A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that he has sensed a shift in the spirit of the movement that calls itself “The Remnant”. Something was happening, he could feel it, but he wasn’t sure what was causing it or how it would be manifested. This shift is real. In this post, I hope to share why I think it is real, and why, in my mind, this is happening. Toward this end, I quote Abraham 1:2-5:
And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.
My fathers, having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice.
Prior to Abraham, the priesthood had been passed from generation to generation, father to son, from Adam through Shem (son of Noah). This dispensation is known as the age of the patriarchs. These great patriarchs walked and talked with God, commanded the elements, lived for hundreds of years, and according to my understanding, held what we now call the patriarchal priesthood. Abraham’s fathers for some generations had broken that patriarchal line by adopting the worship of Egyptian gods. Abraham somehow became aware of the true gospel – the gospel of the fathers, and expressed his desire for their priesthood and righteousness to the Lord. The result:
Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne. (D&C 132:29)
To be certain, the blessings that Abraham received as a result of his faithfulness were much more complicated than this, but this verse represents the sum total of it all – he “hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne”.
Many of us are in a similar position to Abraham. Our fathers departed from the fullness of the gospel, began to worship false idols (take your pick) and taught for truth the philosophies of men. By rejecting these teachings and seeking after the Lord’s true righteousness, I believe we become the seed of Abraham:
And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
In other words, it is in the acceptance of the gospel – the gospel of the Patriarchs; the gospel of Jesus Christ; the gospel of the new and everlasting covenant…the gospel of the “true faith” (3 Nephi 6:14)…that we become the seed of Abraham, and therefore qualify for all the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant – even unto eternal life. It is in believing the word of God received through scripture and then, after being prompted by the scriptures to seek further light and knowledge, through personal revelation, that we qualify for all that the Father hath. Just as Abraham cast aside the traditions of his fathers and sought the true faith, so have many of us. We are, therefore, the seed of Abraham. The powers of heaven have taken notice. Things are happening that may not yet be apparent, but which are of eternal import.
Furthermore, we are the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi, as quoted by the angel to Joseph Smith:
He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (Joseph Smith-History 1:39)
In turning our hearts to the true faith, the faith of our fathers the patriarchs, we are fulfilling this prophecy. If we do not do this, then literally the whole earth would be utterly wasted at His coming, because there would be none who could withstand His coming. If we do not seek to lay hold of the promises of the fathers, who walked and talked with Christ; if we do not literally seek His face, there will be none who are prepared to endure (even embrace) the burning that will precede His return.
So, what’s the shift that my friend mentioned? To set up the answer to this, let me share some experiences that I recently had. Please know that I do not share this to call attention to myself. (I know, you’re so tired of hearing that disclaimer – but it is necessary.) I’ve not had a waking vision of Christ in the flesh, and I make no such claim. That must be made clear. Nevertheless, He has visited me and taught me. On one of those occasions, He came to me, laid His hands on my head and then on my heart, and ordained me to His priesthood and to the work of these latter days. (Further clarification – His work still must be done with authority, and I do not feel like I have blanket authority to do anything I wish. I am not yet as the prophet Nephi.) Then, He introduced me to the Father. There was no fiery vision of the eternities, no concourses of angels. I was not left weak from the experience. The Father simply welcomed me and said “Now, go do the work.” It was very peaceful, very non-spectacular, but it was clear to me that I had work to do, and that the time of preparation was ended. There have been other teachings that have made the nature of that work more clear, but that is irrelevant to the point of this post.
On other occasions, as I have sought guidance and vision as to where my particular scope of work was going, and as to how I should proceed, He has begun telling me, “You know what to do. Go do it.” When I look inside myself, I realize that I do indeed know what to do. Thanks to the many who have been called to teach and open our eyes to the true faith (you can make your own list), the scriptures have been opened up to us in ways that we never thought possible. We are casting off the traditions of our earthly fathers and seeking the promises made to the spiritual, patriarchal fathers. These scriptures, coupled with the aforementioned personal revelation, once they are interpreted in the spirit of truth, do indeed teach the principles that we need to press forward.
