Unfamiliar Zion (494)

Zion is the work of God, and not man. He doesn’t expect us to do things right at first, but we must do the work. Our current struggles were known to God and the beatitudes have been given for us to build a community that will produce fruits. Let’s begin there to build our family, to endure the offensive digging, dunging, and pruning.

Zion has only ever been accomplished by two communities. It’s prophesied that there will be a third community in our day. The concept of Zion is so unfamiliar to this world, there is nothing in the world to judge how we are doing, gauging the progress of building it. To make things worse, not even the scriptures have sufficient instruction or a blueprint to follow for Zion to be constructed by men. God alone will establish Zion. He must instruct us personally, in order for Zion to appear. His instructions are vital for the birth of Zion to come. Once He instructs us, the scriptures can only confirm that what God has prophesied, covenanted, and promised, is fulfilled. But the path to Zion is only to be found following God’s immediate instruction. THAT is how God will bring it.

God doesn’t expect us to do things right at first, but we must do the work. There is no magic, no pixie-dust, no Harry Potter spells, to bring about the work that you must do. Failure is part of learning. God will lead, teach, command, and guide us through our failure. The difficulty on our part is that we must become what He commands and do what He bids us do. His current instructions applies to our peculiar circumstances, to fix our imperfections, stopping us from bringing about Zion and entering into His presence.

Our current struggles were foreseen and foretold. The Lord of the whole Earth considered destroying all of the wicked, but His servant pled with the Him to grant more time (Jacob 5:49-50). More time was granted, for the final digging, dunging, and pruning. And the Lord promised His servant to spare it a little longer, and promised that He would labor with His servant one more time. The best instructions that we have to follow to build a community around is the beatitudes.

Conclusion: The scriptures is your personal work. You must read them seriously, ponder them intently, and return to them in thought and in word regularly. There is a sacrifice required. Only you can make the offering that makes you acceptable. No one can do that work for you.

However, we can work together by meeting together oft, talking of Christ, preaching Christ, rejoicing in Christ, and prophesying of Christ. We can provide a community, even within our own family, to grow the attributes of the beatitudes. When the wheat recognize who they are, and the roots are agitated, they will fruit. And when the wheat fruits, only then can the tares be burned. You are wheat!

 

Advertisements

Institutionalization (1317 Words)

A recent study from my absolute favorite PhD has been published that I think explains the confusion of the term “CHURCH.” Christ offers something far different than an Institutionalization concept, seeking a personal relationship instead. Traditions of Institutionalization have plagued us for so long, it’s almost impossible to consider surviving outside of an institution.

My absolute favorite PhD is my wife. While she wasn’t the top of her class in marks, her dissertation on “Brain Drain and Brain Gain” has been published, when those with top marks in her cohort haven’t. Since being published, her dissertation has been downloaded hundreds of times throughout the world, because of the insight she provided that I think applies to the confusion of the term “CHURCH.” In it she addresses Institutionalization among Native Americans. But I think her discovery is applicable in uncovering the damage caused by all Institutions, better reflecting Institutionalization as the large and spacious building in Lehi’s dream.

Institutionalization is well understood as a problem, when applied to incarcerated convicts, and their difficulty transitioning to civilian life, once released. A good movie depicting the Institutionalization of convicts is “The Shawshank Redemption” (highly recommended, but rated R in some countries- NOT Canada;). In the book titled “Tribe” (by Sebastian Junger) Institutionalization was the cause of PTSD, as soldiers returning from war preferred war over civilian life, …because at least in war there was order, value, and people were needed by the organization. But it’s difficult to identify occupational Institutionalization, as people retiring from a lifetime of service in their industry awake to the awful reality of being unneeded outside of their lifetime investment in their occupation. Life after retirement is short, and those of age to retire refuse to retire because of this fact. In my wife’s dissertation Native Americans who returned to live on the reservation after getting an education confessed that they returned because of “relationships.” But when asked what they recommended to promote more of a returning educated population back to the reservation, every one of them recommended government programs. Without knowing it, they too are Institutionalized. Relationships and Institutionalization are inversely related.

Christ offers something far different than an institutional concept, seeking a personal relationship instead. Christ doesn’t define His Church as officers, hierarchies, and strongmen, who lead by rules, lay down the law, and enforce compliance. His description of His church is this:

Mosiah 26:22-24

“22. For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive.

