Joseph Smith’s Work, Sans God

The following entry is based on a comment I made in response to another blog entry on the “Patheos.com” website, by William Hamblin, entitled “Joseph Smith, the Cambridge Years,” here, where he discusses the contradictory theories of how Joseph, did what he did, assuming he was a false prophet:

Unthinking, uninformed and uneducated people not only fail many times to appreciate the several things pointed out here, but they also miss the incredible understanding of the Bible that Joseph would have had to have to have written the Book of Mormon, without divine inspiration.

In fact, few scholars and Bible students even understand today what he understood then: The fulfillment of the prophecies of the book of Isaiah in the latter days constitute the greatest act of intervention into the affairs of mankind, since God commanded Noah to build the ark.

In short, Isaiah’s prophecies are all about the great and marvelous work that the Father promised to work for the sake of his Only Begotten Son, during the times of the Gentiles.

This work would turn the things of the world upside down, at a time when those, whose “works are in the dark,” insisted it would not. It would cause the wisdom of the wise to perish and the understanding of the prudent to be hid, among many other, more positive things, including causing kings to shut their mouths, because of things it would cause them to consider that they never considered before.

Joseph realized that Isaiah holds the key to understanding crucial developments in the latter days, when the Lord would set his hand again the second time, to gather his people from the four quarters of the earth, and this his act, his strange act, would not be perceived by those who draw near to him with their mouths, and honor him with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from him and teach for commandments, the precepts of men.

He understood the connection of Isaiah’s prophecies and the teachings of Paul to the Romans, when Paul tried to explain to the Gentiles why “all Israel shall be saved,” warning them that they, like branches from wild olive trees, should be careful, lest God cut them out of the natural tree, as he did Israel, because they should always keep in mind that he is able to graft Israel back into their natural tree.

God isn’t constrained to keep the wild branches that he had previously grafted into the tree, but he could cut them out of the tree too, replacing them with branches of humbled Israel, if the formerly wild Gentiles turned wild again and ceased to bring forth the desired fruit.

How clearly Joseph would have had to have understood this allegory, in order to expand so much upon it, as he did, can only be fully appreciated when one studies it carefully, given the history of the Christian church and its relation to the house of Israel, lo over these many centuries.

Who knew that Jesus was not referring to the “Gentiles,” as his other sheep, when he talked about it with his disciples. They didn’t realize, and neither have centuries of Gentile scholars, who still struggle to this very day, in trying to understand Israel’s place before God, that he was referring to young and tender branches, shoots from the natural tree, that he had cut off and transplanted in other parts of his vineyard, in order to preserve them for a future contingency.

The world never dreamed that the Father had led away from the house of Israel from time to time, even though the apostle Paul hinted at it. Joseph not only would have had to have understood it, had he had no inspiration, but he would also have had to know how to integrate it into the apocalypse of modern Israel and the Christian world, in such a way that Israel’s modern exodus from “Egypt,” eclipses that of the ancient exodus from the Egypt of the Pharaoh.

How is that going to happen, given the modern land of Israel’s unbelief and tiny size, and the surrounding Arab nations’ hostility and determination to stop it?

Enter the consecrated land of America, a land choice above all others, according to the Book of Mormon, which Joseph insisted that he translated, by the gift and power of God.

Now, Israel’s army has grown to millions. It is becoming very great, and is being sanctified before God, that it may become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon, that her banners may be terrible unto all nations;

Yet, “Not so fast,”some say. “If you are referring to the LDS Church, as Israel’s army, it is going down. It is clear that the end of the United States has now come, by design. Soon, the Lord’s servants in that Church shall awake, arise and flee away, while the enemy destroys their works and breaks down the twelve,” they say.

And what is the cause of this great evil? Joseph knew. Just as he knew that, by the visions of the almighty, the time would come when those who were then his friends would become his enemies and would seek to take his life; He knew that there were those, then before him, who would more furiously pursue him and the more diligently seek his life and would be more blood thirsty upon his track than ever were the Missouri mobbers. He told them, “You say among yourselves, as did them of old time, is it I & is it I?”

They did take his life, some four short years later, but not before he planted the twelve trees in the Lord’s vineyard, the work of which was protected by the surrounding hedge that had been planted by wise men, whom the Lord raised up for that very purpose, and Joseph knew and also told those same saints, that same day, in 1840, that one day the hedge protecting the vineyard of the Lord would be “upon the brink of ruin,” and that “this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground.”

And so it has come to pass, but Joseph said that the Lord was going to let him rest for a while, and, clearly, he deserved a good rest, after he planted the twelve, but his work is not yet done, not by a long shot. Joseph’s role in the work of the Lord, his strange work, his act, his strange act, is to go before him and lead the house of Israel out of captivity, out of bondage, just as the Jews today look for the Lord to send the Messiah Ben Joseph, to gather the strength of the Lord’s house, his warriors, his young men and his middle age men, and march to the Lord’s vineyard, breaking down their hedges and throwing down their towers and scattering their watchmen, and avenging him of his enemies unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. All this, to restore the kingdom to Israel.

Thus, like the “breaker,” who Micah said would break out the tribes of Jacob, who are to be assembled in Bozrah, by the hand of the Lord, and who will make a great noise for the multitude of men, when they break out of that lesser sheepfold of Edom, march to Zion, build the holy city and its holy temple and establish the government of God, where the saints will be governed by the law of consecration, which the Lord has given them, until they become of one heart and one mind and no one is left poor among them, for they share all in common, as they gird up their loins, looking forth for the coming of Messiah Ben David, clothed in the brightness of his glory.

Now, maybe, Joseph could have somehow devised all this himself, in a devious plot to deceive mankind, announcing in the beginning that his name was to be had for good and evil in all the earth, as a consequence of it. If, that is, during his “Cambridge years,” he managed to get access to copies of books like Sir Henry Finch’s book, “The World’s Greatest Restauration,” for which King James threw Sir Henry and his publisher into prison.

But I don’t know, because I’ve only heard of the books like this that he would have needed to master. I have never seen copies of them, but, if some enterprising anti-Zionist out there wants to follow up on this one of Sir Henry’s, brother Hamblin might get even another theory to add to his list of theories of how Joseph Smith managed to do all that he did, while an enemy to God and all righteousness.

Understanding the Restoration – Part 3

In part 1 and 2 of this series (see previous two entries,) Denver Snuffer was introduced as a recently excommunicated member of the LDS Church, who contends that he is an instrument in the hand of God for wresting the keys of the kingdom away from Ephraim, as John the Baptist wrested them from the Jews, in ancient days.

Some view the movement, which Denver Snuffer has now launched, as a new, serious schism in the LDS Church, with “waves of re-baptisms” and “a rival organization.” (See here.) However, as we have walked through some of the arguments and assertions of Mr. Snuffer’s tenth and final lecture of the series of ten that launched the movement, on the basis of his books and other writings, we have found that many of them are specious.

In this part 3 of our blog series, we are going to show how Mr. Snuffer’s subtlety extends his work to include the wresting of some of the most important and vital scriptures of the restoration, in order to justify his assertions that the purpose of God is “to preserve the Restoration, which at this moment is in terrible jeopardy.”

In his tenth lecture, Mr. Snuffer speaks extensively on the subject of the doctrine of Christ, distinguishing it from tenets of the gospel of Christ. The word “doctrine” is used in the translation of Christ’s words to the Nephites, in the Book of Mormon. Jesus says that his doctrine is that men should come unto him and be baptized, “And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such, when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.”

Using this doctrine, and his claim that God has used him to wrest the priesthood authority away from the LDS Church, Mr. Snuffer proceeds to employ the words of Jesus himself, in the Book of Mormon, to persuade his audience that this movement of his was not only prophesied to come to pass in our day, by Jesus, but also that all those who do not choose to become part of it “shall be destroyed from among the people,” according to the words of the prophet Moses, which were spoken by the angel Moroni to Joseph Smith, saying, “[I]t shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet (Jesus Christ), shall be destroyed from among the people.”

So, Mr. Snuffer seeks to persuade his audience that “through the power of the doctrine and the power of the ordinance of baptism performed with power,” the “remnant” can be gathered, if they believe that the words of Christ are “what [Denver Snuffer has] spoken….” In fact, he states unabashedly, “We must all respond to [Jesus’] words, because, if we will not, we will be cut off from among the people,” meaning the words of Jesus as he uses them. The subtlety and wickedness of this man is only exceeded by his brashness. He would use the very words of the Master to deceive and betray the elect, if that were possible.

Another important example of this is his subtle change of the antecedent of key words in the text of scripture to fit his purpose. Where Christ uses the word “works,” for instance, as in 3rd Nephi, where he says, “When these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles,” which we understand as the works of the Nephites, recorded in the Book of Mormon and other books yet to come forth, Mr. Snuffer teaches his audience that this is not the case. He would have us believe that the word “works,” in this context, does not refer to the works of the ancient American Christians, but rather it refers to the “works” of Mr. Snuffer, in bringing the Doctrine of Christ to them, his audience!

“Someone must establish repentance, declare Christ’s doctrine, and baptize by the authority of Christ, to have people then baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost.” These are the works, which Jesus refers to, asserts Mr. Snuffer, which, as Jesus declares to the Nephites, “Shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity; For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles.”

The only reason that I can see that people have fallen for this awful deception is that they are not prepared to see through it. They are not sufficiently grounded in the word of God to be able to detect the cunning of the devil here. They are not familiar enough with the words of Jesus, in expounding the fullness of the gospel, contained in the Book of Mormon.

If they were, they would understand clearly that the words of the book, the words of the book that was sealed, and delivered to the unlearned, after the learned had rejected it, because it was sealed, becomes the vision of all, as prophesied in Isaiah, chapter 29.

