Unfolding Past Failures (NEW posted 2/8/19)

Below is Denver Snuffer’s post and following the post are some definitions which are helpful in trying to determine if we are in the process of failing as did our ancestors (the bolded words indicate there is a corresponding definition below):

“The failure of the restoration offered in Joseph Smith’s lifetime happened despite repeated warnings from the Lord. In September 1832 there was this, “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 rests 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 remains a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion, for shall the children of the Kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, verily I say unto you, Nay.” (T&C 82:20)

“At that point, vanity, unbelief and hypocrisy were polluting the land. The cure would have been to repent and remember the Book of Mormon as a covenant, and honor that covenant.

“In February 1834, this additional warning came, “if they shall pollute their inheritances they shall be thrown down, for I will not spare them if they shall pollute their inheritances.” (T&C 104:3)

“In April 1834 the failures to repent included even the members of the United Firm, “Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant, by covetousness and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse.” (T&C 105:1) The failure extended to the saints who had moved to “Zion” in Missouri, “The covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words[.]” (Id. 12)

“In 1835 Joseph published the Lectures on Faith to try to elevate the saints. (T&C 110)

“The objective was to help the saints understand their transgressions, abandon their covetousness and no longer pollute the land. 

“In January 1841 at another location, a final opportunity was given the people by the Lord, “build a house unto my name for the Most High to dwell therein. For there is not place found on the earth that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, of which he has taken away, even the fullness of the Priesthood. …I command you, all you my saints, to build a house unto me, and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me, …if you do not these things, at the end of the appointment, you shall be rejected as a church, with your dead.” (T&C 141:10-11) The final opportunity included this warning, “if my people will hearken unto my voice and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, They shall not be moved out of their place. But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blessed, because they pollute my holy grounds, and my holy ordinances and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them. And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name and do not the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfill the promises which you expect at my hands, says the Lord. For instead of blessings, you, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies and by all your abominations which you practice before me, says the Lord.” (Id. 13-14) A short time later both the men the Lord appointed (Joseph and Hyrum) and the entire community of Nauvoo, were “moved out of their place.”

“Should those involved be able to detect their own covetousness? Could they see they were transgressing the ordinances? Did they know their minds were darkened because of the failure to remember the Book of Mormon? Is there a difference between “saying” and “doing” the things God commands? Is that difference easy to see?

“Their history is in plain view for us to see and understand. We are supposed to learn from and avoid those past failures.”


D’ARKENED, participle passive

Deprived of light; obscured; rendered dim; made black; made ignorant.

LIGHTLY, adverb li’tely.

1. With little weight; as, to tread lightly; to press lightly

2. Without deep impression.

The soft ideas of the cheerful note, lightly received, were easily forgot.

3. Without reason, or for reasons of little weight.

Flatter not the rich, neither do thou willingly or lightly appear before great personages.

4. Gaily; airily; with levity; without heed or care.

VAN’ITYnoun [Latin vanitas, from vanus, vain.]

1. Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity.

Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity Ecclesiastes 1:2.

2. Fruitless desire or endeavor.

Vanity possesseth many who are desirous to know the certainty of things to come.

3. Trifling labor that produces no good.

4. Emptiness; untruth

Here I may well show the vanity of what is reported in the story of Walsingham.

5. Empty pleasure; vain pursuit; idle show; unsubstantial enjoyment.

Sin with vanity had fill’d the works of men.

Think not when woman’s transient breath is fled, that all her vanities at once are dead; succeeding vanities she still regards.

6. Ostentation; arrogance.

7. Inflation of mind upon slight grounds; empty pride, inspired by an overweening conceit of one’s personal attainments or decorations. Fops cannot be cured of their vanity.

Vanity is the food of fools.


1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment.

For the judgment was by one to condemnation Romans 5:16.

2. The state of being condemned.

Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation Luke 23:40.

3. The cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation John 3:19.

CONDEMN, verb transitive [Latin , to condemn to disapprove, to doom, to devote.]

1. To pronounce to be utterly wrong; to utter a sentence of disapprobation against; to censure; to blame. But the word often expresses more than censure or blame, and seems to include the idea of utter rejection; as, to condemn heretical opinions; to condemn ones conduct.

We condemn mistakes with asperity, where we pass over sins with gentleness.

2. To determine or judge to be wrong, or guilty; to disallow; to disapprove.

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we have confidence towards God. 1 John 3:21.

3. To witness against; to show or prove to be wrong, or guilty, by a contrary practice.

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it. Matthew 12:41.

4. To pronounce to be guilty; to sentence to punishment; to utter sentence against judicially; to doom; opposed to acquit or absolve; with to before the penalty.

The son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests, and to the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. Matthew 20:18.

He that believeth on him is not condemned. John 3:18.

5. To doom or sentence to pay a fine; to fine.

And the king of Egypt–condemned the land in a hundred talents of silver. 2 Chronicles 36:3.