23. For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand.

24. For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.”

Expounding on this scripture clarifies the inverse relationship between Institutionalization and relationships. Christ simply states in v.22 that baptism, repentance, and belief in His name, as the only qualifiers to be freely forgiven of Him. In the next verse, Christ identifies His forgiveness as the only forgiveness that matters, as He is the only one that atoned for sin, being the only one qualified to forgive sin. He is the gate keeper, and no other man or Institution has the power to make that decision, as no man or Institution has performed that atonement. And finally, in v.24 Christ identifies those who are called by His name as those that KNOW HIM. This echoes back to John 17:3 where John the Beloved teaches that eternal life is knowing God and Christ. “Knowing” is a personal relationship, as opposed to foolish traditions of Institutionalization.

Traditions of Institutionalization have plagued us for so long, it’s almost impossible to consider surviving outside of an institution. Satan uses deception, flaxen chord, to bind and capture the minds of men, such that they are in darkness at noon day. The taxes collected each year is more than 50% the gross domestic product (the total amount of earnings for all of America combined). That means America must work one half year for the government before they can earn a penny to support their families and themselves. In Mosiah 19:15 the people of Limhi paid one half (taxed at 50%) of all they possessed (gross domestic product). And scriptures call that being taken captive. The difference between them and us is: they knew they were in captivity, but we walk around at noon day, thinking we are free, when in reality we are just in denial that we are in captivity. We pledge allegiance to a flag, representing the government keeping us captive. Thus, Satan has lulled us to sleep in organizations of Institutionalization.

Conclusion: The price we pay to maintain our captive sleep of Institutionalization, is the loss of relationships. Despite the perfect report of 100% home/visit teaching, relationships run cold, as Institutionalization drowns Utah. Boundaries dictate relationships such that my stake president lives three houses away from me, but he and I don’t even have a “honk-and-wave” relationship, while his next door neighbor and I at least wave because we belong to the same ward boundaries. The signs of the fulfillment of Nephi’s prophesy in 2 Nephi 28 perfectly describes the Institutionalization that plagues the LDS church, as they become strangers to Christ, not only failing to develop a personal relationship with Him, but to cast people out who have dedicated their entire lives to a personal relationship with Him.

I take comfort in my effort to establish a personal relationship with Christ, seeking His face, to be redeemed from the fall. My favorite PhD and I refuse to accept anything less than the face-to-face relationship with Christ and God, to know them, to have eternal life. I take added comfort in the beatitudes, especially when it says:

3 Nephi 12:10-12

“10. And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11. And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

12. For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”

(No, that was not a personal claim to being a prophet.)

Most importantly, I take comfort in Mom’s expression that she too does NOT believe in an Institutional salvation. Salvation to her, and I hope to you, is based upon your understanding of God. Salvation, as Mom said, is upon “…those things that we think, say, and do according to the commandments and we are fully responsible for where we end up.”

I reiterate the Standard written in the Standard & Guide document:

“We believe that every individual seeking to know God, through His son Jesus Christ, can be personally instructed by the Holy Spirit, to obtain greater light and truth. We believe that the words of Christ (past, present, and future) is the standard by which all followers of Christ should govern themselves. We relinquish any desire to have an institution, hierarchy, or strong-man lead us (AKA: Institutionalization), being willing to be personally accountable to repent and turn to Christ (AKA: Relationship), or answer for our own sins.”

It is so simple “even a child can understand it” and obey and keep it, growing into perfection.

Agency requires us to judge. If we must judge, then judge righteously. Institutionalization subtly removes the necessity for relationships and judging righteously, in exchange for a strongman to execute unfounded penalties tied to unfounded understanding of a relationship with God. So, when you are faced with a choice between Institutionalization and relationships, choose relationships. That will preserve our family, and reconnect it with the family of God.

Malama Pono Ohana!

Do the Work! (584 Words)

Godlike are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. If the Holy Spirit is the mind and will of God, those who are filled with the Holy Ghost have access to the mind and will of God, and are Godlike. The effect of the Holy Ghost upon those who are of the house of Israel is pure intelligence.