This movement, this gathering of hearts, as well as the physical gathering (yes – it HAS begun), is, as I said previously, of eternal importance. It is a fulfillment of the prophecies of the latter days. If you do not yet have a testimony of this, I hope you can find it, or I invite you to begin looking.
The shift? It is that the time of preparation is coming to a close. The time for action has arrived. Of course, I don’t mean to imply that there is a hard line in place; that if someone haven’t yet finished preparation (are we ever really finished?), they are damned. I most certainly do not believe that to be the case at all. I’m just saying that it’s been over a year since Denver Snuffer finished His 10 talks. It’s been almost 6 months since Adrian Larsen issued the call to action at the Grand Mesa Reunion. Many have been re-baptized, had their priesthood sustained by worthy and wise sisters, received their own testimony of their priesthood, and begun serving in great and marvelous ways. We have mourned for the LDS Church, but we have mourned enough, and it is time for action.
As I said, there are many who are taking action in wonderful ways. I know of some who minister miraculously and faithfully to the homeless locally. I know those who organize fellowships, or who travel at their own expense to provide baptisms and help strengthen communities. Tithing groups support those who have needs or desires but no means to provide for themselves. Some serve patiently in their families and in their LDS wards and stakes, praying faithfully that the day will come when spouses will recognize the truth, and they can serve even more powerfully together. Many are selling out and relocating in search of community, while others have taken that concept a step further, seeking to consecrate in a covenant community where all things are held in common. All are, in their own way, seeking Zion – either in their hearts, in their families, or in the world as a whole…or all at the same time. However these actions are manifested, those who would remain true to the true faith of our fathers must keep the following principles in mind:
- D&C 121:34-46 remains the standard of behavior in any Zion-like community. Unrighteous dominion, compulsion, or manipulation in any form cannot be part of a Zion relationship, whether it be between 2 individuals, a family, or a community. Such is the work of Satan, the standard of the world, and is, in my opinion, the definition of “the natural man”. Such behavior is indeed the enemy of God.
- There can be no contention, either in general or concerning the points of Christ’s doctrine (3Nephi 11:28). Every individual has the right to learn of Christ’s doctrine and what it means in their life according to their own needs and abilities. If we indulge ourselves in contention, all attempts at Zion will fail. When the Lord chastised the saints in D&C 101:6 concerning the failure to establish Zion, He only mentioned “…jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires” as the cause of failure. Of all the possible pitfalls that could have developed, these are the things the Lord chose to point out.
- We cannot continue to love our stuff. It’s all His, and we are only stewards. The love of stuff will destroy Zion – largely because it will foster contention. I am convinced – no, I have been promised – that if we focus on the first two items in this list, there will be enough and to spare in Zion.
- We cannot be saved in ignorance. We must be constantly seeking further light and knowledge, even to know Him unto eternal life. We cannot become one with Christ if we do not know Him.
- We cannot sell ourselves short. We must cast off unbelief. Prophets of the past had their role to play, and we have ours. Both are of great, eternal significance. Miracles are required of us. Prophecy is required of us. We are writing the scriptures of the millennium. 1000 years from now, there will be names that we know among us who will be revered alongside those of Abraham, Alma, Moroni, and Joseph.
- We can never surrender our right to His presence. We can never surrender our claim to the promises He has made – as long as we are faithful and keep His commandments. He made them to us, not to some strong man or strong men (or women). We may think we have risen above such a mentality as a result of Denver Snuffer’s warnings, but if we do, then we underestimate the insidiousness of this concept and the hold it has on telestial man. We must be constantly vigilant.
I believe that a shift has indeed taken place among us. It certainly has in my life and in the lives of others I have spoken to. I reverently thank those who helped us to see, but the time for awakening is past. The time for gathering has come. The time for sacrifice has come. The time has come to forsake babylon and establish Zion. The work must be done. Zion must be built – in hearts, in families, in communities – even the New Jerusalem. The Heavens are open. Angels are watching, even rejoicing. Prophecies are being fulfilled as we speak. We are the literal fulfillment of those prophecies. Oh, what a time to be alive! I rejoice in the glory of these last days and in the opportunity to serve Him in this way, at this time. I so testify, as His imperfect servant, in the holy name of Jesus Christ.