Wisdom Through the Ages

I wish I could attend this upcoming conference. I’m grateful to those making the effort to broadcast portions of the conference live. Years ago, it was easier for me to get to the various lectures, symposia, conferences and fellowship gatherings. Life has become much more complicated. Click on the image on the left if you are interested in learning more about the conference to be held in Mesa 24-25 March 2018.

Another upcoming event that may be of interest to some, especially those in the Southern Utah area is a regional fellowship gathering to be convened 20-21 of January 2018 in Parowan. The invitation is posted publicly on Facebook and I’m sure you will be welcomed. Living in Southern California all my life, I’ve treasured the times I have been able to get to events like these. I’ve come to appreciate the value of fellowship among those who hold the same beliefs.

Fellowship in the Last Days

Two friends have asked me to answer a few questions publicly and share some thoughts on a difficult subject. This last day of the year seems like an opportune moment to do so. They have to do with why I continue to identify with or associate with the remnant movement and how this has affected my marriage. The question on marriage was, “How can I make my marriage work when my wife and I no longer believe the same things about the LDS Church?”

I made a very public statement a few years ago that got a lot of attention, at least among the LDS blogging community. I decided to get rebaptized after reading Denver’s books and attending a series of lectures on the gospel. In the early days of the LDS Church, it was a common thing to get rebaptized. Today, if you do so, you open yourself up to discipline from those who preside over your local congregation.

In my case, having served in numerous local leadership councils and not wanting to go through that process, I simply resigned my membership in the LDS Church. I don’t mean to imply I did so without much soul-searching and prayer. I spent many a night on my knees envisioning the ramifications of what I was about to do. My greatest concern was how this would affect my marriage. At times I was certain my wife would divorce me because of my decision.

The Rest of the Story

I was baptized over three years ago. Before I tell you how I think it’s going, let me add some background in response to my other friend’s questions. He asked me to record my thoughts in video format to post on the blog, Zion’s Return. I’m pondering that request. I did a video interview with KUTV a few years back about the LDS Church cracking down on bloggers. It’s funny how news organizations can ask enough questions to record a half hour of footage but only use two or three five-second snippets. I invite you to visit Zion’s Return.

Question One: “How did you come to find out about what the Lord is doing today and about this movement?” That’s an easy one to answer. I was standing in the Celestial room of the Los Angeles temple about six years ago when a friend asked me what I thought about Denver Snuffer’s latest book, Passing the Heavenly Gift. I said, “Denver who?” He repeated the name. “Never heard of him,” I said. End of conversation.

But the name stuck with me. Over the next few weeks, often while praying, that name would pop into my mind. I love to read about LDS Church History. Carol and I have a large library. I inherited many books from my parents who at one time had an LDS book store. I was in the habit of adding new books about the LDS Church to my library on a regular basis. Finally, after about three weeks, I bought the book on Amazon.

A Book that Changed my Life

Question Two: “What brought you to the point of feeling like something was missing in your spiritual life/journey?” I suppose I always had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something wasn’t quite right with what I was being taught in the official curriculum and what I was reading in the books in our family library. My mother loved biography. She was a public school teacher and read voraciously. I’m fairly certain we had every biography published about the prophet.

Even after forty-five years I can still remember raising my hand in response to a question in seminary, responding with what I had read in one those biographies and receiving a blank stare from the teacher. She seemed a little uncomfortable. Finally, she said, “no, that’s not right,” and proceeded to read the official response from the approved curriculum. I asked my mother about it when I got home. Wisely, she asked me, “Well, what do you think?” I said I thought the teacher was wrong. “I’m just glad you’re reading, son.”

Living With Cognitive Dissonance

I learned to keep my thoughts to myself, or more accurately, I learned what the expected responses were to the typical questions and what the sources were for those questions that always come up when studying church history. I kept thinking if I just study harder I’ll understand things the way they were explained in the Sunday School manuals I taught from and the Institute manuals from which I later studied. I went on a mission, got married in the temple and began thirty-five years of service in Elder’s Quorum Presidencies, Bishoprics, High Councils, High Priest Group Leaderships and finally as the Stake Financial Clerk.

I saw the book had arrived when I came home from work a day or two after ordering PtHG, started my usual quick perusal of the book and ending up reading it until two o’clock in the morning. I simply could not put it down. Here was someone who had done the research, presented the evidence and let the reader draw their own conclusions. My prayer that night was one of the most memorable of my life. I knew my life was going to change forever. I finally had my answers. The cognitive dissonance lifted from my mind. I literally felt encompassed in light. This was not the first time I had experienced such a thing, but never this powerful.

