Manifesto

I wrote the following on January 3, 2018.

In July, 2019, I discovered a movement of remnant saints, making covenants with Christ, preparing themselves as individuals, as families, and as a people to come a people of one heart and one mind, and when Lords commands it, to rebuild the waste places of Zion.

I think I found the answer to everything I wrote below. I will be posting more about it in the future.

Of course, all religion is man-made. It begins with one person’s authentic, individual search for truth and reality. Then, somebody else comes along and tries to systematize and codify that search so that, instead of following their own path, people blindly tread in the true seeker’s footsteps, Then, somebody sees a potential to control these blind followers and creates a religion.

We see this pattern repeated over and over throughout history. You can pick your own religion and plug in your own names — different story, same plot.

I see myself as one of those authentic and original seekers. I am not a follower, and I am not looking for followers. I am looking for other leaders who want to change the world. And by change the world, I don’t mean remake the Mormon Church in my own liberal image. I am pushing for a total change in paradigm — how we see reality, how we organize ourselves, how we see ourselves.

Immersing ourselves in man-made religions is not a solution. Atheism is a natural reaction to this madness, but it is a reaction, not a solution. Blind faith and blind doubt are not solutions.

We need to approach all of truth and reality on the spiritual, mental, emotional planes, the same as we use science to approach the physical plane. We need to objectively study and experiment, and we need to share our findings with others. We need to build a body of knowledge that we can pass on. Not so we can create blind followers, but so we can build on that platform and create even more enlightened seekers and researchers, remodel society, and remake the world.

This is not an identity. I don’t need an identity. I’m not looking for an identity. An identity is static. An identity locates you in space and time, and in a fixed mindset. I am constantly changing my viewpoint, seeing things from a new viewpoint, from any and all viewpoints, and from no viewpoint. It’s dynamic.

I’m talking about Christian churches and organized religion in general. And what I’m about to say applies less to the Community of Christ than another church I can think of, so please don’t think I am directing this at you because I am not.

The original meaning of “church” in New Testament times was a gathering of the out-called (ecclesia), but in English and the other languages derived from German is it called “kirsche” (Origin of church: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit sura hero, warrior)

Churches have become our masters, not our servants. Instead of gatherings of the faithful, they have become seats of power and influence.

Some churches teach that the only way to get to God is through them, and they claim to have a monopoly on power and authority. In this way, they have modeled themselves after civil governments.

Churches have also followed the military in their hierarchy of graded rankings. This works for the military because an army is supposed to be authoritarian, strong, unyielding, impenetrable, merciless, and monolithic. And, at times, secretive. This is a great pattern for a military unit, but not for a body of believers, not for the elect who have been called out.

Military units have rank. Followers of Christ should not. Like the military, in churches, some people are regarded as being better than others. Some people have more access to special communication, or special contact or special access to God that others don’t have. Some peoples’ thoughts and opinions are more highly regarded than others.

Peoples’ personal righteousness is evaluated in terms of their loyalty to the church, not by how well they follow the commandments of Christ, and the “doctrine of Christ”, as taught in the Book of Mormon.

Church members are not encouraged to learn and grow at their own pace. Instead, their leaders hold them back. The members are not allowed to seek for a deeper understanding of the so-called “mysteries”, whether it be learning, by study, or by faith. The Book of Mormon says that this life is the time to prepare to meet God. How many understand this, let alone follow this? How many people expect to meet God in this lifetime. How many people are preparing to meet God in this lifetime?

Another term for holding back a person’s progress is damnation. Self-appointed leaders attract followers and then damn them.

And, while we’re at it, the Book of Mormon teaches that faith is an active, dynamic process by which we obtain knowledge. But, churches teach faith as a static belief in church leaders.

There, have I gone far enough?

We need to re-think this whole concept, and while we are tossing out whole institutions, wholesale. We ought to consider the good purposes they did serve, use that as a foundation, and build something better, that serves us better.

We need to each think of ourselves as stewards, not spectators, and in this role, consider our institutions and their leaders as not our masters, but our servants, as we serve Christ.

I believe a lot of what those dubbed “Restorationists” believe. But, I don’t believe that the early church had it all right. I believe it was just a step in an ongoing journey of restoration that is continuing to this day.

