Spelling as in original; the topic is this post: Founded Upon the Rock of Jesus Christ
1. Do we really need to target people who don't like to read?
1. Do we really need to target people who don't like to read?
I am dealing with the world as it is, not as I wish it were. There are many who speak English as a second language, have reading problems, and so on, and their souls are precious to us.
2. Are we really trying to "sell" this to non-members (making it appeal to anyone who has a bible, etc.)
No. We're not trying to "sell," but to inform. We're trying to communicate with everyone. Therefore, as the Lord does, we are going to speak to them using their language to their understanding.
3. Wouldn't it be important to inform outsiders of things unique to and important to the movement as it relates to things they are not familiar with in addition to letting them know it is grounded in the words of Christ they are familiar with?
The only thing that matters is giving outsiders the means to receive the Holy Ghost, which will teach them all that they must know and all that they must do. The way men obtain the Holy Ghost is by unfeigned belief in the words of Jesus Christ contained in the Sermon, repentance from all sin as taught in the Sermon, and baptism by one of his sent servants, which brings the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which shows them all that they must know and all that they must do. Since the Holy Ghost shows men all that they must know and all that they must do, none of the things "unique" and "important" to "this movement" matter. We have nothing relevant left to say to those who have taken the Holy Spirit to be their guide. However, if The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles is adopted, nobody in any fellowship anywhere can be prevented from taking it upon themselves to teach whatever they feel is "unique" and "important" to "this movement." Those who do so take personal responsibility for their teachings and their effects. And they cannot make anyone in any other fellowship follow nor teach after their preferences.
4. In one place you wrote, "As we are trying to save men by our labors..." (isn't this proselytizing?)
No. Those who believe the Sermon as literally as a little child would and repent of all their sins and will be baptized shall receive the Holy Ghost which teaches them all that they should know and all that they should do. Those who believe and are baptized shall be saved. Those who do not believe shall be damned. We aren't trying to add members to our fellowships. If the Holy Ghost leads men to fellowship with us, well and good. If the Holy Ghost leads them to depart from our company, also well and good. That's between them and God.
5. Is that really up to us?
2 Nephi 26:27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
We're supposed to be numbered among his covenant people, and his covenant people are defined by their repentance from all sin (2 Nephi 30:2; Helaman 14:13), and their love for him and the keeping of all his commandments (LDS D&C 29:12). That was the point of the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer. Therefore we are commanded to persuade all men to repentance inasmuch as we style ourselves the covenant people of the Lord. Repentance is believing the Sermon as literally as a child would understand it and conforming your thoughts and behavior to the law and principles contained within - that is, keeping all the Lord's commandments. One will only do all that if they truly believe and trust that the Lord is really there and will protect and reward those who do what he says. Our obligation is to persuade men to believe and trust in the Lord and keep all his commandments that they may receive the Holy Ghost which will teach them all that they must do and all that they must know.
6. Why not, rather, "As we seek to persuade..."
Because I am pointing out the purpose for which we labor: the salvation of souls. After all...
D&C 18:10-1810 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!17 Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation.18 Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.
7. [if you do want to sell something, why not offer something they are not convinced they already have?]
We're not trying to "sell" the gospel. If we are "selling" the gospel - manipulating men by their emotions rather than pure truth in power by the Spirit - we aren't the Lord's people but pretenders to his faith.
We're announcing the conditions whereby men may receive the Holy Ghost, which will teach them all that they must know and all that they must do, which is our true guide, and explaining that the law and commandments of the Lord are our standard and our principles. Joseph once wrote, in the first FAQ for the LDS Church back in 1838, the following.
First--"Do you believe the Bible?"If we do, we are the only people under heaven that does, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.Second--"Wherein do you differ from other sects?"In that we believe the Bible, and all other sects profess to believe their interpretations of the Bible, and their creeds.Third--"Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?"Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness (TPJS, p.119).
Joseph was quite clear in his teachings that by "believe the Bible" he meant "believe the words of the Bible literally."
"Everything that we have not a key word to, we will take it as it reads" (TWoJS, p. 187)."What is the rule of interpretation? Just no interpretation at all. Understand it precisely as it reads" (TPJS, p. 276).
