We read of today’s professing followers of Christ:
“This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” (Isa 30:9-10)
Before the coming of Christ, this verse is more easily applied to the law of Moses and the Jews of ancient Israel. Yet the Book of Isaiah was written to have a dual fulfillment (3 Ne 23:3) and it is this duality which has made it a difficult and mysterious book to follow.
There are three prophetic days: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
We live during a time which “is called today until the coming of the Son of Man.”
“After today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labour while it is called today.” (D&C 64:23-25)
Today, the words of Isaiah are fulfilled before us within a broader perspective—since we now possess a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel. We can evaluate Isaiah through the higher law Jesus taught and made known to the world during his earthly ministry.
In 1831, the celestial teachings—sprinkled throughout the narratives of the four gospels—were organized into a single section with the clear identification of itself. Jesus Christ, the Lord, explicitly states the revelation to comprise “the law.” (D&C 42:2)
Those that actually contemplate the difficulty of receiving and doing the law necessary to be a disciple of Christ (D&C 41:5) will have a similar response as did the followers of Christ in the meridian of time: Who then can be saved? (Matt 19:25)
In connection to this, observe the retort made when Christ teaches the true doctrines of marriage: “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.”
Jesus replies: “All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. […] He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matt 19:10-12)
Today is the day we are to perform the labors asked of us to prove our divine origin. We’ve been called to perform what most dismiss as unachievable. The Christian world conclude the commandments to be unreasonable expectations, believing them to have been provided for the sole reason to indicate how truly wretched we humans are.
But those who desire to follow God will settle for no less than the seemingly impossible—because they hold a faith that confirms the eternal truth: “with God all things are possible.”
Living the higher law is proof of an inborn celestial composition.
Years ago I criticized Denver Snuffer for his status of being a divorced man who remarried, that this was the greatest piece of evidence to not trust him as a prophet or teacher. Many took offence to this, telling me I was naive and too young to understand the world in all its complexities.
They are right to say such a thing, but they are wrong in casting away the validity of my apprehension.
When it comes to the things of God it doesn’t matter what you know about the world; it comes down to what you know about God.
I am nearly finished compiling a list of every commandment and admonition of the Lord given through Joseph Smith in the Covenants of the original book of The Doctrine and Covenants. Below is a point-by-point listing of what directions are given in the law of the gospel:
-Hearken and hear and obey the law
-All to go forth in the power of the Spirit, preaching the gospel, two by two, in the name of Christ
-Lift up voices with the sound of a trump and declare the word like unto the angels of God
-Baptize with water saying repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand
-Build up church in every region westward until New Jerusalem is prepared and revealed from on high
-Elders, priests, and teachers to teach principles of gospel in the Bible and Book of Mormon; observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these direct teachings; this to be observed until the fulness of scriptures given
-Lift up voices by the Comforter and speak and prophesy
-Do not kill; do not steal; do not lie
-Love wife with all heart and cleave unto her and none else
-Do not commit adultery
-Adultery given one chance to repent; but if commits adultery again is to be cast out
-Do not speak evil of neighbor nor do him any harm
-Remember the poor, consecrate property for their support with a covenant that cannot be broken
-Properties given to the bishop and his counsellors
-Properties for purpose of purchasing lands for public benefit of the church, building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem
-Be not proud in heart, let garments be plain and in the beauty of being made by own hands
-Let all things be done in cleanliness
-Be not idle
-Those sick to be nourished with tenderness, herbs, and mild foods, not by hand of enemy
-Live together in love, weep for those that die and especially for those who die without hope of a glorious resurrection
-Those without faith are to be borne in their infirmities
-Stand in place of stewardship
-Do not take but pay for brother’s garment
-If obtain more than needed, give unto the storehouse
-Ask for scripture (they shall be preserved in safety)
-When scriptures given, teach unto all nations, kindreds, nations, tongues and people
-Take what has been received for a law to govern the church
-Ask to receive revelation
-Ask to know where the New Jerusalem shall be built
-Teach those in the east to flee unto the west
-Observe all these things; observe all the laws received and be faithful
-Receive coming covenants which will be sufficient to establish you both in Kirtland and the New Jerusalem
-Ask of God if lack wisdom
-Lift up your hearts and rejoice
-Elders and high priests that assist bishop to be given support/remuneration for their services
–Those who have put away spouse for the cause of fornication must testify in lowliness of heart that this is the case or they are to be cast out
-Offenders of divorce to be cast out (verse 75)
-Be watchful and careful with all inquiry
-Those who kill to be delivered up to the laws of the land (they have no forgiveness)
-Adulterers to be tried by two witnesses or more
-Robbing and stealing and lying, and other iniquities, to be delivered up to the laws of the land
-If offended, speak alone to to offender; and if they confess, be reconciled
-If any offend openly, rebuke openly; if they confess not, delivered up unto the law of God
-Offenders in secret shall be rebuked in secret for the opportunity to confess so that none speak reproachfully by the church
My inclusion of this compilation is to ask what should be a very sobering question: Has any of the professing believers who align themselves with Denver Snuffer asked him to testify that his divorce was for the cause of his partner having committed fornication?
…Because if not, Denver should be cast out.
I can surmise this has never occurred. My take on the matter is to presume they enjoy having a prophet as weak and sinful as themselves. He does not live up to the law of the gospel and this comforts them in their own failures.
