The Kingdom of God

This volume Revelations given to John Taylor and WIlford Woodruff contains seven revelations given to John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff over the period from 1880 through 1889. These revelations were given to the presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but were never presented to that body for a sustaining vote, and in fact, the successors to these men in the presidency denied that these revelations were ever received. This is the reason why these revelations are called The “Hidden” Revelations.

Interpreted within the context of the times in which they were given, these revelations appear to some as speaking only of that single portion of the New and Everlasting Covenant known as plural marriage. However, the words “plural”, and “polygamy” do not appear in any of these seven revelations.

The Lord had a much broader subject in mind and simply used the questions and problems posed by the problems of that day to teach much more far-reaching principles: namely, the eternal nature of The New and Everlasting Covenant and the necessity to live the laws of God:

“My Son John: You asked me concerning the New and Everlasting covenant and how far it is binding upon my people; thus saith the Lord: All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by My Name, unless they are revoked by me or by My authority, and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant; for I, the Lord, am everlasting. (1886 Revelation to John Taylor.)

For if My Priesthood, whom I have called, and endowed with the spirit and gifts of their several callings, and with the powers thereof, do not acknowledge Me, I will not acknowledge them, saith the Lord; for I will be honored and obeyed by My Priesthood. (1882 Revelation to John Taylor.)

Section 132 of the D & C makes it clear that Celestial Marriage is a new and everlasting covenant, but it is only part of THE New and Everlasting Covenant, which covers “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, [and] expectations” which should be “made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise”, and which endure in and after the resurrection. (verse 7)

What is a society if not those beings which compose it and those things which enable them to relate one to another. Section 132:7 lists just about everything that could be considered a relationship between two people, including but not limited to marriage. The Kingdom of God on earth, then, is nothing more than a group of people who are bound together in all their relationships by the ordinances of The New and Everlasting Covenant. Or, in other words, they understand and live according to The Gospel of The Kingdom.

Where does the church fit into all this? A church, as a body of believers, bound together by common goals and ideas, may choose whether or not to take upon itself the Name of Christ as a body.

A church may also choose whether or not to become subject to the laws of God as contained in the New and Everlasting Covenant. No church is the same as the Kingdom of God, but any church may choose to be subject to the Kingdom of God. In this light, it seems ridiculous for any church to proclaim itself as a true church any more than a club can proclaim itself a true club—let alone, the ONLY true club!

The only statement a church can or should make is that it, as a body, sustains the Kingdom of God and is willing to function within The New and Everlasting Covenant. Or, at the very least, supports its political rule for the sake of world peace. All this, as the D & C tells us, will be voluntary; it will not be the kind of forced rule we are so accustomed to in our present world. (See D & C 97:19, 105:32, 45:68-69.)

Beyond this, it matters little what additional customs or traditions a church believes in. A person could be a good Catholic, a good Jew, a good Muslim, as well as a good Mormon and live as he has been taught, provided that he or she obtains the Holy Priesthood, receives the ordinances of the House of the Lord, and lives by the covenants entered into therein.

This may seem a rather bold statement, but The New and Everlasting Covenant is not tied to any particular mode of worship, including and especially Mormonism. It will be that universal thread that finally ties the entire human race, with all its variegated cultures and traditions, together into one body.

What applies to a church applies to any other society, business, nation, or human organization whatsoever. In fact, this is how ZION will brought about – not by one self-proclaimed telestial organization conquering the globe with its truth, but when person after person, church after church, and nation after nation each realizes that man alone does not have the answers, and that only by aligning oneself with the laws of God will we ever establish the era of peace, righteousness, and prosperity that the ancients dreamed and sang about – the ZION of our God!

The November 15th Policy

I see it as a unintended test (but a test nonetheless) to see how long people will tolerate being governed and judged by a book of rules they cannot read (unless it is leaked), and by “revelations” they cannot read and have no voice in sustaining.

The Law of Moses was intended to be a “schoolmaster” to lead us to Christ. Its purpose was to impose such heavy burdens on the people that they would be led to see the futility of the law as a means to achieve perfection and would be brought to that point of tension in their lives where they are forced to seek “a more excellent way”.

The situation is similar today. The Letter of the law or the Spirit of the law. Obedience by micromanagement, or obedience by following the Two Great Commandments.

There are many people, especially LGBT people, who are at this point of decision in their lives and are faced with choices they refuse to make. Gay, Happy, Mormon. They can’t have all three with making some complicated rationalizations which force them to “navigate” their way through life.

