Friday, November 27, 2015

Robes and Rags

From the video:

Elder Christofferson: To some degree it came from questions that have surfaced in different parts of the world and the United States. With the Supreme Court’s decision in the United States, there was a need for a distinction to be made between what may be legal and what may be law of the Church and the law of the Lord and how we respond to that. So it’s a matter of being clear; it’s a matter of understanding right and wrong; it’s a matter of a firm policy that doesn’t allow for question or doubt. We think it’s possible and mandatory, incumbent upon us as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, to yield no ground in the matter of love and sympathy and help and brotherhood and serving in doing all we can for anybody; at the same time maintaining the standards He maintained. That was the Savior’s pattern. He always was firm in what was right and wrong. He never excused or winked at sin. He never redefined it. He never changed His mind. It was what it was and is what it is and that’s where we are, but His compassion, of course, was unexcelled and His desire and willingness and proactive efforts to minister, to heal, to bless, to lift and to bring people toward the path that leads to happiness never ceased. That’s where we are. We’re not going to stop that. We’re not going to yield on our efforts to help people find what brings happiness, but we know sin does not. And so we’re going to stand firm there because we don’t want to mislead people. There’s no kindness in misdirecting people and leading them into any misunderstanding about what is true, what is right, what is wrong, what leads to Christ and what leads away from Christ.

Michael Otterson: Why are the children of these same-sex partners an issue here?

Elder Christofferson: Well, in answering or responding to your question, let me say I speak not only as an apostle in the Church, but as a husband, as a father and as a grandfather. And like others in those more enduring callings, I have a sense of compassion and sympathy and tender feelings that they do. So this policy originates out of that compassion. It originates from a desire to protect children in their innocence and in their minority years. When, for example, there is the formal blessing and naming of a child in the Church, which happens when a child has parents who are members of the Church, it triggers a lot of things. First, a membership record for them. It triggers the assignment of visiting and home teachers. It triggers an expectation that they will be in Primary and the other Church organizations. And that is likely not going to be an appropriate thing in the home setting, in the family setting where they're living as children where their parents are a same-sex couple. We don't want there to be the conflicts that that would engender. We don't want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one way and the expectations of the Church are very different. And so with the other ordinances on through baptism and so on, there's time for that if, when a child reaches majority, he or she feels like that's what they want and they can make an informed and conscious decision about that. Nothing is lost to them in the end if that's the direction they want to go. In the meantime, they're not placed in a position where there will be difficulties, challenges, conflicts that can injure their development in very tender years.
The situation with polygamist families, for example, and same-sex marriage couples and families really has a parallel. For generations we've had these same kinds of policies that relate to children in polygamist families that we wouldn't go forward with these ordinances while they're in that circumstance and before they reach their majority. That's the same sort of situation we're dealing with here, so it's something we have had a history with. It's a practice that really is analogous that's been the case over many generations.

So a religious culture that cannot even prevent the subtle abuses and inequalities between adults will foist upon children the awful burden of not technically belonging to your club when they are not emotionally intelligent enough to negotiate the accompanying social abuse that such a division will entail.

If you think Jesus was about policy, I don't think you understand his pattern at all. He commanded you to love as he loved. He was not afraid of people questioning or doubting. He did not command you to deny anyone worthy who seeks baptism. Even you cannot deny that these children are worthy of baptism.

Surely you are familiar with Section 38:

 25 And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.
 26 For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there—and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just?
Robes and rags, and you insist that you are "just". And all of your sycophants bear robotic testimony because they cannot even begin to reason in light of Christ's words. In fact, they cannot bear to be around me anymore because they consider my honesty about your abuses to be an act of treading on something "sacred".

Think about that for a moment, Todd. I bring the words of Christ to bear upon your policies, and Mormons I've known for 20+ years respond by not inviting me over anymore. Not even a phone call for Thanksgiving. Christ asks them to be a witness of his name at all times/in all places, commands them to love as he loved, and their response when I hold to His words is mechanical aversion and indifference.

You, however, understand the implications of "robes' don't you, Mr. Apostle? Do you esteem these children as yourself? Will your grandchildren esteem the children of same-sex couples as themselves when they go to Primary, Scouting, Mutual, or the YSA system?

You point to the decades-old policy concerning children of polygamists, and again you consider yourself "just". As if those kids, suffering through ostracism and suicide pacts, don't need someone to turn to. Do you mind if I ask you for the umpteenth time if Mormons are actually Christians?

