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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

182: HE AGAIN FORBADE ME TO JOIN WITH ANY OF THEM

Does it matter which Church we belong to?

  Joseph Smith had the same question. So, he prayed and asked the Lord. He received an answer. We can read the answer in Joseph Smith History 1: 18-20.

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write as this time."

Multiple times the Lord forbade Joseph to join with any of the other church.

So, the reason for this post is that I am a little surprised that the Restored Church that Joseph Smith put into motion, namely, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the same church that is creating a new campaign with the message: "Come to church, Whatever church you choose, Just Come".

Here is the link on the LDS Casting website posted Monday June 3, 2013, under the Project entitled: "Faith, Families, and Freedom".

http://ldsavdcasting.blogspot.com/

______________________________________________________________________

MESSAGE:  “Come to church: Whatever church you choose.  Just come!”

SEEKING:   Young Adults, age 17-25, who are actively practicing adherents of any religion.  Specifically, we would like to interview those who are not of the LDS faith.
 
Dear Talent,
 Please see listed below the main emphasis of our casting efforts this week.  All these roles require some very high-level acting talent.  These are not throw-away roles.  The director will linger on faces and take the time to gather and express the emotion of the moments captured herein. 
 This project is a prototype under the umbrella of a much larger “Faith, Families and Freedom,” project.  While it is being created by the LDS Church, the project is designed to air as national commercial spots for a unified group of many faiths; not just LDS.  As such, all of these pieces have requested ETHNIC MINORITY DIVERSITY.  If a specific ethnicity isn’t listed, “White/Caucasian” is acceptable, although preference will most likely be given to those of color.  (Just sayin’.)

 _________________________________________________________________________


  Joseph Smith restored a completely different religion that any other church on the earth. The underlying theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to ascend, and to become like the Father in order for us to dwell with Him. The teachings of the Restored Church should center around us getting back to the Father. The teachings of the Restored Church are meant to save us.

So, yes, it does matter which Church we choose. I am puzzled that we would be sending out a message to the world opposite to this.. and tell people to just choose any church.. Just go to Church.

This concept will not save anyone, and possible damn those who teach it, as well as those who believe it.
....
 

19 comments:

  1. Agreed.

    The next post on that Church casting site is also ironic. The next post is about a reenactment of a faith promoting story that took place in the late 50's. Which in and of itself is fine. However, there seems to be a need to reenact faith stories. As though we weren't having any ourselves, so we must reenact or pretend to be experiencing their kinds of experiences.

    When the message is "come to church, any church" I don't doubt that we have to go back and back to find faith promoting stories.

    Don't get me wrong, some historical faith promoting stories are great. But when we aren't having our own, and reenact as if we were, then it's a problem.

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  2. The things coming out of SLC lately are truly bizarre. City Creek Mall, Boy Scouts, solicitations for "testimonies" of the Brethren...not to mention the parade of babylonian characters passing thru BYU with approval of FP & Q12.
    Where are we headed...what next?
    JR

