This is long. Get some popcorn :).
The Lord asked us to do this blog. He told us on Sept. 9, 2014, and we have had it reconfirmed to us since. Planning writing it was full of light at that time, but there has been a lot of opposition to getting it done, as there always seems to be when trying to do what the Lord has asked. But hopefully we can now get it finished, at least this first post, in the time the Lord wants it done, which is very soon.
Anything said here is what we have been taught by the Lord, but we are just us, and you know us, and probably know many of our failings and imperfections, so, as with anything any person says, no matter who they are, everything should be confirmed to you by the Holy Ghost, by the Lord, before you accept it, or before you judge it.
This blog is written for our family and friends, so that you will understand why some things are changing in our lives. We know that many of you will be surprised or distressed or confused by choices we are making, and will make, and so we hope this blog will explain those things. We know some things we are going to say might upset some of you, but we hope that at least you will understand our thoughts and feelings, even if you do not agree.
This first post will be more of an overview, and we will probably write more blog posts to discuss particular topics, and why we believe them. These things we want to tell you all about have taken the Lord years to help us to begin to understand, so there is a lot to write. If you are going to read this, please read the whole thing, because it will take the whole thing to even begin to outline what we are thinking/doing. If you stop part way through, you will not understand where we are coming from. PLEASE read the whole thing.
This blog post, by a friend of ours, is very pertinent to what we will say in this blog:
Mostly this will be written by me (Sara), but except for the personal experiences of mine, Vaughn feels the same. This great journey we have been on has encompassed our whole married life, and even some before we met, but we have always been on the same path.
First of all, we want you to know that we love the gospel of Jesus Christ with everything in us! Jesus is the Christ, and He is the only way back to Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Jesus Christ performed the atonement, and through faith on Him and the atonement, we can be forgiven of our sins and brought back into His presence, even in this life. We have a very strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. We also believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. That through him the Lord restored many things that had been lost for hundreds or thousands of years.
I am eternally grateful that when I was 15 years old I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am so thankful for my friend who was brave at that young age and told me about the gospel and the LDS Church. I had a very profound experience when I was 15. Many of you have heard me relate it before.
There have been several times in my life where the Lord has so strongly impressed something on me, that I have been sure enough to go ahead with something that would normally have been so scary and such a big step that I would have avoided it, had I not had that witness from the Lord. Joining the Church was one of those things that the Lord gave me such a strong feeling and knowledge of, that I was able to overcome my fears and press forward. Our path the past few years has been the same. The Lord has given us knowledge and experiences and sure confirmation from the Holy Ghost about the path we are on.
During all our years together, Vaughn and I have studied the topics of Calling and Election and the Second Comforter. We have read everything we could find about it. Joseph Smith said quite a bit, and it is throughout the scriptures, especially the Second Comforter (seeing the Savior in this life and having His comfort directly). That is actually pretty much what the Book of Mormon is all about. Person after person in the Book of Mormon has a direct encounter with angels and/or the Lord. The rest of the Book of Mormon is mostly cautionary to US, to those living in OUR DAY. We are to liken those scriptures to ourselves. It is not primarily to show us the problems everyone else in the world around us has, it is to show us OUR problems. We are the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon. That is another topic, but so crucial to what I am trying to convey at first, that I will probably get to it some, later in this first post.
D&C 93: 1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
D&C 88: 68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
John 14: 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said: “To those of understanding we say: ‘The purpose of the endowment in the house of the Lord is to prepare and sanctify his saints so they will be able to see his face, here and now, as well as to bear the glory of his presence in the eternal worlds.’”
Joseph Smith said: “I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy . . .”
While having your calling and election made sure, and receiving the Second Comforter are different things, they are related. I know that many of you believe these things. I also know many people in the Church do not believe they are for everyone, that maybe only the President of the Church and the Apostles have these experiences. I have also heard it taught that these things are not important to think about in this life, that the next life is soon enough. I have heard it taught that we should not seek these things, even though the scriptures and Joseph Smith say differently.
I believe that the temple endowment ceremony’s purpose is to show us how to return to the actual presence of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, in this life. It is the symbolic representation of our journey in mortality back to their presence. I know that we wear a symbol of mortal life all the way to, and through, the veil.
I believe that the people in Joseph Smith’s day were supposed to build the Nauvoo Temple in a certain amount of time so that they could actually see the Lord in the temple, as a group (like the children of Israel were supposed to in Moses’ day, but they wouldn’t). I believe they did not manage to do that. I believe that when Joseph saw, toward the end of his life, that they were not going to do it in time, that he instituted the endowment to teach them how to do it, individually.
