Denver Snuffer's Witness (from his 10 lectures)
To quote C.S. Lewis:
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God." (Lewis, C. S., Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, pp. 54 – 56.)From Denver's 7th Lecture:
Therefore, either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I've said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril! It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I'm a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I'm saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I'm talking about. I have no reason to lie to you. I have no reason to pay to reserve a place to speak to you, and ask nothing of you but to listen. It requires a sacrifice to do what I am doing. I have no other reason to do this than to tell you the truth. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am come as a second witness. Therefore you now have two proclaiming the same doctrine.
I will tell you that I know what I'm talking about. If you will ask of God and listen to the Spirit you will be able to determine whether I speak His words. I don't think it matters if I could reveal to you all things. If you won't believe the things I can tell you, you certainly won't believe things I'm not telling you.
But I wouldn't blame you if you don't believe me. I really wouldn't. It is so hard to be believing. This world is so acidic and this environment is so toxic. It's very hard to believe. I think that's one of the reasons why Christ's account said it is a greater righteousness to believe than it is to know and to say.
I bear testimony to you that Jesus Christ lives, He matters. I don't. He can save you. I can't. I can report on the glory of this Lord of ours but only He can dispense it. Of that I bear testimony intending to be held to account for the testimony I bear.
God has done nothing for Joseph Smith that He will not do for you. I understand all the doctrinal arguments. I can make them all. I have made them all. And I've made them to the Lord. I've argued with Him on every point of doctrine, I've quoted to Him every scripture that any of you have advanced, and many more besides. The Lord has always borne testimony back, consistently. This stuff is true. You're hedging up the way of your own salvation, and of the salvation of others when you say no one has the privilege in our day yet, to lay hold on salvation. You're hedging up the way, you are damning yourself, and you are damning those who will listen to you when you say, people in our time are not yet authorized to exercise faith in God unto salvation because you are authorized. I have done so. I have spoken with Him as a man speaks to another. He speaks in plain humility, reasoning as one man with another. He will reason with you.
But as I counted the cost of becoming a Mormon, in effect, I was giving up all I ever knew, all the friends I ever had, my own family, I counted the cost, and I became a Latter-day Saint in any event. What is really strange about the Lord’s way of reckoning these things is that I've recently had to count the cost again. And then all those friends that I had now are plagued with yet another dilemma. Yet the Lord always accounts those trades for his purposes, because He's trying to save the individual. He's trying to save each one of us as individuals. I don't care what the cost is. Knowledge of God is worth whatever price you pay, no matter when, no matter what, no matter how often. If He takes away your family, and gives you a new family, and then He takes that family away again, it is a small price to pay. God will ask of you, whatever he will ask of you. The only thing I can say is that no price you pay while tabernacled here is so great that you should withhold it from the altar. Give what He asks. Because it is only by giving what he asks of you, that you can have faith in him unto life and salvation.
My belief is that everyone of you, with a couple of exceptions, every one of you have lived lives so much more worthy of the Lord's recognition than my own. For the life of me, I can't understand why you don't have the faith and confidence to realize that He loves you. And you are more lovable than am I. He probably finds it a lot easier to love you than me. I feel like I'm the idiot writing graffiti on the walls of heaven, as those who dwell there really wish I would just leave, and who wonder what he's doing here. They likely thing of the Lord’s willingness to forgive the sinners, but think in my case the Lord must be kidding. I think if you were to arrive there, there would be a lot more propriety to you rather than I. Have faith. Be believing. Trust in Him.
I don't know if it's important that anyone from Idaho Falls comes here. I don't know if it's important if anybody from Idaho Falls hears one word. But I do know that a testimony needs to be spoken on this ground, in this place. I know that everyone will be accountable for that. Not just those who happen to stumble upon this.
