Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

To the "Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy" People

Facts:

History has not yet proven that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. This would require a living descendant of one of his alleged plural wives to have DNA links to Joseph Smith. Such a person has not been found, and may not exist.History cannot prove that he did not. Because so many of his associates were proven liars, and because men of God have been known to justifiably lie in the past (see Abraham), statements from any party are insufficient to prove that he did not practice it.

Given these two facts, it really doesn't matter whether a person believes Joseph Smith was a polygamist or whether they believe he was not a polygamist.

However, what does matter is:

Whether you feel comfortable converting people to a position that cannot be shown to be right.Whether you feel justified in spending your time on something so frivolous.Whether your position is due to evidence or something more nefarious. I know of at least three people who have dedicated a year or more of their time tryin…

New Book: Seek Ye This Jesus (Book 1): The Miracle of Repentance

I am posting the pdf of the first installment of my new book here on the blog. Feel free to download it and share it. It is written to a general (read: not just Mormon) audience. It is essential reading. I hope it helps you out.

This will come out in print form, but I may wait until I finish part 2. I anticipate part 2 to be longer than part 1. The subject will be "walking with God."

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6t-rQr3iLAsdGVrNHZ1MzFWYk0/view?usp=sharing

Thank you to my friend Will for proofreading!

-Rob

The prayer of a broken heart

Father, you have blessed me far beyond what I have deserved. You endured patiently with me in countless times when I was not wise enough to understand the wisdom of your will. My life has been cascading cycles of obedient ignorance followed by increased knowledge and ever increasing trust in you. You have strengthened me through weak times and guided me beyond my capacity to comprehend the best path. You have done nothing but provide me with reasons to trust your judgment and that your wisdom exceeds my own. Your mercy is endless and your love is perfect.

Father, everything that you have given me is yours to take. I have given you all that you have asked, and anything else you ask I will likewise give. I hold nothing back. My most cherished relationships are yours. The object of my profession is yours. The approval of others is meaningless to me compared to your approval. I have willingly sacrificed it to stand for you and your truth and will do so again. My heart is set on you and you…

The parable of the gym rat

There was once a gym rat. He had large muscles that he was proud of. Because he wanted bigger muscles more than anything in this world, he could be found in the gym lifting weights everyday for several hours. His life outside the gym was also consumed with his practice. He bought special food, ate at special times, slept at certain times, and shaped his whole day around weightlifting. While he felt great satisfaction in the progress he had so far achieved and the knowledge that he was fully encumbered with weightlifting, he nevertheless had a gnawing, quiet feeling inside him. A few years ago his growth had slowed down, then stopped. He tried to break out of the plateau by adding an extra hour of lifting, by drinking another protein shake, etc., but no matter which element of his routine was expanded, nothing seemed to work. He hoped that somehow he would figure it out, and meanwhile just focused on what had gotten him to that point.

One day, the gym rat was approached by a stranger. …

Mysteries that haven't been revealed since the origin of the world

Alma 12 says:

9 ...It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. "The portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men" sounds like a fixed amount of truth. I used to think it meant the gospel …

It's a wonderful life...or is it?

This Christmas Eve I got the impression that it might be nice to watch It's a Wonderful Life. I am a huge fan of Jimmy Stewart movies, and that one used to be one of my favorite flicks. I hadn't watched it in a few years. My kids are old enough to sit through it, so we decided to watch it.

The movie stopped being on my short list when I learned enough about economics to resent the anti-capitalist tone of the movie. My recollection of the movie was that Jimmy Stewart's character made repeated poor economic decisions, and in the end his free loading friends give back a small fraction of the savings he passed on to them to save his rear end. That is not a true recollection.

Watching the movie deeply affected me. Here is a more accurate summary of what the character does in his life:

He jumps into freezing water to save his brother, causing partial deafness for the duration of his life.He endures a beating by his childhood pharmacist boss to save him from mistakenly issuing poi…

The Gulf Between Mediocre and Good

Once someone made the mistake of calling Jesus "good." He swiftly replied, "why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 10:18) God is incredible. Jesus refused to be described with the same language as his Father. How much more should we refuse to be described as "good"?

