June 6, 2014
“Hearken… for verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.” “Hearken,” the first word in revelation given through Joseph Smith to serve as preface to the doctrines, covenants, and commandments given him in his dispensation. When at long last God again opened the heavens to a prophet, to reveal and refresh anew forgotten truths neglected for generations, as preface to His direction the Lords first word to all mankind was “Hearken”—listen. For, if one is not able to understand and live the commands of God, justice requires they be dealt with as transgressors of the laws of God and they cannot receive an inheritance among the Saints or be considered God’s people.
In order for His work to roll forth, His great design and purposes be accomplished and for Zion to be built up in righteousness, God’s people, under His direction, must be obedient to His law, that under such law they may grow up in truth and righteousness that they may receive an inheritance among those whom are sanctified. It is on conditions of our obedience to Him that Zion shall exist among mankind, built by the counsel of Jehovah by revelations of heaven.
To such an end, Joseph Smith received direct revelations from the heavens so that all mankind might hear with their ears, see with their eyes, and feel with their hearts the conditions upon which salvation may be obtained and that mankind may arise from the dust and “be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things,… that ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you… ”
In that same preface given to Joseph Smith the Lord declares, “Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.” He also declares, “For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know… ” Therefore He prepared a way through scripture and records of His communion with J oseph, that all “… might come to understanding… ,” and “… that all men shall know… ” that they might, through their understanding and obedience to God, have access to the covenants made with the Fathers and become heirs, through justice and mercy, to salvation and the promises made to those Fathers.
Through the intervening 180 years since Joseph’s death, the purity of the doctrines, principles, and ordinances, delivered by the Lord through Joseph Smith, in the absence of continuing direct revelation, have been neglected, corrupted and so thoroughly supplanted that it once again is necessary for the Lord to open a new dispensation, to again reveal and refresh anew forgotten truths neglected and changed through the generations since Joseph. A new dispensation requires additional light and truth from the heavens without which mankind will fail to understand how to approach God in a manner that pleases Him and invites His hand to once again move among man to accomplish what is in His heart.
To that end, He has opened a new dispensation, and through His servant, Denver Snuffer, commanded all men everywhere to repent and return to purity. For if Mormonism is to achieve its prophesied success, that future must come through a return to pure ideals. An holy people must practice that religion.
His servant, Denver Snuffer has instructed, “We are obligated to repent and return. We may not have created the problem, but we cannot expect God to accomplish the work He commanded man to do. Others may have neglected it, but we cannot.” “The first step in repenting is to gather the original covenant God offered in the precise terms in which it was offered.”
In an effort to gather and return to the original covenant God offered, a new edition of the scriptures—Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearls of Great Price—have been published in conformity to that which God offered through Joseph Smith. This set of scripture is an effort to return to the purest form of scripture presently available to man and in doing so gather the original covenant God offered, in the precise terms in which it was offered, that we might reestablish a covenant with God by which we may be judged.
Consistent with all prophets, particularly those through whom dispensations are opened, additional light and truth has been revealed by which the manner of our worship and understanding of gospel principles and ordinances should be guided. In addition to this body of governing scriptural material, there is a separate series of addresses, 10 individual segments comprising 1 talk, which were delivered through a prophet in our day to assist in repenting, and returning to understanding and a manner of worship that pleases the Lord. In those talks, as well as in scripture, the Lords makes clear a set of principles that should govern our lives and will become the great moving cause by which His work is accomplished. This talk (40 years in Mormonism) is published separately in various formats (audio/transcript) and available online to study carefully and apply its teachings in any fellowship of believers.
The Book of Mormon prophesies of the time in which we live. It prophesies of coming chaos that necessitates some preliminary preparations by families and friends to fellowship with one another in local gatherings, completely apart from any formal church hierarchy. Only by independently functioning can they hope to prepare for social chaos prophesied to accompany Zion and precede the Lord’s return. As such, organizing into fellowships replaces the formal structure of “church.”
