Praying on the Mountain Top

praying-on-a-mountain-topOver the last few months I have been scouting local hiking trails for places to be alone. Why? There is something about raising your voice in prayer that makes it more powerful, or at least that has been my experience. I thought I had found two such locations but each time I returned to them, they seemed desecrated – beer bottles strewn about, signs of a party, things such as that.

So I kept searching. One of the first place I went was Mt. Pinos on the Kern County line. Sadly, it was covered in snow the first time I was there. I made a promise to come back. Thursday I did so. After performing a marriage for a friend and partaking of the sacrament, I began the hike up to the top. Just before I got there, the spirit whispered, “Turn off here, go left, I will direct you.”

I was not disappointed. After less than five minutes I encountered a beautiful fallen log, with an area encircled by the log as if it were set aside for privacy. I needn’t have worried. It was 4:00 in the afternoon and I had only seen two couples on the trail. They were going down as I was going up. I knew the Lord had directed me to this place. I had been praying about it for several months.

A Quiet, Peaceful Circle

ForestLogI sat in the enclosure with my back to the tree and began to pray. I will filled with joy and desired to express it. I prayed for about a half hour. I am not sure I asked for much other than to bless my friends and family. I had much to tell the Lord. Doing so in “voz alta” seemed to give my words that extra power and direction I had been searching for. My heart was overfilled with gratitude.

It’s Sunday as I write this so I have had time to ponder what happened. No, I saw no light, was not visited by any beings from the unseen world, and did not hear any voices speaking out loud. However, and of this I am certain, the veil was thin. I was surrounded by those who loved me. I felt their love. I knew they were there. Was it all in my mind? I suppose you could say that.

So what? Did that make it any less real? Not to me. The feeling of “thinness” of the veil stayed with me all the rest of that day and into the next. I expressed it in family prayer that night. Carol looked at me a little funny. There were words I did not normally used – expressions of purpose and meaning that were strong, powerful and heart-felt. They came from this feeling of thinness.

The Elements of Prayer

minds-eyeHow can I explain it so you will understand? I’m not sure I can. I was filled with peace, joy and a sense of connection to those unseen beings all about me. It was as if they too had been waiting a long time to “make the connection” and impart something unto me I cannot describe. A think a gift would be the best word – a spiritual gift, one filled with longevity and one that would grow.

I felt the Lord was pleased. In fact, I know he was. While I did not hear audible voices, there were voices in my mind, familiar voices I had heard before, especially that of the Lord. He let me know I was on the right path. He expressed satisfaction as I thought about some of the sacrifices I had made lately. He made it clear He was aware of them and appreciated them.

Open to my mind’s eye was a vision of what the future held. This is not unusual. I have had such visions before. They are always dependent on my behavior, my actions and how hard I worked to cause them to come to pass. They were familiar, as if I had seen them before, some place or time in the distant past, others in the more recent past, meaning sometime earlier my mortal life.

The Effort is Worth it

mesa-homesWhy am I sharing this? Am I trying to impress? I hope not. My desire is to communicate the idea the Lord answers prayer, especially if we make the effort to place ourselves in a spiritual state of peace and focused relaxation. I don’t know why, but my nightly prayers simply don’t come close to this kind of communication. Perhaps it’s because I’m still so wrapped up in the day’s work.

I prayed about whether I should share this. It was clear the Lord desired I at least document even if only as a part of my personal journal. In this case, the impression came that the idea of making the extra effort to be alone in the woods or on top of a mountain would be helpful to someone. I want to make it clear the Lord answers us according to our efforts to reach him in such a manner.

Was it worth it to climb a mountain for an hour or more? You can drive most of the way up. Yes, Absolutely. I used to find quiet spots on the mesa in St. George earlier in my life when visiting my in-laws. This was the same sort of prayer then – filled with a close bond that seemed to be obtainable in no other way. It is in these sort of prayers that the veil is thin and impressions clear.

Prayer Brings Confidence

sealing-of-couplesMy heart was filled with joy as I descended the mountain. Nothing had changed as far as my work and work expectations. In fact, I had to go back to work that night to take care of some things on the network that could only be done after everyone was gone for the day. I don’t think anything was changed as far as my relationship with my wife, it being a little strained right now.

