2 Nephi 28: 9

“Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.”
The alarming use of the word “many” suggests this is to be a widespread problem in our time. These teachings are denounced as “false and vain and foolish.” We should look at each:
What does “false” mean? Does something have to be thoroughly and completely wrong to be false? Is it enough to be off by enough to rob the teaching of power?  How many truths will a liar tell while trying to get you to believe an ultimate lie?  How well does a deception work if there isn’t some truth included in the message?  So, then, how difficult will detecting the error be?  May the very elect be deceived? (Matt. 24: 24, see also JS-M 1: 22.) How will one be able to decide between a false and a true teaching? (Moroni 10: 5.)
What does “vain” mean? Is the best meaning “futile” or “without power?” If a teaching robs you of power, deprives you of the Spirit, is that “vain?” What would you trade in exchange for having power in the Spirit? If a little flattery is enough, would you take the assurance that God loves you, and will never let you be deceived enough to get you to let go of the responsibility to ever have His Spirit to be with you? (Moroni 5: 2.) If the current President of the Quorum of the Twelve has lamented our lack of power, is it really a lament about our vain beliefs? If so, what can you do about it? How can you avoid having your faith become vain?
What does “foolish” mean? Would something that is so poorly based, so weak and powerless to save, and utterly false be foolish? What about trusting a man to save you, rather than the Lord? What about the notion that there is a man who will be perfectly unable to ever lead you astray? How foolish is it to trust your salvation to the inerrancy of a man?
What kind of a heart is “puffed up?” How would these false, vain and foolish doctrines result in a proud following? Why would they think themselves better than they are because of these doctrines?
What does it mean to “seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord?” What does it mean to “seek deeply?” What foolish men would think they could ever “hide their counsel from the Lord?” Who would believe that God would be bound to follow what a man dictates–because they have keys to bind Him– rather than recognizing that the Lord alone holds all authority to judge and will alone determine all judgment? (See 3 Ne. 27: 27.) How foolish is it to become a sycophant of priestly pretenders, hoping that they will save you in the day of judgment? Will appeasing an LDS authority be of any more value than kissing a Cardinal’s ring when you are standing before the Lion of Israel to be judged? How well will the vain ceremonies and guarded conspiracies work in the day when everything is shouted from the rooftops?
What does it mean to have “works” which “shall be in the dark?” Does this just mean hidden? Does “darkness” also include the quality of the works? What kinds of work are “dark?” Can obliterating part of a sacred ceremony remove light and replace it with dark? Does curtailing the Saints’ ability to discuss true principles, exercising control and dominion and compulsion to prevent knowledge from spreading all contribute to darkness in the minds of the Saints?

When is the last time you were encouraged in the Temple to understand and discuss the meaning of the Temple ceremonies? When was the last time you were told NOT to discuss the Temple meaning inside the Temple? If you can’t discuss it inside the Temple, and you covenanted not to discuss it outside the Temple, then where can you discuss its meaning? How will you learn if you are unable to share ideas about the symbols and their meaning? Is it “dark” when the light of teaching is closed to view?
I don’t know if any of you recall that Hugh Nibley was given access to the chapel in the Provo Temple to speak to waiting patrons about the meaning of the Temple for a number of years. While waiting for a session to begin, patrons could listen to and ask questions of Hugh Nibley in an atmosphere of sharing and getting answers.  Today, in contrast, they discourage you from discussing anything about the Temple even inside the Temple. I refer to an incident in the Jordan River Temple in The Second Comforter. I was told to not discuss meanings while in the Celestial Room speaking with full time missionaries assigned to my stake. I presided over the missionary work of the stake and worked closely with these wonderful young men. But I was told to stop teaching them. This is common today. It ought to end.  We will only understand sacred symbols if we are able to teach one another about what we have learned. When I think of the library of material I have had to get through to be able to understand, I am left to wonder at how difficult the process has been made for those who would sincerely and humbly like to seek after further light and knowledge by teaching one another.
We should welcome as much light and truth in our exchanges with one another as we have to offer; in the right setting and with the right Spirit. It is not casting pearls before swine when the audience is prepared, worthy and interested in obtaining knowledge for the right reason. Now even if you have the very best of audiences, in the most sacred setting, we are told to not discuss what may be of vital interest to a soul seeking to gain further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil.
How little discarding of light must one cause before they are doing “works in the dark?” It is such a terrible question with such fearful results that I would hesitate to be the one who limits the Saints’ ability to seek into truth.
Now, to balance things somewhat, I want to affirm several fundamental truths:
-We are accountable for our own search into the truth.
-No one can limit you if you are searching with real intent having a contrite spirit and broken heart.
-There is no conflict between fulfilling your duties to the church on the one hand and your responsibilities to the Lord on the other.
-You cannot blame anyone else if you have not been diligent about your own search.
-In the end, whether there is active opposition or active assistance provided to you, it is necessary for you to make the internal changes and to follow the path.
No outside party will control what is yours alone to control. But the first step to be taken is to realize you really are personally responsible. You can’t depend on others nor on an institution to do the work for you. But as you awaken to that recognition, you should not lose heart or become discouraged. Nothing has been lost collectively which you may not still lay claim upon for yourself.
I do think we could make a greater overall gentile success with a different, more benign attitude as a group. But even if you must work against a corrosive environment, you can still do it. You have the greatest tool in your hands. You truly can get closer to the Lord through the Book of Mormon than any other means. It is a guidebook written for us and for now.

