Two Kinds of Peace

There are at least two different kinds of peace. There is the peace that the world offers, and there is the peace Christ offers (“not as the world giveth”). The Hebrew word Shalom implies not only peace for wholeness.

What is the true meaning of shalom?

According to Strong’s Concordance (7965), shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.


You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You. Isa 26:3


If you look up the Hebrew for “perfect peace”, this is the translation for “shalom shalom”.

Calling and Election

Brigham Young actually explained the difference between the Second Anointing and the Second Comforter. They are two different things. I have never seen this quote before, but wanted to share it. There are several significant points made here, and I know independently that he is telling the truth.

  • Priesthood is separate from and independent of the church
  • The fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood comes directly from the Lord
  • The second anointing in the public promise. The second comforter is the private fulfilment of that promise. The first is not complete without the other.
  • People who come on “Mormon Stories” and complain that they haven’t seen the Savior in the temple, were not taught this doctrine properly. The second anointing comes about as a “reward”, given by man for faithful service in the church, and/or being connected to the “right” families. The second comforter is given by the Lord himself. If we take the Holy Spirit for our guide, seek and receive personal revelation, and act on it, the second comforter is the destination that this path leads to.
  • Contrary to what Brigham Young says, the second anointing is not a prerequisite for receiving the second comforter.

There are in the Church two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and the Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood (1) & C 107: 1). But there is additonal Priesthood that has never been delegated to the Church. The Lord Himself handles this Priesthood and gives it to whom and when He pleases. Man does not call another man to this order, neither does man secure it by the request or selection of any man on earth. The call comes by messenger from heaven requesting designated individuals into the House of God (and it is known to Latter-day Saints as the second anointing), preparatory to receiving the Second Comforter, which completes their ordination. Sometimes this second Comforter is given while in the Temple. Often it does not come until years after, even just at death. But they who have had their second anointings can see the face of the Lord and live, even though being in the flesh, as one sees and talks to another. A Priesthood Issue, p. 8 (See also: J.D., 9:87)

From the Pamphlet “Son thou Shalt Be Exalted” by Dennis Short https://content.byui.edu/file/76183b70-4348-4e74-bd7d-5b823a415513/1/FileMS166_SonThouShaltBeExalted.pdf

In the early history of the Church it was sometimes possible to tell which of the Apostles had made their ordination complete by a careful observance of the way in which they performed certain ordinances. If an Apostle had enjoyed the ministering of the Savior to him personally, and had the Lord lay His hands upon his head, then this Apostle would say, “Having authority given me of Jesus Christ….” If an Apostle had not made his ordination complete he would perform the ordinance in the conventional manner, i.e.: “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I….”

There are other ways to tell whether a man has the Sealing Power or not, by the way in which he prays. Since this is easily imitated, I would reveal those ways, but if you are attentive, the Lord will reveal them to you.

Here is a really old quote from Bruce R. McConkie. He didn’t talk like this in his later years:

Revelations are not reserved for a limited few or for those called to positions of importance in the Church. It is not position in the Church that confers spiritual gifts. It is not being a bishop, a stake president, or an apostle that makes revelation and salvation available. These are high and holy callings which open the door to the privilege of great service among men. But it is not a call to a special office that opens the windows of revelation to a truth seeker. Rather it is personal righteousness; it is keeping the commandments; it is seeking the Lord while He may be found.

God is no respecter of persons. He will give revelation to me and to you on the same terms and conditions. I can see what Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw in the vision of the degrees of glory–and so can you. I can entertain angels and see God, I can receive an out pouring of the gifts of the Spirit–and so can you.

There are goals to gain, summits to climb, revelations to receive. In the eternal scope of things we have scarcely started out on the course to glory and exaltation. The Lord wants His Saints to receive line upon line, precept upon precept, truth upon truth, revelation upon revelation, until we know all things and have become like Him.

Let us press forward in making our callings and elections sure, until, as Joseph Smith said, we shall have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend us, or to appear to us from time to time, and until even He will manifest the Father unto use (See TPJS., p. 151). Improvement Era, December 1969, p. 85

Why I am opposed to organized Religion

I mentioned in a previous post that I have problems with organized religion.

