Lectures of Repentance Discussion for Inclusion in the Restoration Scriptures

Lectures of Repentance

 

Click to download LECTURES OF REPENTANCE 2nd edition – 2 pdf

Click to download LECTURES OF REPENTANCE 2nd edition – 2 mobi

Here is the latest, some ambiguities have been fixed. See notes after preface. If you feel inspired to review it, please pray about it and share your experiences with answers to if it should be in the new scriptures. If you notice spelling or ambiguities, please mention them and I’ll see if other parts clear things up or if clarification is needed in the text.

I think the Lectures are done and have already had a proper vetting from those in fellowships who have already read it. After hearing Denver’s process, I realized I could add in a couple clarifying words to avoid a couple ambiguities that have been bothering me. But, I’d be interested to see a vote after people read and pray about it. I’m not worried, as in if the Lord wants it in the scriptures, and the committee decides for some reason not to, He could always pull a Samuel the Lamanite and say, why aren’t they in there?

I’ll tell you a little of the process in receiving the lectures, knowing that any channel for communication can be corrupted, so this by no means should lend credence to the lectures veracity simply because of the description of how I did it: In 2011-2012 Denver and I had some conversations about the 1835 D&C…he just remarked how remarkable the document was, and I was asking what I should study next and that was his suggestion. Nothing more than that. When I looked at them, and looked at the Joseph Smith papers, I noticed in the facsimile productions of the early documents that other gospel topics were on the bindings of notebooks, but were crossed out or unused. They used the notebooks to record other revelations instead. I really wondered if Joseph Smith intended there to be more lectures in the school of the prophets. I could see the whole outline for lectures of repentance and painstakingly pulled through the info from the veil and put “dressing” or “clothing” on it with the language structure of the first lectures. The Lord told me not to be too rigid, though, as this other subject would cause departures from the structure of the first set of lectures, and I allowed him to show me when and where. Always I would start out where I left off in the paragraphs by looking at the parallel paragraphs in Lectures on Faith. There were areas where I had to “zoom in” to the outline shown me in my mind’s eye to understand the nitty gritty details. I only had about an hour a week to work on it on Sundays.
I even used references to Ken Morley’s 1840 BoM page numbers and Earliest texts D&C because I wanted a set like that. I saw the current scriptures project in my mind’s eye as well, and wrote them with the vision of them being after the Lectures on Faith. For myself, I have come to the conclusion that the doctrine in the doctrine and covenants is incomplete without the exposition on repentance, baptism in water, and becoming as a little child (sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit) that these lectures provide. Multiple other topics may have been intended for the school of the prophets, yet these last lectures concisely cover all that is needed for the category of the doctrine of Christ inclusive (see the preface I wrote).

When I read them, I learn much more…. We use them as scriptures in our family. There were times where I couldn’t see parts of what needed to be written, simply because I was unprepared to write them. After life experiences, and major changes of heart, I took up the writing after a hiatus, and something new I had learned cleared the way so the scales were off my eyes and I could resume.

Here’s the most recent update based on clarifying ambiguities:

 

Also, the following clarifications of ambiguity were added shortly after the above publishing, but in time to maintain the
2nd edition status:

Lecture 9:42 “so long as the curse pertaining to fellowship (insofar as natural consequences prevailed) and the curse
pertaining to the office of Priesthood (meaning the birthright; D&C 124:91) continued in *Canaan’s generations
thereafter”
Lecture 11:5 “First, that anger with others and vengeance are condemned.”
11:15 “by avoiding anger with others, vengeance,”
11:21 “For in as much as anger with others, vengeance,”
Catechism 11
A: “First, that anger with others and vengeance are condemned”
*“Ham’s generations thereafter” referred to Canaan’s line of descent implicitly, due to the scriptures concerning the
curse. So, to make the reference more explicit and avoid ambiguity as to which of Ham’s lines was referred to, it was
changed to “Canaan’s generations thereafter.”

March 22, 2017.

