The official policy that “Immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way” is horrifically evil

The church has officially declared that “Immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way”.

This new practice is a horrendous evil.

This means that for a boy to declare he has a boyfriend, and to go on dates with boys, and to declare that they will only date each other, and to decided that they are in love with each other, and to pursue and seek to inspire perverse romantic feelings in other boys, will not be disciplined at all. It means that for boys to send valentines declaring desire to seek romantic love with other boys, or for girls to send valentines declaring the romantic love they desire with another girls is not to be disciplined. It means that for boys to talk about another boy as the person they are in love with is not to be disciplined at all. This says that for boys to hold hands in a way that is meant to endorse romance toward one another, or to declare that they are “a couple”, or that they are boyfriends with each other, is not to be disciplined at all. This says for a boy to kiss another boy is not to be disciplined at all. This means that for a boy to kiss a boy several times each night on a date is not to be disciplined at all.

These practices are all the most abhorrent and vile evils. They are evils that are to be shunned, to be fled, to be the most deeply ashamed of. The new policy declares them to be without sin, to be without spiritual reproach, to be unworthy of correction.

Oh, the disgustingness of it all. It pains me to write it, and yet we have declared it all to be undeserving of reproof.

This new declaration states that the most devastating sort of apostasy is not even apostacy. It declares that to apostatize from your own gender is not apostasy.

We have taken dark sin, we have taken the sort of romance pursued in Sodom and declared that to pursue along that course, and to seek to inspire others to join one in that pursuit, is without any sin. We have lost the spiritual sense to know basic moral decency, and have cast out the natural revulsion the light of Christ inspires in men toward such dark perversion.

This policy takes practices which are horrible and declares them to be without sin.

That these practices are deep, horrific evils should be blaringly obvious to any member of the church.

That these practices writhe with darkness and are abominable should be blaringly obvious to any member of the church.

This means that for girls to make out with girls, or for boys to make out with boys, will be treated only as if a boy and a girl made out with each other.

The official policy the church has declared is a horrific evil.

If our official policy was that for a woman to lie with a beast carnally was to be treated no differently than immorality with a man, we would still have the sense to know that something was horribly wrong with that policy. We would know that our policy was missing the greatest part of the sin – namely, the spiritual disgustingness, the perverseness, of having sexual relationships with an animal.

If our official policy was that for a man to have sexual relationships with a consenting 9 year old was to be treated no differently than immorality with an adult woman, we would still have the sense to know that something was horribly wrong with that policy. We would know that our policy was missing the greatest part of the sin.

Oh, but we have died. We have died, spiritually, every one of us witnessing that we have no knowledge and no longer deserve the appellation saints.

What people can angels greet as Saints who can no longer see that all these things are horribly wrong?

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Who can live in heaven that isn’t anxious to alter their lives in any way necessary that they may be worthy to be with God?

Who can live in heaven that isn’t anxious to alter their lives in any way necessary that they may be worthy to be with God?

Christ will not come while we wait for him to come save us out of his love for us.

Christ will not come until we so desparately yearn for his presence that we cannot stand to live unworthily of him, and are anxious to make any changes we need that we may be worthy to have him with us.

When we love him in earnest, so that we desire his presence so much that we would do whatever we needed for him to be there, then we may expect him to come to us. Then we may be worthy to enter into heaven.

The Savior spoke the truth in earnest when he said that if a man loves him and keeps his commandments then he would come and make his abode with him.

Misbehavior, and casting out devils

There is a great story from Lucy Mack Smith’s history that we should learn from. She visits a relative who suffers from being agitated, what we would call “anxious”, and who says she cannot listen to the elders teach. Lucy discerns that the woman has a devil, and that she needs to have the devil cast out of her.

One of the great problems we are facing within the church is that the members are watching, listening, reading, and otherwise consuming things hour by hour which are so depraved and indecent that the spiritual consequences can be quite severe. And, at the same time, what those members are engaging in has become so common within the church that nobody actually thinks such people are doing anything particularly wrong at all.

Thus, we find ourselves with many, many members who are dealing with the devil exercising great power over them as a consequence of their indulgences, but who we think are living clean lives worthy of every gift of God.

Consequently, we have a host of our members who believe they are “born gay”, or who give way to some other form of gender apostasy. They have given the advesary great sway in their lives through their indulgences. Because we have been completely indifferent to decency we think that these things came upon them while they were doing nothing particularly wrong.

