Lorenzo Snow Manual Chapter 4 by Gary Carter


Chapter 4 – Strengthened by the Power of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is always an interesting question when we consider Mormonism and Christianity. There are many areas of disagreement such as the divinity of the Holy Spirit and the interactions in the godhead between Father, Son and Spirit but you can all rest easy, we are not going to look at these incredibly deep issues when it comes to Chapter 4 of President Snow’s teaching manual. The title ‘Strengthened by the Power of the Holy Ghost’ gives us our clue into what we shall be investigating as we will be looking into the gifts of the Holy Spirit and what the Holy Spirit does through us and in us.

The Holy Spirit, first and foremost in Snow’s theology, is the agent that resolves and strengthens faith. Snow quotes 1 Corinthians 12: 7, 9 (“The spirit is given to everyman to profit withal. To one is given faith”) to argue that once the Ghost has entered us, there is an extraordinary faith that stirs within us and strengthens us when faced with persecution. Snow then moves onto something that is important to discuss. He argues hat the gift of the Holy Ghost is something that is entirely different from any sectarian idea as it is a principle based in combined intelligence and revelation. As part of this revelatory principle,

“The gifts of the Holy Spirit were to be received by obedience to the requirements of the gospel and as proclaimed in those days and as proclaimed by the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”

This is quote is very important to consider when we consider the quotation from 1 Corinthians 12. It doesn’t say in this particular passage of scripture that these gifts come from obedience rather than they come from faith in the Spirit. We are all gifted to help each other as it says in verse 7 but in verse 6, Paul talks about that despite the different ways the Spirit manifests itself, it is the same God who does all the work in us. The gifts aren’t received by obedience but as an outpouring of grace that comes from faith in Christ. Snow and the Bible are clearly out of line here.

This then moves us onto our next point, what the gifts of the Holy Spirit actually for? The answer from this passage seems to be that the gifts are for endurance. Endurance, especially endurance to the end within the Mormon faith, is a popular theme within Mormon scriptures. Some examples from the LDS scriptures include 3 Nephi 15:9, D&C 18:22, D&C 50:5 and Articles of Faith 1:13 and that is being rather selective. A key verse however when we consider the Holy Spirit, his gifts and endurance is 1 Nephi 13:37.

And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

The work of Zion, a work of God, needs the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Not only does the pouring out of the gifts of the Holy Spirit rely on obedience and diligence to a work, but the primary objective for the Holy Spirit’s power is to be used to help us endure to celestial glory. This theme is ever present in this chapter for Snow as seen in quotations such as ‘be marked out to them by the Holy Ghost, that course by which they could elevate themselves to knowledge and power and thus prepare themselves to receive the glory that God proposed to confer upon them’. The Holy Ghost is an absolute necessity for exaltation, celestial life and glory. The actual gifts, by which I mean tongues, prophecy etc., do seem to be rather lost in the shuffle. The gifts themselves are briefly mentioned by Snow as something that are of use for the church but their aim is still to help humanity on their way to celestial glory.

This does not seem to be the biblical motive for this gifts or what God desires for us with these gifts. When we look at Pentecost in Acts 2, we see that after the outpouring of the Spirit onto the disciples, the apostles go out and teach and evangelize, spreading the Gospel and bringing people to faith in Jesus. When Jesus himself promises the Holy Spirit in John 14-15, it is promised to guide and to teach the faithful. The Spirit is God with us to spread the good news and power of Christ. In other words, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, whilst of great benefit to those whom they course through, are within us primarily to aid us in being Christ and spreading Christ to others. They are a part of God’s mission to others. This is in direct contrast with the LDS position. Without even touching onto the always controversial subject in these discussions of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, we can see that the LDS have minimized the power of the Holy Ghost from a gift to the whole world to an aid to help us in our endurance towards salvation.

