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Showing posts from October, 2023

Email: A definition for justice

The email Rob, what do you think God means by justice? I am making a correct definitions document and I read so much about his justice. For example, how Isaiah says we are condemned for not upholding it also how it is spoken of in the Sermon on the Mount. My response First, I would suggest adopting the phrase “useful definitions” in place of “correct.” You’ll find the Lord has much more room to open your eyes when you explicitly acknowledge the permanent limits of language.  Second, a useful definition of justice is “that which is deserved, based on God’s understanding of cause and effect.”

Email: The Lord told me my family would be taken away for a time

I received a treasure of an email from a friend this morning. I've had to remove a bit of personal details, but I hope it still proves useful to others. The email I know the words of the Lord will only benefit me and lead me to where I want to go. [Once, I was] reading in a lesson the conversation the Lord had with Satan about his relationship with him.  “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” (Job 1:9-11) What a profound question.  "Does Job fear God for nothing?  The way I read that is would I follow the Lord for when you don't get a temporal reward?  Then I had a thought, would you love your wife if you didn’t have any reward.  What if everything you value in that relationship was remo

Do LDS leaders have keys?

What are keys? A key is information that brings into understanding ideas that were previously unknown or misunderstood, just as a physical key consists of a set of teeth whose shape and position provide access to whatever the lock protected. Keys provide greater wisdom to understand and explain what is unknown or misunderstood, greater power to achieve God's will on earth as it is in heaven, and greater strength to overcome what would otherwise overcome you. God's covenant can't be separated from his keys The Lord told the children of Israel that those in his covenant would be shown marvels beyond anything done by others in the earth: And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. (Exodus 34:10) Wherever his covenant exists, his wisdom, power, and strengt

A comment on LDSFF

Someone wrote a comment on YouTube that I'll respond to here for higher visibility. Comment: There has been a discussion of this over on LDSFF. Most consider it that you have now gone over to priestcraft or are now on the path of Denver Snuffer setting up a splinter ministry. I feel you are accomplishing good work and I don't see what you are doing as being about you. I'm not interested in becoming a follower of Rob Smith, BUT I am interested in becoming a better follower of Jesus Christ, and you have helped me do that. Thank you. Response: If there is a person who finds that something I do helps them better understand or live like Jesus, then great. I do not see value in anyone paying attention to anything I do outside of that. However, most Christians do not live so as to maximize what they know about Jesus and how much they live as he would in their place. Many people, including at least some on LDSFF, would rather spend massive amounts of time gabbing about things that

Thoughts on Jordan Peterson's "Maps of Meaning"

What seems an eternity ago, I began reading Jordan Peterson's Maps of Meaning. The book still sits in a pile beside my desk. The cover is now stained and the edges worn, not so much through reading, but as an indication of its tenure in my to do list. Many have remarked on the difficulty of this book, written when Peterson was a young social science academic in the unnecessarily obfuscated language needed to check the boxes of academic acclaim. I agree with this observation and claimed cause. To it I add a few personal peculiarities. 1) I have spent multiple years of accumulated time developing the ability to describe ideas, which includes formulating representations and receiving aggregated knowledge from God. The most clear analogy I have for this process is either the creation of galaxies or a spool of cotton candy. I don't know which is clearer. Like all organic capabilities developed in us through intentional, repeated exposure to the carving hand of God, this is a gift th

A comment on taking donations

Here is an email I received: I watched your video the other day about taking donations. I’m still processing and don’t know exactly what to think about it. For a long time I’ve tried to persuade people I know to stop listening to “preachers” who are paid to preach to them. I’ve turned off multiple YouTube channels the moment they put their hand out and call for donations. I always felt safe in this position because I could point to people like yourself who are doing a great work without any compensation. Maybe I was wrong to hold that position. I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. For the time being I am not planning to turn you off since the teaching of the Lord that have come through you have been an enormous benefit to me (although I readily admit to not following them enough.) Any how, as I said, I’m still processing this. I hope I am making sense.  Here is my response: First and foremost, thank you for your candor and honesty. It's hard to give a fair shake to new

The night cometh where no man can work: an example.