[Included after the preface in the 2nd edition]

 

Those are the kind of important ambiguities I would think need some clarification. Since the text is so close to a final format, less important ambiguities are probably resolved in context with a little thinking. Like the Lectures on Faith, there is a lot condensed into it for un-packaging. If you think there are doctrinal errors, first be open to learning something new, then take it to the Lord and like I said in the preface: “If there are mistakes in the ‘Lectures of Repentance’, then it will be proven in time by others who have more of the mind of God than I do, but it won’t be by peer review or endless debate.” I’m certainly open to correction, but don’t want things to be delayed by the interesting speculation we all do with our different opinions. If its pretty well grounded in scripture, which includes the Lectures on Faith I spring-boarded from, then I don’t see a need to change or leave out something on grounds of questions we all have. But, by all means, persuade me on hard errors if you see them, using scripture.

And so a little overview:
Lectures on Faith treats on the points of Christ’s doctrine:
faith————————–>leading to————————–>baptism of the Holy Ghost

Lectures of Repentance treats on the points:
repentance and baptism —-> baptism of fire and returning to the above path
(roughly; like a chiasm)

 

Here are my intended answers to the submission questions required by the Restoration Scripture committee:

● Have you gone to the Lord to verify that what you received is from Him? Yes.

● Have you asked the Lord if what you have written is correct? Yes.

● Have you asked the Lord if what you have written is intended for you/your family only or is for a wider audience? If it’s for a wider audience, who is that audience? Yes, the world.

● Have you asked the Lord if you should submit this to be added to the scriptures? Yes. See explanation of how I received them above, and the future vision in my mind’s eye that I had of their inclusion before the scripture project was even contemplated.

● Why now? Through study of the Restoration, prayer, and revelation, I have come to the conclusion that the doctrine in the doctrine and covenants is incomplete without the exposition on repentance, baptism in water, and becoming as a little child (sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit) that these lectures provide. Multiple other topics may have been intended for the school of the prophets, yet these last lectures concisely cover all that is needed for the category of the doctrine of Christ inclusive (see the preface I wrote).

● Why haven’t you done anything with the message before this? I have published this and it has been available for 7 months.

● What is it about the scripture project that provokes you to speak up now? It is the fulfillment of what I had envisioned in writing them for the Lord.

● What have you done before this to teach or preach the message? I have a blog at cachevalleybaptisms.org, have resigned from the LDS church so as to preach, teach, and baptize without hindrance, have received a call from the Lord on Sept. 25, 2014 to preach his gospel with power, after being sustained in a fellowship by 7 women, including my wife, on Sept. 21, 2014 (see the testimony I received at http://www.cachevalleybaptisms.org/2015/09/our-testimony-to-fellow-latter-day.html ). I waited patiently for a year after that testimony for my wife to be fully at peace before commencing my ministry. We resigned on August 23, 2015 as a family, united. I baptized several people through the bornofwater.org site. I have preached the message of the Lectures of Repentance consistently to the [several fellowships]. I have gone on web TV to do an interview and publicized them there, along with the views present about repentance. See http://www.cachevalleybaptisms.org/2017/01/heart-of-the-matter-interview.html .

● If it were not for the scripture project would you ever have publicized this? I already have.

● What sacrifices have you made to preach the restoration to others? We have lost our church membership and community. See posts mentioned above.

● How long have you been preaching, sacrificing and teaching others the message of the restoration? Since Christmas, 1998, when I first received revelation from the Lord to serve Him.

 

I have moved the responses back and forth from emails into the comments section below and put the appropriate dates on them.

 

UPDATE 4/8/17

Two week review done on LoR, about 50/50 response. Submitted for review by scripture project.

LoR_Submission_4-8-17

 

26 thoughts on “Lectures of Repentance Discussion for Inclusion in the Restoration Scriptures”

  1. John on 3/6/17:

    Hi Brian,

    Tonight your book bubbled up to the top of the stack and I had time to skim the entire book quickly. I really liked it and may take the time to study it in depth. You’ve done an amazingly good job and obviously had inspiration to produce it.

    The timing was excellent because just recently the Gospel Doctrine lesson was on repentance. They quoted some newer version of the Five R’s of repentance and really made a strong point for Remorse as a required step. They told of a young man rejected from serving a mission because, even though he had turned from sin to God, that wasn’t enough without Godly sorrow. I thought how I taught the word of wisdom in Brazil where all baptized repented of having been drinking the national drink, coffee. Not a one showed any remorse! But all qualified for baptism.

    So I went home and studied it all day. I found that 2 Cor. 7:10 that godly sorrow worketh repentence had been greatly misquoted. It can lead to repentance but is not a required step at all. The one thing I found that is a sign that someone has repented is that they will both confess their sin and also forsake it (D&C 58:43).

