Monday, June 12, 2017

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles for Fellowships
Joseph Smith, Jr. stated, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves[1]
Denver Snuffer, Jr. stated, “When it comes to the history of scripture, corruption happens every time there is an apostasy. Each new dispensation is responsible for fixing the canon in order to reclaim truths, to correct errors and to adopt guiding principles applicable to their day.[2]
The scriptures, as well as inspired teachings from His servants, should be the source by which any individual as well as any body of believers governs themselves. The following “Guiding Principles for Fellowships” compiled by Whitney Horning April 2017 is not a quintessential document, but is rather an example to teach us how guiding principles can be found within the scriptures as well as other inspired writings. The following principles are direct quotes taken from scripture, the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and the following talks from Denver Snuffer, Jr.: his 9th lecture given on July 26, 2014 in St. George, Utah titled “Marriage and Family”, his 10th lecture given on September 9, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona titled “Preserving the Restoration” and his talk given on March 19, 2017 at the Doctrine of Christ Conference in St. George, Utah titled “Things To Keep Us Awake At Night”.

Getting Started:
True religion, when it is present on earth, always exists as a community of believers. Community is required. If we don't have a community then we cannot be willing to mourn with those that mourn. We cannot comfort those that stand in need of comfort. We cannot stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and of all places. (Mosiah 18: 9 LE) We cannot bear one another's burdens that they may be light, (Mosiah 18: 8 LE) as is required by the Gospel and by the covenant of baptism. None of this can be done without fellowship between believers. However, we do not need a new church. The only thing we need is a community of fellowship. Legal entities, whenever they are formed, become prey to the law. Men who have ambition can control legal entities.
We need to have a renewed community. Not an organization, but a fellowship. Not a hierarchy, but a group of equals. The community needs to be renewed.
Before the Lord’s appearance to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Therefore, part of the preparation by God’s house for coming social chaos is likely to include some preliminary preparations by families and friends to fellowship with one another in local gatherings. Only by independently functioning can they hope to prepare for social chaos prophesied to accompany Zion and precede the Lord’s return.
Every denomination in the world may be represented among your fellowships. This is not designed to limit the possibilities of shared faith, but to greatly expand them.
If you don't have any wisdom to impart to one another, get together and pray. Get together and read the scriptures.
Appoint among yourselves a teacher and let not all be spokesman at once, but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken, that all may be edified of all and that every man may have an equal privilege.” Doctrine and Covenants 30 (RE)

Teaching Children:
You have a duty to teach your children, and it is a duty imposed upon the “parents in Zion,” it is non-delegable. You have to do it. You and I cannot delegate the responsibility we have.
Have your children study scripture. Teach them to use written copies of the scripture… Get them their own copies and have them study them. Ask them to research subjects using their scriptures. Walk them through the parables of Christ and teach them to see symbolism as something familiar. Get them to consider analogies and types as tools used in scripture. Help them to reason a problem through using the scriptures as a guide.
“And again inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the head of the parents”  Doctrine and Covenants 73 (RE)

Priesthood Ordination and Certification:
I asked the Lord that priesthood get extended beyond the confines of the men who have continually abused and neglected it. I was told that priesthood is confined to men because of the Fall and the conditions ordained by God at that time. Until we reverse things in the Millennium, that is the way it is going to remain, as to the ordinances thus far given in public. I asked the Lord to change that order. It is not going to change. I then asked the Lord that if only men were to hold priesthood for our public ordinances, then could only women vote to sustain them. The saying pleased the Lord, for it was already in His heart. But He said to me, "There shall be a minimum of seven women to sustain the man in any vote, and if the man is married, his wife shall be one of them."
Before sustaining, in any fellowship group, you should first ask if any are opposed. If there are people who are opposed, they should be given the opportunity to explain the reasons before there is any further vote taken, so that they know why there is opposition. Those who vote to sustain should consider the opposing views and the opposition’s reasons, and deliberate about that before they go forward. But if seven women are still willing to sustain, go forward.
All of the women who vote to sustain should not only sign the certificate, but also put it in your diaries and in your journals. Let the records be kept so that if anyone questions, there will be an abundance of witnesses.
When you ordain someone to serve in these fellowships you should ordain no one to an office, only confer the priesthood. Have no offices. Let everyone be equal. Be without ranks. Keep your lines of authority. It will reckon through the one ordaining. But power can only come from Christ. Wait until the Spirit ratifies your ordination before you act. Do as Alma did, and ask Christ to give you power to baptize.
If someone is ordained to priesthood for the first time within your fellowship after April 2014, they should reckon their line of authority in these proceedings for this fellowship.
There are three steps:
The first is ordination. Any man holding priesthood can ordain another man. Man alone can do      this first step
                The second, if you’re functioning outside of a family, is sustaining, which requires seven women.
And thirdly, and this can be done at any time, confirmation must come from heaven. Heaven must ratify
All these should precede performing any ordinance in a fellowship. You should keep a record of the line of authority from the one who does the ordination. I would have in my possession a written certificate signed by the seven women proving the sustaining vote, and everyone involved should record it in their personal records, particularly the day when the Lord confirms the authority to the man. The priest ought to keep that in his personal record.

Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. If He acts again now (and He is), then we need to recognize that and respond. Baptism is a mandatory sign of penitence; turning and facing God, and then walking in a new path. From the days of Adam, it will continue through the end of the millennium. Whenever there has been believing people upon the earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith.
Any who desire to be baptized, should be baptized. If you have this power given to you by Christ and anyone comes to you, baptize them. Refuse no one. Freely give what you received from God. Do not charge to perform an ordinance. The ordinance is between them and God. They need to have it performed between them and someone God has asked to do it.
Before baptism, teach them the Doctrine of Christ. “Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me, and I bear record of the Father and the Father beareth record of me and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me, and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men everywhere to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved, and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me and is not baptized shall be damned. Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine and I bear record of it from the Father” 3 Nephi 5 (RE)
I would recommend if at all possible that water for a living ordinance be performed in living water. I would not perform this in a font constructed by man, I would use the things God created. Use what He created. I recognize that there may be circumstances where that becomes impossible.
A messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying unto us, "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." Joseph Smith History May 1829 (RE)

Baptism prayer:
"…and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, 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 Nephi 11:24-25 (LE)

Age for baptism:
 “You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, for all men must repent and be baptized, and not only men, but women and children which have arriven to the years of accountability.” Doctrine and Covenants 56 (RE)
“for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old and receive the laying on of the hands.”  Doctrine and Covenants 73 (RE)
And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying, Listen to the words of Christ your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold 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, that it hath no power over them… it is solemn mockery before God that ye should baptize little children. Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach: repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin…And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold baptism is unto repentance, to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins, but little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world…Little children cannot repent. Wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy. And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ and setteth at naught the atonement of him and the power of his redemption…For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law, for the power of redemption cometh on all they that have no law. Wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent, and unto such baptism availeth nothing; but it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ and the power of his Holy Spirit and putting trust in dead works. Moroni 8 (RE)

Recording of Baptism:
And the book which was the Book of Life is the record which is kept in heaven… that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven . Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the Priesthood by the revelations of Jesus Christ wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on Earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on Earth shall not be recorded in heaven.” Doctrine and Covenants 51 RE
After you have complied to have power to baptize, and taught the Doctrine of Christ and they have repented, and are being baptized, their name must be recorded. You choose recorders in your fellowships, and a recorder to compile the names from all the various fellowships. Someone has to keep the names in a record. Faithfully record the name every time there is a baptism. There will be various recorders in various locations. The various recorders need to submit them to a single central record keeper on an annual basis. You do not record their email addresses, vital statistics, phone numbers, or any contact information. Only names. There should be annually complied, a single volume, that will be deposited in a temple. Ultimately there will be a temple built.

Only an antichrist would forbid you from partaking of the Sacrament in the way commanded by your Lord. That is an abomination. If you get together, even if it is only in your own family, partake of the Sacrament together. Let no one forbid you from partaking in remembrance of Christ. He commanded that you do it. Follow the pattern that is given to us.  One of the things that used to be practiced, and has been abandoned, but should now be renewed among you, is that when the Sacrament is blessed, kneel. “Kneel with the church” is how the verse in D&C 20:76 (LE) explains it. It is in the scriptures before you. Follow them. You can use wine. Or, if you are opposed to alcohol, alternatively you have some medical condition that prevents you from using wine, then use grape juice. Not water. Use red grape juice. Use the symbol of the blood of our Lord. Red wine is bitter for a reason. Partaking of that bitter wine in remembrance of the blood that was shed is appropriate.
Sacrament prayer-bread
O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son and always remember him and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” Moroni 4 (RE)
Sacrament prayer-wine
O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” Moroni 5 (RE)

