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I am a fool

Joseph Smith once said about himself that if “he hadn’t lived it, he wouldn’t believe it.”  What insight that provides.
 
I believe in the complete equality of all of us.  God did not love Joseph Smith more than He loved Sidney Rigdon.  Joseph remained true to the end, and Sidney fell away.  That had nothing to do with God’s love for them.  It had to do with their love of God and willingness to sacrifice to have the faith to trust in God.
 
I do not blame anyone who questions my right to give answers.  I renounce any authority over anyone.  Even those over whom I have a position as father are treated with respect and urging, not by demanding they see or do things to please me.
If, however, I have the power to answer a question by the power of Spirit, and the answer seems to you to be filled with light and truth, then it is the Spirit you should thank – not me.  Such an ability will flee the moment I leave the path, seek to control others or become prideful.  You can mark it down as true: No man who has his own self as his concern will be able to declare the truth in purity and with the approval of the Spirit.
I have said before and I repeat it again – I am a fool.  You mustn’t trust me.  If the Spirit does not ratify what I have to say, then I’m not worth the time to even consider.
 
This blog is an attempt to explain what I believe to be true. It is for those who are trying to find truth for themselves.  Hopefully you will become acquainted with enough to begin to trust that God does exist, and that He will answer questions, and that He is no respecter of persons.  Hopefully you will venture into asking and getting answers from Him directly.  Then, when you have begun that process, I hope to encourage you to follow through and receive from Him what He alone can provide to us.  For salvation lies in “knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.”  (John 17: 3.)  It does not lie in following other men.  Rather it is to be found as a result of you drawing near to Him. This will in turn cause Him to draw near to you.
 
He lives!
 
He answers prayer!
 
He cares about and loves you as much as He has loved any person who has ever lived on this earth.

Is it your hope to be a part of Zion?

I was asked if I thought it was wrong to own a gun or kill in self-defense.  My response.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with owning firearms, hunting, or self-defense.  But I do think we are too quick to presume we are authorized to take life.  Therefore, I am reluctant to encourage that kind of thinking. I encourage a non-violent, non-confrontational way to solve a problem first, and  violent action as a last resort.  When violence or self-defense is used as the final option, then it is rarely needed. When it is viewed as justified and approved, it gets employed with the kind of recklessness that will condemn a person. 

The Mountain Meadows Massacre is a hallmark event wherein aggressive “self defense” resulted in murder.  No one in the local church leadership involved thought of it as murder at the time.  In hindsight, everyone, even the church’s Assistant-Historian, admits it was murder and that the blame went far beyond John D. Lee.  It is far better to suffer than to react too quickly and to take life. 

This is a separate subject from the creation of Zion.  Currently, as a people, we don’t possess enough basic understanding of doctrine to begin to organize Zion.  Our current models would be warmed over Babylon with new names associated with it.  Rather like the Historic Christian movement adopted “Christmas” to celebrate “Sol Invictus.”  Or the fertility rites of Spring renamed “Easter.”  

Our “Zion” would be a commercial enterprise, with private ownership and capitalist competition to form an economic basis from which to build a strictly regimented and highly controlled people.  Something so foreign to what Zion was meant to be that I rather think it would draw tornadoes in a proportion greater than trailer parks currently do in Mississippi.

Zion will be cooperative, not competitive.  They will be “one” in every sense of the word.  No one will need to say “know ye the Lord” because everyone will know Him, from the greatest to the least.  He will be able to dwell among them because He will have already been known by them.

Collectivist efforts are never going to work.  FIRST, we must become individually the kind of people whom the Lord can visit.  Then, after that, the gathering together of like-minded people will be a gathering of equals.  It will not be an hierarchical gathering of “leadership” and drones.  There won’t be a single drone in Zion.  Everyone will be equal and no one will mind mowing the grass or taking out the garbage.

