Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts

These are thoughts, not doctrine. I have no special line to truth. I do not expect anything I write on my blog to be accepted blindly. It is the responsibility of each person to find truth for him/herself. Besides that, I am still processing the following ideas. They may not be true at all.

So, I've been listening to the lecture on priesthood (given in Orem, Utah) – and have been listening to the lecture on Christ earlier (given in Ephraim, Utah), as well as conversing with others about the latter. Just now, listening to the priesthood lecture, it hit me, almost as a realization.

This is hell. For real. Literally. The devils reside here, thus it is hell. D&C 76 gives a whole list of types of people who will dwell in hell for their reward. Somewhere (in the D&C, I think; perhaps even in section 76) it is said or written that those of a higher kingdom can go to the lower kingdoms (but not vice versa). It does not say that those in the lower kingdoms will know or realize that there are residents of a higher kingdom dwelling among them and helping them.

Alma 13 seems to speak of God's eternal rounds as being earths. We go to an earth, learn and become all we can, then go to our rewards – climbing up over and over until we become someone God can trust. What struck me was this: The reward of the lowest kingdom is to go for another go-round on a planet like this. None of us initially know if we are in this hell as a punishment for past misdeeds. We can only know it if Gods or angels tell us.

You see, those of a higher kingdom (Jesus, many of the prophets) have condescended to come here even though they have already successfully passed this level of things (see “The First Three Words” by Denver Snuffer).

What I am not saying: I am not saying we return to this earth over and over again. The scriptures (Alma 13) say that it was before the foundation of the world that certain people were proven by their faith and good works. One round seems to consist of a plan to create a planet, creating the planet, putting an Adam and Eve upon it, having a fall, then all of God's children who have that planet as a reward or who are assigned to it as helpers are then born onto it over the course of several thousands of years. The planet may also include those who have never experienced being on a telestial hell-planet before.

At the end of that, there is a reaping and a putting of people into where they belong. Then those who qualify for hell get the opportunity to try again on another hell-planet. This fits in with the scriptures that say this life is the time to prepare and after it no man can work. Were it a coming back to this earth on this round over and over again, that scripture (and others like it) would be lying to us.

Those who reap a higher reward may, according to scriptures and to my understanding, condescend to go to a telestial hell-world to help save souls, the most obvious example being Jesus Christ.

Joseph Smith said we needed to follow Christ, apparently even to the point of reaching the highest rung on the heavenly ladder, then going to a hell-earth as a sinless sacrifice and to resurrect those who cannot resurrect themselves. (See his last general conference talk in 1844.)

How resurrection and bodies fit into this, I do not know. I cannot see how a physical body, forever united to a spirit can separate from it to gain a fresh body at the birth of another body. Unless, these are different dimensions and there are millions of kinds of bodies to be had.

I wonder if a terrestrial planet would be like this one, sans the devils and their influences.

But, then, why the statement by Joseph Smith that we would kill ourselves to get to the telestial kingdom (hell) if we are already here? And I promise you: this life is not worth killing oneself to get into.
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Just a note: This is what D&C 76 says in regards to those who go to hell. I do find it a bit confusing in light of what I think I am learning. Like I said, I am still processing this, still trying to figure it out:

 89: And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding;
 
 98-106: And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel [what is "the gospel"?], neither the testimony of Jesus [the testimony that Jesus has of you/them?], neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant. [Received, not "followed." Following seems to be frowned upon in this scripture.]

Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;

Question: When is the "fulness of times"? When is it that all enemies are subdued and the work is perfected? Is it at the end of the 1,000 years of peace (Millennium)? Or is it at the end of the whole mess, at the end of the perhaps thousands of cycles it will take to get people to finally "get it" and stop hurting each other? Is that when the "glory" of the telestial world will come forth and there will be no more hell-earths to inhabit for this particular group of Father's children?

True Messengers

Tim Malone said this:
I declare unto you, in all words of soberness, in words revealed unto me by the Lord, that He has sent a prophet to us within the last few years from outside the hierarchy of the Church, with a mission to teach us, to warn us, and to lead us to the Lord. I have spent hundreds of hours studying his published words. I have listened to his recorded teachings over this past year and have found truth in what he has shared. I have sat in his presence recently to test his spirit. I found no fault and have had my witness reaffirmed.

