Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A New Day, A New Love






People are often weirded out or offended by the way I talk about God and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not the same view of God they were raised to believe in, and so when I openly speak about my deep appreciation, feelings, and infatuation for Jesus, it is easily mistaken by the strict traditional church-going type as being disrespectful and sacrilegious to the divinity of Christ.  It makes them uncomfortable when I use more intimate and familiar terms such as friend, lover, and wild to describe Him.  When I asked these religious friends to tell me about Jesus the term that is most commonly used to describe Him is "The Savior."  The title is mostly used as a form of formal respect as opposed to sincere gratitude for being saved.  It is used without emotion.   It is true Jesus Christ is our savior, however, the term "savior" is only used 24 times in the New Testament, and referenced only 12 times in the Book of Mormon.   Jesus Christ is much more to us than our savior.  As John Eldredge says about Jesus,

He is the playfulness of creation, scandal and utter goodness, the generosity of the ocean and the ferocity of a thunderstorm; he is cunning as a snake and gentle as a whisper; the gladness of sunshine and the humility of a thirty-mile walk by foot on a dirt road. Reclining at a meal, laughing with friends, and then going to the cross. That is what we mean when we say Jesus is beautiful. But most of all, it is the way he loves. In all these stories, every encounter, we have watched love in action. Love as strong as death; a blood, sweat, and tears love, not a get-well card. You learn a great deal about the true nature of a person in the way they love, why they love, and, in what they love.” ― John Eldredge, Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus



I believe constantly revering Jesus as a distant "Savior" separates us from the vast and diverse, yet deep and intimate, love available for us to partake in.  I recently read this about God's love in Johnathan Cann's, "The Book of Mysteries"


"In the Song of Solomon," said the teacher, "the bride compares the love of her beloved to wine. Wine was a symbol of earthly pleasure. Yet when the bride speaks of her beloved, she says this: 'Your love is better than wine."
" And the Song of Solomon is ultimately about God and us; the bride represents us and the beloved represents God." 
" That's correct," he said. "So what is it saying?" 
"That the love of God is better than any earthly pleasure."  
"Yes, and something more than that. Behind the translation is a revelation one can only find in the original language. The Hebrew reads this way: Kee tovin dodekha me yayin. It is translated as 'Your love is better than wine.' But in the original language, the bride says, 'Your dodekha is better than wine."
"And what does dodekha mean?" 
"Not 'your love.' Dodekha means your loves...'Your loves are better than wine.' What does that reveal?" 
"The love of God is not just the love of God...but the loves of God." 
"Dodekha means that God loves you so much that it can't even be described or contained without breaking out of the language. It means the word love cannot adequately express it. It means that God doesn't just have love for you, but many loves. When you need His mercy, He loves you with a merciful love. When you need His strength, He loves you with an encouraging love. When you've been wounded, He loves you with a tender love. When you need the love of a friend, He loves you as a friend. When you need to be lifted up in His arms, He loves you with the compassion of a loving Father. His love for you is many. He loves you today, not with yesterday's love, but with a love for today, a love that is new every morning. Therefore, you must seek not only to know the love of God, but to know the loves of God. You can never rest on knowing yesterday's love or the love you have known before. You must seek each day to know the loves He has for you, the new love, the fresh love, the surprising love, the never-ending love. It is that love, His love, that is better, much better, than any earthly joy...for His loves are better than wine."  
Seek this day to know not only the love but the loves of God-the always new and never-ending loves of your Beloved for you.


God is so many things to so many different individuals.  We shouldn't get angry at one another because we experience Him in different ways.  Every day is a new opportunity to know God in a new and unique way.  I shared a picture of the sunset because of how significant the setting and rising of the sun has become for me.  In the temple endowment that was practiced in ancient Egypt, it was a day-long religious ceremony that began with sunrise and ended with sunset.   That single day was symbolic for the birth, life, and death of the participant.  Likewise, every night we go to we sleep we experience a miniature death of the past as we are reborn into the next day, a new day of possibility, and adventure.  A new day to discover God and His love afresh as a little child in a deeper and new way. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

I'm a Mormon



I’m a Mormon, even if religious organizations once associated with that name disregard it.  I’m a Mormon because “one of the grand fundamental principles of "Mormonism is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may”, even if that truth comes from outside or goes against “proper authority”.  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg. 313)

I’m a Mormon because Joseph Smith defined Mormonism as this:

The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.  
-Letter from Joseph Smith to Isaac Galland, Mar. 22, 1839, Liberty Jail, Liberty, Missouri, published in Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54; spelling and grammar modernized.


I’m a Mormon even if it means being completely estranged from the religious culture of my youth and being regarded as a heretic to religions of the world.  I’m a Mormon even if it means never fitting in because although walking that middle Way of Life can be scary, treacherous, and sometimes lonely, it’s worth it when you belong to the Truth, Jesus Christ.   



Saturday, September 22, 2018

Die or Step Off Your White Horse



Warriors, sometimes people ask for help not because they truly want it, but because deep inside they would rather avoid the responsibility of confronting their own problems and failures. It's easier for them to avoid responsibility if they have a knight in shining armor to place blame on when that knight gets knocked off his white horse battling the dragon meant for them to defeat.

Princesses, maybe only you have the ultimate power within you that can slay the dragon, but that can only come out when you decide to wake up from your sheltered beauty sleep and fight alongside the knight. However, it's much easier to sit in a high tower bitching about how fate sent you an ogre on an ass instead of a prince on a stallion.



