Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Have You Against Being Baptized?

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
—Luke 7:30


Have you ever imagined what it must have been like for the Nephite multitude at the temple in Bountiful when Christ visited? This event is unique in scripture as it simultaneously documents a number of singular occurrences not seen elsewhere with clarity—or at all—and they happen together.



In these chapters, we witness the opening of a new dispensation; clear teaching of Christ’s doctrine, out of his own mouth; the endowment and opening of the connection with heaven; explanation of other scripture and prophecy, the implementation of the Lord’s supper, and perhaps most important, the ministry of a God among mortals. There’s nothing even remotely like this anywhere else in scripture. 

Those who survived the destructions at the crucifixion were the “more righteous part of the people” who “received the prophets.” (3 Nephi 10:12) And the fact that they made the journey to the temple to observe the required holy days—even though most of the population and many cities had been destroyed less than a year before—shows their commitment to obeying the Lord. They were rewarded with the privilege of beholding Him face to face, feeling his wounds, embracing Him, shouting Hosannah, and bowing before Him.


Immediately after these momentous events, the Lord called forth Nephi and empowered him to provide re-baptism to the people. Likewise, He called 11 others and similarly empowered them. He did this publicly so there would be no question about who was authorized to provide this ordinance, and who was not.


Next, the Lord launched into an explanation of the requirements for who was to be baptized, and exactly how it was to be done—even giving the precise wording and procedure to be used. He explained this as a commandment, to be performed “after this manner” and “according as I have commanded you.” He expressly forbade disputing about this commandment. 


Having thus laid the foundation by clearly teaching the need for, and method of, baptism (or in this case, re-baptism), the Savior then taught His doctrine—culminating with the absolute requirement that His doctrine be obeyed by all those who desire salvation. He taught these things publicly so all could hear and understand. And He taught these things first, giving them absolute primacy in His religion.


The Lord’s actions and teachings make clear the following points:



  1. Performing the ordinance of baptism requires the Lord’s authorization. Though unauthorized others may offer the ordinance, the Lord will not recognize it.
  2. The practice of ordaining priests existed among the Nephites (see 2 Ne. 5:26, Mosiah 18:18, Moroni 3). Therefore, it’s clear that priestly service requires both ordination by man, and empowerment by the Lord. Scripture does not make provision to neglect either step.
  3. Precise qualifications, wording and actions are to be followed in baptism.
  4. There is no other way to salvation. In fact, the Lord repeats four times the requirement for baptism, categorically stating that “whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.” He leaves no room for exceptions.
  5. In recognition of the new dispensation Christ was establishing, a new baptism was required, even for those who had already been properly baptized.
  6. Water baptism is a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Ghost, both the first time, and at the opening of a new dispensation when re-baptism is required. Baptism by water is the gate to receiving the baptism of fire. 

Christ is not at liberty to change these commandments; they came from His father. Changing them or making arbitrary exceptions would make Christ both disobedient and a liar. 



Too often, we tend to view commandments as limitations, curtailing our freedom, and restricting our behavior. Many chafe at such perceived limitations. But perhaps it’s useful to think of commandments in another way. Suppose you faced the difficult task of diffusing a bomb, under the direction of an experienced bomb expert. Your very life would depend on exactly following the expert’s instructions. This is not a time to improvise. If you follow the directions exactly, you will safely accomplish the task. In such a situation the directions, or commandments, given by the expert are NOT designed to curtail your freedom or restrict your behavior. Rather, they are the actions that will save your life. There’s no point arguing or refusing to obey the expert’s instructions. Your only hope lies in doing exactly as he says.

Well, Christ is the expert. He has trodden the path and knows the way to be redeemed from the fall. Baptism is not an arbitrary commandment He can change or waive at will. Due to the requirements of eternal, immutable laws, there are good reasons baptism must be received, and must be performed in the correct way. Again, even Christ is not at liberty to change these requirements. There’s no point arguing about it. The only safe course is to do as Christ directs.


Nevertheless, some have trouble receiving Christ’s word and some refuse baptism for various reasons. Some seek to argue the points of His doctrine rather than submitting to it.


I have no desire to argue about these things, but I do think it’s worthwhile providing a few points here in response to some objections I’ve encountered to the ideas Christ has expressed. Please don’t think me unkind if I’m direct in what follows. The time is at hand to declare truth with boldness.


My previous baptism was good enough. I know the Lord accepted it.


That may be so, but the validity of your previous baptism is not the question. Whenever the Lord initiates a new dispensation, He invites those who accept His gospel to be baptized, or re-baptized, in recognition of the new covenant He makes available. 


Such a requirement came at the opening of Joseph Smith’s dispensation. However, some felt their prior baptism was adequate and they therefore refused to be re-baptized. In response, the Lord gave the following revelation:



Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works. For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old. Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen. (D&C 22:1-4 emphasis mine)
A new dispensation is upon us. The Lord has renewed the command to obey His doctrine. Those who accept Him will do so.
 Refusal is really rejection of Christ. How can you reject Him now, and yet rely on your previous baptism to be honored? 

The Lord knows my heart. He surely won’t reject me simply because I didn’t get re-baptized.


The Lord does indeed know your heart, and finds there an unwillingness to hear and obey His voice. Your good intentions cannot overcome the Lord’s edict: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Refusal to obey Him is evidence your love for Him is feigned. Yes, the Lord knows your heart, but perhaps you don’t. Turn your heart to him.


But what about all my good friends who worship Christ? I can’t believe a loving and merciful God would reject a believing soul simply because they didn’t get baptized—or didn’t get baptized in the right way. I cannot accept such a God.


