Israel Wrestles (990 Words)

Honesty is of deepest importance to growth, but so is truth. Opinions must be separated out from truth, so that truth can increase. Those who are added upon will acquire from God a covenant as Israel Wrestles.

Mom, your honesty is of deepest importance and I am honored that you take the time to read what I write. Honesty coupled with truth promote growth. You have been fed philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, and your diet has been weening you off of scriptures so that you only eat philosophies of men. Very little of the truths from scripture is being fed to you by those you consider the fathers of the ward, the stake, and the church. The menu they offer is quoting quotes of opinions, refusing to reconcile their opinions to scripture. When they do, they only use scripture out of context, and to justify their opinions, just as they did anciently to wage Holy Wars In God’s Name. Because of the feast prepared for you on Sunday, you have trusted in a short-order cook and acquired the taste for philosophies of men that promote comfort foods of emotion, without any substance. You are too full for truth and knowledge, refusing nourishment from one who has a vested interest in your eternal life, …and instead trusting in perfect strangers. Your mantra is eat, drink and be merry for all is well in Zion. When we eat doughnuts, we know it’s bad, …but how can something so bad be so good, right? That crap will stunt your growth, making you unable to increase, and barren or void of fruits. Truth, however is not a status-quo diet. When you consume truth, it is intended to change you, to swell, sprout, and begin to grow. As you acquire a taste for more truth, you will increase, easily distinguishing between truth and error, until you are filled with truth. Having been filled with truth, you will produce sweet fruit, spouting truth like a fountain with ease, …and more truth would be added to you. Truth is a diet that is repulsed by those who would rather eat husks with the pigs. Honesty can be used to promote anything, when taken out of context of the truth. Without the truth, your out of context honesty is no different than sign holding liberals, follow the leader drones, and Nazi communists. They too share honestly what they choose to believe as their governing opinion.

The truth shall set you free. Opinions must be separated out from truth, like land from waters of chaos, so that truth can increase. Alma 32 describes the growth of truth and light, in the parable of the seed that grows into a tree. It is describing the tree of life, who’s fruit is white above all that is white, pure above all that is pure, and if you partake of it, you will never hunger nor thirst. That fruit will only come from a tree of truth.

Those who are added upon will acquire from God a covenant as they wrestle between truth and opinion, conquering opinion with truth. Only Israel Wrestles. Israel literally means to wrestle God. Wrestle what? Truth and Light! I will wrestle for the truth, for I Am Israel. Israel is founded upon consuming the truth. Those unwilling to consume the truth, will not have the nourishment, the energy, or the strength to wrestle from God a covenant. Their hearts will fail them. Wake up and smell what I have been brewing for over twelve years! Who’s side are you on? Now is the time to show it. You show it by walking in fear and trembling before God, questioning your foundation. If you feel it shifting beneath your feet, that ought to be a sign of sand. Now, I get that we are islanders. But, we know better than most what happens to foundations built on sand, they shift. In wisdom, you would be best advised to find a foundation of rock. The shaking is upon us, causing liquefaction to make sand foundations respond just like waters of chaos, flowing beneath you.

Conclusion: Your honesty doesn’t bother me one iota. I do not necessarily write to respond to your opinions. I write to load you up with truth, so that when you react as you have been, and I must respond, you have been filled with enough light to recognize the difference between your foundation of sand and one based upon rock. As I know you are Israel, I would be a fool not to expect a wrestling match. After all, Israel Wrestles. It was true when you investigated the church way back in the 1900’s, wrestling against the missionaries. It was true as you attempted to wrestle with your Mom before she died. It was true when you wrestled with your sisters, and it is true when you wrestle with your favorite son, the desire of your heart.

Unlike the foolish Samoan and Native American Bishops who cast me out and refused to receive my records of membership, I welcome your honesty, and will continue to wrestle with you. When you tell me to stop, telling me you want no more truth, and convince me you are not just going through a growth phase, I will shut this blog down permanently, leaving you to your own conclusions. However, I believe you read, not only because you love me, …but I think you are genuinely curious because you hear the truth I am teaching. It festers within you because of your upbringing. Your parents both were truth seekers: free Masons and founders of the Church of the Golden Rule. I believe you sincerely pray to know. You are left to wrestle, as all Israel being gathered must do, or else not be gathered. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. It’s always the case, in all generations of time, and for all eternity, …Israel Wrestles!

 

 

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In God’s Name… (926 Words)

Many things have been done In God’s Name, based on opinions. The only method we are given to judge is by their fruits. We are warned of the wolves whose exterior looks like sheep, …and we ought to carefully consider why.