What did change was a sense I was on the right path. No, it was more of a confirmation of such. I KNEW I was on the right path. My efforts and reading, studying and sharing both on my blog and in private emails was pleasing to the Lord and He let me know it. I came down with a greater sense of encouragement, a greater desire to make a difference, to contribute, to strengthen others.

As a note of closing, I want to express thanks to Keith for sharing certain things on his blog. For the first time in nearly two years, I was able to perform a priesthood ordinance outside my own home. At one point I was touched. I had clearly seen myself performing this ordinance when I had prayed for permission to do so previously. It was acceptable to the Lord. His voice is unmistakable.

God bless…

Baptizing With Power and Authority

TimBaptism2aCroppedA month ago today I spent a few hours with Denver Snuffer. I am grateful for the time he took to answer some of my questions, allowing me to record and publish his answers. I asked the Lord for inspiration in which questions to ask. They came after much study and prayer. The question addressed in this post starts off with a summary of the previous four. They are very direct. If you haven’t read his answers, I recommend you first do so. He was just as direct in his responses.

Some of those responses, summarized in the opening paragraph below, are difficult for most orthodox LDS folks to accept. They are stark in their claims that something new is afoot in the heavens and now upon the earth. In question five, I wanted to know how the last lecture in the series of ten lectures, 40 Years in Mormonism fulfilled the title of “Preserving the Restoration.” Specifically, I wanted to know how being baptized again would help in building up Zion today.

The Key to Receiving the Holy Ghost

alma-baptizes-helamI find it interesting that Denver’s post yesterday touched on this very subject of Baptism. Take a moment to go there and read it. Then consider carefully the answer to this question below. I have addressed the subject of power at least a half dozen times on this blog in the past. Each time the idea of power in the priesthood comes up, it seems everyone has a different idea of what it really is. Power in the priesthood is real. Authority was restored and will never be taken from the earth again (D&C 13).

You decide what kind of priesthood is being addressed here. Do you have it? Do you exercise it? Has it been exercised in your behalf in helping you connect with heaven? Did the Holy Ghost fall upon you after you were baptized? If not, I suggest you seek this baptism again. Go out and find someone who knows how to administer it properly as demonstrated by Alma in the Book of Mormon, by first obtaining power in the priesthood. Authority without power has no real effect.

Question Five: You have proclaimed God has ended the way he works with his children on the earth today. You have announced yourself to be a witness of this fundamental change. You have declared yourself a second witness of the many works of God through the prophet Joseph Smith. You have reaffirmed the importance of the Patriarchal Priesthood, the law of adoption or sealing to the Fathers in the family of God. You have announced the LDS Church can no longer claim to be led by the priesthood of God, virtually making it no different from any other church today

Yet the title and focus of the last lecture in the series “Forty Years in Mormonism” is “Preserving the Restoration.” You have counseled those who have accepted this message and you as the Lord’s servant, witness or messenger in this great change, to be baptized. Specifically, you quoted 3 Nephi 11:26–27 and said, “I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again by Him today, to you. This is His command … confirmed again today.” Thousands of individuals have been baptized at your invitation. Will you elaborate on how your declarations and baptismal invitation preserve the restoration, as opposed to tearing it down?

waters-of-mormonANSWER (Denver): All—universally—all of the various iterations of Mormonism are less and less like the foundation and we need to return. If you go back to what I said about baptism you will find that on the topic of baptism, there is an example taken from the Book of Mormon in which Alma, who had been ordained in the court of King Noah, he was chosen precisely because he was wicked. Alma, who probably had a line of authority compromised by wicked men. He went out to baptize Helam. Before he did so, he asked heaven to give him the power to baptize. He got the power to baptize, and he baptized Helam.

What I suggest in that talk, is that everyone who has been ordained in the LDS tradition, who fits in the category President Boyd K. Packer in General Conference lamented—we have done a good job with spreading the authority of the priesthood, but we’ve done a poor job of getting power in the priesthood[1]— therefore we must go out and obtain from heaven the connection that gives power in the priesthood. The temple rites tie together “power in the priesthood” with conversing with the Lord through the veil. It is an appropriate connection. I explained all this in the lecture on Priesthood given in Orem, Utah. Accordingly, it is necessary for now those who are to baptize others to get the power from heaven. Let us have them go out and baptize again with power from heaven, so we know it is done with God’s power and not done merely relying upon an authoritative tradition lacking in power that cannot be accepted by heaven.