So what can we say as a summary of Chapter 4? I think we can say that Snow’s overwhelming emphasis is on endurance as the consequence of being strengthened by the Holy Spirit. This heavy emphasis seems to go against the attitude in the Bible, which is all about being strengthened to give out the Holy Spirit to others and to see God’s wonders being used through us. Snow’s emphasis is on the self in enduring to the end. That isn’t in line with what God desires for us as laid out in the New Testament in terms of why we have been given the Holy Spirit and how we should be used by Him. You could argue that perhaps that this is just some attempt at a distorted reading here of President Snow. I will leave you with the final paragraph of chapter 4 and I will let you decide.

‘We should endeavor, as far as possible, to forget all worldly matters which grieve and vex us, and fix our minds upon the Lord, having a sufficiency of His Holy Spirit that we may be enabled to receive such knowledge and suggestions as will help us in our onward path.’

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10 Responses »

  1. Matt. 7:3-4!!! Imagine how you and your family would benefit if you focused all your energy in a positive way towards them instead of wasting it obssessing over and criticizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You would have hours left over in the day and the week to actually do something beneficial in the life of you and your family.

  2. Hi Chris,

    In response to this particular chapter, I am very aware of the logs in my own church’s eye. I have seen many people justify some rather selfish motives by claiming the Holy Spirit as a justification and foundation. There are some within the UK Baptist tradition who are also cessationist and deny the fruits of the spirit in todays church so I am aware of my own church’s flaws.

    I accept that this blog post, like everything on this site, is rooted in Christian apologetics to Mormons (LDS/CoC etc.). I make no apology for that. The LDS Church and ‘mainstream’ Christianity have very different viewpoints on many theological issues and there is no harm in discussing our differences and why each perspective feels that they are correct. As this is a ‘mainstream’ Christian blog, it isn’t surprising that this blog and its contributors are convicted of the truth of Jesus as told by ‘mainstream’ Christian churches. There are many LDS blogs that do the same thing.

    I am very happy to discuss with you what particular points in this piece you didn’t agree with and to have healthy debate over these points. I will not pretend that I do not want to try and change LDS opinions because the nature of any good, wholesome, debate is to try and convince the opposing party to support your viewpoint in a respectful manner. I have no objection to you doing the same thing back. Whether any of us would make progress is something that can be disputed. Sadly though, the tone of the response was a little bit aggressive which does not aid discussion. Let us remember that we aim for all of our conversation to ‘be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone’. (Colossians 4:6).

    God Bless.

  3. you got problems…you are overshooting the mark…you are they who philosophize to much…you are not alone though… why fightest thou against an obviously goodness…all good cometh from the father of lights

  4. This book about Lorenzo Snow or his teachings, I am devouring it. It makes me think about Jacob the brother of Nephi when he says if you were holy, I will teach you about holy things, but since you are not I must teach you about the consequences of sin. And then it makes me wonder what would have Jacob taught the people if the nephites had been holy then? Now by reading this book about Lorenzo Snow, I now know what Jacob would have taught them. This book is filled with Holiness. In my humble opinion. I read it with much reverence as if I were reading holy scripture.

    “And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 68:3 – 4)

    The first time I knew of Lorenzo Snow, was three days before I entered the temple the first time for my own washings, anointings and endowments. I saw his video in my bedroom about tithing and the promise of rain. Tears fell from my eyes as I was watching it. It was as if the power of God unto salvation was knocking at my door. I immediately prayed to thank God for a prophet and for his teachings. Then, I immediately head a voice that said to me, do your diligence to go or enter the temple, so I can endow you with power from on High. I did not know what it all meant. I only knew that is was a commandment from the LORD. Right after that I felt a sudden rush to hasten and made the necessary phone calls to anyone who could help me prepare to enter the temple. The weekend was approaching; and as a ward clerk, I was expecting difficulties setting up impromptu meetings. But to my surprise, the way was prepared ahead of me. It was as if they were all waiting for me or expecting me for I did not find any difficult at all. And within a day or so of each step, I received an intensive mode of the temple preparation classes, a worthiness interview with both the Bishop and the Stake President and temple recommend. And within three days, on a Saturday, I was endowed with power from on high on the last day of 22nd birthday.