Your refusal to accept the Lord’s commandment doesn’t make His commandment void. Those who sincerely worship Christ will humble themselves and seek His word, wherever it is found. The minute someone starts dictating what God “should” be like, based on their own flawed understanding of mercy, justice, love, or any other principle, they cut themselves off from learning God’s true character, perfections and attributes. And without a correct understanding of these, faith is impossible. (Lectures on Faith 3:4)


In other words, if you want to engage in ultimatums about what you will and will not accept in your God, then by definition you do not and cannot have faith. You simply believe in a fairy-tale Jesus who bends to conform to your will—a false Christ indeed. (See Matthew 24:24)


In the final analysis, God is more intelligent than us all. His work and glory is to exalt us, and He knows how to do it. We ought to trust Him and let Him do His work, in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Those who will not accept what He offers in this life will require continuing efforts on His part beyond this mortality. Our best course is to receive all he offers here and now, while it’s available.


I believe the commandment applies to others, but I’m the exception. 


Thus making God a respecter of persons, and a liar. Seriously?


But I’ve constructed a complex and nuanced scriptural argument to prove that, although the Lord commanded re-baptism, He really didn’t mean it, and I won’t be deceived into doing it. 


And yet, he says, “And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.” (3 Nephi 11:37) Is your complex and nuanced scriptural argument adapted to the capacity of a child? Did you construct your argument as a result of your childlike, humble faith and obedience, or did you construct this argument to avoid doing what the Lord plainly and openly said to do? Is it likely Christ was deceiving us with His commandment? Or is it more likely your wisdom is foolishness?

O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. (2 Nephi 9:28, emphasis mine)
Anyone can go to God and get power to baptize. It is arrogant to claim that only a certain group or lineage has access to that power. If what he says is true, then very few people who ever lived on earth will be saved! 

The Lord instructed us to anticipate only a few would accept His offer. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Nephi 31:17)


By broadening Christ’s permissiveness to suit your desires for large numbers, you really just change the parameters of who is excluded. But there will still be exclusions. Whether hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions accept, it is still not everyone. Are you in a position to choose who is excluded? What number would make you happy? Or is it even better to exclude nobody and follow Nehor’s teaching that ALL will be saved at the last day? (Alma 1:4)


There’s no point in arguing about numbers. Even if only one couple is saved and exalted, something infinite has been accomplished. Although few will find and accept the Lord’s offer, it is nevertheless open to all. For those who do not accept, the struggle will continue. We ought to do all we can to raise the warning voice and invite all to come unto Christ. 

You might be able to convince me if you can answer each of my concerns and defeat all my arguments.

Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe. (Alma 32:16)
Yes, but...

Now, having talked through a few of these objections, imagine someone present in the multitude at Bountiful, raising their hand during Christ’s sermon, and advancing one of the arguments listed above. Do you suppose the Lord would argue the points of His doctrine? Do you suppose He would offer a series of exceptions to accommodate those who preferred not to obey Him? Do you suppose He would stand there with holes in His hands, feet and side, where He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, (Isaiah 53:5) and be persuaded by the accusation that He is not a “loving God?”


You and I cannot comprehend the price Christ paid to make our rescue possible. He informs us of the exact steps required to take advantage of His offer. What is there to argue about? If you’re drowning and someone throws you a rope, is there any point in arguing about the color, weave, or length of the rope? Is there any point in refusing to take hold unless everyone else does too? Are you in any position at all to critique the throwing form or pulling power of the one who will save you? Take hold of the rope.


The Prevailing Gate



When Nephi discussed the Doctrine of Christ, he referred to repentance and baptism as the “gate” by which we should enter:
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. (2 Nephi 31:17)
Until you have entered through that gate, it remains closed to you. Given that you currently reside in a Telestial kingdom, the gate really is the way of escape from Hell. (2 Nephi 9:10). If you do not enter in at the gate, you remain trapped and unredeemed. Or as Christ explained, if the gate remains closed, Hell prevails against you. You must build upon His Rock:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. (3 Nephi 11:39)
In conclusion, I’ll simply add my personal invitation: Please come unto Christ through repentance and baptism. Turn to Him, obey His word, and let Him fill you with fire and the Holy Ghost. I know from personal experience His words are true. 

Authorized ministers are waiting to help:






And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.

—2 Nephi 31:10-11

63 comments:

  1. My question is "Who authorized the baptism offered?"

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    1. All the baptizers on the Born of Water website, including myself, have been properly ordained, and sustained by a fellowship for public ministry. They also have all received Christ’s authority to baptize, directly from Christ himself. In my case, he spoke to me in his own voice.

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    2. When I read the post above, it seems to me that you've made a very good claim for the LDS authenticity. Your organization seems to deviate quite wildly from that which is shown in the above post. Christ openly called a prophet, then personally called 12 men to officiate in the Book of Mormon so there could be no contentions. Your organization's seems to be quite different.

      From what I understand you have seven women who select men for baptism and to be ordained which would appear to be egregious to the scriptures. In all of the 6 dispensations, this would be a first. Your 6.2 dispensation has women who have no qualifications to judge worthiness of a priesthood holder and that was the problem with the Egyptian culture and why Abraham refused to give them the priesthood.

      I agree that the LDS, have deviated from the faith, as Hugh Nibley wrote, the church died with Joseph. But to offer a substitute is wrong, we need to wait for the Lord to refresh his church, and that refreshing will come in a bold way, reestablishing the same system that has existed in heaven, through Adams time to Joseph Smith's years of guidence.

