Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Guide and Standard Chosen by Lots-CALL TO ACTION (12/02/17)

Brothers and Sisters,

We are grateful to all of those who have participated during the last two weeks in response to the proposed Guide and Standard, and for your recent input and subsequent vote in relationship to it. We received numerous suggestions, and have spent countless hours on the phone or through emails with you as changes have been made, edits done, footnotes expanded, and so forth. We thank you for your help in getting this product into the final phase.
As we have declared from the beginning, and as explicitly said in our preamble to the Guide and Standard, as well as in our personal testimonies: we acknowledge the hard work of the many who preceded us. In honor of those who went before, we did our best to include that sacrifice in this document as we prayerfully sought the Lord’s guidance in fulfilling our charge to create that which would be acceptable to the Lord. As a group of seven, we labored over the task for three days and three nights, then asked for feedback and listened to the voice of the people for another three days and three nights. As a result of that process, countless peoples’ fingerprints are on this document.

After finalizing the document, then taking into consideration and implementing most of your recommendations, we presented it to the Lord on the seventh day, a day of rest and fasting, November 21st. Part of the answer that He gave us is as follows: “This document that you’ve presented is sufficient for my needs. You have filled the measure in which I have called you. Your work has been valiant. You are correct in saying that there are many ways in which it could have come about, and there are many ways that it did come about. And I am grateful for all of them.” We acknowledge and share this same gratitude for all the work that preceded and contributed to this effort.

In the Lord’s answer to us we were instructed to present the final document to the people and to His servant. This we did. Some in the movement felt that since the seven had already received an answer from the Lord approving the document, that we had no reason to have another vote, and asked us why we did it. In the Lord’s answer to us, we were told that we would know how to proceed. We had several purposes in proceeding with this last vote.

One was to allow all those who agreed with our proposal, but don’t speak up publicly, to be given the opportunity to be heard in order to reflect their position on the matter. Very few people are comfortable commenting on the blog forums, and the few who do account for the vast majority of the comments that are made. This tends to skew the perception of how the document is actually being received. It was important that all had the opportunity to be heard, and those who support this document have indeed spoken out by the hundreds.

A second and more important motivation for holding a vote was for us to have the opportunity to discuss the issue with those who disagreed with the Lots Proposal or the document that came as a result. We have continually invited those who disagreed to talk with us. We wish it had been everyone, although we were very happy to hear from many.

Those who did engage with us were so very impressive. They were kind, loving, polite, and expressed sincere concerns; some had heard incorrect rumors, or wanted greater insight into what exactly occurred. One didn’t want to accept just one document; he wanted the freedom to follow many different guide and standard submissions. One disagreed with the age of accountability, and represented others who do as well. Some liked the document, but preferred a different option. Some decided to change their vote to “yes” (not reflected in the numbers given). Some remained with their initial convictions. We had very nice discussions, and spent hours on the phone or via email with these good people. The complete void of disputation and contention was wonderful indeed.

We truly feel peace in our hearts and love for all. To those who did not want to talk to us, for whatever reason it may be, we hope you know that we have nothing but kind feelings and good will towards you.

A third reason we put the document up for a vote is to finish the work assigned to us as explained below.

On August 13, 2017, after division continued on the August document, the Scripture Committee made the following statement to clarify the end of their official role in the process of producing the Guide and Standard:

It is not the place of the scriptures committee to govern. This general assembly is a body of equals. There are efforts underway to develop an alternate statement of principles. Our committee does not claim any authority to permit or deny any such effort. Just as anyone can call a conference, so any group can undertake an endeavor that impacts many fellowships. That endeavor owns the responsibility to persuade the general assembly to accept that effort. This committee is willing to offer any reasonable help.”
On October 8, 2017, the Scripture Committee helped clarify with the following in an update:

“When the body, or perhaps a body, can come to agree on the terms the Lord has set, and then fulfills those terms in adopting a statement of principles, we can gladly present the chosen Statement to the Lord for approval, and publish it in the scriptures if approval is received. We fully expect Him to answer.”

This meant authority over the Guide and Standard was no longer in the hands of the Scripture Committee, but belonged to the body of believers to work out and move forward. Many in the movement realized they must set aside previous differences and work together. Without an “authority” giving directions, it would require the people to ask the Lord to show them the way to fulfill the assignment. This resulted in a significant group of people presenting and endorsing what ultimately became known as the Lots Proposal: A true grassroots effort that united people of all perspectives in the movement. As instructed by the Scripture Committee, this group of people “owned the responsibility to persuade the general assembly to accept that effort.”