I envision this scene from Zion:

A man walks down the street early in the morning and notices that the bakery is unmanned.  Its door is open, because there is no need for locks in Zion.  So, on an impulse, he enters, looks about for the instructions left by someone, and begins to prepare bread.  As the morning goes on, a few others join him.  They make bread.  Others come and take the bread to their homes.  At the end of the day, the man goes home.  This was his first time working in the bakery.  He did it because he saw it needed to be done.

He returns to the bakery, because he enjoyed it.  Day by day he works in the bakery for months, perhaps years.  One day on his way, he notices that the grass needs to be cut and the mower has been carefully left beside a tree along the parkway.  So he starts to cut the grass.  He finds he likes it, and this is now what he does this day.  And the next.  And within a month he has cut all the grass needing cutting in his immediate neighborhood and starts over again where he began.  He enjoys it.

Eventually he is asked by someone to help to move clothing and journals from one home to another.  A couple whose children have all moved out no longer have need of the larger home they occupy, and are moving across town.  So he puts the mower carefully beside a tree and begins to help move.  Homes are occupied based upon need, and these people no longer have need of the larger space they once occupied.
Across town he notices that there is a new neighborhood being built. He decides, after finishing the move for the couple, that he will assist at the site.  He returns there for over a year as he provides help with stocking and distributing materials, framing, installing shingles, painting and clean-up.

He has no job. He is never without work.  He asks for no pay, because some labor to feed others.  He has no need for housing, because what is available is shared. 

Before I go on, I feel the need to interrupt:
How on earth is something like this going to work?
What about zoning laws and business licenses?
What about getting a building permit before commencing construction?
What quality control and food-handler’s permits exist which will guarantee the bread the man makes won’t make people sick?
This is chaos.  Disorder.  Anarchy.  In short, how the hell will something like this WORK??!!??
Well, the answer is, of course, it won’t.  Can’t.  Not with the folks we have at present.  We’ll sit around arguing about the rules for establishing Zion and simply never get around to being Zion.  Zion IS.  It can’t be organized, because it requires no organization.  It can’t be controlled because there is no need for control.  It can’t be governed because it is entirely voluntary and self-governing. 
So for us, we imagine Zion to have a completely restrictive set of covenants on housing which will keep out those garish, bright colored stucco houses we see on the “west-side” in oh so many crowded cities.  Right?  We can’t have that.  And we need a code to mandate a common language.  We can’t put up with a polyglot society where we can’t make out what someone is saying, now can we?  And we ought to make sure zoning keeps the commercial stuff on one side and not scattered throughout the neighborhoods.  Crap like that attracts crime.  And crime should require immediate expulsion, right?  Can’t tolerate crime in Zion.  We’ll need law enforcement to make that work, and a fence so the criminals don’t creep back in after dark. And street lights, so we can see what people are up to after dark when they’re lurking about.  And taxes to pay for the public improvements.  And a cap on taxes.  We can’t let taxation become punitive…..
wait – we’re right back in Babylon….
But you say you want to start Zion?  Ok. Go help your neighbor.  This is where our hearts will need to be before the foundation will ever be laid.  Studying so you can justify using violence if the need arises will not get you any closer to Zion.  Nor will developing a street plan for Zion ahead of a heart plan for changing mankind.  Men’s hearts have failed them.  (D&C 45: 26.)

Blessed are the peacemakers

Christ’s disciples were ever willing to use both priesthood and the sword to vanquish their opponents.  Christ taught them restraint.  There is this incident in the Luke Chapter 9:
 
  51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

  52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

  53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

  54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

  55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

  56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.
 
There is this incident in Gethsemene, a portion taken from John Chapter 18:
 

  10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

  11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

  12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
 
The balance of the account is found in Luke Chapter 22:
 
  50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

  51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

  52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

  53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

  54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
 
Christ taught and lived this: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”  (Matt. 5: 9.)


There are too many willing to cry for revenge or justice in the world.  Eventually the spirit of revenge and justice will be set free, and the earth will be filled with violence.  As it was in the days of Noah – those days will return again.  (Gen. 6: 11-13; Moses 8: 28-30.)  Those who want to see justified and unjustified killing will have their fill. 

