175: Cry Peace, Part 4

In this series, Denver addresses the importance of becoming peacemakers, learning to live together peacefully, and crying peace in these last days.

If the original Mormonism needed to recover the fullness that was lost, then to revive an original, it will require a recovery of what was lost, and more. If recovered, believers will be able to receive a holy spot, accepted and defended by God. In that place the religion of Adam will be taught. The promised original religion includes the revelation of everything, “nothing shall be withheld.” Today’s Mormonism has a great deal withheld, but the religion of Abraham (and therefore the religion of Adam) included “a knowledge of the beginning of the creation, and also of the planets, and of the stars, as they were made known unto the fathers.” The original Mormonism must grow in ancient knowledge and understanding until their understanding reaches into heaven. Not just spiritual understanding, but also physical understanding of the layout of the universe. The placement of the lights in the firmament was for “signs” to man, and therefore were deliberately placed and contain information originally understood by Adam.

Because of prophecies made to the patriarchal fathers, the right to found this future city of peace descends from a specific ancient line. There will be an heir descended from both Jesse and Joseph who will accomplish it. Occupants of the community will likewise have lineal qualification. The last-day’s Zion is an accomplishment promised earlier to the patriarchal fathers and it is through their descendants God intends to vindicate the promises. The result of this alignment will be a priestly city of Zion that will “return to that power which she had lost.”

The original iteration of Mormonism was apocalyptic. But it was oddly practical about the apocalypse, assuming there were things that could be done to prepare. Not in haste, which was condemned, but it was a physical and spiritual enterprise to be accomplished by the hard effort of those interested in welcoming the Lord’s return.

There is the Spirit of Elias, there is the Spirit of Elijah and there is the Spirit of Messiah. These three great spirits unfolded in the work of God in the generations of man in a steady descent. They will be likewise inverted like a chiasm and return in an ascent so that at the end it will be as it was in the beginning. “Now this same Priesthood, which was in the beginning, shall in the end of the [earth] also,” was the prophecy that Father Adam gave, Enoch quoting Adam, and Moses quoting Enoch, the prophecy being contained in the Book of Moses or soon, in the Book of Genesis.

The first spirit was the spirit of Messiah. Adam dwelt in the presence of God. Adam represents that original fullness. Adam was the first man. Adam received instructions and spoke to God face to face. He dwelt in a temple, from which he was cast out, but he dwelt in a temple. Therefore, Adam represents the Spirit of Messiah.

The Spirit of Elijah is represented by Enoch who, when the Earth was threatened with violence and men were to be destroyed because of the wickedness upon the face of the Earth, was able to gather a people into a city of peace, and to have the Lord come to their city of peace and remove them from the coming violence and destruction. He is a type of the Spirit of Elijah because Elijah would likewise later ascend in the fiery chariot into heaven. He is a type of the Spirit of Elijah, because it is the Spirit of Elijah in that ascent into heaven that must prefigure the return of the Spirit of Messiah in the last days in order to gather a people to a place that God will acknowledge, will visit and will shield from the coming violence that will involve the destruction of the world. And so Enoch becomes the great type of the Spirit of Elijah, although the name “Elijah” is associated with a man who lived later still but who duplicated, among a hardened people in a fallen world, the same achievement as Enoch had accomplished, albeit Enoch did so with a city, and Elijah did it as a solitary ascending figure, yet it will be Elijah and his spirit which, in the last days, will likewise prepare a city for salvation and preservation. 

Then there is the Spirit of Elias which is represented by Noah, in which everything that had gone on before was lost. Things begin anew and Noah begins a ministry of attempting to preserve what was before by preaching repentance. And so Noah as the messenger, or the Elias, bears testimony of what once was.

In the end, before the Lord’s return, these same three spirits need to have been brought into the world, in order for the completion of the plan that Adam prophesied about and that was in the heart of the Lord from before the foundation of the world. The Spirit of Elias declaring the gospel has to come again into the world, and it did in the person of Joseph Smith, and in the message that he brought, and in the scriptures that he restored, and in the message and the practices that he was able to bring about, however short-lived that success may have been. Elias and the Spirit of Elias came through Joseph Smith into the world.

