What Do I Do About My Priesthood Line of Authority?

For today’s post-LDS gospel dispensation, the servant of the Lord instructed: “How does the authority to baptize come? Because John the Baptist laid his hand on Joseph and Oliver, we have continued the practice to lay hands to confer Aaronic Priesthood. We should continue to respect that tradition. No one should baptize until they have had Aaronic priesthood conferred on them by someone who can trace their authority back to John the Baptist, through Joseph and Oliver.” (Denver Snuffer, “Preserving the Restoration,” p. 508).

The LDS Church doesn’t keep a record of Aaronic Priesthood lines of authority; nor does it keep a record of the date of the conferral of a particular priesthood, only the record of significant ordinations to office, which are subsequently traced as their version of a line of authority (see https://www.lds.org/help/support/request-a-priesthood-line-of-authority?lang=eng). An ordination to an office often occurs on the same day and at the same time as the conferral of priesthood. As the LDS typically ordain men first to the office of “elder” when conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood, the line of authority for an elder will be the one closest to their priesthood conferral date, as opposed to an ordaining as a seventy, high priest, apostle, or patriarch. If you have record of a pre-April 2014 LDS priesthood conferral for Aaronic Priesthood and want to use that for your entry in the line, then that would seem sufficient. You will likely have trouble obtaining the dates for all of your prior line members for the same, however, because of what was mentioned above about the lack of records for Aaronic Priesthood lines.

However, in beautiful parallelism and in somewhat of a chiasmus, the LDS temple ceremony used to call the Aaronic Priesthood the “lower level of the Melchizedek Priesthood,” at the same time as calling their Melchizedek Priesthood the “higher level of the Aaronic Priesthood” (see Anderson, Devery Scott, “Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History,” p. xxxiii). This is, of course, in a different context than Denver Snuffer’s descriptions of priesthood categories in chapter 5 of “Preserving the Restoration” titled “Priesthood,” but it is fitting for the context of this post. Therefore, the date when one obtained what the LDS call “Melchizedek Priesthood,” (again, provided this is before April 2014 general conference), could be considered the culmination of their receipt of the Aaronic Priesthood (and, of course, only in terms of it being an authoritative invitation to obtain power from God to perform service in his name). The notes in our post here describe how to confer the priesthood with authority subsequent to the LDS Church’s apostasy, and won’t be repeated here.

But, as far as passing on a line of authority goes, if someone in the line was ordained legitimately in the LDS Church, one could reckon their date from their latest office ordination (as the LDS Church does), or choose the date for their ordination as an elder to tie it closer to the latest conferral of priesthood, or choose the date of the Aaronic Priesthood office, if that is all that is available (or, if that is what is considered preferable). Then, at Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery’s level in the line, tie the line to the conferral of the Aaronic Priesthood through John the Baptist, or to the date at which the voice of God conferred on them the Melchizedek Priesthood in the chamber of old Father Whitmer in June 1829 (see D&C 128:20-21 and History, 1838-1856, volume A-1 [23 Dec 1805 – 30 Aug 1834], pp. 26-29), or mention both.

Such a line would look something like this:



BRIAN ZANG received the Melchizedek Priesthood and was ordained an elder February 22, 1998.

[Full name] was ordained an elder …1977.

[Full name] was ordained an elder …1967.

[Full name] was ordained a high priest …1952.

LE GRAND RICHARDS was ordained an apostle April 10, 1952.

DAVID O. McKAY was ordained an apostle April 9, 1906.

JOSEPH F. SMITH was ordained an apostle July 1, 1866.

BRIGHAM YOUNG was ordained an apostle February 14, 1835.

THE THREE WITNESSES, OLIVER COWDERY, DAVID WHITMER, and MARTIN HARRIS were called by revelation to choose the twelve apostles February 14, 1835 (D&C 18http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minute-book-1/153).

JOSEPH SMITH, JR. and OLIVER COWDERY received the Aaronic Priesthood on the banks of the Susquehanna River on May 15, 1829 from John the Baptist (JS-History 1:68-72).

JOHN THE BAPTIST (D&C 84:27-28).