Clearly, the coming forth of the words of this sealed book is the sign by which the Lord said that his people might know that he would perform a great and marvelous work, that he would “…gather in, from their long dispersion, his people, O house of Israel, and would establish again among them his Zion.”

It is definitely not the “works” of Denver Snuffer that would be the sign that the work of the Father has commenced in all the earth, as he contends. Incredible as it might seem that someone would even have the audacity to make such a claim, it is nevertheless true: Mr. Snuffer makes the claim that his “work” is the work prophesied of in the Book of Mormon and before that, in the Bible!

Yet, incredible or not, it is only the beginning. He goes on to distort more of Isaiah’s words, using them to condemn the very Church that the Father promised he would establish among the Gentiles, if they would repent and hearken unto his voice and harden not their hearts.

This website is entitled “Voices from the Dust,” because it is dedicated to expounding the message of the Book of Mormon, which has been sent forth out of the earth to testify of the Only Begotten Son of God, his resurrection from the dead, and the resurrection of all men. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel, which God has sent forth in these last days, even the covenant which he has sent forth to recover his people, which are of the house of Israel, but, of course, the devil opposes this work, as he has all the works of God, and the works of those Gentiles, who uphold the devil and his works, are in the dark, and they seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord, saying unto him that his work of turning things upside down will not happen, that it will be despised, and no more esteemed by the children of men than is the potter’s lowly clay.

These words are expressions that are manifestations of a world class struggle between the Lord, together with his servants, and the global elite of this world, who intend to wield full spectrum dominance over mankind, digging a pit for the destruction of his people, as their works are in the dark and they ask in their hearts, “Who knoweth us, and who seeth us?”

Isaiah explains to us, in powerful and unmistakable imagery, that God will proceed to do a great and marvelous work, which will be eternal in nature, with everlasting consequences for all men unto whom it shall come. As the Lord later characterizes it, in the Book of Mormon, “…it shall be a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil…”

This great and marvelous work tries the Christian faith of the Gentile nations, explaining the reasons for it and the effect it will have in the lives of every soul on earth. It is the Lord’s work, his strange work, his act, his strange act, but, believe it or not, Mr. Snuffer tries to convince his audience that it applies to the Church the Father has established, instead of the Gentile world, turning the warnings of the Lord to those who will not come unto it, into warnings to those who have already come unto it, warning them of the consequences of not coming unto Mr. Snuffer!

If those who fall for this deception understood the meaning of the restoration better, this brazen twisting of the meaning of the scriptures would be readily apparent. As I recently explained on a Facebook page, dedicated to “testing the restoration,”

First of all, some terms need to be defined. Restoration means, or equates to the “great and marvelous work of the Lord to recover his people, the house of Israel.” To recover them means to graft the natural branches of the tame olive tree back into their mother tree, from whence they were taken, as per Romans, Chapter 11.

The tree symbolizes the covenant and promise of Jesus Christ: “I am the vine (tree,) ye are the branches,” (see St. John 15.) Before the decaying branches of Israel were cut off and burned in the fire, and the wild branches of the Gentiles were grafted into the mother tree, many young and tender shoots of the mother tree, which had started to grow, were also cut off, to be transplanted in other parts of the Lord’s vineyard, by the husbandman of the vineyard, who is the Father of Jesus Christ.

It behooves the Father to recover the house of Israel, by way of the Gentiles, that he might show his power unto the Gentiles, so that, if they will not harden their hearts, they may repent and come unto Jesus and be baptized in his name and know of the true points of his doctrine, that they may be numbered among his people, the house of Israel.

The first step in this work was to make known to the Gentiles the words of a sealed book, revealing the existence of the record of Joseph, to accompany the record of Judah, by sending down righteousness from heaven and sending forth truth from the ground, to bear witness of the Only Begotten Son, his resurrection from the dead and the resurrection of all men. This was accomplished in 1830, through the mission given to Joseph Smith, Jr. to translate the words of the book that were not sealed into English, by the gift and power of God, and publish it to the world.

The next step was the organization of the Church the Father promised to establish among the Gentiles, who would repent, and hearken unto his words and harden not their hearts. To accomplish this, the restoration of the priesthood and its keys and the knowledge of the laws and ordinances necessary for the work to proceed, had to be revealed. This was accomplished during the lifetime of the prophet Joseph.

An important part of this set of laws and ordinances involved the redemption of the dead, and the exaltation of the living and the dead, which could only be performed in a consecrated temple, dedicated to the administration of these laws and ordinances. Thus, the saints built a temple, and then another and another, until 170 temples have been built, or are in the process of being built, around the world.

These temples have been constructed by the members of the many sub-units of the Church, which have been built up as the stakes of Zion, which are scattered throughout the world, as the earth has been flooded with the truth sent forth out of the ground, by missionaries, going two by two into all the world.

This missionary work, in fulfillment of prophecies of world-wide missionary work to take place in the latter days, as recorded in Mathew Chapter 24, is to gather and prepare the people of God for the day that shall come, when the Lord will send his servant to gather the strength of his house, to march to the land of Zion and redeem it from his enemies, from those who have occupied it, since the day the children of Zion were scattered in the 1830s.

When this is accomplished, the Gentiles, who have escaped the judgments of God upon their nations shall assist the remnant of Joseph in this land to build a holy city, a New Jerusalem, that the people of the Lord, the remnants of the house of Israel, may be gathered in unto Zion that they may gird up their loins, looking forth for his coming, clothed in the brightness of his glory.

The foregoing brief description of the restoration, is important to understand, because it places the restoration of the gospel into the broader context of the work to restore the kingdom to Israel, which is a much larger work than simply restoring the New Testament church to the Gentiles, as we often think of it, as important as that is.

When we see the global work of the Father, commencing in all the earth to gather in his long dispersed people, turning the world upside down in the process, as he bares the arm of his power in the eyes of all the nations and sanctifies his name in the eyes of his people, in the dramatic destruction of their enemies, we will see the astonishment of kings, who will shut their mouths, as they see and hear things they never considered before.

Obviously, this redemption of Zion is not going to be accomplished by a loose coalition of “Zion communities,” who have fallen for Mr. Snuffer’s assertion that “…the Lord ended all claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, [to be] led by the priesthood.”

Even though it is true that the Lord uses small means to bring to pass many great and marvelous things, it does not follow that this truth can be used to justify the actions of Mr. Snuffer, which are counter to revealed truth. To believe his claim that the Lord’s “strange act” refers to his excommunication and the allegedly false contention of the LDS Church that this constitutes the loss of his right to the priesthood of God, which he strives to show is not according to the law of the Church, is a wild and cockamamie idea that only a deluded and self-aggrandizing lawyer could conceive.

The strange work, or act, of the God of Israel refers to the world-wide recovery of the house of Israel, and should we put aside the global scope of the words of Isaiah, and reduce them to a local drama, with Mr. Snuffer at the center, saying God sent him to intervene in his work and interrupt it, in order to preserve it, would be foolish indeed.

In short, the claims of Mr. Snuffer are simply absurd, and he knows it. To be perfectly honest and blunt about it, he is a liar and a deceiver, and those who follow him will reap the bitter fruit of darkness by and by. Some may characterize this as nothing but an ad hominem attack upon Mr. Snuffer, but that would be untrue. The man may be innocent of many things, but he is not innocent of perpetuating the falsehoods that we have pointed out here, and others that have been outlined elsewhere.

The great and marvelous work that the Father is working for the sake of his Son, has barely begun, but it is nearing the prophesied transition period, when war shall be poured out upon all nations, and he shall bring the fullness of the gospel from among the Gentiles, because iniquity abounds among them, and they are full of all manner of sins, abominations and hypocrisy. The truth is, they shall be brought down into captivity and bondage, under the dominion of Satan, who shall rule over them, until Christ comes again, according to the word of God.

However, the good news is that the Lord shall rule over his saints, and he will bring the fullness of the gospel to the remnant of his people and show unto them that the Gentiles have no power over them, that the times of the Gentiles has come in and is finally fulfilled. It is now over for them and the only salvation remaining for them is to repent, to be baptized by those whom he has sent, and in this manner, to become identified in the same covenant and to worship at the same altar, as Israel, for all Israel shall be saved, according to the words of the prophets.

In the next entry of this blog, we will leave the topic of Denver Snuffer’s heresy and explain more about the coming transition and how the great prophecies in the book of the Doctrine and Covenants, concerning the Church, Israel and America, are about to be fulfilled.

Understanding the Restoration – Part 2

In part 1 of this series (see previous entry,) we introduced a man named Denver Snuffer, an excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Church established by the Father for those Gentiles who repent, hearken unto his voice and harden not their hearts.

Mr. Snuffer, a Utah lawyer living in the greater Salt Lake City area, was excommunicated from the Church, after he wrote a book, Passing the Heavenly Gift (PTHG). It’s not my intention to review the offending book in this series of blog posts, but only the tenth of ten lectures Mr. Snuffer presented to the public, after his excommunication from the Church.

However, many others have reviewed the book, both pro and con. Here is a link to one example of a rebuttal to the book’s arguments,

http://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/a-controversy-in-zion-part-one-and-two-and-three-and-four-final-10.pdf

where the author responds to the gauntlet thrown down by a commentator on the LDS Anarchist blog, who wrote:

Snuffer has produced a meticulously researched and reasoned book which accounts for the trajectory of the Church from Joseph’s day to our own, using the Book of Mormon prophecies as the interpretive guide to our history. It is based on publicly available facts, and the conclusions follow as a matter of logic. It has uncomfortable implications with respect to some of our common beliefs, teachings, and traditions.

[…]

The arguments and analysis presented in PTHG deserve a substantive rebuttal, if an honest rebuttal is possible…. If the thesis of PTHG is false, then it ought to be shown to be false on the same terms that it was presented – that is, by demonstrating how the historical events and the scriptures together show that the heavenly gift – in Snuffer’s parlance, the fullness of the priesthood – has not passed from the institution of the Church.

