Friday, January 5, 2018

Return and Report from the Lots Group


Friends,

We, the seven members of the Lots committee, would like to update the covenant body on our outreach efforts that followed the vote to adopt the Lots Guide and Standard at the end of November. We are concluding our work and wish to make all things known which have occured the past short while. Should you have further questions beyond what is posted here, please email us at thesevenlotsers@gmail.com and we will provide additional data and any further details or information you would like.

As a brief review of how we got here:

So many events have transpired since the Guide and Standard effort began nearly a year ago, the most significant of which was the covenant accepted from God in September. The Lord also spoke to us as a people several times assigning and then clarifying the current task. In an effort to obey the Lord's requirement that we adopt a Guide and Standard by mutual agreement, many fasts, prayers and petitions have been offered to the Lord asking Him to strengthen us in our united journey.

These messages from heaven spurred individuals and families, who in turn motivated entire fellowships to meet together and begin efforts to finalize a guide and standard. We, as a people, accepted the covenant and direct assignment from God. As a consequence, a series of events transpired which resulted in what is known as the United Proposal and the Lots Proposal (see here and here). Those who were involved in developing and presenting these proposals to the body have testified to the inspiration and heavenly direction they received as events transpired leading up to both proposals being drafted and presented to the body. In early November, the United proposal and Lots proposal came together and asked the body for permission to use their ideas to formulate a final Guide and Standard. 87% of the 437 voters supported that effort.

The drawing of lots is a tried and true method when conflicts of interests or opposing groups are trying to work together towards a common goal. Drawing lots is often used where clashes are inevitable amongst varied and rigid opinions. It’s a method that, according to our faith, uses the will of God to create fairness where inequality would otherwise exist. 

A  movement-wide day of prayer and fasting was held on November 12th, the day the lots were drawn. There are many of us who believe the Lord made His hand manifest in the drawing of the fourteen lots and the people selected.

After three days and nights of near constant work, the seven selected were able to present a draft document to the body. The people then gave input, suggestions, and edits for three more days and nights. On the seventh day, we asked everyone to participate in a movement-wide prayer and fast, confident that our combined faith would open the heavens to receive an answer to our prayer - was the document we compiled acceptable and does it meet His requirements? We were anxious to ensure we were obeying the Lord and satisfying His commandment. We received an answer to that prayer.

In the few days that followed the answer to our prayer, it was made clear to us that we were to do two things:  1) Allow the body of covenant holders to adopt the newly drafted Guide and Standard as expressed by a vote and 2) continue to reach out to those who had already expressed opposition, or would yet express opposition following the vote for adoption.

Forty days ago, we began the process of fulfilling these two requirements.

The initial 5-day vote for adoption resulted in 93% of the 414 voting covenant holders agreeing to adopt this Guide and Standard. 

Midway through the vote, more information was given by the Lord defining mutual agreement to be “as between one another, you choose to not dispute.” This new light confirmed that 100% unanimity was not required of Him for us to adopt a document, but that it was about our hearts and dispositions when disagreement existed between parties. With the vast manifestations of His hand being involved, His answer that our document was sufficient, the outpouring of votes by the covenant people to adopt, and this new definition; we received the added confidence and assurance that we could state that the document had been adopted by the people. We did this in early December.

However, in our desire to help eliminate disputations among us, we also knew it would please the Lord if we would continue our outreach efforts for a season. We also desired to continue dialogue with those who had differing opinions, favored other documents, or who opposed the Lots effort. For us, this was an expression of our love for them and desire to better understand one another. We wanted to give everyone ample opportunity to be heard.

We began an extensive outreach campaign. We realize that movement-wide communication was (and continues to be) a real challenge. We made every attempt to notify every single covenant holder according to our means. We reached out through personal contact, emails, phone calls, blogs, social media, slack and so forth. The response was tremendous considering there are no means of knowing who and where the covenant holders are. We spent numerous hours communicating with many of you. It was a genuine pleasure to do so.  Many new friendships and acquaintances were made.

