Monday, September 17, 2018

Making Peace


If you will hearken to my words I will make you my people and my words will give you peace. Even a single soul who stirs up the hearts of others to anger can destroy the peace of all my people. Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but also to do as you profess.
—T&C 157:19

The Scriptures Project website has posted an announcement about a sustaining vote for the Lots guide and standard. Here is the link. I hope you’ll read it; it contains important information about what the upcoming vote does and does not mean.


I’m very pleased and relieved to see this development. I believe the steps taken to approve the process, obtain the Lord’s part, do the work, and receive the Lord’s approval of the document have all represented the will of the people, and that the document produced meets the Lord’s requirements.

In making this statement, I fully recognize that not everyone agrees. I have covenant brothers and sisters, whom I love, that feel differently than me about this process and this document. Some are dismayed at the prospect of completing the assignment in this way, and my heart feels for them. In that spirit, I want to offer a few thoughts to my friends who see things differently.

Love

First, people who love each other disagree. They even do things that the other wishes they would not do. Our God, who loves us, does things that we would prefer He not do, and with which we don’t always agree. This is not a sign that He doesn’t love, value, or cherish us. Likewise, if your brothers and sisters vote to adopt this document, even when you prefer they not, it doesn’t mean they don’t love or value you.

Now, here’s a bit of tough love: Asserting that somebody doesn’t love you because they think or do things with which you disagree, is manipulative. To say that the group not agreeing with you means the group doesn’t love you, or that you are not precious, not important, or even that you are somehow more Christlike than the rest of the group is just plain wrong. This manipulation needs to stop, in all its forms, including the veiled “we don’t yet love each other” which is just another way of judging others’ hearts as unloving.

Others could just as easily throw back the very same. Is it evidence that you don’t love the larger body if you don’t agree with them? Are they not precious to you? Are they not important? Let’s agree to stop accusing one another and stop judging each other’s hearts. People who love each other disagree, and that’s OK. Mature, rational adults don’t use “you don’t love me” as a way to compel behavior.

Ok, the tough love portion is over. Sorry I had to point that out, but I did it because I care, not because I don’t.

Now for some thoughts that can be expressed in a much less pointed manner.

Voice

You have a voice! I’m aware that some still feel they have not been heard and that they therefore “have no voice.” I disagree. I hear you. I’ve heard many of you, including everyone who has commented here, those who have reached out privately, and those who have made their opinions public. People are much more aware of your feelings and opinions than you realize or give them credit for. If the majority of your brothers and sisters don’t see things the way you do, it does not mean they don’t hear you. It simply means they see things differently.

One unfortunate aspect of human nature is that we tend to equate understanding with agreement. It’s possible to understand and hear one another, to value one another’s opinions, but still disagree at the end of the day. If you assume this means you have not been heard, you will continue trying to “make your voice heard” until people change their thinking to agree with yours. But that won’t happen. At some point it’s time to realize you HAVE been heard, loved and valued, but you have not persuaded and it’s time to move on. And that’s OK. We don’t always get our way.

Elites

We also need to shun the claim that there’s some secret group of “elites” who run things and impose their will on the rest of us “little people.” I can speak from experience because I get regularly accused of being, and associating with these alleged “elites.” Here’s some perspective: I know people in this movement who work tirelessly, sacrifice greatly, and pour their heart and soul into serving the body in ways that few realize. Most of them go unthanked, unnoticed, often unappreciated, but not unaccused. If they happen to accomplish something, we all have cause to celebrate and be grateful, not find fault. It does no good to accuse those who sacrifice and labor on our behalf simply because they did it and we didn’t, or they didn’t do things the way we would have. Let’s remember the Lord’s admonition:
As a people you honor with your lips, but your hearts are corrupt, filled with envy and malice, returning evil for good, sparing none, even those with pure hearts among you, from your unjustified accusations and unkind backbiting. 
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.  
Let your pride, and your envy, and your fears depart from you. 
There’s no need for, and no place for, an “us vs. them” mentality among those who seek to become one.

Cut Off ?

And finally, just this: If the upcoming vote sustains the Lots document, it doesn’t mean anyone has been rejected, cut off, excommunicated, thrown out, or any of the other silly assertions that get made. Such assertions are just as manipulative as the idea that disagreeing with someone means you don’t love them. Nobody is getting cut off or excluded, and nothing changes, except we will have completed the Lord’s assignment in a way most of the body doesn’t dispute. Some will yet dispute, and that’s OK. We still move on together, learn from our mistakes, and do better on the next assignment.

In a parallel example, early on, a number of documents were proposed for inclusion in the scriptures. There was an open vote to determine which ones got in. Some documents made it, some didn’t. And I disagreed with some of the outcomes, as did plenty of others. But we all took it in stride and moved on. Nobody was cut off, unheard, unloved, or undervalued just because the outcome didn’t go the way they preferred.

Why should this be different?

The Lord tasked the body with writing a document. The body voted on a method of doing so, which included the Lord’s selection of who would do it. Those selected faithfully performed the assignment and produced a document that the vast majority of the body find acceptable, as evidenced by the Phoenix vote. If it gets adopted, like the other documents, I hope nobody takes it as a personal affront or act of cutting off.

Adopt

Think about the word “adopt.” As with adopting a child, it means to take what is not your own, and embrace it, making it yours. It is an act of supreme love, commitment and sacrifice. Does adopting a statement carry the same connotation? I believe it does, particularly when the statement may not be the one you created, or prefer. Those who let go of their own preferences and adopt a statement that is not their preferred approach perform a more exemplary act of sacrifice and love than the rest of us. I believe the Lord used that word, “adopt” as an invitation to do just that.

I pray for an end to disputation and a completion of this assignment. I love and pray for my brothers and sisters with whom I don’t agree, and I hope you will love and pray for me, and for those who, at great personal discomfort and sacrifice, are seeking to complete this assignment in the way they believe the Lord requires. When they stand to ask for the body’s opinion, I pray we will all be kind and respectful to them, recognizing they are standing as servants and not masters.

Many among us are willing to accept a document that is not our favorite, in the spirit of adoption and choosing to not dispute. They are humbly choosing to submit to keep peace and put on display their soft hearts. Would it not please the Lord if we were all to do this because of our united desire to obey His commandment to us? Is it also not a thing of the heart to choose to not dispute? And does that not reflect the unity of heart the Lord requires of us? In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ teaches us "And blessed are all the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (3 Ne 5:10)

I hope we can be the children of God.

Repent, therefore, like Peter and end your unkind and untrue accusations against one another, and make peace.
—T&C 157:10

86 comments:

  1. We agree with everything you expressed. We are soo excited at the prospect of this assignment being complete.
    Jon and Tina Saunders

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  2. I would like to add further verses of Section 157 that adds light to what has been said and should be written in all our hearts as we seek to become of one heart. I take no offense from what is said here and take it to heart and reflect upon MY thoughts, MY words, and MY deeds. As a wise woman told me today, "we should not get offended with each other for speaking the truth especially when it is spoken without judgement." Thanks for sharing, I have hope as well.

    "I descended below it all, and know the sorrows of you all, and have borne the grief of it all and I say to you, Forgive one another. Be tender with one another, pursue judgment, bless the oppressed, care for the orphan, and uplift the widow in her need for I have redeemed you from being orphaned and taken you that you are no longer a widowed people. Rejoice in me, and rejoice with your brethren and sisters who are mine also. Be one...Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity, and come unto me and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore if you regard one another with charity then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you. I lead to all truth. I will lead all who come to me to the truth of all things. The fullness is to receive the truth of all things, and this too from me, in power, by my word and in very deed. For I will come to you if you will come unto me.
    Study to learn how to respect your brothers and sisters and to come together by precept, reason and persuasion rather than sharply disputing and wrongly condemning each other, causing anger. Take care how you invoke my name. Mankind has been controlled by the adversary through anger and jealously which has led to bloodshed and the misery of many souls. Even strong disagreements should not provoke anger nor to invoke my name in vain as if I had part in your every dispute...There remains great work yet to be done. Receive my covenant and abide in it, not as in the former time when jarring, jealousy, contention and backbiting caused anger, broke hearts and hardened the souls of those claiming to be my saints. But receive it in spirit, in meekness and in truth. I have given you a former commandment that I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. And again, I have taught that if you forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses. How do I act toward mankind: If men intend no offense I take no offense, but if they are taught and should have obeyed, then I reprove and correct and forgive and forget. You cannot be at peace with one another if you take offense when none is intended. But again I say, Judge not others except by the rule you want used to weigh yourself." T&C 157:50;53;58

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  3. I wholeheartedly agree Adrian and Tausha. I love everyone in this movement no matter their stance on this document. We are all on this journey together and by no means does this vote divide nor separate anyone. How could it possibly do that when the Lots Statement of Principles includes all of the very teachings which brought us all together on this journey in the first place?

    What does it mean to Honor God? The definition really means "to quickly act with enthusiasm with what he asks us to do." If we go beyond this conference to obey what the Lord asked of us - to adopt a statement by mutual agreement - then we risk condemnation because we continue to "hinder and delay".

    Indeed it would be a tragedy if someone opposed to the Lot's document - left our community over a document filled with teachings we all agree with. But it won't be because anyone asked them to leave. If "voting" is such an offense - why was it a method used so often by righteous rulers in the Book of Mormon?

    Please let us move onward and upward - the adoption of this Statement of Principles doesn't limit us in any way in our goal to become Zion.

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    1. This was one of the most beautiful, succinct, and light-filled posts you've written on this subject. As I read it, I thought: One must be filled with the spirit to be able to convey these truths in such a manner. That is not meant as flattery, but to relay the true thoughts that came into my mind as I read it. You shared things that have been in the hearts of many of us, but who lacked the ability to express it.

