Recently, the mainstream press has reported on “Mormon Preppers” and their various beliefs and preparations for what they see as imminent earthquakes, tribulations, destructions, etc.
You can read one such article here:
While not diminishing the need to be prepared, I am struck by how naively latter-day saints fall for the so-called “visions” that others have had and interpret them to be authoritative in some way. Several books have recently been published about visionary experiences had by certain members including Spencer’s “Visions of Glory” in 2012 and more recently two books by Julie Rowe entitled “The Time is Now” and “A Greater Tomorrow.”
LDS communities have always been a hotbed of revelatory “rumor” about the last days and how it is going to go down. These books, along with facebook posts and conference calls have recently fanned the flames into an inferno, causing many to rush out, stock up and even cash out 401k accounts and buy gold — because, of course, we all know that salvation is found in the shiny metal.
Why are we so susceptible to these voices? I would suggest two reasons. The first is that despite being constantly told to follow the Brethren, the Brethren are not providing the revelatory direction people desire in troubled times. Instead we get the same old tired instruction spoken of in Isaiah 28:20
For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
BTW Isaiah 28 is a great chapter about the “Drunkards of Ephraim” that is worthy of a complete post in and of itself someday.
In other words, the doctrine taught by the church is not satisfying to the members and is insufficient. We are not being led to Zion or to live the celestial law. Instead we are fed counterfeit doctrines that lead us to believe all is well in Zion if we just do our missionary work and attend the temple.
For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples (Hosea 8:14)
I challenge anyone to come up with with another people for which that scripture could reasonably apply.
The narrative that I have heard many times from the Brethren is that the church will continue to grow until one day the Lord will say “enough” and make His appearance. This was the final message from Elder Holland at a recent stake conference I attended. See “Don’t Conflate the Church with the Gospel” for more details on his talk. Unfortunately, that narrative has no support in the scriptures which leads to the second and most fundamental reason we are seduced by these voices:
WE ARE NOT SUFFICIENTLY GROUNDED IN THE SCRIPTURES!
If we were we wouldn’t be tossed to and fro by every latter-day rumor regarding the last days.
We wouldn’t believe that “energy healing” as promoted and sold (priestcraft anyone?) by Julie Rowe et al is a method from God to heal us and will be practiced under the direction of Christ during the millenium and in tent cities prior.
We wouldn’t believe that the current brethren are going to lead us to Zion. Instead, we would understand from D&C 101 and 103 that it is in fact Joseph who will redeem Zion with power. We would understand that will take place only after the priesthood which we have lost (See D&C 124:28 and 3 Ne 16:10) is restored again to the earth (See D&C 113: 7-10).
We would know that Joseph continues to hold the keys whether in this world or in the world to come. (See D&C 90:3)
We would comprehend that Zion will not be established “with haste nor by flight” (See D&C 101:68, 3 Nephi 20:42, D&C 58:56, etc)
We would understand that the most pressing need among the saints is to repent of their idolatry, including their worship of the Brethren, before the Lord sends one “mighty and strong” to set in order the house of God (See D&C 85:7) and that vengeance will begin “upon my house” and shall go forth “from my house” (See D&C 112: 25). Those are reasons enough to be prepared, but the real preparation needs to be a spiritual awakening from the slumber of complacency.
Our blindspots are legion. We would understand that cursed is he who puts his or her trust in the arm of flesh (See 2 Ne 4:34) whoever they may be. As we have chronicled here before, the only way to avoid deception in the last days is to treasure up the words of Christ and take the Holy Spirit as our guide. Those who trust only in their feelings and are not conversant with the holy word of God are setting themselves up to be tossed to and fro. They will be deceived.
There is hope. The restoration will commence and the marvelous work go forth. Click here for evidences that the marvelous work is a future event. The Lord has also promised in JST Isaiah 42:
19 For I will send my servant unto you who are blind; yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;
20 And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness, IF they will hearken unto the messenger, the Lord’s servant.
21 Thou art a people, seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears to hear, but thou hearest not.
22 The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness’ sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable.
