Thursday, December 21, 2017

SEEKING INFORMATION

From a few laboring over a Guide and Standard - Nonmancaaf Swhafugs:

To All Our Sisters and Brothers, (12-21-2017)

When a choice is offered, it must be freely offered with no compulsion used to coerce compliance… No document should be forced upon the people. It is pleasing to me that a choice is offered to the people by vote. They must be able to freely choose. Know this, that if a people choose righteously, it will be of great worth to go by the voice of the people. If they do not, those who recognize the dangers of the voice of the people who have chosen unwisely, must act according to the dictates of their own conscience and choose light over darkness. The Guide and Standard is given by wisdom, not by command. Do not use force, compulsion or coercion to seek compliance and feigned unity. I ask you to be one. Be one with me first. Seek not the council of men, but seek to know of my way and abide in that. Great care should be taken regarding which path is chosen. One leads to further light, the other leads to a darkening of the mind and a false sense of security...Present all of the documents to the people and let them choose for themselves. Let it be according to the voice of the people, while allowing people the freedom to choose for themselves...(From the Answer received over Nonmancaaf Swhafugs pp. 15-16 & p. 19)

Believing these to be the words of the Lord, and in order to be faithful to the Him, we have opened a general vote equally over all the various Guide and Standard versions. 

The vote will be open for 40 days; from Thursday, December 21, 2017 through Tuesday, January 30, 2018.


We freely invite all to labor over the matter and to vote their conscience without prejudice or fear of reprisal. The Lord alone is judge over this matter; therefore, we invite all to vote as though you were going to have to explain to Him how and why you voted the way you did.

The information gained from this vote will be shared publicly and may be used to assist us all in gaining a greater understanding of each other in order to move toward greater mutual agreement as defined by the Lord. All are free to accept, reject, or use this information as they see best. This includes the scriptures committee as they seek to fulfill their labor for the Lord. The results of this vote should not be construed to mean any individual, document, group or the like are obligated in any way to accept or use these results. They are offered as pure knowledge concerning the desires of the individuals comprising the covenant body. 

In the vote, each G&S version will have five options:
 - I ACCEPT this as my guide and standard before God.
 - I would be WILLING TO ACCEPT this as my guide and standard for the sake of unity.
 - I am OKAY WITH THE BODY/ANY OTHERS ACCEPTING this as their guide and standard.
 - I RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE with and/or I DISSENT from this guide and standard.
 - No opinion.
You are free to select any of these answers for any or all (or none!) of the G&S options.

In voting, we highly recommend keeping the Lord’s original direction in mind:
...It is not enough to say you love God; you must also love your fellow man. Nor is it enough to say you love your fellow man while you, as Satan, divide, contend and dispute against any person who labors on an errand seeking to do my will. How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek...

Study to learn how to respect your brothers and sisters and to come together by precept, reason and persuasion rather than sharply disputing and wrongly condemning each other, causing anger. Take care how you invoke my name. Mankind has been controlled by the adversary through anger and jealously which has led to bloodshed and the misery of many souls. Even strong disagreements should not provoke anger nor to invoke my name in vain as if I had part in your every dispute. 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.

You are not excused from writing a statement of principles that I have required at your hands. I forbade my servant David from participating, and again forbid him. But I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people, for if you cannot do so you will be unable to accomplish other works that I will require at your hands. When you have an agreed statement of principles I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow. Remember there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them—so I command you to be wise in word and kind in deed as you write what I require of you.

Do not murmur saying, Too much has been required at our hands in too short a time. If your hearts were right it was a light thing I have asked. You hinder and delay and then you say I require too much of you and do not allow you time, when, if your hearts were right and you prepared yourselves you could have finished this work long ago. Do you indeed desire to be my people? Then accept and do as I have required.(Answer & Covenant p. 2 & p. 8)
We also recommend studying out with the Lord each of the Guide and Standard versions. These are made available in easy collections on the www.statementofprinciples.com website (http://statementofprinciples.com/proposals/).

Information is also available on www.guideandstandard.blogspot.com 

All the various Guide and Standard versions (of which we are aware, including a ‘write-in’ option) are included in this survey, to be voted upon by name (using the same name and in the same order as listed on the Statement of Principles website to facilitate referencing the documents as they are displayed there; however, the order during the vote will be randomized by the survey tool to facilitate equality). This list can be found on the web page announcing this survey (at www.preservingtherestoration.com) and will also appear in question 2 of this survey.
Guide and Standard versions:
  1. Jeff Savage Original
  2. Jeff Savage Original w/ Edits
  3. Alt Guiding Principles
  4. DOC Fellowship GP
  5. June 10th GP
  6. July 2nd GP
  7. Alternative GP 1
  8. Alternative GP 2
  9. Alternative GP 3
  10. Alternative GP 4
  11. August 5th Guide & Standard
  12. Amalgamation of G&S Versions
  13. LZ’s Salty Fellowship Guide
  14. Covenant Approach to GS
  15. Taylor Child’s Post It.
  16. Anonymous GP 20171027
  17. The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles
  18. Simple Guide and Standard
  19. Revised Statement of Principles
  20. Eternal Progression
  21. Eternal Progression (Modern English Version)
  22. Guide and Standard - Nonmancaaf Swhafugs
  23. A Guide and Standard Chosen by Lots
  24. ComeServe Principles
  25. Doctrine of Christ 
  26. Other (write in)
Link to the vote:

79 comments:

  1. Why doesn’t the few laboring over a guide and standard identify themselves?

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    1. Striving to stand as equals in the covenant, we simply desire to get out of the way and feel that any truth would stand on its own and all are free to ask the Lord what is His. Though we personally expect to be held to account for our actions before the Lord, we don't feel that including our names here is necessary or even helpful.

      (If any want to reach out directly, we can be reached via the 'contact us' page at www.preservingtherestoration.com)

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    2. I have to say that I agree with the lack of identifying yourselves publicly. When we work in this covenant body, we should work in the light; not in secrecy, and not in the dark. It's fine to work in groups of those you know to begin an initiative, etc. But when your work is presented to the body, the time for anonymity is over. Names should be known...not just to those who request it in private, but to everyone, PUBLICLY. Requests have already been made privately to know who has written this and been ignored (by two different people I know of). People should stand behind their ideas and efforts that are being imposed upon the body. (And this is an imposition to ask us to vote on 26 documents). Unlike the last major proposal, who did everything with all names associated from beginning to end, this is being not being done in the light.

      I am particularly concerned with the lack of openness, as this effort has a "revelation" (answer) associated with it that suggests that prior efforts could lead to great error. Quote:

      "Great care should be taken regarding which path is chosen. One leads to further light, the other leads to a darkening of the mind and a false sense of security."

      What are we supposed to understand from that? This revelation counters other revelations received by people who have attached their names to their revelation, and the answer the Lord gave them gave credit to all the work that had been done. Now we have a revelation saying that revelation was wrong, yet we have no person who is willing to take responsibility for this revelation.

      When a person declares a revelation, then they need to stand behind it. This is how things were modeled by Denver in the messages he delivered. From day one, he identified himself and did not hide. He allowed false accusations, judgements and persecution to come as they may, but he did not hide. He took full responsibility for the message he claimed came from the Lord and then let people determine for themselves whether they thought the message authentic.

      If a person is confident enough to impose their revelation upon the body, resulting in asking for a vote (yet again) and implying some path to darkness is being taken otherwise, then make yourself publicly known. That request is for both those who are behind this effort (writing the document and getting all of this stuff posted), and the person who received the 20 page revelation (answer) saying that we have to have another vote between every document ever written.

      I ask all behind this effort to identify yourselves for the benefit of the entire body and to keep things in the light.

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    4. (deleted previous as posted wrong link)

      ... wait a minute????

      I'm confused.

      https://imgur.com/Adsc1II

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  3. My position and the explanation thereof are known, therefore I decline to participate in this vote, which does not and cannot provide any usable information.

    All are invited to come and discuss in humility as equals, publicly and openly, in a neutral forum provided for this purpose: https://remnantofjacobforum.com/viewforum.php?f=37

    Without humbling ourselves to discuss as equals one with another and coming out into the light and speaking publicly and openly, we will find it exceedingly difficult to agree one with another.

    Fulfilling the requirements of the Lord in this is not a matter of going along to get along, nor is it a matter of popularity, nor is it a matter of rolling dice or casting lots, nor is it a result of campaigning, nor is it a matter of majority, nor is it a matter of foisting one's revelations upon others, nor is it a matter of making sure everyone gets a chance to participate.

    Jared Livesey

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  4. Dear God, I am just so tired of all this. Seriously, gentile-folk, all the time spend obsessing and arguing over this could be spent in direct service to our fellow beings.

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    1. Did you know that there are "Post Mormon" groups (ones who have left the Church because they don't believe in the scriptures, or Joseph Smith, or even in Jesus Christ) who are coming together in their version of fellowships (also called support groups) helping each other out, and laughing (or crying) a lot along the way? Did you know that some of them are trying to reach out to "active" members to give a peace offering in love and hope for acceptance and community? All the while, here exists much arguing and dissension as we speak of Zion.

      Would we rather have His "law" written on a document or on our hearts? I think those on the highways can teach us a thing or two, because while they might appear loathsome on the exterior, many of them are actually "blessing" their adversaries.

      The wedding is being furnished with guests even now. If you (meaning anyone reading this) want to be one of them, instead of waiting for some phantom "mutual agreement" to come together, simply go live His doctrine or be left behind.

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  5. Control and chaos are opposing philosophies, but both are used to forward the plan of the adversary to generate apostasy. Communism reflects control, while liberalism reflects chaos. Both are extremes and utilized by the adversary.

