Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Covenant Book, Part 2: Keys, Keys, Keys


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7


Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.
—3 Nephi 21:11

In the first post in this series, we discussed an important key to understanding Christ’s message at Bountiful. It is that the message was specifically targeted to the last days gentiles—you and me—and not to the people at Bountiful. If we are to understand Christ’s discussion of the covenant, this is the point at which we must start. We should apply his words to US, not to those long dead who initially wrote them.


Working the Mine

With that preliminary in place, we next need to discuss several more keys to understanding Christ’s message to us. In today’s post, we’ll examine some of those keys and how they affect our understanding of Christ’s message. I realize it’s probably a lot more interesting to get right to the message itself, but it really is vital to start with these preliminaries. We’ll have to sink a rather deep mineshaft to get to the gold, but it will pay off in the end.



I expect it will likely take even a couple more posts to sink that shaft before we get to the actual text of the message. The good news is that those posts are coming along well and I’m not the only one writing them. So with some luck and divine aid, we should be able to start moving a little more quickly.

Christ’s teachings at Bountiful are the highest achievement and deepest treasure of the Book of Mormon. We simply can’t approach them casually or take them lightly. Context is everything in understanding this message, and if we fail to view it through the right lenses, we’ll continue making the same errors that have been made for 187 years—and obtain the same unfortunate results.

The opportunity for the covenant is soon upon us, and time is running short. We can ill afford to misinterpret the message at this point.

So with that introduction, let’s take a look at some keys:

Key #1: Throw Out the Numbers

I’ll illustrate this idea by intentionally chopping the following paragraph to bits:
  1. As we approach the text of Christ’s message, we must keep in mind that 
  2. The division of the text into chapters and verses is completely artificial. The text was not recorded that way, nor was it translated 
  3. That way by Joseph Smith. The artificial divisions were added post-Joseph, 
  4. And frankly, do quite a bit to impede understanding. Therefore, it’s proper to ignore them, 
  5. Or better yet, use a version of the Book of Mormon that excludes them. When I began reading the Book of Mormon without constant
  6. Numerical interruptions, it became an entirely new book. It reads very differently without the numbers.
The above was intended as one paragraph and one thought. The verse divisions only distract, and can even mislead. In fact, the verses make the whole thing nearly incomprehensible. So here it is again, without the interruptions:
As we approach the text of Christ’s message, we must keep in mind that the division of the text into chapters and verses is completely artificial. The text was not recorded that way, nor was it translated that way by Joseph Smith. The artificial divisions were added post-Joseph, and frankly, do quite a bit to impede understanding. Therefore, it’s proper to ignore them, or better yet, use a version of the Book of Mormon that excludes them. When I began reading the Book of Mormon without constant numerical interruptions, it became an entirely new book. It reads very differently without the numbers.
Better?

The one caveat I’ll add is that, for purposes of reference and locating specific words, I’ll continue to use the current LDS chapter and verse system as reference notation in this series of posts. This is only a practical consideration; the text still stands on its own, regardless of numbers, and should be studied that way.

Key #2: Who is it From? 

Though we refer to Christ’s words as His own, He makes it clear He is, in fact, merely the messenger. The covenant, the message, and the work now underway are all actually the Father’s. Christ informs us of these facts repeatedly in 3 Nephi.

To be more precise:
  • Christ states 4 times that it is the Father’s covenant that will be honored and fulfilled. It was the Father’s covenant from the beginning and remains His until the end.
  • Christ states 23 times that he is delivering the Father’s message. Typical language is “such and such…saith the Father.” or “Thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you…”
  • Christ mentions 16 times that the work of leading remnants away to other places, gathering them back together, fulfilling the covenant, and all that will happen before the end belongs to the Father as well. The whole plan and all the work are clearly Father Ahman’s. 
Of course, Christ and the Father share the same mind and will, so we can properly call it Christ’s message and Christ’s work as well. But I believe it’s worth noting that the original covenant with Abraham and its final fulfillment in the end, are all Father Ahman’s doing. This will become increasingly relevant as we move along.

Key #3: Continually Before His Eyes


All things—past, present and future—are continually before the Lord’s eyes (D&C 38:1-2, 130:7). Therefore his method of communication can, at times, be difficult to follow. In particular, verb tenses, pronoun objects, timetables, subjects and audiences shift continually as he speaks. Trying to distill the information down to fit our linear way of thinking can be challenging, or even impossible without divine aid. Likewise, it’s a mistake to assume the Lord thinks or speaks like we do. An entirely different approach is needed.