We have a great host of members who are afflicted with devils, and who consume thought and emotion altering medicine day by day in order to be normal. We do not know by what door these members gave the adversary such power over themselves. In fact, we don’t believe the adversary exercises power in that way anyway, and we read the new testament wondering that Christ and his disciples had to cast devils out of people.

We consume evil and are afflicted with devils, while the devil tells us that he is no devil, but only chemical imbalances and mental health.

Satan rebelled against the Father as the husbandman

We misunderstand the plan of the adversary in the pre-existence.

Take these words of the Savior:

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every
branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more
fruit.

If you look at those words carefully, and believe them, then Christ is
saying that his Father takes away every branch that beareth not fruit.
The Father apparently requires Christ to cast off every one that
beareth not fruit. At least, that is what Christ, himself, says about
it.

Now pair that with these verses, as I think they are closely related.

Moses 4:1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan,
whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the
same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying –
Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all
mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it;
wherefore give me thine honor.

When we read these words of the adversary, we think that the adversary
is proclaiming that he will do the Father a great favor, and in return
he wants the Father’s glory. When we read Lucifer’s statement “I will
redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost”, we think he is
offering a great enticement to the Father, that he hopes will win the
father to his plan.

But that isn’t what is going on at all.

Christ said that he is the vine we need to be attached to in order to
have life, but that his father is the husbandman who will take away
any branch in him that does not bear fruit.

When Lucifer said “I will redeem all mankind that one soul shall not
be lost” Lucifer is proposing that he deny the father the right to be
the husbandman. He is proposing that the Father will not have his
right to require that “every branch that beareth not fruit, he taketh
away”. He is rebelling against the father when he says that he will
save all men.

Lucifer’s desire for the Father’s honor is related to his desire to
supplant the Father’s role as the husbandman who will take away any
branch that doesn’t bear fruit. Lucifer has become an accuser of the
brethren, and an accuser of God himself. Lucifer is rebelling against
the Father’s requirement that all those who will not bring forth good
fruit must be taken away. He is rebelling against the Father’s right
as the husbandman to lay the ax to the root of every tree, and to burn
down every tree that will not bring forth good fruit.

Lucifer is not offering an enticement, coupled with rebellion. The
statement that we think is an enticement is actually Lucifer is
rebelling against the Father’s role as husbandman.

We see this spirit very much alive in the church today. We see it
overcoming the church. We have many who want to deny the Father’s
requirements. They want to give temple ordinances to those who are not
worthy of temple ordinances, and the sacrament to those who are not
worthy of the sacrament, and the gift of the Holy Ghost to those who
are not worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost. They want to deny the
Father his role as the husbandman, who takes away every branch that
will not bear fruit. We send boys on missions and to the temple who
are addicted to pornography. Last week at church one high priest
stated that since the sacrament was a renewal of our baptismal
covenants, then he didn’t know of any sin that should keep us from
taking the sacrament. We have a plague of pornography in the church,
but everybody is still taking the sacrament. I remember in North Salt Lake there was one guy who would not take it when I passed it. But everyone else would. He was the wiser one, because we hear that around 20% of the members are addicted to pornography, but everyone takes the sacrament. Last week, another high priest said that if we waited to become worthy to go to the temple, we would never go, and so we should go to the temple in order to become worthy.

The perversion of homosexuality is becoming an obsession in the
church. We fail to obey God’s requirements of who should be cut off
from the church, and think we are being more Christlike for doing so.
But that is not the spirit of Christ. Christ did not deny the Father
his right as the husbandman. Christ warned us that if we denied the
Father this right, then we would not enter into heaven.

Matthew 18:7 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut it off
and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee to enter into life
halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast
into everlasting fire.
8 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee:
it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than
having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
9 And a man’s hand is his friend, and his foot, also; and a man’s eye
are they of his own household.

Those who take the spirit of the adversary, calling it mercy to deny
the Father his rights, become accusers of the brethren, and they will
be cut off in time. Because they will not cut off their hand, as
Lucifer would not, they have taken the same spirit as the adversary,
and thus they will join him in hell instead of joining the Father in
heaven.