      Though I support the Lots, I know that one day I will be sitting in a position where a decision is going to get made that is NOT one I agree with. Knowing me, I will have made my views vocal. It's very easy to feel invalidated if one's perspective is not the one that persuades the people. I hope that when it is my opportunity to exhibit the kind of love and charity that you described above---to submit to the will of the body as an act of peace and sacrifice for the good of the whole---that I will reflect upon the lessons that have been gained from this first experience we have had of working together; to reflect back on this wise counsel you have shared; and find the courage and humility to do what is being asked of others now. I believe we will all have our turn to show the Lord who we really are on matters such as this affords.

      One more thing: Your explanation of the intentional use of the word "adopt" by the Lord in this required effort, being similar to the literal act of adopting a child that is not your own---as being potentially a greater act of charity and love than if you sustained a document you wanted and produced yourself---was beautiful, and spot on.

      I have adopted 3 children, and I have 4 natural. I've been on both sides of the coin. What you said resonated so loud and clear; it opened my mind to a whole new comprehension of what He is doing here. I believe you are right---the Lord did used that word with great intention!

      I look forward to sustaining this document, and continuing in love and fellowship with ALL of my covenant brothers and sisters.

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  4. Comments on the scriptures blog are disabled, so I must needs put this the only place I see any action happening with the covenant body.

    I need more time. I am working through some issues and need time to talk things out with Christ and discern His heart and will. I do not know that I will be prepared to make a decision in less than two weeks time.

    I don't suppose any of those putting their energies into this plan are willing to let things sit for a bit? Maybe wait to call a special conference just for this issue in the (near/not-so-near) future?

    I understand this request may cause frustrations, hopefully not anger though. I am not intentionally trying to be difficult. I am slow, however. I can only apologize for that. Thank you.

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    1. Dear Anon7,

      Thank you for posting here, and please don't take offense if I quote our Lord:

      "Do not murmur saying, Too much has been required at our hands in too short a time."

      Evidently, the Lord has given us ample time to get this done. No need to discern his heart and will when it is written before us, at least in this thing.

      "You hinder and delay and then you say I require too much of you and do not allow you time, when, if your hearts were right and you prepared yourselves you could have finished this work long ago."

      I don't doubt your sincerity, and I do feel for your dilemma. But the Lord is not pleased when we delay.

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    2. Thank you for taking a moment to respond. Your response has hurt my heart, but I will take your counsel to Christ to know if that is truly His word to me in this moment (in addition to my other struggles). I will also accept your response as my answer from the powers that be in the covenant body. Thank you for considering.

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    3. You sound like the struggles are intense, and though I don't know who you are, I'm praying for you and hoping the Lord lends you comfort.

      I don't speak for the covenant body, nor for the "powers that be"; I'm only quoting Christ's words. (Just wanted to clarify that point.)

      God bless you, whoever and wherever you are.

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    4. Anon7, here is another quote from scripture, (this time a song of David):
      UNTO you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in you. Let me not be ashamed... Yea, let none that wait on you be ashamed... Show me your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation. On you do I wait all day. Remember, O Lord, your tender mercies and your loving kindnesses, for they have been ever of old.

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  5. As has been stated, many of the documents would have sufficed in fulfilling the Lord's command. The sustaining vote before us is the result of a process that 87 % of the people supported, the resulting dcument contains His words with a 93% approval the people, plus it received the most votes in AZ. My personal feeling is that we would be foolish to finish what was started when we are so close to pleasing the Lord and finishing the assignment He has given to us as a people. It would take months to redo what the Lot's group did. With love in our hearts for each who have a new baptism and a new covenant, let us show our gratitude to Him, accept this document that was answered after prayer and fasting by a revelation. Midnight is almost here and He has much more He would like us to do. Let us press on in humility for what He has given us, even that which we don't deserve. With love.

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  6. Anon7

    This is the meaning of a vote to adopt or to not adopt.

    A vote to adopt should include those who favor the Lots Statement of Principles, those who prefer another document but agree to join with the majority’s choice in order to complete this assignment. It does not mean you agree with the Statement of Principles in every particular or feel that the document or process is without error but you choose to not dispute.
    A vote against adoption is appropriate for those who cannot accept the majorities choice, cannot accept the Lots Statement of Principles or dispute the process by which this document has been chosen by the voice of the people and around which we are seeking mutual agreement.

    If you do not fit into either category because you are "working through some issues and need time to talk things out with Christ and discern His heart and will" then my advise would be to not cast a vote until you can feel comfortable that you fit into one of these categories.

    I will join with Adrian in praying for you and everyone of us that we may be moved by a spirit of love, inclusion, acceptance and honor God.
    McKay

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  7. Anon7

    This is the meaning of a vote to adopt or to not adopt.

    A vote to adopt should include those who favor the Lots Statement of Principles, those who prefer another document but agree to join with the majority’s choice in order to complete this assignment. It does not mean you agree with the Statement of Principles in every particular or feel that the document or process is without error but you choose to not dispute.
    A vote against adoption is appropriate for those who cannot accept the majorities choice, cannot accept the Lots Statement of Principles or dispute the process by which this document has been chosen by the voice of the people and around which we are seeking mutual agreement.

    If you do not fit into either category because you are "working through some issues and need time to talk things out with Christ and discern His heart and will" then my advise would be to not cast a vote until you can feel comfortable that you fit into one of these categories.

    I will join with Adrian in praying for you and everyone of us that we may be moved by a spirit of love, inclusion, acceptance and honor God.
    McKay

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  8. 1. This group, as it is wont to do, has exceeded the bounds of the assignment the Lord has given us. He asked for a "statement of principles." Even now, at this late time, you and many others continue to refer to it as a guide and standard. We were tasked with writing a very simple document, which should bless, benefit and inform those who know nothing yet of the Lord's work underway. The principles are enough to act upon, because the individual should then take them to the Lord for instruction on implementation, as we all have. Each of our methods of implementation varies slightly, and that is OK! Who are we to tell upcoming generations how to implement the commonly shared principles of belief?
    2. Because we have exceeded the scope of the assignment, each of the documents that has been written contains the editorial viewpoint of the author(s), which may or may not agree with the editorial viewpoint of others. Even though both opinions may be correct. When we go past what should be a simple, articles of faith-like document, and start writing a how-to for gathering tithing or running fellowships, that's where we get into a thousand different opinions, and all of them are right! It is not conceivable that we should agree on this sort of document.
    3. Therefore, any vote on the Lots document will, of necessity, not be unanimous.
    4. Attempting to thwart the opinions of those who are not satisfied with any of the current documents trammels their religious views and is unrighteous dominion. Although you have been very careful to appear loving and kind in your post today, ultimately you are simply telling those who do not agree with the Lots document to "toe the line." Some folks, for whatever reason, can't. Perhaps it is they who are right, and the main flow that is incorrect. We've seen that happen before, have we not? (think, Salt Lake City)
    5. It is my belief that none of the documents are what the Lord has asked us to do, although Paul Durham's comes closest. I would not be surprised if, when taken to the Lord for approval by the Davidic Servant, he says "this is not what I have asked for."
    6. Because of this, I will vote "NO" in the upcoming vote.
    7. Nevertheless, as the body decides to do, so will I do.

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    1. Chris, thank you for laying this out clearly and relatively concisely. Your points bring up one question in my mind: How are opinions of those who are not satisfied with any of the current documents trammeled? In your view, what should be done to ensure that they are not trammeled?

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    2. Chris,

      As per your comment #1 concerning this being a statement of principles and your feeling that, "Who are we to tell upcoming generations how to implement the commonly shared principles of belief?"

      The assignment originated out of a need to replace Section 20 that was given by Joseph Smith as he began the dispensation that he was authorized to lead, but has become out-dated for what the Lord is doing in our generation. (See the Prayer for Covenant and the SC update confirming this) In Joseph's day, the instructions that he got from the Lord were valid and binding upon those people. Even though those instructions were given and placed in the scriptures nearly 200 years ago, this has not prevented a later generation (us) from learning that we now need to apply things differently. If you look at our new scriptures closely, you will even see that the content of section 20 can still be found as an historical record in Joseph's history. The fact that it still sits in the scriptures, does not hinder us (a later generation) from understanding that "that was then, and this is now."

      Today, a new dispensation has begun, and just as Joseph had the right and instruction from God as to how things would be done, and to include those instructions in the scriptures; so too, we have been given instruction from Denver (whom most of us see as a dispensation head) on how things will be done in this dispensation, and we should include them in the scriptures.

      Thus, your point of concern for future generations getting stuck implementing things put in the scriptures by us (using Denver's words to us) is easily solved. When the Lord is ready to do something else, and is finished with what we get through what He is doing now; He will simply reveal that instruction at some later time to another chosen vessel.

      This is really no different than Moses being a dispensation head who gave the Law of Moses. When the instructions served the intent heaven had in mind, and needed to be modified, the Lord sets about changing them through a chosen servant of His; and the people of that generation get to decide whether they recognize God's voice in the new message or not. Until then, we heed the manner in which we've been asked to do things; and we even include it in our scripture, just as Moses and Joseph did (and Christ for that matter).

      This new Statement of Principles---"to be added as a guide and standard"---IS the replacement of Section 20. It's moving us out of an institutional church organization that Joseph was tasked with laying as a foundation. It's our effort to give to this generation an introduction to just some of what God is doing and asking of us (which includes the concept of worshipping in fellowships), as He moves His hand again for the second time, as revealed to us through His dispensation head.

      The pattern continues. I love that God gives patterns to allow us to see that He is at work.