Godliness is to be near God, and the power of Godliness is knowing who God is. To be Godlike is to have both,  being near God, and knowing God. Thus, the beatitudes are attributes that must be developed to be near God, and to know God. Being poor in spirit, leads to mourning, which leads to meekness, and becomes hungering and thirsting for righteousness. The reason why scripture study hasn’t taken much priority is because you aren’t poor in spirit, haven’t cause to mourn, and aren’t meek. And since you don’t hunger and thirst for righteousness, you go on seeking the image of your own God, rather than being filled with the mind and will of the only true and living God. Without being poor, mourning the condition of ignorance you find yourselves in, and meekness to be taught, you are left with the ghost or spirit that animates you, which is not sanctified or made holy.

However, when the appropriate spirit is poor, causing you to mourn your ignorance, positioning yourself in the position ready to be taught of God in meekness, only then will you hunger and thirst for righteousness, and the scriptures will not only have value, it will have more value than other things occupying your time. As you are filled with the Holy Ghost, you are prepared to learn mercy and obtain mercy, have your hearts purified, and you will become a prince of peace.

The effect of the Holy Ghost upon those who are of the house of Israel is pure intelligence. When you succeed at obtaining sanctification and you have a Holy Ghost, don’t be surprised when suddenly what wasn’t in your minds before suddenly appears, and you understand God better, and have greater confidence in His presence.

Conclusion: Interpretation is a tricky thing. If you don’t have the same spirit as the author when he wrote the record, your interpretation will be filtered through your limited experience on Earth. However, when the same spirit animating the author, at the time he wrote it, occupies you as you read it, pure intelligence will flow to you. How you read the scriptures matters. How you interpret them matters. No one can do that work for you.

Mom, you have condemned my interpretation simply because it isn’t the same interpretation that you subscribe to as an LDS member. You have left the prescribed interpretation to your leaders, rather than coming to your own conclusions, by studying them out in your heart and in your mind, and seeking wisdom, by asking God if these things are not true. If you have, you haven’t done much, other than to ask. Just because my interpretations aren’t the same as your’s, that doesn’t make them false. You could simply be ignorant.

In your innocence, we continue our conversations. But, innocence does not fix the problem of ignorance. Our conversations could be so much better. You gotta do the work of fixing the ignorance. That requires you to be poor in spirit, to mourn, to be meek, and to hunger and thirst for righteousness. Do the Work!

Key of Knowledge (926 Words)

Godliness is to be near God, and the power of Godliness is to know God, thus God is the Key of Knowledge. False teachers fail to come to God, stand in the way of others approaching God, fearing their own failure, and proclaiming a corrupt message. Eternal life is to know God.

Those who are near God are Godly. To be in the presence of God requires nothing less than Godliness, otherwise His presence alone is sufficient for the ungodly to wish the mountains would cover them in their guilt and shame. The Savior has provided a way for all to be Godly, while in the flesh. He offers the Key of Knowledge. He offers the Holy Ghost, which gives access to the mind and will of God.

Moses 6:61

“61. Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.”

The power of Godliness is to know God. Having been near God, an individual comes to know God, and from that knowledge they can act in confidence that what they are doing is pleasing to the God that they know. It is through confidence that power is produced.

If someone were to tell me that they’re sure that they saw Dad dancing on the streets of Waikiki, I would know that they got the wrong Dad. However, if someone reported that they saw Dad at a home improvement show, a lumber yard, a construction site, a chicken feed store, a laundry supply house, or a green house, the certainty that they were talking about our Dad is high. And if they claimed seeing him at all of those places, I have extreme confidence that they knew who I was, and knew who my Dad is. Likewise Godliness is to be near to God, and the power of Godliness is to know God. What matters most is the Key of Knowledge.

False teachers are described in Luke:

Luke 11:52

“52. Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the Key of Knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”

False teachers have never experienced what they try teaching. Luke is clear that false teachers haven’t entered into the heavens themselves, and when they see people trying to do what they’ve failed to do, false teachers stand in the way of those that were in fact entering in. They remove Key of Knowledge. They prevent salvation and redemption, discouraging those who are working at returning into the presence of the Lord while in the flesh. They proclaim a corrupted message, even the philosophies of men, mingled with scriptures. And they are certain that it cannot happen, because they’ve never had it happen to them. In their ignorance they establish rules, corporate standards, uniformity, and massive marketing campaigns, to justify their ignorance, and they label it a “House of Order.” When they make their claims, they do it in Christ’s name, taking His name in vain. It is all in vain, if you fail to actually know God and Christ.

