Final Final- Governing Principles (993 Words)

Governing Principles

Governing Principles are prepared 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 this possible through faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism. The Holy Spirt is the mind and will of God. Christ and God the Father share the same mind and will. Thus, receiving the Holy Ghost provides individuals with the ability to access the mind and will of God.

Fellowships exist to assist the individual on 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 is above another and that all individuals have value. Regional and general conferences ought to adhere to the same principles and guidelines as fellowships, and can be called and organized by anyone at any time.

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 a temple.

Performing ordinances, such as baptism and sacrament, requires priesthood. Priesthood is confined to men because of the fall. In order to exercise priesthood in fellowships, three key elements are required of priesthood bearers: ordination, sustaining, and confirmation.

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

Sustaining: A vote of seven women is 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 unauthorized to exercise priesthood among fellowships.

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

If there is not a man authorized to confer priesthood, a man may perform the ordinances of baptism and sacrament within his family, with the confirmation of heaven alone. Record of priesthood ordination, sustaining, and confirmation should be kept in the personal journals of the man given priesthood and the women who sustained him. A certificate, signed by the seven sustaining women, should accompany the man should he perform ordinances outside of his family. The man is responsible to record and know his priesthood lineage.

In the event that priesthood is abused, exercising priesthood in fellowships can be revoked by a fair trial where a unanimous vote of at least twelve women vote to end his authority among fellowships.

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 those who desire 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 of baptism should be performed in living waters. A record of the baptism ought to be kept in a personal journal and also submitted to a central recorder so that the names of those baptized will be preserved within the temple of God.

The ordinance of sacrament should be performed as prescribed in the scriptures. It 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, red grape juice may be used as an alternative. Bitter wine, in remembrance of Christ’s blood, is symbolic and appropriate. A man 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.

The oneness of fellowships is a testimony to the world that Christ is the redeemer of all. Agency must be respected and 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 God’s mind and will. Bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. Associate with one another as equals. God will gather his choice fruit.

Final Draft: Governing Principles (960 Words)

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 this possible through faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism. The Holy Spirt is the mind and will of God. Christ and God the Father share the same mind and will. Thus, receiving the Holy Ghost provides individuals with the ability to access the mind and will of God.

Fellowships exist to assist the individual on 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 is above another and that all individuals have value. Regional and general conferences ought to adhere to the same principles and guidelines as fellowships, and can be called and organized by anyone at any time.

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 a temple.

Performing ordinances, such as baptism and sacrament, requires priesthood. Priesthood is confined to men because of the fall. In order to exercise priesthood, in fellowships, three key elements are required of priesthood bearers: ordination, sustaining, and confirmation.

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

Sustaining: A vote of seven women is 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 unauthorized to exercise priesthood among fellowships.

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

The women sustaining men to priesthood should record it in their personal journals. The man should have a certificate signed by the seven women, and the event recorded in his personal journal, accompanied with his priesthood lineage. His certificate should be carried with him to exercise priesthood outside of his family. In the event that priesthood is abused, exercising priesthood in fellowships can be revoked by a fair trial where a unanimous vote of at least twelve women vote to end his authority among fellowships.

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 those who desire 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 of baptism should be performed in living waters. A record of the baptism ought to be kept in a personal journal and also submitted to a central recorder so that the names of those baptized will be preserved within the temple of God.

The ordinance of sacrament should be performed as prescribed in the scriptures. It 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, red grape juice may be used as an alternative. Bitter wine, in remembrance of Christ’s blood, is symbolic and appropriate. A man 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.

The oneness of fellowships is a testimony to the world that Christ is the redeemer of all. Agency must be respected and 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 God’s mind and will. Bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. Associate with one another as equals. God will gather his choice fruit.

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.

The Word! (799 Words)

I used to think that in order for a people to unite under a common law, everyone needed to have common principles that govern them. I have been enlightened, and learned that laws change to fit the the progress of a people. Our best chance of success would be to unify on laws we can agree on, and begin, like a seed, to grow into greater and greater law as we all progress together.