True religion, when it is present on earth, always exists as a community of believers. Community is required. If we don’t have a community then we cannot be willing to mourn with those that mourn. We cannot comfort those that stand in need of comfort. We cannot stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and in all places. (Mosiah 18: 9) We cannot bear one another’s burdens that they may be light, (Mosiah 18: 8) as is required by the Gospel and by the covenant of baptism. None of this can be done without fellowship between believers. However, we do not need a new church. The only thing we need is a community of fellowship. Legal entities, whenever they are formed, become prey to the law. Men who have ambition can control legal entities.
In order for “independent functioning” to exist among fellowships it is incumbent that men search the scriptures and identify the manner in which the Lord instructed them to live and obey His commands. In the scriptures are practical examples for us to see the application of the Lords commandments in people’s lives and what is required to please him because it is in His character that He changes not and is no respecter of persons. We therefore are subject to the same requirements as those of old. Additionally, in an effort to assist a people to function independently and without a formal church hierarchy, the Lord, through Denver, has amplified some principles from scripture as well as revealing new practices that are faithful to His commands and that allow His work to be accomplished.
The following principles are best viewed through the lens offered by Joseph—“I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” These principles emphasize some of the additional light delivered through Denver Snuffer regarding the administration of the gospel principles individually and in fellowships. These only represent some of the primary purposes for which fellowships or communities are established and contribute to our understanding of the application of scripture. For a better understanding of these and more, you may refer to the “40 Years in Mormonism” talks or “Preserving the Restoration” book by Denver Snuffer, from which the following principles are excerpts.
The Doctrine of Christ
“ Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” (LE 3 rd Nephi 11:31-35)
This is Christ’s doctrine. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. This is His doctrine. This is the power of redemption. The doctrine of Christ is connected with Baptism. Once baptized, you can have the testimony of the Father concerning his Son shed upon you by the power of the Holy Ghost. It comes as a consequence of the ordinance of baptism. If Christ lays hands on you, then you can also confer it by the laying on of hands. But even in the absence of such a man, the Holy Ghost will be given, according to the Doctrine of Christ, to any who repent and are baptized according to His command. This is the means by which the Holy Ghost is given. It is the Holy Ghost, which when given, bears record of all things. The Holy Ghost teaches you. (PTR talk, page 17-18)
Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. If He acts again now (and He is), then we need to recognize that and respond. Baptism is a mandatory sign of penitence; turning and facing God, and then walking in a new path. From the days of Adam, it will continue through the end of the millennium. Whenever there has been believing people upon the earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith. (PTR talk, page 12)
I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again by Him today, to you. This is His command recorded in the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God, and confirmed again today! (PTR talk, page 17)
Those who believe Christ’s doctrine will need to have the baptism you will minister to survive the judgments to come. This is the only way they can face Him when He comes again. (PTR talk, page 21)
Receive authority from the voice of the Lord to baptize:
“And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet. And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him. And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven. And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize.” (LE DC 11:18-22)
Christ did not touch them, He said to them, “I give you power to baptize.” All that was needed to obtain the power to baptize was (and is) for Christ to tell you. (PTR talk, page 13)
Before any of you baptize any other of you, get Christ’s “word” for yourself through the Spirit. It is the same thing Alma did in Mosiah chapter 18. Before he baptized, Alma “stood forth in the water, and cried, saying: O Lord, pour out thy Spirit upon thy servant, that he may do this work with holiness of heart. And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.” He got the authority to baptize by the Spirit. If you are going to use the priesthood to perform a baptism, no matter what the Church has told you, no matter what quorum leaders and respected others, including your own father perhaps, have taught you, before you do so, ask God to give you the authority. Get the “word” from Christ through the Spirit, just as Alma did. His example is in the scriptures to teach us the way. We have lost it, and need to reclaim it. If you get power to baptize, you get it from Him and you are not dependent on someone else. But get the power from Him. Power is required. It must come from Christ. The pattern must be followed. (PTR talk, page 14)
I would recommend if at all possible that water for a living ordinance be performed in living water. You are trying to connect to God. Use what He created. (PTR talk, page 16)
“…and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
If you follow these principles, and if the Spirit empowers you to baptize, then baptize having authority from Christ and follow His words. (PTR talk, page 16)
