Thursday, December 30, 2021

Last Day

The mouth of the just brings forth wisdom, but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

—Proverbs 2:31 (RE)

He that is void of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.

—Proverbs 2:44 (RE)

Tomorrow is the last day of 2021, which has, by all accounts, been a challenging year. Fittingly, the day will dawn with an appropriate sign from heaven, visible in the Southeastern sky. Just before sunrise, the waning crescent moon will appear in conjunction with Mars and Antares. This conjunction will occur under the foot of Ophiuchus, between the claws of Scorpius.


Let’s consider the players in this display:

The Moon: Associated with Heavenly Mother, the divine feminine, wisdom and counsel. The waning moon is nearly gone, with just 8% illuminated. She will continue to wane January 1, then will become a new moon on January 2, with all illumination gone.  

Mars: The red planet, named for the God of war, destruction and destabilization. It represents power, control, military might, and authoritarianism.

Antares: This star’s name is Greek and it means “rival to Mars.” It is actually a binary star, consisting of the bright, red-orange Antares, and the dim, blue/green Antares B in perfect balance. These two are one for all intents and purposes, and can only be separately distinguished with a very powerful telescope. Antares is, on average, the 15th brightest star in the night sky.

Ophiuchus: This constellation is the “serpent bearer” and is depicted as a man holding a snake—which snake is actually a separate constellation named Serpens. In Greek mythology, the Ophiuchus represents healing and resurrection from death. 

Scorpius: This constellation, represented as a scorpion, carries the sting of death, representing danger and destruction. 

Now, with all the players identified, here’s the picture I see at the last day of 2021. 

We encounter two rivals (Mars and Antares) opposing one another—Mars representing war and destruction, and Antares representing unity, harmony and balance. The Moon—representing divine Wisdom—intercedes between the rivals, with the whole display playing out between Scorpius, representing death, and Ophiuchus, representing life and healing. The Moon’s light and influence are waning, and nearly completely lost to darkness. 

I view this all as a reminder that we stand at a point of decision. The current division in our society is at unrivaled in the history of our nation. Divisions over politics, race, gender, rights and medicine not only stir up anger and contention, but as a people, we’ve seemingly lost the ability to disagree in any civilized way. Rather than viewing those who hold ideas opposite our own as fellow humans with reasons to believe as they do, we increasingly view them as hostile rivals, deserving only destruction, and too stupid or insane to be functional humans. In nearly every issue, the middle ground has given way to deeply polar opposites, with neither side willing to concede any ground, and bent only on the destruction of the other. 

Unfortunately, such sentiments are not merely figurative, and are not exaggerations. Actual politicians and thought leaders repeatedly call for the incarceration, forced “re-education” or even death of their opponents—who have committed no crime other than having a different opinion on an issue. Such rhetoric is increasingly tolerated, even welcomed, while reasonable free speech is increasingly censored and deplatformed. 

We were warned about such a situation by the Lord:

For you to unite I must admonish and instruct you, for my will is to have you love one another. As people, you lack the ability to respectfully disagree among one another. You are as Paul and Peter, whose disagreements resulted in jarring and sharp contentions. Nevertheless, they both loved me and I loved them. You must do better. (T&C 158:3)

Likewise, we have been counseled how to avoid the folly that is rapidly overtaking our society:

Wisdom counsels mankind to align their words with their hearts, but mankind refuses to take counsel from Wisdom. 

Nevertheless, there have been sharp disputes between you that should have been avoided. I speak these words to reprove you that you may learn, not to upbraid you so that you mourn. I want my people to have understanding. (T&C 157:4-5)

And further:

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

In the work you have performed there are those who have been Satan, accusing one another, wounding hearts, and causing jarring, contention, and strife by their accusations. Rather than loving one another, even among you who desire a good thing, some have dealt unkindly as if they were the opponents, accusers, and adversaries. In this they were wrong.

