Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Ground Rule from the Doctrine of Christ

A Ground Rule from the Doctrine of Christ

Hello Everyone.

Perhaps we have suffered a great error by not including the following in our quotes of Christ’s doctrine:

“And there shall be no disputations among you as there hath hitherto been, neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine as there hath hitherto been. For verily, verily I say unto you, He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the Devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger one against another, but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.” 3 Nephi 5:8 NC

This comes right before our normal quote and is stated explicitly as part of His doctrine.

This is important for our non-hierarchical open and accepting movement which has sometimes been likened in process to the following part of the Savior’s wedding feast parable:

“Go you therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all, as many as they found, both bad and good, and the wedding was furnished with guests.” Matthew 10:18 NC

We have been instructed only to ask if those wishing to be baptized believe the doctrine of Christ. After baptism, we have been instructed to record their names. We have not been given any modern-day instruction from the Lord about any process to blot out those names for transgression similar to Mosiah 11:20-23 NC. Neither should we want it, in my opinion.

It may be that the Lord’s servants, presumably angels, will take care of this process later, since we gather both good and bad now. The parable continues:

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not a wedding garment. . . . Then the king said unto his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take and cast him away into outer darkness.” Matthew 10:19 NC

However, for now we have something from the doctrine which can settle disputes. If we say we agree to the doctrine of Christ by baptism, then we consent to not disputing concerning the points of His doctrine.

Therefore, we have already mutually agreed as a body of believers to have any proposal we submit to be scrutinized as a disputation if it seems contentious.

As a last resort, the body does not need any further consent to vote to say an individual proposal is contentious and will not be counted as a vote for that item in discussion. The person who advanced it can still participate in any other item up for discussion, or even the same item provided they don't advance the same argument, or another dispute.

This is all based on the philosophy that contentious arguments are not valid proposals in the body of Christ, even if the content is OK to consider. It's the idea that "I'm going to hold this argument and arrest common consent until you comply" which must be rejected if we want to avoid filibusters (the definition of a filibuster is to act in an obstructive manner in decision making, especially by long speeches, but it can also be by contention).

I could be wrong. IF we want filibusters in this movement, then we should agree to allow filibusters. This is the crux of the decision here. This is about filibustering, not about the content of a proposal. We can consider the content as an option without it being in the context of a contentious filibuster. This does not reject any minority positions, which can be considered until resolved. It only rejects contentious behavior by any given minority. It is not common that a majority is unified enough to coordinate a contentious attack on a minority (Mosiah 13:6 NC). A majority is usually a group of people with diverse opinions, who have negotiated agreement on one item, and their agreement is tenuous. In fact, our majority can agree to listen to minorities until we reach unanimous mutual agreement, while only rejecting contentious behavior.

If the doctrine of Christ inherently rejects filibusters in our councils (as in, it's defined as disputing the points of His doctrine), then we already agreed that filibustering isn't allowed in decisions by the body. We don't have to be like Congress, where they allow disputations, even though it is orderly disputations. We are trying to learn to council without that part of the process. That may seem un-American. But, as Adrian has aptly pointed out, we are striving to be children of God as our main pursuit. We still get to persuade and council and dissent and renegotiate, just not dispute.

Dispute is defined as:

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/dispute

It is distinct from dissenting.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/dissent

There is some overlap in the definitions, which causes ambiguity and confusion, but I believe taken overall, the meanings can be distinguished.

The meaning given by the Lord for “Mutual Agreement” is “as between one another, you choose not to dispute.” Perhaps that means we have the freedom as a body to reject disputes that individuals offer that hold up the body, because even with persuasion, we can’t convince everyone. But, always remembering that we do not reject the people who do so:

“And behold, ye shall meet together oft, and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not. But ye shall pray for them and shall not cast them out, and if it so be that they come unto you oft, ye shall pray for them unto the Father in my name. Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold, I am the light which ye shall hold up: that which ye have seen me do.” 3 Nephi 8:8 NC

I have written some thoughts on how these principles can be applied in the comments of the post called “An Invitation” on March 31, 2018 https://guideandstandard.blogspot.com/2018/03/an-invitation.html . I also summarized them on my blog here: http://www.cachevalleybaptisms.org/2018/04/one-possible-implentation.html .

There are numerous ways these ideas could be implemented. These links are merely brainstorming. The principles above are more important.

-Brian Zang

110 comments:

  1. I propose the following:

    1. That we add the portion of 3 Nephi 5:8 NC quoted above to the Lots document in the Doctrine of Christ section.

    2. That we acknowledge the Lots document as a Word of Wisdom, and decide whether the preamble conforms to this concept, and if not, adjust the preamble wording to reflect it, in terms of it being advice and not by way of commandment.


    3. That we reject as contentious the proposal to “halt all decisions until the exact wording of the Rock of Christ is accepted.” Christ Himself delivered the Sermon in different wording in the Gospels and in 3 Nephi. However, we should accept the premise of the argument, and scrutinize the Lots document to make sure it precisely conforms to the principles in the Sermon without adding or taking away.

    4. That we reject as contentious the proposal to “halt all decision on the G&S until we have a short document.” However, we should consider the wisdom of a short document. Therefore:


    5. I propose we have a long version and a short version of the Lots document. I propose we consider the short version “the Standard” and modify it to consider those who have never heard of our movement before. And, we should consider the long version “the Guide,” to benefit those who are starting involvement as fellowships in the movement. We should create the short Standard by removing only the sections of the Lot document that don’t relate to complete strangers at first, leaving the language alone otherwise. We could include scripture references for long block quotes of scriptures to further reduce the size.

    I think if we can do the above and hold a final vote, we could see good fruit.

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  2. 6. I propose we add as a quote to the Lots document: "The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.” Joseph Smith. That is, after all, the standard of truth.

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  3. I fully accept that unless each of the individual proposals above are seconded, they are automatically dead in the water. If someone wishes to modify the proposals, you may take them and make a new proposal as you wish. You can second them by saying you second proposal #__ . This will alert the body as to the idea being worthy of an overall vote by the body at some future time. The body is at liberty to reject the seconded motions as calls for a vote. I will not contend for them.

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  4. But, being baptized in the name of Christ as a believer, I am officially asking for other believers to second these motions and thus call for a vote by the body if seconded.

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  5. A couple things to consider.

    A. The commandment concerning disputations was specific to those twelve individuals to whom it was given. I have yet to see anyone who appeals to the "non-disputation" commandment to these twelve act, or teach, consistently with these commandments which were also given to these twelve (it was given generally in Luke).

    3 Nephi 13:25-34
    25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

    27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

    28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

    29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

    30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

    31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

    32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

    33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

    34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

    B. All of these procedural proposals are attempts to defraud the Lord of his required mutual agreement. There is no procedure nor judgement needed when mutual agreement is the actual standard of decisionmaking. This is because we either freely agree or we don't agree. When I tell you I do not and shall not agree to your proposal, that's not a filibuster, since filibusters can't exist in the context of mutual agreement. That's me telling you the body does not and shall not agree to your proposal.

    Jared Livesey

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  6. As to the above original post and each of the proposals, no. Thank you.

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  7. No thank you. This seems to be an attempt to force things rather than work with each other.

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    Replies
    1. Could you elaborate as to your reasoning behind thinking it is an attempt to force things rather than work with each other, please?

      Delete
  8. Amen, Amen and Amen. I second this proposal.

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  9. Greg, are you seconding proposals 1,2,3,4,5,and 6, or one or more of them individually? There seem to be some objections, which if this goes to a vote, can become a part of a normal negotiation with opposing votes. It would be good form for the body to take seconded motions in turn and put them to a discussion and vote, but it has no obligation to do so. It can choose to vote via an majority rules framework, or a unanimous framework, but as I suggest, a unanimous framework will probably only work if we agree beforehand that there will be no filibusters that deadlock a final outcome. Or, we find out how to get verifiable revelation as a body in a stalemate (not an easy proposition). If the body does not take up seconded proposals for discussion and voting, cannot resolve stalemates and the decision about the place of filibusters, cannot get revelation for stalemates, or cannot find another way forward, I think we can candidly conclude our system is broken.

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    Replies
    1. I am seconding proposals 1,2,3,4,5, and 6.

      Delete
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  11. I still don’t know how the body will move from a seconded motion to a vote. Others have done that in the past. I think we have time. Objections above and some from before have been duly noted.

