The following do not claim to be anything but musings on various topics. The views are admittedly outside of what many consider to be mainstream. Hence the title. They are placed here as food for thought or can be read as entertainment; whichever you wish.
The Bible speaks of money being the root of all evil, but many well-meaning and so-called “holy men” have modified the statement to say that “the love of money” is the cause. This is a great truth, of course, but does it leave the door open for what might erroneously be called “honest gain”? It seems that carnal man will always alter the record to justify his iniquity and to portray his own supposed righteousness. As strange as it may seem, there is no such thing as “honest gain”. The Book of Mormon repeatedly speaks of the evils of getting gain and describes the evil (but, materialistically rich) groups who do so as a “wicked and gainsaying people”. In Babylon, it is the merchants who will mourn as their materialistic order is torn down and replaced with Zion, this latter one in which money does not exist because it is not needed.
Carnal man will opine that an honest business carried out in the spirit of service to his fellow man is righteousness and acceptable behavior before God. But, business and service are oxymorons. One cannot serve God and mammon at the same time. Jesus cast out the moneychangers from the Temple which many will acknowledge as a justified act. But, do we see ourselves in this mirror of reality and circumstance? Aren’t we the moneychangers in the Temple? Eventually, carnal (and gainsaying) man will find that he, himself, is the Temple of God, even one that is made without hands. And when he considers the entire earth a temple, then Godliness reigns and the earth is lifted to a higher existence. Alas, carnal man will forever take things of the earth that do not belong to him and merchandise them to his fellow man. In the more wicked societies (like today) even religion itself is merchandized in a spirit of vain holiness. In reality, the things of the earth do not belong to man, but to God, and it is a wicked and gainsaying people who take the surplus of the earth to merchandise them to their fellow man for personal gain. This is being a moneychanger in the temple of God, although it is not a building, but rather is in the earth.
Adam and a few generations after him did not need money because all things were found in abundance and the earth supplied the needs of the Sons of God. But carnal (gainsaying) man eventually caught onto the God of mammon and started to measure out the surplus of the earth to his fellow man and invented a money system as a storage vehicle for his (false) wealth. Was this not seen by John, who saw in the vision … “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”? This revealing passage also illustrates the prideful self-justifying (false) holiness of these and their fellow travelers, because they claim to “merchandize not that which is holy” (oil and wine). In the Temple at Jerusalem, there were likely many such rationalizations too.
Perhaps we can ask ourselves what is our rationalization? Do we really need a money system to quantify our gain? Does the (false and temporary) glory of Babylon justify Babylon? Many seem to think so, even though there was no such a system in Eden.. But, isn’t all gain inherently dishonest and all money “of” Caesar (worldly)?
Not only is the claim to ‘believe all things’ an article of faith among the LDS, but among entire Christian world as well because the words are Paul’s who recorded them in the Bible. But who believes them? Who believes all things?
When pressed with such a declaration, LDS and mainstream Christiandom alike will dance around the topic, but eventually reach a denial of Paul’s words. “No, there are many things that I don’t believe”, say they in what is one of the most poetic ironies of religion (saying one disbelieves believing all things).
Carnal man will never understand the words of holiness because he does not harbor the (fertile) soil from which truth (as a seed) sprouts. It is beyond his comprehension. Rather he falsely perceives himself in possession of the very truth which he denies is in others. He is symbolically likened unto a bottle which is filled with wine and so there is not room for new wine. And he is as a man who continually patches a ripped or worn garment with scraps of old cloth, never realizing there are new clothes for the having.
Thusly, prideful and vain man, in his pursuit of truth, fearfully clings tightly to what he falsely perceives as the truth that all other seekers lack. False religion is pitted against false religion and vain philosophy against vain philosophy in a holy war that has the mark of Lucifer rather than God. Few are willing to humbly reach out for the very thing that they need the most. Nephi speaks of a people in the last days who will deny the Words of God, saying “… we need no more of the Word of God, for we have enough!” So they do not receive more of the very thing which they falsely perceive to possess. However, the reality is that it is only to those who receive that more is given.
