Notable Emails #29 “I enjoyed your post on Joseph Smith as the “Covenant Servant” in Isaiah 42… however…”

[Editorial Note: I get many emails from readers of my blog sharing their thoughts and  asking my opinion about historical and doctrinal matters. This series provides selected email exchanges that may be of interest to the general readership. As always, the reader should never assume that I know what I am talking about. The information is being provided to stimulate thought and deeper study into the scriptures and history of the church. I do not share email conversations if you request that I don’t. I can be reached at onewhoiswatching [at] gmail dot com  ]

Email Exchange #1
“After all we can do – I believe I have found the interpretive key, a veritable Rosetta Stone…”

Watcher- I believe I have found the interpretive key, a veritable Rosetta Stone, if you will, to unlock the meaning and understand that most misunderstood and misused of all Mormon scriptures – 1 Nephi 25:23.
Study Alma 24 with that scripture in mind when you get a minute and tell me if you see what I’m seeing.
Incredible! ;- )

My Response

WOW

I don’t know if you saw what I saw…. but… the following keywords below from Alma 24:11,15 pretty much give the exact definition of the phrase “all we can do” in 2 Nephi 25:23

vs 11 “all that we could do”

v 15 “as much as we could do”
Definition: “repent of all our sins”

(The “works” that are required for salvation are to repent of all our sins )

The interesting thing is that I never would have thought to do a keyword search on the initial phrase in 2nd Nephi 25 and it wouldn’t have done me any good anyway because of the slight variations…

And furthermore, a traditional reading of the narrative would not have revealed the corresponding definition as the wording is so subtle… it was Mrs. Water that caught it as we read the chapter in Alma.. I never would have parsed out those keywords

Rosetta Stone indeed…

I hope that is what you saw ….. 🙂

Incredible! ;- )

His Reply to My Response

Exactly. Awesome huh?

One of the definitions of the Greek word translated as repentance in the NT is “to have a change of heart or mind”.

It was “all they could do” to truly, radically change their hearts, throw off their natural man and accept Christ, after living such lives as they had.

They then entered into a saved state of grace (and probably received the baptism of fire and were sanctified and), no longer subject to the laws of judgment and justice. (Grace is NOT God’s “backup plan” for when we’ve done every possible thing we could do to fulfill every jot and tittle of the law, but failed, as is so often taught/thought!).

But we can fall from grace. To “retain a remission of our sins” and remain in that saved state We must endure to the end living “grace”fully (loving, lifting and forgiving others, being saviors on Mt Zion).

They knew that, even though there was full justification for it under the law of justice, if they gave in to the natural man justification and went back to their violent, ungodly ways, they could (and would likely – you can’t have it both ways – you are living the law of justice or grace, not “halvesies”) fall from grace and they just couldn’t take that chance- given how hard it was the first time and there’s a good chance you might not make it back a second time – SEE THE LAST VERSE of the chapter!!

Great stuff!! Thanks for humoring me!!

 

Email Exchange #2 
“I enjoyed your post on Joseph Smith as the “Covenant Servant” in Isaiah 42… however…”

Watcher-

I Really enjoyed your post on offering Joseph as a covenant. Most would say the Isaiah scripture is referring to Christ.
I assume your position is that the Isaiah scripture applies to BOTH JS and JC – as a dual fulfillment, types and shadows thing?

My Response

When you say “most” who are you referring to?

It has always been my understanding that the church manuals and scholars consider LORD in caps to be referring to “Jehovah” in the Old Testament and that Christ is Jehovah in the Old Testament. They do not consider LORD/Jehovah to be referring to God the Father.

Although I am usually skeptical of anything the church teaches nowadays, I must begrudgingly agree with them on this issue at least with regard to the Book of Isaiah.

According to the narrative in Isaiah 42 (and 49, its sister chapter) It is the LORD that called the Covenant Servant ( See verses 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, etc.) It is also the LORD who created the heavens (verse 5) which corresponds with many scriptures stating that the heavens were created by Christ.

This leaves the servant as someone other than the Father or the Son. It is clearly a human servant of the Lord who speaks for God like Moses was anciently.

The narrative in Isaiah 42 continues in Isaiah 49 with both chapters speaking about the LORD and the Servant and the fact that the prisoners will go forth (compare 42:7 with, 49:9)

Joseph clearly taught that it would be himself and others of his fellow servants of the Lord that would redeem the dead and enable the prisoners to go free:

“22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.Doctrine and Covenants 128:22″

Also, compare Joseph’s statement about himself to Isaiah 49:2

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry, … Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 304).

