Button, Button: Who’s Got the Button?

Now I have email questions about priesthood. Before setting this aside for more important things, let me add only:

Priesthood has never been confined to one individual. Remember that from Adam to Enoch there were seven living generations with many unnamed priests. Every righteous son of the family of Adam held the priesthood. He led a priestly family. But the names of these other righteous sons have not been fully preserved. Nevertheless, they were “the residue of his posterity who were righteous.” (D&C 107:53.)

The sons of Adam who were named were descended in a direct line from Adam. All of those sons held the same Patriarchal Priesthood, at the same time as their father Adam. There was not a “single individual” who held priesthood. But in each generation, from Adam until Noah, there was one who stood at the head of that generation. This direct line were the Patriarchal heirs, and stood in the position of the Patriarch for that generation. Only one on earth occupies that role for each generation, unless there is an apostasy. In that case, the one would default back (a completely different topic not important to us nor worthy of causing a lot of speculation if I were to give only a brief explanation).

The first seven generations of Patriarchs all held exactly the same priesthood and lived concurrently. Gentiles, in their pride, always want to be “top-dog.”  They are unwilling to be saved in the Kingdom of God unless they, like Lucifer, can be at the top of the sides of the north sitting on the Throne of God. (Isa. 14:13.) Fools all. No comprehension of how great a price will be required to ascend there. Utterly forgetting that you must be “exactly” like the “prototype of the saved man” to be there. (Lecture Seventh, ¶9.)

Try to keep a few things in mind about priesthood:

There are three different degrees of priesthood. Two of those were in the church in 1835. (D&C 107:1.) Discussed in the Orem talk. (Transcript and audio links on the website)

Although there are different degrees of priesthood, the Patriarchs all held the same at the same time. Check who did the ordaining in the scriptures (D&C 107:41-53),  and you will discover that it is always the oldest living (most often Adam during the Patriarchal era) because he stood at the head.

Priesthood can be given, held, and spread widely even though only one will stand at the head of a generation. It is also possible to have generations who have priesthood without a return of the original order held by the Patriarchs. Priesthood and the organization of God’s family on earth are NOT the same thing. Throughout history the absence of this order is the rule. The return of this order is the exception.

As things wind down, there will need to be a return to the beginning. The term “Adam-ondi-Ahman” is a description of an event, not merely a name of a location. When the event happened the first time, the event was used to identify the place. When the final ceremony occurs, it will be “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” no matter what spot in the mountains it is located. It will require a living heir with the same rights as the original Patriarchs, so the return of governance can authorize Christ to return as the “King of kings” and “Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:16.)

These things are explained in scripture. Study them. If you can’t figure it out, then PRAY AND ASK GOD, who gives to all men liberally and does not upbraid. He will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost you may know the truth of all things. But ask in faith, for if you waiver you will be tossed to and fro like the waves of the sea.

Ordination can and does happen in the Spirit World. (D&C 138:30–this is why it is unnecessary to “ordain” on behalf of the dead; because they can be ordained in the afterlife.)

For the most part this is terribly unimportant for now. It is something I mentioned in passing ONLY for one purpose: to suggest that Joseph Smith had a much bigger concern than just getting women into bed when he rolled out the idea of sealing, eternal families, exaltation and the eternity of the marriage covenant (all part of Section 132). A tiny, tiny part of that picture involved the subject that subsequently fixated Mormonism. Brigham Young wanted to breed, and wanted to establish it as a “fundamental part of his religion” so it would pass the legal challenge under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Joseph Smith was not Brigham Young. Brigham Young did not comprehend the things Joseph comprehended. It is time to throw away the detour Brigham Young imposed on Mormonism and to search into and reclaim what began with Joseph. You cannot get into heaven without sealing, eternal families, exaltation through the eternity of the marriage covenant. Satan has controlled Mormonism through this distraction and caused incalculable harm to the work God began with Joseph Smith. Plural marriage is hell.

It is a distraction to be fixated on the issue of how to get what the Patriarchs had. We are like Abraham, our “fathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them,” (Abr. 1:5) and are now left to go back across the apostate generations separating us, like him, from the Patriarchs. We must become “one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge.” (Abr. 1:2.) He had to first search for the truth. THAT is our big challenge. Until it is accomplished we needn’t concern ourselves with how to obtain the ordination from the last holder (Melchizedek in Abraham’s day D&C 84:14). Melchizedek had tarried to hand off the Patriarch’s status to a descendant, and when Abraham finally returned to claim the right, Melchizedek conferred it and then departed. Do not worry about how God plans to accomplish this. Just know He will.

Before any of this is important a great deal more pressing challenges must be addressed. In fact, the more fully it is explained, the more likely it is that pretenders will begin to make false claims to hold something God has not given and will not give to the vain, ambitious, aspiring, and proud gentiles who think themselves chosen by Him. God requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Love one another and serve one another and leave God’s work for His hand to accomplish.