Standing on Top of the Wall

Question Three: “What is the greatest blessing you have received since going [into] this movement and / or hearing the message the Lord is delivering in our day?” Again, another easy question. I have received a baptism that will be recognized when the angels begin to sweep the earth with the foretold destruction and, just as important, I have received a covenant that allows me to join with the Saints when they gather to Zion for protection from the events of the great and terrible day we read about in Matthew 24.

Because these answers may seem so out there, I sometimes feel like Samuel the Lamanite standing on the wall of Zarahemla. Let me be clear: The baptism to which I refer and the covenant I mentioned are not administered in the LDS Church today. Another blessing I hope to receive in time, if I live long enough, is to enter a temple to receive instruction directly from the Lord about walking in the paths of heaven. “But Tim,” I can hear you say, “You’ve already had those blessings since you were endowed in the LA Temple over forty years ago.”

The Process of Readmission

Question Four: “What insight/understanding do you now enjoy that you didn’t have before and how has that impacted your life?” I’ve been labeled crazy, deluded, deceived and possessed of a devil. My bishop at the time of my resignation wrote in his formal letter of response that went to my file in Salt Lake: “I fear your blindness has come from looking beyond the mark (Jacob 4:14).” He also noted that because I was under discipline for apostasy, approval from the First Presidency would be required for readmission.

I think the greatest insight or understanding I have received and now enjoy is the confidence of knowing my path is pleasing to the Lord. That is one of the things Joseph taught we must know to exercise faith in God. Carol and I have talked several times about starting that process of readmission to the LDS Church. While I enjoy attending sacrament meeting with Carol each Sunday and especially enjoy singing in the choir, I have felt there is no way I could write that letter to the First Presidency. There are still too many things taught in the LDS Church that I consider doctrinally damning, such as the concept of keys and authority.

The Reality of Baptism of Fire

Question Five: “Have you had any significant personal experience or witness that you can share that may benefit someone else who is seeking truth? * A witness that God answers prayer? *Baptism by fire? * Pivotal experience that shaped your spiritual journey?” This is a tough one, mainly because relating events from your life you consider sacred can be and are easily misunderstood. I still like President Packer’s analogy of explaining spiritual experiences to someone who has never had one: “My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt and you have not. I am [not] able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come…” If you want some fascinating responses to this anecdote, Google “Packer Salt Story.” Especially read the Reddit post.

However, unless two people share the same spiritual experience such as Joseph and Sydney, there can never be a complete unity or common understanding of what just happened. I know. I have tried on many occasions and in many posts on my blog. One is the baptism of fire I experienced when I was just seventeen. You can read it but may come away with only a cursory understanding that I had a nice long prayer and felt good when I was done. Yet, to me, it was a baptism of fire, pure and simple. I knew I had been in the presence of the Lord. I heard the voice of the Lord declaring I was His son, begotten of Him that day. I make no claim to having received the Second Comforter at that time nor any other promises or blessings besides forgiveness.

The Power of The Covenant of Christ

Question Six: How has your worship and relationship with God, your family and/or others changed because of the added truth you’ve received? Hmmm…while Carol and I have always read, studied and taught from the scriptures (we both taught seminary), we have implemented a practice of reading aloud and teaching each other from the scriptures every single night. Up until a few years ago it was hit and miss. We’d go for a few months then peter off. I treasure these nightly sessions of reading and teaching each other as the highlight of my day. Of course, I slip in insights gained from reading Denver’s commentaries. We’ve had some especially interesting discussions lately about what it really meant for the Savior to lay aside his glory, his exalted status.

There are some subjects we don’t discuss because they are too painful. For example, imagine how Carol feels as a fifth generation Mormon believing all her life that the highest LDS goal is to marry in the temple. She felt terribly betrayed when I resigned from the LDS Church. There are still bitter tears when the subject comes up in Sacrament meeting or especially when we read something about marriage in the scriptures. My relationships with others have changed. I am much more interested in people I work with every day, and how I can serve them. I attribute this directly to rebaptism and acceptance of the covenant of Christ at the September conference. Once again, let me express how grateful I am to those who arranged for me to participate from home.

Time to Fish or Cut Bait

Question Seven: “Is there a particular book or talk that impacted you profoundly (of Denver’s) that you can tell us about?” Well, I’ve already related my experience in reading Passing the Heavenly Gift. I suppose lecture ten in Phoenix / Mesa was profound for two reasons. It was the conference where Carol and I parted ways in our response to Denver’s message. Denver had gone out of his way to invite us to have dinner with him and his family before one of the lectures. Carol attended several of the lectures with me, but could not handle what she heard in lecture ten. So, it was a bittersweet experience for me. Here’s why:

On the drive home from the lecture, as Carol napped through the California desert, I had a long talk with the Lord about what had just happened. Lecture ten was not like the others. It was time to take action. I heard it clearly. I think Carol also felt it but was not prepared, and still isn’t, to make the kind of changes that were brought up at that last lecture. I knew I needed to show the Lord I believed his servant by an outward sign, the ordinance of baptism. This was a deep, profound, and thoroughly life-changing talk. By responding as I did, I knew I’d be laying everything on the line, all because I heard the voice of the Lord tell me the words of his servant Denver were pleasing to him, and required action if I wanted to continue to grow and progress spiritually.

