Thursday, March 27, 2014

From Whence ?


Where did the Prophet Joseph Smith get his “simple points” of faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end, power and authority, church establishment, etc.? Was it:
▪ from Walter Scott, Barton Stone, Alexander Campbell, Sydney Rigdon, Parley Pratt, et al.?
▪ from translating, reading, studying the Book of Mormon?
▪ from revelation?
▪ from some mixture of these?
I ask this question because several scholars seem to prefer the first option—the arm of flesh. So I offer a few Book of Mormon quotes (with many others in the footnotes*), and suggest: If the Book of Mormon is a translation of an ancient record (which I believe it is), then these “déjà vu” principles / doctrines / elements appear to come from a time much earlier than the 1800s?    (All bold emphasis has been added to the Book of Mormon quotes.)
Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me. And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved. Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 31:8-18)

For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come— Telling them of things which must shortly come, that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made known unto them beforehand, to the intent that they might believe; therefore as many as believed on the words of Samuel went forth unto him to be baptized, for they came repenting and confessing their sins. (Book of Mormon Helaman 16:4-5)

And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven. And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and he gave unto them power to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water. And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11:21-28)

AND it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am. And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 12:1-2)

And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of these sayings, he touched with his hand the Disciples whom he had chosen, one by one, even until he had touched them all, and spake unto them as he touched them. And the multitude heard not the words which he spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the Disciples bare record that he gave them power to give the Holy Ghost. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 18:36-37)

And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to baptize and to teach as many as did come unto them; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus were filled with the Holy Ghost. And many of them saw and heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful to be written. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 26:17-18)

And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 27:19-20)

... and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost. (Book of Mormon 4 Nephi 1:1)

And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church. (Book of Mormon Moroni 7:31-39)
So perhaps we should “judge better things of” the Prophet Joseph and his colleagues than to assert that the arm of flesh had more to do with informing “principles, elements, and ordinances” than the voice of God. Perhaps the real origin is with ancient prophets, revelation, and yet to be revealed “Brass Plates.”

For more on this blogger’s notion that the economy of Heaven favors déjà vu, see the non-exclusive hypothesis post at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2014/01/first-last-in-between-or.html

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* Additional Book of Mormon scriptures re faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end, power and authority, church establishment, etc.:

And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 13:37)

Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen. (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 22:31)

And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And if they will not repent and believe in his name, and be baptized in his name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 9:23-24)

And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 26:13)

For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith. (Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 27:23)

Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 8:18)

And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 18:13)

And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church. And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 18:17-20)

Therefore, Alma did go forth into the water and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma. And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 25:18-19)

And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive. For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name; and him will I freely forgive. (Book of Mormon Mosiah 26:21-22; see also Alma 5:62, 7:14, 9:27, 49:30, 62:45; Helaman 3:24; 5:17-19; 3 Nephi 7:26)

I, Alma, having been consecrated by my father, Alma, to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, behold, I say unto you that he began to establish a church in the land which was in the borders of Nephi; yea, the land which was called the land of Mormon; yea, and he did baptize his brethren in the waters of Mormon. (Book of Mormon Alma 5:3)

AND now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church. And it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church who repented of their sins were baptized unto repentance, and were received into the church. (Book of Mormon Alma 6:1-2)

Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance. (Book of Mormon Alma 8:10)

Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. (Book of Mormon Alma 36:24)

Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni; for they did preach the word of God, and they did baptize unto repentance all men whosoever would hearken unto their words. (Book of Mormon Alma 48:19)

... but as many as were converted did truly signify unto the people that they had been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which was in Jesus Christ, in whom they believed. And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed; and they did show forth signs also and did do some miracles among the people. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 7:21-22)

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 9:20)

But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given—they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 28:18)

come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 30:2)

And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant; and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen. (Book of Mormon Mormon 7:10)

And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shall ye give it, for thus do mine apostles. Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost. (Book of Mormon Moroni 2:2-3)

AND now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins. And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end. And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. (Book of Mormon Moroni 6:1-5)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Are we listening?


(OR: What are our TWO* ears for?)

Over the years, I have read several times of women who have felt or who feel oppressed and distressed by priesthood authority and by the first temple endowment covenant. I’ve read and know of women who have endured years of abuse after temple marriage (similar to a recent Ensign article, March 2014: “Hope and Healing after Divorce”); and I wonder: Would it make a difference IF we really listened to the first endowment covenant?

