Thursday, November 9, 2017

Voting Results and Next Steps

Jim O'Rullian, James Fargo:

Thanks to all who have taken the time to let your voice be heard over the past few days concerning the lots proposal. The voting is now closed and the results are as follows:

Number (%) of initial visitors who have entered the covenant: 436/470 (92.8%)
Number (%) of voters failing to cast votes: 39/470 (8.3%)
Number (%) of votes from covenant holders: 436/437 (99.8%)

Number (%) of YES votes: 380/437 (87.0%)
Number (%) of NO votes: 57/437 (13.0%)
For complete results, click here.

With a significant majority in support of the proposal to use lots to assemble a body of 7 to compile a Statement of Principles, we would like to proceed according to the proposed schedule and begin the process of name and document submission to the Central Recorder.

Please visit the Recorder’s Clearinghouse website for complete information on the next steps in this process (information should appear shortly).

We would like to again express our gratitude for your permission to carry out the proposed process and take this opportunity to address an issue that was raised several times during the voting period…


QUESTION: Why will there be no vote by the main body BEFORE the Statement of Principles is presented to the Lord? What if I disagree with it?

First, the process we have proposed is very similar to what was accomplished with the RE scriptures that were submitted to the Lord for His revision and approval BEFORE we stood as a body of believers to sustain and adopt them as our standard works.

While laboring to recover the scriptures, the scripture committee:

  • labored with materials they were provided.

  • collected the voice of the people to help direct, inform, and inspire their work on what to include or exclude.

  • relied on the faith and trust of the main body of believers as they prepared their work for submission to the Lord with the expectation that He would revise/add/subtract anything that was necessary.

  • following submission and acceptance from the Lord, the main body then stood to sustain and adopt the work.

The same pattern will be followed with the Statement of Principles: prepare, submit, sustain and then adopt.

Second, what we are now proposing is that we are coming together as a body of people with mutual agreement on two very basic things:

  • The Doctrine of Christ

  • The Law of Christ  

Furthermore, because we have had such difficulty finding mutually agreeable words for describing the principles of fellowship (designed to guide, bless, and benefit those who are unfamiliar with this form of worship), we have asked that the body of 7 adhere to the criteria outlined in the United Proposal to complete this portion.  

To be clear, we do not intend to take anything to the Lord that does not enjoy the support of the vast majority of believers. In other words, while there will always be some who are unhappy with this word or that, if there is something drastically wrong with the document that a large portion of believers cannot accept, then further revision would be necessary. What we do not want is endless debate, discussion, and contention over things that ought to be decided within individual fellowships as situations and circumstances dictate. Therefore, we anticipate that the Statement of Principles will be specific on the Doctrine and Law of Christ and broad/brief on the guide for fellowships. With this, we have every reason to expect that the Lord will indeed accept our submission and make any corrections that are necessary before adoption.

Finally, those of us who have worked on this proposal have a profound sense of respect, love, and understanding for those who have expressed opposition to it. They have valid arguments and solid reasons for why they feel as they do.

At this time, we humbly ask that all please join with their neighbors and friends who are in support of this process and consider submitting names and documents to the central recorder. Let’s give this our best shot at success and see what the Lord has in store for us. We may fail, but then again, it is just possible that we may all be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. We realize that the drawing of lots is not the ONLY way to work together on a statement of principles, however, it appears to be a very peaceable way to proceed and has been used by the Lord throughout time. The idea to proceed in this manner was conceived in love and good intent by many people. Please pray for and be kind to those who will be called to serve the main body in this capacity; pray that they may find the temperament and the words necessary to complete the assignment in a way that we may all recognize and respect and rejoice over, guided by the Spirit of the Lord; that they will labor with the understanding that “how (we) proceed must be as noble as the cause (we) seek”. It is our sincere and deepest wish that through the accomplishment of this task that bruised and wounded hearts may be healed and that we can love one another.

Again, please visit the Recorder’s Clearinghouse website for complete information on the next steps in this process.


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  2. That the law of witnesses may be fulfilled, I publicly dissent from this proposal, both in method and in content. The reasons are explained here:

    Jared Livesey

    1. Why bow out? Why not participate in the continued process? Instead of gathering up your toys and going home, why not continue to work within the choice of the masses have decreed?

