Thursday, June 16, 2016

#6: FLAGS*


How to Save Everyone?

Before the creation of this world, we understand that there was a pre-mortal council where the Father's plan received some offer of correction by one called Lucifer. Lucifer apparently offered to save everyone so that “not one soul shall be lost”1 whereas the Father's plan contained a risk (via moral agency) that some would fail the plan for progression. Typically, we have seemed to think that the adversary (of God's plan of agency) meant to compel everyone to obey God's rules or, at least, to do and be good, but as the frequent fate of mortal tyrants2 should have taught us—force requires a vast army of enforcers and considerable risk of rebellion and coup. Even with propaganda, bullying, trauma-based mind control, medications, implants, and other technologies, individual will remains a volatile factor. This is not to say that psychopaths might not imagine total control is in their power, but perhaps there are other less onerous schemes that Lucifer might have imagined to save everyone.

Here are two possibilities:

   1) Do away with Law
Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (New Testament | Romans 4:15)

... sin is not imputed when there is no law. (New Testament | Romans 5:13)

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:25)

Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment? (Book of Mormon | Alma 42:17)

Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? (Book of Mormon | Alma 42:19-21)

And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them. (Doctrine and Covenants 45:54)

And if ye shall say there is no 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. (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:13)

For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing— (Book of Mormon | Moroni 8:22)
   2) Endless Re-Cycling

In this “salvation,” all the failures must repeat the test until they finally get it right. In short, re-incarnate until one is worthy to be saved. It might take forever, but if time is not an issue or a pressure, then theoretically everyone could be saved given enough endless “time.” This seems to be one of the teachings of the “Ascended Masters”3 that many new- and old-age mystics encounter during meditations and seeking experiences. For example:
In the Ascended Master Teachings, Ascended Masters are believed to be spiritually enlightened beings who in past incarnation were ordinary humans, but who have undergone a series of spiritual transformations originally called initiations. ... ¶¶ It is believed [by whom?] that Ascended Masters are individuals who were formerly embodied on the Earth and learned the lessons of life during their incarnations. They gained mastery over the limitations of the matter planes, balanced at least 51% of negative karma, and fulfilled their Dharma (divine plan). An Ascended Master, in such an understanding, has become God-like and a source of unconditional "Divine Love" to all life, and through the Ascension has united with his or her own "God Self," the "I AM Presence." ¶ It is further claimed by various groups and teachers that the Ascended Masters serve as the teachers of mankind from the realms of Spirit, and that all people will eventually attain their Ascension and move forward in spiritual evolution beyond this planet. According to these teachings, they remain attentive to the spiritual needs of humanity, and act to inspire and motivate its spiritual growth.4
Note the belief “that all people eventually attain their Ascension and move forward in spiritual evolution.”

So what do we make of all this similarity and co-opting/tweaking by the adversary of spiritual truths? How do we discern between the teachings of ascended masters / light workers and the Holy Ghost and true messengers?

And what do the scriptures say about everyone being saved? Don't they tell us that everyone can be if they will repent and do the will of God, but that many will not and will thus be judged and rewarded according to the things that they were willing to receive?
And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:32)
So once again, I find myself uneasy with the salvation concepts of Denver Snuffer—with the required cycling to attain to the “prototype of the saved man.” I don't think such cycling is supported in scripture or in Joseph's words—not even the King Follet discourse. This cycling concept reminds me too much of some of the teachings of those alleged “ascended masters.” I do not yet know enough to judge Snuffer's experiences, but I feel an uneasiness about his cycling/re-cycling teachings.5

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*This is number six in the FLAG series intended to encourage us in these last days to apply these words of wisdom and warning:

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
▪ Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son, and also in the Father. … These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (New Testament | JST 1 John 2: 24, 26)
▪ False prophets[†] always arise to oppose the true prophets[†]and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 365)

[†] Note: I am not purporting to know for a surety who is false or true in this latter-day, because, as the Lord told Joseph: “you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter” (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:37). And since my peace comes in writing and in trying to “prove ALL things,” I share in these FLAGS things that concern me, hoping that they might help others who are also seeking for the discerning spirit. And since we have been repeatedly warned about the “arm of flesh,” I try to measure ALL latter-day voices and traditions against the Word of God, as best I can.

