Waiting Patiently Upon the Lord


I received an email from a reader (thank you Cecil) and decided to share some of the response here on my blog. I don’t pretend to be anybody important, just someone who wrote an LDS-themed blog for a few years and ended up resigning my membership in the LDS Church. I did so because I wanted to get baptized anew with a clear conscience. I’m not advocating my life choice for you or anyone else. I’m just sharing. You’re welcome to respond in any way you like – ignore this, remove yourself from my email list, leave a comment, positive or negative, or share it with others if you think it would do any good. I express my love for all.

By the Sweat of Thy Face

I’ve been putting in twelve and sixteen hour days at work, half of it on-site and half from the home office. I thought this new job would be easy – only twelve miles from home and one of the smallest companies for which I’ve ever worked. Finally convinced them to bring a desktop support associate on board so I could concentrate on the infrastructure upgrades they so desperately need. They’ve been putting band-aids and patches on everything for the past twelve years. That’s why the former IT Manager left. Finally convinced the owner on Friday to sign the first check for a $100,000+ upgrade to get rid of dying servers and onto a virtual environment. It’s been a long uphill battle for seven months, but I truly enjoy my work. Work is enjoyable when you focus on the people you serve. I learn much from them.

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

I’ve gone through three Bishops since my baptism nearly four years ago, each experience decidedly different. The first was long-suffering and patient, but simply could not understand my logic or reasoning. The next Bishop pretty much refused to have anything to do with me – never wanted to meet or talk. The current Bishop kindly met with me at the request of the Stake President. He listened patiently but in the end could not or would not consider the possibility of the Lord working through someone other than the fifteen men at the head of the LDS Church. I have no desire to persuade him otherwise. He’s a good man who loves the Lord. Surely the Lord will bless the good bishops of this Church. I believe the Lord still works through good people everywhere, no matter what their religious affiliation. If they love God, He blesses them.

Fellowship is Important for Ministering

This really is a self-selection path we are on, isn’t it? I continue to attend church with my wife. After three years of only attending Sacrament meeting I decided to stay for the entire block. It’s a small thing that makes Carol happy. We continue to sing in the ward and stake choirs, something we have done all our married lives. I take the sacrament, I raise my hand to sustain individuals in callings and speak up in priesthood meetings now, with the permission of the Stake President and Bishop. There are still those who turn to look at me as I share some point, as if to say, “Why are you allowed to speak up in Church? You resigned.” They don’t quite know how to take it. I try to say nothing controversial – just standard LDS answers. I like the focus on ministering. Strange to witness the dissolving of High Priest Groups. I was pleased to see my home teacher for the past year or two was released from the High Council and made the new Elder’s Quorum President.

A Strange Thing in the Land

I don’t write in my blog anymore on purpose. I miss the many people with whom I corresponded on a regular basis. I wonder how some of them are doing. I even stopped participating on Facebook (Yikes – over 100 messages). I enjoyed the recent conference in which Denver delivered the most amazing theological discourse on the nature of God I have ever heard or read. I have listened to it and studied it several times. It is an amazing and powerful revelation on our Divine Parents and especially a greater understanding of who they are and their role in bringing about the Great Plan of Happiness. Everything I learned concurs with my study of the subject years ago. Sons of Christ and Daughters of Eve has such a deeper meaning for me now. I encourage you to take the time to watch the video or read the paper. To me, it was satisfying and feeds my soul.

Not Good for Man to be Alone

Carol and I continue to read from the Book of Mormon together each night for about twenty minutes before we pray together, one at a time. This practice has kept our marriage intact as we pass through this difficult time of adjustment. I know Carol is disappointed, sad, and at times, lonely, feeling she has nobody but her own family with whom to share the next life. Our son left the LDS church at age 16. He is now 35 years old. She feels she has lost both her husband and her son. I do all I can to assure her of my love. Our son Michael seems well-adjusted and happy. He expresses his love for us each time he visits. Not sure what more I can do for Carol other than be patient and wait on the Lord. This is indeed a tough road to follow but “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary [to lead] unto life and salvation.”

A Comment About The Guide And Standard

I want to say a word about the Guide and Standard. I have watched this process for well over a year, even before the Answer and Covenant. The Lord said “it is a light thing I have asked.” I recently added my name to a document found on the Recorder’s Clearinghouse. I thought long and hard before asking to have my name added to the declaration. It is a petition to the Scriptures Committee, of which I was a small part for a short time. I was happy with the first document produced by Jeff Savage. I was just as happy with the “Lots” document. I voted for it. Obviously a majority of others did as well. Yet, we are not yet united, are we? I have had long discussions with those who oppose the “Lots” version of the Guide and Standard. They will not be persuaded. “…if your hearts were right and you prepared yourselves you could have finished this work long ago.” Is it so hard to agree with something that, while it may not be perfect, fulfills the Lord’s requirements?

There Shall be no Disputations Among You

I express my thanks to all who have kept in touch over the years. I much appreciate it and pray the Lord’s blessings upon you. I remain convinced the Lord is giving us time to prove ourselves faithful to what he has revealed to us. He is watching closely to see how we will treat those around us who He has placed in our lives. I see His hand every day in so many ways through my work with the people I associate with every day on the job. I know the Lord is pleased with my continued efforts to lead out in our nightly scripture study and family prayer. There are indeed seasons to our lives. I feel strong and healthy and continue to pray for strength each day to endure through my time in this situation of knowing what I know yet unable to share it all. I seek to avoid contention as it invites an unwanted spirit to the dialog.

