Monday, March 30, 2020

If the LDS church were true...Missionaries would not come home.

After working out the Atonement in an effort to save mankind from both death and Hell, JESUS appeared first to the important women in his life. These women reported to the 11 apostles (Judas having killed himself), and the 11 did not believe them. This makes them all "Doubting Thomas" in my estimation. Finally, JESUS shows up to 10 of the 11, and after some rebuking for their lack of belief in the initial witness of His resurrection, He says to the apostles,

Go you into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.

Mark 16: 15. NIV

After discussing the critical nature of baptism JESUS tells them in verse 18,

They shall take up deadly serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them...

If a true servant of GOD can drink poison that would kill 100 percent of the rest of us mortals, then the 1 percent chance of getting coronavirus as a young person with a strong immune system, multiplied by the 1 percent chance you would then die from it begs a lot of questions. Too many questions for this short post. That makes the chance of a normal teenager dying from this latest virus minuscule.

If you are on the LORD's errand, you cannot be killed, until that mission is accomplished. So a teenager in the true service of the LORD would have a ZERO percent chance of dying while serving.

Joseph Smith and Hyrum were killed after years of trying to get the Saints to live the real Gospel of cooperation and service. Once GOD decided that the early Mormons were not listening, the Smith brothers were killed. 

Abinadi was killed by scourging using firebrands, but not until he delivered the message GOD commanded him to impart to wicked King Noah and his court. There was only one convert from Abinadi's mission, and that convert, Alma, changes the entire arc of the Book of Mormon. Good thing Abinadi did not come home after his first attempt at preaching to these people.

Isaiah was not sawn in half by the wicked Israelite king until after he had finished his book of inspired scripture. I am glad Isaiah did not stop preaching to an apostate people and writing in an effort to prolong his life.

Ammon and the sons of Mosiah could not be killed the Lamanites or Zoramites during their lengthy mission to both peoples. There are numerous Lamanites who are eternally grateful for this group. A group of former rebels who had the courage to make things right by risking their lives to preach to their sworn enemies.

JESUS did not give up the ghost until the Atonement was complete. It is vital to every person who has ever lived that CHRIST did not shirk his duty of divine love to save us, in an effort to save Himself.

My point is this, if you are truly representing GOD, you will be protected until your job is done. After that you go back to being subject to fallen mortality like everyone else. Only if you are translated through superlative service like John the Beloved or the 3 Nephites can you avoid a normal death.

Then why is the LDS church recalling missionaries from throughout the world because of a pandemic ?

I am pretty sure GOD places maximizing eternal salvation above maximizing the length of your life. The Salvation of HIS children is more important than the life span of those children. It seems to me that getting to those people who do not know about JESUS is not something that should stop, even for a health crisis.

The LDS church knows at some fundamental level they are not GOD's messengers, and so they have to recall the teenagers they have sent overseas (to do the job the 12 and the 70 should be doing), because they are afraid. Afraid of lawsuits by parents who could lose their children to an empty cause of spreading the gospel of "follow the prophet and give us your money.". They are afraid of losing tithing money if they do not act according to the prevalent fear and cowardice of their members. 

I cannot imagine Nephi coming home from an assignment from GOD because of a risk to his health. I cannot believe Captain Moroni would avoid warfare in an effort to protect his people because he might die. Emma Smith did not let the fact that she had lost several children and her husband cause her to follow a fool like Brigham Young to a desert in the West. 

We need to start worrying about our readiness for the next life, which we can control, and stop worrying about how we are going to exit this one, which we cannot control.

All of us will die at some point.  A small percentage of people will succumb to the Coronavirus.  Ultimately, "cause of death" does not matter. What matters is there will be no cowards in the Kingdom of GOD.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The First Vision is Hopefully Not the Last Vision

According to LDS historians as reported by numerous LDS-related blogs, the First Vision most likely took place 200 years and one day ago on March 27, 1820. The date of the vision is not important. What is important is that it did happen.