Part of the point of The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles is to inform those who know nothing of the Lord's work that we believe the Lord's doctrine, his law and commandments. If we do not believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but transfigure the scriptures in the same manner as apostate Christendom, then indeed we have nothing others should be interested in. They should, in fact, run away from us as fast as possible and await others who will faithfully fulfill the Lord's commandment to persuade all men to repentance, because we will have failed in the Lord's commission by our own rejection of his commandments and will merit our imminent fate with the rest of the Gentiles.
8. Again I'm not convinced this document's purpose is to "bring outsiders into our movement"
I absolutely agree we should not bring outsiders into our movement with this document. The Lord in the covenant answer said the document is for us, the covenant participants, "to follow," and it is also "to bless, benefit, and inform" those who know nothing of the Lord's work now underway. It is the role of the Holy Ghost to teach men all that they should know and do. We should, therefore, give men sufficient information to obtain the Holy Ghost. Then they can know all they need to know about the Lord's work now underway, and follow the Holy Ghost into the movement, or the Holy Ghost may lead them elsewhere. We should not usurp the role of the Holy Ghost. The guidance of the Holy Ghost is the key to being blessed, benefited, and informed. It is the Holy Ghost which shows men all that they should know and all that they should do. Since the Holy Ghost will tell men all they should know and all they should do, without a direct commandment otherwise, we have no role in informing men about the Lord's work now underway - the restoration of his faith upon the earth, and the eventual establishment of New Jerusalem - beyond providing men with the means to obtain the Holy Ghost.
9. Is the statement's purpose to give gospel and doctrine?
The statement's purpose is to provide a guide (something which directs behavior) and a standard (something which measures behavior). As I have remarked above, the only thing that matters is receiving and following the Holy Ghost, which teaches us all that we should know and all that we should do. With the Holy Ghost we can be led by God; without it we are led by men, or the devil. The Holy Ghost is therefore our guide. The law and commandments of Christ are that which our behavior is measured by, and are our principles (rules of behavior). The doctrine, or gospel, of Jesus Christ informs us how we may obtain the Holy Ghost, which teaches us all that we should know and all that we should do. Therefore, the doctrine, law, and commandments of Jesus Christ as contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles fulfill the stated purpose of the document, and anything not functionally equivalent to this does not fulfill the stated purpose, but rather usurps the role of the Holy Ghost and causes harm by leading men astray or giving occasion for stumbling.
10. don't the scriptures already give that?
Yes. By explicitly making the gospel of Jesus Christ our written G&S, we are putting the focus of this movement on the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and his salvation, so that men may obtain the Holy Ghost, which teaches them all that they should know and all that they should do. If people want to teach more than the rock of Jesus, they're free to - within their own fellowships.
11. If the purpose of the G&S is to give us a guide on how we govern ourselves, then how does including verbiage outside gospel and doctrine disqualify it?
Let me rephrase your question: "if the purpose of the G&S is to give us sufficient information to receive the Holy Ghost, which teaches men all that they should know and all that they should do, then how does including verbiage from outside of the gospel disqualify it?" Because it is the role of the Holy Ghost to teach men all that they should know and all that they should do, anything beyond giving the information necessary to receive the Holy Ghost is to usurp the role of the Holy Ghost and thus lead men astray or cause them to stumble. The Holy Ghost, after all, is our guide, and we are to govern ourselves by it.
12. "I omit the words of Denver Snuffer and uphold the words of Jesus Christ". Even when Christ speaks thru Denver Snuffer?
Yes. Neither you nor I are Denver Snuffer's prophet. He has repeatedly said he has no spokesman, and I will not fulfill that role. Denver Snuffer gets to present himself as a witness of the Lord, and men may believe or disbelieve him as they will. I am not a proponent of Denver Snuffer, nor am I a disciple of Denver Snuffer, nor am I a follower of Denver Snuffer. Unless the Lord tells me to directly, I am not a witness of a messenger, nor do I testify of a messenger. The Lord can and does vouch for his own messengers to their hearers by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I do not get to dictate to you or any other man when, or even whether, Denver Snuffer is speaking the words of Christ, and neither do you get to impose his words upon me as though they were Christ's words. I will not submit to an article of confession of belief in Denver Snuffer's words as though they were the words of Christ, nor a G&S that requires receiving Denver Snuffer's words as though they were Christ's, neither will I impose such upon anyone else.
