Monday, January 23, 2023

Despite the Evidence?

In the recently posted Exodus seminar series, JB Peterson said:
I think [“God's goodness”] is the leap of faith. You decide that things are good and that you are going to act in the service of the good — in many ways despite the evidence.1
Despite the evidence?!

Well, yes! if we go by history and mortal perspective, Peterson is, in many ways, right. Remember OT Job. Remember the persecuted and martyred: John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, Stephen, James, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Abinadi, John Huss, Thomas Becket, Wm. Tyndale, Joseph & Hyrum Smith. — to name a few on the endless, ongoing list2? And this does not count all the evidence of anguished “unanswered” prayers for healing, safety, companionship, offspring; for a child''s or spouse's repentance; for a way out of depression, abuse, anxiety, dysphoria, addiction, tyranny, and so forth. And what of the wind, flood, fire, earthquake or man-made catastrophes that devastate? Even for some, the required3 death of God's own Son is all the evidence they need to reject the idea of a good God.

Yes, of course, there are also endless witnesses of God's goodness, but what do we do if contrary “proofs” also plague our awareness. For many, life is a recycling struggle with dissonance. If God is good, why do I (or we or they) suffer so much mental distress? so much unrelenting physical pain and disease? so many hurdles and roadblocks? so much conflict, loss, confusion, trauma?

Perhaps the definition of faith warned us already of the dissonance factor.
NOW faith is the substance assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (JST New Testament | Hebrews 11:1).
Does this put us on notice that the evidence of God's 100% goodness may, frequently (from our mortal perspective), not be seen?

As we witness and endure the increasing tyrannies and catastrophes of coming days (as prophesied), will we be persuaded by the evidence of things seen or the evidence of things not seen? Are we prepared to see beyond the seen? to believe without reservation that whatever happens, God is good? that all He does is based in Truth, Justice, Mercy, and Love — a Love we may not, perhaps, cannot comprehend?

The Scottish writer George MacDonald4 wrote
Our God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12:29
Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. It is not love that grants a boon unwillingly; still less is it love that answers a prayer to the wrong and hurt of him who prays. Love is one, and love is changeless.

For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected—not in itself, but in the object. . . . Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love’s kind, must be destroyed.

And our God is a consuming fire

It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship. He will have purity. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship thus; but that the fire will burn us until we worship thus; yea, will go on burning within us after all that is foreign to it has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God. When evil, which alone is consumable, shall have passed away in his fire from the dwellers in the immovable kingdom, the nature of man shall look the nature of God in the face, and his fear shall then be pure; for an eternal, that is a holy fear, must spring from a knowledge of [His] nature, not from a sense of power.5
In the words of British writer, C. S. Lewis6:
I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of— throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him— for we can prevent Him, if we choose— He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said  (—from Mere Christianity7).
From a prior observation, I repeat:
Maybe most of all, we don’t comprehend faith (or perhaps don’t want to), being: “the substance [assurance—JST] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”[(JST New Testament | Hebrews 11:1)]. But, as I have asked elsewhere: HOW is God going to test/prove/try us? by NOT offending our sense of logic and reason? by always confirming our faith-based, telestial/terrestrial perceptions and biases? by offering up physical evidence? by preventing contradictory, confusing evidence? by making it easy to believe? by flooding us with “rational” signs? by preventing every bad choice or consequence? ... What better way to push us toward “the evidence of things not seen” than to hopelessly confound the “evidence of things seen?”8
Let us prepare ourselves to observe how often we dwell in dissonance and take the leap of faith to believe without qualification that God is always and forever good, however it may sometimes appear or feel.
… Great is His wisdom, marvelous are His ways, and the extent of His doings none can find out. His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay His hand  (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:2-3; see also Old Testament | Isaiah 55:8-9).
1. (begin about minute 49 for background and quote)
2. ▪ Foxe, John. Fox's Book of Martyrs Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs.
▪ Eric Metaxas. Bonhoeffer Thomas Nelson.
▪ The Voice of the Martyrs. Extreme Devotion: Daily Devotional Stories Of Ancient To Modern-Day Believers Who Sacrificed Everything For Christ
New Testament | John 16:33
   33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
New Testament | 2 Timothy 3:12
   12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 101:35-36
   35 And all they who suffer persecution for my name, and endure in faith, though they are called to lay down their lives for my sake yet shall they partake of all this glory.
   36 Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.
▪ Research news articles about latter-day martyrs worldwide.
Related posts:
3. New Testament | Matthew 26:39, 42
   39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. ...
   42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Pearl of Great Price | Moses 4:2
   2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
5. Hein, Rolland. Through the Year with George MacDonald: 366 Daily Readings (Kindle Locations 441-454). Winged Lion Press. Kindle Edition. January 8: “The Consuming Fire,” Unspoken Sermons: Series One.
7. Lewis, C. S.. A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 218). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.

