Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

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Ilovechrist77
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Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 28 Jun 2018, 00:40

Hi, everyone. I have a topic here which I would love everyone's input on. I think it was covered, but I don't remember much about it.

As part of my faith transition, I've been studying the accounts and teachings of people that have had experienced the Second Comforter, meaning that they have literally seen the Lord Jesus Christ, similar to what the ancient prophets and Joseph Smith had experienced. I don't know for sure if these people are telling the truth, but I believe some of these experiences might have been covered.

I really enjoyed reading Denver Snuffer's first book The Second Comforter and how was able to be a faithful member of the church after having this experience, but I got mad when he did a complete 180 against the church, so I haven't read any of his books after that one.

I've reading some online accounts and teachings from the people have claimed to experienced the Second Comforter. Most of it is pretty deep, even deeper than the endowment. Many of these people, including a YouTube channel called Becoming Zion. claim that the Book of Mormon, along with its title page purpose, teaches that you must have experienced the Second Comforter as in the baptisms of water, fire (spirit), and blood before you die to obtain exaltation. Becoming Zion also teaches that the Book of Mormon in most of it's stories is referring to the rise and fall of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Joseph Smith being its latter-day prophet. Everyone that has experienced the Second Comforter teaches you must be patient, humble, faithful, repentant, not to be a sign seeker, and not to trust in the arm of the flesh.

Now, this is what I believe about all that. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is true, by which, I mean that it teaches of Jesus Christ, truth, temple worship, service, and inspires most of its members to be Christ-like people. I don't believe the church is perfect, including it's members, not even Joseph Smith. Not every teaching, program, or policy is inspired, and most members aren't aware that they're blindly following the leaders, which, of course, is part of the definition of don't trust in the arm of the flesh. I believe the Book of Mormon teaches of Jesus, faith, repentance, being filled with charity, and that you must become like Him to gain exaltation. I don't believe it teaches you must have experienced this before you die. Most people probably won't get to experience this until they're in the spiritual world. I believe if a person truly wants to know God to become like Him, then I believe Christ will eventually appear to him/her when the Lord knows they're ready.

Even though our church has its problems, I don't believe the Book of Mormon is largely referring to the LDS Church. I believe it's referring to any organization, religious or not, that needs to repent, along with us individually.

Even though I don't believe a person needs to experience the Second Comforter before he/she dies, my patriarchal did promise this before I die, so I feel for me it's a worthy goal. I pray that I'll be patient, faithful, repentant, do this for the right reasons, and not let it become an obsession. Not not let my scrupulosity relapse.

Anyway, what are you thoughts about this?

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SamBee
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by SamBee » 28 Jun 2018, 02:51

The ones I'm aware of in the LDS are Joseph Smith and Lorenzo Snow. Not much else.

In the Catholic and Orthodox churches, people.tend to see Mary instead.
you must have experienced the Second Comforter as in the baptisms of water, fire (spirit), and blood before you die to obtain exaltation.
What's the blood one? Atonement?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by nibbler » 28 Jun 2018, 05:59

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 00:40
I really enjoyed reading Denver Snuffer's first book The Second Comforter and how was able to be a faithful member of the church after having this experience, but I got mad when he did a complete 180 against the church, so I haven't read any of his books after that one.
I hope people don't mind if I defend Denver Snuffer a little. Disclaimer, I'm not a Snufferite. I've never even met or talked with one.

Imagine the "burden" of a regular Joe or plain Jane member of the church seeing Jesus. The church is an organization that looks to top leadership for all messages from Jesus. I'm not criticizing here, it's hard to run an organization without structure and order, but... you know what, Joseph Smith can explain the phenomenon of seeing Jesus when living among dominant religious structures:
I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself.

However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision.
I imagine that a Brother Cub Scout Committee Chairman or Sister Relief Society Compassionate Service Assistant Coordinator would be met with some pushback if they were open about seeing Jesus and sharing the message they received. Maybe not so much in circumstances where the message is "you are loved" or "don't worry, you're going to heaven" but what if someone got an answer to a question that was in opposition, however slight, to what church leaders teach? I feel that a member in such circumstances would feel the need to keep the experience to themselves because I could envision a reaction similar to what Joseph experienced; other members attempting to reorient the person to the leaders of the church. The decision might come down to remaining silent for forever or strike your own path. I don't know anything about Denver and his experience but his experience may have prompted him to do the latter.