      No one today comes close to what Joseph was or is, he still is the father of this last dispensation. When the last dispensation begins, that will be when Christ returns.

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  2. Here is a saying that I couldn't make sense of before reading Joseph's translation:

    "Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved."(Matthew 9)

    Here is the JST:

    "Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will ye not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law? But Jesus said unto them, Ye keep not the law. If ye had kept the law, ye would have received me, for I am he who gave the law. I receive not you with your baptism, because it profiteth you nothing. For when that which is new is come, the old is ready to be put away. For no man putteth a piece of new cloth on an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." (JST Matthew 9)

    The Lord requires new baptism with each new dispensation. We are left without excuse in these saying of Jesus and are ungrateful if we reject what is being offered.

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  3. Really enjoyed the post again.

    We had an excellent time at the conference. Thank you guys for everything you prepared.

    We have also felt, since the talks at the conference, the urgency of declaring the Doctrine of Christ. One talk that really helped was with this is "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear".

    In our group meeting last week we felt impressed to discuss the question, "Is Christ waiting to move forward according to our obedience to His command concerning our responsibility to declare His Doctrine now?"

    We discussed Nephi from Helaman Chapter 9 and how the Lord had seen of him that,"...I have beheld how thou hast with unwearingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."

    We discussed how obedience to this command to declare the Doctrine of Christ will allow an opportunity for sacrifice of family, friends, good name, and so forth.

    We add our witness of the absolute need of this baptism in this new dispensation by one having authority from Christ to baptize.

    Since our re-baptisms' we have experienced the scriptures opening up to us just as Oliver and Joseph experienced as recorded in JS History in the Pearl of Great Price, we have received revelations from God directing us very precisely to help our neighbors, we have experienced a spirit of peace that surpasses all understanding during a time that was, for us, exceedingly agitating and trying, we have experienced, as a family and with our group, stumbling blocks of tradition removed from our path, we have experienced God fill our hearts with love and remove judgement for our fellow men.

    We present these evidences with the sole purpose of being able to declare that we are witnesses from our own first hand experiences of the mercy and goodness of God and of the necessity of complying with the Doctrine of Christ presented by the Lord himself in His visit as a resurrected personage to the Nephites.

    We have seen that He will continue to give line upon line and precept upon precept to anyone who will comply with His doctrine and continue to seek His face.

    We are exceedingly glad to be able to be allowed to be a tiny part of what the Lord is doing. We love our association with you all.

    May God bless all men women and children to feel His Holy Spirit leading them to faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

    Much love,
    Jon and Tina Saunders

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  4. I enjoyed your post, Adrian. The only thing I would question is your statement where you said, "Water baptism is a prerequisite to receiving the Holy Ghost."

    Does water baptism have to come before?

    The Lamanites in Helaman chapter 5 were baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost. 3 Nephi 9:20. Did this come before or after their baptism of water? I'm not sure it is critical of which comes first as long as they both happen. The scriptures seem to put water first but does it have to happen in that order. I'm not convinced it has to. I think Paul in the New Testament would be another example of it working in the opposite order.

    Jim Chase

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    1. Good point, Jim. Though there's a general order to the process, things can happen out of order, as in the cases you noted. Both are necessary, and if, in exception to the usual sequence, the baptism of fire comes first, water baptism will then be required to retain the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins.

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  5. You mean we are all in hell down here. I really did not know this. I mean how did we get down here. I do not dispute what you are saying I guess it just hit me kind of hard that this world we live in is actually hell, even when there is so much beauty to this earth and yet it is hell?? Can you please help me understand this.

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    1. This is simple. Where does Satan reside? According to old testament statements in Job, he is here walking to and fro in the earth. According to 2 Corinthians 4:4 he is the god of this world. Does that not give you a clue where we are?

      In the temple we are taught that this earth is the telestial world/kingdom... which is hell. There are many other clues that confirm this is hell, one being it is where the 'fallen' are sent for a probation (think criminal status) needing REDEEMED? ... we need to be redeemed from death and hell?

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    2. I would add that I certainly see your point about the beauty of this earth. Though this is a Telestial kingdom, it is still a kingdom of glory. Even the limited light that is available here is glorious in many ways.

      And it's also worth noting that the sufferings we associate with hell come after death, when this opportunity has ended unsuccessfully, and largely not while in mortality.

      Of course, the escape from the sufferings of Hell is still the same. It starts with repentance and baptism by water, followed by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

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  6. Adrian,

    Let's sidebar the authority issue and how Denver and everyone else "authorized" on the website first obtained their priesthood from a church they no longer belong to. I don't really think it's pertinent to what I'd like to discuss.

    You mentioned at the beginning of this dispensation how people needed to be rebaptized because of the new [and everlasting] covenant. And how the same was true for the Nephites, that it was because of a new covenant.

    What is the new covenant now?

    According to Joseph Smith in D&C 128 the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times has already been ushered in. So baptism can't be required because of a new dispensation. We're already in the final dispensation.

    I'm trying to understand which new covenant there is that would warrant a new baptism. I take this very seriously and am trying to exercise faith while studying it out scripturally.

    Thanks!

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    1. I think you need to read Jacob 5 to understand how this is the last time of trying to cultivate the trees before they will be cut down and burned. The Lord of the vineyard was about to destroy it when the servant, much like Abraham, asked the Lord for another chance.

