‘Round midnight


The title relates to two things. A jazz song by that name which is kind of a mournful blues. The title and the tune bring to mind things that happen at midnight which would not happen during the day.

The other reference of the title comes from the parable of the ten virgins. The bridegroom is said to come at midnight. Midnight during the time of Christ was not our same midnight of 12 am. The counting of hours was based upon the rising and setting of the sun. So midnight was literally the time farthest from the light of the sun in both directions. It was the darkest time of the night.

Just before a great light bursts upon us and we are delivered from the bondage of Babylon the night is going to get very dark. Mercifully the coming of the bridegroom did not wait all the way till the morning returned. The Lord tells us this when He speaks of the coming destructions and how that for yet a little while I hid my face from thee. Here is an example in Isaiah 10:24,25.

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

I understand this use of Zion to be a geographic reference to the American continent and not the coming kingdom of God yet to be established thereon. And this because as He said in D&C 112: 25,26:

25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me,

We are not living at midnight. But I feel we are ‘round midnight. The conference center will likely fall within a few years. When that happens I believe there will be an unleashing of evil like we have never seen. And I am seeing more and more signs of the coming break up of the church right where I live.

But for your consideration I have a true story to relate. I have a personal friend who witnessed the beginning of a terrible series of evil acts perpetrated by a small group of people who were just following their “prophet”. The actions were those of abduction , extortion and then 5 counts of murder. The group was only about 4 or 5 people with just 2 or 3 of them directly doing the crimes and at least one more covering for them. I won’t go into all the details but you can view them here. But the real start of it will never be mentioned in a police blotter or news story or even in any books written about it (unless my friend writes one).

The “prophet” was Taylor Helzer. The crimes occurred in 2000 but had their beginning earlier. Taylor Helzer was an active member of the LDS church and had served a mission. In the late 1980’s my friend was a member of his ward. My friend was coming to the realization that much of what goes on in the church is not scripturally based. In short he realized that the church which Joseph Smith and Parley Pratt were members of was not the same church we see today. He began to question the mantra “just follow the brethren” and began thinking for himself.

Several years before the Helzer began committing the murders my friend was approached by Taylor Helzer at church. Taylor was a strong believer in the “follow the brethren” mindset. Taylor was pressuring my friend and telling him to get with the program and just follow the brethren. My friend then quoted a scripture to him. D&C 64:38,39

38 For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.
39 And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.

Taylor had never processed the idea that there could be false apostles or hypocrites among the “brethren”. My friend watched Taylor’s face and could be seen a total deconstruction of a mindset. A very huge paradigm shift. That was the beginning of Taylor Helzer’s flip from active Latter-day Saint to self appointed prophet willing to murder as directed by an entity whom he called “spirit”. An example of his being directed was given when he talked to the police about two people who were not directly involved in committing the crimes. He had not let them know what he and his brother were doing while the two helpers were providing a cover story for them. He told the police, “Spirit said that I should not let them be in here,”

Taylor Helzer’s purpose in the abduction was to get money to fund a plan to “Transform America,” by ushering in “a state of peace and joy” and defeat Satan. Part of the plan was to train Brazilian youth to kill 15 of the top leaders of the LDS church and then place himself as the rightful prophet and then go on to transform America.

This is a cautionary tale in two ways. One for ourselves personally. Watch yourselves. Be careful which spirit you list to obey. Years before the murders Taylor went into drugs and a lot of sexual sin. If anything in what you feel to do would be cruel or heartless to others it can’t be from God. That which doth not edify is not of God. I beg you to stay away from it.

Secondly it cautions us in that it presents a scenario which may very well be played out on a much larger scale in our days. The mindset which allows a person to turn over their agency to another person or group of people the is the perfect mindset for the devil to carry out his plans. All that is needed is to plant the right person as the one they follow.

These type of followers have no personal moral compass. It is so much easier to just do what you are told than to have to weigh it out in your mind and obtain an answer directly from God and to be sure it is from God. Most people will do anything to avoid having to use the muscle of their brain and heart.

As we look out across the millions of members of the LDS church and think of how many buy into the “just do what the brethren say” mindset and then contemplate how they might react when their paradigm shifts as the seers are covered, I believe we may conclude we are sitting on a powder keg.

How many of them might look to Mitt Romney newly elected US president (in that day) as the answer to the burning question in their minds which will be, “Who do I follow now?” But in more accurate terms is, “To whom shall I give my agency to now?”

Some of you may want to talk about the validity or lack thereof in this possible scenario. But more than that I would like to read your comments on what you are experiencing right now in the church. What do you see as you look out in this time ‘round midnight?

Do you see the portent of the absence of the gifts of the spirit in our meetings and lives? Moroni said this, “ And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one….” (Moroni 10:24,25)

Do you see members so caught up in the love of money so that it caused Moroni to say, “ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted”? Do you see what Moroni prophesied of by saying that “leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even to the envying of them who belong to their churches”?

A member of the church told me he had no concern about the future of the US since the Lord always had the prophets warn the people before their nation was to be destroyed and our prophets are not telling us that, so no worries. If you are thinking that way I suggest you read Ether 2:8-10.

It reminds me this from Isaiah chapter 6

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9  And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
12 And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

When a patient is sick the doctor take his vital signs, temperature, blood pressure and pulse. What are the vital signs of the membership of the church where you are?

My brothers and sister in God. I have faith in God, that He will send one mighty and strong to lead us to gather to Zion. And until then I think I should continue to do all I can to get out of Babylon and establish what I can of Zion in my own life and those who will join with me. I have had a lot of things that could destroy my trust in God. But after talking them over with Him I have always resolved to increase that trust. Not to trust in men of the arm of flesh and not even in my own wisdom. But in the Father and the Son who is my Redeemer and Savior from all the fiery darts of the adversary.

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33 Comments

  1. Humans have been working for thousands of years to make the world into a safe, organized, controllable place. With the whole world property-lined, speed-limited, zoned, taxed, regulated, and correlated — nobody left much room for freedom.