This analogy came to me today. I offered my assistance to someone who asked me for my help. Bent over backwards and made time and financial sacrifices to make sure I could help in the best way I was able. But this person wouldn't help themselves because deep down inside they didn't really want my help, which was the only thing I agreed and was able to offer.  What they truly wanted was for me to take ownership of their problems, not help them through it.   When issues arose because of this person's negligence to research and properly prepare for the task at hand, they refused to confront them, assuming that they were entitled to have their problems taken care of for them.    They became angry and emotional when I sought to uncover and address these ignored issues.  This "princess" chose to remain asleep to the growing dragon outside her high tower, expecting her knight in shining armor to save the day.  

For it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength - Mosiah 4:27

Continuing to help this person would have dragged me further into hell and would have resulted in my destruction.  I don't believe its wise to offer something to someone you are unable to offer.  Jesus offered the most beautiful sacrifice to humanity, but He knew full well he possessed the power and capacity to do so. When I saw that this situation was too great for me to battle,  I had to step off my white horse as opposed to dying on it.  This person was devastated, but really, due to their own neglect, they were screwed with or without me.  A warrior knows how to pick and choose their battles and how many fronts they can fight on at once  I'm not her knight in shining armor.  I have my own dragons to slay, and my own princess, to fight for and with.   

Of course, its easier to avoid responsibility when you have someone to place the blame of failure on.    Now I'm the jack ass villain in this person's story for not offering something I knew I could not offer.  



Warriors, its okay to say no to a battle.  Be careful who you help.  Help those who are seeking to help themselves, or else you may just be someone's scapegoat of failure, and that's not helping them, that is crippling them.   


Princesses in distress, (and I'm being gender neutral when I talk about knights, warriors, and princesses, not necessarily assigning masculine/feminine roles to them), maybe the best place to meet your knight in shining armor is not in some safe high tower suddenly awaken by true loves first kiss - riding away into the sunset. Maybe the only place where you will encounter Him is outside the tower, awakened to the power within you - fighting side by side and walking victorious, hand in hand, over that dragon's dead carcass

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Viewing Truth Through Heaven’s Eyes

The following is the Sunstone Symposium talk I gave at the Mountain America Expo in July.  I apologize for the delay in getting this published in written form.  The past several weeks have been very eventful.  I didn't have a word for word written talk going into Sunstone.  The majority of the presentation was articulated in the moment. So huge appreciation and a special thanks to those who did the audio, video, and transcibed recording




Video:



PDF Transcibed Copy: Viewing Truth Through Heaven's Eyes

Transcribed copy: 



I’m really excited to be here. I’m actually incredibly nervous. This is my first time ever speaking at something and I was telling my dad and expressing my anxiousness for being here and he said, “Well O.K. what’s the worst that can happen?” “Is the church going to excommunicate you?” I realized, I have nothing to lose then!

So I don’t belong to the LDS church, although I did come from an LDS background. I left institutional religion shortly after coming home from my [LDS] mission. I’m going to talk a little about that in my presentation.

I associate with the remnant movement but I first identify with Jesus Christ. I’m a follower of the Way. There is a path that you must take through the cosmos back to Heavenly Father and Christ is that Way. He is the “Hodos” (Way, the opener of the path) in Greek and he shows you that path. So my relationship [With God] is everything to me. My relationship with Christ and getting back to where I need to be is the fundamentals of my religion-My personal relationship with God.

The Remnant movement, Some people call it the Denver Snuffer movement. Some people call it a Remnant movement. Some people call it a restorationist movement.  It began back in 2013, when a man, Denver Snuffer, delivered a message from God- ten lectures to the Mormon Corridor. Pretty much calling the Mormons to repentance. A belief in the remnant movement is that the restoration started by Joseph Smith stopped and it's in peril and that we need to preserve the restoration. And since the time of Joseph Smith death the LDS church and all its other branches has fallen to apostasy in a sense. And the time has come to preserve that restoration and look forward to Zion. 



The Second Comforter

There is a lot I want to talk about in this talk, but I was with a bunch of millennial Mormons, progressive millennium Mormons, a few weeks ago and I realized not many young people have an understanding of some of the fundamental things of what Joseph Smith taught, including the Second Comforter. So I’m going to spend some time talking about that. The very first book Denver wrote was, “The Second Comforter, conversing with the Lord through the veil.” So I’m going to spend the first part of my talk kind of explaining what the Second Comforter is and then explaining the process in which we are put through in this life to attain to that relationship with God. 

So in John chapter 14 there are two comforters referred to, one being the Holy Ghost and the second one, another comforter, being Jesus Christ.   Comforter in Greek translates into in paraklētos which means advocate, helper and mediator. So when you attain to The "Second Comforter", you attain to a special relationship with God. Where He's going to be with you every step of the way. I would like to open up to the “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” page 150 to explain what Joseph Smith said about the Second Comforter. 

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

16. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;17. Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. . . .21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. . . .23. If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14)

Joseph Smith continues to say:

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions.


So the fundamental beliefs of the remnant movement is that every individual can come into the presence of Jesus Christ if they seek for it. They can have that relationship or he becomes their “second comforter”, or he prepares individuals to receive to enter into the presence of the Father. See presence in Hebrew actually translates to “face to face”. So when you read about entering into the presence of God, it means you are conversing with him face-to-face as Moses did. as the brother of Jared.

So the role of the Holy Ghost in 2nd Nephi chapter 32- Nephi says that after you have entered into the way, you can speak with a "new tongue". You have the Holy Ghost. And what does that Holy Ghost allow you to do? Well, to speak with the tongue of angels, to speak the words of Christ.

At the very end of 2nd Nephi chapter 32, Nephi is describing what happens after we receive the Holy Ghost.  
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he [Jesus Christ] shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.

So [after] baptism, you receive the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost is the first comforter, and it leads you to the second comforter, which is Jesus Christ. And that is the end of the doctrine of Christ. What it means to endure to the end is not simply mean to live out a life [spiritually complacent] not seeking but rather enduring to the end is receiving Christ [in the flesh] because he is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). And then He becomes the Second Comforter for us. He [then] takes us into the presence of the Father.