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    3. Chris, I'm not sure how newly minted believers are supposed to figure out baptism, recording, priesthood conveyance, sustaining, sacrament, tithing, etc. on their own, merely by examining abstract principles. Is it not "wise in word and kind in deed" to offer some instruction in these matters to "bless, benefit, and inform" them?

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    4. I would very much be benefitted if either you, Anonymous, or you, Adrian, could show me in the plain language of the revelation received by Denver where the Lord asks for a replacement for section 20, or asks us to write a set of instructions in these matters? This is all I am basing my statements on. I confess a weakness, I see things black or white, and to me there isn't much grey in the instructions given by the Lord on this matter. I am very happy to be educated, and I am not being flippant or hostile in this request...

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    5. T&C 156:60 (see heading also). I know this isn't from the answer, but maybe it'll help.

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    6. To make that easy for those who may not have their scriptures handy:

      T&C 156:60 is the Prayer for covenant, where we learn exactly what the Lord had told Denver this whole thing was about.

      "I confess my own failure in securing a replacement for the former section 20. You required a unified statement of principles for us to adopt, and I asked others to provide such a document."

      The statement of principles is to replace the now out-dated concepts that we got in the former dispensation of an institutional church set-up. The Lord required the new scriptures to contain what we have received as instruction at the hand of Denver. Instead of being the strong man, he gave that assignment initially to the scripture committee; who then gave it to Jeff. After some in the body rejected what they offered, the assignment got shifted to "my people" in the Answer. But the purpose of the assignment did not change.

      The original outline of the type of concepts, and principles to be discussed in this replacement were accepted by a vote of the SC, including Denver, to be included in the first draft of what we were presented with as scriptures in March of 2017. Some have criticized this model as being incorrect and not filling the assignment. I do not share this view. The Lots follows much the same model as the original, only limiting itself to the direct quotes of Christ, Joseph and Denver, to give us a purity to the document that could not be criticized, as had been done previously.

      I hope that helps. Thanks Christopher Park for pointing out the reference.

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  9. Firstly, I have seen many a post or comment that labels those with differing opinions as being somehow "contentious." This needs to stop of course. The reactions to opinions have ranged from indifference (I've experienced this one myself) to outright hostility. It is my belief that if we narrow the task to that which has been asked, it should, indeed, be a simple thing. Heck, simply setting up a facebook group, asking people to submit principles of faith, much like the articles of faith (simple, concise and based in scripture), combining and condensing the similar ones, and creating a very simple, one page-ish document ought to be easy enough, and we ALL authored it. Could be done in a week. But as of right now, the method, the atmosphere, and the content, feel very very much like the prevailing faith that we've all left or are leaving, and I feel pretty sure that's why this has not been put to bed sooner.

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    1. Wow, Chris, you're proposing exactly what Jeff Savage and I set up a year ago. Invite everyone to submit principles. Base them in scripture. Combine and condense similar ones. Create a simple document. All are welcome to participate. All voices are welcome and equal. Should be simple.

      Unfortunately, it didn't go well. Some, who I will avoid labeling as "contentious" lashed out with anger, personal attacks, competition, and complaints until enough turned against the process that it was shut down. What was ultimately created from the efforts of those who tried to participate was submitted to the lots group for consideration in creating their statement.

      I do sincerely wish things were as simple as they sometimes sound on paper.

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    2. You're right, of course. Simple things are never simple, as pride, haughtiness and frowardness often cloud the path. I just keep going back to this thought that has seized my brain and won't let it go- we've misunderstood the assignment. Would that have made a difference in the approach from the very beginning?

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  10. Let's all decide to not dispute - even if we disagree.

    As stated referring to T&C 175:1, after a response to prayers and pleadings, the Lord answered with a definition of mutual agreement (as used in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant) this way:

    As between one another, you choose to not dispute (T&C 175:1).

    Simply put, even if we disagree, if we choose to not dispute, we have mutual agreement.

    And IF there are still disputes, this is the Lord's invitation to receive guidance on HOW to go about resolving those lingering disputes:

    "Pray together in humility and together meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me, I will tell you my part (T&C 158:54)."

    We have VERY CLEAR instructions from the Lord HOW to move forward if it appears that we are still stuck with "disputes."

    The Lord is letting us know that He has further light & truth to share - but as in all things - we must be obedient to His instructions.

    Let's follow these very clear and very simple instructions to finally receive mutual agreement.

    Can we be obedient to the Lord's invitation?

    ...it is a very light thing to be obedient to His instruction

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  11. I was once one of those who felt that my voice was not being heard. I petitioned. I wrote my own document. I attended and participated in all of the SoP meetings summer of 2017. I believed that I had been “called” of God to work on this assignment. When the voting between several documents took place, mine was among them. Between the fellowship representative SoP meetings, smaller group meetings and my own work I participated in writing/editing 5 different documents. What I learned was that no matter who was leading the effort or who was involved in the effort everyone could basically agree on the principles to be included, but when it came to fleshing out those principles with words of explanation the tempers rose, the voices escalated in volume and unanimity was never achieved. I began to feel hopeless that this task could ever be completed. A tumult of opinions, if there ever was one, existed among us. By the time the Aug 5, 2017 vote came along I was exhausted and sorely grieved. I felt deeply and believed strongly that my voice had not been respected. I didn’t know what more I could do. During the Aug 5 vote I had a peace come over me along with this thought, “just accept this document.” It was time that I stopped thinking about ME and MY voice and MY spiritual promptings and begin to value and recognize that the Lord values and was prompting EVERYONE. And that EVERYONE had/has a desire to fulfill this assignment in a manner pleasing to the Lord. It was time for me to stop thinking about ME and what I thought God was prompting me to do and begin to recognize that God was speaking and working through all of us. Each of us had a small piece that when put together would make a great whole. When Aug 5 was not accepted for print in the scriptures I lamented that we’d never accomplish this task. Then the Lots proposal came about. What a beautiful way to answer our dispute by allowing the Lord to have a say. Everyone “called” of God to work on this assignment could put their name into the drawing to be chosen to draft the document. Everyone who had felt that they should write their own document was able to submit their document for use by the Lotsters. Yet there were still those who did not agree with this process and cried out against it. My heart ached for them. I was discussing their position with a friend one day. I was crying for them. I’d been in their position just a few months earlier. My emotions were still raw and it was easy to literally feel what they were feeling. My friend said to me, “You wrote a document that you felt God called you to write. You submitted it. It was voted on. The people rejected it. You fulfilled the specific assignment God gave to you but you did not persuade the people. Get over it.” I had fulfilled what God asked me to do and now I was free to fully support and encourage the work that God had inspired others to do. I have learned that being listened to does not equal getting my way. I know what it is like to be in the minority. All I can offer is what I ask myself: is it possible that I have added to or taken away from the specific task God asked me to do? Is it possible that I have misinterpreted it? I am learning to value and love others, and to value peace over having my own way.

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  12. Glen - that was done and there have been several posts by the other Anonymous that have clearly laid out that the dispute was taken to the Lord and out of those prayers came the inspiration for the Lot process - the outcomes of which were totally controlled by God. But there comes a point in large groups where we understand that there will be disagreements, but the Book of Mormon assures us that typically the voice of the people does choose righteousness. At that point - when the vast majority of God's people have chosen - there is a choice remaining for those who still dispute - "choose not to". This is where Denver's quote applies:
    “I would rather submit to the decision of the group than insist that my view be followed. For me, harmony between brethren is more important than getting what I think best to be followed. I believe harmony can lead to much greater things than can merely enforcement of even a correct view. I know how difficult it is to have a correct view, because of how often I have been corrected by the Lord. Sometimes I am humiliated by my foolishness when the Lord reproves me. Humiliation can lead to humility, but my experience is that the humiliation is accompanied by shame, whereas humility can proceed with a clear conscience.
    My experience with others leads me to conclude that if we can have one heart first, eventually we can likewise come to have one mind. But if we insist on having one mind at the outset, we may never obtain one heart together.”
    — Denver Snuffer

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  13. Anonymous-

    If that has been done where is the produce from those efforts (I haven't seen any consolidated list of disputes) and where is the the Lord's answer giving us "His part"?

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    1. Part 1

      I am not the same anonymous that wrote the above, but I will give my answer to your question.

      There was nothing stated that said we HAD to make a LIST of our disputes. By the time the movement-wide zoom prayer meeting was had on October 8th, it was very clear what the disputes were. They were the same ones that had been listed in email chains for months by that time---Debates about content; debates about who would fulfill the assignment; debates if a revelation was needed from heaven to someone; debates about how to best inform those who know nothing and what that really means; debates about how to do this with equality and involving everyone; debates about the use of voting; debates about if the model all the previous efforts had followed was correct; debates concerning how it would affect people of other cultures; debates about it needing to be a short 1 page statement, or full of details. The list could go on.

      Anyone who paid any attention knew the disputes, and knew we were at an impasse.

      The petition was to help us know HOW to go forward. Seven different people prayed and expressed their desires for the Lord to let us know His part.

      You say that no one received and answer. I believe the opposite is true.

      How would you anticipate He would answer such a petition, anyway?

      Would you expect Denver to get a revelation to answer us? I wasn't; for he was commanded to stay out of it.

      Who among this movement, then, would receive an answer to such a petition that would be accepted as valid by everyone? Would you expect an audible voice to be heard by everyone?

      Denver has taught that when we petition the Lord He HEARS us and He WILL ANSWER. The answer is always “yes,” and He goes about putting things into motion so that the necessary things can happen.