    With no possibility of real risk — we are left without chance of real salvation. The laws and systems that humans thought would keep them safe are the same laws that condemn us to boredom.

    Mormons rest in prophet-worship, statism, allopathic medicine, business, etc. b/c these idols promise safety and stability. However, nothing — outside of Jesus Christ and the priesthood — is in a position to promise such things.

  2. My impressions and study lately are leading me in the direction that the Lord’s house in Jackson County will be built be a gathering of Saints. This is what I believe the house is that is refered to. It will begin upon His house, this cannot mean the Salt Lake Temple. And why would the Lord refer to His House as members of teh Church who do not follow his Words. So it has to be a group of faithful saints who have gathered to live God’s Laws despite the corporate sects. Wether the One Mighty and Strong will lead this gathering I don’t know. If not the Saints will lead and govern themselves(even with the One Mighty and Strong it will be the same). But the Twelve Stakes of Zion must be built first before Zion in Jackson County can be built.

    As far as the Church falling apart I have received no inspiration. All I know is that the corporate church(es) will stand opposite of the Church(body of Christ). The Body of Christ will consist of those righteous gathered from the Gentiles, jews, and the remnant of Israel. While the corporate churches are running amok, it will be the rightsoues who will be numbered among Israel and will be accomplishing a great and marvelous work.

    Both your points about staning on your own are really strong. We must stand on our own but it is a double edged sword. We can draw much closer to God but at the same time Satan has a bigger target, so to say. We have to be extra careful. While following along as sheeple Satan doesn’t have to unfluence us as much he can focus on church leadership.

  3. Unfortunately for us the exortation to draw closer to the Lord has meant leaving the church. That is something we never thought would happen to our family. We were married in the temple 32 years ago and raised our 7 children to do likewise.
    We now cannot take our children to church and teach them that the spirit lives there. There is so much bickering and fighting in our little branch that you can feel it very strongly at church. I don’t ever want my younger children to be as confused as my older children were about the way mormons treated them.
    We spent 32 years trying to fit our round selves into the square holes of church membership. When you practice anti-war, home birth, home school, natural medicine, basically anything that questions the man you are called the “ward hippie”.
    I guess we just got tired of the fighting all the way around. That is not the spirit of any Heavenly Father I would want to spend eternity with. Sad to say we feel much more at home with Jesus Radicals 🙂 Peace and pura vida to all in their searches.

  4. RN — I can relate to felling at home with Jesus Radicals and being called the “ward hippie”.

    I too struggled with “drawing closer to the Lord” and “leaving the church”. The tribal worship services post was the breath of fresh air that took that contradiction away.

  5. Zo-ma-rah. I didn’t mean to make it sound like I am in favor of not combining with others. It is just like RN said trying to work within the LDS church now is just too much of a waste of time. I have recently visited several different locations of wards in the US. What I am able to see now is how much busy work there is. The members are doing this project, that activity, this program on and on. And none of it is truly salvation bringing to them or anyone else. It is clearly a matter of keeping them so busy that they can’t wake up let alone do anything that would really make a difference.
    For a few years now I have been experiencing something which I could not explain. i found myself getting very sleepy in church. I thought and I am sure most people would say well yes when you are sleep deprived as soon as you can stop and relax where ever you are and whatever time it is you will get sleepy. And I know many people who can not sleep for more than 6 hours at a time due to the stress or emotional trauma in their lives. Granted I have been having some of that but only recently and even with it I normally sleep 8 hours straight. And it happens whether we met at 9 am or at 12 noon. So it isn’t sleep pattern or sleep deprivation related.
    But I finally realized it is the constant exposure to words which do not feed the soul. It is either false ideas or talks devoid of the Spirit of God. The practice of having members read a talk then talk about what the talk said is a sure fire killer of inspiration from God. You can sit through many testimony meetings and never hear one. I mean these guys are giving talks even to the point of saying “my subject today is”. It is just the constant barrage of dead sterile words. And my system just shuts down. In one of those meetings in a ward not my own I took the opportunity to bear an actual testimony. In years past any ward where I did that in resulted in people being edified as I spoke which I could see in their faces and sometimes tears. And afterward a few people coming and thanking me for my testimony. But now there was a noticeable lack of respect. I happened to be the last one which I was not trying to be. But when I finished you could hear a real difference in the amen it was like very few people said amen. And in their faces there was only maybe two out a large double ward congregation that had any sort of positive reaction. I tell you it was scary.
    Zo-ma-rah the break up of the church I refer to is just as in 3rd Nephi 6. And I am seeing signs of it in every congregation I attend.
    I am tired of wasting my time and effort. I will be looking closely for the one mighty and strong to lead us.

  6. I believe people shouldn’t jump ship, but help others out. There must be people in your respective wards and branches that can benefit from your teachings and testimony. Even if there is one that can benefit and will appreciate their eyes being opened, that is reason enough to not bail. Your efforts and time may have a greater effect on others than you realize. It’s just my opinion, but I think a Zion type person flees babylon, but doesn’t walk away from others, unless prompted to do so. I see a lot of great people in my ward trying to become better. Testimonies of the Savior and His atonement are spoken often. Of course, there is always the negative side, but hasn’t that always been the case? At this point, I have a hard time thinking the Lord would want us to jump ship just because of the bologna that we see that goes on. I just have a hard time seeing the Lord say, “These guys are lame and don’t appreciate me, I’m outta here.” If that were the case, all of us would be left to ourselves.

  7. I, for one, will not be jumping ship. The keys of the church are still overwhelming in the hands of the unified LDS church. It’s when the informal lines that divide LDS [NOM, etc.] become manifest externally — via the earthquake — that I will jump ship in favor of my tribal organization.

  8. Sorry dyc. i didn’t mean to imply you weren’t considering uniting with people from other sects. It’s just something I often bring up. Also, while I haven’t received any inspiration yet as far as a break up of the church I don’t dismiss the idea. It happened back in 1844 and I can certainly see it happening again. Thank you for the 3 Nephi 6 reference.

