Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Pleading Bar of God?


Because
▪ the pleading1 bar of God2 suggests that the Judgment may involve an adversarial proceeding with an accuser3 and an advocate;4

▪ Joseph Smith said:
I preached to the Saints, setting forth the evils that existed, and that would exist, by reason of hasty judgment, or decisions upon any subject given by any people, or in judging before they had heard both sides of a question;5
▪ the Apostle Paul recommended that we
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good;6
▪ the Almighty may ask us at the Judgment why we didn't follow the advice of His servants Joseph and Paul in ANY and ALL things;
therefore, it might profit those who have heard or read Denver Snuffer's teachings to read the two-part work of Gregory L. Smith entitled:
"Passing Up the Heavenly Gift" (Part One)7
"Passing Up the Heavenly Gift" (Part Two)8
This is not to say that Gregory Smith should be accepted without further study and discernment, but how can we prove all things if we have a mind set to hear only one-side of a case? As a lawyer, Snuffer knows well that even hearing both sides may not reveal the full truth. He even invites us to test his teachings and so we should, which will require us to make judgments, hopefully following the Savior's counsel:
Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged; but judge righteous judgment. (New Testament | JST Matthew 7:2)

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (New Testament | John 7:24)
The reason I have been belaboring Denver Snuffer recently is that some of his teachings and interpretations seem to contradict the gestalt of scripture and Joseph Smith's own teachings. Yes, some of Snuffer's writing is insightful, faith-promoting, and uplifting, but for me there are too many jack-in-the-box flags that spring up amongst the truths—some of which I have discussed in previous posts.9 His influence seems to be growing and I wonder if too many are content to believe and follow without "proving all things."

------------------------/
1. From The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text, edited by Royal Skousen (2009) where he corrects “pleasing bar” to “pleading bar” in both Jacob 6:13 and Moroni 10:34.
» Finally, I bid you farewell, until I shall meet you before the plea[d]ing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear. Amen. (Jacob 6:13)
» And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the plea[d]ing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen. (Moroni 10:34)
2. (Bold emphasis added:)
Book of Mormon | Jacob 6:9 ~ Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God?
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 16:10 ~ Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—
Book of Mormon | Alma 5:22 ~ And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?
Book of Mormon | Alma 12:12 ~ And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works.
Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:27 ~ And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?
3. Is this one of the reasons Lucifer (aka Satan) is called the accuser of the brethren? New Testament | Revelation JST, 12:10 ~ "For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Have we not, on occasion, experienced the whisperings of the adversary accusing us of being worthless, unlovable, unforgivable, a perpetual failure, etc., etc. Why would he not raise every instance of sinful commission and omission that he could, right to the very end of time, in order to stretch his torments out to the nth degree?
4. Book of Mormon | Moroni 7:28 ~ For he [Christ] hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
New Testament | 1 John 2:1 ~ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
Doctrine and Covenants 29:5 ~ Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
Doctrine and Covenants 32:3 ~ ... I am their advocate with the Father ...
Doctrine and Covenants 45:3 ~ Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—
Doctrine and Covenants 62:1 ~ Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.
Doctrine and Covenants 110:4 ~ I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father.
5. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 118.
6. New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21
7. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/passing-up-the-heavenly-gift-part-one-of-two/
8. http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/passing-up-the-heavenly-gift-part-two-of-two/
9. See the posts at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/search/label/Snuffer

Monday, May 16, 2016

#5: FLAGS*


Because:
▪ these seem to be the Last Days;
▪ errors and deceptions (sometimes unintended) often lie between or amongst proven truths;1
▪ we should never accept ALL a man or woman says just because some of what they say is or rings true;
thus, I wish to consider in this post two more concerns raised by my study of Denver Snuffer’s Preserving the Restoration, being: 1) “first principles;” and 2) a resurrection issue.

First Principles

Snuffer writes:
[Sidney Rigdon’s restorationist congregation in Mentor, Ohio] sidled up to Joseph Smith to bring him aboard their restorationist movement. This allowed them to become a prophet-led congregation with miracles as proof of authority. … The overthrow of Joseph Smith’s incipient faith by the Campbellite converts was not the work of Sidney Rigdon alone. The Kirtland convert aneurysm brought congregants aboard who saw the faith through Restorationist eyes.2