23 Thou art a people robbed and spoiled; thine enemies, all of them, have snared thee in holes, and they have hid thee in prison houses; they have taken thee for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
The scriptures testify that blindness will be removed from those of us who sit in darkness if we hearken to the messenger who will be sent to complete his mission. In the meantime we MUST become conversant with God’s word by SEARCHING the scriptures. Many false voices have arisen to fill the void left when we don’t search. We must not hearken to them, except and to the extent that their message is wholly and completely consistent with the words of Christ AND the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. The day is close at hand for the return of the servants. For that we should all be prepared.
Add to the all the latter day visions Bishop John Koyles Dream Mine.
Among other things he foretells of a time when “Near the time of the end, many of the General Authorities will become quite old. Troubles will start when three leaders will die in close proximity to one another. The new replacements will not be able to hold the Church together.”
If there’s want truth to it, now could be the time.
Isn’t it rather absurd that you don’t believe Julies testimony and yet you believe Joseph Smiths. Joseph was a charlatan as well and if you only research this you would know the facts. He himself was the one who introduce polygamy into your church and promoted masonic rituals that in itself should raise Red Flags about what you believe.
I am not at all defending Julies testimony but for Mormons to check the facts about what they believe to be true. Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life.. His truth is where to begin…. that is all I have to say..
If you read my other blog posts you will readily realize that I don’t accept spiritual wifery and masonic rituals as true doctrine. I also explain why the Lord would allow Joseph to introduce false doctrine into the church. See my post entitled “We Don’t Need to Defend Joseph’s Polygamy” for a full explanation backed up, of course, by scripture.
Thanks for dropping by.
Do you believe that Denver Snuffer could be a legitimate messenger, an Elias or Abinadi or sorts, to prepare the way for the return of Joseph Smith?
I believe one has to be very careful about blindly following anyone. It takes a thorough understanding of scripture along with the Holy Ghost to discern. Remember, there can be many truths told to disguise one falsehood. To the extent that any voice out there teaches something not consistent with scripture, I would reject it. My observation is that people are waking up to the fact that the corporate church is in a state of apostasy and Denver has been one who has pointed that out. What troubles me most is the idea promulgated by him that individuals can receive their calling and election without the fulness of the priesthood on the earth. I find that assertion wholly unsubstantiated in scripture, and thus I reject that doctrine.
Thank you one who is searching! I enjoy your posts and the thoughtful, well studied way in which you present. Each of us all must reflect and study in scripture, ponder in our mind and obey the whispering of the Spirit. I like how you responded with “be very careful about ***blindly*** following ANYONE.” Study it out people! There is no danger in acquiring knowledge and checking it by the method prescribed – to quote LDS songs: “search ponder and pray” and “let the holy spirit guide”! How true are the words you wrote “It takes a thorough understanding of scripture along with the Holy Ghost to discern.”
Personally, I am not troubled by Denver’s invitation for all to make your calling and election sure. In fact I am encouraged by it. This has been and is after all my desire, and my goal – to receive the second comforter myself. There was no fullness of priesthood on the earth when Joseph came into the presence of the Father and the Son. (Granted, Joseph was arguably ordained to this priesthood prior to this life, and therefore he had the fullness of priesthood). Still, Ancient Israel operated from the lessor priesthood after Moses was taken and yet there were those who came up into the Lords presence according to their faith and obedience. Same with Lehi and his descendants, he having bean lead out from them, ancient Israel.
To make ones calling and election sure, in the first place each must demonstrate faith like the brother of Jared had. We are promised that when we do, the same privileges the brother of Jared experienced will be granted to us. The lord will do the same for us like as He did for him when we do obtain and show this faith. The Lord is no respecter of persons. If its lost to us, the fullness of priesthood, then this is exactly what must happen to once again obtain the favor of God, and have the fullness of priesthood once again by His own voice. If we stand in His presence and are not consumed it is because of His power. He has invited all to come to Him and learn from Him. If we cannot stand in His presence without the fullness, and if the fullness is lost how then can we stand in His presence? Faith, and heavenly administration must be real in our lives. God will do no work but by our faith. Mormon chapter 9 gives me confidence to make these statements. All of us are all invited to see and know for ourselves, Ether 4:7 says so, and so do all the true prophets testify that the privileged can be obtained. We have to rise up to that faith which produces confidence In the presence of the Lord. That confidence ultimately comes from Him alone.