JOSEPH SMITH, JR. and OLIVER COWDERY received the Melchizedek Priesthood in the chamber of Old Father Whitmer and were ordained apostles by the voice of God in June, 1829 (JST, Genesis 14:25-29History, 1838-1856, volume A-1 [23 Dec 1805 – 30 Aug 1834], pp. 26-29; D&C 18D&C 128:20-21).



You can also include places if you want, and each line above has unique elements that can be adjusted for each member of the line given the information you have (such as conferred priesthood, or ordained office, or date and place, who each person was ordained by as opposed to just listing the officiator on the next line, etc.). In the above example, it is not known which of the Three Witnesses were voice in ordaining Brigham Young, although it appears all three had a hand in ordaining him. If your priesthood line goes through another apostle, the reference above may include more details for them. At this point, there is no uniformity in describing priesthood lines of authority besides what the LDS Church has inherited through their traditions, so all lines will of necessity reflect that tradition to some extent, seeing that they maintained an authoritative commission for a period of time. Given the new dispensations’ emphasis on a few principles, such as the durability of the Aaronic Priesthood, the different categorization of Melchizedek Priesthood to align more closely with the scriptural teachings about its receipt by the voice of God alone (see JST, Genesis 14:25-29), and new ordinations being conferrals to the Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God (with God deciding which degree of priesthood power is conferred in each case), the preceding recommendations have been made as suggestions for language that hopefully begins to move towards a new standard. This is a minor procedural matter and could be rightly taken up as a short topic of discussion for common consent in a future general conference of the fellowships, if diversity in opinion ever becomes problematic. Hopefully, though, the principles involved here will be self-evident and the lines of authority produced and passed on in current ordinations sufficient to defend our claims to priesthood conferral. If there is any room for doubt about your full line of authority back to John the Baptist or God Himself, you can always get re-ordained in the fellowships and receive a new line from the authorized administrator.

During my LDS mission, a line of reasoning was advanced from an experience of Orson F. Whitney that was quoted in LeGrand Richard’s book, “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder,”

“Many years ago a learned man, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, came to Utah and spoke from the stand of the Salt Lake Tabernacle. I became well-acquainted with him, and we conversed freely and frankly. A great scholar, with perhaps a dozen languages at his tongue’s end, he seemed to know all about theology, law, literature, science and philosophy. One day he said to me: ‘You Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don’t even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole Christian world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is between Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, you are wrong; if you are right, we are wrong; and that’s all there is to it. The Protestants haven’t a leg to stand on. For, if we are wrong, they are wrong with us, since they were a part of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom we cut off long ago. If we have the apostolic succession from St. Peter, as we claim, there is no need of Joseph Smith and Mormonism; but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was necessary, and Mormonism’s attitude is the only consistent one. It is either the perpetuation of the gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the gospel in latter days.’” (LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder [Deseret Book Co., 1950], pp. 3–4.)

This line of reasoning tries to prove a valid point about the need for a gospel restoration with a false premise. The so-called learned Catholic here assumes that their church has the authority to remove priesthood when they excommunicate someone. The LDS Church assumes the same power. However, God has not given such power, only the right of churches to remove individuals from offices particular to their organization. Even if their church had a hand in conferring priesthood on an individual, the relationship that is established thereafter is between the individual and God alone. If a church deems it necessary to cut off a priest, for instance, then that priest may lose membership in that church, as well as the right to serve as a priest in their congregations, but their priesthood continues. If the church cut them off for good reason, meaning the priest was wicked, then the only thing that would follow them as a result of the church’s decision would be “the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption” (D&C 104:9), which, when duly considered, includes the rightful shame they would have acquired from being out of favor with their fellow man (which is likely what Satan will mock them about). If, however, the church cut them off unjustly, then they would be merely suffering persecution, and their priesthood would continue even if they were unrighteously denied membership and/or priestly status. The only way priesthood is lost is as explained in D&C 121:36-44: that is, according to principles of righteousness, as an individual departs therefrom, and God alone judges it to be so, which maintains a proper balance of power, or else mankind could use priesthood removal to threaten the righteous into submission.

