Category: Thoughts

Question About Covenant

I have been asked about two statements: one in the opening remarks at the Boise Conference which did not mention reading the Prayer for Covenant and another one in the note of section 158 saying that the prayer is to be read with the covenant. The opening remarks included this:

I have been given authority from God to deliver His covenant this day. Every formality required from the days of Adam until now for establishing a covenant has been kept and met. Once the covenant is established, those sustained by seven women (or a man inside his own family) who receive it also have authority to administer the ordinance to others who want to be numbered among God’s people. To administer to others, repeat the ordinance. Read aloud the Lord’s Answer and the words of the Covenant. Ask them to stand and say, Yes, and they will become one of the Lord’s covenant people. Do not change the words of the covenant, for to change an ordinance is to break it. (Isa. 24:5.)

The note at the beginning of Section 158 explains:

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Our Divine Parents

A pdf version of yesterday’s talk in Phoenix is now up on the “Downloads” part of this website. The talk (paper) is titled Our Divine Parents.

Unfortunately, when converted to pdf the first footnote was cut off. I will reconvert it to pdf and repost it this evening. The first footnote should read this way:

“This is a term used twice by Alman the Younger in his instruction to his son Corianton, recorded in New Covenants Alma 19:13 (hereafter “NC”); Alma 42:8, 16. Joseph Smith referred to this plan as “eternal progression.”

Turned Out of Synagogues

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.

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Website Updates

The website has been changed and updated. This is done preliminary to adding podcasts to the site.

In the “Downloads” section there is a new recording of a talk given Sunday, January 14th. It is titled “That we might become one.”

Cursed: Denied Priesthood

For Joseph Smith, 1838 was a terrible year. Rumors of immorality, begun that year by Oliver Cowdery, were given credibility because Oliver was the scribe who recorded most of the Book of Mormon text.  They are still believed by most Mormon sects, including the LDS church. Cowdery’s insinuations resulted in him being brought before a church court on April 12, 1838 by the Far West High Council. A total of nine charges were brought against Cowdery.

At the time, Cowdery was the Assistant President to the Church and respected as the “second elder” of the church. Cowdery had been one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon and was responsible for selecting and ordaining the first Twelve Apostles. Cowdery’s church trial was perhaps the most significant to be held in the history of the church.

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Thomas Monson Died

Thomas Monson died last evening. I assume many people are aware of this but some people read this website from far distant places and may not yet know of his passing.

He was the last one of the general authorities who were serving in the LDS church when I was baptized in 1973. With his passing there are none of that original group left.

This makes the elderly Russell Nelson the new heir to the president’s position and the one who now possesses and controls all of the LDS church’s assets-or in church parlance the holder of all the keys.

Thomas Monson was a kindly man who projected an image of concern and care for members of his church. His passing leaves two vacancies in the church’s top leadership council which the new president will be entitled to fill.

The New Covenants

There will be three volumes of scripture: The Old Covenants, to be volume 1. The New Covenants, to be volume 2. Teachings and Commandments, to be volume 3.

The second volume of the new edition of the scriptures is now available to download from scripturesproject.blogspot.com.

It is now available in print through Amazon at this link: The New Covenants.

It contains the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume, titled The New Covenants. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be in a single book. Until now, however, Joseph’s hope was never realized.

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Motives

Never assume a person is motivated by a corrupt heart when their actions can just as easily be explained by stupidity.

Completing and Publishing Scriptures

I’ve written a number of books. About 20% of the work is writing them. About 80% of the work is getting them laid out correctly, formatted, and ready for print. The scriptures project is now in that final labor-intensive stage before publication.

The hope was to have them in print before Christmas. Based on what I learned in a meeting last evening, that does not seem possible. Too much of the final process remains to be completed for them to be in print by the end of the year. When I learn that they are ready to print, I will announce that here.

New Video

A new video has been posted on YouTube. The content has been taken from the first talk in LA, with video images added. The video and link are below:

A Message to All Christians

Throughout the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation we are reaching out to Christians to share the restored gospel. This year is a countdown to the 500th year of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Next year will be the 500th year. It is time for all who consider themselves “Christian” to consider carefully Christian history and the Christian message.

 

 

 

Dallas Talk

I will be speaking on Thursday, October 19th at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, Texas from 6-7:30 p.m. CST. This is the second in a series of talks about Christianity and the Reformation and will be followed by a third talk in Atlanta, Georgia in November.

If you live in the Dallas, Texas or Atlanta, Georgia areas, and are willing to help us with invitation and other needs for the lectures being delivered in those cities, please contact Vern or Whitney Horning: vernwhit@msn.com

Update and Correction

I announced the new website for the scriptures committee in my last post. I characterized it as a “Guide and Standard” website. That is the issue currently occupying a lot of attention, but the committee’s website has a larger purpose. The committee’s website is for reporting to the assembly of believers what the scripture committee is doing and how the final steps for publishing the scriptures are progressing. Providing a platform for those who don’t have a platform of their own is a secondary (and necessary) function. Submitted proposals might have personal opinion in them, but the committee does not see a need to curtail anything unless it is disrespectful.

I wanted to correct my earlier, limited description of the new website. The site provides its own explanation of the purpose and scope.