You have sought to recover the scriptures because you hope to obtain the covenant for my protective hand to be over you, but you cannot be Satan and be mine. If you take upon you my covenant, you must abide it as a people to gain what I promise. You think Satan will be bound a thousand years, and it will be so, but do not understand your own duty to bind that spirit within you so that you give no heed to accuse others. It is not enough to say you love God; you must also love your fellow man. Nor is it enough to say you love your fellow man while you, as Satan, divide, contend, and dispute against any person who labors on an errand seeking to do my will. How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek. You have become your own adversaries, and you cannot be Satan and also be mine. Repent, therefore, like Peter and end your unkind and untrue accusations against one another, and make peace. How shall there ever come a thousand years of peace if the people who are mine do not love one another? How shall Satan be bound if there are no people of one heart and one mind? (T&C 157:8-10)

As the last day of the year dawns, while the light of Wisdom is yet visible and the choice is laid before us, let us choose harmony, peace, kindness, healing and life. Such could heal the world, but if the world chooses not to be healed, it will still be necessary for a covenant people to live together in peace and harmony, even as the world degrades to authoritarianism warfare, destruction and death. 

Just as the conflict is beneath the foot of Ophiuchus, we may rest with the utmost assurance that our Lord will ultimately place all enemies beneath his feet (T&C 35:2). Let us choose to not be enemies. 

One Parting Thought

Antares is the 15th brightest star in the night sky, and Omicron is the 15th letter in the Greek alphabet. The Omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 appears to be following the path that all viruses tend to follow as they work through the human population. It is much more contagious than any previous variant, but it is also much less deadly. Indeed, it may well be a tremendous blessing to all humanity by conveying widespread, robust immunity to those who contract it, which will be nearly everyone, while simultaneously causing very little severe illness or death. It may be God’s way of ending the Covid “pandemic” through naturally derived herd immunity. 

But we also have a faction who sees their power, control and wealth slipping away if the pandemic lessens or ends, and they are therefore trying to create even greater fear than ever before, touting Omicron as the deadliest, most dangerous development yet, which can only be addressed by further loss of freedoms, further economic destruction, endless ineffective vaccinations, and greater surrender of power to those who claim to be in charge. 

Again, we stand at a crossroads, and we must choose fear or faith. Omicron comes from the Phonecian/Semitic letter Ayin—the eye—and we are most certainly being watched by the heavens as we choose how we will respond. The eye is upon us as 2021 comes to an end. 

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. 

—Proverbs 2:154 (RE)

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord ponders the hearts. 

—Proverbs 2:330 (RE)

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Fasting Together

As the Lord's work moves forward, some young people in the movement have felt the need to petition the Lord's guidance and help through a group fast. I'm delighted to support this effort.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

New Book Release

 I just saw this note on the Restoration Archives Website and thought it worth emphasizing here:

New Book Release

The Testimony of Jesus: Past, Present and Promise

What is Authentic Christianity? 

The Testimony of Jesus: Past, Present, and Promise addresses the important topics and questions facing Christians today. It can help you recognize more fully what is underway right now as God continues the restoration of His original Gospel, and the preparation of His people to build New Jerusalem and establish Zion in this generation. Every person committed to following Christ should be interested in learning the surprising answers about what God is doing today to restore authentic Christianity.

The book is available for order on Amazon.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Upcoming Conference

There will be a conference this March in Lexington, Kentucky with the theme of Hear and Trust the Lord in the Storm. This sounds like a very appropriate and timely focus for a conference of believers. I look forward to attending. 

Here is the website for more information:

Conference Website

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Stick of Joseph Interview on Mormon Book Reviews

I had a really great time talking with Steven Pynakker over at Mormon Book Reviews this week on the topic of the Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim. We covered a lot of interesting subjects, and I appreciate the friendly professionalism of Steven's style. 

Here's the video:

Thursday, October 21, 2021


Temporal preparedness in the face of an uncertain economic future is prudent, to say the least. A group of dedicated people have spent the last year studying, learning and organizing useful information to share with all who are interested. The fruits of their labors are beginning to take shape, and they prepared the following announcement. I'm personally very grateful for the work they're doing and the ways it will benefit us all. Here is their announcement:

A work for Zion has begun.


Several months ago, a handful of families in the movement felt inspired to begin an effort to lay up stores against a coming time of want and need. A work group from among interested parties was formed and work was begun to consider questions related to the issue of providing for our families through coming circumstances we may face as the Lord brings His Zion.  A growing number of families have begun the necessary labor to provide for our families against a fast approaching “troubling season,” (T&C 158:12), and what may follow as the Lord moves forward His work to bring His Zion. 


