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

 

Remembering – Myths Are History


new-heavens2This past week brought three impressive celestial events – the vernal equinox, a solar eclipse and a geomagnetic storm caused by major solar flares with CME’s – Coronal Mass Ejections – that lit up the Aurora Borealis in a most spectacular manner. Most people were unaware of any unusual activity in the sky. It was simply another week that happened to include the first day of spring.

I have always been fascinated with space weather. I check two sites daily to keep tabs on what’s going on in the heavens. I don’t think that’s so unusual. A lot of people are interested in space technology, astronomy and especially with things happening in our solar system. Fireballs are still considered unusual, making headlines even though they happen relatively frequently now.

new-heavens4Why the seeming universal interest in things falling from the sky? Most astronomers agree with Phil Plait that the odds of death from the skies are infinitesimally small. Yet disaster movies that depict that exact scenario are almost always blockbusters. Is there some sort of hidden memory in the collective human subconscious that we all have regarding past cosmological disturbances?

We Live With Collective Amnesia

In a word, yes. We, as members of the human race, have collective amnesia. We have forgotten something extremely important, something our ancestors tried to record so we would remember.

new-heavens6There are thousands of artifacts from ancient civilizations all over the world that point us to one unescapable conclusion – something terrible happened in the skies. It all but wiped out humanity. The planets were Gods to ancient peoples. Old Testament Prophets dealt with this idol worship.

Myth is the history of the psyche – William Irwin Thompson

Myth is the history of the solar system – David Talbott

“Ancient traditions, even when they are dressed as myth and saga, cannot be dismissed lightly as fantastic, or worse, meaningless fabrications. It is particularly proper to avoid this pitfall when dealing with serious reports, especially those of religious nature such as those that occur in large number in the Old Testament.” – Franz Xavier Kugler, “The Sibylline Battle of the Stars and Phaethon Seen as Natural History” (1927)

Here is some forgotten knowledge:

planets“The ancient name Melchizedek is a compound name, derived from ‘Milki’ (Moloc, Meleck) and ‘Zedek’ (Zadok, Sadat). Etymologists readily acknowledge that Zedek is the ancient Hebrew name for Jupiter. Milki is likely a name for Saturn. So the compound name Melchizedek most likely literally means ‘Saturn / Jupiter,’ often translated ‘Jupiter is my God’ or ‘Righteousness is my God’ by scholars. The seal of Melchizedek is probably a symbol once associated with the two gas giant planets in history.” – Anthony Larson

Prophets Recorded What They Saw

new-heavens5“The imagery spawned in cosmic apparitions which dominated Earth’s ancient heavens, employed by the Savior and all the prophets, is not exclusive to this creation. It is as eternal as God himself. That is, every world ever created by God has been graced by the same glorious celestial phantasmagoria — planetary and plasma discharges — witnessed by our ancestors. That this marvel is a mystery to us is due to our own failure to take our modern prophets, beginning with Joseph Smith, at their word.” Anthony E. Larson, www.mormonprophecy.com

“When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell … the earth fell into space and took up its abode in this planetary system and the sun became our light. This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified it will return again unto the presence of the Father ….” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:143.)

new-heavens3“If the message of the Savior, his apostles and prophets is couched in terms that originated in cosmic images, then that imagery is all important. Additionally, if we fail to understand the real meaning and intent of that imagery, we also fail to understand the message. And if we miss the complete message, we cannot know and do what we must to gain salvation.” Anthony Larson

Understanding Gospel-Centric Cosmological Imagery

Ancient (i.e., historically traditional) Astrotheology was neither solar nor lunar. Both Venus and Mars were held in awe by people everywhere, and Venus in particular was closely watched for a period of over 4000 years (especially since -2349) in Mesoamerica to the complete exclusion of the Sun and the Moon. This, in fact, is one of the most curious aspects of our historic past. As Velikovsky wrote:

new-heavens7“The Sun and the Moon are two great luminaries, and it is easily understandable that the imagination of the peoples should be preoccupied with them and should ascribe to them mythological deeds. Yet the ancient mythologies of the Chaldeans, the Greeks, the Romans, the Hindus, the Maya, preoccupy themselves not with the Sun or the Moon, but prima facie with the planets.” (Velikovsky, unpublished document at www.varchive.org)

“As related in all creation mythologies, mankind was witness to the birth of the Gods and the creation of the Universe. The Universe, however, at this time consisted only of ‘Upper Earth’ in the north populated by Saturn’s satellites, and […] the equatorial rings standing in the sky in the south, thought to also represent an ocean or sea. Humans had thought of themselves as living in a valley between these two regions. Only in the far north of Earth was it obvious that the globe in the sky was nearly overhead. (Recovering the Lost World, A Saturnian Cosmology — Jno Cook Chapter 3: The Osiris Mystery – http://saturniancosmology.org/)

Things as They Are, Were and Are to Come

new-heavens8When I first started blogging, I wrote about a few of my favorite books on Prophecy. One of them has always intrigued me because it is so unique and explained so much about what will happen when the Savior returns, cosmologically speaking. I was pleased to receive an email from the author of that series of books. We have been conversing via email and Facebook ever since.

It takes courage to go against the mainstream understanding and acceptance of cosmology and the role, or lack thereof, in the modern LDS Church. In early Mormonism, knowledge of the heavens, and the history of what happened there, was much more important. Joseph taught much about the way things were and would be once again, referred to now as the polar configuration.

polar-configuration1“This knowledge is vital to our salvation and exaltation. We need it to fully understand the prophets, comprehend prophecy itself and inherit the blessings promised in the Endowment. Otherwise, Joseph Smith, under God’s tutelage, would not have restored it to us. At some point in our eternal progression, we will have to come to this knowledge and understanding.

“Sooner or later, in this life or the next, we will be required to include this in our worldview. So, why not get an early start? Why not follow Joseph Smith’s counsel to get as much correct knowledge in this life as possible to our greater benefit in the next?”

Much of this post quotes from the writings of Anthony Larson, author of a Trilogy of books on Prophecy and Last Days.