    I will never forget that year, for during that whole year from beginning to end, I got married, my wife was baptized, I received my patriarchal blessing, then the Melquisedec Priesthood from a Temple Sealer who was also a stake High Counselor and who a little later became a Patriarch. On that same year, I conceived my first born; and also entered the temple to receive my own endowments. And when I returned home from the temple that day, I was filled with the Holy Ghost to the bones and sinews that I could not keep all the fire to myself. I could not talk much about my temple experience, but I wanted to transfer to somebody what I felt. And the first things I did when I got home was to touch my unborn child who on the spot jumped in her mother’s womb. She was born about two weeks later a bit ahead of her scheduled time. It was the most productive day or year of my life that I can remember. And every time I read or hear the teaching of this particular prophet, I remember and think about holy things; and then as I did today, I count all my blessings and thank and glorify God for it.

    • Thanks for that Miguel. It seems to me that many Mormons seem to back away from one of the key Lorenzo Snow statements. This being “As man now is God once was, as God is man may be,” is this a statement you would see as inspired and true? And if so why do so many Mormons back away from it today would you say?

      Any response would be appreciated, its interesting to see someone so enthusiastic about his teachings.

      • This book is like Manna from heaven to me. And with regards to the indifference of our brethren towards the supreme goal of our existence, in a few words, my brother, many of our brethren, even some two thirds of the entire church membership are not truly active or are in retrogression. They have not received that mighty change of heart of which the scriptures so much talks about. I believe it as true. We can be as God is and he was as we now are.

        When I was a vile sinner, I suffered much for unrighteousness sake, but nothing ever happened to me. But when I was converted I suffered even more for righteousness sake. And now everything is happening to me. I am going thru the refiner’s fire pretty much since the days of my true conversion every day since late October 2007. And I have not been committed to Crisis units for observations; and even sent to jail on false or inflated charges in this day and age, for nothing, not by the hands of enemies or the world but by the hands of my friends. Ever since I was converted I have been preaching repentance like if there is no tomorrow. Like Paul, I am also going in the race for the crown. Eternal life or nothing.

        Many of our brethren including those of local leadership up to the stake lever as far as I am able to observe, are dull of hearing and prefer to hear fables instead of sound doctrine; and have or are degenerating in unbelief and deny the power and the gifts of GOD and have forsaken the everlasting covenant or the main purpose of the book of Mormon which is to have our own private day of Pentecost like Nephi, Enos, Paul, Alma and the sons of Mosiah, Mormon and Moroni among others. They do not have that fire to serve God and our fellow man as if there is no tomorrow. It does not bother them that many of our brethren or any soul for that matter are lost and will suffer if they die in their sins. I was in the gal of bitterness myself and I do not want no one to go thru that if I can avoid it.

        Many brethren read these sacred texts as scientists read the bible to find answers or as goals and as to seek worldly wisdom to prove a point or to win arguments, but deny to seek or undertaker the true conversion as depicted in Chapter three of this book. They never come to the knowledge of the Living Christ. Thy have testimony of the prophets but not of the divinity of Jesus Christ. When you talk to them about the potential of Godhood or godliness in us, they natural man takes over or their humanity springs up. it is like talking Greek to them because the LORD has closed their ear and their eyes. These are a great many HP, Elders, Priests and members of the church that walk in darkness at noon day and have committed a very grievous sin.

