Manifesto

I wrote the following on January 3, 2018.

In July, 2019, I discovered a movement of remnant saints, making covenants with Christ, preparing themselves as individuals, as families, and as a people to come a people of one heart and one mind, and when Lords commands it, to rebuild the waste places of Zion.

I think I found the answer to everything I wrote below. I will be posting more about it in the future.

Of course, all religion is man-made. It begins with one person’s authentic, individual search for truth and reality. Then, somebody else comes along and tries to systematize and codify that search so that, instead of following their own path, people blindly tread in the true seeker’s footsteps, Then, somebody sees a potential to control these blind followers and creates a religion.

We see this pattern repeated over and over throughout history. You can pick your own religion and plug in your own names — different story, same plot.

I see myself as one of those authentic and original seekers. I am not a follower, and I am not looking for followers. I am looking for other leaders who want to change the world. And by change the world, I don’t mean remake the Mormon Church in my own liberal image. I am pushing for a total change in paradigm — how we see reality, how we organize ourselves, how we see ourselves.

Immersing ourselves in man-made religions is not a solution. Atheism is a natural reaction to this madness, but it is a reaction, not a solution. Blind faith and blind doubt are not solutions.

We need to approach all of truth and reality on the spiritual, mental, emotional planes, the same as we use science to approach the physical plane. We need to objectively study and experiment, and we need to share our findings with others. We need to build a body of knowledge that we can pass on. Not so we can create blind followers, but so we can build on that platform and create even more enlightened seekers and researchers, remodel society, and remake the world.

This is not an identity. I don’t need an identity. I’m not looking for an identity. An identity is static. An identity locates you in space and time, and in a fixed mindset. I am constantly changing my viewpoint, seeing things from a new viewpoint, from any and all viewpoints, and from no viewpoint. It’s dynamic.

I’m talking about Christian churches and organized religion in general. And what I’m about to say applies less to the Community of Christ than another church I can think of, so please don’t think I am directing this at you because I am not.

The original meaning of “church” in New Testament times was a gathering of the out-called (ecclesia), but in English and the other languages derived from German is it called “kirsche” (Origin of church: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit sura hero, warrior)

Churches have become our masters, not our servants. Instead of gatherings of the faithful, they have become seats of power and influence.

Some churches teach that the only way to get to God is through them, and they claim to have a monopoly on power and authority. In this way, they have modeled themselves after civil governments.

Churches have also followed the military in their hierarchy of graded rankings. This works for the military because an army is supposed to be authoritarian, strong, unyielding, impenetrable, merciless, and monolithic. And, at times, secretive. This is a great pattern for a military unit, but not for a body of believers, not for the elect who have been called out.

Military units have rank. Followers of Christ should not. Like the military, in churches, some people are regarded as being better than others. Some people have more access to special communication, or special contact or special access to God that others don’t have. Some peoples’ thoughts and opinions are more highly regarded than others.

Peoples’ personal righteousness is evaluated in terms of their loyalty to the church, not by how well they follow the commandments of Christ, and the “doctrine of Christ”, as taught in the Book of Mormon.

Church members are not encouraged to learn and grow at their own pace. Instead, their leaders hold them back. The members are not allowed to seek for a deeper understanding of the so-called “mysteries”, whether it be learning, by study, or by faith. The Book of Mormon says that this life is the time to prepare to meet God. How many understand this, let alone follow this? How many people expect to meet God in this lifetime. How many people are preparing to meet God in this lifetime?

Another term for holding back a person’s progress is damnation. Self-appointed leaders attract followers and then damn them.

And, while we’re at it, the Book of Mormon teaches that faith is an active, dynamic process by which we obtain knowledge. But, churches teach faith as a static belief in church leaders.

There, have I gone far enough?

We need to re-think this whole concept, and while we are tossing out whole institutions, wholesale. We ought to consider the good purposes they did serve, use that as a foundation, and build something better, that serves us better.

We need to each think of ourselves as stewards, not spectators, and in this role, consider our institutions and their leaders as not our masters, but our servants, as we serve Christ.

I believe a lot of what those dubbed “Restorationists” believe. But, I don’t believe that the early church had it all right. I believe it was just a step in an ongoing journey of restoration that is continuing to this day.

I was involved in the formation of what some envisioned as a “gay Mormon church”. I came to see us are another step in a long succession of restorations. Others wanted to cling to the old model. They prevailed, and we quickly went the same way that I think the LDS church is going to go.

I would love to talk to John Dr. John Dehlin about this because this is a “Mormon Story”, but I guess if you don’t turn into an atheist or progressive liberal, or famous as an ex-church leader, or infamous for blowing up cars, there’s no interest.

