3 Nephi 20: 23

“Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.”
If there were any doubt about who was meant in Deuteronomy 18: 15-19, Christ clarifies it here. He, Christ, was always meant to be the ultimate Law-Giver. He is the one who must be followed. He may send prophets, but it is Christ alone who is to be followed. Those who draw attention away from Him and turn attention to themselves will always lead astray. For the Lord alone can save. No man can.
We’ve been trying to make the matter clear for some time. Not merely in this blog, but by my writing and your reading the six books I’ve written before beginning this effort. The Lord alone is the one to whom each of us must look for hope and salvation. He is the one with whom you can covenant to receive salvation.

In the middle of this prophecy of remnant return and gentile holocaust, comes the reminder again of the Lord’s primacy. Look to Him. Him alone. He is the one raised up to save mankind. He is the gentile hope.

The judgments the gentiles have merited by their refusal to accept the fullness of Christ’s Gospel is not an impediment to you, if you will come to Him. It was always meant to be a singular event anyway. There is no collective salvation. Each person comes to Him one at a time. Even when He redeems a group, He  visits with them individually. (3 Nephi 11: 13-17.)
Those who will not “hear Him” will be “cut off from among the people.” What does it mean to “hear Him?” How do you go about accomplishing that?
What does it mean to be “cut off from among the people?” What “people?” Why is being cut off from those people a curse? Where are you sent if you are not among the Lord’s people? How do you go about rectifying that – joining in to be among those who “hear Him” and are part of His people?
Can you do it now? Do you have to wait till some distant future time or place? Why aren’t you doing more about it now, then?

25 thoughts on “3 Nephi 20: 23

  1. Friday, July 16, 2010
    3 Nephi 21: 10-11

    This date in Denver’s blog should be reviewed. Today’s passage represents the Macro view of this prophecy and 3 Nephi 21:11 represents the Micro view. The prophecy is expanded in D&C 1:10-14,38 to open the its fulfillment to a servant/servants of Christ.
    However, Denver’s point is really what is relevant. Salvation and exaltation can only be achieved through discipleship and not membership alone. If you know this your responsibility lies within the scope of influence the Lord has granted you and behooves us all to “seek His face early”.

  2. Denver said, “We’ve been trying to make the matter clear for some time. Not merely in this blog, but by my writing and your reading the six books I’ve written before beginning this effort. The Lord alone is the one to whom each of us must look for hope and salvation. He is the one with whom you can covenant to receive salvation.”

    Coincidentally, last night I was thumbing through the Gospel Principles manual, and opened to a page that had this paragraph heading: “Great Blessings Follow Obedience to the Prophet.” I also read this: “We should do those things the prophets tell us to do. President Wilford Woodruff said that a prophet will never be allowed to lead the Church astray:

    “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place.”

    I thought we were to obey the promptings of the SPIRIT, not be obedient to a man. The Spirit can confirm whether or not what a Prophet says is from Christ or not, but still… the scriptures don’t teach me to obey a person. No matter how righteous they are, isn’t that still the “arm of flesh?”

  3. Joseph originally used the Urim and Thummim to translate the Book of Mormon. He then used a seer stone. Eventually, though, he had no need for the oracles or props to receive this revelation.

    Is this how it is for us? Do we initially start off with reliance on the Oracles of God (His true messengers) and use these Seers to assist us in progression, until which point WE become a living embodiment of revelation?

    At what point do we stop looking to these messengers, who, in many cases, have a great storehouse of wisdom and direction? Are they meant to be just “props” too? Are we supposed to ultimately set them aside, walk in another room, and receive revelation directly from the Source Himself?


  4. Perhaps leaving is more transitional then it is separation. Did not Alma’s angel return as a friend and announce his mentoring portion of the relationship was complete? Alma was probably introduced to an innumerable company of the angel’s friends as well, being admitted into a true fellowship (think about Denver’s post above).

    It seems it might be the way of the Gentiles to part company. Do we maintain relationships with all of our University mentors? No, we pay them and we are gone and they are gone, unless we’ve become three-fold the child of hell that they are and seek for tenure as well.

    Even if we part company as mentors in the true Gospel, it seems to be understood as being temporary and the separation seems painful. Think about parents and children, when children need to go out and practice on their own for a time.

  5. Frode:

    D&C 1

    14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;

    Do you think the ‘arm’ spoken of in this verse is a specific individual?

