Ascending the Ladder to Heaven

IsaiahDecoded1I’ve been reading Isaiah Decoded by Avraham Gileadi. It’s taking me much longer to read than I thought it would. This is not a review of the book but I would like to share some observations. This is only the second book from Gileadi I have read, the other being The Last Days (2nd edition 1991). That was the book that got him in trouble with the church but please read his disclaimer.

Scholarship on the Book of Isaiah

Avraham Gileadi is eminently qualified to write on the subject. If you go to his website, you’ll see there are actually five sites dedicated to his works. I’ve been receiving invitations to his seminars for years, but being a California boy, alas, I don’t get up to the Mormon corridor that often anymore. Other than Claremont College, there is not much LDS scholarship in the LA area.

Jacob’s Ladder / Isaiah’s Ladder

I’ve read a lot about Jacob’s ladder but have never understood it completely. I’m learning some amazing things from this wonderful book. I’m a little over halfway through the book (page 211 of 357 pages). I’ll tell you one remarkable thing that struck me right away. This book, or rather Isaiah, confirms the prophecy of a latter-day servant other than Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ.

Gentile Church is the LDS Church

It also confirms for me something I struggled with for a long time when I first started reading Denver Snuffer’s books. As I noted a couple of years ago, Passing the Heavenly Gift was the first of Denver’s books I read. In there, he clearly makes a case that the Gentile church (read LDS church) will reject the fullness of the gospel (see 3 Ne 16:10, especially last few lines).

Gileadi and Snuffer both cast off

Well, Denver was excommunicated for teaching the same thing that Avraham taught. Avraham was re-baptized a few years later. In his disclaimer, he states, “the church made a mistake.” I wave written in my blog the church did the right thing in excommunicating Denver Snuffer and gave my reasons, which mainly had to do with the threat LDS leaders felt from Denver’s book.

Denver Snuffer – the Davidic Servant

I’m going to retract that statement. I now believe the church made a mistake in the same way they did with Avraham Gileadi. However, I don’t think we’ll see the church doing an about-face in Denver’s case as they did with Avraham and I’ll tell you why. It’s because Denver Snuffer is the servant prophesied to come forth in the last days to prepare the people to receive the Lord (1-22-14: see update at end of post).

LDS Church Rejected the Fullness

What I just wrote is so contrary to what I have been taught and believed all my life, I struggled to write it. We read in Daniel 2:44 the Lord will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed. I have been taught and have always believed that kingdom is the LDS church. This church I love is so filled with good people I can hardly believe it could possibly have rejected the fullness.

Christ Teaches We Lose the Fullness

Yet, that is what the Book of Mormon teaches. The Gentile Church is the LDS Church (D&C 109:60). There is no doubt about that. According to the scripture, it is not a matter of if we reject the fullness but when. 3 Ne 16:10 distinctly says, and these are the words of Jesus, “I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them.” Has this already happened and if so, when?

Don’t Make Assumptions I Believe This Yet

There are two points I need to make here: 1) I am only reporting what I have now seen clearly stated by two LDS scholars (yes, I consider Denver an LDS scholar). 2) Don’t assume I either believe or teach this. I am simply making a few observations of what I have read. Yet, I was amazed to find some of the same things taught in Avraham’s book as I did in Denver’s PtHG.

Fullness of Gospel / Fullness of Priesthood

Is there a distinction between the fullness of the gospel and the fullness of the priesthood? The answer is yes, there is a distinction. The fullness of the gospel is to bring people into Christ’s presence. That is what Moses tried to do and what was attempted by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo. Moses partially succeeded with seventy elders. Joseph tried but the people did not qualify.

LDS Church Rejected the Fullness

Joseph specifically said he had a difficult time teaching the people new things because they would fly to pieces each time he tried to introduce more of what the Lord wanted him to teach. In short, the people of the LDS Church rejected the fullness of the gospel in Joseph’s day. They were not ready. They did not build the Nauvoo temple in time and suffered (D&C 124:46-48).

Need to Receive the Fullness in Mortality

The distinction between the fullness of the gospel is everything that is needed to bring men into God’s presence. The fullness of the priesthood is what the Lord confers upon men once they are brought into his presence. This is supposed to happen in this life. We are to strive for this. It is not something that is given to us by other men, but by the Lord. Angels prepare us to receive it.

Similarities Between PtHG and Isaiah Decoded

You can see I have shared a lot of what is found in PtHG. Now let me return to Isaiah Decoded and show some corroborating evidence that there is to be a servant in the last days who is not Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ. I ask you to have an open mind about this and look for yourself if you have the book. If not, I highly recommend it. I intend to get more of Avraham’s books.

Church Broadcast to Southern California

In our stake conference this weekend, we reviewed our stake mission plan, which focuses on how we can hasten the work. It is a simple three-fold plan: 1) attend the temple often - we always have a chapel session before stake conference, 2) Bring souls unto Christ either by preparing them to hear the discussions or fellowshipping those less active and 3) Study the gospel more.