I was mistaken to think that people who differ in progression, could unite upon common principles. For a month my wife and I have been participating in a group effort to write a governing principles (GP) document for “fellowships.” We have invested the effort of wrestling with others to accomplish it, and have failed. We couldn’t understand why, within our little fellowship of five people, writing GP’s flowed easily, …but when gathering with representatives of other fellowships, it produced a totally different result! On the surface people were polite, but not only did we fail to produce a united GP document, feelings have been hurt, words have bruised and injured, and trust has been strained to the point of being almost totally lost. It is a real “natural disaster,” …as the “natural man” is an enemy to God, and we have responded as “natural men,” falling to pieces like glass. I should have seen this within our own family, but I didn’t, and had to learn it through sad experience.

I have come to a greater understanding of our effort to come to God by obedience to the words of Christ. Laws change to fit the the progress of a people. As people progress toward God, God gives “commandments not a few.” However, as people become more corrupt, laws are amended, and reduced to justify sins. In this blog I will address how laws can progress a people toward Zion, …as our constitution already is a prime example of how good law is amended, to erode a people, by justifying their sins, through a democratic process. Consider a law that prepares a people for Zion.

God is the same yesterday and forever, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. The plan of salvation is to bridge the gap. He gives us laws in scripture, based upon our level of desire to keep it, and write it upon our hearts. As a lower law is written upon our hearts, a higher law can continue our progression, until we are precisely what He is: gods and goddesses. His words, written in scripture, are static, allowing all who truly love Him to show their love, by understanding the words given, applying them as they understand, so that the words “become them!” That is how an individual writes them upon their hearts (BTW: it is not scripture mastery). That is why John the Beloved identified Christ as the Word!

John 1:1-5

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. The same was in the beginning with God.

3. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.

4. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

(I capitalized and bolded Him” to represent Christ as the person who is being spoken of. It is my innovation, but it represents the proper application of the author. Take it or leave it as you please.)

More word is given by God when we follow the example of Christ by writing them upon our hearts, until we become like Christ ourselves. That is how all can progress line upon line, precept upon precept, grace for grace, and from grace to grace. As God is the one who knows all, it is God’s words that unite. A people who are willing to be governed by God’s words need only write them, and progress their unity when God gives more word.

I have learned that our best chance of success would be to unify on laws we can agree on, and begin, like a seed, to grow into greater and greater law as we all progress together. Too many words all at once, possesses too much risk. We must go from one small line to the next, letting God do the heavy lifting of uniting our hearts and minds, by growing the word within us. That is the tree that produces the sweet fruit (Alma 32:42)

Conclusion: Lets begin to identify the law we can be governed by, as a family, and plant that seed, using the words of Christ available to us all. Then allow the words of Christ to grow within us, uniting our family into the eternities.

 

Surprise! (636 Words)

God’s ways are not our ways. Revelation is intended to invite all to make our ways God’s ways. When revelation is received through the mind and will of God, and not through our own expectations, it will always be a Surprise!

God’s ways aren’t our ways, but we tend to prescribe how God ought to answer our prayers. Mortals like writing prescriptions for revelations, failing to recognize that our prescriptions come from our experiences, when revelations comes from “God’s experiences”. We ought to prefer to receive God’s revelation, from God’s experiences, so that our current condition can provide us a God-experience. It is our accumulation of God’s revelations, providing us with God-experiences, that produce in us God’s mind and will, making us precisely what He is. Thus, revelation builds upon revelation, bridging the gap between who we are, and who God is, producing out of us, Gods and Goddesses.

When revelation is given, and received, through the mind and will of God, and NOT through man’s prescription, what is produced in the end will always be a Surprise! The brother of Jared prayed for stones to be touched, providing light for the journey. What God had in store for him, however, was far more. It was to be redeemed from the fall, and brought back into the presence of God in the flesh. The reaction of the brother of Jared, falling to the ground, astonished at seeing the finger of God, is a perfect example of the SurpriseWhen Nephi was being beaten, it was a Surprise when the angel showed up. All Nephi was doing was trusting in God’s mind and will. Nephi was further Surprised, when the man that judged him falsely, and stole his stuff, fell into his hands, drunken and helpless. Alma and Mosiah prayed for their sons, Alma the younger and the son’s of Mosiah. Although Alma and Mosiah trusted in God, it was a total Surprise when their son’s were struck down, having seen an angel. So, if God’s ways aren’t our ways, and when He moves in our lives it will always be a Surprise, then why would we ever limit our interaction through a prescribed answer, based on fleshy/mortal expectations?