 

“2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me; 3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” Isaiah 49:2

Also compare the above statement “in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me” to the following declaration in modern revelation

“9 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—”

I think it is pretty reasonable to assume that the covenant servant is not Jehovah Christ, it is a servant of Jesus Christ as the literal interpretation even though it provides a great type of what Christ did as well.

It is remarkable that Joseph declared that he would become a polished shaft of the LORD and that modern revelation reveals that Joseph’s true identify had been hid from the world.
I realize that the covenant servant could be someone else besides Joseph. However I think Joseph’s statements provide compelling evidence that he considered himself to be that servant.
He may have been delusional, but I also think it is Joseph… 🙂

 

His Reply

That’s awesome stuff! I think you make some great and amazing points. But (i’m willing to bet) you are the only person in the world who has discovered them so far. And just beginning to share.

My only point was (and I haven’t done any research but) I would be willing to bet that virtually all Bible commentators, both in and outside of the church, would say that the reference to the servant is Christ and not some other unnamed servant. Notwithstanding the church’s definition of “LORD” you mentioned and which I also understand to be generally the case. Correct me if I’m wrong.

For example, In the headings prepared by the church it specifically says it’s a reference to the Lord.

When I read it, after reading your post, I thought it all made sense in relation to the Lord as well. For example the Lord is given to Israel as a covenant “New Testament”. Also, I am pretty sure there is a scripture or Scriptures referring to the Lord setting the prisoners free – although I suppose I might be thinking of this very one?

I personally don’t see any problem that Jehovah would be prophesying through Isaiah to Israel about his own future mortal appearance as Christ.

All that to say, I think it might also work great as a dual meaning / “type and shadow” scripture prophecy too.

I don’t remember most of what you wrote in the above note from your blog. But it is incredible! Rosetta Stones indeed!

Thanks for sharing!

My Reply

I totally understand and acknowledge that all of the commentators, LDS or otherwise say the covenant servant is referring to Christ.

What else can they say?

New Testament theology does not clearly account for an intercessory offering like the one that Moses offered under the ancient law, to take place after Christ’s atonement….. and it is not clearly evident that apostate Israel would need to be temporarily downgraded to an ancient law after Christ came in the meridian of time.

We are dealing with a prophetic last days mystery that is intentionally obscured in the scriptures because it was not in the providence of God for it to be commonly understood. This mystery unlocks all of the otherwise bizarre things that happened during the LDS restoration movement. When it is finally known by the world it will shut the mouths of all of the critics.

A Biblical Christian that reads how modern revelation places so much importance, including the salvation of the church, on Joseph Smith has no other option than to consider Mormonism to be a cult that worships Joseph Smith. In fact, if it was not for what I have found regarding this amazing doctrine, I would now have to write off Mormonism as a cult.

When I write about these things I do it more so that a written testimony will already be in existence when the servants return and declare them, not so much because I think people are believing these things now.

I suspect that even most of my subscribers struggle to accept the documentation that I am providing about the true history of Mormonism, the 3rd watch and the true intercessory role of Joseph Smith because it is just to fantastic to believe that such a strange narrative could really be hidden from scholars and highly respected religious leaders and yet be true. I would bet that less than ten of the 170 subscribers to the blog actually have a firm belief in my interpretation of the atonement statute prophecy in Leviticus 16 and the Davidic servant prophecy in 2 Samuel 7.

Nevertheless, I have provided so much supporting documentation over the years and much of it did not even make it into my three chapters on the topic in my book.

The cold hard truth is that no matter how much ancillary documentation that is provided, FEW IF ANY ARE GOING TO FULLY BELIEVE THIS UNTIL THE SERVANTS RETURN AND PROCLAIM IT AND EVEN THEN MOST PEOPLE WILL NOT BELIEVE IT. I believe the following passage in Isaiah is referring to the testimony of the Servants when they return and give an accounting of what took place in the second watch…

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord (servant of the Lord) revealed?”

How many people will have the truth about Joseph Smith revealed to them by the spirit of the Holy Ghost?

We can only wait and see.

I am always seeing additional evidence for this amazing doctrine. Just within the last few weeks I have noticed even more corroborative evidence although most people do not have a deep enough understanding of scripture to appreciate it.

One example of the things I have recently noticed is a matter of fact statement in one of Joseph’s Nauvoo discourses about how some people on the other side of the veil may have their transgressions paid for by another person…. (don’t have the quote and ref handy right now)

…what a strange thing to say! It seemingly contradicts the gospel scenario in the New Testament and the fullness of the gospel in the Book of Mormon… but he was not speaking in the context of the fullness of the gospel, he was obviously speaking in the context of the gospel of Abraham.