In early November, 380 people of the body (87% of those voting) gave permission through their vote, to use the Lot Proposal to create a document to be taken to the Lord for approval and be adopted by mutual agreement. The full summary of that proposal can be found here. (
As per the assignment outlined in the proposal and agreed upon by the people, we were required to do the following once the document was finished:

Public Input
  • The statement written by the seven will be published online for review and comment by the body of believers for a period of 2 days. [We gave 3 days, to allow for more input]
  • If necessary, the document will be revised at the discretion of the group of seven, as they reason together considering the input from believers (this does not include ongoing discussion, dispute, and contending over content).
The Lord’s Input
  • The statement will then be presented to the Lord for His input and approval. It will be corrected to meet the Lord’s requirements, if necessary. [we did this and received a direct confirmation of His approval]
Sustaining Vote
  • The statement will be presented to the body for adoption by mutual agreement.
  • If adopted, it will be added to the RE scriptures. (End of Proposal Summary)
The vote just completed was to finish out our assignment granted to us from the people, to obtain a sustaining vote to enable the document to be adopted by mutual agreement and submitted for addition to the RE scriptures.
Each of the questions asked of those who voted involved agreeing to the document, and adopting it. Specifically it stated: “Do you accept this Guide and Standard and support its adoption?” Of the 414 who cast votes, 386 (93%) people expressed that they agree to the document and to its’ adoption. Thus, 93% of the people of the people who voted signified that they adopted this Guide and Standard by mutual agreement.
The vote now tallied is a great accomplishment toward a unity in the faith. The Lord did not ask for a unanimous, or a majority vote. If He did, He would have used those words. He said mutual agreement. The Lord has recently further defined that to be: “As between one another, you choose to not dispute.” There has been some discussion on what that means. We can say that those who have voted in favor of accepting and adopting this effort, which acknowledges the work of many, is mutually agreed upon. Or, in paraphrasing the Answer to Prayer for Covenant: ‘As between one another, you (we) choose not to dispute’ and therefore are in mutual agreement.

Our work is done. We thank you for the opportunity to have served in this capacity on your behalf. We now turn over everything to the scripture committee to be included in the RE Scriptures, according to their previous statement that, “When the body, or perhaps a body, can come to agree on the terms the Lord has set, and then fulfills those terms in adopting a statement of principles, we can gladly present the chosen Statement to the Lord for approval, and publish it in the scriptures if approval is received....

We believe that we have fulfilled the terms required. We were given an assignment by the people, and we have completed it, step by step, as the Lord has shown us along the way and according to the agreed upon procedures. We have engaged with as many as possible to hear your voice. And then, you declared your voice as a people by way of a vote.

We have been repeatedly instructed as a people in this movement to rise up. We as a people voted for this system, we as a people voted to adopt this document by mutual agreement, and we seven, chosen by lot, testify that the Lord answered us as to His acceptance of this document. Therefore, we, as representatives of the people now ask the scripture committee, to accept what has been requested by the people and manifested through their vote. We, all of us together, have filled the full measure of our assignment.

Sincerely and thank you,

The Seven Lots


  1. We could not have asked for any better representation that what these 7+1 brothers and sister have presented. I have felt love and a great desire to please the Lord through their efforts. I agree with their Guide and Standard and choose not to dispute any dissenters. I love you brothers and sisters in the Covenant and look forward to further efforts together with you all.
    Thanks so much for all of your hard work and heart-felt sacrifice!

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  3. To the G&S / Scripture Committees:

    1. The Lottery Project never had mutual agreement with the body, neither in method, nor in content, and still does not, and shall not.

    2. The Lord means mutual agreement by "mutual agreement." To willfully adopt a G&S and place it into the scriptures knowing there is dissent to it is to willfully dishonor the Lord's requirement.

    3. If the G&S / Scripture Committee abides the Lord's requirement that we shall adopt a G&S by mutual agreement in the A&C, the Lottery G&S is not to be placed in the scriptures.

    4. If a G&S is placed in the scriptures without mutual agreement, then we as a people will be unable to accomplish tasks which the Lord will require of us, as per the A&C. This means he will tell us as a body to do things, as he has with the G&S, that we shall fail to do, as we will have done with the G&S, even while saying we have done it, as the Lottery Project is proclaiming above.

