According to His Idols…


golden-calfEzekiel 9  4Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;

That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him by myself:

And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

What an odd scripture! What could it mean? Through sad experience I have learned what this means. I have practiced idolatry in the past to such a degree that it was very painful when the Lord decided it was time to purge it out of me. I practiced idolatry while at the same time I was receiving revelation from the Holy Ghost on a regular basis. I had been baptized by fire, had many powerful experiences, and had no idea that if the Lord had made His appearance back then, I would have been swept off the earth as dross.

God had to teach me that being baptized by fire was not redemption, not even close. Being baptized by fire in my mind had always equated to being baptized by the Holy Ghost, and entering the strait and narrow way, God had to prove me wrong on that idea as well. Before we can talk about the concept of idolatry and how it affects how God speaks to us, I wanted to give some examples of what the experience of the fire of the Spirit is like.

“…what evidence have I obtained more than I had years ago? Not any. Have I received the Holy Ghost since I was [baptized]? No more [than] when I was [baptized] before. Did I believe the Book of Mormon? No more [than] I did four years ago. Do I believe that Joseph Smith Jun. is a Prophet of God? No, I do not. At this I was shocked at my situation and began to call on the Lord in earnest. And while I was praying, something came on my head … and passed gradually down through my whole system, removing all pain and made me a sound man from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.” – Luman Shurtliff

“I had no sooner opened my lips in an effort to pray, than I heard a sound, just above my head, like the rustling of silken robes, and immediately the Spirit of God descended upon me, completely enveloping my whole person, filling me, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and O, the joy and happiness I felt! No language can describe the almost instantaneous transition from a dense cloud of mental and spiritual darkness into a refulgence of light and knowledge, as it was at that time imparted to my understanding. I then received a perfect knowledge that God lives, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, It was a complete baptism—a tangible immersion in the heavenly principle or element, the Holy Ghost; and even more real and physical in its effects upon every part of my system than the immersion by water; dispelling forever, so long as reason and memory last, all possibility of doubt or fear in relation to the fact handed down to us historically, that the “Babe of Bethlehem” is truly the Son of God; also the fact that He is now being revealed to the children of men, and communicating

knowledge, the same as in the Apostolic times. I was perfectly satisfied, as well I might be, for my expectations were more than realized, I think I may safely say in an infinite degree. I cannot tell how long I remained in the full flow of the blissful enjoyment and divine enlightenment,

but it was several minutes before the celestial element which filled and surrounded me began gradually to withdraw.” – Lorenzo Snow

“At one point in this prayer/meditation, I simply said, “God, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t make any more decisions. I give up! I put my life in your hands.

I wish I could explain this in better detail. Over the last twelve years I’ve never been able to find the words to communicate the physical and mental experience, which happened after I let go.

Upon letting go, there was a bolt of energy, which began at my toes and rifled upward throughout my body. It exploded out the top of my head like a bolt of lightning. As this “energy” traveled upward it was like every cell in my body was energized. The best I can explain it was like the pins and needles one gets, but this was far from being uncomfortable. The experience lasted probably only a second or two, but after it left my body I was left with this euphoria. Almost feeling like I was floating.

Every pain, every frustration, every mental disparity I had been carrying with me, had been ripped from my being at the singular moment. As I left the church (Catholic Church), I had a feeling of clarity, focus, and comfort. All my hate, all my anger, all my desperation was replaced with happiness, love, and sense of hope.” – some guy on the internet with the screen name dfrank70

“I experienced being filled with the Holy Spirit in February 2010, about 1.5 years ago. It happened during a moment of surrender, when I had decided I would no longer hold any of my heart back from God. I was faced with a familiar temptation two times in a row, several days apart. And I prayed to God, right there on the spot, both times, for His power to help me to not fall into that temptation again. As soon as I finished that short prayer, all of a sudden I felt a warmth that started at the top of my head and began moving slowly down my body all the way to my feet. An amazing love and joy immediately welled up inside of me, inside my heart, and my eyes teared up. It was totally unexpected. As the warmth was traveling down my body headed towards my feet, when it got to my hands, I turned my hands over and I looked at both of my palms. And immediately, the very first thought that occurred to me was ” I HAVE to tell somebody about this; I can’t keep this Love to myself any longer. I have to tell somebody, anybody, about Jesus, and soon!” I knew I could no longer keep silent about how much God loves me and how much He loves everyone else, too.”- Carl Garrett

The last two experiences I quoted were from people who did not have a belief in the Book of Mormon and were not in any type of Mormon religion. They, like many others were like the Lamanites who were baptized by fire, “but knew it not.” It isn’t that they didn’t perceive something happened that was quite incredible, it’s that they didn’t know what it meant and that it was actually being baptized by fire. The way I know that each of these experiences happened to each of these individuals is because when I read their accounts the Spirit confirmed the truth of what they said IN THE SAME WAY THEY DESCRIBED IT!!!!

Notice that in every one of these accounts the people were brought by the Lord to see their awful situation. They were humble and realized they were helpless before God and needed grace. Notice the words of “surrender,” “I give up,” “shocked at my situation,” “His power to help me,” and other such language. Often I talk to others and here frustration from them with their lack of spiritual experience. One woman told me that she was in the hospital and her husband was dying. She had already lost a son and she was in terrible pain as you can imagine. She told me she prayed to God and said something like this, “God, I have been faithful and obedient, I have served in all my callings day in and day out, attend the temple regularly, I deserve your comfort and revelation, please speak to me!”

I did not have the heart to tell this woman the obvious problem with her approach. The funny thing is I hear stuff like this all the time! An old home teacher came tentatively to my door and I opened the door to talk with my friend. He was nervous and kind of laughed as he handed me a stake conference invitation. I smiled and said thanks. Then he pointed skyward and glanced up and said, “Just trying to get some blessings from above…” Do we see a problem with the way of thinking that has been passed around like the plague? Now back to the accounts of those who had been baptized by fire above…

Without fail after people have this experience the adversary will immediately try to give them all sorts of ideas. He would love for people to think that being baptized by fire means that everything in their system of worship must be true. Satan will try to have people believe that the spiritual experience was because of some ritual they performed, or because of their righteous actions. Anything he can do to persuade the individual that any credit for the experience is from anyone or anything but the Lord is a success in his eyes.

This is a tactic the adversary will employ over and over again. If a person receives a confirmation during a speech the devil would love for that person to think that EVERYTHING in the speech must be true. If a person receives a confirmation by the Spirit reading a book, the adversary will try to tell that person that EVERYTHING in the book must be true. If someone is told by the Spirit that a certain individual is a prophet, the devil will try to persuade that individual that everything that prophet has taught, or ever will teach is true…and the list goes on and on.

Ok so let’s move on to some things the Spirit IS NOT:

The Spirit IS NOT something that will ever convey a feeling of darkness or discomfort. The devil would like us to think that God answers prayers at times by making us feel uncomfortable about something that we are praying about. People often say that a teaching or idea makes them uncomfortable and they assume immediately it must be false. This darkness could very well be from the “spirit that teacheth not a man to pray…” I often felt this when the Lord was pulling me out of idolatry and a new idea was presented. I had set my heart previously on a way of thinking because others had drilled it into my head. No longer being like a child with an open mind and hear, I thought I could dismiss teachings without receiving a confirmation from the Holy Ghost one way or the other because I simply knew better.