I declare unto you this prophet is acting as an Elias, or a John the Baptist, with the mission to prepare us to receive the Lord. More importantly, he is as Moses in striving to show us the way to the Lord, that we may enter into His presence in this life, to be prepared to be caught up to meet the inhabitants of the City of Enoch at the coming of the Lord. That event will be accompanied by great destructions. This is well known. Not as well-known is just how soon those destructions will begin to be poured out upon us.


And he apparently got a tremendous amount of flack for it.

I am lucky - or blessed - or something. Hardly anyone knows of my blog. Even at its most active, I don't have much traffic in comparison with Tim, Rock, and others whose blogs I read with interest.

I have moved, there is confusion about what ward I belong in, so I have decided to go to whatever ward is closest to walk to.

In other words, they can't get me because I'm a nobody (so no one will complain) and am in no ward. And I have been wondering: If I post what I really think will there be any consequences? I doubt it. I've posted what I've thought before with no repercussions.

So I am going to do an experiment, to prove to myself that I really am a nothing and a nobody (my family and friends, with the exception of one similar-minded friend, don't read this - have probably forgotten this blog even exists, if they knew it in the first place). I am going to write plainly and freely.

Tim's comments above are spot on. He said it much better than I could have.

God's voice is once again heard among us after a silence created after the death of Joseph Smith (not that many listened to what he was really trying to get at while he was alive - and he let them go their merry ways, creating a church after the desires of their own hearts).

I do not comprehend how anyone can fail to recognize the voice of the Master in the words He speaks through his latest servant. How can it fail to resonate? How can it not be familiar? As familiar as one's own parent?

Some say that they don't “feel good” when the servant speaks. The Spirit doesn't make you “feel good,” especially if you are in a deep sleep, a drunken stupor. The Spirit gives you information. What emotions come up as a result of the information is not under the Spirit's jurisdiction.

Some rage on about the messenger - either defending him or attempting to splice, dice, or silence him. They are offended at the message the Lord told him to deliver, so they are going to shoot the messenger. Some might even be delighted at the message so they praise the messenger.

So Denver is a true prophet of God. You know, the kind that actually sees God and tells people what God told him to say. Great. End of subject.

Let's continue on to the message, without which we would be damned because we are too dense to figure it out ourselves through our own prayers and study. And, more and more, we study general conference talks instead of the Book of Mormon.

Let's digress to the Book of Mormon. I'd recommend the 1830 version because, you see, I was taught in more Sunday School classes than I can count (when I was a child we had Sunday School on Sunday and Primary was after school) that Joseph Smith translated the book so incredibly. He picked up where he left off each time he began again. Nothing was crossed out. He made no mistakes. So, if that's true, then the best version is the 1830 version.

Except. It was one long run-on sentence. So, go here to download a version without punctuation (sorry - it was too time-prohibitive to go through and remove/replace all of the capital letters). Let the Spirit tell you what the book really says.

The Book of Commandments had revelations given to and through Joseph Smith (though I understand that some in either that book or the Doctrine and Covenants - or both - may have come through someone else, even though Joseph is credited with them). Good book to read.

If you read the Doctrine and Covenants, I would recommend the first edition. It contains the Lectures on Faith. Joseph spent serious effort editing those to get them right. He let a committee deal with the “covenants” section of the book. Guess what? They did some “free-lancing” - They embellished parts, made them sound more like what they thought God would say. Don't believe me? Read the Book of Commandments, then read the same revelations as written in the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

When I was a child, I was taught in church that “we know more than the pioneers did.” We knew more than Joseph did. You see, the church had evolved and we understood a whole lot more. I continued being taught that as I grew up. And I believed it.

When I read in the Lectures on Faith (when I was around 18 or 20 years old) that there were only two persons in the Godhead and that the Holy Spirit wasn't even a person, I believed the footnote that explained that Joseph hadn't figured it out yet. Yet a part of me wondered how he could have gotten it wrong, seeing as he had seen God and all that.

Well, it was only recently that I saw something clearly: We are the ones who haven't figured it out. No president of the church has had the visions Joseph had. The few we believe had visions of Jesus were never delivered over the pulpit, thus are suspect. And the recent deliveries (from apostles) have been couched in poetic phrases, never coming right out and plainly saying, “I know Jesus lives, because I have seen Him. I have touched Him. I have talked to Him. He wants me to tell you …” That smacks of deception to me. That smacks of lies to me. Intentionally.