    As a body, we now rely upon the integrity of the G&S / Scripture Committee to not violate the Lord's requirement per the A&C that any G&S adopted must be by mutual agreement.

    The law of witnesses is fulfilled: you each know for yourself the Lord's requirement is not fulfilled by the Lottery G&S per the A&C.

    Jared Livesey

  4. Could you please post a link to the final draft of the lots G&S here?


  5. I want to thank the "Lots" committee for the outstanding work and service that they have performed. Thank you for your time, talents, prayers, fasting and endurance in providing this Honorable task. I am glad that the Lord inspired so many people in this effort from beginning to end.

    May God Bless each of you and your families!

    Marv Bateman

  6. I think the Lots proposal does an excellent job of compiling what we have been given through authorized (for lack of a better word) sources. I think the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs preserves a lot of inspired words that might otherwise be somewhat forgotten. If I'm not mistaken, then God has assisted with and is pleased with both of these efforts. We wouldn't want to repeat one of the mistakes of the LDS by thinking that because God has spoken to us He must not be speaking to those guys.

    God Bless you all,
    Peter Martin

  7. The Lord has spoken, the people have spoken. I accept the Lords words and the voice of the people. There is mutual agreement among 93 percent of the people who chose to be involved. This is in accordance with the Lords directive to us.

    My commitment as one who accepts what the Lord has done, (this is His work not man’s), is to love, respect, live in peace, and cooperation, with every soul. Those who have, and do, oppose this statement of principles accepted by the Lord, I ask you humbly to remember that we can disagree and still be God’s people together. It’s ok to disagree. It doesn’t mark the end of anything between us. I commit to live together with you in peace and love and genuine cooperation. You were my brothers and sisters before this began, you are my siblings now. I think more of you now, not less.

    More than any particular statement of principles our God wants unity and peace and love among us. We can now move forward with renewed focus concentrating on all else the Lord requires of us from the Answer and Covenant. Every other requirement contained in the Answer and Covenant relates to our feelings and treatment toward one another. Those requirements have taken a back seat way too long in deference to the least of His requirements which was for us to produce a statement of principles. Now that requirement is finished, let’s move on and learn to live together in unity and love and peace.

    Al praise and glory to Jesus Christ our King

  8. We can disagree and still be God's people together.

    We cannot disagree on the G&S and adopt it and add it to the scriptures as per the Lord's requirement in the A&C.

    Jared Livesey

    1. The Lord has said:

      (D&C 59)

      21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

      How can we not stop at this juncture and express gratitude to our God and confess His hand in the many miracles that were evident throughout the process that has now resulted in mutual agreement by 93 percent of the people. The voice of the Lord proclaiming, mutual ageeement is, “as between one another, you choose not to dispute.” We accept the Lord’s words, we accept the combined voice of the seven we accept the hand of God throughout this process and have no disputation among us, we mutually agree.

      Our mutual agreement would be selfish if we did not at the completion, confess the hand of the Lord in all things as He has required of us. There have been miracles evident that could only have been the hand of our God from before the beginning of what has come to be called the Lots proposal. I freely confess His almighty hand in it all. If I confine that confession of His evident hand in just the aspect of the drawing of lots, there were miracles that could only have been the hand of our God. There were too many to enumerate here. Consider just a few.

      First, a husband was chosen along with his wife. The odds of that happening were something on the order of 33,000 to one. That is the hand of God. I confess his hand.

      If you now consider the probability that the husband and the wife would be drawn one after the next, the odds go from 33,000 to one, to a number that has something in great excess of this many zeros 1,000,0000 to one. That is God’s Hand, I confess His hand. There is another layer of extremely unlikely probability that shows God’s hand in the fact that that couple together with one other, were present with the original group who met first on October 7th when the Lots proposal group first met and the movement/idea began in earnest.

      Consider that our brother Jeff Savage was the last name chosen. You can ask God the probability that could happen. I don’t know that it can be calculated. I receive it as a message that could only have come from our God. I confess His almighty hand in it.

      The miracles resulted because there began to be unity among the people who resolved to combine faith in the Redeemer. Our combined faith received the attention of our Lord. He responded with miracles that follow faith. He can only work according to the faith of men. And He did. I confess His hand in it all. This has not been the work of men, but His work. His hand. I confess it and stand in awe of our Lord and His power to bring to pass His work and His will.

