Saturday, December 10, 2016

Did The Lord Choose Not To Anoint "The Lord's Anointed"?

Previously: On The High Road To Apostasy

I have a wonderful cousin who I love like the dickens, but she recently rebuked me online by writing "You are so deceived. I'd rather follow a prophet than someone who is disgruntled, leading others astray. I feel sorry for you."

Well, I get that now and then. But when it comes from someone who hasn't seen me in more than a decade, I feel a correction is in order. So I would like to put my dear cousin's mind at ease and reassure her that I do follow a prophet; a prophet I believe to have been divinely appointed by Jesus Christ to be not only a prophet, but a seer and a revelator as well.  This is a prophet I presume my cousin also looks to as divinely anointed: Joseph Smith, Junior.

On a blog so boldly titled as "Pure Mormonism" you would think readers would be aware of my testimony of Joseph Smith and my devotion to the gospel of Christ he was instrumental in restoring. But it turns out that a good number of active members of the Church -some of whom know me personally- haven't actually read much of my words here, choosing instead to assume I have devolved into a nasty, unrepentant nonbeliever. So I guess a reminder that I remain devoted to the faith, and to the prophet who founded it, may be in order now and then.

This prophet, Joseph Smith, is the only man our pioneer ancestors thought of as the prophet to the church, and he had that sole distinction among the membership throughout the entire lifetimes of the generation who knew him. Even though Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and others attained the office of president of the Church, Joseph Smith was the only one the 19th century Saints ever recognized as the prophet of the Most High.

You can find numerous references to "the prophet" in the journals and writings of the Utah Saints, and even repeatedly in the Deseret News up through the turn of the century. And every time that term was used, it almost never referred to the current Church president, whoever that might have been. When "the prophet" was spoken of, it was in reference to Joseph Smith the martyr, and him alone.

I think where I part ways with my cousin is that although I believe Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet, seer, and revelator, I am no longer convinced the same can be said of the men who currently manage the affairs of the LDS Church.  And I think my reasoning on this is sound.

If the Lord intends for us to revere these men the way we revere our founding prophet, shouldn't we be able to arrive at a testimony of them the same way we came to know of Joseph Smith's divine calling? Should we not, for instance, be able to fairly demonstrate that Thomas Monson has been anointed prophet, seer, and revelator by utilizing the same means and criteria that brought us to the knowledge that Joseph Smith was?

Solving The Prophet Puzzle
Every missionary in my day was familiar with a talk by apostle Hugh B. Brown, "Profile of a Prophet." In this recorded talk, Elder Brown outlines the historic and scriptural criteria by which any of us should be able to recognize the appearance of a true prophet of God. It is a powerful and convincing talk, and at only 25 minutes long, well worth your time. You can listen to it here.

For the sake of brevity, I'll list the following characteristics Elder Brown outlines that should be evident in any man who purports to be a prophet of God:
1. He will boldly claim that God had spoken to him. 
2. Any man so claiming would be a dignified man with a dignified message—no table jumping, no whisperings from the dead, no clairvoyance, but an intelligent statement of truth. 
3. Any man claiming to be a prophet of God would declare his message without any fear and without making any weak concessions to public opinion. 
4. If he were speaking for God he could not make concessions, although what he taught would be new and contrary to the accepted teachings of the day. A prophet bears witness to what he has seen and heard and seldom tries to make a case by argument. His message and not himself is important. 
5. Such a man would speak in the name of the Lord, saying, “Thus said the Lord,” as did Moses, Joshua, and others. 
6. Such a man would predict future events in the name of the Lord, and they would come to pass, as did those predicted by Isaiah and Ezekiel. 
7. He would have not only an important message for his time but often a message for all future time, such as Daniel, Jeremiah, and others had. 
8. He would have courage and faith enough to endure persecution and to give his life, if need be, for the cause he espoused, such as Peter, James, Paul, and others did. 
9. Such a man would denounce wickedness fearlessly. He would generally be rejected or persecuted by the people of his time, but later generations and descendants of his persecutors would build monuments in his honor. 
10. He would be able to do superhuman things—things that no man could do without God’s help. The consequence or result of his message and work would be convincing evidence of his prophetic calling: “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). 
11. His teachings would be in strict conformity with scripture, and his words and his writings would become scripture. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
Elder Brown's impressive outline had a great deal to do with my acquiring a testimony of Joseph Smith's divine calling. But that was not the only way I arrived at my testimony. I found ample evidence that Joseph Smith was called of God, because God himself acknowledged it. Here's one of the first revelations from the Lord signifying He had selected Joseph Smith to accomplish His purposes:
"Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord." (D&C 3:9)
Now, a cynic might conclude that since it was Joseph Smith himself  who wrote those words, Joseph Smith could have been the one making the claim. Only a fool, it might be said, would accept that statement at face value.

Well, I may be a cynic and a fool, but I also like to think I'm a seeker of truth. So I did what we are all commanded to do, and took that statement and others like it directly to the Lord for confirmation. What I received in answer to my prayers was a witness of the spirit that those words indeed came from the mouth of the Lord. Joseph Smith, I was assured, was indeed called of God to do God's work.

We are charged in scripture not to take any man's statement at face value, no matter his rank or title. We are instructed to examine every single utterance that claims to have come from the Lord, then take that utterance to the Lord in prayer to get a witness through the Holy Ghost that the message did indeed come from Him.

We rarely do that. We have gotten lazy, preferring to believe that our leaders somehow are incapable of leading us astray, even though the Lord has never given us that assurance, but has constantly warned us otherwise. Believing without question what management tells us is just so much easier than actually inquiring of the Lord.

Our great failure as a people is that more often than not, once we receive divine confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true, we tend to accept everything else that is preached from the pulpit without thinking, even things that are taught that are contrary to what the Book of Mormon itself is trying to tell us.

The apostle Paul directs us to "prove all things," then "hold fast to that which is good." The word "prove" means to test a thing, to evince by examination. The LDS Church in the 21st century seems to have formally abandoned that instruction. Indeed, the very act of testing, examining, or questioning certain teachings or practices within the Church in our day is deemed grounds for Church discipline, and even expulsion, according to the Church Handbook of Instruction. (Vol 1, pg 57; see also Jensen, Modern Apostasy, 2014.)

Taking It To The Source
Some years ago I came to the realization that not everything I was taught growing up about my religion was entirely reliable. Some of it was error mixed in with truth.

So in an effort to separate truth from falsehood, I realized I would have to set aside my entire system of fixed beliefs, and start over from scratch. So over time, as I re-read the revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants given to us through Joseph Smith, I made certain that each and every one of them was accurate. And I did so by asking God directly, "did you say this?"

And each time I asked I got a clear witness. Yes, those words were the very oracles of God.

Here are a few more verses affirming Joseph's role as God's mouthpiece in these last days. I asked about each one, and got the same affirmation:
"I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments." (D&C 1:17
"Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ." (D&C 21:1
"Thou wast called and chosen to write the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry...And thou shalt continue in calling upon God in my name, and writing the things which shall be given thee by the Comforter, and expounding all scriptures unto the church." (D&C 24:1,5
"No one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., for he receiveth them even as Moses." (D&C 28:2)
Then there was this revelation given to the members of the church in 1830, which I found most instructive:
"Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth..." (D&C 21:4&5)
I noted that members of the church back then were not told to follow or obey the counsel of the prophet, as I was being taught to do in regards to the president of the Church in my day. This revelation says we shall "give heed to all his words." To "heed" means to give consideration to, give careful attention, to examine and ponder.

Quite a far cry from unquestioning obedience.

Something else I noticed in that revelation: we are not commanded to accept everything Joseph Smith ever said as if it were gospel. Only those words he speaks as he receives them from God. It is only those words that come "as if from mine own mouth" that we are commanded to give heed to. While it is true that Joseph Smith, having seen and conversed with Jesus Christ and the Father, doubtless came away from that experience brimming with wisdom and insight; and while Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet personally ordained by God, not every utterance that ever came out of his mouth is to be accepted ex cathedra. Only those words he delivers as coming from the mouth of God are considered doctrinal. Which brings us to...

The Grand Daddy Of All Scriptures
All of us have our favorite scriptures. For most of us it's a direct quote from Jesus Christ, as well it should be.  But there is one chapter in the Book of Mormon that we ought to take as our guide before we consider any other teaching of the Church, and that is 1st Nephi Chapter 8.

This is the chapter that teaches us that the only sure path to God is by holding to the rod of iron, the symbolic guardrail that represents the word of God.  Therefore, nothing we read in our Sunday School manuals, nothing we're taught in Church, nothing we hear in general conference, is allowed to trump the actual word of God. Only our Lord's actual words as revealed through His prophets are the words we should be clinging to; anything not measuring up to the word of God fails the iron rod test.

When we're trying to figure out whether some man's word is to be taken as God's will, it's not enough to simply rely upon what we were taught growing up in the church. We have to go to the source, and that source is the revealed word of God. Harold B. Lee, himself a former president of the church, delineated what he thought was the biggest danger facing the LDS church in modern times:
"I say we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures. If only each of us would be wise enough to say that we aren't able to answer any question unless we can find a doctrinal answer in the scriptures! And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false -it is as simple as that. But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about the things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think therein is one of our biggest dangers of today." 
"The Lord has given us in the standard works the means by which we should measure truth and untruth. May we all heed His word: 'Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church.' " D&C 42:59 (First Presidency Message, Ensign, December 1972. Emphasis mine.)
So, are we to simply allow men in leadership positions to govern the church of Christ according to the policies and procedures they institute on their own? Or are they required to govern the church only in accordance with the instructions promulgated by God?  We latter-day Saints have a sacred duty to make an important determination, and this determination should be made carefully and prayerfully: whether the men who succeeded Joseph Smith actually are his successors as authorized by God, or if they are there only because our vain traditions call for them to be.

The way to get to the nub of it all is to seek God's word in the matter. It is not enough to simply accept the next guy in line as though he were appointed by God. We should insist on seeing evidence of that appointment.

I had just begun to question my faith in church succession some years back, when Gordon B. Hinckley was president.  In March of 2003, the president of the United States launched an invasion of a foreign country that had done us no harm, in violation not only of the constitution's separation of powers, but also in direct violation of the words of Jesus Christ, who declared in D&C 98:33 that his people "should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them."

So I was looking forward to general conference three weeks later. We were finally going to hear an actual prophet of God lay into the civil authorities for an act of aggression every bit as unwarranted as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, or the German Blitzkrieg on Poland. This should be worth tuning in to!

But when conference arrived and president Hinckley finally got around to addressing this topic at the final session, it was clear he wasn't going to act anything like a true Old Testament prophet speaking old fashioned truth to power. In fact, he admitted he didn't know what to think about this current war, but he was sure the whole thing would be over in a few short weeks. It was the most wishy-washy, non-committal, unprincipled, and uninformed pile of nothing I had ever heard come out of the mouth of a reputed prophet of God in my life. Caught me completely by surprise.

Hinckley did offer one pertinent quote from Jesus,where the Lord commanded his people to "renounce war and proclaim peace." Then he spent the rest of his talk with a metaphoric shrug as if to say, "But hey, whatcha gonna do?"

Thus began my first crisis of faith in modern Church leadership. So I went to the Lord to ask the question it had never occurred to me to ask before: is Gordon B. Hinckley your appointed mouthpiece on the earth?

I don't want to put words in God's mouth, because he didn't answer me with an audible voice. But if I were to reconstruct the conversation in English, it might have gone something like this:

"Is Gordon B. Hinckley your anointed prophet, seer, and revelator?"

Show me some of Gordon's prophecies and revelations and I'll give you my answer.

"But he has never issued any prophecies or revelations."

Well then, there's your answer.

Follow the Whosit?
A while back, when re-reading 1st Nephi 8, I noticed something I had only glossed over in previous readings, then instantly forgotten. The prophet Lehi was describing a dream in which he found himself in a dark and dreary wilderness. Suddenly a well-dressed, important looking man appeared and bade him follow. Lehi would be rescued from the darkness, for surely this impressive figure -a man of God if ever there was one- would lead Lehi back into the light.

But Lehi soon discovered it had been a mistake to follow this man, for he was only led further into the dark and dreary wasteland. Lehi found himself lost "for the space of many hours," until it occurred to him to call on God directly. Only then was Lehi brought into the light. Now he could see many things clearly, among them that rod of iron along the straight pathway to God's pure love. Lehi realized that the only sure path to God was not by putting his trust in any man, but instead to cling tenaciously to the word of God.

As a devout believer in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I can think of no more pertinent question in our day than to assess whether we are doing the Lord's will in following certain men, or if we are being misled. Even Joseph Smith himself lamented that the people were depending so much on him that they were becoming "darkened in their minds." (Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, pg 51). If the prophet would issue such a warning to the people in his day to back off, why are so many Mormons so anxious to ignore that advice when it comes to Church leaders today?

Brigham Young said something interesting:
"Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question—Does a man’s being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the president of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the president of the Church, as long as he lived: the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice.” (Journal of Discourses 1:133 Emphasis added.)
Joseph Smith was appointed by the Lord to be the Lord's mouthpiece.  It so happened that Joseph was also elected by the people to preside over the fledgling church. Each of those positions is not the same as the other. Joseph just happened to have worn both hats back in the day; at various times acting as either prophet and/or president.

But it could have easily been the case that while Joseph acted as the mouthpiece of the Lord, some other person -Hyrum Smith, for example, or Sidney Rigdon- could have been elected by the members and sustained as president of the church at the same time Joseph Smith was their prophet.

So the thing we deserve to come to an understanding of in our day is this: how can we know if the president of the church also happens to be a prophet?

How About We Ask The Same Questions?
Obviously, to get an answer to our question we would use the same criteria we used when we came to a knowledge that Joseph Smith was ordained to be God's mouthpiece.  We might first compare the current president to the list of qualifications apostle Brown taught would be recognizable in a prophet. Secondly, we would look for instances where the Lord has declared the modern president to be his mouthpiece, as he did numerous times in regard to Joseph Smith.

Trouble is, we can find no instance where Thomas S. Monson has boldly made the claim that God has spoken to him. Neither has he declared he has received any messages "in the name of the Lord." Neither has president Monson predicted future events, or endured persecution, or met any number of the qualifications recognizable in a true prophet outlined by Apostle Hugh B. Brown above.

Where do we find God's endorsement of Thomas Monson similar to the one given regarding Joseph Smith?  We have no statement from the Lord telling us to "give heed unto all Monson's words and commandments which he shall give unto you, for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth."

I looked for such an endorsement of President Hinckley, and those who came before him. And then when I got to Heber J. Grant, I read this bombshell from a letter President Grant had written to a Mrs. Claud Peery in 1926:
"I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to an individual since His appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith."
Wait...WHAT?! I was always taught that the living prophet met with Jesus face to face on a regular basis in the upper room of the temple. And now here's one of those prophets admitting that not only has he never met or spoken to Jesus, but nobody he knows ever has either!

I felt maybe the thing to do was track this all the way back to Brigham Young. Seeing as how Brigham was Joseph Smith's BFF, surely he had the authority to speak for God, and maybe at least I would learn that authority was somehow handed off to those who came after.

The Trail Dead Ends
It turns out, though, that Brigham Young wasn't really all that close to Joseph Smith, for the simple reason they didn't spent much time together.  Joseph lived in Nauvoo, while Brigham was constantly off laboring in the Eastern States and Great Britain.

We have this idea that Brigham Young was Joseph's second in command, but the records don't support that. He wasn't a member of the First Presidency. The minutes of the Nauvoo High Council don't show him in attendance because he was not a member of that body. His association to Joseph Smith, to the extent it was significant at all, was in company with others, not the two of them alone. There were plenty of other men who had a closer association to Joseph Smith than Brigham Young did. Plenty of others.

The myth that Brigham Young and Joseph Smith were best buds was fostered by Brigham in the decades following Joseph's death, and developed over time into the official Church narrative.

"Say Joseph, do you mind if we get a selfie so I can prove I met you once?"
More surprising, when one looks at the record, is that now and then Brigham Young would pop off with some astonishing admissions denying any role as God's anointed:
"I don't profess to be such a Prophet as were Joseph Smith and Daniel." (Journal of Discourses 5:77)
Like all Latter-day Saints at the time, Brigham expected that one day Joseph Smith's eldest son would take the reins of church leadership. Until then, Brigham would act as a sort of placeholder:
"What of Joseph Smith's family? What of his boys? I have prayed from the beginning for sister Emma and for the whole family. There is not a man in this Church that has entertained better feelings towards them. Joseph said to me, “God will take care of my children when I am taken.” They are in the hands of God, and when they make their appearance before this people, full of his power, there are none but what will say—“Amen! We are ready to receive you."
Brigham Young had been president of the church for 13 years when he made the following statement in 1860:
"The brethren testify that brother Brigham is brother Joseph's legal successor. You never heard me say so. I say that I am a good hand to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock. I do not care a groat who rises up. I do not think anything about being Joseph's successor." (Journal of Discourses 8:69). 
Someone "to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock" is exactly what Brigham proposed to be when he went before the assembly that day in August just weeks after Joseph and his brother were murdered. He indicated there would be no prophet to replace the one who had fallen.
"Heretofore you have had a prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord to speak to you. But he has sealed his testimony with his blood, and now, for the first time, are you called to walk by faith, and not by sight." (Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, (1844, pg 20)
That doesn't sound like a man who believed the mantle of the prophet had fallen on him. And sure enough, he goes on to propose something else entirely:
"I ask the latter-day Saints: do you, as individuals, at this time, want to choose a prophet or a guardian? Inasmuch as our Prophet and our Patriarch are taken from our midst, do you want someone to guard, to guide and lead you through this world into the kingdom of God or not?"
Brigham was attempting to persuade the crowd to reject Sidney Rigdon, the only member of the First Presidency left alive. But if he was hoping to be elected to the top position himself, he was talking them out of choosing him, too.
"All that want some person to be a guardian or a prophet, a spokesman or something else, signify it by raising the right hand."
They must have been confused by the way he worded the question, because the record states no hands were raised.

Brigham ended up suggesting that the best choice for governing the church would be to turn it over to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, acting together as a body. Not one man in particular, mind you, but the whole Twelve would make all the governing decisions as a group. So that's the plan the congregation voted to accept.

Three years later, Brigham persuaded the saints assembled at Winter Quarters to elect him as president of the Church, which they did. Mind you, they did not anoint him their prophet, seer, and revelator. Brigham himself had told them, "You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer, or revelator. God must do this."

The people never did consider Brigham Young to be prophet, seer, and revelator for the church as was Joseph Smith. They sustained him as their president, the guy whose job it was to preside over the church, not receive revelations for it.

Fast forward thirty years to Brigham Young's death, and now the Twelve are convened to decide what to do next. Brigham had ruled the church with such an iron hand, that once he was gone John Taylor convened the Twelve and said (I'm paraphrasing), "Let's not do that again. From now on, let's all twelve of us be the governing body as originally proposed so as not to risk having another dictator."

And that's what they did. For three years, the Church was run by a twelve-man board of directors, with no president at its head. And then John Taylor decided maybe he would like to try his hand at presiding after all, so he got the Twelve to go along with him and at conference the people were asked to sustain him as their president. Not their prophet, just church president.

In the Spring 2014 issue of the Journal of Mormon History, historian Edward Leo Lyman has documented the slap-dash, make-it-up-as-they-went methods by which the Quorum tried to figure out who should be the next in charge every time one of them shuffled off his mortal coil. (See Succession By Seniority: The Development of Procedural Precedents in the LDS Church).

The way the apostles struggled to work things out over each series of "crises" makes for some fascinating reading. There was still no one in the church hierarchy operating as Joseph Smith had, receiving revelations from God, so they didn't know how they were supposed to handle things. The minutes of the meetings of the Quorum in those days show a lot of debate, infighting, alliances, and jockeying for position. About the only thing the Brethren were ever united on was their agreement that none of them wanted to see George Q. Cannon become president. I wish I knew why, but the minutes don't say.

By the 20th century, a popular narrative had taken hold in the church to the effect that ever since the death of Joseph Smith, there has always been "a living prophet" at the head of the church to guide us and instruct us in God's will.  Nothing could be further from the truth. None of these supposed "prophets" ever conveyed a direct revelation to the members from which the saints could ascertain the will of God. Check your Doctrine & Covenants and you'll see. The oracles simply peter out once Brother Joseph exits the scene.

There is one more loose thread to this story.  The "preferred narrative" most of us were taught growing up in the church states that before he died, Joseph Smith anointed the Twelve apostles to succeed him, and that he turned over to them all the keys and authority to act in the name of God. That part of our history isn't true either. But it makes an interesting tale.

So sit back and get comfy; we're not done yet.

Who Needs Checks And Balances In The Lord's True Church?
LDS Church tradition claims the “Twelve” were given all the “keys” (whatever that is) by Joseph Smith to control everything. This is said to have taken place in a meeting that was held on March 26, 1844. This claim is contrary to scripture, but has not stopped LDS leaders from insisting it is how the Twelve Apostles came to be in charge of everything “Mormon.”

I say it is contrary to scripture because the great revelation on priesthood (D&C 107) expressly limits the jurisdiction of the Twelve.  Jesus Christ Himself, through revelation to his prophet, directed that the governing bodies of the church are to be co-equal in authority, in order that no single entity encroaches on the responsibilities and commissions of another.

If you were to list them in order of importance of governing authority (and we shouldn't, because the Lord set them up to be co-equal branches), the list might look like this:

 The First Presidency
 The High Council
 The Quorum of the Seventy
 The Quorum of Twelve Apostles

The apostles would probably be last, because they had no governing authority within the church. Most of the time they weren't anywhere near Church headquarters, because the common name for the Twelve Apostles was the "Traveling Elders."  These were the missionaries sent out to all the world to spread the gospel. They were only home occasionally before going back out again. The High Council, headquartered at Nauvoo, did most of the governing within the church, handling the day-to-day administrative affairs of the church.

You may have noticed there is no High Council operating at Church headquarters anymore. That office simply disappeared once Brigham Young took charge of things. Like it never existed.

Under the Lord's plan, the Twelve have no authority within any organized stake. They are co-equal with the other bodies, but with very limited jurisdiction. Yet the Twelve today claim they get to own, control, operate and dictate to all other bodies and to every part of the church, both inside and outside organized stakes. All this because of a meeting that took place on March 26, 1844.

The meeting was held by a group known as The Council of Fifty, or more expansively “The Kingdom of God and His Laws, With the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgement in the Hands of His Servants.” (See Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, p. 45.)

 The thing is, this council was not a part of the church. It operated outside the church; independent of it. And that's because it included both members of the church and non-members.

