Friday, February 9, 2018

DEAR SCRIPTURES COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Dear scripture committee members,
 
Despite everyone’s best efforts, there is still disagreement about which statement of principles (guide and standard) should be adopted.  Here is a proposal we believe can resolve the deadlock.  Please take a moment to read our proposal, and if the committee can support this approach, would you please promise to publish whichever statement of principles the body of believers chooses using this process.  The Phoenix conference organizers have agreed to give us time at the conference to conduct parts two and three of this vote.
 
___________________________________________________________
 
 
The proposal:
 
1-Starting immediately, anyone who wishes to have their statement of principles (guide and standard) considered for inclusion in the new scriptures can submit their document to guideandstandard.blogspot.com.  Then, during the week prior to the Phoenix conference (Mar. 16 - Mar. 23, 2018), we will hold an online vote by covenant holders. People will be able to vote for any or all of the statements of principles that were submitted, and that they believe fill the Lord’s requirements. Voters will be asked to rank their preferences. 
 
2-Then, at the conference on Saturday Mar. 24th, we will announce the results of the online voting.  And at that time, in a second vote, we will ask those who preferred a statement of principles other than the top vote getter to vote to either accept the majority’s decision or to reject the majority’s decision.  If this second vote does not produce broad agreement with the majority, the issue will be tabled until the next conference.
 
If there is broad agreement with the majority, but there are some who remain opposed, then they will be invited to get together after the meeting with a delegate (or delegates) of those who brought this issue to the conference for consideration. The purpose of the meeting will be to listen to their reason(s) for opposition and discuss whether they would be willing to unite, despite their misgivings, with all the others who supported the proposition.
 
3-Then, if they are opposed still, we will announce on Sunday the 25th that there remain three (or however many) opposed to the proposition that has otherwise carried by the nearly unanimous consent of the conference, and ask the conference if as a body they are willing to proceed/adopt the chosen statement of principles despite the opposition by three (or however many). If this carries by a clear majority vote of the conference, then it is adopted, and the chosen statement will be added to the scriptures. 
 
4-Once adopted, the three (or however many) will be contacted and asked again if they will accept the outcome of the vote of the conference. 
 
Since the conference adopted the proposition, the continued opposition of a few will not stop the inclusion of the statement of principles in the new scriptures.  But the position of the few will have been respected and noted, and they can proceed with the full knowledge that they were listened to, their opposition heard, their vote acknowledged, but the conference adopted the proposition, and now they need to determine whether they will yield. They may not at first, but with time, and love, and fellowship, they may ultimately accept the outcome anyway.
 
 
Reasonable people can differ regarding the merits of the various statements of principles and the processes that produced them.  But it is necessary, ultimately, to lay those differences to one side.  The content of the statement is less important than the content of our hearts.  Our commitment to unity needs to be greater than our devotion to any particular version of the guide and standard.  The approach outlined above uses persuasion and love to achieve unity, allows everyone to exercise their agency as they think best, but asks each of us to be accountable for our choices.  This approach balances the interests of all concerned, and provides a way to move beyond the current impasse. 

Gordon Platt
Jeanene Custer,
Donald and Christy Danner, 
Paul Durham,
Others

114 comments:

  1. Please define "broad agreement" and "majority."

    If a "majority" of people accepting a statement has not already achieved the object of being published in the T&C, why is it felt this approach will?

    "Starting immediately…,” does this mean it has already been determined this will happen? Is this post just an FYI?

    Listen, if not every single voice is important to the whole, if not every single heart and person is felt to contribute strength and wisdom and knowledge and gifts to the whole, then why bother voting? Haven't others already pointed out there will always be "opposition?"

    Just go and do. I will not oppose or dispute or contend or utter a peep against anyone or any proposal. I will not cry disenfranchisement or that I am ignored or unheard. I will accept the decisions of the alphas in the group. I no longer desire to put further energy into a task and process that continues to create rifts akin to the Grand Canyon instead bonds of closeness resembling a beautiful tapestry.

    I am sorry if my previous no votes have caused others to reach their threshold for patience and love. I am a trying personality to deal with—filled with weakness, but I do know how to be silent if that is what others require of me. If I can serve and love in any other way, please ask. I am willing.

    For now, I feel no inclination to participate in further voting. I will accept if others do, however, and choose not to dispute.

    I feel the answer is here, within us and among us, but we seem so lost to each other and unable to find it. May Christ the Lord continue to shew us mercy and grace, as undeserving as we each may be. I thank God that He “so loved the world.”

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  2. You are advocating disobeying the Lord's requirement that we adopt the G&S by mutual agreement by rejecting his requirement for mutual agreement in favor of majority rules.

    Majority rules is not mutual agreement so long as there remains any dissent.

    My disputation against the adoption of each and every G&S proposal both past, present, and future, other than The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, is known.

    I am a covenant participant and have standing in this matter.

    Jared Livesey

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  3. No one should be willing to cast aside the *Lord's* requirement for mutual agreement because they don't like the consequences of keeping the Lord's requirement for mutual agreement, nor should they encourage others to cast it aside. It is not necessary to lay our differences to one side. It is necessary that the Guide and Standard contains only those things in which we are united. It is not unity to impose on others. With imposition comes enforcement, judgement, and scorn. The Lord has not given us an impossible task. He has given us an opportunity to exhibit obedience, sacrifice, humility, patience, and love.

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  5. 1. It is self-defeating to advocate doing what the Lord requires by not doing the very thing the Lord requires and doing something else instead, while calling it the same thing.

    2. Agreeing to the covenant and then laying aside the Lord's requirement for mutual agreement, and substituting "majority rules" for it, would be an example of what the Lord means by "say[ing], and do not do[ing]," which behavior he says is presently the case with us as a people in the A&C.

    3. The Lord said in the A&C if we are not able to do what he requires with respect to the G&S then we as a people will be unable to accomplish other tasks which he will lay upon us.

    4. Joseph taught that to obtain salvation one must do all things, not just some things, the Lord commands - thus this proposal will, if executed, end in the destruction of this covenant body.

    Jared Livesey

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  6. I reject this proposal in its entirety.

    Jared Livesey

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  7. Oh no. Here we go again. I need a flow chart visual to figure out all the if this/then that voting again. Do you all have any idea how many hearts out there have just shut down on this and given up on even caring anymore? I hear from them privately, but I speak for them publicly. Stop this. Stop the jarring and contending and arguing and nitpicking and digging in and proposing something new all over again when it doesn't go "your" way. If I were Ghandi I'd just fast until death for this fighting to stop. But I'm not. I'm just a tired grandmother, weeping, crying out to God to have mercy on all of us for the sin of self righteous self focus.

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    1. I think you are pretty much right on Lynne...it has been a confusing and frustrating process...I've tuned out much of it ...and have felt like throwing in the towel a number of times. I don't know how else to proceed...when asked, my wife and I reluctantly agreed to give it another try and support this effort. Where it will lead, I don't know...but I do want to keep listening and processing in my mind and heart what is happening and what we are learning and how we are growing. I do hope the Lord approves...and forgives my lack of patience...and personal unworthiness. p.s. I love the movie and thought Ben Kingsley was fantastic. :)

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  8. Et Lux:

    You ask, Please define "broad agreement"?

    In the first and second voiced vote, we are proposing that we move forward only if the assembly has broad agreement meaning near unanimity. That is the decision of the person conducting the vote and two others “witnesses” that each decide whether the “yeas” predominate over the “neas”. Nothing but supermajority will suffice. That is our proposal.

    If a "majority" of people accepting a statement has not already achieved the object of being published in the T&C, why is it felt this approach will?

    The Scriptures Committee has declined publishing the August 5th G&S because of contention and widespread disputation. They have not published the Lots document because they do not believe they can eliminate other documents by executive action. This will work if the assembly votes show broad agreement because we have the promise of the scriptures committee to publish the outcome of this process as long as we follow this process.

    "Starting immediately…,” does this mean it has already been determined this will happen? Is this post just an FYI?

    It begins as soon as the scriptures committee agrees to the process.

    Listen, if not every single voice is important to the whole, if not every single heart and person is felt to contribute strength and wisdom and knowledge and gifts to the whole, then why bother voting?

    We want every single voice. All matter. All are important. 1600+ have been baptized yet no more than 1/3 that have participated in votes. That’s their choice. Does that answer your question or am I missing your question.

    Haven't others already pointed out there will always be "opposition?"

    Yes

    For now, I feel no inclination to participate in further voting.

    My suspicion is that is okay with heaven. I know many very good souls who want no role in this process yet serve the poor and serve God in other ways.

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    1. Hi Mc Kay. Thank you for responding to my questions.

      Part One
      “Supermajority, "witnesses." I am definitely not interested in reinventing the American political process here. No offense to those who have taken much time and thought and prayer to find out Christ's mind, heart, and will.

      It appears the only difference with this idea is that we agree at the outset a “majority/supermajority/broad agreement” will decide the outcome.

      I am genuinely sorrowful for everyone. I know many have laboured much already and I appreciate what they have created. I do not want to belittle the work of others.

      You mentioned 1600+ have been baptized. How do you know that even? I must really be on the outer fringe of things here...Does that number equate to those who also have received the covenant?

      It is my opinion that only a fraction of whatever number of those who received the covenant are participating here. This work is being done on behalf of all future covenant holders, right? Or am I mistaken and reading too much importance into all this? That means only a few will create a statement of principles for the whole anyway.

      My husband is one of those NOT participating, at least not since August 5th. And yes, that is their choice. BUT, perhaps it has more to do with there not being any good ideas or outcomes making it worth his/their time and effort? I would not feel wise or confident in doing something my whole family has not taken an avid interest in helping me accomplish. Know what I mean? And are we not supposed to be viewing each other as FAMILY?

      For each and every proposal thus far, have any of them worked at the family level for all y’all? Was there an outpouring of Spirit and gifts as a result? Or fruits of repentance? Or is it not supposed to accomplish such things? Again, am I making too much of a simple statement of principles? Why is it even important to identify principles for ourselves? Is it to show unity? The one faith, one baptism stuff?

      I agree with what Rob Adolpho has tried to express, that what has been offered thus far, though having some light and truth, still yet does not have what he calls spark. And why is that? Or has anyone been bowled over by what they have read in a particular proposal?

      Recently I re-read the King Follett talk. I was astonished at how I felt as I read it. I could feel light pouring into me. I cried in gratitude and amazement. I have experienced similar when reading what Denver Snuffer has written or hearing what he says. Why? Because of the anointing they each had/have. They are individuals filled with the Spirit and when they speak that is what comes through. We have all felt it, right?

      So why are our proposals not having that same effect upon each of us? Do we even care to do that? Could it be because we are not also filled with the same level of light and Spirit? Perhaps some few of us individually are (cannot claim it to be me), but have those persons written a proposal? Would we want them to? Would we be able and willing to lay down our wants to have a statement so filled with light and truth and the Spirit we can tell it as we read it because we become enlarged with light? Do we desire to have others receive and experience the same? Or have we become too invested and too attached to “our” proposals? Do we want to show others The Way or our way?

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    2. Part Two
      I believe I have been given answers all throughout this convoluted and tiring experience to craft a G&S, but I struggle to know how to express myself. I do not desire to condemn or compel or debate, yet I do not sense we have gotten it right yet. I recall often Denver saying the path before us is filled with peril and that it ought to be challenging. I am gettin’ my arse kicked, y’all. But I am grateful Christ has brought me to this point and trust in His faithfulness to continue to help me.

      It very much feels like we are going backwards in a circle with any idea that continues to be founded upon voting, at least for now. Some few will always be on the outside. I want to find a way that is inclusive, if possible.

      As I stated earlier, if there are those who are determined to get the job done first and foremost over each of us doing the hard labour of getting our hearts right with Christ, then there is not much I can say or do at this point. It would only come across as contentious. I would rather learn in this moment to lay down my weapon—my words, to even bury it as the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, than continue to wield it in ways that further hurt others. I can peacefully say I won’t dispute, even if others rejoice that they have achieved “mutual agreement.” (For the record, I disagree with the scripture committee’s view that desiring unanimity as mutual agreement is “a flawed perspective.” Not because I think I have to be right, but because of what I have experienced as a wife and a mother, a matriarch to a family on earth; plus, I am an Idealist. There are some very basic things my family as a whole would say we all agree to or believe, without disagreement, dissension, or dispute.)

      Maybe I should be asking for us not to follow through with this idea and show patience a little longer? Rob Adolpho has said he is working on something. Maybe we can choose to wait to hear him and any others out?

      One of the many gems in the King Follett message is this:
      “If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right.”

      I feel this is why we are struggling still—we have not started aright. Thanks for responding.

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  9. Dani:
    Some believe mutual agreement requires that we agree and not disagree. I think Webster would agree with you. He would also define “eternal” as “forever” but in D&C 19 the Lord reveals a mystery that He uses words in ways we don’t . He defines mutual agreement, as used in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant,  this way: “As between one another, you choose to not dispute.”  If you believe that, then accepting the majority choice and choosing not to dispute about it will not be seen as rejecting the Lord’s requirements. If you don’t believe it then you don’t believe Denver, that definition came when he asked the Lord what the Lord meant by mutual agreement.

    In the end Zion will be composed of cities of people who don’t dispute. They will have mutual agreement with each other but not with those who fight against them. In the view of the scriptures committee “Simply put, even if we disagree, if we choose not to dispute, we have mutual agreement.” I agree with that position.

    If some oppose the majority opinion but the majority refuse to dispute, in the definition above mutual agreement is achieved between the non-disputers. You may not see it that way but I do.