    As far as jumping ship, we are taught in the scriptures to be gathering people from out of the gentiles, jews, and even the condemned church(sorry I can’t remember the reference but there was something along those lines). We must be following the Word of the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants. So I think this is our responsibility. Zion rests in those who live it. I stay in he church for three hours on Sunday as a way to help gather those righteous out of Babylon. I may not have a great affect,but if there is but one soul it is worth it.

  9. dyc4557, I am very curious to read the “actual” testimony that you gave. If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t remember it verbatim, please give highlights and the gist of it. I have my on definition of what a expressing or bearing a true testimony is and I am very eager to compare notes with you. I will say that I loathe the public confessions and therapy that most “testimonies” are. Even more offensive to me are the fake testimonies that little children give, especially those that the children have whispered in their ears and then repeat, invaraibly ending in “I love my mommy and daddy.”

  10. Ok Daitoryu happy to do so. But first I want to say regarding the jumping ship thing really if I were in a larger ward where I could just put in my three and do my home teaching I would. But in my case there are personal events that making staying where I live impossible for me. I am the most trusted person in my stake. If I started helping people the way they need to be helped I would be called up on charges of apostasy.
    I am too much of a people pleaser in that I will sacrifice what is good for me in order to not disappoint someone. That is a weakness that I am working to overcome.
    Okay here is what I basically said in a ward in the San Fransisco area.

    I bear witness that God the eternal Father lives, that He is the Father of all of us. I know this is true because He spoke to me by the power of the Holy Ghost and called me by name. He testified of His reality and of His love for me and all people. I testify that He was once a man like us and is now an exalted man. I know the Jesus Christ lives and is our savior, that He is our elder brother and wrought out the perfect atonement for our sins. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. This I know by the power of the Holy Ghost who bore witness of this so strongly that I knew what was being communicated was true and I still know it is true. Because I know the Book of Mormon is true I also know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.
    And that was about the sum of it. I don’t think I said anything controversial except the part about God having been a man and was now and exalted man. And I didn’t think for a second that it would not be well received. I also didn’t plan it out before I just spoke as I felt to speak.
    Honest cross my heart and hope to die I don’t think I mentioned a word about polygamy or even the law of consecration and helping the poor or any other offensive things like that.

  11. If I heard a testimony like that, I would probably shout a Hallelujah.

    It’s WAY better than hearing about how your neighbor helped you move your trampoline. Or about how your daughter is so amazing for waiting for a missionary for two years and getting married in the temple, then they can’t afford a reception so they will have that later.

    Helping the poor, I can’t believe anyone would mention something so offensive. Everyone knows we are supposed to get an education, and get a good job so we can make butt loads of money. And anyone who doesn’t is just a slacker and needs to be whipped until they do their part to contribute to this great nation of ours. LONG LIVE THE USA!

  12. dyc4557, thank you for sharing that testimony. Your testimony took an unexpected turn for me, bringing up a subject that I’ve been pondering for quite some time – testimonies, or more accurately, what is the proper word usage for a testimony. (I apologize in advance if my response takes this post off topic – that’s not my intent, but I find it apropos to present my thought(s) to this forum for your thoughtful consideration, comments and opinions).

    To start off, let me give a brief background about myself. I served a 2-year mission in Brazil, where I learned Portuguese, one of the 5 major Latin-based languages. While learning this simple, logical and elegant language, I came to discover just how poor, illogical and ugly English is. I’m sure any of our multi-lingual readers will attest to this. I do take my hat off to all the ESL people in and out of our country. I have great respect for them for being able to learn this dysfunctional language. Anyways, while learning Portuguese, I had to start off by speaking “baby-talk”, which is a bit embarrassing for an adult, but a necessary passage into language fluency. Because I was not always able to choose the best word, mostly because I did not know the Portuguese word, I was forced to start looking for synonyms, or other ways of saying and expressing what I wanted to from English to Portuguese. It was during this time I became aware of some poorly translated passages in the Bible and BoM. What I mean by poorly translated, is that the translation did not used the best word, or synonym and because of it, it created a misleading interpretation to the translated text.

    So, with this as a backdrop, I found myself, one Sunday morning, sitting in a Fast and Testimony meeting listening to “testimony” after boring “testimony”, when it struck me that all the participants were using the same verb and noun combination, namely “to know” and “knowledge”. Now, in Portuguese (and other Latin-based languages) there are at least two different words used to describe “to know” and “knowledge. In the first sense, is the verb conhecer, which means to know by way of meeting someone/something or having knowledge of someone/something; for example: Do you know Chuck Norris? No, but I know of him. Or do you know that there was a flood in Brazil? No, but I heard it on the news. In these instances, the person does not have firsthand, eyewitness experience. The second sense is the verb saber, which means to know a fact – like math and science or something that you have witnessed with your eyes, ears, nose or touch. Saber also implies that you can prove something.

    So, the question that popped into my head that Sunday morning was, “How do all these people “know” all the things that they claim?” They were all claiming the usual: they knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the BoM was a true book et al. After hearing this for the requisite hour, a scene appeared in my mind of a Heavenly courtroom with a trial in progress. The Heavenly prosecutor had on the Heavenly stand a person who was going to provide testimony to all the things that had been spoken of in the Fast and Testimony meeting. The cross examination went something like this: (HP = Heavenly Prosecutor, HW = Heavenly Witness)