My Efforts to Fulfill our Stake Mission Plan

Well, I’m trying to do all three. I spent seven hours in the temple Friday, I write this blog, which requires a lot of gospel study with the specific intent of helping my readers focus on Christ. In the temple Friday I asked the Lord what he would have me share next on my blog. This is the result. He clearly brought to my mind the impression I needed to write about Jacob’s ladder.

My Impression of Gileadi’s Writings

I’ll point out something from the outset if you’re not already a reader of Avraham’s works. He can be obscure and vague in his writings. I think he does it on purpose. He leads you along to a certain point then lets you make your own conclusions. This is a different style of writing which my Western mind had a problem accepting at first. I guess I’ve always liked things spelled out.

Draw Your Own Conclusions

Avraham doesn’t do that. I was amazed how he can turn on a fire hose of information that goes on for pages and pages, yet never writes, “And thus we see,” or “and therefore I conclude…” I suspect this is why his membership in the church was returned to him. You must draw your own conclusions from his writings. Compared to Avraham, Denver’s conclusions are clearly shared.

Prophecy of the Davidic Servant

While chapter one introduces the ladder to heaven – I guess you can also call it Isaiah’s ladder - the prophecy of The Servant is clearly spelled out in chapter two. Interestingly, he is identified by first contrasting him with the archtyrant, personified by the king of Babylon in Isaiah’s day and an unnamed individual today, who must be on the earth because The Servant is also here.

The Servant Contrasted with the Archtyrant

I was surprised at how casually Avraham introduces The Servant on page 43 in these words, “Although the archtyrant may seem to wield all power, his influence won’t be the strongest force in the world. Jehovah and his servant, whom he sends to minister to his people, provide a powerful counterforce to which all who keep God’s law may look for deliverance.”

The Servant has Spiritually Progressed Helpers

He also wrote, “Persons on the highest spiritual levels will labor with the servant to prepare the way for Jehovah’s coming.” Who is this servant and who is the archtyrant? Page 44-45: “Like Moses, he leads God’s people in a new exodus to the Promised Land, this time not to escape the plagues of Egypt but the worldwide catastrophe engineered by the archtyrant.” I’ll stop there.

Isaiah’s Prophesied Servant in LDS Curriculum

Since I haven’t finished the book yet, I don’t feel comfortable writing more until I ponder and pray about what I have felt inspired by the Holy Ghost in my interpretations of what I have read. Now I know my conclusions will not go unchallenged so I reiterate, I am simply sharing what I have read. Let me ask you this, “How many of you know about Isaiah’s prophesied servant?”

Three-year Ministry of Davidic King

I’ve been a student of the scriptures all my life, yet I don’t recall being taught specifically in the curriculum of the LDS Church anything about a servant of Jehovah to come forth in the last days that will prepare the way for Christ's return. Avraham calls him the Davidic King. He will have a three-year ministry that reaches to the world and warns the entire world of what is to come.

All Will Be Required To Choose

The angels will gather the righteous from throughout the world. Members of the Gentile church (the LDS church), will have a choice to make when the servant arrives. We will either harden our hearts to our own condemnation and destruction or we will repent and prepare to join Zion. The day of a complete division between the righteous and the wicked is coming. Is that day soon?

Yet Another Marvelous Work and Wonder

I leave you with this question: Who is the servant referred to by Avraham in his interpretation of Isaiah? Could it possibly be Denver Snuffer, one who claims to have seen and been ministered to by the Lord Jesus Christ and is teaching of a great and marvelous work yet to come forth and about to begin? This is different from the great and marvelous work of the original restoration.

Invitation to Dialog

If you’ve never heard about any of this stuff or think it is crazy, you’re welcome to comment and tell me so. I am really looking for comments from some who have read both Snuffer and Gileadi and have put them together as I have. Am I wrong in what I felt inspired as I read? Is it possible Denver Snuffer could be this Davidic servant prophesied by Isaiah to come forth in our day?

1-22-14 Update:

I've received numerous kind emails pointing out where I've made some mistakes in my assumptions and statements. Thank you my friends, 1) Denver is a servant, but may not be and probably is not the servant. 2) Denver is definitely not the Davidic King. There are too many reasons / requirements he does not meet. I just wanted to acknowledge the kind and gentle corrections. I'm learning with your help.


Lizzie Nelson said…
Tim, I have read almost all of Gileadi's works and almost all of Snuffer's works. You could be right about DS being the servant, and I have wondered it many times. But, I'm not sure he is the correct lineage. Or, he could be a forerunner of the servant, because he surely is, without doubt, preparing a number of people to be on a higher spiritual level.

In any event, he is a servant, but I don't know if he is THE servant. I don't think he has ever publicly spoken much about The Servant. But in one of his recent talks, he said something to the effect of, how do you not know that Jesus Christ is the servant that will come to you in the last days.....and then DS goes on to imply to come to mean, his literal presence to come to you, which seems to be his main message--of Christ coming personally to you. Which incidentally is what the servant will come to do. So there you go. I go around and around about it.

But I do find it very curious and interesting, considering that he is without the prestigious positions, and kind of has a quirky personality. Some one odd like that could very well be the sort of person the Lord might use.