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    4. Mutual agreement is not majority rules. Rolling dice or drawing lots to see who shall prevail, thus avoiding the requirement of coming to mutual agreement which comes through wisdom and kindness and love unfeigned and pure knowledge and longsuffering and reasoning together, is not what the Lord commanded.

  3. Oh my. Well, I guess I will bow out of this process at this point as gracefully as possible since I now see that it was always the intention of others to move forward in a majority without doing the hard work of discussing, establishing bridges of understanding, and the like. My heart hurts for the disconnections that are so apparent. But I understand the desire to do something. I wish you all love and light on this journey. It is an amazing time to witness. May God continue to be willing to condescend to teach, help, and bless us all. Our God is so very Good.

    1. Why bow out? Why not participate in the continued process? Instead of gathering up your toys and going home, why not continue to work within the choice of the masses have decreed?

  4. Thank you for reaching out, Robynn. No, this feels the correct path for me at this point. I wish you all well and do not doubt the sincerity and desire that moves everyone else onward. God bless.

  5. Part 1
    It seems, based on what others have told me and what has been written, that there are some who believe that I'm totally against lots. I want to make it clear, that I am not. I believe in such gifts and believe these gifts can come from God. I believe God can give man accoutrements to help them on their journey back to Him. The Blackfoot people have these types of gifts given to them. We have what we call the Holy Hand Games. At this ceremony, they gather as a people/society, and accoutrements are used by individuals to practice and show the power they have obtained on their individual journey studying and searching- making an individual connection to our Creator. The individual who puts this ceremony on, has done the work to get closer to our creator and when he or she feels like they have reached a certain point in their understanding they practice, using these gifts, what they learned, as a way to test their faith-their power. They continually practice until they feel sufficiently prepared to utilize the accoutrement amongst the people.

    I haven't practiced with lots before and don’t believe this is a gift that was given to me by our Creator. You may have been given this gift. I'm ok with that and I can respect that. Is it ok that I have a different understanding? I haven't been persuaded to believe that lots should be used for me. Some may think this is faithless, I don’t. This whole GS experience has taught me: I don’t need a man to call me to the work, I need God to call me. It is only through our Savior, Jesus Christ my salvation will occur; therefore, I only answer to Him and not man. I have to do what I'm being directed to do. If you feel directed to go in this direction, do that. You only answer to Him. This is our Creators work and He is doing the calling, not me and not you. God speaks to us in our understanding. Just like he did with Gideon.

    As Denver stated in Preserving the Restoration chapter: "No corporate church organization, or man claiming authority should hijack your obedience to God. You are accountable to Him. You are accountable only to Him, and not to me or any other man. When Joseph wanted to know his state and standing before God, he asked God.55 It is to God alone that you must answer and it is to God you must be grateful. Only before Him must you be humble.

  6. Part 2
    You can believe that my husband and I are trying to be ambitious, evil, hard hearted, etc., because we disagree or have a different understanding or for whatever other reason there is, that’s ok. We have only tried to share our understanding and perspective. If you felt like we were trying to force you, then I apologize that was never our intentions. Our intentions are not to stop your progression, I’m sorry if it came off as that. If you feel you need to move forward without us, then so be it. That would really suck, but I don't want others to feel like we have stopped the "majority" from moving forward because we have a different understanding or way of looking at things. (I really hate making a group apology because I don’t believe it is sincere- but I don’t exactly know who we offended, I have only heard the gossip: "somebody said something" or "this is what people are saying about you"-But I’m trying to be sincere).

    My salvation will only come through our Savior Jesus Christ. It is Him I need to answer to. Some may say, "you acted poorly." I agree, we remnant people have weaknesses just like the Gentile nation- we just may have different weaknesses than you.