In the last 40 days we contacted a minimum of 70 people who had not made their desires known in the initial vote. Of those, we found 52 people who had voted in August but not in November; bringing the number of participants in each vote to a near parallel. There were various reasons people did not participate in the November vote for adoption. Most of them had not taken the covenant yet, some felt to abstain for personal reasons, others were weary and apathetic due to the drawn out nature of this assignment, a few forgot, one couple had technical challenges, and a remaining few did not know a vote to adopt the Lots document was taking place until after the fact. 

The final result of our outreach was that another 51 additional covenant holders we found would have voted in favor of the Lots document. Four new covenant holders opposed. Twenty desired to abstain.  Overwhelmingly, the numbers and views among those we found reflected what was already manifested in the vote to adopt in November.  After all our efforts to reach the covenant body, we now have a total of 505 voices participating in the vote, including those who choose to remain neutral; we ended up with 433 covenant holders in favor and 31 covenant holders opposed.  That’s 93.3% in support of the Guide and Standard submitted by our Lot group. The vast majority have expressed their desire and/or willingness to adopt this document for inclusion as a Guide and Standard by mutual agreement, confirmed by the extended outreach effort.

The last 40 days spent discussing your views has not only been a great experience for us, but educational as we strive to overcome our group wide communication difficulties and learn to work together in movement wide projects. There were many lessons learned we hope to pass on in the future.

We honestly sought every single person we could find. Though not everyone agreed that this is their document of choice, this outreach resulted in wonderful dialogue with those who chose to converse with us. The lack of contention was awe-inspiring. Of those in opposition who engaged with us, we felt no disputations amid our differences. Your differing voice mattered in this process, many of you willingly participated and sincerely expressed your views.  Those views did not go unnoticed, and together we spent time understanding one another. Though we may not have reached an agreement at this time, our experience was that we were able to disagree in friendship, listen to one another, and depart in peace and unity, looking forward to the next time we work together, and eventually arrive together to a unity of faith.

It is also important to hear the hundreds of people who manifested their desire to adopt the Lots document and not forget their sentiments and opinions. Though the vast majority of them have remained silent on blog posts and comments, many of them have strong feelings of approval, are satisfied with the effort produced by Lots, and believe that the work is done.

Through the people’s consent, we seven were given an assignment by the United and Lots proposals which had a very specific scope and task. We were also directed to reach out and do all we could do to invite participation and ultimately enact a vote enabling adoption by mutual agreement. We seven now consider our work complete. We are submitting our document, as well as the detailed results of our outreach, to the scripture committee. It is our desire to return peacefully to our families and fellowships and concentrate our efforts and energy in other spiritual directions. It has been a blessing and privilege to temporarily serve on your behalf in this capacity. We leave our thanks and gratitude to you for treating us with such kindness as we endeavored to complete this labor.


With Love,



Jack Hinkle, St. George, Utah
Jason Carlson, Dallas, Texas
John Webster, Cedar City, Utah
Jeff Reber, Beaver Creek, Oregon
Jonathan Dippold, Bury st. Edmunds, England
Shalyce Woodard, Clinton, Utah
Kirk Strong, Orem, Utah



36 comments:

  1. Thank you for your hard work, sacrifice and love for the Lord and for us. This is absolutely beautiful.

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  2. I dispute the adoption of the Lottery document, and am a covenant participant.

    Nothing has changed.

    Jared Livesey

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    1. Please define "covenant participant."

      I ask because you yourself posted this on your blog shortly after the Boise conference.


      Therefore, I confess before men, angels, and God, that I did say “yes” when I should have said nothing. I do not know how else to repent of this except to say that to those who have entered into the covenant provided through Denver Snuffer,[u] they should consider me as not being part of that covenant.


      http://logscabin.blogspot.com/2018/01/merely-adopting-rock-of-jesus-christ-is.html?m=1

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    2. This was the very next post on my blog.