D&C 84 19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
I believe we are very much like the children of Israel. I believe essentially the same thing happened to us as to the children of Israel, when we did not fulfill the Lord’s command in time. I know the official Church position is that we managed it by the skin of our teeth, but I believe that is wishful thinking by a people whose situation was incredibly difficult at the time, and to think they had lost the opportunity was really unthinkable. And so, throughout the years, we have gone on thinking we were special and blessed, and yet Zion is not closer, and in fact is further away.
We have found it is very important to read the scriptures without our preconceived notions of what we think they mean. The Lord is the same; he handles his people the same in all ages. Yet, we in the Church think we are special, that things are different for us now. I think that is not true. I think the Lord means what he says. And my eyes have been opened to the prophecies of the last days in the scriptures, and how they are being fulfilled before our eyes, and we are largely blind to it.
Whenever the Lord raises up and ordains a prophet, that prophet is sent to preach repentance, to try to get the people to establish Zion. Zion is always the goal, in every age, but it is almost never achieved. Zion comes about when all the people know the Lord, meaning they have an actual face to face connection with Him so that they are guided by Him and not by the arm of flesh. And Zion people are therefore of one heart and one mind, and they have no poor among them.
When people do not repent and establish Zion, they invariably drift away from what the Lord was trying to get them to do. In Joseph’s day Zion was not established. They tried, but the Lord told them they failed.
In 1831 the Lord said:
D&C 1: 30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—
We still take that to mean us, that we are still the only true and living Church. But in 1832 the Lord said this:
D&C 84: 55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59 For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
Already, by that point, there had been serious problems in the Church, and the Church was under condemnation. President Benson said we were still under that condemnation in the 1980’s. I believe he was right. I believe it is even worse now.
In 1841 the Lord was telling them to build a temple and they were told:
D&C 124: 28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.
29 For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—
30 For this ordinance belongeth to my house, and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty, wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.
31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.
33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;
34 For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.
35 And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.
36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
37 And again, verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me, except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name?
38 For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle, that they should bear it with them in the wilderness, and to build a house in the land of promise, that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was.
39 Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.
40 And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
41 For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.
42 And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house, and the priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built.
43 And ye shall build it on the place where you have contemplated building it, for that is the spot which I have chosen for you to build it.
44 If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy.
45 And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.
46 But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them.
In verse 28 the Lord said he had already taken away the fulness of the priesthood from them. He was hoping to restore it to them, if they did what He said. The fulness of the Priesthood is given directly by the Lord. By the time Joseph and Hyrum were killed, the Nauvoo temple was far from complete, and it never was really completed, see my friend’s blog for more info on this:
The Saints WERE removed out of their place, and they suffered terrible trials in their trek west and afterwards. The blessings promised if they fulfilled the command from the Lord to build the temple in the “sufficient time” He gave them were not realized. That is evidence that they did not do it, and lost the blessings associated. There is not record of heavenly manifestations or appearances of angels and the Lord in the Nauvoo temple, like there had been in Kirtland.
I believe that with Joseph’s and Hyrum’s (who was supposed to be Joseph’s successor) death, the chance for Zion was removed for a period of generations. When a people kills a prophet a curse apparently can last to the 3rd and 4th generation.
There is a lot more that could be talked about between then and now. And maybe we will do some of that in later blog posts. But mainly, as to the state of things now, I believe we are in pretty bad shape, as far as what we have lost of Joseph’s teachings, and what we have lost that the Lord cannot give us because of our unbelief and reliance on the arm of flesh.
From the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel – said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church – that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls – APPLIED IT TO THE PRESENT STATE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS – SAID IF THE PEOPLE DEPARTED FROM THE LORD, THEY MUST FALL – THAT THEY WERE DEPENDING ON THE PROPHET, HENCE WERE DARKENED IN THEIR MINDS, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.
Here is part of Ezekiel 14 that Joseph read that day:
1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
2 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?
4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
6 ¶Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:
8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God.
I Kings chapter 13 is also interesting to read (I think it is always skipped in Sunday School) where a prophet is led astray by another prophet.
We teach that the prophet cannot lead us astray. That belief was really begun when Wilford Woodruff said this in a talk that he gave about the Manifesto which we have included at the end of the Manifesto: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.”