Any who desire to be baptized, should be baptized. If you have this power given to you by Christ and anyone comes to you, baptize them. Refuse no one. Freely give what you received from God. Do not charge to perform an ordinance. The ordinance is between them and God. They need to have it performed between them and someone God has asked to do it. You rise up to become the people God asks to do it. (PTR talk, page 17)
Teach the doctrine of Christ
Before baptism, teach them the Doctrine of Christ. (PTR talk, page 17) Preach Christ’s doctrine to any who will receive it, baptize them. (PTR talk, page 21)
Record of the names of those you baptize. You do not record their email addresses, vital statistics, phone numbers, or any contact information. Only names. Therefore, after you have complied to have power to baptize, and taught them the Doctrine of Christ and they have repented, and are being baptized, their name must be recorded. You choose recorders in your fellowships, and a recorder to compile the names from all the various fellowships. Someone has to keep the names in a record. Faithfully record the name every time there is a baptism. There will be various recorders in various locations. The various recorders need to submit them to a single central record keeper on an annual basis. Have the recorders from the various fellowships identify themselves. I can give them some further direction, but there should be annually complied, a single volume, that will be deposited in a temple. (PTR talk, page 21)
As to the Sacrament, only an antichrist would forbid you from partaking of the Sacrament in the way commanded by your Lord (3 Nephi 18:3-12, 27-30). That is an abomination. If you get together, even if it is only in your own family, partake of the Sacrament together. Let no one forbid you from partaking in remembrance of Christ. He commanded that you do it. Follow the pattern that is given to us. In Doctrine and Covenants section 20, verse 76, one of the things that used to be practiced, and has been abandoned, but should now be renewed among you, is that when the Sacrament is blessed, kneel. “Kneel with the church” is how the verse explains it. It is in the scriptures before you. Follow them. You can use wine. Or, if you are opposed to alcohol, alternatively you have some medical condition that prevents you from using wine, then use grape juice. Not water. Use red grape juice. Use the symbol of the blood of our Lord. I can tell you that generally, red wine is bitter for a reason. Partaking of that bitter wine in remembrance of the blood that was shed is appropriate. (PTR talk, page 22)
And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ , saying:
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
The manner of administering the wine—Behold, they took the cup, and said:
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. (Moroni 4:2-3; 5:1-2)
The Gospel of Repentance
The Gospel of repentance is turning to face God. (PTR talk, page 14)
Be like your Master. Do what you can for those around you who are infirm. They are here in abundance; the brokenhearted, the families who are in need. If you want to be saved, help the Lord save others. Not by preaching and clamoring and demanding they view the world like you do, but by giving them a helping and charitable hand. Your most powerful sermon can be in the effort you make, and the time you take to let people know you care about them. If you would like to repent of your sins, take a look around at those in need and do what you can for them. That is the first step. When your heart is like His, then you open up so that He can enter in. And when your heart is unlike Him, well, there’s no room for His love of others until He breaks break it; which He will do. (Repentance talk, page 7)
You can be Christ-like. You can administer relief to those around you. You can, as He said, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit those who are in prison. Your heart needs to be like Christ’s heart; moved with compassion for others. And the way you do that is imitative at first. Then it is informed by the experience later, when you have acted consistent with His laws. What begins as imitation, and merely that, finds room within to have genuine compassion for the needs of others. Christ is the prototype, but you can be like Him. There are godly people walking around, many of them are elderly. Many of them have long since forgotten their own needs and they spend their lives in service of others. (Repentance talk, page 7)
“The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one.” (D&C 93:36) What if, instead of repentance being related to your misdeeds, which are so plentiful and persistent, and will continue; instead it is related to the acquisition of light of truth – that is intelligence? What if repentance requires you to take whatever it is you have that is a foolish error, a vain tradition, or a false notion and replace it with truth? You see repentance may have a whole lot more to do with your own feeble education in the things of God. (Repentance talk, page 9)
The fact of the matter is that you can fill yourself with the mind of God. If you fill yourself with the mind of God, you are going to find yourself in a position where you, like the scriptures recite, have no more disposition to do evil, but only to do good continually. (Mos. 5: 2.) That kind of repentance is as a consequence of the things of you know. That repentance comes as a consequence of the light and truth within you. (Repentance talk, page 10)
“…when he (the Lord) shall appear, the saints will be like him; and if they are not holy, as he is holy, and perfect, as he is perfect, they cannot be like him; for no being can enjoy his glory without possessing his perfections and holiness, no more than they could reign in his kingdom without his power.” (Lectures on Faith 7, paragraph 10)
