Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I Am Found of Them Who Seek After Me

The Holy Spirit inspired Joseph Smith to make thousands of changes to the Old and New Testaments. However, Joseph only made a few changes in the Book of Isaiah. Here is the most significant clarification.

KJV Isaiah 65: 1-2

I am sought of them that asked not for me;
I am found of them that sought me not:

I said, Behold me, behold me,
unto a nation that was not called by my name.

I have spread out my hands all the day
unto a rebellious people,
which walketh in a way that was not good,
after their own thoughts

I know that GOD is greater than anyone can conceive. However, these 2 verses push the envelope of incredulity to the breaking point. Why would a person be rewarded by GOD for not trying to find Him?
Why would He bless people who do not care about His laws?

As it turns out, JEHOVAH is being misquoted courtesy of someone or some group in the past that altered the text. For those who think that other modern versions correct this mistake, think again. The problem is the underlying Hebrew which states for verse 1:

I allowed myself to be sought by those who did not ask.
I allowed myself to be found by those who did not seek.

Here is what it should say:

JST Isaiah 65: 1-2

I am found of them who seek after me,
I give unto all them that ask of me;
I am not found of them that sought me not,
or that inquireth not after me.

I said unto my servant,
Behold me, look upon me;
I will send you unto a nation 
that is not called after my name,
for I have spread out my hands all the day
to a people who walketh not in my ways,
and their works are evil and not good,
and they walk after their own thoughts.

GOD was so frustrated with ancient Israel that He had to send people like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lehi to them because they did not deserve to hear from Him directly. For the modern world the same thing is happening. Just do not mistake anyone headquartered in Salt Lake City, the Vatican, or Mecca with being authorized by GOD. True prophets always come from outside the predominant religion of the area. 

I, like most people, struggle with the Book of Isaiah. Now, thanks to Joseph, I struggle over one less problematic passage.
It was CHRIST Himself who told the righteous descendants of Lehi "great are the words of Isaiah"* and now they are even greater.

*3 Nephi 23:1

Monday, May 6, 2019

GOD Keeps Changing His Mind?

There are 16 million Mormons in the world. Roughly 4 million of whom are truly active on a weekly basis and still foolish enough to give ten percent of their income to an institution that neglects the poor and builds great and spacious buildings.

This week we get another policy change (or was it a revelation?) from Salt Lake. This new edict ends the need for couples to wait one year for the magic pixie dust sealing if they had the audacity to be married in a civil ceremony first. 

In the initial days of the attempted restoration of the Gospel GOD gave to Adam and Eve, Mormons were taught that marriage required a public ceremony. At some point after Joseph and Hyrum were killed the church changed marriage into a secret ceremony that was apparently designed to make marriages a time of mourning. Grief and pain for those not able to gain admittance into the Masonic-like temples to see the "sacred" ceremony. I am using sacred as ironically as possible here. 

Now the PR arm of the LDS church has informed the pretended prophets that changing this back to how it was in the time of a true Prophet would make for some great publicity for the church. One thing the PR guys and the leadership failed to consider was that this change creates another in a long line of recent deviations. The danger for LDS inc. is if someone with above average common sense asked themselves, "why does GOD keep changing his mind?" 

Apparently in Utah, GOD is not the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Fishers of Men

The King James Version of Matthew renders 3 verses from chapter 4 like this:

18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

First, for non-speakers of Shakespearean English straightway means "immediately." Second, the sea of Galilee is an inland lake. Language and geography are not really that important to this incident, but the more you know the more you can know.
This is the great "call story." But there is more to this invitation to follow GOD the Son. No modern Bible contains what follows.

Joseph Smith added some wonderful context under the direction of the Holy Spirit (which is the mind of the Most High God and not a personage of anything, but that is another post for another day).

Joseph's "Inspired Version" explains the calling of the first 2 apostles with these words (the verse numbers are different because Joseph combined two earlier verses in chapter 4 into one in his translation).

17. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren,
Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, his brother casting a net into the sea;
for they were fishers.

18. And he said unto them, I am he of whom it is written by the prophets;

follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

19. And they, believing on his words left their net, 
and straightway followed him.

You might think that JESUS' commanding presence and the simple invitation is all He needed to get 1/6 of His apostles to join him. Isaiah 53 verse 2 has a passage that explains that people of JEHOVAH's day were not persuaded by his physical appearance or religious resume. 

New International Version Isaiah 53:2

...He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

No one followed Him then for superficial reasons. You were going against the state religion of Judaism and you were going to be a literal outcast. The cost to follow Him then was exponentially harder than it is today. Today it is common to wear a cross around your neck as your get out of a hell free card, while serving no one but yourself.

The JST makes it clear that CHRIST first told them that HE was the Messiah. Peter and Andrew would have understood that the only thing that the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible prophets ever talked about unitedly was the coming Savior. They heard this astounding proclamation and were courageous enough to leave behind their business and their home in an instant. HE was not asking them to sacrifice everything to follow HIM because He was handsome or popular or wealthy or any of the reasons modern people idolize (as in idolatry) present day celebrities. 

JESUS made the simple, yet truthful declaration that He was the Son of God. HE then left it up to the 2 brothers' spiritual discernment to decide what to do. HE did not compel them, HE did not tell a humorous anecdote, and HE did not tell an embellished "faith-promoting" story. One declarative sentence, followed by one imperative sentence with one promise. 

Fishing is a noble profession, and even today it is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Fishing for men is infinitely harder. Andrew and Peter to their credit, figured all of this out in less time that it took you to read this post.