God bless,

Tim Malone
Camarillo CA

PS – If you haven’t heard me tell my story, perhaps this YouTube link from a few months back will be of interest: The Tim Malone Story

 

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

 

The Snuffer Interview – Part Two


We Must Remember the Restoration

calling-and-electionEach day I receive additional evidence members and leaders of the LDS Church have forgotten what was once commonly taught at the commencement of the restoration through Joseph Smith. For example, today I received an email from a man who shared his highest aspiration is to have his calling and election made sure. He is seeking it diligently. Sadly, his own family mocks him.

His wife says such a doctrine is false, unnecessary and if it were, the LDS leaders would tell us so from the pulpit each General Conference. She tells their children to ignore their father, that he is mentally unstable. The man serves in a bishopric, doing all within his power to help the Saints remember the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. Sadly, even his ward members rebuff him.

How could this have happened? Joseph clearly taught, “I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” (Teachings, p. 299.) Why are so many Saints either unaware of this admonition or believe it is impossible?

Teach From a Position of Knowledge

JosephSmithIt is because we have changed the focus from what we were originally taught to a much watered-down version that is more palatable in an effort to be popular. Having one’s calling and election made sure was at one time a basic teaching in the church. It did not seem strange to the members of Joseph’s day. They delighted to hear him teach this doctrine and encourage them to obtain it.

It is because the leaders of the LDS Church either do not have this knowledge or this belief for themselves. The idea that is commonly circulated among the members that it is wrong to talk about one’s experiences in coming to know the Lord is in itself so very wrong. It is covering up a lack, a deficiency in knowledge of the Lord from the top of the hierarchy to the local leadership.

I thank God He has sent a witness in our day to proclaim this doctrine is true. Yet because the LDS Church has cast him out, the message is being rejected by the lay members as well. Oh, ye foolish people. How can you be so closed-minded and so trusting of your eternal salvation to those who sit in the chief seats instead of trusting in God? Why do they not teach this doctrine?

We Can See His Face in This Life

see-my-faceThe idea that such a teaching is only to be considered or taught in private is foolish. It was taught openly by Joseph. The idea that this knowledge is not milk for the sheep is also foolish and false. Joseph taught this to the newest converts. He taught it to unbaptized, unwashed, and unendowed people in his day. It is a basic part of the restoration and it has been lost because men have erred.

Nephi taught clearly, “For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.” (2 Ne 32:5-6) The Holy Ghost brings us to Christ.

The Lord added this witness in D&C 93:1 – “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” The objective is to see the face of the Lord in this life. Why is this so hard to understand, accept and to seek?

Focus on the Message, Not the Messenger

doctrine-of-christ1In my interview with Denver, I asked him directly to confirm he had been taught in the same manner as Joseph Smith. He did so. He has openly declared, as did Joseph, his witness of the Savior. He affirmed he has been taught by angels, ancient prophets and by the Lord. Note his answer below in which he deflects these facts and asks us to focus on the message being delivered.

And what is that message? It is that we have forgotten the very basics of the doctrine of Christ. We must remember. Denver spent a year giving a series of ten lectures which he and his wife have been striving to put together in an expanded, detailed and comprehensive book. I wish there was something I could do to help them in their task. But mainly I pray that people will pay attention.

I know Denver’s declarations seem astounding and astonishing. They should not be so. We should be hearing similar declarations from the men who sit in the chief seats of this great church. Alas, it is not so. The Lord can do his own work. When I ask the Lord in prayer what is to be next, the answer comes to wait patiently for the completion of the book to come from the lecture series.

Comments from the Interview

Question Two: In the lecture on Christ, the Prototype of the Saved Man given in Ephraim (6-28-14), you said, “…either I am a liar, and you ought to forget everything I’ve said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril! It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I’m a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I’m saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I’m talking about. I have no reason to lie to you. I have no reason to pay to reserve a place to speak to you, and ask nothing of you but to listen. It requires a sacrifice to do what I am doing. I have no other reason to do this than to tell you the truth. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am come as a second witness. Therefore you now have two proclaiming the same doctrine.”

You bring up Joseph Smith. Joseph testified the heavens are open. He bore witness of God the Father and His Son as two separate and distinct personages possessing glorified and perfected bodies. He also testified he was an instrument in the hands of Christ to bring about a restoration of things hidden since before the foundation of the world. You say you know what you are talking about. Do you mean this in the same sense Joseph Smith declared his knowledge, that it was received through revelation, vision and the visits of angels?

ANSWER (Denver): The answer to that question is “yes.” If that were not the case, I would not be doing anything. What I do, teach and write is a product of contact with heaven. I’ve not elaborated on all the contacts, messengers, and visitations I’ve received because that would be, in my view, very counterproductive. It would suggest I’m more important than I am. God matters and men do not. God can save you and I cannot. The most important issue involves the substance of what I have taught. The most important individual is whoever hears what is taught.

road-to-emmausWhen Christ appeared on the Road to Emmaus to announce His first lengthy post-resurrection message, He did not bother announcing who He was. All He did was announce His message, which was to expound the scriptures beginning with Moses and all the prophets, in order to show how in all things, it was testified that He needed to suffer and He needed to die. All I’m doing is modeling the One I serve. That is by taking Joseph and all the revelations of the Restoration, and showing how in all things, it is necessary for exactly what has, and is happening, to occur in order to fulfill the word of the Lord.

