Monday, January 20, 2020

The Proxy Question


Joseph Smith, Jr.*
Inasmuch as 2020 marks the 215th anniversary of Joseph Smith's birth, the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, the 190th anniversary of the organization of the Church, and the 180th anniversary of John Cook Bennett's arrival in Nauvoo, it seems a good time to raise this polygamy question:
“How many alleged marriages or alleged sealings to Joseph were done by proxy before his death?”
This seems a relevant and crucial question in light of:
SAN BERNARDINO, California,
December 31st, 1883.
Mrs. Mary Ralph being duly sworn, deposes and says: I lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, close to the house of Joseph Smith, just across the road, sometime. ... and I believe he was a true prophet of God. I was well acquainted with the two Partridge girls and the two Walker girls and their two brothers William and Lorin Walker, they were orphans, and all lived in the family of Joseph Smith, but I never knew they were any of them his wives; but I saw Susy [Lucy?] Walker in 1847 and she had a young baby in her arms,[1] she told me she had been sealed to Joseph for eternity[2] and to Heber C. Kimball for time, and Bro. Heber was acting proxy for Bro. Joseph. Dianthy [Diantha] Farr, daughter of Aaron Farr, told me she was sealed in the same way and W[m]. Clayton was acting proxy for Bro. Joseph with her. The first I ever heard of the proxy and sealing business was in 1846. Bathsheba Smith, wife of Geo. A., told me of it then.
MARY RALPH.
Sworn to before me this 31st day of December, 1883, W. J. Curtis, Notary Public in and for San Bernardino county, state of California.3 [Bold emphasis added.]
Of course the alleged Farr sealing could have been performed after Joseph's death as there seems no record of her as a plural wife, but could more proxy sealings like Lucy Walker's(?) have been possible during Joseph's life? This brings up the second crucial question: If there were such sealings, was Joseph aware of them? As far as we know he never wrote of them, and as to witnesses of alleged non-proxy marriages / sealings, how can we place full confidence in any of them with all the confusion of opinion, speculation, rumor-mongering, conflicting accounts, and motivated(?) memory (by both sides) that so plagued the early Church (even beyond the turn of the century)? And knowing our own memory failures, is it possible that years later someone could remember Joseph saying something promoting plural marriage when in fact it was something John Cook Bennett (or some other) had “shared” about what Joseph had allegedly said?

Perhaps the proxy question was explored by Joseph Smith III or others who interviewed some of the involved parties in later years, but so far in my readings, the above quote is the only reference I have come across about proxy sealings regarding Joseph and plural wives before his death. Has the proxy question been thoroughly researched?

I raise this for several reasons:
▪ What if admitted revisions of church records in 18454 and beyond, also encompassed marriage / sealing records? Here is a classic, relevant, revision example5:
From Joseph Smith Papers: Document Transcript ~ Book 3, 15 July 1843–29 February 1844
[Red text indicates those words that were deleted when this was subsequently recorded in History of the Church Vol. 6:46]
5 October 1843 • Thursday
Thursday October 5. morning rode out with Esqr Butterfild [Justin Butterfield]. to farm &c.—— P.M rode on prairie to shew the Some brethren some land.— eve at home walked up and down st. with scribe.— and gave inst[r]uction to try those who were preaching teaching or preaching the doctrin of plurality of wives. on this Law. Joseph forbids it. and the practice ther[e]of— No man shall have but one wife229 [6 lines blank] [p. [117]]
[Accessed at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-3-15-july-1843-29-february-1844/1#full-transcript]6

From History of the Church, Vol 6
[Purple text indicates those words that were inserted when the above JS journal account was subsequently recorded in History of the Church 6:46]
Vol. 6: Page 46
Thursday, 5.—This morning I rode out with Esquire Butterfield to the farm.
Instructions Respecting Plurality of Wives.
In the afternoon, rode to the prairie to show some of the brethren some land. Evening, at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives: for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.
[Accessed at https://byustudies.byu.edu/content/volume-6-chapter-2]

NOTE: the interpolations here could easily be understood as the very reverse of what Joseph's journal records (as in the “turning of things upside down”??)
▪ Wouldn't proxy have been the perfect cover for secrecy from Emma and the uninitiated, perhaps even from Joseph if those engaging in “spiritual wifery” wanted to foster the notion that “elite” relationships were sanctioned by Joseph but which he could not acknowledge? Would it not lend heavy-weight justification for secret agendas and actions?
▪ Considering the character of John Cook Bennett,7 the proxy concept would have been a (small g) “god-send,” not to mention the possibility of other secret polygamists subsequently inventing and recording marriages / sealings to lay a foundation for pending doctrine. And likely, even before Bennett arrived in Nauvoo, he would have heard the rampant polygamy rumors.
▪ Since memory is so susceptible to distortion, persuasion, and conflation could “witnesses” have subsequently conflated proxy with “in-person” when interviewers did not specifically ask?
▪ With the passage of time, how easy might it be to remember rumor as fact?
▪ The nature of most men and women to self-justify or mis-remember behaviors or beliefs when criticized or under pressure is well known; as is the déjà vu on déjà vu ploy where offenders accuse whistle-blowers or truth-tellers of what they, themselves, are doing.
There seems to be so much evidence supporting both sides in the Joseph Smith polygamy debate that it's unlikely we shall ever know the full truth, this side of the veil, especially with all the conjectures (including this post), and theories, assumptions, falsehoods, and alleged facts (public and private) that have flooded this matter.

Perhaps, in all the confusion, God's witness8 of Joseph's honor is the one that matters.

