Awake and Arise!


When I entered the covenant offered through Denver Snuffer, I did not know whether the words of the A&C were from Jesus Christ. I had read the A&C through thrice, prayed over it, and analyzed the content through the standard of judgement given in Moroni 7, yet I still did not know the words were from Jesus Christ. The Lord did not attest the covenant to me.

Up to the time of the administration of the covenant where we were asked to stand and say “yes,” I was still wavering, questioning to myself if I actually knew the words were from Jesus Christ. When the moment came, I figured if I were wrong, the Lord would stop me. Though I was unsure, I trusted in the credibility or reliability of Denver Snuffer and accepted the covenant as if it came from God in the absence of knowledge and surety from Heaven.

The Lord did not stop me. My chest swelled uncomfortably with the spirit of pride upon saying “yes,” which I recognized was a bad thing, for charity, as it is written, is not puffed up. That was the first sign I had made a mistake. And I found out that night, to my sorrow and grief and mourning, that the covenant had been a test of integrity and I had failed.

The Lord does not lie, neither does he vary from anything he says. Though he is merciful, he is not a flexible God, but an unchangeable being. “Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man[.]”

And I found out to my horror what the Lord meant by “cursed be the man that trusteth in man.” By saying “yes” to the covenant, thereby saying I knew the words Denver Snuffer put forth were from the Lord when I did not, in fact, know those words to be from the Lord, I broke a commandment and trusted in men. The Lord had therefore cut me off from his presence, leaving me to be led by the Holy Ghost.

When I discovered the consequences of what I had done, I tried to repent immediately by publicly confessing on my blog that I had assented to the covenant despite not knowing the words of the A&C were from Jesus Christ. Afterwards, I fasted and prayed and was baptized again, confessing my sin, in the hopes that the Lord might receive me again into his presence. The curse of the Lord is not got rid of so easily.

I realized that since I had entered the covenant legally, and since there is no honorable exit from it on the text as it stands, the only honorable course of action would be to execute all of the covenant, to the letter, as it is written. This included participating in the Guide and Standard efforts.

The Lord’s request and requirements concerning the Guide and Standard are clear, and there is only one answer that fulfills his criteria, and that answer is his gospel: his law and commandments. The diligent execution of Jesus’s law and commandments as they are written, trusting in him alone, is how we come into his presence, and no man can be saved except he does those exact things. Thus The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles offers the words that Jesus gave by his own mouth as his guide and standard for any who would follow him alone and walk in his ways.

In conformity with the Lord’s requests, requirements, law, and commandments, I have formally disputed the adoption of any other document than The Rock of Jesus Christ as the Guide and Standard. This solved the Guide and Standard problem, for if the Lord’s requirement and criteria are executed as written in the A&C by this people, The Rock of Jesus Christ shall inevitably be published.

Now, all that is required of this people to succeed at the task of adopting a guide and standard by mutual agreement in righteousness is that they not defraud the Lord by placing another document in the scriptures as a Guide and Standard.

My primary error in entering the covenant was to take words from a man as though they were from the Lord, relying upon the man’s trustworthiness, connection with heaven, and service to the Lord above my own. The way we repent from trusting men is to completely stop looking to men for the words of the Lord and instead rely solely upon the word of God received by the power of the Holy Ghost to ourselves while keeping all the commandments of Jesus Christ as they are written.

The way that this test has been set up by the Lord is that failure to dispute the adoption of a document is to agree to it, knowing it is for us to follow. If you fail to dispute the adoption of a guide and standard document, then you agree to it and you agree for us to follow it. If that guide and standard consists of the words of men, regardless of whether they be true or false, and you fail to dispute it, then you agree for us to trust in and follow men and be cursed by the Lord, severed from his presence and bound by the chains of hell.

If you, like me, trusted in a man and acted upon that trust by entering the covenant, then you and I have an opportunity to repent of this trust and follow Jesus Christ alone by disputing the adoption of any guide and standard consisting of the words of men, and take the words of Jesus Christ alone for our guide and standard.

