A Different Idea from One of the Lot Group - 11/28/17

Hello everyone. My name is Doug Larson, and I was the 4th “lot” selected who later had to withdraw.

In writing this, I want everyone to know that it is not for the purpose to discredit anything that has been said or received by revelation. I stated before that I stand with the other seven, and that is the truth. I think they faithfully did what they were asked to do by the Proposal Committees, and that the answer they received was inspired.

When I excused myself because of a pressing health concern, I asked the Lord if that meant I was excused from participating in the process of determining the “final” guide and standard. The unequivocal answer I received was that I was not. But what then, I wondered, could I do to help out? The other seven were working hard (and checking in with me from time to time), but I was no longer privy to their conversations.

From the beginning of being selected by lots, I was conflicted, because I wasn’t quite sure which path to take with the guide and standard. On the one hand, we were given stacks of content which represented hours and hours of work. We were encouraged to use their material and continue this labor, even though it would mean some sacrifice of time and sleep. On the other hand, the Lord said that it should be a “light thing.” The moment it became otherwise, in my mind, meant that we were deviating from that foundational commission.

Secondly, I knew that there were various approaches—all which had merit—as to what the content should look like. Should it include only the words of Christ spoken in the Sermons? Should Denver’s words be in there? What about the “proper” way to perform ordinances, work in fellowships and instructions for other such things? Were they to be a part of this? Would it be possible that the Lord would speak according to the language and understanding of men, meaning that the “guiding principle” could be a statement which was based on His doctrine and actually guided one to do “good,” but was not verbatim from the scriptures or Denver’s words?

I was also concerned with who might be coming upon this statement down the road. Should it be written in a way which would appeal to those who have different cultures and traditions, or whose methods of performing rites was not the same as what was stated? Not only that, would it draw their hearts towards Christ and immerse them in the kind of love that He represents? Would it appeal to those who have become disillusioned with religion and might be triggered by using “holier than thou” language; thus, repelling them from this movement?

On Wednesday, November 22nd, not knowing what else to do, I knelt down and asked these questions to the Father. I also asked about those who had submitted different versions of the Guiding Principles statement. How could we forget about them? After all, hadn’t this process, as chaotic as it had been, caused everyone to really look into Christ’s doctrine and ponder it? That had to be a good thing, right? How could we discount their good intentions, even if the language varied in each proposal?

Finally, while praying, I just put it out there, and said, “I know that it might be out of my charge to do this, but I would like to present ALL of the proposals to you.” No sooner had the words left my lips, when I distinctively heard,

I, the Lord, accept each proposed guide and standard presented to me, and will hold every individual to the standard which they agree to follow.

Now, I say unto all: cease your contending and unite in the spirit of my law. Live my words. Go and produce fruit so the world may see it and be drawn towards your light, that you may be the children of your Father who is in Heaven. And the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. Amen.

In The Answer and the Covenant, the Lord said this:

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

If it is impossible, as seems the case, for a large group of people to agree on a body of text which represents their principles, then perhaps the Lord is offering a different opportunity than we think. An unyielding statement of beliefs has the potential to become oppressive dogma (ever read Animal Farm?) or something which divides, as we have seen with this exercise. It can appear to undervalue and cast away those who might have a different approach than the collective at large.

So maybe the “statement” is really about how those who differ in language, culture, ideas and knowledge come together. My principles may be a list which is 10 pages long, while another person can look to one succinct sentence to be guided. Is either of us “wrong” or do both invite to do “good?” Is it that majority rules in Heaven, or do we still have our own individuality there, and the more important thing is to respect another person’s approach using patience, longsuffering, kindness and gentle persuasion in our actions? Isn’t it better that we consider the perspective of our brothers and sisters and acknowledge the Voice which has spoken to them, than that we are “right” about what we think God is saying?

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Christ is in every person. And we are told to follow that which makes us believe in Christ, so it only makes sense that there are a variety of ways to live righteously. Some do it by strictly obeying commandments, others by following the Spirit in the moment. Some love serving others, some worship through traditions of their fathers. For some it is cultural or familial. They are all "good" if they invite you to believe in Christ, who is the embodiment of unconditional love, mercy and acceptance, and sends rain on the just and unjust.