What are these "handbooks" that you write and implement upon the repentant body of Christ? Tell me honestly: are they written to protect the flock, or the brand? Do they work for the Gospel, or for the 501c? Did they stem from Joseph Smith, or Harold B. Lee? Why are their instructions different from what Christ commands? If Christ says the following in Section 10:

65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;

66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. 
67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.
68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
...then wouldn't this policy be considered more than what Christ requires? Doesn't such a policy serve to harden hearts? Why attach asterisks to His words? Don't you trust Him? The rumor is that living prophets trump dead ones... but do their words trump Jesus' words also?

You identify your concerns very clearly in your interview, and they regard the mechanism of the Institution above the souls of human beings. "Trigger" is the word you use (3 times) in the portion I quote above, which indicates to me that you consider the Church to be some sort of unwieldy machine that you seek to accommodate. It appears you want to do so rather than go the difficult route of simply obeying Section 10.

That is alarming, Todd. Why? Because it indicates to me that the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHOI) carries more heft than scripture. Which ultimately means that it is the actual scripture on the LDS table. And it is a privileged text to boot, in that it is not distributed to the lay members. That is what the scriptures used to be in the old machine, otherwise known as the Catholic Church.

If your bishops and stake presidents follow the instruction of this handbook, eschewing the words of Jesus while simultaneously taking upon themselves His name, can it not be said that they are attempting to serve two masters?

They do so at your insistence, and you don't pay tithing while they do. So you understand completely when I speak of inequalities within this Institution.

Third Nephi capitalizes the initial "m" of "Mammon" where KJV Luke and Matthew left the noun common. Sounds proper to me, too. It is much more likely that Mammon is an entity rather than mere "riches". If the god of money constitutes the meta text of the CHOI, then can it not be said that the handbook (along with its adherents) constitutes a parasitic idol religion that has attached itself to the Restoration?

This is where the notion of "robes" becomes important, Mr. Apostle. The Bridegroom has commanded the preparation of a bride, and instead you are preparing a cyborg. Instead of robes and beautiful garments, you are adorning the church with dehumanizing policies that obfuscate the commandments of Jesus Christ. The result is widespread malfunction, as pure doctrine clashes with corporate codes within the minds of your churchgoers.

Such mechanisms deaden the mind to reason and only allow for fanaticism. Mecha and technological implants are worse than rags.

Do you think He wants a mechanical bride? An unthinking fembot instead of a free-thinking authentic woman? If you had paid attention to science fiction, you would understand. Metropolis, Blade Runner, Ex Machina, it's all there. But even a rudimentary reading of the scriptures spells out what Zion is. Again from Section 38:

27 Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.

Unity is not achieved through policy. Policy relates to brand and product, and people are always divided over the quality of both. Hence, policy always divides. It is doctrine that unifies because it allows the space necessary for all to commune with God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and Christ's doctrine was laid out in scripture before any of us were born.

Doctrine does not require parasitic policy.

Your handbook prefers Mammon over the flock. It lays out the red carpet for the whore (See Revelation), and she only understands whoredom. Mammon is more than happy to accommodate her. But the problem with Mammon is that he isn't interested in marriage. He is not a bridegroom at all. Furthermore, Mammon has bad friends. He is buddies with Moloch. You remember that guy, right? Moloch, who always required the suffering of children.

So if the idea of using children as a means of coercing others to behave a certain way sounds familiar to anyone who has observed a divorce, that makes sense because Moloch always saw 8-year-olds as a means of idolatry and self-interest more than a reflection of Heaven. If there is anything that can divide the church like pitting baptized children vs. the unbaptized, it would be rare indeed.

Friday, September 18, 2015

If the Womb is a Veil (part 5)

If the body is a temple, then it is the terrestrial world. It is not the telestial. 

LDS people do not understand the term "terrestrial" the way it is traditionally used. It is used in D&C 76 (and in the temple) to identify a plane of existence that is preparatory to entering heaven, or the "Celestial". In the common Plan of Salvation that is posed repeatedly to membership, the Terrestrial world is a kingdom and plane within the Kingdom of God, but it is level that is between the Telestial (which represents the world we now live on) and the Celestial.

An etymological examination of these terms can be found here.

The temple is implicitly understood as a representation of the Terrestrial, which has associations with both the Garden of Eden and the City of Enoch. Adam and Eve were kicked out of this world and into the Telestial for their transgression at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. As a result, the earth fell with them into the Telestial state, which is a proving ground. Conversely, Enoch was accepted back into this 2nd plane when he established a Zion community that was taken from the fallen earth into the Terrestrial by God.

The difference between the lower two kingdoms is that we mortals, for good or ill, create laws to govern the telestial. Though a body is a temple it exists within the telestial, so what we do to others on this plane is legislated here by those in mortal sovereignty. 

