Keys of the Kingdom Revisited

Keys-of-the-KingdomCarol and I have had a running conversation since Sunday about the succession crisis at the death of Joseph. To me, it has become the crux of the matter when considering the legitimacy of the LDS Church as the Kingdom of God on the earth. We have both been taught all our lives that Brigham had the Keys of the Kingdom and therefore nothing was lost when Joseph was killed.

Before I present anything may I remind everyone that this is the blog of a private member of the LDS Church and in no way represents the official viewpoints or doctrines of the LDS Church. For that, go to lds.org where you can read the official narrative of how the succession between Joseph and Brigham took place. I won’t review it here. I assume you are familiar with the story.

Second point: if my writing about this bothers you, please don’t read it. I am simply trying to understand our history more perfectly. If the history of our Church is not something that has anything to do with your faith or your willingness to follow the prophet or the Savior then go elsewhere. Pease ignore what I am about to present if the succession issue was settled in your mind long ago.

The Death of Joseph Smith

Up until a few years ago, I had no problems with stating Brigham was just as much a prophet as was Joseph. I accepted the standard narrative that the keys of the kingdom were given to each of the apostles by Joseph before he died. I’m sure we have all read the story of Brigham’s concern when he heard about Joseph’s death. He was with Orson Pratt in Peterboro, New Hampshire.

At first, Brigham was not sure and did not know how to proceed. He had to think about it. This was new and unexpected. It had never happened before. Hyrum was the intended successor, but he died before Joseph. Then Brigham remembered the Twelve had the keys. Section 107 tells us the Quorum of the Twelve is equal in authority and power to the Quorum of the First Presidency.

Legal Successors to Joseph

Brigham did not consider himself to be the legal successor to Joseph. He believed that right belonged to either Joseph Smith III or David Smith. He long hoped for the Spirit of God to move either Joseph or David to fill the station Brigham believed their father had appointed to them. We see things as being very clear and orderly today. At the time, they were not so clear to Brigham.

Brigham said, “[Joseph’s] boys … are in the hands of God, and when they make their appearance before this people, full of his power, there are none but what will say- “Amen! We are ready to receive you.” He also said, “The brethren testify that brother Brigham is brother Joseph’s legal successor. You never heard me say so. I do not think anything about being Joseph’s successor.”

Elected to the Position

In the great debate between Sidney and Brigham, both claimed they would be caretakers until Joseph’s sons could lead. Brigham relied on the idea that he possessed “all the keys” and was voted into office. When he became President of the Church, he recorded in his own journal he was “elected” to the office. He did not believe he needed any ordination to assume the office.

Did you catch that? Brigham Young was never ordained to be the President of the Church. He was only elected or sustained to the position. Common consent was all he felt he needed to take over the leadership of the Church. And he got it. Things were different in the early days of the Church. The position exists by reason of common consent and gives all the authority needed.

Authority and Power not the Same

Authority in the Church was derived from the consent of its members. However, authority is NOT the same as priesthood. While many have been called, few have been or ever will be entrusted with the power of the priesthood. Power in the priesthood is received by God and not by the laying on of hands. Power in the priesthood cannot be passed from one man to another.

I’ll state it again: Authority in the Church is not equal to power in the priesthood. President Packer made this clear in an April 2010 General Conference address. “The priesthood does not have the strength that it should and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be.” The power of the priesthood cannot be controlled by men.

Power not Controlled by an Institution

Power in the priesthood comes from heaven or it does not come at all. There has never been an institution entrusted with the power of heaven, and that includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church can convey authority for men to rule over one another throughout the world. But the power of the priesthood comes only one way, and that is by the voice of God.

As the revelation to Joseph states it, man, or the Church does not have any right to either confer power in the priesthood or to prevent it from being conferred. Heaven alone determines if a man will be permitted to act as one of Heaven’s chosen high priests. Ordination is only an invitation. God alone confers the power. Any priesthood holder who has thought about this knows it is true.

Priesthood Independent from the Church

Priesthood and redemption are tied together. And if Joseph Smith’s revelations are to be trusted, then the church does not and cannot control either, because God controls both. Establishing the church was distinct from restoring the priesthood. And priesthood has existed, can and does exist independent of a church. Joseph’s revelations and ancient scripture repeatedly teach this truth.

The Church is completely dependent upon the priesthood to fill the male offices of the Church, but the priesthood still remains independent of the Church. The Aaronic priesthood has power for angels to minister, but Melchizedek priests may behold the face of God. When a man such as Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son in 1820, he must have held the higher priesthood.

Higher Priesthood Comes Only From God

No man can see the Father without this priesthood and live. Therefore, Joseph had this higher priesthood even before the appearance of angels who later conferred priesthood upon Joseph. It is apparent Joseph was among those whose priesthood reckons from before the foundation of this world. The higher priesthood does not come from a man. It is only given by the voice of God.

Priesthood power is clearly something different than an ordination. But it is clear the only thing an ordination accomplishes is to invite the one ordained to connect to heaven. It is from heaven alone that priesthood power is obtained. An ordination confers an office in the Church, but an office in the Church is not synonymous with the power of heaven or power in the priesthood.

Ordinances are Invitations to Get Power

There are two different kinds of apostles. One is an administrative office in the church. The other is a witness of the resurrection, who has met with Christ. When Brigham was ordained an apostle, he was told his ordination was not full and complete until God had laid His hands upon him. The Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?

Most of the ordinances of the church are not the real thing. They are types and symbols of the real thing. They are official invitations, authorized by Christ, and extended to any person who will join the Church to go and get the real thing. Any person who has priesthood conferred upon him will need to go into God’s presence and receive power in their priesthood, through the veil.

Brigham Claimed to Have All the Keys

Every person who joins the church and keeps its ordinances will be invited through these very ordinances to come and receive the Lord. When they do come into His presence, they will find themselves in possession of promises, rights, privileges, power and covenants for themselves and their posterity, for all generations, and into eternity. They will have then turned unto the fathers.

Brigham’s claim to be in possession of “all the keys” previously conferred upon Joseph by heavenly messengers raised the question of exactly what was included in the conferral. Even today there is no full description of what keys were involved or what rights were included. Today, the claim is that the keys identified in section 110 are what were passed to the Twelve.

Joseph Never Taught Section 110

I have a copy of the Joseph Smith Papers, Journals, volume 1 in my possession. I read with interest the account of how section 110 came to be. It was recorded by Warren Cowdery, not as a direct eyewitness but being copied from some document no longer extant. This account is written in the third person and describes the visit of the various messengers to Joseph and Oliver.

The account of section 110 was not inserted into the record until many years after the deaths of the only eyewitnesses, Joseph and Oliver, who never taught or mentioned they had been visited by Christ, Moses, Elias or Elijah in the Kirtland temple. It was not discovered until 1852. In any event, the wording states the keys were committed, as if Joseph already had the sealing power.

Visit Of Elijah Still a Future Event

Until his dying day, Joseph referred to Elijah’s return as a still future event. Brigham Young was ordained an apostle in 1835, more than a year before the 1836 appearance of Christ, Moses, Elias and Elijah in the Kirtland temple. Joseph did not participate in Brigham’s ordination. Brigham was ordained by the Three Witnesses. How then, did Brigham receive the keys of the kingdom?

The Apostles were all invited to complete their ordinations by having hands laid upon their heads directly by Him who had the right to confer the Apostleship with power. Brigham Young never claimed such an ordination ever happened. Quite the contrary, he claimed the Lord never visited him. He said he never had any being from a higher sphere visit or speak with him in his lifetime.

Fullness of Priesthood Never Conferred

Brigham Young was correct about who should lead the church after Joseph’s death. The Twelve Apostles were entitled to lead the church. Section 107 makes this clear. The Church has the right to function as a complete organization with all the offices we have today. It also has the right to sustain by common consent individuals to those various offices, constituting authorized leaders.

Did Joseph die before he conferred the keys he held upon another? Was something vital lost to the Church when Joseph was taken? It is clear the Church was offered the fullness, but a temple was required to reveal it. Once completed, it would be the Lord that would confer priesthood power upon the saints, transfer the fullness of the priesthood, and then come to dwell with them.

Keys of the Kingdom Were Lost

But the temple was not built in time. Joseph even offered to sacrifice his life to give the saints more time. His offering was accepted, yet the work was not completed in time. In fact, the temple was never completed. The Lord never visited the building. The promised fullness was not passed to the saints in the manner section 124 commanded. Something vital was lost for a time.

Joseph’s death did not end the Lord’s plan for the Latter-day Saints. The Book of Mormon confirms the gentile church - we are identified as such in D&C 109:60 - will remain part of God’s plan from the moment of the restoration until the New Jerusalem is built. And so it has. But what keys, if any, were passed from Joseph to Brigham? Who has the Keys of the Kingdom?

Rebuttals Welcome

Comments

Tim Malone said…
Carol reviewed this with me before I posted. She gave me quite a bit of feedback about areas where she felt it was inflammatory. That is not my intent. My purpose is to stimulate thought and discussion.

She also told me about an account where Joseph passed all the keys to the twelve in Far West before he sent them on their missions to England in 1838-9 (somewhere around there). If you have that reference, I'd love to read it, because it invalidates my thesis.

Again, this is not meant to offend, but to stimulate discussion. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I don't claim this is perfect research. It's simply my study notes with a few questions. God bless and cheers. - Tim

PS - Carol, please add your comments. I'd love to see them lead off the discussion. Thanks.
Gaylen Walker said…
I think it is important that we remember that Jesus Christ appeared in the Salt lake temple and that Lorenzo Snow brought his niece Ella Jensen back from the dead. These are the things that follow God's true church.
Tim Malone said…
Indeed - gifts of the spirit from men of great faith and capacity. Yet we have this quote from President Grant in 1926: "I know of no instance where the Lord has appeared to an individual since his appearance to the Prophet Joseph Smith." Did he not know of Lorenzo Snow's visit from the Lord in 1898 as related by his grand-daughter?
David said…
“'Now, grand-daughter, I want you to remember that this is the testimony of your grand-father, that he told you with his own lips that he actually saw the Savior, here in the Temple, and talked with Him face to face” (LeRoi C. Snow, “An Experience of My Father’s,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1933, 677)
David said…
As for Brigham Young receiving a charge to take the lead...the following is from Orson Hyde:

"In the month of February, 1848, the Twelve Apostles met at Hyde Park, Pottawatomie County, Iowa, where a small Branch of the Churchwas established; and I must say that I feel not a little proud of the circumstance, and also very thankful, on account of its happening in my own little retired and sequestered hamlet, bearing my own name. We were in prayer and council, communing together; and what took place on that occasion? The voice of God came from on high, and spake to the Council. Every latent feeling was aroused, and every heart melted. What did it say unto us? “'Let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding Priesthood in my Church and kingdom.'” This was the voice of the Almighty unto us at Council Bluffs, before I removed to what was called Kanesville. It has been said by some that Brigham was appointed by the people, and not by the voice of God. I do not know that this testimony has often, if ever, been given to the masses of the people before; but I am one that was present, and there are others here that were also present on that occasion, and did hear and feel the voice from heaven, and we were filled with the power of God. This is my testimony; these are my declarations unto the Saints—unto the members of the kingdom of God in the last days, and to all people."
Tim Malone said…
Joseph also taught, "...the keys of the kingdom ... consist in the key of knowledge." I've always wondered where in the scriptures we get the idea that the keys of the kingdom are equated with authority. I'm sure it's there. It's just not coming to me at the moment. Anybody...?
David said…
I'm not a member of the church, but I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts...
Your knowledge and research should be acknowledged and appreciated. I follow everything you're saying about this post. I've spent the past year pondering of this very issue of succession. I have no doubt the truth will unveil itself regarding such issue.
Tim Malone said…
Great quote. That strengthens my testimony of Brigham Young as a servant of the Lord. I know the Lord used him to do marvelous things with his many gifts and talents that I don't believe even Joseph could have done. The same can be said for each succeeding prophet. Thanks for posting that quote. I needed to read that. Very helpful.
Jim said…
Tim,
might I state some things which appear to contradict your worries about the priesthood and the keys. Look at the growth of the church, look at the spread of the priesthood, look at the miracles in the lives of all those who have used that priesthood. Look at the spread of the Temples of the Lord. Do you really believe they are for naught?

Would God waste so much time and effort on his children to wander with a false hope?

I am a convert to the church and have several members of my extended family that are clergy for other faiths. They can not claim the same abilities with the priesthood. Even though they claim ordination..

Can I ask a simple question? If the keys did not pass to Brigham and were lost could this current version of the priesthood function?

I have seen healings, I have seen Prophesying, I have in a word seen the fruits of the Priesthood. The tree is not barren but full of fruit which confirms the power of the priesthood.

We can argue about what this says and that says but when you look at how that priesthood has been used it works.

It has blessed the lives of millions and leads all to Christ. I am a nobody in the kingdom, I am a nothing in the world, but I have seen the hand of the Lord and I know it is real.

How can you explain this if the Keys were lost?

Are we all duped?

I have seen many things which are beyond the ministering of angels and know the priesthood is functional. I have kicked the pricks enough to have learned.
The Gentile Church said…
"The Book of Mormon confirms the gentile church – we are identified as such in D&C 109:60 – will remain part of God’s plan from the moment of the restoration until the New Jerusalem is built. "

I realize you are simply quoting or paraphrasing Bro Snuffer above, but can you please provide exact references from the BofM to substantiate that claim.

I noticed that Bro Snuffer failed to provide any references for that claim in his book. He also acknowledged the possibility created by the warning from God that the saints would be rejected as a church with their dead if they failed to complete the temple, although he probably did not take a stand on it....

perhaps you would be kind enough to demonstrate from the BofM where it states that the gentile church of the restoration, in Kirtland and Nauvoo and their posterity in the church will remain part of God's plan until the New Jerusalem is built...

Obviously, EVERYBODY on earth is part of God's plan, but the obvious inference you and Suffer are making is much more specific and significant than that.... so please, provide the scriptures that support the declaration.

Thanks
Adrian Larsen said…
The story of Lorenzo Snow telling his granddaughter about meeting the Savior is most likely apocryphal. More information here:

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2014/01/why-ignore-fact.html

Unfortunately, we tend to trust very unreliable, second-hand accounts told decades after the fact, while ignoring more reliable, but less sensational contemporary accounts. Worse, we even tend to ignore what is plainly written in scripture.

It's a dangerous failing to which we are all prone. With our eternal destinies on the line, we ought to be more careful about what sources we automatically trust. (The Improvement Era is problematic.)

