Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Temple, Part 2: Strange Work


For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
—Isaiah 28:21


The unexpected nature and structure of the efforts to gather funds for the temple may look strange at first. But I believe there are good reasons behind the decisions that have been made. And, as Isaiah noted, one of the hallmarks of the Lord’s work is its strange appearance to us before we fully understand it.

So let’s start by trying to understand the Isaiah verse I quoted in the header, above. The reference to the valley of Gibeon refers to the Lord fighting Israel’s battles and destroying their enemies as Israel gathered to their promised land (Joshua 10:10-14). Our Lord is mighty to accomplish His work and He keeps His promises.


Interestingly, the reference also speaks of mount Perazim, which harks back to the Lord’s offer to provide the fulness of the priesthood to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, their rejection of His offer, and their loss of the opportunity to receive the fulness. (Exodus 19:17-25 and D&C 84:23-25) In this case, during their travels in the wilderness, had the Israelites accepted the Lord’s offer, Mount Sinai would have been an acceptable temporary substitute for a temple.

The Lord made the same offer to restore the fulness of the priesthood to the LDS church at Nauvoo, with the stipulation that a temple was required for the Lord to visit and personally restore the fulness. (D&C 124:28) The church failed to complete the temple in time, and the fulness remains lost to this day. 

So I find it interesting that the Lord’s act is called strange, in relation to His efforts to gather His people, remove their obstacles, keep His promises, and come to His temple to restore the fulness.

Therefore, if we find the current efforts strange, we ought to take comfort that this precisely follows the pattern of scripture.

I’ve met and spoken with the three women who have organized the effort to collect funds for the temple. I believe they are the genuine article—which is to say, I believe they are honest, sincere, and committed to doing the Lord’s will. I believe the effort to gather funds is as safe in their hands as it could possibly be in the hands of mortals. They’ve been given a far more difficult task than we likely realize.

A Pile of Rocks

I’ll talk more about this situation, but first, I’d like to set the table by taking a look at a familiar scripture story through new eyes. Let’s talk about the brother of Jared’s situation with the barge lighting problem. 

Jared’s brother, Mahonri, had built barges before, and knew how to do it, but in the past they had been primarily used to cross smaller bodies of water. The command to use the same barge design for long-distance seafaring highlighted how unsuited the barges were to cross the ocean. The two biggest problems were air and light.

The Lord explained the solution to the air issue (and it may not be what you were taught in Sunday School) but He didn’t provide the solution to the light issue. Instead, the Lord told Mahonri the solutions that would NOT be acceptable: Fire and windows.

Now, consider this—in the pre-electric age, what other light sources were there besides fire and sunlight? It seems the Lord specifically forbad the only two possible solutions, knowing in His wisdom, that both would result in disaster.

This left Mahonri to wrestle with the problem and do the best he could to find an “impossible” solution—ultimately taking it to the Lord for approval. And what was his solution?

Rocks.


Would that be the first idea you had? Have you ever considered how absurd that must have looked? How strange? How long do you suppose Mahonri wrestled with the problem? How many other ideas did he investigate and ultimately reject? How the heck do you get light without fire or the sun? And perhaps the biggest question of all: Why didn’t the Lord simply tell Mahonri how to solve the problem, like He had with the air?

Have you ever noticed how beaten Mahonri was when he finally took his rocks to the Lord? (Ether 3:1-5) Have you considered his humility? His brokenness? His desperate acknowledgement of his unworthiness? How he begged the Lord not to be angry with him for his weakness? How he pleaded for pity—because he was, after all, pitiful. How inadequate his pile of rocks must have seemed before the God of heaven!

All this man had to offer was rocks and groveling. But he was now a different man than the one who initially built the barges. It was the wrestle with the problem that changed him, and prepared him to be redeemed.

And thus, having been prepared by the LACK of commandment—and the LACK of revelation in the face of a very real temporal need—when he finally went before the Lord in abject humility and brokenness, he was brought into the Lord’s presence and redeemed from the fall.

The Lord immediately accepted Mahonri’s proposed solution—the rocks—and intervened with His power to turn them from inadequate stones into the perfect solution to the problem. But that was just a pretense for Him to do what really needed to be done. The Lord wanted the prepared man redeemed from the fall, and he used the man’s struggle to accomplish it. The point of the exercise was, in the end, to accomplish the Lord’s work.

