October 20, 2013
A crazy man they say he is.
Heard the voice he said he did.
A crazy man they said again.
Voice that came just as the wind.
A Wild man they came to see.
A wild soulful shout believe!
That’s all he said now plain and simple.
The wild man he did resemble.
With hair like snakes and words on fire.
He made me whole I was a liar.
I love that man who heard a voice.
He came from there to give me choice.
The crowd came close for want of bread.
He said the hungers in the head.
One 3rd part left because of greed.
2 thirds stayed just out of need.
And one percent they did believe.
To them the man impart gift.
To make them in the next a rift.
Set as a tear the servants be.
To find the one percent believe.
Voice is god and god is voice.
And god of love is god of choice.
So speak the words that bring the light.
So speak the words and stop the fight.
September 13, 2013
The following are all excerpts from the original 1830 edition of the book of Mormon.
“Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God.”
“Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!”
“yea, the everlasting God was judged of the world”
“and Jesus Christ, which is the Lamb of God”
“the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father”
D&C 84: 54-61
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. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay. Verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words, which are my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things; For I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment—that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer, in bearing testimony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you.
As always feel free to comment.
October 17, 2012
The idea of creation has been one that has baffled human beings for as long as history can date. Those who endeavor to understand it properly can discover a common understanding and partake in something which all beings have in common. At this point you are probably wondering what is this thing who understand it and why does it even matter, but if you bear with me we will take a journey that will explain to you the reader the mind of I, the typist. My language may seem a little unconventional throughout the course of this text as my challenge will be to put the allegorical understanding of an ancient text into modern terms.
Understanding any text as it is put can be either a matter of how you perceived it or it can be a matter of how the writer understood it. But ultimately the ideas credit should be received by its original author. So because of this my position will be to explain the creation story of the bible upon an allegorical level so that the reader can view how I understood what the original author wrote. My personal opinion however will never be an answer to the meaning of the creation story itself because of the fact that I woke up a different person than you did this morning, or I guess you could say that you woke up a different person than me. But in the end we will see that people, this world, and everything that is in a state of being works in harmony because of the fact that relationships work upon the definition they are given by the individual.
True to their name upon reading the creation story, a well learned and self-proclaimed“Christian” will often see this story upon only a literal level of understanding, which understanding I as a being can see the merit in. But upon reading the creation allegory of the bible I am able to understand life upon multiple levels of understanding; this is because it teaches an idea that plays upon the definition of our words. Within these chapters I am able to find two major cycles of creation, and upon a social economic level these cycles play out in our everyday lives upon a regular basis.
For example the creation story begins with the word God, which many believe is an external being upon which we can base our moral decisions, while this may be true this will not be the topic I will undertake to prove. But for the sake of revealing the truth I believe it is of utmost importance to understand yourself and your personal insecurities before you can make a judgment about the rank or placement of any external beings level of intelligence, regardless of the name of this being. Upon this level of understanding your ego is a model of comparison.
The next creative cycle in this story is told beginning with the creation of man, and so begins the course of human history, if you subscribe to a literal understanding of the creation of the man Adam which is a valid concept. But my position will be to display the introspective understanding of who the man Adam is. This man is meant to represent I and the cycles of decision I as a man, or woman for that matter, will pass through every day. This cycle begins at the geneses of your consciousness. And I begin to become when I am born, because I am in the act of being. I have been given a name but you will never be able to define who I am unless you can understand what I am being. Now this can be taken either way, if you understand who I am being and I understand who I am being we will most probably both see me as being a good thing.
These two stories I believe, represent our understanding of reality upon a level so that we can gain perspective for the future life ahead. For example out Adams rib was formed eve who is deceived by Satan who is supposedly a natural snake. Can you see the fallacy in that? I as the reader must see that each character implies something about my Identity as Adam. When am I as the Reader going to stop playing the blame game as a person? This is a major lesson that is taught in the creation story.
The creation itself no matter how it was done is a parable in itself that is another message of this story. is one of the most beautifully written stories in mankind, there are many of these type’s of story’s that are littered throughout all of human cultures; all of which are symbols of the balance and perfection that hold together the chaos and deception, which in turn is the process of chaos and creation. The Hebrews call this a chiastic structure one that is based upon opposites this is the motif that makes the world go round.