We invite every person and family in this movement to join in the labor for Zion now by laying up stores to provide for your family against coming seasons of want and need. 


“God cannot produce Zion for, or with, people who refuse to labor. Because  His promise is for the results of the labor and nothing else. As far as I know, none of us, and certainly I, cannot provide for everyone. But, I can provide for my own family. And each of you should labor to do the same” (Equality - Denver Snuffer - Challis Idaho Transcript pg. 13 of 20).


We are to Labor to Provide for our Families.  


We are required to provide for our families now in the present. Looking forward, we will need to provide for our families in a “troubling season now fast approaching” (T&C 158:12) and beyond.


Note: Four years have elapsed since the Lord gave us this instruction (T&C 158:12).You might ask yourselves, what have we done in four years to prepare for a troubling season? 


We will need to provide for our families during an undefined length of time following a gathering by the Lord in which our entire efforts and labors may be required to be devoted to subduing and working the earth until she yields sufficient for our needs (For guidance see Equality - Denver Snuffer - Challis Idaho transcript page 10 of 20).


God, in His mercy, is giving us this current season of relative peace, abundance, and prosperity.  He is making it possible for us to provide for our families now, and during a fast approaching ‘troubling season’ and beyond as the Lord brings forth His Zion (For guidance see Equality - Denver Snuffer - Challis Idaho Transcript pages 9-10 of 20).


Many are anxiously engaged preparing to provide for our families’ and fellowships’ coming needs. We invite you to join the work for Zion by beginning your own labor to provide for your family against a coming day of want now fast approaching (T&C 158:12).


What is the Suggested Plan?


Above all things we desire to receive and exactly follow the will and desires of the Lord for us. This must be His work, done at His direction. We desire above all things that He be our guide. 


Individuals and Families 

  1. Determine your families’ needs.
  2. Determine what you already have.
  3. Prioritize your families’ needs.
  4. Lay out a plan to acquire your families’ needs.
  5. Begin to produce, acquire, and lay up stores.



  1. Counsel together with fellowship members to inspire, encourage, and help them identify family needs and begin to lay up stores.
  2. Work together as mutually agreed among fellowship to meet the needs of fellowship members.
  3. Review carefully, and prayerfully follow all revealed words of the Lord concerning wise and required use and application of limited temporal resources. (For Guidance see Equality - Denver Snuffer - Challis Idaho Transcript pg. 13-15) can 

Storehouse Work Group

  1. Provide knowledge and resources to assist families and fellowships to identify and meet storage needs.
  2. Gather knowledge and resources to build and maintain a central web site that individuals, families, and fellowships may use to help meet their storage needs.
  3. Recommend contact between individuals, families, and fellowships with specific resources and storage skills and those searching for those specific resources or skills.
  4. Create, manage, and update, a central information exchange hub for "great deals" and storage opportunities (Website "Specials" page).
  5. Provide a "Wants / Available" listing page on the web site for items individuals or families may be seeking, or willing to sell or give away.


If you would like to know more, please visit the website Stand for resources we have gathered to assist your family and fellowship in your efforts to prepare. 


The website  Stand is a work in progress that will be evolving and changing as we go along. We invite you to share your expertise, ideas, and experiences related to storage topics that may assist all others in their storage efforts.  Your stories, ideas, suggestions and other content will be appreciated.


Please contact us at with ideas, experiences, stories, and other suggestions for content to be added to the website. The storehouse work group will determine together by common consent vote all content to be added to the website Stand  


The storehouse work group:


Nephi and Kim Barlow

Evan and Karen Bennett

Terry and Mellody Fausett

Jim and Angela O’Rullian

McKay Platt

Jon and Tina Saunders

Kimberly and Mike Thompson

Steve and Linda VanLeer

Shalyce Woodard


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Shouts of Joy

My dear friend Bret Corbridge has passed into the next life, and our world is the poorer for the loss. 