22 thoughts on “2 Nephi 28: 9

  1. A changed heart….the inner work that we do is the most important thing of all. Most of what is required of us in our “doings” in mortality is quite insignificant, although at times we feel it very important. Without overcoming our carnal natures and having that change in heart and submitting our will to the Father, mortality is rather wasted.
    Denver, you said you had to go through a library of things to understand temple symbols and such. I have so much appreciated the things that you have alluded to in your books. I have gone to the temple with a new awareness and it has filled me with awe. Are there any materials in particular that you remember reading that helped you and that you can share with us?

  2. I remember reading that Hugh Nibley also had at least one occasion where he lectured and discussed the temple with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in the upper rooms of the Salt Lake Temple.

    I’ve long wished that I could have been there to hear that lecture.

    I wish we had more opportunities in the temple to ask questions and discuss the meanings of what goes on there.

    Perhaps in some ways this is a continuing failing of mine, wishing to learn of sacred things from mortals instead of becoming better acquainted with the Source of truth via the Spirit. On the other hand, where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, there he is in the midst of them.

    I read of Church History and the kinds of testimony meetings they had back then, and I compare it to our monthly fast meetings and weep at the contrast. We have lost the ability to speak extemporaneously by the spirit because we have neglected the prerequisites, to “treasure up in your minds continually the words of life.”

    Thank you for this post.

  3. I remember many years ago (in the 1970’s) stopping the Provo Temple president in the hall and asking him where we could discuss sacred matters (eg. fac. 2 of the Pearl of Great Price). He told me I could possibly attend a temple session in Manti with Brother Nibley. I had no idea how to go about meeting with Bro. Nibley in the Manti temple. I also asked the Provo temple president at that time if there was some place in the Provo Temple where I could go to pray in the way we had been taught. He said no. I remember being confused by that…. a few years ago in the Salt Lake Temple celestial room, I asked an ordinance worker if there was someplace in the SL temple where I could go an pray as we had been taught. He said no…. I asked if I could do it in my home…. he told me no, that there had been problems with some active LDS (and others I suppose) who would go to remote mountain locations to pray in the true order of prayer. I remember asking him why we were taught to pray that way if we could not ever pray that way. He just shrugged his shoulders. I’ve been pretty much on my own when it comes to learning about the temple…. I’ve read everything I could find (to learn from others experience…all very cryptic of course)…. I’ve spent a lift time on my own learning what I could about the temple….. I have wanted so much to discuss things with others inside the temple…. how I wish we could talk about these things…. I do from time to time quietly whisper ( in the celestial room) things to my wife. She was endowed after the ceremony was “modified.” I’ve told her I wanted to show her something special that she did not learn about when she went thru the temple…. about that sacred embrace that we no longer do….I”m not sure how to quietly do that with her in the Provo temple.

    I feel pretty alone on these things. Sounds like some other do too.

  4. DKD:

    I had never thought about the fact that we are taught true prayer, and then sent out into the world with no way to accomplish it, only to be participants with someone else as voice.

    I am of the generation that has the modified endowment. I keep telling my dad that we need to go to the temple someday so that I can learn of things that are missing now.