Therefore, the above story is a compelling set of logical arguments, but wrong in its assumptions of jurisdiction and authority. There is a third option to the learned man’s propositions: if the Protestants in question lived during a time when the Roman Catholic Church had a commission from God to confer authority (if it ever did), then the Roman Catholic Church could’ve cut off righteous Protestants, and their right to claim the priesthood would’ve continued outside of the Catholic Church, because a false excommunication would not be recognized by God against a righteous priesthood holder. The only thing God would honor is the Catholic Church’s wishes that those priesthood holders no longer minister in their church, and they would likely be called to minister elsewhere where they were accepted.


Are Fellowships Considered Another Church?

“Fellowship” is the preferred term because it more appropriately describes the activity involved, and relegates it to close-knit gatherings of family and friends. Don’t you fellowship in family reunions, but still attend your own churches? Do you consider your family reunions a “church”?

Even so, it can definitely be called the church of Christ by definition of that term as well, even if they are not organized as a corporate church structure:

Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And now, remember the words of him who is the life and light of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen. (D&C 10:67-70).

There is no need for another corporate church structure:

True religion, when it is present on the earth, always existed in a community of believers. If we do not have community then we cannot be willing to mourn with those that mourn. We cannot comfort those that stand in need of comfort. We cannot stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and of all places. We cannot bear one another’s burdens so they may be light, as is required by the gospel and the covenant of baptism. None of this can be done without fellowship between believers. However, we do not need a new corporate church. The only thing we need is a community to fellowship one another. Whether called a ‘community,’ or ‘fellowship’ or ‘society’ it does not matter. Legal entities, whenever formed, become prey to the law. Men can gain control over legal entities. Legal entities are vulnerable to sycophants willing to do whatever is required to show they are desperately submissive to those in power. Hierarchies invite abuse. Aspiring men can always corrupt whatever is organized on the earth. (Denver Snuffer, Preserving the Restoration, pp. 504-505, see also the crucial and illuminating footnotes on those pages).

What we refer to as the “LDS Church” is a legal entity. Fellowships are “churches” in the generic use of the term. When you read D&C 10, do you consider Christ was referring to an earthly legal entity, or the generic use of the term applied to the conditions he specified?

Consider also, though, that the fellowships are not fully organized as the church of Christ might be, seeing that much of the labor needed in the fellowships is at this time decidedly left to the angels to sort out later (see D&C 20, D&C 42, and JST Matthew 13:39-44). Therefore, a portion of the organizational boundaries for our “church” encompasses the powers of heaven beyond the veil. On this side of the veil in the fellowships, we don’t necessarily exclude others by reference to church articles, nor do we necessarily exclude others from taking the sacrament. We are promised in scripture the following, when all necessary church politics will be sorted out by those angels and Christ Himself:

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:1-14; see also Luke 14:15-24).

As Christ says, we don’t destroy the law or the prophets (3 Nephi 12:17) or any church articles, but we seek to live the true intent of them, and not one jot or tittle shall pass away, but shall all be fulfilled in their due time, even if in our limited mortal perspective things look out of place, or out of order. God wills it, and so we must invite all to the wedding feast from the highways and the byways without judgment. These small and simple things will have a great impact, and we refuse to strain at the gnats, because thereby we might swallow the camel (Matthew 23:24). The doctrine of Christ is our priority now. It is useless to build up a superstructure that has no heart and soul. It becomes an empty shell, and the revelations that the early Saints pressed Joseph for were largely premature for them, or missing the mark concerning God’s priorities for the Restoration. But, they were given what they asked for. Even so, all things, including the elaborate church structure contained in the D&C, testify of Christ, and have their place in the Gospel (see Moses 6:63).

As before explained, the “doctrine” in the Doctrine and Covenants was the Lectures on Faith which were removed by the LDS Church in 1920. The “covenants” were not all covenants between God and man, but also covenants between themselves as a church. The early Latter-day Saints believed “in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church”. So do we, but we do not covenant with each other to be so governed in the fellowships. There are no offices. We covenant to pattern in a way that allows the fulness to return, which is less administrative outwardly, and more administered in one’s heart, with the law written on people’s hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3). It is a higher standard befitting friends and family–if we can be so called, and if we avoid contention significantly enough. If not, we devolve into the need for offices and presiding authorities.