So that is the doctrine of Christ and that is what the endowment points to: receiving the Holy Ghost, conversing with angels, and angels prepare you to receive the ministration of Christ in the flesh – knowing God.

So this idea of the second comforter is something people have known about it for a long time. It was taught in the early days of the church, but has been forgotten by [mainstream] Mormonism. Denver Snuffer wrote his book “Conversing with the Lord through the Veil.” to teach this fundamental doctrine.  But me personally, I didn't learn of this stuff through Denver Snuffer. It came to me while I was serving a mission. I'm going to read a little excerpt from my blog about how I came to an understanding of these things

It wasn’t until the time of my 20th birthday when I began to have a desire to know more about my Savior Jesus Christ.  I guess you could say this is when I first began to “awaken” to the truth and reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I had grown up in the LDS church and have gone through the motions my whole life of living church standards.  I did all the outward things a good Mormon-boy was expected to do, but I never really knew much about Jesus Christ.  Although God revealed the truth of the Book of Mormon to me at a young age, I had never taken that testimony of the book in a serious pursuit to truly comprehend God’s character, perfection, and attributes.  My teenage years had made me slothful and careless in the things that mattered most.   Religion to me was more traditional and about living a certain lifestyle than actually having a relationship with Christ.  At that point as a missionary I knew a lot about “the Church”, but very little about Jesus Christ.   Although I had heard stories about Jesus, I wanted to know for myself who is this God we claim to worship and whose name is on all our churches.  What did he do?  How did He do the things He did? What is He like?So I began to study the Gospels in the New Testament to learn more about Him from what was recorded of His mortal ministry in Jerusalem.  The more I learned about Him from my study, the more I wanted to know Him.  Not just know about Him, but to actually know Him for myself.  I wanted a personal intimate relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to KNOW God in order to inherit eternal life.
John 17:3 states

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


Does to know God mean to merely know ABOUT him -to be able to recite scriptures and have an intellectual understanding of biblical history and doctrine? OR does it mean we have to actually know him personally, just as personal as you know your spouse?

Consider the Hebrew roots of the word" knowledge":

“That word knowledge in Hebrew comes from two words ‘yada`’ and ‘da'at’. They both mean understanding by experience, not by knowledge. You gain it by experience. Therefore, to know somebody became a euphemism in the Old Testament for sexual intercourse, Adam knew Eve and they begot Cain, Adam knew Eve and she begot Seth or Abel, so that the word ‘yada`’ and ‘da'at’ became euphemisms for the close relationship of husband and wife, knowing each other”
Marriage as a Metaphor for the New Covenant” by Bob Norman.

Jesus Christ is not a deity meant to merely be read and studied about in books and sermons. He is meant to be know by constantly experiencing him. Just as two people who are in love or married constantly experience one another.  Jesus Christ came not to establish a religion but a relationship between you and God. Spiritual progressions is to develop deeper intimacy with God. Eternal Life being the fruit of that relationship. 

So as a missionary, I remember reading, it was in one of the teachings of the president of the church—it was Joseph Smith’s teaching and Ministry. And it said in that book that when Joseph prayed to God, it was if he was talking to a friend face to face. He was very vocal with his prayers, and very personal. So then at that time I begin to pray to God in private. At night after my companions had fallen asleep, I would go to the roof or the lot behind my apartment, where I could be alone and pour out my heart to God without worrying about others listening. There is no set former recitation our guide to my prayers. I would speak to Him as if he was right in front of me. It was just God and I, and I cried from my heart.  Our Lord is not an aloof God. He's a very personable and invested in each one of our lives. He answers our sincere prayers.

On January 2015 I decide to just trust wholly on the merits of Him who is mighty to save. I made a conscientious decision that I would no longer trust any man including my family or church organization and its leaders. I came to the conclusion to rely solely upon God and God alone for truth. And I would not rely on any other person for my relationship with Jesus Christ. My loyalty would be first and foremost to the Lord before anything else. I began to fast and pray more diligently for light of Truth and direction from the Lord. Because I was seeking during this time the Spirit of the Lord began to expand the scriptures on to me. The Lord taught me through the word of God passages scriptures, which I had read before and thought I understood, were opened up on to me with clarity and a completely new perspective. It was as if there was a conduit from heaven coming down into the scriptures and flowing into me. It was overwhelming and delicious. But sometimes the things I learned scared me. Shaking me to the very marrow of my bones because it revealed my wicked an awful state before God. However the things the Lord taught me by the power of the Holy Ghost were always through the scriptures and I have always been edifying logical full of pure intelligence, full of light and truth. 

The very first scripture the Lord revealed to me or opened up unto me while serving as an LDS Missionary was the passage with the brother of Jared and his Second Comforter experience.  The brother of Jared was trying to figure out a boating situation to get across the sea and he went to the Lord and he saw the finger of God and was freaked out. And then the Lord showed Himself unto him. This is what the Redeemer says about what it means to be redeemed in the fall. 
And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you. (Ether 3:13)

When Adam and Eve were cast out the garden, they were cast out the literal presence or face-to-face encounter with God. So they fell. So to be redeemed for the fall, is to be brought back into the presence of Jesus Christ and to see him face-to-face and to converse with him. And that's what the brother of Jared did. He had a Second Comforter experience, a Second Comforter relationship. 

So, what Zion is going to look like is—(and this is the goal of the Remnants). The Remnant movement wants to participate in the commencement of Zion.  They participate. It doesn't mean it's all going to be the Remnant Movement. And I don't believe Zion, a city of one heart one mind people with no poor among them is necessarily going to be a religious movement. But we seek to participate in that formation of a city [people]. In Jeremiah chapter 31 there's a prophecy about that city [people] and the inhabitants of that city [people].


