Proposed: Governing Principles

Governing Principles are written for the benefit of new fellowships, to maintain an eye single to the glory of God, as they navigate in a new environment of self governance.

Salvation is individual, requiring a personal relationship with Christ. The doctrine of Christ makes a personal relationship possible through faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism. The Holy Ghost is the mind and will of God. Christ and God the Father share the same mind and will. Thus, receiving the Holy Ghost provides each individual with the power to be one with them.

Fellowships exist to assist the individual in their path to becoming one with Christ. They are to govern themselves freely, as the spirit dictates to them, choosing to gather when, where, and with whom they please. Meeting in fellowships provides the opportunity to teach, serve, and learn from both the Spirit, and one another’s experiences. Equality requires that no one be above the next and that all have value. Regional and general conferences ought to adhere to the same principle guidelines as fellowships.

Tithing is to relieve the poor among you. It can be collected and distributed as a group, a fellowship, or as individuals. If done as a group or fellowship, tithes accumulated in a common fund must be distributed by the common consent of the group or fellowship. Separate fellowships can assist one another on a case by case basis, maintaining independence and autonomy. Tithes are not to be accumulated for wealth. If there are no poor among you, excess tithes can be contributed to the needs of the temple.

Performing ordinances of baptism and sacrament require priesthood. Because of the fall, men are responsible for performing priesthood ordinances. Acquiring and exercising priesthood, in fellowships, require three key elements: ordination, sustaining, and confirmation.

Ordination: A man with the priesthood lays his hands on another man’s head, calling them by name, and confers upon them the priesthood, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sustaining: A vote of seven women are required to sustain a man to the priesthood. If the man is married, his wife must be one of the seven women, or he is not worthy.

Confirmation: Most importantly, the man must obtain confirmation of his priesthood from heaven.

In the event that priesthood has been abused, exercising priesthood in fellowships can be revoked by a fair trial, where a unanimous vote of at least twelve women find the abuser guilty.

The ordinance of baptism is a sign to heaven of an individual’s choice to receive the gospel of Christ. It does not offer membership into a fellowship or church. A man who has priesthood, may baptize, all who desire, as instructed as follows:

  • Both go down and stand in the water.
  • The man with priesthood will call the person being baptized by name, saying: “Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.”
  • And then immerse them in the water, and come again out of the water (As circumstances allow, the ordinance ought to be performed in living waters)

Record of the baptism ought to be kept in a personal journal, and submitted to a central recorder, for the names to be kept within the temple of God.

The ordinance of sacrament should be performed as Christ prescribed in the scriptures. He instructs that all kneel. The emblems of bread and wine are to be used as symbols of the flesh and the atoning blood of Christ. If any are opposed to alcohol, or have a medical condition preventing the use of wine, use red grape juice. Bitter wine, in remembrance of Christ’s blood, is symbolic and appropriate. One with the priesthood will pray to the Father in the name of Christ saying:

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

 

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

 

Agency must be preserved, allowing new fellowships the freedom to learn correct principles and govern themselves. Keep your eye single to the glory of God. Seek to receive His mind and will. Bear one another’s burdens through the path, that they may be light, and associate with one another as equals. Your oneness is a testimony to the world that Christ is the redeemer of all.

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2 thoughts on “Proposed: Governing Principles

    • If reinventing the wheel means to do something that has already been done, then no, it’s not reinventing the wheel. Currently, every institution is regulated by a hierarchy, including the LDS. And because of this, everyone expects a regulatory body to give orders, make assignments, reign people in, and penalize those who won’t be reigned in. This method disrespects agency in such a subtle way because it tricks people into giving up agency by “choosing” to follow a leader. With a leader in charge, the individual has given up some of his own responsibility, claiming that the leader will be held accountable for teaching something wrong. That just isn’t the case.

      You are responsible for your salvation. Your salvation depends on you knowing Christ, personally. That is what is meant by godliness. Godliness is to be near God. The power of Godliness is to know God. Salvation depends on knowing God, not merely believing, or knowing about God. The plan of salvation is the plan of Exaltation, which is the plan of knowing God and knowing the principles of Godliness. This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent!

      The relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost has been skewed as well. The LDS think that the gift of the Holy Ghost happens with the laying on of hands and a command to, “Receive the Holy Ghost!” There is a distinct difference between receiving the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Reception of the Holy Ghost can come and go, depending on your choices, and anyone can have access to that (according to Moroni 10:4-5). Missionaries rely upon the reception of the Holy Ghost to testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. What the LDS don’t recognize is that their confirmation only says the same thing, “Receive the Holy Ghost!” It doesn’t offer the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which, if you sinned, the Holy Ghost would not only NOT leave, it would expose you to the mind and will of God concerning the matter, and that is crushing. Not because God is angry. Just because God is pure, and your access to his purity makes you realize how grossly you have failed. Joseph Smith loosing the manuscript weighed heavy on him BECAUSE he had the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost didn’t leave him, it made him keenly aware of God, even in his trouble. Likewise, God spoke to Adam and Eve, even after being cast out of the garden.

      The acquiring of priesthood is another point that is different. Ordination may reflect the existing structure, but sustaining by women only is very unique. But most importantly, although people assume this, confirmation from the heavens is also unique. While priesthood can be conferred through ordination, it is only effective if the heavens confirm it. Otherwise, the holder of said priesthood would doubt his ability. However, someone that has had their priesthood confirmed by heaven, when they act in the priesthood, they can act knowing, not merely believing that their path is acceptable to God, and that God will respect his actions. This is very different.

      The words and instruction of baptism and sacrament may be the same, but how they are followed is very different, when compared to the LDS. The congregation was instructed to kneel during sacrament. Wine was instructed to be used, at the restoration, to symbolize the blood of Christ and the bitterness of the atonement in the garden of Gethsemane. Organizations have strayed from this, so that too is different, relatively speaking.

      Tithing is also new, not because of the instructions, but because of how it is collected and distributed. Organizations are more and more wealthy, while poverty gets worse and worse. Government power is maximized on the backs of the poor. They exploit the condition of the poor, to collect more taxes, and never resolve the problem of poverty. Why solve the problem when the existing problem makes more opportunity to force more taxes?

      No, not re-inventing the wheel, but blazing a trail of equality, where all can have one heart and one mind, and no poor among them. Zion is a work that organizations seem to think God will do someday. It is our work too. And in Zion, the idler cannot wear the garment of the laborer. The idler will find it enormously uncomfortable there. So don’t stand idly aside, while the work of Zion is rolling forward. Come and work.

      Son

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