6. To judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service; as, the ship was condemned as not sea-worthy. To judge or pronounce to be forfeited; as, the ship and her cargo were condemned.

CONDEMNATION, TO REMOVE, from Teachings & Commandments Glossary of Terms

“I seek constantly to use the Book of Mormon as a tool to move my understanding upward. I would like to have my meditation informed by passages from that book and to exhaust its contents of meaning. To the extent I succeed in taking the Book of Mormon seriously, I believe it incumbent upon the Lord to remove from me any condemnation resting upon mankind because of disrespect of the Book of Mormon (see T&C 82:20), and provide further light and knowledge by revelation, as promised in Alma 9:3.”1

1 Beloved Enos, 8 – 9.

REPENT‘, verb intransitive [Latin re and paeniteo, from paena, pain. Gr. See Pain.]

1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.

2. To express sorrow for something past.

Enobarbus did before thy face repent

3. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.

Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return. Exodus 13:17.

4. Applied to the Supreme Being, to change the course of providential dealings. Genesis 6:7. Psalms 106:45.

5. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God’s holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.

Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3. Acts 3:19.

REPENT/ANCE, from Teaching & Commandments Glossary of Terms

This means “change.” It requires believers to turn away from the world and toward God. It is the change in life that follows from seeing things in a better, truer light. There is another, higher way to live available to everyone. But to move upward, people must make changes in their lives to incorporate more light and truth. By living a higher way, you are repenting. This process is not a single event. It does not happen once. It should happen over and over as we increase the light in our lives.1 It can be granted by God (Alma 10:4, 19:15; Acts 6:9). Repentance involves acquiring light and truth — meaning intelligence. Repentance is abandoning a foolish error, a vain tradition, or a false belief and replacing it with truth.2 Penitence is another way to describe repentance or the process of change and growing beyond sins limiting your happiness. It comes as you allow Christ to “succor” you through the power of the Atonement. Through penitence, people do away with the darkness in their lives and add light instead.3 The best definition of repentance is to turn away from all other distractions to face God.4

1 Eighteen Verses, 197.

2 Preserving the Restoration, 98.

3 Eighteen Verses, 308.

4 “The Temple,” Portland Temple Symposium, Oct. 9, 2010, transcript of notes from talk.

FRUIT, from Teachings & Commandments Glossary of Terms

This is a genealogical term in many instances. Throughout Zenos’ allegory of the olive tree, fruit means “salvation” in a covenantal sense. It requires the promises made to the fathers (Abraham 1:1) to be the same covenant given to you.1 Christ said a man is known by his “fruit.” In Matthew 6:14 Christ explains how to measure “fruit.” “Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt, for the tree is known by the fruit. And Jesus said, O you children of vipers, How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil things. And again I say unto you that every idle word men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment: for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.” Christ determined that the test for “fruit” is the words we speak. But how should “words” be measured? Anger, conflict, violence, war and division amongst families were just some of the results of the words Christ spoke. If Christ’s words were measured by how people were affected by them, then Christ produced bad fruit. Therefore, the reaction people have to words cannot be an accurate measure of “fruit.” It must be the substance, the truth, or the independent value of the words—separate from how people respond to a man’s words. Prophets and righteous individuals have been arousing anger, provoking violent reactions, and being called anything from foolish to vile because of their words, and that does nothing to diminish the goodness of their fruit.2

1 Preserving the Restoration, 124n324.

2 “Fruit,” March 10, 2018, blog post, emphasis his.

SCOURGE,noun skurj. [Latin corriggia, from corrigo, to straighten.]

1. A punishment; vindictive affliction.

Famine and plague are sent as scourges for amendment.

2. He or that which greatly afflicts, harasses or destroys; particularly, any continued evil or calamity. Attila was called the scourge of God, for the miseries he inflicted in his conquests. Slavery is a terrible scourge

SCOURGE, verb transitive skurj.

1. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.

He will scourge us for our iniquities, and will have mercy again.

Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:1.

2. To afflict greatly; to harass, torment or injure.

POLLU’TED, participle passive Defiled; rendered unclean; tainted with guilt; impaired; profaned.

HO’LY, adjective

  1. Hallowed; consecrated or set apart to a sacred use, or to the service or worship of God; a sense frequent in Scripture; as the holy sabbath; holy oil; holy vessels; a holy nation; the holy temple; a holy priesthood.
  2. Sacred

UNBELIEF, from Teachings & Commandments Glossary of Terms

As used in the Book of Mormon, it means you do not understand and have not accepted true doctrine.1 The word unbelief means to accept false doctrine or to have an incomplete and inaccurate understanding of correct doctrine. Often unbelief is used in conjunction with losing truth, forsaking doctrine, and therefore “dwindling.” The phrase “dwindling in unbelief” is the Book of Mormon’s way to describe moving from a state of belief, with true and complete doctrine, to a state of unbelief, where the truth has been discarded. Miracles end because men dwindle in unbelief.2

1 “1 Nephi 14:5,” July 6, 2010, blog post comment.