There is much to say about this! But it would take a whole blog post. Maybe I can find another one that discusses it well that I can link to. Suffice it to say that President Woodruff was trying to negotiate terrible times for the Church politically and in other ways. He and other leaders of the Church had taught for many years that polygamy was essential to live if you wanted to gain exaltation. Now, here he was making polygamy very hard to live, with the Manifesto supposedly ending it. However, the members in general knew that it was still being lived, even though the public statement said it was not. Even many of the leaders were still living it and even taking new wives for many years after this Manifesto. They hoped that by denying polygamy, Utah would be made a state, and then they could reinstate polygamy. That statement made by President Woodruff was apparently seen as a sort of “wink, wink, nod, nod” that all would be OK. Now we have made it doctrine, even in the face of so much scripture and other inspired words to the contrary.
Anyway, I believe that the belief in the Church that a person, no matter who he/she is cannot lead us astray is false. I think it is a dangerous belief and has led to darkening of the minds, just as Joseph Smith said. The Lord repeatedly warns us in scripture not to rely on the arm of flesh. And the Lord is the same – and we are not special. With this belief, everything can be changed, because we can always claim that new revelation was received by a person who cannot lead us astray, so the ordinances, scriptures, everything can be changed (and much has been). It makes it almost impossible to ever voice any disagreement with anything a leader does. I have certainly seen that in the Church. It is really not possible nowadays to voice any kind of different opinion. In fact, if something is not in the manual, many people are upset if it is brought up. That is one of the sad results of correlation.
I don’t want to seem negative, but I don’t know how to show the need for the exciting things that are happening if I don’t mention some of what has gotten us to this point. The truth is always desirable, but it is not always easy. For those who have seen the movie The Matrix, it comes down to whether you want the blue pill or the red pill. 🙂 Well, I prayed for the truth. I asked the Lord to show me the truth, and to lead me along as fast as I could go without being destroyed, and it has been amazing.
Over the past few years the Lord has changed everything for us, and has been so very good to us. He has shown us and taught us many things. We can also look back and see that He has taught us parts of these things, or given us glimpses of them, or told us, but we didn’t fully understand until more recently. Not that we fully understand things now. But there are some things that He has made clear to us. And it has been such a joyful journey! Not easy, for sure, but certainly joyful. And I am so very thankful for all of it. I continually marvel at the wonder of it all!
Because this has been years of learning and experiencing and huge paradigm shifting for us, it is really impossible to tell you all about it, although I wish I knew how to do that. I will give you a list of some of the most important things that the Lord has led us to read over the past few years, but He can teach you the truth and details of anything in His own way, too. And Joseph Smith said that if you could gaze into heaven for five minutes, you would know more about it than all the books ever written on the subject.
Anyway, there is all kinds of exciting and wonderful stuff that we know about now that we didn’t know about or understand a few years ago. And maybe we can talk about some of that in other blog posts. But the main purpose of this one is really to let you know some of the basic reasons why our relationship to the Church has/will change. That is what we figure will distress many of you, and that is what we want to address now.
So, I have talked about some of the teachings that we rarely get in classes or talks in the Church anymore. We are taught that they are not necessary to know, not necessary to strive for, or else we don’t even know about them at all. I have been stunned to learn that many people, especially those a couple decades or more younger than me have no idea of these things.
When I joined the Church in 1973, things were quite a bit different than they are now. People tended to study deep doctrine. Any Church books you could get were almost all about doctrine. You could ask unorthodox questions in class and even greatly disagree without terrible discomfort. You could quote from books outside of the manual, or testify of your own profound spiritual experiences without disapproval. Talks were actually given occasionally that discussed Calling and Election and the Second Comforter. I knew about those concepts very early on in my membership, maybe even before I joined. Correlation has changed that to a great degree. Correlation had barely begun at that time. In the Church now, correlation is looked upon as a great thing, even as a revelation. Most people do not realize that it was struggled against at the highest levels of Church leadership, and even opposed by President McKay, but that is a topic for another post.
I knew about the Lectures on Faith very early on. I believe I read it very early on, too. There were still people back then who would say they wished it were still part of the D&C. It was scripture. Many younger people now have not even heard of it. The Lectures on Faith includes important understanding about God and about seeing the Lord which is much harder to find and understand since we took it out of our canon. Again, another important topic for another post.
So, things have changed. We are not even generally aware of much of the stuff that Joseph Smith taught/restored. Here is an example from a talk he gave near the end of his life where he is talking about what he calls the first principles, but it is not at all what we teach as the first principles. It is so deep, we hardly have an inkling of such things anymore:
“These are the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child, or dear relative, to know that, although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die anymore; but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus do? Why; I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds come rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of his Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all his children. It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the Gospel, about which so much hath been said.”