----------------/
1. 1st child of Lucy and Heber C. Kimball was Rachel Sylvia Kimball (28 January 1846 – 12 December 1847), so in 1847 she would have been just over one-year old.
2. The sealing was apparently May 1, 1843 per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Joseph_Smith%27s_wives https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Joseph_Smith%27s_wives (though Lucy's account on that site differs from Mary Ralph's report above.
3. Proxy Sealings quote: from Chapter 14 “William Smith Provided Further Insights into the Origin of Polygamy” from the book Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, Vol. 2 at http://restorationbookstore.org/articles/nopoligamy/jsfp-vol2/2chp14.htm (Bold emphasis added.)
I first referenced this in a footnote (#10) of a Déjà Vu ~ Times II post (Dec. 15, 2015) entitled “Could it Be?” where I also reflected on the probable psychopathy of John Cook Bennett at https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2015/12/could-it-be.html.
Granted, the meaning of proxy here could be viewed / interpreted by some as similar to Levirate marriage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levirate_marriage . Farr is listed as a plural wife of Clayton, (married Jan. 9, 1845) but the conjoined phrase “proxy and sealing business” could lend itself more to one person standing in for another during a sealing ceremony and not as a marriage partner. [Update Jan. 22, 2020: However, I could be wrong. Yesterday, I came across Whitney Horning's references to Levirate marriage. This understanding might reconcile the Mary Ralph account with other accounts, but I believe the proxy question is still a valid one to pursue with all the conflicting accounts and proxy possibilities, especially with no record of Farr as a plural wife to Joseph.]
4. What Is Our Real History? at https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2019/10/what-is-our-real-history.html
5. References are thanks to Whitney Horning from Joseph Smith Revealed: A Faithful Telling: Exploring an Alternate Polygamy Narrative (p. 217). Kindle Edition.
6. NOTICE: how the practice of leaving blank lines after JS journal entries leaves room for additions at some future date without the ability to know for certain when or who added the entry and for what purpose. Of course it can serve a legitimate purpose, but also opens the way for illegitimate use. The 229 pullout in the JS journal quote relies not on the numerous words of Joseph wherein he states his unrelenting opposition to “plurality of wives,” but relies on the oft-belated, alleged witness of others, some of whom were already practitioners or soon-to-be-practitioners in violation of extant scripture: (1835 D&C Section CI [101] Marriage: p. 251) at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/doctrine-and-covenants-1835/1#full-transcript (Also see “one wife” at p. 192 and in the New Testament | 1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; Doctrine and Covenants | Section 49:16.)
7. I first encountered the FairMormon expositions on polygamy in this new year, January 2020. I do not agree with some of the assumptions, interpretations, and conclusions, but their information is worth considering and attempting to prove otherwise where suspect or based on assumption. None of these FairMormon posts have a date that I could find as to when they were researched or posted, but they confirm some of my thoughts on Bennett's character.
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Polygamy_book/John_C._Bennett/John_C._Bennett_Pr
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Polygamy_book#John_C._Bennett (draft chapters)ior_to_Nauvoo
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy
Also see the Déjà Vu ~ Times II 2015 post about Bennett's probable psychopathy at https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2015/12/could-it-be.html
8. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 122:1-9 ~ Word of the Lord to Joseph Smith ~ March 1839
1 THE ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;
2 While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.
3 And thy people shall never be turned against thee by the testimony of traitors.
4 And although their influence shall cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in honor; and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever.
5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can't you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. [Bold emphasis added.]
See also:
Could It Also Be?https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2015/12/could-it-also-be.html
Ten-thousand [Malicious] Lies: https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/01/ten-thousand-malicious-lies.html (latter portion of the post.)

* Joseph Smith Painting source: By Unknown - Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1388993

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

“Subject Unto ... the Powers That Be”?


How, in this new year 2020, shall we deal with the Powers* that seem to have lost their way?1

How are we to reconcile Romans 13:1-72 and Article of Faith #123 with the overwhelming and growing witness of hubris, abuse, and corruption by those in positions of power (whether east or west, north or south; up or down)?​

Do we feel caught in a double bind4 between “honoring, obeying and sustaining” and this most revealing, insightful observation:
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 dominion5?
Perhaps these insights will help us find a discerning answer between blind obedience to or angry rejection of the Powers (or governing authorities as some have translated Romans 13:1):
Nothing is outside the redemptive care and transforming love of God. The Powers are not intrinsically evil; they are only fallen. What sinks can be made to rise again. We are freed, then, from the temptation to satanize the perpetrators of evil. We can love our nation or church or school, not blindly, but critically, recalling it to its own highest self-professed ideals and identities. We can challenge these institutions to live up to the vocation that is theirs by virtue of their sheer createdness.[6] We can oppose their actions while honoring their necessity. For example, a factory is polluting the air and water of our city, and we want it cleaned up. We can engage in that struggle knowing that its employees need jobs, and that their families also are at risk from the pollution, just as ours are. We can talk without hatred to the hard-nosed representatives of the plant, because we know that they, and we, and this factory, are encompassed by the love of God, and exist to serve the One in and through and for whom we were all created. We do not have to struggle to bring this plant into the orbit of God’s system. It is already there. We have only to remind its managers that it exists to serve values beyond itself (though this “reminding” may require a protracted boycott or strike).
Adam Smith himself acknowledged this when he wrote that the ultimate goal of a business is not to make a profit. Profit is just the means. The goal is the general welfare. It is part of the church’s task to remind corporations and businesses that profit is not the “bottom line,” that as “creatures” of God they have as their divine vocation the achievement of human benefaction (Eph. 3: 10). They do not exist for themselves. They were bought with a price (Col. 1: 20). They belong to the God who ordains sufficiency for all.7
So just as we all have a part in the body of Christ,8 we all have different skills, talents, and thus individual calls to action in challenging fallen powers:
There are no prepackaged answers that tell us how Christians should engage the Powers. One person may be called to try to reorganize the office where she works in a more humane fashion; another may have to walk out to protest sexual harassment. One may run for political office; another may despair of the electoral system and work to overthrow it. But all live in the paradox of “as if not,” as being in but not of the Domination System. “Come out of her, my people” (Rev. 18: 4) may be our marching orders, but so may be the call to assume secular office (as with Joseph and Daniel). Spiritual discernment takes the place of fixed rules. As Jacques Ellul argues, there really is no such thing as a “Christian ethic,” only the ethical inventiveness of Christians.9
Thus, shall we not honor what is honorable; obey what is ethical in the Lord;10 sustain what is sustainable; and thereafter challenge, expose, and oppose all fallen actions according to the discernment and call given to each of us? In the words of Walter Wink:
It is precisely because the Powers have been created in, through, and for the humanizing purposes of God in Christ that they must be honored, criticized, resisted, and redeemed. Let us then engage these Powers, not just to understand them, but to see them changed.11
----------------------/
* (whether political, economic, religious, secular, administrative, governmental, and so forth)

1. For example: “An institution may place its own good above the general welfare. A corporation may cut corners on costs by producing defective products that endanger lives. Union leadership may become more preoccupied with extending its personal advantages than fighting for better working conditions for the rank and file.” Wink, Walter. Collected Readings (p. 170). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
2. New Testament | Romans 13:1–7 ~ LET every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (Bold emphasis added.)
3. Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:12 ~ We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
4. Double Bind: A double bind is a dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, with one negating the other. In some circumstances (particularly families and relationships) this might be emotionally distressing. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other (and vice versa), so that the person will automatically be wrong regardless of response. The double bind occurs when the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither resolve it nor opt out of the situation. //...// Double binds are often utilized as a form of control without open coercion—the use of confusion makes them both difficult to respond to as well as to resist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind
5. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 121:39
6. New Testament | Colossians 1:16-17 ~ For by him [the firstborn of every creature] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
7. Wink, Walter; Collected Readings (p. 171). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)
8. New Testament | 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 ~ For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:109–110 ~ Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand? Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
9. Walter Wink. Collected Readings (p. 187). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
10. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 98:4–18 ~ And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them. 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. Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil. And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name's sake, shall find it again, even life eternal. Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy. For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me. Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children; And again, the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me. Let not your hearts be troubled; for in my Father's house are many mansions, and I have prepared a place for you; and where my Father and I am, there ye shall be also. (Bold emphasis added.)
11. Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 215-217). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Could the Earth Be Square?!


