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 exterior physical features and infrastructures of those villages, towns, and cities that can be seen2;

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 boundaries might not always parallel urban realignments3 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 left over 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 where one has no history or heritage.
Of course, this appeal (and decade-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 that feel alienated by insensitive and 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.
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* 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 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).
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, and 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 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 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—
6. 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.)


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.

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* (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?

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* (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°.

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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.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Nature of “Seeing” and “Seeing Not”


Seeing reality?
Discernment does not entail esoteric knowledge, but rather the gift of seeing reality as it really is. Nothing is more rare, or more truly revolutionary, than an accurate description of reality.1
A delusional system?
The delusional system is a game being played on us by the Powers That Be. That game is nowhere more trenchantly exposed than in the surrealistic images of Revelation 12-13.° // Of first significance is the fact that the insights in these chapters are given as revelations. John sees what for others is invisible (13:1, 2, 11); what has previously been unseen "appears" to him (12:1, 3).2
The one who sees
The seer[3] [see-er] does not, however, simply read off the spirituality of the empire or an institution from its observed behavior. The situation is more complex. The demonic spirit of the outer structure has already been internalized by the seer [see-er], along with everyone else. That is how the empire wins compliance. The seer's [see-er's] gift is not to be immune to invasion by the empire's spirituality, but to be able to discern that internalized spirituality, name it, and externalize it. This drives the demonic out of concealment. What was hidden is now revealed. The seer [see-er] is enabled to hear her or his own voice chanting the slogans of the Powers, is shown that they are a lie, and is empowered to expel them. The seer [see-er] locates the source of the chanting outside, and is set free from it.4
Do we see any parallel? Any déjà vu?
The Roman Empire had brought peace to a fratricidal world. It presided over a period of unparalleled prosperity (for the prosperous). Its might was so legendary that a single emissary could prompt surrender. But this facade of magnificence was bought at a horrible price. The revelation that comes to John strips off the mask of benevolence and reveals, beneath it, the true spirit of Rome. ... He sees, instead, a grotesque and monstrous deformity bent on supplanting God (Revelation 13), or a harlot seated on Rome's seven hills, inviting promiscuous intercourse with the client-kings she has intoxicated with the aphrodisiac of power (17:1-18).5

It is a signal achievement to have discerned Rome's monstrous spirit, though certain Cynic philosophers may have done as much. What gives John's vision added depth is its awareness that the Domination System transcends its current embodiments. No regnant Power is ever identical with the Domination System. There are too many survivals of partnership, too many outbreaks of human decency, too many compassionate, fair-minded people and strong women and equitable laws and humane officials, to achieve pure domination. But beyond each regime (symbolized in Revelation by the Beasts from land and sea) stands the ancient System of Domination, whose spirit is Satan (symbolized by the Dragon).6
When nations, peoples, animals pretend to be blind
A rise or fall in hierarchical position [pecking order position] can radically rearrange the way we see the world.7

Now and then, [when my friendly, playful German Shepherd dog and I are out walking, we encounter] a mastiff or Great Dane, a hulking giant that makes my well-built pooch look like a fuzzy midget. When one of these really big dogs appears, a strange thing happens to my pet’s enthusiasm: it disappears. Faced with a creature he knows will beat him soundly, my shepherd plays a perceptual game. He trots along staring resolutely ahead, feigning obliviousness to the massive monster in the distance. // Ethologist Frans de Waal has noted the same behavior in chimpanzees. ... [W]hen strength and swiftness [of dominant males] fade , the aging leaders ... [l]ike my dog, ... pretend they do not see. A rival may swagger toward the reigning monarch determined to assert his claims. ... He [the rival] makes terrifying noises by pounding on any resonant object in sight. He swings huge branches intimidatingly through the air. But the weakened elder deals with this pecking order challenge in a strange way. He turns his head and pretends to be utterly absorbed in examining a banana peel. For a time, the aging leader who refuses to see his rivals retains his top position. His old system of alliances props him up. ... [But] eventually, the older statesman will be forced to yield his position, and the young turk will become the new head chimp.8
What are we pretending not to see?
Like the chimp who hopes he can cling to his preeminence by ignoring a rival [or some glaring truth], we toy with our equivalent to a banana peel. While events of grisly horror grind down humans by the millions, we simply turn away.9
Seeing our way through
But how can we affirm victory in the midst of repeated defeats? // Because there are people who are now beginning to see and act free of the Domination System [the pecking order reality]. No matter how terrible the sufferings of those detained and tortured in nonviolent demonstrations in South Africa or South Korea or Burma, the reign of God has already begun! This is no pious fiction. The power of God is already made manifest, because people formerly craven and terrified are ready to be fired from jobs, bludgeoned, jailed, or killed for the sake of a fairer system. The authority of Christ is already establishing itself, because victims are not only affirming their own humanity, but doing so in a way that affirms the humanity of their oppressors. The salvation of God is a present reality, because the very struggle for liberation would not have been possible had the powerless not discovered within themselves resources laid up by God in their creation: to be nonviolent yet powerful, loving yet immovable, joyous yet prepared to die.10
Are we prepared to be seers—ones who see things as they really are? to hear the witnesses? to acknowledge that a bestial spirit has taken power in secret combinations? that our “facade of magnificence [has been] bought at a horrible price”? Or will we refuse to see? refuse unless leaders countenance our seeing? PLEASE, let us not wait for permission to see.