When I think about the “statement,” (whatever it ends up being), I envision the different people “who know nothing, as yet” of the work underway, and ask the question, “will it bless, benefit and inform them? Moreover, will it guide US in our actions to do good?” As I ponder, these are some of the faces I see in my mind’s eye:

Couldn’t the statement be about how we accept each other in our varying belief systems and invite one another to share the “good” things? In other words, rather than simply repeating the Lord’s law verbatim, could the statement be an example of His words in action? Surely, everyone can coalesce around the idea that we respect each other’s approach to the Lord, whether it is an individual or collective thing. Surely, “mutual agreement” can be something like “If you give me the benefit of the doubt with what I believe and follow, then I will do the same for you.” Or even better, “We believe that there is truth in all traditions and methods if the ultimate purpose is to love and accept each other. Let all who have truth bring it and join it with ours, that we may learn together.”

It has been prophesied that books will come forth which will confirm the teachings of the Lamb of God. If we state to the world, “We have the truth, and you must conform to our version of it,” then how will that ever attract those who safeguard their own records? The Lord visited other nations and taught them too. Shouldn’t we be saying, “Please bring what you have, we would like to learn from your wisdom.”? Furthermore, outside groups need to see from our own example that this “covenant” group, who obviously have different ideas about “principles,” came together without compulsory means, in spite of our differences. Our “statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement” could simply be that each person has principles and values they hold dear, and it is up to them to determine what they are. We mutually agree to hear the other person’s perspective, try to learn from it, and to teach them our own guiding principles if asked. Persuasion to not only each other in this movement, but the entire world would come in the form of viewing our fellow man the way God views them, and then behaving according to that view. This approach would not negate all the proposed standards put out there, but only give an individual the opportunity to live their stated truth.

That seems like a “light thing” to me, anyway.

No one reading this is under any obligation to believe what was received or expressed. But I felt that He desired that I share my questions to Him, His reply and the accompanying thoughts.

With love and peace,

Doug Larson

PS – As an aside, if there was ever to be a “vote” on anything like this, the only vote that would matter would be those who oppose it. For if even a single covenanted individual didn’t agree (just one out of a hundred), then the whole thing would fall to pieces. But I would love to hear the reasons for disagreement, because to me, this approach gives everyone exactly what they want, in the language and understanding which works for them, without imposing a majority “rule.”  

PPS - Below is a conversation between the G&S blog custodians and Doug.

G&S blog custodian:

Hey Doug,

I hadn't actually read your post until a few minutes ago and after reading it, a couple things came to mind.

In the answer we are told that "there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them."

If I am understanding you correctly, your statement would simply be that "If you have truth, bring it to us." because this would allow everyone to worship as their conscience directs. While this is something we ought to be telling people, it doesn't inform them of the work underway. Does that make sense?

We are still 100% willing to post your document, but wanted to point those couple of things out.

Let us know what you decide!


Please feel free to include our conversation as a post-script, as I’m sure many will have the same question.

I agree that the informing part seems elusive with this approach. But we can inform people in more ways than just words on paper (or stainless steel, for that matter). In fact, words can actually be deceitful or damaging when “this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.”

So the informing, along with the blessing and benefitting comes through the works instead of the words: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Someone recently said, “If you want the greatest challenge in life, try loving your fellow man unconditionally and viewing them as God would view them, and then behaving according to that view. And out of that you will learn a great deal more about Christ than you can simply by studying. Walking in His path is a greater revelation of who He is than anything else that is provided. Joseph Smith once remarked that if you could gaze into Heaven for five minutes you would know more about it than if you read every book that has been written on the subject. Likewise, if you live charitably for five minutes in the presence of what you would normally condemn, what you would normally find repugnant; if you can deal with that charitably, you will understand Christ better than if you spend a lifetime reading books written about Him.”

In other words, we inform others by our actions. Those who know nothing yet of the work underway will see a people living their principles and the bounteous fruit which comes from it, and be informed about the hearts of this people, which has a far greater ability to inform than mere words. A great example of this is Ammon’s service to King Lamoni. The king was informed by Ammon’s faithfulness in serving. Later, Lamoni’s own curiosity and inquiry made it possible that Ammon could teach about Christ, but that was after the “fruit” of Ammon’s works had been offered and received.

I get that this is a new and different approach than what has been proposed. But it enables us to not only worship according to the dictates of our own conscience, but inform the world that Christ-centered principles put to actions will bring about the gifts He has promised, and isn’t THAT His (marvelous) “work underway?”