    Consider the following incorporating the motions above.

    “The Rock” is included as the sole standard. I think the idea has merit in that context.

    The preamble to the Guide has been stricken and modified to match the concept of words of wisdom, with encouragement for fellowships to make their own individual guides as needed. This is just a suggestion and starting point.

    The Doctrine of Christ includes the earlier part of the reference.

    Changes are marked in red and/or cross-throughs. I only changed what I mentioned above.

    A title page includes Joseph Smith’s quote as a frontispiece, with no obligation to consider it as part of either the Guide or the Standard. It is a poetic thought put on the page above the title.

    This is just presented as a helpful possibility and useful resources if the body decides to take up these motions for a full vote. Again, it has no obligation to do so.


    Title Page: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xKn7kYodkLLcJCmFQkr4XcoVUJ0AnW9-/view?usp=sharing

    A Guide: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lT07Nce4OKtc5jFHfrNuk2VWz32RhCer/view?usp=sharing

    The Standard: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16HbmS2oiT_tK4l6VfxJmTTpqkfLJXMVI/view?usp=sharing

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  12. Brian,

    There shall be no textual modification to The Rock of Jesus Christ. We, including Denver Snuffer, are all equally reflected in The Rock of Jesus Christ - which is to say, none of us is.

    We are all equal or else we are not the Lord's. And we all must actually do what is contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ or else we actually disagree with it while feigning agreement. The Lord will have a people who freely accept and actually do what he requires, not a collection of hypocrites who feign agreement with his doctrine, law, and commandments with their lips but deny it by their deeds.

    Jared L.

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    Replies
    1. "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).

      JL

      Delete
  13. This small modification of the Lots document does a number of things:
    1. It includes a Guide that is not a requirement, but a word of wisdom.
    2. It suggests the Guide is an example that other fellowships can follow or they can make up their own using scriptures.
    3. It gives us something to give new fellowships who have no idea where to begin.
    4. It includes a short document for people who have never heard of anything about us.
    5. That short document is the Rock of Jesus Christ.
    6. It includes a title page that can put it in the context of a set of scriptures.
    7. It fulfills the motions I made above.
    8. It’s completely up for debate and voting and change.
    9. If we accept this and move on, the Guide can be modified at future times if we find a better overall document to pass out to new fellowships.
    10. It shows we can agree to put something out with kind language that is based on wisdom, while also stating what we all agree on with the Doctrine and Law of Christ definitively in a separate, declarative document.
    11. It takes into account the document that a quorum majority voted on, while also considering minority concerns that have validity, without allowing the minority to arrest the progress of the body.
    We were almost there with the Lots doc. Maybe we just needed to figure out how to include it as a Guide and Standard.

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  14. Brian,

    There is no such thing as "allowing the minority to arrest the progress of the body" when mutual agreement is the standard of decisionmaking. We either agree, or we disagree - that's the end of it. If we do not agree, there is no "progress" by appealing to a majority, for the existence of a minority is sufficient to demonstrate that we don't mutually agree.

    Progress - true progress towards unity - requires coming together in humility as equals, not as a conquering majority imposing itself upon an unwilling minority. All of us minus one of us is not progress towards agreement, but is instead failure.

    Jared L.

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  15. 1 of 2

    Jared,

    I must admit, your last comment has taken me by surprise. Looking back, however, I suppose it shouldn’t have been surprising at all, as you have clearly stated your perspective regarding the words Denver Snuffer has written, and one of your biggest life mistakes being ringing a bell in Boise, that you are unable to unring.

    In my mind, I engaged with you because I thought that you were addressing the Governing Principles project. I have taken the time to deeply consider your perspective, but something kept me from connecting to your perspective, leaving me to wonder what I was missing. According to our most recent interaction, it seems as though you have the mind to replace the entire Boise Covenant with words of your own: accept/practice/teach. It leads me to believe that what was missing in my understanding was your intent. Your regret for ringing the bell, by accepting the Boise Covenant, directs you to replace the entire Boise Covenant in your verbiage, so that no one need to make the same mistake you claim to have made, by heeding another man. It seems as if you feel duped by the momentum of the majority to accept the Boise Covenant, but as you cannot unring a bell, your effort is to make heeding another man totally unnecessary, by solely relying upon the Holy Ghost.

    I recognize and agree with the perspective that the Holy Ghost will teach you all things you should say and do, and that by the power of the Holy Ghost you can know the truth of all things. However, according to Lectures on Faith (lecture 2), Joseph Smith describes the object upon which faith rests. God being the only supreme governor and that in Him every good gift and principle dwells. In God, the principle of faith dwells independently. However, the evidences by which the first thoughts were suggested to the minds of men that there was a God who created all things, came from one who had been in His presence. Because God conversed with man face to face, and man received instruction directly from His mouth, heard His voice, gazed upon His glory, …although man did transgress being shut out from God’s presence, …God had already manifest Himself to Adam, which knowledge remained in Adam after the fall. Knowledge of God was given to Adam’s posterity from Adam, who had been in God’s presence. From the time of Adam until now, the knowledge of God came from father to son, for the purpose of man to exercise faith in God, to be restored to the presence of God by way of turning their hearts to the promises made to the fathers, and turning their hearts to the fathers (the Holy Order as a tool for restoration). The testimony which fathers have had of the existence of a God, was through a testimony of a man. Abel was required to receive important information of his father Adam that God did exist, before his sacrificial offerings were ever acceptable unto God.

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  16. 2 of 2

    To “heed” means to pay attention or take notice of. To “harken” literally means to “hear” and “know” for yourself (hear-ken). Lecture 2 expresses the importance of a witness given from one who has been in the presence of God, conversed with Him face to face, received instructions directly from His mouth, and gazed upon His glory. Both heed and harken is the instructions given in scripture for men to interact with prophets, never trusting in them for personal strength, making flesh their arm. Any who heed and harken to a prophet are responsible to pay attention, and discern his message, …requiring the necessity for the Holy Ghost to then unveil the truth of all things, to tell you all things that you should say and all things that you should do.

    I recognize that God is no respecter of persons. If God can speak to a Denver Snuffer, then why can’t He speak to a Jeff Savage, a Lots committee, or a Jared Livesay? I believe God can and will speak to other men, including Jeff/Lots committee members/Jared. If a message comes from God, I want to be ready to receive it, no matter who it comes through, even if it is the “passerby.” That fact alone requires my personal preparation, to constantly discern, and then choose to believe and act, or not, …to be judged solely upon “MY” connection to the heavens. No one can be connected to the heavens for me. My ability to discern the heavens rests upon my relationship with God.

    Your concept of fulfilling the requirement of the Governing Principles project is in keeping with the spirit that animates me. However, your concept of replacing the Boise Covenant does not. Instead, it replaces the words Denver has provided with the words Jared has provided. And while that is totally possible for God to do, the spirit within me says it is not the case.

    Rob Adolpho

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  17. Rob,

    I am not replacing the Boise Covenant. I am fulfilling it to the letter. There's the difference you're missing.

    Jared L.

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  18. Jared,

    You are combining the Boise Covenant with the Governing Principles Project. While you might think that you are fulfilling it to the letter, the only thing required of our mutual agreement, left un-obtained, is the Governing Principles. I didn't miss the difference. I am simply focusing on the assignment at hand, to respond to the assignment I have been given, regarding the Governing Principles.

    I never obtained from heaven an assignment to replace the words from the Boise Covenant, with my own words, which is precisely as you are doing.

    Rob Adolpho

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  19. Rob,

    I have made this simple for all involved.

    I shall not yield from the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as the guide and standard, and I shall not cease to dispute the adoption of any other document as the guide and standard whether past, present, or future.

    Therefore either The Rock of Jesus Christ shall be the G&S, or the Lord shall be defrauded in the matter of the G&S.

    If you will not accept and do as the Lord requires and agree to adopt The Rock of Jesus Christ, then you defraud the Lord in the matter of the G&S and render it impossible for the body to accomplish future tasks the Lord will require at our hands.

    I don't have an obligation to persuade you or convince you, but merely to speak by persuasion. That is to say my job isn't to change you. You get to choose. I simply explain.

    The choice is up to you, and the rest of the covenant participants.