It is important to recognize that the kingdom of God was not the church, and the Council of Fifty was not part of the church. It was separate. It was not a religious society like the church, but a civil organization newly organized in 1844 as a first step toward Joseph Smith's vision of an eventual civil and political “kingdom” belonging to God.  Its intended purpose was to ensure that the rights of all people were protected, regardless of one's beliefs or religious affiliation. (I go into greater detail on the purposes of the Kingdom of God in a previous post.)

Although the Council of Fifty kept minutes, the March 26, 1844 minutes make no mention of the Twelve getting to control everything, or getting any “keys” from Joseph Smith that day. In fact, there is nothing in the minutes to support the claims of the LDS Church that the Twelve were superior to every other church body, and in possession of all the “keys” (whatever that means).

Because the minutes do not support the claims, the LDS Church Historian’s Office wrote an introduction and provided footnotes for the minutes of the 26 March 1844 meeting. The Historian’s Office thinks that is most likely the probable meeting when the “keys” were passed along.

Their introduction begins on page 62, and the minutes run through page 72 of the volume titled Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records. If it were not for the Historian’s Office interjecting the claim into their introduction and footnotes, there would be nothing in the minutes of the meeting to support the claim that the Twelve got all the “keys” from Joseph Smith to run everything on that day.

Essentially the Historian’s Office explains that missing proof does not prove it didn’t happen.

If it did happen as the LDS Church claims, it is a pretty significant omission.  But the omission from March 1844 is not the only proof that this important event did not happen. The story about “keys” got mentioned the following year, in minutes that should lay the LDS Church's claims to rest.

The minutes of 25 March 1845 of the Council of Fifty meeting has an introduction written by the LDS Historian’s Office that attempts to support the traditional story thus:
"Orson Hyde read to the council a two-page statement that he hoped to publish as part of his pamphlet on a 'farewell to Rigdonism.'  The document concerned JS’s 'appointing the Twelve to take the responsibility of leading the church,'  an event that likely occurred at a Council of Fifty meeting on 26 March 1844, and Hyde asked how many council members had been present on that occasion and could sign the document as witnesses. Rather than taking up Hyde’s question, the council briefly considered the content of Hyde’s account. After discussion, Young denied Hyde’s request to publish the document and instead instructed him to focus on Rigdonism in his pamphlet 'and let the Twelve alone.' " (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, p. 371.) 
This introduction is not really a fair account of what happened in the meeting or what was in the minutes. Here is what the minutes of that meeting say when it is mentioned the first time early in the meeting:
     Coun. O. Hyde wanted information as to who were here to day who were present Joseph Smith laid the responsibility of leading the church on the Twelve. 
     The chairman said E[lde]r Hyde would have to lay that matter over a little.                        (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, p. 375.)
The reference to “The chairman” is to Brigham Young. There follows three pages of notes before the discussion returns to Hyde’s topic. Here is what the minutes say when Hyde’s topic is discussed later in the same meeting:
     Coun. Hyde read a certificate which he had wrote for publication concerning prest Joseph Smith appointing the Twelve to take the responsibility of leading the church. 
     Coun. J. Young moved that the last expression in the article, “so help us God” be left out.
     Coun. Hyde said he had wrote this article and submitted it to this council to find out how many of those here were present at the time it was done, and who can sign it as witnesses. 
     Coun. O. Pratt was present when observations similar to those in the document were made by prest Smith; but would it not be carrying an idea abroad that this was the commencement of the authority of the Twelve. They had the same authority before the time referred to in the document. He should have no objections to the article going forth if the proper date of the authority and appointment was stated. 
     Coun. Hyde gave further reasons why he had wrote the article and requested its publication. 
     The chairman said he should not want the article to go into the history of [Sidney] Rigdon at all. He wants Er Hyde to write his farewell to Rigdonism and let the Twelve alone. He dont [care] whether the world know the authority and power of the Twelve or not, when the time comes they shall feel our power and we shall not try to prove it to them. In regard to Joseph’s remarks, he did not mention anything about the anointing; he said it was this council of fifty which had to bear the responsibility of establishing the kingdom in all the world." (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, pp. 378- 380.)
 The last remark by Brigham Young (“The chairman”) puts the matter to rest. There was no “anointing” and the “keys of the kingdom” were not given to the Twelve in any earlier meeting. Instead it was “this council of fifty which had to bear the responsibility.” Meaning that there was nothing uniquely given by Joseph Smith to the Twelve, but instead it was given to the “council of fifty.” The council’s members included both Mormons and non-Mormons. The LDS Historian’s Office adds a footnote to explain the troubling remark from Brigham Young that Joseph Smith “did not mention anything about the anointing” by explaining: 
In his statement Young apparently was not affirming that no anointing occurred but clarifying that JS did not perform such an anointing in the late March 1844 meeting of the Council of Fifty. There is no evidence that any ordinance, ordination, or anointing occurred in any meeting of the Council of Fifty; (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, p. 380, footnote 598.) 
I want to make sure you caught that: There is no evidence that any ordinance, ordination, or anointing occurred in any meeting of the Council of Fifty!

According to the LDS Historian’s Office, there was no ordinance passing the “keys of the kingdom” to the Twelve in the Council of Fifty! Nor was there an ordination passing the “keys of the kingdom” to the Twelve in the Council of Fifty! Nor any sort of anointing passing the “keys” to the Twelve!

But the official tradition in the church today remains. The Twelve somehow got the “keys” in a meeting of the Council of Fifty sans ordinance, sans ordination, and sans anointing.

You may ask yourself, “How did that work?” 

And the tradition has an answer. Here is the official way that the Twelve got their power in the March 26, 1844 meeting, according to the LDS Historian’s Office. I've highlighted the weasel words for you:
"A significant event likely occurred in this meeting, probably in the morning session, about which the minutes are silent but which council members discussed a year later in connection with a written summary prepared by Orson Hyde. Clayton’s brief note that JS spoke “on heavenly things, and many other important subjects” likely marks what was later referred to as JS’s “last charge.” This may have been an extension of the charge relating the history, purpose, and rules of the council that was typically given to new members and that JS may have delivered in this meeting. (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, pp. 62-63. Emphasis mine.) 
That's a generous passel of "likely"s, "probably"s, and "may have"s in a paragraph ostensibly written by professional historians.

I'm accustomed to reading raw historical data just as it stands.  And when a historian deigns to describe a document to me, I expect him to stick to what is actually in the document he's describing, without speculating and forcing the data to conform to what he wants it to say.

But because traditions of men now dictate that Joseph Smith must have turned over his authority to the traveling elders at some point in history; and because these particular court historians depend upon the corporate Church for their salaries and their pensions, they have apparently decided that this is the moment the invisible transfer of power must have taken place. They chose this moment in history to put words in the mouth of a true prophet of God, so that future "prophets" would have some officially sanctioned event to hang their hats on when declaring their authority to act in God's name. In the opinion of these company men, that meeting in 1844 simply had to be the time and place where Joseph Smith turned over all his authority to the Twelve. It just had to be!

Yet there is absolutely no indication in the record that anything of the sort ever took place.

Would you like to see what Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal on this most momentous occasion, when the prophet of the Restoration reportedly rolled off all his authority onto the shoulders of Woodruff and his pals in the Quorum? The usually loquacious Woodruff apparently hadn't seen anything notable take place that day:
"26th A rainey day. I met in council with the brethren."
     (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, Vol. 2, pg. 371, see also The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History, pg 34)
The Lord's Version 
We do have a record of the Lord appointing someone other than Joseph Smith to be a prophet, seer, and revelator to the church, and that was Joseph's brother, Hyrum. Hear the words of the Lord in this instance:
"And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph." D&C 124:94)
In that same revelation, Jesus appointed Brigham Young to his place in the church:
"I give unto you my servant Brigham Young to be a president over the Twelve traveling council."
And that's it. That is the only calling Brigham Young ever received by the voice of the Lord: director of the missionary program.

This convoluted megillah showing how Joseph is imagined to have given the Twelve full authority to run the whole shebang is more than a bit of a stretch. Note the historian's obscure reference to Joseph Smith's "last charge" to the Twelve, a "charge" that no one has seen in writing, and that is now imagined to maybe be the "charge" Joseph "may have delivered in this particular meeting."

So now “keys” are given by a “charge” to someone? In scripture, normally a “charge” is either an accusation or a warning. For example, as an accusation: I charge you with murder. (See, e.g., Numbers 5:21; Acts 23:29; 1 Tim. 5:16; D&C 121:11.)

As a warning: I charge you to stay away from Sodom or be killed. (See, e.g., Gen. 28:1; Exo. 19:21; Mark 7:36; Acts 16:23; Alma 35:16.)

If the LDS Historian’s office admits Joseph “charged” the Twelve, but did not give an “ordinance, ordination, or anointing” then how was he charging them? Was he warning them? Or was Joseph accusing them? Either of these would not empower the Twelve, but would caution/accuse them against wrecking the “kingdom”—something which has happened.

If you want to read a good example of Joseph Smith giving Church leaders a "charge," turn to section four in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith This is the section discussed in my last post on this forum. There the prophet goes on for eight pages charging members of the Twelve not to exalt themselves as had the fallen leaders these men were now replacing. He charged them to be humble; to not betray God, to not betray the church, to not betray their brethren; he charged them to be careful. That is the kind of thing we are used to reading whenever Joseph Smith issued a "charge" to the brethren.

This is how Denver Snuffer explained the death of the Council of Fifty and the “kingdom of God” in a post on October 18, 2016:
"The “kingdom of God” is not the LDS Church and the LDS Church is not the “kingdom of God.” They are separate. 
'Joseph Smith stated that the 'literal kingdom of God [that is, the Council of Fifty], and the church of God are two distinct things' as 'the laws of the kingdom are not designed to affect our salvation hereafter.' (Joseph Smith Papers Administrative Records, p. xxiii.)
"So if Joseph rolled the 'kingdom of God' off his shoulders and onto the Twelve, it has nothing to do with giving the Twelve jurisdiction to assume complete autocratic control over the church. There was already a revelation in place (D&C 107) that confirmed the role of the Twelve in the church to co-equality with the seventy, stake high councils, and gave them no jurisdiction within an organized stake. The assertion that the charge allowed them expanded jurisdiction contrary to, and in violation of Section 107 is not justified when the 'kingdom of God' and the church are two separate things. The 'kingdom of God' is 'not designed to affect our salvation' and therefore did not, indeed cannot, subjugate the church.

"Further, even if you accept the charge given to the Twelve, rolled to them the 'kingdom of God,' they abandoned it:  
'The final meetings of the council were held in the mid-1880s. Thereafter the council’s records appear to have remained in the custody of the Office of the First Presidency. In 1922 church president Heber J. Grant reportedly entrusted Joseph Anderson, who served as secretary to Grant and the First Presidency, to safeguard the records. In 1932 Grant and Franklin S. Richards–the last two living members of the council–met together and read through some of the Council of Fifty records. The minutes were also accessed in the late twentieth century. In 2010 the First Presidency transferred the Nauvoo-era record to the Church History Library.' (Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records, p. 6.)
"Thus died the 'kingdom of God' which Joseph Smith probably may have charged the Twelve to possess. They neglected the 'kingdom of God' because they were preoccupied with acquiring complete, unfettered control to dictate over the church and hold at defiance any who dared to challenge them. They reign over the Seventies and stake high councils with impunity. Their autocratic control holds the approximate 30% of those who remain nominally active in the church in complete submission.
"They have the 'keys of the kingdom'–which kingdom has lapsed into complete oblivion. But they’ve parlayed that into dictatorship over the other organization, the Church."
The foundational claims of our religion can be tested by inquiring of the Lord. But the more closely the authority claims of the LDS Church are examined, the more groundless they become.

The Restoration happened. Joseph Smith spoke with God and accomplished things only a prophet could accomplish. But that has nothing whatever to do with supporting the anti-scriptural claims by the Twelve that they have the right to complete ownership and control of a church that was founded through an actual prophet of God.

                                                                            *****

Related Posts:

Where Did The Oracles Go?

Not Quite The Same

How We Know Thomas Monson Is A Prophet, Seer, And Revelator

Any Opposed Please Sit Down And Shut Up

Did Russell M. Nelson Take The Lord's Name In Vain?

Where's The Revelation?

351 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 351 of 351
Robin Hood said...

@Lance Irons
I find your perspective interesting.
I used to be a member of the RLDS/CofC and can attest to the fact that there is still opposition to female ordination amongst those who stayed. I knew of a man who was to be ordained an Elder who refused to have a woman involved in his ordination, or anyone who had been ordained previously by a woman.
This was catered for.

However, generally the CofC is dying on it's feet. The really committed members, the ones with fire in their bellies, have for the most part affiliated with the Restoration Branch movement. Others have started new churches; the largest of which is the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, led by Pres. Larsen, a descendent of Joseph Smith.

Needless to say, none of them accept Wallace B Smith as legit. They see him as an apostate and the whole RLDS church as being in apostasy, while a select few (them) have clung on to the original faith. this means they too can occupy the large and spacious building and mock and accuse those who have remained on the path intent on enduring to the end.

Sound familiar?

But the CofC has lost it's way. Go into any of their church buildings and ask to see a Book of Mormon. You'll be offered a Bible (NRSV) and told they can get you a BoM if you really want one.

I once spoke in a CofC meeting about the Book of Mormon. Some of the older members came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my sermon and for bringing back such pleasant memories of the Book of Mormon being used in church services.

Robin Hood said...

@Anonymous
Your contribution regarding the authority and commission of the Twelve is excellent and very helpful in this ongoing debate.
They certainly do have the privilege to preside over the church in the absence of the quorum of the first presidency, which is why there was little or no opposition to that proposal in Nauvoo.

I think the problem for many is Bro. Brigham's reorganization of the first presidency at Winter Quarters.
I see this as a pragmatic development brought about by the scattered nature of the Twelve. It must have been near impossible to meet and make decisions regarding the affairs of the kingdom in those conditions. A presiding quorum of three apostles was much more doable; and in the long run would free the Twelve up to continue their missionary responsibilities. Much in the same way as apostles Peter, James and John organized themselves in the early church.

Robin Hood said...

@Log
The Hugh B Brown sermon was very relevant to Rock's article. He himself has declared as much.
My point is simply that it is a strawman argument based on an assumption which is flawed. You have confirmed that by citing the case of John the Baptist. He most certainly does not accord with Brown's "profile of a prophet" and should therefore, according to Rock's reasoning, be subject to questioning of his credentials as a prophet.
This is ridiculous of course, but is the thrust of Rock's piece. I merely pointed out that if we use Brown's sermon to examine the prophetic claims of our modern day PS&R's, in the interests of consistency and fairness we would have to apply this retrospectively. When we do this we can clearly see, as you have pointed out, that it doesn't work and therefore expose it as a strawman argument.

But I have learned from experience that one cannot question Rock without him immediately going onto the defensive rather than apply reason and logic to the criticism. I don't think it ever occurs to him, even for a nano-second, that the contributor may have a point. I don't think it's in his DNA.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
I appreciate your comments and the time you have taken to address mine.
The problem I see with many on this forum is that they see things as black and white. The church is either 100% correct in anything and everything, or it is 100% apostate. Yet the one thing life teaches us is that such a polarized view is more imagined than true.
I see apostasy as a scale. Sometimes the church is closer to one extreme, sometimes to another. But overall, viewed from a distant vantage point (which God enjoys) and over a useful period of time (which God also enjoys), the picture can be very different.
Someone on this forum called me a "Brethrenite". I can't remember who it was but I think it might have been you. If it was, thank you; I regard that as a great compliment.
So with regards to church apostasy, of course I agree with you on some things. But I have absolutely no intention of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
I have personally seen and experienced too many things. The priesthood is among us, the keys are active, and the Lord is in our midst.
I know it.

iterry said...

Vinney, There is always a righteous remnant at the end of a dispensation. But what does partial apostasy mean? I agree with you to a certain extent. I believe the Church still has the Aaronic Priesthood but not the Melchizedek. Members can baptize their children in other words but the work of the ministry is over now. There should be no missionaries in the field now because they aren't protected and are not sent out by God. The keys of the Melchizedek priesthood are gone now.

The Holy Ghost is a gift of the Melchizedek priesthood and therefore no longer exists in the Church. The Holy Ghost does come on occasion but He is not the constant companion as He was before 1978. I noticed the change when all of our hands went up at conference. Within a short time I noticed that answers to prayers didn't come as quickly as before. I've mentioned here before the I had the priesthood before 1978 and knew when it was taken as well.

So in a sense you are correct. But the real question is does the power to save anybody or get them exalted? And the answer to that is NO. In fact, if you follow the brethren then you assent to every wicked act they do. That is why the Lord tells us in 2 Nephi 28:21 that those who say all is well in Zion are going to hell. I've been jumped for saying that the members are going to hell but I get that from the scriptures. I get that from Nephi who was a prophet of God. So it is not an off the cuff comment nor name calling as some say it is. If you sustain the leaders of this Church then you accept abortion for example. Well, how do you expect to be Exalted if you agree with murder of the unborn? It's totally against the gospel of Christ and 10 commandments. This is why I like to quiz Robin Hood about these things because he is totally ignorant of these things and is being led down to hell. Sad but true.

Vinny there is truth out there to be found however and you have to search hard for it. Once you've found it then you know what you must do to be part of that righteous remnant who are going to be saved in the end. There is one clue that the Lord gave us in the scriptures particularly the Book of Mormon for finding that truth. The Lord commanded us about 10 times in the BOM to search Isaiah. In 2 Nephi 25:7 Nephi prophecies that there would be men in the last days who would understand Isaiah. If you read any of the commentaries on Isaiah by the Church scholars you know very well that those guys have no clue what Isaiah is talking about. I have one on my book shelf by Peterson that has more question marks in the book than words.

There are two works that opened up Isaiah for me. The 1st was a commentary written by Avraham Gileadi. His work is pretty good but stops far short of explaining the all but a few metaphors. Robert Smith completed the work and has a commentary written called "Scriptures of the Lastdays" that completely unseals Isaiah so that it is easy to understand completely. He through the spirit of prophecy explained over 300 metaphors in Isaiah thus unsealing the entire book. That is what I mean by searching to find the truth. The hints are out there if you look around for them.

I haven't looked into the works of Denver Snuffer but some of the things that others have said here (I haven't read much of it but some) I know for sure that he doesn't have the truth. You will find the truth of all this in the scriptures however. So good luck in your search. I'm afraid though that time is about up now and soon the righteous remnant will be taken out on the Exodus as is prophesied in Revelation 12. The women in that vision is the Exodus of the righteous remnant for 3-1/2 years.

Please tell me what you believe about all this - I would be interested in what you've found about the apostasy and righteous remnant as well.

iterry said...

Robin Hood. Thanks for addressing the apostasy. I agree with you however that it is a sliding scale. The apostasy began at the time of Brigham Young however and was complete in 1978 as I've pointed out. The priesthood was still in the Church at the time of BY but the apostasy progressed after the death of Joseph Smith who was our one and only prophet. The others have not been prophets and that is quite easy to see. A quick check of the D&C and you find NO revelation in the D&C by anyone. The one vision/dream to Joseph F. Smith was only an inspired dream. There are some questionable things in that dream that make is suspect but overall it might be inspired. But God did not speak to JFS in that dream. We have been cut off from revelation as the parable of the Nobleman says in D&C 101:43-62. The boys downtown did not build the tower which is revelation/prophecy. That was cut off. The reason it was cut off is given in that parable and that is because the general authorities became business men and put off the work of the ministry. This is easy to see here in Salt Lake City.

I think your problem is you don't have anything to run to because you haven't bother to search to find the truth. Rock and others have laid out the apostasy of the Church for you very clearly. But you have a great dilemma and you will hang on to the Church no matter how dead it really is. I was thinking the other day if you were living at the time of Christ lets say from around 110ad to 300ad would you have been able to spot the apostasy. The answer of course is no you would not have been able to figure out when the priesthood was taken and the gifts were gone. The apostasy is gradual at first. It was happening during the time of John the Beloved and he talks about that in Revelation. John was translated however but after a certain period of time which we don't have he left and wasn't seen again until Joseph Smith saw him. But it takes a prophet of God to point out what the apostasy is and what to do about it.

I've mentioned to you a number of things about the apostasy. Abortion alone is enough for me NOT to sustain the leaders of the Church. It doesn't take any more than that for me. The Lord has rejected the Church because of abortion and that is clear in Isaiah. The Lord commanded use to search Isaiah in the last days to find the truth. He didn't say follow the boys down town. That myth/lie was made up long ago by the brethren and is not scriptural. Robin you have to find the truth and NOT accept any of the apostasy in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God. That is my point that I'm trying to make with you. You have to throw the baby which is dead now out with the bath water.

In the scriptures the Church is metaphorically a women. You see this metaphor throughout the scriptures. The women has died now because of the apostasy. But you are still dancing with that dead corpse. You do all the movement though out there on the dance floor. You claim you have see all these things but I know better. I saw what it was like before the great apostasy of 1978 and I've seen what it is like after that day and the difference is remarkable. You wouldn't have any experience with that because you didn't hold the priesthood before and so you are completely blind to what has happened. I can understand your dilemma but you've got to understand and escape the apostasy if you want to be saved. If you go along with it because you think that is all that will be given then you are wrong. The path is laid out in the scriptures if you search for it. But the 1st step is not to accept the apostasy no matter what the reason is. God said he cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance. Why do you accept abortion?

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
Read D&C 136.
This is a revelation given after Joseph Smith's death, through the president if the twelve, Brigham Young. So you are mistaken as there is a "thus saith the Lord" revelation in the D&C by someone other than Joseph.
Read the last 2 verses. These sum up our current position very well.

With regards to the apostasy of the early church, I am of the view that it lasted a lot longer than most LDS believe. The book of Daniel clearly indicates the apostasy aas finally complete in 570AD.
So the time period you give is equivalent to where we are now.

Vinny said...

Robin Hood,

So you accept the apostasy in the early church but don't accept the apostasy in the current church?

I'd be interested in your basis for Daniel claiming 570 AD. From what I've studied the universal apostasy was complete in the fourth century with Constantine assimilating what was left of the Christ's church in the east, and the rejection of the Nephites in the west (see 4 Nephi).

iterry said...

Robin, I wrote earlier that this revelation to Brigham Young may be nothing more than inspiration. I do believe the early brethren were inspired by the Holy Ghost. You can find "very thus saith" written by John Taylor as well. Our local library has a book called the unpublished revelations of John Taylor. The problem is these were all phony revelations and the diaries of the early brethren say so. Whenever JT wanted some make a change he simply sat down and wrote out a phony revelation and delivered it to the 12. They couldn't say anything because they had to accept it. None of these phony revelations were put into the D&C. There are a bunch of them if you want to research that.

Now look at BY's revelation D&C 136 - there isn't anything there other than some advice on how to organize things and how to conduct yourself. As I said - this could be simply inspiration from the Holy Ghost and not a true revelation.