Thanks for the chance to explain myself. Please post at your convenience.


G&S blog custodian:

That's a fabulous idea actually. If you don't mind, I have another question below about the proposal that we could include in a post-script so that some of the big questions are already out of the way. If you just would like us to post things as they are so far that is fine too -

I think you are absolutely correct in your reasoning. I also want to bring up the Lord's comments that, "You are not excused from writing a statement of principles that I have required at your hands."

So while you are absolutely right about our actions making a statement, we are not excused from putting some of those down on paper.


I think we have some wiggle room in language given with the mandate of “writing a statement of principles.” After all, He doesn’t say that we need to make a list of all the commandments which we feel are most important and include directions for various rites, even though some who have covenanted may not agree.” (In other words, this doesn’t need to be a Handbook of Instruction). It is natural that our gentile minds would go this direction, because it is how we know how to do things.

Here are some synonyms for the word “statement:”

So I think it is worth seeing if the Lord would allow us to hold to the “testimony” meaning of the word, in which case, the written statement would be more about how we testify or witness the principles we hold dear. Why couldn’t the written statement be as simple as something which allows each individual (without perceived compulsion) to seek the Spirit (the best “gifts,” some of which are listed in Moroni 10) to learn principles which are important to them, and then invites everyone to share those principles (the fruit) with each other in word and especially deed? Of course, it would need to be described in a manner and language which encourages people—no matter their culture or current beliefs—to bring what they have to the table for all to “feast” upon.

Kind of brings a whole new meaning to what a tithe or offering might actually be, and could help bring understanding as to why the Lord wanted these words of Malachi included in the Book of Mormon:

Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the fields, saith the Lord of Hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

I don’t want to posit what that statement actually is, but my experience is that the Lord is open to creativity. I hope that makes sense.



  1. This idea does not conform to the requirements of the clear language of the A&C. Therefore, I dissent.

    Jared Livesey

    1. Well, seeing as how it is not up for vote (at least I am not submitting it that way) and is in no way "official," there is probably no need to dissent, but it is certainly your right to quickly disagree.

    2. I understand. I am simply covering all the bases.


  2. Shalyce's answer supports the idea that there are other legitimate documents:

    "This document that you’ve presented is sufficient for my needs. You have filled the measure in which I have called you. Your work has been valiant. You are correct in saying that there are many ways in which it could have come about, and there are many ways that it did come about. And I am grateful for all of them."

    This section states that acceptable documents "did come about". So there are other equally situated documents.

    I happen to agree with the statement that "the Lord is open to creativity". For example, this website is a written statement.

    Statementofprinciples.com has been my and other's attempts to memorialize and respect all of the statements by collecting them and eventually showing what they share in common and how they are unique. Each fellowship is in different circumstances. Each person's revelations should be respected. We should treat other people's revelations the same was we want ours to be treated, if are to live the golden rule.

    So a "written statement" that includes all of the documents shows how we respect the things that unite us and how we respect the diversity and uniqueness of every fellowship and person.

    I think we should be cautious in treating a particular statement unequally.

  3. Doug, I thank you for opening up and sharing this. Let me state an ugly to get it out of the way, however. I disagree that you are in a position to receive anything from Christ to "all," but believe the intention of your heart was not nefarious.

    I like what you have said. I like how you said it. I am willing to hear you and learn from you. Thank you for sharing some background as one of the "lotsters." I don't think people understand the need to build trust during this process, and the best way to do that is by openness. Another ugly: I loathe backroom discussions. I struggle to trust and believe anyone who uses that as their chief form of communication.

    This is the first "post" I have seen in a while that actually feels like it is going in a good and more correct direction. I feel the goodness and light. I wish we were all willing to pause for some further discussion of your idea.

    I feel like this idea, Log's proposal, and the recent bridge one are three that I could honestly say I support and want to pursue. I think the Sermons from Christ would be good foundations for the G&S. Whether or not there would need to be more or our own language used, is not even worth the energy required to speculate at this point. Not to mention Log has openly stated multiple times that he is standing firm on the Rock of Jesus Christ and nothing more or less. Is it too late to hope though?

    1. I get what you are saying, Lori. And it is understandable to feel I have no commission to say anything in behalf of "all." But I heard what I heard, I said what I said.

      At this point, there is little left for me to hash, because as Lynne expressed, it has been hammered to death. I can, however, "practice what I preach."

      Lord have mercy on us all.