      I Get to Embarrass Myself Again

      So what do you do if you, like me, discover that you have entered into a covenant that you did not qualify for, and were acknowledged by God as having entered in?

      You execute your end of the bargain to the utmost of your ability, even until you are crushed under it.

      You can't unring the bell.
      =====

      A covenant participant is one who entered into the covenant by standing and saying "yes."

      Those who are concerned are hereby informed that a covenant from God is not gotten rid of by a word from me.

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  3. Thank You Lots group! It has been absolutely wonderful to watch, read and see this develop in Equality, Love and Concern for ALL. What a wonderful learning experience for me. I have felt the Lord's hand in this process.

    May the Lord BLESS all of you and your families...


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  4. Thank you for your sacrifice and diligence in working for the common good of all. We support and sustain what you have done. The document is beautiful, and we believe the Lord has selected you to accomplish this assignment. We also appreciate your love as you've responded kindly to those who are for and against the work you've accomplished. Love you all, John and Jennifer Willis

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  5. Thank you for all your efforts!! I am very grateful for all you have done to move this forward.

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  6. Like many others, I saw the Lord's hand involved in your selection. Thank you for being willing volunteers/victims. :-)

    Marcia Hill

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  7. Simple, clear, easy to understand, it flows beautifully. Sharing now with several new friends who are just finding the path.
    Whew! Finally. Moving forward...

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  8. Thank you all so much for your diligent efforts and sacrifice as you sought for the will of the Lord and for the best interests of all involved. I support the Lots Guide and Standard wholeheartedly and I am pleased to be a part of this wonderful movement in this awe-inspiring time we now find ourselves in. I pray your spirit of kindness and unity will help others who support other documents to join in support of the Lots document. God is a God of order and I see order in this effort and not in the other efforts that have been represented. In any case, I still support all parties in the unity and love of our Savior Jesus Christ irregardless of our differences of opinion concerning the choice of Guide and Standard and choose not to dispute with anyone over these issues. Love, Lisa

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  10. 1. The Lord requires the adoption of the G&S by mutual agreement - any dissent means a proposal does not get adopted.

    2. It is admitted by all there is dissent from the Lottery project.

    3. Therefore the Lottery project cannot be adopted.

    4. If it is the Lord's requirements pertaining to the G&S you are seeking to fulfill, then the Lottery G&S shall never be adopted.

    5. If the scripture committee puts the Lottery G&S in the scriptures knowing there is dissent to it, then the fate of the body is sealed: the body cannot be saved, since to be saved one must do all things, not merely some things, that the Lord commands, and he has already said in the A&C if we do not do what he requires with respect to the G&S, he will give the body tasks it will be unable to accomplish.

    6. Mutual agreement is not a result of politicking nor ostracization nor reviling nor any manner of iniquity - injustice (breaking the commandments) and inequality (pride, enmity, refusing to humble oneself to be equal with all others).

    7. Therefore, since the Lottery project has failed, it is time to try a new approach.

    8. The first thing which this people should have done upon entering the covenant was to repent and begin keeping the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    9. If you were keeping the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Rock of Jesus Christ would be your actual G&S in reality: you would be obeying the Lord in deed and in truth, not merely in words only by showing honor to him solely with your lips and not keeping his commandments with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.

    10. If you are keeping all the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, or seek to do so, what do you have against rejecting the failed Lottery document and adopting The Rock of Jesus Christ, the written gospel of our Lord, as your written guide and standard?

    Jared Livesey

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    1. Descent by who? I don't know if you defined what you mean by "covenant participant" because you deleted your reply to my comment, but if "those who have entered into the covenant provided through Denver Snuffer...should consider" you "as not being part of that covenant," aren't you not to be considered a covenant participant? And isn't your descent from the majority meaningless, as you're not even part of the body?