    Good job, an excellent contribution,
    Thanks,
    John

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  2. Jay on 3/27/17:

    [I composed the following last night before I retired for bed around 9:30pm, then slept on it before deciding to send it to you this morning]

    Brian,

    Regarding the suggestion to include Lectures of Repentance to the body of scripture. Please accept my criticism in the spirit it is given, from my heart to yours. My first impression is that this needs to wait. The phrase “not in haste” comes to mind.

    There is much to consider before the September conference. I myself am on a schedule to read and absorb as much as possible with the new scripture project to focus on the content of what is being proposed.

    I began reading your Lectures of Repentance when the book was first published, but did not get far into it before I was pulled a different direction. I understood the work to be an effort to take off where Joseph Smith left off on the Lectures on Faith, starting with the next lecture number in sequence and imitating the language and pattern of the Lectures on Faith, as if it were a continuation of the same. At the time I remember struggling with a feeling that, although you were attempting to elaborate on the next topic in line in the doctrine of Christ (i.e. from the topic of faith to the topic of repentance), the pattern seemed to copy the verse structure and model of what Joseph Smith had written, weaving within that framework the insights you gained in your study of the topic of Repentance. From one trying to understand the information, the arrangement of the structure felt clumsy, as if the important concepts you were trying to convey got wrapped into trying to fit within the framework and verse structure of the Lectures on Faith. I wondered if the concepts might more easily be communicated without trying to model that framework. I also found myself internally conflicted on how to accept this information. You did not communicate that this was revelation, so my impression was that this was an exercise for you to better wrap your mind around the important topic of repentance. Although clearly inspired, and a spiritual experience for helping you and your family understand repentance better, personally, without regarding this with more careful and prayerful consideration, I have difficulty in ranking this information in the category of “Scripture”. I am grateful that you have shared your insights and have taken the effort to publish the information making it available to a wider audience to gain from your insight. I don’t mean to sound critical of your work and I admit I’m being quick to judge. After all, I have not read the entire book yet.

    Where you have asked for input, my suggestion would be to put off submitting the Lectures of Repentance to the body of scripture at this time. There is much information for the body of fellowships to be considering in these short 5 months we have to review the material that has been presented and I’m afraid that if the Lectures of Repentance truly belong in the body of scripture, they will be prematurely rejected before given chance to be carefully considered first.

    Your brother in fellowship,

    Jay

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    1. Thanks Jay!

      That’s the type of feedback the process is supposed to elicit, and it’s well appreciated.

      Maybe some of the description I gave in how I wrote them will answer some of your questions and concerns with format:

      Here is how I described it to someone else: I think the Lectures are done and have already had a proper vetting from those in fellowships who have already read it. After hearing Denver’s process, I realized I could add in a couple clarifying words to avoid a couple ambiguities that have been bothering me. But, I’d be interested to see a vote in [one of the fellowships] after people read and pray about it. I’m not worried, as in if the Lord wants it in the scriptures, and the committee decides for some reason not to, He could always pull a Samuel the Lamanite and say, why aren’t they in there? I could see the whole outline for lectures of repentance and painstakingly pulled through the info from the veil and put “dressing” or “clothing” on it with the language structure of the first lectures. The Lord told me not to be too rigid, though, as this other subject would cause departures from the structure of the first set of lectures, and I allowed him to show me when and where. Always I would start out where I left off in the paragraphs by looking at the parallel paragraphs in Lectures on Faith. There were areas where I had to “zoom in” to the outline shown me in my mind’s eye to understand the nitty gritty details. I only had about an hour a week to work on it on Sundays.

      I even used references to Ken Morley’s 1840 BoM page numbers and Earliest texts D&C because I wanted a set like that. I saw the current scriptures project in my mind’s eye as well, and wrote them with the vision of them being after the Lectures on Faith. For myself, I have come to the conclusion that the doctrine in the doctrine and covenants is incomplete without the exposition on repentance, baptism in water, and becoming as a little child (sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit) that these lectures provide. Multiple other topics may have been intended for the school of the prophets, yet these last lectures concisely cover all that is needed for the category of the doctrine of Christ inclusive. (see the preface I wrote) When I read them, I learn much more. We use them as scriptures in our family. There were times where I couldn’t see parts of what needed to be written, simply because I was unprepared to write them. After life experiences, and major changes of heart, I took up the writing after a hiatus, and something new I had learned cleared the way so the scales were off my eyes and I could resume.

