3 Nephi 11: 22

3 Nephi 11: 22:

“And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.”

Space was limited and the mechanics of writing was difficult for Mormon. Therefore, in his abridgement of the account, for all others “the Lord called,” and the ceremony was repeated for each. In the process, He “said likewise” unto each of them. Every individual person was acknowledged by the Lord as having conferred upon each of them “power to baptize” by the Lord.

None of those who received this power had any doubt about their authority to act in this ordinance in the Lord’s name. None of them lacked the “power” to baptize others. None of those who were present, and still kneeling during the ceremony, or who overheard the Lord’s words had any doubts about those who held a commission from Christ to baptize them. Finally, none of those present would have any doubts about the need to be baptized by this newly bestowed power.
Although every one of them had been baptized previously, it becomes apparent that once new power to baptize has been given by Christ, that  power ought to be used. It is not given to be neglected. Nor can power endure through neglect. So when given, the power is to be used, and all who were present are candidates for baptism.
Then comes the instruction from Christ as to the manner for performing the ordinance. “On this wise shall ye baptize…” begins the instruction.  If the Lord provides the power and then gives the instruction, can the ordinance be changed? What if someone else says they hold the keys, and we all accept the person does in fact hold the keys, can such a person change the manner of baptism? If there is a potential convert who is infirm, ill or elderly and is unable to be baptized in the prescribed manner, can the ordinance be changed in form to accommodate the need? That is exactly how the ordinance was changed after the New Testament times. A reasonable need, and accommodation for that need, resulted in an exception. Then the exception became the rule, and the original manner was forgotten.

If the Lord’s instruction regarding the manner of baptism in this verse cannot be changed, even by one holding keys and authority to do so, then what about other ordinances? Can other ordinances be changed by one who holds keys if they choose to do them differently? Why not?  What happens when the one in a recognized position to perform ordinances decides to make changes to the ordinances?

Assume for a moment the Lord instructs Nephi on how to perform baptism, but Nephi decides thereafter to make a change to it. How would that reflect on Nephi? How would that reflect on the Lord? How would it reflect on the Lord’s instruction? What about Joseph Smith’s statement: “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.” (TPJS p. 308) If the Lord gave Nephi the “power” to baptize, does that carry with it the “power” to change it as well?

Well, the purpose behind the Lord giving instructions was that “there shall be no disputations among you.” Does the instruction given by the Lord end as soon as we begin to see “disputations among” followers? Can an opinion poll that shows a majority of those who practice the ordinances don’t relate to them anymore and want to see them altered, create a “disputation” that allows the instruction from the Lord to be altered?
As stupid as these questions may seem, there are people who are genuinely confused by them. So I ask them. You must decide if the Lord’s instructions deserve respect and ought to be followed. Apparently men of good faith, honest hearts, and sincere desires can by reason of their status alone, contradict the Lord’s instructions and people won’t even blink. That’s the beauty of the claim that Rome makes to having Peter’s keys and the ability to seal on earth and in heaven. The Catholics can change anything and no one doubts they had the authority to do it. To allow the possibility that God would not support the Pope would be to entertain the unthinkable. So don’t even hold that thought.

69 thoughts on “3 Nephi 11: 22

  1. You’re right. The temple ordinances were changed, based upon opinion polling, and without authorized consent from the Lord.

    Isaiah 24:5
    D&C 1:15

  2. Don’t be so quick to assume opinion polling was the basis for the 1990 temple changes. Just because its commonly accepting in the blog universe doesn’t make it so. The film was in production long before the opinion poll supposedly happened. And the background discussion/screenwriting/pre-production planning, etc. before that would have carried on for years. If the poll supposedly happened in 1989 (and in Dialogue magazine of all places, a source hardly trusted by the Church. Just think about whether that makes any sense at all), there is no way the pins could have all fallen to get a film out in 1990. Especially since the facts are the pre-production started in 1987 or 1988. I can’t imagine discussions in the Church councils would have started any later than about 1985.

    Imagine someone comes to you and says these animal sacrifices/ritualistic washings/dietary restrictions you’ve been doing for generations, and called “everlasting ordinances,” were to be done away. How would you react? Well, if the one announcing the change was commanded to do so by God, does it matter that common wisdom says the ordinances would never change? That even people acknowledge by God as His spokesmen said they would never change?

    Sacred history demonstrates that sometimes ordinances are changes legitimately and sometimes they’re changed illegitimately. The fact of a change doesn’t state anything about how the Lord feels about the change. I think readers here would be wise to turn the mirror around occasionally. It’s common in these comments to criticize Church members because they haven’t sought the Spirit to confirm whether its true doctrine that the prophet will never lead us astray. So to those of you who are worried that the ordinances have been changed without the Lord’s approval, have you sought the Spirit to determine whether He is pleased with what happened? Or, perhaps, whether He led Church leaders to make those changes? As recent posts have stated very eloquently, He can do whatever He wants. He doesn’t need our approval to do so, nor conform to our notions of the forms of what should happen in sacred places. If the Spirit attends the work, then our notions of what should happen or how probably don’t matter too much.

  3. I think Anonymous@4:44 PM has a valid point that we should not assume why the ordinances were changed and that we should verify with the Lord His feelings about those changes.

    Also, I think the previous poster’s cite of Isaiah 24:5

    5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

    along with Joseph’s quote

    “Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.” (TPJS p. 308)

    should be considered when we are trying to determine the validity of changed ordinances.

    So many changed ordinances.

  4. There is a big jump from these comments about the power to baptize given by the Lord to the chosen Nephite leaders at this time and the changes made to the temple rites. There have been many changes made over the years. I would assume they were made with the approval of the First Presidency and the Twelve. If so, then is it not the same? “If by my word or that of my servants, it is them same.”

  5. Just a few other facts we ought to keep in mind:

    1) The first changes made to the form Joseph Smith used to administer the endowment happened during the administration of Brigham Young. Some kind of meaningful change has happened roughly every 30 years since. So that only leaves us two choices, folks. Either we’ve been wrong pretty much the entire time, or sometimes the Lord is okay with changes to the ordinance forms. The only reason to single out the 1990 changes as special is that there are people participating on this board who remember them, and no one (probably even very few anywhere in the world) who remember changes that happened pre-1990.

    2) I won’t defend Correlation, because I do think there is much they could do to improve. But again I think it will be helpful for participants here to understand a few facts (which I share as an employee working for the Church in Salt Lake City). I hope understanding these things will remove the conspiratorial overtones of many comments I read, turning discussions of the Church’s current state to a more productive, and informed, direction.

    3) First, there are no Church departments more conservative, and more interested in preserving Joseph Smith’s legacy, than Correlation. While many Church departments rely on opinion polling and sociological data, Correlation is not one of them. They are very discouraged by the reliance of data gathered through the social sciences.

    4) Correlation does not initiate any program, policy, or product. It is true that they review everything created by the Church, but they actually can’t significantly shape the contents or forms of those creations, just by the nature of when, how, and how much material, they review. In other words, Correlation works with what they’re given, and rarely changes more than a few superficial components of what the Church is creating.

    5) The quality of many Church products is poor, and I can’t do anything to defend that. But material quality, such as the over-simplified manuals much discussed here, has much more to do with over-worked and (in all honesty) under-qualified people working on them than any conspiracy to damage the gospel message.

    6) The Church leaders I work with (e.g. seventies and apostles) are constantly pleading with the producing departments to be more true to the Lord’s message, to stop watering things down, to be more bold in declaring scriptural doctrine, and to stand up for what makes the Church different. I could discuss for hours the reasons why that may or may not be happening well, but factually it is inaccurate to say that Church leaders are behind anything you may be concerned about.

    I think it is legitimate for us all here to discuss these matters, be concerned about them, wonder what could or should change, etc. But my plea to all is to examine the facts a little more closely and carefully before stepping out into areas where truthfully not a lot of public information exists.