I was involved in the formation of what some envisioned as a “gay Mormon church”. I came to see us are another step in a long succession of restorations. Others wanted to cling to the old model. They prevailed, and we quickly went the same way that I think the LDS church is going to go.

I would love to talk to John Dr. John Dehlin about this because this is a “Mormon Story”, but I guess if you don’t turn into an atheist or progressive liberal, or famous as an ex-church leader, or infamous for blowing up cars, there’s no interest.

I don’t want to go back to polygamy. But, I do want to prepare people to live “The New and Everlasting Covenant”, of which polygamy was an uninformed aberration. I also want to prepare people to receive ALL the ordinances of the temple, make sure they understand and live all the covenants therein, and receive the Second Anointing and the Second Comforter, the public and the private portions of this ordinance. I want them to understand that this is conditioned not on their faithfulness and service to the church, but on their faithfulness and service to the cause of Christ, and to their fellow humans. And I want to give them opportunities to grow and learn and perform faithful service to one another.

I see no conflict between keeping one’s covenants and the sex or gender of the person with whom you are making that covenant. And, by revelation, neither does the Lord.

I also believe that no one group or person has a monopoly on the continuing progress of the Restoration. We all have something to contribute, and we need to include more viewpoints (including this one) and stop fighting one another.

As for the church, at the core, it is like the branch that has been severed from the Vine. Cut off from its source, it is dead and brittle, and will soon turn rotten and become food for the much-needed new life, which will hopefully reattach itself to the Vine.

What’s my religion?

For me, it’s not that simple. Sorry to go on for so long, but this is who I am, and a one-word label would not suffice. I don’t want to give it a name, because when you name it, you define it, you stagnate it, and it ceases to be a living, growing part of you.

I was raised LDS, but I have synthesized for myself a number of things that I have found to be workable and true in my life. I don’t believe anything that I can’t demonstrate for myself. I prefer faith to belief. Belief is passive. Faith is that great active experiment described in the Book of Mormon, where you hold onto a proposition or hypothesis until it is proven true or false. At that point, that thing is no longer faith, but knowledge.

I pick up ideas to test everywhere I go, and in everything I explore. For me, I have found much grist for thought, practical tools for living, and keys to a knowledge of God in Evangelical Christianity, some New Age thought, A Course in Miracles, Kaballah, Sufi, Buddhism, Scientology (Yes, you read that right. I am Clear.), early Mormon writings, the teachings of Joseph Smith, and the writings of JJ Dewey. I don’t follow anybody blindly. I don’t agree with everything these people say, but I take what I can use, and put the rest back on the shelf. I am constantly growing and learning. Nothing is so sacred that is can’t be set aside in order to embrace even greater truth.

For me, a “higher law” isn’t a more restrictive law, it’s a more general law; it covers more ground; it explains more; it places more responsibility on the individual and depends less on external micro-management and policing. In this respect, the two great commandments is a higher law than all the law and the prophets.

For me, spirituality is all about the acquisition of knowledge and the development of our god-like potential, which lies within each of us. This is in contrast to religion, which is a series of exercises designed to force obedience in followers in order to appease an angry God in the hopes that if we do enough, or believe enough, he will overlook our sins and some day endow us with abilities we haven’t developed, and kingdoms we haven’t won, and that in some magical way that being whom we never knew will suddenly become our best friend.

“Someone today making the same claims would be seen as a candidate for the asylum or a fundamentalist, but the actual prophets of today would be saying far different things, things that resonate with people and start social movements. That’s really the primary criterion–that they identify a pressing need and articulate it in a way that deeply resonates with others.”

By this definition the leaders of the LDS church are not true prophets, and they are not even good imitations of the real thing. And yet, today as you said there are people who have identified a pressing need, but have yet to articulate a solution in a way that deeply resonates with enough people to accomplish anything, as of yet.

My experience with the LDS church, and with ending up co-founding another Restoration church taught me that this authoritarian “church” paradigm no longer works. It doesn’t resonate with people. We need a completely new model.