The Lord of the Vineyard

Question Eight: “How [have] your family, friends and other relations been impacted by this, and how do you deal with that?  Why are you willing to risk everything for what you are learning?” Interestingly, my siblings have said nothing of my leaving the LDS Church. We still communicate regularly, get together occasionally and express our love for one another. My sister closest in age to me will be leaving to serve a mission in England in a few months. I recently had an interesting conversation with my niece about how millennials perceive the church. She sees so many of her friends who have left and attributes it to the stuff they find on the Internet. On the other hand, some members of Carol’s family are not happy with me and have told me so very clearly.

I knew this would happen. The Lord showed it clearly to me all those nights I was praying about it before I resigned. I am grateful to our local ward and stake leaders who continue to reach out to me with love, kindness and respect. I am still invited to and attend ward socials. I still sing in the ward and stake choirs and generally enjoy Sacrament meeting. The biggest impact this change has had on me is obviously on my marriage. Carol does not like it when I write in my blog, which is a major reason I stopped for so long and rarely write here anymore. You asked about risk. The greatest risk I face is in not doing as the Lord asks. He has asked me very plainly to do all I can to reassure Carol of my love for her and yes, be willing to apply for readmission if it is the only thing that will save my marriage. The Lord takes marriage seriously and so do I. Marriage is the fruit He labors to lay up in store.

The Gospel Brings Hope

Question Nine: “Why does all this matter so much to you?” I don’t think I’m any different from anyone else when it comes to the gospel of Christ. It should be important to everyone. What’s surprising to me is how many people can’t separate the gospel from the LDS Church. Even the thought is abhorrent to so many who have opposed what I have shared on my blog. I can truly understand why Denver turned off comments on his blog years ago. I can only imagine the awful individual emails he receives from those who feel and express he has ruined their families. What a burden he must carry. I know a little about doing what the Lord asks, meaning, I have felt the displeasure of the Lord when I have been slow to hearken after I’ve asked for His direction.

This matters because it gives me hope. I have a goal in my old age to see Zion established, and that’s not going to come about through a large institution. The signs are becoming more and more evident that we are living in the generation that will see the return of the Lord. I rejoiced when I heard that a temple is to be a part of this effort to establish Zion. I want to contribute to the building of that temple. I want my name to be in the book that will be presented to the Lord when the temple is completed. I am grateful to know there literally is a book being kept and that my name is in it today. That baptism is so essential. Oh, how I wish more people understood this. I am saddened by but understand why so many can’t separate the gospel from the LDS Church.

Receiving the Higher Priesthood

Question Ten: “Anything of your background, briefly, that may have been worth noting at the beginning that would enhance what is shared.” There’s no way I can condense ten years of blogging into ten questions. I started my blog with the intention of providing sensible answers to all the misinformation about the LDS Church that was popping up on the Internet. Along the way I kept finding more and more legitimate questions being asked by young people who had real concerns about what they were reading in newly-available historical records and what they were being taught in the official curriculum of the LDS Church.

There’s a lot to love about what this great institution has accomplished, but it became obvious, at least to me, that something very basic was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so, like so many others, I put my concerns on the shelf. If I had not read PtHG I would probably still be serving somewhere in the Stake as a clerk, which for some reason I seem to do well, probably because I manage computer networks for a living. Two fundamental things changed. I realized open revelation had ceased with Joseph Smith. I also came to understand the priesthood very, very differently. The Higher Priesthood is not received the way it is taught in the LDS Church. It must come by hearing the voice of God declare it unto you.

Concluding Thoughts on Marriage

To my friend who asked for advice on how to make his marriage work when he no longer believed as his wife, I can only offer the following: Put yourself in her shoes for a minute. Don’t forget that a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Being right is not as important as being kind. I’ve referred to it earlier and I’ll reiterate it here. If the Lord were to ask me to apply for readmission to the LDS Church. I would do it in a heartbeat, especially if it would bring happiness to another, in this case, to Carol. I have received baptism in the way I believe the Lord has asked and have accepted the covenant of Christ as it was offered.

