Quick note on the condescension of God

Quick note, the condescension of God referred to in 1 Nephi 11:26 refers to Christ’s condescension in coming to a body of flesh and being slain for the sins of the world.

But the condescension of God referred to in 1 Nephi 11:16 refers to the Father’s condescension in marrying and having a child through Mary.

1 Nephi 11:16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

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His yoke is easy, but we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling

When we get excited about how easy the path to exaltation is in real life, that should tell us that something is wrong. We have a number of members who have been teachings how easy the path to exaltation is for some time, and they have got a lot of  people to go along with them.

But there is a great difference between the meaning of the scriptures that speak of the easiness of the way, and the meaning of these teachers among us.

When the Savior said “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” he certainly spake the truth, for to obey is far easier that to suffer the consequences of sin in mortality and in hell. But his statement “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” should be read in the same spirit as many of his other statements, such as “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” as well as “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake”.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light when all accounts are gathered in and measured properly. His yoke is easy and his burden is light, but we must still work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

The way to exaltation is easy, in the sense that we know the path we must follow. It is laid out in a straight path before us and we need only take it up in earnest. In that sense the way is easy, and we rejoice in the easiness of it. But while the way is laid out easily for us, we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

The way to exaltation is also easy in the sense that we do not have to suffer for our sins if we repent of them.

D&C 19:16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;

18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

That is the other sense in which the way is easy, for we can be forgiven of our sins if we repent of them without suffering as Christ himself suffered for them.

Our priesthood is called after Melchizedek to remind us of what we ought to become and how we may achieve it. But to suppose Melchizedek obtained exaltation easily is to deny the scriptures for he offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears and was heard in that he feared. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.

Beware those that teach the easy path to exaltation. Yes, salvation really is easy in the sense that we know the way, and it is laid out in a straight path before us. Yes, salvation really is easy in the sense that Christ once has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust.

But those who teach that we will work out our salvation with less than fear and trembling are liars. And those who teach we will be sanctified without stripping ourselves of all uncleanness deceive themselves.

Mormon 9:27 … Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness;…

And those that teach that “his grace is sufficient” without having to deny ourselves of all ungodliness are cheating our souls out of salvation, for “if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ”.

 

Perversion isn’t trustworthy / scouting / parenting

There are some things that are sacred. Our children are one of our most sacred trusts, most particularly in matters of virtue, which is sacred in its own right.

Yesterday a church member told my wife she would trust her children in the restroom with a cross dressing man that she knew.

How have we became such complete morons, such imbeciles, such idiots about our children and perverts?

Now cub scouts and boy scouts are allowed to have gay leaders. Can we really have grown up hearing the the song “YMCA” as recorded by a gay rock group and played at half the church dances we went to and have still not learned that perverse men will infiltrate organizations where they see opportunity to molest young men or to groom young men as sexual partners? The YMCA is the Young Mens Christian Association and the group that sang the song performed it dressed up in costumes associated with sexual fetishes. They are sexual predators of young men, and they like to sing about the fact.

Of course gay men will infiltrate Cub and Boy Scouts for the specific purpose of sexual predation. Of course they will not generally admit to any such thing. Of course they will lie. When people are involved in gross immorality, the smaller sins usually just don’t seem to matter that much to them. When people are predatory, they lie.

How can we not realize that people seeped in dark sexual perversion are willing to lie about their deviant desires?

I just don’t have the words for our stupidity. We think we can mix that which is most profane such as dark perversion with that which is sacred, specifically the trust and virtue of our children, and not pay a horrible price for our folly. Can the Lord give such parents their children in the resurrection? Without deep repentance, I do not see how he could. He needs to be able to trust us with his children, at the least, before we can be out expecting eternal rewards for our parenting.

Zion cannot be built by less than a nation of prophets

Zion cannot be built by less than a nation of prophets. The shortest path to Zion is the shortest path that leads the Saints to become a nation of prophets.

We think Zion is just a place were everybody is super nice to everybody else and the rich take care of the poor.

But no, Zion is built by a community of prophets.