We need to repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and learn to become “one” with each other through the Doctrine of Christ. That is a formidable challenge. It will require patience and kindness towards one another. Community participants are much abused, hold many legitimate complaints and are fearful that abuse will continue in yet another gathering of believers. We need to be patient and loving to one another. We need to give each other the opportunity to come out from the corrupt, manipulative and compulsive congregations we have fled or been cast from.

Learn from our errors. Give each other the kindness and respect of allowing legitimate fears gained by sad experience to be overcome. The return and reconstruction of God’s family will not be necessary unless we are worthy of it. Leave it for God to decide when we have done enough to justify Him moving His hand again to restore that which was lost. What need is there for a family head if there is no family to organize? When He does that, it will be through “a descendant of Jesse, as well as 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.” (D&C 113:6.) There will be people “whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel, and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.” (D&C 113:8.) God will send one who “holds the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.” (D&C 85:7.)  Become that person. Work on your own faith, spirit and challenges and allow God to fulfill His promises in His own due time through His way.

It will happen. But you may be left without a part of that inheritance if you neglect the duties now devolving on you. Stop running about to hear every new thing offered by those willing to fill your itching ears. Stop listening to toxic flattery about your greatness. Stop listening to fables, conjecture, half-truths, vanity, foolishness and the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. We are a failure until we see Zion. And we are a long, long way short of that mark.

A Clarifying Question

I got this email asking for clarifications:

Can you clarify these statements?

Here Denver seems to be saying we can obtain salvation now.

You’re hedging up the way of your own salvation, and of the salvation of others when you say no one has the privilege in our day yet, to lay hold on salvation. You’re hedging up the way, you are damning yourself, and you are damning those who will listen to you when you say, people in our time are not yet authorized to exercise faith in God unto salvation because you are authorized. I have done so. I have spoken with Him as a man speaks to another. He speaks in plain humility, reasoning as one man with another. He will reason with you.”  (40 Years, Faith)

Here he seems to be saying that we can come into the presence of the Lord and by so doing, obtain covenants.

“But in terms of someone whom the Lord has struck a bargain with and made a covenant at the moment we are looking at in 1829, that person was Joseph Smith. Our Lord is a Man of covenants. Our Lord enters into covenants on a regular basis. To know Him is to covenant with Him. And Joseph when section 5 was revealed had one.” (40 Years, Be of Good Cheer, Be of Good Courage)

Sounds like priesthood must be obtained in a previous probation or it cannot be obtained here. If it cannot be obtained in this life unless it was had before, how is it ever had in the first place?

“So here priesthood has its beginning before this world even was organized.  There is a necessary link between those hallowed days and power here. No person has authority here unless it was first obtained there.” (http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/06/alma-133.html )

Zion can come to individuals:

“The Lord has been willing to bring individuals back into His presence on the same conditions throughout all time. Read again The Second Comforter if you do not remember what those conditions are. He is as willing to make you a citizen of Zion, member of the church of the Firstborn, and part of the general assembly today (D&C 76: 66-69) as in the future established Zion spoken of in the verses we have been reviewing. Many have done it in times past. Some have done it in our day. All are offered the same opportunity, but always on the same conditions.” (http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/07/3-nephi-21-25.html )

Zion can’t come to individuals:

“You may think this can be done in isolation as a faithful individual, but Zion will not be built by solitary souls. Nor will the required covenant be offered to an isolated individual. This is about God’s FAMILY.” (http://denversnuffer.com/2015/03/a-great-whole/)

 

RESPONSE:

People are authorized to exercise faith, just as Lectures on Faith explain. That includes coming back to God’s presence here and now. It likewise includes obtaining covenant status with God and the promise of exaltation. All that is true. Many have done this in mortality. All who have done so depart this life firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection. (D&C 138:14.) But do not assume you have a correct picture in your head about what happens between the time of the promise (covenant) and when the day of your exaltation will arrive.

One statement by me or in scripture is not EVERYTHING. Never assume you can reduce it to one, simple picture when you are talking about the landscape of eternity, and endless lives.

(It amuses and frustrates my wife when people assume I have disclosed everything I think, understand or know about a subject when I give a two- or three-hour talk.)

Why did the apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration “look upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies to be a bondage?” (D&C 45:16-17.) [Because going to the Spirit World means a lengthy tenure there, awaiting the resurrection.] Why did John the Beloved (who was among those on the Mount) then ask to “tarry until [Christ] comes in His glory?” (D&C 7:3.) [Because he would rather be here working than in the Spirit World trying to bring people along there.] Why did three Nephites likewise ask that they not “taste of death; but [to] live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men?” (3 Ne. 28:6-8.) [They had the same concern as John.] What were the other nine Nephite disciples really asking when they requested to “speedily come unto [Christ’s kingdom]” instead of either living here or waiting in the Spirit World? [They wanted to rise quickly from the dead and resume the journey as those who had arisen from the dead with Christ.]