    We bring to this movement false traditions of unbelief, all of us. At the peak of each apostasy both mindsets of control and chaos are not only present, they are dominant. And, just as in Joseph Smith's day, it spills over now. Control comes in different packages: coercion, unrighteous dominion, managing perceptions, etc. The chaos of liberalism also can be packaged in freedom to do whatever I think is right and screw everyone else. Parents live in both extremes: controlling and liberal. Controlling parents believe that truth is unchanging, and that it justifies governing truth with an iron hand (I was raised this way). Liberal parents believe that truth is ever changing and we must be free to explore all the possible falsehoods, to see if they are not truths. Both are founded upon "partial truths," ...truth doesn’t change (exactness) and people must be free to choose (agency). In our darkness (ignorance) both are tainted with the philosophies of men requiring us to compensate for being darkened in our minds.

    Consider how both truths can exist, while removing the philosophies of men from our apostate condition, and you will find something that the old LDS temple ordinances instructed. Agency and discipline are the marks of a true disciple. To the Knights Templar and the Free Masons, the compass and the square were marks of true disciples of Christ. Discipline required truth to be unchanging and exacting like a framers square. However, the square did not ascend higher than the mark of the compass. Agency requires freedom to follow your inner compass in an undeviating path leading to progression and eternal life. Both marks are required if we are a people who are able to wrestle from God a promise of Zion. And that is the work before us, to wrestle this out with God, not one another. Israel literally means to wrestle with God, meaning wrestle from God a promise that extends beyond this veil of sorrow, into the treasures of the heavens.

    Zion is a restoration. It will require a hunt for the truths, peeling away the false traditions of control, unrighteous dominion, manipulation, justification and coercion of apostasy. It will require self-discipline to use your God given freedom to live the life within the bounds the Lord has set, rather than following any people wearing white outward ceremonial robes, into darkness (1 Nephi 8:5-7).

    Joseph Smith struggled trying to separate people from their traditions. He constantly fought the traditions of people’s past experiences. Each and every turn we have made with this G&S process has been tainted with the marks of the traditions of apostasy, in opposition to the marks of a disciple. Truth is unchanging and exacting, but agency must not be offended. Until the work is done for both agency and exactness to come together, we will not be mutually agreeable. When that work has been accomplished, mutual agreement will be a natural byproduct. Going to a vote avoids the work of obtaining the marks of discipleship.

    Rob Adolpho

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  6. This is the voice of God???

    "Know this, that if a people choose righteously, it will be of great worth to go by the voice of the people. If they do not, those who recognize the dangers of the voice of the people who have chosen unwisely, must act according to the dictates of their own conscience and choose light over darkness."

    Dangers of the voice of the people???? ALL THESE DOCUMENTS ARE BASICALLY SAYING THE SAME THINGS PEOPLE!!! WHAT DANGERS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE??? THE DANGERS OF THE USE OF A PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE OVER A DANGLING PARTICIPLE?

    This Sounds more like an out clause if the survey/vote doesn't turn out the way the sponsors or supports of the Norman Schwarzkopf document are hoping for so they can split off. Haven't all these documents already been considered and voted on? Is the G&S really the make or break issue for everyone? Can't we just let this one go already? In the grand scheme of things, I really don't think the Lord intends for this to be the time or place to be divide His people. Usually that happens after people are trying to abuse and kill one another.....and I don't think an Appendix qualifies....

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    1. I am not sure what you are getting at. That comment was a general principle being expounded upon which seems to be consistent with the BOM.

      26 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.27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. (Mosiah 29: 25-27)

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    2. I can actually see exactly what Anonymous at 9:24 a.m. is saying. The comment referenced by Anonymous 9:24 from the 20 page Nonmancaaf "answer," was not actually supporting the message of Mosiah 29 in the way it may appear at first glance, IMO.

      Why would I think this? If their comment were actually supporting the principles conveyed in Mosiah 29, then this group of people would be willing to allow the Lots document to remain adopted without attempting to unravel and rehash that which has already been done. Remember, the Lord asked this work to be accomplished by "My People." The Lots GS only moved forward after finding a scriptural resolution, and then first asking permission of the people and receiving an 87% approval to proceed with a lot system choosing seven to represent the body through the will of God being manifest by choosing the lots. Then their final GS received 95% agreement for adoption (plus even more support since the vote occurred). The concept taught in Mosiah 29 is that if the people determining a matter are striving to be righteous, then we can have confidence that the people WILL choose that which is right (all involved in every aspect of the Lots were covenant holders, so this BofM principle should generally apply for their situation). Thus, the principles connected to Mosiah 29 have already played out among the covenant body on this matter. Thus, any who really believe that what Mosiah taught is applicable to determining our GS situation; would be willing to accept the voice of the people already manifest in this matter, as something clearly acceptable to God.

      Yet, we see that the supporters of Nonmancaaf clearly do not accept what happened with the majority as being a manifestation of them "choosing that which is right." The reason is that they personally feel God really wanted their document. Bottom line; they believe the majority has chosen wrong, contrary to what Moisah taught would be the case.

      Some will say they are wanting this re-vote on everything because the covenant body didn't get a chance to vote on every single document and that's all they are wanting. It's true that Nonmancaaf was not up for a vote simultaneously with the Lots GS, but that was for two reasons. First, the 87% vote was to get permission to use the scriptural lot system; therefore, the resulting GS was the focus of the final vote for adoption because that had already been laid out in the process upon which people initially voted and agreed to. Second, Nonmancaaf was not a document that resulted from a process that included an equal invitation to everyone, as required by the Answer, in fact, we don't even know who wrote it, or who prayed about it. Nonmancaaf was, however, invited to be one of the documents from which the seven drew information and inspiration, as were ALL the other documents available that are currently up for the proposed survey/vote. Interestingly, these other documents do not fit all the parameters we have been given since the Answer either. Not even the August GS, which I supported, fits the degree of inclusion and equality represented by the Lots method, nor was it written by a people under covenant ("My People"). This very explanation was a key reason the Scripture Committee didn't hold to the 91% vote it got in August.

      continued below...

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    3. part 2....

      In the end, their 20 page "answer" justifies Nonmancaaf supporters potentially needing to ”leave” the body if a document such as the Lots document ends up making its way into scripture (because it uses quotes of prophets, rather than claiming to come from one of us rising up to claim revelation)...Getting a document like the Lots Gs, would then be perceived by those who believe this 20 page "answer," as a test to see if they could discern the darkened path the majority were then taking if they continue to stick with the Lots document.

      I do NOT believe that any ill intent is meant by what they are doing.(Though I do believe division is going to result and it will not heal the divide they are saying they care about) I believe them to be sincere and devoted to their perspective. I think they honestly believe their document is coming from the Lord and is the ONE that should be used, and are trying to figure out a way to (as kindly as they know how), get an opportunity for their document to receive a majority approval, and simultaneously allow all of us to be judged by God as to whether we can see what they can see or not. I think that they feel that if they do all they can do, and still end up in the "minority," they will use their "answer" to justify separating, (however that may look), feeling it is the higher road to light expected by them from the Lord. I make these observations after having discussions with some involved in supporting and originating this, and reading the 20 page answer several times.

      I'm not finding fault with their intent; but I do not want to skirt around the realities that this effort is NOT about a group that is just trying to allow for the will of the people to be exercised as in Mosiah 29 (where there is trust that the majority will usually choose that which is right), because they are ALREADY rejecting that notion by rejecting the voice of the people that has already been manifest by a 95% Lots vote, with God’s had being clearly manifest for all the body of believers to witness unitedly, and nothing being done in the dark.

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    4. I agree with you 100%. Thanks for the clear explanation of what is happening. The Lots document should have been adopted after the vote, I understand the Lots group is working on some final communication with those who didn't vote. The responses to that post were not disputations and confusion as they have been with the Nonmancaaf version. It began with the confusing name and it has carried on with confusion since the beginning dividing and separating not uniting. The insistence of this group to thwart the process is discouraging. However I have confidence in this body of believers to successfully come to the best conclusion ultimately.
      Still love you guys! Lisa

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  7. I have no idea who is behind this standard. Frankly, I don't care who is behind it, I care about the content.

    I especially like this approach of not trying to use a hammer to finalize a version. Data gathered from a vote can't hurt. As the statement says it's not binding in any way.

    Have people read the standard? It's pretty good. But this vote allows for people to determine what we could mutually agree on. I think it's worth a shot.

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  8. Never assume a person is motivated by a corrupt heart when their actions can just as easily be explained by stupidity.

    http://denversnuffer.com/2017/12/motives/

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  9. Thanks Mary. I was going to say that I helped with the statementofprinciples.com website, but that there were several other people who did a LOT of the work. I want to give them the freedom to bring up their involvement on their own.

    We have all been pretty open and accepting of anyone that would like to help out. We kind of see it as a place to gather and document everything that has been going on. So please reach out if you find mistakes, additional info, or just want to contribute in any other way.

    As far as the NONMANCAAF SWHFUS group. I don't know who they are. I think it is interesting though how people get different tones from the same words. I thought they came across as sincere.

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    1. I agree Dan. I read this as very kind and heartfelt. It seemed like a breath of fresh air versus some of the stuff that has been said in this process. But then some people read it as compulsory. So I'm not sure what to conclude about that from this.

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  10. A friend sent this to me. I thought it worth sharing here:

    http://denversnuffer.com/2015/06/disputations/

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  11. I like this. It is presented without taking a side, and for informational purposes only (nothing binding; simply a fact-finding mission). There is also enough time to vote, enough time for the word to get out that there is a vote.

    I also like the fact that these people are anonymous, considering the great amount of contention over who is who (and who isn't who). Not knowing who is behind this cuts out a huge chunk from the "I do/don't like this because I do/don't like/trust/etc. so and so."