I first met Bret when he and his wife Samantha organized an event called “The Remnant Reunion” as a way to reunite the many listeners who had attended some or all of the 10 talks in Denver Snuffer’s “40 Years in Mormonism” series. In my view, the reunion was a watershed event in the ongoing restoration. It unified and connected many people who had been listening to the talks into something more cohesive and united. In my estimation, this was the point when countless individuals ceased being a ragtag band of disconnected believers, and began to form into a movement.

At Bret’s invitation, I gave the final address at that gathering—concluding my remarks by leading attendees in shouts of praise while the Shofar was blown. I’ll never forget that gathering, or that moment, with its attendant realization of what began that day. I believe there were shouts of joy in heaven as there were on earth, while the beginnings of a future covenant people unified in praise. 

Since that day, Bret has done immense good. He has worked tirelessly to produce a number of books to promote and organize true teachings. He has built bridges of understanding between people who sometimes held radically different ideas. And he has been a true friend to many. 

The last time I spoke to Bret in person was in Nevada at the gathering in March. I was preparing to speak at that conference, and felt that heavy burden keenly. As I sat alone in contemplation, I must have looked pretty serious, because Bret and Samantha walked up and asked how I was. I gave the typical answer that I was just fine. But Bret pressed further, as he often would, and said I didn’t look like everything was OK. He wanted to know what was wrong and if there was anything he could do to help. I explained that I felt the weight of responsibility for my upcoming address and that it was a heavy burden. Bret and Samantha offered words of comfort and told me they would be praying for me. They were the only people who noticed my demeanor that day, or offered the words of encouragement I needed to hear.

Later that day, Bret checked with me again, just to make sure I was OK. And that’s how he always related to others—more concerned about the welfare of those around him than about his own. But above all, Bret was fiercely loyal to our Lord Jesus Christ and the ongoing work of restoration, caring more for serving the Lord than for his own needs.

As I’ve reflected on Bret’s passing, like so many I feel a deep sense of loss. He genuinely cared, and I already miss knowing I could call him if I ever felt the need for a listening ear, an understanding heart, a friendly smile, or a kind word. Our loss is heaven’s gain, and I believe those same shouts of joy that echoed six years ago at the close of the Remnant Reunion resounded again in the heavens as our faithful brother triumphantly returned home. 

Godspeed, my dear brother Bret. I look forward to seeing you again. 


Please remember Bret’s wife Samantha and children Tiegan, Raven, Aliyah and Ronan in your prayers. Should you feel inclined to help financially, a GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses and his family’s immediate needs. You can donate at this link:

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Against Wisdom, Part 7: Brass Balls

Does not Wisdom cry, and understanding put forth her voice? She stands in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She cries at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of man. O you simple, understand Wisdom; and you fools, be of an understanding heart.

—Proverbs 1:34 RE

Note: The prior parts of this series provide vital background necessary to understand this part. If you have not red the prior parts already, I highly recommend you do so before reading this installment.

Now that we’ve traced the development of our scriptures, from Adam through the Book of Mormon, it’s time to take a closer look at the developments since the Book of Mormon was published. There’s a lot to consider, and an endpoint to reach, so I’ll just hit a few highlights.

  • Joseph Smith received a number of revelations concurrent with the ongoing restoration of the gospel. Many of those revelations were edited, changed, expanded, or otherwise tampered with before they were published.
  • The Book of Mormon was largely ignored, resulting in the LDS church being condemned by the Lord.
  • Joseph Smith labored to produce a corrected version of the Bible, with important truths restored. It was never published in its fulness until now.
  • After Joseph’s death, Brigham Young produced a “revelation” that authorized and promoted polygamy. He falsely claimed it came from Joseph.
  • The Book of Mormon underwent a number of iterations, including edits and alterations over the years.
  • The Lectures on Faith, which formed the “Doctrine” backbone of the Doctrine and Covenants were arbitrarily removed from the canon by a committee without authority.

It’s clear from all of the above, that despite the flood of light and truth that entered the world through Joseph Smith, people did to scripture what people *always* do to scripture. They tampered with it, altered it, attempted to “improve” it, and otherwise messed it up. The universal truth to discover is this: The word of God is almost NEVER safe in the hands of mortals. God entrusts scripture to those who have been in his presence and gotten their directions and revelations directly from him. All others, regardless of good intentions, produce disaster and destruction.

