In today’s episode Denver discusses three visions which relate to our dispensation.
I accepted the invitation to speak here because the time has come to testify of the things shown me by the Lord in His first appearance of the night of February 12th-13th of 2003. I saw His return in glory and recorded what He revealed:
I was at home lying in my bed when the Lord spoke to me, calling me by name. When it ended I was commanded to write an account. As I wrote, the words were given to me, and I recorded the following:
On the 13th of February 2003 I saw the Lord coming in His glory. At first, a sign appeared in the heavens– a light emanating from a single point and turning first this way and that. All the world saw it, and men debated over its meaning. At length the light turned upon us, and within it was the Lord, showing His glory, with concourses of angels and the hosts of heaven following in His wake.
And when we saw that it was the Lord, we rejoiced and were filled with joy. I turned to my wife and said, “Look, it is Christ!” and she said, “Yes, it is!” And we were filled with joy and peace of mind, for the long-awaited day of the Lord had come.
But others were filled with dread. They feared and lamented and wanted the mountains to cover them and hide them from His presence, for He was clothed in red and came in judgment. And Christian ministers knew they had taught falsely and that their faith could not save, and they begged for relief from the saints.
This caused me to marvel at how this could be. It was given unto me to understand that without the ordinances of salvation through the authorized ministers of the gospel, it was not possible for men to shed their sins. And they could not look upon a just and Holy Being without being racked with torment and guilt for their sins. And they pled with the saints to minister to them, but we could not, for we were constrained by the Spirit and were forbidden to do so. For this was the day of judgment which the Lord had in His heart, and He was now come to preach His own sermon, clothed in red, and to deliver those who waited on Him and to convict and condemn those who had not.
I write this with my own hand and bear solemn testimony that it is true, Amen.
When I finished recording the foregoing account, I replied to the Lord that it was not complete, and that I could give a much fuller account. The Lord replied, “When the time comes to bear testimony of this, these are the words you shall use.” And many other things were told to me that cannot be written.
These are the words I can use to testify of that event. Therefore, this is my testimony of that visit in early 2003.
The first appearance of the Lord was in the 50th year of my life– an age considered suitable for more than a thousand years for a man to qualify for service in the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God.
The Lord has visited with and taught me on many occasions since then but never at my insistence. I have never controlled His appearing. My experience is that He cannot be conjured nor controlled. I can petition, but He comes when He decides.
The Lord has never appeared to me in a dream. I have always been awake, fully aware of my surroundings, and with my senses unimpeded. When awakened during the night, sleep has always fled, and following such an encounter I was always unable to return to sleep.
The Lord does everything according to His higher way of teaching. By beginning with a vision of His return, He set out the foundation for understanding His course, which is one eternal round. Since His first appearance, He has sent divers angels from Adam, or Michael, to Hyrum and Joseph Smith, giving line upon line to confirm my hope in Christ.
The most important thing for us is to repent, be baptized, and let virtue and righteousness guide our thoughts, deeds, and words. We ought to deal fairly with one another and to be kind. You may remember abuses from priesthood “leaders” in your last church. Do not bring that with you. Leave behind all the sins and errors found in other organizations and show Christ-like patience and charity to one another.
We follow Christ to become more like Him. He requires faith, repentance, and baptism and bestows the Holy Ghost to bring all things back to our remembrance. When we hear Christ’s message to repent and be baptized, it is our duty to respond and then warn others, so they can escape the coming judgment. The whole world struggles under a burden of sin that we are powerless to remove without Christ. He suffered and overcame the sins of the world, so we can avoid the consequences of sin, on condition of repentance and baptism.
I recently had a vision that began as a dream. In it I was traveling in a small car up a mountain road. The road was steep but straight, and it grew steeper as it climbed upwards. On the left side of the road there was a railroad track running parallel. As we drove the small car upward, I noticed a sharp bend in the railroad tracks ahead that interrupted the otherwise straight course of the line. I saw a train approaching from uphill in the distance, coming downhill rapidly, and it seemed to be going far too fast to safely negotiate the sharp bend in the tracks.
The small car we drove was not quite to the bend when the rushing train hit the bend, leapt from the tracks, and violently crashed in front of us. Our little car narrowly escaped a collision as the train’s wreckage spread about. As the small car continued upward, the train crash worsened– at first beside the car and then, as we accelerated, closely behind us. The little car got ahead of the continuing wreck of the moving train, and I could see the train was full of passengers who, uphill from the wreckage, were enjoying themselves. They were paying no attention to the disaster already befalling their train. We began to shout out of the windows of our car, trying to warn the occupants in the doomed train, but they gave no heed. They laughed and partied aboard the train with no concern for their impending destruction.
I could see the wreckage behind me in the mirror as the violence of the wreck threw shattered railcars about, some onto the road behind us making the road now impassable. We were powerless to save those aboard the train because they would not hear the warnings we shouted to them.
As we reached the top of the mountain, the last of the train went by, and I stopped the little car. We got out and stood in the roadway, looking down the mountain, and watched as the last of the train was destroyed. While mourning over the many lives that had been lost, I awoke from the dream and sat up on my bed, but the vision continued.
I next saw in the distance, beyond the train wreckage, an overpowering flood, as if it was a great fire, consuming and destroying all the country, coming from the east. Although we had survived the train wreck, it appeared certain we would all be killed in the coming flood.
I looked about for any sign of hope we might survive and noticed beside the roadway a great rock with an opening. I led the small party to the rock and discovered the opening was for a cavern that went upward within the shelter of the rock. We entered the cave and climbed upward. Inside the cavity of the rock, our small group waited as the flood approached, unsure whether we would live or die.