    HP: So, HW you are hear to bear testimony to the case at hand, is that correct?
    HW: Yes I am.
    HP: And this case is to determine if Joseph Smith was true prophet, if the BoM is a true book of God and if the LDS church is the true church of God. Is that correct?
    HW: Yes that is correct.
    HP: Okay, so let me ask you if you’ve ever met Joseph Smith?
    HW: No.
    HP: Have you ever spoken with him?
    HW: No, he died many years ago.
    HP: I see. So, did you witness with your eyes him translating the BoM?
    HW: No.
    HP: Did you see or handle the Gold Plates?
    HW: No.
    HP: So, HW, you’ve never seen Joseph Smith; you’ve never spoken with him; you didn’t see him translate the BoM; and you didn’t see or touch the Gold Plates?
    HW: Correct.
    HP: So, please tell the Heavenly Court why you are here as a witness to provide (bear) testimony?
    HW: Well, I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I KNOW that the BoM is true!
    HP: How do you KNOW this?
    HW: Well, I read the BoM and prayed about it and God answered my prayer telling me that it was true.
    HP: How do you KNOW it was God that answered your prayer?
    HW: Well, it was through the Holy Ghost.
    HP: And how do you KNOW it was the Holy Ghost.
    HW: Because I received a burning in my bosum and also the Bible says that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; which is what I felt after praying.
    HP: And how do you KNOW what the Bible says is true?
    This cross examination goes on a while longer, but ends when the Heavenly Prosecuter finally gets the Heavenly Witness to admit that he doesn’t KNOW any of this but rather he BELIEVES it. The HW testimony is subsequently thrown out as hearsay.

    And that is post’s thesis; that we do not KNOW any of this but that we BELIEVE it. And the scriptures teach this over and over. We are to walk by faith, not sight.

    Additionally, imagine how more receptive people would be if, as missionaries for example, when we approach someone at their home to bear “testimony” we said, “I BELIEVE…” instead of saying, “I KNOW…”. Saying that you know something puts the other person on the defensive. Often times you’re seen as an attacker. It is more accurate and positive to tell people what you believe and why you believe it, because ultimately, we don’t KNOW any of this.

    Regarding the role of the HG, I refer back to the usage of the word “know” when the Bible discusses how one will know something. I think this is the incorrect definition to use, since “to know” something has many different meanings: you can know something by reading, by doing experiments (chemistry and engineering), by mathematical equations, by visiting a place (vacation). I believe that the sense for the word to “know” is really that the HG strengthens our believe system. We don’t have provable knowlegde regarding any of the things of God, and that, by definition is faith or a belief system. :^)

  13. Daitoryu:

    What would you say is the gift of knowledge and the gift to know that Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the world from D&C 46?

    Is it a saber or a conocer?

    Or is it perhaps a third thing entirely that language cannot effectively communicate?

    I agree that most people in LDS settings who say that they “know” a particular aspect of theology really mean to say that they believe, or hope, or would like to think that that certain thing is true.

    However, to what extent can saints be given knowledge from the Holy Ghost — and would it be acceptable in the Heavenly Court scenario?

  14. Justin, thank you for your follow-up question as it’s a very good question to ask.

    Firstly, I must acknowledge that I do not own the Hebrew language Bible, so I am unable to compare the translation from the Hebrew word, to the English word to the the Portuguese word and to the many other languages that completes the translation cycle. But, I would like to suggest that the use of the word/verb “know” should be interpreted as to “understand” or ” be made aware of”. In my way of thinking (drawing on my language experiences in Brazil and my understanding of English) to say that you “know” something (saber) means that you can prove it or you were/are a firsthand eyewitness. Otherwise, my understanding is that all other uses for “to know” and “knowledge” in English would follow the conhecer word – knowing of something by learning, reading, studying, experimenting etc. or better still, to understand, comprehend (entendimento, compreentendimento).

    Secondly, one distinction that I wanted to draw is that words have meanings and they should mean something! Unfortunately, English permits many, many different definitions for the same word. Or it uses non-sensical meanings, such as the definition of bi-weekly, bi-annual, bi-monthy, etc. From http://www.m-w.com Bi-monthly: occurring every two months 2: occurring twice a month : semimonthly. Shouldn’t semimonthly mean the antipode of bimonthly? So, if you get paid bi-monthly, do you receive a check twice a month or once every two months? Do you see my point with the English language?

    Thirdly, I’m not saying that one cannot “know” these things, but the Scriptures teach that once you have knowlege or perfect knowledge, you no longer have faith, and we are instructed to walk by faith. The inhabitants of Enoch presumably had knowledge of the things of God and they were translated because of it; they could no longer live in a faith-based world.

    Fourthly, I do believe that people can have knowledge and can know the things of God, but they would need to be firsthand eyewitnesses, like Joseph Smith. He can say that he knows HF and JC, but we can only say that we believe Joseph Smith’s story. We have no proof or are we eyewitnessses. So, for a testimony stating that the person knows something, it would require him/her to prove it or declare that they are first hand witnesses. Otherwise all these testimonies are simply hearsay and not admissible in any court, espcially a Heavenly one! Compare that with what you typically hear in any Fast and Testimony meeting. Does it pass the test? Is it a testimony or hearsay?

    As an asside, try substituting the word “understanding” or any of its derivatives whereever you see the word “knowledge” or any of its derivatives. Do you see the difference it makes? And I believe that this way of thinking will lead to a more peaceful, Christ-like existence for Christians. Instead of trying to prove everything and creating contention, simply state what you believe – not what you think you know – and see what a change that makes.

  15. FWIW:

    According to Strong’s concordance — the Hebrew yada signifies both seeing and knowing, or an intimate kind of acquainted knowledge.

    The gifts of the Spirit that are enumerated in 1 Cor 12 use gnosis for the gift of the word of knowledge. Along the same lines as Hebrew — it’s to become aquatinted with, to perceive, to know on an intimate level, etc.

    The 1828 Webster’s yields:

    1. A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas.
    We can have no knowledge of that which does not exist. God has a perfect knowledge of all his works. Human knowledge is very limited, and is mostly gained by observation and experience.
    2. Learning; illumination of mind.
    Ignorance is the curse of God, knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
    3. Skill; as a knowledge of seamanship.
    4. Acquaintance with any fact or person. I have no knowledge of the man or thing.
    5. Cognizance; notice. Ruth 2.
    6. Information; power of knowing.
    7. Sexual intercourse. But it is usual to prefix carnal; as carnal knowledge.