        And the leading brethren of the church seeing this wickedness and like it happened to Mormon, their mouths are shut or they are ceasing to speak about these marvelous subjects OPENLY, not because they do not believe in them anymore, but because most would not believe that we can be or attain what God now is and are not prepared because of their lack of faith. And when that happens God cannot operate or do mighty miracles of conversions as he did when the Lamanites or the Nephites where converted at the time of his appearing to them. Or as it happened to Lorenzo Snow. They do not see themselves sitting in that Lofty chair that the LORD promised us that we will seat if we overcome all things as he did. And I am afraid that only a third of us will make it, but not without passing thru the refining fire of afflcition. Because of all this it is plainly written:

        Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

        (Old Testament | Hosea 7:8)

        For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

        (New Testament | Matthew 13:15)

        For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

        (New Testament | 2 Timothy 4:3 – 4)

        THIS know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

        (New Testament | 2 Timothy 3:1 – 8)

        But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called but few of them are chosen. They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon–day.

        (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 95:5 – 6)

        Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old.

        (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 66:2)

        But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.

        (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:101)

        And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.

        (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:53 – 58)

        And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

        (Old Testament | Zechariah 13:8 – 9)

  5. When this people which is now reprobate in their faith undertake upon themselves to sanctify themselves and try to live by every word that comes out of the mouth of GOD and serve him at all peril, then they will embrace the holiness or the glories of Eternity. They will know that whether the doctrines Christ and the apostles and prophets teach is Christ’s or is the Father’s. For What Christ did we can also do, and excepting the universal atonement, which is his honor, even greater things we or they ca do. Then they will hear the angels of heaven sing during baptisms or general conferences that only some can hear or notice. They will be in meetings in the spirit that are taken place simultaneously in the church of the first born which in heaven and do forth or to an innumerable concourse. The revelations of John will be visible in their own eyes as the LORD promised it would happen in the book of Ether when we break the veil or darkness and unbelief that covers our eyes.

    It is astonishing to me that this people even in class did not caption that the statements LOREZON SNOW MADE concerning our Eternal progress, he received it independently of Joseph Smith. He guarded it and kept it to himself until he knew that it was public knowledge. Now, if these people do not hear the peaceable things of the kingdom, then this is what they have, do and will hear:

    And there were exceedingly many prophets among us. And the people were a stiffnecked people, hard to understand. And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things—stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them.

    (Book of Mormon | Enos 1:22 – 23)

    Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

    Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief. Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.

    (Book of Mormon | Ether 4:13 – 16)

    I hope I have given you a meaningful answer Bobby. And I also thank you for having eyes to read and God for giving us the privilege to converse.

    • Thanks for that Miguel. Though I am by no means LDS I do appreciate discussions with LDS members who do not shy away from these teachings of their prophets.

      Can I ask how you deal with the issues of what your Prophets have said on the issue if black people? Do you acknowledge that Black people are so as a result of a lack of valience in the pre-existence?

      • Zion and Jerusalem, February 19, 2013

        Dear Bobby,

        I do not shrink from controversy about issues with regards to gender, race, sexual orientation, marital status, education or disability, but to tell you the truth I believe in God and in the word of ALL the prophets when they act as such. I am not politically correct for fear of scorn. I know I make lots of mistakes.

        As far as I know, our church had never had or ever will have false prophets, if any at all, it will be a fallen one. I myself as a priest and teacher have fallen many times in my training and disciplining. Like the High Priest Melquisedec, with strong crying and supplication I also have learned much obedience by the things which I have suffered. And I know that some of our leading prophets, seers and revelators or great teachers, have said some things which they understand better than any under heaven which has angered many people and as a result people get offended at them or because of them. In fact, this is customary in all the church history with all the holy prophets not only since the restoration of the church in 1830 but since the very beginning of the world. People get offended at me because oft I administer the Gospel as Christ did declaring as harsh as it gets in my skin their iniquities of the people and even my own sins with boldness. And here is one or two examples

        And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him. And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent–keepers: Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.

