In this installment Denver addresses tithing. What should tithes and offerings be used for? What is the proper way to handle tithing? Are there improper uses of tithes?
All volumes of the scriptures are now complete and available for order on Amazon.
The first volume is titled the Old Covenants, and contains the Joseph Smith version of the Old Testament.
The second volume is titled the New Covenants, and contains both the Joseph Smith version of the New Testament and the most accurate version of the Joseph Smith corrected Book of Mormon. Joseph intended to publish the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume. This is the only project that has honored Joseph’s intentions.
The third volume is titled Teachings and Commandments. It contains the original, most accurate version of the revelations to Joseph Smith, the Lectures on Faith, several complete letters written by Joseph Smith (like the Wentworth letter and Liberty Jail letter), and an expanded Joseph Smith History as he originally published it while editor of the Times and Seasons. It also includes some modern material approved through conference and on-line voting as an act of common consent.
These three volumes will remain in print continually. After at least six months of review, a high quality, leather-bound version will be printed. During the review period, if there are print mistakes discovered, you can send comments to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hoping for public input to catch and correct those print errors before the high quality leather-bound version is printed.
Christ said a man is known by his “fruit.” Matthew 6:14 Christ explains how to measure “fruit.”
Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt, for the tree is known by the fruit. And Jesus said, O you children of vipers, How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil things. And again I say unto you that every idle word men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment: for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
Christ determined that the test for “fruit” is the words we speak. But how should “words” be measured? Anger, conflict, violence, war and division amongst families were just some of the the results of the words Christ spoke. If Christ’s words were measured by how people were affected by them, then Christ produced bad fruit. Therefore, the reaction people have to words cannot be an accurate measure of “fruit.” It must be the substance, the truth, or the independent value of the words–separate from how people respond to a man’s words.
Prophets and righteous individuals have been arousing anger, provoking violent reactions, and being called anything from foolish to vile because of their words, and that does nothing to diminish the goodness of their fruit.
When a new dispensation of Christ’s gospel occurs, re-baptism is required. The Jews were practicing baptism before John the Baptist. But first John, then Christ taught that re-baptism was necessary to accept God’s new work.
This is from the New Covenants, Matthew 4:10:
Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will you not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law? But Jesus said unto them, You keep not the law. If you had kept the law, you would have received me, for I am he that gave the law. I do not receive you with your baptism because it profits you nothing, for when that which is new has come, the old is about to be put away; for no man puts a piece of new cloth on an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish. But they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.
Joseph Smith’s edit of the passage makes it clear the topic that led to the new cloth-old garment, new wine-old bottles comparison by Christ was re-baptism.
Throughout the Book of Mormon, the phrase “cast his eyes,” or some derivative of those words are used to describe briefly looking in a direction. When Nephi looked for his family, he said that he “cast my eyes round about” trying to see where they were. (1 Ne. 8:13.) When Alma described healing that occurred by looking at the bronze serpent Moses fashioned, he asked if they wouldn’t “cast about their eyes” to be rescued. (Alma 33:21.) When Nephi and Lehi were liberated from prison by a great earthquake, and the Lamanites had fallen to the ground, they “cast their eyes about” to see what had happened and they saw Nephi and Lehi encircled by a pillar of fire. (Helman 5:43-44.) When God introduced His Son to the Nephites gathered in Bountiful with a still, small voice that the people could not understand, they “cast their eyes round about” to try to locate who was speaking. (3 Ne. 11:3.) When Christ had finished preaching to the group gathered in Bountiful, He “cast his eyes round about upon the multitude” and saw they had tear-filled eyes. (3 Ne. 17:5.)
I was struck with what the Lord said in this passage from the New Covenants, Matthew 3:35: “And again I say unto you, Go into the world and do not care for the world, for the world will hate you and will persecute you and will turn you out of their synagogues. Nevertheless, you shall go forth from house to house teaching the people, and I will go before you.”
When the Lord tells us to expect to be “turned out of their synagogues,” I pondered over who would do that casting out. It can only be done by those who own buildings, who control houses of worship, and who expect believers to come to their religious buildings to worship God. It can only be done by those who think they have the right to enforce their religious ideas by compulsion, demanding conformity and suppressing ideas they dislike.
The second volume of the new scriptures is now in final form and published. It combines the New Testament and Book of Mormon into a single volume. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be published together in a single volume.
The New Testament version used is the “Joseph Smith Translation” incorporates all changes he made, including punctuation changes. It is the first time all of the changes Joseph Smith made are in print.
Who needs to be baptized? Why is it so important? And what is the proper way to baptize?
Denver answers these questions and reminds all Christian believers that authorized baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present, as a sign of faith and acceptance of what it is God is doing.
I engage in a process that precedes what I consider having possession of any kind of reliable information. Speculation and casual comments I have made are not particularly reliable. Research I’ve done to try to understand a subject is not reliable. Conversations in emails about some topic may be nothing more than guess work or casual conversation. When information, light and truth come from God, I consider that reliable information worth writing about, talking about or teaching.
Years ago I was contemplating the subject of Christ’s original apostles. As I looked into the scriptures, the promise Christ made to the twelve was that in the resurrection they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas was among the twelve when the promise was made. Judas fell away, betrayed the Lord and committed suicide. Whatever promise Judas may have had would have required his continued faithfulness. He was not faithful. Therefore, his throne and position as a judge in the resurrection over a tribe of Israel was forfeited. This led to the question of who would fill that vacancy.
What is repentance? What do I need to repent of? How do I repent and what happens when I do?
Today Denver addresses the reality of repentance and what it is and what is required with clarity and simplicity. What if repentance is related to the acquisition of intelligence? Or in other words, light and truth. What if repentance requires us to worship Christ by making a living sacrifice by ministering to others with love and compassion? Or in other words, to be more like Him in word, thought and deed.
QUESTION: What is repentance, what do I need to repent of, how do I repent, and what happens when I do?
Latter-day Saints who go through temple rites covenant and promise before God, angels and witnesses to obey the law of chastity; which is that they will have no sexual intercourse except with their spouse to whom they are legally and lawfully married.
In Illinois during the entire 1840s it was illegal to be married to more than a single spouse. In the United States Territories it was likewise a crime to be married to more than one spouse. Because of open, unlawful cohabitation by members of the LDS church beginning in the early 1850s, Congress enacted harsher and harsher penalties to stop that unlawful conduct. Congress ultimately confiscated LDS church property to compel them to obey the law. Apparently the LDS church valued property more than their religion because they abandoned unlawful polygamous marriage as a tenet of their faith.
What is faith? How does one exercise faith, even great faith?
Today Denver teaches from the oft overlooked Lectures on Faith as well as bearing witness of the role of faith. Faith must be grounded in God and nothing else. Faith motivates you to act and produces power when you act.
The documents, words and revelations given by and through ancient prophets up through Joseph Smith are to be read, heeded and valued per God’s own words. But, can anyone, including a modern prophet, church leader or president contradict and change what Joseph Smith said, taught and revealed?
Today, using the words and revelations of God, Denver reminds us how important it is to pay heed to what Joseph Smith gave the world.
QUESTION: Can the words of a modern or current Prophet or Church President supersede or contradict the words of a previous prophet, in particular Joseph Smith?