    By the by, Rob - if you don't think the purpose of the guide and a standard is to assist all the Boise Covenant participants to fulfill the Boise Covenant and thus obtain the Lord's covenant from heaven and qualify for Zion, then where do you think you want to go, and how do you think you're going to get there?

    Joseph Smith himself pointed out this necessary truth:

    "Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject."

    Ordinances means laws, things appointed. Joseph is effectively saying that without experience, you know nothing. The King Follett discourse does not give knowledge, only a report of things that we know nothing about without experience. If we want to experience the things Joseph experienced, we obtain that experience by diligent obedience to the Sermon.

    Jared L.

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    1. 1 of 2

      Jared,

      We have discovered where we disagree. I would be satisfied with the task of the Governing Principles project, and you want to replace the entire Boise Covenant with the words you prefer. It is clear that you hold out your opinion that your document be added as being mutually agreeable, and that any other document would defraud the Lord because you will dispute any other document, making mutual agreement impossible. It’s obvious that we have come to a point of difference, a hot point even, by your response of accusing me of defrauding the Lord. And if I pushed to finalize things, then I would be defrauding the Lord.

      However, I haven’t, nor do I plan to enforce my view. Rather than stopping another from doing as they believe (many others, including you), I’m grateful to have my own view, a reason to stand upon my testimony, to trust Christ as my rock, …rather than seeking to simply get people to agree with me, for no other reason than to create an “image” of peace. I have thoroughly understood your perspective, have come to a place of impasse with you dictating both the Governing Principles and the Boise Covenant, and can wait upon the Lord to give me further light and knowledge, as I am not certain how to move forward from here.

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    2. 2 of 2

      Mutual agreement is required, and I am more than willing to work towards it, but you and I understand differently. You would never yield to me, trusting in my arm of flesh, nor would I want you to. And I would certainly never yield to you, just the same. However, the Lord requires mutual agreement, and what the Lord wants is what the Lord will get. I just need Him to show forth His part to me, as I have exhausted all my resources to obtain mutual agreement, just short of giving up my agency to trust in the arm of flesh (which I will never do). Either way, I will wait for Him some more, for further instructions.

      Thank you for engaging me, and not simply writing me off, recognizing my willingness to work things out in my mind. I will continue seeking deeper into the Doctrine/Law of Christ, considering your perspective about your choice to use the Luke account over the others, including the BOM. I am clear that unless your document is adopted, there will not be mutual agreement, because you will not agree to anything but your document. As things sit, I cannot agree to your document, and we are both unable to complete the assignment of mutually agreeing together. As things are currently understood, you cannot complete it without me and I cannot without you, so let’s wait until something changes, and more light is added, to make it possible for us to find mutual agreement. Perhaps you and I are not His people, and that the instructions for it to be adopted by mutual agreement only applies to those whom Christ has called “My People.” Despite our circumstances, this is the Lord’s work, and heaven knows that He will complete it.

      I respect you for your perspective and your uniqueness enough to not require you to be anything other than what you choose to be. At the conference, it was confusing to me to hear the cheers of the majority, when Denver mentioned individuality and uniqueness, when the day before they supported conformity, opposing my uniqueness. We must maintain our uniqueness, requiring only persuasion. You have done your best at persuading me, and I have done my best to persuade you. I will not short-cut the long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and unfeigned love. Best of luck.

      Thanks for the conversations,

      Rob Adolpho

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    3. Rob,

      I'm not sure you do understand my position. However, maybe I don't understand yours:

      Are you in sincerity saying you do not want to fulfill the Boise Covenant, which requires both accepting, practicing, and teaching the doctrine / law / commandments of Jesus Christ, but that you instead prefer to stay in the Telestial world and be led by men?

      Because that's what I hear you to be saying.

      Jared Livesey

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    4. C’mon, you not serious right now, are you? Telestial? Huh? What’da?

      I just disagree to how you wanna proceed, and you seem to want only your way of proceeding. So, rather than trying to force you to my side by some argument, as some would try to do, I’m willing to be good with you having your way, and waiting for things to part, as this seems to be as difficult as crossing a Red Sea. But, like Moses, I’m confident God’s got ma back!

      For me, I am focused on the Governing Principles project, leaving the Boise Covenant to stand on it’s own merits, while focusing on mutual agreement. Interpret how you like, painting an inaccurate picture of me as you see it, being telestial and all, you wouldn’t be the first, nor will you be the last. I’m willing to take it, respecting you!

      RESPECT! WORD!

      Rob Adolpho

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    5. Rob,

      Telestial - where those who follow the prophets are, and who go to hell.

      "These [the Telestial] are they who are thrust down to Hell.

      And the glory of the Telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars are one, for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the Telestial world. For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas; these are they who say they are some of one and some of another: some of Christ, and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, some of Enoch, but received not the gospel neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenants" (RE D&C 23:9, 11).

      That is to say, they followed - trusted in, proclaimed loyalty to - prophets but didn't accept, practice, nor teach the gospel, neither did they receive the testimony of Jesus, nor the true covenant from heaven.

      The way out of the telestial is to no more trust in any man, but follow the Lord alone. This means accepting, doing, and teaching his doctrine, law, and commandments - which just happens to be the way to fulfill the Boise Covenant.

      But, as I said a ways back, you're not convinced the Lord's law and commandments are the only way to what you want. Therefore you seek elsewhere.

      "Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?"

      Jared L.

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    6. I’m not sure why you assume that I follow a man, being condemned to hell, calling me telestial, ...based solely on the premise that I disagree with you. I have not been instructed to adjust the Boise Covenant, but to work on the Governing Principles project. Not by any man, but by the voice of the Lord to me. I haven’t ever claimed to be assigned, like Jeff Savage, nor to have participated in the Lots program. I have relied solely on the voice of the Lord through it all. And Denver hasn’t participated, so you can’t claim that I follow him regarding this project. How is it that you can quickly judge me as Telestial?

      I mean, feel free to do so, recognizing that how you judge, so shall you be judged!!! I simply don’t agree with you right now bro, and you haven’t told me anything different regarding your view, that I haven’t already considered, so, ...I’m good bro! You seem to have taken the perspective that your view is of the terrestrial or celestial caliber, leaving only Telestial for me. We all gotta be judged by the choices we make. Condemn away daaawg!

      PEACE!
      Rob Adolpho

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    7. Rob,

      I didn't say you follow Denver Snuffer regarding this project.

      As I said, I'm not sure you do understand my position. You say you disagree with me, but since your characterization of my position - that I am trying to replace the Boise Covenant - is false, I'd have to disagree with the position you say you disagree with as well.

      So where do we disagree, except that you do not want the guide and standard to assist you to fulfill the Boise Covenant?

      And if you do not fulfill it, you remain in the telestial world. And if you don't know how to fulfill it, then what kind of guide and standard can you possibly offer others?

      "Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?"

      Jared Livesey

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    8. The Doctrine/Law of Christ is totally satisfactory to support the Boise Covenant, without altering or adding to it. Your recommendation adds to the Doctrine/Law the necessity to accept/practice/teach, ...and that’s something I believe the Holy Ghost ought to instruct. Your justification for adding the practice and teach differs from my understanding as that’s none of my business what you do with the Doctrine/Law. I’m satisfied that you and I agree to be governed by it, and allow you to practice according to your understanding, and to teach according to your understanding, when you are impressed by the spirit to do so.

      I don’t see how it helps to add any more than to be governed by the Doctrine/Law of Christ. And that is how we differ.

      I’m sorry for misrepresenting your point of view. You can feel free to correct me. I take correction regarding your point of view really easy. I just don’t take someone correcting me on my own point of view. You’ve not done that, so please forgive me for getting your point of view wrong.

      Rob Adolpho

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    9. Rob,

      Do you know what a hypocrite is?

      Jared L.

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    10. By that, I mean what the word actually means.

      Delete
    11. Yup, in my own words, it’s to say one thing and do another. According to definition, it’s a deceiver, a pretender, a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue/religion, a person who acts against his stated beliefs.

      Your point?

      Rob Adolpho

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    12. What is the critical difference between a hypocrite and a disciple?

      JL

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    13. How they act. The disciple act in alignment to their acclaimed belief, where a hypocrite could swing one way or another, with every wind of doctrine.

      Rob Adolpho

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    14. The word "hypocrite" means "actor," as in TV and movie. The hypocrite acts like a believer, but doesn't believe.