This is the beginning of what we need to learn, and it is glorious!
There are many scriptures about us in the last days, and the sad and blinded state we will be in. There is much about our unbelief (which is not only not believing, but believing in erroneous things). I have noticed that in the Church we like to teach that these things are only about others around us, and not us. I believe they are about us. I believe the Book of Mormon prophets were shown our day and who would be reading the book, and that they are warning us, not those who will never read the book. I believe we are the Gentiles talked about in the Book of Mormon. We are told the record will “come forth in due time by way of the Gentile.” Joseph Smith also calls us Gentiles:
D&C 109: 60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.
Here are some scriptures I believe are about us. If we read them and think about the things we do, we will see that they actually are speaking about us:
2 Nephi 28: 1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.
2 And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.
3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—
4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.
5 And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men;
6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.
7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted.
12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.
13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.
14 They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.
17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.
The scriptures above from Nephi are ones that we like to apply only to others. But if we compare them to those below from Mormon 8, where Moroni is clearly talking about us, since he asks why we have polluted the Holy Church of God, we can see that the problems are much the same.
Mormon 8: 31 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who will say, Do this, or do that, and it mattereth not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day. But wo unto such, for they are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.
32 Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be churches built up that shall say: Come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins.
33 O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.
34 Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
39 Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?
40 Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?
41 Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
There is a lot in Isaiah and Ezekiel and other scriptures, too, about us in these last days. Perhaps another post for another day.
A few years ago I happened to be on Amazon browsing, and I saw a book called The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil by Denver Snuffer. Here was a book that I had never seen before about the very topic I was most interested in and had studied for so many years. I had never heard of the author, but I ended up buying it. When I read it, I was stunned! I knew what was said in this book was absolutely true! Most of it was not new to me. It was stuff I already knew, but it was said in a way that was so full of light and truth. And, the author had seen the Lord. In fact, Jesus Christ had told him to write the book. I also knew from the Holy Ghost that his claim was true.
I shared the book with a few friends, who I thought would also love it. I was surprised when they apparently did not feel what I felt in it. It was very much the same experience as when I had joined the Church at age 15 and had naively thought I could just tell others of the wonderful truths I had learned, and they would surely see the truth in it, too, but no one did (at least not at that time). So, there were some hard times for us after that, because of the reaction and actions of some, which I won’t go into.
It was during this difficult time that the Lord did a wonderful thing for me. He taught me in a miraculous manner, and in an instant, that trusting in the arm of flesh is wrong. The scriptures say that, and I believed that already, in theory, but in an instant one day, after I had made a small step to follow the spirit over what a leader said, the Lord changed my paradigm in my brain, and I suddenly understood what it really meant. Although we think we don’t, in the Church we generally do follow the arm of flesh, and we mistakenly think it is right, because we conflate the gospel with the Church, and we conflate a person being called to a position with needing to “follow” that leader. The only person we are to follow is the Savior. We should heed or listen to true messengers, servants of the Lord, and prophets, but we should not follow them.
Anyway, I began to read all the other books Denver had written, and I found out he had a blog, which I also read. The amount of light and truth in those things was greater than in anything else I had ever read, except for the scriptures themselves. But most of what Denver writes and speaks is just expounding on the scriptures anyway.
The fruits of all this were wonderful for me. My desire to study the scriptures increased dramatically, and my understanding of them also increased. Things I had read many, many times before became clear to me. I also spent much more time in meaningful prayer. I was able to hear the Holy Ghost much clearer. My whole desire was to be like Christ (this is always the goal) and to do His will. My heart was broken and my spirit was contrite. My love for others increased, and I had a great desire to pray for them. During the next couple years I had a couple of amazing Baptism of Fire experiences. I will not go into detail about them here, but while it is hard to explain, this was much more than what we would call in the Church “feeling the Holy Ghost.” While I did experience profound joy, it was because of the knowledge that was being given to me, the pure intelligence. It was also from the overwhelming feeling of the pure love of Christ which accompanied these experiences. I can testify that pure love is something more than a mortal can experience by themselves. It almost consumes you. I am sure the Lord measures even that love out, so that a mortal in this telestial world can live through the experience.
I shared all these things I was reading, learning, and experiencing with Vaughn. I will not comment on his personal experiences, but he already knew much of what we were learning, and we both knew it was true stuff.