The Lottery document is an example of a guide and standard consisting of the words of men. To follow the Lottery document one must trust Denver Snuffer, who is a man. The Lord curses men for trusting men.

Right now, and at the conference at Phoenix, and until and unless this people chooses to defraud the Lord by placing another guide and standard in the scriptures, if you do not publicly dispute the adoption of a guide and standard which consists of the words of men, such as the Lottery document, then you agree to us following men instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Any of us who wish to no more be led by men, even prophets, but instead by Christ alone, must publicly dispute the adoption of any guide and standard document which offers the words of men as a guide and standard. We must publicly dispute their adoption in favor of adopting the doctrine, law, and commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ as our guide and standard. And we must actually do what our Lord has commanded.

We must awaken from our deep sleep, even the sleep of hell, and shake off the chains of the leadership of men. We must rise up and stand forth and be known as followers of Jesus Christ and not followers of men, and show our repentance by boldly disputing the attempts to bind this whole people down with the chains of hell.

“Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”

Jared Livesey

The Solution to the Guide and Standard Conflict


The guide and standard conflict has been solved.

1. I shall not yield on the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ.
2. I shall and do dispute the adoption of any other guide and standard document.
3. You have no power to exclude me from the body of covenant participants.
4. If the people abide the Lord’s requirement that the guide and standard be adopted by mutual agreement, then The Rock of Jesus Christ shall be adopted.

If any choose to dispute the adoption of The Rock of Jesus Christ: A Statement of Our Principles as the guide and standard, then we will wait until such disputations cease.

The guide and standard test is simple: do you indeed desire to be the Lord’s people? Then accept and do as he has required.

This makes it possible to fulfill the Lord’s requirement in righteousness.

Jared Livesey

Your Bill Is Coming Due.


PaymentDueThroughout this post, the JST ( http://centerplace.org/hs/iv/ ) is made use of instead of the KJV.

If you agree that Jesus spoke the words attributed to him in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible, and if you agree that by entering into the waters of baptism you have entered into a covenant to be obedient to him until the end of your life, or if you have partaken of the sacrament, then you have witnessed unto God, the Father, that you are willing to keep the commandments of the Lord.

Moroni 4:3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

JST John 14

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

If you love Jesus, keep his commandments.  You love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and he will bring the Father to you.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

The visit spoken of is literal, and in this world.

D&C 132

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to [my] glory.

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.

Remember, the idea that one receives Jesus in one’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.  To receive Jesus therefore means to take him into your home, or to embrace him physically.  If you do not thus receive him in the world, then you do not know him, and you do not receive exaltation.  If you thus receive him in the world, then you know him, and will receive exaltation.

Putting it all together, you love Jesus if, and only if, you keep his commandments.  If you keep his commandments, he will come to you, and you will take him into your home, or embrace him physically.  If you thus receive him, he will bring the Father to you, and you will receive your exaltation.

Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

If you do not keep his commandments, you have no promise of any of these things.

Doctrine and Covenants 130:21 [W]hen we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

So what are the commandments of the Lord?  For brevity, here is the shortest version.

JST Luke 6

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

These teachings are repeated three times throughout scripture.  Three times.  Thrice.

 3 Nephi 12:20 Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Are you keeping these sayings of Jesus?  Are you performing them daily?  Are you giving to every man that asketh?  Are you lending to all, not hoping to receive again?  Are you returning reviling for reviling, or are you patiently enduring abuse?

These are, after all, the things you witnessed unto God that you are willing to do.

And, remember further, great promises are offered to those who both do and teach.

JST Matthew 5:21 Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so to do, he shall in no wise be saved in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven.

Whoever breaks the least of these commandments, and teaches men to do likewise, are promised they shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, while those who both do them and teach them are promised they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

JST Luke 14

25 And when he had finished these sayings, he departed thence, and there went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

He meant it.  And do not think to claim that by your loyalty to the prophets and apostles of the Church, or any others, that you can bypass the requirements Jesus has set.