      The hypocrite says things to be heard of men, and they do their works to be seen of men, playing the role of a righteous person.

      With their lips they honor God, but their hearts - their desires, their intentions - are far from him. That's why you read this in the A&C: "Yet many of you are like those who reject the Book of Mormon, because you say, but you do not do." The Lord is saying *many* of us are hypocrites. "As a people [this is the majority he's speaking of] you honor with your lips, but your hearts are corrupt, filled with envy and malice, returning evil for good, sparing none, even those with pure hearts among you, from your unjustified accusations and unkind backbiting." Again, he's saying the majority of this people are hypocrites.

      Recall, again, to Joseph the Lord said, concerning the Christian sects of the day, that "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

      The difference between a hypocrite and a disciple is that the disciple believes the word of the Lord and does it, while the hypocrite does not believe and does not do, but they act like they believe.

      To accept, practice, and teach the Sermon divides disciples from hypocrites, and gives sufficient guidance to hypocrites that they may drop their act and become disciples.

      Jared L.

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    15. Jared: were you literally cut off from God's presence when you entered the Boise conference? Please answer me or Adrian. He asked you the same thing in the comments section of your "Arise and Awake" blog post, at latter day commentaries. Please answer him (and me) here.

      Delete
    16. So, ...um, I totally agree with the concepts you have written above, fully understanding the difference between a hypocrite and a disciple, ...and even more concrete that how you see it reflects the way I do. Which leaves me to ask, again, what’s your point? Why the expounding upon a hypocrite and a disciple? I’m trying to pick up what you’re putting down.

      Rob Adolpho

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    17. Saying one accepts is not enough. One must also practice or else one is a hypocrite. And, by the Boise Covenant, not to mention the Book of Mormon, we must also teach.

      Jared L.

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    18. So, ...bruh, are you accusing me of being a hypocrite? Is that what the point is? I mean tell me straight, this beating around the bush and talking in circles about hypocrisy and discipleship, what’s the point?

      I agree that saying you accept the covenant is insufficient. I opposed the vote in Arizona because the majority supported a document that I could not live as a disciple. I refuse to be a hypocrite and say, but not do. I get the concept, but have no clue as to what’s your point!

      Rob Adolpho

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    19. Rob,

      My point is that the verbiage that you dislike - accept, practice, and teach - is justified by the Boise Covenant, the Book of Mormon, and the needs and condition of this people and the work we are supposedly setting about to do.

      The Rock of Jesus Christ is precisely what one must live to be a disciple.

      And fulfill the Boise Covenant.

      And seek the Lord to establish his righteousness.

      And build up Zion.

      And partake of the Atonement.

      And obtain the heavenly covenant.

      And be saved.

      Jared Livesey

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    20. So you have said. What’s the point of hypocrisy? You have failed to get to a point. I fully expect to accept/practice/teach the Doctrine/Law of Christ, but opposed to you, I don’t expect to tell anyone else to do it. I am fine being mutually agreeable to be governed by the Doctrine/Law of Christ, but not fine with telling someone else what they are to do:accept/practice/teach. The one who’s role is to instruct is neither yours nor mine, but the responsibility of the Holy Ghost. So if someone agrees to be governed by the Doctrine/Law of Christ, then they are accountable to do it, and let the Holy Ghost instruct them in what they should say and do, to know the truth of all things, ...not Jared.

      But, hey, this conversation sounding like several of them we have already had. I won’t try to convince you to do differently, and mutual agreement eludes us. You have done nothing that persuades me, and mutual agreement eludes us. I am fine with allowing you to be you, and will not be a hypocrite, but a disciple, waiting upon the voice of the Lord for my instruction.

      I won’t attempt to judge your heart as a hypocrite. I wouldn’t recommend you judging my heart as a hypocrite. You good? If you’re good, me too!!!

      I’m OUT!
      Rob Adolpho

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    21. Rob,

      It does seem you cannot be persuaded. I will note that your argument actually contradicts the idea that a written guide and standard should exist - yet the Lord has required it of us.

      Jared L.

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    22. Wait, are we now finally talking about the Governing Principles now? Cause I’m down with that. But, trying to take th Boise Covenant over, I ain’t tryin’ to do dat! Good luck wit dat Jared!

      Rob Adolpho

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    23. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    24. No matter how you rephrase the same argument, as long as it is more or less than to be governed by the Doctrine/Law of Christ, I dissent from you, and now you have no ability to find mutual agreement without me, or suffer defrauding the Lord by moving forward.

      Now I'll sign off as,

      Frobert Adolpho

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    25. Rob,

      You seem to not know what you agreed to do when you entered the Boise Covenant.

      Instead of contending against me, pointlessly bluffing, you should find out from God.

      Jared L.

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    26. I did! I know what I gots ta do. And it’s to chill! I was just entertaining myself as I waited for my sons event to be done. Five hours.

      I thought you had a point about hypocrit and discipleship. I had already settled way long ago that we don’t agree, and I’ve never tried turning you over. I had no more to say, but thanks for spending the time. I’m genuinely grateful for your clarity, and have no intention on questioning your motives. But you went down a rabbit hole with hypocrisy and discipleship. I had waiting time to spare, and since I am totally consumed with this Governing Principles document, like a puppy, I chose to chase the rabbit.

      I don’t mind engaging with you, light heartedly, or in a serious mood of doctrine. I’ve learned a lot engaging. While others might take offense, I don’t, and I can engage lightly or seriously too. Maybe you thought I was contending. Sorry for that. I don’t feel like engaging is contentious. I just didn’t know what your point was in bringing up hypocrisy and discipleship as we agree on both.

      If your point was to passive-aggressively draw me out in a public forum, in a display of offense, to your light conversation, hinting around at hypocrisy, as you play the role of discipleship. All I got to say, light heartedly, “...silly rabbit, trix are for kids!”

      Rob Adolpho (all in good fun)

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      Delete
    28. Rob,

      I was explaining to you why the answer is what it is. Thank you for clarifying your intent.

      JL

      Delete
  20. Follower of the WayApril 6, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    What is going to set this work apart from all the other Christian denominations? They too teach repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, the Sermon on the mount.

    What makes what we are offering any different?

    "Joseph Smith’s audience for this sermon had the Book of Mormon. His listeners were largely converted through the Book of Mormon. They had Joseph’s revelations. Joseph had been their Prophet, and he had taught them a great deal before April 1844. So when he returned to the "first principles about which so much hath been said” he was speaking to those inside the church, not to the unconverted and untaught. He was able to tell them much more about what the Gospel really included. He opened up and declared they really are this:
    -Attaining to the resurrection from the dead,
    -becoming Gods, and
    -walking in the same path as our Lord walked

    These are the real first principles of the Gospel! That's why he wished he had the trumpet of an archangel with which to declare it. He didn't have that. But I read his words as if they came from
    an archangel."

    ReplyDelete
  21. Follower of the WayApril 6, 2018 at 11:33 AM

    "You thus learn some of the first principles of the Gospel, about which so much hath been said. When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel--you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave."

    Being True and Faithful in KEEPING the Doctrine of Christ is the mechanism to achieve a greater Intelligence and enables us to gradually climb up that ladder. This is what sets this work apart from all others. We have the authorized Ordinances required for this ascension and do you believe it?
    His other Sheep will hear this message, because it resonates with their records and stories. What marvelous truths we may learn from them!

    Ascension/Progression/Zion

    And what is ZION? It is not what most of us think it is.

    Just an insignificant sister,


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  22. What shall set this people apart is that unlike every other "Christian" sect, we actually do accept, practice, and teach the Sermon. That is what is meant by "walking in the same path as our Lord walked," which leads to the other things mentioned.

    Otherwise, we meet the same prophesied fate as all the other Gentiles: to be cast out and trodden underfoot by the remnant of Jacob as salt that has lost its savor.

    Jared L.