A Pile of Money

Now, with that background, consider how one might go about gathering funds for a temple, when given the task by the Lord and told to go figure it out. On the surface, it sounds rather simple, and no doubt we could all think of some simple solutions. Trouble is, the more the solutions are investigated, the more thorny the problem becomes. Here are some issues:

Fund Raising: this activity is heavily regulated in most states, and requires compliance with state laws in every state where funds are to be solicited. If you do it online…well, that pretty much covers every state. And if you break state laws in any state, you open yourself to lawsuits, penalties, and even criminal charges. Raise your hand if you want to be personally on the line for that…

Taxation: So it turns out the government likes to tax income. Who knew? If money comes to you in such a way that it counts as income…well, kiss half of it goodbye. Do you want to risk losing half the sacred funds to taxes because your solution isn’t structured properly?

Liability: A large sum of money could create an attractive target for the greedy or disgruntled. Would you want to be the one who loses the sacred funds you failed to protect?

Ownership: Under our legal and economic framework, the funds must be owned by a person or an entity. Any business entity, like a corporation or a non-profit, is a creation of the state, and therefore only exists under the control of the state. It is subject to regulation, and even dissolution by state action—if the state creates it, the state can dissolve it. In the case of non-profits, if the state affords an organization tax-free benefits of operation, they also control almost every other aspect of the organization through a vast array of regulation, including what can be done with the funds and property when the time comes to dissolve the non-profit. Zion and the  temple cannot risk future conflict and control for mere expediency in the ease of collecting money at the present.

On the other hand, a person, who cannot be dissolved by the state, becomes personally liable and accountable for all activities involved in the collection, handling, and dispersement of funds. There is no way to shield the person, their family, their other assets, or their reputation from any difficulties that arise from the effort. Risk is present with either form of ownership.

Past Abuse: Many who are interested in donating to the temple fund have also suffered past abuse, both financial and ecclesiastical, by churches and church leaders. Any solution that appears to repeat that abuse is immediately suspect. Though a “church” is the most obvious solution to the problem, it is the least desirable. Forming a church is out of the question.

Target Audience: How to put this delicately? The so-called “remnant” movement includes intelligent, outspoken, opinionated and often passionate people all with varying levels of understanding. While many will respond with gratitude and kindness, ANY effort WILL be also criticized and attacked by those who are eager to find fault. Obviously, this complicates any proposed solution.

Every “simple” solution, including opening a bank account and telling people to donate to it, forming a corporation, a non-profit, or a church, triggers one or more of the above difficulties, ultimately subjecting the fund to inordinate opposition, losses or risks. The three women, who were tasked with this effort by the Lord, spent many months and substantial amounts of their own money consulting multiple attorneys and accountants regarding various possibilities. Ultimately, the problem proved MUCH more difficult than it initially appeared.

And while the solutions they’ve proposed may look like common rocks, I believe the Lord can work with these solutions and touch them to make them exactly what they need to be. Each has unique strengths that help accomplish the task at hand.

Many have asked questions about the two funding routes, and though I’m no expert, I’ll offer what explanations I can.

1. The GoFundMe account

This approach has the advantage of simplicity. It complies with fundraising laws, allows anyone to donate in seconds, and due to the laws associated with gifts, it can aggregate the funds in such a way as to prevent taxation. It’s actually a very good solution, as evidenced by the thousands who use the service every day for all sorts of purposes.

Of course, this simplicity comes at a price, and GoFundMe takes 5% for providing the service—which I think is reasonable for what they provide. An additional 3% (approximately) is taken by the credit card processing, which is typical for accepting credit cards. So in the end 8% of the funds go elsewhere and 92% go to the temple, which is an issue to which some have objected.