During this time I had the amazing experience where the Lord told us we needed to move to Utah. It started in a dream, with just that one message being impressed upon me, that we were supposed to move to Utah. It continued into me being awake, and I was just there being told by the Lord on and on for about an hour and a half that we must move to Utah. I told Vaughn, and he cried. We didn’t want to leave Tennessee! A week later Vaughn fasted and prayed and knew we were supposed to move. We did not know why then, but since we have moved, we have realized there were a lot of reasons.
Since we have been here in Utah we have been able to get to know other people who I had been in contact with online, mostly on the LDS Freedom Forum, where people discuss a lot of this stuff. I had read some books by Doug Mendenhall and his daughter, Denise. We have been able to meet them and learn some very important things pertaining to fighting spiritual evil. That is one thing that I have realized is important that is hardly mentioned in Church. Satan has done a good job making us think that everything bad is caused by something else, that he is not involved. He almost has us believing that there is no devil, especially in America.
A little over a year ago Denver Snuffer was excommunicated, ostensibly for writing a book about Church History (Passing the Heavenly Gift), and not taking it out of publication. There is a long story about that, but I won’t go into it now. That book is difficult to read because it shows things that have been kept hidden, but it also shows how that does not mean everything needs to be thrown out. There is something called the “Google Apostasy” going on. I think that is more known about in Utah, but many people around the world who spend any time on the internet, or who listened to the Church Historian speak a few years ago, probably know about it. This has happened because the Church has kept much of the history secret, and has also allowed some faith promoting stories and many quotes that we have all believed to continue being taught, even when the evidence that they are not true is overwhelming. Also, because of the internet, all the things that question the veracity of the Book of Mormon, all the negative stuff about Joseph Smith, etc. is all out there. So, Denver wrote the book to help people who were leaving and throwing everything away not do that. I personally know someone who kept his faith and stayed in the Church because of that book.
The Lord told Denver to give a series of ten talks over the past year. These were all really part of one large talk. The Lord told him where to give them and when, and what to say. He told Denver to start the talks on Sept. 10th last year. The last one was given on Sept. 9th this year. On the day Denver gave the first talk, it was his 40th year anniversary in the Church. It was also the day he received the letter notifying him of his excommunication.
I will tell you at this point that we believe that Denver is a true messenger from the Lord. If you define a prophet as someone who has talked with the Lord face to face, and who has been given a message to deliver by the Lord, then Denver is a prophet. We believe that he has talked face to face with the Lord, as he says, and we believe the Lord has given him a message to deliver. We believe the scriptures show that this is most often how the Lord works. He often takes someone unlikely and gives him a message to be delivered to His people. They often come from “outside.” They are easy for people to dismiss or disbelieve because they don’t come from the hierarchy. They preach repentance, they expound scripture, they tell people they have gone astray, and invariably most people don’t like it. And the messenger, and those who believe the message, often face persecution and are “cast out.”
The only way to know if someone is speaking the words of Christ is by the fruits and by the Holy Ghost. Are the words they speak full of light, do they make the scriptures more clear? Does the Holy Ghost verify the truth of the message to you? And I think most importantly, do they lead you to Christ? Do they cause you to want to be like Christ and do His will? Our answer has been yes to all those questions.
The message of these ten talks, that are one long talk from the Lord, is all about Zion. I had thought about trying to summarize them somehow, but I would end up writing a book. Since I love you all, I would ask and plead with you that you please read the talks and/or listen to them. The transcripts are available through links on his blog. The audio CD’s are available to purchase from the person who made the recordings, but the audio will be available free, also, at some point. I can get you the CD’s or MP3’s, too.
Do not let fear stop you from reading/listening to these talks. Fear is not from the Lord. Trust that the Lord will let you know the truth of all things through the Holy Ghost. Be very prayerful because Satan will do all he can to try to stop this work. He does not want Zion. The Lord is beginning again to do His marvelous work. He will lead you to it, if you desire it. There is an urgency right now to awake and arise. Please give the Lord a chance to show you what He is doing and the truth of it.
Now is the moment in time when the Lord has set His hand to again begin the movement toward Zion. Because we have made the arm of flesh an idol, one of the things the Lord has done is asked us to meet in “communities” or “fellowships” but to have no leader. He is attempting to get us to rise up and connect directly with the Lord. He wants us each to be taught directly by Him. If we keep leaning on the arm of flesh, we can never rise up to become Zion.