More than 170 years after Joseph died, the required number of generations had passed, and the Lord began efforts again to complete the unfinished restoration. He inspired a number of individuals to attempt a recovery effort—sifting through the tattered remnants of scripture and attempting to reclaim whatever could reliably be attributed to Joseph Smith, while removing that which could not. Due to the neglect of prior generations, immense effort was required to reclaim what could be reclaimed, restored and corrected. 

And the heavens took notice. 

It is SO incredibly rare that mortals on earth care enough about scripture to undertake a recovery effort, and do so under the direction of a bona-fide member of the Holy Order, that the instances of this ever happening can be counted on one hand. 

Though the effort received the best work and tireless attention of the laborers involved, they were still mortal and could only go so far. And yet, the Lord accepted the effort—not because it was perfect, but because it was undertaken with care and pure intent. At last there were a people on earth again who valued God’s word!

Ultimately the project was presented to the Lord for his approval, along with an admission that the effort was inadequate. The request was made for the Lord to add what was missing, remove what didn’t belong, or correct what was inaccurate. The Lord did these things, and pronounced, “The work that has been done is acceptable and sufficient for the labor now underway.” The Lord also cautioned, “you do not understand the glory to be revealed unto my covenant people.” (T&C 177:1)

The Lord then proceeded to take ownership of the scriptures he had approved:

These scriptures are sent forth to be my warning to the world, my comfort to the faithful, my counsel to the meek, my reproof to the proud, my rebuke to the contentious, and my condemnation of the wicked. They are my invitation to all mankind to flee from corruption, repent and be baptized in my name, and prepare for the coming judgment. (T&C 177:3)

For those keeping score at home, that’s a seven-fold ownership claim as the Lord made clear. These are NOT “our” scriptures. They are his. 

The Lord went further and offered a covenant to those who would agree to “receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life, to accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant, and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts, and deeds[.]” (T&C 158:3)

This is an astonishing development, and one that should not escape our notice. It was the careful treatment of scripture by mortals that inclined the Lord to offer his covenant, and that covenant is utterly dependent upon, and tied to, the scriptures he approved. Such an event is an immense blessing and mercy on his part, and we ought to be humbled to the dust by his generosity. When we consider that the Lord is, even now, condescending to speak to us and deal with us through a covenant, we should resolve to be far more humble, obedient, and careful than prior generations who tarnished the brightness of scripture and incurred the Lord’s wrath.

After the Lord had provided his changes to the scriptures, accepted them, and claimed them as his own, some good-hearted people with the best of intentions began promoting the idea that we could, and should, improve the Lord’s scriptures by voting to canonize various and sundry items we found appealing. Oddly, much of what was suggested for canonization consisted of items that already existed when the Lord made additions to the canon himself, pronounced the scriptures acceptable, and claimed them as his own. In other words, he had every opportunity to add the suggested items, and he declined to do so. Do we know better than the Lord what ought to be added? I don’t think so.

I honestly don’t blame anyone for seeking to “improve” the scriptures. After all, during the recovery portion of the effort, the body of believers was given opportunity to submit and vote on additions. But that phase of the project has passed. At that time it was “our” project. Now it is his. I don’t believe we have the right to change his scriptures by our vote. If there’s somewhere that Wisdom delegated the responsibility for scriptural changes to the body of believers, I’m not aware of it. Everything I can find in scripture testifies that God takes responsibility for scripture, and mankind suffers overwhelming temptation to tamper with God’s efforts.

How is this not taking his name in vain? How does this not violate the 1st, 2nd and 3rd commandments? Who’s word is scripture? Who is responsible for creating, transmitting and guarding the holy canon? (See part 6). What makes scripture, scripture? Why do we think we have any right to add to or take away from his word for which he has vouched, and which he has claimed as his own? If we alter his scriptures, are they “his” anymore? Since the covenant requires dependence on scripture, if we alter scripture, have we altered the covenant? And by doing so have we changed the ordinance? And does that ever end well? 

The purpose of this series has been to juxtapose God’s marvelous power to provide scripture with Satan’s constant attempts to meddle with scripture. If we are to err, I suggest we err on the side of leaving the scriptures in God’s hands, not our own.