The Purpose of Renewing Baptism

JosephBaptizingOliverThe evidence of Alma’s authoritative baptism was the outpouring of the Spirit. There have been those who have been baptized and spent their life in Mormonism, or some other sect of Mormonism, who say they never felt like they had the confirmation of the Spirit. They have gone out, sought for, obtained power from heaven, been re-baptized, and the ordinance has had an effect upon these people.

The purpose of renewing baptism is to take what may be a hollow gesture, performed by people who have authority but no power, and turn it into an event with power that connects people to heaven. This is how we can renew the Restoration, like it was renewed in the days of Alma, through Alma and the model of the Book of Mormon. That book answers so many doctrinal imponderables for us today.

Why do we have authority and no power, as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles in General Conference lamented to the Church? It’s because we are not doing what we should be doing. It’s not necessary to have a revolution that divorces us from the Restoration. It’s necessary to have a revolution that connects us back to the Restoration and its beginnings.

baptism-saratoga-springs[1] “We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be.” The Power of the Priesthood, April 2010 General Conference. The talk contains interesting admissions about how Correlation revolutionized the Church: “During those years of correlation, the whole operating face of the Church was changed. The entire curriculum was restructured. The objectives and relationships of the organizations one to another were redefined. The key word during those years of correlation and restructuring was priesthood.” He presumed this was a good development, not the catastrophe President David O. McKay predicted. President McKay was, however, correct. Elder Packer cannot recognize that the lack of priesthood power is attributable in part to the assertion of improper control over others in the name of priesthood.

Link to Sources:

Transcript One:
Note: This version has been reviewed by Denver, missing material added

Transcript Two:

Link to the 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 five:


By Study and Also By Faith

ssalem-thoughtsWhen the Interwebz first began to crawl (1993 – See history of Mosaic), browsers didn’t have “Favorites.” Instead, we created lists of links in raw HTML code and made it our home page. The tradition continues today with blogrolls. I update my list about once a year, sorting it by Alexa rankings. Number 150 on my current list is Russell Anderson’s Thoughts from Salem.

When I first started blogging, I would link to articles on Russell’s previous site, because it had a wealth of LDS information I was unable to find elsewhere. Russell sold that site a while back, contacted me about his current site and we began a correspondence. Knowing I was going to be in his neck of the woods this week, we made arrangements to meet for lunch.

I was delighted to discover a kindred spirit with much in common. We are both computer guys, love to study the gospel, have a strong desire to share our research and have a similar journey in what we have concluded. We both started our online efforts with the intent of defending the LDS Church, then came to realize there was something not quite right with the official LDS narrative.

The Church was Rejected

nauvoo-temple-daguerreotypeFor example, in D&C 124 the Lord said the church would be rejected if it did not complete the Nauvoo temple in a timely manner. The Lord desired to restore the fullness of the priesthood which He had taken away. The official church narrative is that the temple was completed. On his website, Russell provides a detailed chronology of the Nauvoo temple showing it was otherwise.

This is a big deal. You’ve really got to think about the implications of what happened in Nauvoo. If the fullness of the priesthood was taken away, and the Lord said it was, then how is it possible the LDS Church can claim to have that priesthood today? The church has gone to great lengths to show the temple was completed, thus the fullness of the priesthood had to have been restored.

Anybody who considers the list of cursings the Lord promised in that section will realize they were each realized. The Lord did not reveal any new ordinances in the Nauvoo temple. He did not reveal things hid from before the foundation of the world. Instead, the saints were moved out of their place by their enemies. They received cursings, wrath, indignations and judgments.

Prophets and the Heavenly Council

The standard LDS interpretation of Amos 3:7 is that God will speak to his people through the prophets, specifically the fifteen men who carry the title of “prophet, seer and revelator.” The current mantra of the church, “follow the prophet” uses this verse as the foundation to support the idea of centralized hierarchical leadership, control and direction for the true people of God.

the-divine-councilNowhere else have I found what I consider to be the more correct interpretation of that verse than on Russell’s site. He presents a logical construction of the elements found in this scripture in such a way that, for me, brought a paradigm shift about how I can recognize a true prophet. He will be introduced to the Heavenly Council by God and will testify of having been so included.

The purpose of the Heavenly Council is not something you are taught about in the standard LDS curriculum. Of course it is referenced in Moses and especially Abraham (the Gods), but nowhere does the church teach that mortals can participate in such a council. Amos teaches us how God calls a prophet – He brings him into the Heavenly Council – then that man receives assignments.