      But, you may certainly also have a point on timing. I am waiting two weeks to let as many as possible read and pray about them in depth before submitting, and someone on the scripture committee is reviewing them as well before formal submission. They’ve been published for 7 months already, and in my preface I did say they were received through the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

      In fact, with your permission, after the two weeks, I may just submit them with all the notes of feedback like your own, and allow them to decide along with other comments if they want to “punt” on it. I have thought for a long time there may need to be a natural process of lectures given to explain the lectures and get them more exposure in a teaching setting, and that God will see to it to do what he wants with them without any other pushing on my part. Just teaching. But, if God wants them in there on this round for this vote, then good inspiration like your own will bear out a proper response to them.

      (But I’ll also pray about the option to not submit them at all)

      -Brian

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      1. Jay on 3/27/17:

        You have my permission to use my response as you see fit.

        I admit I have not taken the Lectures of Repentance with the serious consideration that it is due. I will need to read through it with a more critical eye when I have time.

        God bless,

        Jay

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  3. In answer to the response from Jay, “From one trying to understand the information, the arrangement of the structure felt clumsy, as if the important concepts you were trying to convey got wrapped into trying to fit within the framework and verse structure of the Lectures on Faith. I wondered if the concepts might more easily be communicated without trying to model that framework,” the following may suffice from my description above: “I could see the whole outline for lectures of repentance and painstakingly pulled through the info from the veil and put ‘dressing’ or ‘clothing’ on it with the language structure of the first lectures. The Lord told me not to be too rigid, though, as this other subject would cause departures from the structure of the first set of lectures, and I allowed him to show me when and where.” Also, the idea to use the same structure as the Lectures on Faith came from a truth I had learned studying the Bible, that an ancient form of teaching was employed there using repetition and type-scenes that brought clarity to a subject by repeating a known format, and then deviating from that format to sharply highlight the message to be gleaned (see chapter 3 and 5 of the Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter…the audience expects a certain set of events to unfold when a story follows a pattern used before, such as the Creation drama, or the New Year Rites…when the new instance of the pattern deviates on some particular, the audience notices it instantly and the point is driven home. For example, in the Creation, light and dark are separated on the first day, and good triumphs over evil, so later, when the Savior comes on the scene and brings life and healing, everyone is surprised when the champion – Christ – is killed and defeated first, then rises from the grave. The ritual combat is replayed, but enhanced with an important detail and deviation). This was confirmed in a second witness when I observed the ceremonies in the temple and the Masons, where ceremonial elements were repeated at higher orders, with slightly different explanations, “for a higher and holier purpose” etc. Although it takes some getting used to in the first two lectures, the deviations become quite instructive in the Lectures of Repentance, and the subject of repentance is paralleled in principle as the other side of the coin to the path of faith, as the path that gets back to the path. Give the lectures a fair shake and I believe you will see the same inspiration as I have.

    -Brian

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  4. Cindy on 3/27/17:

    Oh! Way to go Brian Zang!  I would like to see their faces when they realize God has been working with more than “them!” I am being light hearted.

    Your lectures are worthy of consideration and acceptance in my humble opinion.

    Cindy

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  5. Brian,

    Please take this in the spirit of constructive criticism. This is my personal honest feedback.

    I’ve tried two times to get through your “lectures”, last year and this week. Both times I haven’t been able to get through the first one. I’ll have to admit it may be petty but the language and style of writing is off putting. This is the year 2017. We speak English not Old English. Knowing this was written in the past few years makes me wonder about your motivation in writing them the way you did mimicking the same format and style as the “Lectures on Faith”. I can only assume your intentions are good as I know you have a good heart. The way it was written made it very difficult to get through the language and understand what you were trying to say. If that were all I would have charged on through making the best of what is presented. However, as I considered the content I could not see the conclusions and teachings matching up with scripture. The spirit did not verify the truthfulness of what I read.

    I have no doubt this has been helpful to you, your family, and friends. But, in comparing what I read with scripture it does not fill me with light and understand. I wish you luck on this adventure.