    There are only three possibilities to choose the G&S.
    1- some group, individual, committee, Denver or angel can do it for us. In this approach we get a G&S but not Zion but Mormonism 2.0. Nobody wants that.
    2- we can get behind the majority opinion through some means. Our proposal is one such method among many that could be proposed.
    3- Lastly we could wait/persuade/love but wait until such a time as we had Webster’s view of mutual agreement. In my opinion Satan will never allow such a thing to happen. This is too disruptive to his kingdom to ever allow unanimity of opinion among men. You may disagree. I think the Book of Mormon and Mormon history and the history of his movement support my view that option 3 is never going to happen. I do not imagine Zion or heaven, for that matter, being a place where all think alike but it is a place where people of good will love each other, care for peoples feelings and have the same heart.

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  11. Mc Kay,
    Are you suggesting that Satan is greater than God, that God cannot do His own work in uniting the hearts of all those who believe on the name of Christ and keep God's commandments? Does this body only profess to be unified in accepting and keeping the Book of Mormon as our covenant guide and standard? If we would do as we profess, this task would be literally *in deed* "a light thing." God has not asked us to create a creed of man. He has asked if we are faithful and knowledgeable of the things He has heretofore given as His commandments.

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  12. (1 of2)
    The assignment to resolve the G&S matter was placed squarely on the shoulders of the main body to persuade one another, not the scripture committee, regarding which statement of principles to include in the RE. In a state of confusion regarding what the term “mutual agreement” meant, the Lord responded that it was to not dispute, come what may. Since then, most of us have tried to conform to that requirement while simultaneously trying to ascertain the voice of the people so that we can move forward.

    So, I would just politely ask the scripture committee to reconsider the very obvious conclusions that have been reached via voting and surveys several times now. The conclusions I am referring to have less to do with which document is preferred by the main body and more to do with being content, finding peace, and moving on which is what this people are screaming out loud and clear. There appears to be a fixation of some sort to ascertain which documents qualify, which are preferred and whose voices have not been heard. This attention to detail is admirable and applauded but it can certainly be overkilled to the point where nobody wants to participate and further. I suppose another vote between documents is possible, but how will this improve upon what has already been revealed about the voice of the people thus far? If it can be argued that another round of voting will bring further unification, then of course we should all be interested, but I think that is a hard argument to make and should most likely be abandoned.

    Does the scripture committee not realize that when they continue to make statements that it is not their responsibility to decide the matter, they are asserting themselves as the ones to decide the matter? It has been explained that the task of the scripture committee in regards to this portion of the RE is to publish what he main body of believers generally unites around without disputations. That will necessarily involve some few who will not vote in favor of the majority, however, their dissention is respected, considered and noted. But how many few are acceptable? 50? 20? 10? 1? And who decides this if the scripture committee is truly determined not to make that call? I raise these questions not in accusation but to demonstrate that at this point, it is nigh impossible to find a solution to this issue that will be completely satisfying for anyone, including the scripture committee as they finish the publication of the RE. But personal satisfaction is not the goal here….and if it is then we ought to re-assess that goal if we are really trying to establish Zion.

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    1. Hi Jim. Your use of numbers caused the account of Abraham saving Lot to come into my mind. The LORD JEHOVAH used numbers in a different way. When asked if HE would save Sodom (an entire city!) for the righteous' sake, the numbers were of minorities--50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10. So if there were only 10 righteous individuals GOD would NOT have destroyed Sodom. Only 10.

      I have often wondered what it would say about the covenant group if the majority let go of their desires for a G&S to accept the one proposal a single lone person says she/he is willing to accept because that is what Christ has told them to do.

      What do we think of someone who bows to the will of another, as Christ Himself did for His Father?

      Anyhoot, just some random thoughts this morning I am now pondering. Thanks for sharing yours. I liked them, and believe we collectively do want to do what is right. Lori

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    2. It's a good question, Lori. As I read it, I realized that it has dual application.

      "What do we think of someone who bows to the will of another, as Christ Himself did for His Father?"

      What if the 30, 20, 10 or 1 bowed to the will of another? What if the few decided to bow to the will of the more...just because they wanted to show their love for their brothers and sisters? It is a very good question, indeed. Worthy of contemplation.

      I like that you expressed that you believe we collectively DO want to do what is right. I think you're right.

      Warm Regards.

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    3. And what if the "more" bowed to the words of Christ alone because we love the Lord. Imagine how much more humility and unity that could bring.

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  13. (2 of 2)
    SOLUTION? Simply put, this movement has as its voting base around 500 souls. Those 500 have now participated in several voting opportunities. At this moment, roughly 94% of those voters are unified around a single statement of principles that was composed not by any one group or individual but rather it was abridged from among ALL of the G&S documents that have been produced this past year by seven randomly selected covenant holders in response to the Lord’s directive to finish this assignment “AS A PEOPLE.” While not diminishing anything that was written prior this effort, to my knowledge the movement-wide lots process and resulting document stands alone in this regard as it was conceived, carried out, and concluded selflessly with goal of giving respect and deference to the work of the whole. Moreover, it has been the only post-covenantal work that has been representative of the whole.

    For these reasons, I think it would be a safe assumption that no further voting is necessary. However, if any additional voting is to be held, make it a simple up/down adoptive vote of what the main body of believers is most united around at this time at the next general conference in Phoenix just as we did with the RE scriptures in Boise last September. Working together in person has always been much more effective than through an isolated keyboard.

    Respectfully,

    Jim O’Rullian

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  14. The Way Mutual Agreement Works

    In a request for "clarification" on what he meant by "mutual agreement," the Lord said: "As between one another, you choose to not dispute."  If there are no dissenting voices, then we are mutually agreed to a proposition.  The only "votes" that matter are the dissenters', if there are any.

    This simplifies the matter of determining when we as a body are mutually agreed: when nobody publicly dissents.  Silence is assent with this "clarification" from the Lord.  We need not track down every covenant participant to poll them for their agreement; all those who care are already participating.

    However, the majority faction decided this meant that they could feign that the body as a whole has mutual agreement to the majority proposal so long as the majority declines to speak with the dissenters.

    In reality, if you choose not to dispute adopting a proposal, such as The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, you signify your agreement with it.

    In other words, mutual agreement works exactly the opposite of the way the majority faction purports to understand it.  When the majority faction ostracizes the dissenters, the majority is choosing not to dispute the dissenters' position, which means they agree with the dissenters according to the Lord's "clarification," which then carries the dissenters' proposal, which in my case is the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, as our sole written guide and standard.

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    1. Log,

      May I just respectfully point out that the definition said that we choose not to "dispute"...not that we choose not to "dissent." One may dissent to the document that the vast majority agrees to and that does not invalidate the document qualifying as being mutually agreed upon, because dissent does not = dispute.

      This is wise and merciful of our Lord to define things as He did, as He has woven into His requirement of us a means whereby the majority body is not held potentially hostage by one person (or several) who could intentionally try to subvert the work of the Lord by merely "dissenting." (I'm not accusing you of doing this...I'm speaking of the principle in action here.) The Lord already identified that there are those who received the covenant whose hearts are not right and will eventually be cut off (perhaps it will be me). But do you really think He did not provide a way for us, as a group, to over-ride an element among us that may choose to cause disputations for the very purpose of attempting to thwart the work? He knows everything, and I believe He prepared a way to avoid that by the way He defined things.

      Dissent is fine (simply stating your disagreement with the majority), but once the dissent of an individual moves into the territory of "disputing" about it, or relentlessly arguing, then the individual choosing to dispute has in essence broken the spirit of the covenant, anyway. If the other parties refuse to engage in the disputing, but the dissenting individual continues to attempt to stir up disputations as the purpose of their dissent, then the responsibility of breaking the covenant lies upon the one stirring up disputations.

      The covenant is in part, to govern ourselves by the things taught within the scriptures...thus, continued disputing after one's dissent is not chosen, would ultimately result in breaking the covenant by the individual causing and provoking the disputation. Those choosing to turn the other cheek cannot be punished for another's choices that they did not engage in.

      I do not agree with your logic equating "dispute" with "dissent." They are two different matters entirely. Nor do I consider my "silence" in not publicly dissenting to your document as a form of "assent," particularly when I have proclaimed my position publicly and through vote as to what it is that I do agree to. According to the dictionary, my silence is actually a "dissent" to your position, not assent. None of what I am saying is in anger toward you. I just have a clearly opposite perspective in what you are saying in this post and felt to share my views.

      BTW, the dictionary defines the terms:

      Dispute: to engage in argument : debate; especially : to argue irritably or with irritating persistence

      Dissent: to withhold assent or approval 2 : to differ in opinion

      [Thus, my lack of assent, or silence, is in reality a dissent from your GS, while choosing not to dispute over it.]

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    2. Dissent
      verb
      verb: dissent; 3rd person present: dissents; past tense: dissented; past participle: dissented; gerund or present participle: dissenting
      1.
      hold or express opinions that are at variance with those previously, commonly, or officially expressed.
      "two members dissented from the majority"
      separate from an established or orthodox church because of doctrinal disagreement.
      synonyms: differ, disagree, demur, fail to agree, be at variance/odds, take issue; decline/refuse to support, protest, object, dispute, challenge, quibble
      "two members dissented"

      Jared Livesey

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  15. I have a couple of genuine questions about this proposal that I hope can be answered.

    While I personally believe the Lots GS has fulfilled all the requirements, and even done the work of being adopted by mutual agreement according to the definition given by the Lord and believe this continues to create division and unnecessary diversion of our efforts, I have chosen to have compassion for the dilemma the SC feels they are in and believe they are trying to do their best in proceeding as they believe the Lord would have them do. I am placing a cloak of charity upon the whole matter, as I believe we're all trying our very best to follow the Lord and keep our covenant. Thus, I appreciated what the scripture committee proposed a few days ago, as I can see they feel they are up against a wall.

    Accordingly, they gave a list of parameters that MUST be met and sufficiently shown to be satisfied by any document that is put up for a vote, based upon the direction we've received from the Lord on the matter thus far. I believe they were unbiased in this and that the said parameters ought be adhered to, as they are from the Lord.

    After laying out the parameters to be met, they also stated the following: "If you believe that documents other than the Lotsters' should be considered for the G&S...",

    From this statement, I interpreted that they were saying it is clear that the Lots Document ALREADY fulfills ALL those requirements, and IF ANY other document wants to be considered, then the burden of proof/persuasion is upon whomever wants to promote the adoption of their preferred GS.

    With that in mind, I have a genuine concern about this specific proposal as it is currently presented. As this proposal has members of the SC authoring and supporting it, I am trying to point out a weakness in wording that I see that I think needs to be honestly addressed in this proposal...perhaps making some adjustments accordingly. Here's one paragraph in question: (to be cont. part 2)








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  16. Part 2 continued....

    "1-Starting immediately, anyone who wishes to have their statement of principles (guide and standard) considered for inclusion in the new scriptures can submit their document to guideandstandard.blogspot.com. Then, during the week prior to the Phoenix conference (Mar. 16 - Mar. 23, 2018), we will hold an online vote by covenant holders. People will be able to vote for any or all of the statements of principles that were submitted, and that they believe fill the Lord’s requirements. Voters will be asked to rank their preferences."

    Question: How does this amply satisfy the SC's requirement that the GS submissions fit the Lord's requirements they pointed out for the GS document in their post? Is it just because someone "feels" their document fits the qualifications that it will be on the ballot? Whom do they have to persuade to show that it fits the parameters before it goes up for a vote? If you're going to allow people to just "self determine" that their GS meets the requirements laid out (and perhaps that is what you desire), then the wording of the voting needs to clearly state to the voters that if they believe a document does NOT meet the required parameters as outlined by the Lord, then even if the content of the proposed GS is wonderful, a person should not feel obligated to affirm it. In fact, it may even be appropriate to have a vote option where one can say, "I do NOT believe this documents fits the required parameters outlined by the Lord." The qualifications should also be clearly found on the ballot.

    Also, how does voting for any and all documents that a person would be willing to accept really show the body if there is an enormous supermajority concerning one GS with which to move forward? It will give us the same very muddled results that we just got from the survey that only 80 people cared to complete. I think it would be much wiser to simply make ONE vote for their preferred GS. You could add a question that states if their preferred GS does not garner the supermajority, would they be willing to accept the voice of the people on the matter without dispute. Otherwise, you risk offering for acceptance a document that has been so divided among the various unlimited number of documents, that you do not even have a true supermajority, or a clear declaration in people's mind of what the results of the vote even showed. So much data that the interpretation of it becomes cumbersome and open for further dispute.

    Part 3 to be continued....

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  17. Part 3 continued....

    Additionally, no one has addressed how the BODY will decide IF they agree to any proposal put up here as a suggestion? Surely, if we are not about force and compulsion, then even to advance forward with ANY proposal that is posted (including this one), there must be some sort of vote by the people stating they'll go along with it. That's one of the things I personally appreciated about the what the Lots people did...they FIRST got permission of 87% of the body before they proceeded. This showed they were not acting as a hierarchy or forcing their will/idea upon us without our consent.

    Two other concerns: When you're dealing with those who voice theiropposition at the conference, who determines whether the number who continue to oppose is a large enough group to continue to hold off everything? You used 3 as a possible example. But what if it's 5, or 7, or 8 or 15...and there's 500 ready to move forward? Who is to say that those 15 will ever be persuadable? Do we continue to hold everything off because some will never go contrary to what they believe?

    And second, what about all the people who will not be attending the conference. Off the top of my head I can think of 10 people I know who are not attending the conference due to schedule conflict/finances/proximity, who have been very involved in these matters up to this point. How will this proposal take into account the voice of these people when so much of carrying this out happens "live" at theconference?

    These are just a couple of thoughts I had as I read this. I appreciate your desires to try to find a resolution and hope that none of my questions came across as contentious or accusatory. Not intended to be so at all. I'm trying to be supportive, but helpful in thinking things through.

