Thursday, December 12, 2013

If Possible, Even the Very Elect Shall be Deceived

In reading the Speak of Christ blog today, I noticed that my friend, Jeremy, had posted a link to one of the posts from my now defunct blog. I thought I would repost it here and update the link on that blog. (I know how frustrating it can be to click on a link to something I am interested in, only to find the content has vanished.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
If Possible, Even the Very Elect Shall be Deceived

Hm, it has been a while since I've been here. Anyway, onward.

I'm at a college library and don't have my scriptures. I apologize for any inconvenience.

There is a scripture in the New Testament that says, "If possible, even the very elect shall be deceived." Joseph Smith added, "who are the elect according to the covenant."

I have heard/read many people say "even the very elect will be deceived," which is not true. Apparently, it is not possible for this group to be deceived. But, why?

I think the answer lies in what Joseph was inspired to add. Then we are left with the question, "What is the covenant?"

Is it baptism into the LDS church? Temple covenants?

I submit a thought that has been going through my head lately:

"The elect according to the covenant of eternal life Jesus made while standing face to face with said person, speaking to him or her as one person speaks to another." I submit that these are the only ones who cannot be deceived, because they have a knowledge of the truth. Not faith masquerading as knowledge. Not belief, superstition, or traditions of one's fathers, but actual and true knowledge.

Yet another reason to seek the literal face of our Lord.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Corporations - the nature of the beast

I was reading this book this morning and read this. I found it interesting enough to post here.

Corporations are bound by law to make decisions that produce the greatest profit for their shareholders. Profit-driven corporations disperse decision making across departments and formulize the process so that decisions with destructive outcomes are made by no single person.*

My questions: Does this also apply to entities that are a mixture of profit and nonprofit corporations? Where does the money-making mentality of one arm end and the charity mentality of the other begin? Or do they begin to swallow each other up, with either the money-making mentality or the giving mentality winning over the other? What shareholders profit? What if the corporate arm that is supposed to be nonprofit consists only of one person? How many persons are in the for-profit corporations that connect to it, I wonder? If only one entity is nonprofit and 75 others (to pull a number out of a hat) are for-profit, how can those for-profit corporations not taint the one nonprofit entity?

*The Good Life Lab - Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living, by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne page 162
They also have a blog -

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Seek the Face of Christ - Literally

The restoration through Joseph Smith was not to create a New Testament church. It was to prepare a people to see the face of Christ, no matter what religion they professed. It was not to bring people into a legal corporation, to follow a myriad of regulations or be cast out.

This is what the Lord was attempting to do:

1  VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:1)

19  And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

20  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22  For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

23  Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

24  But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

25  Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

26  And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
Doctrine and Covenants 84

63  Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

64  Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you;

65  And if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.

66  Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

67  And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

68  Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
Doctrine and Covenants 88
10  And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

11  For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

12  Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
Doctrine and Covenants 67

Know. Not merely believe. An actual knowledge. It is possible. We should be seeing angels (and for a whole lot more than genealogy). We should be seeing the Lord. We should be allowing Him to prepare us to see the Father, then seeing Him, also.

Where are our fruits? Where are our secret acts of kindness? We should not be patting ourselves on the backs, telling each other in our publications and meetings how wonderful we are. We should be helping those who need our help, those we have the means to help. All of us can give something, even if it is just a listening ear and fervent prayers in behalf of the suffering.

Let us seek after our Lord, not letting anything come between us and Him. There need be no obstacles. Someone once said that obstacles are what one sees when one takes one's eyes off the goal. Let us keep our eyes on the goal and move forward, firmly, not looking back. Let us count the cost and move forward with the faith that if God asks us to sacrifice all (see Lectures on Faith), it will be worth it.

Nothing is more important than fidelity to our Lord and seeking His face. Not money, fame, power, belongings, friends, relatives, nor any organization we may align ourselves with. Let us cast aside our fears and pride. Let us face the enemy of all righteousness courageously. We are already in the battle.Don't let them shoot you in the back. Go forward fearlessly, seeking only truth no matter how much it may contradict what we currently believe.

Then, we shall begin to see the fruits. Then we shall see the miracles and gifts of the Spirit that don't need acrobatic techniques to convince us and others that they are genuine, bona fide miracles and gifts.