This spirit is altogether overwhelming the church these days. We call
it mercy, but it is the plan of the adversary that caused Lucifer to
fall. Those who embrace this plan, claiming they are Christlike cannot
tolerate Christ as he really is, and rebel against him. Those who
pursue it soon hate those who are actually striving to be the humble
followers of Jesus Christ.

The crucial doctrine of Jacob’s ladder

One way to picture the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life is to view it as a ladder that goes from the earth all the way up to heaven. This was how it was shown to Jacob in vision. It is a very long ladder. There are three portions of that ladder, the highest portion is celestial, the middle portion terrestrial, and the lowest portion is telestial.

When we have faith, repent, and are baptized, we have placed our feet on the bottom rung of that ladder. We are then starting to learn to live by the laws of a glorified telestial kingdom, and consequently, we begin to gain the spiritual blessings available in a glorified telestial kingdom.

Now, that rubs most people the wrong way. It is perfectly correct, but we want to hear that when we were baptized we were ready for the celestial kingdom. After all, the telestial kingdom is for wicked people.

Yes, after the wicked repent and bow the knee, accepting Christ as their king, they will be resurrected with a telestial body and obtain a telestial kingdom for eternity. But it is called a “kingdom” because nobody enters it without accepting Christ as their king by covenant.

As members of the true church, God wants us to learn every law of his kingdom and obtain every blessing offered in it. But we must begin at the bottom. The bottom, the least and simplest laws of his kingdom, are the telestial law.

At baptism we begin to partake of the same blessings available in a glorified telestial kingdom. And what is available to those in a glorified telestial kingdom? Why principally, the gift of the Holy Ghost.

D&C 76:86 These [the telestial] are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial.

88 And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.

Note that both these verses are about how those in the telestial kingdom learn to receive the Holy Ghost. When those people enter the telestial kingdom, they are given the same command that we are given when we entered the kingdom of God through baptism: “Receive the Holy Ghost”. The Holy Ghost is the great gift available in a glorified telestial kingdom, and it is the great gift given to us after baptism.

When we enter the kingdom of God and begin to learn his laws, we start at the bottom, because that is all we are prepared to handle when we first step in. We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, but we have a long way to travel as we learn to “receive the Holy Ghost” in truth. We must enter the kingdom of God on the lowest rung. We can tell whether we are climbing from one rung to the next by whether we are beginning to receive the Holy Ghost more and more potently in our life, just as those in the telestial kingdom will need to.

Now let us assume that we climb this ladder from earth to heaven to the point where we reach the terrestrial portion of the ladder. This is the point that is depicted in Lehi’s dream as reaching the tree of life. If we get to that point in mortality, there will be a marked change in what we need to be about, and much greater joy, just as there was in Lehi’s dream. We will begin to learn a terrestrial law and begin to obtain the spiritual blessings available in a glorified terrestrial kingdom.

D&C 76:77 These [the terrestrial] are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.

As the scripture states, those in a terrestrial kingdom can receive the ministrations of the celestial, including personal instruction from the Son himself. However, they cannot live in the presence of God. We must learn to live a terrestrial law and gain the blessings found in a terrestrial kingdom before we can move on.

We can think of any number of people in the scriptures who received direction from angels, or who the Lord directed by his own voice, or who the Lord even brought into his presence to teach. These were people who had progressed to points on the terrestrial portion of the ladder.

We need to progress from living a telestial to a terrestrial law. From the scriptures the principle law in the terrestrial kingdom is clearly “what the Lord says to you by vision, or by his own voice, or by his own presence, that thou shalt do”. Hardly enough emphasis can be placed on that final phrase “that thou shalt do”.

Think of the examples of such people in the scriptures.

Some were taught by angels, by the Lords voice, and some even enjoyed his presence. They were blessed with great joy. But the law “what the Lord says by vision or by his own voice, that thou shalt do” is a very serious matter. Jonah could hear the voice of the Lord. He disobeyed and the Lord was not satisfied to have him cast overboard, but also caused a great fish to swallow him, where he stayed for two days. Miriam could hear the voice of the Lord, as could Aaron. The Lord smote Miriam with leprosy for speaking against Moses. Could we endure Miram’s punishment for speaking against a Moses? Could we endure Jonah’s punishment for disobedience? No. We are not ready for a terrestrial law yet.