Cosmology To Understand The Prophets

“The brethren focus on the basics for the benefit of potential converts and the newest church members because their mission is worldwide conversion and the building of the kingdom. That’s why their message is repetitive. They consistently emphasize the basics. And there is great wisdom and virtue for each of us in revisiting those basics on a regular basis. That’s why we consistently hear that same, vital counsel. But once firmly grounded in the faith, the responsibility to move forward is wholly ours. The brethren are not there to do what we can do for ourselves. We are responsible for our own salvation. This has always been true.

isaiah-recording-revelation“The whole purpose of studying the Restored Gospel from a cosmological perspective is to allow us to easily and correctly distinguish what is spiritual (the fundamental truths) from what is temporal (the origins and meaning of symbolism). If we cannot easily and correctly differentiate between what is symbolic and what is literal in the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets, then we run the very real risk of reaching incorrect conclusions about their pronouncements.

“Restoring the ‘fullness of the gospel’ required including the cosmological traditions and their respective rituals that were honored and repeated by all the prophets. Again, Joseph wrote: “I also gave some instructions in the mysteries of the kingdom of God; such as the history of the planets, Abraham’s writings upon the planetary systems, etc,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 118, emphasis added.)

The day of the Lord will come quickly“This was done so that we can understand the arcane allusions and references of the prophets and apostles as they meant them to be understood, not as our emasculated, spiritualized and Christianized versions had them before Joseph Smith. Clarifying these symbolic and metaphorical usages was as much a part of restoring the truth as instituting the correct manner of baptism or the reality that God has a body of flesh and bone.”

Cosmology To Understand The Temple

SaltLakeTempleNight“One simply cannot comprehend the teachings in the temple endowment without a working knowledge of ancient cosmological imagery, derived from apparitions once beheld in Earth’s heavens. Without that comprehension, all we do, see, say, hear and wear in the endowment rituals is meaningless gibberish to us. However, with that comprehension, we can vicariously share the glorious vision given to all the prophets.”

“Perhaps the best reason to study all this is that our temples, inside and out, are replete with that same cosmic imagery. In fact, the whole temple experience is geared to show us the cosmological components of the prophetic experience, beginning with the creation. The visions of Moses and Abraham are, just like our temple icons, filled with the cosmic imagery of planets, stars, suns and moons. Our endowment is a virtual example of the prophetic ascension experience related throughout scripture in the visions of the prophets. This is the core message in our temple ceremonies.

Yes, I am a Mormon activist“Thus within our temples, each of us is afforded the marvelous opportunity to vicariously experience the visionary odyssey of the prophets. In so doing, we share the awe-inspiring, cosmic vision revealed to them. So, how can we fully understand the endowment message if we don’t see its cosmological components? The tragedy is that so few Latter-day Saints recognize that truth and thus miss the vital and mind-expanding message the endowment is meant to convey. Thus, the core message of our restored endowment goes unnoticed and unappreciated by nearly all temple goers.”

Source: http://mormonprophecy.blogspot.com/2011/11/why-cosmology_21.html?m=1

Cosmology To Prepare For Future Events

Armageddon – on earth and in heavenSo much of what is prophesied to occur in the last days has to do with cosmological cataclysmic events that intersect directly with human events. When the Savior comes to the earth in power, he will be accompanied by the hosts of heaven. Some of the illustrations accompanying this post are from Ryan Darger. One of them, the first in the post, depicts the concept of the hosts of heaven. Think about it.

The idea of collective amnesia is not espoused by modern science. Yet in my lifetime, I have witnessed more and more evidence brought forth to support the polar configuration Joseph knew and taught. Of course, there are detractors and disbelievers who claim Joseph never taught any such thing. Sadly, we do not have recorded details of what he taught from Abraham’s writings.

Mormon Doctrine - Prophecy and the Last DaysI have long been convinced Anthony Larson has got it right. It may not occur in my lifetime, but the day will come when the Lord returns with the City of Enoch – once a part of this planet – and other hosts of the heavens. Think planets when you read that phrase. The reconfiguration of this solar system is exactly what Joseph meant when he wrote of earth returning to paradisiacal glory.

Wars and Rumors of Wars


Matthew-24-7Nobody likes to talk about war, at least I don’t think so. Maybe there are those who delight in the subject. I don’t. However, the theme of war is found throughout the scriptures, indicating it is a topic about which the Lord expects us to be knowledgeable. I don’t think He wants us to become experts at waging war, but be informed about what will happen in the last days in regard to war.

We can’t go about with our head in the sand when it comes to international affairs, although one could make an argument to the contrary. For example, in my mother’s journal, referring to the timeframe of World War II, I recall this statement: “The war is so far away. We hear about it on the radio and see the boys who come home to the hospital, but for us, there really is no war.”

Now mother knew perfectly well there was a war going on. She worked on the base where she grew up in Norman Oklahoma. She was a cashier in the Naval Hospital where she met my dad, who was a cook at the same base. She saw one of the results of war first hand – the wounded and the maimed. But there were no bullets flying around her family, so in effect, there was no war.

War Always Seems So Far Away

I have never seen war. Of course I have seen videos and read the history of wars in my lifetime, but I have never lived in a war zone, so I can’t relate to those who do, such as a large population of the Middle East. I have watched lots of movies about war, some which glamorize it and others that show it in all its gory detail. But I have never experienced the heart-pounding fear of war.

Update: I remembered a time on my mission where I worked in a soon-to-be war zone. I wrote this little memoir a few years back for a writing class. The thing about memoirs is they can be “enriched” memories. I combined two separate events for this piece of writing. It’s the closest I came to feeling the fear of war some experience every day

The United States has experienced only one civil war so far and that was long before any of us were born, so it’s a distant memory in the history books. The closest thing to civil war now is experienced by those who live in downtown crime-ridden neighborhoods. Even then, it’s nothing like that experienced by those who live, for example, in Honduras, where I served my mission.

countries-at-war-2015There are over fifty ongoing armed conflicts being waged somewhere around the world as I write this. Although the Mexican Drug War can be considered close-by, most wars are centered around the Middle East and Africa. One of the longest running wars is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, ongoing since 1948, when Israel was established as an independent state by the United Nations.

Prophecy Concerning War in the Last Days

Two of my favorite books growing up were Gerald Lund’s The Coming of the Lord and Duane Crowther’s Prophecy, Key to the Future. I have read or studied both of them almost constantly since I purchased them in the early seventies.  They are well marked-up and annotated, similar to my scriptures. Duane’s book was published before the Six Day War so lacks commentary there.