A “special witness” of Christ is one who is a witness of His suffering in Gethsemane, crucifixion, death, and resurrection - most likely in vision (definitely so today). It is not a fancy title, and most certainly is not a fancy title meaning, “I get to boss you around. I get to tell you how to dress, how to decorate your bodies, what you can say and to whom. I get to demand your respect and veneration. You are to honor and obey me above all and, most especially, if the Holy Ghost tells you something - or the scriptures do - and it goes against my opinions or sermon or the latest policy, I take precedence over scriptures and your Holy Ghost. Follow me and you will get to heaven. Obey my voice and it is impossible for you to be led astray.”

Which brings me to the idea of prophets, because we consider our “special witnesses” to all be prophets. Look in the scriptures. The Book of Mormon is the “most correct book” according to Joseph Smith (note that he did not say it was completely correct. There could be errors in it), and the book says that the Bible is a huge stumbling block, so it would be safest to search the pages of the Book of Mormon.

I want you to look in that book and find me one prophet of God – just one – who says, “Follow me!” Find one who says, “I cannot lead you astray. It isn't in the program. It isn't possible for me to say anything false or contrary to the will of God.”

And I want you to look in that book and find how many prophets point to Christ and say, “Follow Christ.”

And I want you to look in that book and find out how many prophets heap laud and honor upon their listeners for being so awesome. Ditto for any, “To my grandchildren, who are so dear and precious to my heart, and while we're at it, here is a video or some photograph(s) to boost my pride in my progeny.”

I want you to look in that book and find where it says that it is okay to practice polygamy because David and Solomon did it. (Heck, look at D&C 132 if you want, which I believe to have been altered by - maybe even created by - Joseph's secretary, William Clayton, who was conveniently working for Brigham Young when BY felt the need to find something of Joseph's to “prove” that Joseph was lying every time he said he didn't have more than one wife, as in a sexual partner, which is what it seems to mean to everyone, anyway. It points out that Isaac practiced polygamy. Oops. Bit of a boo boo, WC. Strange that BY and those who followed him in the presidency all said and believed the same thing about polygamy: it was to have lots and lots of children. If that is what Joseph taught them, where are the lots and lots of children Joseph was supposed to have had?) I want you to consider that God was, just maybe, talking about spiritual seed when He said, “raise up seed to me.” Just maybe.

And I want it to be known that my greatest desire is for all to escape the chains of hell. I desire spiritual darkness to have no power over anyone who has even the tiniest bit of desire to escape it. I desire all who follow men or women to wake up and follow the one Man who is the only one worthy of following, the only one worthy of emulation.

I do not hate the religion I was born into. I appreciate that it gave me the Book of Mormon. I appreciate that it gave me baptism. I appreciate the truths that it did teach me (I am still in the process of separating the truth from the error). I do not look at my ancestors with distaste or disdain (I am certainly no better than they, and am probably worse). What I do see in us today is a blindness. I see a belief that we are somehow smarter and more learned than those in the past. I see that we believe if we follow men, fallible humans, then we will be saved. No need for the Book of Mormon. Conference talks suffice.

I see true messengers from God despised, rejected, reviled, cast out, mocked, derided, accused of being a devil or having a devil or following a devil. I am not concerned about the messengers. They are in God's hands. He will do with them what He will. My concern is for those who despise the messengers. My concern is for the physical and spiritual destruction of those who profess to know and have the truth, yet fight against God. My prayers are intense for them, as well as for those who have recognized the need to follow only Christ and are willing to sacrifice all things to follow Him. Many of the latter group receive persecution in their own homes or among their friends and peers, or are sorely tempted to do something that would ruin what they are desiring to acquire and accomplish.

Yet, it must be so. Life must be. We must be presented with choices. We must allow those who oppose to oppose. We must allow those who insist upon fear to have that fear. And it must be that there are those who think I am “apostate” even though I am actually a heretic, and who think I have joined the forces of darkness (that is if they ever notice what I believe).

And, once we have been taught from on high, I expect it is our responsibility to teach what we have learned. But only if moved upon by the Holy Ghost or directed to do so by our Lord.

I want you (anyone who happens to read this) to know that I am a bumbling fool. Heaven has taken notice of me on occasion, just as it probably has for you (whether you recognize it as such or not). Heaven has bestowed blessings on me. Heaven has given me gifts. I suspect it has done the same for you.