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  18. Jim, I really appreciate you giving voice to my thoughts, as well. I am VERY grateful to and sincerely appreciate the scripture committee and all those who have worked endlessly to bring us the gift of the scriptures. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    That being said, the scripture committee gave the assignement to resolve the GS issue to “the people.” The people rose up and were invited to participate, and voted to proceed, in every step of the process. The document created is in the Lord’s words and is a summation of what we ALL ALREADY have mutually agreed upon. It was taken to the Lord, who approved of it and said we already have mutual agreement.

    Here is what the Lord said when the lots group presented the document to Him on behalf of all the people:

    “This document that you’ve presented is sufficient for my needs. You have filled the measure in which I have called you. Your work has been valiant. You are correct in saying that there are many ways in which it could have come about, and there are many ways that it did come about. And I am grateful for all of them. At this point, you have a unity with the body. They agree with these words, and this document will suffice. Heed the words contained in them, heed the words contained and referenced in the footnotes. All of those words were mine.”

    Do we not believe this to be the Lord’s voice? The Lord made His hand known through the entire Lots process, and I believe He has spoken here. I also believe that if this be His voice, we ignore it at our peril.

    And perhaps we are now in peril, because His voice is being ignored.

    The Lord required the document be written by “MY PEOPLE.” The Lord’s command to the people for this didn’t come until the covenant. Prior to that, he didn’t have a (His) people. The Lot’s document is the ONLY one that qualifies as having been written by the Lord’s people, with every covenant holder having equal voice and opportunity in the matter, and it is written entirely in the Lord’s words. I don’t understand why the SC won’t honor that, especially when it is supported by 93-96% of the people!

    I believe the reason this is now such a mess is because the scripture committee, while saying they will not make a decision on behalf of the people, thereby giving the assignment to the people, has actually CHOSEN to make the decision NOT to accept the voice of the people after the fact, and I believe, are ignoring the voice of the Lord. The buck stops there!

    Had the SC just accepted what the people vastly support and the Lord approved, at THEIR request, this mess would have been resolved long ago! They wouldn’t be struggling to come to a resolution now.

    People are tired. Those who care to have their voice heard in this process have already been heard. Numerous times, and over many months. Every vote seems to dwindle in participation. Further voting, especially at a conference where many won’t be able to attend, will only further dilute the votes and the outcome. And I already know many who refuse to participate in another vote at all. We could ultimately end up being forced to adopt a document that gets 25% of the vote of those in attendance, based upon this proposal. This will disenfranchise the whole movement, and is surely to frustrate the Lord!

    I respectfully request that the SC simply do what the people and the Lord have ALREADY ACCEPTED. The people completed the task. The Lord spoke. The SC needs to honor that and publish the end result.

    I would likewise support a single vote at the conference (and online for those who aren’t in attendance) regarding adopting the Lots document into the scriptures. It’s simple and honors what the people already support, and the Lord publicly accepted. Those who oppose can make it known, just as this proposal suggests.

    Please, let’s heed the people’s voice, the Lord’s voice, and move on.

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    1. I TOTALY AGREE...

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    2. I FOURTH THE MOTION!

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    3. >Do we not believe this to be the Lord’s voice?

      I'm skeptical as to whether or not this is the Lord's voice.

      That doesn't mean I can't live with the lotster's document though.

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  19. Anonymous:

    Thank you for your questions and observations and thank you for the respectful approach. It is laudable.

    Your 1st question: How does this (voting on any and all documents that anyone believes meets the Lords requirements) amply satisfy the SC's requirement that the GS submissions fit the Lord's requirements? In fact this was a sticking point with the SC-a real dilemma.

    The SC has struggled with this dilemma for months. On the one hand how do you refuse to govern and refuse to make decisions for the people and yet on the other hand be true to your commission, faithful to the word of the Lord. How could the SC possibly publish something they believed didn’t follow what we were given in The Answer.

    Ultimately it comes down to trust. We have tried to persuade the everyone including the SC that the people must be trusted on this decision and leave in their hands. If as a people we can’t make decisions acceptable to the Lord, He may have to choose another people but the alternative is to have some person, committee, Denver or angel decide. That doesn’t get us toward Zion.

    2nd question: Whom do they (those submitting G&Ss for vote) have to persuade..before (their doc) goes up for vote?

    Same dilemma. The SC finally agreed “we do not have the right to push our interpretation of which documents meet the Lords criterion onto anyone.” So the process we propose urges submitters of documents to read the Lords criterion as reviewed in the 2/8/2018 post and once submitted it has an equal status with a document such as the G&S Chosen by Lot with its 386+ advocates.

    Question #3- regarding supermajority. The first vote does not require more than top place. It is the voice votes that require an unequivocal majority when all are asked to vote to accept the top vote getter.

    Question #4-How will the body agree to any given proposal? We have the permission of the conference organizers to carry out this vote. Anyone can call a conference and make a proposal and anyone can carry out a vote. Most efforts don’t require decisions by the general body. We didn’t vote on whether the conferences should be in Grand Mesa, Boise, St. George, Spanish Fork, Cottonwood canyon, etc nor whether the SC should make new scriptures, whether records should be archived or whether the topic in Phoenix should be on Wisdom. I’m good with that. And you?

    You have lots of good questions. Wanna help?

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    1. Mc Kay:

      I appreciated your honesty about the struggle the SC has had. Of their dilemma you said, “On the one hand how do you refuse to govern and refuse to make decisions for the people and yet on the other hand be true to your commission, faithful to the word of the Lord. How could the SC possibly publish something they believed didn’t follow what we were given in The Answer.”

      Your response fits precisely with what I believe was already fulfilled by the Lots process and document. You said: “Ultimately it comes down to trust. We have tried to persuade everyone including the SC that the people must be trusted on this decision and leave it in their hands.”

      I couldn’t agree more.

      If I were to surmise the content of your response to how I understand it and feel, it would be: The SC must refuse to govern and make decisions that the people have a responsibility/right to make, and everyone involved must be willing to trust that the will of the people reflects sufficient understanding of fulfilling the will of the Lord in this matter. [“everyone” includes the SC and any who dissent from the body’s chosen preferred document].

      I must be honest, your answer actually gives credence to what Cherry Ann and Jim O’Rullian have stated in their comments posted earlier. From the SC post outlining the strict GS requirements again, it is evident that they, too, do not really question whether the Lots GS meets the outlined criteria. Thus, publishing the Lots GS would not put them in a position of having to publish something that didn’t follow what we were given in the Answer. It clearly meets the criteria and makes that a non-issue for them.

      The root of the struggle seems to be that the SC does not want to appear to be a hierarchy making the final call on a document by publishing it…potentially offending those who oppose whatever the document may be; yet those who have gone to the trouble of meeting all the requirements have their hands tied and are at the mercy of the SC in order to move forward, and thus, inadvertently, we have created a hierarchy while attempting not to have one.

      One of the greatest forks in the road we have come to as a group from this entire GS matter is “will we inadvertently create another LDS type hierarchy situation among us, or will we resist that temptation.”

      We can avoid that mistake if two things happen 1) The SC trusts the people and lets this be resolved by the voice of the people, truly doing nothing more than publishing what the voice of the people decides, and 2) the people who have already followed all the rules and requirements requested by the Lord must not allow the SC to inadvertently take away their ability to state what it is that they desire and follow through with the Lord’s assignment unencumbered.

      Part 2 continuing...

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    2. part 2....

      If there are 90% + people in the movement who already believe that the work has been completed, the document has been mutually agreed upon, the Lord accepted it, the servant accepted it, the labor to reach out to all those who dissented was repeatedly done (even being able to name them and explain their reasons for dissent), and the people have asked the SC to follow through with the voice of the people by publishing the mutually agreed upon document…and then the people now agree to allow the SC to say the voice of the people hasn’t really spoken, it isn’t enough…then are the people themselves culpable of allowing a hierarchy to develop right under our noses?

      What is the responsibility of the ordinary believer to put an end to what is beginning to be viewed as control by a committee that is breeching appropriate boundaries of power in this situation? This is an honest question [made in compassion, not accusation] that I have heard MANY in this movement express as they’ve tried to decide whether participating further in the requests of people to vote is inadvertently acting just like we did in the LDS church (obeying orders from those we suppose have the right to run things).

      It is a question I am grappling with myself to decide if the cloak of charity I throw over this new development is actually contributing to a furtherance of the problem. Is my cloak of charity to actually participate in something I believe has already been appropriately and fully accomplished, or to just attribute good intentions as the motivation, to those involved in further complicating and repeating the entire issue? I ask that honestly.

      As per the voice vote requiring the super-majority, I remain concerned that this decision, with movement-wide ramification, would be made based upon attendance of a conference. The difference between this vote and standing and saying “yes” out loud to accept a personal covenant (which occurred at a conference, too), is that the covenant could also be done at home watching live, or even afterward, and be counted by God…and one’s personal vote did not impact anyone other than himself.

      As per my 4th question: “How will the body agree to any given proposal?” You explained how you had asked permission of the conference organizers to conduct the vote. I think you may have misunderstood my question.

      What I was wanting to know is this: Your proposal is the result of a direct request by the SC for people to make suggestions of how this entire GS matter could be resolved and submit their ideas to the GS site. My question was not regarding your right to ask for a vote. My question is deeper.

      If the SC is truly leaving it to the people again to figure this whole thing out, then ultimately someone’s proposal will be selected as the method upon which the GS matter gets resolved. But just because a proposal is made, does not mean the body has to agree to it. In order for there to be any staying power to moving forward with your proposal, you, or anyone, needs to get an agreement from the people that they like your idea and are willing to comply with it.

      continued in part 3....

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    3. Part 3 continued...

      For instance, if another group of people come up with a proposal of how to resolve this in the next day or two and present it on the site…we will need to decide between the two. Perhaps the people do not want EITHER of the proposals suggested. There must be a mechanism whereby you ascertain whether or not the people agree to go along with your idea, and the SC cannot be the ones to decide the method since they are claiming “hands off.” So any proposal must have a way of knowing if they’ve persuaded the body or not? Otherwise, you are inadvertently compelling the body to accept the results of your actions, because of the nature of the project we’re talking about.

      If you do not get approval before carrying this out, you will open Pandora’s Box. For why should the results of your method be honored if you do not get approval of the body to act, when the Lots proposal went to all the effort to get approval before acting and had 87% movement-wide permission to go forward? Even after getting permission the 93% approving the document are being ignored, thus your proposal which will consist of a divided vote among numerous documents, with a final voice-vote being taken with many not in attendance, and without getting a movement-wide approval beforehand will be a prime target to continued dispute. I can see it coming.

      This is where I was complimenting the Lots proposal. They never acted on their proposal until they got permission from the people to carry it out. In my opinion, you all would need to acquire the same approval by the people before implementing this approach.

      I appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully respond. I hope my dialogue is still considered respectful. I am just continuing to struggle with how this method is going to accomplish anything more than what they Lots already did.

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  20. The Nonmancaaf Swhafugs group held a vote on all of the available documents, with five different levels of support for each document. The results were posted a few days ago. What is the difference between what their vote accomplished and this new vote proposal? What would we get out of a new vote that was not resolved with the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs vote?

    Kiyoko Ball

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  21. Kiyoko: What would we get out of a new vote that was not resolved with the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs vote? Good question. The major difference is the outcome I expect. With the nonmancaaf swhafugs vote there was not the expectation that the outcome would be acted on. There is with this approach. Nothing was resolved in that poll, was it? Just information.

    With the pre-approval of the SC to publish in the scriptures the outcome of the vote as long as the process is followed, we have the promise of success if the people support the top vote getter by a supermajority and we don’t fumble the ball somehow. With the lots process, it’s as though a flag was thrown on the one yard line even though the ball carrier was sure he had scored. Okay bad analogy.

    This post is not the place to try and persuade the committee. The earlier post is, The Role of the Scriptures Committee in the G&S.

    Reasonable people can start with the same facts and arrive at vastly different conclusions. So we have talked at length with the committee until arriving at this solution. That does not preclude Cherry Ann and Jim O or anyone else from doing the same. No one that is proposing this approach will stand in your way but we intend to move the ball across the finish line unless you can get the refs to overturn the ruling on instant-replay.

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    1. I laud the pure desires to be helpful. But I wonder why the SC would agree now, when they didn't before? Why didn't they agree to publish the Lots? They played the game fair and square, to keep with your football analogy. There was nothing done that should have precluded them from crossing the finish line. There still is not anything precluding them from crossing it. The SC's un-involvement was already declared prior to their efforts and should have been practiced faithfully... so why penalize them the Lots when it was not their error? Why not use instant re-play and see that a bad call was made, stopping them for no reason from crossing the line. Let the game resume where it was and let the "bad call" be corrected, and let them pick up the ball and go across the line?

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  22. The one rule of the Guide and Standard game is that the G&S be adopted by mutual agreement. This means that if there if any dispute over the adoption of a proposal, then that proposal cannot be adopted because it breaks that one rule which defines the game: mutual agreement.

    Whatever you do while playing this game, unless it conforms to that one rule, mutual agreement, which defines the game, it is not legal.

    Appeals for a rule change should be addressed to the Lord, since it's his rule, and not the SC, since it's not their rule, and attempting to suborn the SC - trying to persuade them to promise to use a proposal which violates the one rule of the guide and standard game - violates the agreement we all made in the third question in the covenant.

    Each one of us is supposed to be persuading people to honor the covenant to keep the Lord's will - for example, adoping a guide and standard by mutual agreement - instead of persuading them to dishonor the Lord by failing to do his clearly and explicitly stated will, for example, by trying to get them to adopt a guide and standard by majority rules.

    The game was designed by the Lord to allow one of us to block the rest of us. It is how mass error gets checked. That's what happens if you play the Lord's game by the Lord's rule. Of course, all bets are off if you don't play by the Lord's rule, since you're not playing the Lord's game.

    Jared Livesey

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  23. Cherry Ann,

    We are asking you to go the extra mile.