Millions of people have died In God’s Name, based upon mere opinions. King Noah burned Abinadi until dead because the King’s sacred office was questioned. The Crusades fought by Christians were known as “Holy Wars,” …termed “Holy” because killing was justified by the scriptures. Today, Muslims attack In God’s Name. Agency was a necessary part of the test, and opinions truly expose the heart. You see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear. What you see and hear is how you talk.

The world has an excess of opinions, so the only method we are given to judge is by their fruits. Fruits have been redefined to mean church buildings, stake centers, and temples. Originally, however, the fruits were the words they spoke. Plainly speaking, by their words is how you’ll know them. Interestingly enough, in Hebrew the word Prophet comes from the word “Navi,” which is derived from the term “niv sefatayim,” meaning: “fruit of the lips.” However, too often Prophets are stoned, not because of what they said, but because of how people reacted to what they said. Christ bore sweet fruits, and they crucified Him for it, families have fallen apart because of it, and prophesies state that families will hunt one another down in division (Luke 12:52-53). Was it Christ’s fruits that caused the poor behavior, …or just the response of the wicked to sweet fruits? Do not confuse the way people respond as an indicator of the content of the message. Rarely do people desire the sweet fruits offered by the words of Christ.

Speaking to Bishop Youngbull, he demanded to know if I considered myself a prophet, yes or no? His question clearly represented his fruit, …asking me if in my mind I held some sort of office of rank, equal to President Monson or President Nelson. His fruits (or his words) were idolatry, …just as is all who profess to “follow the prophet.” On the other hand, my response was representative of the fruit I bear. I told the bishop that it doesn’t matter if someone is a prophet. I honestly couldn’t care less to know the identity of a prophet, as befriending him offers nothing. All that mattered to me was the content of the message. If it is true, I will accumulate the truth and govern myself by that truth. If it is false, I will simply discard it as irrelevant opinion. I added that I am here to tell the truth to a people who this record was written to, and you are left to judge if what I am saying is true or to discard what I say as irrelevant opinion. His statement to discard what I offered as irrelevant opinion was established, and I peacefully walked away, respecting his agency. He asked as we left, “So where are you going now?” I responded, “Home.” He asked, “What will you do for church?” I paused for a moment, and said, “I will follow the Spirit of God’s instructions.” He admitted, “Good response, Rob, good response.”

We are warned throughout the scriptures of the wolves whose exterior looks like sheep, …and we ought to carefully consider why it remains in scripture. Wolves can dress, look and act as sheep, but when they open their mouths, …you can know them. I wouldn’t get so close to examine wolves in sheep’s clothing saying, “My what big teeth you have!” I would instead recommend you seek to know the words of Christ, to recognize those who speak those words, putting forth those ideas, and living that lifestyle. That way, you can spot a wolf a mile away and avoid it. More importantly, you can hear the words of a prophet, not because of his identification, but because of his message. Abinadi came in a disguise, and Alma was able to hear his message, sufficient to repent. You do the same.

Conclusion: Maintaining the status-quo, doing the same things, never progressing is anti-plan-of-salvation. Eternal progression was not an excuse to put off today what you could do tomorrow, since you have an eternity to progress. Regression is also an option for those who set up stakes, or boundaries to how far they’ll allow God to take them. How oft would I have gathered you, but YOU would not, puts the accountability smack-dab on YOU as the one rejecting God. Even Angels desired to look into Zion, but since they set up too many stakes, according to Joseph Smith, they could not attain to it.

If you would prefer the status-quo, please let me know, and I’ll discontinue this blog. But discontinuing this blog does not remove your accountability to discern the truth. And whatever intelligence you acquire in this life will be to your advantage in the world to come. But the opposite is also true, what you fail to acquire now will be to your disadvantage.

Things are ramping up, and I am coming for you. This produces in me great anxiety, as there will be a point and time that you will have to choose to receive the truth In God’s Name, or build upon your shifting opinions, speaking In God’s Name, but doing so in vain.

Happy Valentines & Happy Lent (Ash Wednesday- placing ashes on the forehead in a sign of repentance)

 

Walk It Out (977 Words)

The Telestial kingdom is governed by opinions and compulsion. The Terrestrial kingdom is not free of opinions, but rather than fighting with opinions, contention is contained, making room for truth to increase. The fulness of the celestial is to be filled with truth, as truth is added upon truth. All truth is circumscribed in Christ, reaching below to help us Walk It Out!

Within the Telestial kingdom opinions govern. Those who have stronger opinions typically have bigger weapons to enforce them. They command greater enforcement, therefore their opinion is feared, and accepted. Institutions govern using compulsion to justify their opinions at every level. A bully controls the minds of classmates to rule in fear. Gangs rule high schools in fear. Administrators rule the universities with fear. Bosses rule businesses in fear. Banks rule in fear, and so do communities and governments. Good is labeled as evil and evil labeled as good, simply because it is all opinion based, enforced by one form or another of compulsion. In the environment where opinion governs, it is a rare occurrence that the seed of truth can be planted, sprout, and begin to grow. The scriptures is that seed, according Alma 32.