We should be in a fight against darkness, not against those who do not toe the line of appropriate Brethren-worship (adoration, fidelity, whatever you are pleased to call it). We have a common enemy and it is not “the Brethren” nor is it true messengers. The common enemy seeks to destroy our souls and will use all it can to sink us.

The way to combat darkness is to turn and face the Light. We need no “parlor tricks”. We need not concentrate on darkness, nor school ourselves in the ranks of devils nor their tools. We need only to face Christ with full purpose of heart, with true humility, and with an intense desire to know only that which is true no matter how close to or far from our paradigms it may be (or from that which tickles our fancy).

Just to be plain: True messengers are not here to usurp control over the LDS church, nor to create another institution/corporation or church. They are no threat to the First Presidency's authority over the Church, though they might be a threat to the First Presidency's income, pride, and power simply by virtue of teaching truth - and teaching what a true messenger is and is not.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Zion is a Small Group?

So, a man whose blog I read likes to point out that Zion can be had with only a very few. A handful can do it. One couple can do it. I've noticed that some of my friends become discouraged by that, saying that if only a few are going to make it then they are disqualified.

"How can I possibly be one of them?" they wonder.

One of my daughters brought up an alternate view.

Instead of looking at it as a goal that is so high above you that no one can touch it, how about looking at it as a goal so low that anyone can make it?

Zion is so possible that it can come about even if only a few are brought to that point by Christ. It will not need to take hundreds or thousands, thus we will not miss out if we are the only one (or, as a couple, the only ones) who reach the point of the Lord leading us to Zion.

It really is up to us. There is no competition for Zion. There is not a set number allowed and all others are turned away. ("Sorry, we only need eight souls ala the ark. We've filled our quota, so you're just outta luck.")

I don't think God works that way. I think He desires all to come unto Him. I think He would be overjoyed if Zion consisted of several thousand or several million. By the same token, I think that the low number is there to encourage us, not discourage us.

Now, I don't know what the man thinks about it who writes about the low numbers, nor do I care. It is the Lord, I believe, who inspired my daughter to view it upside-down from what she was seeing in others' views.

No Punctuation in Book of Mormon

So, I learned recently that the manuscript for the Book of Mormon was, essentially, one long run-on sentence. John Gilbert, who was E.B. Grandin's assistant, put in the punctuation. I'm glad he did, because it would have been a confused mess otherwise. However, the punctuation may not be what God had in mind or what Joseph understood. For example, Nephi quotes his father, then says, "These are the words of my father." The verses and punctuation are such that the sentence goes into a different verse than what the father said and there is a colon, as if the words that follow are "the words of my father," when they clearly are not.

So, I looked on my computer and found an 1830 Book of Mormon as a Word document. It doesn't quite match my hardcopy of the book because it has many paragraphs that are smaller, but it also has some huge paragraphs.

In any case, I took out the page numbers that interrupted the text at regular intervals (along with the name of the book, such as Nephi or Alma), and I took out the punctuation. I thought it would be fun for people to print it out and read it without the distraction of punctuation. You can print it out and fill in your own punctuation.

One was uploaded as a Word file.

The other was uploaded as a PDF.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 30, 2014

On True Messengers

I read a post today on a forum I go to probably far too often. There was a note of sadness in it. There was a feeling of, "This is serious stuff. I've made my choice, and the choosing was not easy."

I feel the need to post my reply here, as well as on that thread:

I feel your pain, MegaManToo. It is a rough road. A painful thing. Any who are aware of what Denver teaches seems to be put in a position of choosing, of discerning if he is a liar and a charlatan or if he is bona fide.

One thing that is certain is that if Denver is a liar (about seeing the Lord, and about saying what the Lord wants Him to say), he certainly should be ignored and he will surely be damned to hell.

If, however, he is telling the truth, it behooves us to know that, even if what he says is painful.

Pruning out false beliefs can be excruciatingly painful. Attempting to discern who is telling the truth can be frustrating or confusing.

Following our trusted traditions is probably what most will do who hear of Denver. Doing otherwise puts a person in peril of their standing in the church. It may create cognitive dissonance. It most surely will put us at odds with family, friends, and our wards and stakes. It will, no doubt, lead to the sacrifice of all things.

PtHG was a painful book, but Denver makes very little in the way of damning comment (if any). Mostly, he quotes from original sources. His conclusions, as I understood them, were that Christ's hand was still over the church, that the Gentiles were (and have been since BY's time) fulfilling what was said and prophesied in the Book of Mormon.

