Friday, January 20, 2017

What is a Prophet?

What is a prophet?

Most of the Christian world today believes in prophets of the Bible but do not believe that there have been any prophets since the days of the New Testament.

LDS Mormons believe that they are led by a prophet today.

What is a prophet, do they exist today and why do we need them?

The scriptures were given by revelation from God and were, in large part, written by men who knew God. According to scripture the definition of a prophet is a man who has entered into the presence of God and has direct communication with Him, it is a man who has repented, called upon God in the name of the Son, received mercy, been redeemed from the Fall of Adam and entered into the Rest of the Lord.

Redeemed: brought back into the presence of the Lord.

Rest of the Lord: to enter the fullness of His glory, to see His Face and to Know that He lives!
The Bible for Christians and the Book of Mormon for LDS Mormons are full of examples of men who have had this experience:  Adam down through the patriarchs; Jesus Christ down through the apostles; Lehi down through Moroni.  These men were called by God, not by men; they were ordained by God and not by men.

Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. (Genesis 14:26-29 Inspired version of the Bible)

Once a man has entered into the presence of the Lord he then labors to cry repentance to the people, teaching them that they also can receive mercy, be redeemed and enter into the Rest of the Lord.  These men do not point to themselves. They do not fair sumptuously while poor Lazarus starves.  They do not set themselves up as a light to the World.  They point to Christ!  For there is none other whereby man can be saved but by and through the Savior, Jesus Christ!

Do prophets exist today and if so why do we need them?

The bible gives us a litmus test for prophets: by their fruits ye shall know them.  If the bible gives us a litmus test, then it must necessarily follow that there will be both false and true prophets that we will need to discern between in our lifetime.

Therefore, it is up to each of us to study the words and teachings of men and choose for ourselves if he is a prophet. How can we know? By their fruits we shall know them.  What are the fruits of a prophet?  The man will have words of eternal life.  His words will be delicious to the taste. They will point us to Christ and by following their words we will receive mercy and be able to stand in Christ’s presence while still in mortality. Prophets cannot give us salvation.  Prophets cannot forgive us of sin.  The only thing a prophet can do is show us the way back into the presence of Christ where we will then receive salvation and forgiveness of sin.

I believe in the prophets of the Bible.  I believe in the prophets of the Book of Mormon. I have studied the words of Joseph Smith, Jr and have found him to be a prophet.  Joseph Smith taught that it is the first principle of the Gospel to know that we can speak to God face to face and that this is not a blessing reserved for the elite but is offered to all mankind, even as many as will. (TPJS pg. 345)
I have studied the words of the men which the Mormons claim to be prophets since the time of Joseph Smith, Jr and have found for myself that they are pretenders.  From Brigham Young down to Thomas Monson today, none of these men have entered into the presence of the Lord, none of them have words of eternal life. They are the blind leading the blind and all will end up in the ditch.
God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Therefore, we can trust God that there are prophets among us today.  If we are seeking this Jesus of whom the prophets testify then we must seek for true messengers from the Father to teach us.  They are out there. God follows patterns.  God calls the humble, the fishers, the carpenters, the farm boys.  It is generally said of a prophet, “a wild man has come among us.”

The Lord has promised that:
It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1)

And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen. (Ether 12:41)

I am seeking this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written.  I am seeking for words of eternal life. I am seeking for true messengers from the Father to teach me. I have found some and their fruits are delicious to the taste. I hope to continue to find more.  Their words serve to turn me to face Christ, to repent and to be baptized.  Their words give me an increase in faith. Their words give me a more correct understanding of the character, perfections and attributes of God. I am indebted to the revelations which God has given to us for a correct understanding of His character, perfections, and attributes. Because without the revelations which He has given to us, no man by searching could find out God (see Job 11;7–9). “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:9–1 1).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Christian Reformation: Celebrating the 500 Year Anniversary

A part of the world today has been formed, shaped and influenced by the Catholic Church as well as the Christian Reformation. This year is the 500th anniversary of the Christian Reformation.  It is worth taking note.  It is worth celebrating.  It is worth recognizing.  It is worth learning. The Christian Reformation is as relevant today as it was 500 years ago.

Much as the Catholic Church sold indulgences in the 1500’s, the practice of which Martin Luther condemned in his 95 theses, the LDS Mormon Church today sells salvation, in the form of their temple endowment and sealings for both the living and the dead for 10% of its members incomes as one must be a “full tithe payer” in order to receive a recommend to enter the LDS temple.  The Mormon Church is a young Catholic Church.

