This is Part 2 of a special series on Prayer, where Denver addresses many questions including… What is earnest prayer like, and what can happen as a result of crying to the Lord? Continue reading “18: Prayer – Part 2”
I got an email inquiring about the “record coming out of Brazil” that claims to unseal the Book of Mormon’s missing parts. In response I sent this reply:
I usually do not comment on claims others make about visitations, angels, etc. I let every person decide for themselves about such claims.
What I understand of the claims are that Moroni delivered the plates to a fellow in Brazil. That seems to be inconsistent with the record and known history of the restoration.
In a post titled Nephi on December 10, 2013 and again in a post titled The Angel’s Identification on December 15, 2013 (among other places) I’ve shown, using the historical record, that Joseph Smith originally and consistently identified the angel who delivered the plates as “Nephi” not “Moroni.” Therefore, it seems like the claim to have “Moroni” deliver the plates is inconsistent with my understanding of history and accountability over the plates.
Once the plates were given to Joseph, he became the custodian. He was responsible for sealing and hiding up the plates when his work was completed. In the New Covenants, 2 Ne. 11: 20, Joseph Smith was given direction about what he was to do with the plates when he finished translating the portion to be published: “Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again and hide it up unto me that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.”
Because he was the successor responsible for sealing and protecting the records, Joseph followed those directions. I’ve studied Joseph’s life enough to know he would not have violated that trust. Nor would he have given the responsibility to seal and hide the plates to someone else. And Joseph Smith never set foot in Brazil.
There is also the notion of the “the economy of heaven” where angels do not do for humans what humans can and ought to do for themselves. For example, the angel did not bring the plates to Joseph, instead Nephi required Joseph to go to the place and engage in the labor to recover the buried object. Angels do not become errand boys relieving us of work devolving upon us.
If these Brazilian claimants knew more about church history, they would have been able to make a more plausible claim. As it stands, I do not think their claims can be credited because they identify “Moroni” as the custodian when they ought to have used the correct identify of “Nephi.” They make the claim that the plates Joseph Smith sealed and hid up were located in Brazil where Joseph Smith could not have hidden them up to the Lord. They invoke work on an angel to do what mankind is responsible to do. The angel “Moroni” was not resurrected (because he died after Christ’s death and therefore would not have been among those who rose with Christ). Nephi would be resurrected, since he died prior to the resurrection of Christ and would be a candidate for physically handling the object. It is unlikely that a disembodied spirit would transport the plates.
Given how inconsistent the claims are with my understanding of the history and the Book of Mormon’s direction to Joseph Smith, I’ve not troubled the Lord with an inquiry about the matter.
The organizers of the upcoming conference have asked that I post their announcement, which I have copied and pasted below:
Teaching Our Children to Honor God through Service
An Invitation to all Fellowships
Preparation for the 2018 Fall Conference
In order to actively participate in the theme of the 2018 Fall Conference, “Preserving the Hope of Zion, by Teaching our Children to Honor God, we are inviting all fellowships to plan and participate in a community service project. As followers of Christ all over the world we invite you to prayerfully organize and participate with your children in a service project that is needed in your area.
For those fellowships that feel inspired to participate with their children, please document the service projects with pictures and short video clips. You can upload your documentation in the Google Drive link below. Email the conference committee at email@example.com to let us know about your project. Please provide a brief description of what you did. These projects will be shared at the main Sunday conference session. This effort is not meant to brag, or to let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. We hope that the children will be reminded of the joy they feel in serving their community, and be uplifted in viewing the projects of other youth around the globe. In the spirit of charity for others, we desire to strengthen our connection to the Lord and to one another.
“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God”. (Mosiah 1:8, New Covenants)
We look forward to sharing in your experiences and discussing the joy of service to God with each other at the conference. Please plan on participating and sending in your pictures and short video clips by August 20, 2018.
“Yea, a man may say, I will show you I have faith without works. But I say, show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Epistle of Jacob 1:11, New Covenants)
- Click on the Google Drive Link.
- Right click in the middle of the screen, select (add) + New Folder to create a new folder for your fellowship group and service project.
- Right click to Upload Picture/Videos of your service project/event.
