This is a post that i have wanted to do for a very long time but just havent got the time to sit at a compluter and type it all out. Moses was comanded buy god to remove his shoes when he was standing near the burning bush. the way i read into the significance of  that is very much influeced by an experiece that i have had.

  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”

1 tim 4: 1-2

REMOVE YOUR SHOES!

In my high school years I became very involved in running cross country and track. towards the end of my junior year running  started to become a huge part of my life, I looked foreward to races like I child looks forward to christmas. It was the most important part of my life. Every week in school I would sit in class with a blank stare just daydreaming about the upcoming race, and the weekends race always determined my attitude for the next week. If I did I would be on top of the world all week. But if I did bad I would be very serious contemplating what i had done wrong to fix it at the next weekend race. I was addicted, and the dedication was paying off. Towards the end of my senior cross country reason i got an e mail from a college asking me to come run for them, I was the happiest kid alive my dream had come true I didn’t have to quit running after high school. Now anyone who knows anything about being a good distance runner knows the importance of running heavy mileage every week. And anyone who knows anything about running heavy mileage every week knows that the shoes you wear are very important. In high school my training was pretty low mileage but I would buy shoes like a pro, analyzing every detail, and reading every review getting advice  from all the experts, and I never once had an injury problem, but keep in mind I was not running really high mileage. When i got into college it was a totally different story training was serious and I was expected to run between 70 and 100 miles a week every week for the whole season. With the up in mileage shoe choice became more important than ever. I was wearing pretty normal running shoes for the first half of my freshman year and everything was fine I stayed relatively injury free. But at the beginning of the second half of the year disaster struck and i got one of the worst injures I had ever had. I had what called plantar faciaitis. I couldnt even walk a definitely couldnt go on a ten-mile run. It was terrible i had to watch my teammates succeed in practice while I sat in the sidelines. One day after practice I was so depressed i broke down and started to cry like a baby. The one thing I enjoyed most was taken from me I fell to my knees and started to offer up a prayer asking god to heal me. . . It didn’t happen. So because I lacked the faith to be healed I asked him to at least show me what I needed to do to be healed. . . Still nothing. So I decided to ask my physical therapist what to do. His answer was to keep coming to physical therapy 2 times a week and get fitted for some custom orthotics I did what the doc said and kept coming in and eventually I got the new orthotics. When those came in i started running again. . . My foot still was not 100 percent but I could run. Then I had am idea that just to play it safe I would buy new shoes just to play it safe with the new shoes and orthotics. I bought the most high-tech asics motion control shoes on the market so 800 dollars and a month later i was running again. It all seemed ok for about a week, then I started to feel pain in different places than the foot mainly in my knee, and this pain was worse than the pain i had had in my foot.

My whole world was falling apart because of these injuries and the expert advice only made it hurt worse. I spent the whole night laying awake in bed worried and feeling sorry for myself, just hoping and praying that I would be able to run again soon. I woke up the next morning and had a feeling it was going t be a great day. I decided I would go down to the park and try running again before I gave up completely. I laced up my high tech shoes and drove to the park. As I stepped out of the car the grass just looked so inviting. I started running and about 400 meters into it the pain shot up my right leg worse than ever. I fell on the ground frustrated and slightly angry, I ripped the shoes off my feet and threw them both as far as I could. As I stood up I looked over at my shoes which were about 50 meters away from me and after my leg stopped hurting i decided to jog over and pick them up. As I ran over to shoes barefoot it felt different. The pain was still there but it was going away rather than getting worse so I picked up my shoes and kept running back to the car. By the time i got to the car the pain was no longer there so I dropped off the shoes and decided to go for a little run without them. I ran about two miles and felt better and more comfortable than I had in several months.  The next day my calves were super sore but this was not a bad pain like the other pains it was a growing pain. I could feel that I was getting stronger whereas the pain i got from the shoes only made me weak.

 Over the next few months I eased into running in more minimal footwear. The less shoe between me and the road the better became my motto. Some mornings were painfully sore but every day I could feel myself running faster and with better form than I had ever had before. Running became something ten times more enjoyable I felt free smooth and fast. Running is going to be a lifetime sport for me and thanks to this experience ive gained  more than just a new perspective on running but a new perspective on life. Most of the shoes I was buying before were had some sort of motion control to fix what was supposedly wrong with me. All of them had at least an inch of material in the heel to protect my foot from the pavement. And all of them made my feet feel heavy. The shoes were what controlled my running form if I didn’t run they way they wanted to me I would get hurt. The shoes were supposed to make me  better runner by dictating my stride but ultimately I was just putting my unbroken feet in a cast.

