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

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Lectures of Repentance Submission Conclusions

Here are my conclusions after lengthy study of the submission process surrounding the Lectures of Repentance. First: a review. Here are some of our past statements about our involvement with the Lord on these lectures:

“We testify that He has asked us to write these lectures and share them this way,” Lectures of Repentance, Preface.

This statement holds true. Only, take note of exactly what we said:

“These lectures have been prepared carefully through the application of the spirit of prophecy and revelation as best as we have been able to do so through fasting and prayer, but I could not have written them without having so complete a framework from which to draw from, as laid down by the Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith, Jr. I do not count myself his equal. I haven’t seen the Lord. I see through a glass darkly at this point, but through the assistance of the “Lectures on Faith,” which have acted as a Urim and Thummim, or lights and perfections, the “Lectures of Repentance” have developed in the most natural way, like the dews on the grass in the morning. There was given line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little, oftentimes only one or two phrases or paragraphs being produced in a day, and it caused me to marvel.” Preface, Lectures of Repentance

The way which the Lord asked me in answer to my prayers was through impressions (not personal visits), and to write that I see through a glass darkly. The process was a careful application, but not devoid of human weakness.

Next, here are the answers I gave to the scripture committee:

 

Scripture Committee Submission Criteria Question and Answers:

  1. Have you gone to the Lord to verify that what you received is from Him? Yes.
  2. Have you asked the Lord if what you have written is correct? Yes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Those are a sufficient portion of the questions that deal with the most controversial aspects. They are still true as well in the context of how I presented information in the Preface:

“Judge for yourselves if the thoughts contained in these lectures are from the mind of God or not. Test them point by point. If the ‘Lectures on Faith’ give us the springboard from which to know about God, and then advise us how to begin to know Him in reality and not just in theory, then it will be as easy to test if these lectures are good or not, as it is to tell the day from the night. They testify of Christ, and I testify of Him by the small portion of the Holy Ghost within me, and from what limited knowledge I have of God at this point in my life as I have conversed with Him through a veil only. 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.”

Someone on the scripture committee read the line, “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,” as very confrontational. It wasn’t intended to be. It was an honest remark and expectation that chosen vessels of the Lord would have to vet what I’ve written and make corrections to parts I don’t have experience with. Those who know the Lord personally, who have seen Him, and have a commission to determine the correct tests for what is scriptural and what is not can more accurately judge those parts I wrote to the best of my ability as an unredeemed person. My efforts on these lectures equate more to Sidney Rigdon’s contributions to the Lectures on Faith than to Joseph Smith’s, and I freely admit that in the tenor of the comments in the preface. My answers to the above four questions to the scripture committee about my thoughts on the Lord’s answers to my prayers are also seeing through a glass darkly. Here is what I have learned since.

 

John Pratt’s article as a sign on my submission:

“Today is 1 Dog on the Sacred Round, the day on which the laws of Moses found in Deuteronomy were given. It is also one of the holiest days this year, being holy on 8 sacred calendars. To celebrate, an article identifying the laws we are supposed to be following has been posted at http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/2017/laws_of_god.html .

Enjoy (or repent, whichever applies),
John”

 

Brian Zang
Apr 8

to John

“Wow! I just submitted the Lectures of Repentance for consideration to be included in the new restoration scriptures project and I had no idea of the significance of the day!”

The above interaction shows the anecdotal signs I believe in that prove to me that I did the right thing in submitting the material for consideration in the scriptures. But, I do not pretend to know all the reasons why, nor do I assume more about their meaning than the simple idea that I should take note and ponder their meaning. The scripture project is an evolving thing, and we all needed to go through this process to get to the point we are at now in discovering the scope the Lord wants on the project. My submission was part of that learning process, and it was good to bring these things to the light to be scrutinized.

 

Negative Reactions and My Response:

One commenter wrote that the language and style were off-putting, and found it contradicted scripture. He didn’t get around to mentioning exactly how. I wasn’t persuaded. Others have read it, including children, and been benefited. Perhaps it needed the benefit of presentations like I have started on this blog, explaining my motivations, and relating the scriptures and the message. Many have had the same reaction to the Lectures on Faith until they have become more popular of late, but the style is more like a teacher’s manual than it is simple statements. The message is plain, but it covers a lot of area in a small space. My use of older language (although it is not thee’s and thou’s, but similar technical sounding theological arguments), was before Denver Snuffer’s Testimony of John project highlighted that it was ok to cast scripture in modern language that wasn’t more formal, but in addition to that, the format of the lectures is instructive for providing a familiar layout.

