This is our journey and life/spiritual experiences on our walk to the Holy City.

This is our journey and life/spiritual experiences on our walk to the Holy City.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Joseph Smith: An important Christian thinker, writer and martyr

Taken from Amazon Page...
"Smithsonian Magazine identified Joseph Smith as the most significant religious figure in American history. Yet he remains misunderstood by most Christians, primarily because his legacy has been regarded as Mormon property. In many ways his life mirrors the Apostle Paul. He belongs to the Christian community as much as St. Francis of Assisi, Luther, Tyndale, Wesley, Knox, Williams and Calvin. His worst critics were and are Mormons. They abused him, led mobs against him, conspired to have him imprisoned and ultimately murdered. Mormons have slandered his memory with false histories. Joseph declared to the Mormons in April 1844 (two months before he was murdered): “You don’t know me; you never knew my heart.” That audience and its descendants have been self-interested custodians of Joseph Smith’s legacy. This book separates him from the interests of any institution, and allows him to explain his heart, in his own words. When allowed to speak, he is very different from the Mormon version. This book covers Joseph Smith’s three watershed failures and his written responses. The historical stage is set; then he reacts to the trials. The three episodes are: The quest and failure to distribute priesthood, the quest and failure to establish a community called “Zion,” and his half-year imprisonment in Missouri. He has been vilified and praised as the founder of Mormonism. Over eighty-four different religious sects claim him as their founder. But he is seldom thought of as a Christian thinker, writer and preacher. He taught almost entirely from the Bible. Christians can benefit from knowing his struggle to follow Christ while facing discouraging opposition, betrayal by friends, mob violence, imprisonment and repeated failure. He responded with faith, hope and charity"
The Author of the above book, Mr Denver C. Snuffer Jr,  would like to present three talks to Christians, one in California, one in Texas and one in Alberta. In his owns words Mr Snuffer has said...
" I will pay my own travel costs, and do not expect or want to be compensated for speaking. The audience should be comprised of Christians, and not Mormons. I would like to record the talks and make them available on-line for others to hear. The size of the venue is unimportant. I would prefer a theological school, but would welcome any venue with a Christian audience, including a church if one were available.
I converted to the LDS church when 19 years old, and served faithfully for 40 years. Among other things, I was an Elder’s Quorum President, Sunday School President, Bishop’s counselor, Ward Mission Leader, High Councilor, and Graduate Institute Instructor. I taught for three years at BYU Education Week on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah. I graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 1980, and have practiced law for 36 years. I have authored 15 volumes on Mormonism, including Mormon history and doctrine. I was excommunicated for publishing a book challenging the traditional LDS church narrative of its history, and offering a new interpretation of the events. My excommunication was directed by Elder Russell M. Nelson, current President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS church.
I will be addressing the topic of Joseph Smith as a significant Christian figure, worthy of considering alongside all other important Christian thinkers, writers and martyrs"

You can send a response to

Sunday, August 7, 2016

2 Nephi 31:13

His words have come once more
To fulfill all, that is so sure
It's time again for reflection
So down to the Water for perfection
With the dust removed from my feet
Now shod with the Gospel of peace
I will walk this path now and forever
Because it unites the Kingdom together
In the Water on stones that I tread
Pressing in this garnish, I'm fed
With Righteousness I'll be encircled
And Faithfulness to be my girdle
I'm laid down in this the Way
To be raised up in a new day
Being clothed in sparkling sunlight
I'm all ready for this, the dark night

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Testimony

My message to all of you, my family and friends, today is simple. It does not come from me but I have felt very much impressed by the Lord to give a message from Him. "Come Unto Christ". He is coming, this has been testified by the Holy Ghost to me.

God has sent an obscure messenger (much like John the Baptist in his day, Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon and many, many others) to preach repentance and preserving the Restoration given by the Prophet Joseph Smith. "Preserving the Restoration" by Denver C Snuffer, Jr. He has been sent by God to bring us back to the Restoration to remind us to "Come Unto Christ". We must understand and live the Doctrine of Christ (2 Nephi 31 & 3 Nephi 11) We must have faith, but that requires a true understanding of what that is and how it works. (My recommendation is the Lectures of Faith which was given through Joseph Smith by God, a copy of the original not tampered with 1835 version, you can get that on Amazon. It's under the title "Joseph Smith Begins His Work" by Wilford C Wood. The Lectures of Faith are scripture, sustained and canonized by the early LDS church in 1835). It is no longer a part of the Doctrine and Covenants but it should be. We must repent which requires us to remember what was given to Joseph Smith by God. God vouched for Joseph Smith in his day and God vouches for him still today.