there are a ton of morals i could pull form this little life experience but i will just try a couple and let you figure out the rest.

we all have grown up in a society that seems like it wants the best for us. just like the people at the store who were offering me all sorts of  things that they thought would be best for me we are surrounded every day by people who are more than willing to influence our thought patters so that we think and believe what is best for us. Parents, friends, and ecleziasticle leaders all have their belief systems that stems mostly from what they were told their entire life. These beliefes ultimatly shape your beliefes and how you will look at anything that you see or hear. all of  these accumulated notions tend to inflece personal responses to othe incoming influences. we can often become unreceptive to the influence of god becuse the influence of  man is far to prevalent. This is a big problem with many people both in and outside of the church today. Many have become afraid to make thier own decisions or form thier own belief all because a few people they dont even know have said something about it already so that must be the way it must be. We dont claim to have any creeds but ask any missionarry a question about a certain topic and he will give you the creed. i guess the point of this post is just to encourage whoever reads it to take off their shoes ( preconcieved notions) dont listen to what your told just because them who told you are in charge. jesus died to make men holy let us live to make men FREE! free to think free to chose, free to tell your leader he is wrong when he is. you are free you are man made in the image of god, start acting like it and quit being man who makes other men in the image of god.

“I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further; which I cannot subscribe to.” -joseph smith

Waiting

June 27, 2011

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 my 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”.  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 unfortunatly 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)
Maby its just me but i see a pattern here, the more written laws and comandments of men a people reicieve the more selfrightiousness and pride they embraceIf.
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=miracles”  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 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 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 sould with joy. Eternal life is to be found today, tomorrow and forever. Not earned. But until you really realize what Christ had done and truly accept it, you will still be in the lone and dreary world WAITING….

“and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel.” alma 4: 6

the following are my random thoughts on the subject of acumulating wealth sorry the thoughts dont flow time for editing is limited

 Costly apparel is the ultimate deciding factor in the book of Mormon whenever a people are on their way to destruction. It makes me think of a scene from black sheep. In that movie there is a scene where Chris Farley gets his tie stuck in the trunk of a car, the car starts to drive away and he is stuck to the car he can’t get off and ends up being drug across a parking lot by his tie. It all starts with a tie. Costly apparel is the ultimate deciding factor in the book of Mormon whenever a people are on their way to destruction. The neck tie is the hardest one for me to wrap my head around, it is something that is totally unnecessary. It is only there to better our outward appearance, which  downgrades the appearance of others. I remember when I went with my mom to buy my mission clothes, when I saw 700 dollars on the cash register at mens warehouse I almost threw up.  How much more expensive does it need to get until we consider it costly apparel?

About three weeks ago I got a hold of Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley. As I’ve been reading I’ve really enjoyed coming across things that support what I’ve told people countless of times but I just could not find the things to support what I was saying. Il never look at poverty in the same light. Were really a greedy lot of people its insanity to see how much stuff we justify having while we still say that we only have what is sufficient for our needs. The common reply whenever greed comes up amongst most LDS people is, “don’t get me wrong im not saying that all people who have a lot of money are bad people, I know plenty of really good people who are really well off”.  But the fact of the matter is that just because we judge them as good doesn’t justify seeking wealth just for the sake of accumulating it. 

A buddy of mine on mission observed:

 “it’s like a rich girl they are nice on the outside perfect hair clothes everything but talking to one and getting to know them wow they are ugly even with in the church like my ward back home man it’s messed up like that people come everyweek to church wearing costly apearal and the nicest watches and cars but go to church everyweek but come service project none of those people are there it seems the people with the modest dress are the ones that are on the right track “

Coming to Africa was a total culture shock for me, its really helped me learn how little we really need. When you look in the national geographic and see some poverty you just kind of toss it aside after a few short remarks about “those poor people”  “bless their heart”. When you see it it’s something that becomes more real. But still I am left to imagine how it would be to experience….

Babylonish garments

“Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. ………And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.”

-Joshua

 

In the old testament babylon is made op of the manufacture and production of goods basicly buisness. so i babylonish garments could easily equate to buisness attire. and if a white shirt and tie and a suit is not buisness  attire i dont know what is.

I look down at my tie from time to time and think “Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life” the emblem of my power and priesthoods weighs me down from time to time “yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.” the flaxen cord about my neck wispers in my ear, that its ok for me to have more than my neighbor, because im a deciple of jesus christ, but in my heart i know its wrong.
 