Those whose foundation is opinion build upon sand. However, those who plant the seed of truth are building upon a rock, like the wise man before the rain. To build on a rock foundation of truth requires that you replace opinion with truth. The transition from opinion to truth requires the mindset of fear and trembling before God, questioning within yourself, to identify what is truth and what is opinion. And then, once separated, you must seek the truth that replaces the opinion. Scriptures call it putting off unbelief. Contention is contained and eventually eliminated in the Terrestrial kingdom because no one fights to preserve opinions, and no one tries to govern another’s opinions, but all are seekers of truth. The object of separating truth and opinion within yourself can be likened to the second day of creation, where land and water was separated. Therefore in the Terrestrial kingdom, truth displaces opinion, until they are full of only truth, and their confidence waxes strong in the presence of God. Consider why Christ dwelt with the city of Enoch prior to being taken. Christ dwelt among them, to displace their opinions, for them to increase in truth.

The fulness of the celestial is to be filled with truth, as truth is added upon truth. Once there are a people full of truth, they are celestial. Contention has been rooted out. Opinions no longer rule, being set aside for truth, until truth is all that remains. In celestial glory, truth is added upon more truth, and results in fruits. The process of going from Telestial, to Terrestrial, to Celestial is the pattern of planting and growing truth through the words of Christ, increasing truth to dispel opinion, and producing fruit as truth is added upon more truth. The city of Enoch is a perfect pattern.

Enoch obtained a covenant, becoming a Patriarchal Father. He was a wild man come among the people, but he didn’t speak so quickly, and was slow to speak, measuring his words, and progressing line upon line precept upon precept. He planted the seed of the word by preaching repentance, and the people’s hearts received the seed. They responded by repenting, as truth overpowered opinion. Christ dwelt among them to completely remove opinion, until the city as a whole was celestialized. Whenever a celestial people exist on the Earth, the darkness hates them, because they first hated Christ. Enoch moved mountains and turned rivers upstream to preserve his enemy, so that they would be given more time to repent. Eventually, either the enemy had to be destroyed or Enoch taken up. It is God’s grace and mercy to take Enoch up, giving the world an opportunity to repent. Those belonging to the city of Enoch were added upon, giving them greater truth than has ever been given to man. They have overcome the world by faith.

Stepping back and looking at the story of the city of Enoch, we can all get distracted by Enoch. But, the reality is, it was not Enoch, it was Christ that Walked It Out of darkness into the light.

Conclusion: Judge as you would like to be judged. I would love to be judged by truth. In truth, I would not have had my recommend revoked, nor would I have been cast out by the Samoan ward, nor denied my records in the Native American ward. I have presented only truth to them and they rejected it. I have presented truth to you too. What they have done with the truth is not an expression of me. It is an expression of their foundation, built upon opinion. From their position of opinion, they have exercised a little authority, as they supposed, to put forth unrighteous dominion, revoking their association with the powers of heaven, preferring instead an association with officers of rank in an institution.

If they prefer to judge by opinion, then they ought to be judged by opinion. I prefer to let truth win, changing my opinions to let truth displace them, until my confidence waxes strong in the presence of God. What do you prefer?

If you prefer the truth, as I have, I am more than willing to pay the price to share what truths I have accumulated, to come home and teach it. If not, I would not force you to change your opinions. I have written this blog to release you from dealing with me directly, and only as you choose. I have kept my distance to respect your agency. If you choose to change your foundation from being based on opinion, to build on a rock of truth, I will help you Walk It Out!

How You Judge …Native Ward Update #2 (1523 Words)

I’ve been trying out for the team of the Native American Ward in Provo, UT, and today was ward conference, which means the stake authorities were in attendance. Bishop Youngbull began his talk with traditional Mormonese, and lost my attention right away. But he told a story that caught my attention, about his son’s name, a Native Cheyanne name meaning “Spiritual Light.” The rest of his talk was on WWII, and returned to Mormonese. But, because of the connection I made with his son’s name, his talk was by far the best! The next speaker was a one of the stake counselors, who created a stark contrast from Bishop Youngbull’s comments. He said his parents had a monkey, named Jake. It wasn’t until he (the counselor) was eleven that he realized he was not named after the monkey. It was his effort at humor to start his talk. Comparing stories told from the pulpit about names, I though it was extremely symbolic, one addressed Spiritual Light and the other was a monkey. The stake president said something of value too, reminding the members that they cannot live on borrowed light. Sacrament meeting became the subject of our LAST interview with Bishop Youngbull.