35 Then certain of them came to him saying, Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?

36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

37 But if the salt had lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

38 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; men cast it out. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. These things he said, signifying that which was written, verily must all be fulfilled.

So likewise if you keep not his sayings, even while claiming loyalty to prophets, you are as salt that has lost its savor, a covenant people claiming Jesus for king yet not obeying the king’s laws, and therefore are covenant-breakers, good for nothing but to be cast out.

Those who teach you that you owe less to the Lord than you have covenanted to do are the unjust steward, who will be sharing lodging with you in everlasting habitations if you agree with them (see JST Luke 16).  Time is short, and your bill is coming due.

Therefore, do not procrastinate the day of your fulfillment of your own words, covenants, witnesses, or agreements, but begin today to keep the commandments of the Lord that he delivered by his own voice to his people, that you may be accounted faithful in all things.

 Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain [bring into your home] strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.

And who knows but that the angel in disguise might be the Lord himself, seeing if you are one of his disciples.

Ignorance


Link to the JST

ignorance-povThe Argument from Ignorance

D&C 6:10-12
10 Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above–

11 And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.

12 Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things.

D&C 63:64 Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.

There is much more in D&C 63 about signs and the seeking thereof.

JST Matthew 7
1 Now these are the words which Jesus taught his disciples that they should say unto the people.

9 Go ye into the world, saying unto all, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come nigh unto you.

10 And the mysteries of the kingdom ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet.

11 For the world cannot receive that which ye yourselves, are not able to bear; wherefore ye shall not give your pearls unto them, lest they turn again and rend you.

12 Say unto them, Ask of God; ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

13 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

There is a standing request from God to his disciples to not disclose the mysteries of the kingdom, which come to us by revelation through faith, without being asked to do so, but rather we are to teach repentance and faith. The reason for this request to those sent forth is because without repenting from all sin and exercising faith and thus entering into a covenant with God, men cannot become the children of Christ, but are instead children of the devil.

Carnal men cannot keep the law of God and the mysteries therefore serve only to condemn them, for when they hear the things which tickle their ears and satiate the lust of curiosity, they think they know stuff, when in fact they know nothing but have merely heard a report. And by satiating that lust of curiosity, a motivation for calling upon God in faith to receive, whereby they may become the children of God, is eliminated.

Therefore, divulging the mysteries of the kingdom without request of God serves to damn people. Signs do not produce faith.

So what ought to be taught?

D&C 19:31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

Mosiah 25:22 And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God.

That teaching – repentance and faith in God – characterizes the church of God.

Alma 13:6 And [priests] thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they also might enter into his rest[.]

And that teaching – the commandments of God – characterizes the priests of God.

JST Matthew 5:21 Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

And that teaching – as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise – characterizes the prophets of God.

3 Nephi 11:29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention[.]

And that behavior – disputing, arguing, contesting, contradicting, accusing – marks those who are not of God.

Perhaps more importantly, the existence of that standing request to not divulge the mysteries of the kingdom leads to this conclusion: just because someone doesn’t claim authority or reveal mysteries or speak of spiritual experiences, doesn’t mean they don’t have authority, don’t know mysteries, or have not had spiritual experiences. Therefore, that the leadership of the Church, or anyone else, doesn’t speak of such things means nothing in and of itself. A just judge cannot come to a conclusion concerning their knowledge, or lack thereof, based solely upon the absence of these things from their teachings.

The Hitchhiker


I was asked a series of questions recently that I feel might be more adequately addressed in a parable, a little made-up story that illustrates a principle.

