Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How Long? Part 3: Deceiving Beings and Being Deceived

One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God. 
—Joseph Smith, Try the Spirits, T&C 147:6


God has been remarkably generous in offering new light and knowledge in this dispensation. We now have open access to truths kept hidden from the foundation of the world, together with the consequent responsibility to value, learn and apply these truths. We should study them diligently.

But we also have a problem. Whether we study diligently or not, deceivers and imposters do, studying how to pull off increasingly effective deceptions, which do, and will, fool all who are not better informed than the deceivers. Greater light empowers them; does it empower us?

Said Joseph Smith:
A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God. (TPJS, 217)
Suppose, for a moment, he really meant that. Do you have more knowledge than the evil spirits who attempt to mislead you? Or, setting the bar even lower, do you have adequate knowledge to detect the mortal imposters, deceivers and charlatans currently abroad in the world? It’s not getting any easier, and too many are already falling prey to shockingly transparent deceptions. As the deceivers up their game, more will be deceived. Will you?


Moses confronted Pharaoh’s magicians, who worked miracles by their sorcery. Is it possible such powerful deceptions will come again? Do you believe the prophecies telling us to expect deceivers working miracles in our day? (Rev. 4:9, 6:8; 8:3, Mark 6:4, Matthew 11:3, 6 NC, among others) How will you tell they are deceivers, when they seemingly exhibit such mighty power—and greater knowledge than you?

A Page from Hiram’s Book

In the incipient stages of the restoration, imposters beset the church, receiving false visions and revelations, exhibiting spiritual gifts from false spirits, and misleading many. Early among these was Hiram Page, one of the eight witnesses of the Book of Mormon plates. Within three months of his baptism, Hiram began receiving and writing false revelations to the church through a seer stone. Joseph Smith received a revelation to have Oliver Cowdery correct this error, and Hiram Page repented. Eight years later, though, Hiram turned against Joseph and was excommunicated. This is a man who joined the church less than a week after it was formed. He had seen and handled the gold plates, yet found himself susceptible to deception. This should not be as surprising as it may sound, though. Signs never produce faith.


Though signs, wonders, false scriptures, false revelations, forgeries, imitations, and high-quality replicas all abound today, they only lead away from faith. Without the ability to discern, we are all at grave risk.

After the Hiram Page incident, influence of false spirits continued, and many expressed concern about the phenomena manifested in Kirtland and elsewhere, leading Joseph Smith to inquire of the Lord and receive a revelation on the topic in 1831; see T&C 36. Then, eleven years later, leading a people who were still too-often deceived, Joseph published an editorial in the Times and Seasons on the same topic. It begins as follows:
Recent occurrences that have transpired amongst us render it an imperative duty devolving upon me to say something in relation to the spirits by which men are actuated. It is evident from the apostles’ writings that many false spirits existed in their day, and had “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise — for “the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.” The Egyptians were not able to discover the difference between the miracles of Moses and those of the magicians until they came to be tested together; and if Moses had not appeared in their midst, they would unquestionably have thought that the miracles of the magicians were performed through the mighty power of God, for they were great miracles that were performed by them — a supernatural agency was developed and great power manifested. (T&C 147:1)
Consider Moses

Moses was not deceived. But he already had knowledge adequate to detect, confront and overcome even Lucifer himself. Consider the definition of “glory,” which is intelligence, light and truth, as you read this prior event in Moses’s life:
And now it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying, Moses, son of man, worship me. But Moses lifted up his eyes and looked upon Satan and said, Who are you? For behold, I am a son of God in the similitude of His Only Begotten, and where is your glory that I should worship you? For behold, I could not look upon God except His glory should come upon me and I were transfigured before Him, but I can surely look upon you in the natural man. Blessed be the name of my God for His spirit has not altogether withdrawn from me. I say, Where is your glory? For it is blackness unto me and I can judge between you and God. For God said unto me, Worship God, for Him only shall you serve. Depart from here Satan, deceive me not…And again Moses said, I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of Him. For His glory has been upon me and it is glory unto me, wherefore, I can judge between Him and you. Depart from here Satan. (Genesis 1:3, OC, emphasis mine)
Moses had adequate light and truth within to detect the identity of the false Christ demanding his worship. How would you fare in the same situation?

Back to Joseph:
…if such ignorance as this is manifested about a spirit of this kind, who can describe an angel of light? If Satan should appear as one in glory, who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory, or what is the manner of his manifestation? …Or who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints? We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the Devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God, together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb, which are so characteristic of his proceedings and his mysterious windings. A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. (T&C  147:8-9)
Are we foolish or arrogant enough to presume there will not be another Kirtland-like outpouring of false spirits and deceived followers? Do we presume Hiram Page was an isolated anomaly? Are we really competent enough in the things of God to detect and reject deceivers and deceiving spirits when they come (and they surely will)?

An Infestation of Manifestations

In light of these warnings from Joseph, it’s alarming to read current claims of spiritual manifestations—eagerly and publicly shared in great detail—yet bearing the hallmarks of deception. Books, websites, and social media groups do a brisk trade in this false currency, convincing and deceiving the uninformed with instructions about how to “pierce the veil” and obtain a sought-after experience. As I’ve written before, “piercing the veil” will indeed bring you into contact with spiritual beings. But this is no guarantee they will be sources of truth. If “piercing the veil” is your stated goal, you’re practically begging to be misled. Evil spirits with a great deal of knowledge, even the appearance of glory, most surely stand ready to interact with all who will receive them.

Likewise, mortals under the influence of false spirits, make lavish claims about themselves, their importance, their titles, callings, authorities, future roles, indispensability to the kingdom of God, and the necessity of following them. Yet, such people have accomplished nothing besides making claims. Didn’t the Lord tell us to judge by their fruits? Where, then, are the fruits, by which we can know them? What good does it do to make claims—as a substitute for the years of actual labor and sacrifice required to accomplish something that furthers the Lord’s work?

False Christs? For Real? 

The Lord warned us explicitly of false Christs who will work great signs and wonders, deceiving, if possible, even the elect according to the covenant. (Matthew 11:6, Mark 6:4 NC). I don’t take this to simply mean there will be deranged people running about, claiming to be Jesus returned (though there certainly are.) Such generally fail to convince anyone, and have little chance of deceiving the elect. What need of the warning, then?

No, the dangerous false Christs are those angels of light who make themselves known to those who seek Christ with zeal but not knowledge. They most certainly pretend to be our Lord, and they do a passable job of imitation. Are we to assume every purported experience with a supernatural being claiming to be Christ actually is Christ? Are we to believe every so-called “second comforter experience” trumpeted on the internet, which, upon inspection, bears none of the hallmarks of a true encounter, and disturbing hallmarks of a false one? If every “second comforter” experience is actually genuine, then why did our Lord explicitly warn us of false Christs?

The only logical explanation is that He warned us for good reason, and that there are, and will be, false Christs deceiving, if possible, the very elect.


The devil tried it on Moses. He’s not above trying it on you. If you “pierce the veil” unprotected by adequate light within and a reliable connection to the Record of Heaven, you will most certainly be deceived. The light and truth that will protect you are only obtained by the medium of sacrifice. See Lecture Sixth of the Lectures on Faith.

Sacrifice and Sound Reasoning

Part of that required sacrifice involves putting in the time and diligent effort in study and prayer required to obtain light from God. It’s becoming evident who has not made such effort, as people ask questions and propose ideas that demonstrate their lack of familiarity with what has already been given. We now have a massive library of reliable information available to us, and it continues to grow, thus requiring a concerted effort, spanning years, to come to understanding. Further, God expects us to use critical thinking, sound reasoning, and logic to process what we’re studying. Notice, however, that list of tools does not include emotion—and for good reason.

Emotion is unreliable as a revealer of truth. As I’ve written previously, one of Lucifer’s greatest triumphs has been convincing so many that their emotions constitute revelation because they “feel the spirit.” Thus, they make their feelings the final measure of truth, and become easily deceived. Many false ideas offered and believed among us are nothing more than wishful thinking, based on emotional whimsy, demonstrating both ignorance and poor reasoning. Perhaps some of these emotionally appealing, but false ideas, will provide subject matter for a future post in this series.

It matters not how compelling, moving, or sentimental an idea the devil presents. His power shook the earth when he commanded Moses to worship him. His dramatic performance included shouting, weeping, wailing, teeth gnashing and trembling. Moses was moved with emotion, but when he gave place for that emotion, he only saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, Moses subordinated his fear, trusted in the light and truth he had already obtained, and overcame the devil himself.

This is a valuable lesson. Truth is not subordinate to our emotions; rather, we are to subordinate our emotions to truth. Get it backwards, and you’ll most certainly fall victim to deceit. Get it right, and you’ll have a powerful fortification against being deceived. I don’t know how to say it more directly, but I’ll try:

If you believe something is true because you “felt the spirit” you are probably deceived. I wish I could proclaim it with the sound of a trump every time I hear someone make this statement. It still happens far too much among a people who should know better. Feelings are not the source of light and truth.

And remember, the ONLY way Moses could differentiate was by having MORE light and truth than Satan. Do YOU?


Do not be preoccupied with food for your bellies, but for food from God, that is, light and truth, leading to endless progression upward. I am Son Ahman and can give you sustaining light and truth, for God the Father has declared I am His Son. 
—TSJ 5:13

Then Jesus said to them, In the name of Father Ahman I tell you the truth, Moses was not the one who gave bread, it was my Father who did that. But now my Father is offering true life-giving bread from heaven, which is light and truth. For the Bread of God is sent from the Heavenly Council to give light and truth to the world. They responded, Master, feed us with this bread forever. 
—TSJ 5:15

84 comments:

  1. Deceit always happens as soon as the Lord begins His work. Paul spent time teaching the truth to a group of believers, then shortly after leaving them wrote to the Galatians: "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel — which is not another.But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed." (NC Gal. 1:2) Nothing ever changes. The test for us is the same as the test for the ancients.
    If the adversary cannot get us to disbelieve, then he will substitute false, corrupt, excessive or self-centered beliefs that appeal to our pride, vanity or appetites. Sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit are necessary to stay grounded. Virtuous and godly thoughts, careful and deep reflection, and praying continually are required of us all.
    We are approaching something promised since the time of Adam. It will come to pass as the Lord covenanted to bring it; and we have no assurance any of us will be invited if we depart from the straight and narrow path. The Lord warned that only few will find it.
    The stark difference between light and darkness should be apparent to all of us. But when we harbor darkness in our own minds and hearts, we lose the capacity to distinguish. If Moses could not convert the Egyptians, and Paul could not furnish light enough for the Galatians, and Christ's followers departed enmass following the Bread of Life sermon, and Joseph was betrayed by his companions, then why can we not see the same threat to ourselves? I cannot repent enough, or be broken-hearted enough, or contrite enough to save you. Nor can you repent enough or be broken-hearted or contrite on my behalf. That kind of oil for the lamp to light the way can only be undertaken by each of us alone, as a stranger and sojourner in this alien landscape belonging to the enemy of our souls.
    Thank you for this post. It stirs me to recall again how I must repent and return continually.

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  2. You do us a kindness, Adrian, in bringing the matter of evil spirits (and misguided or ill-intentioned humans) deceiving the ignorant into sharp relief. Growing up sixth-generation LDS, I can recall participating in no substantive discussion, hearing no lecture or reading no memorable discussion of this topic. It makes me shudder to consider both my own ignorance and that of the society I grew up in. Instead of viewing the Hiram Page story as a cautionary tale for all of us, I grew up thinking Mr. Page was an isolated curiosity from another era, a frontier simpleton given to dabbling in the dark arts to be pitied.

    When I taught Gospel Doctrine for several years, my friends impressed me over and over by how comfortable they were with their ignorance of the scriptures: virtually no one read the material ahead of time in preparation for our classes. With the right spin on it I could’ve taught just about anything.

    As it was, I was always seeking to poison the well of our mutual complacency by slipping as much truth into the discussion as the moment would bear. As it started to dawn on me that the church probably was in apostasy I once even taught D&C 10:67–69, going point-by-point, right through to the Lord’s remarkable declaration that claiming more or less than his definition of his church puts one at odds with him as an enemy. Oh snap. I marvel at my audacity to write such things on the chalk board and declare that they’re true.

    Please do consider a future post about the emotionally-appealing but false ideas we gravitate towards.

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  3. (1 of 2)

    Adrian,

    This is a timely and important topic for discussion. Since Denver has also weighed in with his comments, I would like to add that one aspect of his teachings that I have really appreciated are his repeated warnings of our need to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and distinguishing servants of the Lord from the many pretenders who abound.

    The following are some relevant reminders on this very topic.

    From January 19, 2012:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2012/01/false-spirits/

    "All spiritual gifts, including distinguishing between true and false spirits, requires the Holy Ghost, given through obedience to the truth, which allows a person to distinguish between truth and error. (D&C 50: 17-23.) The truth is like light, and when you follow the light of truth it grows inside you until you have a “perfect day” in which there is no more darkness,but everything is illuminated by the light of the spirit within you. (D&C 50: 24.)"

    "The revelation clarifies that a preacher of truth will become only a servant. He will not claim greatness, but will seek only to give truth; as a result of which false spirits will be subject to him. (D&C 50: 26-27.) But this only comes as a result of repenting of all sin, because the light of a perfect day cannot arise when men harbor evil desires and inappropriate ambitions within their hearts. (D&C 50: 28-29.) Truth will not leave you confused, but will enlighten your understanding. (D&C 50: 31.)"