More information here:

http://totheremnant.blogspot.com/2014/07/history-hearsay-and-heresy-part-1-is.html

http://totheremnant.blogspot.com/2014/07/history-hearsay-and-heresy-part-2.html

http://totheremnant.blogspot.com/2014/07/history-hearsay-and-heresy-part-3.html
shylohw said…
Tim, you may enjoy this article by Richard Van Wagoner on the 'Transfiguration' of Brigham Young.

https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V34N0102_171.pdf

One of my favorites from the article was Rigdon's testimony as related by Orson Hyde: Rigdon had a vision which was a "continuation of the same vision that he and Joseph had in Kirtland... .concerning the different glories or mansions in the 'Father's House,'" Rigdon testified that the prophet "had ascended to heaven, and that he stood on the right hand of the Son of God, and that he had seen him there, clothed with all the power, glory, might, majesty, and dominion of the celestial kingdoms." He added that Joseph still held "the keys of the kingdom. . .would continue to hold them to all eternity....and that no man could ever take his place, neither have power to build up the kingdom to any other creature or being but to Joseph Smith."
Tim Malone said…
"Great is his glory and endless his priesthood. Ever and ever the keys he will hold. Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom, Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old." - Praise to the Man, Hymn #27
Canny said…
However, my dear Tim, TBM's will see this as a clear attack on the authority of Brigham Young to move the church west and assume the leadership since it appears you doubt his right and authority from the Lord to do so. Even if he was the only one brave enough, or stupid enough to step up to the plate and take a swing at leadership, I know he did what he did because he was called of God, as an apostle, he more than certainly HAD the keys.

I hope people will see this post as your attempt to TRULY want to know the answer to the question you pose, instead of seeing you doubt or call into question people's beliefs about the succession of the priesthood and the called of a prophet in these the latter days. I hope some opened minded, God-fearing, Prophet following, TBM will step up and show you the Lord choose, called up, anointed, and give the Keys to the foreordained Brigham as a prophet to lead HIS church away from persecution and build up Zion.

This stuff was all new in 1844. Joseph's life ending so abruptly caught everyone flat footed, but I believe Brigham had a head on his shoulders enough to believe that when it wasn't going to fly with Joseph Smith, III, or Sydney, another would be called, a steady voice that needed to bring the church into the wilderness and save it.

But I doubt your declaration or question about Brigham NOT having "All the Keys" or enough keys to move forward. What was he supposed to do, let the church die in Nauvoo? Perhaps with all the stuff the church deals with from "those" people, maybe it would have been best if the church had remained in Nauvoo and waited for JS III to step up.

As I’ve told you before, I was instructed by my mission president that around 1839 Joseph knew he was returning to Illinois to be slaughtered, hence the reason he laid his hands on the 12 and passed to them the keys before they left Far West on their missions. It was a secret meeting so that our enemies wouldn't catch and kill the apostles. Brigham knew very well how to proceed, he just didn’t feel worthy of being called what the people had called Brother Joseph – a Prophet with a capital “P.” But the Lord needed a Lion to lead the church away from Nauvoo and I have no doubt in my mind, He chose Brigham Young.

Since when did the gospel of Jesus Christ become something that needed to be proven 100% by physical evidences, written accounts, eye-witnesses to every little detail? Where does faith in the Lord’s plan come in? The Lord had a reason for calling Brigham Young regardless of what he called himself – President or Prophet or both? Whatever Brigham may or may not have received, he lead the Lord’s church into the wilderness just as Moses did, and by a command from the Lord, built a temple, WHICH I know for a fact the Lord has walked through.

So maybe Brigham wasn’t ordained in front of the eyes of the world. Maybe, just maybe, he received “All the Keys,” from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself without you or I or … whomever, being present. Would you call out the Lord and say, “You really blew it by calling that ruffian Brigham Young to lead your church. The man assumed a lot of power without the proper authority.”

You people expect the men who run the church for the Lord to be positively “perfect in every way.” Right or wrong, Brigham Young was a prophet for the Lord when the Lord and the church needed him. Maybe his only key to exercise at the time was to save the church from extinction and set it on the path. However, I know he had "All the keys!"
DoorknobAnkleDuck said…
"When Brigham was ordained an apostle, he was told his ordination was not full and complete until God had laid His hands upon him"

Can you provide some suitable reference for this? I'd love to have some support for the idea beyond my own opinion that it must be true.
Canny said…
These men are mortal and imperfect. One of the modern prophets said we'd never walk on the moon. Oh, heresy! Should we have thrown out all the rest of what he said?
Jim said…
Tim, I have one other thought. What if the visit by Elijah was only a partial restoration of all the keys. What I am getting at is Did God know that the Saints couldn't get that temple done in time before the death of JS and HS.

As such God knew that the church would be driven in to the wilderness as the country fell into the civil war.

And as such the full restoration would come at a later date.

Now my question is The later day servant in Isaiah, the Mighty and strong one in the D&C, servant found in the Book of Mormon could it be the same person? Could it be a resurrected JS returning to the earth after a great devastation which breaks the leadership of the church? Could this not solve your dilemma concerning the restoration of the fullness of the priesthood?

Just a thought.
Canny said…
Duped indeed. That's what "those people" would like the TBM's to believe. You are something in the world, Jim. You are a wise man. Thank you for your words.
Tim Malone said…
"Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off you doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days?" - Oliver Cowdrey, General Charge to the Twelve, Kirtland, Feb 26 or 27, 1835
shylohw said…
Indeed, I believe Joseph was ordained before he was born....This was said from Wilford Woodruff: Joseph Smith was appointed by the Lord before he was born as much as Jeremiah was. The Lord told Jeremiah—“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” [Jeremiah 1:5.]

This article speaks of the 12 receiving keys:
http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/joseph-smith-prophet-and-seer/prophets-final-charge-twelve-1844

Joseph told the Twelve, “The Lord bids me hasten the work in which we are engaged.” The Prophet did not want the “keys and powers” to “be lost from the earth” so he placed them on the heads of the Twelve: “Upon the shoulders of the Twelve must the responsibility of leading this church henceforth rest until you shall appoint others to succeed you. Your enemies cannot kill you all at once and should any of you be killed you can lay your hands upon others and fill up the quorum. Thus can this power and these keys be perpetuated in the earth.”

And this audio recording from Wilford Woodruff before he died:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NjANSFISFY
shylohw said…
Jim, what you say, and the questions you ask are valid. These are questions I had been asking for some time. What I have come to realize, is that what we are taught and think in the church isn't what it really is. Much more comes from baptism (Aaronic Priesthood) than we might otherwise believe. Please read the Joseph Smith History 1:69 through 74.

Joseph talks about he and Oliver being ordained to the Aaronic PH. He even explains that the laying on of hands WAS NOT received at that time. What made me realize I had been taught incorrectly was what happened IMMEDIATELY following their baptisms: Verse 73 says that the Holy Ghost fell upon them. He describes in great detail the effect the Holy Ghost had on them. Now, if the Holy Ghost is conferred by the Melchizedek priesthood, how could one explain how Joseph and Oliver obtained it after their baptism. The gifts, the healings, the miracles, prophesying that you have explained above are manifestations of faith, and accompany those who are baptised. It has nothing to do with the Melchizedek priesthood. Please read for yourself.:

69 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

70 He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter; and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and that afterwards he should baptize me.

71 Accordingly we went and were baptized. I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me—after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same Priesthood—for so we were commanded.*

72 The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.

73 Immediately on our coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.

74 Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and intention of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the meantime we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of having received the Priesthood and our having been baptized, owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood.
Tim Malone said…
Awesome. I think I listened to this one time years ago when I was teaching seminary. I had forgotten about this. Thanks for sharing.
Tim Malone said…
Shared by a friend on Facebook: "Before I went east on the 4th of April last, we were in council with Brother Joseph almost every day for weeks, says Brother Joseph in one of those councils there is something going to happen; I dont [don't] know what it is, but the Lord bids me to hasten and give you your endowment, before the temple is finished.

He conducted us through every ordinance of the holy priesthood, and when he had gone through with all the ordinances he rejoiced very much, and says, now if they kill me you have got all the keys, and all the ordinances and you can confer them upon others, and the hosts of Satan will not be able to tear down the kingdom, as fast as you will be able to build it up; and now says he on your shoulders will the responsibility of leading this people rest, for the Lord is going to let me rest a while.

Now why did he say to the Twelve on YOUR shoulders will this responsibility rest, why did he not mention Brother Hyrum? The spirit knew that Hyrum would be taken with him, and hence he did not mention his name; Elder Rigdon's name was not mentioned, although he was here all the time, but he did not attend our councils."

Source: Wilford Woodruff, Times and Seasons, 15 Sep 1844

http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v5n17.htm

Good stuff. Thanks, Russell
Annalea said…
But WHY didn't they share it with the church members? Joseph was open about his visitations. He bore witness. Why didn't the Twelve?
I would like to share some thoughts. I do believe Joseph performed the Endowment ordinances for Brigham and other of the 12, however, I really don't know what Woodruff meant by saying Joseph told them they have all the "keys". I do not believe they could possibly have been given All of the "keys" because there are some keys (like the Keys of the Kingdom) which I believe can ONLY be give by the LORD Himself. And probably many other Keys. I no longer believe "everything" that Woodruff, Brigham, or many other "leaders" have said. I have came across contradictions from private diaries and JOD, etc. I would persuade people to pray to know IF that is what was said. I think many of those in the 12 only thought they knew what the keys really are. I do believe keys mean knowledge and possibly much more.....so if they meant knowledge of what is/was involved in the ordinances of the Endowment and Sealing-then I would agree with that. When the 12 were "set apart", I believe, that by virtue of holding that office, as it mentions in the D&C, they held the same "authority" as the First Presidency, etc...
Tim Malone said…
A search for the term "Gentile Church" on Snuffer's blog returns a dozen or more entries: http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/#uds-search-results
Tim Malone said…
I'm still trying to figure out what keys really means - knowledge, authority, permission - all of the above? We obviously don't have some keys just yet. The key of resurrection is one such example.
Karl said…
Tim, To borrow a favorite word of Bro Snuffer, let's parse the themes you brought up a bit. Though the post is in your own words, it is obviously the historical explanations put forth by Snuffer as Truth. 1. True, Cowdery "charged" the 12 to seek to see Jesus. Worthy goal. However, I can't find a single verse of scripture in all the standard works that requires that an Apostle, to be a legitimate Apostle, must have seen Jesus in the flesh, have you? 2. After reading PTHG 3 times, I fail to comprehend what exactly was not conveyed from JS to the 12. Furthermore, if you believe Snuffer's claim that he parted the veil and stood in the presence of Jesus, and that anyone can have the same experience in the flesh, what possible importance can it have to quibble over what level or degree of priesthood authority did or did not pass? Plus isn't it ironic that Snuffer claims something important was lost because the Saints failed to finish the Nauvoo temple in time (implying there was something that could ONLY be received inside the temple) and yet, he personally never claims that his blessings were received in a temple? If Snuffer is telling the truth, then how could HE receive the greatest blessings, outside of the temple, if in fact they are only to be received (by the terms of his own argument) inside the temple? 3. Brigham Young stated he was not a "visionary" man like, Joseph Smith, but then again, who ever was (or is)? Brigham did however, claim revelation, as the one section he added begins: "the mind and will of the Lord..." Further, Joseph F Smiths Vision includes Brigham as one chosen before he was born to be leader's in the Church. I believe that Brigham had legitimate authority, and that he "grew" into the position, as anyone following Joseph would have had to do. Brigham couldn't fill Joseph's shoes, and he knew it. Joseph Smith did state that of all the Brethren, only two remained steadfast: Brigham and Heber. And they were the top two leaders. Somehow this makes sense to me, and I think Brigham was the right man for the massive colonizing effort that was made. 4. I have just completed a perusal of all 75 verses or so, incorporating the term Gentile in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants, and I cannot find a single one that has the meaning of the term that Snuffer insists it has. Bro Snuffer makes great hay out of the idea that the term refers to the Gentile Church (ie., the LDS denomination), and that the LDS Church is going to apostatize, etc. However, a careful reading of all the relevant passages will contradict this interpretation: in the Book of Mormon you are either a member of the House of Israel or you are a Gentile (simply meaning outside the House of Israel). Inside this is a subset of Gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ. Within that, a much smaller subset of Gentiles, the Saints, who are within the gospel Covenant, having accepted the fulness of the gospel. I can't find a single passage that condemns the Saints (the tiniest subset of Gentiles) as heading into Apostasy. It just isn't there. The only one that could be read that way is the only one Snuffer cites: 3 Nephi 16:10. However, if you read the 5 verses ahead of this, in context it is clear that the Lord is talking about a latter-day rejection of the Gospel, when offered to them, of the Gentiles in general (the largest) group, and not a rejection by those who believe in Christ, or the tiny group of Saints within the covenant. Having failed so miserably, in my opinion, to make his case here, I have concluded that I can no longer trust any of his historical analysis, and must reject his conclusions drawn in PTHG.
Rodney said…
Who were the 'other' people? ...AND, where are their accounts? This is only one witness, though of interest it is.
sfort said…
During the next five months this higher priesthood ordinance of the second anointing was conferred upon at least twenty men and the wives of sixteen ofthese men. As the accompanying figure38 shows, fulness of priesthood blessingsduring Joseph Smith's lifetime were reserved primarily for Church leaders. Anapparent reason for the Prophet's concern to complete the temple and administerthe fulness of the priesthood to the Twelve was that these leaders must"round up their shoulders and bear it [the Kingdom] off," and, said Joseph,
" 'the Kingdom will be established, and I do not care what shall become ofme.' " As George Q. Cannon noted in 1869, "It was by the virtue of thisauthority [i.e., "endowment" and "holy anointing"], on the death of Joseph Smith, that President Young, as President of the quorum of the Twelve, presided over the Church." This is from the book, "The Fulness of the Priesthood":The Second Anointing inLatter-day Saint Theology
and Practice.

It was the second annointing that Brigham thought he had that separated him, because none of those vying for position had this "second annointing" done. All these annointings and endowments were done after Joseph's death. Brigham also thought (howbeit incorrectly)..."Every man that gets his endowment . . . [has been] ordained to the Melchisedeck Priesthood, which is the highest order of Priesthood . . . . those who have come in here and have received their washing & anointing will be ordained Kings & Priests, and will then have received the fulness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth, for Brother Joseph said he had given us all that could be given to man on the earth. Brigham Young," 1845 (Heber C. Kimball, Journal, 26 Dec. 1845).

The Church has existed upon perception, not revelation. The Higher Priesthood was removed or not revived in the D&C 124. That would make Brigham's statement invalid to say the least. As George Q. Cannon noted, the second annointing supposedly gave Brigham power over the Church. Since Brigham was in New Hampshire at the time of Joseph's death, he was waiting for Joseph III or David Smith to take the reins when they were ready. Brigham was needed only to keep the "roots alive" until there was another restoring of sorts. Perception is key to many false narratives and we blindly follow as if they are real, because we need security. The idea that Brigham was not called as a prophet causes insecurity. Knowing Brigham was a prophet is prerequisite for us to live a comfortable and secure life.