Time will tell. Then sometimes I think maybe Gileadi's prediction of a servant could be just symbolic.

Dang, I wish I had a seer stone.
Lizzie Nelson said…
I likewise find it interesting how much bolder he is blogging of late. Though some say he is embittered and speaking against the Lord's anointed, you could also interpret the condemnation to be...prophetic warnings.
Good Will said…
I recall Denver writing something to the effect "You aren't until you do. By their fruits ye shall know them."

We won't know who the servant is until the servant does.

Ordination (or foreordination) alone does not determine a matter until the servant fulfills the work appointed. Ever-present agency allows for failure. A prophet isn't a prophet until after he (or she) is one.

Except in Mormon circles.

In the biblical world, Samuel said "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth". Indeed, he already had! Moses ascended the mount to confront the burning bush before he was appointed to be a prophet to the nations (even though his life had been foreseen for centuries and had been prophesied of by many).

In Mormon culture, however, one may (must?) be physically ordained a "prophet, seer and revelator" before one necessarily prophesies, sees or reveals...or even despite never having done so! Receiving the Divine Presence or standing in heavenly councils isn't a requirement of the office!

Having the form of godliness, however, certainly is. Like Disney's famous restrictions upon employee grooming and attire, General Authorities today purportedly can't even go see a movie with their family without wearing a business suit! How preposterous!

We won't (save by revelation) know who Denver Snuffer is until (or if) he does. Aligning yourself with him will only get you excommunicated from the Church -- if you speak out.

i become increasingly less concerned with the consequences of receiving Denver Snuffer's testimony the more I listen to him. I sat through stake conference yesterday hearing talk after talk urging us to adopt one more way to persuade others to align themselves with Mormonism. I heard very little, if anything, beckoning me to come unto Christ. Except for as it relates to missionary work, His words were hardly mentioned. Speakers spoke not of the grandeur of Christ, but of the "privilege it is to sit at the feet of these inspired leaders".

I cringed. it pains me to see how thoroughly the Mormon faith has supplanted "follow Christ" with "follow the prophet". Christ has never failed me, whereas the doctrines of men -- as taught and interpreted by men -- have repeatedly failed me. How can I trust in men when men now claim the former prophets (and their teachings) were mistaken?

Denver Snuffer's observations have, like no other, cut through the rhetoric and obfuscation. You cannot overturn the doctrines of the Church without overturning the Church itself! Going to meetings now (for me) is like spending a weekend at Bernie's. I possess the ominous, dreadful understanding that the host is dead! Meanwhile, one feels compelled to maintain pretentions and appearances, "dressing up the corpse", as it were, hoping that life will somehow be restored.
Vaughn Hughes said…
@GoodWill, amen regarding how to know who the Davidic Servant will be. It will become apparent from the works of the person, as Denver has pointed out. Everything else is speculation at this point.

But to be clear, having read Denver's works and also many of Gileadi's (including "Isaiah Decoded"--his master work in my opinion), there *are* other possibilities, so keep your spiritual eyes open. The early saints in this dispensation apparently thought it would be Joseph Smith himself who would return to take on this role. Some, like you (and which I and others have also pondered), think it might wind up being Denver. Another book I have read (authored anonymously) very persuasively argues it will be someone else we are all familiar with. (see

Turning from the subject of the Davidic Servant for a moment: there is one other piece Avraham has written that was absolute light to my eyes. It is his easily-overlooked essay "Isaiah—Key to the Book of Mormon" embedded in the book "Rediscovering the Book of Mormon". It is available to read online here: In it, you will find that the writers of the Book of Mormon were very heavily influenced by all the same themes you are now studying in Isaiah Decoded. As you read the Book of Mormon again after finishing it, you will begin to see this. (particularly if you can get your mind out of the columned/chaptered tunnel vision of our official LDS edition to a better laid-out edition like Grant Hardy's "Reader's Edition of the Book of Mormon", where all the Isaiah references are *much* easier to see: For example, you'll find that Captain Moroni and Amalickiah are archetypes for the Davidic Servant and the King of Assyria. I loved this article of Avraham's so much that I turned it into a set of slides to share for FHE with our family:
ElectOfGod said…
Just to add little correction here, he specifically talked about the One mighty and Strong in Orem. He also alludes to the one mighty and strong as you just said, as possibly being the Lord when he visits to YOU. BUT This person is Different than the Servant/Davidact Servant/ and possibly the "marred servant" as talked about in the book of mormon. DS has commentary on the marred servant. Find the verse and than find DS commentary on it.
ElectOfGod said…
I will add some other thoughts too.

Malachi 3:1 King James Bible
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Purpose of this one, to "bring people into the presence of god". Also We know there will be two prophets in Jerusalem, we know there will be some sort of endtime "exodus" as moses as talked about Avraham. It may be other servants, to open/close a dispensation if Zion is a new dispensation, etc... But we know the gathering will take place by Angels... Oh my.

Certainly lots to consider.

