"For you have loved to seek me, and I have called you my friend."
Apocalypse of Abraham. IX
Abraham desired to possess a greater knowledge and was seeking God earnestly. Because Abraham loved to seek God, Abraham has the distinction of being the only person in the Old Testament whom the Lord calls "my friend" , or more literally, "my beloved friend." This is a divine compliment paid to Abraham.
The word 'friend' comes form the Old English word 'freogan' which means "to love, to favor," The word also derives from the Germanic word 'frijojanan' which means "to love"
I recently recieved an email from a friend which ended his email with the word Namaste. I wasn't familiar with the word so I looked it up.
Namaste is a gesture that represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another.
To perform Namaste, you place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. You bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart.
Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of pride. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.
Namaste is a symbol of gratitude and respect and thereby allowing the truth to flow—the truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.
"Thy friends do stand by thee,
and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
"Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world. And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you."
Here we read in a 1831 revelation given to Joseph Smith that there are MANY false Spirits abroad on the earth that go forth and deceive. Not only are there false spirits deceiving, but Joseph Smith states.. and also Satan. It is a one, two punch. False Spirits.. and also Satan.
During this period of time of the restoration, much light was being restored, we read that a so-called spiritual phenomena was not uncommon among the members, some of whom claimed to be receiving visions and revelations. When greater light is given, greater darkness and disception also occurs. You release forces in opposition to light and truth. They have to be balanced. It is an eternal principle. There is day and night, there is health and sickness, there is pleasure and pain... there is truth and there is deception.
Many false spirits will claim to be a light to others. They are seeking to teach others a form of the truth, but in the end, it is their agenda, promoting their own glory, and or their own will. Those who attempt to distract, and to deceive, and mislead, want you to indulge and keep nothing in the bounds that the Lord had prescribed but to seek for excess in things.
The difficulty with any addition to understanding is always in sorting out what is true and right, figuring out what ought to be kept.. vs. what is false, incomplete or misleading, and should be discarded. It is also important to have the right source when drawing light, for there remain many false spirits in the world.
We know that there will be false prophets in the last days.. but with that, there also must be true prophets as well. So while there are false spirits abroad on the earth, there must also be true ones which will always point you to Christ.
That being said, just like a boxer in a ring, to avoid being knocked out... hold your hands high, elbows low, and move your head.
In an article in the USATODAY. it was reported that there is a public-health emergency in the greater Salt Lake City area. A friend of mine who lives out of state sent me the below newspaper article.
Below is todays current AQI (Air Quality Index) report on the air quality nationwide. The colors show how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be of a concern. Green areas=Good Air. Yellow Areas= Moderate Air Quality. RED= Hazardous Air. http://airnow.gov/
You can see that the greater Salt Lake City is the only place in the country lit up in the RED color... which is coded for UNHEALTHY AIR. With this warning, the report says that everyone may begin to experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Pollution is the presence in the environment of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects. Physical pollutions are easy to see, and to monitor. However, probably even more deadly then physical pollutions are spiritual pollutions. The prophet Moroni, who saw us in these the Latter-Days, went to great lengths to testify and warn us of our situation.. our awful situation.
"and your churches, yea, even every one,
have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts...
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker,
why have ye polluted the holy church of God?
Moroni is asking us a question. "Why have ye polluted the holy church of God?"
Do we know which church is the holy church of God?
Is that us?
Is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
If not, then what other church is it?
Do we not testify that we are the ONLY true church, the holy church of God?
Just in case we still don't think Moroni is referring to us, he states, ALL THE CHURCHES.. yea EVEN EVERY ONE have become polluted. No exceptions. Moroni is lamenting at our awful state. Could the pollutions found in the physical air in the Greater Salt Lake City be symbolic of the pollutions in the holy church of God?
We have become polluted.
We have introduced into our environment things that are harmful and have ill effects both physically and spiritually.
Here is the Salt Lake Temple in 1899.