The rebuttal that ensues is extensive and engaging, but I don’t necessarily agree with all the arguments the author employs in his rebuttal. My point here is that, like two lawyers, the authors are presenting legal briefs for their positions on various aspects of the restoration of the heavenly gift, the holy priesthood of God.

However, the aspect on the topic of the priesthood of most interest to us, as we “walk through” the 10th lecture, is the idea that John the Baptist “wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power, the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven,” as the prophet Joseph Smith put it, as quoted in the lecture.

Mr. Snuffer cites this statement of Joseph’s to support the assertion, which he is going to make later in this lecture, that he, Denver Snuffer, has wrested the keys of the priesthood from the modern Church in the same way John did it anciently, “by a holy anointing and decree of heaven.”

For His return, we should expect something similar to His first coming. That is, an orderly take down of a competing hierarchy using someone ordained to accomplish that end that is put by God on a collision course with the targeted power structure. John’s mission required them to reject the truth and testimony he offered. It was orderly, public and required a conflict followed by rejection. In any modern take down of the LDS hierarchy the Lord will allow those involved to act freely. The hierarchy must voluntarily and clearly violate God’s standard. It must be orderly, public and the result of a conflict ordained by God’s will. This is how a house of order operates anciently and again today.

The context for this astonishing claim, which by the way, is a half-truth, that when properly understood, as we will explain below, does indeed constitute a major mystery of God’s work, is adroitly established by a cunningly devised explanation of the Lord’s declaration that his house is a house of order, which is normally understood as meaning that it is a house governed by law.

However, Snuffer insists in his lecture that, while “God’s house is a house of order, that does not mean what [we] think it means.” He goes on to tell us what it really means:

God follows patterns. He establishes and ordains things according to one pattern, and then He takes them down again according to another pattern, and He does not vary. There is no guarantee, when He establishes a house in one instance, that that house cannot rebel, reject Him, and be rejected by Him at another. Just because God undertakes one work does not mean that He cannot undertake yet another. Just because He ordains one system at one time it does not mean that, when that system becomes abusive, He will not deal with the system He ordained according to its own standards in order to bring about the result He warned about. He follows a pattern and therein is the house of order.

This subtle argument is according to the cunning of the devil. When John was anointed to prepare the way of the Savior and filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb, he did so by teaching the truth, that men were to repent, because the kingdom of heaven was at hand; That is to say, the Savior, the God of heaven, was about to come among them. and they could not reject him and expect to escape the wrath of God.

John was an Elias, a forerunner, as was Joseph Smith. The difference is that John, the Elias, did not restore the kingdom to Israel, as the Jews expected, but Joseph the Elias did restore it. What Snuffer is arguing, in effect, is that he has been anointed to takeover the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, of which Joseph is the head,  and return it to the Gentiles!

That this is not according to the words of the prophets should be obvious to any knowledgeable Latter-Day Saint, and it would be, if were stated plainly as such, but it’s not. It is only implied at this point, and later we will show how Mr. Snuffer pulls it off, but for now, I want to focus on the motivation, which the man creates for his dupes to swallow, preparing them for the persuasion to come.

He turns to the Book of Mormon and the words of Joseph Smith to motivate the idea that the Church, as an organization, is destined to break up into, what later will become known as “Zion Communities.”

The Book of Mormon is more prophecy than history. Before the Lord’s appearance to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Therefore, part of the preparation by God’s house for coming social chaos is likely to include some preliminary preparations by families and friends to fellowship with one another in local gatherings, perhaps completely apart from control by the LDS hierarchy. Only by independently functioning can they hope to prepare for social chaos prophesied to accompany Zion and precede the Lord’s return. There will also be indigenous prophet-led people coming through God’s assistance to Zion.

Part of the preparation by God’s house? The reason for the break-up of the Nephites prior to the Lord’s visitation, was not in preparation for the coming social chaos that they foresaw would soon engulf them, but the reason for it was that the wickedness, which had overcome them, made the breakup a result that followed the natural course of events, not a preparation in anticipation of a break-up.

Unfortunately for us, social chaos is undoubtedly on the way today too, but the good news is that not only will the “indigenous prophet-led people” be lead to Zion, but God will lead all the house of Israel to Zion. Yet, this in no way leads us to believe that the saints ought to hunker down in a loose confederation of re-baptized “Zion communities” in order to prepare for it. True, the organization of the Church is destined to be destroyed in the transition, from Ariel to Zion, but more on that later.

What is important that we notice now is that Mr. Snuffer is able to bolster his argument, in the minds of the gullible, by, again, quoting the prophet Joseph:

His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath.

In his footnote documenting the above quote from Joseph, Mr. Snuffer adds other quotes along the same lines from the leading brethren, including this one from Brigham Young:

God will preserve a portion of the meek and the humble of this people to bear off the Kingdom  to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His Priesthood; for it is the last time, the last gathering time; and He will not suffer the Priesthood to be again driven from the earth.

However, the argument that the priesthood would not be “again driven from the earth,” does not mean, Mr. Snuffer would argue, that it wouldn’t be taken from the Church and given to a loose confederation of “Zion communities,” who would collectively constitute “another people,” whom the Lord would seek to carry out his work.

These words are not used by Mr. Snuffer, but the words he does use convey this idea. The difference is that his words cunningly insert the idea into the minds of his listeners, the idea that the revelation regarding the powers of the priesthood, which states that they can only be handled upon the principles of righteousness, terminates the priesthood of Church leaders, without terminating his own priesthood.

As I have already noted, he prosecutes this argument extensively in his book, for which he was excommunicated, but in the lecture, he states the following to justify terminating the priesthood of a “portion of God’s house:”

We should expect God’s house to be ordered around only one principle: repentance. When the pride of a great organization replaces repentance, the heavens  withdraw, and when they do, “Amen” to that portion of God’s house. But the restoration through Joseph will always remain, even if God chooses to order it differently before His return. It is His to do with as He determines best.

Who can argue with the obvious fact that “It is His to do with as He determines best?” but the idea that his “house of order” means that the Lord follows a pattern of re-ordering, according to the discernment of Mr. Snuffer, and that the priesthood of a portion of the Church (in this case everybody’s but his and that of his sympathizers) is terminated, does not follow, except for those with ulterior motives, such as those desiring to justify their condemnation of the Church, so that they can form their own “Zion communities.”

The argument is so obviously self-serving that it is hard to explain why his listeners accept it other than to conclude that they have “itching ears.” Most of those who have left the Church, or are about to leave it, because of Mr. Snuffer’s persuasion that it is a sinking ship, do so convinced that it is corrupt.

Meanwhile, Mr. Snuffer convinces them, first, that Jesus Christ has made his own calling and election sure (thanks, he says, to the Church’s teachings and priesthood) and that he therefore now stands before God as a priest, independent of the Church priesthood. After this, he goes on to convince them that the priesthood of the leading brethren of the Church (not his own, of course) is actually terminated, because they did not follow the law written in their own revelations, when dealing with his apostasy.

His argument is based on the legal approach that the law directing the handling of apostates is solely within the jurisdiction of local authorities, not general authorities (he lays the groundwork for all this in previous lectures.) Therefore, because his case was clearly handled at the general level, the priesthood of all those involved, and of all those upholding their actions and of all those sustaining these law-breakers in the Church General Conference, held in April of 2014, has been terminated. (Amen to the priesthood of all those men – see D&C 121.)

To persuade those who have bought into the corpus of cunning arguments, crafted by this deceiver from the beginning, that it is all a web of deceit, is very difficult, if not impossible, especially if they want to believe it, but also because the web he has woven is intricately subtle and complex.

To reduce it to a simple, easy to understand set of issues may not be possible, and even in the attempt Mr. Snuffer’s purposes may be well served, as much doubt concerning the verities of the restoration will inevitably be introduced into the minds of newcomers to the controversy.

But, regardless, I will try, because I see the errors being promulgated by this man, and if I don’t try to point them out to others then I would be held accountable. We’ve seen how Mr. Snuffer maneuvers his listeners into a position of accepting the argument that the priesthood of Church has been terminated, while his, and that of those who did not sustain the general authorities, who directed his excommunication, or supported it, has not been terminated.

Later, he will advance a bizarre tenet, concerning the priesthood authority of those who supposedly retain it, because they didn’t sustain the brethren in the April 2014 General Conference, that they need to have it certified by seven women, including their wife, if they are married.

However, rather than address that, I want to pass on to a more central aspect of Mr. Snuffer’s view of priesthood authority, which is based on his idea that we have already touched on: Namely, that the Church does not understand what God means, by his proclamation that his house is a house of order and not a house of confusion.

Mr. Snuffer argues that this proclamation not only declares that his house is ruled by law, as is commonly understood, but that it also refers to a pattern of the Lord’s, wherein he periodically re-organizes his house to keep it in order. To support this contention, he cites the cases of the prophets of Israel, who were called and ordained of God, independently of the priesthood of Aaron and the sons of Moses, to cry repentance unto the house of Israel and warn them of the pending judgments of God, if they did not repent.

Called only by God, they functioned outside of man’s authority and control. The house of order God establishes and watches over has frequently refused to obey Him. Prophets roundly condemned Israel’s priests and false prophets for failing to follow His path and respect His commandments. All of this is God’s house of order.

Perhaps the greatest illustration of this is found in the story of Samuel, the prophet, called of God to replace the lineage of the judge and prophet of God, Eli, whom God cursed, because of his failing to follow the path of righteousness. Clearly, the calling of Samuel was “outside of man’s authority and control.” Yet, he was a descendant of Levi, through his father Elkanah, a very well-known and respected member of the tribe of Levi.

Likewise, Isaiah and Ezekiel were prophets called of God and given important iconoclastic missions in Israel, which was a nation consecrated by God to be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation,”  a light upon the nations of the world. So, it’s important to recognize this, to recognize that the prophets of Israel were descendants of the priestly families of this kingdom of priests.