      If we have soft hearts and eyes willing to see, there are many many more miracles God has given throughout the process to this point. We should all confess His almighty hand.

      I pray that we can now move forward and live together in peace and unity and love as He has required of us.

      All glory be to Him our king and Redeemer.

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    4. Steven,

      As long as there is dissent to a proposal, we do not adopt it as a G&S and add it to the scriptures, per the Lord's requirement in the A&C.

      Therefore the Lottery G&S is dead, being unacceptable for reasons that have been fully explained and not yet addressed.

      A vote which shows any dissent is an admission that a proposal has not met the Lord's requirement for mutual agreement.

      You are invited to humble yourselves and come and converse as equals, both publicly and openly, in a neutral forum provided for this purpose:

      Jared Livesey

  9. I also thank the 7 who have spent their time and exercised faith in Christ to prepare this document. I thank everyone else who has exercised faith, fasted and prayed as well for the success of this work. Everyone's efforts have been a blessing that has benefitted me. I am in agreement with the created document. I have no desire to discontinue fellowshipping with anyone who may disagree with this document. You are all brothers and sisters to me and you all have blessed me by your willingness to associate with me.
    Jon Saunders

  10. Would anyone from the lot group be willing to answer a question here on this forum? Okay, so two questions? (Alright, so it's five questions.)

    Why were the seven/eight of you only ever willing to discuss things via email or over the phone?

    Do you not think those answers and ideas would have benefited the group as a whole? Perhaps even helped people who were/are in disagreement?

    Kinda makes we wonder why bother having a comment section on this blog even...I genuinely am wondering. I am not attempting to "dispute" or be contentious.

    Thanks, should you choose to respond.

    1. Lori,

      This is Kirk Strong. I share my wife's account so I'm sorry it says her name.

      We (the seven) just wanted to be more personal. For me personally, I do not email and am not comfortable on computers and typing my thoughts. I much prefer speaking with people and find it to be more intimate and find greater understanding when I can talk to an actual person and hear their voice.

      It was not an attempt to avoid answering to a larger audience; We all just felt it was a more loving and genuine approach to treat each person individually and believed those wanting questions answered would contact us.

      If you email your phone number to I'd be happy to talk to you at your convenience. I enjoyed the conversations I was able to have with others during this process. Some still held to their views and I found that I still came to enjoy getting to know them, understand their perspectives, and have no ill regard for them.

      Kirk Strong

    2. Lori,
      If you would like to see every bit of interaction I had with the seven (what I have record of), I would be happy to send it to you or anyone who wants it. I have also been open about a different idea previously presented.

      As for the other 7, they did their best to work within the given bounds and be true to the trust which had been placed in them. I can't speak for the group, but my experience was that they wanted to be united and communicate in ways which worked for everyone. Could it have been done "better?" There always is a better way, I'm sure. But I never doubted that their hearts were in the best place.

    3. Lori,

      I know you like to keep the conversation out in the open and public. I agree this is a good thing. Please understand (and don't judge) if others are not comfortable with that approach. There is a diffrent dynamic at play when you know your words are on public display.

      I think Denver's observation about prayer may be relevent in some way here as well,
      "I've given opening prayers in a lot of settings and I have to tell you, when praying in secret, I don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks about my vocabulary, content, incomplete sentences, dangling participles, or stupid notions. I don't have to worry about any of that. It is between me
      and God. But when I'm standing on the corner, or at the pulpit, or before people and praying, (you may be better than I am), but I have never been able to pray in public in those settings, without at least some concern about the words coming out of my mouth and their effect upon the audience. I have always felt like I was delivering more of a sermon than a prayer to God. That's a weakness I have that you may have too." (DS, Talk #8 - A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit)

    4. To Kirk Strong: Thank you so much for answering here and explaining. That is what I needed. I just needed to be given understanding. I agree that emails/phone calls are definitely more personal, and can readily understand why you, as a group, made that decision. And I understand that this online method is not for everyone. It fits some of us more naturally than others, so perhaps multiple methods must needs be used?

      But with comments in other places here stating that emails and the like were being used to speak ill of others, I was even more leery of moving into a private form of communication. Plus I really do believe it would simply be helpful to let others "hear." Thank you so very much for taking time and coming out of your comfort zone to answer me. That means a lot to me.

