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.

A Marvelous Work and a Wonder


jesus-declares-fulfillment-of-isaiahs-prophecyI caught a glimpse today of something wonderful about to come forth. No, I’m not referring to the book by Elder LeGrand Richards but I chose the title on purpose. I attended a class presented by one of my readers on the subject of judgement, part of a series of classes from her upcoming book, Understanding the Divine. What I witnessed was part of a marvelous work and a wonder.

At the risk of embarrassing her, I’m going to praise the work of Karen Prier here on my blog today. You may remember a few weeks ago Karen left a comment on my blog post, The Lord Requires us to Take Action. The comment was direct and personal. It was not offensive. It was, well… annoying. It struck a nerve. Even though I tried to deny it in a later post, she was right.

Preparation to Receive More Light

karen-prierIn her comment, Karen counseled me to write without referencing the LDS Church. She shared, “If you will let go of all fear and anxiety of judgment with the church and those who belong to it you will receive more light.” As Carol can attest, I pondered her counsel for days before firing off a rather passionate barrage defending my actions in continuing to write about the Church.

Well, I already shared the details previously, but to recap, Karen wrote a beautiful apology that moved me to tears. I took the time to read more about her work on her website, then asked if we could meet, which we did today. I have already stated I was wrong. Karen was right. But that’s not what I want to share in the next few paragraphs. That little exchange simply got us together.

Paradigm Shift on Judgment

I am convinced the Lord wanted us to get together so Carol and I could meet with Karen to learn more about her books and share them with you here on my blog. Of course, it’s a little difficult to review a book that’s not out yet but based on a 2.5 hour class this morning and an interview of a little over an hour this afternoon I am convinced Karen is sharing profound truth worth reading.

I thought I understood Judgement. I’ve studied it for years. I know how important it is to choose wisely, to judge righteously and to not judge by appearances. Today I learned so many things in her class on Judgement I realized I needed to completely shift my paradigm of the subject. Karen included much from her second book, or rather a series of seven books on The Creation Pattern.

The Creation Pattern

elements-of-creationYou should recognize this if you’ve been endowed. The first three days are related to the healing of the body. They are part of the lower law. They help us get clean. That term has significance in Karen’s teachings. Day four is a bridge covenant between the lower and higher laws. The last three days are the higher laws which cannot be practiced until the three lower laws are mastered.

 

Day One – Creation of the Earth – Light – Faith and Vision
Day Two – The Waters – Getting Clean – Repentance and Baptism
Day Three – Plants, Seeds – The Holy Ghost – Law of Obedience
Day Four – Stars, Planets – Jesus Christ – Law of Sacrifice
Day Five – Animals – Service – Law of the Gospel
Day Six – Man – Love and Virtue – Law of Chastity
Day Seven – Enter into God’s Rest – Law of Consecration

Understanding the Divine

Karen’s first book, which is currently undergoing final editing and illustration, includes seven key elements to help you understand and improve your personal relationship with God. She teaches classes on each one and is recording them for both audio and video distribution. If they are anything like what I witnessed this morning, they are full of energy, truth, light and love.

7-elevations-of-wholenessOne – Desire
Two – Gifts
Three – Truth
Four – Grace
Five – Language
Six – Paradox
Seven – Judgment

Seven Types of Judgment

As you can probably see, Karen organizes in groups of seven. It is significant. It means complete or wholeness. Karen’s website is the Seven Elevations of Wholeness. She offers seven seminars. Her books include the Seven Elements to Understanding and the Seven Days of Creation. In the class Carol and I enjoyed today, she introduced seven types of judgement and how they hinder.

One – Other People – If we don’t want responsibility for our pain, we blame it on others.
Two – Ourselves – John 3:21 – A man is his own tormentor and condemner. Truth is light.
Three – Things – Guns, money, clothing, food, wine, “buckets, bags and toys” (Ask her)
Four – Ideas – Justice and Mercy, Political issues, Logic vs. Spirit, Food, Marriage, Laws
Five – Situations / Experiences – D&C 122:5-7 – pain or peace – Pain not inherently bad
Six – Actions – Most common, actions are not sins, intent of heart is place of sin or purity
Seven – God – We use scriptures as weapons. Killing, sex, alcohol lying all used by God

Repent and Replace

gethsemane.jpgI wish I could share in this section even a tenth of the power and passion we felt from Karen as she taught the principle of R&R – repent and replace. She gave so many examples and made it come alive as a daily living principle to be used on our journey to wholeness. We have a stigma that repentance is something you do once, or something only bad people need to do. This is false.