The “first principles of the gospel” were borrowed from the Campbellites and incorporated into Mormonism by those restorationist converts. Joseph Smith’s Wentworth Letter included the “first principles of the gospel” among Latter-day Saint beliefs. Joseph accepted his converts characterization and used their terminology. … This prior [Campbellite] orientation skewed Rigdon’s views, and Rigdon’s influence altered Joseph Smith’s religious trajectory.3
Snuffer recommends Daymon Smith’s writings on the Campbellite connection and the “borrowing” by Joseph Smith of “first principles.”4 I encountered Daymon’s “borrowing” idea two years ago and was so amazed at the allegation (and audacity in the face of scripture—especially the Savior’s teachings in Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11, 12, 18, & 19) that I wrote two blog posts about it.
From Whence? (March 27, 2014)5 and
First, Last, In-between, Or ... ? (A Mormon Faux-Conundrum??) (January 31, 2014)6
Now Snuffer repeats the “borrowing” accusation, and I stand further amazed that anyone, even vaguely familiar with the Book of Mormon, could actually believe “the first principles of the gospel” were borrowed from the Campbellites. I remain stymied by the accusation and select just two passages from the many quoted in the above posts to illustrate:
Wherefore, 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. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. ... And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 31:17-19)

And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God. (Book of Mormon | Moroni 8:25-26)
In addition, Snuffer believes that Joseph corrected his borrowed “first principles” shortly before his death with the “real first principles of the gospel.”7 To this, I say: What is to stop God from having more than one set of “first principles”? If we are meant to progress through various degrees, capacities, “estates”, stages, graces, exaltations, and so forth, why can there not be “first principles” marking each phase? Can an overarching truth be that we “transcend and include,” moving on to new levels of growth and progression, yet carrying all truth—including necessary compliance with “first principles”—from lower levels?

In any event, the “first principles” of Joseph Smith’s Article of Faith #4 have ample support in scripture, especially the Book of Mormon (published in March 1830, nine months before Sidney Rigdon even met Joseph Smith), as well as throughout Joseph’s own teachings.9

Resurrection

Snuffer writes:
The mortal bodies we temporarily occupy belong to Him. Ultimately He will take them back, convert them to dust, and use the dust to create something new. Nothing is lost. He will continue to use all the materials of creation. Someday He will resurrect us. But even then it will remain His. It will be a long time before we “attain to the resurrection of the dead.” Until then we only borrow from Him. The cycle will continue for as long as is needed to finally attain to the resurrection, as Christ has now done.10
Is Snuffer suggesting that we will be receiving new bodies rather than renewed ones? And is everyone going to be cycled and re-cycled through creation processes till ALL become like and do like the Savior—no matter how long it takes? till we can resurrect ourselves?11 And what of all those scriptures that state the power of redemption and resurrection is in Christ?12

To be frank, I find so many “new” things (tucked between scripture quotes) in Snuffer’s Preserving the Restoration that it feels more like Re-conceptualizing the Restoration. The challenge (for me) in understanding his resurrection and creation-cycling concepts is how our “first” resurrection13 is to mesh with the long-delayed resurrection power that he says must be attained by all who reach the “prototype of the saved man,” and thus, the power to resurrect themselves. (See the review in #4: FLAGS.14)

The following scriptures and Joseph Smith quotes might be considered when trying to “prove all things” that have thus far been revealed about the resurrection (bold emphases added) :
... for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. (Book of Mormon | Alma 34:34)

They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:28)

Now I understand by this quotation [Pearl of Great Price | Moses 7:62], that God clearly manifested to Enoch the redemption which He prepared, by offering the Messiah as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world; and by virtue of the same, the glorious resurrection of the Savior, and the resurrection of all the human family, even a resurrection of their corporeal bodies, is brought to pass; (TPJS, 84; footnote references omitted.)

If our souls and our bodies are not looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man; and after we are dead, if we are not looking forth, we shall be among those who are calling for the rocks to fall upon them. (TPJS, 160; footnote references omitted.)

How doth [Abel] yet speak? Why he magnified the Priesthood which was conferred upon him, and died a righteous man, and therefore has become an angel of God by receiving his body from the dead, holding still the keys of his dispensation; and was sent down from heaven unto Paul to minister consoling words, and to commit unto him a knowledge of the mysteries of godliness. (TPJS, 169; footnote references omitted.)

We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. (TPJS, 181; footnote reference omitted.)

[The spirit] existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection be again united with it. (TPJS, 207, footnote references omitted.)

I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me. But this is not the thing I referred to: it is to have the privilege of having our dead buried on the land where God has appointed to gather His Saints together, and where there will be none but Saints, where they may have the privilege of laying their bodies where the Son of Man will make His appearance, and where they may hear the sound of the trump that shall call them forth to behold Him, that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body, and come up out of their graves and strike hands immediately in eternal glory and felicity, rather than be scattered thousands of miles apart. There is something good and sacred to me in this thing. The place where a man is buried is sacred to me. This subject is made mention of in the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. Even to the aborigines of this land, the burying places of their fathers are more sacred than anything else. (TPJS, 294; footnote references omitted.)