Open Canon

Of course, we expect more light and truth to pour forth from heaven. The canon is most assuredly open. Many have considered that we should therefore develop a “mechanism” by which we can, as a people, “canonize” new scripture. I would offer a couple of questions and suggestions in this regard.

Can we think of a time when the canon was not “open?” In other words has there ever been a point at which the Lord was NOT in Wisdom capable of adding to scripture? 

And if the canon has always been “open” in the Lord’s eyes, is our situation so unique that we need to have a method in place of canonizing what he chooses to add? Is his choice to add it enough, or does he require our permission?

Given mankind’s irresistible urge to tamper with scripture, might such a mechanism, if implemented, be just as likely put to poor use as good? Could such a mechanism be co-opted to appease the demands of the froward, forceful, or discontent? Would it tempt pretenders to present phony revelations for canonization? There is great precedent for all of the above.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson — that the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven and that the Powers of Heaven cannot be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness…We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen. (T&C 139:5)

Notice a couple of things in the above. First, “Priesthood” has a capital P. This means something significant, having to do with the Holy Order and who stands at the head of the human family. Second, the nature and disposition of all men, who have “a little authority” as they suppose, is to exercise dominion in UNrighteousness. Yet the Powers of Heaven can only be controlled or handled upon the principles of righteousness. The upshot is that if we think we have a little authority over the scriptures, we are sure to mess them up. The rights of the Priesthood (capital P) are best left to the Priesthood (capital P). (Please don't take that prior statement as a sexist endorsement of male priesthood. The Holy Order in this form requires a man and a woman.)

Is it our responsibility to EVER offer up our suggestions or preferences for how the Lord might “improve” his scriptures? In my opinion, the Lord is perfectly capable of adding what is needed, and is FAR better informed about the subject than we can hope to be. We have millennia of history to teach us this lesson, and if we fail to learn it, the error is our own. We may find ourselves kicking against the pricks, persecuting the saints and fighting against God. 

The Gods have shown themselves willing and able to add to scripture—even quite recently. If something needs to be added to the official canon, I believe they will tell us through the Holy Order, just as they have always done, rather than by us telling them what to do. Do we want God to rule over us, or do we expect the religion of the Fathers will be a democracy where we can impose our will on God by taking a vote? 

Wisdom Text

There’s one other item I must mention, and I hope to tread lightly and not give offense. This series is meant to teach, not offend. 

At one point, there was an effort—born of good intent, to be sure—to canonize certain portions of a talk that were attributed to Heavenly Mother. Some took to calling the passages, “The Wisdom Text,” taking her name and appending it to the effort. The desire to “honor” Heavenly Mother was expressed as justification for taking this step. In light of what we’ve discussed in this series, I would ask, can we EVER honor Heavenly Mother by tampering with her scriptures? Is our wisdom greater than hers? Do we honor her by attempting to usurp her as the weaver and giver of scripture? Is it wisdom in God that we do this, or is it supposed wisdom in ourselves?

Perhaps we should consider the warning given elsewhere in that same talk: 

If you welcome this discussion, then take care that you do not, as ancient Israel did, burn incense, pour out drink offerings, and bake cakes to a Being who has never invited you to do so. She has invited you to worship God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. If you would like to honor Her, then accept Her testimony and look to Jesus Christ alone for redemption and salvation. (Denver Snuffer, “Our Divine Parents,” p 36)

If we would make an offering to her, it ought to be a broken heart, a contrite spirit, faith in her son, and strict obedience to his word.

I hope the things I’ve written here will give us all cause to reconsider whether it is wise that we undertake efforts to add to scripture, or create a mechanism to do so. Perhaps we are better served by getting on with the business of governing our lives by the scriptures our Divine Parents have given us, rather than trying to convince them to give us more, or suggesting what they ought to add.

Brass Balls

It’s truly a miracle that we have the canon we do, and that it resulted in the Lord condescending to offer us a covenant. It is a sign that God yet speaks, is finishing his work, and has a people he is working with and putting on display for the world to see. 

Signs of God’s direct involvement and direction attend every exodus he directs to any promised land. These signs include the miraculous, like a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night, correct records like the Plates of Brass, precious metals like gold, animal skins to make sacred space, and sacred relics, like the Urim and Thummim, the brass serpent, Aaron’s rod and Moses’s staff. 

