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Showing posts from November, 2022

"Authority" & "ordinances": Baptism without repentance is not valid

Recently, someone asked me: " [there] Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood authority in any of the restoration groups? Are there any valid ordinances being performed?" This is not an uncommon question! And it is the completely wrong question, at least for now. Luckily, the writer somehow already knew what the more important question was. He continued: "It's probably more important for me to improve my efforts to align my will with God's will at all times than to know answers to questions such as the one I just asked...but that aligning is a slower process than I would like it to be." Please read this very carefully: 1 And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it . 2 Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented

Taking care of some needed reconciliation

I think it is very important to publicly testify of the good we see in life and in other people. Especially when others say things that do not accord with what we have seen, and especially when we ourselves have said things in the past that do not accord with what we saw later. Someone recently asked me what I think of Denver Snuffer. This is a question I've heard many times, and my answer has changed a lot over the years. The first of Denver’s books I read was “The Second Comforter,” and I cannot adequately express my gratitude for that book. What I can do is share what I got out of it. In short, the spirit said to me: “Everything you believed about being able to meet God in this life, that you learned while reading the scriptures for the first time as an 18 year old convert, then disbelieved because people at church explained it away, is actually true.” That realization was pivotal and prerequisite for everything of value in my life today. I read and found value in several other

On popularity and power

A person recently emailed me his hilarious opinion that I do what I do because I feel power when people read what I write, buy my books, or watch my videos. I suppose it’s not completely his fault that he is so wrong, since he doesn’t have access to the statistics of my reads and views and sales. It is human nature to try to make sense of overt demonstrations of character beyond our own by finding ways of depreciating that character down to our level. It is an abundantly common thing to do, but its abundance does not make it any less sad. Especially when you understand more about how costly these demonstrations are, and how critical they are to helping all people lay hold of "every good thing" (see Moroni 7, including this video series )--or at least more than what they had before. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10) He doeth not anything save it be

A scripture study website

Someone put together this website as a nondenominational scripture search tool. It's got some nice features, and you might find it useful. Some things I find neat: You can look up words in the sidebar. You can search topics and filter by book. You can highlight and bookmark verses. There is a "sharable items" section where users can upload images that can be shared on social media. The webmaster is happy to take suggestions and anyone who would like to help can contact him at .

The fate of the previous blogposts

On September 29, 2021, I took down all the posts I had previously published on my blog, and wrote this explanation . I thought that was plain enough, but a recent email suggests that there are some who think I took down my posts for reasons other than those I had. I don't plan on ever posting the full story of all of what happened. But I will share a few points here to contend with an accusation someone recently made to me: that I pulled the posts to avoid persecution for what I'd said. Long time readers of this blog will attest to a dramatic decrease in frequency of posting starting about the time I began writing “Seek Ye This Jesus” what seems like forever ago. As I’ve learned a little more about how to write and about the things I write about, I realized it was time to start saying fewer things with greater precision and intention than I otherwise would. I also noticed over the years that there was a surprising number of people willing to making me “an offender for a word”—i

"I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened"

The Lord is fair and impartial. What he does in reaction to the choices of one people, he will always  do when others do the same. 2 The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. 4 And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. 5 They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: 6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. 7 Yet ye

Correspondence: "What if I fail?"

A reader wrote: "Please don't pull your punches!  I will do anything possible to change my standing with God.  I will continue to give him everything I have. I will give away all of my sins to know him!   To be honest I'm a little scared.  What if I fail?" We all begin the race in loss. [1] We begin  “condemned already.” [2] We ought to be scared, but not of failure. [3] We are already there, and hell is much worse than can be imagined. [4] We ought to say, as the apostles did, “where (else) will we go? You are the only one who has the words of eternal life.” [5] It is scary approaching God.[6] If you knew him, you would not be scared,[7] but you can’t know him except through approaching him.[8] He dwells in everlasting fire [9] of full awareness [10] and pure holiness;[11] he requires the sacrifice of all things, [12] and no sin can dwell in his presence.[11] He will burn you,[13] he will cut you,[14] he will flood you,[15] and he will convict you.[16] But that is no

The differing response of three women to Jesus as a window into the principle of "differing responses to the same administration of light"

As I'm writing elsewhere, the Lord told me to pause and write this here. Recently, someone replied to one of my YouTube videos by saying "An angel has taught. Again, we have been blessed."[dont_know] The Lord showed me the hearts of some who would be offended by my not telling her not to call me that, and believe it or not, I do think about and try to avoid offending people when it is not necessary or helpful. The said, "leave it stand." I always do what he tells me to do, as most reading this promised to do, and as all of us should do. The Lord shows me a lot of internal reactions of people, and all I can say is that I know what the last verse of John 2 means, and it is heartbreaking.[heartbreak] Do you marvel [dont_marvel] that a mortal person can correctly be called angel? If so, you do not understand Jesus, nor do you understand what it means to minister.  Jesus said: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give h

You actually have to stop sinning - short version

Jesus has plainly said that repentance means ceasing to sin: 42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. 43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them. (D&C 58) He has plainly said that only those who obey his commandments are forgiven of their sins: Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments? (D&C 58:30) We have been told plainly what it will be like in the resurrection for those who do not keep all of his commandments: 3 …Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws? 4 Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than y

FAQS: Can you make your YouTube Videos into podcasts?

I recently received a letter from a polite and well-meaning person asking me to consider making my materials available as a podcast. Because I get requests like this on a regular basis, and can't spend the time writing a unique reply each time, I am writing this here. You aren't the first to ask for more convenient forms of what I produce. These requests are hard to respond to, because there is so much that is not seen, some of which can be relayed in words but not in a way that doesn't offend a lot of people, and some of which can't be known by any who have not done the same. So please give me grace in interpreting my best attempt to say this. I do not have an extra minute to devote to this ministry. I have a full-time (plus) day job earning my daily bread, which was recently made more difficult by the unjust theft of my prior career from malevolent people who knew what they were doing aided by a mob of ignorant people who did not. I have a family who has rights on my

"By a thread" audiobook

Last August I posted what I am reposting below. The author is recording and releasing himself reading the book, which might be more accessible to you. You can find it on his YouTube channel. ==== Joseph Smith taught a surprising amount on the principles of government. Unfortunately, very little of his ideas are evident in the governments of areas where the majority of people profess to believe he was a prophet of God. Over a year ago, a man named Marc Martinez did an excellent job writing a ~200 page summary of these ideas, as well as those of later Latter-day Saint leaders. The ideas in the book are worth thinking about for all people, and the book is well-written and easy to read. Marc is not a scholar by trade, but a carpenter. I mention this because I know from experience that it is not easy to write books when you have a full-time job to attend to that has little to do with your writing. To me, if someone in such a situation is willing to spend the time involved, and manages to pr

A nice presentation on truth

I found this video to be a nice presentation on a chunk of ideas related to truth. You'll probably find it quite sharable.

The varying responses to a lion's roar

In my morning devotions, I find the Lord takes me down thread after thread after thread of information. He tells me to look up something, and as I do, because the spirit is upon me, he teaches me something about everything I look at on the way to what he originally told me to look for. Because you have to follow where he leads to stay in this state, you end up with so many threads that it takes hours to unwind the spool, all from one original idea. And it could take more than just hours, if we weren't chained to the need to eat and sleep, let alone work. When I try to write what the spirit floods into my mind and heart, I feel like I am trying to put an ocean into a thimble. Nevertheless, here is an attempt to convey a tiny fraction of one of the many threads of where the spirit has taken me this morning. Different responses to lions People react differently to the same manifestations of God. The New Testament is full of examples of this from Jesus' ministry. I will here illust