When the covenant participants mutually agree to a G&S, the covenant participants will thenceforth be required to follow the G&S by the covenant, thus any precepts or commandments in the G&S become part of the covenant obligations.
Additionally, the G&S is to bless, benefit, and inform those who as yet know nothing of the Lord’s work now underway. The Lord’s work now underway is to restore his original faith to the Earth, and prepare a people who may be saved at his appearing and be able to dwell with him bodily in Zion.
The Lord, in the covenant document, tells us how that is to be done: “All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost to then show you all things you must know.” This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and his salvation (1 Nephi 13:36; LDS D&C 11:24; LDS D&C 39:6). Just as the Holy Ghost shows us all things we must know, the Holy Ghost also shows us all things we must do (2 Nephi 32:5). The Holy Ghost teaches us what we need to know and do to come into the presence of Jesus Christ and be saved.
We know that those who trust in men are cursed of the Lord (KJV Jeremiah 17:5; 2 Nephi 4:34; 2 Nephi 28:31). And all of us, including Denver Snuffer, are yet men. We are not the leaders, nor guides, of any man: that role is reserved for the Holy Ghost, whose guidance brings us to the Lord. Therefore, to bless, benefit, and inform those who as yet know nothing of the Lord’s work now underway, we need only give them sufficient instruction to obtain the Holy Ghost. That instruction is faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost to guide us. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and is his rock. The gospel is where our obligation to teach ends. Going beyond the gospel in our teaching without being commanded is for us to usurp the role reserved for the Holy Ghost. This is why the church of God in Nephite times taught nothing but repentance and faith in God (Mosiah 25:22).
The covenant instructs:
“Teach your children to honor me.”
“Seek to recover the lost sheep remnant of this land and of Israel and no longer forsake them. Bring them unto me and teach them of my ways, to walk in them.”
“Cry peace. Proclaim my words. Invite those who will repent to be baptized and forgiven, and they shall obtain my Spirit to guide them.”
It is to fulfill all these things that I have put forth the G&S proposal now entitled The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles, which consists of 3 Nephi 11:30-40 and KJV Luke 6:20-49, with two introductory sentences. Directives specific to the disciples are omitted.
We teach our children to honor the Lord when we teach our children to keep his law and commandments as contained in the Sermon. Because Israel is all who love the Lord and keep his commandments, and no one else (LDS D&C 29:12), we gather the lost sheep remnant and scattered Israel by proclaiming Christ’s gospel, his rock and his salvation, and inviting those who believe to repent and be baptized that they may receive the Holy Ghost, which will tell them all things they should know and do. We cry peace when we teach his doctrine, his law, and his commandments, the keeping of which bring peace.
3 Nephi 11:30-40 is used instead of its Restoration Edition equivalent because The Rock of Jesus Christ is for outreach to the world as well as a teaching tool and reminder to us all of what really matters: the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is his rock and his salvation. The LDS edition of the Book of Mormon is commonly available for free, whereas Restoration Edition scriptures are not complete as of this writing. Despite differences in punctuation, the meaning is unchanged.
Verse 30 cries peace. As times grow more troubled, the teaching that men should not be stirred up in anger one towards another anymore will seem more and more appealing to those who desire peace.
Directives to the disciples concerning baptism and their own disputations are avoided.
There is no unambiguous universal commandment to be baptized found within the pages of the Bible. The doctrine of Christ as found in the Book of Mormon supplies this universal requirement, along with the promise of the Father’s record or testimony of the Son by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
With respect to KJV Luke 6:20-49, the differences between the Restoration Edition and the KJV are not substantial. Using the KJV allows for a broader approach to Christians who are not from the Mormon traditions.
Repentance consists of turning aside from the ways of the world and freely conforming one’s behavior and thoughts to the law and commandments of Jesus Christ as contained in the Sermon on the Mount. Performing the deeds commanded in the Sermon are the fruits of repentance (see, for example, John’s preaching in RE Luke 3:3-4). The law and the commandments contained in the Sermon are the ways of the Lord and the path that all men are to walk in or else abide without salvation. Perfecting our execution of his law and commandments brings us to be just like Jesus Christ, which constitutes salvation (KJV Luke 6:40; Lectures on Faith 7:8, 14).
