About Val Brinkerhoff
Greetings friends. Welcome to this website. I was fortunate to teach photography (commercial and fine art) on the college level for 35 years (1980-2015). Beginning at age 23, I taught for Western Wyoming College, Colorado Mountain College, Utah State University, and finally Brigham Young University. I retired from BYU in 2015 after 20 years there in the Design Department. During my teaching, I wrote many magazine articles, published my first books, and exhibited fine art photography nationwide. My last solo exhibit was at the Springville (Utah) Art Museum. Besides interfacing with many wonderful people in those teaching years, I also had opportunity to travel much of the world (45 different countries in 5 years). My focus then was learning how to "read" sacred architecture. It was during that time that I immersed myself in things of God, especially scripture, where the meaning behind the sacred architecture unfolded. This path led to my early retirement. Since then I have focused on knowing God - our Creator, Redeemer, Judge and King - Jesus of Nazareth. I now want to help others awaken to Him, His great love, and the real joy we can experience in HIM. I share the things I've learned and experienced drawing closer to Him on this website. Hopefully there is something here of worth for you.
My latest book, The Secret Chamber was published to help more Latter-day Saints awaken to the importance of developing a personal relationship with our LORD. It first addresses the lie that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a polygamist. I use God's word in scripture to do this first, along, with the testimonies of the Smith family, and an unedited version of LDS church history. Truth is all-important to me. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). As we seek Him, and truth from Him, we are set free. If we don't love truth and seek it out diligently, we are given lies (see 2 Thess. 2:1-12). Our LORD's five-word invitation to receive salvation and sanctification at His hands - is given in the simple statement, "Repent and come unto me" (see D&C 10:67-68; 1 Ne. 10:18-19; 2 Ne. 9:23-24; 28:31-32; Jacob 1:7; Alma 5:33-34; Ether 4:7-19; Mor. 7:34; D&C 93:1; 3 Ne. 9:14, 22, 51; 11:14; 12:19-20, 23-24; 27:5-21; 30:1-2).
More I maintain that the Prophet Joseph Smith restored significant truths in the Book of Mormon, the JST Bible, and other latter-day scripture. Sadly, much change was introduced after him for the sake of polygamy and other "gain" by Brigham Young and those following him in The Secret Chamber.
Today most of us have a little "baggage", originating in our upbringing, education, and beliefs. Geography can also play a role in the traditions we hold on to. Living in places dominated by one religion such as Jerusalem (Judaism), Damascus (Islam), or Salt Lake City (Mormonism) can be challenging, as the dominate faith in each area often enforces a certain level of control. Conformity adds to our baggage, keeping many from truth, especially when combined with fear. Wise virgins fear (honor) God more than man, turning to Him for light and truth.
My path towards greater light began in earnest as I traveled the world seeking to understand what was being taught in the world’s best sacred architecture. I studied standing stone circles, pyramids, temples, and other structures. This exploration continued seriously for five years as I visited 45 countries, often with students. I eventually focused on the best sacred Christian architecture and what it was expressing. I also began seeking a real relationship with Christ the LORD. It was the best decision I have made. All those people in the chart above did the same thing, but from their own faith traditions.
Paul experienced God's light first hand, and it really changed him. He was once deeply rooted in the predominant beliefs, traditions, and laws of Judaism. He saw The LIGHT and was wholly changed by our LORD. Paul once persecuted and stoned Christians, believing he was doing right. In His mercy, Jesus brought Paul out of his confining box of traditions and into His circle of much greater light. This is symbolized by the blue and white "squared circle archetype" at the top of the Resources page on this site. He then became a powerful teacher, witnesses Christ wherever he went
Another effective teacher was John the Beloved. In his Epistles towards the end of the New Testament, John notes changes that began occurring with the leaders of some Christian churches following Jesus’ death. Some of them began seeking the honors of men over the favor of God. They were also introducing changes into the gospel of Christ, polluting Christ's original truths. John stated, “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not . . . neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church” (see the Third Epistle of John 9-10). Many believe John was “cast out” of the church at this time. He saw the purity of the gospel being modified by men who desired "gain" or "the lusts of the flesh", defined as power, money, the honors of men, and the things of the world (see 1 Nephi 22:23). The religions of men are often plagued with this repeating curse. False shepherds in too many churches stand between the sheep and the Good Shepherd (John 10). Salvation is only available in Christ Jesus (Mosiah 3:17).
