Marriage

After holding a series of meetings involving many individuals and prayerfully discussing the need to address marriage, a conference on this subject has adopted the following statement to be published on the Recorders Clearinghouse website:

Introduction:

To preserve the restoration begun by Joseph Smith Jr., it is necessary to revisit the ministry of Joseph. He was called as a prophet of God, and thus had access to the mind and will of God – even in regard to such sacred matters as marriage between a man and a woman.

To follow Joseph’s example regarding marriage, and show how the things he did are still applicable today, that which follows will visit some of the issues facing couples when they elect to marry outside of their traditional institutions. Some of these are: Who can perform a wedding? What about sealing authority? Did Joseph seal couples? Can I? And how does section 101 of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants fit into the picture?

Joseph began marrying couples in Ohio on November 24, 1835 with the marriage of Newel Knight to Lydia Bailey. Within the next two months he had married ten more couples and by June 19, 1837 he had married a total of nineteen. He felt that his authority to do so came to him from God, as a minister ordained by Him (God). It was never proven against him that he did not have the authority he assumed, although several made the attempt.

Many of the things Joseph did, and the way he did them are applicable today. Hopefully that will be clarified below.

Who can perform marriages?

First, every state and nation has local laws that need to be consulted. In many states, like in Utah, there is a uniform code standardizing procedures. These will be discussed for Utah, to guide others in examining their state’s requirements. If a marriage is valid in the place it is performed, then the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constitution makes it valid throughout the United States.

In Utah, these are some of the ways a person can become legally qualified to perform marriages:

A. One of the really interesting things about the statute in Davis County, Utah is spelled out in 30-1-5. It says:
A marriage solemnized before a person professing to have authority to perform marriages may not be invalidated for lack of authority, if consummated in the belief of the parties or either of them that the person had authority and that they have been lawfully married. This section may not be construed to validate a marriage that is prohibited or void under Section 30-1-2.

B. Utah, among a host of other States, allows Common Law Marriage. Many people think they want to get a “common law marriage.” All that is required is to live together as husband and wife and hold yourself out to others as married. By living together, assuming the responsibilities, and rights of married partners you are considered married, but you will not have a marriage certificate without involving the State. If you ever need to collect insurance benefits, survivor’s benefits, inherit property, and other things, you may need proof in the form of a marriage certificate. If that is the case, you may discover it would have been cheaper and less of a hassle to have been married and had your marriage recorded in the County of your residence in the first place.

C. In Utah, [almost] anyone can qualify before the County Recorder to be authorized to marry any [lawful] couple. This is a one-time only permission. You just get a form called Single Ceremony Marriage Designee Appointment and Agreement from your local County Recorder. You are required to sign it along with the couple being married, and you are good to go. The couple pick up a packet which includes a blank marriage license, and a marriage certificate to be handed to the couple at the completion of the ceremony, and the officiator returns the signed and witnessed license to the Recorder’s office within a month after the ceremony. About three weeks later, the Recorder’s office sends two certified copies of the license back to the couple. Most all Counties have some variation of this process. Check with your County Recorder’s office.

This seems to be the least restrictive, and cheapest way in the long run to become legally recognized as the minister of the ordinance.

D. You could become ordained as an online minister. Just google it and they will all ask for your money and give you an ordination certificate.

We all want our friends, family, and acquaintances to attend our wedding. For that purpose Joseph approved the following, which was once section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

“1. According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies; Therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: And that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (D&C 101: 1. 1835 edition.)

The section then gives instructions in verse 2 as to how the marriage should proceed, which should be followed verbatim.

It then gives one particular statement which made it offensive to those considering or practicing polygamy:

“…Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: We declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”

So, who can marry? And what will the effect be? From the foregoing, almost anyone can be certified to marry anyone else. Just follow one of the outlined steps above.

But—

Joseph felt priesthood ordination was also necessary. Today that priesthood has become one, integrated priesthood: The Priesthood of the Holy Order of the Son of God. The individual becomes authorized by a hands-on ordination either previous to April 2014 in the LDS church, or thereafter by a hands-on ordination by a current priesthood holder. This ordination is then ratified by seven women, which must include his wife, if married, and their signatures affixed to a priesthood certificate. Of course, as always, a father has prerogative to act as a priest within his own home and family without regards to any certificate.

The last step in obtaining power (as opposed to mere authority in the priesthood) is to petition God for power from on High to officiate in any priesthood ordinance, and have it recognized above as it is performed on earth. Nephi said it very succinctly when he wrote, “But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” (2 Nephi 32: 9.)

Next, sealing authority will be discussed as it pertains to marriages outside the mainstream LDS tradition.

As the foregoing is public and festive, what follows should be more solemn, and perhaps even closed to those who would judge or ridicule.

Did Joseph Seal Couples? Can I?

Until a man attains to the “office of priesthood” (See D&C 124: 91) as did Joseph and Hyrum Smith, he does not have sealing power residing as a right within himself. He must rely upon the servant who has communed with the Lord and obtained a covenant, which is then embodied into ordinance or rite. Joseph and Hyrum were given this authority to seal. But they could not pass it along. It is given by God alone. These servants are no longer available, and so we rely on the sealing authority established in the ordinance as the covenant from God. This is the law until another covenant is offered by God, which is expected before His return.