So where are the revelations since BY? If you'll take the time to read D&C 101:43-62 you'll find if you understand it that revelation was CUTOFF to the Church during the time of peace as it says. The time of peace is when we arrived here in the valley. Hosea chapter 2 says the Lord led us to this desert valley and chapter 3 says that we were cutoff from revelation. This is very clear that there is no revelation after Joseph Smith. The one to BY is questionable because to me it doesn't have the metaphorical language that is required in true revelation. It does not however contradict D&C 101 where it says that revelation was taken at the time of peace. The peace of course is when we arrived in the valley.

Brigham Young SHOULD have been a prophet and he SHOULD have received many revelations as Joseph Smith did. The Lord in fact commanded that he do just that. He did NOT build the tower which was revelation because he became a businessman. He died with more money than the Church. And so the point is we have no revelation in the Church today and what you've told me contradicts Hosea and the D&C since 1847 when we got here to the valley.

Where do you get this cockamamie idea that the Church lasted until 570AD? Give me that verse in Daniel so that I can straighten you out on that. That is clearly nonsense. The apostasy was in full view at the council of Nicaea. If you don't understand that then wow - Boy did the Church find a real winner as a bishop. Please - tell me about Daniel's prophesy. Thanks

Robin Hood said...

@Vinny
A modern day apostasy is unscriptural. We have been promised there will be no total apostasy.

With regards to Constantine, we need to keep in mind that prior to the great apostasy the church had fractured. It was terminally ill, but was still alive. There were pockets of the true church in various places, the main one being the British Isles, due to it's remote location.

The church in Rome was an apostate schism.

It has been speculated that the story of the search for the Holy Grail was actually the coded retelling of a genuine search for a bona fide priesthood holder. Legend has it that the last holder of genuine priesthood authority died in a ship wreck in the Irish Sea enroute to ordain someone.

Daniel's 1260 day (for "day" read "year") prophesy was identified by Joseph Smith as relating to the establishment of the church in 1830. Go back 1260 years from 1830 and it lands us at 570AD; the very year Gregory the Great was declared the Holy Roman Emporer and Mohammad was born.

"The Bible Say's 1830" explains it quite well. It was written by a former sunday school student of mine.
Alternatively google "WhyProphets". It's a defunct website now, but there is a link to an anti-Mormon site which, for some reason, preserved the pages on their site.

There will be no general apostasy in the last days, but there will be many instances of individual apostasy, as is evident on this blog.

iterry said...

Robin, I see that you answer the question about 570ad. I wrote something but deleted it because I would rather respond to your comment. I found what you believe in the writings of John Pratt. He has it all wrong however in his interpretation of Daniel. You have to be careful what you read there buddy because you can get all goofed up as this has done to your thinking. Same is true of the Ensign magazine - I'd dump it too if I were you.

A couple of points I need to make. 1260 days equates to 3-1/2 years. These are literal days and not 1260 years. The Catholic Church was well entrenched by 570ad. The idea that it was all fractured up at that time is simply not true. The council at Nicaea proves that it was gone by then. Even the BOM shows quite clearly that restorations only last 200 years or so before collapsing into apostasy. How you can believe it was still around from 325ad to 570ad is complete nonsense and cannot be correct.

The reason that the time of 3-1/2 years is correct is because Revelation and Daniel give you the time by days years and it says time, times, and half a time which means simply 3-1/2 years. So that is the 1st point. This idea that Daniel isn't saying what he said is nonsense and a complete misinterpretation. The tribulation lasts 3-1/2 years and this is what it is talking about. It's talking about the last days and not some goofy calculation that John Pratt pull out of his butt.

The kingdom of God was not set up in 1830 -a Church was set up at that time. The Kingdom of God has NOT been set up yet because the great beast with 7 heads and 10 horns has not come yet. The 7 heads are the Warsaw pact nations. The 10 horns are the kingdoms of the old Roman empire. This is confirmed in Daniel 2. The composite beast that form the head are Russia, Germany, and England. These are all identified by the symbols of them. Russia=bear, Germany=Leopard with dove/chicken wings, Eagle=England. The 10 crowns or 10 nations joining the union are England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and Austria. These are the nations of the old Roman Empire.

God of heaven will set up His kingdom when this beast comes to power. That kingdom is set up at Adam-ondi-Ahman when the King is crowned. This happens 2 years into the reign of this great tyrant that conquerors the entire earth.

This beast was not formed nor reigning when Joseph restored the Church. The stone that rolls forth and destroys the kingdoms of the earth is NOT the Church. A stone metaphorically is a prophet and this prophet who is the Davidic King will do the destroying literally of many kingdoms in the last days along with the 144,000 of Ephraim. That king I will tell you is John the Beloved because he is a prince and second in line to the throne after Christ. He is Christ's cousin and has all the requirements of Isaiah 11. But that is an aside - this site is about the apostasy and so I'd rather talk about your apostasy than go into something that you will not participate in at all.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
I have never heard of John Pratt.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
I haven't read an Ensign in years.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
You surprise me.
Anyone with an ounce of biblical knowledge knows that days and years are synonimous, as the Hebrew word can mean either.
Not only that, but most biblical prophecies, especially Daniel and Isaiah, have multiple meanings.
I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this subject, I've studied it for years.
Your ignorance concerning this issue has genuinely surprised me.

Lance Irons said...

@Robin Hood

The congregation I go to currently actually uses the Book of Mormon fairly often although I can't say that it is a norm. We also use the communion prayer from Moroni as part of the communion services. I have noticed that the CofChrist officially still considers the BOM to be apart of their scriptures although with greater emphasis placed on the Bible. There is definitely a difference between the older members and the younger members in regards to viewpoints on CofChrist and the congregations are very small and much older especially compared to the LDS church. However recently there have been several thousand LDS members that have been joining and attending CofChrist services over the past several years especially after last November's policy announcement from LDS leadership. In the mission Center that I attend almost every congregation has gained new membership most of which were previously members from the LDS church. I guess a microchosm of this change is the CofChrist in Utah where the Salt Lake City congregation went from having 6 members meeting every other week to now having well over 100 meeting weekly with house churches sprouting up in u=Utah county and a new congregation forming in St. George in the past year. I think that the CofChrist is actually going into a small upswing and that the infusion of LDS members are bringing a more traditional view on the use of the Book of Mormon back into the organization. The new members also appear to be bringing an LDS culture of proselytizing into the organization as well. It has been interesting seeing it happen although I don't have the history with the CofChrist to know the whole evolution of the organization.

Craig Morris said...

Robin Hood: A modern day apostasy is unscriptural ... There will be no general apostasy in the last days

vs.

Jesus: And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

Robin Hood said...

@Lance Irons
Thank you, that is interesting.
In my experience here in the UK every single LDS member who leaves to join the RLDS/CofC, without exception, eventually returns. I cannot think of one that hasn't.

The congregations are closing down here and church buildings are being sold off. The BofM is never mentioned so I am heartened by what you report from Utah.

Since they gave up their "one true church" position their missionary zeal has plummeted. Their neutering of God in the new sacrament prayers is also causing some I know to fidget.

Most of the lay members I know also regret the passing of stakes.

It's clearly a patchy picture.
Try this. See how many scriptural references from the Book of Mormon are cited in the Herald. You'll be lucky to find one or two in the last 10 years.

Robin Hood said...

@Craig Morris
It appears to me you may have bought into the false "we're the Gentiles" doctrine.

Vinny said...

Robin Hood,

"A modern day apostasy is unscriptural. We have been promised there will be no total apostasy."

Please list the scriptural evidence that supports that. I am very interested in seeing it.

Vinny said...

Robin Hood,

While you are at it, what is the source of "we're the Gentiles doctrine" as being false. Be interested in seeing that too.

iterry said...

Robin hood, no that isn't correct at all. They are not synonimous in this case because the Lord took described in terms that are years. But the proof of that is in your assurtion that the Church was still not in apostasy between 110 and 570ad. That's absurd! What evidence do you have that is the case.

There are 4 levels of interpretation of the scriptures: Literal, metaphorical, Tropological and Anagological. Isaiah can only be understood at the metaphorical level. The Church has not been given the interpretation of these things. In fact, there is a scripture in Isaiah that indicates that the book will NOT be understood by the learned doctors of the Church in the last days. So that is why when you run after these really weird ideas they simply do not make any sense at all.

My only conclusion is you actually believe the Catholic Church was pure and holy until 570ad. What a profoundly ignorant conclusion. The apostasy was well underway by around 110 ad as John the Beloved discussed in Revelation. Some of the branches were slipping. There were only 7 branches of the Church left at that time. How you can possibly believe that those 7 branches could have stayed pure for another 450 years? Its beyond absurd. I'd like you to provide any evidence this is the case. John Pratt simply has misinterpreted the scriptures and has come up with a bizarre, uninspired interpretation.

iterry said...

Robin - I just found that you haven't read the Ensign and don't know who John Pratt is. Interesting. Here in Utah it is practically a requirement to read the Ensign and follow only it instead of the scriptures. I find that very interesting that you as a bishop haven't read it.

I looked online to come up with the 570ad interpretation. Are you going to tell me that you came up with garbage on your own? I take everything back about John Pratt - your interpretation is bizarre and uninspired. Can you provide proof that the Church was not in apostasy between 110 and 570ad? I'd love to see something because certainly the early Church fathers didn't have the correct doctrines. We have many writings of them and so you'll have a tough time convincing anybody other than a Catholic that things remained pure without apostasy to 570ad. It's absurd!

Craig Morris said...

Robin Hood said:

It appears to me you may have bought into the false "we're the Gentiles" doctrine

Jesus said:

Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity; For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israe

Log said...

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.

The word "identified" means, according to Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, "ascertained, or made the same." "Ascertained" means "made certain; defined; established; reduced to a certainty."

This means that whenever the label "Gentiles" is referred to in the prophetic narrative of the scriptures past a certain point - say, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon - then so also is the LDS Church being referred to, for the LDS Church is identified with the Gentiles and are the same as them; the label applies to them. The errors of the wider Gentile society are also the errors of the LDS religious society, the sins of the wider Gentile society are also the sins of the LDS religious society.

Against this is set the idea that by joining the LDS Church and submitting to her claim to possess the mandate of heaven, we are adopted into the House of Israel. The intent is to blind the eyes of the LDS Church members to the fact that they are identified in the scriptures with the label "Gentiles," in order to preserve the claim that the LDS Church possesses the mandate of heaven, and always shall, until the Lord comes and the LDS Church rules the world with him. In this way the LDS Church membership is prevented from recognizing themselves in the pages of the scriptures, lest they should repent and believe and keep the commandments and be saved. Nevertheless, their claim to being the House of Israel by dint of membership in the LDS Church is not supported.

Doctrine and Covenants 29:12 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else.

Here, we see that the whole house of Israel is defined as they who love the Lord and keep the commandments, and nobody else; submission to the LDS Church's claims is not mentioned. Tribal assignments in patriarchal blessings are not worth the paper they're printed on to those who have the commandments of God and will not keep them and who therefore die in their sins.

Log said...

In one of the few sections the LDS Church publishes of what was once called "the fulness of the scriptures," the failure to receive which was said to entail the failure of the Church, according to Joseph, we read this.

JST, Matthew 21:47–56.
Compare Matthew 21:45–46
47 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

48 And they said among themselves, Shall this man think that he alone can spoil this great kingdom? And they were angry with him.

49 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they learned that the multitude took him for a prophet.

50 And now his disciples came to him, and Jesus said unto them, Marvel ye at the words of the parable which I spake unto them?

51 Verily, I say unto you, I am the stone, and those wicked ones reject me.

52 I am the head of the corner. These Jews shall fall upon me, and shall be broken.

53 And the kingdom of God shall be taken from them, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof; (meaning the Gentiles.)

54 Wherefore, on whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder.

55 And when the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, he will destroy those miserable, wicked men, and will let again his vineyard unto other husbandmen, even in the last days, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

56 And then understood they the parable which he spake unto them, that the Gentiles should be destroyed also, when the Lord should descend out of heaven to reign in his vineyard, which is the earth and the inhabitants thereof.


The Gentiles who were given possession of the kingdom of God, and who are in possession of the Lord's vineyard when he returns in person to reign are the miserable, wicked men who will be destroyed at his coming. Robin Hood boasts that these miserable, wicked men who possess the kingdom of God at the Lord's coming are the leadership of the LDS Church. I think he's probably right. And that's not a good thing.

D&C 112
24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;

26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.


First among those special witnesses to his name who have never met him and therefore do not know him, and (ignorantly) speak evil of him in the midst of his people.

And to think, all you have to do is repent, and call upon God, and keep his commandments with diligence, praying always. What more merciful conditions for can be named? Yet why is it always the last thing to be tried, if it is ever tried at all?

ldsawakening said...

Rock,
Your comments from December 18th attempting to refute what I laid out about Denver are disappointing. I expected a logical scripture based response, but instead you use the same tactic of the typical Snufferite. You didn’t respond to the serious issues I raised about what Denver has been teaching and doing. Instead you deflect and try to make it look like I’m off my rocker creating a “straw-man” argument.
First off, as I explained to Brian, I do not use the term Snufferite as a derogatory term. I’m well aware that those who except Denver as a teacher/messenger/prophet or whatever are adamant that they are not following Denver, but rather Jesus Christ. I’m also aware that Denver has said a number of times that he seeks no following. Having said that there is such a thing as a Snufferite, just like there’s such a thing as a Lutheran or Mormon. These are terms that are used to identify a group of people with similar views and practices. Martin Luther denounced people referring to themselves as Lutherans and insisted they call themselves Christians, yet the name has stuck. This is because these people accepted Luther’s interpretations of the scriptures. They patterned their worship and religious practice according to what he laid out for them.
I see I pretty good parallel between Martin Luther and Denver Snuffer, with one big difference. Luther never claimed to have been visited by Jesus Christ (let alone multiple times). He never claimed that the Lord gave him instructions and called him to do anything. Luther was much more of a “teacher” because his credentials where that he was a doctor of scripture. Denver on the other hand speaks as though he has authority and knows things beyond his own study of the scriptures. This makes him more than a teacher. I use the term “true messenger” in speaking of what Denver claims to be. You asked me what that term means. I have no idea. It’s not a scriptural term. I didn’t pull I out of my butt though. I have heard that term associated with Denver by many Snufferites. I’m assuming Denver gave them this idea. I remember Denver stating that he was a messenger or servant in pretty bold terms, but I haven’ be able to find the direct quote. Denver has so many writings and I just don’t have the time to dig through them all.
Denver was asked if he was a prophet and he answered it by saying, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and I have the testimony of Jesus”. This sounds like more than a “teacher” to me. I have not created a straw-man. Based on Denver’s actions and statements he is a prophet called by God to do a work for Him. When he deflects the title of prophet he is either being modest or he is being cunning. Perhaps both.

ldsawakening said...

Rock cont…
You say Denver has given no command to be baptized, only an invitation. I don’t see your point. When did Joseph Smith, Nephi, Mormon, Alma, etc ever command anyone to be baptized? It’s always an invitation. As Log pointed out, in his 10th lecture Denver spoke in the name of the Lord and declared that the commandment to be baptized has been renewed. He then gave instructions on how this renewed baptism was to be done moving forward.
First off the baptismal prayer in the D&C was to be discarded (because somehow it was no good all these years) and replaced with the one from the BOM. The difference is the phrase “having be commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you…” verses “having authority given of me by Jesus Christ, I baptize you…” This is puzzling since Joseph Smith made this specific change to the prayer in the 1835 D&C. He intentionally changed the words from “having authority” to “being commissioned” from the 1833 BOC. So according to Denver, under the direction of Joseph Smith we have been doing baptisms wrong since 1835? But wait, Denver said that all baptisms in the church prior to 2014 were valid. But then later he said that the reason the current LDS baptisms are invalid is because one of the baptismal questions requires the person to sustain the current church president as a prophet. So which is it? Were the baptisms invalid from 1835 onward? Were they invalid whenever the questions were changed to include sustaining the church president as a prophet? Were they made invalid in 2014, because Denver got exed? Or are they still valid now?
As to the fellowships thing, it doesn’t matter if there were fellowships that existed prior to Denver’s Grand Junction lecture in which he instructed that they be formed and set forth rules for how they were to operate. Denver was very clear on how the sacrament was to be administered in the fellowships. Wine was to be used. Grape juice could be substituted if the people were opposed to alcohol or were former alcoholics or something. Water was not to be used. Do you follow this instruction? If you do then you accept Denver as more than just a teacher. How about the rule he set in place about 7 women sustaining a man in the priesthood? Denver relayed an experience he had in which he asked the Lord to give the priesthood to women. He claims the Lord refused to do that at this time due to Eve’s role in the fall. Apparently according to Denver women will have the priesthood during the millennium and beyond. Denver also said that he asked the Lord to only have women sustain priesthood ordinations and this pleased the Lord so the 7 women policy was put in place. Do you follow this policy in your fellowship? Why in the world would the Lord give Denver commandments on governing the fellowships if he is not a prophet and only a “teacher”? You can’t have it both ways.
Also as to Denver’s 180 on D&C 132, you know Denver did much more than change his opinion on it. He had spent extensive time breaking down D&C 132 verse by verse defending and explaining each one. He devoted an entire chapter in PTHG on it (the most correct version of church history right). He did a 7 blog series on it. He gave a 40 page lecture on it. In his writings he was very clear that he knew what he was talking about from more than just a casual study. He spoke as one having authority and knowledge beyond the typical person. His reversal on this doctrine is huge.
I also might add that Denver claims the message of his 10 lectures were given to him directly from Christ. He made it sound like through a visitation. Sorry man, but this guy claims to be a prophet. Which makes him either a true one or a false one. I’ve already shown why he is a false one, but I’ll be happy to go through it again.

JimP said...

I too have been puzzled by Snuffer. What makes a true prophet? What makes a false prophet?

Robin Hood said...

@ldsawakening
Well said mate, you hit the nail on the head.
There are a lot of people, and I include Rock in this, who have too much invested in Snuffer to reach the obvious conclusion about him that the rest of us can clearly see. He is their champion, their foundation, their rock; and they're not going to give him up without a fight.
That is why, despite the mounting evidence to the contrary, the likes of Rock will defend Snuffer's "mission" and laud him as a messenger from God.
They can do none else.
It's very sad to see how they have backed themselves into a corner in this manner.
One day Snuffer will hang them all out to dry.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry
I had no knowledge of John Pratt until you mentioned him. The only John Pratt I had ever heard of prior to that was the ex- Tottenham Hotspur soccer player.

I stopped reading the Ensign some years ago. It had become too dumbed down in my view. Just take a copy from the 1970's and compare it with one from today and you'll see what I mean.

With regards to the correct interpretation of Daniels prophecies and the 570AD/1830AD prediction, as well as Daniels prophecy regarding 1844, 1890, and 1905; I refer you to the links I suggested earlier. I'm certainly not rehearsing the whole thing here because it doesn't really matter to me whether you believe it or not.

MrHFMetz said...

I notice there was some confusion about the Seventies on the forum above. What I know is that the original office of the Seventy, as spoken of in D&C 107 does not exist anymore. It has been discontinued on oktober 4, 1986, as an official act by the Church; the announcement was made by President Benson during the semiannual conference, says the Salt Lake Tribune of Sunday October 5, 1986. The report further says that the First Quorum of the Seventy would still remain, as a worldwide quorum.
It is true what Rock said, that this priesthood office was originally meant as an autonomous an independant body (they chose their own fellow members in their organisation, from the Elders quorum, according to D&C 107), in order to prevent dictatorship from the Apostles, we must assume. That system has now been abandoned.
By the way, they are not Seventies at all, because they are now chosen from the quorum of the High Priests, which was forbidden by the Prophet (this is somewhere in TPJS). So in fact they are all High Priests called Seventy. Here also we can see how the pure system of the Priesthhod has been abrogated. There is not one real Seventy in the church anymore.

Robin Hood said...

@MrHFMetz
You are right, but that wasn't the issue.
Rock claimed an Area Seventy was regarded by the church as a general authority. The office of Seventy is irrelevant. I pointed out that I often get letters from Church HQ addressed to "Branch Presidents, Bishops, Stake Presidents, Area Seventy's, and General Authorities". Clearly the church regards area seventy's and general authorities as separate entities.
I also pointed out where the church had stated that only the first and second quorums of Seventy are general authorities. Area Seventy's make up the other quorums.
But he wouldn't have it. He wriggled and squirmed and built up some great dossier on the history of the office of Seventy in the church, which for the purposes of the matter in hand, was completely irrelevant.
It all came about because Rock quoted me, or something I had said, in his book and I took exception to it.
I learned from this experience that Rock is not all he makes out to be. We were friends before this incident, often emailing each other about matters of mutual interest. But I saw a different side of him. Instead of acknowledging his error he let his pride dictate, and sacrificed our cordial friendship in order to appear right in front of everyone else.
However, it gave me great insight into what Rock is really all about and I now view everything he says through that filter.
It's a shame because I'm sure he's a nice bloke one to one. I just think this blog can bring out the worst in him when he is challenged.

MrHFMetz said...

Thanks for your answer. I just wanted to point out that formerly, in any case of a vacancy,the Twelve were to call in the assitance of the Seventy instead of any other, D&C 107:38 (and what more of assistancy do they need than in the case of a vacancy?)and that the Seventy were to be an independent body that provides its own continuity, without interference from other priesthood authority: "The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of the Elders, and are not to be High Priests" (TPJS p. 112). This system, that was to establish the spreading of priestly power within the church, was completely abolished, first by making the Seventy, that was originally a general church office,into a stake office and eventually by getting rid of it altogether: now they are all High Priests. So gone is a carefully built up priesthood society. Joseph Smith would call that contrary to the order of heaven.

MrHFMetz said...

O, and how is your brexit? Pretty good? bye now.

iterry said...

Robin Hood. I agree that there are some things written about your lousy interpretation and we don't need to go into it. I agree also that I won't agree with you on this issue because it is so absurd. But the thing you need to understand which you don't seem to be able to grasp is that you are imposing your interpretation on a Scripture that was not intended. Then you look and twist scripture to make your misinterpretation fit that particular scripture. This is how false doctrine is propagated.

So to be clear. You imposed on the scripture that the Kingdom of God was set up in 1830. The Kingdom of God was not set up in 1830. There was no kingdom set up and there was no king installed. So that was your first mistake. The second mistake is finding 1260 days and reinterpreting it to mean mean years. That was your 2nd mistake. You then had to find a date to count your 1260 years from so that it would coincide with the early falling away of the Church. It didn't work but you pound on it until you can convince yourself that it works. The 570ad is completely arbitrary and there is no bases for it.