We must turn to Christ and seek His face. D&C 93:1 "Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;" this is not hypothetical, this is literal. We must be baptized. God has given a covenant and it is through baptism that we accept this covenant. Baptism is not a one time deal. When God begins something anew we accept it by being baptized. He has begun something anew will you accept it?

The Book of Mormon is God's word. We have taken it lightly and are under condemnation. Let us study it for the treasure that it holds. We must seek the mysteries of God held within that sacred record, it tells us over and over to "Come to Christ". Let's heed the words within the Book of Mormon given by God's messengers who have been in His presence and remember the covenant God has made to His people.
Have faith, repent, be baptized, implement the Doctrine of Christ. These things will bring us to Christ and we will stand in the day He comes.

Moroni 10:4 "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."

This is my testimony to you in love and through God's Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Paula Hurst.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

To A Witness

Guest Post by Josh Maskovich

I have been a silent observer for sometime now, but can remain silent no more. I have been blessed by the many testimonies given from many sisters and brothers concerning this very day we are living and what the Lord is now doing. This very post is an answer to my prayers and I believe the Lord requested I share these things at this time.

How We Condemn Ourselves
The Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed, “The Savior has the words of Eternal Life—nothing else can profit us—there is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor—I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness. (Source: The Words of Joseph Smith, pages 365-367, and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 364-365)”

When we accuse and condemn others, we only condemn ourselves, period.  We, who claim to follow our Lord and what He offers again in the Restoration, know better than to accuse and condemn others.  Enough said on that point. I pray all of us, myself included, will take this to our very hearts and always have our own nothingness continually before us.  In this, the Book of Mormon truly declared, we cannot even say aught of ourselves (Mosiah 2:25).

A Latter Day Witness Among Us?
Now for something that is most stunning and delightful. In a talk given on Friday morning, 12 May 1844, Temple Stand, the Prophet Joseph Smith read the 24th chapter of Matthew and gave a literal rendering of it, specifically touching on verse 14, which reads:

 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

What is most fascinating is the Prophet Joseph Smith’s word-for-word translation of Matthew 24:14—the key word zu, he chose to translate as to rather than for. (Source: The Words of Joseph Smith, page 402, notes 5-6)

With this understanding, Matthew 24:14 should be read as follows:

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world to a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

After reading this, the Prophet Joseph Smith expounded further saying:

“The Savior said when these tribulations should take place [yet future?], it should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world: the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world.

“It has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries—new things—for my hearers. Just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood—just at that time I have the greatest right.

“All the testimony is that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people.”

“Has the Gospel of the kingdom commenced in the last days? And will God take it from the man until He takes him Himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ. John the Revelator saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth. The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence great distress, judgments, &c., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth.” 

“John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood, who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations. God had an angel—a special messenger—ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days. Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who lift up their hands against God and His witness in these last days: for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones!” (Source: The Words of Joseph Smith, pages 365-367), also Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 364-365).

A Few Things to Consider From This Talk
Keys? The Lord told Joseph the keys of the kingdom would never be taken from him, while in the world, neither in the world to come, but the Lord also told him that through Joseph, the oracles would be given to another, even unto the church (D&C 90:2-5). 

His Church? – How does the Lord define His Church? (D&C 10:67)  Does the Lord’s definition does not require a legal institution, or even more than one person for that matter.

Oracles?  (I believe they are indeed, “the doctrines, the commandments, the revelations, the words contained in what Joseph Smith handed to us in the Book Mormon, the Lectures on Faith and the revelations given through him.”(See Lecture on Repentance, pages 4-5, given on 23 September 2013 at Logan, Utah).

Joseph further said, “The plea of many in this day is, that we have no right to receive revelations; but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of God; and if they have not the oracles of God, they are not the people of God.” (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 272)

An Angel? Joseph mentions an Angel, or a special messenger in this talk. Can the messenger yet be a mortal?  What if they are in fact mortal, but have been in the presence of God, and yet return to their mortal life here on the earth with an assignment from the Lord, can such a one be a messenger?  The scriptures are filled with accounts of this happening to God’s servants, so I say yes.  Additionally,
 …“angel,” the word is derived from a Greek word that simply means "messenger." The messenger can't be on their own errand. They have to have a message that is being brought from the Lord. Therefore if the message originates with the Lord and the message is delivered by a messenger, it does not matter if the one delivering the message is a mortal. We find in the Book of Mormon where Jacob was told what he was to preach by an angel the night before he taught. (See 2 Ne. 10: 3.) King Benjamin said his sermon was based on what the angel told him to teach, after awakening him at night.” (See Mosiah 3: 2-23.)
“In this context, both Jacob and King Benjamin were angels, or messengers with a message from God. Therefore, as long as they bear a message from the Lord, they fit the definition.” (See Lecture on Priesthood, pages 4-5, given on 2 November 2013 in Orem, Utah)
Additionally, for this talk see the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Journals Volume 3 page 248, note 1124, which comments, “In his discourse, JS interpreted the German translations of Matthew 24:14 to mean that in the last days, “the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world.” Note 1124, further states, “JS used his interpretation to introduce a discussion of his own ministry, including the opposition he often faced, the revelations he had received, and his intention to “lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.  He further stated the work would roll forth, not “by sword or gun,” but by the power of truth.”

