Oh Babylon, We Bid Thee Farewell


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One of the disadvantages of putting so much of one’s energy into a worldly career is the drain on both time and energy to focus on the true purpose of life – finding ways to bless one’s fellow man. Being at the epitome or last days of this worldly career seems to have sapped from me what I once felt in abundance – a desire to write and share about my experiences with the spirit world.

I have a friend who uses in jest the phrase “independently wealthy” when he describes me. Nothing could be further from the truth. While not in debt to my eyeballs like some I know, I anticipate another seven to ten years of continuous employment before I can retire comfortably. I enjoy my work, but there is a high price to be paid for devotion given to this world in Babylon.

I constantly ask myself, “What does the Lord think of these many hours I put into making sure my work tasks are completed successfully and the projects I’ve been assigned move smoothly?” Because of the distance I live from my place of employment, I spend several hours a day on the commute. Such is life in Los Angeles. It can be difficult to keep feelings of resentment at bay.

Living in a War-Torn World 

eisenhower-farewell-warningFor those who don’t know, I now work for one of the largest warmongers in the world. I don’t know how I feel about this. One of my long-time readers shared his feelings and eventually left employment with the military at a great reduction in salary along with a high price to his family happiness. Security seems high, what with the prophecy of continual wars of the last days, but…

It is a matter of constant prayer. I value peace. I abhor war. I am especially distraught to earn a living from a company that makes bombs and missiles. It seems war can be waged these days without putting oneself in harm’s way, at least not in the sense we have done throughout history. Those with remote control skills are rewarded for their many years of video game expertise.

President Eisenhower warned us over fifty years ago about the military-industrial complex. It only works when there is war somewhere, one that is often promoted by the United States. Please don’t think me a traitor or that I am not patriotic. I love my country, but do not care for the evil that this nation can and does promulgate upon the rest of the world, so often in abject secrecy.

Building the Lord’s Temple 

zion-city-of-enochRegular readers know I continue to pay my tithing, but because of a stalemate between my wife and me, the money sits in a bank account. I have asked her to not give it to the LDS Church and yet I don’t feel it would go over well if I used any form of compulsion or force to ensure the money goes to the poor as I feel in my heart it should. So there it sits, awaiting its future destiny.

I have a dream of being able to contribute to the building of the Lord’s temple someday. The LDS Church has clearly stated they cannot or will not guarantee the money we pay in tithing will go to the sources we designate. Thus it grows, held in bay by a lack of unity. “If ye are not one, ye are not mine…” I leave this matter up to the Lord and trust in His infinite wisdom to resolve.

You may think I am wandering in my writing thus far. True, there does not seem to be a central theme, so perhaps I can introduce one: “How does one live exact to what the Lord has revealed when a spouse is diametrically opposed to such a plan of action?” We compromise. For example, on our family vacation next month, I will slip away for a few hours to attend a Sunstone session.

Guidelines to Perform a Wedding

keith-on-marriageI will also next month, by invitation, perform a wedding ceremony for a dear friend using the guidelines shared by Keith on his blog. I am honored to have been asked to conduct such a ceremony and feel intense impressions from the Lord each time I pray about the occasion and visualize it in my mind. I cherish such events along with our occasional fellowship gatherings.

We are so few in California. I hope you in Utah who have regular large gatherings appreciate that blessing. I’ve probably mentioned before how we in California have met in groups of various sizes, always small, maybe a dozen times in the last two years. Perhaps it is for the best, as I continue to attend Sacrament meeting with Carol each Sunday. I enjoy singing in the choir.

My point is this: We can be true to what the Lord has revealed to us because it is filled with the spirit of love. In other words, sacrifice allows me to forego things I desire because I know the time is not right in my marriage for such things. I know the Lord has some things in mind that will change our world dramatically over the next few years. He needs stalwart, faithful disciples.

Fellowships and Friendships 

stake-reorganizationI miss writing on my blog more frequently but know what I write irritates at least a few of the men whose association I enjoyed when I served in leadership positions in the LDS Church. I did my best to remove them from the mailing list, but somehow, something I write always seems to get into the hands of the bishop or stake president, whose good feelings I desire to offend not.

Our stake was reorganized recently, so I have yet another new bishop. Having served almost five years, he will undoubtedly be released before the end of the year. Why do I bring this up? There is in my heart a desire to offend no man, especially those who lead the local wards and stakes. Each time I get a new home teacher, it seems I am required to tell my story yet one more time.

