Apologetic

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!

 

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4 thoughts on “Apologetic

  1. So I hear you saying that we – those who read your blog or those for whom your blog is intended – are saying that the truth speaketh hard things to us. I don’t believe anything you speak can be classified as HARD THINGS. It is either the truth or it is not. As far as the parable of the good Samaritan – we all know this to be the truth. Through your study, you discovered a deeper understanding of that parable and gave your opinion which we need to verify or discover for ourselves. This is not hard.
    I don’t believe we are REFUSING to believe anything that goes against our “traditions”. No one spoke of going against our traditions. Just because we haven’t studied like you have or we haven’t witnessed what you have, doesn’t mean we don’t want to go against our traditions. I don’t even know what you are calling our “traditions”. You keep referring to it, but I now question what you are referring to. It appears that you have formed assumptions of what you think we claim to be our traditions. It is either that or you have formed a judgement of what you think is our traditions and have based your comments with that assumption or judgement as far as what you think we are claiming as “hard things”.
    You tell us that it is like cutting us to the very center – these hard things. Is that what you think we think? Nothing you have written or talked about cuts me to the very center and they are not “hard things” but then nothing I say or write seems to convince you that these things are NOT HARD. I love the truth. The truth helps me to examine my own beliefs and actions.
    You reference Nephi in saying “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.” Writing this tells me you THINK and BELIEVE that WE- your blog readers- are those who need your talk on us believing that what you write we are deeming hard things, that we cannot read the scriptures and get the same things you get. That because I tell you that you say things in a negative way that I believe these words are hard. NOT SO, my son, NOT SO.
    Sorry, I am not asking for any sugar coating of anything. I would like to have a “discussion” on the same level as you. Not accusatory, not pointed assumptions, not implications that you are addressing what you think we are or are not. Just a real scripture-centered discussion like you indicate on your 2nd and 3rd to the last paragraphs. In your last paragraph you talk about us knowing your heart and you knowing ours. That is not what it is about. It is about discussing with one heart and one mind. That’s the gospel in action. What you were or what you did or what we were or what we did no longer exists. What we desire and where we are going is ever present and will direct our paths accordingly.
    You have so much passion. I am so grateful it is gospel centered. That is beautiful. Aloha, Mom

    • The topics that have generated sensitivity did not include the good Samaritan. Although it is a common story most have learned, I suggested more information, than the traditional line of explanation. For that reason I included it in the category of new information, received positively.

      The topics that haven’t been so easily received, that I consider cutting to the center, are the ones that I have been accused of being negative. They typically address mistakes in understanding the purposes of church offices, keys in the priesthood, the depth and quality of scripture study, the role of the bishop-prophet, the perception of the modern saints on the success of the Nauvoo saints, the pioneers, and the absence of the words of Christ in our meetings, or among ourselves. To date, I have written over 180 blogs, so being specific on each point of sensitivity is beyond the scope here.

      However, I agree with you, lets talk more about these similarities and differences, without heightened defense or emotion. If there are no hard things for you, great. For me, there are still many hard things that I am working through, that still cut me to the very center. Otherwise, I would already have the knowledge of the heavens, and would have obtained my ascension, and could assist others with theirs. These false traditions and unbelief’s is what I’m trying to reason out, through the words of Christ. So lets reason together. That is the value of this exchange- that I am attempting to generate.

      Christ first learned grace for grace (I assume an exchange on earth), and then from grace to grace (I assume an exchange with the heavens). Since all of us family and friends are spread so far apart, this blog was set up so that we too can at least learn grace for grace (a blog exchange). I offer you the grace I have received in the blogs I write. I seek the conversations, spoken or written, that are founded in the words of Christ, for the purpose of knowing the perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God, …as grace from you!

      Some day I hope to obtain interaction with the heavens, and then grow from grace to grace.

      About the “hard things,” I do not equate being accused as negative, with accusing you of thinking what I said to be hard. But that wouldn’t be a far stretch, would it? My only support was the scriptures.

      How about this, let’s forget about the labels of negative, or being hard, and let’s add to the topics of discussion. If there is a disagreement, then lets take the time to reason it out using the scriptures. That’s the whole point here isn’t it, open up the words of Christ, to get an accurate picture of the God we claim to believe in? As impossible as it seems, lets try resting our emotions to see the way God intends. That will only get clearer when we speak in terms of the words of Christ.