The exodus from the Garden of Eden, though little spoken of in scripture, contained the same elements. 

Lehi’s exodus likewise enjoyed such signs, including the pillar of fire, Laban’s sword and armor, gold and silver, sacred records and a curious brass ball called the Liahona that took the place of the Urim and Thummim, providing direction, revelation, and evidence of God’s presence.

The fullness of the record will no doubt also demonstrate Nephi’s exodus, Mosiah’s exodus and others all followed this pattern. The pattern always holds, though it is adapted to the time, place and circumstances of each covenant group.

As a covenant people, we can expect to participate in an exodus pattern at some point as well. But there will be something unique and unparalleled in all history concerning this final exodus to a city of holiness. Rather than a single set of sacred relics held by the leader on behalf of the whole group, we can instead each have our own. No, I don’t expect we will each have a Liahona. Rather, each of us can carry our own miraculous sacred relics in our own hands, covered in animal skins, adorned in gold, produced by curious workmanship, capable of giving us each direction and revelation, providing clear evidence of God’s presence with us. Such has never happened before in the history of this creation! We don’t need brass balls. We need the scriptures!

They are a sign.

They are a wonder. 

They are sacred relics.

They are marvelous indeed.

May we ever guard them as such.

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.
—Proverbs 4:112 RE

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Against Wisdom, Part 6: More Precious than Silver

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold, and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

—Proverbs 2:200 RE

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

When we consider the long and distinguished history of our scripture, it’s almost unavoidable to stand all amazed at the Lord’s masterful planning and execution. Despite the opposition, despite Satan’s best efforts, despite all the combined powers of earth and hell, we yet have an adequate record! And not just an adequate record, but one specifically designed, prepared and protected for our day to play the key role in fulfilling God’s covenants.

We must marvel at God’s power and mercy. We’re left to contemplate what sort of being God is. In doing so, we obtain a more correct idea of God’s character, perfections and attributes, as manifested by this marvelous work. It is indeed a wonder—and perhaps we’re left to wonder, “who did this?” Of course, it’s easy to simply say, “God did it.” And this is true enough. But there may be more to consider. 

Here’s a curiosity:

The Book of Mormon goes to some trouble to record the guiding force behind all the miraculous means and turns of event that contributed to the triumph of this incredible record. Consider the following events, which we listed in Part 5 of this series, with one addition. I’ve added the explanations given by the Book of Mormon regarding each event. I realize there’s a lot here to consider, but it will be worth your time to read through each explanation carefully.



Obtaining the Plates of Brass from Laban’s treasury

And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers, and also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets...

Carrying the record into the wilderness

And we had obtained the record which the Lord had commanded us and searched them and found that they were desirable, yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children. Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us as we journeyed in the wilderness toward the land of promise.

Making a second set of plates to replace the future lost manuscript

And after I made these plates by way of commandment, I, Nephi, received a commandment that the ministry and the prophecies—the more plain and precious parts of them—should be written upon these plates, and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord...Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

Preserving the records in the promised land through a line of record keepers

And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved. For behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways and brought them to the knowledge of their God, unto the salvation of their souls...Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me, therefore I shall forbear. And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Keeping the sacred records from generation to generation

And I also command you that ye keep a record of this people according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them—for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept—and these plates of brass which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning.

Carefully choosing the successor record keepers

And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

Promising the future preservation of the record

for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words. For he will fulfill all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promise which he has made unto our fathers. For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might shew forth his power unto future generations.

Defending the records against destruction by those who vowed to destroy them

Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me, therefore I shall forbear. And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Amplifying the record by adding specifics needed by future generations

These scriptures which ye had not with you, the Father commanded that I should give unto you, for it was wisdom in him that they should be given unto future generations.

Preventing translation and inclusion of certain information

Therefore, touch them not in order that ye may translate, for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may shew the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work.