I’m not a financial expert, but I do know that it is lawful to give money to anyone you choose and you can do so without any tax consequences to yourself if you keep your gift to no more than $14,000 per year ($28,000 if married). If you find the GoFundMe fees excessive, then there’s nothing stopping you from sending a check directly to the woman behind the fund. It may take a little ingenuity on your part to figure out how to get it to her, as there is no address, but where there’s a will there's a way. In such a case, 100% would go into the fund, with no processing costs. If you do that, I recommend including a “gift letter” stating that the money is a gift, donated to a cause you believe in, with no exchange of value or services rendered to you in exchange for the monetary gift. This letter gives added protection from the money being classified as income.

2. Tree of Life Creations

Quintina BearChief-Adolpho, a full-blooded Blackfoot First Nations member, has an established business on the Siksika Nation Reservation, through which she can accept gifts in exchange for providing services to members of her tribe. Located, as it is, in a sovereign nation, the business receives favorable protections and eliminates taxation and regulation. If you read her website carefully, you’ll note that 100% of the funds gifted will be consecrated by her to the facility to be built. This approach has clear advantages due to its unique situation. Her family has other sources of income, which allow her to give complete consecration of the gifted revenue received in exchange for the service provided by her business toward this objective.

My personal opinion is that the Lord’s hand is in each of these approaches, and that promises made to the fathers thousands of years ago—promises the Lord has kept in miraculous ways—have paved the way for these solutions to be available for these perplexing problems. If you search scriptural prophecy carefully, you may likely encounter delightful discoveries about these efforts.

I do believe each of these solutions complies with applicable law, while brilliantly solving the regulatory and taxation issues that appeared to be insurmountable problems, now leaving only the problem of criticism, about which little can be done. People must be free to oppose and criticize the Lord’s work in every age.

By the way, I hear other solutions are also being considered, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see other options made available as the Lord’s strange work progresses. Through it all, remember nobody is getting paid, and 100% of what makes its way to the fund will go to the temple and grounds.

Gossamer Thread

The Lord accomplishes His work by small and simple means. If you’re looking for something grand, powerful or polished, you may miss the mark. Seemingly, there’s nothing but a gossamer thread tying these present efforts to the eventual construction of a temple and the establishment of Zion. Many things could go wrong, and there’s no end of ways to fail.

Therefore, it takes faith to get behind this effort. And this is as it should be. If it were so obvious and so superior to opposing ideas, it would be easy to do the Lord’s will, and would require no faith. But this situation is the opposite. Only hindsight will ever validate the faith it now takes to donate to this effort. The temple and Zion are, at present, nothing more than desires and hopes. I understand how hard it is to stake your money on what appears to be nothing more than a pipe dream. This is why faith is required.

Now that I’ve explained how I view this effort, I’m next going to take a crack at answering some of the questions that have come my way. Remember, as with what I’ve already written above, I don’t speak for anyone else, so these are my own answers based on my own opinion.


We can start with the following list of questions.

  • Where will the temple be built?
  • Does this mean it will be in Canada?
  • When will the construction start?
  • Who will build it?
  • How will it be built?
  • What will it look like?
  • Who will own the land?
  • Who will control the expenditures?
  • Who will enter the temple once it’s complete?
  • What if the economy crashes and renders money worthless?
  • And so on…

The answers to all of these questions, as far as I know, remain to be seen. Until there is a more detail given by God, these will remain largely unanswered. The present effort only deals with gathering funds against that time. Nothing in the current effort compels any particular answer to any question I've listed above. I’m as excited as you are to have the answers to these things, and until the answers are given, it’s best not to assume anything. The Lord’s work is often surprising, and will likely not unfold in the way we expect.

I doubt Nephi had any idea he would eventually build a ship until he had been waiting patiently at the beach for years. Then, when the time was right, the Lord gave details and showed Nephi how to proceed. Likewise the Savior, who was prepared and eager to start His mission at age 12, had to patiently wait a further 18 years before the time was right.

Until more light is given, we are left to act in faith on what light we have. It will certainly take patience.

“Who will receive the commandment when it comes? How will I know it’s from God? I won’t follow a man!”

Yeah, I feel ya. But Enoch managed it somehow. Ask yourself how that happened. Was there a prophet/teacher among them? Did he provide the revelation needed? Did they “follow” Enoch, or did they “follow” the word of the Lord revealed through Enoch? If you believe a man is sent by the Lord and speaking the Lord’s word, does “receiving” that word constitute “following” a man? This is worth considering. The Lord has a pattern He uses in these situations. We would do well to recognize and expect that pattern—and realize that He works through mortals.

