True Order of Prayer – Part Two

Adam-and-Eve-Kneeling-at-Altar-PrayingLast week, I dedicated an altar in my home and prayed according to the true order of prayer as I have been taught in the temple. It was an amazing experience that opened up a whole new world for me. My only disappointment was that it was not shared with my wife, or at least not until today. This post will be another journal entry, meant to document, not argue merit or propriety.

Tweeting General Conference Together

As suggested by one of my readers, I fasted today for those who would be speaking in General Conference. I was not disappointed. Carol and I had a blast sitting side by side watching the conference on the Internet and adding our comments to Twitter, using the #LDSConf hashtag. I’ve done it for years but this is the first time Carol has done that. The time flew by quickly.

Family Council to Discuss Plans

In between the sessions of conference we held a family council to discuss our plans for the family reunion in June and attending Denver’s St. George lecture (date not yet disclosed). I would say this was the longest family council we have held in thirty-one years of marriage. I am pleased to report there was no arguing or hard feelings, which may be a first for Carol and me.

Developing Talents as Writers

You see, both of us are stubborn and determined about what we believe and what we want to accomplish or achieve with our lives. Carol is determined to be a good writer and has come a long way in the last few years. She amazes me and frankly, has blown me away with the talent she has developed. In our writer’s group meeting Friday, everybody loved her latest chapter.

Sharing My Prayer Experience

While we didn’t start with prayer, we started with the understanding that I would share with her what I had experienced last Sunday. I asked her permission during the morning session of Conference. I know that sounds strange, but she knew what I was asking. I was asking for her time and undivided attention. I knew she hadn’t found time yet to read my post from last week.

Kindness, Patience, Love Unfeigned

I have learned there are only three tools at my disposal to get my message across. Neither I nor the Lord work through force or by demanding. That’s the quickest way to invite the spirit of the adversary into your home. The three tools are 1) Kind words, 2) Patience and long-suffering and 3) Love unfeigned. God has commanded us to love our wives with all our hearts. Think about it.

Carol is a True Believing Mormon

Carol is concerned about being led astray. I don’t blame her. That’s one of the reasons I married her. She is as TBM as you can get (email me if you don’t understand that acronym). For Carol, the mantra to follow the Brethren IS the gospel. She will do whatever she is asked by those who preside over us in the church, both locally and from Salt Lake. She’s an amazing LDS woman.

I am an Uncorrelated Mormon

For me, I have become more and more open and uncorrelated over the years to the point where I am now totally uncorrelated (email me if you don’t understand that concept). Do you see the problem? We are at opposite ends of the spectrum of orthodoxy. I’m the one who has changed. I make no bones about it. I have been led on this journey by the Lord and could not resist His love.

A Mother Who Taught Me

Let me see if I can give you an example to help you understand. In my gospel study and prayer, I had the advantage of not having to go through the shock many of my friends have suffered when they learned the true history of our church. Thanks to a mother who knew and taught me, I also knew all the warts of the church from my youth. I knew I belonged to an imperfect institution.

True and Faithful to the Church

I have been documenting my faith journey online for seven years. Frankly I was shocked at the reaction of some of my readers who kept asking me, “How can you be true and faithful to this church when you know what you know about the history?” My answer has always been, “I love the Lord and know He would not give me more than I could handle.” That has been my secret.

Don't talk about it at Church

By that I mean this: Because I asked, the Lord led me to material over the years that helped me to understand and be able to explain what happened in our history that was different from what the official narrative of the church has been. He also told me to keep it to myself or limit it to my blog and to NEVER teach what I had discovered within the walls of any LDS Church building.

Wait for the Right Time

By following that direction from the Lord, my testimony has been strengthened and my peace has increased day by day. The focus in my journey has been to draw closer to the Lord, to prove myself obedient to His will and to do the hard things asked of me, which is primarily to keep my mouth shut about the things I was learning until the time was right. Well, that time is now here.

We are not Forced to Believe

Now, let’s return to the family council. My objective was to convince Carol to go with me to Denver’s lecture in St. George. I knew the only way I could do that was if the Lord revealed it to her. She needed to know she was safe and that I was on her side. This is such a serious issue that it could easily cause marriage partners to go their separate ways. I will not allow that to happen.

My Responsibility to Teach My Wife

I also know I cannot be exalted without Carol. She is my queen. I cannot go before the Lord in the world to come without my sweetheart. If I have not taught her the truth, it is my own fault and the Lord will hold me responsible. And she must be willing of her own free will and choice to come forth when I call. She doesn’t have to unless she wants to. I want her to be by my side.

Afraid of Denver Snuffer

So I taught her and addressed her concerns with love and patience. The Lord put words in my mouth. I knew what to say and the right way to say it. This is a gift I appreciate and have always attributed to the Lord. It is one of the functions of the Holy Ghost to help us know what to say in difficult situations. This was one of those situations. Carol is afraid of Denver Snuffer.

Denver Snuffer labeled an Apostate

From the day we read together the first chapter of his book, Passing the Heavenly Gift, she made up her mind that he was an apostate and was going to get excommunicated. She wanted to have nothing to do with him. It only made it more difficult to talk about him and what he has shared when he was excommunicated last year. The phrase, “See, I told you so” was heard in our home.

Sealing Power in LDS Church

I’ve done my best to share with her what I was learning. It has always been difficult because of the poor first experience she had. You can read about it in my first post about Denver in 2012. She is convinced Denver has taught the Church does not have the sealing power. My mistake - I misunderstood the message of his book until later, and because he clarified it for me online.

Sealing Power Key to Exaltation

This is a touchy subject. Imagine what that does to a woman who relies on the reality of that sealing power to give her everything for which she has ever hoped and dreamed – to be united with her family for the eternities. This has been the main thing we have discussed over the years as we have talked about Denver’s books, which of course I have done in our home for two years.

How Sealing Power is Received

I am still not sure I can fully explain how it works. All I know it is different from the official narrative. I also know the higher sealing power cannot be passed from one man to another. Sealing power is received ONLY the way Nephi received it – by hearing the voice of the Lord. This is a hard concept and goes contrary to the fundamental core of what the Brethren teach.

Apostasy for What you Believe

In other words, if you teach this, you are an apostate and can be excommunicated. I have never and will never teach it inside an LDS church or while on an assignment such as home teaching. I also will not share it with anyone unless I am asked. When I met with the Bishop three times over the last few months he didn’t ask if I believed what is found in Passing the Heavenly Gift.

Grounds for Excommunication

He knows I won’t teach it in the church. I don't want to get excommunicated. The Lord has allowed me to share it only on my blog and it still brings out the worst in people as we discuss it. The big question is: can a man be excommunicated for believing this doctrine even though it is clearly taught in our scriptures? He can be and men are being excommunicated more and more.

Excommunicated for Reading a Book

Only today I received yet another private email in which one of my readers told me he received a call from his bishop after the first session of Conference informing him he was to appear before a stake disciplinary council this Wednesday at 7pm. What is his sin? He was excommunicated for simply reading and sharing on his blog what he has read of Denver Snuffer, Daymon Smith and Rock Waterman.

Private Discussion Groups

Why do you think most who read Denver’s works and want to discuss them stay in members-only discussion groups? It’s sad. I told the Lord I wasn’t going to do that and that’s what I finally got his authorization on last week – to openly teach this doctrine more clearly on my blog in the months to come. Yes, I will probably be excommunicated. I am at peace with that. Carol isn’t.

Teaching With Love Unfeigned

This is getting long. Let me wrap up. For two hours I taught Carol. For two hours she listened to me. She was upset several times. I did not reciprocate because I understood her fear. With love unfeigned I continued to teach her. She had her back to me for a while. That’s never a good sign. Finally she turned to me, trusting me and listening with her heart. I knew it was time to pray.

True Order of Prayer with Carol

The last session of conference started, preventing us from doing so. As soon as it was over, we went to our home family altar, offered the signs of the priesthood together then knelt down to pray. Well, I prayed, she listened. I again used the second sign of the Aaronic priesthood as I prayed. I told her it would be a short prayer and it was. It was specifically about Denver Snuffer.

We Don't Want to be Deceived

I told the Lord WE didn’t want to be deceived. I asked the Lord to make it known to Carol if it was alright that we attended his St George lecture together. I already had my answer. The prayer was specifically for Carol. As I related in my post last week, the answer doesn’t have to come right away. I asked for the Lord to answer Carol’s prayers. She says she has been struggling.

Gospel of Jesus Christ in Action

I know I have shared a personal and what many might consider a private story, not appropriate for a blog post. I disagree. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ in action. The purpose of my post is to share my witness that the True Order of Prayer can and should be used in our homes. It is also intended to be practiced as a family, or at least as husband and wife who have been endowed.

If Ye Are Not One Ye Are Not Mine

We arose from our prayer and hugged, then went downstairs. I broke my fast with a wonderful meal Carol prepared. I then tried to answer some more of the emails that have been flooding my inbox over the past week. I know the Lord will answer our prayer when Carol is ready. It may be months. But I am so pleased we are doing this the way the Lord directed me. We must be united.

