1 Nephi 14: 11-12

“And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.”
The whore has “dominion” over all. All nations. All kindreds.  All tongues. All people. She has dominion over them all.  What does “dominion” mean?
Notice the “church of the Lamb of God” are referred to as “the Saints of God.”
The Saints on the other hand, were “few” in number by comparison with the great dominion of the whore.
The Saints numbers are few because of “the wickedness and abominations of the whore.” How would the whore’s wickedness and abominations cause the Saints to be “few” in number? What trouble must the Saints overcome because of the whore’s widespread wickedness? What challenges must the Saints overcome because of the whore’s universal abominations? How do they “overcome” these challenges?  (D&C 76: 53.)
What does it mean the whore “sits upon many waters?”  (Rev. 17: 15.) Why are they likened to water? (Gen 49: 4.)
Note the Saints are also “upon all the face of the earth” but are not said to be “sitting upon many waters.” They do have, however, “dominions” (in the plural). Why is the whore’s dominion singular, while the Saint’s plural? The whore’s control is one, but the Saints are divided into sub-groups.  Why? Will they be led by various prophets from various locations?  (D&C 133: 26.)
This fragmentation of the Saints is set in a time frame of this prophecy and it will not last. However it will exist before the wrath poured out upon the whore begins.
Why is the whore much more successful than the church of the Lamb of God? Or, more importantly, is the number of those involved in these two different cultures any indication of their relative standing before the Lord? If not, then what matter? Is it the quantity of those who are following a particular creed or organization, or the quality of the knowledge some few possess of the Lord?
Will getting more people to join the Church change the outcome of this prophecy from Nephi?
What is important, then, for those who want to be on the right side of this divide? How do they become one of the “few” who are Saints belonging to the Lamb of God?
How should “success” be defined? By numbers, buildings, activity and wealth or possession of knowledge of Christ? If success has nothing to do with numbers, buildings, activity and wealth, why do we concern ourselves with them? If it has something to do with knowledge of Christ, why are so few able to declare they know Him? Who can state they have seen Him? Who can testify as a witness of Him? How successful have we been in distributing the knowledge of the Son of God?
Where should our efforts be focused? Is the Book of Mormon important in accomplishing what the Lord expects from His Saints?
What interesting information Nephi has given us in this verse. But it gets more interesting as it proceeds further….

23 thoughts on “1 Nephi 14: 11-12

  1. Have you all noticed a few missed opportunities, speakers coming short of the truth (and even a blatant falsehood) from the May Ensign (Conference Talks?) I don’t read the Conf talks looking for these things but they are ever more apparent to me in light of what I’ve learned from reading The 2nd Comforter.

    This morning while studying, I noticed at the back of the May Ensign that it was announced that a new Visiting Teaching Message format would be given starting in July. Being interested, I turned to the July Ensign VT message to see how it was presented. After briefly looking at the format I had this thought, “the teachings of men mingled with scripture.” (It’s one thing to easily recognize truth from error as we hear things from the world and even as we hear things from our local church teachers, it’s a whole new thing for me, however, to readily recognize it from an officially published church magazine.) I wanted to be sure that the quote that came to me was from the Lord so I said a silent prayer that the Holy Ghost would help me recognize truth. Oh Dear Lord, help us all!

  2. Each culture I’ve studied has been graced by great spiritual leaders and/or very wise men who are filled with light and wisdom. From that compelling study I ceased to believe that any people, religion, or culture has a corner on the market regarding truth; rather, God seeks to establish light and truth wherever it will be received.

    I cannot imagine God placing a limit upon the number of prophets He raises up to guide, inspire, direct, and who are capable of speaking according to a culture, history, and language in a manner that best enables people to overcome “their” false traditions to receive Christ.

    How many prophets and saints exist upon the earth? Where are they? What are the nethermost parts of His vineyard? How can we cease to be distracted and become a part of their numbers?