The Doctrine of Christ

One of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to testify of Christ and to bring us unto Christ. The doctrine of Christ is taught plainly by Nephi in 2 Nephi 32. He plainly teaches repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and coming unto Christ. The church used to understand and correctly teach that coming unto Christ meant to receive him in the flesh. They no longer do.

carl_bloch_the_christIn verse six we read, “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.”  Nephi is clearly saying Christ shall manifest himself unto you and teach you much more in person.

The church discounts that claim and instead teaches Nephi’s words were fulfilled when Christ came to the Americas after his resurrection. On his website, Russell presents us with a logical deconstruction of Nephi’s instructions about receiving Christ in the flesh. The purpose of the gospel is to prepare us to receive Christ in the flesh while yet mortal. It can’t be any clearer.

Hearing the Voice of God

The church teaches the higher priesthood can be passed from one man to another. This is not so. The higher priesthood is only received directly from God, by hearing his voice declare it. This is taught plainly in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, especially in Section 84. Others have also explained this fact, but Russell’s page on the subject presents a sound exegesis.

PassingHeavenlyGiftWe tend to overlook the fact that the ordination is simply an invitation to go and get the power. We do NOT receive the higher power of God by ordination. We MUST have the Lord declare it unto us by His own voice out the heavens. No earthly organization controls the power of God. He alone decides who receives it. President Packer understood and taught this a few years back.

In order to have the higher priesthood, we must receive Christ – literally, physically. There is an ordinance involved. Note I said ordinance, not ordination. The ordination invites the man to do all the Holy Ghost teaches him he must do to come into the presence of Christ. The Savior then confers power upon the man. That’s why the penalty for turning from the priesthood is so severe.

A Useful Website for Research

I could go on and on with great examples from Thoughts from Salem but it’s late and my intent was to simply introduce you to the site, express my opinion that it is a valuable resource and invite you to peruse it for some wonderful instructive content. This man has done his research and has provided some unique insights expressed in a logical, methodical and organized manner.

His page on Denver Snuffer is a great source for links that you may not have seen previously. His page containing links to those excommunicated from the LDS church for teaching contrary to the official doctrinal interpretation is noteworthy. Take a look at the Topics page for details on a few Mormon myths, the idea of multiple mortal probations before resurrection and quite a few more.

There is also a valuable page of links to LDS reference material such as older conference talks, periodicals and publications, books, scriptures, Joseph Smith sermons, papers and teachings. See also his page on succession in the presidency for evidence of historical inaccuracies. His post on D&C 136, Brigham’s only canonized revelation is especially revealing.


Power and Authority

power-and-authorityThere was a deacon in the Church some years ago who observed one family member abusing another family member. He commanded the abuser to repent and cited his Aaronic priesthood as authority for the order. The abuser declined to acquiesce to his request.

Question: What lesson should the deacon have learned from this?

Consider the account of the two prophets in JST 1 Kings 13.

Question: What lesson should we take from the example of the prophet from Judah?

Question: For what purposes do people cite authority for their words or actions?

Question: Which of those purposes pass the Golden Rule test?

Question: What exercises of power or authority are compatible with the Golden Rule?

Question: What is the power of God?

Question: What is the authority of God?

Question: What is the significance of a commandment from God?

power-and-authority-illustratedD&C 121, as well as Jesus’s teachings to his disciples about authority and power, are good places to start on these things. (Handy keywords to search Jesus’s teachings for: rabbi, master, benefactors, greatest, servant, younger)

My answers will probably be different than yours, but that doesn’t necessarily make me “right” and you “wrong.”

Questions Worth Pondering

zion-city-of-enochWhat if priesthood is not the power of God, but rather an association with angels and Gods?

What if keys are not licenses to exercise discretionary power, but items of knowledge which serve to unlock the hidden meaning of things?

What if the rituals of the temple are simply pedagogical tools intended to instruct, not rites intended to exalt?

What if the washings / anointings / endowments / sealings are a ritual reenactment of a sequence of events that is intended to transpire in mortality – in real life, here and now?

What if when we seek for further light and knowledge we instead find many who are willing to preach to us the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture?

What if Satan supervises our religious education?

What if we have seen the angels standing guard as sentinels, asking for our signs, tokens, and key words, in our day-to-day lives?

What if we didn’t give them what they asked for?