I met the bishop at the front of the chapel to tell him congratulations about his talk. I told him that he connected with me when it came to his story about his son’s name. I added that initially I thought it was just another boring talk, but his experience took me by surprise, and I ended up loving his talk more than all the others, …by a landslide. Questionably, he thanked me and invited me to his office, to release the verdict of his two week consideration to receive our records into the ward and let us speak freely (THE CUT). Before getting to his office, his counselor and I had a quick conversation at the front of the chapel. His counselor is a local Judge in the Provo Court District, so before meeting the bishop in his office I told Judge Darrel McDade, “Judge, be careful how you judge, for How You Judge, so shall you be judged.” I added in passing, “…You must walk extremely carefully to hear the truth, and make a judgement. The difference between you and God is, God actually cares about the truth, …and, …well, …you’re not in the business of truth, are you? …You’re only in the business of judging. How You Judge so shall you be judged.” We both laughed at the subject matter. But, although funny, I was not joking.

In the office, the bishop told me he spoke to Bishop Charles AhYou. He said that although I declared to be a full tithe payer, Bishop Ah You did not see any record of an anonymous tithe on his records, so he knew I lied. I responded, “Isn’t that what anonymous meant, no one knows?” The bishop said, “How am I to know you are a full tithe payer?” I told him, “I just told you! And that is all that is required, isn’t it?” He said, “Well, I’m curious to how that is done.” I told him, “The church has an account to give it directly to the church, but it’s none of your business how I pay my tithes. Your only question is whether or not I am a full tithe payer? And I can still answer emphatically that I sure am!”

He continued with the accusations from Bishop AhYou, stating that I belong to some online worship group, and I have membership with them. I told the bishop, “He tried to pin that on me too, but I have never belonged to any group, not online or offline. It was a false accusation, and still is, but Bishop AhYou still believes it. And since he is “all-powerful,” having held the office of bishop, it doesn’t matter what the truth is, …it only matters what HE BELIEVES THE TRUTH IS.”

Bishop Youngbull went down a different line of questioning, saying that we must follow the prophet. He asked if I believed that President Monson, and now Nelson are prophets? I asked him, “How do you determine if someone is a prophet?” Oddly he bore witness that Jesus is the Christ, Joseph was a true prophet, the Church is true, and that Joseph said that a prophet would never lead people astray.” I told him that Joseph never said that. That statement was quoined in the 1900’s and Joseph died in 1844. I asked, “Bishop, you bore your testimony, but I asked you how you determine if someone is a prophet?”

I changed the conversation focus saying, “Few knew Lehi as a prophet. Only Ishmael’s family and Zoram joined them. If you lived then, …how would you know Lehi was a prophet? Or, how would you know that Abinadi was a prophet, if you were King Noah, or Alma? That should give you a hint at how you recognize anyone as a prophet. It isn’t by their status, as Lehi was chased out and Abinadi had to come in by disguise. It wasn’t by their office. It was simply by their message. To be honest, the individual doesn’t matter, but it would be foolish to reject the message”

He claimed that a modern prophet tells us scripture for our day, addressing relevant concerns that the ancient prophets didn’t have. My wife said that it was Christ who atoned and no one else, so if prophets have any value, it is to point to a personal witness with Christ yourself. The personal connection to Christ was the advantage, and not a heads up warning from a prophet. I further explained that while a prophet speaks, you must discern between truth and error. After all, why would there be a warning to discern between a sheep, and a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

He repeated the earlier question, asking, “Do you believe they are prophets?” I told the bishop, “I really don’t care if they are or not. The only thing that matters is their message. Just as I told you that initially your talk sucked, but your story about your son’s name was legitimate, so I ended up really liking it. However, there wasn’t much to glean from the Stake Presidents talk, but a lame joke not worth repeating, and the advice that you can’t live on borrowed light. Not living on borrowed light resonates to me as truth, so I will take that, leaving the rest of his talk with him. I will not be a respecter of persons, and that includes, bishops, stake presidents, general authorities, and church presidencies. Too much respect is put into the arm of flesh, and I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh, or make flesh my arm.”

The bishop confessed that he felt the spirit and our love for the Savior and the scriptures. But, he wasn’t able to get past the deserved respect of the institutional leaders. He cannot see how we could teach truth with our opinions looming overhead, so he politely declined to request our records, …and we were cut from the Native American Ward team.

Conclusion: It was courtesy for my wife and I to lay out the circumstances for the bishop. Because of his rank, he judged, without being aware that it was never his right to deny us from bringing our records into his ward (according to scripture). Because of the rank and ignorant choices of the previous bishop, this bishop followed suit, unable to think for himself. Because we have shared light that went against his traditions, he fell to pieces like glass, remained darkened in his mind, fully expecting to follow the prophet, stick with the program, and cast people like my wife and I out of his synagogue. He and bishop AhYou have a little authority, as they suppose, and they have certainly exercised unrighteous dominion. Not only is this true in the Samoan and Native American ward, …it is true throughout the church.

