Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ministry vs. Management

Elder Robert C. Gay, Area Seventy for the Southeast Area, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the Augusta, Georgia Stake yesterday and discussed the focus of our newest revision of the LDS Handbook of Instruction to focus on ministering to the one, and not just managing or administering to the ninety and nine.

Alma 22:23-25 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord. Now there was a multitude gathered together because of the commandment of the queen, and there began to be great murmurings among them because of Aaron and his brethren. But the king stood forth among them and administered unto them. And they were pacified towards Aaron and those who were with him.

Elder Gay cited this great example in the Book of Mormon where Aaron was teaching the King of the Lamanites where the King said "I will give away all my sins to know God." After the King was converted, it says that the King "ministered" to his household and they were all "converted." Not long after a crowd gathered outside alarmed that a Nephite was speaking with their Lamanite King. The King then "administers" and only "pacifies" them.

My wife and I were recently having a discussion about the difference between "ministering" and "administering." Too often it is easy to get into a rut of going to church, teaching our lesson, going to our meetings, and planning our activities and believe that we are living up to the expectations that the Lord has for us. How much "converting" are we involved in vs. how much "pacifying"? My wife is a great example of what it means to "minister." She is always working with different people one-on-one, helping them return to full activity, or to become temple worthy. Unfortunately, this can be very heart-rending work as not everyone responds to her ministering.

Elder Gay told our Stake that the LDS Church was going to change how it measures progress. Instead of focusing on percents, the church was going to highlight numbers of individuals making and keeping covenants. To minister, Elder Gay taught, involves visiting, blessing, and teaching. He also said something that was surprising. He also spoke on Councils and that revelation will be scattered throughout our ward council members as we focus on the specific needs of specific families and individuals. Elder Gay promised us that as we focus on ministering in the church, more fully consecrating our lives to God, and loosing ourselves in the Lord's service; we will be living up the the expectations that that Lord has for us, and we will more fully experience the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The power of the Atonement of Christ, which Christ told Joseph Smith many churches deny, doesn't just Justify us from sin, but will sanctify us and purge us of any desire to do evil. Instead we will only be filled with love of God and the desire to do good continually.

Elder Gay also relayed a desire of President Monson that LDS members give talks focused on specifically how certain gospel principles have blessed their lives, and not just telling the congregation everything they know on that subject or what LDS leadership have said on that subject. With this in mind, if I were assigning speakers, I might ask those invited to speak to share with me how a certain principle had blessed them and ask that they include those comments in their talk.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Agnostism, Old Questions

I was listening to an agnostic author who also was a federal prosecutor for several high profile murder cases today discuss his new book which attacks the Bible, and Christianity and claims that God is unknowable. I am not going to give the authors name or book name because, I don't feel like advertising. And, nothing of what he is saying is any different than the old tired arguments of atheists; try as he might to distance himself from them.

Theists believe in God, Atheists do not. Agnostics say they don't know. However, a newer flavor of agnosticism affirms that you can't know. While average agnostics innocently claim they don't know, these new agnostics say that logic proves that God is unknowable. Agnostics usually argue from a position of moral high ground they call intellectual honesty. Except, then they go on to claim that they know God is unknowable. How can you say anything about what God is or isn't (in this case unknowable), at the same time you claiming you don't know. In my mind, reason suggests that only a truly intellectually honest agnostic would say, I don't know if God exists, and I don't know if it is possible to know if God exists since I don't know anything about God.

After trying to distance himself from Atheists, this author goes on to use the same old atheistic arguments. All of his attacks on God go back to one main issue, "The Problem of Evil." This new agnostic attacks free will by latching onto Calvinism and quotes from Martin Luther and scriptures in the Old Testament and New Testament that have been translated to suggest to some that God made man do evil or good and the idea of Predestination. But this argument assumes that 1. Calvin and Luther's quotes reflect true Christianity. 2. The Bible verse being cited was translated correctly and is being interpreted correctly.

