A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.

Pages

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Eyewitness Account of Christ in Gethsemane

“And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things;” (Ether 12:39)

Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Alma, Brother of Jared, Mormon, Peter, Enoch, Joseph Smith, Melchizedek, Adam, and many others have talked with the Lord face to face and are witnesses of Christ, His atonement, and His works.

Today, a latter-day witness, who has talked with the Lord face to face and bears witness of Christ, declares an account of Christ in Gethsemane. Here is the link: Gethsemane

Monday, January 29, 2018

Light unto the World


Who is the light of the world? There are many who claim to be a light unto the world and for your money salvation is secured? Almost an endless supply of teachers, preachers, prophets, priests, or kings are available from which to choose. They claim power and declare that God has given them authority to lead. In addition, they assert and regularly remind you that they cannot lead you astray … that's impossible! … however that works out?!?! 

They set themselves up for a light unto the world that they may get gain and praise. And then they require followers to follow them without questioning, faithfully pay tithes without accounting for where it was spent, and attend meetings. Followers are required to answer a list of questions “correctly, as viewed by church leaders” in order to qualify to be baptized in the LDS Church, participate in priesthood or ordinances, or enter the temples, which is taught to be absolutely essential to be saved. But, what light do we follow? Men? Peers? Money? Popularity? Fun? Satan? Christ? Rather than looking for a “Sunday School” answer, it may be helpful to determine who we actually follow? Who do we talk to and get answers from? By our results, what has taken precedence? What light is within us?
 
"He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Nephi 26:29)

"And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen." (D&C 10:70)

"And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness." (Alma 38:9)

John 1
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

D&C 93
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;
2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
3 And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
4 The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
5 I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.
6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.
7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;
8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.
10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Second Comforter – All Invited to Know Him

Here are a few scriptures to consider: (The words were put in bold by me)

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.” (D&C 88:67-68)

“Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him; To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves; That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory. And to God and the Lamb be glory, and honor, and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (D&C 76:116-119)

“Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.” (2 Nephi 32:6)

“And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual. For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.” (D&C 67:10-11)

“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;” (D&C 93:1)

Here's what Joseph Smith taught (TPJS Page 150):
“The other Comforter spoken of is a subject of great interest, and perhaps understood by few of this generation. After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses.”
Note the 16, 17, 18, 21, 23 verses:
16. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
17. Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
23. If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions--Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn.”

Here's what LDS church leaders had to say two and a half years ago when Elder Turley and Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught in the Boise Rescue Fireside on June 13, 2015:
Richard E Turley:
Another claim is that the church is not teaching what is necessary for exaltation, for example, some say that only those who see the face of Jesus Christ in mortality will receive Celestial Glory.
Dallin H. Oaks: {1:00:36 on the recording}
Of course, all of the righteous desire to see the face of our Savior, but the suggestions that this must happen in mortality is a familiar tactic of the adversary.

Here's Moroni's point of view:
“And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood. And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face, and that he told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things; And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing. And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.” (Ether 12:38-41)

I wonder who knows what they are talking about? Where is the truth coming from or from whom does the false and vain and foolish doctrines proceed? Scriptures? Nephi? Joseph Smith? Dallin Oaks? Moroni? Jesus Christ? What is your perspective?

In part, here's what Jesus had to say to the religious leaders of His day: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:13-15)

I wonder if sometimes Jesus' perspective of things and what He says and does causes some people to squirm and feel rather uncomfortable? Does the word of God challenge the traditions of men, require personal repentance,  and cause us to take a serious second look at our foolish beliefs and actions?

“Things that appear unlikely, impossible, or paradoxical from one point of view often make perfectly good sense from another.” Hugh Nibley

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jacob 4

I was reading Jacob Chapter 4 and remain amazed at the message and the applications it has for me here and now. I personally marked some of the words that caught my attention and caused me to ponder. You may find it valuable to do the same yourself.