I know that the Lord knows a great deal more than do I, and that very often I only figure out later what He has had in mind all along. God is moving systematically. He is taking the measure of the Latter-day Saints. His hand is about to move again in the affairs of men. We have a window. This is your dispensation. You are accountable. Those prophecies spoken to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni in his room aren't going to fulfill themselves. There has to be someone who has faith. There has to be someone who rises up. And when he set His hand and He invites you to join in, He wants you to know Him. When He sets that in motion, then you need to respond. Not to me, not to any man. You need to respond to Him. This is His work. He and only He will organize it. He and only He will roll it forth. But as one of the verses that we read tonight recited, there has to be a people prepared. And that requires that faith return to the earth again. And if what has happened with The Lectures on Faith in 1921, prevented people from acquiring faith, because they misapprehend the character and nature and attributes of God from that date until today, then it's time for you to shake that off. Rise up and lay hold upon faith again. Joseph saw the Father and the Son, he testified about them, and he described them. I've seen the Father and I've seen the Son, and they both have spoken with me. The only reason I mentioned that is to give you confidence that it can happen. It should happen to you. You should be talking to them. They can tell you what you need to know. Do not be at all surprised if the subject about which you need to converse with the Lord consists almost entirely of a discussion about the scriptures. Do not be surprised if an angel comes to minister to you and the topic upon which the angel would like to converse involves the scriptures. Do not be surprised if the Lord authorizes someone to deliver a message and the message consists of expounding the scriptures. On the road to Emmaus, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, what Christ did was open up to them how all things testified of Him. What all things testified of what is currently underway. Make no mistake about it, it is getting underway. I don't care where you look. I don't care what society you look at. I don't care what economy you observe, what culture you observe. The earth and all of the people on her are waxing old like a garment. And do you know what they do with garments that are old? They are burned.
I'm thirty percent of way the through an agenda tonight. I cannot tell you how relieved I am of that. Every time we get another evening done, I feel lighter by the moment. We are going to pick up again in Centerville, and our next topic is going to will be trying to figure out the subject of covenants. They bear on much of what the Lord intends now to fulfill. I wish someone else were doing this. I wish none of you had ever heard my name. I wish I were an obscure trial attorney doing what I enjoy doing. I confess that in the perversity of my heart I do like trial work. George C. Scott won an Oscar for the movie Patton. And there is a scene where he goes over and he kisses this soldier in this middle of this gosh awful battlefield where tanks are smoldering and dead bodies are strewn, and there's this young man who is still alive. He kisses him and he looks around he says, “God help me, I do love it so!” In the courtroom there are times when I look around and say to myself, ‘God help me, I do really enjoy trial work.’ It's an intellectual endeavor, and someone is always trying to shoot me down and present the other side. I'm good with that. I actually enjoy the difficulty of that kind of wrestling. I don't enjoy this. I really don't. If I could hand this off to one of you and say, “Okay now you take it and you run with this, and I will just cheer you on from the sidelines,” I would never do more than whatever I could to support you. But it apparently falls to me to accomplish. So I proceed.
I could write my own Gospel. I could bear my own testimony. I could invent a new narrative about our Lord, if it were necessary to do so. But I will tell you the only thing that is necessary is to open the scriptures and read them, and to tell you, the things that we looked at tonight are true.
I bear testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. I bear testimony that our Lord lived and lives. I'm one of those who can say that I am a witness of that. I have seen His suffering. I have heard His voice. He doesn't intend that I be a solitary witness of Him, or Joseph be one. He intends for everyone of you to rise up and do as James bids you to do. If you lack wisdom, ask God. He gives to you, He gives to all of us liberally. He is real. It is His work to bring this stuff to pass. The only thing that we can do is to offer to be a servant. And I am confident that I am a poor one of those. But I am His servant. I serve Him however poorly, however offensively, however inadequately. He intends to call, in the plural, servants to fulfill what needs to be done in the last days. He does intend to bring again Zion. That will be his, and not a man's work.
I confine myself to the existing body of scripture when I teach. I suppose if I were to advance ideas which go beyond your scriptures you would be unable to accept them. Therefore I confine myself for your sakes. I do so in the hope that you will be able to bear how great things the Lord is doing.