    ***

    "Do not think all spiritual experiences can be trusted. There is no difference between the activities of deceiving spirits today and those in Kirtland, as well as those in the New Testament times. If you follow the Lord you must still test the spirits and only follow those which point to Christ. (1 John 4: 1.) Even Joseph Smith had to ask God about some of the phenomena going on in Kirtland before he knew which were of God and which were deceiving."



    From Dec. 25, 2014:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2014/12/things-now-underway/

    "One word of caution: new things taught using the scriptures always give pretenders, ambitious and cunning men an opportunity to improve their deception. Information can be abused, and there are those who are eager to deceive to get power, popularity and financial gain. You must assume the burden of distinguishing light from darkness, truth from error, and pretenders from those sent by the Lord with counsel from Him. Trust no man. Go to God and ask Him about everyone who teaches and everything taught."

    From April 10, 2015:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2015/04/a-reminder/

    "False spirits will come among you. Prideful and pretentious people will ask you to give them honor. Honor God instead. Do not let a personal revelation displace your attention from the scriptures. Our scriptures are sufficient for our day. I hope this new book demonstrates that. I have expounded the scriptures as Moroni did to Joseph, and as Christ did on the road to Emmaus the day of His resurrection. We must first remember and observe. Preserving the restoration requires us to be very familiar with the scriptures of the restoration. At present we should fear most our ignorance of them."

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  4. (2 of 2)

    From Sept. 7, 2015:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2015/09/pretensions-of-public-piety/

    "Wolves are still trusted with the treasury, given honor, and smothered with adoration. Joseph Smith had little confidence in mankind’s ability to decide between the real and the imitation. He explained it this way: “The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves ‘in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth, (see Hebrews 11:38), and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.” (DHC, Vol. 4, p. 574; also TPJS, p. 206.) Anything claimed to be truth should conform with the truths already given in scripture. Everyone’s motives should be questioned until it is determined by sufficient observation they are sheep. Any teaching or person who draws us to them, and does not point us to the Lord is unable to help us. If they try to supplant Christ as the object of admiration, then they are anti-Christ and a false prophet."


    From Sept. 13, 2015:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2015/09/guarding-the-pathway/

    "It should be relatively plain to judge between what the Lord commissions and wants preached and what comes from the foolish imaginations of men and women. Apparently the best way to sift sheep and goats is to allow every wind of doctrine to come upon mankind and see which are wise and which are foolish virgins. Who keeps themselves unspotted and who runs to and fro with itching ears to consume on their lusts every new thing.

    What a perfect test we are taking. Everyone knows they ought to be grounding themselves on a rock, but then mistake sand, leaves, air, wood and dung for the rock. There are people waste-deep in excrement who are certain they are standing on holy ground.

    How much sooner might we be able to agree on the things that matter most if we put our understanding into words of scripture? How can we ever come to unity if we do not share a common scripture; an anchor to hold us together?

    The pathway back is guarded by shiny trinkets that get all the wayfaring fools to step off a cliff to their ruin. Just because you are in the largest crowd leaving the pathway doesn’t mean the landing is going to be any less destructive. To stay on it the iron rod is needed."


    From November 9, 2015:

    https://denversnuffer.com/2015/11/imitate-or-appropriate/

    "The weak-minded are easily fooled into believing they have salvation when they only have a powerless imitation. Hence the Lord’s prophesy that many will claim at the last day they did many wonderful things in His name. To them He will say: “I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:21-23.)

    It may seem challenging, but making the right choices is not difficult. As long as we take this concept seriously (our salvation depends on it) and we study carefully using the scriptures as our guide, it is easy to tell imitation from the real thing. It is also easy to see when the order established by Christ has been misappropriated. The scriptures tell us the test for priestcraft. Do men seek the welfare of Zion, or their own benefit?"

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  5. This topic was also addressed in Denver's talk in Boise on Sept. 11, 2016. The quotation below is taken from pages 10 -11 of the transcript.

    "In the tenth talk, given in Phoenix two years ago, you were warned about false spirits, as happened in Kirtland, which you were warned would come among us. That warning has proven true. False spirits have mislead some into foolish errors. I am astonished at vain, foolish and prideful ideas that are anti-Christ, degrading and dark, but have been welcomed by some. Remember Pharaoh’s magicians also enchanted their rods to become
    snakes (Exo. 7:11-12), and conjured frogs to mimic the sign given by God through Moses and Aaron (Exo. 8:7.) Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by these imitations. Do not let yours become so likewise.

    For two years I have watched, attended some of your meetings, gathered reports, and tried to let you stand and display your strength and understanding. Even God left Adam and Eve in the Garden, and allowed Lucifer the common enemy to tempt and try them, promising to return again to visit them. They transgressed His commandment, and He provided the means to cover their shame, repent and return. He also promised to later send messengers. But God did not “babysit” Adam and Eve, informing them that it was given unto them to choose, even when He forbids something. God is the same now as in the beginning. We are all required to display our understanding, obedience and prove our strength.

    People have come among you preaching falsehoods, and inviting others to follow false spirits: Adulterers and adulteresses who justify sins, and mock the commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exo. 20:14.) False claimants are pretending to seal others up to eternal life, changing the ordinances and introducing foolish and vain ideas borrowed from pagans and heathen, who do not know Christ nor His righteousness. I do not oppose them directly by debate or counter-argument. I declare the truth and leave it for everyone to decide between clearly opposing teachings. If people cannot discern, then they will need to learn from sad experience to choose between good and evil, perhaps only coming to understand after their destruction in this world."

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  6. Excellent post Adrian,

    I would add to this the pattern given in the That We Might Become One talk, about which he said: “I would suggest this is a pretty good guide to consider when you’re evaluating all of the competing claims that are now being made by people, to having inspiration or revelation or the word of God to them.”

    This address has been a great inspiration to me in making choices since I heard it, and I recommend it to everyone. https://restorationarchives.com/library/snuffer.php

    Thanks again for a great post.

    Sam Vaughn

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  7. Just wondering.....
    Denver has written in his blog before that he doesn't make comments on others blogs.
    If that is true then I question the one who commented as Denver Snuffer above. Adrian, can you confirm?

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    1. Yes, I can confirm. I think the writing style and content were pretty clearly Denver. But I also verified with him.

      Delete
    2. One thing to add--you may be thinking of this statement Denver made on his blog:

      "I want to clarify that I never post or write without using my name. If I comment on a news article or any other place, I always use my name. There are no anonymous or fictitious characters who are me in disguise. I do not do that." ("In Reply to Inquiries," 9/28/2012)

      He does post on blogs from time to time. But he always uses his name when he does.

      Delete
  8. In a talk Denver just gave at the Joseph Smith Restoration Conference, (starting at 12:31) he said the following (this statement begins at 12:57) "We have a scientific approach. We are coarse. Christ is not. Christ dealt in hues. He dealt in feelings. He dealt in sentiments. He dealt in the heart. And it is very hard to take a faith that is grounded essentially in the heart of man and make that something so outwardly visible that it is possible for you as a wolf to walk about in sheeps' clothing. Because that is the kind of people we are. We need to be willing to accept truth from wherever it comes."

    I think we need to be very careful not to dismiss feelings entirely. Instead we need to feel them, ponder them, and pray about them. Only then will we know truth and be able to discern between truth and error. Discounting all feelings will lead to error as we may miss instruction from Christ.

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    Replies
    1. I think you make a great point, Natali. There is certainly a dimension to our relationship with God (and others, as well) that encompasses our emotions. Our hearts must be right, and devoted entirely to His will. Or in other words, like His.

      My point was not to exclude any of that dimension, but rather to focus specifically on discerning truth from error. Emotion is a poor gauge of truth, when it is used for that purpose. It makes me think of all the emotional debates, demonstrations, attacks, and passion people feel in politics, often in favor of evil propositions. Their feelings tell them they're right, when truth is not on their side. Sadly, we see too much of this approach in gospel areas.

      But I absolutely agree with you that the Lord can and must school our feelings and that there's a dimension to His communication with us that comes in that way. I appreciate this important reminder. Thank you!

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  9. This is a timely post for me. I've been frustrated recently at the apparent silence of heaven, and my experience that getting answers and truth from heaven that does not carry with it some kind of plausible deniability, is akin to pulling teeth, and I wonder if I have EVER received an ounce of truth, since a large portion of the "truths" I was so convinced of, turned out to be lies. My frustration comes in the scriptures that seem to contradict my experience, "ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened", "let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally", "ye shall know the truth of all things". When I think about times that I have put so much thought and energy and study into a question or in seeking what can amount to a fairly elementary truth, or help with a life decision, only to come out empty handed, or at best, with an assumption that the lack of a "No" might be the equivalent of a "Yes", it frustrates me greatly to think that I am supposed to be dedicating every moment of my life to reading and study and prayer and fasting for answers (because I need this knowledge if I am to be saved), while also running a small business to support my family of a wife and five small children. I sometimes wonder if God would prefer that I take my family out into the wilderness with nothing but our scriptures, and then we all just devote every moment to study, while we wait for mana to fall from heaven, directly in front of us, so we don't need to take our eyes off our scriptures. Oh, and I should probably take some kind of at-home Hebrew study course into the wilderness with me, because it seems like every time I turn around I am told that yet another scripture I thought I knew so well does not have even a passing resemblance to its Hebrew origin. Oh! And I can't forget to bring every original document of Church history with me, so I can find out which of my scriptures were actually written through revelation, and which may or may not have been changed and tainted over the years. Oh! And I can't forget that I might also be being deceived by every thought that comes into my mind. Heck, I clicked on the Link in this post to read a bit of that "Book of Lehi", and it practically deceived me on the spot, EVEN THOUGH I WAS READING IT AS AN EXAMPLE OF DECEIT! I was like "Wow! This really sounds like something Lehi would write! I need to find out more about thi......Aauugh!" So apparently, I am also a doormat for deception. While this post certainly brought my attention back to the reality that every breath I take might be a deceptive one, I still find the explanations of identifying truth to be extremely vague. Truth is light? What does that mean? There's alot of things that I have discovered to be falsehoods that I grew up thinking were "light and truth". Is it a combination of scripture, logic, reasoning, and some kind of nudge from the Spirit? How do I know if a nudge is from the spirit or from my own mind? Do I need to circle around to it being light again? At this point in my life, over 40, barely having come to the realization that the church that I thought was like a river whose current was going to just gently pull me to my salvation, I can't help but feel like I might have missed the boat. That even if I completely ignored my family and my work, that I would barely be able to scratch the surface of what is required of me, light and knowledge-wize. It's very frustrating. If only it really WAS as easy as just following the example of Christ. I think I do a pretty good job of that. Christ even said that "more or less than this" stuff, but it appears there is INFINITELY more. So much more that ignorance might need to be my bliss for now.

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    Replies
    1. My Unknown Friend,

      Thank you so much for such an honest and poignant expression of frustration. I believe we can ALL relate to these difficulties. I know I can. I have experienced many of the same thoughts, desires, and challenges you have expressed, including trying to balance gospel study with family and business needs.

      One of the first commandments given to Adam was that he would need to earn his bread by his labor. God expects no less from us, and fully realizes and expects us to spend most of our time laboring for our families. Gospel study can be very effective, even in small chunks. I rarely have even an hour to spend in a day. What time I can spend, even if it's a few minutes, is greatly enhanced by a couple of factors. (Speaking for myself:)

      1. Realizing my desperate need for more understanding, and crying to the Lord for it.

      2. Acknowledging my ignorance and seeking to be instructed.

      3. Asking for direction where to study, then following the thoughts that come into my head.

      4. This one is important--study in a conversation. I'm not expressing it well, but it's along the lines of read with a questioning mind. Ask questions. "I wonder why that is? Why was it expressed that way? What does this mean? and so forth...then listen to your inner voice for answers. Lord, what does this mean? has often brought an immediate thought that sheds more understanding.

      It comes in baby steps like that for me. Bit by bit, as I ask questions and try to have a conversation. Be curious.

      I realize I'm doing the equivalent of handing you my glasses and telling you they'll help your eyesight, when in fact the best direction will come from above. Nevertheless, I hope something here is helpful to you.

      Meanwhile, I'd love to hear from others. How do you deal with the difficulties expressed here by our friend Unknown? Can you offer any helpful advice?

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    2. Adrian and Paul/Unknown,

      Paul, I thought you expressed your frustrations very well. I certainly empathize!

      I wanted to share some thoughts. Don't have time to organize them at the moment.

      To be obedient to a POTENTIAL prompting, I'll share this quick experience that literally just happened to me in the last few hours and is related to Paul's comment and this post. I'm visiting my aunt in another state, and she asks me to go with her to a neighbor's house to help with something. The neighbor is out of town, but my aunt has the key. We enter the house, and I find myself alone in the living room looking at a bookshelf with several books. One title pops out to me. It's called "Discerning the Voice of God". I pick it up and read for a couple minutes and decide I'd like to read this book. In the few paragraphs I read, I discovered the author refers to the Holy Spirit as the "mind of Christ." The purpose of her book is to share how she has come to discern the voice of God over the years, with the hope that her experiences will help curious and sincere readers.

      https://www.amazon.com/Discerning-Voice-God-Recognize-Speaking/dp/0802450121/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530991589&sr=8-2&keywords=discerning+the+voice+of+god+priscilla+shirer

      Her book has 252 reviews and virtually all are 5 stars. Perhaps there's something of value in there for those who are interested in the subject.

