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Fruitless churches and the silly people satisfied by them

Christian churches indulge in such bitter fights over differences in doctrines. Which church displays the power that Jesus demonstrated and which he promised all those who believe what he taught? Not one.  3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord— 4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. 5 And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; 6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there i

Emailed questions about end times and destruction

The hyper-focus on avoiding suffering Sometimes I'm asked for insider tips. Where should I go, what should I do, etc. etc. Sometimes these questions are about avoidance of suffering. Much of the Christian world believes that they will be raptured and thus avoid the calamities of the last days. People from a Mormon background have a very similar idea in their imaginations of how Zion will come to be. All of them are dead wrong. The price of admission to God's kingdom is everything you have to give. If you are privileged enough to get there, you will be lucky to still have clothes on your back when you do. The sacrifice of all things is not figurative. It not merely spiritual or temporal. It is both, and it is a tiny little hole that you can only squeeze through by leaving behind everything you value that is not fully aligned with and subordinate to God. Hopefully this establishes two truths: 1) there are no shortcuts to Zion, and 2) if you are struggling with simple things right

A psalm

Some things are so deep that the most appropriate thing you can do is say is nothing at all. Some things are so deep that not even silence is sufficient. Today, in honor of the Lord's goodness, and on this first day of the Hebrew New Year, I want to share something I recently wrote, even though it is woefully inadequate: Who will declare The beauty, truth, and goodness of God? He is all beauty, Wherever it is found, From the innocence of youth To the triumph of the abundant life well-lived. He is all truth No matter to what it pertains Or in whom it is found. He is all good, the epitome of virtue, and the fullness of love. His saturating goodness infuses each of his numberless creations, Permeated by who and how he is in every aspect of their being. They unknowingly proclaim his character in their every act to those with eyes to see. But even his endless works are insufficient to describe him. He is the strength of the weak, The hope of the hopeless, The healer of the broken, The r

A true story that teaches about approaching Jesus

I had someone close to me remark that they wish they'd lived in Jesus' time so that they could know him personally in life. I could not withhold what God was telling me to say: "No, you don't. I've watched you react to much lesser lights, and if you don't like those people and situations, you REALLY wouldn't like Jesus!" My grandfather was a profound and upright man. He was more like Jesus than most anyone I've met in many ways, yet most people who knew him thought he was an arrogant jerk, and really didn't like being around him. He lived most of his life estranged from relatives that should have been very close to him and treasured him the most, including people he had made tremendous sacrifices for. I have five siblings, but there was a break between the four older and two younger kids. The older four, of which I'm the second, all had the opportunity to go work for my grandfather in the summers. I watched each of them join up, and each of

Follow Jesus out of the trench: Go charge into the bullets

For the past week or so, I have been struggling in attempts to concisely describe a jumble of themes, in hopes that--somehow--I could help someone drop a scale or two off the veil that separates them from perceiving more of God's love for them and more of God's light already present (though undetected) all around them. Most of the billowing swirls have landed in snippets in as-yet unpublished books, but here's one I think is ready to be released. You have no doubt met a particularly intelligent, attractive, artistic, or otherwise exceptional person. Something stirs within us when we interact with people who have some facet that extends beyond what we are accustomed to, and towards the ideal of God. I'm not sure how explicitly anyone thinks about these things. I think that, in most cases, the response is mostly undetected, and even if considered, doesn't go much farther than concluding some people are "born that way," and moving on. The adversary tries very

How the sausage is made: writing books via incremental revelation

I wrote this about two months ago, and it seems the time has come to post it. In our modern lives, we are immersed in the idea that any idea worth hearing can be expressed in less than 255 characters, or in an eight second video. Sometimes ideas of great worth can be expressed in such brief moments, but more often, ideas of significance require significant time to adequately convey. There is worth in what others do to to obtain, refine, and share such ideas. But that contribution will always be limited to what they can do, since everyone is limited in time. There is also great value in learning how to do this yourself. To this end, I would like to share with you the process of how I write my books. I believe that this process is how we obtain and apply light, no matter what the task or the domain. The books are primarily written very early in the morning and sometimes late at night. Each night, I spend the time just before bed reading the scriptures. Usually, this reading entails "