Everyone has a perspective. Perspective represents perception. And perception is always based on understanding. An optimist takes on a perspective that everyone is doing their best (optimized). A pessimist aligns with all of the unfavorable traits, the negativism, or doom and gloom, void of hope. An Apologetic regretfully recognizes the negative and unfavorable traits, but excuses the offense or justifies the results.
I have received different types of feed back from family and friends to the blogs in the past. I have recognized a pattern. When I have written about uncommon information such as Egypt, the history of the Jews, Greek words and their translations, or parables like the good Samaritan, I have noticed a very positive response. However, when I have written on subjects that address the responsibility of men, the duty of offices in the church, and the difference between men and offices, although my comments are neutral and kept to facts founded in scripture, it is interpreted as negative.
Joseph Smith restored the church amongst people who had no idea that truth existed apart from the existing organizations. Each church said that they had the truth, so Joseph read James 1:5, and sought out God for his answer. Joseph needed a different foundation from what everyone else offered. Every saint, since then, who joined the church was required to rip out their foundations, and build on a new foundation of truth. The task of replacing a persons foundation, their understanding of fundamental truths of God, is at the root of the failure of the early saints, and their attempt to build Zion. Joseph said:
“I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of theSaints 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: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen.”
(Jan. 20, 1844- Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg. 331)
This statement was made at the end of Joseph’s earthly ministry, just a few months before he died. The Saints refused to learn anything that went “contrary to their traditions.” All other knowledge was received openly.
The early saints wanted a New Testament church, with offices and a hierarchy. That is how they defined “a house of order.” However, the Lord’s intent was to offer a Holy Order, that brought each saint into the presence of Christ.
Likewise, the ancient saints of Israel wanted a king. Samuel the prophet advised against it. The advise fell upon def ears. The traditions of the world made a King essential. The Lord told Samuel, they have already rejected me as their King, but they have not yet completely rejected you, so give them what they want. After Kings and High Priests thrashed the gospel, given to the House of Israel by Moses, an apostasy was the result. They draw near with their lips, but their hearts were far from God. The were commanded to depart from the Lord because he didn’t know them, nor did they know Him.
I have been accused of standing atop a soap box, looking down and speaking in a condescending tone, because I repeatedly point to the scriptures, to address the truth that has gone missing in our traditions. I have been told that I have only been negative, and I am too busy pointing out all the things we are doing wrong, that it’s a turn off. My mother tells me that it’s not what I say, but the way I say it, that bothers many.
I know that I have spoken, or in this case- written, hard things against false traditions, unbelief, the mistakes of men, or the weakness of the flesh. But it was done in alignment with, in accordance with, the truth written in the words of Christ, made available to all. Anyone could have come to the same conclusion if they read the same words. Those who align with the words of Christ (not my blog, or anything that has to do with me), will always find themselves justified by Christ, and lifted up at the last day.
Their are some who, for one reason or another, have not taken hold of the words of Christ, to make it their own (circumstantially, …not positive or negative). Their reasons can be absolutely valid. The result is the same. When it comes to the words of Christ, they either experience an absence (or a void) of such words, or their are many gaps, so as to make their foundation shaky and unreliable. Although they may be the very elect, the pure in heart, the chosen of God, they aren’t able to obtain the potential available to them in this life, …unless they access the living waters, through a strong grasp on the iron rod. Otherwise, the graft simply will not take.
Often time, gaps of missing knowledge are temporarily bridged with false traditions, …that sort of fit, but doesn’t quite belong. However, since traditions have been deeply rooted for many generations, they almost seem to be a permanent structure. When the words of Christ speak directly to that tradition, uprooting false traditions hurt as they are being removed. That is the hard truth. It’s not the same for everyone. Nephi says that the uprooting of these deeply set false traditions may seem like they are cutting you to the very center! However, Nephi also says, if you are righteous and willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, you might walk uprightly before God, then you would not complain about the truth and say: Thou speakest hard things against us (1 Nephi 15:3).
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I sustain our Prophet, all General Authorities and Local Authorities. I am a 100% home teacher. My family regularly reads from the scriptures, and on a weekly basis we meet as a family to spend some quality time.
Although the church may have weaknesses, the gospel is Christ’s. Even in the days of Moses, when the House of Israel was cursed, they were still God’s chosen people. God continued to send prophets among them to help them right themselves. We, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are still God’s chosen people. Our circumstances are much like the ancient saints. But our end has not yet been sealed. We still have time to receive the words of Christ.
I know that my motives are untrusted by many. Given my track record, I have no reason to earn your trust. But it is not my words that I am recommending. It is the words of our savior Jesus Christ. He is the publisher of the faith that produces salvation, eternal life, and everlasting joy.
You and I have no idea what Zion is supposed to look like. Why don’t we let Christ’s words tell us what that is. Let’s question our traditions before questioning the words of Christ. Let the words of Christ tell you all things what you should do. I desire no applause, no audience, no following, no compliment, no credit. I am just not deserving. What I desire is to stimulate an exchange, so that we can talk of Christ, and continue in our ascension.
What pops out at you in your scripture study, may never have crossed my mind, …yet it may give me a more complete picture of the correct perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God. In order for me to have come to that conclusion myself might have required me to have lived your life, before I came to know such things. When we meet together oft to talk of Christ, we draw from the lives and inspiration of multiple lives, thus optimizing our learning.
I hope that you might reflect upon your relationship with me, and then ask yourself if you know my heart. Then, by knowing my heart, I hope you can receive what I am saying in a flood of positive light. I am not an Apologitic. I don’t justify the mistakes of men to protect tradition. I want to talk about the truth, …and sometimes that is not easy, depending on how deeply rooted traditions are. Nonetheless I find no value in sugar-coating the truth. If the truth will set you free, it is the truth that provides the joy. I do not believe in marketing, or sales jobs. I think that marketing and sales is manipulation and compulsory means. The truth is sweet, all by itself. I, personally, cannot add any value to the grandness of the gospel of Christ. The Holy Ghost is the only teacher. It is only by the Holy Ghost that we can know the truth of all things. The prize that God offers will sell itself …to those who give the time to understand the words of Christ. That is where we will find the missing knowledge to complete our ascension. Pray> Word> Angels!