Comments

Janet Owens said…
Again, I have read Denver's books, blog, met him in person, listened to a lecture in person and have never felt the Holy Spirit ratify his message. Do not loose your membership in the Church over this false messenger. Also, I have never felt it necessary to have an alter in my home and make the sacred temple signs for Heavenly Fathe to hear my prayers.
You cannot find anywhere in this world more inspired messages than were delivered by the apostles and prophet this last weekend in general conference. The contrast in spirit between Denver and the true messengers is stark.
Maurice said…
Listen to your wife!
We all need guidance in these matters. You and I, truly do not know the adversary's limits, in his ability to deceive you. Do not put limits on him, you do not know the limits.
Safety is found in two lines of communication. Personal and priesthood. I would say that your priesthood leader's inspiration on this matter is more important than your own. If, you cannot talk to him, because you think that he will not understand, you are lost.
This type of thing is not new in the church. For our safety, The Lord revealed to the church members D&C 43:1-7. If, you are not anchored to this, good luck. There will be many Denver Snuffers come and go. Who do not "come in at the gate", and are not ordained. They are forever talking out of both sides of their mouth. I do not believe that God is duplicitous. We need the Apostles, and Prophet to stay on course. Good luck.
Lynn Bernhard said…
Dear Tim, many deep heart felt emotions and feelings fill my heart as a read your account with your wife...reminds me of 121 "you dominion shall be an everlasting dominion and without compulsary means it shall flow unto you forever and ever...". Great stuff, really great stuff...

Who will follow whom down to "hell"? GOD is working through you, you are his and his Spirit is in you. The authorities of the church will soon "seal" you up do eternal damnation if you continue teaching the way. Your wife may literally believe you are going to hell and your family will be broken up and she will be given to another...mine does.

My heart breaks and my breath is shortened as I contemplate uttering the words that are inevitable...
"Honey, the brethren have damned me to hell according to our tradition. Do you love me? Will you walk with me into the depths of hell where the Savior has already tread to save me?"

A messenger of the LORD recently wrote if you want to know the Comforter, he will break your heart, only then will come to comfort you...

There was a time when my soul would shout "No, please LORD I don't want the proving...

Now my soul sings "praises to the Holy One of Israel, for he has tread the wine press alone, he descended into the depths of hell for me. For ME. Please LORD prove me now for I know that all things work together for good to them that love GOD. Who shall separate me from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, persecution...for I know you will come FOR ME".

It is tough to ask a spouse to follow you into "hell"...

Love and peace
marginalizedmormon said…
I know what a TBM is (I used to be one); I am learning what an uncorrelated Mormon is.

I don't know about an altar in the home; I have heard that it used to be common.

I have never read any of Denver Snuffer's books; I have read some of Daymon Smith. I have never attended any lectures by anyone. I do make an attempt to listen to conference, though sometimes the talks are very disturbing. Not for reasons most people would think, however. It's hard to hear about eternal families, when one of your children (married in the temple) just got a divorce. My companion and I are sealed (from the beginning), and we have the same spiritual perspectives; we were both heavily TBM, and then life happened, and now we consider ourselves born-again Mormons. We concentrate heavily on the Book of Mormon to lead us to Christ, and we concentrate heavily on Jesus Christ. Anything in (or out) of the church that leads to Him we consider that we maybe ought to consider.
Anything else we don't take as seriously.
The challenge with being a church member is that not all of *us* are on the same page at any given time, and some people don't want to grow in Christ.
There are even people at church who are uncomfortable talking about him but who will talk about apostles/church leaders. The scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon) warn about trusting in the arm of flesh.
But that is somewhat beside the point. Being quiet at church is important for many reasons. Through the years I have found that sharing too much at church can be dangerous, not just for ecclesiastical/social reasons, but for spiritual and emotional ones. Sharing your joy in the temple marriage of a child to a parent whose child just got a divorce, for example; talking about how happy you are with your son or daughter's mission when another father or mother has no children to send or has children who won't go on a mission.
There is a reason that Jesus said, "be ye, therefore, wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove."
One person said that people like Denver Snuffer will come and go. Perhaps. But so will he (your respondent) come and go. Everyone will come and go. It is arrogant to type some people as being lesser than others.
I wouldn't go to hear Denver Snuffer speak, even if I lived in the intermountain west, because I really have enough on my plate to read my scriptures and work on my own prayers. And my own family relationships.
But I have gathered, lately, that I have some of the same ideas Snuffer has--without having read his work. I have come to the place I have come because of my intense Book of Mormon reading (spurred by hearing the words of Ezra Taft Benson and reading about the condemnation the church/members are under for not taking it seriously (that's in the D&C, section 84, I believe)--
I listened to a man of God; I went to the Book of Mormon and read it, and from what I gather on the few Mormon blogs I visit, I see things much the same way as Denver Snuffer does, though not completely at all--
As for Daymon Smith, I heard that he had some things to say about the Book of Mormon that I had been thinking for some time. When I read his Book of Mormon commentaries (cultural)--
my belief in the Book of Mormon was strengthened.
But, do be wise. There is no reason that any of *us* should hurt others or expose ourselves to more persecution than is already widespread just by virtue of being alive in complicated times.
Great comment Lynn! In the ordinances as in all the steps of life, God typically doesn't reveal the why you are doing something until after you do the what he is asking you do to!
marginalizedmormon said…
2 Nephi 9:41 says that there is no keeper at the gate, only the Holy One of Israel.
*We* need a Savior, Jesus Christ. As for the apostles, they administer, and sometimes their words are inspired and powerful. But to trust in them is not wise:

2 Nephi 28:31 does make it clear that we should not hearken unto the precepts of men

save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

(exact words in last sentence)

The only way a person can know whether or not someone speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost is to be close to God. And that is a very important thing to do, but it is hard work.
marginalizedmormon said…
the 'traditions of the fathers' are, indeed, very dangerous.

“Honey, the brethren have damned me to hell according to our tradition. Do you love me? Will you walk with me into the depths of hell where the Savior has already tread to save me?”

But that is somewhat dramatic. Drastic. It isn't the 'brethren' who have damned anyone (though false leaders will lead astray), but our own hearts--
our own desires. Each man/woman can gain a testimony of (relationship with, in spite of what Elder McConkie said) Jesus Christ. And yes, our hearts will be broken; we will be broken to pieces, so He can put us back together again in a more whole way.

That a member of the Church of JESUS Christ (of latter day saints) would not want to know Jesus Christ is incomprehensible to me, but to give a spouse an 'either or' ultimatum is not only unwise, it's not righteous.

Alma makes it clear (7:23) that there should be no ultimatum, I would think, but then I suppose it is a personal choice. Alma implies that humility and patience, being submissive and gentle (etc.)--

Sorry; I've said too much. Since conference I have felt strongly that I need to increase my bearing of my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.
Adam said…
A comment above said " I would say that your priesthood leader’s inspiration on this matter is more important than your own." That statement invalidates the whole meaning behind the Book of Mormon and having communication directly with Christ. Although I love and respect the leaders of the church, I personally have not ever been inspired by their words. The LORD knows that I have tried. I have learned more and have a stronger testimony of the Christ and The Book of Mormon by reading your blog and many others. It speaks to my spirit. I know that it is from GOD and nobody can tell me any different. I appreciate, as you do, that people are concerned about our eternal salvation. Do they not think that we aren't? Why must they think that we are always the ones being deceived?
Tim Malone said…
Thanks for the dialog so far. Just to be clear: The Lord does not work by force. However, he may use Either / Or ultimatums in dealing with His people - I can show you examples from the scripture where the Lord has said, "Either you do such and such or you will be cursed." But I do not believe Either / Or ultimatums belong in a marriage.

Carol was kind enough to listen to me and to participate with me in something she has been taught all her life belongs ONLY in the temple. For that she will be blessed. I am commanded to love her with ALL my heart. I have always tried to do so and will continue to do so going forward no matter what she decides.

We have already agreed I will be attending a Denver Snuffer lecture in person even if she doesn't want to hear what he has to say. We've gone through this before when I went to a lecture by Anthony Larson a few years back. She was not interested in what Anthony had to say. On the other hand, I was fascinated. She took pictures of the BYU campus as background research for a novel she was writing while I went to the lecture.

Your marriage is different from mine. Everybody's is different. That's as it should be. But I promise you there will be no force or "either / or" ultimatums coming from me. Carol is free to do whatever she chooses. She has made temple covenants to take counsel from her husband ONLY as far as he is inspired and acting in accordance with the will of the Lord. She does not have to follow me in anything.

It is I who MUST love her with all my heart. I know highlighting the word MUST seems harsh. It gives one cause to think, "what, you have to force yourself to love someone?" But the Lord knows his sons. He knows that we needed to be commanded. Carol has claim on me for "her maintenance" as the phrase is used in the scriptures. She also holds the priesthood with me and is an equal partner in all we do.
LDS Anarchist said…
Tim, you wrote, not too long ago,As I’ve always said, I would remove my blog in a heartbeat if they said it caused people trouble or caused them to doubt their own testimonies of God and of our Savior....I wonder if the day will come when that changes....Please, rest assured, I intend to be and remain submissive to the direction of my priesthood leaders. Unless the Lord tells me otherwise, I will do as they direct. I sustain them and grant them authority over me.So, has the Lord told you otherwise?
Tim Malone said…
See my comment posted 4-2-14 at 10:38pm on the first post on the True Order of Prayer:

"As I wrote at the end of the post, things have changed with me. Up until Sunday night I was willing to give up my blog if asked or required. Now that I have the Lord’s endorsement, I feel I cannot remove it without his permission. It is a part of my calling and election.

