What To Do With Your Treasures


my-treasure-is-in-heavenI am hesitant to publish this post, but feel persuaded by ponderous and solemn thought it may do someone some good, even if it’s only me. It has been on my mind for quite some time, possibly even years, perhaps ever since I first met my friend Jared (Log) whose focus is clearly on the Sermon on the Mount. I am comforted by this scripture, which gives me courage to write and share:

Fools mock, but they shall mourn. And my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me. For if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will shew unto the Gentiles their weakness.

Source: Ether 12:26-28 (LE) or Ether 5: Sentences 35-51 (RE)

Gentiles Must Repent

tenth-article-of-faithI am a Gentile. I feel my weaknesses. The natural man (Mosiah 3:19 LE) is strong in me in spite of my efforts to subdue those natural tendencies. The Lord has clearly shown unto me my weaknesses. I am humbled by my own nothingness in this Telestial state and by my ever-present mortal frailties, always before my eyes.

I glory in the grace of my Lord unto me, for He is kind, long-suffering and gentle, patient and full of love unfeigned. He persuades me to desire his righteousness and to seek after holiness. He teaches me to repent. In fact, He has never ceased in the enticings of the Holy Spirit for me to put off the natural man and become a Saint.

Treasures on Earth

Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Source: Matt 6:19-21 (LE) or Matthew 3, Sentences 83-85 (RE)

the-rich-young-rulerCouple this instruction from the Lord with these words of counsel to the rich young man, who, the scripture reports, went away sorrowing, for his much wealth. I also wonder very seriously if what I have laid up in store will vanish away as the slippery treasures of the Nephites in their days of wickedness. (Hel 13:31-32 LE)

Sell All That Thou Hast

If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Source: Matt 10, Sentences 34-35 (RE) or Matt 19:21-22 (LE)

I think those scriptures provide sufficient background for what I desire to share. I am in a conundrum. I have worked all my life to lay up for myself treasures on earth, as in the Great American Dream, in preparation for my retirement. Now I am confronted with the understanding that in order to become individually qualified for Zion, I must sell all that I have and give to the poor. Or have I misunderstood?

Provide For His Own

worse-than-an-infidelConsider these words: “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” (D&C 42:22 LE) and “Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken.” (D&C 83:2 LE).

Also, “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (1 Tim 5:8) “And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.” (D&C 75:28 LE)

As I have pondered and prayed about these scriptures, I have felt impressed that all I have is given me to take care of my family, especially my dear wife, whom I love with all my heart. Yet I desire to enter into a covenant to build up Zion. What am I to do? I also desire to contribute to the building of the temple and helping the poor.

Zion Established for Protection

IndependenceTempleSignIn the spirit of prophecy and revelation, backed up by many scriptures, Zion is to be established before the Lord returns. It is established specifically as a place to provide a refuge from the deterioration, collapse and eventual destruction of this and all other nations. We will want to gather there. It is a specific place and from everything I have read it is in the tops of the mountains and not in flat Missouri.

I very much desire to go to Boise for the Conference in September with the intent to cast my vote and let my voice be heard. I want to enter into the covenant offered by the Lord with the anticipated benefit of obtaining the right to dwell here in this land in safety and to assist the remnant of Jacob build the Holy City in preparation for the return of the Lord before that Great and Terrible Day of Destruction.

The Gathering May Soon Be Upon Us

zion-place-of-refugeNot to get too personal or share too much information, most of my long-time readers know Carol and I do not see eye to eye on this subject. In fact, she was quick to point out many years ago the end result of the path I have chosen to follow, that of believing the scriptures in regards to the literal gathering of the house of Israel and the believing Gentiles who desire to assist them is NOW.

I do not see things unfolding in the orthodox viewpoint of the LDS Church in this manner. They provide no timeline. From everything I have observed, teachings about the gathering have been watered down until they are meaningless. The standard teaching of gathering in the Stakes of the Zion, interpreted to be the LDS Church, is bland and without any requirement of sacrifice. I hope that’s not harsh.

Behold, I Come Quickly

CityOfZionI believe we have an opportunity NOW to open the heavens and to call down the Powers of Heaven to join us. Specifically, I am convinced the return of the City of Enoch is nigh at hand, and, as we know, the Lord has made that His abode forever. That is why I desire to gather to Boise for this conference. I believe for we who enter into and accept this covenant, things will begin to move very, very quickly.

Because Denver has stated it will be years before the people become fully ripe in iniquity, I have decided to forego my plans for retirement. I have been seeking new opportunities and am very close to deciding between several prospects that will likely result next week in multiple offers of long-term employment. Conceivably, I will work in another twelve years in order to build up more treasures on earth.

A Few Questions In Conclusion

doctrine-of-christ-boise-Sep2017I’m still seeking definitive answers to a few questions: Must one be there in person at the Boise Conference as a sign in order to demonstrate a desire and willingness to enter into the covenant and obtain the promised blessing of protection? What about those who simply cannot attend due to distance and travel expense? Will there be some arrangements made for streaming the conference over the Internet? [Edit – Yes]

Once the covenant is accepted by the Lord and by those who desire to enter into such a covenant, I am convinced an announced gathering place will shortly be forthcoming. That is a big deal and will cause all kinds of opposition. I have to answer for myself if my plans to spend most of my energy to labor in this world is the best thing for me and my family. Nobody can answer this for me but the Lord.

Reality of These Prophesied Events

restoration-scriptures-infoAm I alone in these thought and questions? Have any of you pondered the reality of what we will be called upon to do once we accept and enter into this covenant? Am I missing the big picture or is it clearer to you how things will come to pass after the conference this September? What are your plans in regards to how you will respond to an announcement of a gathering to a specific place? Am I way off?