He'll work with you. Assuming that you came and are willing to hear, and assuming your heart is soft and you're willing to take in the things that God required to be included in what I'm saying today. Some of the content of today’s talk came by revelation as recently as this morning.
I'm doing this to be faithful to the things that have been asked of me, not by man or men but by God. I don't even control the content of this material. I'm not parsing these scriptures because I think they are nice. I'm telling you what I know to be true, because it is what I've been asked to declare by Him whose presence I have been in.
The Lord told me years ago about many things, including this present challenge.
Now I need to read you something. This is Ezekiel 33:25-34:31:…I was required to read that, but I am not required, and will not comment. You wouldn‟t want to hear my comments anyway. But you should apply these verses to us today.
I also think applying extraordinary titles are less impressive than having a man preach the truth. If the content of his sermon is prophetic, then everyone can decide for themselves the measure of the messenger.
I think I understand who our Lord is, and why He was called "Beloved." I think I understand what it is that He requires of someone when they will hear His voice and do what He says. And I can think of nothing more superfluous or offensive than praise. I can think of nothing that would offend the Lord more than a mere man, inviting adoration. It is wrong. Adoration should be reserved for Christ, not dispensed to mere servants. I don't want anything but your criticism. Don't think you have to defend me. I would rather hear what critics have to say. Not because what they say is true, but because it gives me an opportunity to understand what they fear in me. Much of the criticism leveled at me is because they fear I am something that I am not. Messages matter. Perhaps only messages matter. Messages can be pure, filled with light, and from heaven itself, even if the one who delivers it can never match the purity of the things taught. We have so many pretenders. There's some guy, out in some new iteration of Zion. He‟s on YouTube giving his “School the Prophets” lectures. If you look at him, he looks like a general authority. He dresses like a general authority. I've had enough general authorities for a lifetime. I've seen enough “Strongmen” come and go for a lifetime. I am not anyone's “Strongman.” I will never be anyone's “Strongman,” period. It is repulsive to me. It is morally corrupt. In this world, as soon as you create an institution, as soon as you have anything other than people voluntarily working together towards an end, as soon as you have anything other than an idea, you have corruption.
I came to the missionary discussions drunk. I grew up in Idaho. We were bored. The stuff you do when you're a bored young man… Well, you know, there it is. It required the Atlantic Ocean for my baptism and not a drop less. So when I preach these things, it does not mean I model these things. There is so much about this that for me is an aspiration and not a reality. I live in constant fear of my own failure. I don't think I belong up here talking to you about this stuff. I don't think I am the most worthy in the room. I can tell you that the Lord forgives sins, and therefore makes allowances for those who are inadequate to fulfill the roles He has for us. It is perhaps because I recognize, (1) I am not well qualified, and (2) I fear my own failure more than anything else, that perhaps He trusts me. He knows I'm not going to go out and freelance, and I have not, and I do not, and I will not.
I do think, that if we are going to have Zion, that someone must warn you of the “Strongmen” who are ready to exploit your hope. Beware of the “Strongman.” Watch your wallet when you encounter one. If you‟re a lady, watch your zipper or your buttons. I'm telling you “Strongmen” have an insatiable appetite for self-aggrandizement, and that's not me. I don't want that, and I don't welcome that. I don't advocate that, and I warn you against it. If someone came up and hit me in the head with a hammer, and six months from now I'm organizing a church asking you to give me women, and pay me your tithing, you remember what I said today, before they hit me in the head with a hammer. I'm intact mentally today. I may be crazy then. It's wrong to do the things that have been done, and it's wrong to preach and practice the things that “Strongmen” preach and practice in the name of the Lord.
I want to end this by bearing testimony to you. I use the scriptures because the scriptures are the standard by which you should judge the truth. I use the scriptures because they say the things the Lord would want to have said right now today. I don't need to appeal to having any authority, because I can read to you the scriptures and point you to the things that have already been revealed. I know these things are true. You would not believe me if I told you all I know. It is not necessary for you to do so. If the words I speak to not convince you, let the scriptures convince you. If the words in the scriptures don't convince you, then get on your knees and pray and ask God, who giveth to all men liberally. (James 1: 5.) Do the same thing Joseph did that started the ball rolling. Zion will come. Whether it comes in your day or not is entirely dependent upon you.