If the covenant established by God in the ordinance given to Joseph Smith has been changed or broken (Isaiah 24: 5), then our only recourse to having an eternal marriage covenant is to petition God for the power from heaven to seal our marriages, and for us to then rely upon the “Holy Spirit of Promise” to ratify marriages for eternity.

Much is made of “keys” in order to exercise God’s authority, but the only real definition provided by the scriptures regarding “keys” is that they give a man the ability to ask of heaven, and get an answer.

Joseph and Hyrum had keys to ask and receive an answer. We can read of their receiving the sealing power from God, (See D&C 124: 94-96 & D&C 132: 45-49) but they were killed. If they left an ordinance of sealing, the question must be asked: has it been changed or broken?

To insure its preservation, Brigham Young had the temple sealing ceremony written and typeset for the first time in 1876, one year prior to his death. This original typeset version is still available. But it was over three decades after Joseph and Hyrum were martyred that it was written out. Was it the one Joseph left? Most likely, the ordinance was changed shortly after Joseph’s death. Regardless of the answer, whether yes or no, the temple rites have undergone many changes since.

We know of no man on the earth today claiming at this time the right to seal by virtue of the rites and ordinances he has received from on High. Therefore, it defaults to each man desiring power from heaven to ask and receive his own answer, and then have his actions ratified by our Savior, Jesus Christ, in His capacity as “The Holy Spirit of Promise.”

Even after Moses was taken, the rites established through the Law of Moses were approved by God as His covenant. Wicked and corrupt priests performed these rites, and the Jews reaped benefit from them. The power was established by God through Moses, and remained viable so long as the ordinances remained unchanged.

If we have inherited a broken covenant, we can still have our intents, and the desires of our hearts, ratified by the Holy Spirit of Promise. This has been accomplished many times, even in LDS temples, where a witness of the Spirit has been given to the couple and even the officiator, that the marriage has been sealed in this fashion.

So here is the pattern recommended:

The father of one of the couple, or another who has been chosen to officiate, asks and receives from heaven, power to officiate. Having done so, he invites the bride and groom to kneel (or stand, if more appropriate) before him and to take each other by the right hand. The following discussion and announcements are then to take place:

OFFICIATOR: Brother ________, do you take sister ________ by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

GROOM: Yes.

OFFICIATOR: Sister ________, do you take brother ________, by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

BRIDE: Yes.

OFFICIATOR: By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you ________, and you ________, legally, and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality, and eternal lives, and I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions, and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining unto the New and Everlasting Covenant, I seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, through your faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

You may now kiss each other as husband and wife in this true order of matrimony.

Heaven can now do its work until the groom and bride are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

A note about temples:

LDS people will recognize this language from the LDS temple sealing ceremony, and may be surprised to see the ordinance used outside a temple. However, Joseph Smith sealed many couples, and he never did so within a temple. The covenant is contained in the words of the ordinance, regardless of the location it is performed. It can be performed in a home, out in nature, or anywhere meaningful to the couple.

Similarly, some may expect the need to be ordained as a “sealer” to perform this ordinance. Again, as stated before, the covenant is dependent on Joseph Smith who established it, rather than on the ordination of the one reciting the words. Any priesthood holder can seek and receive heaven’s ratification to perform the ordinance. It then falls to the couple to seek and receive sealing by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

And it is worth noting, even if the ordinance has been changed since Joseph established it, it is still the closest we can come to Joseph’s original wording, and using it shows acceptance of Joseph’s ministry. Those who honor what remains from Joseph show their willingness to accept the everlasting covenant when it returns.

Conclusion:

Two patterns of marriage have been discussed. One is very public, festive, and attended by all who desire to come. The other is a solemn occasion, attended by those the bride and groom would invite for this sealing ceremony. It may make sense to have both these ceremonies separated by some amount of time wherein the newly wedded couple can grow to know each other, and be sure their desires for each other are for eternity. However, we invite you to consider having them performed close together, perhaps even on the same day, in order to create an expectation of preservation and permanency between the couple.

The foregoing is offered merely as advice, and not an attempt to command anyone. Ultimately, any wedding ceremony should be a matter between the couple and the Lord.

May God bless us all that He may renew His covenant with us all.

Keith Henderson
And all of those who have worked on this from this side or the other of the veil. The foregoing has been a collaborative effort culminating in a Conference On February 20, 2016 wherein the men and women who met reached a consensus. The foregoing required a Host (in every sense of that word).

Symbolism of The Wine

In the first part of this treatise I suggested that there should be people throughout the fellowships engaged in making the Sacramental Wine, and gave a couple of recipes for beginners. I believe that this emblem of the Sacrament is so symbolic of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice that I would like to attempt to lay out some of the facets of the making, and compare them to that sacrifice.

As I turn this over in my mind it almost seems like a diamond with its many facets that when turned slowly radiates streamers in a spectrum of light – none ever the same, and oh! so many.

Given that the Atonement is eternal and the thoughts of my mind so finite, there will always be something else which can be added to these words. But to get those creative juices flowing, the following is what strikes me at this moment.

Harvest – The picking of the grapes usually coincides closely with the Autumnal Equinox – that pillar of the earth when light and darkness come into balance, and immediately afterward darkness begins to exceed the light. This is when the sugar in the grapes reaches its peak, and the juice is at its greatest content. This is when the terroir of the soil, and the weather, and the plant itself have completed the pouring of their strength into the manufacture of the fruit of the vine. This is perhaps representative of the Lord being sacrificed at the peak of His life, at the apex of His powers, at the highest and sweetest point of His love for His Father and His children.