      Inspire/Doug: Thank you, too, for answering. I don't have any wisdom how to work through this process with people spread all over the globe and yet blog commenting tending to not be the ideal. Even emails can leave one feeling like you are choking on a hair ball. Maybe I just wish there had been more balance? Perhaps someone who is comfortable with online communication could have been "appointed" by the group to share and respond? I really, really, really do best when I am communicated with, rather than left to figure out what people are thinking or why they are doing such and such. I hope that makes sense. But I also know that there were only seven of you and you all had much to do as it was.

      And I don't doubt the sincerity of any of you. I don't doubt your desire to serve Christ and help the group as a whole. I don't doubt the love you each feel. I was initially okay with doing lots. It was not having come to mutual agreement on the outlined process that I found disconcerting. It was not having my concerns resolved that lead to festering. Maybe that is on me alone. But as I stated in another comment elsewhere, for a body of equals it sure does look like there is a Great and Powerful Oz at work somewhere...For sure there are many different ways we could accomplish this task. The challenge seems to be in coming to a satisfying mutual agreement.

      But back to topic. It is through interactions like this that I am able to discern a person's heart. Every time a person speaks, either vocally or through writing, he/she has put a spotlight on his/her heart. I apologize for the crazy passion I have in mine. Lots of fire.

      To Jay Ball: Thank you, as well, for taking a moment to respond. I completely agree there is a different dynamic online. And I also know that there are some things one would not or should not speak in such an open place. Christ has told me He doesn't sneak, so I am viewing everything from a place of being honest and open. I feel it is important to keep myself accountable to this group and to Him. It is also why I have not deleted any of my comments. But that does not mean He would not tell someone else to hide behind "anonymous" or not chat online. I can accept and respect both ways.

      I am not judging others who do not want to bleed out loud as I do. I hope I was not coming across as judging. I am sorry if I was. I think I would have just liked to see a balance between both online and private communicating. Perhaps there is no ideal. But I am a through and through idealist, so Imma always be looking for that sweet space.

      I remember hearing Denver speak those words about prayer. I live from and through my heart, so it is not in me to be hidden, even when I speak or pray. I just get sick with fear or worry over what others might think. But He has given me many opportunities over the last few years to show whether I will fear Him or fear others. I could write a book. Geez. Looks like I just did. ;)

  11. One of the greatest traditions I see in the LDS church is this idea of: "Oh God is referring to those people over there."

    When Denver is talking, do you think to yourself, "Oh he is referring to the LDS people and not me." When Denver speaks about the Gentile nation, do you think to yourself, "I'm a covenant member now, so I am no longer part of the Gentile nation." Do you believe that since you said yes to the Covenant that He wouldn’t require work from us to determine our hearts?

    In the A&C he stated if our hearts were right this would have been a light thing. I heard some say, that if our hearts were right we would have listened to Denver and accepted Jeff's document. For me, I understood this to mean if our hearts were right we would let the Lord lead. The Lord has been trying to lead us, by way of His Voice. From the beginning of this GS work people heard the Voice of the Lord and were commanded to do certain things, for instance, I was commanded to tell the people this GS was to be our Standard of Liberty (Liberty only comes from making Christ our King). Those of us who heard the Voice of the Lord went to Jeff and told him, and for whatever reason he chose not to work with us. In fact, at each meeting he tried to cut us off. We practically had to beg him to keep us on board. Now, you can say that this is mean of me to say, but it’s the truth. There are others who know this to be true, whether or not they will speak up about it, that’s up to them.

    To me, a light thing, is referring to Christ. This to me, has both a temporal and Spiritual meaning. Temporally, this could have been easy, so to speak, because the Lord can do all things with those who will trust Him. Spiritually it means this is Christ's work. Christ is trying to do a work. He wants to provide us with more light.

    Joseph Smith tried to accomplish this work during his time, but the people rejected the work. He tried to teach them about the Holy Order.

    What is, "my work now underway?" I think Denver answered this in his paper, Holy Order, when he stated:
    The Lord really is trying to restore the original fullness and Holy Order.