      PS - Hope is the one thing that gets me from one day to another sometimes.

    2. Okay. I don't quite understand what your point was to all this then, and I am no different than others in feeling like I am at the breaking point emotionally. But if the majority are ready to be done then I will say no more.

    3. That wasn't meant to be curt or to blow you off. I guess my point in posting it was to try to break free of our analysis paralysis. Words take us in circles where actions speak volumes (double cliche there, oops).

      Perhaps some bad mojo snuck in from the collective frustration. Anyway, I'm open to ideas on how to satisfy Log and others.

      It seems that we need to figure out how to follow seemingly contradictory parts of the Sermon. In other words, how do we agree with each other and follow the letter of obedience?

      I'd like to hear your thoughts. And again, sorry for the stupid response.

  4. I don't know about anyone else, but I've reached saturation on this. I'm exhausted: more plans, more arguments, more good points, more rehash, lo here, lo there. There is just no end to this. I've got my answer and I know what I need to be doing. My love to you all, God bless you every one.

  5. Doug,

    What do you mean about "how do we agree with each other and follow the letter of obedience," if you don't mind?


    1. Well, for example, you made the statement that the idea presented doesn't conform to the requirements of the clear language in the AC. But it is obvious to me that the language isn't clear enough to get consensus.

      I would love to accept the "Rock of Jesus Christ," and I believe the points made in it are valid. I really do try to live them as I understand them. But from my perspective, the word "rock" has taken on a different denotation, at least to me, in that some proponents of it are immovable and inflexible (rigid) in advocating obedience to the commandments given in the Sermon, but play down or ignore the spirit behind the message, which is charity for each other in our blinded, wounded state.

      I also support the seven whose lots were drawn. I walked a mile with them when I was asked to. I agreed quickly with what they put together. But it seems that no amount of good will on our parts, or that of the preceding committees matters as much as "conforming" to requirements.

      I consider you a friend, Jared. I have learned a lot from your approach and know you have a huge heart. For the life of me, though, I don't understand what you want. Conforming to requirements seems very important to you, and I get it. But what about me, my friend? Will you walk a mile with and agree quickly with me? If we can walk together, can we get others to join us, with patience and mercy for each other in our wounded conditions?

      In the AC, He said, "I have sent my light into the world. Let not your hearts remain divided from one another and divided from me. Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity. Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding
      concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity, and come unto me and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and
      knowledge. Therefore if you regard one another with charity then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you."

      I do not wish to be divided from you, from those who disagree with the proposals or those who support the seven. The Lord says that unity is possible and I believe Him. Please tell me, if you have ideas, how to make this happen.


  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Doug,

    Does consensus determine the clarity of the language?

    You ask what I want. I want that which will bless, benefit, and inform those who know nothing of the Lord's work now underway. Therefore, the G&S that I authorize cannot curse, harm, or misinform, as the one that is soon to be adopted - the Lottery G&S - will for the reasons I have explained.

    I wish to deliver to the Lord that which will produce Zion, and that is why I compiled The Rock of Jesus Christ - for those who are built upon his gospel, which is his rock (hence the title) and his salvation, are his church (see 3 Nephi 27).

    How can unity happen? By diligence in doing exactly all things whatsoever the Lord has commanded, instead of justifying ourselves to others in our disobedience, substituting other commandments in the place of what the Lord has commanded and calling it the same thing (for example, transfiguring "mutual agreement" into "majority rules"), and other such like methods of hypocrisy, wherein we bypass and ignore the law and commandments of our Lord.

    We could have taken as much time as was necessary to persuade all to adopt the gospel as the G&S if we were faithful, and the Lord would have given us power to accomplish that which he required, instead of willfully transfiguring the requirement for mutual agreement into majority rules to produce a false appearance of having fulfilled the Lord's requirement when it is instead being violated in order to meet a publication deadline.

    If we were keeping his commandments as they are written we would all be one, for the same Spirit that gave them would be in each of us. We would all stand on the rock and see eye-to-eye. Instead, we are pursuing the same path as the Church did: we say, and we do not do.

    We had a chance to do things right by giving the Lord what he asked for but instead we're doing the same things which have been done before - we are doing something else and calling it what he asked for when it isn't.

    Because the Lord's request for a G&S which will bless, benefit, and inform those who know nothing as yet concerning his work now underway conflicts with the desires of the more popular part of the people, I choose to give the Lord what he asked for, and fulfill his requirement to the best of my ability, rather than go along with the popular crowd to get along.