These were all men who were in Christ’s presence and had the promise to be exalted. Yet they were either: 1) remaining here without death to minister, or 2) going to what they thought would be “bondage” in the Spirit World to await their eventual resurrection, or 3) dying but then proceeding “speedily” [or immediately] into Christ’s kingdom. Every one of them would be exalted. But that does not change the distance and paths which must be crossed between here in the flesh and rising to exaltation, or the potential choices that can be made.

Likewise, as a living mortal you can have an association with the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn (a priestly reference that requires you to understand about the “rights of the fathers”) here, now. If you do this you become one of those solitary souls who live as a stranger and sojourner on earth. Your association is with heaven, not with earth. But that does not fulfill the prophecies and covenants regarding Zion. You can have the same kind of life—but if it is your life alone if you live without bringing others with you. You will live without a city, a community, all things in common, no poor among that community, a temple, rites, and the completion of the restoration of all things. You may have a life worthy of Zion, but it will not be a City of Zion, the New Jerusalem. You can be a “citizen” but you will be a sojourner in exile here.

If you want to find out how you get priesthood in the “first place” ask God.

Please keep EVERYTHING in mind together. Do not think one isolated statement or paragraph explains EVERYTHING. Further, do not think everything has yet been revealed that needs to be revealed. Thus far I am only taking the things already before us in scripture and weaving them together to persuade some few to believe the restoration can continue. When the time comes, a great deal more can be taught if the restoration does continue.

A Great Whole

It is impossible to re-establish the earliest form of the Gospel of Christ with its associated teachings, rites, ordinances, covenants and organization if we insist it fit into our current prejudices. We think so many things are necessary that are not, and we think many necessary things cannot possibly be required.

In the beginning, the Gospel was disseminated through a family. A church was added later. The church was an imitation of the family of Abraham. Abraham-Isaac-Jacob imitated by First Presidency. Twelve sons of Jacob imitated by the Twelve Apostles. Family of Israel entering Egypt (Exo. 1:5) imitated by the Seventy. Church is an imitation, not the real thing.

We think the “priesthood” must be organized into quorums and groups with presiding authorities, presidencies and then integrated into the church. But in the beginning there was a family, and the family had a father who was set at the head by covenant. (Moses 6:3-27; D&C 107:40-55.) The covenant required the father to teach and serve, with God’s approval and authority, in ways to bless his family and have it accepted by God. He taught as a father, mirroring the Father above, filled with the Spirit of His Son, as it was in the beginning. The order of the family is heavenly. God rules through a family structure in eternity. He established a family on earth through Adam. For the first ten generations, it remained intact as a family organization. It eventually ended in apostasy. Then Abraham sought to reconnect to that original priesthood belonging to the fathers, and succeeded in reuniting with the original family line despite generations of apostasy. (Abr. 1:2.) Abraham’s restoration lasted five generations before it was compromised. Moses was not able to bring any other than himself into the family. (D&C 84:19-25.) Moses was able to connect to himself Joshua, Caleb and his immediate family, but Israel did not benefit.

We think ordinances are required and everyone can receive them ad hoc and be saved. Heaven does not have unorganized crowds milling about, arriving fresh from receiving and accepting vicarious ordinances and claiming the right to be rewarded by entering Celestial glory. IF anyone enters the kingdom of God, she will be there as part of God’s family, not as a freelance believer. Those faithful who received the assurance before death that they would one day enjoy a glorious resurrection (D&C 138:14) were unable to leave the spirit world with Christ, but remained behind to minister to others there (D&C 138:30.)

We think the temples are primarily a place for work for the dead. It is required mainly to organize the living into a family. The organization cannot happen outside a temple. That is the only place God will allow the restoration, rites, ordinances, and covenant to be ministered. Heaven and earth will reunite and angels will attend to many of the required things when an acceptable temple is built. We think a temple can be built following a pattern based on current ordinances. There is no understanding of the ordinances necessary to organize the family of God again.

Trying to fit the original Gospel plan into our incomplete and corrupt model, and make it conform to our expectations will not work. There is not enough information to understand this Gospel, but that does not stop people from complaining and jarring one another with foolish reactions.

Hopefully people will realize there is something now moving forward which will become God’s family on earth. Something far greater than the apostate, fallen and corrupt systems of this world. But ambitious men and women want to mirror the corruption and power of earthly organizations with which they are familiar. Or they fear what is coming will be likewise corrupt and degrading of those who participate. Our fears and experiences become obstacles to what God offers.

We know almost nothing at this point. Even all that came through Joseph is but a glimpse. We are not worthy of the full view. (3 Ne. 26:9-11; Ether 4:4-7.) The question is whether we will become meek and humble enough to endure giving it a hearing before we corrupt it with a flood of errors based on unbelief.