When He appears, you need to be like Him. Lay down the burden of guilt, lay down the burden of sin, stop focusing on that stuff, and become like Him. You become like Him by doing His works. And you do His works by serving other; by ministering to the needs of others. When you do that, it is a natural by- product of that process, ordained by laws established before the foundation of the world that light and truth will grow within you. You will have compassion when you minister to the needs of others with compassion. Your heart will open too and receive within it light and truth, when your conduct reflects the same conduct as a merciful, holy and just God, whom you claim to worship. Worship Him by imitating Him. Worship Him by doing His works. Worship Him by making a living sacrifice. Set aside the junk that occupies you and go do something that is holy for someone else. However mundane and trivial it may seem to you, when you relieve the suffering of other people something changes in you. You become different. You become better. You become more like our Lord, because when you give whatever it is you give away, you get more in return. But make sure that what you give goes to relieve the suffering of others.
Study it through. Seek to be like Him whom you worship. It is possible, but not while you are carrying a load of sins that trouble you and worry you and distract you. But that’s what the Lord will remove from you. He can take all that away, but it is entirely up to you to choose, and then to do something to draw near to Him. He can’t do that because that would violate your free will. You have to choose to be like Him.
It is knowledge that saves. Consequently, it is knowledge that you need, to repent and obtain. “Knowledge saves a man,” said Joseph Smith. “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge,” said Joseph Smith. Knowledge and salvation, knowledge and repentance, they are all related. But knowledge is not given so that you can take prideful advantage of the fact that you possess something. If you have it, it is given to make you a minister, a servant. Someone the Lord might be able to employ to raise others up. If you cannot elevate others, then you failed in your effort to be like Him. He came to serve. You serve too. (Repentance talk, page 15)
If knowledge saves, then it follows that repentance requires us to learn something. (Repentance talk, page 16)
The first order of repentance is to remember what God gave to us through Joseph. You do that, and then you find God is perfectly willing to pick it up and move it forward. God vouched for Joseph Smith. God spoke through him. I don’t have the right to move one of his words. But I do have the right to listen to him, to follow what came through him, and to lay hold upon the blessings that were promised as a consequence of remembering him. To remember the words of Joseph is to remember your Lord. Remember Him. And do not let anyone tell you that they hold some authority that allows them to neglect, change, discard, veto, forget, or contradict what God told you through the voice of the Prophet. (Repentance talk, page 19)
We need to have a renewed community. Not an organization, but a fellowship. Not a hierarchy, but a group of equals. The community needs to be renewed. Men who have been ordained already, should renew this in the manner just described in the example of Alma. Have a community of believers. Be accepted by them. (PTR talk, page 15)
Have no offices. Let everyone be equal. Be without ranks. (PTR talk, page 16)
Conferences can be called by any who desire it, but you must have seven women if the business includes a priesthood ordination. There is no need to purchase a building. You can meet anywhere including in your own home. (PTR talk, page 16)
His “church” will consist of those who choose only to do what He says. Not as an organization. Not as a corporate entity, but rather as a body of believers who do as He says, where all are equal and free to worship Him in truth and Spirit. (PTR talk, page 20)
We must overcome “jarrings,” “contentions,” “envyings,” “strifes,” “lusts” meaning ambitions, and “covetous desires.” These conflicts need to be worked out before any gathering. All of the social ills of our day are in the churches of our day. Every denomination that came from Joseph Smith’s ministry is plagued with the same shortcomings. Before any gathering, we must be put through a refining process. We must grow; we must rise up first, before God will gather us to Zion. (PTR talk, page 21)
“The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity–thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men. How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations–too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God.” (RE DC 47)
Do not waste your time when you are with one another! Learn, study, testify, search the scriptures, and worship God. If you are still LDS, use whatever good you find there. Do not waste time. Use it in the serious pursuit of the mysteries of God. Search deeply. Reflect quietly. Ponder and pray with purpose. (PTR talk, page 29)
If there are a thousand different fellowships, each will have a unique challenge. You are asked to proceed without being correlated, free to work out your own way to follow the Lord. There will be some people who are “complainers” who will bring complaints with them into your groups. They need your love and patience. You may be able to help them overcome a life-long personality issue that can be cured only by your kindness to one another. Do not be discouraged by the problems. Prayerfully confront them. Do not ignore or hide them. Confess them openly and be patient with one another in finding the solution. Some people have suffered from lifelong abuse by religious authorities, including their parents. They have never had a healthy religious experience. The fact they remain willing to try is itself cause for hope and encouragement. Help them. Love them. Let them find peace among you, for that is what we are asked to do: Be willing to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and of all places, and bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. Suspend judgment and give such assistance as you can to one another. Maybe what they will need most is your listening ear and open heart. (PTR talk, page 39)
“For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order;” (D&C 78: 3-8.)