31 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31)


People in that City will each individually know God personally, face-to-face.

What is a church?  Church defined by the Doctrine and Covenants section 10:67.

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

Church of God, one of my favorite passages of scripture. Probably the most important question we can ever ask ourselves is: What do ye think of Christ?  And this is Christ explaining to Peter how his church is going to be formed.  It says in Matthew chapter 16:

13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

What He is asking is:  What do other men say I am? or what does your prophets say about me? What does Twitter or Facebook have to say about me? They are saying Christ is a prophet? But then Jesus asked the million-dollar question.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood [another man] hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

“This” in that verse is referring to how Peter received the knowledge of Jesus that Jesus was the Christ. It wasn't through another man, but it was directly from the Father, a personal testimony, a personal connection. And upon that rock is how the true church of God is going to be established. 



The Process of Receiving Truth

So the Second Comforter, there's a process that we need to go through before we can obtain that relationship of a Second Comforter with God. And it requires that we receive more light and truth. And D&C section 93:36 says

36 The glory of God intelligence or another words light and truth. (D&C 93:36)

24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. (D&C 93:24-25)

And truth is knowledge of things as they were as they are and as they are to come, if its something more or less it is not [pure] truth. 

Joseph Smith quotes on salvation to knowledge. He states in “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, page 217:

“A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”

Jesus Christ didn’t receive the fullness all at once either. In section 93:12-13 it states:

12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

So we receive knowledge through seasons of our life, grace to grace, line upon line, precept upon precept.  And we need to receive that truth before we are able to bear the presence of God. Cuz you understand that no unclean thing can be in his presence. So Christ is going to take us through a purification process.

I like to teach the second comforter stuff while equating it to the developmental process of a baby. To be in the presence of God.

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D&C 93:1)

You cannot expect to call yourself a son or daughter of God, if you do not see the face of your [Heavenly] father. So before you can see the face of your father, you need to be born again, just like a baby is born into this life, and eventually, they see their parents face. Likewise, we must be born again through Christ Jesus who facilitates that passage in order to see the face of our [Heavely] Father.  But a baby cannot be born the moment its heart starts forming in the womb and starts developing. It takes 40 weeks for a baby to eventually be strong enough to be born to build their arms, legs, its head, ect.... And likewise with us. Peter says

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1)


So Christ takes us through a process, 40 weeks or perhaps 40 years, depending on how humble you are, to the point where we can eventually be born again and ascend to that place with God. 

See, unlike birth into this world, we have a choice whether we want to be born again to see Father. We have a choice whether to give up our sins and accept light and truth. In the developmental process of a baby, a fetus is connected to the placenta through the umbilical cord which consists of three arteries. The baby gives up its waste to the mother and the mother in return through the placenta feeds the baby its nutrients. Likewise, with us through the medium of the Holy Spirit, we give up our sins to Christ Jesus. And what does he give to us and return? His glory, His light, His truth, so that we can develop and grow to the point where we can eventually ascend and know him. But we make that choice whether you want to work out our surrender to Christ Jesus. 


Sacrifice

 On my mission, after reading the account of the brother of Jared's [face to face encounter with God], it says  "they that shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord even as the brother of Jared".   The scriptures invite all that have faith. Anyone that has faith can have the same experience and relationship with God that the brother of Jared did.  In the book of Ether, it invites both the Jew and Gentile to receive that same thing the brother of Jared had, which was the face-to-face encounter with God. But the key phrase in Ether chapter 4, was, 


“And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me... then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw” (Ether 4:7)

So my question to God as an LDS Missionary was: “How do I have faith even as the brother of Jared did?” And within the next couple weeks after making that prayer to God, I got a book while in the mission called “The Lectures on Faith” written by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon; which pretty much explains the doctrine of Christ, or their commentary on the doctrine of Christ. And for the first time in my life, I had an understanding, started having an understanding, of what faith is. The things I learned in that book, it did shake me to the core, because of how the sixth lecture talks about sacrifice. The way Joseph puts it, he says

“we next proceed to treat of the knowledge which persons must have, that the course of life which they pursue is according to the will of God, in order that they may be enabled to exercise faith in him unto life and salvation.” (Lecture 6:1)

Joseph Smith equates that getting that knowledge that the life you are pursuing is according to God’s will through the medium of sacrifice. 

Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. (Lecture 6:7)

So as an LDS Missionary I did not have much to sacrifice. I didn’t have many worldly belongings. But I did have my relationships, my relationships with the church, my relations with my family and people I love back home, like a girlfriend. So I went in my prayer closet and I placed everything on this altar of sacrifice. On that altar, I placed all those relationships and everything that I held dear and closest to my heart and I told the Lord not my will but thine be done. 

Within two weeks after doing that prayer, the Lord facilitated a series of events, which eventually led to Him calling me home early for my mission. I got home and from that point until now the Lord has taken things out of my life, or put his hand in my life to align my life into a greater accordance with His will. But it required that I make that sacrifice, that I give up those things, or at least place them in his hands.  

That's my experience of sacrifice briefly from my mission. 