Recall Joseph Smith predicted that although a return to the law of Moses would never happen, the Gospel as practiced before Moses (among the fathers) would return:

Thus we behold the keys of this Priesthood consisted in obtaining the voice of Jehovah that He talked with him [Noah] in a familiar and friendly manner, that He continued to him the keys, the covenants, the power and the glory, with which He blessed Adam at the beginning; and the offering of sacrifice, which also shall be continued at the last time; for all the ordinances and duties that ever have been required by the Priesthood, under the directions and commandments of the Almighty in any of the dispensations, shall all be had in the last dispensation, therefore all things had under the authority of the Priesthood at any former period, shall be had again, bringing to pass the restoration spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets; then shall the sons of Levi offer an acceptable offering to the Lord….

It will be necessary here to make a few observations on the doctrine set forth in the above quotation, and it is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [i.e.,] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets.

The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. We frequently have mention made of the offering of sacrifice by the servants of the Most High in ancient days, prior to the law of Moses; which ordinances will be continued when the Priesthood is restored with all its authority, power and blessings…

These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass? It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.
It may be asked by some, what necessity for sacrifice, since the Great Sacrifice was offered? In answer to which, if repentance, baptism, and faith existed prior to the days of Christ, what necessity for them since that time? The Priesthood has descended in a regular line from father to son, through their succeeding generations.  (October 5, 1840.) DHC 4:207-212; TPJS pp. 172-173.

Joseph only hinted at some of the remaining doctrines of the restoration that will be required to walk back to the beginning. We hardly yet comprehend the Lord’s plans. But to fulfill all that has been foretold, we or some future generation will need to build a temple acceptable to God in the boundary of the everlasting mountains, which will tremble at their presence, where all scattered Israel can return to receive an inheritance at the hands of Ephraim. (D&C 133:31-32.) The promised inheritance can only be received in a temple. It will include uses, layout, design and elements which will themselves testify of God and His Gospel in a way we do not presently have here on earth.

You can choose how much to receive or reject. You can walk away from the gathering by Christ – a hen gathering her chicks. This is not the first generation that has done that. But God has promised that some generation will receive what He offers, allow themselves to be gathered, and receive an inheritance as a part of His Covenant with the Fathers.

You may think this can be done in isolation as a faithful individual, but Zion will not be built by solitary souls. Nor will the required covenant be offered to an isolated individual. This is about God’s FAMILY.

This is why the jarring and contention, envying and strife of Joseph’s time was so toxic. Heaven weeps at us when it might instead rejoice over us.

Ancient Gospel

The original Gospel taught from Adam down to Enoch has not been recovered. Joseph Smith was working backward in restoring the earliest teaching, scripture, covenants and ordinances as part of his brief ministry. That ended abruptly with his death.

The future of the Gospel will return us to the original body of information, covenants and ordinances which were revealed in the beginning to the first fathers, who are now resurrected, and in heaven as a result of their obedience to the covenants and ordinances of God.

This cannot be judged until it is understood. It cannot be understood until it has been returned. There was such haste and foolishness in Joseph’s day, it hindered God’s work. Then fear of what Joseph was doing made even those closest to him wonder if he was “fallen” or egomaniacal and untrustworthy. The ignorance and superstition of his contemporaries were great obstacles. Aspiring men wanted to further their ambitions without comprehending what was really involved with God’s plan for mankind.

The Gospel requires virtue and righteousness. No one can please God with a heart that is not contrite and broken, willing to receive or “suffer” everything God will require of them.

We are nowhere near Zion and only a small fraction of what needs to be recovered has been given. Unless this generation is patient enough to allow God to do His “strange act,” and humble enough to support what He provides as He provides it, another future generation will need to accomplish Zion. The “jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among” us are no different than what destroyed all hope for Zion in Joseph’s time. (D&C 101:6.)

Why want what is not understood? How can we judge the Gospel taught directly by God to Adam and renewed by God with Enoch face-to-face when it has not been shown unto us? It is as if the only motivation of men is ambition and envy, without stopping to consider how great a price is demanded by God as a sacrifice before anything can be gained. Lectures on Faith really is an accurate description of the burden required for our development to become faithful.

In God’s plan there are provisions made for everyone. Every soul in every state of development will be given what a loving and kind God has made possible. It is vast enough to accommodate the development of each person who has lived in this estate, regardless of the time, location or opportunities they had while here. It is far greater, and more thorough than what we can see.

Continue reading “Ancient Gospel”

Records

We do not yet have a temple in which to do actual work for the dead which would be acceptable to God. However, the principles regarding the living are the same, and therefore Joseph’s instructions about the dead can be applied equally among the living regarding ordinances for the living:

D&C 128:2-9:

That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a recorder, who should be eye-witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of a truth before the Lord.

Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city, who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes; and let him be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings, certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears, giving the date, and names, and so forth, and the history of the whole transaction; naming also some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Then, let there be a general recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures, certifying that the record they have made is true. Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement that he verily believes the above statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general church book.

 You may think this order of things to be very particular; but let me tell you that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.

And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded inRevelation 20:12—And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.

 Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

Another Recorder Email

I got the following request by email:

__________________________________

Although Ken is capable of receiving inbound information, he has no vehicle for disseminating information on who has been nominated, your blog remains the only way to logistically get information “out’ as earlier pointed out.
Can you please post that Jonny Durfee has been nominated.  I am not sure if any more information matters but if you like further information
Jonny is:
willing
able
has time
able to maintain confidence
rebaptized
sustained
excommunicated
active in fellowshiping. 

New Talk on Plural Marriage

Today I gave a talk in my home to a small group on the subject of plural marriage, focusing on Joseph Smith alone. The talk was recorded digitally and is available as a downloadable MP3 on the “Papers and Lectures” tab on this site for anyone interested to hear.

Recorder Voting

I received an email that made this observation and suggestion:

_________________________________________

Your blog is the only site that nearly all who are taking part in this resurgent restoration have in common. There are at least 4 forums, 2 Facebook groups, and two chat groups, and an unknown number of ‘gatherings’ where your readership communicate. We have no central place to vote. There are many persons, as you know, who don’t participate in any forum or group. Your nomination of Keith, therefore, has unbalanced influence. Is that what you want?

If you genuinely want to nominate Keith Henderson as one voice among many and allow others the real opportunity to do the same with equal weight as your own nomination, then you need to use your blog in some way to allow others the opportunity to voice their own nominations and provide a means to tally votes. That responsibility to tally votes could go to any number of people, but contact info for such a person would need to be posted on your blog, otherwise it’s just a shouting match where timid voices aren’t heard.

I suggest nominations go to Ken Jensen’s email. —kenjensen.insurance@gmail.com.

He’s willing. If you like you could post this:

For any wishing to nominate another recorder, contact Ken Jensen at kenjensen.insurance@gmail.com. He will take nominations and tally votes.

Recorder

I do not think I have any right to determine or appoint a recorder. There have been three different people who have asked me about being the central recorder. I have told all of them the same thing. It would be fine for them to proceed. I think they may all have some of the names and do not know if they have been consolidated.

There have been enough baptisms that names should be compiled, and the need is great enough there should be a recorder elected. The elected recorder must have the common consent of those involved, and no one has the right to appoint someone to the position.

Because of some recent developments I want to nominate Keith Henderson to be the recorder. These developments include:

1. Disciplinary actions have taken place or are threatened because of re-baptisms of active LDS Church members. Therefore, the names should be kept confidential to prevent this. Keith Henderson is a man whose discretion I trust.

2. Keith Henderson has been re-baptized and excommunicated. There is no pressure that can be leveled by the LDS Church against him that would either motivate him or make him fear.

3. Keith Henderson is willing and has time to do the work.

4. He has been active with others in fellowship meetings, has baptized a significant number of people, and has shown his love of others and of this work.

I leave it to all those involved to make the final determination by your common consent, but nominate Keith Henderson for your consideration.

New Book

Work on a new book is taking a great deal of my time. It is the most labor intensive book I’ve written. Below is a draft of the Preface to the book (which is likely to be changed before it is finalized), but which explains why so much time is being required. The “footnotes” appear as endnotes below:

_____________o0o________________

 Preface:

In 1832 the Lord posed this question: “For what doeth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given him, neither in him who is the giver of the gift.”[1] From the moment Joseph Smith died those who believed he was a prophet began to lose memory of what God revealed through him. Recently the pace of forgetting is accelerating.

This book begins discussing Joseph Smith’s 1838 history, followed by the topics of faith, repentance, covenants, priesthood, Zion, Christ, King Benjamin’s example, prayer, coming to Christ, marriage, family, the cultural and legal forces that have eroded the institutional church, and concludes with a discussion of how to preserve the religion. Our obligation to respect Joseph’s revelations is very clear from the Lord’s declaration, “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.”[2] Upon his death, the church wanted a replacement strong figure. When Joseph was unavailable, an imitation served.

In the initial decision made August 8, 1844 the quorum of the twelve were voted to lead. By December 1847 Brigham Young no longer wanted to share power with eleven others, and against Wilford Woodruff’s recommendation and the active opposition of John Taylor and Parley Pratt, Young successfully won a vote at Winter Quarters making him the church’s second president.[3] From Young till David O. McKay in the 1950’s, when the word-title “the Prophet” was used it still meant only Joseph Smith. But rhetoric matters, and the word-title began to be used to first secure acquiescence, then to compel compliance by LDS Church leaders.