Ignore the ignorant, and keep seeking His face in the flesh. Those who are wise will not respect the lie intended to deceive true disciples to stop seeking after Christ. Instead, they will awake and arise by studying the words of Christ, to know God.

John 17:3

“3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

Conclusion: Knowing God and Christ is the only way to eternal life. It doesn’t matter how many apostles you know, how many scriptures you memorized and can recite, or how many months of consecutive visit/home teaching you have done in your life. It doesn’t matter how many names you have gathered, and done ordinances for, none of it matters if all you have is ignorance. Sealing yourselves to the ignorant dead, is sealing yourselves to the damned. However, when you have knowledge, then you have value to your dead, and you can be a savior on mount Zion.

When you have the Key of Knowledge, what you have is the power of Godliness, and you are Godlike. The Holy Ghost is offered to those who will receive it, to make men and women more Godlike. The beatitudes say blessed are… or Godlike is… and instructions are given there, to assist those who sincerely seek Christ to become Godlike. When you have been redeemed, and brought back into the presence of God, then you are Godly, and have the power of Godliness, and can testify that you do know, not merely believing, who Christ and God is. Then you can save your kindred dead by teaching them about the God that you know.

Don’t be mad because the gospel doesn’t work from your vantage point as an LDS, following traditions of men that have kept you outside of the presence of the Lord in the flesh. Repent, simply turn around, be humble and don’t grumble. Just search the words of Christ so that you can be reconnected to the Key of Knowledge. It will not only give you an advantage now, it will be to your benefit in the life to come. Don’t let the fear of man stop you from Knowing God and Christ. Once you know them, then will your confidence wax strong.

IMUA!

Tribute to John the Baptist (1739 Words)

John the Baptist was a voice crying out of the wilderness requiring all who heard him to question the source of his message, heaven or earth. The conflict the Jews faced, when considering John the Baptist, was a conflict between Religion and Hearing the Voice of the Lord. John the Baptist produced fruits befitting a sent-one (apostollos).

When someone emerges out of nowhere, not wearing the robes of a priestly ranked member of authority, and instead having an unshaven and untidy look about him, are your eyes so blind that your ears cannot hear the voice of the Lord? John the Baptist came in this fashion, wearing only camel hair, and a leather girdle around his waste, having been raised on locusts and wild honey from boyhood, in hiding in the wilderness. All who viewed him were required to choose to accept or reject the truth he offered. Those who accepted his truth were prepared to receive Christ’s teachings that came soon after. Consider the attributes of the Sermon on the Mount, with John the Baptist in mind, and you might have a clearer description of a role model to pattern your life after, so that the beatitudes can belong to you too.

3 Nephi 12:3-12

3. Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4. And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5. And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6. And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

7. And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8. And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9. And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

10. And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11. And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

12. For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”

It is absolutely clear that John the Baptist fit each and every one of these descriptions: he was poor in spirit, he did mourn, he was meek, he hungered and thirsted for righteousness, he was merciful, he was pure in heart, he was a peacemaker, he was persecuted for Christ’s name sake, and men reviled and persecuted and spoke evil against him falsely, until his death by beheading. Although his life is not the standard dream role model in our day, the Lord said of him, “…among those that are born of women, there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.” The Lord also labeled him, “…a burning and shining light.”

Joseph Smith gives us a warning for seeking exactly the opposite of John the Baptist:

D&C 121:34-35

“34. Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35. Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—”

John the Baptist had his heart on the things of heaven. He was a voice crying out of the wilderness requiring all who heard him to question the source of his message, heaven or earth. Today, our circumstance of judging the matter is no different than John the Baptist’s day. We must discern the Voice of the Lord to filter through the many messages the world is broadcasting. Your heart is that filter. You see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear.

The conflict the Jews faced, when considering John the Baptist, was a conflict between Religion and Hearing the Voice of the Lord. There is a significant difference between Religion and Spirituality (hearing the Voice of the Lord). Someone who is religious can attend meetings, pay their tithing, partake of the sacrament, attend temple services, sing hymns, and do their home/visit teaching, …but NOT have a connection to the heavens to receive revelation and personal guidance. Likewise, someone can have revelations upon revelations, and yet not follow the tenets (the main principles/beliefs) of a religion. You’d think that having the best of both worlds would be the ultimate best, but that would not be true. If you are lukewarm, you will be accepted by men, by spit out by God.

