Friday, September 19, 2014

It's True

I have a few thoughts to share today.  My thoughts have been quite a whirlwind since September 9th.

Throughout this journey of faith, I have felt the Lord's guiding hand, and have continued to feel His hand and hear His voice.  He even helps me when I am weak and when I fail, and for this I am immensely grateful.

Since reading Passing the Heavenly Gift in October 2012, I have heard the Spirit bear witness of the truth of the things Denver Snuffer has said in his books, on his blog, and in the Zion lectures.  Perhaps the biggest bombshell of all came on September 9th, when Denver said this:

Section 121 is a warning to church leaders. It is addressing the powerful, not the powerless. It is addressing those who occupy the seats of authority over others. Only those who claim the right to control, compel, and exercise dominion, are warned against persecuting the saints, who believe the religion and practice it as I did from the time of my conversion. My excommunication was an abuse of authority. Therefore, as soon as the decision was made, the Lord terminated the priesthood authority of the stake presidency and every member of the High Council who sustained this decision, which was unanimous. Thereafter, I appealed to the First Presidency, outlining the involvement of the 12 and the 70. The appeal gave notice to them all. The appeal was summarily denied.

Last general conference, the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along. He has chosen to use small means to accomplish it, but He always uses the smallest of means to fulfill His purposes.

None of this was my doing. The Lord's strange act, was not, could not, be planned by me. Was not, could not, have been controlled by me. It was not anticipated by me, or even understood by me, until after the Lord had accomplished His will, and made it apparent to me on the evening of May 1, 2014. He alone has done this. He is the author of all of this.

I have seen the problems and I have believed what Denver has said, but this was hard to swallow.  And yet, is it really so hard to believe?  Is it any crazier than the story of a teenage farm boy who saw God and Jesus in a forest, was told all the Christian sects were wrong and to join none, received a gold bible from an 1400-year dead guy, translated the gold bible by poking his head in a hat and not even reading the words, found an old Egyptian scroll and somehow conjured the writings of Abraham from it even though it doesn't say jack about Abraham, said that men can become gods, and was killed for leading so many people astray?  So really, what is crazy?

So in the Mesa lecture, Denver goes on to give some basic instructions from the Lord about how those who wish to establish Zion should proceed.  He even states that the Lord appeared to him again to give this information.  Upon hearing this, many have rushed out to be baptized and start their Zion communities.  Others have cautioned against this, saying we have to watch and see what fruit is born out of this.  Still others say that they are not ready to do anything, either because they haven't received confirmation from the Lord or because they have family and friends they don't want to be alienated from.

I personally don't feel like I fit well into any of those camps.  I believe Denver.  Crazy, improbable, and nutty as it sounds, I believe him.  There have been too many times where I have received signs and witnesses from the Spirit to not believe.

God gives us conflicts to test us.  I have been conflicted since last week.  On the one hand, I believe Denver, but I don't think we ought to rush into these things.  However, I don't want to fret and worry and wait for others before making my decision.  I want my actions to stand on their own.  So the other day I prayed about what Denver had said, and I also asked Him about another matter.  This prayer was uttered just as I left for work.  As soon as I was done with the prayer, I felt very strongly to listen to Pandora on the way to work, about an hour's drive from my house.  The first song came on, and I suddenly wondered if this was to be the answer.  I then proceeded to hear a total of 12 consecutive songs that gave me my answer about the church.  Titles like No Light No Light, Sick of It, and Wicked.  Songs with lyrics about pretenders who are full of themselves, people who deceive, and people who are satisfied with what they have and don't want more.

I could not help but see this for a sign.  It was hard to hear.  As frustrated as I have been with what goes on in the church, this was a hard truth to hear.  But I feel it in my soul that it is true.  It saddens me.  The church is still full of good people, and I do not think God has abandoned good people.  But things have changed.

I want to be clear.  Denver has not said that the church has lost the priesthood.  What he said was that the leaders involved in his excommunication have had their priesthood terminated and the church can no longer claim that it is led by priesthood.  I think that is a significant difference.  I think the LDS church is at least as far into apostasy as the Christian church was after the death of Christ.