Also, in a past post I provided a mind blowing narrative from the dead sea scrolls that speaks of a prophet that atoned for those of HIS GENERATION

DEAD SEA SCROLLS 28. A FIRM FOUNDATION (AARON A-4Q541)

he will make atonement for all the children of his generation

Another example that I have probably never addressed in detail is the commentary Paul provides in Hebrews 9

Notice the commentary in that chapter gives an amazing account of the annual responsibility of the high priest to enter into the Holy of Holies to take upon himself the sins of Israel in a physical temple or sanctuary….

..he explains that the new testament provided by Christ does not need the mortal intercessor of the ancient law nor does it require physical sanctuaries (temples). These verses are often used by protestants to show that temples and temple theology is no longer needed after Christ came… there is just one problem with their argument. The scriptures testify that God will have temples in the end times… what does that tell us?

I believe it tells us that the gospel of Christ is rejected for a time and that a lesser preparatory gospel arises for a little season.

A close reading of Pauls commentary reveals that he was not simply providing the narrative as something that happened anciently which pointed to Christ….. he was also alluding to something relating to the ancient law that was still future…. he felt it necessary to clearly explain what Moses and Aaron and the “high priests” of the ancient law had to do as intercessors in the holy of holies. He was alluding to (in my opinion) what a latter day servant would need to do in the future!!!!!!!

In his narration he provides what I consider to be a cryptic reference to a future event having to do with the “mercy seatand the angels associated with it. He stopped short of revealing what this event would be, stating that “we cannot now speak particularly” about the future event involving the mercy seat.

Why couldn’t he speak particularly about it?

What cat did he need to keep in the bag?

I believe it was the event that is recorded in section 110 which took place over the mercy seat and which event is alluded to in the Book of Daniel.

1 The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened.

2 We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.  (Standing above the Arc of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat** Section 110 was a literal enactment of Exodus 25:22) 

3 His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

4 I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.

For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in MERCY in this house.

Yes I agree that there is nobody out there that interprets Isaiah 42 the way I do however, the explanations given by scholars and leaders are really lame and they contradict their own teachings.

1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein wasthe candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;

4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

[WHY NOT PAUL!

WHAT IS THE BIG SECRET THAT GOD WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO TALK ABOUT?]

6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

[Ah Ha! The time of reformation is not referring to the meridian of time, it is referring to the time of restitution in the end times! The temple theology and gospel having to do with physical temples and the intercessory offering of the High Priest is not totally and completely done away with until the TIME OF REFORMATION when apostate Christianity gets their last chance to accept the fulness of the gospel.]

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to thepurifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

[So those living during Paul’s time did not need to mess with the Gospel of Abraham and physical temples and human atonement offerings like Moses offered up… however, the door is being left open for ancient temple theology to return when apostasy from the fulness of the gospel takes place. What? A testament requires the death of a testator? That is exactly why Joseph Smith had to die as well. ]

17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

[ So Christ has already offered to bear the sins of many, yet it is necessary for him to appear the second time without sin unto salvation! That final time of Christ appearing without sin unto salvation is yet future. Why does that still need to be done? What about the interim? What gospel law are we under prior to Christ’s final return at the time of reformation, when he appears without sin unto our salvation? could it be that we are currently under a preparatory gospel just as the ancient Israelites were? could it be that the temple theology of the end times that is recorded in prophecy was re-instituted by the prophet Joseph Smith? BINGO.]

His Reply

Wow!!! Great stuff !

On a slightly related note – I more and more think that polygamy and the modern temple endowment were really given by God to fallen Israel as part of the Abrahamic dispensation as a latter day lower law of Moses – both to grow latter day Israel (keep the roots alive) and as a schoolmaster to bring the people into Christ through carnal commandments and savage / strange / violent symbolism (and only slightly more effective than the L of M in doing so).

It’s the only way to explain the unbelievably incredibly powerful hold it has over the people, and you can easily see how quickly they would have ceased being a peculiar – “set apart from the world” tribe if they had just been left with biblical Christianity and the new revelations (see, eg the Community of Christ and all other offshoots). And there is in fact some amazing symbolism in it. A strange act yes, but totally ingenious at the same time!!!

I foresee the day when the new Paul… will write modern day (electronic) epistles to the new small band of believers explaining how analogous it was to the law of Moses, given to keep a hard hearted and stiff necked people “close”, together and searching for the Lord for a “little season” until the Lord could complete his strange act and marvelous work!!

