Monday, June 15, 2015

Re Joyce

Joyce Meyer
from her website
Re:  preposition. ~ in the case or matter of, as regards
Joyce:  name ~ French: Joyeuse. “Joyful.” E.g.: Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries*
How much do we miss by holding to our narrow paradigms? For nigh four decades, Joyce Meyer has been ministering and yet I had never heard of her until April 28, 2015. And so I rejoice to find, what I propose, is the most powerful Christian woman’s voice in the world today. Perhaps, even the most powerful, practical Christian voice, irrespective of gender.

So how many life-changing opportunities do we miss because we don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear? because we are locked inside our narrow cultural biases? because we are bound to conforming / confirming expectations?

In this writer’s view, every soul could profit from listening, time and again, to the witness of Joyce Meyer, whose ministry might be summed up in these words from a well-known LDS hymn:
Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation.
No longer as strangers on earth need we roam.
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation
And shortly the hour of redemption will come,

When all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And none will molest them from morn until ev'n,
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,
And Jesus will say to all Israel, "Come home."

We'll love one another and never dissemble,
But cease to do evil and ever be one
And when the ungodly are fearing and tremble,
We'll watch for the day when the Savior will come,

In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah
To guide through these last days of trouble and gloom,
And after the scourges and harvest are over,
We'll rise with the just when the Savior doth come.

Then all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And they will be crowned with the angels of heav'n,
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,
And Christ and his people will ever be one.
Let us break the déjà vu of self-limiting blinders and stiff-necks and let God’s witnesses come in as many diverse ways as God may venture, like unto what the Apostle Paul wrote when quoting the prophet Joel:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (New Testament | Acts 2:17-18; see Old Testament | Joel 2:28-29; bold emphasis added).

P.S.: As with all ministers of the Gospel, one must always exercise discernment and seek confirmation of the Spirit of the things they teach and interpretations they put forward. If there is one serious omission in most Christian and evangelic teachings (including Joyce), it is well described in Dallas Willard's The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teaching on Discipleship.

* In addition to the JM Ministry website, there are many YouTube videos.
"Now Let Us Rejoice" ~ Text: William W. Phelps, Music: Anon.; Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985], no. 3.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Law? Order? Obedience?

It seems there is some measure of confusion amongst some saints about what God means regarding law, order, and obedience.1 Here are the two comments I made on May 18, 2015 (to another’s post of May 8, 2015):
Over the past few years, it seems that "law" and "obedience" have been getting somewhat of a bad rap in the blogosphere, so maybe it would be useful for us to study the scriptural context of their uses, including their derivatives. God's preference has always been "obedience" to Him, His Son, and the Holy Spirit; and He doesn't seem too impressed with the arm of flesh (which ALL of us have fallen heir to). Sure we are subject to laws for the orderly conduct of society (civic, religious, etc.), but when man-made laws / customs / traditions, etc. conflict with our moral / ethical conscience, then maybe Daniel, Shadrach et al. point the right way. At some point we all have to learn that "spiritually-safe" obedience is only to the confirmations of the Spirit. No matter the level of authority, the voice of the Spirit is the final arbiter. So when matters concern us, what is the point of two or three witnesses, if we are not one of those witnesses? (How many of us even pursue that assurance when callings or changes are issued?)

Five observations:
» "first" does not have to mean first in time. It can rate importance;
» as to "The Perfect Day" blogger's extended description of "people who were flawlessly obedient"!!! Hmmm, didn't Jesus call those types "hypocrites" (Matt. 23:25-29)? Maybe such latter-day Pharisees were not such fitting examples to use in critiquing obedience!
» Abraham 3:25 seems pretty crucial to understanding "obedience";
» law and obedience seem inescapably central when one reads D&C 88:21-24; and
» what if obedience is, in final analysis, the ONE great, transcendent [inclusive] law? (For explanation, see the essay: Rule of Law: Ten to One at )
Below2 is a small sampling of God’s Word about law, order, and obedience. Because latter-day revelation is some of the strongest in support, we begin the footnote references with those.