The church I was involved with began as a study group, not a church. It provided the opportunity for disenfranchised LGBT Mormon to continue to serve God by exercising their Priesthood, serving in callings, and receiving all the essential ordinances including the ordinances of the temple. Many of us received revelations. Sometimes the revelations would come to several of us at the same time. We even had our own Day of Pentecost experience when we dedicated our little tabernacle as a temple. We received authority by revelation to do all that we did.

But, we failed to listen and went off on our own and started a church. Not content with that, some members were upset that we were not following the exact pattern of the LDS church, and they steered the church in that direction.

Long story short. We failed. We failed in our mission, and we failed to help the people who needed help. After pondering this for years, I came to the realization that we were good people with good intentions, but were blindly following a failed paradigm. We didn’t need a church with traditional apostles and prophets. We needed something else. What that is I don’t know. And, maybe I’m not supposed to know. One thing I do know is it’s going to be a group effort. There won’t be “one mighty and strong”, leading a bunch of blind followers around. There will be many leaders, and they will have a shared vision, and they will do something that will resonate with the people. That’s all I know. I like to think that when we are ready, the Lord will touch a lot of people, and when that happens, I will get behind them and support them all I can.

Treating Lightly the Things which We have Received

The Lord gives a warning in the Doctrine & Covenants

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received–

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written–

That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. D&C 84:54:58

This warning applies specifically to the Book of Mormon and the covenants contained therein.

Though, I am a big advocate of the Book of Mormon, and read it every year, I confess that I have been as guilty of taking the Book of Mormon lightly. There are so many passages that I just gloss over, and never fully read, assuming that I already know what is being said, or that a passage that is hard to understand is just something quirky and can be safely ignored.

The Book of Mormon claims to restore the “plain and precious truths” that have been removed from the Bible. D&C 20:9 claims that the Book of Mormon contains “the fullness of the Gospel”. But, at the same time, the Book of Mormon has come under criticism for adding nothing new to the Bible.

Lets take these points in reverse order.

I wrote a paper a couple of years ago pointing about 10 items that the Book of Mormon taught which were not found in the Bible, and if the doctrine was found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon shed additional light on it. I have come to realize that my treatise was quite shallow, and had missed the most important truths that were hidden in the Book of Mormon right in plain sight.

The biggest point that I missed were all the ascension experiences in the Book of Mormon. I have constantly pointed out to Sunday School classes and online discussion groups that the Book of Mormon encourages us all to seek and obtain such experiences for ourselves, but I failed to realize is that the Book of Mormon is a how-to guide for us. First Nephi and the visit of Christ in Third Nephi show what we must do in order to have our own personal visit with Christ.

Shocked? Does that sound new and radical to you? The Book of Mormon shows us how. It’s a “here’s who by who’s who”.

Christ promised all his disciples, that he would send another Comforter. We haven’t experienced the fulness of all that the Gospel has for us until we obtain this Second Comforter. The Book of Mormon explains how each person may obtain this for themselves, so the Book of Mormon really does contain the fulness of the Gospel, something only hinted at in the New Testament. These are the plainest and most precious truths that have been taken away.

The principles of the Second Comforter and the Holy Spirit of Promise are something we take lightly in the church. We tend to think the Second Comforter is only for “special people” like apostles, and we read about the Holy Spirit of Promise in Section 132, in connection with temple marriage, and when people ask about it, they get some vague or incorrect definition.

From: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/holy-spirit-of-promise?lang=eng

The Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit of Promise. He confirms as acceptable to God the righteous acts, ordinances, and covenants of men. The Holy Spirit of Promise witnesses to the Father that the saving ordinances have been performed properly and that the covenants associated with them have been kept.

From: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/1978/06/q-and-a-questions-and-answers/what-is-the-holy-spirit-of-promise?lang=eng

Elder Bruce R. McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine clarifies this further. He states, “The Holy Spirit of Promise is the Holy Spirit promised the saints, or in other words the Holy Ghost. This name-title is used in connection with the sealing and ratifying power of the Holy Ghost,

NO. The Holy Spirit of Promise is Christ’s witness to you.

Lets get the true definition from Joseph Smith:

After a person hath faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted, etc. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14th chapter, from the 12th to the 27th verses.