  6. Just a few other facts we ought to keep in mind:

    1) The first changes made to the form Joseph Smith used to administer the endowment happened during the administration of Brigham Young. Some kind of meaningful change has happened roughly every 30 years since. So that only leaves us two choices, folks. Either we’ve been wrong pretty much the entire time, or sometimes the Lord is okay with changes to the ordinance forms. The only reason to single out the 1990 changes as special is that there are people participating on this board who remember them, and no one (probably even very few anywhere in the world) who remember changes that happened pre-1990.

    2) I won’t defend Correlation, because I do think there is much they could do to improve. But again I think it will be helpful for participants here to understand a few facts (which I share as an employee working for the Church in Salt Lake City). I hope understanding these things will remove the conspiratorial overtones of many comments I read, turning discussions of the Church’s current state to a more productive, and informed, direction.

    3) First, there are no Church departments more conservative, and more interested in preserving Joseph Smith’s legacy, than Correlation. While many Church departments rely on opinion polling and sociological data, Correlation is not one of them. They are very discouraged by the reliance of data gathered through the social sciences.

  7. Part 2:
    4) Correlation does not initiate any program, policy, or product. It is true that they review everything created by the Church, but they actually can’t significantly shape the contents or forms of those creations, just by the nature of when, how, and how much material, they review. In other words, Correlation works with what they’re given, and rarely changes more than a few superficial components of what the Church is creating.

    5) The quality of many Church products is poor, and I can’t do anything to defend that. But material quality, such as the over-simplified manuals much discussed here, has much more to do with over-worked and (in all honesty) under-qualified people working on them than any conspiracy to damage the gospel message.

    6) The Church leaders I work with (e.g. seventies and apostles) are constantly pleading with the producing departments to be more true to the Lord’s message, to stop watering things down, to be more bold in declaring scriptural doctrine, and to stand up for what makes the Church different. I could discuss for hours the reasons why that may or may not be happening well, but factually it is inaccurate to say that Church leaders are behind anything you may be concerned about.

    I think it is legitimate for us all here to discuss these matters, be concerned about them, wonder what could or should change, etc. But my plea to all is to examine the facts a little more closely and carefully before stepping out into areas where truthfully not a lot of public information exists.

  8. 4:44 poster: Huh? I’ve never heard anyone talk about unauthorized changes as going from live to media? Thats hardly the changes that most of us here know about. Then you talk about deletion or doing away as changing, that is not changing original pattern already established in the current dispensation, that is deleting or fullfilling or giving a higher law to replace a lower one. We don’t even get revelation or the word of God anymore to receive some change to a higher law or new dispensed version of the gospel. Like we would even merit receiving more or something better in our day. We change them… meaning we warp them from their original pattern given by God himself or His angels, because we think our reasons are good enough. With the changes we have done, where is the word of the Lord or His angel? Was God wrong when He gave the pattern to Joseph not too long ago? Ex: did God have a wise purpose by putting penalties showing that if we don’t build Zion and commune with Him face to face and keep our promises, we’d face the very things that were re-enacted? Or did we think we knew better than God, us sitting in His temple, thinking we didn’t need such harsh things in our day… we like only the smooth or nice things taught us? 2 Thess has something to warn us about that.
    Anyone who investigates will see the real reasons why we make changes. Usually the 1st Pres letter explains why THEY did, and there is never any word from God stating to do so and why. Like with the garment, “saints” wanted to be more fashionable with changes in society, so they developed the chopped up ones we wear today… but even then, we had to save long garments for the temple… but that later changed too. We do sprinkling instead of washing. Deleted a good conversation between the priest and the devil… that we definately need to understand in our day. If we change these ordinances and teachings, what makes us different from the catholics changing a primary ordinance like baptism? We change the exalting ones! We also changed and altered the marriage covenant in it’s fullness, but some don’t like to mention all the truth here. Oops I just did:)
    I honestly don’t know how anyone could not see all the changes, deletions, warping that we have done, with their true reasons… unless they simply were too proud to do their own research. I might be proud of the good things our church still does… but I do not have to agree with the severe changes in doctrine and ordinances that has occurred, especially in the last century.

  9. We have the luxury of reading the Book of Mormon record to know the instructions that Christ gave his disciples concerning how baptisms are to be performed. Where is the record of the revelation on how temple ordinances are to be performed? Without the record, how can I judge? Why did Joseph give instruction to Brigham to finish the temple ceremony if there was a revelation about it? There doesn’t seem to have been a record. Has the temple ceremony been changing since Joseph? If so, changing from what? What are the essential parts of the temple ceremony that shouldn’t change? I suspect the Lord’s messengers acted in the temple ceremony were different characters in the day of Enoch than they are today (or am I wrong?). The examples of false preachings once given in the temple were those of the historic Christian church. Did former saint’s (and pre Christianity saints) endowments use those same examples? Probably not. The washings given in the Kirkland temple seem different from the washings we did a few years ago, and they’ve changed again. There seems to be a history of change throughout the centuries and millennia. But I can’t judge properly without having the record of the revelation (fat chance I’ll ever see those). As far as I know, today’s temple ceremony may be closer to how Paul’s or Isaiah’s ceremony were like. Most likely not, and perhaps we are changing the ordinances but I’m holding back judgment on this one without the revelation to look at. I’d love to learn more about the actual history of the temple, starting with the Kirkland era. Are there any good non-correlated book(s) that does this?

  10. Anonymous 5:33.

    I never said the first time the endowment went to film was in 1990. I said it is historically inaccurate to claim the Church did an opinion poll in 1990 then changed the endowment. Whatever the reasons, the changes were underway long before then.

    I see you assuming a lot of things. If I’m reading you correctly, you are explicitly claiming God gave no revelation to change the endowment forms. My response is, we can each have opinions on those matters but the truth is none of us were there, none of us participated in the discussions, none of us know what revelation was received or wasn’t received. We’re all speaking from ignorance.

    You set up a false dichotomy in your response to me. You crafted an argument that said, in effect, “either God was originally wrong, or we changed the ordinances because of our pride and desire for easy things.” My response to you is that I don’t accept those as my only two choices.

  11. Not much on opinion polls , or peer pressures. We know it happens because Of the garment change . No facts known on this But fashions of the world was creating a stir in the uptown ladies for the most part. And a problem with the GI’s .
    But who was so ever hot to get excited about these changes in previous posts needs to slow down a bit. God cannot just do what ever he wants, as you put it . I cant believe the wonderful testimony Denver just give us of Nephi’s awesome humbleness before the Master and someone of Lowly man tells us that there isn’t order in the Heavens By insinuating God does what he wants. That goes against what he is trying to teach us. ” If you love me keep my Commandments” So it is in all laws on this side or the other. As much as Christ wanted the cup removed our Father knew it had to be. There are many other examples. Isaiah saw our time clearly and told us what to watch for . For those that search the scriptures and are waiting for the return of the Savior this is one of the signs. There are many things that may not be in order , But it isn’t time to jump ship. It is the time for us with eyes that see and ears that hear, for we ourselves to repent before the Lord completely everyday.And work diligently to be able as Denver said so we may be able to have a Audience with our Lord and Savior.
    At one time in my life there were those that had me upset with what was going on in the church. Boy I was upset that others couldn’t see it.
    The the lord come to me in a dream and in this dream I was chopping on a large wood pile . The lord come and ask me why I wasn’t chopping on my pile which was a little way down the field. I informed him of my feelings, he lovingly let me know that he could handle it without my help,but That i needed to go work on my wood pile for I had much to do and not worry about his. Since then I have thought often about my dream and try hard to get my chopping done before the master may come again.