      I thought it no small coincidence that I just happened to be in that locked house today, when normally I would have no business being there, as in ZERO chance I should or could have been there. And then to randomly notice this book when I had been pondering this post the past few days, esp after Paul's comment. So, I feel like I should mention the book. I feel like I was guided to it.

      I have more to write in my next comment(s).

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    3. Paul,
      thank you for expressing what I think many have and are feeling. There is so much going on right now and so much that is changing. It can be overwhelming feeling we are helpless as we watch what we "thought" we knew not be so.

      I started in this "recognition" of things not being accurate or true in my mid 50's and felt so helpless to realize pretty much all of my "learning" was incorrect and I needed to start over. I think I sat in a stupor for quite some time until I knew I had to move forward because I coulnd't return to where I had been and no movement wasn't an option.

      I appreciate Adrian's thoughts as well and the 4 ideas he listed.

      I was recently reading again Denver's talk #8. Many things jumped out at me and this one I really appreciated.
      "Everything that you have been put through, and every challenge that you have been given, and every weakness that you possess, have all been given to you in a studied way to bring you, hopefully, to your knees. To bring you, hopefully, to feel the chastening hand of God, so that you, in your day, in your circumstances can look upon it all as a gift, because it surely is."

      I am grateful that the Lord "studied" how best to work with me. I know we each have our set of circumstances to experience. I don't have 5 young children at home, however, we do have the business to run, elderly parents to care for, children and grandchildren who need us, etc., Many in our fellowship have their "studied" experiences as well. I know we pray for each other and support each other as best we can. I think it is vital for me to continue to plead with the Lord for strength. I truly feel He is indeed proving us to see where are hearts really are.

      thank you again for sharing your heart and as we all pray for each other I know the Lord does indeed hear and answer prayers.

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    4. Sir, you have effectively articulated my exact feelings for the last few years. I'm the father of several small children. I work a full time job and am trying to start a small business. I was a lifelong member of the church until I started to actually study and God yanked the rug out from under me. Now I can barely stand going to church and I'm frustrated with God and with myself for not being able to receive what others apparently are. Since leaving Plato's cave I've spent many hours in study. Being an engineer perhaps I'm too scientific in my approach. When I put forth effort I expect measurable results in equal part to the amount of energy expended. When no results are achieved I lose interest, concluding that either God doesn't work that way or I'm doing it wrong. Problem is I can't seem to figure out how to do it right. At this point I cling desperately to a simple child-like hope that God exists and that he cares about me. I don't know how much longer that hope will last.

      TL/DR: I'm right there with you man.

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    5. My most meaningful experiences with God have come as a result of giving up. Not on Him, but on myself. When I've come to the point of desperation and admission of not only failure, but also utter ignorance of how to obtain--these have been the times when the Lord has finally been able to work with me. It appears a broken heart is required after all...

      I believe you are closer now than ever to what you seek, because your heart is breaking.

      There is only one absolute I've clung to through these times. As you say, it is that God exists, cares, and knows what's best (and I don't.) Abject surrender to this notion has brought miracles.

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    6. Unknown,

      Amen brother. Amen. My heart breaks that the ceiling above me is brass. Jesus tells me to ask and I'll receive. I ask and the heavens are silent. I've been deceived by the people I trusted, and with heaven silent, whom do I trust now? I am left to exclaim, "Oh wicked man that I am." And, I am certainly not worthy of any communication from God. I am worthy of death and hell. That's all I've earned - even on my best day. Even on my best day.

      I plead for mercy, that God would condescend to talk to me, to help me find truth. Not because I'm worthy of his attention. But because of his mercy. And there are just years and years and years of silence. It is to the point where I imagine judgment day standing (or laying prostrate) before God and saying, "I can only interpret the silence as your disapproval for the life I lived. I am so sorry. Please allow me to apologize to all those I harmed and then allow me to go in peace to a place where I can do no more harm."

      I typically comment with my name. In this instance, it's too personal for me to sign in a public place.

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    7. Part (1/2)

      I went through a similar experience. One day I was thinking about going back to school and I really wanted to become the next High Nibley. I looked into going to BYU and doing their Near Middle Eastern Studies (which I later found out only qualifies you for a job as an Institute Instructor and is pretty worthless) and prayed about it. I felt the impression that the way would be opened for me.
      I spent the next week preparing every needful thing to move to Utah and go to BYU. Then I got my rejection letter from the college. What!?!? But the Lord had told me that the way would be opened for me. Everything else was in place for me to move, work, and pay for college. My wife (a native to Utah who HATES the cold), was even going to support me since I had prayed and received an answer.
      Needless to say, this caused serious doubts in my mind. Was everything I had received from heaven just my own thoughts. Had God ever talked to me at all. I spent an entire day praying as I drove around the city doing my work. At one point, with tear in my eyes, I told God that if He would give me an answer I would never doubt again. Silence. I went into the building where my next job was and did my job.
      I left that job and as I pulled up to the light I started my prayer again. "Please Lord, I don't want to be a fool. I don't want people to ridicule me. I don't want to face the opposition of my peers on nothing but my imaginations."
      The next thing that happened, the only way I can describe it, the world paused for a brief moment and everything became still. Then a thought entered into my head.
      "Fear not, but be believing. For so they persecuted me while I was on the earth. They called me a fool and hated me for the truth. Men will revile you and call you a fool, but be of good cheer. For Lo, I am with thee, even until the end of the earth." Then the world came back and I found myself overcome with love and joy. I am definitely the least among Saints. I can count on one hand the spiritual manifestations that have occurred in my life over the last 5 years. This one solidified my faith in Christ and my faith that God and Christ are intimately involved in our lives.
      Another time I was driving to a job and I saw a man on the side of the road hitchhiking for ride in the opposite direction. I had been praying all day trying to get answers about priesthood. I saw him raise his hands in the air as if pleading unto heaven. Something inside urged me to help this man. I pulled around and picked him up. Long story short, everything about this man’s life mirrored my own. He had been a drug addict, a veteran of the military, church raised, middle child, same age, same amount of children, and he needed a ride to the hospital where his son was about to be born. We talked about the book of Revelation, and he said that he had been asking God for every needful thing. I asked him if he had asked God what he (the man) could do for him. This was an astonishing suggestion and extremely insightful to him. When I dropped him off I finally asked what his name was. His first and middle name was the same as mine.
      As he left, and I began to pull away from the hospital, a feeling of complete love washed over me. I knew in that moment that God was pleased with what I had done. It was a feeling of indescribable joy.

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    8. (Part 2/2)

      I am a grievous sinner and have more to repent of than most. However, every now and then I realize my awful state and try to repent and turn back towards the light.

      I too want to move to the woods and spend my days studying the word of God and trying to do everything in my power to serve my family and those around me. I'm like Tevye from Fiddler On The Roof. "If I were rich I'd have the time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray. I'd discuss the Holy Book with the learned men 7 hours everyday, and that would be the sweetest thing of all."

      My children are falling away from Christ and I don't know how to lead them as I am as lost as they. I can only encourage you to be of good cheer. Maybe the silence from heaven is a testing of your faith in preparation for some future glorious experience.

      I often think back to the apostle who was shown the heavens as the people were stoning him. Did he ever have a vision of the heavens prior to that experience? Does this mean that I can go my entire life without ever experiencing something, as you put it, without plausible deniability?

      I don't know. It is possible that every encounter I have had with heaven has been manifestations of my own imagining or emotional reactions of sentimentality? Perhaps they were comforting thoughts of my own mind. Perhaps my brain was simply telling me what I wanted to hear. If that is the case, then my brain wants me to have faith and believe in Christ. I guess that's not too bad. If it causes me to love my fellow man and serve others, then at the very least I will go to my grave having done some good in the world.

      I know many here want the same thing as you. You are probably more prepared than I am. I spent most of my life fighting against the Church and then coming back and then fighting again. My pride and ambitions and judgement of others are my greatest sins that cause the heavens to close to me.

      I hope you will be courageous though and never give up. I want to have my calling and election made sure. I want knowledge from on high. I want to be in Zion and finally be free of the oppression and subjugation that controls our lives. I want greater things than what I have, nevertheless, I have had no visions of heaven. I have had no angelic ministers. I have had no dramatic, life altering revelations. I am a simple man who is intimately aware of his profound ignorance, and I struggle every day. I think this is a good thing though. I think this is the refining process that, for some, takes a lifetime.

      I have heard it said before that experienced like Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Lehi, Nephi, The Brother of Jared, and many more and reserved for specific people at specific times to be messengers to the world. They were the great and noble spirits chosen from the foundation of the world. Perhaps I am not one of those people? Perhaps this life is meant for me to simply move one rung up the ladder. I think most us are struggling with these questions.

      For me, I know that I am not ready, no matter how much my heart wants it. I don’t know if this will help you, but I hope hat you will find some solace knowing that many of us are going through the same testing and refining process.

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  10. I didn't mean to comment as "Unknown", but by the time I got to the end of typing that, I didn't want to take any chances at losing it all if I touched the wrong button, and I thought that maybe the fact that it seemed to already know my email address meant that it might fill in the relevant information for me. Apparently not. Hopefully I'll do this one right..

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  11. Adrian & Denver-

    Denver you wrote: "We are approaching something promised since the time of Adam. It will come to pass as the Lord covenanted to bring it; and we have no assurance any of us will be invited if we depart from the straight and narrow path. The Lord warned that only few will find it."

    What specifically are you referring to?







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    1. In a word, Zion. This encompasses more than just a holy city however. Ultimately it includes the fulfillment of the promises made to the fathers ages ago. The fulfillment of God's covenants, which will surely be fulfilled.

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    2. Thanks for responding Adrian! How do you anticipate this will come to pass? I'm somewhat ignorant on this. I've searched yours and Denver's blog and couldn't find anything. Has he explained how he believes this will take place?

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    3. Yes, Austin, he has explained some, and the scriptures give some light. Obviously much of the details remain to be seen. But it's quite a large topic to cover in a blog comment. I'll just hit a few bullet points here, with the understanding between us that each of these could be a whole book:

      --The seed of it all will be a temple. This means not just a building, but an actual, functioning, lively connection with God and angels who visit there. The Temple will be a university of sorts, as well as a place for ordinances.

      --The temple and what goes on there will re-frame the culture and mindset of those who participate there.

      --There will be a city established where the temple is. (New Jerusalem). Those who dwell in that city will, by degrees, shed all traces of babylon and become a righteous and holy people, able to dwell together in love.

      --This will form the seed of Zion, which will grow as others are brought to the gathering.

      --In all cases, however, it is angels who will do the gathering, both to the initial Jew Jerusalem, and then to the city of Zion as it grows. People don't get to opt themselves in. The angels are taking careful note, right now, of our hearts so they know who can be safely gathered.

      --When Zion finally exists, there will be a people to whom the Lord can safely come, and to whom the city of Enoch can descend. This will usher in the second coming.

      Also, this week's podcast on Denver's website has some information about Zion's location and defense.

      I hope this overview is helpful. There's obviously much more to understand, but this is a start.

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    4. Whoops! ERROR in the above comment!

      I meant to type "NEW Jerusalem," not "Jew Jerusalem." Confusing on many levels. Sorry about that!

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  12. 1 of 2
    By now, everyone here should understand the doctrine of Christ. It has been discussed for years. On top of that, the Lord’s doctrine has been included in some form or fashion in most every version of the Guiding Principles submitted. His doctrine of charity “never faileth.” If you stand in this holy place, then deception is not possible.

    However, as the Lord said, “You think Satan will be bound a thousand years, and it will be so, but do not understand your own duty to bind that spirit within you so that you give no heed to accuse others. It is not enough to say you love God; you must also love your fellow man. Nor is it enough to say you love your fellow man while you, as Satan, divide, contend and dispute against any person who labors on an errand seeking to do my will. How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek. You have become your own adversaries, and you cannot be Satan and also be mine.”

    So how can we avoid being deceived by Satan (who we have been told is ourselves)? How do we have our prayers answered? How is Christ manifested to us?

    The answer really is a light and easy thing. The process can be summed up like this:

    1. Live the doctrine of Christ
    2. Look for a sign that God is pleased (acknowledging God’s hand)
    3. Continue to nurture the seed you planted
    4. Mighty works and miracles will occur

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  13. 2 of 2
    This last dispensation will mirror the first, so we should look to the scriptures to see how they did things in days of old. Moroni gives us some great insight:

    “Wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness — not until after the trial of your faith. For it was by faith that Christ shewed himself unto our fathers after he had risen from the dead. And he shewed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him. Wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he shewed himself not unto the world but because of the faith of men: he has shewn himself unto the world and glorified the name of the Father and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope and be partakers of the gift if ye will but have faith. Behold, it was by faith that THEY OF OLD were called after the holy order of God. Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of the Son hath God prepared a more excellent way, and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled. For if there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he shewed not himself until after their faith.”

    Remember that the signs come only by God’s will, not ours, so they will be unexpected. You cannot contrive them, but will most likely stand in wonder, scratching your head. They will appeal to your language and understanding, but also give you room to doubt or chalk it up to coincidence. But they cannot be mimicked by Satan.

    We should also realize that this go at it will not look like previous dispensations’. It will be a ‘new song’ and possibly be foreign to our nature.

    If you don’t believe me, give it a try. Ask God for an opportunity to live His doctrine. It will come and may be gut-wrenching for you. But I can assure you that peace lies at the other side, and a better understanding of His true doctrine of charity.