The Spirit IS NOT simply a voice in the mind. Some people meditate (or do rituals or smoke weed or whatever their method of choice is) and get into a peaceful and clear state and begin speaking with their “higher self”, or their “superego” (Freudian Term). People who do this have convinced themselves that their mind is God and they are the people who Ezekiel warned about when he wrote in Ezekiel 13

13 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of theLord;

Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

These people claiming revelation at times have never received revelation but they wanted it badly enough that they convinced themselves that their conscience is the Holy Ghost. Usually this higher voice tells them “good” things but they will never have a sure knowledge of anything that has been told to them by this voice unless they receive the Holy Ghost. This kind of pseudo-revelation is running rampant in the Mormon movement. This is the type that people talk about when they had a sudden thought about sending cookies or visiting someone. People then look for evidence later that the thought was revelation and find confirmation with their intellect instead of from God. Often this will cause people to ask things like “was that profound thought from me, or from God?” Hopefully you get the idea…Another way that this type of thing happens is after someone has been baptized by fire and they still think God gives answers in different ways. I did for a while and had to learn the hard way that I was sinning and listening to myself.

The Holy Ghost IS NOT the fruits of the Spirit. That should go without saying but people often confuse this for some reason. People who have never tasted of the Spirit can still feel joy, peace, worldly love, and some of the other fruits. Feeling these emotions does not mean you are experiencing the Holy Ghost.

I guess what I am trying to get across is that EVERY time the Holy Ghost speaks to us, it will be in the same way we received it the first time. When someone is baptized by fire, it is God’s way of telling them that He indeed exists, and He is showing us how He speaks to us. I have talked to some people who believe that being baptized by fire actually means the Holy Ghost becomes their permanent companion and they think they can then just interpret things with the new enlightenment that the initial experience gave them. When I present to them the idea that the Spirit will always speak in the same way as the first revelation they received during the baptism of fire, they almost always react in the same way and say something like this, “That is not true, the burning of the Holy Ghost doesn’t happen that often…”

It doesn’t happen that often for who? Let me get back to the idolatry. If we set our hearts upon a belief system and have decided that the belief system of choice has a “fullness” of truth, and nothing outside of this set of beliefs can be true, this is idolatry. This doesn’t mean you won’t receive revelation from time to time, it just means you have confined the Lord to only give revelation that will seem to confirm that certain set of beliefs. This is damnation and the damned have no idea they are in bondage. Often when presented with a new idea, they will reply with doctrines prescribed within their belief system by religious leaders that simply couldn’t be wrong. This brings the backwards thinking that the Spirit should be checked by the doctrines that have been set forth in the past, instead of the doctrines in the past being checked by the Spirit. This is certain bondage!

One blessing that has been given to many people is the revelation that “The Book of Mormon is true.” Thank God for that book. I have not met a soul that has ever learned by revelation that any other book is true in its entirety. I have prayed about many other books and never been told the same thing. I have experienced the Holy Ghost reading the Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and many other inspired books, many of which people call scripture, but I have yet to have the Spirit reveal to me that any other book is true besides the Book of Mormon. If we feel that every revelation has to be compared to previous scripture, I suggest we not be hypocrites and take a look at some things taught in the Doctrine and Covenants…

Doctrine and Covenants 88:15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.

There are dozens of scriptures that contradict this but I will give only one from the Book of Mormon, and one from the Bible.

Alma 40:23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Doctrine and Covenants 124:49 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.

This verse actually has multiple things that contradict other scripture, as well as other verses in the section, but here is a contradicting verse that all of us are probably familiar with…

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Doctrine and Covenants 132 (There are quite a few in this section but let’s go for the most obvious) verse 38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

Can that really be justified with this? Jacob 2: 24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

Who was cross-checking Joseph Smith’s revelations with the other scriptures? We must ask ourselves in such cases if Joseph was more than a man and more than flesh? Does he apply to the human beings that other prophets had counseled us not to put our trust in. These are just a few examples that came to mind, what about all of the new revelation that was unprecedented in scripture? How can we know if it is all true? Sure the Spirit can bear witness to us that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Have people interpreted this to mean that we can simply just trust that whatever he taught was right? We cannot know unless God tells us. The Spirit has told me without exception to not simply trust in anything anyone has ever taught, even if the teaching seems to make sense.

Someone recently said that they don’t believe we need revelation on things that are already contained in the scriptures, but how can we know if the scriptures are true?! Please tell me if the philosophy of only trusting things that are revealed by the Spirit is just a crazy idea. Seriously I have seen more anger because of this philosophy than almost anything else I have shared. Especially when I point out that even teachings of certain prominent men need to be set aside unless we receive a confirmation from the Spirit.

I am not going to say that there is only one way that the Holy Ghost is experienced, I will just tell some fruits that I know come from pure revelation. Pure revelation does not have to be doubted because after it is received we know it. Pure revelation comes with power. The power is not anything that can be produced by our body, it is not always with ANY mortal right now. Even experiencing this power once will change someone’s life. The Holy Ghost will bring the fruits of the Spirit always. To have the Holy Ghost upon us is greater than seeing any being without the power of the Holy Ghost. After the Nephites had been visited and taught personally by Jesus Christ, let’s look at what the disciples prayed for in 3 Nephi 19,

8 And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

9 And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.

Ok why would these men be praying for the Holy Ghost? It was well documented that a couple of them had performed miracles, even raised the dead…Do you think they had never experienced the Holy Ghost? Of course they had, but they knew that the Holy Ghost was not something that just came and stayed with someone always. I know in church we get the idea that of the Holy Ghost being a constant companion that is always in us. This is not what is contained in the Bible and Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost is powerful! When He is present the fire of God is present and amazing things happen. Pure knowledge is revealed. The idea that someone is always experiencing the Holy Ghost in mortality is just not the case. To borrow someone’s word it is “an entertaining fantasy.” That is why I have been trying to share that to really enter God’s rest we must receive the Spirit of The Lord. The Spirit of the Lord is self explanatory, it is exactly what it is stated to be.

If someone receives the Spirit of the Lord they enter God’s rest. They are redeemed. This is taught in numerous places in the scriptures and I have already shared it. Ok so back to idolatry. Those people who know how to receive answers by the Spirit and have been baptized by fire are not in the clear. Let me give you a few real life examples I have heard from people I love. I know these people know how the Spirit speaks, I know their answers were given from God because the Spirit confirmed them to me.

I asked a local bishop if he had ever been told by God that the LDS church was the only true church. He thought back and said he wasn’t sure that the Spirit had ever directly told him that, but all of his other spiritual experiences pointed to the church being true. I challenged this good brother to pray and not rest until the Spirit told him one way or another on the matter. After about a week I talked to him and he said he had been darkened all week trying to get an answer, the devil had attacked him. It seemed the adversary didn’t want him praying about it…Anyway he said on Sunday he went to his church and the darkness left and he prayed and the spirit came and gave him an answer. This was the answer, “Everything the Spirit has told you is true.” So because of my friends idolatry he decided this answer meant that at some point the Spirit had told him his church was true, and this was a confirmation that the church was true, even though he had admitted a week before he didn’t know the Spirit had told him his church was true. Hmmm…

Here is an interesting one, someone a while back was being a real nitwit and bashing on Denver Snuffer saying he knew Denver had no keys and was a liar. I asked how he knew Denver had no keys and was a liar, he then claimed revelation on the subject. I asked him what the Spirit had told him EXACTLY… He explained that he had read Denver’s books and loved them and after his final lecture he was really disturbed because of the idea of the LDS church not being everything he wanted it to be. So he took it to the Lord in prayer until he received this revelation, “I (the Lord) will not preach through an apostate.”