Nevertheless, dust of the earth as we may be, we are not given this life to be mediocre. I would like to bring attention to the vast gulf between the two descriptors, which is a place we ought to find ourselves in. You may be surprised when you stop to think of how we end up there.

If you need a refreshing on the state of the natural man, consider the following:

1 And thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.
 2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in th…

Snippet from "Ascension of Isaiah"

I thought this prophecy was interesting (from Ch 3):

21. And afterwards, on the eve of His approach [Christ's second coming], His disciples will forsake the teachings of the Twelve Apostles, and their faith, and their love and their purity.

22. And there will be much contention on the eve of [His advent and] His approach.

23. And in those days many will love office, though devoid of wisdom.

24. And there will be many lawless elders, and shepherds dealing wrongly by their own sheep, and they will ravage (them) owing to their not having holy shepherds.

25. And many will change the honour of the garments of the saints for the garments of the covetous, and there will be much respect of persons in those days and lovers of the honour of this world.

26. And there will be much slander and vainglory at the approach of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will withdraw from many.

27. And there will not be in those days many prophets, nor those who speak trustworthy words, save one here and there i…

Few there be that find it.

The gospel is like a highway with a million forked exits. Sometimes, you need to stay left to stay on the path. Sometimes, however, you need to bear right to stay on the highway. Staying on is not the default outcome. It is hard. You have to continually question everything you think you know. You have to avoid pitfall after pitfall, distraction after distraction. The Lord has to allow distractions, counterfeits, and frauds to be as frequent as genuine opportunities to advance. There is often purpose in allowing you to temporarily embrace something not entirely true. Truth is progressive, and there is opposition in all things. This is why there are so few that find the way to eternal life. Most don't search at all, and those who do are routinely satisfied with far less than everything that God has. They cash in their chips at the first sign of increase, when the gospel requires continual reinvestment and routine loss of all presumptive gains.

There are NO shortcuts. There is no oth…

A book that might be of interest to you

Bret Corbridge has asked a lengthy list of people, including myself, to write a testimony as inspired for a collection he felt prompted to publish.

It is available on Amazon for print cost, and you can get a PDF download for free if you ask anyone who has it.

I have not yet read the entire copy, but I know my brief entry contains what I received when I prayed and asked God if I should participate and what I should write.

EDIT 12/9/2016
Having read the book, I would not advocate reading it. By saying that, I mean no offense to any who participated in the work.

If you want to help LDS convert to Christ, tell them to read the scriptures. If they still don't get it, tell them to read "Teaching for Doctrines the Commandments of Men."

Why don't I get revelation?

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. --Jeremiah 33:3

I have had several people ask me why God doesn't talk to them. Some question their theology, or even if God exists. Others assume they are evil, or that God doesn't love them.

God DOES want to talk to you. I promise.
When God won't talk to you One limiting factor is whether we are paying attention. We are commanded to seek, knock, and ask. If we don't, we are not providing many opportunities for him to speak to us. Let us assume that we are actively engaged in attempting to hear God. Why does he not answer us?

God does not exist to entertain us. He doesn't just want to make social calls, or satisfy our curiosity. When God talks to us, he is going to reveal new knowledge. In fact, God cannot communicate with us without doing so.

God subjects himself to several laws. Two of them are relevant here. First, he reveals truth according to the heed and dilig…

Spiritual and Temporal Preparedness

Lately, I've had a few inquiries about preparing for the destruction to precede the second coming. I have a survival blog, have created a lookup tool for scriptures referring to the topic, and have been given visions of some of the things that are going to happen, but I am not an expert on the topic.

It seems that every one of these interactions ends with me offending the person who is writing to me. I tend to be quite blunt on the topic. I have written about preparedness before. I will elaborate on it more now.
Becoming If you don't have an idea of what is coming, you need to study the scriptures. Begin with Isaiah. I recommend Gileadi's translation. This is required reading. Jesus commanded us to search his words specifically. God is not going to reveal much to you on the topic if you have been lazy and ignored his commandment. Personal revelation, for reasons you'll soon realize, is essential to your fulfilling God's will for you and those around you in what is …

Happiness

Over the last few days I had a conversation with a family member about the topic of happiness. It opened my eyes to a difference in my viewpoint compared to the world that I hadn't really thought about before.

