Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Process update

On Feb 9th we proposed a vote to the Scriptures Committee (SC) and asked them to publish whichever Guide and Standard (G&S) was chosen using a voting process which we outlined.  On March 3rd the SC agreed to our request. Now, however, the SC has had second thoughts, and has declined any further involvement with the G&S. Because of this our proposal cannot go forward as planned and no online vote will be carried out as has been announced. 

However, there will still be an effort to achieve mutual agreement among those attending the conference.  It will follow this outline.
  1. A voice vote choosing between the various G&Ss will take place during the Saturday meeting. 
  2. If the majority’s preference can be clearly determined, the minority will be asked if they will agree to not dispute the majority’s choice.
  3. If nearly all the minority agrees to not dispute, and only a few remain in opposition, then those who remain opposed will be invited to meet with a delegate of our group who will listen to their concerns and inquire again if they are willing to accept the majority’s choice.
  4. At the Sunday meeting, the conference will be told the number of those that remain opposed.  And another voice vote will occur, in which those at the conference will be asked if they would like to proceed and adopt the chosen guide and standard.  
  5. If unity is achieved (but not unanimity) a suggestion will be offered as to how we can each proceed individually to fulfill the Lord's command to add a G&S to our scriptures.
  6. No online participation is provided for in his vote. The vote is designed primarily to promote/show unity among those at the conference.  But anyone viewing from home can of course choose whether or not to accept the majority's choice.  And the suggestion offered in step 5 will be open to everyone.
 We believe there is a real opportunity to make progress towards, or to find, mutual agreement at the conference.  And we believe that there is a legitimate way for each of us to individually obey the Lord's command regarding a G&S if those at the conference can achieve unity.

Jeanene Custer
Donald and Christy Danner
Gordon Platt
Rebecca Wolford
Others

56 comments:

  1. Welp, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I don't agree that only choosing to vote among those in attendance is the right thing to do, but I understand. I will continue to pray for us all to receive the greater light and knowledge we need to move forward. God bless us all.

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  2. Gordon
    If a spirit of goodwill possesses the assembly at the conference and you can achieve mutual agreement among the 500 or so at the conference in Phoenix what does that get us? Is it anything more than a gesture? Or is this baby steps to mutual agreement (to quotes Boll Murray)?

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  3. This is not a stunt. It is not just a plebiscite. It has the potential to successfully resolve this issue for almost everyone, conference attendees and non attendees both. Look again at step 5.

    Gordon

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  4. There will be MANY who cannot physically be in attendance at the Phoenix Conference. This doesn't concern anyone?

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  5. When you say "the various G&Ss, do you mean all of them or the three (last I saw) that were submitted specific to this vote?

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  6. Dani,

    The original Feb. 9 vote proposal is kaput! It died when the SC changed their mind about publishing. So the three nominated G&Ss have no special status in the vote which will take place in Phoenix.

    We believe however that there is a way to show at the conference that a clear majority preference of G&Ss exists. I don't know how to make you believe this, so I will just say it. We care very much that this process is fair and does not exclude any of the G&Ss from being presented to and considered by the assembly.

    Gordon

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    1. So which GS documents are up for an initial vote Saturday morning? They have to be resubmitted again?

      What does a “voice vote” mean?

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    2. The G&S documents do not have to resubmitted.

      The voice vote will go something like this: All those who would like the "lots" document adopted as our Guide and Standard please say "yes." All those who would like the Nonmancaaf Swhafugs document as our guide and Standard, please say "yes." Etc..

      We think that the clear preference of the assembly will be manifest by this vote. If we are wrong we'll apologize and shut up. We will have wasted a couple minutes of your time. If the vote demonstrates that there is a clear majority preference, then we can take the next step toward mutual agreement, which is to ask those in the minority if they will agree not to dispute the choice of the majority.

      gordon

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    3. I received an email from a friend reporting some misconceptions about our current effort to get mutual agreement on a G&S in Phoenix. She reported fears that people were being left out, decisions were being made in Phoenix that would be forced on people without their consent. The people she was hearing from wanted to resurrect the online vote. I wrote this in response.
      ——————————————————————
      Our effort to decide once and for all which G&S would be published in the scriptures is dead and a new, less ambitious effort has begun. The effort in Phoenix will have no binding impact on those not attending. People who express that they are being left out imagine that decisions will be made at the conference which will be forced on them if they don’t attend and voice their input. That will not happen. If we can through love and humility come together as a conference and achieve agreement on a G&S, those not attending will miss out on that experience but a G&S that they disagree with will not suddenly appear in their scriptures. That I can promise. No G&S will show up in anyone’s scriptures unless they add it there or unless the publishers of our scriptures can be persuaded to publish it in a later edition. It is too late for this edition.

      The new view by everyone on the committee that the G&S can be “added” to the scriptures in ways other than having the SC publish it, killed our earlier effort. Our effort was a way to satisfy the Scriptures Committee that a fair process had been conducted and a document surfaced as the majorities choice as well as a way to find out if as a people we were largely and substantially in agreement.