Think about it. When you or I disobey what happens to us? Mostly, not much. We aren’t disobeying visions, or disobeying the Lord’s own voice speaking to us. We lack both the magnitude of light that conveys, as well as the depth of obligation it carries.

Moses smote the rock with a staff instead of speaking to it as the Lord commanded, and was not allowed to enter the promised land. If we were in Moses’ shoes, after all we had done, could we endure such a punishment for disobedience? No. We know that even though Melchizedek quenched the violence of fire and stopped the mouth of lions while a child through his faith, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. We know that Zacharias didn’t believe an angel, and was dumb until the birth of his son, John. Could we endure that for simply disbelieving? No. We are not ready for a terrestrial law.

We are not ready for the intense joy and light of a terrestrial law for several reasons:

Firstly) We are not ready because we have not learned to be steady enough in our commitment to endure such punishment if we were to disobey something commanded by God himself in person or by vision.

Secondly) We are also not ready because we have not proven our strict obedience enough for God to have the needed confidence in our obedience in the first place.

Thirdly) Joseph Smith explained: “The reason we do not have the secrets of the Lord revealed unto us, is because we do not keep them but reveal them. We do not keep our own secrets, … then how would we keep the secrets of the Lord? I can keep a secret till Doomsday”. Joseph Fielding McConkie summarizes this with the quip “God does not reveal himself to blabbermouths”.

Joseph Smith asked the same question three times through the Urim and Thummim. What did he suffer? Notice there was no direct disobedience on Joseph’s part, he merely asked three times. But still he suffered great agony and uncertainty in spirit as the Lord took the Utim and Thummim from him for a time. Are we ready for that ourselves? No. We are not ready for a terrestrial law.

Adam and Eve lived a terrestrial law, for the Father and the Son could come and teach them from time to time. And what happened when they disobeyed a command God gave them by his own voice? The effects were tremendous.

Now this doctrine is all through the scriptures. God wants us to gain all the blessings of his kingdom and to obey the full law of his kingdom, but we have to start at the beginning. We are not ready for it all at once.

Now this is crucial doctrine because we all have the wrong idea. I think most members of the church have a sort of feeling that if they could be as good as their bishop, or their stake president, or some good member they know and admire personally, then that is all the Lord could want from them spiritually. I think we tacitly believe Zion is a place where everyone learns to live like some good member or other we know in our stake.

Ugh.

No.

That isn’t it at all.

The Lord wants us to live up to a terrestrial law. When we see and understand what that means we plainly see we aren’t there yet. We aren’t even close. But we MUST be striving toward that. We aren’t here to merely live a telestial law. We are here on probation to see what we will do. The Lord wants us to prove we are willing to serve him at all hazards, and that we will keep his manifestations strictly to ourselves. The Lord wants us to live up to a terrestrial law.

And THAT is what makes this doctrine crucial to understand.

This doctrine is crucial to help us move along the way we need to, instead of thinking we can coast into exaltation. It shows us that we are truly required to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It is beautiful doctrine, and manifests itself all through the scriptures.

For example, we read these verses, but without understanding the doctrine we don’t realize that the way things work in the kingdom of God in the resurrection is the way they work here.

D&C 76:86 These [the telestrial] are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
87 And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.

What do we have here in mortality? Why we, who are learning the telestial law, are in need of learning from those who God could teach by the mouth of angels, or by his own voice, or in person. We need to feast daily on the scriptures to learn from such men. Thus here in mortality we see that we, who are learning the telestrial law are being ministered to by those who have come up to a terrestrial law. And those who have come up to a terrestrial law are being ministered to by those who have come up to a celestial law. It is the same principle here in mortality as in the resurrection.

In fact, in Jacob’s vision of the ladder he saw angels going up and down. They go down to minister to those beneath them, and doing so exalts themselves to a higher point. The terrestrial are glorified by ministering to the telestial. The celestial are glorified by ministering to the terrestrial. We progress upward by bringing those beneath us up to our level. As we gather sheaves, our dead, and our family we save our own soul.

Lehi’s dream depicts our situation, though it mostly leaves off at the transition from a telestial to a terrestrial law, simply hinting that there is a significant change that brings great joy, and that we are back at the tree of life, i.e. back in a terrestrial eden of sorts. It mostly just lets us know that if we reach the terrestrial portion it will be crucial that we fall down and feast on the joy available there because those who do not may wander away from the tree.