A close friend of mine had some thoughts settle on him overnight after I mentioned the request for feedback about submitting them. He thought the format was clumsy, but he read through the material. He felt the timing was off, and more important parts of the scripture project needed to be focused on. I took his input seriously. He has since asked me to elaborate on the meanings in the Lectures in video / audio presentations, and I will continue to do that. I wasn’t persuaded about his comment that it could seem like I was being presumptuous. I think the Lord can speak for his own involvement in the Lectures and I never intended to be presumptuous. I just know God was involved in some way, and as I said, I see through a glass darkly on exactly how and why. All I can do is expound on a teaching level with the best of my understanding.

Which brings me to the scripture committee and the scope of the scripture project: They have been kind and I think we have learned similarly that less is more at this point in providing a set of scriptures that the Lord can accept, and in return give us a covenant in relation to it. I do not believe that seeing the Lord is the only criteria for judging if a person is a valid source of revelation. So, it is possible that the Lectures belong in the scriptures in some format, whether just as I have written them, or in a corrected form. But, we don’t have a good set of criteria that we have all learned as a group for what qualifies. Seeing the Lord is important in some way in relation to scripture writing, but he sometimes gives words to many different people in different ways. I don’t know to judge what rises to a level of scripture beyond saying it should conform to God’s character and attributes as outlined in the Lectures on Faith. But, who but those who really know God face to face can say they understand enough of God’s character to write legitimate scripture? For someone like myself, I can write by applying the spirit of prophesy and revelation as best as I can, but it takes someone more knowledgeable of God than me to judge if I did that well enough.

 

Impressions from Answers to Prayer

In conclusion, I haven’t been persuaded by the naysayers. Their arguments have some validity, which I have weighed out, but in the end, something was off in each of their arguments against the Lectures. They are just as blind as I am on these points, it seems. I have labored to try and dispel misunderstanding and ambiguities.

However, neither have I been persuaded by the praise I have received. Inspired teaching has reached the level of scripture at times. These lectures could be that. But, just because I am outside of the scripture committee circle, and just because I have taken long efforts to write this, doesn’t mean it ought to be in the scriptures on those points alone. Both of those praises have been advanced by some who have not even read what I wrote yet.

Later, I was talking to a friend about the process of submitting them, and he didn’t take a stance on the Lectures. While we were talking, I distinctly felt impressions in my mind about my lack of qualification to say whether these Lectures should be in the scriptures or not. They may be worthy of that designation, but in keeping with my preface that I see through a glass darkly, I am still a blind guide. I just don’t know if they should be, and I’ve only ever said I believe they should, and I envisioned them that way. I have fulfilled the obligation I had with my best impressions that I should submit them, and I have learned a little bit more as I’ve gone along. The Lectures seem to be outside of the scope of this scripture project, although not for the reasons I have heard from others so far. I can even answer the recorder’s questions positively enough to think they should be admitted on those grounds, but given the other impressions I’ve had about my lack of ability to say they should be accepted, I wonder if I am flawed in my judgment of those areas as well, or those criteria are insufficient (on their own) for determining scripture. I think we all still have a lot to learn, and these are interesting questions worth deep pondering for sure. God bless. Below are the answers to the recorder’s questions (which were put in the area on his site designated as his personal, non-official, thoughts), but again, I am not persuaded to take those answers and use them to promote the inclusion of the Lectures of Repentance in the scriptures.

 

Recorder’s Personal Writings about the Criteria, and My Answers (But Still Not Sufficient)

. Does the scripture emphasize a hierarchal or institutional structure rather than an equality among individuals? If the answer is yes, cast it out.

No, the lectures don’t do that
. Is the scripture to or about an individual without any other relevance to the body of the church as a whole? If the answer is yes, cast it out.

No, the lectures are for a general audience, as all mankind that is accountable needs repentance.
. Is the scripture revelatory or doctrinal in such a way that advances the reader’s knowledge of Jesus Christ and his desire to keep His commandments? If the answer is yes, keep it in.