      We still need to adopt a statement of principles by mutual agreement and then add it as a guide and standard (to the scriptures). That could be done as you and those you are hearing from want to see done with an on,one vote. You said, “I believe we need to add back the online vote so the true majority can be counted in the vote.” I encourage everyone to do what they believe. If that’s what you believe then you and the people that are encouraging you should act according to your belief but I politely decline from organizing or administering such a vote nor do I have the resources to do so.

      You are hearing that people want what is no longer being offered. We heard from a great many that they didn’t want an online vote when it was offered. You’re hearing that some want to vote in opposition to the majority. None of that is surprising. If that attitude, to oppose the majority, prevails when we are together sitting side by side as brothers and sisters under covenant, then mutual agreement will not be achieved in Phoenix. If we can’t achieve it among 500 conferees we certainly will not achieve it online with its anonymity and suspicions.

      The reasons I gave for not resurrecting a movement-wide online vote may not persuade you but I am not persuaded to get behind an effort I don’t believe in, and technically can’t do just because there are some who are conspiring to sabotage an effort to achieve unity out of their misperceptions and fears.

      McKay







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  7. I totally get what Gordon’s doing in Phoenix. He’s Dr. Dreyfus and we’re Bill Murray like I said earlier. Do yourself a favor and watch it

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FyIXr0-GHh8

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    1. I'm much better looking than Richard Dreyfus.

      Gordon

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  8. Is there still a desire to pray together and ask for the Lord's part while at the conference?

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    1. If anyone here is part of or knows someone on the Phoenix conference committee, I think we should absolutely have a portion of one of the conference sessions set aside for ALL to kneel in supplication to the Lord, and done in a way that those participating online can join in their homes. I think it would be powerful.

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    2. 3 Nephi 19:6
      “And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.”
      I think we all know what those prayers produced for the group.
      Or there’s this.
      2 Nephi 32:8
      “And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.”
      Perhaps our conferences have been a little too LDS Gentile mode and not enough covenant people mode? You know, maybe a covenant people kneeling together in prayer should at least have equal priority to voting on something?

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  9. “There is great reason to rejoice because of the work that has been done. There is little reason for any to be angry or to harshly criticize the labor to recover the scriptures, and so my answer to you concerning the scriptures is to guide you in other work to be done hereafter; for recovering the scriptures does not conclude the work to be accomplished by those who will be my people: it is but a beginning.”
    I think we are actually making progress. We are after all just beginning to learn a whole new process of governing. Mistakes have and more will be made as we learn.
    So, my thinking is we should all take a deep breath and not get too concerned over the mistakes that may or may not (depending on your personal view) been made and take more reason to rejoice over these beginnings.

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  10. from Jeff and Janeen Carter #1
    Like many of you, we have pondered and prayed over this governing principles/guide and standard/statement of principles issue. One of the lessons we have learned is that if we are not getting a clear response from the Lord it may be because we aren’t asking the right questions. We would like to put forth some ideas in regards to this. Please forgive and excuse our writing as it is not something we do that well. We hope you will look beyond the words and feel what is being said here.
    We may be looking at two different issues.
    1. The original assignment/approval/consent given to Jeff Savage was to write a replacement for D & C section 20.
    2. To create a statement of principles to be added as a guide and standard
    The first issue is Jeff Savage and his document. Jeff put in the time and effort to accomplish his task and received an answer. For whatever reason there were those who opposed the work he did. Do we not believe that each of us can receive assignments and answers from the Lord? Why do we doubt and contend so? This was to be a replacement for section 20. Had we accepted the work Jeff did for what it was intended to be, it would have been a light thing.
    Then came the request from the Lord to make a statement of principles. Nowhere have we found where we were asked to create a document telling others how to run a fellowship. We are not sure where that idea came from but feel that is where a lot of this went off the rails. A statement of principles is just that….statements that state what we believe or principles we abide by.
    ( to be continued)

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  11. #2 Jeff and Janeen Carter

    “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 mutual agreement”….
    “When you have an agreed statement of principles I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow”.
    A statement of principles is referred to at least 6 times and maybe more that we missed. It is to be added as a guide and standard, not be the guide and standard. The scriptures are the guide and standard and in the covenant we accept to use the scriptures to correct ourselves and guide our words, thoughts and deeds.
    What if a short concise “statement of principles” was just that, a statement of principles. Here is an example:
    We as people who have accepted the Covenant from Jesus Christ through God's servant David seek to become Gods family through repentance and coming unto Christ.
    We put no man between us and God but seek as individuals to have fellowship with God through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
    We recognize the need for unity in becoming of one heart and mind to prepare ourselves for the Lord to restore Zion again to the Earth.
    We recognize the scriptures and not men as our guide and standard and seek to restore the Words of Joseph Smith
    We seek for equality that we may all see eye to eye so there are no poor among us no disputations and none will need say know ye the Lord for we will all know Him.
    The poor amongst us are liberated through our tithing and support of one another as we act in concert through group fellowship
    Through the Covenant we seek to be instruments in restoring the remnant of Jacob to the promises made to their fathers and restoring the lost tribes of Israel.

    We assume these are all statements we can agree upon and explain easily what we believe. Are these statements truly where are our hearts are? Are they a light thing?

    ( continuing...)