By the way, God also answered my other question with a song.  I appreciate the Lord.  Sometimes he has a sense of humor.  I know this sounds stupid or fanciful or deceived, but I have had too many other experiences with similar signs to not believe.  Sometimes the Lord shows us these small signs and then expects us to act.  Only then will we receive greater witnesses.  Some things we can only know by experience.

So, what to do about baptism and Zion communities?  I am still in the process of asking God.  I realized just this morning that the Lord had answered my prayer EXACTLY as I had asked it.  I realized that have not asked whether it is time for me to be baptized or whether I should join with any of these communities.  So I have work to do, to ask, seek, and knock.  I pray that these things will lead me to greater conformity to the will of God.

Each of us has a different path.  Some, like Tim Malone, have resigned.  I respect his decision.  Were I in his shoes, I would do the same.  Others have already been excommunicated.  This offers them the chance for a new community of fellowship.  Still others have done all this either in secret or without family approval and have much to lose.  I feel for these people.  I am not among them, for which I am grateful.  Leaving the church would not bring as many consequences for me as for others.

My plan is to wait upon the Lord, but not wait passively.  I want to get baptized as a sign that I accept this new order of things.  I believe Denver's words.  I am still parsing through the talk to see what is really there, but I believe him.  It certainly is crazy.  Only time and experience will tell if it is true.  We have to be willing to take chances.  We have to act in faith.  I trust my God.  If Denver is a liar, then I trust God to forgive me as I repent in sackcloth and ashes.  But the unfortunate thing is that I don't think he is lying.  I think he is telling the truth, as unbelievable as it sounds.

And that reminds me, the thought that started this whole journey out of the Matrix was that God is a God of truth and that anything true cannot be evil.  Truth can be painful.  It can be hard.  It can be difficult.  It can seem impossible.  And yet, truth cannot be evil.  And Truth is what makes God God!  He is light and truth, and He offers us that same light and truth, if we will stop walking in the darkness at noon day.

So my journey of faith will continue.  I have faith in God to act on the truth revealed through the most unlikely of people, an attorney in Sandy, Utah, who has been cast out of his church.  I prayed some time ago that if Zion were to be established in my lifetime, could I be a part of it?  And perhaps this is my chance to have my prayer answered in a most unlikely way.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Waiting stinks.  Let's face it.  Lines, traffic, holidays, payday, we have to wait for a lot of things.  I'm pretty sure there's a reason for all this waiting that is a part of our lives.  It is made even harder by the instant gratification of the information age.  Got two minutes?  Then pull out your phone, check your email, look at Facebook, play a game, or whatever.  Time marches on whether we use it or not.

I think the Lord sets up all this waiting for a good reason.  We are to do things in the Lord's time and not on our time.  Doing things too soon brings unhappy consequences.  Just ask Adam and Eve.  They were instructed not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  But if they had just waited, perhaps when the time was right the Lord would have given them a commandment to partake of the fruit.  They would not have fallen.

So it seems to be with all the good things we desire in life.  I find myself aching to be in the presence of the Lord.  I think back often to my baptism of fire.  The love that poured forth from the presence of God was indescribable.  I wish I could experience it forever and never lose it.  I desire greatly to have such an experience again, but the Lord does things on His own schedule.

It seems to me that the Lord will give us all the blessings we desire, but waiting is part of mortality.  Time is appointed only to men in the flesh, but in the eternal world it has no meaning.  I yearn for the day when I am able to fully comprehend why and how this is.

As it is, I must wait for the Lord.  For me, it is part of the test of mortality.  I can't honestly say that I wait patiently, but wait I will.  It is a test of my trust and faith in God to wait for Him.  It forces me to seek him more earnestly, and to seek His will in what I should do while I wait.   But I love Him and will wait my whole life if I must.  He has promised me I would obtain whatever I sought in life, and I seek Him above all else.  I look forward to His coming, whenever it is.  I hope He will bless me to learn from my waiting.


Just a note - I took down a couple of posts and edited a couple of others.  I went back and read my posts and realized that a few things I had written did not have a spirit of love in them.  Whatever unpleasant things are happening with the Church and its leaders, I still must offer love and kindness in return, and I will be trying to focus on more positive things.  I think there is a place for pointing out errors and false doctrine, but I need to limit my role in that.