If I started talking about all the visits and visitations, immediately what people would say is, “This is a great man! He has stood in the presence of various angelic personalities! He’s had various interviews and instructions. O my! Isn’t he wonderful?” And the fact of the matter is, I’m not wonderful. I labor for my support, I have a hard time making all of my ends meet. I have a very difficult time meeting all of the responsibilities my wife and I have.  She and I work together on a lot of problems dealing with family, dealing with money, dealing with limited means and a budget, and dealing with just life’s challenges. I am no better than the next man and feel keenly my own inadequacies.

For me to say something other than the content of the message is to inspire either adoration or envy. It’s foolish. It is unnecessary. It would be regarded as boasting by some, nuttiness by many others. It would not advance anything and may well set things back.

But the answer to your question is “yes.” If it were not so, I would keep my mouth shut.

Question Two (part two): As a second witness then, which you claimed you are, how is the Savior working through you to continue the restoration He began through Joseph Smith?

ANSWER (Denver): God could, does, and will work through anyone who awakens and then pays attention. There’s an army of witnesses and awakened individuals that are being assembled by God. It’s required to know Him. I know Him. I have taught, and I know and understand His gospel. The first task is to assure people that He lives and His gospel exists as an authentic method for saving souls.

The second task is to remember the Restoration that Joseph gave his life to commence. We are ungrateful when we fail to remember and practice it. At the moment, there is almost no clear understanding of that gospel. I’m working to set that out in a comprehensive way.

The Restoration has never been completed. There is a great deal prophesied to roll out as part of the Restoration that is not even commenced:

brass-plates-Do we have Zion?

-What about the lost teachings of the brass plates?

-Do we have the rest of the Book of Mormon?

-Do we have the testimony of John?

-Do we have restored knowledge of the Jaradites?

The list could be very long. But the fact that there is a list tells us that the Restoration must resume at some point in order to be completed. We don’t have the Restoration on the table yet. Remarkably we have forgotten what we once had. So the first job is to show that we are grateful enough to remember, and to remember it in a fulsome comprehensive way before God is going to say, “Now I will permit it to move forward.” We haven’t gotten to the point of remembering yet, which is why we ought to be studying a lot more diligently the material that we got in the Restoration. We ignore it at our peril.

Source Material:

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

The Fellowship of the Internet


mine-historianI’ve always wondered why some people are afraid of Utah history. The state has many beautiful stories to tell. Most of them are intertwined with the history of the LDS Church. Today I enjoyed a piece of that amazing history up close and personal. I went on a tour of the Dream Mine, also known as Bishop John Koyle’s Relief Mine. I met some wonderful people on the tour with me.

The Relief Mine is rarely opened to the public so this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. I counted about fifty people on the tour, some from Idaho, Arizona and me from California. My friend who lives in Leland, Bishop Koyle’s old ward, now part of Salem, invited me. He added to the comments of our guides and others on the Relief Mine board. I enjoy meeting my readers.

dream-mine-millIt was a forty-five minute hike to the top. This is not a tour for the faint-hearted. Carol stayed in the car while I got my exercise for the day. The view from the top is beautiful. Our guide told us about Bishop Koyle’s vision of the white city that would spring up almost overnight in a year of great economic catastrophe, also an election year, and a year the U.S. President is assassinated.

Tetrad of Blood Moons

Several in the group spoke of the tetrad of blood moons and their significance. The fourth in the current tetrad will occur on the 28th of September this year. There seemed to be quite a bit of knowledge of the Jewish holidays, their significance and the signs in the skies. One tour member has published a book on the subject: Seven Heavenly Witnesses of the Coming of Jesus Christ.

four-blood-moonsI don’t know much about the signs in the skies, but I do know the Lord said he placed the lights in the skies for our benefit – as a warning to signify timing. I also don’t know how much Bishop Koyle knew about the signs in the skies, but you’ll find his dream or vision of the last days to be very interesting. Again, part of that unique Utah history, not something to shun or to be feared.

I suppose what annoys me most when I bring up stuff like this are the comments I get from some readers who announce it is a waste of time and energy to even read or seek to learn the story of such unusual events. I don’t think we should be afraid of learning about unusual dealings in our history. A little knowledge, especially if you make an effort to get facts straight, can’t hurt you.

A Prosperous Church

payson-utah-templeThe night before, Friday night, Carol and I toured the beautiful new Payson Utah temple. This is a full-sized temple. The Church really goes all out on building these beautiful structures. There is no doubt they are impressive, built of the best materials and construction with wonderful designs. It was fascinating to watch the video presentation before and to see the huge turnout of people.

It looked like most of the people taking the tour were LDS. The majority dressed in white shirts, nice dresses and the like. Utah County has the largest concentration of LDS members – about 82% – than anywhere else in the world. I’m fairly certain it is also the largest source of tithing per capita and has the largest number of families sending missionaries to the rest of the world.

If you want to see the influence of the LDS Church, look no further than this area of a half million of the most conservative Americans anywhere. In Utah County – Provo, Orem, Spanish Fork, Springville, Payson, Pleasant Grove, Salem and more – families look happy and the people seem to be just as nice as can be. Utah County is the poster child for the success of LDS Mormonism.

A Little Off the Beaten Path

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking it. I’m just pointing out how unique this area really is. Where I live in Ventura County, California, LDS Mormons are less than two percent of the population, as they are throughout most of California. Note how I keep referencing the full term: LDS Mormons. I want to make sure you’re aware there are different kinds of Mormons.

dream-mine-entranceI’m a Mormon, but I’m not LDS. I claim Mormonism as my heritage because my family joined the LDS Church when I was five years old. Thus I’m still interested in all things LDS. History of Mormonism is especially interesting to me. That’s why I like going to places like Salem Utah on my vacation to see the Dream Mine, a place I’ve only read about, but not really a tourist spot.