The Lord said: I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4) The Lord's works in his mortal ministry were to always do what the Father would do in his place. Our work is to always do what he would do in our place. Every moment of life provides us with the opportunity to learn and live God's will by learning and living what he would do in our place. The precise content of our work depends on the seemingly infinite variety of our specific situation. While we are all different people in variously different situations, as we face the same direction, our behavior and experiences will converge on Christ. As we wend through life, we will face opportunities that will not come again. So many moments are so much more important than we believe. Every moment of life is precious, and none will come again once passed. Two examples focusing on the example of physical aging While the directionality of our decisions is true and ap

Q: "What would God say to my bishop or stake president?"

The following comment was posted on YouTube: This has stuck with me, “God has enough scribes, he needs more witnesses, you can’t be a partial witness.  You have to be who you really are, or you will impede the Spirit of God!” How would the Lord be a witness to the bishop and stake president?   I was surprised when I went to talk to the bishop the approach he took.  He wanted to argue with me.  I had presented an 8-page paper on my reasons for leaving the church, most of it was quoting scripture and repeating ideas from your book, Commandments Of Men.  He said it sounded like “anti-Mormon” material.  I guess the scriptures can be viewed that way.  He also wanted to know WHY I would do this.  My decision came as a shock, he was blown away, especially since I have a missionary in Germany currently.  “Are you angry with God?  Have you committed some great sin?  Are you following some anti-Mormon person online?  Are you going to start your own church?”  I said NO to all his questions.  He s

Religious LARPing: When the real thing comes

When I was a kid, there was a popular game for Nintendo called Mike Tyson's Punchout . In this game, you were a little man fighting a procession of boxers--some real, some made up--until you fought Mike Tyson. Luckily for 80's kids, the graphics of the game were bad enough that no one had the illusion that their success in Punchout predicted how successful they would be in real fights with the real fighters portrayed there.  Imagine someone thinking that a scrawny little man could face and win against Mike Tyson in his prime. Imagine someone who thought that their game strategy and finger dexterity accurately predicted how they'd fare against Mike Tyson in the ring. Such a person would be so delusional in these things that you could rest assured that their entire lives would overflow with the same. You could accurately predict them to be a trainwreck in many facets of life. Suppose that game became popular in a time when graphics were much better. Suppose it came out on a

A wise woman who has what she wants and wants what she has

I have a few friends who I correspond with once in every great while. I really appreciate the lenses these people provide to me. Recently, I had the opportunity to check in with one who is a woman in her second half of life. I always appreciate her candor. Email She wrote (details obfuscated to preserve anonymity): "You have mentioned several times in videos about middle aged women having regrets about their life choices. I can honestly say that I don't regret my choices. I don't regret getting married at 19. I don't regret quitting college to get married. I don't regret having [many] kids and not a career. I don't regret marrying the man I did. I don't regret moving out of [a big city to a small town many] years ago. I don't regret separating myself from [the church I grew up in], even though it causes my heart to ache." I responded: "I am very glad to hear that you are happy with your life decisions. It sounds like you are part of the rare s

Has the end of the world been delayed?

Q: "I know I'm crazy, but I wonder if sufficient repentance has been offered to the Lord and 'the end' has been delayed, it's been kicked down the road a little farther and a kind of transformative, societal healing is actually on the horizon.  I was wondering if you could weigh in with your thoughts when you have time." A: This is a difficult comment to address without answering the question of why the end times happens in the first place, which would require a book with a lot of prerequisite information besides. As far as a can-kicking of the end times goes, this is as concise as I can get: 1) Time is the transition from one state to another, or the period between one set of conditions and another. We think of time as fixed, precise periods, but that's just because our perception is lousy enough to mask the irregularities. 2) There are several related processes that bring about the end times. They are all already underway. The only way more time can be s

Sincere questions are a blessing, not a nuisance

Those of us who spent time in the LDS church have been drilled in this verse, yet few actually live it: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5) This is a great example of a scripture that says something very different in the ancient languages than it does in any modern translation into English. Here is the Greek. In this verse are embedded many elements that instruct us on how to ask the Lord and get answers. This is an immensely important skill. It's unfortunate that the English translations are not very adequate in conveying this. How might you say it better? Here's my present attempt: If any of you lack wisdom, ask it from the God who gives. To him who gives all will all be given. Ask sincerely, with real desire, prepared to receive whatever he says without criticizing or rebelling against it, and he will abundantly answer.  (James 1:5, My Reflection) One of the harrowing aspe