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This button is a resource to link those desiring baptism with those having authority to baptize. More information can be found here.

 

Conference on Chiasmus

The Conference on Chiasmus originally scheduled for May 15th has been continued to September.  There will be a further announcement on date, time and location once things have been finally arranged. 

Belief becomes knowledge

The post I put up with an excerpt from Lecture 6 a bit ago was deliberately chosen as a foundation for what was put up a few days ago.  That Lecture included the fact that you “know” not merely “believe” that what you are doing is in conformity with God’s will.  A person obtains “actual knowledge” that they are acting in conformity with God’s will.
Kisi asked a question regarding the idea of being asked to do something you regard as “wrong” or perhaps even “evil,” and how can a person avoid deception with such an idea.  The answer lies within the doctrine taught in Lecture 6.  You simply cannot proceed without knowing.  You cannot know without following the correct course.  You must make an acceptable sacrifice to obtain the knowledge.  Without making that sacrifice you cannot obtain that knowledge.  However, once you have possession of the actual knowledge, then it is not a matter of conjecture, or speculation, or desire, or “hope” as the world uses that term.  Rather it is an act in utter righteousness, in strict conformity with the will of God, whose will is known to the person because they have proceeded correctly in obtaining this knowledge.
To gain that knowledge a person keeps the commandments, pays their tithes, does everything they are asked to do to follow the will of God as understood by them.  Such a person will be “firm in their minds” and not weak minded or given to flights of fancy.  (Moroni 7: 30.)  They will have been qualified by the things which they have done in following God to possess this kind of knowledge.

The idea that a person would do something which they regard as “wrong” or to be “evil” is typified in the experience of Abraham (Gen. 22: 2) and Nephi (1 Ne. 4: 10.).  This is what the Lecture is talking about when it says:

“a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things; it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.”
Now I do not expect anyone to be asked to sacrifice their only child.  Nor to be told to kill someone and take their possession.  What I expect is that in the context of the life someone has lived or is living, they will be asked to do or not do something which is so specific to them that they alone will understand why it is a sacrifice to them.  If asked of another, it may be completely insignificant. But when asked of them, it will be exactly what the person will struggle to lay upon the Lord’s altar.  Hence the term “sacrifice” with its partial meaning of parting with something involving great value to them.  However, it is not possible to rule anything in or out – the Lord alone will know you and what is required for you to obtain this faith.
The terms for obtaining this kind of faith are the same for every man or woman who has ever lived.  Without making the sacrifice it is not possible to obtain the faith.

The process is everything – the answer is nothing

Process is everything.  Answers are nothing.
If you learn the process, you can develop godlike traits.  That is, the very tools that are required for us to develop as disciples of Jesus Christ are, in fact, the tools used by God Himself.

Faith in God is necessary for us to develop. God extends His kingdom by His faith.  Therefore, as we develop faith we are developing a characteristic that is godlike in its form and function.  He knows we are unable to have faith in ourselves right now.  Therefore, it is required for us to have faith in Him.  Indeed at this stage of development it is necessary for us to concentrate all faith in Him because this whole creation belongs to Him.  We are not self-existent yet.  Our organization and continuation is dependent upon Him.  (See Mosiah 2: 20-25.)  

Christ is our great example, and in this He showed the way as well.  While here, mortal, and before finishing the course, He declared: “I can of my own self do nothing.”  (John 5: 30.)  When resurrected, however, He declared “all power is given unto me in earth and in heaven.”  (Matt. 28: 18.)

The rules of Celestial glory are the rules of the Temple.  Obedience, sacrifice, Gospel, chastity and consecration are all the hallmarks of citizenship there.  This is why peace, order, kindness and love prevail in that society.  There is nothing to harm, threaten or break up families.

Why would an answer to a deep doctrinal question help someone who is not prepared to live in conformity with the Celestial standards?  And contrariwise, if they live Celestial standards, how can you keep them from understanding the doctrine?  (John 7: 17.)
Process is everything.  A mere answer will not fill the empty soul. Those who have read my books should understand this.  This blog is for them.  Those who do not have a doctrinal basis to understand what is going on here will not be satisfied by this blog.  It is not meant as a substitute for understanding what I’ve written.  It is only a supplement to it.