It could be. I wonder if the shareholders have ever considered investing in improving the road up to the mine and perhaps charging for a more frequent tour. The four who contributed to the tour had wonderful and fascinating stories and history to tell. I know they work regular jobs, but with a little organizing and improvement, the Dream Mine could become a genuine tourist attraction.

A Working Vacation

I was pleased to read yesterday Elder Perry has returned to some of his duties in the Twelve. I’ve always liked Elder Perry even before I met him. I was also sad to learn of Elder Scott’s health. I still think there should be an emeritus status for the Twelve. They did it for the church patriarch. Now he’s gone and so is that office – forever apparently. That seems like something significant.

reunion coverI’ve arranged to meet with some writers and publishers this week while in Northern Utah. It’s been a long-time hobby to interview and publish stories of people who value the written word. Publishing a book is a labor of love. Most books sell less than a few thousand copies in their lifetime. Yet it takes hundreds and hundreds of hours to produce, edit and publish a good book.

They’ve agreed to allow me to interview them for the blog. I hope to publish a short summary of each of the interviews Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. After that I’ll be on my way to the Remnant Family Retreat up on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. I’m really going because my friend Bret asked me to be there. Besides, when I asked, the Lord didn’t say I shouldn’t go.

LDS Church Not the Only Way

I’ve prepared most carefully for my interview on Wednesday. If it turns out like I hope, the answers to the twenty questions I have prepared could turn into twenty posts. I think you’ll be interested. I am grateful the individual I’m interviewing agreed to be recorded. Some people won’t go on record. There is no attempt to get controversial quotes, just to understand truth.

TimBaptism2aCroppedI’m surprised how many people have told me I don’t stand a chance at salvation now that I’ve left the LDS Church. I simply don’t understand such a decidedly anti-Christ proclamation. I’ve been baptized – twice now. I’ve made covenants. Those have not been nullified. These covenants are between me and the Lord, and between me and my wife. Faithfulness brings the promises.

I’m grateful I was endowed and received the instruction in the sealing ordinance. You know as well as I do the sealing ordinance is conditional upon our faithfulness to God and to our spouse. Being a member of the LDS Church is NOT a requirement for the promises of God. What IS required is to establish that sacred and binding relationship with Christ. I consider that my life’s work.

Vacations – Good for the Soul

I’m looking forward to attending Church with my sister tomorrow. I don’t get to see her that often. Although my siblings and I get together once a year just before Thanksgiving, it can be difficult for my eldest sister to make it down from Utah. I admire my older sister. She has done well with her work in the LDS Church, although I try not to ask her details of what she does.

2014JamesMaloneSiblings2It is the Sabbath tomorrow, a day of rest. I like to read on Sundays – catch up on current views and interpretations of doctrine. It always gets me into the scriptures and onto my knees in prayer. Yes, even on vacation. I love the Lord and I love prayer. It can be the sweetest time as I petition the Lord to not forget His humble servant. Ah! Turn me not away, receive me, tho’ unworthy!

I need ever so much to forget about the demands of managing networks for my employer. Even on vacation, he still turns to me when something isn’t quite to his liking. I appreciate the trust, but wish I could get him to turn to others I have trained who are just as competent. The ways of the world are always there. I am grateful I have good employment and can take a long vacation.

The Fellowship of the Internet

salem-dream-mineThanks for letting me share my thoughts. Thanks for being my friends. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful things with me and bringing fascinating knowledge into my world. I appreciate every good book recommendation, every thoughtful discussion of doctrine and turning doctrine into a religion that can be practiced pragmatically. What good is religion if it doesn’t bring joy?

May God bless you my friends. You have blessed me. You help me understand what it is that the Lord is sharing with you in your life. I don’t claim many gifts. I have had dreams, visions, and have felt the gift of prophecy. I feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost, but also feel alone at times. I know the Lord tests us to see how we will respond. This life is surely a test of character.

We are each special and unique, blessed with various gifts. I want to be a part of Zion. I am still learning what it takes to prepare myself to be counted a friend of my Savior. I ask myself every day if I am living in such a way that He can trust me. There’s nothing I desire more than to be found worthy of being called a friend of the Redeemer of the World, to be His humble servant.

Until we meet again…

 

Determining Your Mission in Life


JacobBlessesSonsFirst of all, YOU determine your mission in life. Nobody else can do it for you. YOU decide what you want to do with your life. YOU decide what it is that God would like you to do with your life. If you feel God would like you to be a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then you be the best damn member of the LDS Church you can possibly be.

If you feel God wants you to become an expert on LDS Church History, then by all means, do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Obviously you’ll want to be balanced in your pursuit. We all have a regular life – you know, work, school, family, sleep, church, social and the like. But if God has given you a desire to pursue something and you feel it is right, then give it your heart.

Don’t take crap from anybody who tells you how wrong you are to be focused on something that gives you pleasure and provides you with enjoyment. Especially beware of well-meaning people who want you to adopt their modus operandi in life as yours. Just because they can’t understand what makes you tick, doesn’t give them the right to tell you how wrong you are for your focus.