In this vision Joseph initially stated he saw CHRIST who forgave Joseph his sins. Later versions included GOD the Father (The Most High GOD) and instructions not to join any of the existing religions. 

I am not here to argue about what specifically took place and who was there and what was said. What I believe is that Joseph Smith JR. went out into the woods to pray, was attacked by evil forces, persisted through them, and got information directly from at least one GOD. 

People who want to argue the details of Joseph's experience are missing the much bigger picture. If Joseph is to be believed, then anyone can get answers from GOD. 

To further drive home this point, GOD had Joseph produce a book that included various individuals at various levels of "righteousness" having direct experiences with GOD. I speak obviously of the Book of Mormon. This book was not meant to prove one religion was truer than all the others. It was meant to get people to believe that the Bible's stories of people talking with GOD are true.

After 200 years since the "First Vision" there are only a handful of people I know who claim to have succeeded in having such an experience. They could be honest or they could be lying, but that also misses the point. 

It is better to get your answers from a GOD who will not lie, then some fool like me. I have never seen GOD, but you could if you possess enough faith and enough perseverance. Enos prayed all day long and into the night until GOD probably thought "If I do not answer this guy, he is just going to keep petitioning Me until he either gets an answer or he gets eaten by wild animals." 

Mormon, the editor, was limited on what he could place in his book. Mormon knew only his far distant descendants would read it, and that they would live in a time with a dearth of faith. One of the books he chose was the book of Enos. It makes sense to me, because Enos makes GOD's and Mormon's point a just a couple of pages.

Keep knocking, and do not stop knocking until GOD answers you.
Then you can stop reading blogs and get busy with whatever GOD tells you to do.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The SON can save you from Hell, and the Sun will save you from Covid-19

Inspired by Bill Sardi of I have been studying cases of the infamous Coronavirus. Bill's theories revolve around the importance of sunlight and the resultant Vitamin D to boost immunity in order to fight illness. Obviously there is less sunlight during the day during Winter. The Northern Hemisphere has just hit the Vernal (Spring) Equinox and now each passing day creates more total sunlight and each passing week creates more heat. Both of those factors--sunshine and heat-- are critical in the fight against any virus.

As it stands at 9:30 PDT on March 20th there have been 11,404 casualties worldwide as a result of Covid-19. That is small percentage of the world's total population of over 7 Billion, but those 11,404 individuals were loved by a much larger group of people and any number is temporarily tragic. I write "temporarily" because we will see our departed loved ones again. This is a time of trial, but it should NOT be a time of fear. 

Of the 11,404 deaths worldwide only 57 have come in the Southern Hemisphere. Most of the countries of Africa and South America along with Oceania have spent the last 90 days experiencing Summer. They have just entered their Fall season. That increased light and heat have spared those nations a lot of death and a ton of literal grief. 

Now someone out there is going to point out that only 10 percent of the world's population lives in the Southern Hemisphere. So let's multiply the deaths in that half of the world by 10. You get 570 fatalities adjusted for population. That is still significantly lower than the 11,346 casualties in the Northern Hemisphere (11,404 - 57). 

Someone else out there might be thinking, "But the Northern Hemisphere is more modern than its counterpart." You are probably right there, no offense to any Brazilians and South Africans out there. So let's double the 570 for the sake of a potential disparity in technology (which could also be used as an argument there should be more deaths in less developed countries, not fewer!).

So now we have a figure of 1,140, which is adjusted for both population and modernity. That figure is almost exactly 10 percent of the total fatalities in the entire world. Bill Sardi is looking pretty good right now. More critically what is also looking good is the chance of the Northern Hemisphere to come out of this Pandemic sooner rather than later. It should also end with a best case scenario of victims and not the worst case figures being bandied about by the fearmongers of the world. The governors of California and Ohio come to mind.

Have faith people, GOD is still running this show. The GOD of this world is JESUS CHRIST, and he is acting under the authority of the MOST HIGH GOD, His Father. If this crisis is turning your heart to GOD, then that is a good thing. If it is making you question GOD, or if there even is one, then you need to repent. You may not be killed by the Coronavirus, but you will stand at the Last Judgment and wished you had sought JESUS before it was too late.