    The Lots group makes a good argument that they have done every thing that is required. We are asking you to do more than is strictly required. And there are three reasons you might consider doing it.

    1-If support for the Lots document is overwhelming as you suggest, then the voices of 500 people at the conference being raised in favor of the Lots document will go a very long way towards settling any lingering doubts about which document the folks want.

    2-If the scripture committee agrees to publish whichever document the folks choose, then your headaches regarding the inaction of the scripture committee are over.

    3-Allowing people the opportunity to voluntarily, freely, open-handedly support the majority’s choice at the conference, even though it wasn’t their first choice, shows kindness and patience. Your current position can win minds, but an excess of kindness and patience can win hearts.

    You bring up a number of valid arguments in favor of the Lots position. I don’t want to dispute any of your points, but it should be said that reasonable people see things differently. For example:

    1-You said, “The Lord required the document be written by “MY PEOPLE.” That is one possible interpretation of “The Answer.”

    When I read “The Answer,” I see something else. “You are not excused from writing a statement of principles that I have required at your hands…But I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people…” I don’t see the hands (at which the Lord requires a statement of principles) holding a pen; I see them raised in support of a statement of principles.

    The Lord who is a careful wordsmith might very well juxtapose those two sentences to bring to mind the image of a vote. That might mean that everyone in the body of believers is NOT actually required to participate in the writing of a statement; it is enough that they support a document that has been produced by someone else.

    2-You said, “The Lord made His hand known through the entire Lots process, and I believe He has spoken here. I also believe that if this be His voice, we ignore it at our peril.”

    Your language in this sentence attempts to convince by invoking the words of the Lord, words that I didn’t receive, words that didn’t come to me, but to someone else. I believe there is a better way to convince: “Study to learn how to respect your brothers and sisters and to come together by precept, reason and persuasion…”

    3-You said, “I believe the reason this is now such a mess is because the scripture committee…has actually CHOSEN to make the decision NOT to accept the voice of the people after the fact, and I believe, are ignoring the voice of the Lord.”

    Once again, the voice of the Lord is invoked. The voice of the Lord did not come to me confirming that the scripture committee is out of line, and I have doubts about your claim. Over and over in “The Answer” the Lord condemns not just the scripture committee, but all of us. Is it helpful to suggest, “we have finished our work, we have done our part, why don’t the rest of you get on board?”

    I bring up these three rebuttals not to try to persuade you that any one or all of them are the correct way, or only way, to look at things, but to make a larger point. Reasonable people can differ over where we find ourselves in this process, what was required in this process, and how to best organize the process so that we come to mutual agreement.

    Despite the Lots group’s conviction that they have done all that is needed, perhaps we need to think about what others feel is needed. I don’t frankly care which document is ultimately chosen. But I do care about bringing everyone into the fold that we can, voluntarily, inclusively, using an abundance of patience and love. 400+ votes is a great start; 95% is admirable. Can we do more?

    We are asking you, and the other Losters, to go the extra mile.
    Gordon Platt

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  24. I would like to put forth some thoughts...
    In the councils prior to this mortality there were those who chose not to participate in this creation cycle as you and I did.

    Laman and Lemuel had numerous experiences and still chose their own way.
    We may have children who perhaps have chosen differently than we would have hoped. We don't stop loving, serving, praying and doing all we can for them no more than Lehi or the Lord did and does. However that doesn't mean we stand still our efforts to move forward.
    We can acknowledge and respect those who have different views without their views keeping us from moving forward as we feel we should.
    God did not hold up the forward motion of this earth experience because some didn't want to agree. Nephi eventually was commanded to separate from his brothers. As much as I love my children and do all I can, I still do not have the right to control them nor am I going to stand still in my progression while they figure it out.
    They have lessons they must learn just as I do.
    Yes, we should be long suffering and use persuasion, etc. but that doesn't guarantee the outcome.
    If you don't agree with my thoughts that is totally fine. I am not willing to debate only express my thoughts for consideration.

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  25. So, someone desires to receive the Covenant. We read them the Prayer, the Answer and the covenant. What we read to them is..."You are not excused from writing a statement of principles..."

    Do we say to them they don't need to worry about that, we got it covered and wrote it for you? Or... Do all future people who come into the covenant need to write their own statement?

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    1. Good point Anonymous. Maybe our mutual agreement is that we are held to the guide we claim to follow. It would be like stating our own wedding vows instead of having a minister make them up and proclaim them for us.

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    2. Anonymous, thank you for pointing this out. I had not thought of that issue before. I will need to spend time pondering, praying, and studying that one out. I genuinely want to understand what Christ originally meant overall given your question.

      PS--If I may request of those choosing to remain anonymous when commenting, please add a number or something to "Anonymous" so I can keep track of which Anonymous is saying what. Sorry. I don't mean to pick on anyone. I am just getting confused at this point. Gracias, mis amigos.

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  26. A better forum for this discussion is the earlier thread written by the SC but Chris Hamill is out of the country right now and he is often the voice of the SC so I’ll take a stab at explaining something either many of you don’t understand or don’t accept.

    To Anonymous and all others who believe the lots process meets all the requirements the Lord gave in the Answer.
    I agree with you! and I’m sure the SC does as well. The problem is another document also does.

    On August 5th, 2017 delegates from Idaho, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon met in Utah with others in a four hour meeting to get “mutual agreement” on a Guide and Standard. All were invited to come. I came. Jim was there. Ultimately there was a unanimous vote to accept the G&S worked out at that meeting as the document to be appended to the scriptures.

    So when you (anonymous) say that the lots group has “gone to the trouble of meeting all the requirements”— the SC agrees BUT so did the August 5th group.

    When you say the assignment given to us was “resolved by the voice of the people” I Answer the dilemma was “not resolved”.

    When you say (publishing the lots doc is) truly doing nothing more than publishing what the voice of the people decides” we agree but those same words could a+lso apply to the August 5th document.

    When you characterize the SC as having said “the voice of the people hasn’t really spoken”, you misunderstand, the people have spoken twice! At least.

    When you say the servant has accepted the lots document, the SC can find no corroboration.

    In your mind and in Jim’s and Cherry Ann’s the August 5th document is in the past, no longer a valid entry. The Lord did a reset when He told “his people” they they were still required to write a set of principles. That is a logical conclusion but it is not the conclusion of the SC and they feel their conclusion is equally logical.

    The Answer to the Prayer for Covenant was given to DS well before the Answer was read in Boise. The wording is that “you (all the people) are not excused from writing” and “I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people”. It is in its adoption not in its writing that the Lord uses the term “my people”. So the SC does not believe we can ignore that August 5th document. Many proponents of the Lots document do. That is the crux of the dilemma the SC faces. Help us solve their dilemma. They have no dog in the fight. They are neutral and only want to be faithful to their charge.

    Therefore, to publish the Lots document is to ignore what the SC sees as a document which also meets all the requirements which the Lord gave in the Answer. No one proposing that the SC publish the lots doc seems to understand and acknowledge this conundrum. Address the dilemma and you solve the problem.

    Which gets us to a solution. The solution of this group is a vote. What is yours?

    I’m sorry for all the words. Words, words, words! Lord save us from drowning in our words. Help us here. We desperately need it.

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  27. Anonymous and James: How does multiple people writing multiple docs square with “ I require you to write A (singular) set of principles”?

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    1. Would not the principle "Men are free to choose," meet the requirement? Do we not believe what Samuel said?

      "And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free. He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."

      Since this principle is actually being practiced by the SC already (by backing away from any claim of authority or compulsion on "covenant makers"), and others want to choose differently than they do even still, it is clear what principles everyone follows or desire to follow. And that is simply, "Let us choose for ourselves," or "Women and men are free to choose their walk back to God," or "We allow all men and women to worship God how they will, and claim that privilege for ourselves," or "We allow all men, women and children to let the Spirit be their guide in wisdom's paths, that they may be blessed, prospered and preserved," or "We claim the Spirit of truth as our guide, and stand ready, watching for every communication that He will send to us."

      Doesn't that seem light and easy? When those of other cultures and religious backgrounds discover this group and find that they must adhere to a special set of principles that they had no part in putting together, do you think they will look at it any differently than all the other oppressive religions which have required similar oaths? Cannot God speak to their language and understanding better than anyone else?

      Also, if someone is declaring, "I want to choose for you," what does that say about the principle they hold dear?

      I say let us individually decide for ourselves what principles which ring true (the ability to do THAT is the "set of principles"). Then let us engage in what we have declared as ours, and proceed to bear fruit. Or not. But in the end, it's on our own heads and none has to shoulder the burden of being "right" or "wrong" for another soul.

      PS - The Lord made sure that these words especially (preached by Samuel) were included in the record we have. Perhaps there is a reason for this.

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    2. Likewise, is this not the same principle which Denver was commanded to follow, as he was not allowed to interfere in the development of the G&S? It seems to me that based on what we are already holding to as our standard in this process, we should have the answer.

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  28. McKay,
    I like the presentation of the truth you laid out. It represents neutrality, where I think SC should remain. “Too legit to quit!” IMUA (move forward)!!!

    Jim and James,
    bros, you can’t deny he’s got you on the Aug 5th and Lotsters both qualifying and the answer is singular. His logic vs your logic, it all points to opinions battling out. May the truth lead us all out of this mess!

    Rob & Q Adolpho

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    1. Rob,
      Please see my response to McKay for several possible "singular" statements.

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    2. The thing I like about your idea is that you are looking at solutions. You are “brainstorming”, considering ideas to get us over the goal line.

      The language, as I read it, doesn’t allow your solution. “When you have an (singular) agreed statement of principles I require it (still singular) to also be added (added to what? To the scriptures right?)  as a (singular) guide and standard for my people to follow.

      I can’t see any possibility of doing as you are contemplating without ignoring the first revelation to “his people” in 175 years. I can’t entertain that idea.

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    3. I am not proposing this (please don't publish it), but suppose the statement of principles was something like what I suggested:

      "Let every person choose for themselves how they will worship and approach God, then share the fruits of their discoveries. We claim the Spirit of truth as our guide, and stand ready, watching for every communication that He will send to us." I'm sure there could be more to clarify the statement, but I think you get the idea.

      How does that not answer the "language?" The statement of principles is that everyone is free to approach the Lord how they may, yet we are still agreed that we are seeking Him as a "people." This approach has the ability to include any outlier on their own terms. It encourages us to walk a mile with each other, to "agree" with our "adversaries," because we are ultimately looking for the same thing. You have a truth which has worked for you? Please, I want to hear it. But I certainly don't want it imposed on me.

      The truths which are, as Rob & Q say, "embedded" in other cultures will rise to the top as we seek commonality (brotherly love). Perhaps this approach is stretching the language a little, but it would be worth at least asking, IMO. He can always say no.

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  29. James,

    The way you wrote the above statement to McKay comes off as you pitching another statement of principles, using Samuel's words to justify it as legitimate. You simply suggest that we should govern ourselves, and that's right to me. However, your ideas can also be understood as "...everyone just do whatever they like, and see who bears fruit," ...and that does not fit the requirement of "A People," ...unless that is what all agree upon. And that brings us back to square one, what do we all agree upon?

    You support the lots, and the Lotser's have the opinion that the voice of the people was the majority, and majority ought to rule the day. However, the argument of the Aug 5th is the very same argument. And you have done a lot of work trying to win that fight, calling people to mitigate the numbers, since percentages don't tell a complete story when people simply don't vote, showing a "no confidence" in the process. You're stuck with making the same argument, in total opposition. You can't both be right, but you can both be wrong.

    Comparing all of the documents out there, very little differentiates them all. Some use this as evidence to prove that ALL OF THEM could qualify, and this would have all been done a long time ago. I think that it's more accurate to state that since little differentiates one document from another, we need more light to move forward, more truth, ...and not more opinions.

    What you have described, sounds to me like a very studious opinion. And I can see how from your opinion you can stand where you stand, supporting the Lotster's. But, you can also make the same argument in support of the Aug 5th. So we ought to keep working things through, allowing God to add light. Thus far, all of the answers given from God describe "God is on MY SIDE." None of them add more light to the subject matter of the assignment. For this reason, I have kept my distance from both Aug 5th and the Lotster's, moving towards King Follet.

    You mentioned others not yet here, and how they'll feel about the documents on the table, and I agree with you, they'd easily see the effort as just another institution. However, that is not the case for the King Follet. No institution has ever made such a massive claim as that, ...nor would they ever!!! That is precisely why I am moving in that direction. What makes that direction more relevant to those people is, those principles are already embedded in their culture!!!!!!!!! Once you made the connection, not only would they not be offended, they would already mutually agree.

    I still think that MacKay's comment laid you and Jim out!

    Rob & Q Adolpho

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    1. Rob,
      First of all, I think you have me mixed up with another James. I believe this is the first direct conversation I've had with you, and I don't know anything about mitigating numbers. Also, I don't prefer the Lotsers over anyone else, or if I do support them, I equally support the others, including the King Follet. In a forum like this, I suppose there is bound to be confusion about who we are talking to. But whatever background you thought I had, feel free to discard it. From now on I'll sign in as James II.

      The Book of Revelation describes seven churches, all of which had their own distinctive culture and approach, as well as things they needed to work on. Yet, in name they were united in Christ. Why can't there be a Lotster Church and an August 5th Church and a King Follet Sermon Church, etc.? They are still one "people" in Christ... a people who are trying to discover the nature of the Lord in ways which work for them.

      I will look more into the KF discourse which is drawing you in. I hope it leads somewhere.

      By the way, if "the answer is always yes," as we have been told, what would it look like if everyone was asking the Lord the same question at the same time?