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  23. Follower of the WayApril 6, 2018 at 11:42 AM

    "These are the basics of the Gospel of Christ. This is the foundation upon which salvation itself rests. This is the way you must climb in order for you to be like Him. But it will be a great
    while after you leave this life before you will arrive there. No one will do this for you. You can go from exaltation to exaltation, and from grace to grace, but you will only arrive at the end when you have learned all you will need to know to be like Christ.
    If you understand Christ, you understand salvation. He is the prototype, and therefore you must be like that prototype in order for you to be saved"

    "As long as you are here in this mortal venue, clothed in mere flesh, you have the great endowment and capacity to offer a SACRIFICE to God. You are in the ideal condition to develop the
    ability to exercise faith in Him. You couldn’t do it if you were continuously living in His presence. You will not return to His presence until you first develop that faith. Therefore you are
    in an ideal, even enviable place here.
    You will be amazed at the grace it is possible to acquire, if you will only do so while in this dark place. You are here to accomplish great deal, and I hope by the time we are finished
    today you will be more fortified to accomplish it. This creation was designed as an opportunity to sharply contrast good and evil. It is a testing or proving ground. That is exactly why you are
    here. This is a glorious opportunity. You wanted it. You shouted for joy at the idea of coming here to experience this veil of flesh.Therefore you should rejoice again now, because salvation
    is free and offered to us all"

    What an disservice to our God and the World if we do not hold these truths and invitation to all, to come and partake freely of Gods Mercy.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Do You Know What It Is You Agreed to Do?

    First: Do you believe all the words of the Lord which have been read to you this day, and know them to be true and from the Lord Jesus Christ who has condescended to provide them to you, and do you covenant with Him to cease to do evil and to seek to continually do good?

    What defines evil doing?
    What defines doing good?
    Some call evil good, and good evil (2 Nephi 15:20). By what sure standard do you divide good from evil so you can do what you agreed to do here?

    Second: Do you have faith in these things and receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life, to accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts and deeds?

    What, specifically, are the obligations established by the Book of Mormon?

    Third: Do you agree to assist all others who covenant to likewise accept this standard to govern their lives to keep the Lord’s will, to succor those who stand in need, to lighten the burdens of your brothers and sisters whenever you are able, and to help care for the poor among you?

    How, specifically, can you assist all other covenant participants to accept something?
    What is "this standard" being referred to?
    How, specifically, do you assist all others who have covenanted to also accept "this standard?"
    What is the Lord's will?
    How do you know it is the Lord's will?

    Fourth: And do you covenant to seek to become of one heart with those who seek the Lord to establish His righteousness?

    What does it mean to become of one heart with someone?
    How, specifically, do you seek to become of one heart with someone?
    What does it mean to seek the Lord?
    How, specifically, do you seek the Lord?
    What does it mean to establish something?
    What is righteousness?
    What is the Lord's righteousness?
    What does it mean to establish the Lord's righteousness?
    How, specifically, do you establish the Lord's righteousness?

    If you do not know the answers to these questions, then how can you possibly guide someone to accomplish these things?

    If you do not know the answers to these questions, then what standard can you possibly give someone to measure how well they are doing these things?

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    Replies
    1. If you are in complete alignment with Him and are are fully repenting, obeying all His commandments, if you have made the sacrifices asked of you, if your life has been lost in submission to His will, and you know Him, then you are His people. His people know how to guide and set a standard. I believe there are many here who are walking with Him, however there are some who are still not. He told me so. He said there would still be wheat and tares at the Conference. I would hope we will honestly evaluate ourselves and seek our Savior and become one with Him, receive His Servants sent by Him, and listen for His voice given through His Spirit and become His Holy prophets who are the servants of all. You cannot contend when you are serving in His love with true charity.
      Love, Lisa

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    2. Log,

      You asked, “What is ‘this standard’ being referred to?” The answer is clearly given in the second part. It says, “Do you have faith in these things and receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life, to accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts and deeds?”


      No where does it state that this “guide and standard” that we are working on, is what is contained in any of the 4 questions. In fact, it is a separate work that has been asked of this group. It’s not part of the covenant, but it is something the Lord has asked us to do.

      But, it’s only a work that the Lord has asked us to do, IF you believe that the answer to the prayer for the covenant are indeed the words of the Lord. Which, you have already publicly declared that you don’t believe that those are the word’s of the Lord. Instead you believe they are the words of Denver Snuffer. So it appears it is a work that you actually don’t need to participate in, because you don’t even believe the Lord has asked it of us, instead you believe it is a work that Denver Snuffer has asked of us.

      Delete
  26. A reminder to consider the original post, 6 proposals, and the links to a version of the Lots document above fulfilling the proposals. Anyone who accepts the premises about no contention can ignore any contentious proposal. This still allows minorities to be heard, and even contentious minorities can have their ideas considered even if their contention bars them from participating in a single issue during the time they contend or dispute. These proposals have been seconded and we call for a formal vote by the body. The version of the Lots doc I submitted as a way to fulfill the 6 proposals has not been seconded. Please read the links in the comments above and if anyone seconds this version, please state it here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian, I am sorry that your idea has not been given full discussion here. The area for that has been hijacked. Whether for better or worse I could not say.

      But what you propose doing with these statements:
      "Anyone who accepts the premises about no contention can ignore any contentious proposal. This still allows minorities to be heard, and even contentious minorities can have their ideas considered even if their contention bars them from participating in a single issue during the time they contend or dispute."

      I do not understand. If I ignore any proposal I deem contentious then how are the authors still being heard by me or how am I able to consider their idea?

      Is your intention truly inclusive or an attempt to separate yolks from egg whites?

      And why ANOTHER VOTE??? I am feeling traumatized at this point.

      Will this end when the lots document is published in the T&C? Is that what you and its supporters require?

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    2. I think the body, as a last resort, can consider a certain tactic used as causing contention, but repeat the proposal for consideration so the ideas are not lost. So the body decides not to stop moving forward. Maybe this can be done by appointing a neutral party to repeat the proposal and the body can negotiate normally without the proposal being required. In that spirit, I don't require my proposals to end up being adopted exactly as I proposed them. They are freely offered as helpful and the body can modify and use or not use my proposals as they see fit. In calling for a vote, I am offering this as a follow-up to the stalled second vote at conference for the G&S. I realize that second vote included a repeat of allowing any G&S doc to be accepted. I offer this modified Lots doc as a way to weigh in all the minority concerns I have seen to hopefully make a peaceful resolution and final vote. Whether to include it in the scriptures or not is another debate. I am open to supporting that idea.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for responding. It sounds like your suggestion is to try what has already been done before with another committee and another vote. I believe it will still end up rendering similar results. It seems a fruitless endeavour to me. I don't mean to be a negative Nancy or heckler in the sidelines. I am appreciative of the fact that you are trying to help us all resolve what has become a painful task. I just do not have the vision to see how taking the same steps in the same direction will lead to a new destination.

      Delete
    4. Hi Brian. I think I finally understand what you are saying about keeping an idea for its merit but setting aside the conduit through which it came. It's like studying out the importance and place of the Sermons and Doctrine of Christ
      in/as a G&S, but not focusing on who pointed out their importance to begin with? Am I understanding your perspective?

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    5. Yeah, you're understanding me correctly. I think a peaceful proposition is to offer an idea to the body. At that point, the peaceful member of the body releases ownership of the idea. They can clarify if asked what they originally meant, but by no means force the body to consider their idea without modification or at the expense of all other ideas. If the body doesn't handle the information correctly, it is not the individual's fault. They have persuaded and they leave it at that. If the body fails, then the group is judged. An individual doesn't have to contend all day long for their proposition or else. And, I would go further to say that we don't set aside individuals as conduits, but we set aside the tactic used in advancing it as a stalling tactic. We can reject contention and keep individuals and ideas. This isn't a legalistic maneuver, it's choosing as a body to reject contentious filibustering, per the doctrine of Christ. We basically say to any member: You are always welcome to say your two cents, you are just not allowed to use it as an ultimatum.

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    6. In fact, my propositions and the call for a vote are less important than us deciding as a body that everyone agreed when they said they believed in the doctrine of Christ, that nobody would contend and use ultimatums to force decisions upon the body. We agreed to that in advance. We don't need to debate that point. We can reject ultimatums and move on, whatever proposals get advanced, whether my 6 and the modified doc above, or some changes to my ideas, or different ideas altogether.

      Delete
    7. Think about the precedent we are setting. This is not about any individuals here. This is about the idea that mutual agreement means unanimous voting in every circumstance and decision, coupled with the idea that nobody can decide when a person’s vote doesn’t count. This would mean that as we expand, any atheist or anti-Christ could claim baptism and claim taking the covenant, say their vote counts and can never be thrown out, and decide to stop every decision we try to make every time. We will never get anything done together. On the other hand, if we all say we believe that contention should be done away, as Christ’s doctrine suggests, then we can do away with contentious methods. We keep people, we keep the proposals themselves for consideration, but we all reject contentious methods and we refuse to be held up as a body by contentions.

