Saturday, October 28, 2017

I Do Not Agree

Herein, “G&S” is used in place of the phrase “Guide and Standard, or Statement of Principles, the Lord has instructed us to write and adopt by mutual agreement.”

There are groups who seek to transfigure “mutual agreement,” wherein all parties agree, into “majority rules,” whereby the most popular position is imposed upon dissenters.

I hereby make known that I do not agree with any such attempt.

There are groups who seek to impose things other than the Lord’s doctrine, law, and commandments upon the covenant participants.

I hereby make known that I do not agree with any G&S which consists of more or less than the Lord’s doctrine, law, and commandments.

I do not accuse any of these parties or groups of evil intent - it is hard to escape the traditions of our fathers.

I do not agree to anything other than the Lord’s doctrine, law, and commandments - his own words - as a written G&S.

No man is acting as prophet - meaning the Lord’s spokesman - save he explicitly says he is delivering the Lord’s word (TPJS p. 278).

Additionally, anyone who builds on another man’s foundation, says Joseph, does so without authority (TPJS p. 375).

Therefore, anything coming from Denver Snuffer without “thus saith the Lord” or its functional equivalent does not meet the standard of delivering the Lord’s word. Denver’s words are not to be accounted as more or less authoritative than any one else’s. And it is folly to build on his words, just as it has been folly for “Christians” to build upon Paul’s words (just to pick one example; Paul would agree: 1 Corinthians 3:1-15).

Therefore, I offer as an alternative to my proposed G&S the following, in full:

We accept, practice, and teach the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, as contained in the Book of Mormon, which is this:
Behold, this is not my doctrine: to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine: that such things should be done away.
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.
And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
We accept, practice, and teach the law and commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, known as The Sermon on the Mount, a short version of which is this:
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Since we all already accepted and agreed to practice and teach these things - see Answer and Covenant, pp. 10-12 - this imposes no burden upon covenant participants whatsoever. There is nothing new here. This also lays nothing upon anyone than that which the Lord has laid upon all.

Moreover, this G&S blesses those who know nothing of the Lord’s work by affording them the opportunity to hear, and therefore believe in the Lord and his words, that they may then repent and worthily be baptized by his sent servants and receive the visitation of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

I explain why what some feel absolutely necessary to include - explanations of priesthood, ordination, ordinances, and tithing - is in fact utterly dispensable here: http://logscabin.blogspot.com/2017/10/what-we-dont-need.html

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.

As always, you all are invited to come, that we may openly reason together about these weighty matters: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37

Update: here is a very similar proposal to this from someone else: http://statementofprinciples.com/simple-guide-and-standard/

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cursed Be the Man That Trusteth in Man

I offer an analogy to explain something I have myself erred in.

Joseph, following Paul, taught:
The Church is a compact body composed of different members, and is strictly analogous to the human system, and Paul, after speaking of the different gifts, says, "Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular; and God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all Teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?" It is evident that they do not; yet are they all members of one body. All members of the natural body are not the eye, the ear, the head or the hand--yet the eye cannot say to the ear, I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee; they are all so many component parts in the perfect machines--the one body; and if one member suffer, the whole of the members suffer with it; and if one member rejoice, all the rest are honored with it. - TPJS p. 244
In this analogy, the mouth of the body of Christ is a, or the, prophet.  When we as individual human beings speak, we do not speak to our body in order to instruct our body in how to operate.  We don't speak to members of our body, but to those who are not part of our body.  That which is our body responds to our will, not our voice.  So it is in the body of Christ: the members have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide - it serving as the will of the body - and need not that any man should teach them.  Again: the mouth speaks not to the body, but to those who are not of the body.

Imagine, if you can, that as you spoke to someone else saying "Jump!," your hand, in apparent response to your words (and not your will), lept off your arm, moving entirely on its own.  If that happened, you'd probably be horrified beyond words, and you would instantly realize a couple of things - first, that your hand was in reality an altogether separate being from yourself that had only been pretending to be part of you, and second, that you'd prefer to kill it with fire rather than ever accept it as your hand again.  It isn't part of you.  And you'd be afterwards filled with grief, pain, and loss - it was your hand, after all, and now you don't have one, and you would wish things could be like they were before, and that this had never happened.