The real attack on God using the "Problem of Evil" attacks God's goodness and all-powerfulness. He claims, that because bad things happen, God can't be all good or all-powerful. He wraps prayer into it saying that God must have not answered the Jews prayers when they were asking for deliverance during the holocaust.

When the interviewer bore witness that He felt he had felt and experienced God in his life, and that God had answered many prayers, the agnostic writer said that he didn't deny that there wasn't some supernatural force at work in the universe, but that supernatural experiences alone were not necessarily a proof for God suggesting some other force could be at work. But then again, he fails to discuss the issue, of first cause, and what created the force at work that is affecting and manifesting itself in your life.

When it comes to the problem of evil, free will, and God's infinite power and goodness; here is the key issue. Only LDS Doctrine can satisfactorily answer this question. That is, if God created our spirits out of nothing, then he created some of us good and some of us bad and then let us loose on each other. If ex-nihlo creation were true, then I would say that #1 some creation were defective therefore God was not all-powerful to create them good in the first place, #2 God knowingly gave evil spirits agency and is an accomplice to evil. or #3 God doesn't know what would happen.

However, according to LDS Doctrine, and Justin Martyr, and the Bible, spirits are eternal and were not created ex nihlo. Spirits and intelligence has always existed and is what it is. It is good or bad inherently. We are here in this life to interact and discover which kind we are, and what we are made of so-to-speak. Only by coming into contact with our opposite, do we comprehend what we are. The Bible says, "Without God, was not anything made, that was made". Which suggests that not everything required making. If it did, God made it. If it was co-eternal like spirit is, then it has existed eternally with Him and didn't require being brought into existence; just being formed and refined. Justin Martyr to Trypho says that God did not make the angels. God said he was I AM THAT I AM, or in other words "The Self-Existent of self-existent." We are all spirit children of God and share His ontology.

Furthermore, the creation story in Genesis does not discuss the creation of the angels. Later in the NT God is called the Father of Spirits. But this does not suggest ex-nihlo. So, the essence of Lucifer (his will) always existed and he was given every opportunity and honor to do good and choose good in the Pre-mortal realm, but used His free will to rebel. God does allow evil to operate, using them for his higher purpose. But this doesn't mean that evil people won't receive punishment for their evil. They will receive the wages of sin that are promised.

Many say God gave us free will. Will is the essence of existence and our eternal nature. But will is not necessarily free to choose or act. So, It is okay to say God gave us free will (freed our will), or agency, but, it is false to say God gave us our will. That would mean God created our essence from nothing and that he brought us into existence and not just bringing our spirits into being which is what the NT suggests again and again in the original Greek.

That said, there is one more important point here. Death and dying is bad and usually painful. Life is good. But we all came to Earth knowing that we would die and that we would be subject to pain and suffering in this life. So we all came to Earth with our eyes open and knowing that Satan was here. We even accepted the veil over our memories. So, we all had proper prior disclosure and informed consent. But in addition, we are promised that Christ's atonement reverses all death and separation from God, and covers all pain. God promises that all our loses will be made up to us. There is no wound he cannot heal. Then we are left to stand before God and be judged based upon our own works based on the knowledge and understanding we had. So, the plan is perfectly legal and just; even for a high-profile federal prosecutor.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Why Are There Requirements to Enter an LDS Temple?

In the Old Testament the Lord invited the Elders of Israel to come up into the Mountain with Moses. However, initially as he spoke with them, he caused the elders to stand at the base of the mountain and gave them the 10 Commandments and come other laws and requirements of purification that he expected they observe before coming up into the Holy Mountain. Unfortunately, while Moses was away, the people made the golden calf, and engaged in idol worship. Consequently, a preparatory Law of Moses was given to the people with additional outward rules and requirements of purification to enter the Jewish Temple.

Today, temples and the everlasting gospel are available to all kingdoms, nations, tongues, and peoples, and not just one nation. However, the rules and requirements of individual inward purification are still required. Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:11 says "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat."