See image info below footnotes
and circular? and flat? and spheric? and cubic? all at the same time?

It's interesting how sometimes an “either / or” question is asked of God and (in paraphrase) He answers: “Believe it or not, both / all are right.”1

To seriously consider the title question “Could the earth be square? would take far more than a blog post, but perhaps this question and a few quotes from
A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science: A Voyage from 1 to 10
by Michael S. Schneider
will open our eyes, ears, and minds to reconsider and ponder2
▪ the “science” of an oft-blind world,
▪ the myths, legends, and mathematics (both ancient and modern) that may carry hidden clues; and
▪ if God is more literal in His scriptures than we give Him credit for?
Concerning the Circle and the number One
To ancient mathematical philosophers, the circle symbolized the number one. They knew it as the source of all subsequent shapes, the womb in which all geometric patterns develop.3

The circle is a reflection of the world’s— and our own— deep perfection, unity, design excellence, wholeness, and divine nature.4

The circle accommodates all shapes within itself.5

We’ve seen the creating process emerge from the Monad’s point to the Dyad’s line and Triad’s surface, that is, from zero dimensions to one dimension to two dimensions. Our journey corresponds with the emergent structure of a plant: the point of the seed, the line of the stem, the surface of the leaf. We now come to three dimensions, to volume, to the fruit of our geometric plant.6

Concerning the Square (plus volume: sphere and cube, ...) and the number Four
The flat square or tetragon (Greek for “four sides”) has four equal sides. The tetrahedron (Greek for “four faces”) is a volume of four identical triangular faces. And the cube or hexahedron (“ six faces”), the most well known volume, is enclosed by six square faces.7

The ancient Greeks noticed that four is the first number formed by the addition and multiplication of equals (4 = 2 + 2 = 2 × 2) and so was considered the first even number and first “female” number.8

The planet earth below us, solid ground, terra firma, is the supreme symbol for substance, mass, volume, strength, and stability. We organize space on the ground by the four cardinal directions of the compass and our body, dividing the circle of the horizon around us into four quarters in front and back of us, to the left and right. The four-cornered cross in a circle has long been the astronomical symbol for planet Earth. The four traditional winds blow across the four corners of the globe. We quarter not only space but time, naturally dividing the year into four seasons based on the relationship of the sun with the earth around the two equinoxes and two solstices.9

Regardless of the culture, the square was the preeminent symbol for the ancient Earth Mother goddess. The association of the earth with the number four, femaleness, and justice is very ancient, far preceding recorded history.10

In the way that a mother provides nourishment for her developing child, the “world mother” is described in myths as nourishing the emergent archetypal patterns with matter, consisting of four types of food, called the four ancient elements: earth, water, air, and fire. These elements provided the mythopoeic way of referring to the modern scientific four states of matter: solids, liquids, gases, and plasma or electronic incandescence.11

Four shows up whenever there is reference to earth and matter.12

With our ability to construct a square we can bring the principles of the Tetrad to our universe. We can create volume and clothe it with the four elements, or states, of matter. The ancients symbolized this materialization process by weaving.13

Mathematicians have long known there can be only five possible “equal divisions” of three-dimensional space. Highly respected, discussed, and wondered at in ancient times, the construction and study of these five volumes were considered the ultimate goal toward which the elementary constructions built, the culmination and pinnacle of ancient geometric and esoteric knowledge.14

The first thing one might notice about these forms is that their faces are either triangles, squares, or pentagons. No other flat shape used alone will enclose a volume without gaps. These are the most economical expressions of space from which nature’s designs derive their characteristics.15

This simultaneity of three and four is a simple blueprint of ourselves: the triangle denoting a divine trinity “above,” or deep within, and below it a square unfolding the four elements of familiar human nature and body outward.16
The mathematics of “structure, function, order” are indeed amazing. The above quotes from Schneider hardly scratch the surface of his book, but for me the questions arise:
▪ if shapes and volumes unfold and interact in a mathematical sequence, why can't our world manifest in a “transcend and include” manner of structure-function-order just as it does in biology and communication?17
▪ where are the pillars and foundation of the earth?18
▪ don't pillars and foundation usually support a flat or triangular or spherical upper structure of floor or roof?
▪ if gravity is a weak force, how does it keep everything glued to a spherical ball including water that by all the laws of physics demands and seeks its own flat level?19
▪ could firmament20 be the capsule cover that insulates us from the forces of outside motion and energy, somewhat like a car, bus, plane, train, etc.?
▪ where are those four corners21 if the earth is really and only spherical?
▪ could we, in this 21st Century, be more gullible and unobservant than some of the ancients?
▪ why do we argue about points of view:
» when our reach, grasp, and personal experience of this world (elephant) is so limited?
» when too much of what we actually observe does not jive with what we have been told or what has been fogged-out by indoctrination?
» when we know that the god of this world22 is known as the “father of all lies”23 (and entrancing CGIs24)?
Of course, Michael S. Schneider does not posit (in any way) a square, flat land-and-ocean mass surrounded by an (Antarctic?) ice-circle arched over by a spherical, celestial firmament supported below by a series of pillars (foundation) which pillars / foundation are contained in a cubic space volumized below the flat square and contained within the bottom portion of the sphere. In other words, a flat square within a circle where we all live sustained by a foundation cube, all of which is contained within a protecting sphere.

Perhaps now, everyone can be calm and quit arguing about whether it's a snake or spear or fan or wall or tree-trunk or rope,25 or flat or round or square or spheric or cubic or spinning or not-spinning26!

If the above discussion leaves you fuming or fog-bound, try this as a distraction:


Multiply nine 1s X nine 1s. i.e.,
111111111 X 111111111 to find
__________ !?!27

Perhaps it all comes down to this:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways [and designs] higher than your ways [and designs], and my thoughts [and views] than your thoughts [and views].28
-------------/
1. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 77:3 ~ Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders? A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 22:1-3 ~ AND now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethren came unto me and said unto me: What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to things which are spiritual, which shall come to pass according to the spirit and not the flesh? And I, Nephi, said unto them: Behold they were manifest unto the prophet by the voice of the Spirit; for by the Spirit are all things made known unto the prophets, which shall come upon the children of men according to the flesh. Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; … [bold emphasis added]
Note: God’s replies were not confined to an "either / or" paradigm because a compound understanding was required. We encounter this all the time—people passionately defending their “theory” against some other “theory” when, in God’s comprehension, economy, and plan, dual or multiple explanations fit.  Not unlike the nature / nurture controversy; or the grace / works debate. (Do we not have to make it to the door with oil in our lamps (NT | Matthew 25) so we are there, ready to enter when the door is opened ONLY by and through His grace? See also
New Testament | James 2:14, 26 ~ 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? ... 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
2. NOTE: If you and your family want an adventure for the year 2020, you might consider Schneider's  book. And remember, God has spoken to His children worldwide for generations, so there is much truth in all societies and cultures that must be gleaned from under the continual corruptions that man has overlaid in his so-called wisdom.  So as we pursue truth, let us not let the co-opting of God's design elements by opponents of the Good, blind us to the origins of all things and to the truth of:
New Testament | Colossians 1:15–17 ~ [His dear Son:] Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
3. Schneider, Michael S.. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science: A Voyage from 1 to 10 (Kindle Locations 464-466). Harper. Kindle Edition.
4. Ibid., (Kindle Locations 463-464). Harper. Kindle Edition.
5. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 545-547). Harper. Kindle Edition.
6. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1384-1387). Harper. Kindle Edition.
7. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1390-1393). Harper. Kindle Edition.
8. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1470-1471). Harper. Kindle Edition.
9. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1477-1482). Harper. Kindle Edition.
10. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1487-1488). Harper. Kindle Edition.
11. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1496-1499). Harper. Kindle Edition.
12. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1519-1520). Harper. Kindle Edition.
13. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1567-1569). Harper. Kindle Edition.
14. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1723-1726). Harper. Kindle Edition.
15. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1728-1730). Harper. Kindle Edition.
16. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 1820-1822). Harper. Kindle Edition.
Three additional quotes:
● When either the radius or circumference is measurable in whole, rational units, the other is an endless, irrational decimal. Thus, a circle represents the limited and unlimited in one body. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 490-491). Harper. Kindle Edition.
● Symbolized in nearly every culture as a wheel, the circle represents nature’s universal cycles, circulations, circuits, orbits, periodicities, vibrations, and rhythms. Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 620-621). Harper. Kindle Edition.
● A circle expresses the most practical and efficient geometric space for natural and human creations to occur. Of all shapes, a circle encloses the most space by the smallest perimeter. In other words, the most enclosure with least exposure. The Monad’s third principle is maximized efficiency.  Ibid.,  (Kindle Locations 684-686). Harper. Kindle Edition.
17. Transcend and Include: “A natural hierarchy is simply an order of increasing wholeness, such as: particles to atoms to cells to organisms, or letters to words to sentences to paragraphs. The whole of one level becomes a part of the whole of the next. ... Virtually all growth processes, from matter to life to mind occur via natural holarchies, or [nested] orders of increasing holism or wholeness—wholes that become parts of new wholes—and that’s natural hierarchy or holarchy [transcend and include].” From A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber, © 1996, Shambhala, p. 28.
18. Pillars / Foundation: All bold emphasis added.
Old Testament | 1 Samuel 2:8 ~ He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.
Old Testament | Psalms 102:25 ~ Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
Old Testament | Isaiah 48:13 ~ Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.
Old Testament | Zechariah 12:1 ~ THE burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
New Testament | Hebrews 1:10 ~ And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 20:13 ~ Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:1 ~ HEARKEN, O ye people of my church, to whom the kingdom has been given; hearken ye and give ear to him who laid the foundation of the earth, who made the heavens and all the hosts thereof, and by whom all things were made which live, and move, and have a being.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:44 ~ The heavens he made; the earth is his footstool; and the foundation thereof is his. Behold, he laid it, an host of men hath he brought in upon the face thereof.
19. Gravity: If satellites, planes, birds, balloons, hang-gliders, etc., etc. can make it aloft for long periods, what keeps massively heavy water flowing obediently around a spinning or not-spinning ball in contravention of liquid properties? But then what do I know for sure? Not a lot. I mostly have questions and (sometimes wild?) suppositions.
20. Firmament: All bold emphasis added.
Old Testament | Genesis 1:6-8 ~ And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Old Testament | Genesis 1:14-20 ~ And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Old Testament | Psalms 19:1 ~ THE heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Old Testament | Ezekiel 1:25-26 ~ And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings. ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 1:10 ~ And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:70-71, 81 ~ These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. ... And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 2:6-8, 14-20 ~ And again, I, God, said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water, and it was so, even as I spake; and I said: Let it divide the waters from the waters; and it was done; And I, God, made the firmament and divided the waters, yea, the great waters under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so even as I spake. And I, God, called the firmament Heaven; and the evening and the morning were the second day. ... And I, God, said: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so. And I, God, made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the greater light was the sun, and the lesser light was the moon; and the stars also were made even according to my word. And I, God, set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good; And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And I, God, said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl which may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 3:13 ~ And he said unto me: This is Shinehah, which is the sun. And he said unto me: Kokob, which is star. And he said unto me: Olea, which is the moon. And he said unto me: Kokaubeam, which signifies stars, or all the great lights, which were in the firmament of heaven.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1 Fac.:12 ~ Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament over our heads; but in this case, in relation to this subject, the Egyptians meant it to signify Shaumau, to be high, or the heavens, answering to the Hebrew word, Shaumahyeem.
Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 2 Fac.:4 ~ Answers to the Hebrew word Raukeeyang, signifying expanse, or the firmament of the heavens; also a numerical figure, in Egyptian signifying one thousand; answering to the measuring of the time of Oliblish, which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time.
21. All bold emphasis added:
Old Testament | Isaiah 11:12 ~ And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
New Testament | Revelation 7:1 ~ AND after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 21:12 ~ And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:3 ~ This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president–elect, and the high–minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 124:128 ~ Which Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send my word to every creature.
22. New Testament | 2 Corinthians 4:4 ~ In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,
23. All bold emphasis added:
New Testament | John 8:44 ~ Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:17–18 ~ 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.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:9 ~ And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
Book of Mormon | Ether 8:25 ~ For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it [this secret combination] up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 93:24–25 ~ And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:4 ~ 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.
24. CGI = Computer Generated Image
25https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant
26. Could spinning or not-spinning, moving or not-moving entail another “either / or” scenario depending on circumstance and view? as in: Ship's captain (via the bridge surveillance intercom): “Is that saltshaker you just set down moving?” Diner: “No, not as far as I can see.” Captain: “As far as I can see, 'tis moving.”
Old Testament | Joshua 10:12–14 ~ Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man:
Old Testament | Habakkuk 3:11 ~ The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 12:11-15 ~ Yea, by the power of his voice doth the whole earth shake; Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center. Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved. Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done; And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:45 ~ The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
27. Answer: “The ancient philosophers conceived that the Monad breathes in the void and creates all subsequent numbers (111111111 X 111111111 = 12345678987654321). Numbers only express different qualities of the Monad.” Schneider, Michael S.. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe ... (Kindle Locations 475-476). Harper. Kindle
28. Old Testament | Isaiah 55:8-9

