Someone wrote and asked some good questions about the use of lots to move ahead in the accomplishment of the “statement of principles” to the Lord. My reply is written below. To summarize, the whole thing really has little to do with lots per se, and everything to do with faith in our God.
This is my own writing. I do not represent any other in this. I did not seek approval from any to put this forth, even those who have labored diligently together to bring all of our joint effort to this point. This stuff may or may not be their personal feelings. Judge the truth of these things for yourself.
“There is another method that we haven’t tried, so far as I know. That would be to use “lots” to choose from every male in the church. This method was used to fill Judas’ vacancy in the original Twelve in Jerusalem. (Acts 1: 21-26.) The description there is ambiguous, but was intended to be random, unpredictable and not just a vote. It was a recognized way to choose someone. (See, e.g., 1 Ne. 3: 11.) It has been used to sort through the entire nation of Israel when all twelve tribes were assembled. Someone had stolen an idol, resulting in the withdrawal of the Lord’s Spirit from them in battle. The result was defeat for Israel and the death of many men. They needed to find the one who committed the offense. So they had to choose from the entire gathering of all twelve tribes.
Beginning at the tribe level, they sorted through to find the right tribe (Judah). Then proceeded to sort through the tribe to locate the larger family involved (Zarhites). Then went through the family to find the individual involved (Achan). The whole thing is in the scriptures. (Joshua 7: 13-23.) Such a system was uncontrolled by man, done by lot, completely random, but produced the right person. Left to God, it obtained God’s answer. Did with the sons of Lehi, and with the vacancy in the Twelve in the Book of Acts, too. There is no reason why such a system wouldn’t generate the Lord’s choice today...” (Prophet, Seer, Revelator, May 21, 2010, Denver Snuffer)
Not every point is always, (ever) defined when it comes to faith. In addition, it’s not meet that we should require specific Commandment and instruction in all things. There is no learning or faith in that. More often, we listen to the whisperings of the spirit, feel what it is the Lord would like, then move forward in faith, not knowing before hand what we might encounter. If we are wrong, the Lord will often correct us, turn our head this way, or that way a little, and send us in a different direction. God has often shown He is respectful of our meager, even childlike efforts if they are accompanied by real faith. We can even come to Him with “our best guess” on the matter, confronting a real dilemma, with a fist full of little stones and He might work out a problem for us because He respects our faith and belief. I believe the Lord might have done the same thing for the brother of Jared if he had come with seven stones, or fifty. Didn’t matter the number, didn’t matter that it was stones, and not little pieces of wood, or balls of tightly spun lambs wool. It was his faith that allowed the Lord to do something for him. The Lord didn’t seem to view an arbitrary number (16) as a “stake” in any way. Nor did He seem to view stones as a “stake.” To answer your question, this all was most likely the brother of Jared’s “best guess” as to how to approach the Lord. It’s all about faith. Period. If we don’t have faith, we could choose seven, or ten, or twenty four, to write, and it would likely make no difference. Without faith, we could choose any method of our choice for choosing those who should write. We could use lots, a seer stone, a rod, a staff, a cup, a Liahona, flip a coin - best four out of seven, and it would very likely fail.
If we have faith, we can ask the Lord to show us His part through lots. And He will show us. The number chosen is really irrelevant. The faith is everything. He is able to show the seven He would most prefer to write, even if there are seventy who “feel called.” If He would show His part and reveal seven by our faith, wouldn’t that be enough? Do you imagine the brother of Jared afterward said, “damn!”, I could have brought 32 stones and had twice the light! Likely not. It was enough.
Shouldn’t we feel satisfied through our collective faith, that the seven are the Lord’s choice even if the seven may not include many who felt “called.” In any event, nothing prevents every person who feels so inclined to submit their version of a statement that they have been directed by God to write under the system we have now put forth for a vote. God’s appointed seven will consider what every person has submitted. If someone is indeed called, and God intended by God’s perfect will, that he/she be the single author of the “statement”, then, just as in the case of the stolen idol, the single individual and their writing will be shown. If that is not God’s perfect will then the seven chosen will assemble the acceptable version to our God, He will accept it and the thing will be accomplished by faith. We will know we were wrong if, and only if, God rejects the final document, and our meager effort to approach Him with a fist full of gravel, so to speak.
The person asked, why can’t we just come together in a spontaneous manner like the scripture committee did, without having to appoint, or call, or choose, anyone? A great question. Perhaps that would have been the Lord’s own preferred way at one point in time. The problem was/is, us, and our hearts.
The difference between the scripture committee and the course that brought them to ultimate success in their joint effort on the one hand, and the effort we have been involved in for over eight months on the other hand, is that the scripture committee(s) came together in a primarily respectful, spontaneous, manner that worked harmoniously (for the most part) to complete what many felt they were called to do. Their effort pleased the Lord. He said so. Doesn’t matter what our individual perceptions or opinions are about how the scripture committee pulled off what they did. The Lord approved. That’s enough.
On the other hand, the statement of principles (GP) process, has been fraught from the beginning with contention, people rising up as Satan (accusers) against one another, and most all of the people acting in a manner more like enemies and opponents rather than the joint family of God who respect and love one another. The assignment can never be accomplished while the people’s hearts are not right. The Lord was very clear in telling us our hearts are not right. If the people’s hearts can get right, and there can be a harmonious mighty change among them, then the spirit of God can guide. It has been mostly a faithless effort to this point and has instead been more like a great contentious competition among a people who should unite in their God and have faith in Him. His spirit cannot exist, or dwell, or stay, where contention is, at any level.
Those among us, (you) who agree, invite every person among us of the covenant to unite in the words of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not mention His name lightly. We wish only to consider and bow ourselves to His part alone. We wish only to bring honor, glory, and a respectful return in repentance to Him. We (I) wish, (and need to be,) the first to repent and turn to Him in faith and humility.
Please review “United Proposal:” https://drive.
google.com/file/d/ 0Bwr81Qdl5PagZy1saFZmYlI0cnM/ view
And Hope update:
And the proposal to move forward from the foundation laid out in the prior two sites with your affirmative vote:
Unite with us all who see the path forward together in unity as God’s people. Please vote affirmatively as indicated in the, “Vote is Requested” site above. Let us move forward together to complete this light thing. We do not want to be noticed, we do not wish to be recognized, we do not want, or desire, notoriety, or acclaim of any sort. We do not care, or have any preference, as to the specific author of the statement. We wish only to know the part of the Son of God and to glorify Him alone in what we do.
Please brothers and sisters of the covenant, Unite. Bring your writings - bring your work if you have been appointed or called, and allow God to show us His part as we seek Him in faith and humility. Let us join our faith and approach our King in humility and meekness - HE will show us His part. All glory to Him.