Now, while no one is absolutely perfect in this life, their is a minimum standard of holiness and inward purity that we can achieve and which the Lord expects. 1 Cor 5:11 is the basis for the purification requirements of the New Testament Temple:
Fornication: all moral sin is forbidden. All Christian disciples are expected to observe strict abstinence before marriage and complete fidelity within marriage.
Covetous: we are to live God more than money. A wonderful measure and gauge of this is that all Christian disciples are required to pay a full tithing or 10% of their increase to Christ's Church. In the temple we covenant to consecrate and devote all we have to God, but 10% is the minimum to enter the temple. It doesn't make sense to want to covenant to give 100%, when we can't give 10%.
Idolater: All Christian disciples should posses a love and testimony of Jesus Christ as their Savior, as well as their faith and testimony in the Restoration of the Gospel in the Last Days through Joseph Smith which continues on to the present with our current Prophet President Thomas S. Monson.
Railer: Christian disciples worthy of the Lord's House should never be guilty of any type of abuse to wife or offspring.
Drunkard: Isaiah warns us of "following after strong drink" and allowing "wine to inflame us". Similarly, the Word of Wisdom which is the Lord's Latter-day law of health which requires that we abstain from any alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea or any other type of illicit drugs.
Extortioner: We should be honest in all our dealings with our fellow man avoiding any type of lying, cheating, or stealing.

During the time of the Law of Moses, if a Jew were to become unclean, he would have to come before the Priest and confess his uncleanliness, and submit to the requirements of purification, and return to the Priest after fulfilling these requirements and be declared ritually pure to enter into the Temple. Today, the New Testament LDS Bishop serves as a Judge in Israel in the same way the Priest did in the Old Testament. LDS Bishop's are not necessarily "preachers." Sermons and lessons on Sunday are assigned out and given by the members to members. Bishop's are tasked with receiving confession, assisting with repentance and the determination of the requirements of purification, and in determining ritual purity for a person to participate in the rites and ordinances of the gospel such as the Lord's Supper or Sacrament every Sunday and in determining worthiness to go to the LDS Temple. The Bishop also helps with the poor and needy under his stewardship.

Someone asked why the requirements to not drink beer will keep you out of the temple while the Word of Wisdom requirement to "eat food in its season" is not generally observed in America and is not required. The answer is that 1 Cor 5:11 discusses drunkenness as the requirement. Nevertheless, the American people are not immune from the grave health consequences of eating foods loaded with preservatives.

It is well recognized in scripture in D&C 1, that the people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are far from perfect. The Lord says he is pleased with His church "collectively and not individually". And in another place, the Lord says that the church is under condemnation for neglecting the Book of Mormon. So, it can be said, that the LDS Church is under some degree of condemnation. The people of the church have not become perfected yet and therefore, we are not enjoying all the blessings me might enjoy and will one day enjoy in the Millennium when Christ's Kingdom will become perfected. In a way, we are sojourning through the Deserts of Sinai. I am sure there weren't many converts who saw Israel out in the desert and were attracted to come join God's people as they suffered through their days of chastisement.

Temple, Constitution, and Self-Government
If you really understood and loved the great Constitution of the United States, then you should immediately love the LDS Temple as a great institution and mechanism of freedom and social therapy and rehabilitation. The Money Elite who control this world are ready to destroy the American Empire they have Infiltrated, Corrupted, and Subverted and move on to China. They would like us in America, who will survive the great tribulations that they have already begun to unleash upon us, to believe that Constitutional and Representative Democracy is a failed experiment no more noteworthy than Greece or Rome.

In the mind of the Power and Money Elite, man is incapable of governing himself. According to them, man is corrupt, completely controlled by his passions, and requires some sort of monarchy, or oligarchy to rule over him. The Constitution, on the other hand, is established on the premise that all men are created equal, all men should be subject to the same laws, and that man can and should be able to govern himself. However, as Alexis De'Tocqueville commented in "Democracy in America" the Christian Churches and the peoples faith in Christ is what makes Self Government work.