Seeing similar corruption today, many are searching God’s word more diligently, that they might find Him there and through heartfelt prayer. They have found that trusting men and their ways leads to cursing, just as God’s word repeatedly states (see David’s words in Psalm 118:8; Jeremiah’s words in Jeremiah 17:5; And Nephi's words in 2 Nephi 4:34). We can be blessed instead by turning to God with our whole heart! He wants relationship with us. We are the bride of the Bridegroom. Too many have become unfaithful brides.
The Word is the focus of wise virgins today. It has reference to three things; (1) The LORD Jesus as our only Savior and our primary source of light (John 1:1); (2) His precious written word in scripture; And (3) His personal word to each of us in pure revelation. Those seeking the face of Christ seek more than the traditions of men can give them. Many of the wise have thus emerged from their square boxes to embrace the living God. He adds oil to our lamps. Note five example people hereafter, each of them seeking a personal relationship with God, like other notable ones in scripture.
Christian author and TV evangelist Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj was once a devoted Hindu in India. He was miraculously converted to the LORD at a young age and now reaches millions through his large television network and his many books. He came to know the living God and presents a message of hope throughout the world in Jesus Ministries.
John Fen was baptized into the Episcopal Church. He left it to find God, turning to the New Testament pattern of “home church”, where the primary focus is building a relationship with God within a small group setting. In his short Youtube videos, John preaches the merits of these small group meetings in homes, rather than attending traditional large churches. The LORD told John, “See what I see, many small churches and ministries investing in relationships, walking in love, pouring their lives into each other, this is where the Spirit is moving today” (see The Church Without Walls International).
Steve Cioccolanti of Melbourne, Australia was born into a family of Buddhists, Catholics, Methodists, and Muslims in Thailand. He experienced much confusion as a youth. God saved him miraculously from suicide. He was latter transformed spiritually by the written word in scripture. He is now a prolific teacher on social media, using the Bible as a source of wisdom. In Steve’s informative youtube videos, he seeks to redeem social media itself by bringing the people who use it to God’s wisdom instead. When they have questions, he desire it that they will “Bible it” rather than “Googling it.”
Writer Jonathan Cahn was once a reform Jew from New York. He latter became an atheist and finally a Messianic Christian. He is now a best-selling author, preaching the saving merits of Jesus in Hope of the World Ministries.
And last, John Eldredge left the acting world in Los Angeles to search out who the LORD Jesus was and is. He discovered the layered personality of the world’s most famous man – Jesus Christ. His quest resulted in the best-selling book, Beautiful Outlaw, and informative youtube videos of the same name. Eldredge shows us a Jesus with humor, playfulness, intensity, along with great compassion, and wisdom. He reminds us that the LORD healed a man on the Sabbath, leading to judgment and jealously in the religious leaders of His day. Eldredge has stated, “It was religious people who opposed Christ; it was religious people who had him killed…There is relationship with God and life in his Kingdom, and then there is religion. They are not the same.”
There are many other changed souls whose teachings are worthy of our attention. They love and fear God. You'll find some of their teachings on this website. Though each has a very different background and story, all are united in their unique testimony of the LORD Jesus and their witness that relationship with HIM is everything! I too join with them in testifying of our LORD's great love and light. We can know Him despite our backgrounds. Though you don't have to leave the faith of your youth to find Him, most come to realize that they do have to leave behind many lies, false beliefs and traditions to embrace "the Light of the World" (John 8:12). He is “THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE” (John 14:6).