    Sincerely,

    Ken

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    1. Hi Ken, thanks for your input! If you haven’t seen the response to a similar concern, check out above starting with “-In answer to the response from Jay, ‘From one trying to understand the information, …”. The language is no different than the Lectures on Faith and we get through that just fine. I agree that modern language can be a benefit for a revelation, but I chose to cast it in the framework and style of the Lectures for the reasons mentioned above, and to avoid conflicting with the flow of extending the previous lectures.

      Also, I’d be very interested to hear specifics about which parts you think are not matching up with scriptures, as most of it is quoting scripture and restating what the scriptures say in a format that is helpful and brings many points together in a whole. It would help others reviewing the work to consider your arguments, and properly weigh their own input and prayer on whether or not it should be submitted for consideration, as well as myself to consider if there are doctrinal and teaching errors in it.

      Also, please inform the rest of us what you wonder about my motivations, so either I can answer them and clear up concerns, or others can determine if there is merit to suspicious motives. I appreciate you assuming the best of me, and I can assure you my only desire is to please the Lord and do the things He has asked.

      I can relate to the format being difficult because I had the same reaction to the Lectures on Faith years ago. We all have welcomed the LoF as valuable since, and have all become more familiar with them, so perhaps we have forgotten what an initial reaction to them would be as well. The first two lectures of Joseph Smith’s lectures were very hard for me to get through, but I persisted and found it worth the effort. Maybe that is the fault of Sidney Rigdon suggesting a theological series similar to the the seminaries of his day. Nonetheless, Joseph Smith did wonders with the format. It may be that these lectures suffer from a similar phenomenon, and it may be that I botched it, and the choice to use a similar format would mean there are similar downsides. But, the doctrinal problem you think is evident is a much more important concern, and I would very much like to hear what you have to say on that front.

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      1. Brian,

        If I get more time I will get into the matter of my understanding of the teachings. That will likely not be for a few weeks because of work load. It will take some time to do it justice.

        Also, I have read your previous comments and those of others. I understand what it is your trying to say but it doesn’t make it any easier to understand the actual document. All it provides is the background as to why you did it that way. It doesn’t change anything.

        Ken

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  6. For the benefit of others who are reviewing this, I’ll provide an outline of Lecture 8 (the first lecture in the series, because it follows lecture 7 of the Lectures on Faith). I’ll just start here since this is the only lecture Ken had issues with above, as he mentions its only as far as he got.

    Here’s the outline:

    Repentance is a turning away from sin and a turning towards faith in God. It is immediate.

    Repentance motivates someone to reconcile with others…their fellow man and with God, although reconciliation is a separate function. Therefore, repentance is a principle of reconciliation because it leads to it. The Q & A of lecture 8 includes the example of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah for proof of concept: “And they traveled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church: confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them.” Book of Mormon, page 202 1830 ed, Alma 27:8.

    The effects which flow from repentance are immediate (forgiveness), and they are discussed in lecture 14.

    There are two principles of redemptive power. The first is that the Atonement saves all who are not under penalty of a broken law. It resolves the problem of original guilt from Adam’s fall. All who are not accountable will be redeemed. The second principle of redemptive power is all who are accountable and break the law will need to repent first before being reconciled with God.

    I am having trouble understanding Ken’s difficulty in grasping the content, because in my experience, even little children have understood this lecture as plain and precious. However, Jay above finds the same off-putting problems with it, and I can only guess that preference over format prejudices the reading of it. Still, it’s worth considering when more than one have that reaction. I’ll let other readers judge as well. I still re-read it and find it full of light and knowledge. It still stirs my soul as if I’m reading something new for the first time and learning from it.

    Like Joseph Smith, I’m willing to answer before God for every principle advanced in the Lectures of Repentance. I’m still looking forward to hearing Ken’s responses when he is less busy in the case that I am in error. I will happily answer for it.

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  7. Jay on 4/9/17:

    Some other notes that I took in addition to the handwritten ones I left with you:

    Subject of repentance should be simplified. Catholics have complexified it and turned it into a tool to control masses. Though worthy of study, to avoid the dangers of past abuses, I shy from the treatment to make it appear unnecessarily complex.

    The way I see it, repentance is more than a return to something. It can be turning to something from which we never neccisarily strayed in the first place. Did the prodigal son return to a robe and a ring and a feast, a kingship that he did not have before?