If I can help you better envision our Lord, let me describe His characteristics. Our Lord was and is, affable, but He is not gregarious. He was approachable, and He is approachable and is not aloof. He is patient. He is willing to guide and He is willing to teach. He is intelligent but He is not overbearing. He is humble in His demeanor, even though His power is undeniable. He is therefore, both a Lamb and a Lion.(p. 1)
When the Lord first spoke to me, He expounded the scriptures about the Restoration. (p. 12)
I know there are arguments against me. There are also reviews written about the things that I have said. There is no criticism made against me, no scriptural exegesis an orthodox member of the Church can advance that I did not advance in argument with the Lord. I have made better scriptural arguments against doing what I’ve done than those that have been leveled at me. I had more scriptural proof to discourage the Lord from asking that I do any of this stuff. I argued with Him! And the Lord has explained to me, using the scriptures, the things I now declare to you. I'm not here on my own errand. If I were doing what I wanted to do today, it wouldn't include any of you! Well, I guess it would include my wife and she is here. (p. 35)
In my faith I was the strictest of true believing Latter-day Saints. Therefore when the Lord appeared to me, He appeared to a faithful, devoted member of the LDS Church. At first I believed He did so because I was a faithful Latter-day Saint! But the Lord knows more than do I. I’ve never won an argument with Him. I labored to reconcile all I knew with all that was asked of me, and found it impossible to please both Christ and the LDS Church. I made my choice. None of you are more devoted to the Brethren today than I once was. You say you are in “the Lord’s true church” and I say unless you know Him, no institution or gathering will substitute. Life eternal comes from knowing Him, not another man. Even if a man is sent to declare Him to you, focus should be on the Lord, not on His messenger. Only a false messenger, who seeks approval, and who hopes for gain, will divert attention from the Lord to himself. A true messenger would not dare do so. I am not explaining these scriptures to you because I think they might fit together in this way. Like Paul I can declare, "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." (Acts 17: 23.) I have read all of the accounts Joseph Smith left behind of his visits with the Lord. If you add them all together, still the Lord has spent more time with me than with Joseph. I attribute that my poor understanding, the harness of my mind, my inadequacy as a pupil, my stubbornness and my stupidity. I defended the Church to the Lord. I was a latter-day “Pharisee,” like Paul. I explained to Him why He needed to honor the Church, and asked that He let me do so also. He told me that they, not I, would sever the relationship. He told me they, and not I, would be accountable for that. And He told me that was in His heart for a long time beforehand to let the scriptures be fulfilled. I was His instrument to accomplish His purpose, which He has now done. Therefore when people shake their head and say, “What a shame! What a shame! He fell off the rails. He went his own way. He's filled with pride.” Look, growing up in Idaho I would have said that's utter bullshit. Here, I will say it is bovine feces. There is nothing at all true to that. That is not who I am. That is not what is in my heart. It has never been what's in my heart. I was as faithful a Latte-day Saint as any who ever belonged to the LDS Church. I dare not depart from what the Lord requires, even when I find it painful to do His will. Someone must. And I know what I'm talking about. I don't care about your theories to the contrary, because He who is “more intelligent than them all” has declared to me the truth of these things. (p. 36)
It is that way, it has always been that way, it will always be that way. There is no other test.
