Rules, Contraries and Zion


voting-in-dissent1Whenever you have a society that has rules or laws that are unknowable, or rest in the end on the offense of the audience, there you have sufficient conditions to persecute, cast out, stone, and slay the prophets.

Let us take, as an example, two rules from a private internet forum.

  1. “No profanity. No inappropriate sexual content.”
  2. “No Trolling, flaming, spamming, baiting.”

These seem reasonable, don’t they? But, understand well, you cannot know beforehand whether any particular action or words or set of words will violate #1, and #2 relies, in the end, on the response of the mob.

Why? Because profanity is not defined except with respect to a particular person’s own internal, whimsical line of offense – that person being the judge of the speaker. It is inherently subjective, being purely a matter of taste. So it is also with propriety. #1 therefore functionally means “thou shalt not offend thy judges.” Thus the judges’ capricious, unknowable sensibilities, and not Christ’s commandments, become the standard of right conduct within that community.

And look more closely at #2. Trolling is the art of sowing discord. But most discussion only takes place because of discord, which simply means disagreement. But wait! How can anyone sow disagreement? They cannot; a person can only express something that someone else disagrees with. So, #2 ends up, in the final analysis, meaning “thou shalt not offend the mob.”

But these both may be rephrased and combined into one rule: “Thou shalt not offend.”

And if there are penalties for violating that rule, you have sufficient conditions for casting out, stoning, and slaying the prophets. Any call to repentance offends the guilty, and the easy way to deal with it is to persecute the one calling, as opposed to repenting; with such rules in place, one has a built-in public justification for such persecution – the Nuremberg defense – “I was just following orders / the law / the rules.”

Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. Our sense of offense is our own fault; it means we are ourselves offenders.

Titus 1:15
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

I made this point explicit and offered up my membership in another community in demonstration of it – no matter how well-meaning the administrators of such laws are, you will be cast out even if you perfectly keep the law of heaven.

Romans 2:1
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

No community which has any variant of “thou shalt not offend” as a rule can become Zion. What it produces instead are fragile, passive-aggressive, guilt-ridden hypocrites whose greatest commandments, truly, are “Thou Shalt Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In.” If a society is intended to participate in or become Zion, such rules must go.

“By proving contraries,” Joseph said, “truth is made manifest.” But if you dwell behind the walls and gates of “Thou Shalt Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In,” you will be damned, for no contraries will be permitted to be proved; they don’t fit in. You will either never hear the truth, or you will yourself persecute, cast out, stone, and slay them you are sent.

Matthew 23:34
34 ¶Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.

The commandments of God are not for us to enforce on one another, nor to build a hedge around to prevent any from transgressing them, but for us to discipline ourselves therewith.

When I write these things, it is not so that people can say “Oh Log is so wise, isn’t that good stuff he’s written?” It is so that people might gin up the courage to begin applying these principles in their own lives.

So go have a peaceable conversation on religious topics with someone who is not of your faith – like an orthodox Christian, say. Open up your secretive Facebook societies and forums, cease stabbing each other in the backs, and listen to one another without trying to prove yourself right. Let the light of truth shine in and let contraries be proved, as uncomfortable as it may be. If you don’t like the results, then change. Abolish the unfair, capricious, whimsical, and unknowable rules that serve as excuses to silence uncomfortable truths and messengers.

Or you fragile flowers will be wilted by the blasting heat of the glory of the coming of the Lord. Zion is not for you.

222 Responses

  1. This is the picture I would have put on this post (Language warning): http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w33mawVRXdE/VL6Wd6Bc3rI/AAAAAAAABE4/mHv-bDu4N6E/s1600/freespeech.png

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    • And the original: http://www.xkcd.com/1357/

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      • I prefer the first because someone always objects “these communities are private, so they can do whatever they want.”

        What this means is private persecution is acceptable, while governmental persecution is, for some reason, not. I guess if you call a law a rule, somehow it is all different and all better.

        Except, as Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, says, “GOVERNMENT IS JUST A WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER,” or, in other words, government is nothing but all the “privates” hanging together, pun intended. Whether you call them rules or laws, it is the same – a private persecutor is also a public one, for they are persecutors; that’s what they do. The macro is just the collection of the micros.

        And there is no difference between universal private persecution and governmental persecution.

        It’s interesting.

        Doctrine and Covenants 132:17
        17 For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

        Angels desire to look into [the key and the power of endless life], but they have set up too many stakes. – Joseph Smith

        The law of Zion, the law of the Celestial Kingdom, is “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets.”

        And who, really, wants rules enforced on them? Could angels be those who never figured out that the commandments are for them to apply to themselves, not others?

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  2. I really appreciate this. Thanks. I especially love (and agree) that focusing on, comparing to, or worrying about what others are doing doesn’t do anything except keep us from our goal, which is perfect unity with God. To get there we must focus on only God, and in so doing we come to recognize that we are all one and coming together as one is essential … Helping each other, recognizing that separation is not of God, and working to rid of any separation is so so important. It’s why we’re here. 🙂 Beautiful reminder.

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  3. Interesting post from you since you and Minorityof one are constantly in contention on this blog over points where it appears your egos and opposing views show you let the “contraries” get in the way. So please, don’t lecture us when you have your own “fragile” issues to consider.
    Take your own advice and make the changes you need to enable you to assist in the building of Zion. We all have our issues to repent of. So do you-“oh you fragile flower.”
    Ruth

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    • Ruth,

      I have no idea what you mean. You’ll have to be more explicit. I don’t think you have a functioning mind/heart-reading device, and I doubt you know what you’re talking about.

      Your comments pretty much just show a personal antipathy towards me, taken as a whole; I can’t recall one that contributed anything to an ongoing conversation except for accusations of hypocrisy towards me. This latest one is typical. I wish you the best in life. If backstabbing makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.

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      • Log, thanks for making my previous point so obvious! Really, your reply is a wonderfully petulant rant. I actually had to giggle when I read it. Criticism not your thing I take it. No need to thank me for bringing this side of you to light. Just something you may want to consider (prayerfully) working on. Consider it a bonus from me.

        And no idea what I mean? Seriously? Oh well, we all have our blind spots. Oh, and the Lord thinks my “mind/heart-reading device is perfectly fine. Thanks for mentioning it!
        By the way, your use of the word “hypocrisy” is an incorrect usage, and one cannot backstab a person one does not know. Probably best that I won’t be reading any of your posts or comments in the future. If I did, I might have to point out something else you don’t like!
        Good luck in your future and God bless.

        P.S. Really, I actually did giggle out loud! 🙂
        Ruth

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        • As I said, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. Incidentally, if someone were really making me giggle out loud, I’d keep reading her crap for the entertainment value.

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  4. Log,

    Not being privy to the private section of of the forum in question, I don’t really know why you were banned, or who’s at fault.

    I know that in one of your posts there you compared that internet community and it’s mods to the people who killed the prophets, and our Lord, and that’s a strong accusation.

    Could you help us out here and let us know exactly what it was you said that got you banned from this community?

    When you say “you cannot know beforehand whether any particular action or words or set of words will violate #1,” I assume you’re saying that whatever it was the mods regarded as profanity was something a reasonable person would not have known was unacceptable in a community where “no profanity” was the number one rule.

    So what the fudge did you say?

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    • It doesn’t matter what I said, and it doesn’t matter who did what.

      All that matters is the unknowable and subjective rules in play. The rules are what produce the bad outcomes. If you play by those rules, you get those bad outcomes.

      That’s the point. Those rules, administered even by well-meaning people, results in the casting out, stoning, and slaying of the prophets.

      Summed up, those rules mean “My offense to what you say is YOUR fault and I can punish you for it!”

      If you agree with the rules, that’s what you buy, and what you are.

      Again: those who take offense at mere words are the impure.

      Any society in which “a reasonable person,” ie, one who “fits in,” is the measure of acceptability is one that is able to tolerate neither the Lord nor his servants, who don’t fit in, and who make people uncomfortable in what they say (the message) or how they say it (the presentation).

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  5. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, thou walkest not charitably if thou eatest. Therefore destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of; For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. (Romans 14:13-21, JST.)

    But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Cor. 8:8-13, JST.)

    And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He said, Yea. And when he was come into the house, Jesus rebuked him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom, or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter said unto him, Of strangers. Jesus said unto him, Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish, that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take and give unto them for me and thee. (Matt. 17:25-26, JST.)

    Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God; Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but of the many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor. 10:32, JST.)

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    • Mike,

      Two things.

      1. I understand the accusation you are making, but I ate no meat, neither skipped out on taxes, nor am I responsible for the contents of the minds of my judges, neither the mob. You miss the point in an attempt to score points.
      2. You don’t know what was said nor who did what. Your accusation is unjust under any circumstances.

      And a 3rd point.

      Moses 6
      37 And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.

      38 And they came forth to hear him, upon the high places, saying unto the tent-keepers: Tarry ye here and keep the tents, while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land; a wild man hath come among us.

      And if you examine Paul’s own behavior as recorded in scripture, you ought to be taking issue with it, if your accusations against me are sincere, which sincerity I doubt therefore. RE: Paul’s rebuke of the priest who commanded him smitten, and Paul’s calling out Peter in conference, and Paul’s “trolling” the Sanhedrin, and Paul’s riling the mob. Why is it, one wonders, you fetishize Paul’s words, without noting the “contradictions,” but are very keen to make one appear against me in any and all circumstances?

      “The commandments of God are not for us to enforce on one another, nor to build a hedge around to prevent any from transgressing them, but for us to discipline ourselves therewith.”

      Here are some other words from Paul, though, that I have found valuable to ponder.

      Romans 2:1
      1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

      You remember what I said about adversarial conversations? That was not limited to email interactions, which are now over. You were warned twice explicitly about abuse.

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  6. Thanks for this post log.

    I agree with this completely. I saw absolutely no reason you should have been kicked off of the forum you mentioned. Peace.

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  7. Here we go again! Ho Hmmmm! zzzzzzzz

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  8. To be perfectly clear, I am not whining, nor looking to garner support against anyone. Therefore, nobody need say this was just / unjust / founded / unfounded / etc. That’s not the issue.

    I am talking about the necessary consequences of “My Offense Is Your Fault And You Are Therefore Punishable For It” as a rule in any community. Unless the administrators are pure, then no matter how well-meaning they are, such a rule necessarily leads to persecution.

    The tyranny of mediocrity, one might say.

    What I did, I did to demonstrate the inevitable consequences of this principle. It fell out precisely as I said it would, therefore I see it as a teachable moment. Understand what you are looking at. Learn to be wiser.

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  9. Just stopping by. Posts like these are exacting why I want nothing to do with Zion. The people who claim to be working toward Zion are the most miserable, unhappy, and shame imposing people I have ever associated with. I check in from time to time on websites like these to see if things have changed with the self described Zion seekers. Religious spiritual people in my experience are nothing like the God I know, they are seeking attributes that have nothing in common with the God I know. The scriptures do not describe God, the so called prophets in the scriptures and otherwise are all impostors in my view and experiences. The scriptures are a false guide.

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    • Tim G

      I’m truly am not being condescending nor sarcastic. If you see these Zion seekers and religious spiritual people as you describe, please share how you “see God” or as you expressed, “the God you know.” I believe you have something to offer here… from your point of view.

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  10. “No profanity. No inappropriate sexual content.”
    “No Trolling, flaming, spamming, baiting.”

    Are these allowed here? If so, I’m in. I would particularly like to hear more of Log’s thoughts on “PPPPP”. The LDSFF’ers couldn’t hang with this. I’m glad Tim allows it.

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    • It sounds to me like you’ve already heard all my thoughts on the subject.

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  11. Nope. I’d like to hear more. And perhaps for the benefit of Tim’s followers, you could spell it out. Do you think Tim would be okay with it, per his “rules”?

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    • Let me repeat: you have already demonstrated by what you have already said that you have already heard all my thoughts on the subject.

      I have no additional thoughts on the subject. Please, feel free to contribute your thoughts on the subject of PPPPP. Maybe, for points, you could spell it out and add two more Ps to it. I could.

      It’s not one of Tim’s issues. Sounds like it’s one of yours, though. Maybe you should find a community that shares your purient interests.

      For the audience: what R.O.B. is passively-aggressively suggesting, in the style of the hypocrites, is that I should say here what I said there. He seeks in this manner to claim that I am a hypocrite, like himself. Truth is not his goal. That’s why I have invited him, like I have Ruth, to spell out what he means.

      I don’t expect him to. For this reason, I have also invited him to take a hike back to his walled community.

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  12. “Plausible deniability.” That’s the name of the passive-aggressive game as played by hypocrites. As long as they can say “B… B… B… but I never said that, and I never named you…” they believe they can deny before men that they are in fact contending and disputing maliciously. They haven’t the balls to say what they mean outright because they are guilt-ridden cowards, and they have to keep the Two Great Commandments: “Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In.”

    “The righteous are as bold as a lion.”

    Cowards die many times before their deaths. The brave experience death only once.

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  13. “Prophetic penis penetrating polygamous pussy”. Please add your two more “P’s” for your perceived audience.

    Those were log’s words on said forum. They were later edited by an evil “hypocritical” mod. Log doesn’t like being edited. Poor Log.

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    • How do you know if I care about being edited? You suppose I do what I do because of ego, do you? That somehow, despite everything I am saying, it really is just about me – as it would be if you were to do it, eh?

      “Come, be scandalized, fellow flowers! Look what the big bad Log said! OFFENDER!”

      Oh, and by the by, by posting that here, R.O.B. has demonstrated his hypocrisy – he’s explicitly forbidden from publishing the contents of the forum in question anywhere else. But scoring points is worth his integrity.

      We know what you are, R.O.B., now all we need to know is how low the price can be.

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    • Neal A. Maxwell approves this alliteration.

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      • Heh.

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    • I missed this too.

      Was Log at least trying to make some point that might possibly justify his use of such language?

      Without violating any oaths, obligations, or commitments, is it possible to give us some idea of the context this was said in?

      For example, why the reference to polygamy?

      Was he (perhaps justly) attacking Mormon fundamentalists (like Warren Jeffs)?

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    • “I can’t correct R.O.B.’s misrepresentation by quoting the full sentence in context without becoming a hypocrite like unto him, so I have to let it stand as is.”

      I don’t know if you (R.O.B.) can quote the full sentence in context, but can you at least give us some idea of the context.

      Were you talking about J.S. being sealed to multiple women during his lifetime, and was Log defending him in some way?

      In the past, I think his position was that being sealed, and being married (in the full sense of the word, as we use it today) aren’t necessarily the same thing, and that Joseph may not have consummated any of his polygamous marriages (or sealings), so it seems strange to me that he would have used this language in regards to Joseph.

      Was he perhaps parodying what he perceived someone else to be saying (in which case I’ve entirely miss judged him, and owe him an apology)?

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  14. I’m still waiting for your two more P’s, which means you DID have more to say on the subject. Don’t be a coward.

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    • Also, please note that R.O.B. had no desire to hear “more thoughts” on his interest in what Joseph did in his bedroom; his goal was to get me to repeat what I said so he could have a pretext to mock and scorn.

      So, how low is the price of your integrity, R.O.B.? You’re already publicly prostituting your integrity for the sake of scoring points – will you go lower?

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  15. Hypocrite.

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  16. “I testify before you again as God will never acknowledge any apostate; any man who will betray the Catholics will betray you; and if he will betray one another, he will betray you.” – Joseph Smith

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  17. Incidentally, I do not accuse the mods of being evil. I believe, in fact, they meant well. I believe they were doing their level best to protect the 2 or 3 wilting flowers from the consequences of the rules the flowers were following, and protecting virgin ears from the explicit description of the topic that the flowers were themselves pursuing.

    That’s part of my point – no matter how well-meaning, the rules themselves, no matter how good the administrators thereof are, lead to persecution.