We have short time, we truly need a servant that can accelerate the process for us, it took 40-365 years of Enoch and Zion, I don't think we have that much time. But I guess anything is possible with God.
rick taylor said…
seems to me Denver says he wants no following will not accept a following , he can,t be the davidic king without a follwoing. He has said what the Lord has instructed him to say and so i my mind that excludes him .
AnthonyR said…
PtHG pg. 401 "When a servant from Him is rejected, there is always an amount of time that must pass before another servant is sent. Those in the generation who reject an offer must all die before the next opportunity will be extended. This is why Joseph lamented the failure to complete the Nauvoo temple, and the temporary opportunity that existed with him."

Plain and simple, Denver is a servant of the Lord. If we reject his message, who knows how long it may be until another servant is sent to us, if there would be another in this gentile dispensation. I have wondered if Denver is the Davidic Servant, but for now he is laying a foundation. If we are true and faithful, and receive the Lord's message through him, we may be able to partake of those same blessings Joseph wished to bestow on the saints. He is a modern day Enoch, laying the foundation, and preparing the way for Zion to return.

In my scripture study, here is what I have found on The Servant.
D&C 77:14
"Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things."

John the Beloved's mission is yet to be fulfilled. Is he the Davidic Servant? Is Snuffer laying the foundation for John (Elias) to help seal us up?

And D&C 113:7-8
"Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?

He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost."

Snuffer is doing this as stated in this scripture, "to return to that power which she had lost." If Snuffer is not the Davidic Servant, he is laying the foundation for the Davidic Servant.

Yet, Isaiah 52:14 says he will be marred by the King of Assyria, then healed by the Lord. I have always thought of this as some sort of torture by this evil ruler. But could excommunication be a form of marring?

Thanks for the posting Tim!
Lizzie Nelson said…
I remember that Gileadi says the Servant's face will be so marred that he will be unrecognizable. But excommunication could be spiritual marring. So many LDS people would not even read a DS book now because of his excommunication. Marring indeed!
Rick said…
Mitt Romney?!
Vaughn Hughes said…
So Avraham was basing his interpretation primarily on the Hebrew meaning of the word, but even the English meaning of "mar" at the time of the translation of the Book of Mormon primarily referred to disfigurement: Between the suffering aspect of a Davidic King (which Avraham covers well) and the association of cutting with covenant making in Hebrew (i.e., "making a covenant" in Hebrew is literally translated as "cutting a covenant", such as originally was practiced in our dispensation with temple garments), I think there is a strong likelihood that marring will be physical marring of the servant's visage as in 3 Nephi 20:44, not just marring of one's reputation, as when someone is excommunicated or slandered.
Vaughn Hughes said…
Humorous. I'm sure many LDS would think so, if they even had any idea that such a One Mighty & Strong were to come. No, the book "Awake and Arise" makes the case that it will be John the Beloved. (see D&C 77:14) Either way, as Denver highlighted in his "Priesthood" talk, John the Beloved, identified as Uriel, has a very key role to play in what is coming.
Lizzie Nelson said…
Yes, I do agree with you about the physical marring. But I also think there may be two fold marring, spiritually and physically.
This will answer a lot of questions about who the Servant will be.
Hermit said…
@ zionsdaughter: Are you referring Dan discussing the topic or Dan being the servant?
The whole blog starting from the book of John posts, talks about who the Servant will be and the signs to look for. Dan discusses the topic clearly.
log said…
... Because, of course, all parables and prophesies have but a single fulfillment and a single meaning, Nephi's practice of likening things unto his people notwithstanding.
Good Will said…
Ty said…
I agree that D&C 103:21 refers to Joseph as the servant in D&C 101, but it's not clear to me how that makes him the "suffering servant" who is marred (Isaiah 52:14; 3 Nephi 20:44; 3 Nephi 21:10).

I'm not saying it's not Joseph, either. Strathearn and Moody claim it's the Book of Mormon (which also seems weak).
Ty said…
Neal A. Maxwell had really bad acne as a kid, which left him with scars. Maybe it's him. "Suffering Servant" is alliterative, after all.
Amen, Doug, Amen - especially to your paragraph about the end of America. Doug didn't leave a link to his website. I hope he doesn't mind that I share it. Here it is: Go read.
dbundy said…
Ty, it's not JS who is marred; It's the Church. It is going down, but Zion will be redeemed by power, after the destruction of the Gentiles, per 3 Ne 21. The only way JS can be the breaker of Micah in this connection is if he is resurrected, which fits the rabbinical tradition and the LDS revelations perfectly.
log said…
...Except the Church is uniformly referred to as a female, as is Zion, throughout the scriptures.
dbundy said…
Well, yeah, but I'm not saying the Church is marred. The servant is "Joseph" in the collective sense of "Ephraim," who is building the kingdom and laboring to establish Zion. The servant, who is declaring the Book of Mormon to the Gentiles, who will not believe it, is marred because of the unbelieving Gentiles. The Twelve trees are the Quorum of the Twelve, or the Church. The tower is the Council of Fifty.
Ty said…
Interesting thoughts Bundy. So Joseph is marred and feathered by the unbelieving Gentiles (Gentiles meaning mormons (D&C 109:60)?).