But if Denver was/is a true prophet, a true messenger, what will happen to those who have figuratively "shot the messenger"? Is Christ's hand still over the Church in that case? Or just over the church (the humble followers who seek Him still, who do not know there is a true messenger around)?

If "by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same" is true and Denver is a true messenger boy, is it not a serious and grave thing to have cast him out?

All of this is serious. Dead serious. Not that Denver is important in and of himself. He is not. It is the message. The message offends. It divides. It causes anguish of spirit. It creates "bad feelings" (remember Laman and Lemuel? They had bad feelings about what Nephi taught them, also).

And if Denver is lying. If he is a messenger from the devil, from darkness, he ought to be ignored. He ought to be cast out.

Our eternal salvation lies in the balance when it comes to anyone professing to have a message from our Lord. We ought to take it seriously, just like your post above mine did. I can tell that you feel the import, the weight of knowing if he is a liar or not.


End of my post.

Is it not true that we have eternal decisions to make here? Is it not true that Christ said he came to divide? To bring a sword? Is it not true that He will require the sacrifice of all things? Is it not true that most true messengers where not men in authority, but ordinary men outside of established hierarchies?

Discerning true messengers from false ones is vital to the next plane of existence. From my understanding it changes our projectory for the rest of eternity.

So, how do we do it when it is so painful? How do we know we are not following a "Harmston" or a "Jeffs" or "Korihor"?

I would submit this:

Study scriptures.
The Book of Mormon was one long run-on sentence when it was given to the printer. E.B. Grandin's assistant was saddled with the task of typesetting the book. He had no idea where God wanted the punctuation, but he had to do something. And he did the best he could.

Putting a colon after "these are the words of my father" when it was obvious that the words of the father preceded that sentence is one example of where he didn't quite get it right. But he made the text make a whole lot more sense than it would have otherwise.

So, I would recommend reading the book with the understanding that the punctuation may be different than what you see there.

Who are the Gentiles? 
I suggest reading the book as if you, the reader are a Gentile because, in most cases, it is true. If you have been told that you are of Ephraim in a patriarchal blessing, remember that Isaiah (and it is quoted in the Book of Mormon) prophesied that "Ephraim will be broken that it be not a people" (see Isaiah 7:8 and 2 Nephi 17:8). That would explain why we can be both.

Pride, knowledge, and all that stuff.
I would recommend putting away all that you think you know. Read the book, and pray, as if you were brand new to it all. Put away all you have been taught. Trust that the Lord loves you and would not lead you away into darkness and hell if are are humble and sincere. Be humble enough and brave enough to recognize that it is possible that you don't know it all.

Warm fuzzies versus "bad feelings"
If we read something or hear something and get a "bad feeling" - maybe anger, maybe shock or discombobulation, maybe fear, maybe revulsion - it might be useful to search for the root of that.

Contrary to what we are taught, the Spirit does not give us warm fuzzies if something is from God and "bad feelings" if it is from the devil. A whole lot of people didn't have warm fuzzies when Jesus was preaching - or Stephen (remember him? He was the guy who was stoned while Saul held the coats of those who were doing the murder) - or Abinadi - or Nephi - or Lehi - or Isaiah - or Noah - and on and on we could go.

Joseph Smith said that the Spirit communicated with us by giving us pure knowledge. That is not the same as warm fuzzies or feelings of darkness, as far as I can tell. Those nice feelings and bad feelings are telling us something. It may or may not be what we think.

Prayer, prayer, and more prayer
I would suggest being honest as well as humbling oneself to the dirt. "This scares the hell out of me. Help me understand what's true," is actually an appropriate prayer if you're really feeling that way.

God said He would send a great division among the people. Well, He has done it and is still doing it. There is a tremendous division in regards to what truth might be. And the division seems to be splitting along the lines of "follow the brethren/prophet, they/he can never lead you astray" (this fits all the offshoots from Joseph's day) versus, follow Christ only. If you follow a man, you will be damned because men are not perfect, no matter how true of a prophet they may be.

And the crack, as it enlarges, includes those who are not pleased with the LDS Church building malls, owning thousands upon thousands of acres of lands, leaders driving nice cars and getting great perks, mission presidents having a pretty dang high standard of living, among other things.