Denver Snuffer has repeatedly spoken and written about the need for a temple in Zion. I believe he is speaking the Lord’s word in this matter, and I have good reasons for why I believe so. I also believe the scriptures support this effort. But that’s a large subject for a separate post.

In the end, I believe it’s crucial to be able to hear the Lord’s voice, so you can ask Him and receive His answer. 

“What do these women know about building a temple?”

I don’t know. But that’s beside the point; they’re not building a temple. They’re gathering money, and they know how to do that. We still don’t know who will head up the building effort, or who will participate in construction. If you want to be involved in building the temple, I suggest taking that desire to the Lord and qualifying to be one He calls.

“Why is it just these three women? Why don’t I get a say in this? I really, really want to be involved. Am I not important?”

The best I can tell you is that the Lord calls who He will call and He is not a respecter of persons. Each of these women received a witness from the Lord that they are to do this work. So they shouldered the burden and got to work, sacrificing their time, money, reputations, and peace to accomplish what the Lord has asked of them. Doing the Lord’s work has no glamour or fanfare. It’s usually a difficult slog, filled with challenges and criticism. It’s nothing to be envied. I’m sure it has already been harder than any of us can appreciate, and I, for one, have no desire to join them and be saddled with the labor and difficulties that come with such an assignment.

If you’ve ever worked on a committee or in a group, you know the larger the group, the more exponentially complicated the effort becomes. I see wisdom in handling the fundraising through a small group like this.

As for who is “important” and who is not, it’s perhaps natural to assume there are “big” people and “little” people—but I don’t think that assumption comes from the Lord. He is no respecter of persons, and cares more about your heart than your position. He calls specific people to do specific tasks for specific reasons, so it’s best to be content with what He has allotted each of us. (Alma 29:3)

Those who desire most to be in charge or important are often the least prepared to do what the Lord wants done. How many prophets, when called of God, have responded with “surely, not me!” I think we’re all well advised to remember the Lord’s counsel that the greatest in His eyes is the one who is the least and the servant of all. (Matthew 20:26-27) I don’t envy these women, though I do feel a great deal of gratitude for them. Remember, “envyings” were one of the factors that destroyed the last attempt at Zion (D&C 101:6). 

“But the Lord hasn’t issued a commandment. We shouldn’t do anything until He does!”

Every time I encounter this idea, I nearly get whiplash from D&C 58 leaping to mind:
For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward…But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned. (D&C 58:26-29)
What would have happened if Mahonri had not worked to solve his problem and taken that solution to the Lord? What if he had waited for a command, explaining exactly how to solve the lighting problem, and expended no effort of his own? And what about the countless other scriptural examples that could be cited of those who proceeded in faith, not knowing beforehand the things that they should do? (1 Nephi 4:6)

I’m truly bewildered by the idea that this effort belongs in a separate category from all the other things you and I do in faith every day, without a command from God. Today I did dozens of things God didn’t specifically ask me to do, as well as some things He did. And likely, so did you. Why does preparing for a future temple require a commandment above and beyond the indication that the commandment will come, paired with the common sense and reasoning ability God has given us all?

Look, nothing happens until mortals DO something. The temple won’t build itself, and the land and building won’t be paid for by magic. We’ve been repeatedly told the command is coming. Do we really need the Lord to command us to prepare for the commandment? If we can’t accomplish anything without being commanded, how will we ever become godly?

If you know you have a future large expense, you save for it. You save for your kids’ college, your retirement, a home, a major purchase and so on. Why? Common sense or commandment?

“You rob the poor by saving for a temple.”

I explained my take on “robbing the poor” in my last post, but some still raise this objection. As I noted in my prior post, using care for the poor as an excuse to thwart the Lord’s work was a Satanic objection offered by Judas Iscariot. Can we stop repeating him?

But there’s this:
And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7:18)
I don’t believe Enoch’s Zion came as a result of having no poor among them. Rather, I believe the opposite—that the reason there were no poor among them because that they were one with God in heart and mind and righteousness. Naturally, they were also equal in earthly things. 