It will be a long time after you pass through the veil before you know of the things of the heavens, it is true. But no one said that passing through the veil required your death. Nephi wrote his two records forty years after having passed through the veil, and having contemplated that experience. Many have gone through the temple, not taking the time to consider what it all means, and if there is more to be had, on the other side of the veil, once you have been there. The ordinance has been reduced by men’s prescription of God’s ways, to only represent a promise for the after life. That was never the intention. If you read the scriptures, it’s clear that what was being offered was a ritual ordinance of a lesser portion. Those who would receive the mind and will of it, would be given further light and knowledge, once they had passed beyond the veil. Our greatest condemnation is tied to our prescribing revelation, rather than receiving more of the mind and will of God.

Conclusion: My recommendation of what to do instead is to first, receive a revelation. Next, ponder the revelation, asking the question, “What is the mind and will of God concerning the matter?” Then, act upon that revelation, as far as the revelation was given. No less, AND NO MORE! Once you have done what you understand, stop, and seek for more revelation, before moving forward. Using this method, God will Surprise you, giving you far more than you bargained for, revelations upon revelations, bringing you back into His presence.

Weeds Aren’t Bad! (899 Words)

Weeds Aren’t Bad! Dealing with weeds offers great insight to dealing with sin. A better approach to both weeds and sin is to repair the dirt.

God only blesses. Even when we witness God cursing man, His curses are always an invitation to receive blessings. The duality of blessings and cursing is a divine attribute of God, and gives value to weeds. For instance, in the creation, both kinds of seeds were set in the earth: fruiting seeds, and repairing seeds. Weeds are repairing seeds. Therefore, Weeds Aren’t Bad!

A working ecology has no weeds, and man can walk in that environment barefooted, without injury. The Garden of Eden is a perfect example of that. However, when an ecology is broken, repairing seeds are activated to repair what’s been broken. There are thousands of dormant weed seeds everywhere. Dandelions fill an area, drilling deep into the ground, to aerate tightly clumped soil. Clumpy soil doesn’t allow roots to grow to find nourishment and water. Dandelions break up the soil, making it easier for deep roots to be established. However, it takes years for dandelions to do the job. Once the job’s done, the dandelions die on its own, and doesn’t return again, until the soil is clumpy again. Thorns and thistles protect damaged ground from being walked on, until the ground is able to repair, then they too go away on it’s own. Weeds Aren’t Bad! Weeds are simply an indicator of what’s broken in the Earth. Weeds have value, if we listen to them and learn what needs to be repaired.

Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil prematurely. They broke the ecology of the Garden of Eden, and God said that he cursed the Earth with briars, thorns, thistles, and noxious weeds, …for their sake. Their food source now did not produce spontaneously, and the ground needed to be repaired by the sweat of their brow, or else they’d starve. When mankind repair what has been broken, only then can the Earth receive it’s paradisiacal glory, and produce fruits spontaneously, yielding her fruit to those who inherit the Earth’s fullness (D&C 59:15-20)

Dealing with weeds offers great insight into dealing with sin. Too often we pull an embarrassing weed, when what we should do is LISTEN to figure out what’s really broken in the Earth. Likewise, men hide their sins, pulling them like weeds so they are not visible, without fixing what’s broken. Just like weeds, sin returns time and time again, because the dirt (the flesh) remains unrepaired. By the sweat of thy brow, man must work within their hearts, doing the labor to repair the flesh, tilling, aerating, nourishing, and fixing their hearts, …until the soil has been repaired.

A better approach to both weeds and sin is to repair the dirt. The words of Christ, when planted in the hearts of men like a little seed, produce different results, depending on the soil, or the heart upon which it is planted. The parable of the sower tells us of different conditions of soil: one by the wayside, another on stony ground, another being good ground, but choked out by thorns (weeds), and the last was planted on good ground, yielding much fruit. When the words of Christ are restricted by the false traditions of men, …those traditions restricts the soil of the heart, not allowing the tree to grow properly, producing all kinds of different fruit (Jacob 5). The words of Christ only requires a soft heart to produce sweet fruit.