Consequently, we see that these prophets were not called from outside of the nation of Israel, outside of the priestly families, but from inside the consecrated kingdom of priests. Granted, this kingdom of priests had many internal conflicts and strife, which their God corrected through the work of his servants, the prophets, but the understanding that Mr. Snuffer is promulgating, to suit his own purposes, is that “…the house of order established by God is beyond man’s will and never fully disclosed,” and, therefore, is something that makes the house of Israel, this kingdom of priests, non-exclusive. God can call any descendant of Adam to reorder his house in the world, without regard to membership in the house of Israel, his kingdom of priests.

Indeed, Mr. Snuffer goes on to assert:

Although an orderly process fills offices in His house, God can, has and will still speak up through whomever He chooses. Just because He says something to one, we should not conclude He is prevented from speaking with another.

Just how convenient this observation is for Mr. Snuffer, in the present context, is not easy to overestimate. It enables him to claim that he is a prophet of God sent to re-order, once again, the house of God, in accordance with the ancient pattern, while avoiding the charge of apostasy.

With this much established, Mr. Snuffer proceeds to reveal the iconoclastic claims of his own alleged calling:

God’s house is a house of order. He does it according to patterns. It is not God’s purpose to abandon the Restoration, but it is His purpose to preserve the Restoration, which at this moment is in terrible jeopardy. The Restoration itself must be rescued and preserved. If you cannot detect the terrible changes it has undergone and is now undergoing, then you are blind indeed.

He is asserting that God has called him to announce a new work, or a new direction in the work of the restoration, a work to “preserve the restoration.” This is not just a nice choice of words, because to rescue and preserve the restoration would be, in fact, a great work, a strange work, a great act, a strange act, and it enables him to hijack some of the most sacred and vital scriptures of Isaiah to misdirect the faith and patience of the gullible, unprepared saints, as we shall soon see.

However, before we correct this grave error in his understanding of the scriptures, let us clearly understand that Mr. Snuffer is calling for a voluntary dissolution of the LDS Church, before it falls in the coming social chaos, something, as we have already seen, he has prepared his listeners to accept from the scriptures.

He asks:

Shall God forget the work He began through Joseph? Shall this now universally downward course be permitted without His hand being bared again? Or should a kind and merciful God take steps to give to us a chance to preserve it with His assistance, if we choose to act? There are many willing to act. We only need some indication from God of how to do so. Thankfully, the pattern was given to us through Joseph Smith.

Mr. Snuffer’s answer to the question is that God will not forget the restoration, but will preserve it through the actions of members who accept the following observation:

No corporate church organization, or man claiming authority should hijack your obedience to God. You are accountable to Him. You are accountable only to Him, and not to me or any other man. When Joseph wanted to know his state and standing before God, he asked God. It is to God alone that you must answer and it is to God you must be grateful. Only before Him must you be humble.

That this sentiment is so very parallel to that of the protestant reformers, when they left the Catholic Church, because of its horrendous and horrible abuses, is not lost on many today. However, the result in the days of the protestant reformation has led to more than 40,000 different protestant churches, or “denominations.”

Of course, when one queries the protestants today regarding this lack of unity, this great division among them, they seek to dismiss its relevance, contending that there is an underlying unity on the fundamentals that matter to God. They are, in their eyes, the unseen “church” of born-again Christians, who constitute the “bride of Christ.”

As we proceed with this walk through Mr. Suffer’s web of deceit, we will see that his vision of a loose confederation of “Zion communities” foresees a union with all those who simply “accept Christ,” without regard to the Church that the Father said he would establish among the Gentiles, if they would repent, hearken unto his voice and harden not their hearts.

It’s absurd and patently false to believe that God has raised up a “prophet” named Denver Snuffer, who now declares that the Church the Father has established for the escape of the Gentiles, as promised in the Book of Mormon, is now corrupt and no longer relevant. Don’t believe it for a minute. His voice is a siren voice for the unwary and ill-informed. It is subtle in its cunning, but clearly meant to destroy. Listen:

Does this mean you have to leave the Church? Of course not. This is to add to anything that you already have. There is no reason you can’t be part of this fellowship and be part of the Lutheran Church, Catholic Church or part of an LDS community.

Who will forsake their sacred covenants, made before God and angels and specified witnesses, for this sleight of hand from the devil himself? Unfortunately, the answer is that many will do so, because they allowed themselves to be deceived, not knowing the scriptures, as we will see next time.

(To be continued)

Understanding the Restoration – Part 1

In his talk at the April 2014 General Conference entitled “Are You Sleeping Through the Restoration,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,

Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.” Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Well, that’s not exactly the whole story. What Elder Uchtdorf omits from his statement is the very important recognition of the promise of the Lord to bring again Zion, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.

A vital part of Church history includes the experience of the Saints in seeking to establish Zion, according to the revelations of the restoration. In the 1830s, they went to the designated location, they understood the vision, but they failed to accomplish the sacred mission, because of their inability to walk in all holiness before the Lord.

As the Lord explained this to them in a revelation, which is now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants Section 101, he showed them a parable “that [they might] know [his] will concerning the redemption of Zion.” The parable shows us that the time will come, when the servants of God will arise, and, being “affrighted,” they will flee; and the enemy will destroy their works, and break down the olive trees of the Lord’s vineyard.

I think it is fair to say that this great evil undoubtedly constitutes a “marring” of the Church, as is prophesied by the Lord himself in the Book of Mormon, when he taught the ancient American Christians that the record of his ministry among them would be declared to the future Gentiles, who would possess their land in the future, and they would not believe it.

The Savior went on to teach the ancients that, because of this unbelief of the Gentiles, his servant, the servant declaring the message of the ancient American record to the Gentiles, would not be hurt because of these unbelievers, but that he would be “marred,” because of them. This is because, he said, the life of his servant would be in his hand, and he would heal him and will show unto them that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

As we contemplate all this, it virtually causes our bones to quake, with the witness of the Spirit, who impresses upon our souls the magnitude of this great and marvelous work of God, which the Father declared he would work for the sake of his Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.

For we see that this work is the very fulfillment of the writings of Isaiah the prophet, who saw our day, when the voices of those brought down to the dust, by the marvelous judgments of God, who destroyed them, who camped against them round about, and who laid siege against them with a mount, and raised forts against them, and brought them down, would speak out of the ground in our day, and their speech is now low out of the dust, and their voice is, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and their speech is now whispering out of the dust to all the world.

And the multitude of all the nations that fight against these voices, whispering out of the ground, and those declaring it, even all that fight against them and their strength, and that distress them, shall be as a dream of a night vision.

It shall even be as when an hungry man dreams, and, behold, he eats; but he awakens, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreams, and, behold, he drinks; but he awakens, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul has appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

So we see that the Lord is bringing again Zion, but there are those who fight against it. Who are they? They are the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual wickedness in high places. They fight against Mount Zion. They say, “Who sees us and who knows us?” And they also say unto the Lord, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay.”

However, they are not the only ones. There are also those who heap scorn upon the servants of the Lord, who watch for iniquity, that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

The most bitter of these are apostates. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they should fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned, says the apostle to the Gentiles.

Nevertheless, there are also those yet among us, who lie in wait to deceive, preying upon children who are easily tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.

A very good example of the latter is Denver Snuffer Jr., although he was recently excommunicated from the Church. This cunning individual has convinced many “children of the kingdom,” as he travels around the Western part of the country, that he does not fight against Zion, but, to the contrary, is all about “seeing that Zion comes again.”

His confessed intent is to help the “children of the kingdom” understand what they must do to be able to walk in all holiness before God. Something, as I have all ready mentioned, kept the early Latter-Day Saints from establishing Zion, in their first attempt, in the 1830s.

In teaching them this, he tells them things that are true and readily acceptable, such as how they must be a consecrated people, who are willing to sacrifice, without the thought of gain (this is not hard to accept, we even teach our Boy Scouts this principle.)

However, he very carefully teaches them this wonderful principle in a context that divorces the priesthood from the Church. The context he uses comes from both ancient and modern scriptures, which he uses to explain that “[T]he first principle is ‘there is no such thing as professional clergy,’ followed immediately by, ‘remember the poor, remember the needy,’ in both instances. That is not happenstance,” he asserts.

This is a key point upon which the man elaborates with the intent of convincing the children that it is wrong that the LDS general leadership are a paid clergy. It just so happens that it is likely that many in his audience have itching ears for this message, since many of them are no doubt suffering economically, as of late, due to the sinking economy of the world.

Moreover, finding fault with a paid clergy, something these children have seldom considered, since none of the thousands of local leaders of the Church around the world, are paid, begins the process of demonizing the generals, who are well paid.

In addition, the man drives home the point that the priesthood, held by ancients prophets, is seldom seen to be connected with the authority of a church. Indeed, it’s normally the other way around. Again, as he teaches these things, it is clear that the children are being set up for what is to come:

…the point is only this: priesthood exists independent of Israel, it exists independent of a church, and while the church may be dependent on priesthood, priesthood is not and never has been dependent upon a church, period. I hope you understand that. Priesthood is not and never has been dependent upon a church! These are two entirely different topics and very important to be understood for our purposes here today.

For the children predisposed to hear that these Church leaders are deceivers, this is dynamite ammunition for their rebellious spirits. Yes! And not only so, but the priesthood in the Church should not even pretend that they control the Holy Ghost:

…the Holy Ghost can and does speak to everyone, Baptists, Lutherans, and Catholics included. C.S. Lewis could not have written and comprehended what he wrote and understood, unless the light of the Holy Ghost shown upon that man’s mind. He has been often quoted in General Conference because he declares the light of eternal truths in his writings. There is no organization that controls the Holy Ghost. It is untrue to say there is some organization, which itself must be dependent upon the existence of priesthood for its order, has the authority to control the priesthood in the entire world! That is utter rubbish!