To believe all things is to receive all things. When one takes the Holy Spirit as their guide, then there is no fear in receiving because the fear is replaced by faith (opposite of fear). It is as one who has humbly prepared the soil (within his breast) for the planting of the seed, so that by faith, he will nurture it and thereby determine whether it is a good or bad seed (by its growth). This is how spiritual man receives all things with gladness (he believes all things). Nephi eloquently opines that “… he that is built upon the rock (of Christ) receiveth it (all things) with gladness (ie. receives all things); and he that is built upon a sandy foundation (denies the spirit within) trembleth lest he shall fall (is afraid he will be led astray). These are they that Nephi saw in the latter day churches that deny the holy spirit (within them) and thereby live their lives out in fear (of being deceived), even to the point of relying on others (the arm of the flesh) to lead them right. These prefer darkness (arm of flesh) to the light (of Christ within) and in so doing are likened to a man walking in darkness at noonday.
Spiritual man believes (receives) all things because his pride is cast off as an old garment and he finds new cloth for new clothes. He receives all things with a joyful heart because he KNOWS (is aware of) the spirit within that teaches the truth of all things. He stands unafraid, for he is built on a rock (of Christ). Only these, and no others, are those who truly believe (receive) all things.
Mainstream LDS as well as most branches of Mormon Protestants are weaned on the idea that there is only one man on earth at a time who holds all of the keys as stated in D&C 132:7. And who is it who holds all of these keys? To one group, it is one man, to other groups it is another, but whom it is they all cannot agree. They can only agree on one thing, which is that there can only be one, but who it is they do not know. For if they all knew, the enmity among them would be banished forever.
The written word (scripture) is given to cause one to ask questions more than it is to give answers. But, how many ask the questions? Is the one who finds, the same who seeks not? Nay.
In Helaman (10:7), Nephi is given the keys of sealing, the very keys that only one man on earth at a time is said to hold. But, wait…. Isn’t Simon Peter the one on earth at that time who holds these keys? If Simon Peter was the only man on earth at that time who held the keys of sealing, then how did the Nephites perform the higher ordinances when Jesus visited them? How did Nephi and Peter hold these keys at the same time if there is only one man on earth who holds these keys? Dear reader, do you see it? Do you see what is meant to be obvious to all who read the LDS cannon, but so few question?
The Spirit forbids me to give you the answer in this essay. However, you will realize later that I have done you a higher duty in helping formulate the question. There is great joy in discovery. The greatest truths are always meant to be discovered. And the greatest mysteries are revealed to all who seek, no matter who you are. Remember that the greatest mysteries are unfolded unto children.
Dear reader, the written record is not wrong. It is correct when it says that there is only one man on earth at a time who holds the sealing keys. It is also correct when it records two men on earth having this authority at once (Simon Peter and Nephi). But, it appears to be a contradiction that leads one to exclaim like Nicodemus of old: “…How can these things be?”
When you find the answer, you will be amazed and delighted. It will reconcile what appears to be opposites into a great whole. Discovering the answer will lead you to exclaim “Oh, how joyful and merciful is the grace of our God!” “Oh, it does taste sweet!” When you find it (the answer), you will know why.
The message contained in D&C 132 is missed entirely by most who read it. It has no more to do with plural marriage than it does with sacrificing children, murdering our fellow man, or laying siege to cities in the land of Caanan.
The higher meanings of much of the written word can only be fully understood when one puts off preconceived notions and tries to see with new eyes and understand with new understandings. As the higher meanings are unfolded, they become increasingly more personal. Ultimately, you will find that all teachings are best applied to yourself rather than the world about you.