    “THE Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. For he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek your face, O Jacob. Lift up your heads, O you generations of Jacob, and be lifted up. And the Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle who is the King of glory, shall establish you for ever. And he will roll away the Heavens and will come down to redeem his people, to make you an everlasting name, to establish you upon his everlasting rock. Lift up your heads, O you generations of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you everlasting generations. And the Lord of hosts, the King of kings, even the King of glory, shall come unto you and shall redeem his people and shall establish them in righteousness.

    Sing unto the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea and all that is therein: the isles and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that your disaffected brother does inhabit. Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord and declare his praise in the islands.”

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  14. Part 1

    There is the question of whether God speaks to us through our "feelings." I've read Adrian's posts on this subject multiple times over the months. I understand, Adrian, you are emphatic that the Holy Ghost has NOTHING to do with feelings. I have to say I'm not convinced; and if I've ever had a "stupor of thought" on accepting a particular idea, it's on this very persistent opinion of yours. Here are a few reasons why. But first let me say that I think this is a topic subject to easy conflation of ideas, and it's a topic that potentially has caused hurt to people, and their opinions are poignant on the matter.

    It's further complicated because there are two groups of people: those who "feel" more and those who reason more than feel (Aristotelian). It seems much of the remnant movement is of the Aristotelian type, the scholarly type who are wired up to reject emotion and feelings, and thus there's the battle of the two schools of thought. Perhaps these Aristotelian remnant members have been burned in the past, and in major or tragic ways, by trusting in their own feelings (which proved to be deceptions) or in the teachings of others whom they trusted who were ruled mainly by their feelings, who led them astray. So, I get the antagonism towards "feelings." And I can also see how the "feeling" type of people might feel like their worldview occasionally gets trampled by the "logic" type.

    As of this moment in time, I don't see that these two schools of thought are mutually exclusive. The Lord says in T&C 3:1 that He will tell "[us] in our mind and [our] heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon [us]...behold, this is the spirit of revelation." (Of note, I see in the Scriptures that DC 9 has been removed; the lovely "burning in the bosom" scripture is now gone!).

    I'm not sure, Adrian, if you are suggesting they are mutually exclusive, but it seems like you are. Am I reading you right?

    It doesn't have to be all or nothing, does it? You say "feelings are not the source of light and truth." I agree. Makes sense. But what if God uses feelings to get our attention to light and truth (intelligence) he reveals to us? Just as the devil tries to get our attention. Is God unable or unwilling to use feelings to communicate to us? The answer has got to be "no." God is all powerful. He can send us feelings if He chooses to do so. What principle would tie His hands? Is free agency compromised? No, because we are still free to act. Yes, Satan can deceive us by sending feelings of all sorts. He can mimic all sorts of "spiritual manifestations," no doubt. So? You've given a list of recent counterfeits above, but do these deceptions make the real ones invalid? Should the baby (feelings) be thrown out with the dirty water (the deceptive feelings Satan gives us)?

    Millions of people have testified of spiritual experiences (feelings) they've had, and have testified they've come CLOSER to God by these personal experiences. Their actual "witness" of the divinity of Christ has come BECAUSE of these myriad spiritual experiences. Yes, many are deceived, but are all? Should we really look down or dismiss, as a rule, ALL of these witnesses? That doesn't "feel" right to me.

    Yes, it's okay to use the word "feel". We don't want to be "past feeling" (1 Nephi 5:21 Restoration Edition. The Lamanites regressed to a genocidal rage because they were past feeling (Moroni 9:4).

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    1. The burning in the bosom scripture is now found in T&C 1  •  JSH part 13:30

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  15. Part 2

    I have personally had two major spiritual manifestations (major feelings) in my life, not counting the thousands of "feeling the spirit" moments (one which I'll share with you in a moment). One was when I was in my Protestant and college days before I ever heard of the Mormons. I said a sincere prayer and asked Jesus to take away my sins, and had a stunning experience with a supernatural power. The result was me becoming a believing, evangelical, born-again Christian. Without going into the details of what I experienced, suffice it to say, the experience was astonishing and never to be forgotten. It's never happened since, and was experienced exactly DURING my prayer. Could this have been the devil? Yes, but equally, COULD it have been caused by God?

    Looking back, I honestly don't know which unseen force acted upon me. Back then, I believed it was from God, after all, I was in the very act of calling upon God and asking to be forgiven of my sins. What did I learn, what was the takeaway from that experience? The main takeaway, for me, was that God was listening and heard my prayer. I went on to make some assumptions that proved false (that led to unbeliefs), just as I did with the witness of the BoM (which I'll describe in a moment). Maybe this college experience I had was the devil. But maybe it was divine. I cannot deny that experience happened to me.

    The second experience I had was as a Mormon convert. Restoration edition Ether 5:2 (or 12:6) says "ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." I had been tried, and sacrificed much up to that moment. In short I had been proven. Again, without going into the detail, I can tell you I had another, and unique spiritual manifestation that is most aptly described as a baptism of fire, being washed from head to toe, thrice. This wasn't an intellectual experience, it wasn't a sudden stroke of intelligence, this was the power of God having wrought upon me, and I knew it, and knew God knew it. Like the first one a few years earlier, this was an experience I had DURING sacred prayer.

    Conclusion: God works by feelings. There's no question. He communicates to us using feelings. It seems like you're antagonistic toward this truth, and look upon feelings as an illegitimate tool of God to use (because Satan uses the tool of feelings too). However, in my view, feelings are simply an available tool God uses. I think it's important to understand this. Yes, feelings can deceive. We must still judge if the feeling was/is of God or not. If we've received "pure intelligence" in the form of a cold, but perfectly legible transcript printed off and handed to us, we'd still have to judge if it's true, using the perfect way to judge given by Mormon to his son in Moroni 7:3. The devil could likewise give us a transcript of "revelation" that "looked" true. Whether feelings or cold, hard intelligence delivered to us in a printed transcript devoid of an accompanying feeling, we have to judge if it's true or not.

    Shall we ignore our personal testimony that we have "felt the Spirit"? Should we ignore millions of similar testimonies? No. It just means we must beware of deception, and be able to detect a counterfeit.

    Yes, like anything or EVERYTHING else, Satan can and does imitate. But simply because he imitates, does this mean we ignore the feelings God has sent us to help us? I think that God uses feelings to get our attention. Satan probably does too. Fine. God's use of feeling is sort of like a transistor radio having a light that blinks right when you tune into the right station. We can hear the voice (get the intelligence), but the "call" to pay attention is the blinking light. He's lovingly, and graciously communicating to us, "Hey, pay attention, you just heard a truth!", as we feel goosebump or feel chills.

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  16. Part 3 of 3

    And this is where your teachings come in handy in blessing me. Your teachings that insist the Holy Ghost is a revelator of truth has caused me to examine ideas that come to me or that I hear ESP WHEN accompanied by the "blinking light", or the feeling that occurs simultaneously.

    Let me share one example of how I regularly use this new understanding.

    The other day, I skipped church and had a wonderful gospel study time with my kids at home. I ended up learning more in this home gospel study than I have at any church Sunday School class that I can recall in several years. We were talking about the low quality standard Mormon definition of "repentance" (moving away from sin). I introduced the new paradigm of viewing repentance of moving towards God. We had been talking about Lehi's dream. Then one of my kids said, "Dad, you could let go of the rod of iron and 'repent' (using the standard LDS paradigm) while walking out into the field away from the river of sin/hell and also away from the Tree of Life."

    I heard this and immediately felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up, as chills ran down my neck from the bottom of the back of my head. I blurted out, "I just felt the spirit. I felt it back here (pointing to the back of my head). Now, this was a signal I just heard something true. What did she (my daughter) just say?" And I asked her to repeat what she said. We took a few minutes to reconstruct what she was inspired to say, and we were left with a beautiful nugget of truth that's been there the entire time but unbeknownst to any of us until it was articulated: "repentance is turning to face God, holding on to the iron rod and walking towards him, versus simply walking away from sin. We must focus our attention on facing God and doing His will, moving towards Him be sacrifice and obedience." This was powerful imagery for all of us. It was made possible because God triggered me with the feeling I experienced.

    One could argue, from Aristotle's school of thought, that "God didn't send that feeling. It was just a physical response to a truth received. Your body reacted. Nothing more, and nothing less. Maybe there's truth to this, I don't know. If I was a disembodied spirit, it would have been impossible for me to have that reaction, and yet the truth would have been still received. But I could reply that my spirit body is still material, it's just a finer matter than the tabernacle we're clothed in now. So that argument fails. In other words, spirits can still have a "physical" reaction, just like I had on the back of my neck.

    I am grateful that God in His mercy reaches out to me and millions of others via these physical manifestations that we term "feeling the spirit." I'm also grateful that I should be on the lookout for the accompanying truth. If there is no truth or light or intelligence attending such manifestation, then of what value was the feeling? This new knowledge, coming from your blog, has helped me listen to the "voice" on the transistor radio as the radio light is blinking, begging me to heed what's being said! That's priceless knowledge.

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    1. Underdog2, I don't take any issue with what you've shared, particularly because you are careful to couple any feelings experienced with light and truth communicated. Feelings, apart from light and truth, or "pure intelligence" are the problem.

      A couple of thoughts:

      1. Emotions are not the same as physical things felt in the body. One can cause the other, but they are separate.

      2. We've been trained in the LDS church that any good feeling, whether physical or emotional, means we "felt the spirit" and therefore the church, prophet, or whatever is "true." This is a false notion, and is a misidentification of the “spirit."

      3. Likewise, we’re taught that negative feelings identify “darkness” and are indications that something is wrong or false. But I'm quite often shocked, dismayed, saddened or even fearful as a result of the intelligence communicated by the Holy Ghost. Ultimately the Holy Ghost will cause us to confront our own sinfulness and desperation.

      4. The Holy Ghost is a revelator, which means it reveals things you didn't know. This is different than confirming things through feelings. In the example you gave regarding your daughter's sudden idea/revelation, I would suggest that absolutely DID come by the Holy Ghost, and this sudden realization and light caused physical manifestations in your body. I like your idea of this being an "attention getter" but not necessarily proof that the idea is "true." It means you should analyze the intelligence communicated. You could have had the same reaction in an inspiring movie, for example.

      5. The Holy Ghost is also a sanctifier. The baptism of fire can be felt physically. But it is not an emotion; it is a physical burning. Emotions may accompany it.

      Finally, here’s something I wrote in a post a long time back, when I first approached this subject:

      “There is indeed something of the Holy Ghost that is felt. But it is very subtle, refined, and quiet. It is not emotional; it is informational and difficult to describe. It comes after you learn to recognize the voice of the Spirit.”

      Ultimately, the problem I’m identifying in this post is that people who should know better are being easily deceived because they “felt the spirit.” This garbage-can term needs to go away, and we all need to get better at discernment.

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    2. Underdog2-

      Agree with much of what you said but you mis-characterize the church when you say the "standard LDS Paradigm" for repentenc is to simply turn away from sin. I don't believe this is the case at all.

      https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/repent-repentance

      My first thought when I read what you wrote was a talk by Elder Bednar 17 years ago which echoes what the church has consistently taught - that repentance means turning fully to God.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVVg8lNfYw

      http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/Devotionals/2001_01_09_Bednar.htm

      Here is another from Neal A Maxwell 27 years ago.
      https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/repentance?lang=eng

      Delete
  17. Remnant of JosephJuly 7, 2018 at 6:12 PM

    Douglas, Satan is ourselves?

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    1. "Nor is it enough to say you love your fellow man while you, as Satan, divide, contend and dispute against any person who labors on an errand seeking to do my will. How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek."

      Delete
  18. Remnant of JosephJuly 8, 2018 at 1:13 AM

    Douglas, if we apply your quote to those in this movement and the church they dispute, contend with and divide we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    My question was whether you were taking the quote literal that we are Satan or simply acting as Satan and if so where have we been taught this?

    Discussions don't have to be contentious.

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    1. I was referencing how, just as the Lord called Peter Satan, he called us Satan:

      "Satan is a title, and means accuser, opponent and adversary; hence once he fell, Lucifer became, or in other words was called, Satan, because he accuses others and opposes the Father. I rebuked Peter and called him Satan because he was wrong in opposing the Father’s will for me, and Peter understood and repented."

      My citation was not in reference to this discussion. It was basically saying that we can take on the title of Satan (which was given to us by the Lord), or we can take on the name of Christ by exercising His pure love.

      Delete
  19. 1 of 2

    The discussion here seems to center around the notion that there is only one way to experience the manifestations of Christ via the Holy Ghost. But we know that there are many ways to understand the communications of God. And of all the paths, the Lord came to the earth to give us a “more excellent way”:

    “And God has set some in the church: first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers; after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? All prophets? All teachers? All workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? I say unto you, nay. For I have shown unto you a MORE EXCELLENT WAY. Therefore, covet earnestly the best gifts. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I become sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.”

    That way is charity, aka the love of God, aka the doctrine of Christ, aka “a new song.” It is plain and precious, and works with the individual, not the collective. As Moroni says:

    “But in the gift of the Son hath God prepared a MORE EXCELLENT WAY, and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled. For if there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he shewed not himself until after their faith… Wherefore, thou workest after men have faith. For thus did thou manifest thyself unto thy disciples; for after they had faith and did speak in thy name, thou didst shew thyself unto them in great power. And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a MORE EXCELLENT HOPE… And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity. Wherefore, except men shall have charity, they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said that if the gentiles have not charity because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.”