I’m not trying to create division. I desire unity. Carol says she doubts she will live more than a few more years. I disagree. While none of us can predict with any degree of certainty how long we will live, in my conversations with the Lord, I have seen myself participating in many of the winding up scenes in my mind’s eye and in the dreams of the night. In most of them, gratefully, Carol was by my side.

An Invitation to Dialog

Your thoughts?

 

Upcoming Remnant Tithing Conference


The Remnant Ministry asked Adrian Larsen (To The Remnant) and me (Latter-day Commentary) to share this on our blogs to get the word out. You are welcome to share this on Facebook, Google+ Twitter or your own blog as desired.

TithingConference

Tithing Conference – Saturday Sept 19th 2015, SLCC, Sandy Utah, 6pm to 9pm

Format for Tithing Conference:  We ask that while people are speaking / presenting for no interruptions or questions.  We have dedicated an hour after presentations as a Q & A time for individual/group conferences to form to ask questions of each other.

Sharing of Ideas and Needs: There will be a clipboard available for groups to communicate with each other “needs” and “surpluses” in a “giving tree” concept.

Call for Papers: We have had over a year of this “Tithing experiment”, as such we are asking for submissions of articles/papers and even just paragraphs from anyone who wants to contribute. Contributions can be lessons learned, progress made, mistakes, scriptural studies, group experiences, miracles and impacts witnessed, testimonies shared, thanks given or as the spirit directs.  We will place all the submissions into a pdf and make it available after the conference.  We will accept submissions after the conference as well for approximately 30 days.

We are open to other ideas still, and volunteers. Personal note from Tim: I am aware of some very successful tithing groups that have been able to provide support for single sisters with young families in need. Isn’t that what true religion is all about?

Contact: http://www.remnantministry.org/contact.html or remnantministry555@gmail.com

Link to last month’s announcement: https://latterdaycommentary.com/2015/07/08/call-for-tithing-conference/ (60+ comments)

A few thoughts from Denver for consideration and discussion from the Grand Junction lecture 4-12-14:

One of the things that happened when we failed to live the Law of Consecration was a replacement commandment requiring the payment of tithes. D&C 64:23 “Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.” (This is the statement that the cliché that tithing is “fire insurance” is drawn from because if you’re tithed you won’t be burned at his coming.) “For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.” (D&C 64:23-25.)

I want to encourage you to pay tithing. If you are satisfied in paying that tithing to whatever church or organization you belong to, then continue doing so. The act of giving tithing as an offering to the Lord does not require you to supervise what happens with it once you give it to your churches. I think they become accountable. For you it is an act of faith. For them who receive it from you it is a matter of accountability before God.

However, some of us are forbidden from paying tithing to our church of choice. Some of us simply refuse to pay tithing because they don’t trust their church. Some refuse because they believe their church has neglected the poor. Some refuse to pay because the LDS Church refuses to be accountable and open with their donations.4 Some refuse to pay tithing because church leaders of the LDS Church treat the return on the tithing as “investment income,” and then use it to build shopping malls and buy landholdings. They treat the “investment income” as separate from tithing and use that categorization to deflect criticism of these vast commercial enterprises.

And from the Phoenix / Mesa lecture on 9-9-14:

In Grand Junction I spoke about tithing. I talked about organizing yourselves, collecting your own tithing and managing it yourselves, to assist the poor who are among you, and to do this by the voice of your own local group. Do it by common consent. Provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education and transportation. Do it by the voice of united agreement of you all in small groups in which all know one another. Since that time there have been several groups that have begun. Two groups are assisting single mothers with their needs. One group is assisting a family. One group has no needy among them, and they’ve accumulated for large charitable purposes, and they bought for a quadriplegic, a sophisticated electric wheelchair with the tithing money that they gathered.

I have also heard of some failing experiments, where frustration and contention have been problems. As the scriptures warn, and I discussed in Grand Junction, we must overcome “jarrings,” “contentions,” “envyings,” “strifes,” “lusts” meaning ambitions, and “covetous desires.” These  conflicts  need  to  be worked out before any gathering. All of the social ills of our day are in the churches of our day. Every denomination that came from Joseph Smith’s ministry is plagued with the same shortcomings. Before any gathering, we must be put through a refining process. We must grow; we must rise up first, before God will gather us to Zion.

There is no reason to pay for priesthood service. Serving should always require sacrifice. Do not pay for ministers. I would recommend if you choose to participate in a  tithing  group,  you  do  it in  the  same manner described in Grand Junction. Do it voluntarily among yourselves. Community is necessary. I do not know how you can bear one another’s burdens without administering your own tithes, administering your own fast offerings, doing things to help those people who are in need.

Some are giving tithing to an organization  that  is  purchasing  commercial  and  residential  real  estate, farms, and developing shopping centers, but has little left by comparison to give to the poor. Even though they give money to help the poor, billions spent in commercial ventures dwarf the amount. If you choose to participate that, that is up to you, but try and care for those among  you  who  have  needs.  Try  to participate in helping others and fellowshipping with them.

For those who are wondering, in my personal circumstances, I have made clear I would prefer to NOT pay tithing to an institution that does not publish reports of how the money is used. That, to me, is not common consent. However, I have left it up to Carol to decide how the Lord’s tithing money is used in our family. It is a commandment to pay tithing, but I also happen to believe in Rock’s ideas on the subject presented in this article: http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2012/12/are-we-paying-too-much-tithing.html

 

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.

 

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