D&C 132 is all about the law of Christ. And what is law? When the children of Israel looked to Moses as their lawgiver, they lived under the law of Moses. It is named for Moses because that is where the law comes. That is, it comes (from God) through Moses, so it is called the law of Moses. If one looks to the gospel for guidance, then they live under the law of the Gospel; If they look to the church, it is the law of the church; If they look to the brethern, it is the law of the brethern, or rather it can be more appropriately called the law of the prophets, providing they are true prophets. If not, then it is the law of man. Many walk by their own (carnal) understandings and become a law unto themselves. But, none of these are the law of Christ (the Word), although all of them point the (true) way and some may ultimately come from Christ. All of these outward (carnal) voices will ultimately lay burdens upon man that are hard to bear, because that is their purpose, which is to break the hearts of men so that they will turn personally to the true light (law of Christ) that is found within. The curse of the (carnal) law therefore is also a great blessing because it creates the conditions for one to find the true light.
D&C 132 (37) teaches that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sit upon thrones and are not angels, but are Gods because they DID NONE OTHER THINGS THAN THAT WHICH THEY WERE COMMANDED. Do we take our child up to sacrifice as did Abraham? If so, we would be living the law of Abraham and trusting in the arm of the flesh. Do we take multiple wives in plural marriage like Abraham was commanded? If so, we live the law of Abraham and completely misunderstand the message of D&C 132. Abraham did these things because he was commanded by direct revelation, or as it is phrased repeatedly in section 132, “it was the law.”
What is the law, but the (active) “Word of God”? “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.” (verse 21) Dear reader, are you beginning to see with new eyes and understand with new understandings? The Word is whatever the light of Christ within commands! If it comes through another, then it is the law of that man. Even if that man is a prophet, it is at best the law of the prophets and is meant to prepare the way, but it is not THE WAY.
What is it to be as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Should one be baptized by immersion and receive a myraid other saving ordinances? If you think so, you have missed the mark. One needs to do as Abraham, but what is that? Is it not doing all things that the Lord commands (by direct revelation)?
Do you have to be married to attain the higher glories? Isn’t that is what (D&C 132) verse 19 is all about? Only if a man marries by direct revelation (by the Word) does he live like Abraham. But, what if you are told not to marry? Not so, say ye? Remember that Abraham was told to sacrifice his own son, but do you?
Only Christ (the true WORD) is THE WAY. If you do not receive personal revelation, then you have not tasted of it. “Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, BY REVELATION AND COMMANDMENT, by my word (ie. the law), saith the Lord,” (verse 29). Again, these are the “works of Abraham.”
As spoken in verse 4, section 132 is all about revealing the NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. And what is that? It is symbolized by a sealing in (eternal) marriage. But it is not a temple marriage of husband to wife, as many suppose, but rather a marriage between the bride (you--the church) to the bridegroom (Christ) so that you are (at)ONE with Him. Temple marriage is only symbolic of the covenant. When you live in the true covenant, then you live (every minute) by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and do all things that the Lord commands (whatever it may be) which are the works of Abraham. This is KNOWING God and is LIFE ETERNAL (verse 24). This is the (true) "law" that D&C 132 is speaking of.
Listening to other voices (outside of the light of Christ within) is denying the Holy Ghost and walking in darkness at noonday.
Again, dear reader, is it becoming clear? Who is it that you look to for guidance? If it is not Christ (which tells you all things that you should do), then you have an idol. When you come to Christ in the new and everlasting covenant (be-come one with Him), then the law of the prophets (preparatory gospel of outward commandments) is fulfilled and you have entered the narrow gate. You will no longer live by numberless carnal commandments written down by men because one who lives in the covenant has put off the old and become new (a new heaven and new earth) and knows only one law, which is to love God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength. This is the highest law (the WORD) and what D&C 132 is all about. Read section 132 again very carefully with these new understandings and see if it does not begin to make sense.
Most are familiar with the story of Cain and his rhetorical response… "Am I my brother's keeper?" Alas, so many of us today think so. In reality, to be ones keeper is no different than being ones jailer or taskmaster. Shouldn't we ask whether Cain was being flippant in his response? Perhaps that is why his question was left unanswered…. we will often ignore such rhetoric ourselves. In truth, no man is to be his brother's keeper, but rather he is to be his brother's brother. He is to love and serve his brother rather than "keep" him.
But today we see that carnal man has indeed become the keeper of his brethren. In his self-deception, he sees it as his moral duty. Moreover, he will always use self-justification for his own tyranny and oppression, although it is usually done by hiding behind a group. In truth, man has no more rights as a group than he does as an individual…. or put into other words…. a group cannot derive any more rights from its members than they themselves have. Thomas Jefferson eloquently pointed out how governments obtain their just powers from consent of the governed. But, what happened since then? It seems that (carnal) man has taken this true principle and prostituted it for his own (supposed) gain and glory. Things have truly been "turned upside down." Truly the day has again arrived that Isaiah foresaw when "the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour:" (Isaiah 3:5) Ah yes, but we do it by hiding behind a group!
Jefferson pointed out that man is endowed with (inalienable) rights from God and so he sets up governments to protect these (God-given) rights. The order of authority here is apparent: God --> man --> government. However, it does not take the astute to realize that, in many ways, government has become superior to the man (who created it). Today, the system of authority has become inverted: Government --> man --> (religion)(God is really taken out of the equation). What was formerly good government has metastasized into an enormous entity that is now not only the "protector" of rights, as it should be, but the "grantor" and violator of rights as well. If one accepts government as the grantor of rights, he must accept the corollary that government can revoke these rights. So much for "inalienable".
No individual would rightly think of going to his neighbor and pointing a gun to his head to demand money to educate his own (and others) children. It would be considered a crime. But, that is exactly what we do through groups. Why do we think that what would be criminal if done as individuals is somehow justified if done as a group? Can a group possess rights that the individuals of the group do not themselves possess? Does the circumstance change if we call the "group" a "government" and allow it "authority" to do the gun pointing rather than doing it as an individual? Thomas Jefferson and other of this nations founders didn't think so. That is one reason for the addition of the "Bill of Rights" which is not really a statement of rights at all. Rather it is a statement of restrictions on government. It's purpose was to prevent man from becoming his brother's keeper.
When the disciples of Jesus inquired about signs of his coming, the response was a parable that "… wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth." (JST Matthew 24:28) What is the carcass? Who are the eagles? Those who begin to see things as they are will realize that the eagles are gathered right now, just as they are in each generation. One begins to realize that all things are fulfilled in the present rather than in the future or the past. This is the hidden meaning behind "this (ie. the present) generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:24)
The eagles are the elect of God or the lost sheep of the House of Israel. They are those who hunger and seek after righteousness (God), but have yet to be redeemed so are called lost. Where did Jesus find the eagles in his day and time? It was in the very place that Jesus carried out his ministry, much to the consternation and frustration of the (so-called) ecclesiastical leaders of the time. For this, they crucified him. The church in that day had become a dead and empty carcass, administering the outward (preparatory) gospel… which is a gospel of carnal commandments, ritual ordinances, and outward priesthood. In reality, the preparatory gospel is devoid of life, although its purpose is to point the way and thereby it serves a necessary role. It can be compared to the husk of a seed (carcass) that protects the germ until it is able to sprout and break through.
The carcass of the preparatory gospel is where the gathering of eagles is found. It is their inward yearning for the Kingdom of God that brings them, although it is to a carcass they gather. It is the same in all generations as well as this one. History is replayed over and over again in the present. We need only to look to our present-day churches which are mirrored in times past; all of which are empty carcasses that can no more grant salvation than a graven image can get up and walk. Again, they serve their necessary purpose, but it is not the purpose espoused by those among them who are full of pride and vanity (in thinking the church itself will save them). In truth, salvation only comes through knowing God in the new and everlasting covenant.
Jesus told his disciples if any man says… "Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.… Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24: 23-27) Can things be more plain? If God is everywhere present (ie. omnipresent), then he must be here. If he is here, then one does not need to go anywhere (eg. into the desert) to find him. We will find Christ among us in the present place and time when we pull the coverings (veil) from our eyes and mind. That is why his coming is compared to the light (sun) that rises in the east and shines on us every day of our mortal lives.
The necktie is such a common feature of modern culture that few ask from where it came. Man is prone to look for answers far distant from himself, rather than question what is right in front of him. In asking about why man wears a necktie, one comes to some very interesting answers. Neckties do not really have an obvious function; they do not keep us warm, nor do they hold our shirts up. Rather, their function appears to be one of creating an image.
In questioning the meaning of the necktie, the similarity of the necktie to the apron in the LDS endowment (as well as in masonry) is inescapable. In the endowment, the apron (of fig leaves) is used by Adam as an attempt to cover his nakedness, which is what Adam acts out at the suggestion from Lucifer. But, the apron does a very poor job of doing this; one would hate to be caught out in public with only this apron covering; even though it might adequately cover a bit in the front, there is no covering at all on the back. However, Adam seems to be satisfied with it and wears it throughout the endowment, even to the point of removing it only for the purpose of placing it over the clothing he is given by God. When Lucifer is questioned about his own apron, the reply is that it is an emblem of power and priesthood. Yes, apparently Lucifer wears it for the same reason as Adam: It's purpose is image (an emblem). In reality, nakedness is meant to be "without understanding", or rather "without glory", since glory is intelligence. So, Adam and Lucifer use the apron to hide their lack of glory (knowledge and understanding). They hide behind the image (of having understanding) of the apron. That is, the apron appears (to them) to cover their nakedness.
One will notice that the apron hangs about the waist and covers the bowels. The necktie, an emblem too, hangs about the neck and covers the heart. But, the necktie seems to do even a poorer job at covering nakedness than the apron; Who would want to be caught out in public in only a necktie? At best, the necktie covers the buttons, giving the impression that the garment underneath is seamless.
But, what is this necktie? Why do we wear it? Is it not the same reason that Lucifer wears the apron? Morover, is it not the same reason that Adam wears the apron (at Lucifer's suggestion)? Is not that purpose to create an image? Is not the necktie (which men wear in public) the symbolic counterpart of the apron (worn in these private ceremonies)?
Nephi records an interesting phrase that may be relevant to the necktie... "and he (the devil) leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever". (2Nephi 26:22). And who said that these things don't make perfect sense? One only needs to sit back and observe the workings of those who wear neckties (aprons). In reality, one finds that these neckties and the image of wearing one is necessary to progress in Babylon. One only needs to honestly ask if there is any other use for them.
When Isaiah said that "… the people shall be oppressed, every one by another," (Isaiah 3:4-5) he was speaking about the same thing as did Jesus did when he told his disciples that "… ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars… For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." (Matthew 24:5-7)
Few understand the nature of kingdoms and wars. Man is prone to view the heavens in the context of what he experiences in mortality, thereby making heaven in the image of the earth, rather than the opposite. All are charged to become Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses. But, what does that mean?
Indeed, it all begins in the heart; It is about the most simple and personal of precepts. Carnal man is admonished to follow the example of the Master and, like him, become a master of his own self. He is to become a King and a Priest unto himself, in ruler-ship of his own inner kingdom, his own nation, his own earth, his own individual being. That is the King he is to be and the kingdom that he is to rule. Other than this, there is none else. He is to govern only himself, at all times respecting the divine agency of others. Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this earth and indeed it is not.
But, carnal man tends to think of these things in terms of earthly kingdoms where there is a ruler, a patch of ground and servant-subjects who are to be kept in line with his own will. The way of the world is force. Those who are steeped in the worldly perceptions will even envision a god who forces salvation on his children for their own good. Carnal man cannot conceive of much more because it has yet to become a part of his fabric of being.
Men are to govern themselves and do so unmolested by those who rule over their own Kingdoms in righteousness. When a man becomes an oppressor of his brother through any means whatsoever, then he becomes a wicked king seeking to expand his kingdom by ruling what is rightly the domain of others. Alas, it is often carried out in the name of God and often done in the cause of supposed righteousness. Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom is an individual oppressing his neighbor.
