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Showing posts from May, 2014

Defining Fullness of the Priesthood

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In response to a comment made by a reader on the previous post, I wrote, “The fullness of the priesthood, or that which was lost (D&C 124:28), is to be brought into the presence of the Father, by the Son, to be fully endowed with the power that Enoch received, the power to bring about Zion.” I would like to elaborate on that comment and provide some backup for my thinking.

Priesthood Power Not Same as Church Authority

Just as power in the priesthood is different from authority in the priesthood, offices in the Church do not constitute the priesthood itself. They are simply organizational offices in an institution. I know this can be a difficult concept to accept. Some may claim it is false doctrine. Perhaps we can consider together this quote from Joseph Smith on the subject. It may prove helpful:

All Prophets Were Ordained By God Himself

“All priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion that brought Moses to speak with God face-to-face wa…

Defining Power in the Priesthood

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My last post on Defining the Heavenly Gift went OK – not great – but OK, so I’d like to continue with the next phrase, only this time limit it to one. I think I tried to come to an understanding of too many key phrases in the previous post. I asked the Lord what the next phrase should be. He was very immediate, direct and emphatic. There was no hesitation He wanted me to understand this.

Even Apostles Interchange Power and Authority

I just re-read Elder Andersen’s wonderful October 2013 General Conference talk entitled, “Power in the Priesthood.” In fact, I watched or rather listened to the video as I read along. In his concluding testimony, he said, “The power of God’s holy priesthood is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Did he really mean power, or did he intend to say authority?

Church as an Institution or a Group of Saints

I guess it all depends on how you define “Church,” but I’m not going to make the same mistake I made on my post in which we discussed “The …

A Mormon Reviews The Afterlife of Billy Fingers

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Storytelling in a Non-Fiction Book

The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan is a wonderful book. I give it five stars. One of the Amazon reviewers said she read the 191 page book in 90 minutes. It took me about three hours. I had to stop often to wipe away the tears. The book was an emotional and spiritual roller-coaster. Thank you, Annie for that superb and captivating storytelling in a non-fiction book.

Messages From the Spirit World

The book extends three challenges to its readers: First, is it fiction or fact? Annie didn’t have to expend a great deal of effort and energy to persuade me it really happened. I was convinced right away by the down-to-earth, day-to-day events of Annie’s life as she dealt with the loss of her older brother Billy to a tragic accident. I have no doubt Billy came to her to share his transition.

Traditional Heaven and Hell Missing

Second, you will need to re-examine what you know about the after-life, especially if you have accepted traditional heaven-and-h…

Defining the Heavenly Gift

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There is a way prepared that all men might be partakers of the heavenly gift, or the opening of the heavens. The heavenly gift is received directly from God. It does not come from man. What one man receives from God can’t be passed on to another man. My visions are not your visions. Angels that taught me are not the same angels that will teach you. Each gift is individualized.

Opportunity to Exercise Faith

One of the greatest and perhaps unrecognized blessings of this earth life is the opportunity to exercise faith. I don’t mean the kind of faith that says, “I believe,” although this too is faith. The kind of faith I would like to bring out in this post is the kind that opens the heavens and allows us to become “partakers of the heavenly gift.” But first let’s see if we can define the heavenly gift.

By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled

After Moroni introduces us to Ether, he refers to the heavenly gift in the quote below. We don’t find this particular phrase used anywhere else in scripture (

When Good People Oppose Your Best Work

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A while back I wrote an article entitled, “When Religion Comes Between Spouses.” It was my best effort at that time to share my ideas, successes and failures in dealing with a personal problem I was experiencing - and continue to experience in my marriage: a spouse who does not feel comfortable with, understand or encourage my blogging activities – for various reasons.

Stick Your Head in the Sand Mentality

I know from past experience this post is going to be difficult for a lot of people. For some reason that is a mystery to me, there are good people who simply do not want to talk about, discuss or see others write about subjects they consider sacred cows, such as what constitutes a testimony, what is a prophet, how revelation is received, who can receive revelation and if it can be shared.

Life’s Work to Teach the Gospel

I do not wish to offend. As with each of my posts, I ask the Lord to guide and bless me in the words and phrases I use. It is my desire to share in a manner that will be…

Allow Me the Agency of My Doubts

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Update: A better title would have been: "Please Allow me the Freedom to Have Questions." The word "doubts" causes people to think you are not a believer. I am a believer, yet I still have questions I want answered. I recognize it is my own responsibility to find answers to my questions but these particular questions are related to some of the fundamental truth claims of the Church, in particular, if the Church has the Fullness of the Priesthood and if it can be transferred by the laying on of hands. I addressed and sent this to my Bishop and Stake President.

I don’t know if you care what I am about to say, but I feel the need to share it. I have asked the Lord in prayer to bless my words that they will help you understand why I do what I do and have done what I have done on my blog especially over the past few years. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope it helps you to understand me better in light of the posts I have written that may have come to …

Concluding Testimony at my Disciplinary Council

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I shared my testimony in our regular monthly testimony meeting this morning. I wanted to make sure the Bishop and a member of the Stake Presidency present - he’s also in our ward – heard me say I sustain the general authorities and local authorities of the church. Of course these words were in addition to sharing comments reflecting my love of my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

Covering All the Bases

Carol asked me afterward if I did that to offset whoever it was that complained about my blog a few months ago. I assured her I was sincere, but yes, I wanted the whole ward to know of my feelings for those who lead this church. I continue to sustain them with my prayers and with my money. Yes, I know my tithing is used to pay their salary. It also helps pay my sister’s salary.

Follow the Bishop’s Counsel

As far as I know, I’m not under any priesthood leader’s watch list for an impending disciplinary council, but a few of my friends and fellow bloggers have been surprised, so I’m being careful…

A Few Administrative Notes

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It seems no matter how hard I try, I am unable to keep up with the private emails asking for additional information from something I've shared in one of my posts, particularly those that deal with doctrine and private religious practices such as the True Order of Prayer in the home.  I still have about 35 unanswered emails from April. I apologize to those who are waiting for answers and thank you for your patience. I truly appreciate those who read my blog and take the time to write privately.

Get-Together in LA Area

I am filled with gratitude this morning. It's 4am as I write this. I can't sleep because of all the things I'm pondering. A few regular blog readers and contributors got together for dinner last night to discuss current events in the LDS blogging community. We chatted about the apparent ongoing rash of excommunications for those who write about Denver Snuffer. We discussed mutual experiences with private religious practices such as being born of the spirit, …