 
In the days before the flood the earth was filled with violence.  There was also a corresponding return of Zion. It would not be as it was in the days of Noah if Zion were not to return.  For that, the pattern is set out in Moses Chapter 7:
 
  13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

  14 There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea.

  15 And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God;

  16 And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.

  17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.

  18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

  19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.

  20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.
 
Why was the fear of the Lord upon people who did not gather to Zion?  It was because their own guilt prevented them from drawing near.  It will be the same in the last days as it was then.  Moroni explains it in Mormon Chapter 9:
 
  2 Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?

  3 Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused his laws?

  4 Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.

  5 For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.

  6 O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.
 
How much guilt we bring with us to that final day depends entirely upon the intent of our hearts, the actions of our hands, and the words we speak.  (Alma 12: 14.)  Becoming a peacemaker and meriting the call as a child of God is measured by our acts, but includes as Alma warns us, our thoughts and words as well.

Clarification

I have not written any explanation for the Second Anointing or Calling and Election process.  I do not think it is important or meaningful to ever write anything about it.  What is important is to understand “how” someone would make changes in their lives to then be taught things directly from the Lord.  He has a continuing ministry.   You should be interested in having Him as your minister.

The books I have written do not ever touch upon Calling and Election, nor discuss the Second Anointing.  But they will tell you what is required to go and learn from the Lord about these things directly.  If you want answers about that, then follow the same path as the ancients did, as Joseph Smith did, and as Abraham did.  I’m only interested in helping you understand the path.

Beyond that, the details of such things are simply irrelevant to someone who is not invited to participate.  It is pure voyeurism without any purpose.  Rather like putting jewelery on pigs, which Christ recommended against.  Not that the inquiry comes from a “pig” but the answer would be subject to public scrutiny by everyone on the web.

The fact you are aware there is more to the Gospel is important.  The fact that you become entitled to receive things pertaining to a higher law by living that higher law is also important.  What you should focus on is the living, not the curiosity about things which you are not yet prepared to receive.  Prepare to receive them.  Everything else will be answered to your entire satisfaction once you are.

The same is required of all

I was asked this question:
 
“I am at a point where I do not know how to get past the fear to move on to faith. In my being I know that if I can get past this I can do all God asks of me, and I want to. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can accomplish to get over the hump? If you have any it would be greatly appreciated. I have always wanted to see my Savior from the time I was very small, but I know that I need faith to do it. Please help, if you can.”
 
Everyone faces the identical challenge.  It seems different only because of our individual strengths and weaknesses.  The challenge is adapted to our own personality, capacity and life’s history. Therefore, when you are asked to overcome something, it will fit in the framework of your life.
 
All are asked to make a sacrifice that shows they will not withhold anything from the Lord.  It will come to each person based on what they value and would regret to their core surrendering.  Whatever that is, you will be asked by the Lord to give it to Him.  You must decide to do that when asked.

All are asked to do something that they view as wrong, evil or inappropriate and will seem to be inconsistent with the Lord’s mercy, righteousness and perfection.  The request will unmistakably come from Him.  You cannot evade the request because you doubt He is asking.  You will clearly know it is Him who asks, and that to all your understanding it will be wrong to do.  You must do it anyway.
 
All are asked to take a step in faith beyond where they are at the time.  Trust in Him, and only Him, as you take that step.  You will be certain that if it were something you were undertaking on your own, it could not be accomplished.  But because you are doing as He has asked, you know you will have the strength or support to do as He bids.
 
All are asked to come to Him without guilt or shame, knowing you have done everything you understand Him to have asked of you.  Without this knowledge, you will not be able to endure what He asks.

All are able to develop the faith to lay hold on eternal life only because they have been led by Him through this process.  When they have the faith sufficient to lay hold on these things, the Lord will declare to them by His own voice, that they have been begotten of Him and have a place with Him in eternity.
 
This is universally the process.  The specific form each of these will take will vary from person to person because of individual traits.