Remember, He required the multitude to be filled with the Spirit before He could even deliver this message to them. Likewise, we cannot expect to understand it unless we are similarly filled with the Spirit—which is defined in the Lectures on Faith as the “mind of God” (LoF 5:2). That is to say, the only way to understand the message is to have access, by the Spirit, to know what Christ was thinking when He said it.

In His message, Christ directly addresses the latter-day gentiles, the latter-day Jews, those who believe His words and receive the covenant, and those who do not. He delivers remarks at times specifically to the twelve, and at other times generally to the multitude. Unravelling the specific group to which each statement is directed, and the group to which it is delivered, aids in understanding the message—and reveals significant information hidden just below the surface.

Fortunately, we are aided by other portions of scripture to help us match up Christ’s statements with the groups to which they’re directed. We’ll do so as we examine His message.

Key # 4: Throw out False Assumptions

Nearly all of us who read the Book of Mormon come from an LDS or other Mormon-based religious tradition, in which we have been handed a set of beliefs about who we are, who we aren’t, what the Lord thinks of us, how to identify certain groups, how the Book of Mormon should be interpreted, etc. For example, one common LDS belief is that the Book of Mormon references to “gentiles” universally refer to non-LDS, non-Jews—essentially to other Christians. If you’re LDS, then automatically you’re on the righteous side of the equation and all the warnings and threats to the gentiles apply exclusively to all the other churches out there—and not to you.

This interpretation is both false and damning. Until we awaken to the idea that the Book of Mormon writers referred to US as the gentiles, we will never heed the warnings or repent. Many of us have come to this realization and let go of this false assumption, but it must not stop there.

What other false assumptions also burden our reading of Christ’s message? Well, how about this: There’s a common assumption that the “remnant of Jacob” on this continent refers exclusively to descendants of Lehi, which we interpret to mean Native Americans. Therefore, some expect that the prophecies were intended for, and will be fulfilled by, primarily Native Americans, with perhaps a few gentiles along for the ride if they repent. I used to believe this, until I studied the scriptures more closely, and found that they tell a very different story.

Though it’s difficult to cast aside such traditions, it’s absolutely vital to do so if we expect to have any chance of understanding Christ’s message. If we want to understand the covenant, we must abandon ALL assumptions and traditions, in favor of what the text actually says.

Just because we ascribe certain expectations to how, when, where, and by whom the prophecies will be fulfilled, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that the Lord may have something completely different in mind. A rigid view that things MUST happen a certain way and in a certain order is the greatest hinderance to understanding what is actually happening. Our thoughts are not His thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9) In the end, nobody will be in any position to tell the Lord He didn’t fulfill the prophecies. All who failed to recognize their fulfillment will have to admit their assumptions were incorrect, and consequently their eyes were blind, and their hearts were hard. It’s best to admit our ignorance now and seek understanding while we still can.

Ok, with these keys in place, we can move ahead to begin examining the covenant more closely. We’ll do that in the next post. Until then, we would do well to remember Christ’s advice to the multitude when they could not understand His message: 

I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time. Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
—3 Nephi 17:2-3

31 comments:

  1. Adrian you stated:

    ~Just because we ascribe certain expectations to how, when, where, and by whom the prophecies will be fulfilled, that doesn’t preclude the possibility that the Lord may have something completely different in mind. ~

    This goes for the movement as well. We all need to go the the Lord and learn for ourselves what it is He expects or is going to do and what we should expect and do, we would have a clarity without men putting themselves into it, asking for us to believe them.

    I have been listening to past conference talks and many scream 'agenda'... it saddens me.

    I listen to many testify of 'the man' and they scream 'follow him'... and it saddens me.

    The Lord is there waiting for each individual to come to Him, to wait upon Him, to extol him, and to listen to Him. I don't see that happening in this new movement to build a temple, and gain a covenant. It is all man made and promoted.

    I appreciate your insights as they pertain to reading and understanding the scriptures. I hope the statement you made quoted in this comment is actually applied to 'the movement' and it's people individually.

    The members of the lds church were taught they were the right ones and to look at others as the problem or the ones going down the wrong road. I see the same thing being taught by the movement ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandra,

      The Lord's pattern is that he sends messengers whenever there is a people willing to listen. Those sent by the Lord tell us He sent them, and of course they ask us to listen to their message. The notion that we should listen to no man is completely false. I could provide a lengthy list of scriptures supporting the idea that the Lord absolutely requires us to listen to those He sends.

      Of course He will confirm their words when we go to Him and ask. But first we must listen to what they have to say.