It is for the Holy Ghost to teach any man whether Denver Snuffer ever speaks Christ's words, and whether they should heed them. I will not usurp the role of the Holy Ghost.
I will not willingly participate in the formation of another Gentile church based on what the Nazis called the Fuhrerprinzip, meaning the "Leader Principle," with Denver Snuffer as the unwilling Fuhrer. Those who want such a thing can do it on their own - in their own fellowships.
It is time to determine whether we will follow the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, taking the Holy Spirit for our guide, his law for our standard, and his commandments for our principles, or whether we will follow a man.
It is hard to escape the traditions of our fathers. Let us therefore escape these particular traditions: “When the Prophet Speaks, the Thinking Has Been Done,” “Follow the Prophet, He Knows the Way,” and “The Spirit Moved upon Us, Therefore You Must Take It down Like a Pill.”
Jeremiah 17:5 ¶ Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.2 Nephi 4:34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.2 Nephi 28:31 [Thus saith the Lord:] Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
13. By that logic why use the words of Luke or Mormon from whom we get the words of Christ that you offer in your statement?
Neither Luke nor Mormon are around to be trusted. Secondly, the covenant requires us participants to receive the obligations in the Book of Mormon as a covenant - we agreed to, anyways. The Book of Mormon is clear which words of Christ must be received and obeyed by all.
1 Nephi 13:40-4140 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records [Book of Mormon], which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb [New Testament], and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them [New Testament]; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.
"By the mouth of the Lamb" means by Christ's own mouth in person, not words delivered from Christ in Heaven through a spokesman. If the Book of Mormon is true, Denver's words, even if they be from Christ, are not the words by which men must come unto Christ. The words which Christ established by his own mouth in both the Book of Mormon and the New Testament is the Sermon on the Mount (3 Nephi 12-14; Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49). These are the words by which all men must come unto Christ, or they cannot be saved. And if we aren't laboring to bring forth salvation to people, we are not the Lord's people.
A thing which hasn't been added to the Restoration Edition scriptures, but if we're canonizing Denver Snuffer's writings, probably should be, is the following statement:
"If you understood the scriptures you wouldn’t even need what I’ve written." http://denversnuffer.com/2010/06/be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god/
And, let's ask: how can we come to understand the scriptures?
And we find this answer from Denver Snuffer, in another thing which probably should be added to the Restoration Edition scriptures:
"The journey back to Him begins with all He has provided and preserved of His word. It begins for each of us in the scriptures. One of the immediate effects of baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is to have the scriptures come alive; to have them overwhelm you with revelation, light and truth. It is not you doing this. It is you experiencing it, but the Holy Spirit opening and lighting them so the same Spirit which gave them at first now receives them in you." http://denversnuffer.com/2012/08/bfhg-part-2/
Putting these together, according to Denver Snuffer, once you have received the Holy Ghost you don't need Denver Snuffer. The scriptures, without anything Denver has written, suffice.
Therefore, without a direct commandment by the Lord to me, I will not preach Denver Snuffer, nor agree to any G&S which does, but I will preach the words Christ spoke by his own mouth among the Jews and the Nephites, by obedience to which words men may obtain the Holy Ghost and learn thereby all that they need to know and all that they need to do. If any wish to teach anything else from anyone else, they are free to - in their own fellowships.
14. "Without a direct commandment from the Lord I will not say anything about how the fellowships are to govern themselves." What about an indirect commandment from the Lord? What about a suggestion from the Lord? (example from Denver on how Abraham, seeking to be a friend of God acted not by being commanded, but on the suggestion made from a friend)
The point is it has to be from the Lord directly to me, and, in particular, not through a mortal. With respect to the G&S, there are no relevant exceptions.
15. Isn't this Christ's idea that we come up with a "statement of principals" for the purpose of governing ourselves?
The key word is "ourselves." If we are equal, then I don't impose on you, you don't impose on me. If we adopt by mutual agreement The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, you get to govern yourself, I get to govern myself. There is nothing in the gospel authorizing one man to rule another. I don't rule you, and you don't rule me. I don't judge you and you don't judge me. If we are the Lord's people, then we will govern ourselves according to the Holy Ghost which teaches us individually all things we should know and all things we should do. We do not usurp the role of the Holy Ghost for others without a direct command from the Lord, for, as Joseph said, "none but fools will trifle with the souls of men."