I can’t imagine the LDS Church asking me to deny or retract the covenant I have made with Christ, can you? It seems to me one should be able to worship and fellowship in the LDS Church or the Baptist Church or the Presbyterian Church or any fellowship that acknowledges Christ. A man can believe what he wants in the LDS Church. I’ve heard some pretty crazy things over the years from someone everyone would consider an orthodox member. Knowing what I know now about keys, I can sustain the Brethren. In fact, I do so every time we have a stake conference. I can pay tithing to the LDS Church but I would pay it differently than I have all my life because I understand it differently now. But who am I to give advice on marriage? Go talk to the Lord.

Update: The Video is up on YouTube. It’s about thirty minutes: https://youtu.be/_MD6wlP4LAA

As an alternative, I’ve also posted it on my domain site here: http://3tcm.net/TimMaloneStory01012018.mp4


Missing Mother

MajesticSunsetI wanted to start off today’s post sharing quickly a revelation I received this week as my wife and I were texting back and forth while I was at work. She was asking some great questions about the gospel, and something she wrote hit me and the Holy Ghost began to teach. I thought of the Savior and how He is the Truth. Any portion of the Truth that we receive on this earth is a greater portion of Christ that we have received, when we receive of His fullness, we also receive a fullness of Truth, and therefore –

Ether 4:7-8

And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them ALL MY REVELATIONS, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all thing that in them are. And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh….

Oh the blessings that await those who will deny themselves of the world and submit to Jesus Christ. Do we want to receive more? If we are not willing to give up family, friends, churches, wealth, our reputation, and anything else to know and follow Christ, then we will continue to know and understand those things we prioritize over Him.

Luke 14:28-33

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 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 that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Have we counted the cost? I promise all of you if you truly want to submit to God, you will look like fools to the world. God will lead you down a path that will even seem foolish to yourself at times. Our own logic and understanding must be set aside, for it is foolishness to God. He will try us, to prove those who will trust in Him. His act is strange, His ways are mysterious, and all will see the perfections of His plan in the end.

Today I would like to share how I came to know our Heavenly Mother. I hope you will read with an open heart. This will not be comfortable for most people to read I would imagine. To begin I will set the stage with where I was at in my spiritual journey at the time. I was a staunch LDS member, who bore my testimony every month, paid tithing, was “temple worthy” in every sense, and would have bet anything that I would die a member. I was serving as elder’s quorum president at the time and was very active in missionary work etc., etc. I was sure of the truthfulness of the church, I felt the Holy Ghost every week in church, and thought I had a handle on all of the doctrines of the kingdom.

For whatever reason, God led me to study grace and meekness above all else for a time. I learned that meekness meant that we know the power of God, and we know our nothingness before Him. Therefore we will submit to God in ALL THINGS. Meekness can only be obtained by a remission of sins (Moroni 8:26), and a remission of sins only comes by grace. As I was studying these concepts, I made a promise to God in the Spirit. I promised that I would follow anything He taught me by the Spirit, even if it was difficult. I had no idea what the promise would bring.

Soon after that I began to be lead to pray about questions that I thought I already had the answer for. I wanted to gain everything by the Spirit, to know for myself what was true. Otherwise I would have no authority on the subject. One of the first things I prayed about was polygamy. Now I don’t need to go into details about what I learned, but suffice it to say that I learned for myself that Jacob 2 was spot on. I began learning things that were not justifiable with the church that I had given my life to, and so it began.

One night my wife and I had an experience that changed my perspective for eternity. I learned by the Holy Ghost that I NEEDED her! Not in the romantic sense of desiring her so badly that I “needed her”, I saw very clearly that in order to become what God had proposed I become, I needed to become one with my wife. She was the key to unlocking greater things of God. I knew she was my soul mate, and that there was no other woman in all of the creations of all that there ever was, that could bring me to a fullness with God. The idea of polygamy became abhorrent to me.

At this time in my life I had experienced dreams of the Savior, I had seen Him in open vision (not an eye of faith experience or a dream), and I had been promised exaltation. I soon learned that this was not enough, not by a long shot. I was about to be thrown for a loop that could never have been foreseen.

As the case often was, one day I found myself talking to a good brother of the church who had recently been converted. Some of the things this brother often said were deeply controversial, and yet I saw his sincerity and love for the gospel, and the obvious change that had been brought about in his life. Well, during this conversation he told me that he had been born again by the power and spirit of Heavenly Mother. He said in his patriarchal blessing it specifically mentioned his Heavenly Mother, and how he would come to know of Her love again here on the earth. One night he had prayed to know of the love of his Heavenly Mother and that night he had a vision, and he was filled with the love and spirit of the Mother and changed completely. He told me that he believed very strongly the Holy Ghost was female… I just knew that wasn’t true.

Well, in my pride I thought there was something wrong here. This turned into an argument in which he claimed that there was nothing greater than to experience the love of the Mother. I argued that there was nothing greater than to experience the love of the Father, and that what he felt was the same love the Father had for us. This went on for some time before I left upset. I remember thinking about how this person just didn’t get it. I parked my car in a Walmart parking lot and began to pray for forgiveness that I had gotten upset.