Some people may know this, but not others. I was actually involved in the organization of a Restoration church. It began as a group of in-home fellowships, but we received commandments and authority from the Lord to organize the Priesthood. We had apostles, prophets, patriarchs, evangelists, bishops, and all the offices of the Priesthood. We dedicated a small structure like unto Moses’ tabernacle, dedicated it, and administered temple ordinances. We were doing things and having spiritual experiences, and gifts of the Spirit like the early church under Joseph Smith.

There were two things that soured me on the idea of ANY institutional church.

(1) As Priesthood holders, we had visions, revelations, and other gifts of the Spirit that the LDS church could only talk about. Our apostles had true power and authority from Christ.

(2) Some of the members sought after positions of authority, and as soon as they got it, they wanted to organize an institutional church patterned after the LDS church. We slipped into apostasy, almost immediately. They drove the true servants of God out of the church.

I pondered for years what we did wrong. What was the exact moment when we went astray? I finally identified it as the time we officially organized and incorporated under the State of California. We even received a revelation the warned us that we were “following the arm of flesh”, but we ignored it.

But, through it all, I learned to depend on personal revelation. My journals are full of it.

I support the Lord’s definition of His church.

“Those who repent and come to me.” D&C 10:67

This could be an individual, a family, a small group of people holding regular cottage meetings.

This is such an accurate description of the history of our little group, the Lord could have said this of us, not the Nephites.

3 Nephi 27:3 And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.

3 Nephi 27:4 And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?

3 Nephi 27:5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;

3 Nephi 27:6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.

3 Nephi 27:7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.

3 Nephi 27:8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

3 Nephi 27:9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

3 Nephi 27:10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

3 Nephi 27:11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.

Imitating Christ

Somebody posted to Facebook the other day about a talk given last conference. The speaker said that in order to follow Jesus, we had to “imitate Jesus”. The poster did a great job of debunking this notion, and the entire “gospel of works” by actually teaching the correct doctrine of Christ from the Scriptures.

I just wanted to a brief comment.

Eternal life is not to imitate God, but to know God. Satan imitates God. That’s why he’s able to deceive.

Covid-19 Booster Shot

I received my booster yesterday, and today, I am getting weakness and chills just like last time, though not as severe as the second dose. My body temp is naturally low. Since yesterday, my highest temp has been 98.6, but that feels like a fever to me.

I don’t really care what your opinion is of the vaccine, or of me for taking it. Each person should check in with their own highest source of spiritual light and follow where that leads you. As you may know, I asked the Lord to send somebody into my life, just like Him. He told me a year before it happened that somebody, whom I never imagined or thought of, was on the way. When we first met, the Lord confirmed that this was the person, and He told me: “He’s mine. Take care of him.”

I have promises to keep, and I have been faithful to that promise for 35 years. He is disabled and has no other source of income other than me. I will continue to fulfill that promise and remain alive for as long as I can.

Witnesses of Christ Part I

Background

Denver Snuffer is a Salt Lake City attorney and author. His first book “The Second Comforter” discusses how individual Latter-day Saints can and should seek out the experience of having a personal interaction – in a very literal sense – with Jesus Christ.

He goes through all the scriptural evidence of why receiving The Second Comforter is a necessary part of receiving the Fullness of the Gospel. The Doctrine and Covenants makes the following statement, speaking of the Book of Mormon:

Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; D&C 20:9

People criticize Joseph Smith for stating that the Book of Mormon contains the “fullness” of the Gospel when it says nothing about the three degrees of glory, the temple endowment, the plan of salvation, and many other Mormon doctrines. But, the truth of the matter is that until you have received an audience with the Lord, you haven’t received the fullness of the Gospel, which we are all invited and required to receive. The book “The Second Comforter” explains how the Book of Mormon is essentially an ascension text, and a guidebook for how this is received.

Adrian Larsen explains how the Book of Mormon is an ascension text, using nothing more than the book itself.

Once you really read the Book of Mormon in depth, not skipping over the passages you didn’t understand because they never taught you about them in Sunday School. You will read the phrase “Come unto Christ.” with entirely new meaning.