How do you avoid offense without stating clearly the differences in doctrine and history taught in the LDS Church today from what I have discovered in my studies and prayers? It is difficult. Thus I rarely speak up, especially since it hurts my dear wife to hear of such things. Oh, how I enjoy getting together with those who believe as I do and discussing the gospel of Christ.

Judgement Belongs to the Lord 

captain-moroni1Like Paul, I want to be able to say I love all men. I want to take no offense, no matter what is said or done. I continue to walk away when pornographic stories are shared. I strive to be tolerant of those who use foul language, especially those I supervise. I’m not so sure these are the “big things” the Lord is referring to when he counsels us to make friends with mammon.

Obviously this is more of a personal journal entry. I desire to be a righteous influence but to me, that means, “Do not judge.” I leave all judgment up to the Lord. I try to take no offense nor give any. I am grateful I have time yet in which to associate with those who are dedicated or even consumed with the building up of the worldly companies of this day and age. Yet I love them.

I feel like Moroni. He despaired for the salvation of the people or the troops he lead, yet he wet his pillow by night for their welfare (or was that Nephi…perhaps both?) Their focus is on the building if wealth. We know that such wealth is fleeting, momentary, and only for this world. We are commanded to give to him that asketh of us. How literally do we take this command?

If Ye Are Not One… 

i-see-ariseI am saddened to read of friends whose marriages are dissolving because of their acceptance of the idea of revelation coming through channels other than the “Brethren.” This is such a strident and contentious subject. On the one hand are those who feel the Lord would never do any work outside the “authorized” priesthood channels. What do we do if the Lord says to us otherwise?

“You are deceived,” they cry. If what you claim to have heard does not fall in line with what we have heard from the pulpit of the General Authorities, you can be sure it is of the devil. Really? I have always felt and been taught that salvation is a personal thing. We are born alone and naked and will enter the spirit world in the same manner upon our mortal death. How confident are we?

I recently purchased Doug Mendenhall’s latest book, “I See…Arise.” I look forward to reading it next week. Doug’s previous books have not disappointed. He writes from experience. There are those who cannot accept even the idea of the adversary working upon us and concepts such as portals or devices attached to us. I know otherwise. I have felt their influence. They are real.

The Importance of Unity in Marriage 

keiths-personal-writingsI also recently discovered…silly me for not paying attention…that Keith has personal entries on his blog that are well worth reading. For example, the wedding ceremony I will be following when I conduct the ritual in a couple of weeks. It is sacred, and from my contemplation, is very much approved of the Lord. Let’s just say the Lord showed me exactly how it would be done.

Someday, I still hope to construct an altar in my back yard where I can pray unto the Lord with outstretched arms in prayer. For now, I use a temporary altar in my home when I seek to open a portal to the heavens and commune with those on the other side of the veil. There is so much to learn and so much to do. It is hard to not resent the time I spend on my daily worldly pursuits.

In any event, I think as time goes by, it will become obvious to more and more people how the Lord is moving among the regular people of the world who seek Him. One does not need to be a leader in the LDS Church to commune with the Lord and receive revelation for himself, his family, or to know what the Lord has in mind as he works his marvelous works in these days.

The Spirit of Revelation 

last-days-imageI am convinced the last days are upon us as never before. The days of the Gentiles are coming to an end if they have not already done so. There is no reason to fear, but there is reason to be prepared for change and catastrophe. We often talk of economic disaster as being one of the most prominent signs of the last days. I feel otherwise. Look to the skies, to the stars and the planets.

Most of my readers know I don’t participate much in the discussion that follows my posts. It’s not a matter of not wanting to do so, it’s a matter of lack of time. My commitments are elsewhere as I strive to provide for my family and fulfil my temporal responsibilities. Man shall work by the sweat of his brow. It my case, ensuring the flow of electrons in networks I build and maintain.

God bless you all as these the last days become more and more obvious. Perhaps I am wrong. The spirit of prophecy is like the gift of the Holy Ghost. It listeth where it will. In other words, even I am not always able to clearly explain what I mean when I feel inspired to describe what I see in my mind’s eye or pronounce what I hear as I listen for the voice of the Lord. Be cheerful.

 

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.

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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

 

Call for Tithing Conference


money-pitThis is the initial call for conference for a worldwide Conference on Tithing Experiences.

On 4-12-14 an invitation was extended to gather into fellowships and begin a tithing experiment. We were encouraged to govern ourselves and avoid contention and jarrings in caring for the poor among us and in distribution of tithing funds. We have had over a year to work out the kinks in each of our own fellowships and to put enough experience behind us to have established good hindsight of our own successes and failures.