The purpose of this policy is to force a decision: either stay in the church, fall in line, support the leaders with all your heart, live celibate,and cease whining about about the policy, or leave the church, live your own life, make your own peace with God, and create your own relationship and your own family with somebody you truly love.

If this policy doesn’t force people to face reality and the decision they must make, the Lord will surely up the ante, and another, even more stringent rule, regulation, or policy will leak out and bring them even closer to decision.

The Best is Yet to Come

I don’t see the point of these “celebrations” or “press conferences”, or whatever you want to call them. People and commentators typically act outraged and surprised that the church could excommunicate them. Then, they become “celebrities” like the “September 6” or the “Top 20 disturbers of the kingdom”, or whatever.

I’ve seen the endless parade of blogs, all written by people, supported by their endless fans who judge them as “awesome” or “amazing”. They try to outdo each other in word smithing their condemnations of the church.

I’m not saying they aren’t original or interesting because they are. The songs are different, but the melody is the same, and it’s getting tiresome. They are as attached to the church and obsessed with whatever the Big Brethren say as the “true blue Mormons”.

Blind acceptance and blind rejections are two sides of the same coin.

Hatred is just as much an attachment as love.

It does no good to fight the church or think that your blog, your suicide or excommunication is going to make any difference.

Whenever, you get filled with hubris and think you are indispensable, get a glass of water, put your finger in, then pull it out.

Don’t blame the church. The church is just being what it is: a church — an earthly seat of power masquerading as the Kingdom of God. A church is gonna do what a church is gonna do. Establish a seat of power, and the corruptible will be drawn to it like flies. The game of “King of the Mountain” has nothing to do with the kingdom that Christ established.

When you strip off the pomp and the fancy titles, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the various sects. That’s sad, because this church, before it organized itself as a church, had such auspicious beginnings. A group of people worshiping Christ, seeking to establish His kingdom, receiving revelation and latter-day scripture, through living prophets.

You don’t need a lot of money. You don’t need a lot of people. You don’t need a fancy temple to serve God, or to see God. You can get your own revelation and direction, and take it from there. We are told that in the last days the young men and women will dream dreams and see visions. Have you had your dream yet? We are told that Elijah will come to REVEAL the Priesthood. Has Elijah revealed the Priesthood to YOU? Do you even know what that means?

But, rather than wasting your time mocking what you see as evil, why not put that effort into establishing something good and worthwhile — something that will hasten the coming of the true Kingdom of God and his Zion?

If complaining is all you know, I feel sorry for you. I feel especially sad knowing all that God has in store for us in the future, and how He stands ready to reveal more of his will for us in establishing peace and goodwill to this planet. But, people are so obsessed with looking down at the mud, that they will not look up at the heavens.

What we call “the Restoration” is not over. Not even close. It’s just the opening salvo. I have a testimony that the best is yet to come.

And, I have a testimony that we will SUCCEED, either because of this church, or in spite of this church.

I also have a testimony that “if you have desires to serve God, you are called to the work”, and not only that, God will empower you and enlighten you and show you your part. The Restoration is not a spectator sport. We are all here for a reason. We are all here to help. We are the people we have been waiting for.

I really don’t care whether Runnells was blessed by a deacon or the angel Moroni, himself. If you have faith to be healed, and if such is the will or the Lord, you will be healed. I have witnessed miracles of healing by Priesthood holders of this church, so I know the power is there. It is a poor workman that blames his tools. And, an ever poorer workman who broadcasts his problems to the world.

I am not insensitive to his need for an interpreter. I am visually impaired, myself, and am gradually losing my hearing. My husband is handicapped. People with impairments don’t need sympathy, but they do need acceptance, and they do need reasonable accommodation. It’s the decent and the human thing to do.

Understanding “New Power”

This is what I have been saying ever since I was first exposed to this idea in Business School. It helps explain what is happening today in the fields of government, business and even Internet. What’s up with the Tea Party and Occupy? What do they have in common? Does Apple understand the “New Power”.

This will give you insights into how traditional religion operates and the best way to change it. But you need to understand power and how to use it to produce desired effects. For instance, if you want to give women more voice in churches without changing the power model, you have just substituted a new tyranny for the old tyranny.

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

Harvard Business Review

 

Religion vs True Messengers

Mormons, remember our Sunday School lessons about the pre-existence? Satan was going to force everybody to do right and return to God. Christ was going to allow everybody to exercise their free agency, with possible casualties along the way.