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    2. Part 2

      So what if what happened is that He DID answer us? What if He did it through a small and simple means, by which great things can be brought to pass? What if He simply inspired two individuals shortly thereafter, to propose a plan of how to proceed that actually WAS HIM giving us HIS part? What if, His answer included the use of the principles found in LE Section 121 to rely upon persuasion to convince others that the plan was "good," too? What if the Lord was behind the idea that before anything further was done, the individuals making the proposal were required to seek that permission from the people, as an act of showing they were not a hierarchy imposing its will on the people? What if it was Wisdom in God that contention be laid down through the drawing of lots and we could allow Him to do the choosing for us---treating everyone as an equal, with no advantage from one individual to another? What if it was God's answer to us to take counsel from the other documents that people felt inspired to write? What if the Lots document followed the pattern already given in Jeff Savage's attempts, because Jeff's work was acceptable, too? What if God was really trying to give us signs by some of the things that happened with the drawing of lots and other things that people have even kept to themselves in that regard? What if He really did give us the definition to mutual agreement in the middle of the Lots voting, as yet another sign from Him---knowing such a definition would enable a document to succeed in achieving the assignment?

      What if the whole plan was actually inspired by God and it WAS HIS PART?

      I had a conversation with one of the authors of the plan soon after its final version was written to present to the people. He testified to me that God's hand was manifest to him in the entire experience in the most remarkable ways laying out how the process should occur. If ever I questioned whether God was involved in this whole thing, the DWW podcast laid that to rest for me. It was a witness that God was the author of what was done. He did give us His part. It may not have been what we were expecting; but He heard the honest petitions of His children and delivered. He will never compel us to see or accept His answers. It’ up to us to be open to them.


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  14. and Anonymous - who are you and where are you located?

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  15. I believe the Lord used the phrase “mutual agreement” for a very important reason. He knew that there would be many good documents and many worthwhile efforts put forth as we try to complete this assignment. We could go on for many years with someone coming up with a new effort or a new document every few months trying to solve the stalemate we find ourselves in. There are many very smart people in this movement, and many very good ideas. But how long do we want to take trying more methods and more documents on for size? There are always objections to each new process and document brought forth.

    There comes a point when we need to internalize the definition of “mutual agreement,” see what the Lord is suggesting, and just choose to not dispute. This is absolutely a test for our hearts. Are we individually willing to choose a statement or process we do not agree with? Will we let our will go for the benefit of the group.

    I know that it was Adrian and I who were fighting for unanimity about a year ago. We believed that was what the lord meant by “mutual agreement.” I think we had romantic ideas that we could all become of one heart and one mind instantaneously and be ready to move forward with other more exciting work. Hashing out more Guide & Standard stuff is not exciting stuff. Boy have we learned a lot since then.

    At this point, I would agree to and accept any document that did not compromise truth. I was not in that place a year ago. As soon as I learned the Lord’s definition of “mutual agreement,” I felt rather stupid for getting behind the notion of unanimity. We just aren’t there yet.

    When the Lots process was proposed, I was against it. I thought the Statement of Principles should be written by someone who felt called of God to write it, and that we didn’t need to cast lots to figure out God’s will. After learning more about the drawing of lots in scripture, I started to understand that it was a God approved method for helping a group make a decision when one can’t be made. I can’t say that the Lots document is my favorite document, but it has garnered the most approval by the people, and therefore, I am very willing to vote to sustain it for the good of the whole. I cannot find any fault with the document, and it is filled with truth, so I am happy to get behind it.

    I understand there are those who want to keep working on this assignment until we are of one heart and one mind. Maybe right now, being of one heart and one mind simply means we choose to not dispute. We can grow from there. I think this would please the Lord greatly. I would love to finish this assignment and continue to labor in the vineyard with my new friends and family.

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  16. I’d like to add one more thing. I really like all of you people. We have such a good time when we are all together, but as soon as we get back home to our homes and our computers, all that affection is forgotten.

    It’s baffling to me why this simple Statement of Principles assignment has caused the division it has. Can’t we all just pick ourselves off the battlefield, allow the Lord to heal our wounds, and be friends again?

    This just really doesn’t have to be so arduous.

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    1. The reason it is so arduous is because everyone wants to be of one mind first. That means processes, lists and semantics take precedent. If we actually set out to live His doctrine first, people would learn by experience and then come together to share what worked.

      It's book knowledge verses street knowledge, and until we hit the streets doing what the Lord recommended, then there will always be disputes.

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    2. We lack leadership! that is the our challenge! When has the Lord not called someone to lead? Yet, no one is leading us. Sure some are trying. Denver won't step up and everyone else is trying to avoid looking like they want the attention when it's apparent that many do, yet who has the Lord chosen? If no one, then why not? Why hasn't He followed scriptural patterns? Something is off.

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    3. What’s “OFF” is ANYTHING BUT EQUALITY, it’s “OFF” the table, it’s not a choice, it can’t be.
      If you haven’t read or listened lately to Denver’s opening remarks at the covenant conference last year you should, he explains much better than I could the requirement for equality.
      Not sure why we think this should be easy, I think we’re making progress on something that’s completely foreign to us and has only found success twice in recorded history. Building a Heavenly beachhead in this fallen world will not come without a fight against all the adversary has and all the poison we’ve been filled with from our youth.
      BUT, we’re all here at this very hour for a reason, we HAVE the capacity to do this. We need to repent and turn our whole souls to Christ, He needs to be our only master and the more we become one with Him the easier it will be for our hearts to become one with another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

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    4. When in recorded history has the Lord done anything of significance on this scale (the scale for what everyone believes is the remnant movement) and not called someone to lead His people? It's never happened. I think we're dreaming if we truly hope to bring all together with so many chiefs trying to lead. There is no pattern here. "Equality" = dont debate or express opposing views.

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    5. The record indicates that both Enoch and Melchizedek were teachers, not rulers. The one instance of Enoch being a leader was when he led the people of God in battle, and he did that by speaking the word of God to drive away their attackers.

      My point is that Zion has never come by a leader who rules or commands. The recorded instances in scripture came about by means of a teachers sent from God who preached repentance, and the people chose to repent. It still comes down to us, not to a leader.

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    6. This is the originating Anonymous of these replies, not the one who followed up with the call for a leader.

      I don't think we need a leader. Understanding of what to do and how to do it comes by living the doctrine ("hitting the streets"). Period. Want to know what to do? Obey the doctrine. Want to know his will? Live the Sermons. Want to have a witness that you believe Christ? Do the things you were advised to do.

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    7. Adrian, You didn’t allow my reply to your post which actually goes to the heart of this discussion. What is equality then? Denver is the leader that everyone follows even when he says you don’t need a leader. It’s mind boggling. I won’t participate any longer. Have your “equality”

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    8. Dear Secondary Anonymous,

      I have posted everything I've received. If you made a comment that wasn't posted, it is because I never received it. Technology sometimes fails us all. I'm sorry if you felt slighted or ignored. I just don't have anything from you to post.

      But I will say that your cutting comment says a lot more about you than it does me. You could have said something kind and patient like, "Hey Adrian, I made a comment but it never got posted. Just curious if you got it, or if there's an issue with it. I think it's important and would like to see it posted. Here's how to contact me in case you have any questions..."

      Please, let's remember everyone, this is a volunteer effort. I do my best to keep up with all the comments and everyone's desire to be heard, but I have a lot of other obligations as well, and I sometimes can't get to comments right away. Thank you for being patient and giving me the benefit of the doubt.

      And remember, if you address me personally in a comment, the only way I can respond is publicly. I have NO contact information for anyone who comments here. If you need to converse with me personally, please use the "contact me" feature on the right.

      One other thought. Yes, I do moderate comments, because you'd be surprised at some of the nastiness and error that comes in the form of comments (not to mention plenty-o-spam.) In general, if anything is reasonably respectful to others and germane to the topic at hand, it gets posted, regardless of whether I agree with it.

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  17. So, here's a very simple question: does the "replacement for section 20" and the "Statement of Principles" (I wish people would quit calling it the "Guide and Standard" as that is not the assignment) have to be the same document?

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    1. Yes, to my understanding, that was the assignment. To replace Section 20 by writing a statement of principles to be added as a guide and standard for my people.

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  18. ADRIAN I THINK I"VE GOT IT!!!

    Mutual agreement: “between one another, you choose not to dispute”. I accept this definition. I am choosing not to dispute any covenant member. I choose mutual agreement.

    This upcoming Layton vote is missing a third option for those who cannot bear to stand in opposition to any of their brothers and sisters. Since it is well established there are quite a few among those who will be voting for lots who actually prefer a different document but are choosing to submit to the lots SOP in the hope for unity, there is plenty of precedence to add this third option.

    This option could be read first and stated as follows:

    “Please stand if you prefer to neither sustain nor dispute the lots SOP and instead choose to stand in unified support and mutual agreement of all your brothers and sisters who will stand to vote in both of the following two groups.”

    Since this vote is a “majority wins”, the pro lots group will likely still have majority and thus achieve their goal of a majority SOP according to whoever is in charge and decided that is how we will do this. This means we will still have a now accepted SOP (by this somehow concocted processes definition) in a conference setting to have Denver take to the Lord, while having had some souls who truly participated in mutual agreement to fulfill the commandment. It’s a win-win right? Then we can get the Lords part in the matter which is what I hope we all want.

    Without this third option, this is an agency depleting vote and is literally removing anyone’s ability to choose not to dispute. Standing either for or against the lots SOP is to inherently dispute with the other group. All the twisted worldly logic anyone tries to come up with to justify to themselves this isn’t the case is imagination of the heart and a lie if we are truly equals.

    I refuse to dispute with anyone. I choose to follow Christ’s commandment that I mutually agree with all. I am personally determined to be no greater than another. This vote forces me to ignore Jesus Christ and dispute, or mutually disagree, with at least 1 person. I choose not to dispute. I choose mutual agreement. I will not be forced to disobey Jesus Christ by any who insist on mutual disagreement. I support every single one of you, my brothers and sisters, in this vote.