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    2. I love you Log. But it order to have perfection in the body, we will all need to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is. I am sure we all have the best intentions, but we are still all at different points on the path. The fact that you are still allowed to rant is proof of the love and temperance this body of followers of Christ has for you. Where is your heart? Our hearts have to be as one, not our opinions. You cannot or should not be able to change the consensus of the group based on one or a few opinions, not even if you were right. At this point the Lord wants us united in love, we can always come more in line with each other as we progress, and we will. But we are not going to now, not on this decision, you are proof of that my friend. Until your heart is right, that is. Or maybe until mine is, who knows. But I love you still, and pray for you.

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    3. And Log, didn't you say, on your blog, on Monday, September 4, 2017, that those who accepted the covenant offered thru Denver Snuffer (the covenant body) should not consider you part of that covenant (ie covenant body)?

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    4. The only relevant question is "does God consider Jared Livesey a covenant participant?"

      You'll have to ask him since you have declared you don't believe me.

      Because what you are proposing to do is disobey him if I am a covenant participant.

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    5. And on September 6, 2017, I wrote the following on my blog:

      I Get to Embarrass Myself Again

      So what do you do if you, like me, discover that you have entered into a covenant that you did not qualify for, and were acknowledged by God as having entered in?

      You execute your end of the bargain to the utmost of your ability, even until you are crushed under it.

      You can't unring the bell.

      =====

      All who are concered are hereby informed that a covenant from God cannot be got rid of by a word from me.

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    6. So, if anyone has any genuine and sincere questions as to my standing before God as a covenant participant, you are invited to ask of him.

      Here is the formula for such inquiries:

      1 Nephi 15:11
      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.

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    7. Jared I believe such a course of action is unwise for the following reasons:

      1. You think everyone would get the same answer??

      2. Shall we ask God about every covenant participant and then go about viewing them through whatever answer we each received?

      3. This invitation for people to ask God about you and your covenant status could be viewed as tempting people to obtain a "trump" card from God about another persons covenant status and thereby tempt them to exercise abuse by utilizing that trump card. Instead of looking for scriptural fruits.

      4. Suppose a person got a "yes" answer. But then the person they inquired about subsequently chose to disobey God and get involved in some quantity of nonesense. Does the inquirer then need to re-inquire constantly? Does this not distract people from the covenant they are supposed to be living themselves?

      5. You could be tempted to validate anyone who got a yes answer and de-validate anyone who got a "no" answer rather than displaying your covenant status by the fruits you display in your life and your actions towards others.


      I get that at one point you said the body should not consider you a covenant participant, later to discover God did all you to enter in, and you felt unable to back out. I get that such confusion has caused a degree of embarrassment.

      I'm willing and desirous to forgive people's mistakes.

      I'm opting to not to inquire of God about you because I was never asked to do any such thing. I will however forgive, put the past in the past, and welcome you in not disputing about the G&S.

      My fruits as well as your fruits, will ultimately tell the the story. So I'm going to focus on inquiring of God how I can live how He has asked.

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    8. Log: you can't I unring a bell, but did you really ring the bell, or only pretend to? By your own admission, your participation in the covenant is based on a lie, because one of the questions you were asked before you entered into the covenant being offered was whether you knew it was of God, and you lied when you answered in the affirmative. So what exactly makes you believe you rung the proverbial bell? And you've publicly said that you didn't know whether the covenant offered was of God, and were still inquiring God about it and waiting for an answer long after the Boise conference, but I don't believe you've ever testified to receiving an answer. Have you received an answer? Do you know if the covenant being offered in Boise was of God? And do you really know if He considers you a participant? And please tell me--do you diligently grant all requests made of you (that don't directly conflict with the laws of God or man) without murmuring, resentment, or self pity?

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  12. "If your hearts were right it was a light thing I have asked," said the Lord.

    That means "if you wanted to obey my law and keep my commandments then writing and adopting a statement of principles was an easy task I have asked of you."

    Because that statement would have been his law and his commandments, as per The Rock of Jesus Christ. It would have taken all of 2 minutes to compile and agree to, for all concerned would be already agreed in their hearts, not merely with their lips, because it would have been what they were already doing in reality, and because they would have been doing it, they would have had the Lord's spirit to be with them, as per the sacramental prayer.