As individual voices in our groups we have worked forward and learned what worked best for us and what caused problems. We have had time to iron out wrinkles in our process. Each fellowship has had their own methods and unique challenges.

The purpose of this conference is to facilitate communication between the fellowships.  Perhaps a particular solution found by one group is fitting for another, or there were problems that have been worked though by one group that another is just beginning to experience and council can be given and accepted. Again, the purpose is to facilitate communication, that we may be closer and more towards one body.

Malachi3What this conference is NOT:

This is not a call to further organize or hasten anything. This is not a call to discover a “right” way or a “wrong” way. What worked well for one group may be disastrous for another. This is not a call to correlate. This is not a call to organize funds, although of course individual fellowships are free to work together if one group is experiencing a surplus and another overwhelming need.

This call for conference is the initial call, asking that those who wish to participate can share a voice in the organization of the conference. As the purpose of the conference is to facilitate communication, we are looking at options to increase participation outside of a physical gathering, although that will occur. There have been suggestions of podcasts afterwards, webcast of Conference, web conference, transcripts of talks, etc..

If you are interested in having a voice in the organizational effort please have a representative contact us at remnantministry555@gmail.com or use our contact page http://www.remnantministry.org/contact.html

jesus-healing-blind-manThis call to conference was put forth by Remnant Ministry fellowship, second by Little Zion. Note from Little Zion: We don’t like any formal meetings. We don’t like any control. We don’t like any leaders. That is what we have felt in our group. But we love all you guys so if you wanna hang for a weekend and talk about the gospel, then we’re game.

 

Tithing, the first step to Consecration


mormon-tithing5I used to diligently draw 10% of my income from my monthly paycheck and hand it over to the bishop. I knew I was doing the Lord’s will. I would encounter a sense of relief for doing my duty (as my paychecks got bigger, the sacrifice did as well), as well as a sense of peace for keeping the commandments. I didn’t think much about how my tithes were used. As far as I was concerned, it was the Lord’s to do with what He wanted, and He would direct His Church in the wisest and best uses of my funds. I also gave a generous fast offering (1% usually), and that was the end of my charities. I had very little to give for other endeavors after all of this, and I trusted the funds would be best used in Church hands. My mind was little engaged in such a task, other than in the satisfaction that I was being obedient.

Developing Charity

I have since adopted a different strategy for tithe-paying, under the Lord’s direction, with a little help from a great article on tithing. We give our tithes directly to the poor. We typically tithe at least 10% of our surplus income and sometimes more as directed. Under the old system, my wife had to work so that we could pay a gross tithe. Now, we have found that our tithes are more vibrant and fruitful. We find ways to pay our tithing that engage us with the Lord instead of making it a mindless habit. Such ways include helping a poor immigrant family we find on the roadside, paying to help a battered woman leave an abusive relationship, and paying tithes to local fellowship communities that distribute them through common consent. All of these methods have enriched our lives and made us feel more charity for the poor, and we have been blessed with an added measure of the Lord’s grace as we have done so. Furthermore, when we were paying under the old system, our mentality for our material blessings typically consisted of feeling grateful for them, feeling that our righteousness in our tithe-paying was earning us such blessings, and feeling justified in enjoying those blessings because we were full tithe-payers. Now . . . we still feel blessed, but we also feel burdened in a good way, we feel the burden of material wealth, even though we are not wealthy. We have noticed a marked decrease in covetousness of our neighbor’s wealth, his home, his status. We measure a dollar differently, for we can feel and touch the needs that dollar can do to lighten another, and we are much more careful at spending that dollar for our own needs.

Defining Down Needs

Which brings us to the next benefit. We are now searching to downsize our home, our vehicles, all of our needs, so that we can increase our surplus income,needswants so that we can afford to tithe more. I feel the Lord’s wisdom in this as we are slowly defining down what we consider needs. We want to have more resources so that the Lord can direct us in giving, the benefits thereof we have found to be energizing to our spiritual lives. We pray for the Lord to direct us and He has. The result has been an overflow of love and grace into our lives. Here are some concepts we are using to give:

Deny not the Beggar

 16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

 17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.” Mosiah 4:16-17

21202651_BG1We like to consecrate some of our tithes to those who we see on the street that are in need. We don’t care if they are panhandlers. We don’t care if they are going to spend it on booze. We care about giving them love. We look for people that need love, not money. We listen to Spirit and actively search out a giving situation. The money is just an excuse to go up and spend some time with them and give them a hug. Once the money is donated, it is their stewardship to do with what they want. It’s the love, not the handout, that has the potential to help change a person who is begging. Not to mention the fact that we take Hebrews 13:2 seriously:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Giving in Communities