There are much worse things than dying, even dying from a mysterious virus. Most of the world is not going to succumb to it, but all of us will all die at some point of something. Time to take stock, because no matter what we die of, we will die. Are we ready for the next phase of existence? 

"Perfect love castest out fear."  John 4:18

People who love and trust JESUS do not live in fear.

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Sin Next to Murder?

The last Mormon "general authority" who had access to GOD was Joseph Smith. All of the others apparently cannot read well. Not that they cannot read, but the cannot read closely for comprehension. If a verse of sacred text does not spell it all out with one verse (max of 2) then Mormon leadership does not possess the attention span necessary to figure out what it means.

The best example of this is Alma the Younger (Alma 2) counseling his son Corianton about his failed mission to the Zoramites in Alma 39. Verse 5 is where the trouble starts. Read it for yourself. It is understandable to leap to the conclusion that sexual sin is almost as bad as murder. It is not acceptable to stop with verse 5 and think you are right. The verses that follow spell out what is actually murder adjacent.

Alma lists the top 2 sins as denying the Holy Ghost and Murder. The number 3 sin requires some close reading. Too many people think that because a hormone filled Corianton went to a brothel, that the "sin next to murder" is breaking the law of chastity. I might agree if Corianton was married. Adultery is spelled out quit clearly in the 10 Commandments, and I am not here to lessen the damage of that sin. Corianton is a fornicator to use my Mother's terminology. That is a serious sin, but it is not #3 on the list. I am not encouraging wanton sex among the unmarried, but comparing it to murder is ludicrous. 

I guess child molestation, rape, torture, and making covenants with Satan do not make the top 3. You can probably think a lot worse things than fornication. To be clear, fornication is a sin, it is just not an automatic way to get yourself damned like the top 2 sins.

I will tell you what is number 3 on the road to perdition. Leading a person away from CHRIST through your false doctrine or your sinful behavior. This is what merited the lecture that Corianton received. The Zoramites were probably thinking "why should we believe this Nephite missionary who goes to prostitutes like all the other knuckleheads in the land?"

Fascinating that Alma, who actually did get his important information from GOD, sent Corianton right back out into the mission field to try and rectify his top 3 sinfulness immediately. He was not asked to wait one year, or not permitted to return at all. What better way to motivate someone than with love. Alma does NOT think he is better than his child, because he committed the same sin! Alma knows that he personally deserved to go to Hell, but JESUS saved him anyway. 

LDS Inc. has a different policy that seems to follow the logic of sending out only non-fornicators. In this way the unblemished can tell all the sinners, "Hey, I do not need JESUS, but the rest of you do." Obviously everyone needs JESUS so this statement would be flawed.

If the modern Mormon church had a policy of only sending only people who knew CHRIST had saved them from an awful fate, their numbers would almost certainly increase instead of stagnating. It is probably best that they do not possess this kind of common sense.

The only way Corianton was going to escape Hell after leading people away from JESUS, was to get right back into a hostile environment and try and lead people back to CHRIST. I suspect there was a lot of public confessions to the Zoramites. Something along the lines of, "Yes, I did go to brothels and I am a sinner, but JESUS can save even me."

As an aside, that is vastly superior to telling the Bishop. Modern Mormons having to get up and confess before their congregation would either cut down on sin, or increase lying.

Corianton spent the rest of his life attempting to bring people to the only Being capable of saving them...JESUS. His mission did not last only 2 years. I can imagine a few self-righteous Mormons arriving in the next phase of existence and being shocked that former fornicator Corianton is now in the Kingdom of His GOD and Savior.

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Heart of the Book of Mormon

It took a Pentecostal to figure out the literal central story in the Book of Mormon. John Christopher Thomas is the author of A Pentecostal Reads the Book of Mormon. He discovered, and then comfirmed by an independent word count the story that sits dead center in the book is the Anti-Nephi-Lehis.