However, they both have considerable content dedicated to explaining the author’s interpretation of scripture and prophecy dealing with the subject of war. I’d like to focus on war in the Middle East in this post. I don’t believe the author of either book I mentioned above has taken sides, nor is that my intent in sharing this post. I simply desire to outline prophecies concerning that war.

Of course, one of the things about prophecy is that it is not intended to foretell the future, but to make us aware of the foreknowledge of God in such matters. Prophecy is not given to help us pin down an exact date as to when certain things are supposed to happen. It is to remind us of the love of our Savior in preparing us for that which is to come. Thus, we can avoid being fearful.

A Voice of Warning in the Last Days

sword-of-heaven“And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed…” When I read this verse I see it being fulfilled in two ways, but primarily by the Lord. The phrase, “arm of the Lord” has special significance in terms of prophecy. It is referring to an astral event in the ancient skies.

But it can and does also refer to the destruction that is forthcoming upon the appearance of this frightening object in the skies. All the world will see it. The wicked shall fear and tremble. Even the righteous will be alarmed if they have not taken the Holy Spirit for their guide. Read chapter twenty-one of Ezekiel to learn more about the imagery of this bright sword bathed in heaven.

“For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof…” The word of the Lord is “quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow…” There’s that sword imagery again. This time it’s applied to the word of the Lord, which will prepare our hearts for the tribulation and desolation sent forth.

War Poured Out Upon All Nations

wars-and-rumors-of-wars“And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion…” There is no getting around it. We live in that day now. Peace has been taken from the earth. “…see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass…Behold I have told you before…for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

“And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations…And thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn…” If you think God has nothing to do with war upon the earth, think again. I’m not saying God causes war. Men are very well able to do that by themselves. But ask yourself, why would He use the phrase “war will be poured out”?

And when He says ‘all nations,” do you think He means the United States of America? I do. That day has not come yet, but is at the doors. The Lord said He would make an end of all nations. It could be through social unrest or it could be through invasion by other nations who have sworn to destroy “the great Satan,” which is their term for wickedness exported from the United States.

Sworn to Annihilate Israel

map-of-israelNow to the point of my post: Israel. As reader Linda pointed out in the comments section of my last post, nobody wants war. She linked to a YouTube video of an awesome TED talk about an Israeli designer who created an online peace sensation with his design, “Iranians: We will never bomb your country. We {heart} you.” If you haven’t viewed the short 2012 video, take a look.

Linda, you are right. Your average citizen of most any nation doesn’t want war. I believe that is true for Palestinians, Iranians, Afghanis, Israelis, Russians, Chinese or Americans. It’s true for the citizens of every nation that has weapons of mass destruction such as India, Pakistan, France, England, and even North Korea. Nobody wants war, or at least I would like to believe that’s so.

Sadly, we know that’s not true. There are individuals out there who do want war. They want it for various reasons. Some desire it to increase personal wealth, others want to change the balance of power in the world. Unfortunately, there are deranged individuals who want war for religious reasons. They have declared their intent to annihilate the nations of Israel and the United States.

Israel Not Powerless to Defend Themselves

The leader of Iran tweeted last year, “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” I think that’s fairly clear, don’t you? Yet, John Kerry is brokering a deal with Iran to remove economic sanctions and extend time to allow weapons-grade uranium development in their nuclear program. What is the man thinking?

As the Prime Minister of Israel said in his address to congress this week, “We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. … For the first time in one hundred generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why … as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

I’m not choosing sides here. I believe the reports Israel has nuclear weapons. We know Israel will act in a pre-emptive manner. They demonstrated that in the Six Day War. I don’t think the Prime Minister of Israel wants war. But I do believe the leader of Iran wants war. He wants it specifically so he can annihilate Israel. He has said so. I just want to make sure we’re all clear.

No Nation Can Do More Than God Permits

“Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?” In spite of wars and rumors of wars, in spite of the whole earth being in commotion, in spite of men’s hearts failing them, meaning losing courage to stand up for what is right, in spite of Satan’s seeming success in promoting war and contention, please remember who is in charge.

The adversary’s greatest efforts will not stop the work of the Lord. “The Lord rules, manipulates and manages the affairs of men, of nations and of the world, and therefore, neither this nation nor any other nation can do anything more than God permits. He sets up one nation, and puts down another, according to the counsels of his own will.” John Taylor couldn’t have said it any better.

armageddon-countriesWe know Israel will be the focus of the great battle of the last days – Armageddon. The battle is essentially religious: one ideology and theology against another. One host stands for God and his cause. The other fights against Him. Both hosts are comprised of wicked and worldly men, but one is defending freedom while the other would destroy liberty and enslave men. You choose.

Government of the United States Will Collapse

Joseph Smith stated on several occasions that, “the government will be utterly overthrown and destroyed,” and that “Congress…shall be broken up as a government.” In addition the prophet Joseph is quoted as saying, “A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government…”

President Woodruff was more emphatic when he asked, “…can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure…Sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” On another occasion he said, “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel…”

Perhaps you recall this statement by Orson Pratt, an early LDS apostle. “State will be divided against state, city against city, town against town, and the whole country will be in terror and confusion; mobocracy will prevail and there will be no security, through this great Republic, for the lives or property of the people.” This statement was made after the Civil War of 1861-65.

The Coming Civil War

civil-unrestReferring to the Civil War of 1861-65, President John Taylor said, “We had a great war upon this continent some years ago; but there will yet be wars pass through these United States…” He also said, “You will see worse things than that, for God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than even they have done before. There will be more bloodshed…”

“Their great and magnificent cities are to be cut off. New York, Boston…and numerous other cities will be left desolate…the whole nation will be broken up. There shall be a fleeing from one city to another, from one state to another, from one part of the continent to another, seeking refuge, from the devastations of bandits and armies; then shall their dead be left unburied.”

The above quote is from Orson Pratt, who left us the best descriptions of the great American civil war of the last days, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. He said, “It will be a war of neighborhood against neighborhood…they will go forth destroying and being destroyed…going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land…the whole country…will be wasted away…”

“The time will come when there will be no safety in carrying on…peaceable pursuits…these will be neglected and the people will think themselves well off if they can flee from city to city, from town to town and escape with their lives.” In one particularly foreboding statement, Brigham Young agreed with Orson and said the whole government will become a mob. Hmmm…

Gather to Zion for Protection

tent-cityThe only protection for those who will not take up arms against their neighbors is to flee to Zion. Zion as a place of refuge has not yet been established. At one time I had a dream about a large piece of land behind our Stake Center. It was filled with tents. The members of our stake had come together to protect one another. Men took turns patrolling the area, armed with weapons.