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  3. Just my two cents, and I hope I don’t get blasted too much, but it seems that Joseph Smith, on a deeper level, came to open a door, reveal a process and allow for another “Christ-type”. Not only is there the words that you shared above in your blog of Joseph revealing that there are no true churches, but you have Nephi revealing that he is seeing our day and that ALL churches have gone astray. I think of Moses attempting to reveal the same pattern to the children of Israel, “would that all men were prophets,” and they just couldn’t do it (or rather, chose not to do it). You (blogger) also recently posted about the priesthood, and how quickly the mortal use of it corrupts, not that the priesthood itself does that, but the wickedness of men … even in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m not saying that “church” is bad, I mean, like Moses and the children of Israel, Joseph (I’m sure, petitioning the Lord) acquiesced to the voices of those closest to him who wanted religion … a prophet, hierarchy, structure, organization … separation from a personal responsibility and relationship with Father. It was never intended to be this way! All true prophets know this, teach this! Even Alma … reaching out to those who had been cast out of the church (Alma 31-32) understood and taught this. The church itself is NOT the only way in which individuals can come unto the tree of life. It is Christ who saves, Father who reaches for His children. Again, I am not saying that the church can’t be one way in which the Lord fulfill’s his promises, but the veil is being lifted and the light of truth will reveal many, many dark works, secret works and the illusions of which many of us have either consciously or unconsciously ascribed to. “…we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies…” The example of Christ is the ONLY way. We must walk in HIS footsteps, follow HIS path, and make our way back into the presence of Father (available to ALL, even in this mortal experience). Father provided the pattern (see Moroni 7), and He will send true messengers from His presence, even angels that come to fulfil the covenants of the Father … ALL true prophets, men and women, who have walked this same path, know this, have experienced this, and now reach to others teaching and showing them the same. I pray for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I pray even more earnestly for its leadership. They have espoused so much, from the pulpit, from their mouths … and even using the name of the Savior. I pray that they (the leaders of the church) have as intimate a relationship with Jesus as they claim … I really do!! Because he is coming to finish His work, and by His word He has stated that there will have been many, many who have used His name amiss. Very, very sobering … and leaves me wanting to repent and turn deeper to Jesus, and my Father.

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  4. well, I don't know how I can do it, but the fact is that, though I believe the things the Lord told Joseph Smith are true, I also find very disturbing the decades that I was told (I am older) that "we are the one true church"--

    the feelings of superiority that gave my generation are reprehensible--

    Joseph restored the fullness, and, in my possibly misguided opinion, the fullness almost immediately began to be 'chipped away'--

    it has always happened--

    I believe there have been minor prophets that have established all the major religions, and then the truth immediately began to drift, be attacked, etc.--

    which led to apostasy in the entire world--

    to state, unequivocally, one and for all, "this is the truth" does not mean that 100 years later, when I was a young person, the church was still 'true'--


    no, in fact, the church of the 1950s was about as far from what Joseph Smith restored as anything could be; there were a few grains still left that were true, and the Book of Mormon, of course, but in the 1950s, few people took the Book of Mormon seriously; the 'one true church' culture was alive and well and about as apostate as it could be--

    but good still came out of it--

    just as people I know who are Catholics and Lutherans, etc.--

    can have testimonies of Jesus Christ and CAN experience faith healing and CAN have broken hearts and contrite spirits, and CAN feel the holy ghost--

    being arrogant and right don't go together--

    as for what the church is doing, I haven't a clue; it does sound flaky--

    but the fact is that I know a lot of protestants and Catholics who are better Christians than many of the Mormons I know--

    kinder, more compassionate people, more prayerful, more humble--less full of themselves--

    but do I want to/plan to attend other churches? No; I like my own, with all its flaws--

    do I think the church will 'save' me? Never--

    only Jesus Christ saves, and we have all the information we need on that--

    so, actually, do many other churches--

    and religions--

    I'm glad Joseph did what he was told to do; otherwise, we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon, etc., etc., etc., etc.--

    but when I finally realized that God loves ALL His children enough to work with everyone where he/she is and that He really despises hypocrites (even Mormons)--

    and people who think they have 'more' than others--

    it feels like a dichotomy, but it really isn't--

    the point of Jacob's allegory of the vineyards--

    God doesn't give up--

    even on Mormons--

    as for what LDS church leaders are doing--

    I am not sure I care. Let them do whatever they will do; they are agents and can account for their stewardships--

    they are my fellow Mormons, and they will be judged on an individual level--

    as all of us will be--

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  5. @6:35 a.m.; I am the anonymous just above--

    who sees that what Joseph Smith did was good but couldn't 'last'--

    but still was needed--

    I appreciate your words--

    I just can't think much about what the 'church' does anymore--

    I'll leave it with Jesus to judge--

    He is the ONE Judge--

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  6. It probably doesn't really matter which church we go to, if we go to church at all. Is the Mormon church any different than the rest of the churches? Do the Mormons have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof? Do you see any evidence of Godly Power?

