Monday, October 3, 2016

One Who Brings Zion Must Be Redundant

True messengers must avoid priestcraft. However, it is not enough to avoid priestcraft. One must also avoid idolatry. Certain practices encourage idolatry, while others discourage it. Regardless to the response of others, true messengers must no only avoid control, they must also actively seek to make themselves redundant.

Every true messenger's goals are to bring individuals to Christ and to make themselves redundant. You cannot do the former without accomplishing the latter, because if others need you in order for them to access God, they do not yet know him themselves. Once you being to attempt to access God yourself, you do not rely on anyone else to get to him (though you can still benefit from additional light and truth through them).

As long as you rely upon another to access God, you are an idolator. Being an idolator has consequences. In the best case, the messenger you idolize is true. Even then, you are limiting yourself to the light and truth this man possesses, instead of the light and truth God possesses. In fact, according to God, you are limited to telestial glory.

Why was Moses able to surpass Jethro in light and truth? While he was willing to listen to Jethro, he did not limit himself to what Jethro said. He recognized what Jethro said as one potential source of light and truth among many. He did not make Jethro his intermediary with God. While Moses managed to avoid idolization of Jethro, but the followers of Moses failed to avoid idolization of Moses: even those who were faithful to his teachings (Joshua and Caleb) failed to surpass him in knowledge and power.

We avoid idolization of a true messenger by scrutinizing everything they say or do. The point is not to judge the person, but rather to filter what they offer by asking God directly about it.

A good litmus test is to catalog what portions of a person's ministry you disbelieve. If you have encountered a significant quantity of material from a messenger, and have not detected any mistakes, chances are you are idolizing them. If you automatically parrot anything a particular person posts or says, chances are you are idolizing them. If you do more to hear or visit a particular preacher than you do to others making equal claims of inspiration, chances are you are idolizing them.

A true messenger seeks to be redundant. Even Christ's ultimate goal is to be redundant. When he finishes his work, those the father has given him will be joint or co-heirs. They will have just as much power with God and knowledge as Christ himself has. They will no longer be subordinate to him or rely upon him for salvation.

When Zion comes, all will have a knowledge of God.

"Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:8, Mosiah 12:22, 3 Nephi 16:18, 3 Nephi 20:32, Mosiah 15:29).

"Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye..." (Doctrine and Covenants 84:98).

"And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth his hand and said: The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just." (Mosiah 16:1).

Throughout history, the question of who has brought Zion has the same answer as who has made themselves redundant. Moses did not train his people to access God themselves (though he tried). His people failed to achieve Zion. Joseph Smith failed to train his people to access God themselves. His people failed to achieve Zion because they did not learn to access God themselves.

Zion will consist of those who have their own independent knowledge of God. It will be brought by someone who has managed to make themselves redundant.