If someone were to ask you to define happiness, how would you do it? Chances are your definition would be based upon pleasure. The problem with that is that it is based on your experiences here in the Telestial kingdom.

This world is a kingdom of lies (read this). Those that find joy in those lies, by definition, "love a lie." They can't have real happiness. Anything positive they experience is fleeting--it is merely the front loaded payout of a cost that much exceeds the benefit. That is how the devil deceives you: he hides the cost of something and flaunts the benefits, distorting your ability to make a rational choice (see his conversation with Eve in the garden).

My definition of happiness is probably different. In my opinion, the only true happiness that ca…

News

Hi everyone,
Two things of note.

1 - I'm working on a new book called "Seek Ye This Jesus." I've actually been working on it for several years, but it is in the terminal stages. The subject is coming into the Lord's presence through repentance. This is a very important topic, and I hope I can say what needs to be said on it. Interestingly, my wife has been writing a book of her own, and we were drawn to the same topic, but are working independently. We have agreed not to read each other's book until we each finish. I'm quite excited to read hers. Mine is directed to Christians in general. Hers is directed towards the broader LDS community.

2 - I have set apart a few entire days to catch up on blog posts on my survival blog. Over the last year I've taken about 30 GB worth of video, and am editing it and posting it as we speak. So far, I have about one post scheduled per day until December. The videos contain knowledge that I've had to accumulate th…

Revelation and discernment

Salvation requires knowledge. "Knowledge saves a man and in the world of spirits a man can't be exalted but by knowledge." (Joseph Smith, WOJS 7 Apr 1844). In fact, salvation is to possess a finite set of knowledge. Once a man obtains sufficient knowledge to overcome the lies of this world, he will by definition be living a higher set of laws, and thus possess a higher degree of glory.

How is knowledge obtained? By revelation.

“… A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” (Joseph Smiht, History of the Church, 4:588). Knowledge comes in two increments: General knowledge/commandments, and individual knowledge/commandments.
9 ...It is given unto many to know the mysteries of …

Two stories

Story 1 About 8 years ago, I moved to North Carolina for work. I was in the Maryland National Guard at the time. As part of the move, I had submitted a packet to be transferred into the North Carolina National Guard. Usually, this would be a quick transition. For some reason, the officer in charge of processing the paperwork happened to be amazingly slow at his job. I was enjoying my job, enjoying the change in dating scene, and contemplating buying a house. One day, out of the blue, the Lord told me in an audible voice "do not sign any house contracts, you are going to be deployed." I was shocked, but being familiar with that voice, I could not question the source. The next morning, my commander (I was second in command in the unit) called me. He said "This is pretty hush hush still but have you heard we are getting deployed?" I smiled and said, "I have!" He didn't ask how.

I grappled with this situation. For some time I had come to the conclusion t…

Zion: Zeal without knowledge

Whenever God sets forth additional light, there is an immediate winnowing of the chaff until only those who have a relationship with him are left. It's a cycle.

Like children, whenever we get a little light and truth, the first thing we do is pretend that we are something special. We exaggerate what we've received, exaggerate our worthiness, and claim blessings that are not ours. We rush into things that we have no claim on in utter ignorance, filling in the blanks by making things up.

"For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." (Romans 10:2)

It's a real shame, because the only way to progress from where we are is to ask God how we can change to take the next step. Those who assume they already have never bother to ask God what is next.

I am no one special. I have no authority beyond the authority of God's word that I quote. Yet, seeing a discrepancy between truth and what is being preached, I have a duty to share the l…

Teaching God's Commandments

Teaching God’s Commandments in the Home Sacrament Talk given by Bob Sonntag on 10.16.2016, posted with his permission

If the scriptures are adamant about one point, it is that all of us must come unto Christ and be saved. If they say a second thing, it is that there is only one very specific path back to Christ’s presence. Romans 10 says that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” as preached by a messenger sent by God. If someone is not sent by God, or if they deviate from God’s word, their message cannot produce faith, no matter how zealously it is believed. In Mosiah 4 we find that the miraculous response to the repentance of King Benjamin’s people came “because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which King Benjamin had spoken unto them.” Saving faith could only come “according to the words” given by God. Christ said of his commandments given in the Sermon on the Mount: Whosoever, therefore, shall break one…