Elevating the church’s presidents to claim they too, could communicate “commandments and revelations… even as Moses” began the process of accelerating forgetfulness[4] of Joseph’s words. He became less important as successors claimed equality. Who cannot see the logic in preferring a “living” prophet to a deceased one? Ignoring Joseph means forgetting. Through forgetfulness we have refused the gift God offered. Our first obligation now is to remember. Until we remember what was given before, there is no reason for God to give more.

The primary repository of Joseph Smith’s work has been The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are others, of course, who retained valuable parts of Joseph’s work. Emma Smith kept the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, something Joseph explained was necessary for the church to have or it “would yet fall.”[5] The translation became the property of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was not until the 1980 edition of the LDS Bible that the Joseph Smith Translation was first used by the LDS Church, but only in footnotes and an appendix.

As soon as Joseph Smith died, a spirited competition developed to control both documents and access to information. As one writer described the conflict:

“The official History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[6] was published in book form under the direction of the First Presidency in 1902. The introductory assurance that ‘no historical or doctrinal statement has been changed’ is demonstrably wrong. Overshadowed by editorial censorship, hundreds of deletions, additions, and alterations, these seven volumes are not always reliable. …The nineteenth-century propaganda mill was so adroit that few outside Brigham Young’s inner circle were aware of the behind-the-scenes alterations so seamlessly stitched into church history. Charles Wesley Wandell, an assistant church historian, was aghast at these emendations. Commenting on the many changes made in the historical work as it was being serialized in the Deseret News, Wandell noted in his diary: ‘I notice the interpolations because having been employed in the Historian’s office at Navuoo by Doctor Richards, and employed, too, in 1845, in compiling this very autobiography, I know that after Joseph’s death his memoir was ‘doctored’ to suit the new order of things, and this, too, by the direct order of Brigham Young to Doctor Richards and systematically by Richards.” The Quorum of the Twelve, under Brigham Young’s leadership, began altering the historical record shortly after Smith’s death. Contrary to the introduction’s claim, Smith did not author the History of the Church. At the time of his 1844 death, the narrative had been written up to 5 August 1838.'”[7]

Today the challenge is two-fold: First, finding the truth through the deliberate efforts to conceal and modify the record. Second, once found, whether we will accept in gratitude what God offered by repenting and returning to His path. We fail these tests when we ignore, oppose, dismiss, reject and allow our fear to control us. As Christ put it on the day of His resurrection: “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.”[8] Nothing has changed. Our challenge is identical to that faced by all believers since Adam.[9]

As a public act of remembrance I spent a year, beginning September 10, 2013 giving a series of ten lectures reiterating the faith’s foundation. These lectures ended 365 days later on September 9, 2014. The lectures marked 40 years as a faithful, believing Mormon.[10] At the conclusion of 40 years of faithful membership in the LDS Church, I was sent by the Lord[11] to preach the restoration so others would also remember.

This book was written using transcriptions of those lectures as a starting point to prepare this reference work on the restoration. This book is a separate project. The lectures were given entirely within the Mormon Corridor, and addressed only to the residents there. This is written for a different audience living outside the Mormon Corridor as a reference work on the foundation God provided through Joseph Smith.

The lecture transcripts are insufficient, both as a reference work and as something intended for a different audience. The talks were not written in advance, but given spontaneously using only a scripture citation outline. Therefore many redundancies and asides in the lectures needed to be eliminated to focus on the essential content in a readable book. Editorial refinement and many additional footnotes have been added to support and clarify core content. The recordings and transcriptions will always remain available and can stand on their own. This book is not a repetition of the lectures in a third format. It is more, and addresses all who are interested in the restoration through Joseph Smith. The lecture material has been expanded to include more about the various topics, while eliminating unimportant personal information. Time constraints for lectures do not exist for a book. Therefore additional explanations have been added. Asides, humorous recollections, and personal stories distract more than they contribute for this format. Therefore they have been eliminated to focus only on the restoration.

The order of the discussion has been changed where appropriate. Subject matter has been consolidated, moving some of the material originally delivered in one lecture into a chapter based on another lecture.

During the same year I wrote a series of blog posts about King Benjamin’s sermon between the 4th lecture in Orem, Utah (Priesthood) and the 5th in Grand Junction, Colorado (Zion). Those posts have been added as the 5th chapter in this book.

Finally, a paper delivered at the 2014 Salt Lake Sunstone Symposium after the 9th lecture in St. George, Utah (Marriage) has also been edited and added as a chapter. With the addition of the King Benjamin and Sunstone materials, there are 12 chapters.

The restoration is not the property of an institution. Although dozens of churches claim the role of succeeding to Joseph Smith’s ‘true and living’ church, the restoration belongs to us all. Whether you belong to some denomination claiming Joseph as a founder, or you are a traditional Christian, the things restored through Joseph Smith came from God as a gift to us all. Because of this, we all have the responsibility to remember and respect the inspired work of Joseph Smith.