      These dispensations come when there has been a great apostasy as has been prophesied. In reading the Book of Mormon we see that there were over 30 apostasies of the church, starting with Lehi's day... it wasn't Lehi who was the apostate. It was the church leaving the simple doctrine of Christ. The doctrine of Christ is taught several times through out the Book of Mormon. It states in at least two of those times that if anyone adds or subtracts from what is outlined, that it is of the devil... consider re reading your book of Mormon just to find what Christ is telling you to look for in an apostate church. Then you will realize that an apostate church can't carry out any of the commandments given us from the Lord with any effect. Re baptism for this last dispensation ... which has had to be rebuilt from the remnants... is essentially a new dispensation. Read Jacob 5 with this in mind.

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    2. Thank you for the suggestion. I re-read it.

      Jacob 5 refers to the natural branches and the natural roots being grafted into the "mother" tree for the last time.

      While I don't agree with you that this is a new dispensation, I'm still looking for the new covenant requiring us to be baptized again.

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    3. What is a dispensation? Perhaps understanding what the purpose of a dispensation is can help us understand why this would be called a new one at this point in time.

      Full Definition of dispensation. 1 a : a general state or ordering of things; specifically : a system of revealed commands and promises regulating human affairs b : a particular arrangement or provision especially of providence or nature.

      this is a list of definitions
      that would clarify the need for and reason for calling it a new dispensation.

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    4. About baptism, when there is an apostasy the 'amen' to their priesthood and authority is absolute. It is necessary at that time to start over. Alma experienced this and baptized a people after wicked King Noah.

      As for the Jacob references, yes those are the terminology, but understanding their full meaning and application comes from understanding 'principles' and 'methods' the Lord uses to try and work with the people to save them from wicked societies.

      Broaden the application of the story to the world as a whole, and see how the natural branches are the world/natural man and the mother tree is the source of the doctrine of Christ or revelation.

      It sometimes has to be reversed... as in the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Sometimes the Lord asks us to see that good can become evil as in the Pharisees works that could be good works becoming evil in their branches over growing the roots or their works over growing the purpose or principle that was originally given to help strengthen their faith, becoming the very stone of stumbling.
      As in all scripture there are layers to peal back to get different and fuller understandings.

      The Lord uses dichotomies in 'terms' so that we must depend upon the Spirit and not on the knowledge or wisdom of men. What is good in one circumstance may be evil in another.. what is evil in one circumstance may be good in another. Nephi killing Laban is one of those times. There are many through out the scriptures.

      So when reading any passage we must stop and think about where and when and from who we received the understanding of that scripture and is it static or is there another understanding that explains why it was given to a gentile nation.

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    5. Hi Ahuizotl. I'll start by responding to your "sidebarred" issue of priesthood. (You can't "sidebar" it and then proceed to make your point about it. ;-)

      The priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery before the church existed. It was conferred in a man-to-man succession, and has been ever since. The "church" never had the power to ordain anyone, although the church has taken control and attempted to regulate who is ordained. Nobody obtains priesthood from the church.

      Priesthood is obtained by ordination in a man-to-man succession. Power in that priesthood is obtained directly from God. Both are necessary, and the church has no power to remove either.

      Now, as to your question about what the new covenant is now: D&C 84:57 defines the new covenant as the Book of Mormon, which was treated lightly in the early Mormon church, thus bringing the whole church under condemnation. But clearly a book is not a covenant.

      Therefore, I believe this phrasing is meant to refer to the purpose and contents of the Book. It was designed to restore the knowledge of God's covenants, and the path to receiving them. (I’ve written more about this in part 7 of the Name of Jesus Christ series.) The apostate branches of Mormonism have all strayed very far from the truths taught in the Book of Mormon, to the point that they all actively participate in leading people astray from the covenants God wishes to make with us all.

      This is the reason another dispensation has been sent. I’m here defining “dispensation” as God speaking from heaven, revealing truth, calling an authorized servant to teach and restore lost truth, so God’s covenants can again be made available. Joseph Smith’s dispensation dwindled in apostasy and neglect. Now that sufficient time has passed, the Lord is making a new attempt.

      As with all previous dispensations, whether this current dispensation leads to the God’s covenants being made widely available depends on how we respond to God’s message. God has prescribed that we demonstrate acceptance of his word and his truth by being baptized. This is a tangible act of obedience, demonstrating our faith.

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    6. Ahuizotl,

      Joseph Smith did not say that the dispensation of the fulness of times was ushered in; he said it was 'beginning' to usher in.

      The fulness of times composes of much more than what we have seen the last 175 years.

      The problem I see with Denver's movement is the complete lack of understanding of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. They have too many blind spots to ignore.

      They do not realize that the LDS church is part of God's plan.

      All of this confusion is necessary. Only the elect will come to understanding.

      The new and everlasting covenant has not been re-established. The keys of the kingdom are still held by Joseph Smith.

      Denver's movement disregard modern revelation in favor of the Book of Mormon.

      They essentially are trying to live out the Book of Mormon the same way Protestants are trying to live out the Pentecost.

      I hope this comment goes through.

      -G.azelem

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    7. G.azelem, do you see any evidence of actual revelation in the LDS movement since Joseph Smith? Joseph, like prophets in all ages often came right out and said in effect, "This is what Jesus Christ told me to tell you." Denver Snuffer says the same thing again and again. Whether one believes him or not, he is saying something fundamentally different from the millions of words uttered and written by LDS apostles since Joseph.

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    8. G.azelem, interesting post, yes, Joseph Smith is the only holder of the keys of the last dispensation. However, no one has declared him non-existent or non-participatory in this movement. In fact they have claimed just the opposite.

      The book of Mormon is not the new and everlasting covenant, it is the new covenant that the LDS church has quietly displaced and even miss-interpreted on occasion causing great blindness. The book of Jacob actually condemning polygamy is said to endorse it. In this same book it states clearly that Solomon and David were wicked in their polygamous practice, yet the 132 Section of the D&C state just the opposite. Joseph Smith taught that this Book of Mormon was the most correct book and anyone following its precepts would get closer to God than by any other means.