At some early point in my temple attendance, I came to have a sense of empowerment and responsibility in hearing the words of that covenant. They are not words of absolutism. There is no promise of blind obedience. No call to abandon one’s integrity, equality, or right to consult the Spirit or the word of the Lord when concerns, questions, or conflicts arise. No. The clear call to women is to exercise righteous judgment when one ear conflicts with the other. We are to KNOW and HEAR the word of the Lord and to measure all other counsel against it. (That goes for men too, within the hierarchy of the Church.) We are to stand for truth and righteousness, at all times and in all places (even and especially in our homes and marriage relationships). God does not ask us to suffer the exercise of unrighteous authority in marriage relationships in silence. We have a responsibility. The principles of Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-46 are as true in application to the marriage relationship (to both men AND women) as to priesthood and church governance:
... when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen. No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; (Doctrine and Covenants Section 121:37-43, bold emphasis added).
Here are some relevant quotes I have used before:
George Q. Cannon: Do not brethren [and sisters], put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president. If you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support is gone; but if we lean on God, He never will fail us. When men and women depend on God alone, and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him, and not in any man or men. (George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, 53:674)

{This blogger’s comment: If these words apply to the highest authorities, then how much more to husbands? Cannot the vagaries of marriage relationships tutor both men and women in attending to the voice of the Spirit more quickly than any other way (if we will only listen)? What better way could God have devised to bring two beings from differing family cultures closer to perfection (or not!), than to ask them, in a marriage relationship, to let go of their conflicting traditions and perspectives in order to see eye-to-eye** via His word?]

Samuel Richards: "We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do anything that they were told to do by those who preside over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of God...would despise the idea. Others in the extreme exercise of their almighty authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves." (Apostle Samuel Richards on Nov. 13, 1852, recorded in the Millennial Star, 14:393-395, bold emphasis added.)

(More comment: Read this in terms of women and the marriage relationship. When we remember the function of both* our ears, we know this counsel applies equally to women.]

George Teasdale: I understand that all men and women are their own agents; and I do not know a worse degree of slavery than to be afraid to think for yourself and speak what you believe. (Apostle George Teasdale, Conference Report, April 1901, Second Day—Morning Session 34-35.)
On the other hand, this is not a call for women to become the authorities or authoritarians. Rather, it is a reminder that in every appointment (or exercise) of power, there needs to be a check and balance. Thus, when things are going awry in a marriage, the check and balance is faith, hope, charity, and righteous judgment via the personal voice of the Spirit and the Word of the Lord (particularly D&C 121:34-46). Our traditions and culture may sometimes seem to dictate otherwise, but the covenant words are clear—hearkening is conditional. Do not suffer in silence, when your obligation is to be an honorable check and balance.

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* If you have forgotten, take time to do some temple initiatory.
** Doctrine and Covenants Section 84:98 ~ Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, ... (bold emphasis added).

Friday, March 14, 2014

Natural or Unnatural ?

(Trying to unpack the words)

Every so often, my Christian friends wax patriotic about Natural Law, and I have to take a time-out to calm myself. Here’s why:

1. In individual and corporate application, Natural Law, despite its various romantic definitions, often looks and acts like the Law of Nature.1

2. When you live near a wilderness (or anywhere, for that matter), you quickly observe that The Law of Nature is “red in tooth and claw,”2 as in
fight or flight
kill or be killed
survival of the fittest
survival of the most cunning
eye for eye, tooth for tooth
might claims right
prides and packs
competition
hording
theft
ambush
zero-sum
domination
oppression
suppression
war
abuse
etc.
3. In our world of opposites and opposition,3 “red in tooth and claw” is an opposite—one first chosen (and romanticized4) by a chap named Cain.

4. Yet, many believers (in likeness of many non-believers) seem to run their businesses and achieve their prosperity as if the Law of Nature were the chief and only law.

5. The Law of Nature is the law favored by the Natural Man; and this is the word on the natural man:
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 [an unnatural man?] 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).
And here is an example of the Natural Man:
And many more such things did [Korihor] say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime. And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof. (Book of Mormon Alma 30:17-18; See also footnote 5.)
6. Natural Law is also oft equated with Natural Rights, except, these so-called, “Natural Rights” of life; liberty (freedom of speech, religion, association, press; etc); and the pursuit of happiness don’t seem to be very natural, as in: usual, normal, ordinary, expected, likely, etc—especially considering the déjà vus of history and the blood spilt to get or keep them. (Just ask Iranians, Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians, Koreans, Russians, Americans—North & South, Chinese, et al. al. al.) So, could we stop calling our Rights “Natural”! How about Innate? There is a vast difference—chasm size—despite the equated synonyms. But no, that doesn't feel quite right either. Maybe the best word is Human Rights.

7. The Law of Nature (or what is deemed Natural) is not the source of “Human Rights”; rather, it is the nemesis. No one gets to freely exercise “Human Rights,” UNLESS the-powers-that-be transcend the Law of Nature / Natural Law into a Higher Law that honors “Human Rights.” (Just ask the world’s refugees, citizens of tyrannies, employees of out-sourced factories / farms, persecuted minorities, survivors of genocides, or pretty much anybody who observes the world.)

8. When “Rights” are touted as being grounded in the Law of Nature or Natural Law, it tends to encourage and justify the “ME-MINE” mentality romanticized by Ayn Rand’s Objectivism6).