    Without the third option to choose not to dispute and instead mutually agree with every single precious member of this covenant, I cannot participate in this vote.

    I know there are some others besides me who would stand to vote for this third option. If our voices truly matter to you and we are considered brothers and sisters, please include this third option as evidence you do care about us even though it will not affect your outcome. Because we will neither be sustaining nor opposing the lots document, even if this third option got majority (which I don’t believe it will), those votes won’t count toward sustaining or opposing the lots SOP anyway and so it would still be “lots vs other”, with the majority of the original two vote choices still being the deciding factor.

    -Jay Todd

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    1. Although I will stand to sustain the Lots document and have not waivered in that decision of support since it was first published, I sure think that what Jay Todd is proposing here is wise, and kind and incredibly loving. I hope that those conducting the sustaining will be impressed to add Jay's suggested third option. Thank you Jay. It's a beautiful idea.

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    3. I don't see a down side to this idea, and if it gets more people involved, why not?

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    4. Jay,

      If you read the language of the announcement, I believe it already includes exactly the option you are proposing:

      "First we will ask all those who choose to dispute the addition of the Lots Statement of Principles to the scriptures to silently stand and be recognized."

      "Next we will ask all those in favor of adoption of the Lots Statement of Principles to be added to the scriptures to silently stand and be recognized. This group includes those who choose to not dispute.”

      It seems to me that calling out, and specifically recognizing those who choose not to dispute as part of the group, makes the point that a “Yes” vote doesn’t necessarily mean agreement; rather it means either agreement, or a conscious choice to not dispute.

      Just hadn’t seen anyone mention that yet. It appears the provision you request has already been made.

      One other thought:

      The desire for special, separate recognition of those who disagree but choose to not dispute, may be viewed as virtue signaling by some—i.e. seeking recognition for doing the hard thing and choosing to not dispute even though you disagree, as if that’s somehow morally superior to simply standing in favor of adoption. (Not saying that’s what is in your heart at all; rather pointing out how it may appear to the body.)

      By definition, if you choose to not dispute, you favor adoption. And the choice to not dispute is acknowledged in the language. Is there a need to stand separately?

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    5. Here’s my understanding of the word mutual agreement, that may or may not be correct but I will give voice to my thoughts to share them for the edification of others. Put simply, with an example, mutual agreement is: there are two people one has an extra beer and offers it to the other. The other simply declines for whatever reason. These two people have mutual agreement. There can be disagreements AND mutual agreement. Mutual agreement is its OWN UNIQUE word and cannot be conflated with the word ‘mutual’ and what it means and the with the word ‘agreement’ and what it means. These two different words have little to do with the word ‘Mutual Agreement’. The Lord created a wholly unique and different word and gave us the definition of it. People can disagree and have mutual agreement allows for the most simple form of unity. The fact there is a yes vote and a no vote doesn’t mean they dispute! You can disagree, not dispute, and have Mutual Agreement.

      That being said I don’t think there is a need for a 3rd separate vote for mutual agreement because I think it is fundamentally inherent in the way you behave. So you can vote yes, no, or not vote and still choose not to dispute you will have mutual agreement. You have the agency to choose to do that. You are free to choose. No one can ever take it. The word is a verb! As between one another, you CHOOSE not to dispute. This word is beautiful and sorely misunderstood. It allows for persuasion, it allows for disagreement, it allows for two people to come together with differing views and still leave in unity with differing views, hopefully each with a better understanding of the other and their own views. The vote is a simple yes or no. Do you want the beer or not. If not, cool it has no affect on me or you. If yes, cool have a beer. Done, kaput, finito. Lets be on our way, we have mutual agreement. We have unity.

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    6. Let me get this straight, there's actually a belief out there that a document that contains the teachings of Jesus Christ to His new dispensation head meant for His work now underway, which describes the Lot statement, is going to be rejected or that the Lord will not accept it and we will be told to go back to the drawing board? So, you really want a 3rd option that says "I don't agree with this document that contains the very same teachings that brought me to take the covenant, but I don't want to dispute either"? Scratching my head.

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    7. So, scratching your head anonymous.
      You obviously want the Lots document, why is so extremely difficult to understand others do not, BUT are willing to let go of their objections and concerns for the good of the covenant and their covenant neighbors, BUT would like it to be on record as such?
      To me, there would be only one reason NOT to provide the 3rd option, fear from those who want the lots document and have no interest in actually knowing where it stands with the people now that we’ve had actual dialog about this assignment.
      In the last couple weeks I have expressed my doubts and concerns, BUT have chosen to follow Denver’s thoughts;
      “I would rather submit to the decision of the group than insist that my view be followed. For me, harmony between brethren is more important than getting what I think best to be followed. I believe harmony can lead to much greater things than can merely enforcement of even a correct view.”

      BUT, I sure would like that third option so that I can have the reason for my choice on record!

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    8. I'm curious about the "on record" part of your thought. Since there will be no "record" of who voted how, you obviously aren't referring to any formal, earthly, written record.

      If it is to display to heaven your heart and intent by voting in a 3rd group...well, heaven knows your heart already, so no need to put it on display. Though I suppose an argument could be made that if angels are keeping track and giving an account, they will take note.

      The other "record" is to make sure others in that room know where you stand. And that's fine, as well, if you want to make sure they know you do not approve, but still choose to not dispute. Of course, the intent of this is to be seen of men, but in group communications, making our opinions known is certainly valid and necessary.

      Just curious which record you're referring to when you go "on record?" Not asking to judge, but rather to better understand your position. Clearly there's a felt need to make a public demonstration of opposition, combined with refusal to dispute. Can you help me understand?

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    9. So, if God accepts the Lot Document and is pleased with our efforts, will you want to withdraw your support for option 3?

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    10. I agree with Adrian that the wording of the vote to sustain already contains within it the reality that you are choosing to not dispute. I find James Norton’s comments full of light, also.

      An additional point is that the entire purpose of having this vote is to actually accomplish the Lord’s assignment! The assignment is to write a statement of principles, accepted by BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT to be added to the scriptures as a guide and standard for my people. To do this we must come actually sustain A document BY mutual agreement---which INCLUDES inherently the concept that you may only be choosing to not dispute when you agree to it.

      The Lord has bent over backward to make this as easy as possible for us. We don’t even have to like the document.

      If we divide the vote up into a those who sustain because they like the document, those who choose not to dispute with anyone on either side of the matter, and those who still dispute the document--- then we are unable to fulfill the request of the Lord that we ACTUALLY reach mutual agreement according to the terms He gave us. Separating out the first two from each other (sustainers and non-disputers) serves to NEVER bring a people together to do what was asked: sustain a document by mutual agreement.

      It sounds like a wonderful concept on the surface, to allow all of those who would rather not take a position that could offend anyone else, to declare that publicly, so that all can see that’s what they were thinking when they voted. But we’ve been asked to come TOGETHER. Those who sustain the document because they like it, and those who merely sustain because they choose to not dispute MUST be counted together as one voice, otherwise we do not fulfill the assignment as given; no document will ever qualify as being sustained by mutual agreement if we go down this 3-vote idea.

      If the vote is not written up and carried out in a way that literally fulfills what the Lord has asked---both those who love the document, and those who only choose to not dispute being counted as ONE---then we neglect to honor God by obeying Him as instructed, and instead replace our will of how we’d like things to look.

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    11. Adrian, YIKES man!
      “Clearly there’s a need for public demonstration”
      That’s what you got out my comment, let alone the others seeking the same; that I want to garner attention?
      I’ve been at almost every get together since the Las Vegas talk and very few would know who I ‘am for reason, I do not like attention! Everyone knows who you are! You don’t know me, no one here does, but the Lord does, and that’s all I require!
      But to answer your question. BEFORE GOD, ANGLES AND THESE WITNESSES!
      HOWEVER, To comfort your souls that perhaps anyone having a different view than your camp, is really only after attention, how about we do a ballot vote? Those three choices, put on paper, no spectacle, everyone votes the dictates of their hearts private, results read in public, no names, no faces?!
      If the Lord accepts the Lots document will I withdraw my vote?? Holy Hell!!!
      I said, I will go with the majority vote to support my covenant neighbor and I will be done with it. HAPPILY!!!

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    12. Lynne McKinley,

      Thank you for your sincere and kind words. They warmed my heart.

      I want to make something unequivocally clear to you. You and every single person who will vote for the lots SOP is unspeakably precious, important, and a critical equal participant in this vote. My third vote does NOT mean I believe I am one whit above you or holier than you or better than you.

      The end result of this SOP commandment must be a singular SOP, however that happens. And so, if this vote is happening (and it appears to be unavoidable), those voting for the lots SOP have a critical role if we are to have something to present to the Lord and I am so deeply grateful to them. My heart is one with you Lynne. There are those I know among the Lot supporters I believe I would die for.

      Those who, in the sincerity and integrity of their heart, vote to not publish the lots SOP in our scriptures, are also unspeakably precious to what we are going to try and do. Their words align with their hearts. They are equal. My heart is one with them. Their Voices matter more to our success than I know how to describe to you. Without them actually BEING accepted, valued, heard, and loved we fail. We cannot feign that love. I also know many of those who will oppose deeply. My heart is one with their heart.

      This third vote option will also play a critical role. No one is claiming anyone of us is perfect or above another, but we need to have one heart to offer to the Lord along with the lots SOP with this vote.

      Any who vote for this third option would need to do so in complete and full support of ALL the others. This CANNOT be fake or feigned. If any would stand in the third option to appear "holier than thou" or more noble in someway, they should not stand for this option.

      Personally, my refusal to oppose a single covenant member is a positive reflection of all of you, not of myself. I deeply love people on BOTH sides because there are people on both sides that are so easy for me to love its insane. I am not easy to love, but my voice should matter if we are trying to be equal. I cannot vote without this third option.