      Modern revelation has been the road down to apostasy in the LDS church. I could take the time to point out how many times the church's modern speakers at conferences have not only dissembled doctrine found in the book of Mormon, but has also dissembled talks by other speakers in that same conference. Anyone actually paying attention would see these contradictions. The Lord isn't one to throw out His own doctrine and replace it every conference.

      At least that is how I have perceived Him. If the Book of Mormon is the most correct, how do you improve upon that?

      Christ's own words from a prophet stating His doctrine and then saying that anyone adding or taking away from it came of evil... how do you explain all the taking away and adding that has been done in the LDS church. I am sincerely asking.

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    9. Yikes. I wasn't clear enough.

      You misunderstand me completely.

      By modern revelation I mean the D&C, not the bs taught by lds leaders since the death of Joseph.

      I invite you to read my blog, theworkofthefather.wordpress.com

      I completely agree that polygamy is and always has been an abomination.

      -G.azelem

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    10. The D&C has been tampered with in spots... for instance, the second half of 132. This was written by BY after Joseph was dead. It is totally off in several remarkable ways.

      Glad to know you agree on the polygamy issue.

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    11. btw I read your second comforter page. There was no place to make any comments...

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    12. Gazelem,

      Sandra addressed most of your points or alleged blind spots. But a couple remain.

      You said, "The problem I see with Denver's movement is the complete lack of understanding of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham. They have too many blind spots to ignore.

      "They do not realize that the LDS church is part of God's plan."

      Care to explain your thoughts on Denver's lack of understanding of the Abrahamic covenant? I think I see where you're going. At least the Aaronic priesthood has been distributed greatly throughout the world already in what appears to be a partial fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. Though we need to keep in mind God's work certainly isn't complete. And to keep in mind that the "commencement" of His work is still yet future. See last half of 3 Nephi 21.

      How does the the remnant movement not understand the role of the LDS Church in God's plan?

      Are you saying that God has an irrevocable loyalty to the Corporation of the Church of of JC of LDS? Perhaps you are conflating the meaning of corporate church with the definition Christ uses in DC 10:67-69?

      I look forward to your response.

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    13. Underdog,

      You said, "Though we need to keep in mind God's work certainly isn't complete. And to keep in mind that the "commencement" of His work is still yet future."

      My fear is that you will all be building Denver's temple and miss out when the commencement begins.

      God no longer has a loyalty to the LDS church, no.

      God rejected the church by 1842.

      I do not conflate the coporation with D&C 10:67-69.

      Christ's church is those that repent and come unto him. However, NO ONE is coming unto him.

      D&C 41:5 He that receiveth my law (section 42) and doeth it, the same is my disciple.

      No one is coming unto Christ. That is why His church is no longer on the earth.

      What I meant by 'the remnant movement does not understand the role of the LDS church' was not to mean that the LDS church is necessarily a good thing.

      What I mean is that the remnant does not understand WHY the LDS church has fallen into apostasy.

      No one understands that the new and everlasting covenant was broken by 1835.

      No one understands WHY the baptismal prayer was changed in the 1835 D&C.

      It is naive to think that by simply saying the ordinance correctly is going to solve our awful situation.

      Joseph Smith changed the prayer ordinance in the 1835 ordinance because there was no longer the authority to baptize.

      The ordinance was changed, the laws (section 42) broken, just like Isaiah foresaw.

      -G.azelem



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    14. The LDS church is as necessary to God's plan as the Pharisees were necessary or as the Catholic church was necessary. Evil and corruption are necessary as explained here:

      2 Nephi 2:11
      11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

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    15. Gazelem,

      You spoke in absolute terms several times. You said "no one" 4 times, including capitalizing one usage when you said, "NO ONE is coming unto Him."

      Using absolute terms is something I consciously shy away from using unless I'm absolutely sure of something and even then I usually forebear as an exercise in humility. So you've lost some credibility on this basis alone.

      I assume "no one" excludes you, since you position yourself as one with answers. "Gazelem" refers to a seer, so is it safe to assume that's how you view yourself?

      As "Gazelem", to clarify, are you rejecting Denver as a true messenger sent and authorized by God to deliver a message? If so, care to expose his error? I would be interested to hear your take.

      Thank you,

      Underdog

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    16. Underdog,

      I did say NO ONE. And will continue to say this until I see that the law of the gospel has been bound up among the Saints.

      Though I do seek him daily, I still have not come unto Christ and been perfected in him.

      I still need to rend the veil of my unbelief. According to the Book of Mormon, we have not fully repented. Until we do, we remain in hidden darkness.

      That's why Oliver Cowdery was to preach nothing but repentance. God knew that the Saints wouldn't even be able to do that.

      I do not consider myself a prophet, nor a seer. I am someone who recognizes that until the law and testimony is bound up and sealed, we remain in a state of apostasy.

      *

      Sandra said, "The LDS church is as necessary to God's plan as the Pharisees were necessary or as the Catholic church was necessary."

      Correct.

      I really invite everyone reading this to take a look at my blog. It's not often any of my comments are noticed, let alone responded to. I thank all of you that have replied to me, even if you disagree with me. It's remarkable that this conversation is even happening.

      On my site, I point out a few of Denver's errors. I do not believe Denver is authorized by God, although he is correct in many things.

      The fact of the matter, the heavens are sealed until the Melchizedek priesthood returns to the earth. So anyone claiming to receive a visit from Christ is on very shaky ground.