The principle of R&R brings relief – physical, emotional and spiritual. As Karen taught, she said several times repentance is the most beautiful word in the human language. I would have said love but she explained repentance allows you to “get clean,” to accept anything God asks of you if you are willing. When you are clean, you are pure, have no fear and are in a state of real love.

Seven Seminars Offered

One – Understanding the Divine
Two – Seven Days of Creation
Three – Hearing the Voice of the Lord
Four – Seven Virtues of the Divine Feminine and Masculine
Five – Healing Through Virtue and Faith
Six – Family Relations
Seven – Becoming One in a Group

After she shared a little of the past history, how she got involved in healing and how she got the training God wanted her to have, I asked Karen to describe her vision for the future. I was blown away by her plans. Her website is new. Don’t judge her experience, power or knowledge by that. This woman knows what she’s doing. She is a master healer, an expert in the currency of heaven.

Doing Repentance Better

karen-prier-teachingI close as I began. I believe we are about to witness a marvelous work and a wonder about to come forth among the women of God such as Karen Prier who have prepared themselves to take the message of Christ-centered healing to the world. I recommend you watch her website for news of when her books will be available. I intend to add them to my library and study them.

As noted in her bio, Karen is full of enthusiasm and power that allows her to reach her audience. I could not believe when two hours had passed in the class. I pray for Karen’s success in getting her teachings of Christ-centered healing to those who need it. I know I do. I want to understand more about how to use R&R in my daily life. As I learned today, we can all do repentance better.

 

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.)

Hedging the Law: Two Variations on a Theme


The Problem with the Precepts of Men

hedge-rowThe Jews taught for doctrines the commandments of men and built a hedge around the commandments of God. The reasoning is understandable – if you have to keep the commandments of God to be saved, and if the commandment says not to labor on the Sabbath, then if you forbid your congregation from doing even so much as separating toilet paper on the Sabbath, there’s no way they can drive close to enough to the edge of the cliff to be in danger of falling off.

roll-toilet-paperThe problem is, this is like sheathing the sword of God. You may suffer guilt by tearing up toilet paper on the Sabbath, because of the creeds and traditions you’ve been raised with, but you will not be convicted of your sins by the Spirit of God, because this isn’t one of the commandments of God, therefore you will not feel to cry mightily to be forgiven and cleansed from your sins, that you may experience the mighty change of heart and the joy of God at your return to him. And being ignorant of the actual laws, when you do break a commandment, you do so ignorantly, and again, aren’t convicted by the Spirit – ignorance is an excuse with God. Thus the purpose of the commandments gets blunted, and the law no longer serves the function it was designed to.

And then the commandments of men are what get taught, and not the commandments of God. Thus hypocrites, and not saints, are produced by the Church – guilt-ridden perfectionistic pretenders. That was the state of the Jews when John began his preaching. This was symbolized by the fig tree that Jesus cursed.

This impulse – to sheath the sword of God, building a hedge around the law, for the safety and protection of the flock – is common in every age.

abinadi-king-noahA hypocrite is one who is playing a role he has been taught. The word simply means “actor.” We’ve seen fake love. That’s hypocrisy. We’ve seen “friendships” which are struck for the purpose of conversion. That’s hypocrisy.

These are the wolves, the goats, the older brethren, the wild olives, the tares.

A saint is one who has cried mightily unto God from the depths of their soul and been cleansed from their sins by fire from heaven.

These are the sheep, the prodigals, the tame olives, the wheat.

That is why priests are to teach the commandments of God that the children of men may likewise enter into his rest, rather than the precepts and commandments of men.

That’s why Abinadi had some harsh words to say about Noah and his priests.

Teaching Vs. Hedging

There are eternal worlds of difference between these two sentiments:

“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee. But remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

And

“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”not-even-once-club1

In modern LDS terms, we might liken this last unto ourselves as: “Not even once.”