      As for what you see when you look at others...well that's entirely up to you. We are all imperfect people, and consequently, you will see whatever you look for. In this movement, I see all types, including those who are humbly trying to learn and obey the Lord's will, and who fear their own failure above all else.

      If we refuse to receive those whom the Lord sends, we will never receive Him.

      Delete
  2. Part 1

    I've contemplated often who (of the House of Israel) will tread the Gentiles (the salt that has lost its savor) under their feet.

    In years past, with the open borders on our south it wasn't a stretch to imagine Mexicans or anybody south of the border coming up and overrunning the Gentiles (Americans/ Mormons), just as Ammonihah was destroyed by the Lamanites, or Mormon's people destroyed by the Lamanites in 385 AD. Or could it be the Chinese in a Red Dawn invasion? More likely, according to Mason Albert Pike's 1871 Satanic vision of 3 future world wars, the third of which is yet to come and will be between the West and Islam, Muslims might fit the description. You'd have to be blind to not see the PTB (Powers That Be) setting that war up beginning with 9/11 and continuing with Allah Akbar attacks every month.

    Or could the House of Israel be somebody else?

    But first it's important to understand who the Gentiles are. Clearly, "gentiles" refers to broadly the white European people fleeing religious persecution of their "mother gentiles" (1 Nephi 13:17). And more narrowly "gentiles" refers to those who've accepted the BoM, i.e., Mormons of any brand and esp the LDS Mormons.

    Nephi singled out the LDS Mormons when he recorded a prophesy and warning for us chapters 26 through the end of 2 Nephi. A lot of it Jesus was actually speaking in the first person. The transition to naming us Mormons as the audience is 2 Nephi 26:12: "As as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews (which he had just finished quoted a lot of Isaiah) ...it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ", reminiscent of the purpose expressed in the Title Page.

    In 2 Nephi 26:14 he states crystal clear, "I prophesy unto YOU concerning the last days." 'You' is the latter-day Mormons. Pretty clear in my view.

    2 Nephi 27:1 "Behold, in the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles...", referring to the Mormons primarily. Then there's the oft-quoted chapter 28 in which is mentioned that the Gentile "churches have become corrupted" and "all have gone astray save it a few" chillingly warns at the end, "Wo be unto the Gentiles" (MORMONS!)...for "they will deny me."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Part 2 of 3

    Then the famous Chpt 29 in which Christ talks about the murmuring of GENTILES (Mormons?) when He will remember His covenant, and when He will "set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel." This looks like Sept 2017. Look at the murmuring and the rejection of the fulness of His gospel (see 3 Nephi 16). Then Christ unequivocally refers to the first definition of "Gentiles" (because of Key #3 above Adrian mentions) when he says "many Gentiles shall say, A Bible! A Bible!..."

    Christ then prophecies AFTER more scripture comes forth (in v. 13) that "my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also SHALL BE GATHERED IN ONE (2017 scripture project!). And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the House of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever" (v. 14).

    Let's look at how Jesus used these terms several hundreds of years later. Jesus Himself in 3 Nephi 16 defines the Gentiles broadly as the (white Europeans) who came into the promised land and scattered His people (v. 9). Then in verse 10, He says "the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel" and references Nephi's inspired words from 2 Nephi 28 by saying they "shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts." He says the Gentiles will "reject the fulness of my gospel".

    I believe he refers to Mormons here. How can you "sin" against the gospel unless you have the gospel or believe it to be the gospel, or be "under the law" so to speak? Yes, of course, regular non-Mormon Gentiles can "reject" the Gospel (and this is the standard, knee-jerk, incomplete interpretation), but note that Christ says, "the FULNESS of my gospel", which is what Denver (recall his new name is now David) preaches.

    He then says if the Mormons "shall reject the fulness of my gospel...I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them," and we see this in very deed being fulfilled in 2017 with this scripture project and proposed covenant-making meeting in Sept.

    He says he will then "remember my covenant...and I will bring my gospel unto them" and the "house of Israel shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel" (v. 11-12).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Part 3 of 3

    With what's been transpiring (at an accelerated rate) under the "dispensation" of Denver/David, all of these scriptures really make sense in my mind.

    If there is any doubt that the Gentiles in 3 Nephi 16 are in fact the Mormons (mostly LDS Mormons no doubt), then verse 15 removes any reservation by referring to the Gentiles as "salt that hath lost its savor." That obviously CANNOT be the broader use of white settlers fleeing Europe. "Salt" must refer strictly to those who accepted the BoM and Joseph's latter-day work.