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    8. So, let me lay it out one more way. For any decision we have to make, first we decide who has the right to vote. This is the tricky suffrage question. It could be anybody who is human gets to vote. It could be those who have their names on the baptism roll. It could be those who have said yes to the Boise covenant. I am not arguing one way or another, just listing the options. Next, we can all decide beforehand whether we want to vote with a requirement for the vote to be unanimous or a majority, or some other hybrid stage process. We decide that second. Factors that weigh in are whether or not the decision is a light one or a heavy one. Last, we decide what type of voting behavior will be labelled contentious. We could say the decision is so important that even one vote should stall things because it’s life or death, and we need to be right. We could say this is a light decision and we can’t stop our progress and will not allow voting that stalls things indefinitely. We get to decide as a body all these particulars. If we don’t get them right, we can’t make decisions together, and ought to leave all decision to individual fellowships, and not for a large unified body.

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    9. Although I am using terms to talk about legalistic forms of decision making, overall I am simply talking about being on the same page whenever we come together to decide anything. That is more important, and I am not advocating any particulars except one. Let me explain. First, it will be hard for us to even agree upon who should vote, what type of vote it should be, and when individual votes should be cast out. Should it be a unanimous vote for whether or not we vote on the G&S by unanimous vote? It’s like the chicken and the egg. I am suggesting Jesus solves this start-up problem for us by saying the minimum requirements for fellowshipping are the doctrine of Christ. We choose no contention. Then, beginning with that foundation, we can decide on process for each decision and see eye to eye. Then, we can discuss and make the decision based on the chosen process. The only fixed idea is no contention. Friendly debate and negotiation is much more than the LDS Church is used to. We don’t want the majority to bully the minority (as many of us are former LDS, we are sensitive to that), but neither can we let a minority bully the majority. If I am correct on my interpretation of the doctrine, Christ may be drawing the line that saves us from the latter scenario.

      Delete
    10. I understand and appreciate the way in which you are segmenting a process to come to agreement into smaller steps. That is something I had once thought we could try as well. Agree on a single matter, then discuss the next step until agreement is reached, and so on.

      What I have come to understand about contention is that I ought to be cautious in who or what I label as contentious, contending, peaceful, disputatious, agreeing, etc. It is a difficult matter to discern a person's heart and intention. I am passing judgments then, which means that will be the judgment with which I am judged. I'm creating division in my mind and heart rather than just being open and listening. So maybe having no contention is a private matter of the heart? I won't consider you as bullying me, and you should not believe I am bullying you. You are simply trying to do your best to fulfill Christ's commandments. I still have choice to stand still or join in. Right?

      My understanding is that I am the only one who can take offense or feel like I am held hostage or forced to comply with an ultimatum. I can choose to feel bullied and focus upon that, or I can choose acceptance and respond with love, compassion, mercy, etc. Christ chose not to accuse, even when he rightfully could. It is a hard thing to live out. We are so used to having a system of justice and protecting our rights.

      I have never felt because someone said he disputes everything but Christ's Doctrine and Law, that he is somehow forcing me to choose his idea. I don't have to agree or accept it.

      I could understand questioning and push-back of a statement of principles a person or persons claimed was the result of a weekend fast sitting atop a mountain butt-naked while surrounded by she-wolves howling at a blood moon.

      But we're talking about the Doctrine of Christ and His Sermons. I do not understand what anyone feels forced to accept when they already agreed to and accepted both in any/all the proposals?

      Anyways, I guess we will see how we progress from here. Having no contention starts in me, by my choosing not to view others as contentious (threatening) and blaming them (attributing motives) for what is really a private struggle.

      Delete
    11. You're right about the private struggle. In this post we're talking about group dynamics. I'm not talking about contention in the sense of getting offended or judging someone's heart. It's about the process being deemed as a disputation: A process that disagrees relentlessly without allowing for the body to reject it is a dispute. A dispute can be rejected outright, or we can bring disputes to the Lord for his part in the matter. We don't know how to do the latter as a group without Denver. We can either try to figure out how to do that, or take a light matter and decide on majority rules. We can judge processes as a group without judging people's hearts. The A&C says to "pursue judgment." There is no need for any emotion in the decision making process of a group. It's all a matter of light and truth. It's either technically a dispute, or it's not. Nobody has to get upset about it. The devil does stir up the hearts of men to contend with anger, which is another form of dispute we ought to reject on an individual level. I am suggesting one way to read the doctrine is to have no disputes in group decision making. In this post, I am not upset at any of the disputes. I simply suggest we ought to do away with them on a group level and ignore them in the voting process. In future times, all sorts of disputes will stop every decision if we allow ourselves to be held hostage by stubborn and unchanging votes to the contrary on everything. It is a last stage effort to judge a vote as stubborn and contrary. It is not rejecting initial opposing votes. It is rejecting a pattern of repeated and stubborn refusal to have anything other than what that vote says should happen. It could come from an individual or from a small group. Rejecting someone's vote doesn't label them with bad intentions. It merely points out their voting fit the pattern of what we all agree to reject as a stubborn disputation. Remember the kingmen in the Book of Mormon. They were a contentious small group who rejected the vote of the majority to avoid having a king. In that instance, everyone agreed to majority rules, then since the minority was upset, they went back on their word. I'm glad you've figured out your individual commitment to avoid contention. I think, however, it doesn't fully relate to what I am trying to say. Again, the Sermon and Doctrine acceptance is a wonderful idea on its own, like you say. You said you understood what I meant about separating the idea from the stalling tactic. That is what relates here.

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    12. If I am right about the Doctrine and its application to voting in the group, then we reject the Doctrine by allowing disputations in our decisions as a group. It doesn't matter if the disputation is correct. It's done in an incorrect way. It's not by persuasion. That's the only tools we choose to use when we say we agree to the Doctrine of Christ. As a group, we may expect nothing less in how the members of the body are expected to behave in a vote. They already agreed to it vocally before being baptized. That is, if I am right. I have come to this conclusion from the doctrine. It remains for everyone else to either be persuaded or reject it. If they are persuaded, they should confirm the interpretation with God. I offer it as a study aid. You'll have to ask in faith. I'm not putting it out there as what God said was the correct interpretation at this point. It is my own conclusion.

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    13. I do get that you are talking about a group process rather than a personal process. My personal take is that the group is only going to be as vibrant, strong, and blessed as the individuals of whom it is made. And given the very real struggles we continue to have in just talking to each other and discussing, the group will not come along until we each begin choosing new thoughts toward one another.

      I had the funny realization that the process you are talking about is probably supposed to be found in the G&S, which originally was called "governing principles." Maybe. LOL

      I'm not 100% but it sure did feel that way reading through your thoughts. A G&S ideal for the individual, family or fellowship ought to work on a larger group scale, yes? And that is prolly why so many feel strongly about having fellowship deets in a statement.

      Where some of us differ is in how we think Christ's Doctrine and Sermons impregnated with guidance from the Holy Ghost should be sufficient for all other extraneous needs. I would include in a statement His counsel on having no contention as well. But we need work in identifying what is contention, what is disputing?

      And then I circle back to how I feel, at least for now, choosing not to define the words or actions of others in this group as contentious or disputatious or as using a "stalling tactic," kinda like giving the benefit of the doubt. It won't go over well to tell someone they are being contentious, which ironically is itself a contentious thing to say, no? Even if someone is intentionally being a butt, does that really have to change me or my responses?

      Anyhow, good convo. I do like your thoughts. Maybe we can still find a way to do something with them.

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  27. In the comments early on is a version of the Lots doc I did. Read the new preamble to A Guide. Then see The Standard. The Standard is the Rock doc almost identical. A Guide is suggested as a word of wisdom without compulsion and a recommendation that each fellowship create their own guide, too. It uses the Lots doc as a guide since it got a majority in a quorum. But, the preamble idea makes it understood it really could be any G&S doc, we just choose one to offer as a suggestion.

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  28. Jared,

    It is sad how some understanding appeared to take place between you and Rob (and even the rest reading along), then it all fell apart. I am trying to understand what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks just happened.

    Jared, are you not okay with someone disagreeing with you? If not, why?