Blind men & elephant Image Source: By Hanabusa Itchō - This is a retouched picture, which means that it has been digitally altered from its original version. Modifications: rotated, cleaned, cropped, centerline fold/crease removed (original Ukiyo-e print was on two pages), and scan fog haze removed., Public Domain, Edition. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2265247

Monday, December 9, 2019

A Plea to Church Authorities


Dear Authorities:

(Concerning ward realignments in long-established rural areas*)

Perhaps you have never considered that all things,1 even geophysical locations (like villages, towns, cities), might have been divinely appointed with one or more angels / spirits / servants having stewardship over “place” as invisible, spiritual interiorities as real as the visible, exterior features and infrastructures of those villages, towns, and cities.2

Perhaps you have never thought about the unique spirit of community — of place — of belonging — of destiny — that permeates every hamlet, village, town, city, or metropolis that exists.
,
Perhaps you have never considered that realigning rural ward boundaries3 might not always parallel urban realignments in that one can divide a town or city into multiple ward configurations without fracturing a member's sense of civic belonging to their town or city.

Perhaps you have never lived in a long-established RURAL ward long enough to appreciate:
● how often the ward is the community and the community is the ward4;
● how fractured from community and place many long-term historical ward members feel when they are aligned out of their rural  community to another distant community for statistical purposes;
● how almost immediately non-members of a realigned ward are viewed as guests when attending their community (home) ward;
● how busy one can become in serving in a realigned ward outside one's home community such that one has little time or energy left for home community;
● how often realigned- and home-ward events conflict so that one cannot attend or participate in both;
● how rural community events (above and beyond ward events) seem to fall to the ward for organization and funding — events that become known to non-ward members only through special invitation;
● how intrusive one feels to attend a “home-ward” function without invitation (like a form of ward double-dipping?);
● how artificial it feels to pretend one “belongs to” and must be committed to a distant community / ward where one has no history or heritage.
Of course, this appeal (and decade-old 15+ year-old complaint) will anger some. “Just do what you're told,” they say. “The authorities have their reasons. It is a test of faith and obedience. There are thousands of saints who have far greater trials and problems than yours, so get over it. And anyway, the idea of 'spirit' of place is not important, even questionable.”

To those persons, I say: We do not ask you to agree with those of us who feel alienated and fractured by being aligned out of our home community. We just ask you to hear us without scorning our right to think and feel as we do. We know that not everyone feels as strongly about place and belonging as we do. Some never question authority, but some of us have too much experience and knowledge about how easy it is for men and women to be persuaded by the doctrines / philosophies / ideas / agendas of the social sciences and the natural man,5 even when sincerely trying to do what's “right and best”; or even more common, to be caught in the grip of the spirit of power.6

So this is the plea. Please, remember:
▪ we are more than statistics.
▪ we are more than members of wards.
▪ we are members of heritage communities who feel alienated by insensitive or artificial alignments.
▪ the spirit of communities can differ greatly, as much as the spirit of nations do.
▪ the spirit of a community can be  wounded by domination.
▪ many of us need a sense of community that feels authentic, not artificial, not mandated by another's design ideas.
So please, align us back to our community ward. We are now 15+ years in mis-alignment (i.e., in missing our community ward). What a more appropriate year than 2020 to recognize how important the spirit of community, place, and belonging is in each and every life.

-------------------------/
* Two local examples that I personally know that happened over a decade ago and are still impacting lives, involving:
a) the engineered mixing of rural and urban wards where a small, vibrant historical community ward was divided into parts and realigned with other distant wards in a town site. The idea seemed to be to mix the best of both worlds: “the spirit of the urban” with “the spirit of the rural.” The result has been devastating to the spirit of the rural community. It was as if the supposed “sword of Solomon” had no one to question or prevent the severing of the spirit of that unique historical place – that no one had the strength to question the “wisdom” of what was done without open consultation of those effected. A decade plus has passed and the spirit of the community remains fractured.
b) the engineered realignment of 30+ members of a long-established hamlet / village from their home community ward to another long-established, rural community ward (requiring 11X the travel distance on winter roads for now 15+ years).
The question is: How frequent is and has this been throughout the Church where the powers-that-be (in local, stake, or general leadership) have been persuaded to ignore or discount the spirit of belonging and place in order to achieve what they believed to be good or reasonable ends? (Though in one instance, the leader seemed, in his remarks, to take pride in breaking the community bond and compelling obedience.)

1. New Testament | Colossians 1:15-17 ~ For by him [the firstborn of every creature] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Bold emphasis added.)
2. Walter Wink: “In Naming the Powers I developed the thesis that undergirds all three volumes of this work: that the New Testament’s “principalities and powers” is a generic category referring to the determining forces of physical, psychic, and social existence. These powers usually consist of an outer manifestation and an inner spirituality or interiority. Power must become incarnate, institutionalized or systemic in order to be effective. It has a dual aspect, possessing both an outer, visible form (constitutions, judges, police, leaders, office complexes), and an inner, invisible spirit that provides it legitimacy, compliance, credibility, and clout.” Wink, Walter; Collected Readings (p. 67). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition. (bold emphasis added.) See also footnote 4 herein.
3. Except in the case where realigning an existing rural community into two wards because of growth while respecting its community boundaries. Of course the realignment requires adjustment, but still leaves members with a sense of belonging to their hamlet / village.
4. Consider: Apostle John's detailing of the unique essence for each of the seven churches named by location in New Testament Revelation chapters 2 and 3: “[John, in addressing the seven churches] assumes always that the Church is, in a sense, the city. The local Church does not live apart from the locality and the population, amid which it has a mere temporary abode. The Church is all that is real in the city [town, village]: the rest of the city has failed to reach its true self, and has been arrested in its development. Similarly, the local Church in its turn has not all attained to its own perfect development: the “angel” is the truth, the reality, the idea (in Platonic sense) [the potentiality] of the Church. Thus in that quaint symbolism the city bears to its Church the same relation that the Church bears to its angel. But here we are led into subjects that will be more fully discussed in chapters 6 and 16. For the present we shall only review in brief the varied characters of the Seven Churches and the Seven Cities, constituting among them an epitome of the Universal Church and of the whole range of human life.” Ramsay, W. M.. The Letters to the Seven Churches: A History of the Early Church (Kindle Locations 688-694). Endeavour Compass. Kindle Edition.
5. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 46:7 ~ But ye are commanded in all things to ask of God, who giveth liberally; and that which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do in all holiness of heart, walking uprightly before me, considering the end of your salvation, doing all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits, or doctrines of devils, or the commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils. (Bold emphasis added.)
6. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 121:39–42 ~ 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—

Friday, November 29, 2019

“Conspiracy Against God”?

("Worshiping power* instead of God"?)