    In the end, we are going to be standing on the rock, or else we will not be standing, but cast out and trodden under foot of men, as salt that has lost its savor, as the Jews and the Nephites before us.

    I keep telling people to read 3 Nephi 27, but, really, it's directly relevant to this conversation.


    1. Thank you for the response. I agree that 3 Ne 27 is very relevant. I agree that "the church" must be built upon His name, which is more than just symbolic rituals (like being "baptized"), or even a list of things to do or be, but actually living what the symbols represent, (being "immersed" in the way Christ taught us to live). But let's go all in with what you are saying and see what it looks like.

      The three disciples are the best example to us of ones who took on the name of Christ and were built on His rock. They were the original ones to ask the question and get the direct answer, so they ought to know. I don't call them the three Nephites because shortly after they began their ministry, they no longer referred to themselves as any sort of "ite." Yes, a few hundred years later a group called themselves Nephites again, but the three didn't take on that name with the others, even though the tarried among them.

      We don't know if the 3 went around with a statement and the Sermon in hand, preaching by telling people what their principles are. What we do know is that none of their generation (the first one from Christ) were lost thanks to their ministry. We also know that they went into hostile territory since they were thrown into prisons, pits of fire and wild beasts.

      Because they were "more blessed," they had the "convincing power" to perform miracles. Thus, it seems likely that what they used to bless, benefit and inform the people was the power the Lord had bestowed upon them, to heal and restore sight/hearing, etc.

      I have a hard time believing that simply having a statement--even if it is exactly the words of Christ and nothing more--will bless, benefit and inform people any more than they can be blessed, benefited and informed now by reading a Bible and Book of Mormon. It's already out there and it has only produced wild fruit.

      But the three demonstrated the principles of the Sermon which they witnessed firsthand. They went among their adversaries and blessed them. And since it's really the only thing shown to us about what it means to be built on His rock, I believe that is the example to follow. We can assume all we want about the written words, but we can pretty confidently say that it was their service which did the converting.

      Frankly, in our case I think the statement is not as important as the actions which produce good fruit. Because if it's the name of Christ you want to be built on in word, then just look to see how the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints makes that claim and see where it got them.


  8. You see, the requirements in the A&C for the G&S are actually quite narrow, and clues strewn throughout whereby the desired contents were actually pretty well laid out by the Lord.

    For example: "The Book of Mormon was given as my covenant for this day and contains my gospel, which came forth to allow people to understand my work and then obtain my salvation."

    Remember: the G&S is to bless, benefit, and inform those who know nothing as yet concerning the work of the Lord. The means to inform them is the gospel, which brings the Holy Ghost, which also blesses and benefits them.

    Again, see 3 Nephi 27.

    And again, in the A&C: "All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost to then show you all things you must know."

    That is the doctrine of Christ and his gospel. The Sermon defines repentance.

    That's all that is needed.

    1. Also in the AC:

      "Unto what can I liken it, that you may understand? For you are like a man who seeks for good fruit from a neglected vineyard—unwatered, undunged, unpruned and unattended. How shall it produce good fruit if you fail to tend it? What reward does the unfaithful husbandman obtain from his neglected vineyard? How can saying you are a faithful husbandman ever produce good fruit in the vineyard without doing the work of the husbandman? For you seek my words to recover them even as you forsake to do them. You have heretofore produced wild fruit, bitter and ill formed, because you neglect to do my words. I speak of you who have hindered my work, that claim to see plainly the beams in others’
      eyes. You have claimed to see plainly the error of those who abuse my words, and neglect the poor, and who have cast you out, to discern their errors, and you say you seek a better way. Yet among you are those who continue to scheme, backbite, contend, accuse and forsake my words to do them, even while you seek to recover them. Can you not see that your works fall short of the beliefs you profess?"

      And this:

      "You shall be my people and I will be your God and the sword will not devour you. And unto those who will receive will more be given until they know the mysteries of God in full. But remember that without the fruit of repentance, and a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you cannot keep my covenant; for I, your Lord, am meek and lowly of heart. Be like me."

      If the Sermon already defines repentance, then we can refer people to seek it for understanding. But the only definition we can have for "fruit of repentance" is the actual fruit, or the visible results of our repentance. So why don't we bless, benefit and inform others with a statement (or witness) about that... call it The Sermon in Action or something?