    And I did vote, though I don't know anything about many of these, so voted "no opinion" on them.

    Toni

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  12. Thank you to all those who truly labored over this document (Nonmancaaf Swhafugs) and who are now reaching out to all to have a voice. I believe many hearts have been humble and have true desires. I and gladdened to see so many who care so deeply about the same things I do. I am grateful to all who have expressed those things which mean so much to them and me, our common beliefs. I am grateful for those who care so deeply about ordinances and helping those who might like to have a guideline...know who to proceed. I am grateful for the beautiful simplicity of those quoting the sermons as a guide and standard...and I am grateful to those of other nations and peoples who will teach me of their ways according to the Lord and truths that I do not yet understand...but I desire oh so much...to accept truth where ever it comes from if it leads me to Christ and His Doctrine. Thank you all for laboring with me.

    Eva Gore

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  13. I have already emailed this to those I think might be part of this (hard to know for sure since they remain anonymous). Nothing happened with my request, not even a response that they would consider it, so since I might have sent it to people who are not involved I feel I have to post it here for those over this project to see it and to consider it.

    On July 2 a group of fellowship representatives gathered in the Salt Lake Area to further edit Jeff Savage's original document under Jeff's direction. At this meeting it was presented that we might begin anew. We broke off into smaller groups to work on the sections of this document that we felt inspired to work on. I went with a group of 8 other individuals to work on the section on fellowshipping. After many frustrating hours and much prayer and petition to the Lord for His help in overcoming our differences of opinion, etc, we received a group revelation. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life and I will be forever grateful for it. We titled that group revelation “A Standard for All Fellowships”.

    Since that day I have come to believe, more and more strongly, that while it was indeed a group revelation it does not meet the Lord’s requirements for inclusion in scripture. Scripture is written by prophets and about prophets. I will publicly state that I do not fit the Lord’s requirements of a prophet/prophetess yet. I have not stood in the presence of Jesus and received the testimony of Jesus from Jesus. I have not been in His presence and sent with a message from Him.

    For those interested in what the Lord’s requirements are for any document to be printed in scripture, read Preserving the Restoration chapter 1. Our dedicated Scripture Committee along with their dozens of volunteers have spent countless hours cleaning up the scriptures and getting back to the most extant revelations from Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith. Interestingly enough, the SC does not consider the words of Hyrum for inclusion in scripture until AFTER Hyrum received words of eternal life from the Lord (until after Hyrum had risen up and come back in to the presence of the Lord). Why would we today put anything INTO the scriptures that does not meet the Lord’s same stringent standard?

    Since I do not fit the Lord’s requirements of who can be in scripture I cannot give my consent as one of the authors of the group revelation titled “A Standard for All Fellowships” for it to be included in the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs document and respectfully ask that it be removed.

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    1. I have been pondering on what I wrote above, and out of love and the deep respect I have for the other 8 individuals involved in the group revelation titled "A Standard for all Fellowships" if all 8 are in agreement that it should be published I will consent out of love for them. I still want it publicly stated and added to the history, in case this Guide and Standard is included in scripture, that I do not believe it fits the Lord's standard since we are not prophets.

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    2. In case it helps, it seems any guide and standard will be added as an appendix so that might resolve the concern about scripture. According to the scriptures committee in their post 11/30/17:

      "...the Guide and Standard (whichever one is ultimately adopted) will be placed in an appendix at the end of the Teachings and Commandments. While in the scriptures, it need not be viewed as scripture and “binding” (whatever that means)."

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    3. In the Answer and Covenant the Lord states, "When you have an agreed statement of principles I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow." Whether or not the Guide and Standard is in the body of the scriptures or in an appendix, the Lord still requires His people to follow it.

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    4. Dear family member (Anonymous 4:24 AM),

      Part 1:

      We feel to reply to your particular request and are grateful for your thoughts and perspectives. You are dear to us. We know you and you know us too. As we had indicated in our posted Summary history over the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs, we too were present when the ‘Standard for All Fellowships’ was received. We echo your sentiments about the profound experience had there. You see the veil of anonymity is not so very thick as some have imagined. We only hope it is thick enough to liberate others to scrutinize the content on its own merit but not so thick as to avoid accountability. We know that are accountable for what we do.

      We appreciate your concern over what is being put in scripture and since this is only an Appendix (as reiterated by another anonymous poster above), the concern may be moot. However we do want to share some thoughts on the point of our own. After rereading chapter one of PtR we did not come to the same conclusion as you did—what that boiled down to for us was that it affirms how great things the Lord has and will do... “Joseph’s credential was that he possessed Christ’s words...Joseph had the only required credential...Everything that happened or will happen in the restoration comes back to James 1: 5. Ask God who giveth to all men liberally.”

      We certainly cannot supplant Words established through Joseph Smith, but also according to scripture, “...I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure and because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another for my work is not yet finished neither shall it be until the end of man neither from that time henceforth and forever wherefore because that ye have a [scripture] ye need not suppose that it contains all my words neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written for I command all men both in the east and in the west and in the north and in the south and in the islands of the sea that they shall write the words which I speak unto them for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world.”

      And again, “all scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

      And best of all, “this is the ensample unto them: that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and shall be the power of God unto salvation.” 73:1 and this spoken to men who had not stood in the presence of God.

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    5. Part 2:

      As it pertains to the ‘Standard for All Fellowships,’ we—as a group—asked and we received and we—personally—would offer that it (if it is indeed the very words of Christ) is scripture.

      So either way the addition of the Standard is viewed we choose to honor what was asked of us, personally, to offer what was given of Him as a gift to all (the title ‘A Standard to All Fellowships’ was [as you may remember] also given as it is as part of the revelation—indicating to us some of the Lord’s intent for it being given to us as a group).

      One last thought, in the scriptures committee post called “explanations” they clearly delineate that the original, penned by Jeff Savage, had met the Lord’s requirements and that the scriptures committee, including Denver, had unanimously agreed upon it and that is why it was then placed into scripture. Jeff also has publicly declared he does not meet your definition of a prophet.

      We love you. You truly are dear to us and we hope we can continue this conversation together but felt to respond at least this much here. Please know that we do not post this to dispute or debate in any way. We hope that what we have shared illuminates our understanding of the Lord’s work that has resulted in this Guide and Standard (or, as some are annoyed that it has been dubbed, the ‘Nonmancaaf Swhafugs’—which is not the ‘name’ but a ‘description’ of how we choose to proceed with this Guide and Standard when a reference-title was needed).

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  14. A Remarkable Opportunity: Part 1

    I think in many ways, we’re missing the most important point of the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs effort. It’s not the document. It’s the other stuff.

    The Anonymous Nonmancaaf Swhafugs couple make the following significant representations to the covenant body:

    1. They have published a prayer at the Lord’s invitation, consisting of some 2501 words. For the sake of comparison, Joseph Smith’s longest published prayer—the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland temple—was 2585 words. Denver’s Prayer for Covenant was 2758 words. Both Denver and Joseph stated their prayers were given by revelation. I don’t know whether the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs couple stated their prayer was given by revelation; they state it was given at the Lord’s invitation, and invited all to pray the prayer in hopes someone would receive an answer.

    2. Someone else has anonymously published an answer to that prayer in two parts, consisting of 11,761 words she claims are the direct words of Jesus Christ. Again for reference, Joseph Smith’s longest published revelation (Section 124 LE/49 RE) is 5,478 words. Denver’s Answer and Covenant is 6,296 words. All three of these documents claim to be the direct, first-person words of Jesus Christ.

    Here are the most important implications of the above facts:

    The two-part answer to the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs prayer is presented as the direct, first-person words of Jesus Christ. It either is from Christ or it is not.

    
If it is, then we ought to be dancing with Joy at the Lord’s counsel, directions, edits and acceptance. We ought to immediately do as He directs. 



    If it is not, it is a work deception unequaled thus far in the restoration. Putting Christ’s name on words He did not speak is a significant act, amplified by the sheer volume of the work.



    Note that I have not taken a position either way. I’m only pointing out the situation in plainness. What is before us is unique.



    If it is genuine, the two-part answer to the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs prayer is a revelatory achievement unequaled in this dispensation. It has more direct, first-person words of Jesus Christ than any other single document in existence. Neither Joseph nor Denver ever published such a lengthy and detailed direct quote from Jesus Christ. To the best of my knowledge and available records, this achievement is unparalleled in history. 



    If it is not genuine, the answer is a lengthy and detailed attempt at deception. Unfortunately, such an attempt would not be unprecedented, and is actually rather common in restoration.
 More fake scripture has been published than true scripture since the restoration began with Joseph Smith.

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  15. A Remarkable Opportunity: Part 2

    This answer calls for a vote among all documents by the covenant body, and suggests that various groups can accept various documents. This vote is either the direct will of Jesus Christ to unite us, or a deception designed to divide us.

    In the end, it is one or the other. As Denver put it in Lecture 2:

    “You should have to choose. And your eternal peril should hang in the balance as you make that choice. That is a perfect conundrum, in my view. Grow up. Accept the burden. Find out. Learn about God. Or be damned by your carelessness, by your indifference, by your refusal to go forward. It ought to be so. And it ought to be put to you plainly. And you ought to have to choose. And you ought to have to choose every time you hear someone get up and offer something to you and conclude in the name of Jesus Christ. Because they are either offering you something from Him that will save you, or they are offering something that they hope will damn you, because they're signing you up on the wrong team. It ought to be so. Everlastingly, it ought to be so.”

    This is one of those times, and the choice couldn’t be more stark. Is Christ the author of this answer or is He not?

    Likewise, the Lots group published the Lord’s answer to their inquiry. Again, it is represented as the direct words of Jesus Christ, consisting of 216 words. And again, it is either genuine or it is not.