This process all starts with a desire to receive and know. The question is, how do we then obtain and exercise faith like these men who obtained the heavenly gift? Nephi’s experience and example serve us well. As we obey Gods voice when He speaks to us we progress and move closer to Him. Until ultimately we will be blessed by His presence. Is not this after all the program of the gospel? look at 2 Nephi 31-32, have faith, be baptized, God gives the Holy Spirit, continue faithful, and then there is vs. 6 “Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.” This promise of receiving the Lord in the flesh is available to all just as stated in D&C 93:1.
Its the journey of rising up to this privileged that is fraught with danger. Not being deceived is what troubles me. We live in a time when so many different voices clamoring for our attention. All this noise can be distracting from the objective, there is a real possibility of being deceived. In all sincerity, Though I am not young, and ironically I have lived my life as a practicing LDS active member, yet I feel like Joseph as described in his own history. JSH Chapter 1:8, 9 “I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was, and so unacquainted with men and things, to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant……”
“We ought to fear God more than we fear man. We ought to fear God more than the loss of anything we have or obtain here. We ought to fear God more than we fear approval, disapproval, criticism, or ostracism. We ought to love God and fear Him because it’s our relationship to Him, and Him alone that matters.” Denver Snuffer – Preserving the restoration pg 74.
Ultimately, God alone can set it right in the mind for each of us. Not a leader, not a friend, not some blog (no offence one who is searching) not Denver, or anyone who claims knowledge and visions…… Remember how Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ? It was not be cause he stood in His presence and interacted with Him. It was the witness of the Spirit from the Father to Peter that gave him the knowledge. We must ourselves become familiar with Gods voice. Its good to hear one another, receive the testimony and teaching of the true prophets and explore ideas presented to us. In the end however, we must obtain a correct idea of God and His attributes to be able to know how to be saved and enter into His presence. It is that personal connection to God through His son Jesus Christ, and that comes by the witness of the Holy Ghost that makes all the difference for us. This takes my thoughts back to the beginning and I quote you again “It takes a thorough understanding of scripture along with the Holy Ghost to discern.”
Thanks , lets us all – keep searching!
Charles Crawford O'Keefe said:
So, True revelation must follow scripture in the bible and the voice of Elohim and not necessarily seekers or theologians. We are to beware of others, but not so skittish as to reject the Truth revealed due to our Fear of God. Does Fear turn to Reverence? Scripture states How important it is to realize the Truth and that God will back the truth of with His action. And Scripture, Rev 12 14-17, states the seed who are in disbelief will be “swallowed” by the grave. I could go on and on about Dan 7, Rev 12, rev 13 etc. As Rev 12 states we are to give our testimony and Rev 13 says to use wisdom — check out me facebook… and it is best read from the bottom up. Glory to God for revealing divine mysteries when the time is ripe! And I portend from the Scripture that this 7×7 schemata begins with Belief. It is amazing how we must believe in all things god manifests in his omniscience. WOW
Nice thoughts. It reminds me of the verse about those who have “itching ears,” always searching for some new thing. If they only knew how great a pearl they had in the scriptures!!
Re: Calling & Election before/after Priesthood, JST Genesis 14 explains, speaking of Melchizedek:
27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, 28 It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; 29 And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name.
If the Fulness of the Priesthood is given/delivered “by the calling of his own voice,” could that not happen at the same time as Calling and Election being made sure? I don’t doubt that, when we build the new temple and are endowed with power, it will happen much more. 😉
The story of Enos seems to corroborate this. So does, IMO, this seldom-mentioned account of Adam. After his baptism, he receives the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, receives the High Priesthood, AND is made a son of God. I think that about wraps up my goals for this life.
Here’s the account from Moses 6:
64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.
65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.
66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;
67 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.
68 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.