Saturday, March 16, 2019

An Invitation to Join in Fasting and Prayer

I was asked to post the following: 

At the Waters of Mormon, Alma taught that part of being called His people and being part of His fold is a willingness to bear one another’s burdens, to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. (NC Mosiah 9:7)

Among those who have entered the covenant there exists a good number whose spouse is not currently open to, or accepting of the message being delivered by the Lord’s servant. The reasons for their disinterest, or opposition, varies.  Though situations and details are unique, each of these covenant holders experience struggles and burdens that cause them to mourn and stand in need of comfort. Each of us probably know dozens in this situation that we love and care for, and have grieved with them in their challenges.

Is there anything we can do to help?  Is there a way we can unite our faith in their behalf and for these currently “unbelieving” spouses?  

Alma and the people of the church in his day show us a precept we believe we can apply (the “doing”). It was the united prayers and fastingof Alma and the Lord’s people that brought about the mighty change in Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah (NC Mosiah 11:26; 27-28). 

A few of us would like to invite any who desire to unite your heart and voice in behalf of our fellow covenant holders who currently find themselves on this journey alone and apart from their spouse, and petition the Lord to soften the hearts of the unbelieving spouse, and to bless, comfort and guide these specific covenant holders within their marriages as they navigate these uncharted waters in patience and love. 

We will be fasting and praying specifically on four consecutive Sundays leading up to the coming conference  (March 17, 24th, 31, and April 7th).  We invite as many of our covenant family to join with us for any or allof these days. A fast may be anything you choose as a sacrifice; be it a traditional fast, refraining from electronics, sugar…or whatever the spirit confirms is an acceptable sacrifice on your part given your circumstances.  We want as broad a participation as possible for those inclined.

As a people, we are seeking to become more united.   We believe applying the precepts of the Book of Mormon by uniting our voices in mighty prayer and fasting in behalf of those among us who mourn and struggle with this challenge can result in miracles.  


A few from among us

Friday, March 8, 2019

General Conference Update

Hello Everyone,

The organizers of the upcoming general conference in Colorado (April 19-21) have asked me to post a quick reminder: If you are planning to come to the conference, please RSVP so the organizers will know to plan on you. I know what goes into organizing one of these conferences, and I know it's very difficult when you don't know numbers for planning purposes. As a courtesy and kindness, as well as simply politeness, please help them out.

If you are attending, and have not yet done so, PLEASE RSVP to let the organizers know to plan on you.

Here are the applicable links:

Conference Website

RSVP for the Conference

RSVP for the Passover Meal

Thank you! See you in April!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Denver Snuffer to Speak on March 3rd: Updated

On Sunday, March 3rd, Denver Snuffer will be giving a talk entitled, “Signs Follow Faith.”

This will mark the first time in over 4 years that Denver has planned and organized his own speaking engagement. He has spoken many other times at conferences and gatherings, but has always done so at somebody else’s invitation. This talk, however, was not organized by someone else.

Denver has indicated that this talk is intended to restore and encourage hope in the restoration of the gospel, and in God’s continuing work. He has made a point to extend the invitation to all who have an interest in the restoration begun by Joseph Smith. Because this seems particularly significant, I am extending the invitation here, as well.

Even if you disagree, in fact, particularly if you disagree with Denver Snuffer, I encourage you to come see for yourself exactly what he teaches and how he teaches it. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, I suspect this talk will be memorable and enlightening.


You can find the recording of the talk at this link. 

Scroll down to Papers and Talks, and look for Signs Follow Faith, Centerville, UT.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Spring 2019 Conference Details Announced

Spring 2019 Conference – A Hope in Christ: The Temple

I'm looking forward to the Spring General Conference held on Passover/Easter weekend April 20th-21st in the Western Colorado/Grand Mesa area. The title is “A hope in Christ: the Temple.”

Highlights include speakers, music, worship, a passover meal, breakout sessions, and more. I'm pleased to see some new ideas and approaches being tried for the first time. The conference organizers have requested attendees RSVP so numbers can be planned. 

Please visit this link to learn more about the conference, and RSVP if you are attending:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Gaining Light

GREAT is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, the mountain of his holiness—beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. 
—Psalms 48:1 OC

Tonight is the Winter Solstice, featuring the longest night and shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Starting tomorrow, light increases.

The return of light always reminds me of the restoration of the gospel—for several reasons, not the least of which is Joseph Smith’s birthday, coming in two days on the 23rd. This event often also includes a display of the Ursids Meteor Shower, and this year will be no exception.

The Ursids are so named because they appear close to the star Beta Ursae Minoris in Ursa Minor, also known as Kochab. In antiquity, this star was the northern pole star, near the center point about which the heavens rotate. Of course, due to the precession of the equinoxes, this is no longer the case, and the current pole star is Polaris.