I prayed and asked God if he really gave this person the revelation and had it confirmed to me that he did. The brother because of his idolatry perceived this answer to mean that Denver Snuffer was apostate, and the Lord couldn’t teach through him. Now he spends his days bashing on anyone outside the church or acting outside of the mainstream because he just knows the truth of the matter…

How about this revelation from one of my neighbors, “I know that the church is true because the Spirit told me plainly that Thomas S Monson, President Eyring, and President Uchtdorf are the leaders of the church.” Wait a second, I would think that was a bad sign if the Spirit told me such a thing, but this woman assumed she knew what the Spirit was really telling her.

One more that made me laugh, I had told a brother that the Spirit had told me that Thomas S Monson was not a seer or revelator, this brother went to the Lord in prayer and after a frustrating few days of prayer the Spirit told him, “Thomas S Monson is the president of the church.” Man it almost makes my head explode. Of course he is the president of the lds church! I can look up the president of a restaurant chain too, but the idolatry of people is such that they only open their hearts to things that will seem to confirm their paradigm.

People who care more about their way of life or set of beliefs than they care about the truth, will never receive a fullness of truth. There are countless examples that I have seen of this. Some of the people who have received the baptism of fire and received pure revelation are gonna be the first ones to go in the coming days! They are those who have learned of the Spirit, then supposed “they knew of themselves” how to interpret every revelation given them.

I cannot explain how many times people have shared testimonies with me and say they have learned by revelation that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, and therefore……………. AHHH!!!! All I can say is let’s please take a look at what WE KNOW. What has the Holy Ghost told us specifically word for word? If a person was only told by the Spirit that “GOD IS REAL” and teaches nothing but that, without pretending to know what it means or anything else, that person would be much better off than one who receives a handful of things, but continually teaches all sorts of other things on top of that.

I promise that if we will only trust in the revelation that is undeniable and carries sure knowledge with the power given by the Spirit, that God will begin to give more if we seek it. If we continue to claim knowledge on things God has never told us, we will continue to know less and less of the mysteries until we “know nothing.” This world is in serious bondage right now and there has been a famine of hearing the word of the Lord for a very long time. A day of miracles is approaching. I know it. I think great things are in store for 2015. I appreciate Tim being willing to share other ideas and different viewpoints. Disagreement should never cause a lack of love. There are so many things being taught by so many people that we must gain a sure knowledge of each thing taught by the Holy Ghost. God bless and happy New Year!

 

 

 

No Other Effect


be-still-and-knowJoseph left us a very interesting statement about the Holy Ghost which has always intrigued me. It goes like this: “The Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge…” (TPJS p. 149) There is more to the quote dealing with the effect upon Gentiles.

Mind and Heart

The statement is intriguing because the phrase “no other effect” excludes the role of the heart or feelings in revelation such as we find in D&C 8:2-3: “Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation…” This is further expanded in D&C 9:8-9.

Burning of the Bosom

“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought, that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…”

Manifest the Truth

I’ve written previously about the burning of the bosom as well as the stupor of thought. There are requirements to receive the power of the Holy Ghost in Moroni 10:4-5. One of the purposes and in fact, the real power of the Holy Ghost is to manifest to us the truth of all things. The requirements to receive this power are outlined as a sincere heart, real intent and faith in Christ.

Sent to Us by God

The Savior added to our understanding of the Holy Ghost and how it is received in John 16:7 – “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” It is interesting to note the Savior had previously said the Father would send the Holy Ghost or Comforter, in the name of the Christ.

Teach Us All Things

John 14:26-27 – “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Fill with Hope and Perfect Love

The Comforter clearly causes us to feel something when we receive it as evidenced by what we read in Moroni 8:26 – “…and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love…” I am fairly certain hope and love are both feelings of the heart. This is obviously much more than pure intelligence.

Makes Alive All Things

Moses 6:61 – “Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things; which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.” The Comforter brings peace and fills with life.

Effects of Pure Intelligence

I think this sampling of scriptures is sufficient to demonstrate the presence of the Holy Ghost within us has additional effects other than upon our mind. This is especially evident because the Savior clearly identified the Holy Ghost as the Comforter, a source of peace and feelings of joy. So why would Joseph Smith make that statement about the Holy Ghost having no other effect?

The Comforter Touches our Heart

I have been pondering Joseph’s statement and wonder if we have taken it too far out of context. I have read posts on various blogs lately downplaying the influence of the Holy Ghost on what we feel in our hearts. That seems so contradictory even to the very name or title the Savior said is a function of the Holy Ghost – to be a comforter as we pass through this lone and dreary world.

Emotion is Not the Holy Ghost

Anybody who has attended a testimony meeting has seen the display of emotions gone amuck. Many who read this post have witnessed obviously contrived or forced “spirituality” by false preachers who expertly use emotion in their ministries. Emotion is not the Holy Ghost, but the Holy Ghost can and does affect our feelings, especially if are very still and focused in prayer.

The Still Small Voice

Still-Small-VoiceI’m sure you know the story of Elijah as he hid in the cave, experiencing the great wind, an earthquake, a fire and then the still, small voice. (1 Kings 19:9-13) How often have we been taught the importance of this scripture in hearing the voice of the Lord? I always think of this scripture when I pray. It helps me to focus, to be as still as I can, so I can hear the Lord’s voice.

Focus to Tune Our Spirit

For me, when I sit still and focus, not only do I find it easier to hear the voice of the Lord, I also find it easier to feel the influence of the Comforter. Meditation in and of itself is a good thing, but is a great tool to use to become “in tune” with the divine influence. A great deal of the work of hearing the voice of the Lord is simply learning to be still, meaning to stop earthly thoughts.

Be Still and Know That I Am God

Psalm 46:10 contains some of the best advice I have ever received on hearing the voice of the Lord. To be still, for me, means to both physically control myself, including my breathing as I pray, but also to control my thoughts, and, although I can’t explain it, to control my spirit. If I make a focused, concentrated effort, I can literally feel my spirit vibrate in tune with God.

Led By the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost helps me do this. He invites me, instructs me and leads me through the process of prayer. He encourages me to make the effort. He comforts me when the world would tear me from the peace of silent, secret prayer. This is obviously different from the kind of prayer where we cry mightily unto the Lord in an effort to obtain a much needed blessing from His hand.

It Causes My Heart to Burn

Revisit that statement of Joseph about pure intelligence. Couple it with the concept that we must be still in order to hear the voice of the Lord. What do you feel? You can do it right now. Focus, clear your mind of every worldly thought and strive to put your spirit in tune with the infinite. For me, it causes my heart to burn within me. The Comforter has come. He helps me to pray.

Enwrapped in the Heavenly Element

I feel at peace. I am not emotionally overwrought. I am calm. I can focus. I have all the time in the world. I ask questions. I listen. I wait for impressions. I feel answers. I hear the voice of the Lord. I learn to trust what I feel. This is pure intelligence. It invigorates me. It emboldens me. The cares of this world slip away for a few moments. I am enwrapped in the heavenly element.

Feelings of Peace and Comfort

I think I get it now. There are feelings involved in the receipt of pure intelligence. They are strong and powerful, but they invoke reverence, peace, calmness and serenity. They are not thrilling or exciting in that they don’t fill me with adrenaline. This focused state can cause me to weep because of the warm feelings of love and comfort that always accompanies the Holy Ghost.

