Patriarchal Blessings and the Temple

On June 26, 2016, we wrote the following about Patriarchal Blessings:

“As other conditions arise that require direction from heaven on how to proceed, such as what to do about Patriarchal blessings, and other important items, heaven can be sought and revelation obtained as God grants it” What Do We Do About Callings…

Our oldest daughter reached an age where she normally would be receiving a Patriarchal Blessing through a Patriarch in the LDS Church. My wife and I have found great solace in our blessings, and the humble man who administered those blessings prepared well and kept his own thoughts out of them and put God’s mind and will into them. We wanted the same for our children.

We were persuaded by Denver’s comments on Patriarchal Blessings and the scriptures that teach that ancient prophets gave fathers’ blessings at the end of their lives, such as Adam, Jacob (Israel), and Lehi. Denver observed these men were “bowed down with great age, knowing that they are going to soon depart this world, having no personal investment in the outcome, intending only to say what is for the blessing and benefit through the Spirit of what will befall their children after them, things that they will not be around to witness” Denver on Patriarchal Blessings. These comments put us on guard that our limited life experiences might curtail the power of our blessings to our children now, and that our power in the priesthood might be increased as we aged and became more selfless in our last days.

Still, the scriptures described Adam’s blessing as “his last blessing” (D&C 107:53), encouraging us that earlier provisional blessings might be authorized in the context of being preliminary to a later, “last” blessing which carried more significance. We decided to ask the Lord for power to give a preliminary Patriarchal Blessing to our oldest daughter.

A few years prior, Nikki and I hiked to a mountain peak in Logan Valley. We prayed to ask the Lord what to do about our children missing the opportunity to attend the LDS temples. It took a long time to get an answer. Leading up to that answer, in 2017, Denver Snuffer made some comments on the Holy Order and mentioned his own thoughts on “children who are kept from access to LDS temples and what can be done to inform them about temple rites” (Denver on The Holy Order, pp. 28-30). You can read what he wrote there. There was no specific indication this was the word of the Lord, however. Either way, on these types of things we pray mightily to find out the truth from the Lord’s own voice.

Suffice it to say, after getting permission to give a preliminary Patriarchal Blessing, predicated on our daughter’s faithfulness, and subject to the will of the Lord for interpretation and fulfillment, we proceeded to record a blessing where I spoke as voice and Nikki took a turn pronouncing blessings as well. The event was a success, and our daughter now has a nicely laminated Patriarchal Blessing that she finds very precious. We obtained our daughter’s permission to share a portion of that blessing that I received before we administered the ordinance to her. Most of the words of the actual blessing were extemporaneous except for some words given to me by revelation on, 1. how to start the blessing, and 2. the portion in the following quote. We also wrote a list of potential categories of the types of things that might come up in this type of blessing and referred to it during the event. It allowed us to remember, in such a long blessing, to pause and see if the Lord had any thoughts on those categories as we proceeded.

As you will see, the testimony we received by revelation was that Denver’s comments that, “First, although it has been demonstrably corrupted, there is value in the temple…[and so on]” is true. I expressed that testimony in my own words as the giver of the blessing, and quoted the Lord by including a scripture he told me now applies to the LDS temple ceremonies. This is the part of the blessing we gave to our daughter:

“Right now, there is not a temple available for you, but what was restored through Joseph Smith has had some alterations over time. They are available for you, but they are like the Apocrypha as mentioned by the Lord in section 91 of the Teaching and Commandments. As he said, ‘There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly…whoever is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom.’ Read and watch the ceremony in the form it was observed before the changes in 1990. Feel free to discuss what you learn with anyone who has received temple ordinances before” September 9, 2018.

We can say confidently in the name of the Lord that this revelation is true. Amen.

-Brian and Nikki Zang

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News and Journals

I think we need to print a journal like the Elders Journal where people can submit articles.

Not everything has to be put into the scriptures (obviously)…that should be the cream of the crop (even if it is not all perfect in scriptures).

And also, there should be something that helps medium-level-interest stuff avoid getting lost in the big repository of the archives online. Everything should go in the archives, but some gems should be put in a journal and passed around.

Conference reports and transcripts are an easy starting point.