The first affords opportunity for obtaining wisdom and knowledge through experience, while the other damns people quite literally.

Here’s how.

Moses 5
10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.

adameve.jpgThose who do not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil are yet children. Sometimes, they are adult children, who have even borne children, whose children themselves have borne children, but spiritually they are yet children, or less (Isaiah calls them miscarriages). In eternal worlds, they do not have seed, they are not exalted. Because children in adult bodies are actually kind of unpleasant to be around. They lack self-control and must be dictated to in every trifle, being belligerent and aggressive, or passive and apathetic. They can’t keep God’s law, neither are they his friends.

prodigal-sonThat’s the reason the prodigal got the ring, the robe, the shoes, and the party – here is one who knows by experience the good from the evil and has chosen the good and returned to God; the depths of his depravity convinced him of his fallen and sinful state and motivated his return. In the eternities, he will have seed. The elder brother is one who “not even once” transgressed the commandment of his father. He doesn’t know the good from the evil, doesn’t understand the way the outside world actually is, and resents his brother. He’s unpleasant to be around, and hostile – he doesn’t even bother going to the house to find out why there’s a party going on (since it wasn’t his and he wasn’t invited – it indicates his stand-offishness and sullen pride), but instead asks a servant the meaning of things. He gets to rule the house and property, but the prodigal gets the love and unity.

These are two types in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Until the Elder Brothers realize that everyone is fallen, and all are under sin, they cannot repent and call upon God for deliverance from their sins and fallen state, for they will perceive themselves as just and righteous, even while they mouth the common platitudes that “nobody’s perfect” and “everyone sins.” They don’t really believe that. That’s why they take anti-depressants; their guilt doesn’t make sense to them, since they never transgress.

It’s still not too late to pray mightily to God to be cleansed from all stain and have one’s guilt wiped from one’s soul. But if you don’t believe he’ll answer, or if you don’t believe you have sinned, you won’t even try. And thus you have been damned by those who taught you “not even once,” who built a hedge around the law lest you should at any time transgress.

Hence, the role of a priest is to teach the commandments of God unto the children of men, that they may likewise enter into his rest, and it is not to build a hedge around the commandments of God for safety, lest they damn the children of men.

Bonus questions:

  1. What do you suppose will happen between the Prodigal and the Elder Brother once the Father has passed away and sole control of the house and property falls to the Elder Brother?

  2. What was the inheritance the Prodigal spent?

Addendum:

The Parables of Jesus and the Interpretation of the Scriptures, TPJS pp. 276-277

In reference to the prodigal son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon; that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subjects of the scriptures; and even the Elders of this Church have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretation. What is the rule of interpretation? Just no interpretation at all. Understand it precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire, what was the question which drew out the answer, or caused Jesus to utter the parable? It is not national; it does not refer to Abraham, Israel or the Gentiles, in a national capacity, as some suppose. To ascertain its meaning, we must dig up the root and ascertain what it was that drew the saying out of Jesus.

While Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Him; “and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” This is the keyword which unlocks the parable of the prodigal son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who were querying, finding fault, and saying, “How is it that this man as great as He pretends to be, eats with publicans and sinners?” Jesus was not put to it so, but He could have found something to illustrate His subject, if He had designed if for nation or nations; but He did not. It was for men in an individual capacity; and all straining on this point is a bubble. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”

And he spake this parable unto them–“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them doth not leave the ninety-and-nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons which need no repentance.” The hundred sheep represent one hundred Sadducees and Pharisees are in the sheepfold, I have no mission for you; I am sent to look up sheep that are lost; and when I have found them, I will back them up and make joy in heaven.” This represents hunting after a few individuals, or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Sadducees despised.

He also gave them the parable of the woman and her ten pieces of silver, and how she lost one, and searching diligently, found it again, which gave more joy among the friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost; like I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons that are so righteous; they will be damned anyhow; you cannot save them. (Jan. 29, 1843.) DHC 5:260-262.

In the interest of community participation, I won’t be commenting on this post.