I'm sure you didn't mean to say that the Council of 50 are the Tower, since the Tower was never built (because they just sat on the couch with their hand in their pants--had to get an Al Bundy reference in there somewhere), and the council of 50 existed (or were 'built'). The tower represents Zion, right?

I always assumed that the 12 trees were the 12 tribes. But in D&C 101:44, the servants are called to plant 12 trees. I'm not sure if it makes sense for the servants to plant the tribes of Israel. Doesn't make sense to plant 12 apostles either. Later on in v51 the trees are broken down by the enemy.

I need to make better sense of section 101.
log said…
... Except there is no reference to Ephraim nor Joseph preceding the "marred servant." And it seems pretty clear, contextually, the Lord was referring to an individual. And it is not clear that the servant is necessarily declaring the Book of Mormon.
"Is there a distinction.." said…

You said:

"Is there a distinction between the fullness of the gospel and the fullness of the priesthood? The answer is yes, there is a distinction. The fullness of the gospel is to bring people into Christ’s presence"

It seems that you just contradicted the point you were trying to make because, Section 84 teaches that the fulness of the priesthood is to bring us into God's presence.

So, again, what is the distinction?

It would appear to me that there is no distinction.
dbundy said…
No, it's clear as prophecy ever is that the tower is the C of F, because it's the only thing that fits. Remember, the servants laid the foundation, before they started to argue. Also, a "debating society" is just what was needed, vis-a-vis the Jesuits and Royalty intrigues that have now come to light. BTW, the prophet Joseph, and the people "Joseph," in the collective sense, can certainly be understood as the "man" who "declared" the BoM unto those who would not believe it.
log said…
...Except the Nauvoo temple also fits.

... Except the prophet Joseph, nor the people "Joseph," in any sense, are referred to before or after the reference to the man / servant, making that identification rather less than straightforward, neither is it clear that it is the BoM being declared to those who do not believe it.
Sorry to be unclear or confusing. I can see your point. Two paragraphs after I wrote what you quoted, I wrote this:

"The distinction between the fullness of the gospel is everything that is needed to bring men into God’s presence. The fullness of the priesthood is what the Lord confers upon men once they are brought into his presence."

Here's a quote from PtHG, (preface, page xv) that may help: "The objective of the fullness of the Gospel is to bring people back into Christ's presence. When in Christ's presence, the fullness of the priesthood is bestowed."

I looked for the word fullness or fulness in section 84. This is what I got:

23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

Not to be picky, but the phrase "fullness of the priesthood" is not found in section 84. In there we find the phrase, "fulness of his glory." Those are two very different things. We could go on and on about semantics of phrases and both be right.

It is my belief that ordinances are invitations to go and get the real thing. When my father conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon me at age eighteen, I knew I was then authorized to act within the church. But I did not feel I had received anything from the Lord.

That ordinance was an invitation to go and get priesthood power - different from authority in the LDS church - from the Lord directly. I am grateful for that authority, but it is not a fullness. I knew that at age eighteen and still know it today nearly forty years later.

I believe we have the fullness of the gospel. By living up to every commandment and calling upon the Lord, we can eventually come into the presence of the Lord in this life, and certainly in the next life if we are true and faithful to our covenants.

But do I have the fullness of the priesthood? Absolutely not. I know it and God knows it. I desire it. I seek for it. I pray for it. I try to live worthy of it. But I don't have it. It is only received directly from God in the same way Nephi received it (Helaman chapter 10).

Here's a quote from Denver on the subject: "The most important point is that there is priesthood which exists, but is not contained within or conferred by the church. It comes from one source - the Father. To receive that, read the Tenth Parable and you will have a description of how it unfolds. The Son is necessarily involved. He is the gatekeeper, who alone decides if the person is going to qualify.

"Then the Son takes it as His work, or His ministry, to bring a person before the Father. However, the ministry of the Son can take many years, and is designed to cure what is wrong, fix all that is broken, remove all that is impure, in the candidate. Only when the Son can vouch for the individual is he brought before the Father. It is the Father who confers and ordains a man to the highest priesthood."

Ty said…
Either way, the tower was never built, right? Were servants commanded to build a council of 50, which command they didn't carry out?

The Nauvoo temple, that was built.

Or was it??? ;)

What's the big deal about the Council of 50 anyway? I don't know much about them. What were they supposed to do?
Lizzie Nelson said…
Some astute, on-the-ball lady found this following pertinent quote which I referred to above. Here it is from DS. Note that the One Mighty and Strong may well be a different person than the last days Servant. (?)

"How do you not know that the One Mighty and Strong, to be sent to set in order the house of God, is not Jesus Christ himself? (See D&C 85: 7.) Our Lord is waiting to minister to all those who will come to Him. Because, receiving our Lord is in itself an ordinance." Quote by Denver Snuffer
"Is there a distinction.." said…

You said, you looked for the "fulness" in section 84 but could not find it.

If you only accept passages of scripture with the exact keyword you are studying, you will greatly limit your research and ability to learn. There are many terms that have multiple keywords associated with them.

I would suggest that section 84:19 is referring to the "fulness of the priesthood" even though it is referred to as the "greater priesthood":

"And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;

According to the above passages, the "greater priesthood" (which is clearly the same as the fulness of the priesthood that Section 124:28 refers to) is what brings a person into the presence of God.