The temple goes further and fleshes out the story significantly. It shows Adam and Eve struggle through the telestial portion, but then further follows their progression through the terrestrial portion to the point where they have not only learned by angels who prepare them to behold of God’s glory, and have come up to the general assembly and the church of the first born, but they have learned to hear the Lord’s own voice teaching them, and preparing them to come into his presence. Just as Lehi’s dream essentially leaves off from telling us more at the transition from telestial to terrestrial (when they arrive at the tree), so the temple leaves off telling us more at the point where we can begin to learn in God’s own presence. That is fitting, because the temple presents the problem of being cast out of God’s presence, and lays out the path to follow to return to his presence during our mortal probationary time. The temple’s use of the words telestial, terrestrial, and celestial in laying out our mortal progression is quite intentional. We make real covenants in the temple, but they are also types and shadows of more serious covenants yet to come.

We are required to build Zion. Can we read the verse and finally understand it for the first time?

D&C 105:5 And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

We are required to build Zion. Zion is not built on telestial law, or even terrestrial law.

Zion can only be built on celestial law.

Adam and Eve lived a terrestrial law in Eden. They could enjoy the presence of God to teach them from time to time. But they were not prepared to live in his presence. Just as we, who are living a telestial law, can plainly see we are not yet ready for a terrestrial law, so also those who are living a terrestrial law, can plainly see they are not yet ready for a celestial law. But they press forward to come up to a celestial law so they can enjoy the fulness of the Father and gain eternal life.

Christ said of Zion “Behold, mine abode forever”. Christ came and lived with the people of Zion. In reality, I severely understated when I said that the Lord wants us to learn to live a terrestrial law. To build Zion we must come up past a terrestrial law to a celestial law. That is why D&C 84 warns that not a single one of the saints who had gathered to Missouri to redeem Zion was ready for the return of Zion.

If all we want in the end is the blessings of a telestial kingdom, I suppose then it doesn’t matter if we are satisfied with its blessings here in mortality. But our Father in heaven wants more for us.

If it is eternal life we are after, we must press forward toward being worthy of living a terrestrial law and gaining its blessings. We can gauge our progress by whether we are enjoying the Holy Ghost more potently in our lives over time, as that is the measure of how well we are keeping the command to “receive the Holy Ghost”. These days, we have cut him down to a trickle by filling our lives with media that offends him as well as by fostering men in their wickedness rather than warning them of their dire state. We cannot have the spirit in the homes of members today without requiring the same strict decency that was required even in the homes of nonmembers before the 1960s. If we will stop choking off the Holy Ghost by rationalizing indecency, then there is great power to be found in the three great spiritual powerhouses that bring the Holy Ghost into our lives like nothing else: missionary work, saving our dead, and saving our family.

 

The reason we are here is not something revealed to men lightly, and so no, we are not just here for a test.

When the lights are out, it is difficult to know what the magician’s trick is, even if he does it for our good. Why are we so completely cut off from everything that came before this life, as well as from everything after this life?

This is not designed to reveal, but to conceal. It is designed to hide.

A man wakes up in a room with no memory of what came before. There are no windows in the house he finds himself in. Should he not recognize that the lack of windows is intentional? The lack of windows, and the loss of memory, go hand in hand. They are two parts of the same thing. We are put here to see what we will do. But we are intentionally put here without memory, cut off from what came before, and what will come after. A man dies and his spirit continues on. But does anybody talk to him after he leaves? Not from this world. He is heard from no more in this world. It is as if he moved on to another room and a heavy door is closed between them through which not even sound may pass.

But what is the purpose of this peculiar design of things?

We have made up out of thin air the most ridiculous notions to explain these circumstances. There are some who determine that there was nothing that came before, and nothing that comes after. It is true that we are so completely cut off from what came before and what came after that this may seem compelling. Honestly, while that is wrong, it is actually not more ridiculous then some of the explanations that we have come up within the church.

The first and foremost explanation that we have come up with is that it is all just a grand test.

But let us think about that. If this man finds that he is in this room, with no windows, and no memories of what came before, what shall he then decide if he learns that, in reality, most of the people in that room will choose a route that will lead them to suffer agony like a lake of fire and brimstone, but that a very small number will find a route that leads to life, and that all men will confess the justness of their reward.

What would he think?