May God Bless the LDS Church

For example, on my last post, a well-intentioned individual decided to let loose with all kinds of advice that apparently works well for that person in their life, but is so full of judgement and fear I could hardly read it without laughing out loud. I won’t name the reader. I value their comments and they are welcome to post them as they please, but it was so, so very wrong for my situation.

LDSChurchOfficeBuildingI love the LDS Church. Always have. Always will. It has a special and sacred mission. It was established by divine mandate. It was led by the Lord for many generations. The hand of the Lord prospered the LDS Church and just about everything it did. No matter how many ways the imperfect leaders and members messed it up, it always came out on top because God blessed it.

The Lord is still blessing the LDS Church, the members and the leaders. They are sustained by the prayers of the faithful members. I continue to pray for them, every night, by name, and ask the Lord to bless them in their work. I pray for those who are sick. I ask the Lord to join my faith with the faith of millions of members of the LDS Church all over the world praying for them.

How You Judge Reveals You to Others

I was a member of the LDS Church for over fifty years. I continue to attend the LDS Church. I love the local leaders and pray for them each night. I enjoy listening to the counsel of these leaders and see the hand of the Lord upon them. There is no doubt they have prayed for the help of the Lord to magnify their callings. They are blessed according to their faith and prayers.

speaking-in-churchPlease don’t judge my motivation as to why I write about the LDS Church. Don’t assume to know what makes me tick. Don’t think you know what my mission in life is. Don’t proclaim I have a fixation with the LDS Church when you have no right to proclaim any such thing. You have no idea what my mission is. You don’t know what the Lord has shared with me about this.

Just because you are offended by any mention of the LDS Church doesn’t mean I have to stop writing about it. You don’t have to read my blog. Go elsewhere. What you’ll find here are good things about the LDS church, the leaders, the programs and the much good accomplished by the LDS Church. I don’t care about the cost of City Creek mall. I gave my tithing willingly. So there.

Seek to Find Common Ground

My desire is to minister to the good people of the LDS Church. I am most familiar with the inner workings for the church, having served in a local leadership capacity for over twenty-five years. I have no desire to tell, persuade or convince anyone to leave the LDS Church. There is too much good in our local wards and stakes. I look forward to my continued association with my friends.

josephsmith.jpgYou don’t know my mission. I am not here to shake anything up. I am here to bless and bring attention to good things wherever they may be in the LDS Church or in the culture or in any one of the many Mormon groups that claim to be part of the restoration movement. If you know and love Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon then you and I have a lot in common.

I love the LDS Temples. I wish I could go. I miss attending the temple. The LDS Church has not done me wrong in any way, shape or form. They have gone out of their way to be nice to me, to see to my spiritual needs and to truly befriend me as best they can. Nobody is perfect. No leader can be everything we think they should be. The burden we put on local leaders is so very unfair.

Seek to Strengthen Your Marriage

I pray for the success of the mission of the LDS Church. I pray for the continued success or the missionaries, local and foreign. I pray they will be a good example and not mess anything up. They are young and inexperienced. I am so grateful they are blessed with good and faithful mission presidents and mothers who look out for them. Some were my missionary companions.

EldersBookOfMormonIf you choose to leave the LDS Church out of your life, that’s your prerogative. It will be a big part of mine until the day I die. The LDS Church has a mission. I intend to watch it fulfill that mission. I will never be a member again but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a friend. I am married to one of the most dedicated, faithful, loyal and protective members of the Church in all the world.

I have watched her become stronger in her beliefs, her practices and her prayers. She is studying the atonement of Jesus Christ and shares with me her observations as she reads. Carol reads the scriptures every night before she goes to bed. I’m more hit and miss in reading. I tend to spend a lot of time on Tuesdays and Saturdays in the scriptures – the days I work from the home office.

Your Mission Is Not My Mission

Your claim that I have a fixation with the LDS church is wrong. Your statement I am looking backward not forward is wrong. Your claim I must forgive the LDS Church is erroneous. Your proclamation that I am full of judgment and fear more likely applies to your own life, not mine. People tend to see in others what is most bothersome in themselves. I suggest you repent of that.

new-heavens7You ask why I feel the need to talk about the LDS Church now that I have resigned. Has it ever occurred to you maybe that Lord wants me to write about the LDS Church? Have you thought maybe the Lord and I have discussed this and have come to the conclusion my best work can be done by reaching out to those like me who have been faithful all their lives but have questions?

You don’t know me. You never will. Nobody can. My family doesn’t know me. My wife doesn’t know me. The only person who knows me is God. He and I talk every day, all day throughout the day. We discuss the challenges I face. We talk about solving problems together. We laugh about the silly things people do and say. We cry together about misunderstandings and injustices.

Come Place Your Name in the Temple

recorders-clearinghouseWe cry together about the calamities that are coming upon the earth. We discuss ways we can do more to reach people to warn them without sounding like a fool. We mourn for those who judge me and my friends because we are so adamant the Lord is actively moving among the good LDS people in a way most of them don’t recognize. He is finding a few here and there who will listen.

There are thousands who have heard the message of the messenger He sent. Yes, thousands. I wish more people would come forward and record their names on the register. Do they just not realize how important this is? This is the list of names to be presented to the Lord in the temple when He comes again. My name is on that list. Is yours? Why haven’t you sent it to be recorded?

You advised me to let go of the Church soapbox. Sorry. If what I write offends you, don’t read my blog. This is what I know. This is how the Lord works with me. Maybe he works differently with you. I honor that. You can best serve your creator by honoring the choices of others. Don’t pretend you know what is best for another. Only God can tell them that. God reveals missions.