  9. Speaking of consensus versus clarity of language, see Luke 6:30, which reads: "Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again."

    Give to every man that asks of you, and do not ask for your stuff back from whoever takes it.

    Pretty clear, right?

    The consensus is, as it is with "mutual agreement:" despite the perfect clarity of language, the Lord didn't mean "give to every man that asks of you, and do not ask for your stuff back from whoever takes it."

    Whatever it is he meant, he didn't mean that. Words like "metaphor," "hyperbole," "exaggeration," and so on get thrown around to justify taking his commandment for anything other than what it says, when what the Lord said can be perfectly understood by a child.

    Why do people call themselves after the name of the Lord and do not do what he said to do?

    The Lord himself asked that question, too: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

    Why do they say and do not?

  10. Doug,

    The disciples taught what Jesus taught, without varying from what he said (3 Nephi 19:8). That was their job (3 Nephi 11:41; 3 Nephi 13:25).

    The Sermon, put into action, is what the Nephites (and earliest Christians) did (3 Nephi 26:19-20; 4 Nephi 1:12).

    The Sermon, put into action, ends all contention, which is why the Nephites had peace (4 Nephi 1:14).

    This is what the Sermon is: it is the ways of the Lord, and it is his paths. The commandments in the Sermon, if actually put into practice, are the fruits of repentance, and the ways of peace.

    To believe in Christ means to do what he said (Mosiah 15:22).

    So, I say again, you asked what I want: I want the society built upon the rock of Christ and his gospel and his salvation, which is the people that actually do what he said to do -

    They give to every man that asks of them.

    They lend to all comers and do not ask to be repaid.

    If they are sued they yield without a fight.

    They agree with their adversaries even before getting sued.

    They forgive all debts and trespasses owed to them without seeking repayment.

    If they are struck they turn the other cheek without reviling.

    They do not build up for themselves storage of stuff beyond their immediate necessities, but instead give their excess to the poor.

    And, in sum, the actually and literally do to others everything they wish others would do to them.

    And because they keep the law and commandments of the Lord, they are filled with his spirit and become one in him, the Sons of God, those who may abide his coming in his glory.

    That's what I wanted.

  11. And, Doug, it is the words of Christ which do the converting. Hence his direction to his disciples:

    "Verily I say unto you that
    whoso repenteth of his sins through your words
    and desireth to be baptized in my name
    on this wise shall ye baptize them..."

    And again:

    "Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth."

    And they taught "nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken."

    The words which they were teaching, again, were the words which Christ taught in the Doctrine and the Sermon. That is the function of the priesthood: to teach the law and commandments of Christ (Alma 13:1-6).

    Jesus meant all these things literally. To those who believe Jesus's words as contained in the Sermon as literally as a child would understand them, and repent of all their sins as taught in the Sermon, and be baptized, shall receive the Holy Ghost.

    Those who disbelieve the words of Jesus in the Sermon, who will not do what Jesus said to do therein, have not repented and do not receive the Holy Ghost. These remain in their fallen and carnal state, in the power of the devil, enemies to God even as the devil is an enemy to God, even if they are baptized and call themselves the Lord's people (Mosiah 16:5).

    All we are here to do is to be tested and tried to see if we will do all things whatsoever the Lord God commands (Abraham 3:25; D&C 98:14). This is all there ever was to it.

  12. For this is where the miracles are.

    3 Nephi 27
    8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

    9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

    10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it. [miracles.]

    11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.

    12 For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.

    With The Rock of Jesus Christ, it is my purpose to found the movement on the gospel, that the works of the Father may be shown forth among us, that Zion may come.

    3 Nephi 27
    20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

    21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel[.]

    The law of the celestial kingdom is this: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets."

    The principles of that law are the commandments Jesus gave in the Sermon.

    That is the meaning of this:
    D&C 205
    1 Verily I say unto you who have assembled yourselves together that you may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people—

    2 Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.

    3 But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;

    4 And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;

    5 And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

    If we do not unite on the rock of Christ, which is contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ, we won't attain Zion.