De-stemming & crushingThis is when the fruit is fully separated from the last vestiges of the vine. The grapes in times past were put into a large vat and then crushed by treading underfoot. This released the blood of the grape so it could run freely. It is the process where the skin and seeds begin to separate from the inner body of the grape so it can begin the breaking down process to become something completely different. Anyone involved in this process gets his hands, arms and legs and the hem of their garments stained a deep reddish color. The Lord has let us know that it was He that trod the wine press alone. His return will be in red robes.

Pressing – After the grapes are crushed, the skins and seeds are left for a time in the juice to impart color, tannins and acids which are necessary in a good wine to impart correct taste, mouthfeel, and aroma. At a certain point it is necessary to remove the skins and seeds and press out all the remaining juice. The press I use is very simple and illustratively very symbolic. A piece of nylon window screen laid over the open mouth of a bucket receives the juice with skins, and seeds, all together. At first the dark red juice runs freely through the screen as it holds back the skins and seeds. eventually the remaining juice no longer runs freely, but must be pressed out of the skins. Gathering the edges of the screen and twisting them entraps the seeds and skins and begins the pressing out of the remaining blood of the grapes. The more you twist, the tighter the bag presses the grapes. At first the juice runs freely again, but as the press gets tighter and tighter the skins press against the pores of the screen and you begin to see the phenomena of the screen bleeding at every pore.

Fermenting – An older dictionary I have gives as part of its definition of the word ferment, “to agitate or to excite, to effervesce.” With the introduction of yeast into the juice, the juice begins to ferment. It actually becomes a different product from the benign, sweet juice from which it started. As the yeast finds itself in a sugar rich environment it begins to grow and multiply exceedingly fast as it essentially eats the sugar. In the process it gives off carbon dioxide, and turns the sugar to alcohol. When the sugar is all converted you now have a beverage of which a significant portion is alcohol. As the process of fermenting changed the juice to wine, so the alcohol, when consumed in the Sacrament, changes the nature of the individual, indicative in my mind of how the Atonement should change the nature of the individual also.

Racking – is an ancient term for the venerable step of removing the wine from the lees. A few weeks – possibly a couple of months after the finish of the fermentation, the wine has gone fairly inactive. The dead yeast and other solids have begun to settle out of the liquid and pile up at the bottom of the bottle. This stuff may not be evidently active, but in fact the dead yeasts and other things are slowly beginning to break down. Like fallen leaves in a forest they are beginning to decay, possibly adding funky flavors to your wine. The wine needs to periodically be taken off the lees so it becomes clear and tastes clean. This taking the wine off the lees, and putting it into a fresh clean bottle is called racking, and is done by siphoning. For our illustration here we will call upon the scriptures:

Zephaniah 1: 12; “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: That say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty and their houses a desolation.”

And even closer to home we get D&C 58: 6-8. “ Behold verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you – that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come. And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand; And that a feast of fat things might be prepared for the poor: yea a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail.”

Well this is enough to show that makers of the wine experience a new level of the symbolism of the wine. This is by no means exhaustive, or even inclusive of all the things that could be said about the wine. Those that embark upon this adventure will see things, and make connections that will be amazing!

We need to have makers all throughout these fellowships that know these things and can bear testimony – not only through the product they lovingly produce, but also how it symbolically represents the atoning sacrifice and mission of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to save as many of His Father’s children as possible.

Then In Zion there will be many who can add to the mowing of lawns, working in the bakery, and picking the fruit of the orchards; the making of the wine that will be used in sacred Sacraments, and perhaps also in that most holy Sacral Meal where Christ will sit with us and partake.

Keith Henderson

Wine in the fellowships

Since many of us come from an LDS background, and very few have ever made wine before, I have taken it upon myself to give a couple of recipes that make a very acceptable wine for use in our fellowship sacraments.

My credentials in this area are broadening every year. I know what good wines should taste like. I have a huge investment in tasting medal winning wines :-) I currently make about 250 bottles of wine per year of the very wine I am giving the recipes for, and many have drunk my wine at some of the conferences which have been held and in 3 or 4 local fellowships close to me. And no, I’m not interested in expanding! I think there should be wine makers throughout the fellowships. So here goes:

We will start by making only a gallon or two at a time, and you can expand from there. A gallon of finished wine will produce 5+ wine bottles full of wine. If your fellowship is small and a bottle full of wine is too much you can bottle the wine in beer bottles or soda pop bottles (no twist offs) and you will get approximately two bottles for every wine sized bottle, or about 10 bottles per gallon. You will need the following equipment and supplies:

1 – 5 – 6 gal food grade bucket w/ lid.

3 – clear gallon jugs. You can get the jugs free if you go to a liquor store and buy gallon jugs of any red wine they have. Drink the wine for a few sacraments and keep the jugs. Wash them out with water only. NEVER USE SOAP! I have suggested 3 here because if you want a gallon of finished wine, you need to probably start with 2 gallons, and you’ll need the third when you rack. (See below.)

2 – rubber plugs (the ones that fit gallon jugs) that are pre-drilled through the center to accept an airlock. About $1.50 ea.