Critiquing the words of a true servant of God

The Lord Jesus Christ has asked one of His servants to preach via the written word and by mouth. As a result, the man has written several books. His most controversial work, Passing the Heavenly Gift, got him cast out of the church that professes to not only honor and worship the Man who gave him the words to speak, but this church professes to be His own true and living church. I do agree that the Lord Jesus Christ is still working with this church; what I cannot fathom is how those who profess to "know" Christ cannot recognize His words. How can one not hear the voice of the Master in so many of the words spoken and written by the servant?

Yes, PTHG is a painful, even horrid, book to read at times - but the conclusion reached at the end of the book is that the LDS church is still Jesus' church. He is still working with it. And the fact that it has been fulfilling scripture does not make the author who points that out apostate, nor a devil, nor a demon - nor misguided.

Recently, someone said this:

I have noticed numerous instances of problems related to logic, consistency of argument, rhetorical manipulations and other devices that I found troubling. When read with charity and a sincere desire for light and truth, these earlier works can be thrillingly inspiring, albeit flawed. No book is perfect, and we have the Holy Ghost to aid us in discerning light and truth.

The above problems I have noticed in DS's earlier works seem to have multiplied considerably in PTHG.
This person is a person who I believe is attempting to bring us poor "apostates" back to the fold. To some degree the person seems to be sincere, yet they do not "feel" right. My gift of discernment tells me this person is one to be wary of. My reply is below:

I can see this point of view if one does not recognize Denver as a biblical-type prophet of God. Much of what he says is colored by the fact that he has seen "the vision of all," that he has seen and spoken with both the Father and the Son, and that he has conversed with Joseph Smith jr.

We, lacking those experiences, view all that Denver has written from a carnal, Babylonic mindset. We believe we see flaws. We believe ourselves not only justified, but saintly when we point out what we believe to be errors based upon our mere pittance of experience and understanding. Surely Christ is tempted to laugh heartily at our vain and self-serving justifications of what He attempts to teach us through the servants He has called by His own voice. Surely we are puffed up and wise in our own sight. Surely we are so stiff-necked and high minded that we think we know more than God, thus considering ourselves virtuous when we reject truth in whole or in part.
My point in bringing this up is not to diss the person who wrote his/her feelings. My point is this: We humans think we know so much. If we view ourselves as learned, then we think we are wise. I see this all over. The person above is simply the most recent example I have come across.

We think ourselves wiser than God. We think we can parse His words, critique the manner in which His servants speak, find fault and flaws because what is said does not match our reasoning nor our understanding. Rather than being humble, rather than recognizing the voice of the Master, we would prefer to debate, criticize, and do anything that does not entail the possibility that we are in need of repentance, that we are - indeed - less than the dust of the earth, unworthy of salvation, unworthy of the time and effort that Christ puts into us again and again in the hopes that we will at last turn and face Him.

As for me, I am a sinner. I am less than the dust of the earth. I am unworthy of the incredible love and patience my Lord extends to me. I am overawed by the fact that He has deigned to speak through a servant who fears no man, no institution, no government. I am humbled by the fact that I had never supposed before: that the Lord often speaks through those who are not part of the accepted hierarchy. Yet, there it is in scriptures. Even Jesus had no ecclesiastical authority. He and the general authorities of His time would often butt heads.

We are just like the ancient Jews - whether in Jesus' time or in Jeremiah's or Isaiah's time. "If our days had been in those days," we opine, "we/I would have listened to the prophets. We/I would not have cast them out, nor persecuted them, nor killed them."

And what does Jesus have to say to our opining? This:

23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

28  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

34  ¶ Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:

35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Matthew 23

 This scathing rebuke belongs to us, folks. It belongs to our self-satisfied generation, we who think it is impossible for us to go astray as long as we stay with the humans who lead a corporation even if they contradict the words of Christ as given through his prophet (Joseph Smith) who we are taught didn't really understand things like we do today - and that "new prophets supersede old prophets" and can even contradict the scriptures with impunity.

If we are the holy church of God we are, according to the scriptures, under condemnation. If we are not under condemnation we are not the holy church of God. This is according to Moroni who saw US.

35  Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not.  But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

36  And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

37  For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

38  O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?  Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?  Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

39  Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

40  Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

41  Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.
Let us awake to our awful situation. The times of the gentiles is nearly fulfilled. We are about to lose what we think we have, and it will be given to the righteous descendants of Lehi, as promised by Jesus when He came and preached to them after His resurrection. Let us humble ourselves even to the dust of the earth. Let us view ourselves in our polluted state, with our tables covered with vomit (regurgitated, predigested food instead of the meat of the gospel).