.
.
.

“President, you know I love you and don’t want to cause you any difficulties. If this request is coming from Salt Lake, I can only respond as follows: I asked for and received permission from the Lord to post what I did. It is sacred to me and part of an agreement with the Lord.

“I don’t feel I can remove it unless I again ask the Lord’s counsel. If you feel it appropriate, I’m willing to kneel here and now to do so. If not, please allow me to do so at my home altar where I received this from the Lord in the first place.”
Annalea said…
God bless you, Tim. Whenever hard things happen, God is making ready to work a marvelous work and wonder. Good things are in store. :)
Bryan said…
Tim, you've been a great resource to me over the years. Thanks for that! In particular, your past few posts have not disappointed, either.

Unlike others, I haven't thought of doing the True Order of Prayer in my home. However, reading your blog was enlightening. It should not have been a surprise to me, but it was.

I had an experience about 9 years ago where I was fervently praying, and certain words and repetitions came out of my mouth. I wasn't endowed at that time. I learned a few years afterwards that these words were used in the exact manner as in the temple. I also had dreams about things that took place in the temple long before I was endowed.

As I prayed last night, I had a powerful witness from the Spirit that this is right for me to do. I'm really excited about it. I also want to learn about it a bit more. I'm in a moving transition right now as well, and in a few months will be with my wife again (military training). So, in these next few short months I hope to prepare more for this.

Thanks again.
Roy Moore said…
Beloved Brother Tim,

Spiritual maturity requires a person take responsibility for their salvation. It cannot be delegated to leaders; they cannot petition our cause before the Lord and obtain for us the results we desire. We must pay the price to find Him. At some point in our personal journey we must lay all our comforts upon the alter of sacrifice; as you are doing. Stay the course.

Your Brother,

Roy
Tim Malone said…
Hi Janet: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am looking for true messengers. I want more than to feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost or to receive daily inspiration, both of which I enjoy now.

Carol and I also enjoyed General Conference. I rejoice in that spirit. All I am trying to do in meeting Denver is to determine if he is a true messenger. I have done my homework. I know what he has taught.

Are we so closed minded that meeting a person or listening to him deliver a lecture is so threatening to us? You have determined he is a false messenger. I have not made that determination.

Would you deny me that privilege of exercising my agency? I would think you would encourage me, trusting that as a lifetime member of the church, I am able to make intelligent and wise choices for myself.

I know some people do not feel the desire to dedicate an altar in their home or to follow the true order of prayer as taught in the temple. I do feel that desire and will continue to follow the promptings of the spirit.

I have shared my experience the first time I exercised sufficient faith to overcome a lifetime of fear - ingrained there by good members of the church over the years - and reaped a reward of immense joy to me.

The lord asked me to share it with my wife. I did so. I can now move on to the next step I have been asked to do. I am grateful to my readers who are willing to rejoice with me in my progress toward the veil.

I am willing to give up my membership in this church to determine for myself if Denver Snuffer is a true messenger. If he is, and we reject him, we will miss out on blessings, and opportunities to advance.

I know you feel strongly I am making a mistake. So does Carol. I understand. I appreciate that and accept it. It is good to hear warnings from those who love us and are concerned about us. God bless.
Tim Malone said…
Hi Maurice. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your comment. You are correct, I do not know the adversary's limits in his ability to deceive me. Please tell me more of your experience with the adversary.

I will tell you of mine. He first visited me at age 17. He sent two squads of demons. As I lay on the ground with my life flowing from me, I could see them lined up in two rows, waiting for me to pass between them.

I was dying. Perhaps I died. I could hear them laughing and jeering me on, saying they couldn't wait to meet me. They were taunting me, as if they knew me. I knew what they wanted. I cried to the Lord to save me.

As soon as I did, an angel of light appeared just above my head and drew his sword. All he did was look at the demons. They began to tremble with fear. They stopped their menacing threats to take me.

As soon as they left, I jumped up and turned to see and thank the angel. He was gone. My heart beat wildly. I had been to the spirit world and returned. I rejoiced that I yet lived. I pondered this event for weeks.

I determined for myself that the adversary was real. I had not met him personally, but had seen for myself soldiers he sent to destroy me. I reasoned if the devil had an army then so did God - an army of angels.

My last encounter was just last year - in February. If you would like to read about it, click on this link. In that encounter, there were only two. They were higher up in the command. They had immense power.

I suppose before I am able to part the veil, I must pass the last test and pass by the devil himself. I am willing to do that. It has taken me forty years to accept the challenge. You're right. I do not know if I can do it.

I do not put limits on the adversary, but I also do not put limits on the Lord. My God is a powerful God. He is the Lord of the universe. All creatures must bow to him. I am striving to do as he has asked me.

Safety is found in the arms of the Lord, not in the arm of flesh. You do not know what my priesthood leader has counseled me. I thought I was clear. He simply asked me to disconnect from Facebook. I did so.

I can and do talk to my priesthood leaders all the time. I am grateful for their love and concern. I know they love me and my family. I love them. I strive to give heed to their counsel. I also strive to follow the Spirit.

You quoted D&C 43:1-7. Define the gate for me. Show it to me. I want to go there. Teach me of the ordination the Lord is describing. I want to receive that ordination. Have you received it? Did the Lord ordain you?

I love the Apostles and prophets, but they cannot save my soul. I love Denver Snuffer, but he cannot save my soul. Yet he has done more for me in the last two years than all the prophets of my lifetime so far.

God bless you on your journey. Pray for the Lord's blessing upon me that I may complete my mission. It is time to "put up or shut up." Either you or I am wrong. I am betting my salvation that I am right. God bless.
Tim Malone said…
Amen, Roy. Likewise, as I discovered Sunday night as I led the true order of prayer with Carol, I cannot "force" a spiritual experience any more than I can force the wind to blow or the waves to cease or a mountain to be moved. Maybe someday, but not today.

Carol must petition the Lord herself for what she wants. The Lord answers us according to the desires of our hearts. The desires of my heart are not the same as Carol's, but then, as I have said before, she has a different mission in life and is doing as the Lord inspires her.

God bless you my friend. Thanks for your encouragement.
Dan Fuller said…
Tim,
I am so happy for you! I "feel" your joy...I love to read your blog....You are such an inspiration! I have read Denver's books and blog and listened to his lectures... I have had a mighty change of heart and a witness from the comforter on countless occasions as I have read and pondered the scriptures and messages delivered by Denver. They have all pointed me to Christ!! I have felt to sing of his redeeming love because I finally feel like I am getting to know him in a real personal way. I have have had similar experiences with the true order of prayer. God Speed Tim as you go on from grace to grace...
Dan
Mark T. said…
After reading the Mormon Interpreter review of Passing the Heavenly Gift, I made up my mind concerning Denver Snuffer. I'll let anyone who's read the review guess what my conclusion was.
superlativereality said…
There is a very well written piece on the endowment, title and blog below, that i'd highly recommend reading.

The Journey – Receiving Our Endowment
http://www.journeytothefullness.com/the-journey-receiving-our-endowment/

There are 7 pages to it, so make sure you click on each to read. .
bd said…
Yeah, they sure knocked the stuffing out of that straw man named "Denver Snuffer," didn't they?
Tim Malone said…
And for those who don't have the links, here they are:

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/passing-up-the-heavenly-gift-part-one-of-two/

http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/passing-up-the-heavenly-gift-part-two-of-two/

If you want more and have time for a lengthy read, here is the rebuttal from "One Who is Watching"

http://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/rebuttal-to-passing-the-heavenly-gift-part-one/

Good reading for those who have the time for it. God bless.
Tim Malone said…
I don't know why every post turns into a discussion about Denver Snuffer. It's my own fault because I am so focused right now on finding out for myself if I can part the veil and come into the Lord's presence in this life. Have you done so? I only know of a few people who have made that claim. Denver is one of them. I guess that's why I'm so intrigued.

Thanks to someone on the Snuffer-Reader's group who reminded me of this today. I love this kind of talk. Carol says she doesn't. Too "in your face." Me, I find it motivating and encouraging. I'm up for the challenge. How about you?

From Denver's lecture 2 on faith in Idaho Falls:

" and so now we find ourselves having to choose. Its a healthy thing. You ought to have to choose. You ought to have your salvation at peril on how you choose. You ought to have to decide between whether you believe a man who stood in the presence of God, and bore testimony of what he saw, and what he felt, and what he heard, and others who constitute a committee that disagree with him.

You should have to choose. And your eternal peril should hang in the balance as you make that choice. That is the perfect conundrum in my view. Grow up. Accept the burden. Find out. Learn about God. Or be damned by your carelessness, by your indifference, by your refusal to go forward. It ought to be so. And it ought to be put to you plainly. And you ought to have to choose.

"And you ought to have to choose every time you hear someone get up and offer something to you and conclude in the name of Jesus Christ. Because they are either offering you something from him that will save you, or they are offering something that they hope will damn you, because they are signing you up on the wrong team. It ought to be so. Everlastingly, it ought to be so."