Also, graphically relevant is the story of the old prophet and the young prophet in Old Testament 1 Kings 13 (corrected by the JST). It is an account that every soul in these latter days should know, understand, and apply. Some commentary about that account can be read in a 2010 Déjà Vu ~ TimesTwo post at

(See also: and
How is the Lord ever going to tutor us in following the voice of the Spirit, if we hang back, like unto (oh, déjà vu) the ancient children of Israel, and send others to hear (or purport to hear) the voice of God in our place?3

How do we:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (New Testament | 1 Thessalonians 5:21),
if we consistently neglect “to prove”?

1. (and comments) (and comments)
Note: there is only one example of the phrase “law of heaven” in scripture and it does not seem to concur with its use by those critiquing “law of heaven.”
The above–named councilors were then asked whether they accepted their appointments, and whether they would act in that office according to the law of heaven, to which they all answered that they accepted their appointments, and would fill their offices according to the grace of God bestowed upon them. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 102:4)
What if the law of heaven is to seek and to do the will of God with the help of His grace and strength; and with an eye single to His glory?
You can also read other blogger’s thoughts, interpretations, and conjectures about law, order, and obedience at: (and comments)
Many of the ideas by these bloggers are thought-provoking and insightful, but sometimes we seem to forget that without law there is no agency. (Does not agency require that we have something to choose or to reject?) And what if, like the forked tongue of the serpent, Satan’s plan was a two-pronged option as described in Q3 at  (Perhaps, force/coercion for some stuff and “no law” for stuff not as susceptible to force/coercion?)
2. Doctrine and Covenants | Section 11:20 ~ Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 14:6-7 ~ Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things. And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 29:34 ~ Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men; neither Adam, your father, whom I created.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 41:3-5 ~ And by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern my church and have all things right before me. And I will be your ruler when I come; and behold, I come quickly, and ye shall see that my law is kept. He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you;
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 42:2 ~ Again I say unto you, hearken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 42:91 ~ And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 82:4 ~ Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 85:7 ~ And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:21-25 ~ And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom. For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law—
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:34-42 ~ And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. All kingdoms have a law given; And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified. For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever. And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 105:3-6 ~ But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 130:20-21 ~ There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:5-8 ~ For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world. And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead. Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:12 ~ I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment—that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:21 ~ Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:5-10 ~ And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever. Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise. Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved. And because of the intercession for all, all men come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him, to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 2:13 ~ And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:25-27 ~ Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel. But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 25:24-28 ~ And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled. For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments. And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away. And now behold, my people, ye are a stiffnecked people; wherefore, I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 2:33 ~ For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that [evil] spirit; for if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul; for he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 13:27-32 ~ And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses. And moreover, I say unto you, that salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses. And now I say unto you that it was expedient that there should be a law given to the children of Israel, yea, even a very strict law; for they were a stiffnecked people, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God; Therefore there was a law given them, yea, a law of performances and of ordinances, a law which they were to observe strictly from day to day, to keep them in remembrance of God and their duty towards him. But behold, I say unto you, that all these things were types of things to come. And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.
Book of Mormon | Alma 42:17-23 ~ Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment? Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man. Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God. But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.
Book of Mormon | Alma 50:20 ~ Blessed art thou and thy children; and they shall be blessed, inasmuch as they shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land. But remember, inasmuch as they will not keep my commandments they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 10:4 ~ Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 12:17-20 ~ Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil; For verily I say unto you, one jot nor one tittle hath not passed away from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled. And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled. Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 15:9-10 ~ Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. Behold, I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments. And this is the law and the prophets, for they truly testified of me.
Book of Mormon | 4 Nephi 1:12 ~ And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
New Testament | Matthew 5:17-19 ~ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
New Testament | Matthew 7:12 ~ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
New Testament | Matthew 22:35-40 ~ Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
New Testament | John 14:15 ~ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
New Testament | John 15:10 ~ If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
New Testament | Romans 2-4
New Testament | Romans 7:22 ~ For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
New Testament | Romans 7:25 ~ … with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
New Testament | Romans 8:7 ~ Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
New Testament | 2 Corinthians 10:5 ~ Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Old Testament | Exodus 16:4 ~ Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
Old Testament | Exodus 20:6 ~ And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Old Testament | Exodus 24:12 ~ And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Old Testament | Joshua 22:5 ~ But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Old Testament | Proverbs 7:1-3 ~ MY son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
Old Testament | Isaiah 5:24 ~ …they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
3. Old Testament Exodus 20:19-21 ~ And they [the people] said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.