The United States’ Constitutional form of government presupposes an agreement on fundamental first principles. As that common consensus diminishes on fundamental principles, our form of government is increasingly less likely to work. If the “Elders of Israel” are going to save the Constitution, it will not be through legislation or litigation, but by conversion of people back to a common set of beliefs. Only then Constitutional government has a chance to survive.
There is an alarming statement in D&C 93. It follows the definition of truth found in D&C 93:24: “Whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning” (D&C 93: 25); meaning that we are all required to find the truth. Anything more or anything less is evil and means we have been deceived. In addition, the follow up to the parable of the Ten Virgins found in D&C 45:56-57 warns everyone that the five foolish virgins who will not take truth as their guide are going to be hewn down and cast into the fire.
These decisions about what truth you must accept are important, but can only be made by trusting the Spirit. You should look to the Spirit for the answer to where and what is truth in this day of so much deception. Marketing, by its very nature, is deception. (See, The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom, by David Kupelian) All of modern commerce is based on deceiving you. Making you think you need something when you do not. Exciting your envy to get you to purchase something you really don’t need. So when it comes to the truth, you will need to demonstrate some “sales resistance” to Satan, and not be fooled into rejecting truth although it comes from a lone voice, crying from the wilderness (as has been so often the Lord’s pattern in the past).
To the extent that there are any personal matters in the book, they are designed to illustrate common mistakes. My mistakes and errors are set out in the beginning of the chapters. Then the chapter explains how to get the principle right. Other than showing how poor a student I have been, my presence in the book is entirely secondary. I do bear testimony about the truth of the teachings, which I think is required for a book of that nature. But the book is entirely about you, the reader.
I reiterate several times in the text that it is not a book for every reader. It is not publicized, advertised, or promoted in any way. It is entirely a word-of-mouth book which will find appropriate readers without any effort on my part to promote it.
I account for this by recognizing that the festival season caused a migration later in the year. At that time their presence at the Temple site would have introduced them to the destruction for the first time, despite the fact the great quaking and tempests had ended eleven months earlier. I also account for the various appearances of the Lord to “other sheep,” as well as the forty-day ministry at Jerusalem in my reckoning.
However, I do not think it important for someone to disbelieve McConkie/Smith. It is only important how one decides to read the scriptures. Borrowed opinions are just that. People need to read the scriptures and decide what they mean for themselves.
The gentiles seem determined to end their reign. According to an announcement from the Church this week, missionary work is being shifted from European and North American populations into Latin and South America, Africa and Asia.
I’ve thought for some time that the failing conversion rates are the inevitable result of the “marketing” system being used by the Church. What distinguishes the Restoration from other faiths is our doctrine. We have been de-emphasizing doctrine for years. We try to seem more and more like another Christian faith. We aren’t. We are quite different. The reason to convert lies in our doctrinal differences.
No one is going to live the Latter-day Saint lifestyle who thinks that we are just another mainstream Christian church. To pay tithing, refrain from coffee, tea, alcohol, smoking and serve in Church leadership roles at considerable personal inconvenience and sacrifice requires our Church to be more than just another mainstream church. If that is all we are, most people (especially devoted people) are going to want an easier form of belief, like Methodism, Presbyterianism or Catholicism. If they offer the same doctrine as we do, then they will win.
I am a Latter-day Saint because I believe the doctrine. I am not a traditional Christian because I believe their creeds are false and they teach for doctrine the commandments of men. Unless someone comes to believe that, there is no reason to leave a traditional Christian denomination and become a Latter-day Saint.
I was asked recently.
“Who can become a seer?”
I answered this: You could probably substitute “seer” for “prophet” in Moses’ lament: “Would to God all men were [seers]”. The purpose of seership is the same as any other gift of the Spirit: to acquire knowledge of truth. And, assuming “God giveth liberally to all men,” as James promised us, it would follow this was among the things He intended all men to experience.
Read the description of the conditions of post-mortal residence in the presence of God given in Section 130. The “seership” experience there is commonplace. The “sea of glass,” or earth on which they dwell is a great Urim and Thummim, as well as the “white stone” given to them. The result is that ALL occupants of that sphere are seers. Accordingly, we should assume that we obtain our first instructions here to prepare us for living there. Seership, being necessary for life there, is something we ought to expect to be included in the Lord’s tutelage while we are all here.
ALL of us are to “covet the best gifts” on the one hand; and on the other “there is no gift greater” than seership. (That’s Paul and Ammon being quoted.) It follows necessarily, therefore, that we should be seeking to have some experience with this gift here in mortality.
I’ve been a Neil Young fan since his Buffalo Springfield days. Among his acts of kindness over the years, he saved Lionel Trains from bankruptcy in 1995, because he is a model train fan. That affection grew from his relationship with his autistic son.
In any event, here is an A Cappella version of his After the Gold Rush song; one of the great anthems of modern rock. I found this on YouTube and thought it memorable.
I’ve gotten numerous questions this last week on the subject of the “second anointing” or “second sealing.” This is not a subject which I think invites a lot of open discussion. I’ve intentionally avoided it in my books.
Here’s what I think is appropriate to explain:The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil is an explanation of what is required to get to the point you are prepared to meet the Lord. It is essentially a manual. It stops short of explaining what the Lord, in His on-going ministry to mankind, will do to prepare the individual for what comes next. That is His ministry. The Holy Ghost brings you to the Lord. The Lord brings you to the Father. That book was written to help you come to Him.
Beloved Enos is an explanation of what the results are, once someone has received the Lord’s ministry. It takes Enos’ record and uses it as a basis for the explanation.
Between the text of The Second Comforter and Beloved Enos, what is omitted is a description of the sacred ordinances involved in what is termed “the second anointing.” I do not feel inclined to go into that.