 

Speaking With The Lord About Joseph


The Prophet Joseph SmithNearly forty years ago I spent six months preparing to serve a mission for the LDS Church. I had graduated from High School, attended Ricks College for a year, worked for six months and was now engaged in extensive preparations to understand the doctrines of Mormonism I would soon be teaching. I was blessed with the time and financial ability to do nothing but study the gospel.

What I wouldn’t give to have that blessing in my life again. My years since have been consumed ensuring the computing needs of my employer are met on a daily basis. On days I make the time and effort to study the gospel I think back on that long-ago year when I did nothing but ponder, read, study, fast and pray about what the Lord is going to do before He returns in the last days.

d-and-c-commentaryIn the spirit of Oliver Cowdery, those were days never to be forgotten. My tutor was the Holy Ghost. My texts were scriptures and commentaries I had obtained from a local book store that carried LDS books. I especially enjoyed studying the Doctrine and Covenants Commentary from Hyrum M Smith and Janne M Sjodahl, the 1972 reprint edition. It’s a lengthy book at 864 pages.

A Promise From the Lord

I lived with two of my unmarried siblings who worked or attended college, my parents having sold their home and sent us out in the world to fend for ourselves. The summer before I attended Ricks College was a spiritual awaking for me, filled with sacred moments in prayerful revelation to my mind’s eye. Asking in faith, the Lord opened my mind to visions of personal future events.

RicksDevotionalIt was at Ricks, after many hours of heart-wrenching prayer, I obtained a promise from the Lord which remains with me to this day. He has not left me, even in my darkest hours. He can and will walk with us through our life’s journey. He will speak to our minds. We can hear His voice. As part of that meeting, detecting the voice of the adversary and his emissaries also became clearer.

I have shared this story before, but have visited it again with a different understanding. Having resigned my membership in the LDS Church, I wanted to know if anything had changed about the revelations I received in my youth. Were they still valid? Had I been deceived? I asked the Lord recently. He answered, assuring me it was He that spoke to my mind that long-ago night.

Always Knew the Book was Scripture

The Book of MormonAfter a few difficult retirement years in Utah my mother moved back to California and stopped attending the LDS Church. I have shared her story previously, including her disappointments with what she found in the Utah LDS culture. Upon returning, she gave me many of her church books along with her journals and papers, asking only that I not share them before her death.

In the ten years since her passing I have reviewed most of her papers. Recently, I have felt the desire to make one of her papers available online. It is entitled “How I gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon.” Mother was a teacher and scholar, well-read, endowed with a keen intellect and a profound ability to teach. She loved preparing lessons, passing her love of learning to me.

If you can, take a moment to review mother’s story. She and I were very close in the years just before and after my mission. She wrote this paper while taking Institute classes. We had many deep discussions about the gospel and church history. She knew so much about Joseph Smith. I was amazed to discover her difficulties with the Book of Mormon and why it troubled her so.

Didn’t Always Know About Joseph

I prefaced what I am about to share with reference to my mother because it was she who gave me the intellectual curiosity to ask the Lord about things which she herself did not know. Her habit was to refer me to a book, then encourage me to take my questions to the Lord. I have her papers on Joseph, the Savior, temple ordinances, celestial marriage and more on the Book of Mormon.

ProphetJosephSmithI learned to read at my mother’s knee. We read the Book of Mormon together when I was young. I experienced first-hand her lining out all the instances of “and it came to pass,” as she shared in her paper. She had a hard time with the Book of Mormon. I loved it from the first time I read it with her. I knew it was the word of God. Always have. But I didn’t always know about Joseph.

That’s what I really want to share in this post. From my notes in front of the D&C Commentary, I’ve recorded the dates I consumed the book. Fifteen pages a day is not much. I also noted a few choice observations the Lord shared with me as I read, one of them being, “No amount of study can take the place of obedience,” and “When ignorance is removed, obedience is expected.”

Some Things Not Lawful to Share

When I finished the book, I felt inspired to take it to the Lord in prayer. I wanted to know if the revelations recorded from Joseph were from the Lord. It was an interesting experience. I did not expect it to take three days. I expected it would take a few hours at most, similar to what I had experienced at Ricks College. I think this was the only time in my life I fasted for three days.

JosephSmithInLibertyJailI would study during the day and pray for hours at night. I took literally the admonition to enter into my closet and pray in secret. Sometimes, after a few hours of study during the day, I would continue my quest in prayer. I wanted an answer. I needed to know. I burned with the desire to receive a response. I had talked to the Lord previously. I had heard his voice at Rick’s College.

As I recorded in my journal and in a previous post, I was surprised at the answer. I want to be very clear about this. We can hear the voice of the Lord. He told me the commentary was written with the intent to encourage faith. But He was more emphatic when He said to me, “Joseph did not tell everything he knew and neither can you. Some things can only be experienced in prayer.”

Joseph Was No Fallen Prophet

At the time I was satisfied with the answer. I should not have been. I should have pressed for more. But it was apparently sufficient for that season of my life. Now I want more. In fact, I have wanted more for many years and have been pressing the Lord to share. Each time He tells me the day will come but is not yet. He and I both know I have not yet met the requirements. So I wait.

JesusRedRobeI want to keep this post short. There are only two things I wanted to share. I hope I have been clear. The first is that we can speak with the Lord, we can hear His voice. We can enter into His presence. He is willing to reveal Himself unto us. The second is that the Lord does call men to speak for him as prophets today. Joseph was the Lord’s prophet and still holds keys given him.