There once was a man who, having been cast into the lone and dreary world and cursed of God for a long time, tired of himself. He was tired of being tempted continually by the same old temptations, and yielding occasionally, and hating himself for not having been strong enough to resist unto death. He was tired of setting a bad example before his children. He was tired of being what he was, in other words, a fallen, carnal, sensual, devilish man, and yearned again to be in the state of purity, light, and peace he once had, able to commune with Jesus and God, where all his requests were granted even as he made them.

prostrate-in-prayerSo he decided to ignore and discount his fears and overriding sense of unworthiness and guilt and determined in his heart to call upon God in his might, even until he died if need be, to reenter his presence and have peace, light, joy, and love once again. So he turned from his worldly pursuits and bowed himself face down upon the earth and began to cry mightily for all things whatsoever he desired. Within that hour, his guilt and unworthiness and fear melted away and he was filled with a fiery, feverish heat that he had not felt since he was baptized at eight. Nevertheless, he did not understand the meaning of this, so he continued to cry mightily, even trying to pour out his whole soul unto death that he might be received of God into his presence. But there seemed to be a little bit left in his heart that he just could not squeeze out of his soul.

fall-down-before-the-lordFilled with blasting heat, from that day forward, to demonstrate his humility, he prostrated himself face-down in gas station restrooms and places of similar hygiene and poured out his whole soul in desiring the same things of his God, and, indeed, did this three or four times a day in varied locations for two full years, 20-30 minutes at a time, however long it took to pour out his heart’s desires. After two years, he noted that he no longer felt quite so keen to keep asking for the same things, and he “lightened up.”

In the meantime, he determined in his heart to honor the teachings of the Savior in every little thing. He stumbled at first, but eventually he never ever suffered the beggar to put up his petition to him in vain. He picked up every hitchhiker, fed them their choice of food at their destination, and took the homeless into his home. If he had just $100 bills in his wallet, having come from the ATM, then that was that particular beggar’s lucky day.

hitchhikingOne day, he picked up a hitchhiker who was better dressed than the rest, and offered him a place to stay for the night. The hitchhiker wore business casual, one might say. Not too tall, not too short, sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, sharp nose, tanned, mid 30’s, the man would have guessed, and not smelling like he’d stayed all day in the sun as most do. He started a conversation in the car. Turned out the hitchhiker was in charge of a family business back east, and was a Jew. The man had a passing knowledge of Jews, or so he thought – when he tried bringing up some aspect or another of Judaism, the hitchhiker just looked at him as though it was difficult, or taxing, to come down to the man’s level to talk to him. The man felt colossally stupid for even opening his mouth in the Jew’s presence.

When the man arrived home, he offered the Jew the couch, which was better than the man’s own bed, and the Jew instead took the floor. Puzzled, the man offered pillows and blankets, but the Jew declined, saying he was good with what he had. The man offered entertainment to the Jew, but the Jew declined. So the man again tried to engage the Jew in conversation, and it became apparent to the man that this Jew was much, much more intelligent than he was. Again, he felt colossally stupid even trying to talk to him, sounding dumb even to his own ears, which shamed him into shutting up. He left the Jew to sleep in his room.

In the morning, he took the Jew to the outskirts of town and offered him breakfast, which was declined. The man dropped the Jew off and never saw him again.

strangers-and-angelsFast forward a few years, when the man was filled with the Spirit and intelligence that he’d never known possible, he started talking to his child, and told her how the smartest man he’d ever met was a Jewish hitchhiker who didn’t even have to say anything – you could just feel the intelligence coming out of this Jew, he said, and he would give anything to be that smart!

Then, with a shocked gasp, he clapped his hands to his mouth, for he knew who that Jew was.

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

Doctrine and Covenants 93:36  The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

The Ideology of God


christ-healingThe fundamental problem of government is “How do you produce a society that doesn’t tear itself apart eventually?”

The solution is charity, a change of nature whereby we feel no fear nor shame and seek to harm none nor build ourselves up, but take pleasure in doing good to all.

Moroni 7:45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

The behavior of charity is described succinctly: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Thus all conflicts have been resolved before they even arise.

As an aside, “is kind” means “treats you like family.” So if y’all think I deploy rough language out here, you might guess it’s even more interesting in person. And you’d be right. We reward witticisms in my house, including clever put-downs, and don’t scruple to use four-letter words. After all, do you want someone dictating to you what speech you shall and shall not be allowed to use, particularly in your own home? Me neither. And we like to laugh.