    Denver also said,
    This generation does not seem to value the truth enough for the Lord to reveal what will save them. God truly does have things that the eyes of man have not seen, nor have the ears heard; nor has yet entered into the hearts of man. God sends knowledge into the world for the meek and humble, and He perpetually keeps great things hidden from the strident, vulgar, proud, haughty and foolish. Whether the Lord completes His work and fulfills His promises in this generation, or in a future generation, will be decided by us. We must repent and offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit if we hope to please God. Pg. 45

    In my opinion, "This generation" is referring to us. I take this as a warning. Denver's last couple of pages, sound like a warning to us. This whole paper is talking about what work is underway. Interestingly, he gave this talk at Jim's place with most of those who came up with and supported the lots proposal.

    I don’t understand why you think that this document doesn’t matter as much, and that we can leave it to God to fix. Like it stated above, Whether the Lord completes His work and fulfills His promises in this generation, or in a future generation, will be decided by us. Our decisions matter.

    The Lord has laid the foundation, the last seven years, and gave us an understanding of the original fullness and Holy Order. What do we understand?

    To me this document was a way for the Lord to test our understanding of what was taught to us. Part of this Holy Order is being able to hear the Voice of the Lord. There is a great deal more that needs to be restored as Denver stated in his Holy Order talk. But if we don’t understand or accept what has already been given, will He give us more?


    1. Right on! I would have written something like that but I wasn't sure how to word it. I especially like that last paragraph. Looking back at it again there is also some things in there I hadn't though of like the meaning of "light thing". Thank you Two Cents

  12. I am wondering what the Lord's requirement of "mutual agreement". I first saw it discussed on To The Remnant and the authors indicated that to them it meant even greater oneness of heart than a unanimous agreement.

    The lots method was approved by 80+% and their guide and standard was okayed by 93%. Does that constitute mutual agreement?

    In Zion if 7% of the people disagreed, how would such be handled:
    1) Please get in line with the vast majority
    2) If you don't agree, why don't you just leave?
    3) ???

    Remember the movie about the 12 jurors. The majority just wanted to find the accused guilty and go home to their families. But they listened to the lone dissenter and eventually were swayed to his opinion. Are we willing to do the same? 1 out of 22 is quite close to 7%.

    Does this impasse indicate why Zion is so very hard to accomplish: It seems nearly impossible for us to arrive at an agreement. Why is that the case?

    Steve Graham

    1. Steve,

      This is just my personal point of view concerning mutual agreement based on my own limited understanding and experience.

      With the revelation from the Lord showing His definition of mutual agreement to be that we do not dispute with each other being the key to mutual agreement, my understanding is that we are all afforded our own point of view before God and as long as we do not dispute with each other.

      Even if our points of view are different or in other words we disagree we are still mutually agreed.

      Again, this is just my opinion based on my own personal point of view but my understanding is that the mutual agreement can still exist in any disagreement if both parties are mutually agreed that any lack of understanding can and will be corrected by Christ as long as both parties are truly filled with charity for each other as they work towards a common goal.

      So, in my mind the mutual agreement lies in all parties exercising faith (agreeing) that Christ will fix the problem because we are all profoundly blind as the Lord has said.

      Again, in my opinion only Christ can truly fix a problem or a challenge faced by those involved in the labor in His vineyard. He said He will work alongside all who labor.

      Our part of mutual agreement is in walking in His path which is in truly obtaining charity for all our brothers and sisters. He promised in the answer that if we would love each other and return good for evil He would give us light and knowledge that we can get in no other way.

      I have been a pharisee for so long in this life and I remember so many times that I have disputed when I heard something I thought or felt was at odds with truth as I know it. I remember the feelings of my gut tightening up and judgment entering my mind and a desire to attack the "offending" belief of another in my perceived attempt to keep the doctrine pure, correct false ideas, and destroy darkness.

      Seriously, these were the thoughts on my mind. I felt completely justified in my actions. I was blind to the destruction I was guilty of because of my vanity, believing I was a warrior for the Lord.

      I have come to see in the last few years that everything I thought I knew may not be so. There are so many things that look so different than I ever thought they would look.

      I love the Lord's definition of mutual agreement because it preserves, in my opinion, individuality and an absolute ability to fellowship in spite of a difference of opinion. It promotes the power of the Lord to correct and do His own work with all of us imperfect mortals, each with unique points of view according to our own life experience. It allows all of us to continue to hear the voice of the Lord in the unique individual way we each hear His voice yet still be able to contribute in our own way to His work now underway again; hopefully moving together toward a common goal.