The following statement from Denver Snuffer is instructive: “An unchanging God has an unchanging gospel. Rather than taking pride in our ordinances, we should view ourselves in our lost and fallen state. Rebuild faith through repentance. Once the inward part has been cleansed there will be time to worry about the outward part.” (Denver Snuffer, Preserving the Restoration, p. 230).

Who is a wise and a just servant? (see JST, Luke 12:41-57).

Index to “Preserving the Restoration” Part 3

Paraphrasing and direct quoting of Denver Snuffer’s book included below. Used by permission.


Chapter 12 (Preserving the Restoration), and other outline from “How to Form a Fellowship”

pp. 477-480 – The era of LDS Mormonism recounted, along with their failure.

pp. 480-481 – Joseph Smith’s Last Vision (Kirtland farm parable).

pp. 481-483 – A house of order’s orderly take down; John the Baptist parallel.

pp. 483-486 – Christ’s parables foretold the Gentile failure in the last days;

  • Parable of the king’s marriage feast for his son;
  • Parable of the Pharisee vs. the publican praying.

pp. 488-491 – Downfall of the LDS Church recounted again:

  • Mormon Reformation, Blood Atonement;
  • Temple ordinance changes;
  • Loss of equality of quorums;
  • Rejection of repentance as central.
  • p. 491 fn. – Heber C. Kimball & Brigham Young warnings of priesthood loss.

pp. 491-495 – Denver’s journal of the Lord’s confirmation of LDS loss of priesthood; the required sign and witness.


Basis p. 127, fn. 307. p. 299. p. 329. p. 333. p. 348.

General Outline p. 502.

The Lord renews commandment to be baptized correctly according to doctrine of Christ pp. 502-503. p. 506. pp. 515-518. p. 521.

Receiving the Holy Ghost and The Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost pp. 506-508. p. 517.

Recording Baptisms p. 521.

Using the Priesthood pp. 173-175. pp. 503-504. pp. 508-509.

How Not to Use the Priesthood pp. 486-488. pp. 516-517.

Fellowship Meetings pp. 505-506. p. 513.

Sustaining to the Priesthood and Recording pp. 509-511.

Removing Authority to Act Within a Community or Fellowship pp. 511-512.

Divorce p. 512.

First Time Ordinations and Lines of Authority pp. 496-497. p. 508. pp. 512-513. pp. 518-519.

Conferences for Business p. 513. p. 515.

Denomination Requirements and Proselyting pp. 518-519.

Sacrament p. 521.

Preaching vs. Learning p. 523.

Oversight p. 524. p.525. p. 526.

What Will No Longer Work p.526.

Work for the Dead and a Temple p. 144. pp. 526-527.

Prophecy p. 501.

Receiving New Revelation pp.528-529

Using written copies of the scriptures p. 529.

Individual Prayer pp. 381-383.

Praying in the Fellowships pp. 529-530.

Giving to the Poor pp. 230-233

Tithing See “How To Administer Tithing Within a Fellowship (From Denver Snuffer, Jr., ‘Preserving the Restoration’)“. p. 256. p.267

Consecration p. 233.

Other Items p. 230. p. 519.

Righteousness p. 253. p. 366.

Gathering pp. 262-264.

Obtaining a Covenant pp. 530-533.

Index to “Preserving the Restoration” Part 2

Paraphrasing and direct quoting of Denver Snuffer’s book included below. Used by permission.


Chapter 8 (Christ: The Prototype of the Saved Man)

p. 295 – Christ is affable, but not gregarious. Approachable;

  • Patient. Willing to guide, willing to teach;
  • Intelligent, but not overbearing;
  • Humble, but has undeniable power;
  • Lion & the Lamb;
  • Quick to forgive sin;
  • Allows all to come unto Him;
  • Is no respecter of persons.

p. 296 – It is our disrespect for ourselves that impedes coming to Him;

  • First thing in His presence, He forgives sins;
  • No allowance for sin, but He has the capacity to forgive sin;
  • Makes you no longer accountable for your limitations;
  • God speaks to us in our language;
  • He does not pontificate;
  • He is utterly unpretentious.

p. 298 – Day of salvation appears tenuously; Jeremiah 8 “Summer is ended, harvest is past.”

p. 299 – Gospel writers patterned off of Jesus’ expounding. He expounded for Denver.

