Skip to main content

Bringing you in on two quotes I find hilarious, and one I don't

Sometimes, people say things that seem like criticisms, but actually are affirmations. It always cracks me up, even though it's probably not funny to anyone else.

"From another country writing a book in English"

A really long time ago someone wrote this on an Amazon review of "Teaching for Doctrines," and it has stuck with me:

"...he is hard to read and I think it is the way he puts his sentences together. It is like he is from another country writing a book in English."


I was born in Baltimore, and though I was raised speaking a dialect people do not recognize as proper English, it is in fact my first language. 

However, I am vastly more fluent in the spirit than I am in English. I have spent much more time listening to and speaking that language. The spirit is a domain of ideas, and it is vastly more expansive than anything that can be conveyed in what we call words. It is so expansive that it can only be fully expressed by referring to processes--specifically, people who have refined the process of receiving, processing (sorry to use this twice, I don't know how else to say it), and acting upon these ideas with so little impediment that they can be said to be indistinguishable from the source of those ideas.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1)

The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth; (D&C 93:26)

When I write, I am taking ideas that span vast breadths of the spirit and reducing them down to the narrow confines of the intersection of limitations of the English language and the modern understanding.

Paul wrote this about Abraham:

9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11)

As we come to know God, we become strangers in a place that is no longer our home, speaking a language that is no longer native to us, preaching a gospel that attempts to convey what cannot be conveyed, in hopes to lead others to the place where they can hear and understand what can only be received through experience.

"Unfortunately the scriptures overwhelmingly support your view"

More recently someone wrote: "As far as I know you are the only person on the planet that teaches such a crazy doctrine (that it is possible to become sinless), but unfortunately the scriptures overwhelmingly support your view."

I am not the first person to have taught this, nor the only person presently doing so. As the writer stated, the authors of the scriptures overwhelmingly said the same. In our day, I received this teaching from Matt Crockett, and though I don't know what he's up to recently, there are others today who are publicly saying the same.

I think the phrase "unfortunately the scriptures overwhelmingly support your view" is hilarious. I laughed aloud when I read it. I totally get it. It doesn't quite encapsulate my reaction when Matt told me that repentance means forsaking all your sins, for good, forever. I instantly knew that this matched everything I had read in the scriptures, and all my experiences with the spirit, even though I had never realized it on my own. I felt terrible, because I should have recognized it on my own, but didn't. And I repented. 

On a more serious note, some people would think that when someone comes along speaking the truth, all faithful people will immediately cry "how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who proclaim salvation!" But that's not really the way it works. Sometimes, people throw palm fronds and clothing into the street to line your way, but most of the time they throw rocks instead, or remain silent while others do. The more valuable the truth, the fewer there will be who regard it as such, and the more negative the general response will be.

"[If you would just stick to the gospel, no one would persecute you]"

Not too long ago, someone told me that no one would have a problem with me if I just stuck to explicitly gospel-confined topics. It is probably no surprise to you that I have a problem with every component of that idea.

First, the gospel is not confined. It is everything. Anything that is not the gospel is not separate from it, but a subset of it. If you don't get that yet, whatever you think is the gospel is necessarily much less than the fullness. And that is sad. I don't mean that in a judgmental way. I am sincerely saddened whenever I see people who put in work thinking they are going to get out of it what they never will. I am sincerely saddened by the disparity between the wealth of what the Lord has shown and given me and the penury with which I see others satisfied.

Second, our willingness to live according to what we know (which absolutely includes having the courage to speak up and speak out when we know better than what we see or hear) absolutely limits what more we receive from God. As far as I know, there is only one valid excuse for staying quiet, and that is when providing lesser value would impede us from providing greater value. This is the exact opposite of what most people follow. For example, the many people who keep going to church knowing that this is problematic, convinced they are doing good while staying quiet, not realizing or not caring what greater good they would do if they fully lived what God has taught them.

Third, since the domain of the gospel is all things, the rule explained above applies in all things. When you willingly avoid an opportunity to do what Jesus would do in your place in calling out a lie or calling up to improvement, you will absolutely lose light in all other areas of your life. That is the way it works.

How serious is this? I once inquired of the Lord in behalf of certain brilliant (in the broadest sense of the word) people I know of. I asked him, "how can they know so much about these things in which they are expert--hard things; valuable things-- and yet be so far from the mark on other things? He instantly replied. He said: "[Honesty. They do not apply their gifts of reason and understanding evenly across all domains of life. Were they to do so, they would not only learn what evades them in the topics you have raised, but they would also learn even more in the topics in which they are expert, because their willful blindness in these other areas is an anchor that prevents them from progress.]" I'd say that is pretty serious.