    Summary of Lecture 8
    Repentance is second principal of revealed religion. Repentance defined as the turning away from sin, and the return to things hoped for; the re-confrontation of things not seen. (modified from Heb 11:1), or in other words, a return to revealed religion.
    Emphasis on reconciliation from error in ourselves and return to former good pursuits.
    In addition to being a principal of reconciliation, repentance is the second of two principals of redemptive power. The first principal of redemptive power is explained as the power of the Atonement to redeem those who have fallen from heaven without sufficient intelligence through no fault of their own, and hence are unaccountable for their actions. The second principal of redemptive power is that through repentance, God redeems fallen accountable man through the Atonement of Christ.

    Summary of Lecture 9
    Object that a person turns away from as well as turning towards in order to accomplish repentance. We turn away from sin and turn toward Christ.
    Treatment of the history of temptations of the Devil, origins of sinful nature. Man given laws and commandments. Opposition and agency outlined. Fallen man afforded opportunity for redemption. Great sacrifice of God’s Son provides way for mankind to return to His presence.
    Satan’s covenant with Cain, works of darkness and abominations (secret murder, plots, oaths, covenants and plans of awful wickedness) introduced into the world. Mankind becomes carnal, sensual, and devilish. Tracing of works of darkness and temptations to sin through the ages of the patriarchs, to Abraham, and continues to present day.
    When man yields to temptation, they begin to dwindle in unbelief and turn from faith. How man loses sight of God as the object of their faith through temptations of the devil who is the source of all temptation, who by following terminates in the most miserable hell and eternal damnation.

    Summary of Lecture 10
    Three things necessary in order to excersise faith unto repentance.
    First, idea that one has actually sinned and idea of an infinite atonement
    Second, a correct idea of one’s nakedness, uncleanness and shame as well as correct idea of Atonement’s nature and infinite scope
    Third, an actual knowledge that the course of reconciliation (repentance) one is pursuing is according to will of the Son.
    Explores the nakedness, uncleanness, and shame of man in reference to laws, commandments and judgements that man is tempted to disobey, to show the grounds upon which man is condemned.
    A treatment of God’s commandments (10 commandments) as found in Bible, D&C, and BofM. These are identified as the “second commandments” that Alma speaks of in Alma 12:37.

    Summary of Lecture 11
    The real design God had in making us aquatinted with the Atonement was that the spirit of the law enables us to have faith in Christ.
    Examines the spirit of the law as given by Christ in the sermon on the mount, Book of Mormon version.

    Summary of Lecture 12
    Doctrine and gospel of Christ outlined, taken from 3 Nephi 11.

    Summary of Lecture 13
    Here is presented a parsing of Lecture of Faith 6, through the lens of Repentance. Where Lecture on Faith 6 states that a knowledge that the course of life which one is pursuing is according to God’s will, This Lecture of Repentance states that persons must have a knowledge that the course of reconciliation (and repentance) that they are pursuing is according to the will of the Son, in order that they may be enabled to exercise faith in him unto forgiveness and redemption. A similar comparing of each verse of Lecture 6 of Lectures on Faith, juxtaposed with a corolary of repentance, is presented throughout this entire lecture.

    Summary of Lecture 14
    Includes a treatment of the necessity for 2 baptisms, one at age of 8 representing transition from age of innocence to accountability, and another, as given by Christ in 3 Nephi 11:37-38, representing a transition from our accountability back to a childlike innocence, being a necessary component of repentance and our ultimate redemption.
    Concludes with these words from Mormon, “…repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law. And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.” (Moroni 8:24-26)

    Jay

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    1. Thanks Jay! I really appreciate your vetting these, and I see your reactions on ambiguities as really valuable. Chris on the scripture committee had the same concern as you about simplification and I’ll forward you the back and forth response I think you’ll be interested in.

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  8. Chris on 4/10/17:

    Brian,

    I began to consider your submission on behalf of the committee and immediately hit a snag that I want to bring to your attention:

    Your Preface establishes the following argument:

    If there are mistakes in the “Lectures of Repentance”, then it will be proven in time by others who have more of the mind of God than I do, but it won’t be by peer review or endless debate. If what is written is sufficient to outline the true points of Christ’s doctrine concerning repentance, as it follows the inspired conclusions and expounds upon the “Lectures on Faith,” then so be it.

