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Showing posts from October, 2020

Take it more seriously

I received related messages from two different people. Paraphrasing, one said he was rereading one of the books I've written and learning a lot that he didn't see the first time. Another said that he doesn't really get the things I write until after he sees someone else talk about them, then comes back to them. I want to say some things about how all of this works. First, I want to tell you that every day I have a tremendous desire to shout the things I have been taught from the rooftops because it is a tremendous thing to know the value of these things yet be surrounded by those who do not yet have them. I am inhibited in my desire by the daily realization of the harm it would cause to do so. You might be confused by that seeming contradiction. In the briefest terms, when light is revealed, it changes things. Here are the changes that happen: 1) Those who are willing and prepared (those are two different things) to receive the light will be catalyzed to become and obtain m

Priests failing to distinguish between the clean and unclean

The Catholic pope recently endorsed same-sex marriage . The Catholics are not the first so-called Christian sect to do this, and they won't be the last. The issue here is not same-sex marriage. It is the endorsement of sin and the allowance for people to remain in the sect's church while in sin, which is contrary to the Lord's commandments. The idea that you can willfully sin and still remain in a Christian church is a relatively new one. In Mosiah 26 we read that it was the first time that people openly disobeyed the commandments and still thought they could remain in the church Alma had founded. It was so plainly understood that you have to actually repent to be baptized into the church that they had never had to deal with it before.  Alma inquired of the Lord, and the Lord replied: 27 And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them; and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 28 Therefore I say unto you, that he that will n

Unwearyingness

If you feed an organism, it will reproduce.  Most men have wicked hearts. Almost everyone, in fact. If you feed them, they will just use the energy to produce more evil.  Resources magnify whatever is in a person's heart. If you make a righteous man a king, he will use those resources to bless people more than he otherwise could. If you give those same resources to a wicked man, he will oppress mankind far more than he could have as an individual. Today's world features unprecedented resources. Instead of using them to bless mankind, we use them for pleasure at the expense of others. Interestingly, what is a great snare for almost everyone is precisely what is needed for the righteous to do what no one else has done since the foundation of the world.  Think of what Elijah, Moses, Noah, and John the Baptist had at their disposal. Do you realize what they could have done with the food, shelter, climate control, transportation, and internet we have? Nephi was commended by the Lord

Family associations offer light beyond worthiness, but that light is mostly rejected

Some--if not all--churches preach a supremacy of the family unit. For some reason, they teach that one's spiritual relationship with God is a function of one's relationship with family members. The scriptures teach quite the opposite. One's standing with God is a function of what degree of heed and diligence one exercises in seeking and living his light. While that light can and does come through family members, it almost never comes from parents to offspring, it is almost never shared between spouses, and it is almost never received by parents or siblings from children. Familial relations start with a tremendous advantage. Unfortunately, the challenge of overcoming the tendency to ignore bold signs of greater light often proves too much. Jesus said: "And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:36) He also said: "The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter

What benefits the most?

How do you determine what is right, when all options are on the table? The question is always: what benefits the most? Often, what benefits the most is not trivial to calculate. Without other information, that which you least want to do is usually what you ought to do. But not always. Benefit must be measured in more than normal terms. It isn't just about the greatest quantity of benefit. Sometimes, the worth of something is in its rarity.  For example, suppose you are evaluating whether to keep associating with a group of people: your church, your friends, your family, etc. Maybe it isn't the the quantity of teachings God is sending from you to them that are of the most worth. Maybe it is the fact that you are the only one willing to suffer what is required to endure to get it to them. Maybe your willingness to suffer beyond what others would is producing fruit in this individual that could be had in no other way. No matter how infinitesimally small or glacially slow, the rari

Vigilant?

Every time you see a news article about some new debauchery, ask yourself what principles have to be in play (or have to be broken) to enable that event to happen.  These things have consequences. Modern, complex society  cannot  endure the erosion of the principles that built it, and those principles are gone. A British officer in charge of the weapon systems on a nuclear submarine showed up stone drunk to his shift. You could write this off as a solitary example. But it isn't solitary. British culture has taken a nosedive over the last 40 years. If it wasn't this guy, it would have been someone else, and the examples aren't limited to submarine commands. The examples in the USA are much more numerous and common, and the problem is the same. The first world has wholesale abandoned the principles of reason. We will reap the consequences. It will happen over time, and anything noticed "all at once" will just be because of a catastrophic incident, not because of som

Willing to receive all things

 God can do all things, but he can't do all things in all ways. The source of his power is his awareness of and submission to the laws that describe immutable reality. This is why he tells us "it must needs be done in mine own way." (D&C 104:16) There is no other way. The Lord possesses all things, and he desires to give us all things, but we can only receive them "in [his] own way." If you do not have what he has, the reason--the only reason--is that you are not yet willing to receive the way he has to give them to you.  Each and every thing God has to give you has a path associated with it: 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 121) It is the tragic experience of God's servants to witness the never-ending folly of people who implore God to give them wh

The easy way and the hard way. Obey the first time.

 The Lord's way is not to provide an easier way when you fail to obey him the first time. The Lord always sends the easy way first.  When you disobey, it will only get harder. This is true in the big and in the little things. If you sin by disobeying the first instruction, it will only ever get harder to do the right thing. When you turn away from the first instruction, he will help you by exposing you to more of the consequences of reality. Because you are contrary to his instructions, which align with reality, you will incur more of the penalties for acting contrary to reality. These can be steep, and they are always more than what you had to contend with before he instructed you. God's instructions come to protect you from the consequences of your ignorance of reality. When you disobey them, you are taking upon yourself the consequences of your ignorance. The consequences will always surprise you because, by definition, you didn't know them before.  We see the pattern of