- After uploading photos/videos, email firstname.lastname@example.org and notify the conference committee of your contribution to the volunteer service project for the fall 2018 conference.
We look forward to gathering and fellowshipping with you this coming September.
Have a beautiful summer!
The Wasatch Front Planning Committee
This is Part 1 of a special series on Prayer, where Denver addresses many questions including…
To whom do we pray? How should we pray? Why do we pray? And, what happens when we pray correctly? Continue reading “17: Prayer – Part 1”
In today’s episode Denver answers the questions, “Who are the remnant groups?” and “What are the prophecies concerning them in our dispensation?” Continue reading “16: The Remnant”
I got an email asking about the phrase describing a revelation that the recipient was “unable to take it in.” I responded:
When God reveals vast amounts of information, truths or visions from a higher order, or material that exceeds our framework of thought, it does not become immediately understood. I have said there are three different stages involved with the greatest revelations:
First, to receive it.
Second, to understand it.
Third, to be capable of teaching it.
Just because it has been received, that does not mean it is understood.
Just because it has been received and understood, that does not mean the recipient is capable of teaching it to others in an understandable or coherent way. It can be a very difficult struggle to move to the point that a person can begin to teach these things to others.
Joseph relentlessly labored and meditated on how to grasp the things opened to his view. That was why he was able to continually teach new truths.
In this episode Denver addresses these questions. What is Jacob’s Ladder? Why did Joseph Smith refer to it as the “first principles of the gospel’’? Continue reading “15: Jacob’s Ladder”
In this episode Denver addresses the question, “What can you tell us about the testimonies written in the heavens?” Continue reading “14: The Heavens”
I responded to an email posing the question of how Zion would result from what is presently happening and who is presently involved. I responded by explaining these ideas:
Any solution could be imposed quickly and would result in stabilizing everything–just by adopting a central command structure to compel order. Everyone is already conditioned to accept authority and obey it. But that step would bring peace at the price of altogether losing the hope for Zion. For now it must be this gentle way.
Don’t think about this as a time to gather but as a time to prove.
I have been asked about two statements: one in the opening remarks at the Boise Conference which did not mention reading the Prayer for Covenant and another one in the note of section 158 saying that the prayer is to be read with the covenant. The opening remarks included this:
I have been given authority from God to deliver His covenant this day. Every formality required from the days of Adam until now for establishing a covenant has been kept and met. Once the covenant is established, those sustained by seven women (or a man inside his own family) who receive it also have authority to administer the ordinance to others who want to be numbered among God’s people. To administer to others, repeat the ordinance. Read aloud the Lord’s Answer and the words of the Covenant. Ask them to stand and say, Yes, and they will become one of the Lord’s covenant people. Do not change the words of the covenant, for to change an ordinance is to break it. (Isa. 24:5.)
The note at the beginning of Section 158 explains:
In this episode Denver addresses the following question. What great knowledge is to be restored in our dispensation?
One person believes his understanding of God can control what God is able to do or not do. Another person believes anything new that conflicts with what she thinks about God must be false. They limit what God is able to accomplish with them because they doubt God can be other than they imagine Him to be. It is puzzling to think people with such different views of God assume they will see God’s promises fulfilled:
And it shall come to pass in the last days — when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it — many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come, for you have all gone astray, everyone to his wicked ways. Therefore, O Lord, you have forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east and listen to fortune-tellers like the Philistines (OC Isa. 1:6-7, emphasis added.)
It is puzzling for people to wish to be “one” when they have such diverse versions of God:
What happened on the morning of Christ’s resurrection? Today, Denver shares his eyewitness account and testimony of the events that transpired on Easter morning, along with a few thoughts on what those events mean for all of us. Continue reading “12: Resurrection Morning”
A pdf version of yesterday’s talk in Phoenix is now up on the “Downloads” part of this website. The talk (paper) is titled Our Divine Parents.
Unfortunately, when converted to pdf the first footnote was cut off. I will reconvert it to pdf and repost it this evening. The first footnote should read this way:
“This is a term used twice by Alman the Younger in his instruction to his son Corianton, recorded in New Covenants Alma 19:13 (hereafter “NC”); Alma 42:8, 16. Joseph Smith referred to this plan as “eternal progression.”