Intentionally exposing the errors of past generations in hopes we would avoid their mistakes

Wherefore, O ye gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shewn unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you

Adding the small plates to the large plates abridgment

But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose, for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now I do not know all things, but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

Setting up a free Gentile nation where these things could come forth and spread to all the world

for it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel

Foreseeing and controlling the eventual audience of the book

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things,

As I’m sure you’re aware, the image of God is a male and a female, joined together as one.
Knowledge personifies the divine masculine and Wisdom personifies the divine feminine. Given the above, we should now have a much clearer picture of who gathered, protected and nurtured the collection of sacred writings, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. 

It was her. Heavenly Mother. The divine feminine. She has done this. One of the greatest miracles of this creation, and she seeks no credit, desires no acclaim, and works quietly, unheralded and unnoticed behind the scenes of this creation, ensuring her children have the words of eternal life. It is a miracle.

It’s frankly astonishing we have not noticed this before. You see, every time the Book of Mormon uses the phrase, “It is wisdom in God that…” the resulting action has to do with preparing and preserving scripture. 




And the same goes for all the title variations, like “It is wisdom in the Father” or “It is wisdom in the Lord.” If the Wisdom of God is mentioned, it always, invariably has to do with scripture.

The same occurs with “for a wise purpose.” Invariably, if something is done “for a wise purpose” in the Book of Mormon, the thing being done has to do with preparing and preserving scripture for the future. 




Therefore, it should be clear to those with eyes to see that the Divine Feminine is far more intimately involved in the revelation, creation, transmission, planning, preservation, and presentation of scripture than we ever realize. In fact, this turns one criticism of scripture on its head: Why don’t we have more female voices represented in scripture? 

Given that scripture is the product of her mind, her planning, her wisdom, her direction, and her production, we’re left to conclude the scriptures are largely a feminine testimony, testifying most abundantly and clearly of her Son. True, the Holy Order laborers whose names we have are males, but it’s important to realize their boss was a woman, and they were all working for her, at her direction. The factory workers may be men, but the CEO is a woman.

Consider the following quotes:

Our scriptures speak carefully about the existence and importance of a Heavenly Mother, a Divine Female whose greatest attribute is to bestow wisdom upon the whole of this creation. It is possible to miss Her presence. That cultural and theological blindness is not because of Her absence from the scriptures. It's not hard to detect Her if you look. We just don’t look. (Denver Snuffer, “Our Divine Parents,” p 2-3)

A great deal can be learned about Heavenly Mother by searching for the word wisdom in scripture. Very often, the reference to wisdom is to Her distinctly and not merely an abstract attribute. If we are blind to Her existence, we cannot see the reference to Her in those passages. Although many scriptures have the Divine Mother’s words, Her presence is veiled by our ignorance and refusal to acknowledge Her.  (“Our Divine Parents,” p 6)

The Father is the source of glory and likened to the sun. The Mother reflects and shares this glory and is likened to the moon. She reflects God’s glory, endures within it, and is empowered by it. She can participate with Him in all that is done wielding that glory. Knowledge is the initiator or force, and wisdom is the regulator, guide, apportioner, and weaver of that power. If not tempered and guided by wisdom, knowledge can be destructive. Wisdom makes the prudent adaptation required for order. The Father and Mother are one. But the Mother bridges the gulf between the Throne of the Father and fallen man. (“Our Divine Parents,” p 14)

There are seven stages of development through which God’s children must pass. It is not all to be done in this life. Christ is the prototype of the saved man, and He qualified by passing through these stages of development. We should not be surprised that the Heavenly Mother was responsible for planning and creating these developmental opportunities for Her children.  (“Our Divine Parents,” p 23)

Hopefully, this understanding, combined with the numerous, direct references to Divine Wisdom from the Book of Mormon, above, will help us re-calibrate our understanding of, expectations for, and knowledge about scripture. We’re dealing with something far more sacred, powerful and carefully, lovingly prepared than we might realize. We are dealing with Wisdom indeed! We should be humbled to the dust upon realizing we’re the beneficiaries of such an effort by a loving Mother, who seeks to nurture and teach her children. It is difficult to stand all amazed when you have fallen to your knees. 

Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding; for the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you can desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand, riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is everyone that retains her. The Lord, by wisdom, has founded the earth; by understanding has he established the heavens; by his knowledge, the depths are broken up and the clouds drop down the dew. My son, do not let them depart from your eyes.
—Proverbs 1:11 RE