I originally wrote the below on Sept 11th. It was a proposal to help with the SOP effort and to asses my own heart. I made some edits the next day (making it less of a proposal as I felt ashamed of having done so) but eventually took it down completely because I increasingly felt I had been and was in the wrong, and was being corrected. However as part of my own records, and part of my own need to be honest and forthcoming I am putting it back up.
I do not believe at the present time this proposal was the correct action when considering the broader context of the topic. I think the content and concepts are good, and are supported by scripture, but what I didn't adequately consider the recent happenings regarding this topic, the overall history, and and even what had happened in the last 6 months. When I consider those things, the votes, the voice of the people which had been gathered, the below was not right.
The Statement of Principles required in the A&C has been on my mind for many months. My friend Jeff Savage along with some other friends online had a discussion that may have potential. he below is an overview of that discussion which many contributed to.
Read first: http://denversnuffer.com/2010/10/3-nephi-12-25-26/
The below are ideas to consider. Totally voluntary. It's a seed. See if it grows. If it does not, then feel free to dismiss it.
The way faith is produced according to Lectures on Faith is by Sacrifice. And the way Zion comes is by faith. I believe that will involve breaking down barriers and people's hearts via the actions and love you demonstrate towards them. Not fighting against them, convincing them, or insisting on getting your way. In the most extreme example, Christ submitted to wicked men to be killed. Did His death mean they had the victory? Did his submission mean they won and He lost? Everything changed with the resurrection when Christ's obedience to the Father actually ended up offering redemption for those very people if they would receive it. He is worthy, He has shown the way by example.
With those ideas in mind, the body of believers is at an impasse with the Statement of Principles assignment from the Lord in the A&C. There are as many positions as there are people involved and varying levels of disagreement. While voting may work, some may feel it discards or cuts off those who vote opposed. I cannot escape that thought.
I found insight in considering this alternate option. The central idea is to intentionally lay down any personal SOP preference, agenda, along with any disagreements, and instead to do something foreign to this world; which is agreeing to adopt whatever outcome those who DO disagree, settle upon. By “disagree” I mean folks who feel strongly that the outcome must be ___ or must not be ___. I’m intrigued by potentially agreeing with those who appear to be adversaries in this matter. Or perhaps appear to be the “least” among us. Perhaps “least” in terms of how much you respect them or think them worthy of your sacrifice. Or how “least” they appear based on their controversial acceptance of the covenant. We know that actions towards the “least” (as we perceive) in scripture are said to be done unto God. Christ’s Sermon asks this kind of thing of people.
Agreeing with a subgroup as described above will identify those, who for whatever reason, disagree with anyone or have any disputes about this current assignment or which document fulfills it. Those who have disagreements can meet in smaller settings without hundreds of voices. The rest could potentially agree to AGREE with their outcome as an act of respect and desire to be unified. This will solve the impasse but will take some serious heart to do. This wouldn't be something to formalize for every single decision that has to be made. But for this specific time and setting it seems to fit.
This is one possible way to show by our deliberate actions that our hearts are united, that we will become one and not dispute, and that we value all, including the “least” among us. And we value those who feel compelled to disagree by allowing them to do so. For me, at the present time, I’m not sure how else any of us plan to demonstrate these traits towards those who are to be brothers and sister. I guess we can find some other “least” or some other perceived adversary to agree with at some future time. But this seems like a really good chance to display what the A&C asked for. To recap, we voluntarily allow any to disagree and will submit to their conclusion in faith believing God can correct us as we demonstrate that our hearts are right. Does this put us at the mercy of those who “least” deserve it? Keep reading.
Observation suggests there are too many voices and opinions to make any meaningful progress right now. An idea such as this will create focus on those feeling strongly enough to disagree and allow them to conclude the matter. Imagine that. How backwards is that to how the world does business? Even if it came down to just 1 person disagreeing, we would have mutual agreement and can fulfill the assignment since all previously agreed to submit. This could potentially happen very quickly, and very peacefully. I desire peace. We have a chance to proceed in peace, and love, showing overwhelming respect and selflessness to each other. Demonstrating by our actions that we do not fall short of the beliefs we profess. I guess we can postpone demonstrating that we don’t fall short, but now seems like a great time.