Good discussion though because it does show that you are entirely ignorant of the prophesies of the last days. You are completely unable to defend your interpretation on this issue because there is no defense. It's all misinterpretation. So lets move on to the apostasy because that for you is much more important.

You haven't answered me why you accept abortion in the Church. That would be a fun discussion. Thanks

iterry said...

Robinhood, I wouldn't be so gloating about the Denver Snuffer folks. You've been backed into a corner many times here and have not been able to defend your position that the Church has not fallen into apostasy. It will be sad to see you proven to be following a false prophet as well.

Ezekiel 13 is an entire chapter dedicated to exposing the false prophets that are running the LDS Church today. I’ll only quote a few parts for you that are very interesting because this involves you in verses 10-11.

The Lord says that the prophets of Israel prophesy out of their own hearts. In other words, they are making it up. We see this today in the missionary program. They lower the age then claim that this came by revelation. There is no revelation to change the age. In fact, why are women serving missions at all? There is nothing in the scriptures that they are to serve as missionaries. They are sent to the most rot-gut places on earth to serve and place themselves in danger. A number of abductions have occurred of these women. So this is all false doctrine and examples of them prophesying out of their own heart.

The Lord goes on and says their visions are lies. They have not repaired the wall which means the doctrines and ordinances that they have altered and changed. The wall is the same hedge found in D&C 101:43-62 that was quoted earlier.
The Lord then goes on and says that He is against these phonies. The Lord then pronounces a curse against them and tells us that they will not be listed in the records of the House of Israel. They are going to be cut off from the Lord completely.

Verses 10 and 11 are about you Robin. Here we see that there are others (Bishop Robinhood that cover what they are doing with Whitewash. You come here and tell us how wonderful things are that they hold the keys and the gifts are here and all that and you know you are lying about it. This chapter is where the Lord exposes you and prophesies that you are going to fall when the terrible day of the Lord comes.

iterry said...

Robinhood continued
So I wouldn’t be feeling sorry for those who are trying at least to find the truth like Rock. Ldsawakening has done an excellent job of exposing Denver Snuffer as a false prophet. You need to be concerned with your own false prophets. You need to be concerned with what you are doing because you are being led down to hell, and are leading people down to hell through your whitewashing the doctrines and ordinances of the Church. All of the doctrines and ordinances of the Church have been changed to fall in line with what the world thinks and wants.

Ezekiel 13
1. The word of the Lord came to me.
2. Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are prophesying from their own hearts. Say to them, Hear the word of the Lord!
3. This is what the sovereign Lord says. Woe to the foolish prophets who follow after their own spirit and who have seen nothing.
4. Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins.
5. You have not gone up to the breaches to repair the wall for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord.
6. They saw false visions and their divinations are a lie. The say, This is what the Lord says, when the Lord has not sent them. Yet they expect him to fulfill their word.
7. Have you not seen false visions and spoken lying divinations when you say, The Lord says, though I have not spoken?
8. Therefore, This is what the sovereign Lord says. Because you speak falsehoods and saw lying divinations, I am against you, declares the sovereign Lord.
9. And my hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and speak lying divinations. They will not be in the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel. They will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.
10. Because they lead my people astray saying, All is well when all is not well, and because one builds a flimsy wall and others cover it with whitewash,
11. Therefore, tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents and I will send hailstones falling down and violent wind will burst forth.

Robin Hood said...

@iterry,

As the saying goes; "when you wrestle with a pig you both get dirty, but the pig loves it".

Have a nice day.

Vinny said...

@Robin Hood,

I’m still anxiously waiting for the scriptural evidence that “a modern day apostasy is unscriptural. We have been promised there will be no total apostasy” and for the supporting scriptures that say it’s a false doctrine to believe we are the Gentile Church.

Vinny said...

@Robin Hood,

For what it is worth, I agree with you that Area Authority Seventies are not General Authorities. And I also agree that the office of Seventy as described in Section 101 is no longer (just like the office of Church Patriarch is no longer). Whether that is by revelation or procedural dictate it doesn't matter, it's the way it is.

However, having known and worked with Area Authority Seventies in the past, I can say with certainty that they always act under the authority of General Authorities. When they give direction they usually say something like, "We have been asked by the Brethren to give you this instruction."

So I believe both you and Rock are correct. An Area Authority Seventy is not a General Authority as you say, but he was acting under the General Authority direction as Rock claims, so the effect produced the same result.

Time to put this behind you and be friends again.

Anonymous said...

"A scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued… so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions. But so great were the confusion and strife… it was impossible… to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. The cry and tumult were so great and incessant. [Some] used all the powers of both reason and sophistry to prove their errors, or, at least, to make the people think they were in error. On the other hand, [others] were equally zealous in endeavoring to establish their own tenets and disprove all others. In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?"

Log said...

JimP

You ask: "What makes a true prophet?"

This is a good starting place to read: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-sod-of-yhwh-and-the-endowment/

You ask: "What makes a false prophet?"

In my opinion, a false prophet - the word "prophet" merely means "spokesman" - is one who claims to speak for the Lord and does not speak for the Lord.

Robin Hood said...

I would just like to wish everyone here a very merry Christmas.
I'm quite sure I will have upset one or two people here over the past 12 months or so but in the spirit of the season I would like to apologise for my part and wish you all the best for the coming year.
I/we need to remember we're all actually on the same side.

Anonymous said...

"Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...

My attempt half a year ago to persuade others about the legitimacy of the status Denver Snuffer takes for himself. http://www.cachevalleybaptisms.org/2016/07/is-denver-snuffer-a-prophet.html . Take it for what it's worth. In short, yes Denver Snuffer is a prophet, but no, he is not the kind of prophet the LDS define, even if you take the best approach from the scriptures towards their outlook on the role. Yes, Denver has the fruits of a true prophet, but no, he does not have the fruits the LDS are prone to look for in a prophet. Hence all the circular talk and arguments. No one is speaking the same language. Yes, Denver can be confirmed as a true messenger by answer to prayer, but the way the LDS receive answers to prayers will not be sufficient to get this answer.

Brian Zang (The Zang Family) said...

As Christians adopted what was once derogatory, and Mormons as well, with both having meanings the groups could agree with, as anointed ones, and “more good,” so perhaps we’ll come to like “Snufferites” as the name “Snuffer” has connotations of breath of life, and fanning the dwindling flame into a burning fire again. Or, conversely and simultaneously, to snuff out the apostate religion. Come join us in the waters of baptism / re-baptism. We have found the Lord Jesus Christ’s hand moving once again. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

DFFrederickson said...

I love how the commentators on this blog, as well as the respondents, struggle to help each other, as well as a plethora of silent readers, to perceive and comprehend vital distinctions. They do us all a service in our quest for understanding and our search for truth, no matter what. Occasionally the comments appear to be attacks, but generally they reflect a caring pursuit of the welfare of others.

I think Rock has done us a tremendous service to share his research and preliminary conclusions. I love the refinements that are made by commentators. Rock's responses to comments are clear and contained. He is genuine and is not taking the pains to write and operate this Forum for his own health or pecuniary interests. One of the best parts of this newest offering was his own disclosure of how he went through a sincere and probably painful process of getting answers to his needful questions on what constitute the oracles of God and how that determination is necessary if we are to have full confidence and place efficacious faith in His word. I admired that Rock had gone through that painstaking process and am sort of shocked that so few of us have done this to such a thorough degree.

The comments of "anonymous" are prescient, and if readers knew who he was and how careful he formulates his considered questions and opinions, they would ruminate more on his occasional contributions to the discussion.

Personally, I think the Primary song "Follow the Prophet" is truly abominable and misleads the child to an approach that likely will not turn out well. The emphasis is all wrong, no matter how wonderful these dedicated and often inspired leaders are. Rock got it right when he wrote of the distinction between following and heeding the words of a prophet or a church leader. This is a vital distinction that a person must learn in order to progress to his/her full potential.

Finally, I greatly appreciated Rock's discussion of the well-dressed and important looking man in 1 Nephi 8. I always wondered why that curious part of the vision was included, and think that Rock may be on to something here.

Sorry for the scattershot comments, but I truly appreciate this Forum. I have written or spoken publicly on over a dozen of the same topics of Rock's blogs beginning in the 1960s, but never published my writings, although I am glad that Rock has gone through the pains to do this service. He paid a terrible price. I have independently reached many of the same conclusions he reached in his posts in my earlier writings. I must say, however, that I have experienced or witnessed true power and divine inspiration in the LDS church on numerous occasions, and in spite of the church's and leaders' and members' many shortcomings, of which I am painfully aware as a very flawed leader and teacher myself, I know that God still works through the humble and flawed people in the church, as well as many outside of it. He always has.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSAwakening,
I don't see how your "Lutheran" comparison holds. Lutherans today have accepted that name, but you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who likes being called a Snufferite. Denver himself has denounced anyone who might use that term to describe himself, and rightly so. It implies the person looks to Denver as his leader.

Labeling someone a Snufferite" IS offensive. Do you know any latter-day Saint who likes to be referred to as a "Brighamite"? Many use that shorthand do describe latter-day Saints, but it is very misleading. We follow the teachings of Jeusus Christ, and Him only. We are therefore not Snufferites or Lutherans, we are Christians. If you have to have a label, you could call us "Mormons," and if you want something to differentiate us from the other Mormons you could use the term "Uncorrelated Mormons."

Snufferites? Denver Snuffer did not introduce any believing Mormon to the doctrines of the Restoration, but he did point many faithful members to scriptures and teachings they may have not noticed before.

Denver's teachings on the sacrament? They were right there in Third Nephi all along. My wife and I had been taking the sacrament at home together the correct way for more than fifteen years before we ever heard of Denver Snuffer. Yes, we use wine (either fermented or unfermented) and we eat and drink our fill, as Jesus taught. After years of doing it correctly, I can't attend an LDS sacrament meeting without feeling something sacrilegious is going on as they pass around teeny-tiny morsels we are expected to think of as representative of the body and blood of our dear Savior. To those of us who have known the experience of partaking of the Lord's supper the way the Lord taught it, these insignificant snacks handed out in church feel like an insult to His memory.

I gave my wife seven healing baptisms several years ago. Why? Two reasons. Because I was aware that frequent rebaptisms had, until recently, always been part and parcel of Mormonism, and because the Lord laid it on my heart to perform that ordinance for her, and on her heart to desire it. Denver Snuffer didn't teach me to baptize her. He did show people the scriptural authorization, and showed through historical documentation how common the practice used to be among members AND leaders all the way into the 20th century. And then one day the leaders suggested some members were being baptized TOO frequently (and maybe some were), until one or two generations later, the simple action of being baptized more than once is now considered an act of apostasy.

Make no mistake: Denver Snuffer is a remarkable man. His most remarkable achievement has been to convince thousands of people who had become disaffected by the Church that it is possible to remain in the faith at a time when many others have thrown up their hands in frustration and left. He has shown that the Restoration is valid, and one need only look past the insidious "follow the Brethren" nonsense continuously stressed by the Brethren themselves, in order to find genuine joy in a religion that had been stagnating.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSAwakening, (Continued)

But your unwarranted insistence that Denver Snuffer puts himself forward as a prophet or a "True Messenger" is misleading because in this Church such terms suggest a person in a leadership capacity, someone the Lord has chosen to preside or take charge, rather than someone to whom the Lord has given a simple message.

I have no doubt that God gave Denver information he wanted shared to anyone who would listen. Denver then set up ten venues throughout the Mormon Corridor at his own expense and shared that information to any who were interested enough to listen. When he had delivered the message, he instantly retreated to semi-anonymity, deliberately eschewing anyone's efforts to get further instruction from him, or to create a structure or organization that would place him in a position of leadership of a "movement" -a movement, if you can call it that, which had already been well underway before Denver Snuffer arrived on the scene. God had already placed an awakening on the hearts of truth seekers within the church for some years prior to Denver Snuffer showing up and delivering the message God put on HIS heart.

And What exactly was that message? It was almost solely a charge to those seeking further light and knowledge to look no further than the scriptures. After decades of looking to fallible men for instruction, Denver Snuffer reminded those present that the answers are right there in the scriptures. He read aloud entire chapters most of us had either overlooked or never noticed, because rather than "search the scriptures diligently," most members only bothered to read the scriptures assigned in the Sunday School and priesthood manuals, and tended to miss everything else.

In labeling people like me "Snufferites" and trying to make Denver fit into the modern Mormon definition of a prophet (who is therefore capable of leading people astray through the use of false prophecies), you cheapen the simple message the Lord laid on the heart of Denver Snuffer, and on the hearts of me and thousands of other latter-day Saints who have been disaffected by modern LDS falsehoods. That message (and again it is the ONLY message Denver feels compelled to share) is the same message Harold B. Lee and the theologians who used to lead this church taught in their day: "the answers are in the scriptures." Does my acceptance of those messages make me a Harold-ite, a McConkie-ite, a Peterson-ite or a LeGrand-ite? No, it makes me a Christian, just as Martin Luther tried vainly to persuade people he taught not to name the doctrines after him, because they did not come from him. They were in the scriptures all along, put there by the hand of God.

(Continued below)

Alan Rock Waterman said...

LDSAwakening, (Continued)

In your comment above, you misrepresented what Denver said in more ways than I care to take the time to refute. You reduce the "seven women" message to "a rule" Denver came up with on his own, rather than point out Denver shared a scriptural basis for that teaching. You write, "Denver relayed an experience he had in which he asked the Lord to give the priesthood to women," implying he was motivated by a desire to "give" the priesthood to women. In reality, what Denver had done was ask about the current policy in the church of denying the priesthood to women, as this was, you will recall, a very big issue at the time following the excommunication of Kate Kelly for asking the prophet to take the question to the Lord. Well, Denver did take the question to the Lord, and the answer he received was that the priesthood would be given to women, but not at this time. Neither the question nor the answer had anything to do with some desire on Denver's part to "give the priesthood to women."

If Denver's desire was to lead a new movement of Mormon dissidents, can you imagine how successful he would have been had he announced the Lord had given him authority to anoint women to the priesthood? He could have easily pulled that off, and pulled thousands more to him, if his goal was to gain followers.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I hadn't felt it necessary quibble further with Robin Hood, as I feel everything that could be said has been said, and further, in my opinion the controversies he has brought up in this forum are a distraction from the point of my article, which has to do with whether the Twelve Apostles today have the authority they claim to have.

But recently someone emailed me with a request for further information about what sparked Robin Hood's animus toward me in the first place. The writer referred to something Robin Hood wrote in the comments above on December 21st which Robin Hood says caused his good feelings toward me to sour:

"I learned from this experience," writes Robin Hood, "that Rock is not all he makes out to be. We were friends before this incident, often emailing each other about matters of mutual interest. But I saw a different side of him. Instead of acknowledging his error he let his pride dictate, and sacrificed our cordial friendship in order to appear right in front of everyone else.

"However, it gave me great insight into what Rock is really all about and I now view everything he says through that filter. It's a shame because I'm sure he's a nice bloke one to one. I just think this blog can bring out the worst in him when he is challenged."

The emailer asked, "What exactly was this controversy all about? All I could tell is it had something to do with the Seventies."

So at the risk of continuing to beat a dead horse, I'll refer any interested parties to a blog post I wrote two years ago, "Correct Me If I'm Wrong," which addresses the core of Robin's concerns, and why he no longer feels to trust anything I write:

http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2015/01/correct-me-if-im-wrong.html


iterry said...

Rock,

I've read a number of posts in this debate between those who believe in Denver S and those who do not, but I'm of the opinion that Denver does in fact set himself up as a prophet. Brian Zang he accepted him as a prophet and so I must conclude that there are many others that do the same. I’ve heard or read somewhere that his followers were thinking about building a temple in Idaho. I don't know if that is accurate however. It is obvious that many do look to Denver as a prophet of God. As you said - he took the question about ordaining women to the priesthood to the Lord to receive an answer. That is the work of a prophet not someone who simply interprets the scriptures. Lay members don’t take such questions to the Lord unless they are in a leadership position. So I have to come down on the side of LDSAwakening in this debate. I think it is clear that Denver sets himself up as a prophet of God. He may deny it but he certainly doesn't discourage it.

To me he is in the category of all the early break-offs of the LDS Church since the 19th century. These different Church were given different names by adding “ites” to their leaders name like Strangites. We need a name for these followers of Denver and Snufferites sounds pretty good to me. Yes it might be offensive but what is a good alternative? I can't think of a better name to call them. They appear to be a Church to me because their interpretation of the scriptures is unique.

I find the teachings of Denver to be far from the correct interpretation of the scriptures just by reading some of the posts here. I would never accept him as anything but a false prophet. We have many of them running around the Church today. I believe Lucifer has inspired many of these people to lead the members astray. The members are hungry to hear the word of the Lord. They don't get the word of the Lord from the leaders of the Church. It’s so bad now because the Lord hasn’t spoken to this Church for over 150 years that the members make things up about revelation. The leaders encourage it of course and do their best to fool the members into thinking they receive revelation. But running after these false prophets in the Church is just as bad as running after someone like Denver Snuffer in my opinion. One LDS Church claims revelation but doesn't have any. The other groups (and there are many) have revelation, but those revelations are contrary to not only the established line of communication from the Lord but also contradict former revelations in the scriptures. The Lord gave us the scriptures as the standard to follow. If a person deviates from that standard then you can be assured that they are not sent from the Lord.

Look at the vision of Lehi for a moment. There are those who enter into the building that is floating in the air which is clear to me is the Church. There are others who grab onto the iron rod which we know is the word of God and are led to the tree of life. But then they are ashamed and begin to wander in strange roads and are lost. These are the people of Denver Sniffer in my view. They wander around believing these strange doctrines that are not true. Giving the women the priesthood is just one of them that I find absolutely contrary to the scriptures in every respect and a great example of the false doctrines that are coming from Denver Snuffer. There are others that LDSawakening has pointed out and I agree with his interpretation.

Thanks Rock for the opportunity to weigh in on this debate though. I've learned quite a bit from these discussions. I didn't know much about DS before this debate and now I know to stir clear of his teachings and writings.

Log said...

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Doug Bundy said...

Ok, this was a very thought-provoking post. No doubt about it. However, the comments afterwards reveal a great deal of consternation and prejudice and misunderstanding, as far as I have been able to read them.

In all of the discussion, for and against the validity of the presiding authority, there are a few observations missing (please correct me if I missed any). First, of all, when Brigham slapped his knee, while he and Parley were leaning back in their chairs, it was very reminiscent of the time he reportedly received the revelation on polygamy, when he suddenly turned to JS and said, "Joseph, it is of God! Goodnight!"

He was really doubtful moments before that, asking Joseph, as they walked home together, if he was sure it was from God, over and over again. Joseph assured him each time that it was and that he would come to know it, which he definitely did, right there, after they had parted a few steps and Joseph was still on his porch, about to go into his house.

This conclusion of Brigham's, as to who should lead the church, seems to me to be the same type of revelatory experience. Joseph had to learn to receive revelation and he constantly tried to get the brethern to learn how to do it as well. Brigham was his best student.

But this observation will do the faithless no good, because only the Spirit can affirm it, which, of course, is true of the whole issue. Brigham may have been trying to stop reference in the pamphlet to the crucial meeting, because it didn't occur, and he knew it, or he and the others knew it did occur, but he didn't want it included in the anti-Rigdon pamphlet for some other reason. It's a matter for spiritual discernment, at this point.

The important thing to understand, in my opinion, is that God has blessed the work of Brigham and the Quorum of the Twelve, as they have led the church ever since that revelation in the chair, so much so that Lebanon indeed has become a fruitful field and the fruitful field has been esteemed as a forest, by its enemies, whose works are in the dark and who say "Who seeth us and who knoweth us."

Remember, when even no less than John the Baptist began to doubt the authority of his cousin, the Lord pointed those he sent to inquire, to contemplate his works, which works fulfilled the prophecies concerning him.

The prophecies concerning this church must be fulfilled as well, if it is the work of God. That means that the enemy has dug a pit for the saints of God, but it will be filled by those who dug it.

It means that the harlot church will gather multitudes upon all the face of the earth to fight against the Lamb of God, but the saints of God will be preserved by the Lord, and they will be armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory.

It means that the gathering of the ancient covenant people of the Lord will commence, when war is poured out upon all nations, who belong to the whore of all the earth.

It means that, if the Gentiles, don't repent of their awful sins and hypocrisy, the Lord will bring the fullness of his gospel from among them, and bring it unto his ancient covenant people, who will beat many people into pieces with their hooves of brass and their horns of iron.

And most of all, it means that America is consecrated for the gathering of his people, and all those who will not serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, shall be swept off of it, if they don't repent.

And with this cleansing of the land comes the redemption of Zion, but is Zion the Church? Or is Zion the Kingdom of God? Joseph definitely taught that the two were not the same. The kingdom of God was to protect the rights of all men to worship according to the dictates of their consciences. They were to be free people, but free to do what is right, under a living constitution, consisting of the members of the Council of Fifty.

Doug Bundy said...

(Continued from my previous comment)

But with the demise of the Council, the Council of the Kingdom, which was NOT conducted, as are the quorums of the priesthood, what is to be done?

We can see that the Church has grown, as prophesied. It has been established among the humble followers of Christ, those who hearken unto the voice of the Father, and he has numbered them among his people, but its numbers are small, in all parts of the world, because of the wickedness of the whore, while the numbers of the whore are great, and are being gathered together, as we live, and we now we know why!

So, Lord, what is thy will concerning the redemption of Zion? Zion has been established among the Gentile nations, but the holy city in the land of Zion, as revealed to thy servant Joseph, has not been built!

Thy servants have planted the Twelve trees of thy vineyard, as thou has commanded them, and they have built the hedge around the vineyard, to protect the laborers therein, and the works of thy servants are many, but Zion, the holy city, the New Jerusalem has not been built, and this because of the unbelief of those Gentiles to whom the fullness of thy gospel has been declared for, lo, these many years.

They will not believe the great and marvelous work thou art working for the sake of thy Son, even though thy servants have declared unto them, that the scriptures might be fulfilled. They have prevented thy servants from fulfilling thy commandment to build the city.

But worse than that even, the enemy has crept up upon us by night, and the hedge of our constitution has been broken down to where it is virtually hanging by a thread! What are we to do? Will the enemy fall upon us and break down the Twelve trees of the vineyard? Will our many works be destroyed? Lord, what are we to do?

Well, I don't know about the many commentators of this post, but I believe that the question Rock has elaborated upon, as to the validity of Brigham's revelation in that chair, is moot at this point.


What difference does it make if the servants of the Lord are about to rise up, affrighted, and flee away, out of the vineyard? What will you do? should be the question. We already know what the brethren will do!

Of course, we can all be comforted by the assurance that the Lord will call upon the Brethren and ask them, "Why? What is the cause of this great evil?" Clearly, by that point in time, they will all know the reason, as the Lord lays it out before them.