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  12. #3 Jeff and Janeen Carter

    As we think about this ask yourselves the questions, “ What was it that brought me and you to this point? What do I believe enough to make such changes in my life, whether it be to go through excommunication as many have, have my name removed from church records, simply “fade away” or whatever else we are choosing to do to be where we are?”

    Can we not agree on the above statements or similar ones and move forward? We truly feel the Lord will correct us as He promised in the answer if we are just willing to put down our “stuff” and trust Him.
    Now some have said that “Remember there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them”…. The reasoning is that we need to lay everything out for those who are searching. Our thoughts are, if someone who knows not yet of the Lords work reads a simple statement of principles similar to the ones above, they will have a basic idea of what is happening. It is not overwhelming in length and the scriptures are there to teach them. We all too often discount personal revelation and heavenly messengers to teach as well.
    The scriptures already contain the Sermon on the Mount and the account in 3Nephi. We don’t think we need to repeat those.
    As far as mutual agreement, this too should be a light thing. Mutual agreement does not mean 100% of us think the same thing. To us it means that we love and respect each other enough to not dispute. We may not see eye to eye or we may have differing opinions, however we can choose not to contend out of love and respect.
    We hope this all makes sense and possibly gives us another idea of how this issue might possibly be resolved.
    Jeff and Janeen Carter

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  13. I wonder if this statement could have applied to this entire question, especially considering one statement had over 93% support of the body.

    "I would rather submit to the decision of the
    group than insist that my view be followed. For
    me harmony between brethren is more important
    than getting what I think best to be followed. I
    believe harmony can lead to much greater things
    than can merely enforcement of even a correct view.
    I know how difficult it is to have a correct view,
    because of how often I have been corrected by the
    Lord. Sometimes I am humiliated by my foolishness
    when the Lord reproves me. Humiliation can lead to
    humility, but my experience is that the humiliation
    is accompanied by shame, whereas humility can
    proceed with a clear conscience.
    My experience with others leads me to conclude
    that if we can have one heart first, eventually we can
    likewise come to have one mind. But if we insist on
    having one mind at the outset, we may never obtain
    one heart together.”
    — Denver Snuffer

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  14. I wanted to invite others to read something insightful written by Hugh Nibley. I was pointed to it by another here. I feel it provides good things to ponder about the Book of Mormon remnant to whom the Gospel of Christ will be taken to. They are going to bring some wonderful lessons and understandings in the future. Perhaps we can consider what Brother Nibley recorded as we find a way to move forward.

    Promised Lands by Hugh Nibley
    https://publications.mi.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1094&index=6

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  15. Et Lux suggested a prayer at the conference. John Dutson suggested kneeling. Paul Durham likes the idea as do I and Gordon. Would anyone like to carry this out, decide on a gathering place, a time and lead us in prayer? The conference per se begins at 11:00, singing at 10:30, the doors open at 10:00 and the conference organizers have a tight schedule so this should be before 10:30 so as not to interrupt the planned program.

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    1. I envisioned 500 plus covenant people of the Lord in a room and 100’s more around the world, all kneeling in supplication to the Lord, in their own hearts, no public prayer, they tend to be a sermon or an attempt at impressing others.
      To have all those attempting to abide the covenant crying for further light and knowledge at the same time brings a powerful image to me, it seems almost as though if we don’t we demonstrate our unwillingness to kneel and receive from the Lord, so that He can ask to awake and arise to receive further. To move closer, together, in becoming one in Christ.
      I feel embarrassed that we aren’t even far enough along to have that been on any conference agenda to date.
      To me it’s a very powerful image that could, with real intent, in faith believing produce powerful fruit.

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    2. My family and I will not be in attendance, but will watch whatever sessions are broadcasted.

      What John is suggesting is also what I had in mind; that way no single person is expected to be voice and interpreter for everyone. Each person gets to kneel and ask Father in Christ's name for himself/herself.

      I have always been impressed at the oneness of those in Book of Mormon accounts. Their experiences with unified prayer seemed the result of Spirit and happened rather spontaneously.

      I do hope conference goers will be open to the Spirit. Part of why I would prefer not to discuss or have a vote at a "general conference" over the GS is because any rancor, anger, or judgment will shut down the flow of the Spirit; less Light will be shared.

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  16. As a point of possible interest to this group, I just finished reading the "Guide and Standard" for the community at Qumran from Dead Sea Scrolls (Translation by Florentino Garcia Martinez Second Edition). The section is titled "The Rule of the Community" (or in a diffrent translation by Wise, Abegg, & Cook it is called "Charter of a Jewish Sectarian Association").

    Entry to the group was by conversion, decisions were made by majority rule. Local chapters (quorums?) comprised at least ten men who met for meals and bible study and each year conducted a full review of the membership. At that time a man's rank could change.

