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Showing posts from August, 2020

Slaves shall rise up against their masters

It is interesting to note the demographics of people who are participating in the riot "protests" across the country. Many are not from the place where the protest is held. Many are on drugs. Many are unemployed. Many have criminal records. Many are armed (many illegally). They tend to be from the lower economic class. They tend to be young. They tend to not have kids. These people tend to be concentrated in cities.  These people are not from a specific group. Though they have been adopted by the democratic party, their ideas do not align with the platform of that party, even with the radical shift that has occurred in the last decade or so. The democrat party has seemed to adopt these people on the grounds that they are the new generation. The have thrown some bones to these people, but their platform doesn't match with what these people believe. These people are united only by the fact that they are motivated by envy, rage, and victim-mentality. They are heavily indoctr

Why people don't grow closer to God

10 Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. 11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. 12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. 13 And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal. 14 Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy. 15 For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me. 16 Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hear

Obey what you have to get more

While looking for something this morning, I reread this: 11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. 12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. (D&C 98) God says here very clearly that the way to obtain more is to obey what you already have. This is how you prove you are ready for more. Don't do anything you think is wrong, and do everything that you think is right.  Expect him to change your perspective by adding good things and removing things that are not the best. This is how you witness to him that you are ready for more light and truth: having been true and faithful to everything he has given you so far. In the very next verse, he tells us how this path will always lead a person away from their previous self-identity: "And whoso layeth down his life in my cause,

Hope to failure

Hope is a very important principle. It is what allows us to exercise trust in God to push through the challenges we have here. It is what enables us to exert effort contrary to the resistance this world provides. It is what enables us to exercise faith (belief unto action) in spite of the fact that we do not yet see the outcome we seek.  I know a lot of people who are afraid to hope. They are afraid to dream. They play it safe. Out of fear of being disappointed, they don't dare hope for something better.  A bodybuilding legend once said: "Achieve failure." If you want to build muscle, you have to train to the point where your muscles fail, or can no longer lift weight. If you stop short of this, you won't trigger the greatest possible growth. Failure to fail is failure to grow. When it comes to hope, we ought to achieve disappointment. If we are not disappointed, how can we know if we are losing out by not hoping enough?  How often are your hopes dashed? I live in con

The civil war is more than a civil war and it is here

The first civil war in this country was one region and ideology against another. There was a geographic separation and a largely homogenous agreement among people in each region. This allowed the war to be a traditional one, with a delineation between soldiers and civilians, with battles occurring in specific places at specific times. A second civil war has begun in the United States. This war will be unlike the previous one, because it is strictly heterogeneous. It will cut across geography, political parties, friend groups, coworkers, and families. It will dismantle every institution of human association in this country by driving a wedge right through it.  The reason is that the "great division among the people" (2 Nephi 30:10) is not about the ideas that people hold. It's not about politics or police or racism or poverty or pedophilia or any of the other issues people think this is about. It's about the process of evaluating truth and the willingness to live it. T

Blessed are those who believe before they are compelled to be humble

Contemplating how the Lord has already set his hand to fulfill everything he said he would do in the last days, and lamenting how so few have noticed, I wrote the following on Facebook: "The Lord's sheep hear his voice. It is astonishing to see just how many who claim to be sheep are as deaf as they come. Show them new truth, and they cast it aside as if it were of no worth, even when it is the precise answer to what they've been asking God for. How exactly do you think he is going to get to you? Hypocrites, fools, and liars." One person replied by saying that he expected the Lord to get to him as was done "in 1st century Book of Acts, confirm the word with power and miracles."  I explained that while that is coming, and in greater proportion than anything ever known on this earth, that those present now are being given an opportunity to receive a greater blessing through accepting the invitation of the first wave, which has come as a still, small voice reve

