Monday, February 27, 2017

The Mormon Church is a young Catholic Church

A new religion rarely appears in history. When one does, it presents a unique opportunity for us to study the process. Religions begin with an inspired leader, called a prophet, whose confident vision and direct connection to God opens new light and truth into the world. Prophets ask God questions and get direct and specific answers.  If there is no new vision, then the religion won’t survive. But an original, inspired leader is difficult to replicate. Within a short time, the founder’s work is overtaken by others. Doctrine once thought to be part of the foundation of the church is replaced with new doctrine based on changes in public opinion and pressures put upon the church by governing bodies.
                As a church struggles to survive in the absence of an authorized servant, church leaders gather in councils and deliberate about doctrine and current issues. Perhaps the most notable gathering of this kind was the Council of Nicaea, 325 years after the death of Christ. Many of the original texts were altered, rearranged or removed entirely to place all interpretation of scripture squarely in the hands of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. These councils established doctrine, which they called “proclamations” and “creeds” that were completely foreign to God’s true church.
                 Mormonism was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith who claimed that he had been visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith claimed to have direct connection to heaven, that when he asked God a question, God answered him. Whether you believe Joseph Smith’s claims or not, he and his followers give us a unique opportunity to witness how founding a religion sets in motion a series of predictable events that happen every time a new religion begins. Perhaps the best way to decipher the transition of Christianity from the original Primitive Christianity to its replacement, Historic Christianity, is to study Mormonism. The Primitive Christian church passed away after the death of the apostles. Mormonism has passed away following the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
                Mormons teach today that the introduction of church councils in Christianity is generally seen as a sure sign of Apostasy. In their Ensign magazine December 1995 it states: “All historical Christian churches agree that revelation for the direction of the church ceased with the last of the apostles”. History shows, in fact, that after the first century, church leaders, in order to decide important issues, did not appeal to heaven for authoritative direction. Instead they relied on men who gathered together in councils, letting their decisions rest on the collected wisdom of mortal beings.
Twelve years later, on 4 May 2007, the official Mormon Church website,, stated: “With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications.”  The Mormon procedure is eerily similar to the one practiced by historical Christianity.
                No longer are statements by Mormon Church leaders considered doctrine, even if the Church leader happens to be the president of the Church. A new method has been substituted wherein doctrine is to be established not through revelation, but through a council that meets together and deliberates by weighing the scriptures, the teachings of Church leaders, past practices, and the current social climate, or in other words TRADITION.
                There is nothing wrong with a group of people who believe the same things issuing statements of belief. When well-meaning people come together with good intent (especially when they involve the Lord through prayer) they are entitled to inspiration from God for the benefit of those whom they serve. The problem comes when those statements of belief are substituted for the word of God and placed on the same level as scripture. Many of the Christian Creeds which the Lord called “abominable” prior to the restoration contained truth and light yet “lacked the power of godliness.”
Primitive Christianity as well as Mormonism set out to change the world. Over time their success diverted attention from saving souls to managing people and property. The apostle Paul stated: “the love of money is the root of all evil.”[1] The first believers are persecuted, they sacrifice their lives and property to follow what they believe to be God’s burden laid on them. Because of their sacrifices, they have faith and know they please God and are able to obtain the faith required for salvation.  Successors enjoy the fruit of the founders’ sacrifices.
Over time, the founding church gives way to popular approval. Churches are just as vulnerable to the “love of money” which leads to “all evil” as men are. People can have the gifts of the Spirit, or they can acquire riches in this world, but they cannot have both.
Catholicism grew wealthy from the offerings of its members and the original religion was lost. It became cold, corrupt, violent and cruel as it owned more and more of Europe and ruled over all people within the Roman Catholic boundaries. The transition from persecuted minority to tyrannical majority took three centuries.
History repeats itself; revealing patterns we can identify and learn from. Church councils of Mainline Christianity once decried by the LDS Church as a trademark of apostasy are now the accepted method of establishing doctrine in the modern Church. Official “declarations and proclamations” that are now issued from the LDS Church councils as well as other Christian faiths appear to closely resemble the old Christian creeds we used to condemn.  At the very inception of Mormonism, Jesus Christ told Joseph Smith that creeds were an “abomination” in his sight, and the professors of those creeds were “all corrupt”–that they have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.
Mormonism has followed the same path as the primitive Christian Church, better known as the Catholics, and achieved the same end in less than half the time. If a Christian wants to know how Primitive Christianity was lost to apostasy, the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is where it can be found.  One author recently wrote….“The only difference between the LDS Church and the Catholic Church is 2,000 years.” As it turns out, the LDS Church may be ahead of the curve.