The restoration of the Lord’s work with men on the earth commenced with Joseph Smith. He performed his mission admirably, as did Hyrum. I have been studying the Book of Mormon for over fifty years and have never felt any doubts of the authenticity of Joseph’s claims. The Lord will bless those who speak up for Joseph. I do so with this post. Joseph was no fallen prophet.

Mormonism Without The LDS Church


SaltLakeTempleNightI am a Mormon. I am not a member of the LDS Church. There is a difference between the two – a big difference. The LDS Church does not define Mormonism. The LDS Church has changed dramatically from what God revealed through Joseph Smith. That memory has been lost, altered, redefined, added unto, retracted from and otherwise transformed by leaders of the LDS Church.

For the most part, I believe the change was unintentional. In fact, it was well-intentioned. The leaders were, and I believe continue to be, fundamentally interested in the greater good the LDS Church can do in the absence of direct revelation. The desire is commendable. The outcome is tragic. The death of Joseph Smith was more than tragic. It marked the beginning of forgetting.

In some cases change was done on purpose. It was intentional. The narrative was altered to fit more in line with then-current political expediency. It continues to change today. I have watched it change gradually in my lifetime. The LDS Church has redefined itself in an effort to appeal to a larger audience. In doing so, it has lost the foundational authority and endorsement of the Lord.

Absence of Direct Revelation

The majority of revelations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants were received in a ten-year period from 1828 to 1838. Many of the revelations were received in the presence of others who witnessed the physical effects upon Joseph as he dictated the words flowing into his soul. This was a prophet, one through whom the Lord spoke. He received revelations even as did Moses.

With the death of Joseph, his followers were lost. They did not know what to do. Joseph had appointed a successor, but his brother Hyrum was killed seconds before he was. The church wanted a replacement leader like Joseph. For a season the quorum of the twelve led but soon Brigham took the reins and was voted in as the new president. Joseph was still “The Prophet.”

Every time we sing Praise to the Man, I wonder if the congregation singing the hymn thinks about these lines: “Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.” Joseph was revered by his followers, but nobody could replace him, no matter how they tried.

Authority and Endorsement of Christ

At one time the LDS Church was authorized by Jesus Christ as the only true and living church upon the face of the earth today. This is no longer true. There are two types of authority. One is to perform preparatory ordinances. The LDS Church had that authority until recently. The other is to perform the higher or sealing ordinances, authority lost upon the death of Joseph Smith.

In a recent correspondence with a humble and sincere seeker of Jesus Christ, who had left the LDS Church, joined the AUB, then came back, I was deeply impressed with his lament about the loss of the keys. I know what the official LDS narrative says about Brigham proclaiming he had the keys, but some keys cannot be passed on from man to man. This has been made clear to me.

“I am really looking for someone to whom the Lord is giving revelations and is a true successor of Joseph Smith. I am really hoping and praying that the keys as described in Section 132:7,18 & 19 are still on the earth and that there is one anointed and appointed with the ‘power and the keys of this priesthood’ to seal by the Holy Spirit of promise. As verse 8 says, His house is not one of confusion, so there must be only one. If the keys have been lost then I fear the earth will be wasted at the Lord’s coming.”

Verse seven notes “… there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of the priesthood are conferred …” My friend says he is looking for a true successor to Joseph Smith, one who holds the sealing power. Is that man Thomas Monson? Did he receive it in an unbroken line going back to Joseph Smith? You’ll have to decide that question for yourself.

Follow the Savior, not the Prophet

JesusRedRobeWould God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. I honor prophets. I have seen inspiration flow through men upon whom the LDS people have placed the title of prophet. But I do not and will not accept the modern false doctrine espoused that a prophet cannot lead the Church astray.

By tradition, the President of the LDS Church carries the title of prophet, seer and revelator as do each of the members of the quorum of the twelve apostles. I accept them as being some of the best men in the LDS Church, each blessed with gifts and talents used by the Lord to bless and inspire members of the LDS Church. But they cannot claim to secure my salvation in eternity.

I am confident they would agree were I to ask them this question directly – “Can you save me?” Their answer would have to be, “No, I am a man like unto you. Only Christ can save you.” It is to Christ I offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit. That is not something I offer to any man. I confess my sins only to Christ, not to any man, no matter what his position in the LDS Church.

Remembering The Work Of Joseph Smith

I am on a mission to re-evaluate everything I learned growing up in the LDS Church about the history of the restoration, and especially the significance of the revelations received by Joseph. For a man with limited formal education, he certainly was prolific. Not much of a speller or even composer of succinct sentences, he employed scribes to record and edit the revelations received.

The process of revelation is an interesting one. I am familiar with how it works. While closely tied to inspiration, it is a step higher in the idea of placing one’s mind and spirit in tune with the infinite. It requires faith, practice, discipline, effort and a disposition to place the will of the Lord above all that the natural man within us desires. It does not lend itself to purposes of contention.

Joseph recognized this, shared his experience in being unable to translate because of a quarrel with Emma, and taught us how important it is to have a spirit of peace about us as we strive to be in tune with the will of the Lord. Revelation is sacred. It is a gift as is prophecy. Joseph had these gifts in abundance, given him by the Lord to communicate His commands to man upon the earth.

Modifying the History of Mormonism

josephsmith.jpgUnderstanding the history of Mormonism is important if we are to understand what the Lord was trying to accomplish through Joseph Smith. I submit categorically that Joseph did not complete the work he was sent to accomplish. He was cut short. He was rejected by the members of his own church. The doctrines he tried to teach were too radical for their then limited understanding.