The demonization of the generals is in high gear at this point. Few will notice that they have never claimed to control the ministering of the Holy Ghost, which has gone on for millennia around the world, especially among the Gentiles, with faith in Jesus Christ.

However, most of these children will fail to notice, as this man does, that there is an important distinction between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost, which gives this man the opening he needs.

After going on at length to demonstrate that the Holy Ghost operates outside the Church, and, evidently, carried away with his own success at the endeavor, as he supposes, his hubris leads him on to excess and he declares most soberly:

I have never said this publicly, but because of what I think will ensue after this talk I am going to say it, not for my sake, and certainly not for the sake of anyone who believes the truth or who has the Spirit, but I say it only to benefit those who may view things completely otherwise. The Lord has said to me in His own voice, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you.” Therefore, I want to caution those who disagree with me, to feel free, to feel absolutely free to make the case against what I say. Feel free to disagree, and make your contrary arguments. If you believe I err, then expose the error and denounce it. But take care; take care about what you say concerning me for your sake, not for mine. I live with constant criticism. I can take it. But I do not want you provoking Divine ire by unfortunately chosen words if I can persuade you against it.

Well, I must say that “I view things completely otherwise,” and I feel free to disagree vehemently with this man, and make my contrary arguments and expose the error and denounce it. He is deceiving you. All of you who believe that he is speaking the truth are mistaken, and not just in this one instance, regarding the ministry of the Holy Ghost, but in more to come.

The Melchizedek Priesthood has been restored by righteousness sent down from heaven, just as the Lord declared would happen, in connection with the truth that he would send forth out of the earth. This Holy Priesthood is after the order of the Son of God, and those who hold its keys are authorized to direct the work of the Father, to accomplish his words, to which the voices from the dust testify saying that he would establish his church among the Gentiles, in our day, if they would but repent and hearken unto his words, and harden not their hearts.

This is critical to understand and believe, for the church the Father established, beginning in 1830, with the properly constituted order to establish and direct it, holds the keys to the kingdom of God on earth. The only salvation remaining for the Gentiles is for them to repent, become as a little child, and to be baptized, by those who are sent and authorized to officiate in the office of Priest, by the order of the Church, to number them in the covenant of the house of Israel.

The voices from the dust testify that the Father declared to them that, if they do this, they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among the remnant of Jacob, unto whom he has given this land for their inheritance;

Furthermore, the Father promised, according to the spokesman for the prophet Joseph, that “they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”

Which brings us back to our start. The saints failed to establish Zion, build the holy city of New Jerusalem, because they were cast out by their enemies. The Lord suffered this to be, as he explains in Section 101:

2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;

3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.

But it was not to be for generations, as it turns out, while the saints learn the very important lessons of Zion – that it “cannot be built up, unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself,” the Lord says. Yet, the Lord taught the saints that his mercy would not depart from them. Says he:

8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.

9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.

10 I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.

11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.

12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.

13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.

14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.

15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.

16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

17 Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.

In contrast to this, the man Snuffer tries to convince his audience that, due to an unusual dream the prophet Joseph is reported to have had, Zion has been moved out of her place, that the LDS people are no longer the people of the Lord, that “…today, Joseph would have no welcoming arm within it. It would suffer from such a curse in its present state that they would quarrel with him, and tell him to leave if he came among the church today.” Finally, he states his belief clearly: “I believe that the farm in the last vision was a symbol for what the church has become.”

The farm he refers to was a run down and neglected piece of property that Joseph, in his dream, owned, but hadn’t occupied for a long time, leaving it to decompose and decay. Suddenly, a man appears very menacingly, insisting that the place belongs to him, and soon a mob convenes, all with knives and evil motives, quarreling over the property, while Joseph sneaks off, unnoticed.

The point of the dream is that the enemy occupies what rightly belongs to the prophet, an inheritance, you might say, albeit a greatly neglected one. However, the iniquities of the usurpers fall upon their own heads, leaving Joseph to contemplate the “screeching and screaming” of these be-knighted knaves, engaged in a fight over something that didn’t belong to any of them.

It is a clear picture of the land of Zion, the land of MO, which stands in need of redemption, but it is presently occupied by strangers who know nothing of its glory, as the future location of the holy city. They know nothing of the law of the celestial kingdom, which will soon reign there, but only the law of the jungle. Yet, Snuffer sneakily applies the dream to the Church, asserting that the run-down farm is a symbol of what the Church has become, further demonizing it to serve his purposes and to prepare his audience for what is to follow:

(Part 2 continues in next entry)

Are Creedal Christians Saved with Israel?

Today, I read an article from an anti-Mormon ministry announcing that, next week, it will launch a two-week radio series in the SLC, Utah area,  based on the never-ending controversy of Zion, generated by the question, “Are Mormons Christians?”

The article begins as follows:

While the topic has been discussed at length over the years, the idea that Mormons are Christians continues to be argued by many Latter-day Saints. In 1998, BYU professor Stephen E. Robinson explained why he thought the answer is yes in his book Are Mormons Christians?

As part of its series on “Gospel Topics,” the essay titled “Are Mormons Christian?” was published in January 2014 on the official LDS website. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons given for why we should accept Mormonism as a Christian religion.

The author then responds to the LDS article line by line, objecting to the Mormon claim to be Christian: It’s not enough to claim to be Christians; It’s not enough to worship the God of Israel in the name of the Father, It’s not enough to proclaim than Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, full of grace and truth; It’s not enough to proclaim that he has established his church among the Gentiles in our day; It’s not enough to publish the fullness of his gospel, as Jesus himself delivered it to others of his sheep, that were not part of his fold in Jerusalem; It’s not enough that these words confirm the true doctrine of Christ, thus laying down contentions among true Christians; It’s not enough to clarify theological dilemmas, such as those arising with the emergence of Lucifer, as Satan, the fall of Adam and Eve, the existence of good and evil in a fallen world, the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner, the mercy of God in the salvation of the lost, etc.

In fine, it is not enough that God should correct the Christian world, by sending righteousness down from heaven, and sending truth forth from the earth. It’s not enough to proclaim that God has set his hand the second time to recover his people Israel, that they may gird up their loins, looking forth to the time of his coming, clothed in the brightness of his glory. It’s not enough that the house of Israel should be delivered from the terrible one, that the scorner should be consumed, and all that watch for iniquity should be cut off. It’s not enough that they that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that speaks truth to power, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught, should also be consumed.

Nothing is enough for these people, who simply refuse to believe the things of God declared to them by the servants of God, whom God has sent to them. Indeed, the declaration of his servant is not only not enough for them, it’s actually too much for them, as well.

They will not have it. They insist on clinging to their creeds, which God has said are an abomination to him. They insist that they don’t need any more of the word of God; They have enough. They don’t believe that the Father lead away from the house of Israel from time to time, and that these other sheep, to which he sent Jesus to minister, actually recorded his teachings and also the miracles that he did among them, and that when these nations are restored to the lands of their inheritances, they will bring their records with them, to Zion, a holy city, New Jerusalem, which shall be built in America, after the Gentiles have been swept off of it.

That’s not all the unbelievers don’t believe. They don’t believe that the life of the servant of the Lord is in his hand and that they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. They don’t believe that the Lord shall heal him, and show unto them, the unbelievers, that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

They don’t believe that whosoever will not believe the words that the Mormons declare unto them, only prove that they are NOT Christians, because the words that have come forth, by the servants of the Lord, are the very words of Jesus Christ, which the Father has caused his servant to bring forth unto them. Consequently, the unbelievers among the Gentiles will be cut off from among his people, who are of the Christian covenant, just as Moses prophesied.

They don’t believe that the Father has given this land of America to the remnant of the seed of Joseph, as the land of their inheritance, and that he will restore them to the land, according to the promises made to their ancient fathers, because of their great faith and mighty prayers to him in their behalf.

They don’t believe that the remnant of the seed of Jacob that is among them, that is in the midst of them, shall be as a lion in the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who treads down its prey and tears it to pieces and none can deliver it from its grasp.

They don’t believe that the hand of the remnant of Jacob shall be lifted up upon their adversaries and all their enemies shall be cut off. They don’t believe that the Father has decreed that, unless they repent, he shall execute vengeance and fury upon the unbelieving Gentiles, as well upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

In short, they don’t believe that the only salvation remaining for the Gentiles is for them to repent, to be baptized by the servants of God, whom he has sent forth to declare the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that they can be numbered with the remnant of Jacob, becoming identified in the same covenant and qualified to worship at the same altar as Israel.

Thus, the answer to the question, at the center of the controversy of Zion, is that only true Christians will be numbered with the house of Jacob, the covenant people of the Lord. So, then, we see that the real question that must be asked is this: “Are Creedal Christians saved with Israel?”

The answer is clearly no, they are not. They are cut off from Israel, if they reject the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul declared, it is all Israel that shall be saved, not Israel and the Gentiles.

 

 

 

Hardened Hearts

Why are LDS Christians afraid of associating with those who have forsaken covenants of the most sacred nature, and taken up the cause of unbelievers? Why do they shun those who claim to love them, but hate their belief that Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy? Why do they sorrow for those who have been overcome by the world and are now past feeling, having their understandings darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their minds and the hardness of their hearts?

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they see what’s ahead. Maybe they see and understand that, when salt has lost its savor, it’s good for nothing then, but to be cast out and trampled under the feet of men.

Maybe it’s because they remember the Lord Jesus telling Mormon that he would try the faith of his people. Maybe it’s because Mormon explained that he had written the lesser part of the things which Jesus had taught the people, to the intent that they might be brought again unto his covenant people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which he had spoken, and that, when they had received that, which was expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, if they believed them, then the greater things would be made manifest unto them.