Therefore I ask, is history important?
Collin Parrish said…
I've tried to find other sources for Lorenzo Snow's account but can only find the one written by his granddaughter much after the fact. Did Lorenzo ever share publicly this vision? Or can we put it in the same category as Brigham's transfiguration or all those little old ladies in the 1870s who suddenly sprung from the woodwork swearing on their graves that they had been married to Joseph Smith?
Although the account of Lorenzo's visit was I think first written in 1933. But you'd think Lorenzo would have shared that experience with the Twelve...
Collin Parrish said…
I think a lot of us equate priesthood with miracles. I think scripturally the more appropriate thing is to equate miracles with faith. Too often we rob the gifts of the Spirit. Can't anyone on this earth receive a gift of the Spirit regardless of religion? Why does one have to even be a member of this Church to see miracles and healings? St Francis of Assisi was ministered to by angels. The Church of Christ consists of all those who repent and come unto Christ, regardless of what denomination they follow. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
He didn't say anything about priesthood or religion.
We're too obsessed with keys and authority. Just like the ancient Jews. And the Catholics. The Lord does indeed support and uphold our church. It's the method He's using for disseminating the Gospel throughout the world. But He doesn't do it because of some keys that some claim to hold. That's just prideful.
Gaylen Walker said…
Some interesting events have happened in the not so distant past. Ranelle Wallace was brought back to life through the priesthood power. Elizabeth Durham saw the temple ceremony and understood it's importance during hew near death experience before she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
2robsmith said…
MANY people outside the church have seen the resurrected Savior. Even if the second hand posthumous account of Jesus appearing to Lorenzo Snow is true, if you accept it as a sign that God accepts everything in this church, then you must also accept it as a sign that God accepts everything in the churches other eye witnesses of Christ attend. Obviously, this makes no sense.

Same goes for raising the dead.

However, you've got a good point about the things that follow God's true church---although God never said anything like that. What he said is "these signs shall follow those who believe." And how many of those signs are present in the membership or leadership of the LDS church? Shouldn't we see these things much more often than we do in other churches? Do we?

Go and re-read Moroni. What does it mean when there are few if any miracles and when angelic ministrations are not a common occurrence? When we have to interpret miracles as finding our lost keys (no pun intended) or angels visiting as meaning any old prompting we might get? We, as a body, do not receive visiting angels the way those in the scripture received them. We, as a body, do not possess power in the priesthood manifested by healing the sick, raising the dead, having visions, speaking in tongues, etc. We, as a body, do not care for the poor. What does Moroni and Jesus say about that?
2robsmith said…
We tend to assume that the pioneer saints were honest. However, they were given to hyperbole and exaggeration. Orson Hyde, for example (the same guy you quoted) gave his compelling eye witness of the transfiguration of Brigham Young into Joseph Smith the day of the succession debates. The only problem was that he wasn't there. He still hadn't returned from his mission.
Jared said…
The three grand keys of the kingdom consist in having correct knowledge from God, authority from God, and power from God.

A high priest in the church may confer priestly authority upon another by the laying on of hands; he may even teach correct knowledge; but ultimately the correct knowledge, authority, and power must be sealed or confirmed upon the new priest by the power of the Holy Ghost, and ultimately by the laying of hands by Jesus Christ Himself in order for the priest to receive a fullness.

This pattern is manifest within the washing and anointing ordinances of the temple where we are washed and anointed only symbolically, but promised a fulfillment of all these blessings hereunto appertaining, through our faithfulness.

Even if the High Priest confers such keys and priesthood upon another, these keys and priesthood can be lost, abused, even rejected, and accordingly taken from him.

I do not argue that Joseph Smith did not confer keys, priesthood, and church authority upon the Twelve in his day. But what did the Twelve do with those keys, priesthood, and authority? Did they rule and reign in the House of Israel according to the laws of the Holy Priesthood, according to the New and Everlasting Covenant bestowed upon us from God through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Or did they change the ordinances, reject the doctrine, and become priests and kings unto themselves by giving commandments unto the the church, not of God, but merely of themselves? A careful study of the history reveals that this is exactly what happened.

Since the Prophet Joseph was taken, our church leaders have in no case sought to encourage the members, or even those among the presiding quorums, to actually connect with angels or with Christ according to the stated power and purpose of the priesthood; they have not endeavored to establish Zion, but merely to expand their own Telestial kingdom. The purpose for which priesthood was restored has been summarily rejected by the leaders of the church. Instead, they have set themselves up for a light unto the world, to be a light unto themselves. This is the cause of priestcraft, not Zion. Ours has been the sin of idolatry toward our leaders, not faith in Jesus Christ. As Gentiles we have been repeatedly, powerfully, and fairly warned in the pages of the Book of Mormon to us that we must repent of our rejecting the fullness or we will be destroyed like unto the Nephites of old.

Inasmuch as we have indeed rejected the fullness of the gospel and lost the fullness of the priesthood which was never restored, what do we have left? All we have left is "limited" priesthood power and authority according to the grace of God and the faith of the saints. The LDS church is thankfully not altogether rejected; our ordinances and faith still find validity within the eternal worlds. But that grace is quickly coming to an end. It will soon run out. When that happens the Lord will send his righteous servant to set in order the Lord's house. I believe that servant is Joseph Smith. He is coming. Joseph, at least, still has the keys, for they were bestowed upon him forever and ever and cannot be taken from him. I have seen in vision some of these marvelous events to be unfolded in the not too distant future. The servant precedes the master. He is already among us even if we do not see him.

I testify that these things are true.
Daren said…
This was part of Oliver Cowdery's "General Charge to the Twelve", found here: http://home.comcast.net/~mevans41/greaterthings/tscocgcttt.html
2robsmith said…
Hey Jim. Those are honest and good points. However, take a closer look.

Church growth: When you hear about church growth, you are actually hearing about numbers of people baptized. Retained members (those who self-identify) is a totally different story. See, for example, this analysis of Brazilian members: http://www.mormoncurtain.com/index.html#pub_381504722

Self-identifying membership stands closer to 5 million. That isn't very impressive at all. If church growth is a witness of how close a church is to God, the 7th Day Adventists have us beat by a long shot. Oddly, they also more closely match Jesus' gospel, as they manage to do an awful lot of Christian service with far fewer dollars in revenue than the LDS church. The run charity hospitals, orphanages, schools, and a whole slew of other services to the developing world.

As for healings, prophesying, etc. For that point to be valid, you would have to show that these things occur more often in the LDS church than other faiths. That won't happen, because the criteria God gave in the scriptures has nothing to do with priesthood. "Those that believe." No priesthood, no church affiliation is mentioned. Maybe the reason we see so little of this in the LDS church compared to some other Christian faiths is that we have so much UNbelief---particularly in believing that the power of God can be exercised by compulsion and dominion instead of by righteousness.

But what DO the scriptures say priesthood gives you? What are the outward signs? See JST Gen 14, which you will find buried under "Study Helps" in your scriptures: "26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.

27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God;

29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.

30 For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;

31 To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.

32 And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven."

Now, God swore to Enoch with an oath that EVERY man who is ordained to the Melchezidek priesthood would have power to do all these things (break mountains, divide the seas, dry up waters, turn away armies of nations, etc.) AND would be translated and taken up to heaven. How many of those who profess to have this priesthood demonstrate even one of these traits that God swore every man who possessed this priesthood would have?

Do you still think you've been told the full (or true) story?
Jim said…
I do agree Faith is paramount for the working of the spirit and it is found among all the children of men. God is not a respecter to persons. But I have dealt with the priesthood when it went contrary to my faith/desires. The real problem is we do not understand our relationship to God and the Spirit and this authority.We are children discussing Quantum Mechanics or String Theory we are so behind the power curve as to our knowledge.
Jim said…
According to the BOM the amount of true followers of God is small. But I'll agree that other faiths can grow too. But you can not dispute that the gospel has gone forth to the world.and is available to many parts of the world. Temples dot the planet, people from all different faith are engaged in Genealogy. What did Christ teach about the fig tree, just look and you can see the fruit.

Now for your quote about Enoch,

I have a question. How many people in the Book of Mormon had that power?

I can think of a few but it was only for those who labored ceaselessly in the cause of the Lord. Nephi in the book of Helaman received that power, authority only after laboring for years as Prophet.

HE did not pierced the veil and demand that authority but the Lord accepted his fruits and Faith and elevated him to that authority. Christ announced to the Holy Spirit(and I don't mean the Holy Ghost) that Nephi could now invoke the priesthood by his own voice, since his will was now in harmony with the Lords will.

Thus the availability of these keys have nothing to do with what can I get but how do I live and the process of sanctification as described in the beatitudes.
jim said…
It means we lack faith. Why was God/Christ limited in performing miracles during his ministry? Because the PEOPLE lacked faith not that Christ lacked authority.
jim said…
Has any one bothered to read the book of Omni in the BoM. How many people who were charged with keeping the sacred record had the same level of Spiritual acumen as Nephi or Jacob. All of us are different understandings and spirituality even if they were called as a prophet they are not the same. Remember Alma when talking to his son shows how even Prophets have to search it out and ponder it. Now none of us could say he had not been ministered to by the Lord. Ministration by the Lord does not bring fullness of Knowledge, or does the BoM Lie?
For a brief overview see Chapter 1 ("The Title Page") in Avraham Gileadi's 2012 book Studies in the Book of Mormon.

For a detailed look see chapter 3 (Gentiles--Saviors of the House of Israel) in Gileadi's The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon (or the original 1991 Deseret Book edition).
David said…
I have absolute respect for the testimony you just gave, Jared. There is, however, a glaring fact that cannot go unheeded. The Church has to be found in this condition in D&C; 103:

"8 But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them.

9 For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men;

10 And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.

11 But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return to the lands of their inheritances, and shall build up the waste places of Zion.

12 For after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing.

13 Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren—your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren, even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down.

14 Nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances.

15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;

16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a MAN, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.

17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.

18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.

19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.

20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land."

The Church has to lose what it had so the scattered remnants can be gathered by the root of Jesse, who I believe to be a Man like Moses as well as the One, Mighty, and Strong:

"5 What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.

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

8 He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also TO RETURN TO THAT POWER WHICH SHE HAD LOST."
Rick said…
I think this report from Heber J. Grant blows a big hole in the thesis that Christ didn't approve of future apostles after the death of Joseph Smith. Joseph also approved!

"So I went to the president’s office, and there sat brother Teasdale, and all of the ten Apostles, and the Presidency of the Church, and also Seymour B. Young and the members of the seven presidents of Seventies. And the revelation was read calling brother Teasdale and myself to the apostleship, and brother Seymour B. Young to be one of the seven presidents of Seventies. Brother Teasdale was blessed by

President John Taylor, and George Q. Cannon blessed me …

I was a very unhappy man from October to February. For the next four months whenever I would bear my testimony of the divinity of the Savior, there seemed to be a voice that would say: “You lie, because you have never seen him.” One of the brethren had made the remark that unless a man had seen the Lamb of God — that was his expression — “he was not fit to be an Apostle. This feeling that I have mentioned would follow me. I would wake up in the night with the impression: “You do not know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, because you have never seen him,” and the same feeling would come to me when I would preach and bear testimony. It worried me from October to the following February.

I was in Arizona, traveling with Brigham Young, Jr., and a number of other brethren, visiting the Navajo Indians and the Moki Indians.… I had this feeling that I ought not to testify any more about the Savior and that really, I was not fit to be an Apostle. It seemed overwhelming to me that I should be one. There was a spirit that said: “If you have not seen the Savior, why don’t you resign your position?”
As I rode along alone, I seemed to see a Council in Heaven. The Savior was there; the Prophet Joseph was there; my father and others that I knew were there. In this Council it seemed that they decided that a mistake had been made in not filling the vacancies in the quorum of the Twelve, and conference had adjourned. The chances were the brethren would wait another six months, and the way to remedy the situation was to send a revelation naming the men who should fill the vacancies. In this council the Prophet said, “I want to be represented by one of my own on that council.”

I had always understood and known that my mother was sealed to the Prophet, and that Brigham Young had told my father that he would not marry my mother to him for eternity, because he had instructions from the Prophet that if anything happened to him before he was married to Rachel Ivins she must be sealed to him for eternity, that she belonged to him.

That is the reason that father spoke up in this council to which I have referred, and said: “Why not choose the boy who bears my name who belongs to you, to be one of the Apostles?” That is the inspiration that was given to me.

I can truthfully say that from February, 1883, until today I have never had any of that trouble, and I can bear testimony that I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, and that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the living God."
Concerned said…
This makes me sad. We find small hairs that could in no way belong to something significant. Thus, there is no way it can be an elephant! What I hear in so many comments is we are not teachable or willing to hear or learn from anyone else. Let alone Christ, his spirit, his message, etc.. Largely we take pride in our own understanding and aren't willing to open ourselves up, be vulnerable admit we don't know much and be as little children and be taught. We move forward with our own agenda simply looking for imperfections and defend! defend! ATTACK! In the end we are less than the dust of the earth. It seems we aren't even willing to take anything more than the drops of milk before us. We will be disappointed, saddened, and shamed for the lack of understanding and for what was right in front of our faces our whole lives. I cry and plead that we can put down what we think we know ask the Lord for forgiveness and have faith in him to lead us through and where we need to go to be refined.
Bill Berrett said…
Thanks Tim. Great stuff. We are all a work in progress, it seems. I seek to understand what this all means. I posted a blog on another site (LDS Freedom Forum) a few weeks ago. I asked a question related to your discussion of keys: "Is there a new sheriff in town?" That blog has also been posted at http://2ndwitness.com.

LDS doctrine tells us that the gospel was originally given to the house of Israel and when the Jews rejected the gospel it was then given to the Gentiles. In the last days it would be given to the Gentiles first who would reject it and then it would go back to Israel. The argument has been made that we, the LDS church, have rejected the fullness of the gospel. We have failed to obtain the fullness of the priesthood. We throw out those who teach of this concept. Thus, the fullness is now to be given back to the house of Israel (the remnant).

An objective review of our history suggests that we have become less than what God wants us to be. The Army recruiting slogan does not apply to us. We have failed to be all that God wants us to be. Zion has fled again, but not in a good way. [Mountain Meadows made us a bunch of Murderers and Brigham's application of keys (if he had any) to take wives made us a bunch of adulterers. We are now viewed as a bunch of mall builders and MBA-Babylon numbers guys--not SEERS] If we have any priesthood left, it is 99.9% Aaronic. As least that interpretation should be considered. We are using Babylon to slay Zion. Our members are now a bunch of institutional idol worshipers. Follow the prophet straight to Hell. Ignore 1 Kings chapter 13 where an old prophet will intentionally test a young prophet and lead him astray and to his death. We are all likewise to be killed by a similar lion. We are openly inviting Babylon to feast on any Zion ideas we may yet entertain. We love to persecute those who have divine experience. Thanks for reminding us to FOLLOW GOD, not the arm of flesh.