  3. Ic,

    You’ve expressed a dilemma we all face: how to reconcile the path we are pursuing with the course the (LDS) Church is on. I am the Elder’s Quorum Secretary, and I really have a hard time gathering the home teaching “numbers” (a “visit” as defined by the Stake Presidency), then either lamenting or patting ourselves on the back depending on what that percentage is. I do what I’m asked without expressing my thoughts, and try to use the opportunity for true fellowship. But every “program” we’ve tried to institute to “get the numbers up” fails miserably.

    I often wonder what will happen to my standing and membership if the time comes where I am prompted to say something. I did once try to have a conversation with my bishop. He’s a good man working hard to keep his head above water, but I got the impression that he had no time to discuss the “mysteries” because there were too many problems to deal with. I was told, “Just stay in the middle of the road,” and “follow the Brethren.” Will there be a time where the roads diverge? Will I have the courage to take the road less traveled?


  4. Regarding the 144,000

    Will each High Priest (and I assume his wife?) begin their ministry:

    1) once they are called?
    2) only after all 144,000 have been called?
    3) somewhere in between?

    If one has been called as one of the 144,000 can they reveal that to others?

  5. Doug, you are here aren’t you; you have been “called out.” It is your time to put away all distractions other than receiving your commission from Christ. You have already been invited to receive membership in the Church of the Firstborn. Thank you Denver. I believe that for those who have “ears to hear,” the time is now and this is the “road less traveled.” We have been invited to put aside distractions, concerns about what to say to whom, and so forth to first obtain our Holy callings. I have a feeling that as we do so, our tongues will be loosed in ways we cannot fully appreciate presently. Until then, our desires to preach repentance are somewhat vain (BTW – very nice research on repentance–Thanks!).

  6. Anonymous(es), DKD, JDS, Z Fam, Ic, all of you….

    YES! I hear the call! The time IS now! The feeling and desire moves through my veins with every heartbeat. Can you feel it? Even in my distractions it is there. Yesterday I had some background music going while pondering. I took a second to listen to some lyrics (sorry if some of these songs show my heathen ways):

    “One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me
    And I discovered that my castles stand
    Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

    I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing
    Roman Cavalry choirs are singing
    Be my mirror, my sword and shield
    My missionaries in a foreign field..”

    next was:
    “It started out as a feeling
    Which then grew into a hope
    Which then turned into a quiet thought
    Which then turned into a quiet word

    And then that word grew louder and louder
    ‘Til it was a battle cry
    I’ll come back
    When you call me
    No need to say goodbye

    Just because every thing’s changing
    Doesn’t mean it’s never been this way before
    All you can do is try to know
    Who your friends are as you head off to the war”

    “Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
    I could see the city light
    Wind was blowing, time stood still
    Eagle flew out of the night
    He was something to observe
    Came in close, I heard a voice
    Standing stretching every nerve
    Had to listen had no choice
    I did not believe the information
    (I) just had to trust imagination
    My heart going boom boom boom
    “Son,” he said “Grab your things,
    I’ve come to take you home.”

    There were several more. Indeed, everything testifies of Christ, even my Ipod playlist!? Wow.


    PS – A Van Halen song just came on (not kidding) “Right Now..turn this thing around….it’s your tomorrow.”

  7. Hey all, (and Denver if you care to comment)….so what course is the LDS church on??? Yes, I see many of the imperfections, but isn’t this still the Lord’s vehicle? Everyone can tell stories of something someone did that they didn’t like, programs instituted by Stake Presidents, Bishops, Elder’s Quorum Presidents, etc. that did NOT get to the spirit of the law or part the veil.

    I know that I can’t depend on the “Institution” to save me. That is my job. But should we be critical and point fingers?…is it bad that we are counseled not to be critical? I have so many flaws that I don’t have time to look to see what others flaws are.