Therefore, either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I've said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril! It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I'm a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I'm saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I'm talking about. I have no reason to lie to you. I have no reason to pay to reserve a place to speak to you, and ask nothing of you but to listen. It requires a sacrifice to do what I am doing. I have no other reason to do this than to tell you the truth. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am come as a second witness. Therefore you now have two proclaiming the same doctrine. (p. 50)
This is the seventh of ten talks I will give. In these I bear testimony as a witness to the truth. I would not blame you for thinking I am doing this to get noticed. That is not true, but it is the obvious thing to accuse. Unless, of course, what I declare to you is Truth and is Light. If I am telling the truth, then how you respond is important. I would ask you, for your own sake, to not falsely accuse me. You do not need to respond to me. You do not need to like me. You do not ever need to mention my name again. But if what I am saying is the truth, you need to respond to it. This is between you and God, not you and me. You need to choose how you will live your life from this day forward. The Lord is coming to judge the quick and the dead. You need to get right with Him. I am not going to be your leader. I am not going to form a church. I am not going to do that because it would not work anyway. But you can be healed, you can come to the Lord, and you can live your life differently. Look at the same scriptures in a new light and let His Spirit fill you and make a difference in the lives of others. I do not trust myself to innovate. I will only say what I have been told. I fear my weakness, and my inadequacy. I fear offering up my own ideas. I do not want you to rely on me. Do not do that, when I am asking you not to do so. You rely on Him. (p. 56)
As for me, the Lord has expounded to me the scriptures. I have no interest in telling you all the things I have been shown. I am interested in letting Him show you, too. He's the Keeper of the Gate. He is the One who is Mighty to Save. He can tell you what you need to know, as He has told me what I need to know. There will always be 10,000 voices that rise up in opposition to say, "lo here and lo there," and “come and hearken to my precept.” I don't ask you to hearken to anything other than what is in the scriptures. (p. 69)
In the pride of your heart, blindness of your mind, and in the hardness of your soul, some of you will not receive God. But God is saying to each of you, “Ignore the man with a microphone and come to Me.” Although I speak as He has asked today, I am not important. The message is, because it is not mine. Joseph bore testimony of God. I bear testimony of Joseph. If Joseph was one witness, I am a second. I have used Joseph’s revelations and sermons to teach today. Believe in them, for they are true. Some of you refuse to say, “Perhaps the words of scripture means something different and more intensely personal than I have ever taken them to mean before.” They do. They are for you. God wants you to respond to them. I recognize that I am not the best messenger. I wish I had the voice of an archangel. I wish I could do something to soften the hearts of you all. Some of you will never respond to the Lord because you cannot overcome your preoccupation with me. That saddens me and I regret that deeply. But that is your choice, and you can choose differently. Christ is in fact holy, and I am deeply aware of the fact that I am not. I can't redeem any of you, but He can. I can testify of Him, but when it comes down to it, you should be able to feel faith. You should be able to feel something important was communicated by God today. (p. 74)
I hate the fact these 10 talks will all be given by me. I wish they were 10 talks given by 10 different people. That way you would not say, “Well, he is something important.” I am nothing. I am keenly aware of my own limitations. But I am also keenly aware of our Lord. When I have had discussions with Him, they have invariably involved parsing through the scriptures and Him explaining things to me. When I have inquired and gotten answers, it is because there are things in the scriptures I did not understand. I bear witness of Christ. I have seen Him! I know He lives! I know He is coming in judgment, and I know that before His coming, He has wanted some things to be declared. I have been as faithful as I can be in declaring the things asked of me. I sense keenly my own inadequacy. I beg you to overlook all that and not let me become a stumbling block. Look at the scriptures, look at the words of Christ, look at the explanations we got from Joseph, look at the things that are true, and go to Him in faith believing. (p. 75)
You think the scriptures give you hope of eternal life. That is true. I have used them today to show you how great things the Lord has done. The scriptures testify what I am saying is true. (p. 76)
Let me end by bearing testimony and witness to you, that the things I've been saying, beginning in Boise and going on through Phoenix, the beginning date, the ending date, the content, the fact that there are 10 of them, the timeframe in which they are being delivered, the fact He wanted us to begin on the first day of the 40th year, and He wanted us to end on the last day of the 40th year, those things are not my doing. He is the author of this all. (p. 77)
Whether you believe me sincere or not, I would much rather not have been asked to do this. But apparently, in the economy of God, no one else was willing to do it.