God bless.
Mark T. said…
I didn't know about that "onewhoiswatching" article. I'm on page 37 right now (out of 106), and it's an interesting read, to say the least. Some of it I'm taking with a grain of salt, but it is at least giving me some ideas for future study, as well as reminding me of parts from D&C and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that I didn't quite understand before. I definitely agree with rebuttal number 5 concerning the necessity of priesthood authority in the performance of ordinances (as well as the importance of ordinances in general).

One thing that both Snuffer and "Watcher" seem to agree on, but which I do not (assuming I understand them correctly), is that the saints in Nauvoo failed to get the temple done "in time," and were thus rejected. The way I read the scripture (D&C 124: 29-33; or vs. 25-39 for the full context) is that before they were able to complete the temple, they could perform baptisms for the dead elsewhere, but that if they no longer baptized for the dead after the temple was built--or if they continued to perform said baptisms outside the temple--they, the church, would be rejected "as a church," along with their dead (since their ordinances, consequently, wouldn't be getting done).

Of course, in October of that year (1841, with D&C 124 having been received in January) Joseph Smith proclaimed that baptisms would no longer be accepted outside the temple, and in November, the completed baptismal font within the unfinished temple was dedicated and used from that time on. I'm assuming this means that the church-wide rejection was avoided altogether. This was taken from TotPJS, page 193 (which also says that they who neglect this duty for their progenitors do so at the risk of their salvation, so I guess the warning of rejection can still apply to us individually).

There's no question, though, that they (and we) are under chastisement and/or condemnation for failing to live the law of consecration, among other things. (It's important to note, too, that "chastisement" doesn't necessarily mean "punishment." Consider Alma the Elder's group in the Book of Mosiah; they didn't do anything wrong, as far as we know, yet they were "chastened," which I believe is another way of saying "made pure.")

There are a few other things I take issue with (with both of them), but that's all for now. I've already written far longer than I was expecting to write!
Lizzie Nelson said…
You didn't read PTHG yourself? You let words from another person inform your opinion of what he said and believes?
Sara Cuinn said…
I have been reviewing the Octobet 1976 talk of James E. Faust, titled: A Personal Relationship With The Savior. You can Google for it. James Faust went on to become Second Counselor to the First Presidency, a bit higher title than what Bruce R. McConkie held. I have heard that several apostles disagreed with Elder McConkie's BYU talk saying no to the personal relationship.
Janet Owens said…
Tim,
I am a TBM and a correlated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and very thankful for my membership in the Church.
I love to study the gospel. Recently I found a website where you can read Hugh Nibley's lectures on the Book of Mormon. I have started to wade through them. And I mean WADE. He was truly a scholar and very knowledgeable. And he had a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. But, makes so many references to ancient documents that it is difficult to make out what the point of his lectures is.

While exerting my time and energy to this line of study, the sister missionaries asked me to prepare to speak about the atonement of Christ in a discussion with an investigator we were working with. Where, I thought, can I go to study about the atonement in very simple terms to explain it to a non member? I went to the Church website and came up with several sources. The most valuable source was a Primary lesson. As I read about the events of the atonement in this lesson, the Spirit was strong. The manifestation I felt was pure intelligence, pure truth pouring into my soul. I knew and understood the things from this "correlated" lesson were mysteries of God that very few people on the earth today are familiar with. I felt the Spirit stonger and clearer while reading this Primary lesson than reading seven lessons of Hugh Nibleys.

My point is, the correlation committee has done a wonderful job of collecting and publishing the saving doctrines of the Church. Our primary age kids get more pure doctrine in sunbeams and CTR classes than BYU students got in Dr. Nibleys lectures IMO.

As I was reading and wrestling with Denver's message, I had the opportunity to hear a devotional at Utah State by Elaine Dalton. She said that if you do not feel the Spirit in any stituation then leave. That was a message to me to leave Denver Snuffer alone. I have left the private discussion group which was really a "bashing the Church" group. I have contrasted the feeling of Denver's message with the messages of the apostles and prophets. I bear testimony that the 15 men at the head of the Church are Jesus Christ's apostles and prophets on the earth today.

You do have your agency Tim to study and determine for yourself what is truth. I'm just telling you that Denver Snuffer's message is exciiting and pleasing with just enough truth to real you in. He is a modern day Korihor, a false prophet. He will lead you out of the Church and away from the leaders who are Gods spokesmen.

BE CAREFUL. I am praying for you and Carol. Your TBM and correlated friend.
mmmmm1234 said…
I just want to add my personal experience, that have attempted to follow the true order of prayer, as circumstances allow. After doing it a couple of times, it seems that answers come more immediately. I asked one question yesterday, and then spent half an hour writing out a detailed plan for a project that has great meaning for me. I already know how to pray and receive revelation, but based on my limited experience this seems to open up a more efficient channel.
Tim Malone said…
And that has been my experience as well. Answers seem to come quicker. I closed my fast today for my friend who is meeting in a stake disciplinary council this very hour. He was called in for simply posting his opinions of Denver Snuffer's material on his own blog. I used the true order of prayer to close my fast, asking that it be dedicated to my friend, in his behalf, and to give him the courage he needed.

He is the father of seven and is a good man, but ridiculed and mocked by his priesthood leaders for his testimony and his witness. A very sad story. Anyway, I felt immediately that the Lord accepted my fast on his behalf. I don't know how his council will turn out, but I know he will be OK. I suppose I didn't need to offer up the signs of the priesthood or use one as I prayed, but it seems to make my prayers more meaningful.
Eric said…
In response to your "Either you or I am wrong" comment . . . [I don't intend to be nitpicky; I think I only caught this because the book I'm finishing deals with this topic] . . .

Charity “believeth all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

“I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief” (TPJS, 373).

How can we believe all things, even concepts that seem contradictory?

One possible answer: “There are many levels of spiritual understanding among righteous members of the Church” (Endowed from on High: Temple Preparation Seminar Teacher’s Manual, 23).

Like "win/win," thinking "right/right" is more empathetic, bridge-building, and understanding than thinking "right/wrong."

Therefore, I believe that you can both be "right" . . . it is just that you are both speaking from different levels of understanding.

Someone may believe that they are conceptually moving to a higher level. Maybe they need to remember that it's more important to be "righteous" than to be "right." Until someone is exalted, it's more important to be a good person than to have more knowledge. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. . . . take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak" (1 Corinthians 8:1, 9).

That person's friend may be still on the present level and cannot acknowledge the existence of a higher level yet, so they become concerned that any attempted movement is a step toward a lower level. Maybe they may need to realize that the other is following the principle of “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16), so before they categorically condemn any unproven idea outright, perhaps they patiently wait and see what type of person the other starts to become.
Tim Malone said…
Eric: I am humbled by your kind correction and instruction, my friend. I want to read the book you are finishing. You asked, "How can we believe all things, even concepts that seem contradictory?" and then offered some possible answers. I greatly appreciate your suggestion of thinking "win/win," and "right/right" for building bridges of understanding.

I am totally blown away by your two examples of where individuals might be on their path and how they perceived and respond to unintended threats to their forward motion. Let me see if I got this right. Please correct me if I misunderstood:

Seeking knowledge for one may be desirable, needful and indeed nourishment for their soul, while another may find it to threatening to what they perceive as righteousness. The seeker of knowledge would do well in this situation to assure the other that they too are seeking righteousness and that it is more important than knowledge. Is that it?

To apply this in my own situation, and please forgive me if anyone finds this selfish or offensive but it's the best way I know to relate, my wife and I are at different levels. I not only love her for her kindness, her willing heart and her need for stability, but I also admire her strength in holding fast to that which she has proven right and good.

On the other hand, I am a rash and foolish risk-taker, in that I sometimes don't think things through completely. For example, as I write this I am performing an email server upgrade at 11pm at night. I warned my co-workers this would take place and am confident in my skills to fix it if something breaks. And of course, something did.

I probably could have prevented the upgrade failure if I had taken the time to read the instructions carefully. I would have realized that I had not stopped all the services on which the upgrade needed total control. It failed, kicking and screaming that it did not have an exclusive lock on a critical system process. I know, too technical, but it's what I do all day.

Not to worry, I went in and manually locked out the services and restarted the upgrade process. Bingo! The upgrade was happy, did it's thing and spun up the databases when it had completed it's work. Whew! I said, and patted myself on the back for figuring it out. Of course, it could have been catastrophic - my backup is 24 hours old.

I thrive on risk-taking and find it fulfilling to my soul. I am the same way with seeking knowledge. I seek new and higher knowledge and seem willing to risk everything to obtain, even to the point of laying my church membership on the line. That seems rash and foolish to some. To me, it seems the right thing to do and something the Lord will support.

To others, it seems the most foolish of all things to do. To them, membership in the Church is THE most important thing in the world. They will do nothing to jeopardize it. They may see my actions as selfish, self-centered and unwarranted. I see them as required in order to gain the salvation I seek, which I believe comes through knowledge.

Others, including Carol and probably Janet (although I don't know her personally), see what I am doing as unrighteous and perhaps even toying with the devil because it brings divisiveness and disharmony. In other words, their motto seems to be "don't rock the boat," while mine seems to be "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." Am I close?
Nathan Shackelford said…
@ Eric & Tim:

I couldn't get this comment where it needed to be, sorry for its displacement. I very much agree with you Eric, your comment! You and Tim both open up a door that is very "sneaky" and challenging. Some call it relativity, non-duality or as my wife would let me have it "picking and choosing your truth".