Verily I say unto you, It shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties and shall observe this law or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, If my people observe not this law to keep it holy and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon that it may be most holy, behold verily I say unto you, It shall not be a land of Zion unto you. And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.” Doctrine and Covenants 94 (RE)
In Grand Junction I spoke about tithing. I talked about organizing yourselves, collecting your own tithing and managing it yourselves, to assist the poor who are among you, and to do this by the voice of your own local group. Do it by common consent. Provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education and transportation. Do it by the voice of united agreement of you all in small groups in which all know one another.
Tithing is for the poor. It is not designed to pay for a professional clergy class. If we have no buildings more money can go to assist with the needs of people. In this day, and in this economy, anything that can be done to assist with the poor is a good thing.
I want to remind you that if you do that, none of it should go to the priests. None of it should go to anything other than helping the poor.
No general fund exists between fellowships. Each fellowship is independent in their funds.  No general fund is collected even at conferences. The relief of the “poor among you” refers to the individual fellowships.  If there are “no poor among you” then excess donations should go to the temple but may be shared as your fellowship determines by common consent.

" And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and it was soAnd I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone, Wherefore, I will make an help meet for him… And I, the Lord God, caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and I took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof, and the rib, which I, the Lord God had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This I know now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2 (RE)
"And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth. And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land…” Genesis 3 (RE)
Even if you are in a fallen world, among a fallen people, who are proud and who are arrogant to think themselves more than they really are, if you will love your wife, and if your wife will love you, you are in the image of God and that will be preserved unto all eternity. No matter what else you may have to go through between now and then, that's what He's trying to preserve. That is the image of God.
Notice that the image originally created of the image of God, the man and the woman, that is, Adam and Eve, is now replicated in the children of Adam and Eve. These children imitate the same pattern; two and two. They are necessarily male and female if they going to produce offspring. If they beget sons and daughters, they have to be male and female. It was not one on three, it was two by two. It was the man and the woman. That is the image of God, and no other image is offered to us in scripture, it simply isn't. There is no such thing as same-sex marriage in the scriptural model. There is no such thing as same-sex marriage because how else do they produce offspring? How can you obey the first commandment to multiply and replenish the earth if there is same sex marriage? If the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth arises within the context of marriage, necessarily it requires there be the man and the woman.
The image of God includes necessarily, offspring. As a separate and single individual you are finite, each of us is finite. But when you put together the man and the woman, it is in the image of God because they become potentially infinite. Despite the fact we are in mortality, we become infinite, meaning we have no end, by multiplying.
"Wherefore, I, the Lord God, will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none, for I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me, thus saith the Lord of hosts." Jacob 2 (LE)
Joseph Smith said, "If a man commit adultery he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom." History of the Church 6:81
Adultery is one of the things so threating to the foundation of society that it is forbidden in the 10 Commandments.
I would include within the definition of the adulterous, as did the Lord, those who commit adultery in their heart, (Matt. 5:28; 3 Ne. 12:28; D&C 63:16 LE) hence, the need for men to reject polygamy. It is adultery in your heart to continue to entertain the possibility that you will one day have multiple wives.
Zion is going to require strong, happy and noble marriages, worthy of enduring beyond the grave. I suspect that if someone repents, even if they keep their marriages intact, but teach their children to forsake this system of multiple wives, that Zion is going to include them. Some who have awakened and decided the practice, and the continuation of taking yet more wives, needs to end, will be accepted by the Lord. It would not surprise me to find out there will be those who have plural wives within Zion. But it will not include those who still believe in continuing the practice, perpetuating the practice, or adding additional wives, it will be those who have awakened. Once awakened, stop it in the children. But do not destroy the families.

Faith is not produced by signs, but signs follow those who believe. (D&C 63:9 LE) That is why Pharaoh was never impressed by the things God did through Moses. Signs are inconsequential. Signs are not controlled by men but are God’s to give as God determines. (D&C 63:10 LE) And signs are not supposed to be the subject of boasting. (D&C 84:73 LE) Some of the most remarkable signs that have been given to me are only silently recorded in my journal. Signs exist—they have been given to testify of this work. Many of the signs recorded in the lives of believers may be unknown to you, but there are signs in rich abundance among believers today. The adulterous are the ones who seek signs, according to our Lord, and He said it twice because Matthew’s account includes him saying that to two different audiences on two different occasions. (Matt. 12:39; 16:4 LE) Adulterers are sign seekers.