    A committee of men in authority "rule for the men of the community who freely volunteer to convert... acquiesce to the authority of the sons of Zadok, the priests who safeguard the covenant and to the authority of the multitude of the men of the community... By it's authority, decision by lot shall be made in every affair" (1 QS V:1-3)

    Rules for discipline and disfellowship or excommunication from the community are spelled out (to me it reads like an ancient bishop's handbook)

    Blessing of bread and wine discussed - 1 QS V:2-6
    Rules of conduct for speaking in turn - 1 QS V:9-13

    I noticed there was a lot of Levite cursings throughout:
    "May God's anger and the wrath of his verdicts consume him for everlasting destruction" (1 QS II:15)

    These rules appear to have been established before sermon on mount and includes a lot of good wisdom to live by:
    "For the truth of God is the rock of my steps,
    and his might the support of my right hand.
    From the spring of his justice is my judgement
    and from the wonderful mystery is the light of my heart" (1 QS XI:4-5)

    I also noticed similarities to the Answer and Covenant:

    "And all those who enter the Rule of the community shall establish a covenant before God in order to carry out all that he commands and in order not to stray from following him" (1 QS I:16-17)

    "And all those who enter the covenant shall confess after them and they shall say: We have acted sinfully,... we and our fathers before us... but he has showered on us his merciful favor" (1 QS I:24-26)

    Though their rules are clearly not applicable to our current situation, I found it an interesting study.

    Jay Ball

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  17. I realize that this process put forth is revelation to you, and your intentions are good. I understand your belief about voting, and I can respect that too.

    I also realize that what I say and do may be seen as “a pain in the neck,” that’s how my Samoan bishop saw me. He didn’t like that I asked questions or spoke up. He too wanted me to join the “majority.” He too, used a similar argument that the “majority” has put forth, only he used quotes from the LDS leaders. I realize that this groups proposal to vote, is separate from the “majority Lots” proposal, but in many ways they are similar: vote, majority rules, most of the minority are sought out and listened to, but majority rules in the end. This to me sounds like democracy; albeit the majority will listen to the minority and then ask them if they will accept the majority’s will (which provides the minority with a choice that the majority are offering).

    With that being said, I have a couple of questions for you:) Are you saying that if I stand in “opposition” to the majority, that I am choosing to defend my turf? What’s my turf? Several times, it has been mentioned that the minority will be given a chance to show their love for the majority; show that they are a team player; show that they want unity; and show that they are humble. By stating these things, you are also stating if I continue to oppose the majority then I: don’t love the individuals who make up the majority; I’m not a team player; I don’t want unity; and that I am not humble.

    When my husband came to me talking to me about Denver Snuffer, I was skeptical; in fact, it was a while before I even considered what he was saying. When I first started to consider the things he was saying, I compared what he was saying to the Book of Mormon. The more I studied what he was saying I realized that his message was consistent with the Book of Mormon, which helped me to know that what he was saying was true. I will continue to use this method when I am trying to decipher whether or not somebody is speaking truth. I don’t hear truth in the idea of just submitting to the majority. This to me sounds like you are wanting me to submit to a system that has been proven to be problematic- democracy.

    I don’t see anywhere in the last day prophecies it will be “group think” or “majority rule” that will save. Scriptures always talk about a “few”. In 2 Nephi 28, we are warned 10 times of how we will fail, be misled, and accept as true things which are false.

    I know what the Lord told me, I know what I’ve been commanded to do. I will choose to submit to Him and not the “majority” When I stand before the Lord, I can say I did as I was instructed, and I was true to the knowledge He gave me and what was in my heart. Where in the scriptures does it tell me to forget what the Lord has commanded me to do and go along with the majority for the sake of peace?

    Q

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    1. Q,
      You have made reference to the statement that you know what the Lord commanded you to do and what He told you.
      I know these matters can be personal but personally I would be interested to rally behind a position of revelation.
      Therefore could you share with us -either in reply in these comments or perhaps it would be better in a new post- what the Lord told you and what He commanded you?

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    2. Q,

      I think you are talking to me (Gordon). Forgive me if you are not.

      I did not favor the "lots" document. I didn't vote for it. Never, ever supported it. Instead, I like what I wrote. It's good, well written, doctrinally sound, the writing flows, etc. But it's pointless to defend it. the document is not what is being tested here. If you doubt I'm right, look at The Answer and see how much time the Lord spends talking about our hearts versus how much time he spends talking about the content of the guide and standard. It's 20 to one. If I spend my time focused on defending my turf - my own preference for G&S - I have missed the point. Whatever G&S is produced by us (let's face it, we're kind of a mess) is going to be flawed. Why not focus on what the Lord is focused on? That's why my efforts are going to be dedicated to finding agreement rather than pursuing a perfect document. And we've been condemned already for delaying, so I think there's some urgency.

      I do believe that it is an act of generosity, and love, and patience to voluntarily lay aside one's own preference to give to others what they desire. The reciprocal is not necessarily true however. If you are doing what you feel is right, even if it's to stick to your guns (metaphorical guns) and oppose the majority, then God bless you. I will not condemn you. In fact you have my respect. I would never tell you to disobey the Spirit. And you are correct of course, the scriptures do not tell us to forget what the Lord commands. I have not criticized you, and i will not criticize you. I don't know what's in your heart, I can't judge you. So I had better give you the benefit of the doubt.

      That's good advice for everyone I think. Assuming that we know what's in someone else's heart, and ascribing to them the worst kind of motives is counterproductive. If relationships are going to be strengthened by dialogue, it had better be loving dialogue, patient dialogue, wise words rather than angry words.