p. 300 – The Lord does not force Himself upon us, we must invite.

p. 301 – Truth is best advanced by opening the scriptures; prototype scripture in lectures; salvation does not come by applying fairy dust.

p. 302 – We have the freedom to choose because without that we do not exist;

  • Man must ascend by degrees and by experience to become like God;
  • The church was “true and living” when Joseph presided.

p. 302 – Christ was obedient before the creation of this world, and the creation of this world began when Christ first qualified to redeem it; Christ is salvation.

pp. 302-303 – Joseph Smith expounds on Lecture 7 in Nauvoo; “grace for grace” and “exaltation to exaltation.”

pp. 303-304 – Attaining to the keys of the resurrection to resurrect all that depend upon you.

p. 305 – Our highest glory requires the Gods to condescend; There are higher kingdoms yet.

pp. 305 -308 – The real first principles of the gospel:

  • Attaining to the resurrection of the dead;
  • becoming gods;
  • walking the same path as our Lord walked.

p. 309 – Savior had long period of development before this world; In this life we have capacity to offer sacrifice.

p. 310 – Men become KNOWLEDGE; Women become WISDOM.

pp. 310-311 – Christ needed a woman to be able to accomplish his work.

p. 311 – The role of woman united to man is a mystery wisely not included in our temple rites or scriptures, but only alluded to; Present challenge to get out of this prison is enough.

p. 311 – Receiving grace for grace is a blessing.

pp. 311-312 – Christ received not of the fulness at the first.

p. 312 – Redemption must be certain before there is a Fall.

p. 313 – Scorn and condemnation from others helps prepare us to finish the journey as Christ.

pp. 313-314 – When we die it is just; when Christ died it was unjust.

p. 315 – All must learn to be gods by experience, and attain to the resurrection;

  • God’s patience is infinite;
  • Mankind has all eternity to work out salvation;
  • Merely getting into heaven is the death;
  • Eternal life is to endure to the end, worlds without end.

p. 316 – It was only after His resurrection Christ claimed all power in heaven and in earth.

pp. 316-321 – Priests after the order of His Son.

p. 321 – Christ has been a part of many cycles of creation.

pp. 322-323 – Endless cycle, worlds without end, nothing is lost.

pp. 323-327 – Trinitarian commas by John Gilbert uninspired.

p. 327 – Abinadi – subjecting our will to be one with Them.

p. 327 – When Christ subjected Himself to the will of the Father, He was in very deed, thought, and action, “The Father”–though flesh and blood living among us. They were “one.” If you behold Christ, you would see the image of His Father. This is how the Father “dwelleth” in the Son.

p. 328 – The Holy Spirit is Christ’s spirit, is the Father’s spirit, and its Their Mind dwelling in us.

p. 329 – Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father;

  • Christ, who redeems us, becomes our Father;
  • This is the way we become sons and daughters of God;
  • Christ is the Only Begotten, and He begets many sons and daughters.


pp. 329-330 – True messengers come seeming to be just another one of the itinerant preachers, of whom there are many pretenders.

pp. 330-331 – The Father declares what is right and true and the Son obeys; Do what God asks, this is how we must worship Him.

p. 329 – Christ was very ordinary.

p. 331 – Christ can mend what is broken.

pp. 331-332 – Knowledge is power, therefore it can bring vanity, pride, and abuse.

p. 332 – Knowledge must be acted upon.

p. 332-333 – Authority figures rarely believe.

p. 333 – Christ had no beauty;

  • Denver is sent by Him;
  • Denver is not doing this for attention.

pp. 334-335 – Isaiah 53:1-10 exposition: Despised and rejected.

p. 335 – Broken heart from: discomfort, uncertainty, contradictions, and struggles; agony, anguish and delay…then He will enter, then He will speak.

p. 335 – It pleased the Father to see Christ oppressed, afflicted, and slaughtered, because the death of the Lamb will heal the destruction.

pp. 336-338 – Atonement: Christ overcame sin with love (see “Come, Let Us Adore Him“).

pp. 338-339 – Christ is “in all things.”

p. 339 – We borrow from Christ through cycles of creation until we attain to the resurrection of the dead.

p. 339 – Christ is not experimenting but knows what to do and how to do it;

  • He intends to save everthing;
  • By saving, He will allow it to continue on its course of development.

p. 341 – Captivation comes from ignorance.

pp. 341-342 – Mankind has preserved incomplete records

p. 342 – The gospel is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

pp. 342-343 – Christ defines redemption as coming back into His presence.

pp. 343-344 – Descending again into mortality is not possible for Christ. He will return again in glory.

p. 345 – “More righteous” doesn’t mean sinless, but righteous enough to hear true messengers.