You don't read my email and that's probably a good thing, because if you did, you'd be overwhelmed at the many insults that come in. But among all those emails, some are filled with gratitude. I can tell you there are a number who have borne testimony that since reading the book, The Second Comforter, and since taking seriously the promises made through Joseph and in the Scriptures, there are a number who like me, have a witness of our resurrected Lord. It can and it does happen. And hopefully as we get to this material today you will have confidence in your own ability to rise up.
Look, these Scriptures, these invitations, these prophecies, and this message that began in Boise and will conclude in Phoenix. This message is inviting you to do what was originally prophesied as this dispensation began. We looked at those prophecies in the beginning in Boise, Idaho. The game's afoot. The challenge is underway. The opportunity is here. There was a price that had to be paid first involving several generations of delay. We could not kill a man like Joseph through the conspiracy of his followers without forfeiting an opportunity. But that moment has come to an end. And a new moment is upon us. And if you'll hear it, I can declare to you, in the name of our Lord, that the day of salvation has once again arrived! Have faith! Be believing! He is real! I gave you a description of His demeanor. I gave that last time, and I'm reiterating it again here about some of His attributes. Come to Him! Seek for Him! Have faith in Him! You have more reason to have faith and confidence in Him right now than the brother of Jared did in his day.
Sometimes I'm amazed at my own idiocy, because I have argued with God one time preferring Mormon doctrine to the truth! Sometimes I think that the Lord had that in His heart all along. He wanted to qualify me in a way that would make me typical of every man who finds himself in the predicament of the Latter-day Saints. He wanted to qualify me to say, "You claim to hold authority. I held authority equal. If I did not abuse mine and you've abused yours, then the kingdom has been taken from you." But it's been taken from you and not left. It still exists. Just no longer where the institution claims it exists. I'm not going to start another church, and I don't intend to compete with the Latter-day Saints, and I don't intend to overthrow them. That is God’s work, and it will be up to Him to decide how useful the various Mormon churches are to His purposes. But it is clear to me we do not need another church. The only thing we need are penitent people. The only thing we need are people whose hearts are right. If someone is here from a Baptist church, then go attend your Baptist Church. Go attend your Mormon church. There's good in all churches, but study the doctrines of the Restoration and get to know God, and then go and do what He would have you do.
I don't care if no one gives me credit for this message. It is the truth within the message that matters! It's never been about me. It's been about the doctrines of the Restoration. It has always been about the truth that rolled forth through the prophet Joseph Smith. This is about the acts of God offering salvation to us in our day. Ultimately, it will be about the establishment of a city of refuge. Not now, but by and by. There aren't enough converted yet, it's too weak. But in that day, there still won't be a need for another church. There still won't be some reason to say, I want to sustain someone. God and God alone will be sustained in that day, not me and not any other man.
Woe unto all those who say, If you really are who you say you are, when the voice of God is sounding in their ears. They would have rejected the Lord as well. They would have crucified the Lord as well. They are not His sheep because they do not hear His voice. If they were His sheep they would hear His voice.
God came as one of the weak things of this world. The only way He is ever going to invite you is through one of the weak things of this world, speaking in weakness, asking you to be persuaded. It doesn't matter how earnest I am, I know my standing before God. What matters is your willingness to be persuaded. Over that I have no control, and want no control. I simply put the case as the Lord has put it to me, in the hopes that what He has to offer, and what He says need to be said will get through to you. Your relationship and your accountability is not to me, it's to Him. Therefore, be persuaded. Please, for your own sake, be persuaded.
I have finished the content I was required to deliver here.
This isn't my material, it's the Lord's.
I bear testimony of that and hope these words will be allowed to sink into your heart. They come from scripture, and they come from the Lord, they don't come from me.
I have never said this publicly, but because of what I think will ensue after this talk I am going to say it, not for my sake, and certainly not for the sake of anyone who believes the truth or who has the Spirit, but I say it only to benefit those who may view things completely otherwise. The Lord has said to me in His own voice, "I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you." Therefore, I want to caution those who disagree with me, to feel free, to feel absolutely free to make the case against what I say. Feel free to disagree, and make your contrary arguments. If you believe I err, then expose the error and denounce it. But take care; take care about what you say concerning me for your sake, not for mine. I live with constant criticism. I can take it. But I do not want you provoking Divine ire by unfortunately chosen words if I can persuade you against it.