Friday, January 13, 2023

“Eating Together” — A Divine Paradigm?

Dining / Feasting
A plandemic target?

Since listening to a brief exchange in the Exodus seminar series1 about “eating together,”2 I have been thinking about what happened to dining and feasting during COVID. What part did lockdown and isolation play in exacerbating fear, stress, distrust, and simmering anger — not against the “authorities,” but against those (including family members) who did not wholeheartedly accept the official narrative? How many “infected” family members, including young children, were quarantined in their bedrooms for 14-day stretches and mandated to mask and eat alone? And what of the communal dining-room closures in senior and other care-giving facilities? Isolation upon isolation.

Our obsessions with social media, sports, and work have already disrupted in large measure family “eating together” patterns, but COVID thrust an even broader wedge into every aspect of human sociality, celebration, commemoration, and fellowship. No church suppers. No wedding, reunion, anniversary, grad, club, or society banquets. No funeral luncheons. No dine-in cafes or restaurants for get-togethers or date-nights. At times, “eating together” seemed almost a targeted activity. Remember the fear-alarms at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas? And remember the vax-passport phase-in for resuming “eating together” in public?

On the other hand, have we noticed in scripture:
▪ how often God commanded feasting in preparation or commemoration of memorable events3?
▪ how angels or messengers were entertained with feasts4?
▪ how the “certain man” sent servants out into the streets and lanes, highways and hedges to gather all who would come to his supper / feast after the initial invitees had made excuse5?
▪ how the prodigal son was welcomed home with a feast6?
▪ how feasting was almost always a part of important milestones7?
▪ how feasting has been used as a spiritual metaphor for God's word8 and for judgment and millennial days9?
▪ how even the miraculous multiplication of simple bread and fish at the feeding of five thousand and four thousand was a feast because of the amount of leftovers gathered up10?
In the previously mentioned Exodus clip, Dennis Prager observed:
“The center of Jewish religious life is the house and the center of religious life in the house is the table.”.
How many of us can say: The center of our religious life is the home and the center of religious life in our home is the table?11 Could there be any typology between our dining tables and God's shewbread table so meticulously placed in His tabernacle with its dishes, spoons, covers, bowls, and shewbread12?

Perhaps corrupted powers have a paranoia about people freely congregating in celebration, commemoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship, because they might freely share opinions and observations, or discuss matters of import or action? Is that why the powers are predicting (orchestrating?) a coming food shortage / famine,13 so “eating together” becomes a zero-sum, existential paranoia? so that sociality and fellowship revert to competitive survival — even savagery?

Next time we see “eating together” deemed a dangerous, targeted activity, let us ponder the source and purpose.

As a troubling aside: as of 2022, we no longer have the option of meeting as friends or family to eat together in temple cafeterias.14 Does the reason “to simplify temple operations” weigh sufficiently against the blessing of sharing food with fellow servants in the house of the Lord? a place of peace, quiet, and fellowship unparalleled in the outside world. For many temple-goers, nearby(?) food establishments immersed in the noise and poisons of present Babylon has no allurement. They seek to retain and carry home the spirit felt in the temple. Of course, some readers may be offended by this criticism, but for many who know the spirit of the temple (even in its cafeteria), they feel a sense of loss that dining together there has been foreclosed. (And what of the loss of hundreds of jobs?) For some, the hope and prayer is that before they auction off the kitchens, they reconsider the costs v. benefits; perhaps even to survey the wishes and will of the members and service workers impacted. For the most part, an imported sack lunch does not have the same flavor, presentation, or fellowship as a savory, hot meal served with “dishes, spoons, covers, and bowls,” and ambience. To simplify operations does not necessarily simplify life's necessities for service givers. Should reciprocal service be a prime consideration? 

