Friday, September 22, 2017

Prophecy in the first Guiding Principles?

Quite often, over the last couple of months, I have thought of this paragraph in the first version of the Guiding Principles. Ironically, it was one of the things removed in all other versions.

Temporary councils may be formed to carry out initiatives extending in scope outside of fellowships. These should be organized, and run, according to common consent. This means that while men or women may be invited to join, they are given the latitude to determine their level of involvement and should always be free to leave. Above all, agency should be preserved and individuals should be allowed to bring their gifts and talents to the project as they feel directed by the Mind of God. Voluntary participation is necessary in the work of the Lord. Coercing help from friends and loved ones violates the pattern of Heaven and results in hurt and loss [D&C 47]. When beginning an initiative, cast a net widely to allow all who feel so inspired to join. Once formed, take the time to come to an agreement about how the group will be run, make a commitment to see the project through, and then plead for Heaven's guidance and support. If the people in that group will work with an eye single to His glory and the welfare of Zion, rather than their own name and reputation, the Lord can take their weak effort and give it His strength. Once a project has gained momentum, and the group has achieved a shared vision, it is best to refrain from quickly and unwisely adding others who were not inspired to do the work in the first place. Rather, trust in the Lord; a small unified group working with the Lord is more powerful than a thundering crowd.
page 2
Emphasis added.

Perfect document - Imperfect document

I think that when dark spirits whisper to us, they are rarely nefarious. Even if all they can do is cause us to spin our wheels until it is too late, that is enough. It is often very difficult to know if we are listening to one of them, to our own pride/fear, or to the Spirit of God. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter as it relates to the mess we are presently creating for ourselves, taken from an email conversation this morning.

It is very frustrating, to be sure. I don't think any document is or will be without defects.

I think Adrian means well.

What I think is happening is that dark spirits (devils) are among us galore, and they are doing everything they can to prevent us from agreeing on this, even using people's good intentions. If they can keep us from coming together on this until it is too late, and God rejects us, they will have won.

The same pattern has played out over and over again in regards to the Governing Principles, Guiding Principles, and now Guide and Standard. Mutual agreement, then someone (or several someones) come along and either says, I didn't really agree, or they say, I never agreed - and they want to do it a different way, then everything is in an uproar again.

I think Jeff is trying to be agreeable, noncontentious, willing to do anything to try to get people to agree on something. I think that is why he has teamed up with Adrian. I think he is willing to do almost anything if it's possible that we will actually agree.

The reason I support going with the 91% vote we had is because we need to have a stopping point, and that 91% is the most agreement we've had. I doubt it will be much better (I could be wrong; I hope I'm wrong).

We also seem to be woefully lacking in trust in God. He can fix it if we ask Him to. In regards to that, though, there are those who don't want to involve Denver at all, not even to ask him to take a finished product to the Lord, thinking that will violate the Lord's commandment to Denver to not participate. They want to have a random generator choose who should take the finished product to the Lord. I can see all hell breaking loose with that if the person is a nobody like Jeff was.

Before I got your email, I was pouring out my soul to God, begging him to step in and do something for the sake of those of us who are willing to be united. No document will be perfect. The test we failed 3 times, in my opinion, is not "not getting the document right," but in rising up to fight and contend in our pride or fear wanting "my" idea put forth.

I get being afraid of potential abuse of a document. I get thinking that our ideas for something "better" will work. I get being afraid to ask Denver to present our finished (91%) document to the Lord for approval, rejection, or correction. But I think, at some point, our time will run out because this cycle we've been going through for 6 months can realistically continue for decades or even centuries, but I don't think God is giving us decades, let alone a century or two. Nauvoo got 3 1/2 years if I'm remembering correctly, to build a temple. I doubt he is giving us that long for the baby step of agreeing on a little document that he can then approve of or correct.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Trusting God vs I Want What I Want

There seems to be a pattern with the Guide (which has gone by more than one name). What I see is that each time God's peace reigns, some few stir up in anger and rebellion, wanting "My - My Ideas! My Document!" Rising up and finding fault. 