I really think we need a separate site that includes news, voting polls (on a tab with login maybe), and conference reports (transcripts), and maybe a journal with writing submissions, even if it is just an electronic pdf that people can print on their own. Then, that all gets backed up in the restoration archives.(You hide the archives in the back of the library so it doesn’t clutter the hot items in the stacks.)

It could even be the permanent conference website, so the upcoming conference(s) are tab(s) and you won’t have to create a brand new website for each conference.

Since we’re a collective community with no leaders, you can have people submit their writings to a preliminary place and anyone can review and vote yes or no to including it in the journal for publication. Since it’s a low stakes publication, and not the scriptures, a majority vote after a set amount of time can let someone’s writings pass muster and get published to the group with special status as something worth reading. Otherwise, it gets sent to the archives and people can look it up there.

That just makes it all based on persuasive power gauged by the whole community’s interest…and helps us avoid being flooded with stuff to consider, but archiving everything so no gems fall through the cracks.

You know, maybe eventually we’ll get better at determining if anything someone submits (other than Denver) is scripture-worthy. But, this way we get to vet things in advance without such a high-stakes commitment. It’s possible the majority would reject something that came from the Lord, but again, it will be there in the archives to be brought up at a later time when hearts are softened.

And, this isn’t to suggest that submissions are only of the type that claims: “thus saith the Lord,” it could be writings, teachings, proposals, projects, news, thoughts, musings, art, literature, fiction, poetry, music, hymns, etc.

Beyond the Guide and Standard, this would show our hearts to the world. It would illustrate all the diversity of thought, talents, and inspiration. Instead of the skeleton of principles, it would show the lifeblood of the community, hopefully as uplifted by the Lord’s influence.

It just might draw our hearts closer together, too, to see what we are all coming up with, located in one spot.

Plus, it’s not of the nature of needing the Lord to command us before we do it…its just going about doing good of our own free will. There isn’t any command against it.

I am extremely swamped and couldn’t set this up myself, but the idea is out there. Feel free to run with it.

Fellowship Confederacy

Here is an idea of how fellowships can nominate a representative of good character for cross-fellowship decisions.

Fellowship_Confederacy_Simple_Questions.pdf

This is the original document that the moiety doc that is circulating is based on, but the moiety doc has added on a lot more from the Iroquois ideas than I think are necessary. Representatives can be male or female, and can be sustained by their fellowship. Sure, they could be chosen by lots in the fellowships as well. These are modifiable concepts.

The default idea is the most open: even non-baptized people who support others who believe in the doctrine of Christ can participate in votes if the cross-fellowship decision warrants including them. It is similar to Joseph Smith’s idea that non-members be included in the kingdom of God to represent their interests. It makes sense that these should be non-members who support believers and do not persecute others.

However, certainly this can be modified so that if a decision relates to covenant holders only, for instance, then fellowships can pick covenant holders to nominate for that particular decision.

After this nomination process, when all representatives of the fellowships get together, they can implement a decision-making framework like the one presented in Denver’s podcast about “Dances with Wolves”

With this delegate nomination process, once the delegates of the fellowships get together, they can initially choose a decision making framework. That can change each time: For instance, they can choose “Dances with Wolves” method, majority vote method, or unanimous vote method, depending upon the seriousness of the decision to be made and how the group decides to do the vote. You can make this initial decision of what voting framework to adopt for each council item be a unanimous choice by default. Meaning, the group should be unanimous in deciding how the voting will proceed (for example, they unanimously decide the council item is a medium-level decision so they should use a majority rules voting framework to resolve it).

You can ignore the introduction and title. When I initially wrote this, I was toying with the idea that the thoughts on how fellowships could make decisions together could be the Guide and Standard itself. I considered this document a work in progress, but since it got leaked and partially absorbed by another effort, I wanted to post it as it was originally written. It makes better sense that this is just a nomination procedure. Maybe some parts are useful for the G&S, but that would be for the whole group to decide when they hash out the G&S decision.

The idea on what a “voting fellowship” is needs some clarification. It struck me that in order for a fellowship to implement all of the functions a fellowship could perform, i.e. priesthood ordination and sustaining, baptism, sacrament, etc, they would need 7 women and at least 1 man. That is the reason for choosing what a “voting fellowship” is in order to avoid a single person or a couple nominating a representative to join a confederacy of fellowships. Even though only two or three gathered together are needed to have fellowship in Christ, two or three can also collude to send a person who would persecute the larger group in their decisions and wreak havoc. Once two or people grow to a fully functioning fellowship of 8 people, maybe like Isaiah foretold, “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach” (Isaiah 1:12 OC), then they could send a representative to cross-fellowship councils for decision making.

