The Parable of the Redemption of Zion (D&C 101: 43-62): a Series of FUTURE (not Past) Events


My text for this post is D&C 101: 43-62, which is a parable.  OWIW recently attempted to interpret it, followed by zo-ma-rah.  I thought I’d give it a try, too.  The following is what I noticed from the text of the parable itself.  I haven’t done any deep, scholarly studies, so much of it may be totally off.  Perhaps with more study, my views may change.  These are just some quick impressions I had as I read over it today.  It is not so much a scriptural exposition, as it is scriptural musings.  I also haven’t confirmed anything with the Spirit.  So, nothing to see here, just keep moving!  😉  Okay, I think that is enough of a disclaimer.  Here we go…

Parable of the Redemption of Zion

And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.

Nobleman

A certain nobleman

This Nobleman is obviously Jesus Christ.

Nobleman has a very choice spot of land

had a spot of land, very choice;

Where is the very choice spot of land? Applying the parable to the cosmos (plasma theology), it could be interpreted as being Earth. Applying the parable to the Earth (earthly things), it could be interpreted as being North and South America.

Nobleman speaks to servants

and he said unto his servants:

These servants start out obedient and end up disobedient (apostatizing), eventually abandoning the Nobleman’s land (dying?). The servants are not prophets, seers or revelators. They are priests. They possess authority to act in the name of the Nobleman, but cannot see afar off (they have no vision, or are not seers or prophets). All they can do is counsel among themselves and when faced with a question about why the Nobleman commands this or that, they can’t get answers (they have no revelation, meaning they are not revelators). Nevertheless, they are authorized servants of the Nobleman (priesthood holders).

Nobleman commands servants to go to his vineyard

Go ye unto my vineyard,

Where is the vineyard? On the cosmic scale, the vineyard could be the solar system, with the choice land being the Earth. Speaking of earthly things, the vineyard could be the entire planet, with the American Continent (North and South) being the choice land. At any rate, the servants must go to the vineyard, meaning that they were originally not in the vineyard. So, this may indicate that the servants are in heaven and are being told to go to Earth to begin their earthly probation and missions.

Nobleman commands servants to go to very choice piece of land

even upon this very choice piece of land,

Here we have a very choice piece of land. This is likely the same land as the very choice spot of land. Again, the servants must go to it, so they originally were not in the choice spot. So, again, this may mean that they are to be born on the American Continent/planet Earth.

Nobleman commands servants to plant twelve olive-trees

and plant twelve olive-trees;

According to Joseph Smith, the twelve olive trees are twelve stakes of Zion.  (See Twelve Olive Trees.)

Nobleman commands servants to set watchmen around trees

and set watchmen round about them,

The watchmen are not servants, but men hired by the servants to watch (see). These are prophets, seers and revelators. It is their job to see what is coming (the future) from afar off and to warn (prophesy to) the people of what they see (seership) and learn (revelation). The servants are to set (apart) the watchmen (prophets, seers, revelators) around the olive-trees (stakes).

Nobleman commands servants to build a tower

and build a tower,

This tower is not a temple, but is an observatory, as in an astronomical observatory. It may be set upon a temple or set alone, but its purpose is to be able to see afar off.

so that a watchman upon the tower can see the land around the very choice piece of land

that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower,

In an earthly sense, the “land round about” the choice piece of land is the land round about North and South America. In a plasma theological sense, it is the “land” round about the Earth, meaning the planets and stars, comets, meteors, etc. The one watchman to be placed upon the tower is, again, not a servant, but a prophet, seer and revelator. In a plasma theological sense, he is to be an astronomer, just as Abraham was an astronomer, looking at the skies for any sign that the enemy is approaching.

so that “the enemy” (plural) doesn’t destroy the trees when they come (as prophesied)

that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil

The enemy is a plurality of “baddies” and their purpose is to spoil the fruit of the vineyard. This part of the parable is a prophecy that: “the enemy shall come to spoil.” If they come and there is no watchmen (prophets, seers, revelators), no tower (astronomical observatory) and no watchman upon the tower (astronomer), the olive-trees (stakes) will be broken down.

so that they (the enemy) don’t take the fruit of the Nobleman’s vineyard

and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

“Themselves” indicates that the enemy is a plurality. This can be a plurality of astronomical objects whose close encounters with Earth will cause destruction. Or, speaking of earthly enemies, it could be a plurality of earthly enemies (mankind) who will attempt to plunder and rob and glut upon the fruit of the vineyard (Earth). Although most commentators would ascribe these elements to earthly things, plasma theology explains the imagery perfectly.

