Friday, February 8, 2019

Feel Free to Justify Your Behavior on One Verse: Loopholes are for Fools

Back to Jacob 2. Even if I concede that verse 30 is a loophole for the abomination of plural marriage, people desiring to take this concept on (mostly men) need to take extreme care. The historical LDS narrative of "GOD can command whatever He wants, including polygamy" is true with a massive caveat. When GOD tells you personally, you can then choose to break a commandment.  If He is not telling you to your face that you can violate one of the 10 Commandments, then you must take stock of your motives. Is it a desire to obey or a desire to get away with something?

Here is my example using another serious sin, the taking of life. Two books earlier in the Book of Mormon, the LORD (via the Spirit) "constrains" Nephi to kill Laban. Many people have a problem with this, but I do not. Laban deserved to die for violating the provision for armed robbery in the Law of Moses, and the brass plates were worth killing for. But that does not justify anyone other than Nephi in taking a life. If I were foolish enough to use the Mormon's church rationale here of "if it is in the scriptures once or twice then GOD permits it," I can just start randomly killing people. Sounds patently ignorant, and it is. It is just as stupid as using one verse in all of the Book of Mormon to create a culture of adultery that has seriously crippled the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Brigham's Mormons Were the Modern Day Mulekites

Today I want to talk about a disturbing thing I have learned about the Mormon exodus. Brigham and his followers traveled to Utah without 3 important documents:

1. The original manuscript of the Book of Mormon. 

This was put into the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House. When it was taken out years later it had suffered water damage so that roughly 25 percent of the text remains. That would fit approximately with the remaining truth left in the modern LDS church. Most of what is left is erroneous, but a fraction of it is still viable.

2. The printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. 

This was retained by Emma Smith and given to the Reorganized Church (now The Community of Christ). They still have it, and in my opinion they have a just claim to it because of their fidelity to what is in the text.

3. The manuscript of the Joseph Smith revision of the Bible. 
Same basic story as #2.

This astounds me! But as I thought about it occurred to me that this is wonderfully appropriate. The wagons came West without the foundational documents of the religion. Why bring the texts with the truth, when you are just going to make most of it up when you get there?

Sure, the pioneers had copies of the Book of Mormon. They apparently were not reading those copies, because Jacob 2 is a clear warning against the dangers of polygamy. (And no, verse 30 is not a loophole, but that is another blogpost.) The Lamanites' physical survival was promised and delivered by the LORD because they did not practice plural marriage. That is why I feel the Community of Christ rightfully owns the best remaining copy of what Mormon edited and Joseph translated.

The tragedy of traveling to a new land without correct information reminds me of the Mulekites. They came to the Americas without any sacred texts and basically lost all cultural connection with the Old World. Divine intervention in the form of King Mosiah's people stumbling upon them was the only thing that kept them from disappearing altogether.

I have learned from Royal Skousen's work on the original text of the Book of Mormon that the Mulekites should be called Mulochites (or Molochites). This was because King Zedekiah was so abominable that he named one of his sons after the pagan god Muloch (Moloch). Muloch was the god that required child sacrifice in a furnace! There may be a connection being getting blinded by your enemies and trading the law of Moses for the god Muloch. 

Zedekiah was literally blinded for his abominations. Brigham Young was figuratively blinded. Brother Brigham's blindness was his lust for power, sex, and money. I am personally blinded by my own fallen nature. Only the word of GOD can heal any of us from spiritual blindness. Nothing but divine truth can get us through the mists of darkness on the way to the Tree of Life.

The word "sophistry" came to mind when I read the LDS chapter heading to Jacob chapter 2. It states "the Lord commands that no man among the Nephites may have more than one wife." If you take out the words "among the Nephites" you get the actual truth. That idea was just as clearly explained in the original section 101 of the Doctrine and Covenants, but that got removed in 1876 in favor of a hodgepodge of misinformation, section 132.

Anyone considering joining the LDS church should please pray specifically to know whether the church is truly approved by GOD. Praying to know whether the Book of Mormon is true has nothing to do with religion. Do not conflate the truth of one concept with the validity of a second. I think the Book of Mormon is true, but I think Brigham's version of Mormonism is false. The Bible being true does not make the entire Christian world true. Our prayers need to be more focused or we risk lumping things together that are meant to be considered individually.

What are the lessons for we present-day wanderers in this worldly wilderness?

First, take your scriptures with you wherever you go. 

Second, if you are not sure about something, ask GOD. 

Joseph Smith asked GOD for revelation and got it. 

Brigham Young left those revelations behind: physically and mentally.








Sunday, February 3, 2019

Adam, where goest thou?

In the third chapter of Genesis, after Adam and Eve have eaten the forbidden fruit, they hear GOD in the garden (although with all the trees it may be an orchard). They hid, and GOD asks them,

Adam, where art thou? (KJV 3:9)

This question is "where are you?" in all modern translations (NIV, RSV, NET, ESV, NRSV, and even the Jewish versions)

I know people argue that this is a rhetorical question, or it would seem that GOD does not know everything. The question has always bothered me because Christians have to explain why GOD appears to be so limited only three chapters into the Bible. 