Giving in communities is where we will be able to bring Zion. In communities we have the capacity to bear one another’s burdens, helping lift a brother, become one in purpose, and have “no poor” among us. I have actually seen this occur over the past couple of months. My wife and I have occasionally attended a fellowship community called a “tithing meeting.” In this meeting, we take the sacrament to remember the Lord, but also to sanctify each of us to discuss solving each others’ needs. Here is how the meeting goes:

  1. Sacrament is served, along with prayers and hymns to bring in the Spirit of the Lord
  2. Tithing is collected. There are no slips, no receipts, you get no charitable giving deductions on your taxes.
  3. Everyone is given an opportunity to report needs. This has since been split into defining primary needs (typically food, housing, some health, etc.) and secondary needs (debt obligations, utility bills, etc.). Everyone is given the agency to define what is a primary and secondary need because individual situations differ.
  4. An account is made to the group, which assigns the funds first to the defined primary needs, and then to the secondary needs by common consent (no strong men here, in fact, I’ve seen mostly women in charge of the welfare effort). (In the meeting last week, all primary needs were met, and there was a handsome sum left over to cover some secondary needs.)

The potential for bickering, anger, resentment, abuse, finger-pointing all have the potential of undoing such a meeting. It was the reason primarily that Zion failed in the early church. So far, the meetings I have attended have gone smoothly, and I have seen an outpouring of love. But there is always potential for problems, and I’m sure some day these problems will arise. How does one deal with any of these potential situations:

  • People that attend only to take from others; they are slothful and rely upon others resources for their sustenance?
  • People that are more liberal in defining their own needs, while others withhold and sacrifice?
  • People who define their surplus more conservatively than others, and thereby, give less?

All of these problems will occur as some date. The question is, how do we handle them? The Church has set up rules in welfare (working, going to Church, callings, accountability of time) etc. that they exchange for the benefit of receiving Church welfare. In this new system, no such ability exists, and to be frank, people who have been on Church welfare (I was at one time in my life as a youngster) find it a little degrading. In this system, people are generally taught the principle of giving generously on one hand, and not taking from others if they need not, on the other. There will be a variety of applications and a variety of responses. I just assume that at some point, my gift will be misused, that there will be moments where the distribution is unfair and I have to be okay with that.

A Refining Process

Yes, people will misuse and mistrust. But when undertaken with the right heart, the process can be a refining one. For the giver, the process of giving, even under abuses, can remind one of how the Savior was abused, how HE was treated unfairly, how HE gave all that he had, even the most precious gift, and some took it for granted. For those that accept with a humble and glad heart, a gift given can strengthen the bonds of love. It brings the giver and the receiver closer in the bonds of a sealing-type of relationship, a Zion-like one. For the poor, receiving a gift given reminds us that we all must receive the greatest gift given, the gift the Savior gave us with his atonement for all of us, who are indeed “poor.”

new-jerusalem1Right now, this process represents another kind of practice for Zion. Eventually, however, when Zion is redeemed, and we repent enough to be considered in that great endeavor, all who participate will do so without any attempt to dig a pit or take advantage of a brother, or to withhold because of mistrust or vanity. Any who would attempt to enter such a place would find it impossible to do so. They will have to be redeemed in the cleansing fire of sanctification to be permitted such entry. They will have to be . . . perfected.

38 And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;

39 But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that wouldborrow of thee turn thou not away.

43 And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;

44 But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, andpray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new.

48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. 3 Nephi 12:39-48

Special Consecrating Circumstances

When we get to the point where we are willing to part with large sums of money, when there are a few rich after the manner of the world, that repent and undertake some of these challenges, they may want to consider some unique types of tithes and consecration of wealth that could truly lift this movement. Some of these may include:

richyoungruler

  • Helping the Saints to cancel debts and mortgages, which thereby increases their ability to donate more and extend grace to others and themselves
  • Purchasing simple homes or vehicles for the poor
  • Financing conferences and reunions to gather for the sake of worshiping the Lord and practicing other Zion-like efforts
  • Helping to construct a temple
  • Publishing reading materials or advertisements for missionary efforts

There are diverse ways and means one could consecrate their wealth to the efforts of the Lord, and it is between YOU and the Lord. I can only imagine the great sacrifice that would be to consecrate great sums of wealth, but then there must also be corresponding blessings. Remember the rich man in the Bible:

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. Mark 10:21

The Church Cannot Bring Zion


OneHeartOneMindZion is a study in personal micro-economics applied to the greater good.  In the application on the aggregate is where Zion will be found. I was an economics major 20 years ago, but concepts stick around even as the lessons get a bit fuzzy. For the uninitiated, there is this voodoo concept in economics known as utility. Utility, in the simplest terms, is whatever makes you happy.  It’s actually not that simple because happiness is hard to define.  It’s different for every person.  A better definition would be “enjoyment.” The purpose of micro-economic activity is typically for a person to maximize his/her enjoyment in life. The tends to be focused on the material, for now, but also in the future, and even for future generations.

