Life and Death of a Blog


brotherofjaredA blog requires passion. I say that from eight years of experience. It takes vision. It requires time and effort. It is a labor of love. I loved blogging in Latter-day Commentary, especially in the years 2012-2014 as I was discovering, reading, digesting, pondering and praying about the writings of Denver Snuffer. Obviously the content and frequency of LDC posts has died down considerably. I obtained what I was seeking. Your feedback in the comments helped me find my answers. I love and appreciate all the wonderful comments over the years. Thank you for the warnings, the edification, and for the additional light and truth. You blessed me.

Two of my co-writers now have their own blogs. I highly recommend them. Many readers enjoyed Log’s posts. He is a master of the scriptures. You can find Log at http://logscabin.blogspot.com/ and Peter at http://latterdaywitnesses.com. I am grateful for their contributions over the years, especially my friend Log, whom I love dearly. Despite the title of this post, LDC will be around as a historical record for at least five more years. There may be occasional posts, but they will be rare. Of course, it’s best to keep up with Denver at http://denversnuffer.com/ and Keith at http://recordersclearinghouse.com to keep up with restoration events.

To be baptized, go here: http://www.bornofwater.org. There are so many great blogs commenting on the restoration movement there is no way I can list them all or even keep up anymore. I am nearly sixty years old and am winding down my career. Most of my energy is spent there. I have prayed much about what to do with the blog. It kept me in the scriptures. It kept me thinking and, sadly, it got me into trouble with the LDS Church and my own marriage. My focus is on loving Carol and on her happiness. My blogging efforts caused a serious rift in my marriage, which I treasure and would rather keep than to continually agitate my dear wife.

Life Goes On

jacobs-ladder1I am grateful for all the friends I have made over the years, especially certain individuals who I consider sentinels, messengers and true servants of the Lord. My emails have not changed. Unless I’m dead, you can always reach me at either address listed on the side column of my blog. I am at peace with what I have done in regards to the LDS Church. I still have so many friends in my ward and stake who I appreciate for their kind hand of fellowship. May God bless each of us in our journey up the ladder. I bear witness that He lives. He has ministered unto me in words that cannot be spoken. I have been consumed by the fire of His love.

Things will be changing dramatically in our world over the next few years. You know this as well as I do. I pray we may meet again. Watch for the signs. Do not fall asleep. It takes constant effort, discipline and work to walk in the light. I am so grateful for repentance. He answers immediately. He gives peace. Many of you have specific missions yet to perform in preparation for the return of the Lord. I cannot say if I have completed what the Lord sent me here to accomplish. I continue to ascend the mountain, both symbolically and literally to commune with the Lord. I promise you He speaks. Our task is to remain worthy, be patient and listen.

God bless.

Farewell – May God Bless you


mormon-writing-on-platesAlmost eight years I took a leap of faith, began to write short items I thought might be interesting to others, and posted them on Blogger. For years I labored, seeking to share what I thought would be helpful and enlightening. Sometimes, I know I hit the mark. Other posts were a complete waste of time. But in the end, I felt I did what the Lord asked me to do for a season.

It’s time to say goodbye. The blog expires this Thursday, but I could not let it do so without expressing my love and gratitude to those who helped me on my journey. I have come to love you, especially as I have been in some of your homes, taken the sacrament with you and prayed with you. How grateful I am to have had this season to share and feel of your love and kindness.

Some few of you have been mean and vicious – somewhat immature really. I forgive you. You did not hurt me. You were reaching out in anger, feeling threatened. I understand. I used to feel the same way. That’s how I started my blog – defending the orthodox traditions of the LDS Church. I am no longer a member and that bothered quite a few of you. I am sorry for your pain.

I still love you. The attacks came mostly from those who knew me personally, who grew up with me or served with me in the councils of the church or who worked at my side in a shared career. Others came from fools who knew nothing of which they wrote, but sought only to get attention and elicit a response. I feel sorry for such individuals who have no self-control in open dialog.

But most of you were encouraging and understanding. I thank you for your kind words, for the thousands upon thousands of comments, for the discussion, for the sharing of books, and of scriptures, of authors, references and points of view I had not considered. You are so kind. It is your sharing with me that blessed my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Bless you.

Today I meet with our new bishop. It has been over a year since I resigned from the LDS Church. I am not qualified to re-baptized LDS, nor do I think it will ever happen. But because I love my wife and desire to be one with her, I desire to do all within my power to be reconciled to the faith of her forebears. We have great differences of opinion on doctrine but I love her dearly.

