- We, as a covenant people, were commanded by God to develop a statement of principles to be used as a guide and standard. The following statement is the result of the contributions of many. As a people, we agreed to the following methodology in its creation: we confined ourselves to the words of the Lord as found in our canonized scriptures and given to his servants Joseph Smith Jr. and Denver Snuffer Jr.
- We, as a people, therefore stand as witnesses to the work of Jesus Christ in our day and declare as truth and with soberness that God has set his hand yet again to call his people to labor in preparing the way for Jesus Christ’s return. We invite all who receive this witness to come and learn of his ways. Therefore, as commanded by the Lord, we as a covenant people offer the following statement of principles to help guide you in this process.
- The Lord commanded us, I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people, for if you cannot do so, you will be unable to accomplish other works that I will require at your hands. When you have an agreed statement of principles, I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow. Remember there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them.1
- The Lord admonished us, I descended below it all, and know the sorrows of you all, and have borne the grief of it all and I say to you, Forgive one another. Be tender with one another, pursue judgment, bless the oppressed, care for the orphan, and uplift the widow in her need for I have redeemed you from being orphaned and taken you that you are no longer a widowed people. Rejoice in me, and rejoice with your brethren and sisters who are mine also. Be one.2For you to unite I must admonish and instruct you, for my will is to have you love one another.3 It is not enough to say you love God; you must also love your fellow man.4I have given to you my doctrine, and have also revealed teachings, commandments, precepts, and principles to guide you and it is not meet that I command you in all things — reason together and apply what I have given you, and it will be enough.5Each of you must equally walk truly in my path, not only to profess, but to do as you profess.6 Love one another and you will be mine, and I will preserve you, and raise you up, and abide with you for ever.7
- The Lord proclaimed, 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 establisheth 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 standeth open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them. Therefore, go forth unto this people and declare the words which I have spoken unto the ends of the earth.8
- The greatest instruction given by God at any time, to any generation,9 is a rule of community found in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Sermon at Bountiful.10,11 The Law of Christ is found there.12
- As to the commandment to be baptized, even Jesus Christ went to be baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness.13,14 Nephi taught: And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water to fulfill all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water?15 Denver said, Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. Whenever there are people of faith on earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith.16
- The Lord commanded, And he said unto them, On this wise shall ye baptize, and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying,
- Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost. Amen.
- And then shall ye immerse them in the water and come forth again out of the water. And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name, for behold, verily I say unto you that the Father and the Son and the holy ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. And according as I have commanded you, thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you. 17
- Any who want to be baptized should be. Before baptism, teach [them] the Doctrine of Christ.18 This living ordinance should be performed in living water, if possible. Connect with God by using the things He provides.19
- Little children are not accountable before God, and therefore their mistakes, offenses, and errors are covered by their innocence, and the atonement of Christ. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand God.20,21 Mormon said, It is solemn mockery before God that ye should baptize little children…this thing shall ye teach: repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin.…but little children are alive in Christ.22
- A record needs to be kept of the names of those baptized. Record their name[s] and submit them to the central recorder‘s clearinghouse.23 A single volume with names will be deposited in a temple to be built before the Lord‘s return.24
- Once baptized, we can receive the Father‘s testimony of His Son by the power of the holy ghost. It comes as a result of baptism [and is] given according to the Doctrine of Christ to any who repent and are baptized following His direction.25
- If ye will enter in by the way and receive the holy ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. 26
- The sacrament should be taken in the way God commanded. Partake of the sacrament in your families and in your gatherings. Use wine. If you are opposed to alcohol or have a medical condition that prevents you from using wine, use red grape juice (see T&C 9:1). Use the symbol of the blood of our Lord.27
- The Book of Mormon recounts: And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him.…And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread, and brake and blessed it, and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat. And when they had eat and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude…And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body which I have shewn unto you…And it came to pass that when he had said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it. And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled. And they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink and they were filled. And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them, Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you. And this shall ye always do unto those who repent and are baptized in my name, and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood which I have shed for you that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my spirit to be with you. And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. 28