But, curiously, while he upbraids them for failing to finish the watchtower, he says nothing about them having no authority, no keys, no power, no judgment in their hands to accomplish it? Is this not Ahman Christ, who commanded them to build it, because he knew the enemy would come?

I would be very interested to read any replies to this question, but in the meantime, let me ask one more question: Do any of you know of Joseph's talk on this subject recorded by young Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, in 1840? It's very revealing.

MrHFMetz said...

Well hello Brother Bundy, nice to meet you on this forum. The internet is smaller than we think, is it? I just read quickly through the discourse you write about. I notice it is about the building of Zion in Nauvoo. Very interesting.
About the enemy you speak of, that would come, I am afraid this is not an enemy coming from outside, it turns out to be the enemy of Christ that has emerged from within this church. And that is just the problem we are dealing with: about "them having authority, keys, power, and judgment in their hands to accomplish it", that was in 1840; then "them" had it. Now them don't. That's the difference. Entertain the Brethren in SLC with this question and see what you get for an answer.
Nice to hear you are starting a new program next year. Good Luck!

Doug Bundy said...

Thanks MrHFMetz. I've been reading the minutes of the council (I finally got a copy). What I am writing about is the parable of Section 101, which gives us the mind of the Lord, concerning Zion in Jackson, County MO, not Nauvoo.

It's crucial to this discussion, because if the watchtower symbolizes the Council, then we have to understand the consequences that follow from discontinuing it.

They are dire, but, at the same time, the parable undermine's Rock's whole argument, if it applies to our day, which I think it does.

Robin Hood said...

@Doug Bundy
Very interesting contribution. I have reviewed D&C 101 as you suggest. I see where you're coming from, but I need to study further.
And you're right, it does appear to undermine Rock's whole argument, although it has to be said, he generally does a pretty good job of undermining it himself.

Doug Bundy said...

Yeah, but he sure is a swell writer. People have to be pretty astute to see where he goes wrong. He comes across so sincere, you know? Truth be told, people read the Book of Mormon, but they don't understand it, at least not how it contains the fullness of the gospel. Most folks don't understand what that even means!

Alan Rock Waterman said...

iterry,
I believe I wrote in a previous comment that by one definition of a prophet, "one who has a testimony of Christ," we can conclude that Denver Snuffer is, indeed, a prophet. The problems result when people assume "prophet" means he intends or wants to be some kind of leader. We Mormons can't seem to separate that image in our minds: if a man is a prophet, we assume he must therefore be the guy the Lord has chosen to be in charge of a church.

Is there a growing movement of uncorrelated Mormons existing outside the corporate model? Yes there is. There is a massive awakening among believing members. But this movement has no leader. You seem to want to make Denver Snuffer our leader. We already have a leader. We look to Jesus Christ.

Denver is, and has from the beginning, been most vociferous in denouncing anyone who might look to him for direction and guidance. He vigorously denounces anyone who calls himself a Snufferite, because, as he rightly notes, there is no such thing.

Yet you refer to "those who believe in Denver." Believe in him? And who exactly are these people who "believe" in Denver Snuffer?

You refer to someone on this forum who you say "accepted him as a prophet." Well, I accept that he is a prophet too. (That thing about having a testimony of Christ, remember?) His testimony of Christ may be the source of his incredible wisdom. The great advantage I enjoy as Denver Snuffer's friend is that he knows WAY more than I do about all facets of Mormonism, so when I have a historical or theological question I'm unsure of, he always seems to know the answer. I often go to Denver for information and instruction. What I do NOT go to Denver for is direction and guidance. He is an excellent teacher, but he is not my leader. Nor does he have any desire to be my leader. And certainly not anyone else's.

You make reference to "his followers." Followers require someone to follow. Denver Snuffer eschews followers. He doesn't want them. He comes near to despising anyone who would deign to look to him to lead them.

So where ARE these followers? You would think I would know about the existence of Denver Snuffer followers if anyone did, given the reach of this blog. But I've never known any sensible person who looks to Denver Snuffer as their leader. He teaches the scriptures, and I know a lot of people who appreciate the insight gleaned from those teachings, but no one looks to him to find out what they should do next. If they did, he would tell them the answers are in the scriptures.

"I think it is clear that Denver sets himself up as a prophet of God."

It's not clear to me that he "sets himself up" as any such thing. Again, I think your definition of "prophet" appears to be stuck in some of the more vain traditions of Mormonism. If you can cite an example of Denver setting himself up to manage or supervise some new schism of the church, I'd be curious to hear about it. (I think he would be, too.)

You say, "We need a name for these followers of Denver."

How about "dolts"? I think that's a name Denver might use to describe those who would look to him as their leader: dolts.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

iterry, (continued)

You write, "They appear to be a church to me because their interpretation of the scriptures is unique."

Again, who are "they"? Followers of Christ? Followers of Christ WOULD be a church, because that's how Christ defines his church: "All who repent and come unto me."(D&C 10:67) If you're referring to some church of Denver Snuffer, sorry, no such church exists. I challenge you to find the headquarters of that church OR any of its leaders. You don't say what you think their interpretation of the scriptures is that you think is unique, but I am aware that some people have interpretations of scripture that differ from mine. As long as they don't try to start some kind of religious organization that allows them to dictate their interpretation as binding on me, I don't have a problem. Let them worship how, where, or what they may.

"I find the teachings of Denver to be far from the correct interpretation of the scriptures just by reading some of the posts here."

I don't think a blog written by Rock Waterman and commented on by a variety of other individuals is the best way to go about learning how Denver Snuffer interprets scripture. If you're interested in what Denver Snuffer thinks, why not read what Denver Snuffer writes? He has his own blog, you know.

"I would never accept him as anything but a false prophet."

Well good. Denver Snuffer would be the first to tell you that you should not accept him as your prophet.

"[R]unning after these false prophets in the Church is just as bad as running after someone like Denver Snuffer in my opinion."

Denver would agree with you.

"The Lord gave us the scriptures as the standard to follow. If a person deviates from that standard then you can be assured that they are not sent from the Lord."

Yep. No argument there.

"These are the people of Denver Sniffer in my view."

Who? Who are "the people of Denver Snuffer?" Denver wouldn't be able to name any of "his people." Can you?

"They wander around believing these strange doctrines that are not true."

What are these strange doctrines? If they got them from the scriptures, they're probably true. If they didn't get them from the scriptures, I don't see how you can blame Denver Snuffer.

"Giving the women the priesthood is just one of them that I find absolutely contrary to the scriptures in every respect and a great example of the false doctrines that are coming from Denver Snuffer."

But Denver does not teach anything about "giving the women the priesthood." I don't know where you've heard the doctrine that women should have the priesthood, but it didn't come from him.

Finally, in reference to the comments you've read in this blog, you write, "I didn't know much about DS before this debate."

Okay. I think I see the problem. You must have thought you were reading Denver Snuffer's blog. This is the comment section of Rock Waterman's blog. You can't trust anything you read here -just ask Robin Hood.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

iterry,
In re-reading my recent responses to you above, I'm afraid the tone may have indicated I was being short with you. Not my intent, so if I came off a bit harsh, I apologize. I hold nothing but good feelings toward you and your opinions, but on this particular topic I felt you were proceeding based on false assumptions that deserved correcting. It was late at night and I was tired, and the method I chose to respond in (listing quotes, then responding to those quotes), was done with the intent to be succinct and to the point. (It wasn't.) I did not mean to come off in an abrasive manner; I hope you didn't read it that way.

Doug said...

How is it your last three entries get counted as 1 comment, Rock? Am I missing something or is it because you are the owner of the blog?

Doug Bundy said...

I don't know why the parable in D&C 101 has never been interpreted by the brethren. They've left it up to LDS scholars, like Sydney B. Sperry, for the most part. However, after reading the minutes of the Council of Fifty, it's easy to see that the leaders of the Church, let alone scholars, can be very naive and mistaken in their understanding of the work of God.

It's clear that the members of the Council were ready to conclude that the Gentiles had rejected the fullness of the gospel, and that it was time to take it to the Lamanites, who were expected to receive it with full-purpose of heart and join with the Saints in redeeming Zion and building the holy City of Zion.

Of course, this was the general idea one gets from Third Nephi, but it was very premature to say the least. From our perspective, in the 21st Century we can see that easily, but then there are still indications of the same type leadership's naivete in our own day.

After all, the men called to these leadership positions come from succeeding generations of Saints, who have to learn from those they succeed, who also faced the challenge in their turn. So, I wouldn't want to be too harsh on them, if they make honest mistakes, or even some dishonest ones, because of lack of good judgment at times.

The knowledge of the restoration and the associated commandments were given to the Lord's servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might learn, that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

Now, some lessons are more difficult than others to learn, and maybe Denver and Rock and those whose thinking lies along the same line, have brought them up short in some ways. It has to be painful, no doubt about it.

However, the parable in 101 comes directly from the Lord, that we might "know his will," he says. So, that it's vital to understand it goes without saying. Yet, even Joseph Smith may have not understood it completely.

Oh he knew that it very relevant, all right, that it didn't just apply to the Missouri troubles, but that it had to do with the U.S. constitution and the controversy of the Zion and the coming military action to redeem Zion, but he evidently didn't understand all its symbolism.

One crucial aspect it seems he missed, now that we can look back after so many years, is the symbolism of the Twelve trees that the servants were commanded to plant in the vineyard. He taught that the olive trees represented twelve stakes that would be broken down, by the enemy, but now, given our perspective of time, we can see that was an error.

Doug Bundy said...

The Twelve olive trees represent the Twelve apostles, which were not even organized until after the march of Zion's camp. So, that was hard to see in those days. Nevertheless, it's easy to see in our day, given the history of the Church and how, at least in the view of Rock et. al, the Twelve have usurped the leadership of the Church.

Yet, according to the parable, the the command to plant the vineyard, and reap the fruit thereof, specified Twelve olive trees. If these trees, that are to be broken down by the enemy, a "great evil" indeed, are symbols of the Twelve Apostles of the Church, then the argument that they are usurpers of some kind, cannot hold water. The great relief of Joseph to have offloaded the responsibility of the kingdom on to the shoulders of the Twelve, makes perfect sense in light of this interpretation of the parable.

But then there is the matter of the cause of "this great evil." The fact that the servants started to build the watchtower, but then didn't finish it, because it didn't appear to them to be needed in a time of peace, plays a most central part in the parable. It is the one major failure on the part of the servants, and it proved fatal.

They had planted the vineyard of twelve trees in the very choice spot of land that belonged to the Lord. They had built the hedge around the vineyard to protect it, and they had placed watchmen around the trees, but they failed to build the tower "that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

Doug Bundy said...

Now, some, including Sperry, have argued that the tower symbolized the temple in Jackson County that was never built, but this cannot be, because none of the servants of the Lord ever argued that it was not worth the time and effort to build the temple! They wanted to build it in the the worst way, because it's the one temple that is clearly prophesied in the Book of Mormon, the center piece of the holy city, New Jerusalem, but they were prevented from building it by their enemies, and the Lord expressly rescinded his command because of it (see D&C 124).

So, what was the tower, if it weren't the temple? What else would have enabled one watchman to overlook the land round about, from the top thereof?

I submit that it was nothing less than the Council of Fifty, for which the servants of the Lord laid the foundation, but didn't persist in building, because they couldn't see the need for it, exactly as the parable states.

At first the members of the Council were ecstatic, thinking heaven was beginning on earth, as the Prophet laid out the nature and name of the Council, but after his death, and the trials and challenges they faced in fleeing into the wilderness and settling the frontier, it seemed to them to be little more than a "debating society," in the words of George A. Smith, in 1949, and they had no need for debates about the constitution and attending to the rights and liberties of men, when those seemed to be quite secure in the tops of the mountains. They were more concerned with survival and the economy and the salvation of souls in the hereafter.

Big mistake! Big mistake, because the enemy was even then making preparations to come against the Lord's vineyard and destroy it, but without the tower, without the deliberations and investigations of the Council, the Chairman would not see the enemy, while he was yet afar off, and the servants of the Lord would fall asleep, according to word of the Lord.

Doug Bundy said...

Now, I'm sure the Twelve don't see it this way. After all, the prospect of the Quorum being broken down, the works of the servants being destroyed, and they being forced to arise in fear and flee for their lives, is not something they are want to contemplate in those commodious chairs that they are accustomed to resting in, at this point.

Yet, they are trying to do what the Council was designed to do, by inquiring into various aspects of the danger, as shown in the leaked videos of their meetings. I'm afraid, however, it's too little, too late. Besides that, priesthood quorums are not conducted according to parliamentary rules as was the Council.

We can't even imagine motions being submitted to the President of the Twelve, by a non-member of the Council, seated in one of those chairs between members of the Twelve, due to his greater seniority, and speaking his mind and casting his vote, before members of the twelve!

No, no. The kingdom of God is separate from the Church, and is charged with watching out for the freedom and rights of conscience of all men, whether or not they are members of the Church. It has nothing to do with the salvation of men in the hereafter. That is strictly the Church's bally wick.

But alas, the Council doesn't exist today, and the Twelve must do the best they can, given the circumstances. However, we owe them our prayers, our love and our support, more than ever, do we not?

They were planted by the Lord's servants and by his command, for our sake, that we might be numbered with his people, and yet there is no stopping the enemy coming to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of the Lord's vineyard, and what is that fruit, but the Saints of God and their children!!!

Praise be to God, that's not the end of the story related in the parable, but it's all I'm going to comment on for now.

My prayer is for Rock and Denver and Dehlin and the many others who see the weakness of men in the Church's leadership, that they might be as charitable and forgiving and understanding as Christ would have them be towards his anointed.

Those fifteen especially need to feel our love and support more now than ever. Things are going to get much worse for us all, before they get better, even if Trumpism proves to be a reprieve of sorts. We must be true to our heritage. The Lord is trying our faith, to be sure, just as he said he would do.

iterry said...

Thanks Rock, I don't take any offense at anything you have to say because you are simply clarifying your position on things and I appreciate that. In fact I get a kick out of a number of things you have to say. I really enjoy your documentation of the apostasy of the Church in the last days in particular. That to me is quite worthwhile to those of us who read your blog.

Happy New Year!

iterry said...

Doug, Interesting comments about D&C 101 the parable of the Nobleman. I do not believe you have it correct however. The parable is highly metaphorical and you have to understand the metaphors in order to be able to understand this parable completely. The council of 50 has nothing to do with this parable. The tower is something else. My interpretation comes from a fellow by the name of Robert Smith. He has interpreted completely all of the metaphors in this parable. They all fit perfectly. I wish I had room to post the entire thing here but that would take up too much room and would be a burden to read. So I'll be brief. Before I do let me tell you there are a few clues that help us identify when this takes place. One of them is the word "peace". The parable takes place at a time of peace. When did we have peace in this Church? When we came here to the valley. So that is the time check and the best reason why this did not take place during the time of Joseph Smith. I'm sure Joseph did not understand it because it wasn't about his time period. The time that the tower was not built was when we came here to the valley. It was built during the time of Joseph because he received revelation.

D&C 101:43-62 is a parable that tells us what happens to the Church in the last days. The Lord is the nobleman, of course. He speaks to his servants and tells them to plant twelve trees on this choice piece of land. The twelve olive trees are the twelve tribes of Israel, He commanded them to build a watchtower to see and warn the people when the enemy was coming.

The Lord tells his servants to plant the olive grove. This is the restoration of the gospel. There are not twelve trees in the grove yet, but there are people from all the tribes who are scattered among Ephraim, so the twelve trees still applies.
The servants did as the Lord commanded. These servants are Joseph Smith and others who participated in the restoration. After the initial restoration, the first servants leave and the other servants are left to carry out the commandments of the Lord. They are told to build a watchtower and put a watchman on it to watch for the enemy.

The hedge is the doctrines and ordinances of the restored Church. It is the hedge which protects the people. It is their defense against the world and against the enemy. There were watchmen placed around the hedge. These are the teachers and leaders of the Church, including the so-called apostles, whose duty it is to keep the doctrines pure and not to change them. Notice the watchmen are placed around the hedge rather than on a watchtower. This means that they are not prophets and cannot see farther than anyone else.

iterry said...

Doug - Continued
The watchtower represents revelation, however. It allows the watchman to see far into the distance, which is the future. Only a prophet can do that, and only in this can they know of the approaching enemy before he is near. Apparently, the Lord intended to continue speaking with the Church through a prophet. He ordered the Church or the servants to continue receiving revelation.

In the parable, the Lord explains what would happen. The other servants after the first servant is gone, sit and consult. They question why the Lord needs a watchtower seeing it is a time of peace. They see no threat from the enemy. They have the revelations and ordinances. What more do they need? Of course they need the warning eyes on the watchtower to alert them to danger.

As these men consult, they decide that the money would be better spent invested in business. While they were arguing, they became slothful and failed to obey this commandment. After the first servant leaves, these servants fail to build the watchtower. We know there was no further revelation in the Church, but in this parable the Lord seems to be laying the blame on these servants, who are the apostles. They are the ones who have access to the Lord’s money.

In verse 51 the enemy came by night (no revelation because the tower isn't built)and broke down the hedge. This is the apostasy of the Church - all of the doctrines and ordinances have been changed and this is the breaking down of the hedge. The breaking down of the olive-trees is different however. This is the destruction that comes to the members as prophesied in the scriptures. Most of the members will die when the great day of the Lord comes because they are not prepared. They have not been warned as to what to prepare for in the last days and so they are all asleep and unaware of what is going to happen to them.

Well Doug that is how I see it. The council of 50 doesn't fit this parable at all. There won't be a council of 50 during the millennium because it isn't needed. The world will be ruled by the Davidic King and there is nothing in the scriptures about the council of 50. Anyway, that's how I see it.

Doug Bundy said...

Thanks for your feedback, iterry. At least you have given it some thought, that's more than most.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Doug,
Not sure what you mean about my last three comments being counted as one. As you can see, the were split up into three parts, because I can't help yammering enough to make the words fit in one. I'm subject to the same space limitations the format allows everyone else who comments here. I wish I was treated more favorably here, but alas, the system refuses to let me post unless I follow the rules, and every time I weigh in with an opinion I'm forced to limit myself to the alloted number of characters, and THEN also prove I'm not a robot.

Meanwhile the system continues to allow random women on here to rave about some African witch doctor they met who cast a spell on their husbands to get them to stop tom-catting around and come home.

I tell ya, I don't get no respect.

Log said...

What happened is Rock permanently removed comments which were deleted by the original posters, thus reducing the comment count.

Doug Bundy said...

LoL Rock. I hate the word count limit, but when I post my comments in parts, the system counts each part as a separate comment, but it didn't do that for your three comments - they were counted all together as comment #261. It made think there might be around the robot thing and all.

I've decided to write them in MS Word first and proof read and count the words there, before posting from now on. The blog software is so lame, it doesn't even offer the word count! Grrrr.

Thanks, Log. I was looking forward to Rock's and your comments on my 101 interpretation. You have anything to say?

Log said...

I don't even know what the question is.

Doug Bundy said...

LoL. That's the problem with long drawn-out comments like mine. I tend to lose people. The question is: Is the Rock et. al. point of view, that the Twelve have usurped the leadership of the Church, valid?

In my comments, I say no, because of the parable in D&C Section 101, among other things. The Lord commanded his servants to plant a vineyard of twelve olive trees (the Quorum of the Twelve) and build a hedge around it and a tower in the midst.

They did everything but build the tower, which prevented them from seeing the preparations of the enemy, while he was yet afar off, which resulted in calamity. The enemy broke down the hedge, broke down the twelve trees, sending the Lord's servants fleeing for their lives, as their works were destroyed.

If this interpretation holds (that the twelve trees are the twelve apostles), it follows that the Rock point of view cannot hold, because their important role in this great drama was foretold in and central to the parable.

That's it in a nutshell. Of course, there is much more to it in my previous comments to support it.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Doug Bundy,
I saw no reason to jump in and disagree with your interpretation, because I admire your intent, and to quote your own words, "at least you have given it some thought; that's more than most."

I'm not given to stirring the pot regarding the interpretation of things Jesus said that are deliberately vague, for the simple reason that I'm no scriptorian. My only skill is in recognizing (belatedly) when I have been mistaken about something. Hence the focus of this blog, which is a record of me correcting those former beliefs I once held that turned out to be false. But since you are asking my opinion, I'll say I'm going with the interpretation iterry summarized above. It was always clear to me that the twelve olive trees were meant to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

I am not persuaded by your theory that they represent the twelve apostles in the modern day LDS church. So when you say if it refers to the Twelve and if it applies to our day, "it undermines Rock's whole argument," that's a pretty big "if," and one that relies on the Twelve actually having received authority to run the Church. My argument rests on the plain record of the minutes of the Council of Fifty which shows that neither the Twelve nor the Fifty received authority to run the church, but that apparently the Council of Fifty HAD been told the responsibility for the political Kingdom of Heaven was on their shoulders. Not the shoulders of the Twelve, but the shoulders of the Council of Fifty.

Rather than rehash what I've previously explained, I refer you to my response in this forum to "Salty" on December 12th at 3:25 am.

Doug Bundy said...

Well, thanks Rock. Thanks for considering it. I knew it was a long shot, but I thought it was worth trying to get you to begin to take a look at it, because the stakes are so doggone high.
I don't know how many saints are persuaded by DS's writings, but it's too many I think, and the ones that write and comment on blogs and things about it are intelligent, caring people, like yourself. However, in contrast, the arguments for and behalf of the brethren are often less than compelling, so I have a higher than normal interest in trying to get people's attention on this, I guess.
You see, the whole tendency to abandon the great and marvelous work, as headed up by those in SLC, in the name of following Jesus Christ alone, also bears on the controversy of Zion with the creedal Christian community.
They not only don’t believe that Joseph was a prophet of God, that America is the land of Zion, that the fullness of the gospel that we declare to them is true, they don’t believe their own Bible. I think it’s mostly because they only read the parts of it that they’re used to. Like cows coming in from the fields at sundown, they have worn pathways through the Bible, not wanting or caring to go into unfamiliar areas.
One of those areas is Isaiah 29; all of Isaiah, really, but chapter 29 in particular. There, the Lord talks about the great and marvelous work that he will perform among the Gentiles that Habakkuk tells us they won’t believe, even though it is declared unto them.
But the early Latter-Day Saints sure believed it, and they were determined to build the holy city of New Jerusalem in MO, when knowledge of its location was revealed to them. Of course, their intentions were good, but they were woefully unprepared for the task and the Lord suffered their enemies to overcome them and drive them from the area.
But he said to them not to despair, that Zion would yet be redeemed and the holy city would be built and the temple too, and the power of God would come down among them and even he would be in their midst, as they gird up their loins in that holy place, looking forth for his coming, clothed in the brightness of his glory.
He said that they shall return, and come to their inheritances, that they and their children would come, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion— And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled. And there is none other place appointed than that which he has appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which he has appointed, for the work of the gathering of his saints.
And then he said, “I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion,” and he gave the parable. It should be clear, Rock, from this context, that he was referring to how the saints would come to finally accomplish the thing that they desired – the building of New Jerusalem in America, as prophesied by Christ himself, in the Book of Mormon.