The Lord Requires Us To Take Action


TimBaptism2aCroppedI was blessed to witness three baptisms last week. Although he lives 120 miles from me, it was good to be there with a friend for his baptism. The ordinance was performed by the same man who came from Utah to baptize me. Our community is small and scattered here in California. In fact, for the most part, our communities consist of our own families, or simply a few individuals.

Baptisms are evidence of faith. They demonstrate to the Lord we believe the message delivered by His messenger. The message is the doctrine of Christ without any added requirements. If we have faith in Christ we will be baptized. The requirement for baptism is to repent, to change, to turn to Christ. There is no requirement to believe in any prophet, only that we believe in Christ.

Beware of False Messengers

40-years-in-mormonismI suppose an argument can be made that baptism is evidence we believe the messenger, but it is not a requirement for baptism. Only Christ can redeem our souls from hell. Only Christ can give us new life. Only He can forgive sins, create in us a new heart and take away our sorrows. I am grateful for the messenger, but a true messenger will always point us to Christ for our direction.

We are disciples of Jesus Christ. It is He that directs our lives, tells us what to do, teaches us how to bless and serve our fellow beings. Nobody should come between us and our relationship with the Savior – no man, no messenger, no prophet. Any man who insists you defer to him for any kind of direction is not a true messenger. The Holy Ghost is a true messenger. He leads to Christ.

An Offering ONLY for the Savior

BreadAndWineWhen we preach the gospel, we should preach of Christ. We should help people understand how faith in Christ requires daily effort. He commanded us to remember Him always. We do this in part by participating in the sacrament on a regular basis. The sacrament is action on our part that demonstrates to the Lord we do remember him that we may always have His spirit to be with us.

LastSupperLargeThose two actions – baptism and the sacrament – witness to the Lord our willingness to take His name upon us and keep His commandments. One of His commandments is to pray often. Prayer brings the guidance and direction we need in our lives. It demonstrates submissiveness and our humility before Christ. We offer to Him, and to nobody else, a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

No Church Controls The Holy Ghost

NewScripturesThere is no organization that controls the Holy Ghost. There is no organization that controls priesthood. Priesthood is not dependent upon membership in any church. It is independent of Israel, independent of the LDS Church and independent of any man. It is without father or mother. It has always existed and always will. It comes not by the will of man but of God.

The Holy Ghost can and does speak to everyone. Period. Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jewish, everyone. It doesn’t matter what faith tradition you may claim. The Holy Ghost can and will speak to you. His mission is to testify of truth, no matter the source. No one group or religion can claim to control the Holy Ghost. That is a false and damning concept.

Social Chaos In The Last Days

SchoolOfProphetsIn a recent post I tried to make it clear Joseph Smith was no fallen prophet. I am convinced he fulfilled his mission under difficult and trying circumstances. He repented when he sinned, was chastised by the Lord for mistakes in judgement and taught what the Lord asked Him to teach. He brought forth the Book of Mormon but was unable to fulfil his desire to bring again Zion.

civil-unrestJust before the Lord appeared to the Nephites, society broke down into tribes consisting of family and friends. Immediately before the Lord’s return we should expect something similar. Don’t be surprised by the coming social chaos. The only safety in the last days will be to flee to Zion. But Zion will not be brought forth by an institution. It will be formed by small groups.

Preserving The Restoration

MoroniAndJoseph“It is not God’s purpose to abandon the Restoration. It is His purpose to preserve the Restoration, which at this moment is in terrible jeopardy. The Restoration must be rescued and preserved. If you cannot detect the terrible changes it has undergone and is now undergoing, then you are blind indeed. Shall God forget the work He began through Joseph?

“Shall this now universally downward course be permitted without His hand being bared again? Or should a kind and merciful God take steps to give us a chance to preserve it with His assistance, if we choose to act? There are many willing to act. We only need some indication from God of how to do so. Thankfully, the pattern was given to us through Joseph Smith.

This Action Is Required Of You

baptism-saratoga-springs“Baptism has always been required from the days of Adam until the present. Baptism is always the sign of acceptance of what God is doing in each generation. From the days of Adam, it will continue through the end of the millennium. Whenever there has been believing people upon the earth, they have always been invited to perform the ordinance of baptism as a sign of their faith.