    I have a son getting ready to go on a mission. Didn’t ever think he would go. He will turn in his papers in a week or so. Should I be excited? Should I cower that he will be trying to lead people into this church with all of it’s imperfections and precepts of men mingled with scripture magazines? Sometimes I have such mixed feelings inside about some of the blog messages.

    I didn’t ever feel mixed as I was reading Denver’s books. I felt like I was reading pure doctrine. I think that Denver’s purpose here is to lead us forward and higher…telling us to get off our behind’s and put some effort into this salvation thing…study everything out for ourselves, dig deeper. I am not sure that as we climb higher it is up to us to turn around on the stairs and point at those who haven’t caught the vision of what they should be doing in their own gospel study and road to salvation. We should reach out a hand and ask if they want to come along….just as Denver has done with us. I haven’t heard Denver be critical of even one comment made on this blog…even though I am sure that we fall short of his insights and further light and knowledge of the subjects at hand. But he lets us make the comments anyway.

    So what do all of you tell your children about the church and it’s programs and it’s leaders and the general authorities? How do you find the balance of not going off the deep end while trying to dig deeper. I am being sincere in my expressions and would love some feedback. Thanks.

  8. Hi Anonymous:

    Some old posts that have hashed this out before might help. First the covenant to not speak evil of others needs to be defined correctly. Then, understanding our obligation as lay members to hold our own beliefs and offer suggestions comes next. We don’t have to fix programs unless we have a right to do it in the Church, but we can certainly agree or disagree. Last, understanding what God is doing with an institution and how it fits into His endowment and where its usefulness has always had an end in all ages of time is the final key. Fair, balanced, and only speak good of others, even if good means telling them they are in truth, a child of hell at the moment, but try to be helpful and not insulting. When the spirit of prophecy is witnessed, talk about it, if you can recognize it. The Lord’s vehicle only drives you to a certain destination and then stops. All others who claim the vehicle goes further are liars, knowingly or unknowingly. Ask the Lord about that. There are wise leaders who know this and allow bad programs to plod forward to let the Lord test people. He may’ve told them to do it that way. But, they always hold up the alternative escape if they are the wise ones. We can’t always tell, so we can’t judge them as individuals. We are supposed to govern ourselves in these things. We are not like any other institution, and that makes us uncomfortable. These dynamics were worked in and accounted for when Joseph couldn’t do more with what the people wanted / didn’t want. That’s my two cents. The Church is a footstool to help us get a higher view, but can be cast aside when it is worn out. What are all these temples anyway? They are but property. What does the Lord care for them? Brigham Young said he would build something intended to endure through the Millenium…did we ever consider he may not have been talking about bricks and stones, but people’s lives, just like the Savior spoke of His own body and not the temple at Jerusalem? The Lord can tear down and rebuild hundreds of His houses at His pleasure. What are they really worth anyway? When you know the answer to that question, teach that to your kids. Then, when you know what comes after the temple experience with symbols, teach that, too. Leaders are men with failings. If what they do is prophetic and symbolizes what the Savior would do, focus on the act and not the leader. If they do something wrong, follow the Savior’s example and tell your kids to do as they say, but not as they do. Tell them it was wrong for them to do that, as best you know, and all of you pray for them.

  9. ZF said, “[t]he Church is a footstool to help us get a higher view, but can be cast aside when it is worn out.

    I certainly agree with the first half of this sentence (“Church is a footstool to help us get a higher view”). I don’t agree with the conclusion (that it can be “cast aside when it is worn out”)–or perhaps I misunderstand what you meant.

    Denver had a post back in April on whether one would ever outgrow the Church which resonated with me (see also his followup comment comment on the same post).

    To me Mormon 9:6 implies that even once we think it is utterly futile & hopeless we should still continue to wear out our lives (to borrow a phrase from D&C 123:13) serving lovingly in the Church and in our homes and in our communities.