What is a vineyard composed of? Vines of grapes. And how are grapes arranged? In clusters, the grapes themselves being round spheres. If you look at the solar system, with its round planets orbiting a round sun, all of which are suspended, it kind of looks like a bunch of grapes. Add the invisible Birkland currents or power lines connecting all the planets, and we’d see the “branches” the grapes (planets) hang on.

The enemy is coming into the vineyard, meaning that the enemy is outside the vineyard, or outside the solar system. When they (the enemy) come in, their purpose is to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of the vineyard. The fruit are the planets in this solar system, the grapes. A large object coming in from outside the solar system can capture planets (“take upon themselves”) or spoil planets (plunder, rob, destroy, harm).

The main concern is not for the fruit of the vineyard, which will be spoiled and taken upon the enemy, but for the olive-trees which are found on the choice spot of land (Earth). The Nobleman does not want these trees broken down when these enemies enter the solar system, hence these commandments.

If the tower is an astronomical tower, looking to the heavens for these enemies that are to enter the solar system and disturb the planets, this parable makes perfect sense. However, if we interpret it as a tower that is to be used to look at the land round about North and South America for mortal enemies, it doesn’t make sense. A tower can only see so far around it and no size tower can see the land masses around North and South America (Europe and other continents and islands.) However, an astronomical tower can see outer space, the planets, stars, sun, comets, etc. In other words, using a tower in this manner, it is possible to see extremely great distances.

If the vineyard is thought in earthly terms to be Earth, the imagery of the fruit of the vineyard is lost. What is the fruit of the Earth? The parable here is not talking of the fruit of the olive-trees (which would be olives), but the fruit of the vineyard. The olive-trees are located in the choice spot of land, which itself is located in the vineyard.

Anyway I look at it, my mind can only see this fitting astronomically.

Nobleman’s servants are obedient

Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them,

Here the servants (priests) go to Earth/North or South America (are born?) and start obeying the instructions.

Nobleman’s servants plant twelve olive-trees

and planted the olive-trees,

They plant 12 stakes of Zion.

Nobleman’s servants build a hedge around trees

and built a hedge round about,

If we take this literally, then the servant-priests build a barrier of defense (or a wall) around the 12 stakes. When was the last time you heard of a stake of Zion having a wall around it? These 12 stakes sound more like cities of Zion with city walls built around. This follows the pattern of Jerusalem and other ancient cities which also had walls built around them.

Nobleman’s servants set watchmen upon the hedge

and set watchmen,

The watchmen are prophets, seers and revelators. They are set (set apart) by the servants (who hold priesthood) upon the hedge (barrier or wall) surrounding the olive-trees (stakes/cities of Zion).

Nobleman’s servants begin to build a tower

and began to build a tower.

Now the servants begin to build the astronomical tower. So, far so good. They have been perfectly obedient servant-priests.

Nobleman’s servants ask each other questions while laying the foundation of the tower

And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves:

The foundation of the tower (not the foundation of a temple) has not yet been fully laid when they start to ask themselves questions concerning all these instructions given by the Nobleman. Notice that they do not inquire of the Nobleman, but merely talk to each other in councils.

Nobleman’s servants ask each other why the Nobleman needs the tower

And what need hath my lord of this tower?

The servant-priests do not understand the purpose of the tower. They think it has as its purpose protection from mortal man and not an astronomical tower looking at the heavens.

Nobleman’s servants hold council for a long time

And consulted for a long time,

The servant-priests are not able to figure out the answer to their question. So they consult with each other in church priesthood councils as to what this tower is for. Perhaps they even consult with the “best minds” that they can find outside of their priesthood quorums.

Nobleman’s servants ask each other questions

saying among themselves:

They have lots of church councils in which they talk to each other, but they never talk to the Nobleman. They just talk among themselves.

Nobleman’s servants ask each other why the Nobleman needs the tower during this time of peace

What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?