Let us be see-ers and doers NOW.
[A] seer [see-er] can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them [the see-ers] shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them [the see-ers], and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.11
And seeing the spirits of domination and blindness that now reign, what better admonition to repeat than this one:
6 That we may not only publish to all the world, but present them to the heads of government in all their dark and hellish hue, as the last effort which is enjoined on us by our Heavenly Father, before we can fully and completely claim that promise which shall call him forth from his hiding place; and also that the whole nation may be left without excuse before he can send forth the power of his mighty arm.
7 It is an imperative duty that we owe to God, to angels, with whom we shall be brought to stand, and also to ourselves, to our wives and children, who have been made to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression, supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion, and has been growing stronger and stronger, and is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.
8 It is an iron yoke, it is a strong band; they are the very handcuffs, and chains, and shackles, and fetters of hell.
9 Therefore it is an imperative duty that we owe, not only to our own wives and children, but to the widows and fatherless, whose husbands and fathers have been murdered under its iron hand;
10 Which dark and blackening deeds are enough to make hell itself shudder, and to stand aghast and pale, and the hands of the very devil to tremble and palsy.
11 And also it is an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation, and to all the pure in heart—
12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
14 These should then be attended to with great earnestness.
15 Let no man count them as small things; for there is much which lieth in futurity, pertaining to the saints, which depends upon these things.12
Has this imperative duty ever been done: THEN or NOW?

-----------------/
1. Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 1316-1317). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added)
2. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 1314-1316).
3. Seer = the one who sees: the see-er
4. Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 1318-1322). Kindle Edition. (Bold emphasis added.)
5. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 1324-1330). (Bold emphasis added.)
6. Ibid. (Kindle Locations 1330-1333).
7. Bloom, Howard. The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History (p. 291). Grove Atlantic. Kindle Edition.
8. Ibid. (p. 291-292).
9. Ibid. (p. 298). (Bold emphasis added.)  Peruse this blog and its companion Déjà Vu ~ Times to review the hundreds of things we seem to continually turn away from like child abuse and trafficking, CIA drugs and weapons running, treasons, PWOCs in power, etc., etc., etc.
10. Walter Wink. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Kindle Locations 4575-4581). Kindle Edition.
11. Book of Mormon | Mosiah 8:17-18  Consider also:
New Testament | Hebrews 8:10-11 ~ For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 123:6-15 (Bold emphasis added.)

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The ABCs of Current Events


To put it bluntly, if one is consistently listening to a favorite MSM station, whether Right- or Left-leaning; whether Fox or CNN or MSNBC or CBS, etc., etc., one is being royally, regularly, deliberately deceived. Yes, WE ALL ARE—every last soul of us—because the past 100 years has been devoted to the mix-up1 of truth and error in proportions so massive we will scarce believe our gullibility and folly when all is revealed.

And why are we being deceived? Because it's all part of repeating POWER plays; because competition for power is the natural order—the perennial déjà vu—of nature2 and history—of this entire fallen world. If one wants the graphic details, one can read:
THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History.3
Then we can observe the world as it is instead of living in a fantasy that we are not fallen; that competitive capitalism4 does not exacerbate the worst of human nature; that we are immune to The Lucifer Effect5; that this entire earth experience doesn't boil every last one of us down to the test of power. Will we abuse it in whatever small or large degree when we gain access to it? That is the question.