First, with Jeff. "Who the hell is Jeff Savage?" someone demanded. 

Oh, that's right, "I've got a name here!" Can't have anyone not famous in the movement have a revelation from God. Got to persecute and accuse him.

So, this humble man offered to let others be part of the process. It was spelled out. Fellowships sent representatives. At least twice, unity was achieved, only to be fought against the next day. Finally, on Aug 5th, a document came that was voted on and accepted by 91% of the people. And, yet, there was still disunity, still the "good idea" of let us "seek but do not find" (the ego's mantra), which is what we are doing.

Now, we are to all come up with our pet rocks . . . er . . . theories and ideas, that which our pride and "Me-ness" approves of.

What happened to God? What happened to humility? What happened to the idea that God can be trusted to correct our mistakes and errors? Why is it that we cannot trust God enough to accept the August document, then request that the Lord's current spokesman present it to the Lord for acceptance, rejection, correction?

Do we mistrust God so much? Do we misunderstand what He has asked of us? Or is it that it had never occurred to us that He can fix anything that might be wrong with the document? Is it really so hard, so painful, so difficult, to give up pride and haughtiness and trust that God can correct the August document if it needs correcting?

I would recommend reading this page. It explains it much better than I can - and it probably sounds less angry, though I am not angry, but passionate. I am passionate because I see, and have seen, my willingness to be persuaded and have a document approved by the Lord slip through my fingers over and over and over again. For the apparent reason that none of us can trust God enough to offer Him an imperfect document which He will correct, if necessary.

The important thing is to agree, not to have our own pet statements published.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Our Compassionate God

Recently, I was staying in a hotel in Boise, Idaho with a friend. Our room was directly across from the guests' laundry room. On one side of our room were the stairs. On the other was the room of the ladies who had given me a ride to Boise. Sunday morning, my friend left to go home (had pressing business that prevented her from staying the full weekend). That afternoon, the ladies and I were going to meet some people for lunch.

I was in my room, pretty much killing time, when I heard what seemed like a year old baby throwing a fit. I didn't hear adults and supposed they were ignoring the child. A few minutes later, I opened my door to go out and right next to the door, pressed into it, was a two year old toddler, screaming and crying hysterically. I glanced into the laundry room as I picked her up. It was empty. I had felt incredible compassion for the child the moment I'd opened the door, and I told her, "We'll find your mom." She stopped being hysterical, but was still upset. I knocked on the ladies' door, and when I did, the toddler calmed down even more. When the door was opened, I explained what had happened and that I was going to take the child to the office (front desk) to see if they could find her mom. The ladies went with me downstairs and, on the elevator ride, one of them coaxed out of the child that she was two years old (she never spoke the whole time she was with us).

When we got to the front desk, I explained what had happened, and told them it was on the second floor. One of the ladies behind the desk came around and held her arms out to the child. The child hesitated for a nano-second. You could see her deciding if she could trust this person. Then she leaned over and reached out to the lady.

After we got back from lunch, we inquired at the front desk. Was the mom found? The man there had just begun his shift not long before. He said he had not seen the child, but had heard others talking about the incident, and, yes, the mom had been found.

Later that evening, I was talking to God, and he told me, "The child is a sign to you." He told me that the compassion I'd felt for the child was the same compassion he felt for me when I was hysterically scream-crying out to him because of being homeless (or threatened with it), not having enough food to eat, worried about other problems, or just plain having a freak-out attack for no reason that I knew of. He also let me know that just as I had taken immediate steps to solve the toddler's problem when I realized what was happening, so he, also, took steps to alleviate my suffering when I was freaking out.

I am sharing this experience because he told me to. He told me that this compassion he feels toward me is the same compassion he feels toward everyone. Our sincere prayers are always heard, even if we don't see immediate results.