  6. Part 1:
    Agree with others here on this, but DS asked why we aren’t doing more… it is as you said in the Chiasmus conference yesterday… we have carried on the traditions of man. We have the ideas of ancient bablyon, medes, persions, rome, christians, even mormons all embedded and swirling around in our heads… our baggage that we carry. We are practically force fed to just follow the prophet since babes in the church. We are so indoctrinated to rely on the arm of flesh, that people lack the understanding and hence the faith to move them to action for themselves. I fought this for the longest time myself. So many around me think I’m falling away from the priests of the day. Just sit back, listen to what comes from the pulpit in SLC and don’t worry about it. Stop trying to figure out history and future prophecies. Stop being so negative and so doom & gloom on us. We are fine the way we are. We have prophets and God leads us thru them. We in effect give up our personal responsibility of working out our own exaltation, to others. We want smooth things spoken to us, not repentance and understanding penalties. We want another man to go in and talk with God and report to us what He said, instead of doing what it takes to go in ourselves. Like the people in Moses’ day… let us carry on here in the wilderness, live the way WE WANT, you go and do the sacrifice and work necessary to become one with God and tell us all about it. We like our minds and hands partly in babylon and still like to pretend that we are Zion, we are the elect. All the while our minds and souls are not using the capacity that we are capable of. We think we have all the truth we need, and those celestial truths lived by Joseph Smith and other great prophets were because they were not as exeperienced as we are… we are more correct in our day than they. We are so indoctrinated to just follow others, even if you don’t see the fruits of the spirit and the powers of God among such priests (and curse those who think to even compare and find that out)… at least when compared to the evidence found in the scriptures and church history. Follow them anyway… for one prophet in the past 6,000 yrs said God won’t let us be led astray. Well, we can lead ourselves astray. God and true prophets would never do that, but they will allow us to do so. But we can… history proves it. Fallen prophets can too. It’s called free agency, and not even God takes that away. And if we don’t have the knowledge, the understanding that the spirit can help us find (even in our state of the day), we will and have been led astray unaware. It’s happened all thru history. That which has been, shall be. Same process and story over and over. A few get it, the majority fall, until it’s time for another cleansing.
    But Denver is right… the fullness still can be had. Is it just for God to not allow a way to the fullness in our day? Do I have to remain caged and cooped up with the congregation and suffer damnation (stopped) from progressing like great men in the past have? Sure, I appreciate the good works still found in the church and elsewhere. But all of these things, were created in good minds in order to get the people to make individual promises with God, live up to them and reap the blessings, or the penalties for breaking them. All the priestly rights and ordinances we do, the commission of the church to maintain all the truth and receive more… EVERYTHING points to Christ as the capstone… from egyption pyramids (left without capstones) to LDS temple re-enactments… everything! He is the center. He is the focal point. The first comforter leads us to Him. He will lead us to the Father for even greater blessings, because He has already done the same… became one with His Father.
    Do we have the courage and faith today to break free and help others do the same?

  7. part 2:
    Will we be like those in the past, who just think to offer endless ordinances… but never really coming to a full and correct Knowledge? Will we still focus more on our priestly class, which also were just means to point us to the Lord and His gospel truths?

    God’s purpose was to give all men everywhere a chance at exaltation. God has given us enough examples in our scriptures to show us how to do it. But we halt ourselves. We lack the belief and faith (and yes, I speak to myself as well) necessary to move on. We have got to learn how to think and act with the independence of heaven, otherwise we will NEVER prove ourselves before heaven that we can be entrusted with Godhood later. We will never gain the correct knowledge, go thru the sacrifices, the tests of loyalty or gain the experiences necessary to become like God. This is true religion. Not the ones man have warped or created and passed down from traditions of their fathers. I fear that we stay subject to the “mortal powers that be”, because we think they have the only keys to marry and ordain and bless. Like God’s power has to remain cooped up in a little bunch of gentile church goers who have back slidden without notice, and God is limited to act otherwise. Can any org, even the one that was extablished by a true prophet, compel others by use of force to swear allegience to them and still have some kind of authority left?

    So, what and how much exactly do we have left in the church org or other break off groups? What is our true standing before God as a people and individually? We have to find our place in order to get our bearings to move forward. We have to know what to shoot for, where to go from here.

    Remember, all things were created to get us to those alters individually. Once we find Him, our Lord and Master, and He redeems and leads us to the Father, then we can say we have arrived. That the congregation has done it’s job that it was intended to do. But if the congregation is actually preventing this creation process from occurring by dumbing down minds, demanding priestly allegience no matter what… if they neither go therein and prevent us from entering or teach how to truly enter… then what? Sit back and don’t worry about it?