        (Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:37 – 38)

        And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent

        (Pearl of Great Price | Moses 7:12)

        And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

        (New Testament | Mark 6:2 – 3)

        Concerning your questions with regards to the valiance of blacks in the pre existence, I do not know what happened in the preexistence; and why here there is a correlation with the color of our skin as white or if it has shades or if it is mid or pitch black. I am half and half myself and my children came to my wife and I in different shades or colors of skin. Cain was not black in heaven, that curse or plague of darkness came upon him after he brought it upon himself and his seed by rejecting the greater counsel of GOD. Why some chose to be born white, yellow, brown, red, black, weak, disabled, sick I do not know. All I know that the LORD gives weaknesses to men so that they can be humble. If I were to take your concern at face value, I presume some blacks or otherwise afflicted people in nay manner were people of great prominence in heaven and needed to be humbled down here on earth. For the LORD has said:

        And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

        (Book of Mormon | Ether 12:27)

        But this I can tell you, my ancient father Joseph the son of Jacob from whom most Mormons come these days; and to whom belong the greatest blessings, other than the praise owed to the Jews, come also from Asenath the daughter of the priest of ON which was of the royal seed of the youngest son of Noah through Onitah. And if a Mormon is hating blacks they are only hating their own flesh and blood. I do not think anybody but me knows this. I know because I gave a patriarchal blessing to one of my daughters whom I had named Onatopp or as Onitah. She is very gracious and has the darker sking in my family. And it was revealed to me from haven that many years later when I gave her the blessing that lineage of ham runs tru Onitah and Asenath runs thru her all the way to my daughter. She could be a queen of Egypt is she were to live there. She is a very spiritual and sensitive child such as were the three virgins that were sacrificed in the days of Abraham because of their virtue and because they would not worship dumb idols. All these were black then and had had they wanted, they would have, could have and should have claimed their right to the priesthood thru Cam their father.

        Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham.

        (Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1:11)

        And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

        (Old Testament | Genesis 41:45)

        I have heard those things that some people have said in our church concerning the preexistence and blacks as you mentioned. There is no doctrinal basis that I can recollect that attest to anything for that matter. It is not doctrinal at all. I take most of my knowledge from the standard works and official manuals of the church and not from written works which come from dubious sources and/or are speculated that came from the general authorities of the church. And there it does not say anything about the preexistence of blacks or whites for that matter. If you give me some examples, I may be able to search and even enquired of GOD as I did before I answered you with these words. To me, particularly, it is a blessing to have come from the mixture of the Nephites and Mulekitas among the LAMANITES in the Book of Mormon. Because of that I have reached some promises that I would not have otherwise. And to tell you the truth, all those curses that came upon Cain and upon the Lamanites, my fathers came after the fall of Adam so they have a beginning and therefore an end. And this I also know that a great many children have died before the age of responsibility and they will inherit heaven for God is no respecter of person and he does not esteem one flesh over the other. In heaven everything is incandescent flesh and bone in celestial burning glory and where no blood at all dwells. I do not think one can differentiate between blacks and whites there anyway because things are measures in degrees of glory or lack of it.

        I can also tell you that those rumors from apostates and critics that say that the Mormons feared the US freedom movements of the late sixties and early seventies and that they were forced to give the priesthood to Blacks is false. I know the true story and act of GOD behind it. Think about it, after the fall of man, no blessing has ever come freely or without effort to no one regardless of heritage. All our patriarch and fathers worked up their salvation with fear and trembling. Had not Joseph Smith prayed with strong faith and determination, he would have not received the first vision and subsequent blessings. Likewise, the head of the church or even Noah had nothing to do except follow the counsels of God for the protection of souls from utter damnation by forbidden the priesthood from being given to the seed of Cain. It was a curse that Cain brought upon himself and his children and for a season a great many of them lost the privilege to officiate, serve, minister and administer in these matters but not the blessings that come from it thru others. And as long as they or even we follow the wicked traditions of some of our fathers we perpetuate these curses forever. The priesthood finally came or was available to blacks on the mid seventies because a righteous black young man from Africa desired the blessings of having the priesthood and administer with it so much that he prayed as if there was no tomorrow. And then was when the revelation came to Spencer W Kimball. That black man open the door for other black to begin to claim their blessings, which if they had done earlier, even since the days of the Pharos of Egypt they would have received it. No blessing came to me without much trial and tribulation either, even the forgiveness of my sins. The power rests in the sacrifices that people make and how thru faith they receive power to excel and even overcome, even as Jacob prevailed with the angel and was surnamed Israel.