  12. I believe changes in the temple have to be taken on a one on one basis. There is difficulty in doing so based on their sacred nature and reactions to them.

    Some things may not be called “ordinances” per se, but supplementary to the actual ordinances, and hence open to revision.

    Other things may be in the category of “ordinances” as Denver speaks of above, that shouldn’t be changed.

    Other “ordinances” were instituted from before the foundation of the world to change from time to time, and probably dispensationally, and by introduction from heaven as to the change (i.e. sacrifice). Even still, we probably should leave them alone until dispensation changes, would be my guess.

    Those are my thoughts. If that is the case, then sure there could be some mistakes as to which things fall in which category and Church Presidents could have goofed. Hence the need for the Holy Ghost.

    And we could all pray unitedly for the Lord Himself to come and fix things for us. Or experience it ourselves and know first hand what things were symbols kept intact and what things were corrupted, point for point.

  13. To Anonymous 5:33.

    Yes, in hindsight we know that the Israelites were going from a lower law to a higher law. But that knowledge is based in large part on our existing conversion to the Lord. Isaiah 24:5 has already been quoted in this thread, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.”

    The changes Isaiah was talking about were not the future changes to our modern endowment. They were changes to current Israelite ordinances. Can we blame Israelites 2,000 years ago from being skeptical about change Christian leaders discussed? Can we blame them for holding fast to their traditions and the message of their dead prophets instead of their living oracles? Those who were willing to listen could only rely on the Spirit to confirm or deny that Christ’s altering of ordinances was authorized. Nothing in their experience would have suggested they should be expecting those ordinances to change.

    I recommend that you follow the same course.

  14. I don’t know why church leaders changed the ordinances (specifically the endowment). I had assumed it was because the Lord inspired them to do so. If in fact the reason for the changes had to do with opinion polling, or expediency, or convienence, and were contrary to God’s will, then a very different picture of church leadership emerges than I have always held.

    Imagine this: The First Presidency and the Apostles meet together in the temple to discuss the proposed changes to the endowment. They pray about the matter and come to the consensus that the changes should be made. And all the while the Spirit is telling them that NO! these changes to the everlasting ordinances should NOT be made.

    It is not believable that the leading councils of the church would fail to ask for guidance on a question of this magnitude- a question that I believe you refered to in an earlier blog as of “salvational importance.” It is equally unbelievable that the Spirit would fail to respond to their prayer. So either our leaders are spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind, or the Spirit approved of or at least aquiesed to their petition.

    Bro. Snuffer, are our church leaders spiritually deaf, dumb and blind? How can they be “men of good faith, honest hearts, and sincere desires” and get such a foundational question wrong?

  15. It is interesting to note that the physical penalities were also removed from Freemasonry from the obligations in England and Wales in Lodges under UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England) under the direction of the Duke of Kent in 1990. So we have within months an important change to our temple ceremony as well as the freemasons ceremony. I think there is more to the story than just our LDS public polling.

  16. Denver said:

    “You must decide if the Lord’s instructions deserve respect and ought to be followed. Apparently men of good faith, honest hearts, and sincere desires can by reason of their status alone, contradict the Lord’s instructions and people won’t even blink. That’s the beauty of the claim that Rome makes to having Peter’s keys and the ability to seal on earth and in heaven. The Catholics can change anything and no one doubts they had the authority to do it. To allow the possibility that God would not support the Pope would be to entertain the unthinkable.”

    You’re reaching here Denver. You cite a scriptural example that is instructive, but in no way leads logically to the conclusion that in our day, “men of good faith, honest hearts, and sincere desires [are] by reason of their status alone, [contradicting] the Lord’s instructions.”

    We know the Lord gave Nephi power to baptize. We know the Lord told the Nephites the manner he wanted them baptized. Practically everything else you wrote was your own speculation.

  17. This post was about baptism. However, now that it’s been turned into the endowment here’s what I understand:
    It was not until the 1870’s that the endowment was reduced to writing. The first changes were not made to the endowment until 1904. When the first changes were made they were (are) in the handwriting of Joseph F. Smith, the then-president of the Church. Those changes were a by-product of criticism about the oaths of vengeance respecting the killers of Joseph and Hyrum. These oaths were exposed during the Senate Hearings for seating Senator Smoot, and as a result the decision was made to remove the oaths.
    I believe if you look at the original documents, that is what you will find. If you have better information, I would welcome it. However, I do not believe it is correct that after the form was reduced to writing in the 1870’s that any changes were made until President Joseph F. Smith.

    Also, I am unaware of any announcement of a revelation at the time of any of the changes. As I recall, we were all instructed that those who held the keys were making changes to the ordinance. There was no mention (so far as I can recollect) of any revelation. I may be mistaken about that, and someone else can correct my memory on the point. However, there is a formula which gets recited about those holding keys have approved the changes, and they are announced as having been approved. No sustaining of the changes, no claim of revelation to justify them, no comment or mention of God’s involvement. Just the holders of the keys have made changes.

    Now, again, this post is about the changes to baptism made by the Catholic Church. But the comments have gone into the changes to the endowment.

  18. Denver,

    At the time of the changes in 1990, when the penalties were elided from the endowment ceremony, I was sixteen years old.

    I know from the endowment ceremony that I have experienced (both the films and live versions in Salt Lake and Manti) that there will be severe consequences for anyone who violates their temple covenants–including those where we covenant to keep certain things sacred and never real them except at a certain place that was shown us thereafter–since I am still taught every time I attend a session that “God will not be mocked” which implicitly communicates to me that there are serious repercussions in store for anyone who does mock God.

    I am sure that in a minute or two worth of Googling I could find on the Internet the complete text of what was removed in 1990. But, as you note in your book, “[t]he temple gives sacred knowledge. For those who are interested in receiving more, they must keep the sacred things given first in the temple. It is not possible for a person to defy the Lord, forsake his promises to God, abandon his covenant with God, and then receive further light and knowledge from Him. … It doesn’t matter if Sandra and Jerald Tanner publish the endowment ceremonies on the Internet. The thing that matters is that you, as a person in direct covenant with God, remain true to the promises you made to Him.” (Second Comforter, 2nd ed., 261). Therefore I refuse to satisfy any natural curiosity I may have since any specifics I would find published would only be available by virtue of someone else having violated sacred covenants they had made. I do not wish to in any way be a voyeuristic accessory after the fact to that.

    At the conclusion of the chapter The Temple as a Tool you wrote, “[t]hrough the process of the Temple rites, you become holy, or potentially become so. Whether you are willing to accept the holiness offered or not is up to you. But if you choose to accept the holiness offered in the spirit with which it is offered, and to obey the covenants, charges and obligations found there, you then have a tool for recovering your lost association with God.” (Ibid., 381).

    Are those of us of the younger generation [endowed post-1990], who’ll perhaps never have legitimate access to the particulars of the penalties, in any way damned or stopped in our progress, or in an inferior position to apply the tool of the temple than those such as yourself and others here who received their endowments before 1990?

    I would appreciate hearing your answer/opinion, even if it is just a yes or a no.

  19. So we always need formal announcement of revelation sustaining this-or-that decision? If we’re all adults with the Holy Ghost, can’t we go to the source ourselves without worrying whether or not the authorities issue the right document?

  20. Dear Moderator, Love the red letters at the beginning of the blog. Now all you need is a Disclaimer: or Warning: to draw attention to what is written. Then maybe Denver wouldn’t have to write “it is evident that you haven’t read what I have written”…every 2 months or so. Anyway, Good Job!

  21. Oh please.

    “This post is about the changes to baptism made by the Catholic Church. But the comments have gone into the changes to the endowment.”

    That is either your attempt at dry humor (which I generally appreciate) or you’re slipping into a very weaselly professional mode of lawyering.