Recently I came across two phrases that succinctly describe the déjà vus of world history: 1) “conspiracy against God” being the subtle, mostly unacknowledged what of world systems1; and 2) “worshiping power instead of God” being the how — the modus operandi.

We see the full scenario played out in Old Testament Daniel 3 — in the conspiracy for power orchestrated by visible and invisible forces,2 and in the compulsory worship of Nebuchadnezzar's massive, golden idol.

How many permutations of this story have played out within every nation, kindred, tongue, and people?

Here is Walter Wink's take on the condition of nigh every human in this world of fallen, corrupted systems:
We "[are\]were dead," because the total world-system is a conspiracy against God, a lie perpetuated by people and presided over by Satan. We "were dead" because we were born into such a world and never had [or pursued] any other options. "Dead," because having taken in its deadly vapors, we breathe them out on others; we become its carriers, passing it into our institutions, structures, and systems even as these have reciprocally passed on the same deadly fumes to us.3

It is, in short, what we mean today by such terms as ideologies, the Zeitgeist, customs, public opinion, peer pressure, institutional expectations, mob psychology, jingoistic patriotism, and negative vibes. These constitute "the power of the air," the invisible but palpable environment of opinions, beliefs, propaganda, convictions, prejudices, hatreds, racial and class biases, taboos, and loyalties that condition our perception of the world long before we reach the age of choice, often before we reach the age of speech. It "kills" us precisely because we "breathe" it in before we even realize it is noxious. Like fish in water, we are not even aware that it exists, much less that it determines the way we think, speak, and act. To seem not to appear is part of its essence, as Schlier put it." So invisible are its assaults, in fact, that only a special coat of invisible arms can protect even those who have been made aware of and delivered from it. I refer, of course, to the "panoply of God's armor" spoken of in Eph. 6:10-20.4
Wink asserts that Christ's life, death, and resurrection unmask the truth about world systems — that from divine purpose and vocation,5 systems (both visible and invisible) and their stewards have strayed6 into “worshiping power instead of God.”7

So the question arises for each of us: What good is the unmasking if seeing, we do not see and hearing, we do not hear what "the spirit of power"8 does and has done to people and systems throughout history? Can we see that the pursuit of power (the “conspiracy against God”) is reaching its zenith as competing factions and systems battle for the “throne” with technologies of power never before seen?

What should We The People do? take sides with competing, mortal powers? believe / support some lies while rejecting others? let ourselves be led about by people and powers without conscience? refuse to acknowledge the full spectrum truth of every power-player?

Truly, we are in desperate need of seeing and understanding the truths and déjà vus of powers and power-players, and of

becoming united as one in prayer and action for their exposure, awareness, healing, transformation, and redemption.

-----------------------/

* (which includes the power of wealth / riches / gain)

1. (political, military, economic, social, religious, scientific, philosophic, commercial, cultural, etc.)
2. Old Testament | Isaiah 14:13–14 ~ For thou [O Lucifer] hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
New Testament | Ephesians 6:12 ~ For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high (heavenly?) places.

Note: invisible forces were clearly at work in Daniel's life and times: see Daniel 10:10-14, 20)
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 29:1, 36 ~ “... for he [the devil] rebelled against me [Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I AM], saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; “ (Bold emphasis added.) | Note: Could honor for Satan mean praise and power; but for Christ, could it mean integrity ("on My honor")?
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:1, 3-4 ~ 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. ... 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; ... ; 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. (Bold emphasis added.)
3. Walter Wink. Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (The Powers : Volume One) (Kindle Locations 950-952). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)
Consider: New Testament | Ephesians 2:1–3 ~ AND you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4. Ibid., (Kindle Locations 960-966). Kindle Edition.

5. New Testament | Colossians 1:16–17 ~ For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Bold emphasis added.)
6. “[T]he Powers from which Paul would protect his Colossian correspondents are not evil spirits in the sky, but philosophy, tradition, rules and rituals, food laws and ascetic practices, the basic elements of religion, and even the good angels. None of these Powers is evil in itself. All can even be useful aids. The author ]Paul] himself counsels self-mortification (3:5), religious rituals (baptism, 2:12; singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, 3:16; acts of prayer and thanksgiving, giving, 1:12; 4:2-3), and makes rules (3:18-4:1). They become dangerous only when they become ends in themselves, or divisive, or egocentric, or divert the believer from union with Christ ...” Ibid., (Kindle Location 926-934). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)
7. Walter Wink. Naming the Powers: The Language of Power in the New Testament (The Powers : Volume One) (Kindle Locations 902). Kindle Edition.
8. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 121:39 ~ 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. See also: https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-spirit-of-power.html ; or the Label: Power.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Unanswered* (Refused) Prayers?


If we counted the YESes vs the NOs over a lifetime of prayers, what would the percentage be? 80/20? 20/80? Do we ever feel like Nephi, that the more anguished and fervent the prayer, the more rebellious / stiffnecked / antagonistic the siblings (or in other cases: child, spouse, parent, friend, “enemy,” leader, institution, nation, and on and on)? or the more dire the situation becomes? or the greater the sense of fear or failure?

Of course there are thousands millions on millions of answered prayers, but the mystery of refusal for things that seem right, just, equitable, and surely within a loving Father's will, is, perhaps, beyond mortal ability to fathom. Does it sometimes seem that the harder we try the further away we feel? Here are some insights from C.S. Lewis:
    Prayer is not a machine. It is not magic. It is not advice offered to God. Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separated from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate.
    It would be even worse to think of those who get what they pray for as a sort of court favourites, people who have influence with the throne. The refused prayer of Christ in Gethsemane is answer enough to that. And I dare not leave out the hard saying which I once heard from an experienced Christian: ‘I have seen many striking answers to prayer and more than one that I thought miraculous. But they usually come at the beginning: before conversion, or soon after it. As the Christian life proceeds, they tend to be rarer. The refusals, too, are not only more frequent; they become more unmistakable, more emphatic.’
    Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ When God becomes man, that man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery here which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.1
Could it be that at some point in our spiritual progression, we will be required to choose good for its own sake with utter disregard for fear of consequence or expectation of favor?

---------------------/
* (As in, “God didn't answer my prayer: I didn't get what I asked for — what I needed”; in short, not acknowledging that “no” may be the answer.)

1. Lewis, C. S.. The Business of Heaven: Daily Readings (pp. 361-362). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. (From 'The Efficacy of Prayer', The World's Last Night)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Casting Out?


I have lamented a few times in this Déjà Vu ~ Times II blog about our latter-day failure to talk about or practice a prime healing modality of the Savior and His apostles:
Why?1
What Did Jesus Do?2
“We are Legion”* ???3
Jesus: à la mode*?4
But the other day, I ran across an insight that caused me to reflect on the casting out of spirits that seem disruptive and disturbing to our peace of mind. Here is something to consider:
Jesus does not subscribe to the opinion that our emotions or habits can or should be cast out by exorcism. To attempt to cast out something essential to the self is like performing castration to deal with lust. Great harm is done by well-intended, self-appointed “exorcists,” largely in neo-Pentecostal circles, by exorcising people who are not genuinely possessed (that is, are not possessed by outer personal or collective demons).