My Response

I don’t disagree with you, however your eloquent explanation of the return of polygamy is a little soft and perhaps too charitable. It was also given as a chastisement to Israel for rejecting the fulness.

Joseph Smith opined that the lesser law was given as a cursing…

The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out Judments and destructions.” (Smith Dairy)

Levitical which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear” (Franklin D Richards Diary)

 

Email Exchange #3
This email was sent to me and the author of the “The Work of the Father” Blog
which also addresses the doctrine of the Three Watches

 

Hi guys,

I’ve been thinking about this – obviously – for a while now. I know that Watcher has probably grown frustrated and impatient with me.  I know this is long – but hear me out. I really do believe there is something to the 3 Watches doctrine and the future Great and Marvelous Work. I also believe there is something to the Atonement Statue -especially when considering the fulfillment of scriptures like 2 Samuel 7 and Deuteronomy and many others including the Strong Delusion God would send.

However, then you have this whole Denver Snuffer movement. I only joined the Church in 1995 as a convert, so I’m not terribly familiar with other previous folks in the Church who maybe claimed to have had Jesus appear to them with a message. But, something seems different with Denver’s message and experience. BUT – I am not totally convinced I guess.

I know that you, Watcher, have been very skeptical if not outright reject Denver’s witness because of what you see as differences in doctrinal interpretations – especially in regards to D&C 110 and some differences in interpretation of the 3 levels of Priesthood.  I’m not convinced, I guess, that Christ won’t or is NOT appearing to individuals that He deems necessary – that He can’t appear until Joseph and the First Elders return. That may be – but just because we are not having those experiences doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening.

HOWEVER – then I keep going back to and thinking about the Temple ordinances and the difference between what was revealed in Kirtland for that Temple and what was given in Nauvoo for that Temple. I’m reading …. a book … which is outlining how the Church and doctrine has changed since Joseph Smith’s day and how the modern corporate Church has changed many of the foundational truths. I think we can all agree on that.

The book has.. a whole chapter focusing on changes to the Temple ordinances.  He begins by discussing the Kirtland temple and the true Endowment that occurred there. He discusses the fact that the Endowment was NOT the ordinances. He says the ordinances prepared folks to receive the Endowment which can only come from God.

He says that in Kirtland the ordinances were only the washing of the feet and the annointing with oil on the head and that this was provided to all the saints for the 6 months of winter leading up to the April dedication. Of course we know that the dedicatory services were a Pentecostal experience which WAS the endowment from God – a spiritual outpouring – a Pentecost – of spiritual gifts, cloven tongues of fire – indeed a Baptism of Fire for all attending. They experienced the fullness it would appear. No secret signs or handshakes, etc… No masonic rituals (my observation).

However, then he goes right from that to quoting Joseph saying that all Temple ordinances will be revealed by Adam or angels that he assigns and that the Temple ordinances would be the same for ever and ever and never change. Of course – he is referring to what ultimately was given in Nauvoo and includes what Brigham Young wrote down in 1877.

At this point, I’m thinking that if that were true – then what was given in Kirtland should be it – that’s all folks. Obviously because it led to the Pentecostal experiences. We hear of NO reports of those experiences in Nauvoo after the higher, masonic influenced ordinances were given.

He goes from describing the Kirtland Temple and the true Spiritual Endowment – not being ordinances – to outlining all of the Changes that were done to the Temple ordinances AFTER 1877 – when Brigham first put it to paper – 33 years after Joseph’s revealed, updated the Endowment ritual in Nauvoo.

I‘m working two jobs and I don’t have the money or resources to look into this – but we need to put some research out that goes through the Kirtland era and the Temple ordinances given then which led to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I know that Watcher has written about this before but I could swear that Joseph made some kind of statement in Kirtland about the fact that God had now revealed every principle and ordinance necessary for salvation an exaltation at that point.  If that is true – then WHAT THE HELL was all of the stuff Joseph gave in Nauvoo?

As you have pointed out several times recently, Watcher, there seems to be a division between those who believe in the Nauvoo ordinances (pretty much EVERY in the box Latter-day Saint and every Snufferite) – and the very few Mormons who believe something is wrong there.