Expand, Enlighten and Enliven

What do you think? Are there feelings associated with the receipt of the Holy Ghost, or is it nothing more than a mental exercise? Have we perhaps misunderstood the words of Joseph when he said the Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence? Perhaps our understanding of pure intelligence needs to be expanded. The Holy Ghost enlightens and enlivens with truth.

Strange Incense Indeed


nadab-abihu-strange-incenseAs you can imagine I get all kinds of emails. Most bloggers do. There are many readers who desire to converse about the subject of a post, but prefer to keep the dialog private, thinking what they have to share might have more meaning or make a greater impression in an email. Perhaps they don’t want everybody and their dog commenting on some new and tentative thoughts.

One of the most disturbing private dialogs in which I’ve engaged was with a man who claimed to be in communication with spirits from the other side. Now by itself, such a claim is not all that disturbing, but once he started sharing the conversations, I knew these spirits did not have his best interests in mind. I did not doubt his claims but I was concerned for the safety of his soul.

I’ve seen lots of people who converse with spirits from the other side. Mostly I see them in the streets, shabbily dressed, unwashed, unshaven, pushing a shopping cart heavily laden with all their worldly goods. I’ve met them at gas stations, at entrances to shopping centers, at grocery stores, and on lots of freeway onramps and off-ramps, especially the 405 and Santa Monica Blvd.

Promptings of the Spirit

I’m confident I’ve conversed with unseen spirit beings throughout my life. I can almost always tell what they want by the things they suggest to my mind. An impression will come to review a certain gospel subject, to ponder a gospel theme or read a little more from a book in my library. A quiet voice will whisper to call, email or text someone, or inspire the subject of a new post.

On the other hand, there are promptings, impressions and yes, even voices that respond in less than encouraging ways to things I’ve done or said. I’m sure you’re familiar with the tone of such comments. They are derogatory, demeaning, belittling, or just plain nasty. They seem to be full of accusations and insults, put-downs, patronizing rudeness and especially personal attacks.

The worst kinds of spirits are those who specialize in making bad ideas seem good. They cause you to believe certain actions will bring a special connection to heaven. Such is the case of the man who shared with me a few of his private writings, which he said were from a Godly source. The words from “Jerome” had a form of godliness, but asked him to do some unusual things.

Willing Participants in Deception

ReturnFromTomorrowI won’t provide details but I’ll give you a clue. Suffice it to say, the suggestions were spiritually damaging. Read George Ritchie’s “Return From Tomorrow,” especially the scenes in the bar. Note carefully what happens when the sailors pass out drunk. There is a reason God gave us a protective energy shield around our spirits. Some people call it our aura. The word fits for me.

Why do otherwise intelligent, spiritually-sensitive people allow such spirits inside their shield? Why would they allow themselves to be used as instruments of deceptive spirits in the things they write or do? Why are they willing to go beyond what the Lord has outlined as the means for communication between God and man? They accept as revelation the whisperings of evil spirits.

I know a thesis should be in the first paragraph, but here’s mine: I believe there are good people out there who are so hungry for spiritual communication, they have convinced themselves it is acceptable to go beyond the safety of the methods God has ordained in study and prayer. I’m not discounting spiritual gifts such as dreams and visions, but do NOT encourage the strange spirits.

Spiritual Gifts and Talents

I’ve worked for a large part of my life at developing what I believe is a spiritual gift in the area of writing. There are so many people who are way more talented than me, but I’m not concerned about that. I got a late start in life, due to a delayed realization – gifts require work to develop. I did poorly at writing in school so I focused on what a subject I enjoyed – computers and logic.

I began to enjoy writing in a college business course. I had to laugh at some of the examples of terrible writing that came from executives of multi-million dollar corporations. I decided then and there I would learn how to write a decent business letter and later, how to communicate effectively in email, which is a whole different animal where less is more, and takes practice.

I focused on business writing – especially proposals, business plans and annual reports – to the exclusion of creative writing. I don’t recommend that for anybody. I picked up creative writing later in life and have enjoyed it immensely. I suppose there is a season for everything but there is a lot to be said for balance. Don’t give up creative outlets your soul needs – writing, music, arts.

Writing by Way of Revelation

Scripture comes by revelation. We can each receive and record revelation. I suggest we keep our own book of revelations where we have studied things out, then gone to the Lord in prayer and asked for understanding – fine-tuned to our way of thinking – that qualifies as revelation. A few of my posts have come precisely because I asked for revelation after reading everything I could.

I don’t know why it has to be that way and maybe it’s not for others, but the only time I feel qualified to ask for revelation is if I have studied something out from every source at hand. At times, the Lord will direct me to a new source, either online or in book form, that will give me the enlightenment I seek. And in the end, the process of receiving revelation is illuminating.

For me, there’s a feeling of safety, and “rightness” about asking for and receiving revelation on a subject after I have studied it out. I study both sides of an issue. I want to know the logic of a question because that’s my background by profession – reducing things to logical components. Oddly enough, sometimes when revelation does come, it can, at first, seem to be a little illogical.

Confirming Our Revelations

That’s why it’s a good idea to take revelation to the Lord in prayer for confirmation. He can give you additional ideas, sources and scriptures to help you understand. I’ve even been directed to go to certain individuals to help me understand what the Lord has shared with me. I don’t always tell them so, but invariably, I come away with a greater understanding of the subject I’m seeking.

Joseph-Smith-PapersOne safety check we can always employ is by comparing what we receive with the scriptures, especially the words of Joseph Smith. It’s also best to compare them to original revelations where possible. That’s why I’m so grateful for the Joseph Smith Papers project. I’ve learned quite a few things have changed over the years in the editions of the Doctrine and Covenants.

I’ll offer a word of warning. If you feel you have been given a “special” angel who gives you – and only you – revelations about what to believe or do, you might want to think twice. I’m not denying we have guardian angels, nor am I suggesting the Lord won’t answer your prayers through the ministration of angels – He does. Just please confirm such revelations with God.

Recent Communications

When Denver wrote his post on Strange Incense the other day, he elaborated on the extreme result – death – that can come from changing the ordinances of the House of the Lord. There is a reason things are just so and we don’t always know the reason unless we ask. Even then, the answer may be “here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.” In other words, trust God and obey.

We are at a new season in the work of the Lord. The Christmas Day post contained much joyful news of multitudes who have been baptized anew. Accounts were shared of communities using tithing to meet the needs of the poor among them, a sure sign of Zion to come. Conferences are being called and men are rising up in the authority of God to perform the necessary ordinances.

In the December 22nd post on Strange Incense, we read, “Vanity, pride, looking beyond the mark, self-will, arrogance, and reckless enthusiasm all proceed from a lack of gratitude to God for what He gives us. Instead of accepting in gratitude and practicing it with patience, we demand more, insist we can improve on His ways, and charge ahead into the pass to be destroyed by the beast.”

The Beast In the Pass

Remember, Denver has no spokesman. I’m not trying to interpret anything for anyone. I’m just sharing a few thoughts about what I felt was a warning in that post. One of those warnings had to do with charging into the pass. If you wonder to what he is referring, you can find it toward the end of the 2012 Temple Fireside. He has referred to the beast several times since that fireside.

The beast attacked those who were impatient. They were brought to a certain point – the pass – and told specifically to wait for the return of the Lord. Seeing the glory of the fathers in the distance, they went on ahead and were killed or maimed by the beast. The point of the vision, as I understand it, is even if you have received the Lord, wait for Him to lead you further ahead.