1 Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;

2 But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers—

3 Now in this thing we do rejoice; and we labor diligently to engraven these words upon plates, hoping that our beloved brethren and our children will receive them with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy and not with sorrow, neither with contempt, concerning their first parents.

4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.

5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.

9 For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?

10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.

11 Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.

12 And now, beloved, marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?

13 Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.

14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.

15 And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation.

16 But behold, according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.

17 And now, my beloved, how is it possible that these, after having rejected the sure foundation, can ever build upon it, that it may become the head of their corner?

18 Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you; if I do not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you.


What do you suppose Jacob meant when he said, “be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ”?

What involves obtaining “a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ?

How would it feel to “be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God?”

Jacob asked a great question, “for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?”


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Abinadi’s Message

“The significance of a prophet’s message can never be measured by the extent to which he is accepted or even acknowledged by his peers.  In the case of Abinadi, he was an outcast whose origins and even ethnic affiliation are unknown.  He is the only person in the Book of Mormon with this name.  His lineage cannot be determined from the name, and whether he is Nephite, Lamanite, or some “other” is not disclosed.

His only credential was his message.  He came to announce warnings, was rejected, and ultimately killed.  He had no success with the people, and made only one convert.

Abinadi is a hinge character around whom the entire remainder of the Book of Mormon will center.  His one convert, Alma, will become the spiritual leader of the Nephites, and that convert will become the leading writer of the Book of Mormon. Then his posterity will be the focus of the remaining history of the Book of Mormon.

Abinadi’s prophecies were cited from the time he delivered them to the end of the Book of Mormon. But measured by the events of his life, he failed.  His one convert fled persecution and hid in the wilderness.

However, measured by the full sweep of history, he is the pivotal character, the central figure from the time of his appearance until the end of the Book of Mormon.

I think there’s a profound lesson in Abinadi’s appearance and legacy.  If the Book of Mormon was edited by those who “saw our day,” and was edited to foreshadow our own history, then we ought to be cautious about discarding a message from someone like Abinadi.

The only meaningful credential is the content of the message.  Trappings of office, genealogy, name, status, and standing were all irrelevant to Abinadi.” (DS 3-24-10)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Abinadi Today?

Under the reign of King Noah and the teachings of his priests, the following occurred and was being practiced in the land: (See Mosiah Chapters 11-17)

- Religious landscape transformed
- Commandments of God ignored
- Doctrines changed
- Altered the affairs of the kingdom
- Put down all the priests, who were previously consecrated, and called news ones with corrupt and prideful hearts
- Adjusted the laws to embrace iniquity
- Many wives and concubines
- Sins, abominations encouraged
- Large tax, donations expected and then used the funds to support the king, wives, concubines, and his priests and leadership.
- Supported in laziness, idolatry, whoredoms
- People labored to support iniquity
- Built elegant and spacious buildings, palaces, and a temple of fine wood, copper, and brass; and a very high tower near the temple
- Seats were set apart for the priests which were above all the other seats.
- Built many buildings throughout the land
- Hearts were placed upon riches $$$
- Riotous living with wives and concubines
- Priests spent their time with harlots
- Spoke lying and vain words to the people
- All is well message
- “Worship the king, follow the priests, and be saved” mentality
- We are safe here; we are righteous; God is on our side and with us.
- Look at our wealth, power, and abundance … Obviously, God is showing His approval and blessing!
- We are the most blessed people of God … No enemy has the power to overcome us
- And … how dare anyone even question or suggest otherwise!

And then … Abinadi was sent by God to warn and call repentance

I do not believe that Abinadi showed up to warn and call repentance to King Noah and his priests and people by chance. Abinadi, on his own accord, had no personal motivation or gain sufficient to inspire him to do such a thing? But when God spoke to Abinadi, clearly declared His message to be delivered, and specifically asked Abinadi to be His authorized messenger, I believe there appeared a whole new “set of cards” before Abinadi. Abinadi trusted God, exercised faith in God, and acted. He followed through with his heavenly assignment by delivering God's authorized message, meekly receiving rejection from the people, and suffering death by fire. I do not believe any of that was an accident or happened by chance. Nor do I believe that it was unplanned that the record was preserved in the Book of Mormon by those who “saw our day” and included that which would prove to “foreshadow our day”.