    The other question is, Who is "the House of Israel"? This appears to be in v. 12-14 those who COVENANT with Him, hearkening back to 2 Nephi 30:2 (which chapter is still PART OF Nephi's prophetic message to latter-day Gentiles which begun in chpt 26), "as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord".

    So the "House of Israel" appears to be those who accept his covenant, either individually or as a group. Thus, those who DO the treading are those who accept the covenant, and those who get "trodden under foot" (v. 15).

    As to what it means to "tread under foot", that's a good question. Symbolic? In 3 Nephi 20 and 21 the symbol of the lion is used to refer to Christ and his covenant people, while ironically, the sheep are those who get trampled and "torn in pieces." Christ goes from being a sweet young Lamb to being a ferocious and respected Lion. What the Jews expected 2,000 years ago, He will now soon become. The covenant people, likewise, will be endowed with His "lion" power, or as 1 Nephi 14:14 says, "armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." That same verse again mentions "covenant people". "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the COVENANT people of the Lord..."

    There's that covenant word again. In my mind, this term has been somewhat of an enigma to me. I pray for further light and knowledge on this vital topic. I look forward to getting deeper into Adrian's post and understanding what covenant fully means.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wanted to think out loud. As far as the meaning of "covenant" in general, I confess I lack understanding. It's not clear to me what covenant means, and particularly the meaning of the BoM as a covenant. I understand vaguely a covenant is a pact that God defines. He sets the terms and offers it.

    The BoM is a covenant (but how is it a "pact"?), but the Mormons never accepted it as such apparently. Thus the condemnation that rests upon the people even till this day. And a protected land has not been given yet.

    Looking at the scriptures, like Mos 5:5, we get some insight into covenants: "And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days..."

    So we learn in this case that the terms are: promising to be obedient to God's will. Sounds like baptism to me. But there's something deeper I'm missing.

    It seems that the concept of gathering (the house of Israel and His word), and land are important components of covenant. See 2 Nephi 29:14: Christ says "my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also SHALL BE GATHERED IN ONE (2017 scripture project!). And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the House of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever" (v. 14).

    There's also the Captain Moroni covenant that comes to mind in Alma 46. During war time, the people rent their garments as a covenant and said, "We covenant with our God, that we shall be destroyed, even as our brethren in the land northward, if we shall fall into transgression; yea, he may cast us at the feet of our enemies, even as we have cast our garments at thy feet to be trodden under foot, if we shall fall into transgression." They were fighting for their LAND, and liberty, families and religion.

    Then there's the Ammonites who made a covenant to not kill, to be their brother's keeper, and to be industrious. In Alma 24:18, after they buried their weapons, it reads, "And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

    Here's the interesting thing. In return for this covenant, they were given lands - the land of Jershon.

    In Alma 27:14, there is more "gathering". Verse 22 speaks of lands given for their inheritance.

    In Ether 1, I find no reference to a covenant, but I find the people diligently seeking God and His will. The Lord granted their specific requests, and one of those requests involved LAND "for their inheritance" (v. 38) and was "choice above all the lands of the earth" (v. 42). And not coincidentally, GATHERING occurs in this case too, just like with the Ammonites, and with the people of King Benjamin who gathered at the temple.

    It seems that God's desire is to GIVE us lands for our inheritance (a type pointing to celestial glory), and to have us gathered there as a Zion society. But to begin the process of giving land to us, we must covenant to obey His will, and to covenant we must have His word to KNOW His will.

    This subject bears more careful study. King Benjamin commanded his people to be GATHERED. And he desired to give them a new name that would never be blotted out. In exchange for obedience, God promises land and preservation. So getting a new name and being preserved and protected are also key components of accepting a covenant offered by God.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Underdog,

    Appreciate your comments and I have pondered many of the same things recently, especially in looking at the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 20-21, 1 Nephi 14, and 2 Nephi 29, among other scriptures) repeatedly. One thing that certainly stands out (to me at least) is that although timing is irrelevant and events can certainly overlap, there is a “sequence of events” mentioned by the Lord in 3 Nephi 21. The sequence is what has really caught my attention.

    Additionally, Alma 46:23-26 contains a very sobering prophecy of father Jacob, quoted by Moroni, that has been preserved and is found nowhere else:

    “Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of his garment. Now behold, this giveth my soul sorrow; nevertheless, my soul hath joy in my son, because of that part of his seed which shall be taken unto God.”