1. (from min. 45:38 to 57:14)
2. Excerpt from footnote 1: The Key to Peace With Russia[?] (Jordan B Peterson Clips | Dec 16, 2022 | Time 7:05 min.) at
3. Old Testament | Exodus 5:1
   1 AND afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Old Testament | Exodus 10:9
   9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.
Old Testament | Exodus 12:14, 17
   14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. .
.. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.
Old Testament | Exodus 13:6
   6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
Old Testament | Exodus 23:14-16
   14 ¶ Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.
   15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
   16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
Old Testament | Exodus 34:22
   22 ¶ And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
Old Testament | Leviticus 23:39, 41
   39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. ..
. 41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Old Testament | Deuteronomy 16:16
   16 ¶ Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
New Testament | Matthew 26:17
   17 ¶ Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
4. Old Testament | Genesis 18:1-8
   1 AND the LORD appeared unto him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
   2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
   3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
   4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
   5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
   6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
   7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
   8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
Old Testament | Genesis 19:3
   3 And he [Lot] pressed upon them [the two angels] greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
5. New Testament | Luke 14:16-24
   16 Then said he [Jesus] unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
   17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.
   18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
   19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
   20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
   21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
   22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
   23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
   24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
New Testament | Luke 14:13
   13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
6. Prodigal: New Testament | Luke 15:22-24
   22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
   23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
   24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
7. Old Testament | Genesis 21:8
   8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.
Old Testament | Genesis 26:30
   30 And he [Isaac] made them [his former adversaries] a feast, and they did eat and drink.
Old Testament | Genesis 29:21-22
   21 ¶ And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
   22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Old Testament | Judges 14:10
   10 ¶ So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.
Old Testament | 2 Samuel 3:20
   20 So Abner came to David to Hebron, and twenty men with him. And David made Abner and the men that were with him a feast.
Old Testament | 1 Kings 3:15
   15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
Old Testament | 1 Kings 8:65
   65 And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.
Old Testament | 1 Kings 10:4-6
   4 And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,
   5 And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
   6 And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.
Old Testament | Esther 1:3-5
   3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
   4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
   5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
Old Testament | Psalms 128:3
   3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
New Testament | Matthew 27:15
   15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
New Testament | Luke 5:29
   29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.
New Testament | John 2:8-9
   8 And he [Jesus] saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
   9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
New Testament | John 5:1
   1 AFTER this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Book of Mormon | Alma 18:9
   9 And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.
8. New Testament | John 7:37
   37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:51
   51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
Book of Mormon | Jacob 3:2
   2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
Book of Mormon | Alma 32:42
   42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
9. Old Testament | Isaiah 25:6
   6 ¶ And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
Old Testament | Zechariah 14:16
   16 ¶ And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 58:8-9
   8 And also that a feast of fat things might be prepared for the poor; yea, a feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail;
   9 Yea, a supper of the house of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited.
Old Testament | Ezekiel 39:17-24
   17 ¶ And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
   18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
   19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
   20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
   21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
   22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
   23 ¶ And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword.
   24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.
New Testament | Luke 22:29-30
   29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
   30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
New Testament | 1 Corinthians 10:21
   21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
Old Testament | Malachi 1:5-12
   5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
   6 ¶ A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
   7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
   8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
   9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
   10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
   11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
   12 ¶ But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
10. Five Thousand
New Testament | Matthew 14:19-21 (Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 5:5-13)
   19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
   20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
   21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Four Thousand
New Testament | Matthew 15:32-38 (Mark 8:1-9)
   32 ¶ Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
   33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
   34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
   35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
   36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
   37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
   38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
New Testament | Matthew 16:6-10 (Mark 8:14-21)
   6 ¶ Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
   7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
   8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
   9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
   10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
11. Remember David O McKay:
“The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no worldly success can compensate for failure in the home.”
12. Old Testament | Exodus 25:23-30
   23 ¶ Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
   24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
   25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
   26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
   27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.
   28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
   29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
   30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.
Old Testament | Leviticus 24:5-9
   5 ¶ And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
   6 And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.
   7 And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
   8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
   9 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
New Testament | Hebrews 9:1-2
   1 THEN verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
   2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Old Testament | 2 Chronicles 29:18
   18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof.
Old Testament | Ezekiel 41:22
   22 The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the LORD.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Dehorning the “Kings”*?