      Delete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Wow, James II, thanks for clearing that up for me. Assumptions and opinions do just that, it's a shaky foundation no one ought to build upon. I seriously owe both James Fargo and Jim O'Rulian a serious apology for associating their opinions with yours. I have publicly done this, so I am prepared to take a public lashing for it, eating crow once again. Some people never learn their lesson, I tell you. I often get frustrated with myself when this happens, ...but I just can't seem to get rid of me. Thanks James II for calling me out! James and Jim, you can probably expect groveling. You deserve it. Anyone got a big cloak to throw over this guy? Fresh start anyone?

    James II,

    I won't leave your questions unanswered, but I'll try not to eat crow and swallow my foot at the same time. Having gone through the year long process of the Governing Principles, I have become very familiar with the similar concepts they have all put forth. I am also familiar with the differing angles they take to put it forth, one using an assignment and a meeting, the other using trusted quotes and equality. Joseph Smith, in Man Without Doubt, went through each of those similarly. At the conclusion of his life was King Follet.

    I am grateful for your expression to look into KF, to consider my perspective. Where are you located, so that perhaps we can get together to discuss it? I love talking through KF, it is mind blowing! Any opportunity to discuss it, I jump on it like a young puppy, pouncing and licking faces. And that's probably what got me into this confusing mess in the first place. Only problem about acting like a puppy, when you look like a grown adult, ...instead of cute pouncing and licking faces, ...it sort of looks like a mauling! Maaaaaaa Baaaaaad!?

    I'd love to meet you and apologize personally, ...but this time without a mouthful of foot (my wife constantly reminds me to stop talking as I'm chewing, she complains that it's just not pretty, and I spit all over people). PEACE?!

    Chief Crow-foot-in-the-mouth,
    Rob Adolpho

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    1. Thanks for your apology Rob, but no hard feelings nor offense taken…simply a case of mistaken identity, easy enough to do in an online forum such as this.

      The REAL James Fargo :)

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    2. PART 1
      Rob,

      No need for apologies here, brah. I should have looked more closely at who had been talking in these posts and made it clear that I was a different guy. While it's the best forum we have, there is something to be said about sitting down with a person and talking story with them face to face. I'm down in the heart of the beast (Utah Valley), so if you are ever around, I'd love to meet up and chat.

      I have been having a conversation with a friend lately which have to do with being “one” and “unique” (or diverse or sundry, etc.) at the same time.

      The question was asked by McKay: "How does multiple people writing multiple docs square with 'I require you to write A (singular) set of principles'?"

      Here is an answer: The same way a teacher gives a singular assignment to a class with many participants. One way see the G&S assignment is that the Lord is a Teacher. The Teacher says to His Class (My People), "Your assignment is to write a short essay (a statement of your principles). It needn’t be too long or detailed." In most cases, homework is to be carried out on your own; however 'mutual agreement' is what allows us to group up together as we see fit--1 person, 10, 100, whatever. It makes sense there could be many who team together with the same "answer," if they wanted to. My friend said, “The A&C does say that we ought to learn how to disagree peaceably. This approach allows us to do that, to SHOW that. We can think differently, disagree, and get along in kindness by having many witnesses.”

      And the goal we are looking to get to is in Jeremiah 31:33-34:

      "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

      Continuing with my friend’s thoughts, “When this occurs, everyone will stand on their own, individually, in God. The Lord writes His law (one) in their hearts (many), and He is the only Teacher, not each other. It seems that THIS is the highest standard (or guide or ensign)--one which is written within. It is many witnesses expressing the same thing, each standing on their own. As seen in the scriptures, it is unique or "sundry" for each. John witnesses his own testimony, as does Adam, Nephi, Isaiah, and so on.”

      If you look at a menorah, each of the seven sections branches out away from the one next to it. But turn the menorah sideways and it all appears to be singular, with no candle holder above another. (https://www.ajudaica.com/Jerusalem-Silver-And-Gold-Seven-Branch-Menorah/item11873) It is one in your hand. There are some who have already come to mutual agreement on a G&S, though they are different between the groups. That is still mutual agreement. They have taken their own up as a standard for themselves, and at least one has published theirs on Amazon. This allows everyone to do as they will to fill the "assignment." Nothing is compelled on another. Each learns from (or comes to 'know') the Lord directly.

      Delete
    3. PART 2

      Yet we can still learn from each other. I look forward to hearing about the merits of the King Follet discourse from one who has looked into it and (presumably) put the principle to practice. Maybe I'll adopt some of those principles as my own, while still keeping the doctrine of Christ in mind. The Lord will teach me along the way through the Spirit, in a language and understanding that is different than yours or anyone else's.

      All this time spinning our wheels has shown us something. We have put on display our own guiding principle, which is that we want to be free to choose. Never mind the contention which has occurred. The Lord will forgive us of our iniquity and remember our sin no more...IF we can let Him put His law into our inward parts, and write it in our hearts.

      Delete
    4. One thing I might add, Rob, has to do with your expression to do these things “in fear and trembling.” We must each come to our own understanding of what that means, but I believe the source of that idiom came from Psalm 2:11. Or even better, Psalm 2:10-12:

      This is the King James Version of that passage:

      “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

      And the MSG Version of 2:11:
      “Worship God in adoring embrace,
      Celebrate in trembling awe”

      And the Voice Version:
      “There is only one God, the Eternal;
      worship Him with respect and awe;
      take delight in Him and tremble.”

      The word “fear” took on the connotation of “afraid of danger” in the Middle Ages, but the root of the word is *per, which means “to try, risk.” Other words from this root are “approach, appropriate, promise, prove, provide” and many others. It is also related to “fare,” as in traveling, and “forth,” and “forward.” “Tremble” is akin to “shake” or “dance.”

      I don’t want to be one of those guys who nitpicks or gets caught up in semantics, but if “fear and trembling” is going to be put out there, I’d like to at least offer another interpretation of it besides the one which depicts an authoritative god who causes us to quiver because of our unworthiness. To me it is about being confident, even joyous in trying something different and new. In our case, as you have pointed out, it could be simply tossing out the thing that isn’t working and having the confidence that we won’t be upbraided for giving it another shot with a unique approach which hasn’t yet been attempted. I don't know about how it is for you, but "creation" requires a lot of experimentation and risk-taking. But the process is a fun one, or at least can be.

      Delete
  32. Here are answers to two questions about process.

    Anonymous said, “Surely, if we are not about force and compulsion, then even to advance forward with ANY proposal that is posted (including this one), there must be some sort of vote by the people stating they'll go along with it. That's one of the things I personally appreciated about the what the Lots people did...they FIRST got permission of 87% of the body before they proceeded.”

    This vote DOES provide a way for people to say whether they will go along with it or not. In fact it provides four opportunities.

    Step 1 — if no one submits any statements of principle they wish to have considered for inclusion in the scriptures, the process will come to an end
    Step 2 — The vote between Statements must produce a clear majority or the process ends
    Step 3 — The vote to accept/reject the majority’s choice has to be nearly unanimous or the process ends
    Step 4 — The vote to adopt the majority’s choice despite those in opposition has to be a clear majority or the process ends

    At every step, the folks and only the folks get to decide if the vote goes forward. If they don’t want to use this approach to settle on a G&S it won’t happen. But, let’s honor everyone’s agency in this process. Give us the right to at least try. And let’s respect the scripture committee’s agency as well. If they decide to give the thumbs up to this process, how is it respectful of other’s agency to tell them they can’t?

    A second concern:

    “(W)hat about all the people who will not be attending the conference. Off the top of my head I can think of 10 people I know who are not attending the conference due to schedule conflict/finances/proximity, who have been very involved in these matters up to this point. How will this proposal take into account the voice of these people when so much of carrying this out happens "live" at the conference?

    Here’s the answer. Folks that don’t attend the conference will be able to vote by proxy. If you can’t be there, you ask someone who will be there to stand in your stead. And we can help facilitate finding a proxy for you if you want. We will post the results of the first round of voting Friday night, so that you have time to communicate with your proxy.

    Gordon Platt

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    1. Gordon,

      Thank you for your response. I know there's lots of "anonymous" comments so it's hard to know who is responding. I am the one who asked the questions you are answering.

      Can you clarify further on your comments above:

      Step 1 - Since the SC already stated that the Lots meets the qualifications and noted that all others had to show how they fit, too...is your understanding that if no one submits a GS to be considered that qualifies, that the SC would go forward with publishing the Lots?

      Step 2 - How are you defining a clear majority? Let's say there are 4 documents up for vote...one gets 50% and the other three split the remaining 50% in some manner. Is that a clear majority? And do you not worry that this will open a can of worms that was already resolved by having 93% agreed upon one document?

      Step 3 - Is this the question on the ballot that asks the people if they are willing to accept whatever document gets the majority even if it isn't their first choice?

      Step 4 - Is this the vocal vote at the conference? If so, this was one of my questions you answered with having someone stand in proxy for those not attending. If you are using a voice vote, are you saying that the only voice vote that really matters is how many are opposing? If my voice vote is blending in with the "yes's" it really isn't pertinent if I'm not there? Because you're just trying to identify the no's so that you can talk with them?

      I understand that you feel that the process itself is allowing people to decide if this proposal is to go forward. I do not see it the same. I feel that if there is a proposal of this nature, which is attempting to get the entire assembly to have to agree to resolve the mandatory GS issue according to a specified manner, it must have agreement before hand to proceed. Mc Kay compared this proposal to the right the anyone has to just call a conference...not permission required. I do not see them as comparable. A conference has nothing "mandatory" or "binding" about it. But this GS matter is a requirement by the Lord, and thus, takes on a different nature regarding getting agreement from the assembly, IMO. But I respect your view to see it differently and appreciate your explanation.

      I also appreciate you answering those other questions and hope it isn't too bothersome that I am asking for more clarity. Trying to have a good grasp/understanding.

      Delete
  33. This is just a repeat of Mormon votes and being pulled aside after Stake Conference if you disagree. I really feel bad for those who are going to be alienated by this. Let's come up with something new and unique that will help and comfort followers of Christ, not further hurt and alienate.

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  34. The adoption of a guide and standard is about doing exactly and only what the Lord commands, requires, and asks of us.

    The Lord requires of us to adopt a guide and standard by mutual agreement - that is, to put a proposal that everyone has chosen not to dispute into the scriptures. We will know we mutually agree to the adoption of a proposal when none choose to dispute its adoption. That is the effect and meaning of the Lord's "clarification."

    There is no authority in the covenant for declaring those who disagree with you to not be covenant participants. You have no power to excommunicate those who will not yield to the majority simply because they are the majority, nor do you have power to excommunicate those who do not yield to your revelations.

    This proposal to vote does not, and by its nature, cannot fulfil the Lord's requirement that we adopt a guide and standard by mutual agreement. The adoption of the majority proposals is disputed and putting any of them in the scriptures knowing their adoption is disputed does not fulfil the Lord's requirement, regardless of the outcome of any vote.

    All you are accomplishing, if you succeed, is preventing the body from doing what the Lord requires, thus bringing the body under condemnation.

    Your agency is to serve the power of your choosing: you either do exactly what God asks, requires, or commands, or you do what another power asks. That is your agency.

    You are an agent unto yourself to serve the master whose reward you value the most. You cannot serve God and Satan. And Satan wants nothing except that you do something other than what God has asked, required, or commanded.

    And God has required mutual agreement in this matter.

    Jared Livesey

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    1. But, you Jared, have said you will accept nothing but your own proposal, and there are others who would dispute accepting it with equal fervor. So what do you suggest as a unifying remedy?

      It appears folks have set up their tents and stakes, and no one wants to move camp...

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    2. This was sent to G&S Committee Friday afternoon.

      A Proposal to Resolve All Conflict over the G&S in Faithfulness to the Lord

      There is an approach to resolving whatever disputes may possibly exist with respect to the Guide and Standard that is faithful to the Lord in both word and deed: try an experiment upon the word of God and believe and do exactly what the Lord commands us all to do in The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles. The Lord promises: "[W]hosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit" (D&C 5:16).

      To believe on (trust in, or rely upon) his words it is necessary to obey them. Therefore, do these things which he has asked, without fail so long as you have power to obey.

      *Love your enemies.
      *Do good things to those who hate you.
      *Bless those that curse you.
      *Pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you by exploiting your obedience to these commandments.
      *If anyone hits you on one cheek, turn the other cheek to them without reviling.
      *If anyone takes your cloak, don't tell them they can't have your coat.
      *Give to every person that asks of you.
      *Do not ask for your stuff back from any man who takes it from you.
      *Whatever you want people to do to you, do exactly those things to them.
      *Lend, hoping you aren't paid back.
      *Be baptized by water by one of heaven's sent servants to show both men and heaven that you believe God's words and will do them.

      This is the path of Christ. Let us take as long as we need as a people until we are each doing all these things faithfully and equally, as he has asked of us: "Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but also to do as you profess" (A&C, p. 3).

      Then we will be of one mind with God and his Christ, as Joseph taught,"being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one" (Lectures on Faith 5:2).

      Then we will all see eye-to-eye and know that the Lord's doctrine, his law and commandments, his gospel, is the Lord's guide and standard.

      Jared Livesey

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  35. “It’s the spirit here that counts. The time may be long, the vehicle may be strange or unexpected. But if the dream is held close to the heart, and imagination is applied to what there is close at hand, everything is still possible.”
    ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

    “Without realizing it, we fill important places in each other’s lives. It’s that way with the guy at the corner grocery, the mechanic at the local garage, the family doctor, teachers, neighbors, coworkers. Good people who are always “there,” who can be relied upon in small, important ways. People who teach us, bless us, encourage us, support us, uplift us in the dailiness of life. We never tell them. I don’t know why, but we don’t.
    And, of course, we fill that role ourselves. There are those who depend in us, watch us, learn from us, take from us. And we never know.
    You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.”
    ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten


    There are many applicable lessons from kindergarten that will help our current situation. Although we think we have matured and are so much more knowledgable, we really do need to go back to being children and learn again how to treat each other. We forget the simple lessons of respect when we grow and gain the opinion that we are better and older and right.

