Sealing, Keys, and Priesthood

We were having a discussion on Facebook about how people are sealed to one another. Here is a comment from Rob Lauer:

“We seal ourselves to one another by the Holy Spirit of Promise which is that spiritual bond that we create one with another. And whatever glory we possess when we enter into eternity is the glory that we have cultivated within ourselves; it is not given to us or granted to us by some outside power or authority. As the eternal aspect of each of us is eternal and uncreated, without beginning or end, we possess the power and authority to order our lives and to progress on our own. When we cultivate any degree of glory within ourselves, it is because we have lived in harmony with the eternal natural law upon which that glory if predicated. Ordinances and rituals are–like scripture–works of art, the creations of human beings. This gives them even deeper meaning to us as they can speak powerfully to our individual conditions; but ordinances and rituals only celebrate a spiritual reality or aspiration. In and of themselves they do not (cannot) grant blessings or powers or insure results of any kind.” Rob Lauer

I agree with what Rob said, but I also believe that authority and keys need to be conferred.

How, do you recognize the two ideas? After thinking and praying about this issue, this is what makes sense to me.

We, as gods in embryo, or as part of the great whole called “God”, whichever way you want to look at it, already possess the power that God has. Nobody can give you any more power than you already have. But, God has one thing that we don’t have.

(1) He has knowledge of HOW to use this power. Without this knowledge, the power is useless and ineffective. Keys in the Priesthood consist of knowledge of how to use the Priesthood. I duscuss elsewhere in this blog, in “The Foundation of Zion Vol. II” how we obtain this knowledge and these keys from God. If a man claims to hold the keys, but possesses no knowledge, then he does not have any keys, nad therefore, no power in his Priesthood. If a man has knowledge of how to use his Priesthood, then, he must, of necessity, recognize that he possesses keys. And he must know that he has the keys.

A formal ordination does not confer Priesthood. It simply means that a body of people recognize your Priesthood and acknowledge that you are able to exercise it within their purview. The article mentioned above describes how receive the ultimate power, knowledge, and keys in the Priesthood from none other than God.

(2) Joseph Smith recognized that no man exercises the Priesthood in a vacuum. Each person who holds the Priesthood, exercises it in concert with every other Priesthood holder who is alive, or who ever lived and held the Priesthood. President John Taylor also taught this principle. Priesthood can only effectively function when we are linked together with our brethren through the ages, and our immediate brethren in a Priesthood quorum. This principle needs to be more fully taught, understood, and lived. We are far more powerful when we organize ourselves into groups of individuals and work and act together as one.

The Correct Expression of Desire

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

In light of what my teacher, Stephen R. Covey, said in his bestseller, and what we Mormons have heard over the pulpit for years. And, also in light of what the Savior said about a man lusting in his heart having committed adultery already. In light of this, men who profess to be “apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ” have stated the following:

“The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.” mormonsandgays.com.

How can somebody have attractions without having thoughts and feelings about them? And, how can somebody harbor these thoughts and feelings without eventually acting on them? So, I guess what they are really saying is “Go ahead and have those thoughts and feelings. Suppress them. Turn them off. Take lots of cold showers. Sing hymns. Marry in the temple. Put yourself and others through hell and misery. Then, when you finally can’t take living the lie (thinking without acting), you take that step, and when you do, we’ll get you.”

This is like a person getting a testimony of the Church, but is forbidden to join the church. (Incidentally, missionaries are told not to proselyte Gays, for this very reason.)

Here is a more excellent way. Or, another way to think about it. God has made all things for the benefit of man, and are to be used with care and wisdom, in moderation, always acknowledging the Divine Hand that gave that gift. (D&C 59)

Every other attraction, feeling, emotion, thought, aspiration that we experience, is neither good nor evil, until it is expressed in action. It is the expression thereof which is either a blessing or a sin. There is a time and a place for every thing (Ecc. 3:8). But, not THIS?? There has to be a way to express these attractions in a healthy, and not a sinful way. And, not in a way that harms others. There is a way for everything else, why not this? Have you ever thought about this before?