    This is a dialogue with God, and it requires faith to believe there is even a conversation in the first place. It is really quite simple and goes like this:

    • We live the doctrine of Christ (obey His commandment).
    • We stand ready, watching for every communication which will come from God to tell us that He approves. This will be according to our individual language and understanding, which means that it can look like anything (since Christ is in and through all things). But we will know it when we see it, and probably say to ourselves, “What the……??” Quite often, it symbolically includes a message to us (if we speak the language of symbolism, anyway). But there is no reason why it can’t be through our feelings, if that’s the language we speak.
    • We continue to nurture the seed that has been planted, following through with the love/charity we are expressing to others… whatever that looks like.
    • God promises that mighty works and miracles will occur.

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  20. 2 of 2

    “Judas (not Iscariot), asked, Lord, how is it you will manifest yourself to us, but not to the world? Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves me, he will stand ready, watching for every communication I will send to him; and my Father will also love him, and we will come visit him, and continually abide by his side. Whoever claims to love me but does not stand ready, watching for every communication I will send, indeed does not love me. These teachings are not from me, but come from the Father who sent me. These words have I spoken to you while I am still present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost that the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and restore to your memory all truth I have taught to you, and the record of Heaven itself… I give you a new commandment, That you love one another. Love each other as I have loved you. IF YOU HAVE LOVE FOR EACH OTHER IT WILL BE A SIGN THAT WILL IDENTIFY YOU TO ALL MANKIND AS MY FOLLOWERS.”

    So my opinion is that we shouldn’t throw feelings in the garbage, if that is the way the Lord manifests Himself to us. If feelings don’t work for you… sure. Toss them out. But it’s not anyone’s right or obligation to say how God can speak to me. That is personal, and should be left to the individual. After all, watching for "every communication" will include "every" possible avenue, including feelings.

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  21. One last thing:

    "And it shall come to pass that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father. Yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever, they shall be no more brought down into captivity, and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded."

    Word= Word of God = Doctrine of Christ
    Power= Holy Ghost = Signs = Witness of Christ
    Very Deed = Works = Wonders = Miracles of Christ
    Hardening not hearts = belief = investigation = openness = trial and experimentation = being like a child = immersion (baptism) in the name of Christ

    "And blessed are the gentiles because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witness unto them of me and of the Father."
    ………
    "And after they had slain the Messiah, who should come, and after he had been slain he should rise from the dead and should make himself manifest by the Holy Ghost unto the gentiles."
    ………
    "And they understood me not for they supposed it had been the gentiles, for they understood not that the gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said, They shall hear my voice. And they understood me not that the gentiles should not at that time hear my voice, that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost."
    ………
    "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith… And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the gentiles."

    1. Live the doctrine of Christ (the manifestation of the Word)
    2. Look for a sign that God is pleased (the manifestation of the Power)
    3. Continue to nurture the seed (harden not your hearts)
    4. Mighty works and miracles will occur (the manifestation of the Very Deed)

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  22. What revelation from the Pure Revelations blog was false? (The link opened to the main blog page, not a specific example.) Would love to study more!

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  23. Regarding the ongoing discussion of feelings vs. revelation, and "feeling the spirit," I want to offer a few reminders.

    First, we are all desperately ignorant of a great many things. What we lack could fill volumes. What we need is information and intelligence—a great deal of it. This volume of information cannot be conveyed simply by feelings.

    In fact, feelings don’t convey any information at all. Think about that for a moment, while I repeat it. Feelings don’t convey information. You do not learn new things you didn’t know before because you feel something.

    Now, we may ascribe our own interpretation to feelings, and therefore we ASCRIBE information to feelings, but the feelings in and of themselves do not communicate information, and certainly not the volume of information we need. Feellings=revelation is an old LDS notion and is false.

    The Holy Ghost has the following roles:

    -Will "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance" (John 14:26)
    -Will testify of Christ (John 15:26)
    -Is the "spirit of revelation" and will "tell you in your mind and in your heart." (D&C 8:2-3)
    -Causes men to speak the will of the Lord, the mind of the Lord, the word of the Lord, the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation (D&C 68:4)
    -Will unfold the mysteries of God to them that diligently seek (1 Nephi 10:19)
    -Remits your sins (2 Nephi 31:17)
    -Cleanses you (Moroni 6:4)
    -Sanctifies you (3 Nephi 27:20)
    -Is the power by which angels speak (2 Nephi 32:3)
    -Bears record of the Father and the Son (3 Nephi 11:32)

    Now, I don’t know how you accomplish all of the above by feelings or emotions. Nor do I know of any scriptural basis for “feeling the spirit.” This whole notion is, in my opinion, a false notion, a tool of the adversary, designed to prevent us from receiving the Holy Ghost, because we’re seeking “feels.”

    According to Joseph Smith:

    “This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence.”

    Please, seriously, go read this post (or read it again) and consider carefully what’s written there:

    http://www.totheremnant.com/2014/11/feeling-and-fooling-spirit.html

    God speaks, through His spirit, in words, sentences, and pure intelligence. When our spirit is aligned with His mind, we receive in the same way.

    “Wherefore, he that preaches and he that receives understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together. And that which does not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light, and he that receives light and continues in God, receives more light, and that light grows brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”

    Edify: “To instruct and improve the mind in knowledge generally, and particularly in moral and religious knowledge, in faith and holiness.” (Webster’s 1828)

    This is about truth in the form of information, understanding and intelligence. Not feelings, emotion, or physical manifestation. Those things may or may not follow, but they are NOT indicators of truth.

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    1. I've studied your "Feeling and Fooling the Spirit" and "Signs Follow" posts as well as everything I can find from Denver where he talks about either receiving revelation or signs. What you have written has been very enlightening to me and I have reflected on it again and again. I do appreciate it.

      But this information also adds a layer of confusion as I try to understand past experiences I have had.

      For example, I struggle to understand the meaning of an unusual physical manifestation in my body that I had in response to something someone said. It was something I had heard people say countless times, and it is something that is taught in the scriptures, but I took this very unusual physical manifestation that I felt to mean that God was verifying the truth of that statement to me.

      However you just mentioned that physical manifestations are not indicators of truth. Does that mean that 1) you don't believe they can be given as a sign from God, or that 2) signs themselves aren't reliable indicators of truth?

      I'm glad the discussion about "feeling the spirit" came up again because I just can't quite wrap my head around it yet.

      Delete
    2. Still Confused,

      Thank you for your question. It is a good one.

      Adherents to nearly every religion or idolatry report "feeling" something special that tells them their belief is true. A sense of awe, wonder, physical feelings, strong emotion, the list goes on and on.

      Similarly, we all feel some of the same things in response to movies, music, even news reports.

      So...what is the explanation. Can these feelings be trusted as "signs" of truth? Or are they simply responses to thoughts, ideas, or information we find inspiring?

      I believe the latter. This means that feelings that accompany a revelation from God by His spirit are a reaction to information that is inspiring, important, or even resonates with our spirit (the "record of heaven.") But the feelings are NOT the revelation. It is important to separate the two.

      On the flip side, it is just as possible to experience similar feelings in response to something that is not true. As an example, I once shook David Bednar's hand. I was in awe. I was starstruck. I was sure the spirit was testifying to me he was "true." And yet...no information was communicated. None of the scriptural functions of the Holy Ghost were at play. I was merely awestruck.

      I like what Underdog said, above. The feelings are like an "attention getter," which should point us to examine WHY we are feeling them and what intelligence was communicated, rather than simply assuming a feeling is a witness of truth.

      Delete
  24. I've read your posts on this. The challenge I believe that people are having with your comments are their own experiences. Experiences for many of us that we can't deny. For example, I have been pricked in my heart on many occasions without knowing why at first. There was no understandable "intelligence" to explain the burning in my bosom yet i KNEW something just occurred and I knew it because of what I felt- the comfort that came. This has occurred without any emotional or outside influence but led me to things I later learned as a result. Or I've felt the spirit or burning in my heart that confirmed thoughts or things I was hearing and also at times that I was saying.

    He speaks it to our heart.

    I believe the challenge is that of discernment - but not that the Holy Ghost doesn't speak to us though feelings of the heart.

    when you dismiss the feelings completely, you're more inclined to miss revelation and rely on science or written word and in my opinion can be more open to be misled or deceived.

    As you know, I've said this before. I believe Denver Snuffer is wrong about many issues. I can say with certainty that I KNOW this to be the case, which is why I am concerned with the obsession you all have with him. He has been deceived. There are many things he's taught that are good and correct but there are some KEY areas where he is incorrect and it's these KEY areas that have caused him to arrive at some incorrect conclusions and therefore write some of the things he's written that are contrary to the scriptures.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this, but I find it ironic that you base your assertions on experiences, rather than on scriptures, while asserting an opinion that can't be found in scripture (i.e. the Holy Ghost speaks through the feelings of the heart.)

      You then use the term KNOW in asserting Denver Snuffer teaches contrary to scripture.

      I would suggest that everyone who believes false religious ideas feels just as fervently that they are true. Regardless of the false ideas, the feelings are asserted as just as valid.

      Therefore, what makes your experiences any more valid than those of a devout believer in falsehoods, who has similar feelings?

      BTW, "know" is a very strong word. It implies something much more than feelings.

      Delete
    2. Remnant of JosephJuly 11, 2018 at 6:12 PM

      The discussion should really be shifted to how does the Holy Ghost speak to our hearts AND our minds? And why both are mentioned and not just our minds? Is it true that people can misconstrue and therefore misinterpret their feelings and confuse them with emotions? Yes, but does that mean we should reject all feelings if the heart? The key is discernment and that comes most often through experience and repetition.

      I base my "assertions" on scripture and experience- experience that can't be denied. I could give you many examples.

      Regarding using the term "KNOW" in "asserting" Denver Snuffer teaches contrary to scripture is because of things I've learned through scripture coupled with experiences.

      what I find interesting about your response, is that you defend him as if he can't make a mistake. With the leaders of the church we acknowledge that they have said or done things that weren't aligned always with scripture. But you seem to be unable to acknowledge Denver is fallible. Why is that? what would that mean to you and your group if things he's teaching that you've been grabbing on to are not true?

      We are taught by the Holy Ghost to our Heart and Minds. Focus on just the intellectual and you can also easily be deceived.

      I'd be happy to chat with you to point out the specific KEY teachings that are incorrect.

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    3. Remnant,

      At no point have I ever said or taught that Denver Snuffer is infallible or incapable of error. Only a fool would believe that.

      I have examined what Denver has taught and found no error there. You claim to have found unspecified errors. I have no problem with that either. If you find error, you are free to reject whatever teachings you consider erroneous.

      The point of this post is that feelings are not the way to discern what is truth and what is error. Anyone who rejects based on feelings is on dangerous ground.

      As an LDS missionary, I once had a great discussion with a family, gave them a Book of Mormon, and made an appointment to return. When we returned, we asked if they had read the parts we pointed out in the Book of Mormon. They replied that they had not, and had, in fact, thrown the book in the trash, because they "had a bad feeling about that book."

      So there you have it. It was an utterly foolish rejection. I'm still continually amazed at how prevalent that idea still is though, and how often I hear of similar situations among those who should, by now, know better.

      Delete
  25. “This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence.”

    "God speaks, through His spirit, in words, sentences, and pure intelligence. When our spirit is aligned with His mind, we receive in the same way."

    This may be the case with the First Comforter, who dispenses Knowledge. But you can throw the book out when it comes to Another Comforter, who dispenses Wisdom and Understanding (which, as the post above describes, comes through experience and dare I say even feelings for some?).

    The key here is to align Mind and the Heart.

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    1. Interestingly, the second comforter, according to Joseph Smith, is the personal visitation of Jesus Christ, who also speaks in sentences and conveys pure intelligence. We may respond with feelings, of course, but the relationship is as one man speaks to another.

      Imagine if our relationships were only based on feeling and not communication...how would our marriages, families, institutions, and even society operate? How would we communicate?

      I don't find any scriptural basis to believe Christ doesn't communicate in person as one man to another.

      Delete
    2. Bear in mind that the appearance of Christ in person is the culmination of faith and experience. Let's take the Brother of Jared for example. Until his faith was sufficient that the veil between him and the Lord could be lifted, he basically followed a cloud around, with some sort of indication (or as Paul, Moroni and the L of F describe it, evidence of something hoped for, but not seen) that the cloud was tied to deity. But the BoJ "saw him not."

      This is the man who is the standard of great faith. How did he know the Lord was in the cloud? How was it he received "commandments" and directions from the Lord? How did he hear his voice? That information is withheld, probably so that we wouldn't try to mimic it or create a cargo cult out of it like the LDS Church did with Oliver's personal revelation that the "feelings" of the burning in the bosom were the Lord's way of speaking to him specifically.

      For all we know, Mahonri C. saw a cloud and had a certain feeling when he saw it. Or maybe not. Perhaps the clouds were in shapes that he learned to interpret. It could have started out as a simple cloud and over time he learned to discern what kinds of clouds the Lord "stood" in. Frankly, it's none of my business, because I'm not the keeper of that gate. It's the Lord, and He speaks to men " according to their language, unto their understanding." Who am I to dictate to another how intelligence can be conveyed from God or lay down stakes to define God's strange act?

      Then again, my approach doesn't work in the current paradigm. To get an idea how it would be applicable, though, see The Testimony of St. John 10 (http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/toj/10#1).

      Also, if you want scriptures, you might want to read Ether 1:17-18 (RE).