      I can totally see Zion existing among people who have such a desire even though every single one is a unique individual and hears the voice of the Lord in their own way.

      Just my opinion.

      Have a great evening.
      Jon Saunders

    2. Steve, I find it interesting that this version was created by 7 and there were 7 (%) who refused acceptance. A sign, or an omen?

      I have had similar thoughts to yours. It would not matter the task, my heart would still be looking to include those on the outside, especially if they have expressed a desire to come in. How could I not be willing to widen the door, or move a window, or sell everything to cover the cost? I don't know if that is how it is supposed to be or not. I only know I am not okay leaving anyone behind, unless they move themselves away or He tells me to let go. So far neither of those things has happened. As to what I want or believe is best, I can let it go. But others who are also my Father's children? Christ died for all. I would want to work to include all.

      I recall Denver saying that Zion is unlike anything we currently have, so I believe it will be extremely difficult for us to think outside the box enough to begin aright. We truly need Him--His Mind and His Heart, to figure this all out.

      Jon Saunders, I know you are not addressing me, but if I may?

      I like how you expressed yourself. I feel I need greater understanding on what disputing looks like and what disagreement looks like. Do we not point out errors in thought or decisions? Is it all simply how we say something or also what we say? And what about a task such as creating a G&S together as a group? Should everyone become a yes man/woman to one person's ideas?

      I just feel like I have no concrete examples to look at. But I think there are probably some excellent books, like Bonds That Make Us Free, which could really help give clarity. I guess I need to read that one again!

      I can see how we oughtn't to judge. I can see how we oughtn't to use labels or name calling. I can see how we should exercise restraint in quoting Christ as though we can pronounce curses and blessings. I don't see how one or more can dissent openly without becoming ignored or shunned. In essence, I wish I had a vision for what you are describing. I like it and do agree with it.

    3. Mutual agreement as used in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant, means:

      “As between one another, you choose to not dispute.”

      93 percent initially, and now more than 95 percent of those who chose to be involved mutually agree. There is harmony and no disputation among nearly 400 souls regarding this proposal amd the document proposed by the seven chosen by lots. This is mutual agreement between them because all of those souls do not dispute between them concerning this thing.

      There are some who choose not to agree, and they are perfectly free and welcome to disagree.

      Those who entered into the covenant in Boise agreed to:

      “...accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts and deeds?” (Answer and Covenant page 10 item second)

      Mosiah 29:

      “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law--to do your business by the voice of the people.”

      I ask you, what constituted “mutual agreement” in the first councils in Heaven? Was there unanimous agreement among the body there? No. But, there was a faction of souls among whom there was no disputation as to the Father’s plan. They mutually agreed. There was no disputation among them. They were united in their acceptance of the Fathers proposal. “One third” on the other hand, disputed the plan and did not mutually agree. They disagreed with, and disputed the plan. They chose to go their own way. Never the less, there was mutual agreement by a faction of the body.

      I point out the mutual agreement that resulted in the first councils as an example only. By this, I do not suggest or mean, that those who disagree with the Lots proposal, (or any other proposal put forth in the GS process,) are evil, or making a choice in opposition to God. I do not believe that is even remotely the case. I point out the mutual agreement that resulted in the first councils for no reason other than to show the best example available to us of the eternal law involved when people are asked to mutually agree. You know you have it, (mutual agreement) when two or more come to a place of agreement where they do not dispute between them concerning the matter. And, as pointed out from the Book of Mormon, “ is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right;...therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law--to do your business by the voice of the people.” (Mosiah 29:26)


    4. The Lord is patient, and kind, and full of empathy for each soul. He will allow a time for persuasion and for His spirit to teach and lead Every soul who’s heart may be soft and open to gentle persuasion and according to true principles. If a soul is not persuaded to see, and embrace a principle, that does not mark an end. It simply means the soul has not yet mutually agreed to the principle. That soul’s right to believe differently is according to a sacred and inviolable eternal law. We honor and revere that law. No soul is compelled to mutually agree to any principle, idea, (or document) they choose not to. Yet, we remain equals, and we commit to live in cooperation and peace and harmony together with every soul who chooses to do likewise. Any soul’s choice to believe differently however, does not impinge in any degree upon the mutual agreement of any two or more souls. Their right to mutually agree between them and not dispute is also inviolable according to eternal law.