Answering Criticisms

There are a lot of accusations against the ideas presented in this book, and once you read the book, as I have, you can see that these ideas are completely baseless, and leveled by people who have never cracked the book, much less understand anything about the deeper matters of the Gospel. We are entitled to ask and receive the mysteries of God. We are repeatedly told to ask.

Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich. D&C 6:7
But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life. D&C 63:73
For thus saith the Lord–I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. D&C 76:5-7
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.
Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.
Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you by the hands of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. Amen. D&C 67:10-14
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

Denver is also accused of trying to force the Lord’s hand in receiving these things. This is not true. The following describes his first encounter with the Lord.

I accepted the invitation to speak here, because the time has come to testify of the things shown me by the Lord in His first appearance on the night of February 12-13, 2003. I saw His return in glory, and recorded what He revealed:

These are the words I can use to testify of that event. Therefore this is my testimony of that visit in early 2003.
The first appearance of the Lord was in the 50th year of my life—an age considered suitable for more than a thousand years for a man to qualify for service in the Holy Order after the Order of the Son of God.
The Lord has visited with and taught me on many occasions since then, but never at my insistence. I have never controlled His appearing. My experience is that He cannot be conjured nor controlled. I can petition, but He comes when He decides.
The Lord has never appeared to me in a dream. I have always been awake, fully aware of my surroundings, and with my senses unimpeded. When awakened during the night, sleep has always fled, and following such an encounter I was always unable to return to sleep. Doctrine of Christ Conference, Boise, ID

Why it is necessary to receive the Second Comforter

And then the Savior made a major investment. It’s interesting when He came to the Nephites, before He would teach them anything, before He said anything other than introducing Himself. We know they were 2500 people there that day and He had 2500 people come before Him and we’re told He did it one at a time. He stood there apparently like this until 2500 come forward and feel the prints in his hands, side and feet. Now, if you do a little bit of math on that and take 2500 people and just give each one 10 or 15 seconds and you can be guaranteed some took more than ten or fifteen seconds, that’s over ten and a half hours. Ten and a half hours and then He went on and gave the equivalent of the Sermon on the Mount and talked to them and said nothing about the experience until, until He came to the end and then He began to explain why He did that. Why did He do that and watch, this is in 3rd Nephi chapter 18 verse 25, He says,

“And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.”


The Second Comforter is intended for everyone. The people were COMMANDED to come to him and feel and see.

Bob Norman, Doctrine of Christ Conference, Boise, ID

Witnesses of Christ Part II

Testimonies of those who have received the Second Comforter, or seen Christ.

Here are excerpts from two men who have witnessed Christ. I have listened to these podcasts. There was something in their voice and in their words, even before they bore their witness that they didn’t just know about Christ. They know Christ. I have listened to these podcasts over and over.

Louis Naegle Testimony:
Related to remarks made by him at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in Boise, Idaho; September 10, 2016

God’s strange act and strange work will be fulfilled. You may find what I’ve just said to be shocking or think this is too much praise for a living man. But understand; I was called to bear witness here and I am not willing to risk you taking his mission too lightly or allowing you to underestimate what he has said and written, just so that I can avoid your disapproval or ridicule.

I witness that Jesus Christ is real. I have seen Him. I have been in His presence not five feet away from Him. I was not ministered to by Him. He did not pronounce me clean. And I certainly don’t consider that I have had my Second Comforter. He did not embrace me and I did not bathe His feet with my tears. Rather I recoiled into fetal position while still on my feet and rehearsed the abundance of my sins before Him. I wasn’t even astute enough to beg for forgiveness. But there were two distinct sentences that were conveyed from Him to me multiple times during the brief moments I was in His presence. They were: “Louie; I want you to be happy!” and the other sentence was simply, “Who have you loved?”

I have seen Jesus Christ. I witness that he is real, and that He is The God of Love.

Amen

Daniel A. Rogers’ Testimony

Related to remarks made by him at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in Boise, Idaho; September 10, 2016
and elsewhere

So I’m almost actually at the end of this thing. I just have to endure through it. So that is what we are doing on this path of the Doctrine of Christ, is that we are trying to endure to the goal. And the goal is that Christ manifests Himself unto you. And I just want to make a point that in the temple we have a symbol of the things that we need to experience in our life and in a properly ordered endowment ceremony instead of crossing through the veil and sitting on some nice couches until some worker shushes you out of the room, you’d be pulled across the veil, taken into a sealing room because that’s where sealings happen and there you’re made first sons and daughters and then fathers and mothers.