So it is when someone who has been visited with fire and the Holy Ghost, and has received a remission of their sins, hearkens to the voice of a man rather than wait and rely upon the direct word of the Lord.  For in receiving the Holy Ghost we become part of the Lord's church, members of his body, and had ought to respond solely to his direct will and word by the Spirit.  For such an one to then take any man's word and act solely upon that word as though it were from the Lord, even if the one whose word is taken as the Lord's word is a prophet, such an one is cursed of the Lord, cut off (or severed) from his presence, and prepared for burning.

This is the point of the incident between the two prophets in 1 Kings 13.  The one prophet hearkened to the other prophet's words over the Lord's words directly to himself and was slain for it.

To be plain in speaking, for one who claims to have received the Holy Ghost, to follow any man's words, even a prophet's, without getting direct instructions from the Lord, is either to reveal oneself to not be a member of the Lord's church but a pretender to the Lord's faith, or else he is then cut off from the presence of the Lord, cast back out to the telestial world, where indeed they are some of Paul, and some of Joseph, and some of Denver - followers not of the Holy Spirit but of men, some of them true prophets.  Yet even then the unseen angels still instruct at the word of the Lord and await the signs and tokens of discipleship, the works of righteousness, even the fruits meet for repentance - deeds conforming to the law and commandments of God.

I believe there will be some out there who know exactly what I am talking about in this.

A prophet is only of use to you inasmuch as he teaches the commandments of God whereby you by doing them may yourself repent of all your sins and receive the visitation of the Holy Ghost and a remission of your sins and become a member of the body of Christ, taking the Holy Spirit for your guide.  Otherwise, he is of no use to you at all.

=====

Speaking of teaching the commandments of God, I wonder if anyone would like to compile all the references Denver Snuffer has made to the Sermon on the Mount, the law and commandments of Jesus Christ to all mankind, throughout all his talks and writings.  I would encourage you to start with his LA talk and go backwards to the Covenant convention talks and so on to The Second Comforter.  To "give them no reason to fear you" as Denver said in his closing remarks in the Boise Covenant Closing Remarks would require turning the other cheek, judging not, reviling not, and so on as taught in the Sermon, wouldn't it?

I wonder how long it will take before someone starts to understand what Denver has been saying all these years - that the path back into the presence of God is the literal execution of the Lord's law and commandments: the Sermon on the Mount.

"The greatest instruction that I know to have been given by God at any time, to any generation, is a rule of community found in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Sermon at Bountiful." - Denver Snuffer, Boise Covenant Conference, Opening Remarks

Perhaps the Sermon on the Mount should be considered seriously as our Guide and Standard, or our Statement of Principles, as has been proposed.

Come, let us reason together: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37

Monday, October 16, 2017

What We Don't Need

Each fellowship functions as what the Book of Mormon calls a church; inasmuch as nothing was taught in the churches save it be repentance and faith on God, according to the Book of Mormon, then they all were the church of God. For any man or group to reach into all the churches and dictate how they shall relate to each other, and how they shall distribute their substance, is not a light thing and requires wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have sufficient wisdom to reach into each one of your fellowships and tell you how to conduct your business. The Lord, however, does have that wisdom, and I suggest we listen to him and take his words in the Sermon on the Mount as our statement of principles and our guide and standard.

No man is acting as prophet without saying “Thus saith the Lord,” or its functional equivalent. Either you are acting as the mouthpiece of the Lord and have your message from him to deliver word-for-word, or else you are not. “The Spirit moved upon me / us” is insufficient. If you have it from God, you can either quote him, or you can explain it from the ground up. If you aren’t quoting him, and cannot explain it, then it will be very hard to persuade others you are correct - and persuade you must, since this must be by mutual agreement. See D&C 121.

We don’t need a creed - a declaration of beliefs. The Lord didn’t ask for one. He asked us for a statement of principles, which are rules of behavior. He asked us for a guide and standard - a tool to direct and measure behavior. And he’s already provided a written statement of principles, a written guide and a standard, that all mankind is required to abide for salvation: the Sermon on the Mount. See 1 Nephi 13:40-41, and then see Luke 6:20-49, Matthew 5-7, and 3 Nephi 12-14.