Rather than learn from sad experience, free your minds from the bondage of the institution, by studying the words of Christ outside of their restricted parameters. They are setting up boundaries that refuse your eternal progression. Do not stop going to church. Go to church with a passion! Read your scriptures with a passion! Go to the temple with a passion! Prove all of God’s words by knowing them, and adjust your life to be reconciled to them. Wrestle within yourself, to break free from the institution of “follow the prophet.” Wrestle with your ward members with the intent to know the words of Christ! Wrestle with me by sparring in the scriptures. Be God’s wrestlers, to wrestle from God your calling and election made sure! Only through that wrestle will you prove yourself to be Israel. Israel literally means to wrestle with God a covenant!

Abraham wrestled. Jacob is named “Israel” because he wrestled. These are the fathers you must turn your hearts to. Judge wisely, for How You Judge, so shall you be judged!

Mahalo Ke Akua!

 

Native Ward Update (1444 Words)

The bishop of the Native Ward invited us into his office just after sacrament meeting, while people lined up to shake hands with Elder Larry Echohawk (The only Native American member of the quorum of the seventy). He quickly escorted us to his office, and he asked me if it was OK for him to respect the previous bishop’s opinion. I told him that I didn’t agree that it was fair for him to attribute guilt simply because he hadn’t heard the bishop’s story. Besides, I told him, I was honest about why he restricted me, and his reasons aren’t justifiable. So, I asked him, how can you attribute guilt, given the circumstances? The Native bishop justified the restrictions solely based upon the office. Sufficed to say, he believes that all members should follow the prophet. What it means is, having never met my previous bishop, the coveted keys his office holds is sufficient to respect, that a wrong judgement to revoke a temple recommend from a worthy member, disregarding the members honest declaration of being a full-tithe payer, ought to be respected by the Native bishop.

Although his initial inquiry was one sided and justified in his mind, my wife and I were dead set on having a non-offensive attitude about the unjust behavior. We have noticed within our own relationship everyone recognizes an “offender.” But, no one recognizes that a neutral comment can be perceived as “offensive,” simply by responding “defensively.” For example, if I say to my wife, “I disagree.” It’s a neutral statement, it’s not positive or negative. But, she can make it offensive simply by defending something that needs no defense by responding, “So you’re saying I’m wrong?” I disagree does not always equal you’re wrong. There should be clarification. But, by taking a defensive approach, it makes the other party into an offender.

The bishop asked me what my purpose was for coming to the ward. I said, “To teach the Book of Mormon to the Natives, outside of the institutional mindset, allowing the words intended for them to speak for themselves.” The bishop took the defensive, making me the offender, by restating what I said. He said, “So you’re saying that you are here to save us because we aren’t as smart as you?” I told him that I see myself no better than anyone, but I found his accusation to hold myself above others childish. Just because I play the sport better than the rest of the team shouldn’t make me a threat, it should make me an asset, perhaps even an advantage.

I promised him that if he would allow my records in his ward, not only would it be a license for me to teach the truth without generating contention with the father of the ward, …I promised that if the people came to understand it, the bishop would have more temple recommend holders, they would attend more regularly, and when they attended, they wouldn’t be taking a nap. The bishop accused me of judging the ward members for not having recommends, not attending the temple, and sleeping when they did attend. That wasn’t what I said, but that’s what he perceived, and his perception was all that mattered to him. We weren’t in a conversation. The bishop was in a conversation with himself, and pretending like he was talking to us, when he was only talking to his imagination of us (on the verge of schizophrenia).

I turned the conversation to the problem every bishop can never resolve, pornography. I said that allowing the truth of the Book of Mormon to be taught, unfiltered by the institutional parameters, established by false traditions, …that he would notice that their are real solutions to fixing the pornography issue, and not just hiding, burying, avoiding, and ignoring the problem. He responded telling me of his success rate for fixing porn issues. He said if they read the Book of Mormon, they stop, …but if they don’t, they never quit. Rather than tell him that people don’t just stop because they are reading a minimum of five minutes a day, as he suggested, I took a different perspective. I asked, “So, of those who did not read, …why did they not read the Book of Mormon if it solved the problem?” He shrugged his shoulders. I told him, it’s not because they don’t want to break the porn habit, otherwise they would have never told you about it. It’s because they don’t understand the Book of Mormon, and it bores them in the institutional program they have framed it in. I would give them a clean perspective, one they can relate to, and one written from their distant ancestor, directly to them!