Here is a suggestion. What is the sin if these attractions find their expression in a stable, committed, monogamous legal marriage? That option is now on the table in most advanced Western countries, and in many US states. Why do those who process to be servants of God fight against the principles of the Gospel, and against the very means (legal marriage) which will provide a way to fulfill these attractions AND live the Gospel? Adultery is still adultery. Infidelity is still infidelity. The real sin is that we make a covenant of marriage and fail to fulfill that covenant. Those who find themselves outside the walls of Zion looking in will be those who love and make a lie. (Rev. 22:15).

So, in one respect, the Big Brethren are right. The key is how we RESPOND to these attractions. But, they offer no proper or effective way to respond to them. I have offered a way to respond to them. I hope you will consider this response, and I hope that somebody who is in a position of authority in the Church will prayerfully consider this response, and put it to the Lord, as I have.

Reforming Mormonism – Would It Even Work?

Christ failed to reform Judaism. Martin Luther failed to return the Catholic church. Joseph Smith failed to reform Protestantism. While I applaud your efforts, don’t be disappointed when your efforts fall on deaf ears and the church that you loved all your life, the one you thought was so nice and friendly and understanding, suddenly turns on you. As Christ told us, you cannot put new wine in old bottles.

I have some very harsh words for you. This church has sunk into apostasy even more quickly than the Catholics did. They are ripening in iniquity. How do I know this? Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon, a hated Lamanite outsider, standing on the wall of the Nephite city, warned that the sign the city had ripened in iniquity was when they started driving the righteous from among their midst. Right now, that city is the church you claim to love, that wall is your Facebook wall, and I come to tell you these words in the same spirit as Samuel came.

That church is driving out the best blood of this generation — worthy and valiant young men and woman, dividing families asunder. But, they are too stupid, too asleep, and too blind to see the great losses occurring all around them.

The Lord had spoken to many of us “hated outsiders” in the Gay community, who return like Samuel of Old, bearing a message, and a warning, and also news that God still loves us; the Restoration is far from complete; and if the people manifest sufficient faith, a new dispensation of the Gospel is right around the corner. God is willing to begin again and will work with us if we will work with him. Zion is no nearer or no further away than the spiritual conditions of the Saints justifies. Why do we waste time fighting an uncaring and unresponsive hierarchy, when we could be following the real God and strengthening our families, building Zion, and preparing for the Second Coming?

And, not only Gay Mormons and ex-Mormons, you have the testimony of millions of Gays around the world of every faith, who affirm that they know God still loves them.

If they would not listen to Christ, Martin Luther, or Joseph Smith, what makes you think they will listen to you. Right now, your only hope lies in the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. Perhaps if you importune on behalf of you son, enough times, they will unstop their ears and their hearts and hear you. I pray that they will, but I fear that they will not.

What is Religion?

When I was young and naive, I used to thing that the purpose of religion was to discover new truth and teach it. But, I have come to realize that religion is just a way to control the masses.

“Religion” comes from a root word that means to “tie up”, or “to bind”.

Don’t get me wrong. Discipline is a school which we must all attend until we master the art of discipleship. Then we must graduate and our teachers must ALLOW us to graduate into something greater.

What Separates Us from God?

We need to consider the people in the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price, who looked FORWARD to the atonement of Christ, and through the atonement, and the knowledge that they gained, they were redeemed from the fall and were brought back into the Presence of God.

This is a much-overlooked Mormon doctrine. “We believe that men will be punished for their OWN sins, and NOT for Adam’s transgression.” Think about the implications of this. Isaiah 59:2 says: “Your sins have separated you from God.” It’s you that have separated yourself from God, and not the other way around. He would love to have you back, anytime you are ready. This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.