  13. We have agreement with almost everything you have said. My questions comes down to application of the Sermon:
    1. How is your statement any different than what is already there in the scriptures and attempts already made by the likes of Peter Whitmer to have people follow the doctrine strictly?
    2. Are you ready to be a church of one member, if the brothers and sisters you covenanted to help refuse to budge in their statement as you refuse to budge in yours? Or will you go down with the sinking ship?
    3. If this is going to appeal to the whole world, how do you avoid turning people off by using language framed in something they find offensive? There are many Post Mormons, Atheists, Secularists, and other groups who "are a law unto themselves" in that they naturally already live the Sermon. They have heard it all before from Christians. How will the Statement help them if they run away from the get-go?


    1. 1. If we have not authority to preach the Lord's gospel with power in meekness and humility, then we are pretenders to his faith.

      2. I am.

      3. They are free to reject the gospel as were those who heard it from Christ's own lips during his mortal ministry. Again: either we have authority for these things, or we do not. If we do not, everyone should run from us as fast as they can and await the Lord's true and faithful people - those who keep his commandments as they are written, and teach them also.

  14. Here is the reference for the third question:

    Romans 2:13-16

    13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

  15. Replies
    1. Yeah, I read that and assume much of it was directed towards my idea. Some very good points.

      The bottom line for me, my "guiding principle" through all of this has been that it should be a "light thing." The culmination of committees and votes and lots and unyielding proposals and deadlines and the incessant cry and tumult have shown me that it has been anything but.

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  18. Remember: you don't have to agree - not with me, not with anyone.
    Failure to agree is not opposition.
    Opposition is opposition.
    Contending against something is opposition.
    You don't have to oppose to not agree.
    You can simply not agree.

    Without mutual agreement, no G&S which gets adopted fulfills the Lord's requirement.
    We have no announced time limit to come to mutual agreement.

    And I dissent from any proposal save it be The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles.

    1. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

  19. A guide really only functions if you know where you'd like to go. Otherwise, if you have no destination in mind but are wandering as you like, you also don't really need a guide, do you?

  20. (Part 1)

    I believe that your idea of considering the efforts that have been made is along the lines of respecting the communication with God, given to one another. When people simply respect revelation in others, not trying to change them to fit their own revelations and justify their own ideas, that is an environment of equality. Now, that doesn't mean that someone else's revelation must now be your revelation, unless it also rings true to you. If it rings, then it is your revelation. If not you can respect others' revelation by not trying to make them look like you. It only means that you respect that they are instructed their way, and you are instructed your way. It seems your idea respects others revelations as equal in value to your own, and that has a great ring to me.

    The other efforts haven't done that. They have accumulated a majority voice, dismissing the voice of the Spirit to those who have a different opinion than their own, to get'er done! Slick arguments have been proposed for why this one is "the one" and that all others must be done away with. An argument for claiming an assignment from the Davidic servant was used to manage perceptions. An argument for lots have been pitched, directing people's perceptions. An argument for majority governing the voice of the people has been marketed, directing people's perceptions. I recently heard of Adrian Larsen's current post, stating that rejecting the current document is rejecting the Lord's words, and people's perceptions are being managed their too. In my opinion, what it seems to boil down to is what does the Lord say to you?

    When large crowds of like minded individuals begin to rally in one direction, those who have different opinions doubt their communications with God, believing them to be the late bloomer in the bunch, that just hasn't gotten the memo from heaven yet. Rather than waiting for God to speak to them, they trust in the arm of flesh, jump on board without their own witness, and justify their choices, mimicking the same justifications as the clambering crowd. But unless God has spoken to you directly, it will continue to be a matter of doubt. In the past, many of those clambering support of the current proposal being voted on, have also supported previous ones, like the original, the June 10th, the July 2nd, and the Aug 5th proposals. They have claimed that the Lord would've accepted any one of them as a way to justify their changing their minds. But, if the Lord supported any one of them by His voice to you, why would you ever change your mind and do something else? I wouldn't.

    In the beginning, when people had a problem with Jeff Savage's name being in scripture, I had no opinion, so I voted to leave his words unchanged. However, when the invitation was given to the fellowships, and my friend (knowing nothing of Denver) got baptized (beginning a new fellowship), the voice of God was given to me. Because of that voice, I have not, nor will not stop working towards a mutually agreeable G&S. Although the crowd is developing momentum and inertia in their direction, unless the Lord speaks to me, I will continue to do the work He instructed me to do, and will not be star-struck by the arguments referred to above. It is the Lord's voice that makes your confidence wax strong, not your friendship with men holding status, or your alignment with those having pull. Right now the Lord's voice doesn't support their efforts to me, and I will continue to work with those who are also waiting upon Him. I will also respect those who have heard His voice directing them to accept the current vote. The orchestrator of Zion is not Denver, Jeff Savage, or the Lots committee of Seven. It is Christ. So if Christ dictates to you, do that! I will too.

