Thursday, October 27, 2011

WILL we ever get it? (Part 1)

(CAPS, color, bold, etc. are my emphasis throughout)

“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.[1]
I am Jesus Christ; I came by the WILL of the Father, and I do his WILL. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 19:24)

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own WILL, but the WILL of the Father which hath sent me. (New Testament John 5:30)

… These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the WILL of the Father. … (Doctrine and Covenants Section 31:13)

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the WILL of him that sent me, and to finish his work.[2] (New Testament John 4:34)

Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the WILL of the Son being swallowed up in the WILL of the Father. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 15:7)

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be WILLING, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my WILL, but thine, be done. (New Testament Luke 22:41-42)

…, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the WILL of the Father in all things from the beginning. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11:11)
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[1] From the LDS Hymn book (1985), # 116 Come Follow Me (Text: John Nicholson, 1839-1909; Music: Samuel McBurney, b. 1847)
[2] What is that work? “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Pearl of Great Price Moses 1:39)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WILL we ever get it? (Part 2)

(CAPS, color, bold, etc. are my emphasis throughout)

Then let us in his footsteps tread, …[1]
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy WILL be done in earth, as it is in heaven. … (New Testament Matthew 6:9-10)

And he [Jesus] answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the WILL of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (New Testament Mark 3:33-35)

Let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake; for whoso layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again. And whoso is not WILLING to lay down his life for my sake is not my disciple. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 103:27-28)

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye WILL, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear[3] much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (New Testament John 15:7-8; notice the pre-conditions and the many other scriptural clarifications. )

Behold this is my WILL; ask and ye shall receive [my WILL?]; but men do not always do my WILL. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 103:31)

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the WILL of God, ye might receive the promise. (New Testament Hebrews 10:36)

And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you WILL in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask; (Doctrine and Covenants Section 50:29-30)

Blessed art thou, Nephi, … [thou] hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my WILL, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my WILL. (Book of Mormon Helaman 10:4-5)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, WILL of God. (New Testament Romans 12:2)

And if ye seek the riches which it is the WILL of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, FOR ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 38:39)

Yea, I know that God WILL give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God WILL give me, if I ask not amiss; … (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 4:35)

For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my WILL—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 76:10)

“…, the submission of one’s WILL is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual WILLS be swallowed up in God’s WILL, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 24)

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the WILL of God abideth for ever. (New Testament 1 John 2:17)
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[1] From the LDS Hymn book (1985), # 116 Come Follow Me (Text: John Nicholson, 1839-1909; Music: Samuel McBurney, b. 1847

[3] Notice it says, “bear much fruit”; not “be given much fruit.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WILL we ever get it? (Part 3)

(CAPS, color, bold, etc. are my emphasis throughout)

“While trav’ling thru this vale of tears?”[1]
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, WILLING to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 3:19)

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 9:28-29)

Wherefore, my beloved brethren [and sisters], reconcile yourselves to the WILL of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 10:24)
And what is the will of the devil and the flesh? What does this Lucifer ask Adam and Eve in the LDS temple drama?[4] He asks “What is it you want?” Is that not the very question the “Prosperity Gospel” asks? The very focus of the Law of Attraction? What is it YOU want? What is YOUR WILL? YOUR wish, YOUR dream, YOUR fondest desire? Wasn’t that the substance of the Three Temptations? “I can GIVE YOU anything you could possibly need or desire. … Look to me because I’m the one with the material goods. I’ll come through for you. You can have anything in this world.” A fixation on “GIVE ME”?[5.a&b]

Yet all the while, the adversary’s goal is to captivate the shortsighted soul. Remember Jabez Stone and Daniel Webster? Remember Faust? For in the strange paradox of life, those who give their WILL to God shall be added upon[6] (trusted with increasing powers?) while those who pursue their own worldly WILL (without repentence), will lose because they cannot be trusted even with what they have.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (New Testament Matthew 10:39)

And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 60:3)
What a subtle twist we have fallen into—preached now from too many pulpits—that God is there to do OUR WILL. Just ask Him. Get in the right frame—the right wave-length of attraction—the right flow of the universe. Then the riches of the world will flood into your life. And if they don’t, it’s your fault; you haven’t gotten in sync, yet. But don’t be discouraged. Keep at it. Buy our books and DVDs. Attend our courses and lectures. Talk to God. Talk to yourself. Talk to us. (Just don’t run this “my will” through the prism of scripture though! Don’t read too deeply about the apostles and prophets or the Son of God! Their lives don’t exactly reflect OUR more attractive reality. It’s a great mystery! That’s why we don’t mention it!)

Even if we claim, our chief motive is to give back to God, or “our neighbor”, or the universe, is it really so? Or are we an enriched version of the church at Ephesus, becoming so distracted by our second love (of riches?), we forget there was even a first love before riches?[7] Thinking our sacrifices in service, our donations to deserving causes, our tithing of temporal blessings constitute full measure (and running o’er) of all that is required? OR are we already déjà vu Nephites?[8]

WILL we ever get it that we are on a proving ground?[9] That we are not wise enough, faithful, charitable, disciplined, enlightened, just, nor visionary enough to know what is best in the eternal WILL and plan of things[10]?

WILL we ever get it that our daily plea must be:
… thy word must be fulfilled. Help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them: Thy WILL be done, O Lord, and not ours (Doctrine and Covenants Section 109:44)?[11]
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[1] From the LDS Hymn book (1985), # 116 Come Follow Me (Text: John Nicholson, 1839-1909; Music Samuel McBurney, b. 1847)

[2] What is that work? “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Pearl of Great Price Moses 1:39)

[3] Notice it says, “bear much fruit”; not “be given much fruit.”