Again, the only conclusion they can come to is that the tower is for a defense against some man-made enemy, but as they live during a time of peace, to them (and to the others they have consulted with), the construction endeavor seems like an enormous waste of the Nobleman’s money.

Nobleman’s servants ask each other if the Nobleman’s money could be given to the bankers

Might not this money be given to the exchangers?

Gee, I wonder who gave them that idea? Could it be the “best minds” that they had consulted? Could it be that those “best minds” whom they consulted consisted of exchangers (bankers)? Surely by giving the Nobleman’s money to the bankers and investors, the Nobleman’s money will be multiplied exponentially, making the Nobleman’s very happy.

This is a seemingly noble goal. Unfortunately, the Nobleman doesn’t care about making more money. His instructions were to use his money in construction endeavors so that the twelve olive-trees (stakes) would be saved from destruction when the destroyer comes. In other words, the servant-priests were commissioned by the Nobleman to spend money on specific construction projects he had authorized, not to make money with the Nobleman’s money and fund other, unauthorized projects.

Nobleman’s servants conclude there is no need for tower, hedge and watchmen

For there is no need of these things.

The servant-priests conclude their long church councils over the question of whether to proceed and conclude that based upon the present conditions among men (the great peace in the land), it would be wasteful to use the Nobleman’s money per his instructions and build a useless tower.

Nobleman’s servants have disagreements

And while they were at variance one with another

The servant-priests, though, are not united on the conclusion and disagreements ensue.

Nobleman’s servants slow down their work to a crawl

they became very slothful,

Instead of altogether stopping the work of building the tower, they slow the work of construction to a near stand-still. In their view, they will still complete the tower, but it will take many, many years and over time eventually the tower will be finished.

Nobleman’s servants disobey Nobleman and stop working on the tower and paying watchmen

and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.

Finally, they stop the work altogether and change the plans of how the Nobleman’s money is to be used. They stop paying the watchmen on the walls and relieve them of their duties (no more prophets, seers and revelators) and no longer work to build a tower. The money is diverted to other purposes, such as giving it to the exchangers. Satisfied that they have made the wise decision, the servant-priests go to sleep.

The enemy comes at night while the Nobleman’s servants are asleep

And the enemy came by night,

Unfortunately, during the nighttime, while the servant-priests are asleep, the enemy enters the vineyard (solar system).

The enemy breaks down the hedge (which has no watchmen upon it)

and broke down the hedge;

The enemy wreaks havoc among the vineyard but also in the very choice spot of land where the twelve olive-trees (stake/cities) are located. The passage through the solar system (vineyard) of the enemy causes the hedge (barrier/fence/wall) that surrounds the twelve olive-trees (stake/cities) to be broken down, exposing the olive-trees to the fury of the enemy.

Nobleman’s servants awake, are frightened and flee

and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled;

In this commotion, the servant-priests wake up and, seeing the hedge in shambles and the destructive fury of nature’s elements upon the stake/cities, mortal fear comes upon them and they run away, abandoning the olive-trees (stakes).

Notice there is no mention of the watchmen upon the hedge. This is because there were no watchmen upon the hedge when the enemy comes.

The enemy destroys the work of the Nobleman’s servants

and the enemy destroyed their works,

The enemy’s fury destroys the works of the servant-priests. This refers to the money of the Nobleman that the servant-priests diverted to other projects, unauthorized projects. These projects, these extra works of the servant-priests are destroyed by the enemy’s fury. These are the works of men (the servant-priests), not the works of the Nobleman which he commanded the servant-priests to do in his name and with his money.

The enemy breaks down the olive-trees

and broke down the olive-trees.

The fury of the enemy also breaks down the olive-trees (stakes/cities of Zion), leaving the land desolate.

Nobleman calls to his disobedient servants and speaks to them

Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them,

Where did the disobedient servant-priests flee to? Did they just leave the olive-trees and go to another part of the choice land? If so, perhaps they are still alive. Did they leave the very choice spot of land (North and South America/Earth)? If they left the choice land and we interpret that as the American Continent, perhaps they are still alive in Europe or other continents. If they left the choice land and we interpret that as Earth, then they are dead, having left the Earth, or their mortal probation. In that case, when the Nobleman calls upon them, he is calling upon them in the spirit world and talking to them while they are disembodied spirits, having disobeyed his instructions.