I once took a depressed friend to a charismatic prayer meeting where the leader offered to pray for her. In doing so he “cast out” her spirit of depression. In her case, however, as we learned somewhat later, her depression was being caused by frustration and repressed anger over the denial of opportunities for creative expression in the new community to which she had moved. To “cast it out” was merely to cast her depression’s causes deeper into the unconscious, denying her the opportunity of gaining insight into her problem. And on top of everything else, it added an additional layer of guilt for not getting better.

It is imperative then that any person dealing with the demonic (that is to say, any morally sensitive human being) learn to discern between inner and outer demons. Inner demons are usually not intrinsically evil but are rendered grotesque from suppression, paralyzed from disuse, or wounded from rejection. They are the parts of us regarded as socially unacceptable. They rob us of our self-esteem. They undermine our ego’s strategies for gaining respect by an outer show of competence or virtue. They are not worthy of fear, yet are a terror to the person who has not entered upon the death of the ego and rebirth to an honest life. Here the aid of psychotherapy can prove invaluable.

Traditional societies spoke of this distinction between inner personal and outer personal demons by contrasting “losing one’s soul” and “being freed from a spirit.” By “losing one’s soul” they referred to the danger of being deprived of some essential aspect of personal identity that all the subpersonalities taken in their totality go together to create. To this they contrast being freed from a “spirit,” the latter being understood as an alien invader that has seized the personality and holds it captive. It is therefore a loss to “lose one’s soul,” but a relief to lose a spirit.

If the demonic manifests itself in such a variety of ways— collective, outer personal, and inner personal— then it follows that a variety of responses is in order. How, in each of these situations, are we to go about dealing with our demons?5

Given the complex and problematic nature of the demonic, what function then does exorcism have? There is no simple answer to this question. Not only is a different response required for the inner personal demonic than for either outer personal possession or collective possession, but within each type we must discern, in each case, what is needed.

The Inner Personal Demonic

In the case of inner personal demons, as I have indicated, exorcism has no place at all. Exorcism is, as the medical people like to say, contraindicated. Inner personal demons must instead be handled the way the father treated the returning prodigal son in the parable: “His father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced and kissed him” (Luke 15: 20).

Traditional Christian pietism has done little to help us embrace these inner demons. It has either denied their reality and projected the evil out on others, whom it has then “demonized” (communists, adulterers, homosexuals), or it has demonized the very emotions themselves, naming and “casting out” a Spirit of Anger, a Spirit of Envy, or a Spirit of Lust.[ 39] Neither solution acknowledges this evil as our own; indeed, as I noted in the introduction to this book, Christians have never dealt well with the inner darkness of the redeemed. The general tendency of spiritual direction over the past centuries has been to lead from strength: to try continually to increase one’s commitment, obedience, faith, love. This high road to God has produced a kind of brittle and self-righteous sanctity whenever significant reserves of shadow simply remained repressed.

It has become our destiny today that the way to God should lead us first down into the depths, to encounter God in the darkness there— not in order to return purified to face God, but as the physicist Alfred Romer put it, because the darkness is where God is.6

After giving several examples, the writer cautions:
Nevertheless, even here it is hazardous to hand down hard and fast advice. Sometimes we need to stand our ground and wrestle the inner spirit to grant its blessing, but at others flight is the only counsel of wisdom, if the power of evil threatens to inundate us. Everything depends on whether the spirit is inner or outer, whether it is a matter of healing one’s own soul or being freed from an alien power.[ 43] At such times there is no substitute for the objectivity and experience of a spiritual guide who can help us determine whether what we face is “ours” or “outer.”

Having said that, one must also say its opposite. Excessive fear of these dark shapes encroaching from our depths may stampede us into flight just when we need to summon all our courage to step forward with open hands to embrace them. There is that of God in every one of us which is sovereign over whatever aspects of demonic darkness we encounter. It is our fear itself which gives the demonic its power.

...

Yes, perhaps everything terrible— or at least most of what is terrible in our own souls— is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us. To trust that, not only personally, but in our social world— to see the massive evils of our day as twisted and contorted “goods” that want to be redeemed— takes a certain kind of faith. But those outer evils will not loom quite so terrible if we have already begun to face our own demonic powers within.7
So, perhaps some of our anxiety, angst, depression, anger, frustration, sadness, etc. is the voice of God's Spirit trying to break through into our consciousness—to turn us into the purpose and mission of our unique life. If we resist through fear, apathy, laziness, distraction, conformity, or for a thousand other reasons, will that Spirit leave us in peace? Probably not, considering how the Great Creator views the worth of souls.8

Thus, if we fail to consider and discern the cause of dis-ease, could we be attempting to cast out a Spirit that is essential to our spiritual growth and salvation? Just something to consider? something to discern?

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1. https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2018/12/why.html
2. https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-did-jesus-do_16.html
3. https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/10/we-are-legion.html
4. https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/08/jesus-la-mode.html
5. Wink, Walter. Unmasking the Powers: The Invisible Forces That Determine Human Existence: 2 (Powers, Vol 2) (Kindle Location 1568-1587). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
6. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 1635-1651). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
7. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 1670-1687). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.
8. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 18:10 ~ Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

Saturday, October 19, 2019

What is Our Real History?

“There are two ways to be fooled.
 One is to believe what isn’t true;
 the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”1

