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.

Plan of Salvation

Here is a very brief summary what I have learned on this subject. I can back all of this up from the D&C, the temple endowment, the Bible, and church history.

Some of this stuff might sound new to you because it is not taught in Sunday School. But it is a lot simpler and much more fair that than is being taught. The main difference is it is not calculated to install fear, but freedom and personal responsibility.

The reason for this is it comes from the revelations of God, not the teachings of an institution who is only interested in self-preservation and maintaining control over its members.

When Christ established his church, he said the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The gates of hell are meant to keep people IN, not keep people OUT.

Terrestial are the honorable people who were deceived by the craftiness of men.

Telestial are those crafty men who lie in wait to deceive.

Celestial are the people who are honorable who neither deceive, nor are deceived.

It is important to remember that not all the judgments of God are revealed. Also, God wills that all mankind will be saved. Also, Christ saves all the work of the Father’s hands. Also, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

The vast majority of Mormons is not good enough for the Celestial Kingdom, and nowhere near bad enough for outer darkness. Read D&C 76, 130, 131.

The bracketed comment in 131:2 was not revealed through Joseph Smith, but was added later by Orson Pratt, under the direction of Brigham Young, in order to support plural marriage.

Even outer darkness is not a final state, but the folks there will have to wait billions of years for another chance.

There are kingdoms above the Celestial Kingdom.

The Telestial Kingdom is hell. It is also the world in which we live. This is a kingdom composed of people of many degrees of glory, as the stars differ in glory. You will run across Celestial, Telestial, and Terrestrial people here. The deceivers, the deceived, and those who are not deceived.

The reason why we have so many different churches and philosophies here is because God is trying to reach out to everyone and speak to them in terms of their own time, culture, language, and understanding.

We progress from kingdom to kingdom as we progress and obey the laws pertaining to that kingdom. Otherwise, we keep returning to the same kingdom until we learn and obey those laws and show that we are ready to move on.

The words damnation, condemnation, and judgment all refer to the state where we are “dammed in our progress”. We are stuck in one place, where we “suffer the wrath of God”, which really means we stay here and face the trials and lessons of mortality until we learn all the lessons we are supposed to learn and prove ourselves ready to move on.

“Eternal punishment” does not refer to the length of the punishment, but to the quality and intensity of the punishment.

By the same token “eternal life” means the kind of life that God lives. We can obtain and enjoy eternal life, even in this life. We not only can, but we must.

“… and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead…”

We can also volunteer to remain behind and help other struggling souls climb higher. This is why the sacrifice of Christ was so important and significant. Christ said “come follow me”. It is important to understand the full import of what that means, and always be ready to follow Christ, wherever he leads us, or asks us to go.

We are constantly taught, take a covenant at baptism, and renew that covenant every week to take upon ourselves the “name of Christ”. This principle is demonstrated quite literally and visually in the temple. The name of Christ means something and is not just a euphemism.

I don’t believe in being confined to a static destination for all eternity, no matter what that destination is. THAT is the definition of damnation. I expect to keep growing, learning, and progressing, as in the words of the hymn:

The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.

So, keeping an eternal perspective i’m focused on the HERE AND NOW, and making the most out of this life, and assisting others to do the same. There is no reason why we can’t create heaven on earth. It will come when we are ready for it.

As the Lord said through the prophet of the Community of Christ:

“Zionic conditions are no further away nor any closer than the spiritual condition of my people justifies.” [D&C 140:5c – Israel A. Smith – April 7, 1947]

Zion is just the start. After Enoch built

Don’t be waiting for God. It’s up to us.

Mysteries

This is the whole crux of the church’s incorrect doctrine enshrined in “The Proclamation on the Family”. It is that in the Celestial Kingdom, exalted males and females produce spirit offspring, and thereby bring new beings into existence.

Joseph Smith NEVER taught this doctrine. He taught that man was in the beginning with God and is co-eternal with God. The idea of producing “spirit children” originated with Brigham Young and Orson Pratt in order to promote and legitimize polygamy, and is false.

Joseph Smith, in one of his final speeches on the resurrection, said that the saints should be constantly be seeking to find out the mysteries. This is in stark contrast to those who would tell us to avoid the mysteries and, thus, remain in darkness.

Here are a few mysteries from the D&C that bear looking into. It is said that the best place to hide a mystery is to put it out in plain sight. These “mysteries” are all out in plain sight in the D&C, for anyone to read.