Utility maximization is part of the natural man. It is inherent. That’s why to much of an extent, ascertaining private purchasing behavior works for experts in business and on Wall Street. People become billionaires ascertaining aggregate utility. In a way, I hope to rework concepts a bit so that there is a new definition, a new reality, and a new maximization point as we each try to reach for Zion.

Zion is not a maximization of utility, or enjoyment, but a maximization of grace. It’s grace unto others, which in turn, comes back to you.  It is linked to salvation; it is linked to overcoming all things.  It is the magic pill, if you will, in repentance. Think about it. How many time do we sin, repent, sin, and combat the natural man in hopes that one day we will be free of such things? We believe in grace, “after all we can do.”  I believe we misunderstand that scripture. It’s not all we can do as it pertains to teeth-gritting endurance of a particular temptation. It is after all we can do . . . for others. It’s an action statement, not one of white-knuckled determination.

So we need to ask ourselves, have we done ALL we can do? A major part of achieving Zion is throwing away the damnable doctrine of the “prosperity gospel” deep into the trash heap, the kind where the Lord blessed me with riches, with more “utility,” because I am a good guy and I love the Lord. It needs to die its Babylonian death. It’s true the Lord may bless you with more resources, with more stewardship, but if you spend it on utility, or the avoidance of needed to obtain utility the rest of your life or your children’s lives, you may as well be the unprofitable servant who buried the talent in the earth.

Capitalism

capitalismCapitalism will send you to hell. Capitalism is the accumulation of capital, or assets that leverage utility. Why would anyone want to continue accumulating capital after one “has sufficient for his needs?” The answer is fear of the future, fear of losing future utility, all the while believing that it’s based on some idea of merit or achievement, or a sense that one “deserves” their capital. John D. Rockefeller believed he was one of the richest men in the world because he was a teetotaling Baptist believer, yet he consigned so many to misery. Capitalism is worshiped by the rich and the wannabes as the secret of success. It’s accomplishment comes at surrounding yourself and insulating yourself with utility, and the fear and absence of future utility. It’s seen as a good thing because it motivates one to be a hard worker. But does it? If hard work accomplishes capital accumulation AT FIRST, it’s continued accumulation is usually accomplished at the expense of hard work, or in fine, buying and selling, manipulating, and cajoling the market into a situation where you can simply accumulate the capital through mutual commerce or at another’s expense while you while away your hours in leisure. While a good man can employ capitalism to benefit others, hoarding capital is never justified as a way to Zion. It is more often a way to a lost soul.

Government-ism

Uncle Sam cannot bring Zion. Zion is about changing hearts, not the law. Coercive legal action hearkens back to a fallen people, those who cannot sustain the higher things, whose hearts are not written the waters of life, who are not simply shamed into giving, but their wallets are force-ably raided. We trade one law for the next, one punishment for another, but Zion is a people in which the law is fulfilled in Christ. There is no need for a man, be it of the cloth or of the badge, to make intercessory with the Lord on our behalf. It’s true we may accomplish our design of helping the poor, but assistance without love, assistance or entitlement, of getting even, or reparations, do not heal the wounded soul. America’s poor have never had more utility, yet they are just as miserable as ever and riot to prove it.

The Church

LDSChurchOfficeBuildingThe Church cannot bring Zion. The priests and spiritual leaders will tell you . . . the Church will tell you . . . that it is good to be a capitalist. Perhaps you can help the Church with your great and giving donations. Perhaps you can afford to bring up more children, to serve in politics, to afford to be a mission president, or a general authority, to donate to causes . . . all worthwhile things . . . but will it save you? Will it save your children. Will it save others? Will your tithes do such a thing? Tithing supports business operations of churches. It does not go primarily to help the poor. Sometimes those donations are used indirectly to help the Church build up more capital. The Church is a corporate organization–it may have no board, but the Fifteen are indeed board of directors with a corporate sole who is entitled to make ALL decisions–in the hands of the President of the Church.