Let us repent of our unbelief and turn to Christ, searching in humility and patience with our whole souls to see his His face in this life, for if we cannot stand in His presence now, what makes us think we can stand in His presence when He returns again with the hosts (Fathers) of heaven?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

14 Points of Heeding a Prophet

On a discussion board, someone brought up the list that is 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet. I wrote a different list, using the original as a pattern, as did a dear friend who I love as a daughter. I'm putting hers second because it was so good that I want that one in your brain as you finish reading this post.

1. The prophet is one of the men who speaks for the Lord, crying repentance unto the people.
2. The living prophet does not contradict scriptures.
3. The living prophet's intent is to work himself out of a job as we all become prophets.
4. The prophet will always retain his freedom to choose his own path.
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time, yet what he preaches is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He never presupposes he knows so much that he micromanages the lives of anyone.
6. The prophet does not have to say "Thus Saith the Lord," to give us scripture.
7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know, thus causing religious people in all walks of life to cry, "Apostate! Sinner! Devil! Away with him!"
8. The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning, paradigms, or religious traditions.
9. The prophet's job is not to receive revelation on every matter, temporal or spiritual. It is to cry repentance and faith on Jesus Christ.
10. (See above)
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the religious in power and the devout who hold those in power as nearly equal with God.
12. The prophet will not be popular with the self-identified religious, devout, and "righteous."
13. The president and his counselors make up the First Presidency, but may or may not be genuine prophets who have seen Jesus Christ face to face.
14. The prophet and the presidency - the living prophet and First Presidency  - follow them and be damned, for following even a true prophet leads to hell (see D&C 76) - reject true prophets and suffer. Follow only Jesus Christ.

1. You are the only man/woman who can receive revelation from the Lord in everything pertaining to your life.
2. Your personal revelation is more vital to you than the standard works.
3. Your personal revelation is more important than a dead prophet.
4. Your personal revelation will never lead the church astray.  :D 
5. You are not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
6. You do not have to say "Thus Saith the Lord," to receive personal scripture.
7. Your personal revelation tell you what you need to know, not always what you want to know.
8. Your personal revelation is not limited by men's reasoning.
9. You can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.
10. You may advise yourself on civic matters.
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in receiving personal revelation are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
12. You will not necessarily be popular with the world or worldly.
13. You make up the highest quorum in your personal life.
14. Your personal revelation - follow it and be blessed - reject it and suffer.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hymn - The Spirit of God

A prophet has said it is our duty, as members of the LDS church, to preach and teach. He also said we should “push the envelope.” I decided to take up that charge and resurrect my blog. The idea for today's post came during the closing song in Relief Society.

The Spirit of God

1. The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen!

2. The Lord is extending the Saints' understanding,
Restoring their judges and all as at first.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding;
The veil o'er the earth is beginning to burst.

3. We'll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions and blessings and glories of God.

4. How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire,
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariot of fire!

I love this song. I always have.

I have learned so many things since I last attended a church meeting a month ago, plus I'm in a ward I moved out of over three years ago. I suppose it was a combination of both that brought me to the perspective I had as I attended the block.

The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

What do we think of when we sing those words? I used to think of Joseph Smith and his era, yet are these not things we should be experiencing today? In the last several months, I have met people who have seen visions, including angels and even the Lord, Himself (their fruits bear record that this is so). I have seen the Lord and angels in dreams, but not in waking visions nor personally. I have met many people who, like myself, have gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are varied and assorted.

The Lord is extending the Saints' understanding

Has our understanding been extended, or do we know less than did those in Joseph's day, though we may tell ourselves that we know more and that there are some things that Joseph just did not understand (even though he gazed into heaven a whole lot more than 5 minutes, and most people since his time have not gazed into heaven at all, especially those who write our lesson manuals)? How is it that we understand more than he? How can that be so if we have not entertained Gods and angels?

Restoring their judges and all as at first.

Judges? Did Christ intend to restore judges? Or was He shooting for an ancient societal order, such as was found in Enoch's day? Was He shooting for leaders we were to obey at the peril of our souls or was He shooting for a patriarchal order, and a society in which each person would literally know the Lord as we know our siblings and best friends?