    Among other things, this conflicts directly with Christ warned us, “Verily, verily I say unto you that this is my doctrine…And whoso shall declare more or less than this and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil…”  We are reluctant to pass along for a vote something we know (from comments and submissions we have been receiving) that this will become a major issue and point of criticism. The criticism will not be of you, but of the committee for passing it along for public comment.

    Second, the discussion you have provided is lengthy and detailed. In contrast, in the scriptures, the process of repentance involved recognizing the truth and turning towards it. Then forgiveness happens pretty much instantaneously. Alma the Younger, the woman caught in adultery, Paul, these are all examples of that instant of correction. It is such a simple process. To write over 100 pages on something that simple runs the risk of crossing the line that the Lord warned us not to cross.

    Because of the potential for many submission items not gaining sufficient support (and your seems likely to fit in that category), we have other places where research material will be made available. Depending on how your submission goes, that is another possibility for you to consider. It would be available for public review and for what benefit readers obtain from it. But it would not become part of the published canon.

    Please consider these points and then let us know if you still want your lectures included on the Submissions List. If it is included, we may consider putting this email comment with it so the criticism is directed at you rather than having it presented as receiving an endorsement by the committee.

    Chris

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    1. Hi Chris,

      I understand your concern. The comment in the preface is an “if” that needs to be proven before it is dismissed. I did not declare more or less than the simple doctrine of Christ. The whole lectures support the only view that repentance is a turning away from sin and a turning toward God, with forgiveness immediately. As Joseph Smith wrote 100 pages on the simple doctrine of faith, and the topics that faith brushed up against (what to have faith in, what God’s character and attributes are so you know you are having faith in the right God, and so on), so the lectures of repentance treat on the history of man’s departure from God, the nature of the commandments, the letter of the various laws God has given, the spirit of those laws as outlined in the Sermon on the mount, and the sincerity of the broken heart and contrite spirit needed so that the simple turning towards God is done in truth, and the doctrine of Christ on baptism as strictly quoted from 3 Nephi 11. So, the contrast you mention in scriptures is directly contradicted by the Lectures on Faith themselves, and I don’t see the issue. I use the example of Alma the Younger in just the way you did. A risk that is already recognized in my preface is only dangerous if I actually cross that line. I am ready to answer for everything put in there, and would welcome the conversation to include your own criticisms. I’m happy to include ambiguity clarifications and all the fears and concerns people have and allow the lectures to be torn apart in the grueling vetting process. Let’s continue a conversation about whether it is timely to include these on the submissions list now, but I believe at the moment that it is. Let me know if a further vetting by yourself and the committee yields any different results, but I understand your time is stretched thin.

      One other point…the idea that the repentance is a principle of reconciliation is no more than the what Joseph Smith did for faith, saying it is a principle of action. The good works produced by faith are visible fruits of faith, but faith itself is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of unseen things. It leads to action, but action and good works are not the simple point of faith itself. Neither is reconciliation repentance itself, but repentance is merely the turning towards God, as it born out in what I wrote. The scriptures, like with Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah, show that their repentance inspired them to reconcile, but their reconciliation was not the repentance itself.

      -Brian

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  9. Chris on 4/11/17:

    Brian,

    There are doctrinal errors in your work and we therefore can’t foward this to the Submissions List for consideration by the main body. We are too busy with our responsibilities to get into a detailed discussion about the errors. I may be able to take up a lengthy discussion about them after the project is completed, but not before.

    Chris

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    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for yours and the teams’ consideration. Best wishes and God speed in finishing the project.

      I have no pressing desire to lock you in a debate of great length about the errors. If you or others see errors, I mentioned the possibility in my preface anyway. There are things given by the Lord in the lectures that are very valuable. It would be worthwhile for the errors, if any, to be corrected by revelation at a later date by someone with more of the mind of God than me in my unredeemed state.

      Some may not like the selection of format, but I do believe Joseph Smith intended there to be more expounded on in that format, and I believe God wants to give us this information this way as a gift and portion of his word. Time will tell, and God will bear out the truth in it if He sees fit. I have no qualms about the delay in timing. The day I submitted it was sufficient for broaching the subject, and God knows my limitations and He can do His work just fine without need for haggling. You’ll have no antagonism from me. Perhaps it was only for me to get the ball rolling.