Here is the area around the Salt Lake Temple (seen in the background)
after 5,000,000,000.00 billions of dollars went to "beautify" the area around Temple Square.
I testify that Moroni saw our day and that his words are true.
I add my words.. "O ye pollutions, why do you sell that which will canker."
I wanted to share a few lines from Nibleys' "One Eternal Round: The Hermetic Vision", a chapter in the book, Temple and Cosmos.
(In case you are like me and had to look up the word 'Hermetic', here is a definition: It is a set of beliefs and practices whose aim is the influencing of the world through contact with the heavenly forces.)
Nibley startes out the essay with defining the word 'atonement' and what it really means. He says:
It is a bringing together of God and man.
Those humans, spirits, or angels, who are "at one" with God
are naturally at one with each other
and with all his creatures.
Nibley goes on to say,
"In each dispensation the world went bad while the prophets united in futile protest, as in the days of Samuel, Hezekiah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. In the powerful phrase of Ether, "the prophets mourned and withdrew from among the people" (Ether 11:13). The prophets always tended to form societies of their own for mutual comfort and security, for they usually appear in numbers in time of crisis: "And in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent" (1 Nephi 1:4).
They were not well received. When not preaching it was their custom to keep a low profile, or simply to depart from the scene ..., a pattern we find repeated over and over again in the Book of Mormon. The holy outcasts would form with their followers a community of saints, a church, waiting and working for Zion. Zion itself is a model of such a retreat from the world: "And from thence went forth the saying, ZION IS FLED" (Moses 7:69).
In their retreat the righteous refugees take particular pains to preserve the sacred records—we think of Moses, of John, of Ether, of Moroni, etc., preserving, studying, and editing the sacred writings by special command. Without that protective care, the malice and envy of the wicked or the carelessness of the stupid would soon distort and mock the holy books. The righteous recluse—sometimes appointed by God to survival, escaping the persecution, wars, and natural disasters—is a standard fixture of history: "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).
It is award season right now where the world gives praise and awards are given ( ie.. Golden Globes, Oscars etc) Who would have thought that not only are there awards for entertainment and media, but also for malls?
It was reported today in the Deseret News that our LDS Church Mall was named the best mall in not only in America... but in the Americas (Canada, US,and South America).
"Opened in March, City Creek is the centerpiece of Salt Lake City's mixed-use downtown redevelopment project, undertaken privately by City Creek Reserve Inc. — a real estate arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “City Creek Center is a world-class experience in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City," said general manager Linda Wardell. "People have recognized this, and downtown Salt Lake City is more vibrant than ever."
One commenter on the article stated this: "City Creek is an outstanding achievement. We are all very fortunate to have a downtown shopping development of this magnitude. Many thanks to the Mormon Church for bringing this project to our city. Thank you Mormon Church!"
Maybe I am alone.. but I find all of this to be quite troublesome. What causes me even greater concern is how we choose to market and advertise our LDS Mall. Here are a few photos that I took along the freeway of the new billboards advertising City Creek. In the first billboard shown, the advertisement uses the word: "Enchants" to describe City Creek. A synomym for the word "enchant" is "beguile". That word sounds familiar.
"Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people,
and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor".
"Let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness" "and lift a warning voice unto the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by flight that desolation shall come upon the wicked."
Doctrine and Covenants 88: 81. 38:41, and 63:37.
Testify of what?
Warn people of what?
What does a warning voice in mildness and in meekness sound like?
What is the desolation that will come?
Who are the wicked?
Below is a trailer for the movie, "The Impossible". I think it is very symbolic on many levels. We see a family enjoying a vacation as if all is well, and yet, like a thief in the night...their reality of their aweful situation blindsides them.
The title of the movie, "Impossible" is interesting. If you take the word IMPOSSIBLE, and add an apostophe between the first two letters which is I'M (Note: an apostrophe looks likes the Hebrew letter, yod. This small letter looks like an arm or a hand reaching down from heaven)..
the word IMPOSSIBLE now reads I'M POSSIBLE.