The knowledge and power of God are expanding;

I put forth that the knowledge and power of God are expanding, but not necessarily in our meetings. Christ, knowledge (actual knowledge, not Mormonese “knowledge” which is, “I really, really believe” at the most) of Him, and the powers of heaven are there seeking us, begging us to put our minds and lives in order, to turn and face Christ and only Christ.

Knowledge: I know my Savior lives because I saw Him. I touched Him. He spoke to me as one person speaks to another, in my own language, using my own name.

Power: That which heals both body and soul; that which enlightens and enlarges; that which literally moves mountains and trees, changes the course of rivers, and calls down fire from heaven.

The veil o'er the earth is beginning to burst.

Truly, it was beginning in Joseph's time. Have we shut the heavens? Do we believe they are open to only an elite few? Or do we understand Joseph's teachings that the heavens must open to all who hope to stand in Christ's presence when He comes? If we cannot stand in His presence now, what makes us think we can stand in His presence when He comes in the glory of His kingdom with the Fathers?

We'll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,

I have no idea what this couplet is even attempting to say. Do we honestly know what a “solemn assembly” is? Is it the meetings we have today when we dedicate a temple or sustain church leaders by quorum in a general conference? I'm not so sure that's what one really is. And how do we call these things “in spirit”? What does that even mean? And how is this to spread for the kingdom of heaven abroad? If anyone understands what the author of the lyrics meant when he wrote this, please enlighten me.

Also, the “kingdom” is not the “church” which, today, is a legal corporation consisting of only one person. Everyone else is “collateral” so to speak, but even in this abstract portion that comprise the people who have been baptized into said organization, the church is not really synonymous with the kingdom. The kingdom of God pulls “fish” out of the church, but not all in the church will go to the kingdom and not all outside of the church will be denied the kingdom which is coming. (How can one be baptized into an organization that is comprised of only one person is beyond me. It must be the abstract portion, the portion that has a membership number assigned, that pays tithes and such. Where these people fit in the legal entity of the corporation is totally beyond me.)

That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions and blessings and glories of God.

Have we done this? Have many since the time of Joseph Smith? I have begun to know some who claim these experiences (I mentioned this above). Have they really had those experiences or do they just think they have? Well, that's the kicker, you know. It is impossible for us to actually know what another has seen or experienced, especially if we have not also experienced and seen that thing.

Instead of arguing whether Denver Snuffer or this person or that person has actually seen the Savior, perhaps it behooves each of us to search after the Lord ourselves, asking Him what we lack. Studying the scriptures as if we have no clue what they mean (relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us the meaning). Shedding the notion that the Holy Ghost speaks to us through causing us to “feel good.” It is entirely possible for the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit to speak to us through “pure knowledge that enlightens the mind” - it is entirely possible that the warm fuzzies and tears of HeartSell (TM) has nothing to do with the Holy Ghost.

Perhaps we should study the Lectures on Faith which were considered scripture, and which were removed arbitrarily. The people had no choice. They were informed that the lectures were not scripture, and that lie has been perpetuated.

Perhaps we should be willing to sacrifice all to the Lord: our reputations, our “safety,” our time, our preconceived ideas, our false traditions, our money, our friends, our family, our physical belongings, our membership in any and all organizations, our lives (whether by living or dying), our hobbies, our lusts, the sins which easily beset us (it may also be a good idea to discover which things are actually sins and which are not), and our idols (the men that we slavishly follow as if they were God, ignoring D&C 76 which points out that followers of men, even if the men be true prophets, are cast into hell).

Then, verse 4 can come about. By the way, I looked up the words “Ephraim be crowned” and found only three references:

1 WOE to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine

(Old Testament | Isaiah 28:1)

3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet

(Old Testament | Isaiah 28:3)

32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 133:32)

I hope I am not coming off harsh. I deleted my previous blog for two reasons: I did not esteem myself righteous enough to preach and teach, and I did not wish to harm anyone's testimony. I bring it back because I was told that it was a member's duty to preach and teach, and it was advised to “push the envelope” as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. May God bless you – and may God bless me to only preach and teach as I feel directed by the Spirit and not by my pride.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sacrifice of All Things

Why does God ask us to sacrifice all things? Why is it that those who do not or are not willing to sacrifice all things cannot gain the same reward as those who are willing? Does God get something out of this? Does it benefit Him in any way? Or is it helping us let go of the things of the world? Is it helping us to focus on the things of the Spirit? Is it to help us stop fearing that something of ours (life, belongings, family, prestige, power, money, friends) will be stolen or lost?