- And they did kneel down with the church and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying,
- O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son and always remember him and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his spirit to be with them. Amen.29
- The manner of administering the wine. Behold, they took the cup and said,
- O God the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his spirit to be with them. Amen. 30
- After the creation, marriage was the first ordinance.31 All the elements of the gospel point back to marriage as God‘s final purpose for mankind.32 If we will love our husbands or our wives, we will please God. Do so and God can preserve your marriage into eternity. Above all else, marriage is what God wants most to preserve. Marriage is the image of God.33
- The Lord said, Marriage was, in the beginning, between one man and one woman, and was intended to remain so for the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve, that they may multiply and replenish the earth. I commanded that there shall not any man have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none. I, the Lord your God, delight in the chastity of women, and in the respect of men for their wives.34Marriage by me, or by my word, received as a holy covenant between the woman and I, the man and woman, and the man and I, will endure beyond death and into my Father‘s Kingdom, worlds without end.35
- This should be the description of all our houses and families: a family of prayer, a family of fasting, a family of faith, a family of learning (therefore a family of glory), which brings a family of order, and therefore a house of God.36 Our children will be the means to preserve Zion. Without their conversion, Zion has no chance of surviving.37
- The Lord has commanded, Teach your children to honor me.38
- Priesthood in its highest form is an opportunity to serve and bless others.39 Power can only come from Christ.40 The reason authority is given is to make men more like God; to lift and to elevate them.41 Priesthood is confined to men because of the Fall and the conditions ordained at that time. Until things are reversed at the Millennium, it will remain for men alone to perform the public ordinances thus far given to us.42
- There are three steps. The first is ordination. Any man holding priesthood can ordain another man. Man alone can do this first step.43 Because John the Baptist laid his hand on Joseph and Oliver, we have continued the practice to lay hands to confer priesthood. We should continue to respect that tradition. No one should baptize until they have had priesthood conferred on them by someone who can trace their authority back to John the Baptist, through Joseph and Oliver.44,45 The second, if you‘re functioning outside of a family, is sustaining, which requires seven women.46 Seven women must sustain, one being the wife if the man is married.47 And thirdly confirmation must come from Heaven. Heaven must ratify.48
- Keep a record of the line of authority from the one who does the ordination. [Maintain in your] possession a written certificate signed by the seven women proving the sustaining vote, and everyone involved should record it in their personal records, particularly the day when the Lord confirms the authority to the man.49
- Wait until the spirit ratifies your ordination before you act.50 Ask God to give you the power. Get his “word” through the spirit, just as Alma did. After Alma repented, but before using authority to baptize, he asked God to give him power. God, seeing his repentance, accepted it, and poured his spirit upon Alma to give him power to baptize. The proof of God‘s approval was in Alma‘s experience and the effect of the ordinance on both Helam and Alma.51,52
- If we get power to baptize, we get it from Him. Power is required. It must come from Christ. The pattern must be followed.53
- Joseph Smith wrote: No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by longsuffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned, by kindness, by pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile.54
- The Lord said, And again, the husband is to hold priesthood to baptize and bless the sacrament of bread and wine in the home, and the husband and wife are to bless their children together. For the husband to use authority to administer outward ordinances outside his own family, his wife must sustain him. I have told you that to remove authority to use priesthood outside a man‘s family requires a unanimous decision by twelve women. A council of twelve women must be convened either in the man‘s home fellowship among those who are acquainted with his daily walk, or in private at a general conference, also including among the twelve women from the conference those who are acquainted with his daily walk, so that no injustice results. Reinstatement of the man‘s authority must be considered by the same council of twelve women when the man petitions for the decision to be rescinded, and requires seven of the twelve to agree upon his reinstatement, which can occur at any time. During the period of suspension, nothing affects the man‘s duties and responsibility in his own family.55
- The Lord said, Whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.56
- We read in the Book of Mormon: And the church did meet together oft to fast, and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.…And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the spirit, and by the power of the holy ghost, for as the power of the holy ghost led them, whether to preach, or exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.57
- The Lord said, And behold, ye shall meet together oft, and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you, and forbid them not.58
- We must become precious to each other.59
- True religion, when it is present on the earth, always exists in a community of believers.60 [Fellowships are] informal, based only on the Doctrine of Christ, and require acceptance of Christ‘s simple statement of His doctrine, faith to believe and act, repentance from sin and baptism. Every denomination in the world can be represented in these fellowships. This is not designed to limit the possibilities of shared faith, but to greatly expand them.61 We are all equal believers accountable to God.62
- There can be conferences that can be called by anyone, but must include seven women if the business includes priesthood ordination. There is no need for any building to be purchased or built. Meetings can be anywhere.63