The noise of destruction outside was deafening as the flood approached, and then the opening of the cavern went black, and we were left in complete silence and darkness. We waited. In a few moments the light returned, but silence remained. After a few more moments, our small group emerged from the rock’s cavern to see what had transpired with the world.
The scene of destruction was astounding. The entire landscape was transformed. It was destroyed. The wrecked train, the tracks, and the road had all been consumed. Everything appeared barren. Then suddenly, new life began to spring forth in the widespread desolation. Barren trunks brought out new limbs, blossoms, and leaves. Flowers sprang from the earth. As we watched, the earth was quickly transformed, and in a short time the denuded desolation was full of life, beauty, and fertility much beyond what had gone before the flood of fire had destroyed the landscape.
At this point the vision ended, and I was given the interpretation. The train is the false religions of the world. The occupants of the small car are those who repent and accept baptism. The protective rock with the cavern is Christ.
We must invite others to join us in baptism. However great or little our success, others must be invited.
You must each decide whether I am sent by Him and acting as a true witness or whether I am just another of the many deceivers who use God’s name in vain, having no authority. I claim to testify to the truth and do not deceive you; and I claim that He has sent me to preach deliverance from sin by obedience to Him. It is His doctrine that all mankind should repent and be baptized in His name for the remission of sins. If you do so, He will be faithful and forgive.
Repentance means to turn from whatever else is distracting you, and face God. Heed Him, follow Him, and obey His will. Repentance substitutes virtue for sin, trades weakness for strength, and remakes us heart, mind, and spirit into a new creature– a son or daughter of God.
Covenants traditionally involve cutting. And covenants in the Old Testament involve the shedding of blood. And covenants with our Lord, at some point, in some contexts, with some reaches, require that we suffer.
Now I tell that as background, because I recently had another experience in which I spent, as it turned out once again, 40 days in pain. And while in a great agony, I could not take pity on myself. I couldn’t. What I thought about was the suffering of our Lord in Gethsemane. And I found myself measuring my own physical misery against what I know our Lord went through there, and I lay in bed praying and thanking the Lord for what He had done on our behalf– thanking the Father for sending His Son and standing down to permit it to go forward.
And while in prayer, I saw a great mountain, and upon the top thereof was the glory of the Fathers. To reach the top, all were required to enter through a narrow pass. In the pass was a great beast, cruel and pitiless. The Lord brought people whom He had chosen to the mouth of the pass, and there He told them to wait for Him, and He went away. The people did not wait for Him but began to move forward into the narrow pass. The beast killed some and injured others, and none were able to pass through. After great losses, many deaths, and terrible suffering, the people chosen by the Lord withdrew and departed from the mountain.
After four and five generations, the Lord again brought some few back to the pass and again told them to stay at the mouth of the pass and wait on Him. But again, there were those who tired of waiting, for they could see in the distance the glory of the Fathers, and they desired to be there. These, being overtaken by their zeal, did not wait but moved into the pass, where again the beast killed some or hurt them.
Among those who waited, however, was a man who knelt and prayed and waited patiently for his Lord. After a great time, the Lord came to this man and took him by the hand and led him into the pass where the great beast guarded the way. As the Lord led, however, the beast was ever occupied with attacking others, and therefore its back was turned to the Lord and the man. And so they passed by unnoticed, safely to the top.
The Lord sent the man to the Fathers who, when they say the man, inquired of him, “How came you to be here and yet mortal? For the last who came here were brothers who had been slain, and you are yet alive.” And the man answered, “I waited on the Lord, and He brought me here safely.”
Well, for some reason, that was given in time to be read here this evening. And I can’t say who the man is– maybe it’s President Thomas Monson, maybe it’s President Packer, maybe it’s one of you– I just can’t say. But the fact of the matter is, that it is the glory of the Fathers which Joseph was trying to explain in the last two talks he gave in Nauvoo.
The promise made by Elijah is about reconnecting us to the Fathers. Joseph called them the Fathers in Heaven. These are not our kindred dead because our kindred dead are required to be redeemed by us. These are the Fathers in Heaven. Among them would be Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and, because of this dispensation being what it is, Peter, James, and John.
The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to allow you to see things in their true light, with the underlying intent behind them, and to allow you to do that without distortion and without confusion. The temple is a ceremony designed to teach you about the path back to God– the very same thing that the Book of Mormon teaches repeatedly. The path back to God is so that you can meet with and be instructed by our Savior. The purpose of our Savior is to prepare us in all things so that we can, at last, become Zion. Because if your heart is right and my heart is right, and if I’m looking to God and God only, and you’re looking to God and God only, then the trivial things of having things in common are of so little import that they matter not.
If you’re faithful to the Lord, you have no reason to pick a fight with anyone else. Our Lord was a peacemaker. We ought to be peacemakers as well. And I have a stronger testimony of the restoration today than I did the day I was baptized. I believe it more fervently. And I know a great deal more about the mysteries of God than I ever thought possible.
I don’t think I’m special. If you really knew enough about me to realize that this preaching is not the full definition of who I am, you would probably agree that you’re better people than I am. But I wanted to know Him, and I was willing to give away anything and everything, and I’m still willing to give away anything and everything.
There is nothing that I value above the Lord. And I hope that everyone here understands that statement.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
The foregoing are excerpts taken from:
- Denver’s conference talk entitled “The Doctrine of Christ,” given in Boise, ID on September 11, 2016;
- Denver’s fireside talk on “The Temple,” given in Ogden, UT on October 28, 2012.