Kochab (Kokob) is also the word the Lord used for “star” while explaining the heavens to Abraham, face to face. (See Abraham 5:3, NC) I have no proof, but I like to think the star to which the Lord pointed (his hand was stretched out) was the polar star, Kochab, at the center of the heavens. The Ursids, therefore, can be seen as flashes or streaks of light, coming from the center point, the “Sides of the North” (Isaiah 6:6, Psalms 48:1 OC), the “bosom of eternity,” or “midst of all things” where God dwells. (T&C 86:1) Light returns to the world.

This year’s Solstice also features the conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter, less than one degree apart in the sky. They approach each other as Mercury, mythical god of commerce and communication falls, and Jupiter, mythical sovereign god of sky and thunder, rises. Take from that what you will. On an unrelated note, the stock market blood bath continues.

Their conjunction occurs in the constellation Scorpius. In Greek mythology, the great scorpion was sent to kill the mighty hunter, Orion, who boasted he would kill every animal on earth. Orion died from the scorpion’s sting and was placed in the heavens as a reminder of the need to curb excessive pride. 

This year’s Solstice is unique in that it will occur during a full moon, which in this circumstance, was historically called a “cold moon” by Native Americans. As light withdraws from the world, and the love of men waxes cold, this solstice full moon serves as a stark reminder of our need for the light and warmth of God’s spirit. The moon, representing the Holy Mother, yet urges us forward, showing us light is yet available to those who will seek it, even on the longest, darkest night. 

One month from today, instead of a cold moon, we will see a blood moon, during the total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019. This will be a “supermoon” blood moon as the moon will be at its orbital perigee, its closest point to earth, and will therefore appear exceptionally large. Cold moon followed by blood moon. Light yet remains, but ominous signs continue.

In the coming dark days and years, each of us must be filled with the warmth and light of God’s spirit if we hope to overcome the increasing wickedness, instability, antagonism, violence and destruction that will come. Ultimately, we each, individually, control the amount of light we have, and therefore, the amount of protection we receive in coming dark days. The opportunity has never been greater, nor the light more plentiful since Joseph and Hyrum were killed. We can choose to obtain oil for our lamps now, while the opportunity yet remains, or we will find ourselves shut out of the wedding feast, mourning in the darkness. Don’t come unprepared to “that long night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed.” (Alma 16:37 NC)

And the light which now shines, which gives you light, is through him who enlightens your eyes, which is the same light that quickens your understandings, which light proceeds forth from the presence of God, to fill the immensity of space: the light which is in all things, which gives life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God, who sits upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.
—T&C 86:1

During the daylight a man can see to walk and does not stumble and fall because the daylight informs him. But at night, without the light, a man stumbles because of the darkness surrounding him.
—Testimony of Saint John 8:2

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Leather Bound Scriptures Survey

There's a survey up at the Scriptures Project Blog regarding leather-bound scriptures. If you have any interest in a leather-bound, thin-paper set, please click over and give your input.

Leather-bound scriptures survey

Sunday, December 9, 2018

You Might Be Listening to a Deceiver if...

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me. Try my reins and my heart, for your loving kindness is before my eyes and I have walked in your truth. I have not sat with vain people, neither will I go in with deceivers.
—Psalms 26:1, OC

A good friend brought me a bottle of wine from a 5th-generation winery, located in Nauvoo, Illinois. I opened that bottle for sacrament today. Now, I’m no wine expert, nor am I particularly a wine lover, but I do know enough about wine that I can tell good from bad. And I can unequivocally say this wine was the worst I have ever tasted. It smelled like a mixture of cleaning products and petroleum lubricant. It tasted even worse than it smelled, with a distinct acetone nose and kerosene finish. A few other brave souls at the sacrament meeting tasted it, made faces, and agreed it was ghastly. It was so much worse than other wine that some were concerned it might even be dangerous to drink. 

I poured the rest of the bottle down the sink and hoped it didn’t destroy the plumbing. We ended up using different wine for the sacrament.

Afterwards, we had a group discussion on the Savior’s warning about false Christs and false prophets. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said our Lord, teaching us to expect and discern deceivers. Only at the end of the discussion did the irony of the wine hit me. The worst fruits I’ve ever encountered, at least in wine, descended from Nauvoo through five generations. By their fruits indeed…

Here We Go Again

Though I’ve written about this many times before, current events have convinced me a timely reminder is in order, regarding false prophets, false Christs and deceiving teachers. Because I’ve already written about this topic, I’ll keep this kind of short and direct. Fuller discussions can be found in the following, previous posts: 

I also highly recommend these posts from Denver Snuffer:

Now, for some general reminders. Let’s start with Christ’s words:
For in those days there shall also arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch, that if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant. (Mark 6:4 NC)
From our Lord’s statements, we know the following with absolute surety:
  1. There ARE false Christs and false prophets in our day. If you can’t identify them you will most certainly be deceived by them.
  2. They show great signs and wonders, and thereby deceive, if possible, the elect according to the covenant. 
  3. Therefore, if you’ve accepted the covenant, you will be targeted. You should expect it. (I’m aware of those who actually do, specifically, seek out those who have accepted the covenant—and then seek to lead them away, down other paths. I believe this directly fulfills Christ’s prophecy.)
  4. The Lord taught us to know the deceivers by their fruits. (Matthew 3:46 NC) This means we both CAN and MUST discern truth from error. We must judge in the Light of Christ (Moroni 7:3 NC) We should rely on scripture as a standard to measure all gospel truth. (Jacob 5:8 NC, Alma 10:5 NC)
Now, with those things in mind, here are a few reminders about judging the fruits of those who claim to speak for God. In the style of Jeff Foxworthy, we’ll go with, “You might be listening to a deceiver if…”