2 – airlocks. These are necessary during fermentation and aging. They come in many configurations. I use the ’S’ type lock. They cost about a buck apiece.

BTW All these supplies or materials I list here can be purchased from your local beer and wine supply store or on line. I buy my stuff from The Beer and Nut shop in SLC.

1 – wine making hydrometer. This will cost about $12.00. These are very fragile. I usually break a couple a year.

1- Plastic siphon pump + hose. Make sure it fits in the neck of your gallon jug. Cost is between $8.00 – $12.00.

5 – 10 wine bottles. Used are good. Wash them clean with clear hot water. Again, NO SOAP.

1 – bottle corker. This is a must have item. It will probably be the most expensive item to buy so far. When you use it for real, wet the corks. I think they cost about $20.00.

1 small bag – #9 corks (about 30 count).

1 pkg – Wine yeast. I use Red Star brand and get the Pasteur Red type. One package will make from one to five gallons of wine.

1 bottle – Pectic Enzyme.

1 bottle – Acid Blend

1 bottle – Campden tablets.

1 bottle – Yeast Nutrient

5 lbs – Sugar.

This is all the equipment and supplies you need to get started. Now to the recipes. There are two, and they are for either Concord grapes or Concord juice. I specify Concord because they are plentiful locally, and they make a good tasting wine regardless of how far in the air the connoisseur sticks his nose up at the mention of “Concord.” There are about 7 or 8 varieties of Concord. Buy from a farmer that has a variety that produces a deep reddish-purple juice.

RECIPE WITH FRESH GRAPES

Don’t use store bought grapes
12 lbs Fresh Grapes
10 pts Water
6 1/2 cups Sugar (needs to be in solution so add about 1/2 – 1 cup water and bring to boil) Pour into bucket while still hot.
1 tsp Pectic Enzyme
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient
2 Campden tablets (crushed)
1 pkg Yeast (add later)

Wash the grapes. De-stem the grapes; Just the big stems. Don’t pick off each little stem on every grape. Put grapes in bucket and mash gently with a potato masher (or whatever.)

Add water and sugar solution.

Add all other ingredients except yeast. Stir well but gently. Cover with lid and let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.

After 24 hours add yeast. Before adding, pre- dissolve yeast in water between 100 – 105 degrees Farhenheit. Use a thermometer to get exact temperature. Gently stir yeast into “Must.” (That’s what this concoction is now called.)

Check the specific gravity of the must with your hydrometer. It should read 1.090 – 1.100. This will make a wine of between 12 – 14% alcohol. If S.G. is too low add some more sugar solution. If too high, add more water. Be careful on adding both.

Cover bucket, not tightly, and in about 24 – 48 hours it should begin to ferment. It will bubble, and the grapes will rise to the top and form kind of a hard cap which needs to be pushed down and stirred in twice a day. (Gently!) During fermentation try to keep temperature between 75 & 90 F.

Check S.G. periodically. When it reaches 1.030 (usually about 3 days) take all the grape skins and seeds out, and press all the juice you can get out of them (I use a mesh bag or a piece of nylon window screen.) Throw the skins and seeds away and add the juice back in.

Now pour (better to siphon) the wine into the glass jugs (no more than 2/3 full) put in a stopper and an airlock (be sure to put water in the airlock) and put it in a warm place to finish fermenting. You can tell if fermentation is done because the airlocks will quit bubbling and the water will equalize. Or your hydrometer will read 1.000 – 0.992 S.G. This will usually take from 3 – 5 weeks.

When fermentation is done, “rack” wine (it is now wine) into a clean bottle. This means to syphon the wine out of the full jug, off all the junk (lees) which settled to the bottom, into a clean glass jug. Fill the bottle to about 1 inch below the stopper. ( At this point oxygen sitting on top of a bottle of wine is your worst enemy.) Re-fill the airlock with fresh water and put it in the stopper. Put the filled jugs in a dark, cool place, to be undisturbed.

I re-rack into clean bottles every 2 months for at least 3 times. The wine during and because of this racking should become ruby clear. About a year or so after I began this process it’s now time to bottle, unless you have priesthood power like unto God, then it’s possible to do it more quickly.

Time to learn how to use your new corker and how to cork a bottle. Fill each bottle to about 1/2” below the cork. Wet the corks before trying to push them through your corker if it’s just a hand corker. They go in much easier. After bottling, store in a dark cool place until you are ready to drink it. ALWAYS lay a bottle down, or up end it, so the wine is against the cork, when storing it.

RECIPE WITH BOTTLED GRAPE JUICE

Always buy or make grape juice without added sugar or preservatives. If it has any preservatives in it it probably will not ferment. Always use homemade if possible, that way you’ll know for sure.

6 pts pure juice
10 pts water
6 1/2 cups sugar (in solution)
4 tsp Acid blend
1 tsp Pectic Enzyme
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient
2 tablets Campden, crushed
1 Pkg Wine Yeast

From here the way of making the wine from juice is the same as for the grape recipe, except where it makes reference to washing grapes, crushing, and pressing the grapes. In the juice recipe this has all been previously done. Everything else is the same, except you will notice this one calls for acid blend. The skins and seeds in the grape recipe provide the needed acid for that one.

Make sure to taste the wine as every stage. These recipes make a very dry wine which most non wine drinkers think is very bitter. There are tannins and acids and other things going on in the wine that contribute to that taste we call bitter, but which are necessary, and really desirable in appropriate quantities, in the wine. This is your opportunity to drink of the “bitter cup”, as they say.