Shoot a communist, save a life

A friend of mine recently asked how such bad things like Pol Pot's massacres could ever happen. Upon reflection, I noted how Pol Pot's ideology--the idea of equality of outcomes as possible and/or noble--drove him to see any cost as worth paying to obtain it. The costs eventually included the death of more than 25% of his countrymen and the abuse of far more. Rather than throw up our hands in the face of unfathomable evil, we ought to break it down to cause and effect and analyze whether, as individuals or a society, we are anywhere near the same thing. Most people--including supposed Christians--are woefully ignorant of the roughness of Jesus. I have made the case here, elsewhere, and will make the case again in the future. One reason we perceive him as rough is because we do not have the same view of cause and effect as he does. He sees much more, and what he sees is much more accurate.  Humans tend to eat up promises like an end to human suffering and universal equality. Som

Reality yields to tenacity

You reap what you sow. Reap what you sow doesn't mean everything will happen how you expected when you planted the seeds. When you sow seeds, you'll notice they have a germination rate. Some seeds never sprout. You might have to reseed with better seeds. Or you might get a different plant that you thought because many seeds look similar. You reap what you sow because God is perfectly just, meaning everything and everyone is subject to the same laws of cause and effect. It doesn't usually work out the way you thought because he knows those laws to a much greater accuracy than you.  The more you seek him, the more he will show you what those laws are, and the more you will begin to see reality as a menu where you get to choose what you want and you obtain everything you are willing to pay the price for. Reality yields to tenacity like rock yields to water. If you develop your faith in God--your trust in him and your willingness to do unbelievable things because of your trust

What grace is

There is a popular poem about footprints in the sand where a man sees the events of his life played back as a path through sand. He notices that during the hardest times there is only one set of footprints and the Lord tells him it was at those times that he carried him. This is a nice sentimental poem, but it is false. God will never do for us what we can do for ourselves. His purpose is for us to become like him, and his character is to only do what benefits us. Any interpretation we might have of his actions must fit this purpose and attribute. We also know that God never gives a commandment without giving you the capacity to obey it perfectly. Everything you know about God comes with the ability to follow his example.  Grace is not when God does for you what you are unwilling to do for yourself. It is not the magical flow of blessings to you in absence of fulfillment of the conditions for them appointed from before the foundation of the world. Some contend that this is heresy, deni

The key of the brother of Jared

Here is the cryptic verse that describes how the brother of Jared penetrated the veil:  Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and he did minister unto him. (Ether 3:20) There have been many attempts to expound what his "knowledge of God" consisted of. After all, "because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil." (Ether 3:19) What did the brother of Jared know? He knew that God "speakest the truth...and canst not lie." (Ether 3:12) He knew that God has "all power." (Ether 3:4) He knew that God does those things that benefit the world (see Ether 3:4). He knew that God is impartial and perfectly just. "O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires." (Ether 3:2) If you want experiences like the brother of Jared had, you have to know these things.

Obvious signs of the times

Here are some things I've heard people say: "Yeah, I know God sends prophets, but there are so many imposters." "[Insert random thing here] is the mark of the beast! Don't get it!" "I hope the Lord comes soon and saves us from all of this." There are many parts of end times scripture that are cryptic. This is intentional. God will reveal those parts in plainness. However, even now there are a bunch of parts of these passages that should be abundantly clear. The only excuse we have for being as confused as we are is utter laziness when it comes to reading what we have received. How do you expect something so important to come to you when you've done basically nothing to study it? Make a list of everything you have spent more time on, and realize how little right you have to pretend you care at all about what God has said about what is and what will be. Here are some very obvious things that you can assure yourself have not yet happened, and whic

Respect for Joseph Smith

Who do you know who: Being raised in one faith tradition, would consider totally different ideas? Growing up in poverty, would not try to sell gold plates? Being of humble origins, would allow God to convince him that he had a special and important work to do? Who do you know who could stand in the presence of the Father and the Son? Or, as odd as it seems, the even greater glory of Peter and James, since as disembodied spirits they would not be able to shield their glory from him? Who do you know that could endure the consistent persecutions he faced, including from his closest friends and relations? Joseph failed to bring Zion. But that was never his mission, anyway.  I have charity for Joseph Smith. He was a valiant man who stood and did what God needed to be done at a time when he was, without a doubt, the only man alive who could have done it. I am not sure there has ever been any member of any of the several churches founded after his death that could have done it. Truly, the lab

Cut yourself off from God with this one neat trick!