It may be that when these mysteries are finally “revealed” (and I am providing an “out” for the church), they may well prove that same-sex marriages are not only welcome, but necessary, for the fulfillment of God’s plan, which is the eternal joy, happiness, and progression of ALL of his children.

1. We are told that God has not revealed all his judgments.
2. We are not told the purpose of the lower two degrees of the Celestial Kingdom.
3. There are kingdoms of a higher order than the Celestial Kingdom.
4. Polygamy is not the only new doctrine taught in D&C 132.

These principles are all found in the D&C. Go look for them, and when you find them, go ask the church leaders to explain them to you, if they can.

I must know a couple of dozen people who left the Church, but without the drama, the soul-searching, the gut-wrenching, the torchlight vigils, the parades through the park, whining to the press.

However, did they do it? Answer: they just did it. They followed the best that they knew and just did it.

I did it so I could have the type of relationship I yearned for and believed I could have. I walked through that door and found that the Lord was on the other side of the door waiting for me.

My son did it because he sincerely believes that no other success can compensate for failure in the home. Here’s one parent who put his kids above the church.

I know another man who left because of freedom of conscience and because he felt he had a calling to teach the truth.

I know another man who was being groomed for high positions in the church because of his family connections, but he just didn’t believe it, and had to beg and plead to be excommunicated. He left it all behind.

Why is it so hard for some some people to just leave it all behind. If you really think you are now on the right course, then don’t look back? No man, having put his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom.

Or, on the other hand, do you really know what you want? You just know what you DON’T want? Blind, indecisive, and regretful. That’s no way to go through life.

Where are the Oracles

When the Holy Ghost leaves, it simply leaves without fanfare or flurry. There is no pronouncement. No drama. The still small voice just goes silent.
 
However, for those with ears to hear and the humility to receive, The Holy Ghost rushes in.
 
God pouring down knowledge upon the heads of the saints has been compared to the mighty rushing waters of the Missouri. But, times have changed since then. Man can attempt to dam the waters for a time, but the relentless waters will find a way to break through somewhere else. And, when men attempt to dam up the living waters, they only damn themselves.
 
In 1960, a group of saints who dared to refuse to follow the leadership of Brigham Young, reorganized themselves, sustained a prophet, and in the intervening time has received nearly a hundred oracles in their D&C, including instructions regarding the proper duty of evangelists, women being called to positions which require priesthood authority, and gay men and women being accepted as equals within the body of Christ.
 
In 1985, a group of gay men and women in Los Angeles dared risk excommunication from the church and ostracism from the the gay Mormon group Affirmation, and dared to ask God for further light and knowledge concerning teaching the Gospel to Gays and Lesbians. What followed was a complete dispensation of Priesthood and dozens of revelations concerning how the Gospel functions in a same-sex environment.
 
Revelation isn’t dead. Not as long as there is at least one Priesthood holder left on earth.

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.

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.

Looking past ordaining women — The true meaning of the Sacrament

Sacrament

Look at this picture. How many people in this picture really see Christ? You see people concerned with the formalities of the ordinances, people lost in their own thoughts. And, now add to that, people who are concerned about the gender of the person passing the Sacrament or staring at his crotch.

Or, they now are concerned that the young man has privately confessed that he has attraction for men, and they won’t accept the Sacrament from him. Or, if he’s a handicapped kid who just got out of surgery and wants to pass the Sacrament, but people laugh at him as he hobbles down the aisle with his crutches and cast on his legs.

I’m for giving young girls the opportunity to pass the Sacrament, not for political reasons, but for no reasons at all. There are no reasons why she shouldn’t be allowed to pass.

While I realize that you have to start someplace, let’s at least start with a much larger goal in mind than just ordaining women and welcoming gays, but otherwise preserve the same old status quo.

I’m praying that either the members of this church will either start to demand more and better from their leaders, or enough people will realize that they are being denied the opportunity to hear and live the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, or will ask God to show them how they can authoritatively organize anew and form a body of Saints dedicated to serving God and building Zion, not serving either some liberal or conservative political goals.

The people clamor to have a church, just like all the other churches. Guess what, that’s what they have. The apostasy is alive and flourishing. The lady in Revelations gave birth to the kingdom, but the dragon came along, swallowed it up, and took over.

The song says “Teach me all that I must do…” Well, there really isn’t a whole lot of “doing” is there? There’s a lot of believing, and a lot of demanding, but very little doing.