The restoration is God’s call to action and offer to renew His direct contact with mankind. The response during Joseph’s day was less than adequate. The restoration was founded on revelation, but when Joseph and Hyrum were martyred no one suggested revelation could solve the succession crisis. Instead the crowd in Nauvoo voted, the quorum of the twelve received the majority of the votes, and the most successful version of the restoration, LDS Mormonism,[12] has perpetuated itself by voting to install leadership continuously ever since.

LDS Mormonism leadership have increasingly ignored and replaced the commandments and revelations given through Joseph with a new model in which church leaders claim the right to issue commandments and direction, followers fall in line, and the various denominations morph into increasingly altered forms varying from the original. Gordon B. Hinckley institutionalized a public relations oriented management style for LDS Mormonism. The opinion polling and focus group testing for decisions and campaigns has increasingly taken hold until now, LDS Mormonism is changing at a stunning pace reflecting the shifting opinions of the society around it. The LDS Mormon tradition now repudiates its history, curtails its curriculum, and discards essential elements of its earlier belief system to be more acceptable to others.

If the restoration is to have any chance to be remembered, then the time to do so has come. If we do not soon awaken and arise there will be far less chance to keep ahold of the restoration with each passing decade. The potential of Mormonism has never been realized. Until the restoration is remembered, it cannot continue to its completion.

This work is more than a tribute to the Mormon faith. It is an effort to restate the religion and recover its original potential. The destiny of the Mormon religion has become imperiled by neglect, deliberate alteration, and increasing forgetfulness. Mormonism was never intended to merely be another Christian denomination. Instead it is destined to reunite the all mankind into one great whole. Truth is Mormonism. All truth, wherever located and in whatever form it is presently practiced, belongs to the Mormon religion.[13]

Mormonism requires study and contemplation. Social change, educational disintegration, and the lack of critical thinking have made modern Mormonism a shallow relic unworthy of the original. Across the board, society has surrendered to the “sound-bite mentality” in which quick and quotable phrases substitute for deep understanding. The restoration cannot be understood that way. It requires contemplation, thought and study.

I was converted to the Mormon faith through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For forty years I belonged to that church and served in it faithfully. The day I drove to Boise, Idaho to give the first lecture in the Forty Years in Mormonism series, I learned I was excommunicated. My stake president called as my wife and I were driving to Boise and we heard the sad news together.

I hold no animosity toward the LDS Church. Instead I am grateful to it for introducing me to Joseph Smith and Mormonism, which remains my religion, though now I practice it independent of institutional control.

There are many churches claiming Joseph Smith as their founder. None of them adequately practice the original faith. This book is written to persuade all to believe in the restoration, and remind all who already believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and accept the Book of Mormon as scripture, of the original greatness this revolutionary religion. Mormonism should once again become revolutionary.

It is time for the Mormon faith to begin a new phase. One in which all are equal before God, and believers are free once again to worship Him according to the dictates of their own conscience. Priesthood should not rule over any man, but should serve. “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood.” In the LDS version of Mormonism, that limitation has been reversed. LDS Mormonism today has been reduced to nothing other than “priesthood”[14] dominion and control through the “correlation” process. It is unscriptural, indeed anti-scriptural.

Mormonism in its purest form can only attempt to persuade you, gently, to believe its precepts. This book will attempt to persuade you to believe once again in a dynamic, truth-filled, confident and powerful religion. Mormonism should free your soul, and reunite you with heaven itself.

In this book, unlike all those I previously wrote, there are many scriptures only cited in footnotes, and the full text is not included. This deliberate departure from my earlier books is because the LDS church has deemphasized the scriptures in their curriculum.[15] I feel compelled to invite readers to use their scriptures to check scripture references in this book. Hopefully the footnotes will inspire you to review all of the verses cited.

Mormonism must become alive again. It belongs to all of us. We should all believe in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith’s status as a prophet sent by God, and become willing to approach God directly. In the final analysis, the entire restoration is nothing more than a modern affirmation of the New Testament promise found in James 1:5.

[1] D&C 88:33.

[2] D&C 28:2. The revelation allows for the possibility for someone else to be later appointed “in his stead.” (28:7.) It would be through Joseph, however, the power was given “to appoint another in his stead.” (D&C 43:4.) That appointment came in January 1841 when Hyrum Smith was appointed. (D&C 124:91-96.) Hyrum, however, was slain moments before Joseph, and therefore no one else has been appointed to amend, supplement, disregard, alter or reject commandments and revelations given through Joseph Smith.

[3] Technically he was the third, but no one counts Hyrum Smith despite his actual appointment and service.