  • The word of God comes only when He is the author of it.

p. 346 – God invites us to see the world of glory while in the flesh. Denver: “I have been to that world of glory. I have abided in his presence. I know things not lawful to be uttered.”

p. 346 – Religion is deeply personal and individually redemptive.

p. 347 – Instead of meeting Him, it is easier in our pride to study God as a subject, but never change our hearts. It is possible to be a respected authority without ever knowing Him.

  • Christ had access to the Spirit in a degree none of us can equal to fulfill his responsibilities.
  • Joseph Smith’s revelations and sermons are true.

p. 348 – Denver can testify of Christ. Christ came to lift all creation. Trust that. Receive Him. It may start slowly. He will come.


Chapter 9 (A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit)

p. 349 – Everything done by the higher priesthood is an ordinance.

p. 350 – God’s wrath is manifested by simply withdrawing.

p. 351 – God’s intimidating presence does not drive all men away.

pp. 351-352 – Baptisms for the living continued but baptisms for the dead were rejected as a church.

p. 352 – “Honor” means an empowered promise from the Lord that can be claimed in the afterlife.

p. 353 – “Glory” means intelligence.

p. 353 – Man’s freedom to choose and God’s right to accept and ordain.

pp. 354-355 – “Order of the church” for revelation contradicts scriptural injunction for all to teach the doctrines of the kingdom.

p. 355 – Quorums supposed to be equal in authority.

pp. 355-356 – Restoration incomplete. Nauvoo failure.

pp. 356-357 – Angles have the duty to educate and prepare man to behold God’s glory.

p. 358 – Those who receive and entertain angels have an obligation to declare their words, so that others may have faith in Him.

p. 358 – Aaronic priesthood condemns.

p. 360 – Our greatest sin is ignorance.

p. 360 – Moroni describes the Lord who, after passing through the thundering and lightning, you will behold.

p. 361 – Moroni asks us to seek for grace. Christ can’t give it to us unless we seek for it.

pp. 361-362 – Jealousy and envy go together, and envy is condemned.

p. 362 – Two primary emotions: love and fear.

p. 362 – Joseph Smith may’ve taken the authority with him when he died, but he blessed others using the priesthood.

p. 363 – Disconnect from this world and connect with heaven;

  • Let God occupy the central priority. This does not require you to neglect your family nor your labors.
  • We prepare and then wait for His visit. He is in charge.

p. 363-366 – The brother of Jared’s faith.

p. 366 – Our righteousness is pseudo-righteousness at best; Pseudo-virtues deeply offensive to God:

  • Rising to honor a religious man;
  • Considering “swear words” is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

p. 366 – Much of our justified guilt is a gift to bring us the humility to come to God;

  • Weaknesses of the flesh will not last into the resurrection;
  • Righteousness includes accepting God’s chastening;
  • Joseph Smith and Liberty Jail: The Lord’s reasons to end self-pity.

p. 367 – The only way to prove some things is to destroy them;

  • The test is mortality itself, with our eventual coming death;
  • That is the great end to this probation.

p. 367 – The brother of Jared didn’t ask for a light show, he asked out of charity and intercession.

p. 367 – Mankind directs much abuse and disappointments towards God.

p. 368 – Reason the brother of Jared obtained faith to see the finger of the Lord is 15 stones were touched and miraculously emitted light. On the last he obtained the faith to see (16th).

p. 368 – The brother of Jared felt he intruded where men should not go when he found out the great secret that the Lord had a body “like flesh and blood”; he felt convicted it was something man should not know.

p. 369 fn. – When the Lord’s finger touched the stones He descended into a more coarse form to make the required contact and impart the power.