BreadAndWineI do not believe a man should have to swear an oath-like promise to uphold a prophet. That flies in the face of 3rd Nephi 11:40. I also am convinced, through prayer and study, that the correct way to partake of the sacrament is with wine, for that is the way the Lord has said he will partake of the Sacrament with us when he returns. Thus, in the eyes of the LDS Church, I am not worthy.

I also believe sealings in the temple are not guaranteed. A man and woman must be sealed by the holy spirit of promise to be united forever. That means they must come into the presence of the Lord together. No promise made by any man across from an altar in a temple on this earth will substitute for hearing such a promise from the mouth of the Lord. I seek that promise in this life.

I accept tithing as a commandment from God but I am not willing to give that tithing money to the LDS Church to support the professional clergy or to build malls or to buy land in Florida. I want my money to go to the poor. Nor do I believe I must pay tithing on my gross earnings each paycheck. I have done that for over fifty years but no longer believe this is what the Lord asked.

I sang in our ward choir today, a hymn of worship honoring Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the focus on the Savior. I am also grateful anytime I am taught the doctrines revealed through Joseph Smith by those who understand them as they were originally revealed and not as they have been interpreted or watered down by the correlation process of the modern bureaucrats in the church.

preserving-the-restorationSo many people don’t even recognize it because they won’t study. I have just about finished Denver Snuffer’s latest book, Preserving the Restoration. I was there for many of the talks that were delivered. He has surely added much to clarify and kept his promise to remove himself from the narrative. I heartily recommend this book if you want to learn purity of Mormonism.

I am still convinced something catastrophic will come to pass in the last days, sometime in the next few years. I have no idea how long we have. It could be economic collapse, social chaos, of what the scriptures describe as the catastrophes found in the Book of Revelation, in the words of the Old Testament prophets and in the Book of Mormon. Yet I go forward in faith trusting God.

I want to be a part of the temple that needs to be built. I desire to contribute to the building of that temple. I want to be a part of Zion. I do not believe the LDS Church has any clue about how Zion really will come about. I am convinced the spirit of prophecy and revelation was lost at the top echelons of the LDS Church with the deaths of Hyrum and Joseph. I’m not a fan of Brigham.

My mission in life right now is to be one with my wife. I love her dearly. She has been hurt by my withdrawal from the church of her heritage. To me, it was a totally logical and spirit-guided decision, made after much thought, pondering and prayer. My decision to be baptized was meant to be a sign I accept Denver Snuffer as the Lord’s messenger in these last days, a leap of faith.

Denver still has not declared himself to be other than a teacher. I declare him to be otherwise. I cannot and will not share words delivered to me in prayer, nor am I called to be a public witness, but my witness is true. He is called of God and has done what he has done because God asked him to do so. I do not know him well, but know the Lord is pleased with what he has done.

mormon-bids-farewellI bid you farewell. I pray the Lord’s blessings upon you. I am not here to tell you your belief in the LDS Church is right or wrong. I simply did what the Lord asked me to do. I provided a forum for a season that some needed and that helped me on my journey to take the steps I know I needed to take to please the Lord. I have a long ways to go. Life is in Christ and in no one else.

I seek not to offend but know some have and will take offense. God bless you my friends. I may add to my record on the free WordPress site from time to time, but for the most part, my record stands. It helped me tremendously to share my life journey with you as I came to a much clearer understanding of LDS Mormonism and what it was that Joseph was trying to restore in his day.

Thank you for reading my posts. Thank you for the thousands upon thousands of comments. Thank you for trying to set me straight. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for the many, many private dialogs. Thank you for inviting me into your homes and to your gatherings. I am so grateful for what I have learned and pray I can live up to the knowledge God has given me.

I look forward to the tremendous changes I am certain will continue to take place in the LDS Church and in American society. The world will change dramatically within the next few years. Today, we are blessed. Perhaps it will be several years before the catastrophes spoken of by the prophets will come to pass. But they will come. It may or may not be in my remaining years.

Adieu.

A Report from the Grand Mesa Retreat


grand-mesa-topAlthough I’ve seen a few reports of the retreat in various Facebook groups, only one offered impressions of the opening session. I would like to share a few thoughts about what took place that night. As I write this first part on Saturday afternoon, the majority of the people attending the retreat are up on the Mesa. After prayer, I decided to not go up there with such a large group.

I was on the Mesa Friday in between storms. It was beautiful, quiet and peaceful. It felt sacred. The Mesa is under a three-day winter storm warning. As I look up there this afternoon I see dark storm clouds. I wonder if it’s snowing. The schedule called for the men to go up there to practice giving blessings to one another and, if lead, to prophecy, similar to the school of the prophets.