      -Brian

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      1. Jeff on 4/12/17:

        Hi Brian,

        Thank you for your kind reply. I intend to personally take the time to investigate further, as my schedule permits. To help me with that, could you please explain how you expect mistakes to be corrected? It seems to violate D&C 121 principles for us to be able to correct anything, because does it not set as a de facto rule for corrections that we (or I) have more of the Spirit or Mind of God than you do? That’s a rough thing to claim in your written document, and it makes persuasion very difficult because it is a challenge, rather than an invitation.

        This is the first mistake, ironically, that I found. Here’s the phrase in question:

        “If there are mistakes in the “Lectures of Repentance”, then it will be proven in time by others who have more of the mind of God than I do, but it won’t be by peer review or endless debate.”

        Would you consider striking that sentence altogether? It essentially ends even the possibility of a mutual give-and-take discussion.

        Also, in regards to the “true points of Christ’s doctrine concerning repentance…”, would you be willing to remove this phrase from your product, since it appears to contradict what Christ says about how very limited His doctrine really is (and anything claiming to be more cometh of evil)? Denver has taught that the Lord is very circumspect with how he uses the word doctrine. So much so, in fact, that we are proposing changing the name of the Doctrine and Covenants.

        Thank you.

        In advance, please excuse our tardiness in responding and our shortness in response, as we are so very busy with so many things that it just takes time to come back around to certain topics.

        Love you brother,

        Jeff

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      2. Hi Jeff,

        I’m sorry it came off as a challenge in the preface…it was sincere given the fact that I haven’t seen Christ yet, and portions are written explaining the topic of being redeemed fully, which hasn’t happened for me yet. I wrote those portions through prayer and strugglings in the spirit and allowed for the possibility that someone like Denver or others who have seen Christ could elaborate more fully than what was given to me, but I based it on scriptures and the spirit given.

        I would be willing to strike the whole preface unless there are portions that are helpful. The peer review and endless debate was meant only to highlight the corrosive form of that in the scholarly world. The scripture project has included a method that has been much better, and I can see the problem the words I chose cause in that regard.

        I share the concern about the doctrine of Christ. That can be striken as well if the preface should still be included in some form. It was helpful to see Chris’ concern and be able to explain that the simple doctrine on repentance is all that is really stated in the lectures, and the rest is teachings of the gospel that repentance brushes up against, like Joseph Smith did with the simple topic of faith. I suppose what I meant by “points” were all the other teachings that the doctrine affects, but Christ might’ve meant “points” to be limited to the points in the doctrine themselves.

        Language! haha.

        Thanks bro,
        -Brian

        I wonder if the Earliest Text name “book of commandments” is more fitting, with sections “on doctrine” and sections of commandments and revelations. “On Doctrine” as in talking about doctrine, not declaring it beyond Christ’s statements.

        If after more of a review you think there should be a vote on them, perhaps you can remove the whole preface and only include the text of the lectures only and say something like:

        It is proposed that a set of lectures reviewing scriptural teachings concerning repentance, similar to Joseph Smith’s lectures on faith, be considered for inclusion in the canon. These have been submitted by someone [you can put my name here if needed] who has not consulted with Denver Snuffer on the work, but who has felt by revelation they ought to be considered. If they are worthwhile to consider for inclusion, corrections by the public are welcome, if needed, to make this a joint effort of our ability to receive the Lord’s will concerning them. If this effort is too lengthy to be completed before the September sustaining date, they may be considered for a future edition.

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      3. Jeff on 4/12/17:

        Good deal.

        As for the title, the phrase “book of my commandments” was used by the Lord about 2 years prior to the publication of the Book of Commandments, so it wasn’t necessarily the Lord’s title. But I agree that we should have “Commandments” in there somewhere since He used that word.

        Thanks!
        Jeff

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  10. Jay on 4/20/17:

    Dear fellowship members,

    I managed to read through Brian’s Lectures of Repentance. No offense to Brian, but I found the material very difficult to get through. I took lots of notes and raised some questions, as well as concerns about the proposal to include them in the scriptures. I sat down with Brian for a couple of hours and we had a good discussion. I found that when we talked, Brian was able to convey things in a way to shed light on the subject of repentance that I did not get from reading the material.

    I have asked Brian if he will be willing to teach the lectures in a class setting at his home where the material can be presented in a way that is more easy to grasp and allow for questions and answers as well.

    Brian’s first lesson/discussion on Lecture 8 of Repentance, will be this Sunday, Apr 23rd, at 2:00 pm

    Jay

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