A holy man will never seek to impose his will on others. His actions are long-suffering and goodwill towards all. That is the true King of Peace that carnal man knows so little about. When man becomes master of the self, then he is able to find the peace that surpasses understanding. . The great battle in the war that man is to fight to achieve the lasting peace is within his own self. Yes, in the heavens, there is only one Kingdom for which one is given to rule. And it is an inner one.
When Jesus replied to the Sadducees that "...in the resurrection they neither marry or are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven", he was referring to the particular circumstance that was placed before him. It might be better stated that "there is neither taking in marriage or giving in marriage in heaven because those in heaven are sons (and daughters) of God."
The Sadducees gave a case where a husband died and his wife was taken in marriage by a brother according to Mosaic custom. Afterwards, this man died, so the woman was taken in marriage to a second brother, and so on till there were seven. Jesus was replying that women are not like property being given to a new owner and that men are not like inheritors (of property) that possess (things). In heaven, there is neither this sort of taking in marriage or giving in marriage as is done in Mosaic custom and in ownership of (earthly) property. Women are not to be property in marriage. And men are not to think so, even though it is often the earthly mode of thinking.
It is because (wo)men are "as angels of God in heaven". Angels have (symbolic) wings which are representative of their power to move about, eyes to see, hands to work, and so forth.... all representing the powers of agency and creation given to (wo)man by God. Marriage is sealed by the (only) one who has authority, which is the individual, always the person who has the last word on everything (s)he does.
Indeed, there is marriage in heaven. If not, then how could a (wo)man be sealed to God in the everlasting covenant (the symbolic marriage)? Indeed, this symbolic marriage is entered in the same way as all true marriages.... by the free agency of both parties. God never forces someone to come unto him.
There are those who believe that it is essential
that marriage be performed on earth and must be codified by an incantation
(and approval) of someone with (supposed) authority and power....
to pronounce that it is written and done. Of course,
experience proves that this never guarantees that any marriage is sealed.
It is because the true authority is not given to one over another.
Rather, the repository of true authority is within the souls of the
two being sealed. And in the end, it is always they who will
have the final word on whether a marriage is sealed or unsealed.
And so in replying to the question of the Sadducees, Jesus was simply saying: "Not like that. Because men and women are more than you think."
For many years, I lived under the half-truth that you cannot create something from nothing. In my religion, this half-truth was reinforced by a dogmatic teaching that God “organized” (rather than “created”) the earth from pre-existing matter. Years later, I came to see things with new eyes and realize that the opposite idea (creating the earth from nothing) was also true. The former is a view that is overly materialist and carnal.
All things created had to exist as ideas first. One might ask what ideas are made of or, for that matter, self-awareness? At the present time, you are reading this essay which exists as thoughts consisting of electronic blips in cyberspace that are manifested on your screen as something said to be “tangible”. But, in this case, is it the manifestation itself that is important (the words on the screen) or what is behind it (the ideas you are re-creating)?
An artist can create a picture or a statue according to ideas given by inspiration. If he is recognized as skillful, his manifested work may be described as “creative”. Despite that being true, few will take notice and question where the artist’s inspiration comes or what it is made of. Since we have words for ideas, awareness, and inspiration, they must be something. But, what is behind them? And if we have a word for that of which they are made, then do we have a word for that of which the last is made?
Men will find inspiration, form it into ideas, organize thoughts, and then manifest them into this physical world. Unfortunately, they tend to carnally and materialistically think that the last (manifestation) is the only thing that is “real”.
So, which is true; Was the earth “organized” or “created”? Perhaps each alone is a half-truth because they do not accurately represent a complete picture. Perhaps one must learn to see beyond all things to comprehend that which is considered by many to be nothing.
Can truth be everywhere and nowhere at the same time? Perhaps when we comprehend the deep meaning in this apparent paradox, then we will know what is being spoken of. And at that time, our former ideas will no longer matter.