I don’t have the books and resources to find this – but I think it is imperative you provide a detailed post, however long it is, that goes through this history and clearly shows that we had what we needed in Kirtland and that what came in Nauvoo was a corruption or deception given on purpose.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

We all know that Christ warned about there being many false Christs and false prophets in the Last Days. It’s easy to see or find false prophets. However, the reason Denver Snuffer (and it’s not just him reporting having Second Comforter experiences in the LDS world – Dan Rogers, Rob Smith and many others) has been so successful at gaining followers is because he is claiming direct contact with Jesus Christ – having a personal audience with him.  Yet, how do we know that it is the REAL YESHUA that is appearing to him?

Have you heard about Sananda Jesus???  Is it possible that a false Christ is appearing to these folks?  Is it possible they are putting themselves in the Astral Plane where demons can deceive? How do we know?  Where is the proof that the REAL Second Comforter experience CAN’T be happening now?  WHY should we question and doubt Denver Snuffer’s experience? Could we be wrong in our interpretations?  Can’t Jesus have appeared to Denver and Denver can still be imperfect and have some wrong ideas on doctrinal interpretations, but still really being seeing Christ?….

There are other Christians reporting seeing Jesus (see that video I sent earlier this week of the Non-LDS Christian guy reporting that Jesus Manifested Himself unto him.)

Could this be WHY we must prove and show to people that IF the fullness was rejected by 1835 then why on earth should we believe that GREATER truth was given long afterwards in Nauvoo while abominations were being practiced by the people?  Of course, Denver Snuffer would admit that abominations were being practiced but he holds that Joseph always remained pure and above the fray and that he received higher truths and temple ordinances in Nauvoo and that he was only using the Masonic ritual as a teaching method.

How do we know that what Brigham put down on paper in 1877, which he said was exactly what Joseph had given him 33 years earlier, is REALLY what Joseph gave him?  It is clear that what was given in Kirtland was washings and annointings and what was added in Nauvoo was much more – but led to no spiritual outpouring/pentecost.

I’m wondering if the Masonic version given in Nauvoo could conjure up this false Christ – Sananda Jesus to appear. They claim that he is an ascended Master. Look at these links and information:

What are we to make of all of this?

Both of you have been pretty adamant that the Lord is withholding these experiences from people until the First elders return. You have been adamant that no one is having the real [FULL AND COMPLETE ] Baptism of Fire because the Fullness is not here – yet many are reporting that they ARE having these experiences.  I know that we live in a day of great deception, but could the REAL GOD be moving and stirring folks and appearing and calling and baptizing by Fire?

IS this a project worth undertaking to help reclaim some of the Snufferites from a great deception?  Or, are we confident enough in that conclusion that we know that we aren’t kicking against the pricks and persecuting one of God’s true messengers?

Thoughts?  Are you guys up for this kind of post or project?

Can you find anything from the Kirtland era where Joseph claims that we have the fullness and all of the ordinances necessary for exaltation in what was given in the Kirtland temple?

Thanks,

XXXX

My Response

Very interesting and thoughtful email. I am not in a position right now to work on such a project.. Besides, I have already essentially done that in all of the documentation that I have provided over the last eight years…..I cannot get distracted reiterating that which has already been documented. I am finally regaining my focus on correcting and updating my book.

I hate to sound pessimistic, but I am not real hopeful that many if any of the hardcore Snufferites can be reclaimed by anything that I write. I think there is a very real familiar spirit emitted by Snuffer that is attracting those that are being led to his new church and they have probably been ordained from the pre-existence to follow him. Indeed they were probably following him in the pre-existence.

I did recently respond to an email from one of my subscribers regarding the Snuffer movement that you might find interesting.. I hope to expand on my response and include it in a notable emails post at some point

Email from subscriber

Watcher,

I usually don’t care much for his writings, but this one is very well done. (referring to Adrian Larsen)

In fact, the comment by Annonymous (AB2) really had me thinking.

I have never really thought of the converse to the equation that the church teaches:

If The Book of Mormon is true, then the church is true.

But the converse, if the church is false, then therefore must be false as well.

They are mutually exclusive of each other and I have never thought of the second scenario as part of the reason why so many people are leaving the church and throwing Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon out at the same time.”

My Response

I certainly agree with the part of Adrian’s blog about how absurd it is for those claiming to be prophets seers and revelators to seek counsel and learning about doctrine and church history from those that have been trained for the ministry.

Indeed I have blogged about the same issues several times as well.

However I take great issue with the following declaration

“You simply will not find God in a book—not even a book of scripture.”

That statement is patently false and very revealing about the person making that claim and the religious movement he has become one of the poster-children for.

His declaration is contrary to what God’s prophets have told us.