I also note that there were no poor among them. It does not say there were no poor in all the world. Rather, it narrowly confines the elimination of poverty to what existed among the small cadre of those called Zion. Perhaps there’s a lesson here about realistic expectations and not running faster than we have strength

“But this doesn’t fit my current understanding of scripture or my preferred set of unbeliefs.”

Yeah, I sympathize. Seriously, I do. They don’t call it the Lord’s “strange” act for nothing. When I think about it, none of this fits the beliefs and understanding I had 5 years ago. Had you told me 5 years ago I would be an excommunicated Mormon, watching prophecy unfold, and preparing for Zion in my lifetime, I would have absolutely sworn you were mad. But I’ve learned more since then, and my beliefs have changed. Who’s to say yours won’t as well?

“But you don’t need a temple! All you need is Jesus!”

I believe you’re confusing individual redemption with the establishment of Zion. Yes, our Lord can and does personally minister and provide what individuals lack. He can and does redeem individuals from the fall, and he does it without an earthly building. But Zion is, by definition, a group. If you confuse group accomplishments with individual promises, you fail to understand WHAT great things the Lord intends to do and HOW he intends to do them. 

My last blog post was an attempt to lay out what I understand about it, but in the end, we all need to know much more than we do now. It will take a significant effort in study and prayer to begin to understand what the Lord intends. Saying you just need Jesus is, frankly, an excuse for ignorance of the Lord’s work. Why not set aside the easy answers and seek instead to understand the prophesied marvelous work and wonder? It’s happening.

Remember, our Lord is a Man of Covenants. To know Him is to covenant with him. The LDS church fell under condemnation by 1832 for taking such things lightly. (D&C 84:54-58) At what point will we begin to take seriously the responsibilities devolving upon us?

Though some may disagree and even oppose, I believe this effort is the beginning of the foundation of Zion. 


And now I say unto you, Refrain from these [women], and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God. 
—Acts 5:38-39 

That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God. 
—D&C 101:95

27 comments:

  1. Adrian,
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I have also pondered Isaiah's reference to the valley of Gibeon in connection with the Lord's strange act. Specifically, the "great slaughter" referenced in Joshua 10 sheds an interesting light on what the Lord's strange act will include.

    I also appreciate what Denver had to say about the Lord's strange act in Come, Let Us Adore Him, at pg.41:

    "It is through chosen people the Lord performs His 'strange act.' He put it this way in modern revelation: 'That I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God.' (D&C 101: 95; see also D&C 95:4.) This description of the Lord's unfolding plan for mankind ('strange act') was used anciently as well. (See Isa. 28:21). It is strange. The Lord uses people who think they are special and better than others to show in patience over generations how only the humble, the penitent, and the poor are His. All others are rejected."


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  2. Hopefully, our sought after status as a chosen people will not be limited to showing future generations our foolishness, failures, and petty contentions, in the same vein that we can look back at the failures of God's "chosen" people in former days.

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    1. Excellent point, Lance. It is my hope as well. The goal is almost unimaginable, but we've got to try.

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  3. I would like to add a couple thoughts here, and a comment may be the way to go about it so here goes.
    One
    I view common consent differently than I did years ago. I don’t view it as getting a bunch of uncommon people to consent to the same thing. I picture people with a consent they have in common being together. To illustrate: if you took a wad-o-people and put them in a group in center court of a stake house basketball court, and told everyone to pick a corner and go it, then you would end up with 4 groups that have their “consent in common” or they chose the same. This is in contrast to trying to get the wad-o-people to agree on one corner.

    At this point, everything is fine until you get the conversation rolling on why the southern corner group is rushing the pass, the northern group is full of idolatry, the eastern group is, well frankly to eastern, and the western group is the one true group. These people demand that the other groups are wrong, and of course, have to “warn their neighbors” of their peril. I affectionately refer to these people in my head as A-Holy-Oh’s.

    Only when the groups also commonly consent to allow the other groups to go in the direction they choose, can the groups begin to be zion.
    Two
    This effort could be doomed to failure, and still be the work of the Lord. People tend to think only of Joseph in the loss of the 116 pages, but what about Mormon? How much time did he “waste” gathering and abridging those pages? My understanding of the narrative of obtaining the brass plates includes the needed failure of the family money to solidify Nephi’s sole claim on the plates, and the order that it happened in. The thing I am certain of, is that we will see the hand of God in this process.