      -G.azelem

      theworkofthefather.wordpress.com

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    17. The heavens are not sealed. Nope... some of us have seen them open, have visitations from the Lord, Himself, have received administrations, miracles, wondrous things. To state otherwise, you are putting yourself in the same category mentioned in the Book of Mormon...
      3 Nephi 29:7
      7 Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!

      or here:Mormon 9:15
      15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.

      I think the heavens are as open as we are to receive them or as closed as we are closed to them.

      God is actively working with those willing to receive Him and willing to do His will.

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    18. G.azelem,

      I would strongly recommend you do a little more research on Joseph Smith. I just read your part three on the role of women.. you actually have to know Joseph Smith was not a polygamist. Brigham and Bennett as well as others who were practicing polygamy spread lies about Joseph Smith. He wrote and spoke about it often. There are two sources I would urge you to take the time to study.

      http://downloads.miridiatech.com.s3.amazonaws.com/remnant/JosephSmithsMonogamy.pdf

      I guarantee you don't want to besmerch the name of Joseph Smith...
      http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm

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    19. Sandra,

      I am not the kind of person that 3rd Nephi 29:7 is talking about. I believe in Miracles and angels and visitations from Jesus Christ.

      The fact of the matter is that there are many false deceiving spirits, even false Christ's.

      Satan is not trying to turn you into bad people. He is just trying to distract you. That's why basically everything you think and believe is correct.

      You're all doing great things giving great talks etc. But bottom line: Denver has not been authorized by God. If you're listening to his drivel youre going to miss out on the real gathering that's about to literally take place.

      *

      You must have skimmed my article because in it I admit that I used to believe Joseph was innocent of polygamy.

      Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God who fell into sin. In the fulness of times he will be redeemed like the rest of Christ's humble followers. We are all broken and led astray.

      Denver does not hAve the power to bring us forth out of captivity. We have all made a covenant with satan and are under his power.

      According to Daniel, Satan prevails against the Saints until the Ancient of Days return's.

      The ancient of days holds the keys to the final dispensation. The church did not usher in the final dispensation and thus Satan prevailed, even against Joseph.

      -G.azelem

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  7. Yes Sandra the things you have mentioned have crossed my mind. Sorry I am so clueless as to where we really are and congratulations that you have figured it all out. You know when you have come out of the LDS church being so brainwashed and no one tells you point blank where we are dwelling, it is a little disturbing to my mind to actually hear it or read it being said. I am glad you have this all figured out, I am still learning, I asked a serious question and was looking for some feedback not to be talked down to like I am some idot. Sorry but for me some of this is hard stuff.

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    1. Peace, Anonymous. Perhaps it came across that way to you, but I don't think anyone was intending to talk down to you. These are hard things to learn, and I don't think anyone comes by them lightly. I'm sorry that you did not receive the feedback that you were seeking.

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    2. Anonymous, I'm sorry I came across condescending. I didn't mean to. I had discovered this information and saw them as clues. If we were speaking face to face you would have seen that I was enthusiastic about sharing what I had found out and it wouldn't have been seen as speaking down to you. Posting facelessly does have its downside.

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  9. Thank you Sandra, I am sorry I took it that way. I am just trying to process this information and what it truly means and why I am really down here. I just do not understand how Heavenly Father could create this earth with all of its beauty and we are down here and this is hell. I am not disputing it is, I am just, well I guess truly trapped down here and the truth is the Savior is the only one who can get me out of this place.

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  10. So true. The Savior, coming down from exquisite glory to dwell among those 'stuck' here is no small wonder to me. The awesome thing is, He did create a beautiful place for us to work it all out. In the D&C 88 it tells us that He is the light in all things, even the light that gives us life. He didn't just dump us in hell and walk away. He created it all for our good and experience... (D&C 121 & 122).. then He joined us and gave His whole life for us. So even though this is Hell, we are given so much we really can't complain. In fact being grateful is all we can do besides being repentant and taking full advantage of what He has and is doing for us.

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  11. Amen Sandra, that was beautifully put, I agree. I just love the Savior so much, he is the most wonderful person I know and I just cannot wait to be with him forever.

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  12. Perhaps it could be said this world is the “gates of hell,” which stand open to receive us because we are in peril every hour here, but yet we can sacrifice and escape through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If we die without accepting His salvation, then we will be in hell indefinitely, wherein no labor can be performed.

    And here is my attempt to unravel the confusion surrounding a new dispensation: http://www.cachevalleybaptisms.org/2016/09/is-this-a-new-dispensation.html

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    1. Interesting Brian, your link gave me some insights. Thank you.

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  13. The only thing I would suggest is that the Savior can perform His work. If there are authorized servants that we are aware of, we should seek ordinances under their hands. This does not preclude the Lord from calling and ordaining other servants. It's quite possible there are others being called in the vineyard. We as gentiles belonging to a wayword people who were given promises at one time may have a servant that is called to work among us. The blessings and warnings given may be limited in scope to our people. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if there are other servants called elsewhere, once the dust settles.

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    1. I agree that it is a definite possibility that other servants are being called Peter. Daniel, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel were all called at the same time, yet they do not appear to recognized each other. There messages, however, are based upon the same things.

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    2. I would agree, Peter, that a celestial Lord undoubtedly has many irons in the fire. I love the almost casual passing reference in D&C 49:8 to advanced, holy men that we have no clue about:

      "8 Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of."

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    3. Great one Patty. I think it is worth proclaiming from the housetops... so many limit what God can and is doing and who He is doing it with.