    There are 317 definitions for “take” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Imagine such a thing in something like Morse code, where • – – represents the letter D. But let’s say that under other conditions, it could represent any other letter. The decoding just got much harder. You would now need a new set of rules just to figure out how to start to decode. Why, then, is the English language so ambiguous with meaning? Well, it’s not. You know what “take” means when you use it or hear it used. Ambiguity only appears when we name isolated words as the basic unit of meaning. A dictionary definition is only an alternate verbalization derived from collected contexts in which the word has been previously used. We might as well draw up a dictionary of syllables – defining all the different ways in which the “-ay” sound can be used.

  16. Very interesting Daitoryu. If I understand you correctly you are saying a witness of the Holy Ghost does not impart knowledge to someone because to know something you have to be a witness, which you interpret as seeing or being there and feeling an object such as the gold plates. So unless you had an experience of using one of your five senses you didn’t witness anything.
    I agree with you that saying “well the Bible says that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, is of God and that is what I felt.” is circular reasoning. I will go further and say that these feelings have been used by many Mormons (probably others also) to say they know a thing. But in fact feelings are emotions and should not be construed as proof. I would give then as evidence of certain things. But their source is not always known.
    But I would love to go up against your HP and rip him a new one. So I will.
    First I will demonstrate how what HP says constitutes a true witness is hogwash.

    Mr HP you say if I had been next to Joseph Smith as he translated then I might be a witness of the fact. But tell me what would I know? I would know I was looking at a man with what appeared to be a book written on gold plates. But no I wouldn’t even know that since I can’t read the writing I don’t even know if it is in anyway a book with words. And since I haven’t applied a weight or acid test to the material and every page of it I don’t even know if it is made of gold. And even if I had proved that each page was solid gold what would that prove of its origin, not a thing!
    And of its content I have zero proof. And of the translation and correctness thereof I have even less.
    Now if I had been standing right close at hand and saw Moroni hand the plates to Joseph then maybe you would say that I would be a true witness of the fact. But no I would not be in any degree. Just because you know nothing of holographic projections and other super high tech gadgetry doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been used to fool you. And just because you see an angel what makes you sure he was telling the truth? You just take his word for it? Every being has his agency any of them could say whatever they want.
    So Hp would you say John the baptist had a knowledge that Jesus was the Son of God because he saw a sign of a dove and heard a voice at the same time. What does that prove? Any magician can make doves appear out of nowhere and just because at the time you were on earth John you knew nothing of Dolby surround sound hidden speakers doesn’t prove you really heard God’s voice out of heaven speaking.
    And who is to say that a more advanced group of people didn’t stage the whole appearance of Jesus in the land bountiful to those rubes in the book of Mormon.

    No Mr. HP what you have been letting pass as witness fails the test miserably.
    You see anything perceived by a sense is no better than feelings and emotions. So Mr. HP your form of witness is hereby rejected and invalid in this court. And your not even going to get your last paycheck good bye.

    Now Daitoryu you are correct that belief is supremely important and it is an integral part of how we live the truth and follow God. And in fact it is sufficient to do great things and even most things. I even understand and believe that faith is greater than knowledge as LDSA taught in his series on the Faith of God.

    And these sensory and emotional experiences we have do provide a degree of belief building yes you are right on that. But look again at the words of my testimony. I chose them carefully or rather I believe I was directed to say it using specific words at the time. the words are different than those experiences stated by HW.

    The Holy Ghost who bore witness of this so strongly that I knew what was being communicated was true…

    I did not add it in that testimony in San Fran area so I didn’t add it here. But When the Father communicated to me I realized that it was more powerful than if an angel had appeared to me and testified.
    So how did Joseph know that it was the Father and the Son that he was “seeing” I say seeing in quotes because the natural eyes can not gaze upon those men without being vaporized. And what protected him? It was the Holy Ghost who came upon him and not only protected but allowed him to know who it was that was speaking to him.
    What is this thing? It not just a burning in the bosom it is not just a warm feeling or anything like that. Do you think Joseph would have suffered what he did based upon a good feeling?
    Yes I concede he could have. Jim Jones down in Guyana dying and killing hundreds and the 20 or so people out in California committing suicide in order to be with the space men I do not believe were moved upon by the Holy Ghost but they went to their deaths based upon something they felt. Yes something they felt or saw or heard or touched or tasted or smelled.
    But from my own experience I believe Joseph had more than just a great set of sensory experiences.
    When the Holy Ghost witnessed to me none of my senses nor even my emotions had a hand in my witness of the Book of Mormon nor of God’s reality and His love for me. I was emotional after having received the witness yes. But it was not a feeling or an emotion which came over me.
    But what was it? It was and is just as Joseph said it is.
    It is pure knowledge. It is the only real knowledge which will hold up in a heavenly court. All else is suspect and can be called into question.
    I am not sure how many people have experienced what I did. But I have been seeing and touching and hearing things for years in this multiple sensory reality we call life.
    And none of the “knowledge” I have from these sources holds a candle to the pure knowledge which has flowed into me from the Holy Ghost.
    Without that source we can know nothing. As I used to say I know God lives even more than I know I live. The truth of my own existence is by those senses and my thoughts that I have. But a knowledge and witness of God’s existence was deliver from a more reliable source.
    That is the basis of my testimony.
    Before it was given to me I stood in church and said, “I don’t know this church is true. I believe it is but I haven’t had an angel appear to me or anything so I won’t say I know it is true.” Had I had more understanding I would have said the gospel instead of this church. But I was referring to the truth of God’s existence and the other basic claims of the church.
    So later when I had this witness I marveled at how God had demonstrated to me that the pure knowledge from the Holy Ghost is more powerful than seeing an angel.

    I hope I haven’t left out any “not” that should be there or made other mistakes which would cloud my meaning here. I hope this edifies those who read it. I don’t want it to offend. But I can’t help how people might react.

    I love you Daitoryu. You are my brother. I love all the children of God and I love Him. I have said what I have said in order to explain something which can seldom be explained. Thank you for allowing me to do that.