What if, by withholding our means from the poor or those we deem undeserving, we thus sell our signs and tokens for money?

What if real sealings only take place on the other side of the veil, and must be done in this life?

What if those sealings must be performed by the Father?

What if the future city of Zion, the New Jerusalem, has neither leaders nor followers, neither rich nor poor, but all are equal in all things, both temporal and spiritual?

The Elephant in the Room

Holiday-SplendorAnybody who tells you life is rosy after one spouse leaves the church is either blind or lying. I knew things would be difficult in our marriage after I resigned, but I didn’t know just how difficult it could be. I thought things were under control until I wanted to talk about using some tithing money to help one of my fellow bloggers in need. The resulting conversation was not encouraging. It brought deep-seated feelings of frustration and disappointment to the surface.

With Kindness and Love Unfeigned

I left for work that morning convinced there was no hope for ever coming to an understanding or agreement on fundamental beliefs we once shared in common. I felt badly about the way I had expressed myself. It caused Carol to cry so you know I was wrong. I knew I was wrong in the way I had shared my feelings. We are both stubborn and determined about what we believe. Now that we have diverged in those beliefs, we have lost some of that common ground we once had.

Pink and Blue – Love and Respect

I did a lot of praying and muttering to myself that day. I was not upset with Carol. I was upset with myself for not exercising restraint in my emotions as we discussed the tithing issue. We both attended a marriage class years ago from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs based on his book, Love and Respect. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do. It is well worth the time and effort. There are some YouTube excerpts of his lectures online that give you a taste of his fun style.

Managing the family Budget

I think we both recognized immediately we were talking past each other. I was using my blue megaphone and Carol was hearing with her pink earphones. I was looking for respect for my desire to spend the tithing money in a way I felt would be pleasing to the Lord – to help a friend in need – and she was hearing me say I didn’t love her anymore. Carol has always managed the money in our marriage. We agreed on that right from the beginning. It seems to have worked.

The Lord Will tell You How He Feels

To Carol, the discussion wasn’t about money. It was about love. I got frustrated, tried harder to make my point. She got defensive, tried harder to test my love. Gratefully, we were able to part for work that morning with a prayer, ingrained from years of habit. We were both emotional throughout the prayer, disappointed to have had such a disagreement after thirty-two years of marriage. As I travelled down the freeway, I knew the Lord was not pleased. He told me so.

Flowers – a Peace Offering

A thought crossed my mind that sparked hope of resolving the issue – flowers. How long had it been since I had brought Carol flowers? Well, it was just a few weeks ago. I got one of those $5 bouquets from someone selling them at the freeway entrance I use every night. But that wasn’t what the Lord was suggesting to me. How about a real bouquet and a beautiful vase, picked out with love and sent with a personal message to her workplace so everyone else could see them?

A Mature and Rational Discussion

That cracked the ice and got us communicating again, although it was via text messaging all day. We both arrived home at the same time. The chilly feeling I had been experiencing for months seemed to have melted. We were both pleasant and cordial, had a bite to eat and then sat down to have a mature, rational, non-emotional discussion about money, faith, common beliefs, temple sealings, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, priesthood, community fellowship and Denver.

Blessings Lost for Resigning from Church

Ah, there was the problem. Anytime I brought up an idea that was outside traditional orthodox Mormon teachings, his name came up. I shared a recent letter from the Bishop I had not shared previously. It was the “Here’s what you can no longer do” letter all priesthood leaders have clerks send out after a disciplinary council. I continued to direct the conversation back to the basic question, “What do you think of this statement from the Bishop about temple blessings?”

Church claims Temple Sealing Null and Void

Carol focused on the obvious. “You lose out on the blessings of regular temple attendance.” We discussed what those are. I asked the big question about the elephant in the room. “What do you think about our temple sealing? Do you believe it is still in force?” Carol became thoughtful and quiet. “I believe if we endure to the end, the Lord will reward us according to our faithfulness.” I told her I agreed but that she hadn’t answered my question. I asked it again. Thoughtful silence.

The Holy Spirit of Promise

Finally, a quiet and tearful, “no,” came forth. “You gave that up when you turned your back on all I thought you believed in about the Church.” I asked what she understood or believed about the Holy Spirit of Promise. We discussed that for a minute. I asked if she believed the Church had the power to control the Holy Spirit of Promise. I don’t think she understood the question. I rephrased, “Do you believe the LDS Church controls the Holy Ghost or the Priesthood of God?