      I commit to do that. I hope others will too.

      Gordon


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    3. Gordon, great sentiments for all of us because when I read the 9th parable - that is the presiding message: can we live in peace together?

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    4. Gordon, from what I gather from what you are saying, you are wanting agreement rather than finding a perfect document. I too agree that we will most likely never get a perfect document. You have received revelation that it is important to obtain agreement with one another; you believe the focus of the Lord is on agreement with one another; and you have determined how we can move towards agreement.

      You read the A&C and you see what you see about agreement. I see the Lord’s focus to be on telling each one of us to repent and focus on having an individual connection to God. By doing that we have peace within ourselves first and then peace with others next. All too often we look for answers outside of us versus within us.

      Have you ever thought that your definitions of all these terms have been influenced by Mormon culture? The Babylonian culture influenced the Bible, and has influenced the western culture, which has impacted religion, even our way of thinking. Fortunately, we have the Book of Mormon which hasn’t been influenced by the Babylonian culture and can free us from an institutional mindset.

      Now, we have Mormon culture influencing us, which means we define things through a Mormon lens, whether we like it or not. Peace, Unity, Equality, Dispute, etc. are words that have been defined by each one of us, utilizing different lexicons that have been influenced by varying institutions, in particular, the Mormon institution.

      When the A&C talks about the “heart being right,” to me that means that I must have a broken heart and contrite spirit, freeing myself from an institutional mindset that influences my understanding; becoming like a little child, freeing myself from my current understanding to allow room for Him to provide me with His understanding (a light thing).

      Gordon, I appreciate you engaging in a conversation with me, since progress can only be made by open communication and not silence. Gordon, I haven’t ever thought you have criticized me, I have thought you have given definitions to certain concepts that are different than mine. I have thought those pushing the “majority” have labeled me, ignored me and talked past me, all the while feigning love towards me, which to me is Mormon culture. But I don’t believe that’s who they really are, I do believe we all have to overcome our institutional mindsets that have us in bondage.

      Q

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    5. Q,

      Certainly my understanding has been influenced by my culture. And as my culture is corrupt, no doubt some of my ideas have been corrupted. But all cultures are corrupt. None of us can escape that entirely. Yet all of us have functioning truth detectors, since we all recognized Christ's words when Denver delivered them. So maybe it's not hopeless.

      I don't speak for the majority. But I am sorry if they have labeled you, looked down on you, ignored you, or talked past you. If they did that they were wrong to do it.

      We need to mirror heaven's culture, the only one that will endure, and treat each other with love.

      Gordon

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    6. Gordon, I agree with you that all institutions have influenced our cultures, and all cultures are corrupt. I don't see this as hopeless, as we are allowed to repent, turn to Him, Come Unto Him and learn from Him. In fact, this brings me a lot of hope. I am very grateful to the SC for blessing us with the restored Book of Mormon, as it is the standard by which I judge the words of man. I have read many of the ancient texts (Egyptian, Apocryphal, Nag Hammadi, etc) and I use the Book of Mormon to judge those things from. Our truth detector, as you call it, ought to be the Book of Mormon. But we see it differently, and thats the work we must engage in now.

      Uniting our hearts and working towards the minds is the work that continues to go missing, in this process. Simply agreeing does nothing to unite the heart, as we have witnessed with the LDS culture. They agree with their leaders, and it doesn't produce a united heart at all. In fact, it isolates their hearts, making uniting hearts impossible because it is not genuine. And therefore, their minds will never be united. The Book of Mormon ought to be the source of hearts being united.

      You don't need to worry about how people have treated me in this movement. I grew up on the Rez. I can handle myself. I only mentioned that to show how mormon culture appears among the movement, without it being identified.

      I can agree with you 100% when you say that we must mirror heaven's culture. Melchizedek was a great example of this, as he established an individual connection with heaven by seeking great and greater knowledge. He established a fellowship with those in the Heavens. Then he taught others on earth to obtain the same unity with the Heavens. And they became a people of Heaven, on earth. If we can accomplish becoming a people of Heaven on earth, that is when Heaven and earth will reunite.

      Q

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    7. Q,

      I'm with you, simply agreeing does nothing to unite hearts IF our motivation is just to fall in line, comply, or obey like sheep. But what if my motivation is to obey God's command to come to mutual agreement, and my agreeing is done to show respect and love for God and for my fellow believers?

      It's like the difference between Communism and Zion. There is a kind of equality in each. But one is forced, one is done voluntarily. One is done out of fear, one is done out of love.

      If at the conference the minority can agree, voluntarily and out of love, to support the majority's choice. THEY, the minority, are the ones which will benefit most from the engagement. The majority only gets the G&S they prefer; the minority gets the increased love and expanded heart that come when one sacrifices for another.

      Gordon

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    8. Gordo,

      That's a nice way of putting it, those who are of the minority will benefit from the heart expansion. It is also very general, even too general. "Blessings" has been over used. I can tell that you are trying to mitigate the mess through a vote, based on the instructions to you. We will not stand in your way of following through with your instructions. We simply don't agree with the general idea that the minority voluntarily agreeing with the majority produces increased love and expanded heart that comes when one sacrifices for another.