I’m associated with the Remnant movement, but I'm also... I'm not sure if any of you guys know who Jordan Peterson is. I’m also a "Latter-day Lobster". I read his book 12 Rules for Life and I've listened to his Bible series and I'm a complete fan of what he has to share. The guy he's a psychologist, but he shreds the Bible. And he says something really interesting about sacrifice. He says, 

Reason is something alive. It lives in all of us. Its older than any of us. Its best understood as a personality not a faculty. It has its aims and its temptations and its weaknesses. It flies higher and sees farther than any other spirit, but reason falls in love with itself and worse it falls in love with its own productions. It elevates them and worships them as absolutes. Lucifer is, therefore, the spirit of totalitarianism. He is flung from heaven into hell because of such elevation, such rebellion against the highest and incomprehensible inevitable produces hell.
To say it again, it is the greatest temptation of the rational faculty to glorify its own capacity and its own production and to claim that in the face of its theories nothing transcendent or outsides its domain needs exist. This means that all important facts have been discovered. This means that nothing important remains unknown, but most importantly it means the denial of the necessity for the courageous individual confrontation with being.
What is going to save you?
The totalitarian says in essence, you must rely on faith in what you already know, but that is not what saves. What saves is the willingness to learn from what you don’t know. That is faith in the possibility of human transformation. That is faith in the sacrifice of the current self for the self that could be. The totalitarian denies the necessity for the individual to take ultimate responsibility for being. That denial is the meaning of rebellion against the most high. That is what totalitarian means. Everything that needs to be discovered has been discovered. Everything will unfold precisely as planned. All problems will vanish forever once the perfect system is accepted.
- Dr Jordan B Peterson, 12 Rules for Life an Antidote to Chaos

So what saves you is not what you know, rather what you don't know. And our job is to pursue what we do not currently comprehend to expand our minds. And that is the problem, especially with institutionalized religion, because of dogma, they believe they have a fixed system that's going to save them. And they become comfortable there and they stop trying to learn and grow. And the thing about spirituality and repentance is:  you're never stagnant. You're either progressing or digressing. You're either going one way or the other.

Alma chapter 12. This is about gaining more light and truth and hardening your heart, believing that you already have everything that you need. He says:

10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12)


If you read Matthew Chapter 5 in the Beatitudes Jesus gives a list of attributes tied to blessings, or tied to forms of godliness. It starts with poor in spirit, then is blessed they that morn, blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, blessed are the meek, blessed are the pure in God, blessed are the peacekeepers. And Jesus Christ gives this list of attributes in a specific order.  Ending off with seeing the face of God and becoming a peacemaker. (peacemaker is code word for the city of Peace, which is a Zion community)
[There the persecution stuff too at the very end, as you gain residency in heaven and Zion you will naturally lose residency in the lower orders of a corrupt world]

But it starts first with being poor in spirit. If we believe we have it all, we don't recognize that we are poor in spirit, will never receive more of God's word. In the process of striving to expand our minds to reach unto Heaven, we often find ourselves tugging on the tapestries of God's design. We return with a single thread, an inspiration or revelation, a vision, and we fixate on it believing it to be the one and only true [truth] church. And then we hold that thread over other people and command that they accept our piece of thread of truth. We fixate on that and we hinder ourselves from receiving more truth from God or appreciating the other threads of truth that others who have made that ascension have come back with.

Never mistake the model of reality with reality itself.  In the gospel of Phillip in the Nag Hammadi gnostic text, Phillip states, 


“Truth did not come into the world naked but in symbols and images.”

 Pretend you’re the omniscient God of the universe and you need to convey deep truths to the posterity of the world who are finite in there thinking and limited in their understanding. So how does God do it? He uses Parables, ordinances, and symbolism to teach deep truth.  But a lot of the time the problem with mankind is that we tend to fixate on these ordinances, and we idolize the ordinances instead of seeing them as a means to an end. We see them as the end in of themselves.

Elijah in the book of 2nd Kings (2 Kings 18:4)  He went in and broke down the Brasen serpents. And those serpents were once used in the wilderness with Moses as of type of Jesus Christ. If the children of Israel look to the brazen serpent on the stick, they would actually be healed of their infirmities. But they started idolizing this ordinance and Elijah had to go in and break them. A lot of problems, like with temples, is we tend to idolize temples thinking the temple is the end to our salvation. And once were "sealed" there we are good for time and all eternity. But the temple, the endowment, is a curriculum. It’s an education process we go through. Everything in there is a type and shadow for what really needs to happen in your life. You ought to be entertaining angels. You ought to be seeking to know God face to face. So ordinances are not the end but they are the means to an end. And they're designed to teach you. And that's why in The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith states, 
“Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed.”  (TPJS pg 308)

They lose the power of Godliness when they are changed. Because you're changing the curriculum. 




Rebaptism and Repentance




So one ordinance I want to talk about which is really really key to the Remnant movement is baptism.   Baptism is deeply symbolic. You go down into the water, you lay your sins down, and you ascend out of the water. Just like when you were first born into this world, there was water involved, spirit and blood. Likewise, when you are baptized though the ordinance of baptism in the living waters, there's water involved. You need to ascend out of the world. You kind of see this theme in movies.

31:30



You kind of see this theme in movies, like the Matrix when Neo wakes up out of the Matrix. What happens is he wakes up and he comes out of a tub of water into the real world. Pirates of the Caribbean, the third one, they are trying to get the boat to tip over and they tip the boat over, and what happens? They go into the water upsidedown and they ascend out of the water into a new world. In the movie Moana, when the grandmother shows Moana the ships she takes one and becomes a wayfinder.  (Jesus Christ is the Way) In that scene you see her coming out of a waterfall to tak to the horizon- that's an archetypal type of baptism as she’s entered into the way.

Water is deeply significant in the scriptures. That's why you enter into the strait and narrow path. Strait not meaning a straight line but strait as in s-t-r-a-i-t (that is the way it is spelled) meaning something that connects two bodies of water.  

The baptism by water is not sufficient to save in its self. Joseph Smith quotes in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 314.

You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

So in the Remnant movement we practice rebaptism and we get baptized again as needed.  And the reason for that is—I want to talk real quickly about repentance and how it works.