    Denver also stated: So ask yourself, what can remain pure? Even here, in this awful world, what can remain pure? There are three things that can remain absolutely unmolested and uncorrupted: the truth, which is fixed and cannot be touched by us. God's love, which is free and available to all. Neither the truth nor God's love requires effort on our part. The third thing that can remain pure here is our desires. That, however, requires effort. Nevertheless, it is possible that perfection can touch each of us, if we have the right desires. The fact is, however, we all have weaknesses, we all need rest, we all need food, and we all wear down. There are things that trouble each one of us. Even your desires are going to be better than you are. At least I hope they are.

    I know some of the "minority" and to me they have good hearts. They may have weaknesses but don’t we all. If the voice of the Lord told you to accept the original, August 5 etc., then stand firm and do that, but I ask that you respect my revelation. I ask you to be patient with me, as I may need more refining than you. I ask that you believe that I too can hear the voice of the Lord. He knows what each of us needs to be refined. Although, we may have different revelations I know He can unite us, if we are seeking to do what the Lord commands and not man. We can learn a lot from Christ's visitation to America- He is trying to do a great and marvelous work in our day.

    Q Bearchief-Adolpho

  7. May God bless you dear Q and Rob, full to overflowing in your sacred mission, and in your movement towards unity with our Creator. May we sit down as friends, in a circle, with a view of The Temple in New Jerusalem as we laugh together after He has dried all tears.

  8. Before Keith proceeds with drawing of lots tomorrow, is it fair for me to ask the following question be answered?

    Can anyone show me in scripture any example where lots were used, where all parties involved were not in mutual agreement? Anywhere you see lots used it's always mutual, everyone agrees to the use of lots to solve the dispute. Otherwise, how can the process be trusted? The reason it works is because all parties agree that this method will settle the dispute. If any one party does not agree that the casting of lots will settle the dispute, then how can any other party expect the dispute is settled by casting the lot?

    I believe the faith necessary for the process of casting lots to work requires mutual agreement between all parties involved.

    Please understand, I am not trying to be critical of what has been proposed and agreed to by the majority. What if those who have voiced dissenting concerns honestly do not seek to offend?

    In late September I was encouraged when Adrian Larsen and Jeff Savage spearheaded a path forward with the "comeserve" approach. I'm grateful that in the sincerity of their hearts they felt motivated to move forward with an idea and take some action where the rest of us were still sitting stagnate. Their actions were a catalyst to stir the body of fellowships to action. Their actions were necessary and served a purpose in helping us move forward one more step toward unity. The result of their effort did not achieve the intended result. This does not mean it was a failure. Without it we would not have learned from the effort to bring us knowledge and wisdom we now possess through that effort.

    I embraced with the same eagerness when Steve Vanleer encouraged us to support the Proposal on How to Move Forward Using Lots. I'm grateful that in the sincerity of their hearts those who labored in this effort felt motivated to move forward with an idea and take some action where the rest of us were still sitting stagnate. Their actions have been a catalyst to stir the body of fellowships to action. Their actions were necessary and serve a purpose in helping us move forward one more step toward unity.

    The dissenting voices among us are not about pointing fingers, finding fault, and hindering our progress. They are indicating that despite our best efforts to move forward, there appears to be something amiss. Are we willing to pause and accept criticism and correction along the way? Can we pause the current process long enough to reason together and find common unity among ourselves before proceeding to impose a majority mindset upon a minority who are still precious to us?

    1. Part 1
      I recived an answer to my question, to which I responded:

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my concerns. I hope you understand that it is never my intent to be argumentative. I appreciate your willingness for us to reason together.

      I appreciate you addressing the question of unanimity where lots were employed in the scriptures. I don't know as I've tried to contemplate the philosophical back and forth of what it means to "mutually agree". In the context of my question I defined it as "everyone agrees to the use of lots to solve the dispute." I did not base my conclusion on scriptural examples, but on the logic that to my mind suggests, that in order for the process to work it stands to reason that all using the method would naturally agree that whatever the outcome of the casting of lots, all would agree to it. [Hence phrases like "The lot causeth contentions to cease" (Prov 18:18) and "the die is cast" (referring to casting of dice and meaning point of no return)]. In our situation, by this logic I suppose this means that the 380 majority is what now constitutes the unity of those who are agreeing to the outcome of the casting of lots. However, if the purpose of casting the lot is to "put and end to strife", I don't understand how separating bodies into a majority and a minority (with only one of them employing the use of lots to resolve their dispute) fully serves this purpose. I know of no example where the extra step of a vote was employed to determine who would agree to the use of lots to settle a dispute, but it's possible we are not the first. (I apologize if this sounds wordy - I'm kinda thinking out loud as I compose this)

      I'm not attacking what you have done in your efforts to move forward with this plan. I know it has involved many hours of prayerful discussion and I honor those efforts. I'm just trying to look at what we are learning through this process.