      I will let the Lord dictate my sacrifice, rather than your precept, which I think is contradictory. Like you, I too have instructions, that I too will not disobey. You may follow your instructions, and thank you for allowing me to follow my instructions. Sacrifice, if directed by anyone but the Lord, results in disaster.

      Rob Adolpho

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  18. This evening I went to an Interfaith Musical Tribute in the SLC Tabernacle. It was wonderful to see unity and cooperation among so many different religious traditions. My daughter was one of the presenters. She recited a verse from the Sacred Writings of the Baha'i faith..."The Hidden Words of Bahau'llah." It was meaningful to me and I wanted to share it here, especially as we struggle to unite our hearts:

    "O children of Men! Know ye not why we created you all from the same dust?
    That no one should exalt himself over the other.
    Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created.
    Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent upon you to be even as one soul,
    to walk with the same feet,
    eat with the same mouth,
    and dwell in the same land,
    that your inmost deeds and actions,
    the signs of oneness,
    and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.
    Such is My counsel to you,
    O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wonderous glory.

    -Bahau'llah

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  20. Assuming complete unanimity is never achieved on a Guide and Standard then publishing that Guide and Standard in the scriptures would FORCE that G&S on those who oppose it. If, however, every individual must ADD the G&S to their own scriptures once they choose to join with those who have mutually agreed on a G&S, then agency and accountability is preserved. This vote in Phoenix may achieve mutual agreement on a G&S among the 300-400 who attend but that would not prevent those not in attendance from agreeing in the privacy of their own home and adding the G&S to their own scriptures.

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    1. Mc Kay,

      I'm not quite understanding what you are suggesting here. It could be me, but when I read it, I'm left asking the question, "Huh? What'da?"

      Rob Adolpho

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  21. To: The Movement,

    The covenant to be numbered among the House of Israel, is to become Israel. Jacob was named Israel because he wrestled from God a covenant. The name Israel literally means to wrestle God. Last Boise conference was an invitation offered, by way of a covenant, made available to all who desired and who would receive it. It is still offered through us. However, receiving the covenant requires action on our part; it requires that we turn our hearts to the fathers; it requires those who would be numbered among Israel to wrestle from God the covenant.

    In the process of the Governing Principles, I am doing my best to wrestle the realization of the covenant to me, and in the process, have bumped, injured, and bruised some of you. E kala mai ia'u (please forgive). I take into deep consideration the things presented before us by you. I spend a lot of time pondering these things, and because of the different opinions, I have made discoveries along the way that have provided me greater light.

    Jim O'Rullian, a person I not only consider a friend, but a brother in this faith, has once told me I have changed. He said, I'm used to the Hawaiian who would greet with a smile, a hug, and a joke. But lately you have been dark Rob, mean, and blunt. I appreciate his direct approach, and have taken his words into long consideration, observing my own actions, being clear to not change my behavior, but still observing my choices in Jim's light.

    When I first became strictly obedient to follow the prophet, long before 2006, my wife asked me a similar question. She said, "Rob, you're getting so rigid. Where's my Hawaiian? I was certain I married a Hawaiian, not a rigid son of a..."

    Again, when I began to study the things of ancient religion, and the things Denver wrote, I sensed a new rigidity, calmed myself down, and rather than taking a direct approach to discuss things with my wife, I studied all day, and then wrote a short blog, to maintain communication; and she read it when she felt inclined to do so. The conversations came naturally. Having tasted the light in small increments, my wife caught fire, and as soon as she could, she began to tear open the scriptures like never before.

    Because of my experience with my wife, I have changed my approach toward my Mom. And I am recognizing that I need to change my approach towards Jim O'Rullian, and the rest of you. But I find it difficult to wrestle with God, given the concepts you have presented in all your different documents, and not bump my words with you. I take you seriously, and value my engagement with you, although I come off offensive, rigid, and stiff at times. Like a little baby learning to walk, instead of efficiently recruiting only the muscles necessary, in my early stages I use every muscle I can think of using, not knowing before hand how any of it is done.

    To say the least, I am fully committed to this movement, knowing that this is it. It's all or nothing. And for that, many of you have been beaten up by my wide eyed, intense, Haka-like approach. I'm trying to change from a war approach to something more along the lines of surfing, and being one with this wave. Again, e kala mai ia'u (please forgive). I want to wrestle God, and not you. I want to make myself known as Israel and nothing less. I want to win the victory in me, to win a crown, and ascend to the north, ...and that is the desire of my heart. I'll do my best to be more the Happy Hawaiian, because rigidity seems to make me unattractive to my wife.

    Rob Adolpho
    Chief Crow-tastes-like-chicken

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    1. Rob, I don't know you or your wife beyond what you have shared on this blog. Maybe you have changed, but for me I have appreciated the bluntness. At least y'all haven't done like some of us and posted every 30 seconds to say something. It has always appeared to me that y'all have tried to study what is and respond to ideas and thinking rather than making something personal.

      Denver had a recent blog post about fruits. In it he quoted Christ teaching how we will be judged by the words we speak, but not just words; we are accountable for all our "idle words."