The time is shortening for those who are part of the restored church. Truly, the Lord has set His hand a second time to give us a second chance after blowing it in regards to building the Nauvoo temple and encouraging a prophet of God to go to his death (haranguing him into destroying a printing press that he knew would cause his demise, then guilting him into turning himself over to those who would end up killing him).

Whatever you decide, whoever you decide to give heed to, I would recommend serious and ponderous thought. And I wish you well. I pray for you. Not that you will believe as I do, but that God will lead you in the paths of righteousness, and that you will be found at the last day to be on the right hand of the Father.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Testimony of Jesus

I have a testimony of Jesus. I wish He had one of me. Perhaps I am too cowardly, too self-centered, too vile. But I still have hope.

My hope is in Christ. He is my best friend. I have seen Him in several dreams, and in one meditation. I have yet to have what I consider a genuine vision of Him (one of those experiences wherein one is not sure if one is in the body or out of it - and it is so real that even 40 or 80 years later, it is as if it happened yesterday).

I am cowardly. I have spent most of my life in fear. Fear of other people. Fear of the devil. Fear of the pain they could cause. Experience is a great teacher. When one has been reviled and persecuted as a child simply because one exists, one learns to take one's aura and draw it inward, emotionally curling into a ball and becoming quite invisible for one who has a physical body.

Things began to change. I began to connect with Christ. I began to have courage, bit by bit. I still consider myself cowardly. But there are some things I am no longer afraid of.

Where is my testimony of Christ?

It is found when He rescues me. When I see followers of Christ coming to my aid through prayers and in concrete ways. When I see that I am more patient, less vile than I used to be, more prone to let people be whatever they are, even if they are unkind to me.

It is found when I finally begin to see what the tokens and the signs in the temple mean, and begin to realize that we should not be taught how to correctly pray only to be forbidden to pray in that manner. What spirit is it that forbids a man or woman to pray?

It is found when I realize that I have nothing of value to say on my blog because it is all my own opinion and most likely not even true. It is found when I am humble enough to admit I was wrong, that the information I shared wasn't exactly right.

It is found when a true messenger from God gives a call to repentance and, instead of being offended because he does not preach the current "safe" doctrine, I am led to fall on my knees - as I realize that not only am I a sinner, but that the Lord's arms are open wide to receive me.

It is found when Christ heals me of wounds that have festered for years, some of them most of my life.

It is a difficult path to follow the Savior.

The religious may persecute you. They will warn you to stay away from the true messengers of God because they honestly believe that those messengers will lead you to hell.

You may lose your spouse, your family, your children, your parents, your friends, and your church affiliation.

You will begin to disconnect from your old thinking until you no longer have common ground with those who still live and believe the way you used to.

I can say that I used to be a Pharisee of the highest order. Tats, multiple rings in one's body, drinking, smoking - any who did them was bound for hell. I was prideful and arrogant but did not know it. Like Amulek, I knew but I did not know.

Now, I see myself as a sinner. I see myself as darkness in comparison to Christ's Light.

I wish I had a testimony to give you - a testimony that I have seen Christ and that I know, actually know, that He lives. But I can't. I don't consider dreams to fall under the category of knowledge. Or daydreams. Or meditations.  I am very strict in my interpretation of what consists of an actual knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But, you know what I CAN do? I can pray for you. And for me. I can pray that our hearts are softened. I can pray that God helps us with our trials and fears. I can pray that the devils and darkness have absolutely no power over us if we have even one tiny speck of willingness to escape. I can pray that we see Christ and are redeemed from the fall. In this life.

So many people on the Internet have such awesome posts. Occasionally, I think I am one of them. However, I am under no illusion that this post and the last one are some of them. I see myself lacking in understanding. I see myself still far too fearful. I see that I do not have the knowledge, the real hands-on experience, that one needs to be able to adequately preach and teach and testify.

But I love Christ. And I recognize His words. And I know the Book of Mormon is extremely valuable in our earthly journey, and that it is a more complex piece of work than most of us have ever imagined. And I know that if Joseph translated the book, it means he had the gift of translation. It does not mean he was a prophet (though I believe he was). It does not mean he was perfect. It does not mean those from Brigham on down were prophets. It does not mean "the church is true." Those are all logical fallacies.

I love Christ. I love my heavenly Father and Mother. Somewhere in my soul I know that. Somewhere in my soul is the person I was before - the valiant and courageous daughter of God who came down here for a reason, and who chose to stay here for a reason after I had been invited home about 2008.