    I should do the same with my grandmother who remembers things that have long ago changed.

    I suppose the only real way to gain the full experience of ordinances is to follow the path in Second Comforter and get them from the source.

  5. It’s frustrating to see how the endowment keeps changing, and to hear about parts missing. The more I learn about what’s missing, the greater the anticipation for the fullness.

    I’ve done a lot of research on Covenants, Contracts, and the like… it makes me wonder if the younger generation will be held accountable for not having all of the covenant information.

    A similar idea with the Constitution and the Republic… The knowledge seems to have been tucked away for another day. I’ve had to dig and dig to find what the prophets have said regarding these matters.

    Can the younger generation be held accountable for truths being hidden? It seems we have a culture of superficial gospel knowledge. I’m not an expert, but I grow tired of ignorance amongst the members. Sometimes I wonder if vary many ponder the scriptures. Come on people, the fruit is sweet!

  6. DKD:

    I’m of the generation with the modified endowment. I’ve learned quite a bit about what is no longer part of the ceremony. I’m very interested in not loosing out on anything due to portions being removed. The sacred embrace you mentioned is something I’m not familiar with.

    Can you please share what would be appropriate?? I’m very interested. I hope if anything the fact that it has been removed from the ceremony will allow you to speak more freely. But I would love to hear what is within appropriate bounds.

  7. I think Denver used this in the Alma 13 material:
    5 Oct 1840 J.Smith: There are two Priesthoods spoken of in the Scriptures, viz the Melckizedek and the Aaronic or Levitical. Although there are two Priesthoods, yet the Melckizedek Priesthood (Which is truly named the Priest- hood after the ORDER of the SON of GOD) comprehends the Aaronic or Levitical Priesthood and is the Grand head, and holds the highest Authority which pertains to the Priesthood the keys of the Kingdom of God in all ages of the world to the latest posterity on the earth and is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation and every important matter is revealed from heaven. Its institution was prior to “the foundation of this earth or the morning stars sang together or the Sons of God shouted for joy,” and is the highest and holiest Priesthood and is after the order of the Son [of] God, and all other Priesthoods are only parts, ramifications, powers and blessings belonging to the same and are held controlled and directed by it. It is the channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing his glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth and through which he has continued to reveal himself to the children of men to the present time and through which he will make known his purposes to the end of time—”
    Whether all of these ordinances are still ‘channels’ as they presently exist has been discussed.
    There are two ordinances that seem to have remained intact – the baptismal and confirmation ordinances and the sacrament. I take great comfort that I can go as an individual and partake of the Sacrament and receive the Holy Ghost as a gift AS I COVENANT that ‘I am WILLING to take upon myself the Name of Jesus Christ and keep His comandments – because of this covenant the gift is given and thus He can and does speak and direct me in any direction He chooses and I can know without any doubt that I have communicated with Him through the Holy Ghost. I have not received the ultimate Covenant connected with the doctrine of election, but through the Sacrament covenants weekly entered into, He can lead me to the greater covenant of the baptism of Fire and the Record of Heaven as per Moses 6:60ff and can having thus been cleansed, hope for the promise of DC 93 – to see His face and know that He is then my Father within His Patriarchal Order and a member of the Church of the Firstborn.
    Nothing is really lost unto us if we are able to receive this very precious gift of the Sacrament and the Gift of the Holy Ghost – This is the Gate – Christ is the Gate-keeper. Nephi will explain this in the coming blogs and I an anxious to see what Denver does with this.

  8. I think this is an example of the Samuel Principle that Custer talked about. We asked for a shorter endowment, we were offended at certain things, so the Lord basically said “go ahead” to our modifications to our own condemnation. I feel similarly to the changes to initiatory where now everything is “symbolic.” We aren’t meriting more, we are losing what we have because of the wishes of the Saints.

    I think we will continue to hemorrhage youth from the church until we make many of the changes we’ve talked about here. We’ve set up impossible situation of trying to teach the gospel with the tools of babylon. Frankly, I think youth see right through it, and see the world and babylon in its undiluted “glory” and wonder why they should chose watered-down babylon in the church. We need to go the other direction and present a real alternative. Ditch scouting and all of the now failed temporal attempts at reaching the youth through socialization and lets get down to the business of salvation.