This can easily be mistaken as a pessimisticpoint of view but I like to see it as a transcendent way to experience the individual reality of life. For if there is no good then there is no bad and if there is no death their must not be life. But the experience is to know that within the last sentence I wrote I misunderstood the meaning of life. And so we begin our creation, upon the basis of religion. Doomed to be littered with wars and rumors of wars. And it was all just a big misunderstanding.
June 20, 2012
The past three years of my life have been the biggest roller coaster when it comes to me and my relationship with the church of Jesus Christ of later day saints…. I want to tell you most about the past six months but first let me recap my history. I was born into the church and raised to be the star pupil of any Sunday school. I was raised in the kind of household that I’m sure many of the readers of this blog are familiar with. I have very kind loving parents but all to often the church routine meeting style was reflected in all family gatherings. For an adolescent young man It’s the kind of thing that turns what is supposed to be a nice family get together into just another boring meeting to be endured in order to earn some freedom to spend time with my non Mormon friends. All through high school and into my freshman year of college I was always the Mormon kid in the group. The kind of kid who would go to parties but wouldn’t drink, the one who would talk about sex watch porn regularly but still somehow maintained his virginity, I was a classic line treader scared to death of breaking the rules but sure did love getting close. Come to think of it back then I was even a bit of a jerk. I really enjoyed putting others down. To me just re reading over this I see that i had the classic symptoms of an insecure bully. Deep down inside I was never truly happy I was always beating the crap out of my insides about one thing or another.
Thats when I went off to my freshman year of college, I went to a small junior college in small townWyoming so really very little changed for me in that space of time. Although I do remember that attending church regularly became a pretty tough exercise for a little while there. That December I put in my mission papers so that I could fulfill yet another expectation that I didn’t fully understand. At this point I think it’s important to brief you a little more about my family. I have four older brothers all of which completed two full years in the mission field, so in the back of my mind all that i could think of was my mother crossing her fingers for a perfect score. I did want to go on a mission, at least that’s what I told everyone. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.
Eventually the mission call came and it was to the Durban south Africa mission. I was giddy with nervous excitement. It was around this point that I decided to quit lying my mom and actually read the book of Mormon for myself. I powered through that book three times in one week, and ended up with quite an extreme affirmation of its truth, which ended up making me really want to go if only for the sake of that little book.The next step was the temple… This is where it gets interesting.
I was like every other nineteen year old Mormon kid. I had heard tons of clues as to what goes on in the temple but I just couldn’t quite piece it together. it was the ultimate mystery in my mind at that time. Then I went through…. And I thought I was confused before.
Il be honest with ya on this one, I was freaked out . I would have been totally cool with it if I had been told where it came from, but no instead it just had to be a weird ass mystery that no one really wanted to talk about. So now I’m stuck with a fork in the road on one hand I had a overwhelmingly undeniable testimony of the book of Mormon but on the other hand I had no idea what to make of the temple situation.
But I was one of the lucky ones. I have an older brother who I never really new because he was so much older than me but it always seemed like my parents were less pleased with him for some reason. Little did I know how much he knew. Several phone calls and visits later and i was all of the sudden extremely interested in church history and gospel doctrine. This feeling that I had about it became an obsession to the point where I would wake up in the morning and just want to read more and more. In a one month span i changed my mind about a huge amount of things. It was a major transformation, I went from saying I would never drink a beer, to standing up for beer overnight. Just when I thought thingscouldn’t get any more interesting I left on my mission.
We would e mail every Monday and as soon as I figured out how to use the printer, the Internet cafe became my printing press. I ended up filling two three inch binders with materials that I had read. This thing was full of the classics, like max scousens templesoother he words of Joseph smith, and a history of the temple endowment, And a bunch of assorted posts from my favorite blog sites.
I was like the kid with marijuana in high school and my mission president was the principal. And after eighteen awesome months I guess I had answered one to many elders questions, and handed out one too many of my printings, and I was sent home. I won’t go into all of the details about that here but let me just say there was quite the witch hunt conducted by the zone leaders assistants to the president and the president himself an I was sent home for living a different religion than them.