So they, knowing that it is in their patience that they possess their souls, might seek the face of the Lord always, that they might have eternal life, standing in holy places, preparing for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of his temple, in his tabernacle, which hides the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see him together.

Looking forth for the day when every corruptible thing, both of man, or of the beasts of the field, or of the fowls of the heavens, or of the fish of the sea, that dwells upon all the face of the earth, shall be consumed; And also that of element shall melt with fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that his knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth.

But, no, apostates would have the saints consider the arm of flesh, instead. They would have them trust in the learning of men, those who hearken not unto the counsel of God, setting it aside, supposing they know of themselves, but the faith and the patience of the saints is to know that the wisdom of man is foolishness and it profits them not. And they shall perish.

The saints know that the wisdom of the wise shall perish and that the understanding of the prudent shall be hid, because the Lord has set his hand, again, the second time, to recover his people, from “Egypt,” and they know that the day will soon come that kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

The saints know that the time long prophesied has come when the Lord God proceeds to do a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which is everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other — either to the convincing of men unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds, unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil.

And though a man has declared it unto all people, there are those among them who will not believe it, because of the cunning of the devil, who has hardened their hearts in unbelief. Now, because of this their unbelief, the servant of the Lord shall be marred, yet they shall not hurt him, for his life is in the hands of the Lord, and he shall heal him and show unto the children of men that his wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

But remember this, if the fire can scathe a green tree for the glory of God, how easy will it burn up the dry trees, to purify the vineyard of corruption? Can you not read the signs of the times, oh scorner? Can you not see that the enemy has come by night and broken down the hedge of the vineyard, which the servants planted in the choice spot of land, owned by the Nobleman, who commanded them? You know they planted the Twelve, and the Twelve have brought forth much fruit, which the enemy desires to take upon himself, and now that he is upon them, having come by night, catching them asleep, what happens to the vineyard?

Rest assured, all you who watch for iniquity and make a man an offender for a word, when they arise from their slumber, the servants of the Lord shall fear and shall surely flee away. Alas, the Twelve trees shall be broken down, and the works of the servants of the Nobleman shall be destroyed, and then the Nobleman shall come to his servants and shall say unto them, “Why? What is the cause of this great evil?”

The apostates know this part of the parable. They know the cause of this great evil. It’s in the Doctrine and Covenants, which they supposedly read and studied for years. They know that the servants didn’t build the watchtower, in the midst of the vineyard, which he had commanded them to build, so that they could see the enemy coming from afar, but what about the rest of the story?

Where will the apostates be when the Lord sends Joseph to gather the strength of his house, his warriors, his young men and his middle aged men, to march as a mighty army, breaking out of Bozrah, with the Lord going before them, to redeem his vineyard from the enemy by power?

I don’t know what their answer is, but I know that, unless they repent, they will not have place among the saints, who will be assisting the ancient covenant people of the Lord to build a holy city, a New Jerusalem, in America, the land choice above all other lands.

Unless they repent, they will be cut off from the saints, as Moses said, and they will not be among the people, when the power of heaven comes down among them, and when Jesus himself will be in their midst, as the house of Israel continues to gather to the place, which he has prepared, as eagles gather to a carcass to feed.

Neither they, nor their descendants, except they repent, will be there to gird up their loins, looking forth for the day of the coming of the King, who shall come clothed in the brightness of his glory, And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before his face. And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him. And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man. And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death.

In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree; And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious.

Yea, verily, thus saith the Lord, in that day when I shall come, I shall reveal all things — Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof –

Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven. And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake, yet shall they partake of all this glory.

But, though the saints believe this, the fullness of the gospel, and though the substance of the hope within them that these things are true, is established upon the rock of evidence unseen by the world, the apostates no longer believe that the rock of unseen evidence is real, and insist that unless they are shown evidence that they can see, they are determined to fight against Zion, firmly believing that their hungry souls are feeding upon the truth, entirely assured that they are free and drinking deeply from the springs of liberty, but, alas, it is not to be, for, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives, they shall awake and find that they were only dreaming; that, like a hungry and thirsty man, who sleeps and dreams that he eats and drinks heartily, he awakens, only to find that he is hungry and thirsty and that his soul has appetite!

How sad. How very, very sad.

Tomfoolery vs. Tom

accuserTom Phillips, former LDS leader and advocate of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Jr. in the UK, upon discovering the existence of certain historical accounts of the LDS Church, and investigating them, has turned against the Church and decided to lodge charges of fraud against the LDS President, Thomas S. Monson.

The news was published in the UK by The Telegraph, which stated:

A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.

Not only was the religious editor of The Telegraph, John Bingham, startled by the fact that the magistrate issued the summons, ordering the leader of the Church to appear in court to answer the charges, on behalf of tithe paying “victims,” but was also amazed by the nature and scope of the alleged fraud itself. He writes:

In one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British court, it lists seven teachings of the church, including that Native Americans are descended from a family of ancient Israelites as possible evidence of fraud.

It also cites the belief that the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates revealed to the church’s founder Joseph Smith by angels and that Adam and Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.

The document suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.

The words and phrases “suggests,” “might be” and “could be,” which are used by the author and even included in quotes from the summons, are key clues to what is actually going on here: The merits of the case do not matter. It’s the possible defense and logical refutation of the charges, not actual and punitive damages, that are being sought here. What Tom Phillips wants is an answer to these charges, an admission by the President of the LDS Church, that the following seven LDS claims cannot be established by scientific scholarship, and that he, as President of the Church, knows it:

  1. The Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith
  2. The Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates by Joseph Smith, is the most correct book on earth and is an ancient historical record.
  3. Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 B.C.
  4. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed as martyrs in 1844 because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon
  5. The Illinois newspaper the “Nauvoo Expositor” had to be destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith
  6. There was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago
  7. All humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago

In other words, the victims were induced to pay tithing to the Church, because the Church convinced them that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Abraham literally from Egyptian papyri, which academic scholars later claim to have examined and to now understand quite differently.

The victims were induced to pay tithing, because the Church convinced them that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from an ancient source, revealed to him by a divine messenger, which Joseph asserted contained a true account of the religion of early American Christians and was “the most correct book on earth,” regarding it and regarding its teachings of the God of Israel.

The victims were induced to pay tithing, because the Church convinced them that Native Americans are descendants from these ancient American Christians, who have dwindled in unbelief, but are the beneficiaries of great promises, given to their fathers, as found in the Bible, and in the Book of Mormon, because their fathers were part of the house of Israel, whom their God has elected and separated out from all the families of the earth, to bear his message of salvation to a fallen world.

The victims were induced to pay tithing, because the Church convinced them that Joseph Smith was martyred in consequence of his work and his calling to bring forth the words of a sealed book, in fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah, and to establish the church and kingdom of God, in fulfillment of the prophecies of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon.

The victims were induced to pay tithing, because the Church convinced them that Joseph Smith’s destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor’s printing press in 1844, was justified, because it was libelous, and not because the Church sought to cover up the fact that Joseph was presenting himself as a civil, ecclesiastical and military leader, united in one and the same person, with power over life and liberty, that can never find favor in the minds of sound and thinking Republicans. (see Quincy Whig, cited here.)

Finally, the prosecutor alleges that the victims were induced to pay tithing, because the Church convinced them that the account of Genesis, found in the Bible and referred to in the Book of Mormon, stems from an eye-witness account, handed down from ancient times from our first parents, Adam and Eve.

For those who can bring themselves to take these charges seriously, as the British magistrate obviously has done, instead of seeing them as the tomfoolery of Tom Phillips, the true issue is clear: Can the religious conviction of any person be attributed solely to the arguments of reason? Did the Church convince Tom, by allegedly fraudulent arguments, that he should embrace the Latter-Day Saint movement?

Any LDS Christian convert knows the answer to these questions: The Church convinces nobody, but presents the case as good news to the proselyte, while the proselyte is urged to take the matter to the God of Israel, whom the Bible promises us gives liberally and does not upbraid those who seek him, and to ask him for wisdom, in faith, that he might know, if the case presented to him/her is to be received or not.

Tom’s argument is that the case which the Church presents to the proselyte is not straight forward enough, that the proselyte is mislead and beguiled, because the Church does not inform him that:

1) The world believes it now has all the source documents that Joseph had, when he translated the Book of Abraham, and they cannot find the words Joseph purported to translate in those documents, so the proselyte needs to include this information in his prayers for wisdom.

2) The world believes that there were no gold plates from which Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, and therefore God could not have given him the gift and power of God to translate anything. Consequently, the Book of Mormon cannot be the most correct book on earth, describing the religion of early American Christians, because it is fiction. Tom’s argument is that this information too needs to be taken to the Lord, when the petitioner ask for divine revelation from God to guide him.

3) The world believes that science can prove that no people from the holy land ever traveled to the Americas and settled the land, having living descendants in the land to this day, who would be beneficiaries of promises made to their fathers, as claimed in the Book of Mormon. Tom argues that this too should be explained to the proselyte, before he is urged to follow the counsel of the Apostle James, to inquire of the Lord to receive revelation from him, confirming that the account of Lehi’s journey to America, found in the Book of Mormon, is true.

And so on, with the rest of the claims.

The cunning argument of Tom is clear: Treat the Corporation of the President (CoP), as an organization that has produced a product and an associated service, and then fielded an army of salespeople to pitch the package to prospective customers worldwide, as something to be rented by them for the rest of their lives. The package is called the fullness of the gospel, and the rent for it is called tithing.

In other words, Tom removes God from the equation altogether, and makes the transaction, not one which is between the proselyte and God, but between the proselyte and the Church.

Once this Godless relationship between the proselyte and the Church is established, the transaction, Tom argues, must be viewed in terms of the laws of man, not the laws of God. The laws of man demand full disclosure of the package’s potential weaknesses and defects.