    The two answers appear to contradict each other. And so, we face a choice. What started as an exercise in producing a statement has now become an referendum on hearing and recognizing the Lord’s voice. This is vital. This is crucial. I can’t overstate the importance of what is before us.

    Have you read both answers? Where do you hear His voice? How much do you trust your ability to discern? I ask because I’ve seen many in this movement deceived by false scripture and false revelation before. Fool’s gold looks genuine to anyone not familiar enough with real gold.

    In closing, I want to again note I have not taken a position in this comment for or against either answer. I’ve only pointed out the uniqueness and importance of this situation. I do not doubt or call into question anyone’s motives. I believe all involved in both efforts have the best of intentions and truly desire to serve the Lord and serve the covenant body. This is an interesting choice the Lord has placed before us.

    By their fruits ye shall know them. Indeed a perfect conundrum.

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    1. I agree with Adrian totally. I want to add a comment about the second paragraph of the above "SEEKING INFORMATION" post which says "Believing these to be the words of the Lord." There is a BIG difference between BELIEVING they are words from the Lord and KNOWING they are WORDS from the Lord. Additionally, in a few paragraphs below that it says "The Lord alone is judge over this matter; therefore, we invite all to vote as though you were going to have to EXPLAIN to Him how and why you voted the way you did." (emphasis added) I do not know what the intent of this phrase is supposed to mean or do but I feel like I am being threatened, controlled or coerced into voting. Something feels very wrong...

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    2. Wow, Adrian. This was compelling. More than compelling even, it's imperative to understand the significance of what is at stake in how we discern this matter. I realize the answers to the questions you posed should affect my present course of action.

      I was probably going to participate in the survey/vote, out of fear of not having my voice be heard if I did not, and because of a feeling of being obligated as a covenant holder to keep working with people and their requests in this matter. But your comment made me realize something I hadn't yet considered in determining IF I would/should participate any further in voting and polling over this GS matter. There's a much bigger responsibility I have, and that is to focus on obeying what the Lord has ALREADY given to me as His will in this matter, and not continuing to respond to every voice calling endlessly "lo here and lo there," unless the request is truly coming from the Lord.

      Your comment made me realize that IF the Seven Lotster's answer IS from the Lord, then He has already accepted their work and the subsequent vote of the body to adopt it that occurred. If their answer was authentically the voice of the Lord speaking to them, then their work is done except for the "one last assignment to reach out" for a time to those few who did not vote, or who were in opposition to the Lots document. If their answer is authentic, then we already have a document that serves the Lord's intended purposes and meets the standard for mutual agreement that He mercifully defined during the very vote for its adoption.

      So I had to ask myself after reading your (Adrian's) comment: If the Seven Lotster's answer is truly from the Lord and I have received that confirmation and already voted to adopt it because I knew it met the Lord's approval, then why would I participate in a course of action (continued surveying) that advances undermining or casting doubt in the matter? Or an effort that is rooted in and promoted by those with an uncertainty that the Lord had been involved and participated in the seven's work and desire to see it rejected; Or participate in an effort that denies the reality of the hand of the Lord that I have personally witnessed in the creation of the United and Lots proposals, as well as the manifestations of God's hand upon the seven in carrying out of the assignment? Why would I participate in a survey/vote that serves to set us back in the work, creates confusion and frustration among the body, seeks to undo what the Lord just miraculously brought to pass in dozens of ways, and encourages separation and division that was almost completely resolved by the work I witnessed the Lord had already inspired?

      These are questions I will now ponder. It isn't the sincerity of the people behind this 25 document survey that I question, but it is the source of the inspiration and motivating spirit behind this course of action. If the voice calling for this vote/survey is purported to be the Lord through a revelation, but it is NOT actually the Lord's voice, and I participate in giving credence to that voice...where does that put me? Imperative things to ponder! Thank you for making me think deeper.

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    3. Adrian: The way you put the question is brilliant.

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  16. We must all judge. If they contradict, they can't both be right, but they can both be wrong. I say this not to put any of these efforts down, but to continue working toward something that no one need tell the next person it is right, they will be able to recognize truth, just as they have recognized the efforts of Denver as truth.

    Rob Adolpho

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  17. When Laman and Lemuel were disputing over the meaning of Lehi's vision, Nephi gave them the key to inquiring of God and receiving an answer.

    Do ye not remember the thing which the Lord hath said?
    If ye will not harden your hearts
    and ask me in faith
    believing that ye shall receive
    with diligence in keeping my commandments
    surely these things shall be made known unto you.


    As the Lord has said, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."

    Without believing Jesus Christ's words as a little child would understand them and therefore without keeping his commandments as delivered in the Sermon, all is unsure and unstable. The majority may seem to provide a safe and supportive haven, but they are unable to save you.

    There is safety upon The Rock of Jesus Christ. Begin to do what you agreed to do in the covenant by doing the works you have been commanded to do in the Sermon, and call upon the Lord in mighty prayer to receive the Holy Ghost. Learn why the answer is what it is.

    Jared Livesey

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  18. Adrian, Karen, and at least one Anonymous,

    Thank you for giving voice to what is also in my heart. Thank you for pointing out the conundrum that many of us silent covenant holders recognize is before us. This test has eternal consequences, indeed! Can we hear the Lord’s voice or not? For me, the litany of voices crying “Lo here and Lo there” could not be more stark. I have heard the Lord‘s voice and seen His miraculous hand in the Lots document. If I reject what He has already given me by continuing to search beyond His mark, I risk offending Him and the Holy Ghost and therefore risk becoming darkened in my mind and confused. It is the Lord who I care about offending. Therefore, I believe that my participation in further voting, surveys, or promotion of other GS ideas is detrimental. How we individually choose to proceed absolutely matters. What an incredible test, indeed!

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  19. There seems to be an insinuation in this particular effort that appears to relate that if you now accept any other G&S than what was originally given - regardless of whether you originally supported it or not - then you are now decieved and rejecting what God already gave (even though the assignment changed when the Lord gave the Answer). They seem be saying accepting the original or Aug. 5th version is the only path forward and everyone else is being deceived who believes God gave somethine new. It's a good thing this group included the following statement in their G&S to help us understand. Do they still accept this idea???

    "To avoid deception, study the thoughts and impressions you receive: if they fill with pride, vainglory, laziness, an ambition to control and lead, or suggest that you alone are faithful while all around you are in error, they are not of me, but are of the devil, saith the Lord. Yea, I say unto you, the humility and meekness required for those who would be my servants is hardly found on the earth. Repent, therefore, and adopt the ways of your Lord."

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  20. I feel the comment about the voice of the people not being heeded if it goes against light and truth (or God's words) to be wise. I don't think it is a cop out or out clause. I will give you an example why I think this. Personally, I am a minority in the voice of the people when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. Though it is a law in this land (and therefore legal) and more and more people support it, I can not. Therefore, I have to teach my children and conduct myself according to the dictates of my own conscience. We all have to. This would be no different, though admittedly these are not the same thing but hopefully it helps illustrate the point.

    If I feel like a document is devoid of revelation or is not inspired, is not what I want to guide my life by, or use in my fellowship, why should I be compelled to? Why should you be compelled to? If I am okay to allow others agency, I can only hope that in time we will become one when we all know God.I think many of the documents are good. I like this one the best.

    I personally think we should be seeking unity with God, not with each other. When we are one with God, we will naturally be one with each other.

    I do NOT believe ANY involved with any of the g&s documents desire to purposefully deceive. I reject that comment or insinuation. I think they are all good in some ways.

    I do not believe the lots group is the only document that meets the requirements though many do. I personally feel there has been a redefining of terms and conditions and people have already thrown out the other documents that likewise had mutual agreement and a voice of the people. I am only stating what I have seen.

    I believe them (the author and the groups whoever they may be) when they say they are not trying to compel or coerce. It is true that we have to decide. Why not just identify what you think about the different documents? I felt in the past and still feel a responsibility to read all of the documents. I feel a sense of accountability to choose. I approve of this non binding vote even though I am tired of all of this.

    I don't expect to be of the same mind with all of you because we are all not one with God, but I hope many of us will soon be of like mind. Until then, may we be gentle with each other? I like this approach. It is refreshing.

    I have to ask a question. If we are all supposed to be equal, hear the voice of the Lord and KNOW the Lord, how does producing a document that is cut and pasted from Joseph, Denver or the scriptures, help us be equal? Doesnt it make us rely on Denver or Joseph or...? I am NOT saying we shouldn't give heed to his words or the words in the scriptures. They should be our litmus test. I do think we may be darkened in the mind for relying on him. I personally rejoice at the many who are seeking the Lord.

    I understand the frustration at all the voices crying lo here and lo there (as someone already stated). I have felt that myself. It is hard. I see some things that covenant people say and it gives me cause to think. I don't agree with some of the things being taught and shared. I feel frustration at times with how hard it is to stay the course or even discern sometimes. I ask so often if I am wrong. I have to think about it frequently.

    A friend and I were talking about the anonymity of this and the answer. We were grateful. We could read the words devoid of prejudice.

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  21. The reason many of us have received different answers on the proposals is because the Lord often gives us just what we are asking for. If we want less, He gives us less. If we want more He gives us more. I suspect that the more we strive to rise up to Him and less we expect Him to lower the standard for us, the answers we recieve will change.

    I also want to add that I believe that the Lord is pleased with us. He is pleased with our willingness to learn and grow and our attempts to align ourselves more with Him. I know He is a patient God. He will continue to work with us as long as we are willing.