The priesthood of God does not need us to provide them with directions on how to perform the rites, for either the priests have their instructions from God or they aren’t his priests. Also, God calls his own priests. Therefore we do not need to publish the rules concerning ordination to the priesthood, neither do we need to provide directions on how to perform the rites, nor have we need to mention any rite other than baptism, in the guide and standard. Those who really want to know about such matters can search the scriptures. There is no reason to enable pretenders by publishing to the world things which do not concern them. We can see the result of enabling pretenders in 4th Nephi.

We don’t need tithing. The Lord has given us his statement of principles, his guide and standard, on the administration of the substance he has placed in our individual hands in the Sermon on the Mount. If we were observing the Sermon, which is the Lord’s statement of principles, his written guide and standard, we would, as the Nephites and the primitive Christians, “have all things common.” This is possible to do within the fellowships. None among us within the fellowships would call anything he possessed his own. We’d be equal, both temporally and spiritually.

Let us not lay more on anyone than the Lord has laid upon everyone: the Sermon. Let us not lay less upon anyone than the Lord has laid upon everyone: the Sermon. Let us teach one another the Sermon on the Mount, exhort one another to observe it diligently, and publish it to the world, that they may also believe Jesus's words even as little children, repent of all their sins, be baptized by one of his sent servants, receive the Holy Ghost, and obey Jesus's words until the end and be saved, even as we have done and are doing.

Why would any disciple of Jesus Christ do otherwise? See JST Matthew 5:21-22.

Come, let us reason together: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37

Friday, October 13, 2017

We Have One Job

The Lord's work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ.

Knowing God and Jesus Christ comes by keeping the law and commandments of Christ.

The guide is the Holy Spirit.

The standard is the law.

The principles are the commandments.

To gather is to teach.

To walk in Christ’s ways is to keep his law and commandments.

To honor is to obey.

To serve God is to keep his law and commandments.

If one of us is “The Servant of God,” then the rest of us are not.

If one of us is above all of us, then we are not equal.

If we are not equal, then we are not one.

If we are not one, then we are not Christ’s.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Building Up Zion" - A Proposal for a Guide and Standard, or Statement of Principles

I submit this proposal, entitled "Building Up Zion," for consideration by the body as the entire Guide and Standard, or Statement of Principles:

KJV Luke 6:20-49
20 ¶ And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 ¶ But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46 ¶ And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

The ways humanity tries to bring about justice, peace, and unity do not and cannot work. History and current events are proof that competing against, controlling, or manipulating others always results in disunity, conflict, injustice, and inequality. Yet competition, force, and manipulation are how humanity has chosen to govern itself.  Jesus offers us the sole alternative to humanity’s self-destructive ways: love.

The law of God is this: every last thing you wish others would do to you, do those exact same things to them. This law defines the behavior of perfect love, which is called “charity.” God’s law is the true moral and ethical standard of all humankind, being written into every conscience, and it is the definition of “good.” Behavior that falls short of this law is not good and produces both guilt and conflict with others.

The purpose of the law of God is to end conflict between people. Those who willingly keep His law may joyfully and peacefully live together as equals, both here and now, and forever in the eternal world. The commandments that Jesus gave us in the Sermon on the Mount are how we are to obey the law of God through our works and end our conflicts with others.

Love, the feeling which makes us want to do what the law of God commands, is given to us by God. Charity is Jesus’s nature, meaning He feels perfect love towards everyone. Charity is the nature of all those who inherit God’s kingdom with Jesus. Jesus’s commandments in the Sermon on the Mount are the actions which those who have charity do by nature.

“Sin” is intent or action which falls short of the law of God, such as giving in to lust and doing to others what we do not wish others would do to us. “Repent” means to change one’s mind, to reconsider, or to relent.

Any who will believe Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount as literally as small children believe their parents’ words, and repent of all their sins, and be baptized by one of His sent servants, shall be visited by God with fire and with the Holy Ghost and shall receive a remission of their sins.

The visitation of the Holy Ghost changes our feelings so that we understand Jesus’s love and want to only do good. Then we are to do what Jesus commands until the end of our lives.  We trust in Jesus to guide and comfort us in our trials and afflictions as we learn who and what He is by the things we suffer in obedience to His teachings. Just as one does not learn a new skill without practice, nobody can understand nor master the discipline of perfect love without doing its works. Doing the works Jesus commanded until we fully understand Him and freely agree to become what He is and to receive His nature from Him permanently as a gift by His grace so that we love everyone perfectly just like He does is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

For memebers of the body, I welcome comment or questions here: http://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37