Because the CoP does not disclose the potential weakness and defects of the package to its prospective customers, those issues, which have been brought to its attention by disaffected, former customers, damages must be awarded and changes made to the case, which the Church is pitching to its proselytes.

There’s only one problem with Tom’s argument: Since the proselyte is urged by the missionaries not to base his/her decision to accept or reject the package, upon the empirical evidence of man, but to ponder the substance of the things hoped for in the package, and then, based on evidence that is unseen by man, but which the Bible promises us comes from God, seek to have the truth of the matter personally revealed to him/her, determining to accept the package or not, solely on the basis of revelation from God, not the Church.

Consequently, the proselyte who receives such revelation can say with the Psalmist,

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. (Psalm 18)

Selah.

 

The Decree

Enoch 1

Enoch is Shown the Destiny of the Earth

On yesterday’s KVFD TV program, I tried to explain how the Lord’s marvelous work and wonder (Isaiah 29) fits into the covenant of Abraham, which in turn fits into the Lord’s decree to Enoch.

However, the Lord’s decree to Enoch, that he would call upon the children of Noah, so that there would always be a remnant of them found among all the nations of the earth, so long as the earth should stand (Moses 5:52), seems enigmatic at best, if we think that only Noah’s descendants will ever inhabit the earth.

This decree was issued due to Enoch’s extreme distress at the destruction of mankind in the flood. The Lord promised him that the waters would never again cover the earth, destroying all of mankind, as it did in those days, but this implies that mankind would never again become COMPLETELY corrupted, necessitating a universal destruction, as happened before the great flood.

However, if we look at how Satan works, we see that the Lord would have to take some action, roll up his sleeves and go to work, so-to-speak, in order to keep mankind from completely succumbing to the devil’s cunning, after the flood.

In other words, the devil’s cunning is pitted against the Lord’s wisdom in a war for the hearts and minds of men, whose free agency to choose good or evil is vouched safe, by God. Of course, this war is waged over many, many generations of the children of God coming to earth to take on their second estate, to prove that they will do all things that the Lord their God commands them, after having kept their first estate, which Satan and his angels failed to do.

Hence, the stage is set and much of the drama has already played out, as our generation enters the stage of play, near the end of the third act. Clearly, this is an exciting time to be living on the earth, because, just as in a three-act play, it is in the third act, after the characters of the drama have been introduced, the plot set in motion, and the sudden turn of events has occurred, placing the hero in an impossible predicament, that the do or die moment for the hero arrives.

Nevertheless, few members of our generation ever come to orient themselves and understand the complete drama they are a part of, from beginning to end, before they die. There is no doubt that the justice of God requires that they understand it, before that great day, when they stand before him, to be judged of their works in this life, but many will have to learn it through their suffering and torment, because they were overcome of evil, while others will learn it in peace and safety, because they overcame evil.

In the days before the flood, those who overcame evil were caught up to the city of Enoch, a holy city of Zion, where Zion is the habitation of the pure in heart, who have all things in common, and none of them are poor, but all are wealthy. This state of affairs is brought about by the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, which operated upon the inhabitants of Zion, but which was rejected by the residue of people, who hated them and sought to kill them, before they were taken up from the earth, when it was said that Zion fled:

68 And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.

69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled. (Moses 7:69)

However, after the flood, and given the decree that there would be no more flood, but the Lord would call upon the children of Noah, to preserve them, so long as the earth should stand, those who overcame evil were not caught up to Zion, but left to dwell among the wicked, for the most part, being hidden in Christ.

They became sojourners in the earth, looking for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God. And the reason is found in the revelations given to Abraham and his posterity, but they all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, as taught by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Hebrews, chapter 11.

As we study these promises, in light of the Decree, we see that the Lord’s plan was to call upon Abraham and his family to be the salt of the earth, as it were, to preserve mankind from a second universal destruction. We might say, it was a plan to buy time for the people of the earth, until the second coming of Christ, when the wicked would be burned with unquenchable fire, leaving them neither root not branch, but the righteous would be preserved, according to the Decree, so that there would be some of them, a remnant of the seed of Enoch, through Noah, to inherit the earth, along with the other nations, who were not of Noah, who are coming back to the earth, with Christ, when he returns, clothed in the brightness of his glory.

Well, who are these other nations, coming back to inherit the earth during the millennium, when Christ and the saints rule and reign in truth and righteousness? The answer is, the inhabitants of Zion, which fled before the flood.

This is why the Latter-Day Saints say,

Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen. (D&C 65:6)

Zion is the kingdom of heaven, which shall return to earth with Christ, while the LDS Church is building the kingdom of God on the earth to meet them at their coming. This is what the Lord taught Enoch, way back then, before the flood, when

59 …Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.

60 And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;

61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;

62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;

64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest. (Moses 7)

Thus, we see, in verse 63, the meaning of the Decree: The remnant of Noah’s children join with other nations (city of Enoch), to inherit the earth, during the Millennium of Peace, when the long hoped for city, a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God, is finally realized, justifying the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all their faithful descendants, together with all those faithful Gentiles who repented, were baptized and who were thus identified in the same covenant and worshiped at the same altar as Israel.

Five Full Cycles Ended in 2012

In a previous essay, “The Aztec Calendar Stone is not Aztec and it is not a Calendar,” we presented a case for considering the Sunstone as a Toltec chronometer, based on the cycles of Venus and the Earth, cast into the 13×20 = 260 periods of the ancient Tzolkin calendar.

Simply put, each of the 260 periods of the Sunstone is given a value of 2922 days, instead of 1 day, as in the Tzolkin calendar. This means that the Sunstone captures a total of 2080 years on its face, divided into four epochs of 520 years each, consisting of 5 “Tricenas” of 104 years each.

We can easily review this information in a very comprehensible manner, by constructing the 13×20 matrix, which appeared in the previous essay, as figure 10.

2080 Matrix (Figure 1)

Figure 1. The 260 Position Structure of the Toltec Sunstone

Given the proposal that each cell in the matrix of figure 1 equates to 2922 days, or 8 years, each column equates to 13 x 8 = 104 years, and the total of the 20 columns is therefore 20 x 104 = 2080 years. As explained in the previous essay, each 8-year period of 2922 days is counted in terms of 5 Venus years, consisting of 584.4 days each, while each completion is marked with an increment in the Reed number, located at the top of the Sunstone.

According to this new proposal, these 5 Venusian years are named by the 5 “suns” appearing in the center “quincunx” of the Sunstone, shown in figure 5 of the previous essay. Each Venusian year is subdivided into the 20 Venusian “months” named in the circle of Tzolkin calendar names, which surrounds the 5 quincunx names of figure 5. The circle of these 20 names is shown in figure 4 of the previous essay.

As each Venusian month of 29.22 days passes, the previous paper suggests that the corresponding phases of the moon can be used to track the cycles of the Dawn Star, which is not always visible due to the sun’s glare and the Earth’s position relative to Venus. The lunar solution suggested to overcome this difficulty recognizes that, since the moon is almost always visible, it could be used to index the position of Venus, and thus count its actual cycles, without having to observe it. This should work, because the average lunar month of 29.53 days is very close to the 29.22 days of the proposed Venus month, and, as it happens, there is some evidence of the use of this procedure found in the Venus tables of the Dresden Codex.

However, in testing this approach to understanding the Sunstone, by performing the actual calculations month by month, we found it quite tedious and error prone, so it was decided to test each of the 8-year epochs instead, using the dates of Venus risings. The result is shown here for the third epoch, which we have named “Acatl,” or “Reed,” after the third of the four year-names of the Tzolkin: In this research, the first 520 year epoch is named Calli, the second Tochtli, the third Acatl and the last is called Tecpatl.

We also decided to name each 8-year Venus cycle after one of the 20 Venus month names and each “Tricena,” or 104 year cycle, after the first day of that Tricena, following the ancient naming convention of the 260-day Tzolkin. See figure 2, below, showing the table of the Acatl epoch.

Acatl Epoch2

Figure 2. The Five Tricenas of Acatl, the Third 520-Year Epoch of the Sunstone

To our great amazement, it turns out that each of the 8-year “days,” representing the completion of one Dawn Star Quincunx (DSQ), as we will call it, corresponds to a visible Morning Star rising! The result of the calculations for the 13 DSQs in the first Tricena of Acatl, the Tricena Monkey, and the 65th DSQ, Eagle, the last one in the Acatl epoch, is shown in figure 3.

The dates for the beginning of the Monkey DSQ, and the ending of the Eagle DSQ, are shown in Julian days, followed by the corresponding Gregorian, Aztec and Maya Long Count dates, after small corrections were made for each DSQ, to bring the Venus Rising (VR) to the horizon, in the “Cybersky” tool that we used to perform the calculations. These corrections made the VR times accurate to within .001 days!

365 Matrix

Figure 3. Calculations of Acatl Dates

Of course, no one knows if the Sunstone was actually used by the ancient Americans in this fashion, but it shows that it is a definite possibility. Clearly, though, it would be quite extraordinary and highly unlikely, if the geometrical and astronomical relationships, which make these stunningly accurate calculations possible, were carved into the Sunstone coincidently!

Moreover, it’s important to note that the clues that lead to this new proposal came from the ancient oral traditions, purported to be recorded from interviews of Native Americans, conducted by the author L. Taylor Hansen, in her 1963 book, “He Walked the Americas.” According to her report, the origin of the Sunstone is much older than modern scholars and most Native Americans realize, originating sometime in the first epoch of the Sunstone, the Calli Epoch, as we are designating it, instead of the fifteenth century, as modern scholars believe.

It was during this epoch that the bearded white man, referred to as the “Healer,” the “Teacher,” and the “Prophet,” in the oral traditions recorded in the book, caused the Sunstone to be carved, as a reminder to the people that their suffering and dispossession of the land of America, would end after the “third cycle (wave)” of foreign civilizations he saw possessing the land of America, in his visions of the future.

