Friday, November 20, 2015

Prologue to Divorce

Interesting how information often comes in clusters. Ten days ago I posted “Sins & Secrets1 after encountering, without intention, several bits of information that moved my thoughts in that direction. In studying those bits of information, a pattern characteristic of marital infidelity revealed itself. Then yesterday, a more concise pattern was unexpectedly encountered in a memoir, entitled, Rescue the Captors: Written from within a Marxist guerrilla camp in Colombia, the true story of a kidnapped jungle pilot. The author, Russell M. Stendal, added several appendices to his memoir and in the fourth one entitled, “The Fatal Tailspin,” he wrote:2
Jesus describes three steps to the break-up of a personal relationship. First, anger is allowed to build in our mind against our brother (or [spouse]). Second, our bottled up angry thoughts spill out as words of insult to the other person’s intelligence. … Finally, the inner motives of the other person are questioned and condemned. This causes heart to heart communication with the other person to abruptly cease  (p. xxxviii, bold emphasis added).

If there is an unresolved, unreconciled problem in a home, similar to the one that Jesus has been describing here in Matt. 5: 27–30 and if we are on the outs with our spouse even temporarily, it opens us up to a very dangerous temptation. As we walk down the street, all the other members of the opposite sex that we see take on added attraction. The thought occurs to us: “Hey, why didn’t I marry one of these beautiful people instead of the ‘old grouch’ that I left back at home.” As the mental fantasies build in our mind, our eyes start roaming onto any opportune target that presents itself. Sooner or later chance presents us with the possibility of actually living out one of our fantasies. The transition from mental adultery to physical adultery is surprisingly smooth provided that the relationship with the original spouse remains interrupted  (p. xlii, bold emphasis added).

The point that I believe Jesus wants to make is that seemingly innocent little impure thoughts wreak tremendous havoc on our lives and cause us permanent loss. If we allow impure thoughts such as anger, malice, unforgiveness, or impure sexual fantasies a place in our minds, they are seeds that we will be unable to prevent from germinating and translating themselves into actions. If this happens we might bear the scars of our folly for all eternity  (p. xliii).

Divorces start out with little, seemingly insignificant details and fester until they are out of control. Even a minor little grudge, if nursed long enough, can develop into a full-fledged divorce. Once adultery has taken place, all it takes is one more minor spat with the spouse, and bags are packed, bridges are burned, and the family destroyed in favor of beginning marriage anew with the “someone else” who is available and waiting (p. xliii). God can forgive and restore us after a divorce, but something is irrevocably lost whenever a marriage is broken  (p. xliv).

In Jesus’ description of the vicious cycle of how personal relationships can be destroyed, starting with a buildup of anger and ending in a divorce, the place that he tells us to watch out for the Evil One is at the very end when the Enemy would like to help us rationalize our problem and pretend that it really wasn’t our fault. If at any stage during the breakup of a personal relationship, we are able to honestly face our share of the blame and come to God with the broken attitude of the “poor in spirit,” throwing ourselves upon his mercy, it is possible to break the vicious circle of evil feeding on itself and replace it with the positive, opposite, upward spiral of mercy and love described by Jesus in his beatitudes. Remember: Good can also feed on itself and get better and better the longer we spend planting seeds of mercy, forgiveness, love, and justice. In the Kingdom of God the sky is, literally, the limit. Unlike evil, which can only corrupt and destroy that which was once wholesome and pure, good is creative and knows no upper bounds. There is no upper limit to what God can do with a human life if we are willing to co-operate with him  (pp. xlv-xlvi, bold emphasis added).
Oh, that we could see the pattern at its beginning; that we could acknowledge faults within ourselves; that we knew and lived the Beatitudes; that we were always willing to co-operate with Him.

And how déjà vu this pattern when we begin to divorce ourselves from God.