p. 369 – Contact required knowing, not merely believing, about the attributes of God as mentioned in the Lectures on Faith.

p. 369 – God cannot establish a covenant with one who doubts.

p. 369 – The foundation of the world required someone to redeem it before it could be created.

p. 369 – All the redeemed become sons and daughters of Christ as he gives their lives back to them, and through Him.

p. 370 – Soul as body and spirit, compared to 3 different states like solid, liquid, and gas; Difference is temperature, or “quickening.”

p. 371 – Up to that point, no man’s heart had been better prepared than the brother of Jared’s;

  • Adam saw the Lord of glory at Adam-ondi-Ahman;
  • The brother of Jared saw the pre-existent Lord as a soul as tangible as man’s;
  • The Lord ministered to him by condescending from his quickened and glorified state.

p. 372 – Christ’s ministry continues today.

p. 373 – Standing in the presence of a just and holy being makes our weaknesses obvious;

  • Our difficulties are like an anvil we cannot carry that we are to pray for God to come and lift.

p. 374 – Joseph was killed by a conspiracy of church members and an outside mob;

  • 3 or 4 generations required to pass away when Joseph was killed before God’s work would resume.
  • “I can declare to you in the name of our Lord that the day of salvation has once again arrived when God’s work among men will now continue.”

pp. 374-376 – King Lamoni’s example.

p. 376 – The father with the tormented son’s example.

p. 377 – Since faith as a grain of mustard seed is sufficient many times, its something else that blocks us: pride and vanity, such that we don’t cry unto Him.

pp. 377-378 – God’s word should be enough for us to believe.

p. 378 – The battle is the Lord’s – David and Goliath.

p. 379 – David’s five stones – we all face down our insecurities.

p. 379 – One said he would give away all his sins to know God. That is a bargain worth making, and keeping. We can make that bargain, also.

pp. 379-380 – The Lord will vindicate His promise of visiting for many in the last moments of life;

  • Alvin saw the Lord before death;
  • Stephen did also;
  • St. Francis of Assisi saw angels before death.

pp. 380 – 381 – Purity: Publican vs. Sinner;

  • Denver is a weak servant and he is the only invitation we will get.


  • Let your neck bear up your head properly;
  • Don’t have an iron neck and a brass brow.


Chapter 10 (Marriage and Family)

p. 385 – Adam and Eve together are the image of God.

p. 385 – Without marriage, you cannot be “good” in the sense used by God.

p. 386 – Heavenly Mother’s role is hidden for wise purposes.

pp. 386-387 – The Divine Mother is named Eve; Adam named her daughter Eve, too.

pp. 387-388 – All the promises regarding marriage require a husband with a wife, i.e. pass by the angels together.

p. 389 – Art of persuasion in the family.

pp. 389-390 – As soon as the spirit of the Lord withdraws another spirit steps in. This false spirit undertakes to assure us that we are right to abuse our authority.

pp. 390-391 – Children have the right to choose.

pp. 391-393 – Sacrifice & repentance introduced to Adam & Eve.

pp. 393-394 – Adam’s baptism.

p. 394 – There is no place for same-sex marriage because such a union cannot fulfill the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth.

pp. 395-396 – The role of the man is “knowledge;” The role of the woman is “wisdom.”

pp. 398-401 – Teach children.

p. 400 – “Curse words” are not breaking the commandments.

pp. 401-402 – Make your home a temple.

pp. 403-404 – “One Mighty and Strong” should be our family.

pp. 404-406 – Melchizedek & Binding Covenants vs. Good Practice w/Remnants.

pp. 406-408 – Plural marriage & D&C 132.

pp. 408-409 – Brother of Jared example, “It should be apparent the subject the Lord is asked about does not necessarily limit what the Lord can reveal in His answer.”

pp. 409-410 – Eternal marriage (between a man and a woman).

p. 410 – When women are authorized to anoint; Christ’s anointing example.

p. 410 – Washing & anointing promises to preserve functions of the body in the resurrection.

p. 410 – The temple anointings give an expectation for eternity (see LofF L7);

  • Ratified by Holy Spirit of Promise;
  • Receive our own covenants, not mimic covenants given to others.

p. 411 – Christ alone ordains what endures beyond death.