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  22. How important is it that we CHOOSE ONE version to the exclusion of the rest? All I can say is that if I were forced to make a singular "exclusive" voice to one particular G&S version, that I would be willing to whole-heartedly endorse, it would be the Lots Version. (For many of the reasons Adrian outlined above and elsewhere, including the fact that I have my own concerns and doubts with the several of the other versions including the NONMANCAAF SWHFUGS)

    BUT,

    Can we string all the dozens of versions together sequentially.. and then introduce them with something like:

    "Here are the various G&S versions produced by the believers in 2017... you will need to choose what best fits your according to the portion of the Holy Ghost that you have been able to acquire."

    ... then sequentially list all the versions including the version that can fit on one single post-it note (thanks Taylor).

    This is only going to go into the appendix of the Commandments and Revelations (or Pearls of Great Price or whatever). After all, people will apparently do whatever it is they want to do, regardless; but this way some of the key ordinance preservation factors will be preserved, and all will be built upon the Rock of Jesus Christ.

    What do you say? slaughter me, if you will--just don't simply dissent or dispute (for reasons that have been laid out plainly elsewhere).

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    1. Ken,

      I don't think that the work has been done to be unified, and by collecting all the documents into one great whole of an appendix would be a testimony of our failure to do that work of being one. I recognize the intention is good, respecting the spirit working with all the other efforts, but it is still an incomplete assignment until we find unity.

      Just my two-cents,
      Rob Adolpho

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  23. :) A Statement! A Statement! We have got a Statement, and there cannot be any more Statement. :)

    I have been most persuaded by the examples I have seen from those who try to do their chosen statement of principles. There is something admirable about that, even when it comes from a statement that I may not personally be enamored with.

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  24. Ken,

    The requirement for a singular statement of principles which we are to follow, and adopt by mutual agreement, is in the A&C.

    An appendix is actually quite an important thing. As an example of how important it can be, simply look at the trouble caused by the uncanonical text associated with Official Declaration 1 in the LDS D&C. Properly speaking, that text is merely an appendix, and a source of many problems both then and now.

    Jared Livesey

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    1. Right. What I mean is to string them all together into one singular statement. Just an idea that would inform all options without excluding any. Freedom and agency intact.

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    2. That would not fulfill the Lord’s requirements for the G&S as listed in the A&C, as it would not bless, benefit, nor inform, giving no actionable direction, neither would it be a guide and a standard, but rather would be the opposite; it would merely confuse and mislead those who have not yet received the Holy Ghost.

      Jared Livesey

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    3. See, here's the problem.

      1. The G&S is only for those who have not received the Holy Ghost, for those who have received the Holy Ghost have no need for any mortal to teach them. We have nothing to say to them.
      2. The only way to bless, benefit, and inform those who have not received the Holy Ghost is to give them what is needful or expedient for them to receive the Holy Ghost.
      3. It must be specific and actionable or else it is useless as a guide and a standard.
      4. Hence, the G&S can only be the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ - for there is no other way nor means to receive the Holy Ghost except it is by obedience to the gospel - the doctrine, law, and commandments - of our Lord Jesus Christ, and without the Holy Ghost, men cannot understand the Lord's work now under way
      5. That's why the G&S can only be The Rock of Jesus Christ.

      Anything more or less than this does not fulfill the Lord's requirements.

      Additionally, concantenating a long series of G&S proposals into a hodgepodge and telling everyone to choose for themselves the one they like best by whatever spirit they list to obey does not bless, benefit, nor inform those who have not received the Holy Ghost, as it does not point out the narrow path nor the strait gate by which men must enter, neither is a hodgepodge of statements principles, since not all of us will be observing all of them, neither can a hodgepodge of statements serve as a guide, because a hodgepodge of potential paths provides no direction for behavior, neither does it serve as a standard, since there is no measuring by a hodgepodge of statements.

      Jared Livesey

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    4. Presenting a hodgepodge of statements is akin to the room of chalices in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - "You must choose. But choose wisely, for as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."

      The Lord didn't ask us to present multiple options, with most leading to death, and bid the reader to choose. He asked us to bless, benefit, and inform those who have not yet received the Holy Ghost, by providing them with a guide and a standard. Therefore, let us provide them with the real Grail, that they may be sanctified by the blood of Christ, they may obtain life.

      Jared Livesey

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  25. I am grateful to our God for His patience and kindness toward us. I am grateful He has spoken and accepted a document presented by the people as a statement of principles to guide us. The peace and comfort that comes with His voice and witness is remarkable, and desirable above all other things.

    Taking God’s name in vain is among the most reprehensible acts mankind can undertake where our God is concerned. Unless God specifically instructs and commissions a person to make a statement in His name, proceeding to do so, is most offensive to God. Most often, the foolish and naive speak, supposing to do so because of some knowledge or understanding they have that they suppose allows them to speak in God’s name, but, without specific and direct instruction from God’s own mouth to do so. This kind of act is reprehensible to God. He has said,

    D&C 63:

    “60 Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ.
    61 Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips
    62 For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.” (D&C 63: 62)

    The mirror image offense to taking God’s name in vain, that is, speaking as if He had provided instruction to speak on His behalf, when in fact, no specific instruction from Him has been given to do so, is the offense of not giving God credit when He has put forth His hand to do a work among mankind. Taking God’s name in vain is a very serious offense. Confessing not His hand is a very serious matter as well, both offenses should be shunned.
    He 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.”

    Joseph Smith, after speaking face to face with God, encountered all kinds of abuse, ridicule, and persecution, for the claims he made about God, and speaking with God. Joseph said:

    Joseph Smith History 1:24-25

    “it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.
    25 So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”

    Contd...







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    1. Contd...

      God’s voice is clear and discernible. I have heard His voice concerning the document produced by the seven chosen by lots. I have eeard His voice concerning the testimony of the
      Seven chosen by lots to assemble the document presented to, and accepted by, the Lord. I could no more deny God’s witness to me concerning these things than could Joseph Smith have denied his experience with God.

      By this, I do not claim to be a prophet, I do not claim to be a spokesman for God or for anyone. I do not claim to be anyone, or anything extraordinary or special. I am nothing. However, I know God’s voice. I know when He speaks. All of His people should know when He speaks. We need to know His voice, it is a requirement, an imperative. I do not doubt His voice. When He speaks, I dare not offend Him nor kindle His wrath by questioning, or doubting Him or confessing His hand. He is the Redeemer and King. I confess His hand in all I have heard Him say and all I have seen Him do. I am not dissuaded by the words or testimony of men to the contrary. My testimony is my own. I stand by it. I have heard God’s voice clearly and do not deny it nor dare I do so.

      I have heard many say they have had similar experiences of their own that don’t coincide with my own experience and testimony. I simply say, if you think you have heard God - Stand with Him. I intend to do so because I don’t dare do any other thing. I know it, and so does He.

      I am willing to accept, and live in unity, peace, and harmony, with all who feel differently than I do on any topic. I hold no offense, Ill feelings, or grudge, with any person regardless how they may feel or believe concerning the statement of principles or any other topic.

      Nearly four hundred of you heard, and/or felt what I heard and felt from God concerning the process and document produced by the body, now called the unified Lots document. Do not waiver. This work is done as soon as the Lord has provided, in His sole determination, an adequate time and opportunity for even the very last soul whose heart may be soft and willing to hear to be able to do so.

      Let us unite in the Lord our God. Let us cast aside any and all differences, and kneel at the feet of the Redeemer Jesus Christ our Lord.

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  28. In one of my fellowship meetings there was a discussion on the idea that when anyone receives a revelation from the Lord people tend to think they have something, like “I got something from the Lord you should listen to me because I know what the Lord has given me....” and so on and so forth.
    I know i’ve done something along those lines at least once in my life. But what if it’s only a tiny piece of a bigger puzzle and the Lord is saying “great now continue to ask and I will give you more”? Maybe we should stop assuming we know it all with one little tiny bit of info heaven bestowed upon us.
    I don’t like the idea of someone or a group of people consistently insisting that everyone needs to listen to them because they got something from the Lord. It feels very much a compulsion but under the guise of persuasion. Much of what I have seen with the Lots group & those who voted for that proposal is this need to defend their position. Why? Why do you need to defend the voice of the Lord if indeed He spoke to 7 people and proclaimed that G&S is the one? It should speak for itself and no one need defend it if it’s truth and comes from God.
    There is this idea that some of us don’t apparently know the voice of the Lord, well maybe that’s true for some and maybe some of us are still trying to discern and I would be one of those but I do have a basis for comparison. I know Denver has preached truth I can’t deny what he often speaks are the words of Christ. The answer he received in July from the Lord I KNOW came from the Lord I had my own witness. Those are things I have to use to compare what others say come from the Lord, things I cannot and will not deny.
    To be honest as I read the answer given to the 7 from the Lord the tone was not the same as what Denver has received. To me it had a tone of flattery and “you guys are doing a good job, no worries keep up the good work” kind of tone. If it appeals to our pride and vanity, etc... then I have to question it. Where in heavens name is there unity with the body, pray tell? Steve you seemed to define the body as those 7 people who put the Lots G&S together but that’s not how I define the body. It is all of us particularly amongst those who have accepted the covenant not just 7 and not all of us feel impressed upon to accept that particular G&S but i’m not saying you have to accept what I accept. We should be allowed to choose and not be compelled to go with the one G&S 7 people put together.
    Steve you say you know the Lord’s voice. I’m so glad you do but I think all of us are receiving different pieces of a bigger puzzle and the Lord is trying to bring us together His way not man’s way.
    I read the answer given by the one who loves the Lord and the tone was exactly the same as the answer Denver received. I could hear the Lord’s voice as I read it just like I heard His voice in the Answer and Covenant, it was the same. So am I wrong? I don’t believe at all the person who received that answer is seeking for any notoriety and is trying to deceive. Rather just the opposite. I believe that person labored extensively to get that answer because I’m learning slowly that those kind of things do require much labor and prayer. It came from the Lord, is what I personally know, but everyone else is free to dispute.
    Many of us have received our own answers pertaining to the G&S and they are not all coinciding with each other. Why? I don’t know but God does.
    Please don’t assume that everyone who voted for the Lots proposal did so because they received a witness from the Lord. Steve did you ask every single person? And how many people are a part of the covenant? Do we have an exact number? I kind of doubt it.
    Please go with what the Lord directs you to do and let me do the same. The Lord has not told me to stand and defend the Lots proposal and if I’m wrong then I’m only accountable to God. I will unite with Him and Him alone the byproduct being I’m united with everyone who is also united with Him.