If we pay attention to the weeds, we can resolve what’s broken, so that we can partake of the fruit that is white above all that is white, pure above all that is pure, and if you eat you neither hunger nor thirst. Pay attention to the sin around you. They are God’s indicator of your weakness. And with God’s instruction, and by the sweat of your brow, you can work with God, and He will make weak things strong unto you, by helping you repair the soil.

Conclusion: God blesses and curses, often at the same time. Christ’s death was horrible, but all prophets who witnessed it celebrated it’s event, singing the song of redeeming love. Enoch rejoiced at the slaying of the lamb of God (Moses 7:47).

I had a glimpse of this duality of blessing and cursing, when I saw Nui on the road last Sunday. I hurt inside, that my big brother wouldn’t have let me know that his son was here, so my wife and I, and all my children could visit with him. My wife could tell. When she asked if I were OK, I knew the hurt didn’t feel good, …but I considered what the pain meant, and that Weeds Aren’t Bad! I realized what the pain was indicating. I understood the duality of the cursing and blessing. I hurt because of my deep love of my brother. Had I not cared for my brother and my family so much, I wouldn’t have cared enough to hurt. I recognized that Christ’s pain in Gethsemane was less about the mistakes and sins, or weeds of men, and more because of His deeply rooted love for us. I rejoiced at the pain, because it was an indicator of the love we share as a family.

Mahalo for being my Ohana. Malama Pono!

Fellowship Governing Principles Report (1500 Words)

We were already at a slight disadvantage coming to the meeting. Our governing principles were one of the last submissions, and did not have much of a chance for review by all.  I wanted to summarize the meeting, so that all of you understand where the project currently stands. This is a Fellowship Governing Principles Report.

Q and I were already scheduled to speak at a youth conference at 10 am in Ogden and had to make last minute adjustments to split our time with the Governing Principles meeting. We rescheduled our talks to the afternoon to accommodate the meeting. That morning we delivered our kids and the audio system to record the speakers at the youth conference, and then drove quickly to get to the meeting in Sandy (about an hour away).

Upon arrival, the meeting began with an open floor, for anyone to express their opinions concerning the Governing Principles. It was an open-mic session, all could speak freely, and there was no shortage of soap-boxes. Aside from the personal comments, scripture quotes, and opinions, the major issues brought forward can be summed up as:

  1. The document of Governing Principles IS NOT REVELATION, but can be considered inspiration, and ought to be presented as such, rather than governing revelation
  2. The document of Governing Principles IS REVELATION

It was clear that the Governing Principles were going to stay. The title was tossed around a bit, but remained the same. The biggest concern was how it would be presented.

Comments made by Q and I were the following:

  • (Q) The document of Governing Principles ought to be addressed in common plain-term language as it is a covenant of the land for all people, both inside and outside of the LDS community
  • (Q) The document of Governing Principles ought to be equivalent to Captain Moroni’s Title of Liberty- affecting people’s desire to rent their garments in covenant, trusting in God to unify and protect them, in equality, and that if they break it, may they all be rent as their garments
  • (Q) Truth ought to govern the Governing Principles document
  • (R) Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial laws are given respectively as commandments, principles, and the heart and mind of God within you. This document will have a portion of both Telestial and Terrestrial, leading to Celestial law. Telestial, requires instruction, or commandment, in baptism, sacrament, priesthood ordinances, etc. Terrestrial is the main focus to inherit the land, respecting the independence of fellowships to govern themselves as they see fit. And as fellowships trust in the Spirit of Truth to lead them through their experiment, they will all converge into one heart and mind, in a Celestial fashion
  • (R) Since the Governing Principles document is going into scripture, we ought to simply state the words necessary, relying on the Spirit of Truth to deliver it to those who read it, rather than name-dropping and quoting other scriptures

I know, I know, …I was surprised too that my wife said more than me. That was the first time ever that it was a ratio of 3:2, with Q making more comments than me. She seemed to be possessed of something greater than usual, and another woman recognized that spirit, and felt equally impressed to stand and bear testimony of Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty.