Icity-creek-centern building grand malls, investing real estate, and even building chapels, what does it do to help the poor, the sick and afflicted? Is it better to use tithing funds to build ordinances houses, which aside from the temple, are not mandated, than to help the poor? Some say that the effort to save is in the ordinances. Some say it is a hedge against bad times. True enough. But I say that a man will not be saved from his sins with any ordinance if he does not help the poor with his tithes and offerings–TODAY. He would do better to forget his chapels, to meet in the homes of the humble, with simplicity in ordinances, offering his tithes to benefit the afflicted in the group, as well as those in the poor houses and on the streets. No . . . tithing . . . at least in its current form . . . will not bring Zion.

What IS Zion, then, you say? Is it the law of consecration? Well that’s one application, but it’s even simpler than that. Zion is ONE HEART AND ONE MIND, and THERE ARE NO POOR AMONG THEM. Thus we must ask ourselves, what can we do collectively and individually, to accomplish such an outcome?  One is salvation of the self, which brings one in harmony with the Lord, and as such a man does so, and another such a man does so, then those men will be in harmony with each other. Until that day arrives, however, great care must be taken to understand our fallen natures, our low situation, our lack of knowledge, our unbelief, and our tendency for a need to be right. We need to fight these things and be simple and say that we know not, for the Lord has not revealed such a thing to me.

The other relates to it and it’s called Grace Flow. When we undertake to help the poor, we change our natures, our hearts are softened, we are forgiven more easily, and we can retain a remission of our sins in such a thing. We pay it forward to two principle groups, those who are poor in terms of being destitute, and those who will be part of our process in building Zion. The Law of Consecration was one way to do this, and it failed as an organized system, but it does NOT need to fail individually or in smaller groups. We consecrate what the Lord tell us to. In 1830 it was all of our surplus, donated to the bishop for redistribution according to each person’s needs. People were stingy and it did not work. Instead tithing was instituted, wherein a tenth of the surplus was required instead of 100%.

Now riddle me this. If 10% of gross income from a poor widow is required, and 10% of a rich capitalist is required (assessed at tax time when he knows his net worth and not assessed on his gross receipts), are we not trampling upon the poor with this newer modern definition? Under the higher law, the one called consecration, the widow receives and does not give. Yet under the lower law, she bears the greater burden.  One says that she is blessed for her sacrifice and that is true enough, but the sacrifice is at the hands of being trammeled upon in a way that is socially compelled.  God honors the sacrifice because of His tender mercies, NOT because of a person’s obedience to a false tradition. We should be so ashamed of such endeavors.  Under what tithing SHOULD be, we consecrate 10% of our surplus (AFTER our expenses) to help the poor and to help others trying to gain stewardship themselves to pay forward. If we are so inclined and have such faith, we may consecrate all. It does not even require a mediator or a bishop since the Lord can reveal to such an one with great faith where such funds are needed.

But it’s not easy. It goes back to utility. It is in the nature of all men, that when they get a little bit of money, they seek to dig a pit for their neighbor, to gratify their lusts, to increase their own capital and holdings unrighteously, and amen to Zion or even the Priesthood of that man. Seek ye therefore riches to help the poor, then shall you be rich, and perhaps in a deeper and more profound way that may change the definition of the word, “rich.”

There are movements now ongoing where communities are meeting to attempt such endeavors.  They are not supported by institutions or religious organizations.  Such attempts threaten these organizations and their systems they have set up for their own support.  It takes faith and a courageous heart to seek these out.  I implore any to do so.

That They Do Always Remember Him


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

The Sacrament in the Home

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

An Unauthorized Requirement Imposed

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

Vague Definition of Priesthood Keys

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

Forbidding to Partake of the Sacrament

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

Don’t Blame the Local Leaders

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

Let no One Come Between You and God

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

Can’t Really Blame the Prophet Either

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

The LDS Church Has Become Anti-Christ

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

Priesthood is Not Controlled by LDS Church

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

We Should Use Wine in the Sacrament

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

The Sacrament is a Soothing Balm

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

There is Power in the Sacrament

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

True Order of Prayer

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

Tithing to be Used to Help the Poor

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

A Prophet should Prophesy and Reveal

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

The Lord has Sent His Servant

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

A Community of One

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

God Bless the Growing Communities

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

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit


BrokenHeartMy Bishop is a wise man. He has the spirit of discernment. I know he and my Stake President asked me to not write publicly about our conversations on my blog, but things have changed. In our last interview, when I said I was ready to get my temple recommend, he said he didn’t believe me, that even though I try to be respectful, there is a spirit of apostasy in my writings.