Repentance in our English understanding, a lot of times when we think of repentance, there is a shameful connotation to it. Meaning that you have got to go through a process to get yourself clean. You have to go without sacrament for several weeks or several months. I think that is derived from our Latin translation of the word poenitire which can be derived to hurt or punish.

(Latin root poen- punish, penance, penitent

So when you repent, we have this idea of re-"punishing" ourselves. Whip ourselves on the back and go through our self-inflicted pain to return to that state of penitence.  Now I don’t think that is a good translation, I would prefer the Greek translation of the word repentance which is metanoia, which literally means to "expand the mind".

34:05

Amartía in Greek means “to sin”. You sin by missing the mark. That’s what amartía means. So you expand your mind, aim, and you shoot again. It's not about repunishing yourself. It’s about expanding your mind into heaven. Joseph Smith said:


The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God (TPJS p. 137)

There's an expansion of mind that happens. But that expansion of mind can only happen when truth or information is presented to you. If you're never presented with new information outside of your current sphere of perceived reality, you’re never going to be able to have something to expand your mind into. And so that's what the role of a messenger is. In the Lectures on Faith, Lecture two Joseph Smith explains what the role of a messenger from God is. A messenger being one who comes from God's presence and knows him face-to-face and testifies of such things. And he explains what their role is a relationship with us and God. 


We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based, which excited the enquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints, to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God: and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this enquiry, in the first instance in their minds—it was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers—this testimony having aroused their minds to enquire after the knowledge of God (Lectures on Faith 2:56)

So a messenger of God dispenses heavily knowledge, more information, for you to consider. Repentance- there should be no negative connotation to repentance. You should rejoice when given an opportunity to repent because that gives you an opportunity to expand your mind into. In 3 Nephi chapter 11, the very first thing that Christ declares is the Doctrine of Christ. Which is baptism.  He's talking to the more righteous inhabitants of the land. These are people that accepted baptism previously at the hands of, (I believe it was) Nephi. And yet they were asked to be re-baptized. And the Lord sets out the requirements for baptism. And then declares at the end of the Doctrine of Christ that if you declare anything more or less of this, it is not in my doctrine, but is against me. (3rd Nephi 11:40)

He states the requirements for baptism:

36:35


. . . On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them . . . (3 Ne 11:22-23)

This got me thinking, so I understand the requirements for baptism is first desire and then the repentance. What is the key phrase in there, “through your words.” What exactly does that mean?  I got to thinking, “through your words” is whenever a messenger comes into your life and dispenses more truth, you now have something to expand your mind into, something to repent to.  (You repent, or expand your mind, to the knowledge that messenger dispenses from heaven.) And so you witnessed that to God by going down to the water. Because the first fruits of repentance are baptism and you recommit yourself to God.

For me personally, I’ve been baptized several times. And every single time I've been baptized it been in conjunction with a season of life of immense growth and transformation.  It hasn't just been a one-time thing. It's been a continuous process of repentance and turning my heart to God and obtaining more light and truth. 



Separating Truth From Precepts


More about the nature of truth and light. Light is always placed in the scriptures in conjunction with truth, light and Truth.


For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (D&C 84:45)

So if you decide to pursue this journey of seeking to know God face to face the Lord's going to start shinning some light on your life and it may reveal some ugly things within you. I remember I was working several years back at a nursing home or rehab facility and they were doing some remodeling and decided to replace the light fixtures in the facility. The moment they replace the light fixtures, it just lit up the entire place.  It was great. It brought in a different type of vibrant energy. But I remember looking at the ground and noticing that the carpets were stained in all this filthy junk and I've never noticed how disgusting the carpets were, until they replaced the lights.

When you receive the light of God or the Light of Christ into your life it’s going to reveal ugly things about you and you are going to have to confront those demons.  We love Ether chapter 12 verse 27, it talks about your weaknesses being made strengths. But we miss the first part. It says, "if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.” 

So part of the process of coming unto God is encountering your dark nights of the soul. Encountering your demons. The dragons that you need to slay.  We need to uproot those things need to put down those dark places, those "un-beliefs". I called them unbeliefs. 

Moroni 7:36-37-


Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.(Moroni 7:37)



What keeps us from the presence of God. It’s not necessarily our lack of faith. But rather our unbeliefs. Because it is our beliefs that drive our faith. If we have faith according to our belief system that’s not true, we’re going to get the wrong type of fruit.

When [God] comes in a Book of Mormon chapter 8 everyone’s on fire. Everyone's running around I'm freaking out and God is simply existing. It's our internal reaction to him coming to us that sets us off. A lot of times, it is not our understanding of God that hinders us, but rather the understanding of our relationship to God and ourselves.

So you don't believe you're unworthy. You don't believe you are shameful or you're guilty or you're pathetic or you're full of anxiety until something in your external world. (He that is within the world 1st John 4:4), defines that on you and says that you are. And then you start having faith in that unbelief you start believing that you are ugly. You start believing that you are unworthy. And before you realize it you start acting  [prehaps even sub-conscienly] according to that belief. And then you become that monster that you've been labeled as.

And that's why Jesus Christ comes. He is the light, the truth, and the way. The truth, meaning in Greek Alethia -the discloser, restorer of memory. [He reminds us of who we truly are] He gives us a new name. He takes us from our sinful state and He declares to us that we are good. We are worthy. It's like that story that we watched in Primary, Johnny Lingo, right—eight cow wife. The accuser says "Muhama you ugly!" But Johhny, the archetypal Christ, comes and says, you’re an 8 cow wife. And we realize, oh! I am an 8 cow wife. And before you know it you start transforming into His image of an 8 cow wife.

So it’s our unbelief. And the process of coming unto Christ will be I'll be uprooting those unbeliefs.