CALLING FOR A VOTE

Since we don’t have any central leadership, and similar to how anyone can call for a conference, anyone can also call for a vote.

Here is one example of how this can happen.

If every fellowship registers on http://www.fellowshiplocator.info/ , then someone calling for a vote can ask to send an email to all fellowships. The only tool you have is persuasion. If you can persuade the fellowships to send a representative for your voting item, when you get together you either accomplish something or you don’t. When you accomplish something, report what you have done. If you get 100 out of 300 fellowships represented, it may not be that persuasive of a decision. We’re all on our own to decide together, and see what light and truth raises from the ground up and completes in a persuasive manner to touch the hearts of the most people.

You can state in your email to all the fellowships that you are asking for representatives to be picked, or that you want all people involved to vote. If you can administer a mechanism to get a vote included for all people, more power to you. Just publish your method, your decision item (e.g. The item for discussion will be: to decide on a Guide and Standard), meeting places, etc., and publish your results.

Maybe someone somewhere will be successful in getting a large representation of fellowships in a fair manner to select a Guide and Standard that is full of light and resonates across the movement or is at least acceptable. The Scripture Committee pulled this off for the larger scripture project. Their efforts are persuasive. Not everyone is convinced, but they succeeded and proved a case example.

One Possible Implentation

The following is one possible version on how to implement the ideas in the post “A Ground Rule from the Doctrine of Christ”, and you are free to disregard the ideas or change them.

1. As a body we can come to the realization that the doctrine of Christ may exclude the contentious filibuster option for decisions because we all said we believed in Christ’s doctrine about not disputing when we were baptized.

2. We do not have an accepted way to blot out names from the records. It’s nice to not have to be judges of people at this point (and that’s not even my intention in bringing up this point…quite the contrary, it’s to point out that it’s probably not even an option now to consider, so we shouldn’t think of it. We can judge proposals now, though, and the way they are advanced).

3. We can use God’s judgments to judge individual motions (the behaviors displayed in council during the decision-making process) without condemning either the content of the proposal or the person advancing it. We don’t even have to judge their intentions or their hearts. In other words, we all have bad moments and behaviors, and we shouldn’t label one another. Adrian’s recent post speaks well to this point.

4. If a motion is deemed contentious by the body, a neutral party can be chosen to advance the content of the motion in a non-contentious way. This way no wisdom or good ideas are lost in the process, and neither is the process stalled by behavior that is—intentionally or unintentionally—halting the body from proceeding.

5. If we have a true stalemate that doesn’t arise from contentious behavior, we can declare a stalemate and request revelation from the Lord to resolve the dispute (in this case, it is a procedural dispute where we all realize there is no harmonizing two valid viewpoints with our current understanding). At present, we have no means to ask the Lord for revelation as a body. We only do that as individuals now, or we have accepted certain pronouncements by Joseph Smith and Denver Snuffer. This point needs more work to be fully utilized. It’s a discussion for another day.

6. If a person seems to be halting a decision for no good reason (again, this is independent from their idea, it is the nature of how they submit the idea and stall the body), then all it would take is another person to motion to have their behavior scrutinized by the body in just this instance, and have it seconded. The body can then decide, without the offending party involved, to declare their behavior as an invalid proposal. Then, the body can take the content of their proposal and re-assign it per #4 above. This in NO WAY blots their name out of the records. It does NOT excommunicate them. It doesn’t even stop them from advancing another motion on the same project, provided it is not the same type of behavior displayed as the last time.