I wondered about the dream and asked the Lord for an interpretation. The impression came this was one possible scenario. It was a temporary situation. The people were waiting for word from Salt Lake to gather to Zion. But no word came. We were cut off. Communications were down. But in fact, Utah and especially Salt Lake were in worse shape. Zion was not found in Utah.

It was just a dream. The LDS Church teaches preparedness. We are counseled to have a large supply of food, water and even money although it’s fairly clear money will be worthless if the government collapses and social chaos reigns. I never cared for weapons yet I now have a small arsenal in my home, next to my food storage. What? Here in California? I hope I never need it.

Zion Prospereth, All Is Well In Zion

I close in the same way I began. Nobody likes to talk about war. Nobody likes to think about the possibilities of social anarchy or the specter of financial collapse. Surely this great nation will last forever, right? As long as we serve the God of this land we will be blessed. Once the highest court of the United States rejects the principles of religious freedom, we lose God’s protection.

I hope and pray these things I have written about do not come to pass in my lifetime. We seem to be enjoying renewed prosperity in our nation as I write this. Employment prospects appear to be the best they have been in years. Crime is down to a level not seen since the sixties. In my ward and stake, families appear to be happy and growing. All is well in Zion. Yea, Zion prospereth.

You can dismiss this post on war as irrelevant from an old man out of touch with the realities of life. You can tell yourself the scriptures and prophecies I have quoted were taken out of context and have different interpretations than those I have offered. Of course they do. The spirit will guide you how to receive these thoughts. After all, they are only the ramblings of an old man.

 

Let Them Serve As Signs


Equinox031815And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. (Gen 1:14-16)

I approach this subject with some trepidation. I feel inadequate knowing there are many among my readers who are well versed in the heavens and are in fact, experts. For instance, my friend Anthony Larson has written multiple books about this and lectures regularly. I have a lifelong interest in the stars and the planets, especially because of the role they will play in the last days.

Note Genesis 1:16 mentions the stars. I include them among the lights placed in the heavens to serve as signs unto man. In days long past, the planets were classified as stars, stars that moved was the phrase used, I believe. I hope in this short post to whet your appetite to investigate the wealth of information available about these signs, and why they should be important to us now.

Thunderbolts of the Gods

polar-configurationI’ll first suggest you spend some time on Anthony’s site, MormonProphecy.com. These days Anthony is most active in the Facebook group, “The Restored Gospel, Ancient Planetary History and Cutting Edge Science,” a closed group of about 600 members. It is an exciting group. We have been watching Ryan Darger bring media representations of the polar configuration to life.

I think the days of mocking are past now. There are too many people onboard with the models of the Electric Universe to be ignored. In my opinion, it has reached critical mass, meaning the old theories of dirty snowballs and a universe controlled solely by gravity are no longer acceptable. It is exciting to see more and more scientists take plasma-centric models of science seriously.

If you would like to know more about the Electric Universe, visit Thunderbolts.info. There are two very active Facebook groups: Electric Universe and Thunderbolts Project. In a nutshell, the EU model proposes plasma has an infinitesimally greater impact on how things work than can ever be explained by gravity alone. Just be sure to approach this science with an open mind.

Astronomy versus Astrology

My interest in the stars and planets increased tremendously with a college astronomy class. At one time I considered a career as an astrophysicist but quickly changed my mind when I learned how much math was required. I switched to business and computers instead. My fascination with the science of astronomy remained. One of the protagonists in my novel is an astrophysicist.

However, for the longest time, whenever someone mentioned constellations, my mind switched off and went elsewhere. It was as if I had an aversion to anything having to do with the way the ancient people of earth viewed the heavens. I couldn’t figure out why until I remembered this statement written over fifty years ago from Elder Bruce R. McConkie. It influenced me greatly.

“A form of divination and fortune telling akin to sorcery, astrology is a pseudo-science that pretends to divulge the influence of the stars upon human affairs; it is a false science that claims to foretell earthly events by means of the positions and aspects of these heavenly luminaries. It is, of course, one of Satan’s substitutes for the true science of astronomy and for the true principle of receiving revelation of future events from divine sources.

“Ancient uninspired peoples were frequently deluded by the snares of the astrologers among them (Isa. 47; Dan. 1:20; 2:27; 4:7; 5:7), but it is difficult to understand why people in modern and supposedly enlightened and civilized nations should submit to these same stargazing absurdities. Enlightened people in and out of the Church shun them for the abominations they are.”

Stargazing Not So Absurd After All

I think Elder McConkie intended to condemn the practice of living one’s life by a horoscope. But I think his statement does not take into account the real reason the ancient peoples of earth were so heavily invested in stargazing. At one time the earth and the planets were in a much different configuration than they are today. When that configuration broke up, life on earth was chaotic.

The day of the Lord will come quicklyProphets, true prophets, were very much aware of the signs in the heavens and what they meant. They knew the Lord placed them there for a reason. They – the planets – were not static. When they moved, there was reason to be greatly concerned. Today, nobody believes the planets were not always stable in their orbits. Everyone knows they have been there for millions of years.

Or have they? Ancient civilizations in the days of the patriarchs left us plenty of clues as to the way things were in the heavens back then. Today we reject them as idol worshipers. Perhaps we might want to reconsider such an arrogant assumptive attitude about the way things have always been. Even Joseph knew about the polar configuration and tried to share it with the early saints.

Signs in the Sun

My calendar shows spring begins Friday, the 20th of March 2015, but because of the elliptical and asymmetrical nature of the earth’s orbit, the vernal equinox will actually come to pass on March 18th, two days early. I think there is some significance to this. Some might even call it a sign. Light will be increasing in the earth earlier than expected by man’s usual calculations.

Perhaps this is a sign that a new age of enlightenment has already arrived. It came in stealth, without fanfare, actually unbeknownst, according to the wisdom of the world. Could it be the increase of light has come from lectures delivered by Denver Snuffer, our efforts to remember the restoration of Joseph, particularly the Doctrine of Christ, and new worship communities?