Update: See discussion in comments below about the definition of the Holy Spirit of Promise.

LDS Church Does Not Control Priesthood

“Yes.” Ah, now there’s a critically important point on which we disagree. The priesthood was restored to Joseph and Oliver before the church was organized. The LDS Church relies on the priesthood, not the other way around. It is the priesthood of God. It is not the priesthood owned and managed by the LDS Church. God can give the priesthood to anyone he wants to give it to. Equally important, God can give the Holy Ghost to anyone without LDS Church involvement.

Make Sure Who Has the Sealing Power

Again Carol was thoughtful. “What about the sealing power?” I told her Joseph had it but the higher priesthood was lost sometime after Kirtland and before Nauvoo. She disagreed. “You can’t have it both ways. Either the church has the sealing power or it doesn’t.” We had come full circle to our original dialog about “Passing the Heavenly Gift” from nearly three years ago. I said, “That’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? We’d better be sure we know who has that power.”

We Can Agree to Disagree

“Well, I believe the church has it,” she said. “And I believe the church has lost it,” I said. We both sat quietly. “Then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree,” Carol offered. “Agreed,” I said. The atmosphere in the room had lightened. We were in agreement – sort of. The conversation changed to other subjects normal to married couples such as how our workday had gone and how our son was doing. The presence of the comforter was apparent, so different from that morning.

Use Tithing Money to Help the Poor

The next day Carol told me she would let me decide how the tithing money from my paycheck would be used. I reminded her that she qualified for some of that tithing money because she / we have a few medical and other bills that needed to be paid and had been hanging for quite some time. I reminded her that we had used part of the tithing money I previously gave to the Church to help get her car fixed. She remembered and expressed gratitude. The day was starting well.

Knowledge is Different From Belief

I share this with you to set the scene for what I believe are some of the most important questions we can ask in life. “Who has the power to seal a marriage so it endures into eternity? Can we receive a promise from the Lord – not a man – in this life that our marriage is sealed and will be in full force in the life to come? And finally, is it possible the LDS Church could have lost the sealing power as Denver claimed it did in April of 2014? If so, how can we know for sure?”

That They Do Always Remember Him

SacramentMinervaTeichertI ask myself why I do this. I go to Sacrament meeting each week with my wife, because I don’t want her to feel alone, but I don’t partake of the Sacrament. As a non-member, I could partake. It’s clearly spelled out in the handbook that those who are not members of the LDS Church are not to be prohibited in any way from partaking of the Sacrament. Funny how that rule works.

The Sacrament in the Home

I go home after Sacrament meeting and administer the Sacrament to myself because I have no local community with whom to associate. I started partaking of the sacrament at home when my bishop prohibited me from partaking of it in church because he said I didn’t sustain the prophet. I told him otherwise. I accept President Monson as the authorized leader of the LDS Church today.

An Unauthorized Requirement Imposed

He said that wasn’t good enough. I’m not sure what more he was looking for. I guess he wanted me to say I accept President Monson as the only person on the earth today who possesses and is authorized to exercise all the priesthood keys. Because I can no longer say that, nor do I believe it, he imposed discipline in not allowing me to partake of the sacrament. Funny how that works.

Vague Definition of Priesthood Keys

I’m still not sure I understand what all the priesthood keys are. I know what the LDS Church teaches about them. They represent permission to perform an ordinance or preside in a quorum or to carry out an assignment from a priesthood leader. I’m not sure this is what the Lord had in mind when he used the word keys in the scriptures. I believe it refers more to sacred knowledge.

Forbidding to Partake of the Sacrament

So he forbade me from remembering Jesus Christ as commanded by partaking of the sacrament because I would not accept Thomas S. Monson as the only mouthpiece for the Lord on the earth today. That just seems wrong to me. Obviously I still have strong feelings about it or I wouldn’t be writing about it some four months after the fact. A man has come between me and the Lord.

Don’t Blame the Local Leaders

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying my bishop has come between me and worshiping the Lord. I’m saying that because I will not pledge allegiance to a man, one I have never met, because I won’t take an oath-like sustaining vote to the man millions of LDS members sustain as God’s living mouthpiece on the earth, the LDS Church forbids me to partake of the sacrament.

