Friday, September 29, 2017

We Need to Talk

For those who have entered into the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer, we have been placed under obligation to write a statement of principles, or a guide and standard, and to adopt it by mutual agreement.

It is not the case that all of us must write the statement, but it is the case that all of us must adopt it by mutual agreement on the final product, because the Lord commands.  Because the agreement must be mutual, one of us can block all of us in this thing - forever.  Therefore we must needs humble ourselves one to another and reason together.

Therefore, I believe it would be of benefit to all of us to have an open forum with minimal oversight to discuss the production of this statement of principles, where we may reason together without autocratic control.  I have procured such a forum here: .

Matthew Crockett hosts the forum.  He is not a party to the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer.  Because he does not have a vested interest in the outcome of our efforts, he can serve as a neutral host to our dialogues and discussions.

To any who have assented to the covenant, come, let us reason together, and see if we can be wise in word and kind in deed as we apply what the Lord has given us.

Addendum: I have proposed the following as a Guide and Standard: "Building Up Zion", and welcome comment or question from the body at the forum made mention of above.

Monday, September 11, 2017

It Does Not Have to Be This Way

So, having unworthily entered into the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer on 9/3/17, I have bound myself to the Gentiles. I have therefore got an obligation “to assist all others who covenant to likewise accept this standard [the Book of Mormon and the scriptures] to govern their lives to keep the Lord’s will[.]”

Will you who have accepted the covenant, worthily, accept my unworthy assistance? If so, I offer this to you.

It has come to my attention that some who have agreed to the covenant have begun deriding or scorning or mocking those whom they once fellowshipped with who did not enter into the covenant. Some of these being mocked did not agree to the covenant, having abstained solely because they could not answer question 1 in the affirmative, and decided to maintain their integrity rather than compromise themselves before God, angels, and men. Unlike me, I might add, who said “yes” that I knew the covenant was from God when, in retrospect, I only believed - strongly enough to drive to Boise, but only believed nonetheless. If anyone deserves mockery and scorn and derision, it is me.

These others who maintained their integrity, not answering “yes” for the sole reason that they could not answer question 1 in the affirmative, yet believe that the covenant is of God, deserve neither scorn nor mockery nor derision for their righteousness in this thing. Question 1 was, for these, a test of integrity which they have passed.

This division doesn’t have to be this way.

We read:
Alma 1
21 Now there was a strict law among the people of the church, that there should not any man, belonging to the church, arise and persecute those that did not belong to the church, and that there should be no persecution among themselves.
22 Nevertheless, there were many among them who began to be proud, and began to contend warmly with their adversaries, even unto blows; yea, they would smite one another with their fists.
23 Now this was in the second year of the reign of Alma, and it was a cause of much affliction to the church; yea, it was the cause of much trial with the church.
24 For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them.

Those were the proud who professed to have covenanted with God. What of the rest?

25 Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.
26 And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.
27 And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.
28 And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace again, notwithstanding all their persecutions.

Between these two groups, which one was in spirit and in truth the people of God?

And we see, again, in Helaman:

Helaman 3
33 And in the fifty and first year of the reign of the judges there was peace also, save it were the pride which began to enter into the church—not into the church of God, but into the hearts of the people who professed to belong to the church of God—
34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
36 And it came to pass that the fifty and second year ended in peace also, save it were the exceedingly great pride which had gotten into the hearts of the people; and it was because of their exceedingly great riches and their prosperity in the land; and it did grow upon them from day to day.

How did this end?

Helaman 4
11 Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.
12 And it was because of the pride of their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, yea, it was because of their oppression to the poor, withholding their food from the hungry, withholding their clothing from the naked, and smiting their humble brethren upon the cheek, making a mock of that which was sacred, denying the spirit of prophecy and of revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, rising up in great contentions, and deserting away into the land of Nephi, among the Lamanites—
13 And because of this their great wickedness, and their boastings in their own strength, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper, but were afflicted and smitten, and driven before the Lamanites, until they had lost possession of almost all their lands.

They lost almost all their lands for their lying, smiting their humble brethren, contention, boasting in their own strength, oppressing the poor, and withholding their food and clothing from the needy - they personally passed up the poor, despite the commandments of God to the contrary.

We are supposed to be forming a society which replicates heaven on Earth, being ultimately of one heart and one mind, but how can we have that society when we are so insecure in our position before God that we mock, scorn, and deride those who have declined to compromise their integrity before God?

Is not mockery, scorn, and derision of outsiders the behavior of the denizens of the great and spacious building recounted in the Book of Mormon?

1 Nephi 8
26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.
29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.
31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.
34 These are the words of my father: For as many as heeded them, had fallen away.

We don’t read that the humble returned mockery for mockery, nor scorn for scorn, but simply that they “heeded [the mockers and the scorners] not.”

If we are the Lord’s people, and have that perfect surety of knowledge of the foundation upon which we stand, then had we not ought to seek to bring others to this same knowledge, rather than divide those who have not compromised their integrity from our company and ostracize them? And how else can one bring them to the same surety of knowledge which one has except by being an example of believers, as we see in the Book of Mormon?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Jesus as the God of Nature

As the song says, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” but who wants to be the Earth?