Strange Incense referred to additions to temple rites. In our day, perhaps we can interpret this to be adding things to our conferences and worship services beyond what the Lord has authorized. I suppose that’s one of the risks of not having a correlated source for our conferences. All I know is I felt a warning voice in that post, which to me, had to do with added activities in conferences.

Trust No Man or Woman

Another warning recently offered: “You must assume the burden of distinguishing light from darkness, truth from error, and pretenders from those sent by the Lord with counsel from Him. Trust no man. Go to God and ask Him about everyone who teaches and everything taught.” This can be a new and difficult responsibility for those used to checking everything with the Brethren.

Just because a post appears on my blog from another author does not mean I endorse or agree with everything found in the post. I believe in revelation. I believe in inspired writing. I also believe individuals can be 100% convinced, converted and confident they are correct in what they declare, sometimes even in the name of the Lord. You still should check with the Lord.

The same goes for everything I write. Sometimes I am convinced I am correct on some point of doctrine only to discover, sometimes years later, I am in error. I appreciate correction. That’s one of the reasons why I blog. I appreciate the public comment and the private emails. This truly is a new day. We are ploughing new ground. We may make mistakes. Verify everything with God.

The House of the Lord

Contained within the Dec 22nd post we find these words: “There is no accepted House on earth today wherein God dwells. We are therefore free to observe whatever we think will please God in our individual houses of worship.” My home is my house of worship today. Within my home I strive to remember the things I was taught in the house of the Lord. In other words, I practice.

I practice remembering. I practice ceremonies in private. I administer the sacrament. I pray. I worship the Lord before my altar. This was something commonly practiced in the early days of the Mormon faith. If you desire, I can share a copy of an unpublished monograph describing the practice of the home sanctuary in great detail. It contains keys to receiving heavenly answers.

I look forward to the day when the House of the Lord will be built. I still give credence to the words of my patriarchal blessing, which I believe was uttered by an inspired man. I received it in a day of fasting and prayer. In it I am promised I will be able to contribute to the building up of the Kingdom of God here upon the earth preparatory to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Benediction

I seek to do all I can so God can fulfill that promise. I pray I’ll not hinder His efforts in any way. May God bless each of us to wait patiently at the mouth of the pass until He leads us by the hand to the glory of the Fathers. I am not ready for that day. I have much work to do. Repentance is always in order as are the practices of service, patience, humility and submissiveness to the Lord.

Pillar-of-FireBeware of Strange Incense, no matter the source. You may even find some on my blog either in the posts or in the comments. I haven’t said much about Mother in Heaven. I’ve prayed about it and have felt to keep my thoughts to myself. I’ve only added one comment to the post on Mary. It was from one of Denver’s posts about the identity of the angel in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I hope and pray you each had a blessed Christmas holiday. There is a lot of symbolism in that old Christmas tree. Look up Axis Mundi and think about the Pillar of Fire or Pillar of Heaven. The day will come when that Pillar of Fire returns to dwell. The Lord will appear there. He will send angels to visit and open a fiery corridor between heaven and earth. Will we be ready for that day?

The King of the Bums


ten-virgins

JST Matt 25
1 And then, at the day, before the Son of Man comes, the kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five of them were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them; but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
4 While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept.
5 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
6 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
7 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
8 But the wise answered, saying, Lest there be not enough for us and you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
9 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.
10 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us.
11 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Ye know me not.
12 Watch therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.

What is the oil – which is transferrable in principle? Who sells this oil? How is it purchased?

D&C 63:54
54 And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire.

Might being sent to “buy” “oil” from those who “sell” it have something to do with the angels plucking out the wicked from among the righteous?

JST Matt 25:32-47
32 When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory;
33 And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth sheep from the goats; the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.
34 And he shall sit upon his throne, and the twelve apostles with him.
35 Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
36 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me;
37 I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
38 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee; or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
39 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in; or naked, and clothed thee?
40 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
41 And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
42 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
43 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;
44 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
45 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
46 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it not unto me.
47 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.

oil-lamp ten virginsWho are “these my brethren,” according to this passage? What might this have to do with the “oil,” and them who “sell” it? Why aren’t church membership or ordinances mentioned?

And on this eve of celebration of the first coming of the Lord, let us remember another teaching.

Luke 14:12-15
12 Then said he also concerning him who bade to the wedding, When thou makest a dinner, or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.
13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,
14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

Invite bums, he says.

Hebrews 13:2
2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Sometimes, not just angels, but the Lord himself.

JST Genesis 18:1-7
1 And the Lord appeared unto Abraham in the plains of Mamre. And he sat in his tent door in the heat of the day;
2 And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw, he ran to meet them from his tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said;
3 My brethren, if now I have found favor in your sight, pass not away I pray you from thy servant.
4 Let a little water I pray you be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that you shall pass on; for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
5 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead, and make cakes upon the hearth.
6 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf, tender and good, and gave it unto a young man, and he hasted to dress it.
7 And he took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set them before them, and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Abraham did not know it was the Lord at first. This hospitality is the kind of thing Abraham was known for.

Doctrine and Covenants 132:32
32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

JST Matt 25:21
21 Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

Merry Christmas!

yule-log

Mary Called Magdalene


mary-magdaleneI haven’t been alive that long, but it seems to me that even since the time I was a kid there has been more and more talk about Mary Magdalene.  The Dan Brown books created a lot of buzz, and new texts and gospels keep appearing that give more and more hints as to the prominence of Mary Magdalene in the early Christian church.  She was called the Apostle to the Apostles in more than one of these texts.  Much has been written about whether she was the wife of Jesus.

Does it matter?  I guess that is up to all of us to decide.  Even the LDS church openly taught at one time that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, they just happened to also teach that he had quite a few other wives as well…..

So here is what everyone agrees with in the KJV New Testament that has been written about her.

  • Jesus cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2; Mark 16:9).
  • She was one of many who provided for Jesus out of her own means (Luke 8:1-3).
  • She witnessed the crucifixion of Christ (Matt 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25).
  • She was present at his burial (Matt 27:61; Mark 15:47).
  • She arrived at Jesus’ tomb on the Sunday following his crucifixion to find his body missing (Matt 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:1).
  • She saw the risen Lord, spoke with him, and later reported the encounter to the apostles (Matt 28:9-10; Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-1

We can all agree on those things.  This list alone suggests she had some very unique experiences.  From these references we learn Mary witnessed much of the Lord’s ministry, his crucifixion, his burial, and was the first witness (besides heavenly beings) of his resurrection.  There are many other references to “Mary” in the New Testament.  It just doesn’t always specify which Mary is being mentioned because there appeared to be a lot of different “Marys”.

I have already mentioned the importance of names and titles. The name Mary is a title.  The sister of Moses and Aaron was named “Miriam,” which is the same word.  Naomi at one point said to call her “Mara,” also the same word. The name of Jesus’ mother was apparently Mary, and there were multiple other Marys mentioned.  The name itself means BITTER.  It gets very interesting to think of the symbolism in the experiences of John and Ezekiel.

Ezek 3:3-4,14

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them…..
14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.

And…Rev 10:10

10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

Revelation from God is always sweet. Feasting upon the Word is delicious. The fruits of the Spirit always will accompany revelation. To those who receive some of the higher things a type of bitterness will follow. It is interesting how it mentions the bowels and belly in the verses above. Did you know there are more nerve endings in your belly (bowels) than in your brain?  There is a whole lot more going on with our bowels than many people realize. In the scriptures we read things about how Jesus’ bowels were filled with compassion. Interesting stuff.