Was Joseph referring to himself or a future witness? While I agree with what Joseph stated, I do not agree with the editor’s comment inserted in note 1124, because it supposes he applied the rendering of Matthew 24:14 to himself.  Joseph stated this would happen “when” these tribulations spoken of in Matthew 24 take place—“and then shall the end come,” implying this was something yet future in his day.

Some scriptures to consider
There are so many scriptures and prophecies that talk about this our day, but I would like to highlight just a few, which I believe pertain to our day. The first is from Isaiah chapter 42, and although this in reference to our Lord and Savior (see Matthew 12:17-21), I believe they are also a “type of Christ” showing up in His “other servants” delivering His words and therefore equally applicable to our day, due to our similar circumstance and condition:

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
 2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
 3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
 4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
 5 Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
 6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
 7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
It should be noted Joseph Smith translated the following verses of this chapter of Isaiah:

19 For I will send my servant unto you who are blind; yea, a messenger to open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;

 20 And they shall be made perfect notwithstanding their blindness, if they will hearken unto the messenger, the Lord’s servant.

 21 Thou art a people, seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears to hear, but thou hearest not.

 22 The Lord is not well pleased with such a people, but for his righteousness’ sake he will magnify the law and make it honorable.

 23 Thou art a people robbed and spoiled; thine enemies, all of them, have snared thee in holes, and they have hid thee in prison houses; they have taken thee for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

What does it mean to “see many things, but observe not, and open the ears to hear, but hearest not? (See Isaiah 6:9-10).  Can anyone be converted and healed without observing and hearing?

In another scripture found in 3 Nephi Chapter 21, the Lord talks about what will occur when these things are “about to take place”—that is, when He shall be about to gather His people, (House of Israel) and shall establish His Zion. I commend the whole book of 3 Nephi, but will highlight just a couple of verses of something that I believe has occurred or is occurring in our time: 

“For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them (see also 1 Nephi 14:7); and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him (the man) to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.” (3 Nephi 21:9- 11)

I too, testify that prophet is Christ and His words have already been spoken to us in our day. We must all respond to His words, because if we will not we will be cut off from among the people.

My Testimony
I testify in words of soberness and humility that the event spoken of by our Lord as recorded in 3 Nephi 21:9-11 concerns our time, the very time we live right now.  I do not know Brother Denver personally, but I have listened and read every word the Lord has brought forth through him and testify the words he has delivered are in fact the words of Christ and are an authentic message from the most high God of Heaven, even the Father. 

It is also my conviction the witness spoken of by Joseph Smith, in Matthew 24:14 is among us and has been sent by God. “He always sends a witness to remove doubts,” and thus He has.  

The beautiful thing is, God does not intend to send a solitary witness of Him, but He intends to send and is calling many servants to do His work in our day in order for Him to bring again His Zion—His work, and not a man’s.  

I continue to testify that this IS our day and we are in the very generation these things are to be fulfilled:

“And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel; but they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:28-30)

And another sobering scripture for me is found in Psalms, “Oh that Zion were established out of heaven, the salvation of Israel. O Lord, when wilt thou establish Zion? When the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, Israel shall be glad. (JST, Psalm 14:7)

Sword of God’s Justice Hangeth Over Us
The sword of His justice surely hangs over us at this time. May the God of Heaven have mercy on us all, for the day of the Lord IS coming and it will be truly terrible for those of us who dwell on the earth. 

Who will be able stand in that day? Indeed, what is coming will leave proud men speechless and hopefully any humble, believing people justified.  Everything will indeed change.

So much more can be written concerning this and I realize there are likely many, who have already come to this knowledge.  For you, I humbly plead for your patience and forgiveness, but feel strongly that I must add my testimony.

For anyone who has not yet received a testimony and knowledge of these things from our Lord, then I plead with you to go to Him and ask for this knowledge. He will surely provide it to you in abundance.

I have now done what I believe the Lord has asked of me and I do so declare this my testimony in humility and love.