You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They convince you to listen to them by telling you that you’re special, chosen, more spiritually in tune than others, more intelligent, better prepared, or any other flattery that makes you worthy of their message when others aren’t.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
Their message then gratifies your pride and convinces you they were correct about you.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They preach in secret, perhaps in the middle of the night, rather than declaring their message  openly and publicly as true prophets generally do.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They produce signs and wonders based on feelings and emotions, then tell you these are proof they are telling the truth. Even powerful feelings are NOT necessarily a sign of truth. Remember, the Devil has power to produce signs to deceive you. 
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
Their message is based more on their private revelations, spiritual experiences, and ideas than on scripture. If their claims of secret “higher” knowledge or power cannot be tested by scripture, or if they teach a body of knowledge that is outside scripture, beware.
And whoever treasures up my word shall not be deceived. (Mark 6:8 NC)
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They are quick to share detailed and intimate descriptions of the content of their visions, revelations, or visitations.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
What they offer merely imitates what has already been offered by true prophets. This includes ordinances, covenants, and ordinations. Lucifer is capable and effective at imitating truth. 
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
Their message allows them to make claims about themselves or their importance, or to accumulate gratification, money, power, control, followers, or any other lust common to the natural man. 
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They claim true prophets who came before were merely preparing the way for the allegedly greater ministry of the new claimant (who has yet to accomplish anything close to prior, true prophets.) Likewise, if they claim a true messenger of God secretly vouches for them, approves of their ministry, or works with them behind the scenes, but the true messenger will not admit as much publicly, beware. Remember, John the Baptist (who was a true messenger) vouched for, testified of, and pointed his followers to, the greater prophet, Christ, and he did it publicly. 
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
Their claims of power, authority, or knowledge are based only on visitation with beings beyond the veil or knowledge from a supernatural oracle to which they are privy. Remember, Sherem acknowledged being misled by the Devil, who also appeared to, and deceived Korihor. Lucifer came to Moses, claiming to be Christ, but Moses was not deceived. Scripture is the reliable source. Angels and spiritual gifts are ALL subject to corruption and deception.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They claim they can offer you another, special, covenant from Christ. (There is only one valid covenant active on earth right now. All else is imitation and deception.)
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They claim they can give you in one night what generally takes years of devotion, sacrifice, and growth to obtain from God. 
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
Rather than bringing you to repentance and humility, their message convinces you that you’ve arrived, are worthy, or will definitely receive God’s favor.
You might be listening to a deceiver if…
They encourage you to accept the teachings of other, known deceivers. 
And finally, you might be listening to a deceiver if…
They have no fruit of their own to show. Anyone can go about making claims and preaching whatever they want. But very few have made the kind of consistent effort and sacrifice that produces fruit. 
As Examples: 

Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon, inspired corrections to the Bible, hundreds of written revelations, the Book of Abraham, the Lectures on Faith, and 14 years of teaching, preaching, living what he taught, and sacrificing for it. He ultimately sacrificed his life for it.

Likewise, Denver Snuffer has written a dozen books constituting millions of words, well over a thousand blog posts primarily expounding scripture, dozens of public addresses, talks and speeches, numerous lengthy papers with hundreds of footnotes, new revelations, new scripture, and the restoration of a legitimate covenant from Jesus Christ. The movement among those who believe what he has taught has subsequently produced the most correct and complete set of scriptures available on earth, as well as extensive other initiatives and efforts to remember and continue the restoration of the gospel.

Have the other deceivers, who claim to have knowledge and power superior to Joseph Smith or Denver Snuffer, actually done anything even close? Where are their fruits? What have they produced or accomplished, other than making self-aggrandizing claims while circling the flock and picking off unwary sheep? How ironic is it that they rely on the fellowship locator and conferences of this movement to find their targets, rather than inspiring a movement of their own? 

Ultimately, each of us must judge for ourselves. Truth cannot contradict itself, so when contradiction comes, we must make a choice. The gullible and foolish will be enticed away from the rod of iron into forbidden paths, which is unfortunate, but also necessary. Zion cannot be built by people who lack discernment or a “firm mind in every form of godliness.” I can write and try to persuade, as can others, but in the end, the fearsome responsibility of discernment rests individually upon each of us. Eternity hangs in the balance. Be not deceived.

Hearken, O you elders of my church, and give ear to the voice of the Living God, and attend to the words of Wisdom which shall be given unto you, according as you have asked and are agreed, as touching the church, and the spirits which have gone abroad in the earth. Behold, verily I say unto you that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth deceiving the world, and also Satan has sought to deceive you that he might overthrow you.
—T&C 36:1