        And I can also tell you that these latter days we all look black unto the LORD and unless we open our mouth and cry unto him, he himself would not know who we are. He is actually looking for us with candles because ALL FLESH is corrupted before him and our actual color of skin does not help us a bit regardless if we are Israelites or gentiles. It is righteousness that makes us black or white. I am a man of low degree. I barely graduated from High School thru GED. And English is not my first language. But God blessed me with a fine mind and a fine body to serve him. Many think that I am a white man like any other. I do not know about any other but I am working my salvation with fear and trembling before GOD. Like Michael Jackson, I am bleaching my skin but only spiritually. And in my dreams I often dream with some to the brethren I know at church which think that their spirit is as white as their skin, yet because of their wickedness, it appears very black to me and I appear white to them. Likewise Christ, saw many of the white sepulchered JEWS during his ministry, even the Pharisees and Sadducees, who claimed the heritage of Abraham and Christ told them that they were the seed of Cain with their soul as black as hell or outer darkmess. So, we do not know who is who in this world unless Christ points it out. It all depends on righteousness. Every man that departs from the truth or has not come to embrace has much bleaching to do like me regardless of skin color. Here is the law and the testimony.

        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.

        (Old Testament | Zephaniah 1:12)

        For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven— Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; and, behold, the enemy is combined.

        (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 38:11 – 12)

        And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.

        (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 2:14 – 16)

        Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them. And now, this commandment they observe to keep; wherefore, because of this observance, in keeping this commandment, the Lord God will not destroy them, but will be merciful unto them; and one day they shall become a blessed people. Behold, their husbands love their wives, and their wives love their husbands; and their husbands and their wives love their children; and their unbelief and their hatred towards you is because of the iniquity of their fathers; wherefore, how much better are you than they, in the sight of your great Creator?

        O my brethren, I fear that unless ye shall repent of your sins that their skins will be whiter than yours, when ye shall be brought with them before the throne of God. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.

        (Book of Mormon | Jacob 3:5 – 9)

        I do not know what else to say on this subject. And what I have said is sufficient. I do not know if you are a critic of Mormons or not, but I can testify that despite the wickedness in our midst this is the true church of GOD and that out of the fourteen million members it has throughout the word, only a about third are truly active. Hence the saying, many are called but few are chosen. And even if all were corrupt from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top of the church; there will always here and there an obscure and unlearned elder that will be the standard bearer or carry the torch that will keep this entire church true and faithful to GOD. If you are not one of us, I invite you to join us; you should consider join us by faith and not by doctrinal corrected ness. It is the true church of GOD on earth and despite our bad customs, history and other mischief; I bear witness that the power of GODLINESS is made manifest in its ordinances.

        Last Sunday, and it is worth to note, we had a baptism of an eight year old girl. As one of my daughters played the piano, I heard the Choirs of heaven sing actual words. I looked to see who among the congregation were singing and no one was. I kept that marvelous experience to myself because I thought that I was the only one that had ears to hear the heavens sing. Then at home; yesterday at our customary family home evening, I told the experience to my wife and family and they all said that they also heard the angels from heaven sing.

        With this I am only saying that there is noise everywhere and that those who are doing what should be doing, at the right time and at the right place will experience these wonderful things and the gloried of eternities; even as Lorenzo Snow also experienced. And of this I testify that the Book of Mormon, the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints and all its prophets have been true and faithful despite their human fragilities. It is true because of the fruits they bear and the heritage they left in the sands of time. Most of our own apologetics or intellectuals in our midst talk and argue much about what they do not know like the Jews who dissected the law of Moses, the commandments and made them void. Jesus called them the doctors of the law. Some of our brethren are likewise and many are afraid to take upon them with full purpose of heart the name of Christ. And to preach his doctrine which is simply to exercise faith in Christ unto repentance so that they be baptized by immersion and receive the gift of the holy ghost by the lying of hands under those in authority and be saved by faithfulness and endurance to the end. Without this it is useless that we endeavor or try to understand much. I am NOT one of them that do not take the name of Christ upon them. I walk the talk for the LORD had commanded it saying in one single verse of scripture:

        Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

        (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 27:20)

        Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

        (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 27:21 – 22)

        And of this I solemnly testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ amen.