Keep up the good work.
Jared said…
A friend of mine has forcefully challenged my honesty, integrity, and even theological justification in staying with the church given my current view of things. This is my response.

When an airplane is hijacked by terrorists, does the airplane still belong to the airline or to the terrorists? In my view, the airplane still belongs to the airline.

Likewise, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with all its buildings, temples, assets, programs, and members, still belongs to the Lord, even if it has been hijacked by the men sitting in the red chairs.

The hijackers can teach whatever doctrine they please, force you to sustain them as the new leadership or have your throat cut, or make a list of recommend questions which must be answered correctly in order to use the bathroom; but the airplane still belongs to the airline, the old rules still apply, and the paying passengers still have their fundamental rights, even to use the bathroom.

I still pay my tithing to the church. I still faithfully fulfill my callings and assignments. I still keep the commandments of God. So I can still be a member and attend the temple even if the hijackers try to rig the system so as to prevent me from doing so.

I, at least, still sustain and worship Jesus Christ as the owner and leader of this church, even if the men in the red chairs try to prevent me from doing so by their attempts to come between me and Him. The church, the temples, the programs--these still belong to the Lord. I utterly reject any and all attempts to make it otherwise.
Daniel Rogers said…
D&C 90:1 Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son [Joseph], thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears.

2 Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.

3 Verily I say unto you [Joseph], the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;

4 Nevertheless, through you [Joseph] shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.

5 And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.

Joseph keeps the keys. The Church got the oracles (revelations).

See 1828 dictionary (http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/oracle)

Oracle - 4. Among christians, oracles, in the plural, denotes the communications, revelations or messages delivered by God to prophets. In this sense it is rarely used in the singular; but we say, the oracles of God, divine oracles, meaning the Scriptures.
Jared said…
David, I'm not at all sure what you are trying to get at. Please explain.

I would like to insert this scripture:
1 UPON you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 13:1)

The promise is that this priesthood will remain on the earth. Accordingly, I assert that the LDS church still has some Aaronic priesthood authority. We still have authority to baptize and fulfill basic church functions. Beyond that, I just don't know. Right now everything is in flux. I am not currently privy to the counsels in heaven, so I'll have to just admit that I really don't know exactly where we stand right now.
Jared said…
So I guess the questions we need to be considering are: "How faithful has this church been to the oracles/revelations left behind by Joseph? Are we under condemnation? Did we stumble and fall after Joseph was taken? If so, what's next?
lemuel said…
The world has always rejected the gospel. There's something unique about the rejection in 3 Nephi 16:10.
Tim Malone said…
Double like. I also recommend the link Bill included in his comment. I have read it and found it thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing, Bill.
sfort said…
Remember,

This is all part of the Lord's plan to keep the roots alive following the allegory proposed by Zenos. The Lord has already seen this happen. Please don't make it appear that we are in control. It is all playing out exactly as the Lord has seen it. Brigham was needed to get the Book of Mormon out and to baptize with the preparatory priesthood that is left to us. The only despair that comes when one finds out the truth of the matter is caused because of attachemnt to earthly things. All despair comes from earthly attachments. Christ will lead all to him if we have faith. Faith in institutions will not save a soul. I give Brigham credit for hijacking. The Saints gave up and rejected the fullness of the gospel quite a few years before Joseph's death. It is all playing out through Nephi and Isaiah. Sit tight, grand things are coming!
shylohw said…
We hear all the time in the church that the 'keys' will never be taken from the earth again. I believe the keys spoken of are those that pertain to the Aaronic Priesthood. The language in JSH 1:69 clarifies this:

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

The sons of Levi are heirs to the Aaronic Priesthood. The keys mentioned here: ministering of angels, gospel of repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, are exactly the keys the church holds. All the other things/ordinances performed in the church are preparatory and not the real thing. They are ALL of them "to become such", and only ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise after one proves faithful in all things. They are an invitation to receive the real thing from on HIGH. JSH 1:72 also says that the Melchizedek PH would not be conveyed until later, yet, from that point after they receive the Aaronic PH, they are to be known as the first and second Elders in the Church; a title today reserved for Melchizedek PH holders.
Annalea said…
Quoting the Improvement Era which quotes someone who has a non-eye-witness account of an event that a celebrated journal keeper didn't manage to record in his journal doesn't strengthen the case.
sfort said…
Correct, nice play
sfort said…
Remember...stories sell, facts tell.
Yes, I am aware of that and I agree with you that the church has the preparatory Gospel and Priesthood of Aaron. I however do not believe that is what WW is claiming that those keys are what Joseph gave them in the Endowment.
Geoff said…

D&C 84
18 And the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.
28 For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.
Geoff said…

1 Nephi 10
17 And it came to pass after I, ... having heard all the words ..., concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, ... was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.
18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Mormon 9
6 O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.
7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.
9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.
Bryan said…
Tim, you said, "Most of the ordinances of the church are not the real thing". Do you mean to imply that some ordinances are the real thing?
Karl said…
If Denver Snuffer is the real thing, and has received what he claims direct from Diety, then as far as individuals are concerned, the heavens are open for business. Therefore, whether anything was lost to the institutional church, or what degree of priesthood is operating in the church, is completely irrelevant. It's an interesting academic topic I suppose, but if your focus is actually returning to God's presence, it doesn't make any difference to you at all. Perhaps this is the nature of blogging, but so many on this and other sites seem so intent on finding fault with the church, the institution, the Brethren (from Brigham forward), I fear that many are letting go of the iron rod and allowing themselves to be diverted into dangerous spiritual territory. Honestly, whether Brigham did or didn't do everything perfectly is no concern of mine; as long as sufficient authority passed (and I think it has) to make your Calling and Election Sure, then who cares what leadership did in the past (or is currently doing)? I'm perfectly content to fill in all the historical, doctrinal issues (and there are plenty) until after I receive the promised blessings. There is plenty of time in eternity to sort out all the problems; there is limited time however in which we have to focus and qualify ourselves for the blessings. You could call this the law of eternal economic opportunity cost. Please don't get so caught up in the history that you lose sight of the real prize. Please don't be angry at the Brethren; if their perception is skewed it is because they have inherited a flawwed model. Trust God to correct these problems, in his own time. Meantime, don't use this as an excuse for you to jump off of the path and take a spiritual nap (we have plenty of Mormons doing that already). Traversing the straight and narrow pathway back becomes steep and arduous at a certain point, and the temptation is great to take a breather, or even to stop and turn back. God bless us all.
sfort said…
Perhaps Bryan we can understand the meaning of ordinances. Laws and regulations vs. ceremonies and rituals. This may have been what Tim was referring to. I am not sure about what his thoughts are concerning ordinances. We have ritualized and ceremonialized much of the simple gospel. It is a way to keep a people glued to the institution and relying on it in perpetuity. The institution claims if you don't have these ordinances you can't be saved...or saved all the way. I can read thousands of scriptures saying the opposite. The desires of the heart will convict or bless. It has all to do with how much light you possess when this life is over. Baptism is critical and the baptism of fire is critical as noted in 2nd Nephi.

The barriers are many and the embracing encompasses many things. The church has reiterated the performances and ordinances in a way most do not understand with no new knowledge coming forth regarding them. I believe that most people of the church do not want to admit they are moving at the same pace as the Israelites during Moses" time and after especially at the meridian of time. Belief and understanding faith as the moving principle behind all actions is critical. The Book of Mormon and the Lectures on Faith would indeed help us all to be more Holy. We are still under condemnation as a body. How does this body change so that the condemnation is lifted? Are we getting answers from Salt Lake regarding this? They seemed to have skipped this minor rebuke by the Lord?
shylohw said…
This line: “’Let my servant Brigham step forth and receive the full power of the presiding Priesthood in my Church and kingdom.’”

2 thoughts: One, it is an invitation for Brigham to step forth and receive.
Two, what was the 'presiding' Priesthood? If Joseph took the sealing powers with him, the 'presiding' priesthood would be the aaronic.

It sounds like Brigham was invited to receive the full power of the aaronic priesthood. Which I wonder if he even did that.....The AP holds the keys of the ministering of angels. I don't recall Brigham ever mentioning being ministered to by angels.
Always Pondering said…
I've wondered this same thing......
Julie said…
Amen, Karl! I feel the same way. How much priesthood the GA's have or don't have is totally irrelevant to my current situation--only how much priesthood I have/have access to matters. How much revelatory instruction does or does not get published by the employees and committees of the church office building is totally irrelevant to my salvation--I can only take knowledge I obtained from heaven for myself into the next life.

I have a terrible tendency to be distracted. I would rather read a self-improvement book than actually improve myself, and I think that is probably true of most people. I have to be careful that reading Tim's and Denver's blogs doesn't take up all the time I intended for scripture study: something that happens more often than I care to admit. It is SO EASY to be distracted.

I really like Jared's allegory of the hijacked airplane. The church helped us get through and onto the strait and narrow way--the fact that we are questioning its history doesn't invalidate our baptism or the knowledge we gain in the temple. Let's keep our eyes on the prize, folks.
Karl said…
Right. I think the church has a vital role in pointing the way onto the pathway via the ordinances. From there on--well you are on your own folks--the authorities can help you start the journey, but the individual has to do the hard work of pressing forward on the pathway. Frankly, we have a lot of active, well-meaning members who need to wean themselves off of authority figures and grow up spiritually. I don't say this to be critical of authority or critical of members; I think both the leaders of the church and the lay members aren't quite perceiving things properly. Some of the leaders have a big enough ego (common to all humans) that they welcome the adulation they receive; many lay members are willing to bow down and worship the leaders. This is the culmination of a 100-year process of increasing central control and bureaucratization of all power at church HQ. Lay members are more powerful than they think they are. The church is as organized, institution wise as it has ever been; hence, the temptation becomes almost overwhelming to worship the structure and institution. To the degree we are doing this, the church has become much more Catholic in its approach. The error here is that a leader, a church, a structure cannot save you. Christ can save you, that's where the focus needs to be; and luckily for us, each individual can forge that personal connection with heaven; this process bypasses the institutional church almost completely. If "authorities" in the church make unrighteous demands on you, then ignore them. If, after careful thought and prayer you think some of the "commandments" we've been given are merely suggestions of have not been given by actual revelation, then ignore them (I don't mean the law of chastity, but I would include FHE for example). If the Lord gives you specific instructions via the Holy Ghost, then follow those commandments (just make sure the voice you hear is the Lord's), etc. If you think some of the ideas coming from the authorities are not necessarily inspired (eg., BY's ideas on Adam-God, Blood Atonement, Celestial Marriage, etc), then let it pass. God will work all the crazy stuff out of the program over time. If you get your mind blown by history and doctrine, be patient; God will correct these things, and this need not be a stumbling block for you as an individual. So many LDS have a rose-colored perception of our leaders; at the first indication that leadership it not as perfect as they expected, they are staggered. Again, the lay membership needs to grow up, turn to Christ, and drink straight from the fountain of Living Water. The institution will never get us moving to Zion, but if enough individuals repent and move to Christ, then we may get moving to Zion again.
varloray said…
I know it's not on topic - but I want to tell all of you how grateful I am for each of your comments, I learn so much from you. This is what I wish quorum meetings were like.
Bryan said…
Thanks, sfort. Sometimes I just read too much into things and get lost.
shylohw said…
God also approved of the other prophets after Moses. Yet, the Melchizedek Priesthood left with Moses, and only the Aaronic remained. There were also many contemporary prophets. Each time a prophet is given the Melchizedek Priesthood after the Order of the Son, the prophet endeavors to have the people also obtain the same gift for themselves.
D&C 84:
23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

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

25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;

Joseph labored to have the saints partake of 'the fulness of the priesthood', but they didn't do what they needed to do. Joseph and the Melchizedek priesthood were taken in the same manner.
sfort said…
In other words, keys are knowledge. The reason that Adam had dominion over the other living things was not to desire to control but his intelligence gave him dominion. Such it is with us. The more intelligence or light and truth we obtain the more dominion we will obtain. Lucifer wanted Our Father's "honor" or the ability for all things to want to obey, knowing the make up and faculties of all things. It was this honor that pushed everything over the edge. Lucifer didn't know the mind and will of God. And thus it is with us. We coerse, want to speed things up, and blast Sec. 121 out of the park. Wouldn't it have been nice to be a fly on the wall in the flesh when Joseph said these amazing things. Thanks for the write up, Geoff
Tim Malone said…
I have been searching all day - well, in between shopping and family chores - to find that account Carol keeps telling me exists about Joseph giving "all the keys" to the twelve before they left on their missions to England from Far West. Wasn't Joseph in Liberty Jail at the time? Anyway, I'm still searching for that. In the meantime, I found this:

"Orson Hyde arrived back in Nauvoo on August 13th. He was not present on August 8th. Therefore, his two lengthy reminiscences of the transfiguration of Brigham Young on August 8th cannot be believed by me. I suppose you could decide to believe Orson Hyde, despite the fact that his story could not possibly be based on what he saw August 8, 1844. But if you decide to believe him, you must show me the courtesy of allowing me to disbelieve him.

"The daily diaries of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff all had entries on August 8, 1844. None of them mention the "transfiguration" of Brigham Young. Nauvoo newspapers, Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor both covered the debates on August 8, 1844 and neither one mention the transfiguration.

"Even Orson Hyde's accounts written in 1844 and 1845 fail to mention the transfiguration. He did not begin to provide his elaborate account of the event until 1869, when he claimed Brigham Young's "words went through [him] like electricity. It was not only the voice of Joseph Smith but there were the features, the gestures and even the stature of Joseph before us in the person of Brigham.(JD 13: 181, 6 Oct 1869.)"

I accept Brigham as Joseph's successor because of Common Consent. But I still want to know - where did he get the sealing power and can it be passed on by the laying on of hands? We know Moses had it and he ordained Aaron to be a priest, but did he give him sealing power? Joseph taught that every prophet of the Old Testament was ordained by the Lord himself and received the sealing power in the same way. Where and when did Brigham get the sealing power?
Annie said…
Tim, I don't know if this has already been discussed because I haven't been following all of the comments, but have you read Andrew Ehat's masters thesis on the succession question? If there is record of Joseph giving all the keys to the 12, I'd bet you would find it in his thesis. I read it several years ago, but don't remember if it contains evidence for that or not. http://www.scribd.com/doc/35205295/Joseph-Smith-s-Introduction-of-Temple-Ordinances-and-the-1844-Mormon-Succession-Question-by-Andrew-Ehat
Tim Malone said…
Hi Annie, Somebody else brought Andrew Ehat to my attention but no, I haven't read his master's thesis. However, I did find this:

"He proceeded to confer on Elder Young, the President of the Twelve, the keys of the sealing power, as conferred in the last days by the spirit and power of Elijah, in order to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth should be smitten with a curse.