As we have just passed through our annual season of gift-giving and as we move into a new year of increased economic foreboding,1 perhaps now is a good time to review the “natural man”2 economies of socialism, communism, and capitalism as they compare to the voluntary, divine-modelled, gift economy.3

Here is a recent text and audio observation by Charles Eisenstein, an advocate of the “sacred economy” who has been profiled before in Déjà Vu Times II.4
2023: The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible5
If more of us freely adopted the gift economy as witnessed in God's modelling (not necessarily congruent with all of Eisenstein's ideas), would it help break the back of the Babylonian beast system and help dehorn its “kings”? Or are we going to cling to the horns of corrupted power and gain to the bitter end because that is what we know best? Except power and gain are not shared universally in the beast system; not even for sycophants and enforcers of its technocratic slave economy. The beast system, despite its equality claims, has no interest in the equality expressed in scripture. As it stands, many in our midst are also not comfortable with our equality scriptures,6 but if the predicted, programmed, contrived, global scarcity continues, we may be presented against our will with opportunities to practice the gift economy in the spirit of:
13 And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man sometimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy; and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved.
14 And now, as I said unto you, that because ye were compelled to be humble ye were blessed, do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?
15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.
16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe. ...
25 For I do not mean that ye all of you have been compelled to humble yourselves; for I verily believe that there are some among you who would humble themselves, let them be in whatsoever circumstances they might. (Book of Mormon | Alma 32:13-16, 25)
Let us seek to do whatever is within our power and influence to learn, live, and sustain the principles of a gift economy.

* New Testament | Revelation 13:1, 11
   1 AND I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. ...
   11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
New Testament | Revelation 17:3, 7, 12-16
   3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. ...
   7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. ...
   12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
   13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
   14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
   15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
   16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
New Testament | Revelation 12:3
   3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

1. For Example:
If you thought 2022 was bad, wait until you see what 2023 has in store for the economy | by Peter Armstrong · CBC News · Posted: Jan 02, 2023 at
Expert forecasts 2023 as a year of ‘economic pain’ | Advice by Michelle Singletary Columnist December 30, 2022 at
World Economic Outlook for 2023 Increasingly Gloomy | by Rob Garver, November 26, 2022
Will the U.S. and Europe slide into recession in 2023? Here’s how to look out when economic outlooks don’t | BYPHILIPP CARLSSON-SZLEZAK AND PAUL SWARTZ | December 12, 2022 at
New Testament | 1 Corinthians 2:14
   14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 3:19
   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. •
Consider also:
(Thank you to my sister BYS for bringing this to my attention yesterday.)
6. (All bold emphasis added.)
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 76:92-96

   92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things—where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
   93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
   94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
   95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.
   96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 78:5-7
   5 That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
   6 For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
   7 For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:107
   107 And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.
New Testament | Matthew 20:9-13
   9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
   10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
   11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
   12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
   13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
New Testament | Colossians 4:1
   1 MASTERS, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
Book of Mormon | Jacob 5:73-74
   73 And there began to be the natural fruit again in the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off and to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof equal, according to the strength thereof.
   74 And thus they labored, with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard, even until the bad had been cast away out of the vineyard, and the Lord had preserved unto himself that the trees had become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one body; and the fruits were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had preserved unto himself the natural fruit, which was most precious unto him from the beginning.
Book of Mormon | Alma 1:26
   26 And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 51:3
   3 Wherefore, let my servant Edward Partridge, and those whom he has chosen, in whom I am well pleased, appoint unto this people their portions, every man equal according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 70:12-14
   12 He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things;
   13 Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit.
   14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 82:16-19
   16 Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your good.
   17 And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—
   18 And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord's storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—
   19 Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:107
   107 And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 88:122
   122 Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 90:6
   6 And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom;
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 107:24-26
   24 And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.
   25 The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
   26 And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 107:36-37
   36 The standing high councils, at the stakes of Zion, form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the quorum of the presidency, or to the traveling high council.
   37 The high council in Zion form a quorum equal in authority in the affairs of the church, in all their decisions, to the councils of the Twelve at the stakes of Zion.