      If my heart is one with those who cannot vote for the lots and also one with those who vote for the lots, then by the transitive property, our hearts are one. This step is necessary to fulfill the commandment.

      So you see that all 3 groups are playing important but equal roles in this. No one is greater than another. Every Voice is supported and our hearts are knit together in one.

      I have spoken to Mckay Platt about adding this option for the vote at the conference. I know Mckays heart and it is pure. I love that man for the sacrifices he has made and continue to make for us. That man is my brother. This option allows me to stand beside him no matter how he votes.

      This option literally will not affect the vote outcome. It can't affect it, because the third group is neither sustaining nor objecting to the lots SOP. All they are saying is they are unable to do anything but support every single soul who votes either way. The lots SOP will still get majority. Then we can take this to the Lord and get His part.

      If this option is not added I cannot participate. If it is added, rest assured when it is done I will be crying to the Lord for His patience and mercy to be upon ALL OF US. Myself most of all.

      If anyone reads this and feels in their heart like this idea places me in some elevated position or that this makes me closer to Christ than you, you are wrong. I reject any positive credit for this idea. This seed was not even from me but from a humble lady among us with Wisdom far greater than I could ever hope to possess. All the credit for the progress we have made since Phoenix is solely Jesus Christ's who has been laboring along side us as He promised.

      -Jay





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    13. Jay
      Amen!
      In truth I find myself in the same dilemma as you describe.

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    14. I think a third option is fantastic. The Lord said we lack the ability to respectfully disagree with one another. The third option would give us the ability to respectfully disagree. And it would show that no one disputes. Insisting we all stand together feels like insisting on one mind. (Please see the Epigraph of the T&C.)
      Third option is a respectful way to disagree and to choose to not dispute.

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  19. Well, I sure love the prospect of having a published statement of principles, and I'm good with the lots document (although the one from Paul was really great too), but I'm really concerned about the rift this could create. I guess if this goes through and gets published, then the next major work for us will be to attempt to mend these rifts.

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  20. And another thing, it may be tempting for some to say that this is just part of the same old story, that there's one group trying to impose their views on another. But, if that were the case, it seems a statement would have been selected and published a long time ago. What I've seen through this whole process is a lot of people putting forth a massive amount of effort to ensure that no one feels trampled upon. It's crazy when you think about how much time has gone into this. How can the Lord not be pleased with such efforts?

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    1. Yeah, I think we've been at this for a year and half. A year and a half!!! And we are so close, yet so far, it seems. It sounds like there are still a good amount of people who feel that their voice has not been heard. I'm not sure how to remedy that. How many people are in this movement, do you suppose? Let's say there are 1,000. There could very well be more than that. But say there are 1,000 people and to let each person's voice be heard, we let each person give their opinion on this subject for 5 minutes. That would take 83 hours!! I don't know how we can accomplish this. Just trying to think it through myself.

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  21. I am confused about how there will be mutual agreement with the first group during the silent vote--those who "choose to dispute."

    If whichever statement is accepted by most of those who stand as group #2, will that fulfill the requirement of mutual agreement per Christ's answer if there are some who still dispute for whatever reasons? I am just trying to understand. It seems to me it would not, but perhaps I am misunderstanding something.

    Does a "majority" fulfill the requirement? Or is it simply meant as mutual agreement between those who choose to have it so? And any others are...? I don't even know...I am interested to hear what others have felt Christ speak to them on the matter, if willing to share.

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    1. I look to the Covenant as an example. There were disputatuons about it from day one until the day of. Valid, legitimate concerns. They were disputions nonetheless in the attitude they were delivered. Yet the Covenant vote proceded and marched forward. There was mutual agreement between all those that said yes and those that said no who left quietly. Remeber all it took to say no was not to participate, it was broadcasted worldwide, the world participated whether they knew it or not. Those that decide to dispute are just 'other' in my view. They're not wrong or bad or inherently anything just not acounted as one with those that choose not to dispute.

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    2. Anon 7,

      I’d like to offer my understanding for your consideration.

      As we know, the Lord NEVER used the term “unanimous” in His requirement for us and this document. This is important to note. It is deliberate. His term was “mutual agreement,” and as James Norton noted earlier today, this is a combination of words that have a unique definition pertaining to our task---it is “as between one another you choose to not dispute.” NO numbers or amounts are ever given in how that is satisfied.

      It is not required that we be “unanimous” in this choice to not dispute; or the definition would’ve said, “when everyone chooses to not dispute.”

      This would be consistent with what a God who allows everyone their agency would ask of us. If He waited or required everyone to make that choice to not dispute before the body could move forward, we would be held hostage by the possible decision to dispute by even a FEW individuals. This is illogical, given the fact that the Lord has declared that there are tares still among us. (by that, no one need assume I am saying those who are currently opposing are tares. I am merely pointing out a theoretical reality that if tares exist, being subject to their agreement could thwart that work of the Lord from advancing. God was careful in His wording to avoid this very scenario).

      So to your question: if we aren’t required to be unanimous, then how many can dispute and the body still succeed in sustaining a document by mutual agreement? Can a good number of people choosing to still dispute hold up the sustaining of the document that others believe satisfies the work? Will a majority really be able to succeed in fulfilling the requirement of having a mutually agreed upon document that satisfies the Lord?

      It appears to me that the decision is going to be up to the people to determine how many can be in dispute, and still move forward---and that decision will be made WHEN we vote. The question will first be asked, who opposes? It will be made clearly manifest to all present, how many of their fellow covenant holders desire to vote in opposition. The reasons for their opposition have been laid out for months. The body will then be asked (knowing full well how many have just stood in opposition), if they desire to move forward to sustain the lots document, including those who will do so as an expression of their desire to not dispute (that’s a paraphrase of what will be asked). If a clear majority of the covenant body say they are willing to do so, then the vote “carries” and is considered an expression of the will of the people in this matter. So in short, yes, a clear majority can succeed in sustaining by mutual agreement a document to be added in our scriptures, despite a number of people remaining in opposition.

      As an aside: The mutual agreement we are required to have, MUST be over a finished statement of principles. Thus, the choice to not dispute CANNOT be settled by just offering a 3rd option so people can say they don’t dispute with anyone. The “choosing to not dispute” relates ONLY to the definition of “mutual agreement”---and the requirement to mutual agreement was used solely in relation to getting a statement of principles completed (a document). So even though it sounds nice, you cannot just take a vote to say, “who does not dispute with anyone.” It MUST be in relation to sustaining and adopting a statement of principles being proposed.

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  22. Anon7
    My view is that by having the 3rd option it would be showing both a majority and mutual agreement.

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  23. There’s a lot of good people here, have faith!
    I want to reiterate, I voted for the Lots document online. I was unable to go to the last conference in Gilbert but had someone act as my proxy to, again, vote for the Lots document. I now have concerns and reservations about it, mainly, that is an awesome replacement for section 20 and a great “Fellowship Guide” but have doubts about it as a “Statement of Principles”, however those doubts are not firm beliefs, they’re doubts. And if the majority believes my doubts are unfounded, I will boldly move forward with the covenant majority. And not to worry, I usually sit in the back so most at conference won’t even know I’m there. I’m a freaking home body, probably should have been a monk!
    Adrian and others
    I apologize if I have offended or been too aggressive in my comments, I probably shouldn’t to that during work hours, I maybe get stuck in “business mode.
    I’m sorry.

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  24. Adrian,
    You are decided to have the Lots proposal voted into the G&S, even if there is no "mutual agreement" achieved.
    I will bring up just a couple of Denver's blog posts about what the Sermon on the Mount and at Bountiful mean.
    Perhaps a careful, prayerful reading & deeply pondering Denver's words will inform why a few of us are so adamant that the G&S consist of the Lord's sermon and not the words of men.

    October 23, 2010
    Devotion to Him requires that what you do, say, and think be aligned with Him. Conversion is a progressive process where you develop to be more like Him throughout life. You can’t just “get a testimony” and then not be completely converted to Him. He expects to completely remake you.
    This sermon is the blueprint for the new creation you are to become.
    This statement deals in absolutes because the Lord’s way is the way of absolutes. He can accept nothing less than all. The adversary knows this and is content with getting even a little from you. The adversary knows that a little compromise is everything when compromising your faithfulness to the Lord.
    The world will accept anything half-hearted. The world knows you love it, if you will just give in a little to its persuasion. Contamination is contamination and will eventually poison you. So any degree of unrighteousness is enough to please the world. For the Lord, however, it is all or nothing. It is complete fidelity to Him which alone will satisfy. Keeping one foot in the world, while giving lip service to Him will never meet the requirements for loving Him. (D&C 1: 31.)
    Those who think the Lord is announcing a new, easier system to replace the earlier, more demanding Law of Moses do not understand His teachings. This is far more exact and moves the battleground into your heart. He is asking you to transform the soul. He is asking you to become like Him. This is not outward observances. However troubling and wearisome those may have been, they were at least something that could be done without battling in your heart with motive, intent and desires. Here Christ wants you to conform everything, even your desires, to be instruments of your salvation.
    This is a call to a much higher way of life. It is a much deeper and more meaningful way to approach God. It is inside you.