    I can’t correct R.O.B.’s misrepresentation by quoting the full sentence in context without becoming a hypocrite like unto him, so I have to let it stand as is.

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  18. Ok I hadn’t read log wrote those words on another forum! Lol. I am sure there was a lesson in what he wrote and why he wrote it.

    Love and forgiveness are definitely things we can all agree are part of Zion-like people. I find that even though people often do hypocritical things, that is not the same as BEING a hypocrite. Though people DO cowardly things that does not mean that they are a coward. People are much more complex than that. I have done many hypocritical things and cowardly things in my life, haven’t we all? Yet God has never told me that I AM those things. I am sorry that I have shared things (whether true or not) that have lead some to think worse of any human being. I have nothing but love in my heart for everyone and hope and pray I will learn to never speak evil of ANYONE. The beggars on the street are the Lords anointed. God bless.

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  19. Log

    For the most part, I have enjoyed your posts and have set about looking at how they apply in my life.

    But, what has become boring to me, are the some of the comments and your replies which often ensue after you post. I think the comments speak for themselves. And, if it were my post, I would not try to explain myself in a defensive manner, which seems to do nothing more than magnify, what seems to be, an on-going “I am right and you are wrong” conversation.

    I admit, I do not know your heart and I’m certainly willing to accept responsibility here, but it appears that your some of your posts, like this one, go beyond the teaching moment, to setting folks up for the reaction you are getting. “What I did, I did to demonstrate the inevitable consequences of this principle. It fell out precisely as I said it would therefore I see it as a teachable moment.”

    Sometimes I feel like I’m being set up by your posts rather than just taught. Boy, I don’t need to be “set up” by others. The Lord, though the gift of agency, allows me to “set myself up” for my own tests. I’m constantly running into walls all by myself without having someone direct me to an open door then purposely shut the door so they feel justified in making correction. (Since we are all culpable of this method at one point or another and we need to reconsider our approach.)

    We all can use the scriptures, to defend our point of view, for good or for evil (I’m guilty). Yet, there are those in Utah State prison who used the scriptures to defend their behavior, so personally, I’m a bit cautious of those who quote much scripture to prove a point.

    Therefore, it is more important than ever to pray to recognize the Lord’s voice to me individually, even when scriptures are use, then follow His counsel. I pray all the time not to be deceived, and still stand to know if what I have supposed to be His will is correct or not. This has been an interesting journey. I’m not as far along as some folks who seem to be very confident in the process.

    We, in our weakness as humans, seem to gravitate to people and materials in which we already lean toward. I follow many blogs and read materials others would never touch or find helpful. Lately, I have not felt very uplifted by much of the material in the blogs and comments and have begun to gravitate away from them. We can’t even allow a community of so called believers, get together without contention being caused. No wonder folks like Tim G think we are nuts. Do you think the adversary is laughing at us all the way to “Hell?”

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  20. Just messing with you log. Lighten up some. The point is, we all have house rules. Tim has a rule that says, “Be friendly and polite” – What does this even mean? I guess it means what Tim wants it to mean, and since it’s his house, I try to politely concur.

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    • Yes, Tim has a variant of those rules in play.

      He doesn’t enforce them.

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      • And another part of my point is if the house rules fall short of Zion’s, so does the house.

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  21. The beauty of it all is we get to pick and choose the rules and the society we end up in. If I end up in Zion, which of you will rejoice in my company? If I end up in hell, which of you will mourn my loss?

    I cannot please everyone. If my posts bore you, if you feel my comments speak for themselves – to my bad appearance in your eyes, is the unspoken implication to me – then there are, of course, others who will undoubtedly excite you and please you and meet with your approval.

    For one, it’s too much scripture; for another, it’s too little.

    And the list goes on. I cannot please you all, and I won’t try. If I am not acceptable to you as I am, then I am not acceptable to you. Hypocrisy over the long term is hell, and I would rather be cast out of respectable society than to be a pretender.

    That would be part of the point, too.

    The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves “in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.

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  22. The message is unfortunately lost in a sea of assumptions, first among them that I am trying to “win” an argument.

    I tried to preclude that accusation by not naming the community, the people involved, nor detailing what was said, because to me, it is not about the community, the people involved, nor what was said – it is about the rules.

    It is the rules that govern your behavior that matter. It is the rules you enforce that matter.

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  23. “I understand the accusation you are making, but I ate no meat, neither skipped out on taxes, nor am I responsible for the contents of the minds of my judges, neither the mob. You miss the point in an attempt to score points.”

    1.) These scriptures came to mind because you said (as you say here) that worrying about whether you offend others isn’t your concern, if anyone is offended it’s entirely their own fault. Regardless of whether or not you ate any meats offered to idols, or failed to pay any taxes, these passages of scripture would seem to imply that the principle you’re advocating is false.

    2.) I’m not trying to score points with anyone here, and I made no personal accusation. I simply quoted these passages of scripture for you to consider, and gave you the opportunity to explain how they could possibly fit in with your thesis.

    The general principle you’re advocating is that “Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. Our sense of offense is our own fault; it means we are ourselves offenders.”

    If that is true, why do the passages I cited even exist?

    Why were Christ, or Paul ever concerned about offending anyone, and why did they tell us to be concerned?

    You have what seems to me to be a habit of making sweeping, generalized, and (I believe) oversimplified statements without considering all the possible exceptions.

    I gave you the opportunity to reconsider what you’re really saying here (i.e. that I shouldn’t ever give a fig about whether anything I say ever offends anyone, because if it does it’s just their fault), to think about the passages I cited, and to explain how you think they can possibly fit in with what you’re saying.

    And if I made some accusation by simply quoting scripture, do you not accuse when you reply to posts by citing scripture?

    “You don’t know what was said nor who did what. Your accusation is unjust under any circumstances.”

    That’s why I asked you to enlighten us on that here.

    We would all have a better idea of what you’re talking about if you did.

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    • This seems to be the place for this comment.

      I say again – passive-aggressivity, backstabbing and sniping from the shadows, is the hallmark of guilt-ridden hypocrites.

      Proverbs 28:1
      1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

      And if someone knows the scriptures well enough to try to make appear a case against me or what I am saying, then they ought to know them well enough to support me and the message. The choice they make between these tells me whether they are friends, neutral, or enemies.

      If you explain why Paul gets a pass from you, while I don’t – and if your explanation doesn’t boil down to “Mike is a respecter of men,” then I might explain why Paul was telling the Church members not to offend while Paul himself, as the rest of the prophets, as also the Lord, offended many.

      If you can harmonize your claims with the behavior of the prophets and even the Lord himself, then I would take a different tact towards you, because then I would know you were sincerely seeking truth. As it stands, you have admitted your point is to prove points against me. And I tire of it. All your objections were already answered in the OP and the other posts.

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  24. “Whenever you have a society that has rules or laws that are unknowable, or rest in the end on the offense of the audience, there you have sufficient conditions to persecute, cast out, stone, and slay the prophets.”

    Dear brother log. You explicitly stated elsewhere that you abide by the rules of the society you are part of. Is it possible to abide by unknowable rules or laws? Can one be confident that he abides by the rules if they are unknowable, or rest in the end on the offense of the audience? How is it done?

    Like

    • It cannot be done. And that is part of what we are experiencing right now, in the wider society – the extremely unpleasant consequences of being held to the standard of others’ offense, which is unknowable and ever-shifting.

      I adhere to all the known rules. Unknowables cannot, by definition, be known. I deny those are real rules at all.

      Like

  25. “Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. Our sense of offense is our own fault; it means we are ourselves offenders.”

    Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Are you saying you’re so pure you have the right to demand total purity of your readers, and to be totally unconcerned about whether or not anything you say offends them (because of their impurity, or weakness, or shortcomings)?

    You’re quoting Paul when you say that “to the pure all things are pure,” and he clearly said it was the weak (impure?) brethren who would be offended at his eating meat that had been offered to idols, but he said he’d do without meat antogether to avoid offending them.

    And he urged his readers to do the same.

    He even said they would be sinning against Christ if they wounded the weak (impure?) consciences of their brethren.

    Why is this scripture if what you say is correct?

    Like

    • Until you answer my questions fully, to my satisfaction, your own shall remain unanswered.

      Like

  26. Brother log, how do you define the “known rules” of a society?

    Like

    • They are published, comprehensible, and one can predict with utter certainty whether any specific action falls afoul them.

      But let’s go the other way, Marc. Let’s say you face God at the final judgement. He says “I’m thinking of a rule, and if you break it, you shall be cast out.” You ask “What is this rule?” He says “You broke it. Bye.”

      What rule did you break? Was that a real rule? Was that just?

      Like

      • Your hypothetical question is flawed as it pertains to God who is a perfect God who also abides by known laws lest He ceases to be God. I would be happy to answer realistic hypothetical questions, though. Hopefully you and I can agree on what that means.

        Like

        • Marc, you answered my hypothetical by calling it flawed.

          Therefore, what now would you like to discuss? Since you agree that warn’t no real rule, since it could not be known, neither was it just.

          Like

        • I’m good. I think you and I generally speak the same language. It’s almost my bedtime (gotsa get up at 4 am). I bid you good night, brother.

          Like

        • Also, it’s not as flawed as you might suppose.

          “As ye judge, so shall ye be judged, and with the same measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again.”

          If therefore someone judges by a private standard that is unknown publicly, and cannot be known by them accused of transgressing it, then that person may well find himself on the receiving end, at the end.

          Like

  27. “Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. ”

    So does this mean there will never be apologies in Zion?

    Is God ever offended? If not, why do we beg forgiveness?

    But I thought he was offended, at least in this: D&C 59:21

    Like

    • If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, but let him ask in faith, &c.

      God does get offended – but not at mere words.

      Like

      • “those who confess not his hand in all things”

        Aren’t those mere words?

        Like

        • You wrote mere words. I am not sure if that is the question you mean to be asking.

          Like

        • Actually, you wrote mere words first. A confession is words. God said he is offended by those who don’t confess his hand in all things. So he is offended by words, or lack thereof.

          Like

        • That “or” is a pretty big dint in your hoped-for proof by contradiction. You’ve neglected the “and,” as well.

          Like

        • More explicitly.

          21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

          Two conditions: if you confess not his hand in all things, and don’t obey his commandments, then you offend God.

          What if you confess not his hand in all things, and obey his commandments? Then you don’t meet the conditions for offending God.

          What if you confess his hand in all things, and don’t obey his commandments? Then you don’t meet the conditions for offending God.

          Therefore, it is not by mere words, or even lack thereof, that man offends God.

          Like

        • It seems a lot easier to ‘confess His hand in all things’ than it is to ‘obey His commandments’. If either one is a sufficient condition to avoid offending God.

          Like

  28. So Zion will be devoid of the need to apologize?

    Like

    • I believe so. No need to apologize where none take offense, and all forgive all.

      Like

  29. Sorry I missed this:

    “And if you examine Paul’s own behavior as recorded in scripture, you ought to be taking issue with it, if your accusations against me are sincere, which sincerity I doubt therefore. RE: Paul’s rebuke of the priest who commanded him smitten, and Paul’s calling out Peter in conference, and Paul’s “trolling” the Sanhedrin, and Paul’s riling the mob.”

    Let’s take these accusations against the Apostle Paul one at a time, and let’s start with his “riling the mob” in Acts 22.

    And he said unto me, Depart; for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live. (verses 21-22, JST.)

    All Paul did was to say that Christ had commissioned him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    He did nothing rile this mob.

    Now let’s take his rebuke of the high priest who commanded him to be smitten. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall; for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest? Then said Paul, I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. (Acts 23:1-5, JST.)

    Even though the high priest had broken an established rule by ordering him smitten, when Paul realized he was high priest, and he had himself broken another established rule by speaking evil of him, he in essence apologized.

    Paul’s “trolling” the Sanhedrin?

    But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry; and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. (Acts 23:7-9, JST.)

    Paul was on trial for his life because he dared to say he had seen a resurrected being, when at least half the Sanhedrin believed and taught the doctrine of the resurrection.

    All he did was to point this inconsistency out.

    And now, Paul’s calling out Peter in conference.

    Actually, he didn’t call out Peter in conference.

    This was in Antioch, and the conference was in Jerusalem, where Peter said:

    Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (Acts 15:7-11.)

    This is why Paul called Peter out in Antioch.

    But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles; but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Gal. 2:11-21.)

    Paul wasn’t at all disrespectful to Peter, he was merely pointing out that his actions here were inconsistent, and could wound the weak consciences of both Jew and Gentile.

    But far from being totally unconcerned about whether his words or actions offended anyone, Paul said:

    Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God; Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but of the many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor. 10:32, JST.)

    I understand the point you’re trying to make by comparing yourself to the Apostle Paul, and it’s true that I don’t really know what was said or done in the closed section of that unnamed internet community, but now that you’ve made this comparison, and we’ve examined what Paul did, could you please enlighten us as to what exactly you said or did?

    And as I pointed out, the only thing Paul said to rile that mob in Acts 22 was to say that God was sending him to the gentiles.

    Did God specifically tell you to say or do whatever it was that got you banned from that community?

    Like

    • Paul’s declaration riled the mob: is the mob’s sense of offense or outrage a just standard to hold Paul to?

      Paul trolled the Sanhedrin: Paul knew the Saduccees and Pharisees were bitterly divided over the issue of the resurrection. Was their subsequent contention a just offense to charge to Paul?

      Paul called out Peter in conference: “disrespect” is solely in the eyes of the beholder. Was Paul right to do so, instead of talking to Peter in private?

      Paul reviled the priest who commanded him to be smitten: Was he right to do so even if the man was not the high priest? For pleading ignorance once told the man was the high priest, was Paul not a respecter of men, or was he being, in your words, “disingenuous?”

      Did God ask Paul to do all these things?

      If you don’t care whether God asked Paul to do all these things, then why do you care if God asked me to do what I did?

      And why ask me if God told me to do or say what I did? Since you don’t believe me, and have taken it upon yourself to counsel me and judge me and try to prove me wrong and sway me from the path I am on, why do you not ask God?

      Like

  30. “Until you answer my questions fully, to my satisfaction, your own shall remain unanswered.”

    I missed the accusations you made against the Apostle Paul (and had to go back and re-read your posts to figure out what you were talking about), but now that I read them, I believe I’ve fully answered all of them (see above.)

    Will you please answer mine now?

    Like

    • “to my satisfaction.” I asked about more than just Paul, too.

      Like

  31. Give it up Log. You continue to invalidate anything worthwhile you have to say with your self-justification.

    Like

    • Kathryn,

      I invite you to find a society that pleases you more than mine does.

      If I am to be justly accused, then the charge has to be such that it doesn’t apply against Jesus or the prophets or the apostles; if no such charge can be found, then I am in excellent company, by my lights.

      Like

  32. “Paul’s declaration riled the mob: is the mob’s sense of offense or outrage a just standard to hold Paul to?”

    No.

    But Paul didn’t say anything offensive.

    He didn’t say “God told me to get away from you rotten Jews, and take the Gospel to the Gentiles”, he didn’t use any profanity, and he didn’t attempt to antagonize anyone.

    All he did was to repeat what the risen Christ told him to do, to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles (which was something other Jews rejoiced in.)

    Was whatever you said or did in the same category as what the Apostle Paul did?

    I don’t know because you haven’t told us what you said or did, or whether God told you to do it?

    “Paul trolled the Sanhedrin…”

    Paul didn’t “troll” the Sanhedrin, he was brought before the Sanhedrin on trial for his life.

    That’s a little different from voluntarily joining and posting on an internet forum.

    “Paul called out Peter in conference…”

    It wasn’t a conference, it was a community meal.

    “…“disrespect” is solely in the eyes of the beholder…”

    I don’t think that’s true.

    “Was Paul right to do so, instead of talking to Peter in private?”

    Yes, because Peter hadn’t offended Paul, he was doing damage to the Church.

    He was publicly acting as though Gentiles were second class citizens, and this was having an immediate effect on both Jew and gentile.

    And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (Gal. 2:13, JST.)

    “Paul reviled the priest who commanded him to be smitten: Was he right to do so even if the man was not the high priest?”

    Yes, because (as Paul said) it was against the Law of Moses (the rules) to strike a man who was on trial”

    “For pleading ignorance once told the man was the high priest, was Paul not a respecter of men…”

    No, because it was against The Law of Moses (the rules) to revile the high Priest.

    “Did God ask Paul to do all these things?”

    He asked him to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, repeating what God told him to do in that regard is the only thing that riled that mob you were talking about, and you compared the response you got from some unnamed internet community to something you said or did to the response he got from that blood thirsty mob.

    “And why ask me if God told me to do or say what I did? Since you don’t believe me…”

    I don’t believe you’re a hypocrite or a liar, and never said you were.

    I could go into the reasons I don’t think you are if you like, but let’s just say I’ll take your word for it.

    Did God tell you to do or say whatever it was that got you banned from that forum?

    And if some may not know whether to believe you if you say “yes,” we’ll all know something we don’t know now if you say “no.”

    “why do you not ask God?”

    I don’t know if you were speaking of Denver Snuffer when you recently posted (in the open section of that forum) that you were finally able to come to some conclusion about some teacher, but (whoever it was) why did you spend so much time studying and analysing what he had to say instead of just “asking God”?

    Could it be because God expects us to use our minds?

    Anyway, you’ve compared yourself to the Apostle Paul, and we’ve taken a look at what he said and did (and the circumstances involved), if you believe the comparison is fair and just, please tell us exactly what you said and did (and the circumstances involved, like whether God told you to say or do whatever it was, if you’re at liberty to tell us that.)

    And if you’d rather just stick to principles, forget the specifics of what you and Paul did, and let’s get back to whether all those things Paul wrote (about trying not to offend our weak brethren, trying not to give offence to anyone, being all things to all men, etc., etc.) can possibly fit in with the idea that the only one to blame when anyone is offended is the offended party, or that I shouldn’t give a fig whether my words or actions offend anyone because if they do it’s their fault (which seems to be the general principle you’re trying to defend here.)

    Like

    • The principle I am defending here is “if you take offense to mere words, it is because you are impure; if you are pure, you do not take offense to mere words.”

      Well, there are other principles I am also defending, but that seems to be the major point of dispute. I am also defending the idea that unknowable, arbitrary rules prevent a society from becoming Zion, but instead produces guilt-ridden, passive-aggressive, cowardly hypocrites whose greatest commandments are “Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In.”

      If one follows the Golden Rule, when might one be a rock of offense? When might one offer himself up to be cast out, stoned, and slain? When might one transgress the Great Commandments, which are “Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In?”

      Like

  33. What difference does the purity or impurity of your weaker brother or sister make?

    And why do you suppose their impurity gives you licence to offend them?

    Do you suppose the weak brethren who were offended at seeing fellow believers eating meats offered to idols were entirely pure?

    Did their weakness or impurity give their more enlightened brethren the right to offend them?

    But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Cor. 8:9–13, JST.)

    What about the principle there Log?

    “If one follows the Golden Rule, when might one be a rock of offense? When might one offer himself up to be cast out, stoned, and slain?”

    Aren’t you a little ashamed to be talking about cyber persecution, casting out, and slaying when real people (Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians) are being beheaded for their beliefs?

    “If I am to be justly accused, then the charge has to be such that it doesn’t apply against Jesus or the prophets or the apostles…”

    If you believe some moral equivalence can be drawn between your actions or words, and those of Jesus, the prophets, and apostles, and you want us to make that comparison, please tell us exactly what you said or did.

    Like

    • Log. I would mourn if you were in Hell and I would rejoice if you were in Zion.

      These posts and comments just show how far away all of us from Zion. Or are we?

      Like

  34. To R.O.B.

    I missed this:

    “Prophetic penis penetrating polygamous pussy,’ Please add your two more ‘P’s’ for your perceived audience.

    Those were log’s words on said forum. They were later edited by an evil ‘hypocritical’ mod. Log doesn’t like being edited. Poor Log.”

    Was he at least trying to make some point that might possibly justify his use of such strong language?

    He said:

    “I can’t correct R.O.B.’s misrepresentation by quoting the full sentence in context without becoming a hypocrite like unto him, so I have to let it stand as is.”

    Even if you can’t quote the full sentence in context, can one of you at least give us some idea of the context these words were said in?

    Were you talking about Joseph being sealed to multiple women during his lifetime, and was Log defending him in some way?

    In the past, I think his position was that being sealed, and being married (in the full sense of the word, as we use it today) aren’t necessarily the same thing, and that Joseph may not have consummated any of his polygamous marriages (or sealings), so it seems strange to me that he would have used this language in regards to Joseph.

    Was he perhaps parodying what he perceived someone else to be saying (in which case I may have entirely misjudged him, and owe him an apology)?

    What did he mean by (presumably saying to you) “Please add your two more ‘P’s’ for your perceived audience”?

    Were you the first one to actually use this language?

    Or was Log attempting to paraphrase something he perceived you as accusing the prophet of?

    Like

  35. What difference does the purity or impurity of your weaker brother or sister make?

    It makes it possible to offend them.

    And why do you suppose their impurity gives you licence to offend them?

    It merely makes it possible to offend them.

    Do you suppose the weak brethren who were offended at seeing fellow believers eating meats offered to idols were entirely pure?

    Of course they were not.

    Did their weakness or impurity give their more enlightened brethren the right to offend them?

    It gave them the capacity to offend them.

    But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Cor. 8:9–13, JST.)

    What about the principle there Log?

    I did nothing like this, and your accusation is, as it has been, unjust, for you condemn me in your ignorance, and even though you know yourself to be ignorant, it hasn’t stopped you from condemning me.

    “If one follows the Golden Rule, when might one be a rock of offense? When might one offer himself up to be cast out, stoned, and slain?”

    Aren’t you a little ashamed to be talking about cyber persecution, casting out, and slaying when real people (Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians) are being beheaded for their beliefs?

    No, but I wonder that you are not ashamed for upholding this standard as though it did not condemn Christ up until he got arrested, and all the prophets who were slain up until they got slain. Once again, it is about the rules, not me. The rules I refer to in my OP have these effects in cyberspace, and they have the same effect in the real world. That’s why Christians are getting their heads chopped off, and I suspect it won’t be too long before it starts happening here.

    “If I am to be justly accused, then the charge has to be such that it doesn’t apply against Jesus or the prophets or the apostles…”

    If you believe some moral equivalence can be drawn between your actions or words, and those of Jesus, the prophets, and apostles, and you want us to make that comparison, please tell us exactly what you said or did.

    All that matters is I was persecuted for my words, though I was void of offense towards God. That is sufficient for the parallel. You need not believe me; what I said is irrelevant.

    Like

  36. I suppose I should also address another point Mike raised.

    He said Paul did not say anything offensive to rile the mob. The mob disagreed with Mike. All Mike is really saying is that what Paul said does not offend Mike, but that is merely to say that Mike’s internal, invisible, publicly unknowable line of offense is not in the same place as that of the mob Paul faced.

    Mike cannot have it both ways – either the speaker is responsible for the effects of his words upon his audience, in which case Paul is blameworthy for the mob’s reaction, or he is not, in which case I am not blameworthy for the reaction my words produced in my audience. Mike absolves Paul, but condemns me. I notice the contradiction, even if nobody else does.

    Like

    • I think an apostle can help us sort all this out:
      http://emp.byui.edu/huffr/The%20Unwritten%20Order%20of%20Things%20–%20Boyd%20K.%20Packer.htm

      Like

      • Doctrine and Covenants 38:22
        22 Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand?

        Mosiah 29:12
        12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.

        Now that’s an understatement.

        Like

    • There are other points of inconsistency, but that was the major one. I give credit for trying.

      Like

  37. And no, Mike, you don’t owe me an apology.

    Or, if you feel you do, then do this instead: next time, ask yourself how I might be consistent, rather than how I am so dreadfully and obviously wrong.

    Withhold judgement. It’s painful, but it is also a necessary capacity to develop.

    Like

    • JST 1 Corinthians 8

      1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

      2 And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

      3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

      4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things which are in the world offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing, and that there is nothing, and that there is none other God but one.

      5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

      6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

      7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge; for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol, and their conscience being weak is defiled.

      8 But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

      9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.

      10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

      11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

      12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

      13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

      The key is in verse 7. The weak are the new converts who do not have knowledge of Christ and therefore eat the meat sacrificed to idols as though the idol was valid. Thus he sins against his own conscience, thinking he’s honoring the idol by eating, while the one who has knowledge knows the idol is nothing and therefore can eat without sin. But to do this in front of someone who doesn’t know, a new convert to Christ, who then eats with bad intent, is to encourage him to offend.

      This is a far cry from using “profanity” or “vulgarity,” which is not contrary to the law of God. Read Ezekiel (I recommend the New International Version) for examples of the Lord using quite harsh, sexually explicit language.

      Now, here’s the kicker. Mike has the same information I do. Why was this objection even brought forward? To make an accusation appear against me. And this intent does tend to explain why Mike never cited verse 7.

      Again, the choice to accuse or support reveals the contents of the heart.

      Like

  38. Incidentally, as I said, I don’t write so that others can praise my wisdom, nor am I in the business of proving myself right and others wrong. I will defend principles, but you can say what you want about me; you don’t know me.

    I intend that others might be encouraged to take the teachings of Christ seriously enough to actually apply them in their own lives, as opposed to being like Ezekiel’s audience.

    Ezekiel 33
    30 “As for you, son of man, your people are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.’ 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

    Likewise, I know by the intolerance I am shown that what I say has not been put into practice – because putting the Lord’s teachings into practice reduces intolerance. It softens the heart, opens the mind, and brings the Spirit. It even leads to being baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost.

    It did for me.

    Like

  39. Tim tells me that some have written him asking him to remove me from his blog. They announced they would no longer read my stuff, that I was full of contention and darkness, that I do not bring edification, that I do not help bring Zion, and so on.

    Basically, that I’m not nice and won’t he protect their virgin ears from my uncouth words and unseemly behavior. I am reminded that Aslan was not a tame lion.

    Interestingly, that kind of response illustrates my point. “Fit In,” and “Don’t Not Fit In,” are the commandments and values of hypocrites, not disciples of Jesus. I believe those hypocrites who may make it to Zion will find themselves sent away, eventually.

    D&C 64
    34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

    35 And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land.

    I believe those are the 5 foolish virgins spoken of in parable.

    D&C 63
    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.

    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.

    Of course they don’t know him. They haven’t been keeping his sayings, nor honoring his teachings, nor feeding his sheep.

    No, I think the blog denizens, and those who frequent the forums and secretive facebook societies, are in general not so interested in keeping the sayings of Jesus and being his disciples as they are interested in having their ears tickled, like the Athenians.

    “JST Acts 17:21 (For all the Athenians, and strangers which were there, spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.)”

    I think also for many this is about jockeying for position in a social hierarchy. That’s why I am accused of the same by hypocrites. They simply judge me after their own wickedness.

    Romans 2:1
    1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

    You prefer Tim to me because Tim doesn’t challenge you; he doesn’t make you feel like you should be doing what you said you were going to do when you took the Sacrament, or mouthed your covenants at the temple – keeping Christ’s commandments. And that’s your prerogative.

    But the results are yours to bear, too.

    Like

  40. I for one don’t think Tim should remove you. People don’t have to go out of their way to see what you’re up to. The internet is vast. Furthermore, I hope a certain forum admin allows you to post again soon. I enjoy our discussions and the stimulation of being challenged. But I’m fine visiting you here in your own backyard.

    Like

    • Marc,

      What I’ve explained to Tim is what I tried to explain to the forum, and what I’m trying to explain here.

      Even you “just followed the rules.” According to your internal, unknowable interpretation of the “community standards” of “decorum” and “propriety,” you penalized the language of the Lord. Not the message, the presentation.

      Sometimes, however, the presentation is the message.

      If even you, meaning well, can do that with an apparently clear conscience, what do you think such rules do in the hands of those who mean less well, or are less pure, than you?

      And if such rules are enforced, that peoples’ sensibilities are not challenged beyond the internal, unknowable line of offense of the rulers of the community, then when Zion comes, where the language will be salty, where there will not be adherence to the precepts of men, where there will be tatooed stinking homeless hitchhiking bums, where there may well be indecorous conduct, where there may well be very hard truths stated, who shall abide it?

      Have you read Harrison Bergeron? Or have you read the law of Jante (culled from Wikipedia)?

      There are ten rules in the law as defined by Sandemose, all expressive of variations on a single theme and usually referred to as a homogeneous unit: You are not to think you’re anyone special or that you’re better than us.

      The ten rules state:

      1. You’re not to think you are anything special.
      2. You’re not to think you are as good as we are.
      3. You’re not to think you are smarter than we are.
      4. You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than we are.
      5. You’re not to think you know more than we do.
      6. You’re not to think you are more important than we are.
      7. You’re not to think you are good at anything.
      8. You’re not to laugh at us.
      9. You’re not to think anyone cares about you.
      10. You’re not to think you can teach us anything.

      These ten principles or commandments are often claimed to form the “Jante’s Shield” of the Scandinavian people.

      In the book, the Janters who transgress this unwritten ‘law’ are regarded with suspicion and some hostility, as it goes against the town’s communal desire to preserve harmony, social stability and uniformity.

      An eleventh rule recognised in the novel as ‘the penal code of Jante’ is:

      11. Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you?

      Can a people whose laws are like this ever become Zion? Can you see individuals here and elsewhere which apparently adhere to this code of conduct?

      But everyone gets the society they choose – and they choose it by choosing the rules they follow when interacting with others. It is a choice.

      Like

  41. “Sometimes, however, the presentation is the message.”

    Yes, and sometimes it isn’t. If the Spirit is filling you to prophecy, then it is well. If not, then you’re just another anonymous guy with his own interpretation.

    Sometimes, though, I just get a stupor of thought reading your words. But that’s ok. I love you all the same, brother.

    Like

    • Marc,

      That kind of response doesn’t really contribute to the conversation. For example, let us suppose that the Spirit is not filling me to prophecy; what then would you be accusing me of “interpreting?” Let us meet as equals and reason together.

      If you shield people from reality, then when reality comes crashing through their gated walls, will they be prepared to comfortably and joyfully accept it? Or will they instead react with dismay and hostility?

      If you shield people from the Lord’s language and sensibilities, then when they are confronted with him, as all shall be, will they be prepared to see and hear him for who he is? Or will they instead react with dismay and hostility? Will they want to dwell with him eternally? Or will they prefer the company of others who won’t challenge their sensibilities?

      What kind of society are you helping to produce?

      Like

  42. “then when Zion comes, where the language *will be* salty, where there *will not be* adherence to the precepts of men, where there *will be* tatooed stinking homeless hitchhiking bums, where there *may well be* indecorous conduct, where there *may well be* very hard truths stated, who shall abide it?”

    Log, you make assertions and then you make assumptions all in the same breath, so to speak. In Zion all are one heart and one mind, dwell in righteousness; and there are no poor among them. Tell me how you assert what Zion is like; how you know what indecorous conduct will be among the righteous; how you know what kind of language is spoken. Either it will be this way or that way or may be this way or that way. Or you really don’t know.

    Like

    • Marc,

      Have you been keeping the Savior’s commandments and honoring his teachings? If you have, then why do you ask me how I know this? You would know it, too.

      On the other hand, if you haven’t been, then no answer is necessary.

      Like

      • “Have you been keeping the Savior’s commandments and honoring his teachings? If you have, then why do you ask me how I know this?”

        Yes, I have, to my best ability. I am still far from perfect, of course. Will you make allowances for imperfect audiences? Today I had the day off from work. I will share something with you that happened to me this morning as I communed with the Lord. I suddenly felt temptation. Memories of mischief and sin were pounded into my mind, luring me to relapse, even by seemingly harmless degrees. By contrast, as these temptations flooded to me by the adversary, the burning of my being that accompanies the influence of the Holy Ghost, was made manifest equal to the intensity of temptation. (The simultaneous influences can be confusing). Before the realization of this tug of war became evident, and the choice to give in to the appeal of the carnal mind considered, the utter peace and love and all goodness indescribable by mere words enveloped me. I closed my eyes to focus more on this overflow of pure goodness as it washed over me. I could FEEL my Savior’s love. To be able to meditate in this condition of burning is indescribable. I can only imagine what it is like to stand in my Savior’s presence.

        Log, you asked why I ask you how you know something as if it were wrong to do so. If there are no rules or laws, then it isn’t wrong to ask you. Abinadi came among the people of Noah in disguise and then revealed his identity before prophesying to them. Samuel the Lamanite stood on a wall and identified himself before he prophesied. Both declared unequivocally that they were on the Lord’s errand. If you are on the Lord’s errand, then it is well. If not, then you’re like me, another person on the internet with his own interpretations.

        Like

        • “Log, you asked why I ask you how you know something as if it were wrong to do so.”

          I ask you because if you indeed do keep the Savior’s commandments, then you would know it the same way I know it. But it seems you don’t know it, therefore I asked if you keep the Savior’s commandments. The reasoning seems to me to be rather straightforward.

          You didn’t hear, or don’t believe, that many things we are taught are sinful, by the precepts of men, don’t break the law of God, and we will have no laws but his when he comes.

          What kind of society are you, Marc, helping to produce? One that can tolerate, or even embrace, the Lord’s law and sensibilities, or one that cannot or will not?

          And what intelligence did your morning burnings give you? Did they give you greater insight as to how to judge others? What kinds of benign straitjackets to impose upon the minds and hearts of the children of men? How to better judge whether to give to the beggar with the golden arm?

          And if you don’t believe me without me citing authority, would you believe my citation of authority? Why or why not?

          Like

        • Well then if you DO know it the way I know it, there is no need to say Zion will be this way and may be that way. One is an assertion and another is an assumption. But if you know it, there are no assumptions. There is no saying that Zion may be this or may well be that.

          Like

        • “May well be” indicates speculation, not assumption, because the condition or actions being spoken of don’t violate the law of God. Isaiah went 3 years in the nude, after all; that, therefore, is compatible with Zion. Hard truths are truths, after all, therefore speaking them is compatible with Zion.

          Or will you say differently? And when will you get around to answering my questions?

          Like

  43. Luke 17:1
    1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
    2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    It seems that it is possible to offend, even one as pure as a child. Thus, offense is not only in eye of the beholder. And, being given an offense does not necessarily imply impurity.

    Like

    • How do you offend a child? By abusing him. By imposing yourself, your rules on him, instead of teaching. By reviling him or punishing for falling afoul your standard of decorum.

      Open your ears.

      Like

      • Ears wide open.

        Your emphasis on the role of the offended in our interactions is worth careful consideration. In these verses in Luke, though, the Savior suggests that giving offense is possible. True, the recipient of that offense may not take offense, but offense can be given, nonetheless.

        Thus, a full understanding of the principle you are exploring would include a clear understanding of how we avoid giving offense. How would one know that they are not giving offense?

        Like

        • Say the word “shit” in front of a child, and the child takes no offense. Say the word “shit” in front of the impure, and the impure may well take offense.

          On the other hand, abuse a child and you have offended the child.

          So, if your ears are open, equivocating on the term “offense” is interesting and revealing.

          Like

        • You suggest that you are evaluating me and find my questions “revealing.” As you have said, it is about the ideas, not the revelation of the person exploring the ideas. I don’t mind if you would rather not explore the ways in which we may offend. After all, it is far easier to take no responsibility for how we deliver ideas to others. But, as it says in Romans 2:

          1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

          Thank you for your contribution to the discussion of ways in which we may be offended. I have learned from the discussion. Your laser-like focus on an idea is of great value.

          Thank you

          Like

        • Speaking of judgement, there was a character who said to me, as he justified himself to me in judging me publicly, “I hope you don’t take pleasure in what you do.” My first thought was “spoken like a true Catholic.”

          But you probably wouldn’t know that character, would you?

          I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections, to use Joseph’s term.

          I repeat: when you abuse a child, then you offend him. If you truly wish to know all the ways to offend, ask yourself: “What do I not want to be done to me?” But that’s not the same thing as “taking offense.” Equivocation does not become us.

          Like

        • Log,

          Your reply, below, suggests that you have me confused with somebody else. I honestly do not know to what you are referring from some past interaction you may have had.

          I asked a sincere question hoping for some of your incisive thinking on a teaching of Jesus Christ. I am attempting to treat you as I would like to be treated. I am sorry you would rather evaluate me than engage the question.

          Thank you again for this OP. These are ideas worthy of careful thought.

          Like

        • Do you acknowledge that “taking offense” is not the same thing as being offended against?

          That injury is qualitatively different than insult?

          Like

        • Log asked, “Do you acknowledge that “taking offense” is not the same thing as being offended against?”

          Yes, I do acknowledge that difference. In fact, the difference is at the heart of my question. In any interaction where there is the possibility of offense, the recipient may choose whether to take offense at the behavior or words of the giver.

          I am curious to explore whether that makes us free to conduct ourselves in any way we like? After all, if offense is in the eye of the offended, we would not have to take care about how we behave or communicate. But, Luke 17:1-2 suggests that it may be possible to give offense, even if the recipient chooses not to take offense.

          My question is, what are the hallmarks of an act or communication that gives offense? After all, I don’t want to be in the condition of wishing I had a millstone hanged about my neck.

          Thanks for any thoughts you may have.

          Like

        • Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men would be a good start.

          Like

    • Offense is actually a pretty poor translation of that verse.

      It would be better stated as “stumbling block.”

      Like

      • Agreed. The NRSV renders Luke 17:1 as

        Jesus said to his disciples, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come! … ”

        And the NIV is:

        Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. …”

        I am still curious about how to avoid being one who causes others to stumble.

        Like

  44. I don’t see the difference between assumptions and speculations. Either Zion will be this way or that way. And if you know as you say you do (which means that you DO keep the commandments while questioning whether I do), then there are no assumptions or speculations. You are making less sense, brother.

    Like

    • That’s no answer, Marc. I am clear when I am speculating. Hence “may well be.” I have reasons for my speculations. I do not claim to know what I am speculating is going to be the case, hence the word “speculating.” If I am not making sense, then I suggest it is because you are not reading me closely, nor with an open mind. Why are you not?

      Like

      • I guess because I’m just not as smart or enlightened as you. So I looked it up:

        as·sume
        əˈso͞om/Submit
        verb
        1.
        suppose to be the case, without proof.
        “you’re afraid of what people are going to assume about me”

        spec·u·late
        ˈspekyəˌlāt/Submit
        verb
        1.
        form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence.
        “my colleagues speculate about my private life”

        Like

        • In this case, the speculations have firm evidence – past behavior of the servants of the Lord. But it is speculation, nonetheless, hence I was accurate when I said “may well be.”

          But I’m still not seeing answers to my questions, Marc.

          Like

        • Sorry, I missed them. No, I haven’t read them.

          Like

        • Here are a few of them.

          What kind of society are you, Marc, helping to produce? One that can tolerate, or even embrace, the Lord’s law and sensibilities, or one that cannot or will not?

          And what intelligence did your morning burnings give you? Did they give you greater insight as to how to judge others? What kinds of benign straitjackets to impose upon the minds and hearts of the children of men? How to better judge whether to give to the beggar with the golden arm?

          And if you don’t believe me without me citing authority, would you believe my citation of authority? Why or why not?

          Of course, I am not insisting on an answer, but asking why the questioning only goes one way.

          “To the pure, all things are pure.”

          Like

  45. In any case, I thought it was an answer, but obviously not to your satisfaction. I am trying to understand you, though.

    Like

  46. ““May well be” indicates speculation, not assumption, because the condition or actions being spoken of don’t violate the law of God. Isaiah went 3 years in the nude, after all; that, therefore, is compatible with Zion. Hard truths are truths, after all, therefore speaking them is compatible with Zion.”

    I am not sure that because a prophet was commanded to preach repentance to a Telestial people wearing no clothes that clothes will not be worn in the Terrestrial world. One does not equal the other. I do know that Isaiah’s going around naked symbolized, in the flesh, literally, the fate of the people he was addressing. Would the Father and Son have offended Joseph Smith had they been naked when they appeared to him in the sacred grove? Would Moroni have offended Joseph Smith had he appeared to him three times in the night without a garment on? Why was the guest at the Lord’s wedding feast taken and bound and cast into outer darkness for not having on a wedding garment? Was the Lord not offended?

    Like

    • Marc,

      I didn’t say Zion was going to be a community of nudists, but you may well have one or many running around naked, like little children do, as a test for impurity in the viewer. To the pure, all things are pure. “Again, I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as little children…”

      Just like PPPPP was a test for impurity among them who were accusing Joseph.

      And about the guest at the Lord’s wedding feast – if the garment is spiritual, then – just think about this – what if the ones who don’t belong are instantly visible because they’re dressed in temporal clothing, while the rest appear naked to the natural eye?

      Remember, the apron of fig leaves was worn because the man and the woman saw they were naked and were ashamed; what kind of clothing is necessary among them who have no shame, whose sins are swallowed up, who feel no lust nor fear?

      Like

      • I get what you’re saying. We will either be found in our “nakedness” or clothed in “righteousness” when we are brought to stand before God.

        Like

  47. -What kind of society are you, Marc, helping to produce?

    Well, I am HOPING to produce Zion. I do not know what I am helping to produce. I am not smart enough to judge for myself as I have no point of reference other than what I have read in the scriptures and what the Spirit of the Lord is personally guiding me to do.

    -One that can tolerate, or even embrace, the Lord’s law and sensibilities, or one that cannot or will not?

    HOPEFULLY one that loves. In my mind tolerance implies division. IF one person tolerates another, they are not one heart and one mind. They are not one. HOPEFULLY, on that embraces the Lord’s laws and sensibilities, of course.

    -And what intelligence did your morning burnings give you? Did they give you greater insight as to how to judge others? What kinds of benign straitjackets to impose upon the minds and hearts of the children of men? How to better judge whether to give to the beggar with the golden arm?

    To love.

    -And if you don’t believe me without me citing authority, would you believe my citation of authority? Why or why not?

    Who said I don’t believe you? I just asked an honest question.

    Like

    • Well, that’s a start – don’t judge, saying this or that man is a transgressor. Don’t enforce rules on others. Nobody really likes that, right?

      Tolerance precedes unity. We have to be able to stand one another before we can grow to like one another. And we have to be able to take people as they are for enforced hypocrisy is hell, as far as I’m concerned.

      And if you believe me, then let us be equals, without needing to pull rank as the hypocrites do. Let us reason, one with another.

      Like

      • That’s why I came here to try and understand you.

        Like

        • I don’t know that I can make myself understandable. I follow an ideology, and that ideology is defined by the golden rule – the one rule that all who will be exalted must keep, yet it cannot be enforced. There comes a time when the disciple is shown what he is in training to become, and he must willingly agree to it, or it doesn’t happen. “You take the blue pill, you wake up in your bed and you believe… whatever you want to believe.” And while I can express what the final state is in words, yet the words mean nothing. We are being made into omnicompetent servants. The perfect teachers, psychologists, economists, politicians, warriors, tacticians, hosts, strategists, problem-solvers, doctors, scientists, logicians, managers, leaders, scholars, parents, lawyers, judges, legislators, everything.

          Like

  48. I’m barely plowing through your posts and replies since “What manner of men?” Back then you apologized for offending people with that post. Since I’ve only known you for about a month, but you’re different now. Today, if people are offended it’s because they are impure. So what changed? Or is this another misunderstanding on my part?

    Like

    • I’m in a transitional period, let’s say. I understand more today than I did yesterday. In real life, when smitten, I would turn the other cheek, and if accused, agree, or depart from their presence. Here, those are not viable courses of conduct. Here, I can’t depart from them, and the detractors and antagonists don’t go away, but instead are always present, ever ready to send a barbed shaft into whatever they perceive as a weak spot, and if unanswered, would bring discredit upon the principles I’m trying to teach.

      I thought originally it was possible to reach people solely by speaking the truth in their ears and conforming to their expectations, as in, being unfailingly nice. I have since learned that is not possible. The problem is their expectations cannot be fulfilled consistent with publishing truth. Their expectations are self-contradictory or incompatible with the truth.

      A friend of mine wrote this to me.

      Your “teachings” have been discounted because:

      -you are anonymous
      -you use yourself as an example–thus you must be feeding your ego
      -you are not an insider or respected member of the clique
      -you use the scriptures too much
      -you don’t use the scriptures
      -you are a member of the Church
      -you are an apostate member of the Church
      -you use “profanity”
      -you don’t flatter
      -you don’t submit to authority
      -you repeat yourself
      -you believe Joseph Smith
      -you are a man
      -you have contended (ever in your whole life)
      -you are too logical
      -you defend your position
      -you don’t have enough sex
      -your posts are too long

      I’m sure the list could go on. Very few even get past the who said it to what you said and then there is a whole new list.

      What makes a source appear credible and what makes a message true are not the same thing.

      So it is, really.

      Like

      • You might say I am learning what the boundaries of the law are, by experience, while under fire, here, and formerly at the unnamed internet forum. In preparation, perhaps, for doing it in the real world under real fire. Who knows.

        Like

        • I’ve experienced the same in other forums. I have learned to be gentle where gentleness is called for. Yes, love can be bold and fierce, but it must sometimes be gentle and kind. There are times when a small precision instrument is more than adequate when all you want to do is swing a broadsword.

          Like

        • I am what I am at present.

          Like

      • As Nephi said, the wicked take the truth to be hard, the righteous are justified. Nephi didn’t seem to mince words, but we only get a very tiny glimpse of his manner of dealings with his brothers, whom he often “frankly” forgave.

        Like

        • I know. I think it’s touching and tragic how Nephi hoped their repentance was genuine; I reacted the same way to BeeP with her “Agency” post. Sigh…

          Like

        • “I am what I am at present.”
          “In preparation, perhaps, for doing it in the real world under real fire. Who knows.”

          I have felt the same in the last few years. I don’t think I could be a broadsword. I don’t know if you could be a scalpel. Now just watch the Lord make it so just to teach us both a lesson.

          Like

  49. For verily verily I say unto you:
    He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me,
    but is of the devil, which is the father of contention.
    And he stirreth up the hearts of men
    to contend with anger one with another.
    Behold, this is not my doctrine,
    to stir up the hearts of men with anger one against another.
    But this is my doctrine,
    that such things should be done away.

    If you have ears to hear, then hear. If you have eyes to see, then see. If you have a heart that can be penetrated, then soften it and let the light in and understand.

    Never accuse, never aspire, contend, never coerce. Love God. Love your fellow beings as you love yourself. Treat them at least as well as you would want to be treated. Be believing, faithful, hopeful. Be virtuous, be pure. Be knowledgable, be wise. Be temperate, be patient. Be kind, be gentle, be meek. Be genuinely loving. Be humble, be teachable. Be like the Lord, follow the Lord, emulate the Lord, try.

    Don’t leave these boundaries unless the Lord God of Heaven, the Most High, commands and commissions you to do otherwise (such as standing on a wall and decrying the sins of others). Do not presume to invoke (your own) righteousness. Righteousness is the Lord’s. (Don’t be a lion until you’ve mastered being a lamb. Don’t be a lion unless the Lord calls you to be a lion.)

    Live peaceably, walk peaceably, walk in the meekness of His Spirit and have peace in Him.

    Let the Holy Ghost give authority to these words if they are true.

    Like

    • Agreed. Well said.

      Like

  50. To whom are you speaking, Ezekiel?

    Like

    • To whomever chooses to receive it; to whomever feels it applies to them; to whomever believes that the Lord teaches and espouses those principles and the Holy Ghost manifests to them that they are true; to whomever wishes to be like and associate with such as choose to live as described; to whomever seeks the ZION which actually IS of ONE heart, mind, and dwells in Righteousness and has no poor. In other words, no one in particular.

      Like

      • Not good enough, Ezekiel. Either you’re contributing and speaking on topic, or you’re another who is not contributing and is instead derailing.

        I have been on the receiving end of too much passive-aggressive counsel and accusation lately – the game is, of course, to not specify the intended recipients of one’s words, which is why I asked, and which your refusal to answer is consistent with. I prefer the straight dope from those who are willing to own up to what they say. Be bold, not shy.

        Like Will, who said, straightforwardly, that I’m a manipulative asshole. Be more like that. Please.

        Like

        • You are free to judge/rule for yourself, good enough or not good enough, on topic or off. The words I’ve shared address the topic of and describe what type of being I, for one, wish/seek to be/become like and what type of society I, for one, wish/seek to live in and associate with. For me that is the kingdom Jesus Christ describes, in His own words, as His, that He is the Father of; I am his son and therefore seek to be with Him and like Him.

          You are also free to judge/rule for yourself whether they are of value to you, whether you think they contribute to the discussion or otherwise. I do not know what type of being you wish/seek to be/become like or what type of society you wish/seek for – and I leave you to declare it or to show it by your example. Since I also do not know these same things for others on this thread, I answered “no one in particular” (or I don’t know whom, specifically), or everyone/whomever agrees with what I shared, that is, everyone/whomever seeks to become like Christ and live in His Society, ZION, the New Jerusalem (City of Peace/Love/One-ness/Righteousness). I was hoping you and others also would.

          Peace.

          Like

        • I already have declared which society I desire to keep, Ezekiel – but I don’t feel, on the whole, you are being quite forthright in your lack of intended audience; your words fit a pattern that appears to belie such. Thus I have invited you to be more forthright and targeted in your words, and I invite you again to make yourself plain and forthright.

          Don’t leave these boundaries unless the Lord God of Heaven, the Most High, commands and commissions you to do otherwise (such as standing on a wall and decrying the sins of others).

          Has anyone left the boundaries you command them not to without the command or commission of God?

          Do not presume to invoke (your own) righteousness.

          Has anyone done this? Is it, for example, “invok[ing] ([one’s] own) righteousness” to protest one’s innocence against an unjust charge? If not, why do you bring it up, here? I mean, your words really should be relevant – that is, relate – to some aspect of the conversation here, right? Can you really be speaking to the air? If you are, why was the air in your house not sufficient to speak to?

          Righteousness is the Lord’s. (Don’t be a lion until you’ve mastered being a lamb. Don’t be a lion unless the Lord calls you to be a lion.)

          Has anyone been a lion without mastering being a lamb? And you’ve got me curious now as to whether you believe anyone can master being a lamb, or what that entails to you.

          Again, if you’re relevant and on topic, then your words really must relate in an intelligible way to other words that have been spoken. It’s still not clear how your words relate to the OP or the comments of others.

          See, since I mentioned Aslan not being a tame lion, it is easy to imagine that there exists a link between my words and your reference to being a lion. I know, I know, there are other references to lions throughout scripture (including one about lions and lambs lying down together), and you could have just coincidentally used the imagery entirely independent of my prior reference to Aslan, but it is suggestive, particularly in a context in which I am getting pounded for… well, nobody really seems to know. Being a manipulative asshole, I guess. Why not.

          Has anyone here been a lion without the Lord’s request? If not, why have you brought it up? Please, be specific; I am asking directly how your words, overall, and in particular, relate to the topic at hand, or the comments. And if they do not, again, why was the air in your house not sufficient to hold your counsel and commands?

          Like

        • I have a few moments this afternoon to jump on here and say hello. But now I’m confused about something that I hope you can straighten out so that I can understand you better, if you feel inclined to clarify. In Ezekiel’s post above, he made a post to “whomever chooses to receive it; to whomever feels it applies to them…”

          I don’t know what your definition of a “light bringer” is, so I don’t know if that applies to him or to you. Anyway, what confuses me is the difference between what he posted above and what you posted at ldsff here: http://www.ldsfreedomforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=38391#p600118 where you said, “This applies to whom it applies – if that’s you, then thou art the man” and then go on to make your own presentation. Is there a difference to you?

          Like

        • Let us say after getting beaten down for a couple days, I notice biases. Ezekiel’s post presupposed a privileged bias that was not neutral in the context of this conversation, and I chose to ask him, in many more words, to be bold and commit to a position rather than letting implication do the work for him. His words, after all, bore, to me, a discernible, if only implied, relationship to the ongoing conversation, and I felt it unfair for him to privilege his hidden assumptions.

          For details on what I call “lightbringers,” I point you to my posts on trying the spirits, where I explain the term.

          I said “this applies to whom it applies” because, honestly, I don’t know to whom it applies. I only note the rulesets in play. I don’t care who is playing by them. I didn’t privilege any hidden assumptions in my post – I made everything explicit.

          Like

  51. So let me express my disappointment – for I am only human, and yes, I get disappointed, because, silly me, I yet hoped that someone, somewhere, will hear what I posted.

    Because from the comments, it appears nobody understands – have any even addressed the issue, besides Tim or myself?

    I have been accused, either straightforwardly, or passive-aggressively, with a heavy hand, or a light hand, of sin, and for what? Nobody is able to formulate a charge that somehow excludes the Lord and his servants yet includes me. But it really doesn’t matter. Nobody understands the point, it seems, delighting instead to seek to censure me for my words or my conduct.

    Why do you seek to counsel me? What harm have I done you?

    Sometimes, it is principles and rules that damn the soul that must be cast aside. But if you – whoever you are – are not interested, but are instead very keen to accuse me, or to contend against what I am saying, disputing every little point, well. Maybe truth isn’t what you’re after.

    Triumph, maybe. But what, or whose, rule is that?

    Like

    • Log,

      I always enjoy your posts, so you aren’t a failure. I’d expect most who do read and ponder don’t comment.

      I don’t enjoy the comment threads here all that much (in general, not just on your posts). I’ve actually unsubscribed from them more than once, but every once in a while there are a few worthwhile comments that make wading through the muck worth it. Too bad the signal to noise ratio isn’t higher though.

      Like

      • Ben, you’re kind to say so.

        But about the comments – you are generally going to get a disproportionately vocal minority with strong and typically unyielding opinions constituting the bulk of the commenters. So either everything’s going to be backslapping on a non-controversial topic or unchallenging theme: “oh, yes, amen brother, well said, I agree” or “you’re a manipulative asshole and this is how many ways you’re wrong,” on a controversial or challenging theme.

        Like

  52. Log is an manipulative asshole.

    Like

    • The .000 batting streak continues.

      Like

  53. Log,

    I am sorry that you feel like nobody is listening. I am not sure whether your claim of a .000 batting average is your assessment of your own ability to persuade or a judgement of your readers. But, please do not confuse questions that explore the robustness of your assertions with disagreement. You have helped me to think more carefully about the rules we try to enforce in a church setting. I come away convinced we should apply the 11th article of faith within our own communities rather than as a plea to others to leave us alone:

    11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    Like

  54. It was, indeed, an assessment of my success. I have sown good seed, and reaped the whirlwind.

    While I have power to delete or otherwise efface comments, I don’t exercise it. I am thereby practicing what I preach.

    I can’t blame people from shying away from cognitive dissonance. But we have to face it and overcome it if we are to be what Christ is.

    “[Christ] descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be.”

    But we’re past the time when the 11th AoF can be exercised in a Church setting. The fragile flowers cannot take the heat; there are certain topics from which dissent cannot be brooked.

    Like

  55. How do I express the concept that people are really little more than walking, talking, feeling rulesets? That it is the rules we choose, not the beliefs nor the teams, that matter, that define us? That the rules drive the outcomes? That beliefs are variables whose content doesn’t really matter all that much? That for the truly principled, the facts and the teams are irrelevant?

    How do I express that there are save it be two ways, ultimately, to relate to others: build them up, or use them to build ourselves up?

    Like

    • I suppose I could try it like this…

      21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

      22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.

      23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.

      24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

      It is the rules.

      Helaman 7:23
      23 For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will not show unto the wicked of my strength, to one more than the other, save it be unto those who repent of their sins, and hearken unto my words.

      How’s that for teams and facts not mattering?

      Like

  56. “I did nothing like this, and your accusation is, as it has been, unjust, for you condemn me in your ignorance, and even though you know yourself to be ignorant, it hasn’t stopped you from condemning me.”

    I don’t think I’ve meant to condemn you.

    To my mind, I’ve meant to give you the opportunity to answer what perceived as relevant questions.

    But maybe that’s just justification.

    I was reading the 6th chapter of John this morning, and while it might not be particularly offensive to western ears, I can see how Orthodox Jews might have been offended by what Christ said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

    I’m ignorant of the exact circumstances of your being banned (i.e. whether you actually said what R.O.B. said you did, and what the context somehow justified it if you did), but I’ve asked you to clarify that (and, up till now, you’ve refused.)

    And by acknowledging that the context may have conceivably justified what you said, I’m acknowledging there are times when the offended party is responsible for their offence.

    But all the passages I’ve cited seem to imply that that’s not always the case, and that we should, at times, try to avoid offending others (even those who are weak in faith.)

    Do you acknowledge that?

    You started your comments here saying you wanted to talk about principles, and there seem to be two different principles involved.

    From the beginning of my questions here, I’ve been interested in whether you acknowledge the second principle (that of being your brother’s keeper, and having some responsibility not to offend the weak brother) at all, and I’ve been interested in how you see these two principles (your responsibility not to offend, and the hearer’s responsibility not to take offence) interacting.

    To my knowledge, you’ve never so much as acknowledged the second principle, and I believe you sometimes have a myopic tendency to oversimplify issues.

    So if I’ve misjudged you, I apologize and ask your forgiveness.

    And if I (and perhaps others here) have misunderstood you, I again ask you to clarify yourself.

    Are you your brother’s keeper?

    Do you ever (at any times, under any circumstances) have any responsibility not to offend?

    And if not, why are all those passages I cited (mostly from Paul, in regards to meats offered to idols) a part of scripture?

    Like

    • Mike,

      You are again accusing. When you put me on trial, saying I have offended or transgressed, and won’t I please please please explain what this scripture here means, which you accuse me of transgressing, you are accusing me.

      You don’t know what I did or said, only that someone took offense to something that I said, but you will make a case appear against me still, even when you could do otherwise. You’re doing it now. “Context may have conceivably justified what [I] said.” That’s condemnation, Mike. I’m on trial here, and you’re the accuser.

      And you won’t talk about the principles I am referring to in the OP. Instead, you want to talk about what you see as principles I have transgressed, and thus you condemn me.

      Condemn. “I’ve given you the opportunity to answer what I perceived as relevant questions,” all of which are “Didn’t you transgress these principles?” “Justify yourself to me!” “J’accuse …!”

      I do not acknowledge the second principle for the purposes of this OP because it’s irrelevant to the topic entirely. But it’s not irrelevant, I grant, to those who seek to condemn me.

      Why don’t you just not judge me, nor seek to do so, and then you won’t ever have to feel like you owe me an apology? You can’t go wrong if you don’t do wrong, after all.

      Why not simply address the principles in the OP instead of accusing me of transgression?

      Do you wish others would accuse you?

      Like

  57. “How do I express the concept that people are really little more than walking, talking, feeling rulesets? That it is the rules we choose, not the beliefs nor the teams, that matter, that define us? That the rules drive the outcomes? That beliefs are variables whose content doesn’t really matter all that much? That for the truly principled, the facts and the teams are irrelevant?”

    Do we need faith in the Being we call Jesus? Or is that actually just another one of those beliefs that doesn’t matter all that much? I hope you will answer this sincerely. Especially since “teams” are irrelevant in your opinion.

    Will Christs kingdom truly break down all other kingdoms?

    Like

    • Sorry. I can’t really answer your question because I cannot express the concept adequately to communicate it to others. I was asking how to express the concept. I wasn’t asking for criticism of the concept, which I cannot even express, which the words are an incomplete record of, and therefore am not looking to defend this incomplete expression of the concept. I was looking for those who would help build up, and not tear down. I was looking for someone who might help me, rather than poke at me. Someone who had the same knowledge.

      That’s unfortunately not you. I mean this sincerely. That’s not pride, just an ever-deepening sense of futility. You don’t build up, Nate. The rule you follow is simple: if other = wrong, impose correction!

      And I know already from testing and observation that you don’t like that rule applied to you. I haven’t found too many who do.

      Like

      • My last comment didn’t seem to go through.

        I pointed out that you have set up rules that allow you to cast out the prophets as well. You claim it violates agency to say The Lord told you something, or the Spirit did, or thus saith The Lord, and so you effectively block all prophets who have done so from entering your ideology.
        You say moderators have set up rules that would cast our Jesus and prophets and you have done the same thing. Moderators limit the language that can be used and so do you.
        People love to hear revelations that fit within their paradigm. Saying that The Lord told you something, or claiming revelation does not violate anyone’s agency. Writing words does not impose or violate agency.

        Like

        • Nate,

          You literally don’t know what you’re talking about. I am all for kicking out lightbringers like yourself. It’s a behavioral issue, not a factual one – your society is unpleasant and I would prefer not to keep it – not because of what you say, but because you don’t simply let people believe what they want; you can’t let people be. You impose your “truth” on others. And because you don’t honor the rule, I know that, like Hitler, you may have permission to do what you do, but you haven’t been asked to. You’re on your own errand.

          I don’t care if you say “The Lord Told Me Thus-And-Thus.” What I care about is “The Lord Told Me Thus-And-Thus And You Should Pray Until You Agree With Me, You Idolaters.” To the first, I say “cool story, bro.” To the second, I say “depart hence, lightbringer, until the Lord tells you to say what you said.”

          As I said, you do to others what you don’t like done to you. I prefer to not be around you.

          Like

  58. Well if I had ever told anyone that they should, or need to pray until they agree with me (which I haven’t), then I surely would be in need of repentance.
    I continually encourage people to follow God, even if God tells them something that completely contradicts what God has told me.
    Anyway I love you and I will rejoice when you go to Zion. I do hope you will want some people with you where you go. Thank you for being you. I accept you how you are even if we disagree. God bless.

    Like

    • If you love me, stop imposing yourself, your revelations, and your values on me. If I want what you have to offer, I’ll go to you. If you offer and I reject it, go thy way.

      Then we’d be copacetic.

      Like

  59. “Why not simply address the principles in the OP instead of accusing me of transgression?”

    One of the principles I saw in the OP was “Offense is strictly in the mind and heart of the hearer. And it is because of impurity of heart and mind that we take offense. Our sense of offense is our own fault; it means we are ourselves offenders.”

    I was asking you if that’s always true, and if it always follows that we shouldn’t be concerned about whether our words or actions offend others.

    And how other principles, that seem implied in specific passages of scripture interact with this principle.

    I don’t know if my attitude was always what it should have been when I asked these questions, but I don’t see how asking them was judging you.

    I don’t know if you deleted or edited the post, but I think you recently said that you spent a lot of time investigating some teacher, only to come to the conclusion that he wasn’t a teacher sent of God because he had a contentious spirit, and you had come to realize that that was an automatic dis qualifier (because whosoever disputes, argues, contests, etc., is not serving the Lord, who has commanded his servants that they shall not dispute among themselves, neither shall there be disputations concerning the points of his doctrine among themselves.)

    At the time I read that, I thought I knew what teacher you were speaking of, but I’m much more interested in whether this came to you as a personal revelation, as as a result of your studying the scriptures, investigating what this teacher has sad, and asking questions?

    And I ask you this because you seem to imply (at least to me) that all of that is wrong.

    That asking questions is judging.

    Yet you say here (to Nate): “The rule you follow is simple: if other = wrong, impose correction! And I know already from testing and observation that you don’t like that rule applied to you.”

    How exactly did you test Nate without asking him questions?

    And weren’t you asking questions of a poster who uses the handle Amonhi, to try to determine whether he really was a teacher sent from God at one time?

    Were you accusing him by simply asking him questions?

    If not, why do you say I’m accusing you when I ask you questions?

    Could you have gotten an immediate answer by simply asking God?

    If not, why do you avoid answering questions by saying “ask God”?

    Were you revealing yourself as a contentious “lightbringer” when you questioned being asked to pray for the defeat of ISIS?

    And if whoever disputes, argues, contests, etc., is not serving the Lord (who has commanded his servants that they shall not dispute among themselves, neither shall there be disputations concerning the points of his doctrine among themselves), and that principle is as all sweeping as you take it to be, why to you contend against the idea of “being asked to take sides (at least in prayer) in a civil war.”

    Why did you argue against the idea of being asked to pray for the fall of ISIS, or the preservation of Baghdad?

    Why did you suggest that ISIS wasn’t evil, that the reports we were getting might be filled with propaganda, or that you had as much reason to ask God to bless ISIS as you had to ask Him to protect Baghdad?

    Denver Snuffer had asked us to pray for Baghdad, Tim said ISIS was evil, and somebody else (I think named Larson) had offered some eschatological teachings.

    If you disagreed with their teachings, and any disputations concerning points of doctrine is wrong, why didn’t you just ignore them?

    Here’s something else you just said to Nate:

    “I say ‘depart hence, lightbringer, until the Lord tells you to say what you said.”

    Did the Lord tell you to say what you said regarding ISIS, and Baghdad, and the western news media?

    I don’t know that He didn’t.

    The BOM does say (as you pointed out at the time) that the Lord uses the wicked to punish the wicked, and it’s possible that God is using ISIS to punish the people of Iraq, and the West.

    And I suppose it’s possible that the associated press, the BBC, CNN, and FOX news could be feeding us propaganda, but unless God revealed these things to you, and told you to post the things you said in this regard, weren’t you being a bit contentious?

    I’m trying very hard to have the right attitude here, and not to judge you, and that’s a question, not an accusation.

    You’re quite right when you say I’m ignorant.

    I’m ignorant of many things, including what God has said to you, what He’s told you to say to others, and what exactly went on between you and others in the private section of that internet community you were banned from.

    Were your detractors perhaps attacking the LDS Church (or Joseph), and were you perhaps trying to defend it (or him) when you used that strong language?

    You’ve said, “If I am to be justly accused, then the charge has to be such that it doesn’t apply against Jesus or the prophets or the apostles,” but that’s not really true.

    If you’re to be justly accused, then the charge has to be such that it couldn’t rightly be mad against Jesus, or the prophets, or the apostles (and I think I’ve already shown that the Apostle Paul cannot justly be charged with what your detractors charge you with.)

    I give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I’m not judging you, or accusing you of anything.

    If you could fill us in on your side of the story (i.e. why you said what you said, and what the context actually was), I invite you to do so.

    That might remove any doubt, and make it easier for you to make any valid point you’re trying to make here.

    But perhaps you’re not free to do that because of some rules you agreed to when you joined the private discussions in that closed area.

    Perhaps God has told you not to defend yourself in that way.

    I don’t know, and I’m not judging you.

    I’m just asking questions, sharing the things I don’t understand, admitting my ignorance, offering an apology for any offence I may have given you, and asking you to answer whatever questions you can.

    And if I have accused, misjudged, or offended you, I ask your forgiveness.

    Like

    • No, Mike, you have not successfully defused my charge that you have double standards between Paul and me. I responded to your point about Paul riling the mob in another comment. There were other inconsistencies in your defense of Paul that I don’t feel a need to go into, since you demonstrated sufficient sincerity.

      I’m not interested in defending my behavior, because I have done nothing that requires defense. To presume someone’s conduct requires justification is to accuse.

      If your concern is my stating the fact that if you take offense to someone’s words, it is because you are yourself an offender and your sense of offense at the words is indeed your fault, then why do you dispute with me? Do you suppose I am going to change my mind without the required counterexample? What implications you wish to draw from that principle are on you. I commit to nothing more than what I said.

      If you wish to bring up a time you were offended by mere words though you were yourself entirely pure of heart before God, that would contribute to the conversation. That’s the required counterexample.

      There is no story; either the subject is the principles in the OP, or the subject is me. With you, Mike, it’s always about me. If you believe this is a myopic oversimplification, you may demonstrate such.

      As for the rest, I decline again to explain myself. If you are truly curious why I do what I do, ask of God.

      Like

  60. P.S. I believe you asked Tim (in a comment on “Return to the Restoration,” I think) if he had any personal revelation regarding re-baptism, or if he was just repeating something Mr. Snuffer taught.

    Was that a valid question?

    Like

  61. “If you wish to bring up a time you were offended by mere words though you were yourself entirely pure of heart before God, that would contribute to the conversation. That’s the required counterexample.”

    I don’t know that I’ve ever been “entirely pure of heart before God.”

    Have you?

    Has anyone here?

    BTW: “And if whoever disputes, argues, contests, etc., is not serving the Lord (who has commanded his servants that they shall not dispute among themselves, neither shall there be disputations concerning the points of his doctrine among themselves), and that principle is as all sweeping as you take it to be, why to you contend against the idea of ‘being asked to take sides (at least in prayer) in a civil war.”

    Should read “And if whoever disputes, argues, contests, etc., is not serving the Lord (who has commanded his servants that they shall not dispute among themselves, neither shall there be disputations concerning the points of his doctrine among themselves), and that principle is as all sweeping as you take it to be, why did you contend against the idea of ‘being asked to take sides (at least in prayer) in a civil war’?

    I apologize to you (and everyone) for the typo (and any others in that lengthy post.)

    Like

    • Yes, I have. And so have others here.

      Incidentally, I deny that your characterization of my remarks as contending or disputing in the matter of taking sides in a civil war is accurate. You may disagree. We won’t see eye-to-eye. No need, therefore, to hash it out.

      Like

      • So taking exception to Denver’s prayer request, and with what Tim and Larsen were teaching based on it, and defending your position wasn’t disputing, or contending?

        Then trying to make what you believe is a valid point, asking questions, and defending your position (as you did in the comments on “Oh Babylon,” isn’t always contending, is it?

        Like

        • A. Did I take exception to Denver’s prayer request?

          B. What was my point?

          C. Where did I say anyone was wrong?

          D. Where did I say anything was wrong?

          E. What did I defend?

          Like

  62. “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections, to use Joseph’s term.”

    Maybe everybody else already knows, but I feel like I’m missing something here.

    In what context did Joseph Smith Jr. use the word “reflections,” and how does it relat to evaluating the rules C obeys, the alleged snark he deploys, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, the things that remain hidden, and when he chooses to retreat, and with what reflections?

    As I’m sure they weren’t using the word “snark,” or talking about passive-aggressivity in the 19th century, I know this can’t be an exact quote, but it seems like an allusion to something JS said or wrote somewhere.

    What exactly did he say?

    Like

    • What Joseph said was “cast no reflections.” Reflections are parting shots, essentially, in the verbiage of the 1800s.

      Like

      • Thank you.

        Then Joseph didn’t say (he, himself) evaluated the rules his opponents obeyed, the snark they deployed, the passive-aggressivity with which they brought things to light, what things remained hidden, or when they choose to retreat (and with what reflections, or parting shots), did he?

        I mean, even in the verbiage of the 1800’s, did he?

        If he did (himself, without any personal revelation) evaluate his opponents in that way, wouldn’t that (according to your interpretation of “judge not”) be judging?

        And if you could ask Tim if he had any personal revelation about ISIS being evil, or the need to be baptised again, may I ask you if God gave you some personal insight into C’s heart?

        You wouldn’t have asked such questions of Tim if you weren’t prepared to answer the like, would you?

        Like

        • Yes, Joseph did evaluate the rules people played by. He published a nice editorial on the subject called “Try the Spirits,” in which he tried to help the early saints do the same. I find it both humorous and tragic. I tried to do the same in my essay “Try the Spirits.” To the same humorously tragic negative result.

          And I’m not explaining my behavior to you, Mike, as I have already said. If you want to know why I do what I do, ask of God.

          Like

        • I asked Log a question about a principle that I thought might be related to his OP. He responded in a manner that suggested to me that Log had confused me with somebody else. I restated my question and Log gave a good answer. I appreciated his answer and hold no resentment about his mistaking my identity. I also realize that Log would like to discuss the OP so I quit pushing on my question. It felt like an attempt by me to hijack his post.

          Thanks Log for the conversation. Your answer suggested a productive line of study on the giving and receiving of offense, or, similarly (thanks to Ben for the suggestion), of causing others to stumble.

          Like

        • So, where were we, C?

          Like

        • Log asked, “So, where were we, C?”

          As far as I am concerned, we are in a good place. As I mentioned, I don’t want to deflect this conversation from your OP. I do, however, appreciate that you suggested a starting point for an answer to my question. That was a productive start to further study.

          Thanks again

          Like

        • I mean, anything would be preferable to responding to eternal accusations, so let’s deflect.

          Like

        • Log said, “…so let’s deflect.”

          I am sorry, I don’t understand what it means to deflect in this circumstance. I hope that it is a positive thing.

          Like

        • I mean a topic even tangentially related to the OP would be welcome at this point.

          Like

        • Log said “So, where were we, C?”

          If you were alluding to Joseph’s article on trying the spirits when you said “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections” I believe you were comparing him to a devil.

          And if you made such a comparison without knowing (from personal revelation) what was in his heart, it would seem you were judging him.

          At least that’s what you say when ever anyone evaluates your behaviour.

          Even when they ask you questions you say they’re accusing you.

          What do you see as the difference between “evaluating” some poster you don’t know (and apparently mistook for someone else) and judging them?

          C said “As far as I am concerned, we are in a good place.”

          If you are in a good place, Log could not have been speaking as a prophet when he suggested you were snarky and passive-aggressive, and if he wasn’t speaking as a prophet he was doing what he accuses everyone else of doing (making accusations, and judging.)

          So between the two of you, you seem to have answered any questions I had that he refused to answer.

          Thank you.

          Like

        • “I believe… it would seem… if you are in a good place, Log could not [be] speaking as a prophet…”

          Apparently I was on trial for falsely claiming to be a prophet. Well, if the prosecutor / judge is sure the evidence is sufficient to convict, then I might finally have peace from the incessant cross-examination.

          Sweet relief.

          Like

        • To each his own, but this is a blog. Whether or not a thread has been hijacked is ultimately at the discretion of the host, in this case Tim, who doesn’t enforce many rules. If the subject of a comment is even remotely connected to the post, I don’t consider it a hijack. Log himself is known for turning many a different topic into a discussion of the golden rule and many times it was edifying. You should receive tolerance. Log has stated that he does not wish other’s rules imposed on him, which means he will not or should not do likewise. If I’m reading him right. I could be wrong.

          Like

        • Well, depending on how early in a conversation it is, I would ask that it be on the OP; after all, the OP had a purpose. Right now, having been tried and convicted of falsely claiming to prophesy, even a topic tangentially related to the original post is welcome.

          I can’t enforce anything; hell, I couldn’t even get an answer from my persecutor as to why it is always how I am wrong in his eyes, and never how I could possibly be right. But that’s the rule he follows.

          Like

        • Log said “Apparently I was on trial for falsely claiming to be a prophet. Well, if the prosecutor / judge is sure the evidence is sufficient to convict, then I might finally have peace from the incessant cross-examination. Sweet relief.”

          If I’ve put you on trial by asking questions, haven’t you put Tim, and Denver, and Nate, and Amonhi on trial by asking questions.

          Good night Log.

          Like

        • Let me speak on rules for a minute here, as my last statement before the gallows.

          1. I just realized why you are a respecter of men – why, for the same behavior, you give Paul a pass and condemn me. You accept Paul as part of the One True Hierarchy To Which Submission Is Necessary For Salvation.

          2. You are willing to examine Joseph because Joseph is far enough in the past to give the respectable sheen of antiquity to his claims. He might also be part of the One True Hierarchy To Which Submission Is Necessary For Salvation.

          You perpetually accuse me because you don’t want me to be part of the One True Hierarchy To Which Submission Is Necessary For Salvation. That is why you press me and prod and poke and accuse always. If I am not consistent with what you think you understand of those you believe were, or might be, prophets, then that discomforts you and you feel you must have resolution even in the absence of an answer from God.

          You fear me.

          You adhere to the leader principle.

          I don’t want your submission, Mike. I want not a thing from you except to be left alone. I have never abused you.

          I cannot explain myself to you in a way that will satisfy you where you are; it would require volumes. I cannot help you beyond telling you to ask of God and to pester him until he answers you.

          I know what would satisfy you, but I cannot teach calculus to students who are only learning to add at present.

          That’s why I can only say ask of God, obeying Jesus’s teachings.

          Like

        • Ezekiel said “To each his own, but this is a blog. Whether or not a thread has been hijacked is ultimately at the discretion of the host, in this case Tim, who doesn’t enforce many rules. If the subject of a comment is even remotely connected to the post, I don’t consider it a hijack. Log himself is known for turning many a different topic into a discussion of the golden rule and many times it was edifying. You should receive tolerance. Log has stated that he does not wish other’s rules imposed on him, which means he will not or should not do likewise. If I’m reading him right. I could be wrong.”

          Thank you Ezekiel.

          Log said “I couldn’t even get an answer from my persecutor as to why it is always how I am wrong in his eyes, and never how I could possibly be right. But that’s the rule he follows.”

          Is that why I suggested that you might have been defending the Church, or Joseph when you made the comments that got you banned from a forum I’ve refrained from naming because you seem to wish it remain unnamed?

          Is that why I suggested that you might have been speaking as a prophet when you used such strong language there?

          No Log.

          All I’ve done is ask you questions, I haven’t persecuted you, and the assumption that you’re always wrong isn’t the rule I follow.

          I’ve actually spent a lot of time thinking about whether you could be right, which is why I’ve asked you questions.

          Goodnight again.

          Like

        • Is that why I suggested that you might have been defending the Church, or Joseph when you made the comments that got you banned from a forum I’ve refrained from naming because you seem to wish it remain unnamed?

          Mike, you have been an accuser for so long you don’t even recognize that requiring a justification from me is in and of itself an accusation.

          And I’m not sure to take you seriously if you should deny that you have accused through your questions, and that the eternal accusatory questions themselves constitute persecution.

          Thus far, I have not seen an instance where you have assumed I could possibly be right. It has, in fact, always been how I am wrong. Always my behavior requires justification to you.

          Just sayin’. You’re consistent in following that rule.

          Like

        • But why not pretend that Mike isn’t accusing this time? There’s always room for a first time? It makes sense for Charlie Brown to not kick the football Lucy’s holding, because there are consequences to Lucy pulling out the football, but if Mike isn’t sincere on the internet, the consequences are minimal.

          Like

        • Can you, in any number of words, explain color to one born blind? It doesn’t matter what I pretend. The task is impossible.

          Like

  63. “A. Did I take exception to Denver’s prayer request?”

    So taking exception to something someone says isn’t disputing what they said (or contending against what they said)?

    “B. What was my point?”

    One of the points I think you were trying to make was “we may as well stop speculating on why ‘all the world should pray that Baghdad does not fall.”

    You went on to say “Unless something’s changed very recently, I expect Larsen’s post to be entirely speculative, as is yours, Tim.”

    And I think your larger point (and your position at the time) was that all speculation is wrong, and the only thing we can regard as truth is what God has personally revealed to us.

    When Tim said ISIS was evil, asked “Have you talked to any of them, Tim? Do you have knowledge, or are you reacting to reports and rumors?”

    “C. Where did I say anyone was wrong?”

    Maybe I misunderstood you, but weren’t you saying that Tim, and Mr. Larsen were wrong (to go beyond what Denver said) here?

    “Denver Snuffer has written that God says all the world should pray that Baghdad not fall. I invite all my readers to join in this prayer.’

    Indeed, that’s all that needed to be said. Right?

    Instead, and I do not fault Tim’s intentions, what was written was a whole lot of geopolitics which, unless I’m greatly mistaken, Tim has no firsthand knowledge of, and Tim’s intent seems to have been to persuade others to take sides in what amounts to a civil war so as to make the request to pray for Baghdad to not fall seem not so much dependent upon Snuffer’s word and thus drive up participation in such a prayer – or so it seems to me. I feel pretty confident in thinking Tim is operating on reports and rumors of what’s occurring in Iraq, since I’ve seen Tim’s workplace and how he spends his time – typically not in Iraq. Now, that’s all well and good except there are multiple sides to anything, and in a world filled with propaganda, reports, rumors, and lies, nothing seems trustworthy.

    We don’t have to take sides according to the word spoken by Snuffer; merely pray that Baghdad not fall. We have to take sides, according to the word spoken by Tim, because ISIS is evil. In this, Tim seems be making what seems to him to be a straightforward judgement that seems to him should be manifestly obvious to the most casual of observer – except nothing in this world is straightforward.”

    “D. Where did I say anything was wrong?”

    Here?

    “We don’t have to take sides according to the word spoken by Snuffer; merely pray that Baghdad not fall. We have to take sides, according to the word spoken by Tim, because ISIS is evil. In this, Tim seems be making what seems to him to be a straightforward judgement that seems to him should be manifestly obvious to the most casual of observer – except nothing in this world is straightforward. Were the Lamanites evil? Well, they were described as wicked, and this because they were taught by the traditions of their fathers to hate the Nephites. Did God love them less? I recall the words of the Nephites to Aaron and his brethren when they proposed to teach the word to the Lamanites – and I think everyone might profit from remembering them.

    So, did Tim (and Adrian Larsen) help, or hurt, the cause? Opinions may vary. But there is a principle I believe causes harm when not observed – don’t add to nor subtract from the word of the Lord. If your additions are found to be without merit, or of questionable merit, the persuading power of the word of the Lord is weakened thereby. I’ve seen this with respect to tithing, the word of wisdom, and other teachings besides. I’m sure you have, too.”

    “E. What did I defend?”

    You seemed to be defending the proposition authority has no role in a society of equals:

    “As I have said elsewhere, everyone everywhere always cites authority for what they do or say in matters religious. Nobody wants to take responsibility for themselves – they always want to palm their actions and words and teachings off on the Lord, and they do so by saying “The Spirit Told Me To Do Such-And-Such.” Well, here we go again – what role does authority have in a society of equals?”

    Does that answer your questions?

    Like

    • No, you have not answered my questions.

      I asked “did I take exception to Denver’s prayer request?”

      Your response features neither a yes nor a no. Therefore you have not answered my question.

      I asked “What was my point?” Bear in mind, I know what my point was, and I even wrote a post on it after that conversation called “Enhancing the Word of the Lord.” Or something like that. You do not know what my point was, as you have not stated it. Therefore you have not answered this question either.

      I asked “Where did I say anyone was wrong?” Your response, while featuring lengthy quotations from me, does not feature the word “wrong,” nor any variant nor synonym thereof. Therefore, you have not answered this question either.

      I asked “Where did I say anything was wrong?” As in the last, your response, while featuring a lengthy quotation from me, does not feature the word wrong, nor any variant nor synonym thereof. Therefore, you have not answered this question either.

      I asked “What did I defend?” You have stated that, to you, I “seemed” to be defending the proposition that authority has no role in a society of equals. In fact, I never defended the proposition at all, merely asked a question. Therefore, you have not answered this question either.

      How therefore are you so certain I was contending or disputing anything? What is the rule you are applying? Is it perhaps that you disagree with me and therefore anything I say on the subject must be disputation or contention? Once again, Mike, why is it always with you how many ways I am wrong, instead of whether I might be right?

      Like

  64. “For details on what I call “lightbringers,” I point you to my posts on trying the spirits, where I explain the term.”

    Thank you; I will look for it. I think I’m beginning to understand [i]you[/i], so I do appreciate your patience and forthrightness. If I understand you correctly, then, with regard to this blog entry and how you were treated, it was not because of the forum rules, which yo agreed to abide by when you signed up, but instead how others imposed their interpretation/bias upon you. For example, as you posted above in your blog entry:

    “No profanity. No inappropriate sexual content.”

    A child is not offended by the word “excrement” or any number of variations of the word, whether properly applied in a biology textbook or improperly (bias) applied on the streets (vulgar). A child doesn’t know any better and is pure. Therefore such words are only impure to the impure. If I understand your position, such a rule is “unknowable” because of the varying definitions of profanity, sexual content, etc. What is inoffensive to you or for the sake of argument, a child, is offensive to whomever is offended because of his/her impurity (he/she was conditioned by environment, upbringing, etc to be offended by any given word).

    If this is the case, I suppose it is a difficult thing for you to abide any society with “unknowable rules/laws.” Therefore, in your opinion/understanding, is the Golden Rule that end all-be all law of God? In your opinion, should a message board not have rules or some set of parameters in an imperfect, Telestial world? According to your understanding, does a perfect Celestial world not have laws, by which even God must abide lest He cease to be God?

    Like

    • Yes, the Golden Rule is the end-all, be-all law of God in my opinion. In my opinion, it explains everything. It is, in my opinion, the law which God must abide. The golden rule is simply the verbal expression of the behavior of perfect love, or charity.

      I don’t have an opinion on whether a message board should have rules or some set of parameters – that is a value judgement for the proprietors thereof to make predicated on their goals. If the goal is to produce a society that can become Zion, then speech, at a minimum, should not be penalized, for reasons I hope I have adequately explained in the OP.

      Like

      • Speech is defined differently by different people. For some it is nothing more than words we say. For others it is stomping on the US flag. If a message board had no rules, no moderators would be needed. I wouldn’t have to delete pornographic content, for example, or links to pornographic sites linked by people trying to register to promote such things. I would just, as someone else said, scroll on. That might make for an interesting community.

        Like

        • Words are speech; pictures are not.

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        • Like I said, definitions vary from person to person. You made a judgment, even if correct. Even if you were the only correct person on the earth. Everyone else is just stomping on the US flag or posting pornographic content or using words, as you say, to create pornographic imagery.

          Like

        • Yes, the real world is a messy place, isn’t it? That’s why we build walls and gates, isn’t it? To avoid stuff that offends us. Yet we must pass through the lone and dreary world. In any event, maybe someone will hear.

          Like

  65. “No, you have not answered my questions.

    I asked ‘did I take exception to Denver’s prayer request?’

    Your response features neither a yes nor a no. Therefore you have not answered my question.”

    Denver asked all the world to pray for Baghdad, you said “Why shouldn’t I have charity, as you have put it, on ISIS against Iraq? Why shouldn’t I pray, ‘God, please bless ISIS?”

    Wasn’t that taking exception to Denver’s prayer request?

    “I asked “What was my point?” Bear in mind, I know what my point was, and I even wrote a post on it after that conversation called ‘Enhancing the Word of the Lord.’ Or something like that. You do not know what my point was, as you have not stated it.”

    I said that your larger point seemed to be that all speculation is wrong, didn’t I?

    And that was the point of your post on “Enhancing the Word of the Lord,” wasn’t it?

    Like

    • “Wasn’t that taking exception to Denver’s prayer request?” Does it look like it? Was I in any, shape, way, or form, referring to Denver’s prayer request? Or did you read yourself into my words and not read the words as they stood?

      “I said that your larger point seemed to be that all speculation is wrong, didn’t I?” Yes, you did say that. That wasn’t my point.

      Why is it with you always how I am wrong, and never how I might be right?

      Like

  66. “And I’m not explaining my behavior to you, Mike, as I have already said. If you want to know why I do what I do, ask of God.”

    Why didn’t you just ask God if Tim had a personal revelation on Denver’s teaching regarding baptism?

    And why did you ask him if he had any “knowledge” (as in personal revelation, which you’ve said many times is the only thing that really qualifies as knowledge) of ISIS being evil.

    Was it in keeping with the golden rule for you to expect Tim to answer those questions (and to explain his behaviour to you) when you’re unwilling to do the same?

    Like

    • Ask God why I didn’t ask God etc.

      I’m not explaining my behavior to you, Mike.

      Like

  67. And why did you ask him if he had any “knowledge” (as in personal revelation, which you’ve said many times is the only thing that really qualifies as knowledge) of ISIS being evil?

    Was it in keeping with the golden rule for you to expect Tim to answer those questions (and to explain his behaviour to you) when you’re unwilling to do the same?

    Like

    • Ask of God why I asked him etc.

      I’m not explaining my behavior to you, Mike.

      Like

  68. “Ask God why I didn’t ask God etc.”

    I did, and I’m still waiting for an answer.

    I don’t claim to be entirely pure of heart before Him, and maybe that’s why I don’t get immediate answers.

    “I’m not explaining my behavior to you, Mike.”

    I agree you don’t owe me any explanation.

    I’m nothing but a piece of excrement.

    But I’m not the only one here.

    In keeping with “do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” please swallow your pride (if that’s what keeps you from answering my question) and tell those reading along why it’s all right for you to ask others if they’ve had any personal revelation on a particular subject, but it’s not all right for anyone to ask you such a question?

    Were you told to ask Tim if he had personal knowledge of God wanting some of you to be re-baptised, or if he was “just repeating” what he heard at a lecture (as you asked him on the “Return to the Restoration” thread)?

    Were you told to ask him if he had personal knowledge of ISIS being evil (as you did on the “Oh Babylon” thread)?

    And were you told to say something about a “prophetic penis penetrating a polygamous pussy” on that forum you were banned from (perhaps for shock value, to get the attention of some brothers or sisters who were defaming the Church)?

    And were you given personal insight into C’s heart when you said “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections”?

    If anyone said that to you, you would say they were judging you, imputing motives, and making accusations.

    Is that what you were doing (or did God tell you these things about C)?

    I’m requesting you answer these questions for others here (not for me alone.)

    Were you speaking to them to when you said “Ask God why I didn’t ask God etc.”

    Are you passively-aggressively suggesting that God commissioned you with a message for these good people, specifically directed you to do and say all these things, and then told you to shut up about it if you were asked?

    Like

    • I’m not explaining my behavior to you.

      I was speaking to you when I said “Ask God why I didn’t ask God, etc.” You’re the one that keeps pestering me to justify myself to you; I’m directing you to the one who can explain it all. Pester him. Luke 18:1-6.

      Like

    • Mike, this might be the test: let Log be Log. Let it go. Rephrasing the golden rule, it could be stated: let others be as they choose/want to be, the same as I want others to let me be as I choose/want to be. The law of freedom and love for all. If I really love someone, I let them BE, I let them choose, I don’t impose myself upon them. For me, it means not contending with them (i.e. I’m right & you’re wrong), not coercing them (you must…, you should…), not accusing them (you are…, you said…, you did…), not aspiring to be higher than them (I’m better…, I’m higher…, I have authority…), etc. Just a suggestion.

      Like

  69. After reading through this very long set of comments, and realizing that I contributed to deflecting from the original post by commenting on corollaries while ignoring the OP, I went back and reread the original post. I offer the following in hopes that it relates to the OP and contributes to understanding.

    I remember one of the most important conversations I ever had. I was debating with a friend about some detail relating to resurrection. I felt like I had studied this topic and that I knew what I was talking about. It turns out that my friend felt the same way. In fact, we had each felt the spirit confirm the truth of resurrection and assumed that the feelings of the spirit extended to all that we each thought we knew. It is ironic that the confirming feeling of the spirit can actually hinder learning. But, that is what was happening here.

    As we talked, we each became firmer in expressing conflicting views on some detail relative to resurrection. In essence, I was saying, “I have studied this, felt the spirit, and know this thing!” And, he was saying the same thing. The spirit of contention grew as we continued from discussion, to debate, to argument. Then the important thing happened. We realized that the scriptures could answer the disagreement. We opened the scriptures and found a verse that settled our misunderstanding. We were both mostly correct, and also somewhat wrong. Within minutes of opening the scriptures and reading together, a spirit of peace and understanding settled in the room. We both learned something that improved each of our previous understanding of the resurrection.

    I learned several important lessons from that exchange. First, thinking that I know something, that I am wise in my own eyes, is quite a hindrance to learning. Second, I am more likely to become contentious and adversarial when I think I am right and the other is wrong. Third, learning from others gives the opportunity to see from a perspective I have never had in my own experience. It is a chance to learn more than I ever could on my own.

    Like

    • That is indeed part of what I had hoped to communicate. And that people stunt their own development when they stay in their comfort zones.

      We would say, beware of pride also; for well and truly hath the wise man said, that pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. And again, outward appearance is not always a criterion by which to judge our fellow man; but the lips betray the haughty and overbearing imaginations of the heart; by his words and his deeds let him be judged. Flattery is also a deadly poison. A frank and open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation; and in the hour of trouble he will be your best friend; but on the other hand, it will draw out all the corruptions of corrupt hearts, and lying and the poison of asps is under their tongues; and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of their way.

      A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity–thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men.

      Like

  70. Anyways, Mike, if the evidence and logic are airtight, then the sentence should be carried out immediately.

    Just me, though, I don’t find your reasoning entirely persuasive – even if I were not the subject of it. Some non sequiturs to be found therein. For example, how C’s being ok with me relates to your conclusion that I could not be acting as a prophet… well, let’s just say there’s a hole there.

    How big a hole?

    Dunno. Big enough to squeeze a prophet through, maybe.

    😉

    Good night.

    Like

    • Log said “For example, how C’s being ok with me relates to your conclusion that I could not be acting as a prophet… well, let’s just say there’s a hole there. How big a hole? Dunno. Big enough to squeeze a prophet through, maybe.”

      Didn’t you assume he was someone else when you posted this?

      “Speaking of judgement, there was a character who said to me, as he justified himself to me in judging me publicly, ‘I hope you don’t take pleasure in what you do.’ My first thought was ‘spoken like a true Catholic.”

      I never said anything like that to you Log, so I know you didn’t mistake him for me, but you did mistake him for someone you consider an enemy, didn’t you?

      And weren’t you speaking of his motives when you posted this?

      “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections…”

      And if you were alluding to Joseph’s editorial on “Try The Spirits” (as you later said), weren’t you in fact comparing him to a devil?

      And if you took him for an enemy, and addressed yourself to his motives without knowing those motives, weren’t you judging him?

      If you didn’t know he was out to get you, as you assumed, weren’t you making accusations?

      And if you mistook an innocent party for an enemy, misread his motives, and compared him to a devil, you couldn’t have been acting as a prophet at the same time you were doing all that, could you?

      At the very least, you judge others, and accuse others while crying foul when anyone says anything you could possibly take as an accusation (or even asks you questions), and that doesn’t seem like it would be a characteristic born of charity, nor does it seem very consistent with your own interpretation of the golden rule.