Nobleman asks disobedient servants how the enemy was able to do this

Why! what is the cause of this great evil?

The Nobleman chastises them by asking them what caused this destruction. Was it the enemy that caused this destruction, or was it the disobedience of the servant-priests?

Nobleman chastises disobedient servants for not building the tower

Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also,

They did everything correctly, but they failed to build the astronomical tower.

(Also notice that the vineyard/solar system is only considered “planted” when olive-trees are planted/present.)

for not setting a watchman upon the tower

and set a watchman upon the tower,

They failed to set (apart) an astronomer-seer upon that astronomical observatory tower.

for not watching

and watched for my vineyard,

They didn’t watch for the vineyard (solar system). Their eyes were on the Earth, not on the heavens (planets, stars, etc.) They were focused on the conditions among men on Earth and not on the conditions found in the heavens, as was their commission.

and for falling asleep

and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?

Lastly, they even fell asleep. Instead of continuing to pay the watchmen (prophets, seers, revelators) to be set (apart) on the hedge, they stopped paying them and let them go (released them). So, they had no more prophets, seers and revelators among them. The only ones available to watch upon the hedge, then, were the servant-priests, but even in this they were lacking, because they chose, instead, to just go asleep, leaving no one upon the hedge. This makes sense because there is no need for watchmen upon the hedge, as the entire land is at peace (they thinking only of the conditions among men).

Nobleman explains to disobedient servants that the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was still far away

And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off;

Here the Nobleman explains that had they placed a watchmen on the tower, the celestial enemy would have been seen entering the solar system (for the signs in the heavens, among the planets, would have been noticed), giving them plenty of heads up.

Nobleman explains to disobedient servants that the servants could have prepared for the enemy

and then ye could have made ready

Once the celestial signs were noticed, they could have made preparations to protect everything owned by the Nobleman.

Nobleman explains to disobedient servants that servants could have stopped the enemy from destroying the hedge

and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof,

They could have then used their priesthood power and authority to stop the enemy from breaking down the hedge (wall/barrier/fence) that surrounded the twelve olive-trees (stakes/cities of Zion).

Nobleman explains to disobedient servants that servants could have saved the vineyard from the destroyer

and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

In fact, they could have then used their priesthood power and authority to save the entire vineyard (solar system) from the effects of the destroyer.

Nobleman speaks to his servant Joseph Smith, Jun.

And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants:

Now the Nobleman turns to an altogether different servant-priest, who is also a spirit in the spirit world, even Joseph Smith, Jun. (See D&C 103: 21.)

Notice that Joseph was not among the first group of disobedient servant-priests. This is the very first mention of him.

Nobleman commands Joseph to gather together all the scattered servants who still serve the Nobleman

Go and gather together the residue of my servants,

Joseph is to go back to Earth and gather all of the servant-priests of the Nobleman who were not disobedient. This is the residue of the servant-priests that didn’t run away (die).

Nobleman commands Joseph to take all the young and middle aged servants among all the faithful servants

and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house,

From among all the gathered faithful servant-priests, Joseph is instructed to take all the strong warriors, consisting of the young men and the middle aged men. (There is no mention of old men. Apparently the Nobleman wants no more to do with old men. Or, whatever old men of the gathered, faithful servant-priests are present, are to remain behind.)

leaving only those of young and middle age whom the Nobleman designates are to remain with the gathered body of faithful servants

save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;

Some of the young and middle aged men are to stay with the gathered servant-priests who are not going with Joseph (the old men).

and commands Joseph and young and middle aged servant army to go immediately to the vineyard

and go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard,

Joseph is to take this army of young and middle aged servant-priests and go to the land of the vineyard, meaning the very choice spot of land (Earth/North and South America). This priesthood army may consist of both returned-from-the-dead individuals (such as Joseph), translated individuals, as well as mortal servant-priests.

and redeem it

and redeem my vineyard;

The priesthood army is to liberate the vineyard (solar system), which is held captive by the enemy (celestial objects which have entered the solar system, capturing planets, etc.) They are the only ones who can perform such works, as it is beyond the technology of mankind. They will be able to do these marvels by using the power of the priesthood.

because it has been bought with money

for it is mine; I have bought it with money.