I have said, Father, I desire to die here among the Saints. But if this is not Thy will, and I go hence and die, wilt Thou find some kind friend to bring my body back, and gather my friends who have fallen in foreign lands, and bring them up hither, that we may all lie together. I will tell you what I want. If tomorrow I shall be called to lie in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection let me strike hands with my father, and cry, “My father,” and he will say, “My son, my son,” as soon as the rock rends and before we come out of our graves. (TPJS, 295; footnote references omitted.)

The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal, with God himself. I know that my testimony is true; hence, when I talk to these mourners, what have they lost? Their relatives and friends are only separated from their bodies for a short season: their spirits which existed with God have left the tabernacle of clay only for a little moment, as it were; and they now exist in a place where they converse together the same as we do on the earth. (TPJS, 353; footnote reference omitted; bold emphasis added.)

All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. (TPJS, 355; footnote references omitted.)

And they [inhabitants of the telestial world] shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:112)

He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death. (Book of Mormon | Mosiah 16:9; bold emphasis added.)
***************************
*This is number five in a FLAG series intended to encourage us in these last days to apply these words of wisdom and warning:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21) 
▪ Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son, and also in the Father. … These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (New Testament | JST 1 John 2: 24, 26)
▪ False prophets[] always arise to oppose the true prophets[]and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 365);

[] Note: I am not purporting to know for a surety who is false or true in this latter-day, because, as the Lord told Joseph: “you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter” (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:37). And since my peace comes in writing and in trying to “prove ALL things,” I share in these FLAGS things that concern me, hoping that they might help others who are also seeking for the discerning spirit. And since we have been repeatedly warned about the “arm of flesh,” I try to measure ALL latter-day voices and traditions against the Word of God, as best I can.

--------------------------/
1. The thought has been expressed in various ways by others.
2. Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Preserving the Restoration, © 2015, p. 280-281
3. Ibid, p. 307 (Last sentence in the above quote is from footnote 802; footnote references have been omitted in the quotes above.)
4. Ibid, p. 307, footnote 802.
5. http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2014/03/from-whence.html
So, if the Savior’s very first teachings to the surviving Nephites / Lamanites (recorded in Book of Mormon 3 Nephi, chapters 11 & 12) were of faith, repentance, baptism, and receipt of the Holy Ghost, could we not consider these as “first principles of the Gospel”?
6. http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2014/01/first-last-in-between-or.html
7. Snuffer, p. 306-309 (The corrected first principles being: “attaining to the resurrection from the dead, becoming Gods, and walking the same path as our Lord walked” (p. 308).
8. Snuffer, p. 124 (footnote #s replaced with the footnote citation).
9. (e.g., TPJS, 88, 148, 188, 198, 328.)
10. Snuffer, p. 338-339; see also his discussions on the cyclings of creation at p. 322, or pursue the entire chapter on the “Prototype of the Saved Man,” pp. 295-348.
11. From Preserving the Restoration at p. 304: For us “to attain the resurrection of the dead” requires us to have the power to resurrect, not only ourselves, but also those who are dependent on us. This is what the prototype of the saved man did. This is Who we worship. This is who and what we must precisely and exactly become. (Bold emphasis added.)
12. A small sampling:
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:8 ~ Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 18:2 ~ Yea, concerning that which was to come, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and the redemption of the people, which was to be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Book of Mormon | Alma 4:14 ~ Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.
Book of Mormon | Alma 21:9 ~ Now Aaron began to open the scriptures unto them concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ, and the atonement of his blood.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 14:15 ~ For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 14:17 ~ But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.
Book of Mormon | Mormon 7:6 ~ And he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before his judgment-seat.
Book of Mormon | Mormon 9:13 ~ And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.
13. Book of Mormon | Alma 11:45 ~ Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.
14. http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/05/4-flags.html

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#4: FLAGS*


IF
false prophets[†] always arise to oppose the true prophets[†] and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 365);
then, shouldn't this caution move us to “prove ALL things” when a new voice arises claiming to be from God?—except somehow it seems we attach ourselves as readily to the legitimate complaints and proven truths of these new voices as to their unproven insights, revelations, and interpretations—which brings me to the interpretation of “soul.”