    And his disciples asked him saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?
    Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
    You are blind. If you allow it, the works of God shall be made manifest.

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  4. Again, Adrian thank you for using your talents and gifts to further explain the dilemmas we all look at. We appreciate your statements and have a testimony of this work. When we initially read the announcement we knew things were close but this brought it to a firm reality of how close things really are. It answered many of our questions and we appreciate the scriptures, time and efforts you always put in to do your research.

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  5. This was well done Adrian. As usual. Thank you.

    I don't know if I am the only one that has encountered many claiming to have a take on what is the marvelous work and wonder, or what is the strange act that the Lord was going to perform, but this could be one of them.

    I think my issues comes with what will be done in the temple. One suggested it would be sealings and baptisms for the dead (though she said it was only her opinion so it isn't an 'established fact')I found this disturbing. It is nothing more than the LDS temples. Why not just go back to them?

    In studying this out for several months, praying and asking to know if it was something I should get behind, I have been shown and given many scriptures and insights that would suggest it isn't something I should do.

    But perhaps it is for others.

    I'm praying for all of us to know what we are to do.



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  6. It's been a while since I've read it, but my patriarchal blessing says that I will be involved in the building of the Temple at the center stake of Zion. I always thought that referred to Independence, MO. My oh my, how things are developing differently from what I imagined. Very strange indeed.

    Needless to say, this is becoming very real, and exciting beyond compare.

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    1. You believe your patriarchal blessing given by a fallen patriarch from a fallen church and fallen priesthood?

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    2. Anonymous,

      There are a number of inherent assumptions in your statement that ought to be examined and understood.

      Fallen patriarch: All men are fallen. Is there such thing as a non-fallen patriarch? And can't fallen men still act in conformity with God's will and speak God's words?

      Fallen church: The church didn’t lose God’s recognition until 2014. Besides, the church didn’t give the blessing. So the "church" has nothing to do with it.

      Fallen priesthood: You are assuming that "blessing" is a function of or empowered by “priesthood,” which is also a term that is misunderstood and abused. Yet the scriptures show that spiritual gifts are all empowered by faith and the Holy Spirit, not priesthood.

      So it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that the man, acting in conformity with the Holy Spirit, exercised the gift of prophecy, by faith, and pronounced truth, regardless of the factors you listed.

      In other words, none of the factors you listed bear any relevance in ascertaining the truth of the statements made in the blessing. You are applying the wrong measuring stick entirely.

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    3. Mr. Larsen, how did the church lose God's recognition in 2014?

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    4. "Mr. Larsen, how did the church lose God's recognition in 2014?"

      It is Denver Snuffer's assertion that the church misused the priesthood and exercised unrighteous dominion by excommunicating him (then a temple recommend holding member in completely good standing). They claimed it was for apostasy but would not be specific as to what false doctrine he was guilty of teaching. His claim is that the Lord removed the priesthood of all involved in casting him out of the church.

      When he appealed his verdict to Monson, the First Presidency, and the Q15 the repeal was rejected. He further claims that the Lord removed the priesthood from these men. During the April 2014 General Conference, the general officers of the church voted to sustain the FP and Q15, and in that act they became complicit in the act of unrighteous dominion. Thus rendering their priesthood removed.

      It's a pretty bold claim but it is in harmony with the scriptures that the priesthood should not be used to compel but to persuade. Should it be used in any degree of unrighteousness then the Lord may see fit to remove it.

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    5. Hi Anonymous,

      A sound-bite answer really won’t do justice to a question this important, which ought to be studied out in detail. I’ve written a post that gives a brief explanation of what happened. Here’s the link:

      http://www.totheremnant.com/2015/02/prophets-part-6-another-prophet-now-is.html

      This is a very important topic, so I recommend you take it seriously enough to investigate it thoroughly. For more details, I recommend you read Denver Snuffer’s 10th lecture, and his book, Preserving the Restoration.