  22. Can other ordinances be changed by one who holds keys if they choose to do them differently? Why not? What happens when the one in a recognized position to perform ordinances decides to make changes to the ordinances?

    The larger question is: How much authority do keys give an individual? Is there no limit to their ability to modify? If there is a limit, what is that limit?

    A simpler version might be: Are men allowed to change ordinances? At one time I would have said no. However, it seems that Brigham changed/enhanced/filled out the endowment originated by Joseph, and did so at Joseph’s direction. Was that okay with the Lord?

    Do we have any examples in the scriptures of ordinances being changed? If so, what does that imply about Joseph’s statement about changing ordinances?

  23. A brief summary of the changes I’m aware of:

    Change 1, Mid-1845: Joseph tells Brigham to get the ordinances in order, because he didn’t have time to do it himself. Brigham and company work the ordinances into the form administered in the Nauvoo temple.

    Change 2, 1870s: Endowment reduced to writing, systematizing the ordinance for the first time (before then there were slight variations each time the endowment was administered).

    Change 3, 1904: As Denver mentioned, Joseph F. Smith instituted some changes. I also believe it was at this time that the standardization of the ordinance was enforced between temples since before this time each temple conducted the endowment in its own idiosyncratic way.

    Change 4, Mid-1930s (I think 1936?): A number of changes that had the overall effect of shortening the ordinance considerably.

    Not really a change, but important, 1955: Endowment put on film for the first time.

    1990: The changes we’re so fond of alluding to on this forum.

    So not quite every 30 years, but not too far off. Really only one cycle missed in the 1960s to make it a pretty regular 30 to 35 years.

  24. Anonymous 6:24pm.

    No, I was not insinuating there was not order in the heavens. I was stating that we don’t always understand God’s ways, and just because something doesn’t conform to our notions of what should be doesn’t mean He wasn’t directing the change.

    I learned a long time ago that just because I don’t see the order in a practice, doesn’t mean God can’t find the order of Heaven in the same thing.

  25. Moroni has told us that by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of ALL things. We have been admonished by the Brethren that when a new policy or change of leadership is announced we have an obligation to ourselves to go ask the Lord for a confirmation – for truth. This was widely taught at the time the revelation was given on priesthood for the Blacks for example.
    When endowment changes began to be discussed by Snuffer in the blogs I decided the only one that knew whether these were approved by the Lord was the Lord, for I had many questions about how this impacted all of my family and the temple work that I was submitting for the dead. My answer was clear and even as I write this the witness is present and consistent with what I had then – that it was not approved. However, the instruction was that He was in control and no one would be deprived of any blessings if they sought them in faith, seeking truth according to the rights and powers of the ordinances of Baptism and the Sacrament – The Holy Ghost speaks the Words of Christ and all can receive their individual instruction unto salvation if they seek to take upon themselves the Name of Jesus Christ. By bearing that Name all things become possible – even answers of truth pertaining to any change or new policy or change in leadership.
    J.

  26. Anonymous at 5:33pm

    Very well said.

    And to the Church employee above, while I deeply appreciate and respect your effort to share your opinions, you have missed the point entirely. The root of the problem is that the brethren today do not even know the restoration doctrines any longer. At best, they might hearken back to the teachings from one or two generations of apostles (to Bruce R. McConkie or Joseph Fielding Smith for most of their viewpoints on doctrine, or some of them even refer to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young once in a great while as long as it’s from a well known, non controversial, and often quoted source). But the real problem here is that following the deaths of Presidents Young and Taylor, many of the foundational doctrines were significantly changed.

    This is not the place to go into a lengthy discussion of the changes, but a little homework on the part of anyone interested will quickly expose the myriad of doctrinal changes. For those not familiar with the crisis of doctrinal changes which followed the Manifesto and the Reed Smoot hearings, you would hardly recognize the gospel of Jesus Christ which was taught prior to that time.

    I own copies of the diaries and journals of every member to ever serve in the Twelve or First Presidency who kept a journal, and I’ve carefully read them and noted the progression of changes to our doctrine and ordinances. Most of these men kept detailed journals which catalogue a fascinating story of the changes we’re discussing. Other source materials are readily available and they all tell the same story; we no longer understand or teach most of the peculiar doctrines that were part of the restoration. Too many members and leaders alike were offended by the distinctive doctrines, and soon we made concession after concession. And once a change took root, others felt the right to modify things further to fit their own ideas, and soon things such as the identity of Jehovah, no longer reflected the teachings of Joseph or Brigham for instance.

    The church doctrines and ordinances in 2010, are not even a reflection of the truths espoused prior to 1880. And this is what modern Mormons are almost totally ignorant of. Today’s church doctrine is a correlation mostly of the teachings of Orson Pratt (whom Brigham Young constantly corrected for false doctrine), Joseph Fielding Smith (who clearly took issue with Young and sided with Pratt), and Bruce R. McConkie (who published Mormon Doctrine against the instructions of President David O. McKay, and it contained something over 1000 doctrinal errors). And who do you think has been quoted the most by the brethren in the last 30 years? Yes, brother McConkie.

    You have your choice, learn the truth of our history, or remain in blissful ignorance.

  27. Previous poster, I do have many of the letters from the first presidency on all the changes over the past 100 yrs. Not 1 ever stated the reason was because God said so. Most of them gave reasons that basically said members were annoyed or offended at something, so they just decided to make the change. Feel free to do your own research. I know many others here who have spent decades researching this stuff as well.

  28. Anonymous at 8:35pm, more recently we no longer have to stand quite as often. I imagine older patrons probably appreciate that. I don’t know of anyone who thinks that is a controversial change, but I suppose there probably are some who do.

  29. Gordon,

    As I posted earlier I have copies of all of the relevant journals. You would be surprised if you read the notes from quorum meetings where the members of the 12 and 1st Pres discussed the very things you posted. Decisions were made about doctrines and ordinances around a council table based on political expediency, social acceptance, business concerns (including things like selling alcohol in the church owned Hotel Utah because it brought money into the coffers), favors owed to others, fashions of the day (some of the apostles wives wanted the garment done away with all together and just have a simple mark they could sew onto their underwear which caused J. Reuben Clark no end of headaches), positions as Directors of businesses and how those business were affected by church policies, etc.

    I’m saying that we as a people have been fooled into believing that all of these changes were warranted by God as men fasted and prayed for revelation, when the very journals of our leaders convict them of overtly making changes out of convenience in too many cases.

    Things are not as they should have been, and the public face put on most of these issues, does not match the private records kept by those involved. This does not mean that these men did not have testimonies of the gospel, or that they didn’t try to further the work of the Lord, but these were men making decisions like most men do in any business undertaking. I’m not trying to impact anyone’s faith here, but I will not sit by knowing the truth, and allow our false history to dominate.

    There are times I wish I would have never undertaken this historical journey. Mostly I am glad to know the truth. If any of you don’t know where the Lord stands on the changes which have severly impacted our LDS world view, I suggest you fast and pray to get the answer.

  30. Examples of the changing wording of the baptismal prayer in the scriptures:

    Mosiah 18:13, 16: “[Name], I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.

    3 Nephi 11:23-25: “[Name], having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

    D&C 20:73: “[Name], having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

  31. I am nobody. Just your most common member of the church. I am a woman. I have been through the veil, and I have entertained angels here. I have met the Lord and our Eternal Father. I have just this one thing to say. After the changes to the temple in 1990, I saw far fewer angels in the Temples. Following the most recent changes, I do not see angels in the Temples any longer. I have stopped attending the Temple after talking to the Lord about these things.

    Perhaps you will judge me harshly. No matter. I know my Lord and Savior. Do you?

  32. For all that do NOT believe Isaiah is about us even though the Savior said recall the Saviors words “And all things that he (Isaiah) spake have been AND SHALL BE, even according to the words which he spake.”

    Read more carefully the words below. They are for the end time.