[1] 1 Tim. 6:10

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What's in a Name?

What’s in a name?

Name /nām/
1. a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to.
synonyms:          designation, honorific, title, tag, epithet, label

The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony.  William Shakespeare’s character Juliet soliloquizes, “"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  Yet, when one hears the word, or name, “Rose” an associated image of either a person or a flower immediately enters one’s mind.
So what’s in a name?  It is after all just a way we define a person so that we can tell them apart from someone else.  Names are simply arbitrary labels, yet everyone recognizes himself or herself by a name. It’s the heart of the individual that we should be taking notice of and their fruits whereby we may know them. These are the things that truly define a man.

Throughout scripture prophets, true messengers, even angels are recognized by their name.  These men lived with purpose, determination, courage and criticism and loneliness. They had such profound effect on their sphere of influence in this world that their lives, and their names, continue to be known in history today.
Adam, Seth, Enoch, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem (better known as Melchizedek), Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Ephraim.  These men are known as the Patriarchal Fathers.  The Fathers whom, as children, we need to turn our hearts to in order that the entire earth will not be wasted at Christ’s coming. As we study their lives and their teachings we come to know their hearts and their fruits. We can measure and judge whether these men were pretenders or if they lived by every word that proceeded forth from the mouth of God.  These “litmus tests” were not just given to us in order to judge men who are long dead. We can use them in order to judge men who are currently living. It is our responsibility and our right to choose if we want to be followers of greater righteousness and who we turn our hearts to.

Today we live in a world full of pretenders yet God still loves his children.  Because we are all wanderers in a lone and dreary world and because it is so easy to be deceived by those who are willing to be paid to preach to us the philosophies of men mingled with scripture it is imperative to seek for true messengers from the Father to teach us.  When we find someone who claims to be a true messenger, we must test the message. It is our responsibility to choose between truth and error. I believe that the Heavens are open again today and that in order to help His children rise up God has sent  a “wild man”[1] among us crying repentance, turning the hearts of the children to Christ and to the (Patriarchal) Fathers, faithfully teaching the words Christ has given him as His servant and bearing an unusual name.  His message has been given to him by Christ.  If you will hear it you will hear the voice of Christ.[2]

Yesterday this man boldly claimed on his website that he is a true messenger, sent from the Father to teach us.  I believe him.  I have read every word this man has written and listened to every lecture he has given and I have found his teachings full of light and truth.  I have found that I am less judgmental and more loving.  I have found that I understand the scriptures more fully.  I have found that I have more of a desire to help the poor.  I have a greater desire to be connected to the patriarchal fathers.  And most importantly I have a greater understanding and desire to follow the path that my Lord and Savior has set forth.  You can read Denver Snuffer’s claims here:

It has been said that if “you be noble, and if you are faithful, and if you are true, and if you leave witnesses here among us, it just may be that in some other day, when some other rough challenge like this, is put to the test, and we are all asked, ‘Whom should the Lord send?’ That some of us will look at one of you and say. ‘I trust him! I trust her! I know that she will remain true and faithful. I know that he will do so likewise.’ Because it will be a great while after we have departed this life, before we will have attained to everything that is necessary in order to rise up.” [3]

Let us all continue to pray for and seek true messengers from our Father to teach us that we may understand and know how to worship, and know what we worship, that we may come unto the Father in Christ's name, and in due time receive of his fulness. (paraphrase of Doctrine and Covenants 93:19)

[1] Moses 6:38
[2] John 10:27-28
[3] Snuffer, Denver C. 40 Years in Mormonism, Lecture 9 “Marriage and Family”

The Testimony of St. John

In June 1830 Joseph Smith, Jr began a project to re-translate the Bible. The main work of revising, correcting, or translating the Bible was done during the three-year period from June 1830 to July 1833. During this time Joseph and his scribes went through the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version and produced nearly 500 pages of manuscript, containing thousands of variant readings and new passages. On March 7, 1831 Joseph was specifically commanded by the Lord to re-translate the New Testament.