Yes, Babylon fell. History repeats itself. Babylon will fall again. We, today, are at a worse situation than even ancient Babylon was then – but think these things are not possible because of our pride. What is coming is so sad and it did not have to be this way. But people have made their choices.
"However, The battle we are all called upon to fight is not external. Some people spend their time stirring people up to alarm them about carnal security. They are trying to sell something. There are fortunes being made by proponents of fear. But the audience for such things are only being distracted from a much greater, more immediate battle. Until the internal condition of the individual has been conquered and brought into alignment with heaven, there is no amount of political, social, economic or military security which will matter in the long run.
I think it more advisable to seek for and listen to the Lord, and secondarily those teachers who will convert you to the Lord; rather than any other advice or movement advocated by those promoting causes. Teachers ought to point to Him. Not to themselves. No one but the Lord is coming to rescue you; and no group will be able to overcome error apart from Him. Ultimately the battle we each face is the Lord's. We must cooperate with Him for Him to be able to win it. When He does, however, the victory is ours for we are the ones who He redeems.
The path back to the Lord's presence is an individual one. It is not likely to be accomplished while in an audience. There is no "support group" needed. It is you. What goes on inside you. What you love most. He will one day associate with a group in a city; but that group will be comprised of individuals who have previously met Him."
excerpt from a blogpost written almost exactly one year ago to the day. LINK
Sidenote: I really liked this excerpt from a Letter written by Joseph Smith:
Dear Brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation:
"Let the elders be exceedingly careful about unnecessarily disturbing and harrowing up the feelings of the people. Remember, that your business is, to preach the gospel in all humility and meekness, and warn sinners to repent and come to Christ. Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Remember that “it is a day of warning, and not a day of many words.” If they receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering, to cast no reflections, nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do your duty, it will be just as well with you, as though all men embraced the gospel."
Joseph Smith Letter to Brethren Abroad, December 1833 LINK
We preach of Zion, but continue to march deeper and deeper towards Babylon.
This was the first year that across the country, Thanksgiving Day turned into a day of Shopping. Instead of Black Friday.. we now have Grey Thursday. Employees of the big department stores had to work, since the store opened for the first time for thousands and thousands of shoppers to buy gifts for Christmas right after having Thanksgiving Dinner..
I didn't write about this sooner, but I felt I still needed to post something about this. I am sure there is a huge range of opinions out there on Santa Claus. Sure he is a good-intentioned symbol of love and giving. But I have come to the conclusion that he is probably one of the biggest deceptions in this world that we tell our children. We go to great lengths to do all we can to make our children believe in Santa.( leaving behind crumbs of cookies that are left out, making reindeer tracks in the snow, etc etc) I think more effort goes into teaching our children that Santa is real than we do in teaching our children that Jesus Christ is real.
It has almost been a year since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints held the red ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of their multi-billion dollar mall. On that day, the First Presidency and Presidency Bishopric along with the Utah's Governor and other high officials exclaimed, "Let's Go Shopping!".
How fitting then to build at almost the exact spot of the ribbon ceremony, a 30-foot-tall "Santa workshop" as the location for Santa Claus to welcome the children to sit on his lap. (See below middle). It was advertised in the news that Santa would magically appear on the rooftops of City Creek Center on November 15 before joining the crowds near his "Lantern cottage " where he will visit with families through December 24, 2012. (See below video).
Here is the video of Santa Claus's grand arrival to the LDS Shopping Center at City Creek.
Addendum: For those who are deaf, a "Sign Language" Santa was available at City Creek Nov. 29 from 2-6 p.m., so deaf children can visit with Santa. Also if you wanted to take pictures with Santa with your pets you could come on December 6, from 6-9 PM. Also, to make these convenient so you didn't have to stand in line, you could register at the check-in booth and then receive a text message when it was your turn. All of this information was from the City Creek Center website.
I would like to write more about this, but I think I will leave it at that for now.