    IS 24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.

    IS 24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.

    IS 24:3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.

    IS 24:4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.

    IS 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

    IS 24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

  33. I’m in ignorance, but do not wish to remain so. What are a few, say top 5, of the most glaring doctrinal changes? Is the priesthood going to blacks one of your top 5? I think that was a good thing – am I completely at odds with Joseph and Brigham now? We couldn’t possibly share a celestial meal together now?

    I’m wondering why I need to spend hours with thousands of pages in research to learn all this. How will this help me obtain the Second Comforter? What do I do with this information?

    I received my endowments Dec.’89 and then left on a mission. I got back and noticed the changes. Mainly I noticed the wording with regard to the law of chastity, which I thought was good. It involved more than just intercourse, which chastity does. Who cares if the penalties were gone? I mean, that’s my honest question. What difference does it really make?

    I think we give ourselves way too much credit for ruining the Lord’s plans when we have no power to frustrate them whatsoever.

  34. Both the Book of Mormon and D&C prescribe the sacrament prayers. Moroni 5:2 and D&C 20:79 both speak of wine. D&C 27:3-4 says that we’re supposed to make our own wine [fresh grape juice] and that “yea, in this my Father’s kingdom … shall be built up on the earth.” (See also D&C 89:5-6.)

    Yet the modern Church uses water, not fresh grape juice.

    And we use (generally, in the United States) fluffy white Wonder Bread(tm), a food-like substance that some would argue isn’t congruent with traditional bread.

    President Benson once even spoke positively of some of the saints in France after World War II who used potato peelings for emblems of the sacrament, rather than bread.

    Is anyone concerned about these deviations from traditional bread and freshly squeezed grape juice?

  35. Michael,

    At various times the Lord healed the sick by the laying on of hands, by the application of mud, by the application of spittle, and by speaking the word of command. Joseph Smith sent his handkerchief to heal the sick and to act as proxy in his absence.

    In need, potato peelings don’t seem like a stretch.

  36. Wow! Who would have thought this post would produce 37 comments (as I write this).

    1. If the content of this blog is so offensive and shakes you so much, just don’t read it. I’m afraid the tone of those that disagree with Denver is going to cause him to quit the blog, and frankly, I have gained SO, SO much and am living so much closer to the spirit, I would hate to see that happen due to comments of the uninformed.

    2. Please DON’T make comments if you haven’t read EVERY book and EVERY blog from DAY 1 up to the current date. It is really getting frustrating for people that have to wade through criticism and defensive postures that have already been addressed. This topic of the temple alterations has already been hashed over many times. Do we have to do it again because you failed to read what’s already written?

    3. To those that keep questioning why little things like eliminating penalties (and a lot more) is a big deal…no offense, but it just reaveals that you just haven’t had enough time/experience/exposure/revelation, or whatever, to understand the significance of WHY it was there in the first place. Every aspect of the ceremony was teaching something. When it is gone…the teaching is lost. As time goes on, it’s completely lost. You don’t miss it, because you didn’t possess understanding of it’s importance to begin with. That’s why a bunch of uninformed saints have always demanded changes. If they understood it…they wouldn’t be asking for it’s removal. I am only 43 and did go pre-1990. I have had some wonderful people teach me within the temple…everyone I know that KNOWS what is going on laments any changes, because they understood the truth being taught and realize it is now gone forever. None of them are apostacizing either. Just sad and disappointed. Surely everyone on this type of blog is a “seeking” type of person that understands there is all kinds of truth for us to discover in the very verses of scripture you’ve read a thousand times. Suddenly one day you have an ah-hah on something that was sitting right in front of you for years…don’t you see that there were probably myriads of truths that you just lost out on because it’s not even presented to you anymore.

    4. Why is it so hard for us to see that the people (saints) get what they deserve. It has always been the case. We don’t want the truth, love the truth and appreciate the truth. We want it to meet our perception of what’s acceptable. The SAINTS have been asking for the changes and it’s been delivered. Even if the Lord “allowed” it so to speak, doesn’t mean it was His idea. Remember Israel begged for a king and the Lord relented. Remember, Joseph begged to let Martin Harris have the 116 pages and the Lord said yes. BUT DID HE REALLY? Come on people….if it was important enough to be in there at first, and the people keep whining that they want it different, the Lord will relent, give them what they want and they suffer the losses as a consequence.

    Share you thoughts Denver. I’m glad you have the confidence that we each possess the spirit enough that we can ask for ourselves and that we won’t be shaken if something is different than we always viewed it before.

  37. Michael,

    D&C 27:2 “For behold, I say unto, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with and eye single to my glory…”

    Everyone

    Man, this blog created a stir. I still think it would be nice to have known there was an original recorded revelation on the endowment. Doesn’t seem to have been one. So we can now argue what has been wrongfully changed or not. I think God does/must live by his rules, but I also agree that we do not know all the rules he lives by, so as far as I’m concerned, He can/does what He wants. Certainly from the scripture I quoted above (and the revealed changes in the baptismal prayers as one reader gave us), the Lord allows ordinances to vary from the exact originally prescribed words. Partaking with and eye single to His glory is the more weighter mater.
    I’m not sure how to take the changes in the temple. Even though we don’t have a record of the original revelation, and allowing that the Lord allows wording to change, I still wonder if the changes in the temple have been a compromise not always approved by the Lord. Denver is proof that even with the changes, one can still receive the Second Comforter. But I do find it very interesting that the Sister who claimed to have received the Second Comforter (that makes three blog readers from what I can tell) state that she no longer sees angles in the temple. Even if some ordinances have been changed without the Lord’s approval (as one reader named J. stated the Spirit told him), I also believe the instructions he received were true when he said “the instruction was that He was in control and no one would be deprived of any blessings if they sought them in faith”. I still feel the Spirit when I attend the temple and plan to keep going.

  38. I have been one to use the Correlation Department as the scapegoat without enough knowledge, so I apologize in general for that to everyone.

    To Anonymous @5:22PM, I thought your tone was very fair-minded and informative. It is still an uncomfortable position to be in as a lay member to suggest that I still don’t see the need for a Correlation Department at all, even if they are not the sole root of all evil within the Church.

    Nonetheless, I really like what J said @8:55PM. I’ve had that same confirmation by the Holy Ghost of those particulars. It would be nice if lay members, Church employees, and leaders alike could all work together to pray for solutions to removing unnecessary departments and programs from the Church, re-implement perfect ordinances through revelation and double-checking with the Lord on every point, and offer an acceptable sacrifice to our God. We always need to plead for mercy, don’t we?

    Notice I said pray…the leaders will have to make and implement the tough decisions and I pray for that, too. The lay members will have to be willing to repent and support by the power of the Holy Ghost those things that are right. The Church employees may need to accept the possibility that the Church would be better off without some or all of the functions of their jobs.

    It would really be a day of sacrifice, but it’s possible.

  39. Michael 9:32pm

    Sitting vs. Standing?

    Perhaps you are too young to understand, or perhaps you were never taught the difference? It’s called RESPECT. And everyone I know is deeply offended by this seeming loss of respect in the Temple.

    The elderly or infirm could always just sit if necessary for their health.