    From the Testimony of St Matthew 9:10 (from scriptures.info)
    "And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the middle of them, and said, Truly I say unto you, except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. ... Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ... And whoever shall receive one such little child in my name, receives me. ... But whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone was hung about his neck and he was drowned in the depth of the sea."

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  36. To: All, concerning VOTES (1 of 3),

    Our God is an unchanging God, and therefore, he does not repent. Repentance requires changing, and if our God were a changing God, he would not be God. Since He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, ...His patterns are unchanging too. In our isolated thinking, we have forgotten the unchanging-ness of God, and think we now have to innovate in our current circumstances, bringing things to a vote. None of the successful councils indicate a vote, even though our LDS traditions teach of a vote in heaven, where Christ was voted in as our leading politician.

    The pattern from the first Adam-ondi-ahman, to Enoch's city, to Melchizedek, …that pattern indicates two components: a father that preached repentance, and the children who repented. As an unchanging God, we can assume that what is being commanded of us in this Governing Principles assignment is not unique to us, but was always a condition of every Zion. So, following the pattern of the Ancient covenant Fathers, we can extrapolate a few concepts. We all agree that Denver represents the one who preached repentance, speaking truth that shook us all to the bones, …otherwise you would not be here. The question is, “Are we the children who repent?” The assignment upon us is to indicate our condition of repentance. Joseph Smith preached repentance, but the early saints fell apart by their jarrings and strife, malice and contention. What they produced in the preface of the D&C was shot down, as we have experienced, and Joseph regretfully ended up doing it himself. The early saints efforts to repent can be seen in the implementing of D&C 20, having written a document incapable of producing Zion. It was a document representing philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. Ours must represent truths expounded by Denver, making all men free to govern themselves by truth, containing our opinions, not to use them to exercise compulsion on one another, through a vote.

    God’s ways aren’t ours, and repentance is the process of making God’s ways ours. If we are successful at making God’s ways ours, we would be the prototype of a saved being, or in other words precisely what Christ is. In the past, it was light that men had in common that caused them to unite in one voice, and that is the work before us now, …it is a LIGHT thing. However, the way we have been pitched by the different sects of documents has not taken to do the work of adding light. The new book of John tells Peter to feed the sheep as they grow, increase, and are added upon. That is the process of persuasion that leads to pure knowledge that greatly enlarges the soul. However, at every corner during this project, we have a reallllllly looooong meeting, and then we conclude the work with a quick vote, …trying to cut corners for revelation to grow, increase, and add. The typical exasperating comments are, let’s be done with it, get’r done, we got better things that we can do, etc. The repentance of the people cannot be represented in a short order vote. We must do the labor of putting aside opinions, in exchange for truth that speaks for itself, …rather than skipping the work to get more truth, and voting in opinions as if they are true. God’s ways are to circumscribe all truth into one great whole, not skip the necessity of acquiring truth to complete the job half-hearted.

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  37. (2 of 3)

    Continuing on the idea that God’s ways aren’t our ways, …I believe that truth speaks for itself, and that is why we have recognized the message of Denver, to be in this circumstance we are now in. It is the degree of truth we have acquired that determines the sacrifice we are willing to offer. Currently, we all have varying degrees of truth, and also varying degrees of opinions. When truth replaces opinions, so that we are filled with truth alone, that is when we are willing to sacrifice all things accordingly. All of our headaches regarding this project is totally voluntary. Each of us can end the headache by simply leaving. But, it’s the truth Denver has restored to us that makes us willing to offer a degree of sacrifice now, to endure this assignment. None of us were initially present to convince the next person of the truth Denver taught. Even if we may have introduced it to someone, if they are here with us, it was ONLY because each of us individually have been spoken to by God. When a Governing Principles document has been written and is presented, that speaks that quality of truth, …no one will have to convince the other that it is mutually agreeable. They’re voices will rejoice, because they witness Christ in it. That has always been God’s way, respecting agency, while offering abundance.

    In 3 Nephi 11 is an example of the mutual agreement I have in mind, where they all witnessed Christ one by one, and then shouted as one voice. Although those Nephites never acquired Zion, they did establish a terrestrial order for some time. Some have asked me if we all must see Christ first, and I answer No. But the symbolism is accurate. If a Governing Principle is to be accepted by mutual agreement, we will have to witness Christ’s mind and will (complete truth) in the document, thus producing mutual agreement. Right now, it is obvious that none of the documents on the table provide that, resulting in multiple efforts to force a vote. I am saying that rather than compulsing a vote, why don’t we go back to the drawing board, to rethink and question ourselves in fear and trembling, to determine where we went wrong. Let’s not skip the work of LIGHT we are required to do.

    I have made it clear that Joseph Smith’s King Follet Discourse should point our minds in that direction, to establish further truth in the Governing Principles. So far all the documents tell of steps needed to be taken to do what we currently do in this movement, but none of them give context of why we do it. Yet, every last one of us has fallen in love with Denver’s message because it has given us the why. Denver has taught us that if we don’t preserve Joseph’s teachings (a father), the Lord will not complete the restoration through us. Interestingly enough, Denver says it in the last paragraph of his talk on REPENTANCE (PTR pg. 107).

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  38. (3 of 3)

    In conclusion, I submit that God is unchanging, and that repentance requires us to change, so that God’s ways are our ways. Father’s have been sent as witnesses to teach. But, if we, the children, are to turn our hearts to the Father’s who have been and who are in heaven, then we must express our collective repentance as children by responding as one. The Governing Principles project is our opportunity to express our repentance, refusing contention, to build a house of order. When a document is produced that expresses that completely, no one will need say, know ye that the Lord directed it, for all will know that the Lord directed it, removing all the wasted time campaigning, forcing opinions, opinion polling, etc.

    Mahalo,
    Rob & Q Adolpho

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  39. Mc Kay (concerning your question to me quite a way up the thread)

    You have legitimate questions that I am sure others have, too. I am aware of the conundrum the SC feels the August 5th document brings to the table and that this is a major reason for the “hold-up” in publishing the Lots GS. It is my compassion for their perspective that had me take the time to offer my previous suggestions. But as the topic has re-surfaced, I would like to explain how many view the matter. For me, the ultimate difference in how the two documents fulfill what is required, is found in the details of the history that got us here. Here’s the gist.

    1. The August meeting involved an official public invitation to only 2 representatives of each fellowship (male and female) and was limited to involving only those in 5 states.

    Compare this to the Lots inclusion of the entire identifiable world-wide assembly through an extensive effort to inform and outreach through multiple mediums, with ALL covenant individuals placed on equal footing…while including an invitation to review every existing GS produced to that point, including the August 5th GS. (A claim is made that the August meeting was open to everyone. If this is so, this invitation was not broadly known, nor adequately advertised…perhaps it was only made among the inner-circle email list of 80 that existed, as a last minute offering…but I cannot find any official SC communication except the invitation to send a male and female fellowship rep.).

    Evidence of the extensive outreach made by the Lots proponents was manifest in one of the seven being from England, one from Texas, and one from Oregon, as well as families adding their names to publicly support the initial proposal from Japan and Germany, among other places across the country.

    Also, with the Lots GS, opportunity for input was given to the entire assembly on an individual basis, for three days after the initial draft was made. No other document qualifies with that type of assembly-wide inclusion/participation…no “go-between representatives” were required to express one’s ideas to those assigned the task of writing.

    The August 5th vote was pre-covenant and included at least 50+ identifiable votes of individuals who did NOT continue on and enter into the covenant a few weeks later; making the two documents and their votes comparative of apples to oranges, rather than apples to apples. (to be cont. part 2)

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  40. Part 2 continued to Mc Kay....

    Because of the timing of the creation of the documents, the Lots GS kept the assignment relevant to those who viewed the Prayer, Answer and Covenant, as truly from the Lord, and had willingly entered into the covenant.

    1. The August 5th GS was not published due to the executive decision of the SC upon which no one had power to convince otherwise (I sympathize with the events that made this so, I am not criticizing) …even though great attempts were made to persuade them to reverse their decision, including a website to petition them, they held firm in their decision to not publish the August GS.

    Neutrality and non-governance was declared by the SC on the 13th of August, and the people were still further told they needed to move forward in figuring out a way to persuade the assembly to create something else that would meet the requirements, with a promise that they’d publish it if it did (October 8, 2017 SC post).

    2. The genesis of the August document was from an unintentional place of hierarchy (those on the committee directing how it was to unfold) vs. the Lots effort truly resulting by the ground-level assembly uniting in equality, to include all covenant holders in order to fulfill the requirements of the Lord…while requesting and receiving permission from the assembly to act before moving forward in any way. No other document received permission from the assembly before proceeding.

    3. The Lots document was the only document that qualifies as originating from the assembly at large that did the following: was taken to the Lord immediately upon completion, with an answer received from Him and made public, that was also presented to Denver with their personal testimony of the Lord’s answer to them (the seven)…all this being done BEFORE any voting took place by the assembly to adopt the document.

    When the voting took place, it incorporated the necessary wording verifying that the document was being “mutually agreed upon” by the individual if a vote was cast affirmatively. When the 93% cast their vote to adopt the Lots GS, they did so knowing the above declarations had been made, and believing that the matter was going to be closed and the document published if sufficient “yes” votes manifested.

    Additionally, it is my understanding that the seven presented the Lots GS to Denver with their testimonies on a Friday, the vote to adopt by mutual agreement began the following Monday - Friday. By Wednesday of that week, the SC was presented with the new revealed definition of mutual agreement. Many see this as a direct tender mercy of the Lord to have compassion upon the diligent efforts that had been exhibited by the assembly to set aside their differences and unite on this matter. All we had to do now was not dispute. A way was literally granted us by the Lord to succeed in fulfilling His requirements. The only hold-up became having the SC follow-through with their October 8th promise. Many have felt at the mercy of a seeming hierarchy…even though I do not believe the intent has been to become a hierarchy.

    Part 3 continued....

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  41. Part 3 continued....

    1. It is the only document adopted by the mutual agreement of the people, that also entailed a 40 day out-reach to any who remained in dissent after its adoption. Every name recorded and every reason for dissent was noted. All concerns were measured against scripture.

    No other qualifying document has completed this type of outreach. Are those who were involved in creating the August 5th document, that had 9% dissent, prepared to also go out and conduct an outreach to find those who still oppose their document? Apples to apples would require it.

    While there are additional points that could be made explaining the internal differences between the two documents, your question is not about the merits of the content, but about the standard met that qualifies each document for consideration to be published, due to meeting the specified requirements the SC outlined in their recent post.

    I have attempted to respectfully lay out just some of the key reasons why most of the people who support the Lots GS consider the work done, having met every established requirement to a fuller degree than all other documents, including the August GS. I don’t even think they are comparable on equivalent levels for the reasons outlined. I liked the August document and supported it at the time, but when comparing the level to which the documents meet the requirements of the Lord and include the covenant assembly, they just aren’t even close. It is not that people do not understand the conundrum felt by the SC, but their minds think through the matter differently and see this as apples to oranges...with a 93% agreed upon and extremely qualified document waiting to be published. It appears that we hold two different opinions; and that is okay. It is even Zion-like to disagree, and hold opposite opinions if we do not contend. And I do not consider this contention, rather discussion.

    I hope this helps you see how some believe the conundrum is already resolved. But I get that it may not persuade you. I hope, though, that you would at least consider implementing some of the suggestions I offered concerning your proposal. I feel confident that a vote will still result in the Lots GS gaining approval of the assembly, but I do not feel it is a necessary step and runs the risk of creating a greater divide, rather than the healing you hope to accomplish. My solution: …To continue your football analogy…is to hope this “instant replay” clearly shows the SC that the Lotsters actually DID cross the goal line, and to have the SC take off the referee uniform and allow the will of the people to go forward through their own self-regulation.

    Thanks for engaging in the dialogue. I'll go silent now.

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    1. Mc Kay

      I apologize that when I copied my comments into this thread it altered the numbering and I did not notice. There were supposed to be 6 different points I addressed. I hope you could follow.

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  42. Anonymous, what did you mean by this?
    "Every name recorded and every reason for dissent was noted."

    Whose names were recorded and where and why?

    I just have no idea what you are referencing here. Thanks.

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    1. From what I understand, the 7 Lotsters took 40 days and invited anyone willing to reach out to them personally for one-on-one contact. They extended this invitation several times in their communications. In addition to speaking to those who had opposed their document, they sought to find any who had missed the vote or chosen not to vote that was under covenant. They said they spent many individual hours engaged in this outreach effort. They desired to find those who had voted in August that did not vote in November because initially there was about a 70 vote discrepancy between how many voted in each. The SC had asked them to account for this difference. They were able to find over 100 people and made that report in their final post on this site. Over 50 did not vote because they had not entered the covenant. Many others were disinterested or burned out.

      They did NOT ever share those names with anyone, including the SC, but kept a record of numbers involved (each representing a real person they spoke with) and the reasons that people gave for not participating in the vote.

      They gave a general report of all of this at the beginning of January on this site. It's hard to follow all of this and realize how much was done by them because there is information overload at times.

      Hope that helps.

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    2. That helps a lot. Thank you. Information overload for sure.

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  43. To be honest, I'm baffled by this proposal. I sincerely appreciate the attempt to bring this to a resolution, and to appease the remaining few who oppose (or at least have not voted in favor of) the Lots document. But I remain confused for the following reasons:

    1. If the goal is to come to mutual agreement, insofar as its possible, this implies coming together rather than dividing apart. We must get to the point that we choose not to dispute. Given that we are very nearly at that point already with the Lots document, I simply don’t understand how inviting other documents and starting over with the voting will bring MORE unity than we already have. To my limited brain, it appears such an approach will only invite further division, rather than further unity. This approach appears to promote disputations, rather than reduce them.