Personal Experience: I was surprised to learn that Religion and Spirituality most often don’t get along. The idea seems conflicting, but I have experienced them both. Both my wife and I were raised as Mormons, attending our meetings, taking sacrament, endowed in temple ceremonies, and following the prescribed tenets of the church.

However, when we finally sought a personal relationship with Christ, seeking to come into His presence in the flesh, we approached things very differently. Rather than going through the Religious Motions, we made a serious effort to study the scriptures, fast, pray, attend the temple weekly, ponder our studies, …and adjusted our actions to align with what we understood. 

Interestingly enough that’s when church became really exciting, temple attendance had meaning and instruction, and the chaos in my life parted like the Red Sea for Moses. We became real contributors to the lives of our friends and ward members. We thought that Religion and Spirituality were one and the same, if the religion was the true religion.

I quickly discovered that when religion and spirituality conflict, something’s gotta give. You can’t increase in spirituality, without threatening the tenets of religiousness. Questioning the Bishop’s doctrinal understanding, despite it being the truth, is labeled “apostasy,” because it differed from the man wearing the symbolic robes of the priesthood, the suit and tie, sitting above everyone else for them to follow.  And that resulted in the necessity for the Bishop to literally cast my wife and I out, for approaching the podium to bear testimony of Jesus Christ.

The Jews of Christ’s day were the religionists. John the Baptist preached the truth of the words of Christ, having had a spiritual connection with the heavens. Although religion was intended to promote spirituality, when it comes time for spirituality to take the drivers seat, religionists can’t seem to let go of their religious power! And the Jews beheaded John the Baptist and crucified Christ as a result.

The Greek word “apostollos,” is where we get the word apostle. It literally means “one that was sent.” It described someone who has been in the literal presence of the Lord, in the flesh, who was sent by Christ to deliver a specific message. It was the quality of the message that identified them as one who was sent. The quality of the message wasn’t it’s ability to pull your emotional heart strings, to make you cry, or to inspire (like a Rocky movie). It was the ability to give light, where there was once darkness, thus forever dispelling the darkness in you. In our day of marketing, motivational speeches, and Super Bowl commercials, we have no idea how to identify a true “sent-one.” John the Baptist provides a great example. He lived the life of God’s sent-one:

3 Nephi 13:25-34

“25. And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, takeno thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

29. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

30. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

31. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.”

John the Baptist produced the fruits described above. He was one that was sent. He was an apostle of the Lord, in the literal sense of the word. Consider those you give your trust to, and compare them to likes of John the Baptist, to see if what you give your loyalties to are religionists or apostollos. Your evaluation must give weight to the words of Christ first, and then to what you hear of the voice of the Lord, through one claiming to be his servant.

Conclusion: If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, …then those of you who claim to believe in God ought to be studying to see the patters in scriptures of yesterday, so that you can recognize a servant of the Lord today. The fruits of those that are sent stand in great opposition to foolish and vain repetitions of religiousness, and in total alignment with a personal connection to the voice of the Lord. Having the words of Christ in your heart produces in you the ability to identify the Lord’s servant, even when he comes dressed in rags, like John the Baptist. Your ability to know the servant, by hearing the voice of the Lord in his words, will result in your personal entrance into the presence of the Lord, while in the flesh.

Restoration and Apostasy (1326 Words Long)

Dispensations begin with a restoration, and apostasies end in rebellion. In a restoration, Baptism is Necessary as an expression of faith. In apostasy, standing firm upon the words of Christ places you at odds with the majority, facing persecution for Christ’s name sake. Restoration and Apostasy is an opportunity to express great faith.

Dispensations begin with a restoration, and apostasies end in rebellion.