The Lukan Sermon is preferred over the Nephite and Matthean versions for the purpose of outreach to the world for four reasons.
- It’s short. People generally don’t like to read much anymore.
- It’s available to anyone who has a Bible, and every translation of it that I have seen reads substantially the same. We can afford to be accepting of other translations.
- It contains most of the controversial commandments such as: give to every man that asks you, yield without a fight when sued, lend to all comers, don’t ask for your possessions back from whoever takes them, &c.
- It omits commandments specifically given to the disciples, such as “take ye no thought for the morrow” and “take no thought for your life.”
The obligation to receive the Restoration Edition scriptures as a standard is upon us who have agreed to this obligation by covenant, and covenant obligations are not binding upon those who have not entered into the covenant. As we are trying to save men by our labors, it helps to use the scriptures of the people we are talking to so we can give them one less thing to object to when presenting the rock of Jesus Christ that they may repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, which will then show them all that they must know and do. Men may repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and not enter into the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer; that is between them and the Lord, whom they have taken for their guide. It is not for us to usurp the role of the Holy Ghost.
The Rock of Jesus Christ features none of the language from the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer for reasons which include the following:
- The covenant offered through Denver Snuffer is not part of the gospel, or the doctrine, of Jesus Christ. Therefore this covenant is not necessary to receive the Holy Ghost, which teaches men all that they should know and do.
- There is no authority found nor commandment given within the covenant document for any to proselytize others into the covenant; therefore, attempts to proselytize into the covenant are not done by any authority or commandment within the covenant itself.
- To attempt to proselytize others into the covenant without commandment would be for us to usurp the role of the Holy Ghost.
Without a direct commandment by the Lord, I will neither proselytize any man into the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer nor impose the covenant obligations upon non-participants. I will preach the Lord and his gospel instead that men may believe, repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost which will teach them all that they should know and do.
Without a direct commandment by the Lord, I will not hold Denver Snuffer up to the world as an inspired teacher to be relied upon and thus cause men to trust in him rather than the Holy Ghost and be cursed by the Lord, and bring their blood upon me. I will preach the Lord and his gospel instead that men may be cleansed and healed through repentance and faith in the name of Jesus, that I may be made clean from the blood and sins of this generation and my garments may be found spotless at the last day. Therefore, I omit the words and teachings of Denver Snuffer, and uphold the words of Jesus Christ, for he is the prophet which all must hear or else be cut off from among the people (LDS D&C 133:63).
Without a direct commandment by the Lord, I will not teach tithing, for we are not under the law of tithing, which was commanded of the LDS Church (LDS D&C 119). I will teach the Lord’s commandments concerning the distribution of our substance as found in the Sermon on the Mount instead of seeming to give men an alternative to the commandments of the Lord, thus bringing their blood upon me.
Without a direct commandment by the Lord, I will not say anything about how the fellowships are to govern themselves. I will instead preach the Lord and his gospel, that each member of each fellowship may govern themselves according to the Holy Ghost, which teaches them all that they should know and do.
Without a direct commandment by the Lord, I will not speak of priesthood, ordination, rites, or ordinances, thus enabling pretenders who seek for power and authority, but I will instead preach the Lord and his gospel that men may, through their belief in his words and their repentance from all their sins and the exercise of exceeding faith, become the Lord’s priests and be sent to minister and teach in spirit and in truth and in power, receiving their instructions directly from him instead of men.
Because the G&S must be adopted by mutual agreement, each of us is individually responsible for whatever we agree to adopt as though we individually had both written it and sent it out to the world ourselves. The gospel of Jesus Christ as contained in The Rock of Jesus Christ, or its functional equivalent, is what I am willing both to follow and to send out under my own name to the world to bless, benefit, and inform them.
We are to be restoring the original faith of Christ, and preparing a people to survive the coming of the Lord in the glory of his Father, to dwell with him and the powers of heaven in Zion. Therefore let us preach to the world the gospel of Jesus Christ, his rock and his salvation, lest we commit the same errors as our fathers.
The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles
We accept, practice, and teach the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ, as contained in the Book of Mormon, which is this:
We accept, practice, and teach the law and commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ, known as The Sermon on the Mount, a short version of which is this:Behold, this is not my doctrine: to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine: that such things should be done away.
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.
And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.