Of the two of us, I think your hostility toward my position reveals an underlying insecurity about your confidence in your position.
One was born to privilege, whose family had great wealth.
The other, named Martha, was born poor.
As adults both women felt the need for motherhood.
Martha bore seven children.
The woman of privilege spent seven years in college studying child development and education, eventually receiving her Ph.D., but never married, nor had a child.
Martha’s family needed more room and searched for a house. They found a modest home located in wealthy neighborhood which had once been a servant’s. Now the servant’s home needed repairs, and few were interested in a home which, in comparison with the others around it, seemed merely a servant’s residence.
Martha however, believed there was an advantage for her children to grow up among the children of greater privilege and therefore purchased the unwanted house.
Martha, ever eager to learn more, had read books to better understand parenting. She was surprised to learn one of her favorite teachers lived in her neighborhood.
As coincidence would further have it, both the woman of privilege and Martha were called upon to serve together in teaching neighborhood children. They spent many hours together, but oftentimes did not agree.
After six years, Martha concluded the conflicts between them were insurmountable.
In the seventh year, Martha concluded that if the woman of privilege could gaze into the eyes of her own children for but five minutes, she would know more than she did now, notwithstanding the many years of study which she had devoted to child development and education.
In the eighth year, Martha concluded it was her responsibility to teach the woman of privilege, and so the occupant of the servant’s house undertook the burden of teaching the needy but unwilling.
It was a role that would require many years, with only limited success.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Although I’m hundreds of miles away, my thoughts are with my wife. David and Solomon clearly never found a wife to be their equal, helpmeet, love and joy. I pity them. I have she who completes me; my queen and high priestess, love and companion, wise counselor and faithful friend. She is the standard against which all other women are measured, and all others found to be wanting. She is home.
I have yet to see a marriage I think the equal of my own.
The final parable in Ten Parables begins deliberately. I hope readers realize how important that discussion is to the way things really are.
When Daniel saw the Lord he “alone saw the vision” (Dan 10:7) and not those who were with him. The others felt the great presence (v. 7) but saw nothing. The physical effect upon Daniel was exhausting. He collapsed and had to be strengthened (v. 10). Three times he collapsed and three times he was touched by the Lord to strengthen him (vs. 10,16,18). It was real and VERY physical. Yet he alone saw the Lord. It is always so. Hence Paul’s comment “whether in the body I cannot tell; or whether out of the body I cannot tell” ( 2Cor12:2). It IS physical. But those who are excluded merely feel the terrible presence, and see nothing. Those included are like Daniel and Joseph Smith, left exhausted from such encounters (see JS-H 1:48).
I worry that reading only the testimony, divorced from the explanation of how someone moves along in personal progress to the point they receive that personal witness, will make it just another “feel good” read. The book is a manual. It isn’t designed to make people feel good. It is designed to get them to do something.
So I think taking only the testimony alone contradicts the whole purpose for which it was written. The testimony was merely a brief, nine word ratification of the book’s teachings. The focus was, and is, on receiving an audience with Christ. The book is a manual for the reader to do that for themselves. The reader, not the author, is the focus of the book. Indeed, with only brief exceptions, my personal presence intrudes into the book to highlight how to do something wrong. Then the book explains how to get it right.
I have sincerely tried to be available to everyone in whatever capacity they have asked me. I have given up a great deal of time in order to respond to requests when people have sought me out. I have enjoyed these wonderful associations and opportunities. Many of these have been blessings to me. I have learned much and I love the opportunity to discuss, teach and learn the truth, and to be taught by others.
It is with regret however, that I will no longer be able to make myself available in this way. Last Monday was when it reached a point I decided I could no longer continue in the same way. Before the day was over I spent six hours answering emails related to books I have written. I have a wife and several children who need my attention, and an active law practice which requires my full time work. My family and business suffer from neglect when I spend excessive time answering Gospel questions. I employ 6 people whose families depend upon my productivity at work. They have been very patient with my diversions over the last several years, but they deserve better from me as an employer.
Despite the inability to be available directly, my wife and I have come up with a plan which will help solve the problem, I hope. My wife has agreed to maintain a website where I will post answers to questions I have received over the years, comments or things that I believe may be edifying, or whatever I think may be beneficial as a result of something that comes from a reader. I will try to update it at least weekly.
The address will be: http://denversnuffer.blogspot.
In the English common law tradition there were cases “at law” and cases “in equity.” They divided the Courts into separate forums, where courts of law could not do equity. But courts of equity could ignore the provisions of law, modify them, or establish a higher principle which resolved fairly a dispute despite some legal impediment to the relief sought. That tradition follows the Lord’s example.
Principles ennoble. Rules preoccupy.
I’m also surprised that some people have already found it. I got an email today thanking me for it. So I did a search and found the blog is actually up and running and can be found through Google.
I worry about things being attributed to me from private conversations or speaking events where the public was invited. I choose words with great care. The difference between truth and error can be quite a fine line in some important matters. Therefore, when I say, teach, write or answer a question with exact language in mind, and the listener or reader does not retain the distinctions when they attempt to repeat what I’ve said, I wind up being confronted with things I never said, don’t believe and would never teach. One of the reasons for this blog is so I can control what is attributed to me. I’m very willing to be held to account for what I teach or write. But I’m not willing to be held accountable for someone else’s understanding or partial recollection of statements I have made.