There is no doubt that each of us are individual and unique. What is "truth" to one, is "damnation" to another. How do we individually and collectively reconcile such paths. Its almost like two sides to the same coin; creation on one side, destruction on the other. Are they really that different? Can one exist without the other? And what makes on "bad" and one "good".

Along my path I have seen thousands of examples and people whose behaviors and lives could easily be labeled as "bad," and yet, they have found, or profess of a relationship with Christ, with God. I have experienced individuals "bear testimony" of an experience or behavior that was "breaking a commandment" or not in perfect alignment with the Brethren. How is that possible?

There has been many times I have empathisized with the many comments about the very differences of our internal / eternal nature (as commented by Tim and others). The comparison / contrasting of the right / left brain; emotional / analytical; circle / square; doing / being; masculine / feminine.

At appears to me that God really is doing his marvelous work and a wonder. (Going to stretch a little here) ... We "think" we "know" ourselves. We think we have it right? We (some) think that the institution of The Church is the only institution that the arm of the flesh could get wrong? That it is the only institution that God is going to have to "reorganize"? God is doing everything to reveal us to ourselves. To reveal our very eternal natures, our eternal relationships, our eternal potentials and capacities.

Yes, we will need to see and experience our very "temples" differently. We may even have to see "truth" differently. We may even need to see "family" differently (those who are willing to allow God to organize / reorganize His family)? The stretching, the experience that is coming, has barely even begun :)
janetowensj said…
Tim,
Just remember who answered Adam's prayer in the garden.
Tim Malone said…
Oh, Janet. You have blessed my life so much with the words you have shared. With my friend Eric's help, you have re-opened my eyes to the concept of right/right as opposed to right/wrong. We can both be right because we are on different places on our journey to the veil.

The reason Satan came when Adam prayed is because he did not dedicate his altar. The portal opened to the spirit world and Satan slipped though. Adam didn't know any better until he was taught. We can learn from his experience. I have already had those visitors.

If we must grapple with Satan himself before the true messengers appear then so be it. To reiterate what I told my friend Eric (who happens to be my former bishop), I am a risk-taker by nature. Sometimes a foolish risk-taker but I thrive on pushing into the unknown.

Carol, on the other hand, is a solid, stable, and almost immovable source of strength to me in my life. I seek knowledge as the most important thing. Carol seeks righteousness as the most important thing. It doesn't have to be an either / or proposition. We can have both.

Thank you so much for your helpful comments on my blog. God bless.
Shyloh said…
I'd like to add my experience to this. My brother and I are very similar in our beliefs. Minus one crucial thing. Jesus. I believe him to be the all, the deciding factor, He is the difference. My brother, however believes that while He was a good man, the divinity He has is within all of us, therefore He is no different from us, just on a higher level. He considers his 'bible' "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle.

My mother is a TBM, and gets very frustrated when they talk of spiritual things. She sees no similarity whatsoever.

When I talk to him, I see everything the same (minus the Jesus point). He does speak a different language such as oneness, enlightenment, frequencies, time, illusion, present, stillness. He believes that because the planet is shifting polarity, it is in an 'awakening' phase, and soon, its inhabitants will be raised to a higher frequency. My mom thinks he's nuts! But I think we as a people are awakening, and as we approach Zion, we will live a higher law. I have more meaningful discussions with my brother than any other person I know.

We can argue over who is wrong or right, (because it must be one or the other, right?) or we can celebrate what unites us; what gives us common purpose.

It's as if we are on 2 different paths, directly parallel to the each other. I'd like to say that mine points to eternal life. He likes to say his heads toward enlightenment. We can walk 'hand in hand' parallel to each other and still disagree. While we walk parallel, there might be some one else just below, or above us, at their own level. At some point one or both of us will have the chance to 'jump' onto the correct path pointed to the true object we seek. Each of us will be given what we need to reach that point, and it will not be given until we are ready for it. God will not hold us accountable to information we are not ready to receive yet. But He will hold us accountable for what He does give. Maybe that's why some people fear seeking more knowledge?

I learned long ago, the second estate does not end with death. The second estate goes on through the millenium, and we have centuries to go until we reach that final judgement. Centuries to continue learning.

We must focus on what unites us. "If ye are not one, ye are not mine" We are EACH on a different path. But if at last, we are all brought to sit at the feet of the Savior, what matters the route it took to get there?
Nathan Shackelford said…
@ janetowensj

I agree! But we shouldn't piece meal the example. Meaning, that if we are going to arrive at that conclusion, one might need to consider that the same individual who appears to answer Adam's petition also offers Adam "religion" "preachers" or "ministers". Are we to assume that Father is instructing us that Satan, the perpetrator of all false teachers and religions, stands independent of the Mormon church or its leaders? It appears that via the endowment "true messengers" originate directly from the presence of Father (Moroni 7:29-32)?

Then again, maybe the plan provided via the endowment, which includes true messengers (directly from Father's presence), is for special, unique folks like first presidency, quorum of the twelve? ... and the "religion" that Satan offers is referring to ... um, Baptists? Catholics? JW? really?

I thought the endowment was for each of us, individually? Maybe there is just different ways to understand the endowment? And like others have mentioned, they are all right?
jmhiatt said…
Shyloh,
I will be brief as to respect this thread and not hi-jack it. However, I must comment here. I, too, was like your brother at one time. Allow me to be blunt, but those paths you mention above will not end at the same place.

There is truth on the enlightenment path no doubt. However, it is ultimately – in my opinion – directed by Lucifer – the bringer of light, and en”light”enment. If those types of “oneness” truths are to be taught make sure they are taught directly by God. Personally, I believe most of the enlightenment truths can be taught easily later, like in the spirit world. While in this probation, it is more important to stay close to Christ and follow the gospel of Christ – faith in Jesus Christ, repentance of sins, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and follow that voice until you gain enough knowledge and obedience to part the veil. Enlightenment will carry you away from that path as sure as I am writing this to you. Don’t be fooled, your description of his belief, “My brother, however believes that while He was a good man, the divinity He has is within all of us, therefore He is no different from us, just on a higher level” is another way of saying, “I have no real sin. I cannot even really sin. There is no need for a Savior. We are all God. Everything is perfect as it is. Jesus Christ is not even necessary and those who do believe this are functioning on a ‘lower’ level of understanding.” Shyloh, I know because I have been there. Lucifer, in my opinion, is behind this movement and doctrine, as he is with many movements and doctrines. Go and talk to your brother and he will ultimately reveal that a Savior is unnecessary. Satan teaches truth, but carefully leads people to believe that Jesus Christ does not matter. If everyone believed like your brother, we’d all be lost in a perfect state of “enlightenment.” Don’t buy it. That’s why the scriptures and the gospel are important! Like Denver quotes Joseph many times – don’t trifle with the things of God.

If your brother wants to contact me to discuss, I will be more than happy to talk to him. Let me know.
“And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:6, 9).

“For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (D&C 88:33).

"But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and he is WITHIN ME, and comprehends more than all the world; and I WILL associate myself with him." (The Words of Joseph Smith)

"Thy mind, O Man IF thou wilt lead a soul UNTO SALVATION, MUST STRETCH as HIGH as the utmost Heavens, and search into and contemplate THE LOWEST considerations of the DARKEST ABYSS, and EXPAND upon the broad considerations of eternal 
expanse; he MUST commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, 
than the vain imaginations of the human heart, none but fools will trifle with the souls of 
men."(The Words of Joseph Smith)
jmhiatt said…
Oh, the irony
Eric,
Thank you, I really like this statement and the truth within it's meaning. Constantly having this in mind would edify us and our conversations:)

"One possible answer: “There are many levels of spiritual understanding among righteous members of the Church” (Endowed from on High: Temple Preparation Seminar Teacher’s Manual, 23).

"Like “win/win,” thinking “right/right” is more empathetic, bridge-building, and understanding than thinking “right/wrong.(”Eric, on April 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm )
log said…
It is more simple than that.

Luke 6:39
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

TPJS Section Four 1839-42, p.160

Salvation cannot come without revelation; it is in vain for anyone to minister without it. No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a Prophet. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy. Whenever salvation has been administered, it has been by testimony. Men of the present time testify of heaven and hell, and have never seen either; and I will say that no man knows these things without this.
From the Savior's point of view we are all Wrong/Wrong. Even the revelation that we have and knowledge YOU think you have is looking at a small piece of a very big picture. Having charity and empathy as you converse is the only way that we can help each other grow, be teachable and hope to show more of the picture.
Proving by words never converts. Converting with His spirit brings His Words!

Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God "3 Nephi 9:22"
A sign of someones charity isn't their knowledge. A sign of someones knowledge is their charity.
Shyloh said…
jmhiatt,
Thanks for your comment. And, I completely agree with you. Everything you have said about Satan is true, and when I've talked with him about the need for the Savior, you are correct. He does say as you have said. I don't buy into his beliefs. I have born testimony to him of the Savior and our need to rely completely on Him.

My point was, though, that we need to find common ground. To find truth everywhere it exists. If we focus too much on the things that divide us, we can't progress as we should. I believe God will give each of us an opportunity, to accept or reject the Savior. I just feel like we need to remember that each of us has our own journey back home. The Lord will feel after us, and we will eventually recognize him. "Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ."