What happens within the terrestrial is another story. If the body equates to a temple, as Christ repeatedly asserts, then it is the middle ground between heaven and earth. Hence the things that happen within it are subject to laws agreed upon between mortals and deity; meaning that God dictates the terms and we either agree with or reject those terms with our autonomy.

If a woman is allowed by God to be a steward over the temple body that she has been given, then it should always be the mother who decides who enters or exits her body. She gets to decide the "yes" or "no" because she is the steward. 

It follows that, if her stewardship is righteous, she will eventually be given sovereignty over her body by deity. Part of this could include entry into the terrestrial plane while she is still alive if the Lord so chooses to extend that invitation, a la Enoch and his people. It should be noted here that the scriptures refer to the church metaphorically as a "woman with child" that departs into the wilderness to escape Babylon and birth Zion.

Christ gave every mother the autonomy to decide when he gave us life, and it is not within the jurisdiction of mortals to restrict what happens in that space. Examine Section 121:

41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
If persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness and meekness, and love unfeigned are the only methods allowed by God to exercise righteous dominion within the context of priesthood, then why would force and/or coercion somehow be acceptable within the context of state or federal law?

Christ did not do his work through legislation. He did not force his laws of love and forgiveness on anyone. He reasoned, he used parable, and he offered astounding answers which communicated his powerful doctrine. He forced no one. His doctrine was powerful enough on its own to impact and influence others to seek righteousness.

If anyone is to fight abortion from the platform of Christ's rock, they will do so using His methods. In other words, you will face the mob, speak the truth to them with your own lips, and refrain from exercising force (even if you are completely capable of forcing others). Always.

What truth did Jesus speak? That the body is a temple. And that children are innocent. And that if you harm little ones, it would be better that a millstone be tied around your neck and that you are tossed into the sea. 

Who is brave enough to abandon the idea of legislating abortion and to repeat Jesus' words and use them as a platform by themselves to protect unborn lives? It would appear that those who follow Christ in this matter are so few that they are essentially anonymous. Most people that fight against abortion are overwhelmingly interested in legislation and have abandoned Christ's sanctity for autonomy.

Legislation will not stop abortion, and neither will criminalization. Impersonal propaganda and "pro-life" fanaticism have yielded the current results: an estimated 55 million abortions since January 1973. It will only be authentic Christianity, which includes a strict adherence to Christ's laws regarding autonomy and love unfeigned, that will change the hearts of the women that possess the bodies and power towards giving life instead of taking it.

I agree that abortion is murder. In my opinion, those murders are not punishable on this plane. They shouldn't be. I hate that it happens, and I despise the rationale that supports its use as birth control. But if the womb is a veil, then it most certainly is not the United States. It is a sacred gate wherewith a woman must negotiate her own stewardship and relationship with God.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Implements of Myth

The offense that you have committed is myth dismantlement. They take it as violence because they must. They do not have an identity without the lie. And no matter what truth you speak, it will always cut through an image that they hold as sacred.

This is why many of these people always divert attention towards the "tone" of comments or arguments that contradict the way they live. If they focus instead on the content of what you are saying, they will be forced to face up to a truth that is uncomfortable to them on a fundamental level.

They can neither walk one mile with you, nor two. They can sit through a 45 minute class with you where you are only allowed a few sentences, but a true dialogue is not the goal. The goal is for you to join in with their monologue. And if you do not, they must dismiss you as quickly as they possibly can, and get back to the implements of the myth. These include the following:

1. A orthodox reading of scripture that doesn’t even pass the English litmus of basic word meaning. So interest = "income", hot drinks = “caffeinated hot drinks”, and Prophet, Seer, & Revelator = “Anyone so sustained whether they prophesy, see, translate, or reveal anything at all. They are now your commander”.

2. An endowment ceremony that was adulterated before the saints even left Nauvoo, and that has since been scrubbed and altered beyond recognition by committees for reasons as varied as convenience, embarrassment, and member polling.

3. A secret doctrine (the Church Handbook of Instructions) written by committee that not only supersedes the doctrines of the scriptures, but also was expressly written to legally protect the church brand and hierarchy above individual members.

4. A hierarchy that is mythologized and worshipped to the point that you must sustain them as “Prophets, Seers, & Revelators” or risk having your membership and temple blessings rescinded.

Christ's words and acts are completely foreign to our myths and religious constructs. Trusting his words instead of those offered by corporate churchmen? That is anti-establishment behavior. Civil disobedience. It equals being at odds with Babylon, and thereby leaving behind comfort, and possessions, and admiration.

Christ demands love and righteousness on a level that those who prefer myth have abandoned a long time ago. He demands that you actually cloth the naked, and care for the sick. Meaning that your hands get dirty and that you are exposed to diseases and filth that the rest of humanity would never go near.