    I also include a quote below, because it shows just how potent disease/sickness really can be, even in bringing a great nation (superpower) to its knees and how we can literally be trodden upon:

    “Gentiles certainly did come. They did scatter the remnants who were on the American continent. Not only did they scatter them, but they also “cast out” and “trodden down” those populations who were here when the Gentiles arrived. Smallpox wiped out the Great Plains Indians. There were an estimated 20 million plus Plains Indians when Columbus arrived. Smallpox all but annihilated them. So few survived that by the time of the western push of the United States, it was believed the Great Plains had never been populated.”

    “To say they were “trodden underfoot” is descriptive. The native populations were destroyed. They were conquered. They died. Their remains returned to the earth upon which the Gentiles trod.”

    “You must keep this image in mind as you read about the future of the Gentiles being trodden underfoot.”

    (see: http://denversnuffer.com/2010/06/3-nephi-16-8/, http://denversnuffer.com/2010/10/3-nephi-12-13/; and http://denversnuffer.com/2010/09/3-nephi-20-16/)

    Anyway, again thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Josh,

      Thank you for sharing. I think you're right. I thought "treading under foot" was imagery and not really a scene where a few lions are acting like a ferocious Ammon filled with the power of God and chopping off arms and trampling their dead enemies.

      That really doesn't seem reasonable to me.

      However, a land of desolation (like the Desolation of Nehors) makes sense, where like in Denver's vision the people who were in the car heading up the mountain, then find shelter in a cave, then emerge to a devastated country destroyed by fire, where hundreds of millions are dead.

      I thought of Moroni, who saw our day, who gave a bone-chilling warning in Ether 2. This made me weep as I read it and applied it to us, and caused me to beg God for mercy upon my family and me, and my fellow countrymen and fellow Gentile Mormons.

      God could not be any plainer in his warning to us from Ether 2:

      8 And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.

      9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

      10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

      11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

      12 Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

      Note verse 11 where he specifically addresses Mormons by name. "And this cometh unto you, O ye (MORMON) GENTILES..." This land is choice and is destined to be a land of inheritance, the very land that Denver will be talking about in Sept when this covenant is announced.

      The terms of the covenant surely are found in the words of Christ above, "we must serve God". It's that simple. We must serve Him "or be swept off", just as the Jaredites and Nephites were! Their remains were "trodden under foot."

      This depresses me. 2 Nephi 26:7 (where Nephi begins his message to the Gentiles) is how I feel at the moment: "O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry unto my God: Thy ways are just."

      It's obvious that this nation is in trouble. God is going to send His servant to the Christians this Fall (in Dallas, LA, and Atlanta), then I believe the clock will start ticking down because all will have been warned.

      Delete
  7. Remnant of JosephMay 12, 2017 at 10:58 PM

    All will have been warned after he goes to three cities and speaks to say a total of 300 people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to the internet, how many in the world have access to this information if they seek it? I would be very cautious about attempting to tell the Lord He failed to raise the warning voice.

      Remember, Christ's whole ministry was confined to a very small geographic area. How many did he personally warn?

      Delete
  8. Remnant of JosephMay 12, 2017 at 11:08 PM

    Under,

    you misunderstand nearly most of the scriptures you post. "He specifically addresses Mormons by name? Using the term Gentiles? Denver is a false prophet! When the Lord does extend his mercy and covenant we'll all realize it and be welcomed back into the fold if we repent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Remnant of Joseph,

      How unfortunate you are to not see the warning to the Gentiles in Ether 2 and throughout the BoM refers absolutely to Mormons and not "the other guy."

      Who reads these warnings, Mormons or the typical Baptist?

      "How oft would I gather you but you would not"!

      How many times did Jesus teach something but the hearers would refuse to see He was referring to them?

      Delete
    2. Dear Remnant of Joseph:

      Appreciate your comments; however, with all sincerity, how do you “know” Denver is a false messenger?

      Have you read all of the words/message that have come forth through this man?

      Have you measured the message based on what Mormon and Moroni provide us in the Book of Mormon—specifically Moroni 7: 11-19 and Moroni 10:6?

      In part:

      "For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil."

      "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."

      "For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."

      Are we not supposed to liken the scriptures unto ourselves? (2 Nephi 11:2, 8).

      Delete
    3. Remnant of JosephMay 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM

      Under-
      Did not the Lord specifically say in 3 Nephi 16,"wo unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles". There is a distinction between the believing Gentiles and the unbelieving Gentiles. Certainly the members of the church are the believing of the Gentiles, for it is they who have accepted the gospel and come into the covenant, particularly those that have remained and have not veered from it for a myriad of articulate deceitful reasons.