Are you taking special note and identifying the similarities between the account of Abinadi found in the Book of Mormon and what we find playing before our very eyes today? Has religious landscape changed? Are laws becoming increasingly corrupt? Beliefs? Iniquity? Abominations? Are lying and vain words being preached to the people? Are some taking it in “hook, line and sinker”? Power distributed? Controls in place? $$$ working? Are wives, concubines, and harlots being exploited, used, and abused? How are taxes, tithes, donations, and “perks” being used to support religion, priests, iniquity, and much, much more? Buildings? High end developments? Real Estate? Investments? Palaces? Conference Centers? Temples? High tower near the temple? High rise condominiums? Universities? Ranches? Seems almost never ending? Look at our wealth, power, and abundance … Is God showing us His approval and blessing? Are we in fact the most blessed people of God on earth?

And then in the latter days…God sent a messenger to warn and call repentance to the people. Perhaps, we should be very reluctant about rejecting a message of God from someone like Abinadi today. When you hear a voice of warning today, it may be wise to pay attention and take heed to the message.

The significant credential of someone like that today, as it has proven to be in the past, is the content of the message that came from God.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

World of Illusions


I think we live in a fantasy world and tend to believe in a world of illusions. Recognizing and abandoning an illusion makes you wiser and clears the fog, which enables you to perceive previously concealed possibilities, acquire a fresh orientation, and comprehend a bigger picture. Finding truth and living it can truly set you free. 

Like Gold, truth can be obtained by washing away the filth surrounding it and the all the rubbish obscuring it. I think truth is meant to be obtained not necessarily by its growth but by washing away everything that is not truth. That way truth, which already existed, begins to emerge and appear before our very eyes.

The adversary takes great pride in making falsehoods appear desirable and true. And, on the other hand, he really thrives on manipulating our perspectives to make the truth itself appear false, useless, and without value.

Consequently, truth tends to be without fashion or style, is not perceived to be popular in this world, and too often is publically scorned and ridiculed. Indeed, it is a tremendous undertaking in life to identify and discard illusions, find reality, and fully embrace the truth by living it. 

I suppose the truth is not for all, only for those who diligently and faithfully seek it. After all, few believe that, “The pain of truth is much better than the bliss of an illusion.” 

This illusion video below may persuade you to reconsider what you think you see :)


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Angels Among Us Today?

“And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men. And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made; For they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world. And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Moses 5:55-58)

Are these conditions being manifested today?
Is darkness prevailing?

Is God angry with the wicked?
From God's point of view, who is referred to as the wicked?
Who is not hearkening unto His voice? Nor believing on his Only Begotten Son?

If this is actually happening today among us, would you suppose the gospel is at least beginning to be preached again? Is the gospel being declared by holy angels? By angels sent forth from the presence of God? And by his own voice? And by the gift of the Holy Ghost?

If so, where can an angel, either mortal or immortal, with these credentials be found today here on earth? Do you know of an angel, who resides among us? Anywhere?

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2) What does this mean to you?

Are truths being restored again? Is further light and knowledge coming forth? Is the true and living gospel being taught again? Is the restoration being preserved as it was in 1831? (D&C 1:30)

Restorations again? Revelations? Prophecies? Good news? Patterns?

Whenever apostasy and wickedness reaches a certain point, patterns of God seem to emerge, angels appear, repentance is called, and individuals get to choose for themselves. If God's pattern, at this “tipping point” of wickedness, is to send an angel/messenger from His presence with an authorized message, would you expect such an angel with God's message today? If so, where is an angel to be found?