      Good night again.

      Like

      • “Didn’t you assume he was someone else when you posted this?”

        No. I noted similarities so I asked; that was evident from the context.

        “And weren’t you speaking of his motives when you posted this?”

        No.

        “[W]eren’t you in fact comparing him to a devil?”

        No.

        At the very least, you judge others, and accuse others while crying foul when anyone says anything you could possibly take as an accusation (or even asks you questions), and that doesn’t seem like it would be a characteristic born of charity, nor does it seem very consistent with your own interpretation of the golden rule.

        Interesting.

        Like

        • “No. I noted similarities so I asked”

          Then asking a question isn’t the same as making an accusation, is it?

          ““And weren’t you speaking of his motives when you posted this?’

          No.”

          But doesn’t the word “snark” have to do with motive?

          noun
          Combination of “snide” and “remark”. Sarcastic comment(s).
          Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)
          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=snark

          And weren’t you addressing C when you posted this?

          “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections…”

          I know you said you were alluding to Joseph’s editorial (and I can’t seem to find the exact passage you had in mind), but he didn’t use the word “snark,” so that was your word, wasn’t it?

          Weren’t you (not the Lord) wrongly accusing C of being snarky?

          “[W]eren’t you in fact comparing him to a devil?’

          No.”

          But wasn’t Joseph speaking of devils in that editorial you said you were alluding to?

          “No. I noted similarities so I asked”

          So again, asking questions isn’t accusing, is it?

          And I’m just asking you questions here.

          Like

        • Mike,

          I’m going to end my participation in this thread with some rhetorical questions.

          1. Do I really have to say “not all questions are accusations?”

          2. Do I really have to point out that “virtually all of your questions contain implicit accusations, and that in each case you have assumed I am wrong and are requiring justifications from me based on your assumptions?”

          Like

  71. “Do I really have to say ‘not all questions are accusations?”

    I was merely pointing out the inconsistency of labelling every question I ask as an accusation, and then denying you made any accusation against C because you were only asking a question.

    “Do I really have to point out that virtually all of your questions contain implicit accusations, and that in each case you have assumed I am wrong and are requiring justifications from me based on your assumptions?”

    Are “implicit accusations” in the mind and heart of the reader?

    I make no assumptions.

    I don’t assume you’re wrong.

    If you read back over my posts, you’ll see I not only raised the possibility that you were defending the Church (or JS) when you used the strong language that got you banned from that forum, but suggested you could have been directed to do so.

    I also raised the possibility that you could have been directed to make what appear to be judgemental statements, and you could even have been right to say the things you did about ISIS Baghdad, and the Western news media.

    But to say that some of the things you’ve done and said would be wrong if you weren’t acting as a prophet isn’t making a assumption, it’s a simple statement of fact.

    For example:

    You don’t like being asked if you have personal revelation on any particular subject, but you asked Tim that question, so if you weren’t being directed to do that, you were breaking the golden rule.

    I did not assume either that you were acting on your own, or that you were being directed by heaven when you asked Tim your question, I merely asked you if you were acting as a prophet.

    Likewise, I don’t know C from a hole in the wall, and you could have been given some divine insight into his heart when you judged him.

    For all I knew, he could be whoever it was you took him for in the beginning.

    I didn’t assume you were making accusations, or judging him unrighteously.

    I merely asked you if you had any personal knowledge.

    So why do you read “implicit” accusations into my every question?

    What is the definition of “implicit”?

    According to Merriam Webster it’s “capable of being understood from something else though unexpressed : implied,” and haven’t you said such words are used as an excuse to pass judgement?

    Like

    • 3. Do I really have to point out that “Justify yourself to me” is to implicitly accuse someone of having done something to require justification?

      “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

      “Why do you read ‘implicit’ accusations into my every question?” Because they’re there; you’re following a rule with a clear strategy to anyone with eyes to see. Because it is your intent to disqualify what I say – hence the perennial “Aren’t You Inconsistent?” (which is an accusation). It is your announced intent to test me and to try me – to accuse me – even though I have not made any claims to authority, neither have I asked anything of you except to please leave me alone and quit pestering me and accusing me and abusing me. Your concern is not so much with what I am saying but with me, personally.

      Mike, two points.

      I am not perfect today. I know more today than I knew yesterday.

      I claim no authority for anything I say; I only discuss ideas and principles. Therefore, you need not take me seriously if you don’t wish to, and you are not condemned for not listening to me. I am equal with you, not above, not below.

      I am only human, and still learning.

      As a general principle, when someone challenges someone else’s authority, it is the case that the challenger does not wish to accept the claims of the challenged.

      Like

      • “I claim no authority for anything I say; I only discuss ideas and principles. Therefore, you need not take me seriously if you don’t wish to, and you are not condemned for not listening to me. I am equal with you, not above, not below.

        I am only human, and still learning.”

        Thanks for clarifying that for me.

        Have a good day.

        Like

        • However, I do have to point something else out. And I say this also without claiming authority.

          Just because someone doesn’t claim authority doesn’t mean they are not speaking the word of God. This ought to be clear throughout the scriptures, including the writings of Paul – very few “Thus Saith The Lord”s to be found therein.

          I have, just to test certain characters, repeated certain things without citing my source, neither claiming authority, just to see how they would be received. The response was, shall we say, revealing.

          Citing authority is pretty much only a persuasive tactic intended for those who respect authority qua authority. I suppose I am not one of those.

          Like

  72. P.S. Do I have to point out that in America, after 911 and the Boston Marathon bombing, and after someone many here believe to be a man of God asked all the world to pray for Baghdad, the kind of things you said about ISIS and the Western news media would be somewhat contentious if you weren’t speaking as a prophet?

    For example:

    Why shouldn’t I have charity, as you have put it, on ISIS against Iraq? Why shouldn’t I pray, “God, please bless ISIS?”

    Isn’t some moral equivalence between ISIS and America and it’s allies implicit in your question, and wouldn’t it be contentious to suggest that at this time and place unless you were speaking as a prophet?

    It seems to me that the questions I ask you have more in common with “does one plus one equal two?,” than “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

    Like

    • Yet, as you yourself demonstrated with respect to the Babylon thread, you read contention into things which entirely lack it.

      To you, who are untrusting, contention may seem like straightforward logic.

      To me, it is simply an accusation.

      What you want is a systematic theology, a summa of all knowledge on things religious, something that will make everything make sense without the requirement of calling upon God until he answers you, because you don’t believe he will answer and are not even sure he exists.

      They have a church for that already – Catholicism.

      But I don’t think you’re feeling entirely satisfied by that. So why not simply go out and feed a homeless bum instead of pestering me for what you have already rejected from Catholicism? Why not go obey the words in the scriptures you do accept, and see if the promises are true?

      “16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

      17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”

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  73. Lemuel said “But why not pretend that Mike isn’t accusing this time? There’s always room for a first time? It makes sense for Charlie Brown to not kick the football Lucy’s holding, because there are consequences to Lucy pulling out the football, but if Mike isn’t sincere on the internet, the consequences are minimal.”

    Log said “Can you, in any number of words, explain color to one born blind? It doesn’t matter what I pretend. The task is impossible.”

    I’ve never once, on this thread, asked you what form any direction you received might have taken.

    I’ve only asked you if you if you were directed to use the language some people found offensive on that forum (perhaps in defence of the Church, or Joseph, in response to some attack)?

    If you were directed to ask Tim if he received any personal witness that he should be re-baptised (or, to use your words, he was just repeating what he heard at a lecture)?

    And if you were directed to question Denver’s prayer request for the people of Baghdad (or Tim and Mr. Larsen’s interpretation of it, it’s implications, and it’s eschatological significance)?

    None of these are open ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple “yes,” or “no.”

    So I don’t see how your analogy of explaining colour to a blind man applies.

    I’m not asking you if you were directed by a wind, fire, earthquake, or a still small voice, but whether you can honestly say you weren’t acting on your own.

    And if asking such a question (on your own, as I’m doing here) is making an accusation, then (unless you weren’t acting on your own) you must have been making some kind of accusation against Tim and Mr. Snuffer.

    So given the logic you apply against me (and others who question you), you could only be judging them unrighteously (by making accusations) or speaking as a prophet.

    And if “playing gotcha” is the only reason to publicly ask someone if they have received any personal revelation on a particular topic (as I believe you once said somewhere), then you must have been playing gotcha when you asked Tim that question.

    And if you asked such a question of Tim on your own, being unwilling to answer such questions yourself, then you must have been breaking the golden rule.

    And if you mistook a friend for an enemy when you first replied to C (or in one of your first posts to him), you must have been (wrongly) judging him, and at least not speaking as a prophet on that occasion (and again breaking the golden rule, and your own interpretation of it, because you obviously don’t like being judged.)

    These are observations, not accusations.

    There simple, straightforward, logical deductions.

    And I’m not quoting some prophet, without citing my source, to see how you respond, and then making my observations, and drawing my inferences (as you say you’ve done to others); I’m just looking at how you interact with others, and what you’ve taught publicly.

    If you could, I ask you to please answer this question (and I intend no follow up question regarding the manner or form of any personal revelation you receive, so there’s no need to worry about having to try to explain colour to someone who was born blind):

    Were you directed by G-d to ask Tim if he received any personal witness that he should be re-baptised, to use the language some (perhaps through their own fault) found offensive on that forum, and to post the comments you posted on the “Oh Babylon” thread?

    Like

    • God knows. Why not ask him?

      And rather than saying “he hasn’t answered me yet,” why not pester him until he does, as you are instructed in Luke 18:1-6?

      Is it because you don’t believe he’ll answer?

      If you don’t believe he’ll answer, doesn’t that mean you don’t believe the scriptures which say he will answer under certain conditions, such as James 1:1-8?

      Or does that mean you don’t choose to meet those conditions?

      Why do you not choose to meet those conditions?

      And if you don’t believe the scriptures, why would you believe me, one way or another?

      Isn’t it futile for me to make claims that are already not believed?

      What evidence could I produce to prove I were telling the truth?

      What better evidence could you have than God’s answer straight to you?

      Why is it you are doing anything except the one thing that will solve the problem you seem to have?

      Like

      • You don’t know that I’m not asking God, and I don’t recall Tim telling you to “go ask God” when you asked him if he was speaking from personal knowledge or just repeating something he heard in a lecture.

        He gave you a direct answer, and said he had received his own witness.

        Would you have liked it if he answered you the way you answer me?

        And I would again point out that it’s a simple observation of facts to say that if you asked Tim that question (and derailed the pray for Baghdad thread with questions about whether he knew Isis was evil, whether our news media should be trusted, and why you shouldn’t ask God to bless ISIS), broke the stated rules you agreed to on that forum you were banned from by using the language you did to people you’ve labelled sinners and hypocrits, and labelled C a snarky, passive-aggressive enemy here, without being directed to do any of theses things, you break your own interpretation of the golden rule, you aske questions you’re not willing to answer yourself, you judge, and you make accusations.

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        • You already said you aren’t getting answers; I don’t know you weren’t lying when you said you were asking; I merely took you at your word that you were.

          So why aren’t you pestering God until he answers, as you are instructed in Luke 18:1-6, &c., &c.?

          And I still won’t be explaining my conduct to you. So you have but one direction to go for the explanation.

          Did I label C an enemy?

          And if you have already pronounced sentence, then let the headsman’s axe swing. If not, well, there is but one solution to your problem, isn’t there?

          Like

  74. “These are observations, not accusations.

    There simple, straightforward, logical deductions.”

    Should be “…they’re simple, straightforward, logical deductions.”

    I’m not sure how that happened, and I apologize for the typo, or spelling error, or whatever it was (and for any other typos, spelling errors, or punctuation errors in my posts here; particularly for using a period where I should have used a question mark so many times.)

    Sorry.

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  75. “And if you have already pronounced sentence, then let the headsman’s axe swing.”

    What headsman axe?

    Why must you always engage in melodrama?

    “Did I label C an enemy?”

    You were addressing him when you wrote:

    “I indeed evaluate you – the rules you obey. The snark you deploy, the passive-aggressivity with which things are brought to light, and what things remain hidden; when you choose to retreat, and with what reflections, to use Joseph’s term.”

    Snark: Abusive and sarcastic speech or writing–a form of invective.
    http://grammar.about.com/od/rs/g/Snark.htm

    Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive-aggressive_behavior

    “And I still won’t be explaining my conduct to you.”

    As you asked Tim to explain his behaviour to you on another occasion, so (in other words), you wont be treating me the way you want to be treated.

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    • P.S. I would have said that you judged C to be an enemy, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions.

      If you were given some insight into his heart, and you were speaking as a prophet, you wouldn’t have been judging him.

      But then, you couldn’t have been wrong.

      Simple observation of fact: You spoke to him as an enemy, and if he wasn’t you weren’t speaking as a prophet, and if you weren’t speaking as a prophet, you were judging, accusing, and making assumptions. (all the things you condemn others for.)

      Additional observation of fact: If he really was just asking an innocent questions, you were judging unrighteously.

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    • “What headsman’s axe?”

      Your definitive conclusions in the negative.

      “Why must you always engage in melodrama?”

      Why must you always pester me instead of God? Luke 18:1-6, James 1:1-8.

      Re: Wikipedia: Dictionaries do not cases clinch.

      Re: How I want to be treated: If you had a mind-reading device, you’d not be pestering me, eh?

      You have one direction to go for answers, Mike.

      I’m done.

      Like

      • “If you had a mind-reading device, you’d not be pestering me, eh?”

        But you are able to read minds, aren’t you?

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  76. BTW: I noticed that you’ve repeatedly called Latterdaylaminite by his first name (marc) here.

    Would you like me to call you by your first name?

    I wont do it without your permission, but may I?

    Like

    • Marc is pretty open with his first name, both at his linked-to blog, and on internet forums, and if he had asked me not to use it, I would not, and I would have edited out all references to it.

      You and I, on the other hand, have had words on this very subject before, multiple times, and you have committed federal crimes in revealing my information in an attempt to manipulate me.

      Do you believe God exists and will mete to you as you measure to others? Make your own decisions. Believe or don’t. Quit pestering me. Quit attempting to manipulate me and coerce me into answering you by threatening me with the loss of my anonymity.

      I cannot be manipulated. That’s why I allow you to do what you have done here, when I could have simply spammed all your comments.

      You have but one direction for answers.

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  77. I think it’s time to close this thread to comments. They don’t seem to be related to the original post anymore.

    Mike: I’ve put you in the comment quarantine queue for awhile. Too many personal / ad hominem attacks on Log.

    I know you can both defend yourself but it makes for contention, which detracts from the spirit of the blog.

    Like

    • For no reason at all, I mentioned to the guy sitting across from me in the foyer at church that “There is great mischief in equating emotional harm with physical harm.” He said “I don’t think so, as emotional harm can be worse than physical injury, and can even lead to physical harm.” I said “Then we are right to punish offensive speech by physical force, if the two were equal or if emotional harm is worse than physical.” He said “What if someone followed you around all day repeating ‘Fuck?'” I said “I don’t really have a problem with that, as I don’t take offense.” And then I said “I have noticed in my own life in the past that whenever I took offense, it was because there was a dark spot on my own heart.” He said “You don’t think the guy is harming you?” I said “Well, I don’t agree that emotional harm is equivalent to physical harm, but you do.” He looked at me and something changed in his countenance and he said “You’re bothering me. Please stop what you are doing. Please stop.” I said “Well, I’ll just take my leave, then.” He said “Please do.” I said “Sorry to have bothered you.” And I left the building and went home.

      I did not expect to see this in my back yard, as it were. That is “my offense is your fault, and you are punishable therefore.” That is the principle which kills the prophets, stones them, and casts them out.

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