Now imagine being filled with understanding about the suffering and sin going on in the world, and being filled with a Perfect Mother’s love for each of those who are under the bondage of sin.  Wouldn’t this cause bitterness in your soul?   Who wouldn’t wear out their days in trying to assist their children who were suffering and assisting them to find joy in redemption if they had the power in them to do so?

The title Mary as far as I have learned is given to a female who has received Charity and reached a fullness of the Holy Spirit.  They have been filled with the love and understanding of their Heavenly Mother.  Men eventually need to receive all of the same gifts of wisdom and compassion that women do.  Christ had the perfect balance of both male and female attributes. Here are some interesting words from a gnostic text.

Gospel of Thomas section 114

Simon Peter said to them, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.” Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

At first glance this might appear to be sexist…, not if we understand the truth of God’s plan.  Jesus could have very well been talking to men and saying that they would need to be made female.  Each of us must be filled with all of the love, spirit, attributes, and understanding of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.  Redemption cannot come without knowing them both.

It is my belief that evil and conspiring men intentionally made changes to the Bible to masculinize the gospel and pervert the meaning of scripture.  Somehow the idea that Mary Magdalene was a harlot became a widely held belief.  The idea seemed to originate from the following scripture.

Luke 7:37-38

A woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.”

In the following verses a man named Simon said in his heart that if Jesus knew what manner of woman this was, He would not let her do this.  Simon gets a good rebuke afterwards.  Ok so a couple of times in Luke 7 this woman is called a sinner, and then people started calling Mary Magdalene a harlot….WHAT?

Couldn’t they have come up with any other sin or did it have to be a prostitute?  They could have just as easily said she was a thief, or a bigot, or lazy, but they had to go ahead and throw out something that would totally defame her character, and turn people from ever thinking much of her. Why? Compare an account from Mark (very similar to the account in Matthew)…

Mark 14:3-9

3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Completely different version here. No mention of a sinner although some judgments are cast as to the use of the ointment. What I wanted to focus on was the combined accounts and some interesting things found in them. This woman ANOINTED Jesus and she did what she could do.  It had something to do with Christ’s body and His “burying.” There is also emphasis on the HAIR and FEET. Admittedly in these accounts there is no mention that this is Mary Magdalene. That can only be obtained by the Spirit.

So let’s see what other scriptures we can find that talk about hair and feet.

1Cor 11:1-15

1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a GLORY to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Again in these verses (which in all likelihood have been corrupted), we find words that could appear to be sexist.  When understanding is given, perhaps we can find Paul is actually teaching some beautiful truths about the relationship of women and men. Keep in mind he brings up ORDINANCES, and then goes on to talk about women being veiled (heads being covered), and their hair be glory. Also he mentions that women are the glory of men. What does it all mean? Could he not be referencing the very ordinance that was mentioned above in Luke?  The woman being willing to submit to the man and share her glory with him? Through a sacred anointing she symbolically conveys that she is willing to impart of her light and spirit to her husband, forming a perfect seal and bond, making them one spirit and flesh. No I am not saying they become a conglomerate being. I am suggesting the perfect unification of their elements and the perfect marriage.

The symbolism of the veil is beautiful. Even though I believe there are some serious errors in the LDS endowment, we can draw symbolism from part of the ritual. The man must be made worthy by the Lord to behold the glory of the woman (symbolized by her hair). After the man is brought through the veil by the Lord, he can also part the veil of his wife’s glory and become one with her. The veil covering the woman’s glory is removed at the same time that the veil to the Holy of Holies is removed. The man is not worthy of the woman until the Lord has made him so!

Let’s look at some other similar writings…

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Again it becomes apparent that Paul is talking about ordinances here that have to do with a wife and husband becoming one. First of all I want to point out that a woman is to submit to her husband “as unto the Lord.” Why does anyone submit to the Lord? Well we wouldn’t if he wasn’t a being worthy of submitting to. My understanding is that Paul is teaching here that when a woman’s husband is made worthy by God, she is to be willing to submit to a lesser being and share her glory with him that they might become one. Of course they are both strengthened by the other, and receiving all of the power of a righteous father and mother exalts them both, but it is my feeling that each wife actually has more glory than her husband, and the husband has to be made worthy to partake of it.

I know that all of these scriptural references might seem to only vaguely resemble the others, and that it may seem like a stretch to accept what I am saying about the symbolism, but let’s look a little further. Notice above Paul mentions Christ cleansing the church with “the washing of water.” Is this referencing baptism or something else…?

John 13:4-5

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

mary-anointing-jesusOk how beautiful is this?!  Remember I talked about what the real garments are? If Jesus took his garments off it must be important! He is willing to impart of his glory to those present! He then begins to wash THEIR FEET with water. The feet have a lot of symbolism. They represent our connection to the earth for one. If they are cleansed by the Savior we are cleansed from the blood and sins of the earth. The feet are also symbolic of our travels. Through this imagery Christ is teaching that his glory will be with the disciples wherever their feet will take them.  Again I would like to suggest that this is an “anointing” ordinance and is a preparation for something to come. (Day of Pentecost)

After the Lord finishes he tells the disciples to go and do likewise.  Think of the Sacrament and how in both the Bible and Book of Mormon the Savior imparts first to the disciples and then they go impart to others, same concept here.

Alright so what is all of this leading up to?  Well, I am suggesting that Jesus and Mary had a perfect union.  She was his wife and they were sealed spirit to spirit in a perfect marriage.  She was completely willing to impart of her soul and light, as he was completely willing to impart of his with her.

Ok this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Most people in the LDS culture entertain the idea at one time or another that Jesus was / is married. It fits into the title of Rabbi, into the first witness of his resurrection being Mary Magdalene, and into the framework of a husband and wife needing one another to become heirs of God’s kingdom. Let me go on to something that has been seared deeply into my soul.

To say that Mary was willing to impart of her spirit meant A LOT!

Luke 22:39-46

39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. 40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Well I can’t give any scriptural evidences. All I can do is share my testimony that I know that the angel who strengthened Jesus after he asked if the BITTER CUP might be removed was none other than Mary Magdalene. I know it. Many have suggested possibilities of the angel being Michael or other men. Bruce R McConkie I think suggested this saying that Michael was next in the line of authority. I can tell you in all humility that while the men slept it was a woman, who went to the Lord as an angel from heaven to strengthen him in the tortures endured. She gave of her light and spirit for him, and for all of us.

mary-at-the-tombIf there is ever another person that deserves praise beside Jesus, it is not another man, it is his wife. If we can but think that Jesus needs a wife to be a God, then do we not also need his wife? Makes sense to me. Remember the disciples were asleep at this time. We have no account of witnesses of what happened, so Jesus must have thought it important to share that an angel came to strengthen him. Though much of what is precious has been taken from the Bible, the Lord planned for certain things to remain that people could see and learn by the Spirit when the time was right.

So my intent is not to meddle with anyone’s beliefs here, it is to share my own testimony. Take and consider if you will. Some other fun facts that you might find interesting I will quickly relate.  For centuries a tradition has been handed down that Mary Magdalene was a “hairdresser.” I don’t think most people have thought more than this except that it was her occupation. Could it have been more? Could Simon have thought she was a sinner because she openly professed to priesthood power and helped women to prepare their hair for a sacred ordinance? There is so much more to women than we currently have been given in scripture. The Bible has been corrupted, and the Book of Mormon lists the names of 3 or 4 women that I can think of. We have Sariah the wife of Lehi, Abish, Isabel, and then the name Mary that was given to Nephi by revelation. That’s it.