  • Adam to Moses was the first dispensation, beginning in baptism and ending in a flood.
  • Melchizedek’s generation restored the truth for a short time, and was translated to join Enoch, as the rest of the world was in rebellion.
  • Abraham, almost ten generations later, sought for the blessings of the fathers, which produced a restoration lasting five generations. The House of Israel strayed and fell into apostasy in Egypt.
  • Moses made an effort to restore the House of Israel to the fulness, but they rejected the presence of Christ. That dispensation ended in apostasy, as John the  baptist wrested the priesthood from the jews (D&C 84:28).
  • Christ provided a restoration, which shortly ended in apostasy three generations later.
  • Joseph Smith began the restoration, but was killed before ever acquiring the fulness (D&C124:28). The words of Christ is the constitution of the saints, and it currently hangs by a thread, as it’s policies allow the casting out of men for speaking the truth.

Restoration: In a restoration baptism is necessary as an expression of faith. When a restoration is under way, many are called, but only the few who are prepared act on that calling. Those who are prepared express it by being baptized. The preparation required is the heart. When a messenger of the Lord speaks, those whose hearts are soft will hear the words being spoken, and their hearts will lead them to the waters of baptism. The words of Christ was intended to soften the hearts of the people.

Example: Alma the older, although he was a wicked priest of King Noah, heard the words of Abinadi, he wrote Abinadi’s words, studied them, was cast out, and his heart led him to the waters of baptism. Alma’s baptism at the waters of Mormon was an example of a few who exercised faith by covenanting to bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. The people of King Noah suffered the scourge of the Lamanites, while Alma was protected by the hand of the Lord, in the city of Helam.

When Christ came to the Americas, he also re-instituted baptism. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does all things by His order (patterns). Those who study the words of Christ seek to know those patterns. Every restoration follows the same pattern, just as every apostasy follows the same pattern.

Apostasy: In apostasy, standing firm upon the words of Christ places you at odds with the majority, facing persecution for Christ’s name sake. The faithful are willing to be cast out, stoned, and rejected for Christ’s name sake, as a token of faith. This seems obvious when we observe the ancient apostasies, …but it is so difficult to see in our own generation. The only way to recognize apostasy in our own generation is to know the scriptures. Those who know the scriptures are built upon a firm foundation; while those who aren’t, their foundation is sand:

3 Nephi 14:22-27

22. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23. And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24. Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—

25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand

27. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Restoration and Apostasy: The period of Restoration and Apostasy boarder one another, and is an opportunity to express great faith. Without the laying hold upon the words of Christ, it is impossible to exercise faith in Christ.

Mosiah 5:13

“13. For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

The words of Christ offer us the promises made to the fathers. When we earnestly seek to know them, Christ is in our every thought and intent of our heart. Failure to know them makes Christ far from the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Those who lay hold upon the words of Christ will know the difference between Restoration and Apostasy. Without laying hold upon the words of Christ, you are left to follow the masses, to go with the crowd, to mingle with the herds of cattle, and to fight against God.

Example: John the baptist offered the Jews the ability to express their faith by being baptized. Those who were baptized accounted themselves with the believers, and weren’t filtered out with the non-believers. They received higher ordinances from Christ, than were offered in the temple ceremonies given by Moses. While those who weren’t crucified Christ and persecuted the saints.

I too offer you, my family, the ability to express your faith by being baptized, as we are NOW facing apostasy, and are invited to participate in preserving and completing the restoration. You will never receive baptism until you have laid hold upon the words of Christ, so that must necessarily come first. Until you have taken the words of Christ seriously, and can reason, using scriptures and revelation alone, you will stone me, cast me out, and disregard what I have been saying, as foolishness, for ten years now. My love for you is eternal, so I will take it. I would prefer dying in the efforts of speaking the words of Christ to my family, than to live conforming to unbelief.

Conclusion: Many of you are offended because of the difficulty of the words of Christ. Some have wrongly assumed that I want you to follow me (which is honestly absurd given the fact that I preach “follow no man”). All I ask is that you read the words of Christ yourself, putting into question everything that you have been taught, to be led by the spirit, and not by a man’s interpretation. You will learn really quickly how institutionalized we have become because of our foolish and false traditions.

I mean no harm. I take no offense by your judgements. I find it hilarious that you mock me for fighting against the church’s policies, for holding to the values that I have discovered in the scriptures, when none of you have taken this stuff seriously enough to reason with me, by using the scriptures.