2. Stendal, Russell, Rescue the Captors: Written from within a Marxist guerrilla camp in Colombia, the true story of a kidnapped jungle pilot LIFE SENTENCE Publishing. Kindle Edition. (2011-04-21).
Additional Stendal quotes:
How can such “beautiful people” have such horrible divorces? How do personal relationships fall apart? Jesus says it all starts the minute we begin to harbor a grudge against someone else in our family  (p. xxxvii).
When our conscience begins to make us feel uneasy and insecure, due to a damaged personal relationship in our life, how easy it is to head for church to salve our conscience instead of swallowing our pride and going to see the person we have wronged. Jesus says that he doesn’t want to see us in church, or even receive an offering from us, until we have tried our best to reconcile any broken relationships with those around us. Even if the problem seems to be only 1% our fault and 99% the fault of the other party, we are still required to seek the other person out  (pp. xxxix-xli).
Most patients requiring psychiatric treatment have, at the root of their problem, an unreconciled hatred for someone, coupled with bitterness and unforgiveness  (pp. xli-xlii).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

His Precious Blood1

Source: footnote 5
When we look at world history and scripture—at all the déjà vus of sin, selfishness, and sacrilege that characterize the ways of the natural man,2 do we ever reflect:
▪  on how much of the natural man we personally, stubbornly cling to?
▪  on how many times Christ is denied every day—even re-crucified through our actions, feelings, and attitudes?
▪  on how every old and latter-day village, town and city might fit the description within New Testament Revelation 11:8: “the great city [town, village] which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified”?3
Do we, by treating the things of Heaven with lightness,4 crucify Him unto ourselves?
O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (New Testament | Galatians 3:1)

For he hath made it impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance; seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (New Testament | Hebrews 6:4-6 JST)

Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:35)
Do we ever ask ourselves whether, in our choices and decisions, we “assent unto his death”?
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 132:27)
BUT, above all the noise of the natural man, can we hear?
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Old Testament | Isaiah 1:16-18)
1. New Testament | Ephesians 2:12-13 ~ That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
New Testament | Hebrews 9:14 ~ How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
New Testament | 1 Peter 1:18-20 ~ Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
New Testament | 1 John 1:7 ~ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
New Testament | Revelation 1:5 ~ And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 3:18 ~ For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 4:2 ~ And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
Book of Mormon | Alma 5:27 ~ Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?
Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:32-33 ~ Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 35:2 ~ I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.
2. Book of Mormon | Mosiah 3:19 ~ For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
3. New Testament | Revelation 11:8 ~ And their dead bodies [of the two witnesses] shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
4. Old Testament | Deuteronomy 32:15 ~ But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 84:52-58 ~ And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now. And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
*(All bold emphasis has been added above.)
5. From; titled, "Precious Blood Jesus" from

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sins & Secrets

If there was ever a pattern of recycling déjà vu it might be in all those cases of infidelity. We do not have to look far to see the repetitious pattern in the famous. Remember Paula Broadwell, Kobe Bryant, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Newt Gingrich, Jennifer Lopez, David Petraeus, LeAnn Rimes, Meg Ryan, Mark Sanford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliot Spitzer, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Anthony Weiner, Tiger Woods, et al., al., al.

So what is the pattern? Does it manifest in the not-so-famous—the man or woman next door? Apparently—and by many reports1—increasingly so. History is full of “infidels.” God’s recurring lament was that His covenant people had gone a whoring (His words) after other gods—had become covenant-breakers.

So here is a short checklist for marital infidels—for covenant-breakers with both God and spouse:
□  Have I checked values and principles at the door of “my feelings”?
□  Do I claim my infidelity is someone (everyone) else’s fault?
□  Have I become cold, angry, cruel or fake with my spouse?
□  Do I lie about or attempt to keep secret my comings and goings and whereabouts?
□  Am I paranoid about someone reading my texts or answering my phone?
□  Do I flare up at any suggestion or suspicion about my behavior?
□  Am I addicted to the drama (and the “fix”) of it all?
□  Do I acquiesce to uncomfortable things so my paramour won’t betray me?
□  Have I let my sins and secrets turn me into a sociopath?2
□  Is my whole life a lie?
If you haven't heretofore recognized the pattern, know this: others have. And know this: The perennial déjà vu is that every infidel will be exposed. If not in this life (though the odds may favor it), it will come at the Judgment when all former pleasures and passions will be as nothing to the pain and anguish of confronting one's own stupidity(?), duplicity(?), pride(?), narcissism(?), myopia(?).

Know this too. All those warning voices of “end-times”; of getting things right with God; of repenting before it is too late; of taking full responsibility for sins and clearing secrets—all these are not pie-in-the-sky. The time we have to get things right is unbelievably short.