Yes, the desire to keep his commandments is clearly evident in the intent to believe in God’s character and attributes and the connection that is made in the lectures between how keeping his commandments is a natural outcome of believing in the perfections of his character and attributes.
. Is the scripture historical without revelatory or doctrinal content? Nephi had two books; one on which he wrote the heads of the things given of the Spirit, which he should teach the people, and the other which contained the more part of the doings of the people and their wars and contentions. Same principle here. If the answer is yes, cast it out.

No, the lectures are based on scriptural teachings and the doctrine of Christ concerning spiritual matters.
. Does the scripture teach Terrestrial and Celestial principles, practices, and doctrines? If the answer is yes, keep it in. We need all this we can get.

Not sure what the exact differences are, or what definitions this question includes.
. Does the scripture contain anything pertaining to a covenant of land for the development of the New Jerusalem? If the answer is yes, keep it in.

N/A
. Does the scripture develop understanding of the Patriarchal Order? If the answer is yes, keep it in, because that which was in the beginning concerning government and priesthood will also be part of this covenant.

N/A
. Does the scripture develop a more complete understanding of the ordinances of Baptism, Sacrament, Marriage and Priesthood Ordination applicable to this new dispensation?

Yes, Keith in fact said there would be more revelation on the two types of baptism and Lecture 14 speaks on this topic and references Keith’s post on that idea. The approaches to baptism and sacrament are consistent with all that Denver Snuffer has mentioned expounding scripture on those topics.

 

Restated

To recap, I won’t be advocating that these lectures be included in the scriptures. They were submitted, but it may be wise to exclude them from the voting list. I just don’t know. That is out of my hands. Maybe someone who knows the Lord better will vet them and make corrections if needed. Maybe they are just useful teaching lessons. Maybe there is a better way to present the material. I will continue to do presentations on them to aid in understanding the message that includes things the Lord helped in illuminating for me. At this level, I still have a right to teach, preach, expound, and exhort all to come unto Christ, which is done through weak people like myself. There are also those who are chosen beyond that level to convey Christ’s words and put His name on it, and we are learning we want those messages in the scripture set for this project to take back to Him for approval. I do not know if these lectures rise to that level. That will be for others to determine, or improve them so they can be claimed as such.

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 Riverdale Fellowship group email, the Cache Valley / Southern Idaho Fellowship, and the Little Zion Fellowship. 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

 

“Heart of the Matter” Interview

I was interviewed on Shawn McCraney’s “Heart of the Matter” internet TV show about this site and the fellowship movement.

Watch here:

Lectures of Repentance for Download

As promised, the agreed upon delay with Amazon has passed and download of Lectures of Repentance on pdf and e-reader is now available for free here.

Lectures of Repentance PDF

Lectures of Repentance MOBI

Books can still be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Lectures-Repentance-Brian-F-Zang/dp/1537298984/ with the price set as low as Amazon will let me (basically at cost) with whatever small proceeds going to the fellowships and charity, if there are any.

Lectures of Repentance

Today is the day we’re announcing the publication of the “Lectures of Repentance” as a follow-up to the “Lectures on Faith”, available on Amazon. All profits will go to the fellowships and charities.

 

Lectures of Repentance

 

The publication date on Amazon says Aug 30, because they take a few days to setup the page, but the date printed in the book is Sept 3, 2016.

I asked John Pratt back in April when the Jewish New Year was this year (Rosh Hashanah, or Feast of Trumpets). He mentioned that on his “Perpetual Hebrew Calendar” it falls on today’s date. His calendar accounts for the biblical description of the Jewish calendar a little better, and I thought it would be interesting if I finished the lectures by then. I have been working on them since 2012 in my spare time. I still had about three more lectures to write by then, but they came along smoothly.

If the Feast of Trumpets begins at sundown on Friday, Sept 2 (John, you can correct me on that), and includes Saturday, Sept 3, then Yom Kippur would follow ten days after, using the date of the 2nd as the count of the first day, and would fall on Sunday the 11th, at end of the general conference in Boise. It seems quite fitting to have a series on repentance available during the time when, traditionally, the observant Jew would prepare for ten days for the great Day of Atonement, inspecting their soul for anything amiss and turning to face God on that great day.

We hope you will find the lectures useful! Feel free to spread the word in your circles!

I would post a pdf copy for free here, but although its independent publishing, Amazon does have its rules for certain options, so I will put up the pdf after the 90 day waiting period.