      You brought up the opposing voices in the council in heaven and concluded that "there is going to be opposing voices, always". But is that to be the case in Zion where we are of one heart and one mind, dwelling in righteousness with no poor among us? What if the first step to get there requires learning what it means to be of one heart and one mind?

      I'm reminded of this quote from Denver Snuffer, "Tolerance requires disagreement. Insisting on agreement is not tolerance, but it's opposite". Does tolerance have a place among a people united in Christ?

      Apparently as we seek to become one people who "must equally walk truly in [Christ's] path" (A&C pg 3) and "come together by precept, reason and persuasion", we are told by Christ, "For you to unite I must admonish and instruct you". (ibid) Does this mean that there will still be disagreement among us? Can we disagree without disputations that cause anger? Is there a difference between the kind of opposition where we can disagree without disputations, and a kind of opposition that causes anger and contention? As it relates to a people seeking to become Zion, when you say "there is going to be opposing voices, always", does this refer to the the kind of opposition filled with anger and strife, or the kind of opposition that arises with the inevitable disagreements among those seeking to come together by precept, reason and persuasion?

    2. Part 2
      Is imposing an agenda in an effort to move forward "in haste" by a majority vote (presumably to meet a printing deadline), introducing a source of tension to what we are trying to achieve? You may argue that the proposal to move forward by lots is not imposing an agenda, and you may be right, but the point is that there are those who feel that it is. In the rush to gather a vote and move forward, has sufficient time been given to those who feel their voice is being ignored? What about time needed for those trying to evaluate and process what is going on?

      Is the use of lots to form a committee the only way lots can be used to settle the dispute over selecting a G&S? If we want to use use lots to settle the matter of a G&S, why add the extra step of a vote?

      Someone with a user name of "sara" posted what I thought was a simple way to use lots that does not involve using a committee in the comments of this thread:

      Quintina, who has voiced dissent to the use of lots for creating a committee, has given a suggestion using lots to select an individual to write it. Has that possibility been considered?

      If given a chance, is it possible we could unite on using lots in some other way? How can that be done without using a majority/minority vote? Have we considered what that might look like? Can Christ admonish and instruct us on this?

      Christ has told us "How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek." (A&C) How noble is way we have proceeded through the process of campaigning and voting for this proposal to use lots?

      Lori Taylor observed in a comment, “It feels like some are trying to "persuade" by manipulation of words-"hundreds now." I am concerned for the not hundreds.”

      Take note of the wording used in the vote. The second question of the vote reads:
      “I both support this process and agree with letting the group of seven produce a statement of principles, according to the given criteria, to be presented to the body of believers and to the Lord. (A NO vote would mean I do not support this process at this time, but reserve the right to accept the outcome of the process if I find it acceptable.)”

      In other words, a NO vote is to support that even if I disagree with the process, I'm still voting to agree that the end justifies the means. It was because of this and other reasons I chose not to vote. To me this felt like subtle manipulation (even though I'm sure such motivation was unintentional).

      I don't know the answers. But I know someone who does. How can we allow Him to admonish and instruct us as we move forward? He tells us in his Answer, "Pray together in humility and together meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me I will tell you my part." I'm sure you have done this as you worked together in putting together your proposal to move forward using lots. Have we prayed together in humility and together meekly presented our disputes with the issues that are surfacing now?

      The rushed nature and tight deadline that this "proposal to move forward using lots" imposes on us makes me question if we are acting too much "in haste".

      Thank you for giving ear to my concerns.

      God bless all of us as we seek to "come together by precept, reason and persuasion", is my prayer.