      Sadly, most of my words here have been idle. But you, my friend, your words I would not judge as idle ever. Maybe sometimes we gotta appreciate the passion of a strong heart?

      Plus, if some feel you have been "dark, mean, and blunt" others here have also been "dark, mean, and blunt." Why else would we say others are rejecting Christ and His words simply because they disagree with a statement?

      We've all been running our mouths. We need to work on our hearts and not be hurt, offended, or frustrated by how another expresses himself/herself or believes.

      Mahalo and namaste,
      Lori

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    2. Rob,

      God bless you my brother.

      As it relates to the quote from Denver (Epigraph in T&C), can I ask you a question?

      In an effort to see "harmony between brethren" would you be willing to "submit to the decision of the group" if you felt it was not being "enforced" through voting etc.?

      I sense that the argument you have is twofold. 1) You refuse to be governed or enforced through a committee of men (a repeat of traditional LDS thinking), and 2) you are seeking for a document filled with light - something that takes off where Joseph Smith left off with the King Follet sermon.

      You are, however, willing to contritely "pray together in humility" with others to allow Christ to tell you His part.

      For the sake of the "harmony between brethren", where is the common ground where we can unite in mutual agreement with each other?

      Personally, I have a tough time trying to envision a document, which purpose is to be a statement of principles on how we conduct fellowships (replacing the organizational elements outlined in D&C 20), being filled with the same intensity of light that I read in other places like D&C 76 (vision of degrees of glory), D&C 88 (Olive Leaf), or the King Follet sermon. Perhaps the document you are looking for is something much greater in scope than a simple outline of how to govern ourselves in fellowship bodies. No matter how inspirationally written, it's difficult for me to see how the basic things like how to conduct baptism, sacrament, fellowship gatherings, etc. can be written with a higher frequency of light than we have already been given in simplicity through Denver. Perhaps I mistake the scope of what the guide and standard is supposed to be?

      In love,

      Jay

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    3. I'm reminded of this favorite quote from Rumi:
      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
      and rightdoing there is a field.
      I'll meet you there.
      When the soul lies down in that grass
      the world is too full to talk about."

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    4. Rob,

      Those are solid words bro….said with humility and grace.
      But you’re still ugly and your mama dresses you funny!!!! :))

      Listen, we have spent years together now studying, discussing and considering. We have shared many a sacred moment on more than one mountain-top. I’ve known all along where your heart is and it would be neigh impossible for me to lose love and respect for you over this assignment or any other. Really, this ain’t no thang…..

      It is easy to mistake intensity for anger, but they are two very different things. I appreciate your intensity and desire to please God and have never thought of you as offensive or distasteful. You just want to get it right. I feel that and I respect it. But we will get there bro, just not all at once. As the saying goes, the war to win comes a little at a time through a series of battles. Remember the diagram you drew for me on your whiteboard in your living room? We have to align the hearts first and then the minds second. You and Quintina’s comments this year have brought me a long way on that spectrum….you have done enormous good, even if you think this white guy doesn’t get it. Take a deep breath now knowing you have done all that you could in peace to persuade and let’s see what the next phase has in store for us……we have a long journey ahead yet.

      P.S. I can still take you. :)

      Jim

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    5. Jim,

      You can take me alright, to dinner! Bah!

      Rob
      The Happy Hawaiian

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  22. Thank you Rob.

    A fellow member of the crow-tastes-like-chicken clan, Gordon

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  23. Oh Lord my God, how I love you Rob, and all of you. My heart is just brimming with joy. We are all a work in progress, but we are making progress. No words for all that I am feeling just now reading Rob's post....

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  24. Rob,

    I love you man, and I hope you can forgive me as well. I can be bold and blunt and use fewer words than necessary to convey my point which may come across as rude, and if you felt that I was disrespecting you I’m so sorry. Btw, the harmony I was referring to had nothing to do with music...it was the other definition which meant “agreement”. I listened to the whole King Follett sermon after our conversations ended. I agree that there is a lot of information being conveyed there, and that information (whether the doctrines or the principles presented) are important for us to learn and teach among us. I’m not entirely sure that it’s quite guide and standard document material though. I see the g&s as simple “welcome to new Jerusalem/Zion” and the King Follett as quite a bit more advanced, at least for those coming into the group/movement who don’t have much foundation. But I appreciate you so much for bringing that sermon back to my awareness so I could listen, ponder and learn some things from it. I have you to thank for that!!

    Once again, if I have offended you, or any one else here, I’m truly sorry!!!

    Love you all,
    Devin

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    1. Devin,

      I never claimed any disrespect, nor do I deserve any respect, for that matter. But I appreciate the gesture. You may have meant that harmony, but you weren't the author. Too often we find people using the "Reader's Response" method to Denver's words, instead of the "Author's Intent" method. Your claiming harmony as "agreement" might fit a "Reader's Response," but it jumps to conclusions regarding the "Author's Intent."

      I'm glad you have been able to revisit the KF. But, in this point we have different views. You have made the assumption that KF is not quite guide and standard document material. From what experience are you making this assumption? Which guide and standard project have you gotten under your belt to state emphatically that KF isn't guide and standard document worthy?
      The same questions apply to your assumption that the guide and standard are a simple welcome mat for Zion. Who said?