However, we have seen a failure of Christianity in America. Christian Churches are no longer supporting our Constitutional Government by helping their people to govern their own behavior. While the US does not endorse any one Church over another, we do have a national faith that 1. all men will stand before God to be judged. 2. all men are subject and all laws should support and reflect natural law which is the "golden rule" that no man should do to another when he wouldn't want another to do to him. Instead the Money Elite practice a different golden rule: "he who has the gold makes the rules."

Many Christian churches make no requirements and have no expectations of their people. They do not receive confession, they do not assign punishment, and they do not provide social rehabilitation. Most Churches today allow anyone to go through the motions of Christian observance, without any expectations. You can pretty much do whatever you want, and as long as you haven't been arrested, you can be baptized, and partake of the Lord's Supper unworthily. Sure, many Christian Churches will excommunicate if a particular member commits some terrible crime out of embarrassment, but Churches rarely provide mechanisms which allow people to confess their sins before they become public scandals. Consequently, many people look at the hypocrisy of Christianity and become disillusioned with organized religion altogether.

So, I am not saying that there have never been temple-going LDS members who have never committed a terrible crime. There is nothing to prevent a person from lying to their bishop. And there is nothing about being baptized, or taking the Lord's Supper, or going to the Temple that guarantees Eternal Life by themselves. But, what the LDS Church provides is a great system which provides opportunities for all people to make confession, receive correction, receive social/spiritual rehabilitation and rewards and positively reinforces righteous self-government. The LDS Church will forever uphold the foundation principles of our Constitutional Government.

One of the many complaints against the LDS Temple and it's worthiness requirements, is that so many of the requirements are very socially acceptable behaviors. Because of this, it is very easy for people to excuse themselves and rationalize, "Drinking coffee cannot possibly be all that bad since most of good Christian people I know do it." You cannot tell me that only good little LDS people who go to the temple and refuse coffee are going to be blessed and rewarded more than everyone else. God absolutely hates this argument. In fact, this is precisely the argument that God says make a nation ripe for total destruction.

Mosiah 29: 26-27 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity (sin becomes socially acceptable), then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

Today, America has and is further undergoing a process of Ideological Subversion and Demoralization. The Power and Money Elite want us to lose faith in the Constitution and America. To do that they need to fill our head with false ideas and propaganda. To get people to accept lies and false propaganda, they need to be corrupted and demoralized. A demoralized person cannot determine truth because truth would cause pierce their conscience and cut them to the very center. The truth tells a wicked demoralized person to change and repent. Change is difficult and painful so, the demoralized person would rather accept lies as reality.

But, the key here is that the real threat to the US is our demoralization and that for the past decades, fornication, pornography, drunkenness, use of other illicit psychoactive substances and drugs is commonplace. The sins of abortion, and same-sex marriage have become false civil rights issues totally neglecting the rights of the child to live and to be raised in a home with both a father and a mother when possible. And if you speak out against the behavior of homosexuality, you are labeled a "homophob" and a "bigot." All these are grave sins, that the true and living God has clearly stated are sinful and are forbidden. While there will aways be a minority of people who struggle with sin and addiction, the problem for America is that we have allowed ourselves to become Demoralized to the point where all these things are now socially acceptable and are not any longer even considered sin.

Why is using any type of psychotropic drug wrong. The brain develops via positive and negative feelings and reinforcement. We are emotional creatures, therefore, good feelings and negative feelings reinforce certain connections in the brain and therefore certain behaviors that lead to better health and better survival fitness. Buy taking psychoactive substances for the purposes of getting "high", this totally short-circuits these mechanisms. In a very real sense, Doing drugs is stealing. You didn't earn that "high" feeling. The feelings of elation should be reserved for moments of accomplishment, discovery, and natural social interactions with family and friends.

Even if you don't believe in God, if you are any student of history, you must recognize that the Power and Money Elite of this world have used the importation of drugs to demoralize, economically drain, and then destroy one empire after another. The economic drain of a nation requires a massive expansion of territory via a military industrial complex to keep an advanced economy going and keep pace with the economic drain from the trade deficit. However, eventually the cost to maintain the trade deficit and the empire becomes to great and the entire Ponzi scheme comes crashing down.