Im not bitter about it because if it would not have happened I would not be living the lifestyle that I currently do. Right now I live in the woods most call it camping but I do it on a more permanent basis so I call it living. I’ve turned into a regular pot smoking hippy and I love every second of it. Im poor as dirt and to me that’s pretty rich. I feel closer to god every day I’m out there. These days I’m truly happy, and I’ve noticed it reflects on the way I treat others, I’m much nicer now. I think there truly is something to be said for dropping all your shackles totally transforming yourself and bidding babylon a fond farewell.
Its really a revolutionary concept if you think about it, the idea that you can be happy and content with life right now in whatever circumstance your in. The idea that the play is much funner if watched from the audience. I love life and I am constantly happy since I moved. I feel like your religion should make you happy. My religion is to love your neighbor. My religion does not bother me. I enjoy practicing my religion. My religion involves my friends. my religion has nothing to do with church. my religion is to love your neighbor.
Before my mission I don’t think I could have said that about my religion. Can you say that about yours?
April 17, 2012
In my exit packet given to me by the mission president he included a talk by a general authority about how nothing comes for free in this life and we must work hard if we wish to inherit the celestial glory. I cant find my exit packet or else I would reference the talk directly. This isnt a talk that he includes for every missionary, It was placed in mine because of my blasphemous preaching and teaching the idea that we attribute nothing of ourselves separate of gods grace. I still remember my friend telling me in his exit interview that the mission president exclaimed to him that my ideas were “Blasphemy! and totally heretical views for a latter day saint to hold!”. I was sent home. no exit interview just a phone call telling me i’m out. Im not bitter about the whole situation, I only bring this up because the ideas in this post are what were my undoing.
I have been back from my mission for about two months now. To be honest I was glad to leave the mission field, and i received personal conformation that Ihad done the lords work. The last two months have been pretty good to me, and I feel that i have been blessed by the lord with an abundance of happiness. By Babylons standards I have been a “lazy freeloader” for the past two months. Being jobless and living on futon probably wouldn’t be my mission presidents definition of success. But I have found such joy in my experiences lately that i cant see why we force ourselves to live the way we do. Constantly building and bettering ourselves in pursuit of some sort of lofty goal which more often than not is centered around competition, attempting to be better than our neighbor. While those who arent caught up in the competition are confused into thinking that they have to play the game in order to be happy. It probably sounds like im talking about money, and in a sense I am, but that’s not the only place this anti competition way of life can apply.
Rockwaterman put it well when he said the following in a recent post
“Buying into this idea that “I’ll do this for God, then He’ll do this for me” can be devastating for people when they get hit with the double whammies of life. If you live long enough you may learn that even though you do everything you’re supposed to do, God can make no guarantees. Jobs are still lost, illness intrudes, careers evaporate, divorces occur, fortunes disappear, children go astray. Sometimes our children even die. When we’ve done everything we knew we were supposed to do, yet life becomes one disaster after another, we wonder why God let us down. Why did he fail to hold up his end of the bargain?”
Rarely do we ask ourselves “What bargain?”
We were raised in Babylon, and wether we like it or not it plays a huge roll in placing manacles on our brain to cajole us into thinking we need to do this or that in order to get something in return. Gotta work to get paid. Sadly this same thought process is applied to our religious devotions. Seeing blessings as currency will keep god just about as close an an employer. For me that’s not very close. We can work our butts off our whole lives just trying to keep our noses clean, being at every meeting, wearing the nice suit and combing our hair just right; but ultimately the standard that the lord holds us to is one that will never gratify our own pride.
Our standards become a problem when they cause us to feel as though we have held up our end of the bargain, as if we have been the catalyst to our salvation. This puts us ourselves up as a god for ourselves rather than Christ being our salvation. I remember sitting in a priesthood meeting and hearing a missionary recount a story of how before he left on his mission he was in deep financial trouble and how he prayed to the lord and informed the lord that he had payed his tithing, and then proceeded to ask for monetary blessings. His testimony was that he received his blessings, so that meant that god always held up his end of the bargin. Now 8 months later im strongly compelled to ask what bargin? where in the scriptures does the lord say if you give the church ten percent of your earnings, you will be blessed with more money?
I don’t read any sort of bargain out of this, its not a specific deal that the lord is making with you. comparing it to an investment makes me want to hurl. the lord says he will pour out huge blessings on you if you pay your tithing. thats all he says. Its a deal. but not the kind of deal we think of. Its kind of like when you buy those mystery bags of candy on Halloween, except for the fact that whatever god puts in the bag of blessings is always the best thing for you at the time. The lord doesn’t have to give you anything at all in this situation, maybe the blessing that you have not room enough to receive is loosing your job to help you to learn some lesson or another.