We have yet to take the Spirit of Elias seriously enough to move on to receive something further. But we are now facing a crossroads in which it may be possible to restore again and continue the work and move forward. Moving forward successfully however, will require the Spirit of Elijah. This time the Spirit of Elijah is not to prepare a people so that they might ascend into heaven but instead to prepare a people so that those who come will not utterly destroy them. There must be a people prepared to endure the burning that is to come. Just as Enoch’s people were prepared, shielded and brought worthy to ascend so as not to be destroyed by the flood, the Spirit of Elijah must prepare people in order for them to endure the day that is coming that shall burn the wicked as stubble. That will be people living in a place of peace and they will be the only people who are not at war one with another. They will be people who accept a body of teachings and allow them to govern their daily walk; both with each other and with God, so that they receive “commandments, not a few” and “revelations in their day” because that is what the people of Zion must necessarily be willing to do. 

We are promised that one will come who will be part of Jesse and part of Ephraim who will set in order, whose identity will be established by the work accomplished and not by the foolishness and prideful claims made by someone who has done nothing. If the work is done, once it’s completed, you might be able to guess. But any fool can run around claiming themselves to be whatever their peculiar schizophrenia allows them to claim. 

The third spirit that is to return is that spirit which was in the beginning. It is the Spirit of Messiah, this time the Messiah Himself. This time He will come to His house. He will dwell there. Everything must be prepared in order for Messiah to return. And so in the end, as it was in the beginning. Adam being a type who represents dwelling in the presence of God, or the Spirit of Messiah. In the end it will be Messiah Himself who returns to dwell among a people who are prepared. This is a chiasm. It is returning to the beginning as the work of the last days walks backward in time to the point where it all began.

Elias goes before to prepare for a greater work that is coming after, just as the Aaronic ordinances go before. Joseph Smith said the Spirit of Elias was revealed to him, but “the Spirit of Elijah holds something more. It holds the revelations, ordinances, endowments and sealings necessary to accomplish turning the hearts of the fathers to the children by securing an unbroken thread between the living and the fathers in heaven. This can only be done in a temple prepared for that purpose.” I’m reading Joseph. Without sealing of living children to the fathers in heaven, who dwell in glory and who sit upon thrones, the return of the Lord with Enoch and the other thousands who will accompany him would result in none escaping the judgments to come.

For the sake of the promises to the Fathers will I labor with you as a people, and not because of you, for you have not yet become what you must be to live together in peace. If you will hearken to my words I will make you my people and my words will give you peace. Even a single soul who stirs up the hearts of others to anger can destroy the peace of all my people. Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but also to do as you profess.

The Book of Mormon was given as my covenant for this day and contains my gospel, which came forth to allow people to understand my work and then obtain my salvation. Yet many of you are like those who reject the Book of Mormon, because you say, but you do not do. As a people you honor with your lips, but your hearts are corrupt, filled with envy and malice, returning evil for good, sparing none, even those with pure hearts among you, from your unjustified accusations and unkind backbiting. You have not obtained the fullness of my salvation because you do not draw near to me.

The Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews, of the truth of the words of my ancient prophets and apostles, with all the records agreeing that I am the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, and I was sent into the world to do the will of the Father, and I am the Savior of the world. All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost to then show you all things you must know.

If the gentiles unto whom the Book of Mormon was given had hearkened unto the Holy Ghost they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow me to abide with them in word, and in power and in very deed.

Hear therefore my words: Repent and bring forth fruit showing repentance, and I will establish my covenant with you and claim you as mine.

It is not enough to receive my covenant, but you must also abide it. And all who abide it, whether on this land or any other land, will be mine and I will watch over them and protect them in the day of harvest, and gather them in as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. I will number you among the remnant of Jacob, no longer outcasts, and you will inherit the promises of Israel. You shall be my people and I will be your God and the sword will not devour you. And unto those who will receive will more be given until they know the mysteries of God in full.