After a while in prayer the Lord helped me humble myself and I asked like a child, “Father, I know that the Holy Ghost is male, is there another spirit that is female?” In moments the Holy Ghost came upon me and said “Yes!” plain and simple. Then the memory of studying the Shekinah came back to me and I asked, “Is it the Shekinah?” Again powerfully the answer came. “Yes, if you receive the Shekinah, the earth will not be able to hold you!” This began an incredible new journey for me.

I had already known from previous studies that “Shekinah” was a female word, and it represented the glory of the Lord, the glory of Jehovah. In fact, in a book by Bruce R McConkie he wrote that part of the condemnation or curse that was upon the LDS church, the Shekinah was not resting upon (or in) the temples as it did in the old testament. I do not think Bruce knew what he was saying exactly, but he was correct.

Paul taught that the woman is the GLORY of the man, and that the man is not without the woman in the Lord. The Shekinah is the GLORY of Jehovah. You decipher the meaning. New discoveries seem to be happening lately pointing out the worship of Shekinah. She has also been called Asherah. The have found relics now that mentioned the worship of Asherah right alongside of Jehovah. I will leave that to you to look up if you want.

Well, the scriptures began opening up more and more as I learned things by the spirit. I would like you to think quickly and answer this question. What does the rod of iron lead to in Lehi and Nephi’s vision?….

We know that the rod or iron is the word of God, and we have been taught about it as long as we have been involved in the church. I am guessing the most everyone who is reading this answered that the rod of iron leads to the tree of life! This is typical and very telling of where we are at as a people.

1 Ne 11:25

And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.

Yes the rod of iron leads to the tree of life, which represents God the Father, (or Christ). What tree is there in all the trees of the earth that can survive without water? What tree will bear any good fruit without enough water? We must be lead to our Heavenly Mother as well. If the rod has lead us first to the Father, we must also go further and learn of the Mother. She is the Living Water! Christ would not have fulfilled His mission without knowing the Mother. The scriptures have been changed and corrupted, but some things were veiled enough to remain intact.

Students of the bible know that the Shekinah (or Kabod) represents the glory, the paniym represents the presence, and the doxa represents them both together. The pillar of could and the pillar of fire represented both the presence and the glory being in operation. This is the real “double portion” that some may be referring to as the FULNESS of the priesthood. The Shekinah was quite often represented by the cloud.

Matt 17:5-7

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

The disciples had heard the voice of the Father at the Lord’s baptism, and I don’t recall anyone falling down to the earth in fear. What was different about this scenario? The disciples heard the voice of the Mother bearing witness of Her Son Jesus Christ! I think this would cause a lot of people to be sore afraid. Most people have no idea there is a Mother in Heaven, let alone that She can speak to us.

In the subsequent posts I wrote, I shared a little bit about names and how important they are. Some of the names of Christ are True and Faithful, Righteousness, and even Jealous is a name of God according to the new testament. I have learned some of the names of the Mother by revelation. One of them is Wisdom.

Prov 1:20-33

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Mos 8:20

O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people; yea, and how blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children of men; for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she should rule over them!

Acts 6:3

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Notice in the above verse they sought out men full of the Holy Ghost AND Wisdom. Both are needed. One without the other is not enough.  There are many other examples of this use of “Wisdom”. I would suggest looking into “Sophia” which is wisdom in Greek.

One of the other names of the Mother is Charity. Charity “seeketh not her own…” This is used in the Bible and Book of Mormon. Paul taught to seek after Charity. We have been told this is the greatest attribute of God. Well, no one has Charity right now in a fullness. Most have no idea what it means or how it is obtained. This is the FULNESS, the spirit and love of our Father and Mother. There is no greater love. I have heard of mothers on earth doing some amazing things. One killed a bear with a frying pan as the bear threatened her child. One broke the bones in her back as she lifted a car off of her child. Is there greater love than the love of a Mother?

Think on these verses….Eth 12:34-37

And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

Moroni saw our day and saw clearly that we would be given the book of Mormon as a preparation for greater things, but he also saw that people would reject their Mother, they would not even think on Her. He prayed that someone in our day would have the faith to find Charity!

Compare this to the words of a recent president of the LDS church…

RB: So with you, God has a physical body?

GBH: He’s an individual – as is His Son, Jesus Christ.

RB: And God has a wife?

GBH: I don’t know, but I suppose so. As we have a Father I assume we have a mother.