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    4. G.azelem, if you have been given the gift of seer, you need to remember to not take yourself too seriously. That is the path of failure.

      Also, to say no one is coming to Christ is to make Christ impotent and dependent upon us..... it is HIS work and HIS gory to bring to pass our eternal life and immortality. Not ours. Also... if Christ has come to someone and told them their calling and election is sure... who are men to counter that? And if He comes and tells someone they are a prophet and that He has a work for them to do... are they not already 'to Him' through Him?

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    5. Sandra,

      not a seer by any means.

      And I don't mean to take myself seriously. In real life you'd find I am quite humble and try and learn from whomever I come into contact with.

      I agree that it's God's work and not our own.

      If Christ comes and tells someone they are a prophet, I'm not going to counter that.

      All I'm doing is measuring their claims against the pattern found in the D&C for the latter-day church of God.

      My viewpoint is quite different than most.

      I don't think you'll get where I'm coming from until you read some of my posts.

      Thanks Sandra,

      G.

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    6. Beware of what is written in the D&C because some things were changes after Joseph's death and some were changed even while he was being imprisoned. I would never put the D&C ahead of any other scripture and absolutely not before The Lord.

      I have read your post on the second comforter and I have to believe you are being blinded. for instance, consider the importance you put in the idea that 'second' comforter was absolutely different than 'other' comforter. Using the term 'The Spirit of Truth' is no different than the many times we see the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit being used interchangeably.

      It shows you how diverse the workings of God are. In Moroni 7 it uses the term 'Spirit of Christ'... I believe from my own experience, that these many different terms of Spiritual interventions are different 'operations' ..

      Anyway... take care and pray for guidance.

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    7. Gazelle,

      If you agree so much with the D&C, why do you claim the authority to baptize was lost in 1835? Have you read section 124?

      31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
      32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

      This indicates that their baptisms were acceptable to God. Even their baptisms for the dead at that time were acceptable. After they failed, they were rejected with their dead, but it never says their baptisms would no longer be acceptable or that they would lose the authority to baptize.

      How do you reconcile this?

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    8. Bryce,

      I'd like to break down some of the verses of Section 124 to refute your position, but I am out of town and only have my phone. Perhaps I'll make a post on authority/baptisms for the dead when I come home and explain.

      Those verses don't mean exactly what you think they mean.

      That aside, let me expound why I say they no longer had authority.

      When you are baptized you take the name of Jesus Christ upon you. This is what the Saints were doing. But... they broke the new and everlasting covenant (section 104)... this is why the church had its name changed to "church of latter day Saints" in the 1835 D&C; they no longer had Christ's name put upon them.

      This removed authority for a fulness of baptism. (Best way I can put it)

      There are different degrees of acceptable baptisms/ordinances. That's apparent in D&C 35 which says that Sidney Rigdon was performing acceptable baptisms before he was even ordained by Joseph Smith.

      I never explained any of this very well, but thank you for your sincere questions.

      -g.azelem

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  14. I've been away on vacation.

    Gazelem, yes I agree with you that Denver isn't a true messenger and doesn't understand the covenant God's people are under.

    The fullness was lost and God ushered in the Gospel of Abraham. That gospel is still what is in effect today. However, it's such a hidden gem that most people won't dig to find it.

    Which is why I asked which covenant now would require a new baptism. I got my answer.

    Adrian writes some very thought provoking blog posts, that are very sincere at times. However, as for a new covenant requiring baptism, yes, that will come. Just not now.

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  15. I enjoy your comments and observations, Ahuizotl, do continue.

    May I share my witness that every time I’ve read or listened to Denver’s talks or books I’ve experienced a witness of the spirit that I was encountering truth. When I heard his call to baptism at the recent Doctrine of Christ conference in Boise I experienced a singular knowing that what he said was inescapably true and binding on my soul. After having been on the path of the renewed restoration for a year I felt it was time to respond by being re-baptized recently with a friend. That was a joyful moment.

    May you find what you seek. If Denver refuses to contest your conclusions who am I to contest your conclusions? With God’s thoughts and ways being higher than ours as the heavens are from the earth, the Gospel of Abraham may well indeed be where we heading. If you start prefacing your observations with, “The Lord told me to share this with you . . .” you will have my undivided attention.

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  16. -G.azelem

    I don't feel it is essential to convince you of the innocence of Joseph Smith. I can only say, I KNOW he is. I don't spend my time defending men called by God, I spend my time teaching principles of the gospel and testifying of Christ.

    I know there are lying spirits out there, but it is a cheap trick to point the finger at everyone but yourself when identifying other's spiritual experiences as sourced from the devil.

    Personally I have had Satan visit and speak with me on several occasions.. and I have and NDE and met with Christ face to face. I have visions, visitations and spiritual enlightenment and know the difference between the two sources.

    Joseph Smith has visited with me on an occasion and told me several interesting things. The things he told me assures me he was not a fallen prophet.

    That is all I will say in response to any of the posts you have written.

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    1. Sandra,

      Make no mistake: Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God. He is going to return to the earth and fulfill his calling. Had he ministered among the people of Enoch, he would have been raptured. It's not his fault that he was called to preach to a pepole that would refuse to repent and accept the fulness of the gospel.

      You said " it is a cheap trick to point the finger at everyone but yourself when identifying other's spiritual experiences as sourced from the devil."

      I have had many visions and revalations in my life. I became painfully aware that they were from Satan.

      I don't doubt you've had many wonderful encounters with God and angels. I don't belittle any of that. We need to seek the Lord's face daily.

      God is guiding us to truth if that is our ultimate desire. We must experience deception and confusion. Thats why the LDS church stands as it does.