      Opinions are based on perceptions. If they are unfounded (void of the words of Christ), it can be easily changed into a breeding ground for contention.

      • Your “hard things” comment is a bit of a far stretch. These things are not hard. In teaching students in the elementary schools I often come across students that moan that this work is too hard. They give little effort, can’t see beyond how many problems are left or how many pages are left to read to complete the assignment, and quite honestly they really wish the recess bell would ring. That is totally no engagement in learning. Totally uninterested. Then, on the other hand, we find a student or two who whips through it all exclaiming, “Oh, this is so easy.” They display their ease of achievement by finishing first. Many times their work is laden with foolish errors that had they taken a few careful minutes longer, they would have had a perfect paper.
        Then you find the diligent, independent worker consistently completing each assignment using their best writing with neatness complete with thoughtful answers and responses. Maybe not 100%, but their best.
        So it is with a discussion on the scriptures. Laman and Lemuel moaned that Nephi speaketh hard things to them. They invested little effort into obeying their father right from the get-go and thought more on their chronological position in the family than the responsibilities that came with that position. They could not see beyond “what’s in it for me.” Their effort was minimal at best and they kept impatiently awaiting the “reward” or the blessings.
        Nephi always awaited his father’s command or request and was totally interested in what his father had to say. He was so intrigued with what his father saw in a vision that he requested to see it too. Was he commanded in all things? No. Did he obey all things? Yes. What he did do, he did his best. That was a genuine offering to the Lord. Nephi’s offering was like Abel’s. Cain’s offering was rushed, done reluctantly and not his best. Consequently, Cain’s offering and those who grumble about “hard things” are not acceptable to the Lord. Is that how you see us – me?
        In your 180 blogs it appears that you have many assumptions as to what kind of people read your blogs. I guess that’s why you have chosen to talk about those particular topics. So here is a topic to discuss – maybe.
        So last night as I prayed, I thought of the scripture about making your scarlet sins as white as snow. The thought came to me that if we had the mind and will of God we would seek to forgive that very way – to make scarlet sins as white as snow in our minds. So often we desire this forgiveness from God for ourselves, but keep our “neighbor’s” sin scarlet in our mind. So I am committing to sincerely seek to help my “neighbor’s” scarlet sins to be as white as snow even if it is just in my mind. The Lord also says that he will remember them no more. So I should cast out that remembrance of other people’s sins also.
        I know. This is totally off the subject at hand, but it was on my mind and I wanted to share that with you. I love you. Mom

        • First, the topics I choose in this blog are topics that are intended to dive into the details of the words of Christ. In the details, I see a salvation that includes the opening up of the heavens, to be inseparably connected with the powers of heaven. If the words of Christ are only topically applied, we will miss the details that produce the presence of God. Then we too will suffer a similar curse as the House of Israel 9in the time of Moses) who refused to enter into the presence of God. The topics in the blog are trying to discover and fill the gaps in the “traditions of our fathers.” Rather than questioning my intentions, it would be more helpful to add your man’o to filling the gaps in the details (using scripture). Then we can all be edified.

          Second, in my reply, I never once stated “your condition” or “how I see you.” I have learned long ago that how I see you (or anyone else reading this) …only reflects me. In the last response I said, “If there are no hard things for you, great. For me, there are still many hard things that I am working through, that still cut me to the very center…” I don’t understand how you assign your assumptions to my words. If that is how you feel, then state it. If you want, then we can address that directly. To be specific, this blog on “Apologetic” was addressed to responses similar to this (assigning negativity to neutral words).

          Third, I do make one assumption about those who read this blog. The assumption is that we haven’t made our personal ascension, or know how to, and we want to figure it out. OK …I guess that would make three assumptions, if I could just count right. By the end of each blog I suggest that we simply …open the words of Christ. As we seek the words of Christ, we break the condemnation that we are under as a church. With that condemnation broken, the conversations of the words of Christ will be a natural bi-product. Eventually, we’ll be able to figure out how we can make an ascension together. The ascension has always been the driving force of the words of Christ.

          I will address your comment on repentance (scarlet sin, made as white as snow) in my next blog.
          A hui hou!

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