In the minds of those who worship the brand, they have to construct and project the image of a monster upon you in order to make sense of your decision to follow Christ instead of churchmen. They do this by accusing you of things like “losing the spirit” or “intellectualizing yourself out of the church”. They forget that the glory of God is intelligence. They demonize what they fear and what they do not comprehend.  It is just like Captain Ahab designating all of the world's evils and ills upon the whale in Moby Dick. So when he stabs the whale, he is not striking an enemy at all. He is stabbing a boogeyman of his own make.

To the myth of mainstream Mormonism, we are monsters. Anyone who stands for truth is a monster to a corporate PR machine and its army of zombie slaves. You will be cast as such a monster for being honest. To a body such as theirs, the truth is like cholera. They will avoid you as much as they can, and when they must speak to you they will avoid talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Lord implores us not to fear:

"49 The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.
50 Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound." (D&C 88)

Light does not recede from darkness. Light does not unfriend you on social media. Light does not stop inviting you over. Light does not abandon the one to huddle with the ninety nine.

Light does not feel threatened by spiritual progression, visions, or visitations. Light does not term the mysteries of God as "deep doctrine" and under its breath say "steer clear". Those who are in darkness say such things because they have the mentality of lobsters in a boiling pot. 

Light stands forth and loves all. Light has no fear of speaking the truth. Light chases away darkness, and it is darkness that cannot bear the things revealed by the light.

If you do not get light and darkness right, you will forever be mistaking them. You will put forth one and pretend it is the other. This is how myths enslave us.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Primal Forces of Nature

"How many here, be priests who commune with the Firstborn—with the people brought upon the face of the earth before God brought man to earth—How many priests here turn rivers from their courses, and say unto the mountain, move, and it moveth from its place?"

Important questions, Daymon Smith.

The essay (click on Daymon's name to read it) is a presentation that Mr. Smith gave at the recent Sunstone Symposium. It reminded me of Arthur Jensen's beratement of Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network:

"You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that... perfect world... in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangelism."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Christ Gave Us Freedom

Maria from Fritz Lang's film Metropolis.

Does anyone still believe that Christ gave us our agency & autonomy? I wonder all the time. I repeatedly see Mormons in my newsfeed lobby for control and coercion. It is as if they have forgotten the adversary who emerged from the Council in Heaven.

We read about that stuff in Moses 4:
1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.
D&C 76:
25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!
28 And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ
29 Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.
Isaiah 14:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Revelation 12:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
2 Nephi 9:
O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.
And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
Re-reading this stuff, doesn't it seem clear to you that the adversary's goal is control and enslavement? If his plan was diametrically opposed to that of The Father, then wouldn't that mean that Christ intended for us to have the freedom to choose for ourselves and govern ourselves?

If this is true, then governments fulfill the plan of the adversary. On the surface, they protect our property, financial interests, and values. But if they dissuade us from doing wrong via threat of fines, criminal records, and/or imprisonment, then it's not really freedom that we are talking about. It is mechanical performance of appearances to avoid pain. In other words, it is a defense mechanism.

If Shakespeare is correct in declaring life a play, then aren't you just memorizing rote lines and performing a part? And if so, then who's plan are you fulfilling?

Machines also have parts. If a part performs well, then it hums in concert with the rest of the machine. If it does not perform well, then it is replaced and discarded. But there is something ignoble about being a cog under threat, isn't there? There is an empty caving in of will that results in an intolerable numbness.

God the Father didn't want machines to enter heaven. Why did Christ follow the will of the Father? Was it out of robotic obedience? If so, then wouldn't Christ simply be the ultimate machine, following the Father's commands with a cold exactness that is better than anyone else?

Nothing about Christ strikes me as robotic. His life as described in scripture was saturated in charity, grace, and love unfeigned. But the Pharisees and Sadducees that opposed him were painfully mechanical in their approach to spirituality and the sacred. They were all about the performance of clean appearances, and Christ had a monumental critique of their programming. Their collective response to his critique was that of a calculator that could not compute.

From John 9:
19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.
22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples.
29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.
33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
Their response to miracles was contempt and judgment. Their questions about healing was from a position of incredulous doubt. Such machines are not fit for a world populated by gods. What would they do there? Display their resistance to pork and shellfish? Recount the steps they took every sabbath day to prove their righteousness?

Verse 29 should be horrifying to people who regularly say "I know" in fast and testimony meeting. The Jews claimed that they knew that God spake to Moses, but they still did not recognize Christ. This begs a serious question: If they knew that God spoke to Moses, what was the nature of their knowledge? Was it mere tradition? If so, then isn't that just the result of hearing your parents and elders repeat the mantra "I know" until you become brave enough to repeat it yourself?