With these types of ground rules (again, feel free to reject this version of applying the scriptures mentioned above), we as a body can reject all disputations. We choose not to dispute. We choose to reject decision-making behavior that seems like a dispute. If we make a mistake in judging what behavior is contentious or not, we have the safeguard of taking the content of their proposal and still considering it. If a person sincerely believes their proposition is true, and they are of a good heart, I can see no reason to be afraid of this process. In fact, they’d be willing to sacrifice their individual vote temporarily to at least get their idea heard. They still maintain all future voting privileges. Their idea still gets heard, even if the way they advance it is mischaracterized temporarily. They in no way are barred from further participation. This way, nobody can arrest decision making indefinitely either. We are judging isolated behavior based on the Lord’s judgments, and not our own, and we are not judging individuals nor their status with God or as members of the body by virtue of their baptism and fellowship with us. It allows us as a body to say “It was a good idea, but we think it is being advanced with bad form or is unintentionally causing contention” or vice versa. People in the future can judge for themselves if we managed our difficulties correctly, and we can expand without fear of new people causing havoc if they display similar traits.

In judging “motions” we can use language such as “We as a body have deemed that the motion that says ________ is causing a disputation and we reject it as a procedure. We will consider the idea the motion advances separately.” Or, if the idea was already discussed and settled, that can be stated and we can vote as a body about the rejection of the dispute and move on. Sometimes we may not even need to vote about it, it may be self-evident. Either way, we can publish the intent of the body to outsiders who witness our proceedings and show how we reject filibustering. This can be done as a last step after all attempts to persuade the contentious have failed.

This option should NOT be used to stifle new ideas that modify old decisions. New ideas deserve their turn. We should be careful to not hastily label a motion as a dispute, or else everyone will be afraid of advancing any idea. This is why it would be important to have the body vote if a motion really is causing contention or not, and the contention is not just arising from other contentious people regardless. Again, this is why it’s important to preserve the content of the idea advanced if we reject a filibuster procedure as a last resort.

Glossary of Principles taught by Joseph Smith

Here is a list one fellowship put together from Joseph Smith’s definitions of terms to help in the various efforts for a set of principles. As I thought about it, it is more of a glossary as well, pulled together from Joseph Smith resources and only slightly modified in sentence structure to cast them as definitions. It’s archival now that the thrust has recently changed on the Guide and Standard. So, this list is largely obsolete for that effort, but it is included here for your benefit.

“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth. Consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft…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

“Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’; [it is designed] to revolutionize and civilize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 316). “The inquiry is frequently made of me, ‘Wherein do you differ from others in your religious views?’ In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views, but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’ is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.” “Have the Presbyterians any truth? Embrace that. Have the Baptists, Methodists, and so forth? Embrace that. Get all the good in the world, and you will come out a pure Mormon.” (July 23, 1843) “It is not wisdom that we should have all knowledge at once presented before us; but that we should have a little at a time; then we can comprehend it. President Smith then read the 2nd Epistle of Peter, 1st chapter, 16th to last verses, and dwelt upon the 19th verse with some remarks. Add to your faith knowledge, etc. The principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation. This principle can be comprehended by the faithful and diligent; and every one that does not obtain knowledge sufficient to be saved will be condemned. The principle of salvation is given us through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” Joseph Smith

Truth is knowledge of things as they are and as they were and as they are to come. [D&C 33:7 RE]

Faith is the assurance we have of unseen things which are true. It is the principle of action and power in mortals and in God. Acting upon correct belief is the essence of faith. We are all commanded to believe in Jesus Christ and act upon that belief by obeying Him. [LoF 1]

Salvation is here defined in its broadest terms, as in being saved from all enemies, including death. This type of salvation happens if and when you become a joint heir with Jesus Christ and attain the power of the resurrection after this life, such that you can resurrect all those dependent upon you. [LoF 7:8]

God, or the Godhead, is a term describing the unity of two separate, perfected beings—the Father and the Son—along with their unified mind, called the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the Son. Jesus is also the way, the truth, and the life, and no person comes to the Father but by Jesus. [LoF 5, John 10:7 RE]

God is the object for all people with understanding to have faith in for life and salvation. [LoF 2]

Three things are necessary so that anyone with understanding may exercise faith in God towards life and salvation: The idea that he actually exists, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes, and an actual knowledge that the course you are pursuing is according to his will. [LoF 3]

The perfections of God’s attributes and characteristics [LoF 4:1-2]:

God has all faith or power, and was God before the world was created, and is the same God now, and He always will be. [LoF 3:13, 4:5]
God has all mercy, and He is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in goodness, and He was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting. [LoF 3:14, 4:7]
God has all right actions, or justice, and He never changes. His course is one eternal round and He is always willing to teach. He teaches by the power of grace, and gives liberally, to the just and the unjust. [LoF 3:15,21, 4:6,11, James 1:2 RE, Ether 5:5 RE]
God has all correct judgment against the wicked, and He is no respecter of persons (of whatever race or color, young or old, bond or free, male or female) but every person who fears God and works righteousness is accepted of Him. [LoF 3:17, 4:7]
God has all truth and He is truthful and cannot lie. [LoF 3:16, 4:8]
God has all knowledge, and He is loving, such that He shares understanding through wisdom that He might save all His creatures. He is love. [LoF 3:18, 4:4,9, 1 John 4:8, John 4:3 RE]

“The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion.” [Joseph Smith, “Elders’ Journal, July 1838,” p. 44].

The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. The Old Testament contains old covenants. The Book of Mormon, combined with the New Testament, constitutes the new covenant, and both are the word of God as far as they are translated correctly. Joseph Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” [HC 4:461]. The Teachings and Commandments and the Pearls of Great Price are the word of God as far as they are translated correctly. These scriptures are not all that God has revealed or that He has now revealed. God’s words never cease and He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God. [WL (AoF) 1:29, 1:30, see also Answer and Covenant]

Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven whereby salvation may come. Salvation comes by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the merits of his atonement. [2 Nephi 13:6 RE, WL (AoF) 1:24]

“Doctrine” means an approved body of teachings.

The doctrine of Jesus Christ is as follows:

“Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me, and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, every where, to repent and believe in me; and whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily I say unto you, that this is my doctrine; and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me, believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me; for he will visit him with fire, and with the Holy Ghost; and thus will the Father bear record of me; and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost, are one. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things. And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Verily, verily I say unto you, that this is my doctrine; and whoso buildeth upon this, buildeth upon my rock; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock, but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell standeth open to receive such, when the floods come, and the winds beat upon them” [3 Nephi 5:9 RE]

“Gospel” means good news, or topics approved for preaching. “Preaching” means public pronouncements that attract interested persons to be taught more.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is as follows:

“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you, that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me; and my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, I might draw all men unto me; that as I have been lifted up by men, even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil; and for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father, I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name, shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father, at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father; and this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words; and no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest, save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. 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. Verily, verily I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do, that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do, even that shall ye do; therefore if ye do these things, blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” [3 Nephi 12:5 RE]

Commandments are directions from God on how we may act so that it may turn to our salvation [D&C 80:2 RE]. Keeping commandments produces good works, which are expressions of our belief in God’s character and attributes.

The essential commandments are contained in the Sermon at Bountiful [see 3 Nephi 5-7:1 RE]. The Sermon on the Mount or at Bountiful is the Law of Christ.

“Good” is defined as keeping God’s commandments and “bad” is defined as not keeping God’s commandments.

“Sin” is defined as not keeping the commandments of God that you know about and understand correctly. “Transgression” is generally defined as not keeping the commandments of God, even when you are ignorant of them, but sometimes means to cross over the limits of the law in general, whether you know the law or not.

Repentance is turning away from sin and ignorance and facing God. God forgives sin when we forsake it and seek forgiveness. Believers in Jesus Christ repent by gaining knowledge of His ways and doing as He did. [D&C 17:8 RE]

Men and women will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam and Eve’s transgression. Little children have no need of repentance, and are incapable of repentance. [WL (AoF) 1:23, Moroni 8 RE]

The wicked are those who refuse to repent, for as long as they rebel. [D&C 27:10 RE]

Any sacrifice to God must be accompanied by a broken heart and a contrite (or willing) spirit [3 Nephi 4:7 RE]. The sacrifice of all earthly things is eventually required of all the faithful in some way or form known by them and God to obtain the faith necessary for life and salvation, and to obtain eternal life [LoF 5].

To hold proper authority to perform outward ordinances, a man must be called of God by prophecy (if they have desires to serve God, they are called to the work [D&C 99:1 RE]), and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. True messengers of God will never take wages for their ministerial service. [WL (AoF) 1:26, 2 Nephi 11:10 RE] The constitution of the priesthood, and of all religious discourse, is outlined in D&C 47 RE, D&C 121 LE.