SWEETENING THE WINE

We have found a way to make with this wine, a sweeter presentation to those who just plain think it is nasty. You (just before drinking) add one bottle (1 quart) of R.W. Knudsen “Just Tart Cherry” (at any Walmart store) to two bottles (full size) of our delicious dry wine. You now have three bottles of wine where before you had two, plus a glass full to enjoy. This also reduces the alcohol content by about a third. And adds a tart semi-sweetness to the wine. Not for me, but others seem to like it very much.

And, have you all noticed that “Sacrament” in D&C 89 has an ’S’ on the end of it?

Happy making and drinking.

Keith Henderson

Finding Christ Through The Darkness of Our Day

We are going through a period of intense distraction. Before our eyes, we are seeing two great ideologies duking it out as to whether the one, which has lost favor and priesthood in the eyes of God because of its worship of men, thereby practicing abominable priestcrafts before God, or the other, which has always been a scriptural “abomination of desolation” in the eyes of God, should receive our sympathy or allegiance. We are asked to give intense scrutiny to the one or the other as though one side or the other should be absorbing all our time, energy, and resources, and the truth of it will provide salvation for those of the one, and everlasting burnings for the other, when that argument is really between two sides of the same coin. Both arguments are part of that great and abominable church whose founder is the devil.

I propose it is a distraction, and has had its similarities all through history. I propose that the way to God and His salvation has always been narrowly defined, and lies in a straight course before us.

One of the poignant examples in the scriptures which defines how we find the truth we seek, and end up returning to God, or continue floundering here in this toxic Telestial environment is found in the 17th chapter of Luke:

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: Thy faith hath made thee whole. (Luke 17: 11-19.)

What a magnificent event, filled with profound doctrinal implications and symbolism, and as we will see, truth, before this message is ended. I will not discuss much of what is available to be seen and known within this story; only that which projects the distractions, which make it nigh impossible, for those who don’t see them for what they are, to return and experience the glory of God.

This is the part which the story of the ten lepers records, which is the most profound of all:

There was only one of the healed who, upon seeing he was freed from his disease, “turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks.” Only one returned to Christ. The other nine were still on their way to the priests to receive their washings and anointings, and the deeper meaning of this story can only be understood by answering what Christ then asked: “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”

“The most obvious answer to the questions Christ asked would be, they were doing what He told them to do. But the real answer to His question is that the other nine lepers failed to understand who the real Priest was. They were blinded by what had been taught to them, and what was going on around them, all their lives. Nine went to the priests who performed ceremonies. They went to see the symbol of Christ. But they went without the understanding that the priests officiated merely as a substitute symbol, which pointed to Christ. One, however, came to the True Priest. Only one understood, and did exactly as Christ directed. He alone came to the True Priest.”

Christ tells us through another comment how almost resigned He was (is) of how few will recognize Him, when He said: “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” The others went to see the symbol of Christ, to become ceremonially clean, seeking comfort from the symbols and ceremonies. Only one returned to be in fact, cleansed by the Master, Himself, and as a consequence receive the Master’s pronouncement, “Arise, go thy way: Thy faith hath made thee whole.” Christ’s, personal declaration to a man is more important than any other party’s self proclaiming argument as to the correctness of their views, and that declaration from Him will never be found by siding with abomination in whatever form it takes.

Only the rare person realizes where light and truth, which is the glory of God, can be found. For all the rest there is an abundance of rites, ordinances, observances, rituals, arguments, symbols and, yes, even law. All these may point to the real thing, but they are not the real thing itself. Therefore we find still that “there are not found that return to give glory to God, save [a few].”

“We are being tested to determine whether or not we can be blinded by traditions, presumptions, trappings, and priestcrafts; or if we can see through those things to find the Son of God.” And it is so easy to put our effort where it will not yield us the desire we seek.

Keith Henderson

God’s Desire; A Holy City On Earth; Does It Fire Your Soul With Joyful Anticipations?

“The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests, and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, even in one, when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ.”

“The heavenly Priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in one common cause, to roll forth the kingdom of God, the heavenly Priesthood are not idle spectators, the Spirit of God will be showered down from above, and it will dwell in our midst.”

“The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the all but insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessing which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets; a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.”

(TPJS, p.231, Further divided into paragraphs for ease of reading. Emphasis mine.)

Keith Henderson

Honey, I love you!

Last night in the fellowship meeting I attended I looked around and saw several single individuals in attendance. My thoughts and concern went out to them as I remember many of the circumstances I have been privy to in the course of baptizing others. Some who come seeking baptism, both men and women, have come to the point of asking for it without the agreement, and in some cases without the knowledge of their spouse. The pain of this rift between partners is all too evident when listening to the accounts of their belief in this doctrine, and the unbelief of their spouse.

Some believe it to be their duty to God, over the stability of their marriage, to go ahead with their baptism or to attend fellowship meetings regardless of the outcome. In these things, and many others, we face great challenges in our marriages. We forget sometimes that our greatest accomplishment can be to make our marriages holy. “Our marriages must become holy.”(Denver Snuffer.) With this in mind I would like to bring to our remembrance some things which have been said both recently, and things said around 180 years ago:

. To the teachers and baptizers I would like you to remember that the 1835 edition of the D&C contained an official article on marriage which stated: “It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband.”