I do not think that is an accident. Their is obvious chiasm in the book, and I think Mormon crafted it to make the entire work a chiasm pointing to the most truly CHRIST-like people who have ever lived.

The Anti-Nephi-Lehis were a group of converted Lamanites who later became known as the people of Ammon.  Ammon taught them the truth at great risk to his own life. Risk is something you are never going to see from the fake 15 apostles in SLC. They have a security detail with them if they are making a sandwich at home. If they were real apostles they would be living without purse or scrip (luggage or money) in the remotest parts of the world.

I went back and read the story of the people of Ammon, and as most people know they buried their weapons of war to show GOD they were truly converted to CHRIST's gospel. They were willing to be killed rather than kill, which is exact opposite of virtually every American I know.

The "Ammonites" also promised to do 2 other things.    
(Alma 24:18)

1. Share their resources with anyone who asked.

2. Work hard and avoid idleness for the rest of their lives.

I only do 1 of the three things the Anti-Nephi-Lehis did after their conversion, and I do it very poorly. I never killed anyone, but I am pretty sure I would not just let someone kill me. My heart is too hard for that, but I am hoping the baptism of fire would soften my heart. I am not the hardest worker in the world, but I have a job where the check is not issued by the Corporation of the President of the Mormon church. I am roughly 16 percent as righteous as the people of Ammon, and that might get me a condo in the Telestial Kingdom.

The gospel of JESUS CHRIST is one of peace. If you want to assure yourself a place in GOD's kingdom, then you have to be willing to lay down your life rather than harm others. CHRIST is the perfect example of this, choosing to be killed in an effort to save the world from Death and Hell.

Your tithing and your temple work is Not going to save you. Accepting that JESUS is the only means of salvation, and then acting like Him will.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

In Defense of Nephi

Recently there seem to be a few writers and bloggers who think Nephi is not as great a guy as portrayed in Primary class. These people usually point to three things: First, Nephi's supposed self-righteousness ("I will go and do the things which the Lord God commands me"); Second, Nephi's alleged racism because the Lamanite curse; and Third, Nephi killed Laban.

1. You do not get to criticize Nephi, unless you have...

 ...left all of your friends and possessions, and headed out into the desert in a tent,
went back home twice to get sacred scriptures and find suitable wives,
built a ship using primitive technology,
forgiven your siblings for trying to kill you,
provided food for your family using a bow and a sling,
sailed to another continent,
planted seeds in order to survive instead of eating using a microwave or fast food,
moved again because your siblings are trying to kill anyone who does think they should run the family,
built a temple,
written 2 books describing your family's history and what you think might help fools like us come to truly know CHRIST,
recognized you are a wretched man who is easily beset by sins (this is the only one I have accomplished),
made an extensive commentary on Isaiah,
had a vision of the Tree of Life,
defended your friends and family with just swords,
and finally, seen CHRIST and know that you are redeemed from hell.

2. There are at least two parts of the Lamanite curse. One was a skin of blackness. The other was being cut off from the presence of the LORD. Nephi may be exaggerating here on the skin issue because of his frustrations with Laman and Lemuel. If I had older brothers like those two I would have left them in the desert to die and called it good.

3. Laban deserved to be killed because he violated the law of Moses, which came from JEHOVAH. Robbing someone by force was a crime worthy of capital punishment. Nephi was told by the Spirit to kill him. People want to theorize that maybe it was the spirit of the devil. If that BS is true then how did Nephi have one of the greatest visions on record right after that?

It reminds me of when an elder in the office during my mission accidentally ran over a drunken Bolivian. Afterwards the annoying pre-teen daughter of the mission president asked the elder "But Elder ________, did you have to kill him?!"

Apparently people forget that JEHOVAH wiped out 99.9 percent of the people on this planet when it became clear that no one outside of Noah's family had a chance of living the Gospel.

I am nothing like Nephi, so I do not feel justified in criticizing him. 

The LORD has succinctly stated to the brother of Jared, 

"Fools mock, but they shall mourn."
(Ether 12:26)

If you are going to going to look at someone with flaws that need fixing, start with yourself.