    May God bless each and everyone of you!

    ~ Paula Hurst

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    1. Paula,

      I accept and will live peacefully and in harmony with every soul among us regardless of their choice of principles to guide them. I am absolutely indifferent to the statement of principles accepted by any person for themselves. All of the hubbub and to do about the statement of principles for nine months, to me is foolishness and wasting of our precious time. Allow every person to think and believe as they may. For me the process is over. I have received an answer from God. I have moved on. What others choose to do is for them alone to choose and Persue.

      I believe we can unite in the Savior regardless of any person’s choice of statement of principles. I have determined for myself, that is what I want to do (unite) because I believe that is what the Lord would have me do. I accept every person’s position for themselves and do not dispute it. Let every person be free and choose for themselves. That should pose no impediment to our unity in Christ. You are persuaded by the 11,000 plus word statement of one, I am not persuaded. That’s ok. If you feel God has spoken to you, stand with it. I am unaffected by your claim and You should be unaffected by mine. But we can love and respect and live together in peace and harmony.

      My claim to hear the voice of God is a claim that should resonate from every one of God’s people for themselves. It is a bit difficult to be God’s people, a son or a daughter if we do not hear His voice. I believe that every person involved in God’s movement has, and does, hear the voice of God at varying levels. That’s why we are where we are. Hearing the voice of God is imperative for a people who think they desire Zion. Hearing the voice of God does not mean any two people will be taught the same thing. I love that. I accept that. I do not think anyone needs to believe or see things just as I do. However, when it happens that many see things the same way, it’s a beautiful thing. When we don’t see things the same way, I believe the law requires us to allow others to feel and believe whatever they wish without retribution, Ill feelings, or a requirement to change views to align with our own. Agreeing is not the foremost requirement. Charity, kindness, patience, and unity are the priority requirements given by the Lord. From the beginning of the statement of principles process we have reversed the essentials. We have conducted ourselves as though agreeing together is the foremost requirement even at the expense of allowing charity, unity, and peace among us to be sacrificed.

      I understand some feel the process to find peace in the statement of principles process is not over for them. I pray they will find that peace in the matter. I have found mine. It came to me because God spoke to me. We should cast aside jealousy and fear and rejoice when any one of us receives blessings from heaven. My claim to have received blessings and communication from God is not an accusation (or insinuation) that anyone else among us has not. I expect we all have or will.

      I am committed to our individual freedom to think and act because, like Mosiah, I believe it is a true principle that the greater part of the people will not choose that which is not good. If we are wise as a people we will consider every true principle to guide us.

      Let us all allow each to conduct our lives and our relationships with heaven in whatever manner we see fit. Let us rejoice when any receives from heaven. Let us be filled with charity and love toward one another even as He has loved us.

      I will use your closing remark but change one word.

      May God bless each and every one of US!

      Thank you Paula. I hope this response clarifies what I think and feel.

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  29. If we join hands together in a great circle because we jointly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, His doctrine, and His Law; My hand need not break with yours if we go around the circle and confess which statement of principles each chooses to like the best for themselves and their family. If you declare your choice of one, I another, Our hands remain joined in Unity and Charity with one another. The circle remains unbroken because our unity in the doctrine of Christ and His Law, remains unchanged. The Lord expects us to unite, allowing the welding link of His doctrine and His Law to join us with a link that remains unbroken. We can disagree about ten thousand topics, and the weld remains unbroken between us.

    We should join hand in hand in response to our unified conviction and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ our Redeemer, His Doctrine, His Law. That circle need not ever be broken because we may see the answer to any other question differently.

    I commit to do so. I want to join my hand with every brother and sister who believes the Doctrine of Christ and His Law. My hand will not be broken with yours regardless what you choose to believe or do regarding a statement of principles.

    Our hearts can be one in this.

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    1. I love this Steve. PTR says that the only thing we are to have absolute unity in, is the Doctrine of Christ. I believe the book Preserving the Restoration is scripture.

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  30. “As between one another, you choose to not dispute.”
    and
    "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 am trying to understand the way that these fit together. Is one like a higher law and one a lower law? Is it by God telling us His part that we are enabled to not dispute one with another? Has God told us his part? Is it by not disputing as between one another, that we demonstrate the meekness required to present our dispute before God? Can we both choose not to dispute between one another, and still present our dispute to God? Maybe someone could help me understand this better.

    When all is said and done I think we will have learned a great lesson from this excruciating process of replacing LE 20.
    Sincerely,
    Peter

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  31. Peter (Part 1 of 2),

    Happy New Year! I'm grateful for your question as something has been brewing in me concerning this very thing. These past two days I was privileged to spend some time with friends concerning the work we are now engaged in. The things we spoke about together, combined with thoughts from my personal studies have combined in me to shed more light for me on taking more steps forward. Constantly, we walk on this earth in the shadow of death. Getting to the confidence to see no evil and fear no evil is the work upon us, that is to be overcome by light. The light thing has more to do with light than it has to do with the ease of lifting the load (weight).

    Concerning praying together in humility and if we are contrite God promises to do His part, I have an opinion to share, taught to me. All the prophets of the Holy Order had the "Big Picture," and were required to share a glimpse of that in their writing to try our faith. They had the big picture, and we were always only given a “portion.” And the purpose behind the portion was expressed as "to try our faith." Consider the following example of the similarity of the situation we are in, to the situation Lehi’s family was in, when retrieving the plates.

    Here, in this work, Denver has been removed. But that was also the pattern for Lehi telling his sons to go and get the plates. Lehi did not go to get the plates; he too was removed. Since we know the end of the story, and Lehi is removed from the assignment, …our eyes go immediately to Nephi, ...but I'd like to point out that Nephi had a preparatory advantage. Prior to recovering the plates, prior to the struggle with his brothers in Jerusalem, and prior to getting assigned by Lehi, ...Nephi sought the mysteries, cried out to the Lord, and the Lord did visit him, softening him to all things his father said (1 Nephi 2:16-17). The pattern of Nephi’s preparation follows the pattern of Abraham, as Nephi was a follower of righteousness. Desiring to know the mysteries of God, Nephi is found seeking "great knowledge," so that he could be a “greater follower of righteousness” to get “a greater knowledge.” Going into Jerusalem with “unwearying-ness,” …and finally obtain “greater knowledge,” retrieving the record from Laban, is the only way to overcome by faith. Once the plates are recovered a few things are revealed about Nephi, he was to be a ruler over his brethren, he trusted in God, and God delivered as promised by the angel. The Lord in the answer seems to be pointing to the same pattern, recommending that we pray together in humility (where it all starts), then, like Nephi and Abraham, if our hearts contrite before Him (the work required of us now as we labor through the difficulty of producing a document), God promises to do His part.

    If we are to overcome by faith, our faith must be tried, and the responsibility for us to overcome by faith is on us. Our preparation of accumulating knowledge was not intended to be knowledge for knowledge sakes, but to be greater followers of righteousness, to direct our action, to not only say, but to do as we say. If our faith has holes, we simply need to repair the holes, and act on it to test that the repair is sufficient to fix our broken cisterns. According to Moroni, God gives men weakness. The weakness was intended to try our faith, so that if we are humble and have faith in God, God’s grace is sufficient to make weak things strong. Nephi wasn’t an exception, and without weakness. He followed the pattern, just as Abraham and all the patriarchal fathers. None of us had the big picture to begin with. However, those who overcome by faith will belong to the Holy Order, which is referred to as the Church of the Firstborn (D&C 76: 52-57).

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  32. (Part 2 of 2)
    The “Greater Knowledge” is only what we know after the successful trial of our faith. That is the keys, glories, honors, etc. that we can declare as our dispensation. What lies before us is an opportunity to do what hasn’t been done since Melchizedek. Those who have gone before us, who have not succeeded in this same task we are now engaged in, will look to us for that declaration, to learn from our successful dispensing. If we fail, we have no place to tell our story at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Nobody wants to hear about yet another failed effort. A Red friend of mine reminded me of Satan’s visit to Moses. Moses questioned him, asking him, “Where is your glory?” In this context, Satan had done nothing to forward the progression of man, failed at his assignment, and was cast out to kick against the pricks. Given the circumstances, I believe this is an opportunity for “Greater Knowledge,” but the work must be dispensed successfully for us to claim anything.

    In conclusion, I sincerely wish that you have a Happy Year this new year. But I recommend that happiness will be found in the preparation of knowing the Lord. Do no more or no less than you have been instructed of Him. Wait upon His instruction, not acting in innovation. Allow Him to do the heavy lifting. He has promised to do His part. Stay in your lane and mind the voice speaking to you, not getting bogged down by the other voices telling you what to do. Clear the mechanism in your mind and God will fill that space with light, so that you can continue your progression forward, as His sheep. He promises that He will pour out a blessing upon you such that you have not room enough to receive it. So, in humility, make room, and with more room, you’ll get more blessings than those who have little or no room to receive. Be of Good Cheer, Christ has overcome the world!

    Rob Adolpho

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  33. I have read through the comments of all people. I see what a difficult time we all have to hear the same thing. I know that everyone sincerely desires to serve the Lord.