Does an angel, who has literally come from the presence of God, has been instructed by God's own voice, and possesses an authorized message from God Himself, actually exist among us today? If so, would you expect such an angel to be popular, well known, or highly regarded and praised? From history, we learn that prophets like that, who deliver a message from God, are often persecuted, rejected, and cast out.

How many individuals in our society today do you suppose would acknowledge such an angel and accept the message of repentance he delivers? The majority? Some? A few? Would God vouch for the message delivered by the angel He sent? How would that affect the hearers and those to whom the message was directed?

Would the message fit in the category of “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servant, it is the same”? Why or why not? If such an angel is indeed present and currently among us (And I believe there is), what would be required on your part? And what is the status or consequences associated with the one who fails to take notice of the ministry of such angels?

Moroni had something to say about this:
“Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” (Moroni 7:36-38)

If you have not recognized, acknowledged, or accepted such an angel today, what does that mean? When someone fails to recognize a true message or fail to entertain angels from God's presence, according to Moroni, what is the state and standing of that individual? If you have not identified such a messenger from God with His message, which is very likely a message of repentance, what does that have to say about your level of faith? Unbelief? False traditions? Salvation? Redemption?

Society today does not yet have the original religion that Adam received from God. We do not currently possess the “records of the fathers” which describes the gospel taught by God to Adam. I am not aware of any group, religion, institution, or people today that has preserved the entire original religion. 
 
Joseph Smith was called by God and authorized as His servant to call repentance, teach the gospel, and to begin the process to restore the original. Through Joseph, much truth was restored, apostasy was challenged, and we have obtained some important parts of the gospel which had been lost. Joseph was persecuted and killed, and God's message was rejected before the restoration was completed. What Joseph left was only a portion of the intended restoration. During the course of almost 184 years since the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the partial restoration they left has been morphed by men into an awful, ongoing, ever changing, and increasing disorder, which leaves people befuddled to understand it. What Joseph restored must now be recovered, preserved, and come to life as was the case on November 1, 1831, when the Lord referred to the church as “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1: 30)

If that description and status is to be recovered and restored again today, then most certainly His people, fellowships, gatherings, churches, or groups must be established by revelation, visitations from angels, and delegation of authority. His people must be “true and living” because the authority and gifts need to be present and unfolding. New scripture shall continually come forth and increase. Revelations will surely be ongoing and perpetually being received.

God has and does and will covenant with His people. His covenant people will continue to grow in knowledge, light, and truth as further ordinances and rites are restored. The humble, “true and living” followers of Christ are taught the doctrines which give the tools with which they can grow in light and knowledge until the perfect day. (D&C 50: 24.)

Therefore, what Joseph and Hyrum left restored in June 1844 must return in our day and, in addition, the original religion taught to Adam must be restored before we finally arrive back at the beginning. The original religion, which was lost long before Abraham, was restored to Abraham and lost later. Therefore it becomes very important for us today to connect with our fathers, who have connected with heaven. We must receive angels sent from the presence of God and obtain the restored original religion.

We must be actively engaged in His work to receive what God is offering today.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Heroes and Villains

The difference between a hero and a villain is largely determined by what people think and believe. And … the thoughts and beliefs of men and women tend to change, especially over a period of time and with additional experience.

Perhaps, that is why today's heroes become tomorrow's villains just as today's fools become tomorrow's venerated examples.

I sometimes wonder if, in reality, there are no villains and heroes, only people doing their best while others are observing and judging from their own distorted perspectives.

Unfortunately, accusers almost always fail to view the entire experience, motivations, and reasons, nor comprehend the full set of events, thought processes, and perspectives. Therefore, it may be wise to reconsider what we think we see … because we may be simply wrong.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Savior's Shadow

For me, this may be the best song yet performed by Blake Shelton, at least of which I am aware. It is very soothing, peaceful, and rings with truth and hope. God is love, is no respecter of persons, and works with every single person who is found with a pure heart and a willing mind. I appreciate Blake sharing his gift of music and I love the song. Enjoy !