It takes a truly wicked man to come up with the idea that heaven can be purchased by our supposedly good deeds. But yet that has become the center point of the religious exercises of most Latter Day Saints, the idea that if we just do certain things and attend certain meetings, we will be righteous. Many are led by this philosophy to exlaim in thier hearts,”o righteous man that I am, I’m good enough to hold a temple recommend! I have earned it!”
While the prophets Paul and Nephi are led to exclaim.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 7:24-25
“O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorrowethbecause of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support” 2 Nephi 4: 17-20
Paul and Nephi both Exclaim their filth, and looks for a deliverer, a savior someone to lighten the load, they find that in Jesus our god and our support. The problem comes when we exclaim our filth but then look to ourselves at the savior, as if we could fix what we did. unless there have been some advances in time travel that I don’t know of then that is literally impossible! You have sinned and you need a savior! there really is no way around it you will never earn heaven because you ruined it from the get go. Traveling back in time is impossible so there must be an atonement made. And only when you can be led to exclaim your own folly and worthlessness will the lord be able to raise you up, until then your pride will hold you in the abyss of your ego.
March 2, 2012
Much of my life, and I’m convincede the lives of others, has been spent waiting and looking forward to things. I waited to get a drivers license. I looked forward to the summer break. I waited to get off work so that I could hang out. I waited for the cross country race the coming weekend. I waited for my mission call, and then endured the MTC experience. I’ve gone through a phase of struggling to stay on mission and just waiting every week for p-day. All with the hopes that I can endure a whole 2 years and go home.
But then what? Satan’s “real world” would tell me to wait through 4 years of “education” so that I can look forward to a wonderful job opportunity. So that I can wait for a paycheck every week; so that I can wait till my kids are old enough to leave the house, and I can then retire… Once retired then what? Well more waiting… but when does it stop when does the waiting end.
Many assume the waiting for better things will end when we die and are “assigned a kingdom” or when we “go to heaven”. Then we can stop waiting because now were stuck in one of the 3 circles on the diagram… “Gee hopefully I’m good enough for the celestial one”. This, “hopefully I can be good enough” mentality can cause for a really stressful waiting period
As we wait we ask god “what do you expect of us in order to be worthy? Or good enough for such a kingdom? “The lord responds by simply telling us we have fallen and we wont be worthy but to be humble enough to accept his direct guidance, and we accept the atonement he will do the works through us. But the ones waiting reply “well god you can’t really mean it’s that simple we want to make ourselves better”. So in reply the lord gives us exactly what we have asked for with a checklist of things that we do in order to make ourselves righteous. In the days of the children of Israel god gave them 614 laws to follow. Of course the laws pointed to something and were deeply symbolic because they come from god. But unfortunately the people added their own laws onto the list as well, as they the rejected the actual list that god had given. And we have seen practically the exact same thing happen today, we have rejected the meaningful laws while adding our own rules of worship. Rules that point to nothing but our own pride. “If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches?” (Mosiah 12: 29) We are required to wear costly apparel but have rejected or ignored large portions of the D&C (the modern law of Moses)
Maybe it’s just me but I see a pattern here, the more written laws and commandments of men a people receive the more self-righteousness and pride they embrace. It seems that as we add more and more expectations for ourselves and for others the less we are able to see the worth of souls. We become statistics capable of producing something instead of people.
The law is interesting because the same Lord through the apostle Paul later states “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (Rom 3:20) well then why would he give the law? Whats the point? The point is that by focusing on our own merits we miss the point. “For god hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they could not understand….god hath done it that they may stumble.” (Jacob 4:14) The law is there so that we will realize that we cannot do it on your own.
God does not wish for us to be down here just waiting, and worrying about eternity, and whether or not we are going to be “worthy” for eternity when it comes at some point in the future. Granted this life is a time for men to “prepare to meet god” (Alma 34:32) but given the scriptures cited above and many other things I could cite, I think it’s easy to say that focusing on obedience with exactness is missing the point. Especially when we’re striving to obey mans rules rather than gods laws. I feel a different form of preparation is in order…
Alma in Alma 5:27-28 gives us a big hint as to what sort of preparation is needed, “Behold I say unto you are you stripped of pride? I say unto you if you are not your are not prepared to meet god.” (Alma 5:28) verse 27 also gives us some great insight he starts by asking if we are blameless before god? And then proceeds to tell us what makes us blameless, and the only qualification is humility. Humble enough to allow Christ’s atonement to take away our unworthiness.
Our worthiness struggle is a problem because it removes our humility and replaces it with pride. “I am going to pay tithing so that I can get the blessings, because if I do the works I deserve the blessings” I could say that over the pulpit and none would cry foul. This kind of statement is common among us if not openly than definitely in our minds. We act like the only reason for the gospel is for god to give us what we deserve for our good works. “obedience with exactness+hard work+ faith=blessings” is the mission equation. Obedience is reduced to being a means to an end.
There has become an unwritten checklist for members (it’s written for missionaries) when obedience is the only focus. It’s a checklist of dead silly works done without hear but just to check it off to relieve the burden of unworthiness from the mind. But what we are not seeing is that the burden is not to be taken upon us. It is taken upon Christ. Our merits can never relieve that burden. Only Christ merits.
“He hath forgiven us…and taken the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his son.” (Alma 24:10) Jesus Christ’s works are what are to take away our guilt. Not our works, our works are prideful. Christ works are humble.
Yeah we are saved “after all we can do” (alma 25:23) but all we can really do is stop thinking that we can do so much for our salvation and accept what Christ did do for our salvation. Being “saved” as some Christians put it is a real experience, we scoff at it because we don’t understand the scriptures the way they are. Mosiah 5:2 talks about a people who were changed and they no longer had a desire to do evil. It’s the baptism of fire, the mighty change of heart (link here) it’s how we really accept the merits of Christ his perspective is given to the person and this is how we are saved by the grace of Christ, and by our works. Christ’s works become our works when we actually take his name upon us. In a discussion with one of my companions about how to live without a desire to do evil, my companion kept repeating the commonly held doctrine that “changing is a process” and “it’s not going to happen all at once”. I disagreed but I didn’t know how to show him that it is an all at once thing. Looking back now I should have said “yes you are right changing ourselves is a really long process that will not happen all at once; but allowing Christ to change us does happen all at once. He can do it for us much better than we can do it for ourselves.”
Moroni 6:6-7 mentions what church members should really focus on after baptism “relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith” is the conclusion. Of course in V. 7 it says that the iniquities are cast out but when someone has truly relied upon the merits of Christ they are purified and desire no more to do evil(mosiah5:2) When one really becomes like christ and has “the will of the Son … swallowed up in the will of the Father.” (Mosiah 15:7)
We need to quit looking waiting for eternity and notice “we are in eternity and out of it we can never get” (BY JD 2:8) “for the kingdom of heaven is AT HAND, at our feet, here for the accepting . But what does man do? He wants to buy it with his ‘worthiness’, grab it for his greediness, use it for his vanity” (Max Scousen)
“Come unto the lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him” (Mormon 9:27). How many of us can say we have been truly humble enough to fear the lord. Fear to the point of trembling. Not many of us I think. Were to ‘worthy’ to have to worry about our salvation. Obedience to commandments is important but only through Christ can we be truly obedient. Through our own efforts we will always be found unworthy.
The only reason I bring up my somewhat controversial views on these matters is that I know its true. “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16) . And all this that you might understand that all flesh is in his hands so “be still and know that [he is] god” (D&C 101:16) once you get that far you will start to really see how heavenly this earth really is. Eternal things real things are not obtained as a result of achievement they are gifts of god (Moroni 7). Anything eternal exists right now, the kingdom of heaven is here for us to find joy in we are just too busy ‘’knowing” better to see it. I find the joys of eternity surrounding me daily and it fills my soul with joy. Eternal life is to be found today, tomorrow and forever. Not earned. But until you really realize what you Christ had done and truly accept it, you will still be in the lone and dreary world WAITING….
January 27, 2012
A well ironed shirt, a silky tie, and a black name tag bearing the name of a hypocrite. The tag bares 2 names actually, one of the hypocrite, the other is a sacred name that has been defiled and used by the hypocrite as a shield. The shield defends against anyone who may have a valid point against the hypocrite or his religion. The hypocrite claims his religion comes fully equipt with living prophets and apostles who will never lead him astray. He calls them the church. He says things like “the church teaches…” “the church’s stand on this is …” And “the church is true” he has no part in the decisions that “the church” makes neither does he want a part. Why should he? after all “the church is true” and “the church will never lead him astray” after all life is much easier that way. And thus many give the church thier free agency.