. . . it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. (Moroni 7:37)

It's our lack of correct understanding and mixtures of lies that hinders us from coming unto God. The adversary technically doesn't even have to lie to us to snag us. If you go to the beginning of the Bible, the Book of Genesis chapter 2. God gives Adam a commandment before Eve is even around. And he says this to him about the fruit of the tree.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:16-17)

And then God puts Adam to sleep, takes the rib out of his side and creates Eve. Then you fast forward to chapter 3. Now Eve is around and she’s in the garden. And then the serpent comes to Eve. And the serpent directs Eve’s attention to the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. And he asks her about that tree.


. . . And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (Genesis 3:1-4)

The Precept of Eve vs the Subtle Serpent
If you notice there is something different about what Eve says to the serpent and what God told Adam.

God never said anything about touching the fruit, just about eating it,
 “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” 
Eve just said, 
“Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”

 So you can see God's commandment to Adam related to Eve has become a game of telephone and has been altered. There is more or less to God's original Word. The serpent said to the woman, 
“Ye shall not surely die.” 
Satan was not lying. You touch the fruit and technically you’re not going to die. And you can see in that moment- I can see my mind Eve touching the fruit, and she realizes "I'm not dead". And then she realizes, God's a liar. Is he lying? Is He holding out for me? 


And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Gen. 3:6)

So Satan wants you to turn your back on God. So he attacks your precepts and your suppositions about the truth. And that's the problem with institutionalized religion. They perpetuate false precepts.  A precept is according to Webster's 1828 dictionary:


In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct. The ten commandments are so many precepts for the regulation of our moral conduct. (Precept, 1828 Webster Dictionary)

Now the precepts of men are enforced by men, meant to regulate human behavior. And Nephi says a lot of things about the precepts of men and trusting in the arm of flesh.

So part of the process of coming unto Christ is cutting through the precepts of men from what is actually sound doctrine. And what institutionalize religion does a lot of times, is that they take the precepts of men and they teach for doctrine the commandments of men and they intertwine the two. And so when a Millennial... and I hope this gets out to Millennials, I’m trying to talk to Millennials here.... When a Millennial discovers ugly history or they discover the brethren are fallible and the church is corrupt, they automatically decide to go to atheism. They turn their back completely on God and they don't take the time to distinguish between what is a precept of man and what is actual sound doctrine. The church does not own the Book of Mormon. They do not own Joseph Smith nor is their narrative of Joseph the only narrative.  The gospel and the restoration is independent. And before you decide to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I’d ask and invite you to read the Book of Mormon not to understand your church, but to understand God. Listen to Joseph Smith and consider what he has testified of.


There's something interesting when you receive more light and Truth into your life things become discernible. Things that you clump together as the truth, tend to separate and you start distinguishing between what is black and white. Before the 1600’s and the invention of the microscope, science did not yet comprehend cells.  As technological instruments improved, we were able to discover that even cells had various parts to them, and that cells were not the basic building blocks of matter, but that things were made up of atoms.  We soon discovered that atoms were made of electrons, protons, and neutrons.  As we have also pointed our instruments towards the heavens, we have discovered that our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, is just a small part of a much larger, interconnected system.  As we gain a greater perspective of this reality, whether it be on a microscopic or macroscopic level, we learn that the universe is much more expansive than the constraints of the “paradigm box” in which we had previously placed it.  As knowledge replaces ignorance, the various components which we once clumped together as being “truth” separate and become distinguishable.  


Both are pictures of sand. However, the bottom photo is a magnified image
Things become distinguishable according to the degree of light they are placed under   


God’s word is truth, and it does the exact same thing.  It takes what we have previously clumped together as being “truth” and divides it asunder. Just as a microscope or telescope enhances our view of things, The word of the Lord or the light of Christ (D&C 84:45) expands our understanding and gives clarity in our perspective, making things discernable to where we can have a perfect knowledge of the distinction between truth and error- just as clear as the daylight is from the dark night.

. . . for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand. O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; . . . (Alma 32:34-35)

When I was serving an LDS mission in the Philippines the Lord revealed unto me His word as He expounded the scriptures unto me.  I was guilty and therefore took the truth to be hard. (Nephi 16:2)  It literally made me ill!  What He taught caused me to quake as it cut me to the very center.  I reacted to truth with a degree of cognitive dissonance because it went against my religiously ingrained paradigms; dividing the LDS Church from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the precepts of men (the "infaliblity" of the Brethern) from the Book of Mormon, a vain religion from an intimate relationship with God.  The Light of Christ allowed me to perceive the clear distinction and I therefore had to make a difficult choice.  The choice I made required repentance and sacrifice.  Since that time and to this very day as God’s Word is unfolded unto me my paradigms are constantly being shattered as the Truth cuts asunder those big clumps of mixed truths and lies.  As I sift through the remains of my shattered beliefs that is when I able to separate dirt and sand from the rocks and diamonds, conjecture and tradition from God’s Word and Truth.  From the debris I am able to obtain the pure and strong elements needed to build my foundation upon the rock of Jesus Christ. This is an ongoing process which requires constant seeking, constant repentance, constant change, and therefore constant sacrifice and constant baptism



Viewing Truth Through God's Eyes

 
There comes a point when you obtain enough truth and it's not really enough to simply think abstractly about the gospel from a separate intellectual position. You need to actually become a living embodiment of the truth. Let the word become a manifestation in the flesh. Nephi says the feast upon the words of Christ. And you will become what you eat.  Section 88 verses 67 through 68  says:


And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. (D&C 88:67-68)

First you need to fill yourself with light and truth. And when you fill yourself with light, you start to comprehend the light because you become the light. You’re embodied by it. And this got me thinking about obedience to God's Commandments. Do we obey because God told us to? Or are we obeying because we have an actual vision, because we're becoming like Him, and we can see things the way he sees? I think it's an excellent meditation to go through is to think what is the value of God driving certain commandments? In D&C 121 the Lord talks about how we should handle the priesthood.