A new website has been created to honor and to remember the Reformation.  I have spent hours looking at this website and I have learned much.  It is a beautiful website and will be worth your time.  I am excited for the upcoming lecture series promised by the creators of this website.  This lecture series will be given by Mr. Denver C. Snuffer, Jr.  Mr. Snuffer was raised Baptist, baptized LDS Mormon at the age of 19, became a High Priest in the LDS Mormon Church, and was excommunicated from the  Church because he wrote a book which was an honest attempt at reconciling the LDS Mormon Church’s history with scripture. In this lecture series Mr. Snuffer will discuss Christian history, the Reformation, Christianity since the Reformation, the Restoration movement, and Joseph Smith as a Christian thinker and Biblical preacher.

I believe that we are living in an age of the history of the world that another great Reformation or Restoration is beginning.  I want to be a part of it.  It will take courage.  It will take patience.  It will take sacrifice.  The fruits will be unity and mercy and love and redemption.

The Book of Mormon: Fact or Fiction?

The Book of Mormon: Fact or Fiction?

There are some who believe that the Book of Mormon is fiction, written by an uneducated farm boy named Joseph Smith, Jr.

There are some who believe that the Book of Mormon is fact, translated from ancient records written in reformed Egyptian by an uneducated farm boy named Joseph Smith, Jr. in a 3 month time period from April to June of 1829.

There are some who believe that the Book of Mormon is inspired fiction, written by an uneducated farm boy named Joseph Smith, Jr.

Does it matter if the Book of Mormon is fact or fiction or inspired fiction?  Does it matter as long as the main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to teach about Christ and to bring a person closer to Christ?

I believe that it does matter.  I believe that the Book of Mormon is fact.  I believe that it is a history of a people who were taken out of Jerusalem by the hand of God and brought to the American continent.  I believe that because this family was taken out of Jerusalem before the great Babylonian siege and desolation that the Book of Mormon contains the most pure record of God’s dealings with mankind and the gospel of Jesus Christ than any other book currently in existence.  I believe the warnings and blessings promised in this book.  I believe that this book is a guidebook for the common man or woman on how to get back into the presence of God, while in the flesh.  Furthermore, I believe that the Book of Mormon is God’s love, mercy and fullness.

The Book of Mormon is feared by many Christians because they assume that if you believe in the teachings contained within that book that you must necessarily believe in and become a member of the LDS Mormon Church.  This is not true!  The Mormon Church does not own the Book of Mormon!  God does!  It is God’s book and while the LDS Mormon Church has done a great service to mankind by printing and distributing the book in the past, this book is now available from other sources outside the LDS Mormon Church.  The Book of Mormon is God’s book and is no longer owned by any institution and is easily and readily available for any soul seeking to know their Lord and their Redeemer, even Jesus Christ.  A quick search of the internet shows sources where you can purchase this book for relatively little cost outside the LDS Mormon Church and with no strings attached.

Come, read this book for yourself and see if you find this Jesus of whom the prophets testified would come into this world in order to save all mankind.  It is, after all, Christ’s work and His glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Malachi 3, conclusion

Malachi 3:16

16 ¶Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

The Lord wants us to gather together often, “…to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death…”[1]  The Lord has promised us, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”[2]

The book of remembrance is referenced several times throughout scripture and is also known as the Lamb’s Book of Life. Scripture cautions that in order to withstand the coming judgments your name must be written in this book.[3] Joseph Smith, Jr. taught, “…whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world…”[4] 

The apparent question then is how does one get ones name written in this book? 3 Nephi 21:6 states: “For this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.”[5] Denver Snuffer states in, Preserving the Restoration, that this will not be fulfilled except through the correct doctrine and baptism performed by those God has given power to baptize.  Baptism has been and will always be the way a person can be washed clean of their sins and reconnect with Christ. In Matthew 3 (KJV) we learn that John was baptizing in the river Jordan all those who had come to him confessing their sins.  Jesus Christ came to John to be baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness.  Nephi teaches us to, “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.”[6]  If one is trying to reconnect to God, baptism unto repentance, by immersion, by one who has authority from God, in living waters is a very good place to start. 