. To all of us I think another quoting of Hyrum’s epistle to the church in England, as the then co-president of the Church, may serve to set many minds at ease about this topic:

“To our well beloved brother Parley P. Pratt, and to the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England, and scattered abroad throughout all Europe, and to the Saints–Greeting:
Whereas, in times past persons have been permitted to gather with the Saints at Nauvoo, in North America–such as husbands leaving their wives and children behind; also, such as wives leaving their husbands, and such as husbands leaving their wives who have no children, and some because their companions are unbelievers. All this kind of proceedings we consider to be erroneous and for want of proper information. And the same should be taught to all the saints, and not suffer families to be broken up on any account whatever if it be possible to avoid it. Suffer no man to leave his wife because she is an unbeliever. These things are an evil and must be forbidden by the authorities of the church or they will come under condemnation; for the gathering is not in haste nor by flight, but to prepare all things before you, and you know not but the unbeliever may be converted and the Lord heal him; but let the believers exercise faith in God and the unbelieving husband shall be sanctified by the believing wife; and the unbelieving wife by the believing husband, and families are preserved and saved from a great evil which we have seen verified before our eyes. Behold this is a wicked generation, full of lyings, and deceit, and craftiness; and the children of the wicked are wiser than the children of light; that is, they are more crafty; and it seems that it has been the case in all ages of the world.
And the man who leaves his wife and travels to a foreign nation, has his mind overpowered with darkness, and Satan deceived him and flatters him with the graces of the harlot, and before he is aware he is disgraced forever; and greater is the danger for the woman that leaves her husband. The evils resulting from such proceedings are of such a nature as to oblige us to cut them off from the church.
And we also forbid that a woman leave her husband because he is an unbeliever. We also forbid that a man shall leave his wife because she is an unbeliever. If he be a bad man (i.e., the believer) there is a law to remedy that evil. And if the law divorce them, then they are at liberty; otherwise they are bound as long as they two shall live, and it is not our prerogative to go beyond this; if we do, it will be at the expense of our reputation.
These things we have written in plainness and we desire that they should be publicly known, and request this be published in the STAR.
May the Lord bestow his blessings upon all the Saints richly, and hasten the gathering, and bring about the fullness of the everlasting covenant are the prayers of your brethren.”
(The forgoing was written by Hyrum Smith the Patriarch and co-president of the church, and any emphasis is mine.)

I can’t hardly believe how apropos this foregoing is for us today.

. “God has something in mind for each one of us. Each one will be cared for in His due time. Trust in Him. Take your problems to Him and weary Him.”

It is such a joy when the man and the woman are as one in their belief of the Doctrine of Christ, in what the scriptures truly say, in their desires together for their future, and in their collective belief in God and His commands to them. I heard once, somewhere, that it is such a rare thing when this is so that even the angels come down to see this phenomenon. But regardless of whether it exists between us as marriage partners today or not, our effort needs to be always in that direction. it is such an important thing in its scope and potential that it must be pursued always and only with persuasion, always in long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge. Perhaps you have just realized this is all a priesthood thing, which is as applicable to women as it is to men. God bless us all!

Keith Henderson

An Education Like None Other

I attend a fellowship meeting once each month with a group that meets in Riverdale. Last night was our scheduled meeting. For me it was a milestone meeting.

When Denver Snuffer gave the portion of his talk “Remembering the Restoration” in Grand Junction Colorado, he made a statement to the effect that “if you want an education like none other, then gather a group together and pay your tithing among yourselves, and help the poor among you.” Some who are very close to me and my family decided without further persuasion that was exactly what we would do. We began immediately to meet as two families which also included married children and their spouses, and began to pay the money previously given to the LDS Church to ourselves for use among “our” poor.

Almost from the beginning, in this quite intimate setting of 13 individuals, the idea was expressed that we should all affix our names to an agreement which would state our intent as a group and include a statement to the effect that anyone could withdraw at any time, but they must realize they would not receive any money back if they left, or any effects their donated money might have produce.

Shortly after the 10th portion of that talk, when it was re-iterated that we should begin to form fellowships, our small group was besieged with requests to join us in our meetings. That group has now swollen to the size that about 100 attend each meeting and I’m sure that many more have attended although perhaps not regularly. Throughout this growth the “Entry Promise” [which it came to be called] has been used to identify “members” who would have voting status on any group decisions which were to be made, particularly on how any collected tithing money should be used, and up until last night has continued to identify what was expected of those who would be a member. It was a good thing to know what we were about, and to be able to “control” somewhat, this increasingly diverse group. And I, particularly had a vested interest in this document, as it was me that wrote the damned thing.

Some things transpired over the last couple of weeks that made necessary a re-visiting of that agreement, and its intended effect, and result, and its potential to wreak havoc on those who had affixed their names to it, and what it was doing to those who wanted to fellowship with us, but would not sign the document. I don’t feel it necessary to go into all that input, but only to say that it began to make me burn with shame that I had essentially been the instigator of such a thing, and although I try not to speak very much in our fellowship meetings anymore, something I had written over a year ago continued to control how [and by who] our meeting was administered. I have since learned that when my opportunity came to instigate the insertion of that document way back when, we all would have been better off if I’d have just gotten on my horse and rode west.