  9. Tracy con’t
    Whether these ‘channels’ are still intact to all of the members has been the subject of much discussion.
    However, there are 2 ordinances that haven’t been tampered with: the Baptismal/confirmation ordinance and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper –
    I take great comfort in knowing that I can go each week and covenant that I am willing to take upon myself the Name of Jesus Christ and that I will keep His commandments. In return I receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost which directs me throughout the week as to what He desires that I do that week to serve him.
    I have not received the greater covenant of Election nor have I received a baptism of Fire which cleanses every whit – but because of the direction He leads me each week I have a hope to receive a pure heart and to thus be able to see His Face and know that He is my Father in His Patriarchal Kingdom and a member of the Church of the Firstborn.
    Baptism is the Gate – Christ is the Gatekeeper. Denver will be covering that in a few weeks I am sure.

  10. Ben:

    I think at a very deep level (not something people recognize or can articulate), people can sense the truth. It comes from a primeval knowledge which comes from before birth. We accepted truth before, we are looking for it again. We crave it and love it when we find it. Everyone senses truth. They know when they hear it. And know when they don’t. It is innate.

    We are losing truth, and also losing interest among the youth, investigators, and members.

  11. Anonymous…. I cannot say any more.

    Ben… I agree with your observation about the “source.”
    We work for and seek that living source every day.

  12. As you clarified Denver,

    “There is nothing lost, that can’t be found, if sought.”
    (part of a poem read in the movie ‘Sense & Sensibility’)

    Though alot of truth has been lost or hidden from view, most of it is still quite easy to find if we read the words of the past Presidents of the Church & study the scriptures with the Spirit.

    After studing the scriptures in earnest that have already been given to us, all other knowledge that is vital for us to know in this life, that has not been spoken or written of by even Prophets, can be easily learned via the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit, if sincerely asked for, will pour more light & knowledge into our minds day after day, than we have room enough to receive or know what to do with.

    Just the daily revelations we can all receive, all day long, can keep us busy learning & growing at the fastest rate possible for the rest of our lives. Nothing will be held back for those who really want to know. Line upon line, they will be given to us.

  13. I’m surprised that anybody has ever been told not to talk about “meanings” in the temple. In the book “The Second Comforter” Denver stated that the temple worker told him he “was wrong” about a certain meaning, not that he couldn’t talk about “meaning” (has the story expanded?). I have never been told not to speak about meanings in the temple. My experience has been when I do ask questions to temple workers, they don’t know the answers, even when I have ask those who have the sealing power. Thirty years ago as a missionary at the MTC we were given the opportunity in a special temple meeting the ask the temple president any question we had about the temple with the only exception being those associated with the second anointing. However he was enthusiastic to answer all other temple questions. I have not heard that these meeting have been discontinued (but perhaps they have). So I ask, are many of you really being asked not to speak in the temple about meanings, or are your experiences more like mine, which is that the workers just don’t know the answers. I still continue to have great temple discussions with my friends and sons in the temple, but I’d love to be taught greater insights by inspired people if I had the chance. But if we are mostly just left to be taught by the Spirit, so be it. I think the insights I received from Denver’s book have been marvelous and I hope to make the temple even more effective in my life. The changes made at the temple haven’t bothered me although I did enjoy the initiatory ordinances more before the changes were made (others may feel the total opposite). The spirit I feel at the veil has increased tremendously throughout the years regardless of the changes made there. I’m not so quick to conclude that the the changes made in the temple were reluctantly made by the Lord or the Brothern because we have become a slacking generation, but perhaps that is the reason (the Savior’s speech about allowing divorce because of the people’s attitude, show it is possible that the same could be responsible for temple changes).

  14. I really am enjoying your teaching style; asking thought-provoking questions is such an advanced way to help your students really learn.
    (Including me!)

    I understand the frustration you and others feel about the changes in the temple ceremony and the lack of teachings about what that ceremony really is/means. I’ve been there before – but now I have greater worries about the temple.