The other night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, the Lord spoke to me and revealed a significant piece of information regarding something I had prayed to know about for years and years. I got up immediately and wrote it down, then laid awake for hours thinking about the significance of what he had said, which shattered many preconceived notions I had on several topics. Joseph Smith said: "When any person receives a vision of Heaven, he sees things that he never thought of before." (WOJS Bef. Aug 1839) Moses said: And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. (Moses 1:10) The Holy Ghost is a revelator, and you can't commune with God without him revealing things to you. One huge reason so few learn anything from God is because they insist that anything revealed to them must fit compl

A principle of love

 Think of someone you love: a parent, a spouse, a child. Imagine some contrived situation where you had to choose whether to trade their life for the life of many. Would you do it? Unless you are a very odd person, you wouldn't. You would let those other people die in order to save the life of your loved one. The Father loved the world enough to give the life of his Son for it. Not one person among those who were saved and will be saved through that sacrifice is as great as Jesus. Can anyone love anyone more than the Father loves the Son? How can the greatest love we know of do things that what you call love would never do?  The only possibility is that what you call love is less than what the Father and the Son call love. The strongest bond that can exist between two people is the bond of total alignment with reality, as known and revealed by God. Everything God does is designed for the greatest benefit to the world. Not the benefit of any single individual.  In other words, throu

My soul did long to be there

When ministered to by someone who knows more about him than they do, some people turn to God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength. What begins with a willingness to believe grows, line upon line, into unshakable trust in God (see Alma 32). And "having all these witnesses [they] obtain a hope, and [their] faith becometh unshaken" (Jacob 4:6). For them "what would it be like to gaze into heaven" is not a rhetorical question. They knew what that was like. We know the names of some of these people. Adam knew what it was like to be in God's glorified presence. Enoch knew. Moses knew. Elijah knew. Alma knew. John the Revelator knew. And the three Nephite apostles. All of these people, and some besides, were taken in their bodies, which were translated to a purer form, to heaven in glory.  Can you imagine what it felt like for them to return to this earth? Can you imagine how it would feel to have a sure knowledge of the joy and goodness of what awaits there

Fighting Satan

This post will be concise, but it will contain treasures. Pay attention. Satan's power is based on faith, just as anyone else's.  Faith is belief unto action. It is based on ideas about cause and effect coupled to reasons to believe. The more reasons, and the more predictive the ideas, the more power you have. There is a non-negotiable process for accumulating power. There is also a non-negotiable process for losing it.  Losing power consists of: -Adopting beliefs that are incorrect or incomplete. -Observing contradictions to your beliefs. The contradictions rob you of the confidence that is required to exercise power. When you doubt, you will not act, and when you don't act, you can't exercise power. How to take down Satan One of Satan's beliefs is that mankind will not trust God sufficiently to obey him completely. When people exercise complete and sustained submission to God coupled with insatiable searching for more information about him, they overcome all thing

Missing the mark

This morning I am overwhelmed with a desire to sell all I have and move my family to Africa to support an orphanage, and never return. And yet my heart is torn to pieces because God has asked me to do something else instead. It seems like the norm to seek glamorous callings from God. Those who do so err greatly because they don't realize that the real thing is not glamorous at all. Being a servant of the Lord does not get you fame or fortune or renown; it gets you reviling, rejection, and most times death. It does not get you companionship but rather loneliness. It does not get you riches but rather costs you dearly. What it does give you is the opportunity to suffer in behalf of those who do not deserve it and will not make sufficient use of it to justify what it cost. If that is what you desire more than anything, then and only then are you ready to drink the Lord's cup and be his servant. Those who seek the glamorous callings envy what they do not really understand. If they