  21. (Part 2)

    I believe that previous efforts have tried to get the Lord to own the words, thus justifying themselves by quoting His words. Quoting the Lord's words to the Lord was not the assignment required of us. If I understand correctly, the assignment seems to be for us to write a statement reflecting us, not a statement reflecting the Lord. Quoting isn't a statement of us unless it is our words. It holds accountability for who we are and who we claim to be. Our claim to God is like Nephi saying, "you know I believe all the words my father speaks." It is a show of our equality. Using the Lord's words to make us look like we believe is not the same as using our words showing we believe. Until we come to mutual agreement, we cannot move forward simply by managing perceptions. We actually have to be mutually agreeable. Your current efforts seem to be pointed in that direction because you respect the revelation others have had. I do not believe it is an end, but I do believe it points in a good direction.

    If this gets broad acceptance and printed in the scriptures, and the Lord hasn't confirmed it to me, I will send you all off with figurative flower lei's, wishing y'all the best. As for me and my house, I will wait upon the Lord. And if I am unable to hear His voice because my heart is too hard, I will face the destruction for my lack of preparation in softening my heart. But I will not fake it until I make. Rather, I will learn it until I earn it. I hold myself accountable to follow Christ alone or be held personally accountable for my own sins.

    Rob Adolpho

    1. Rob,
      Beautiful words, and it feels like we are on the same page. But this chapter is not yet over.

      I rather like what you said, "the assignment seems to be for us to write a statement reflecting us, not a statement reflecting the Lord." If that is the case, we are indeed writing the statement at this very moment. Not by the seven, not by a committee, by Jared or myself. The statement presented is how we associate with each other. Is it through mutual agreement or do we draw near unto the Lord with our mouths, and with our lips honor Him, but have removed our hearts far from the Him?

      People might someday look back and say, "Boy, they really made a statement!" It remains to be seen if it will be that we learned nothing from our history, or that we figured out a way to mutually respect one another in our sundry approaches.

      Doug Larson

    2. Rob, thank you for your words. I appreciate your explanation. I agree that "the assignment seems to be for us to write a statement reflecting us." How do you reconcile that with your stated intention of waiting on the Lord? If we are to write something that reflects us, and is what we will commit to in our own words, then do we need to wait on the Lord to do it? I guess it seems to me that the Lord may be waiting on us to write something that we can all mutually agree reflects us, so that He can either accept it or offer needed modifications.

      How do you see it? Do we continue trying to gain mutual agreement through repeated attempts (which everyone seems to be trying to use persuasion to convince each other are correct, although some call it marketing), or do we wait for more instruction? How do you see the path forward?

      I say all these things not to be demanding or insist that something must be done, but truly to understand how others would like to proceed and what would be acceptable to them.

  22. Doug, when I first read your testimony (before it was taken down and then put back up) it helped me feel hopeful!
    I am grateful that you took these matters to the Lord and sought His part. I believe the Lord did speak to you. I recognise God in you because He is in me. Thank you for your willingness to share despite the criticism. Truth is Eternal.

    Eva Gore

  23. Looks like no one cares about this thread anymore.
    Maybe someone will still read it though.
    This is supposed to be a GUIDE and a STANDARD.
    Why all the debate?
    We tout ourselves as adhering to the Doctrine of Christ.
    Why not include the Lord's words defining His doctrine as found in either 2 Nephi 31-32:6, or in 3 Nephi 11-14?
    We seek to walk in the strait & narrow path.
    Why not define that path in the G&S?
    The sermon on the mount and at Bountiful ARE the higher law. They define the strait & narrow path we each must walk AFTER we receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
    Then why not include the words of the Savior spoken at Bountiful or on the mount which define the Higher Law and the strait & narrow path?
    If you doubt what I have said here, which was given to me by the Spirit, then I would refer you to Denver's words in Oct 2010, found in Remembering the Covenant, Vol 3, pp 1011-1012.
    Of the various proposals I have seen, the only one I find in agreement with both Denver and the Savior is Jared Livesey's Rock of Jesus Christ.
    James Russell Uhl