Their knowledge was not saving knowledge. This puts an unexpected twist on Joseph Smith's translation of Matthew 7.

23 And then will I say, I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity.
23 And then will I say, Ye never knew me; depart from me ye that work iniquity.
Clearly there is a hierarchy of knowledge, despite what some people at FairMormon would say on the matter. Some knowledge saves, and some knowledge does not. So when Joseph Smith says,
"A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world."

... it is likely that he is speaking of knowledge that is of the saving kind. Not only is it not heretical to seek this knowledge out, it is imperative. I believe that it is this knowledge, the knowledge of knowing Christ, that frees us from the fear and mechanical ungodliness of obeying God like the awful machines that the enemy would have us be. The enemy wants to keep you from it. He wants you to pretend, and to play your part instead of fulfilling the measure of your creation.
What is it that caused the Pharisees to resist Christ and fight against the kingdom of God? They accused him of being possessed by a devil. Was it not the other way around? Their ultimate response to his doctrine and gospel was to deliver him to the murder machine that, at that time, had their kingdom in thrall: the Roman Empire. Jesus claim to "fulfilling the law" of Moses was the last thing they desired. Freedom from the law was terrifying to them. But more terrifying than that was the new commandment (from John 13):
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
This commandment is still terrifying to us. So much so that we rely on the law to dispense our values to those who disagree with us. This is why this country and its people are not recognizable as "Christians". We do not love as he loved.

Think about that. We rely on machination, on government and law. On police and military to maintain our freedom. Christ, conversely, coerces no one. If he is willing to go to war with an enemy that wanted to puppet us into heaven, why would we turn around and implement the plan of the adversary on ourselves and others?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Nicolas Notovitch

Lest anyone forget the efforts of Nicolas Notovitch and the words of Christ that he brought to light:

9. Then said Issa: "It is not good for a son to push away his mother, that he may occupy the place which belongs to her. Whoso doth not respect his mother--the most sacred being after his God--is unworthy of the name of son.
10. "Hearken to what I say to you: Respect woman; for in her we see the mother of the universe, and all the truth of divine creation is to come through her.
12. "She is the fount of everything good and beautiful, as she is also the germ of life and death. Upon her man depends in all his
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existence, for she is his moral and natural support in his labors.
12. "In pain and suffering she brings you forth; in the sweat of her brow she watches over your growth, and until her death you cause her greatest anxieties. Bless her and adore her, for she is your only friend and support on earth.
13. "Respect her; defend her. In so doing you will gain for yourself her love; you will find favor before God, and for her sake many sins will be remitted to you.
14. "Love your wives and respect them, for they will be the mothers of to-morrow and later the grandmothers of a whole nation.
"Be submissive to the wife; her love ennobles man, softens his hardened heart,
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tames the wild beast in him and changes it to a lamb.
16. "Wife and mother are the priceless treasures which God has given to you. They are the most beautiful ornaments of the universe, and from them will be born all who will inhabit the world.
17. "Even as the Lord of Hosts separated the light from the darkness, and the dry land from the waters, so does woman possess the divine gift of calling forth out of man's evil nature all the good that is in him.
18. "Therefore I say unto you, after God, to woman must belong your best thoughts, for she is the divine temple where you will most easily obtain perfect happiness.
19. "Draw from this temple your moral force. There you will forget your sorrows
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and your failures, and recover the love necessary to aid your fellow-men.
20. "Suffer her not to be humiliated, for by humiliating her you humiliate yourselves, and lose the sentiment of love, without which nothing can exist here on earth.
21. "Protect your wife, that she may protect you--you and all your household. All that you do for your mothers, your wives, for a widow, or for any other woman in distress, you will do for your God."

Notovitch is a controversial figure in Christian scholarship. He went to Tibet and discovered some scrolls that spoke of Jesus Christ, an excerpt of which is above. He is considered to be a fraud by most of the Christian intelligentsia, and they have sources that indicate that he admitted to making up the book that he published. The problem with their conclusions is that after he was "debunked" a guy from India named Swami Abhedananda went to Tibet and verified the existence of the scrolls Notovitch claimed to have discovered.

This contradiction is reflected in the Wikipedia article on the subject. Take a look, check the sources (footnote 7) and judge for yourself. But in the meantime, I defy anyone to show me a more beautiful passage concerning womanhood and motherhood than what is posted above.

If these are not indeed the words of Christ, then Notovitch should be praised for including in his "hoax" something this timeless and ennobling.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Possession (Part 3)

The path of the Light of Christ (right) and the path of the Natural Man (left).