I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
He is watching over me
I feel the rain, I hear the thunder
As he cries for me

I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
Grace will lead to where I'm free
I take his hand, we walk together
And his light shines on me

Though the devil try to break me
My sweet Jesus won't forsake me
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
Where I'm supposed to be

I'm standing in my Savior's shadow
Following his footsteps there
Every mountain, every ocean
He hears my every prayer

Though the devil try to break me
My sweet Jesus won't forsake me
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
Where I'm supposed to be

Though the devil try to break me
My sweet Jesus won't forsake me
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
Where I'm supposed to be
When I'm in my Savior's shadow
I'm who I'm supposed to be


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gathering Light … From Where?


“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on your point of view and where you are standing. It also depends on what light you have already gathered and what sort of person you are.” (CS Lewis)

So …What is your point of view and perspective? Where are you currently standing? Upon what are you leaning? Trusting? Depending? Do you confide in Science? Philosophies of men? Surfing the internet? Religion? Christ? Other?

Technological experiments, tests, reported results, and all conclusions derived in science account for only a very small fraction of the full detailed picture. Man's understanding of Science underestimates and fails to explain and fully identify even a household fly with all its curious characteristics, not to mention all the creations of God right before our very eyes. Similarly, when only a few solitary notes are heard in music, it becomes very difficult to even identify the song, let alone understand the full intended message.

Many people today tend to assume that the philosophies of men and everything found on the internet, facebook, blogs, etc. must surely be mostly true and is something to count on and base our lives upon. More correctly, I think the internet, like this world, is full of varying perceptions, misconceptions, interpretations and partial conclusions based on a very small sampling and little experience, at least from God's point of view. In very few places does the internet contain the word of God declared with power through His servants, but it does exist. The word of God can and has been found, but like most things, it is rarely recognized for what it really offers, represents, and has of merit and value.

With extremely limited intelligence and skewed perspectives, we frequently stumble over very important truths and key events, which remain unrecognized and appear to be of little worth at best or, on the other hand, just plain annoying and disturbing. Consequently, we hurry off as if nothing happened or after what we perceive to be an inconvenient delay, we pick ourselves up and continue our living as before. Since we possess such a microscopic understanding of how things really are and minute comprehension of the big picture, it is extremely unlikely that men can possibly teach and quote each other to end up with a perfect picture of reality and full truth comprehended. To result in even more confusion and misunderstanding, we each have a different and changing big picture in our minds and insist it must be true.

Likewise, religion is viewed from nearly as many different perspectives as there are people involved. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the sagacious as false, and by the rulers as a useful instrument of process and control. Truths being restored, angels calling repentance, and humble servants teaching with heavenly power is often confused and mixed with an endless source of heresies, corruption and power, all within various religions, each of which claim to be of God. Religious institutions, much like the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, holds much less light than what is available and any notes of music, if discerned at all, are usually skewed, out of tune, confusing, and even irritating.

Christ, on the other hand, possesses a higher degree of intelligence than do we. Christ, like the sun, has risen and sends forth light from which our entire brightness and beauty is wholly derived. He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) He is truly a “been there, seen it, done it, and experienced it first-hand” sort of friend. It is your choice to truly receive Him as your friend.

“And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.” (Abraham 3:19)

Would it not seem wise to approach and ask questions and receive answers from the One who is more intelligent than they all? Christ is the master teacher, who is full of meekness and love and knows exactly what He is talking about. Christ perfectly embodies the word of God, precisely lives it, and fully manifests it. That's why we are commanded to learn of Him and precisely follow Him. 

We must never forget that we are entirely dependent on God at every moment. When any person lays out “all her cards” on the alter, hiding nothing, and is not only willing to, but in fact does hand over her whole self to Christ, things change significantly and likely can never be the same. Fully coming unto Christ will cause you to hear the entire symphony, all the pieces of music, and every single note in perfect sequence and melody. Your intelligence and understanding will greatly expand. You will find and know truth Himself and with Him everything else thrown in.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

My Church – What It Is and Isn't

“There is this interesting statement by the Lord found in D&C 10:67-68: “Behold, this is my doctrine - whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.”