. . . by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— (D&C 121:41-42)That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. (D&C 121:37)

Why does God give us that commandment? Maybe that is because that is the way God pursues our hearts and the way that God loves us. He does it through persuasion, gentleness, kindness, long-suffering, love unfeigned. And why would God pursue us and ask us to come unto him in that way? Why doesn't he just come down and demand worship? Well it is because he wants our heart. He desires us to choose him because he values agency. You can't have charity. You cannot have love, without agency. Because it has to be a mutual decision between two parties for love to truly flourish. And so that's why God will not overstep his bounds. He doesn't seek to take away our agency. He pursues us. He pursues in that very subtle way, because he wants us to choose him. He wants us to get to the point where like Nephi in the Book of Helaman where no longer does Nephi just trust God, but God can also trust Nephi and he gives them the sealing power, the high priesthood. (Helamen 10:4-8)

So that's kind of my last point about viewing truth through heaven’s eyes. Another way to view it is adopting a value system, adopting the same values and embodying those values and virtues that God has.


Quick Q&A


Question:  So in reading your abstract, I was hoping that we would here a little bit more about the actual dynamics of the Remnant movement. I appreciate your enthusiasm in trying to preach to us, however you did say a couple things I would like you to elaborate on that are real world things. 1. You said that that the remnant movement will participate in the commencement of Zion, and you said the end of formation of an actual city. Are you talking about an actual city where the Revenant your group will actually gather to purchase land, deeds, operate businesses and so forth in an actual city. Are you talking about a metaphysical otherworldly city and if it is in fact a real city my question for you is you also said that the people of that city you said people will know God. And I assume that they will be believing Christians. If you if you create an actual city, physically somewhere on the map.  How are you going to police the state to prohibit non-believer such as myself from coming in. 

Answer: That's such a difficult question because we don't want to create Salt Lake City again. We don't want to create LDS church 2.0. And so we run that fine line of also inviting others through persuasion, gentleness, long-suffering, kindness and love unfeigned.  I may beat around the bush on this question, but who will be in the city? I think it's not just going to consist of Christians. When I think the name of Jesus Christ. I see name Hebrew translation interpret it as characteristics and attributes.  So to take upon yourself Christ's name is to take upon yourself his attributes. A Muslim or someone from the Buddhist tradition can know God in a much deeper way than a Christian who simply says, "save by the name of Jesus", because They have actually embodied who he is.  So is it a metaphysical city?  Or is it an actual city? I'm not quite sure but I do believe that it is a people more so than it is a city. It is a group of people who have attained to one heart one mind. And it's not going to be dogmatic. I don’t believe it will be dogmatic in nature. When we expand our sphere of truth and will accept more truth other traditions, it expands our ability to interact with other people. I like to think of this is as the body and its evolution. I don't see it as survival of the fittest would rather survival of co-inter-dependency. Cells work together and they become tissue, and because they become tissue they can process more information and interact with other tissues to form an organ. And when organs work together they become a multi-organism being organism being cells in the body can interact with other multi organism being. And now the cells in that body can interact with other cells in a multi-organism beings serving a multi-organism system. 

So the evolution of mankind is going to be the same thing. People come together as one heart one mind and because they join together and are one heart one mind with a larger Consciousness system, they will then be able to interact with other beings of another consciousness system.  That is why one of the promises about the city of Zion will be the return an Enoch. (JST GEN 9, Moses 7) As you evolve together in love and truth the playing pins on your reality come off, and you're able to interact with more things. That's why in the city of Enoch were going to interact with "aliens" I guess, or angelic beings. But I don't think we have enough truth as Christians and as Mormons  to attain to that city of Enoch, or that city of Zion. We are going to need truth from the Daoist and from the Buddhist and their ancient records, and from the Lost tribes of Israel. Denver Snuffer gave a really good talk about how Zion is going to look last year in his talk entitled, “Other Sheep Indeed.” He talks about how it's not just Gentiles and Christians necessarily, but others who have come to know God in a deeper way. So I'm out of time.

Moderator: Let's thank Khaden for his presentation. Applause.   We have time for maybe one question. Please. Come to the microphone. 

Question: Can you tell what the Revenant movements take on polygamy is? And if you're not comfortable speaking about the entire movement?  What your take on it is.

http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm
Answer: Thank you. I'm going to refer to https://www.zionsreturn.org/ , it represents the movement better on it's belief on polygamy. My quick take on polygamy-  we talk about preserving the restoration and how the restoration has been in peril. We have lost a lot of truth since the death of Joseph Smith and Hyrum. And the Remnant’s goal is to kind of pick up where we left off with their death. Now my belief on polygamy is that it wasn't a sexual thing with Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith is trying to create a Heavenly family. He was sealing men and women to him. But it was not what we think of as being a sexual thing. He was trying to restore the Holy Order after the Son of God that existed from Adam up until Enoch to Noah. And was a more ancient order. More ancient priesthood. But he was killed before that could fully come out. And then my take is the Brigham Young came by and he was influenced by the people that he taught in England. And I think it was the Cockrinites a sect of people that he taught in Main. They were practicing spiritual wifery at the time. And that influenced the church with the 12 apostles because they were greatly influenced by it. And though Bennett as well. And it brought that polygamy idiology into the church and took what was sacred as being a holy order and twisted it into now it's a sexual thing with having multiple wives. So that's kind of our take. So the Remnant movement’s goal is to return or preserve the restoration by returning back trying to attain that order after the Son of God that existed from Adam to Noah.


Question: Are you saying that Joseph didn’t have sexual relations with his wife?


Question: Including Brian Hales and all of his research.

Answer: Yes.

Moderator: Thank you so much.