But remember that without the fruit of repentance, and a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you cannot keep my covenant; for I, your Lord, am meek and lowly of heart. Be like me. You have all been wounded, your hearts pierced through with sorrows because of how the world has treated you. But you have also scarred one another by your unkind treatment of each other, and you do not notice your misconduct toward others because you think yourself justified in this. You bear the scars on your countenances, from the soles of your feet to the head, and every heart is faint. Your visages have been so marred that your hardness, mistrust, suspicions, resentments, fear, jealousies and anger toward your fellow man bear outward witness of your inner self; you cannot hide it. When I appear to you, instead of confidence you feel shame. You fear and withdraw from me because you bear the blood and sins of your treatment of brothers and sisters. Come to me and I will make sins as scarlet become white as snow, and I will make you stand boldly before me, confident of my love.

I descended below it all, and know the sorrows of you all, and have borne the grief of it all and I say to you, Forgive one another. Be tender with one another, pursue judgment, bless the oppressed, care for the orphan, and uplift the widow in her need for I have redeemed you from being orphaned and taken you that you are no longer a widowed people. Rejoice in me, and rejoice with your brethren and sisters who are mine also. Be one.

You pray each time you partake of the sacrament to always have my Spirit to be with you. And what is my Spirit? It is to love one another as I have loved you. Do my works and you will know my doctrine; for you will uncover hidden mysteries by obedience to these things that can be uncovered in no other way. This is the way I will restore knowledge to my people. If you return good for evil you will cleanse yourself and know the joy of your Master. You call me Lord and do well to regard me so, but to know your Lord is to love one another. Flee from the cares and longings that belong to Babylon, obtain a new heart, for you have all been wounded. In me you will find peace and through me will come Zion, a place of peace and safety.

There remains great work yet to be done. Receive my covenant and abide in it, not as in the former time when jarring, jealousy, contention and backbiting caused anger, broke hearts and hardened the souls of those claiming to be my saints. But receive it in spirit, in meekness and in truth. I have given you a former commandment that I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And again, I have taught that if you forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses. How do I act toward mankind: If men intend no offense I take no offense, but if they are taught and should have obeyed, then I reprove and correct and forgive and forget. You cannot be at peace with one another if you take offense when none is intended. But again I say, Judge not others except by the rule you want used to weigh yourself.

I will give to you words to speak to the people to accept my covenant, and you shall read those words to them. Read first to the people these words I now speak, and then read the words of the covenant, and the people who will receive and do my words and my covenant shall then stand and say, Yes.

Then by my law and my word they will be mine and I will be with and lead my people onward through the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, the Record of Heaven, the peaceable things of immortal glory, even the Holy Ghost which will abide with them, and you will be children of the Most High God, fellow servants and numbered with the congregation of the just. Therefore rejoice!

And the angels are given charge to watch over and protect my people.

My eyes are over the whole earth and all men everywhere are before me. Men conspire to overthrow and oppress and use violence to control others through fear. My Spirit restrains the destroyer to allow those who are in the world and willing to give heed to my words time to prepare, but I will not always suffer with the wickedness of man.

The Earth groans under the wickedness of mankind upon her face, and she longs for peace to come. She withholds the abundance of her bounty because of the offenses of men against me, against one another, and against her. But if righteousness returns and my people prove by their actions, words and thoughts to yield to my Spirit and hearken to my commandments, then will the Earth rejoice, for the feet of those who cry peace upon her mountains are beautiful indeed, and I, the Lord, will bring again Zion, and the earth will rejoice.

In the world tares are ripening. And so I ask you, What of the wheat? Let your pride, and your envy, and your fears depart from you. I will come to my tabernacle and dwell with my people in Zion, and none will overtake it.

Cry peace. Proclaim my words. Invite those who will repent to be baptized and forgiven, and they shall obtain my Spirit to guide them. The time is short and I come quickly, therefore open your mouths and warn others to flee the wrath which is to come as men in anger destroy one another. The wicked shall destroy the wicked, and I will hold the peacemakers in the palm of my hand and none can take them from me.

Be comforted, be of good cheer, rejoice, and look up, for I am with you who remember me, and all those who watch for me, always, even unto the end. Amen.

Now, hear the words of the Lord to those who receive this covenant this day:

All you who have turned from your wicked ways and repented of your evil doings, of lying and deceiving, and of all whoredoms, and of secret abominations, idolatries, murders, priestcrafts, envying, and strife, and from all wickedness and abominations, and have come unto me, and been baptized in my name, and have received a remission of your sins, and received the Holy Ghost, are now numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. I say to you:

Teach your children to honor me.