    “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

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  7. I just have one large issue with the idea that any church will do...
    In 2 Nephi 31-32, Nephi lays out the plan of salvation, or The Doctrine of Christ, which requires that all people be baptized and receive, not just be commanded to receive, but actually RECEIVE, the Holy Ghost. We know that ONLY Jesus or the Father can bestow the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost...so, does anyone believe that all churches have the authority and power to provide an effectual baptism of water? Does the LDS church, even in its apostate condition, retain the authority and power to effectually baptize? Something to consider.
    JR

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  8. [Hopefully, following Christ) everyone must decide for themselves where they stand. Elements of the perfect storm are gathering. The spirit realm, kingdom realm, is preparing to merge with this mortal experience, in a way heretofore unseen … well, at least since the days of Noah, and in ways completely not known to the sleeping masses.

    It is challenging to watch as individuals who truly speak of Christ, and who bear testimony of Christ, unapologetically, are publically and privately reprimanded at church, because they do not “conform,” “stand in opposition to the brethren,” and fail to “follow the prophet.” Individuals who have been received “at the veil” (to have eternal blessings offered), are given “church” discipline and had “church” approval and “church” blessings removed – yes, all a part of the Christ path. We myopically misunderstand the meaning and purpose of “church”. The church no longer stands to perform what it was initially created to do, any more than Auschwitz provided a life altering experience for Victor Frankl (author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”). Yes, “church” has its place .. we all need each other! We are here to serve, lift and provide the daily experiences by which all of us grow closer and closer to Father (and fulfill all that is our responsibility to fulfill). Now, as to which church and which people you need to be rubbing shoulders with … only you, your Holy Ghost, Christ, Father (among others) should be discussing this … working this through. It is amazing the way that the Spirit guides and leads individuals to cross our path, serendipitous! You are the one working out your salvation, working to manifest the kingdom of God on earth. Once you have come to that place of Sonship, Father will assist you to understand where your particular “skill set” can be of most help.

    JR – [my completely imperfect response] churches are made of stick and stone, and have no “power” in and of themselves. Priesthood is directly connected with Heaven, period. Through earthly ordinance and/or ritual, Heaven (God, Christ, etc.) may guide one individual to go to an individual or “church” to receive “baptism,” or receive “priesthood,” but this action is only the mortal confirmation or conversion (perfection of the body, transformation of the earthly) which stands to show the power of godliness, or the kingdom of Heaven moving here among the Kingdom of earth / children of men, and only mirrors an eternal experience which has already occurred. No individual or church holds the power to “provide an effectual baptism of water” unless they are acting under the hand of God (the person receiving this and that person doing this will know it), and when they do use this priesthood they are simply acting to ratify in mortality something that has already occurred spiritually for the individual. The person doing the baptism, or giving the blessing, will have been told by Father to do it, there will have been a dialogue there … and if not, for what benefit would any baptism have? In essence, through an effectual baptism (the persons involved with the baptism actually have Father’s approval – and, again, they know it) the individual is sealing, connecting the kingdom of Heaven with the Kingdom of the Earth – creating a congruence within the individual between who they are there, and who they are here. I don’t know if this even came out right, sometimes words are easy to jumble.

    I will say, that any individual stands on very shaky ground when they stand apart from Christ. All the more reason I need to engage repentance :) Christ is gathering those who belong to Him … and the experiences that make this determination are coming in very unique ways, not unforeseen by Holy Prophets and prophesied in scripture. There is only one shepard, and his sheep KNOW his voice, have seen Him and felt Him. There should be NOTHING standing in between any person and that experience, or it will painfully cost them. Church, the brethren … really anything, will be a extremely poor consolation prize for what Christ is offering.