Doug Bundy said...

(Continued)

And the way it comes about is the church is first decimated, because the servants didn’t build the tower that would have enabled them to see the enemy coming, so they could make ready and prevent his vineyard from falling into the hands of the destroyer, but then it is redeemed by the army of Israel, when the Lord sends one of his servants (and that is Joseph Smith) to gather the strength of his house.
About this, Joseph said that “Then shall the Lord say, Go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged, come to the land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord— Then the Kings & Queens shall come; then the rulers of the Earth shall come; then shall all saints come, yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the land of my vineyard, for in this thing shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction.”
See, there are still things that many have been mistaken about, former beliefs that were once held that turn out to be false, that need to be corrected. As you read the minutes of the Council, you’ll see that many of the leaders were in that same predicament. They were taught things that were not so, but when they learned the truth, they understood more clearly the immense scope of the Lord’s work.
They didn’t forsake him, for not telling them everything up front. As I wrote in my earlier comments, even John the Baptist began to doubt that Jesus was the Christ, but Jesus told his disciples to tell John about all the miracles he was working.
It’s the same with this issue. To know if the Twelve are authorized, if they truly do have the keys of the Priesthood that makes all the ordinances of the gospel valid, look at what has been accomplished by them. Don’t wait until the enemy comes to destroy their works and break down the Twelve and his servants flee away for their lives, for if you can’t be faithful now, where will your faith be found, when all this comes down?

Log said...

Seems here is the starting point for any relevant discussion of the parable in D&C 101.

D&C 103
21 Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.
22 Therefore let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged—Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me.


And so on to the end.

Doug Bundy said...

Yeah, that's why they formed Zion's camp, thinking they would be redeeming Zion in their day. They had received the revelation of 101, in 1833:

55 And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;

56 And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.

57 Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.

58 And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.


And Section 103 came the next year, in 1834.

So, they marched to Zion and disbanded. Some of them were really mad, because they thought they were going to fight, according to the parable, but it wasn't anything like that.

When Joseph got back from Washington, seeking redress from the Feds, for the Missouri losses, he gave the talk recorded by Martha Knowlton, in 1840, showing that the saints, including the foreign saints, would fight for Zion. Thus, the parable was for a future time, when that "great evil" would happen, and the Lord would send Joseph to lead the army.

The rub is that Joseph will have to be resurrected to fulfill the prophecy of 103 that you quoted, but then that's exactly what the oral tradition of the Jews expects: the resurrection and triumph of Messiah Ben Joseph, brought about by Messiah Ben David.

Log said...

If by 1834 the destruction of the trees mentioned in D&C 101 had already occurred, since the Q12 did not exist until 1835, your interpretation of D&C 101 in which the trees are identifed as the Q12 is logically impossible.

Doug Bundy said...

No, if the Q12 are the Twelve trees, they have been planted and the vineyard has been producing fruit since 1835. The enemy has come by night and has almost broken down the hedge (the U.S. Constitution), but the servants have yet to arise, "affrighted," and flee. Their works are yet to be destroyed and the Twelve are yet to be broken down.

The foundation for the watchtower, which the Lord's servants were commanded to build, which would have enabled them to see the enemy while he was yet "afar off," was laid all right, but the servants never finished it, and so they fell asleep, not detecting the approaching enemy.

In other words, the Lord's vineyard is about to fall into the hands of the destroyer, and this not because the trees were diseased, or their fruit was not good, but because the servants didn't build the tower as their Lord commanded them.

Log said...

I will say it again.

D&C 103 says the events the parable was speaking of in D&C 101 had already occurred by 1834, because Joseph is the servant referred to in D&C 101 the Lord was sending to redeem the land, after the enemies had broken the hedge and the twelve trees, &c., according to D&C 103. Since the Q12 did not come into existence until 1835, your interpretation of D&C 101 is literally impossible. That, or D&C 103 is a big fat lie, either by Joseph or by the Lord, take your pick.

You are in the position, therefore, of having to disavow D&C 103 to save your interpretation of D&C 101. If D&C 103 is from God, your interpretation of D&C 101 is not true. If your interpretation of D&C 101 is true, D&C 103 is not from God.

You may acknowledge the contradiction and correct your interpretation of D&C 101, you may take the more interesting route of disproving D&C 103 is from God, or you can do neither and insist you're right, to no effect.

Doug Bundy said...

Wow. Very emphatic, Log. I know what you are asserting, and it follows, if the interpretation of Sperry (and others) is correct, sort of.

As I pointed out, though, Zion's Camp, led by Joseph, did not fulfill the parable, and he taught years later that it would yet be fulfilled.

This is similar to the prophecy of civil war in D&C 87. It may appear to have been fulfilled with the civil war in the 1860s, but closer examination shows otherwise.

It is the same in this case.

In 103 the Lord speaks of the restoration of Zion never to be thrown down again. It must come by power, he says. His people will be led to Zion by a man who will lead them as Moses led them, only the presence of the Lord would go before this man (See Micah 2), and they would be led out of bondage by power, and a strethed-out arm (as in the case of Moses).

Doug Bundy said...

@Log (cont)

Of course, this did not happen. The land of Zion is still not redeemed and the holy city of New Jerusalem has not been built or its temple erected.

Therefore, I conclude that the rescue mission of Zion's Camp did not fulfill the 101 or the 103 parable. The Saints did not prevail. They were scattered and Joseph was jailed for six months. Instead of the glorious victory described in 103, the march of Zion's Camp was a failure, in the sense of vanquishing the enemies of Zion.

It's true that Joseph is the man, the servant that the Lord is to send to gather his warriors, and it's true that he already did it and they marched to Zion, but it's not true that they broke down the enemy's hedge, or scattered his watchman, or threw down his towers.

It's also not true that foreign saints, and kings and queens came to fight for Zion, but all that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. The only thing is, for Joseph to lead the battle now, he has to be raised from the dead first, but according to the revelation of Parley P. Pratt and others, that is exactly what is to happen.

Log said...

It is not necessary to have a replacement for a theory - in this case, an alternative interpretation of the parable in D&C 101, the interpretation therreof given at least in part in D&C 103 by God - in order to disprove a theory.

I don't need to provide an alternative interpretation to establish that the twelve trees spoken of in D&C 101 cannot possibly be the Q12 if D&C 103 is from God. D&C 103, combined with checking the dates on D&C 101 and D&C 103 and the establishment of the Q12, suffice to utterly overthrow the claim that the Q12 are the twelve trees spoken of in D&C 101.

D&C 101, given D&C 103, therefore has no obvious relevance to the Q12, and therefore no obvious relevance to Rock's post.

And, with that, I withdraw from the topic of D&C 101.

Doug Bundy said...

Well, I'm not sure I understand what you mean altogether, but it's not hard to understand that 103's identification of Joseph as the "one" servant in 101 certainly does not "overthrow the claim" that the trees symbolize the Q12 logically.

The revelation that came in the aftermath of the march to Zion, D&C 105, the Lord makes it clear that "it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion."

And not only that, but he says they failed because they didn't hearken unto his words, but that it was "expedient in [him] that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith."

In other words, it was a trial run of the redemption of Zion, but it failed, because the faith of the saints failed. The venture had nothing to do with the failure to detect the approaching enemy, because they had argued among themselves that the tower they were to build wasn't needed.

Moreover, the enemy hadn't come by night and broken down the hedge protecting the vineyard, because the saints were moving into the area, provoking the residents who had been living in the area before the saints began to arrive there. They were not returning to reclaim the vineyard spoiled by the enemy, from which they had been harvesting the fruit of the twelve trees.

So, while there are elements of the parable in the early MO venture of the saints, there is not enough there to make 103 the fulfillment of 101, a fact to which 105 attests.

On the contrary, however, the situation today fits the parable perfectly. The army of the saints has grown to number in the millions. The twelve trees, as the church under the leadership of the Q12, has brought forth much fruit, which the enemy desires to take upon themselves. The foundation of the watchtower, a symbol of government in the scriptures, was laid, but discontinued by the Lord's servants. Meanwhile, the work continued in what was deemed a time of peace, under the protection of the hedge, the U.S. Constitution.

Nevertheless, the enemy has come by night, stealthily, under cover of darkness, and is breaking down the hedge. The fourth amendment is long gone now, and the second and first are under great siege. The Constitutional control of the nation's money supply has been usurped. The justice system has been almost completely corrupted, and the morality of the people has been decimated by the "devil's messiah," while their understanding of the foundational principles of justice and liberty has been systematically undermined. (continued below)

Doug Bundy said...

@ Log (cont)

So, Log, how much longer do you think the Lord's vineyard can last? How soon before the servants of the Lord awaken and flee in fear, as the parable predicts? And after they flee, what will happen to all those malls, farms, orchards, factories, mills, and other properties too numerous to mention that the Q12 own?

Do you actually think that the Q12 will stand through all this? What will protect them from being broken down?

I think the answers are obvious. In the MO of the 1830s, there were not millions of saints, in all parts of the world. The enemy that opposed the relative few saints then were wiped out, for the most part, in the 1860s, but the Gentiles are still there. Indeed, Kansas City is at the crossroads of the Gentile nation, a huge, bustling metropolis.

But the real enemy, is bent on taking this nation down, and with it the Lord's vineyard. The beautiful promise of the parable is that the Lord will again send his servant Joseph to gather the strength of his house,

12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.

13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them. (Micah 2)


When this great redemption of Zion takes place, Log, it will be so traumatic to the world that they will no longer say, "The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers."

So, I understand that you don't want to belabor what seems to you to be an open and shut case, but I assure you, sir, it's not.

iterry said...

You fellows are still missing the correct interpretation of this parable. This parable is not confined to the 1830's and then jumps to the last days. It says that the Tower was not built during the time of peace. Peace - that is when we came here to the valley. It says they gave their money to the exchangers. This is business. The servants who are the leaders of the Church became businessmen. It says the servants kept not the commandments of God. This is the apostasy of the Church. The hedge is broken down - these are the doctrines and ordinances that have been changed. The destruction of the trees has not occurred yet. It didn't happen in the 1830's. This is a future event when most of the members of the Church will die as a result of famine, sword, and pestilence. This is all prophesied in Isaiah and other books.

The problem is not understanding the metaphors and also looking for the other clues that are given. Joseph is indeed the 1st servant, but he leaves and the time of peace ensues when we get here. There was no peace during the time of Joseph Smith for the members of the Church. This came only when we arrived here in these valleys.
The parable talks about a long time passes. 1847-2017 is a long time. The Olive grove were not broken down at the time of Joseph Smith. We came here to these valleys. Yes a few died along the way and some at the hands of mobs but not very many. Millions of LDS are going to die in the future as prophesied in Isaiah.

This parable is about the redemption of Zion. That hasn't happened and won't happen until later. The 144,000 will be sent out and That Army (144k) will destroy the armies of the great tyrant of the last days and redeem Zion in the future. Zion is Missouri and that hasn't changed. We talk about Salt Lake City as being Zion but this is simply the temporary home of the saints.

Lastly Joseph Smith is dead. He won't be coming back and leading any armies to do anything. The Davidic King of the Last days will do that work and that person is John the Beloved. John gathers the tribes of Israel and established the kingdom of Israel. The ancient traditions of the Jews as written in that book that was cited is not correct. The mission of Joseph Smith has been finished.

Doug Bundy said...

Here's something to consider: "http://www.originalbookofmormonrestored.com/Polygamy-Masonry_Pratt.html"

iterry said...

I don't believe it Doug, the mission of Joseph Smith is over. He is dead and won't be coming back to do anything. The next time we see him he'll be a resurrected glorious being. They don't come back to perform missions like gathering the tribes of Israel and other things. John the Beloved on the other hand is a translated being. Translated beings are here to perform a mission. D&C 77 and 113 talk about the mission of John. He is the one who will gather the tribes. His job is spelled out in the scriptures including the book of Revelation. Additionally John is a cousin of Christ and second in line after Christ as heir to the throne of Israel. He is the Davidic King. Joseph is not Davidic and not a Jew. He is of the tribe of Joseph through Ephraim. So nothing at all makes sense for him to come back. One more thing - that revelation about him coming back is phony.

Doug Bundy said...

That's your prerogative, iterry. You're welcome to it.

MrHFMetz said...

I believe iterry is right. What we should be looking for is a "legal administrator in the flesh". Who else than John the Revelator. I read that same opinion in the book Zion's Redemption from Francis Michael Darter. He came up with some very good arguments. That man was not a fool. Indeed everybody has the privilege to keep his own opinion though. I wish you all a good 2017 and this world a peaceful year.

Doug Bundy said...

Well, Mr Metz, you may be right, but to me it's not even wrong. The context of the parable is an explanation given to the saints of this, the last, dispensation, so that they might understand the will of the Lord, after they had been so rebuffed and disillusioned.

There's no justification for removing and replacing the head of this dispensation, with someone from another dispensation. John has his role, but it's not as the messiah ben Joseph, who was to be killed (John wasn't) and resurrected (John wasn't) and break the assembled Jacob out of Edom's bondage in Bozrah and lead them militarily to (New) Jerusalem, forming a civil government and re-establishing temple worship, with the presence of Lord going before them, at the head of them.

This redemption is by power and unprecedented. The redemption of Zion, as foretold in the parable, not only fits the Biblical prophecies, but also the Book of Mormon prophecies of the Savior himself, who tells us that the servant declaring the fullness of the gospel, will be healed after he is marred.

As Log pointed out, Joseph is the servant appointed by revelation to lead the armies of Israel back to the vineyard, breaking down the hedge of the ememy, scattering his watchmen and over throwing his towers, because the vineyard is his, he has paid for it.

Now, I know these things are not understood without a good deal a praying and contemplating the scriptures, and reading commentaries is not a substitute for that, so I don't read a lot of them, including DS and those that you have mentioned.

I don't ask people to believe what I believe. I simply testify that God is in this work, and that those of us who have covenanted to take up our cross and follow Christ, should do so with honor and integrity, as did those who have preceded us.

The Council of Fifty, while it was never fully instituted, would have been the ideal forum for understanding the enemy, which is now upon us, had it been completed. That much is clear to anyone familiar with the emergence of the "terrible one" and its deeds and its designs and its determination to stop this work. The elite really do believe that God is not their creator, that his work is irrelevant, that he has no understanding, but he will show them otherwise, and with great power and glory.

The truth is, Jacob shall triumph, but the terrible one will be brought to nought, and the scorner will be consumed, and all that watch for iniquity will be cut off, including those that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him who speaks truth to power, and turns aside the just for a thing of nought.

The Lord makes it clear that, though the enemy destroys the vineyard and breaks down the twelve and scatters his servants, thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he sees his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

Truly, this is a great and marvelous work, causing the wisdom of the wise to perish and the understanding of the prudent to be hid.

The prophets saw it and exclaimed, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?"

"I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save," is the answer. "Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?" they wonder.

Then the Lord explains: "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come."

ldsawakening said...

Rock,
My use of the term Snufferite was obviously offensive to you. I sincerely apologize for that. It was not my intent to offend. Like I explained before I merely use the term to identify individuals who I believe fit the common mold of accepting that Denver has stood in the presence of Christ and that he has a legitimate mission/message from the Lord Himself, and who have been rebaptized at Denver’s invitation by those authorized by the order he established, who participate in the fellowships he advocates and set up rules for, and who share similar interpretations of the scriptures with him. It is much easier to use a term like “Snufferite” than it is to give a lengthy explanation every time to avoid offending people.

I really have no desire to contend with you and I apologize that my comments may have come off that way. I actually have a lot of respect and admiration for the work you have done with this blog. I sincerely believe that you are an honest seeker of truth, who is trying very hard to follow Christ and caste aside false traditions.

Having said that I am thoroughly convinced that Denver is a false prophet. I believe that he fits the mold of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have tried to be as direct as possible in attacking his claims and teachings in effort to help you and others to see through his deception. My attacks on his teachings and actions are done out of genuine concern that he is leading people astray and out of a desire to help people either avoid deception or escape the deception they are currently under. It is in no way intended to be an attack on you or others who accept him as a prophet/teacher/messenger/servant.

The scriptures warn that there will be false prophets in the last days who appear to be sheep, but inwardly are ravines wolves. There are many of these types out there, and Denver is one of them. Think about it. Denver’s message is so appealing to LDS who have become disillusioned with the Law of Moses type structure in the church. They are tired of being compelled to follow the brethren and their local leaders. They are tired of having the doctrines and scriptures watered down and distorted. They yearn for a reason to hold on to the restoration, but are tired of the church. They desperately want somewhere to go and something to hold on to. Denver gives them all of these things. He doesn’t use strong arm tactics (at least not directly). He claims he wants no following. He doesn’t use compulsion or force. He expounds on the scripture. He offers people a chance to be rebaptized to renew their commitment to Christ. It all sounds so wonderful. Outwardly he appears to be a meek and lowly lamb; a humble servant of Christ.

ldsawakening said...

Rock cont...

However once one actually takes a serious look at his teachings (which are many and much more than a simple message to follow Christ and search the scriptures), one can easily detect that something is off. That is one can easily detect that something is off, if one has not allowed oneself to become invested in Denver and the remnant movement. In addition to Denver being everything that most disillusioned believing LDS are looking for, there is another reason why he attracts so many people. This is because Denver’s mission and the remnant movement are the work of a familiar or false spirit. There is an actual pull towards this false spirit and likely even a false Christ associated with Denver and the movement. False spirits and false Christs give off an influence very similar to the Holy Ghost, because they are imitating the Holy Ghost. It’s pretty scary stuff actually. This false or familiar spirit is manifest in Denver and the members of the remnant movement. It is real and it is not of God. It is a deception of the devil who is trying desperately to ensnare those who have awakened to the apostasy of the church. Sadly this deception by the devil has been very effective so far. I actually believe that Denver is completely sincere and genuinely believes that Christ appeared to him multiple times and that He has a mission for him. This is why Denver paid for his own venues for the lecture series and why he spends so much of his time sincerely expounding on the scriptures and church history. I do not believe that he is intentionally deceiving anyone. I believe that he is himself deceived just like the leaders of the Shakers, Cochranites, Oneida Community, and others during the second great awakening. They were all sincere, too and believed that God was speaking to them and had a work for them to do, yet Joseph Smith said that it was all the work of familiar or false spirits.

Rock, you mentioned that you believe I am trying to force Denver to fit the mold of a prophet as defined by the LDS church. This is not at all what I’m doing. In fact I fully acknowledge that Denver does not claim to be this. In fact this is why he is so effective. I do however hold him to the standard of a prophet as defined in the scriptures. You are correct that prophets don’t always have to lead the Lord’s people, in fact in many instances in the Bible they did not. They did however stick to their mission in delivering the message that the Lord had for them to deliver. Their messages were completely consistent and in harmony with the scriptures. Denver has not done this. If he was ever a true messenger from the Lord he has overstepped his bounds and gone seriously astray.

Too many off Denver’s teachings do not square with the scriptures. There are too many contradictions as well. I broke down the issues with Denver’s claims and teachings on baptism. You did not address these. That’s okay, because they can’t be explained. It is a huge hole in Denver’s story. You mentioned that I misrepresented Denver’s account of speaking with the Lord about women and the priesthood. I merely paraphrased his exact account of it from his 10th lecture so I’m not sure how I distorted that. You said there is scriptural support for Denver’s 7 women sustaining a man in the priesthood (no men) and the idea that women will have the priesthood during the millennium. Can you show any scriptures that support these things? Also your reference to the ordain women situation doesn’t quite fit. The target audience for Denver are those who are familiar with the scriptures and church history. Giving women the priesthood may have attracted more women and liberals to the movement, but not serious students of Mormonism.

ldsawakening said...

Rock cont...

You mentioned that you had been taking the sacrament with wine for many years before Denver came along. You say this is how it should be done based on 3rd Nephi. What about the D&C? What about where the Lord said in D&C 27 that it doesn’t matter what one uses for the sacrament and that we are not to use wine unless it is new wine of our own make? Do you make your own wine or do you buy it? It’s more complicated than you make it out to be. Water is not forbidden for the sacrament. I agree that wine fits the symbolism much, much better, but yet wine was forbidden in the D&C unless one makes it themselves. Since the church stopped making wine for the sacrament over a hundred years ago it’s safe to assume that water is okay. I don’t think the Lord expects or even wants every person to make their own wine to use for the sacrament. Either way water is clearly authorized in the D&C.

Don’t you see the contradiction in holding the brethren’s feet to the fire with the D&C, but then letting things slide when it fits the Denver narrative? I would also like to point out that Denver rips many of his teachings off of others and then rewords them as if he came up with them. I would image that he and you both got the wine idea from the same source years before Denver’s lecture series.

Denver’s teachings that Zion will not come through the instrumentality of a strong armed prophet are direct contradiction to the scriptures in many places. As is his teaching that Zion does not have to be in Jackson County, Missouri. In the D&C the Lord clearly identified Jackson County as the site of the New Jerusalem. In D&C 85 and many, many other places it is prophesied that there will be a prophet like unto Moses who will lead the gathering to Zion, it’s redemption, and many other things. He is known as the One Mighty and Strong, the Davidic Servant/King, Elias, and many other metaphorical names. Denver’s teachings and the remnant movement are in direct opposition to the scriptures that clearly lay out the gathering of Israel and establishment of Zion.

The idea of building a Temple in Idaho or any place besides the spot appointed in Missouri is complete nonsense.

Anyway I don’t want to argue with you. What I have said I have said out of spirit of love and brotherhood and not out of a spirit of contention. I wish you all the best. I hope you will search your heart and find a way to break free from the familiar spirit that surrounds Denver. I hope there are no hard feelings. There certainly aren’t on my end. All the best.

MC

Log said...

Speaking of motes, what should one make of Joseph's last words on where the Mountain of the Lord's House should be - in Central America? (WJS, pps. 383-385; three contemporary accounts of the same sermon.)

Robin Hood said...

@ldsawakening
I thoroughly concur with your views regarding Snuffer's affliction with a familiar spirit.
For those of us who are naturally suspicious of extraordinary claims made by people who fail to produce extraordinary evidence, it is very obvious that those who follow the likes of Snuffer are being duped.
Personally I believe Snuffer is a deceiver.

Cachemagic said...