I don’t want to go back to polygamy. But, I do want to prepare people to live “The New and Everlasting Covenant”, of which polygamy was an uninformed aberration. I also want to prepare people to receive ALL the ordinances of the temple, make sure they understand and live all the covenants therein, and receive the Second Anointing and the Second Comforter, the public and the private portions of this ordinance. I want them to understand that this is conditioned not on their faithfulness and service to the church, but on their faithfulness and service to the cause of Christ, and to their fellow humans. And I want to give them opportunities to grow and learn and perform faithful service to one another.

I see no conflict between keeping one’s covenants and the sex or gender of the person with whom you are making that covenant. And, by revelation, neither does the Lord.

I also believe that no one group or person has a monopoly on the continuing progress of the Restoration. We all have something to contribute, and we need to include more viewpoints (including this one) and stop fighting one another.

As for the church, at the core, it is like the branch that has been severed from the Vine. Cut off from its source, it is dead and brittle, and will soon turn rotten and become food for the much-needed new life, which will hopefully reattach itself to the Vine.

What’s my religion?

For me, it’s not that simple. Sorry to go on for so long, but this is who I am, and a one-word label would not suffice. I don’t want to give it a name, because when you name it, you define it, you stagnate it, and it ceases to be a living, growing part of you.

I was raised LDS, but I have synthesized for myself a number of things that I have found to be workable and true in my life. I don’t believe anything that I can’t demonstrate for myself. I prefer faith to belief. Belief is passive. Faith is that great active experiment described in the Book of Mormon, where you hold onto a proposition or hypothesis until it is proven true or false. At that point, that thing is no longer faith, but knowledge.

I pick up ideas to test everywhere I go, and in everything I explore. For me, I have found much grist for thought, practical tools for living, and keys to a knowledge of God in Evangelical Christianity, some New Age thought, A Course in Miracles, Kaballah, Sufi, Buddhism, Scientology (Yes, you read that right. I am Clear.), early Mormon writings, the teachings of Joseph Smith, and the writings of JJ Dewey. I don’t follow anybody blindly. I don’t agree with everything these people say, but I take what I can use, and put the rest back on the shelf. I am constantly growing and learning. Nothing is so sacred that is can’t be set aside in order to embrace even greater truth.

For me, a “higher law” isn’t a more restrictive law, it’s a more general law; it covers more ground; it explains more; it places more responsibility on the individual and depends less on external micro-management and policing. In this respect, the two great commandments is a higher law than all the law and the prophets.

For me, spirituality is all about the acquisition of knowledge and the development of our god-like potential, which lies within each of us. This is in contrast to religion, which is a series of exercises designed to force obedience in followers in order to appease an angry God in the hopes that if we do enough, or believe enough, he will overlook our sins and some day endow us with abilities we haven’t developed, and kingdoms we haven’t won, and that in some magical way that being whom we never knew will suddenly become our best friend.

“Someone today making the same claims would be seen as a candidate for the asylum or a fundamentalist, but the actual prophets of today would be saying far different things, things that resonate with people and start social movements. That’s really the primary criterion–that they identify a pressing need and articulate it in a way that deeply resonates with others.”

By this definition the leaders of the LDS church are not true prophets, and they are not even good imitations of the real thing. And yet, today as you said there are people who have identified a pressing need, but have yet to articulate a solution in a way that deeply resonates with enough people to accomplish anything, as of yet.

My experience with the LDS church, and with ending up co-founding another Restoration church taught me that this authoritarian “church” paradigm no longer works. It doesn’t resonate with people. We need a completely new model.

The church I was involved with began as a study group, not a church. It provided the opportunity for disenfranchised LGBT Mormon to continue to serve God by exercising their Priesthood, serving in callings, and receiving all the essential ordinances including the ordinances of the temple. Many of us received revelations. Sometimes the revelations would come to several of us at the same time. We even had our own Day of Pentecost experience when we dedicated our little tabernacle as a temple. We received authority by revelation to do all that we did.

But, we failed to listen and went off on our own and started a church. Not content with that, some members were upset that we were not following the exact pattern of the LDS church, and they steered the church in that direction.

Long story short. We failed. We failed in our mission, and we failed to help the people who needed help. After pondering this for years, I came to the realization that we were good people with good intentions, but were blindly following a failed paradigm. We didn’t need a church with traditional apostles and prophets. We needed something else. What that is I don’t know. And, maybe I’m not supposed to know. One thing I do know is it’s going to be a group effort. There won’t be “one mighty and strong”, leading a bunch of blind followers around. There will be many leaders, and they will have a shared vision, and they will do something that will resonate with the people. That’s all I know. I like to think that when we are ready, the Lord will touch a lot of people, and when that happens, I will get behind them and support them all 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

Building Zion – Notes from my Journal

The following came from my journal entries written back in 2003. I have recently learned from the D&C the importance of taking the Lord at his word, not only to say, but to do.

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received–

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written–

That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. D&C 84:54-58

I have also learned how important it is to listen to the whisperings and promptings that the Lord sends you, and to act on them. I was directed to find this entry from my journal from way back in 2003. I wanted to publish it now because, looking back in retrospect, it seemed to foreshadow what is happening today.