This last key is the most sacred of all, and pertains exclusively to the first presidency of the Church, without whose sanction and approval, or authority, no sealing blessing shall be administered pertaining to things of the resurrection and the life to come.

After giving them a very short charge to do all things according to the pattern, he quietly surrendered his liberty and his life into the hands of his blood thirsty enemies. (Millennial Star, 5 [March 1845]: 151)"

This must be the quote Carol has been telling me her Mission President shared with all the missionaries on the day they (the missionaries of the Independence Missouri mission) visited Far West. President Flake taught them that Joseph was able to pass on all the keys before he died.

Source: Scott Woodward, Selected Teachings from the Last Charge Meeting:

http://www.scottwoodward.org/churchhistory_nauvoo_lastcharge_statements.html
sfort said…
Tim,

First othat f all, there are many suppositions in people's minds as to what sealing power means. The church has brought it down to mean one thing: bind families. I hate to break it to the public, but all sealings for individuals has to be ratified by the Father. We are not together as families in heaven eternally. When we are sealed, and it is ratified, we are sealed up unto God. The idea that you perform a ceremony and it is done is ludicrous. Joseph said we should use our logic to search. Joseph said all the prophets in the scriptures had the priesthood after the order of the Son of God. Brigham wasn't at the Morley Farm and it is sketchy if he received it at all. He never axmitted to seeing the Savior, nor did he claim he was a prophet. Without the Melchizedec priesthood and the mantle of the prophet, where would the sealing keys come from? D&C 124 clearly rejected the higher priesthood; by this time the apostasy took hold. What was left was the preparatory gospel with its dispensing authority.

Let's put all the facts to the side and just look at the signs following those that believe. We have keys of the Aaronic priesthood and the offices of administration. We see nothing that the Nephites saw after their churchwas restored through the Savior. We allseenothing like when the church was in the meridian of times. Whether or not certain knowledge was handed over is moot. It is not the right keys. If all the majesty of the restoration with all its keys were transferred, would we not have faith suffiient to move mountains?

The idea that things and suppositions prove something exists is meaningless without supportive signs. I am waiting and living each day
hoping for the perfect day, still keeping the Lord's commandments, not men's commandments. I hope the condemnation will be lifted upon the Saints, that they may as a body be sanctified through reading the Book of Mormon and receiving the Holy Spirit. Christ said he came to the Nephites that there would be no disputation on the points of His doctrine. Do we ever need this, I pray.
Jared said…
2nephi 2:24 Joseph surely held this lofty status...
Jared said…
Oh bother-- 2 nephi 3:24 is the chp i ment. :)
Jared said…
Sfort, I recall Tim telling us that the Lord told him that receiving his endowment was a neccasary and needed step.... Brother, outside your academic understanding--what are your spiritual grounding witnesses of of the efficacy/legitimacy of the ordinances performed? 1 Corinthians 2:9-16
Tim Malone said…
The reason I titled this post as "revisited" is because it is the first discussion about Snuffer's writings Carol and I engaged in for an extended period of time when I was first introduced to Snuffer's writings in January 2012. In my first post on the subject in February of 2012, I reflected Carol's feelings as she read the first chapter of PtHG.

http://latterdaycommentary.com/2012/02/26/loss-of-the-sealing-power/

In response, Denver wrote this:

http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2012/02/question-on-sealing.html

I went back and read the last three chapters of Beloved Enos, and have continued to ponder the subject for the last 2 1/2 years - seriously - it has remained on my mind as an unanswered question. There can only be one on the earth with this power and yet we have delegated it to thousands of temple sealers throughout the world.

Denver also reminds us there are others who hold the sealing power such as the Lord, John the Beloved, the Three Nephite Disciples, Elijah, and others about whom we know nothing (D&C 49:8). I have come to the conclusion we are talking about two different kinds of sealing power here. The kind you are I have seen in action in the temples is still not binding until it is ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

Which still leaves unanswered my original question. I know Joseph had the sealing power. I'll call it the higher or fullness of the sealing power. We know this from Section 132 where the Lord tells him he has had his calling and election made sure. I continue to feel strongly this sealing power cannot be passed on from one man to another. It is given by the Lord to one individual on the earth at a time.

Brigham said he never saw angels, never heard the voice of the Lord and never beheld the face of God. How can we say Brigham had this higher sealing power when he admits by his own voice / hand he had no encounters with the heavens that are required to receive this power? Is there anyone who can explain this in simple terms?

I agree we have the sealing authority that was passed from Joseph to Brigham and all the Twelve. I agree we use it in the temples today. But it is not the higher sealing power such as what Nephi had when he sealed the heavens to cause a draught. Does Thomas S. Monson have this higher sealing power today? You'll have to answer that for yourself.
Rodney said…
Ruth... "like" hardly seems to sum it up for me. Where have YOU been?

I have never had a vision, seen an angel let alone the Lord. I have had dreams that let me know I am where I'm supposed to be, and... I get great answers to prayers. Currently I am in a "dry" spell,... I suspect I'm being 'tested' but the thing is I have put the 'whole' church and it's beliefs on the shelf and offered my *cup*, empty and willing. I have been seeking to know 'truths' from Father and I am listening.

I have, in my estimation, been given more than ever before, but I'm such an infant and so ignorant.

My current path began with a few years ago but one bishop in particular was, in my opinion, way off base and I was going to leave the church. If this was the 'bishops' church it was the wrong one for me... as I saw it. While waiting outside the bishops office I prayed and told the Father I was leaving the church and His reply changed my path... He said, "You can do that, but you have no idea what the results will be if you do." I thought about that and went home without seeing the bishop.

For awhile now I have been in deep and relentless prayer to know,... to REALLY know what is true and what He wants me to do. I feel so close to Him right now. I've never been closer.

I wish I could listen to your experiences for a decade or so... but it will always boil down to what I do, what I ask and if I knock. You have no idea what a fountain of living water your post brought to me. I will be going to the Lord with a very different thought. I see that I was 'still' responding via my own will.

Do you have any of your experiences online anywhere? I hope you do, I'd love to read.
sfort said…
The spirit stronly stated to me in connection with 2nd Corinthians and D&C where the Lord wanted the baptisms for the dead stopped until the Nauvoo temple was built, the only ordinance that is of efficacy in the temple is baptisms for the dead. The temple excursions through the washing and annointings plus the endowment are lessons on our journey and not an end all ceremony giving us power. That is what the Spirit has declared to me. It wasn't easy to accept. I went through the stages when someone dies; of grief, denial, etc. I felt uneasy discarding traditions. I mean I raised all my children in the train and like the members of the church, they are really good people and are productive members of society and seek to do good at every turn. I served a mission and of course went through the Cardinal program of offices to lead up to priestcraft, (unbeknownst by my most office holders). But I never would have been open to this had I not cast out traditions of traditional thought and unbelief. The traditional church will always dislike those who question or search the Lord's guidance to his truths. Established so called truth by institutions put us in a follow or else mode. Not so, my friend. I had to cast out all my past thinking of what I thought was the norm. The scriptures then start opening up.

That is why I believe the endowment is a gift ratified by the Father as has been spoken by prophets of old, including Joseph. Joseph never openly taught any structure nor necessity for this, especially a spiritual gift for those in the spirit. It came from Brigham (who tried to remember the best he could what he thought). But since Brigham and Joseph were never really close, I do not see the spiritual mechanism that gave us what we have today. The temple is a place where the Lord can visit his people. We have made it into a house of merchandise and rely on rituals and ceremonies for salvation. Therein lies our definition of ordinances, which are more laws and regulations rather than the former.

But baptism is the key, for that is what Christ taught; and with the baptism of fire constitute our everlasting covenant. This is scripture and the Spirit has born witness to me. I appreciate your asking. There has been no falling away nor apostasy as noted by the church. I still teach the youth from the scriptures and let them see the precious value in them. Ah, such is my journey. My love has increased every day. I seek to uplift everyone I meet and find joy in doing so. Traditions of church or men cannot provide this to me.This is out of love for God, not out of spite for the church. There were no acedemics for my conclusion. Thank you for your loving inquiry.
Eric said…
Ruth, thanks for sharing. Perhaps more than anyone else here, your attitude may seem to be closest to my own.

I like Jared's airplane analogy too.

Since the Lord owns the plane, I choose not to worry or argue about who's flying it.

Rather than pointing out the flaws of the plane, and the turbulent ride, I choose to focus on the positive aspects of the plane.

At some point the Lord will retake full control of the plane, and land it home safely, and I want to be on the plane when it happens, and enjoy the entire ride! :)

. . . my only trouble at the present time is concerning ourselves, that the Saints will be divided, broken up, and scattered, before we get our salvation secure; for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes (HC 6:184; italics in the original; bold added).

I have always expected that Zion would suffer some affliction, from what I could learn from the commandments which have been given. But I would remind you of a certain clause in one which says, that after much tribulation cometh the blessing. By this, and also others, . . . I know that Zion, in the due time of the Lord, will be redeemed; but how many will be the days of her purification, tribulation, and affliction, the Lord has kept hid from my eyes; and when I inquire concerning this subject, the voice of the Lord is: Be still, and know that I am God! all those who suffer for my name shall reign with me, and he that layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again (HC 1:453; italics in the original; bold added)
Jared said…
Thanks Sfort, I will reply a little bit later. Love you my brother. Have a great sabbath :)
wbarker said…
For those caught up in the bits and pieces of what they "think" DS says or thinks about some topic - I am willing to bet he would agree with Ruth. "Have you never?" "Why are you so surprised?"

None of this keeps DS from the presence of the Lord. It certainly won't keep anyone else from the presence of the Lord. DS lays it out for people who are struggling. People who can't find there way through the morass of misinformation, misunderstandings, watered-down doctrine, or whatever their particular hang-up is. No one needs to have a hang-up.

God is no respecter of persons. Seek Him. That is all. He yearns to come, teach and take up his abode with us. Knowledge saves. Get it wherever you want to, but ultimately it is God who confirms the truth.
Here is a great thesis on the last days of the Prophet Joseph and the passing of the keys as well as some additional instructions he gave in the months preceding his martyrdom.

Please read them as they answer the questions you raised..

http://rsc.byu.edu/archived/joseph-smith-prophet-and-seer/prophets-final-charge-twelve-1844

If needed copy and paste into your browser as my computer skills must not be working today.

I hope I'm not repeating some to the earlier discussions.

RC
Jim said…
Tim,

you are right this higher sealing power can not be passed on because it is given by the Lord, and not mortal men. The Lord is the gate keeper for this authority.

To truly answer your question you have to understand how the Holy Spirit works. I mean the power by which things are made, modified and expanded.

In the teaching of the Presidents of the Church JS, chapter 17 p217
JS talks about the progression of Intelligences. During this discussion he revels how it all began.

"...God himself finding he was in the midst of spirits and Glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have privilege to advance like himself."

The Glory is the combination of all intelligences in a conscious mind we call the holy spirit. This is what makes things work. The Holy Ghost is the member of the God head tasked with its application in a Telestial world. Only those who obtain their calling and election made sure and have become Terrestial beings can obtain a closer connection to the Holy Spirit and don't need the Holy Ghost to apply the Holy Spirit. They can in fact command the Holy Spirit by there own voice. Because of the potential abuse only those whose will mirror the Savior have this authority granted to them.

It is not a different priesthood, but a higher authorization. It still has limits since it is not a fullness of the priesthood which one can only get after being Celestialized then called forth and sat upon Gods own throne and then given it by God himself. This is Gods "Honor", his connection to the Holy Spirit. This also explains what the Adversary was really after, a higher access to the Holy Spirit and thus greater control.

There is no limit to amount of persons who can have this access John the Beloved and the 3 Nephites all being contemporaries demonstrate this.

This is why I am getting a headache from all the circular arguments about Keys. The set given to Joseph for the church are still here, the set given to him personally he took, those are his because Christ gave that gift to him. As I said before only Christ can issue these Keys.

So lets not keep arguing just realize if you want those keys you have to live your life such that Christ will give them to you.
Geoff said…
Sorry for the repeats, it didn't look like it posted...
sfort said…
That was imperative to share. Thanks, Geoff
Jared said…
Sfort, as promised here I go--I have a witness that the mysteries of godliness are manifestedthrough the ordinances thereof exercised through higher priesthood in the temple. I have had experience s like Mckilee's... these having occurred-- detracting opinions are like sounding brass. Unbeliefs are real and are stumbling blocks to growth. I have my fare share. Sleep tight my brother, and may revelatory dreams be yours tonight:)
Geoff said…
Jared, how recently, if you don't mind my asking? Several members of my family have noticed a palpable flattening of the Spirit in the temple over the last year, particularly with the new films, but also including a temple dedication in March presided over by Pres. Monson. Has something changed? Is something afoot? These observations are not from my own experience, but from several spiritually sensitive and pure children who attended the temple dedication (in person, in the temple) as well as from siblings who have nothing to do with Denver Snuffer. The feedback from the siblings came unsolicited. The feedback from the children was simply "How did you feel? or Did you feel the Spirit?" In other words, the gun was not loaded. And I so wanted the positive? Is this just me and mine or have others noticed anything similar?
As I have stated in many post before...DS is for the most part misunderstood and misquoted. If one wants to know what DS is saying then one would have to live his life and walk in his paths that have led him to where he is today.
I love what DS is trying to accomplish. He has stated it multiple times that he is trying to bring others unto Christ. He thrives in the opposite forces found in the "trial of law" and looks at things pragmatically.
Most of us don't understand the man and therefore make assumptions of ourselves in these discussions.
He has been hurt by the church he loved.
Tim Malone said…
WordPress is funny with what it considers spam. I had to release them before they showed up. I'll delete the second iteration.
Tim Malone said…
And finally, someone 'splained it to me so I got it. I'm sure others knew this and understood this. You would think I would have been clear on this, but honestly, until I read your comment, Jim, I didn't get it. Now I do. I thank you for your patience and kindness in helping me out.

And for my bishop: This is why I blog, because people like Jim help me answer questions that have been bothering me for many years. It's not because I haven't been studying and trying, it's because I needed a teacher who knew what he was talking about. From Acts, Chapter 8:

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?

Jim, by inspiration of the Lord, came to my blog, saw my difficulty in understanding the two sets of keys, and explained to me that Joseph's went with him, while the church retained what was needed. Was that so hard? Am I that dense? Why didn't I understand this before? Don't answer - those are rhetorical questions.