Now, what is this other Comforter? It is no more or less than the LORD JESUS CHRIST himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.150-1)

It’s promised to everyone in D&C 93:1 :

Verily, thus saith the Lord:
It shall come to pass that every soul
who forsaketh his sins
and cometh unto me,
and calleth on my name,
and obeyeth my voice,
and keepeth my commandments,
shall see my face and know that I am;

Back this up with some scripture:

88:3. Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.

88:4. This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;

The Holy Spirit of Promise IS the Second Comforter.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 14:10 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

These are not just idle words or figurative language.

Eph. 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance …

When you put in an offer to buy a house, you present the seller with an offer together with a nominal amount of money. The money is called “earnest money”. It tells the seller you are earnest about buying the house.

Both Peter and John taught the early-day saints about this principle:

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:9 (JST) Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise.

There is an office that used to be in the LDS church, called “Patriarch to the Church” or “Presiding Patriarch”. It entails far more than just giving Patriarchal Blessings, and far more than simply described here. Why this calling was eliminated is also beyond the scope of this article.

124:124. First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you, to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.

Man can perform the ordinance, which is an invitation to prepare for the coming of Christ to you, personally, to give you the promise of eternal life. Many church members in high leadership positions, who have received the Second Anointing, have supposed that this automatically qualifies them to have a personal interview with the Savior, perhaps even in the temple and in conjunction with receiving this outward ordinance, but when they failed to receive this visitation, they conclude that the church is false and has misled them.

What they don’t understand is that while the Second Anointing is secretly given out to select church leaders and their wives in consequence of their service and devotion to the church. The Lord comes to you in consequence of your service and devotion to HIM.

Here is an apt description of those who have been disappointed and disillusioned.

58:29. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.

58:30. Who am I that made man, saith the Lord, that will hold him guiltless that obeys not my commandments?

58:31. Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?

58:32. I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

58:33. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above.

They fail to understand the principles upon which this blessing is predicated, which are given in the Book of Mormon. They also fail to understand this admonition:

“Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called-up and anointed Kings and Queens Priests and Priestesses, whereas you are now anointed to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness.”

This admonition is given early on in the temple Endowment ceremony and could well refer to the actual visitation of the Lord, rather than the Second Anointing ceremony.

Is this visitation just a nice reward for service and sacrifice for those lucky enough to receive it, or is it a requirement for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom:

D&C 73: 76:53. And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

D&C 76 also refers to those who “receive the testimony of Jesus in the flesh”. This is more than just listening to the missionaries bear testimony of Christ. It is the testimony of Jesus to you that you are an inheritor of eternal life.

Is it enough just to marry somebody in the temple, and your exaltation is assured? Better read the conditions upon which this blessing is predicated. This is one time when it really pays to read the fine print. This is the New and Everlasting Covenent, and It includes more than just marriage, but lets just confine it to marriage for purposes of this discussion.

D&C 132:7. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these:
All:
covenants,
contracts,
bonds,
obligations,
oaths,
vows,
performances,
connections,
associations,
or expectations,

that are not:
made and entered into
and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise,
of him who is anointed,
both as well for time and for all eternity,
and that too most holy,
by revelation and commandment
through the medium of mine anointed,
whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power … ,
are of no
efficacy,
virtue,
or force
in and after the resurrection from the dead;
for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he wants to be more than a silent partner in your life. I hope these scriptures show you that He must be an active participant in your life and salvation, and everything that pertains thereto.

Two more passages are applicable:

“For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.” Alma 32:32

“O be wise; what can I say more?” Jacob 6:12

Here is a further discussion:

The sealing word of God; it must confirm or ratify a sealing for it to become eternal.

All mankind’s ordinances contemplate a further ratification from heaven. If one does not obtain this promise sealed by God, through His word — sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise — then there is no promise as pertaining to the ordinance. The only thing that will endure is that which is established by God or, more completely, through His word, which is then sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

The sealing of things through the Holy Spirit of Promise must come in mortality. This hope is to be gained in mortality as a gift of faith to empower the recipient to be able to claim it in the next life. Mortality is the time and place for obtaining faith and hope. When out of this life, the season for faith has passed, and the opportunity for hope has ended. It cannot be developed there.

http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/glossary/holy-spirit-of-promise

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!