  10. Thanks Michael for pointing out the ambiguity. The Lord uses the footstool, and He will cast it aside when He considers it worn out, not us. We are to always assume we need a higher view, and use it to supply some of that view in ways that it can, and use higher methods when it cannot, but we don’t outgrow it, at least not here while He has things set up the way He does. That is an imperative assumption I made but didn’t make clear. I assumed the footstool imagery helped people think of the Lord as the subject, my bad.

    Denver’s Venn diagram of the Church of the Firstborn vs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is what I was picturing in my mind. The Lord has a pattern for using institutions for a certain purpose up to a certain point and discarding them at pleasure, but covenants with a PEOPLE remain. People are what make up the Church of the Firstborn if they fill their part of the covenants. The institution doesn’t have a place there by default. It can be discarded by Him, like a rusty tool.

  11. Yes, I reread my post and see the problem: when I said “The Church is a footstool to help us get a higher view,” the subject was us, but I switched immediately to the Lord being in control with: “but can be cast aside when it is worn out.” Which is evidenced by what I went into next with: “What are all these temples anyway? They are but property. What does the Lord care for them?…” So it is the Lord and how He fights His own battles that becomes the next point.

    Perhaps we are so impetuous as Gentiles, so energetic in unhelpful ways, we think when we see a problem it is our sole duty to fix it. If this is an assumption and habit of ours, it may be easy to project that onto other people and assume they imply that sort of action when they are really only contemplating what the Lord’s view might be about a situation. We are the generation of revolutionaries and war-mongers (not you Michael, just an observation of generalities), uncomfortable being at peace and being still. We have to meddle, as busy-bodies. Your reference to Mormon makes me think of his steadfastness without worrying about how to control the big picture when it wasn’t his to control.

    Mormon makes many Mormons uncomfortable with that story!

    Myself included when I fall to the above condemnations. Who will sink with the ship if it is sinking? Who really will stand the heat of the day? If the Lord makes a separate call for gathering outside of the institution – fine and dandy, that’s His prerogative – but until that day, who will be a Mormon (referring to the type of man Mormon was)?

    This blog assumes that people have read Denver’s book, and that membership in the Church and keeping covenants of not speaking evil is assumed and well-rooted before anything is said here. That is the context. If it sounds to the contrary to you, the suggestion is that the idea of how you are keeping the covenant of not speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed is wrong. You may be an oath-taker like the Danites in early Mormon history, loyal to an oath to never disagree with the institution, to which conduct Jesus Himself condemns as do many current Church leaders (who not many listen to in this teaching). Disband the Danites! Disband secret combinations of the heart!

    I can’t speak for Denver, but that is my take on what he’s doing with the blog and what many commenters have done to follow suit (not all, but most, in my opinion). Remember the context!


  12. Michael said: “serving lovingly in the Church and in our homes and in our communities”. This is another assumption embedded in the context, and heartily agreed to. Again, there may be some different opinions once in a while, but as for me, that is paramount.

    For some of us, this forum has become a Nephi’s tower, where he went to weep for Zion after the day’s labor serving lovingly. As people passed by, they were divided about what they should think. Some of us come here to put ashes on our heads and rent our garments, but it is because of our love for the Saints and for the loss of Zion. Remember Nephi’s words: “Behold, why have ye gathered yourselves together? That I may tell you of your iniquities?” and also the words of his ancestor, Nephi: “For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.” And yes, it really is that bad. Not with the general leadership, but with the people, save the few who are the humble followers of Christ. When you see it, you will weep and entertain no rose colored views anymore, but there is always hope. This is a time of lamenting. Let it sound long and loud.

  13. Brian,

    First of all, I LOL’ed your scripture reference. That was “classic.”

    Secondly, I appreciate your explanation. We all feel it I’m sure… the love for our fellow congregation, and the realization that Zion has fled. Tears do water my pillow at the thought of losing those we love. The “unbelief” that we should pull out the hammer and nail and fix it ourselves seems to be ingrained in us Gentiles (or maybe it’s just us men).