It is almost always the case that the Lord uses simple things to confound the mighty. I can think of nothing smaller or simpler or less important than myself. Inside the great church to which I once belonged, I was obscure. However, I lived my religion, attended faithfully, served to the best of my ability, upheld church leaders with my prayers, paid tithes, fasted, observed the Word of Wisdom, and helped answer questions for those needing assistance with troubling issues. There was no reason to regard me as a rebel who should be singled out for discipline. Nevertheless, the Lord chose to use a faithful and believing member to accomplish His design. Only someone who is devoted to His will could accomplish what the Lord had in His heart. Now He has accomplished it.
Last general conference, the entire First Presidency, the 12, the 70, and all other general authorities and auxiliaries, voted to sustain those who abused their authority in casting me out of the church. At that moment, the Lord ended all claims of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to claim it is led by the priesthood. They have not practiced what He requires. The Lord has brought about His purposes. This has been in His heart all along. He has chosen to use small means to accomplish it, but He always uses the smallest of means to fulfill His purposes. None of this was my doing. The Lord's strange act, was not, could not, be planned by me. Was not, could not, have been controlled by me. It was not anticipated by me, or even understood by me, until after the Lord had accomplished His will, and made it apparent to me on the evening of May 1, 2014. He alone has done this. He is the author of all of this.
In my disgust and personal preference, I asked the Lord that priesthood get extended beyond the confines of the men who have continually abused and neglected it. I was told that priesthood is confined to men because of the Fall and the conditions ordained by God at that time.64 Until we reverse things in the Millennium, that is the way it is going to remain, as to the ordinances thus far given in public. I asked the Lord to change that order. It is not going to change. I then asked the Lord that if only men were to hold priesthood for our public ordinances, then could only women vote to sustain them. The saying pleased the Lord, for it was already in His heart. But He said to me: “There shall be a minimum of seven women to sustain the man in any vote, and if the man is married, his wife shall be one of them.”
The word “unworthy” was the Lord’s and therefore I do not feel at liberty to change it. But I want it clear that when He used it I had a definite understanding that no condemnation was implied, only an orderly arrangement was given. In all such matters it has been my experience that with time how the Lord orders things proves to be exceptionally wise, even if we do not immediately see the wisdom.
I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again by Him today, to you. This is His command recorded in the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God, and confirmed again today!
The dedication of the first book I wrote, The Second Comforter, Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil, was to “the few who are the humble followers of Christ,” and it cited this verse. Some people say, "Well, he was enlightened at one point, and then he fell victim to a dark and evil spirit, and now he's an apostate!" I am closer to the Lord at this moment, than I've been at any time when I was a member of the church. I know His will more today, and I understand it better than I have ever understood it before. It is not a different spirit than the one that brought me into the church, and it is not a different spirit than the one that informed The Second Comforter, Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil. At the time I wrote that, I was keenly aware of the fact that from among us, there were only a few who were the humble followers of Christ. I understood that we were nevertheless, led, that in many instances, we err. Working within the system, I did everything I could to preserve the doctrine, to preserve the truth, to testify of Christ, to teach the precepts, to remember the covenant. I would still do that today if I had been left alone by the church’s highest leadership. Clearly, those of you who think I am a rebel don't get it. God knew exactly what He was doing. I would have taken a bullet for Spencer Kimball. I was among the most devoted of Latter-day Saints... The LDS church introduced me a to a form of cleanliness in living for which I have nothing but high regard. If every one of you chooses to remain active in the LDS Church while you do these other things, you will not hear me complaining or criticizing. You will hear me praising you and respecting your standards. It is a community trying to do good, but " they are led, that in many instances they do err," and you should not partake of the errors. Accept whatever is good, and hold onto whatever is good, but continually seek for something higher and better.