  40. For those who want something to study regarding these matters here is a short list.

    1. Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat and Cook
    2. Both Joseph Smith Biographies by Richard Bushman
    3. An American Prophets Record by Faulring
    4. The Joseph Smith Papers
    5. The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith by Jesse
    6. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
    7. Brigham Young American Moses by Arrington
    8. The Teachings of President Brigham Young by Collier
    9. Unpublished Revelations Vol 1 & 2 by Collier
    10. The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young (5 volumes) Van Wagoner
    11. The Essential Brigham Young (Signature Books)
    12. Heber C. Kimball by Kimball
    13. On the Potter’s Wheel by Kimball
    14. Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt
    15. The Kingdom of God or Nothing by Taylor
    16. The William Clayton Journals
    17. Mormonism in Transition by Alexander
    18. Hugh Nibley (all volumes and his class room teachings on the B of M and P of GP)
    19. Avraham Gileadi (all volumes)
    20. Truman Madsen (most volumes)
    21. Michael Quinn (All volumes)
    22. Early Mormon Documents (5 Vol) by Vogel
    23. Adam God by Briney
    24. An Invitation to Exaltation by Dye
    25. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol 1 & 2
    26. Teachings of the Doctrine of Eternal Lives; author anonymous (internet search)
    27. Further Light and Knowledge, author anonymous (internet search)
    28. There are several good “Book of Mormon” studies volumes from FARMS and others.
    29. 3 Vol set on Abraham from FARMS
    30. All Journal of Discourses (find used on ksl.com or ebay, or buy new at deseret book for $600 paperback)
    31. Life of Heber C Kimball, Orson Whitney
    32. Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, Anderson and Gary Bergera, Todd Compton
    33. Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question, Thesis at BYU by Andrew Ehat (may find online by searching I think)
    34. The Mysteries of Godliness, David Buerger
    35. Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Brigham and Joseph Smith Journals
    36. Journals of the members of the 12 and 1st Pres. Signature Books and Benchmark Books.

  41. Anonymous at 10:06pm: Regarding “what difference does it make” I think Karen explained that nicely. Regarding your question “How will this help me obtain the Second Comforter? What do I do with this information?” I don’t know.

    Anonymous at 11:01pm: I know. I was trying to make a point that in different times and places things vary some and it is ok. I find the story of the French saints uplifting.

    John C.: Excellent reference, thank you. I should have remembered that reference myself.

    Karen: Regarding your point three, I think people keep discussing it in the comments because Denver keeps alluding to it. (I’m in agreement with Anonymous at 8:@6pm.) “[D]on’t you see that there were probably myriads of truths that you just lost out on because it’s not even presented to you anymore.” I’m led to feel like Helaman 7:7-9. I’m consigned that these are my days. So I will treasure what I have been given, even though it is less than you and Denver and various other Anonymous’s have had. On the other hand, I am grateful I was alive during the time OD 2. I have faith that more is still to be had.

    Anonymous at 6:37am: Thank you for confirming what I suspected–that there would be people who were offended. My notion of respect is, that as a guest in someone’s House, I should comply with the master of the house’s request, and those of His servants. If His servants have erred in their instruction not to rise from sitting where once we stood that is a matter between them and Him and not me.

  42. It could be there is a purpose for identifying with punishments. Not because we expect those things to happen to us if we break our covenants, as we have traditionally believed, but because such willing breaking of covenant causes all of Creation to suffer because of Universal Law and our tampering with it.

    Because God feels all pain more acutely than we do, what we learn from the endowment must be regarded with the utmost respect and reverence. We are told to identify with the pain so we are aware of how we might make our Creator feel if we disrupt things and cause un-needed suffering.

    Do we carelessly unsettle his mind? Do we knowingly pierce His heart? Do we make it as if His very life were vain to live? Yet He never loses His head, His heart, or His life blood. His Son did that to show us how it feels, but He had power over it and received it right back again.

    Without this understanding, all of our covenants are in vain. Without the depth of this sober reminder, it is impossible for the mind of man to care enough about the covenants to be able to keep them. It is a part of the gift that enables a man to keep the covenant. It is required to be realized in the mind before the sacred knowledge that unlocks the keys to each covenant are dispersed.

    No man knows the covenants without this. No two sentence summary will ever show a man what the covenants really are. Mothers are already well familiar with the sanctity of life so relating to punishments only serves as a reminder for them, but it is necessary for them to identify with their Lord in this way as well and know His sacrifice transcends their own.

  43. The Lord requires our hearts in these matters, and a willing mind to not be violent. He doesn’t require our heads, or kami-kazi soldiery. And it’s not His intention to motivate us out of fear, according to the scriptures.

  44. Reminds me of ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. Did Denver have a list of “required reading” before his experience? I think some get decoyed by all the “learning.”

  45. I’m the woman who posted last night of my experiences on both sides of the veil and of my thoughts on attending the Temple. Many people are waking up to the reality of our world and the condition of our church and how deeply the Gadiantons control almost everything. The Book of Mormon foretold all of this. If you as an individual want to come to terms with all of this, and if you’re willing to lay down the false traditions with which you are bound down (another B of M teaching) then I recommend you plead with Father to open your eyes and to direct your heart in the proper direction.

    Brother Snuffer has talked about the cleansing and destructions which are coming. It’s true. And if you want to be spared in hopes of seeing Zion, or perhaps living to see the Lord come in His glory, then you better shake off the shackles of blindness, get into your scriptures, fast, pray, and WAKE UP. I know what most of you sisters read, and it’s not what will bring you to Jesus.

    If you think you don’t have time to take the gospel of Jesus Christ seriously (and I mean the gospel in its fullness, not the watered-down Sunday school version we have today), then you better turn off your television, and get rid of the other non-essential distractions in your life, and make the Lord Jesus Christ the focus of your mortal existence.

    Forget the women’s conferences at BYU, and the other nonsense pandered to us by Desert Book (especially the women on the paid speaking tours, some of them are in my ward….. disgusting) and get on your knees and get to know this Jesus of whom the prophets testified. I can hardly sit in Relief Society meeting any longer and listen to the general stupidity of my fellow sisters whose ignorance of almost all things spiritual smacks of the very things so many of you post.

    I know that most of us would be just as guilty as the Jews were in their day, and we would turn our backs on Him because we have been blinded by the traditions of men. If you have not yet read Denver’s book, “Come Let us Adore Him” then you better do yourselves a favor and read it. It’s a pretty good window to the Lord as I know Him. Then maybe you can turn to your scriptures and see the real Jesus for the first time in your life. He is not happy with us, nor with what we have done with our probation here. We better get busy and repair the damage we have done.

    This post is too long now, and probably no one will read it anyway since the original is a couple of days old. Oh well………………

  46. Alright, I will share a few more things and then these will be my last comments. To Anonymous who asked me to share my other thoughts and experiences, it looks like you posted your question while I was writing to the other sisters on this blog. Steve, thank you too.

    I’m middle aged now and have raised most of my children. I grew up in the church and thought it was Zion. I was lucky to experience a wonderful ward in my childhood and youth. My parents were not particularly active, yet I was driven to participate in the church. I was fortunate to have some significant spiritual experiences when I was young, but I just thought those were the normal experiences of life. I thought angels visited everyone?

    My whole world changed within the past decade when I was taken to the other side and saw things in their true light. What a surprise. There are plenty of books on peoples NDE’s etc and I’ve found most of them to be an accurate representation of what I experienced over there. If I was to tell you the full truth of what I have learned in subsequent experiences, and from visiting here with Celestial guests, I would be given a terrible label by most of you, so I will not go there. Satan controls this world and almost all of the information we receive. He has co-opted almost everything we hold near and dear. Yet we still have the invitation to come to Christ.

    Some days ago a brother posted of his experience of meeting the Savior. Go read what he wrote, I will not try to repeat those things. The Second Comforter becomes our greatest friend and comfort in this life. I see Him often. I have prayed with Him, walked with Him, eaten meals with Him, and I have prayed with His representatives, the angels of the Lord. They are people just like us, only they live in a higher level of light and understanding. Some of these “people” have become my dear friends too. You would be astonished at who I have seen in stores, parking lots, church foyers etc. Saying that angels are among us is an understatement. You would never believe all of my experiences, so I won’t tell you.