    October 2010
    “The remainder of His teachings (Sermon at Bountiful) will form the primary message foundational to Christianity. It is the new higher law which replaces the earlier Law of Moses. Yet the portion declared by Christ as His “doctrine” is the part to be taken first and declared everywhere. Why?
    A fair conclusion to reach is that before you consider the new higher law you must first:
    Repent, Be Baptized, Receive the Holy Ghost, Have a correct understanding of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
    These things precede His replacement of the older, lower law with His new, higher law. It is reasonable to conclude you will not comprehend His follow-on teachings if you have not first repented, been baptized, received the Holy Ghost, and understand the Godhead.
    Or, even more to the point: You will never be able to LIVE His new, higher law unless these steps are taken first. Until then you may aspire, but you will not be able to live them. They address the heart, rather than just conduct. They go to the deepest convictions inside you, what motivates you, and the reasons for your conduct. Your conduct will follow these precepts when you have been changed. For the required change, the tools discussed first must be acquired.
    So we turn from this introductory, first statement of His doctrine to His great foundational Sermon at Bountiful in which the higher law is given in one, complete statement of what we are to become. It is not merely direction to us. It is also a revelation of what kind of person Christ was. He explains it Himself…” (Denver Snuffer; Remembering the Covenant, Vol 3, pp 1011-1012)

    These thoughts from Denver should serve to explain why the only acceptable Guide & Standard must be His Sermon.
    James Russell Uhl

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    1. This post is filled with Light.

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    2. Ultimately the words of Christ that we have from His Sermon on the Mount came through the men who recieved that word directly from Christ. That is how Denver and Joseph received what they taught which is what the Lots Document consists of. This is why this statement is in the Lots G&S:

      "The Law of Christ
      The greatest instruction given by God at any time, to any generation, is a rule of community found in the Sermon on the Mount9 and in the Sermon at Bountiful. The Law of Christ is found there."

      The Lord has given new instruction for this new dispensation for His work NOW underway - all to help people worship more purely and to come out of earthly institutions - the fellowships - which are very helpful to "bless, benefit and inform" those who know nothing concerning this work happening now.

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  25. You’re awesome John! :) Let’s don’t get hung up on a voting method. I forget how it was done last time. Wasn’t there a group that preferred other documents, but because there was a majority who voted for Lot’s they stood with the Lot’s document because they wanted not to dispute? We are very close, is there a voting method that can accomplish everything? Perhaps, we ask for those to stand who agree with Lot’s, then those who choose not to dispute and count the two groups together. Then everyone sits down. Lastly those who oppose stand.

    In any case, I do appreciate the decided decrease in the level of angst in expressing disagreements. It does feel more loving and sincere versus our earlier discussions. I feel we are trying to check ourselves to ensure we are not exhibiting negative or selfish behavior. And if necessary to ask for forgiveness and apologize. I have had to do it myself a couple of times, it is hard to do, painful and a bit humiliating, but the growth that comes from it is amazing. My spirit feels grateful and appreciative for each of you.

    Maybe my suggestion is not the best, but I’m sure there are better thinkers that can come up with a solution that works. Thanks, Lisa

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  26. I wish to express my gratitude for the patience shown throughout this process of learning to come together. I know it has been long and painful for more than a few. I am one of those who has required much patience from others.

    I have been blessed with peace concerning my decision for the vote this weekend. I pray others, who maybe are also struggling concerning a guide and standard or statement of principles, will also find the peace of Christ and be able to discern His heart and will for themselves. Let us never give up on one another, or especially upon Christ our Savior. His heart truly is for us.

    Thank you also to those who felt to pray on my behalf. Your prayers have blessed and strengthened me.

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  27. Choose to not dispute.
    Part1

    I respectfully disagree with the process of adoption of a statement of principles for many reasons but I choose to not dispute. I disagree for many reasons but it doesn't matter why I disagree. It DOES matter that I choose to not dispute.

    In T&C 157:3 the Lord states, “As people, you lack the ability to respectfully disagree among one another.” From this we can conclude we need the ability to respectfully disagree.

    In T&C 157:55 the Lord commanded us: "I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people"

    In T&C 174 the Lord defines mutual agreement: "As between one another, you choose to not dispute."

    The recent scriptures committee announcement states: "We are, of course, hoping for unanimity; but if we reach an obvious majority in favor, it will indicate both that the Lots Statement of Principles is thereby adopted by this covenant people and that it is required to be added to the scriptures. We are assured that the requirement will be complied with."

    Factually speaking (no sarcasm intended), the words "unanimity" and "majority" do not appear in T&C section 174. The Lord's standard for adoption of a statement of principles by mutual agreement is clearly to "not dispute" or have "no disputations."

    In T&C section 157, the Lord condemns disputing three times.

    In 3rd Nephi 5 the Lord commanded the Nephites 3 times that there shall be no disputations among them:
    Verse 8: "...there shall be no disputations among you...", "And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been."

    Unanimous vote does equal mutual agreement because there are no disputations. But most of us would agree unanimity is not possible. It's too high of a standard to achieve.

    Majority vote does not equal mutual agreement because there could be disputations. Therefore the standard of "not dispute" has not been met.

    "No disputations" or "choose to not dispute" is an achievable standard otherwise the Lord would have not commanded it.

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  28. Choose to not dispute
    Part 2

    One of the many reasons I am choosing to not dispute is to move this process along to do the will of the Lord. With that desire in mind I sincerely do not think the format for Sunday’s vote will be successful and I want it to be successful. The problem I am hearing about is lumping everyone into one group, both those who agree and those who disagree but choose to not dispute. From what people are saying putting both of these groups into one group is out of the desire to all agree or in other words to be of one mind. I understand that it is a good desire but it is not possible which is why the Lord did not set that standard.

    Under the current plan it is likely someone or many people will come with the intent to dispute. The call will go out to stand if you dispute, those people will stand and then there will be disputations among us. After that the call will go out for those who agree and those who disagree but choose to not dispute to all stand together, then those who agree will all stand but not all those who choose to not dispute will all stand.

    I am still currently undecided on whether to stand or sit in the second group. I feel that sitting quietly saying nothing is a respectful way to disagree but not dispute. It is choosing to not dispute and it allows the process to move forward.

    In my experience what we all need, including myself, is a greater understanding of how to apply the concept of "choose to not dispute" in getting the voice of the people. This is something foreign to most of us and may require a change in thinking. Many people are accustomed to a two option vote. For example, yes or no vote, agree or disagree vote, or for or against vote. With the “choose to not dispute” standard something different may be needed.

    I am recommending a slight change in the voting format to increase chances of success. The first voting group to stand will be those who agree with adoption. The second group to stand will be those who disagree but choose to not dispute. The third group to stand will be those who dispute.

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  29. Choose to not dispute
    Part 3

    Let's think about this method using potential hypothetical example voting situations.

    Hypothetical example #1:
    1000 total people vote.
    930 agree to adopt.
    70 disagree but choose to not dispute
    0 dispute
    The Lots Statement is adopted. This type of situation is what most people are hoping for next Sunday. Those who stand in the second group would do so with full knowledge the Lots Statement would be adopted.

    Hypothetical example #2:
    1000 total people vote.
    450 agree to adopt.
    550 disagree but choose to not dispute
    0 dispute
    The Lots Statement is adopted. In this situation even though there was no majority but because there are no disputes this meets the "choose to not dispute" standard.

    Hypothetical example #3:
    1000 total people vote.
    10 agree to adopt.
    990 disagree but choose to not dispute
    0 dispute
    The Lots Statement is adopted. This is an extreme unlikely example but it illustrates the concept of “no disputations” being the standard to adopt the statement of principles.

    Hypothetical example #4:
    1000 total people vote.
    890 agree to adopt.
    68 disagree but choose to not dispute
    2 disputes
    The Lots Statement is not adopted right then because there are disputations. Then people disputing could be persuaded to not dispute in the following days, weeks or months and then at that moment there would be no disputations and it is adopted (we don’t wait for the next conference). This is what is most likely to occur on Sunday.

    I hope it is possible under this method someone coming with the intent to vote will see all those who agree stand and perhaps think, “Maybe there is not point to my disputing.” Then they would see all those who disagree but choose to not dispute and stand with them or choose to not stand in third group. I am hoping for this outcome, the process would move forward.

    Trying to get us all of one mind by lumping us all together most likely will not work. But all of us becoming of one heart by allowing people to respectfully disagree and choose to not dispute has a great chance of success.

    I hope the scriptures committee will change from a hope of unanimity or majority to a hope of no disputations.

    If you read this to the end, thank you.

    - Silent Non-disputer

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    1. McKay and Gordon Platt would be the ones to talk to about this. If you email the scripture project they'll be able to get you in contact with McKay or Gordon.

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    2. Hi Silent,
      Keep in mind what occurred in Phoenix. There were 2 "votes" that happened. The first was to see if a document held a clear majority for first preference. Which the Lots document received. Then a second vote for those who preferred another document first, if they would accept the Lots document, which also had a clear majority. Given these 2 prior votes, it would seem unlikely that either hypothetical situation 2 or 3 will occur.
      Now of course, 6 months have passed in between and people are far from static.

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    3. Jimmy,

      Yes, I agree example 2 or 3 won't happen. I am trying think outside the box to apply "choose to not dispute" to a voting situation. An up down vote does not have a "choose to not dispute" option. Many people I have talked to, including myself, don't want to stand as if they agree when they honestly don't agree but they don't want to dispute. I don't want to feel dishonest when I stand. I doubt they'll change the format on Sunday but if we can start thinking about how to apply "choose to not dispute" to a voting situation or any situation in life that is a good thing.

      Silent Non-disputer

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    4. I highly recommend you get in contact with Gordon. He was very approachable when I had some comments 6 months ago.
      From my perspective, it is a little odd breaking up the voting across 2 conferences, but the "disagree but not dispute" is effectively covered between the first 2 votes by voting for whichever document you preferred in the first vote and then voting to support the Lots document in the second vote. This shows you favored something else, but are okay with adopting the Lots document (disagree but do not dispute).