      This group of followers of Denver and others that are leaving the church certainly fit the description of "unbelievers" rejecting & sinning against the gospel (thier covenants), having lost testimonies of much of what the restored gospel is and represents. Certainly this and other groups were considered the salt of the earth that has chosen to give the sting of salt rather than add flavor to the church.

      Does this portrayal of the latter day church in 1 Nephi 14 apply to believing Gentiles or unbelieving of the Gentles and which one is most similar to your or Denver's cause?

      "I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and it's numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw?

      And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."

      Your defense of the stance that Denver's three city, small group presentations will have the affect of the Lord making bear his arm in the eyes of all the nations is disheartening.

      And your comparing it to the Lord's declarations that have taken thousands of years to penetrate the globe is nonsense!


      Delete
    4. Remnant of JosephMay 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      Josh-

      I know that he's a false "messenger" because I have read much of his blog pertaining to specific scriptures that I know he is interpreting wrong. These are areas that have laid the foundation for much of what he is saying today.

      I don't feel at liberty to share them yet. But there are a number of significant doctrinal misunderstandings.

      I have not read any of his books. I've read portions of any free copies online that I can get, and even in those have found errors early on.

      To Adrians point, with the internet access worldwide even those seeking to read and understand his views, you really can't find the core of his teachings because they're in all of the books that are only available via purchase. However, based on the things I've read thus far, I felt the books would be a waste of money. (how much has he made on his Priestcraft thus far? Does anyone know how many books he's sold?)

      your quote is a nice one and I apply it to the church today but it could easily be applied to every preacher in the country. I don't think you're implying they are all certified messengers too?

      However, I don't think everything denver is doing is inviting and enticing to do good. To depart from the church and covenants. To sin against the gospel, to be raised up in the pride of your hearts, is not good but a neatly wrapped message of apostasy!

      Delete
    5. Remnant, hello again.

      Just one curiosity. You said, "This group of followers of Denver and others that are leaving the church certainly fit the description of "unbelievers" rejecting & sinning against the gospel."

      How is the group you refer to "rejecting" and "sinning against the gospel"? What doctrine are we rejecting? What specifically are we sinning against? Please describe our "apostasy", if you will please.

      You can have the last word.

      Delete
    6. Greetings Remnant of Joseph:

      Thanks again for our response.

      Believe me, I feel for anyone, who is trying to reach a conclusion, without having read every single word that has come forth. It is difficult and I can see how easy it is to potentially measure the matter incorrectly without having considered all of the information.

      To my knowledge, all of the proceeds from the books published initially went to the missionary department of the church. Not sure where the proceeds go now, but likely to the poor. I doubt he keeps any proceeds as he has consistently preached against priestcraft. In fact during the 10-talk series, the venues were all funded entirely by himself and I would not be surprised if the upcoming talks in CA, TX, and GA are all self funded by him. It is and should be (I suppose) a sacrifice, if it is genuine.

      Nobody follows the messengers, or Denver; however, it is the message itself and not the messenger, that we must each consider. If it calls us to repent and points us to Christ (which IS the fulness of the Gospel IMHO), then it is a message worth considering, regardless of where it originates.

      "The only good fruit which can be offered in this world is repentance. When mankind lays down their sins because of a message, that message comes from Him. All others are distractions and invite you to err. The fruit which gives eternal life is repentance and a return to Christ."

      Other than Christ, what is occurring today is so entirely decentralized--nobody is coalescing around a single man, but all are invited to look to Christ and coalesce around Him for direction.

      When anyone, man or angel, is entrusted with a message from God, the message is God’s--He owns it. God makes no distinction between the messenger and Himself.

      We need to all go to God and ask Him first. When we do not go to God first, but rely upon our own understanding, or even the understanding of even other very good men and women, it offends Heaven and is a form of denying God. In the end, God's words “shall all be fulfilled.”

      As to apostasy, the Lord defined apostasy as, "...“they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” Given the Lord's definition, apostasy is far more spread than one would expect.

      Again, as always appreciate your response.

      Delete
    7. Remnant of JosephMay 18, 2017 at 6:31 PM

      Nephi was shown our day in which he saw both the Great & Abominable Church and the Church of the Lamb. For example, in 1 Nephi 13 & 14, Nephi is shown:
      1. The Great & Abominable Church- “I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.”