JesusTeachingMy writings on the golden rule have been, strictly speaking, having a spot of fun. Most of the interesting implications of the rule were already made explicit in the Sermon on the Mount, which, if you will notice, is chiefly about conflict resolution – always in favor of our enemies! And it is in obeying these teachings that we come to know the principle that underlies them all, which is the golden rule, or charity.

The golden rule is the ideology of God. God is charity, after all (1 John 4:8, 16).

3 Nephi 15:9 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

He’s asking us to be principled – to obey the law, the golden rule, without judging (i.e., without respect to outcomes – without appealing to “workability” or consequences or worthiness). To take his covenant and instructions as a “suicide pact,” for it is.

Doctrine and Covenants 98:14
14 Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.

This is in opposition to a philosophy we have been spoon-fed since our infancy: paternalism.

Paternalism

Paternalism is the interference of a state or an individual with another person, against their will, and defended or motivated by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm. – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

paternalism-cartoonPaternalism is, at its most basic essence, meddling with others out of fear of pain / discomfort / negative results. It is justified by a claim to be seeking after the welfare of the person whose choices or results are being meddled with. Paternalism is outcome-driven, or, in other words, goal-oriented.

Paternalism, being rooted in fear, is therefore an enemy to charity, and has natural allies in judgementalism, laziness, and cowardice.

So what pains are we avoiding by preventing others from experiencing the consequence of, or by compelling or coercing, their choices, while claiming we are acting in their best interests? It ranges from as light as not wanting to be alone in one’s beliefs, to not wanting to endure the sympathetic emotional pain we might feel in seeing another suffer, or perhaps hoping to avoid that grief which comes from separation, or perhaps the pain of having our expectations or wills thwarted, and anything else in between.

Paternalism, as I use the word, also covers our failure to execute our word by appealing to benevolent intent. For example, maybe we withhold our substance from another, justifying ourselves by thinking they need to hit rock bottom so they’ll get help and no longer be where they are, when our real fear is that the core doctrine of Babylon, “limited resources,” or “economic scarcity,” sometimes rendered TANSTAAFL, is true, and if we give to them then we would have to give to others and then we wouldn’t have enough for ourselves. So long, Zion.

nanny-stateThe point is that it is ourselves that we are protecting by acting paternalistically. That is why by making the proposal to save even those who sinned against the Holy Ghost, Lucifer marked himself as an unsuitable candidate to be the Messiah. Lucifer proposed to save those who had knowingly, with eyes open, cast the Holy Spirit out of their hearts, betrayed both God and their fellow man, covered their betrayal by turning accusers of God – traitors always justify themselves by blaming the betrayed – and sought for death as diligently as they once sought for life. Salvation is, of course, to possess charity – he would have compelled that change of nature upon those who had knowingly and competently rejected it, and thus they would be saved.

You can see this is paternalistic, and apparently benign. What’s in it for him? What’s he protecting himself from? At a minimum, the pains of separation from those who willingly choose death.

Paternalism was the original error.

And if you have eyes to see it, paternalism may be found in surprising places. Like this, which I just read recently.

Learn to Be More Wise than We Have Been

Mosiah 4:14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

“Neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God.” In modern English, “You won’t allow your children to transgress the laws of God.”

That completely contradicts the point of my recent essay on Hedging the Law, and I was rather startled until it occurred to me: “what was the result?” After all, paternalism predictably generates rebellion and disunity.

That’s there, too.

Mosiah 26:1-4
1 Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.

2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.

4 And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God.

king-benjaminBecause their parents followed the instructions of King Benjamin, and sought to circumscribe their choices or even compel or coerce obedience to God’s commandments, many of the children rebelled and would not believe. I’ve been there, myself, for that very reason.

King Benjamin meant well, and it speaks volumes for his integrity and righteousness that he not only tolerated, but cooperated with the prophets in establishing peace in the land (Words of Mormon 1:16-18); indeed, his integrity and righteousness were why he was sent an angel, which marks the priesthood he was a member of (D&C 107:20). So often the prophets have been persecuted and rejected by those in authority as challenging said authority.