The statement requires us to
1. Repent, and then
2. Come unto Christ.

Repentance is a lifelong process.  As we get further light and knowledge we have to incorporate it into our lives and change behavior.  Over a lifetime, this should be dynamic, not static.

The more difficult explanation is to “Come unto Him.”  It is my view that this includes fully receiving Him into your life as did the brother of Jared, Nephi, Enos, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith, Daniel, Isaiah, Jacob, Mormon, Moroni, Alma the Younger, Paul, and so many others who have testified of Him.  That is a subject so great that the entire body of scriptures exist to help us accomplish it.

Significant, too, is that whatever is “more or less” than this is not “of my church” according to the Lord.  So we have to take great care to not overstate or understate this doctrine of His.  Adding endless requirements by the commandments of men is “against Him.”  Similarly, any failure to declare the essential nature of coming to Him is also “against Him.”  I think the first verse of D&C 93 is a formula for coming to Him.  That formula declares that, when it is followed, you will see His face and know that He is." (DS 3-3-10)

So ... Is there any other way or possibility for an individual to be of His church without first repenting, coming unto Him, receiving redemption from Him, conversing with Him face to face, and knowing Him? According to the words of Christ, do you consider yourself to be of His Church? Do you qualify ? Why or why not? If not, are you willing to fully receive Him into your life and meet the requirements He has set to become of His Church?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Follow Christ, Receive His Messengers

We should only "Follow" Christ. See, e.g., Matt. 4:19; 9:9; 16:24; 19:21; Mark 2:14; 8:34; 10:21; Luke 5:27; 18:22; John 12:26; 21:19.

Prophets are not to be followed; only "received" or, in other words, to be heard. See, e.g., Matt. 10:14; Mark 16:11; D&C 76:101. If sent by Him they testify of Him and not of themselves.

If you will not receive Christ's prophets and apostles, you will be condemned. See John 3:10-11.

But you are under the burden of determining whether a man is a true or false prophet, true or false apostle, because following a false one will condemn you. Christ will expose the false prophets and apostles. D&C 64:39. But that will be by-and-by, for they must be given their season to claim falsely to be prophets and apostles.

If you will not hear a prophet, you will be rejected. See D&C 1:14.

Those who claim you should "follow" them put themselves in the place of Christ. They are, in effect, a false Christ. We were promised they would come in the last days to deceive the "very elect" as false Messiahs. See, JS-Matt. 1:22.

The trial is underway. The world must choose correctly.” (DS 1-30-15)


Monday, January 15, 2018

Truth … Anything More or Less is Evil

“There is an alarming statement in D&C 93. It follows the definition of truth found in D&C 93:24: “Whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning”(D&C 93: 25); meaning that we are all required to find the truth. Anything more or anything less is evil and means we have been deceived. In addition, the follow up to the parable of the Ten Virgins found in D&C 45:56-57 warns everyone that the five foolish virgins who will not take truth as their guide are going to be hewn down and cast into the fire.
These decisions about what truth you must accept are important, but can only be made by trusting the Spirit. You should look to the Spirit for the answer to where and what is truth in this day of so much deception. Marketing, by its very nature, is deception. (See, The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom, by David Kupelian) All of modern commerce is based on deceiving you. Making you think you need something when you do not. Exciting your envy to get you to purchase something you really don’t need. So when it comes to the truth, you will need to demonstrate some “sales resistance” to Satan, and not be fooled into rejecting truth although it comes from a lone voice, crying from the wilderness (as has been so often the Lord’s pattern in the past)." (DS 2-23-10)

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Jud├Ža, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” (Matthew 3:1-3) 
 
“For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power, to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power.” (D&C 84:28)

Since John the Baptist was ordained by the angel of God to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord the first time (2,000 years ago), would you expect a man today to be ordained to overthrow the kingdom of the Gentiles, to say, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, and to prepare them for the SECOND coming of the Lord?