    Your’s and Denver’s reminder to let the Lord fight our battles is timely for me. Right now we might think we are called to fight the battle when really we are at the water’s edge, finding out who will cup their hands and drink. The water is refreshing, I think I’ll stay for a little while and quench my thirst.


  14. Brian Z, thanks for your clarifications. I’m happy to see that when I wrote “perhaps I misunderstand what you meant” that that was what had actually happened.


    With Denver’s posts we have the [collective] advantage of having read hundreds of thousands of words in his half dozen books prior to coming here which gives us a good feel for where he is coming from, what he’s trying to get across, his writing style, his life history, etc.

    Those of us commenting here are, in comparison, have hardly had time to get to know each other (a few dozen or hundred words here and there).

  15. I’ve felt many of the same things anonymous (July 9, 2010 1:35 PM) has expressed. I think Denver has answered some of the questions and concerns in various posts throughout the past months, but I’d also love to see a more comprehensive post, or series of posts, dealing with these questions.

    There’s sometimes a fine line between raising the warning voice, and beginning to look for faults instead of seeking the light that is there. Even Nephi was worried that people would dwell too much on the faults in his writings:

    1 Ne. 19: 6
    Nevertheless, I do not write anything upon plates save it be that I think it be sacred. And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself.

    I’ve sometimes been grateful that the general, struggling membership of the church does NOT frequent Mormon forums or blogs on the internet. If they did, too often they’d see posters putting a humble sacrament meeting talk through a critical review normally only reserved for the most public of performances of theater and art. I wonder if some would ever venture to participate again if they knew how closely they are critiqued (not that that level happens on this blog, thankfully.)

    I hope that the first commenter, IC, rejoices, as I do, in the great truths that are contained in the May Ensign. I don’t think anyone expects perfection from the conference addresses. I have found much in there that is of worth and would hope to count myself among the meek in the Lord’s promise to Mormon:

    Ether 12:26
    …my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take not advantage of your weakness;

    I’m not saying speakers at Gen Conf are of the stature of Nephi and Mormon, just that we can learn from them that even such great men and such powerful prophets were fearful of people seeking to be critical of their words.

    I think of a quote from the movie Pollyanna, “if you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will.”

    Obviously the stark prophecies and warnings of Nephi, Isaiah and Jesus on the future of the gentiles doesn’t leave a lot of room for optimism. However, when we get questions wondering if we should be sending a son on a mission for the church, I wonder if something might be out of balance here. At the minimum, I wonder if a door of misunderstanding has been left open that should have more carefully been left closed.

  16. I have been following the comments as religiously as I have the blogs themselves – and am a bit disturbed – are we missing the intent of both Nephi and Denver? Why so much concern over the state of the LDS Church that we are all members of – and remember what Nephi said in Thursday’s blog – verse 10 – “there are two churches ONLY” – What church are we concerned with? What of the dozens of other unanswered questions Denver asks that aren’t being discussed? He is writing these things for OUR benefit – not for his – he has already figured it out and I have a hunch knows what the path is he personally should trod during the days Nephi is describing – I keep asking myself – and the Lord – who knows the “Way” for me and for all of us – “what do ‘I’ need to do to find myself in His Church – i.e. that of the Firstborn? How can I help my family to find Him, for to know GOD is eternal life –
    The LDS church at best is a tool to that end. To the degree it leads us to learn to know God it succeeds. Joseph laid the groundwork for that and I am grateful every day for the things he left us to guide us in that direction. Whether it is being taught by the current leaders doesn’t diminish the fact that what Joseph taught is still available if we search for it.

    I have enjoyed your comments and thank you for you for all of them.

  17. Anonymous

    You are echoing many of the exact things I felt/said in a comment back on 1 Ne 14:3-4. I hear you, I know how you feel.