I am rejoicing. My prayer has been answered. Thanks to all who helped, and especially to Jim. I am blessed and feel closer to God.
Jared said…
Geoff,, this last month at a sealing and an endowment session the confirming fruits of the spirit were felt by me. I have been to two dedications one was a day of penticost experience the other was no where as soul stirring. For me the heavens open when I apply king Benjamin 's advice mosiah 2:9.
Jared said…
Thank you bro Tim for the illuminating forum. Where two or three are gathered.... :)
Jim said…
Tim, you are too gracious..

Your Brother in the Gospel.
Sara K said…
Wouldn't it be nice if the Three Nephites simply showed up and straightened everything out?
Ruth --
Thanks for sharing. Most of what is written in these posts are "intellectual wrangling's"...fun to read and share but not a lot of doctrinal messages.
Why is there so much concern about the church having the "sealing power" or not? Of course it has the sealing power. Only one on earth has this power -- some have suggested that because of just one then it must mean some other form of "sealing power". The Lord's Prophet has this alone. Just because he delegates this "power" to others who use it in the Lord's Temples doesn't negate the premise. They all serve under the authority of the Prophet and he can take it from them at any time. They are only afforded the sealing power to do what the Prophet would do in their stead if he were there and under the "investiture authority" they are doing what the Lord would do if He were there in person as is found in D&C 36:2

. 2 And I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom;

The other "sealing power" is given to those whom the Lord entrusts His authority to. We know of at least four who have this "sealing power" in John the Beloved and the Three Nephites. So there are four who have this sealing power on the earth simultaneously at the same time. And before the advent of the Lord during the millennium there will be many who have this same sealing power, all simultaneously.
President Monson has this sealing power and exercises the keys of salvation for the living and the dead.
Neither of these "sealing powers" can be handed down from mortal to mortal -- both are governed and administered by Heaven. When one is called to serve in the Apostleship that is a calling from the Lord. And I know of a few occasions where the Lord has appeared to His servants so they may know of whom they would Testify of...not all but there are some.
All of this "intellectual wrangling" will bring some good as long as we serve each other in love and fellowship -- no matter the difference of opinion.
Thanks again for sharing your wonderful post.
Boo said…
They did appear to my great ,great ,great grandfather when he specifically prayed for them to do so as a sign the church was true. They visited at some length with him ,answered his questions and told him to join the church ,He did, You might try the same experiment and if you have faith you should get a similar result
Jared said…
Sfort, thinking about you. How wonderful it is that you are growing in your desire and intensity to love. Truly, being filled with God's love "is the most desires gift. Imagine the great culminating affect of feeling this emotion in his literal presence!? :)
Maybe you have heared this song? What ve a powerful and beautiful message. One that my souls desire longs to better apply. Love and appreciation for you dear brother. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_bz--OyQDu0
Sara K said…
Nowadays people tend to laugh at the idea of Three Nephite visitations. I keep thinking that they are too busy with the crises going on in the world to bother with people like me. But I would love for some trustworthy immortal being to come along and tell me whether or not I should read Denver Snuffer's books or take him seriously. Like many, I am terrified of making a mistake. with my judgement. So many are supposed to pop up in the last days and lead us astray. Yet I do have a great deal of trouble accepting our church organization as it exists today. Instead of moving closer to Zion, we do appear to be moving farther away. I don't see any indications that we are taking any steps closer to the Church that Joseph Smith had in mind. And I get very upset at many of the things Brigham Young said and did. He was a great organizational leader, yes. Joseph Smith had already said that the Church would be going to the Rockies. Is it possible that BY was meant to lead the Church out West and keep the organization going, but wasn;t truly a prophet? As I ask these things, I become very afraid that I'm just another apostasizer. But it makes sense to me that God would want one person (or persons) to be the Church Organizer and another to be its prophet.
Gorgonzola said…
I rather suspect there's no sin in studying Denver Snuffer unless you've asked the Lord if you should and been told not to do it. As to whether the corporate church is approaching Zion, it doesn't much matter, so long as you are approaching it. Other comments here have laid the blame for the Church's apparent lack of progress at the feet of the leadership; that may be correct, but I don't see it as my place to judge. Whether they're teaching what they teach because of their own apostasy, or ignorance, or because my opinion of what's actually true is completely wrong, or because they've been instructed to teach as they do, it's my job to lead myself to Zion, and hopefully take my family there while I'm at it.
OrkneyOctopus said…
Further, if you study Snuffer and then decide it was a sin to do so, you can certainly repent. Had it not been for the knowledge that I could repent if my experiments proved sinful later on, I wouldn't have started experimenting on the Lord's word, and I'd be in a much worse position spiritually.
jim said…
Sara K,

I know how you feel about all this stuff, I have said it before and I will again. The first time I started listening to DS I was taken in by his fluency not only in the scriptures but in the history of it as well. After listening to most of the current lecture series I was feeling that the church had lied to me and I was following a bunch of corporate types who only wanted to enrich themselves.

I had to stop, go to the Lord and plead for help. It didn't come all at once . But every day I see more and more things that show me DS is not correct. I will not cast him as evil but I will state he is misguided.

The most glaring example which I have seen is his own testimony of his excommunication. He stated that he could not stop the Book PTHG from being published or the lecture series from proceeding because of legal contracts.

Now, lets talk contracts of Man verse Covenants with God. Before he had ever written a book or given a talk he had gone to the temple and covenanted with God to not speak evil of the brethren and to give all he had to God and the Church. Those are two specific Covenants he promised of his own free will. But in his explanation he discounted those Covenants to be bound by the Covenants of MAN. Who's side does that sound like he is supporting?

Next he states he is not trying to set himself up as a prophet. But then at the recent Sunstone lecture series during the question and answer session he admits an Angel came to him and told him to prepare for his MINISTRY (his words) on the 1st day of the third month in nine years time. As far As I can tell a ministry is an assignment from God, sort of like a prophet.

I do not doubt he was visited, the adversary is sneaky that way. But I find to many holes in his doctrines to support him. It all is based in negativity, the brethren are corrupt, the keys didn't pass, the church fell away from the fullness, on and on. Do you detect a trend here.

I would ask a question of anyone who will take DS doctrine over those called from JS on. Does it meet the smell test? Do his words comport to manner of a Servant of the Lord? Or is he just a man with opinions, which now appear to be given him by an angel.

Following DS will keep you from temple (see Tim's own quandary on this blog), from your covenants, and from those God has called to help us. Are the Brethren perfect, no but then neither was Peter or any of the original Apostle or any of us.

I don't know why I feel the need to keep posting this over and over again other than I know the pain and anguish his words had on me. Don't be lead astray hold to the truth. Remember how you felt when you were baptized, and received the HG. If the church had fallen you would have felt different.

Sorry I'm not an immortal trustworthy being.
Tim Malone said…
Gorgonzola: A wise approach and similar to my feelings. I have a new appreciation for what the Church is doing. I have read conspiracy theories of some who feel the Church is seeking control of the lives of the members. I think it's simply an institution culture. There are indeed those who are afraid of what we are learning and are attempting to control it, but I don't ascribe evil to their intent. I believe most local and even General leaders are reacting out of love and concern.

Yes, there is fear in there also - they are trying to do their best, but the Lord is working through the people in a way that they have never seen before. Apostasy, ignorance or culture - it doesn't matter. My job, as you pointed out is to come unto Christ and trust He will lead me to prepare myself to become the kind of person worthy of Zion. I do not see what I am doing - reading Snuffer - as apostate, even if others do.
Sara K said…
We are supposed to trust the Still Small Voice to guide us. Yet the HG appears to have confirmed different things to different people. I am afraid to ask the Lord if I should read the books of DS. What if I think it is the HG but is actually the adversary? I do remember feeling the Spirit strongly at both my baptism and confirmation, but that was a long long time ago. I will say that I disagree with some of the things DS says on his blog. But didn't Brigham Young make a lot of mistakes? If I had lived in the times of BY, I probably would have been horrified with him. Yes, he was a great leader and he enabled the church to survive. But as a prophet, did he make the mark? When I joined the church, SWK was the president and I felt very good about him as a prophet. I did not yet know much about Brigham Young. The Internet age has brought me more than I ever wanted to know!
Jared said…
Sara, Read Journey to the veil by john Pontius. It can be found at seagul book. Bro Pontius , was a very active member. The affects of John 14:26,27 will be felt profoundly as you read. :)
Tim Malone said…
Jared, you are right to be skeptical and I fully support that. I'm going to ponder your request that I provide evidence of Denver being a prophet. I'm not sure I have that responsibility. To me it's simple. He has the testimony of Christ - and this phrase has significance beyond a testimony that Christ is our Savior - and he has declared he is delivering a message the Lord has asked him to deliver. Sara asked a great question - how can she be sure she is not being deceived? That's the same question each of us should be asking.

I commend you both, Jared and Sarah, for your excellent questions. Don't let any man - me included - tell you what you should believe or do. Me, I'm still following the promptings of the spirit to go and hear him speak at his next lecture in Phoenix on September 9th. All I know is the Lord answered my prayer when I read his book and asked if it contained truth. It's the same for all of us. Do what the Lord directs you. Thank you Jared for reminding us to be sensible about Denver's message. I felt directed to study it out and pray about it. I received a satisfactory answer for me. It may not be right for you. It's up to you to decide.
Jim said…
Sara K,

All I can say is to trust the in the Lord, and use the things you know to be true. The Book of Mormon is the cornerstone for a reason. You can use it to verify all your concerns.

Years ago I was pilot in the USAF and we had to learn how it felt to be in a oxygen deprived environment. They would put us in a chamber and take us to a high pressure altitude and suck off the O2. They did this so you would know what it felt like to lose O2. You can do a similar thing with the HG and the book of Mormon. read it pray about it and find the feeling you get from that confirmation, then use that to compare to all other questions.

BY gets a lot of bad press because he tried to hold together a bunch people who were worn down and over come. Some of the doctrines he taught are different today not because they were wrong but because the need for them is different today.

IE polygamy is no longer needed since the church population has grown and is no longer so vulnerable. But according to Isaiah it will come back as a result of a planet wide devastation that reduces the world wide population to a tenth or less. Both of these situations are sanctioned in the book of Mormon.

There are other Doctrines that BY taught that can only be understood by increasing our own comprehension. Its like teaching Differential equations to some one just learning about adding. We are all learning.

We can judge BY though by the prism of History and the growth of the church. Remember when Peter and John were taken before the Sanhedrin where they wanted to kill them like Jesus. One of the leaders told them to stop, because if they taught a doctrine of men it would be dead within a generation but if not they might be found to fight against God.

But I will return to my initial point, If the things DS has written are the thoughts of a man, ok we all have thoughts. But if they are the words of the Lord then they will not be confounded. He will not contradict himself and even in the details he will be found to be correct.

I have stated a few things above in the previous posts that prove he is not correct. So he is teaching things that can be confounded. Simple math according to the Book of Mormon he is teaching false doctrine.
and even worse he claims he had received it from the Lord through a divine visitation.

I have never met him so I don't know him all I can do is read and listen to what he teaches and compare it to what the Lord has taught me. As such I must warn all beware he teaches stuff that will cause you Fear, confusion and such.

Don't give into Fear, trust the Lord and do what you have covenanted to do. As you do the Spirit will grow in you and you will not be confounded.
Mike said…
Perhaps it is better to be exposed to possible error, so you may learn to distinguish the correct and the incorrect for yourself, rather than to avoid potential error in the first place? Eve recognized such with the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and this even entailed her leaving the Garden of Eden, a place and environment beyond anything offered in this Fallen realm, inside or outside any institution. Don't let fear automatically keep you from things, sometimes facing fear is better. The fear of the Lord, for example. That doesn't just mean respect. It is descriptive of the sensation you feel as an unholy being in His holy presence, the fear that you cannot withstand such purity. It is what Moroni spoke of in Moroni 9:4. To enter into God's presence requires you face this fear and act, passing through it unto your forgiveness and audience. Be brave, rise up look fear in the face and make your own choice. If you learn something is wrong, you have no obligation to hold onto it, you can always dismiss it. But if he teaches something true, you can embrace it. Being better informed, you will have a better understanding of why you do either. Really, it's just information.
Karl said…
I support your position here. The conundrum DS set up for himself is: if the Brethren lost something essential when JS died, then how did DS progress as an individual to obtain all the promised blessings? More specifically, if something essential was lost because the Saints failed to finish the Nauvoo Temple "on time," then how did DS receive the fullness himself (since that door should be forestalled by his own reasoning)? This and many more problems are ubiquitous in PTHG, which is a historical mess from beginning to end. I was on the DS train until he published PTHG; now I can't trust him. My wife says: wait a couple of years, and it will be the Church of Denver Snuffer. I have to admit it seems to be headed that way. Best.
Karl said…
Yes, Brigham Young was a real prophet, if for no other reason than that he was given real authority by ordination from the 12, and supported by the common consent of the church. He gave revelation to the church: see Section 136, which begins "the mind and will of the Lord..." By his own testimony he was visited twice by JS. Don't be hoodwinked by the false logic of Denver Snuffer: there isn't a single passage in all the Standard Works by which we are bound that requires that an Apostle or a President of the Church, MUST have had a visit by an angel, or by Jesus himself, to be an actual, legitimate, authorized representative of Jesus Christ. By insisting on this, DS is overlaying a requirement that simply does not exist. Same with his arguments for current Apostles & Prophets: a testimony through the Gift of the Holy Ghost always has been, and is sufficient to establish real authority. It certainly is desirable that leaders in the church have actual direct revelation (and that lay members follow that path too), but I think it is misguided to insist that they have it, and then must immediately tell it to all the world, if they have. If you are unsure whether Brigham or the Brethren today have the real thing, then go down in prayer until God answers you on this question. You are entitled to that personal witness, and the Holy Ghost can give it. Best.
Karl said…
I like your post and will add: I don't see anything inconsistent with thinking we have a line of "lesser" prophets. Further, I think BY and all the successors are being unnecessarily bashed for not being JS. But thnk about it; who exactly could have filled the shoes of Joseph Smith? JS was not only a dispensation head, he was the head of the Greatest dispensation. Brigham knew he could not compete with that. Nevertheless, I am in awe of what Brigham accomplished. Say what you will about the many errors in doctrine he promulgated, still the church grew into a stable organization under his leadership. He was the right man for the time, and I for one believe that his leadership was authentic and he had real authority. Will another like JS arise? Perhaps, but it will either be through the established line, or if the Lord chooses to do something different, such as bring up someone outside of established authority, then He will clearly bring forth evidence and wtinesses, to establish this. Even JS had to have actual evidence by the Book of Mormon and actual witnesses (3 & 8) to establish his bonifides. Had JS merely stopped after the First Vision, we would not be required to take him seriously, because more than one person in history have claimed to be visited by divine beings. Even Joseph MUST be supported to evidence. If Snuffer is going to step it up over time, he MUST at some point put up the evidence to support the claims. Best.
Tim Malone said…
I secretly wonder if the reason Carol agreed to come with me to the last of the ten lectures in Mesa us to see if Denver announces it's time to gather. She has been telling me from the first day we started discussing Denver and his writings he will one day announce the formation of a new church. So far, he has publicly stated that's not going to happen. He said it's not needed. I see your point about the apparent conundrum Denver is in with claiming the Church has lost something critical, as in the higher priesthood, and yet, there was enough of the truth and authority in what the Church has to bring Denver to the point of receiving the Savior. Well, I think we are all wondering what, if anything will be announced in the Mesa lecture. I'm looking forward to bring there in person so I can provide a first-hand report.
Jared said…
Hi Tim-

My rebuttal-I'm the Jared at www.ldsaliveinchrist.com

I'm late to the party because after reading Denver's first book in 2008 I was surprised when I prayed about Denver and the Spirit warned me to stay away and have a wait and see attitude. I was surprised because I liked his first book.