In my mind it is similar to the post I just wrote. There is a purpose, and that purpose is to benefit God. To teach us. To help us become like our Father in heaven.

When God Asks for the Ultimate Sacrifice

Job. Abraham. Others. God either put into their lives something they greatly feared, or asked them to do something that - I believe - they greatly feared.

One of the parts on the path to God is that He will ask you to do something you do not want. It appears that it is something that is fearful to you. Abraham was going to be offered up as a human sacrifice. It is only natural that he should fear not only having such a thing done to him, but having it done to his beloved son. He had apparently already lost one son when Sarah kicked out the boy and his mother. He may have been fearful of losing his other son. Job plainly says that the thing he greatly feared had come upon him.

A friend and I were talking about Abraham's sacrifice. She pointed out that God wants us to face our fears and overcome them. That is the point of asking us to do the one thing we most don't want to do.

It is not so we can take a stand against God and say, "No. I'm going to be an adult here, and I will not do what you ask." (There is a thought process going around that Abraham lost his exaltation because he obeyed the command to offer up Isaac. Such a notion contradicts scripture.)

Neither is it to feed God's pride, or to show us and Him that we will bend to Him at all costs (though bending to Him at all costs is part of the process).

It is God helping us to over come all fear, all hesitation: Fear of what others will think about us or do to us. Fear of losing everything. Fear that your only son will not only be killed, but will be killed as a sacrifice.

Do we trust God? Do we trust that what He asks us to do is for our own benefit? Truly? Deep inside? Does God love us? Is He selfless in that love? Can He be trusted with all that we are, have, and believe?

It is a process of learning to trust God completely. When He asks for that one thing that we fear most, that one thing that we are most reluctant to put upon the altar, we are learning several things:

God always comes first. Not us. Not our families. Not our religion. Not our money nor our job. Not our reputation.
We learn to overcome all fear. After that experience, we fear nothing.
We learn to be selfless. Those who become eligible to be as God, must be as selfless as He is.

I'm sure there are many other things to be learned from this, however, this is all I have right now. Isn't scripture study incredibly interesting? Isn't there so much to learn and gain from looking deeply into what is there, and asking God to open up to us what we do not know?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Thoughts on 3 Nephi 20:39-46

I read 3 Nephi 20:39-46 this morning. I had some thoughts on these scriptures. I may be right. I may be wrong.

39  Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that doth speak.

Key word is "know." These people belong to the Lord because they know Him. They have seen and conversed with Him. They have felt His wounds. They know His name.

40  And then shall they say: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!

Then, shall these people have tremendous appreciation for the prophets who have seen Jesus and who have pointed the way to Him, those who have spoken with power, viewing their lives and safety as nothing in comparison with following the Lord and doing His bidding. They do not protect any person or organization by minimizing uncomfortable or unpopular truths. They speak plainly, and many people are angered by these men.

41  And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.

These people desire to literally leave Babylon. The body bears the spirit. These people's spirits have been made holy. There are enough of them to physically leave.

42  For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.

These people are not leaving because they were kicked out, nor because they were threatened with death if they stayed. They are not going out in haste nor by flight. They are protected by Deity in front and behind. No nasty surprises coming toward them. No secret attacks on their rear.

43  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

Jesus was extolled, exalted, and is very high.

44  As many were astonished at thee—his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men—

According to Denver Snuffer's testimony of the atonement, Jesus received literal wounds from the suffering of every person on earth. It is impossible for anyone to be more marred than He, because He took on everyone's marring and healed from it. (See "Come Let Us Adore Him" - I don't recall the page, but it should be easy enough to find.)

45  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

Jesus' blood sprinkled upon the ground as He sweat great drops of blood. Not sure about the rest. Perhaps it is the Spirit that talks to them and teaches them, not their own experiences with anything of this earth.

46  Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me.  Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance.

The things written above shall surely come. They will happen.