  17. Amen dyc4557 and Deej. Excellent post. As I have grown closer to my Lord and feeing babylon I have been awakened and considered leaving the church, but the Spirit seems to tell me that that time is not yet come for me for many reasons. One is like Justin said that keys and the Priesthood are still present and the Gospel is true though people are imperfect in their faith and walk with God per say. I think that people aware like us should be the Abinidis to boldly testify to influemce the Almas within our circles of influence. Are we willing to stand as witnesses of Christ in ALL places and at ALL times even unto persecution and death?

  18. I agree that the Holy Spirit will indicate the best timing for every individual. If we are to believe Ezekiel 34 (Covered in Church TM not too long ago) then we know that ALL The Lord’s sheep will eventually be brought out from these current shepherds stewardship. But I also see that since a large part of God’s promised work is to gather, He will often move many people through the influence of the spirit to make moves which are not only similar but actually coincide.

    To correctly make that analogy, we would indeed have to be willing to suffer unto death as Abinidai. I wonder if Abinidai was “active” though at the time. I mean he was “cast out” and had to re-enter in disguise. Of course his situation may indeed be more applicable to the times which we are just now but rapidly entering, in terms of the stranglehold which apostasy can and inevitably will take when both forms of government (Church & State) gain full strength and at last cleave together in their carnal and adulterous relationship. Until then it is more than fine, perhaps very instructive, but not literally accurate to compare ourselves to the courage of Abinidai. And if we want to look at ourselves as softer versions of Abinidai to influence the Almas within “our” wards and branches then let us not forget also what made Alma so great in the Lord’s sight and mighty in His hands….Alma left the old and dying organization.

  19. Brother Deej,

    Your efforts and time may have a greater effect on others than you realize. And at some point may have a greater effect from outside than inside. I know this is a difficult concept for us. We are prone to say and believe things like “well if you study babylonian law you can help make the world a better place by administering truth and justice” or “sure there are many (understatement of the millenium) corrupt people in politics, business, law enforcement”….(fill in the blank)….”but if you don’t get into those fields then what can you do to help the world?” In truth we don’t really believe that Jesus Christ has commissioned us to go and brighten the office, halls of government or wherever with our watered down, non offensive, world approved, sunny “gospel”TM message. Not one of us even pretends to be on a mission to bring the evil system down “from the inside”. We say and rightly so, “One man can’t bring Babylon down singlehandedly.” But at the same time we worship the work of our hands and feel like we are justified in shaking other hands outside of the temple because “We are the salt of the earth” and we’re just so damn bright and talented. We gloat and beam as stories are told about the “light in the eyes of LDS youth” who obediently (to the God of the STATE of Israel) remain silent but supposedly share their “testimonies” TM through this gleam in their eyes. We content ourselves with “working on” a list of “talents”TM which are highly useful and profitable to Lucifer. Since the overwhelming majority of us (whether black, white or brown) have grown up in/under a gentile culture which venerates Rome in innumerable ways, we mostly speak, teach and preach in Latin based language systems. So when we hear the parable of the talents we automatically are programmed to think of Lucifer’s little lists. This brings us to the point where two SUNdays ago I listened to an LDS bishop comment on the priesthood lesson regarding “Gifts of the spirit” and talk for 20 mins. about the “Gift of speaking”. So now brothers, the spirit is ONE but the “Gifts” TM are many….The Gift of Gab, The Gift of Knowing How to Sing and Dance (this particular gift was greatly manifest among the Osmonds) and the Gift of Being Able to Appreciate the Superb Performances of Those Who Know How to Sing and Dance, (I think Hinckley had this one, hence the conference center was dedicated to host many attention grabbing artistic performances) The Gift of Tongues (available to anyone spending at least 2 months solid study in the MTC) We substitute those “talents” for the gifts of the spirit and count ourselves “Highly Favoured” because, (Surprise, Surprise) these talents just so happen to be the ones that make the most money in the world. How convenient!
    I realize It’s just your opinion, (not a testimony or anyghing) but I too happen to think a Zion type person flees Babylon, but doesn’t walk away from others, unless prompted to do so. However I find it interesting that You see a lot of great people in my “your” ward trying to become better. This is interesting to me ecause, I used to see them everywhere myself. In Provo, in Salt Lake, in Binghamton New York, in Santiago Chile, in Evansville Indiana, in Menlo Park CA, in Guadalajara Mexico….in the mirror! But, funny thing is Moroni (who saw all I have seen and more) who saw US…didn’t see even good people, let alone these “great people trying to become better”. He instead seems to “speak from the dust” directly to the LDS Bishop who I listened to two weeks ago, correcting his modern Babylonian programming with the enlightening GOSPEL OF CHRIST, providing another clarification of the spiritual gifts, adding, “Christ truly said unto our fathers: IF ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.” And then he says:
    24And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.
    25And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be NONE that doeth good among you, NO NOT ONE. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.
    26And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.
    Deej, I am starting to believe that Moroni was not lying and that he spoke the words which Christ wanted me to hear. So while at THIS point, you may have a hard time thinking the Lord would want us to jump ship just because of the bologna that we see that goes on. Maybe we should consider the STUFF that goes on which we DO NOT SEE which makes bologna look like the most nutritious meal and a godsend in comparison. You and I both might have a hard time seeing the Lord say, “These guys are lame and don’t appreciate me, I’m outta here.” But maybe if we wipe some of that pride out of our eyes we will open them and see that of course HE would never say that to us….but those are pretty much the exact words WE have collectively spoken to HIM. Your idea that this type of situation would leave all of us “to ourselves,” is exactly what we should be aware of when considering the parable of the Ten Virgins. But I’m sure that Food Storage will suffice as the perfect Oil In Our Lamps Program TM and that it will surely roll forth from the inspired halls of the Church Office Building …”To The Rescue” in the nick of time.

  20. ….Alma left the old and dying organization.

    I’m with ya and understand your anger and disappointment Brother Chantdown.