I mean, yes, sure, certainly there is some sense in which this is a test. I have experienced tests of one sort of another. A test is something that you pass or fail, sure. But if you are going to face torments as well as the executioner, having only a very slim chance of escaping such dread, simply calling it a “test” fails to capture the precarious position and the dreadful consequences.

Also, calling it a test makes it sound arbitrary. It takes all of the context of the situation and throws it all away. What about losing our memory? Wouldn’t I rather take a test with my memories intact? You bet I would.

It is not a test.

That just doesn’t match. And it is a word that lets people casually discard all the peculiarities about our situation here – our complete loss of contact and even memory with anything before, as well our complete loss of contact with anything after. A beloved person dies and, no matter how desperately we long to see them, they are no longer going to be there sitting down to converse with us. Those peculiarities are central questions. They should not be discarded.

It is not a test.

But what is it?

What are we doing here? Joseph Smith said that if we have a right to knowledge from the almighty about anything, it is about this.

Joseph Smith taught: “All men know that they must die. And it is important that we should understand the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence. What is the object of our coming into existence, then dying and falling away, to be here no more? It is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject. Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.”

It isn’t a test.

It isn’t just a strange test with torments as a lake of fire and brimstone as the price of failure.

We have only the merest hints of what it is.

And apparently we will never know by reading the revelations of other men.
Isn’t that peculiar? We will never know why we are here by reading the revelations of other men.

We like to assume that the reason we are here is one of the things that everyone knows. We pronounce it tritely. We say it is just a test. Or it is just part of the plan. Or something else that completely fails to really describe a purpose to our place here.

But apparently the reason we are here is something we can never learn by reading the revelations written by others. We could read all that has been written about it from the days of Adam on and still know very little about it.

The reason we are here is apparently only known by revelation to oneself. We will know more about it if we could look into heaven for five minutes than if we were to read all that has been written.

Do I suppose that it would be impossible to write it? I do not know. But I expect at least partly it is forbidden to be written down on this earth.

As long as you are here, you may not record the reason people are here. It is one of the base requirements. It is a grand secret that must be kept. No one who has known has ever written down anything meaningful about it.

And so, no, it is not just a test.

Awful is the wickedness to suppose

In Moroni 8 we learn that if a man were to be cut off in the thought that little children will go to hell if they are not baptized then he has neither faith, hope, nor charity and must go down to hell.

But we don’t really get the point. We think that is some special condition about little children and baptism. But that misses the point. It captures the specific example, but completely misses the principle that makes the specific example true.

The point is that if we don’t have at least that much spiritual sensitivity, if we haven’t at least that much light through the light of Christ, then we are simply not the honorable men of the earth that the Lord says will inherit the terrestrial kingdom. We must descend to hell, for there is no fitting place for us that is better than the telestial world.

Note that even nonmembers whose priests and friends and parents tell them that little children need baptism cannot escape hell if they do not cast off that false belief through the light of Christ. This is why the scriptures describe the telestial saying these are they who were of Paul, and Apollos, and of Cephas.

But again, it is not just about little children and baptism. It is about discerning enough truth by the light of Christ to know for yourself, and not for another, fundamental basic foundational truths, even when everyone who is teaching you as well as your own family members devoutly believe the opposite.

The point is that if you want to escape hell, you need at least enough spiritual sense to fit into a better kingdom than a telestial one.

And the reason I am writing this is because the members themselves all devoutly know that little children are saved by the pure mercies of Christ, and do not need baptism, but they have not understood the real principle. They go about endorsing and embracing perversions that have been popularized within the church, spouting garbage that is not one whit less spiritually deranged than the idea that little children will go to hell without baptism, and they don’t realize that their case will not be one bit different than the man that is cut off thinking little children need baptism. They cannot indulge in the same thing that will damn another man and not be damned themselves, unless they repent.

There is not two cents of spiritual difference between the spiritual revulsion you should feel toward the idea that little children need baptism, and between the revulsion you should feel toward the idea that people are born into the wrong gender. It takes absolutely no more spiritual sense to be repulsed at the idea that little children need baptism than it takes to be repulsed at a persons claims that they are romantically attracted to the wrong gender, or that they were born the wrong gender.