    In a nutshell, we aren’t being taught the way or the need to seek the Lord in person – to have Him seal us up as His. Because of missing this most basic requirement to be a member of the Church of the Lamb/Firstborn, we are all headed down a primrose path that leads to what? It leads to losing our exaltation! That’s huge!!! No wonder it is abominable that this is not the focus of all of our sermons (and articles), because we ‘think’ we are the Lord’s chosen, His saints, His elect and so we feel ‘safe.’ But, like Denver has said, the Church gives us the opportunity to pay tithes, to attend the Temple, to serve in callings, to learn charity etc etc.

  18. Here is Pres. Eyring’s newest Ensign message: he summed it up with “And, in time and eternity, we will feel the joy of being welcomed to the company of His faithful friends. I pray for that blessing for all of us and for those we will serve.” To me that is a clear reference to being embraced by the Lord Jesus Christ in this life in person. The great and abominable church, which has set up tents within the Church, right next to the humble members, will correlate that away to fanciful fluff. I think Pres. Eyring intends it to mean exactly what his words mean in definition. You’re right, J. The fight really isn’t against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but against the tares within the Church. And the Lord will fight that battle, but it is the angels who will tear down the tares and burn them. Are we getting a taste of that process? Who are the angels? Certainly Pres. Eyring’s intent is clear to all the pure in heart, whom he seeks to strengthen. Now, try to share that as your Home Teaching message this month, simply and humbly, without referencing it came from Pres. Eyring, and see what kind of reaction you get. Then, try mentioning it came from Pres. Eyring and see if the reaction is different. This is your Nephi test to go and see if the judge has been murdered on the judgement seat or not and see if I am not right. It is bad out there. Then you will weep as I do.

  19. With the General Authorities being so up-to-date on current issues, it is likely they’ve come across this blog and keep a good note of how it progresses. Has anyone considered that some if not many of them are perhaps saying to themselves, “It’s about time some of them are getting the message.”? Or do we assume the correlated department that they probably barely tolerate speaks for them and that such comments on here are worthy of the shame of the world? That sounds like fear and not faith to me. When we are weighed in the balance for our own candidacy for membership in the Church of the Firstborn, we may find to our shame that the fury of the oppressor was a phantom. It has no real power to oppress but what we give it. Where is the fury of the great and abominable Church, even if it cloaks itself as the “real” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when it is only a false image of what the Church really is, or should be? All those who have climbed into the Church who uphold the abominations of the whore of Babylon will finally be declared thieves and robbers. We should not listen to them, nor defend them, nor revile back. Look how Pres. Eyring brushes past those robbers and speaks directly to those who will hear. Will we hear that message? Pres. Monson did the same in the previous month’s message to be courageous. Are we listening? I believe the courage he instructs us to develop is to be able to listen to all the messages of lay members who bear testimony in ways they can’t as General Authorities. We are all members of the body of Christ and the head says to the hands and feet, do what I can’t do. Why not? Why not see if God confirms that is how we are to interpret the President’s message? Why not see if that is the prophetic council? Or are we too busy counting our piercings and breathing sighs of relief we don’t have too many holes in our skin.

  20. The brother who wonders if he should send his son on a mission may’ve felt the feeling of pouring out of old wine and emptying his bottle of sending out a missionary of mixed culture and rite of passage, and will likely be awakened to sending out a missionary to match the message. Hopefully that will rub off on his son. Certainly he is right to not want to send out his son in vain. After allowing for the possibility of holding back, because the Lord still utilizes His Church, the Lord will tell him how to send off his son with valor, and use the Church as a tool in the same way the He does. That is all he needs to get past the quakings caused by a paradigm shift. The Lord will do it for him, we don’t need to, nor do we need to be afraid of his sincere question, unless our faith is weak and we are scared that the Lord has forsaken us personally.