Ironically he quoted the following scripture as evidence that it is not scripture that is important in finding God but rather simply asking God directly:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

It seems like very strange logic to quote the very scripture upon which the heavens were opened in marginalizing the importance of scripture.

Joseph Smith never would have gone into the woods believing he would find God if he had not first listened to God’s voice in the written word and believed it.

Furthermore, Joseph Smith was not typical. He had been foreordained to have that visitation. Hence building such a shaky doctrine around that scripture is pretty feeble.

Many people, (probably including you and Adrian) have no doubt had countless failed attempts in seeking God in prayer. I think many passionate and sincere people have attempted to have a personal visitation from Christ but failed.

Yes, I realize that Adrian has since claimed to have parted the heavens and found God after reading Snuffer’s “how to” book on the second comforter however, since Adrian and Denver do not seem to think you can find God in the scriptures and since they both teach conflicting doctrines than what God and his prophets teach in scripture, they really don’t have much credibility with me.

One of the trademarks of the Snuffer movement is that naive and arrogant implication that “anything the scriptures might teach is trumped by my personal contact with God and what he tells me, even if it contradicts his word in the scriptures

How can you reason with that kind of blind arrogance?

Adrian is dead wrong when he claims you cannot find God in the scriptures.

In fact I believe it is highly unlikely that some one who cannot find God in the scriptures will find him outside of the scriptures. Very unlikely that such a person would have an authentic visitation from the true God

It is generally after they obtain a greater faith in him and understanding of his character and perfections and admonitions and teachings through his written word that they are eventually blessed with a manifestation of his spirit which leads them into his presence.

In my opinion it is because of Adrian’s lack of reverence and respect for God’s holy written word that he has been deceived and deluded into following a false prophet… and then deceived into meeting a false Christ himself.

Denver Snuffer is a magnet for those that have not found God through his written word.

That is the main takeaway that I left with when I went to Boise to hear Denver and see what kind of people that he was attracting.

Here is what I shared in a blog post years ago regarding the experience and impressions I had as I spoke to some of the Snufferites:

Both the couple to the right of me and the two men to the left of me commented on how marked up my scriptures were.
I was a little surprised at their amazement as I fully expected their scriptures to look the same way and for them to be significantly more doctrinally informed than the average member of the church.
In the brief exchange I had with them, they indicated they had not studied the scriptures very much and did not know much about doctrine.

The couple to the right of me did not have their scriptures with them.
The guy directly to the left of me had a completely unmarked but old set of scriptures that looked like they had seldom been opened.

Both sets of people on either side of me were hyper focused on Denver’s remarks and took voracious notes on notepads, as if Christ himself was speaking.
They seemed to hang on every word that Denver spoke…
I believe many of the followers of Denver are extremely naive from a doctrinal point of view.. and many of them appear to be very innocent.

Obviously, the people sitting close to me are not indicative of all of Denver’s followers. There are undoubtedly also followers of Denver who have searched the scriptures, determined that all is not well in Zion and are only too willing to jump on the bandwagon of a martyr that has the gonads to publicly challenge the church on these issues.”

Those observations are even more profound to me now than they were then after watching what has taken place during the last few years.

Those impressions were had at the very beginning of Denver’s movement. Now, years later, those of his original followers that have drunk the cool aid and become indoctrinated into the gospel of Denver Snuffer view the scripture through the lens of his interpretations and they are now easily convinced that God often does not mean what he says in the scriptures.

They have embraced Denver’s contempt for the scriptures as evidenced by Adrian’s blog post as well as some of the absurd statements made by Denver himself. Their refusal to take the promises and prophecies literally have damned them from learning the deeper things available in God’s written word…

You may be aware of the fact that Snuffer is now courting the fundamentalist communities. After flip-flopping so many times on the topic of polygamy he has apparently had ongoing communication with leaders of the polygamist communities.

The fact that they are happy with Denver and show no remorse for their polygamous lifestyles or any intention to stop the continuance of the practice is very revealing. It appears that Denver is tickling their ears and telling them what they want to hear about the issue, or he is just not addressing it so as not to offend them.

He was recently invited to speak to those at the “Rock” in Moab Utah. Do you think they have embraced him because he is telling them to repent of their polygamy and accept the true doctrine of Christ and the Fulness of the Gospel?

I don’t think so.

More likely he is tickling their ears and telling them that their lifestyle is acceptable to God.

I noticed that in his recent talk in Moab he once again said that the gathering to Zion was no longer going to take place in Missouri.

What part of-

“And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints—“?”

does he not understand coming from an all-knowing God who has all time, past, present and future continually before his eyes?