    2. As far as I know, nobody disputes the actual words written in the Lots document. Some dispute the process, or like other documents better, but that is not the same as disputing the document itself. Therefore, there is a colorable claim that we already have mutual agreement, and that this current proposal undercuts that mutual agreement. You would have to get further details from the 7 Lotsters, who personally reached out to and spoke with every dissenter they could possibly find.

    3. The recent 40-day vote sponsored by the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs people demonstrated both increasing apathy and increasing confusion with each additional vote. Opening it up to more documents proved counterproductive in their effort. There was no unity, no clear winner, and nothing decided. Will that same path bring different results this time merely because the scripture committee says this is the last vote?

    4. It’s been expressed that the scripture committee views the August 5 document and the Lots document as essential equals in meeting the requirements and qualifying for vote. And yet, the two documents are so completely different in how they were started, developed, written, voted upon and completed that it comes down to apples and oranges. Others have already laid out those arguments. Given that the stark and massive difference between the two documents seems apparent to so many, but not to the scripture committee, this new vote comes across as an attempt to, yet again, establish the Aug 5 document as the final, despite claims of neutrality. This is not an accusation by any means, but rather reflects how people are perceiving this proposed effort.

    5. It is good, laudable, and godly to seek peace and and end to disputations. And truly, I have no dispute regarding people, process, the scripture committee, or any of the like. But I do draw the line at truth. “Peace should not be made at the cost of truth. Truth must be the only goal.” If this new round of voting produces a majority in favor of a document that contains scripturally demonstrable falsehood, I will not sacrifice truth to end dispute.

    (Continued)

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  44. A Proposal: Now that I’ve stated my concerns about the present proposal, I’d like to offer something constructive. Here’s an alternative way this could be handled. Why not simply stand at the first conference session and say the following:

    “Fellow covenant holders, it appears we, as a general body, have reached mutual agreement on the Lots document and we are prepared to publish it in the scriptures as the Lord has required, if this is indeed the case. Because the Lord has defined mutual agreement “as between yourselves, you choose not to dispute” we now desire to know, before we proceed, if there are any who dispute the adoption of this document. If you choose to dispute it, will you please raise your hand?”

    Any raised hands can then be noted and addressed personally in a private meeting at some point during the conference weekend to ascertain whether their dispute is with the actual document itself, or based on some other factor like, their preference for another document, their desire to write it themselves, their issues with process, or another factor outside the document itself.

    If they dispute the words as written, the dispute must be carefully considered against the standard of truth as contained in scripture.

    I would suggest that in each case (meaning each person who raises a dispute) a member of the Lots committee and a member of the scripture committee meet together with that person to understand and document their dispute, and ascertain whether the dispute is over the document itself, or some other issue.

    If there are no disputes with the document itself, it gets printed. If there are disputes with the document, and either the Lots committee member or the scripture committee member is persuaded the dispute has merit and must be addressed, the lots committee will be invited to revise the document to eliminate the dispute so adoption can proceed.

    If it can be revised before the second conference session, announce the revision(s) made, the end of the dispute(s) that invoked the revisions, and ask again if there are any disputes. If not, it goes in. If there are yet disputes to the document itself, it is tabled until next conference.

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    1. I don't understand this. It has always been known there are some who dispute the lots version of a G&S, or voted no to it. Has it not been felt that did not matter because it was only some few and a "majority" accepted it by vote, which was good enough? How does this suggestion create a different outcome? Is it hoped that even if some few still disagree, maybe they could be persuaded to simply not dispute?

      Is this idea being offered because the SC has refused at present to accept it as the one to be published and perhaps another round will convince the remaining doubters? But what about Jared/Log, who has said he will dispute everything not his proposal?

      And that whole scenario about identifying disputers, taking them privately aside for discussion, etc. feels uncomfortable. I mean, I would want no part of that on either side.

      No offense meant. I just don't see how this will help. But maybe some want the opportunity? I am curious how others feel.

      And what if Christ was suggesting to us that we don't dispute because we all liked or agreed with what has been created, and felt there was literally nothing to dispute over? Maybe that is another way of viewing it. Just some thinking on my part.

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    2. Yes, there are people who voted against it, but who have said they do not dispute it. They simply prefer something else. As far as I know, when the seven reached out to everyone they could and personally discussed the issues, the disputes all had to do with things outside this document. Process, people, preferences. Not the actual words.

      Now, I could be wrong. I'm not one of the lotsters and I don't know what they know. But I believe the actual number of disputes with the document is extremely small.

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    3. Adrian, what I was meaning and said poorly was I do not see how your suggestion or even the above proposal is going to change the outcome from what has already happened. I do not believe that if we keep voting, keep trying to persuade those who disagree, or reach out to any and all will create a condition any different than what we presently have, and that condition has been shot down by the SC. (Which I am still unclear about why exactly.)

      It appears there will always be some who do not vote, who disagree, or who even dispute. So, now what? If the "majority" of ninety-something percent was not sufficient, what will be?

      I appreciate all the work and labour that has gone before. I also appreciate that people are trying to find a solution.

      But I feel alarmed, upset, and cannot understand why we are where we are at this point. Christ has asked us, repeatedly in both scripture and His recent Answer to us as one whole to love one another, to be tender with one another, to cloak one another in charity. It does not appear we are interested in doing so. I surely hope I am mistaken, however, and just not close enough to most to see accurately. I worry we care more about a statement of principles than we do one another.

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  46. Adrian Larsen writes: "As far as I know, nobody disputes the actual words written in the Lots document."

    I do dispute the actual words written in the Lottery document, and have explained why in the following posts.

    What We Don't Need

    Where It All Went Wrong

    Founded upon The Rock of Jesus Christ

    Answers to Questions about "Founded upon The Rock of Jesus Christ"

    You are hereby publicly informed that I dispute the content of the Lottery document, and you are hereby publicly informed that we do not mutually agree upon the Lottery document, for I dispute its adoption.

    Jared Livesey

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  47. To make a critical issue clear:

    We shall not agree, meaning I shall and do dispute, the adoption of any guide and standard that features any content from or through Denver Snuffer.

    The reason is simple: leading men to trust in men, or to look to men for guidance, is to bring upon them the curse of the Lord, which means they are severed from his presence and, if they do not repent of trusting in men, they do not escape the chains of hell, thus they have been led to destruction which, according to the words of Alma, is to murder them.

    If you will of yourselves perish by trusting in Denver Snuffer, you have that power and privilege and can instruct others to observe your faith within your fellowships, taking upon yourselves the personal responsibility before God for the effect of your individual teachings. I have no commandment from the Lord to lead men to destruction in that fashion, but am bound by his law and the terms of the covenant to not agree to any such attempt to murder God's children.

    Jared Livesey

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    1. Jared, by that logic, we cannot use the words of scripture, or the words of our Lord, because they, too, came to us through men. Nor do we have a covenant because it came through Denver. Nor can we write a guide and standard because it will be produced by men.

      Singling out Denver for exclusion, while accepting the words of other men is absolutely illogical. Either the Lord speaks through servants or he doesn't. If the Lord claims the words, the mouth is irrelevant.

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    3. Adrian,

      I exclude the words of any living man who may be trusted in, and use only the words which Christ himself spoke by his own mouth, and not through a servant.

      Denver, you see, is alive and around to be seen and trusted in - those who trust in him are cursed, and those who lead others to trust in him murder them.

      Jared Livesey

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    4. And where will you get the words which Christ himself spoke by his own mouth and not through a servant? We have no records written by Christ's own hand. ALL His words that have come to us, have come because a man, not Christ, delivered them to us.

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    5. The prophets whose words were compiled into the scriptures are not around to be trusted in. Their words may only be believed, and, if their words are believed, their words will be attested to by the Holy Ghost.

      On the other hand, a living man who may be perceived by the carnal senses is around to be trusted in, relied upon, taken for a guide - precisely the things the Lord curses people for, and as the Lottery document, and most others, do with Denver Snuffer: raise him up for a light and a guide.

      These things shall not be without my dispute.

      Jared Livesey

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    6. I've tried to explain more here: That They May Stumble

      Joseph tried to correct the Church, but it was too late.

      President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy.

      The problem isn't fixed by swapping the Brethren for Denver Snuffer. The problem is fixed by ceasing to trust in men and relying solely upon the Lord.

      Jared Livesey

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    7. Jared, I see your point. I really do. But I still find it illogical.

      You claim covenant status by means of a covenant that came through, and was administered by, Denver Snuffer. Does that make you guilty of trusting in the arm of flush, and therefore worthy of cursing? Of course not. You trusted in the Lord's words, not the man.

      Likewise, I believe that using the Lord's words precisely because they came from the Lord, regardless of who spoke them, living or dead, is appropriate as long as we recognize them as the Lord's words. Of course we don't elevate the man. But neither do we reject the words merely because the man who spoke them is still alive.

      Rejecting living prophets in favor of dead ones is nothing new. The Pharisees did it to Christ. The religionists of the day did it to Joseph Smith. Let's not fall into the same error.

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  48. Adrian,

    What you pose as a rhetorical question is, in fact, not a rhetorical question. Grudges, reviling, enmity, and contradicting the word of God is not the behavior of a blessed people.

    And the man has indeed been elevated. And nobody is talking about rejecting his words - only excluding all of them from the guide and standard.

    The Pharisees, in fact, rejected John. What you ought to consider is why John still had disciples after he proclaimed Christ, and consider again that "cursed is he that trusteth in man, or maketh flesh his arm."

    Jared Livesey

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  49. Jared, dead prophets can’t deliver the words of Christ. They are all, obviously, first recorded by living prophets. By your logic, ALL prophets must be ignored until they are dead, for only then do their words matter.

    Seriously?

    The scriptures were ALL written by prophets who were alive at the time, and who taught the people—while alive. So the people in their day shouldn’t have listened then, either? Perhaps they should have killed the prophets sooner so they could heed their words? By your logic, why should God even send prophets at all?

    I am dumbfounded as to why you consider yourself a covenant holder when the covenant came through a man you very publicly refuse to trust. Why accept that, but no other words from him?

    I have no desire to engage in debate with you, only to clarify this point you are actually using as your argument. I’m sorry, but I find it completely illogical and anti-scriptural.

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  50. The only relationship anyone need ever have had with Denver Snuffer is simply to have believed him when he testified that he had seen Christ, and to have believed that Denver Snuffer spoke truly that the Lord has renewed the commandment to be baptized again, and then to actually be baptized as a witness before God and heaven that we had believed the witness.

    Then we were to repent of all our sins in obedience to the commandments of Christ, looking to Christ alone, and regarding Denver Snuffer as no more and no less than any other living man. We would have then been witnesses of Christ ourselves, pointing people to Jesus.

    Alternatively, we could have repented without ever hearing Denver Snuffer's name, and been led by the Holy Ghost to all things we needed to know and all things we needed to do, and obtained the same result.

    Jared Livesey

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  52. CherryAnn,

    I make no argument, but repeat the words of the Lord.

    "Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."

    When our reasoning brings us into conflict with the word of the Lord, that should be the cue to change our minds - which is what it means, quite literally, to repent.

    Jared Livesey

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  53. Et lux, you said, “Is this idea being offered because the SC has refused at present to accept it (the lots doc) as the one to be published?

    Yes, this idea was proposed as a way to get a G&S not only that 386+ support but that the SC will publish. Yet, no one other than those who brought this proposal forward have expressed even a tiny bit of support for the idea among the comments so far. None. And not a breath of support for the Aug 5th G&S. I am surprised.

    I hope no one ever asks me to report on the movement as a whole. The response to our proposal has convinced me that I simply don’t think like others. If this proposal is weighted toward the adoption of one document over another it is in favor of the lots document because the popularity of that approach right now is very high YET overwhelmingly it is those in support of the lots document who distrust this vote. I’m flummoxed.

    McKay

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    1. McKay, I am sorry for all that is happening. I do not understand much of it at this point. I feel very torn, but absolutely unwilling to dispute any document at this point. For myself concerning this proposal I just do not see how more voting will fix anything or create a different scenario than what we have right now with so much division. Perhaps we missed an important opportunity last summer to build stronger relationships and trust? Have we been too focused upon writing a statement and not enough upon our hearts and one another? I don't know. I just feel distressed now. I appreciate people trying to find a solution, but I wonder if the best answer does not involve voting or more proposals at this point. Why are we all here? Why did we all want this covenant and rejoiced when the opportunity was given? Where is the love of our Saviour in this tumult of words and ideas? I pray we will find Him again.

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    2. McKay,

      I've been reading through all the comments and found this sentence by you.

      "The response to our proposal has convinced me that I simply don’t think like others."

      I had to chuckle, because I wonder if there is ANYONE in the movement who has NOT thought this in the last year about OTHERS in the movement. I believe that is truly how most of us feel or have felt at some point.

      What I'm learning through this whole process is that it is okay that I don't think exactly like others, and that they don't think like me...even when we are all unified with faith in Christ and a covenant with Him. Perhaps, and hopefully, the unity in how we think will come in time, but for now, IF I can learn to genuinely (not fake it) not feel resentment or take offense because of the difference in thinking, then I'm moving in the direction the Lord desires so that we can dwell in peace.

      I'm stating the obvious, as you know, but if we can express the different ways we think in an honest, respectful manner (with no discord), then we ARE moving in the right direction; despite occasionally feeling like you're the only person who thinks a certain way. :-)

      By saying that, I know you enough to know that you feel love and kindness toward those who don't think like you, too, and are perhaps just feeling taken back by people not agreeing with what seemed so logical to you and Gordon; because your intent was pure and your thoughts very clear to your mind. That's the thing about having only persuasion at our disposal...sometimes it just doesn't have the effect we thought it was so clearly going to have, and then we are just left with patience, love and long-suffering.

      I wanted to mention one more thing.

      You followed by saying, "If this proposal is weighted toward the adoption of one document over another it is in favor of the lots document because the popularity of that approach right now is very high YET overwhelmingly it is those in support of the lots document who distrust this vote. I’m flummoxed."