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  10. Part 1: I am grateful for all of the efforts that have been put forth as a way to accomplish this task. I think it would be wonderful if everyone agreed to one way to accomplish this task before we moved forward, but with the constraints of distance and the communication of ideas and concepts being limited due to lack of face to face interaction, I am truly not sure how any single idea could achieve unanimity.

    The definition of mutual agreement does not mean that everyone is happy about the proposal nor that they believe the proposal. It simply means that they are willing to live by the proposal or consent to it. For instance take a dating couple. The woman decides that she no longer loves the man and wants to break up, the man may still love her, he may not agree with her decision or believe in her choice or even understand why she feels the way she does, but he consents to allow her to break up with him. They mutually agree to end the relationship and it is ended even though they do not share the same understanding, nor are in agreement with the reason.

    Nowhere in scripture can I find that there was unanimity before lots were cast. In the case of Lehi’s sons it simply states that they consulted with one another then drew lots. It is entirely possible that they each had their own idea on how to accomplish the task and that a majority of them decided to cast lots to determine which one would carry out a plan. What if we do not agree with, or understand the use of lots, but we are willing to lay aside our own desires in order for the majority to be able to move forward with producing a document. In the case of the Restoration Scripture project many things that the committee implemented into the scriptures had barely a 51% consenting vote, yet they implemented those ideas anyway.

    The covenant was extended and was not unanimously accepted even though Christ loves ALL of His children and desires that they all enter into His covenant. There were and still are people who did not understand it nor believe in it. Yet, the Lord still extended it; He did not wait for all of us to understand it, agree with it, or even desire it.

  11. Part 2: With so many ideas and proposals on how to accomplish the task of writing a statement of principles, with so many wounded hearts, with so many who do not trust others because of lies, manipulations or mistreatment throughout this process, I can see the good intent behind the proposal on lots. This proposal allows all of those who feel called to submit their names to the pool of nominees. This proposal allows all of those who have labored over creating/writing/compiling a document to submit their document for source material/consideration/guidance to the group who will write the document. This proposal reaches out to and asks all to be part of this process. I have heard people who are so excited because they had spent the past few days praying and asking the Lord who they should nominate. As names came to them they felt the love for each of these people. Not everyone accepted the nomination, but were touched that they had been thought of. I have heard several young couples state how they felt about being nominated. Previous to this proposal these young people had been feeling overlooked and unwanted, that they had no voice among the people. Now they feel wanted, involved and invested. A 21 year old young girl asked some people when they were going to start their fast so that the Lord’s will is done when the lots are drawn. A 17 year old young man was going to vote no to the proposal because he is worried that dominating bullies will get chosen who will want to push their own agenda, but he decided to vote yes and to trust that God will choose those who can work together peaceably.

    “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

    Let this to be the time to heal; let this be the time to lay down our differences; let this be the time to love; let this be the time of peace.

    Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons/daughters of God.

  12. The form to submit a Statement of Principles as well as names for the drawing of lots remains open until 7pm MST tonight (Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017):

  13. My intention here is not to cause harm. I simply hope to encourage us all to think about what we are doing and why. Is there anyone who believes this task is more important to Christ (and us as a whole) than a single individual?

    I am in need of understanding on some issues.

    I have spent the last few days diligently reading, re-reading, praying, working through my frustrations and concerns to comprehend what my part is, what His part is, and basically what is going on.

    1. Mutual agreement, as Christ used it in His Answer, simply means a majority controls? I feel like this is not even well-understood. It seems like sometimes it is used to say we don’t have to agree on exact words, while others say we don’t even need to agree at all. If you find yourself an outlier, yield and bend. But there is a warning that comes with this way of choosing in the Book of Mormon.

    And what of the need for hearing contrary voices? I feel, and know within myself it is also true, that we struggle as a people to know how to engage in healthy debates and arguments. This is particularly true for those of us coming from an LDS background. The status quo is to not question, which shows doubts and contentions. Accept what the few say is to be. If the Constitution had to be composed today, would it be accomplished?

    I took Christ to mean we all agree. 100%. And that is the way in which I am approaching this. I am willing to hear, listen, share, hear some more, listen some more, share some more, until we are all in agreement. Is this not what has been demonstrated in the Book of Mormon when a group of people speak with one voice? I want that, and hope everyone else does as well. I believe it is possible, for with Christ nothing is impossible.