[O]ur own individual point of view makes a great difference to how we see things.2
Which raises the quandary footnoted (being #10) in a blog post of January 16, 2016.3 The quandary? How can we be sure of church history when so many revisions were made to it in 1845, the year following the martyrdom of Joseph in 1844? Here is the reproduced footnote:
10. Re Mormon history revision: All the following quotes are from History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., [purported author, Joseph Smith], introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951]. (All bold emphasis added.) Note: [Do we] know what B[righam]Y[oung] meant by revising—just grammar and style errors or something more? [And is correcting the same as revising?]
» Moreover, since the death of the Prophet Joseph, the history has been carefully revised under the strict inspection of President Brigham Young, and approved by him, (1:v-vi; 7:243)
» Tuesday, April 1, 1845.—I [Brigham Young] commenced revising the History of Joseph Smith at Brother Richards' office: Elder Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith were with me. President Joseph Smith had corrected forty-two pages before his massacre. It afforded us great satisfaction to hear Brother Richards read the history of the infancy of the church. Adjourned at eleven p.m. having read one hundred and forty pages in Book 'A'.
» Wednesday, [April] 2 [1845].—Engaged at Elder Richards' office with Elders Kimball and Smith revising Church History. (7:389)
» Saturday, [May] 10 [1845].—Brother George A. Smith called upon me this morning and I [BY] accompanied him to the Historian's Office where we read and revised Church History. …
» Monday, [May] 12 [1845].—Evening, with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, W. Richards and George A. Smith at Brother Edward Hunter's revising history.
» Tuesday, [May] 13 [1845].—With Elders Heber C. Kimball, W. Richards and George A. Smith reading and revising Church History at Brother Edward Hunter's where we had retired to keep out of the way of writs reported to have been issued against us. (7:408)
» Wednesday, [May] 14 [1845].—Continued at Brother Edward Hunter's as yesterday; my health, and that of Brother Richards poor; but we read and revised history all day. …
» Friday, [May] 16 [1845].—I spent the day at Brother Hunter's in company with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, George A. Smith and N. K. Whitney revising history: …
» Saturday, [May] 17 [1845].—Revising history as yesterday, with the addition of Brother John Taylor: … (7:411)
» Tuesday, [May] 20 [1845].—With the brethren named I remained at Brother Pierce's; Willard Richards and George A. Smith joined us. We read and revised fifty-seven pages of History of Joseph Smith from Book 'B': … (7:414)
» Wednesday, [June] 18 [1845].—I met with Elders Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor and George A. Smith at Brother Taylor's; we revised a portion of the History of Joseph Smith. …
» Thursday, [June] 19 [1845].—I spent the day with Brothers H. C. Kimball and George A. Smith revising history. …
» Friday, [June] 20 [1845].—Elders H. C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, and myself engaged revising Church History. (7:427-428)
» Saturday, [November] 8 [1845].—Revising history in company with Brothers Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and George A. Smith till 4 p.m. (7:514)
» Monday, [November] 10 [1845].—I spent the day with Elders Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards and George A. Smith revising Church History; …
» Tuesday, [November] 11 [1845].—Forenoon, Elders Willard Richards and George A. Smith revising history. Afternoon, Elder Kimball and I joined them, and assisted in revising history. (7:519)
» Wednesday, [November] 26 [1845].—At the Historian's Office with Elder George A. Smith and revised fifty pages history. …
» Friday, [November] 28 [1845].—I went to the Trustees' Office, attending to church business. Elders Willard Richards and George A. Smith read and revised history to the end of 1843. (7:532)
» Monday, [December] 29 [1845].— … Elders George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman revised history. (7:556)
So what was the purpose of so many revisions made to our history? Do we know what and how extensive the revisions were? Were they innocuous? Were they just cleaning up errors? adding things that should have been recorded but had been forgotten as in the Savior's admonition to Nephi4?

Maybe someone has researched and written about these revisions in depth (if they can even be ascertained), but the question remains: How can we know the full truth if we are not open to seeking it? And if we refuse to see and hear 360°, how can we take dogmatic positions with only 180° (or less) awareness? Why do we attach ourselves so readily to rigid positions? holding to hard priors5 instead of viewing as best we can the 360° view and being truly open to proving all things6 with a discerning spirit? Have we not learned from the déjà vus of record-keeping and the prescience of George Orwell's 1984 how easy it is to amend, revise, mis-state, or mis-remember “events”? sometimes deliberately toward error?

What, too, is our real U.S. history? Are we not witnessing every day allegations of “suppressed facts”? of CIA and ST7 psych-ops orchestrated without conscience, sometimes just for the “fun and games” of it? Have we not already been put on notice of the “revision / false attribution” strategy of those early deceivers in our own church history8? How can we be sure what is original-Joseph and what is revision-Joseph? and in these last days what is deep-state propaganda and what is fact?

Perhaps that is why we need to reserve final judgments9 in our Bernayzian10 world, not only about Joseph, but about US until we are ready to hear and see 360°.

-----------------------------/
1. (Søren Kierkegaard ~ 1813-1855); see https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/35782-there-are-two-ways-to-be-fooled-one-is-to
2. Midgley, Mary. The Myths We Live By (p. 28). Taylor and Francis.
3. https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2016/01/part-one-evil-speaking-discernment.html
4. Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 23:8–13 ~ And when Nephi had brought forth the records, and laid them before him, he cast his eyes upon them and said: Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so? And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled. And Jesus said unto them: How be it that ye have not written this thing, that many saints did arise and appear unto many and did minister unto them? And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written. And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.
5. The science writer Sharon Begley gives insight into such motivated reasoning: “If you have a strongly held belief with an emotional component, the brain defends information that reinforces those ‘priors’ and is skeptical of information that challenges them. … People who hold these hard priors filter information to support their perceptions.” (Bold emphasis mine.) These observations are from the work of political scientist Hank Jenkins-Smith of the University of Oklahoma as quoted, in Newsweek, October 13, 2010, pp. 29-30 by science writer Sharon Begley about voter tendencies—observations that seem applicable to almost everything that requires choice or discernment. We all do it, (even this writer) and without awareness of a “priors” bias, are we not all more prone to biased judgment—whether pro or con? Shouldn’t 360° honesty in dealing with all the facts help control that bias?
6. New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21 ~ Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
7. See L. Fletcher Prouty's, The Secret Team:The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World
8. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:8–37 ~ And because you  [Joseph] have delivered the writings into his hands, behold, wicked men have taken them from you. Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness. And, behold, Satan hath put it into their hearts to alter the words which you have caused to be written, or which you have translated, which have gone out of your hands. And behold, I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written; And, on this wise, the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work; For he hath put into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have caught you in the words which you have pretended to translate. Verily, I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing. For behold, he has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God, in asking to translate it over again. And then, behold, they say and think in their hearts—We will see if God has given him power to translate; if so, he will also give him power again; And if God giveth him power again, or if he translates again, or, in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold, we have the same with us, and we have altered them; Therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no gift, and that he has no power; Therefore we will destroy him, and also the work; and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get glory of the world. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good; And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment. Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to anger against this work. Yea, he saith unto them: Deceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to lie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him. And thus he flattereth them, and leadeth them along until he draggeth their souls down to hell; and thus he causeth them to catch themselves in their own snare. And thus he goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men. Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God. Now, behold, they have altered these words, because Satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you—and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God. Behold, I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; For, behold, they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself. And, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words. Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation. But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation. Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; But as 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.
9. New Testament | 1 Corinthians 4:5 ~ Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
10. “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” (Source: https://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays-ebook/dp/B0097D76MG/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2NLE7CZI9MORU&keywords=propaganda+bernays&qid=1570053969&sprefix=propaganda%2Caps%2C210&sr=8-1  |  “Edward Bernays (1891–1995), pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he famously dubbed “engineering of consent.” During World War I, he was an integral part of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda apparatus that was mobilized to package, advertise and sell the war to the American people as one that would “Make the World Safe for Democracy.” The CPI would become the blueprint in which marketing strategies for future wars would be based upon. // Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population.”

 
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