Another site and author whose works you should be familiar with is John Pratt. It was from John I came to the realization the constellations were defined by heaven, not man. We think we know when one age ends and another begins. But in the heavens above, Leo invades Cancer, and Pisces invades Aquarius. God may have one age begin before another ends for His reasons.

Breakup of the Church and Nation

Those last two lines are quoted from Denver’s latest post. Note he uses the word invades. That causes me to think back on an earlier post which referred to the potential fall of Baghdad. Don’t dismiss this discussion based on superstition. Remember, President Benson taught chapters six and seven of 3rd Nephi are signs for our day – first the breakup of the Church, then the nation.

I live in a blessed land and time. I have seen peace in my days, meaning in the immediate area where I live here in California. Although there is war, famine, pestilence and draught in many places, my little hometown seems to be unaffected. I am grateful. It’s as if our great nation has been protected because we have worshipped the God of the land, even Jesus Christ, until now.

If I’m not mistaken, the Supreme Court is scheduled in the next few months to hear arguments on mandating marriage equality in every state throughout the nation. I wonder if something of our protection might be lost should our nation’s highest court decide the people of this land can no longer worship Jesus Christ. He recognizes marriage as only between man and woman.

Behold, I Come Quickly

meteorimpact.gifI am convinced the catastrophes preceding the Exodus are prophesied to be repeated in our day. A careful reading of the scriptures makes this clear, especially sections 29, 43, 45, 88 and 133. I wonder if you have ever considered the prophecy in D&C 84:114 about the cities of New York, Albany and Boston being destroyed with desolation and utter abolishment. When will it happen?

I hope such prophecies as found in the sections above are not fulfilled in my day, but to me, the signs are becoming clearer. I have watched our nation turn against Israel over the last few years. Today, the Prime Minister of Israel addressed this nation, pleading that we not allow the enemies of Israel to obtain nuclear technology. I fear his words fell on deaf ears. Israel will stand alone.

“Behold, I come quickly.” When Joseph quoted the Lord thus, many of the early saints felt the Second Coming was imminent. I have always felt the true meaning of the phrase is that we will be surprised at the rapidity of events in the last days when they begin to be fulfilled in earnest. Let us be familiar with the signs, especially with the signs the Lord displays for us in heaven.

 

Anxiously Engaged In A Good Cause


RestoreZionAwhile back, Daymon responded to one of my posts in a kind and gentle way which got me thinking about the phrases I use in my writing. His use of Skeletor as an object lesson was simply ingenious. Some of you may remember his objection to ascribing the voice of authority to our own thoughts in order to give them greater credibility or persuasive influence upon others.

In the comments section we discussed inspiration, prophecy, revelation and the whole idea of having “unique access to the Lord.” In the end, he suggested we be more humble and take our thoughts more seriously as gifts. I will be forever grateful to the newfound understanding I gained from Daymon’s humorous illustration. It helped me reconsider how I express thoughts.

A friend, let’s call him Log, recently counseled me in a similar manner with these words, “I feel it breaks the rule when we say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ without the Lord asking us to say that.  Whether we say it by ‘the Spirit told me’ or ‘I’m prophesying here,’ it is the same.” I’d like to expand on why I agree with Daymon and Log in this post and how it applies to LDS bloggers.

A Desire to Focus Your Attention

Sometimes I speculate. I think we all do. Other times I extrapolate and reason, based upon what I read or see, about the fulfillment of scripture amidst current world events. After all, the focus of this blog has always been signs of the times and the last days, or at least that has always been my intent. I read about the rise of evil power in the Middle East and ponder how it might affect me.

In a post simply titled “Babylon,” a man I consider to be a prophet recently wrote, “The God of Heaven tells me all the world should pray that Baghdad does not fall.” Like several others, I took his powerful one-line post, added a few paragraphs of history, background and current events then concluded my own post with words encouraging readers: let us pray Baghdad does not fall.

I tried to not use the voice of authority. I tried to not imply the Lord had asked me to add what I did to Denver Snuffer’s original message. I did not share I had prayed about what to write, nor did I use such phrases as “The Lord told me to add,” or “The Spirit prompted me to explain…” After all, I was responding to a request from yet another blogger who suggested the new post.

Speaking As a Prophet, Seer or Revelator

When Daymon referred to reframing the old models I had to think for a minute what he meant. It came to me as I considered how I described my conversations with the Lord in my blog posts. It became even clearer as I pondered the response of some readers in private emails asking me to talk to the Lord for them. “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets…” (Num 11:29)

In every case of such requests I have responded, “You can and should be talking to the Lord for yourself.” The idea of being a medium is appalling to me. Frankly, it shocks me to learn anyone considers it to be a valid way to receive revelation. Just as there is only one mediator between man and God, there is only one mediator between us and the Lord and that is the Holy Ghost.

So how do I respond to promises of gifts of prophecy and revelation contained in my patriarchal blessing? Why would a patriarch speak of the whisperings of the Holy Ghost that come to me or that I would speak the words of the Lord pertaining to the salvation of his children? Are all such promises null and void, not applicable now that I am no longer a member of the LDS Church?

Seek the Best Gifts, Covet to Prophecy

Be humble and grateful for inspired thoughts was what I gained from Daymon’s Skeletor post. Be careful in the use of attribution for such thoughts. I recall a 1993 made-for-TV movie about Ervil LeBaron called Prophet of Evil. Brian Dennehy did an excellent job of creeping me out with his portrayals of Ervil’s obvious manipulative “revelations” in directing his cult murders.

If anyone wants to know how Satan can deceive in the matter of revelations, just read about the LeBarons. In the comments on my Babylon post, I wrote I had no problem judging the evildoers in Iraq and Syria who commit atrocities such as burning people alive. I feel the same way about Ervil LeBaron. I have no problem stating he was evil. How could anyone follow such a man?

In contrast, when a man speaks under the influence of the Holy Ghost, hearers or readers will be enlightened, instructed, uplifted and motivated to action that brings one closer to the Savior. That does not mean every word is intended to cause us to feel good or to be comforted. Sometimes the whisperings of the Holy Ghost cause us to feel uncomfortable only because the task is difficult.