    Well, first off I should say that since I no longer believe that the President of the Church is a prophet (in any greater sense then how we should all be prophets) I’m afraid I can’t answer the recommend questions in the correct way and will have to let my current recommend expire. I believe that to be a prophet prophet one needs to be called directly from heaven, he needs to actually reveal things (expound on scripture, bring new light and knowledge to the world, lead a people to Zion, encourage his people to each seek/know/become all that they can – not just rely on their own take on things, etc.) I don’t see these things in our current leader(s). I only see good and kindly men, who have been in the church hierarchy long enough to become its leaders, doing their best to run an amazingly complicated multi-billion dollar corporation. Please believe me that this realization came at a huge cost (prayers, struggles, fasting, worrying, searching, studying) I kept hoping I was wrong about what the Lord told me but can no longer deny what I’ve learned.

    Anyway, I’m still struggling with how I feel about the temple. (I’ve come to the conclusion that if I can’t attend any longer, that is OK – I am right with the Lord and I have no worries about my eternal standing.) This leaves a bit of a hole in my understanding of thisngs. But with all my study of church history it may be that the problems with the church you write about have been problems that began occurring even during our Prophet Joseph Smith’s all-too-short time on earth. (Not because of him). The problems I see with our current leadership were even more obvious with President Young and since him the gifts of the spirit and good fruits (other then increases in church members) have been missing! If this is the case – how can I even trust that the temple ceremony/endowment is what it claims to be? The original endowment in Joseph Smith’s time was SO different then the crazy things that happened in the Nauvoo temple under Brigham Young. (If you’ve ever had a chance to read about the origins of the ceremony we have now – one might be really grateful for the changes that have occurred. Wow! I’m so glad I didn’t have to do some of the things required then!)

    I guess I’m just rattling on and on, but if anyone out there has worked thru some of my issues I would sure love hearing from you – I love hearing others ideas/thoughts. How did you, when you looked at the apparent falling away from the fullness of the gospel, stop looking where you did? I mean you can go backwards in our history to the changes in the 90’s or further back to the 60’s or to even more changes in the 20’s. Then you can go back to the 1870’s and then where does it stop? From my research, changes from the pure teachings of Joseph Smith go at least back to the leadership crisis that occurred at his death. And these changes can even be found in the somewhat altered/incomplete history that we are allowed to know about! I’ll stop now – thanks for letting me go on so long and I really do enjoy reading your blog!

  15. I have so much to learn (it’s true that the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know). While I would love to learn personally from Hugh Nibley, learning from the Spirit, in the temple itself, is a glorious thing and something we all have available to us. I sometimes wish I could tell everyone some of the glorious and beautiful truths the Lord has taught me, but I’m learning more and more to treasure them up in my heart. I have a small booklet I keep in my temple bag. It is a brief synopsis of Packer’s book The Holy Temple. I have highlighted parts that are especially menaningful to me. Occasionally referring back to those things has helped remind me that I can and should seek, through proper preparation, to gain knowledge directly from the Lord everytime I attend.

  16. John C.,

    You asked whether others have been told not to discuss the temple while they were within the temple. YES! Let me tell you of the experiences I know of.

    I, personally, have been told twice…my sister once…and my brother once.

    I was in the Salt Lake Celestial room and was talking to my nephew, and two sisters about some of the understanding that I had received from Hugh Nibley and another great teacher. I was approached by a woman worker and asked what we were discussing(it was some of the “least” of the stuff I could’ve shared…just to help a little). She then told me that we could NOT have any such discussions and I asked her “then how were people supposed to learn and understand”…she said that they are supposed to come and be taught by the spirit and the spirit ONLY. I asked her if everything she had ever learned was only from the spirit. She said no, but that was the rule from they were expected to enforce.

    Then in the Provo Temple, I was sitting on a sofa quietly whispering with my mom and sister in the Celestial room and was again approached and told we are not allowed to discuss the temple. If I had questions I could talk to the temple President. I did. I asked him if he knew the answers to some of what I was sharing and he did not. He told me that the reason they don’t want people talking about it is because false information gets passed around.

    My sister had an experience down in Mesa, Arizona. She and three ladies were talking and were approached by a worker. They were immediately ushered to the temple Matron. After discussing their dialogue with her, she sent them to the temple President. He asked what they were discussing and they said they were talking about questions they had about the clothing (a very “basic” place to begin in my mind) He was unable to answer their questions either, but told them about people in Manti that went off the deep end by asking too many questions and then told them that it would be UNWISE to be asking questions as this was seeking into mysteries and would perhaps lead them to apostacy. He then said they should just be content to come and serve in the temple as an act of obedience and leave it at that. One of the ladies determined that probably was the best course of action and felt bad for having been seeking knowledge.