 Its not the tie thats  the problem its all the symbolism that goes along with the tie, its happened numerous times where ive been asked what im selling. ” you can buy anything in this world with money”  even respect. but that doesent make it right. its puting others at a lower level than me, all for the sake of having a good image. Ive even met some missionarries where wolves in sheeps clothing would fit them quite well. its the way of the world, focus on the outside the carnal and if that is made to look good then the inside must be good as well. Thats not the case though its like sour milk, the carton looks normal but the milk is terrible. the focus should be inward, ” For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  a babylonish garment seems like a small but by small and simple means satan can decoy the mind. im not writing this to spur some sort of change in church polocy or anything like that only to voice my personal toughts

While reading the book of Mormon I was really struck by the words of Jacob in Jacob chapter 2 and how similar what he says is to the statements of Brigham Young to the early saints concerning the accumulation of riches.

“Wherefore, I must tell you the truth according to the plainness of the wordof God. For behold, as I inquired of the Lord, thus came the word unto me, saying: Jacob, get thou up into the temple on the morrow, and declare the word which I shall give thee unto this people.And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.And now, my brethren, do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.”

-Jacob

If you ask them if they are ready to build up the kingdom of God, their answer is prompt–“Why, to be sure we are, with our whole souls; but we want first to get so much gold, speculate and get rich, and then we can help the Church considerably. We will go to California and get gold, go and buy goods and get rich, trade with the emigrants, build a mill, make a farm, get a large herd of cattle, and then we can do a great deal for Israel.” When will you be ready to do it? “In a few years, brother Brigham, if you do not disturb us. We do not believe in the necessity of doing military duty, in giving over our surplus property for tithing; we never could see into it; but we want to go and get rich, to accumulate and amass wealth, by securing all the land adjoining us, and all we have a knowledge of.” If that is not the spirit of this people, then I do not know what the truth is concerning the matter.

– Brigham young

I feel like we are all too often being told about self sufficiency and saving  and what not that we become so independent, that it is unspeakable to depend on anything or anybody  but ourselves. I am going to save, I am going to work hard, I am going to be educated, I am going to get a job, I am going to provide for my family, I have to be worthy. Its true that the book of Mormon says that we are  saved by the grace of Christ after all we can do. But considering all the scriptures that state that man is nothing and we are found as unworthy servants  im forced to conclude that all we can do is really  a lot less than we make ourselves out to be able to do. Korihor quoted the doctrine of the day quite well when he said that every man faired in this life according to to the “management of the creature”. We deny the salvation and the grace of Christ when we deny the gifts of god, we tell god “ these blessings are not gifts, I earned them, I deserved them” and we thank god after the manner of the zoramites by telling ourselves we are better than the rest because we have made ourselves worthy of the blessings.

“God has announced that he has a plan to prepare for himself special people and to make his church “independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world” (D&C 78:14). We get as far as the word “independent” and, without reading another syllable farther, declare our resolution to get rich and thereby achieve the independence God wants us all to have.

But if God has a plan, why not let him tell us what it is, instead of cutting him off in the middle of a sentence the way Cain did when he saw that God’s plan would interfere with his own plans for getting rich (Moses 5:23-33)?”

Look at all those fancy clothes,
But these could keep us warm just like those.
And what about your soul? Is it cold?
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?

And cars and phones and diamond rings,
Bling, bling, those are only removable things.
And what about your mind? Does it shine?
Are there things that concern you, more than your time?

-Jack Johnson

“Thou shalt not kill…the good guys”.  Has become the doctrine of the day. “it’s ok as long as you’re not killing the good guys”.  Its ok to steal as long as you call it business. Pride is encouraged as long as your proud to be in the only true church.  Costly apparel? Well gosh it’s just a tie as long as the church is true and were following the prophet all is well in. 2 Nephi 28:25 comes to mind. “Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!” 

I remember before I saw the light my brother (link to his blog) trying to explain to me why he doesn’t ever wear a tie wear a tie. I just couldn’t fathom it, it made no sense to me. My arguments were the usual LDS arguments. But I remember he just said who’s example are we following? Jesus Christ? Or James Bond?

 

Count The Cost

February 14, 2011

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28

This scripture is used commonly as a justification scripture to justify the ridiculous amount of planning and preparation that we are required to do in our missionary work. I personally am disgusted by the idea of planning a lesson or sitting down and planning the week. Maby this is just because I’m lazy. But I like to think its that the lord thinks the way I do about such planning. If we take a look at this scripture in a little bit of context it can make more sense and fit in line with what the lord has said about planning. So lets dig in (Using the Joseph smith translation to ensure purity)

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

Notice specifically what I underlined here.  I believe its obvious that the savior is in no way referring to the type of planning in Preach My Gospel chapter 8… he is more specificly speaking of the foundation of his church and how  it is to be a strong foundation therefore his is making the apostles aware of the test. A Zions camp situation if you will.