The point is that we embrace the principle about little children and baptism. But we don’t have the spirit of it. We know that even nonmembers are expected to have that much sense, according to the words of Christ, or they cannot escape hell. But, ironically, we don’t actually have that much sense ourselves. We don’t have the spiritual sense that God requires of nonmembers if they are going to escape hell. We believe correctly on the matter of little children and baptism not because we have spiritual sense, but rather because we have a chapter that specifically lays it all out for us. But with other matters which the scriptures lay out anyway we blithely hold conversations where we endorse and embrace all sorts of spiritual vomit about homosexuality just because it has become the thing to say today. We blithely feel confident saying what is popular without the least spiritual sense, while feeling smug in our security that we know little children will not be damned.

We have not the spiritual sense to avoid embracing and believing popular ideas that a man who is cut off in the thought will be damned for. We believe and embrace them casually and confidently and frequently because we think Moroni 8 is a special chapter about a special spiritual clause concerning believing little children need baptism instead of realizing that Moroni 8 is a chapter saying that if you don’t have the spiritual sense to avoid embracing such spiritual yuck then hell is the only place for you for the terrestrial kingdom won’t take you in.

We don’t want to believe that. We don’t believe in Mormon’s phrase “awful is the wickedness to suppose…” We don’t believe that it can be awful wickedness to suppose something. We don’t know that it is awful wickedness for a man to suppose he is a woman, while in reality the disgustingness of it should resound as fell bells of doom in our ears. We don’t believe that awful is the wickedness to advocate or endorse the cause of such wickedness.

But Mormon told us that awful is the wickedness to suppose that little children need baptism and that a man cut off in the thought could not escape hell. And we know to avoid that particular belief about little children and baptism, while casually endorsing all manner of spiritual depravity without the least care or concern in the world. We don’t know the consequences. We lack the needed spiritual sense. And consequently we will one day feel and know the full meaning of that phrase “awful is the wickedness to suppose…” unless we repent.

Following the prophet through practical examples

This was the lesson I went over with my children, and I think it teaches some things that we have more or less lost track of, and which would be greatly beneficial to many of us.

I compared two attempts to “being led by the prophet”.

First I told them about a man I grew up around. He was a good man. Repeatedly during the time I was growing up he related a statement that was made by one of the leaders of the church, possibly it was the president of the church, but it doesn’t matter. It was offered as an opinion, but that is still irrelevant. This man I knew quoted this leader as saying that if we would hold our home evening faithfully every week then none of our children would be lost. And because of that statement family home evening was a major point of emphasis in his home.

Nevertheless his oldest daughter appeared on Buzzfeed with her girlfriend as being one of the first lesbian couples married in Utah.

I didn’t say that to my children in condemnation of the leader who spoke those words. It is actually a very normal thing and is part of our doctrine. Joseph Smith said that not everything a prophet says is spoken as a prophet. We have tried to use some sort of bureaucratic rule to discern which things are spoken as a prophet, such as deciding that everything spoken in general conference by an apostle or prophet is spoken as a prophet. That is simply an attempt to substitute bureaucratic ideas for lack of personal insight. The Holy Ghost is a God, and will attend when he pleases, inspire when he pleases, and confirm what he pleases and nothing more.

No bureacratic rule will substitute for actually living to have the Holy Ghost and being able to discern for ourselves what is spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost. As Harold B Lee put it, there is no safety except in living to have the Holy Ghost. God will not allow any substitute to be safe and sufficient, for he requires his people to live worthy of his spirit, that they can see and know which things are spoken by his spirit for themselves, independently. If we cannot know by the Holy Ghost by ourselves independently, then we are not being taught by the Holy Ghost, we are not those in whose heart God is writing his law, we are not converted, we are not born of the spirit.

I then played for my children Bruce R McConkie’s final general conference talk, “The purifying power of gethsemane”.

I pointed out that what made that talk memorable in the minds of so many members was that it was the greatest degree to which we have heard any man speak by the power of the Holy Ghost in my lifetime. That was the sole factor that made the talk so memorable. It was not delivered in a dramatic way. The speaker was not charismatic in the way that the world honors. The whole sum of the matter was the degree to which the speaker spoke under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

I have never heard any other man speak by such a great measure of the Holy Ghost that I can recall. He was not the prophet. That was not the issue. It was not an issue of what calling he had. It was an issue of how strongly the spirit of the Lord was upon him, and how strongly he spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I paused the talk at various points. I told my kids that you could tell that the words were spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost as plain as day. I told them that BECAUSE the words were spoken by the power of the Holy Ghost and because they could receive them by the Holy Ghost, then the truth of his words was then known by themselves, independently.

