As the prophecies of calamities of the last days seem to be coming ever so near, are we prepared spiritually? Is there more to the gospel than most are led on to believe? Are we serious about our religion, enough that we are always researching and learning it? Are there higher things the former prophets like Joseph Smith, Moses, Nephi, Mormon and others were teaching that we are just not getting for the most part? Have we watered down our religion too much? Why consecrating Zion type communities in the past and still not today? When will Zion return among us? Can individuals enjoy an individual Zion state before then? How are we (where ever we find ourselves today) compared to the great prophets in the scriptures? Do our leaders need more revelation and visitation direct from heaven? Do we individually? How will we make it through the coming calamaties? How and who will build up Zion on this continent for the millenium? Now is the time to get serious about your religion! You cannot say that I did not try to warn you to search for yourselves... there is so much to the Gospel of Christ!:)
Pres. Joseph F Smith: "the Standard Works of the Church are the measuring rods the Lord has given us by which we are to measure every doctrine, every theory and teaching, and if there is anything that does not conform to that which is given to us in the revelations, we do not have to accept it. Whether I say it or anyone else says it, whether it comes through the philosophy of men, or whenever a statement is made, that is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, you should know what course to take."
"The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves “in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Pg. 205
"if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil. But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth- and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet. Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him." (Helaman 13:25-28)
Here are some very inspired LDS books to assist us in (along with deep pondering the scriptures and LDS church history with the spirit of truth/intelligence) finding answers to the questions above:
Prophecies and Promises about this land and the coming Zion upon it
VIDEO PRESENTATIONS ON THE ARCHEOLOGY EVIDENCE AND FORMER PROPHETIC STATEMENTS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON OCCURRING ON THIS LAND. Joseph Smith and the early church leaders often made statements that the indians they were among in the east were descendents of the Lehites.
Wayne May's Ancient American Magazine - Decades of research on American Indian Archeology on this land
Avraham Gileadi's Isaiah Books and Classes
John Pontius LDS Author on Zion
Bruce H Porter BYU PHD on Religious Studies and Ancient Epyptian Studies - Received Hugh Nibley's Research after his death, Bruce gave to BYU collections, but continued much of Nibley's studies. See the Covenant DVD set sold by www.LDSTravel.com
LDSFreedomForum.com -Gospel Discussions
LDSAVOW.com (Another VOice of Warning) Website for LDS Preppers
Search Scriptures, Journal of Discourses (former general conferences in 1800's), etc
INTERESTING LDS BLOGS:
Denver Snuffer Blog -Search for his books on Amazon.com - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...
Denver's Elijah talk Oct 14, 2011
Denver's Temple Talk In Ogden, Oct 2012
Bare Record Blog
In Mount Zion Blog
Pure Mormonism Blog
LDS Perfect Day Blog
Andrew Ehat "A Torah Harmony"
Muslim Terrorist Repents and Sees the Lord
Ogden Kraut Research and Free E-Books on Gospel Topics
Brian Hales, LDS Author and Researcher on Patriarchal Marriage in Joseph's day
"And when a person grows in the knowledge of the truth and advances to higher principles, he does not receive anything that contradicts any truth he had previously learned, for truth is never discordant with itself. Truth is eternal, truth is indestructible and never contradicts itself" Charles W. Penrose, Ibid., vol. 22, p. 69
JOSEPH SMITH: We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark that they would do anything they were told to do by those who preside over them [even] if they knew it was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told do by their presidents they should do it without any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves. -Millennial Star, Vol 14, Number 38, pages 593-595
"There is nothing short of complete apostasy, a complete denial of every principle we have received, a throwing away of the Holy Priesthood, that can save us from persecution. When this takes place, when all the chief features of the Gospel are obliterated, when we can float along the stream and do as the world does, then and not till then will persecution cease, or until the adversary is bound." (George Q. Cannon, 15 May 1881, Journal of Discourses, Volume 22, page 374)
Lorenzo Snow JD 26:368 - "Better suffer a thousand deaths than succumb to the force of persecution by promising to discard a single principle which God has revealed for our glory and exaltation. Our character, as Latter-day Saints, should be preserved inviolate, at whatever cost or sacrifice."
Brigham Young: "Do you think that this people CALLED Latter-Day Saints are traveling in the path that they should go in? Do you think that they offer their oblations and sacrifices to the Lord as they should? What do you think about it? What is the general expression through our community? It is that the Latter-day Saints ARE DRIFTING as fast they can into idolatry, DRIFTING into the spirit of the world AND INTO PRIDE and vanity." (Journal of Disc. 18: 239)
Preface in Vol 3 Journal of Discourses: "The light of truth, as it emanates from the abode of the Eternal Father through his Priesthood on the earth, IS EXPOSING THE CORRUPTIONS OF HYPOCRITES, and APOSTATE SPIRITS AMOUNG the Saints, IT is also heaping condemnation upon those WHO STILL choose darkness rather than light."
Brigham Young: "The majority of the human family DO NOT LOVE THE TRUTH, and many forsake it after they have embraced it. To me it is evident THAT many who understand the truth do not govern themselves by it. Do you think that people will obey the truth BECAUSE it is true, unless they love it ? NO, THEY WILL NOT. Truth is obeyed when it is loved. STRICT obedience to the truth will alone enable people to dwell in the presence of the Almighty. DO PEOPLE KNOW THIS." Journal of Discourses 7:55
PROPHET JOSEPH Smith: "I spoke to the people, showing them that to get salvation we must not only do some things, BUT EVERYTHING GOD HAS COMMANDED. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God has commanded us to do, AND WILL BE DAMNED AT LAST. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what he tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular OR UNPOPULAR, I will always maintain a true principle, EVEN IF I STAND ALONE IN IT." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith P 332
"Now those men, OR those women, who know NO MORE ABOUT THE POWER OF GOD, and the influences of THE HOLY SPIRIT, than to be led ENTIRELY BY ANOTHER PERSON, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another's sleeve, WILL NEVER BE CAPABLE OF ENTERING INTO THE CELESTIAL GLORY, to be crowned as they anticipate, THEY will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, BUT they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They never can hold scepters of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom. Who will? THOSE Who ARE VALIANT and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right THOUGH ALL MANKIND besides SHOULD TAKE THE OPPOSITE course."(President Brigham Young Journal of Discourses 1:312)
Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith: “Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things temporally never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, form the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. "But, those who have not made this sacrifice to God do not know that the course which they pursue is well pleasing in his sight, for whatsoever may be their belief or their opinion, it is a matter of doubt and uncertainty in their mind; and where doubt and uncertainty are, there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time; so that person whose mind is under doubt and fear cannot have unshaken confidence; and where unshaken confidence is not, their faith is weak; and where faith is weak the person will not be able to contend against all the opposition, tribulations, and afflictions which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them."
Many of the Saints will go to their graves, having hands laid upon their heads, never having received the gift of the Holy Ghost. - Joseph Fielding Smith, Millcreek Stake Conference, 1969
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. - 2 Nephi 31:17-18, 21