      Delete
  7. What about the parable that Denver wrote on his blog about not "rushing the pass" and waiting on the Lord? http://denversnuffer.com/2012/10/parable/. That would seem to contradict what you're saying about proceeding without a commandment.

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    1. Hi Daren, I'm glad you brought this up. This is a theme we all hear often—too often—and it seems that anyone who tries to do anything is immediately accused of “rushing the pass.” It's good to address it.

      First, I think it's important to consider some definitions. What is the "glory of the fathers?" What is the "pass?" Why is it described as "narrow?" What, and where, is the "beast" that waits there? What does it mean that the beast is described as "guarding" the way? What does it mean that the Lord brought those He had "chosen" to the mouth of the pass? Why did the Lord sneak past the beast, rather than defeating it? And what can we take from the curious statement about the two brothers?

      Why was this parable delivered at the "Temple Talk?"

      Does this parable refer to anything specific, or does it simply refer to rushing ahead into anything? If it were just about rushing ahead before it's safe, why all the rich imagery and representations? Why not just say, "don't step off the curb into traffic. Wait until it's safe.” In other words, I think those who keep bringing this up as a metaphor against taking any action show they have failed to consider or understand the parable at all.

      I believe these symbols mean important things, and ought to be discovered through study and prayer. The Lord is willing to reveal them to one who seeks with real intent.

      Remember, the man who was brought there by the Lord knelt and prayed and waited patiently for his Lord before moving ahead. The praying was preparatory for the journey ahead. When the man was ready for the journey, the Lord came and took him. But it required patience because the preparation took a long time.

      Preparing for a temple is not rushing the pass. I think it's much more akin to kneeling, praying, and waiting patiently. It is preparing for the journey to come. And, as I've noted in this post, it will require patience of us all.

      I agree that moving ahead with construction before the Lord gives the command would indeed be foolish. Let’s not make that mistake.

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    2. This reminds me of the Temple Institute. They have recreated all the priestly garments and sacred vessels that they believe will be used in the Temple in Jerusalem when it is rebuilt. (See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB8W0cLM9uA) No construction has begun for this temple, but they have prepared everything that is for use inside the temple already. They believe the coming Temple in Jerusalem will function the exact same way that the previous two temples did.

      Yet, does anyone really know what the Lord is intending for the Jewish people? Is the Lord intending to return them to the law of Moses, with all it's rites and ordinances? I would expect not but nobody really knows. So, all this preparation, though admirable, could be entirely pointless. Will they be blessed for acting in faith upon something that is not true?

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    3. Hi Daren, interesting point. I believe there's a significant difference between creating actual vessels and ceremonial clothing, and merely gathering available funds to await the Lord's command.

      Also: in the end, those who have undertaken this effort have done so because they believe the Lord has actually spoken through Denver Snuffer. They aren't merely assuming there'll be a temple at some point. It has been unequivocally stated by one who claims he got his message from the Lord.

      Therefore the real question is whether the message originated with the Lord or not. If so, then we're absolutely obligated to prepare. If not, then gathering funds may be pointless.

      But nobody has made any assumptions about clothing, vessels, ecoutraments or their uses in this temple.

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  8. By the way, if someone wants to raise funds and feels like they are left out by this committee of three women. There's nothing that says you can't raise funds through other mean, other committees. Talk about a high qualify problem.

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  9. Light won the annual battle with darkness yesterday on the Winter Solstice. I wish light could win the battle in mankind's dark heart.

    God requires holiness and cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, as explained in D&C 1:31.

    Given the vanity and pride of mankind, it seems unlikely there will ever be people who are willing to strictly observe only what He asks as He asks it. It is a mistake to think we can improve on what He gives us, and yet we do.

    When there is a House built for God (and some future people will build one), it will necessarily be through people of restraint, meekness, humility and patience who take no credit and think themselves no better than their fellows. It will be an undertaking requiring a heart like our Lord's, full of the virtues He displayed. There will need to be a priest, like Moses, who was the meekest of all men. (Num. 12:3.) There will need to be someone, at last, who knows the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven, and when the heavens are offended, they withdraw. When withdrawn, other false spirits rush in to please and reassure us in our vanity and pride.

