I have taken very seriously the question Denver asked in Reconciliation (A little). “What if the meaning is that in order to receive salvation it is essential that the believer receive a message from a minister actually sent by God with a message for our day and time?”
My witness about the Ten Talks, and in the book Preserving The Restoration, as written in the back of that book Is that, “I bear solemn testimony that I have received a message by God’s own voice of their truthfulness, and also of His desire for us to believe in, and act upon these things that have been [first] spoken and [then] written [in this book].” This book contains much of the message sent by God to a minister with a message for our day and time. As such, this book, then necessarily contains “Governing Principles” by which I must abide in order to be obedient to God’s covenant with me. It doesn’t matter that this particular book has on the front that it was written by Denver C. Snuffer Jr., but it helps, because then I know that other things he writes or does must be given close scrutiny so that I don’t miss anything important.
I also believe that God has spoken through His Servant Joseph Smith, and has said, “There has been a day of calling, but the time has come for a day of choosing; and let those be chosen that are worthy. And it shall be manifest unto my servant, (now, as well as then) by the voice of the Spirit, those that are chosen; and they shall be sanctified; And inasmuch as they follow the counsel (Governing Principles) which they receive they shall have power after many days to accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.” (Le. D&C 105: 35-37. Emphasis and parentheticals mine.)
And I also believe the following, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord,I will put my law in their inward parts , and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall [then] teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Le. Jeremiah 31: 31-34.)
The principles by which I shall be governed shall be every word that proceeds from the mouth of God through His authorized minister. I do not need a list written by men [or women] in their understanding to remind me of a few things, but I need to make this declaration to God that my Governing Principles will be all the words He shall say.
I no longer care what comes of all the effort by myriads of participants to formulate a list of things they espouse as their Governing Principles, although I profusely thank them all for their effort, and will vote affirmatively for whatever they say they want as the things they will follow, even though they say they “are not by way of commandment.” I believe each should have the agency to choose their own list, or even a common list, and have others respect that list. But for me, I seek “commandments not a few, and revelations many,” and all He speaks to me through authorized servants I will accept as such. These will be my Governing Principles.
I do not believe we are to tell God what we will accept, and by omission what we will not, and require or hope of him to accept our criteria, although I think He probably will. But I believe we should bend our will to Him, and make a declaration to Him that we are willing to accept everything He is willing to give. I, for one, do not think He is through speaking through His chosen minister, even after fifteen or so volumes.
And with this I have changed my stance on Paul and also accept him as one of God’s ministers and if Joseph chose to leave some of his statements unchanged I now thoroughly agree. I will yet come to understand, but for now it is simply enough that I agree. I apologize for my adamancy in arguing for those things to be changed.