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1. Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:1 ~ 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.
2. Niccolò [Mock]iavelli ? at http://dejavu-times.blogspot.ca/2014/02/niccolo-mockiavelli.html
3. “The Ascended Masters presently serving Earth humans are largely those Souls that lived numerous lives on Planet Earth ... successfully completed the Initiatory Process as demonstrated to us by Jesus during his last incarnation on Earth and by which he achieved ascension to higher levels of consciousness. They are our elder brothers and sisters in whose footsteps we are to follow by graduating from Planet Earth's Schoolhouse. ¶ In the words of Elizabeth Claire Prophet in her book CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: The Path of The Higher Self: "Those who become Ascended Masters are immediately enlisted in world service as emissaries of the Most High. Whereas before the ascension, they were instruments of the Holy Spirit at outer levels, they now function as His instruments at 'inner levels,' using the combined Light momentum of all other Ascended Beings to implement the plan of God--Above and Below. Their ministrations mightily assist their unascended brothers and sisters in finding their divine plan and in humbling themselves before their own Divine Identity.” ... Our earthly pathway to ascension involves utter dedication to completing the mission given to us by Mother-Father God. Working with us on this mission will be our Twin Flame who is most often on a higher dimension. ... ¶ Ascended Master Jesus and Ascended Lady Master Mary of Magdala (now called Nada) are examples of individuals who worked together on Earth in accomplishing the mission given them as Twin Flames. Quoting Elizabeth Claire Prophet: "Through such dedicated lifestreams [humankind has] been given insight into the nature of the soul, the purpose of life, and the science of being. Once they had completed the task which the Father sent them to do, many of these holy men and women departed this earth plane, ascending into the Presence of God--into the Consciousness of God. They are known as Ascended Masters precisely because through sacred communion and service to Life, based upon the complete surrender of their human identity patterns, their consciousness became one with His prior to their reunion with the God Self [or I AM PRESENCE]. From this level of complete identification with God, these holy ones continue to illumine with an expanding awareness of God's Mind their brothers and sisters who have not yet graduated from Life's schoolrooms upon this and other planets. Therefore, in our consideration of consciousness we shall look to these teachers who, while yet maintaining contact with [humankind], live and move and have their being in the Great Sea of God's Consciousness; for they have approximated more of God's consciousness than all who remain in the unascended state.” (Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div. at http://www.pathwaytoascension.com/teachings/intro.html; footnote references omitted in this quote.)
“The teachings of Helen Blavatsky include a group of souls who allegedly earned their right to ascend and return to Earth from time to time as teachers, or just teach from a higher plane of existence. It's all part of human evolution in the alchemy of time. These theories had merit back in the day, but it's the second decade of the 21st century a time to move beyond 19th century thinking and realize the hologram of our reality is ending.” masters. (From: http://www.crystalinks.com/ascendedmasters.html)
4. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascended_master
5. From my understanding of his writings as noted in http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/05/4-flags.html ; http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/05/5-flags.html


Monday, June 6, 2016

Discernment?*


A great (déjà vu) dilemma is how to discern what is evil-speaking, deception, guile, etc. and what is truth. Here is what Joseph Smith had to say:
TPJS:202 ~ It is evident from the Apostles' writings, that many false spirits existed in their day, and had "gone forth into the world," and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise—for "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." ¶ The Egyptians were not able to discover the difference between the miracles of Moses and those of the magicians until they came to be tested together; and if Moses had not appeared in their midst, they would unquestionably have thought that the miracles of the magicians were performed through the mighty power of God, for they were great miracles that were performed by them—a supernatural agency was developed, and great power manifested.

TPJS: 203 ~ "Try the spirits," but what by? Are we to try them by the creeds of men? What preposterous folly—what sheer ignorance—what madness! Try the motions and actions of an eternal being (for I contend that all spirits are such) by a thing that was conceived in ignorance, and brought forth in folly—a cobweb of yesterday! Angels would hide their faces, and devils would be ashamed and insulted, and would say, "Paul we know, and Jesus we know, but who are ye?" Let each man of society make a creed and try evil spirits by it, and the devil would shake his sides; it is all that he would ask—all that he would desire. Yet many of them do this, and hence "many spirits are abroad in the world."

TPJS: 203 ~ One great evil is, that men are ignorant of the nature of spirits; their power, laws, government, intelligence, etc., and imagine that when there is anything like power, revelation, or vision manifested, that it must be of God.