The bishop’s response was appalling. He accused me of giving him a “Sales Pitch,” as if I were Satan fooling him into partaking of the tree of knowledge of good an evil. He claimed that I was coming to him like I was the savior himself. I told him that I was only attempting to offer repentance, to make the weakness within all of us strength, by pointing to the one being that is unchanging, by pointing to Christ.

I told him that he would be wise to repent too. I told him that I didn’t intend to embarrass him by asking questions about the scriptures that he didn’t know. I only want to discuss the scriptures. He said he had a problem with my opinions of the general authorities. I told him that had he not ever asked about my opinions, I would have never saw the need to divulge them. Why would I ever frame the light of the Book of Mormon in a pitch to disobey your leaders, quit the church, and rebel? I believe that if you speak the truth, they can govern themselves.

He then asked me, “Do you think you’re a prophet?” I responded, in every age, whether during the day of Lehi, or during the life of Christ, or during the reign of Nephi, …that was a question of pride and vanity. The value of a prophet is the light they bring, through the message of truth they bear. Self identifying as a prophet does no one any good, ever! But, …your discerning light will weigh on your judgment. If you failed to discern the light being offered you, that will be your accountability. I am here to offer more light, concerning the covenant written in the Book of Mormon. If I speak truth, you should receive it, whether or not I hold a recognizable office. Lehi was stoned. Christ was crucified. Nephi was attacked by his own brothers. Why would I expect better treatment for bearing the responsibility to teach the truth? He pressed, “Just say, yes or no, do you consider yourself a prophet?” I responded, “Just say, yes or no, are you going to transfer my records and allow me to speak freely?” He said, “It’s a simple question.” I said, “So is mine.”

Conclusion: The conversation never got heated, despite the sensitivity of the subject matter. I don’t believe that priesthood can be exercised in any other way, but by persuasion and pure knowledge. However, bridging the gap between persuasion and pure knowledge will require long suffering, gentleness, kindness, meekness, and unfeigned love. The bishop doesn’t know it, but I am willing to do just that if he chooses to permit my records without restrictions. How he chooses to judge, so shall he be judged.

Consider the arguments the bishop is making, and reflect upon your responsibility to recognize and receive light, from an unrecognized source. Lehi was not recognized as we see him today. Christ was crucified by his own people that He was in the process of redeeming. Joseph Smith was shot by disenfranchised members. All of them came as strangers. The method for identifying a prophet has nothing to do with their rank in the public eye. It is the message they bear alone. That makes anyone fair game. Doesn’t it?

The game is afoot. You’re in it. So if you’re going to be in it, be in it to win it. Familiarize yourself with the message of the prophets of old. Remove the idea of official public offices, since few, if any, came through that route. It was the message. Write the ancient message of the Book of Mormon on your hearts, and then trust your hearts to hear and discern the messages being offered you right not. And then judge wisely. For how you judge, so shall you be judged!

Good Luck!

La Mai Ka’i (Have a good day!)

God’s Grace is Sufficient (1283 Words)

God’s Grace is Sufficient. Those who humble themselves and have faith are promised grace. Through grace, God makes weak things strong.

Ether 12:27

“27. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

God’s Grace is Sufficient, but what does that mean, what is God’s grace? The common Christian idea of grace is: the favor of God, …but I think it reduces grace to niceties. It’s far more than that. John the Beloved describes Christ’s progression, not having a fullness at first, but growing grace for grace. And Christ had not the fullness at first, but He grew from grace to grace. If this is how Christ became the only Begotten Son of God, John the Beloved is telling us that there’s more to grace. Joseph Smith taught that Christ is the prototype of a saved being, and anyone who will be saved must be precisely what Christ is, or else not be saved. His progression to become the Only Begotten Son was by God’s grace, by the power of the Father, and that is how all become God’s children, …by His grace. Christ was God’s son because every word that God gave Him, Christ obeyed and proved it, …through obedience. The final task for Christ to become unchanging was to be offered up, killed, and be resurrected, or in other words to lay down His life and take it up again. He was able to descend below all, ascend above all, acquiring all of God’s grace, to overcome all. God offers his grace freely for all to overcome all. So what is it? God’s grace is the offering of further light, to provide you more order, to overcome all weakness.

The benefits of grace only come when men humble themselves before God and exercise faith in Him, through obedience to every word that proceeds forth from His mouth to you. When ordinances are performed exactly as they were given from God’s mouth, it is an opportunity to receive grace to help you overcome weakness. For example, the blessing on the sacrament bread covenants those who partake as: being willing to take upon you the name of Christ, to always remember Christ, …and to keep Christ’s commandments which He gives you, …and you are promised to have Christ’s Spirit to be with you. Those who would humble themselves, to be instructed of the ordinance, would recognize that it is the Spirit of Christ being offered, …not the Holy Ghost. It is an offering to prepare those who partake of the sacrament to return into His presence, by gradually conditioning them with always having Christ’s Spirit to be with them. Because of humility, God’s grace is instruction to teach you what to repent of, …said another way, God’s grace tells you what to change into. When the concept is understood and likewise accepted as true, that is sufficient humility to begin to exercise faith in God.