These are good things to do. My difficulty is with the weather. I’m an old man and am not sure I could stand in the snow for hours upon hours. I know the Mesa is a sacred place. You can read much about it on various sites, especially those that describe the Native American legends and myths of the mesa. For example, Google “Legend of Grand Mesa.” There are several good links.

Inspiring Speakers, Uplifting Music, Sacred Dance

horah-dance-weddingThe Friday night session was enjoyable. It was well attended. My estimate is there were well over a hundred and fifty adults present, perhaps as many as two hundred. Arrangements were made for the children to be cared for in another location. There were four speakers presenting, each one enjoyable and uplifting. There was also sacred music and yes, sacred dancing as well.

You may recall the kerfuffle about the idea of sacred dance. Marti Grobecker introduced it to us in a most delightful way. I was standing in the back of the room, next to Bret, when she began speaking. In the middle of her presentation she stopped, looked directly at me and said, “You can’t quote this on your blog, Tim.” Everyone laughed. I promised her I would not quote her.

However, I didn’t say anything about describing the dance. It was lovely. So many people came up to the stage she had to split them into two dances. It’s basically a circle dance – circles within circles, with each circle going in the opposite direction. She described the purpose of the dance is to move the angels to attend and to bless. Those in the center of the circle receive more energy.

Sacred Dance – Historical Precedence

In the packet each participant received upon arriving was a copy of Marti’s paper on dance, a copy of Bret and Samantha’s book, Unequally Yoked, the schedule, directions to venues and music we would be singing. Here is a link to a PDF of the handout. Marti was kind enough to provide the document in a PDF format for anyone to download.

From my point of view, the dancing was one of the highlights of the evening. It seems everyone wanted to participate. There were only a dozen or so left in their seats. I even went up there with the intention of dancing but it was simply too crowded. I stood by and clapped with the music, a sort of Jewish tune. It reminded me of a Jewish wedding, but the music was NOT Hava Nagila.

Rock_Waterman_SayingsBy the way, Rock was the first speaker. He gave a delightful talk on being born of the spirit and how it had influenced his and Connie’s lives. After Marti’s dance presentation and a wonderful rendition of Beautiful Savior, Jacqueline Olson, who had traveled from Arizona to attend my baptism last year, spoke about getting to know Christ, his personality and how he speaks with us.

 

Brought Together Through the Internet

RemnantFamilyReunionFinally, Larry Winn spoke about his experiences in coming unto Christ. He sang for us and had us sing along toward the end. The feeling I got was similar to what happens in many missionary farewells as the audience sings, “God be With You.” I then offered the benediction, thanking the Lord for teaching us about sacred dance. I asked Him to bless Bret and Samantha for all they did.

At this point I’d like to refer you to Scott Stover’s account of the remainder of the conference. He came in just as we were singing Beautiful Savior. I agree with his observation that it sounded like angels, probably because of the high soprano descant. For me, the evening was a moving worship experience. The focus was Christ, hearing his voice, singing and dancing praise to Him.

I was happy to see so many familiar faces from the lectures last year or from their online profile pictures. Many of my favorite bloggers were there: Will (200 Words or Less), Joe (Just and True), Rock (Pure Mormonism), Adrian (To the Remnant), Jules (My Journey to the Fullness), Anonymous Bishop, Scott Stover (The Gospel according to Scoot) and Bret (77 Truths).

Protecting the Higher Elevations

winter-storm-warningI have to comment a bit more on the weather. Take a look at This short post on Bare Record of Truth on the weather forecast for the weekend of the retreat. A three-day winter storm warning in May on the same three exact days of the retreat seems quite the coincidence. The result was that the men were not able to go on the hike to the higher elevations of the Mesa.

Although I’ve only been up there once in my life, I felt like I was treading on sacred ground. I stopped at the visitor center, which was closed due to the snow and at the Grand Mesa lodge where I bought a gift for Carol. From what I understand, the men gathered in these two spots for their Saturday meetings up on the Mesa. They could go no higher because of the snow and mud.

I apologize to Bret for not being there Saturday. He had asked me to lead one of the groups, but in prayer that morning I had an unsettled feeling. I left early Sunday to meet Carol back in Provo but before I left I heard various reports that the meetings on the Mesa went well, even if all the participants were freezing their tail feathers off. I’m glad the experience went well for everyone.

Spiritual Experiences as a Group

grand-mesa-visitor-centerAs I finish this post it’s Monday afternoon. I’ve had some time to think about the retreat. In my estimation it was a success. It brought people together who had much in common. There was a sense of peace and unity, light and enlightenment, and a wonderful sense of worship and praise. But I keep thinking back to one of the six questions I didn’t get to ask of Denver on Wednesday.