9. The Law of Nature in the grip of the “rational7/natural” man becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, “pulling the wool” to justify disparity, avarice, inequity, excess, and all that stuff in 2 above;

10. The opposite of “Natural Law” (each creature/man for himself) may perhaps be termed “Unnatural Law” (love / respect for thy neighbor as thyself). Just observe the Natural Law of the average 2-year old or corporate CEO; or ask Ayn what is unnatural? (Could she mean altruism?) Or ask God. Strange as it may seem, Ayn and God seem to agree that altruism is unnatural the Natural Man.

11. In short, all life is protected and prospered in their Human Rights only when “eye for eye”8 is transcended by “eye to eye”9—the Law of Nature transcended by the Law of Love.

12. Alfred, Lord Tennyson said it poetically:
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed.
(From Canto 56)10
So, how about we “believers” get over our infatuation with “Natural Law” and all its confusions, conflations, and justifications and work toward the “Unnatural Law” of :
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (New Testament Matthew 22:37-39); and
[B]ehold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth; But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also; And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away. And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good. (Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 12:38-45)
And let us be more conscious in observing ourselves and our favorite pundits. Do our / their words, views, and actions favor the Law of Nature or the Law of Love?

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1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_law
2. From Canto 56 of In Memoriam A. H. H., 1850 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_Memoriam_A._H._H.
See also Thomas Hobbes, “State of Nature” and “war of all against all” observations at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hobbes (under “Leviathan” subsection).
3. Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:11-30 ~ For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first–born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God. And if ye shall say there is no [Divine?] law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth. And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth. 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. And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom. I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.
4. Pearl of Great Price Moses 5:33 ~ And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.
5. Book of Mormon Helaman 12:4-7 ~ O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world! Yea, how quick to be lifted up in pride; yea, how quick to boast, and do all manner of that which is iniquity; and how slow are they to remember the Lord their God, and to give ear unto his counsels, yea, how slow to walk in wisdom's paths! Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide. O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
6. See http://www.dejavu-times.blogspot.ca/2014/03/me-me-mine.html or
http://www.dejavu-times.blogspot.ca/search/label/AynRand
7. A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationality ) This blogger's comment: And the self-serving reasons, goals, solutions for holding to the “Law of Nature” seem endless. Just ask the boys and girls on Wall Street, all their investors, and the proliferating HyPEs (Highly Paid Employees).
8. Old Testament Exodus 21:23-25 ~ And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
9. Book of Mormon Mosiah 16:1 ~ ... The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just.
Book of Mormon Alma 36:26 ~ For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.
Book of Mormon Mosiah 12:22 ~ Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion;
10. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_Memoriam_A._H._H.  Additional, enlightening Cantos by Alfred, Lord Tennyson are found in blog post “Earth & Sky” to supplement this second post of 14 March 2014.

Earth & Sky

Additional, enlightening Cantos by Alfred, Lord Tennyson to supplement the second post of today (14 March 2014) being Natural or Unnatural ? (Did he see by the Law of Nature or some Higher Law?)

from http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/In_Memoriam_A._H._H.
(in the Public Domain)

from office.microsoft.com
In Memoriam A. H. H.
by Alfred Tennyson

I envy not the beast that takes
His license in the field of time,
Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,
To whom a conscience never wakes; (from Canto 27)

But as [man] grows he gathers much,
And learns the use of ‘I' and ‘me,'
And finds ‘I am not what I see,
And other than the things I touch.' (from Canto 45)

And we shall sit at endless feast,
Enjoying each the other's good:
What vaster dream can hit the mood
Of Love on earth? He seeks at least

Upon the last and sharpest height,
Before the spirits fade away,
Some landing-place, to clasp and say,
'Farewell! We lose ourselves in light.' (from Canto 47)

Oh yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;

That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;

That not a worm is cloven in vain;
That not a moth with vain desire
Is shrivell'd in a fruitless fire,
Or but subserves another's gain.

Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last--far off--at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring. (from Canto 54)

Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;

That I, considering everywhere
Her secret meaning in her deeds,
And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear, (from Canto 55)

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws. (from Canto 106)

In tracts of fluent heat began,
And grew to seeming-random forms,
The seeming prey of cyclic storms,
Till at the last arose the man;

Who throve and branch'd from clime to clime,
The herald of a higher race,
And of himself in higher place,
If so he type this work of time

Within himself, from more to more;
Or, crown'd with attributes of woe
Like glories, move his course, and show
That life is not as idle ore,

But iron dug from central gloom,
And heated hot with burning fears,
And dipt in baths of hissing tears,
And batter'd with the shocks of doom

To shape and use. Arise and fly
The reeling Faun, the sensual feast;
Move upward, working out the beast,
And let the ape and tiger die. (from Canto 118)

Let him, the wiser man who springs
Hereafter, up from childhood shape
His action like the greater ape,
But I was born to other things. (from Canto 120)

No longer half-akin to brute,
For all we thought and loved and did,
And hoped, and suffer'd, is but seed
Of what in them is flower and fruit;

Whereof the man, that with me trod
This planet, was a noble type
Appearing ere the times were ripe,
That friend of mine who lives in God,

That God, which ever lives and loves,
One God, one law, one element,
And one far-off divine event,
To which the whole creation moves. (from the Epilogue)

 
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