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Showing posts from July, 2016

The Truth is Repugnant

Truth causes two reactions in people who recoil. The first reaction is to recoil because what is revealed is hard.
...the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. (Isaiah 16:2) Most are familiar with this reaction. This was the reaction of the rich person Jesus commanded to give away his possessions.
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22) The second reaction is to recoil because what is revealed seems immoral. Nephi believed the Spirit's request to kill Laban was immoral:
And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. (1 Nephi 4:10) I don't meet many who recognize that they would recoil from something that is true because it seems wrong. We seem to assume that we have the capacity to discern between good and evil, e…

Plural Marriage

For the sake of this post, polygamy is defined as the practice of a married man marrying another woman as a result of God's command.

For whatever reason, I see constant online debates on this topic. It is, in my opinion, a depressing showcase of modern individuals' inability to engage in dispassionate rational thought.

In order to dissect an issue, we have to settle on what we are actually talking about.
Here are the big questions: 1) Is polygamy a sin?
2) Can God command people to practice polygamy?
3) Is it essential for salvation?
4) Should I be a polygamist?
Is polygamy a sin? If polygamy were a sin, we would not have any (even one) examples of saved men who were polygamists. Yet, we know that Abraham and Jacob, both polygamists, are saved men. Therefore, polygamy cannot be a sin. This is not the same as saying that polygamy is required for salvation (see below). Can God command people to practice polygamy? The law of Moses commanded men to take to wife the widow of their …

The reason that we will be destroyed

We are told that translated beings, such as John the Revelator, do not feel pain beyond the sorrow felt for the sins of the world. (3 Nephi 28:38) This sorrow is not just felt by those who are translated, but by any minister of Jesus who allows God to use them to attempt to dispense blessings to others. Yet, the vast majority of the time, the gift offered with be rejected.

Why is it rejected? For the most part, in order to receive a gift, a person has to recognize the source of the gift (God) and the purpose of the gift (to help them). Yet, the wicked take to the truth to be hard.
...the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. (1 Nephi 16:2) They don't recognize truth. They don't recognize the hand of God. They don't desire things that are right, and therefore don't see the offered gift as something that will help at all--at least not help them get what they want, which is almost always physically impossible.
...ye have sought all the…

Revelation 12

Many are confused by the Book of Revelation. I once asked God why he bothered making end times prophecy take up so much space in the Bible if it was going to be so confusing that no one could understand it. He said it was intentionally written cryptically and scattered across so many pages so that people would have to come to him to understand it. With such a great proportion of the Old Testament in particular containing end times prophecy, you'd think Bible believers would spend more time trying to unlock it.

Ignorance has not stopped many authors from writing about it. Of the many essays and books I've seen on end times prophecy, I have yet to see anything reasonably correct. You are better off spending your time in scriptures. Despite the seemingly slow response of the Lord when you pray and ask him what it all means as you attempt to unravel hundreds of pages of prophecy, you will gain FAR MORE in truth than you will be going to something written by someone who has no idea…

Charity never faileth

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
(2 Peter 1:5-7)
This list of attributes is a sorted description of a stairway to becoming like Christ. The list is ordered. While it is true that each attribute can be experienced out of order, each attribute is harder to obtain and deeper in nature when the preceding attributes are obtained first. While more detail on this is given in context of the attributes described below, a simple analogy is that of a runner. Running is so simple that a toddler picks it up shortly after learning to walk. However, there are many situations that can make it difficult enough that adapting to them is more like learning a new skill than an expansion of an old one. The toddler has to adapt when it gains weight. It has to adapt when attempting running with …

Trading chains

As more and more people wake up to how their present understanding of religion is a stumbling block that keeps them from Christ, they will encounter a decision point as they decide where to stop in their shift away from institutional orthodoxy.

From one master to another Unfortunately, many if not most will not point their needle towards Christ. Instead, they will mistake freedom from false traditions and the commandments of men with freedom from God's commandments. They mistake reckless abandon for freedom in Christ. In reality, their newfound freedom from any law will keep them from Christ at least as well as the commandments of men did.

This is nothing new. For at least a few thousand years, those brought out of false tradition were tempted with adopting the bondage of a new false tradition. Paul taught:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
Peter had to remind his converts th…

The role of true messengers and those who hear them

There is still a lot of confusion about the mechanism of salvation. Though we read and understand that Christ and Christ only is the gateway to salvation, we still struggle to understand what that means.

What does it mean that Christ is the only way to be saved? Does it mean that we can use him to be saved like a man uses a hammer to build a house? Is he our tool? The scriptures suggest quite the opposite.

But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
A potter does not merely create but also finishes his works. If salvation comes through Christ, it comes through yielding our hearts to him--completely and fully. That is how he can finish us without violating our free will. Believing in him is not a practice of mere confession with the lips, but of yielding our hearts. And it isn't a vacuous, passive position.

You can't yield your hearts to someone you don't know. Knowing Jesus requires seeking …

Trust No One; Believe All Things

I used to wake up tired and hungry. I now wake up so full of energy that I could jump through a wall like the koolaid man. "Oh yeah!!" What's the difference? I cut carbs down to almost nothing and drastically increased the fats I eat. Ive lost two inches off my waist without being hungry once, and haven't slowed down on my weight lifting. I have not had a before after blood panel, but I would not be surprised if my blood metrics are the best they've been in more than a decade.

Almost every accomplishment in my life underscores one axiom: be skeptical. Don't trust the conclusions of others. Instead, look at their observations, perhaps conduct your own experiments, and come to your own conclusions. You will achieve far more than the advice givers because your conclusions will be based on factual observation, not tradition or hearsay.

Shifting to an observational basis is not easy. Even most scientists have failed to make that transition. It requires a constant …