16. "Let us preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and salvation, lest we commit the same errors as our fathers." Doesn't that gospel teach us to encourage and persuade one another and regard each other as precious?
We encourage and persuade only as directed by our individual guide, the Holy Ghost, which teaches us all that we should know and all that we should do. I do not have authority to lead men astray, therefore I will not do it without being directly commanded by God. I am able, on the other hand, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, his doctrine, law, and commandments, which does evil to nobody, and that's what I will do. If we adopt The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as our G&S, everyone is still free to teach whatever they want in their fellowships, subject only to their own guidance from the Holy Ghost, if they care to be led by the Holy Ghost.
17. Is your interpretation of the requirement given by Christ in the A&C the only correct interpretation? Is your conclusion the only correct one?
I would recommend asking of God what he meant. Here's the formula for such inquiries.
1 Nephi 15:11Do ye not remember the thing which the Lord hath said?If ye will not harden your heartsand ask me in faithbelieving that ye shall receivewith diligence in keeping my commandmentssurely these things shall be made known unto you.
Words mean things, and this is what I take these words to mean, and each is literal:
Guide: something which gives direction for behavior. The Holy Ghost is to be our guide.
Standard: something which measures behavior. A law is a standard.
Principle: rules of behavior, as in "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves," or "Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself." Commandments are principles.
18. If you insist that you will not join in accepting anything that falls outside the parameters you have defined as the only correct statement you are willing to accept, where does that leave room to "come together by precept, reason and persuasion"?
You have all been invited to come and reason together about the G&S in humility as equals publicly and openly in a neutral forum established for this purpose: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37
I am, and have been, quite willing to explain the reasons for what I will and will not accept as a G&S. If we adopt The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, you may still do and teach whatsoever you wish within your fellowships, subject only to the guidance of the Holy Ghost, if you care to be led by the Holy Ghost. You simply aren't able to dictate what I do and teach in mine - or, in other words, you aren't able to usurp the role of the Holy Ghost. As someone else has said, a society of equals governs themselves, not each other.
As Joseph said, "I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be trammeled."
19. You wrote, "He asked us for a statement of principals which rules our behavior" I didn't see that requirement in the A&C. I did see that He requires "a statement of principals to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people[.]"
Yes, and principles are rules of behavior.
20. Does this suggest that "How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek"? In other words, the requirement for us to work together on this and come to a mutual agreement is as at least as important as the content of the statement itself.
You'll find that, with respect to the G&S, agreement and content are inextricably linked. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus gave counsel to remember the Law of Moses. One of the provisions of the Law of Moses was this:
Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou yield in judgment to the opinion of the majority to stray from the truth (Exodus 23:2). (Stand firm in the right way against the crowd.)
Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil: neither shalt thou speak in a dispute in order to bend the majority to pervert [the right way]. (No manipulating the masses during disputes into perverting the ways of the Lord.)
Agreement upon that which tends to bring harm and cursings and misinformation is a bad thing. Look at the Church. If you don't know where they went wrong, then you may well be repeating their errors. Look at the Mafia. Is their agreement a thing to be admired? Or what about the secret combinations in the Book of Mormon? They certainly did profess themselves to be motivated by noble intentions, and they did agree among themselves, and sought to persuade the Nephites to unite with them as equals (3 Nephi 3).
Thankfully, we lack the ability to produce a false unity by use of excommunication against dissenters among the covenant participants. Therefore, we must of necessity come together and reason in humility as equals, having for our common foundation the rock of Jesus Christ, helpfully contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles. But, once we realize that we do have this common foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then we can realize that the task of writing the G&S has already been done. All we have to do is agree to what we have all already agreed to by assenting to the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer.
We have until the Lord rejects us to come to this agreement.
The problem thus far hasn't been disagreement, but manipulation of perceptions of agreement in order to go beyond the points in which we actually agree in an attempt to circumvent the requirement for mutual agreement in order to impose the majority's will upon the minority. If we do not all agree upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and his salvation, then we aren't his people and he should reject us in favor of a more faithful and diligent group, even if we all agree on something else.