      I agree that your proposal favors the lots document. I appreciate that support. But as I read what is being said, I would say it is not that those in support DISTRUST the vote, it's that in addition to believing it will be divisive, rather than unifying...those supporting the lots believe they were handed a sort of bait and switch and that they already voted for and completed what the Lord has asked...and they see the scripture committee as making the decision to restrict them from moving forward and they feel that a hierarchical line is being crossed.

      It seems they feel they are being somewhat coerced when they feel more voting is neither justified, nor wanted by the people. Perhaps they feel subtle "control" happening.

      I know that none of this would not be the intent of the scripture committee. I've spoken with many of you and don't believe that would be intentional; but perhaps it is worth stepping outside how things are seen within the circle you are in, and considering that the assembly (not involved in the inner meetings) are actually experiencing and perceiving something different on their end. Therefore, to look with their eyes as to why it may be coming across different than you intended, may help. Perhaps it isn't about "thinking" differently, but about their overall perception of what is going on.

      Just a thought to consider, to perhaps help you not feel so flummoxed. :-)

      Much love,

      Karen



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  54. I am impressed by the polite and respectful exchange. Thank you all for your thoughts.
    McKay

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  55. Part 1
    I for one believe the Lord is being merciful when he sends a messenger with a message that is adding truth and light into the world. In the days of Enoch, he had hundreds of years to work with his people, years we don’t have. We were blessed with Joseph Smith who did what the Lord asked of him. We were blessed with the truth and light he taught us. We were warned by God to heed his message. We have been blessed with servants in our day that speak truth and light that enlarge our souls. We have been blessed with the trials of this last year to learn. The Lord in the Answer stated, “Nevertheless, there have been sharp disputes between you that should have been avoided. I speak these words to reprove you that you may learn, not to upbraid you so that you mourn. I want my people to have understanding.” I for one am grateful for the understanding given to me this last year. Many words that I thought I knew changed. What I’ve come to understand is that the lexicon I obtained through the LDS church was very different than God’s lexicon. Even amongst ourselves our lexicons are vastly different.

    It seems our language is confounded. I believe that reading the Book of Mormon can help us develop the same lexicon, as it is the most correct book available to us. What the Book of Mormon teaches is to be directed by God’s words. Nephi was a great example of this: he continually obeyed the Lords voice to him. This reminds me of what I’ve learned about Adam’s day. In Adam’s day, Adam taught, by way of example, to not question, doubt or rebel against God but to instead live by every word of the Lord even when he didn’t understand “why.” This is a system that was taught to Enoch, which he was governed by. The Kingdom of God is His, He is the God of this land and of the whole earth; therefore, he should be leading and not man. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, if it worked for Enoch to follow the system Adam taught then wouldn’t it work for us? What was Joseph Smith trying to teach before he was killed by “friends?” The Lord must bring Zion, because mankind cannot (READ: DS blog post-All or Nothing series)

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  56. Part 2
    My point is everything about us needs to change and a new way of life must be organized. Enoch’s people repented. I find it very interesting that in the Repentance talk DS stated, “The first order of repentance is to remember what God gave to us through Joseph. You do that, and then you find God is perfectly willing to pick it up and move it forward. You don't do that, and God will simply wait for you to get around to discharge the duty that is devolving upon you. God vouched for Joseph Smith. God spoke through him. I don't have the right to move one of his words. But I do have the right to listen to him, to follow what came through him, and to lay hold upon the blessings that were promised as a consequence of remembering him. To remember the words of Joseph is to remember your Lord. Remember Him. And do not let anyone tell you that they hold some authority that allows them to neglect, change, discard, veto, forget, or contradict what God told you through the voice of the Prophet.”

    I don’t agree with the Lots document or any other document because from what I have read none of them remember what God gave us through Joseph. They have an image of godliness, using “pull” quotes to represent his words, but ignore the greater message that circumscribed his efforts offered in the King Follet Discourse. While I am certain they, as individuals meant well, their glossing over such significant concepts is a reflection of every turn of this project in every document. We constantly rush ahead, and then get stuck, and then try again, …only to rush ahead once more. We must not skip the work to be mutually agreeable. I don’t blame the people for our failure to be mutually agreeable. We simply haven’t found a document to produce it. But here we are again, rushing to a vote. Let’s stop rushing the vote, allowing mutual agreement to be a byproduct rather than the end in mind, and hunker down to do the work of writing something that enlightens.

    Q

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  57. I’ve seen this King Follet idea referenced for months now but never heard or seen any actual proposed document.

    Why is that? If that is the route to take then why have it’s proponents not produced anything for anyone to view or discuss? And instead spend a lot of words pointing out errors of others?

    Perhaps the King Follet based standard is forthcoming. And if so, I’m excited to read it.

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  58. Q, I appreciate your insights. I too feel that where we need to go as a people, is where Enoch's people went. We need to repent and develop great faith, even SAVING faith. And yes, we have less time to do it.

    I also believe that what Joseph started teaching in his King Follet discourse, Denver has picked up and added to with the Holy Order talk and transcript. There is so much we need to learn. Ignorance is certainly our greatest sin.

    As for the G&S, maybe we just DO need to finish this assignment, so people can stop stressing and worrying about it, and move on to learning about how to gain greater faith - the kind of faith we need to accomplish future assignments - the kind of faith that produces the signs that follow those that believe.

    It seems that the G&S assignment is a preliminary assignment for God's people to agree on a basic set of principles to live by, as well as to teach others who are just learning about God's latter day work. The G&S is just the beginning for us. Maybe once this assignment is finished, our focus can shift to obtaining greater knowledge and finding and teaching the lost sheep remnant. Maybe then we can take the larger steps that are needed to become as the people of Enoch.

    Praise God for all the new knowledge he has given us.

    I hope to God we can just move on. So much greater knowledge is available if we can change our focus and become single to God's glory and will.

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  59. "... Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the Celestial kingdom, otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself (D&C 40:1). If we can't over God in this "light thing," there will be no easier assignment. We learn to live now by the higher law or we spin our wheels into eternity.

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  60. We may actually be closer to Enoch’s people’s accomplishments than some who have not yet discovered the truth, have considered. It is a misrepresentation and a misreading of the scripture to think it took a very long time for Enoch’s people to achieve a Zion state. Some, who wrest the scriptures, think it took 365 years for Zion to be achieved by Enoch and his people. In fact, Zion “was with” Enoch and his people FOR 365 years before they were eventually taken up. If you look carefully at the scriptures, and do the math, Zion “was with” Enoch and his people from the time Enoch was nearly 65 years old. They had Zion for 365 years. Tough life! 365 years in Zion! Wow! We may be able to do that, only for a thousand years?

    Moses 7:

    “68 And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years.
    69 And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled.”

    Having corrected that false tradition, I would like to speak some additional truth that has not yet been opened up. Why it hasn’t, puzzles me to no end...

    Why has no one yet asked the question: “where does the Scripture Committee get the power, or authority, to decide anything about the GS?

    There was a discrete period of time when the SC had an assignment and authority for a GS statement. That discreet appointment came and went without success on the part of the SC to produce, submit, and have accepted, a statement. There has been no indication from the Lord that the SC had, or has, any authority or power concerning the GS following the discreet assignment given it to produce a statement. This is the truth.

    In the Answer and Covenant revelation, the Lord clearly (and rightly) praises the SC for its accomplishments respecting the restoration of the scriptures. The Lord also clearly mandates a new direction for the GS initiative in that same revelation. There is nothing in the revelation that appoints any person(s), or committee, to oversee, approve, or dis-approve, any aspect of the GS work. Instead, the Lord clearly assigns the covenant people to accomplish the work and present a statement to Him for inclusion in the guide and Standard, (the scriptures).

    We have acted (like dumb sheep) as though the SC had some authority from some unknown source to make all kinds of calls and decisions about the GS. The authority for the SC to make any binding calls about any aspect of the GS process ended when they failed to produce, and present, and include, an acceptable statement to the Lord before the covenant revelation.

    More.....

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  61. Part 2

    I am not afraid of truth. I love it, and embrace it regardless of whose proverbial tally whacker may get stepped on while revealing it. I love and respect our fellows on the SC. I really do! I have come to love Chris Hamill and consider him my brother. But, I’m sorry, I am not able to find where the SC has any legitimate authority or power with respect to the GS post A&C?? As I have already stated, precedence does not a law make, especially when it is without merit.

    The SC inserted itself into a process that now belongs to the people alone. It ended up making decisions in the name of equity and justice that really just messed things up! A lot!!!

    This is not to scold or to dispute with anyone. I’m simply pointing out what I believe to be absolutely true. No more, no less. (And with very little tact and diplomacy - I know)

    The proper thing to do from here is to allow the people to conduct the people’s business unimpeded by any one, or any committee, who have no more authority than what might be allotted by the people. Which authority hasn’t been legally allotted (except by the people’s apathy and acquiescence)? Since we are aspiring to be a people who will not abide anybody usurping power among us, this is a perfect time for us to say, whoops! We messed that one up! and allowed usurped power when we never should have. Let’s deal with the whole thing honestly, and with a spirit of love, humility, and repentance, and just move on. Let’s let it go.

    If the people were unfettered to do the people’s business as Mosiah suggests we should, (Mosiah 29), the people would finish the assigned work better than if there was any overseer besides the Lord. The directives and suggestions of the Lord have been earnestly sought after, with a genuine desire to do only His will, for completion of this assignment. The common consent voice of the people has become a travesty that must be re-established if Zion is ever to come among us. Even one more “vote” will fairly kill any confidence among this people that their voice means anything at all.

    I ask the SC to step aside with respect to the GS process and its outcomes. The SC has no authority over the GS, or the covenant people whose job and assignment it is to provide it to the Lord. Precedent at this point has no meaning regardless of past decisions and judgements. If precedent ever did have any binding meaning after the SC was decommissioned from the GS responsibility by the Lord in the Answer and Covenant revelation, it was only the lazy acquiescing nature of a people who have been too accustomed to being led like dumb sheep that created the allusion of authority in the SC. Furthering past mistakes will not fix or help anything going forward. Truth assures this.

    By this, I do not want, or desire, division of any kind, with any man, (or woman). I ask every concerned soul to go to God and ask if the truth has been spoken here or not. I desire only to serve and please our God who is truth.

    Steve VanLeer

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  62. Hi Steve,
    I have a few questions for you, since you seem to understand what happened in Enoch’s day(I'm not being sarcastic:).
    1. How long did Enoch work with his people before his people became Zion?
    2. Why is it that he continued to work with the people of God after God called his people Zion and they were of one heart and one mind?
    3. How long do you think it took him to begin to build the City of Holiness? When the Lord called his people Zion did that occur before the “City of Holiness”
    4. We don't live 365 years like they did, typically our life span is 78 years (which only leaves you a couple years-just kidding) so out of the 365 years at what point do you think the people became Zion? Are you saying when Enoch was 65 all his people became Zion?

    And since we are on the topic of wresting the scriptures, maybe you can help me out, because no one has answered my previous question about voting:

    1. If the scriptures are to be our standard to govern our daily walk. Where in the scriptures does it talk about voting? When did God use that type of system? Where in the scriptures does it clearly define the voice of the people? Based on the traditional culture of my people that means something different than voting or raising of hands, so I see those scriptures differently than you.

    Q

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  63. I will not contend with any person - but since you have asked specific questions of me personally, I will answer you.

    As to Enoch and His people, for those who do not yet know, wait a short while and ask them. They are shortly to come.

    As to “voting” appearing in the scriptures - show me where in the scriptures it talks about “the sacrament” - I will then show you where “voting” appears in the scriptures.

    Steve VanLeer

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  64. The quick and decisive test of any of these proposals is to ask "can this proposal result in the adoption of a document whose adoption is known to be disputed?" If the answer to this question is yes, then the proposal cannot be relied upon to fulfill the Lord's requirement. We know such proposals are wrong because their outcome cannot be known to fulfill the Lord's requirement. There is no need to consider the rationales of their proponents, as they don't matter; only the outcomes do.

    The proposal by Gordon Platt, Jeanene Custer, Donald and Christy Danner, Paul Durham, and Others fails this test, as it explicitly proposes to adopt even documents whose adoption is disputed after all is said and done. Therefore, this proposal is wrong. There is no need to consider their rationales, as they don't matter.

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  65. I have one concern with this proposal, and that is the part below:

    3-Then, if they are opposed still, we will announce on Sunday the 25th that there remain three (or however many) opposed to the proposition that has otherwise carried by the nearly unanimous consent of the conference, and ask the conference if as a body they are willing to proceed/adopt the chosen statement of principles despite the opposition by three (or however many). If this carries by a clear majority vote of the conference, then it is adopted, and the chosen statement will be added to the scriptures.

    It seems to me that this part is trying to achieve by process what should be achieved another way. I may be way off on this suggestion, but… what if we replace this part with something more faith-based? What if instead of having this vote if the majority is still met with opposition after we have taken our opposing conflicts to the Lord to know His part, we take this situation to the Lord? We return and report. We say, “We have done everything we know to do to reach mutual agreement, and have gotten close, but still have not reached it.” And we ask for further guidance in the matter, even if it means, like the potter’s clay, we must scrap what we’ve done and begin again. I realize this may not be a popular idea with the questions of who does the return and reporting? And who can we trust to receive the true answer? But perhaps we can begin by all having this prayer in our hearts, and trust in the Lord to tell us His part, so that we don’t have to manipulate the outcome with processes.

    Sarah S

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    1. I agree with Sara S. If we don't have mutual agreement at the end of the process (and it is unlikely that we will) I propose that we publicly admit our failure to the Lord, and ask Him to give us a path forward.

      This is better than going forward without mutual agreement (i.e. if there are those who still choose to dispute).

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