“If an individual has met with the Lord, he will want to go out and bless his fellowman. So fellowships are important, yet it seems the actual rising up is an individual effort. Can you help me understand how the two work together?” It is similar to another question about fellowships he had answered previously so we skipped this one. What we did this weekend was a retreat.

I think Bret’s intent was to create a setting for people to have “spiritual experiences.” I put that in quotes because I have been pondering the idea of group spiritual experiences lately. Salvation is obtained from the Lord in repenting, receiving the ordinance of baptism and continuing to do all we possibly can to receive the Holy Ghost. These are individual efforts, but we serve in a group.

Individual Effort and Group Fellowship

OneHeartOneMindAbout having asked the Lord about this and hearing Denver’s answer, I think the optimum size for a fellowship, or a church, is perhaps as few as fifty people, surely no more than one hundred. What we participated in this weekend was labeled a retreat. It was not a conference in the sense that although I heard there were some baptisms, nobody was ordained or sustained in the priesthood.

Correction: Sustainings did indeed take place as noted in the comments. I was not there Sunday because of my desire to be with my wife, who continues to struggle with this whole movement and my involvement in it. I obviously missed some wonderful experiences. I will be reading Bret’s book for ideas on how I can deal with this lack of unity in my marriage. Thanks to several readers for the correction.

The work of salvation is both an individual effort – prayer, gospel study, repentance – as well as a group effort – service, paying tithing and meeting each other’s needs. The Retreat was good, but I kept wondering what purpose it served. Bret said it was called by Christ and I believe him but what was accomplished to build up his people? Well, we enjoyed each other’s fellowship.

I believe there were several group sacrament services – remember, I left on Sunday morning. I hope they were sacred experiences for all those who participated. If you feel inspired to share, I would like to hear how things went with the Sunday services. Did you go away filled? Was the retreat worth your time and the travel expense involved? Were you uplifted by the experience?

The Ordinance of the Sacrament

BreadAndWineWithout providing too much detail I would like to share what I feel was one of the most sacred experiences of my life. By invitation, I stayed in the home of an individual there in Cedaredge Friday and Saturday night. I started a three-day fast Friday morning so did not participate in the wonderful barbeque that was provided on Saturday. After the barbeque we had the sacrament.

I would say there were twenty to twenty-five of us present for the first round of the sacrament. Just as we were finishing, another twenty individuals showed up. We had the sacrament again. This time I was honored to perform the ordinance. After this, we had a few short testimonies from a few individuals as requested by our host. I was one of them. It was, to me, very sacred.

From many, many years of serving as a gospel doctrine teacher, a high counselor, or primary teacher, I have learned there are times the Lord can use me as a conduit to express his feelings for the individuals in the class. The same thing has happened hundreds of times when setting someone apart or giving a priesthood blessing. The love of the Lord flows through me to others.

Expressing the Love of the Lord

This was one of those occasions. We each have different gifts. Some have one. Some have many. Some come naturally. Some must be developed. Some are given without much more than asking. Others are only given after years of preparation. For me, this was one of those times where I felt the Lord had prepared me for this moment. I am grateful for the inspiration of my host in asking.

Now I don’t know if anyone else felt it, and perhaps it was the wine talking, but my heart was glad and I felt to express the love of the Lord for all present. I opened my mouth to do so and it was filled with words from the Lord in blessing all those present. Again, perhaps I was the only one who felt it, but the Lord was with me as power in the priesthood flowed through me to them.

I know it doesn’t sound like much as I read it on my computer screen, but as I thanked the Lord later that evening in personal prayer, He let me know that is why I had been invited and why He had inspired me to go to the retreat – so I could express love to those who were present for their efforts to travel and to participate in this retreat that He directed Bret to organize at this time.

The Retreat Was Pleasing to the Lord

unequally-yokedThat’s it. The post is open for discussion. You can argue what we did and what we experienced could have been felt within the confines of the LDS Church. I disagree. You can argue we are all apostates who partook of the sacrament without it being authorized by a local bishop. I also disagree with that. Say what you want. I was there. I know what I felt. It was a good thing.

Thank you Bret and Samantha, Rock and Connie, Marti, Jacqueline, Scott, Adrian and all those who helped out in the child care, the youth activities, the music, the venues, the sound system, the contributions to help those travelling from long distances and all the behind the scenes stuff. I know we didn’t get up to the higher elevations, but I believe the hand of the Lord was in that too.

Thanks Bret for letting me offer the prayer, for letting me help with the editing of the book and for helping this California native feel welcome so far from home. And to my unnamed host who allowed me to sleep on his couch, as I said privately, I don’t think I’ve had such a good night’s sleep – two nights in a row, as I did in your home. Truly, you are a man blessed of the Lord.