      Delete
  26. I think feelings and emotions can accompany light and truth. If one were to have an angel appear to them they no doubt would feel something. Perhaps dread :) God (I think) can simply tell someone a truth and have no attached feeling/emotion at all. God (IMO) isn't trying to manipulate us with feelings but NATURALLY feelings would be present if God were speaking to you. Certainly learning new truth can be an emotional experience. At least I believe it is. This is at least in my experience but I am trying to do as others have stated here and recognize God's voice. The best way this is accomplished (I believe and has been stated by those whom I believe know Christ personally) is through reading the Book of Mormon, recognizing God's voice as a consequence and then recognize when He speaks to you outside of scripture reading. Go and do what He tells you and the rest will come as He permits. All IMO anyway as I am currently trying to do the above.

    - Vince

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    1. Hey Vince,

      I agree. Emotion and feelings may accompany truth, but the emotions and feelings themselves don't teach you anything. It's a chicken and egg thing. If we use emotion as the gauge of truth, we will certainly be misled. If, on the other hand, we learn to hear the Lord's voice and receive truth through the Holy Ghost, we will not need to rely on feels to decide if something is true.

      My own experience is that as I've learned to hear the Lord and rely on his voice, I've "felt" less than I used to. (Though certain truths, as you say, cause very strong emotional reactions.) Not sure if this is just me, or is more universal.

      Ultimately, the goal is to learn to converse with the Lord through the veil.

      Delete
    2. One other thing you mentioned that hit home. If an angel appears you may likely feel dread.

      Yes.

      Or even fear.

      Hence the oft-repeated first words when an angel appears are "Fear not" or something along those lines.

      If all that was conveyed was emotions, then what good is the messenger's appearance or message? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. And they speak in sentences, not feelings.

      But, as you say, feelings may result from the encounter or the message.

      Delete
  27. If I understand correctly, then this is the path that most recommend following:

    • Study the scriptures
    • Look for God to give you intelligence a specific way
    • Do what He says based on that what you learned (not felt)
    • Start over and repeat

    The question comes down to whether we want to be Christ’s servant or friend. A servant doesn’t know what the Master is up to, but a friend is working with Him. I have no contention with those who say that the Lord can’t speak through feelings. If it is simply learning and intelligence we are after, those things probably have a singular path.

    But Christ already told us what to do. So based on that, I would suggest this approach (it will be the last time I present it here, I promise):

    • Follow the word of God (live the doctrine of Christ)
    • Look for God to give you a sign that He is pleased, in whatever form that takes (be it feelings or something else)
    • Continue to nurture the seed planted while developing your gifts of discerning God’s voice
    • Mighty works and miracles will occur (God will dispense His gifts)

    What will it hurt to give it a try? But I would say as part of this process to trust your feelings, rather than to be wary of them or shun them. You never know what light might come.

    Whether or not you do give it a go, peace and blessings to you all!


    ---Doug

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  28. I don’t know if this relates to what is being discussed, because what I feel is not emotion regarding the Spirit. But it is a feeling and it does convey information to me as opposed to information coming as intelligence to my mind. I think the scriptures say something about the Spirit speaking to the mind and the heart. I believe the Spirit does speak intelligence to the mind and sometimes in whole sentences. I once had the structure of the Kingdom communicated to me at a stoplight, so I know what that’s like. But I think it can also speak to the heart. I sometimes make decisions based on the feeling in my heart. But it’s not emotion. The feeling in my heart is the degree in which the Spirit is or isn’t present. When the Spirit is present to a great extent, my core, or heart feels warm, full, like it is expanding. That may be the burning in the bosom that is spoken about in the scriptures. I pray for that feeling, it’s like an indwelling, like Christ in me. It is an awesome and desirable feeling.

    Then maybe I make a mistake or an error, regrettably it happens, :(. I can immediately start feeling the warmth or fullness in my heart decrease, sometimes even to anxiousness, if it is a big enough mistake. This is how I know the Spirit is withdrawing, I can feel it in my core, in the heart area of my chest. So in feeling this change, I know I have made a mistake, so it does communicate something very important and promotes me to start praying and repenting for the feeling to come back. And it eventually does, to differing degrees. The more I pray and repent, the more it comes back. So I think there is a feeling that can be associated with the Spirit that is not emotion, that I think we may be discounting. This feeling is what convinced me that Denver was a true messenger. When I tried to reject him, because, well accepting him was causing issues with people I love, the warm full feeling in my chest instantly became a hollow, stark, empty feeling that left me repenting and begging for the Spirit to return. I began to apologize in my prayers for my error and reversed my opinion on Denver then and there. This feeling was undeniable proof to me that I needed to accept Denver as a teacher and messenger. I am so thankful for that feeling. The Spirit convicted me because of my error. Ouch, I felt that! I really do not like making errors that cause the Spirit to withdraw, but it definitely gets my attention and causes immediate repentance, humility and correction on my part. We are all different, so maybe we don’t all have these experiences in the same ways. At the same time, I think it is an error to think just because the MTC sings O Divine Redeemer, that all the Conference talks afterward are inspired and error free. I love that song and it does cause a strong emotional reaction in me.

    I’m not great at responding using written word, but I hope what I am trying to explain is clear and adds something to the discussion. Thanks, Lisa Sorry to use Anonymous, but everything disappears when I change it to something else. I appreciate your blog Adrian. And your talk at the JS Conference was truly amazing! I’m glad there was a cancellation that gave us an opportunity to hear from you.

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    1. Lisa, you've brought up an important point. In fact a number of them. Thank you!!

      One of the great difficulties in discussing this topic is our very limited language. We tend to use the word “feelings” or “feel” to mean many, many different things, for example:

      emotions (both positive and negative)
      physical feelings
      impressions
      a sense of connection to the divine
      ideas
      even opinions

      We also tend to broadly apply other words like voice, speak, tell, converse, heart, etc. These words have such broad application that we can use them in a variety of ways to mean a number of things, and we end up talking past each other. This makes it challenging for us all to hold this discussion.

      That’s why I so appreciate your more precise description of what you experience. Would it be correct to call it a “connection?” And the waxing or waning of this connection helps you know if you’re on the Lord’s path and in His good graces.

      I want you to know I understand and agree with your sentiments. I experience something similar. I find that the stronger that connection is, the more able I am to hear His voice and receive knowledge from Him.

      Developing this closeness, this connection, and ultimately the ability to hear His voice is key to avoiding deception, which is, after all, the point of this post.

      Because “feeling the spirit” has been so overused and under defined, far too many confuse feelings for revelation. That’s the only point I’m trying to make with this post.

      I need to add that several have brought up feelings as confirmation of truth. And I want to reiterate that yes, truth conveyed to our minds and hearts often does come with accompanying feelings of confirmation—both physical and emotional. And this is not a bad thing. The more adept we become at recognizing and receiving light and truth, the more protection we will have against deception.

      If there’s one point upon which I hope we can all agree it is this: we must learn to hear the Lord’s voice, which takes time and practice and experience. This may involve being led by feelings at first, but it must develop beyond only things felt and move into the realm of information conveyed and light and truth received. How that happens is unique for each of us.

      Feelings can point us to light and truth, and feelings can deceive us. We MUST learn to discern the difference.

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    2. Thanks for the reply Adrian! I think we are in agreement. I love the connection. I try to keep it strong. I do hear the voice, but as Denver has said, He comes at His determination. So the voice in the mind is much less frequent than I would like. However, the voice does agree with the connection. They are in harmony. The voice confirmed Denver was a true messenger, so I soak up as much as I can from him as well. I appreciate the time he puts into teaching us. The weekly podcasts and blog entries truly help me to stay in alignment and helps to keep the connection strong. He frequently teaches on the very thing I am struggling with at the time.

      I’m not sure, but I think the Lord often uses the least method He can to communicate to us, because of the influences we are subject to from the opposition. So if He can get across what He needs us to understand through the connection or inclinations, or words from true messengers and scriptures, then we won’t be as subject to Satan’s influences as much as if we received paragraphs from Him, or a grand vision or angelic visitations. I think He does it to protect us. But when they are necessary for His purposes He will utilize any or all of the above. I know more than I can say.

      Granted He does some really cool things, and I do love what He does, but usually they are an awesome surprise and not at all controlled by me. If they were controlled by me, I would keep Him busy 24/7! :) These are just some of my own experiences.

      I think the most important thing in trying to discern truth is to test it and have the Spirit confirm it. I have a file in my mind where I keep different concepts. I don’t reject them, but don’t take them into myself either. As I study and read materials from different origins, and the same concept comes up in other materials, I see if they line up, if they do, I give it more credence. Then I wait for the Spirit to confirm, to send proof before I take it into myself. Sometimes I think I understand something, but I wait to see if I can get a better understanding. When I do, I may have to change what I thought originally, and that is ok. My main tests are a witness from the Spirit including teachings from true messengers confirmed to be true by a witness of the Spirit, and alignment with the scriptures. Anything not passing those tests, I put in the - to be determined file and take it with a grain of salt.

      The problem with taking in false precepts is, when we do, we take a degree of darkness into ourselves. Then it is harder to discern the next thing. If we take another false precept in, well we get darker still. At some point lies look like truths and truths look like lies. The darkness cuts off the connection, then we are on our own. Not a good thing. That’s when Satan just leads us down to hell and we think we are going to heaven. Surprise Surprise - I find it a good thing to repent of what I don’t know and what I don’t understand correctly, then ask the Lord to show me my errors, so I can correct them. Losing the connection is an early warning signal to me that I need to figure out what is in error and repent and get back in the right way. These are just some of my observations, test them out and take them with a grain of salt.
      Thanks, Lisa

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  29. Hey Adrian, as someone else above asked, I'm also curious why you have categorized the Pure Revelations blog as false revelation. No burning bossum when you read what the anonymous author has published? ;)

    Whoever the author is, he sure has spent a lot of effort documenting the need for all of us to get our own personal connection to the spirit and Christ without trying to make himself the center of attention (I.e. by that I mean he's not publishing content for financial gain, and it's hard to get a following if you don't advertise who you are). I'm curious as to why you felt you needed to tag his efforts and approach as false.

    Thanks

    Vaughn

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    1. Hi Vaughn,

      Because, having read one of his books, and a number of his revelations, I have found falsehood and deception there. I knew it was a risk to link to anything specific in this post, and would bring a backlash, but in the end there's no point in soft-pedaling it. Deception always accompanies truth, and someone must raise the warning voice.

      There are things I could have linked to that would have brought much more backlash, but I didn't want to stir the pot too much.

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    2. Agree with Adrian. PR is not written by the Spirit of Truth.

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  30. I would be very very careful in discounting other's revelations. If Joseph Smith lived at this time no one would pay attention to him because he was not a scholar, did not write well, but had incredible spiritual experiences. It seems that the only person you believe is Denver's revelations. Let me tell you something and make it very clear for you all to know ... I know both Denver and the author of Pure Revelation .... and unless you know both how can you claim the one is deceived and the other is not? Have you spent personal time or personally know both of them? Have you ascended to heaven yourself and been claimed by Jesus Christ and then introduced to the Father and the Mother? Have you received messengers and angels? Have you asked, face to face with God, if Pure Revelation author is deceived? I would be very very careful in your putting forth untruth for we all are accountable to our God for promoting truth or promoting deception. I believe there is a huge problem with all of us regarding idolatry and having idols in our hearts. When we put anyone up as a light, and get distracted with philosophical and doctrinal discussions instead of focusing on Christ and promoting His Love and Light, serving humbly and meekly, we succumb to pride and deception. And though I appreciate everyone who is on this path of light and truth, there are so many who discount the humble and spiritually gifted. I am well acquainted with those who gather and discuss Denver's teachings and those who gather to experience the spiritual gifts that Pure Revelation talks about and there is absolutely no comparison! You can have both philosophical/doctrinal discussions and experience spiritual gifts - being taught how to ascend yourselves to partake of the Tree of Life. But to discount experiencing spiritual gifts is discounting all the experiences of those in scripture who ascended. They didn't ascend because of their discussions of doctrine, they ascended because they experienced the stillness of quieting the mind and focusing on prayer and pondering and then their spirit was caught up to heaven. I'm thankful Denver put me on the path of Second Comforter and for Pure Revelation who gave me the pieces I was missing in order to have my experiences.

    I love Denver. I love Pure Revelation. I know them both personally ... I KNOW Joseph is disappointed with the contention caused by discounting other's experiences. God sends the weak and humble to test us. So instead of debating ad nauseam, why not meekly and humbly ask God to see the heart of Pure Revelation and ask God if Pure Revelation is His Servant. But before asking, make sure your heart is rid of idolatry. Joseph said we receive answers from 3 sources: God, Satan and our own desires. So you have to make sure that your heart is pure when asking. Otherwise you may be deceiving yourself.

    One more thing ... I know that God works with each of us differently, asks different things of each of us ... While one person is told by God to put his name on everything, God asks another to keep his name off of everything ... It has to do with being obedient. It's a perfect scenario of God working differently with each of us .. to bring forth His purposes. Go read 1 Kings 13 - and see what happens when we blindly follow and assume.

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    1. Hi Marti,

      A couple of thoughts. First, regarding your warning about calling anyone’s revelations false: Remember, we MUST discern between truth and error. This responsibility was explicitly given us by the Lord when he commanded us to "beware of false prophets." This affirmative command implies exercising caution and restraint in what we ultimately judge to be from God. There is great danger in accepting anything at face value, when we know there are, and will be, wolves in sheep's clothing. Caution should be our default position. And ultimately, unless Christ was lying, there are, and will be deceivers. We are obligated to detect and identify them.

      Second, the only standard He gave was that we must know them by their fruits. This does not require personal acquaintance with them. It requires familiarity with their teachings, and the results of applying those teachings in our lives.