Brands & Codes

Every person follows a code, and every code serves a brand. This is the essence of worship, and everyone worships one or more brands.

Your money perpetuates the life of each brand you use, and your use of their products equates to participation in branding on one level or another. Each brand has an associated code that is observed by others as you utilize the product.

You could cover up the brand emblem on your car or computer if you wanted to. But instead you let it be seen, and you let people associate your persona with those brands. If Joseph Smith is correct in identifying faith as the "principle of action in all intelligent beings", then it follows that we put our faith in brands, and our actions are merely proof.

Examine LoF 1:

11 Were this class to go back and reflect upon the history of their lives, from the period of their first recollection, and ask themselves, what principle excited them to action, or what gave them energy and activity, in all their lawful avocations, callings and pursuits, what would be the answer? Would it not be that it was the assurance which we had of the existence of things which we had not seen, as yet?—Was it not the hope which you had, in consequence of your belief in the existence of unseen things, which stimulated you to action and exertion, in order to obtain them? Are you not dependent on your faith, or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them? Would you have ever sown if you had not believed that you would reap? Would you have ever planted if you had not believed that you would gather? Would you have ever asked unless you had believed that you would receive? Would you have ever sought unless you had believed that you would have found? Or would you have ever knocked unless you had believed that it would have been opened unto you? In a word, is there any thing that you would have done, either physical or mental, if you had not previously believed? Are not all your exertions, of every kind, dependent on your faith? Or may we not ask, what have you, or what do you possess, which you have not obtained by reason of your faith? Your food, your raiment, your lodgings, are they not all by reason of your faith? Reflect, and ask yourselves, if these things are not so. Turn your thoughts on your own minds, and see if faith is not the moving cause of all action in yourselves; and if the moving cause in you, is it not in all other intelligent beings?

Corporate brands are not the only ones out there. They are just the easiest to identify with idolatrous relationships. But any human stereotype (conservative/liberal, feminist, religious, cowboy, tomboy, thug, blonde, nerd, Etc.) can be set up as a brand that is worshiped by following all the stereotypical rules for qualifying as a (fill in the blank). Those rules constitute the codes that I am talking about, and everyone of them is abusive, and enslaving to a degree because these stereotypical brands they serve always tend to define your humanity in ways that are limiting and often robotic. Everyone of them cause us to lie about who and what we really are (the offspring of godly parents/temples of the Holy Spirit), and thus all of them are damning.

Once someone buys into a brand, they find themselves entered into a select community. Car owners, sports fans, Windows vs. Mac users, punk rockers, and suit-wearing professionals have all bought into those clubs. Each community has some kind of physical or online presence, hierarchies, and a priestly class of agents that spend lots of time leading others in worshiping brands.

Star Trek conventions prove my point. So do biker gangs and groups of shoppers. But the point is not that any of these things are outright evil. The issue is always where your relationship with God falls among these other priorities.

An LDS example of this relationship is the BYU honor code. This code is not concerned with anything other than promoting the school's brand. BYU students are already under covenant to God and the LDS Church, but each one is compelled to sign their names in agreement to obey an additional (and somewhat redundant) law intended to protect and promote the university. Thus, it can be said that the intent of the code is to make students into agents of the BYU brand.

Some BYU students are very dedicated to the code, even to the point of extremism. These students may or may not conflate the BYU brand with the LDS Church, but either way, their staunch letter-of-the-law observance of the code makes them robotic agents of a brand that many consider synonymous with the religion. Many worship the brand to such an extreme that they must abandon relationships with others to continue on that path. Such are the types of sacrifices some are willing to pay to uphold brand worship.

BYU fans that never went to the school do not get the benefits of the university's educational curriculum or reputation, but they take part in the victories of the school's sports teams in the same vicarious experience as any fan of any sports team. The code is different for fans in that it requires them to defend (or critique) its part in the school's athletic program as part of their experience of rooting for the brand.

What the relationship boils down to is this: If you work for the corporation, then your promotion of the brand pays your wages. If you don't work for the corporation, then your promotion of the brand feeds your ego. The gratifying sensation that either of these agents get from living the code or reveling in the quality and/or reputation of a brand is always about the ego, which the scriptures identify as "the natural man". The more you turn yourself over to the natural man, the more you commit idol worship.

As I explained in Part 2 of this series, the natural man always partners with the spirit of the Devil to enslave you. It is detailed in 2 Nephi 2. Hence, it is crucial to "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit" and "put off the natural man" and "become a saint through the atonement of Christ" (Mosiah 3:19).