    It is true that we need the doctrine of Christ and the Sermon on the Mount. These should be guiding principles for sure. I think that is possible while still having a document to help fellowships. I see no conflict. If each person were to have the Holy Ghost and abide by those things, we would certainly have a different situation now. The Guide and Standard doesn't diminish that - or the need to have the Holy Ghost. That should be at the forefront of each of our endeavors.

    I must ask though, why is it that such emphasis is placed on the length of the answer? Do you not hear that much instruction (or that many words) from the Lord? If not, why not?

    Is it not true that if we ask, we will be given? Is it not true that if we are diligent in seeking the Lord we will be told all things?

    I pray we will all come to hear that many words from the Lord.

    Nothing in it is amiss (or leads to deception as far as I can tell), though it is true that some things may need further clarification from the spirit or greater understanding on our part.

    As for not taking a vote, why not? If you got your answer for the lots, why not vote for that? What have you against publicly proclaiming your belief?

    I have been saddened that we have not had the CHOICE to vote on what we wanted. The lots process didn't give other Guides a chance to be voted on. It was take this or don't.

    We must maintain agency. We must be accountable for the choices we make.

    Again, I pray for us as a people. I hope that we all can discern the spirits and come to hear a great deal more from the Lord.

    Peace to all of you. I know that each of you are trying (I am also trying my best).

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  34. Part 1

    Paula,

    Thanks for your thoughtful response - let me try to clarify some of what I meant to say regarding your questions. Our language is so poor. I write one thing - I can see by your response you heard another thing.

    You said: “It is true that we need the doctrine of Christ and the Sermon on the mount. These should be guiding principles for sure. I think that is possible while still having a document to help fellowships. I see not conflict.”

    My reply: I couldn’t agree with you more! The example I set forth where we all join hands if we agree to the doctrine of Christ and His Law, exemplifies exactly what you said. There will be a statement of principles as an appendix in the scriptures for fellowships. You and I may disagree on the specific version of the statement that ends up in the appendix. Right now it appears you and I do happen to disagree about which statement should be included in the appendix. My point is, if we go around the circle of joined hands and each confesses his/her preference for a statement of principles, if you profess to prefer a version that I do not prefer, that should never mean that our hands should be separated from the unity we enjoy together because of our common belief in the doctrine of Christ and His Law regardless which statement ends up in the appendix of the scriptures. I’m saying, there is something higher and more powerful in the unity between us because of the doctrine of Christ and His Law, that it simply doesn’t matter which version of the statement of principles is included in the scriptures. If we disagree about which version of the statement of principles finally ends up in the appendix, we should nevertheless remain firmly united together at the feet of the Redeemer because of our common acceptance and belief in the Doctrine of Christ and His Law. I think that’s about as clear as I can say that Paula. I believe we are actually saying the very same thing?

    You said: “As for not taking a vote, why not? If you got your answer for the Lots, why not vote for that? What have you against publically proclaiming that?”

    My reply: I did vote for the Lots proposal. In fact twice. I voted to move forward to have seven selected by lots to abridge all documents submitted by the body in a single document to be presented to the body and to the Lord. Then, I voted again to sustain and accept the document produced by the seven to which they bore testimony Christ had accepted. I have made my testimony very public about my choice and why. I do not feel a need to vote any more. My vote has been cast.

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    1. Part 2

      You said: “I have been saddened that we have not had the CHOICE to vote on what we wanted.”

      My response: The entire body was invited to vote on the process itself. Everyone was asked if the process to choose seven by our combined faith to abridge All submitted documents should be allowed to move forward. Overwhelmingly (around 90 percent) the body said yes.

      The entire body was invited to submit any and every document they wished to be considered for a statement of principles. Over twenty five (we should verify this number with the seven) documents were submitted to be considered by the seven.

      Then, I voted again along with All from the body who wished to vote for the final revised document produced by the seven after public inspection for a full week. That document had been presented to the Lord and accepted by Him. This time, something on the order of ninety-three percent of the body voted affirmatively for the final document accepted by the Lord. It is hard to imagine how the process and completion of the Lots document might have been more inclusive of the entire covenant population. The effort from the beginning was built on the concept of total and complete inclusion.

      Paula, I want to share with you some things that perhaps you may be unaware of. If you believe that signs follow faith, and that God cannot work for men until after their faith, please consider the following regarding the choosing of seven by lots from a pool of one hundred and eighty four. (71 women, the remainder, men)

      1. Two sets of seven were chosen. Each set was comprised of six men and one woman. There’s wisdom here, if you catch my meaning.

      2. In the first set of seven chosen by lots, a husband and wife who both had been active in the GS process from early on, were both chosen. The raw odds of that happening from the pool was about 33,000 to one.

      3. That husband and wife were chosen consecutively in the drawing. The probability that this could happen was near infinitesimal. In other words it took God’s hand to accomplish this “sign”.

      4. A father in law and son in law were both chosen. Odds probably along the lines of a husband and wife being chosen. 33,000 to one.

      5. Jeff Savage, the one who composed the very first G&S document was the last one chosen by lots. What are the odds? There is a clear and definite message from heaven in this.

      If we had time and the space, the evidence mounts ever more irrefutable, signs from God in my estimation.

      If you could hear the story from the beginning, the signs of God’s Hand in the unified Lots proposal as it evolved are plain and clearly evident. God was there, and involved from weeks before the very beginning of the process. This is the kind of stuff I can not deny nor refute. I bear testimony of it.

      Now, before anyone jumps me to say others have had God’s involvement as well, I say, fine, I believe and accept that. But I saw what I saw, and I heard, what I heard. I also anticipate those who will cajole and snipe because I assume to quantify God’s hand by odds and probabilities. For those folks, I simply ask, what are the odds that fire could be called down out of heaven and consume an alter dowsed in water? Slim odds! God’s odds.

      I confess God’s hand in the entire process now called the Unified Lots proposal. It would be impossible for me to do otherwise.

      I pray we may All unite in the Lord Jesus Christ despite our different preferences for a statement of principles to be included in the appendix of the scriptures.

      Paula you are well respected and loved by our family - I wish God’s choicest blessings for you.

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  35. The Lord commanded Lehi to command Lehi's sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi, to get the brass plates from Laban. Lehi was excluded from participating in the project: it was his sons' commandment to fulfill. The Lord did not dictate to Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi how to accomplish the task - it was up to them to figure out how to proceed.

    When they got to Jerusalem, they conferred amongst each other and decided to cast lots to see who would go get the plates from Laban - the only time lots are used in the Book of Mormon. The lot fell upon Laman, the eldest and the heir of the family, who went to ask Laban for the record. It didn't work. The one chosen by lot failed to accomplish the assignment.

    Next, Nephi convinced them all to take all their gold and silver and precious things and offer them all to Laban in exchange for the plates. This group attempt at the project also failed.

    Then, Nephi went alone, led by the Spirit, and fulfilled the Lord's commandment and obtained the plates.

    From this, we see that just because the lot falls upon someone, and they attempt the task, it doesn't mean they will, or even can, succeed.

    We also see that even if a group is charged to accomplish a task by the Lord, it is not necessary for all of the group to have an equal opportunity to participate in order to accomplish the task. One alone of the group, being led by the Spirit, is enough.

    Therefore, equality of opportunity for all members of the group to participate in accomplishing the task is not sufficient, nor is it necessary.

    Another principle has been held up - the claim that "the voice of the people," otherwise known as "majority rules," should be followed in the matter of the G&S. Mosiah 29 is cited to this effect:
    Mosiah 29:26-27
    26 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.
    27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

    There are two problems with this viewpoint.
    1. The Lord has required that we adopt the G&S by mutual agreement, and not by majority rules.
    2. The Lord, in the A&C, has made it perfectly clear, in plain language, that the majority of this people at this time does, in fact, choose iniquity.
    Therefore, the voice of the people should not be followed, lest we fall into this pattern:
    Helaman 5:2-3
    2 For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
    3 Yea, and this was not all; they were a stiffnecked people, insomuch that they could not be governed by the law nor justice, save it were to their destruction.

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Coincidences, synchronicities, statistical unlikelihoods, also called signs and wonders, do not suffice to establish the hand of God. As Paul wrote:

    RE 2 Thessalonians 1:3
    For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, and he it is who now worketh, and Christ suffereth him to work, until the time in fulfilled that he shall be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

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    1. You forgot this verse Jared

      D&C 35:8

      8 ​For I am God, and mine arm is not ​​​shortened​; and I will show ​​​miracles​, ​​​signs​, and wonders, unto all those who ​​​believe​ on my name.

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    2. Steve,

      The point isn't whether God can show signs and wonders. The point is that signs and wonders - coincidences, synchronicities, highly improbable events - are not necessarily from God, but they may indeed be of the devil, as Paul wrote.

      A standard of judgement which does not reliably distinguish true from false should be abandoned.

      Jared

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    3. Faith, and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only reliable standard of judgement to distinguish the things of God. Faith ought to be both adopted and lived by God’s people. Signs, miracles, and wonders can, and do always follow faith in Him.

      You speak of the covenant people as faithless, I speak of that which is evidence of their faith in the living God. Signs have followed the people’s faith.

      You take a position of unbelief. Unbelief is the antithesis of faith. Unbelievers can only explain the signs that follow faith as coincidences, synchronicities, and statistical unlikelihoods. It has ever been the case among unbelievers from the beginning.

      Unbelief as a standard of judgement should therefore be abandoned.

      Have faith in the Lord God of Israel who is a God of Miracles, in the past, now, and for ever. He does not change.