Overall, it just seems like there is too much dissention, and not enough charity. I believe Satan will use anything--any doctrine--to mingle with his own--including our LDS faith to distort and lead away from the ultimate truth. But we need to recognize that arguing can lead us to hell too. And God can take any experience and turn it into our benefit.

I am glad you've come through this experience and can share this insight. I wonder, what was it that helped you recognize the need for Christ? Thank you for sharing! So as not to take over the thread, my email is shylohw@hotmail.com if you wish to respond.
Eric said…
One may choose to interpret the temple literally, yes.

I choose to interpret it on multiple figurative levels. On these levels, the particular event you're referring to did not happen literally. To me, the event is a brilliant description of the limited level of thought, word, action, and being that (if my level of discernment is correct) many LDS members are at.
Log said…
Which is, of course, why I referenced Moroni 8.
Tim Malone said…
I love reading your comments and thank each of you for enlightening me. I've been thinking all day about Eric's correction to me, and I'm going to call it that because I now think I was wrong about the right / wrong proposition. I'm still blown away about the revelation I felt as I read his words - I am a seeker of knowledge. Carol is a seeker of wisdom. She is a wise woman. She can cut to the chase immediately.

It's like she instinctively knows outcomes of certain paths, such as what happens when we are totally focused on gaining knowledge. Who was it who said, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." As yes, Proverbs 4:7. She tends to say things around the house like, "Ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." I always wonder who she's talking to.

In the same spirit, Janet said the path I am on will lead me out of the church and away from the leaders who are God's spokesmen. You know, there's some truth to that. If I continue in the path I have seen in my mind's eye, there is a distinct possibility the mysterious committee in Salt Lake might ask / tell Elder Maynes to have my Stake President talk to me. Dumping my blog used to be my answer if it came to that.

Maybe it's that stubborn streak in me, maybe it's insufficient humility, or maybe I really did understand what I think I felt in sacred prayer on the evening of March 30th and again on March 31st. Each time I ask the Lord about it, I feel a warm comforting feeling that He really did accept my request to have my blog be used to help members come unto the Savior. I know I'm not the only one with this desire for my blogging.

So for what it's worth, I have been pondering a new position paper on how I feel about all these excommunications for apostasy that have been happening lately. Of course, 97.5% of the church doesn't know and doesn't care. If you haven't read it already, go read what John Dehlin surmised on his Facebook post the other day. I found it to be most enlightening. It discusses the idea of irredeemables in the church.

https://www.facebook.com/johndehlin/posts/758544524759

Oh, and by the way, my prayer Sunday with Carol as described in the post has been answered. I asked Heavenly Father specifically to soften Carol's heart toward meeting with Denver and attending his St. George lecture. She has always been vague in the past when I asked if she would attend with me. Go to St. George, yes, but sit in the lecture, not so sure.

Well, this morning she flat out said yes as I was walking out the door to work. I did a few fist-pumps as I got out to the car in the garage. Only thing is, it cost me $5,000 as I agreed to get the air conditioners fixed on our two cars to cross the desert in July. Small price to pay. I am stoked and jazzed. She has come a long ways, baby. I'm a happy man.
Shyloh said…
I read an article a while back by Dr. Valerie Hudson. It was about polygamy being an Abrahamic Sacrifice.

http://empoweringldswomen.blogspot.com/2011/11/plural-marriage-abrahamic-sacrifice-and.html

This got me thinking about other types of Abrahamic Sacrifice. Joseph Smith said "a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation". It is said we should not expect to inhabit the heavenly realm if we do not offer sacrifice like unto Abraham.

The model Valerie uses has 3 main points that I feel are applicable to any Abrahamic sacrifice. 1) God makes the law plain to a person. 2. God then requires the innocent and righteous person to depart from that law, and the choice to depart would seem to erase the joy that naturally follows from keeping the law. 3. God provides a means of escape from the departure from the law, which allows renewed joy.

What types of sacrifices do we make? While praying/meditating the other day, I was asking about what I would be required to sacrifice. My church membership came to mind. But wait...God wouldn't do that! Would he? The world might say he'd not require Abraham to slay his only son; the only means by which he might receive all the blessings promised to him.....Yet he did. God may require of us whatever matters the most to us, and my membership is among my most 'prized possessions'.

So, I inquired, does it fit the model? 1. You join the Church, live the gospel your whole life.(know the law) 2. Be excommunicated, be potentially ostracized and isolated, loose all temple blessings (departure from the law) 3. Join the church of the First Born. (Deliverance from the law) Seems to fit....Then I was reminded the Church is a temporary institution anyway. It seems this is the direction many are headed.

Initially, it's scary to think about. It takes faith to trust the Lord desires you to go in a direction different than what you've known your whole life. Yet, the scriptural model is full of people being asked to do unorthodox things. Nephi killing Laban. Noah building an ark. Why is that? I think it's (in part) so we'll recognize the Lord's hand in it all. We have in our day even more testimonies given about things that seem to go against mainstream LDS doctrine. It makes me think of Joseph's own testimony...JSH 1:25 "I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God,"
Eric said…
Your interpretation seems about "right."

I would like to think that I was just making some general statements, but if you would like to label it as "correction," it's your blog... :)
Tim Malone said…
Well, it impressed me tremendously and help me sort some things out in my mind that were troubling me because they seemed to come across to others as "challenging" when I expressed them. I now have a new paradigm, thanks to your clarification. So I like to call it correction. Everybody needs a course correction occasionally. I'm going to practice it in my next post.

By the way, if anyone is interested, you can download Eric's books free from Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/eternalround

I see you've published a new version of Spiritual Transplant, Spiritual Transfusion: The LDS Sacrament. I'll downloaded it to read soon.
Julie said…
I feel the need to comment here that God doesn't ways provide an escape. Abraham got that, yes, but Joseph didn't, and neither did Nephi--they both had to follow through all the way with what they were commanded. I'm not sure how your theory of deliverance applies to them.
Jared said…
A common doctrine in the church is that within the home the father presides, period. Even if President Monson is visiting, the father still presides.

Within the home, the father is King, the mother is Queen. Within the home the patriarchal order reigns supreme. Within the home the father and mother are accountable to nobody, except God.

What goes on in your home is your own business and no one else's. Of course, everything should be done in virtue and righteousness.

Within the home the father's duty is to be a Priest and a King. The mother's duty is to be a Priestess and a Queen to her husband inasmuch as he keeps the commandments of the Lord. Accordingly, it is their right to receive revelation, to prophesy, perform rites and ordinances, all according to the commandments of God as established in scripture and as inspired by revelation.

The Prophet Lehi presents a prime example of patriarchal leadership. He received and claimed revelation from God in the leadership of his family. He built an alter and offered sacrifices. There was no question of whether it was his right to do so.

Within the temple we are given the divine pattern we are all to follow. This is our endowment of power. We are each given keys of knowledge and power. We are washed, anointed, clothed, given signs and tokens, enter into sacred covenants, and taught how to pray in such a way that we will assuredly receive answers to our prayers. We are each of us, respectively, to consider ourselves Adam and Eve. When Adam entered the mortal world, he built an alter and offered sacrifices unto the Lord. He prayed to the Lord. When asked what he was doing, he declared that he was looking for messengers sent from the Father. In essence, he was waiting upon the Lord for the ministering of angels to give him the further instructions the Lord had promised him in the pre-mortal world.

This is the pattern we should likewise follow.

Adam and Eve, uniquely, received their endowment in the pre-mortal world, within the Garden of Eden. For them the veil of forgetfulness did not begin with their entrance to mortality, but with their entrance to the Garden of Eden. They remembered the events of the garden. As the children of Adam and Eve, we also can receive this sacred heritage. Through faith in Jesus Christ we can receive the ordinances of the gospel and be endowed as Adam and Eve were within holy temples. As we do so we become one with them and receive the same tools they received.

64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.
65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.
66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;
67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.
68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.
(Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:64 - 68)

Adam and Eve were true and faithful in all things, in following the pattern and commandments they received from the Lord. They became, again, one with God. They also received a covenant that “thus may all become my sons [and daughters].”
Eric said…
I only added 1 paragraph to the first chapter, so don't bother rereading the rest of the book.
insightprowler said…
I agree, Super. The Lord challenges our patience and humility by giving us paradox's we have to deal with--even within the scriptures. Charity never faileth. Sometimes we get stuck on some doctrine based on "laws" and commandments, but by the law we are condemned. We are to become like little children who are not judged by the law.
Eric said…
That is fine, with the caveat that we remember that to understand the temple, it is critical to understand that:

"The characters depicted, the physical setting, the clothing worn, the signs given, and all the events covered in the temple are symbolic. When they are understood, they will help each person recognize truth and grow spiritually” (Endowed From On High: Temple Preparation Seminar Teacher’s Manual, 23-4).

Certain characters without mortal bodies are depicted as doing things such as holding fruit, shaking hands, etc.

This is not an error or oversight, but is designed to intentionally point us away from the strictly literal.

For example, there is no literal tree of life. (Although some might say that Revelation 22:2 would disagree with me.) I don't take Alma 32:28-43 literally, in that I don't think that every exalted person has a tree growing out of their heart.

(By the way, although it doesn't have a physical existence, it still is essential to figuratively partake of its fruit.)