    The reason that didn't happen is because, as the Lord says in the A&C, the majority of this people chooses iniquity, being corrupt, and their hearts are not right before him. Not only does this people not keep his law nor his commandments, they don't want to; not only do they not want to keep his law and his commandments, they choose to do the opposite, says the Lord, and they return evil for good. Of course, that statement is generally applicable to us as a people, and says nothing about any specific individual. Some among us are pure, and wish to keep his commandments, and actually do keep them, and return good for evil.

    The Lord has told us that we as a people have a problem, and the solution to this problem the Lord says we have would solve our G&S problem as well.

    That problem is our hearts are not right. The solution to hearts not being right is to repent and to execute the Lord's law and keep his commandments by our works, not merely to declare with our lips that we follow him while not doing what he said to do. And the key to that is to take his law and his commandments as our guide and standard, not merely to say, but to do. Hence The Rock of Jesus Christ.

    Declaring ourselves to be faithful husbandmen (followers of Christ, practicing and teaching his law and commandments) while not tending the vineyard (doing and teaching the works Christ commanded in the Sermon) does not work: the vineyard produces wild and bitter fruit, such as unjust accusations, backbiting, ostracization, reviling, social pressure to disobey the Lord's requirements with respect to the G&S, and so on.

    If we were doing the works commanded in The Rock of Jesus Christ, we wouldn't have multiple voting sessions until we either got the "right" result or applied sufficient social pressure against the the Scripture Committee to break their integrity; we would understand one another, our hearts would be one, and we would have peace between us. It would be to us as natural as breathing to adopt The Rock of Jesus Christ into the scriptures then; a light thing indeed.

    And if we aren't doing what the Lord commands of us to do in The Rock of Jesus Christ, why bother adopting it? However, nothing else shall be adopted in conformity with the Lord's requirements in the A&C.

    Jared Livesey

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    1. What of those of us who have prayed and been told to support the Lots proposal? Many of us have born witness that that is the Lord's will. Should we ignore the Lord's command?

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    2. I believe you are speaking truth and wisdom, Jared. Over the last few weeks as I have sincerely and with great care begun to study Christ's sermons and doctrine, my heart is softening and my mind is expanding. The Sermon and doctrine of Christ are indeed worthy on their own as a guide and a standard. For a Christian of my age and experience, I am woefully behind in studying and applying them, and must needs repent. I am grateful to Christ for His patience with me and this opportunity, which has taught me the beauty, importance, and simplicity of His life and teachings--to become as a little child...

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  13. There are other spirits in the world who answer prayers, as portrayed in the Endowments. How can we know which spirit is answering us?

    This is the general formula for inquiring and receiving an answer from Jesus Christ.

    1 Nephi 15:11
    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.

    So here is what we each must consider for ourselves, and not for another:

    1. Am I keeping the Lord's commandments? If I am keeping his commandments with diligence, then I have an assurance the Lord will answer me according to my faith and his will. 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 doing what the Lord commands with all diligence, I have no promise that whoever answers my prayer is the Lord.

    2. Suppose I don't know if I'm keeping the Lord's commandments - then I better find out what his commandments are so that I can do them.

    His commandments are known as The Sermon on the Mount. And here are five actionable and specific commandments he has given therein.

    * If anyone hits you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to him without reviling your assailant (Luke 6:29; Matt 5:39; 3 Nephi 12:39).
    * If anyone takes your cloak, allow him to have your coat too (Luke 6:29; Matt 5:40; 3 Nephi 12:40).
    * Give to every person who asks you to (Luke 6:30; Matt 5:42; 3 Nephi 12:42).
    * Do not ask for your stuff back from anyone who takes it (Luke 6:30).
    * Lend to everyone who asks, and do not ask for it back (#4), and hope that you do not get paid back (Luke 6:34-35; Matt 5:42; 3 Nephi 12:42).