The latin root of the word religion means to bind. The main purpose of religion being to bind ones will to the will of god. But when we reclesly assume that another man knows the will of god 100 percent of the time we bind ourselves to that man. “Cursed I’d he that puteth has trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm” (2 nephi 28:31) god would have us bound to him by love and understanding. But men wish to bind you to them through power and authority.
“Shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast” (2 nephi 9:45) one day the hypocrite will be confronted with the contrast between what he thinks is religion is and what his religion really is. At this crucial point in his life if he choses to take back his agency he will be broken hearted, because he will realize that he has been fooled soo deeply by satan. Ths will cause true sorrow even to the point of tears. I know for me it did. But at this point when it feels like all has been lost; when the heart is truly broken, the atonement of christ will finally be allowed to take effect. “Behold he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit;and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.”(2 nephi 2:7)
We all go to the same building on sunday to worship. But its obvious that some are of a different religion than others. After all there are only two churches. So take some time and think about it, what’s your religion?
December 19, 2011
A problem that i had growing up in the church was the notion that nobodys perfect, and nobodys going to be perfect in this life. I heard it alot and heard it repeated over and over. i believe the problem with this ideology is the finality that is applied to it. mormons are raised and conditioned to have these notions of finality. at least i know i was. ever since i was a little kid looking up at the plan of salvation diagram with the 3 degrees of glory being the end, i was conditioned to think that there was a final judgment to end all judgments and that after that jusdgment i would never be able to become any better, and i would then be stuck in whatever kingdom i had recieved for the rest of forever.
today because of some things that ive learned im more inclined to believe that I am assigned to a kingdom right now and later i will live again and be assigned another kingdom, becausen gods course is one eternal round. Im a firm believer that everything that happens in this life god allows to happen for our beinifit. “we are in the midst of eternity and out of it we can never get” i think that was brigham young. this time is a slice of our eternity and god knows perfectly what kind of people (what kind of kingdom) we need to be in order to progress. people have a common inclination to think in terms of good and evil. they say he is a good person because he does this and that. and he is a bad person because he dosent do this and that.
No one has a right to say you are a bad person because of what you do. a person who would cast such judgment with out the perfect understanding of christ is always making an incorrect judgment. all of these random comments were just my lead in for my favorite quote for the week.
Now I am going to tell a dream that I had, which I think is as applicable, to the people to-day – the 21st day of June, 1874, as when I had it. There were so many going to California, and going this way and that way, and they did not know what they wanted, and said I – “stay here, we can raise our food here, I know it is a good stock country, a good sheep country, and as good a country for raising silk as there is in the world, and we shall raise some of the best of wheat. There stands a man – Burr Frost, and there is Truman O. Angell, who were present at the time. Said I, “We can raise all we want here, do not go away, do not be discouraged.” That was when the pioneers came; the next year, it was California, California, California, California. “No,” said I, “stay here.” After much thought and reflection, and a good deal of praying and anxiety as to whether the people would be saved after all our trouble in being driven into the wilderness, I had a dream one night, the second year after we came in here. Captain Brown had gone up to the Weber, and bought a little place belonging to Miles Goodyear. Miles Goodyear had a few goats, and I had a few sheep that I had driven into the Valley, and I wanted to get a few goats to put along with the sheep. I had seen Captain Brown and spoken to him about the goats, and he said I could have them. Just at that time I had this dream, which I will now relate, I thought I had started and gone past the Hot Springs, which is about four miles north of this city. I was going after my goats. When I had gone round the point of the mountain by the Hot Springs, and had got about half a mile on the rise of ground beyond the Spring, whom should I meet but brother Joseph Smith. He had a wagon with no bed on, with bottom boards, and tents and camp equipage piled on. Somebody sat on the wagon driving the team. Behind the team I saw a great flock of sheep. I heard their bleating, and saw some goats among them. I looked at them and thought – “This is curious, brother Joseph has been up to Captain Brown’s and got my goats.” There were men driving the sheep, and some of the sheep I should think were three and a half feet high, with large, fine beautiful white fleeces, and they looked so lovely and pure; others were of moderate size, and pure and white; and in fact there were sheep of all sizes, with fleeces clean, pure and white. Then I saw some that were dark and spotted, of all colors and sizes and kinds, and their fleeces were dirty, and they looked inferior; some of these were a pretty good size, but not as large as some of the large fine clean sheep, and altogether there was a multitude of them of all sizes and kinds, and goats of all colors, sizes and kinds mixed among them. Joseph stopped the wagon, and the sheep kept rushing up until there was an immense herd. I looked in Joseph’s eye, and laughed, just as I had many a time when he was alive, about some trifling thing or other, and said I – “Joseph, you have got the darndest flock of sheep I ever saw in my life; what are you going to do with them, what on earth are they for?” Joseph looked cunningly out of his eyes, just as he used to at times, and said he – “They are all good in their places.” When I awoke in the morning I did not find any fault with those who wanted to go to California; I said, “If they want to go let them go, and we will do all we can to save them; I have no more fault to find, the sheep and the goats will run together, but Joseph says, “They are all good in their places.”