I dare not tell you what the Lord offered me, and you would not believe me if I did. I have refused things I think other men would crave. As I have reflected on it, I believe the Lord has trusted me with some things because I did not seek for them. Critics will not believe that, but those who know I have not misled you in anything I have said will realize this to be true.
God answers prayers. Sometimes He forces you to make choices, and very often, I can't tell you how often, but very often I make the wrong choice. It is almost like I got a compass pointing south. I often choose wrong and then I get an answer correcting me. But I got an answer because I made a mistake. I have no clue why, other than the fact I was so converted and faithful to the LDS Church, the Lord chose me to accomplish what He has now done. I sincerely believe most of you here are just genuinely better people than I am. I have nothing but weakness to offer. God uses weak things because they must have faith to act while knowing they are unequal to the assignment.
False spirits will be among you. Prideful and pretentious people will want to impress you to give them honor. Honor God instead. Do not let a new revelation displace your attention away from the scriptures. They are sufficient for our day, as these ten sessions have demonstrated, I hope. I have expounded the scriptures as Moroni did to Joseph; and as Christ did on the road to Emmaus the day of His resurrection. We must first remember and observe. Preserving the Restoration requires us to be very familiar with the scriptures of the Restoration. At present we should fear most our ignorance of the scriptures.
God has to say to us, "This is what I want you to do." If no one else will say it to you, I am saying it to you. Everything that has been said in this talk, which began in Boise and concludes here today, everything that has been said is, in fact, exactly what happened when God offered something to an earlier generation through Joseph. He, God, is offering something again, right now, in our day, to you, to any that will hear, to any that will listen. The work is beginning again.
I really have not done anything more than read scriptures and bear testimony to you they are true. This was not my idea, and I can't tell you how happy my wife and I will be when we conclude this project. When I say “unpleasant” it is probably an understatement. If there are a thousand different fellowships, each will have a unique challenge. You are asked to proceed without being correlated, free to work out your own way to follow the Lord. There will be some people who are “complainers” who will bring complaints with them into your groups. They need your love and patience. You may be able to help them overcome a life-long personality issue that can be cured only by your kindness to one another. Do not be discouraged by the problems. Prayerfully confront them. Do not ignore or hide them. Confess them openly and be patient with one another in finding the solution. Some people have suffered from lifelong abuse by religious authorities, including their parents. They have never had a healthy religious experience. The fact they remain willing to try is itself cause for hope and encouragement. Help them. Love them. Let them find peace among you, for that is what we are asked to do: Be willing to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and of all places, and bear one another's burdens that they may be light. Suspend judgment and give such assistance as you can to one another. Maybe what they will need most is your listening ear and open heart.
Let me end by testifying to you that, however improbable or unlikely all of this may seem to those of you who spend any time at all thinking about this, it was just as improbable when John was baptizing. It was just as improbable when Christ taught. It was just as improbable when Joseph Smith said, "I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it." It may seem improbable. But it is true! Now, in order to conform to the burden laid down by God and scripture, I need to turn time over to Keith Henderson. He has something which must necessarily be added as part of all this.
Keith Henderson speaking: 52 years ago, I came to this area on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I came to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Today I stand before this people again of this area, to again bear testimony. My growth in these 52 years has been great, but my testimony still remains very simple. My name is Keith Henderson. At the time I bear this testimony, I am still an active member in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am grateful for this opportunity that I've received to lift up my voice and bear my witness and testimony before the Most High God, before His holy angels, and before all of you, who would be witnesses with me that this talk given this day, by our friend and God's servant, is a message given from God to all men and women everywhere, who will hear or read. I so witness that I know that it is. I have attended every portion of this talk, making 10 in total. I have listened time after time to the recordings and I've read every transcript made up until this one. I bear solemn testimony that I have received the message by God's voice of their truthfulness, and also of His desire for us to believe in and act upon these things that have been spoken. I stand as another witness with Denver, in the law of witnesses, that these things are true. And I expect to be held accountable for this in the days and the eternity to come, before God and my Father and to all men. I bear this testimony humbly and solemnly, but in the power of the most holy priesthood. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.