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

For example, when the Lord spoke through Joseph in section one of the Doctrine and Covenants, the voice of warning was unmistakable and clear. The revelation spoke of the anger of the Lord, secret acts being revealed, the rebellious being pierced with much sorrow, the wrath of God to be poured out upon the wicked without measure, peace being taken from the earth and judgments.

There are references throughout the Doctrine and Covenants to the dreadful day of the Lord. The Lord describes His word as being quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow. We are counseled to deny not the spirit of revelation or the spirit of prophecy. Obviously we need to be familiar with and understand this sacred spirit.

“…woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth…” We are admonished to cast out devils freely, without being commanded to do so (D&C 24:13). Tribulation and desolation are soon to be sent forth. The Lord will reveal himself from heaven with power and great glory. The wicked shall burn as stubble. Great hailstorms shall be sent to destroy the crops of the earth.

Words to Afflict the Comfortable

How does this kind of language make you feel? Does it come from the Lord? We could fill pages and pages with such statements, all attributed to the Lord and delivered through various prophets. When we hear or read such language today do we think they only applied to the members in the early days of the LDS Church, when the Adventist movement and belief was more predominant?

Here are a few more from section 29: There will be a pillar of fire again. A trump shall sound both long and loud. All the earth shall quake. The sun shall be darkened. The moon shall be turned to blood. The stars shall fall from heaven. There shall be greater signs in heaven above and in the earth beneath. Flies shall be sent forth, shall eat flesh and cause maggots to come in.

The flesh of men shall fall from off their bones, and their eyes from their sockets. I think that’s enough to illustrate the point. We accept section 29 as the word of the Lord. Does it make you feel comfortable? Lightning shall streak from the east unto the west. All that live shall hear the voice of thunders and tempests and hailstorms and famines and pestilences of every kind. Ugh.

A Voice of Warning to All Men

Why would the Lord talk like this unto us? Does he want to frighten us and cause our children to cry? Of course not. Such language is given in the spirit of prophecy and revelation by the Lord to His servants, the prophets. If a prophet is not sharing such messages, he is not doing his job. The Lord’s voice in our day is a voice of warning. We do not live in a day of peace. That is obvious.

26: And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth. 31: And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.

Those quotes are from section 45. 39: And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. 42 And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.  43 And the remnant shall be gathered…

The Remnant Shall Be Gathered

Who are the remnant? The remnant are those preserved by Christ. The Restoration given through the Prophet Joseph Smith is currently producing a remnant – those who remember. All who will remember will constitute a remnant that will be preserved and not abandoned by God. It has been the same in every dispensation. The remnant are gathering now, spiritually first, then physically.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” One of those good causes available now is to participate in the spiritual gathering of the remnant.

To this end, there are several individuals who have established various websites, blogs and social platforms. They are doing this on their own, without command, because the power is in them. In other words, they can, so they do. They shall in nowise lose their reward. I would like to mention one such endeavor as I close this post in the hopes of bringing it to the attention of good people.

New Remnant Gathering Website

The new social platform is RestoreZion.com. You are probably aware of other sites such as Approaching the Heavenly Gift on the LDS Freedom Forum. In addition, there are a number of Facebook groups where the remnant are gathering. This new site is privately hosted, includes a news feed, private messaging, an area for creating groups, events, forums, video chat and more.

As of this writing membership is open to all like-minded individuals who agree the Lord is now working through Denver Snuffer as His messenger and servant in our day. There are about fifty who have joined so far. I encourage you to check it out, join if you choose and participate in the dialog. There are many places hosting remnant conversations. This one is designed for safety.

To join, the administrator will review your request. I’m sure you can appreciate this is to ensure the participants can discuss Remnant events in a safe environment. As I looked at the list of those who are already registered, I recognize almost all of them from one of the other remnant sites or Facebook groups. Please don’t think of this as a gatekeeper type of site. It is simply another tool.

A Few Closing Thoughts

I hope you see there are no phrases or inferences in this post that this is intended to be the word of the Lord to anyone. It simply contains a few of my thoughts on various subjects I feel inspired to share this weekend. Have I prayed about this? Of course. Have I felt guided by the spirit of the Lord in what I have written? Yes. My intent was to inform, invite and encourage, nothing more.

Does this post contain offensive material? Yes, it does to those who are offended by the idea the Lord could communicate with his children through someone other than the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Denver Snuffer has delivered a message from the Lord in a series of lectures, to which a second witness stood and testified the message was authorized.

In Keith’s own words, “I bear solemn testimony that I have received the message by God’s voice of their truthfulness, and also of His desire for us to believe in and act upon these things that have been spoken.” Note the phrase “by God’s voice.” You will need to decide for yourself if you believe Keith as a true witness. I, for one, accept his witness. I invite you to act upon it.

 

O Babylon, We Bid Thee Farewell


a-modern-day-caliphateSome of you may know I have definite ideas when it comes to the end times, specifically about what the Lord is going to do in regards to the destruction of the wicked. I am a catastrophist, which means I take literally the word of the Lord in which He says He will fight our battles for us. You can read more about what I believe and the scriptures that support that in this PDF link.

However, there is one event prophesied in scripture I have always wondered might very well be a man-made catastrophe, or in other words, a nuclear holocaust. You can read about it in chapter thirteen of Isaiah. Symbolism in the latter verses of the chapter is rich with images representing a piece of earth that will not be inhabited for generations because of the deadly effects of radiation.

Empty For Generation After Generation

I like this version sent to me by a friend in a recent email, along with his own commentary.

“Look, I will stir up the Medes against Babylon.
They cannot be tempted by silver
or bribed with gold.

The attacking armies will shoot down the young men with arrows.
They will have no mercy on helpless babies
and will show no compassion for children.”

Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.

Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep.

Desert animals will move into the ruined city,
and the houses will be haunted by howling creatures.
Owls will live among the ruins,
and wild goats will go there to dance.

Hyenas will howl in its fortresses,
and jackals will make dens in its luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s days are numbered;
its time of destruction will soon arrive.

Religious Significance Of The Middle East

isis-influence-mapBabylon, of course, no longer exists, as least not as a place inhabited today. The ruins of Babylon lie some fifty miles south of Baghdad. When we speak of Babylon now we usually refer to the influence of worldliness. Perhaps this 20-minute video from the Isaiah Institute will give you a better feel for how the Lord uses Babylon as a type or shadow of things to come in the last days.