Certainly, we don’t have to start out that way. The people who eventually built Zion were initially wicked as were the people who lived in Salem. But what was remarkable was the completeness of their repentance and the diligence of their striving. It was not a short path from a state of wickedness to being translated even so. Enoch preached for 365 years. That is far longer than the United States has been a nation. Melchizekek was remarkable for he was able to bring his city from wickedness to Zion in far less time, for he lived in a day when men lived much shorter lives. And for that, we call the higher priesthood after his name.

But Zion cannot be built by a people living below their privileges, for the privileges of the saints are specifically designed to bring them to a much higher way of living and this can be accomplished by no other means.

Thus being supernice to each other is not what defines Zion. What defines Zion is that the people are so righteous that they are enjoying the privileges God intends for his saints.

We cannot really acquire those privileges until we learn to care for the poor like we really mean it.

D&C 70:14 Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.

But unfortunately, that is hardly the primary obstacle that stands in our way now. We have been retreating from the very things the Father declared in the garden of Eden. We have been retreating from virtue and decency. Our great grandparents would be sick at what we watch, read, and listen to thinking to ourselves “God does not mind, it is no great matter”. We have made the father a figurehead, we have made the mother a provider, and we have despised the gift of children. We have retreated so far from Zion that the path is long before us.

In fact, we have retreated so far that we don’t even know what Zion looks like anymore and think that Zion is just everyone being supernice to each other. And so we fret over whether our members are extremely polite, and get doors for each other, and never think anything another one of them says is wrong, even if two of them think opposite things. But we don’t fret over whether our mothers are excited at how sensual some parts of “Twilight” are and excitedly hand it to their children, and we don’t fret that our parents blast songs about perversion and fornication in their homes and we don’t fret that practically all of our youth have been shown movies with women undressed down to underwear or less by their own parents.

We no longer have the faintest idea what Zion looks like and our sense of direction is no better than that found in the apostate world we live in. We think Zion is built by being supernice to each other.

And so I write this note: Zion cannot be built by less than a community of prophets, and the shortest path to turning Saints into prophets is the shortest path to Zion.

Calling evil good is not compassion, it is rebellion.

Those who call evil good these days believe they are being compassionate. They think that is charity. Calling evil good is not compassion, it is rebellion. Pretending evil is neutral is not compassion, it is rebellion.

You cannot defy truth and please God. It is not compassion that is displeased at his justice. We should have faith that his justice and mercy are perfect.

 

Like Caleb and Joshua

At the borders of the promised land Israel sent 12 men sent to spy out the land that the Lord was offering to them.

Ten of those men came back telling Israel that the land was very desirable, but would be impossible for them to conquer. Israel hearkened to them, wished they were back in Egypt, and started picking out a captain to lead them all back to the slavery of Egypt.

But the two other spies, Joshua and Caleb, rent their clothes when they saw this and told Israel “The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us”.

And so it is today.

We stand as members of the true church of Jesus Christ. We have, presumably, left the sinful world of Egypt, and we stand at the gates of the promised land. We have been told as plainly as word can be what lies beyond those gates: the privileges of the saints of all dispensations.

In case we have forgotten, here are some reminders of what lies beyond those gates.

Joseph Smith said “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them”

We have been told that:

D&C 107:18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

We have been told that:

Alma 12:10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

We have been told many times that we live far beneath our privileges.

We have been told that:

“If the world itself was created by the power of the priesthood, surely that same power can move mountains and control the elements. If one-third of the hosts of heaven were cast down to earth by the power of the priesthood, surely that same power can put at defiance the armies of nations or stay the fall of atomic bombs.” (Elder Bruce R McConkie, “The Doctrine of the Priesthood”, April 1982 General Conference)

We have been told that:

D&C 76:114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;

115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;

116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;

117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;

We have been told these and many other things. We are like Israel at the borders of the promised land, wondering whether we can truly go forth and claim all that it has to offer.

And we have many members now who preach like the 10 spys of ancient days. They preach, one way or another, that the last thing in the world we should do is to march into the promised land with the intention of making it our own.