Last night in our scheduled fellowship meeting I stood up and made it known that I would be blotting my name off that document. I stated my reasons why, which was that I essentially have made a grevious error in ever signing it, and then I proposed to the group that the “Entry Promise” be abolished.
Brothers and sisters. Below is a synopsis of what transpired:

Brothers and Sisters

In the meeting this evening a proposal was made and seconded, and then voted on in the affirmative by as far as I could tell every individual present, to abolish the “Entry Agreement.”

In effect I would surmise that what this primarily means is that the fellowship will be comprised of whoever is attending on any given evening.

If any of you reading this have a copy of that agreement, it is no longer supported by the original, as it was shredded in full view of all present tonight, and therefore should be considered null and void.

So, this puts this group back into the realm of an “idea” and not an institution with agreements and requirements.

I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I hope all feel the same way, but if you don’t, [I was going to say, tough, but instead I will say I personally feel this way is more appropriate.]. It’s a done deal, and has the absolute, unanimous, common consent of everyone who came to the meeting.

Keith Henderson

Comments or questions for Keith

I received the following comment with questions just this past week, which I desire to publicly respond to:
_________________________________________________
Comment:

“Something has been on my mind that I would like to address. It has nothing to do with this website, but I think it has been on some people’s mind.

Denver has repeatedly said that he will not start a new Church, be a strongman, etc…But how limited is that? I am aware, at least with my current understanding, that there needs to be a High Priest/Teacher after the Ancient Order through whom a covenant can be made between God and man, whereby we can receive adoption rites. (Correct me if I am wrong. I am paraphrasing Denver’s teaching on Alma 13: 14 and his interview with Tim Malone).

He has also stated we need to organize ourselves – which to me means we need practical experience and accept the responsibility which we have to rise up and know the Lord ourselves and be led by His Holy Spirit.

It seems many are organizing into small communities to do this. But, Denver has also stated that this cannot be rushed.

So, do you have any advice/knowledge about how and if we are to wait upon Denver to give us further direction? For example, if we should wait to assemble as a consecrated community and continue to prepare ourselves where we currently are?”

End of comment.
______________________________________________________________

Everything following this is my answer to the above query. I would like to emphasize that I do not attempt to speak for Denver. For that you will have to go to the “prophetsclearinghouse.” ~:-)~ Most of what is below is of me, and is said regardless of whether Denver said it or not. I made no effort to find quotes by Denver that would substantiate any of what I said below.

And, furthermore,

I claim no great accomplishment (yet) in doing what I say, if it sounds like an admonition. In fact, I’ve already had a witness of the Spirit in the writing of this that I don’t meet many of the requirements I have written about. So I guess we’ll just have to rely on the Holy Spirit as to whether it’s all true, or not.

Brother R,

Good observations.

Denver said in the [7th & 10th] talks in Grand Junction Colorado and Mesa Arizona, that if you want an education like none other then join or form a fellowship, and pay your tithing among yourselves and help the poor among you. To think that a person is going to walk into Zion unprepared or unschooled in the principles required to exist in such a community is absurd. Zion is not the school, but the place to receive those that have prepared themselves to live in such a place. It is also not the place for the person that rises up to become the leader of his/her fellows, but is the place for those who have developed the ability to be the servant of all.

In this life there are kings and queens and priests and priestesses plenty. What there is a dearth of are those who are willing to carry the load, and will go the 2nd mile when they are required to only go one. Or those who will turn the other cheek to be smitten instead of retaliating. It is the place for those who know they have the physical prowess [if necessary] and/or the argument to win in most any situation, but will always use only persuasion with meekness, love unfeigned, and gentleness in doing so. It requires one to be a whole lot like his/her Lord, Jesus Christ.

What the Lord needs for Zion and also right now in these fellowships of instruction, is one who can “organize himself.” We do not need another institution with an organized hierarchy, and a book full of rules, but “one” who can control himself, and love others as himself. You become that person and watch and see how people will flock to you as their leader. Then it will be your requirement to learn how to handle that imposition without becoming prideful and a strong man.

The Lord needs you to be the one who could be the teacher/priest after The Ancient Order, because you have studied the scriptures, already given, thoroughly enough, and have a close enough relationship with the Savior that you can draw down from Him your own covenant that He trusts you enough to call you Son, and make you part of His family. He needs a man/woman who’s heart is like His own. That is what you will find in Zion.

These fellowships, of which there are now dozens, are not going to walk or be taken by angels into Zion en mass. They are, however, a necessary schooling device wherein a few might rise up, and become capable of living in Zion. And, there is already an existing commandment from God to associate in fellowship with our brothers and sisters. And with our enemies. And with the obnoxious. And with the little kids that run around and make noise. And, for heaven’s sake, with all those “needy” people. This is the school! And the success we make of it [or not] is all dependent on the individual, and whether his heart is right with God.

And furthermore, there is a requirement to be baptized (again) as a result from, and a commitment to, these things, and of coming to understand and remember the “Doctrine of Christ,” which then becomes the gate to that strait and narrow path God requires each of us to walk, hand in hand with Him; doing all things which His Holy Spirit directs of us, until He says to you, “My Son/daughter thou shalt have eternal life. (See D&C 131: 5-6.)

And I think that just as there is God’s requirement upon us to be baptized, there is a requirement upon us to also baptize, if we can. And outside of one’s own immediate family, the man that does this is required to have a certificate that certifies his worthiness, and is a blessing from the women in his fellowship. The signatures of seven women are required now, by an edict from the Lord, for a man to function in any priesthood outside of his immediate familial boundaries; with his own wife’s signature being the first.

So how can any of us consider ourselves candidates for Zion if we can’t meet these current requirements among ourselves in our fellowships, which usually begins with our just showing up.

This requires nothing of us about waiting upon Denver. It does however, require us to be up and about, doing the things God has already said we must do, through this man, in his capacity as “servant of the Lord.”

God bless you brother in your efforts and your desires to be about doing this work the Lord has commanded of us.

Keith
Central Recorder

There are save two churches only

Thoughts, I Think Worth Having

Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. (1 Nephi 14: 10.)

If a person looks to the Doctrine of Christ and repents, believes in Christ, and is baptized, and therein accepts the promise of The Father that he will receive the Baptism of Fire, and the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 11: 35.), which the scriptures say showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom (D&C 39: 6.), and if he doeth them and endure to the end (2 Nephi 31: 15.), then Jesus Christ says of that man, “he is of my church.” (D&C 10: 67.)

That man, as described above, has received an assurance of Jesus Christ that, he is of The Church of the Lamb of God.

If that man belongs simultaneously to another church, which does not applaud and promote the acts of that man, but would instead decry, and excommunicate one from their fellowship who follows that doctrine; who by so doing becomes a member of the Church of the Lamb of God; then that other church, which he also holds membership in, has proven itself to him, and to God, that it is not of Christ, but is against Christ, and therefore is the church of the devil.

Any man or institutional policy, which would do such a thing to a righteous man, or try to persuade him that it is not proper to follow the commands of God in such a doctrine, and the sacraments which Jesus Christ has instituted to follow this doctrine, “…………the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.” (D&C 10: 68.) Such a person or institution is therefore anti-Christ.

Now, this written above, shows the fallacy and danger of hopping between two boughs, so to speak, and God no longer approves of us wasting 3 hours each Sunday attending meetings in which we [seem to] draw near to Him with our mouths, but are actually far from Him in the heart of our content and doctrine, thereby requiring additional [unapproved] time rectifying erroneous doctrine taught to ourselves, and to our children; which now begs the question, how long will we as a people keep attempting to serve God, and whatever Mammon we serve? Can we stretch so far as to keep one foot in one church, and the other in another, and still serve our intended master? If we believe the scriptures, we will know we cannot.

I am reminded of a scene in “Fiddler on the Roof”, in which the Jewish peasant Tevye confronts his daughter Havah about marrying a gentile. She says to him, “Papa, can’t you just accept us?” Tevye turns inward a moment to introspect on his beliefs and who he is, asking himself, “accept them? How can I accept them?” Then using a violent gesture which symbolically pushes them from him, Tevye cries out in anguish, “no Havalah, no! If I bend that far, I’ll break.”

I certainly am not unsympathetic to the issues we face in these times of new requirements placed upon us through the word of God to His servant, and the terrible turmoil which that can unleash upon a family, when children, and parents, and brothers and sisters will not or cannot understand our seemingly aberrant desires to obey God’s forgotten commandments. I am one of us, out here, weeping over my many problems, just as you do over yours:

But….

What if the night falls, and we find our souls not saved in our intended Zion, because we have maintained allegiance with the devil, and his church one hour too long?

Keith Henderson

Times up

We have received many names to be recorded for those who have been baptized. We do not think that we have received the names of all those baptized, however.

So far those names which have been received have been stored electronically as well as on a back-up hard copy, but the time has now come for the real work to begin, which is to copy the submissions which have been given to us electronically, plus others that have been hand delivered or phone delivered, into the handwritten book, which will eventually be submitted to the Lord in His holy temple.

We are sure, however, with all the names we have received, that there are many more out there which have not been turned into us. We understand that there may be as many as 1000+ additional names of individuals who have recently been baptized, which have not yet been submitted to the Central Recorder. We would request they be promptly submitted through this website.

The book which will be handwritten with all the names submitted to us, is now in our hands, and the work must begin. So this is a call for the names of all individuals baptized in this order of The Doctrine of Christ, prior to and including the year 2014, be submitted immediately, and no later than July 1, 2015.

On July 1st I will begin transferring all the names submitted for baptisms performed through 2014 into this very special book. These names must be entered alphabetically, which means that if you have not submitted your name by this above stated deadline, it will not be entered into the main body of the entries for your particular year. There will be a provision for an amendment to each year, but again, if you are late on your submission your name will not be entered into the main body of the submissions.

If you cannot account positively for your name having been submitted, then you should take personal responsibility to see that it is done by submitting your name yourself. It will be an easy thing for us to identify and resolve redundancies. What will be impossible for us, will be to record your name into the main body if it is not submitted by the date specified above.

So, let me see if I can drive home the seriousness of what is being done here with a scripture:

Starting in the last part of D&C 85:7 we find spoken of, a person who will come along, and “…set in order the house of God, and arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God.”

And then skipping to verses 9 and 10 in that same section: “And they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among the unbelievers, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill.”

So, of what book does this scripture speak? And do you want to take a chance it is not this one? Many things given before have been renewed again now, and we need to do as the Lord has directed, moving forward in faith.

God bless every one of you engaged in this work. I know it is pleasing to God, because He is the author of it.

Central Recorder
Keith Henderson