    So do you really want to know? Or are you just saying that? Responsibility follows knowledge. I will tell you something that I was told by an Angel of the Lord who visited me a few years ago. He stressed the importance of understanding the Book of Isaiah (and to the poster who recently said it only applied to Isaiah’s day, get a clue brother…..it is written to you and me). My guest further stated that the best and most accurate commentator on Isaiah is a man who was prepared to open our eyes to Isaiah, and the church has persecuted him for his writings. The Lord was not very pleased with the persecution he received. All of you should know of whom I speak. Hugh Nibley said that Avraham Gileadi was the only man in the church qualified to teach Isaiah. I suppose Denver must have written a nice book on Isaiah, though I confess I have not read it. His other books have been filled with the spirit and truth. We will soon see the Book of Isaiah being fulfilled. I hope you are watching for the Lord’s Servant to arrive on the scene! If not, then you will fall by the wayside in your confusion when those things happen. “What a servant coming? I’ve never heard that in church?” Of course you have not heard that. Open Isaiah and get busy reading. Almost all of the prophets speak of this happening.

    Now this will turn many of you away. I know of your foolish traditions. It doesn’t matter to me what you think, I will see the Lord again soon and he will comfort my heart no matter what any of you might say against me. Just imagine a woman having these experiences. It’s good to know that other sisters are awake too. I have met some of them. The world we all know is going to change drastically one of these days and if you are not ready, you will be swept away.

    Jesus loves us and is waiting for more of us to invite Him into our lives. Really it’s true, so get on with it and stop wasting time.

  47. These are the different conditions of a man’s soul when he is not ready for the covenants:

    1: He wrests the scriptures, not allowing for all possibilities in his mind in order to find the truth (close-mindedness or stiffneckedness)

    2. He is past feeling: no angelic messages reach his heart by the power of the Holy Ghost (hard-heartedness)

    3. He quenches the flame of his own spirit, of the Holy Spirit within him, and crucifies unto himself His God afresh, knowing what is true but denying it. His very soul, what he eats and drinks, turns to his destruction (if he persists long enough openly and willfully, this fate will be sealed on him. Many of us do this and repent, do this and repent and are not sons of perdition for just that, I don’t think, but shouldn’t we be very careful to avoid the habit?)

  48. To Anonymous at 2:29PM: Denver’s book is on Nephi’s Isaiah. It deals with the ways in which Nephi appropriated Isaiah’s words for his own prophecies. Sure there is some overlap, but sounds like Gileadi has more focus on Isaiah’s intentions himself.

    On this forum, I once discounted him as a scholar probably stuck with inadequate scholar’s tools and not much revelation, but hey, I jump to conclusions. It will be interesting to actually read more of what he wrote. Thanks for the tip.

  49. Having read Denver’s books, and all of Gileadi’s books, and the book of Isaiah as well, I completely agree with the premise of the dear sister who has kindly shared her experiences with us today, and motivated me to reach even higher. Bless you!

    Also, if you are interested in doing more than just reading Isaiah, the Hebraeus Foundation located in Lindon, Utah is a non-profit looking for donations to help get Gileadi’s works and the message of Isaiah out to the world. I’m sure you can google the name of it and get the address.

    It’s always nice to have ways to help further great works.

  50. Thank you for your words about Avraham Gileadi. I have enjoyed and learned a great deal in sitting with him and learning from him as he taught us about Isaiah and his message….he is having another all day lecture on 9 Oct in Provo for those interested. I’am saddened and puzzled by how he is treated by some who call themselves the Lords people….and I agree that the events Isaiah generally teaches about have yet to happen. And yes, I am watching for the arrival of The Servant… I hope it is in my lifetime….. I believe it is and I am currently 58 years old…..and furthermore that I am able to discern by the Holy Ghost truth from error.

    Meanwhile, as I was reading again in Alma 12, I was reminded of how light can be progressively given to those who are obedient, and it can be progressively TAKEN AWAY from those who are disobedient. I worry a great deal these days by what I see around me… and yet I feel hopeful and optimistic knowing Zion and our King will triumph.
    3 cheers!

    Alma 12
    9 And now Alma began to expound these things

    unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the

    mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a

    strict command that they shall not impart only

    according to the portion of his word which he doth

    grant unto the children of men, according to the

    heed and diligence which they give unto him.

    10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the

    same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and

    he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the

    greater portion of the word, until it is given unto

    him to know the mysteries of God until he know

    them in full.

    11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is

    given the lesser aportion of the word until they know

    nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are

    taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down

    to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the

    chains of hell.

  51. Anonymous @ 2:29pm, thank you for sharing. Truly, thank you!

    Zang wrote: “On this forum, I once discounted him as a scholar probably stuck with inadequate scholar’s tools and not much revelation, but hey, I jump to conclusions. It will be interesting to actually read more of what he wrote.”

    Yes you do/did. :-)

    I imagine you’ll find reading him to be very enlightening.

    [I don’t know where you live, but if you are in Utah you might be interested in a one day class Bro. Gileadi is teaching in Provo on Saturday, October 9th. See the Isaiah Institute’s website for more information.]

    I took a ten-week course on Isaiah last fall from him. Here are a few things plucked from my hastily scribbled notes from the first evening. I hope they will resonate with you and show that Bro. Gileadi is not the typical “scholar” you might have assumed:

    Our primary sources are the scriptures, Genesis thru Malachi (+ Book of Mormon).

    Modern biblical scholarship–hellish–a profession now mostly for non-believers–faith often not part of the equation.

    If there were a tapestry of scriptures Isaiah would be the centerpiece.

    Don’t assume anything anymore unless it is based on the scriptures. Only then are you on solid ground.

    [Incidentally that last notion is what really attracted me to Denver’s writings when I happened across them: his solid use of the scriptures.]

  52. Anonymous of 1:24 and 2:29, thank you for sharing. I must admit sometimes I cannot believe the path that I have been led to. I would have never dreamed I would be hearing of these kinds of things 6 months ago.

    You said that you know what the sisters are reading and it won’t bring them to Christ. Sadly I would have to agree you. Denver posted a week or so ago and said that mothers are usually closer to Christ because of their service.

    I am afriad I did not agree 100% with that. Most, make that all, of my friends are definitley serving their families. But they are not coming to Christ. I know I should not be so harsh, but I have candid conversations with them and they are far from the Lord. In my small circle of close friends, there are 2 bishop’s wives, a high counselors wife,and bishop’s councelors wives. Believe me, because of their husbands callings, they are esteemed as the “example” to follow.

    I am so sad. I have started spending less and less time with all of them. I just cannot bear the foolish conversations. My heart breaks for the Lord. We continue to deny Him.

    But I have hope, and I find great joy and satifaction in that new hope, in this new friend I am finding in the Lord.

  53. Part 1

    Dearest Sisters and brothers, one more important thing to share and then I promise to stop. The verse quoted from Alma 12 about the mysteries of godliness got my heart pounding and I must reach out and risk saying one more thing. To Carol and CS and others, I never expected to post again after sharing my sacred experiences last night and earlier this afternoon. Oh do I dare say this?

    I’ll start by mentioning that once Brother Maxwell spoke wonderfully of how we crudely draw the plan of salvation out on a chalk board as though God’s plan would be so simplistic as that, when in fact, it is so beautifully complex that it provides sufficient time and experience for all of His children to eventually become like Him. Just think about this; if God’s plan didn’t fully provide for us, then what good would God be to us? And I say that with all due respect to my Father in whose presence I have supped. He used that very argument with me when He taught me these things!

    I have a book in my possession with a wonderful statement in the Foreword, it reads,

    “Who are we? Why are we here? What is our destiny? These are the profound questions addressed in this collection of inspired thoughts of leaders, teachers, and prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and accompanying scriptures.

    These writings reveal our probationary experiences as the path of “becoming,” which path does not end at death, nor with the assignment to a particular post-mortal glory, but continues as we progress from one degree to another. In what should point the thoughtful mind to serious consideration, this continual progression is considered as taking place in the context of our own earth.