Gordon B Hinckley in my opinion will be just fine, but this is very telling. Without Charity there is no fullness of the gospel, without the Mother there can be no Charity. The gentiles have rejected the fullness of the gospel and have damned themselves from further light and knowledge, and we are seeing now the talent that has been given them about to be taken away. The shift has begun.

Usually now when I differentiate between the Mother’s spirit and the Father’s, I call the Mother’s spirit the Holy Spirit. This in Hebrew also has a female connotation. It always has, and it seems in scripture at times they differentiate between the Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost.

Behold, will ye reject these words? Will ye reject the words of the prophets; and will ye reject all the words which have been spoken concerning Christ, after so many have spoken concerning him; and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you?

Also some words from the teachings of St. Issa. This is a text written about Jesus that may or may not be historically accurate, but I find the words to be true.

At this time, an old woman approached the crowd, but was pushed back. Then Issa said, “Reverence Woman, mother of the universe,’ in her lies the truth of creation. She is the foundation of all that is good and beautiful. She is the source of life and death. Upon her depends the existence of man, because she is the sustenance of his labors. She gives birth to you in travail, she watches over your growth. Bless her. Honor her. Defend her. Love your wives and honor them, because tomorrow they shall be mothers, and later-progenitors of a whole race. Their love ennobles man, soothes the embittered heart and tames the beast. Wife and mother-they are the adornments of the universe.”

“As light divides itself from darkness, so does woman possess the gift to divide in man good intent from the thought of evil. Your best thoughts must belong to woman. Gather from them your moral strength, which you must possess to sustain your near ones. Do not humiliate her, for therein you will humiliate yourselves. And all which you will do to mother, to wife, to widow or to another woman in sorrow-that shall you also do for the Spirit.”

I know the above words are true. If men want to get to know the Mother, they must honor their wives. Polygamy is not an option. Great men have been halted in their spiritual progression because of their mistreatment of women. Abram (exalted father) became Abraham (father of nations), David and Solomon, Mohammed, and many men of the LDS movement have stopped their spiritual progress because of it. I have learned for myself that my wife is an older spirit than I am. She had more glory before coming here. I have seen the power of our Heavenly Parents work through her in such power that it defies description here.

Just a few weeks back my wife underwent surgery. When she woke from surgery she awoke with a smile and began preaching to the nurse in front of her like the wife of the king of the Lamanites preached to the people. She told her she had just seen Jesus and had conversed with the Father and Mother, as well as Mary of Magdala. The nurse had been prompted to switch patients with another nurse and she began to cry as my wife told her things pertaining to the nurse’s family. Soon others began listening and they wrote down the things my wife was saying.

Maybe someday she can share all of that. That is up to her to share what she learned and saw. At any rate, the nurse has become a friend to the family and she shared parts of the vision in fast and testimony meeting! During her testimony of this experience a woman in the audience had a vision. Trust me when I say the things shared are quite taboo within the LDS church. Such things are happening all the time! Visions and dreams and visitations are occurring and the Lord is setting His hand again the second time to recover His people. Right now there is still time. People are being prepared to enter into the Lord’s presence and glory. All of the posts I have written pertain to seeing Jesus Christ in the flesh. I solemnly bear witness that no one will be visited by Jesus Christ in the flesh, without being struck down as Saul and Alma the younger, unless they have received of Heavenly Mother’s spirit.

When I was told by the Holy Ghost to pray to the Mother, it was a completely new experience. At first I was timid. I did not know the Mother! I had been filled with the power of the Father and I had known that Christ was in the room with me, and I wondered why I could not part the veil to behold Him with my physical eyes. Now I know that I was a bottle half full. I remember pleading with the Mother to forgive me of all of the things I had done to hurt Her daughters, and how I had often set myself above women thinking that my spiritual experiences meant a lot more than they did. I had no confidence before Her, even though I would have walked gladly up to the thrown of the Father without hesitation.

It took time for me pleading with Her before Her spirit rested upon me for the first time. It was like being born again… again! I was filled with love and I began praying for my family and as I prayed for different people I was given understanding and discernment of them that I had never experienced. I prayed for a neighbor and I knew of his love for his son and worries that he had for him they I could have never known otherwise. I prayed for my stake president who had driven my family out of the church for our testimonies, and had warned our ward members to not talk to us, and I was filled with love for this man and saw that he would be converted to the Truth in a powerful manner soon enough. I don’t know how long I prayed for others but it was amazing!

Our Heavenly Mother is filled with love for Her children. She is very active in your life whether you know it or not, and she is okay getting no credit from anyone. More and more people are coming to know Her, and she will be revealed with great power to the world, mostly to people’s condemnation. I challenge everyone who reads this (if you haven’t already), to pray to the Father and ask if you can pray to the Mother. Get a witness from the Holy Ghost and then begin a journey that will change everything for the better. You will see the beauty in other religions, the scriptures will open up to you, and you will be filled with power to bring others to Christ, as you come to know the Mother.