Seek to recover the lost sheep remnant of this land and of Israel and no longer forsake them. Bring them unto me and teach them of my ways, to walk in them.

And I, the Lord your God, will be with you and will never forsake you and I will lead you in the path which will bring peace to you in the troubling season now fast approaching.

I will raise you up and protect you, abide with you, and gather you in due time, and this shall be a land of promise to you as your inheritance from me.

The Earth will yield her increase, and you will flourish upon the mountains and upon the hills, and the wicked will not come against you because the fear of the Lord will be with you.

I will visit my house, which the remnant of my people shall build, and I will dwell therein, to be among you, and no one will need to say, Know ye the Lord, for you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

I will teach you things that have been hidden from the foundation of the world and your understanding will reach unto Heaven.

And you shall be called the children of the Most High God, and I will preserve you against the harvest.

And the angels sent to harvest the world will gather the wicked into bundles to be burned, but will pass over you as my peculiar treasure.

But if you do not honor me, nor seek to recover my people Israel, nor teach your children to honor me, nor care for the poor among you, nor help lighten one another’s burdens, then you have no promise from me and I will raise up other people who will honor and serve me and give unto them this land, and if they repent I will abide with them.

The time is now far spent, therefore labor with me and do not forsake my covenant to perform it; study my words and let them be the standard for your faith and I will add thereto many treasures. Love one another and you will be mine, and I will preserve you, and raise you up, and abide with you for ever. AMEN.

Zion cannot be established by isolated and solitary figures proclaiming a testimony of Jesus from their home keyboard. The challenge of building a community must be part of a process. Zion is a community and therefore God is a God of community and His people must learn to live together with one heart, one mind, with no poor among us. Isolated keyboardists proclaiming their resentment of community can hardly speak temperately of others. How could they ever live peacefully in a community of equals? We must become precious to each other. Although the laborers in this final effort are few, you will be the means used by the Lord to complete His work in His vineyard, verse 70. You’re required to labor with your might to finish the Lord’s work in His vineyard, verse 72. But He will labor alongside you. He, not a man or a committee, will call you to do work. When He calls do not fear, but do not run faster than you have strength. We must find His people in the highways and byways  invite them to join in. Zion will include people from every part of the world. This conference is broadcast worldwide as part of the prophecy to Enoch that God would send

               “…righteousness and truth will He I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather 

out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, 

an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time 

of my coming; for there shall be my Tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New 

Jerusalem.” (Moses 7:62)

We must proclaim this to the world. Do not despair when further pruning takes place, it must be done. Only through pruning can the Lord keep his tree of life equal without those who are lofty overcoming the body, verse 73. The lofty branches have always destroyed equality to prevent Zion. The final result of the Lord’s labor in His vineyard is declared by the ancient prophet in unmistakable clarity “…the trees have become again the natural fruit, and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.” Mark those words. That’s verse 74. When the Lord explained this to me I realized how foolish it was to expect natural fruit, worthy of preservation, in an instant. The Lord works patiently, methodically and does not require any to run faster than they have strength. We cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into inequality. When the result of this labor is to make us one body equal with one another. We cannot imitate the failures of the past by establishing a hierarchy, elevating one above another and forgetting that we must be of one heart, one mind and no poor among us.

The restoration was never intended to just restore an ancient Christian church. That is only a halfway point. It must go back further. In the words of the ancient prophet God intends to do according to His will and to preserve the natural fruit that it is good even like as it was in the beginning, verse 75. This means the beginning, as in the days of Adam, with the return of the original religion and original authority, everything must be returned as it was in the beginning. Civilization began with the Temple as the center of learning, law and culture. The Temple was the original university because it taught of man’s place with God in the universe. God will return the right of dominion once held by Adam, to man on earth to make us humble servant gardeners laboring to return the world to a peaceful paradise. The Covenant received today restores part of that right.

There is a land inheritance given to us as part of the Covenant and therefore if we keep the Covenant we have the right to remain, when others will be swept away. Ultimately all rights given to us must be turned back to the Fathers who went before, who will likewise return them to Adam, who will surrender them to Christ. When Christ returns, He will come with the right to exercise complete dominion over the earth and exercise judgment over the ungodly. Things set into motion today are part of preparing the way for the Lord’s return in glory.