All is Relationships

A response to a discussion about relationships.
Stephen:
An interesting development has been taking place for me personally of late and that is the simple discovery that the more ‘relationships’ we have with others the more the ‘love’ can flow.
Without relationships there is no love and there is no life.
John:
Congratulation on your discovery! You can read all about this, and somebody can explain this to a person till the cows come home, but until this realization dawns on you personally, and you can experience it for yourself, it’s just words.
Here are some more words.
Not only is the quantity relationships conducive to the flow of love, but the depth and quality of those relationships, as well.
What we are describing is energy flow.
1. In order to exist, an entity or particle must send and receive energy.
2. If an entity does not send or receive energy, does it really exist? If so, how could be detect it unless we could detect the presence of an energy flow?
3. We could also say that to the degree a particle or entity is able to freely circulate energy, the more fully it may be said to exist.
All is relationships. Everything exists in relationship to everything else; otherwise it does not exist.
The study of reality is the study of relationships.
The way to improve the quality of life of humanity is to improve the quality of our relationships.

 

 

My Philosophy of Good and Evil

I have a very simple philosophy of “good” and “evil”.
1. Good and evil are personal considerations.
2. Good is whatever takes the individual or group forward in their eternal progression.
3. Evil is whatever takes the individual or group backward in their eternal progression.
4. The desired state is the greatest for for the greatest number of people.
5. Many times, the choice is not between good and evil, but between good and more good, good and great, honorable and valiant.

The Principle of Beauty

I replied to this post, but it got lost somewhere, so here is a quick summary.

There are so many ways to consider beauty, let’s limit this to a consideration of the beauty of the human face. I think this is what you are getting at anyway.

Beauty is an attractive principle, and as such, is a manifestation of the female principle. We normally associate beauty with females, but males can be beautiful in a different way. And, animals, plants, and other things such as scenery, can be beautiful, as well.

Beauty also applies not only to way people look, but to the way they DO things. A person, who is not particularly good-looking can dance or plan the piano beautifully. I see beauty when I go to the dentist and watch the doctor and his assistant working seamlessly together, as if it were a choreographed dance.

The old song goes “There is beauty all around, when there’s love at home.” I think what this is really saying is that there is beauty in all things, but we just have to be in the right frame of mind to see it and recognize it. Recognizing beauty probably says more about us that it does the beautiful object of our attention.

Rather than say a principle determines whether a thing is beautiful, I would say there are a few general principles which cause humans, in general, to consider a thing (a face) as being beautiful. There are also some factors which are unique to people as a race, as a nationality, as a family, and as individuals.

You mentioned symmetry in one of your posts, but this is not quite true. If you could look at the faces of famous movie stars, handsome and beautiful alike, and see their face tweaked to show perfect symmetry, they look rather strange, plain, unattractive, and unappealing. I saw this illustrated on a TV show called “You Asked for It”. It was a popular TV program in the 50’s.

A toothpaste ad in a Swedish magazine showed two pictures of a handsome, young teenage male. In one picture, his teeth were perfectly formed and symmetrical. In the other picture, a couple of the teeth were ever so slightly uneven and askew. The second picture was much more attractive.

Then, we have the “real” housewives on Bravo! They have all been to the “dentist” to achieve that perfect facial look. They are not ugly, but they are not particularly beautiful or interesting, either.

I lived in L.A. for a number of years. Hollywood is literally full of beautiful young women and men, looking for work in the movies. Setting aside their acting skills and lack of industry contacts, and consider them on looks alone. The people who become stars are also good-looking and beautiful, but they have something in addition that makes them interesting.

Near symmetry is more beautiful that absolutely perfect symmetry.

Beauty also needs to engage our interest in some way. It needs to attract our attention in some way. One way is slight imperfections. It engages our minds to imagine what if they WERE perfect. It’s a little game we play with ourselves.

Another game we play is we want to see some depth to the beauty. A beautiful, but mysterious woman is more attractive than one who is not mysterious. A woman who is slightly removed, aloof, and unavailable is also more attractive. To see my point, compare Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, and Grace Kelly with Doris Day.

Another factor with beauty that engages us is we want to do things and give things to the person, whom we consider beautiful. Babies are beautiful to us humans. This is an instinctual reaction so we will take care of them, nurture them, and protect them. I believe that if there are any universal standards of beauty, they are based in this. When the boss falls in love with his secretary, he buys her presents. If he really loves her, he may provide her with a place to live and an education. Males do the same thing for their younger lovers.