Baptism as an infant is not baptism unto repentance as all children are innocent before God until the age of accountability.[7]  Moroni 8: 8 states: “Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me…”  According to Doctrine and Covenants 68:27 children should be baptized for the remission of sins at the age of eight years old.

Viola and Barna propose that in the first century water baptism was the outward confession of a person’s faith and was the way someone came to the Lord.  Baptism marked a complete break with the past and a full entrance to Christ; it was simultaneously an act of faith as well as an expression of faith.[8]  In 3 Nephi 11 Christ appears to the people who have been spared the destruction of their civilization.  These people were spared because they had received the prophets and been baptized previous to his appearance.[9] It is interesting to note that one of the very first things Christ teaches these people is the correct ordinance of baptism and commands them all to be baptized again[10]. The invitation to be baptized, immersed in living waters, by one who has authority from Jesus Christ has been extended to us again today.[11]  “Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.”[12]  “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.”[13]

Many people make the argument that they have no need of baptism because they have accepted Jesus in their hearts[14]; they were baptized as an infant or a young child; or that they were baptized as an adult.  Baptism is a gift God has extended to us which can be accepted through-out our lives, whenever we feel the necessity of turning from our old selves and facing Him, repenting of our sins and reconnecting with the Lord we can be baptized.  Baptism is the fruits of repentance.  

It is often argued that there is only one Lord, one faith and one baptism[15], therefore the necessity of being baptized more than once is a false concept.  What if “one baptism” is referring to only one mode of baptism which is acceptable to the Lord? Denver Snuffer, Jr. in his post titled “Baptism is Mandatory” (Aug. 25, 2015) states:
Baptism must be by immersion. (3 Ne. 11:26: “then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.”)
To baptize, a man must have been given authority by Jesus Christ. Christ taught that in the baptismal prayer He required to be recited by anyone performing the ordinance. It establishes the condition that He first directly gives them authority to baptize: “These are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” (3 Ne. 11:24-25.)
Catholics baptize by sprinkling. This is not accepted by the Lord as His because it does not comply with the required pattern.
Baptists may immerse, but do not have authority to baptize given to them by Jesus Christ. This is not accepted as His.
All the denominations are presently astray. But God still offers baptism.
There are some few authorized by Christ, performing baptism with His authority, teaching the doctrine of Christ, and giving freely an ordinance to any willing to accept the Doctrine of Christ and repent.
The LDS Church does not offer an acceptable baptism any longer….The baptism offered by LDS Church missionaries is based on an adulteration of Christ’s doctrine, is not effective, and will no longer be accepted by Christ as His.[16] He does, however, require baptism. The acceptable means was outlined in my talk in Phoenix and can be read as a paper on this blog, or the talk can be downloaded here or streamed on YouTube.
Baptism is necessary. A record is likewise necessary. Baptism is offered freely, without obligation, and without initiating you to follow another man or men. You are free to thereafter worship as you see fit. But it is essential. A record is kept by a central recorder. The website is It is a necessary process.
The only condition for baptism is to accept the Doctrine of Christ, set out by Christ in His own words. Christ commanded it be done, and has reiterated that it is to be done anew in our day. We will be disappointed at His coming if we fail to obey.

The Doctrine of Christ is recorded in 3 Nephi 11. Once we have accepted the gift of baptism that is freely offered through authorized servants of Christ we must record our names in the book that is being kept as an earthly record in order that our names should be found in the heavenly record. [17] The Lord requires the names of those baptized to be recorded. No other information, personal or otherwise should be collected.  The Lord requires only your name.  Baptism does not need to link a person to any legal church organization.  The Lord wants us to be baptized in the way that He has set forth and He allows us the privilege of worshiping Him according to the dictates of our own conscience, we should allow all men the same privilege, let us all worship how, where, or what we may.[18]

Malachi 3:17-18

17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.[19]
 18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

What great love and mercy the Lord extends to us if we but do His will.  In order for Him to return there must be a place prepared to receive Him.  In order to establish Zion we must be of one heart, one mind and there must be no poor among us. We must all know the Lord.  We must repent and be baptized.  We must record our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  We must fellowship together to support each other, to teach each other, to lift each other and to encourage each other in our desire for redemption.  If we can succeed the Lord’s promise is great indeed:

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself. And this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy; And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch.[20]