Often when Westerners hear news of atrocities in the middle-east they dismiss them as simply the way things are over there, never believing such things could happen in the United States. For those who understand the scriptures, especially Isaiah, they know there is great significance to the idea of Babylon rising again as a political power. It signifies the beginning of the end times.

A Caliphate Has Been Declared

Rather than get into all the background of Babylon, I’ll refer you to Adrian Larsen’s post on the subject over on his blog, To The Remnant. Adrian provides an excellent explanation as to why all the whole world should pray that Baghdad does not fall. Of course Baghdad is not Babylon, at least not yet. If the Islamic state captures Baghdad, then Babylon will once again be among us.

isis-united-statesA Caliphate has been declared once again, something Islam has not had in over five hundred years. That means millions of Muslims are preparing to take jihad to a whole new level. You can’t have a real Caliphate without territory and lots of it. The publically stated goal of this Caliphate is to capture Baghdad from which to conduct massive war, specifically upon Israel.

The Use of Nuclear Weapons

In order to defend itself, Israel will be forced to use nuclear weapons. The caliph, a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community, expects and desires this. They have prophecies about Armageddon just as we do in the bible. They believe their role is to bring about this all-out war of nations.

You read Isaiah chapter thirteen again and tell me if it doesn’t describe a land made desolate by nuclear attack. I hope and pray that Baghdad doesn’t fall to ISIL (see footnote), because that would be the beginning of the end. The Islamic State will quickly amass an army of millions, who will come from many nations with one objective – to destroy Israel, which they will almost accomplish.

Pray That Baghdad Does Not Fall

isis-territoryIf Israel nukes Babylon / Baghdad, the whole world, including the United States will turn against the tiny nation. Then nothing will be able to save Jerusalem except divine intervention. We will all be surprised by how fast this escalates if Baghdad falls. Yet so few seem to be aware of what is happening in Syria and Iraq. But the God of Heaven has asked us to turn our attention there.

Along with many others, I am fasting and praying today, specifically that Baghdad will not fall. There are thousands of Christians and Muslims in the city who do not espouse the extreme ways of ISIL. Abraham interceded with “The God of Heaven” when Jehovah contemplated destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps our united faith and prayers today will do the same for Baghdad.


For a more in-depth analysis of the perilous situation in Baghdad read Graeme Wood’s article in the Atlantic. The map illustrating this post is taken from that publication.

Footnote: ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIL is the acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The differentiation between the word ‘Syria’ and the word ‘Levant’ is actually quite significant. It makes a big difference because of this: ISIL includes Levant, which includes the area we like to call Israel. The Islamic State has designs that go from Iran through Egypt. There is no Israel in their plans.

Mighty And Strong Words


kalki-white-horseKALKI COMES ON A WHITE HORSE (From Hindu scripture) “In all nations, wealth and spirituality will decrease day by day until the entire world will be corrupt, crooked and depraved. Then property alone will confer rank or high reputation; money will be the only object of devotion and dedication in people; the vicissitudes of physical sexual desire will be the only and fleeting bond of union between the sexes; women will be regarded as nothing but objects of sexual gratification; and falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation.”

“The natural Earth will be venerated only for its’ mineral treasures; nothing but the Brahmanical thread in India will be said to make a person a Brahman; external clothing will be the only distinction of the level of evolution of human beings; dishonesty instead of genuine productive work will become the short-lived means of subsistence for people everywhere; weakness and irresponsibility will cause more and more people to depend on charity and the state wherever they can; political menace, conformity and intellectual presumption will be substituted for education; immorality and personal corruption will be the new false religion; mere external bathing and showering will be the substitute for internal purification; easily breakable mutual assent will be the only marriage vow of parents for rearing children and divorce with broken homes will ever increase; fine clothes and bodily physique will be the only human dignity; and only water in far-away holy places will be sacred, for the local water will be increasingly polluted.”

“When the spiritual traditions of the past are no longer practiced and the institutions of law and justice have become falsified and dysfunctional, the final closure of the Kali Yuga shall be imminent. At that time, a Self of the Divine Being who exists in His own innate spiritual nature in oneness with Brahman, and who shall be both the beginning and the end of all spiritual ways, and who comprehends all the spiritual ways and philosophies and sciences, shall descend upon the Earth. He will be a true Brahman (by inner nature) from Shambhala. He will be known as Kalki, chalky (Caucasian), endowed with all eight superhuman faculties, siddhis. By an irresistible Cosmic Force he will destroy the Barbarian rulers and leaders who are nothing but conniving thieves whose minds are devoted to evil. He, Kalki, will then re-establish righteous harmony upon the Earth; and the minds of those who survive the end of the Kali Age shall be awakened into higher unprejudiced awareness and be clear as crystal. Those men and women of that peculiar time of transition shall be as seeds of the emergent human race that shall ascend and evolve through the Dwapara and Treta Ages into a new Krita Golden Age.”  Vishnu Purana

“Vishnu will return as Kalki, upon a white horse, as the last Avatar, amid fire and flames.” Hindu Puranas

“He will then reestablish righteousness upon Earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as translucent as crystal.” Vishnu Purana IV:24,26-27

THE MIGHTY MAITREYA (From Buddhist Scripture)

In the evil age to come, living beings will decrease in good qualities and increase in utter ignorance, coveting gain and honors, developing their evil qualities, and being far removed from deliverance.’ – Lotus Sutra 13

‘Before the coming of the Maitreya, the holy religion will decline. How will it occur? After my decease, first will occur the five disappearances. And what are the five disappearances? The disappearance of attainments, the disappearance of the method, the disappearance of learning, the disappearance of symbols, the disappearance of the relics. These are the five disappearances that are to occur.’ – Buddhism. Anagatavamsa

‘The banner of Shambala shall encircle the central lands of the Blessed One. Those who accept him shall rejoice, and those who deny him shall tremble. The decriers shall be given over to justice and shall be forgotten. The warriors shall march under the banner of Maitreya.’ – The prophecy of Shambala (Buddhist, BEF 700 CE)

‘People will no longer have any religion to which they can turn for solace or liberation: the doctrines of materialism will overwhelm their minds and drive them to struggle for their own selfish ends. The lust for power and wealth will prevail over teachings of compassion and truth’ – The prophecy of Shambala (Buddhist, BEF 700 CE)