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  9. Anon 6-14-2012, 1045 AM
    Yes, I agree with you...to a point.
    Since Jesus declared in multiple settings the absolute requirement for baptism of water (to Nicodemus, at the Jordan River, Doctrine of Christ, Nephites at Bountiful, etc.)...and since He submitted Himself to John the Baptist (who obtained his authority thru the church in the Meridian of Time, if not the power to baptize with water which, as you mentioned, always comes from a Divine source), and since it was an important enough detail for God to send John the Baptist to Joseph and Oliver; that still leaves the dilemma of where, or how, can we obtain an authoritative (effectual) baptism of water today? Does the LDS church, despite its obvious apostasy, still retain the authority to perform baptisms by water?
    I maintain that it does.
    If not, where else?
    Interesting discussion.
    JR

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  10. Anon 6-14-2012, 1045 AM
    Please do not leave yet...You have so much to say that is important.
    I believe the LDS church does still retain the authority to provide baptism of water because the Spirit has shown me the truth of the words of Nephi in 2 Nephi 31-32, The Doctrine of Christ, which clarifies the need for ALL people to enter the straight and narrow way (the path alongside the Rod of Iron) to the Tree of Life by receiving BOTH the baptism of water AND the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost. As Christ told Nicodemus, lacking EITHER of those required ordinances, a man cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven and a man cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
    IF (when?) the authority to baptize with water is lost from the earth, I believe our gracious and loving God will send again messengers to restore that essential ordinance, otherwise, the whole earth would be wasted at His Coming.
    I love your thoughts, you certainly seem to see things as they really are.
    Please continue this discussion.
    Thank you.
    JR

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  11. I received this email from a friend and I thought I would to post the comment:


    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is NOT the same church the Lord re-established through Joseph - as you know.

    The real Church should be called "The Church of Christ" as God originally revealed.

    Compare D&C 115:3 and Matthew 12:30.

    To say in this post that we should all be teaching people to come unto a fallen and apostate church is dangerous. I would think it would be more beneficial to turn people to Christ through promotion of the Book of Mormon until God sees fit to "clean house" and send His Servant back to set things in order again.

    As Jesus testified in D&C 10:63-68 - ANYONE who turns back to God and seeks to come unto Christ IS His Church. As you know, there are many people who aren't members of the LDS Church who fit that description and indeed MOST of the members of the LDS Church really don't fit that description.

    Just my two cents worth"

    .....

    TheChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that they are the only True Church upon the face of the earth. So the blog post was written because I found it interesting that the Church would send out a mixed message, that of " for someone to chose any church.. just come to Church."

    It is not about coming to Church.. it is about coming unto Christ.. but until the Lord sees fit to "clean house" to set things in order again, we are the only church that has some of the restored truths, including the Book of Mormon.

    ....

    I have often wondered if it is it better to drink dirty polluted water and sustain life for a while.. or to not drink any water and die sooner?

    David

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    Replies
    1. “I have often wondered if it is it better to drink dirty polluted water and sustain life for a while.. or to not drink any water and die sooner?”

      The illusion is that the “church” is the only source of water. It was never a source of water to begin with. Father is our source, Yeshua is the way. We are limited only to the degree that we are bound by the traditions of our fathers, and not The Fathers. It is amazing how we can turn a doorway (the restored gospel of Jesus Christ) into a dungeon; the church now captivates more than it liberates.

      Why are we not turning to Jesus of Nazareth? Why are we not verbally calling out to Him? In our meetings, our sacraments? Why will we not repent, as individuals, wards, as a church that has taken His name? Why does Father continue to have to send true messengers (the mortal fleshy kind) that have to speak in parables, legalisms and verses—and who’s truth still remains only available to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see? Why are not more individuals receiving true messengers (ie. Eternal angelic kind) … Moroni says it is because we are dwindling in unbelief … and no longer have faith.

      Whether an individual attends “church” or not, this mortal experience is and will soon begin sifting out those to refuse to turn from polluted water; whatever “revealed,” assigned, boundary designated source that might be … because it will not sustain (eternal) life.