At its core, exaltation is a choice. It’s a choice to never give up, never surrender. It is a choice to be healed from the poison of fiery, flying, snakes by looking to the body nailed and lifted up for us. And the labor which they had performed was to look and because of the simpleness of the way or the easiness of it, there are many who perished. No matter where you are, no matter who you are, decide today that as long as I can stand, I will walk, as long as I walk I will run, to the goal of knowing and being healed by our Savior. Submission to the will of God is bringing heaven into Earth, not an acquiescence and surrender to this hell on Earth. It is our job as seekers of righteousness to actually do heaven’s will in our own lives. We can always start, no matter where we at with ourselves and from there just go on out to your family, to your spouse, to your community, to your sphere of influence. Do it in that order.

So I’ve wrote online my witness of Christ. I won’t repeat a lot of what was written there, you can look it up later. I put it back up. There really isn’t much special about being a messenger or a witness. As near as I can tell the main advantages is you have a little bit more time to think about the message, a little bit more time to miss the mark of the message and a little bit more time to try again. So I might have had maybe two or three shots here more than you guys. Many firsthand know that my most common response to most questions is a combination of either, ‘wow, I didn’t ever thought of that,’ or ‘that is very interesting,’ or ‘I don’t know.’ I really do have more questions than I have answers. I tend to be, if some people are ‘why,’ if some children of God ask why incessantly, I tend to be the one that asks ‘what and how.’

For what it’s worth I will share this, Christ is a real person. Do not believe anyone or anything that will discourage you from knowing him. Our job, just like Christ’s job, you know when He comes, do you notice in the scriptures almost the first time, almost the first thing He says is that he did the will of the Father. That’s what He did when he came as a mortal and that is what we do. Our job is to do His will, His job is to bring the pass our eternal life and exaltation. Please trust His methods, please trust His timing. He has the ability to accomplish much more than we give him credit for. The timing is His. He sees a bigger picture than any of us realize. Even when we might be ready, He might have different plans for us. Perhaps our family, perhaps our neighbors, perhaps there’s something that will happen that he thinks it would be better to wait. Time is subject to Him and there’s no impediment for Him to accomplish whatever it is He wants. So whatever you think He needs to do, He can do it in the last breath of your life. What you need to do is take His message, His sayings and His will and do it on earth as it is done in heaven.

So this is the message of peace. Thanks to the Father who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore my beloved brothers and sisters be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work and will of the Lord because we know, we all know, that our labor is not in vain when done in Christ Jesus. Thank you. Amen.

From: http://thesecondcomforter.com/

“I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen…“

Here are additional witnesses, taken from https://www.totheremnant.com/2015/07/

With that in mind, compare the above “special witness” testimonies with the following words of normal LDS people, without rank or position, who have actually met the risen Lord in person:

I know He lives, for I have seen Him. He has ministered to me.

I have spoken with Him as a man speaks to another. He speaks in plain humility, reasoning as one man with another. He will reason with you.

—Denver Snuffer

On April 14, 2012, I was carried away into the heavenly temple. I shook the hand of the angel that was my guide. I saw and heard the Father and the Son speak to me. This experience involved sight, touch, sound, and smell. It was as real as anything I have experienced in my day-to-day life, only the glory and intelligence conveyed is indescribable. This was not my last encounter beyond the veil.

I am a witness that Jesus Christ lives. He is a real, knowable person.

—Daniel Rogers

I’ve been told by God, that I have received my Calling and Election. I have received many visitations by angels and have been taught by them. I have met my Savior more than once. I have spoken to other heavenly beings. I do not say these things to brag – and I am certainly not perfect in the eyes of man and have much to overcome, but to testify of them so others can see that if someone like me (a big huge nobody who has been “spiritually retarded” my entire life) can obtain them, then you certainly can too.