Seduced by Death

No matter how successful a brand is, it remains a dead symbol unless it is vouched for by an exalted God. If you have an idea of yourself as any sort of agent for the dead ideals, stereotypes, brands, or powers of this world, an honest reading of the scriptures will make it clear that your choice to give yourself to idols is a dead work.

The life of the communities, the hierarchies, and the products of every brand you know is temporary and doomed to eventually end because of the world of which they are a part: the Telestial world. These brands share this world's fate. So when you look at that Porche shield, that bitten Macintosh apple, or the mermaid in the Starbucks logo, it is important to understand that these symbols represent mortal agreements that will not last into the Eternities.

Therefore, to be seduced into loving a brand more than you love Christ is to be seduced by eternal death itself. You can see this death seduction all over the media, all over our most popular entertainment, and especially as part and parcel to the branding executed by the corporations that dominate high fashion.

The fact that our country remains in an almost perpetual state of war in pursuit of national interests, and the fact that we continue to have violent outbreaks and mass slayings in our public schools shows that we actually value violence and death in this country far more than we are willing to admit. Our identity as Americans is so tied up with death, war, scandal, and vengeance that we barely even comprehend the seeds we are sowing. We do not recognize the harvest that we must reap for partnering with death, which has seduced us into the carnal security of trusting government agencies and corporate freedom.

Every false agreement is partnered with death, both mortal and eternal. Every lie that succeeds spreads death, evil, disease, and famine upon our fellow human beings. The truth is that they are the sons and daughters of God just as much as we are. We, being the most powerful nation on earth, should be providing for them and protecting them. Instead, we invade when our interests are at stake. And we abandon them when their daughters are stolen from them.

No brand will enter Zion except for one, and it is the one brand that is not dead. It is described in the scriptures:

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and I heard him cry with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. -Rev. 7
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. -Rev. 9
  1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. -Rev. 14
 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. -Rev. 22
17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—
 18 When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads. -D&C 133
Hopefully you are beginning to understand the difference between idol worship and worshiping Christ, and why there is no serving two masters. To participate in the living brand described in these scriptures, the path of the Light of Christ must be followed. It leads directly into the Abrahamic covenant, and it requires following Christ directly:

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. -Hel. 5

When you read scriptures such as 3 Nephi 25:6 that talk about Elijah "turning the hearts of the children to their fathers", it is not talking about genealogy. It is talking about the covenant entered into by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are the fathers that we must be connected to so that we may partake in the salvation of the Bridegroom. Other fathers in this group include Adam, Enoch, Melchizedek, Noah, the Brother of Jared, Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Mormon, and Moroni.

The Light of Christ within you will always partner with the Holy Ghost that is outside of you. Feeding this relationship leads not only to a relationship with a living Christ, but also to the covenant possessed by the above prophets. That is the covenant that lets you lay hold upon Eternal Life.

As far as God and the angels are concerned, all other brands are dead already. Christ and his kingdom are the reality, and this mortality is just a temporary sham that must eventually end. Which is interesting when you realize that the natural man, being an enemy to God, is only stimulated and fed by temporary relationships. The natural man accepts death as a natural end of all contracts and agreements, and seeks "the management of the creature" (Alma 30:17) until death comes.

Christ does not see death the same way the natural man does. Examine John 8:

51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death
John 11:
 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
and Mark 9:
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. 
If this concept seems beyond you, then who is it that you worship? Who is it that you are one with through your sacraments and your temple rites? Both the Light of Christ and the Natural Man are within you, but which one is in control if you fully expect to die?

Death, despite what you have been told by thousands of people, is not part of Christ's plan at all. So any partnership with death (war, murder, theft, Etc), any mixture that includes acceptable deaths (preemptive war, casualties, innocent victims for the sake of personal or national security) are a clear capitulation to the Natural Man and a putting off of the Light of Christ.

Translation of the body, it would seem, is available to anyone who puts off the natural man and keeps Jesus' saying. So it's not a question of "who is special". It's a question of who is actually willing to take Jesus' words literally and seriously.

The difficult and uncomfortable truth, that few will admit, is that most of the people that you know and love do not believe Jesus' words about death at all. Instead, they work and act as if they must manage the creature (as Korihor preached in Alma 30) until their inevitable demise. Most of the "Christians" that you know fully expect to die, do not believe that they will meet Christ in this life, and are thus partnered with an enemy that He has already overcome.

Religion and Branding

It is the desire of religious people to believe that they worship God instead of a temporal brand. But the more one studies the relationships that people have with dead brands, the more clear it becomes that religions contain these same types of relationships.