He uses section 124 and the declaration that Nauvoo is the “cornerstone of Zion” as evidence that God changed his mind about Jackson County being the “center place” of Zion…. Why would Nauvoo as the cornerstone negate Jackson county as the center place?

It simply demonstrates that Zion is a very large place.

As shown in a previous blog, if you calculate the distance between the center place and the cornerstone as depicted in modern revelation to determine the size of the total square, you have the same dimensions of Zion that are given in the Book of Revelation which supports that fact that God has not changed his unconditional declaration about where Zion is going to be.

Avoiding Deception

The scriptures tell us about two main ways that a person will not be deceived.

One is to treasure up God’s written word.

37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The other is to take the Holy Ghost as one’s guide.

57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day

The above passage is one of the most misunderstood and misquoted scriptures. There are lots of members of the church and lots of Snufferites walking around thinking they have taken the Holy Spirit as their guide. However, those that have studied this topic realize that it is not possible to take the Holy Spirit as their guide until the fulness of the gospel and the full authority to administer the saving ordinances has been restored to the earth. Furthermore, those that discount and take lightly the written word of God cannot qualify to receive the Holy Spirit as their guide anyway.

Search the Scriptures!

Even though people like Denver and Adrian think you cannot find God in the scriptures and think they are above being limited by the limitations God places upon us in scripture, God seems to have a rather high opinion of his written scriptures.

In the 5th Chapter of John, Jesus admonished the unbelieving Jews to revisit and search the scriptures that they have misinterpreted.

37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 ¶Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Christ is admonishing the unbelievers to go back to the basics and to reread the scriptures that they have previously wrested. Christ is not saying that scripture is unnecessary or non-credible. Just the opposite. He is stating that the scriptures identify him as the Christ and that if the stiff necked Jews understood how to read the scriptures under the influence of the spirit they would have accepted Christ.

He is actually providing a more narrow definition of what true scripture is. Every passage that testifies of Christ is true SCRIPTURE and it is the preliminary foundation upon which people become familiar with God through the manifestation of his spirit if they have believing hearts.

Those who think they can take God’s written word and the commandments therein lightly and bypass finding God in His written word, and then find themselves in God’s presence, deceive themselves and set themselves up for a great delusion and deception that will have them discounting and marginalizing the profundity of God’s written word.

In this day in age when literate people are expected by God and commanded by God to read, study and search his written word, it is not likely that one will end up avoiding deception by taking the Holy Ghost as their guide when they have rejected God’s written word.

The New Testament informs us that those who accepted and believed upon the words of God’s authorized servants would then validate the preaching of his servants by searching the scriptures:

10 ¶And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:10-11

Chapter 7 in the book of Jacob tells of how the anti-Christ Sherem contends with Jacob and how Jacob overcomes his false doctrine. Once the people have been restored to a state of peace and the love of God they once again searched the scriptures to stay on the narrow path-

19 And he said: I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my case shall be awful; but I confess unto God.
20 And it came to pass that when he had said these words he could say no more, and he gave up the ghost.
21 And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth.
22 Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.
23 And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.

Alma 17 informs us that the Sons of Mosiah had a sound understanding of the things of God because they had “searched the scriptures

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

Other passages showing how Christ viewed the scriptures as a key to understanding God’s plan are as follows;

Matthew 22:29
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God

Luke 24:32
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Luke 24:45
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Taking Gods word lightly

Modern revelation informs us that taking the scriptures lightly is how the saints of the restoration got into trouble. They took the written word of God lightly:

43 And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.
44 For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spiritcometh unto God, even the Father.
48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.
49 And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.
50 And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.
51 For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.
52 And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.
53 And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children ofZion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even theBook of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

Denver Snuffer and his followers have become a law unto themselves.

They are too wise to be taught from the scriptures because they don’t think God can be found in them.

They have not yet figured out what it means to take the Holy Spirit as their guide.

They don’t understand that it is not fully possible to comply with that admonition until the servants return with the priesthood keys to perform the full saving ordinances and yet they think they have complied with that commandment.

Only a scripturally illiterate person who does not understand the requisite of the saving ordinances by one who has true priesthood authority can ingest Denver’s books and think they are congruent with God’s true teachings. Denver made the dumbfounding declaration in his book that you don’t need priesthood authority to be baptized.

You don’t need authority to baptize?

Are you serious?

Yes I realize that Denver has since back-tracked a bit on that erroneous proclamation but it is still very revealing that he would put something like that in print.