      We must arise! And while I hate what we have turned this word in to … we must repent. Turn to directly to Father—to God, and beg that he loose the mouths of His true prophets, make available to us all that we endowed to receive. Only repentance and revelation will reveal to each of us just how awful our situation is (but doesn’t have to be!!). Are we so fallen, that we refuse a Father’s absolute, eternal love? And trade it for … hierarchy, correlation, manuals? I pray that I never tire of repenting … and beg Father never to give up on me (yes, I know he won’t). I’m not even the person that should be writing this, I am in such need of Yeshua, His way, His atonement, His example.

      PS. David – there is so much more inside of you. Your testimony, your scroll, is so much deeper and richer than you reveal. You know this. You know the source of your truth. There is no organization or individual in mortality that can remove you from your place in eternity. Never second guess those moments of intimacy with Father, and what he has placed in your heart … to share, to testify.

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  12. I don’t really do the “blog” thing, although I completely respect the individual that has created this blog, and know his heart, so I frequently drop in and enjoy sharing his path.

    JR, you appear to be very well versed, most surely more than myself. So, I will just speak from experience, and if something rings true along your path (as your comments have done for me) then we are both all the more edified. I believe that we would both agree that there are levels of truth. (I pray for the spirit, and I hope words don’t get in the way here, as I make some generalizations)…

    Along the path there becomes a distinct shift (which happens both internally and externally), or difference in the way that an individual sees themselves –this comes through repentance, revelation, anointing. For me there is a total difference between Joseph Smith, and EVERYTHING that happened during and after him. I could make many of the same statements about other “fathers” … Enoch, Moses, Abraham, Melchizedek. Joseph, and all the experiences that made Joseph who he was in this particular mortality, are not the organization he was commanded to facilitate in helping Father to fulfill His promises to His children. True “sons” seek identity, intimacy and relationship. There will be many who seek religion, and happily there is and always will be one (fallen) who is happy to provide it.

    It appears, your comments are specific to doctrine and the physical, mortal manifestations of ordinance. I am speaking from identity and relationship. You stated, “IF (when?) the authority to baptize with water is lost from the earth, I believe our gracious and loving God will send again messengers to restore that essential ordinance, otherwise, the whole earth would be wasted at His Coming.”

    When viewing Joseph Smith, most if not all of what he did must been seen through an eternal lens. One of the most important lessons that comes out of D&C 132 isn’t so much the “content” of marriage … but the “process” that NOTHING that originates here in mortality is eternal (contracts, relationships, bonds, baptisms, etc etc). EVERYTHING that has any eternal merit or sealing capacity comes out of eternity, in Father’s kingdom. So, its not so much who and what Joseph did here, but who and what Joseph did in eternity that he then brought and manifested here in mortality. Acting with Christ, it was then his work and his glory to work along side Father to redeem and restore. We must be careful not assume that the written word, or historical documents we read are all that made up the mortal experience that was Joseph Smith. They are extremely important and can certainly act as a doorway … but we must be willing to step through.

    Again, looking to Joseph as a Christ type and independent of the “church” that he organized, there definitely are ordinances, rituals, priesthoods, and other experiences that manifested because of identity, intimacy and relationship … not the other way around. It appears that this entire process stands completely independent of whether or not there is a “church” present—as much of what Joseph experienced happened prior to the organization of the church and / or preceded the manifestation of such experiences in “church” life.

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  13. (Continued)

    Now, I have to say that, again, we are talking about two truths. The experience of Joseph Smith is true, and he really did organize a church … which thru all kinds of twists and turns has become what it is today. In many ways individuals can truly enjoy both truths simultaneously. Father extends himself to all, and longs to hold, empower and love His sons / daughters. I will say that the church does not always respond well to a truly deepening relationship between a son and His father. Because while they are both true, at deeper and deeper levels, they are NOT the same. On the one path, an individual is deepening a relationship with an organization, with men and with ordinances devoid of the power of Godliness. On the other path, an individual is deepening their relationship with God the Father as they walk literally with Christ (because he employs NO servant there); independent of any other person, organization or mortal mediator. Again, this doesn’t mean that Father won’t have you working with others, serving, learning from, etc.