S0, if you love freedom, and you love the Constitution of the United States, come join in the cause to save America by preaching repentance, supporting the re-moralization, and Social and Spiritual Rehabilitation of this country. Many Christians ask why LDS Missionaries preach to other Christians. One main reason is because many Christians require the social and spiritual rehabilitation. LDS Missionaries and Members alike could be considered trained Social and Spiritual Therapist. And we do it all free of charge.

Remember the purpose of the New Testament Temple is inscribed on each one "Holiness to the Lord." The purpose of the LDS Temple is to help reward and reinforce righteous behavior and habits. The covenants and promises of the temple are to consecrate your life to Christ, and to help the poor and needy in exchange for the promise of sanctification or a decrease in the desire for sin. Christ taught the rich young man to have eternal life, "'if thou wilt be made perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor, and come and follow me." Consecration is the covenant of the temple, and Sanctification is the blessing.

Sanctification and Consecration

Bishop David H. Burton, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gave an excellent talk in LDS General Conference about the Sanctifying effect of helping the needy and poor. In my opinion, this talk is the meat of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You will remember that in the New Testament a rich young man asked Jesus Christ, "What shall I do to obtain Eternal Life." Christ responded, "What saith the Law?" After running down the 10 Commandments, the young man replied, "all these I have kept since I was a boy. What lack I yet?" Then Christ gave one of the most important sayings in all of scripture, "If thou wilt be made perfect, sell all that thou hast, give to the poor, and come and follow me." This covenant and commitment is referred to as "Consecration". For LDS, this covenant is the higher covenant of the New Testament, and it is covenant that is made in the LDS Temple. In return for this devotion, Christ promises us that we can become sanctified and perfected from our sins.

Consecration is not a vow of poverty. That is going beyond the mark. God does not require that anyone "run faster than they have strength." Consecration means that after your righteous wants and needs are satisfied, that you devote all your excess time, talents, and resources to Him, His Church, and to helping the poor and needy. For some, who have little, we are taught in the Book of Mormon "I give not because I have not, but if I had, I would give".

Sanctification is much different than Justification. Justification is what occurs when a person is baptized by water and then born again by fire and the Holy Ghost. Justification is the continual forgiveness of sins by Christ's atonement and the imputing of His righteousness upon the believer. However, while it's nice to be forgiven, Sin still has serious and painful consequences. Let's say I smoke. I can believe in Christ and ask for forgiveness each night, but if I continue to smoke, Christ will not save me from the consequences of COPD and possibly Lung Cancer. We reap what we sow. However, the promise of Sanctification means that if we make the higher covenant of consecration and keep this covenant, we are promised that Christ's atonement not only has the mercy to forgive us, but it has the power to strengthen us against all sin. While, according to Paul, initial justification occurs by faith and not by works, Sanctification is absolutely all about works.

(Justification= initial condescension of the Holy Ghost to dwell with an imperfect individual to inspire them to repent, follow Christ, and be baptized, e.g. God makes the first move. Without this justifying condescension, the Holy Ghost could never dwell in fallen man at all and man could never be turned from His path of sin. However, after this initial "rescue"; good works, ordinances, and covenants are then required to keep that Spirit as a constant companion leading to Sanctification).

Priesthood and Temple
In the Old Testament, the Priesthood of God was not freely available to all. In the days or dispensation of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, only the oldest son received this honor. In the case of Jacob and his 12 sons, the oldest son(Reuben, Simeon) lost out because of serious moral sin. The honor of the priesthood and birthright was then given to Joseph, who was the oldest son of Jacob's 2nd wife Rachel. This honor was symbolized by Joseph receiving the fabled "coat of many colors." The other brothers were so jealous that they sold their brother as a slave into Egypt, tore up the coat into pieces, dipping a small piece of the coat in animal blood. They then delivered the bloody remnant to Jacob telling him some wild animal killed and ate Joseph. However, it turned out that in the end, Joseph in Egypt ended up saving his family from the great famine. In the last days, the tribe of Joseph in America (symbolic of Egypt) will serve to save the rest of the house of Israel from a spiritual famine which was the Great Apostasy during the Dark Ages through the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.