The Nobleman owns this solar system, so it is within his right to take it back from the usurpers who entered and spoiled it (foreign celestial objects.)

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to go immediately to Nobleman’s land

Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land;

The Nobleman again commands Joseph to immediately go to the very choice piece of land.

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to break down enemy walls

break down the walls of mine enemies;

Now Joseph receives specific instructions on how he is going to liberate (redeem) the vineyard (solar system) from the enemy. Apparently, the enemy (now written in plural form, “enemies”) has “walls” in the solar system. In other words, when looking up to the heaven, there will be plasma phenomena that, to the human eye, looks like walls. These walls must be broken down by the power of the priesthood.

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to throw down enemy tower

throw down their tower,

Apparently, the entrance of the enemy into the solar system will create a stacked plasma phenomenon which, to the human eye, will look like a tower. This tower must be thrown down by the power of the priesthood.

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to scatter enemy watchmen

and scatter their watchmen.

Again, to the human eye, gazing into the heavens, there will be either plasma phenomena, or physical objects, which appear to be watchmen, or things watching and protecting the enemy, guarding them, etc. These “watchmen” celestial objects must be scattered by the power of the priesthood.

Enemy to gather against Joseph and servant army

And inasmuch as they gather together against you,

Some of these celestial objects will be gathered together, creating dangerous plasma manifestations to the detriment of Joseph and his priesthood army.

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to avenge Nobleman of all enemies gathered against them

avenge me of mine enemies,

When this happens, Joseph and army is to use the priesthood against the objects.

so that immediately afterward (by and by) the Nobleman himself can lead the rest of his people to the land and possess it

that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.

Soon (or immediately) afterward (which is what the term “by and by” means), the Nobleman will come with whatever is left of his house (saints, servants, prophets, tribes) and take possession of the very choice piece of land (North and South America/Earth).

Joseph asks the Nobleman when these prophecies will be fulfilled

And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?

Nobleman tells Joseph it will be in his own due time

And he said unto his servant: When I will;

Nobleman commands Joseph and servant army to immediately go and obey his commandments

go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you;

Nobleman seals and blesses his servant Joseph

and this shall be my seal and blessing upon you—a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.

Joseph goes immediately and obeys all of the Nobleman’s commandments

And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him;

After many days all the prophecies are fulfilled

and after many days all things were fulfilled.

Conclusion

The parable appears to have a dual fulfillment. It seems to me to be based, principally, upon plasma theology, dealing with things happening in the heavens. I’ve interpreted the servants, watchmen, earthly tower, etc., as all earthly elements of the parable, but even these may be celestial objects, for all I know. At any rate, what happens in the heavens also happens on Earth, so we may see an earthly counterpart and my interpretation of the servants, etc., as earthly men may be valid.

I will give it as my personal opinion that this parable has not, yet, been fulfilled in any part. I know that many think that the tower is talking of the temple and city of Zion in Missouri and I know that some believe the tower is the temple in Nauvoo, but none of these historical events fit perfectly into the parable, as I understand it. So, based upon this brief examination, I’d have to say that the fulfillment of the parable, every part of it, is still a future event.

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From Babylon to Zion, The road ahead


I want to introduce to you a concept that applies to Zion and Babylon today.

When I was younger I read a science fiction story about how an advanced group of aliens had constructed a building which could not be destroyed, you couldn’t even mar the surface of the walls. The earth people finally figured out the surface of the building had been placed in a different dimension so it could never be touched by drills, lasers, explosives etc. Fascinating but impossible you say. But as you will see it is possible.

The current teachings of the LDS church regarding Zion, Babylon and the gathering to Zion is readily available on the LDS website. Just navigate to “Search Gospel Library” and type in Zion, Babylon or gathering and the following concepts will come up.

