Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Call to Come Forward to Support the Vote

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. 

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.


  1. I renew my public dissent from this proposal in content and process.

  2. Im not sure who wrote this, but the united proposal isn't connected to the casting lot proposal. At the end of the meeting at Steve Van Leers, those who were there agreed only to use the Answer and Covenant to develop the GS-thats it. Then the next day Karen Strong, who didn't stay to the end of the meeting, told those at the prayer meeting, that we were using the Answer and Covenant, Scriptures and PTR, which caused the idea that we agreed to the night before, morph into utilizing the Answer and Covenant to write the GS and also utilizing the scriptures and PTR to support those principles. Those who signed their names to the United Proposal agreed to this only.

    The central data group people, who were part of the united proposal came up with the lot idea. They proposed it to the supporters of the United Proposal, many of those people agreed but there were some of us who didn't. They decided to run with the lot idea, utilizing what they learned at the meeting at Steve VanLeer's. This to me (casting lots) is a completely different proposal. The United Proposal and Casting Lot proposals are two different things. Thanks Q

  3. Two Cents/Anonymous… are correct. The Proposal on how to Move Forward Using Lots is not representative of the entire group of people who gathered Steve Van Leer’s home on October 7th, although it has been inspired and informed by those teachings as well as Denver’s talk in Dallas, TX. Steve has since been very supportive of this effort (drawing lots) as well as any others that have taken inspiration about using the mutually agreed to words and principles in the Answer and Covenant to compose the Statement of Principles. I believe he is doing his best to try teach as many people as he can about the message he shared with the group gathered in his home on Oct. 7th, which I think is a good thing and worthy of our consideration.

    Not quite sure what you meant by “central data group people” but we had originally proposed that a committee of people be put together by drawing lots to both handle the GS in the short term and then provide a trusted source of information going forward on things that require the voice of the people. The committee would be replaced annually so that all had a chance to serve. Personally, I still like the idea and would love to see something like that, but in an effort to implement several suggestions from others (including those from the 10/7/17 meeting), the proposal was revised to simply having the group of individuals selected by lot disband after the GS was completed. I hope that clarifies things a bit.

    1. Jim, when you are addressing Anonymous are you addressing me too, its me Q. I signed my name at the bottom.

      Are you saying Steve wrote this? Its seems to me who ever wrote this is merging the United Proposal and Casting lots together. That's not right, because they are two different things. One is a proposal in how to approach this project and the other is how to complete it. I agreed and signed my name to the approach, not to the process in which to complete the assignment.

      In your response to me, it sounds like you are defending Steve, are you? If you are then Im not sure why. I agree that Steve is doing his best to try and teach as many people as he can about his message. I have considered his message and even signed my name to it (the approach).

      I don't know what was said in your conversations with Steve, but somewhere along the way you two agreed to move in this direction. I have no problem with that. If you and Steve agreed to something that is between you and Steve and NOT you and the United Proposal. The confusion trickles in when Steve and the United Proposal are being used interchangeably, as if Steve is the voice of the United Proposal. May be Im wrong but I thought he said he was not leading the United Proposal.

      I said central data group, because I couldn't remember the name of your original proposal. To me it sounded like a central source where information could be gathered, thus the name central data group. Thanks Q

  4. Sorry Quintina….I did not realize you were the author of this last post. I assumed the “Thanks Q” was somebody thanking you for something. Ha….

    There is nothing I wrote in the comment above intended to defend any one position or any one person. Just affirming what you stated that the current “Lots” proposal was not representative of the entire group who met at Steve’s home on October 7th, but as stated, many have felt inspired and informed by the message that was shared and continued to work on the proposal.

    I think Steve has been very gracious and willing to support any and all efforts, including this one, which have been informed by what he shared on 10/7/2017. He can speak for himself, but the only agreement I am aware of being made between Steve and those of us who have continued to work on this proposal is one of cooperation and support for what we are trying to accomplish. There are a number of other people present at that meeting who have likewise expressed support and helped us to finish up the proposal and get the message out while simultaneously continue to work on initiatives they have felt inspired to complete.

    This is an “all-hands-on-deck” project and I think it is beautiful that people are willing to help lift and inspire others as they have felt called to the work.

  5. This is not directed at Jim, unless of course you are the author of this. First of all, I would like to say that all the people I know who are in support of this proposal are very virtuous and I know there intent is to seek for peace and create equality. I am writing the following because I had a different understanding than you did on a few things and thought I would share them with you:

    "Religion moves through two stages. In the first, God reveals Himself to man. This is
    called “restoration.” It restores man to communion with God as in the Garden of Eden. In the second, man attempts to worship God according to His latest visit. This stage is always characterized by scarcity and inadequacy. This is called “apostasy.” Apostasy always follows restoration." (Cutting Down the Tree of Life)

    The lots experiment that Denver mentioned was addressing a system (LDS hierarchy) that relied on His latest visit. The latest visit being the New Testament time, during which they did use lots to decide who would replace Judas. The LDS system never did try the lot experiment, even though, they were worshipping God according to the New Testament time. These eleven men walked and talked with Christ, they received power and were connected to Heaven. They chose 2 individuals who they knew would be equal to the task, and they utilized the lots, by way of their Power to rely on God to reveal whose heart is right. The Liahona, and other devices have been given to man from God and they are taught how to utilize these tools. These tools worked based on their Power. When their hearts weren't right these tools didn’t work.