That does not mean that you must read what I’ve written to understand the Gospel.  There are many ways to obtain that understanding, the primary one being to study the scriptures.  In my opinion the quality of what we teach now is so diluted, so basic and simplistic. It leaves by the wayside so much of what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that you either have to read early church materials or else read what I’ve gathered (based primarily on the scriptures and secondarily on what Joseph Smith taught).  If you have been a Latter-day Saint for longer than about 4 years, today’s curriculum, in my view, is not adequate to inform you about the obligations devolving upon you as a disciple of Christ.

I labor to teach process.  I want you independent of me and every other teacher, able to get answers for yourself directly from heaven itself.  I want to avoid today what Joseph cautioned us against in Nauvoo: “[I]f the people departed from the Lord, they must fall – that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving on themselves[.]”  (TPJS p. 237.)  Joseph did NOT want you dependent upon him for answers.  He wanted to teach you correct principles and let you govern yourself.

Any man who tries to put himself between you and heaven, claiming that he alone should be the source of your religious beliefs and education, is practicing priestcraft and will in the end lead both himself and you to damnation.

The process is everything – the answer is nothing

Process is everything.  Answers are nothing.
If you learn the process, you can develop godlike traits.  That is, the very tools that are required for us to develop as disciples of Jesus Christ are, in fact, the tools used by God Himself.

Faith in God is necessary for us to develop. God extends His kingdom by His faith.  Therefore, as we develop faith we are developing a characteristic that is godlike in its form and function.  He knows we are unable to have faith in ourselves right now.  Therefore, it is required for us to have faith in Him.  Indeed at this stage of development it is necessary for us to concentrate all faith in Him because this whole creation belongs to Him.  We are not self-existent yet.  Our organization and continuation is dependent upon Him.  (See Mosiah 2: 20-25.)  

Christ is our great example, and in this He showed the way as well.  While here, mortal, and before finishing the course, He declared: “I can of my own self do nothing.”  (John 5: 30.)  When resurrected, however, He declared “all power is given unto me in earth and in heaven.”  (Matt. 28: 18.)

The rules of Celestial glory are the rules of the Temple.  Obedience, sacrifice, Gospel, chastity and consecration are all the hallmarks of citizenship there.  This is why peace, order, kindness and love prevail in that society.  There is nothing to harm, threaten or break up families.

Why would an answer to a deep doctrinal question help someone who is not prepared to live in conformity with the Celestial standards?  And contrariwise, if they live Celestial standards, how can you keep them from understanding the doctrine?  (John 7: 17.)
Process is everything.  A mere answer will not fill the empty soul. Those who have read my books should understand this.  This blog is for them.  Those who do not have a doctrinal basis to understand what is going on here will not be satisfied by this blog.  It is not meant as a substitute for understanding what I’ve written.  It is only a supplement to it.

That does not mean that you must read what I’ve written to understand the Gospel.  There are many ways to obtain that understanding, the primary one being to study the scriptures.  In my opinion the quality of what we teach now is so diluted, so basic and simplistic. It leaves by the wayside so much of what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that you either have to read early church materials or else read what I’ve gathered (based primarily on the scriptures and secondarily on what Joseph Smith taught).  If you have been a Latter-day Saint for longer than about 4 years, today’s curriculum, in my view, is not adequate to inform you about the obligations devolving upon you as a disciple of Christ.

I labor to teach process.  I want you independent of me and every other teacher, able to get answers for yourself directly from heaven itself.  I want to avoid today what Joseph cautioned us against in Nauvoo: “[I]f the people departed from the Lord, they must fall – that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving on themselves[.]”  (TPJS p. 237.)  Joseph did NOT want you dependent upon him for answers.  He wanted to teach you correct principles and let you govern yourself.

Any man who tries to put himself between you and heaven, claiming that he alone should be the source of your religious beliefs and education, is practicing priestcraft and will in the end lead both himself and you to damnation.

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.