So, now many of you are thinking, “They are crazy! They are joining another one of those crazy apostate groups!” We understand you thinking that. A few years ago, we would probably have thought that. There is opposition in all things. There is always a false thing that looks similar to the true thing. Discernment through the Holy Ghost and the other ways in the scriptures we have been given to discern, for instance does it point to Christ, is the only way to know which is which.
All we can ask is that you take the time to find out for yourself. Here is a link to Denver’s blog where you can find the links lower down on the right hand side to the talks. There are links there to a few other talks he has given that are also very worthwhile:
Here are some books that I think are great, and important to be read to understand so many things, and that have made a huge difference to me. The scriptures are, of course, the most important, especially the Book of Mormon. Please read especially the Book of Mormon again with all preconceived ideas thrown out. Just read the words and think about what they really mean, not interpreted through the lens of LDS teachings. The books in no particular order (I will put links to where you can get them):
The Lectures on Faith (Don’t read a version with commentary or a modern preface. Read the original.) The 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants has them as the doctrine part. What we have left now is actually the covenants part. A committee removed the doctrine part (The Lectures on Faith) of our D&C in 1921 :(.
The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil by Denver Snuffer
Come Let Us Adore Him by Denver Snuffer
The Words of Joseph Smith compiled and edited by Andrew Ehat
http://www.amazon.com/Words-Joseph-Smith-including-Teachings-ebook/dp/B007JPNF92/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412357925&sr=1-10&keywords=the+lectures+on+faith This is a Kindle version that has lots of other books, too. The hardback copy of the book is extremely expensive, since it is out of print.
Conquering Spiritual Evil by Doug Mendenhall
I Knew Their Hearts by Jeff Olsen
This book is the account of a near death experience that shows many things I have learned. I have heard Jeff speak three times, and the spirit is very strong with him. I just really like this book.
Passing the Heavenly Gift by Denver Snuffer
It is probably best to read other books by Denver first. This one can be rough since it exposes history that is tough to hear about. If you read it, read the whole thing, because there is much more hope at the end. I do think this is a very important book to read.
Also, read anything else you can that Joseph Smith said or taught, but be careful with believing some quotes which were “remembered” to have been said by him decades later. The Joseph Smith Papers project is very valuable. The Church has done a great service with this project. I have not read much of it yet, but I have learned that because of it, some things which we had assumed true are being found to be not true or questionable. Even sections in the D&C have come into question.
Because in the Church we generally totally conflate the gospel with the Church (even when we think we don’t), there are things that have shaken many people up, and they have thrown the gospel out with the Church. They have assumed that if the Church is hiding things, or if they feel the Church has lied to them, then everything must be thrown out. We have heard of many people even becoming atheists because they totally threw everything out. We believe this is a shame, and is happening because of the Church teaching “if one part is true, it all has to be true.” I am very sad that I taught in my life that principle, which I now believe to be false, as well as a dangerous belief, that ”if Joseph Smith was a Prophet, then it is all true.” I apologize to anyone who has heard me say that. The Lord has shown me that it is false.
One of the reasons the Lord told us to move to Utah was so I could attend all of the 10 talks by Denver over this past year. The Lord told me to attend them all. They were given in places from Boise to Mesa. I wondered why the Lord wanted me to go to them all. I knew I could listen to them on CD and/or read them after, that I didn’t need to be at them to do that. But I was excited to go and actually hear and see him to feel the spirit of it for myself. Still, I could have just gone to one and done that.
Anyway, I went to them all. I found out why I was to do that. It has to do with what I saw and experienced there, and the fact that the Lord wants me to testify of those things.
First let me say, Denver is a man, and as he will tell you over and over, he is a very ordinary man. He continually points out that he is sure many of the people who listen to what he says or read what he writes are much better people than him. The Lord chooses the weak things of the earth to bring to pass his purposes. He is a previously divorced lawyer who rides a Harley :). He was absolutely devoted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He even argued with the Lord about many things, including the state of the Church. He used the same arguments to the Lord that many people use to him, and the Lord had to explain the truth of things to him.
Denver does not charge for his talks. Any profit from his books is donated. He does not want to be, and is not a leader. He believes the “strongman” model is dangerous. He believes totally in D&C 121 that says:
34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
I don’t think we really believe in the Church the part that says “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood.” How much control and dominion is exercised? How many really still have the priesthood since “almost all” exercise unrighteous dominion? The Lord himself lives by this. He does not control us or force us. He sends messengers to persuade us.