In contrast to the  idea of planning and or goal setting I find the saviors words very comforting.

Which of you by taking thought (setting goals, Planning)  can add one cubit unto his stature?And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the alilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;    (3 Nephi 13 27-28)

“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shallspeak: for it shall be given you in that some hour what ye shall speak. For itis not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”(Matt. 10:19-20)

“But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has beengiven to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, toconduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.” (D.& C. 46:2)

contrast found in preach my gospel

“I am so thoroughly convincedthat if we don’t set goals in ourlife and learn how to master thetechniques of living to reach ourgoals, we can reach a ripe old ageand look back on our life only tosee that we reached but a smallpart of our full potential. When one learns to master theprinciples of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

– ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD

TALK GIVEN TO SALT LAKE AREA YOUNG ADULTS,

OCT. 18, 1981

Well here we have a major conflict with 3 Nephi 13 27-28. The fact of the matter is that we have reduced way to much of our missionary efforts to the point where many missionary’s think in accordance with korihors plan.

The following scripture has been edited to fit the matter at hand my word s in red

“And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this Mission according to the management of the Missionarry”  (see alma 30: 17)

If  I may beg your indulgence for a moment take a trip on over  to PMG Chapter 8 and then open your nearest instruction manual for any of your high tech devices and notice the similarities. Diagrams charts arrows fancy tips all some real good management.

Just my thoughts on planning

The only time that I feel that the spirit can work within me is when I clear my mind of my “brilliant ideas” and let the lord tell me what to say. Its kind of like when someone is trying to talk to you they wont say anything until you stop talking. Likewise the lord waits until we have quit thinking of what are we going to say next before he tells us what to say.

Taskmasters

February 1, 2011

D&C Section 121:42 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

The scripture doesn’t say a little can be or it’s ok if some is, but it says NO PORWER OR INFLUENCE SHOULD BE MAINTAINED. On a mission you run into a lot of the men spoken of in verse 39 of this section.  I’m going through an experience right now with one such leader.  But what causes this compulsion this overbearing management? Well let’s back track a few verses and see verse 35

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men,

This gives us a hint and o boy is this true. One only has to hear of the overwhelming amount of aspiration that goes on in leadership meetings to know where the hearts of almost all men are. Its said that they “aspire to the honors of men” but what are the honors of men? Well in this case it can be many things but callings are a big one that comes to mind.

The totem pole starts at district leader and then zone leader up to AP being the Holy Grail for aspiring elders.  The problem with all of this though goes back to the general business style structure of a mission. I remember sitting listening to the mtc president lecture us on statistics. He had a picture of the key indicator stats sheet projected on the wall and he pointed at it and blatantly said “treat this like a Business”. Most aren’t so foreword, but the parallels between the missionary world and the corporate world are striking when you look at both.

Granted I have never been in a corporation trying to work my way to the top, but I can just imagine that the atmosphere in which a leader pretends to care about the concern of a worker to hear some ways in which the lower worker isn’t following procedure. Then when the lower level worker isn’t listening the one above him reports the fallacy in order to win some brownie points with the boss, in hopes of an advance up the ranks of the corporation. anyone who doesn’t believe me or refuses to see these parallels can check the video here.

Exodus 1: 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.

Leadership isn’t all  bad it’s good when a person is put into leadership and leads righteously by example rather than by unrighteous dominion. But it’s when leaders become taskmasters is when it can be grievous to bear. It is my humble prayer that the lord will hear my cry by reason of my taskmasters (Exodus 7:3).