p. 412 fn. 1103 – Marriage covenant is obtained in the second estate where there are risks.

pp. 412-413 – Eternity is protected from weakness. All evil and excess should come to an end here.

p. 413 – Newly organized spirits are created by those who have become perfect, pure, holy, and like God.


pp. 414-415 – Adultery condemned.

p. 416 – If already in a plural marriage, do not take another wife, and do not abandon any wife you presently have. The children should be taught to end this practice…

pp. 417-419 – Brigham Young vs. 1835 D&C Article on Marriage; Hyrum Smith letter to church.

p. 421 – Adam and Eve were treated equally by the Lord, they lived their lives as one.

p. 422 – Joseph left a ritual testimony about Christ’s gospel, He left the rituals incomplete, and they are merely an invitation, not an end in itself.


Chapter 11 (Cutting Down the Tree of Life to Build a Wooden Bridge) (p. 423)

p. 423 – Religion is only redemptive if it is pure.

pp. 423-424 – Two stages of religion:

  1. Restoration where God reveals Himself to man;
  2. Man worships God according to the last visit with inadequacy, i.e. apostasy.

p. 424 – God wants to reconnect with us;

  • We remain connected through continual restoration
  • Organizations can only imitate God’s involvement
    • Family organizations
    • churches
  • Apostasy is the rule, restoration the exception

p. 423 fn. – Apocalypse texts of Abraham, Moses, Isaiah.

p. 425 – Institutions cannot control God.

p. 425 fn. – Oliver Cowdery charge to apostles vs. Joseph Fielding Smith denial quote.

p. 425 – St. Francis of Assisi lived the ideal inside an institutional church and was visited by an angle on Sept. 14, 1224.

p. 426 – Reformers vs. Mormon denominations;

  • Faith does not pause between restoration & apostasy, there is no statis;
  • For institutions, pragmatic choices become policy first, then doctrine;
  • God’s silence does not curtail men propounding doctrine, but often provokes it.

pp. 426-427 – Gutenburg’s Press : Catholicism :: The Internet : Mormonism.

pp. 427-430 – Catholic Dominican “Dogs of God” compared to LDS “Strengthening the Members Committee.”

pp. 430-431 – LDS evasive language & LDS version of “salvation for all.”

pp. 431-442 – To win protection under the First Amendment, it was necessary to portray plural wives as essential to the religion, which it was not;

  • It was the inconsistency of society’s reaction, a generation of adulterer’s who wanted to make polygamy illegal, that Brigham Young rightly condemned.

p. 443 – John Taylor revelation does not mention plural wives.

pp. 444-445 – Wilford Woodruff revelation about priesthood concessions.

p. 448 – Church holdings currently.

p. 449 fn. – Possible reasons to attribute priesthood ban for blacks to Joseph Smith;

  • Joseph Smith was clearly against interracial marriage between whites and blacks.

p. 449 – In context, early Mormonism was more racially tolerant than the nation at large.

pp. 449-459 – Brigham Young rhetoric that the curse on the seed of Cain was to protect the right to priesthood and prevent intermarriage…to Pres. Kimball’s declaration in the absence of revelation in the presence of societal pressure.

pp. 459-465 – Homosexuality is another topic that evidences how quickly the LDS Church changes its doctrine based on social pressure and legal trends.

pp. 465-473 – Justification for ordaining women laid in arguments by Dallin Oaks with authority borrowed from key-holders;

  • p. 468 fn. Holocaust of aborted babies designed, in part, to target an unwanted population.

pp. 473-474 – LDS Mormonism claims it will roll forth and grind to dust all other institutions, yet U.S. culture has been grinding away at LDS Mormonism’s peculiar doctrines.

pp. 474-475 – Possible reasons:

  1. The teachings were falsely portrayed in the first place and were never saving “doctrines” at all (God’s silence led the LDS Church to oversell their teachings);
  2. Some (or all) of what they taught was right and required to save mankind, but because of legal and cultural demands LDS Mormonism has been cutting down the Tree of Life to build a wooden bridge for acceptance.

p. 475 – Holy people must practice the pure ideals of the religion in a non-corporate form to avoid a change in the ideas. Ideas need to be remembered.