And I explained to them that when we say we are led by prophets, and led by revelation, the whole matter is that we are to be led by those things which the Holy Ghost attests.

If we choose to take every word said by a leader in general conference and treat it with the same honor that is reserved for the revelations of God speaking by his own mouth, then we greatly err. That is not what the Lord laid out. Joseph Smith himself clearly distinguished his own words as being completely unequal to the words of the revelations, for those were the words of Jehovah.

I don’t care if it is the prophet, or an apostle, or a man with no calling in the church at all. It is when the Holy Ghost conveys their words, and we receive those words by the power of the Holy Ghost and consequently know for ourselves that those words are true that we are being led by the spirit of inspiration.

If the Holy Ghost conveys the truth of something to us, then let us honor it the same way that man honored that statement about family home evening. If the Lord had approved that statement as being as true as scripture then the Lord would have sealed that statement on the man’s soul as an eternal unchanging truth by the power of the Holy Ghost, and then that man could have arranged his life around it the way he did and would have been certain of the promised results BECAUSE AT THAT POINT THEY WOULD HAVE PEEN PROMISED BY GOD.

But if the Holy Ghost does not confirm a statement as being eternal, truth, then we have no promise. Then we are welcome to consider and ponder whether the statement is true or not as we see fit. We are welcome to follow it and weigh it as wisdom to us.

Remember that whatever promise or expectation we may have that is not sealed upon us by the power of the holy spirit is not to be received.

It must also be noted that we are REQUIRED to not become accusers of the brethren if we decide that they said something in error. We must be cautious how we take their names in our lips, for God has declared that the heritage of the servants of the Lord is that every mouth that rises up in condemnation against them they shall condemn.

But there is a great difference between simple disagreement, and rising up in condemnation.

Well, I guess we can burn the church as Sodom if that’s what we really want. But its going to be hell if we do.

If we try to change fundamentals about the darkest of sins as revealed by God then we are trying to move the temple cornerstone on which the church stands. If we move the cornerstone of the temple then we have changed the doctrine.

Any person in a “same gender relationship” is apostate. It doesn’t matter whether we call them apostate or not. It is a peculiarly nasty type of apostasy. We can do nothing to change what it is. We can align our doctrine and our teachings with the plain truths of reality, or we can reject them and face the brutal consequences.

We have no power to change how God, himself, measures those evils. God is not a being who changes and flits about with the times on perversions of sacred things.

Any person who has so thoroughly given evil spirits sway over themselves that they no longer know their right gender is apostate. If anything, the word apostate seems too weak to describe that particular form of spiritual suicide.

He who loveth father and mother more than me

The Savior plainly declared: “He who loveth father and mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

We make many rationalizations for ourselves. But here the Savior states that he requires of us that we love him first, above all other relationships, no differently than he, himself, loved God his Father above all others.

How can he save us on different terms, or with a different salvation, than the one with which he himself was saved? Can we live in heaven while being different people than the sort of characters that already live there?

The Savior loved God the Father, above the love he had for his own life, or for any man or woman on earth. And we are not worthy of him unless we have that love for him that he had for his Father. That is, we are not worthy of him if we love our own lives, or our father or mother or our son or our daughter more than we love him.

Breaking down traditions

We should be anxious to break down traditions about right and wrong instead of taking up additional traditions which will bind our children and children’s children down.

We should be aware of which things are tradition, and which are revelation.

We should strive to be as David, who knew both that God would not care if he and his men ate the shewbread on the Sabbath that was reserved for the priests, and who also had the spiritual sense to wonder why he dwelt in a house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant dwelt in a house made of curtains.

We should have the sense of the sacred that David did, who with great care tried to bring the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. We should treat sacred things as requiring great care to deal with, lest we offend God.

True inspiration breaks down tradition. True inspiration reveals God’s will and commandments and inspires fear of profaning those things which are sacred, all without adding to the heap of traditions that the oh-so-righteous are enamoured with decorating themselves with, thereby binding both themselves and their posterity down with sacrifices that are burdensome but which have no power before God because they are nothing more than the traditions of men.