During another Dispensation in the day of Moses, God initially wanted all the Elders of Israel to come with Moses up into the Mountain to make covenants with the Lord, and become a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation. However, we read that the people where afraid and responded to the invitation, to have Moses go alone and speak with the Lord himself and come back and tell them what the Lord said. Ex 20:19 "And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." However, while they were gone, we know they claimed Moses delays coming down from the mountain so they made the golden calf and engaged in the idol worship of the Egyptians (type of the Last Days).

Consequently, the higher covenant of Abraham was not given at this time, but a lesser and preparatory Law of Moses was given to the people. (Gal 3:17, Heb 7:11) And the priesthood was not given to all the men of Israel, but only to the tribe of Levi and the Sons of Aaron who stood with Moses after coming down from the mountain. During the time of the Law of Moses, only the Levites and the Sons of Aaron were washed, anointed, and clothed in the robes of the priesthood to serve in the temple. And like Joseph's coat, their robes were of made of many colors to represent their sins and need for the future atonement of Jesus Christ. Only once a year, did the High Priest, representing Jesus Christ, dress in all white and pass through the Veil into the Holy of Holies of the Temple's inner sanctum.

However, now that Christ has performed the Atonement and died and has been resurrected and the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ and the higher Abrahamic Covenant has been restored, the veil of the temple had been torn. The Bible does not say the Veil fell down, but only was torn allowing the righteous in Christ to pass through. John in Revelation was shown the Saints in the Latter-days in the Temple and commented why everyone was wearing white in the Temple. Priests in the temple usually didn't all wear white, only the High Priest wore white. But the angel said in Revelation was told that "these are they who have washed their garments white in the blood of the Lamb". So, the white clothing in the temple represents that disciples of Christ have been washed clean of their sins by His atoning blood.

New Testament Temple
And now in the New Testament Temple, John in Revelation said he saw "another angel fly in the midst of heaven with the everlasting gospel to preach to all kingdoms, nations, tongues, and peoples." Also, John comments that this angel says "hurt not the Earth, nor the trees until we have sealed the servants of God in their forehead". So, now today, the higher covenant and priesthood is not just available to the oldest son, or only one single tribe, but today, this honor is available to every kingdom, nation, tongue and people. In the Old Testament, the temple was only available to one tribe, one family, one language, one nation, one kingdom, one land, one people. Today, these blessing are available to everyone. This is why the angel appears sounding his horn on the top of every LDS Temple. This is the message that the gospel is sounding, that this great covenant, and priesthood, and blessing, and honor is available to all. Accordingly, we see new testament temples being built all over the world to every kingdom, nation, tongue and people.

So, just as in the Old Testament, only the sons of Aaron were washed and anointed and ordained kings and priests unto God, today all worthy disciples of Christ can make these similar preparations and covenants with God just has the Sons of Aaron did in the Old Testament unto God who is the King of kings and Lord of lords. However, the ritual in the temple is a metaphor for life, and is teaching a lesson about who God is, who we are, our relationship with God, and the purpose of life. The endowment of power occurs as we understand and keep the covenant of consecration we make in the New Testament Temple. As we ponder these lessons and "measure the pattern" of the Temple as Ezekiel was instructed to do; and the better we understand and keep these things, the more immune to Satan's temptations we become. We are promised that we will eventually lose all desire for sin. As the covenant of the mountain of the lord's House rolls forth and grows to fill the whole Earth, Satan will be bound.

Conspiracy Fact in the Book of Mormon

I have heard some comment that when it comes to discussing the wickedness and conspiracy that exists today, that those who hold this world view are just wanting to feel smarter or better than everyone else. Since, this has come up several times, here is my response:

The point of being a "conspiracy realist" is not about trying to feel better than others or knowing more than others. The point is that being "awake" to the reality of the world we live in makes you a "minority" and a bit "marginalized" in society. While not everything bad that happens is a conspiracy, once you are "awake", this kind of new world view affects how you interpret almost everything that happens.