    As a “member” you may be baptized, be ordained to the office and become an “authorized” temple endowed attendee. As a “Son,” through a deepening relationship with Father, an expansive identity and relationship may be manifested here in mortality in a number of ways, which will include baptism (several types), being taught by those sent directly from Father, priesthood, gifts, “signs and wonders” and other experiences recorded in scripture by men who actually experienced and walked the path (Moroni 7, Alma 32, Nephi… Enos …). Going back to D&C 132 … Sonship includes stepping into the kingdom realm while here in mortality and then manifesting eternity here. Christ himself said:
    John 5:19 &20: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel."
    Sons (using the term generally) are preparing to facilitate a complete restoration (and there are many that talk about this process—if only on the fringe).

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that if what God is telling you is the be a member of the LDS church, then be it … be the best member you can be! Because there can be so much of our Christ path that can be worked out attending “church.” But I will be completely clear, that Sonship is NOT the same as being a member of the church. A Son may very well be walking the halls of any LDS church as a “member” come Sunday morning, but a “member” hasn’t necessarily waken up to the deeper mysteries and relationship of a Father and a Son.

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  14. [continued]

    I will also say, there is NO cookie-cutter manual for this. Trust me I’ve tried looking. But Heaven absolutely does bend. In fact, Father really does give us exactly what we ask for. Ask for a book, he will send you a book, ask for a friend, he will send you a friend, ask for a church, he will give you a church … none of which will fill that aching void in your heart until that moment when you finally get it, and in this incredible moment of heaven, earth, Holy Ghost, you say, “Father, I finally get, it was in front of me the whole time. I belong to you, and you will always be mine.” Father then … well, as I mentioned, identity, intimacy and relationship. And out of that comes true fruit, and it is manifested here in mortality in many forms which includes baptism, ordinances, and priesthood, and many other experiences.

    It’s a journey … mine has been long, twisted and filled with all kinds of paradoxes. Never forget that the veil parts both ways. You can’t part the veil simply for Christ and not expect to experience hell. Also … I just have to say that I’m certainly not anything anyone would follow. AND THEY SHOULDN’T. we are all seeking Father, and he sent the perfect example. Christ invited us all to follow Him. Not to follow behind, but to walk beside. Become a true Son … I am my Father’s Son and I have MUCH to repent of. What a journey :)

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  15. Thank you for being willing to continue.
    I am a very, very literal minded person. It is exceedingly difficult for me to understand symbolisms and metaphors. When the Spirit shows me things, it sometimes has taken me many years (even decades) to come to understand what it meant. I have been shown that the church continues to fulfill a real function for the Lord in our day. A careful reading of 2 Nephi 9, 2 Nephi 31-32 will provide a much better understanding of what Nephi was shown in his early vision when he prayed to be shown the things his father had seen. Nephi does a recap of his early vision (1 Nephi 11-14) in 2 Nephi 31-32 and labels the data The Doctrine of Christ at the very end of his life.
    King Benjamin speaks of his people becoming the sons and daughters of Christ after they were born again of the Spirit (Mosiah 5). That is the pattern for all of us. As Christ told Nicodemus, a man MUST be born of the water and of the Spirit or he cannot see, CANNOT ENTER, the Kingdom of Heaven.
    There is much, very much, that I do not know, but these things I DO KNOW. Jesus Christ lives. HE loves us unimaginably and to be in His presence is to be OVERWHELMED with LOVE, and to feel an overwhelming love for and gratitude to Him. HE, indeed is LOVE, or Charity. In order to be with Him, we must learn to be as He is, we must be gifted with the LOVE He bears us (Moroni 7:48).
    So far from the mundane, trite, superficial, shallow, weak, empty religion we are fed every Sunday is the TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, that there is only the most superficial resemblance. GOD IS LOVE and we grovel in the dust completely unaware of the feast that has been spread on the table waiting for us to wake up and smell the aroma. The Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness is delicious and it is EASY to feast upon the Words of Christ once we comprehend something of what is really involved.
    Much love to you dear brother or sister.
    Your brother in the Lord,
    JR