They have different ways of doing this. One that has done the most harm is preaching that we are saved by easy grace and there is no need to deny ourselves of all ungodliness, or to sanctify ourselves, and that no man can keep all the commandments of God. They teach, and we almost all believe it, that we cannot live up to our privileges. Far worse, they also preach that we do not need to, for they insist Christ loves us just as we are. These teachings are some of the most poisonous among us.

Others preach to us that we already have a prophet, what need is there for us to learn to prophesy? They claim that the book of revelation is closed and stamped with a seal that reads “OFFICIAL CHURCH DOCTRINE” and we have no need for the Holy Ghost or revelation ourselves as individuals.  They teach that doctrine is cataloged and pinned like a collection of beautiful butterflies. But their butterflies are all dead, stabbed with their own pins, because they do not understand that the only way to understand existing revelation is by obtaining additional revelation. They fail to understand that God desires that every saint would follow the prophet and the scriptures to the point where we would all become prophets, seers, and revelators over our own domains and stewardships. They fail to understand that James 1:5 is not a verse for Joseph Smith, but a verse for each of us.

Others actually endorse false prophets publishing books of false revelations among us. These members reject the scriptures which teach that revelation from God to his whole church comes through those he has appointed in proper order and by common consent. The effect of these people is quite destructive, as it dissuades the more righteous part of the people from having any interest in the real gifts of dreams, visions, and prophesy the Lord has designed for his people. It makes them seem embarrassing, by parading counterfeits which truly are embarrassing among the Saints.

And there are hosts of others striving one way or another to keep us from changing our lives in earnest and striving to live up to our privileges.

But our cry needs to be like that of Joshua and Caleb. It needs to be a cry for us to live, as a people, so that our young men will dream dreams and our old men will see visions, for we are to be ushering in Zion and preparing for the second coming.

And it needs to be a cry for the Saints to live up to their privileges as a people. And to live up to them we must change. We must drop our rationalizations, particularly with our media of all sorts, and press forward as a people toward far greater righteousness, receiving the Holy Ghost in greater measure and truly feasting on the word of Christ, until the Lord determines we have traveled the necessary distance and sees fit to bestow them. As we live far beneath our privileges, we must change so much that we leave our current rationalizations and compromises in the distance far behind us. As we live far beneath our privileges now, we do not expect to gain them quickly. It will likely take many years of pressing forward and feasting on the word of Christ. Conquering the promised land took many years, and our task will take many years as well. We must make dramatic changes if we are going to find the God of heaven so delighted with us as a people that he begins to impart to us as a people the gifts he desires for his saints in earnest.

There are many who, one way or another, preach that we cannot, or should not, or do not need to live up to our privileges and claim the promised land God has always offered his saints.

We can listen to them, or we can join with Joshua and Calab who, in great distress at such folly cried out to their our brethren: “it is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us”.

 

Virtue, divorce, marriage, and those things we have never considered.

There are two places where an old idea is presented that is extremely foreign to us. It is the extreme weight that is rightly placed on virtue and fidelity for them to be as God desires them.

One of these places is relatively recent. It is Spencer W Kimball’s “Miracle of Forgiveness” in which he says that if someone attempts to rape a girl she is responsible to resist and even give up her life rather than to give up her virtue. He says that any of us would rather have our children lose their life than lose their virtue, and he is speaking in the context of rape.

The idea he is putting forth, which is so foreign to us, is that a woman that prefers to preserve her life than to prevent a man from committing adultery with her, even forcibly, is a woman that does not have the full measure of virtue. The idea he, and many of his day, understand is that virtue is only properly weighted and kept when it is more valuable to a woman than life itself.

Wow. That is really foreign to us.

It is probably really good doctrine, but we are so used to rationalizing on moral issues that we find it shocking.

The other place a similar idea appears is in the teachings of the savior when he gives his teachings on adultery. The idea here seems to be similar. The woman may have been divorced from her husband, but for her to remarry is for her to commit adultery. And a man who marries a woman who was divorced commits adultery himself.

Both of these place such a high prize on perfect fidelity to the one person that one commits to in marriage, and respecting that same commitment made by another even when their partner has abandoned it, that they kind of leave us reeling.

But one comes from the mouth of the Son of God.

And the other comes from Spencer W Kimball, and from an day of much greater righteousness than what we live in now.