      If the words of the Book of Mormon are correct and true (and they certainly are,) then, we ought to conduct our business according to the voice of the people realizing “it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right;”

      We do not claim that because the voice of 93 percent of the people who choose to be involved has spoken, that is evidence the people are right. God will judge that matter. We bow ourselves to His assessment and judgement and do not claim to rule or dominate any person or soul. We choose to unite in our Redeemer and live peaceably together with each soul regardless of any person’s choice to believe whatever they choose. We desire only to serve, and please, and glorify God.

      We invite each and every soul to join in unity and harmony at the feet of our Lord and Redeemer. He has said He accepts the statement of principles produced by the seven chosen by lots. We ask you to prayerfully consider both the statement and the testimony of the seven and those involved in following the Lord’s instruction to attempt to unite the body. We do not question His acceptance or His direction in this regard. We wish to bring glory and honor to Him only.

  13. I cannot speak for any family other than my own, but in the 3 1/2 years we have been in fellowship with others families, there is one true principle that has stood out to me more than all else.

    When working together to find solutions to problems, the act of finding agreement even when we have had differing opinions has developed bonds of love which have brought out hearts and minds into alignment. First came the desire to be united in all things with a willingness to concede our views for the sake of the family, then came the oneness of our minds and hearts. It would not have worked in reverse.

    At this point, there is very little we don't see and feel the same about and I would give up all that I own for just one chance to live among them in a city of peace.

    1. Jim, can you help me understand where love actually came into play in your experiences? Were the bonds of love developed as a result of, or beforehand, or during--needed every step of the way? How did you build relationships? And what are some examples of things that required this desire to be unified with a willingness to acquiesce one's own ideas/opinions/desires, and then created the oneness you speak of? Where do you see this group as a whole on this continuum? What do you feel is needed most right now by every person in the group?

    2. Hi Lori,
      I prepared the following response to your question and went to post and found out that comments were disabled. Now that they are re-opened, I just wanted to post if for you. Thanks,


      When our fellowship initially formed three and a half years ago, it was just three families who wanted to try the tithing experiment. We generally had the same view of tithing but somewhat different ideas of which things to get involved with and which things not too. But the families were desirous first and foremost to be agreeable to the purposes of the endeavor, which was to learn from the experience how to work things out together. As various projects came along, we used the common consent principle and took many votes. Some were unanimous and others brought days of thought and prayer. But always, when the votes were tallied and there was a majority, the minority voiced their opposing views and then acquiesced for the overall principle of being united in heart and mind if they were not sufficiently persuaded. As new families expressed interest in uniting with us in fellowship, we explained how we chose to handle the tithing process and if they were not in agreement, did not mandate that they join in the tithing effort or they would not be allowed to fellowship with us. Instead we allowed them to do as they felt inspired while also joining with us for worship service if they so desired. Over time, those of us who paid tithing together began to see things the same and soon our minds became united with our hearts in this thing. That is not to say we agree on ALL things ALL the time, but we have a profound sense of love and respect for each other that has developed over time to the point where I KNOW I could live in peace with them with no contention and a good many laughs.

      What I feel is needed most right now in the movement as a whole is to simply try the experiment that we did with tithing and let it extend out from there into all aspects of fellowship. We need to agree with one another up front that we will respectfully voice our opinions and use measured words to persuade one another with the overarching understanding that after doing so (for a reasonable period of time), we will unite as a body around what the majority feels is best and allow our victories and failures to inform us. We cannot endlessly force our views upon others. The Savior never taught that way and neither should we. He simply spoke and then left us to ourselves to figure it out. I know that there are many who think this is some kind of Gentile approach that has never worked, but I can tell you from experience that it does indeed form bonds that very quickly lead to the uniting of both heart and mind for those who subscribe to the process. If you fight and disagree with the process, then no, it will not work at all.

      It’s my believe that if we can indeed unite in heart and mind but are wrong in what we unite over, the Lord will account the feelings of love and friendship we have for one another to our righteousness and make up the difference. He has told us as much in his answer to the prayer for a covenant.

      This really is not that hard. Just be agreeable and be willing to let your brother or sister be right even if it goes against everything you think you know is right. If you think the voice inside of you that tells you to endlessly debate with your brother or sister until they see it your way is of God, then perhaps you are listening to the wrong voice.