    Perhaps the Lord will tell him not send out a missionary for the Church, but send out an emissary for Him, using the institution as a tool that aids in that process, like the internet is to communication (that means, still have him go on a mission at the Church’s request, but for reasons supplied by the Lord). Shall we baptize people to the wonders of the internet? Or to the Lord who sometimes uses that medium to send his message out. Should we restrict the Lord from using snail mail at other times? And in case the connection is missed…should we baptize people to the wonders of sacred buildings? Or to the Lord who sanctifies. Catch my drift? I’m sure you probably assumed those good things, too, Ben.

  21. These comments are insightful, thanks all for the thoughts.

    J: You wondered why there is so much concern over the state of the LDS Church from the comments. I’ll take a stab at one perspective anyway.

    If you’ll notice, pretty much every post Denver puts up has reference to the institution or correlation or abominations, etc. He also often talks about the need for the Gentiles (us) to repent. Could it be that there is a link between these things? What is he trying to drive home? Is it possible that what is meant by true repentance isn’t so much getting rid of our addictions, iniquities or daily “sins,” but turning (or returning) in a new direction: towards Christ? And by doing that, all other things are healed?

    I grew up literally idolizing the Church leaders… from the prophet down to my bishops. Even 3 months ago it was the case. As the mist of darkness has been lifted, there has been a lot of gut checking. I think what you are seeing are people at various stages of coming to terms with what Denver has been teaching us. What may be an observation from one person might seem like a criticism from the other. But ultimately, I feel like we’re all here to learn, and to understand what role the LDS Church does and should play. Each post from Denver and proceeding comment helps to that end.

    Denver has stated that he is very careful with how he chooses his words. If that’s the case, ought we not notice the significance of principles that are repeated continuously? Yes, we feel call of the Church of the Lamb, and I believe we’re striving to gain entrance. I want to let go of the vanity and false traditions, and with God’s help, I think we’ll get there (but some of us are just slower than others).

    I’d encourage you, though, to comment on the other unaddressed questions. Maybe it will help us to “get off the wheel.”


  22. Regarding the query from Anonymous and his son serving a mission, I would say rejoice! Especially if your son is choosing to serve the Lord because he feels the spirit telling him to do so. The gospel IS TRUE! The authority and power of the priesthood are real, and have been restored in these latter days. What a great blessing! What a joy! For your son to desire to share the truth with others, it will be the greatest thrill for him as well as you–as long as he focuses on the truth and doing the Lord’s will.

    The danger comes when we do things to be seen of men, and not to serve the Lord. When we set our hearts upon appearance and do the “right” things for the wrong reason (ie, again–to be seen of men). The programs of the church are not necessarily or inherently bad or wrong. They were created to assist the individual to come to Christ. What has happened is that we as a people want the easy road. We seem to need the checklist approach, someone to tell us what to do or how to do it. Then instead of our hearts being turned to the Lord, and us giving him our will willingly, we are drawn into complacency and an “all is well in Zion” mentality by thinking we are somehow saved because we met the quota this month, passed off our personal progress, or got our Duty to God or Eagle Scout project done. (What is worse are parents who think pushing their children to get these awards somehow improves their standing in the church.)

    As I continue to do my own studying, pondering, and praying to be let to the truth daily–I realize that each of us are responsible for working out our salvation between us and the Lord. I am grateful to Denver for his insights, they have broadened my thoughts, and inspired me to turn even more to the Lord for my own personal inspiration and revelation. For me it has renewed my understanding that the gospel is true and eternal, and the church merely the vehicle required for this mortal experience in order to administer the authority, the ordinances and covenants, and yes–to teach us (hopefully) the truth. But we are still as always, the ones required to search, knock, ask, and learn for ourselves. No institution can do that for us. And no other individual can do that for us either–not even Denver.

    Back to your son–enjoy the adventure. As he truly serves the Lord and His children where ever he will be called the Lord will bless him with great growth and understanding. He will come to know the Savior by following His command to:

    ”19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
    Matthew 28: 19-20

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