    If a person proposed a statement with only the sermon from Matthew 5-7 and the doctrine of Christ, including Christ's point not to contend from 3 Nephi, nothing wavering, are you saying you would never accept or agree to it? If never, why???

    You appear to be doggedly attached to having everything worded as you require, or as you say the Lord requires. But do you get to dictate to and interpret for anyone other than yourself what the Lord requires, what He says, how He says it, and what He commands?

    Your command of scripture is admirable, and greater than mine. Your ability to reason and articulate are strong, and these too more than mine. But discussions with you tend to leave one feeling bruised and battered, as though one has been repeatedly butting into the wall of Zarahemla.

    I am greatly saddened for what transpired here in conversation. You appeared to be unwilling to be at peace with someone-anyone who disagreed with you. Or am I mistaken? I hope I am.

    Have you ever lost a debate or argument? How then did you respond? I am genuinely curious and not at all being humorous. There is a reason so many will neither listen to you nor engage with you anymore. Can you understand why? Would you say your efforts here are representative of exactly how Christ teaches and speaks directly to you?

    --from someone who genuinely cares about YOU, more than a statement of principles.

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    1. I loved that Lori! I felt your heart.
      Love, Lisa

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    2. That is kind of you to say, Lisa. This is hard for me. There is so much that I do not understand about why this is such a huge struggle for us all. What is wrong with me? What is wrong with us? What choice could we make as a body of brothers and sisters that would reflect Heaven itself?

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    3. To love, suffer long, sacrifice, serve, endure. We are not all listening to the voice of the Lord and His Servants. We all may think we are, but the Lord doesn't swing in such wide paths. See Denver's latest post. Maybe it will cause some introspection within the group. Something needs to happen. I'm with you, this is way harder than it needs to be. Hang in there, sometimes it's good to take a breather. God bless! Love, Lisa

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    4. Thank you again, Lisa. Denver's post does give me much to ponder. How easy it is to fall into making an idol of God by creating an image of Him according to our own thinking; the result of not really knowing Him. A breather is indeed good. Gracias Chica.

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  29. Lori,

    Do not counsel me.

    Jared L.

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    1. One of the primary intended outcomes of the restoration is this: "The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh."

      Perpetually turning the conversation from principles to personalities - or, in other words, from the subject of truth to the subject of me - doesn't help anyone, but rather hinders.

      Jared L.

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    2. Jared, I feel so hurt this morning and ANGRY. DO NOT COUNSEL ME. How the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did I counsel you??? I asked questions, did I not?

      I am fed up with the level of spiritual and emotional immaturity displayed by this body. We all need to GROW UP. Christ is serious about HIS WORK. HE SUFFERED, BLED, AND DIED FOR EACH OF US. And this effort is how we show Him gratitude???

      How about we each get over ourselves and our perceived knowledge?

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    4. I would suggest we can do so by discussing truth and not discussing each other.

      JL

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    5. Jared, the truth is you are not alone. You told me that to support you is to “accept, practice, and teach the law and commandments of the Lord.”

      The truth is I have already accepted what you proposed, giving up all claim to want it to be any different than what it is. I have also accepted what all others claim as their statement of principles. What more can I offer you or anyone else?

      The truth is also that we are to become one of mind and one of heart. The former is possible but not without the latter happening first.

      The truth is "connection is about Relationship. Relationship is about LOVE. LOVE is a Choice."

      You want to keep a focus on truth. That will not happen without also including the heart. We have a duality about us in that we have both a mind and a heart. Some are gifted in one or the other, or both at some point. I’m a card-carrying member of the heart tribe. :)

      The truth is Christ speaks to my heart. It is prayers from my heart that He hears. The adversary speaks to my mind and when I agree with him he then gets into my heart; then things get crazy messy. It is a constant struggle of discerning the origins of every thought and every emotion. But I love a good struggle cause that is when I grow good muscle.

      The truth is I understand hearts and emotions best. Logic is hard, impersonal, and white noise to me at times. If I cannot discern love as the moving cause of all action then I want to understand why. Maybe I am simply misunderstanding and need reassurance.

      The truth is it is Christ's Love for me that draws me to Him, not His laws, His commandments, His doctrine. I follow Him and seek Him because He Loves me and I have felt it. I know He Loves me because of Spirit’s witness to me of His sufferings for me and what I experience when I interact with Him. He does not have to tell me. I know it because Love is who and what He chooses to be. He has taught me what Love truly looks like, feels like, tastes like, and sounds like. He is my yardstick by which the love of others is measured against.

      The truth is the gospel of Jesus Christ is about Love and His Heart for me above all else.

      The truth is the gospel of Jesus Christ is about me, you, and every other person on the planet; it is about the one. It is not about some words written in black and white on a computer screen or in a book.

      The truth is God so loved the world that [They] gave [Their] Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have Eternal Life. (Emphasis added.) Every moment of our lives They are condescending to be with us, to help us, to bless us, to teach us, to speak to us, etc. They willingly come and walk with us through Hell. Are we willing to do that for one another? Am I? Are you? THAT requires HEART.

      Jared, I care about you and yours. I don’t know you, but want to know you and understand you. I need help with that, and the questions I have asked of you in previous comments were sincere and not meant to be jabs or “counsel.” I still support you and stand with you, though I will not always agree with how you express yourself or interpret something.

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    7. Lori,

      You said: "He is my yardstick by which the love of others is measured against."

      I understand that you would like to weigh my heart.

      I am not submitting to this judgement.

      Truth is what matters.

      I didn't say "accept my proposal."

      Jared L.

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    8. I can offer you nothing further than what I in my weak and fallen condition am able. If it is not enough, it is not enough. I do not require you to do or be anything beyond what you are able to as well. Thank you for all you have been willing to share. Adieu.

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    10. Before you go, consider the deep truth to this - in 1844, Joseph told the Saints they never knew him; they never knew his heart. After 14 years of living with him, speaking with him, visiting him, eating with him, listening to him, and so on, they didn't know what motivated him, and did not understand his feelings.

      Joseph also told the Saints around the same time that they would probably reject Jesus if he came among them preaching the same doctrine he taught the Jews.

      The implication of these statements: relationship-building doesn't work in the pursuit of truth.

      Relationship-building does work, however, in sales, where it is called "rapport-building."

      Jared L.

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    11. No worries. I will seek no further to engage in "relationship-building" with you. I won't be making that mistake again. Lesson learned. Ouch. Fare-thee-well, good sir.

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    13. "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what is the will of the Lord is...submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
      Paul to the Ephesians (Restoration Edition.)

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  30. Lori,
    Feel free to contact me at
    naturesattitude@ gmail.com

    Janeen

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  31. Brian,

    You mentioned a couple times Adrian’s post so I went and read it. Adrian pointed out that there are factions, but what he doesn’t point out is what those factions are. He blames these factions as preventing the unity required for Zion. What factions is he talking about? Who created this “us” and “them” identity?

    Is Adrian saying I need to let go of my First Nation Identity because it creates a faction? He alludes to what he thinks are factions but isn’t clear; therefore, I am left guessing and I am guessing he is talking about my culture, because I identify with this. But he is not clear as to who he thinks is creating factions.

    This same message was given to a group of “Lamanites” back in 1995, by Elder Oaks. I was there as a member of “Lamanite Generation.” Rob and I were part of the last “Lamanite Generation”. That day he changed the group’s name to “Living Legends.” The message that has been told to us by many religions is to let go of our identity to become one with their group. This is not a new concept. In fact, this concept has been used time after time to discredit our culture.

    Why can’t I be First Nation and a child of Christ? Adrian seems to suggest my identity of being First Nation is Babylonian, because it creates a faction or division. I don’t think so. What is Babylonian is thinking my way is better than your way. Jew is better than Gentile and vice versa. Instead of thinking that these identities create a faction how about looking at them as something that could create unity. I believe the house of Israel has remnants of their culture or a piece of a puzzle of a greater picture, and when they are put together they provide a complete picture. These pieces of the puzzle could help us understand His ways better, helping us become children of Christ.

    Any time a named changed it was because the people changed. They turned to the Lord and actually lived the ways of the Lord. Adrian seems to believe our name has changed. He believes this group has lived and completed all the requirements necessary for the name to be changed. He can believe that if he wants, because maybe he has met all the requirements. But that doesn’t mean this people as a whole has.