TPJS: 204-205 ~ Every one of these professes to be competent to try his neighbor's spirit, but no one can try his own, and what is the reason? Because they have not a key to unlock, no rule wherewith to measure, and no criterion whereby they can test it. Could any one tell the length, breadth or height of a building without a rule? Test the quality of metals without a criterion, or point out the movements of the planetary systems, without a knowledge of astronomy? Certainly not; and if such ignorance as this is manifested about a spirit of this kind, who can describe an angel of light? If Satan should appear as one in glory, who can tell his color, his signs, his appearance, his glory, or what is the manner of his manifestation? Who can detect the spirit of the French prophets with their revelations and their visions, and power of manifestations? Or who can point out the spirit of the Irvingites, with their apostles and prophets, and visions and tongues, and interpretations, etc. Or who can drag into daylight and develop the hidden mysteries of the false spirits that so frequently are made manifest among the Latter-day Saints? We answer that no man can do this without the Priesthood, and having a knowledge of the laws by which spirits are governed; for as no man knows the things of God, but by the Spirit of God, so no man knows the spirit of the devil, and his power and influence, but by possessing intelligence which is more than human, and having unfolded through the medium of the Priesthood the mysterious operations of his devices; without knowing the angelic form, the sanctified look and gesture, and the zeal that is frequently manifested by him for the glory of God, together with the prophetic spirit, the gracious influence, the godly appearance, and the holy garb, which are so characteristic of his proceedings and his mysterious windings.

TPJS:205 ~ A man must have the discerning of spirits before he can drag into daylight this hellish influence and unfold it unto the world in all its soul-destroying, diabolical, and horrid colors; for nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God. Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. Long pilgrimages have been undertaken, penances endured, and pain, misery and ruin have followed in their train; nations have been convulsed, kingdoms overthrown, provinces laid waste, and blood, carnage and desolation are habiliments in which it has been clothed.

TPJS: 205-206 ~ As we have noticed before, the great difficulty lies in the ignorance of the nature of spirits, of the laws by which they are governed, and the signs by which they may be known; if it requires the Spirit of God to know the things of God; and the spirit of the devil can only be unmasked through that medium, then it follows as a natural consequence that unless some person or persons have a communication, or revelation from God, unfolding to them the operation of the spirit, they must eternally remain ignorant of these principles; for I contend that if one man cannot understand these things but by the Spirit of God, ten thousand men cannot; it is alike out of the reach of the wisdom of the learned, the tongue of the eloquent, the power of the mighty. And we shall at last have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance. The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves "in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth," and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.

TPJS: 206-207 ~ A man must have the discerning of spirits, as we before stated, to understand these things, and how is he to obtain this gift if there are no gifts of the Spirit? And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation? "Christ ascended into heaven, and gave gifts to men; and He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and Teachers." And how were Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists chosen? By prophecy (revelation) and by laying on of hands—by a divine communication, and a divinely appointed ordinance—through the medium of the Priesthood, organized according to the order of God, by divine appointment. The Apostles in ancient times held the keys of this Priesthood—of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, and consequently were enabled to unlock and unravel all things pertaining to the government of the Church, the welfare of society, the future destiny of men, and the agency, power and influence of spirits; for they could control them at pleasure, bid them depart in the name of Jesus, and detect their mischievous and mysterious operations when trying to palm themselves upon the Church in a religious garb, and militate against the interest of the Church and spread of truth. We read that they "cast out devils in the name of Jesus," and when a woman possessing the spirit of divination, cried before Paul and Silas, "these are the servants of the Most High God that show unto us the way of salvation," they detected the spirit. And although she spake favorably of them, Paul commanded the spirit to come out of her, and saved themselves from the opprobrium that might have been heaped upon their heads, through an alliance with her, in the development of her wicked principles, which they certainly would have been charged with, if they had not rebuked the evil spirit.
Can we learn something of wisdom and caution from these words? how subtle deception can be? how the adversary's chief game seems to be imitation (with a twist)?—a perfect recipe for confusion and deception.

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*Partial repost of footnote 11 at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/01/part-one-evil-speaking-discernment.html; and footnote 21 at http://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.ca/2016/01/part-two-evil-speaking-discernment.html
TPJS = Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976]

 
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