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    4. I have taken the position that the Lord is telling the truth in the A&C, page 3, when he says the following:

      "[M]any of you are like those who reject the Book of Mormon, because you say, but you do not do. As a people you honor with your lips, but your hearts are corrupt, filled with envy and malice, returning evil for good, sparing none, even those with pure hearts among you, from your unjustified accusations and unkind backbiting."

      The majority of this people at this time chooses iniquity. The voice of the people should be rejected.

      Jared Livesey

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    5. A faithful people actually keeps the Lord's commandments. The Lord says the majority of this people at this time doesn't.

      Whence, then, signs and wonders among a disobedient and corrupt people: from God, or from the devil?

      Jared Livesey

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    6. Whence the covenant? From God or the devil? God has offered a covenant to a people because of their faith in Him. It could not be otherwise. God has not revoked that covenant. The last major communication from Him to the body, was the covenant. You confuse chastisement in the covenant with rejection by the Lord. The Lord is moving forward His work and has not announced any cessation of any kind.

      The people’s concern should be amped up when the chastisement from the Lord stops. The chastisement you cite as rejection from the Lord, is in fact, evidence of His love and His striving with an imperfect people. God’s people are always in need of further repentance. Whom He loves...

      Unbelief and faithlessness informs a view that the people God offered and made a covenant with just months ago, are “disobedient and corrupt.” Incorrect judgement results in such a proclamation before it is issued by God Himself. While such incorrect judgements are made by the unbelieving and faithless, God continues to labor with the imperfect flock. He has been more patient with the flock even than the appointed legal administrator.

      The faithless, the unbelieving, will forever ask, “whence, then, signs and wonders from God or from the devil?” Their brothers, the Jews, made that very accusation, asked that very question, about the Holy One of Israel Himself. That accusation and question seems to show up from lower climes every time God begins a work.

      This will conclude my communication with you Jared. I find the endeavor absolutely fruitless in the quest for further light and truth. I wish you well and hope you will go in peace.

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    7. Steve,

      I don't confuse chastisement for rejection, and neither do I confuse the currently disobedient and corrupt majority as suitable teachers for the body, neither do I confuse the disobedient and corrupt majority as suitable teachers for those outside the body.

      As Alma said: "[T]rust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments" (Mosiah 23:14).

      The Lord, in the A&C, said that this people at this time are not walking in his ways, neither are they keeping his commandments. The majority is not, at this time, trustworthy as teachers nor ministers, and their proposals should be rejected.

      And when the time comes that the commandments of the Lord are in fact being executed as they are written in The Rock of Jesus Christ, and when we therefore consequently agree both in word and in deed that the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ should be our written guide and standard, not only to say, but to do, then we may proceed and succeed as a people.

      As Alma said to Helaman: "[B]e diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written" (Alma 37:20).

      Until the time comes when this people keeps the Lord's commandments as written - which entails actually doing the things the Lord has commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, taking it for one's actual guide and standard - we cannot.

      Jared Livesey

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  38. Merely adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as our written guide and standard will not be enough.

    Each one of us must also put into actual practice the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ as contained therein, and not merely pay lip service to our Lord's commandments as have those who have come before us.

    Not only must we actually do what the Lord has commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, but we must do so equally.

    Not only must we equally put into actual practice the things which the Lord has commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, but we must also teach others to do those very same things

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  39. After Lehi spoke to his boys about his revelation, Laman and Lemuel disputed about the meaning, until Nephi came and asked them, "did you inquire of the Lord?"
     
    For me, dispute occurs when two individuals define things differently, both believe they are right and point a finger at each other, stick their tongues at each other and say, "na-na na-na boo boo."
     
    When they both can say, “I know diddly squat about what these things mean,” they can then go to the Lord and present their lack of understanding and ask Him to tell them what it means. The last few months have we not disputed about what Mutual Agreement means. Then Denver prays, asks God and gets an answer. Denver set an example- pray and ask God what these things mean. I find that we have acted based on our own understanding of what these things mean. We have a mental picture of what this looks like and what it is for, each of us having a different understanding. To me, we go to the Lord and ask him about the end product without really understanding what he is asking us to do and who he is asking to do it.
     
    What will this document be used for? What should be in it? What will it look like? What does equality mean? What does unity mean? What does love mean? What does dispute mean? What does bless mean? What does benefit mean? What does inform mean? What does a covenant people mean? What does "my people" mean? What is His work now underway? What is peace? Add it to what? What does he mean when he says, "if your hearts were right? What does a "light thing" mean? What does it mean the Book of Mormon is a covenant of our day? What would the BOM stories look like today and how do we liken them to ourselves (like 2Nephi 28)? How does God define these things?
     
    Our understanding of these things has directed this effort. To me, our understandings differ. For example, I don’t see unity as you do.
     
    For me, I understand unity to mean: as each person obeys the commandments the Lord gives them, via His voice, the Lord, in His mercy, blesses that person with more knowledge, so they don’t perish. As individuals are blessed with more and more knowledge, the light in them increases, as their light increases, their desires/hearts become purer and purer. As each individual does this, it is the light that has been increased in each of them that will join the individuals together, creating unity.
     
    The Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation Coat of Arms has a peace pipe that crosses over a tomahawk, this symbolizes peace. The peace pipe was utilized when a group of people, who desired to work together, gathered and sat in a circle (creating equality amongst them-not one person greater than the next). When they smoke the pipe, that was an indication to everyone in the group that they agreed to work as a group of equals (as the smoke rose that symbolized that each person in that group would look to the Creator for guidance so that they would speak truth). Sometimes, these meetings could go on for weeks until they all mutually agreed.
     
    Nephi when instructed a boat, had no idea what it would look like. He asked the Lord where he should go to find ore to molten, to make the tools to construct the ship, in the manner the Lord showed him. And the Lord showed him. The Lord states, "And I will also be your light in the wilderness and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led."

    Q

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  40. I felt a desire a couple days ago to go back to Denver Snuffer's old blog and begin reading his posts, starting with the very first one from February 2010. I've just been reading them sequentially. I'm still going through the posts and comments for that same month and year.

    With all things Guide and Standard on my heart lately, I found myself reading with that in mind. I am amazed at what is there on Denver's blog, things he wrote nearly eight years ago which are yet timely, enlightening, and applicable to this moment and task.

    I thought about copying and pasting specific posts here, but have decided to simply extend an invitation to you good people to go see for yourself and discover if there is anything to be learned about a statement of mutually agreed upon principles from among Denver's older postings. I feel confirmation after confirmation for what is in my heart, and even more than just from the old blog the witnesses have come in other ways and moments. It has caused me to feel comfort and humble gratitude for Christ's wisdom, which is never bound by our time. God bless.

    http://denversnuffer.blogspot.com/2010/02/this-blog.html

    PS--Don't forget the comment sections. Denver often offers more in responses to questions.

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    1. I've also been reading some of his posts from 2010 that apply with prophetic accuracy to what is going on now. If only I could speed read had a photographic memory...

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  41. As per the consensus of our fellowship, I post our joint fellowship statement here regarding G&S:
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    January 10, 2018

    We, the members of the Sanpete County Fellowship, through personal study and prayer, and through individual confirmation from the Lord, declare that we accept and promise to live by the original Guide and Standard that was received through inspiration to Jeff Savage.

    We wish to make it known that we discussed the matter of the numerous G&S proposals, and decided that we ought to select one that we would support in our fellowship. Individually, we perused some of the G&S proposals. Later, during our weekly scripture study meeting, we decided to dedicate the time to reading aloud and discussing Jeff Savage’s original Guide and Standard. We were able to sufficiently read, comment, and ponder the entire document within one hour, even given various interruptions and pauses to reflect on and discuss each paragraph. We did not have any issues with the content of the document, nor did we feel anything untoward regarding the wording of the document. In all aspects, we felt it astutely and accurately represents the voice and the will of the Lord for us in our responsibilities as a fellowship. At the close of our gathering, we tasked ourselves to individually peruse and ponder the other G&S proposals, and then we will discuss their merits the following week.

    When we met tonight, we discussed our feelings about the other G&S proposals and edits. We collectively came to the conclusion that, even though most of them did not seem to contain incorrect or averse tenets, none of them felt as simple, as direct, nor as plain as the Jeff Savage original. In our discussions, we frequently likened the feel of it as similar to the spirit of the founding documents of the United States of America, especially in how their plainness, directness, simplicity, and minimized redundancy have guided and inspired the spirit of the nation in a manner that has sustained a system of political liberty for well over two centuries.

    Given the precedent of how the Lord has an economy of words when conveying wisdom, instruction, and command, and given that we find Jeff Savage’s original Guide and Standard (without any later edits) to be straightforward, plain, and sufficient to organize our fellowship by, we gathered in prayer and pleaded for the Lord’s approval of our fellowship to adopt this Guide and Standard, as well as to express to the Lord our willingness to be open to future revelation or inspiration that would necessitate adding unto this G&S (similar to how Constitutional amendments were eventually added to the Constitution). Upon closing the prayer, we each took turns conveying our feelings. We were each individually touched by the Spirit to know that this Guide and Standard is pleasing to the Lord, and that He is pleased in our desire to adopt it. This understanding was accompanied by a great feeling of peace and love between each other, which permeated through the entirety of the meeting and resulted in deeper bonds of affection for each other.

    Owing that the foundational structure of Zion is individual families and community fellowships, we felt it only natural to come together as a fellowship and bring the various proposals to the Lord as a small community of covenant takers, and thereby unite our hearts in agreement as to which standard we will live and function by as a fellowship of families. In the hopes that other fellowships might likewise feel the greater peace and unity that we now feel amongst each other, as well as receive the assurance that the Lord has accepted our efforts in completing our part in the task that He has given to all who have accepted the covenant, we felt it prudent to publicly share with joy what transpired among us.

    May the Lord’s will be done in all things,
    The Sanpete County Fellowship

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