Does the Spirit ratify the things that are taught and comes from a lone voice presently among us today, crying from the wilderness and declaring that the heavens are open for business? What if the Lord's work is again underway and His offering to you is valid and in force today, as His voice clearly declares, “... how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.” (3 Nephi 10:6)

If this, in fact, is the case today (and I believe it is), would it seem reasonable to take notice and study God's message given through His messenger, who is His mortal angel and a modern John the Baptist? If this is indeed true, why would anyone doubt or fail to give strict heed to the message and gratefully receive precisely what God offers today?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Angels

“There is a system by which men learn the mysteries of heaven and are saved. That system is set out in Alma 12: 29-30:

-First, angels are sent to prepare men/women.

-Second, they are allowed to behold the Lord’s glory.

-Then they converse with the Lord, at which point they are taught the things which have been prepared from the foundation of the earth for their salvation.

-All of which is driven by the man/woman’s faith, repentance and holy works.

This is in keeping with Joseph Smith’s revelation about those chosen to become a member of the Church of the Firstborn. They are chosen by the holy angels to whom the keys of this power belong. (D&C 77: 11)

If this isn’t happening, then faith does not exist on the earth any longer. (Moroni 7: 37)

Ministering angels are an indispensable part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why those keys were restored so early on in this dispensation, and are so widely disseminated into the Church membership. (See D&C 13 and D&C 107: 20)”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ceremony of Recognition and Witnessing

In 3 Nephi Chapter 11, we have the account when the Father introduces His Son to the Nephites in the land of Bountiful, Jesus Christ appears, and the people are asked to perform a ceremony of recognition and witnessing.

“And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him. And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them. And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven. And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: 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. And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.” (3 Nephi 11:6-15)

From the Book, “The Second Comforter – Conversing with The Lord Through the Veil” on Pages 170-171 we read:

“He tells them to come, one by one, to feel the wounds in his side, and hands, and feet. One by one is how he directs. No person who is present is to have this witness through another. All of them are to be equally qualified as Witnesses of Him. there is nothing vicarious about this meeting. They are asked to perform a ceremony of recognition and witnessing. They first feel his side. To do this they must embrace the Lord, for you cannot feel his side without embracing Him. Embracing Him is an essential part of the ceremony of recognition. Ceremony and holiness are connected with each other. Recognize you are reading about a ceremony, as all encounters involved with God are in one way or another.

Having embraced the Lord and felt his side, the witnesses are asked to take a step back and feel His hands. Feeling the Lord's hands is also a part of the ceremonial process. At an arm's length, holding his hands, you feel the marks of the nails.

Then, having touched the secret emblems of the Atonement, you are permitted to kneel and feel the prints in His feet. This part of the ceremony is the easiest for men to observe. For kneeling at his feet is the natural position for anyone who has witnessed for themselves the price He paid on their behalf and feels the love within Him.

This is ceremony, and this is ritual, but it employs such rich witnesses in the body of the Lord as to be convincing beyond all doubt that He is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Deliverer, and the Holy One of Israel!

Every person will be given the same experience at some point as the scriptures record in 2 Nephi 9:41: "O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.” This statement by Nephi concerns the final judgement. But it needn't be delayed. He is the One through whom salvation comes. And He employs no servant to do these things. This encounter can be here, now, in mortality.”

The scriptures are loaded with testimonies of individuals who actually experience this type of encounter with God ... while still mortal!

In the Book of Mormon, you only need to read 5-6 verses to find the account where Lehi prayed unto the Lord and received an answer. There came a pillar of fire and he did quake and tremble. Lehi was overcome with the spirit, carried away in a vision, saw the heavens open, and saw and heard much.