    Adrian can believe that “in one the children of Christ and heirs to the kingdom of God” is represented by his and many other’s interpretations of this epigraph. He has every right to believe that in order for unity to occur it would be best for the individual or faction to submit to the group. But his interpretation can be wrong. I do believe in the next excerpt he quotes: “if you will hearken to my words I will make you my people and my words will give you peace.” I believe this is what creates unity.

    It is my belief the work He is doing right now is purifying our hearts. The focus of the Law of Moses focused on ritual purity. Christ is replacing earlier ritual based purity with internal purity.

    When internal purity was accomplished by an individual and/or group they obtained a name change: Whenever names changed in the Book of Mormon, it was because the people changed internally and their actions proved they changed.

    Q

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    1. No way! You were part of Lamanite Generation? I have fond memories of listening to “Go My Son” as I was growing up. Love that song.

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  32. Hi Q. I don't vouch for everything in Adrian's post. It is a quick reference to a known source among us and it served a purpose for me to reference so I could contrast what God's people should be like vs. how the US Congress acts with contention. Congress makes provisions for an unruly fighting rabble. I suggest believers put away contention in the waters of baptism, or they should. Peace.

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  33. It would be nice if we could take heed of Denver's last post and put away our own images (idols) of God and get on the same page. I was hoping he would chime in. It's hard to keep beating your head against the same walls. I have received correction from him in the past, given through one of his posts. I openly repented, and got back with the program. I hope others will do the same if they feel so convicted. :) Love, Lisa Thanks Denver!

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  34. I am putting this here for lack of a better place. We really need our own blog so we can discuss our commonalities and not always our differences. After Denver's talk on Heavenly Mother, I searched out Margaret Barker for any additional information, not to idolize Heavenly Mother, but to study a little bit more in that area. Denver quotes Margaret Barker quite a bit. I found some great youtubes from her on Heavenly Mother as well as this interesting one.

    https://youtu.be/nOnHDQgIoCU

    I would say to take with a grain of salt as always and pray about and discern carefully to find truth. But this thing is bigger than any of us individually and more important than any of us right now can conceive of.

    We need to get over ourselves.

    Check out the youtube and search her name for other pearls if wisdom. I ordered one of her books, as if I don't have enough to read with all of the new scriptures coming out. (Smile emoji)

    Love, Lisa

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    1. The work of Margaret Barker has added much light to the work of Christ, I believe. I will watch the YT video you've suggested and see what I may discern.

      It would be wonderful to have a place for simply sharing our studies and things we have in common. It is too easy to become hyper-focused here, which also increases my emotions. I feel like I have developed a form of tunnel vision, ya know?

      And Denver's post. I keep reading it. Last night I began looking up the words he put in quotes in the glossary of the T&C. I'm still studying and pondering. I feel a spirit of humility and correction this morning, an impression of "this is not me (Lori)." I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else, but I understand it. There is much in that post for me to consider.

      And also on Denver's blog I saw a previous post and was reminded of something Spirit showed me before but forgot in the tumult of this blog. :o

      Have a blessed and beautiful Sabbath, Lisa.

      Lori

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    2. That was a beautiful sentiment, belonging to a soft humble heart. May we all reset and begin a new, as you have set the example I plan to follow.

      Denver's post did have some depth. I go back and re-read as well trying to understand all of what he has written. MB's material is the same way, every sentence is worth spending 10 minutes pondering about. I'm glad I don't have a 40 hour work week! Once you have seen the yt video maybe we can discuss. Let me know. You have a blessed Sabbath as well! (Heart emoji) (Smile emoji)

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    3. Lisa this one is a really good one to. https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=280s&v=ilF9NXEl6Xs

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    4. Hey Tyler, I can’t the link to work. Can you take a look? I would love to check it out. Thanks! Lisa

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  35. Hey Rob could I press you to provide your email address? I would like to send a few thoughts your way. I was in the outdoor discussion circle after the Saturday session vote (no i wasn't one of the 'shush' people). Thanks!

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    1. Doug,
      "the shush people"-hilarious!
      his email is adolphorob@gmail.com
      Q

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  36. Speaking in general after reading alot of these posts-- I've been listening to Merrill Bailey and like his idea that we tend to make our journey to the Lord a head trip. Jesus, or Yeshua or whatever you want to call him, hailed from a nonlinear eastern culture and his thinking is still nonlinear if you believe Denvers comments. We tend to think in western hellenistic terms of logic, straight lines, cause and effect. The cultural effect of the statue Daniel saw is still with us in this regard. Perhaps instead of a logical head trip of asking what will Zion *look* like, maybe we should be asking what will it *feel* like. I suspect joy, love,and gratitude figure prominently. By way of extension to the formative stage we're in, I pray we can foster those feelings among us.

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  37. Here's an excerpt from Pastor David Brisbin's book The Fifth Way the says alot better the concepts I was trying to express. Sorry it's a bit long but I think it's good.

    "As the West tends to see the universe in straight lines, as discreet segments that can be pulled apart, rearranged, strung together as desired, we as Westerners tend to think in straight lines as well. We understand life in terms of cause and effect, logical conclusions proceeding from logical premises. At the bottom of our wells, we look for straight lines to be thrown down to us, segments of rope to grasp that will directly pull us out of the darkness and into the light. But what we’re missing here is that while such direct methods work perfectly well in pulling physical bodies from physical wells, they have little traction with spiritual bodies and mental wells. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. If you analyze the teaching of Yeshua, you realize it’s not straight at all, but curved. You see him not so much teaching as simply making students ready. Yeshua rarely, if ever, answers a direct question with a direct answer. When questioned, he typically answers with another question or a story or an image. “Who is my neighbor?” and Yeshua tells a story of man attacked by robbers and a Samaritan, of all people, who helped him. “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” and Yeshua brings over a child and puts her on his knee. “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” and Yeshua wants to know why the questioner calls him good in the first place. Yeshua knows that just by virtue of asking such questions, the student is not ready, is not looking in the right places for truth, and so sends him off in other mental directions. Like a Zen master, Yeshua answers questions with questions or complete non-sequiturs—non-linear responses designed to force straight-line thinking into curved paths. He knows it’s not the answer that is important; it is the ability to begin a journey, to think in new and indirect ways that is key. Stranded at the bottom of our wells, we ask for a line to be thrown down to us and what we get is a shovel full of dirt dumped on our heads. What an insult. We ask again; another shovelful. Why won’t he answer? Another shovelful. But if we don’t stop asking, if we’re willing to keep shrugging off shovelful after shovelful, we eventually realize that the floor of the well is now several feet higher as the dirt piles up, and we begin to see the nature of things. It’s not a direct reaching down that lifts us to a new vantage, but an indirect layering up. The experience of working through images and stories, parables and symbols, of watching spiritual principles being acted out in real life, living through joyful times and painful times speaks to our subconscious spirit in a way logic can never reach."

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  39. This conversation is literally one of the most fundamentally flawed flows of logic I have ever read. But I do not want to be too contentious in a lengthy explanation. So quickly, it is a non-sequitur to think that the Statement of Principles that will act as a guide and a standard would be a rehash of the Sermon on the Mount. If that was the case, the Lord would have just said that. "Use the Sermon as your Guide and Standard", he is no fool and does not waste words. He certainly does not trifle with men and give them a redundant effort to make them endlessly toil as we are now. What I do see is a spirit of pride and contention and accusation. A demeanor that is all or nothing and not a persuading influence. Let me explain what was done with such people in the movement under Joseph Smith, such people were excommunicated from the group, as they had become caustic and began to impede the progression of others and the group. Perhaps, and most unfortunately, we have arrived at that point. We have on record one who regrets taking the covenant, well guess what, it is only as binding as you so allow it. We have many examples of scripture explaining where covenants can and are broken. It would seem that this same person who regrets the covenant, which IMO is akin to breaking it, want to hold up the rest of the community in their fulfillment of a required assignment. If the attitude was different, then I would say let's continue with the discussion, but it is not. It is intentionally damning the process with poor logic and confused sense of obligation to something regretted. I participated in one effort on the forum, it was a marvelous experience of give and take, this is not a marvelous experience for anyone. I know it is an ugly option, but it seems we cannot be as "big tent" as we would like. At the end of the day, progress is better than damnation, and if we cannot fulfill a "light thing" in less than 6 months, we need to make a change.

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