He then placed me on informal probation, forbidding me to partake of the sacrament and to not exercise my priesthood in the church. Of course, he was only following the handbook. I think I’ve mentioned a church disciplinary council is mandatory in cases of apostasy. Based on what I shared on Tuesday, I think it’s pretty obvious I’ve made a decision now about where I stand.

I like one of the comments from a reader – Kevin – on Tuesday’s post. He asked, “In all of this Mormon-focused excitement, Tim, do you have a sense of what Denver’s talks and the 10th talk in particular might mean for the more than 99.99% of the human family that aren’t Mormon?” He makes a good point. What happened Tuesday went entirely unnoticed by most of the world.

A Message from a Prophet

I’ve previously declared Denver Snuffer to be a prophet. I know that’s a charged word in our church so it drew a lot of opposition. I stand by my proclamation, mainly because the Lord asked me to share it. Denver Snuffer delivered the message the Lord asked him to deliver. He acted as the Lord’s messenger and the Lord’s servant. I’ve heard the voice of the Lord declare it to me.

In spite of my proclamation, I don’t think Denver has ever stated he is a prophet. He has continually asked us to focus on Christ. While we may listen to prophets, we follow Christ. Something obviously changed Tuesday, because he said, the Lord told him, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee.” He also mentioned another visit with Christ on May 1st, 2014.

While my wife was horrified at what she was hearing at Tuesday’s lecture, I was delighted. I have listened to the recording a couple of times now. Along with many of you, I am anxiously awaiting the release of the transcript. Even though I was baptized as a child, I have made up my mind I want to receive the ordinance of baptism as an adult. I just need someone to baptize me.

An Offering unto the Lord

When I was a child, I’m certain I didn’t meet the requirements for baptism as outlined in D&C 20:37 of coming forward with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. At age eight I didn’t have the maturity to understand this. Now that I am older I can testify I have experienced a broken heart. Some people may not think my spirit is contrite, but contrition is proven by acts of submission.

My Bishop and I talked about the importance of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I agreed with him in principle but made certain to state my position that these must be offered to the Lord and not to any man, no matter who he is or what position he holds. It is an act of submission to obey the commandment to repent and be baptized. That submission is a freewill offering to the Lord.

In other words, the idea of being submissive or deferential to a man, no matter who he is, when it comes to matters of salvation, is an abomination to the Lord. It is idol worship. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” includes men who would stand in the place of God, be they a prophet, an apostle, a general authority, stake president, bishop or any church leader, teacher or counselor.

Church Does Not Control Priesthood

I received the priesthood from my father. The priesthood is independent of the church. It existed before the church was organized. A man is not dependent upon any organization to receive it. It came unto the earth in these latter days through John the Baptist. Unlike the higher priesthood, the Aaronic Priesthood can be passed down from man to man. The church doesn’t control it.

Therefore, I can seek out any man who has the Aaronic priesthood, and, following the pattern of praying first to receive power, he can then baptize me. The church has nothing to say about this. It has nothing to do with the church. The church cannot control the exercise of the priesthood in a private ordinance. Baptism is between me and the Lord, not between me and the LDS Church.

The promise of the Lord in 3 Nephi 9:20 is that if we offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit to the Lord, he will baptize us with fire and with the Holy Ghost. He said nothing about the laying on of hands in this verse. In my youth I went through a period of deep repentance, striving to cast off the effects of my sins. I am certain I was born again that evening, but was I baptized with fire?

An Abomination before the Lord

I’ve been thinking about the imposed discipline of being forbidden to partake of the Sacrament. I know the Lord commanded we shall not allow any one knowingly to partake of the sacrament unworthily (3 Ne 18:28-29), which caused me to ponder the meaning of worthiness. I cannot bring myself to believe my questioning and writing about the church has made me unworthy.

When I sat as a counselor in various Bishoprics over the years, I always took the opportunity to suggest to the bishop, when asked for ideas on how we could help penitent souls, that he would consider allowing them to take the sacrament, perhaps sooner than they may have “deserved” it by their actions. After all, who among us really ever “deserves” to partake of the sacrament?

Unless you know someone is engaging in fornication or adultery, forbidding someone to partake of the sacrament is anti-Christ. It is an abomination before the Lord. Forbidding to partake of the sacrament as a means to pressure someone to change their way of thinking is detestable. It is an abuse of power. It is an attempt at exercising control and compulsion by virtue of dominion.