    Of course there are more commandments in the Sermon than these, and they are all required of all mankind or else they cannot come unto Christ (1 Nephi 13:40-42).

    3. Suppose I don't believe these commandments are to be kept as they are written.

    Then I must cast off this unbelief and begin believing the words of Jesus Christ and doing them. Unless this unbelief is repented of, one cannot follow Christ, and has none assurance that the Lord will answer his prayers.

    As Jesus Christ said: "[H]e that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me" (Ether 4:12).

    And, as Alma said to Helaman: "Therefore I command you... that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written" (Alma 37:20).

    4. What if I do these things and find out my earlier revelation or answer was a deception?

    Then I must return and make the truth known, no matter the cost to myself, lest I lead any man astray and be the cause of his destruction.

    Jared Livesey

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  14. Your words are elegant, but they do not compare with the voice of the Lord. I cannot go against His word. Has the voice of the Lord spoken to you and told you not to support the Lots proposal?

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  15. Those who keep the Lord's commandments know from whence I am.

    Jared Livesey

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    2. I take it from your response that you haven't heard the voice of the Lord in this matter. Would you be willing to pray about this and let us know when the Lord answers your prayer?

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    3. You have made an unwarranted inference from my response.

      The argument from authority - "The Lord Spake Thus-And-Thus To ME, Therefore YOU Must Take It Down Like A Pill" - is inherently contradictory of a society of equals.

      Nobody gets to pull rank on the rest of us in order to "win" without killing Zion. There cannot be authorities or bosses or "prophets" to be followed in a society of equals. If some of us are higher than any of us, then we are not the Lord's. Therefore all must humble themselves to be equal with the rest of us or else we are another failed and fallen Zion doomed to be burned when the Lord comes.

      So you either accept what I'm saying on its own merits because it is true, or you do not accept what I am saying.

      We're done with authority and authorities, and trusting in men and trusting their connections with heaven over our own; we're done with trusting in and following prophets. Now is the time for those who love truth for its own sake to cleave to it and not depart from it. Now is the time for every man to stand on his own, not trusting another, as the Lord has commanded (JST Mark 9:9).

      After all, thus saith the Lord: Cursed is the man that trusteth in man.

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    4. When did I say that you should believe what I say or rely on the arm of the flesh? In fact, I said the exact opposite. I asked you to pray about the matter. So will you?

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    6. The Lord's requirements are clear, and the Lottery document does not accomplish any of them, while The Rock of Jesus Christ accomplishes all of them. So, what, exactly, do you propose I should pray about?

      My reasoning has been made explicit in what I have written on my blog on Friday, October 13, 2017, and afterwards.

      I don't ask you, or anyone, to pray about what I say - if you want to, you will. If not, then not.

      I will simply point out that if you do not keep the Lord's commandments with diligence, you have no assurance that whatever answers your prayers is the Lord.

      Jared Livesey

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    7. If you feel comfortable leaning on your own understanding on this one then go ahead. I have to counsel with the Lord in all my doings because I'm just not smart enough on my own.

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    8. The unwarranted inference you made is that I haven't heard the voice of the Lord in this matter.

      And you also do not know that I have not.

      As I said, the argument from authority destroys the society of equals. If we intend to be found in Zion such arguments must cease.

      Therefore we all must humble ourselves and speak by persuasion and pure knowledge and kindness and love unfeigned and so on or else we will not be found in Zion.

      So I am explaining to you and the rest why the answer is what it is, and I am not appealing to authority to do it.

      Jared Livesey

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  16. I'm not sure if everyone has taken time to listen to Denver's latest talk given on January 14th (it can be found on his website under downloads)? He said a few things that are worth considering. He said that he never gets answers from the Lord quickly and that real answers take careful, solemn and ponderous thought. So the answer received quickly by the lots group (and all others who received answers quickly) would fall under his definition of unacceptable/not the way the Lord works.

    Additionally - he said the Sermon on the Mount was the way to go. He answered the quandaries pretty succinctly in that talk and I recommend you all to listen to it.

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