      2. The Church of the Lamb of God – “And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.”
      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints has to be one or the other. And if the LDS church is the GA Church as many of you assert throughout this blog, (even though there is much to dispute here) then who fits the description of the Church of the Lamb who were the saints of God, who were also upon all the face of the earth?
      Your assertion is that the GA Church is the LDS Church and they are fighting against the members? Or that the Church of the Lamb is believers of the BofM scattered among all the nations, but that are in a battle with the LDS Church?
      Who are the nations of the Gentiles currently gathered together against? The Remnant movement? Or are all of the Christian denominations, including the secular, political, geo-political, etc among the Gentiles fighting against the LDS church? Common sense and just mere googling will prove as much.
      Where does the Remnant Movement fit in? Are they not also ganging up with the unbelieving of the Gentiles and fighting against the Church of the Lamb?
      “The Greek word apostasia (apostasy, falling away) means rebellion or revolution. It conveys the sense of an internal takeover by factions hostile to the intentions of the previous leaders. I personally prefer the translation mutiny, as it suggests that unauthorized members commandeer a ship and take it where the ship is not supposed to go. Since early Christians often thought of the church as a ship, I think mutiny conveys the sense of what Paul and others meant by the term apostasia.” SE Robinson
      An incorrect conclusion made by Denver and many of you, regarding who the Gentiles are and combining of all Gentiles into one has caused you to look so critically at all of the members of the church that it has distorted your ability to recognize who’s who and caused you to pass unwarranted judgment up on all that don’t subscribe to your way of thinking, and in my opinion qualifying you to attributes described in 3 Nephi 16:10.
      This incorrect assertion, has led many to have a false sense of despair about the coming days. All is not well, but all is not lost either. There are many great things around the corner leading up to the Lord fulfilling his covenant to gather all the House of Israel prior to his coming.

      Delete
    8. Remant,

      You ask, "...then who fits the description of the Church of the Lamb who were the saints of God, who were also upon all the face of the earth?"

      DC 10:67-68

      Delete
    9. Remnant of JosephMay 18, 2017 at 10:24 PM

      There's two of you?

      DC 115:4

      Delete
    10. You mean there's three of you?

      Including the corporate sole?

      You've not heard that we are members of the "corporation of the president of the church..."?

      See http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-corporatism-has-undermined-and.html?m=1

      Is the corporate sole, established in 1923, what the Lord was referring to in your 1838-quoted scripture (DC 115)?

      Was Nephi (in his "there are save two churches" revelation") referring to that 1923 legal fiction, Or..."the Holy Grail: a rare, little known, and hardly ever used mode of incorporation known as The Corporation Sole." (Quoted from above link.)

      Delete
    11. Remnant of JosephMay 19, 2017 at 10:08 AM

      Underdog-

      I was referring to the username "Underdog2". Maybe that was a mistype, or I assumed someone has no creativity.

      The corporation argument. Your link echoes of disaffected unbelieving Gentiles gathered together to fight against the Lamb of God and his church. Change all of the definitions, warp the meanings in a lawyerly like manner, to the point that all the disaffected can't actually make sense of anything and eventually give up with no faith at all.

      If it wasn't for the "corporate" church (which all churches are legally required to do) there wouldn't be saints scattered across all of the nations. The Book of Mormon would not have been shared as much as it has and people like Denver or Adrian would never have heard it's message in the first place. To disconnect the two from the reality of Book of Mormon and where we are today is again disheartening. Logic seems to have given way to fantasy. I see why the mission to the Mulekites didn't bear fruits except for perhaps emboldening the faith of the missionaries.

      Delete
  9. Adrian, who else is helping you write this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear wife, Tausha, is writing a couple of the upcoming posts in this series.

      Delete
  10. "This group of followers of Denver and others that are leaving the church certainly fit the description of "unbelievers" rejecting & sinning against the gospel (thier covenants)"

    I disagree. If you use the Book of Mormon's definition of a believer then you would see that the LDS, and truly all churches have few to no true believers. The signs do not follow them. I confess that I see no signs in the remnant movement but perhaps that is yet to come.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Remnant of JosephMay 18, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Anon-

    Please share the BofM's definition of a believer. Not sure I recall seeing it clearly defined. If I am to understand you correctly, then, you believe there are none that fit the description? Do you believe the BofM?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Remant,

    "...for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:37)

    Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the corporate church bringing me the BoM through missionaries. I love those two missionaries who taught me of the Restoration.

    It pains me

    ReplyDelete
  13. I submitted the last, incomplete comment accidentally.

    It pains me to acknowledge the truth of Mormon's statement here:

    "...for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:37)

    How much of this is happening in the corporate church? Are people testifying of entertaining angels in your fast and testimony meetings?

    It's unheard of pretty much. And when it does happen, you get excommunicated!

    This is a painful reality to accept.

    You are free to reject reality.

    The corporate church you hold up as the "true church" delivers the fruit that isn't salvation. Mormon says so!