But Jesus had already died and was resurrected. In fact, He was the one speaking. Yes, He was. Was He exalted, extolled, and very high at the time of this visit with the Nephites? I don't know. But I do know that time means nothing to the Gods. Timing does, but time itself doesn't. I've read scriptures that speak of the future as though it had already happened.

In any case, I had these thoughts today as I read, and wanted to share.

Monday, January 21, 2013

God's Handiwork

This post has three titles:
God's Plan for Us
God's Handiwork
Has God Abandoned Me?

So, I've been having a rough time. We all have, no doubt. The circumstances I'm in have seemed unbearable for about a year and a half, now. Recently, my spiritual quests seemed fruitless. I seemed to be “seeing” and “hearing” heaven less than I did a couple of years ago, even though my quest was to follow Joseph Smith Jr.'s admonition to seek the face of Christ (it is in scripture as well).

I was at an impasse both physically and spiritually. It seemed worthless to try. The trials of my life were more than I could bear. Heaven seemed too quiet most of the time (whereas, in the past, I've had dreams from heaven, been able to tell the future, and had other gifts of the Spirit).

As a Christmas present, a friend gave me the recording “The Lost Mode of Prayer” by Gregg Braden which was very helpful. She also gave me the book, “The Secret” which was also helpful. But, in spite of trying to implement these things (basically, living in your mind, as if you had what you want), I found myself once again discouraged by my spiritual and physical circumstances.

Last Tuesday morning, I “heard” a voice in my mind and heart that told me, in essence, “This is almost over,” meaning my trials. I did not write down the exact words at the time I heard it, and I regret that - but the words were that this is almost over, meaning what I have been going through this time around. I am about to get relief.

That day, I went to a forum that I frequently go to. I expressed the following sentiment (it is a private forum, but I am quoting myself, so I hope that does not bother anyone who might be from there who is reading this):

I have asked myself this [referring to me not seeing angels orthe Lord, outside of dreams] many a time, and cannot find an answer. I do know that I have had many spiritual experiences, before I read any of [Denver Snuffer's] books, but cannot get into the realm of "more real than real" that visions are said to be. Sometimes I have faith that it will happen to me; other times, I seriously wonder if what I have been taught is true - or if, maybe, there is something inherently wrong with me. But, when I begin to think I must be hopelessly evil, I remember some of the experiences I've had and am left to wonder - It isn't something that is easy to see and understand and have, in my experience.”

I received these scriptures in reply (I am quoting from my own notes, not from the forum). The references were not given, but I know the scriptures well enough to know they came from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.

- And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.

- And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;

And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.

Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.

Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen.

- And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

- But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.

Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

- Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

It struck me that “in an hour ye think not” applied to the promise in D&C 93:1

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

(Doctrine and Covenants 93:1)

All of the scriptures affected me most powerfully. They helped tremendously in my concerns about receiving angels and the Second Comforter.

But, yesterday morning, as I was going to pray, it seemed less than useless. I had forgotten the words of comfort given to me Tuesday morning. The trials of life were crushing me. God seemed absent. There was no reason to pray. God was not hearing me. That was pretty dang obvious. My environmental/physical/earthly problems were still there (and worse, because a critter that is either a skunk or a badger has been rattling around in our home, bumping around inside the heating ducts (the furnace doesn't work, so we don't use it. If it has holes in it big enough for an animal like that to get in, I'm glad we aren't using it) and even coming inside bumping around under my daughter's bed).

It was worse than useless to pray. It was actually painful to pray. I prayed anyway. (I don't know how I managed it.) And I decided to fast. So worthless to fast, and I almost didn't, but I did it anyway.

These scriptures come to mind:

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

(Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 16:29)


6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

(Book of Mormon | Alma 37:6)

We will see if anything “great” comes as a result. Nevertheless, here are the results thus far:

At church, during sacrament meeting, the talks were nothing out of the ordinary until the last speaker. He said that when one has a problem, when one is about to succumb (not succumb to sin, but to the problem) one naturally turns to heaven. Then the devil steps in with his lies. The speaker seemed to be directing his words to men, because he was mentioning giving blessings, and the policy is that only men do that. In any case, his words hit hard. The devil steps in, but don't let the devil deter you, he said. “You give that blessing. You say that prayer.” Those words fit the tremendous and painful struggle I'd had that morning to even pray.

The man was unpolished in his speaking. No religious “politician” was he. And the curious thing was that after he said this, he told us his talk was about time management (from a general conference talk) and totally went off in a different direction. I was left to wonder if a humble man hadn't listened to God telling him what to say at the beginning of his sermon.