It’s a classic case of the old saw “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Or, the business principle the trade-off between risk and reward. If a person is allowed to exercise his or her innate agency, there is more risk that they will fail. but if they face opposition, use their agency, and succeed, they will grow and be better off because of it.

But, if a person is kept confined in a cage, whether of iron bars, or artificially-imposed barriers, the person doesn’t grow and develop.

In the temple, we learn that we are here to have experience and to learn to choose for ourselves, in order to learn the differences between opposing forces. But it seems like churches (all churches) don’t want people to have experiences. In fact, they condemn people who think for themselves, make their own choices, and have their own experiences.

I ask you, whose plan is that? Christ’s or Lucifer’s?

In case you have trouble answering that, answer this question: where do we read that the “war in heaven” ever ended or that a truce was called? Nowhere.

Also, where do we ever read even though the pre-existent spirits rejected Lucifer’s plan, where do we read the Lucifer ever gave up or that God ever stopped Lucifer from trying to fulfill his plan? Remember Lucifer has HIS agency as well?

Again, if Lucifer got his way, how would he go about forcing people to do “good”?

I submit to you that that war is not over, and Lucifer, who became Satan, is going about deceptively working through religion to still force people to do “good”.

Sometimes the greatest evil we can do is to force men to be good. Or obey what we think is good.

Remember, Adam and Eve weren’t looking for religion. They were looking for true messengers. I think the church has gone down the slippery slope, forgotten whose side they are on, and become more preachers of religion, rather than true messengers.

The prophets, seers, and revelators have before profiteers and regulators.

The Rational (and Revealed) Basis for Same-sex Marriage in the Church

In response to this post:

“Here is an essay that rationally speaks to the dilemma of what to do with the future of inclusion of LGBT people in the LDS church. It suggests a middle road of non-prosecution and acceptance, which I wholeheartedly agree with.”

The Church and Same Sex Marriage: The Pastoral Question

This is my response:

I agree, “we should not throw anybody away”, but to characterize gays as “sick” and afford them second-class membership is insidious and wrong.

The choices the author poses are only “hard” because they are rationalizations, and rationalizations are always hard. Doing the right thing is easy, and it has never been easier and more clear cut than over this issue.

When all is said and done, the true test of our righteousness is whether we quality ourselves to move ahead to the next kingdom. The temple teaches us this. The temple also teaches us that if you are not true and faithful to the covenants we take upon ourselves, of our own free will and choice, we will remain in Satan’s power.

There you have it. The choice couldn’t be more clear. Progress, or remain condemned. What you hear over the pulpit doesn’t matter. It’s in the temple, where the real covenants are taught and made, that the rubber hits the road.

So, what exactly is this particular covenant that we take upon ourselves. It is called the Law of Chastity, and in the 1990 Endowment Ceremony, it reads as follows:

“… the Law of Chastity, and to put them under covenant to obey this law, which is, that the daughters of Eve, and the sons of Adam shall have no sexual relations except with their husbands or wives to whom they are legally and lawfully wedded, …”

It doesn’t say the sons of Adam must be married to the daughters of Eve. It specifies only the role of “husband” or “wife”, which are or can-be gender-neutral roles.

What? You never heard this before? How many times have you been to the temple and watched the drama? Seen the actors playing roles? Did it ever occur to you that everybody in the endowment is playing a role. At one point you are to vicariously play the role of Adam or Eve, and at another point you are to take upon yourself the Name of mission of Christ.

The actors are playing roles; they are acting in various offices. Art imitates life.

There’s your doctrinal exposition. Straight out of the temple endowment you have been sleeping through all these years.

Sometimes revelation does not involves something new and unheard of coming down out of heaven. Sometimes revelation means pointing out something that has always been there — right in front of you.

The truth you need to know is often in plain sight.

A Missed Opportunity

Gay people on the Internet have often expressed the wish and hope that someday the LDS church will not only recognize same-sex marriage, but seal eternal unions in the temple.

Such union are not possible, nor are they expected to be in the near future. But, if God deaf to these cries? No!

The operative principle here is when a people want to be obedient to the commandments of God, and thereby receive his blessings, but are prevented from doing so by church authorities, God will open another way.

Guess what? God has extended his authority and his permission for people of all orientations to be sealed for time and all eternity. The problem is that people rejected these prophets because they were once part of the LDS church, but were members no longer.

So, until God decides to stretch forth His arm once again, and there are seeking people who once again will reach for it, that opportunity will have to wait for a future time.