    You're making wild, incorrect assumptions. What if the City of Zion where God dwells was on earth today? What if it was established in the 1830's? What would be the impact on the world (on you!) as far as "missionary work"?

    I guess you would prefer the corporate church's approach and results? Or would you take notice and decide you wanted to qualify for Zion, knowing that if you entered 'as is' you would likely die in an impure, unrepentant state of being with a lower glory.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Remnant of JosephMay 19, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    Underdog-

    In my earlier comment, I said mission to the Mulekites but meant Zoramites.

    Have you been visited by Angels?



    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Remnant of Joseph:

    Thanks again for your comments.

    My opinion:

    The Great and Abominable church is ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is not of Christ and is much more expansive than any one particular institution. It is the very systems the god of this world uses to control, corrupt, blind, extort, keep captive, etc., the children of men. There are indeed only two ways, two paths, but it is not an “us versus them” scenario, as you would imply. We are all stuck here in this world and unredeemed until we repent and come to know our Lord. Eternal Life is to know Him is it not? There is no guesswork involved in this; those who are redeemed will actually have a knowledge of their redemption directly from Him.

    Salvation is an individual matter. Simply being associated with any group is not enough. The church itself was never intended to be an end, but an actual means--a means that is inviting us, beckoning us, even begging us to rise up and know our Lord for ourselves. A means intended to facilitate our approach in receiving Salvation from Him. The church is not and cannot be a substitute for knowing the Lord. Worship of anything other than our Father and the Lord (to include men, institutions, etc.) is idolatry. It is little wonder we are still under condemnation and will continue to be so until we awaken, shake the dust from off of us (unbelief and the false traditions of men) and rise up and come to know our Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  16. To better put it into perspective, I quote in part:

    “There are and always have been two churches only. One is true. Its members belong to the Lamb of God. The Lamb, and their Father.”

    “Therefore, based on what Nephi records in 1 Nephi 14, unless we are part of that body of believers whose Father is Christ, and who posses a covenant from Him that they will be His, we belong to the whore of all the earth, a church of abominations. Those who are believers are they who He has declared to His Father ". . . having been true and faithful in all things."

    “The other and all-inclusive great church is comprised of all philosophies, all belief systems, all unbelief systems, all rationalizations, all theories and vanities that distract people from repenting and following Christ. These vary from very good things that are uplifting, and possess even great portions of truth, to the degrading and perverse. This all-inclusive church is a "whore" because she is completely indiscriminate and open for all to have her acceptance and affection. She welcomes you. The only requirement being that you have false beliefs.”

    “She will make you rich, or she will make you covet riches. If she gives them to you it is to corrupt you. If she withholds them from you, it is so you will lust and envy what you do not have.”

    “Is it the quantity of those who are following a particular creed or organization, or the quality of the knowledge some few possess of the Lord?”

    “Will getting more people to join a church change the outcome of this prophecy from Nephi?”

    “What is important, then, for those who want to be on the right side of this divide? How do they become one of the "few" who are Saints belonging to the Lamb of
    God?”

    “How should "success" be defined? By numbers, buildings, activity and wealth or possession of knowledge of Christ? If success has nothing to do with numbers, buildings, activity and wealth, why do we concern ourselves with them? If it has something to do with knowledge of Christ, why are so few able to declare they know Him? Who can state they have seen Him? Who can testify as a witness of Him? How successful have we been in distributing the knowledge of the Son of God?”

    “There is no vision, revelation, scripture or statement promising us that the church as an institution will continue to exist after mortality. What the scriptures, visions, and revelations do tell us about the eternal description of the saved is that it is "the Church of the Firstborn" or "the Church of the Lamb."

    “Nephi uses "Church of the Lamb" (see e.g., 1 Ne. 14: 12) to describe the latter-days group over whom the Lord will watch. Interestingly, although Joseph Smith had this revelation before him when the church was organized; however, the Lord did not choose the "Church of the Lamb" as the organization's name.”

    “The Church of the Firstborn exists on the "other side" so to speak. You qualify to get there by how you live here. But you have to be invited into that church by the "angels to whom is given power" to extend that invitation.”

    I find this last paragraph to be absolutely consistent with the ordinances of the Gospel. There is an ideal pattern for every man and woman who comes to this earth in how they can return to the Lord and be redeemed from the fall in this life, is there not?

    See: http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-response-to-question-asked-today.html; http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/07/1-nephi-14-10.html; and
    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/07/1-nephi-14-11-12.html

    Anyway, thanks for commenting.

    ReplyDelete