But from the vantage of the golden rule – for “this is the law and the prophets” – we see the hidden lesson: paternalism doesn’t work, even while it drives for results.

Hence, this.

Mormon 9:31
31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

If you love someone, set them free. Accept them for who and what they are. Don’t meddle with them; don’t impose upon them; if you wish to bless them, offer the blessing to them, which allows them to reject it if they wish; if they refuse the blessing, go your way. Grant their requests without judgement, and give only what they ask for, agree to, or demand (JST Matthew 5:41-43).

Thus we follow the ideology of God, becoming truly principled, acting according to the rule, regardless of the consequences to ourselves; thus we show ourselves worthy to be Gods.

(Why only what they ask for, agree to, or demand? Because if you give an enemy more unbidden, they will despise you, seeing it as you trying to curry their favor; to them you will seem to be a bootlicking, ass-kissing weakling unworthy of respect. From that vantage point, you cannot reach them to persuade them unto repentance, for everything will be perceived as an attempt at manipulation, as it would be from them if they were to do what you do.)

(To answer an objection: Those who enter into the covenant with God effectively agree to do his will in all things, after which if we are obedient he brings about circumstances essential to our becoming what he is. The covenant permits him to do things to us which would otherwise fall afoul the rule, and this is fair because we agreed to it – we asked for it. This is why God is not paternalistic – he doesn’t act against our will.)

The Path of Discipleship


JST Luke 14

25 [T]here went great multitudes with him, and he turned and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

JesusTeachingWhat he is saying is, if you desire to be his disciple and to take him to be your Master, then commit to living his teachings in all things. If you fail in your discipleship, if you refuse the sacrifices commanded, then when you are in hell, the denizens thereof will hate you above others. If you know you cannot bear the loss of your career, your reputation, your home, your friends, your family, and even your life, then don’t start the path. Discipleship is not for you.

Religion, on the other hand, might seem to offer a way out. “If I follow the prophets, surely this would suffice, and I wouldn’t need to worry about losing all earthly things according to the teachings of Christ.”

35 Then certain of them came to him saying, Good Master, we have Moses and the prophets, and whosoever shall live by them, shall he not have life?

36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

37 But if the salt had lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

38 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dung hill; men cast it out. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. These things he said, signifying that which was written, verily must all be fulfilled.

Matt712If you know these things and do not do them, you shall be cast out.

Hence, “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.”

What is the reward for following the teachings of Christ with diligence and exactness?

JST Matthew 10: 21 Remember, the disciple is not above his master; nor the servant above his lord. It is enough that the disciple be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

JST Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

You will be even as Jesus is. It is possible to be perfect.

Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:125
125 And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.

Charity is the bond of perfectness. And with it, you are even as God is while you are in this world.

JST 1 John 4
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

So how do we obtain charity? Is it developed over a lifetime of home teaching, temple work, and tithe-paying?

Moroni 7:48
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Follow in his word and pray for charity until you receive.

JST John 8
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This is the path of discipleship.

JST Luke 6
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed are the poor; for theirs is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are they who hunger now; for they shall be filled. Blessed are they who weep now; for they shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from among them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold your reward shall be great in heaven; for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! For ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you who are full! For ye shall hunger. Woe unto you who laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you who hear my words, Love your enemies, do good to them who hate you.

28 Bless them who curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.

29 And unto him who smiteth thee on the cheek, offer also the other; or, in other words, it is better to offer the other, than to revile again. And him who taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also.

30 For it is better that thou suffer thine enemy to take these things, than to contend with him. Verily I say unto you, Your heavenly Father who seeth in secret, shall bring that wicked one into judgment.

31 Therefore give to every man who asketh of thee; and of him who taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.

32 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33 For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 A disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote which is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye?

42 Again, how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote which is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like.

48 He is like a man who built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock, and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he who heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.