And when it comes to the construction of Zion God has said in revelation it cannot be done in haste because haste brings pestilence. And what is pestilential is not just bugs and rodents, it is confusion. We have a season of peace and we have a season of prosperity, and we have an opportunity in which we might be able to accomplish something with nothing more than the same thing that Joseph Smith was talking about in July of 1840. But when a command is given and sufficient time is accorded and the clock begins to run, then the tendency is to move quickly, like John Bennett. Everything is in a hurry. When you have a season of peace upon you and an opportunity to reflect upon what went wrong with the restoration at the beginning, and we have again the opportunity established by the word of the Lord that was read to and accepted by, for the first time in the restoration, a Covenant to accept the obligations that were devolving upon us in the restoration, and we have an opportunity to prepare and to do something. We delay, we hesitate, and we squander the opportunity, ultimately at our peril. 

I don’t care how much you think you know about what God is up to, I guarantee you that unless God has shown it to you plainly as He has done to Joseph at the beginning, you’re not going to figure out what God is up to. There’s a reason for that. If you could figure out what God is going to do and where and when and how, then the adversary could prevent that work from being accomplished. It is precisely because God keeps his secrets and entrusts them carefully and guardedly that the work of God cannot be frustrated and the covenants will be fulfilled, and the prophecies will be vindicated, and what was offered through Joseph will, in fact, be accomplished. 

We have an opportunity, if we will avail ourselves of it, at a time of peace and prosperity, to do something to prepare in order to have that day come upon us with adequate preparation having been made in advance. 

When God’s people are stirred to anger with each other, then even God is against them. After the spot for a temple in Missouri was revealed, the people who went there polluted it by their jealousies and fighting. The unbelieving Missourians were used by God to expel them from the place they had hoped to build a temple. They were surprised the holy spot could be taken from them. After it was taken God explained why:

Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted and persecuted and cast out from the land of their inheritances, I the Lord have suffered the affliction to come upon them wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions, yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels. Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son, for all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified. Behold, I say unto you, There were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them, therefore, by these things they polluted their inheritances. They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God, therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel, but in the day of their trouble, of necessity, they feel after me. (NC T&C 101:1-2.)

If the covenant with God is kept, then He will allow His house to be built. The covenant cannot be kept if there is jarring, contention, envy, strife, lustful and covetous desires. If we do the same as those who went before, we would pollute the ground again. I am thankful we do not yet have a place to pollute. It would be better to never gain a promised place for God’s house than to take possession and pollute it.

This is a passage in which Nephi is describing the saints at the very end, at the end of time, just before the scene wraps up. 

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and it’s numbers were few because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters. Nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather togethermultitudes upon the face of the earth, among all the nations of the gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld [that] the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth. And they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. 

And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying, Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots, and behold, thou seest all these things. (1 Nephi 3:28-29) 

These words don’t say that the coming conflict is against the covenant people of God or the church of the Lamb. Nor does it say that the wrath of God consists of God picking a fight with the wicked. In the case of the wrath of God, people are stirred to anger against each other. They decide. The wicked destroy the wicked because the wicked decide that they cannot put up with peaceful coexistence anymore. Their hearts are so angry with one another that they manage to inflict violence and death and destruction upon one another. 

Like the judgment that Mormon describes in Mormon chapter 9 (of the old set), God is a bystander. The wrath of God is manifest by the rejection of God and the violence that people turn upon one another. And the power of God and the glory of God—meaning the peace of God and the ability to live with one another in harmony without this raging conflict—that power is manifest among the people of God, the church of God, and the covenant people that belong to God. So, if you can maintain peaceful coexistence with one another as you worship God in the coming days, the power and glory of God will descend and be with you, because you managed to extract yourself from the coming conflict, rage, hatred, polarization. And if you don’t think those days are not commencing, then, well, you’re not watching the news. 