‘In those days, brethren, there will arise in the World and Exalted One named Maitreya. He will be an Arahant, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher of gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself , will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this Universe, with its worlds of the spirits, its Brahmas and its Maras, and its world of recluses and Brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself thoroughly know and see them. The Law, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, will he proclaim, both in the spirit and in the letter; the higher life will he make known, in all its fullness and in all its purity, even as I do now. He will be accompanied by a congregation of some thousands of brethren, even as I am now accompanied by a congregation of some hundreds of brethren.’ – Digha Nikaya iii.76, Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutanta

‘Listen attentively with one heart. A man whose spirit shines brightly, a man whose mind is completely unified, a man whose virtue excels everyone – such a man will truly appear in this world. When he preaches precious laws, all the people will be totally satisfied as if the thirsty drink sweet drops of rain from heaven. And each and every one will attain the path of liberation from struggles.’ – Sutra of the Great Accomplishment of the Maitreya

HOPE FROM THE HOPI TRIBE (Hopi Prophecy)

WhiteFeather“I am White Feather, a Hopi of the ancient Bear Clan. In my long life I have traveled through this land, seeking out my brothers, and learning from them many things full of wisdom. I have followed the sacred paths of my people, who inhabit the forests and many lakes in the east, the land of ice and long nights in the north, and the places of holy altars of stone built many years ago by my brothers’ fathers in the south. From all these I have heard the stories of the past, and the prophecies of the future. Today, many of the prophecies have turned to stories, and few are left — the past grows longer, and the future grows shorter.

“And now White Feather is dying. His sons have all joined his ancestors, and soon he too shall be with them. But there is no one left, no one to recite and pass on the ancient wisdom. My people have tired of the old ways — the great ceremonies that tell of our origins, of our emergence into the Fourth World, are almost all abandoned, forgotten, yet even this has been foretold. The time grows short.

“My people await Pahana, the lost White Brother, [from the stars] as do all our brothers in the land. He will not be like the white men we know now, who are cruel and greedy. We were told of their coming long ago, but still we await Pahana. He will bring with him the symbols, and the missing piece of that sacred tablet now kept by the elders, given to him when he left, that shall identify him as our True White Brother.

“The Fourth World shall end soon, and the Fifth World will begin. This the elders everywhere know. The Signs over many years have been fulfilled, and so few are left. This is the First Sign: We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana men who took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder. This is the Second Sign: Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes — the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.” “This is the Third Sign: A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his eyes — the coming of the white men’s cattle.” “This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.” “This is the Fifth Sign: The land shall be crisscrossed by a giant spider’s web.” “This is the Sixth sign: The land shall be crisscrossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.” This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it. This is the Eighth Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom. And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.

“These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands — with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke and fire such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying. Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon — very soon afterward — Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World. But White Feather shall not see it. I am old and dying. You — perhaps will see it. In time, in time…”

THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE MENTINAH

  1. Wherefore, write this prophecy in a book and preserve it. And in the day of great tribulation, when even my own appointed prophets shall sit in confusion, I shall cause my words to come forth from the dust. Yea, out of the earth shall my words hiss, and though they make every attempt to cover them up again, yet shall my words be made known and their folly shall be uncovered. Behold, they who do still see with the eyes of the spirit shall read these records, and of this prophecy most especially, and they shall beseech me again, seeking my face. And when they do this, I shall show myself unto them with great power. Then shall the restoration proceed again unhindered by pride.

  2. And I shall call again that Apostle whom I loved from old, and he shall come forth again and make a regulation of my Church. And behold, there are three of my apostles whom I have called from among the people of the Land Bountiful unto whom I have given power over death. They also shall I call up and send unto the righteous remnant from within my house. And these, being directed by my beloved Apostle, shall make a great regulation and shall put in order my Holy House. And behold, all who read this record, as well the other works that I shall cause to be written and hid up in the earth until a certain time, shall see clearly how that by my spirit I did direct the people of this day in their sacred walk and their sacred talk. Yea, and they who read these things shall see that John and his fellow servants shall order my house in the way in which I have instructed you by my spirit.

  3. Then shall the saints once again approach me without persecution. Then the very elect shall no longer be deceived. Then shall my prophets sit no longer in stupor or in idleness of thought. But their building and their teaching shall once again be for the profit of both living and dead. Then shall my people turn again from their pride and their riches and embrace their God.

  4. And this shall be a sign unto you, Oh house of Israel – in the day when the holy incense is taken away from the ordinances of my Holy House, yea, and in the day when the dead sacrifice shall have been restored but shall have taken precedence over the living, yea, in the day when those whom I shall call to stretch forth the hand to steady the ark shall teach my children to follow their words and their doctrine, and not to seek the Spirit in all things, yea, in the day when the place of my daughters shall have been reduced to a place of compulsion and servitude unto the men, then shall the time be ripe for the fulfillment of my words. Yea, then shall I call forth my servants to do my will and regulate my Church. Then shall all things be brought again in order and my saints shall begin again to bring about Zion in this fair land.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

I have heard a lot of opinions on the “one mighty and strong.” One is that Jesus Christ is the one mighty and strong, who will come in a resurrected state, and another is that he will come again as a mortal. Some have said it is John the revelator in a translated state, others have said it is John the revelator in a mortal state. I have heard it that it will be Moses reincarnated, or Joseph Smith returning. Some say that all of us who assist are the “one mighty and strong.”

I would like to hear your opinions. Is this person alive? Is it someone who is new on the scene or have they already lived on the earth? When he comes will it be wrong if people call him Maitreya or Kalki or Pahana? Will anyone who has received the name of Christ also receive the title of one who is “mighty” and “strong?” Does it matter?

In section 85 (as well as many other places in different words) we are told that the house will be set in order by this person. Will it be out of order until then? What are we to do in the mean time? I obviously have my own understanding of all of this but would love to hear other opinions and I am sure I could learn from what others have gleaned by the Spirit themselves. To honor Martin Luther King, (who I believe was a man of God) I will end with a few of my favorite quotes from him;

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.”

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it. Courageous men never lose the zest for living even though their life situation is zestless; cowardly men, overwhelmed by the uncertainties of life, lose the will to live. We must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”

“Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideals hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.”