      -G.azelem

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  17. Patty,

    I find it so interesting that you desire people to claim that God has told them to share something.

    According to Daniel, Satan is prevailing against the Saints until the Ancient of Days returns.

    So... if you believe the words of Daniel... you need to think that maybe Satan is prevailing against you.

    Satan is, against me...

    Against all of us, PREVAILLING.

    The question is: what are we right about and where have we been deceived?

    We need to question any person that claims to speak for the Lord. Especially if we know that the Ancient of Days has not arrived on scene.

    Denver has taught you many wonderful truths and brought you closer to God. But Denver is in no better shape than us. Adam has not returned. Satan is prevailling against Denver, therefore he cannot be sanctified. This means that his visit from Christ could not be a true visit and true Christ.

    We need to recognize just how awful our situation is, instead of deluding ourselves into thinking we are in tune with God when none of us are sanctified.

    -g.azelem

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    1. Gazelem, are you suggesting that no one can claim to have been visited by Christ or to speak for the Lord who lived after the prophet Daniel (about 600 BC) and before the return of the Ancient of Days?

      By that logic, not only are there no prophets today, there haven't been since Daniel. This would include the ministry of Christ both to the Jews and also to the Nephites.

      This idea invalidates all scriptures received after Daniel.

      I agree that we need to recognize our awful situation, stop deluding ourselves, and seek the Lord. I disagree that we can't receive the Lord's word until we are sanctified. Even Cain heard the voice of the Lord (right after he killed Abel). God speaks to me. I don't always hear Him, but He does speak.

      If we just need to recognize how awful our situation is, what then? Wait around and be depressed until Adam comes?

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    2. Blair,

      I'm not talking about no scripture and no prophets.

      Satan is prevailing in different ways against the Saints of different ages.

      In the meridian of time he prevailled by killing off the apostolic church.

      He prevailed against the LDS church as we all agree.

      So why would he not be prevailing even now?

      God is preparing the elect who will successfully establish Zion. Until then the elect will grow in faith.

      So yes, we will wait and be depressed, waiting for that day... We are so broken and hurt by this world, by friends, family, churches, prophets ...

      Nothing will heal us but the fulness.

      All I ever wanted was to find it. But it is not available at this time. For now I enjoy the degree of the spirit I have the privilege to receive...waiting and watching.

      -G.azelem

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    3. Sorry, my comment below should have shown up here.

      I disagree that the fullness is unavailable, and I fail to see why you think that it is. Don't wait, continue to seek. What do you have to lose?

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    4. I will always continue to seek.

      -G.

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  18. In reference to the above scriptural arguments that certain people have special, higher understanding, and comprehend special hidden knowledge the rest of us do not, and indeed cannot, and therefore baptism isn't necessary or effective, I would simply say, this is another illustration of what I referenced in the post.

    It really comes down to whether God speaks again, has called and authorized servants, and is in the process of fulfilling his word. If so, rebaptism is incumbent on all who accept the Lord's work and want to be numbered among His people. If not, then there's no point in being rebaptized.

    The trick is to judge the matter correctly.

    It's beyond dispute the LDS church is in apostasy, and has been for quite a long time. The question is this: What is God doing about it?

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  19. When I taught Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School, g.azelem, I learned that true ancient prophets always qualified their teaching when it came from God by saying it came from God. Those that they taught or warned almost universally rejected their words. On a good day the hearers didn’t beat up the teachers. Despite claims to divine revelation by leaders in all Mormon sects since Joseph Smith the pattern persists to this day. When God has something to tell us he has true messengers qualify the teachings as coming from God by assignment and usually using existing scripture. No less than our Lord followed this pattern.

    What we do with such claimed messages is completely up to us. While I’m first looking for teachers who claim to be speaking on God’s behalf it is up to me to test their messages. I agree with your concern about how we know what we believe. I believe it is critical for each of us to study and pray for the spirit to enlighten our minds regarding what a messenger teaches. Remarkably, it is no easier to recognize true teachers and true teachings today than it was at the time of Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, Daniel or Adam.

    I resonate to your inclination to humility, g.azelem. I love Moses’ stark but completely useful insight once he’d recovered from the vision of all with the Lord: “Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.” (Moses 1:10) Only those who seek God with “a broken heart and a contrite spirit” will lower the barriers we naturally erect between us and the divine in this toxic, telestial place—enough for God to do something useful with us.

    One of the signs to me that Denver Snuffer is an actual messenger from the Father is his humility. Unlike Brigham Young, Joseph Stalin, Warren Jeffs or Donald Trump, Denver rejects the cult of personality and the perks of position that so universally define the strongman. Remarkably, Denver is the first to protest that he is no better than any of us. I agree with your call for us to accept how truly, desperately we are in need of light, knowledge and the grace of God.








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  20. I agree with you Patty. I was thinking on how Christ taught in several places that we were to be baptized, born again, and become perfect in Him and how Nephi taught that the Lord gives no commandment unto the children of men save He prepares a way for them to accomplish them... how sweet it is to know the Lord keeps His own promises to us. He has never left us alone.

    The Lord has given us rebirth, has given us commandments to be baptized and has given us a way to accomplish all things NOW...

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  22. Wow, Robert, you've gotten so many things wrong in what you wrote, that I don't even know where to begin. Suffice it to say you have, intentionally or unintentionally, misunderstood, mischaracterized, and misconstrued a great deal. If you're interested in learning the truth of these things, I'll be glad to elaborate. If your point was only to call me wrong, well, you've made your point and there's no good that comes from further argument, so I won't attempt it.

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