Knowing what the signs are is good.
Emulating the signs is better.
Understanding the signs is even better.
Incorporating the signs into our own being, through direct experience, is best.
Thank you Eric. This is edifying.
marginalizedmormon said…
to the person who mentioned that not everyone's path in mortality runs in the same direction, etc.--
thank you.
I needed to read that. For some reason my family and I have been led off the TBM path. By the way, I had understood TBM to mean: true blue Mormon--

In the process of being led off the TBM path, we have discovered more powerfully our need of Jesus Christ.

So I can't say I have a lot of regrets, other than the suffering some of my family has endured because of powerful rejection from mainstream LDS (TBMs)--

I would never want to go back to being a TBM, because when I was a TBM I didn't see my own pride in being righteous. I didn't see my own pride in belonging to the 'one and only true church'--

and I believe I offended many of my non-LDS family and friends. I am sure there are those who can be TBMs without feeling like the 'chosen' people--

for that reason, there is still a place for such powerful feelings of chosen-ness. But I could not do it. Having lost that feeling of chosen-ness, I now recognize that I am nothing without Jesus Christ. Before I always had my 'place' in the church to shore me up.

Now I don't let anything come between me and my God. Jesus Christ. When I am in the temple (and, yes, I still have a temple recommend) I am always thinking, "whatever leads me to Jesus Christ is of worth; anything else is dross"--

That feeling of satisfaction, contentment, and security in being in the 'only true church' is gone. I know now that I can't let hold of the Hand of God, because nobody else will be there to catch me. I can remember the tight, warm, good feeling it was to have 'the church'--
Now I just pray that everyone who loves God, whatever his/her religion, can make it through this rough time, this time of testing and tribulation, here at 'the end', or what I think is the end.
I can't describe the transformation beyond how I have. It felt so good to 'belong'. I no longer have that feeling of belonging, except in a vague and airy "kingdom of God" that is somewhere--
Nathan Shackelford said…
"I love this kind of talk. Carol says she doesn’t. Too “in your face.” Me, I find it motivating and encouraging. I’m up for the challenge. How about you?"

I await your comments RE: Grand Junction? Yes, in your face. As it should be. The intensity, direction, personal responsibility, lines in the sand ... yes, God is love, God will be among and serving the least ... and yet, you get the sense that God is preparing to pick a fight with the whore of all the earth?! :)
Deila said…
Joe -- Great thoughts and I surely agree with you. Having taught gospel doctrine, SS, and RS (quite awhile ago), I learned to listen to the Spirit, and follow it -- sometimes I shared new things I had learned, and other times, I felt prompted to go in another direction. Since everything is getting tighter with staying with the manual, I have found teaching by the Spirit to be hampered. In fact, I was released from RS teaching, because I wandered off the manual and talked about women in the temple. I had felt inspired, but someone else felt otherwise -- and boom I was out. I understand the need for manuals for guidance in a world wide church, it's just that it has also made people so rigid to stick to the manual, no thinking beyond the box. Funny, because Bruce R. McConkie said,
“Look, if you cannot go beyond the period at the end of the sentence, it means you do not have the Holy Ghost. And if you do not have the Holy Ghost, you have no business teaching in the first place.” http://www.deilataylor.com/mormon-women/
marginalizedmormon said…
oops--
BAD typo, the poor Zoramites were obviously not forced to be poor; they just WERE poor--
they were forced to be humble--
sorry.
roger said…
There’s a story of two remote villages in the Himalayas that maintained a feud over many generations. Each village claimed that it’s local peak was the highest and most holy. Arguments were formulated, stoking the fires of pride and hatred. Each group defended its claim with zealous certainty. Clearly one party had to be right, but which one was it? The situation was finally resolved, thanks to the advent of air travel, when it was discovered that the two peaks were actually one, seen from different sides.
marginalizedmormon said…
You know, I am sensing that my 'name' is putting people off, and I am just a passerby, after all. I don't know Tim; I just happened upon his blog from another blog roll--
I don't know Denver Snuffer; I have not read his books; I haven't heard him speak; I haven't talked to anyone who has, in real life--
I did read one of his blog essays once, and then my computer wouldn't bring up his blog anymore, but my computer is very old, and it sometimes does that--
But I am a person who studies the Book of Mormon diligently and regularly--
I really mean that.
And the blog essay I read by Denver Snuffer and the teachings of Korihor aren't the same at all.
You really need to go back and read Alma 30 thoroughly to understand that Korihor was an anti-Christ; he told the people they didn't need a Savior, an atonement, a God. He told Alma that he didn't even believe in God.
His teachings were to help people become self-confident in their own talents and gifts--
A man in our ward often speaks this way; he is a very wealthy man, and he will say, "I should be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor, because I am intelligent and I have worked hard; people who don't have as much as I do have obviously not invested what I have invested." I have heard a lot of Mormons and other Christians speak that way, actually--
and it's somewhat related to social darwinism, a concept from the 1800s--
But if you read Korihor, he is a social darwinist, basically teaching that if you are lucky you will be born with brains and beauty and some money, and you will have a good life; if not, you sad thing, don't delude yourself by thinking that a God will save you and give you a better life after this one.--
I know a lot of people who do believe those kinds of things--
I don't. I know I need a Savior, and the one blog essay I read of Denver Snuffer's (bad grammar, sorry) and the things I have heard about him--
imply that he is trying to teach people to reach out to Jesus Christ.
So, the comparison to Korihor is not fair to either man, really--and it's not fair to the truth or to the Book of Mormon.
Korihor admitted his worldliness, his trust in the arm of flesh; he was boasting about his own powers--
Denver Snuffer talks about Jesus Christ.
I do not know what Denver Snuffer is about; I don't believe in people teaching other people; I think we have to be careful even in the church--
we must always check everything we hear with the Lord. I don't believe in BYU Education Week, Know Your Religion (is that program still around?), EFY, etc.--
People tend to attach themselves too much to the teachers, wherever they are, even if they are good--
But, Janet, there was no reply under your comment about Denver Snuffer being a modern-day Korihor, so I needed to point out that, even if you believe Snuffer is a false prophet, he doesn't fit the Korihor type, and you will see that if you read Alma 31--if you read this or care.
I probably won't make any more comments; I think I am superfluous on here, but if anyone needs a boost, they can read my 'testimony' of Jesus Christ. He is Real; He is the Savior; He loves us. He is there.
Thank you, anyone who may have read this.
marginalizedmormon said…
correction, Alma 30, not 31--that was a typo.
And I said I would say no more.
Just concerned with accuracy.
Nathan Shackelford said…
@ marginalizedmormon

Please don't take comments to seriously :) There are all kinds of good folks that frequent these sites; everyone at their own place and space. Everything from just curious, to questioning, to dabbling (while hiding behind a psuedo-names), to people who are just dying to testify that God has really sold them the monopoly on truth and they just absolutely must set everyone straight :) Hopefully each of us have moved through our "traditions," psychological opinions, perceptions, interpretations ... The Holy Ghost must and does hopefully teach each and every one of us! Please keep sharing your truth ... it assists you more than you know...and its just another way you can demonstrate God's love that lies within you :)
mjcunningham said…
Just out of curiosity, why would you want to meet DS, hear him speak in person AND read his books (plural, meaning you have read more than one from start to finish) if you didn't feel the spirit while doing so? Why?

As for me, I have never felt the spirit more, felt so instructed, or have learned so much, since I started studying his books. Because of him I want to pray more, study more, be a better person in every aspect of my life. I have grown spiritually more in the last 6 months (since I discovered his books) than I have in the last 10 years.

We are all on different paths, and learn at a different rate, but the very fact that you have done so much where he is concerned, should make you want to take a second look, but that's just my opinion.
mjcunningham said…
Loved your comment. And yes, I am one who gets it. I'm not correlated anymore either. I too have a debilitating disease that no one (unless they have it) understands. The only reason I have come so far is because of DS's books, which have helped my testimony of the Savior grow by leaps and bounds. It's not until you get to a REALLY dark place, that you can let go of the safety of traditions and habits (which our church has A LOT of) to find true peace in a situation like ours.

I am active LDS. I go to church (as much as I can) I love the gospel, the B of M, the temple, and Denver Snuffer. Thank heavens for him, and thank heavens for you, Tim. You are so brave. I'm not at that point yet, but who knows? Maybe in 18 more months I will be.
Nathan Shackelford said…
@ mjcunningham

AMEN!!! :) my debilitating disease is pride, covetousness, ego, self righteousness ... seeking the "praises of men" (yes, there are always deeper layers to pull back) ... bring on the "dark night" the "REALLY dark place" and the door (portal) that leads to the Savior, to Father, to Mother .. and to eternal identity and relationship :)

Gratitude! Amazed ... Amazed at Father, at Creation, and what is coming ... the path; so unique, individual, challenging ... "selling all" and "purchasing" my very individual "front row ticket" ... intense times we live in! :)

And yet, there is the pull of some collective, some experience that is "home". Choose you this day... thanks for your comment, needed that tonight.
marginalizedmormon said…
Thank you, mjcunningham and nathan shackelford--
I am not offended, at all; I just fear coming across as insane, if what I am saying has little to do with the topic--*:)*
But I realize that someone 'got' me, and I feel a little less insane; I'm fine with that; I browse around on LDS blogs now and again, and sometimes I feel I should say something, but I don't have to be a diehard participant. :)
Matthew Crockett said…
You have obviously never read the writings of early church leaders where this was very common in saints homes. It was also common in meeting houses to have a room for that purpose or Endowment Houses.