For this, it is clear the Snufferites are among those Isaiah spoke of, who do not want to hear the law of the Lord, nor impose it upon themselves as a standard. They are complacent to remain in their fallen nature. After all, that’s apparently good enough for them to part the heavens and view deity.
They don’t want to hear the right things; they want to hear the “smooth” things. Among the definitions of what classifies smooth, we find those who reject the higher law of Christ will instead desire their prophets to say what will: make [following God] easy; free [them] from harshness [in breaking the commandments]; to soften [their importance]; to calm [their worries]; to mollify; and to flatter.
Something peculiar I noticed about Mauricio Berger was the all-too-familiar abrupt attempt to appeal unto another group of Mormons. On a whim it seemed, he endorsed a belief held by those of us who are awaiting the return of Joseph Smith, specifically aiming it to One Who is Watching—commonly known as ‘Watcher’.
The Brazilian prophet wrote, “Here I confirm again what I said in the e-mail, I know by revelation of Moroni that Joseph will return to finish the job and not because I have read in some place something similar. Yes, he will come, but not in the way the “watcher” testifies, [but] that Joseph will rise again to complete the work.”
False prophets will continuously doctor their message to appeal to whomever they think may reciprocate. Whether that appeal is true or not does not matter so long as it is what the people want to hear.
False prophets do not want to risk losing relevance if nobody is listening. True prophets have the promise of God that regardless to whether or not anybody listens to them it is imperative they speak the truth nonetheless.
Recently I was drawn to something Denver Snuffer recently notified his adherents:
“I’m not saying you cease doing genealogical work.
The way in which temple work for the dead was intended to be done was that work of baptism for the dead was confined to only those ancestors you personally knew, who you believed would have accepted the gospel with all their heart had they been permitted to tarry and were only kept from accepting the gospel because they died at a time before it was available for them to embrace.
That’s one category.
A second category was those ancestors about whom you have enough information from their diaries, their letters, their journals, or accounts of their life so that you believe them to be the kind of people that would have embraced the gospel, had they lived at a time when the gospel in its fulness was on the earth.
So that is a second category.
And then the third category was, those ancestors who appear to you and ask that their temple work be done.”
[Source: Denver Snuffer, Q&A, Grand Junction Conference, Restoration Archives]
Had Denver admitted that all the ordinances being performed in behalf of those who are dead is actually a complete misrepresentation of what the ordinance really entails, this would have quickly alienated his audience, the majority of which consist of culturally LDS-entrenched members who most assuredly devoted countless hours doing genealogical work to endlessly perform the dubious ordinance in behalf of their ancestors. By tailoring the doctrine to have it make just a little more sense (although it still makes zero) he is lauded as being revelatory.
Of course, Denver has never revealed anything. Usually he reads something and then goes ahead taking credit for whatever idea he comes across that he feels will resonate. It’s like Ellen G. White—by the time she came around, everything she offered that was of any value had already been revealed.
In this case, Denver’s reading and admonition on the ordinance of baptisms for the dead has been around since 1849:
And for these shall ye be baptized: every saint according to his right, and in his order, shall be baptized for any deceased husband, wife, posterity, or progenitor, to the third and fourth generation; any brother, or sister, whom he in faith believes has received the gospel in the spirit. […] And if I will that any of my faithful servants of the Aaronic Priesthood be baptized for any other, I will send my angels to signify it unto them.
-Provided by James Strang
As you might suspect, I am of the opinion that “Davey” Snuffer and James “Strange” are are no closer to understanding the ordinance than the mainstream LDS church.
…But the point of this article is not to offer my own rendition on this heavily-debated topic; it is to highlight the fact that false prophets will always be cornered into promulgating false concepts that correspond to the deeply-held false traditions of their followers.
Each false prophet has a different audience that possess a shared assortment of false traditions. The precepts of men that the charlatans speak out against are the things their followers already disapprove of.
In other words, those that accept a false prophet are a group of individuals who are ready-made, groomed by a distinct worldview that a false spirit has intoxicated them into adopting. The false prophet who encapsulates that particular false spirit will formulate the basis upon which adherents to it can finally live out their dream-religion.
All of this said, let me admit that I am guilty in a similar manner. Until we are innocent, and refrain from sin permanently, we must come to terms with the likelihood that we have not completely broken free of all ungodly traditions. It is disobedience and the tradition of our fathers that allow Satan to have power over us. (D&C 93:39)
Having not experienced sanctification, I can’t deny my place among those who Isaiah describes as blind. The good news is that God promised unto us a true messenger who will open our eyes..not necessarily to the truth, but to the falsehoods which individually beset us from fully experiencing what we know to be true.
The true messenger won’t bother with gaining artificial trust…
He will speak loud and clear whether we like it or not.
Like I said in my last post, the prophetic servant Gazelem’s unique role is to expose what wickedness is hidden. Along these lines, it’s not a stretch to expect this prophet to bring to light what abominations we ourselves are committing without ever having realized it during all these years of probation.
We have not yet been made aware of each and every false tradition that we’ve been indoctrinated with. None of us have opened up our eyes completely. We apparently won’t until the marvelous work…beginning with the arrival of whom it is said:
19 For I will send my servant unto you who are blind; yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;
20 And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness, if they will hearken unto the messenger, the Lord’s servant.
21 Thou art a people, seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears to hear, but thou hearest not.
22 The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness’ sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable.
-JST Isaiah 42
Those that do believe the word of God to have come through Joseph Smith would do good to study the law of the gospel in Section 42.
Only those who magnify it and honor its validity can we even begin to take seriously.