      Third, ALL spiritual gifts can be compromised. Just because spiritual gifts are experienced, doesn’t mean they are coming from God at all. There are false Christs. There are deceiving angels. The presence of gifts or spiritual experiences is not, by itself, an indicator of truth.

      Fourth, remember Oliver was chastised for taking no thought other than to ask God. The Lord expects us to study a matter out in our own mind and reach a conclusion ourselves before simply asking Him to tell us the answer. This requires the application of time, study, effort, and careful consideration, particularly in life-and-death matters like those now before us.

      And finally, Jesus warned us about false prophets and false Christs. This means they will be among us. They are here. If you cannot point them out; if you don’t know who they are; you are, by definition, deceived.

      Let me say it again. There ARE false prophets and false Christs. If you cannot detect them, you ARE deceived.

      Any person who cannot identify the deceivers Christ warned us about, has grave cause to be concerned about their own soul. My best advice to any who find themselves in that situation is to humble themselves, repent, become as a little child, and cry unto God.

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    2. Marti,

      Thanks for your comments. And I appreciate Adrian's list of five thoughts.

      I finally figured out that you were referring to https://purerevelations.wordpress.com, which Adrian has linked to above.

      So I clicked on it to do some research. I was not familiar with that blog, but I did read the author's book, "How to Have Your Second Comforter" about a year ago. I found some of it to make a lot of sense as I quickly read through it, but at the same time it had the feel of a New Age (occult) book.

      I was drawn to it initially, out of curiosity because the subject is of great interest.

      After spending an hour on the blog today for the first time, a few things I found interesting:

      1) Zero mention of Denver Snuffer. Zilch. That in and of itself isn't a deal breaking red flag, but I do nevertheless find it a red flag that this "prophet" who receives "pure revelations" has NOTHING to say about a person whose teachings he is undoubtedly intimately familiar with, and who is on a trajectory to be potentially the greatest prophet to ever walk the earth. You can't search the comments, so perhaps he's made a comment on Denver. But, to me, when the Lord has established an Ensign to the nations, and eternal truths are pouring out through a man who communes with Jehovah, to say NOTHING about that man, and then to set ONESELF up as a light smacks of priestcraft.

      2) Virtually nothing on Zion. Denver has written books and hundreds of thousands of words on the subject.

      3) Nothing on temples, except this "A temple can be any place made holy by God’s glory, the pillar of light" found in his May 22, 2018 comment section (comment by him. Compare to Denver's teachings on the temple. Night and Day. Desert and oasis.

      4) Nothing on Covenants. Compare to what Denver has taught on covenants. Crickets chirping vs. a deluge of Living Water.

      5) Sprinkled throughout his blog are "thus saith the Lord" statements or "revelations". What's the purpose in saying "the Lord told me" so and so? More priestcraft.

      Granted, I only spent an hour browsing through the blog, and though there is some good stuff in it, that blog is dripping with priestcraft, is my sense. What did Sherem, Nehor and Korihor have in common? They all set themselves up as a light.

      The way to settle it, is for him to address in a post the question of Denver Snuffer and the New Covenant. He did have a post called "How I Measure a Prophet". He says, "There are prophets everywhere you look," and then ignores Denver "the elephant in the room" Snuffer.

      My guess is he rejects Denver as one "sent". He's trying to compete with Denver. But if he rejects Denver, he rejects God. Because, as it is written: "And though the heaven and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants it is the same."

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    3. I'm unfamiliar with this blog, but it's been said that the author is anonymous, that it's hard to raise a following when you're anonymous, and that he's not doing what he's doing for financial gain. But you say you read a book he published a year ago. Was the book published anonymously? And does he spend much time talking about the sermon on the Mount?

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    4. On the subject of anonymity, many people know who the author of the blog is. I do, and everyone I know who is familiar with his blog knows who he is as well. He stays anonymous as to his public persona, but it's kind of an open secret who he is...

      Not sure if that particularly matters, as he won't publicly take responsibility for what he has written. I'm sure he has his reasons, but his public anonymity does bring certain issues with it.

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  31. Dear Adrian, than you very much for allowing me to have a voice on your forum. I do not post often but I do read and have benefited from your postings and the comments of others.

    Please allow me to address the personal acquaintance comment you posted. It is by the implementing the teachings of both Denver and Pure Revelations that allowed me to have experiences. It wasn't just because I have a personal acquaintance, but because I did the hard work of implementing the teachings. I had to go through hell and have experiences of learning discernment, but even Denver said years and years ago that in order to receive your Second Comforter, you have to go through hell and one needs to be prepared for that. My experiences of learning discernment required me to be humiliated, embarrassed, having to repent, and yet not giving up. Falling and failing and having to get up and dust off the pride and idolatry and begging for mercy and humility. I believe the two most important things one is required to have in order to progress in the eternities is discernment and charity.

    Both Denver and Pure Revelations teachings were absolutely necessary for me. Implementing them was hard work but the fruits of both are evident to those who will try them. Why would God tell us about spiritual gifts in scripture, if He did not expect us to experiment with them? I agree that Nemelka and Mark Hoffman were and are deceivers but to put Pure Revelations in that category is rather appalling. His teachings about baptism of fire and the Gift of the Holy Ghost and his experiences with the Savior only brought forth good fruit for me. If it had not been for his teachings, I would have stagnated. God is no respecter of persons and gives His authority and gifts to those he loves and TRUSTS. I do not believe Denver is the only authorized and gifted prophet upon the earth. God is an incredible God and he is much bigger than the boxes we tend to become comfortable in. God has many representatives on the earth. But our problem is that we are so scared of making mistakes we limit ourselves and only put a toe into the water of revelation when in fact God wants us to baptized in it.

    Yes there are false prophets and false spirits roaming the earth. But there are also those who are true prophets who experience the gifts of the spirit. And yes Adrian you are correct ... each One has to discern for themselves, repent and come unto God ... not just cry unto God, but come unto Him. He is so merciful and so just. There is one thing I can share which has had the most impact upon my life. When one enters into His presence you experience Love that is so overwhelming you cannot describe it ... you cannot even think of it without becoming a heap of tears and humility and awe. When one experiences the Savior, you want everyone to come to know Him and the Mother and the Father and one comes back repenting all the time. Your prayers are filled with intense pleading for those in sin and for judgment to be stayed for one understands innately that those who are lost will experience terrible torments of regret and pain. You are pleading for all to be forgiven and pleading for them to also encounter Jesus so that their hearts are purified and filled with love ... you become a different person.

    That would not have happened to me if I had not implemented the teachings of both Denver and Pure Revelations. Because of both I experienced something that I cannot deny. The old me was shed and a new creation was born. God is good ... Merciful and kind and loving but he is also Just ... and for those who do not repent I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that they will have to endure for a season. I understand why the BOM prophets cried unto the Lord for their brethren. And I hope you also will have this experience.


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  32. I would ask those who believe that both Denver and the anonymous Pure Revelations person teach the truth to compare Denver's teachings in his Our Divine Parents talk with what is claimed by Pure Revelations in his Witness of the Temporal Dispensations booklet regarding the parentage of Adam and Eve. The teachings are incompatible. If what Denver taught in Our Divine Parents regarding the parentage of Adam and Eve is true, then Pure Revelations teaching in the quote below is necessarily false. The following is a quote from Page 21 of the Temporal Dispensations booklet:

    "I was with the Lord again at the Throne and wished to ask more questions. I sometimes feel funny asking some of the stranger questions, but He always seems happy to answer them. I asked about the mother of Adam and Eve in this world. I wanted to know about her and where she came from. I saw a dark-skinned woman. She reminded me of a beautiful woman from India. She was tall with long dark hair. I was told she came on a vessel from another world with two other couples. Their vessel contained many different animals and species, like an ark. They brought their knowledge with them. I was told there were five arks from different worlds that came to this earth. Each settled a different part of the world. They were led here by the angels of God. Once they landed, their vessels were disassembled and destroyed. Adam and Eve and the people who nurtured them settled in the area of North America. The mother of Adam and Eve in the flesh was named Shiffrin and her husband, Shokula. The names sound strange, but that's what I was given."

    https://purerevelations.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/the-temporal-dispensations-12-15-20171.pdf

    Shiffrin and Shokula . . . really?

    This is just one of MANY incompatibilities with Denver's teachings I have found in my review of the Pure Revelations materials.

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  33. I think we all get different answers depending upon our different questions. Sometimes our own traditions influence the answers we receive. I really enjoyed Denver's Divine Parents paper until the very end where it completely went off the rails. Maybe I am not open to truth, or may my intuition tells me that the end of the paper was "off" - but it gives us all the opportunity to seek answers from God. Why would Eve have to be the spiritual and physical daughter of Mother and Father in Heaven but Adam had to be the spiritual son but the physical son of Mary and Jesus? How can that possibly be? If Eve had to be a higher creation by being both a physical and spiritual daughter of Mother and Father, then why are not women honored and revered - why is everything on this earth so patriarchal? It makes no sense to me. I am not denigrating Denver but I am putting forth the thought that all of us make mistakes ... every one of us. Prophets are not prophets all the time. Also Denver's assertion that Osiris and Horus are the same only one was pre-mortal and the other mortal is completely false. He got that teaching from John Hall. When you go to the Egyptians, their belief is what I was told by Spirit ... Horus is the physical son of Osiris. Denver and John Hall are absolutely wrong on their assumption. We have to be accountable to God himself ... and not allow another to be our light. We have to ask about everything and get a confirmation on everything. Otherwise we are not centered in Jesus. Both Denver and Pure Revelations were absolutely necessary for my own growth and experiences, but neither have all the answers or truth. When we put someone up as our light and ultimate truth, then we are allowed to be deceived.

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    1. Marti's conjectural explanation about Horus/Osiris was brought to my attention this morning and I decided to clarify: My understanding is based on Hugh Nibley's inquiry and exposition in "The Joseph Smith Papyrii: An Egyptian Endowment". His analysis agrees with the more recent Egyptologists conclusions that the figure "Wsr Wr" was the Osiris-Horus figure, a single individual. This was the original faith that lasted approximately 2,000 years. The original identity was a single individual holding the name Horus is in the Pyramid Text. Over a long period of development, there was Horus the elder and Horus the younger, with the identities separating over thousands of years. During the New Kingdom they became separately identified by the two names, but this was late in their religious development. Nibley uses Wsr Wr to describe Osirus-Horus who is one individual. Horus was Son Amun in heaven and Osiris on earth. The earliest Dynasties were the most faithful to the traditions from Adam.

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  34. For me personally I read PR's blog, I bought his book, read it, and tried to put it into practice. Hours of sitting in the quiet darkness, praying, trying to open my mind in the way he described. You know what I got? Nothing. The next logical questions are: did I do it wrong? Is this another false path to Christ? Is it just not the right time for me to learn of heaven? Am I so unworthy that God would not speak to me even though he spoke to Cain the murderer?

    Regardless, I put forth effort, did not receive a positive result, and put it aside. One finds truth through experimentation do they not?

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  35. Adrian,

    I would like to make a few comments on your blog, if I may. I don't usually comment, but as I read of some of your readers frustrations with getting answers to prayer, felt that I would like to comment on a few things I have learned through the years about getting answers to prayer.

    1. As you said, I really had to humble myself to the dust and put it all on the altar and commit myself to Jesus Christ. This included dreams, hopes, everything.

    2. One of the most effective prayers was to consistently ask the Lord to reveal to me how he answers my prayers. I grew up with hearing speakers list the ways God answers prayers but every list I ever heard was so incomplete. God is creative and answers prayers in lots of ways, depending on the individual. I was astounded when I finally understood that a common way for the Lord to answer my prayers, was to send me something to read. Sometimes an article (one article I was encouraged to read answered a question that I had been praying about for at least 20 years), books, blogs, websites, etc. I'm a reader so this hasn't been a hardship, but no one had ever even suggested in those talks on how the Lord answers prayers, that he might send us something to study. Which reminds me of the scripture that says something about taking to thought but to ask, sometimes we need to study.

    3. This is a valid question to ask all our lives. There was one particular way that the Lord had used in answering my prayers, and then it stopped. I asked why the Lord wasn't answering my prayers in that particular manner anymore, because I had really liked getting answers in that way and clearly told, "you have mastered that form of receiving answers but you need to learn other ways." Which has been tough for me, I still need to learn what new ways he is using to answer my prayers now.

    4. I may be the only person that does this, but I have overlooked answers to prayers because I was expecting a certain answer or for the answer to come in a certain way. When I finally understood what I was doing, I was absolutely astounded at how I was blocking my personal revelation because of pre-conceived ideas (including the lists of how God answers prayers.) I'm sorry to admit that I even missed absolute miracles due to what I guess was my hardheartedness.

    I have found that when I am in tune and recognizing God's hand in my life that he is extremely generous. For me, when I'm having trouble receiving answers to prayers it's been either that I was drifting away from the Lord and I needed to repent and turn to Him again, it wasn't the right time for that prayer to be answered, or, sometimes, I'm asking the wrong question.

    I hope for those struggling to get the answers to prayer that these thoughts will be helpful for them.