Purpose of Teaching

I must clarify something very important for readers:
Giving answers to people apart from teaching how to get answers is wrong.  Wrong because just giving an answer alone creates dependence upon the one answering.  That is not the way in which I have tried to proceed.  Instead, I have tried to teach how to obtain your own answers.  The whole purpose of teaching is NOT to create dependence.  It is to make you independent from me, establish your own capacity to relate to and get answers from God.

I’ve tried to give answers and illustrations inside the greater context of teaching “how.”  The answer is nothing.  It is the “how” that matters.

Some readers on this blog have not read The Second Comforter and presume incorrectly that it is a book about me.  It is not.  It is a book about the reader.  It is an explanation of how the reader can grow into the greater relationship which Christ promised to them.  All the illustrations from my personal experience, with the exception of nine words only, are taken from my mistakes, errors, or setbacks.  The personal accounts of mistakes then are followed by chapters which explain how you can do it right.  That is a teacher’s role: to make the listener understand how they can do something.

It has become apparent that there are questions coming in from people who want answers completely separated from learning “how” to get an understanding of the basic process by which they can do it themselves.  That was never my intention, never asked of me, and not something that I want to start.

Your development is your responsibility.  I am trying to teach from my own experience how to grow.  Some of you have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to grow, and have been directly benefited from my efforts.  I view those people as such a triumph that I will always hold them dear.  I look forward to eternal joy with these people.  There are clearly others who have never realized what it means to be taught or how a true teacher is to proceed.  I can help.  But I cannot properly go beyond helping.  I cannot be your guru, your answer-man, or your leader.  Nor have I been called to preside.  I teach.  You must decide if you want to learn “how” to engage the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its associated blessings.  You must avoid at all hazards becoming dependent upon me, or any man, as your guide.  I am only here to help you in your own growth and development, and I am not here to tell you secrets, or amaze you with recitations of my personal experiences.  That would be wrong for two reasons:  First, it would do you no good, nor equip you with what you need.  Second, it would be both prideful and arrogant, setting myself up as a light instead of pointing you to the True Light.

Questions that change the focus and which prevent me from teaching as a disciple of Jesus Christ cannot be answered.  Therefore, if I cannot change the “question” into something I can use to teach, I will not answer the question.

Two ships pass in the night

Dialogue between two ships passing in the night.  [Intended as humor, because so far as I know ships do not speak with one another]:
 
USS Saint:  “I know the Church is true.”
 
HMS Midevil:  “Beg pardon, how’s that?”
 
USS Saint:  “I know the Church is true.”
 
HMS Midevil:  “Which?  .. or is it all?”
 
USS Saint:  “The Latter-day Saints, of course.”

HMS:  “By that do you mean to suggest that the Printing Services Division of the Materials Management Department is somehow ‘true’ as you say?”

 
USS:  “Um, well, yes I suppose.”
 
HMS:  “In what sense.  ‘True’ meaning that it exists? or ‘True” in some other meaning of the word?”
 
USS:  “I mean led by a Prophet of God, therefore imbued with the will of God Almighty in all respects.”
 
HMS:  “So not that it is ‘True’ in a metaphysical sense of existence on a higher plane, or bearing some corporeality, but somehow inerrant.  Is that what you are saying?  And, if so, does that preclude printing errors?  Because if it means avoidance of printing errors well, then they ought to take a larger role in the publishing industry than simply providing grist for the Materials Management Department.”
 
USS:  “Since a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such, I would not attribute inerrancy to the truthfulness of the Printing Services Division of the Materials Management Department; but I would rather say that what they do is Inspired.  I do suspect, however, there may be occasional printing errors.”
 
HMS:  “Inspired in the sense of the word meaning that it’s output is somehow delightful and uplifting?  Or in the sense of ‘perfection itself’?  But, then again, you’ve conceded the possibility of printing errors, so ‘perfection itself’ seems not to be included then.  So I presume that you mean when you read the output of the printing of this Division of that Department it somehow inspires you to be a better ship, then?  Perhaps somewhat of a worShip?”
 
USS:  “I can see that you are not prepared to grasp the truth of my testimony as yet.  So let me just warn you that you’re going to hell.”
 