    2. From the Recorder’s Clearinghouse, the criteria for those nominated:
    * At least 18 years of age;
    * (Re)baptized and baptism recorded with the Central Recorder;
    * Entered into the recent covenant;
    * Agree to perform your labor according to the criteria of composing the Statement of Principles using primarily the words of Christ directly or through an authorized servant (as described in the United Proposal).

    Were there age restrictions placed on those who voted, i.e. only those who are 18 or older could vote? If not, then why are we placing an age restriction on those who can be nominated to create the statement? I would think an individual old enough to ponder, study, pray, and discern an answer about which way to vote is also capable of doing so as part of a group to create the statement. In fact, younger people might be far better at doing so because we old(er) peoples may struggle more to overcome our own ideas and opinions at times. In other words, they may lack the issue of pride and baggage of doubt that tends to come with age.

    3. Central Recorder receives names.
    Central Recorder draws names.
    Central Recorder verifies worthiness/right to participate.
    Central Recorder collects documents and disperses them out.

    When did it happen that one person was asked to take this on? Who was involved in deciding this? This is beginning to be a re-current thing for me. I feel like there is a pre-committee to the committee, and only a few get to participate in even deciding who is on the pre-committee. A few (a minority!) get to decide some things, then a campaign is waged before a vote, and the losing side is encouraged to dutifully accept the outcome, because otherwise you are a disrupter/disputer/contention-causer? Sounds a lot like the American election process. Is this as good as it is going to get? This is all any of us can hope for? We won’t be any different than the world? If we won’t work for unity now, then when?

    Is the book the Central Recorder is keeping supposed to be used for background checks? Is not this the same book being kept for the future temple? Is checking names against it in keeping with its noble nature? I admit I am appalled by the idea.

    Should not the nominations of two or three witnesses be sufficient for an individual’s worthiness to participate?

    to be cont'd

  14. 4. There is much I am seeing that reminds me of what I have seen and experienced as a woman in the LDS church—handbooks, standards, rules, regulations, and scripts for how to do everything. Perhaps some have had concerns the statement will devolve into such, and that is where so much angst has come from. But I cannot help but feel like since September, there are restrictions and rules in abundance. I think people are trying to allay concerns, protect the integrity of the process, and promote a sense of confidence in the process, but….it seems we need a statement for the statement before the statement. Hence why we all tire of talking/writing/reading. I am sorry to add to it all.

    I also have concern that we are thinking a bit too highly of ourselves, calling ourselves the “covenant people” and such. There is nothing special about me that caused Christ to offer me this opportunity. He did it because of the Fathers, who have proven themselves worthy and full of faith in Christ. I am still in training, and grateful to be so. I don’t ever want to elevate myself, even through the use of vain labels. In some ways the proposals sound filled with legal-speak to my ears. No offense intended.

    5. Is it required by Christ to present the statement to Him for approval and acceptance before it is put in the scriptures? Who is going to do that? Denver? Or each of us, and then we accept unitedly? I did not understand involving Denver to be a requirement from His Answer, so if I missed it please help me understand why it is felt to be a necessary step. I am concerned doing it the way it is outlined runs the risk of making someone look/feel like they are against Christ if they never support it.

    If it is understood Denver will be asked, I feel unwilling and cannot with a clear conscience and light-heart agree to ask Denver to present anything to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that comes out of this process as it now stands. I am not even certain Denver is supposed to be “used.” Are we so unsure of ourselves and our personal relationship with Christ that we have to “use” Denver? If we are feeling a desire to obtain further answers, why are we not asking Him now ourselves? It does appear we have great trust and faith in Denver and his relationship with Christ, but not so much for ourselves.

    6. Is the timeline for publishing the scriptures project driving this process? Should that be? I have never felt or understood Christ required that, though I understand we would naturally want it so. But with more revelations to be forthcoming, perhaps there is room to suggest a statement can be added later? I imagine I am completely alone in that thinking, not to mention ignorant of the publishing process overall.

    to be cont'd yet again (sorry!)