Humility instructs you to know who it is you worship and how it is you worship, so that you are prepared to take action, by exercising faith. Faith is exhibited in repentance, …repentance simply meaning to change your mind. Every action we make is done as an expression of our mind, therefore your actions are an expression of your faith. What you believe is what governs how you act.

The Lord promises us that when we are humble and have faith in Him, it is He that makes weak things strong. God’s grace is what does the heavy lifting. It isn’t your self directed discipline. Directing yourself is creation ex nihilo, out of nothing, it is trusting darkness to lead into the light. Darkness does not comprehend light. God’s grace is His extension of light to those who will receive it. God’s grace directs the mind, and because the mind directs the actions, that is how God makes weak things strong. He doesn’t take away your agency. He doesn’t take away the work. He walks you through it. He can walk you through it because He gave you the weakness.

Conclusion: Christ was called The Word, in the record of John the Beloved, because He (Christ) obeyed all of God’s instructions. Knowing Christ as the prototype of a saved being, and that all must be precisely what He is, or else not be saved, …gives us a guide to not only know who it is that we worship, …it also instructs us how it is that we ought to worship. As we learn and come to know who Christ is, that would serve as a pattern to how we ought to live.

God’s Grace is Sufficient for all men who humble themselves to come unto Him. The treasure house amassed by God is more than is necessary for all men who come unto God, to receive His light, to overcome the world. God’s treasury of light is what He desires to share with all men, as fast as they are able to bear it. Sharing His light not only duplicates His light in abundance, it doesn’t diminish His share at all. His ordinances are intended to instruct and change the initiate, preparing them to receive more light.

The problem with saints of all ages is, they hew broken cisterns. Their vessels are cracked vessels, unable to contain the light that God’s grace produces. Therefore, the first grace is intended to repair the broken vessel. Baptism and sacrament fixes the broken vessel, cleaning it, in preparation to receiving the Holy Ghost (light).

In order for grace to effectively work, you must humble yourself to receive the instructions the ordinances give, and then act in alignment in faith. Through the process of time, God will perform the miracle to turn your weakness into strength. “And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given allthings—” (D&C 76:53-55).


Native Ward Update: When I attended church Sunday, the bishop quickly approached me, telling me that he will uphold my previous bishop’s judgements, restricting me from bearing testimony and partaking of the sacrament, …asking me if we could talk just after sacrament meeting. A member of the seventy was attending, Larry Echohawk. I explained that it was an unfair assessment he was making of me, …that since I was honest and told him my circumstances, how can that gave him reason to agree with my previous bishop’s attribution of my guilt? I was penalized for no reason. Although I knew it was improper for him to ignorantly judge me, studying the scriptures has taught me to allow others to exercise their supposed authority, even when they are exercising unrighteous dominion. Christ did it. If I am to walk His path, why would I expect any different?

As he did not speak to my wife, she bore testimony of finding real solutions through the proper study of the Book of Mormon. She suggested accessing cultural tools, to unlock the lessons in the Book of Mormon, by reading it in the context of stories. She promised them that if they read the Book of Mormon accurately, it would produce real life solutions to overcome the world.

We talked afterwards, for the remaining two hours. I’ll write more on that conversation next post.

 

Feel the Burn! (1432 Words)

Heat transfers from a hotter body to a colder body. The transfer of heat causes lift because heat rises. Those who are able to endure the purification by fire will receive and rise when heated. Feel the Burn!

Cold doesn’t ever transfer to make things colder. Heat is what transfers. Heat only travels in one direction, from a hotter body to a colder body. Our bodies burn calories from the fuel we eat, to generate energy or heat, to perform it’s functions. The reason people get cold is because their body transfers heat to colder objects immediately surrounding them faster than they are producing heat through activity. Just like heat, light transfers from a brighter body to a darker body, which is how the creation was made possible. Each time light is offered and received, the unorganized matter becomes organized, taking it’s order from the light.

Hot air rises, while cold air falls. Hot-air balloons take advantage of this principle. The air within the balloon is heated by a burner, exciting air molecules receiving the heat. Hot air is lighter than cold air, causing the balloon to rise. Just like heated air molecules rise, those who receive more and more light, until they know the mysteries of God in full, …will rise in ascension.