Fortunately for people who trust that Joseph Smith was guided by JESUS via the Holy Spirit to fix most of the problems with the KJV, we get a better question. The new question teaches us that this is not GOD playing hide and seek with our first parents. 

Adam, where goest thou? (JST 3:15).

In modern English this becomes "Adam, where are you going?". But that question is only found in Joseph Smith's version. GOD does know everything capable of being known. HE is smarter than all of his creation put together. GOD knows what question HE asked Adam, and he let Joseph know so we would know.

In my opinion GOD is asking, "why are you avoiding me?" This is not a question of our first parents' location, it is a problem with their motivation.

Where is Adam going? Of course he is moving away from GOD, which is what 99 percent of humanity is currently doing. What was Adam's end goal? What is ours? 

It is possible to live without GOD in this world. I know, I have tried it, and I was miserable. I, like our first parents, have tried to hide from GOD. Now I would love above all else to meet Him and His Father. I am not righteous by any stretch of the imagination, but I finally understand how critical it is to get information from the true GOD of this world, JESUS CHRIST.

Peter eloquently summarizes this when asked by CHRIST if the disciples were leaving JESUS's team after the Bread of Life sermon. Peter speaks for the 11 faithful apostles when he says "Lord, to whom shall we go, thou hast the words of Eternal Life, and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (KJV 6:68). By the way, Joseph made no changes to the entire exchange between CHRIST and Peter.

Let us ask ourselves honestly where are we going, and if it is not toward GOD, then we need to repent and head back in the direction of CHRIST. After all that is what repentance means, turning to face GOD. 

I stand with Peter in declaring that JESUS is the only way back to the MOST HIGH GOD.




Monday, January 21, 2019

Isaiah 62:5: From Weird to Wonderful in One Word

Today we look at a single verse in Isaiah with a single change. As we all know Isaiah can be tough be anyone not raised in Israel. This verse can cause some consternation if you do not know what Isaiah really wrote. Somehow we end up with the following:


King James Version of Isaiah 62:5

For as a young man marrieth a virgin,
so shall your sons marry thee;
and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,
so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

I now introduce to you the best tool for understanding Isaiah that I have come across: Isaiahexplained.com. This website was created by Avraham Gileadi. He is the greatest Isaiah expert in the world who is Mormon (and possibly the best period). He has several great books, and you can find all of them on amazon.com. Here is his translation of Isaiah 62:5:

For as a young man weds a virgin,
so shall your sons marry you;
as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Gileadi does a great job of making Isaiah more readable for modern readers. His website also has some great commentary. But this verse is still quite troubling. Is is meant to be taken non-literally, and even if it is, what the heck does it mean?

The problem I have with this verse is the second line. It seems very odd, whether one is male or female. Why would a literal or symbolic son marry a parent? This is the kind of verse that sends people down the road to discounting all the truly great things the Bible has to say.

Fortunately for us, the Holy Spirit inspired Joseph Smith to change this to the following:

For as a young man marrieth a virgin,
so shall your God marry thee;
and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride,
so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Lines 1 and 3 are meant to parallel each other, just as lines 2 and 4 are similar. Now we get something understandable. GOD would like a relationship with you that is just as profound as the one you have with your spouse. In fact, GOD loves you more than your spouse does. Imagine that. 

A confusing verse becomes majestic with the stroke of Joseph Smith's inspired pen. 





Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The SON Does Only What the FATHER Did!

King James John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

The Son can do nothing of himself, 

but what he seeth the Father do:

for what things soever he doeth,

these also doeth the Son likewise.

There is no correction to this verse or any of the surrounding verses in the Joseph Smith Translation. Why is this important?

Here we have JESUS stating that the FATHER did everything JESUS did. I take that to mean, that just as CHRIST worked out an infinite Atonement to save the people of this Earth, CHRIST's Father, the MAN OF HOLINESS (Moses 6), worked out an atonement previous to CHRIST's, but for a different world.

I find this awe-inspiring! Here is the answer for anyone who wants to demean THE MOST HIGH GOD by insinuating He left the hard stuff for His Son. The FATHER had already been a Savior to a planet previous to CHRIST's work here. The FATHER is no coward, and he did not pass the buck to JESUS. Anyone wanting to be a God, has to serve as a Savior. Think about that for awhile.

I believe that the FATHER's atonement took place on the very first planet that He and his Queen created. I further believe that while the FATHER was mortal on that first Earth working out the atonement for the first humans, His Divine Queen was acting as the GOD in Heaven. In essence she was a single Heavenly Mother for a short period of time, while GOD MOST HIGH was serving Their children by suffering the horrific weight of the children's sins. When the FATHER finished the first atonement He returned to His Wife's side to co-rule the first Earth. These Two now rule all creation, but they appointed JESUS to be the God of this Earth. 