    Let us not forget that Alma did not just pick up and leave, no first he tried to correct things from within, they persecuted him and kicked him out. Then Alma tried correcting things secretly, They sought after him to destroy and kill him. Alma did his due dilligence and then left taking those that would with him.

  21. I see a common tendency for people who are sure of the truth of something to make the error of a one size fits all application.
    I think in reality in the scope of the gospel of Christ there are only a few things that can be said which apply to all.
    1. Those who are living in the Celestial world are happier than those in Hell.
    2. The path required to return to God is as varied as is our present location.
    3. All paths to God will eventually converge.
    4. I don’t really know what experiences any other person needs to have for him to be prepared to live in the celestial world.
    5. God lets the righteous and the wicked know what they should and shouldn’t do.

    Therefore while Alma was in the apostate group until they tried to kill him and then secretly won converts and lead them to safety, Abinadi got up and bore a testimony that would have landed him in jail had he not jumped ship and disappeared for 2 years. And we only hear of him again because he had the rare assignment to go suffer death for his testimony. And yet we have Samuel the Lamanite who bore a testimony which was met with an immediate effort to kill him. But it was not for him to die. Instead he just jumped ship and was never seen in the Zarahemla stake again. It doesn’t sound like he even waited to be released from his calling.

    I had an experience where my adult son refused contact with me for 5 years. During the last year I got him to respond to two emails. In one he said the spirit of God had inspired him to not have contact with me. As I read that sentence I found it hard to believe it was the spirit of God which told him that. Yet further on he said he was trying to honor Jesus Christ. And when I read that it rang true with my soul. I then had to conclude if I feel the latter is true then I must believe the former also. So although it was hard to fathom I did believe it. When he did return to contact with me and I heard the whole story I realized how it made perfect sense for him to pass through what he had without any contact with me.
    Moral ?
    I believe we will be told different ways to handle this time depending upon our circumstances. So don’t judge just trust the plan of agency.

  22. My comment above was the result of pondering for a day or so over the comment by deej I had seen. Just now I was trying to go to sleep (I have a lot on my mind right now) when I realized how much I agreed with and had been trying to tell others the same principle that Elder Chantdown mentioned above. Of all the things we on this site may say or other people who are calling into question the status of the current LDS church no words have been more condemning than those of Moroni regarding the gifts of the Spirit.
    Can you see any evidence of their widespread use in the church? I have been seeking to have them since more than 6 month ago and prayed and fasted and yet I was dismayed when the Lord seemed totally silent on the matter. Then I realized that He was saying that He can not bless us with those gifts while the membership and leadership of the church refuses to have all things in common. It would go against His own word. LDSA has quoted this verse several times. D&C 70:14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.
    So in reality if I want to have the manifestations of the spirit in the place where I go to church, then I had better go to a church where we share all things in common. This is the simplest of all doctrines to observe; that it happened every time a dispensation of the gospel was given. And it is relatively easy to do if any group really wants to.
    But when you attend a church which spends 3 billion US dollars (I don’t care if it isn’t tithing) on building a shopping/commercial center right close to the temple and exactly ZERO on implementing the law of consecration I would hazard a guess that the odds are pretty close to 3 billion-to-zero that an abundance of the gifts of the spirit are not going to be found in that church.
    So now you may say well there isn’t any church or group that lives with all things in common. How about forming your tribal organization and getting on with living that way? That is what I am going to do.
    I want to live the full gospel of Jesus Christ. I am going to start by having all things in common in my tribe so I can claim the blessings God has offered to those who obey the law given for that blessing. I can not do this within the LDS church.

  23. Read this on Denver Snuffer’s sight today, and thought it applied to the discernment of the condition of the current LDS Church:

    There really is no static position in nature. The full moon of two nights ago is now replaced by the waning gibbous immediately as the light begins to be lost. Nor does the half-moon last longer than a single night, followed by the waning crescent. When the moon’s light is altogether stricken, the new moon phase begins with the waxing crescent which is, at first, only a sliver. But it follows nightly through the waxing crescent, to the half moon, to the waxing gibbous, to the full moon. Always in motion. Always either growing or receding in light.

    So also with the sun. From solstice to equinox, to solstice to equinox, it grows, then dims. Never static. It is impossible to freeze the light. It will grow or it will fade.

    All things in nature testify of the truth. This includes things in the “heavens” or sky above, as well as things on, in and under the earth. (Moses 6: 63.)

    It is not possible for an individual, nor a collection of individuals, to remain static. They are either involved with restoring truth or in apostasy from it; never merely “preserving” it. Those who claim to merely preserve the truth given them are concealing the fact of their apostasy. They are soothing their conscience. Caretakers simply cannot exist.

    All great truths are simple, and they are testified of in nature as well as in scripture.

  24. dyc4557 said,

    Of all the things we on this site may say or other people who are calling into question the status of the current LDS church no words have been more condemning than those of Moroni regarding the gifts of the Spirit. Can you see any evidence of their widespread use in the church? I have been seeking to have them since more than 6 month ago and prayed and fasted and yet I was dismayed when the Lord seemed totally silent on the matter.

    I have a new, working theory as to why the gifts of the Spirit appear to be absent. It is only a theory, but I’ve presented it to my wife and she thinks it sounds right. I am currently conducting experiments to acquire some gifts based on this new theory. I’ve got it all in my head, but I plan to write it down and put it up as a post soon. Sorry for the tease but I need more than a comment to explain it. I only mention it here to show that you are not alone in being concerned about the lack of gifts. I, also, have been troubled about, and working on, this problem. I’ll write more later…

  25. LDSA I anxiously await.
    And Justin that comment is the perfect elucidation of one of the principles I received from my fast ended this morning.
    I have been going through some real effort filled times of late. I am separated from my wife and the Lord has made it clear if I want to do His will I must divorce her. There can be no trying to work it out (of course I have been trying that for years).
    So I am reevaluating many things in my life. As I become aware that things must be left behind I feel a great sense of loss. I petitioned the Lord as to how to get back on track and move forward. He pointed me toward the comment I made last night about the church and the gifts being absent. I regained great spiritual strength as I firmly decided to focus on the tribe and fully living Christ’s gospel.
    In the midst of all my trials I had not had emotional energy to concentrate on that and so had felt a decrease in direction. So just as Snuffer says we can’t rest in one place. We must act upon the truths He has given us or we will lose them.