JosephBaptizingOliver“Authority was restored as part of the ministry of Joseph Smith and should be remembered.  In fact, everything accomplished by the Lord through Joseph should be remembered, preserved and respected. We should not abandon or neglect anything that has been given or commanded by heaven. We should not be forgetful. It is a sign of ingratitude when we forget and neglect.

A Community Of Believers

“No corporate church organization, or man claiming authority should hijack your obedience to God. You are accountable to Him. You are accountable only to Him… When Joseph wanted to know his state and standing before God, he asked God. It is to God alone that you must answer and it is to God you must be grateful. Only before Him must you be humble.

waters-of-mormon“…true religion, when it is present on earth, always exists as a community of believers. Community is required … to be willing to mourn with those that mourn … to comfort those that stand in need of comfort… and …to stand as a witness to one another of God at all times and in all places. With community, we can …bear one another’s burdens that they may be light…”

Receive The Holy Ghost

john-the-baptist-confers-priesthoodThe last six paragraphs were edited excerpts from the Phoenix talk. I shared them to demonstrate the need to be baptized anew if we desire to participate in the bringing forth of Zion. Believe in Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and become as a little child. The Holy Ghost will be given, according to the doctrine of Christ, to any who repent and are baptized in faith.

The authority to baptize was restored through Joseph. He received it by the laying on of hands from John the Baptist. This authority can and was passed down from man to man. I received this authority from my father. Thus, if sustained by a fellowship, I can baptize and administer the ordinance of the sacrament for others. I can also administer the sacrament in my own family.

Administering Ordinances

RemnantFamilyRetreatI administered the sacrament the other day to our little gathering after the baptisms. I felt it was appropriate to do so because of the unique arrangements of our fellowship. We seem to know each other fairly well through our online interactions. As I’ve noted before, I am not worthy to perform baptisms without the sustaining vote of my wife. Those are the Lord’s words, not mine.

As yet, I have not participated in a conference. Some of our group here in Southern California proposed one, but we were unable to gather seven women to authorize any additional brethren. I, along with most everybody on the Internet have been invited to a conference to take place next month in Colorado. Carol and I decided not to attend due to distance. I know many others are.

Grateful For My Local Community

I continue to attend the local ward sacrament meeting each week. I am grateful the Bishop and Stake President allow me to attend. Since I no longer believe many of the things taught in the correlated curriculum I decline to attend Sunday school and Priesthood meeting each week. I have been graciously invited several times by instructors and other members, still my friends.

speaking-in-churchFor the most part I enjoy hearing the talks, singing the hymns and partaking the sacrament. I’ve wondered about the sacrament – I believe those administering it have authority, but I choose to believe the sacrament should be administered with wine, which I do in my home. The wine symbolizes the blood of Christ and the bitter sacrifice. I know this: when He comes again, He will use wine.

Preach Nothing But Repentance

3-Ne-11-22-28I’ll close with something I’ve shared before but feel to share again. This also comes from the Phoenix lecture. These are the words that rang through my mind all the way home. It was as I was crossing the California border I probably made my mind up I would be baptized, and that I would require to have my name removed from the records of the LDS Church before doing so.

Denver quoted 3 Ne 11:22-28 – The Lord’s instructions to the Nephites on baptism, delivered as some of the first doctrine after He appeared unto them. Denver then said, “I am telling you in the name of the Lord that commandment is renewed again my Him today, to you.” That statement sank deep into my heart. The spirit bore witness that what Denver had taught was from the Lord.

Conferences Directed by the Lord

Immediately following this post, I am going to post an article, a series of questions really, from my friend Lynne. It has to do with the Remnant Family Retreat taking place next month near the Grand Mesa. I have prayed about posting the article. As you will see, the questions are rather direct. Lynne knows more about some of these things than I do. But I have prayed to know God’s will.

storm-warningThe natural man in me hesitated to post them. I don’t believe there is a spirit of accusation in the questions, but they are hard questions to answer. I count Bret as my friend, as I do Lynne. This blog has a wide readership, developed over the years. I have let others use it as a platform to discuss doctrines about which I don’t necessarily agree. With some guest posts, I heartily agree. God wanted this posted.

Seven Verse Sermon


Hath [the Lord] commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.

I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.

[T]he Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.

Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

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.

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