Things became ruffled as people supporting that the document was REVELATORY questioned if everyone prayed asking God if it was REVELATION, …and then simultaneously asked for a show of hands of those who agreed that it was REVELATION. I quickly spoke up in opposition to a decisive vote, as we hadn’t even begun a discussion. We were already two hours into the event without any idea about the approach we were going to be taking.

After lunch we reconvened inside the house because the neighbor’s yard-work and an outdoor rock-band performance made it difficult to communicate. We were able to escape the outside noise, but being inside didn’t remove the noise between different opinions. What occurred inside was a dead-lock. People’s opinions, their documents, their expectations took priority over the truth. Instead of the mind and will of God leading out, it felt like a first-hand insight into the Nicean creed.

A vote was taken to use the original document as the base of our conversation. But, the vote was out of 16 people, when 38 were in attendance. It didn’t meet the criteria of a majority at all, but we continued the meeting as if that didn’t change the circumstances. After an additional 2.5 hours, we were unable to get past the first paragraph without confusion, disagreement, and passive accusation.

I proposed a question, asking, “Are we still going to use the original document, or is everything on the table? If we are just doing minor edits to the existing document, my wife and I need go to the youth conference. But if it’s all on the table, we will stay longer, so that we can look at it with fresh eyes.” Jeff and Emily Savage, the meeting moderators, assured us that it was all on the table, so we stuck around.

The discussion turned to our fellowship’s document submission of Governing Principles. Many had opinions both for and against what we submitted. Some felt that we shouldn’t oversimplify the Doctrine of Christ as “progression.” Others wanted to use it as a “federalist papers” project for research purposes, but not to be inserted into the scriptures. Some asked why our document was being considered and not the other submissions. It was clear to my wife and I that the conversation was aimless, and we expressed deep gratitude for the committee considering our truths, and excused ourselves from the meeting to travel back to Ogden to speak at the youth conference, after 5.5 hours of discussions.

We finally began heading home from the youth conference, with our kids and our sound equipment at 9 PM, and didn’t get home until 10:30 PM. The next morning, I called a few friends who remained after we left, and learned that they left a couple of hours after we did, and the meeting continued as it did when we were there. Nothing changed, and it was a dead-lock. I was surprised to get an email, telling all in attendance that the meeting ended late that evening, with everyone unified in one heart and one mind. It was a 12-hour meeting. We left just before midpoint, our friends left just past mid-point, and there was no sign of unity.

Looking over the resultant document, very little has changed, but the few who stayed the entire time signed their names and testified of oneness. Jeff reported to me that at about 5PM, those who remained began to magically flow together, to become one. I cannot see a claim of oneness, simply because those who were left, chose to agree. I would have called it “compromise.” Jeff reported that what happened after we left was those who stayed simply read the document, and things just flowed together. I told Jeff that my God doesn’t work that way. My God would extract and enlighten us with correct principles in wisdom, and that would produce oneness of heart and mind. Then the group could use  common words to finalize a document.

I question “the approach” as being the problem, and not the people involved. It was doomed to fail before it even began, because “the approach” was not open to allow the truth to govern. If the truth were to govern, the mind and will of God would naturally be the result of the matter.

Having said that, I was asked, “If you think their approach was doomed to fail from the beginning, what would you do differently?” In response I suggest the following:

  1. I would: State the original objective of the document
  2. I would: Read the original document, explaining my reasons for each section, familiarizing people with what initially drove the original document. I would reduce my explanation to key-words, keeping them to a minimum
  3. I would: Open my reasons to questioning, asking for more input from the group, so that the main objective was accomplished
  4. I would: Toss the original document, and begin brainstorming and reconstructing a new document with everyone’s suggestions
  5. I would: Re-write the document, and submit it for group approval
  6. Finally, I would: Submit the document to the Lord for His approval

I would recommend that we take another stab at it, allowing the mind and will of God to govern through principles, rather than quickly moving towards making decision and producing a compromised document. How we produce the final document significantly matters more than just what we produce. The document will reflect the way it was approached, designed, and constructed. If we approach this work in compromise, our results we reflect compromise, and will ultimately fail. If it was done in unity, the document will be a modern title of liberty. How we produce the final results will impact future efforts.