God lives. And I hope somewhere in this scattered rambling, this nattering, there has been something of value to someone - and that these two posts I made today were not made just to satisfy my own vanity (or insanity). If I deem them useless in the future, I will probably delete them. But for now, I will allow my ramblings to stand.

Random Thoughts

I don't get online much. I don't have Internet right now. I do check on things with my phone, but it's a big hassle because my phone has decided it doesn't like the Internet much. So, here I sit at the library, wanting to say something profound. Either bear with me or jump ship now. <grin>

I warn you that this is a very rough draft and may make very little sense.

I've read a lot of threads on my favorite forum that are talking about people who are being called in by their bishops. Some of these seem to have been instigated from the Saving the Saints Committee. (I have a difficult time remembering their name. Torturing the Saints, Spying on the Saints, Protecting the Saints. There is a real name out there somewhere.) Some are being called in because a friend or relative tattled on them to the bishop. Sometimes the person him/herself was very honest when they spoke to a bishop, and the bishop figured their concerns or interpretation of the "word of wisdom" was a sin.

I halfway wonder why my turn isn't coming up. Am I not obnoxious enough (or honest enough) on the Internet? Perhaps I've not posted enough lately. Perhaps it is because I have moved recently and the spies don't know where to find me.

Let me be very plain here:

1 - I believe the current doctrine of "Follow the prophet; he cannot lead you astray," to be a doctrine of devils. I came by that opinion because D&C 76 said that those who dwell in the telestial kingdom (which it says is hell) contain those who follow prophets (whether "true" or not), but who failed to do something important. I'll let you have the joy of searching the scriptures for yourself. You've got the section number. That's all you need. That, and an open mind connected to God.

2 - I believe that the current doctrine of the poor giving to the church even if it means they go hungry, naked, are kicked out for not paying rent, and so forth is a doctrine of devils - and the poor giving to the rich is preached against in several places in the Book of Mormon (the Isaiah verses are a good place to go. Mormon 8. Or you can just read the book, looking for where it is warning us, the latter-day saints/Gentiles about our wickedness and how we have polluted the holy church of God).

Some people in third world countries cannot afford to pay money to the church, some of them suffer so much so they can give - and for what? So that the Brethren can have a new Avalon every year or two? So they can write on cotton rag paper instead of on ordinary paper like the rest of us? So they can throw a big birthday bash or eat expensive lunches at work (COB) that lesser mortals working there are not allowed to eat? So that the church can build malls, buy up Florida and church history lands, keep up their expensive hunting retreats?


3 - I fear a hierarchy that cannot recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd, Him who they profess to follow - Him who they pretend to claim to have seen (in flowery language that they have to know the masses will take as, "He saw Him!!!!" when, it reality, it is language that does not come out and plainly say, "I know He lives, for I saw Him. I touched Him. And this is what He said ...") when He speaks through a servant of His own choosing.

I say "fear" because a group of men who profess to know the Lord, who profess to have His power and authority and to hold His keys who cannot recognize Him whom they profess to serve, even to the point of casting out that servant He has sent,  are dangerous indeed to those whom they teach the mantra of, "Follow the Prophet. Follow the Brethren. We cannot lead you astray. It is impossible."

4 - I believe we are meant to be redeemed from the fall in this life. I believe we are meant to return to the Lord's presence here. I believe that Joseph never intended to restore an institutional organization. I believe Joseph gave in to the demands of men, who wanted a New Testament church (as they supposed it to be).

5 - I believe that the cursing in the D&C was never lifted. I believe that when we lost the fullness, it was never given again. I believe the fullness is to see the face of Christ and receive Him as the Second Comforter. I believe that we (the pioneers - I say "we" because their blood flows in my veins) did not finish the Nauvoo temple in a timely manner. The proof is in the fact that we were scattered and driven, and suffered horribly, and went after false doctrines (perversions of what Joseph had been attempting to teach).

6 - I believe there is hope for us yet. I believe that Jesus Christ is, right now, holding His hand out to us, begging us to listen to Him, to hear the painful truths He is trying to tell us - through the Book of Mormon, through the servants He is raising up to tell us that all is NOT well in "Zion". I believe we Gentiles are being given one last chance. And it is the last. After that, it will revert to the Remnant, to those to whom the Book of Mormon promises it will go to after the Gentiles (us) reject the fullness of the gospel.

Next post to offset this: My testimony of Christ.