SOUL?
What are we to do with this word soul? Denver Snuffer1 has taken these verses:
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 3:21-23)
and interpreted them as follows:
... Christ, as well as the “noble and great” were all embodied and therefore resurrected beings before this world. They were “souls” (Abraham 3:23). The definition of “soul” given through Joseph years prior to his translation of the Book of Abraham was the “spirit and the body” together. (D&C 88:15-17.)2

These souls have already been the beneficiaries of a “preparatory redemption” given before the world. They were redeemed before, and then resent for ministry and service here. … They knew if they condescended to serve in this world they would be redeemed by Christ. They exercised faith in Him by returning to this stage of creation to serve others.3
But before we read “soul” exclusively in the strict sense that Snuffer does (D&C 88:spirit AND body), let us consider other references to “soul” in scripture:
Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. (Book of Mormon | Alma 40:22-23)

I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself. (Book of Mormon | Alma 41:2)

For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. (Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 19:7)

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (New Testament | Matthew 10:28)

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:23)

(For additional “soul” references see footnote 4.)
Obviously, “soul” is not always used in scripture in the strict sense of D&C 88:15-17. As noted in other Déjà Vu posts, words (without images) have severe limitations for comprehensive communication,5 so when we find a word being used in seemingly conflicting, confusing ways, perhaps we should hold off final judgment as to a strict, singular meaning.

Further concerns relate to: 1) Snuffer's belief that the Savior and the “noble and great ones” were embodied, resurrected beings before this world and condescended to return to mortality; and 2) his “prototype of the saved man” wherein he seems to teach that:
For us “to attain the resurrection of the dead” requires us to have the power to resurrect, not only ourselves, but also those who are dependent on us. This is what the prototype of the saved man did. This is Who we worship. This is who and what we must precisely and exactly become.6
But how does this possibly work? How do resurrected, immortal souls become mortal again?—die again in order to do “exactly” what the Savior did?! And what of these scriptures? (All bold emphasis added.)
Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.  (Book of Mormon | Alma 11:45)

And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel. O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect. Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe ;of righteousness. And it shall come to pass that when all men shall have passed from this first death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel; and then cometh the judgment, and then must they be judged according to the holy judgment of God.  (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:12-15)

They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened. Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.  (Doctrine and Covenants 88:28-32)

Now it came to pass that when Alma had made an end of speaking these words, the people began to be more astonished;  But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state that the soul can never die? (Book of Mormon | Alma 12:19-20)

Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death. (Book of Mormon | Alma 42:9)

(See additional scriptures at footnote 7.)
Granted, there is much that God has yet to reveal about man's origin and destiny, yet my concern about some of what I read in Snuffer's works is his seeming propensity to ignore scriptures that do not support his interpretations.

As humans, we all manifest “motivated reasoning” and “hard priors”8 which seem to blind us to the counsel to “prove ALL things.” Thus, when reading Snuffer, we might be well-advised to run everything “new” through the entirety of scripture and to remember that most of us (especially lawyers;-) have developed the skill of presenting the best (one-sided?) “case” possible to convince others that our interpretation / understanding of “facts” or evidence is the most believable and reasonable.

If ever there was an apt description of our tendency (persistent déjà vu) toward “motivated reasoning” and “hard priors,” it might be this observation by the Savior:
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel (New Testament | Matthew 23:24);
Does this not describe every one of us, to some degree or other, as we try to grow in the way of knowledge, understanding, truth, and discernment? Nonetheless, we are counselled to “prove ALL things” through scripture and the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, so when things seem to conflict with scripture, perhaps we should proceed (or not) with great caution.

***************************
*This is the fourth in a FLAG series intended to encourage us in these last days to apply these words of wisdom and warning:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
▪ Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son, and also in the Father. … These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (New Testament | JST 1 John 2: 24, 26)
▪ I preached to the Saints, setting forth the evils that existed, and that would exist, by reason of hasty judgment, or decisions upon any subject given by any people, or in judging before they had heard both sides of a question.  (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 118.)

[] Note: I am not purporting to make judgment on who is false or true in this latter-day. That is a matter of witness, testimony, and proving by the Holy Spirit. We have always been warned about the “arm of flesh,” so I have a lot of questions that I don't have sure answers for yet, but generally speaking, I believe when the prophets in scripture agree on matters, we can use their words to measure the words of others who claim to speak for God.