      Your idea that KF is too advanced another "Reader Response" approach, rather than an "Author's Intent" approach. This was the document that Joseph said was the first principles of the gospel! Besides, you have assumed that other cultures don't already have those principles within their cultures. Hawaiians do, and Natives too. According to Other Sheep Indeed, so do the Eastern cultures.

      You have not disrespected me, nor have you offended me. I have had the opposite reaction, being accused of hurting and offending myself. I do not intend to injure or embarrass. I'm wrestling this stuff out, because although in the long run, this is not a big assignment, right now, it's all or nothing.

      Rob Adolpho

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  25. Rob:

    Trying to be brief I have not been clear.

    Those who oppose voting seem unaware of the alternatives or unwilling to acknowledge the alternatives.

    1-Someone or group decide for us.
    2-we persist indefinitely until we all agree.

    However, having a vote that forces an outcome on everyone (like a presidential election) is quite different what what is now planned in Phoenix. If we were to force a vote, that G&S would be printed in your scriptures whether you support it or not. However, a vote will be carried out in Phoenix which at best MIGHT result in a supermajority agreeing to proceed without opposition, some submitting to the others in the conference. If that were to happen, those present who chose not to dispute the majority’s choice of G&S could add that G&S to their own scriptures & move on having complied with the Lord’s command, “When you have an agreed statement of principles I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow”. Their choice would NOT be imposed on anyone else since NO ONE WILL FIND A G&S MAGICALLY APPEAR IN THEIR SCRIPTURES. This approach preserves agency and accountability.

    There is meekness and wisdom in this statement of Denver’s, “I would rather submit to the decision of the group than insist that my view be followed. For me, harmony between brethren is more important than getting what I think best to be followed. I believe harmony can lead to much greater things than can merely enforcement of even a correct view. “

    Rob, if I ever try to enforce my view on you, do me a favor and tell me, “Bro, I go bust yo face”.

    McKay

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  26. Mc Kay,

    I would choose the second option, to persist, trusting that the gathering is the work of light, from the Lord, ...being willing to wait upon the Lord before climbing the mountain.

    The non-vote vote that you and your brother Gordon are proposing feels like you're waving your hand in my face, saying, "These are not the droids you're looking for... carry on!" However, Jedi mind tricks don't cut it with me. I ain't no storm trooper, subjected to a GROUP THINK model (herd mentality).

    A vote is a vote, is a vote. You are relying on a guilt trip, claiming that the minority make a "sacrifice, and humbly submit to the majority." That guilt trip makes the minority fear not being humble, not standing on their understanding, unable to sacrifice, when it simply isn't true at all. It's a fear tactic, and Gordo has already tried that on me an failed. If the minority can submit, you claim, then perhaps we can find unity, as if the contents of the document don't matter much at all towards our unity. Most of us were the most active among the LDS, but there never was unity, because the content didn't allow unity. They preferred a minimalist approach to doctrine, like the vote you are recommending.

    No, a G&S may not magically end up in my scriptures, but soon after the vote, and a majority decision, those who place the majority winning document in their scriptures, have just created an unavoidable scenario of "US & THEM." The US's all have the same G&S, while the THEM's have something else, anything else. No matter how you flip it the vote is a vote, is a vote, and it WILL inevitably produce a man-made separation. When the time comes for the document to be tested, because this is not just a practice, you will be held to what you accept, it will be fruitless because of it's lackluster. I will continue working with the Sam Vaughn's who want to produce something that reflects it's content, offered and received by agency, without a vote.

    BTW: You have misused Denver's quote, just as Karen has, and just as Devin has in past blogs. The comparison is: submit to a group decision, instead of follow me (Denver). The other comparison is: harmony, instead of enforcing a correct view. The key words are "FOLLOW ME," and "ENFORCING." But, the way you three have used the quote to support your "group think" has skewed the quote to make it sound as if it's a good thing to SUBMIT TO THE GROUP, and HARMONIZE WITH THE GROUP. I believe you have placed the wrong em-PHA-sis on the wrong sy-LLA-ble.

    You ARE enforcing your view, albeit very subtly and passively, but enforcement nonetheless. I'm trying to leave my more physical nature behind, so I will not threaten to "bus-yo-face!" However, I will not submit to a proposal of submitting my will to GROUP THINK. It repeats Reformation Institutionalization, like Denvers new video addresses. What you are suggesting to me has the effect of changing this from being a restoration, to being a reformation institution, repeating the same mistakes of the past with a vote.

    Let's not substitute the necessary time to build relationships, with an institutional vote. In the absence of relationships, trust runs thin, and you have recommended the minority trust the majority, when our relationships really suck. A shortcut vote won't repair that. Fellowships will, and must. The document must be of a much higher level, sufficient to do what Denver's words have done to us all.

    Rob Adolpho

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  27. Beloved Enos.... pg 33-34

    "His relationship with the Lord resulted from his charity towards others, including his enemies. Doctrine is always less important than a person's character. Although you may have a deep understanding of doctrine, if you lack charity towards others your understanding will be of no benefit."

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