  15. I am concerned by things that appear to show a general lack of faith and trust in one another. I am concerned that we do not have sufficient hope and faith in ourselves and each other to do what Christ asks. Do we not have faith in and trust one another to do what is right before Him?

    I trust each of you and believe that we can do this, and that we do not need to settle with a majority or put in place redundancies and policies to ensure a statement of principles is created in a short time-frame. I believe we can come to a full agreement. I am willing to learn how.

    I know my Saviour Jesus Christ is faithful. I know He is compassionate and full of grace and all truth. I have tasted of His love for me and for all others. I know He does not set up anyone to fail. I believe the words of Nephi: Christ the Lord does not give a commandment without also preparing a way in all things for it to be fulfilled. (And speaking of Nephi, the use of lots, according to his record, did not result in accomplishing the commandment to obtain the plates of brass. Nephi wound up doing it on his own because his brothers lacked the faith to proceed. I feel to learn something from that.)

    I hope this is received in the spirit by which it is offered—love and faith. I care. Genuinely and sincerely. I don’t want us to settle, not when it is Christ the Lord we worship and follow and seek. He is our God! I want to open my heart completely to Him, accept His correction as needed and learn from His great wisdom how to accomplish this wonderful task. My heart trembles to contemplate all I can learn through this experience underway. I am eager. He did not have to require this of us. But He can foresee what is going to be needed of the people who want to be called His, and Wisdom directed this to be required of us because we will learn, our hearts will grow, and we will know Him better. I am willing to do the hard work necessary to understand your individual hearts, and to learn from you—for I am in great need of being taught.

    God bless,

  16. Hi Lori.  I have really appreciated listening to your perspective this past week.  There is always more than one way to look at something and never any harm done in discussing all possibilities.

    I doubt that I would have many good answers for you but I would just like to say that I have really felt the Lord's assistance as we have labored to bring the current proposal forward. It's certainly not perfect nor the only way it can be done, but it seems like a very practical approach to a common problem which does have extensive scriptural basis.

    But perhaps more importantly, I really think the Lord is just pleased when we are all supportive and agreeable with one another regardless of what we are doing.  He knows there are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak, and probably really doesn't care which way we do it so long as we do it peacefully. Sometimes things go our own way and sometimes they don't but I think the Lord pays close attention to how we behave on that second one.

    Listening to the overall tone of the Lord’s Answer really helped me to zero in on what I think He cares about the most with respect to his children….that being our love and respect for one another.

    So maybe I am just being naïve and simplistic, but I really feel like the Lord has been pleased with our efforts of late because I have seen opposing viewpoints start to converge with kinder words being expressed. There is an order of magnitude better feelings of good will that seems to have permeated our discussions.

    That being said, let’s all throw in together for a moment and see where this may go regardless of whether or not we have all the answers on the front end. Let’s learn by experience whether this method of cooperation has utility for us as a people going forward.

  17. I find it very ironic that the 91% vote was discarded because we didn't have 100%. Now we have an 87% vote for lots to choose the guide. Seems like we are going backwards. I would prefer a straight up vote to casting of lots. I am not signing out by posting this comment even though the button says "sign out". I am just sharing my concerns.

  18. Lori,

    I am writing to you to let you know that there are more who mirror a similar opinion as yourself against the process at hand. People see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear. What Jim sees as converging is merely people being agreeable. I for one am not hear because I was agreeable. I'm hear because I heard the voice of the Lord spoken, not only by Denver, but in revelations expanded upon by others. I see the whole lots casting experience of Nephi as you do, as an expression of little faith, and not more faith. It was the voice of the Lord that led Nephi acting in faith to cut off the head of Laban. It's the Lord who will establish Zion, not Denver, and not a committee called by lots.

    What I have learned is that in this new movement, people gang up to manage perceptions, like a campaign effort. The poles are obviously pointing a positive light on the casting of lots, and if someone knew nothing of the similar efforts that has happened with Jeff Savage's efforts, they might be fooled into thinking that the poles govern. That would be wrong. If this is Zion, Christ governs, and the poles are man's efforts to use a little authority as they suppose to exercise unrighteous dominion, convincing others to think as they do.