In that light, consider the following passages:

D&C 88:1-13
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:
2 Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.
3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.
4 This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;
5 Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—
6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;
7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
8 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
9 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

41 He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
42 And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44 And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
45 The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
46 Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
47 Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.
48 I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended.

As if to say we see him but do not comprehend that it is him.

Mosiah 2
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.

Our bodies are not ours, but his, and he is in and through them, as he is in all things, sustaining us in our bodies moment by moment - no distant clockmaker God is he. We do not live in the naturalistic / materialistic universe we are propagandized with in our schools.

1 Nephi 19:7-17
7 For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.
8 And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.
9 And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.
10 And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.
11 For thus spake the prophet: The Lord God surely shall visit all the house of Israel at that day, some with his voice, because of their righteousness, unto their great joy and salvation, and others with the thunderings and the lightnings of his power, by tempest, by fire, and by smoke, and vapor of darkness, and by the opening of the earth, and by mountains which shall be carried up.
12 And all these things must surely come, saith the prophet Zenos. And the rocks of the earth must rend; and because of the groanings of the earth, many of the kings of the isles of the sea shall be wrought upon by the Spirit of God, to exclaim: The God of nature suffers. [The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not (Jacob 4:13)]
13 And as for those who are at Jerusalem, saith the prophet, they shall be scourged by all people, because they crucify the God of Israel, and turn their hearts aside, rejecting signs and wonders, and the power and glory of the God of Israel.
14 And because they turn their hearts aside, saith the prophet, and have despised the Holy One of Israel, they shall wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a byword, and be hated among all nations.
15 Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.
16 Yea, then will he remember the isles of the sea; yea, and all the people who are of the house of Israel, will I gather in, saith the Lord, according to the words of the prophet Zenos, from the four quarters of the earth.
17 Yea, and all the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord, saith the prophet; every nation, kindred, tongue and people shall be blessed.

Jesus is the God of Nature.

3 Nephi 11:14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

So what does this passage imply?

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

If Jesus is the God of Nature, what would it mean to submit to all things he sees fit to inflict upon us?

Do not the ways of Babylon cut us off from Nature? Isn't controlling and exploiting Nature (not to mention each other) the point of science, medicine, and engineering? Of interest in this context is that it seems the Lord confounded the languages at Babel to slow down man's technological advancement (Genesis 11:6).

Maybe it's time to rethink our approach to Nature, as well as each other, in the light of his commandments and teachings. Can Zion be controlling and exploitative of Nature and each other, as Babylon is?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I Get to Embarrass Myself Again

So what do you do if you, like me, discover that you have entered into a covenant that you did not qualify for, and were acknowledged by God as having entered in?

You execute your end of the bargain to the utmost of your ability, even until you are crushed under it.

You can't unring the bell.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Confession to My Readers

Yesterday, September 3, 2017, in Boise, when the covenant was read and we were asked to stand and say “yes” if we were willing to accept it, I was already standing due to lack of seating, and I said “yes” when I should not have said anything at all.

I should not have said anything at all because I cannot answer question 1 in the affirmative in truth and holiness.  I thought I could truthfully answer “yes” without requiring revelation form God on the matter based on reasoning which lacks foundation in truth.  I reasoned to myself that because the covenant document explicitly invites to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, therefore I did know with a perfect knowledge that it was from God.  This reasoning misapplies Moroni 7:16.

A previous post, “Judging the Covenant,” is truthful, but I personally did not give sufficient weight to the word “may,” as in “ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God,” which I rendered as “have power to,” following the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary - it can also be rendered “are permitted to.”

Just because I may know with a perfect knowledge that the covenant document is of God does not mean I do know with a perfect knowledge that the covenant document is of God.  Moroni 7:16 seems to be giving guidance on what things we are encouraged to inquire of the Lord about.  And God did not answer me when I prayed about it.  “No answer” is not “yes,” and it is also not “no.”  It is just no answer.  Therefore, I presently do not know the covenant document to come from God.  Therefore I had no foundation of truth - no surety of knowledge, and no confidence.  Therefore I should have said nothing.

Therefore, I confess before men, angels, and God, that I did say “yes” when I should have said nothing.  I do not know how else to repent of this except to say that to those who have entered into the covenant provided through Denver Snuffer, they should consider me as not being part of that covenant.  I failed in a test of personal integrity pertaining to question 1.  I lied by saying “yes.”  I repent me of this lie by making the truth known.

This applies to me only.  I make no representation about whether or not others were indeed answered of God.  I make no representation about whether the covenant document is, or is not, from God.

I have a second sin to confess.  There is an innocent man who did not say “yes” to the covenant, having not received confirmation from God concerning it, and whom I derided for not following my own corrupt and false reasoning.  In deriding him, I engaged in the same pattern of behavior displayed by those who occupy the great and spacious building in 1 Nephi 8, for the same reason: mockery / scorn / derision is a way of manipulating others into agreement when you are unable to persuade from a foundation of truth.

Thus in deriding him I demonstrated my pride and my lack of foundation in truth.  He was right and I was wrong.  He passed the test of personal integrity where I failed.