“And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)
“Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.” That’s how you destroy Zion. It’s a fairly simple thing to accomplish because we all jar one another, we all contend one with another. And if you’ve got a great “Strongman” standing at the head to be admired, we all envy him. Change that into one who kneels, serves, and is the meekest of all men, and there is no reason to envy or admire him. He deserves your sympathy, because he will mirror only the Man of Sorrows, who was acquainted with grief.
We all have our lusts, meaning “ambitions” in this context. Lusts and ambitions are the same thing for purposes of this verse. For example, “I really want to get ahead in the organization,” is a covetous desire. Inequality invites lusts. Inequality invites covetous desires. To be one, you must have equality. You can’t have one heart, one mind, and no poor among you if you have a stratified group of people. There can’t be any rich or poor. (Zion talk, page 7-8)
One of the things that happened when we failed to live the Law of Consecration was a replacement commandment requiring the payment of tithes. “Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming. For after today cometh the burning—this is speaking after the manner of the Lord—for verily I say, tomorrow all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and I will burn them up, for I am the Lord of Hosts; and I will not spare any that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today.” (LE D&C 64: 23-25.)
I want to encourage you to pay tithing. There is nothing divine in neglecting the poor. The primary purpose of collecting the tithes and the yield upon it is to bless and benefit the lives of those who are in need. Collect your own tithing in a group. You manage it among yourselves. You assist the poor among you. If you disagree with what your churches are doing but recognize the obligation to pay, then take control over the funds to do what you believe God would have done to help others. As groups of common believers, pay tithing into a common fund. Then by the voice of your own group, dispose of it by common consent so that everyone in your group knows everything that comes in and everything that goes out. Then you begin to have no poor among your group. You provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education, and transportation. Do it without a leader.
Do it by the voice of your own common consent, by your own unanimous approval. Do it by united agreement.
You will learn exactly what the Lord said was the problem with the first effort to establish Zion in Joseph’s day. If you want to know why the early Saints failed, make this attempt to organize yourselves. Even in a small group you will find challenges. You want to know how far away you are at this moment from Zion; this will tell you. If you want an accurate barometer of “what lack you yet?” then organize yourselves and you, unitedly in small groups, gather your tithing into the storehouse you maintain, and by your common consent take care of those who are poor among you. You will receive an education like none other in the reasons why men fail to have Zion. If you try this experiment, there will be some among you who receive rather than give because they have not. Let me remind those who receive of another statement made in the revelations of this dispensation in D&C 42: 42. “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.” If you’re the beneficiary, not only should you be grateful, but do what you can in turn. (Zion talk, page 12-13)
If anyone decides to experiment on the words we found in the scripture today, and decide to try together to collect your own tithes and administer to the poor among you, I would suggest that not only should women have an equal voice, but that Joseph Smith was really onto something. Even after the existence of the Bishop’s Storehouse, the Relief Society was a lively partner in the process. I would suggest when you are “one,” and there is needed relief, the women have a great role to fill. When you think of “love unfeigned” in a religious sense, the failure to love indeed is primarily male. Forget the nonsense about who is greater and who is lesser. Look among whatever group you participate and ask, who is more compassionate, and who loves more, and then listen to her. Listen to all of the “hers,” because when it comes to the home and the hearth, the needs of children, there is a competency among the women that is innate. Love can be feigned by the presiding authorities, but women generally have a difficult time pulling that kind of nonsense off. Men can pretend to many things. (Zion talk, page 24)
Organize yourselves, collect your own tithing and manage it yourselves, to assist the poor who are among you, and do this by the voice of your own local group. Do it by common consent. Provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education and transportation. Do it by the voice of united agreement of you all in small groups in which all know one another. (PTR talk, page 21)