    My brother’s experience wasn’t IN the temple…but still pertinent.
    When he was living in Provo about 6 years ago, the Provo Temple President came and spoke at their stake conference. The President told them all that they should not be going to the temple and discuss with ANYONE else what the temple meaning was. They were to figure that out on their own and there should be no “teaching” going on between individuals.It was made very clear that this is temple policy. My brother asked me what I thought about that, since he had already gone to the temple with me to learn some things. I told him of my experiences of being reprimanded too, but that it made no sense to me because I have found that as I have prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me understand things…very often he has sent someone into my life that had the knowledge and was able to share it with me because I was desiring and asking the Lord. He very often answers us through others. Plus, the things I had been taught by others helped open the way for me to understand how the Lord was using symbolism and it has opened my view so that I have SINCE been able to be taught more on my own now directly through the spirit. Others helped get me started down the right path.

    Frankly, I would love to discuss things in the Celestial room, but since they have taken this strict appoach, I admit, that when my children are old enough and asking me questions…I will figure out a way to still do it It’s sad that I will have to feel like I am being sneaky, though.

  17. continued from Karen…

    BTW, the stuff I learned from Hugh Nibley wasn’t face to face. He had written a booklet specifically for all the brethren to read regarding all the symbolism of the temple. It was “for their eyes only” so to speak. We had a good friend (this is in late 1990) that was a former mission President and he was related to one of the brethren. He had a copy of it and allowed my parents to read it on condition that they would not make a copy of it and return it when done. Both my husband and I were able to read and study it for about a week.

    I have always considered it a generous blessing from the Lord that I had that opportunity.

  18. Calimom,

    I apologize that I am writing three blogs in a row, but when I read your blog, I was filled with great concern. Please take what I am saying in a spirit of love and pleading, I am not trying to reprimand you for your concerns.

    I am very concerned that you are taking the information shared by Denver and doing EXACTLY what he his NOT wanting people to do. He has repeatedly explained that he is trying to help people that have come to some of the thought processes that you have…thoughts/knowledge/ideas that have caused them to become inactive or leave the church altogether…to actually come to terms with those issues and realize that they still do need to be a part of this. To RETURN to FULL activity. The answer is not to discontinue going to the temple or any other form of inactivity.

    Denver clearly pointed out in one of his blogs that he sustains the brethren at every ward conference, etc. as “prophets, seers and revelators.” Maybe a better question for you to ask Denver would be how is it that he can make that affirmation and yet differentiate between the title of “THE PROPHET” vs. “THE PRESIDENT”. I don’t know the full answer, but I know the answer is not to deny yourself the temple.

    You said that you have prayed, fasted, etc. and the Lord has told you that you need to stop going but that it’s okay because your you’re not worried about your standing with the Lord. Does that mean you’ve had your second anointing and heard His voice call you His daughter? As far as I’ve read off this blog…until one has the voice of the Lord reveal that knowledge to them, WE NEED to be worried about the state of our soul. Remember, getting answers to prayers can be tricky business. Clearly, from D&C 46 we learn that we can get answers not only from the Lord, but also from Satan…and EVEN MORE COMMONLY, IMO, FROM OURSELVES. When something comes from ourselves…that is vain. That comes to naught. That is not the spirit.

    I don’t have the time and space to write all my thoughts regarding the matter…but I am just pleading with you to rethink what you are contemplating. You would be doing the very thing that has caused much of the brethren to advocate so much of the watered-down approach to doctrine…people can’t seem to handle it and they go off the deep-end. You have got to reach deep down into your spiritual core. The Church and the Programs and the People are all imperfect…so what…it’s still the place the Lord has asked us to be and serve and receive His blessings. Continue faithful sister, don’t let your faith be shaken by things you don’t fully comprehend.

  19. Couple of ideas:

    -Sustaining leaders as prophets, seers, and revelators can mean supporting them to become such, even if they aren’t.

    -Calling them prophets can be used the same as calling the rest of us prophets when we have a testimony. It is not inappropriate to call a candidate for a position the name of the position itself, or else very few of us could be called Saints. The spirit of prophesy makes someone a prophet when they have it, which is the preparation to being sealed as a prophet (when one is never to fall from the right to that spirit, excepting perdition). No one can force you to change your belief of the interpretation, and no one can require you to state compliance in their interpretation. They haven’t yet said you need to say you know the President of the Church has been ordained by God’s physical own hand yet, although some wish they could force you that way.