  26. Jew1967,

    That is a very good point about Alma. All the faithful will go through unique escape routes but all must exodus eventually from Babylon. To judge unrighteously and falsely accuse one of not having followed the Holy Spirit when we know nothing of his or her personal struggles and missions to work with others as a Christ-like example is a dangerous thing. This is why I feel it very wrong to use a term like “jump ship” with all of its negative connotation. I think that even though other LDS can be very soft spoken and upbeat in their “council” when they speak out of fear and pride they subconsciously project that in the words they use/choose.

    Heavenly Father has made me keenly aware of the plight of the weak and disinherited. I prefer to take a page from Captain Moroni and lash out against falsehood trusting that anyone who is a friend in Christ will not take it personally since there is no offense intended to my brethren. But BULLIES beware! Bullies, even and especially those soft spoken, smiling bullies are my enemy inasmuch as they seek to intimidate or manipulate the meek people who are within earshot or under their careful yet nonetheless unrighteous dominion. If my suffering at the hand of such subtle abuse can serve for nothing more I pray God to let me be instrumental in speaking words of truth to liberate and with proper priesthood authority influence the heart of merely one other soul.

    But then again maybe “jump ship” is perfect terminology as things start looking more and more like the Titanic around here. Wasn’t it “Ananas” at TruthHurts who once offered an allegory involving life boats? Speaking of “Ananas” I miss him badly. Who knows whats up with him lately? Has he perhaps been moved to board one of those life boats for himself and his family?

  27. Elder Chantdown:

    Read this post at Wheat and Tares — Ananas is comments [#87] and [#102] — he explains his current situation that has necessitated that he remove his blog and stop associating with people online.

  28. Justin:

    I’m not totally absent. Just comment a lot less and have to be a lot more judicious about the monikers I choose to use – I never was the brightest of tools in the video store. I’m still as apostate as I ever was, just in a bit more introspective fashion.

    Chantdown: I know a group of people up in the Northwest who happen to be starting a little “all things in common” type set-up. Not sure if they’re actively expanding, but it is happening.

  29. Frank: I’m not totally absent. Just comment a lot less and have to be a lot more judicious about the monikers I choose to use

    That’s good to hear.

  30. I thought Frank had a familiar spirit. Am thank you for your work. It has blessed my life.

  31. dyc4557, I apologize for the delay in telling you about the new theory that I mentioned above. I began my little experiment sometime between January 19th and January 24th (I don’t recall the exact date I started) and it is now February 19th and I still have not finished the research. I did not think my experiment would take one whole month. I’m a bit embarrassed by that fact. I will apply myself this week to finish the research and publish my findings. Thank you for your patience.

  32. My patience? What about your patience? I still have not finished the faith of God review. But in my defense I will say it is emotionally zapping to be going through a divorce while being away from any place I could call mine for nearly three months now.And having to defend my choices and some of my views to some family members is tough. The Lord has been having me help people and prove others as He teaches me what I need to do and then moves me on. I believe I am soon to return to Mexico. I believe I have learned what He needs me to know before returning.
    But it is true I have not forgotten your comment and still look forward to what you find. Just don’t put any pressure on yourself on my account.

  33. I too have felt a lack of the Spirit among the mmbers for in a pronounced way for about 18 yars now. I’ve never been apart of the Utah experience other than to here it from friends who came from there because of what they saw and didn’t like. So I assume it has rooed itself in the heart of the church in Salt Lake much sooner than in outlying Stakes.

    These conditions remind me of the predicament that the people of Qumran found themselves in when they began to realize the Pharasees & Saducees who Officially represented God in their day, had drifted from God and they felt the need to seperate themselves from them in order to maintain spiritual purity.

    The problem they experienced in doing that is that they were Leaderless and were described as “Blind men groping in the dark for 20 years ” until the Lord sent them a Teacher of Righteousness to give them understanding and light their oath to God.

    This occured at a tme before the first coming of the Lord which in many ways is very similar to what weare now experiencing and need to have someone sent to light our path to God & His second coming.

    John the Baptist fits the bill as having been this first Teacher of Righteousness for whom he claimed a future man to fill a similar role would rise up in the Last Days.

    I’m sure this is refering to the One Mighty and Strong One the Lord is to send to serve as a plunbline between descerning the Righteous from the wicked.

    As far as having personal reservations about maintaining or not maintaining active church membership, I would think it would depend on the individual circumstances which a member and their Family faces in their particular ward.

    The end result is that the Lord knows these conditions exist an has promised a resolution in time and for us to be patient. The time we FEEL is a delay is described by God as NOT being a delay but to WAIT for it.

    This means that He is waiting for the “Mystery of Iniquity” ( A secret combination within the Lord’s Church ) to run it’s course and make it PUBLIC apearance before the members at some future conference. THEN God will send the One Mighty & Strong to oppose that False hood & LIE and offer an alternative choice to believing in a LIE…The False Prophet who will make his public appearance to convince the members there is nothing to worry about…”All is well in Zion” . And as Isaiah tells us…” Beware of the man who publically DECLARES this.

    This HAS been occuring by way of inference, but this will be an OFFICIAL DECLARATION of assurance to a bunch of worried members, as civil unrest and potential Nuclear War looms mightily in our faces and we are told NOT TO WORRY….Our Leaders have made a pact with the devil to insure our protection as per Isaiah.

    I suspect these conditions to make themselves apparent throughout this coming year of 2012.

    So regardless of where we PHYSICALLY stand in or out of h Church, we are somewhat as “Blind Men groping in the dark” until God sends His solution and He UNDERSTANDS this. So He is telling us NOT TO WORRY…Just be patient.


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