The physical properties of heat bear testimony of the properties of light. Those who are able to endure the purification by fire will receive and rise when heated by the light being offered. Everything in the creation, when properly understood, bears witness of the creator. It is all a testimony of Christ. Knowing Christ will provide greater understanding to physical sciences and the creation. It is the creator that gives context to the creation, and not the other way around. As we study to know the creator, more light and truth will be given, purifying you, increasing your light, and exciting your actions, to produce lift, to produce ascent. Purification by fire simply describes the process of receiving light.

D&C 88:40-41

“40. For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; LIGHT CLEAVETH UNTO LIGHT; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

41. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.”

The method that light enters into this world is through ordinances. The power of godliness is manifest to men in the ordinances of the priesthood. The ordinances follow the instruction given from heaven. Once given, they are God’s words, and they are not to be changed, …otherwise they are man’s words, and not God’s. God is the same. He is unchanging. To grow line upon line directly refers to receiving more of God’s word and God’s ordinances, word upon word, ordinance upon ordinance, until you receive all. The origins of the word “mystery” is a ritual ordinance. Consider the following instruction from Alma about how line upon line is connected to more word and ordinance, until you have all the words and all of the ordinances in full:

Alma 12:10-11

“10. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.”

If the chains of hell is to know nothing of the mysteries or the ordinances of God, and ordinances are always accompanied by the words of God, …than those who refuse to receive the words of God being offered are also rejecting it’s accompanying ordinances, and chained to hell. However, those who receive the lesser portion of word/ordinance, continues to receive more word/ordinance, …until they are expected to know all of the word/ordinances in full. They are filled with light, leaving no darkness within them, having risen up, because of the purification of the light they have received. That is how enduring to the end is done. It is to receive the fullness here and now, being purified and burned in the process. Hell is darkness and cold. Heaven is to be in the presence of God, in the presence of light, in the presence of heat. Receive the heat, rise up, and …Feel the Burn!

Conclusion: The lesser portion of the word offers the lesser portion of the ordinances, while the greater portion of the word offers the greater portion of the ordinances. When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon (called the lesser portion of the word by Moroni in 3 Nephi 26), Joseph sought baptism. John the Baptist appeared, laying hands on the head of Joseph and Oliver to give them authority to baptize. In obedience to the lesser portion of the word, despite all other religions offering baptism, Joseph reinstated the ordinances of baptism and sacrament. Those are the lesser ordinances connected to the lesser portion of the word. Those who will receive the lesser portion of the word will study and inquire into them (specifically the Book of Mormon), just as Joseph did. When the inquirers understand the lesser portion of the word, …their natural desire will be to partake of the ordinances instructed in the lesser portion of the word (authorization, baptism, and sacrament), …and then they will change their lives to match the conditions of the words/ordinances.

In Kirtland, Ohio, a greater portion of word was offered. The greater portion of the word included greater ordinances. However, the words/ordinances required a functioning “temple” to house them. In the Kirtland temple greater word/ordinance was given. The additional ordinances received were: ordination to priesthood, re-baptism, and an initiatory washing and anointing. But the saints were removed from Kirtland, unable to fully align with the greater word/ordinances.

The saints eventually ended up in Nauvoo, Illinois where Joseph offered an even greater portion of the word/ordinances. What was supposed to be offered in the Nauvoo temple would include all the previously given word/ordinances, from baptism to washing and anointing, previously done in Kirtland, …adding even greater word/ordinances that would include: an endowment and sealing, a second anointing, and finally adoption.  However, the temple was never complete, and the greater word/ordinances were lost.

What is currently done in the LDS temple was never written down until long after the St. George temple was built, 33 years after Joseph and Hyrum Smith died. The words/ordinances were sufficient to instruct, but it was never able to lead to a fulness, being changed to mingled the words of Christ with the philosophies of men. It’s most drastic change being the removal of penalties in 1990. To correct and restore the greater portion of the word/ordinances requires the building of a temple, by those who would correct the changes done by corruption of the arm of flesh, to align with the instructions given from heaven. Until that temple is built by people who are willing to receive more word/ordinances from heaven, …rather than relying upon the arm of flesh, …only then can more word/ordinances be given, until we receive a fullness.

Until a proper temple is built, what remains is the lesser portion of the word in the scriptures. But, it is enough to reignite the smoldering embers within us. The ordinances described in the lesser portion of the word are available. We must start at the beginning and try again. Those who will receive the lesser portion of the word in our day, can begin again to grow line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, …until we fulfill the lesser portion of the word, by obtaining it’s ordinances, and producing the fruit, …to escape the condemnation we have inherited by the early saints. Be the word. Receive the light. Partake anew of the ordinances of baptism and sacrament. Allow the word/ordinances to produce the promised sweet fruit in you, to purify as if by fire. Feel the Burn!