Every man who wrote on the plates neglected to mention the name of his wife.  Was this just not important enough or were they commanded to not include many things about women? Do we as a people have to be made worthy by the Lord to learn the higher truths of Heavenly Mother and women? Let’s look at just a few quotes from some ancient texts that have been found concerning Mary called Magdalene.

“This word she spoke as a woman who knew the All” – Dialogue of the Savior section 139

Mary is spoken of in The Pistis Sophia as one “whose heart is more directed to the Kingdom of Heaven than all [her] brothers” (Chapter 17, trans. Carl Schmidt and Violet MacDermott). Jesus said that she was “blessed beyond all women upon the earth, because [she shall be] the pleroma of all Pleromas and the completion of all completions” (section 19). She is the blessed one who will “inherit the whole Kingdom of the Light” (section 61).

“There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion” (section 59). – Gospel of Phillip

Now back to titles.

Luke 8:2

2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.

Magdalene is interpreted as the fortress, high tower, or castle. This is a title. With this in mind we can wonder if prophecies of her in scripture exist. Look at one translation of a verse in Micah…

Micah 4:8

And you, O Magdalah of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Thank you to all those who have read this long post.  I have been edified and inspired by some of the recent posts by others and appreciated the opportunity to share some of the beliefs I cherish. God bless. – Minority of One

Mary, we did not know you.
Kept hidden for centuries you were despised,
A Queen not seen, under harlot’s disguise.
Mary, we did not know you.
No Wife has He, we were told.
No Priestess, no Bride, no Queen, He was alone.
They dressed you in rags, royal purple not shown.
Mary, we did not know you.
My heart weeps for what was lost.
How we treated you, Divine Daughter on High.
I search Heaven and Earth and ask myself, why.
Mary, we did not know you.
May we now bring wrong to right.
We will sing of Your Queenship for all to hear.
We will ring your truth, north, south, far and near.
Mary, now all may know you.

-poem by Priestess Maya

 

The Point of It All


Adam-and-Eve-Kneeling-at-Altar-PrayingA friend of mine and I were discussing the fracas on the (anti-) Heavenly Mother thread.  She asked me how I would answer the dilemma I posed to Nate therein.  I answered that the dilemma is not one for me because I teach repentance and faith in God, and this because my target audience is those who don’t have the gift of the Holy Ghost, either never having been baptized by fire, or having been so baptized but having let the light go out.

She asked me what I really want, and answered for me.

You want people to have the gift of and speak by the Holy Ghost. You want  people to act on principles of righteousness, not pride or anger or shallow reasoning. You want to see the gifts of God manifested in all people. You want egoism to cease and peace to reign.

She said it better than I could at the time, preoccupied with the fracas as I was. That is the Zion I am seeking but keep not finding, neither in person nor online.

With Tim’s loving and graceful permission, I have endeavored to teach a few things here and there in the hope of shortening the learning curve of whoever will listen and respond, to bring to pass the preparation of the children of God for the establishment of Zion and the advent of Christ.  I have always wanted – hoped – that people would go and search the scriptures and drink deeply of the words of Jesus Christ, specifically those things that he delivered by his own mouth to his disciples and to the people, and do exactly those things continually, laying aside the precepts and traditions of men.  In doing the works of Christ, we learn what manner of being he is, and he makes us as he is.  I must thank Sfort for giving me the final piece of the puzzle – the role of works in our salvation – which is just that.  Yet even without understanding why we do those works we are commanded to perform, we are profited thereby, learning the principles of righteousness, and receiving revelations and commandments not a few as we pray continually.

“Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?”  Or, why do you do what the Lord said?

“I know not, save the Lord commanded me.”

But now I know.  This thing is in similitude of the works of God, wherein he giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not.  And he bestows his grace – his ability to give good gifts – upon them who delight to serve him and keep his commandments continually.

He who would be greatest shall be the servant of all.

I truly cannot improve upon the teachings of the Lord; I only wish I could persuade all men to abide in him and do his works continually.  I wish I knew what I could say to get anyone to want to hear his words and do them, praying always for the fullness of his spirit.

There is deep meaning in this to me.  I once was an unbeliever, possessed of the spirit of the devil, and led to do whatever wickedness my heart desired – yet I wanted peace and that desire for peace led me to stop doing the most egregious things.  But peace was still never quite mine – until one day I was caught in a benevolent snare woven by God and perceived by the Spirit that the true path to happiness was in the teachings of Jesus, specifically the sermon on the mount / plain.  And at that time, for the first time in my life, the light and love of God entered my heart, and I was told there was a God, and that he loved me.  And from thence I was enfolded back into the Church, and struggled ineffectively against my many sins according to the teachings thereof for years.

I studied our religion as though it were brand new to me, particularly delighting in Nibley’s books – and the same light and love that entered into my heart with the voice of the Spirit telling me there was a God and that he loved me entered into my heart again as I marveled at the King Follett Discourse in The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and told me that Joseph was a true prophet.

Even so, I could not seem to get free from the sins that did so easily beset me, until finally I started trying to walk in the paths of the Lord as he taught and my temptations kind of just faded away.  I cried unto the Lord for the Spirit continually, praying anytime I thought of praying, while observing to do those things the Lord said to do.  And my prayers were eventually answered in a manner I would not have beforehand been able to comprehend or even imagine.

And that’s the key point – it is literally incomprehensible and unimaginable until it happens to you.  I’ll give an analogy.  When I was a teenager, I believed all love songs were lies.  I believed they were taking the vague sentimental warmth I felt for my parents, let’s say, and blowing it up through poetic exaggeration beyond all recognition to make themselves seem to be better than me by claiming to experience things which I did not know about nor believe in and could not imagine.  And thus it was until I felt love for the first time, and then I understood the songs.

So it was with this answer from heaven.

And that’s what I want for each of you if you haven’t yet discovered the way.  That’s why I keep talking about the golden rule, and the teachings of the Savior.  I had a blog once called “Cry Mightily,” the purpose of which was to convince men to, well, cry mightily unto God to receive the Holy Ghost, as taught throughout the Book of Mormon.

Once you see this teaching, you can’t miss it.

All I can do is invite you to come and see – do what I did, and see if you do not receive what I received from God, which cannot be described in words.  Pray always for the Holy Ghost, and do the commandments of the Lord that he delivered in his own voice, focusing your mind solely on these things.  Yield to no temptation, including fear.

For those in whom the light has gone out, the path back is the way you took to get there in the first place.  Do you remember what it was to pray with all the energy of your soul?  Do you remember what your works were in those days?  Does the memory of those things not haunt you?  Are you satisfied where you are?  I have been in your shoes.

What more can be said?

Who is Our Real Mother?


I’ve come to the personal conclusion that Satan is actually a woman and Lucifer is a man for this reason: a man who held priesthood authority in the actual presence of God (D&C 76:25-27) could not have been operating as a solo unit at that level.

He would have to have been sealed to an eternal companion and co-equal with her in intelligence and authority in order to stand in the presence of God. They would have to have been parents of their own posterity at that point, and unified in all things. Thus, to my way of thinking, there are two of them. They were both cast out for rebellion. They are together damned – stopped. Cut off both root and branch. They are without possibility of resurrection, posterity, increase, or eternal lives. They are desperate, and becoming even more so as we near the wrap up scene in this particular eternal round.