[4] Forgetting includes re-interpreting the language by divorcing it from context, supplying new meaning not originally intended, and improperly using Joseph to vindicate later improper innovations.

[5] The minutes of a conference on October 25, 1831 meeting tell of Joseph Smith’s need for assistance while he worked on “the fulness of the Scriptures.” This reference to scriptures is defined by the LDS Church Historian as “JS’s Bible revision.” (JS Papers , Documents Vol. 2: July 1831-January 1833, p. 85, footnote 76. The minutes include this statement by Joseph Smith: “God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the Church. Said the Lord would cut his work short in righteousness and except the church receive the fulness of the Scriptures that they would yet fall.” Id., p. 85, as in original.

[6] Often referred to as the “Documentary History of the Church” or the “DHC.”

[7] Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess, Signature Books (Salt Lake City, 1994), p. 322.

[8] Luke 24:25.

[9] Satan’s original and continuing urging remains the same: “Believe it not.” (Moses 5:13.)

[10] I learned I had been excommunicated from the LDS church because of a book I had written about Mormon history as I was driving with my wife to Boise to give the first lecture. The excommunication and lecture were exactly 40 years to the day of my baptism.

[11] The yearlong ministry was not my idea, nor the locations, or the subjects. I was sent by the Lord and told what to discuss. The talks were the first step addressed to the first audience.

[12] Meaning The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquartered in Salt Lake City. They are referred to throughout this book as “LDS Mormonism.”

[13] “One of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” Discourses of Joseph Smith, p. 199, Kindle Book, (Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, 2009).

[14] I put the word “priesthood” in quotes because it is the LDS Church’s claim, and therefore I use their word. However, as this book will clarify, the claim is not the reality.

[15] See, Peggy Fletcher Stack, New Mormon Curriculum Divides Scholars, Salt Lake Tribune, October 28, 2014.

This Site’s MP3s

The reason the MP3 recordings are ‘zipped’ is if we leave them as straight MP3 recordings then people can stream them, causing heavy bandwidth use. We zipped them to prevent streaming so that visitors do not wind up exceeding the bandwidth I am paying for, resulting in slow, or stopped interaction on the website. However, there may be other ways we can go around this issue and we are investigating alternatives.

I appreciate suggestions. Right now the website has been months in creating, and diverted attention that I now want to give to finishing a manuscript so it can be in print. I will add content here, but I am spending time on another project that will reduce the rate at which improvements and additions will happen here.

Also, there was a “warning” for the website which some ISPs put up when connecting through their server. This is likely due to the fact that denversnuffer.com was a parked site while being developed, and could not be accessed. Some ISPs automatically flag a site like that, and the issue should be resolved shortly after this site went live.

Never Disaffected

I’ve said it a number of times and want to reiterate: I am not “disaffected” from the LDS Church. I was evicted, but hold no ill-will.

I am not a critic either. But since I have no membership interest in the LDS Church, my only objective is to understand the truth about Mormonism, its past and present, no matter the cost.

Loyalty to the truth does not endear me to anyone who has a cause to defend. Everyone accuses me of having an “agenda” when I disagree with their point of view. I’m not trying to curry favor with anyone other than God and only seek the truth– even painful truth.

WELCOME!

Welcome to the new website. This has been months of effort and took more work than we ever expected. We had hoped to bring this online for Christmas last year, but missed that mark. Well, Merry Christmas anyway.

I sincerely thank all those who have made this possible and have donated their time to assist.

Equinox

The earth’s orbit is ecliptic and asymmetrical. Science prefers neat divisions and imposes symmetry.

This Vernal Equinox is set by the calendar for March 20th. But nature is going to put the sun in the spot crossing the plane of the celestial equator on March 18th.

There are a lot of these differences in nature, planets, star fields that varies from man’s desire for even divisions. We have split the Zodiacal constellations into 30 degree increments, despite the fact that some constellations are quite a bit bigger and their star fields occupy much more than 30 degrees (Pisces, Virgo and Aquarius for example) and some are much less than 30 degrees (Aries, Gemini and Cancer for example).

The incongruities between the mathematical order we prefer in contrast to the “chaos” of nature means something if Genesis 1:14 is to be trusted. Despite mankind’s desire to make everything fit neatly, God has decreed events to happen on His time-frame.

Star fields overlap. We think we know when one age ends and another begins because of the 30 degrees allocated to each of the twelve constellations. But in the heavens above, Leo invades Cancer, and Pisces invades Aquarius. There is no neat division allowing anyone to say with certainty when God believes one age ends and another has begun. God may have one age begin before another ends for His reasons. Very rarely does man see this.

So you are left to decide if the coming Equinox is March 20th (based on neat divisions of the year) or March 18th (based on the movement of the sun overhead). And also to decide when Pisces ends and Aquarius begins–or if Aquarius has already begun. Many things begin and the world barely notices they are underway. Heaven testifies and men fail to notice.