Approved of God

Why did Paul tell his hearers to study to find thyself approved of God”?

If one must study the written word of God to be approved of God, how does one enter into his presence and obtain eternal life by minimizing and questioning the accuracy of the written word?

IN the book of Alma, Amulek and Alma contend with the anti-Christ Zeezrom and are only able to overcome his sophistry because of their intimate knowledge and belief in God. Although it is evident that they are full of the spirit of God and have been visited and taught by angels, it was their belief in and diligence in studying the written word of God which qualified them to have the visitations they had enjoyed and to be taught the mysteries.

After Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, Alma began to “unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done”. (Alma 12:1)

Alma and Amulek were holy prophets of God who had been ORDAINED by GOD himself unto the Holy Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood and could speak directly in behalf of God from their own experience. They were filled with the spirit of prophecy and knew the thoughts of others, and yet they used the written word of God to teach others about the plan of salvation.

The Lesser Portion of His Word

The Book of Alma refers to the written word of God as the “lesser portion of his word”. The lesser portion needs to be taken seriously before the greater portion will be made available.

9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

According to the Book of Alma, the written portion of Gods word is the “lesser portion” of Gods word that has been made available to “the children of men” (EVERYBODY !)

Those that harden their hearts towards the written portion of God’s word, are never allowed to understand the greater portion and they “know nothing concerning his mysteries”.

13 Then if our hearts have been hardened, yea, if we have hardened our hearts against the [written] word, insomuch that it has not been found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be condemned.

It is apparent that anyone who questions the lesser portion of Gods’ word is not going to be given the greater portion and shown the mysteries.

How can the written word be found in the heart of someone that mocks the holy word of God and claims that God cannot be found in the written word?

I maintain that those living during modern times who are literate and have the ability to obtain God’s written word seldom if ever bypass the written word and enter into the presences of God purely based on their naive faith.

I can remember the first time I read the following words in the D&C in which the Lord, speaking to the quorum of the Twelve apostles through Joseph Smith, about four years before they were even called, were authorized by Christ to be able to say they had heard the voice of Christ simply because they read the revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost:

“31 And now I speak unto you, the Twelve—Behold, my grace is sufficient for you; you must walk uprightly before me and sin not.

32 And, behold, you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers; to declare my gospel, according to the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God unto men;

33 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it.

34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;

35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them;

36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.

If God authorizes those that read and believes his written words to testify to the world that they have heard his voice, as a result of reading them under the influence of the Holy Ghost, then I think it is safe to say that you can find God and even hear his voice in the written word.

 

 

Listing of Past Notable Emails

Notable Emails #28- “Why do we need prophets and apostles when they refer us to scholars for doctrine and church history understanding”Notable Emails #27 “what makes you so sure JS was not just a charlatan from the beginning?”

Noteable Emails #26 This and that, this and that, tell us how it is Hugh, we won’t look back!

Noteable Emails #25 “Can I ask you for some help with chapter 27 in 2 Nephi?”

Notable Emails #24 “I recently awoke or at least have begun to awaken. Since August I’m no longer blindly following the brethren and traditions of the church.”

Notable Emails #22 “My prediction is that those who accept the gospel of Bill Reel (non-literal historicity of the Book of Mormon) will ultimately either loose all of their faith…”

Notable Emails #21 ” I don’t believe the current LDS Church has ANY “authority” – especially BECAUSE they preach that the culmination of the Gospel is the Masonic Rituals..”

Notable Emails #19- “Sometime ago I had an extraordinary experience where I was forgiven of some of my sins”

 Notable Emails #18- “I wake up every morning with this intense feeling that we are getting closer”

 Notable Emails #17 “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

 Notable Emails #16 “the Lord wouldn’t give a young church such responsibility so early”

Notable Emails #15: “It would be so hard to do if we didn’t have the word crunching software available to us to use. Now I can see why so many are deceived. “

 Notable Emails #14 (b) “who was the legal heir and successor of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.?”

 Notable Emails #14 (a) “Baptism for the dead is illogical and pretty much impossible to ever accomplish”

 Notable Emails Part 13 “Gileadi compares the Servant to Hezekiah, in that he answered for the temporal sins of the people and acted as a proxy savior”

 Notable Emails Part 12 “the scriptures will become corrupted and deceive the elect and give Satan power”

 Notable Emails Part 9 “My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.”

 Notable Emails Part 8 “Who are the Jews and Gentiles?

Notable Emails Part 7 “My eyes have been opened”

Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.

Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”

Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”

Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?’” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!

Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”

Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”

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