    There have been so many generations of disappointment for heaven. Even if God sent another like Joseph Smith, it is doubtful anything more could be accomplished today than was done in Nauvoo. Like Nadab and Abihu, we stray, offering up our strange incense rather than strictly observing what God asks, how He asks it to be done, when He asks it of us.

    Moses took Israel out of Egypt because God knew the traditions of that culture were corrupt. A new and more correct pattern was revealed to Moses. But Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to bring Egypt with them, and thought they could please God with their pleasant, but unauthorized, worship. They died.

    Why are many called and so few chosen? Why can we not learn from past failure enough to avoid repeating it in our day?

    Vanity, pride, looking beyond the mark, self-will, arrogance, and reckless enthusiasm all proceed from a lack of gratitude to God for what He gives us. Instead of accepting in gratitude and practicing it with patience, we demand more, insist we can improve on His ways, and charge ahead into the pass to be destroyed by the beast. The chosen of God remain scatterlings, unable to dwell in the House of God with Him, because it cannot be built with the unclean hands of a wayward generation.

    We have moved into a season of increasing light now. But I do not think mankind has yet reached its winter solstice. From all I have seen, darkness continues to hold sway among even the very elect.

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    1. Probably should mention the source of the words in the above comment.

      http://denversnuffer.com/2014/12/strange-incense/

      Well worth reading the whole post. Thanks for sharing this, Jon!

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    2. Jonny I honestly can't tell if your comment is in support of the effort to gather funds or against. Perhaps you wrote it that way on purpose though.

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    3. Never mind. I see now Jonny was quoting Snuffer's post about strange incense.

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  10. It occurred to me while reading Exodus 34 this morning that even though they provoked the Lord, the children of Israel still managed to do better than the saints in Nauvoo in raising funds to build a a tabernacle. May this give us hope:
    Exodus 36:3-7
    "And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning.
    And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
    And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.
    And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
    For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much."

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  11. Hi Adrian, thanks for the post. Just one question, how do you identify mount Perazim with mount Sinai? I was only able to find a couple references to Perazim in the OT, and only one of those referenced the mount. It didn't look like it was connected to the events near Sinai. So I'm just curious what your rational is. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Great question. Glad you asked.

      I got the connection from Avraham Gileadi's Apocalyptic Commentary on Isaiah. I read it in the book, but it's also available online. Here's the specific quote from Dr. Gileadi:

      "Jehovah’s rising up as he did on “Mount Perazim”—literally the “Mount of Breakings Forth”—harks back to his breaking forth upon his people who transgressed their bounds at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:20-24) and to his breaking forth upon Israel’s enemies the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:18-20)."

      Here's the link: http://www.isaiahexplained.com/28#commentary

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  12. Adrian, I don't wish to stroke your ego here, but you have the gift of persuasion. You've persuaded me, not to blindly go along with this effort because it makes sense in my mind (which is my natural tendency), but to take up this subject with the Lord himself to find out the truth of it.

    And for that, you have my sincere thanks. I feel you are my brother.

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  13. While I do love temples and look forward to the day when God commands one to be built again, the question that keeps coming to mind is, "Where is the word of the Lord in all this?" There just seems to be innuendo, good feelings, and Denver's confidence in the parties involved, but Where is the Thus Saith the Lord Commandment and revelation that we can all read? I do not believe that good feelings, innuendo or Joseph's Smith's confidence made the Kirtland Banking Failure a success.

    With no real transparency and a lack of integrity in the entire process this is all really just appearing like a lot of Zeal without any real substance or knowledge. Adrian's articles do make some good points, but at the same time they raise a lot of questions. It is starting to feel like people are now just declaring Denver to be their default new prophet of a new church and an invisible council or quorum of the 12, 3 5, 7 or however many behind the scene are pulling strings to get what they want done?

    I think it would go a long way if Denver and these women and their husbands were to hold a meeting and just lay out their plans so that all parties are informed and questions can be asked. No not all parties will agree nor do they have to. The lack of real transparency is a real issue and no one wants to question these women because they are women, but laying everything out in the open can really go a long way to settling a lot of the issues people are raising.

    In the end God must reveal his word. A lot of this is just starting to sound like this is what we want because nothing else is working so maybe if we do this things will start happening.

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