Chris Hammil has recently explained on the scripture blog that he is no limiting factor in publishing of the SOP in the scripture set. It’s up to the body of believers. I personally like Paul’s v2 SOP document Adrian Larsen posted on his blog a few days ago. But I’d willingly drop that and submit to the result of any who find they have disagreements with each other regarding the adoption of an SOP document. This seems peaceful, meek, and follows the example of our Lord and His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount It seems opposite of froward. There wouldn’t be a need for further mass meetings, or large scale discussions, big votes, or hundreds of voices. It can be calm and humble and quiet. We can show by laying down our weapons and prostrating ourselves before any opposition that we indeed desire to keep the covenant more than be right.
To some this may feel like rolling over and giving in or giving up. To others this may feel like its empowering individuals who are opinionated to control the will of the many. To others it may feel like it sets a poor precedent for the future. Or perhaps worse this could risk not fulfilling the assigned SOP parameters as stated in the A&C. Or any number of things along these lines. So how could this possibly produce fruit? How could we agree to our opposition? How could we?
I guess voting majority would work. But as stated earlier that decision cuts off some folks. I’d prefer not to cut off but instead submit to the outcome of those who feel passionately about one document vs another. And then ask God to correct any errors the result may have. This would show by our works that this movement can be something worth informing others about. Without showing this example, some will not be able to understand. One of my online friends told a group a phrase I'll never forget. He said "You can't think your way into being of one heart, you have to love your way into being of one mind". I would rather show unity of heart and petition for correction on the particular details as the heart is by far the weightier matter. In my view.
I believe that humility in this will bear fruit. It can be seen as an act of obedience to God, not man, in harmony with the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. To love others who are seemingly opposed. It shows honor and respect to all our brothers and sisters and affords them the freedom to disagree. And with that freedom comes the understanding the rest of the body, with regard to this assignment, has agreed to adopt their decision. Because we love them and seek to become one with them. Is this not a step towards Zion rather than Babylon? Would this not soften hearts and be fruit worthy of preservation? Would this not show heaven we are willing to repent and leave Babylon and ALL its methods? Is this not a higher way than voting and cutting off those who vote contrary?
The Lord has said in the A&C that He would labor with us. I believe Him. I would like to act in faith and show by our works that we not only say, but DO as he has asked. Then He can correct us. If the result of this proposal is an insufficient/unacceptable SOP document, then we ask and rely on Him to correct us. Many have prayed together and meekly presented the dispute before the Lord asking for His part as we were instructed in the A&C. Usually the answers from God are already before us in scripture, it’s up to us to see it. If not now, when? When are we going to begin making covenants by sacrifice if not now?
So the logistics would go something like this: Those in disagreement and those opting to submit to their choice would interestingly be in agreement all of a sudden. They would not need to vote, discuss, or even talk about the topic if they don’t want to. Those who feel passionately the SOP must be X or cannot be Y can organize themselves until such point there is a peaceful solution. Based on true principles, without coercion, without force, and respecting the agency of all. Those who maintain disagreements are already passionate about the topic so it’s not likely to drag out as the ball is in their court. Enough has already been discussed on that Guide and Standard 1000 + page blog currently archived on the Restoration Archive site that there isn’t a whole lot more to say.
If those in disagreement mutually agree then we are done. If those in disagreement cannot come to mutual agreement by the next conference we do the Dances with Wolves thing (as related in a podcast dated 9/11/18 www.denversnuffer.com) and cast lots to identify a Chief and a Medicine Man and that individual, chosen by lots, gets to make the decision. We will have taken a step towards becoming one, while also demonstrating patience and longsuffering and persuasion. And yet still have a conclusion we can look to in the event there is another impasse among those who are debating. I don’t want to compel or coerce anyone to agree. I can’t think of a better way than this to proceed as nobly as the cause we seek. But perhaps more ideas like this exist. This is just one that has potential.
If we are not willing to take steps like this paper outlines then our claims to want Zion are empty and without evidence. So I'd like to create some evidence.
I could outline more logistics but the odds of people reading this often goes down the longer it gets. But you get the gist of how this could work. For me this seed grew. Not to say other seeds won’t grow too. But this is one that did.