Beauty has to be more than skin deep. Marilyn Monroe had a depth to her that we don’t see in Madonna. Justin Bieber is very good-looking, and probably as beautiful as a young man can get, but his attitude and his antics detract from whatever good looks he might have.

I have seen studies that show that cultures the world over have pretty much the same standards for beauty, but there are differences by race, culture, and nationality. But, there are also individual differences in taste, as well. This probably has a lot to do with looking at a person who reminds us of somebody else whom we thought was beautiful.

So, I would say that beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder, though many of us “beholders”. And, there has to be something beyond the superficial beauty that attracts and holds our attention.

— In Keysters@yahoogroups.com, “josephjohndewey” <jjdewey@…> wrote:
>
> Spiritual Principle 42:
> The Principle Of Beauty
>
> (1) What is the principle that determines whether a thing is beautiful?
> (2) Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Explain.
> (3) Name three of the most physically beautiful people you know of and one person who is beautiful in some way other than the physical.

God and Tragedy

This is my response to a Facebook discussion about why bad things happen to good people.

 
Let’s dissect this argument. First, the only “tragedies” that catch our attention are the ones hyped by the press. Are the untimely deaths of thousands who die of diseases and war on a constant, ongoing basis throughout the year any less a “tragedy” than a handful of people who are killed or injured in a single public spectacle? Is there any difference? And, since we pretend to know the mind and will of God when occasion suits us, are these two “tragedies” any different in the mind of God?

 
Second, does God really consider these “tragedies”? What is physical death to a being who is immortal, who sees from the viewpoint of eternity, and who knows that we as beings are just as eternal and immortal as he is? What would be the greatest tragedy to occur to humanity in the eyes of God? Without pretending to know, I would take a guess that spiritual separation for God, the second death, is even more far-reaching and a greater loss to both us and God than the first death. At the fall, mankind was separated from God. That was a tragedy, but did God do anything to stop it? No. And there’s your answer. God did, however, provide a means for mankind to overcome the effects of the second death, through the plan of redemption. And what does redemption mean except to restore a thing to its original stand, or in other words, to return mankind to the presence of God.

 
And, third, does the Creator (1) create, set things in motion, and let things take their natural course? Or is it necessary to (2) micro-manage that creation, overseeing every little aspect of it?

 
If (2) is true, then God becomes the effect of his creation. He is drawn in, locked down, and becomes part of that creation. Perhaps, even forgetting that he, himself, was once the creator. This is what happened to Michael, who helped form the earth, and we must consider ourselves to be, respectively, Adam and Eve.

 
Getting back to this question, which it should never occur to a person like Joseph Smith to even ask, to ask this question seems to me to presume that we have created God in our fallen image, instead of the other way around.

My Relationship with Christ

This is my response to a Facebook discussion about our evolving relationships with Christ. This was my comment.

 
I see him as a close friend and co-worker. He needs all of us as much as we need him. Without each other, we are incomplete. He is anxious to deal with each of us as equals. He’s not going to do anything for me that I can’t do or can’t learn how to do for myself. When he says “follow me”, he is not saying to blindly obey his instructions. He is telling us to become like him, walk the path he walked, learn the things he knows, and do the things he did — and greater.

 
Christ can honestly state that he is the way, the truth, and the life. He can also state “what manner of men ought ye to be, yea, even as I am”. We need to also progress to the point where we can honestly state that we are the way, the truth, and the life. He invites us to take upon ourselves his name, meaning the name of Christ. This is more than just saying you believe in Christ or calling yourself a “disciple”. This means that just as he progresses by lifting us up to where he is, likewise, we also progress by doing the works and speaking the words of Christ, and lifting others up to where we are.

 
When we do this, we establish a connection with Christ, himself. We literally become one with him and he with us, and one with all others who have likewise taken upon themselves his name. “Behold, all who know my power are one.”