More Than One Prophet on the Earth

When I turned in my temple recommend it was because I was struggling with the “affiliation” question. After I resolved that and felt ready to renew my recommend, the Bishop shocked me by his statement I don’t sustain the prophet as the only man authorized to exercise all the keys of the priesthood. I said I accept the prophet as the leader of the LDS church with the right to direct it.

I tried to explain it with this example: If Thomas S. Monson were to walk into any LDS Church meeting, he could do whatever he wanted. He could make any change he wanted to make. He could change the meeting to whatever format he wanted. He could ask anyone to accept a call, to teach a class, to sing a song, to pray, or whatever he felt inspired to have them do in the meeting.

Apparently that wasn’t a good enough answer. He leaned forward and said, “And…?” I accept Thomas S. Monson as the leader of the LDS Church. Can’t we have more than one prophet at a time? I believe Denver Snuffer is also a prophet, but not the leader of the LDS Church. There are many examples in the scriptures of having more than one prophet on the earth at the same time.

LDS Church No Longer Led by Priesthood

Well, it’s all a moot case now. The Church was careless with Denver Snuffer. There was no sin in his life warranting church discipline. He was morally worthy. His excommunication was an abuse of authority. As soon as the decision was made, the Lord terminated the priesthood authority of every leader involved in that decision. This is easily demonstrated in D&C 121:37.

Denver appealed to the First Presidency, outlining the involvement of the Twelve and the Seventy. The appeal gave notice to them all. The appeal was summarily denied. Last General Conference, the entire First Presidency, Twelve, Seventy, all other general authorities and auxiliaries voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting him out of the church.

At that moment, the Lord ended all rights of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along. He chose to use Denver to accomplish it. None of this was Denver’s doing. The Lord’s strange act was not planned by Denver.

Organizing into Local Communities

Denver said he did not understand this until the Lord made it known unto him on the evening of May 1st, 2014. The Lord has done this. He is the author of this. The Lord had wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power and the glory from the LDS Church leaders. D&C 84:27-28 explains how John the Baptist was raised up to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews. It applies to Denver.

The Jews did not notice what the Lord had done through John the Baptist. In like manner, God’s house is a house of order. He sets things up according to his pattern and then tears them down in the same way. It is not God’s purpose to abandon the restoration. It is His purpose to preserve the restoration, which at this moment is in terrible jeopardy. The restoration itself must be rescued.

This is why I want to be baptized. I want to show the Lord I accept what He has done through his servant and messenger. Denver is not starting a new church. We are simply being invited to take back the restoration into communities as it was intended. We are organizing though the Internet, finding like-minded individuals who believe and want to be baptized as we read in 3 Nephi 11.

Tithing is Intended to Help the Poor

Since I no longer have a temple recommend, I see no need to pay my tithing to the LDS Church. However, since it is a commandment to pay tithing, I am seeking a community where I can help the poor with my tithing. 100% of my tithing will be used to help the poor. It will not go to pay the salaries of any church employee or leader, to build malls or to maintain any church building.

We do not need church buildings to meet in small groups or communities. We can and will meet in homes, in parks, at the beach, in the mountains or wherever we choose. Because we have the priesthood we can administer the sacrament and baptize. This is not a new church. It is simply practicing our religion the way the Lord intended it. The Internet makes it easy to organize.

There will be no hierarchy, no curriculum other than the scriptures and no formal program that must be rigidly followed in a set, three-hour block. We will not go over the same lessons every four years, drinking milk ad infinitum, but will minister to the needs of each other according to our desires to learn and the gifts of the spirit. And we can sing songs from any source we choose.

No Poor Among People of Zion

Above all, we will help each other come onto Christ. We will teach what he requires to open the heavens, to receive angels, to commune with the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, and to be ministered unto directly by the Savior, something I almost never hear about in the LDS Church. There will be no poor among us. The whole purpose is to be a people worthy of Zion.

I am already aware of a half dozen small groups, some that have been organized for months. I know of baptisms taking place with rejoicing because of the receipt of the spirit in abundance. There are those who have been successful in managing the tithing funds in such a way as to be able to remove a single mother and her children from welfare. This is truly the gospel in action.

Sadly, because I am all alone here in the Central California Coast in my acceptance of what the Lord has done through Denver Snuffer, I must travel to groups organizing in more populated areas or wait until more people in this area catch the vision of what the Lord has done. Equally sad is the fact that, for wanting to live my religion, the LDS Church will no doubt cast me out.

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