    I would advise you not get caught in the trap, thinking that you will lose a covenant for not going with the masses. Knowing of Christ's correct attributes, perfections, and characteristics has helped you see that it was the voice of the Lord that produced the plates for Nephi, and not the casting of lots. To know that the path you are on is acceptable to God requires knowledge, ...not a best guess, like the proposal before us here. To them, it is a matter of how good they feel about less opposing words, asking us just to see where it will lead us, regardless of whether or not we have all the answers on the front end. It is a matter of doubt and uncertainty. And where doubt and uncertainty are, there faith cannot be.

    Jim's invitation to learn by experience by cooperation doesn't inspire my faith. If cooperation was my method of exercising faith, I'd still be going to church, conforming to my bishop. To me, faith relies wholly upon knowing Christ, and that the path you are on is acceptable to Him.

    I have found interest in a different direction, to keep working towards. It is where Joseph Smith left off, in the King Follet Discourse, from his last conference address. Rather than starting with a reformation of the restoration, the King Follet Discourse starts right out with the big picture: God was once like you, but was exalted and sits on thrones in yonder heavens. You must become Gods. Joseph left the saints with THAT. That's where he was headed, but the saints were darkened in their minds, and fell to pieces like glass when taught something new that went against their traditions.

    The effort might not get a popular vote, like the lots committee. But I hear the voice of the Lord in that effort for sure, so I'll turn my attention there, rather than participating in this effort.

  19. I forgot to sign my name to that last comment to Lori.

    Rob Adolpho

  20. Rob has found the answer. Where Joseph was headed in the King Follet Discourse was the goal!!! We have lost sight of it. The blog below has questions that we in this movement have begun turning a blind eye to and things we just don't know anymore.

  21. Is there anyone reading this that, years ago, upon awakening to your awful situation, didn't kneel in mighty prayer before the Lord and plead for forgiveness and covenant to serve Him all the days of your life? Is there anyone who hasn't already gone before the Lord and accepted all revelations & scripture He has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and all that He will yet reveal pertaining to the Kingdom of God just as Denver did to rend the veil?

    Christ told Joseph their creeds were an abomination. Denver has talked about how the intent was to bring the gospel to the Israelite remnant. Instead they brought on the Campbellite movement and created a New Testament church, with a creed. And the Lord called them an abomination and they welcomed false spirits. The false spirits, and false priests created yet another abominable creed that made slaves of the souls of men. They were doing the same thing as we in this movement have done... and we think our attempts are going to be successful even though we've done NOTHING different. When the Gentiles don't receive Christ - they get more scripture under a covenant since that is all they are willing to receive.

    We have become the Israelites. Can we see it? Since we won't ascend and meet the Lord face to face - we are being offered far less. Fellowships. Rules. Correlated scriptures. Temple fund. All as a substitute for the real thing. Denver already declared this almost exactly one year ago:

    "In His mercy, God has made provisions for all people. He loves all mankind equally, has planned for allowing those good and believing people WHO WILL NOT QUALIFY IN THEIR OWN RIGHT to ascend the “mountain of the Lord” into His presence to receive it through MORE ORDINARY MEANS. God’s purposes cannot be defeated, even by man’s weakness. God has OTHER MEANS to qualify people to be His covenant family.

    "The purpose of a temple (meaning an actual temple commissioned, ordered, blessed, accepted and visited with His presence) is to SUBSTITUTE for the temporary ascent of a mortal into God’s presence. A real temple becomes “Holy Ground” and the means for making available to faithful people in every state of belief and hope the opportunity to receive, by authorized means, the same covenant, obligation, association, expectation and sealing through an authorized and binding arrangement in sacred space."

    And so, like ancient Israelites, we have a people who set up a man to be their Moses and declare what we need and don't need in order to be saved, avoid pestilence, famine, and destruction. We develop rules. We build a temple instead of becoming a Temple. We vote on scriptures instead of fulfilling them. Choose God and God alone. Choose to be the temple instead of build one. Choose to fulfill scripture instead of vote on them. Choose to stand as a sentinel and wait upon the Lord and be not moved until He comes for you.