I can testify that the message that Denver spoke in the ten talks was from Christ. The Holy Ghost has borne witness to me of that. Much of what was said was a second witness to me of things that the Lord had already been teaching me in other ways.
At the first talk, I began to realize why the Lord had asked me to go to them all. What happened was a marvel to me. I will share from what I wrote in another place, in response to some posts people had put on a reading group, about what I saw and experienced:
“I would like to bear my small testimony in response to this. I have told just a few people about this, but have felt that at some time I would need to testify more. I felt as I read the post below that I should share this here. It may be a small thing to everyone, because it is only me testifying to it.
You listed some signs that other prophets have shown or that have manifested during their ministries. One thing mentioned is that Abinadi glowed.
I am not a person who ‘sees’ things really. Over the past few years I have sometimes seen a thin whitish light around some people when they are speaking, and more recently I do see something that I would call “stuff” in the air sometimes at night. However, I am not someone who sees auras generally or spirits or anything like that.
I was told by the Lord to go to all of Denver’s 10 talks. I told a few people, but since I heard some people express doing that was foolish, I didn’t share it with everyone :). I did not go because I was a groupie :), or because it was easy for me. We are not well off financially, so it was a financial sacrifice to go to them all. Also, I have poor health, and it was a great strain on my body to go many times.
We moved to Utah from Tennessee a little over a year ago, because the Lord told me in a profound spiritual experience that we needed to move to Utah. He didn’t tell us the reason why. My husband quit his job as a college professor, and we moved here a little over a year ago, with no job to come to. It has been a great sacrifice for us in many ways. However, if we had not moved here, I would not have been able to attend Denver’s talks.
At the first talk in Boise, I was quite stunned because I saw light coming from Denver’s face! I had never seen anything like that before. Someone told me that to them it looked like he was ‘leaking light,’ and that is a good description of how his face looked to me. It was amazing to me. The same thing happened in the next talk. I saw his face glowing sometimes. At the Logan talk it was even more. Here is what I wrote in my journal about that: ‘Lots of light coming from him. Actual light I could see. More intense near the end. I was over half way back in crowd of maybe 400+. At one point he looked right in my direction. Don’t know that he was actually looking at me, but this incredible sense of a pure wide shaft of light shot from him + connected to me. I can’t describe it right, but it was overwhelming, and I almost exclaimed out loud at the wonder of it. For several minutes the light from his face even obscured my ability to see his features. Also, his countenance changed several times. He looked different at times, younger – rounder face. It changed back and forth. Also, for a while it was not just Denver that was exuding tons of light, but also all across the front of the room was intense light. I wondered at it! Later while thinking about it, I have thought that light was many other beings there, too. Maybe Seraphs, fiery ones?’
At each talk after that, I saw him glowing. Usually it was a wideish light around him and sometimes extending up above him. In Ephraim I thought there was something dark further back on the stage, maybe something trying to stop him? But the light was still coming from him. Sometimes the light was silvery. I think it was in St. George where it looked more gold. At the last talk, I was surprised because it was almost an orangey gold color.
Another quote from my journal written after the first three: ‘All the talks were full of pure light + knowledge being poured into me. Denver speaks truth. The Holy Ghost within me knows it!’
So, I add this, my small testimony, from someone who has not seen the Lord with my eyes yet, but who has seen this light and these manifestations around a messenger from the Lord speaking Christ’s words.”
Please know that whatever arguments you are thinking of against all of this, or what fears or concerns you have, that we have most likely thought of all of that already :). As I said this journey has taken years.
Now, though, I think things are more urgent. I do not know how much time is left to make some decisions. At some point the extreme trials of the last days will come upon us. We certainly see things happening in the world that are very alarming. At some point Zion will be established. It is really up to us if we will be part of the small group that is in the beginning of that.
We have to choose. The Lord loves us. The Lord wants us to know Him. He is waiting for us to rise up. He is persuading us, but he will not force us. We all have to choose between opposing things.
Denver said this in the talk in Ephraim:
“If you will receive it, faith in Him comes by hearing the word of God. Not by a pretender, not by someone guessing, not by someone offering up their theory of how the scriptures ought to be understood. Faith does not come by hearkening to someone citing you a bibliography. Faith comes only by hearing the word of God delivered as He would have it delivered, by whomever it is that He may choose to deliver it.
If you receive God’s word sent by someone He sends, then you might have faith, and that too in the Son of God. Then you also might receive Him. But if you will not, if you will harden your hearts, if you will blind your minds, if you will not receive what He offers from His mouth in your day, then you do not have faith in Him. You will fall short of that faith required to become His son and His daughter.