  8. part 3:
    I will leave my full name this time, as these are my true concerns. I actually care that much to help Father in HIS work. I want to be a polished product of His work. I don’t want to remain condemnded with the rest. Let others go and do as they choose, but I choose alignment with light and truth. But the more I share with others how far our hearts and minds really are from these things… the more alinenated I become. I do this because I love all. Even the people who consider some of us “strange things in the land”. I don’t want rejection. I don’t want to offend any organization or group or people. I proclaim the truth as I have been shown. I asked to know these things… little did I know things were so “out of true order” nearly everywhere. Well, I want to get myself in order with my God. I want to lead a zion ready family into His arms. I want to create a creation that He accepts… were He can provide some space for us in the eternities. I want to be just like our Gods. I want to pass all the tests and prove I can do as they have done. I glorify my God by becoming a finished product polished by HIM. We individually all have to become such. We can’t just rely on assumptions and pretensions and think we are Zion, that we have enough… in the church or anywhere else. We will be judged by what is found in the books of scripture that we carry. Those sacred texts show some pretty connected people with Heaven.

    I love the true gospel. The one that says we can become one with Gods that have gone before us, no matter what other congregations go and do. I love the prophets that had this level of knowledge and love to achieve their connection with God, to show us the way to Christ, the center of it all. Even the Savior Himself came down, to show us this same thing. Become like Him and obtain the Fullness of the Father, just as he did on His own.

    I love all people that seek all the light they can get from everywhere. Who can see others as gods in embryo just trying to break free and find out who they already are and what they can become a part of now. May God open the heavens to all of us truly seeking such. May we be part of the work of the Father of building up truth and light nobly, boldy and independent… which no un-hallowed hand can stop any of us from doing. I know my Savior has been with me, even if I have not yet stood in His physical presence. I see God working through and shining forth through so many people and things. I seek all the light I can. I seek all the connection with heaven I can. I seek harmony and love with all. I seek to do the will of the Father who has sent us all. I hope I can stand up to my own words this day. I know I can. I know we all can.

    To the truth and nothing but,

  9. Mike,

    I’m glad to be counted as your friend. You have expressed much truth here, and the feelings that so many of us share as we wander through our modern wilderness seeking Zion.

    The institutions have organized themselves for self-preservation, not the salvation of the individual self. Seeking, and then FINDING Christ leads to some surprising ends as we have previously discussed. We find that our journey becomes deeply intimate and personal, and as you stated above, withdrawal from the institutional organizations and the arm of flesh which they espouse, seems to be the natural result of seeking, meeting, and embracing the Christ.

    Denver has very well summarized not only the church and world at the time of Christ, but the church and world as we find it in our day too, in his marvelously candid and honest, “Come, Let us Adore Him,” which is a hard-hitting wake up call to the otherwise comfortably asleep gentiles. And as we learned first-hand (and face-to-face) 2 ½ years ago while sitting in one of the three most important offices in downtown SLC, “…the main body of believers may have lost all contact with God, and no longer receive angelic messengers….” (ibid. p51). This admission included those with such honorable accommodations as our informant.

    This news behooves each of us individually to find God and to sit down in His holy presence, and cease relying on the untoward arm of flesh which has gone the way of all the earth in every past dispensation. Thanks also for introducing me to Denver’s blog. It’s been a welcome respite from the droning call of the masses.


  10. I am amazed at how so many scriptures we have discussed in this blog for the past several months have become so relevant in teaching about receiving the Second Comforter. In the past I would have taken this scripture to mean that we should hear the voice of Christ, as it was recorded by His apostles, and then live them. This verse would have been taken symbolically instead of literally. This new away to understand this and other similar scriptures about hearing Christ’s words is so powerful.

    Let’s hear it for good ol’ correlated Sunday school. Oop, my bad, I couldn’t help to jest a bit with my last sentence. I still love meeting with the saints regardless.

    Sincerely thought, thanks for the blog and those who make meaningful comments.

  11. This will break your hearts. In Sac Mtg today we had a return missionary speak. His talk was full to the brim of false doctrine. Here’s a dedicated young man, who’s served for two years and was mislead in his understanding. It broke my heart!

    After awhile into his talk I began writing down some of his comments. Here are three of them:

    1) “The way we taught the investigators of the need for a prophet was this: We put a piece of wood on the table and would say, God is on one side of the board and we are on the other. We have no way to see or hear him. The prophet stands on the top of the board, hears God’s commands and then tells them to us.”

    2) “A prophet does not have to tell us that his words come from God. We are to follow every thing they say, every word. We should never question.” (I remembered a quote from The Prophet, Joseph Smith, while in jail where he told the men that anything he said regarding what particular parcel of land to purchase carried no more weight than any of their ideas. He told them that unless he said something by way of command or with the preceding words, “Thus saith the Lord,” that they should not give it any more weight then their own opinions. I probably slaughtered that but that’s how I remember it. Sorry Denver and the rest of you with incredible memories.)

