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.

In response to somebody who finds faith confusing and contradictory

I thank the church for teaching my about Christ and His Gospel. I thank the church for teaching me the principle of personal revelation. Thanks, church, but I am no longer a child. I can take it from here.
 
I know that anybody who takes this issue directly to God will discover that there is NO conflict. Fallible men who seek authority over others try to interpose themselves between you and God. They teach arbitrary doctrines that have nothing to do with the Gospel, and drive you further from God instead of bringing you closer. There goal is not to enlighten you or empower you. Their goal is to CONTROL you.
 
Well did Christ describe their counterparts in his day. They will not enter the Kingdom of God, but instead block the way so that nobody can enter. Fortunately, they only guard the front entrance, through which only the proud and haughty can enter. The back entrance is the servants’ entrance. It is only available to those who truly humble themselves and seek to be servants and co-workers of God.
 
I find FAITH to be totally rational and not contradictory in the least, but is a straightforward, cohesive path forward from belief to KNOWLEDGE.
 
“Faith” when used to designate a belief in a church is not the true definition of faith as used in the Bible. Faith is something you exercise, not a set of teachings that you just believe. Everywhere in the NT where it says “believe”, a passive verb, the actual Greek word has no English equivalent, but it means to exercise faith. That is the closest equivalent.