It is that way, it has always been that way, it will always be that way. There is no other test.
Therefore, either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I’ve said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril!
It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I’m a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I’m saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I’m talking about. I have no reason to lie to you. I have no reason to pay to reserve a place to speak to you, and ask nothing of you but to listen. It requires a sacrifice to do what I am doing. I have no other reason to do this than to tell you the truth. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am come as a second witness. Therefore you now have two proclaiming the same doctrine.”
The Lord is offering again a chance for Zion to begin. That is the message. Repent and be baptized. Partake of the Sacrament in the way he directed. Come unto Christ. Come to know Him. Start in your families to become a Zion people. Then find those of like mind, and join with them. Have no leader, no strongman, among you. Teach each other from the scriptures. Make sure there are no poor among you!
We are currently in a group, with people from many areas of the country, where people in the group give their tithing and/or donations to the group with the goal that there be no poor among us. We currently take care of two single mothers in our group. There are other things we do like meet with people to partake of the Sacrament in people’s homes and discuss the gospel. The Lord has asked that those who are moving forward in this way be baptized. We have done that. There is a lot more about all of this in the last talk, so please read the talks, but Vaughn and I are moving forward with all this, along with many other people, in many areas of the country, whom we have gotten to know.
So, the Lord told us to write this blog post. I assume there will maybe be other posts addressing some of the specific points of things that I could barely allude to here. I believe the Lord wanted us to write this for a few reasons. One reason is to let you all know what is happening when you see us handling Church differently. But probably the main reason is to let you know these things, so that you can go to the Lord and ask Him about it all.
In talking about the nature of God (who we have to have a correct understanding of, in order to have faith in Him) and how Joseph Smith understood His nature and some later leaders didn’t, Denver said:
“One or the other is true because they disagree on the definition of God. And you must have a correct idea of His character, perfection and attributes in order to exercise faith in Him. And so now we find ourselves having to choose. It’s a healthy thing. You ought to have to choose. You ought to have your salvation at peril on how you choose. You ought to have to decide between whether you believe a man who stood in the presence of God, and bore testimony of what he saw, and what he felt, and what he heard, and others who constitute a committee that disagree with him. You should have to choose. And your eternal peril should hang in the balance as you make that choice. That is a perfect conundrum, in my view. Grow up. Accept the burden. Find out. Learn about God. Or be damned by your carelessness, by your indifference, by your refusal to go forward. It ought to be so. And it ought to be put to you plainly. And you ought to have to choose. And you ought to have to choose every time you hear someone get up and offer something to you and conclude in the name of Jesus Christ. Because they are either offering you something from Him that will save you, or they are offering something that they hope will damn you, because they’re signing you up on the wrong team. It ought to be so. Everlastingly, it ought to be so.”
Another quote from Denver:
“God has to say to us, ‘This is what I want you to do.’ If no one else will say it to you, I am saying it to you. Everything that has been said in this talk, which began in Boise and concludes here today, everything that has been said is, in fact, exactly what happened when God offered something to an earlier generation through Joseph. He, God, is offering something again, right now, in our day, to you, to any that will hear, to any that will listen. The work is beginning again. . . .
If you don’t lay hold upon this, if you don’t move this forward, if you don’t rise up, I suppose He will find another people. But you ought to accept this invitation, and then come to the feast He offers us. You should want to be numbered among those who choose to have the Gospel live again. The Gospel should not be the words of an old book. The Gospel should be alive in you, rolling forth with new vigor. Every new day should be a new revelation to you of His involvement in your life, and in the lives of those around you.”
At the end of his last talk, Denver said this:
“Let me end by testifying to you that, however improbable or unlikely all of this may seem to those of you who spend any time at all thinking about this, it was just as improbable when John was baptizing. It was just as improbable when Christ taught. It was just as improbable when Joseph Smith said, ‘I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it.’ It may seem improbable. But it is true!”
I guess that is about it for this blog post. We hope that you all will not ream us too much :). We are happy to answer questions, if we can, but please know that as I said before, it is highly unlikely that whatever worries or objections you might have, that it is not something we have already thought about and prayed about and resolved.
We love you all! We have prayed about whom to tell about this blog. Of course, anyone can read it because it is a public blog, but if you were told about it by us, then we know and love you and felt you needed to know this. And if you are reading it another way, maybe consider that the Lord led you here :).