Again, for many of us, being "awake" is "isolating". We go on with our average and productive lives, but we quickly discover that we cannot easily talk about our new political, economic, and social world view with friends, colleagues, or even our spouses. So, some of us may frequent a forum or blog seeking a community of like-minded individuals. Not that all "conspiracy realists" all think exactly alike, or interpret everything the same, or agree on every subject. But we share this commonality of being "awake".

The reason why discussing this stuff with others is so difficult is because being "awake" is so unpleasant and shocking. While being "awakened" for me was a bit of a process involving studying the banking scandal in 2008, Dr. Jones' 9/11 lecture was what really opened my eyes for good. I was really "freaking out" so-to-speak for a little while. For a while you don't know what to believe, and it is easy to latch onto a lot of misinformation that is put out there. So, there is also a maturity that happens. It is a interesting dynamic.

D&C 88:108-110 And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and areveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years—And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.

Ask yourself this. Why would Christ bother to come down to Earth to reveal to us everything that happened during the whole history of the Earth? Unless, the history that we think we know is all wrong. But then consider the benefits of having this truth. According to this scripture, the "awakening" of the people to the truth seems to be a major contributer to what will "bind" Satan. Much of Satan's power in this world is due to his control over the spiritually blind which they call "useful idiots" or "useless eaters".

However, please don't misunderstand. Not being a "conspiracy realist" doesn't make someone automatically inferior in any way. The scripture that best illustrates this is Lehi vs. Nephi. Now they were both shown the same vision of the Tree of Life. However, Nephi comments that despite this, Lehi never noticed "the filthiness of the water." because his mind was wrapped up in other things. But Nephi did notice, and he spent most of 2 Nephi talking about it and quoting Isaiah who also goes to great length in describing the filthiness of the water.

But we can go to far, and the Book of Mormon discusses exactly what we should and should not talk about.

Alma 37:27-29 Therefore ye shall keep these secret plans of their oaths and their covenants from this people, and only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known unto them; and ye shall teach them to abhor such wickedness and abominations and murders; and ye shall also teach them that these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders. (see Ether 8:20, Hel 6:25-26, Mos 29:25-26, Alma 8:17, 4Ne1:42, Ether 10:33, Hel 2:13).

The reality is that history describes the rise and fall of one civilization after another. Our Constitutional Republic is the most advanced of all civilizations from the beginning, but "The Powers That Be" are wanting to destroy the Constitution and get us to think that America was just one more failed experiment no better than Rome or Greece. And it seems like after Babylon came Iran, then Greece, and Rome. So, in our day we have seen the rise and fall of Spain, France, Great Britain, and now we are seeing a fall of the United States while we the money elite transfer power over to Communist China and Russia.

And we are warned in the Book of Mormon that if we do not repent of our sins, our society will be destroyed just like the Nephites and the Jaredites were. This warning of is one major purpose of the Book of Mormon. The key to what to do to preserve our freedoms is to repent. Our country is undergoing a process of Ideological Subversion. This process involves systematic demoralization. An immoral corrupt people cannot see truth. Therefore, unless we can repent as a nation and reverse the trend whereby many sins have now become socially acceptable, then we cannot possibly reverse the decline and destruction of America. The key to saving America is to make sin no longer socially acceptable. Too many people excuse their sin by thinking that it can't be all that bad if everyone is doing it. God hates this excuse more than any other. We have been demoralized as a people and our only hope is to remoralize as a nation. Every time we as a people legalize sin and make sin socially acceptable, we take one more step closer towards destruction.

Mosiah 29:
26-27Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

Rev 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Ether 8:23Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Losing Faith in Government

3 Nephi 7:2 And the people were divided one against another; and they did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land.