You should goto the BYU Provo library special collections department and read a book titled, Further, Light and Knowledge it cannot be checked out. In it contains much on this subject.
Tim Malone said…
Thank you George for your wonderful comment. I do not want to be deceived. You refer to a forbidden path in your second to last paragraph. Can you elaborate? What is the forbidden path we must avoid? Are you referring to prayer in our homes? I don't want to assume anything. Surely prayer can't be the cause of doubt or destroying testimonies to which you refer. Help me understand. Thanks.
Deila said…
George -- I too love John Pontius' books and have found them to be very helpful in my quest for greater light.

I wanted to share with you something I have read about the Adversary. You said:

"We fight against principalities and powers whose strength caused young Joseph to surrender himself to an unknown power prior to the appearance of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Satan is never to be underestimated. His power is far greater than ours in our present state."

I think the history says that Joseph said he was ready to sink into despair -- but exerted all his powers to call upon God to deliver him out of the power of the enemy. (Joseph Smith History) This is a common occurrance in ascension texts -- Moses had a similar encounter as related in the book of Moses. Though Satan is not to be underestimated, I read this from Joseph Smith:

"All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God the Devil takes power." ("The Words of Joseph," p. 60)

"...the express purpose of God in giving it [a spirit] a tabernacle was to arm it against the power of Darkness -- for instance Jesus said Get behind me Satan. Also the apostle said resist the Devil & he will flee from you." (p.62)

This is helpful to know -- that Satan's power is not far greater than ours in our present state (if we are righteous, calling upon God). We have our second estate. He does not. That knowledge does not make it any easier in our quest for light -- but it is valuable to know.
meeken said…
Hi Tim,
I have been reading your posts for some time, but have never commented or responded until now.
First, I have enjoyed reading your thoughts and experiences and feel to express my thanks for some moments where reading what you have said has been very uplifting and motivating.
Second, I thought that I might share some thoughts about Denver Snuffer. I was introduced to Denver's writings through some friends who feel passionately that he has an inspired message for members of the church.
Honestly, I am not yet settled on what to make of him, but for what it might be worth, I will share the experiences I have had:
I have read most of three of his books. When I read them, I found them motivating and sprinkled with insights that I quite enjoyed. Some of his thoughts have also helped me to answer questions that I, and others close to me, have struggled with relating to church history. All of this caused me to entertain the possibility that he may actually be delivering a message from the Lord and acting on divine instruction.
It didn't bother me that he was excommunicated - as far as how I received his message - except that I thought it unfortunate that his leaders had made that decision.
I had an opportunity to attend one of his lectures (Logan) and took it.
It was a bit different than I had expected.
Having felt uplifted and motivated from reading some of his books, I think that I expected to feel the Spirit as he spoke. I didn't.
Again, I learned some things as I listened, but didn't feel the Spirit as I have come to recognize it. I was actually surprised that I didn't, but, oh well, I'm not necessarily always "on" either.
Since then, I have read more and watched my close friends become more devoted to his message. They are becoming more critical of the brethren and church leadership generally. Of course there is much to criticize. I think we might be more charitable. I think the Savior would be more charitable. I believe that there will always be those who are better and those who are worse at fulfilling callings at every level. But the more I follow Denver's blog, the less charitable he sounds. I can surely understand why he might feel less charitable - as a normal human being would in his shoes. I am less confident that someone bearing a message from the Savior would act and speak as he does.
And so, I have been conflicted. How to reconcile the motivation and enlightenment I have felt in reading some of his books, with the feelings I had listening to him and reading his more recent writings - and watching the effect he is having on my friends.
I actually just read the link you posted to the Mormon Interpreter and the author's critique of Snuffer and PTHG. I think he has a point.
Anyway, I guess I just feel for you and your wife Carol, am appreciative of your blog, and would hope for you to proceed carefully with your acceptance of all that Denver has to say. I'm still figuring it all out as well.
Mike said…
Did Abraham get delivered from having to make the sacrifice? Hebrews 11:17-19, as well as other non-biblical writings, seem to point at the Genesis account perhaps suffering some revisionism.
Deila said…
George -- thanks for you thoughts. Glad to hear you were touched by the spirit and learned that Joseph Smith is a prophet. My husband had a simliar conversion at the age of 22. He saw the First vision movie and that was it! They filled the font right then. I was born in the covenant -- and hence have a long line of Mormons going back to the days of Joseph. Yes, I am endowed, and I am thankful for the knowledge and blessings attached to that, as I strive to keep my covenants with exactness. The Lord has blessed me with knowledge and I hold that dear. I see the temple as the teaching ground and the Lord opens our eyes to greater understanding as we attend. We progress on this journey individually.

And I agree about fault finding -- I am very uncomfortable with that, as I believe charity to be the greatest of gifts and quality that we need to have -- which includes being charitable to those who we may think are in error. I am more of the spirit of Hugh Nibley,

“There are several examples I could cite where Hugh disagreed with Church policy. But when he could not argue forcefully for the Church, he kept his mouth shut. During the debate over blacks and the priesthood, Hugh evidently disagreed with the policy. Nevertheless, he never voiced those beliefs until after the priesthood ban was lifted. I once asked him about something that might be seen as heretical today but which was not in the nineteenth century, and he responded, “I never think about that.” Then he paused and restated, “Well, I think about it, but I never talk about it.” This may seem cowardly to some, but clearly Hugh was able to do more for the Church by remaining loyal and quiet; he would have lost that ability had he come out in open opposition to the Church’s position.” (Boyd Petersen, Hugh Nibley’s son-in-law)
George said…
I want to add this addendum to my 2 posts above. I mentioned that fault finding was a forbidden path to be avoided and then I presumed to pass judgement on Denver Snuffer suspecting him of pride as the likely underlying reason for his excommunication. I repent, as that is hypocritical. I have no standing to judge any man or make any comment about another's standing before Heavenly Father. We simply must leave all judgement in the hands of the Lord. I wish him the best. The only work of his I have read is "The Second Comforter" and have found it to be a treasure trove of guidance toward achieving that most precious gift. I pray for his spiritual well being.

This is what scares me about blogging. Many of you do it so well. Others like myself need to be constantly watchful of our impulses. If we cannot we are better off not participating.
Deila said…
George -- That was very kind of you to make an addendum. I know what you mean about fault finding. Sometimes I go back to one of my posts on my blog and make changes when I realize I was too harsh. Tim is great for sharing his journey, and I appreciate that about him. He seems to share his inner dialogue, and it's nice to see his transparency, and his journey to the veil. We are all pilgrims, and we will often change our minds, or make mistakes.
Mace Church said…
Tim, "Carol is a True Believing Mormon, Carol is concerned about being led astray. I don’t blame her. That’s one of the reasons I married her. She is as TBM as you can get (email me if you don’t understand that acronym). For Carol, the mantra to follow the Brethren IS the gospel. She will do whatever she is asked by those who preside over us in the church, both locally and from Salt Lake. She’s an amazing LDS woman."

When I read about TBM, this thought which seems to be a repeating theme which is always brought up by those who don't trust that they can ask and receive. Here I quote from Times and Seasons.

"Because of these facts, and the apparent imperfections of men on whom God confers authority the question is sometimes asked, to what extent is obedience to those who hold the Priesthood required?
This is a very important question, and one, which should be understood by all Saints. In attempting to answer this question we would repeat, in short, what we have already written, that willing obedience to the laws of God, administered by the Priesthood, is indispensable to salvation; but, we would further add, that a proper conservative to this power exists for the benefit of all, and none are required to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the Priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, (even) even if they knew it was wrong: (some call this a test to see if we will obey) but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God, who seeks for the redemption of his fellows, would despise the idea of seeing another become his slave, who had an equal right with himself to the favour of God; he would rather see him stand by his side, a sworn enemy to wrong, so long as there was place found for it among men. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty (!) authority, (as they suppose) have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the Saints were told to do by their Presidents, they should do it without questions. When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong; or else because they have done wrong, and wish to use the cloak of their authority to cover it with, lest is should be discovered by their superiors, who would require an atonement at their hands." One other reason comes to mind, lack of understanding and knowledge of how priesthood operates. See, D&C 121

To some this may sound a harsh criticism, because they see this in so many "good" TBM folks in their lives. But it is the counsel from Joseph Smith himself. It also is in the same vein of counsel given by Brigham Young. This doesn't detract from the need for kindness and long suffering however. Just a thought.
Mace Church said…
To demonstrate how symbolic the presentation of the endowment is, consider this, even those beings who come to Adam and appear to have physical bodies in order to present the tokens and signs to Father Adam, i.e. Peter, James and John, as we know them, have not yet entered their second estate, so how could they posses a body in order to give those things to Adam, "the Father of all living". He being their head and source of life, even for them. By the way, even the Lectures on Faith teach the Adam God doctrine. In those lectures, as in the endowment itself, she, Eve is given, or her title is recognized wherein she is called "the Mother of all living". If so, who was alive at that time, except those in their premortal estate, at least, as far as this world is concerned? And who was her husband, but the Father of all living? Just a thought!

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