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    5. Silent,

      I'm trying to understand what the benefit is for this 3rd "I don't support, but I don't dispute" vote option. Perhaps you could help me understand? What I don't understand is this; how is this option different from abstaining from the vote? From my experience, if someone doesn't support whatever is being voted for, but also doesn't want to dispute, they would just abstain from the vote. This could be done for many, many reasons, including not being able to attend, not having a better solution, or simply not wanting to be held accountable for the outcome of the vote. This doesn't just apply to the SOP vote, but to any vote at any time... even political votes. In my mind, abstaining from the vote is the "I don't agree, but I choose not to dispute" option. It seems like you have a different perspective. Can you help me understand how you see it? Thanks!

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    6. Cameron,

      Thank you. You've helped me reach a considered conclusion.
      I am going to sit through the voting. This will be choosing to not dispute because I have full knowledge of what is proceeding and I am not disputing it. I feel that sitting quietly is a respectful way to disagree while not disputing. Sitting during the vote is the equivalent of abstaining from voting and is a third option.
      I supported a third option vote procedure because the scriptures committee's original procedure was disputers first, adopters second, which I thought would end in serious disputations and failure.
      Now it has been changed to what appears to be a sustaining vote first then a vote against second. This may have a greater chance of success because someone coming to the conference to dispute may be persuaded not to dispute by the numbers of people sustaining it.
      I liked a third voting option, "choose to not dispute", because I wanted to participate and I thought it may persuade others to not dispute. It was suggested by others first and I thought it a good idea. But the fact that I have full knowledge of what is proceeding and I am choosing not to dispute does mean I am participating.
      I think I will be held accountable for the outcome because if what we are doing is incorrect and I don't dispute it then I am still partly responsible.
      I don't think I need to sustain with my arm held to the square because T&C 157:55 states, "But I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement." Mutual agreement is what is required to adopt. T&C Section 158 is very clear in its instructions to accept the covenant by standing and saying yes. No exact instructions like that were issued for the statement of principles, only mutual agreement. In my opinion a sustaining vote is a mechanism for this process and not a requirement.
      I am still praying about this and sitting is what I will do unless I get clear direction from the Lord to do something else. Otherwise I will remain a silent non-disputer.
      Thanks again for helping me think this through.

      Silent Non-disputer

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  30. Like Silent and Jeff, I like the third option as one of a hope of no disputations, with dignity. But frankly, I don't even want to put my name here for fear of being hated by non disputers who openly dispute alternate methods of nondisputation. Can we just be done already? There is no love in all this: at this point it is merely pain and feelings of exclusion.

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  31. Since there has not been an individual or group selected and appointed by the entire covenant body to figure out how to handle or solve or decide this or any issue for the whole group, I think it good for all ideas or suggestions to be included and implemented. Otherwise it kinda sorta looks like someone or some people have put themselves in charge...Not tryin' tuh cause a ruckus. Jus wanted to point that out.

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    Replies
    1. Au contraire, my non-ruckus-causing friend,

      87% of the covenant body voted in favor of using lots to select a group to complete the assignment, with input and documents welcomed from the entire covenant body.

      Now, you may get technical and suggest 87% isn't the ENTIRE covenant body, and you would be right. But it's as close to entire as you're going to get, and a clear indication of the peoples' will. I expect starting over and trying to get higher approval than that for a person or group to handle the statement of principles would be highly unlikely.

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    2. Ah, sorry I weren't more clear. I don't mean beginnin' anew. I'm square with the lots process. I mean addin' language to duh vote so these good people have included perspective and voice. Since there be no set "governing" body, why not welcome udder perspectives and tweak the vote options? Were thems organizin' dis vote considered part o' the "process?" I can't say as that's how I understood things to be, but maybe I needs to get clued in.

      It do appears we need tuh determine as a group how tuh organize ourselves for decisions and such. Udderwise thems who is go-getters might be calling the shots quite regular-like n' thems who tends to be quiet-like nevuh speak and influence the rest o' us. Dat's all I be talkin' bout. Great minds ought tuh coalesce to make dis go right fer all. I wanna see us succeed here.

      Yer non-ruckus-causin' frend

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  32. The meaning of mutual agreement alluded us for some time, until Denver asked and received the following: to mutually agree is when you choose not to dispute. Many people chose to implement their understanding of dispute. How this vote is worded relies on this understanding. After months of study and questioning, my understanding of dispute is different than yours.

    Satan is a title, given to someone who accuses AND opposes the Father. In the A & C it states, “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.”

    Peter was rebuked for opposing the Father’s will. For me, to dispute is to oppose the Father’s will for a person who labors on an errand seeking to do His will.

    There are many people who are claiming that the Father has guided them to do something. I am one of those individuals. I am grateful the Lord has directed many people, and I’m grateful because He is talking to us. I’m not disputing those who received their revelation. I can respect your revelation and I hope that you can respect my revelation.

    I believe we could’ve learned from each other: I could’ve learned about God by learning and understanding what He has said to you and vice versa-growing our understanding of Him.

    I don’t feel I am disputing what the Lord is telling those supporting the Lots document. I am only trying to obey what I am hearing Him tell me. Since I believe to dispute is to go against the will of the Father to that person, I would prefer the following or something like this to be said this Sunday:

    Those who hear the voice of the Lord telling them to do something that is different than those supporting the Lots document, please stand.

    Q

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  33. Part 1- I realize this is WAY too late!... but I’d still appreciate any thoughts. I’ve had the desire to voice a conversation because I haven't seen it presented publicly among us. My questions lie with two topics. 1. Confusion and 2. Repentance
    Confusion:
    Our striving to solve the "G&S" problem moving forward, has created many chiefs and so many documents. I am left confused, to decide which of all these are correct? Did God intend to see if I could choose the best between all the striving documents? Why all the strife to correct the document ourselves? And how do we let God correct? Is it really the content of a newly formatted document that will bring us together or make it now acceptable to God? Was God upset with the original; or our actions? Did God want our participation by creating many chiefs and documents? Has this caused us to divide, and have to decide which brother or sister to align with? Has this formula we've used, fulfilled what God asked of us? Has it brought confusion? If pestilence is confusion, should we bring this, especially if there is a way not to? What fruit is God really looking for?
    Repentance:
    When it comes to the "G&S", it seems we tend to apply new knowledge given, to our efforts in whatever it is we’re working on to move forward. What if instead, we show fruit of repentance by applying it to where we went wrong?
    What if we repent and return to the beginning and apply the term mutual agreement to the moment we were given it?
    The Answer to Covenant told us: “you cannot be Satan and also be mine. Repent... and end your unkind and untrue accusations against one another, and make peace." and "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."
    Should we make peace and present our offering by not only saying, but doing this?
    Should we try again (possibly with the "Dances with Wolves" format) and show repentance by our actions; that we can actually perform the task like a people God will accept as His- peaceably, choosing not to contend?
    If we water and dung with repentance and humility, can it bring forth good fruit?
    An Option:
    I see an option that fulfils the Lord's requirement, removes all the confusion of the competing documents, and brings forth the required fruit God has asked for... Repent and return.
    "If our hearts were right, we could have finished long ago." Could we show humble hearts and fruit of repentance, by applying mutual agreement to where things went wrong at the beginning?
    In the words given to Jeff in the original: "the humility and meekness required for those who would be my servants is hardly found on the Earth. Repent, therefore, and adopt the ways of your Lord."
    This is the character of Jesus Christ who is the way. Can adopting the ways of our Lord, help our dilemma to adopt a set of governing principles?

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  34. Part 2- The Answer says: "Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but also to do as you profess."
    Can we safely move forward without truly walking in His path? If walking in Christ's path is with humility and repentance, then what have we to lose trying again? I realize the exhaustion here, but it just might yet fill our lamps with needed oil. Although the right pathway is filled with peril, (we possibly don't even comprehend how narrow the path really is. The Lord warned that only few will find it.) I believe God will help us, he suffered an exquisite price to do just that. What I really desire, is to perform this task together, in His way.
    The Answer also says “Pray together in humility and together meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me I will tell you my part.”
    I feel like we have presented our dispute for over a year now. I figure it couldn't hurt to try God's "if", emphasis the humility, meekly and contrite part.
    I wish to offer a prayer of repentance and plea for forgiveness. If others feel the same, I would be happy if you join me.
    A Prayer:
    Heavenly Father,
    Our hearts have all been broken through this process, we now bring our broken hearts to you. We have not been able to make our burden light. We wish to do the only thing we know how to relieve our burden. We repent. Together we ask forgiveness of our accusing, wounding, unkindness, jarring, contention, pride, ambition, compulsion, envy, jealously & strife. We wish to throw a cloak of charity over each other's weakness and hope to raise each other for Zion. With desire to show fruits of repentance by our actions, we choose to repent and return to the beginning. We now desire to apply the term mutual agreement to the moment it was given. We believe Lord, that you have been in this from the beginning. We choose to show love for our brother Jeff Savage, and respect for You, by helping, lifting and supporting our brother in the gift You chose to begin this with. We wish to love and support all equally in their different gifts and roles. We need each other's gifts! We rejoice in all who labor on an errand seeking to do Your will. We honor however You chose to move this work forward. We desire to help and not hinder this process.
    We ask you to help us use gentleness, meekness, kindness and love unfeigned. To help in the way we wish ourselves to be treated. We ask that through this offering, you will heal our hearts and give us patience in the things we yet lack understanding. We believe you will help us and correct us, if our spirits are contrite. We choose to bear this together, out of love for our brothers and sisters. As we have all been marred, we choose to love and forgive one another. We desire to serve you in your way. Please forgive us Lord, and make our burden light. Help us to fulfill the covenants made to the fathers and do our part in bringing forth Zion. We hope and desire and joy in a people who all know the Lord.
    Amen

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    Replies
    1. This prayer is so beautiful, Anonymous. Thank you, and I will add my own Amen to it.

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