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What is popular will not save you / Isaiah 58 reflection


A very quick note on a very important principle:
I can easily predict how popular or unpopular a video or blogpost will be before I publish it. The pattern is simple and reliable.

Things that get a lot of clicks:
- Predictions or descriptions of disaster.
- Anything related to polygamy.
- References to carnal commandments religions have incorrectly taught as the focal point of the gospel (tithing, drinking, garments, temples).
- References to ordinances/experiences-as-salvation (second comforter, calling and election, baptism by fire, etc.)

Things that do not get clicks:
- Gospel principles people are not living. For example, wisdom pertaining to how to raise your kids.

Here is an example screenshot from the current stats of a swath of posts from December. 

The very troubling aspect of this:

- The value of the posts tends to be inverse to the number of clicks.

- Almost all of my audience has children and is not doing what I provide an argument for with regards to their children.

As I have told you plainly and repeatedly: No amount of gospel trivia is going to save you. No amount of infatuation with your pet topics is going to result in a remission of your sins. And most importantly, no amount of distractions dressed up as the gospel is going to provide your children with what you are depriving them of.

God has placed you in positions where you have influence and responsibility with younger people. To the extent that you waste the connections to greater truth he has orchestrated in your life, the lack of progression in the lives of those younger people will rest on your head, and you will burn in eternal torment with a knowledge of the good you could have done, but would not.

These truths are deeply engrained in us as God's children, so that when we see depictions of them in media, they stir our souls. But this is not fiction. It will happen, and in that day you will know that what I am telling you is true.

What light exists in this place because you gave your body as a conduit to God? Who have you saved? How inconsequential your excuses will be when you look into the eyes of those you preferred your own comfort to. In that day, who will comfort you? 

If you knew what I know about what is valuable, what is, and what is to come, you would behave very differently than you do.

Those who treat lightly things of great value provided to them at a great price will be replaced with those who do not.

How trifling people are with their religious efforts.

1 Proclaim to my people and to the house of Jacob every single way in which they deviate from me, with the unassailable clarity and volume of a trumpet.

2 They piously pretend to seek me daily, as if they were deeply interested in becoming more like me, yet they routinely forsake my instructions. They delight in supplicating me for the blessings of righteousness, knowing full well they do not qualify for them, instead of seeking me to help them become more like I am, which is the requirement for the blessing they seek.

3 They say: Why don’t you hear us, even though we fast? Why do we bother to afflict our soul if you will not notice? See, even in your fasts you seek your own will continuously!

4 Do you not see how you use fasting as a way to feel superior to and argue with others, and not to learn of and become more like I am? Fasting is not a tool for subverting my will or dominating others, but for dominating your own will in submission to mine.

5 It is not a time for you to crush yourself through inflicting arbitrary suffering upon yourself—bowing down your head like a bulrush, spreading sackcloth and ashes under you—but a time to raise yourself up by coming closer to where I am through seeking to know more of how I am, and act more like I do.

6 My fasts are for you to repent of your willful disobedience, accepting the freedom I have bought for you, and using that freedom to lighten the loads you impose on others, to free those you oppress, and to break every one of the yokes you have laid for others to bear.

7 Fasting is much more than going without food. It is a time for you to freely and actively give to others what I have freely and actively given you. You do this literally by sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing the wretchedly poor into your home, clothing the naked, and caring for the needs of your family. You do this figuratively by going out of your way to distribute to others the character, wisdom, knowledge, love, and any other good, true, and beautiful thing I have so amply provided to you.

8 If you do these things, my light will begin to illuminate your inner darkness like the sun rising in the morning, and you will transmit the same to others. I will prepare your way, and you will follow me in righteousness as a beam of light shining my glory upon the world through doing as I would do in your place, in all things, continuously.

9 Cease your unrighteous oppression and judgment of others. Act according to my will instead of merely professing belief in me, and you will discover this eternal fact: I am forever found within the stream of what I have already told you about myself. Whenever you continuously come up to the example I have given you, you will always find me immediately when you seek me, because I will always be with you.

10 Seek to lift and amplify those who need what you have, rather than joining them in arbitrarily depriving yourself in self-inflicted  solo suffering. Before you did anything to deserve it, I have flooded your lift with the benefits you enjoy. As you flow to others the benefits I have so abundantly given you, especially when they have done nothing to deserve it, your light will rise from obscurity so thoroughly that even your darkness will be as bright as the noonday:

11 And the I will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and make your bones fat: and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58, Author's Reflection)