We have come a long ways in understanding since the days of Joseph Smith. We have the luxury of one hundred and seventy years of analysis, review, criticism and discussion about what was the real intent of Joseph in sharing some of the things he was allowed to teach. We have forgotten much of what he tried to accomplish. Even the official history was not authored by Joseph Smith.

I hope the efforts of many good people and groups will continue to sort through the deliberate efforts of the LDS Church to conceal the truth and modify the record. Keeping accurate historical records were not as important to the early leaders of the LDS Church as it was to provide to the members a faith-promoting history. Some things were significantly altered, others covered-up.

Restoration Not Meant to Be Institutionalized

I have long been on a journey to reconcile what I have discovered over the years of studying the history of the LDS Church with what I found in documents, journals and diaries that have been coming to light in recent years. I applaud the Church’s efforts to be forthcoming with faithful reproductions of the original source material. I look forward to the ongoing publication efforts.

The restoration of the Lord’s work in these later-days does not belong to a single institution. It is the Lord’s work. He opened the heavens to show that each of us could have a direct relationship with our God. Woe be unto the man or woman who says they are content to receive the word of God from the leaders of the LDS Church. This is wrong. This is not what God intended for us.

I reject the new order of things perpetuated by the LDS Church in which leaders claim the right to issue commandments and direction, followers fall in line, and nobody is encouraged to go to the source to get revelation beyond the rudimentary testimony of the Book of Mormon. Leading a worldwide church through public relations is a fiasco in the making. This is not God’s doing.

LDS Church Has Morphed Mormonism

I have watched as many of the unique aspects of our religion have been denigrated or completely removed from the acceptable orthodoxy in the modern LDS Church. Orthodoxy is a strange thing. What is considered an acceptable view or practice in one generation is completely wiped out in the next simply by the leader’s general conference addresses and key curriculum changes.

I remember prayer circles outside the temple. Today you will be excommunicated for apostasy if you dare engage in such practices. Partaking of the Sacrament is tightly controlled by the church to the point where it is used as a weapon to enforce dogmatic beliefs and views. It is anti-Christ. This last straw broke the camel’s back for me, compelling me to resign from the LDS church.

It amazes me to realize early leaders of the LDS Church encouraged members to be re-baptized as a sign of their willingness to re-commit and more fully live their religion. Today, participating in such a baptism will get you excommunicated for apostasy. Tolerance for anything outside of the secret handbook of instructions is unthinkable. Independent worship is highly discouraged.

Mormonism NOT controlled by the LDS Church

bookofmormon.jpgMormonism requires study and contemplation. Deep thought, pondering and prayer are a must if we are to come close to what the Lord intended in the work commenced through the Prophet Joseph Smith. That work included preparing a people for Zion. No institution can bring about Zion. It must be done in small groups of like-minded saints which have no poor among them.

Truth is Mormonism. All truth, wherever located and from whatever source, in whatever form it is currently practiced, belongs to the Mormon religion. Mormonism is not what the LDS Church says it is. Mormonism is what the Lord revealed through the prophet Joseph, much of which has been rejected by the LDS Church, while trying to dominate and control it through correlation.

I am a Mormon because I accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, an instrument in bringing forth scripture I receive as the word of God, including the Book of Mormon and the inspired books in the Pearl of Great Price. I accept the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants with the recognition that many have been changed, edited, added to or reduced by unauthorized men.

Mormonism Is A Powerful Religion

The beauty of Mormonism is that it can free our souls from dependence upon man or a group of men to turn our hearts to God in strengthening our relationship with Jesus Christ. My baptism and subsequent receipt of the Holy Ghost to an even greater degree in my life are marvelous to me. My sense of personal responsibility has increased and empowered me in tremendous ways.

Mormonism is a dynamic, truth-filled, confident and powerful religion. It reunites our souls with heaven. The Holy Ghost helps us to recognize truth from unorthodox sources, adapt it to our own needs in drawing us to feeling closer to our God and Christ. It is an exciting religion, as long as it is not restricted and controlled by those who feel it is their duty to limit what people can believe.

In Mormonism, true Mormonism, not the limited and restricted version found in the current LDS Church, all are equal before God. We are free to worship according to the dictates of our own conscious. I can participate in the Sacrament in my home. I can worship in the robes of the Holy Priesthood at a dedicated altar in my home. Priesthood is not to preside over but to serve others.

Zion Will Not Come Through An Institution

I am a Mormon. I am not a member of the LDS Church. I am one of many thousands who have come to realize the Lord has set His hand a second time to open the heavens to those who will take the time and trouble to seek the face of the Lord. He can and will reveal Himself to you and me. We do not have to receive the word of the Lord through another man, but direct from Christ.

I invite you to join with me in investigating this movement away from the control of the LDS institution and toward the Lord’s intended way of building Zion – in small groups who serve, teach and encourage one another as the spirit directs, not as the controlled correlated process from secret handbooks dictates. The rejection of the fullness by the institution was foretold.

The Lord has sent his servant with this message to remember the restoration. It was given as a gift to man in our day. The heavens are open again for business. Let every man know the Lord. We do not have to rely on the word of our neighbor. He will guide and direct our lives. He will walk with us. He will direct our paths. I am a witness of these things, one of many thousands.

To find communities for fellowship, visit: http://fellowshipwith.us/

To find someone to baptize you, visit: http://returntotherestoration.com