Consequently,I didn't read his other books. I didn't read PTHG until earlier this year because you urged me to.

Since reading and pondering PTHG I've asked myself what has Denver contributed. The answer is: very little. So, that's why I asked you to provide evidence why you believe Denver is a prophet. I find nothing to lead to to that conclusion, while you have beat a steady drum-beat extolling his contributions.

We already knew early Mormon church members failed to establish Zion and that the church is under condemnation (D&C 84). This resulted in the difficulties the church and church members suffered after the prophet Joseph Smith was murdered.

Denver wants us to believe that we really haven't had a prophet since Joseph Smith. This is his contribution, I think it pure bull.

You and a few others have bought his premise hook, line and sinker. Do you really believe the Lord plans for the last days were up ended because Zion wasn't established in Joseph Smith's day?

Tim, I have confidence, once you've had time to think it over, I believe you will find this premise empty and you will wonder why you got caught up in it.

I think it will be a valuable experience and one the Lord may have helped you to experience. My experience with Tom Riskas was valuable to me. It taught me some useful lessons. In many ways, Denver is a mirror image of Tom Riskas.

You said, "He has the testimony of Christ – and this phrase has significance beyond a testimony that Christ is our Savior – and he has declared he is delivering a message the Lord has asked him to deliver."

Tim, these are claims he has made. What proof is there to support them? If Denver would have published PTHG without ever having said he was on the Lord's errand, how would you have felt about his book?

Could it be you are more smitten by his claims about the 2nd Comforter than you are about anything else? If so, I can understand it, because I was with Tom Riskas for a season.

All of us who love the Lord want to experience the 2nd Comforter. So when someone testifies they have had this experience a desire wells up in our heart and we want to hear anything they have to say. We want to be in their company. We want to learn from them, hoping that something will brush off from them to us that will hasten the day we can come into the Lords presence.

What your experiencing now, I experienced with Tom Riskas for a season.

Take care, brother Tim. I'm your friend and I am trying to present my thoughts and experience with gusto. I hope the Lord will lead you through this experience and you will be better for it.

One last thing, listen to Carol, don't do anything without her being 100% with you.
Jim said…
Ok mike

it appears I've hit a nerve. so let me respond a little, no that is not my smoking gun just a point that seems very telling.

You may not consider the covenants in the temple to be more binding than legal contracts but I do. In a thousand years will it matter that legal contracts were engaged? not really, but it will matter if you made covenants to God and violated them. But you say he was keeping his covenants by being honest in his dealings. So what you are telling me is that I can negate my covenants with God because I have conflicting contracts with Man. DS violated those Covenants long before he published PTHG in that he intentionally created a means to smear the Brethren, the church and cast doubt about the validity of our temple covenants. Not sure that floats.

The book just didn't fall out of the sky and he picked it up. He crafted it, set the contracts etc. He owns that thing. Now as to the integrity part If I create something that hurts a person and I get called on the carpet about it, I can't brush off my culpability by saying I am in a contract so I cant stop it? Don't think so, but for him creating the work, the problem would not exist.

I know what the Covenants are and I know the precise wording, and i know he didn't make that Covenant back during the time of JS but he made with in the last forty years. So complaining the church is different now doesn't matter. In the Temple we make covenants to God right now, he did, I did.

But I am not going to argue, For my own self this would violate my covenants, if I am honest with myself.

Concerning the Brethren, OK I'll bite, and we will use your definition for the Lords anointed for all t hose who have been through the temple, aren't the brethren still considered in that group? So its ok for him to denounce the Brethren and I guess I violated my Covenants since I know from my own experiences he is wrong,.but he is exempt since he is on the Lords errand, according to WHO? DS, you, By their fruits you will know them, that's what the Lord said. I don't see all this great fruit just a bunch of discontent.

The funny thing is if he was just teaching this as his own opinion I would have no problem with him, I would even defend his right to think out of the box. But he has cast himself as one called of God by an angel of the Lord. And as such the bar moves way up the latter as do the consequences.

So I guess we will have to agree to disagree, you are firm in your thoughts as I am in mine. One of us will be correct at some future date when either DS as the Lords servant is acknowledge by the Holy Spirit to the world, or he is not.

At which point those who followed the wrong path twill suffer the consequences found in Mosiah 2:32-33

32 But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and ye list to obey the evil spirit, which was spoken of by my father Mosiah.

33 For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that spirit; for if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul; for he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge.

Don't get mad at me about the consequences I didn't make them the Lord did. One of us will suffer them if the Lord keeps his Covenant.
Nonrandom Set said…
How do we know Moses had the sealing power? I'm not saying he didn't, but just curious if that's stated explicitly.
bd said…
I assume you do know what a staw-man fallacy is, right?

"a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position."

Argument A: "if the Brethren lost something essential when JS died, then how did DS progress as an individual to obtain all the promised blessings?"

Where exactly does Denver claim that the gospel that remained after Joseph died wasn't sufficient to lead one to God? He actually claims the exact opposite, that the Gospel that remains, in whatever state it is now, contains exactly that, and he encourages others to also follow. Of course he came to his knowledge through the restoration of the gospel and joining the LDS church, he freely acknowledges that. Where's the beef?

His whole thrust is that the path remains open, and if someone like him can claim such blessing, the rest of us ought to be able to, as well.


I realize some of you are going to walk out of here thinking that I'm just another one of these latter-day blowhards. That is all good and well. Please however, give heed to the scriptures I've read, the words of Joseph I quoted, and the fact I do have a witness that Christ is approachable. He is every bit as much alive today as when He was when He walked on the road to Emmaus. He is every bit as willing to come and redeemed you from the Fall as He was willing to redeem others before. His work and His glory culminates with your redemption. His success is redeeming you.



And one example quote of the role of the church:


it ought to give you confidence, that since the Lord in the first instance commissioned the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was done at a time before priesthood was generally disseminated into the Church, that it is acceptable to God to allow the LDS Church to baptize in His name. By commissioning the Church, and giving to it the authority and commission to go out and baptize, the Church possesses the authority to baptize. Until He overthrows the Church and establishes a new order, the Church remains that great net gathering in all manner of fish which Christ foretold in one of His parables.


Argument B: "wait a couple of years, and it will be the Church of Denver Snuffer. I have to admit it seems to be headed that way."

Total straw man:


I am not going to form a church. I am not going to do that because it would not work anyway. But you can be healed, you can come to the Lord, and you can live your life differently. Look at the same scriptures in a new light and let His Spirit fill you and make a difference in the lives of others.
I do not trust myself to innovate. I will only say what I have been told. I fear my weakness, and my inadequacy. I fear offering up my own ideas. I do not want you to rely on me. Do not do that, when I am asking you not to do so. You rely on Him.
Adam said…
Karl said above:

The conundrum DS set up for himself is: if the Brethren lost something essential when JS died, then how did DS progress as an individual to obtain all the promised blessings? More specifically, if something essential was lost because the Saints failed to finish the Nauvoo Temple “on time,” then how did DS receive the fullness himself (since that door should be forestalled by his own reasoning)?

Do either of these propositions capture the logical conundrum that you see regarding DS having authored both his first book (2c) and his last book (PtHG)?

Proposition A: 2c XOR PtHG

Proposition B: NOT (2c AND PtHG)

If so, which one?
Annalea said…
Our only record of Jacob, brother of Nephi, who addressed his people in the early chapters of the book of Jacob, is a great example of a "prophet" who made very little "contribution" and said "very little" in comparison to many of the modern church leaders.

Jacob preached to his people, whom he loved. He decried their sins, pointed them out to them in great clarity and boldness. He expounded the scriptures to them. He then said he was going to prophesy. He then read or quoted to his people the Allegory of the Olive Tree, and said:

"And now, behold, my brethren, as I said unto you that I would prophesy, behold, this is my prophecy—that the things which this prophet Zenos spake, concerning the house of Israel, in the which he likened them unto a tame olive tree, must surely come to pass." (Jacob 6:1)

His "prophecy" was as simple as, "You know what I just told you, about what Zenos said? Well, it's true."

We recognize Jacob as a prophet. And yet, he made no greater contribution than Denver has. Indeed, we have far less, in the way of word count, from Jacob than we do from Denver.

Denver's pattern follows that of Jacob very closely, except Denver calls to our remembrance the teachings of Joseph Smith, instead of Zenos.

Lastly, I've interacted with a fair number of people who are interested in what Denver has to say, and have read what he has written/said. I have found very few, if any, people who I would called "enchanted" by him. So there's some first-hand experience, as opposed to your speculation.

The main difference between Denver, and any other extra-church source of light and intelligence is that the things Denver has brought to memory have changed lives for the better. We were really into Rodger Young for a while, right after the turn of the century. (Sorry, I just love to use that phrase. Not very many people get to, to describe events in their lives. lol) When I was reading and investigating the things that he taught, there was a great deal of excitement and interest, but not this solid, strengthening influence that bears the sweetness of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

As many of you who cry, "Beware! Beware!" and serve only to increase fear in those who, like Sara K, are unsure how to proceed, there are just as many (if not more) who can say, "Fear is not of God. Proceed and find out for yourself. These teachings have only blessed my life." The beware-mongers sound every bit like the evangelicals who, on their church marquee in a city not far from me, posted:

"Do not read the Book of Mormon. That is how they get you."

If Denver is just a man on his own errand, then his words will come to naught. If he is a true messenger, then his words will bear fruit in your life if you do not neglect the care of the seed. The only way to know, for yourself, is to plant the seed and nurture it.
bd said…
Except that Brigham Young was never given any ordination from the 12. He was ordained TO the twelve by the 3 witnesses.

Nowhere in any standard works is the standard works that to be a witness means you needed to be a witness? Really?

Acts 1

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Jared said…
Tim-thanks for your reply. I'll look forward to more post.
Annalea said…
Ok mike

it appears I’ve hit a nerve.

Jim, we've discussed this before. This is an old and well-known tactic amongst politicians. The patronizing tone and inference that mike had an involuntary and illogical response to your post is a bit much. There were a number of places where his wording and tone show he was anything but.

Mike's response was well-reasoned and well-supported. Clear, sometimes bold, but I don't blame him for speaking as clearly as possible. It was refreshing contrast.

Your emotional and unfounded arguments are simply beyond anything I'm willing to engage in further. Your response to Mike's efforts to reason with you was identical to your response to my similar efforts. I very much appreciate Mike's efforts; he made some excellent points. Life is just too short to spend hours responding to your posts, though, and so please do not interpret my failure to respond to you elsewhere as a sign of a lack of arguments. I can simply see that the odds of it making a dent are vanishingly small.

To others here who might be swayed in their indecision by anything Jim writes, please consider that the Lord works through reasoning and reassurance. When He says "No," it is never with a feeling of fear or deep unease. It is associated with joy and peace because you are doing His will.
Mike said…
Hey Jim,

I'll agree, it hit a nerve. I have always had difficulty with words being placed into my own mouth, and then my being judged by those imagined words. It's caused me massive grief throughout my life. By extension, my sympathy goes out to others who are hit with this as well. Straw man arguments are something I could have more patience with, I lack that.

The entire thrust of the first portion of my response was to illustrate how he has in fact NOT violated his temple covenants, but rather kept his covenants in the face of the church asking him to break them. I laid out how the two noted covenants he allegedly broke were not in fact broken by any means. But if your take away from what I wrote was that I somehow thought he placed contracts with men above contracts with God and was right to do so, then I'm at a loss for how to respond. Perhaps I could have explained even more clearly, though I'm not sure how.

I've asked for evidence supporting your claims. I've provided some for my views. The claims have been somewhat restated (for example the claim that he has "denounced" the brethren) but evidence has not been provided. I don't know that it will be, which I guess is fine enough at this point.

But it seems you are in fact right, at this juncture we will just have to agree to disagree. No hard feelings, we just have different views, and indeed we will see how the chips lie in the end. Take care brother.
Jim said…
OK Annalea lets cut to the chase and be Honest.

As for Denver Snuffer only two possibility can exist, either he is a prophet of God or he is an instrument in the hand of the Adversary, Period.

By his own words he has unequivocally stated he received an angelic visitor some 9 years ago which issued his call. Fine he got his calling and has been planning for Nine years to launch this Ministry(again his Words). Why wait, and why take a whole year to proclaim his message of repentance? That has always bugged me, just spit it out, why all the parsing? I don't think Abinidi, Samuel the Lamanite, Alma waited nor did they parse. No as soon as the Lord told them they went straight forth. Why the need to Plan. What does the scriptures say about planning with regards to preaching? Take no thought of what you are to say just say the words that the spirit gives you. I am sure you can look that up in the D&C.

Now a couple of thoughts

1. He was given his errand with plenty of time to prepare.
2. Why was it a surprise the church tossed him, if he was a prophet with nine years to prepare he should have seen that one coming.
3. If the keys were gone why stick with the Church,
4. Since all the blessings proceed from the Covenant the Lord made with the church, once removed he has no baptism, no priesthood, no temple Covenants. Because either the Church is wrong or he has been excommunicated. Either way the blessings are not there, So how can you come unto Christ with out first being Baptized? Violates the BOM. But again you say he was baptized, but not anymore, he needs to establish his own Covenant. And in that case let me state clearly, Chose wisely the kool aid you drink. And I am being deadly serious here. The Adversary has a bad track record with people he has culled from the Lord.
5.. If he is a Prophet who has been administered to by the Lord then i can treat him as JS and check all he has said and done against that standard. Again in that respect he teaches doctrine that is incorrect.
Placement of Zion, and such we have talked about. I did add some more to our last discussion if you want you can go back and read it.
6. Finally I will agree we are at an impasse, You have your agency I have mine. You feel he is a prophet I feel he is a Classic anti Christ type right out of the Book of Mormon, He violates the rules and is given a pass, he is slick talking and he is adored. HE takes away your access to the temple and is praised. You said I am emotional, you know I am. Faith is Not LOGIC, the moving of the Spirit are not sound reasoning. They touch your very essence. There is nothing cold and calculating about GOD. .