After She began speaking back to me, I had to remember to also pray to the Father. I wondered if the brother of Jared didn’t stop praying altogether for years. Maybe he just stopped praying to the Father as he came to know the Mother. Together they are God. They are our Heavenly Parents. Our Heavenly Mother doesn’t care one bit what church you belong to right now, She will be there if you exercise faith in any way. I know others have found Her that are not even Christian…

The Master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao; that is what gives her her radiance. The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she doesn’t cling to ideas. The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she lets it. Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see.

There was something formless and perfect before the universe was born. It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally present. It is the mother of the universe. For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao. It flows through all things, inside and outside, and returns to the origin of all things. The Tao is great. The universe is great. Earth is great. Man is great.

These are the four great powers. Man follows the earth. Earth follows the universe. The universe follows the Tao. The Tao follows only itself.The heavy is the root of the light. The unmoved is the source of all movement. Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home. However splendid the views,she stays serenely in herself. Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool? If you let yourself be blown to and fro, you lose touch with your root. If you let restlessness move you, you lose touch with who you are.

Teachings from the Tao Te Ching by Laotzi. READ IT

In Hinduism the Kundalini or Shakti is said to be the Divine Mother. Her power resides in us and is said to be like a coiled and sleeping serpent that needs to be awakened to bless us with love and bliss and enlightenment.

The point though now is that no one has the fullness of God. If Charity could truly be found on the earth right now in fullness, we would have no need of the “greater things” promised in the Book of Mormon. Moroni said if we have Charity we will be purified as Christ is pure. Again I know that the Mother is real. She is the only wife of our Father in heaven. She is Eternity, and She is Deliverance. Will we reject Her, and reject a fullness of the gospel by doing so? Yes these things will make many people uncomfortable, but I hope some will feel to at least find out if they are true. The Holy Ghost will lead you to the Mother if you will continue to follow. I know it. Please testify in the comments if you have had any experience with our Heavenly Mother. We will be tested. Will we honor and defend Her, and do all things necessary for the Holy Spirit?

Photo courtesy Meridian Magazine. Click link for great article on Mother in Heaven.

In Defense of Virtue Ethics

Of the “Big Three” moral philosophies, virtue ethics seems to be the most problematic. Criticisms and rebuttals of the other two theories, utilitarianism and deontology, are relatively simple to state and understand, or at least I found them so. On the other hand, I was able to easily compile a dozen criticisms of virtue ethics from a very few professional papers on the subject in a short amount of time. That intrigued me. In this paper I intend to defend virtue ethics as the best moral philosophy by addressing several of the excellent criticisms.

The theory is straight-forward: Moral life should have a purpose and lead to happiness. Virtue ethics is about building character. Developing good moral character leads to contentment that comes from “doing the right thing.” This moral theory is not about rules or something called “utility.” Virtue ethics requires a lifetime of practice to develop. The way to become a moral person is to be moral. This theory is more about being or becoming, not so much about doing. It’s about who you are. The concept of the “mean” is crucial to this philosophy. The focus is on balance, moderation and avoiding extremes. Aristotle taught in order to achieve a virtuous and potentially happy character, we must first be taught by teachers and by experience. Later, we then consciously choose to do the best or virtuous things when presented with moral choices. This requires a lot of pondering of our choices and ultimately, feeling about things in a certain way. It is this feeling which causes, motivates or empowers virtuous or good actions.

Perhaps it is this component of feeling that raises such criticism. Those who practice virtue ethics are seeking eudemonia (Greek), a state meaning well-being, blessedness, or for our purposes, a state of human flourishing. That makes it hard to measure and hard to determine when such a state has been reached. How can virtue ethics be useful in a society if the objective is so subjective to the individual? This is just one of the criticisms I will address in this essay. Of course, just because a theory has legitimate criticisms does not negate the value of the theory, especially if favorable rebuttals can be presented. I am going to assume you are familiar with the theory beyond the basics presented in the preceding paragraph and will therefore focus on the rebuttals as the core of the argument advocating my position.