Know also: No secret is safe with other sinners; and no secret is safe from omniscience.
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (New Testament | Luke 12:2-3)

For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated. And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed. (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 1:2-3)
P.S. “Why is it, that when [we] can supposedly seduce any person in the world into liking [us], [we] still don't like [our]self?” (Quoted from D B.3)

BUT, above all, know this: There is help, healing, and forgiveness when we turn our life back to Him.

1.  Listen, read, understand how tragic this all is:
◦ - Neil Strauss rethinks his pickup artist past confessing 'The Truth' about relationships - Nov 12, 2015 (2/3)
◦ - Spark #299: Spy-on-your-spouse apps, ...   (begin at minute 32:45)
◦   do a google or book search on infidelity, if you need additional witness beyond these articles, mp3s, and the AshleyMadison scandals.
3. Quote from D B post of October 13, 2015 from Customer Reviews for Strauss’s book The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships at

Thursday, November 5, 2015

In Vain ?

“Come one, come all
for a fee you can be
taught Higher Laws
Definition: to no avail; fruitlessly
Synonyms: useless, to no avail, unsuccessful, fruitless, wasted, vain, ineffectual, without success, to no purpose, bootless
To all those who have taken the pilgrimage to be instructed in “higher laws” that (purportedly)  promise wealth and the realization of personal agendas, I refer you to the recent Déjà Vu ~ Time II post entitled, “Priestcraft?1 and share these words from Russell M. Stendal2:
If we take our God-given gifts and start using them for our own benefit, we are taking the anointing of God and pouring it over our own heads. We will short circuit the blessing of the Lord and will be guilty of taking the name of the Lord in vain. If we are just trying to stamp the Lord’s name all over the top of our own selfish plans and ambitions (individual or corporate) to dress them up and make them look nice and acceptable, we are taking the Lord’s name in vain. We may not have any literal idols, but if we are spending our time and money on good things that keep us from pursuing God’s best, these things become our idols. God wants to write His laws on the tablets of our hearts. God wants to write the essence of the Ten Commandments that the Jews could not keep on the tablets of our hearts. He wants to change our hearts. He wants to give us His feelings. He wants to motivate us from within to hunger and thirst for His righteousness, so He can fill and satisfy us. He wants to fill us with Himself. When we are full of the Lord and begin to get a little inkling of how God feels about sin, it has a tremendous impact on our behavior (Kindle Locations 876-884).

We cannot take promises that apply to His will and use them for personal gain, any more than a business manager can take the corporate funds and pocket them for whatever He pleases. The Christian church is full of people asking for everything under the sun in Jesus’ name when really it is in their own name (Kindle Locations 872-874).

Remember that the simplest definition of sin according to the Word of God is “going our own way, instead of going God’s way” (Kindle Locations 245-246).

Babylon is a type of the religious humanism that attempts to conduct the church of God according to the ways of the world, the world that according to the Scriptures is at enmity with God (James 4:4) (Kindle Locations 96-97).

Religious persons and organizations are doing their own things in the name of God, expecting God to bless them, and He won’t. He can’t  (Kindle Locations 84-85).
How much sad experience must we endure before we come to accept that there is a God-ordained Plan3 for our life and our churches and it is not to pursue the things and agendas of this world? How many times will we let ourselves be deceived by those pursuing power and gain? How long are we going to claim we are God’s good people when most of our time and efforts are focused on pursuing status and comfort in this world?

Stendal writes:
Those who truly surrender to God and submit to the authority of Christ will grieve at the status of the world around them (Kindle Locations 491-492).
His words are so déjà vu Ezekiel:
And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. (Old Testament | Ezekiel 9:3-4)
How many times must we hear and read this before we truly self-reflect?
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (New Testament | Matthew 7:21-23; bold emphasis added).
Please, please, let us open ourselves to the real purpose of Higher Laws.

Doctrine and Covenants | Section 63:58, 61-62 ~ For this is a day of warning, and not a day of many words. For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in the last days. … Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips— For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.
2. Stendal, Russell M., God’s Plan for Spiritual Battle: Victory over Sin, the World, and the Devil (Free eBook Sampler). LIFE SENTENCE Publishing. Kindle Edition (2014-11-27). “Russell Stendal was … raised on the mission field in Colombia, South America. He … heads up the work of Colombia Para Cristo which operates 12 radio stations involving more than 100 staff and coworkers and covering much of Latin America with the Gospel.” … Connect with the Stendal Ministry Website  (Kindle Locations 1054-1067). Find additional biographical information at the website.
3. ; see also ;