This is all about not sitting around waiting to be commanded in all things, but stepping out in faith, taking that next step, and as you obey what you receive, the Lord will reveal your mission to you as it unfolds. This was certainly something I needed to know, then as well as now, though, I haven’t truly realized the importance of acting on it until now.

Now Melchizedek was a man of faith who wrought righteousness. And when a child, he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained a high priest after the Order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the Order of the Son of God, which Order came not by man, nor the will of man, neither by father nor mother, neither by beginning of days nor end of years, but of God. And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. Gen. 7:18 OC

Melchizedek demonstrated faith first. He received Priesthood later.

I need to add some explanation to this because people who take this at face value in light of their LDS traditions. I need to explain the usage of “you”, “prophet”, and “followers”. The traditional LDS viewpoint is of a strong authoritative leader who they call a “prophet”, whom they believe is the exclusive channel for God upon the earth, and whom them follow unquestioningly.

Here, “you” is the general “you”. It’s not speaking to me or any one particular person, but to all of us in general. “Prophet” simply refers to anyone who is a servant of God, coming with a message from God, and “followers” are anybody who receives the message as coming from God. It is true that when somebody comes with a message from God, if people receive that message and act on it, God will then use that channel to provide more truth and light. The channel becomes a more useful tool under the hand of Christ, but the messenger is never above the message, nor the servant above the master,

10/22/2003 8:57 PM (written that evening as an explanation to what I received earlier)

A couple of nights ago, I was praying about what I was supposed to be doing. Christ said: “I want you to … write. Don’t worry about what you will write about. Just sit down and write I will tell you what to write about.” Here is what has come out of this effort.

10/22/2003 3:16 AM (written that morning)

Here are some principles to keep in mind:

If ye have desires, ye are called to the work.

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.

A servant of God can only function as a messenger for God to a people, to the degree that those who follow the message give heed and diligence to act on the light and truth given them.

Where is there room to sit around and wait for a prophet to appear? Do the work you feel called to do now. Be your own prophet. Follow the light that is given you. And it may be that God will show you a greater vision of the work you could perform, and the vision he shows you will be according to your desires and your faith. Jesus said: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” Another translation of this is “You have not chosen me SAVE I have chosen you.” In other words, he is saying that we could not be able to choose him unless he chose you first.

If God gives you a vision of a great undertaking or work, and if you begin to serve and perform the work which God has shown you, and if you perform it under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will become what you have been waiting for and God will place as much power and authority in your hands as is necessary in order to accomplish the work you are called to do. When you have exhausted your personal reserves of knowledge and your personal mental capacity, and if you seek God in humility, you will have the added endowment of light which you need in order to accomplish the task.

The day will come when one or more people have such an overwhelming desire to establish Zion and such a sense of mission that they will have the desire above all else to see it accomplished and presented to the Lord as his Bride that they will work to that end, and God will bless them jointly with a greater vision of the work and provide whatever authority they need to accomplish the task. And the light which they generate will attract other lights. And the lights which are gathered will sustain each other in their endeavors. And because of their desires they will have the ability to call down the resources of heaven and obtain whatever revelation is necessary to complete and perfect the work.

God already has people in mind who will perform this work. But they need first to choose themselves and to find themselves. Then God will take over and supply whatever else is lacking. And all this will happen because God has already ordained and set in place a covenant which will allow this to happen. This is the covenant which God made with our fathers when he told them that when men look upward, then will the Kingdom of Heaven look downward, and the day will come that those of the Kingdom of Heaven, Enoch and his family will come down and dwell in our midst.

It is well-said that Zion cannot be built up on any other principles but those of the Celestial Kingdom, and the Celestial principle which rules in this case is this: If we are willing to consecrate all that we have to the building of up Zion, then God is willing to consecrate all that He has to the same effort. We have the opportunity, even in this life, to enter into the same Celestial order which God belongs to. It’s an order of equals, each giving their all for the good of all.

The questions we need to answer are these: Is the time right? Are enough people prepared? Are we prepared to sacrifice all that we have in order to obtain something better? Until we can answer yes to all of these questions, then more preparation is in order.

11/30/2003 7:10PM

God does not have to wait for Zion to be established. If one or two people are ready now, he will abide with them, and they will have a little Zion.

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

 

Mother

I know through revelation that Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother hear ans answer prayers as one. But, last night, I asked Mother to step out from behind the curtain and say what She had to say to me.

The first thing I felt was a very strong and powerful presence. I have felt this when I’ve felt Mother once before. She is something to be dealt with. Father is the soft touch. Together, they magnify and moderate each other.

Then, She said something to me that I will not repeat. But, what She said was something every mother should say, and every son wants to hear. It was a voice that knew and recognized me, and one that I knew and recognized.

I will never forget what she said, and for the rest of my, whenever I think about it, I will weep.

Now, go and find out what She has to say to you.