Robin Hood, Here is another response about D&C 136. It wasn't written by Brigham Young. It wasn't a revelation from the Lord to Brigham Young that he gives us. It was created by a committee.
http://salemthoughts.com/Topics/Section136.shtml

Roy said...

Hi Rock,

You really do argue your positions well. What I love about your style is the way you try to be so scripturally consistent.

The modern church gives lip service to its scriptures while at the same time ignoring much of it.

For me, however, I concluded a few years back that Joseph's supernatural claims were fraudulent. Yet I think Mormonism will always stay as a topic of interest for me. And I have a lot of respect for people who try to be consistent to the scriptures. All this leader-worship is a sad development.

Roy

MrHFMetz said...

Well Roy, maybe some of Joseph's claims were fraudulent (I personally suspect that some were), but not all, as I have found out after years of investigation. One needs more than having mormonism as a topic of interest to come to a better understanding of it. Actually it has to become part of one's daily life.
I also want to express my appreciation to ldsawakening for his concerned effort to bring more light on this Snuffer phenomenon. There came a point in time that I realised that my church is really in trouble, but we have only one hope and that is in Jesus Christ and nobody else. The Lord can, and does, use His spokesman the prophet, but I can see no such person today. We are not worthy of it, as a people, I am afraid. And the situation only gets worse.

Vinny said...

Interesting to see a lot of discussion on Snuffer, almost a division between adoration on one side and dread on the other. I’ve read his ten talks and his “Conversing” book. Although he has presented some good points, I haven’t found anything revelatory.

Is Snuffer leading a movement by not saying he’s leading a movement? Or is he simply passing on some information that would be beneficial for those who have been lulled to sleep by the corporate leaders. Can’t the Lord choose to get His messages out any way He wants? Didn’t he send Elijah to Ahab, Jeremiah to Zedekiah, and John to Herod? The priests of Aaron were all in place every time a prophet came to town. But the Lord didn’t use them. How about Abinidi and Samuel the Lamanite? The Lord tends to use outsiders to tell the insiders that they have gone astray.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Snufferite. He doesn’t mean anything to me except some guy with opinions that might have value. Just like Rock, or anyone else on this forum, have opinions worth considering. But I don’t think he is inspired by some demon sent to lead people into the mists of darkness and thus we need to avoid him like the plague. That is just making us prejudice and fearful—not good qualities.

The reason I think we should at least be open to what he says is because of what Mormon taught: “But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” (Moroni 7:13) (The whole chapter is worth re-reading.)

If Snuffer is using subtlety to deceive people, then how is he deceiving them? By suggesting women might someday have the priesthood? Maybe. But I seem to remember hearing somewhere that women through their faithfulness will become “Queens and priestesses to the most high.” That sounds like priesthood (or at least priestesshood) to me. Regardless Snuffer is not advocating that at this point. So perhaps that’s a straw man argument.

Does he say we should use only wine for the sacrament? I don’t recall him saying that, but if he did that’s his opinion. I also don’t recall anywhere in his talks where he says, “Thus saith the Lord!” which tells me he is only expressing his opinions (similar to those opinions expressed from teleprompters twice a year, even though they close in vain use of the Lord’s name).

If Snuffer is spouting false doctrines then it is up to us to verify them, isn’t it? Just like we are under the same obligation to verify ANY doctrine that is presented to us no matter the source. But what if there is some merit to something he says that actually brings us closer to Christ?

After all, our Master told us that by their works we shall know them.

ldsawakening said...

Vinny,

You make some good points. I wasn't trying to suggest that there is no value or truth in what Denver puts forth. If that were the case he wouldn't have such a following from people who see the apostasy in the church and study the scriptures. It's because he teaches so much truth and near truth that he is so appealing.

Let me ask you this, what do you think a false prophet who appears outwardly to be a sheep but is really a ravines wolf looks like?

Wouldn't such a false prophet present many "truths" worth considering? In fact wouldn't he teach very, very close to the truth?

If Denver is in fact a wolf in sheep's clothing (which I'm thoroughly convinced he is) then he absolutely has to be working for the devil, either directly or through one of his false spirits. The devil is very cunning. He and his angels imitate the true gifts of the spirit.

I'm not scared of Denver, but I will say that whenever I read his stuff it makes my skin crawl a little bit. There's just something off with it. There is a force that pulls people to it. I have felt it and I'm sure it's not from God.

I have conversed with quite a few followers of the Denver/remnant movement and I can assure you that most of them hold him up as a prophet or servant of the Lord. They hang on his every word. He has great control over them, more than they realize, let alone admit.

You said you don't recall Denver ever saying thus saith the Lord. I don't recall that either, though he did say that he was sent by the Lord as another witness of the second coming and he spoke in the name of the Lord when he declared that people should be rebaptized (and then gave instructions for how this should be done). He has said a number of times that the Lord has told him things he should then teach to others. He also said on a number of occasions that the Lord provided him with the contents of his 10 lectures and that he was giving the lectures as a commandment from the Lord. Also the way he speaks he speaks as though he has authority and not just an opinion.

ldsawakening said...

I guess it all comes down to what one wants to believe. The fact of the matter is that either Denver has been in the presence of Christ multiple times and is His servant or he hasn’t/isn't. He has made some very bold claims. You are right that it is up to each of us to decide for ourselves if he is what he says he is. With the claims Denver makes he's not the same as everyone else. He's either a true prophet or a false one.

The way to tell is by his fruits. As I pointed out in earlier comments two evil fruits that are manifest by Denver and the remnant are swearing and drinking. There are others, too. There is also a lack of true prophetic fruits such as prophecy and the true gifts of the spirit such as making the lame walk, making the blind see, raising the dead, drinking poison with no effect, etc.

You are of course correct that every good thing that leadeth people to Christ is of God. Does this mean that every sect or group that preaches Christ is of God then? Don’t we learn in the pre-1990 endowment that the secretarian Christian preachers are in fact unwittingly working for Satan and not God? This is because they teach the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. If Denver does the same and teaches error along with truth then what does that tell us about his claims?

Log said...

To apply your reasoning, LDSA, we ought to reject Christ because of the Crusades and Inquisition.

Have you never read Ezekiel to see the speech which the Lord himself deploys (Ezekiel 4:12-15, Ezekiel 23)? It is clearer in other translations. Talk about dirty language!

Said Joseph: "I love that man better who swears [ie, uses vulgarities] a stream as long as my arm yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the long, smooth-faced hypocrite."

"Hard speeches" in the scriptures means to speak in opposition to something.

Your position on drinking misreads D&C 89, which is not a commandment in the first place, and doesn't command that sacramental wine *shall* be of one's own make, but counsels that it *should* be.

If you do not likewise reject all who do not make the lame walk, the blind to see, raising the dead, drinking poison without harm, and so on, then you are a respecter of men, guilty of transgressing the whole law (James 2:9-10).

Will you therefore drop these erroneous contentions?

Log said...

And another principle Joseph laid down.

...a woman near the same place, professed to have the discerning spirits, and began to accuse another sister of things that she was not guilty of, which she said she knew was so by the spirit, but was afterwards proven to be false; she placed herself in the capacity of the "accuser of the brethren," and no person through the discerning of spirits can bring a charge against another, they must be proven guilty by positive evidence, or they stand clear.

Thus "I know he's false because the Spirit says so, or because the Spirit feels icky when I read his stuff," &c., is of no evidentiary value in conversation with others.

Also, said Joseph:

Martin Harris having boasted to the brethren that he could handle snakes with perfect safety, while fooling with a black snake with his bare feet, he received a bite on his left foot. The fact was communicated to me, and I took occasion to reprove him, and exhort the brethren never to trifle with thepromises of God. I told them it was presumption for any one to provoke a serpent to bite him, but if a man of God was accidentally bitten by a poisonous serpent, he might have faith, or his brethren might have faith for him, so that the Lord would hear his prayer and he might be healed; but when a man designedly provokes a serpent to bite him, the principle is the same as when a man drinks deadly poison knowing it to be such. In that case no man has any claim on the promises of God to be healed. (June 16, 1834.) DHC 2:95-96.

Log said...

And, for those who say they felt a darkness when perusing Snuffer's writings, therefore they know him to be false, let me provide an alternative interpretation for your experience.

1 Nephi 12:17 And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.

How do you know the darkness you felt was not a temptation of the devil, in an effort to get you to stop looking, lest you should see, and to get you to harden your heart, lest you should feel, that you may be led away into broad roads and perish and be lost?

Tammy said...

If we were true believers of Christ, we would all be healing the sick.
Signs and wonders follow those that believe. Where does our fruit show us to be? We err when we think that it's only prophets that should be exhibiting this type of fruit. It's through FAITH that these occur no matter who you are.

Vinny said...



Ldsawakening,

I’m curious. Are there really people “following” Snuffer? That would imply he is leading them somewhere. But where is that? Into a new Church? Into a ditch? Into forbidden paths? Into hell? I’d like to know.

Or maybe he is what he said he is, an ordinary man who has had an extraordinary spiritual experience.

Seems that was the same dilemma that Joseph Smith faced when he told his story.

We mortals have a hard time looking past the outward appearances and maybe that’s why the Lord told us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. We tend to get caught up in focusing on the clothing and ignore the fangs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of such types among us.

I suppose for me the bottom line is God designed us as individual creatures and he gave one gift to one, another to another, and others to others, so that together we can try to piece together in our feeble mortal brains the complexity, beauty, and multidimensionality of the King of the Universe. We need each other’s perspectives to draw us all closer to understanding the Divine.

Where we get into trouble is thinking only one person has all the answers.

Vinny said...

Tammy,

You are absolutely correct. Miracles such as healing, etc. are evidences or "fruits" of faith and not of a calling or position or even priesthood. Faith is the real power.

I agree Ldsawakening may have made an error when he suggested that Snuffer is not a prophet because of the lack of those evidences. If that is the criteria to judge a prophet then John the Baptist was a false prophet. I was going to point that out to him, but you beat me to it.

We each bring different talents to Christ's Church.

Vinny said...

Ldsawakening,

I’m going to follow up here a little as my previous comment (written late in the evening) may not have conveyed exactly what I was trying to say. I’ll keep it brief.

First of all I’m not championing the cause of Snuffer. I don’t know him. He could very well be a wolf as you say. If so, we need to be on guard. Or maybe he is really what he claims to be (a sheep?). Only time will tell.

My point is that for me he is more of a curiosity and I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is speaking the truth. I try to do that with most people, except perhaps politicians.

Is Snuffer a prophet or isn’t he? That is the question. And while we are at it, is Monson a prophet or isn’t he? Neither directly claim to be, yet others say they are.

Perhaps as Moses said, “would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” then we wouldn’t have to worry about such things.

Signing off.

Anonymous said...

LDSA,

I agree with much of what you say, for I do not believe Denver, Monson, Joseph or most of the so called 'prophets' in the Bible are true prophets or true disciples of Jesus Christ.

But you seem to be assuming that Joseph and his scriptures are all true, when like all false prophets, he taught mostly true things with falsehoods slipped in here and there.

The reality is that most false prophets claim God spoke or appeared to them, and often say 'thus saith the Lord', which is something Joseph came up with, Christ did not say to watch for that in true prophets, nor would he for he knows false prophets would use that phrase too.

Christ taught a very easy way to tell true prophets from false ones, by whether they keep his commandments or not, which is very difficult and rare and something even some of his own apostles admitted was maybe too hard for them to do. Very few prophets in the Bible (and none in the Church) seem to pass Christ's test and thus it can only be thought that they are not true prophets despite their claims or how much great and even true knowledge and teachings they produce or what is written about them or how many people believe in them. The Devil knows alot more truth then we do and can inspire his prophets to teach them, thus amazing us.

Miracles are not a way to test prophets either, for the devil can do miracles too.

And the devil and his minions and false prophets usually preach alot of things that 'inviteth and enticeth people to do 'good' and to love and serve God', for that is again how they pretend to be true prophets. If they preached all bad things people would easily detect them.

The problem LDS have is they often try to discern false prophets by the criteria given by false prophets, instead of how Christ said to discern them.

Even drinking alcohol, though unwise, is probably not a sin, anymore than eating anything else that is unhealthy. Even Christ drank wine supposedly. It's telling how the church puts so much emphasis on something as minor as the Word or Wisdom as a test of righteousness while ignoring, supporting and allowing huge real sins, thus making them seem ok. The church even only enforces part of the word or wisdom - the minor 'don'ts' but not the more vital 'do's' (for eating meat is usually probably far worse for us and way more of a sin than drinking alcohol or coffee, because of the suffering it causes animals and it's effects on health).

If we want to discern true prophets then we have to understand and live Christ's few and clear commandments, so we can tell if someone professing to be a prophet also does or not.

Log said...

What publicly observable and available evidence is there that "none [of the 'prophets'] in the Church" keep Christ's commandments?

Out of curiosity, since Christ also said "with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." Seems to me such judgements - whether against Snuffer or the leaders of the Church or Joseph or the apostles of Christ or the prophets in the OT - are to be made with extreme caution and only if they can be proven by two or three witnesses, but what do you say?

ldsawakening said...

Log,

You’re trying to deflect. Why not address the question I raised about Denver’s inconsistent, confusing, and contradictory claims on baptism? I’d be quite curious to see what kind of explanation you can come up with to explain that apparent discrepancy.

I would also like to point out that the BOC was printed by Oliver Cowdery and others while Joseph Smith was away. When the 1835 D&C was printed Joseph deliberately made the change in the baptismal prayer to “having been commissioned by”. That was also the wording he planned for the edition of the D&C he was nearly ready to print before his death in 1844. I don’t see how Denver Snuffer has a leg to stand on in regards to his claims that the prayer in the D&C is not correct. If by some crazy chance he’s right where does that leave us with Joseph Smith and the saints from 1835 to 1844 and beyond? Also where does that leave us with the validity of baptisms prior to 2014, including Denver’s?

As for the word of wisdom questions and the use of wine for the sacrament I think the revelations in the D&C are quite clear on that. The only permissible time we can consume strong drink is in the form of pure wine of the grape of our own make, and then only for the sacrament.

D&C 89
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.

As you can see this a revelation from the Lord in the last days (which we are in), it even begins with the phrase thus saith the Lord. I suppose we could debate if this is just good advice from the Lord or a commandment. It doesn’t really matter. If it comes from the mouth of God we ought to follow it, wouldn’t you agree? The Lord says that wine and strong drinks are not for the belly and shouldn’t be consumed. The only exception is for the sacrament, in which case it is to be of our own make. That’s seems pretty straight forward.

ldsawakening said...

Log cont...

D&C 27
1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.
2 For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins.
3 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies;
4 Wherefore, you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father’s kingdom which shall be built up on the earth.

In this revelation it is very clear that it doesn’t matter to the Lord what we eat or drink for the sacrament as long as we do it with an eye single to His glory. Then the Lord COMMANDS us not to purchase wine or strong drink from our enemies and that we shall partake of none (meaning wine) except it is made new among us. That’s seems pretty straightforward to me. It doesn’t matter what we use for the emblems of the sacrament and we are not to use wine unless we make it new among ourselves.

Denver’s instructions on the sacrament contradict the scriptures. I reserve the right to hold any self-proclaimed messenger’s feet to the fire with the scriptures.

I’m still waiting for someone to explain the scriptural support for the policy Denver has put in place that 7 women are required to sustain a man in the priesthood in order for him to exercise it within the fellowships. Or that how about that only women sustain a priesthood holder and not any men? This is not some mere opinion of Denver. He says he got it as a revelation from the Lord as His will for the fellowships.

You need to stop deflecting with what-if statements, like “what if the darkness people are feeling when the read Denver’s stuff is actually the devil trying to keep them from the truth.” I agree with you that what people feel when they read Denver’s stuff should not be the primary standard he and his teachings are judged by. The contents of his teachings and the fruits of those who accept those teachings should be the main test. His teachings and actions need to be held up to the standard of God’s word in the scriptures. If his teachings square with the scriptures and the fruits are good then we can say he is probably a servant of the Lord. If not he isn’t and can’t be.

ldsawakening said...

Log cont...

I’m failing to see how the Lord telling Ezekiel to make his bread with dung or the Lord giving a detailed comparison of apostate Israel to harlots justifies people in using vulgar and offensive language which drives away the spirit. I also would like to point out that I have observed quite a few times when followers of the remnant movement have taken the Lord’s name in vain in blog comments. I have only observed this from followers of the remnant movement and anti-Mormon apostates, no one else. Do you have an explanation for that from the scriptures?

You shared a quote about Joseph Smith preferring someone who outwardly swears, but inwardly is striving to be righteous, to a complete hypocrite who outwardly appears righteous, but inwardly is very wicked. This was obviously him denouncing hypocrisy, not minimizing people using offensive language. I really don’t see your point.

Nor do I see your point when you said that based on my logic we should throw out Christ based on the inquisition. I have no idea what you’re trying to say there. The inquisition is evidence that the Catholic Church was completely apostate. People saw that and were trying to correct things and follow Christ to the best of their ability and the apostate church persecuted them for it.

To address Denver’s lack of the gifts of the spirit that the scriptures say will follow those that believe. I agree that these signs are not the primary standard by which we should judge individuals. Having said that Denver claims to have had his calling and election made sure, been in the presence of Christ multiple times and even been introduced to the Father. The fact that he is not out there healing the sick and raising the dead is surprising if his claims are true. Especially since these also accompany the high priesthood which according to his own teachings he would have to have in order for him to have seen the face of God and lived.
As you can see when it comes to people and their extraordinary claims of having seen God and having a mission from Him (aka being a prophet) looking at the fruits is key.

As for Vinny’s statement that John the Baptist would not be a true prophet when held to this standard I would like to point out that John the Baptist only held the lessor priesthood and not the higher priesthood. The higher priesthood is required to perform miracles in addition to faith.

One more thought. If anyone can pierce the veil and have their calling and election made sure (and thus have the high priesthood) even in times that the church is in apostasy then why the need for the restoration of the priesthood back in 1830? Why have a church on earth at all? Why did the Lord say in Isaiah 55 to seek Him while he is near? He says a similar thing in D&C 88. In times of apostasy the Lord apparently is not near and cannot be found. Hence the need for another restoration through a prophet. We can no more preserve the restoration back in 1830 than Martin Luther could preserve or reform the Catholic Church and make it pure again. Once the church goes into the wilderness it takes the Lord returning to the vineyard or sending forth His servants with power and authority to restore things.

Log said...

I'm not intending to argue with you, LDSA. I wanted to see what would happen if it were demonstrated you were deploying double standards, standards that would, if taken consistently, condemn the Lord and others whom you claim are true prophets - such as Abraham, who worked no recorded miracles as far as the standard works are concerned. As it stands, as you say, you dont see my point, which I won't belabor.

As I said to anonymous, the standard by which you judge others shall be the standard by which you are judged.

Log said...

I will say, though, that Anonymous was ironically correct - the way to tell if someone is keeping the Lord's commandments is to be keeping the Lord's commandments oneself.

we are to love God,
we are to love our neighbors,
we are to not swear something is true,
we are to make no oaths,
we are to be forthright in our speech rather than speak evasively,
we are to make no preparations for tomorrow,
we are to build up no storage of goods nor money nor food nor substance for ourselves,
we are to sell our possessions and distribute the proceeds to the poor,
we are to lend to all comers without asking for our stuff back,
we are to forgive every debt owed us,
we are to seperate ourselves from all our possessions,
we are to avoid the desire for possessions,
we are to refrain from lust,
we are to pray always,
we are to be merciful,
we are to do alms to the poor,
we are to not resist evil,
we are to concede to our opponents even before they take legal action against us,
we are to comply with those who compel us,
we are to let those who sue us have what they sue us for,
we are to turn the other cheek when struck,
we are to refrain from judging,
we are to refrain from condemning,
we are to send back good for evil done to us,
we are to give to everyone who asks,
we are to love our enemies,
we are to bless those that curse us,
we are to do good to those who hate us,
we are to pray for those who spitefully exploit these things against us and use us,
we are to forgive every offender even until seventy times seven,
we are to not expend effort to preserve our own lives,
we are to do every last thing we want done to ourselves to others,
we are to wholly walk in these ways as God wholly walks in these ways,
we are to both do and teach all these things,
and
if we do these things we are the church and family of God,
and
if we do not do these things we are not the church and family of God.

Log said...

For if you do not keep the commandments of God, which you have before you in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon, then what interest do you have in determining who is a true messenger or not? You don't do what those whom you acknowledge to be true prophets said to do, so what do you care who is true? Will you hear more of the word of the Lord so you can add to the list of stuff you don't do?

NIV Ezekiel 33:30-32
30 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice."

ldsawakening said...

Log,

You make an excellent point about the danger of judging others. That's definitely in area were I need to be very careful, we all do.

Perhaps I do hold Denver to too high of a standard. I certainly don't hold Luther, Zwingli, or Calvin, to that same standard and yet I see the inspiration of God in many of the things they were trying to accomplish in trying to reform the apostate Catholic Church.

You make another good point with Abraham. I guess we just don't know for certain with him what gifts he possessed and manifested. Same goes for many of the ancient prophets.

I still think that based on Denver's claims and teachings on calling and election and the high priesthood that he would exhibit some concrete signs mentioned in the scriptures such as healing the sick and such if he really has experienced what he claims. But you are correct that is not really a fair way to judge him.

You are also correct that I need to worry more about myself and my own salvation in regards to keeping the commandments.

There certainly is truth in much of what Denver puts out there. If people can discern the truth from the error and utilize his teachings to come closer to Christ than that's a good thing I suppose.

The whole building a Temple soon and seeing the face of God stuff is certainly a big concern, especially if at this time Christ is not near and cannot be found. If this is the case, as I suspect, then the Christ Denver and others are seeing is not the real Christ and there in lies the danger.

Each of us must decide for ourselves what is real and what isn't. Guess we'll see how it all shakes out. I certainly don't think anyone should trust my opinion on the matter. That is something everyone must figure out for themselves.

Craig Morris said...

Log,

Thanks for the list of commandments. They help me see how much I need to repent.

For comparison purposes, here are the commandments from chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel:

Study the Scriptures
Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
Be Baptized and Confirmed
Follow the Prophet
Keep the Ten Commandments
Live the Law of Chastity
Obey the Word of Wisdom
Keep the Law of Tithing
Observe the Law of the Fast
Obey and Honor the Law



MrHFMetz said...