God really is up to a work right now. And the work that is underway can culminate in Zion. Covenants were made. Promises were given. God has an obligation to the covenant fathers that He will vindicate. God’s words will be fulfilled, all of them. None of them are going to fall to the ground unfulfilled. The question is not, Will God bring about the culmination of all His purposes? The question is, Are we willing to cooperate with Him to bring those purposes to pass in our day? The offer that God makes—this appears in scripture nearly as often as the promise in Malachi—God says, How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and ye would not. Could God have brought about His purposes and vindicated His promises in the days of Moses? Could He have done what He had promised to do when Christ was here on the earth? Could He have done it in the days of Peter? Could He have done it in the days of Joseph Smith? The question is never whether God will vindicate His promises. The question is, Will there ever come a people who will respond to the Lord’s willingness to gather them as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and be gathered, and be content with being gathered and being at peace with one another. We have that opportunity, but so many generations before us have had the same opportunity, and they would not. The question isn’t whether God is going to do it or whether God is willing to do it now. The question is, Are we willing to cooperate with Him in that process to do our part? We get really petty with one another, and we shouldn’t be. We ought to value one another so highly that we will do anything we can to support one another and to assist in bringing about the purposes of God. At the end of the day, obedience to God is simply blessing one another by the way we conduct ourselves. I like the Lamanite king’s prayer, “I will give away all my sins to know you.” We tend not to be willing to give away our sins. We want to harbour them and cultivate them and celebrate them. We ought to be more— We ought to love God more and our sins less. God can fulfill His promises in our day, before we leave this stage of the action. It can happen. Whether it happens or not is up to us and how interested we are in doing as He bids us.

And all went to be taxed, everyone in his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem — because he was of the house and lineage of David — to be taxed with Mary his betrothed wife, she being great with child. And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was none to give room for them in the inns.

And there were in the same country shepherds staying out in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. But the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the way you shall find the babe: he is wrapped in swaddling clothes and is lying in a manger. And suddenly there was, with the angel, a multitude of the Heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to men. (Luke 2:1-2 RE) 

…and the shepherd said, “Let’s go see this!” And so, they went and found the child. 

We have promises that God is up to something and intends to accomplish some things (at a time when it appears unlikely that God is going to vindicate all that He has purposed to accomplish) in a single generation at some late date in history. But the purposes of God in bringing Christ into the world occurred in far less likely circumstances for the Savior to have been born and survived, grown to adulthood, and been able to minister as he was able to minister. Now, it’s true that the people misapprehended what God was doing, and they misapprehended what the first mission of the Lord would be—but people misapprehend what the Lord is doing and how the Lord is going to accomplish His purposes now, at the end of times, as well. The ability of God to accomplish a matter (while He is also concealing the matter from the understanding of the world) should never be questioned—because that is exactly how He has accomplished, over and over again, the things that He said He intended to do. 

I’m getting ready to give a talk at a conference in the spring, and I’ve been going back and looking carefully at the revelations that have rolled out in our day, speaking to us. One of the things that is very apparent is that the statements, the guidance, the commandments, the instruction, the lessons that we’ve been given are not given to individuals; it’s given to the people. Right now, the biggest challenge that remains as an obstacle to the accomplishment of what God has told us that He intends to do is the rising up of a people—not as those who can cleverly parse Scripture or who can endlessly go on about minutia related to the gospel—that’s not the challenge at all. The challenge is to have us regard one another in a way so that we can live in peace with one another, and we aren’t a threat to one another. 


The foregoing excerpts were taken from:

  • The presentation of Denver’s paper titled “Was There an Original”, given at the Sunstone Symposium on July 29, 2016
  • Denver’s conference talk titled “Things to Keep Us Awake at Night” given in St. George, UT on March 19th, 2017
  • The presentation of “Answer and Covenant”, given at the Covenant of Christ Conference in Boise, ID on September 3rd, 2017
  • Denver’s Opening Remarks given at the Covenant of Christ Conference in Boise, ID on September 3rd, 2017
  • Denver’s remarks given at a Regional Conference in Centerville, UT on August 4, 2018
  • Denver’s remarks titled “Keep the Covenant: Do the Work” given at the Remembering the Covenants Conference in Layton, UT on September 30, 2018
  • Denver’s remarks titled “Book of Mormon as Covenant” given at the Book of Mormon Covenant Conference in Columbia, SC on January 13, 2019
  • Denver’s remarks given during a Christmas Fireside in Lehi, UT on 20 December, 2020