The power of the traditions of men use the “herd mentality” to capture, manipulate and enslave. Freedom from the traditions of men is what is offered in this blog. But the problem with freeing yourself from the traditions of men is, what is truth and what is tradition? This has been a problem with the saints from the time of Joseph Smith.
“I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: the cannot stand the fire at all. ”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg. 331)
Reading this, I can hear the shattering of glass, as the saints hold strong to their traditions, refusing to receive more from Joseph Smith. It is no different today.
If Christ needed to be baptized to obey all the commandments of God, what about the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth? Was Christ married and did He have children? Or was that only figurative obedience? It was not. Christ was married and His wife is Mary Magdalene, and if he had to do something small like baptism to obey all, then surely he had children. But say this in Sunday school and perhaps you might hear the same shattering of glass Joseph spoke about.
A friend of mine spoke on a subject matter not commonly spoken about in a church setting. He said that Christ and His wife lead the apostles and their wives to become sealed to them, as recorded in the book of Phillip. After the meeting, an old woman came to him and reprimanded him for teaching such a doctrine. And her justification for her disapproval was, “That can’t be true! I have never heard that before!” She was very old, about 85. So obviously she spoke with some authority. She was also a descendant of the pioneer saints, which makes her authority even greater in her own mind.
Somehow we think that since we have been around the block, since we’re so old, since all of life seems like more of the same (repetitious), there must not be much that we haven’t seen or don’t understand. We’ve been there, and done that! In the Native American culture there’s a concept of Chiefs and Elders. At one point in history Chiefs and Elders were the wise ones, the teachers of the tribes. Today, that is a rarity. Chiefs are voted into office and Elders are associated with ‘being old.’ My wife and I were told by a friend in a whisper, “There is a difference between an Elder… and the elderly.” So what makes the difference? The answer to that question is found in who is connected to the heavens. But who is connected to the heavens, and how do you know it?
There is a traditional line of thought in the church that ‘we have enough Bible’ and we ‘need no more Bible.'(2 Nephi 28). We bear witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but couldn’t make the time to know what it says. This is a tradition of men. We take those who bear testimony with the greatest zeal and we place them in positions of authority, and we give them our trust freely, without discernment, and allow them to tell us truth, or their version of truth. They mean well and have good intentions. However,more often then not, eventually that tradition transforms itself into a blind obedience. Blind obedience leads to forfeiting personal revelation in exchange for putting someone else responsible for the revelation, and we’ll just do whatever they tell us. This behavior of blind obedience not only condemns yourself, but also greatly condemns that person you are trusting. For if they make a mistake, their mistake will be magnified in you and all those who believe in that tradition as you do.
We are given the scriptures to teach us how to discern someone that you can trust. The scriptures will help you know who is telling the truth or not. That is how they are compared to a Urim and Thummim. Through the stones of the scriptures you are able to discern the truth from traditions.
The scriptures will help you learn to whom you can trust for information. Those who can be trusted will help clarify the language of the scriptures and allow you to discover and uncover truth yourself, and they’ll do it giving all the credit to God. Eventually, you will get to a point where no man can point you in the right direction for the finishing touches specific to you. That will be the point in which will necessitate you to connect to the heavens yourself. To receive a custom covenant from Christ himself, customized for you.
If you haven’t broken free from the traditions of man, you cannot receive such blessings. Those traditions are not only those of our current economic crisis. These traditions are within our church. Faith is not likened unto a little seed, it is the word that is likened unto the seed that must be planted in our hearts. The Holy Ghost is the mind and will of God. We are being told in the scriptures to make an ascension into the heavens to connect and obtain the rights in the priesthood. All it requires for us to see these false traditions is to read the Book of Mormon as if it were a Urim and Thummim.
Remember how Oliver Cowdery wanted to translate and the Lord gave him the “high-sign” to go ahead? Remember how Oliver thought that all he had to do was to ask for the gift, and it would work? Then remember how Oliver was reprimanded for taking no thought, save it were to ask? If we are to use the Book of Mormon as a Urim and Thummm, it will only occur as we train to do so. Scripture training is not easy, but looking back, will always be the “Rocky Balboa” training scene in the movie of your life. Prior to the final battle before ascending, you will be given the confidence to know that you can ascend. Others have done it before you, like: Enoch, Abraham, Nephi, and also some in our time as well. They all tell you that you can too. They all tell you that it will be through the words of Christ that it is done and no other way, nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved (2 Nephi 31: last verse).
Now read D&C 84:55-60. Then you’ll be able to understand why the whole church is under condemnation/damned, or cannot move forward. Our church is full of false traditions that must be removed before the saints can obtain these great promised blessings of dwelling with the city of Enoch in Zion. We have forgotten the new and everlasting covenant, even the Book of Mormon. Now we can see why in 2 Nephi 33:2 the prophet Nephi has so much anxiety about writing down the things of God. He feared that people (us) would cast it aside and consider it as naught. Nephi knew that the words he wrote will provide for any who follow them an ascension into the presence of Christ. However, he also knew that those who had his words, who didn’t heed them, would be condemned and damned for not heading them. This is the two-edged sword.
God has provided us a way to remove the curse, to remove the condemnation. That solution is:
“57. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the other commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written.
58. That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgement to be poured out upon the children of Zion.”
God knew that our church would contain false traditions of men. He knew it would be taught from the pulpit, in primary, in Sunday school, in Relief Society and Priesthood. That is why we have been given this warning of condemnation in the restored gospel, not just in the Book of Mormon. It is to point to us as the responsible party to remove this condemnation. The instructions are simply to read them, say them, and do them. The fruits come automatically.
We must hold to the rod, the word of God. It is the word of God, as a Urim and Thummim, that will allow you to discern who presents the truth. It will be the messages written there that will point your mind to the idea of making an ascension into the presence of Christ and receiving a covenant. The idea of ascending now is rejected by the masses of Mormons, yet is taught so freely in all our scriptures, even the Old and New Testament. Talk about it in Sunday school and be prepared to be scorned. But, when you begin to know the scriptures more, then you will see more detail of the same message in the temple, and in all of the creations of Christ, for they all point to Him. They all point to making an ascension. When you have made an ascension, then you can add your testimony to Joseph’s saying, no matter what anyone else says, I cannot deny it, for I have seen Him myself, and have felt the nail prints, and have viewed His suffering as did Jacob. This is the way that the traditions of men are broken. This is when you have the power to crush the head of the snake. That is how we shake off the chains of Satan that hold us bound. That is how we become, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Free at last, free at last!”