[4] While teaching some of these concepts on discipleship to a Relief Society group, this insight was brought to my attention by a perceptive class member.

[5.a] AND I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore GIVE ME thine honor. But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy WILL be done, and the glory be thine forever. Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should GIVE unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Pearl of Great Price Moses 4:1-4)

[5.b] Of course, God gives us things also, but His goal in giving gifts (and trials) is for our growth, not our obsessions. The gifts He prefers to give—even directs that we ask for—are spiritual gifts, as in 1 Corinthians 12 and Doctrine and Covenants 46 (v. 8 “… and that ye may not be deceived SEEK YE EARNESTLY the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;”). Proverbs makes it clear: “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired ARE NOT TO BE COMPARED TO IT. … Riches and honour are with me; yea, DURABLE RICHES and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.” (Old Testament Proverbs 8:10-11, 18-19)

[6] And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever. (Pearl of Great Price Abraham 3:26)

[7] “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (New Testament Revelation 2:4-5)

See also: “Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you. But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (Book of Mormon Jacob 2:17-19)

[8] And if ye seek the riches which it is the WILL of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old. (Doctrine and Covenants Section 38:39)

[9] And we will prove them herewith, to see if they WILL do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; (Pearl of Great Price Abraham 3:25) And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the WILL of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:21)

[10] But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:24)

[11] Author’s concession: Of course, some may be rich and living in perfect harmony with God’s WILL, but the margin is so slim, it should keep one awake at night, reviewing one’s day. God and his prophets don’t get much more superlative than “wo, wo, wo” as in Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 28. And from my opinionated opinion, this includes the Church of the Laissez-faire ( http://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2011/03/econ-009-church-of-laissez-faire.html )

NOTE: a very insightful article on a 3-fold test for discerning the will of God in one's life can be found in the last three paragraphs of the article "32. Jacob's Departure From Haran: Genesis 31" at http://pbministries.org/books/pink/Gleanings_Genesis/genesis_32.htm

Friday, October 14, 2011

How long?

(Reader’s caution: Perhaps this writer has read Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, & the Book of Mormon too many times! Now juxtaposed against the latest pundits!)

How long till seeing we see, hearing we hear, and reading we understand? Reviewing the dismal records of past “chosen” peoples,[1] shouldn’t we, in this latter-day, exercise extreme caution in attaching ourselves to philosophies and precepts of the world, especially economic ones. Ask yourself: What is Babylon (the archenemy of Zion) if not our present corrupted capitalism? READ HER DESCRIPTIONS.[2] She is NOT the failed scarcities of socialism and communism that many conservatives decry with such passion and naiveté. Yes, naiveté, because the decoy is so transparent when one identifies the ways and means and agendas of Babylon. Many “conservatives” beat the drums of fear about “European socialism,” while touting the “rights” and wonders of global markets (wrapped in free-flowing camouflage). But at core, we have a global plutocracy that maligns and manipulates governments, scorns rules and regulations,[3] claims special status as BIG employers, pollutes, cooks books and tax shelters, lies, steals, abuses, wounds, enslaves, etc., etc., etc.

The hook-line-and-sinker avowals of faith in conservatism, capitalism, and (so-called) free-markets fall so readily from the lips of so many Mormons (and other Christians), it is stunning. Almost as stunning as that “believers” should think Fox News employees and similarly-scripted pundits (all beneficiaries of Babylon?) are prophets of truth and defenders of freedom.

Babylon loves such prophets. They distract—gesticulating at the flat tires of socialism while Babylon pick-pockets in broad daylight. These “prophets” malign protestors who gather at B.’s banks and temples (of commerce). These “prophets” deride those who seek to assert their “bill of rights” vis-à-vis the faux-persons of corporate dominance and power/wealth concentration. These “prophets” peddle their fake brands of fairness, balance, freedom, merit, constitutionalism, corporatism, and righteousness.

How long will we play the fool AND the harlot as investors and debtors in Babylon—praying that someday soon the doors of promise will open to admit us into the higher ranks of “following the profits”?

How long will we look to such false prophets (and profits)? How long will we be suckered by Babylon’s propaganda? How long till we start to use our heads and think beyond the dogma of big business and finance? How long till we befriend the Constitution so that it belongs to all mankind[4] instead of to wealthy, powerful faux-persons[5]? How long till we remember the divine directive:
Let not that which I have appointed be polluted by mine enemies, by the consent of those who call themselves after my name; (Doctrine and Covenants Section 101:97, emphasis added)?
See also: http://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-we-serfing-yet.html

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[1] Jaredites, House of Israel (remember there were 12 brothers so Judah wasn't alone in receiving/deserving chastisement!). Remember also those broken-off branches: Mulekites and Nephites/Lamanites. “Chosen” is used in the sense of chosen: 1) to deliver messages to the world of faith, hope, charity, and truth; 2) to be an example of those virtues to others; and 3) to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all places. "Chosen-ness is not just a claim of religious peoples. Remember the sense of  “manifest destiny” of such empires as the Roman, the British, etc.
[2] e.g., New Testament Revelation 17 & 18; compare with Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 13:4-9, 25-34; 14:10-13.
[3] (except those they lobby for, for their own welfare)
[4] "And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free. Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn." (Doctrine and Covenants Section 98:5-9)
[5] http://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2011/02/econ-005-person.html
 
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