Thoughts On Zone Conference

January 28, 2011

on my mission right now as im typing this in a small country called Swaziland right next to south Africa. here in Swaziland it is a kingdom a monarchy run by king swati a man with many many wives, and he gets a new one every year at a traditional dance where the women dance topless for him. the missionaries however are under the reign of 2 kings, one being king swati and the other being the mission president. and its ridiculous to watch and see how guilty missionaries make themselves. Ive only been out five months and before i came out the mission had a different mission president and i hear a lot of good things about how he had a very positive attitude to everything and his focus was to love the missionaries i cant get specific because i never knew the guy but i hear he wasn’t to strict and allowed the missionaries to enjoy themselves. now we have a new mission president and all Ive known of him since Ive been on my mission is that he wanted stats to be up. we receive pressure alot on stats if our stats arent good we arent good. all i hear about in our meetings is white handbook obedience preached over and over. my motto is just that the only real pressure i should feel should be coming from the holy ghost. but unfortunately most missionaries dont see things the same. some missionaries have responded to this by becoming more rebellious to the rules but then in turn making themselves more guilty. they throw themselves into a vicious cycle of first anger over change, then rebellion and then later fear then guilt then so called “repentence” and then obedience with exactness, and then either back to anger or just guilt for the rest of thier mission. luckily i have an older brother who was able to help open my eyes before i went on mission so i dont really worship my leaders like the rest of the group so i feel guilt free. a month ago was zone conference and that was ok I guess. I had some problems with it really bothers me to see how badly missionaries aspire to have a calling in a leadership position and before zone conference we all got chastised at a district meeting and they told us we needed to all get haircuts and make sure we wear our suits because the mission president is coming. The way it sounds is “make sure you have a nice hair cut and a nice suit for the business meeting because if you don’t the president won’t consider you for a promotion.” It bothers me that the way they run things is so business like. If Christ was coming he wouldn’t give two cents about how my hair is cut or whether or not I’m wearing a suit. In fact I think he would be bothered by the fact that I’m wearing a suit and tie and I go to an area where people can’t even afford to buy maze meal for their children, or fix their roof that has so many holes in it. I’m also bothered by the way that the word faith has morphed to mean the same thing as the word ambition. Here are some quotes from the zone conference.

“The most important aspect of missionary work is setting goals and planning”

“Planning is the only way that our work will ever progress”

“Don’t rely on your brain it fails you too much; rely on the manual”

“the better we plan the better missionaries will be”

“Were trying to have more manageable areas. We are trying to combine logic with management with the inspiration that goes into transfers.”

“But every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength”

o sorry that last ones not from the zone conference that’s from korohor but can you see where I’m going with this is the way our culture has gone I get up every morning and dress in the clothes of the business man and I’m told how to manage every second of my day up by 6:30 exercising then breakfast 8:00 Personal study 9:00 companionship study 10:15 out of the boarding to appointments. Spend at least 1 to 2 hours tracing every day be in at 9. Planning from 9 to 9:30, and were actually told not to go to sleep until 10:30 and then no later than 10:30. We have an 82 page handbook of rules that we are told if we don’t follow we will not be able to have the companionship of the spirit. And in listening to the sacrament prayers having the spirit with you seems to be alot simpler than they make it sound. Every day I see missionaries who have reduced their religion to those rules. All it does is breed self righteous pride in the witch people aspire to callings and ignore the whole point of their mission. Wich is to “invite others to come unto Christ” instead they just wish to “invite others to come unto the rules” this is from our own bible dictionary I hope that you can see the parallels

Pharisees –

A religious party among the Jews. The name denotes separatists. They prided themselves on their strict observance of the law, and on the care with which they avoided contact with things gentile. Their belief included the doctrine of immortality and resurrection of the body and the existence of angels and spirits. They upheld the authority of oral tradition as of equal value with the written law. The tendency of their teaching was to reduce religion to the observance of a multiplicity of ceremonial rules, and to encourage self-sufficiency and spiritual pride. They were a major obstacle to the reception of Christ and the gospel by the Jewish people. For the Lord’s judgment on them and their works see Matt. 23; Mark 7; Luke 11:37–54.

Hugh nibley put it this way and I like the way that he says it because it is so true.

“ “If you love me,” said the Greatest of all leaders, “you will keep my commandments.” “If you know what is good for me,” says the manager, “you will keep my commandments, and not make waves.” That is why the rise of management always marks the decline of culture.”

Isaiah 28:8

January 28, 2011

For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
There are only so many times a young person can sit in a Sunday school class and hear the same lesson over and over until one starts to question that their must be something more to all of this. turns out there is so this site is for people who are tired of the vomit and have started to realize that their is something more…much much more. but why!? why is the question we must ask why? why are they not teaching anything that i can learn from? being on mission you hear the phrase used “they have been taught everything” when talking of investigators. and to often with our dogmatic one way about it viewpoints we put ourselves into that same category, “we have been taught everything.” The LDS church is great and essential to prepare people to receive the deeper and more meaningful facets of the gospel. It is not the point of this site to tear it down. but the fact of the matter is that many who unite themselves with the religion at some time or another fall into worshiping, the organization, and those who lead the organization. the whole point of this site really is just my excuse to get things off my chest and into the open where a constructive discussion can be had on a number of different topics starting with missionary work……