    Ellee

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  36. I’m bothered by the reaction many in the Denver movement have towards the author of Pure Revelation. Most of the people that read Adrian’s blog got started down this road because they read a book that claimed they could receive a visit from the Lord and know him face to face. That was my experience. I read the Second Comforter shortly after I had a born-again experience in 2009 and was drawn to my knees daily seeking repentance and to have a closer relationship with Jesus. I hungered and thirst after righteousness 24/7. It was a marvelous time of spiritual awakening and growth. The teaching of Denver has changed my life for the better.
    He told us in Grand Junction that we never needed to mention his name, that he wasn’t important, that the message was the important thing. I liked that and so I never mentioned his name and stuck to the teachings and my search to know God face to face. Some of us ignored his suggestion and mentioned his name over and over and even put is name in scripture. Fair enough, he didn’t ask for that but didn’t seem to care that we were now canonizing his writings. He taught that the true church was those that repented and came unto Christ. Many of us seem to think that the true church is only those that believe in Denver Snuffer and all the others are wrong. Even Denver likes to take jabs at others who claim to have a relationship with Christ.
    Along comes the author of Pure Revelation and pretty much says the same thing Denver did in his first book and tell people that they can have a face to face relationship with Christ. He tells us the way he did it and hoped that it would help others in their search to see the Lord. He never made promises that it would work for everyone. He simple wrote how it happened for him.
    Denver has written some pretty amazing things but so has Anonymous. His spiritual translations of some of the books of scripture are every much as amazing as the things Denver has written. There are contradictions in their writings for which, I don’t have answers. At the same time, many of the things they both have written are very similar. They both write about the glass room that over looks the earth and their vision of Christ in the Garden is very similar. They have both written things that I very much disagree with.
    I’ve had Denver in my home and was blessed from it. I’ve also had the author of Pure Revelation in my home and was blessed from it. Anonymous is a man without guile. I have felt the spirit of both men. I’m troubled by the Denver movement replacing one true church with a new one and those who don’t believe them are on the wrong path. All of this, in light of what the Boise conference was suppose to be about.

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  37. I've perused the comments on the blog, and I think some of the issues about emotions comes down to language. When some people say they "feel" the truth of something, I think that they are making reference to a phenomenon Joseph described during his sermon at King Follett's funeral:

    "I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life, that are given to me, I know you taste it and I know you believe it. You say honey is sweet and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life; I know it is good, and when I tell you of these things, that were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive it as sweet, and I rejoice more and more."

    IMO, 'tasting the truth' is more than feeling the spirit, though I think that latter phrase is used to describe the former idea.

    Tasting truth is similar to tasting food: humans (esp. children) have a difficult time enjoying new tastes. People will often state that they dislike something, but studies show (cite: "French Kids Eat Everything") that everyone can come to like different tastes, though it sometimes takes 14 exposures. There were several times in my recent spritual journey that a truth tasted bad at first exposure ("what do you mean the church isn't true?!?"), but afterwards the truth was clearly made manifest. It may not have been my favorite flavor, but I could clearly taste the truth of it.

    I too have read much of Anonymous' writings, and while some taste good, others taste bitter. I tried to give it time, and to check my gut-reaction with the scriptures, but the more I did so the LESS true his writings tasted. Whether he is "without guile" isn't as important as whether his words taste sweet. The man's fruits are bitter, because his words contradict scripture. I haven't found where Denver's words are bitter, because I haven't found that they've contradicted scripture. The opposite, in fact, is true. After reading Denver's writings a whole new set of flavors emerged in the scriptures. What was plain-jane oatmeal because a full English Breakfast. ;)

    Language is tough, and I appreciate your attempts to lay out truth through the written language Adrian.

    Best,
    Jeff

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  38. Radio Free Mormon (RFM) just published his latest podcast found at https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2018/08/radio-free-mormon-038-a-whale-of-a-tale/#comment-224766.

    At about the 25-minute mark, (and I'm paraphrasing here) he testifies how he personally felt the Spirit which caused him to 'know' that what Paul H. Dunn (the exposed liar who was demoted from his position in the Quorum of the Seventy several years before the normal retirement year) was saying was true. In other words, strong feelings convinced RFM and others that the lie was true.

    This is a great example of how Satan uses feelings to deceive us. RFM testified that not just him, but thousands of people loved Paul H. Dunn. He was the best speaker of his day, RFM said. He had charisma and told great stories which caused many LDS to have faith in their religion. RFM confesses he was one of these thousands.

    Since we know that Paul H. Dunn was a liar and engaging in priestcraft, then we can safely conclude that Satan sent feelings (imitative of the same types of feelings God uses) to the saints in Dunn's time which left indelible impressions in the minds of the people. RFM confesses such feelings caused him to doubt even true things (as he apparently doubts Joseph's accounts of miracles he witnessed and testified of).

    I think the Paul H. Dunn story proves how Satan can deceive us using feelings. It teaches us that -- our eternal destiny depend on it -- we must understand that we should not accept ONLY feelings as a manifestation of truth, but that we must also look for the accompanying truth or intelligence that is conveyed if we happen to be experiencing convincing feelings.

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  39. I keep hearing that Anonymous' writing contradict scripture. What are some examples?

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  40. Paul H Dunn lied but does that make him a liar? Are we not are liars then? Underdog, are you telling the truth maintaining a temple recommend by answering questions you don't believe and pretending? Careful

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    1. To clarify: Paul H. Dunn lied, over the pulpit, in the name of Jesus Christ, dozens, if not hundreds of times, over the course of years. Yes, I would suggest that pattern makes him a liar.

      As an analogy: One time I sprinted in a race. Never did it again. And I didn't do it well. On the other hand, Usain Bolt has sprinted publicly, hundreds of times, and is world-renowned for it.

      Am I a sprinter? Is Usain Bolt?

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  41. Adrian, I don’t condone lying, but you write “if not hundreds of times”? Support please.

    Do you condone lying to get a recommend in the name of the Lord when you don’t really even believe? Pretending, bearing false witness for fear of man?

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    1. If you're interested in Paul H. Dunn's story, there is ample information available, including Lynn Packer's book that details the false and embellished stories in Dunn's talks, books, and cassette tapes, as well as his shady financial dealings, fraud, and forgery. (And the LDS church's attempts to cover up the story, including firing and threatening Packer.)

      Even simple math bears out my statement about the frequency of Dunn's lying. Dunn was an active GA for 35 years before being put on emeritus status, and was a very popular speaker in General conference, at BYU, and elsewhere. Over those 35 years, he easily spoke over a pulpit hundreds, if not thousands of times, once you account for stake and regional conference assignments, his stint as mission president, etc. He was known for his fantastic stories and repeated them often.

      He also authored and sold at least 23 cassette tapes and 28 books, repeating many of the same fabricated stories, and generating significant income for him.

      If anything, I understated the case. The man was clearly a prolific liar.

      But really, that's not the point, is it? The only reason Dunn was brought up at all is that so many people "felt the spirit" when listening to his lies. The real point is that goosebumps and feels are not indicative of truth, and this is an excellent illustration. Dunn is just a sideshow.

      As for the temple recommend interview questions, no, I do not condone lying to get a recommend, but I'm curious why you bring it up. Who do you accuse of lying in such a way, and over which questions?

      Do the men with the gift of discernment performing these interviews know through "the spirit" about these lies being told to them?

      More importantly, could the leadership of the church, or the church itself honestly answer those same recommend questions? It would be an interesting study...and one I once considered writing, but have no plans to pursue.

      I note that just this week, BYU has sued three parties who asserted their legal right to request a police report from the BYU police department. This is a report that BYU has attempted strenuously to cover up, as it involves enabling a sexual predator and covering up a rape by those at very high leadership levels in the church. The BYU police department has asserted they are not actually a public entity (a police force), and therefore not subject to the laws that govern police, even though they are a police force in every sense of the title, including the legal right to make arrests, use deadly force, collect evidence and investigate crimes. A judge has ruled that they are, in fact, a real police department and they must obey applicable laws. So they are appealing to a higher court (in hopes of getting a compliant Mormon judge) and they have also sued the parties who have requested the reports, which are public records. Are they honest in their dealings with their fellow man? Were the men who attempted to cover up the Paul Dunn scandal worthy of a recommend?

      And who gets to judge that? You? Just curious because of your implied accusations of Underdog...

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    2. Part 1

      Anonymous said: "Do you condone lying to get a recommend in the name of the Lord when you don’t really even believe?"

      First of all, just for clarity's sake, do the interviewers or interviewees testify, "In the name of Jesus Christ I ask (or answer) these questions?" No. But l will agree that the questions should be answered honestly. Second, having a recommend is not a meaningful thing to me anymore.

      "...when you really don't believe"?

      Believe what exactly? I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I say that I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph was a true prophet, that the BoM is true." That makes me a believing Mormon, I do believe.

      "Pretending, bearing false witness for fear of man? "

      Most so-called remnant folks probably see being excommunicated or cast out (any form of this) as a rite of passage or badge of honor, so to speak. If one is not prepared to bear this cross, to be persecuted as Christ actually said true believers would be persecuted (Matt 5:10-12), then their belief in the Lord's latter-day work of sifting the wheat from the tares isn't quite there yet. I have no fear of man in this regard. Though I've not gone through this "rite", I fully anticipate it happening. It happened when I joined the Church actually. It was a big deal to become a Mormon. Going against the "tradition of your fathers" is always a big deal, but a relatively small price to pay to be obedient to Christ.

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    3. Part 2

      You project your own inadequacies and feelings. Ironically, it's the Remnant who prove to not have the fear of man, and the mainstream member who proves to fear man. Let me explain. Has it not occurred to you that the Church is now built on the foundation of the fear of man? Take the interview practice in the Church, used extensively. You've probably not thought about it, but one of the retained flaws in the "new" ministering program is the 'return and report' component. By itself, it's not an unrighteous practice. God will ultimately have us return and report. The problem is that the practice can be used unrighteously in a hierarchical organization. How? Ask any abused youth who was identified and manipulated by a sexual predator. The return and report mechanism can be used by "ladder climbers"; those who want to please MAN (their leaders), in hopes of impressing MAN, for future status offerings (callings), i.e. callings. The temple recommend itself is a brilliant tool of coercion, is it not?Exaltation is tied to the temple, but who controls who goes to the temple? A few leaders, who all "report" to the Brethren. The "fear of man", my anonymous friend, is used by the Brethren to exercise unrighteous dominion upon the leaders at the stake and ward level, who in turn use it, following the example of their leaders, to control the membership in their units.

      Any "pretending", as you say, is done by the Brethren who literally pretend (Isa 29:13 and DC 121:41) to use persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love. Feigning any of these is by definition "pretending." This is why the Lord said to not feign or pretend these qualities. And yet, this is precisely what many LDS leaders do despite that "no power of influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood". The leaders who feign meekness and love are deceived by Section 6.7.3 of CHI 1 that states the false and apostate yet perfectly legal corporate definition of "apostasy' as 'not complying with men'! We must obey leaders (even if they are themselves apostate from the gospel!), or risk being excommunicated. This is how pretenders use their priesthood. They PRETEND / FEIGN meekness and gentleness, when that is a laughably ridiculous pretense of love. If they just talk with a calm NPR voice, and check their anger and pity at the door, that must show they have love and are not abusing their authority.

      We have this culture in the Church now, and yet you want to lecture on pretense? And what of "bearing false witness"? Do the Brethren not bear witness that they are God's chosen messengers? The entire corporate house of cards is built upon their gaslighting the members with this false witness. They keep the house from falling by instilling the fear of man, using these interviews, and using the TR.

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    4. Part 3 of 3

      Any TR question that you suspect a Remnant person of lying about can be interpreted to be a truthful answer. I'll give a couple examples:

      "Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator; and do you recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?"

      What do the Brethren mean by "prophet, seer, and revelator"? They certainly don't mean anything that Mosiah 8 speaks about, do they? Are ANY of the Brethren actually DOING any prophesying, seeing, or revealing God's will? Name one published revelation. So in the sense that THEY mean, which must just be a title that sounds good, then I sustain "President" Nelson. "Priesthood keys"? What does "priesthood" mean? What do "keys" mean? Nobody defines those terms in a TR interview. These terms can mean the authority to act as the leader of the institution. I sustain Nelson as leader of the "church", which makes him the leader of "one" as he is the only member of the Corporation Sole. The Church has so far apostatized that the vocabulary we use doesn't have meaning based in Scripture anymore.

      Or take this one...

      "Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?"

      Lol, this is actually the question that gets THE BRETHREN in trouble, or the Corporate Church in trouble! Need I rehearse the many apostate things the Brethren do? Just a few biggies, and these are facts, showing how the Brethren oppose the gospel.

      They (the Brethren):

      1) Deny baptism to worthy children of accountability IF their parents are gay.
      2) Teach the anti Christ, Satanic idea that the Lord won't permit someone to sin, denying that person's free agency. That person would of course be the president of the Church whom the Lord, they lie and say, won't allow to lead the people astray. This is an "all is well in Zion", "lull them away into carnal security" precept of Satan that has single-handedly, in my view, dragged the Church down into the filthy waters of priestcraft, idolatry, and utter apostasy.
      3) Removed the doctrine of the Church in 1921 from the Doctrine and Covenants, otherwise known as the Lectures on Faith. No Church vote. Just secretly removed it! Untold damage has been done to the faith and knowledge of the people because of this removal.
      4) Engage in rampant censorship of ideas. This has been going on for years. This is Satanic. Repression of free speech, especially gospel-centered free speech, is evil, and a manifestation of unrighteous dominion and Satan's influence.
      5) Spend sacred Church funds (BILLIONS of dollars) on commercial enterprises while the poor and needy are sacrificed.
      6) Operate the Church as a business in complete darkness (seeking deep to hide their counsels) with no accountability or transparency. If questions are asked, you're branded as "apostate" and excommunicated.

      I can easily answer this question as "NO" because I believe in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      I could take many of the questions and demonstrate how the Brethren could not answer correctly, and should therefore be denied temple recommends.

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