[1] Mosiah 18:9
[2] Matthew 18:20 (Holy Scriptures, Inspired Version); Matthew 18:20 (KJV)
[3] Exodus 32:33; Psalms 69:28; Malachi 3:16; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:1-6; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20: 11-15; Revelation 21:27; Alma 5:58; Doctrine and Covenants 88:2; Doctrine and Covenants 128:6-9
[4] Doctrine and Covenants 128:8
[5] 3 Nephi 21:6; emphasis added
[6] 2 Nephi 31:17
[7] Doctrine and Covenants 18:42; 20:71; 137:10
[8] Viola and Barna Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, 2012, Pages 188-189
[9] 24 Now I would have you to remember also, that there were none who were brought unto repentance who were not baptized with water.
25 Therefore, there were ordained of Nephi, men unto this ministry, that all such as should come unto them should be baptized with water, and this as a witness and a testimony before God, and unto the people, that they had repented and received a remission of their sins.
26 And there were many in the commencement of this year that were baptized unto repentance; and thus the more part of the year did pass away.
(3 Nephi 7:24–26)
12And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared—
13 And they were spared and were not sunk and buried up in the earth; and they were not drowned in the depths of the sea; and they were not burned by fire, neither were they fallen upon and crushed to death; and they were not carried away in the whirlwind; neither were they overpowered by the vapor of smoke and of darkness.
(3 Nephi 10:12–13)
[10] 3 Nephi 11: 18 And it came to pass that he spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and he commanded him that he should come forth. 19 And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet.  20 And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him.  21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven. 22 And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. 23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. 24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: 25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water. 27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. 28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
[11] Read all of Denver Snuffer’s writings on Baptism and Rebaptism at this link:
This is a website where you can learn more and submit a request for baptism:
[12] Moroni 7:34 
[13] 3 Nephi 27:20
[14] Sinner’s Prayer; see
[15] Ephesians 4:5
[16] The LDS Church has declared more and they have declared less in regards to the doctrine of baptism. 3 Nephi 11:40 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
LDS Baptismal Interview Questions from the missionary manual Preach My Gospel, page 206
The Missionary Will Ask the Following Questions...
1.Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
2.Do you believe the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that [current Church President] is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?
3.What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?
4.Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? a homosexual relationship?
5.You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards.  What do you understand of the following standards?  Are you willing to obey them?
 a.The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between a man and a woman?
b.The law of tithing.
c.The Word of Wisdom.
d.The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to fellow members.
6.When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life.  Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?
*If you answer yes to any of the questions entailed in point four, the missionary conducting the interview will refer you to the mission president to determine if you qualify for baptism.
[17] Doctrine and Covenants 128:8;
[18] Smith, Joseph “Article of Faith 11”
[19] Luke 17:34-40  (Holy Scriptures, Inspired Version)
[20] Genesis 9:21-23 (Holy Scriptures, Inspired Version; Joseph Smith Translation Genesis 9:21-23)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Malachi 3, part 5

Malachi 3:10

 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

What does the Lord mean by the statement, “I will open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”? When a window is opened one can see inside to what was previously closed off.  Could it be that the windows of heaven are a sort of “veil” that separates us from the presence of God? Could the opening of heaven’s windows be the actuality of the veil parting and allowing an individual to see Angels, Jesus Christ, God the Father and the hosts of Heaven?[1] Joseph Smith, Jr. taught: “Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.”[2] If the windows of heaven were opened to you would you feel that you “had not room enough to receive it”?  Joseph Smith, Jr also taught that if we live up to our privileges the angels cannot be restrained from being our associates.[3]  Many people who have had the windows of heaven opened unto them have described that for weeks afterwards they were filled to overflowing with love and peace towards all mankind.  Joseph Smith, Jr. recorded in his own hand the following account:
…I cried unto  the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and  to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in <the> attitude of calling upon the Lord <in the 16th year of my age> a piller of  fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day  come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled  with the spirit of god and the <Lord> opened the heavens upon  me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying  Joseph <my son> thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy <way> walk in my  statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the  Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those  who believe on my name may have Eternal life <behold> the world  lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no  not one they have turned asside from the gospel and  keep not <my> commandments they draw near to me with their  lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger  is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit  them acording to thir ungodliness and to bring to pass  that which <hath> been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is?] written of me in the cloud <clothed> in the glory of my Father  and my soul was filled with love and for many days I  could rejoice with great Joy and the Lord was with me…[4]