        Miguel Angel Tinoco Rodriguez

      • Thanks Miguel some interesting points there. Feel free to look over this site to see more of my perspective on the Mormon Church, its by no means hidden. I love speaking to Mormons and its cool to chat with someone like you who is pretty open on where you are with these things. What I will do is mix some of my perspective with some of my findings on this issue.

        At the most recent General Conference in October 2012, President Monson told this story in the Priesthood session.

        “In one particular meeting, N. Eldon Tanner, who was then an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve, had just returned from his initial experience of presiding over the missions in Great Britain and western Europe. He told of a missionary who had been the most successful missionary whom he had met in all of the interviews he had conducted. He said that as he interviewed that missionary, he said to him, “I suppose that all of the people whom you baptized came into the Church by way of referrals.”

        The young man answered, “No, we found them all by tracting.”

        Brother Tanner asked him what was different about his approach—why he had such phenomenal success when others didn’t. The young man said that he attempted to baptize every person whom he met. He said that if he knocked on the door and saw a man smoking a cigar and dressed in old clothes and seemingly uninterested in anything—particularly religion—the missionary would picture in his own mind what that man would look like under a different set of circumstances. In his mind he would look at him as clean-shaven and wearing a white shirt and white trousers. And the missionary could see himself leading that man into the waters of baptism. He said, “When I look at someone that way, I have the capacity to bear my testimony to him in a way that can touch his heart.”

        It seems to me that Mormonism very much focuses on the outward appearance to indicate what is clean and what is not. White or white skin seems to be a big issue within this as well.

        In the Book of Mormon we see this.

        “. . . wherefore, as they were white and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them (2 Nephi 5:21).”

        In various places the book of Mormon shows black skin to be a curse upon the people who have it.

        2 Nephi 30:6 used to say:

        “…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.”

        This was changed in the late 70s early 80s to say pure and delightsome.

        However Brigham Young said:

        “You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation …When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people” (Journal of Discourses 7:336).

        However the first rendering of this is much more faithful to Mormonism and the D&C quote you gave, why do you think it changed?

        Regarding what Mormon Prophets have said we see this:

        “NO NEUTRALS IN HEAVEN. There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1:65-66. .

        “The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart, have been servants to both Shem and Jepheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom.” (John Taylor, Times and Seasons, April 1, 1845, 6:857).

        “And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God” (John Taylor, August 28th, 1881, Journal of Discourses 22:304. See also Latter-day Prophets Speak: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Church Presidents, p. 157, Daniel H. Ludlow, ed.).

        It seems to me that Mormonism judges the outward appearance very harshly as a sign of righteousness or unrighteousness. Yet in the Bible we see this about Jesus:

        Isaiah 53:2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him

        In fact its much more likely the skin of the Saviour was more black than it would have been white despite the LDS pictures of Him, does this mean He was unrighteous? By no means, a persons right or wrong standing is nothing of the outward

        Jesus said this in Luke 11:39

        And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

        the Outward is NO indication of someone righteousness at all, but rather whether we have trusted in Christ so strongly that we know that nothing but His work in us, and none if our own could ever save us.

        1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

        Ephesians 1:7 In whom (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

        So anyway this was just some of my thoughts on what I think is a mass misunderstanding of your early Prophets on what the true sign of righteousness is, and sadly their supposed position of being the mouthpieces of God only served to make these wrong opinions more binding.

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