Let no One Come Between You and God

That is not right. Let no person come between you and God. The Sacrament is a commandment. The LDS Church does not have exclusive rights to administer the sacrament. Anybody with the priesthood can do so. I have the priesthood and am grateful for that blessing in my life. I have always appreciated it, but have come to appreciate it more so since I resigned from the Church.

Can’t Really Blame the Prophet Either

In other words, a man millions call prophet has enacted a rule that forbids me from partaking of the sacrament. Can you see how wrong this is? Actually, he inherited this handbook or this set of rules, which contain this abomination. I do not blame President Monson. I am happy to pray for him as well as Presidents Eyring and Uchtdorf every night in my personal and our family prayer.

The LDS Church Has Become Anti-Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to partake of the sacrament regularly in remembrance of him. Why does the LDS Church think they have the right to forbid a man from obeying this commandment? This is anti-Christ. Yes, I just called the LDS Church anti-Christ. I am morally worthy. There is no reason to forbid me from partaking of the Sacrament to remember the Lord.

Priesthood is Not Controlled by LDS Church

The LDS Church does not control the priesthood. It was restored by John the Baptist to Joseph and Oliver before the LDS Church was organized. The Church depends on the priesthood, not the other way around. I received the priesthood from my father so I have no problem feeling I am authorized to administer the Sacrament to myself in my home just like Moroni did for years.

We Should Use Wine in the Sacrament

Besides, I asked the Lord in prayer if I could do so. “Oh, Lord, bless thy servant that he may carry out this work with holiness of heart.” I then knelt and blessed the bread and wine using the prayers from the Book of Mormon. And yes, I use wine because it is more symbolic to me than water. The bitterness reminds me of the bitter cup the Lord drank to redeem my soul from hell.

The Sacrament is a Soothing Balm

I need the Sacrament. I struggle with the stresses of life. Pressures from earning a living in this Babylonian world weigh upon my soul during the week. Kindness is not the prevailing sentiment in getting things done in the business world. There is intense pressure to perform, to deliver, to conform and to get things done. Kindness flies out the window if you neglect to deliver on time.

There is Power in the Sacrament

When I partake of the Sacrament I feel the Lord’s healing hand upon my heart and soul. I feel His presence. I feel He is pleased when I remember Him in this manner. I feel power entering into my soul – power to forgive, power to live in a more Christ-like manner. Power comes upon me to return kindness for disrespect or demands for compliance.  I feel I can go on in Christ.

True Order of Prayer

I miss the temple. I can no longer attend the temples that President Monson owns. Yes, he is the Corporate Sole that owns everything related to the LDS Church. So I have dedicated an altar in my home in order to worship the Lord in the true order of prayer. I often dress in the robes of the priesthood, offer the signs and pray with power the Lord has given me through the endowment.

Tithing to be Used to Help the Poor

I look forward to the day when I can contribute financially to the building of a temple where I am welcome. I have paid 10% tithing on my gross income to the LDS Church for all my life. I now choose where I use that tithing money. I want it to be used to help the poor, not to build malls of commerce where Babylon is flaunted. I don’t think City Creek Mall pleased the Lord.

A Prophet should Prophesy and Reveal

I hope you can perceive I’m feeling a little passionate right now. As much as I love the good people in my ward in stake, I struggle with some of the testimonies I hear on days like today – a Fast Sunday. So few focus on what Christ has done for them, so many pay homage to a living prophet. We know he has dementia, so why do we keep saying he speaks for the Lord today?

The Lord has Sent His Servant

I have listened to, read, studied and prayed about a message delivered by a servant of the Lord. When I read and study this message, I feel the spirit of the Lord testifying to me what is being taught is approved of the Lord. The Restoration was real and the Lord intends to bring about Zion. In a coming day, His voice will be heard in global catastrophes. Will we give heed then?

A Community of One

Today I cannot administer ordinances in the priesthood beyond my own family. I continually pray for my wife’s support just as I seek to support Carol in her tradition of worship, handed down through generations of LDS Pioneers. I am looking forward to the conference called by my friend Bret in Colorado this coming May. I pray the Lord’s blessings upon our communities.

God Bless the Growing Communities

I pray those who are meeting in communities will strengthen one another. I pray the Sacrament will be an uplifting experience for you and your families. I pray you will remember the poor in your midst. I pray you find strength in knowing the Lord fulfills His promise to comfort us in our weaknesses and will visit us when He determines we are ready. I seek that promised blessing.