The passages don't indicate the one must enter the presence of Christ or God before the fulness of the priesthood can be bestowed.

Hence, if you are correct that the purpose of the fulness of the Gospel is to bring a person into the presence of God, it would have the same purpose as the fulness of the priesthood and we are still without the differentiation of the two terms that brother Snuffer claims.

Other terms that refer to the fulness of the priesthood show up in verses 34-35 as "elect of God" and "this priesthood".

While I appreciate you providing the references to PTHG that state that one must first enter into the presence of Christ before one can have the fulness of the priesthood bestowed, I don't accept anything he says as scripture, unless it conforms to scripture and his statement appears to be in conflict with scripture.

We are told in the JST that one is called to the fulness of the priesthood by the voice of God out of heaven and we can see in the History of the church that when the higher priesthood was restored that many of the elders were called and ordained to that greater priesthood through Joseph Smith via God's voice out of the heavens, but most of those that received it, had not previously entered into Christ's presence and in fact, it appears that most did not enter into the presence of Christ during the remainder of their lives. Many apostatized.

I don't see any scriptural proof that one must enter into the presence of Christ via the fulness of the Gospel prior to having the fulness of the priesthood bestowed.

The scriptures appear to state that both the fulness of the gospel and the fulness of the priesthood will eventually lead someone into the presence of God, but I don't see a differentiation between the two..

I have found PTHG to be riddled with many inconsistencies like this.

I thank you for laboring with me on this Tim.

If anyone else on this forum knows of any passages that would support Brother Snuffers theory, I would appreciate you sharing them.
dbundy said…
Does DS ever expound on the meaning of the term "Fullness of the gospel," which the Lord says will be withdrawn from the Gentiles, if they reject it?

The Book of Mormon prophets clearly teach that the fullness of the gospel is contained in the Book of Mormon, so it should be easy to identify.

If it is to be withdrawn from the Gentiles, and by Gentiles we are to understand the LDS Church, which he promised to establish among the Gentiles, who would not harden their hearts, then who is going to take the fullness of the gospel to the house of Israel, after it is withdrawn from the Gentiles?

I ask this, because the Lord clearly states that he will withdraw it from the Gentiles AND take it to his people. This doesn't seem possible, given the DS-based reasoning.
log said…
DS's blog is available here:
dbundy said…
Ty, read about it on Wikipedia, but the best article is Ehat, Andrew F. "It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God." BYU Studies 20 (Spring 1980):253-79.

The link I had to it is now broken, but maybe you can still find one.
Ty said…
Here's the link Bundy.

I'm reading it now.
Jared said…
I've read both Denver's books and Avraham's books. I've attended Avraham's class. I really like them both.

My opinion is that Jesus Christ is the Davidic King.

It is also very clear that Denver Snuffer meets the criteria for the Lord's Servant as predicted by Isaiah. I think that it is very likely, however, that we will see many individuals who also meet the criteria. In fact, I think that everyone who climbs the ladder to the top MUST pass through multiple "servant" tests. Keep in mind that Jacob's ladder is not ascended from bottom to top in one lifetime.
Thanks Jared. You echo what I have learned from several others who have commented and written me privately about the Davidic King. I should not have raised that point in the post. I also agree with your point there will probably be more like Denver come forth - we should all strive to be servants of the Lord. And although I have resisted the idea for a long time, I agree with your final statement. I have never made that confession before. But it has been made clear to me as I have studied it.
jmhiatt said…
Wow. What a confession. Hallelujah!
Rick said…
Where is more information on Jacob's Ladder?
Mic said…

Who do you see as the marred servant?
Adam said…
Tim, are you referring to multiple mortal probations. I personally am coming to believe that. I am not sure if its multiple on this earth before the resurrection, or after the resurection. Ie. The kingdom that we go to is actually another probation and so forth.
Hi Adam. I am indeed referring to MMP in some form or another. I do not understand it yet but that doesn't bother me, because as I have read in several places, what we do with this life is all we really need to be concerned with for now. We are in peril at every moment we are mortal. Let's get through this one in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord and fulfill our purpose. He will bless us accordingly.
log said…
I don't know who the marred servant is; I don't think it's happened yet. I have read that the marred servant may be the Book of Mormon itself, but that breaks Joseph's rule of scriptural interpretation, which is no interpretation at all - just read it as it stands. In fact, any interpretation which does not make reference to a single, male individual breaks that rule.
log said…
I pose the same query to all who preach MMP and have not yet been answered - if the resurrection is universal (D&C 88:14-32, Alma 40:5), and if the resurrection is permanent (Alma 11:45), then how do you get MMP?
Geoff said…
I find it interesting that we mortals have to try and dumb everything down to one or two dimensional models. If we were talking mathematics, I'd say we're only comfortable with (or even capable of, unassisted) simple addition and maybe subtraction. The reality is probably more like differential equations, or something much more complex requiring much more intelligence to comprehend. Like Jacob's ladder with 7 rungs. I think that must be almost totally symbolic. The real thing is something we could only understand if we were transfigured or in the spirit. Hence the very real need of seeking the Holy Spirit, resonating with the holy mind and will of God, to enlighten our minds and open the eyes of our understanding - this rock of revelation and the testimony of Jesus, i.e the Second Comforter:

D&C 76:113-119 (original)
this is the end of the vision which we saw which we were commanded to write while we were yet in the spirit, But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord and the mistries of his kingdom which he shewed unto us which surpasseth all understanding in glory and might and in dominion which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the spirit and are not lawful for men to utter neither is man capable to make them known for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the holy ghost which God bestows on those who love him and purifies themselves before him to whom he grants the privalege of seeing and knowing for themselves that through the power and manifestation of the spirit while in the fless [flesh] they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory and to God and the Lamb be glory and honor and dominion for ever and ever Amen"

We talk about trusting in the arm of flesh, and even quite a few of Denver's comments on the subject, and take this to mean trusting in "men" or "leaders" - but the biggest danger I see in our predominantly Western/corporate/scientific thinking and culture is that we depend too much on our own brains, our own wisdom and understanding, our own study and reasoning, as if we can read enough books, blog enough, and tap into the collective consciousness to reveal the truths of eternity to us. I think we've become too dependent on ourselves, too self-sufficient. Perhaps what we really need is a completely broken heart, a truly contrite spirit, and to become as little children (of the Father) and seek Him in spirit and in truth. I don't think Joseph Smith, or any other child who came into His presence, did so because of their learning, knowledge, insight, or dedicated study, but rather by becoming pure in heart, full of love, submissive, meek, humble, willing to submit to His will in all things (like the Savior did). I'm not there yet, but I'm starting to see what doesn't work.
Adam said…

One part that I do not understand with MMP is in relation to the atonement. If you have thoughts on that, I would love to here it.
Adam said…
Good Will,

Thank you for your comment
Good Will said…
Universal and permanent, but who says immediate? Those who come forth in the "first" resurrection are said to be glorified, among the exalted, but what of the latter? When do they come forth? Only "after"...but "sometime" before "the judgment". And when is that?

Who's to say what happens betwixt that time? I usually don't get off a train before I reach my destination. (Of course, I could. But why?) It would do no good to teach others "Oh what the heck! Do what you want! You can come back as often as you like!" For such a doctrine would turn the world into a living hell.

What of the man who lived and died in service to his fellowman and God, who knew neither wife or child, but "wasted" his life, "losing" it for others, experienced nothing but misery and sacrifice in this world? Is it fitting and proper that his only "memory" of mortality be but a blighted nightmare? (I'm thinking of young, virtuous servicemen who die in war.)

I can envision souls who "love" this world coming back to it, again and again, both in body and spirit. Until they've had "enough!". There will come a time when every spirit (that can be saved) will say "let go" and "let's go!".

A favorite book of mine is the first I ever read: Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Something powerful called to me in that book and lead me to where I am today.

The kingdom of God is within.
Good Will said…
That was beautiful, Geoff. I've come to have the same suspicion.

But how hard it is to become again like a little child! One must "die daily"! And be "born again"!

Denver's post tonight about "the form of Mormonism practiced by the LDS Church" being a danger really speaks to the "form of Mormon" produced by the modern LDS Church!

Unfortunately, it is a Mormon afraid to speak his mind and heart, or one who's prayers are riddled with empty cliches! Our fasts are heartless and our testimonies are devoid of real, saving knowledge! Mostly hope and hype.

When was the last time I heard any Mormon truly confess his sins (as the scriptures require)? For me, it was just last week -- when a new convert spoke up for the first time and bore a frankly candid (and captivating) testimony that touched everyone. For it was honest and "real". He talked about drinking and living with his girlfriend before they joined the Church. (Such "revelations" are rare, indeed.)

The "old timers" know what happens to Latter-day "sinners" who venture to tell of their "trials". They are dismissed from their callings, diminished, and relegated to lesser-tier status. there is gossip and finger waving and shunning. There are no apparent "sinners" in the LDS Church now -- not of the venal sort. Everything is hidden beneath a veneer of smiles and white shirts, ties and long dresses. One could starve looking for the "food" that truly satisfies. One could die before receiving the "ointment" that truly cures. For what we do receive doesn't heal us, by and large!

I went to the temple (for the first time in over a year) last week. I did initiatory work. I discovered they changed the ordinances. What was once amazing, profound and sublime, touching both body and spirit, is now just mostly talk. And hurried and perfunctory, at that.

Perhaps the ordinance can be condensed in a few years to a simple text message sent to the "worthy", like an electronic "Ensign" magazine delivered to one's private email box.

What have we jettisoned in order to be loved by the world?

Sadly, everything I loved about the Church is changing. Principally, the courage of its convictions. Its doctrines are morphing. Its temple rituals and ordinances are different, something less. My children will never know the deeper meanings I discovered in rites they will never perform. Why? Because someone threatened to sue?

Some Mighty God we worship! EVERYTHING the Church does today is couched in consideration of public opinion and legal liability. The Church wants to be loved.