    -Jesus said salvation was of the Jews, and continued to teach in the temple even though the leadership was much more corrupt. We have nice, wise men, and even some real Saints in top positions. Can you excuse yourself against Jesus’ example? He kept His temple recommend longer and against worse corruption in high places. What spirit are you listening to? Sounds like a flattering one with soothing tones. Maybe it is a dead maharaji from the Eastern countries whispering peace and love in your ears, Calimom (sorry to be blunt). But, salvation is still “of the Mormons”, and watered down ordinances still unlock some knowledge that is essential that God will still hold people and our dead accountable to be introduced to, even if he provides for the supplementary fixes on his own.

    Even the purist form of symbols for the endowment had no power to trigger any blessing on their own. Re-enter in by the gate, young lady, and quit you like a woman. If you climb up by any other way, you are a thief and a robber. All of your arguments about corruption will not hold water with the Son of God and His example with the high priests of His day, even if they are true. If the Lord has told you anything, it is He still loves you, even if you’ve already made this choice of yours. He will not poke and prod you differently, He will let you make your own choice, and let lesser fools like me shout at you. If you won’t hear it from a servant, you won’t listen to it coming from Him anyway.

  20. We have such a warped view of ordinances and their use. The Pearl of Great Price says ordinances confirm power that has already occurred. We confuse things by thinking that ordinances produce power because some power won’t come until previous power has been confirmed (we just aren’t sure enough of ourselves until after that to receive more), but even then, some people have exceeding faith and receive higher things before the confirmatory ordinances come along for their previous achievements.

    They are simply beautiful manifestations of the glory that happens outside of the temple process. Would reading about the experiences of Joseph and Brigham and early temple ceremonies have any bearing on your own power? I think not. Perhaps that can make you think you have the confirmations yourself. Perhaps it can make you impatient before you’ve arrived at a spot worthy to receive it. It takes a well-guided effort and personal sobriety to undertake the early ordinance search. Books are not the right context in and of themselves. Do we have the discipline to allow for the right context? Self-judging is so hard to do. We are pornography addicted and treat the ordinances like peep-shows sometimes.

  21. Calimom,
    Is there any way we can talk, via email maybe? I think I know some of what you are talking about & would like to chat more.


  22. Clarification: I think there is a connection to the ordinances and power, but I was trying to clarify that the connection is not a magic one, as has been said before. They are small and simple things, but as Denver said in the Second Comforter, they are not hollow rites. The thoughts and hope they produce because of the context they are presented in is the real power of godliness. The ordinance is not power in and of itself. But I think there is a power “in” or “to” the ordinances because of their connection as a tool to help in the process of gaining power itself. That makes them indispensable, but at the same time, nothing to boast about.

    I also think that ordinances happen through the proofs God gives us. Not the kind of ordinances that give us authority to claim Church rites, but the kind that develop the same types of power that the meanings of ordinances we perform in the Church attempt to display. This might suggest we don’t have a monopoly on the ordinances God dispenses.

    Didn’t John the Baptist proclaim Jesus had no need of the meaning of the baptism he performed, suggesting Christ was baptized in the power of the truth it represented long before that day? Yet Christ responded, “suffer it to be so that all righteousness be fulfilled.” He honored the authoritative version although He was already fully “immersed” in “water”.

    Even Jesus revealed to Joseph Smith, “all those who would’ve received it with their whole hearts will be worthy of the ordinance.” How would they wish to receive it with their whole hearts if they haven’t been introduced to the power of it in their lifetime already, and received the power then? Do we really release souls from prison in every instance, or do we not sometimes simply assist them in doing a duty they owe for the sake of the truth, for the sake of respect for the place of authority and official ordinance?

    Might they already have power with God as Christ did before His baptism? Might they already have more freedoms in the afterlife than we think? Perhaps there are formal things they wait to do or are not permitted to do until the formalities are taken care of, which may only be fair, but God is a lot more liberal than we often think Him to be and loves those who serve Him in spirit and in truth more than in ritual only. Note the case of the Samaritan woman whom He loved.

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