I hope and pray you will not end up in a bad place, I can only hope since you have agency do what you want. I do not say this because I think I am better than you. I say this because I don't want any one to go to that place.We are all brothers and sisters, children of God, and I wish no pain to any one. But truth is truth. either DS is truth or he is not.

One final thought listen to your own words because I am emotional you are not going to carry on the conversation, Would Christ admonish his followers to do that. We don't need that sheep its whinny. Remember Charity/Love is an emotion.

Chose ye this day, as for me and my family we have and its not with DS.
jim said…
Tim,

Not sure if I'm on the naughty list or not since my last post evaporated into the ether. So I will try it this way. You mentioned above that you are not sure if it's your place to find out if Denver Snuffer is Prophet or not. For some the jury is still out on whether he is a prophet for others they feel compelled to stand with him, and still others know he is not a prophet of the Lord. I stand in that last camp.

Because he has stated that an angel has come and given him his call and has been planning this for at least 9 years the importance of whether he is a prophet is no longer academic. He is either a Servant of the Lord or of the Adversary.

you can't chose both, because the church has excommunicated him he is now opposed to the church. So either the church fell after JS or in December of last year with the unrighteous excommunication of DS or he is a classic BOM anti Christ trying to pull away those who have covenanted with the Lord.

It boils down to that, period. A house divided against itself will not stand. The Lord will not allow both these competing philosophies to exists together since it creates conflict. So either the one is right or the other is.

I know you said he testifies of Christ but so do the Devils. Not a one of them in the New Testament were disrespectful either. So all we can do is look at the fruits of the Doctrine he teaches verses the church and take it to the Lord.

Just realize many people have already heard you proclaim him as a Prophet. So it is imperative that you know the truth and state it. The time for hiding in the back of the room is over.

I am sorry I get so emotional about this but its not only our eternal life but the lives of our loved ones now and generations to come that are at risk.

So find out, take all the inconsistencies and prove them right or wrong then take that to the Lord. Remember after you have been warned it behooveth you to warn your neighbor one way or the other.

Tim, I came to this blog researching a few things about some books and became intrigued then concerned. It's not my blog, so I don't want to tell you how to run it. So I will slip back into the obscurity of life. May the Lord be with you and all those who frequent this blog. It never was my intention to harm or ridicule and one or their beliefs.

I am sorry I do tend to be sarcastic, its one of my many faults so I apologize for that which slipped through.
Ben said…
Jim, its hard to take you seriously when you can't even get the most basic facts right about Denver's position and history.

I just see classic straw men, blatant misunderstandings and arguments made in ignorance. You use the same tactics the classic anti-mormon literature does.

No, I don't find your emotional rants persuasive in the least.
Jim,

When you say "[b]ecause he has stated that an angel has come and given him his call and has been planning this for at least 9 years" you may be interested to know that you are off by more than a factor of four.

In his first book Denver related that he was told a "few months after [his] baptism [in September 1973]" that "on the first day of the third month in nine years, your ministry will begin" (see The Second Comforter, 2nd Ed., page 104).

In a later chapter he relates:

Law school, children and post-graduation professional responsibilities overtook my life. When the ninth year approached, I had forgotten about it until just before its arrival. As I recalled the promise, I wondered if I had prepared for the ministry adequately. I wasn’t certain, and didn’t know of any way to be certain. So I awaited nervously the coming day.

At length, the day arrived. It had been nine years since my baptism, and it was now the first day of the third month. And I wondered what this day would involve. When I went to bed that night, it had involved nothing more than the usual activities and responsibilities. Nothing else. Not much of a “ministry” I thought. Perhaps I hadn’t prepared adequately. Or maybe I was somehow mistaken in what was originally meant. But, then again, it was as if it had happened yesterday. I can still recall the event with such clarity, all of it was unmistakable. So the problem must have been some failing in me. With that, I let the thought die.

A year later, on the first day of the third month, the Bishop and the Sunday School President visited that evening and asked me to teach the Gospel Doctrine class. It was not until sometime after they left I realized I had miscalculated. The baptism (in September) was not the time I had been given the promise. Rather, it was some later date in the following year. I had been off by a year. The event had occurred as promised and now it was time for my “ministry” to begin.

Beginning then, and lasting for another twenty-one years thereafter, I taught Gospel Doctrine in six different wards in four different stakes in Pleasant Grove, Alpine, and Sandy, Utah. During this time I also taught for three years at BYU Education Week and for two years a graduate Institute class on the Book of Mormon to law students at the University of Utah.

(Id., pages 199-200)
EricDL said…
Wow Tim, you and ol DS have opened up a can of worms, haven't you.
jim said…
Ben, what straw man. He is either a Prophet or not. Whats the straw man. He said an angel sent him on this quest/mission/Ministry. So is he or not simple question. Pick on me all you like but answer the question.
jim said…
Ok all I did was read his own words and count backward, sorry my assumption. So for Forty years he has known. Does that make a difference. The question still is Prophet or not. Lets start there.
Eric said…
A person's response as to whether or not someone is a "prophet" depends on their personal definition of "prophet."

So far, there has been no consensus at this blog as to the definition of "prophet."

I think "prophet" can potentially have more than one meaning; it's just a word, a label, after all.

Others may feel that it has one, and only one, meaning.

But until everyone agrees on at least a working definition of "prophet," discussion will be, as in the past, suboptimal.
Tim Malone said…
Jim answered my question way up earlier in the comments when he helped me understand and accept keys. I've left this discussion and am putting the finishing touches on the next post. But I like what is being discussed. I know you are all good-hearted people. I like the dialog that is taking place. I know you have each other's happiness and spiritual welfare at heart. So carry on. But I will restate my definition of prophet.
Tim Malone said…
To me, a prophet is an individual commissioned by and authorized by the Lord to deliver a message on his behalf. It's that plain and simple for me. My job is to determine if the individual is a true messenger. I have been given many tools to determine that, including study, fasting and prayer, asking the messenger for signs or tokens, etc.
Mike said…
I could enumerate the straw men in detail, but last time I did, it was apparently not read. If it had been, statements you put forth in response to Annalea would not have been made. For example, I shared that he's already explained that the ministry for which the angel told him to prepare was his calling as a gospel doctrine teacher, decades ago. And yes, even Hyrum Smith was required to prepare for his work, commanded to seek to obtain the word before declaring it. By arguing that the angelic visit is somehow instead tied to his lecture series, you've revealed a propensity for speaking without listening brother. If you want us to listen to you, please extend the same courtesy.
jim said…
So we have two threads running on this so I will limit it to this one. My question is " Is DS a Prophet, yes or No. We have to start somewhere so this seems like a good spot to me. No straw, no emotion just a question.
Jim, I'd be happy to answer your question if you can specifically articulate what definition you are using. Otherwise, as Eric noted, it is all too easy for us to use labels differently and talk past each other in an unproductive fashion.
Tim Malone said…
By the way, I am listening to Elder Bednar on using Social Media:

https://www.lds.org/church/share/goodness?cid=HPMO081814340&lang=eng

This is for you, Bishop :-) See, I do listen to church leaders.
Tim, if you ever get a hankering for another post on keys, I think it would be interesting to explore and discuss the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood.
EricDL said…
Here is some of what Joseph has to say about defining a Prophet:

What Constitutes a Prophet?

"If any person should ask me if I were a prophet, I should not deny it, as that would give me the lie; for, according to John, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; therefore, if I profess to be a witness or teacher, and have not the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus, I must be a false witness; but if I be a true teacher and witness, I must possess the spirit of prophecy, and that constitutes a prophet; and any man who says he is a teacher or a preacher of righteousness, and denies the spirit of prophecy, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; and by this key false teachers and impostors may be detected. (Dec. 30, 1842.)" DHC 5:215-216. TPJS p.269


The calling of a Prophet.
"Wednesday, Feb. 8.--This morning I read German and visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that "a prophet is always a prophet;" but I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such."--DHC 5:265. TPJS p.278

WJS. 230
"What are we to understand by a prophet? It is his character to predict things that are in the future."
Tim Malone said…
I'll add this from a private comment to me awhile back. The individual won't mind. Only one person here knows him and I have edited it slightly by removing personal references that might identify him:

"I know of the man Denver Snuffer that you have written about. I would ask you a fairly simple question. What qualifies a man to be a prophet? Foremost, God must choose him as a prophet! This is much different than for man to choose God.

"The Savior, speaking to his apostles, said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit" . . . (John 15:16)

"We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority to preach the Gospel and administer in the Ordinances thereof." (Article of Faith 1:5)

"A Prophet then, is the authorized representative of The Lord. The person you describe and bear witness of as a Prophet of God [Denver Snuffer] is no more a prophet than you or I. He has not been ordained nor called by God. He has not been called among the people, nor has he been sustained as such by the people. He, in fact, has been excommunicated from the church for Apostasy ... for not following the council of Church leadership."

My response to this individual focused on clarifying that I had not then, nor do I now, nor will I ever claim that Denver Snuffer was or is a prophet in the LDS Church. He has never made that claim. Such a claim would be ludicrous since we choose our prophets by common consent. We gave our leaders that title - "prophet, seer and revelator" - and Joseph endorsed it in a General Conference of the Church.

Do not confuse our Mormon culture practice of referring to the President of the LDS Church as "The" prophet. That's not what this dialog is about. It used to be - and I can remember this - that when we said "The" prophet, we meant Joseph Smith. Now it seems our culture has been changed to mean "The" prophet is the current President of the Church. I'm not stating anything new. I know you know this.

My contention has always been and will continue to be, that God can, and has, and I believe, will continue to call prophets and send them to us as authorized messengers from outside the LDS hierarchy. This, of course, is blasphemy to so many within the LDS Church, or so I've been told in dozens of private emails and many times on this blog.
Jim said…
Ok so my next question is what criteria establish a person as a True Prophet and Tim covered most them for what makes a prophet; what is then defined as a false or even fallen Prophet. This can be any LDS or non-LDS Prophet if you wish.

I am trying to get some commonality on definable terms.
EricDL said…
"Ok so my next question is what criteria establish a person as a True Prophet and Tim covered most them for what makes a prophet;"

Doest mine eyes deceive me? What is that I have quoted? and Tim, you say, covered what makes a true prophet? No wonder you are so confused. JOSEPH set the criteria for a true prophet. NOT Tim.

I refer you, again, to the above quotes.
Tim Malone said…
Wait, we've got to include Hugh B. Brown's "Profile of a Prophet":

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=114

Here are the ten key points from the talk:

1. He will boldly claim that God had spoken to him.

2. Any man so claiming would be a dignified man with a dignified message—no table jumping, no whisperings from the dead, no clairvoyance, but an intelligent statement of truth.

3. Any man claiming to be a prophet of God would declare his message without any fear and without making any weak concessions to public opinion.

4. If he were speaking for God he could not make concessions, although what he taught would be new and contrary to the accepted teachings of the day. A prophet bears witness to what he has seen and heard and seldom tries to make a case by argument. His message and not himself is important.

5. Such a man would speak in the name of the Lord, saying, “Thus said the Lord,” as did Moses, Joshua, and others.

6. Such a man would predict future events in the name of the Lord, and they would come to pass, as did those predicted by Isaiah and Ezekiel.

7. He would have not only an important message for his time but often a message for all future time, such as Daniel, Jeremiah, and others had.

8. He would have courage and faith enough to endure persecution and to give his life, if need be, for the cause he espoused, such as Peter, James, Paul, and others did.

9. Such a man would denounce wickedness fearlessly. He would generally be rejected or persecuted by the people of his time, but later generations and descendants of his persecutors would build monuments in his honor.

10. He would be able to do superhuman things—things that no man could do without God’s help. The consequence or result of his message and work would be convincing evidence of his prophetic calling: “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

11. His teachings would be in strict conformity with scripture, and his words and his writings would become scripture. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).
Eric said…
"[M]isconceptions arise through a careless use of words, and through using words interchangeably, without regard to shades of differences that attach to them. . . . I believe many of the differences of opinion and much of the confusion of ideas that exist arise out of our not recognizing [this]" (B.H. Roberts, The Truth, the Way, the Life, 2nd edition, 253-4).

For what it's worth, in the Bible, "prophet" is from the O.T. Hebrew nabiy & NT Greek prophētēs "spokesman / one who speaks forth."

Another challenging thing is to determine whether various people are referring to "essential," or to merely "accidental," qualities of a prophet/spokesperson . . .
Tim Malone said…
A few thoughts from Denver. I was at the Ephraim talk. It was awesome: "Therefore, either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I've said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril! It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I'm a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I'm saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I'm talking about."

"But I can bear testimony of Him, and I can assure you He will not leave your petitions unanswered. I can also assure you today is once again a day of salvation, and He has set His hand again. No matter how unlikely it may appear, no matter how much reason there is to be skeptical, no matter how many more signs you think may need to be fulfilled, I'm telling you He has set His hand again. The heavens are opened for business, and the question is whether you are interested in becoming a customer or not."

It seems pretty clear to me. Either DS is an authorized messenger or he is a liar and we can forget everything he has said. I have never felt he was a liar. I have always heard the voice of the Master in the things he has been sharing from the day I was introduced to his writings.
Eric said…
Substituting "spokesperson" for "prophet" as the KJV translators did helps resolve at least a couple of things:

It helps reconcile a couple of Joseph Smith's quotes that EricDL posted. A spokesperson for Christ has a testimony of Christ. But a spokesperson is a spokesperson only when acting as such (e.g. declaring things in the name of the Lord). It's not that the spokesperson gains and loses their testimony of Christ from time to time.

It allows us to sustain Thomas S. Monson as a spokesperson for the Church, while at the same time allows us to strive for Moses and Brigham Young's ideal that everyone become a spokesperson (for the Lord).
Nonrandom set said…
I used to think there were only those two options, but I've begun to think that there is a third. That perhaps much of what he has said is true, but that in his zeal he has gone beyond the mark.
Eric said…
either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I’ve said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am

This is known as a "false dichotomy."

If he says we have to forget "EVERYTHING" he said, he is practically forcing us to choose the other alternative, because I'm sure at some point in time he said that Jesus is the Christ, and we don't want to forget that.

This goes back to Joseph's statement that a prophet is a prophet only when acting as such.

Anyone can have a witness of Christ and then testify of Christ. But then moments later, they may state some of their own speculation or opinion and therefore not be acting as a spokesperson for Christ at that time.

Yes, there is another option: We can choose to forget SOME things he said.
Jared said…
I beg to differ about the church being out of business in regards to facilitating the beautiful manifestations of the gospel. The onus often rests with us. Are our hearts soft or hard....

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