Sunday School was about Joseph Smith, Jr. I almost didn't go because I weary of hearing ad nauseum about how Joseph obeyed the Word of Wisdom when there was no such thing at that time. (And the fact that Joseph drank a little wine on occasion, even not long before he died, is something most of us don't know.) But I went anyway.

And I got another message. When the devil accosted Joseph in his prayer, Joseph did not give up. He “prayed harder”. It was interesting to see two things that addressed what I had struggled with that morning.

After church, I felt a little more on an even keel. When I had left for church, my daughter had been in the process of cleaning the house in order to keep the invading critter at bay (we had talked about finding out where it had entered the room she was sleeping in. She had seen it. In fact, after she had awakened me, and I had accompanied her down the hall, she had seen it again, peering at her from under the kitchen table. But some minutes later, we heard it bumping along the heating vents under the trailer again. We were not sure how it had done that, considering the layout of the place). I came home to find the living room a lot cleaner and in the process of being rearranged.

Later that day, I went to the site where my friend had posted the scriptures for me. After perusing for a while, I noticed he had posted a link to a video (God's Chisel) in a different thread, so I clicked on it. I shared the video on the Speak of Christ blog, but here is the link. I cannot imbed it on blogspot because it is not a YouTube video, nor is it on my computer.

It is a cute skit about how God is working in our lives. Just as when I read the scriptures that had been posted for me, I was in tears as the skit went on. And I am led to believe that the first angels God sends to us are imperfect fellow mortals.

Whereas, before, I had thought and felt that God did not care, that He was uninvolved in the trials and struggles of my life, I saw through this skit that it was possible that He was very involved in my life, and is in the process of making me into something better. I saw that my trials just might have a purpose, that they might truly be specifically tailored to my spiritual needs, and that it just might be true that “this is almost over,” because God is the one in charge.

It makes a difference when one can see one's pains in light of God's hand, and in light of “this will not last forever. There is and will be an end to this suffering.”

And I post all of this in the hopes of helping to relieve the suffering of someone else.

Whether a loved one has been murdered, whether you have lost your job, whether you have been made a mockery by your fellow beings, whether you fear for any reason whatsoever, whether you are hungry or homeless or nearly naked, God is there. God has not forgotten you. God cares about you. God is performing a work in your life. I promise you this. In some way, unfathomable to me, hell in this life can be for our benefit.

Your deceased loved one is safe. S/he is wrapped in the arms of Jesus. Quite possibly, they have come to you to communicate that they are okay. Perhaps you have heard this and, because of this conviction, you are more calm and peaceful than others can understand is possible.

Your lost job will turn to your benefit. Your hunger will turn to your benefit. Your lack of clothing and your homelessness will turn to your benefit. And if anyone was told by God to help you, but they didn't listen, it will turn back on them. This may seem harsh, because often the Spirit speaks so quietly, but I have learned that life is harsh - and the consequences of sins, even what we deem to be small sins, have hard and painful consequences. And, sometimes, what we deem as sins are not sins at all (body piercings, and not wearing a white shirt to church come to mind, as well as a man wearing a full beard).

It would best serve us to remove the voices that are not from God, whether they come from music, movies, games, negative thoughts, other people, or mindless pursuits. It is vital that we are open to God's voice, that we are used to hearing it. Then, if we have the ability to comfort those in need of comfort, to clothe the naked, to house the homeless, to feed the hungry we will know that God intends for us to do that, and He will show us who we should help.

If you are mocked, the mockery will turn onto the heads of those who mock, and they will mourn. This saddens my heart that anyone would suffer, but it is nonetheless true. You will be vindicated. If they repent, so much the better, but you will be vindicated. This, I promise you.

God is in charge of this world, even though it often does not seem that way. He cares. He loves you. We cannot always see that. If your stomach grumbles because you're hungry. If your breakfasts and lunches of the last several days have consisted of eating dirt (diatomaceous earth is nutritious by the way. I used the word “dirt” for its shock value - and yes, I have been there - very recently, in fact) - if you have suffered in ways that are genuinely painful and/or even dangerous to your mortality, know that God is there. Always.