Let’s address the applicability problem right up front. What sorts of actions are morally permitted and which ones are not? What sorts of measureable outcomes are desired with virtue ethics? What are the duties or rules of virtue ethics that can be used in specific moral situations? The difficulty in this objection is that it focuses on a lower functioning level of human nature – having to be told what to do in all situations. Such a lower level is indicative of immaturity. Virtue ethics works best as one seeks to do the virtuous thing partly by avoiding vices. Let’s take the specific example of a raped fifteen year old girl trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion. The moral guidance of virtue ethics would have her avoid vices such as selfishness, irresponsibility or short-sightedness. Abortion is a personal choice but has consequences that reach far beyond the individual. Adoption is an alternative to abortion. Virtue ethics provides moral guidance in this situation by allowing the young mother a choice. She can make a very difficult situation better by applying the moral guidance afforded by seeking the virtues of love, patience, unselfishness, forgiveness, tolerance, kindness and charity. She may choose to raise the child herself but is probably not yet suited to provide the child the best care. She can have the abortion but perhaps she has strong feelings that she might regret her decision. Action guidance from virtue ethics allows her to choose to endure the unwanted pregnancy and give the child up for adoption as being a better choice. The criticism that virtue ethics does not provide action guidance in specific moral situations demonstrates an unwillingness to think things through, weigh the alternatives and make a choice, a process that rule-based systems don’t do well.

Now let’s address the cultural relativity problem. This is not unique to virtue ethics, but seems to be made less difficult by the unique aspects of this theory. You are probably familiar with the example of the differences in how some societies treat their dead. With virtue ethics, we can readily see that something abhorrent to Western civilization like cooking and eating a piece of flesh from your recently deceased grandmother might actually be an acceptable practice because it embodies the virtue of honoring your ancestors. Such a virtue is applicable to most cultures even though we may disagree with the way a specific culture implements it. Another example is the idea of slave-holding. In some cultures it was considered morally acceptable, even virtuous to enslave human beings. Virtue ethics does not necessarily require a static ranking of virtues over time. In the slave-holding example, there is an obvious conflict of virtues at work, which in the minds of some, justified the vice of enslaving another human being against their will (I’ll address the conflict problem and justification problem next). Virtue ethics embraces the idea of community. Our values are determined in large part by the communities to which we belong: nation, family, school, church and private and public associations. We accept that some virtues will hold a greater influence upon us according to the time and place in which we live. We are social animals, grounded in a particular place and time. The ethos of our society shapes our moral views and moral activity. The application of virtue ethics allows for the influence of our community to determine the ranking of our values according to our circumstances.

A good moral system must address dilemmas. The requirements of different virtues can bring about conflict because they seemingly point to different courses of action. However, this conflict is only apparent and can be resolved by those possessed with phronesis, translated as practical wisdom. This wisdom comes only with time and through practice, which of course means making mistakes. In reality, virtues do not make opposing demands. One course of action, which some may consider a rule, may outrank another in a particular case. Or it may be that there is an exception to a standard course of action based on the specific circumstances of a moral choice at hand. Over time, the practitioner of virtue ethics will come to know instinctively, or by a feeling, what is the right course of action in this situation. Since the complexities of every dilemma cannot be determined in advance, virtue ethics teaches the skills needed to study the problem out, ponder the choices and make the best decision. At first, this is difficult and prone to mistakes, but over time, it becomes second nature to know the best course of action.

I only have room to address one other criticism of virtue ethics known as the justification problem. In short, how do we justify or ground our ethical beliefs of what is moral? Which of all the character traits are the virtues? Perhaps this is where the idea of the mean comes into play. We can make lists of all kinds of character traits and then note the extremes of each end. While this may be an exercise to teach the skill for the uninitiated, I do not recommend it as a regular course of action. At one end of the spectrum is excessiveness, while the other end represents deficiency. For the virtue of courage we have recklessness and cowardice. For the virtue of work, we can consider laziness on one end and frenetic on the other. The Golden Mean is the virtue that is to be found in between two corresponding vices. As virtue ethicists, our objective is to be somewhere in the middle. Plato gave us the four Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. Aristotle then added five additional virtues of wisdom, courage, liberality, magnificence and magnanimity. There is no master list of virtues because it could never be all-inclusive. This moral theory is not grounded in a list of rules, desired outcomes or even specific virtues, but rather on the idea of balance, moderation and avoiding extremes. Virtue ethics is grounded on a skill of how to choose wisely, which only comes with practice over time.

In conclusion, it is my contention that virtue ethics is a superior moral system because it is more flexible and embraces a wider range of possibilities than rule-based or outcome-based systems, mainly because of the central component of endorsing agent-based choice as the best way to guide one’s life. Just because a person is continent or falls short of a perfect virtue does not negate the value of virtue ethics. There is something particularly admirable about people who manage to act well when it is especially hard for them to do so. They may not yet have achieved eudemonia, but they are still practicing, which is a major part of the theory of virtue ethics. They may fall short of the ideal again and again but continue to seek the goal of perfection through an ever-so-slightly different approach. This may seem repetitive or even counter-productive, but perhaps that is part of the beauty of the theory. Eventually, given sufficient time and effort and with encouragement from teachers and leaders, practice will pay off. The performance will be complete and the practitioner of virtue ethics will reap the benefits of a moral life well lived.

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