My point, the modern church is very similar to the churches that told Joseph he was wrong because his experience didn't fit within the boundaries set up by the religious culture of his day. Not casting stones, it's a byproduct of orthodoxy.
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 00:40
Even though I don't believe a person needs to experience the Second Comforter before he/she dies, my patriarchal did promise this before I die, so I feel for me it's a worthy goal. I pray that I'll be patient, faithful, repentant, do this for the right reasons, and not let it become an obsession. Not not let my scrupulosity relapse.
This is going to sound kinda rough, if it comes across that way, know that this wasn't my intent. I know exactly what scrupulosity feels like and I wanted to ask a question:

Do you think that chasing the second comforter is an extension of scrupulosity? That you won't be at peace with yourself until you have that assurance that you will be exalted and the only way to have that assurance is to see Jesus? That's how I felt. But chasing that assurance was feeding my scrupulosity, not alleviating it.

I don't think there's a formula for seeing Jesus. We'll each see him in our own way... or not. I don't even know if we can will ourselves or work ourselves into a position to see Jesus. I see some parallels between Mormonism's second comforter and Buddhisms enlightenment. The ultimate goal we chase, and to be weird for a moment (well, weirder than my normal) the more we chase it the further away from it we get. One of life's little paradoxes.
You can't just have your characters announce how they feel... that makes me feel ANGRY!
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Heber13
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by Heber13 » 28 Jun 2018, 06:26

I think it is good to have righteous goals, to become more like god and elevate our thinking to higher thoughts than just our thoughts.

I believe the reason our religion teaches baptism for the dead and temple work for the dead and missionary work in the spirit world is because there are many circumstances in this life that will not allow everyone to experience everything necessary for their salvation.

But many things get worked out in the next life.

Whether the 2nd comforter comes in this life or not...we should strive to become what god wants us to become with the time we have.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by dande48 » 28 Jun 2018, 07:46

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 00:40
I've reading some online accounts and teachings from the people have claimed to experienced the Second Comforter. Most of it is pretty deep, even deeper than the endowment. Many of these people, including a YouTube channel called Becoming Zion. claim that the Book of Mormon, along with its title page purpose, teaches that you must have experienced the Second Comforter as in the baptisms of water, fire (spirit), and blood before you die to obtain exaltation... I believe if a person truly wants to know God to become like Him, then I believe Christ will eventually appear to him/her when the Lord knows they're ready...

Even though I don't believe a person needs to experience the Second Comforter before he/she dies, my patriarchal did promise this before I die, so I feel for me it's a worthy goal. ..

Anyway, what are you thoughts about this?
Here are my thoughts: First, while I won't make any blanket statement, I believe that the majority of reports of people claiming to have seen Christ (meaning the flesh and bone physical body of the individual born approx 0 AD, who came to be known as Jesus Christ) are false. Here's some math:

Wp = World Christian Population = 7,600,000,000
Cp = Percent of Christians = 33%
Ba =Percent of Christians who believe appearance of Christ in this life, before Second Coming, is a possibility = 40%
Cb (Christian Believers in possibility of appearance of Christ)= (Wp * Cp * Ba) = 1,003,200,000

PdP = Percent of population effected with a psychotic disorder (schizophrenia, etc) = 3% (low estimate)
PdW = Percent of people with a psychotic disorder, who are Christian, who believe they have seen Christ = .01% ( 1 /10000)
Sp = Percent of people who would falsely claim to have seen Christ, either because they want to feel special, misinterpreted phenomena, had a lucid dream of about Christ, or who feel they must see Christ in order to be saved and subconsciously created false memories. = .01% ( 1 /10000)
Pt = Percentage of people who believe they've seen Christ, who would tell at least 10 other people. 20%
Bp = Percentage of people who have heard these first-hand accounts who, believe them. 20%
ShP = Percentage of people who would tell at least 10 other people their second hand account. 20%
RmP = Percentage of the time details of the story inconsistent with the narrative will be forgotten or adjusted with each retelling = 90%
WrP= Percentage of people with means to help such accounts reach a large audience= 1%
((Cb * PdP * PdW) + (Cb * Sp)) * Pt * 10 * Bp * 10 * ShP * 10 * RmP * WrP = 72,230


In other words, with even the most conservative estimates, you will be able to find at least 72,230 Modern-day first/second hand stories of seeing Jesus Christ in the flesh, which are absolutely 100% false. This also doesn't account for a more liberal definition of witness of Christ, such as when someone has a strong spiritual experience, they claim as "seeing Christ" (meaning in the figurative sense), which gets reinterpreted/revised as to seeing Christ in the literal sense. And these stories will often get retold and retold, as they provide "strong" evidence of many people's religious beliefs.

However, the stronger the belief that seeing Christ in the flesh is required for salvation/exaltation, the higher the number of false positives. I also believe that the stronger you believe...
Ilovechrist77 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 00:40
...if a person truly wants to know God to become like Him, then I believe Christ will eventually appear to him/her when the Lord knows they're ready.
...the higher the chance you'll believe you've seen Christ when really you have not and believe other's claims to seeing Christ when they have not. That's not to blanket discount all claims to individual experiences. But there is a very high probability that any given reported experience of seeing Christ in the flesh is false.

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On your patriarchal blessing, I've found (and I know many TBM members who have found) that most of the more specific promises in our patriarchal blessings do not come true. In fact, I'd say the more specific a promised blessing, the smaller the chance of it coming true in this life. However, the more liberal you interpret a promised blessing, or the more vague the blessing, the higher chance of it "coming true" in this life, if you're looking for it.
Last edited by dande48 on 28 Jun 2018, 10:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Heber13
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by Heber13 » 28 Jun 2018, 09:27

dande48 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 07:46
However, the stronger the belief that seeing Christ in the flesh is required for salvation/exaltation, the higher the number of false positives. I also believe that the stronger you believe...the higher the chance you'll believe you've seen Christ when really you have not and believe other's claims to seeing Christ when they have not. That's not to blanket discount all claims to individual experiences. But there is a very high probability that any given reported experience of seeing Christ in the flesh is false.
Great post, dande.

This part above I qouted kind of sounds like the flip side of the coin on this teaching...
Mormon 9:20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
Flip side, meaning...on the one hand, the more you have faith it will happen, the more likely you will see it happening around you. If you are not looking for it, you are less likely to see it.

And the flip side is, of course, that means you may think you see it when it isn't happening (the false positive).

We have learned that eye witness accounts to crime are not reliable sources of information, since they often are not good at knowing what they actually saw, or not good at remembering what they saw and retelling it without bias (....for example...multiple First Vision Accounts tell differences, not necessarily out of nefarious intention...just how the mind works).

When you become familiar with the world of mental illness, it is easy to become cynical of "visions."

At the same time, my family has stories of my grandfather receiving his 2nd Comforter. I wasnt there, but the sources are reliable and not mentally ill. We don't talk about it outside the family. It is sacred.

I think I choose to believe it, because I want to.

That is to say...I agree with dande...when you see the statistics...there will be many false claims...doesn't mean that it cannot happen, only that it may be rare and mixed up with false claims.

It is not a reliable thing, and so our spiritual journey includes:
1. Are we willing to have faith it "can" happen, whether it does or not?
2. Are we prepared to discern correct witnesses vs false positives?
3. Are we prepared to accept that despite scripture promising us it will happen to the faithful, and PBs promising it will happen to us, that perhaps the timing is beyond this life and not as important as our heart believing it is possible and we look forward in faith towards the hopes of our heart (which may be more important than actual true events)?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 28 Jun 2018, 16:16

Heber, the baptism of blood is when a person in sanctified by entering the presence of Jesus Christ to feel the marks on His body. That's when you become a member of The Church of the Firstborn. If you are or anyone here, for that matter want to know about these teachings, check out the online book The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Heber, I also agree that some mental disorders, for instance paranoid schizophrenia, make it hard to believe in visions. Thanks, God, for allowing the human mind to mess things up! Anyway, I don't have that as far as I can tell. And it's funny how many of these people put Joseph Smith much more on a pedestal than our modern church does. So at times it can be hard to know if some of the ancient prophets really had these experiences or not. The truth is that I'm not seeking this experience to seek a sign. I'm just seeking it as part of my faith journey. I'll be patient with myself as much as possible. If I don't obtain before I die, then God will probably be merciful with me. And I won't judge a person who doesn't get this experience in his/her mortal life either.

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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by dande48 » 28 Jun 2018, 19:55

Ilovechrist77 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 16:16
Heber, the baptism of blood is when a person in sanctified by entering the presence of Jesus Christ to feel the marks on His body. That's when you become a member of The Church of the Firstborn. If you are or anyone here, for that matter want to know about these teachings, check out the online book The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide.
That is quite the apocryphal text...
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
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Ilovechrist77
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 28 Jun 2018, 20:03

Dande48, do you mean the [Snufferite] Study Guide? If you do, you're right.

[Admin Note]: We do not link to or identify explicitly anything that comes from the Snuffer movement. It is anti-Mormon, no matter how they phrase their mission. No censure or criticism meant for posting it. We simply don't promote anything from that movement.

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SamBee
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Re: Modern-day Experiences With The Second Comforter

Post by SamBee » 29 Jun 2018, 03:40

I've never heard this doctrine discussed openly in church.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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