Malachi 3:11-12

 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

This is Zion, a place which will be delightsome, productive, plentiful and blessed.  The people will be of one heart and one mind, they will dwell in righteousness and there will be no poor among them[5]. Zion will be a place of refuge for those who refuse to take up arms against their neighbors. The residents of Zion will be blessed because “…they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”[6]

Malachi 3:13-15

 13 ¶Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
 14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
 15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

The leaders of various institutional churches believe that through their ordinances, their rites and their traditions they are serving, preaching and teaching faith in Jesus Christ and salvation through him.  However, they “draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”[7]  Teachings have crept into modern religion which tell us there is no hell; and not to worry because “odds are everyone is going to be exalted”.[8]  The most destructive teaching by far is that there is no need to see the face of Christ in mortality, to have the windows of heaven opened unto you, individually and personally.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints even went so far as to state in a talk to LDS members in Boise, Idaho in 2015,”Of course, all of the righteous desire to see the face of the Savior, but, the suggestion that this must happen in mortality is a familiar tactic of the adversary.” [9]  It is a fascinating concept that individuals who claim that they have a deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ believe that they do not need to see him until the here-after.  Why would someone not want to see Christ?  He has said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”[10]  Christ warns those Church leaders who teach that it is unnecessary to see Him in this life, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”[11] And again in Luke 11:52 Christ exclaims, “Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”  Christ calls these types of leaders, “blind” and taught, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”[12]

What is a seeker of Truth to do then?[13]  How can we open the Windows of Heaven and see Christ?  Evidence shows that perspectives, rules, traditions, expectations, assumptions and practices often serve as barriers that keep us from encountering the living God.[14] Therefore, it matters how we practice our faith.  We can begin by opening our eyes to false traditions, men and ideas that have become idols; learning and understanding the true nature of God; developing faith in him, supplicating him and then waiting patiently on him.  In the Lectures on Faith 3:2-5, Joseph Smith, Jr. taught:
2 Let us here observe, that three things are necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.
3 First, The idea that he actually exists.
4 Secondly, A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes.
5 Thirdly, An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing, is according to his will.—For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Denver Snuffer, Jr. wrote a first -hand, modern account as a guidebook to aid those seeking to come back into the presence of the Lord.  It is titled The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord through the Veil, published in 2006. 

[1] See  Since the New Testament scores of others have seen God and the Heavenly Hosts; the following is a sampling and is not an exhaustive list: numerous individuals written about in the Book of Mormon, Joan of Arc, St. Francis of Asisi, Joseph Smith, Jr., Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Denver Snuffer, Jr., etc.
[2] Burton, Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith1977; History of the Church 6:50; Smith Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, published 1938;  Ehat & Cook The Words of Joseph Smith 9 October 1843, page 254
[3] Burton, Alma P Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith 1977
[4] Smith, Joseph, Jr. historical account of his first of many visions of the Lord, Jesus Christ, written circa 1832; see the following link!/paperSummary/history-circa-summer-1832&p=3; spelling and grammar kept as original; italicized and bold added for emphasis
[5] Moses 7:18
[6] Jeremiah 31: 34; Joseph Smith taught that “the ancient prophets (Jeremiah, for one) foretold it - "when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him … from the least to the greatest" (History of the Church, 3:380).  The Prophet Joseph Smith said that this promise has reference to personal revelation, to a visitation of the Lord to an individual (see History of the Church, 3:381); for extensive writings and teachings on the subject of Zion see (search Zion) as well as his numerous books and lecture series
[7] Joseph Smith History 1:19; Matthew 15:7-8 (Holy Scriptures Inspired Version); Matthew 15:7-9 (KJV); Smith, Robert Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men, Tradition in Modern Mormonism 2015; Viola and Barna, Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of our Church Practices, 2012
[8] 2 Nephi 28:8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
Gaskill, Alonzo L Odds are you’re going to be Exalted, Evidence that the Plan of Salvation Works, 2008
[9] To hear Elder Oaks talk in its entirety go here:; this quote begins just after the 1 hour mark.
[10] Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
[11] Matthew 23:13 (KJV); Matthew 23: 10 (Holy Scriptures, Inspired Version)
[12] Matthew 15:14 (KJV)
[13] Jesus Christ is the TRUTH: John 14:16 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
[14] Viola and Barna Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of our Church Practices, 2012 pg. xxxii-xxxiii