Without the FATHER working out the first atonement, no person on any planet could be saved. There would be no JESUS to save us, because there would have been no FATHER to save JESUS.

Merry CHRISTmas and may 2019 be the year we all get much closer to GOD!



Monday, December 24, 2018

Is our righteousness keeping us from CHRIST?

Stuck in a drive-thru in Central California I had the following thought: what if our goodness is blocking our way to JESUS? Now by goodness I mean our delusional belief that we are good. CHRIST stated emphatically that there is only one good Being and that is GOD the FATHER (Matthew 17:19). Now that JESUS has worked out His infinite atonement, He is without question good by any definition of that word. (He was good before that, but He was either being stupendously humble in his answer to the rich young ruler, or He was being ironic and seeing if people understood the fact that He was also a GOD).

We all know that everyone sins, but some people fall into the "I sin less than most people, which really means I am righteous." Being less sinful does not makes us good by CHRIST's standard. Ten sins, one hundred, or a thousand, any sin is an automatic ticket to Hell. So because sin is unavoidable, maybe we should focus on something that we can control: our self-deception. Does only breaking five or ten or twenty percent of the commandments prevent us from seeking JESUS because we are not breaking most of them (Ether 12:41)?

We work so hard at avoiding sin, that when we are sometimes successful, we start believing in a form of self-atonement. By supposedly perfecting ourselves, we are in jeopardy of ending up in Hell. The pharisees of the SAVIOR's time felt they were righteous and wondered why CHRIST was spending all his time with sinners. JESUS kept answering their hypocritical questions with parables that were meant to say, 

"All of you are sinners, but I am here to save you, if you will let me." 

Did the haughty Jewish leaders at the time think CHRIST's statement about only the sick needing a doctor meant that He agreed with them (Mark 2:17)?

It is tempting to look at scripture and think "what a bunch of knuckleheads", but we can be just as ignorant. Today we take counsel about health and turn it into a commandment to distinguish the righteous from the sinners. Then we take this man-made commandment and add things to it to make it an even more ridiculous standard of worthiness. We do this with any rule, policy or standard. For example...

If Sister Lewis does not drink caffeinated drinks, then she must be more worthy than her second cousin who does. 

If I avoid R-rated movies, then I am clearly better than people who do not. 

If a woman has only one piercing, than she is more glorious than those with multiple piercings. 

If a twelve year old wears a white shirt and tie and a jacket, he is worthier to pass the sacrament than the poor kid without the "Mr. Mac Aaronic priesthood package". (There is no package, because I know the owner's youngest son.  He is great person and so is his father.)

If Brother Wilkinson pays ten percent of his gross income, instead of his net, he will certainly jump to the head of the line leading to Celestial glory. 

If I went on a mission, I am better than any adult male in the ward who has not.

Sister Fertig is clearly righteous than other women because she has 7 kids. 

There are dozens of other examples, but the point is this: all of these random acts of righteousness are keeping us from realizing what the spiritually retarded Pharisees should have realized:

We are all sick, and so we all need the Great Physician. 

We are all sinners and we all desperately need the SAVIOR.



Do not let all of your good works and righteousness get in the way of having a relationship with GOD.




Sunday, December 23, 2018

Moses is a god? Aaron is a prophet?


It is Joseph Smith's birthday today (1805). A perfect day to examine another of his prophetic corrections to the Holy Bible.

King James Exodus 7:1

And the Lord said unto Moses, 
See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh;
and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Wow! I guess we are supposed to take this figuratively. That of course, leads to the quandary of what is literal in the Bible and what is not. That leads to the rabbit hole of, "it is all made up and we can ignore everything", or at least the stuff we don't like. 

Thankfully, JESUS allowed and assisted (via the Spirit) Joseph Smith in changing the verse to the following:

Joseph Smith Translation Exodus 7:1

And the Lord said unto Moses,
See, I have made thee a prophet unto Pharaoh;
and Aaron thy brother shall be thy spokesman.

No offense to Aaron, but you cannot be a real prophet if you give people anything they want (the golden calf). Prophets have to say hard things to people with hard hearts. Aaron is still important here, but he is just the guy delivering the message that GOD delivers to Moses.

Moses is not a god in any sense. Moses is a prophet of the MOST HIGH. This is a real prophet, one that is literally called of GOD, by the actual voice of JEHOVAH. Moses did not take over because he was the oldest living apostle after the previous prophet died. 

As far as I know that last true prophet called by GOD was Joseph Smith. Brigham admitted that he was not a prophet, but a Yankee guesser. I assume that means someone who makes an educated guess. I prefer getting my information from a true representative of GOD, and better yet, to get it directly from GOD Himself.

That should be the goal of all of us, so we can skip the middle man, and get truth directly from the Source of all truth.