The Prophet identified the beginning of this third wave, as the “War-Cycle,” which he distinguished from the previous cycle, which was the cycle of the “Sacrificers.” If these “cycles” are reflected in the four 520-year epochs of our proposed scheme of the Sunstone, shown in figure 1, then the Prophet’s prediction that the third cycle would begin with the arrival of the “bearded strangers,” or the “warring strangers,” as he also called them, gives us a date to start the reckoning of the Sunstone, with the VRs.

The first heliacal rising of the Morning Star in the year 1492, occurred on 31 October, of the Gregorian calendar. This date corresponds to 2266314.99 in the Julian day count.

Using this date to count backwards one epoch of 520 years, takes us to October 31, 972 A.D., which would have been the transition year of the first to the second epoch. Going back further still, another full epoch, takes us to the beginning of the four epochs, to October 31, 452 A.D., during which the Earth, Sun, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury and Mars were in conjunction, as shown in figure 4 below.

1492 Constellation (Figure 4)

Figure 4. The Constellations of the Sky, if the First Epoch of the Sunstone Began on October 31, 452 A.D.

The new epoch, into which we have now entered, the final or Tecpatl epoch, as we are choosing to call it, begins with the Tricena named “Condor,” from the list of English translations of the 20 Aztec names of the Tzolkin, found on John Pratt’s website.

However, a more common translation of this name is “Vulture,” which seems more picturesque, since we have now come to the end of the Gentiles in America, or the end of the Eagle DSQ of the Acatl epoch, and are entering the Vulture DSQ of the final, or Tecpatl epoch, a period wherein the global elite have cast this country out for a prey, where the heathen and Idumea plan to pounce on the corpse, like vultures to the carcass.

With this much understood, we can see that the Sunstone is not a calendar at all, but more like a stop-watch, a massive chronometer, cleverly crafted to begin timing the ages between major milestones on earth, regardless of the dates upon which they may fall.

As it happens, if the great timer was meant to measure the era of the Gentiles in America, according to the Toltec legend in Ms. Hansen’s book, it would have started with the first VR coinciding with the arrival of Columbus in America, in October of 1492, and would have completed measuring five full Tricenas, or five 104-year cycles of the Dawn Star, on November 13, 2012.

This period, as a range of Aztec dates, would be from 5 Grass 1 Rabbit 13 Flint to 5 Wind 1 Flint 1 House, and it doesn’t appear to be remarkable in any special manner like the Long Count turning over to 13.0.0.0.0, in December of 2012, does. Nevertheless, the initiation of the first DSQ of Acatl, or Monkey, as 1 Reed, and then the completion of the last Acatl DSQ, or Eagle, on 13 Reed, 520 years later, marking the end of the Gentile epoch in America, is remarkable indeed.

While the fact that the completion date of Eagle 13, as it were, on the Toltec Sunstone, nearly coincided with the Maya calendar date 13.0.0.0.0, which was used to generate all the hoopla regarding the end of the Maya calendar and the purported end of Western civilization, may have discredited many prognosticators, in the eyes of the hysterical masses, but it nevertheless served to dramatize, for those in the know, the end of the hegemony of the “Warring Strangers” in America.

Perhaps, the proof that it had indeed ended, came only a year later, when their intentions to attack Syria, in the Fall of 2013, was thwarted, to the world’s amazement.

He said, “I know this Church is True!”

Jesus Christ is Baptized by John the Baptist

Jesus Shows Us the Way

I don’t know, but I would be very surprised, if Carl Wimmer hasn’t been saying that he knows “this church is true,” all his life. Carl, was a controversial Mormon politician in Utah, until recently, when, after a resounding loss in a political race, he withdrew from political life and eventually even the LDS Church, as he and his family “experienced Jesus” and became “born-again Christians.”

In the long saga of the establishment and rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, among the Gentiles of creedal Christianity, the “Controversy of Zion” is an ever-present part. In the case of Carl Wimmer and his family we see an example of the opposite trend to that illustrated by the case of Glenn Beck and his family.

On the one hand, the Wimmer family found a “personal relationship with Jesus,” which they never knew was possible before, after having been raised in the Mormon faith. On the other hand, the Beck Family found a church unlike any other they had ever encountered, after a long search.

I’m sure Carl will seldom, if ever, find himself saying again that he knows that “This Church is true,” while Glenn will undoubtedly feel compelled to repeat it many times, during his life as an LDS Christian.

Moreover, it is highly unlikely that Glenn will be found saying that he knows that he is “saved,” while Carl will probably be repeating it over and over again, as a non-LDS Christian.  It’s not that the Mormons don’t teach that “Jesus saves,” or that non-LDS Christians don’t believe that it’s important to belong to the true church. They do, in both instances.

It’s just that Glenn believes that he has entered in by the strait gate and must follow Jesus in the narrow path that leads to eternal life, as Jesus taught in Matthew 7:13,14. He and the LDS Christians look forward to salvation, according to the promise of the Savior, whom they follow.

They don’t accept that it can be a fait accompli, as soon as someone in our day shall “confess with [his] mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in [his] heart that God hath raised him from the dead…,” unless that person obeys the gospel of repentance and baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endures to the end, walking the narrow path to the end of his life. This was as surely the case in the days of the apostle Paul, as it is in our day.

However, when Carl now reads chapter 7 of Matthew, he doesn’t pay as much attention to those verses as he does the verses that follow those verses, which warn of false prophets, for now he believes that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. He believes that it was Joseph who wrote the words of the prophets of the Book of Mormon, like these of Nephi, who wrote:

…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.

In contrast, Glenn is moved by the words of the Book of Mormon, which he now accepts as the “voices crying repentance from the dust,” which Isaiah writes about, even though Carl and the non-LDS Christians believe that they are simply the words of a con man, a very good con man, but a liar and a con man, nevertheless.

Yet, Glenn and the LDS Christians believe that no con man ever known could have the power to write words like these:

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

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.

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

So, in the final analysis, it is these words, the expounding of this doctrine, by the voices from the dust, which make all the difference in the two paths that are placed before us and so many others facing the question today: LDS or Non-LDS? Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve!

If this is the true Church of God, it follows that the Book of Mormon is in fact the truth sent forth from the earth to bear witness of the Only Begotten Son of the Father, his resurrection, and the resurrection of all men. It follows that Joseph Smith, the descendant of Joseph of Old, who was sold into Egypt, was the choice seer, whom he was promised that the Lord would raise up to deliver his seed from hidden darkness in the latter days, when the Lord would proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among them.

If this is the true Church, it is the church that the Father promised he would establish among the Gentiles, if they would not harden their hearts. I marvel when I think what this means, since the promise was given in the context of the great question, LDS or Non-LDS? as understood in terms of our actual survival, because of the fact that we are now embedded in nations that are simply drunken with sin and iniquity on every hand, that are virtually staggering under horrendous hypocrisy and abominations, abominations beyond anything we ever dreamed was possible in modern society, just a few short years ago.

This means that the sword of his justice is literally hanging over the guilty Gentiles, as it once hung over the guilty Jews, who had a knowledge of the God of Israel and should have known better, but transgressed against the great knowledge they possessed:

20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;

21 And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

Of course this is not understood by the Primary children, when they say that “I know this Church is true, I know the Book of Mormon is true, and I love my Mom and Dad” but it should have been understood by Carl, a leader in the Church and in the community.

However, he who now proclaims his life has been changed, because he has received of the grace of Jesus in a profound and personal way, just for the asking, and consequently believes that he has been “saved,” is, in effect, proclaiming that membership in the very Church that Jesus said he would establish in the above verses actually prevented him from having this close, personal relationship with the Savior. Thus, he withdrew his membership from it.

Glenn, on the other hand, believes in the words of the Savior quoted above. He has faith that they are truly the words of Christ, spoken to the ancient American Christians, and he has all that in mind, when he says, “I know that this Church is truly the Church of Jesus Christ, restored in these last days, to gather in the house of Israel, that they may gird up their loins, looking forth for his coming in glory.”

This situation, where the choice of two paths is placed before LDS and Non-LDS worshipers of Jesus, one personal, with no constraints, the other institutional, with definite constraints, constituting a narrow path to be tread, reminds me of the words of Jesus on this subject, as recorded by Luke, in chapter 13, which I seldom hear quoted by those claiming to have personally “experienced Jesus,” while fighting against mount Zion:

24 ¶Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.

27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

I have personally experienced the Spirit of Truth testifying that Jesus is who he said he is, the Savior of mankind, and, like Glenn Beck, I have entered in by the strait gate, which Christ himself showed unto us, by his sublime example at the hands of the authorized servant of God, whom he sent for that very purpose: The gate which we all must enter the kingdom of God is the gate of repentance and baptism, accepting the gift of the Holy Ghost, at the hands of those whom he has sent for that purpose in our day.

It doesn’t matter if we have personally sat at meat with Jesus, if we refuse to enter the gate he entered, and requires that we enter, following him, we cannot be saved (See here).

The same Spirit of Truth that testifies that Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Living God, also testifies that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, a choice seer, his servant in establishing his church among the Gentiles, who repent and hearken unto his words and harden not their hearts, that they may gird up their loins, looking forth for the coming of Christ, clothed in the brightness of his glory.

Personally, as I tread along the narrow path, and the Spirit of Truth witnesses to me of the Father and the Son from time to time, I experience an inexpressible sense of joy and a feeling of participating in something vast and consequential, which fills my soul with a peace that is not of this world. I feel my sins being burned away as though by a purifying fire, as I praise God for his Son and the plan of salvation he made possible through his great sacrifice for our sins. I think this is why the surpassing experience of receiving the witness of the Holy Ghost in our walk of life is referred to as “baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost.”

I don’t know why Carl and others like him experience something different. I just know that this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true Church of God, and I am ever so grateful for that knowledge, because I know it’s his will that we should be part of it, if only we will.