But when we leave, we are uplifted and strengthened.

I express gratitude to my brethren and sisters who participate with me in our fellowship meetings, even though we do not get together as often as we like. I administer the sacrament in my own home each week after attending the local LDS Sacrament meeting with my wife. I pray with passion, I study the gospel, I write – either in my journal or here on my blog. I wish our fellowship could get together more often.

This will be short. I simply wanted to express gratitude for those the Lord has placed nearby – within a few hours travelling distance – and for their willingness to drive that distance here in the Golden state. I love you my brethren. You know who you are. I pray for you and your families. We share many of the same feelings about the LDS Church even if we currently attend the meetings or not.

God bless all the humble followers of Christ who desire to cry mightily unto him and to obey his commandments. I am so grateful for the Sacrament. I love my brothers and sisters who attend our LDS Wards, but derive so much more from our small fellowship, even if we sometimes only get together via the Internet. NOTE: If you wish to read or hear Denver’s address to the combined fellowships at the conference, you can find them on his downloads page.

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