We do not need numerous temples, but we will need one to which Christ can come. We will not need to perform endless work for the dead until first there has been a covenant made for us. We must be first connected to the fathers in heaven. Only then can we do something to liberate the dead.
When a temple exists, there will be a box in the main courtyard where people can make donations. Donations to the temple will go for two purposes: First is maintenance and repair of the temple. Second, it is a general fund for the poor. That fund can be called upon by any fellowship needing assistance with their poor. Anyone who is part of any fellowship is entitled to a request for assistance from that excess temple fund.
The temple by its nature is general, and the one place that involves all believers wherever they are located throughout the world.  When the temple is functioning, there will be general conferences regularly conducted there.  It should be expected also, when the temple is fully organized and operating, that there will be observances of festivals and feasts. However, in the present state of things, these are not expected observances.

Funds donated to build the Temple
All money donated will be fully transparent.  In time every cent donated will be fully accounted for. The Lord requires a record of donations and expenses. They are to be gathered and ultimately maintained at the temple, and will be open for inspection… “Do not expect to eat the bread of wear the garment of the laborer in Zion.” (D&C 42:42 LE) If you oppose the work, if you stay your hand, if you refuse and others do the labor, don’t expect to eat the bread or wear the garment.

We must overcome “jarrings,” “contentions,” “envyings,” “strifes,” “lusts” meaning ambitions, and “covetous desires.” These conflicts need to be worked out before any gathering. Before any gathering, we must be put through a refining process. We must grow; we must rise up first, before God will gather us to Zion.
Zion will include people who are willing to receive revelations from God and obey commandments.  He provides a blessing to them: “blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel; for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in its strength.  And they shall also be crowned with blessing from above, yea, and with commandments not a few, and with revelations in their time-they that are faithful and diligent before me.” (D&C 59:3-4 LE) Scriptures are needed for Zion.
Zion can only come about as a consequence of consecration and sacrifice, and not as a result of seeking to get gain. In fact, when you are in the employ of the Lord you ought to be sacrificing, it should not be gainful; it should cost you in order to serve. To accomplish purity, there are absolutes that are necessary. Sacrifice is absolutely necessary, and equality is necessary as well.
Every time there is a covenant, there is always a land given to man as part of His covenant. This is the land God covenants He will give to the people who receive the covenant, including the Gentiles, in whose ears this first shall sound. Coming into the covenant is not possible because we are not yet proven. It requires more than has been given at present, but it will not be given until first we accept and act on the Doctrine of Christ. It is possible to come in and become part of His church, as He calls it. That is a heaven-recognized group, not something men control. It must be done in His way, according to His commandments, practiced in purity before Him. It is possible, if you follow as instructed today, to become part of the church He recognizes and will preserve. But coming fully into the covenant spoken of in this verse (3 Nephi 21:22 LE) will require more than can been given right now. It will require a covenant. It will require adoption. It will require sealing. It is what Joseph looked forward to have happen at some point in the future during the days of his prophecy. Although Joseph qualified and bound some few with him, it was not possible in that day to fulfill this promise. In our day, we will not even learn enough about it to attempt to practice it until after we have eliminated jarrings, contentions, envyings, strifes, lusts, and covetous desires from us. Then we must become of one heart, having no poor among us. Gentiles have never accomplished that. Some few, however, are prophesied to accomplish this, and to be given the covenant spoken of here.
"And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst. And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day…" (3 Nephi 21:26 LE)
It is not going to happen in haste. The work of the Father in those nations, to allow for the possibility of gathering, will require destroying a great deal of political, social, and military obstructions now preventing such a gathering. These obstacles prevent preaching to those who would gather, if they could hear. The work of the Father is going to bring this to an end. All the scattered remnants will be brought back again. The original unified family of God will be restored again. The fathers will have our hearts turned to them, because in that day, once it is permitted to get that far, we will be part of their divine family again.
Christ will come. Once the covenant has been renewed, the city of Zion will follow. The Lord will come, and then the final stage begins. "…even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward." (3 Nephi 21, LE)

[1] In "The Organization of the Church," Millennial Star, 15 Nov. 1851, p. 339
[2] “Things to Keep us Awake at Night,” Denver Snuffer, Jr., March 19, 2017 Doctrine of Christ Conference