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

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