Ldsawakening is right about preserving the restoration; it cannot be done. Something much greater has to be performed. There are lots of references in the scriptures about a falling away of the true church and the need of a setting in order. Of course, as a Mormon, I am thinking about this latter-day church and in particular section 85 of the D&C, that says the Lord will send one mighty and strong to set His house in order. That is a clear prophecy of a coming apostacy; Orson Pratt in his day used to talk of a future messenger in this regard.
There are more references. What about the Elias the Lord was speaking of on the mountain of configuration, the man like as Moses, the marred servant, the root of Jesse, the angel ascending from the East; these are big names (and most referring to one and the same person, in my opinion, and all referring to the last days), indicating a great work that is related to the end time that we are apparently living in. Something fundamental has to be performed, not just a preserving. A person with high authority must and will come, but I did not see such person as yet.
The Joseph Smith translation of Matthew 17: 10 -14; the Lord is speaking about Elias who the Lord should sent to prepare the way for him; the disciples understood that He spake of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things;
D&C 7: 5 . . . my beloved has has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has done before (speaking of John);
D&C 27: 6 . . . also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things . . . concerning the last days;
D&C 77: 9 . . . this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and to restore all things;
D&C 77: 14 . . . the little book that was eaten by John: a mission and an ordinance for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold this is Elias who must come and restore all things;
D&C 113:6 . . . it is a descendant of Jesse as well of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.
Combining these passages makes an interesting conclusion. Tomorrow, on Sunday, we are going to discuss the restoration of the Gospel during priesthood meeting. What a nice coincidence. Shall I bring up this discussion? I wonder what will happen

Vinny said...

MrHFMwtz,

Good observation on John the Beloved. We seem to ignore him, yet he is going to have a huge role in the marvelous work and wonder still to come, especially that "restore all things" part. We tend to forget that he is actually the "most senior apostle" on earth, outranking Monson and the other 14, which is interesting to think about. I think you should bring this up in PH meeting and let us know how it goes.

iterry said...

MrHfMwtz, It won't go well for you in PM. The Church does not believe in this. They think that someday the Church will do all of the work under the direction of the 1st presidency and 12. There is no room in their dogma for John the Beloved to be doing anything even though he has all the authority necessary unlike them. He is the senior apostle and out ranks Monson and the boys.

Tell us what happens though because I'd be curious if the leaders shut down the discussion. It would depend I guess on how hard you press it. We'll see and good luck.

Log said...

Speaking of the Law of the Fast, look what it actually says.

1 Proclaim it aloud without restraint;
raise your voice like a trumpet!
Declare to my people their transgressions,
to the house of Jacob its sins.

2 Yet they importune me daily,
eager to learn my ways,
like a nation practicing righteousness
and not forsaking the precepts of its God.
They inquire of me concerning correct ordinances,
desiring to draw nearer to God:

3 Why, when we fast, do you not notice?
We afflict our bodies and you remain indifferent!
It is because on your fast day you pursue your own ends
and constrain all who toil for you.

4 You fast amid strife and contention,
striking out savagely with the fist.
Your present fasts are not such
as to make your voice heard on high.

5 Is this the manner of fasting I have required,
just a time for men to torment themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and making one’s bed of sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call that a fast,
a day of Jehovah’s good graces?

6 Is not this the fast I require:
To release from wrongful bondage,
to untie the harness of the yoke,
to set the oppressed at liberty
and abolish all forms of subjection?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry,
to bring home the wretchedly poor,
and when you see men underclad to clothe them,
and not to neglect your own kin?

8 Then shall your light break through like the dawn
and your healing speedily appear;
your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of Jehovah will be your rearguard.

9 Then, should you call, Jehovah will respond;
should you cry, he will say, I am here.
Indeed, if you will banish servitude from among you,
and the pointing finger and offensive speech,

10 if you will give of your own to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then shall your light dawn amid darkness
and your twilight become as the noonday.

11 Jehovah will direct you continually;
he will satisfy your needs in the dearth
and bring vigor to your limbs.
And you will become like a well-watered garden,
like a spring of unfailing waters.

12 They who came out of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
you will restore the foundations of generations ago.
You shall be called a rebuilder of fallen walls,
a restorer of streets for resettlement.

13 If you will keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath—
from achieving your own ends on my holy day—
and consider the Sabbath a delight,
the holy day of Jehovah venerable,
and if you will honor it
by refraining from your everyday pursuits—
from occupying yourselves with your own affairs
and speaking of business matters—

14 then shall you delight in Jehovah,
and I will make you traverse the heights of the earth
and nourish you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
By his mouth Jehovah has spoken it.

So this, then, is the Law of the Fast:

Do not perform economic labors on the Sabbath;
do not cause your laborers to labor for you on the Sabbath;
forgive all debts owed you;
pay off the debts of the indebted;
abolish debt slavery;
satisfy the needs of the oppressed - the poor and indebted;
give your own personal food to the hungry with your own hands;
give clothing to those without enough clothing;
take the homeless into your home;
do not avoid your family members;
do not mock nor point the finger of scorn;
do not pursue business matters on the Sabbath;
do not talk of business matters on the Sabbath;

And if you do these things, the Lord will answer you when you pray, you shall be filled with light, and you shall be blessed of the Lord along with Jacob.

And remember again, the Lord's servants are always among us.

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain [bring into your home, feed, and give place to sleep to] strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

That is what it means to receive the Lord's servants, which, it is written, if we do we will also receive the Lord. If we receive them not, it is because we do not receive the Lord's words in the first place, and are therefore not his church nor his family.

Log said...

Mosiah 12:26 I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord.

Here is the "Law of the Fast" according to Preach My Gospel.

=====
Observe the Law of the Fast

Great blessings are available to those who obey God’s commandment to fast. Fasting means going without food and drink for a period of time. Usually the first Sunday of each month is set aside as a special day to fast for two consecutive meals, pray, and bear testimony. Fasting and prayer go together. When we fast and pray with faith, we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers and blessings from the Lord. He promises us that He will guide us continually. We should fast and pray for specific purposes. Fasting is private and spiritual, and we should not draw attention to the fact that we are fasting.

Pure religion includes caring for the poor. We are to help them meet their physical and spiritual needs. When we fast, we donate money to the Church for the care of the poor and the needy. We call this a fast offering. We give at least the amount of money we save by fasting for two meals. However, we need not limit our contribution to the cost of two meals. We are encouraged to be as generous as our means allow. By caring for the poor, we help fulfill our baptismal covenant and retain a remission of our sins.
=====

And in like manner do they pervert the ways of the Lord in a great many instances.

They neither teach nor keep the commandments. And they claim to be the body of Christ, in possession of "all the keys of the priesthood."

Judge ye between the Lord and his erstwhile bride.

MrHFMetz said...

Thanks for the response. So I was in my Priesthood meeting, but there was'nt much time to bring up the issue. Though if someone is critical – which does happen in my ward occasionally – people just smile; the Mormon culture in Europe is quite relaxed, and people are convinced that all is well in Zion anyway.
This knowledge about John the beloved comes from a book that I am reading at the moment, called Zion's Redemption, from Francis Michael Darter, who lived from 1881 till 1968, and who apparently entertained polygamist ideals. A very spriritual man. How is it, I sometimes wonder, that some of these people – like Ogden Kraut for instance – go so deep in their theology and come up with remarkable truths? To me that is surprising, in particular because I consider this Mormon polygamy thing as a theological deviation, and not a commandment of God.

iterry said...

MrHFMetz, There are other sources that name John the beloved as the Davidic King of the last days as well. Francis Darter identified the lineage of John as a cousin of Christ and hence Davidic. The book "Scriptures of the Last days" which is a complete commentary on Isaiah by Robert Smith goes into great detail about John and his mission in the last days. He also wrote Last Days Unsealed which goes into John's mission as well. You can find it on Amazon.

I didn't realize that you hailed from Europe. You can likely talk about things much more so than those of us who live near Salt lake. Particularly if you bring up the idea that John is the Davidic King.

Vinny said...

Log,

What is the source of those 14 verses regarding the fast?

Craig Morris said...

Vinny,

Log is quoting Isaiah 58 from the Gileadi translation: http://www.isaiahexplained.com/58#one_col

Bonnie Forsyth said...

What an impressive body of work! What are you trying to achieve? Do you wish to lead others astray or to boost their testimonies? You are very intellligent and I love you, but what will the outcome be of this intensive study? When you stand before the Lord, what will you say you achieved? Where are you headed? I don't get how you can be so involved in proving the leaders wrong. Who do you follow, Alan? I love the prophets and our disciples. They are awesome. Sopo spending so much timie and effort on this line of thought. I love the Lord and believe in his prophets.

Anonymous said...

Log,

You asked - "What publicly observable and available evidence is there that "none [of the 'prophets'] in the Church" keep Christ's commandments?"


No matter what I say I do not believe I could convince you otherwise than what you believe. I believe everyone has to discern and decide these things for themselves and depending on how we keep the commandments ourselves we will have different opinions on whether prophets do or not.

But for starters, I don't believe LDS prophets have kept even all of the basic 10 commandments, let alone other commandments Christ gave. One example being, does not the Church believe Joseph lied about his denials about polygamy or that Brigham believed lying for the Lord was ok? Both would be against Christ's commandments and make either impossible to trust.

You also asked - "Out of curiosity, since Christ also said "with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged." Seems to me such judgements - whether against Snuffer or the leaders of the Church or Joseph or the apostles of Christ or the prophets in the OT - are to be made with extreme caution and only if they can be proven by two or three witnesses, but what do you say?"

When we study all that Christ supposedly taught on the subject in the NT, and not just 1 verse (that may not even be accurately quoting him), it appears he commanded us to judge and discern whether prophets (or anyone or anything) is true or not by using the standard of his commandments. And yes, we will also have to be living those commandments ourselves and be judged by them, or we won't be able to discern very accurately.

For Christ taught that the key to discerning accurately is to 1st remove the beam out of our own eye, only then will we be able to see if our brother needs help or not.

Bottom line, no one can judge/discern for us, we must all pass that test on our own, whether we fall for or are deceived by false prophets or not, which Christ said could lead to the loss of eternal life.

Thus he didn't make it very hard, since so much rides on it. In fact, to make it fair for all mankind, no one even needs to read the New Testament to know right from wrong. Christ was just reminding people of what we already all know and understand deep down in our conscience, the Golden Rule and love.

Log said...

Anonymous,

You say: "No matter what I say I do not believe I could convince you otherwise than what you believe."

I say: I asked for the publicly available and observable evidence because I am persuadable by evidence. What you have offered isn't sufficient - and in that sense - lacking evidence - there may indeed be nothing you can say that could convince me otherwise than what you think I believe. But your inability to persuade comes not by my bad faith, but because you have no evidence and can't prove your case.

It may well be true none of them keep Christ's commandments. But it is not assertible without actual positive evidence for each individual accused of not keeping the commandments.

Log said...

I will also address this statement - "Christ was just reminding people of what we already all know and understand deep down in our conscience, the Golden Rule and love."

He said a lot of things which were, in fact, not obvious and without direct instruction not done.

One such instruction was the command to sell all our possessions and distribute the proceeds of the sale to the poor. (Luke 12:33)

He also said "he that has my sayings and keeps them is he who loves me." (John 14:21)

There seems therefore to be a necessity of at least reading the New Testament in order to love him.

Anonymous said...

Log,

I have long learned that if people doesn't see or think there are certain red flags than usually no amount of 'evidence' will convince a person otherwise, for we see and believe what we want to see and believe. Thus my evidence will probably not be evidence to you so I have learned it's usually not fruitful to discuss it unless you also agree they didn't and don't keep some of the commandments and that keeping all Christ's commandments is a vital requirement for being a true prophet. And then also, there is the meaning of each commandment and what it takes to keep it.

In reference to Luke 12:33, I believe that we know deep down that we should live humbly and share our good fortune and abilities if there are those in need around us. It would be a natural inclination unless we dulled our conscience by ignoring it.

Christ knew that most mortals, before or after him, would never hear or read his 'sayings', but that doesn't mean anyone in any age of time can't be or aren't expected to be 'Christlike' just the same. There's a reason all major religions teach the Golden Rule and love, not just Christians.

We have no proof that Christ even existed, though his teachings prove someone in that age was extremely intelligent, wise and loving. But though I hope he did and does exist, we don't need to read his words or read a Bible or listen to a so called 'prophet' or go to any church, to know right from wrong. Even a child could teach the Gospel of Christ.

Log said...

Thus my evidence will probably not be evidence to you so I have learned it's usually not fruitful to discuss it unless you also agree they didn't and don't keep some of the commandments and that keeping all Christ's commandments is a vital requirement for being a true prophet.

I asked you for evidence that they didn't and don't keep some of the commandments of Christ and you declined to provide any at all.

In reference to Luke 12:33, I believe that we know deep down that we should live humbly and share our good fortune and abilities if there are those in need around us.

Except that wasn't what was said.

There's a reason all major religions teach the Golden Rule and love, not just Christians.

They don't. I checked. Of all that we have record of, Christ alone said "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets." The rest give a negative shadow of this law - "that which you hate, don't do to others." Christ's Golden Rule is much, much more than that negative shadow.

We don't need [Christ's words] to know right from wrong.

You only need Christ's words to know what he commanded us to both do and also to not do, such as "do not amass resources for yourself upon the earth" and "sell all your possessions and distribute the proceeds of their sale to the poor." Since salvation, the Bible informs us, is contingent upon keeping *all* the commandments of Christ, it would seem to be important for us to know about these commandments.

Even a child could teach the Gospel of Christ.

And yet it required Christ to teach it. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Log,

I provided one example on 'lying', what is your response to that one?

But again, I don't think you will agree that my evidence is evidence if you think they are keeping the commandments, so I don't see the point in taking the time to discuss it all.

I don't believe the world required Christ to teach the truth, it's just that he was a rare adult who actually believed in and lived those teachings and God gave us an example of someone who did. I hope other ages and people had their own examples like him.

And as you have shown we all have our own interpretations of even Christ's teachings and commandments, so that is why it's hard to convince others of our views. We all just have to decide and discern on our own, getting some things right and some wrong. Realizing we are probably wrong about a lot, if not most things, is the fast track to learning. But we will all arrive at the truth eventually, in this life or the next.

I believe everyone in all religions understands 'the Golden Rule and love' as Christ taught it, though few may really follow or teach it the right way, for the natural man in us gets in the way. If we didn't already know right & wrong, than only those exposed to Christ's teachings would be so blessed and also so accountable for living such a high law, while everyone else could relax, do what they want and not take life so seriously, which would cause everyone to not want to be exposed to Christ, for it would mean more condemnation.

So it wouldn't work or be fair and it would thus be unkind to share the Gospel, for it would be better to break the commandments 'unknowingly', then to do it knowing you are.

But I believe Adam and his age understood the Golden Rule and love just the same as we do today, and everyone in between. But that is just my opinion.

I believe we are born with the Gospel in our hearts, but it's still hard for everyone to follow it for the natural man in us usually wins out.

Log said...

@Anonymous,

Name even one of the 'prophets' in the Church who lied, and provide the public evidence for the lie. As an example, you might say "Elder Nelson said we should lie for the Lord in his Conference address of X/X/XXXX Morning Session."

I will decline to address the rest of your comment, as you seem to not be grounding your positions on the scriptures, which makes it difficult to find any common ground from which to build a consensus.

Log said...

Without the publicly available evidence by which one may attribute an actual lie to an actual 'prophet,' we are attributing to a part of a whole a property of the whole. Whenever we attribute a property of a whole to a part of that whole by simple virtue of the fact that the part is, indeed, part of the whole, we commit the fallacy of division. While a true proposition may be the consequent of a fallacious argument, the fact that the argument is fallacious means we can place no confidence in the conclusion, since the conclusion may be false even if the antecedent is true.

Anonymous said...

And that is why I believe it would do no good to discuss things further. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

But, you know as well as I do that public records show (that are easy enough to find if someone wants to do the homework) that either Joseph lied about living polygamy or Brigham did (and all other leaders since him who support the idea). It's that simple. For it's impossible they could have both been telling the truth. And whichever one lied it means it's impossible for the Church to be true today, not even considering all the other commandments of Christ they seem to ignore. But you do not seem to really want to discuss and find the truth, but just want to skip around it. That is also why I think it's useless to discuss things further.

Log said...

@Anonymous,

The claim you made that I asked you to substantiate by public evidence was that none of the 'prophets' in the Church keep the commandments of Christ.

Thus far, your comments have been entirely dedicated to avoiding providing the requested public evidence that none of the 'prophets' in the Church keep the commandments of God. So long as you refuse to provide the requested public evidence which supports your claim that none of the 'prophets' in the Church keep the commandments of Christ, I have to agree: it is useless to discuss things further.

It is to be noted that this uselessness of discussing things further comes not by way of bad faith on my part, but by way of your refusal to support your claim that none of the 'prophets' in the Church keep the commandments of Christ. This refusal on your part, which leads directly to the uselessness of discussing things further, has nothing to do with any opinions on my part as to whether or not any of the 'prophets' in the Church keep the commandments of Christ.

Remember - the same standard of judgement you apply against others shall be the standard against which you are judged.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Bonnie Forsyth,
I was very happy to see your comment here, but I confess I don't know what to make of the questions you pose. You appear to feel I have done something wrong, but you neglect to tell me what.

You ask, "Do you wish to lead others astray?"

I can't for the life of me see how you could conclude I engaged in deception. If I have erred in history or doctrine, I will be happy to correct those errors. Just point them out.

I re-read my piece again, looking for evidence of what might have caused you to wonder about my motives. What I see is a fervent testimony of Christ and His restored gospel, an unabashed admiration for the prophet of the Restoration, and a strong assertion that we must never falter in our search for truth. We are warned against embracing vain traditions. My piece brought to light some of the mistaken assumptions some of us held all our lives about church history and doctrine, yet the concern you voice to me is "what will be the outcome of this intensive study? When you stand before the Lord, what will you say you achieved?"

Well, at the very least I hope I will be able to say I followed His admonitions in D&C 88 to labor diligently, search diligently, seek diligently, and teach diligently.

I haven't "achieved" much at all in this life, Bonnie, but I certainly hope that when I face the Savior at judgement day I can at least say I was diligent in laboring for truth.

As I think you know, I'm an admirer of apostle J. Reuben Clark, who said, "If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation."

Well, we do have the truth in this church; scads of it. But in our day members also cling to a number of falsehoods. So I embrace President Clark's corollary statement: "if we have NOT the truth, it ought to be harmed."

Don't you agree that our assumptions about the church that are NOT true deserve discussion? You seem to be advising me to keep the conversation to myself.

Why? Although the core fundamentals of the faith are true and valid, should the false teachings that creep in be permitted to remain once we have access to early church records that bring to light the truth about those long-held assumptions?

How does it further the cause of truth when we teach "the philosophies of men mingled with scripture"? Wouldn't that violate our mandate to "prove (investigate) ALL things, and hold fast to that which is good"? Do you really feel God would prefer we hold fast to that which is true AND that which is false just to "boost the testimonies" of members who have come to rely on the arm of flesh for their religion?

You ask, "who do you follow, Alan?"

Bonnie, I honestly don't know how you could come away from a reading of my essay with anything other than the clear knowledge that I follow Jesus Christ. Maybe it would help if you gave it another read-through, because you must have missed how that obvious testimony infuses the entire piece.

You ask me, "what will be the outcome of this intensive study?"

Apostle Hugh Brown said, "I admire men and women who have developed the questing spirit, who are unafraid of new ideas as stepping stones to progress...Thoughts and expressions compete in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth emerges triumphant. Only error fears freedom of expression."

For me, the outcome of this intensive study has been a renewed appreciation for the restored gospel and a closer walk with Christ. Isn't that what I should be DILIGENTLY striving to attain in this life? We haven't seen each other for more than a decade, Bonnie, but I would hope you might be happy to see the amount of growth in me since last we met.

You conclude with a statement that I agree with heartily: "I love the Lord and believe in His prophets."

So do I, Bonnie. I don't know how you could read my piece and conclude I feel any differently.

JR said...

@iterry,

So glad to see someone who believes the same as I do on many issues.

I defend the doctrine as restored through Joseph Smith.
I do not defend the Salt Lake City church leaders of today.

The temple ordinances being changed was a punch in the gut to me. The church leaders are giving in to "the ways of man", giving in Political Correctness to appease a few loud mouths because their feelings are hurt and it makes them uncomfortable - as all mainstream Christian denominations have done.
Political Correctness is a tool used by Satan to divide and cause anarchy. The Communists use it very expertly. The church no longer warns of the dangers of Communism and the ways of man. The leaders have succumbed to it all.

iterry said...

JR - couldn't agree with you more. The term I like to use is apostasy. The Church leaders are in a total state of apostasy. They've corrupted the ordinances and introduced many other policies contrary to the commandments of God. This is all prophesied in Isaiah and other books including the D&C. The parable of the Nobleman (D&C 101:43-62) says that the leaders in our day do not keep the commandments of God. It is too bad that the members have been dumbed down so much and brainwashed that they cannot see the apostasy of the Church. Lucifer has been very effective in blinding the members of the Church.

Miguel Aveiro said...

It's interesting how the RLDS have prophets too, who are praying for revelation. So who is God talking to? The LDS or RLDS? Both? Neither?

I can only go by what revelation I've received myself. I'm not interested in the different branches of Mormonism. I don't mean I'm not interested in learning about them but I don't care for what group is the right one. I just go where I believe the Lord wants me to go.

Eric Kuntz said...

@JR

I defend the doctrine as restored through Joseph Smith.

Why defend Joseph? We should only be using the scriptures as a standard (Bible & BOM) and defend them.

If you look into Joseph Smith Jr as closely as you have the current LDS leaders you will find the current leaders have nothing compared to JS. (JS is on par with Warren Jeffs)

Have courage to continue your search for truth and root out all lies.

iterry said...

Eric, I don't know how you could compare Joseph Smith Jr. to Warren Jeffs. Warren when he was hauled into court and off to jail said he was no prophet. Joseph on the other hand was a great prophet of the Lord in the last days. Nothing compares to him other than the ancient prophets such as Moses. Joseph brought forth a great deal of scripture which include the D&C and PofGP. Nothing compares to these things.

I certainly haven't read any of Warren Jeffs revelation but I'm sure they aren't inspired of God. Afterall, all revelation was cutoff to the Church after we arrived in these valleys in 1847 according to D&C 101:43-62.

Eric Kuntz said...

iterry,

I know it's hard to even think that JS was anything less than a true prophet of God, like the ones you mentioned. It was hard for me. I idolized JS for most of my life, but I was mistaken and have repented of that. I go back to my last comment. I use the word of God as my standard for truth. The truth is all that I am interested in, nothing else. The simple truth is that if you measure JS's relevations and actions against the relevations and actions of true prophets as contained in the word of God (Bible & BOM) you will find a disconnect.

Just (1) example of a comparison of JS to Warren Jeffs would be Joseph’s first polygamous marriage to Fanny Alger as claimed by the LDS Church now. Actually it was an extra marital affair which drove a wedge between Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

If JS was talking to God after the Book of Mormon translation was complete, there is no evidence of this, because his revelations in the D&C are contradictory to the rest of the scriptural canon.



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