“Thus I, Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face, as one man talketh with another; and he told me of the works which his hands had made; And he said unto me: My son, my son (and his hand was stretched out), behold I will show you all these. And he put his hand upon mine eyes, and I saw those things which his hands had made, which were many; and they multiplied before mine eyes, and I could not see the end thereof.” (Abraham 3:11-12)

“And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you. Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.” (Ether 3:13-14)

I don't think it is wise to allow another person to stand between you and Christ in any form or fashion, nor to be deceived into believing that this connection, embrace, and ceremony with Christ is merely meant for afterlife. You needn't wait until after death to meet Christ face to face, be redeemed by the Redeemer, and receive the testimony of Jesus, promising you eternal life, by His own voice.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Knowledge Destroys Ignorance

Joseph Smith said:

“It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (TPJS 301)

“The principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation. This principle can be comprehended by the faithful and diligent; and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be saved will be condemned. The principle of salvation is given us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” (TPJS 297)

“The Church must be cleansed, and I proclaim against all iniquity. A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” (TPJS page 217)

“The problem we must overcome to obtain salvation is our profound ignorance. And what the gospel offers defies ignorance, subdues it, challenges it, destroys it, and leaves it in the dark.” (DS Lecture 1)

“Ignorance is only blissful until the issue you've ignored jumps up from the sidewalk and bites you in the ass.” (David Roppo)

“One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn in my lifetime is that people will believe what they want to believe regardless of facts or evidence. I have been foolish enough to believe that anything I say could change that.” (B. Devine)

“People don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

“Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise.” (Thomas Gray)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Truth Matters

“When we receive truth we are expected to live our lives in conformity with the truth we’ve received. We shouldn’t expect to receive more if we do not live what we’ve already been given. Living in conformity with such truth as you already have is also always required to avoid deception. It is simply not possible to harvest additional light while refusing to live the light already given. False spirits visit with those who invite them by their misconduct, rebellion or wickedness. Hence the need to constantly re-evaluate how you live and the choices.” (DS 2-11-10)

“Truth is a knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they are to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 93: 24.) As a result, truth is really not subject to debate. We either know the truth or we are deceived. If we know it, we have an obligation to declare it. If we are deceived, we have an obligation to be humble enough to at least consider the truth before we reject it.” (DS 4-20-10)

I was talking with my family about how truth is always challenged with falsehoods and errors and there seems to be an endless supply of “crazy stuff" (depending on perspective of course) out there to deceive and distract. My daughter remarked, “The real question is whether what you think is true really is true...” Profound indeed.

We concluded that whenever a verified fact or an accurate statement backed with evidence or a true message with substance or the word of God is obtained and confirmed by the spirit, the truth itself is extraordinary, supersedes incorrect ideas, and is certainly worth receiving.

The act of embracing truth may influence the arrival of short-term challenges, which derive from the adversary and those he deceives. However, the truth will surely be of greater value in the end, and therefore, be preferred over falsehoods that must be discarded. Truth is like a successful surgery; it may hurt but cures. Drugs may conceal core issues, cover symptoms of sickness, distort the situation, and mask the actual condition and the real state of affairs. Likewise, falsehoods and lies can give instant temporary relief in some degree, but enlarge and magnify the spiritual wound, make the core problem worse, and cause increasing symptoms and side effects until sincere repentance occurs.

Truth can be disturbing, especially when lies we believe and live are openly exposed. Being called to repentance by an authorized servant sent by God with a message, tends to bring out the true colors of each individual in some fashion or another.

Hugh Nibley had this to say about repentance, “Who is righteous? Anyone who is repenting. No matter how bad he has been, if he is repenting he is a righteous man. There is hope for him. And no matter how good he has been all his life, if he is not repenting, he is a wicked man. The difference is which way you are facing. The man on the top of the stairs facing down is much worse off than the man on the bottom step who is facing up. The direction we are facing, that is repentance; and that is what determines whether we are good or bad.”

Acquiring additional truth and light and the continual work of repentance should play a major part of every person's mortal life because it largely determines an individual's relationship with God.