JD 18:245 – p.246, Brigham Young
November 21, 2011
google just taught me that the lattin root of the word religion means to tie down or to bind up. that doesnt seem like a very enjoyable experience.
I dont know maybe its just because I still havent grown out of my hard to entertain teenager stage, but these days ive noticed that im exceptionally bored at church. Ive always been one to ask the why quesions. kind of like an annoying little kid i sat in church this sunday just asking myself why questions and answering them. I started by asking myself why am i at church? my answers were varried but they all really just went back to one reason, because im expected to be there. and then i ran through the list of people who espect me to be at chuch. My list was extensive, i figured most of the people i knew are on that list. even my own name was on the list.
I expect myself to go to church. I also expect myself to sleep tonight. that dosent mean im going to enjoy it or that its going to go well. Its just something that that i do. actually most nights my sleep is just normal not good not bad, pretty boring actually. its the same thing every night. around 10:00 i’ll go to bed and be unconcious for the next 8 hours or so then il wake to start a day that will definitly be less predictable than the night was. some days are exciting, even exilarating at times. but the nights when i sleep are always the same, close eyes, drift off and then wake up.
thats usaully how i feel when i go to church its day time but I get there walk in the door and then it all kind of just passes by for the next 3 hours and then i wake up starving. If I told most members i how i feel at church they would probly look at me and tell me that its satan trying to get me not to pay attention. but the problem is that im paying full attention the whole time but its become like reading a book that ive read a thousand times before. the following scripture seems quite relavent.
“They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day.”(d&c 95:6)
surely this cant be the path to salvation, i mean if heaven is like church than im pretty sure i dont want to go. of course this has been all complaining so far so i’ll get to the point. Am i the only one who is bored at church does anyone else just not like going but still feels compelled to go? I dont think that got really cares to much if i go to church every sunday. maybe its because i dont feel connected to the people at church. the people i enjoy spending time with are usually people im related to that might be just the problem. dont get me wrong i love the church but man it is really boring these days. it just seems like there is only so much that the church can give me. and ive topped off. maybe thats an arrogant thing to say….well whatever.
i feel like the way to enjoy religion is not as a weekend club that everyone goes to but more of a culture that everyone lives. smells like zion to me. one reason i say that is because about a month ago in a conversation over the phone with a friend of mine from america she was asking me about the culture of the indigenous people of south africa, the zulus. i was telling her about all the initiation rituals and the way they do marrige and other rituals, and she asked me if it was a religion. in my mind i thought no its much better than a religion, its a culture. is that how a zion comunity would be? would church on sunday even be needed in a zion comunity or would all things be done around the family altar?
im interested to hear some comments…
Journal of discourses Volume 4 p.78
It is the fashion in the world to embrace men in their faith, or a fine meeting house, or a genteel congregation, thinking, “O, what perfect order, and how pretty they look; how straight they walk to meeting, and how long their faces are during the services; how pretty that deacon looks under the pulpit; the people are so pretty, the meeting house is so nice, that we want to join such pretty people.” Such feelings will take a people to hell. Embrace a doctrine that will purge sin and iniquity from your hearts, and sanctify you before God, and you are right, no matter how others act.