    3) “One of the Seventy came to us and said, ‘do you know how the prophets and apostles came to be in those positions? They did it by obeying every single thing they ever heard any of the other Prophets and Apostles say. Even if it was something as simple as always wearing a white shirt or not drinking Coke.” (What a perfect example of the mindset of a Pharisee.)

    I so wanted to raise my hand and refute what was being said. I wanted to stand at the microphone and tell people that it was wrong. Our building was packed. I so wished the Bishop could have corrected the errors when he stood up to speak. How many people recognized that what was being taught was incorrect?? I wish so much the Lord would ask me to say something, but He hasn’t and I know it’s not for me to say anything. Ah!

  12. I went to another ward today to hear a missionary leaving. A deacon gave a beautiful inspired talk on purity of heart. The future missionary expanded that and then paralleled DS message about becoming as a child. Beautiful doctrine. Then taught gospel doctrine in my own ward about prophets. Much of what Mike brought up was taught. The class members were appropriately thoughtful at the end. All of them have something to think about. JM

  13. Donald,

    Yes I do. The prophecy reaches culmination with the servant of Christ who brings forth the words of Christ and then, “it shall be, even as Moses said, they shall be cut off from amongst the people.” The verses that follow thereafter are quoted from Isaiah and depict the destruction of the Gentiles.


  14. I don’t often read the comments—I do well to just keep up with the blog. So perhaps this has already been brought up. I’m wondering about when the food storage and emergency preparedness thing was brought up in the church? Was this actually a revelation from the Lord? I hear no talk of food storage in this blog. Normally, it is spoken of as though the “really righteous and faithful” are the ones who prepare this way, and they are the ones who will survive the judgements that will come. Now…after reading this blog…I’m feeling like the “commandment” to store food is a distraction. What will food matter if we haven’t repented and come to Christ? Can someone tell me some history on how the food storage “commandment” came about? I don’t see it anywhere in the scriptures…..

    A Grateful Reader

  15. I challenge you to prayerfully listen to the Prophet and the Lord’s anointed in general conference and then come back and tell me they are teaching false doctrine. Thus far the spirit has told me otherwise. I still sing Follow the prophet as he follows Christ.

  16. Somewhere in all of this is a delicate balance. The scriptures don’t support “speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed”, (which includes anyone that’s been endowed as well as Church Leadership). I’ve never read anywhere Denver advocated leaving the Church or ignoring the council of the brethren. There is a reason they are called “General Authorities”. They guide us collectively but generally. It is up to us to press forward from there. They must focus on the weakest from among us and the more experienced are expected by the Lord to pursue discipleship on their own, privately but jointly with the Spirit of God and the Savior. We must all choose how to react to the Church. I can be one who needs nurturing or one who gives faith and nurture. What I don’t want to be is an “accuser of my brethren.” The Lord will not sustain anyone who mocks his duly appointed servants. David respected Saul’s anointing, Mormon and Moroni remained faithful to the end with their people. In all likelihood it is the body of the Church wherein lies the highest probability to ere. Let’s confine our criticism to ourselves and remove the motes from our eyes and let the Lord judge all others. True liberty and freedom comes when you realize it is not your job to judge anyone but yourself. God does require, however, we love everyone. That’s the best place to be.


  17. I don’t think Thomas Monson would have a problem with changing a song to focus on the Savior and take the focus off of him. Would you? He and I are not satisfied until Jesus is our Prophet. Let us call Him forth from His hiding place and place Him in that position in reality. Let us praise our King and bring Him into the city with palm leaves in our hands.

    My kids helped my wife and I make this culminating verse for the song:

    Jesus is a Prophet,
    The very best of all
    He came down to save us
    From that awful fall

    He taught words of wisdom
    To help us choose the right
    We will go to heaven
    By following His light

    Jesus the Prophet
    Jesus the Prophet
    Jesus the Prophet
    Don’t go astray

    Jesus the Leader
    Jesus the Leader
    Jesus the Leader
    He is the Way!

  18. To anonymous asking about food storage. You made a good point when you said “What good will food do any of us if we have not come to Christ.” That is the truth.

    I have decided that a person can be temporally prepared but not be spiritually prepared (having truely come to Christ and seen His face as a result). However I believe that a person who is truely spiritually prepared WILL be temporally prepared as well. If that person were not temporally prepared then I don’t believe they would truely spiritually prepared.

    A good way to find out if that counsel to get food storage was from God, is to go to the source. Pray about it. The Lord will tell you if He wants you to be temporally prepared. He will even hepl a person do it if they will ask and be obedient.

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