2 Passing the Heavenly Gift, 52.

HYPOC’RISY, noun [Latin hypocrisis; Gr. simulation; to feign; to separate, discern or judge.]

1. Simulation; a feigning to be what one is not; or dissimulation, a concealment of one’s real character or motives. More generally, hypocrisy is simulation, or the assuming of a false appearance of virtue or religion; a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of religion.

Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy Luke 12:1.

2. Simulation; deceitful appearance; false pretense.

Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy

COVETverb transitive

1. To desire or wish for, with eagerness; to desire earnestly to obtain or possess; in a good sense.

COVET earnestly the best gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31.

2. To desire inordinately; to desire that which it is unlawful to obtain or possess; in a bad sense.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house, wife or servant. Exodus 20:17.


1. A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good; usually in a bad sense, and applied to an inordinate desire of wealth or avarice.

Out of the heart proceedeth covetousness Mark 7:22.

Mortify your members–and covetousness which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5.

2. Strong desire; eagerness.

FEIGN, verb transitive fane. [Latin fingo. The Latin forms fictum, fictus, whence figura, figure, also fucus.]

1. To invent or imagine; to form an idea or conception of something not real.

There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. Nehemiah 6:8.

2. To make a show of; to pretend; to assume a false appearance; to counterfeit.

I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner. 2 Samuel 14:2.

She feigns a laugh.

3. To represent falsely; to pretend; to form and relate a fictitious tale.

The poet did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods.

4. To dissemble; to conceal. obsolete

REJECT’, verb transitive [Latin rejicio, rejectus, re and jacio, to throw.]

1. To throw away, as any thing useless or vile.

2. To cast off.

Have I rejected those that me ador’d?

3. To cast off; to forsake. Jeremiah 7:29.

4. To refuse to receive; to slight; to despise.

Because thou has rejected knowledge, I will reject thee. Hosea 4. 1 Samuel 15:23.

5. To refuse to grant; as, to reject a prayer or request.

6. To refuse to accept; as, to reject an offer.

INOR’DINATE, adjective [Latin inordinatus; in and ordo, order.]

Irregular; disorderly; excessive; immoderate; not limited to rules prescribed, or to usual bounds; as an inordinate love of the world; inordinate desire of fame.

DO, verb transitive or auxiliary; preterit tense Did; participle passive Done, pronounced dun. This verb, when transitive, is formed in the indicative, present tense, thus, I do thou doest, he does or doth; when auxiliary, the second person is, thou dost. [G.]

  1. To perform; to execute; to carry into effect; to exert labor or power for brining any thing to the state desired, or to completion; or to bring any thing to pass. We say, this man does his work well; he does more in one day than some men will do in two days.

2. To perform; to practice; to observe.

We lie and do not the truth. 1 John 1:1.

3. To exert.

DO thy diligence to come shortly to me. 2 Timothy 4:5.

DO, verb intransitive

1. To act or behave, in any manner, well or ill; to conduct ones self.

They fear not the Lord, neither do they after the law and commandment. 2 Kings 17:12.

2. To succeed; to accomplish a purpose. We shall do without him. Will this plan do? Also, to fit; to be adapted; to answer the design; with for; as, this piece of timber will do for the corner post; this tenon will do for the mortise; the road is repaired and will do for the present.

To have to do with, to have concern or business with; to deal with. Have little to do with jealous men. Also, to have carnal commerce with.

HON’OR, verb intransitive on’or. [Latin honoro.]

1. To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to.

Honor thy father and thy mother. Exodus 20:1.

2. To reverence; to manifest the highest veneration for, in words and actions; to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore.

That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. John 5:1.

TRANSGRES’SION, noun The act of passing over or beyond any law or rule of moral duty; the violation of a law or known principle of rectitude; breach of command.

He mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away. Ezra 10:6.

Forgive thy people all their transgressions. 1 Kings 8:50.

Fault; offense; crime.

DETECT, verb transitive [Latin, to cover.] Literally, to uncover; hence, to discover; to find out; to bring to light

LEARN, verb transitive lern.

1. To gain knowledge of; to acquire knowledge or ideas of something before unknown. We learn the use of letters, the meaning of words and the principles of science. We learn things by instruction, by study, and by experience and observation. It is much easier to learn what is right, than to unlearn what is wrong.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree. Matthew 24:32.

2. To teach; to communicate the knowledge of something before unknown.

Hast thou not learned me how to make perfumes?

[This use of learn is found in respectable writers, but is now deemed inelegant as well as improper.]

LEARN, verb intransitive lern.

1. To gain or receive knowledge; to receive instruction; to take pattern; with of.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly – Matthew 11:29.

2. To receive information or intelligence.