I have been called a bully. I am considered poison. Everything I say is judged as being influenced by some apostate, as if I don’t have the intelligence to think for myself. Mom has gone so far as to research what bi-polar looks like, as she thinks that I suffer from some mental imbalance. Once you have exhausted all your excuses for why I am wrong, perhaps you might consider that I have simply been converted to the words of Christ, I have found a firm foundation, and I will not move from it. Then, in that day, you might reflect upon your own foundation and “reconotice” you are not founded upon the words of Christ, but have built your foundation upon the sand of men.

Bum-bey-you-learn!

Two Models: Scarcity and Abundance (800 Words Med)

There are only Two Models in this World: Scarcity and Abundance. This is the doctrine of the two ways: God’s way, and anything and everything else. In our state of blindness, where light has not yet been allowed (by us) to penetrate the scales of darkness covering our eyes, we see through a glass darkly and Scarcity is the model we choose to sustain. However, when we finally allow the light to soften our hearts, to remove the scales of darkness from our eyes, perhaps Abundance will be the model we choose to subscribe to instead.

Scarcity Model: The model of scarcity is a model of institutionalism. Institutionalism is often assumed to represent order in a world of chaos (government, corporations, charitable organizations, etc.), but it is actually the very source of the chaos that maintains disorder in the world. It celebrates “one above the next,” where men dig a pit for their neighbors, in order for them to get ahead. It redefines contention into competition, and justifies sin, here a little and there a little. Rather than reconciling ourselves with God, we have redefined God, to reconcile to our sins. Thus we read:

D&C 1:16

“16. They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.”

Institutions come in many shapes and sizes. Institutions get complex, such as government, business, and religious institutions. The United States was founded upon such institutions. It has expanded into institutions of academia, financial, medical, and technical institutions, to further promote a scarcity mentality. In my opinion, this is what was referred to as The Large and Spacious Building, in Lehi and Nephi’s dream.

Their solutions teach that you need an education, to get a good job. With a good job, you can make more money, and afford greater debt, and live a certain expected lifestyle, depicted in the media. Along your climb up the corporate ladder, people fall all the time, making healthcare, accident, and mortgage insurance institutions necessary. Given the life expectancy and a person’s ability to do work is limited to a certain age (depending on the work), retirement institutions also become necessary. And failure to live within the regulations of government institutions of law will get you into a prison institution.

We have been thoroughly institutionalized. Break away from mindsets of institution and you will be mocked. Even within our religious institution, we have manuals for everything, that people don’t take the initiative to think for themselves. Any movement towards improvement, growth, and greater blessings from heaven, is mocked just the same. Church members don’t realize that their concept of the “true church” makes them a part of the large and spacious building too.

The Abundance Model: The model of Abundance is a foreign concept to us, but it rely’s upon Christ as it’s center. It was only after men came into the presence of Christ that they are told to go out, without purse or script, and preach the word, and the Lord will take care of your physical needs. Zion is provided for by God. There are no poor among them. There emphasis, first and foremost, is not their institution. Instead, it is their relationship with God.

The solution of the Abundant is seeking further light and knowledge by conversing with the Lord through the veil. These become so familiar with light, that the things of the world become of little value, such that exchange is simple and men are detached from the things of the world. Their focus is on light. They seek a body of light. They hunger and thirst after righteousness. The world fits around their pursuit of light, rather than the other way around. These partake of the fruit, and live in the tree of life.

Conclusion: Financial institutions have occupied our lives, through a debt and consumer mentality, such that we spend so little time seeking the treasures in the heavens. We are too busy living as slaves to the things of the world, that the treasures in the heavens become tarnished, covered in dust, forgotten, buried, and hidden from sight. But just because it has been hidden, buried, forgotten, dusted, and tarnished, that treasure cannot lose value. All that’s required is for us to rediscover it once again.

As we come back to that treasure, the rewards are:

  1. The Kingdom of Heaven
  2. They’ll be Comforted
  3. Inherit the Earth
  4. Filled with the Holy Ghost
  5. Obtain Mercy
  6. See God
  7. Children of God

In our state of blindness, in the condition of scarcity we find ourselves, the rewards of heaven seem hidden, buried, forgotten, dusted, and tarnished. But once you do the work required of treasure hunters, what seemed to be a pile of dirt potentially can become a source of light to carry you, for you to ascend, into the presence of God.