- We cannot allow ourselves to be drawn in to inequality when the result of this labor is to make us one body equal with one another. We cannot imitate the failures of the past by establishing an hierarchy, elevating one above another, and forgetting that we must be of one heart, one mind and with no poor among us.64
- The Lord said, Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity, and come unto me and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore if you regard one another with charity then your brother‘s error in understanding will not divide you.65Study to learn how to respect your brothers and sisters and to come together by precept, reason, and persuasion rather than sharply disputing and wrongly condemning each other, causing anger.…Even strong disagreements should not provoke anger nor to invoke my name in vain as if I had part in your every dispute. Pray together in humility and together meekly present your dispute to me, and if you are contrite before me I will tell you my part.66
- I have given you a former commandment that I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.…If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses…But again I say, judge not others except by the rule you want used to weigh yourself.67
- The primary purpose of collecting the tithes and the yield upon it is to bless and benefit the lives of those in need. Assist the poor directly, looking for God‘s guidance in so doing. Help provide for those who need housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education, and transportation, or children that need care. Take the money the Lord intended for the poor and administer it for the poor. [The Lord desires us to] have no poor among us.68,69
- One tenth of your surplus after you have taken care of all your responsibilities, all your needs, whatever‘s left over — one tenth of that is your tithe. After you gather your tithe, look at your brothers and your sisters who are there in your meeting, and help those who have needs Christians should take care of the poor among them, and no one should be looking at the flock and saying, I need your money to support myself.70
- The relief of “the poor among you” refers to the poor among the individual fellowship. If there are no poor among you, then excess donations should go to the temple, but they can be shared as your fellowship determines by common consent.71 God‘s people are always required to build a temple. Therefore, there needs to be preparation for the coming commandment.72
- Zion consists of people living in harmony with God. It is defined in revelation as the pure in heart (see T&C 96:7). Prophecy also confirms it will be an actual location, and a place of gathering.73
- God alone will establish Zion. His instructions are vital and necessary for us. Once He instructs us, the scriptures can then be used to confirm that His direction to us now is consistent with what He prophesied, covenanted, and promised would happen. But the path to Zion is to be found only by following God‘s immediate commands to us. That is how He will bring it. He will lead us there.74
- Zion and the New Jerusalem are a place, occupied by covenant people, and not something an individual can be or become. People who gather there will all need to be individually redeemed, individually penitent, individually connected to God, but will only belong to the community if they belong to the covenant and are of one heart and one mind and have all things in common between and among them.75
- The Lord said, I covenanted with Adam at the beginning, which covenant was broken by mankind. Since the days of Adam I have always sought to reestablish people of covenant among the living, and therefore have desired that man should love one another, not begrudgingly, but as brothers and sisters indeed, that I may establish my covenant and provide them with light and truth.76
- The Book of Mormon was given as my covenant for this day and contains my gospel, which came forth to allow people to understand my work and then obtain my salvation. 77 The Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews, of the truth of the words of my ancient prophets and apostles, with all the records agreeing that I am the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, and I was sent into the world to do the will of the Father, and I am the Savior of the world. All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. 78 Hear therefore my words: Repent and bring forth fruit showing repentance, and I will establish my covenant with you and claim you as mine. 79
- Those sustained by seven women (or a man inside his own family) who receive [the covenant] also have authority to administer the ordinance to others who want to be numbered among God‘s people. To administer to others, repeat the ordinance. Read aloud the Lord’s Answer (see T&C 157) and the words of The Covenant (see T&C 158). Ask them to stand and say, Yes, and they will become one of the Lord‘s covenant people. Do not change the words of the covenant, for to change an ordinance is to break it.80
- The Lord said, It is not enough to receive my covenant, but you must also abide it. And all who abide it, whether on this land or any other land, will be mine and I will watch over them and protect them in the day of harvest, and gather them in as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. I will number you among the remnant of Jacob, no longer outcasts, and you will inherit the promises of Israel. You shall be my people and I will be your God, and the sword will not devour you. And unto those who will receive will more be given, until they know the mysteries of God in full. But remember that without the fruit of repentance, and a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you cannot keep my covenant; for I, your Lord, am meek and lowly of heart. Be like me.81
- He concludes, Cry peace. Proclaim my words. Invite those who will repent to be baptized and forgiven, and they shall obtain my spirit to guide them. The time is short and I come quickly, therefore open your mouths and warn others to flee the wrath which is to come as men in anger destroy one another. The wicked shall destroy the wicked, and I will hold the peacemakers in the palm of my hand and none can take them from me. Be comforted, be of good cheer, rejoice, and look up, for I am with you who remember me, and all those who watch for me, always, even unto the end. Amen.
Statement of Principles, adopted by the covenant people, 30 September, 2018, in answer to the commandment given by the Lord in the Answer to Prayer for Covenant.