First and foremost is the fact that all religions are divided up into competing brands, and they all have distinct codes. You follow one code to be a Catholic, and another to be a Sikh. But all religious people gather up under the brand or their heritage or conversion, and there is an orthodox set of rules that guide each along their paths.

But anyone who has experienced strict orthodox logic in religious cultures can tell you how dehumanizing these codes can be in different situations. Fiddler on the Roof is constructed around the code Tevye follows and the clashes it causes between he and his daughters as they come of age to marry.

Any Mormon could also tell you where the "letter of the law" brushed up against the "spirit of the law" in their experience of Mormonism. In truth, Christ has nothing to do with dress codes or only having FHE on Monday nights. He does not command in all things, but he does command us to love others as he loves us.

So what you end up with in any religious culture is those who are orthodox followers mixed with heretical followers, and both groups think that they are coming as close as possible to "loving as He loved" with their differing approaches to the prevailing religious code. But invariably, no religion is a perfect fit for every life. We all find ourselves abandoning the code to one degree or another, and then we go through a guilt complex as we sort it out.

In truth, we cannot serve two masters. Examine Luke 16:
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If God has nothing to do with the corporatism of white shirts and ties, yet sacrament blessers and passers are required by some bishops to wear them, then something doesn't fit. To be held by a tradition that God never instituted is brand possession. And if you are getting angry reading this, then you are simply revealing yourself to be in thrall to the Natural Man who loves carnal security.

Any sense of fear or desperation reveals us as possessed. Fear shows just how tied people are to covenants, traditions, and brands that are temporal and removed from Christ.

If you were tied to Christ, you would fear nothing. You would look to the heart instead of to the lapel. If you were truly his, you would walk this earth far differently than you do. You would not be concerned at all with conformity or uniformity.

Complicating this issue with religions and their brands is the insistence in the scriptures that there are only two churches:

10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. -1 Nephi 14:10
and 1 Nephi 22:
 22 And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh—
 23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.
It is imperative that you get this difference right. If tradition, relations, fear, assumption, or pride are guiding your decisions, then the Natural Man has sold you out to minor demons. You are operating on fears relating to angering your family, your friends, and/or your local religious leader. Christ has no part in fear or ignorance, and he does not partner with the natural man. They are all enemies to Him.

Christ's code of conduct is difficult, yet very simple to understand. Repentance follows faith, then baptism by one "having authority" (3 Nephi 11:25), not "having been commissioned". Then the Holy Ghost comes upon you according to God's will... whether hands are laid upon you or not.

If you don't believe me, then read the accounts of the the Gift of the Holy Ghost given to Adam (Moses 6:66), Joseph Smith (JSH 1:73), King Benjamin's people (Mosiah 5:2), the 300 Lamanites who wanted to kill Nephi & Lehi (Helaman 5), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15) and Jesus himself (Mark 1:10). The Gift of the Holy Ghost is an ordinance exercised by a member of the godhead, not by any mortal man. Hence, confirmation is merely an invitation to receive the real thing.

Then where does the Holy Ghost lead you? It leads you to the very place suggested in both the temple endowment and in scripture:

 4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
 5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
 6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do. -2 Nephi 32
Anyone who professes to preach the Doctrine of Christ, yet omits this last part about meeting Christ in the flesh, is either ignorant (damned according to D&C 131:6), or purposefully withholding the truth from you (damned according to 2 Nephi 28). Either way, they are enslaved to the concerns and precepts of men, and the result of obeying their teachings is to receive an incomplete version of Christ's true doctrine. And thus you partake in their demonic enslavement and death.

How well does your life work on half-truths or incomplete information? Do you want all of the facts regarding this most important of relationships, or just some of them?

Go do a search for 2 Nephi 32:6 on the LDS website. Then go look up that verse in the online Journal of Discourses. There isn't a single General Authority who has spoken on that verse since Joseph Smith was put in the ground in 1844.

I'm sorry, but you do not lift the condemnation concerning the covenant of the Book of Mormon mentioned in Section 84 by ignoring the book's most important verse. So stop pretending.

A relationship with God is a living thing because both parties are alive. That verse indicates that Jesus will show you that he is alive, in person. Such a relationship never feeds the ego because it always results in humility, truth, and light between you and God. It puts no one on a pedestal except for Christ.

Reciprocity with God, within a covenant relationship, demands all of the facts of the past, present, and the future be placed on the table. That is the distinction between idolatry and Christ worship; the former is a one way relationship between you and a dead brand while the latter is a reciprocal relationship between you and a living God.

If we want that relationship to be real, then we will follow the steps contained in the Doctrine of Christ, and we will prepare to have him meet with us. Anything else is just vanity, and eternal death.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. -Romans 6