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  16. I can see that we have both struggled with much of the same path. It is so hard, and I have spent much time praying, because its hard to know what you don’t know … um, because you don’t know. In addition to getting stuck in that rut of the thinking mind, rather than the knowing heart. They say it is one of the biggest challenges. For example, it wasn’t until recently that I started to understand the scriptures differently (a lot differently), because I didn’t know that was reading them through a “Greek” understanding. Whereas Christ, and ancient prophets wrote and understood in “Hebrew”. Now, maybe for some scholar, this would be a given, but it was such a revelation for me. Greek think “form” while Hebrew sees “function”. I wish I could put these two columns side by side:

    Greek:
    Form
    Hear
    Think
    Hear God’s Word
    “Tell Me”
    Head-Thinking

    Hebrew:
    Function
    See
    Feel
    See God!
    “Show Me”
    Heart-Knowing

    I guess for me I have changed over the years. Years ago, I read the scriptures hoping they would do something to me, change me. Later, I read because I wanted to use the scriptures to get certain results, as I kept changing I started to understand and experience the Spirit and so I kept reading because of the spiritual experience that occurred when I read. As time went on (and this same process would apply to things like going to the Temple, the Sacrament, etc. I came to experience that I was the scriptures. And so I don’t so much want to read and memorize scriptures & doctrine, I want to experience it. I know that there is a difference between individuals who read about Nephi, read about Alma…read about Christ, and those who see themselves as Nephi, as Alma, as Christ. Now, I completely know and understand that I need to be careful here, because I am NOT saying I a Christ! But there is a different experience using the experiences of Joseph Smith, of Alma … of Christ as a doorway to engaging what they engaged and experiencing what they experienced. I don’t know if I’m crazy (well, actually I’m pretty sure people think I am), but I have never wanted to just be a “member”. I study and love Joseph because of his life, his experiences and because he opened a gate … and Christ!! Christ did this on such the ultimate level. And Christ testified, invited … come follow me, go where I go, see what I see, engage what I engage … and do it while in mortality. For me (and this has been the culmination of a long path) … but I no longer want hear, I want to experience. While I have made tons of mistakes (the spirit tends to dig up all the crap in my life that I need to face and take responsibility for), I have also followed my heart, my Holy Ghost … and as an example, if that means reading about the experience of Joseph Smith, or Alma, or … and while engaging in their path the Holy Ghost prompts me to go and be baptized, then I went and was baptized. Yes, on paper I am a member. Yes, I was baptized when I was eight. But I can’t tell you how deeply spiritual the experience was. Like my heart was being released; like I wasn’t afraid to follow Christ in any way … anywhere. I guess for me, the path was never to just be read about. And I totally get that I’m way out there for so folks. But my heart won’t rest, it only has peace in Christ, in His example of Sonship …and I know that he wants me to walk in the same path, have the same relationship with Father. There is much that scriptures offer us a gate or doorway. Even Christ stands at the door and knocks … but we have to be willing to open the door, step (out of our comfortable traditions) through and engage the experience of those who have really walked the path.

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  17. AnonymousJune 17, 2013 at 1:00 AM
    I can see that we have both struggled with much of the same path. It is so hard, and I have spent much time praying, because its hard to know what you don’t know … um, because you don’t know.
    Blogger/facilitator/author, the guy who runs this blog (which I have enjoyed reading, thank you). Would you please put me in touch with the anonymous commenter above?
    Thanks. Strategicreader@gmail.com

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