The events in the Book of Mormon leading up to the appearance of Jesus Christ in America are a type of Second Coming of Jesus Christ in this the Last Days. Just before Christ's appearance, the government of the Nephites had been infiltrated and subverted by a secret brotherhood of robbers known as the Gadiantons. The extent of the corruption in government was such that after the assassination of the Chief Judge, the population had lost so much faith; they abandoned the government entirely and separated into tribes.

It seems to me that there has been a gradual but persistent errosion of respect for authority in America. Youth have less respect for their elders, children hold less honor for thier parents, citizens are more fearful of law enforcement, and more suspicious of their elected leaders. While the blame for this trend can't be entirely attributed to one side of the other; the consequences are potentially grave.

It is official LDS Doctrine that the Constitution of the United States is inspired by God. And while we have the civic duty to elect moral and good leaders, we must never abandon the foundation document that protects our liberties and freedoms.

The fourth trumpet of Revelation talks about 1/3 the sun, moon, and stars darkening. It is my opinion that apart from any type of possible literal fulfillment, I believe that this darkening symbolically refers to the failure of many local, state and national government. Not all governments fail, but a 1/3 part. This could be for various reasons such as bankruptcy, civil unrest or war. I think we are already beginning to see this.

I was thinking about where the media is taking us. Is Osama Bin Laden really dead or did he die 10 years ago? Was Bin Laden killed last week, or just 3 days ago? What's with Pres. Obama releasing his Birth Certificate long form now? What about comet Elenin, HAARP, and earthquakes? What's with these UFO sightings? What about Fukushima and the danger of radioactive fallout? What about the TARP bailout and where did all that money really go? What really happen with the BP oil spill and is the Corexit still a health risk? What really happened on 9/11 and Building 7? Are we getting the facts, are we being lied to? While all these issues have their importance. I think the overall goal with all of this is to erode our faith in government.

How much longer, and what will be the tipping point where America ends up like the Nephites in the Book of Mormon?

The above and previous explainations of trumpets may be 3 years early as there are those like in the Book of Mormon who are trying to create a scenario where believers will be made to think that the time is past when the Bible predicts the Second Coming. This dating is based on the assumption that Christ was born 3 BC and the following Jubilee years and event all occur 3 years earlier. The Abomination of Desolation is to occur in the midst of the final 7 tribulation years. What I mean is that there are those out there who are pointing to the year 2017 as the Second Coming and the beginning of the tribuation in 2010. These same people assume Christ was born 3 BC. I tend to side with Elder Talmage and believe Chist was born April 6, 1 BC.

1820 116th Jubilee: First Vision, End of Spanish Inquisition
1870 117th Jubilee: Edict of Pope Nicholas III, End of Roman Ghettos
1920 118th Jubllee: Prohibition, League of Nations begins, Protocols of Zion published, Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate for Palestine confirmed by League of Nations.
1950 "Law of Return": Command to Rebuild Israel and Jerusalem (The Fig Tree Nation), Beginning of Daniel's Final 70 Years (This generation shall not all pass away)
1970 119th Jubilee: Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, End of War of Attition following 6-day War
2000 Opening of 7th Seal, and beginning of 1/2-hour of silence in heaven
2011-2 Beginning of Daniel Tribulation Week (three score and two years)
2016-7 Abomination of Desolation, Heathen Army Invasion, Adam-ondi-Ahman
2020 120th Jubilee: We will see "Eye to Eye" when the Lord brings again Zion, End of 1/2-hour of silence in heaven

Several Apostles (Elder Benson, Elder McConkie) have commented that they believe the Abomination of Desolation will be a nuclear event. Pres. George Albert Smith describes WWII and a Nuclear First Strike on America after the Election but before the Inaugaration of the next POTUS. The POTUS at the time before the next POTUS takes office is said to be of "Greek" ancestry which may be just an euphamism for non-northern european. With rhetoric heating up in Pakistan between China and the US, and the US continually provoking Russia and China, an attack on the US could happen in 2012 and we could already be in the Tribulation. I am not going to vote for President Obama to be re-elected, but in light of the account of this vision given by Bro. David Horne, I am pulling for Pres. Obama to win in 2012. I could use 4 more years.