—Linda Jules Martindale

This is what it means to bear an apostolic witness. This is the Savior’s admonition to his newly called Nephite disciples:

And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins. (3 Nephi 12:2)

Daniel Rogers’ Testimony

I searched long and hard for this on the Internet. I finally found Daniel’s complete testimony at http://lincolnnotes.blogspot.com/2014/. I am copying this here in case this link ever gets taken down.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Second Comforter Testimony…….

This is a Testimony that my friend who I work with in the temple sent to me that he found. I enjoy reading testimonies that motivate me to want to repent and come to know my Master, Jesus Christ…….

My Testimony

By Daniel Rogers.
I share this testimony in the spirit of friendship to any fellow seeker of Christ.

I am a normal lay member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I have no presiding authority to teach or command within the organization of the church.  Within the stewardship of the organization, I respect the authority of those presiding authorities, and I keep these experiences to myself.   I share unrestrained to my friends and my family. Spirituality and the gospel are greater than any organization.

I served an honorable mission, married in the temple, and have a current temple recommend.  I have been and remain an active member of the LDS church.  I have no intentions of leaving it.

I have been asked to post this testimony here.  I hope that this will be a one-post declaration of the grace Christ has bestowed on me.  I have no intention to publicize this beyond a few family members and friends.  I am not a great example.  I have no secret to share that has been hidden.  All I can do is testify that knowing Christ literally is possible.  This is not a full record of my experiences, but what I share here did happen.

Background

I started college at BYU as a freshman in 1994.  I had one full school year before my LDS mission.  During that freshman year, I took up reading the Book of Mormon for a half hour every day.  I soon recognized an invitation to know the Lord personally as did Lehi, Nephi, and many others contained within that book.  This invitation to know the Lord is explicitly made in D&C 93:1.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;

The invitation in this scripture impressed me so much that I included it on my missionary plaque.  From that time, seeing His face and knowing the Lord has been my goal.  I sought after this goal for nearly 18 years.  This desire has not been merely a new whim.  I am not a kindergartner seeking a crash course in calculus.

Joseph Smith taught “for God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him (who remain) from the least to the greatest.’ ” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 149.

I believed him.

I didn’t have a name for what I went through during that period at BYU until many years later.  Though I was baptized by water when I was 8, it was during that year, at age 18, that I received the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost.

This is how in 2012, I found myself pleading for true messengers.  That prayer led me to a book called The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil by Denver C. Snuffer Jr.  I recognized The Second Comforter as a manual.  I saw in it many experiences that I had already gone through. It was like a map.  From reading it I saw where I had been on the path, where I was, and what else I could expect to experience.  It was then a simple matter of pondering, identifying, and working on the areas I had identified.

My Witness

On April 14, 2012, I was carried away into the heavenly temple.  I shook the hand of the angel that was my guide.  I saw and heard the Father and the Son speak to me.  This experience involved sight, touch, sound, and smell.  It was as real as anything I have experienced in my day-to-day life, only the glory and intelligence conveyed is indescribable.  This was not my last encounter beyond the veil.

I am a witness that Jesus Christ lives.  He is a real, knowable person.

If you seek and accept His messengers to prepare the way, He will come suddenly to His temple and reveal to you His glorious body of burnings.  He is talkative.  He wants to know you more than you want to know Him.  I know this because I have experienced this as a man speaks to another.

Jesus Christ is the Second Comforter. He literally came to me and has comforted me.

This is not a full statement of my witness.  I share my testimony so that you may know that Christ lives and His work is to save imperfect people.  I hope that this testimony will allow you to exercise faith enough to lay hold on these blessings.

The Doctrine of Christ

The path to knowing Him is simple.  The Book of Mormon calls it the Doctrine of Christ.  It is faith, repentance, baptism, and then to actually receive the Holy Ghost.  Once you have actually received the Baptism by Fire and the Holy Ghost you must do everything the Holy Ghost says until Christ manifests Himself to you.  This is the end or goal to which we endure.  It is to know Him literally.  He has a ministry to accomplish with you personally.

You cannot get there by following any program or man.  It is a matter of working on what one thing the Holy Ghost tells you to do each day.  We are commanded to press forward to this goal with steadfastness.

2 Nephi 31:20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

If you are expecting to know Christ in death when you have not known Him in life, you will be disappointed.  While being martyred, Stephen would not have been welcomed by Christ in His glory had Stephen not known Christ in his life.