A GUIDE AND STANDARD
The Doctrine of Jesus Christ
The Law of Christ
Marriage & Family
Receiving Power in Christ
FELLOWSHIPS & GATHERINGS
ZION & THE COVENANT
1Teaching and Commandments (t&c) 157:55.
2 t&c 157:50.
3 t&c 157:3.
4 t&c 157:10.
5 t&c 157:45.
6 t&c 157:19.
7 t&c 158:20.
8 3 Nephi 5:9.
9 Matthew 3.
10 3 Nephi 5.
11 Denver Snuffer, “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, id, Sept. 3, 2017, 3.
12 Denver Snuffer, 500th Year Reformation Talk Two, 8, Dallas, tx, Oct. 19, 2017.
13 Matthew 2:4.
14 Denver Snuffer, 500th Year Reformation Talk One, 8, Los Angeles, ca, Sept. 21, 2017.
15 2 Nephi 13:2.
16 Denver Snuffer, Preserving the Restoration (Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2015), 502 – 503.
17 Nephi 5:8.
18 Preserving the Restoration, 516 – 517.
19 Ibid., 515.
20 Denver Snuffer, “Mosiah 3:16 – 17,” June 6, 2012, blog post.
21 Moroni 8:4.
22 Moroni 8:2; Genesis 7:30; t&c 55:5, (“when eight years old.”)
23 The website is www.recordersclearinghouse.com
24 Preserving the Restoration, 521.
25 Preserving the Restoration, 517.
26 2 Nephi 14:1.
27 Preserving the Restoration, 521.
28 3 Nephi 8:6 – 7.
29 Moroni 4:1.
30 Moroni 5:1.
31 Preserving the Restoration, 391. (See also jsp, Journals Vol. 1:109 – 110, (1832 – 1839), 24 Nov. 1835, from the “Sketch Book for the use of Joseph Smith, Jr.,” Journal, Sept. 1835 – Apr. 1836.)
32 Preserving the Restoration, 385.
33 Preserving the Restoration, 422.
34 t&c 157:34.
35 t&c 157:38.
36 Preserving the Restoration, 401.
37 Preserving the Restoration, 398.
38 t&c 158:11.
39 Preserving the Restoration, 172.
40 Preserving the Restoration, 512.
41 Preserving the Restoration, 175.
42 Preserving the Restoration, 510.
43 Denver Snuffer, “Things to Keep Us Awake,” expanded paper of address given in St. George, ut, March 19, 2017, 14.
44 Preserving the Restoration, 508. (See also jsh 14:1.)
45 Preserving the Restoration, 513.
46 Denver Snuffer, “Things to Keep Us Awake,” expanded paper of address given in St. George, ut, March 19, 2017, 14.
50 Denver Snuffer, 40 Years in Mormonism Lecture 10, “Preserving the Restoration, ”Sept. 9, 2014, 16.
51 Preserving the Restoration, 508 – 509.
52 Mosiah 9:8.
53 Preserving the Restoration, 509.
54 t&c 139:6.
55 t&c 157:57.
56 jsh 10:21. (See also Denver Snuffer, “3 Nephi 18:16,” Nov. 12, 2010, blog post.)
57 Moroni 6:2.
58 3 Nephi 8:8.
59 Denver Snuffer, “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, id, Sept. 3, 2017, 6.
60 Preserving the Restoration, 504.
61 Preserving the Restoration, 519.
62 Denver Snuffer, 500th Year Reformation Talk One, 8, Los Angeles, ca, Sept. 21, 2017.
63 Preserving the Restoration, 513
64 Denver Snuffer, “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, id, Sept. 3, 2017, 6 – 7.
65 t&c 157:53.
66 t&c 157:54.
67 t&c 157:58.
68 Preserving the Restoration, 258 – 259.
69 Denver Snuffer, 500th Year Reformation Talk One, 6, Los Angeles, ca, Sept. 21, 2017.
71 Denver Snuffer, “Things to Keep Us Awake,” expanded paper of address given in St. George, ut, March 19, 2017, 14.
72 Denver Snuffer, “Temple Fund Website,” Dec. 29, 2016, blog post. (See also www.TheTempleFund.net.)
73 Denver Snuffer, “All or Nothing, Part 6,” Nov. 6, 2016, blog post.
74 Denver Snuffer, “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, id, Sept. 3, 2017, 3.
75 Denver Snuffer, “Covenant,” April 6, 2017, blog post.
76 t&c 157:2.
77 t&c 157:20.
78 t&c 157:21.
79 t&c 157:23.
80 Denver Snuffer, “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, id, Sept. 3, 2017, 2.
81 t&c 157:48-49.
82 t&c 157:65-66.