HMS:  “Atlantic City, rather.”

USS:  “What?”

 
HMS:  “I’m sailing to Atlantic City.  Though it might be called ‘hell’ with some validity I suppose.”

Eternal life and the covenant marriage

“Eternal life” requires a couple who can have increase, or bear children.  The requirement is that through the continuation of the marriage covenant men and women become exalted.  And without that, they remain separate and single, saved, but not exalted.  D&C 132 explains:
 

  15 Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. 
 

  16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. 
 

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

  18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

The Celestial Kingdom has three heavens or degrees within it.  To attain the highest, which is the only one in which the marriage covenant exists and continues, a person must have entered into a marriage and been sealed by the holy spirit of promise.  As D&C 131 explains:
 
  1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees
 

  2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; 
 

  3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. 
 

  4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase

Exaltation is tied to the marriage covenant and without an eternal marriage there cannot be exaltation.
 
However, (I point out hesitantly) that all these verses are phrased in the masculine.  In most cases the masculine does not matter because the commandment applies to both the man and woman.  That is, when mankind is referred to collectively, it is referred to in the masculine.  For example, the first couple are sometimes referred to collectively as “Adam” when what is meant is Adam and Eve.  Therefore, what I’m going to say is not a universal truism and cannot be applied without regard to context.  Here, however, it can be applied.  Because in this instance, the male’s right to exaltation is utterly dependent upon his successful completion of this requirement as part of this probation.  
 
Women, on the other hand, who would be otherwise worthy (and that involves a great number beyond those who are parties to sealed and worthy marriage), are among those who D&C 137 describes:
 
  7. …All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; 
 

  8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; 
 

  9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desires of their hearts.
 
Women have, throughout history, borne their obligation of motherhood and submission to husbands with considerable success.  It is rare, however, when men have been able to retain priesthood.  Apostasy is a male failing, not a female failing.  Nor are the women of the Church responsible for the lack of “power” within the priesthood discussed by Elder Packer in last General Conference.  This is a male failing.  Therefore, when the first two quotes are read above, the significance of the masculine phrasing ought not be overlooked.  The whole subject is tied to a man’s completion of a task required of him in mortality.
 
Women who are good mothers, worthy wives and who keep the faith will suffer no loss because of a failing husband.  HOWEVER, women are required to minister in love and righteousness even to a difficult husband, as did Abigail.  Marriage to a “churlish” man did not stop her from showing her own nobility.  Therefore, it is not enough for a woman to determine her husband is not likely to survive the judgment, give up on him, and await the next life to learn to serve in love and patience.  She has an obligation to begin that service here and now.  Indeed, the worse the man, the greater the opportunity to show Christ-like devotion.  There is no man whose behavior is more offensive than those for whom Christ suffered.  To be like Him, and to live where He lives requires a similar capacity to forgive, love, bless, serve and elevate.

This isn’t easy.  Wasn’t meant to be.  Do you really think any of us are worthy to be called “gods” without first descending below all things so as to be qualified to rise above all things?  Christ is not merely our Savior, He is our example.  We must “follow Him” if we want to be where He is.

Sacred things

I was asked this question:
“What do you say to people who state: ‘I doubt people who’ve had an audience with Christ would be out writing books and blogs about it. We are counseled not to talk about sacred things. (Followed by several GA quotes.)'”
I would say that they should accept counsel from whomever they trust and follow it.  I might add that if they read The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil they will get an answer to the question.  But, if they are hostile and offended and ask the question out of fear, I would not add the clarification.

It is not necessary for everyone to be stirred up by argument or persuasion to listen to something they do not want to hear.  What is coming will stir up everyone who has not been already touched by the Spirit.  Patience.  We’re headed somewhere.  The Lord remains in charge and has a plan to cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess the truth of who He is, what He has done, and what He has been doing.  We shouldn’t rush people forward.

There is more mischief in introducing people to truth before they are ready to comprehend and welcome it than there is in remaining silent.  It is uncharitable to tell someone a great truth which they are unprepared to accept.