Alma 34:32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. 33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. 34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

The Book of Mormon contains this doctrine within its first six verses.  Page after page, example after example, we can see how normal people had the desire and faith to know the Lord while in the flesh.  Study Nephi’s last discourse in 2 Nephi, especially chapters 31-32.  Study Moroni Chapter 7 and the ministry of angels.  Study the whole book with the idea of how you can obtain what the authors obtained.  They were not satisfied until they knew God while during their mortal lives.

The Lectures on Faith – A Neglected Treasure

I highly recommend the Lectures on Faith.  It is scripture and was accepted as such by all quorums and the general membership of the church.  It was edited, written, and approved by a man that had communed with Jehovah.  The Lectures on Faith set out in methodical form keys or knowledge to knowing Christ and His Father.

Without Faith There is No Ministry of Angels – A Key Offered

In the months that followed, a heavenly messenger came to my bedside and taught me from the scriptures, primarily the Book of Mormon and Isaiah.  This happened on three different nights over a period of two months, each time repeating the prior message and adding more.  The best one line summary of the hours-long conversation is “the Gentiles in the Book of Mormon should be understood as referring to the LDS”.  Please understand that this is a very inadequate summary.

Moroni 7:37 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. 38 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.

Ask the Lord to show you what unbelief you have.  If you ask with a sincere heart, He will answer you.  A sincere heart means that you are willing to accept the answer no matter what it is without preconceptions.  Work on casting aside that unbelief.  This is the hard part.  We have accepted many traditions that are unbelief.  The Book of Mormon will be your key.  It was written to you, its reader.

In the period that has followed, my mind has been completely blown by the knowledge communicated from heaven.  I had to lay down long-held beliefs that were really philosophies of men.  A quality that is attractive to heaven is an openness to learning.  I have also learned that if Angels have not come to you, then it is because of some unbelief that you are holding onto.  Unbelief is more than not believing, it also includes belief in errors or incorrect belief.  You may not even be aware of what it is.  You may think it is truth when it is not.

Whose Connection to Heaven Matters?

To those who rely on others for their connection to heaven, the standing of any apostle, president, parent, bishop, or any other person, whether they commune with God or not, will not matter for your salvation.  What matters is your own connection to heaven.  If every person magnifies his calling and converses with the Lord, it will not matter to you if you do not do the same.  God is no respecter of persons; you cannot be in the same kingdom as Nephi, Lehi, Abraham, and others without having had the same experiences.  There is never any safety in following men.  Even followers of true prophets find themselves in the telestial kingdom (see D&C 76:98-101).

Lectures on Faith 6:8 It is in vain for persons to fancy to themselves that they are heirs with those, or can be heirs with them, who have offered their all in sacrifice, and by this means obtained faith in God and favor with him so as to obtain eternal life, unless they in like manner offer unto him the same sacrifice, and through that offering obtain the knowledge that they are accepted of him.

The True Standard of Righteousness

Regarding righteousness, a person can try to live up to every law and commandment both cultural and scriptural and it will be insufficient.  At the end of the day, after all we can do, we are saved by Christ’s grace.  Why did Nephi labor so diligently to teach of Christ?  Why did he and his people believe in Christ and talk about Him so much?

Nephi spoke of Christ because all we do amounts to basically nothing.  No amount of compliance with any law will be sufficient to save us.

Assume your height was a visible measure of your righteousness.  You could compare yourself to others and say, “Look, I’m six feet tall and everyone else is five feet, therefore I am righteous.”  This is in essence what we do; we compare ourselves to others and find comfort in being “taller”.

Christ is the Empire State Building or Mt. Everest. From His perspective the difference between the best of us and the worst of us is so insignificant that we all equally fall short. You can’t even tell from the top of the Empire State Building just who is taller than the other.

This is the standard of righteousness that heaven uses. We all fall so far short of it that it is purely by Christ’s grace that we are saved.

You will not save yourself by saving up for that bicycle. The amount you offer is nothing compared to the standard of Righteousness. The only thing you can offer is a broken heart and contrite spirit. You must be willing to set aside anything and everything to know Him, including your cherished but incorrect beliefs.