So what are the ABCs of current events? What are the POWER plays playing on?
Abominations. (Get people who have power or the potential for future power to involve themselves in abominations of some sort or other whether wittingly or unwittingly.)
Blackmail, bribery.
Corruption, conspiracy, coercion, compartmentalization, cover-ups.
Deception, denial, deflection. (Lie and deny there is such a thing as conspiracy though it is a factor in nigh every crime and combination. When necessary, deflect and accuse others.)
Energy. (Control the world's energy resources and you control the world.6)
Faking, frauds,7 fear.
Gullibility, greed, graft.
Hubris, hypocrisy, humiliation.
(And the list goes on.)
If one wishes a more targeted ABC of current events, one might profit from a citizen journalist's8 video-log of what is befalling US and the world—with names, dates, places, and powers plays.
A for Awan Spy Ring: The Webb Report - ... Chapter One - Page One (Sept. 6, 2019; Time 12:24) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5A2lOxb2nI

B for Blackberries: The Webb Report - ... Chapter One - Page Two (Sept. 7 2019; Time 10:58) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM10AQUNRZw

C for Cassandra (Drugs for Weapons = Operation Cassandra): The Webb Report - ...Chapter One - Page Three (Sept. 8, 2019; Time 10:40) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8R4xJIK6t0
Webb Report Chapter One - Preview Of Next Three Pages – Dyncorp, Epstein, Flynn (Sept 10, 2019; Time 3:10) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shZAv7Qz4Fk
D for Dyncorp: The Webb Report - Chapter One - Page Four (Sept. 12, 2019; Time 12:53) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_rNnJWBZ1E

E for Epstein: The Webb Report - Chapter One - Page 5 ... (Sept. 16, 2019; Time 11:55) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAPCx6Tv5Y0&t=66s or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAPCx6Tv5Y0

F for Flynn: (watch for The Webb Report – Chapter One – Page 6; and subsequent pages as they are posted.)
And let us remember:
Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it 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.9
----------------------------/
1. https://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/search/label/Mix-up ; https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/search/label/Mix-up ; https://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-babylon-con.html
2. Not Nature as it was created, but nature in its fallen state. See: https://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2019/03/natural-or-unnatural_16.html  ;   https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/search/label/NaturalMan
3. Bloom, Howard. The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History. Grove Atlantic. Kindle Edition.
4. https://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2019/03/classic-capitalism-for-romantics.html
5https://dejavu-timestwo.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-spirit-of-power.html
6. How and Why Big Oil Conquered the World (2 parts) by James Corbettt at https://www.corbettreport.com/bigoil/
7. Just one example of many: https://dejavu-times.blogspot.com/2017/10/operation-psychopath.html
8. George Webb: Can we trust him? You decide after listening to his ABCs, keeping in mind that corruption, conspiracy, secret combinations, and power plays are the déjà vus of history; and also considering:
Book of Mormon | Helaman 6:21–33 ~ But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed, that they should not suffer for their murders, and their plunderings, and their stealings. And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant. And thus they might murder, and plunder, and steal, and commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness, contrary to the laws of their country and also the laws of their God. And whosoever of those who belonged to their band should reveal unto the world of their wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkumen. Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction. Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit— Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world. And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth. And also it is that same being who put it into the hearts of the people to build a tower sufficiently high that they might get to heaven. And it was that same being who led on the people who came from that tower into this land; who spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction, and to an everlasting hell. Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time. And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin. And behold, he doth carry on his works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men. And now behold, he had got great hold upon the hearts of the Nephites; yea, insomuch that they had become exceedingly wicked; yea, the more part of them had turned out of the way of righteousness, and did trample under their feet the commandments of God, and did turn unto their own ways, and did build up unto themselves idols of their gold and their silver. And it came to pass that all these iniquities did come unto them in the space of not many years, insomuch that a more part of it had come unto them in the sixty and seventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi. And they did grow in their iniquities.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 7:4–6 ~ And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment–seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men; Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills— Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years; and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow within his breast; and he did exclaim in the agony of his soul:
9. Book of Mormon | Ether 8:23–25 (Bold emphasis added.)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Way of the Shortcut?


Shortcuts can prove useful at times, but how often do they prove the way of compromise and deception? Here is, perhaps, the first recorded attempt at a shortcut to power:
[B]ehold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against me [God], saying, Give me thine honor,[1] which is my power;2