I…asked the Lord that if only men were to hold priesthood for our public ordinances, then could only women vote to sustain them. The saying pleased the Lord, for it was already in His heart. But He said to me: “There shall be a minimum of seven women to sustain the man in any vote, and if the man is married, his wife shall be one of them.” Here is how I would proceed. Even though I have already been ordained, a community needs to recognize I am authorized before I proceed further. However, given the fact men have abused and neglected the priesthood that they have been given, and given the fact that if men are only going to hold the priesthood, that there ought to be some independent check. Therefore when it comes to sustaining me, or any of you, to perform in a priesthood capacity in any renewed community, only women should vote. No man should be allowed to vote to sustain another priesthood holder, period. If only men hold it, then only women should sustain them.
For any of you who would like to renew your fellowship, call a conference. In your conferences attended by a minimum of seven women, at least seven women must vote to sustain one to be a priest to the community. When that is done, all seven who vote to sustain should sign a certificate. If you look at the Joseph Smith Papers there were certificates given in the early church. These were just handwritten things so there was a written authorization to function in the church. Among your own fellowships, do like they did in the early church. Do as they did, but let the fellowships now respect a balance between the obligations of the men and the rights of the women. If the man is married, his wife must be among the seven women. If his wife will not sustain him, he is unworthy to provide priesthood service in the fellowship. (PTR talk, page 15)
The word “unworthy” is not a statement of condemnation, but of qualification. There is nothing implied in the word about a man’s standing before God, only the fact that within the community of fellowship until the wife is prepared to support him acting outside the family, his effort should remain within his family until the wife sees value to her husband serving others. The word “unworthy” was the Lord’s and therefore I do not feel at liberty to change it. But I want it clear that when He used it I had a definite understanding that no condemnation was implied, only an orderly arrangement was given. In all such matters it has been my experience that with time how the Lord orders things proves to be exceptionally wise, even if we do not immediately see the wisdom.
When you ordain someone to serve in these fellowships you should ordain no one to an office, only confer the priesthood. Keep your lines of authority. It will reckon through the one ordaining. But power can only come from Christ. Wait until the Spirit ratifies your ordination before you act. Do as Alma did, and ask Christ to give you power to baptize. (PTR talk, page 16)
If someone is ordained to priesthood for the first time within your fellowship after April 2014 General Conference, they should reckon their line of authority in these proceedings for this fellowship. The LDS Church will maintain their lines, but let these fellowships maintain their own. All who are ordained in these communities should keep a record of your line of authority and pass it down. Be prepared to defend your line of authority using the records you keep. All of the women who vote to sustain should not only sign the certificate, but also put it in your diaries and in your journals. Let the records be kept so that if anyone questions, there will be an abundance of witnesses. (PTR talk, page 16)
Do you lay on hands to ordain?
Yes. Laying on hands, however, confers only the right to go to God to get power. Power in the priesthood comes from Him. (PTR talk, page 19)
We all want our friends, family, and acquaintances to attend our wedding. For that purpose Joseph approved wording for civil marriages as part Section 101 (KE) of the Doctrine and Covenants which can be used. It also 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.”
In addition to or in place of a civil ceremony, however, sealing authority which binds the marriage eternally needs to be set forth as it pertains to marriages outside the mainstream LDS tradition. As the foregoing instruction are public and festive, what follows should be more solemn, and perhaps even closed to those who would judge or ridicule. 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.
As there is 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, 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 is the pattern which is recommended for the ceremony:
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?
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?
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. 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.