God is not dependent upon ourperceptions of His existence. He is not dependent upon ourperceptions of His presence. He is not dependent upon ourunderstanding of whether He cares or loves us. If you get nothing else out of this post, please take this with you: God cares.He loves you. He is working to remove the sins and impurities within your souls.

The destructions that are escalating are allowed so that they will bring us to our knees. They are not caused by the secret combinations, though secret combinations may be involved as a tool of God.

All of the destructions and pain we see today, both those caused by nature and caused by people, are there to wake us up. They are there to call us back to God. We are in great need of repentance as a country and as a planet. Let us heed the call to repentance. Let us turn to God with all our hearts and souls, even if it seems He has abandoned us. I assure you that He has not.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Women, Men, and God

I replied to a friend's post with the following comment. I think it is important enough to share here. We were talking about women, and she was saying she had always thought it was a triangle - man-woman-God - and was wondering if, perhaps, she had been wrong,  and it was linear - woman > man > God.

I read what I had written, and felt it was something important. I felt as though the information came through me, not from me. In any case, here it is (with a link to the video mentioned):

Somewhere in my LDS training, I got the idea that a married woman was supposed to stop going to the Lord directly, and rely on her husband to do so. I believe it was the original temple covenant that taught me this. Being as faithful as I knew how, I gave up much of my mind and spirit to a very unkind man when I got married. (By the way, he agreed that I should give this up; he was delighted to "be as the Lord" to me.)

I don't believe this any longer, and I am frustrated when I come across things that seem to show me that a woman must obey "the priesthood" or "leadership" (whether her spouse or some other male) at the expense of following what the Spirit has or is directly telling her - or that a woman is supposed to give up her relationship with the Lord because she now has a spouse to fulfill that role for her.

In another thread, there was a link to the temple conference. I have listened to Margaret Barker's presentation at least three times. The point of her message is that the groves that were destroyed in the Old Testament, according to nonBiblical sources, were not Canaanite idols, but were part of the form of worship of the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - and Melchizedek). In the purge, they also took out all evidence of a female deity, and had it burned.

What this shows me is that there is a lie perpetuated on this planet, and it has been going on for thousands of years. It is a suppression of the female aspect of God, and she is called Wisdom, according to Margaret Barker. If we, females, had this knowledge restored to us, perhaps we would not have this issue. We would know it was no sin to go directly to God, with no human (male or female) between us and God, whether we were married or not.

Margaret Barker also said that the early Christians had this knowledge.

If this knowledge was restored through Joseph Smith, we don't have it. Perhaps that is one of the things he did not ask about, or one of the things that would cause the people to kill him if they knew. Women were property in JS's day.

And this ties in with the original topic of the thread. Would we have recognized the Messiah? If he came, talking about a mother-God, respecting women in an era of women-as-property (and he did), condemning the temple practices (which he did, at least in part), and doing all manner of things against our traditions, cultural conditioning, and nonscriptural "doctrine" would we accept him? Or would we want to stone him, or excommunicate him? Keep him away from our loved ones and from our children and from ourselves, because listening to him would "put us on the slippery slope" into hell and spiritual destruction?

Margaret Barker

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Doug Mendenhall

I keep getting hits from people searching for "Doug Mendenhall" "Conquering Spiritual Evil." I think that is because someone mentioned it in a comment on one of my posts. To make it easier for people looking, here are a few links that might fit what you are looking for:


Confetti Books

From Latter Day Commentary

Publishing hope

This site (about Denise Mendenhalll) has a link to publishinghopedotcom, but it is the wrong url ("publishing hope" is not a dotcom address). The link I put above this link is the one I believe they were trying to link to.

I hope this helps those who come here, expecting to find something about Doug Mendenhall.

LDS Scriptures for Computer

So, the scriptures I have on my laptop (installed via CD-ROM) seemed to need updating, because I could not find a way to highlight certain texts. It is possible that I was looking at the wrong one, since the CD-ROM installed two versions.

In any case, I searched the internet for something I could put on my computer. For a while, all I found were phone apps (and ipad). Even had only pdf or audio files.

Finally, I found this site and I really like the program. It is, basically, an update of the scriptures I have already, though it installs as a separate program. One can highlight in 15 different colors, creating a category for each color. Also, there is plenty of space to write notes (one has to click on the note icon). This is so good that I would take my laptop to church if the battery could hold out that long. Oh, and there is no charge (it's a BYU site).