    The ideas are not new. However, they temper contemporary Mormon cultural interpretations imposed on our spiritual cosmology: that our eternal destiny is utterly dependent on our succession in this one probationary experience, and that failure to successfully overcome our trials in this lifetime suggests an eternal and fatal deficiency of spiritual character.

    Continued in next post…

  54. Part 2

    What light is shed by this collection! We and all men and women are experiencing the “Deity within us” (Brigham Young, p. 45) that will motivate us to grow forever in grace and truth. Indeed, “we are conducted along from this probation to other probations” (Heber C. Kimball, p. 48). And “if there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind” (Wilford Woodruff, p. 50).

    These ideas illustrate the legitimacy of our faith in others and in God, whose plan of happiness demonstrates such faith in us! Our patience is likewise justified as we allow others around us to experience God’s plan of happiness and his faith in them! Although we never stop teaching and encouraging, we may set aside feelings of desperation which might lead us to coerce others based on the assumption that mistakes made here may mean their place at the table of heaven will be eternally empty.

    My friends, while sitting in Fathers presence I have been shown that the plan of salvation is far more wonderful than is currently taught, though the founding prophets taught these things, and they are scattered in the scriptures if you have eyes to see them. The mysteries of Godliness indeed!!! Joseph Smith referred to them as our “eternal lives.” I do not know who compiled this book as it is published anonymously, but in my parting words here, I would highly recommend that you secure a copy of a book titled, “Teachings of the Doctrines of Eternal Lives.” I see it listed in the suggested reading list from earlier today. Smart cookie.

    It used to be on a couple of sites on the internet, but I’m not sure where to find it now? My copy is the Revised Edition from 2004. Due to his wide contacts, perhaps Brother Snuffer has an electronic copy or one of you might have it and it could be shared with other interested readers? I’m sorry but I won’t communicate directly with anyone, it’s not within my purview. I testify that we can walk and talk with God’s and angels on a daily basis. I know I am not the only one to live like this. I have met others, both men and women who share these gifts.

    God our Holy Father Lives as does His Glorious and Wonderful Son. They are my friends!

    Love to all,

    Your sister

  55. The Plan involves enough time and experience for all His children to become like Him? Even Satan?

    This is certainly new doctrine to me…

  56. Thank you for your beautiful and most dearing thoughts about your experiences. I am drinking every word you have written, for I am a woman also and it brings me hope and strength to keep searching and seeking which I have been doing for five years. You mentioned earlier that you stopped going to the temple. I am quite interested in this. I know you do not want to contact anyone directly, but I would love to write you about this. If you feel ok about it, please write me at cems1223@gmail.com. Graciously I thank you.

  57. I have available:

    Eternal Lives MMP Doc mentioned above. I know the author, who wants to remain unnamed.
    Ehat’s Paper on Mormon Succession Question
    many others

    just email restoredtruths@gmail.com to request.

    Also be sure to study Joseph’s Quorum of Anointed and Council of 50 meetings. A good book the fundies like to show how they connect their claimed authority to these secret councils is: Silencing Mormon Polygamy by Briney (also did the Adam-God exhaustive work). It’s worth getting just for the understanding of Joseph’s secret council and for a great collection of quotes of our early leaders on this subject.

  58. I would like to add my thanks to you, dear anonymous sister, as well as to Brother Snuffer, and the others on here who have shared their experiences and knowledge with us seekers here. On my mission, almost a decade ago, I received a testimony that the plan of salvation was far more compassionate and encompassing than we are often led to believe. We have eternities, the atonement is infinite in scope and the Father’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. With those simple truths I concluded we weren’t simply judged into one kingdom to dwell forever based on just this probation. Thank you for adding another witness that those truths whispered to me by the Spirit were indeed true. However, the sooner we choose light, truth and progression the sooner we enjoy the joy you, Bro Snuffer and others have experienced.

  59. Fellow bloggers,

    I also have a hardcopy of the book, “Teachings of the Doctrine of Eternal Lives” which my mother gave me a few years ago. My husband and I have greatly enjoyed the collection of quotes and teachings from the prophets and apostles and brother Nibley contained in this book. This is not a bunch of new age garbage, its directly from our early restoration. Here are the chapter heading to whet your appetite:

    1- Mysteries
    2- Revelation
    3- Prayer: The Key to Greater Knowledge
    4- The second Comforter
    5- Joseph and Brigham knew more than they could teach
    6- On the potters wheel
    7- Again
    8- From grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation
    9- Eternal Progression – eternal lives
    10- Treasures in the heavens
    11- Tried in all things
    12- Born again
    13- To go no more out
    14- Kingdoms of glory and the seven heavens
    15- Joseph Smith and Brigham Young
    16- Joseph, Bruhgam, and Heber will finish their work
    17- Joseph Smith and some thought provoking possibilities
    18- Elijah and John the Baptist
    19- Elias, Elijah, Noah, and John the Baptist
    20- God himself shall come down
    21- Servants who may be instances of God’s condescension
    22- The law of cause and effect
    23- The Pistis Sophia
    24- Man; diversity among men and spirits
    25- Universal salvation
    26- The Gods (many sub chapters)
    27- Adam and Eve
    28- King and Priest
    29- Second death
    30- Robert Matthias
    Then there are several Appendices
    A. Excerpts from Orson F. Whitney’s poem Elias
    B. Selected sermons from Joseph, Brigham, and Heber C. Kimball
    C. The Parcaletes
    D. 2 Esdras
    E. Then a large collection of excerpts from LDS scholars who have addresses all of these things. Nibley’s writings are phenomenal and seem to be the most significant things he wrote in all of his books.
    My printed copy is 385 pages and it was printed on 8 ½ X 11 sheets, double sided. My mom’s friend had a CD with the book and she printed it at Kinko’s for about $40 dollars.

  60. My testimony
    I was sure that I had posted for the last time, then my greatest friend in the eternities visited this morning and He asked me to share my testimony of Him; the testimony I cannot bear at church as I would be repudiated by my neighbors and ward members.
    This might take a while so please be patient. By now, surely no one is still reading this post from Thursday anyway.
    I first met our Lord when I was a young girl as He stood in brilliant gleaming white light and He told me He loved me. This singular experience carried me through my youth and into adulthood. While growing up I sometimes wondered why people didn’t talk about seeing Jesus, especially the apostles, I’ve since learned it’s because most of them have NOT seen Him. Angels also visited from time to time as I said before; I thought this was common for everyone. As I reached adulthood, I learned that our common enemy is just as real as the Lord, and once the veil opens to you, he and his minions will try to make your life very uncomfortable. You need to know this as you seek the Second Comforter. You can’t have the great and glorious experiences without also having the dark and awful experiences. God and His angels will help you through whatever comes so don’t worry, just be aware.
    We are raised in the Church to put Christ on such a high pedestal that it seems impossible for us mere mortals to come into His presence. The Jesus I know is the most wonderfully meek and humble being, and He is our greatest FRIEND. He knows you intimately as we have all been together for a very long time. His suffering in our behalf was so intense and perfect that He knows us better than we do ourselves. Denver’s personal account of seeing the Lord’s atonement as written in his book “Come Let us Adore Him” says it much better than I could.
    When I was first ushered into His presence, I was so “undone” to borrow Isaiah’s word, then when He introduced me to His Father, I knew I could not live or breathe another second. I knew I would die instantly as I was seemingly so unworthy of this. What I discovered however, is that God does not judge us in the way we might think. Nor do They dominate us with power, dominion, or might. While in their presence, I experienced nothing but love, kindness, caring, concern, peace, contentment, and light.
    I will write more later, this has left me weak and tired while pouring out my soul like this.

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