All followers of Christ, men and women, old and young, can be called of God to teach, expound, exhort, and invite all to come unto Christ, and to bless and heal others through the power of faith and by the laying on of hands.

Baptism is an ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and is only to be administered to those who have understanding, who have arrived at the age of accountability, which is at least eight years old [D&C 73:4 RE, JST Genesis 17:11]. Baptism is required of all who believe in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. Baptism must be performed by immersion, by one holding proper authority, and when possible, in living water such as a river, lake, or sea. Our Lord gave the following instructions:

“Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: ‘Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’ And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.” [3 Nephi 5:8 RE]

The Holy Ghost is the promised gift of the Father to those who have faith in His Son, repent of their sins, and receive baptism. “Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment,” [Genesis 4:7 RE]. This connection to God will give you access to truth, which speaks to your mind and heart. There are gifts of the spirit such as the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, etc. [WL (AoF) 1:28]. If you deny the Holy Ghost when it once has had place in you and you know that you deny it, this is a sin which is unpardonable. Whoever murders against the light and knowledge of God, it is not easy for them to obtain a forgiveness. Therefore, when following the way, have a determination to serve Christ to the end of your mortal lives. [Alma 19:1 RE, Hebrews 6:1-6 RE, Mosiah 2:2 RE]

The names of those who are baptized are to be recorded [D&C 51:4-5 RE], and the followers of Christ should join in fellowship when possible:

“And after they had been received unto baptism and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the Church of Christ, and their names were taken that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft to fast and to pray and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.” [Moroni 6, see also D&C 4:14 RE]

Sacrament is an ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper consists of bread and wine, is the means by which He may fill us with His Spirit, and is offered to all who have been baptized. The bread is broken, and all kneel [3 Nephi 8:4] while the man says the following prayer, exactly as written:

“O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” [Moroni 4]

The man who is officiating also blesses the wine (or an alternative, such as grape juice, which symbolizes the blood of our Lord). He takes the cup [3 Nephi 8:7] and says the following prayer, exactly as written:

“O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.” [Moroni 5]

Giving to the poor is a law of the gospel of Jesus Christ: “And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.” [Mosiah 2:2 RE]

Marriage is an ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Marriage is to be between one man and one woman, as originally established by God between Adam and Eve. The woman and the man are to be equally yoked, working together as one in the Lord to follow Him and to fulfill the duty devolving upon them to teach their children the principles of the gospel. The ceremony for contracting marriage follows the guidance of the Spirit. Marriages sealed by the Lord’s oath in a sacred place will endure beyond death and into the Father’s kingdom. [see the Answer and Covenant]

Receiving the covenant is an ordinance of the gospel of Jesus Christ [see the Answer and Covenant].
Jesus Christ will personally visit you before you die and give you further doctrine and commandments if you draw near to him in this life. This is called “being redeemed from the fall.” [see the Answer and Covenant, Ether 1:12 RE]

Israel will be gathered and the Ten Tribes restored. Zion will be built upon the American continent and Christ will reign personally upon the earth. The earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. [WL (AoF) 1:31]

The gospel requires its followers to allow everyone (including other professing followers of Christ) to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and to worship how, where, and what they may. [WL (AoF) 1:32]

The gospel requires its followers to be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, to do good to all, to believe all things, to hope all things, to endure many things, to hope to be able to endure all things, and to seek after anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy. This is faith, hope, and charity. [WL (AoF) 1:34, Moroni 7]

It is an eternal principle that the first shall be last and the last shall be first [Mark 8:16 RE]. Also, they that exalt themselves shall be abased, and they that abase themselves shall be exalted [Ez. 9:9 RE]. Therefore, if you have righteous vows and obligations to apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth in your churches, or to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law in your countries, keep those obligations. So far as you have the opportunity to do so, be free, and govern yourselves as peacemakers and as the children of God. [WL (AoF) 1:33, 1:37, 3 Nephi 5:10 RE]

Lectures of Repentance – All Audio and Video Presentations

In order to advance clarifications and present the Lectures of Repentance and the message it contains, I’ve been asked by my fellowship to do presentations on each lecture. Here is the audio and video of all of the presentations. The lectures start with #8 and continue through #14, adding 7 lectures to the 7 in Joseph Smith’s Lectures of Faith.

All Files:

Lectures of Repentance