When he was finished it was considered an inspired translation and much of the plain and precious things removed from the Bible were restored. He declared: “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.” (DHC, vol. 6, p. 57.)

In May 1833, towards the end of Joseph’s re-translation of the Bible he received a revelation on the testimony of John:

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men. I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest. And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.
And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. (Doctrine and Covenants 93:1-6; 18-19; emphasis added)

Is this the testimony of John the Baptist or the testimony of John the Beloved or is it John the Beloved writing or revealing the testimony of John the Baptist?
Regardless of whose testimony this is we are given a beautiful promise that if we are faithful we will receive the fullness of the record of John.

Is this a collective “you” or an individual “you”? Can more than one person receive the “fullness of the record of John”?  If so, could their accounts be different based on their hearts, their desires and their own knowledge? If this revelation is received through vision could each person who receives the vision see different things or an emphasis on different things?  (For example Lehi’s vison of the Tree of Live versus Nephi’s vision)

Does the Lord mean that the while Joseph was re-translating the Bible God had not revealed to him the fullness of John’s record?

In May 1833 when the Lord told Joseph that the fullness of John’s record was  yet to be revealed did God mean a new translation from the original Greek or  a revelation?

Sometime in 2016 Denver Snuffer was asked to take a look at a project which a group of individuals were working on to print scriptures which contain, among other writings of Joseph Smith, his inspired translation of the Bible.  Following are Denver’s words on this subject:

"When I was asked to take a look at the project I had the impression that a new translation of John's Gospel was needed and ought to replace the missing texts. I asked a qualified Greek Scholar to undertake that project and he declined. But the impression remained that it needed to be done.
"I made it the subject of prayer and was told to do the work. I spent a few days working with an English-Greek New Testament, the JS Translation of John, and a Greek Lexicon before becoming hopelessly discouraged by the many options and choices. I prayed about it before retiring for the night and essentially quit. I explained that it would take years for me to accomplish this, and that I was not going to be able to solve the riddles of the text. I went to bed assuming I was done with it.
"In the middle of that night I was awakened and given the solution to every dilemma I had been facing in the work on the text. So the next day I continued on from where I had abandoned the work and, to my surprise, everything was opened to my mind so clearly and continuously that the entire project was completed in less than three weeks. The light of heaven opened the material in a way I had never thought of nor had previously attained to in considering the Gospel of John. At times it progressed so rapidly that I was unable to finish one part before the next came rolling out. Many new and different things were added, and at least one thing was dropped entirely because it was not part of John's original composition. Because of the rapid way it rolled out, once I finished the text I went back to clean up a lot of what had been left as incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing words (particularly conjunctions) and cryptic or inadequate explanations. The intent of the writer, John, was revealed, including why some things were included in the text and the manner he wrote.
"When it began it was an attempt at a "translation" but by the time it was completed it was clearly a "revelation" and not merely a translation of a text. Therefore the result does not have my name on it, because I cannot claim any credit for the content. I failed in what I was attempting. What resulted came from heaven." Denver Snuffer

In the hours of February 5 to 6, 2017 The Testimony of St. John was quietly and without fanfare or announcement, uploaded to the website

There are differences between this newly revealed account and the inspired version of Joseph Smith, Jr.  Does this mean that one of the men is wrong and the other is right?  Could it be that when Joseph was re-translating God kept hidden the fullness of John as it was not yet time for the fullness to be revealed just as Doctrine and Covenants 93 suggests?

Today there are those who have taken the scriptures seriously, and as a result the Lord is offering more.  We live in amazing times, the Heavens are open for business once again!

Those who have ears will hear: