Personal Revelation – A Way to Discern Truth from Error

The First Vision(This article was given as a talk on Sunday, September 13th, 2015, and has been edited for content)

From the 9th Article of Faith:

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

This forceful declaration of belief, as well as the rest of the Articles of Faith, were penned by Joseph Smith as part of a letter to a Mr. John Wentworth… The Editor and Proprietor of the Chicago Democrat newspaper.

Elder B. H. Roberts said the following about this section of the Wentworth Letter:

“The epitome of the doctrines of the Church, since called “The Articles of Faith” … were not produced by the labored efforts and harmonized contentions of scholastics, but were struck off by one inspired mind at a single effort … The combined directness . . . simplicity and comprehensiveness of this statement of the principles of our religion may be relied upon as strong evidence of a divine inspiration resting upon the Prophet, Joseph Smith.

In our day, there is no better example of a person acquainted with the process of receiving revelation than Joseph Smith. Tutored by angels, expert in translation, familiar with dreams and visions and prophecy—yet, Joseph Smith did not keep these things for himself.

He said of each of us that “It is the privilege of the children of God to come to God and get revelation. … God is not a respecter of persons; we all have the same privilege.

In a letter to Isaac Galland on March 22, 1839, the Prophet Joseph said:

“We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight.”

What kinds of revelation pertain to our spiritual welfare? Let me suggest three areas:

  1. Personal, revealed witnesses of the truthfulness of the gospel – not just a one-time answer to a prayer that tells us that the church is true . . . but a renewed witness, over and over again, that The Book of Mormon is the word of God, that priesthood keys were restored to the earth and are still operable today among living prophets, and that Joseph Smith was the first prophet of that Restoration. A continued witness that Christ lives!
  2. A daily flow of personally received, heavenly inspiration that helps us to discern truth from error so that we are not deceived.
  3. A repeated personal assurance from the Lord concerning our standing with Him . . . A merciful assurance that He loves us, and is pleased with our efforts and our repentance as we strive to become more like Him.

I want to spend a few minutes talking about each of these types of personal revelation.

# 1 – Personal Witnesses of Truth that Build Testimony

We are all familiar with Moroni’s promise. We can know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. If we need to know that The Book of Mormon is true, or if Joseph Smith was a prophet, or if priesthood keys were restored, all we need to do is study it out, and ask.

I have studied. I have asked. I know that they are true.

But this is only the beginning of our spiritual journey back to our Father. Once we have a testimony of the restored gospel, we must press forward and continue to commune with Him. That brings me to a second type of personal revelation that is critical to obtaining our salvation:

# 2 – Daily Revelation to Aid Us in Discerning Truth from Error

In the letter to Isaac Galland that I have already referred to, there was more to the quote about revelation and visions and dreams. Let me read it again, but continue on with the paragraph that follows. The Prophet Joseph said:

“We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight. We believe that no man can administer salvation through the gospel, to the souls of men, in the name of Jesus Christ, except he is authorized from God, by revelation, or by being ordained by someone whom God hath sent by revelation . . .”

Elder Russell M. Nelson came to visit the Indianapolis South Stake on Saturday, September 19, 1992, and I was privileged to attend a priesthood meeting where he addressed the brethren. His instruction was powerful. I marked it down in my scriptures . . . the very verses that he expounded upon which made such an impression on me.

Almost 8 years later, on April 15th, 2000, I attended another leadership meeting for a multi-stake conference in Indianapolis where Elder Russell M. Nelson was again presiding. And again, his instruction was powerful. The impressions he made upon my mind at that time have been seared into my soul.

Some of Elder Nelson’s training was different from the first time I heard him. But this part was the same: He again spent about 20 minutes discussing verses from the Doctrine and Covenants . . . the same ones he had shared in 1992, just 8 years earlier.

These are the verses from Section 43:

For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate  . . .

Ponder that for a moment. What does it mean to “come in at the gate?”

Let me continue:

“. . . shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.

And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—

And then verses 15, 16, 17:

15 Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit;

16 And ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give even as I have spoken.

17 Hearken ye, for, behold, the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand.

And finally verses 25, 26:

25 How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgment, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honor and the riches of eternal life, and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!

26 Behold, the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full.


We live in a time that will try the hearts of men. In fact, the hearts of many shall fail them. It is imperative that we learn the ways of the spirit so that we can know, for ourselves, how the spirit operates . . . how to recognize the spirit. How to discern truth from error.

One of the best talks I have ever read on this subject was given by Elder Marion G. Romney, October 1960. In the interest of time, I will paraphrase some of the sections from his talk. This is what he said:

I would like now to suggest some tests which can safely be used to distinguish the genuine from the counterfeit. . . .

Anything purporting to pertain to the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be put to the following four simple tests:

  1. Does it purport to originate in the wisdom of men, or was it revealed from heaven? If it originated in the wisdom of men, it is not of God.

. . .We never need to be deceived by the learning of the world. We can always with safety reject those doctrines which are rounded in the wisdom of men.

  1. Does the teaching bear the proper label? You will remember that when his Nephite disciples inquired of Jesus what they should call the church, he said unto them: “And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Ne. 27:4-8).

From the foregoing it is perfectly plain that if any teaching purporting to be from Christ comes under any label other than that of Jesus Christ, we can know it is not of God.

  1. The last phrase of the above quotation gives us the third test. “But if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.” The teaching must not only come under the proper label, but it must also conform to the other teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. Now the fourth and last test I shall mention is: Does it come through the proper Church channel? We read in the 42nd Section of the Doctrine and Covenants: “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to anyone to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by someone who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church” (D&C 42:11).

In the light of this divinely established order, how can any man accept the doctrine of authority from some secret source unknown to the Church? The Lord could not have made it any plainer that one’s authority must come through the established order of the Church, and the President of the Church stands at the head of that order. The Lord has placed him there.

. . . Now, brethren, if we will keep these things in mind, we shall not be deceived by false teachings. I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting, I drove him home. At that time there was a great deal of criticism against the President of the Church because of a front-page editorial some of you may remember. We talked about it. When we got to his home I got out of the car and went up on the porch with him. Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.”

I have thought much about that. I remember that counselors in the Presidency have been deceived. I remember that members of the Twelve have been deceived and left the Church, and men in every other Council in the Church have been deceived. But there has never been a President of the Church, and according to President Grant, and I believe him, there never will be a President of this Church who will lead the people astray.

There is a First Presidency statement that is as true today as the day it was written. Let me share it:

A Voice of Warning
Official Letter of Declaration by the First Presidency

Improvement Era, 1913, Vol. Xvi. September, 1913 No. 11

To the Officers and Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

From the days of Hiram Page (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 28), at different periods there have been manifestations from delusive spirits to members of the Church. Sometimes these have come to the men and women who because of transgression became easy prey to the Arch-Deceiver. At other times people who pride themselves on their strict observance of the rules and ordinances and ceremonies of the Church are led astray by false spirits, who exercise an influence so imitative of that which proceeds from a Divine source, that even these persons, who think they are “the very elect,” find it difficult to discern the essential difference. Satan himself has transformed himself to be apparently “an angel of light.”

When visions, dreams, tongues, prophecy, impressions or any extraordinary gift or inspiration, convey something out of harmony with the accepted revelations of the Church or contrary to the decisions of its constituted authorities, Latter-day Saints may know that it is not of God, no matter how plausible it may appear. Also, they should understand that directions for the guidance of the Church will come, by revelation, through the head. All faithful members are entitled to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for themselves, their families, and for those over whom they are appointed and ordained to preside. But anything at discord with that which comes from God through the head of the Church is not to be received as authoritative or reliable. In secular as well as spiritual affairs, Saints may receive Divine guidance and revelation affecting themselves, but this does not convey authority to direct others, and is not to be accepted when contrary to Church covenants, doctrine or discipline, or to known facts, demonstrated truths, or good common sense. No person has the right to induce his fellow members of the Church to engage in speculations, or take stock in ventures of any kind on the specious claim of Divine revelation, or vision, or dream, especially when it is in opposition to the voice of recognized authority, local or general. The Lord’s Church “is a house of order.” It is not governed by individual gifts or manifestations, but by the order and power of the Holy Priesthood as sustained by the voice and vote of the Church in its appointed conferences.

The history of the Church records many pretended revelations claimed by imposters or zealots who believed in the manifestations they sought to lead other persons to accept, and in every instance, disappointment, sorrow and disaster have resulted there-from. Financial loss and sometimes utter ruin have followed. We feel it our duty to warn the Latter-day Saints against fake mining schemes which have no warrant for success beyond the professed spiritual manifestations of their projectors and the influence gained over the excited minds of their victims. We caution the Saints against investing money or property in shares of stock which bring no profit to anyone but those who issue and trade in them. Fanciful schemes to make money for the alleged purpose of “redeeming Zion” or providing means for “the salvation of the dead” or other seemingly worthy objects, should not deceive anyone acquainted with the order of the Church, and will result only in waste of time and labor, which might be devoted now to doing something tangible and worthy and of record on earth and in heaven.

Be not led by any spirit or influence that discredits established authority and contradicts true scientific principles and discoveries, or leads away from the direct revelations of God for the government of the Church. The Holy Ghost does not contradict its own revealings. Truth is always harmonious with itself. Piety is often the cloak of error. The counsels of the Lord through the channel he has appointed will be followed with safety, therefore, O! ye Latter-day Saints, profit by these words of warning.

First Presidency.

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These words are true. I know they are true, because I have applied these tests to situations in my own life. And I promise you that you can avoid the deceptions of the adversary if you will trust in the Lord. You will come to know that his kingdom is a kingdom of order.

Revelation that pertains to the kingdom of God and is intended for the general membership, will come to the members of the church from those who hold keys.

Now let me ask: Is it possible that a member of the church can see a vision, or have a dream, that pertains to events in the last days? Or, can they be given a glimpse of heaven, beyond the veil? Or, can they know things that will shortly come to pass in the kingdom of God?

YES! It is not only possible, it happens. In fact, we are encouraged to learn the mysteries of God for ourselves.

Joseph Smith said: “… God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. …” (Teachings, p. 149.)

However . . .

Remember the “gate” that we referred to in DC 43? There is order. This is what Brigham Young said about these types of spiritual experiences:

“Should you receive a vision or revelation from the Almighty, one that the Lord gave you concerning yourselves, or this people, but which you are not to reveal on account of your not being the proper person, or because it ought not to be known by the people at present, you should shut it up and seal it as close, and lock it as tight as heaven is to you, and make it as secret as the grave. The Lord has no confidence in those who reveal secrets, for he cannot safely reveal himself to such persons (Discourses of Brigham Young, 40–41).”

Beware especially those who claim to have secret knowledge, who are more than willing to share with other members of the church, if the member can show that they also are a true seeker of knowledge . . .

There are voices today . . . some who have become very vocal . . . who have written popular books who think that the church has fallen. There are MANY who are claiming dreams, and visions, and revelations, and special inspiration . . .

. . . and there are those who are saying that the world is on the brink of destruction and that they have the solution to all our woes if we will only prepare like they are,

. . . and those who have said the brethren are out of touch, and don’t understand the times we live in, and that they need to change church policy to align with societal norms,

. . . and those who have said the church went off the rails in the early days and that the priesthood has been lost, except for those who have had “special ordinations”,

. . . and those who say that only an elect few will be saved, (and of course they themselves are among the elect who are sent here to warn the rest of us) who say that the secrets of gaining salvation are in their newly published books,

. . . and those who go out of their way to state, “I am not a prophet!” and constantly encourage their hearers to follow the brethren, yet in another breath insist that their knowledge is hidden from most of the rest of the members of the church, including most leadership . . .

Contrary to the voices of these apostates in our day . . . The Church as restored by Joseph Smith, is still the Church with priesthood keys, and it will be the Church body that will welcome Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven at the Second Coming!

Here are two evidences that the apostates are wrong:

First: There will be no Second Restoration.

When Daniel saw in vision the representation of the church in the last days . . . that it would be “a stone cut out of the mountain without hands,” and that it would “break in pieces and consume all kingdoms”, and that it would “roll forth until it has filled the whole earth,”. . .

. . . this rough hewn, rolling stone will not be broken against the kingdoms of the world. The stone will not break! It will not disappear.

. . . the latter-day restoration as was prophesied . . . happens ONCE in scripture! There are not TWO restorations of the gospel in the last days.

. . . and to be more accurate, The Restoration that began with Joseph Smith, did not ever come to an end. It was not a one-time thing. The canon of scripture is not closed. Revelation continues yet today. When the Lord sees fit to reveal them, we have been promised the Brass Plates (a fullness of the Old Testament and other works lost, like Zenos, Zenock, Neum, and others). The Sealed Portion (words of the Brother of Jared and his people). The records of the scattered tribes. These promised scriptures will not be revealed except through the proper channel. And the prophets, seers, and revelators of today still hold the keys.

Second: the brethren are not out of touch. Do you remember the recent talk by Elder Ballard where he addressed that very thing? The talk is called “Stay In The Boat And Hold On!” from October conference 2014. If you have any doubts about the apostolic leadership of our day, I would encourage you to read that talk again.

As we hear the mingling of voices in the world today, we need to rely on personal revelation to discern truth from error. I hope that we will all stay close to the brethren. The Lord will never allow our 15 ordained Apostles, and especially the President at the head, to lead the church astray. It is not in the program. Anyone claiming it has happened, or that it is happening, does not understand the scriptures, or the doctrines of Restoration.

Granted, there is a sifting going on in the church today. The sifting will get more severe as time goes on. Many will fall away. And there may be individual general authorities or even apostles who leave the church. It has happened before. But as a whole, the 15 will not fail us, and we can be assured that if we follow their counsel, we will be doing the will of the Lord for ourselves and our families and will be blessed for it.

Finally, the last type of personal revelation I wish to discuss:

# 3 – Personal Assurances, through Grace and Mercy that the Lord Loves Us

Again from the Prophet Joseph Smith’s letter to Isaac Galland:

“We believe that we have a right to revelations, visions, and dreams from God, our heavenly Father; and light and intelligence, through the gift of the Holy Ghost, in the name of Jesus Christ, on all subjects pertaining to our spiritual welfare; if it so be that we keep his commandments, so as to render ourselves worthy in his sight.

The greatest thing we can do for our own salvation is to keep the commandments and find out from the Lord what we need to do to repent.

Of any prayer for personal revelation that we could offer . . . I can promise you that THIS one will always be answered . . . Ask the Lord: “What do I need to repent of?”

Ask. Listen. And then because you have prayed with real intent, carry out your repentance. Make amends. Change your life. Become what the Savior would have you be: Become more Christ-like.

And then once you have acted on that revelation, repeat the process. Even though I constantly struggle to improve myself in this fashion, I know that the principle is a true principle!

One final quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“Religion comes from God by revelation and deals with spiritual things; and unless and until a man has received revelation, he has not received religion, and he is not on the path leading to salvation in our Father’s kingdom.” (April 1971)

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Additional Quotes:

Joseph Smith

“Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the spirit of God.”

Collection of Quotes from other Church Leaders

A re-issue of the First Presidency Letter in 1945 by President George Albert Smith



Book Review: BEYOND THE CABIN by Jared Nathan Garrett

Beyond-the-Cabin-final-cover-200x300Beautiful and haunting, Beyond the Cabin by Jared Nathan Garrett is a sometimes disturbing, sometimes enlightening journey into the confines of a reclusive cult where fourteen-year-old Joshua Kerr just wants to grow up normal, in a normal family. His internal struggle to rise above fear and anger—and his ultimate success in doing so—greatly contrasts the false images of piety portrayed by the neglectful and controlling adults of the group. The scenes of cold indifference, glaring hypocrisy, and swift injustice will have the reader cheering for Joshua’s plans for escape. But what Joshua ends up doing, in the end . . . or rather what he discovers about himself . . . will truly touch the reader’s heart.

One of the best books I have read this year, I wholeheartedly recommend Beyond the Cabin!

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From the back cover of the book:

This book is inspired by true events.

Fourteen-year-old Josh longs to get away from the Fundamental Faith. Although cult life is all he’s known, he refuses to give in to the group’s weird mix of hyper control and near-total neglect. Josh and his oldest brother, Malachi, plan to escape from the cult, but when Malachi leaves Josh behind, Josh has to find a way to survive the isolation of being surrounded by abusive people he will never understand. Or get out on his own.

Within months of leaving, Malachi is killed in a drug deal gone bad. Now Josh somehow has to grieve while coping with a tyrannical cult leader – who also happens to be his mother – and his own terrifying temper. Lonely and afraid, he surprises himself by making a connection with one of the girls in the cult. Before long, Josh begins to understand that his isolation is self-inflicted, and the other kids need him. But he still craves the freedom of the outside world.

After being abandoned by everyone he should be able to depend on, Josh has to decide if, by escaping, he is abandoning the young people he has finally grown to love and who now see him as a protector.


Book Review: FEARDOM, by Connor Boyack

I haven’t done a book review in quite some time, but my most recent find certainly warrants a few words here. FEARDOM by Connor Boyack is a timely message that will strengthen your desires for liberty, and innoculate you from the abuses of a predatory media.

Do you ever see a news report that leaves you with a feeling of frustration or anger? Not because of what happened, but because of the way the media portrayed the situation?

Are you afraid you aren’t getting both sides of the story? Do you trust what you are being told?

If simply asking these questions already has you feeling irritated, then FEARDOM is a book you need to read. It won’t take much of your time. But this is the kind of book that you’ll want to read again. Make it a part of your library. You won’t regret it.


Apocalypse Panel: Drawn to Doom

Durer_apocalisseThe moderator of The Apocalypse Panel has posted another question that begs to be answered: What draws you to write apocalyptic stories?

Ah… the power of the symbol! Apocalpytic writing affords me the opportunity to use a high degree of symbolism in my setting, narration, and descriptions. I can allude to to real events, real people, real places, and even latter-day prophecy without specifically naming any of them. I actually get quite a kick out of doing it. How many times did you have debates in lit class (or nowadays online) where you argued whether or not the author intentionally hid a certain symbol or theme in their writing? Hmmm?

Well, just take it from me: it’s always intentional, except when it’s not.

Don’t believe me? I’ve got the story for you! Not only is my story THE BEAST chock-full of tie-ins to reality, but I don’t even give a name to the main character of the story. I leave that for the reader to figure out.

I must admit, however, that my writing isn’t always just a bunch of symbolism. In fact, the promise of symbolic prose was not the reason for SON OF LIBERTY. That story came about because I tried to picture what a particular event, foretold by prophets for millennia, would be like. I’d love to tell you what that event is, but I can’t: it would ruin the story.

And then there’s the main event which occurs in my story THE DAYSPRING, which is also a last-days prophecy, but I can’t tell you what that one is about either.

I’m sensing a trend: symbolism, mystery, and an ornery author who won’t give away the ending.

Maybe this will help . . . both THE BEAST and THE DAYSPRING are part of my short story collection called PROMISE, (which is currently only 99 cents on Amazon), and you even get two more stories. Or, you can just go to the READ section of this website, and read THE BEAST for free. If you do, I’d love to hear what you thought of it, so please leave a comment. And tell all your friends about it.

If you are curious, go see how Randy Lindsay, the moderator, and other authors on the panel responded to the Apocalypse Panel question here.

Thanks for taking the time to check in. I’d love to hear from you!


Apocalypse Panel: What Is The Trigger?


QUESTION: Which situation or event that is currently happening do you think most easily could result in the apocalypse?

Collapse of the US Dollar. Definitely.

The result of that collapse? Global chaos.

Unlike the 1920s and 30s when we experienced the Great Depression, a financial collapse of that magnitude would devastate this country, and every country in the world. Millions and millions will die. Starvation, disease, crumbling infrastructure, civil wars, and military campaigns in an attempt to restore order . . . all of these will take their toll. Anarchy will reign in the population centers, and rural America will be seemingly cut off from the world.

Even the Great Depression didn’t cause these issues. I’ll admit, during the Depression, people suffered. They struggled. But for the most part, they survived and pulled themselves out of the pit. The entire world didn’t crumble around their feet.

So why would the next collapse be different from the Great Depression? In my opinion it’s because we are different.

We are no longer an agrarian society, or at least our economy is not as balanced as it was in the early part of the 1900s. Far more people are urban or suburban dwellers. They work in the city, at a desk, pushing paper and clicking icons and wearing out keyboards. They have meetings to talk about stuff. Or they have a meeting to talk about scheduling another meeting where they can talk about stuff.

But many of them don’t really do much of anything that aligns with self-reliance.

People have lost the skills to take care of themselves. Most people have never had to slaughter their own animals for food (let alone have an animal they could eat) . . . they don’t make their own clothes. Many of them don’t even know how to cook because they eat out all the time.

Could they filter water? Wash clothing by hand? Plant a garden, tend it, and harvest it? Fix things that break? I’m not talking about fixing the internet connection on their wide-screen TV. I’m talking about fixing the broken handle on the wheat grinder. Do they even have the tools to fix that handle? Better yet, could they build a fire without matches?

These are the basic skills of survival, and I daresay that only fifteen to twenty percent of Americans could do these things. I’m just guessing. Maybe the real percentage is far less.

Yet apart from having the skills to take care of themselves, there is a more important issue at hand . . .

Back in the old days, for the most part, people had character. Good moral character. They took care of each other. They would readily open their homes to the destitute. They would feed the hungry. They had compassion and integrity and they worked their tails off, dawn until dusk. All of this while applying the skills of self-reliance.

And we simply aren’t those people anymore.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not saying that you or your family or your friends are poster children for laziness and ineptitude. I trust that you’re capable of taking care of yourself and that you do have compassion for your fellowman. But think about this for a minute . . . do you think that the number of those who hold those values are more than they were in the 1920s? Equal to the 1920s? Or less than the 1920s? And if you said “less”, do you think that means people will be running around town acting like they just got dropped into an arena as tributes in The Hunger Games?

Ah . . . so I do have something there, don’t I?

But, then again, maybe not.

I’m sure that crazy people with nukes that invade countries like Ukraine and then fire the nukes over the polar ice-cap causing it to suddenly melt and release a virus from the ice that turns us into zombies making us eat each other’s brains until a rogue planet swipes the earth and puts us all out of our misery . . .

. . . is far more likely.

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A few references to get the blood flowing:

Economist Caution: Prepare For ‘Massive Wealth Destruction’ (Money News) Link:

Economist John Williams lays out the vulnerability of the US dollar (Market Sanity) Link:

Government dysfunction sparks doomsday fears (CNN Money) Link:

De-crowning the dollar, and the ‘collapse’ ahead (CNBC) Link:



Rise From The Dead Because Of The Apocalypse

That’s what we’re doing here. Rising from the dead. It’s been far too long since I posted on this site.

I have some news . . .

First of all, I started a new website, and now have three:  This one, which is my official author website. The Thirty-Six series website dedicated to the multi-author series of the same name (Thanks for your patience! I know of at least one of the other authors who has his book done). And then a new one, dedicated to my passion of searching the scriptures. That new site is called Lachish Letters – Exploring Scripture. I am posting charts and cool things I find while in my studies. Go check it out!

Second, Randy Lindsay, author of The Gathering asked me to participate in what he is calling an “Apocalypse Panel” . . . basically a group of authors that hypothesize about the end of the world. Yeah, we will assuredly get it completely wrong. But it will be fun to talk about all of the ways we can die horrible deaths.

Authors are a sick group, no?

Stay tuned for my first post in this new venture. Find out which other authors are participating, and what question was presented to the panel by visiting Randy’s post about the project here: THE APOCALYPSE PANEL.


Heaven’s Garden free to read on Wattpad

HeavensGarden_1200highThis time around I am trying something new to find interested readers . . . I am posting the sequel to The Thorn on Wattpad a chapter at a time as I get it ready to go to the editor. Please note: The book is in a first-draft stage. There are sure to be spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. There will be changes to the story as I clean out the dead-wood to tighten the writing, and perhaps even change some scenes.

But if you don’t mind reading a first draft, go for it. Leave a comment on Wattpad and tell me what you think.

Here is the link to get you started: Heaven’s Garden book two of The Chronicles of Gan

FYI, this is only a temp cover that I did myself. I plan on having my cover designer create a new cover for The Thorn at the same time that he does this one. Already added to my 2014 resolution list . . .


Indie Author Discovers New Universal Truth

If you go and read my last blog post and then check the comments, you will see that the following statements are now considered universal truths:

1. Blogging is a dying art. Not just that this blog is dying, but blogs all over the internet are quickly fading into oblivion. I don’t read them as much as I used to. And apparently nobody is reading this one either. Could have something to do with my infrequency of posting and the general lack of appeal of my posts. Or the NSA is blocking access to my blog. Probably the latter…

2. Giveaways don’t work. Not unless you’re giving away high-dollar electronics or a new car. Nobody cares about a $35 Amazon Gift Card. Maybe I’ll try giving away a kidney next time.

3. Readers don’t have time to do reviews. I’ve traded reviews with other authors, given away free copies of books to get reviews, and tried to bribe readers with free stuff: And no matter what I try, book reviews are really hard to get. I’m sure the problem is that readers are locked in tiny rooms with no windows, sitting on a cot, surrounded by piles and piles of books, and they have no computer and no internet access. They’re just too busy reading to bother with writing a 2 sentence review. That’s got to be it.

Sorry for the dripping sarcasm. But I’m a little bit disillusioned with the whole marketing/promotion thing as an indie author.

Best advice I’ve heard recently: Go write another excellent book.

Best response I could give: Since I love to write, I will go write another excellent book. That nobody will read.  <grin>


Simple Math – 2 Plus 2 Equals $35 Amazon Gift Card


This post is for those who love to read.

I am trying to build up my presence on a site for avid readers called Wattpad. I now have six reading samples posted there: Two poems, three short stories, and my novelette SON OF LIBERTY. All can be read there for free.

Need some spending money to feed your Amazon addiction? I am giving away a $35 Amazon Gift Card on Friday evening, December 20th. This is how you win:

1. Go to my author profile on Wattpad. Link is here:  Daron Fraley on Wattpad
Choose 2 of my published works. Read them both. Give them BOTH a star. And leave a comment on BOTH stories. (Note: You’ll need a free Wattpad account to leave a comment. If you don’t like the story you chose, pick another one… you have 6 to choose from. If you don’t like any of them, see item 3 below)

2. Copy the link to this blog post . . .  the one you are reading right now. Share it twice, using two different social media platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, your own Blog, etc.).  Here is the permalink to use:

3. Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me that your voting is done on Wattpad, and which two social platforms you shared the blog post link on. If you want to rave about how awesome the stories were, feel free to tell me all about it. If for some reason you read all six stories and you still couldn’t find two of them you liked well enough to give a star and comment, just let me know here. I’ll still enter your name in the drawing. If, however, you read all six stories, and you put a star and comment on all of the ones you liked, I’ll give you two extra entries. Let me know that you read them all!

On the evening of Friday, December 20th, I will look at the comments of this blog post and do a randomized drawing from the qualifying names found here. I will then contact the winner to send an Amazon gift card by email. I will be checking the drawn name on Wattpad to be sure at least two comments/stars were left as requested. Entries without comments and stars will be disqualified, and I will draw another name.

One last note about SON OF LIBERTY: That story will only be free on Wattpad for a limited time . . . I’m not sure how long I’ll leave it there. If you liked it, would you mind sharing a link to it with your friends? Share it with your frenemies too. They won’t mind. :)


Behold A Great Red Dragon

GreatRedDragon_506px-William_Blake_003Why has the world seemingly been turned on its head . . . where evil is pronounced good, and good is made out to be evil?

Where is all of this coming from? Federal Agents roughing up protesters at Bundy Ranch. The relentless attacks against the institution of marriage. Teachers getting fired for speaking out against Common Core. Parents who lose their children to a hospital colluding with DFS. The oppression of the forced socialist healthcare system called Obamacare where people who had perfectly good insurance, lose it and then cannot get cancer treatment. The IRS illegally targeting conservative groups who oppose the President.

What about the families who lost family in Benghazi? And those who lost family because of Fast-and-Furious? Will there ever be justice? Why is there never any punishment for scandal after scandal within a president’s administration that always gets away scot-free?

Satan laughs. And as the serpent, “…the serpent cast(s) out of his mouth water as a flood…

That flood has never been deeper than it is now.

If the great red dragon could destroy all that is good, all that is full of light, all that is lawful according to the laws of God . . . he would. The flood has spewed forth. The lies, the treachery, the false accusations . . . are so numerous and constant that the barrage of filth which is rising like a tidal wave has the good men and women of this world scrambling into life boats, desperate for safety from the flood.

And still, the serpent’s mouth is open wide, the flood gushing forth with all its might.

In this battle for the souls of men, who will rise above the flood by recognizing their own dependence on He who has provided the life boats of safety? Who will succumb to the depths of darkness either through their own arrogance, or because they are too weighed down by the chains of their own sin and guilt?

What is this war all about? Is it really about government shutdowns, bankrupt entitlements, United Nations treaties, or food stamp cards with no limits? Is it about improving education, giving amnesty to illegal aliens, or giving special protections to vocal interest groups?

I don’t think so. These are just minor battles, and all of them symptoms of a much greater problem. A much larger war.

It’s really quite simple. This war is about agency.

AGENCY: “The quality of moving or of exerting power; the state of being in action; action; operation; instrumentality; as, the agency of providence in the natural world.” Websters Dictionary, 1828 Edition

Am I an agent unto myself? Do I have the right to choose my own path–to move, to exert power, to be in action–as long as it doesn’t interfere with the liberties of anyone else? Do I have freedom? Do I recognize that my agency, or my power to choose, comes from Providence?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Preamble, Declaration of Independence)

Do we believe these words? Was our agency . . . and our Liberty . . . an unalienable right, endowed by our Creator?

This is a serious question . . . can I act for myself? Do I really have agency?

Or do I believe that the Government must make everything fair, according to whatever standard they come up with, so that nobody feels underprivileged?

Can my government force me to do something that takes away my own liberty and freedom to choose? Can my government force me to eat? Force me to work? Force me to live in a certain city or neighborhood? Can it force me to buy a product I don’t want? Can it force me to learn a language I have no desire learning? Can it give special privileges to one group while suppressing the free speech of another?

“Where there is force, there can be no choice.” –definition for Choice, Websters Dictionary, 1828 Edition

This is the whole problem. We live in a day when agency, the power to choose and act for ourselves, is under attack. The great red dragon who fought against Michael . . . both of whom had their own “angels” . . . is still attacking.

Agency is the prize.

Will we retain the freedom to choose, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, or will we lose our individual sovereignty and forfeit our liberty to a nanny-state government that will tell us everything that we must do, should do, and cannot do, all under the guise of progress, when in reality the policies being implemented are the precursors to totalitarianism?

Do we sit back and take it? Do we turn the other cheek, taking great care to never offend our neighbor so that we might all just get along under the umbrella of all this progress? Or do we fight? What would the Lord do, if He were here? Would He fight?

“To deprive an intelligent human being of his free agency is to commit the crime of the ages. . . So fundamental in man’s eternal progress is his inherent right to choose, that the Lord would defend it even at the price of war.” (David O. McKay, Conference Report, 1942.)

Where are we in this war? Are we engaged, or are we sitting on the sideline watching? Which team have we chosen in this conflict? Will we stand up and defend agency, freedom, liberty?

“The scriptures make clear that there was a great war in heaven, a struggle over the principle of freedom the right of choice. In the war in heaven, what would have been your reaction if someone had told you just to do what is right—there’s no need to get involved in the fight for freedom? Of course, the war in heaven over free agency is now being waged here on earth, and there are those today who are saying ‘Look, don’t get involved in the fight for freedom. Just live the gospel.’ That counsel is dangerous, self-contradictory, unsound.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1966.)

Let’s remember that we were there during the great war in heaven. We fought in that war. And the tactics of the great red dragon on today’s battlefields have not changed:

“[The war in heaven], so bitter, so intense, has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion . . . His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They’ve indulged in lying and deceit. They’ve employed money and wealth. They’ve tricked the minds of men. They’ve murdered and destroyed and engaged in every kind of evil practice to thwart the work of Christ.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, An Unending Conflict, a Victory Assured, Ensign, June 2007.)

Is our participation in this war justified? Are we able to engage in this conflict, and do our best to set things right . . . to shout truth from housetops?

I say, “YES!” We must fight. We must protect our families from the evils of this world and teach them so that they also can keep their own agency. Liberty must be protected. We must remain free from bondage!

(The) most universal subjugation in our day, as it has been throughout history, is ideology or political beliefs that are inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Substituting the philosophies of men for gospel truth can lead us away from the simplicity of the Savior’s message. When the Apostle Paul visited Athens, he tried to teach of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of this effort we read in Acts, “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” When the crowd realized the simple religious nature of Paul’s message, which was not new, they rejected it. This is emblematic of our own day, where gospel truths are often rejected or distorted to make them intellectually more appealing or compatible with current cultural trends and intellectual philosophies. If we are not careful, we can be captured by these trends and place ourselves in intellectual bondage.” (Quentin L. Cook, Lamentations of Jeremiah: Beware of Bondage, Conference Report, October 2013.)

Look at the world and behold the great red dragon who is deceiving with the philosophies of men!

Be wise! Beware of bondage!

That is our clarion call. The horns are sounding. Will you answer?

* * *
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in October, 2013. Since the battle rages on, hotter than ever before, I have decided to republish this blog post with updates.



Additional References:

“…the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood…”–The Revelation of St. John 12:15

Liberty: (Websters Dictionary, 1828 Edition)

1. Freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions.

2. Natural liberty, consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government.

3. Civil liberty, is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.

The liberty of one depends not so much on the removal of all restraint from him, as on the due restraint upon the liberty of others.

In this sentence, the latter word liberty denotes natural liberty.

4. Political liberty, is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Hence we often speak of the political liberties of Europe, or the nations of Europe.

5. Religious liberty, is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control.

6. Liberty, in metaphysics, as opposed to necessity, is the power of an agent to do or forbear any particular action, according to the determination or thought of the mind, by which either is preferred to the other.

Freedom of the will; exemption from compulsion or restraint in willing or volition.

7. Privilege; exemption; immunity enjoyed by prescription or by grant; with a plural. Thus we speak of the liberties of the commercial cities of Europe.

8. Leave; permission granted. The witness obtained liberty to leave the court.

9. A space in which one is permitted to pass without restraint, and beyond which he may not lawfully pass; with a plural; as the liberties of a prison.

10. Freedom of action or speech beyond the ordinary bounds of civility or decorum. Females should repel all improper liberties.

To take the liberty to do or say any thing, to use freedom not specially granted.

To set at liberty, to deliver from confinement; to release from restraint.

To be at liberty, to be free from restraint.

Liberty of the press, is freedom from any restriction on the power to publish books; the free power of publishing what one pleases, subject only to punishment for abusing the privilege, or publishing what is mischievous to the public or injurious to individuals.