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.3
Sometime thereafter, we encounter Cain taking a shortcut to power and gain:
And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.4
Do we ever ask ourselves where we are? on the path5? on a shortcut? or somewhere in-between? Here are some questions for reflection about shortcuts:
▪ Do headlines and history not witness that shortcuts are the preoccupation of the “natural man” when pursuing power, wealth, fame, knowledge, health, fitness, enlightenment, success, etc. etc.?
▪ Does taking psychedelic drugs give “access to higher spiritual dimensions”?6 or is it just déjà vu Eden where we are persuaded that the mere consuming of some physical substance will make us “more like unto the Gods” without developing the attributes of Gods?
▪ What of taking steroids, and the like for athletic enhancements and performance?
▪ What of medicating instead of adjusting diet and lifestyle?
▪ What of controlling relationships with mood in place of authentic, charitable communication?
▪ What of reading only the CliffsNotes?
▪ Have we ever been (or ever) defrauded, conned, or plagiarized for gain?
▪ How informed can we be about any issue if we do not study and prove all things7?
▪ How often does the preference for shortcuts generate evil ends as people compromise or sell their souls for quick rewards?
▪ What are the preferred shortcuts in our personal lives?
-----------------------/
1. Honor (noun)
1a: good name or public esteem : REPUTATION
  b: a showing of usually merited respect: RECOGNITION
2. PRIVILEGE
3: a person of superior standing —now used especially as a title for a holder of high office
4: one whose worth brings respect or fame: CREDIT
...
6: an evidence or symbol of distinction: such as
   a: an exalted title or rank
   ...
   d: archaic : a gesture of deference : BOW
   e: honors plural
...
8a: a keen sense of ethical conduct: INTEGRITY
  b: one's word given as a guarantee of performance
...
(Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/honor )
2. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 29:36
3. Old Testament | Isaiah 14:13–14
4. Pearl of Great Price | Moses 5:31
5. New Testament | Matthew 7:13–14 ~ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
6. Michael Pollan on the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs (Encore Sept. 25, 2018)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/author-michael-pollan-on-the-therapeutic-use-of-psychedelic-drugs-1.4836745
7. New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21 ~ Prove all things; hold fast that which is good  [—instead of rigidly holding to dogmas, wishes, expectations, personalities, biases, prejudices, "hard priors" as in: "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." (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), ETC. We all do it, but awareness may sometimes help circumvent it.]

Monday, September 9, 2019

Stand[?] in the Holy Place

(All bold emphasis added in scriptures below.)

Where e'er thou art
Have you ever wondered what the Lord meant when He added “whoso readeth, let him understand” to the counsel “stand in the holy place”1? What are we to understand:
▪  when the Psalmist invites: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker2?
▪  when Moses was told to remove his shoes3 (and presumably to kneel or bow down) in the presence of the Holy?
▪  when keeling or bowing down is the typical expression of worship, reverence, submission, wonder, and awe when encountering the Holy4?
Are we to understand that the time will come when we will be commanded to kneel in Holy Places—Holy Places which have been desecrated with idols? when we must not kneel nor bow down, but stand together for truth and right?

Will we experience a demand to bow down to idols like unto the experience of Abram (Abraham)5? like the three daughters of Onitah6? like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego7? like the persecutions during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes8? like the prophesied last days9?

Is that what we must understand about standing in holy places? to not bow down10?

Is that why God says:
But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved.11

Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.12

Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places; And prepare for the revelation which is to come, when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together.13

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.14

Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth?15
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1. New Testament | Matthew 24:15 ~ When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Also: Pearl of Great Price | JS-Matthew 1:12 ~ When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.
(YES, there may be other interpretations than what I offer above.)
2. Old Testament | Psalms 95:6
3. Old Testament | Exodus 3:5 ~ And he [the LORD] said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
4. Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 25:29 ~ And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.
Book of Mormon | Alma 22:16–17 ~ But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest. And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily,
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 17:10 ~ And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his [Jesus'] feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 17:13–15 ~ And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground. And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel. And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 19:6-7 ~ And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus. And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 19:15–19 ~ And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them. And it came to pass that he spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that his disciples should kneel down upon the earth. And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray. And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God. And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth,
Book of Mormon | Moroni 4:1-2 ~ THE manner of their elders and priests administering the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church; and they administered it according to the commandments of Christ; wherefore we know the manner to be true; and the elder or priest did minister it—And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ,
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 18:40 ~ And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 20:75-76 ~ It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus; And the elder or priest shall administer it; and after this manner shall he administer it—he shall kneel with the church and call upon the Father in solemn prayer,
5. Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1:4-15.
6. Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1:11 ~ Now, this priest had offered upon this altar three virgins at one time, who were the daughters of Onitah, one of the royal descent directly from the loins of Ham. These virgins were offered up because of their virtue; they would not bow down to worship gods of wood or of stone, therefore they were killed upon this altar, and it was done after the manner of the Egyptians.
7. Old Testament | Daniel 3:14–18 ~ Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes
9New Testament | Revelation 13:13-15 ~ And he [another beast] doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
10. Old Testament | Exodus 20:4-5 ~ Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Old Testament | Exodus 23:24 ~ Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. (see also Lev. 26:1; Deut. 5:9; Book of Mormon | Mosiah 13:13)
11. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:32
12. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 87:8
13. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 101:22–23
14. Old Testament | Psalms 24:3–4
15. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 128:24

 
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