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1. Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Preserving the Restoration, Mill Creek Press, Salt Lake City, UT, © 2015. For another post relating to his interpretation of “The Fathers” and of the need for only one temple, see http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/03/3-flags.html
2. Preserving the Restoration, p. 304 at footnote #796; bold emphasis added.
3. Ibid, pp. 317-318; bold emphasis added. Additional quotes relating to this theory are: “[God] intends to give us immortality and eventual eternal life. How long it will require depends on how long it takes us to become like the prototype of the saved man. How long we delay attaining to the resurrection is in our control” (p. 323). See also pages: 304, 322, 371, Without using the word reincarnation, Snuffer seems to teach this concept—that we will be re-embodied (recycled?) till we get things right and fill the measure of the “prototype of the saved man.” (See particularly pp. 295-348.)
4. Other interesting soul references:
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 3:23 ~ And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (Bold emphasis added to show that the verse Snuffer uses to set forth his “soul” interpretation is not itself definitive by the very use of the word spirits. Thought: If our past, present, and future is visible to God, why could He not see the mortality of the good souls (spirit and body) of His noble and great ones, while at the same “time” be able to record: “These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits ...”?)
Old Testament | Isaiah 1:14 ~ Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
Old Testament | Isaiah 10:17-18 ~ And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
New Testament | Matthew 22:37 ~ Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
New Testament | Acts 4:32 ~ And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
New Testament | 1 Corinthians 15:44-46 ~ It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
New Testament | Hebrews 4:12 ~ For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 14:3 ~ And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 1:22 ~ That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 2:38 ~ Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.
Book of Mormon | Alma 36:15-16 ~ Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
Book of Mormon | Alma 40:11-23 ~ Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.  And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil. Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken. And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth. Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those from the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ. Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ. Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven. But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works. Yea, this bringeth about the restoration of those things of which has been spoken by the mouths of the prophets. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
Book of Mormon | Alma 42:16 ~ Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 25:12 ~ For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
Old Testament | Genesis2:7 ~ And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
5. http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2014/02/here-and-there.html or the entire label Communication: http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/search/label/Communication
6. Preserving the Restoration, p. 304.
7. Book of Mormon | Mosiah 16:9 ~ He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
New Testament | Revelation 21:4 ~ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Doctrine and Covenants | 63:49 ~ Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city.
Doctrine and Covenants | 93:33 ~ For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
Doctrine and Covenants | 101:29 ~ And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. [All bold emphasis added in this footnote.]
8. The science writer Sharon Begley gives insight into such motivated reasoning: “If you have a strongly held belief with an emotional component, the brain defends information that reinforces those ‘priors’ and is skeptical of information that challenges them. … People who hold these hard priors filter information to support their perceptions.” (Bold emphasis mine.) These observations are from the work of political scientist Hank Jenkins-Smith of the University of Oklahoma as quoted, in Newsweek, October 13, 2010, pp. 29-30 by science writer Sharon Begley about voter tendencies—observations that seem applicable to almost everything that requires choice or discernment. We all do it, (even this writer) and without awareness of a “priors” bias, are we not all more prone to biased judgment—whether pro or con? Shouldn’t 360° honesty in dealing with all the facts help control that bias?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mayday! Or Not?


Not long ago, a good man said he was not too concerned about the state of the world because God was going to take care of it all. I believe he is half right—God IS going to take care of it all, which might include all the good people who weren't concerned enough to get informed or involved.

What might Captain Moroni say to this good man if he were here to witness what this good Christian is content to ignore? Moroni's words to Chief Governor Pahoran during that crisis of 62 BCE seem apropos:
7 Can you think to sit upon your thrones in a state of thoughtless stupor, while your enemies are spreading the work of death around you? Yea, while they are murdering thousands of your brethren—

11 Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your thrones, and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver you? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.

 23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.

29 Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction  (Book of Mormon | Alma 60:7, 11, 23, 29).1
Indeed, we have been commanded to “wake up”:
24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up  (Book of Mormon | Ether 8:24; bold emphasis added).
There are many ways to begin waking up. Here is one:2

If We Don't Stop This We're Dead (Time 36:05 min.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHttfbmFJ_s&list=TLqrNfGZboDJIyODA0MjAxNg
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1. Chief Governor Pahoran's reply to Moroni: "Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God." (Alma 61:14)
2. See also:
▪ Dane Wigington - HAARP Triggering Yellowstone - EPIC Voyagers Radio on Inception Radio Network ~ (Time: 1:56:33) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5URldSUpB6k
▪ Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, April 23, 2016 (geoengineeringwatch.org ) (Time 55:07 min.) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EABDHF1q5cM
▪ Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, April 16, 2016 (geoengineeringwatch.org ) (Time 54:44 min.) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akPLxCYJdaA
▪ Follow the weekly reports: Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, at geoengineeringwatch.org
▪ Mayday? Mayday? Mayday! from May 1, 2015 at http://www.dejavu-times.blogspot.ca/2015/05/mayday-mayday-mayday.html
 
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