    Lehi had a dream and in that dream his boys were commanded to go and obtain the plates. Laman and Lemuel murmured saying it was a hard thing and they started to get after Nephi, as if it was Nephi who required it. Nephi went willingly and desired to do what the Lord asked of him. They both were on different ends of the spectrum, one went begrudgingly and the other went desiring to do the Lords will. So I can see why they turned to lots (verse 11) to determine who would go and get the plates. Nephi mentions faithfulness right before they were going to give all their earthly substance away. He also mentions it again before being led by the spirit.

    What I learned from Nephi is it takes faith to sacrifice all your earthy substance for His will and to be, "led by the Spirit not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."

    I don’t recall Joseph Smith describing lots as a way to show faith in Lectures on Faith.

    There is so little we know about the use of lots and how it was utilized. So, I wonder why you don’t follow what you do know. Why not just pick one person and let that person write it and just agree to the final document that person comes up with?

    1. Hey Q! I found this snippet about casting lots in Nephi's Isaiah:

      "In choosing a replacement Apostle for the deceased and apostate Judas, the method employed by the surviving Apostles was to “cast lots.” It is written: “And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1: 24–26.) The same method is used here by Apostles as had been used by the Lord’s crucifiers to divide up His clothing, as He was hanging on the cross in the last throes of dying.406 When we think of the Roman guards using it to divide Christ’s clothing, it becomes less inspired-looking and more homely. It looks more like expediency than revelation as a tool for choosing an Apostle. Yet, at the same time, this same process is built into the scriptures for the Church today, and is used in every disciplinary council to assign roles to the High Council.407 Without regard to feeling, emotion or desire, the lots are drawn and the assignments are made. These physical objects contain within them the Lord’s mind for organizing a council before whom the hearing takes place. From Nephi’s casting lots to decide who would go to address Laban,408 to choosing the scapegoat,409 to choosing an Apostle, to choosing roles in a disciplinary court, casting of lots has been the way people of faith have determined God’s will for millennia. Through it God “speaks.” But it requires faith to see it in that light. For these are ordinary, even commonplace ways of making a decision. Only through faith does it acquire the “voice of God” in it. We are unique, and God’s ways of speaking to each of us is as unique as each of us. We do ourselves a great disservice when we attempt to fit ourselves into a singular, stereotypical persona seeking only a singular way for God to talk with and to us. We make ourselves into something we aren’t, in the search to find what cannot be found that way. If we demand only the extraordinary before we will recognize His voice, we run the risk of looking in the wrong way for Him. His voice is there. He speaks to all of us. But we can miss it if we are not attuned to listen. You may never be able to hear God speak to you in the way in which others hear Him. If you determine He must speak to you in a specific way, and not in any other way, you can go a lifetime without ever having a conversation with Him. He longs to speak with each of us. Within each of us there is something uniquely attuned to Him. How He reaches out to you may be as singular and unique as you are and you can be assured He is reaching out. In fact, God is rather noisy, if you will allow Him to be. We were never intended to live without a direct connection to Him. Instead, we should hear His voice, and in time discover He is our “friend.”410"

  6. I really wanted to find a way to support and be unified with this proposal. But I feel the plan to have Denver present it for the Lord's approval before any voting has taken place looks more like an attempt to circumvent and avoid the need to practice persuasion, and force unity because "the Lord has spoken through his authorized servant!" (Hypothetically).

    If I were Denver, I'd decline that request. If I had Denver's ear, I'd ask him to please decline. I take very seriously the Lord's twice repeated prohibition on Denver participating. I'm sure others feel this doesn't cross that line, or that perhaps it's a gray area. I want to demonstrate that I trust the Lord's words, and proceed cautiously and safely -- not terribly unlike Denver's recommended definition of "the Lord's anointed" who we're supposed to refrain from "evil speaking" of that he advanced way back in 2nd Comforter. He recommended the broadest possible definition of that term. Similarly, I'm going to recommend the broadest possible definition of "participation" in drafting a GP/GS/whatever and say publicly that I don't want to be found asking him to touch it with a 10 foot pole.

    1. Is this Taylor C. that did the prayer meeting with me? If so, I have written an answer, but it is way too long for a comment. I'd be happy to email it to you.

  7. Yep it's me. :) I'd love to hear from you!