“The Great Whore” is not a man’s title, and never has been.

Bad-AppleSatan, the original female half of that sterile partnership is unable ever again to bear children. She cannot be a real mother on earth, in heaven, or even in hell.

Having no creative capacity, Satan is scripturally referred to as “he,” having forfeited by open rebellion any portion of the honor of female gender designation, and Team Lucifer/Satan therefore defaults in reference usage to the generic neuter gender term “he.”

Because Satan can never again be a mother she is totally focused on destroying the posterity of our Real Heavenly Mother, who sustained the decision to cast down. The mindset of Satan is most clearly illustrated in the 1 Kings chapter 3 incident of two women both claiming to be the mother of the same infant: if one woman couldn’t have the baby then she wanted the king to cut it in half with a sword, kill the child and divide it equally between them rather than let the other woman have the child. King Solomon wisely judged that a real mother will sacrifice anything to save the life of her child.

Satan has manifested throughout all ages and cultures in various disguises trying to get people to worship her as their great mother/goddess. She’s desperate for any down line.

Of course, Satan doesn’t reveal her true identity here, or nobody would be drawn to her.

Some of Satan’s pagan personas have been Ishtar to the Babylonians, Isis to the Egyptians, Asherah, Astarte and Ashtoreth to the Canaanites, Hebrew idolaters and Phoenicians; Kwan-in to Buddhists, Diana to the Greeks in Paul’s day, Kali, Sophia, Virtus, Cybele, Rhea, Lillith, Enna, Anahita, Gaia, Mother Earth, Our Lady of this and that to the Catholics, and so forth.

I think we can expect even more assumed identities as Satan continues to adapt and morph into whatever works best in her unfolding Anti-Christ agenda. In Satan’s upcoming new world order you can bet it’s the women who are going to be in charge. And Satan is planning to be more in charge than anybody else.

Dirty-waterSatan’s “messages” are always adapted to the level of tolerance for, and willingness to accept any portion of spiritual error in the target audience. If a people is willing to accept 95% error and is culturally comfortable with only 5% truth, Satan is more than happy to oblige. We may hear it said that all religions are good, and equal, but this is a lie, because each of man’s religions are contaminated with varying percentages of deadly spiritual error, and an amalgamation of them all only increases the amount of error in the batch. This is what’s behind the big endgame push for a combined world religion.  Any part error / contamination will be burned in the fire to come: Zion is 100% Truth.

The LDS church is full of people who have become very comfortable over the last 165 years with a high percentage of correlated and corrupted gospel content. But if it were possible, Satan would deceive even the very elect by dishing up 99.99% truth in order to spike it with .01% error, still a profitable margin for her purposes.

To Catholics, Satan manifests in multiple versions of the Virgin Mary, worshipped as the merciful intercessor for her angry son, Jesus. As focus on the virgin increases in any people, Christ and His imperative gospel message are marginalized, becoming irrelevant, and eventually adversarial: “If God is angry with a sinner, Mother Mary takes him into her protection, she withholds the avenging arm of her son, and saves him. She is the sure refuge of sinners and criminals from the rigor of wrath and the vengeance of Jesus Christ.” It’s the good cop/bad cop, game, and in that scenario Satan’s “motherly” message wins every time.

Among Mormons:  the Book of Mormon prophet writers, Joseph Smith, and now Denver Snuffer have intentionally avoided talk of a female deity because the same thing happens to any people who focus attention on a mother image – Christ’s imperative message becomes diluted, then irrelevant, and then the people completely turn away from Him and worship a woman, to their ultimate destruction.

It’s just human nature: we all want our mommy, so Satan steps in as the cunning counterfeit and it all goes to hell. It happens every time.

A good catholic who sincerely wants to communicate with God may think he has to pray to a merciful intercessor, The Virgin Mary, who is actually Satan posing as Christ’s mother.

But most Mormons aren’t quite that gullible and certainly aren’t going to knowingly worship, pray to, or insert Satan dressed up as the Virgin Mary between themselves and their Heavenly Father. So especially for Mormons, Satan adapts, morphs and shape shifts into something sweeter, more forgiving, more nurturing and doctrinally acceptable to those who have been serially abused by unrighteous dominion. Satan now comes softly to us as our “Heavenly Mother.”

Whenever someone focuses on or prays to “Heavenly Mother” it’s Satan who picks up the phone and answers that call. Our Real Heavenly Mother will not. Not now.

Apple-tree-good-fruitChrist himself showed us the only secure transmission for personal prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven” (Dear Heavenly Father). That direct line can’t be hacked by the adversary. We all knew that before we got here, but some of us have forgotten the key to safe communication with God.

Of course, this is all just my own personal opinion, and you’re certainly entitled to your own.

You can tell your kids whatever you want. I’m a mother and a grandmother – here’s what I tell my children, and theirs;

“At this point in the last days timeline you can be certain that anyone who identifies as a disciple of, claims to speak with and receive personal revelation from, or promotes any kind of direct communication with an entity claiming to be “Heavenly Mother” is being deceived by Satan.

Satan will say anything, do anything, appear as anything in order to distract us, divert us, and shake our focus off Christ at this most critical junction in human history.

Our Real Heavenly Mother will not distract attention in any way whatsoever from Jesus Christ and his message or she’ll lose her children. It’s that simple. She just plain won’t risk it.

Pure-waterWe are her heart, her life, her reason for existing – she loves us beyond all human capacity of comprehension. She knows that the only way we are safely hers is for us to repent, individually accept and apply The Atonement of Jesus Christ to our lives, and carefully follow Him through the coming storm.

Our Real Heavenly Mother does NOT want our prayers, our focus, our adoration or our worship. It’s fake mother Satan who wants our prayers, our focus, our adoration and our worship.

Our Real Heavenly Mother wants us to focus on Christ and do all that He has said. It’s fake mother Satan who will do anything to take our focus off of Christ at this critical time on earth.

No matter how much we may miss our Real Mother, we can’t be with her in the next life if we get it wrong in this life and focus on the warm, fuzzy feel-good counterfeit. That’s how this works, and we have work to do. The war in heaven continues on earth today and we have a choice to make.

I tell my own children with all energy of this mortal mother’s heart and soul that any individual or any group focusing upon or encouraging communication with any entity identifying as “Heavenly Mother” is perpetuating Satan’s deadly distraction, which will surely have an eternal cost in the end. From such, turn away.

Now is the time for each of us to repent humbly and turn our hearts to Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There are two churches only, and two choices only: Jesus Christ, or anything else out there. I plead with you to choose as if your entire eternal life depends on it, because it does.” That’s the message I give to my own children.

As King Solomon knew, a real earthly mother will sacrifice anything to protect the life of her child. Our Real Heavenly Mother will continue to sacrifice her identity and visibility in order to protect the eternal lives of her posterity against anything which keeps us from crying out and coming directly to Christ: recognizing in Him the Prototype of a Saved Being, and following in His footsteps.

The last scripturally recorded message of the earthly mother of Jesus Christ remains stunningly relevant to us all: “whatsoever he saith unto you, see that ye do it”.


Here are the links embedded in the post in a separate list:

Women – Wimmin, Wiccans and Goddess Worship by Alan Turner

Virgin – The Marian Apparitions: Divine Intervention or Delusion? By Miriam Lambouras

World Religion – Global Alliance

Crying – Denver Snuffer Las Vegas Transcript

Prototype – Denver Snuffer Ephraim Transcript

Worship a woman – Goddess Worship

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