To the Critics of the Church

For those of you aware of facts that have shaken your faith in Joseph Smith or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, faith in a man or an institution is idolatry.  The only object worthy of faith is Jesus Christ.  To have your faith shaken in an idol is a good thing.  Joseph Smith defined Mormonism as truth:

Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth. Consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft…The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.- Joseph Smith -Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, page 264,

The truth is, your skepticism of men and institutions puts you in good company.  In 1830 the Lord called the church “true and living” (D&C 1:30).  By 1832 the Lord stated that the church is “condemned” (D&C 84:54-57).  By 1841 the Lord says He has taken the fullness of the priesthood away from the church (D&C 124:28).  The Lord promised that if we did not repent, we would “by [our] own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord.” (v. 48).

You have learned truth and that truth is confirmed by the Lord’s own words.  We were moved out of Nauvoo and have suffered cursings by our own follies.  With this knowledge of truth you can refocus your faith in the proper place, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is an expert at saving fallen things.

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. – Joseph Smith -Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 193

We all need this cloak of charity.

I am not an Example

I am not an example because I am more righteous or perfect or more virtuous.  I am not.  I am utterly unworthy of any heavenly attention as to myself and am certainly not worth any earthly attention.  I only share my experience so that others may know that no matter how low you are, Christ will save you if you let Him.

Christ’s work is to save you.  He is good at what He does.  Let Him work with you.  Be patient and teachable as a little child.  Children do not have all the preconceptions and false traditions we have.  Try to read the Book of Mormon without any preconceptions about what it means.  I know that is very hard to do.  I still have weaknesses.  We all do.  We are given weaknesses to humble us.  Let yourself be humble.

I have no stewardship to reveal anything to any member of the church.  I am not a presiding authority, and therefore nothing I share would be of any force to anyone.  I believe I had stated that clearly, but I do so again just to be clear.

The Lord has asked me to share these thoughts here, but only in the capacity as a friend and fellow seeker, and not by way of commandment or revelation.  The only tool I have is testimony and persuasion.  I do not consider myself an expert, special, more righteous, or anything other than an ordinary LDS guy.

My only goal in writing here is to increase faith in Christ.  I believe the preeminent doctrine worth talking about is the Doctrine of Christ — Faith, Repentance, Baptism, taking the Holy Ghost as your guide until Christ manifests Himself to you.  Christ is real and employs no servant at the gate.

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.

If my words have caused anyone to have less faith in Christ, then I beg for your forgiveness and ask you to ignore me.  Of all my mistakes, which are many, it yet remains that I experienced what I did.  To echo Joseph’s words — I know it and I know God knows it.

I do not fault nor accuse anyone for disbelieving me.  Christ is the only one worthy of belief. Believe in Him. Seek after Him.  He has promised that He will come to you.  Please do not be satisfied with anything less than His literal presence.

John 14:23 – Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
D&C 130:3 – John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

Please do not stop casting out unbelief until the Angels come and Christ manifests Himself.  These things are absolutely necessary for your eternal salvation.  Christ has a work to do that no earthly man or program can provide.  There is no servant at the gate.  There is no substitute for conversing with the Lord through the veil.

Posted by Lincoln Rogers at Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Reason for the Tent logo on this website

The verse John 1:14 in the King James Version, speaking of the birth of Christ says “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

The Greek word translated dwelt means to raise a tabernacle, which is a temporary dwelling. Another way to translate the Greek was “The Word struck a tent in human flesh.”

The Messenger of the Heavenly Council was in the cosmos, and the cosmos existed through Him, and the cosmos had not acquired His knowledge. He came into His own creation, but those there were unable to understand Him. As many as perceived the Light in Him, to them He gave knowledge to enable them to follow the path to become like Him, begotten children in the family of the Most High God. This is only possible for those who believe through His name. Those who believe through His name are no longer born of blood to follow the appetites of flesh, nor the ambitions of man, but are able to become, like Him, the offspring of God. This one who was Spokesman from the Heavenly Council was made flesh, and He temporarily cast His tent among us, and we could see His knowledge of the path to ascend in light and truth, he was a member of the Family of God, full of the power to ascend and able to display truth to others.

T&C Section 171:3, THE TESTIMONY OF ST. JOHN