Wednesday, March 30, 2022

No vacancy.

Near 3200 South on State Street.

1. I cannot support those who would insist that a human fetus is not a living human being. Abortion is a killing. Even if I do not agree that it is a murder on this telestial plane, I believe it is exactly that on the terrestrial.

If the body is a temple, then pregnancy is the creation of a sacred life by a sacred life. If the body is a temple, the fetus is just as sacred as the mother. 

Even when a choice is made (or when it must be made) between the lives of the two, that choice does not diminish the sacredness (nor the humanity) of the one who dies.

2. I cannot support those who profess to be "pro-life" while ignoring the sacredness of the temple bodies of those who are poor. Those who are homeless, according to the new covenant, should receive freely from anyone who claims to be covenanted to God and His scriptures.

The LDS culture that I departed from loved the notion of helping those "who help themselves", as if the Book of Mormon doesn't actually say what it says. As if it was truly only useful as a paperweight. 

From Jacob:

"Think of your brethren like to yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you."

If you cannot imagine being familiar enough with people that are homeless to actually know their names, then what covenant could you possibly have? If you cannot imagine giving to others until they are rich like you are, then what do you imagine Zion to be? Why on earth would you want any part of it?

From Mosiah:

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor. Ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need, and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Perhaps thou shalt say, The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just. But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this, the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done, he perisheth for ever and hath no interest in the kingdom of God."

What do you honestly think of King Benjamin and this teaching? Do you think he was behind the curve when it comes to the poor? Do you assume that he was ignorant of those that lie, cheat, and steal among the poor? 

The message that King Benjamin delivered was attributed to an angel of the Lord. The underlying assumption of this teaching is that homeless people are just as sacred as those who are housed. This is exactly what we find when we examine the suburban opioid epidemic of recent years, we discover that those who live on the street are not any more guilty or innocent than those who are housed. They simply do not have the same access to resources to mask their addictions that others do.

So, if King Benjamin understood that the poor are sacred, then he was ignorant of nothing. He was ahead of the curve, and we are woefully behind in our understanding of who and what we are.

There was no room at the inn when Jesus was an infant, and homeless. It is so easy for us to understand in hindsight that his then tiny body was sacred. Our nativity scenes always reflect this understanding, and despite the fact that gifts were given to him later by wise men that helped change his financial circumstances, those men and their offerings are always included in those scenes. This act should should inform our understanding of Jacob's commandment to the Nephites.

If you are like so many citizens of this country who despise the poor, who do you list to obey when you see them begging? If the body is a temple, then the truth is that the poor represent a sacred path to Zion:

"37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Do we imagine to ourselves that this is how our conversation with the Lord will go? Think back through all the years that our city has sent the police to steal the tents and belongings of the poor from them, putting their stuff in a dumpster and leaving them with nothing to drive them away from an encampment. Isn't this what Nephi means when he speaks of us, the gentiles, grinding upon their faces?

Read a little further, and Matthew also contains the alternative (to the one above) conversation with the Lord, a few verses after. Which one do you truly believe you are fated to have with Him? Our poor are treated exactly like snuffed out fetuses: as if they have no human value. 

Salt Lake City has proven what kind of city it is. Just a couple years ago there were town meetings in Sugar House and Draper to discuss the notion of placing homeless shelters in those areas of Salt Lake City. In both places, the idea was shouted out the door with red faces and indignation

The crowning jewel of the LDS church, the city that was supposed to be Zion, flipped for Babylon over something as fleeting as the bottom line.

If the body is a temple, then the poor and those experiencing homelessness are more sacred than property value. Especially properties that sit on a fault line.

Stop your car, and get out. Show the angels that you have a spine, and the poor that you have a heart. Show your children who you follow. Learn their names. Give them food, clothes, and yes, money. Do you think that there are actually people in this country who don't need cash?

Stop worrying about what they do with it. That is between them and God. Stop fretting because you cannot control how they spend it. Autonomy must be navigated by all of us.

If we ignore King Benjamin, then our prayers continue on with their charade as described by Mormon. We will always come off to heaven like fakes who pray in vain. Like millions of other posers before us. If there are poor among us, just admit that we have no covenant to speak of. Just admit that we have fucking zero to do with heaven. Begin with the truth.

Joseph Smith's teachings and commandments make a far-reaching assertion about the Book of Mormon:

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation rests upon the children of Zion, even all, and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon, and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom. Otherwise, there remains a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion, for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, verily I say unto you, nay.
Truly, the Book of Mormon contains the required precepts we must abide to become closer to God.

Don't do what those before you did. Don't die with a closet full of swanky duds, with people knocking each other down to praise your "life of righteousness", and then show up empty-handed before God. Jesus, who spoke to those experiencing homelessness face-to-face two thousand years ago, healed them, and showed authentic love to them. 

We already know that he is not empty-handed. He has the mark of all mankind on his palms. He experienced homelessness. Would you dare to face Him knowing this, while not even knowing a few of their names? 

Which brings us back to the pro-choice feminists that our Puritan/Protestant Pharisee faction seeks to bring to heel. As much as I despise abortion, I fear for those who assume that they can legislate the womb. I fear for the country that thinks that it can assume the role of sentinel over that which Heavenly Mother has already entrusted to her daughters.

You will remember that the first stand Jesus took was that the will of the Father should be done, and that the autonomy of all of God's children should be kept as given:

"And I, the Lord God, spoke unto Moses, saying, That Satan whom you have commanded in the name of my Only Begotten is the same who was from the beginning. And he came before me, saying, Behold, I, send me. I will be your Son and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost. And surely I will do it. Wherefore, give me your honor. But behold, my Beloved Son, who was my beloved and chosen from the beginning, said unto me, Father, your will be done, and the glory be yours for ever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man which I, the Lord God, had given him" 

Did you ever stop to think that perhaps there is a connection between sacred bodies and autonomy? While you were fuming for months on end about wearing masks and sardonically adopting pro-choice slogans to complain, did your heart grow any closer to the God who personally laid hands upon, and healed the poor?

The political faction that would rid the land of Roe v. Wade now has the judicial majority to overturn it. Abortion will likely be outlawed in many states. But what exactly will that accomplish if America continues to ignore and abandon the poor? What will we have proven to the Almighty? That we can adopt the adversary's puppet plan by compelling women to righteousness? That we can legislate the womb, and then punish those who break the law? 

Clearly they see that we do not, in fact, believe that life is sacred. If there were a people in this land who actually took Christ at his word, and treated everyone as sacred, the pro-choice movement would hardly have an argument at all. Instead, they don't have to blink once before before being able to point out a dozen examples of our hypocrisy related to the sacredness of human beings and their autonomy.

If there were a group of religious zealots who would recognize King Benjamin's angelic message to house, feed, and clothe the poor as if they were Christ in disguise, many social services would go out of business. 

What if any woman (no matter her skin color) who got pregnant outside of a good situation for the child knew without question that they would be loved and cared for if born and given to be adopted? What would it take for someone who is pro-choice to believe in the autonomy of all women the way she does, yet concede that if the child is brought to term it would no doubt be taken in to a good home?

They know it is a crapshoot. They know that religious institutions make their agents into liars who cannot be trusted to even guarantee to protect all children that are born to married couples, much less adopted children. If they are LDS, they know that some children will be abused by predators "called" into positions of power.  

If a people devoted to that book actually existed, not only would we see a people who could insist, with a robust record of righteous justification, that the lives of the unborn are sacred. We would also see the proof in the pudding of those who long to be called a "covenant people" with a straight face.

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