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.”

Knowing How to Know

We are part of God and God is part of us. We are in God and God is in us. If you look for God where God is, not where God is not, you will find him, and know, not just believe, that God exists. And, what’s more, when you really know that God exists, you will have even more certainty that you exist, and that you are far more than you now believe yourself to be. After all, we are all Gods.

When you really come to know this, you will no longer feel the need to go church-shopping, in order to bolster your own weak beliefs by trying to find somebody else who agrees with you. Instead, you will seek the fellowship of like-minded individuals. At this point, the existence of God, the existence of an after-life, and the existence of parallel planes of existence will, in your mind, be answers, not questions.

Too Much Tolerance?

There are many virtues that at times seem contradictory to each other, but in fact, enhance and define one another. What we need to do is to BALANCE one virtue with another virtual, instead of balancing one virtue with its opposite. For example: Justice vs Mercy, Love vs Wisdom, Freedom vs Discipline.

Balance Tolerance with what? IN-tolerance? Would a self-proclaimed “apostle of Jesus Christ”, actually advocate intolerance? This seems to be the message we take away from Boyd K Packer’s recent rantings (http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56116400-78/church-women-lds-mormon.html.csp) given both the context of his previous talks and writings and in the vagueness of his current pronouncements.

We should balance tolerance with discernment and judgment, but not with intolerance.

With apologies to FDR, the only thing worthy of intolerance is intolerance, itself.