I think it was Groucho Marx who quipped: "I'd never belong to an organization that would have me as a member!" I use to take comfort in knowing the faith of Christ I embraced was hated by the world. It still is.

But the Mormon Church increasingly is not.

That's a scary thought.
log said…
9 Therefore, there is a time appointed unto men that they shall rise from the dead; and there is a space between the time of death and the resurrection. And now, concerning this space of time, what becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have inquired diligently of the Lord to know; and this is the thing of which I do know.

10 And when the time cometh when all shall rise, then shall they know that God knoweth all the times which are appointed unto man.

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.

14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.
dbundy said…
True. That's why I think it refers to JS himself, in the first instance, and to the rest of us, by extension. said…
From DS, My two cents , thanks, Dave P.
A parable
A parable - for which I borrow Hindu and Buddhist notions to make it possible to tell.

There was a certain man who feared not God nor regarded his fellow man; who was filled with ungoverned lust and anger. He married, fathered a child, and abused his son daily, for he was without compassion. In the course of his abuse, he injured his son frequently. When the child was a young boy, in a fit of anger, the man killed his son. He was arrested, convicted of the murder, and executed.

Time is known only to man, but not to God, for all things past, present and future are before Him at all times in one eternal "now." God, who is merciful and whose purpose is to improve His children, to bring about their immortality and lead them into eternal life, needed this man to understand within his heart how his acts affect others. For the man regarded not his fellow man and could not feel compassion for his wicked deeds. With God all things are possible, and therefore the man was sent back again to mortality for further instruction.

When he returned, the man was born as the son of a certain man who feared not God nor regarded his fellow man. His father was filled with ungoverned lust and anger. His father abused him daily and in the course of abuse he was frequently injured. One day the father killed him.

When men die they return to God, who gave them life, and so the child, who had once been a wicked man, returned again to God. The Lord asked him upon his return: "Do you now understand?"

The man replied, "Yes. I have been both. I have been the victim and I have been the perpetrator. I have been the father and I have been the son. I have released my uncontrolled anger and I have been the victim of it. I remember abusing and I also remember being abused. I see now that when I was ungovernable and unkind it was only myself who I abused. What I have given has returned to me and I have caused my own suffering."

The Lord said, "It is well. Now let these experiences work in you, for without the opportunity to use them to live aright, you are not yet ready."

Having been the wicked father and the abused son, the man returned again to the same time and place to now be a neighbor of the wicked man and the abused son. How, then, ought the neighbor act so as to show he had truly learned?

What we do to another, we only do to ourselves. We will all find in the end that we are indeed our brother's keeper. We are our fathers, and we are our sons, and we ought to be One with each other.
Log got me thinking, pondering and praying. He has presented some great thoughts, scriptures and arguments against MMP. I decided it was important enough to dedicate a new post to the subject of how I have come to believe in the possibility of MMP. In a nutshell, consider this: what if these MMP experiences occur before you reach the point of resurrection?

I agree with Log and the scriptures that we are only resurrected once. The idea of laying aside a glorified body to take upon ourselves another mortal probation seems illogical. But, what if we have not yet reached perfection or been resurrected? I explore that idea in today's post:
log said…
Except we have no record, to my knowledge, of Joseph being marred.
dbundy said…
His death is the marring and the destruction of the vineyard, per the parable in 101. His subsequent resurrection, to break out the sheep from bozrah, and lead them in a military march to redeem the vineyard, is the healing.
dbundy said…
Maybe this is why I was taken aback by what seemed to me to be unwarrented flattery, during and after a precedent breaking appearance on "Heart of the Matter" show, with Shawn McCraney. See and
log said…
Except the scripture refers to a "he" as being the marred servant - the world, which is the vineyard, is always a "she" throughout scripture, therefore your reading does not only contradict Joseph's rule of scriptural interpretation - which is no interpretation at all, just read it as it stands - but is internally inconsistent with the scriptures themselves.
dbundy said…
True, log, but the BoM reference is to the servant, not the Church. If JS is the servant ben Joseph, then his marring and his healing fit the tradition of his fate and mission: His fate is to die and rise again, while his mission is to restore Israel and redeem Jerusalem (renamed) before ben David comes. The fate of the Church and Zion are implied in all of this, but not explicit.
log said…
Except death is not "marring," though getting killed is, by any standard, being "hurt."
dbundy said…
I know, huh. Maybe it's because death was "sweet unto [him]," and his cause (Zion) triumphs, in the end. The "marring" only serves to cleanse the Church. When he breaks down the hedges, and throws down the towers, and avenges the Lord of his enemies, the setback, "this great evil," is looked back upon as necessary.
dbundy said…
One question though: "To where, do you suppose, the servants flee?"
log said…
It's cool, bro, you can make any thing in the scripture say pretty much anything you want, once you depart from the literality of the scriptures, contrary to Joseph's explicit teaching. The Catholics and other Christians have been interpreting scripture allegorically, metaphorically, and symbolically for millennia, and they have no end of interesting claims of what the scriptures mean.
Mic said…
You're being facetious, right?
log said…
Of course.

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