We hear this in church, “Brothers and sister I would like us to consider and ask ourselves What is Zion?” How many times have we heard a question like that and then we’re given the answer, “Yes that’s right, Zion is the pure in heart.” We are taught the righteous people of the church constitute Zion. We are taught that Zion is here among us today. We are told, “Please note: Zion is people; Zion is the Saints of God; Zion is those who have been baptized; Zion is those who received the Holy Ghost; Zion is those who keep the commandments; Zion is the righteous; or in other words, as our revelation recites, “This is Zion—the pure in heart.” (D&C 97:21.) (Bruce R. McConkie Liahona Sep. 1977)

One key facet about Zion is the gathering to it. Without a gathering there is no Zion. In the LDS church we are told that the gathering to Zion is two fold spiritual and physical. That it is a spiritual gathering when people join the LDS church. And the physical gathering is when they gather to the stakes and districts of the church. And we are told,
“The physical gathering of Israel will not be complete until the second coming of the Savior (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37). Then the Lord’s promise will be fulfilled.” (Gospel Principles Chapter 42)

The problem is the question “What is Zion?” is messed up and messes with our minds. It presupposes something which is not true. It is like saying have you stopped beating your wife? It supposes that Zion is, that it exists today. But Zion does not exist upon the earth today. The real answer to “What is Zion?” is that “Zion is not!”

Now regarding Babylon we are being taught “Babylon the symbol of decadent societies and spiritual bondage” and “Of course, there is no particular city today which personifies Babylon. We see Babylon in our cities; we see Babylon in our communities; we see Babylon everywhere.” and this “Babylon, a city that really did exist historically, is also a symbol.” And I must add this incredible (literally) quote, “We have to create Zion in the midst of Babylon.”

So we are being taught and have been taught for many years that Zion is among us; that it exists as a spiritual entity and its physical portion is the LDS church. We are taught it is flourishing. Babylon we are taught is a spiritual entity. We see it all around us, yet it is not a physical city or nation today.

LDS scholars (and other bible scholars) have identified 6 Babylonian kingdoms of the past. We know from scriptures that there will be a total of 8 Babylonian kingdoms. The ancient prophets adopted the term Babylon to refer to each of these kingdoms even though in the past there was actually a Babylonian kingdom in Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Rome etc. Yet the learned men of latter-day “Zion” don’t seem to believe Satan has a physical kingdom now days.

But this is all wrong.

By viewing Zion and Babylon in this way something horrible has happened. Since Zion does not exist by believing it does exist we have no need to seek to bring it about, it is already here. It is like a man being told he is free, that what he is experiencing is freedom. But if in fact he is in bondage then the false idea that he is free will prevent him from seeking freedom.

And if we believe that Babylon is a spiritual entity we will never identify the physical Babylon nor see the chains that this physical entity has on us.

You see it is possible to place things in another dimension. Zion which is only spiritual today has been placed as physical thus preventing the need to establish it. Today’s Babylon which actually is physical has been placed in the spiritual realm thus protecting it from detection. This allows Babylon to carry on Satan’s work and there is none to molest or make afraid.

Can we identify today’s Babylon?

Yes we can. It is real and real close. All Babylonian kingdoms have significant traits in common, traits which must be present for Satan to accomplish his designs. All the Babylonian empires were the super powers of their day. If another nation were more powerful Satan could not control the people in that nation. In their prime no other nation could overpower the Babylonian empires of the past.

All Babylonian empires of the past used their military might to enforce their will on other nations. They each had a constant large standing army in order to carry out this objective. They didn’t need to always destroy a nation so long as they could control it.
Rome was very notable and successful in this regard. The nation Jesus was born into was still a nation, but its head of government was controlled by Rome.

What government in our day has these traits? Which government is the super power today? Which government goes around removing the leaders of a nation and replacing them with one of their own liking and then leaves a large contingent of soldiers just like ancient Rome. Which government has a more powerful military than any other? Which mighty gentile nation cannot be overpowered by any other nation? Which government operates Under Satan’s Authority (hint-hint)?

Today’s USA is the physical Babylon of our day. It is weak in comparison to past Babylonian kingdoms. This was prophesied by John the revelator and Daniel. It must garner UN and public opinion support which its media creates to move forward the policies Satan desires in our world today. But it is presently and has been for years the most powerful military in the world. If you know about the world wide secret combinations Moroni tells us about then you know they have their headquarters in New York City. They are the power behind the government pushing forward the plan of their founder Satan.

Don’t bother accusing me of being a conspiracy theorist, I am not. Moroni testified a secret combination which seeks the overthrow of liberty of all people (so it is worldwide) will exist among us (Ether 8). I happen to know what is written in the Book of Mormon is fact not theory. Hence I do not believe a theory. I know a fact.

So the USA is Babylon 7. But there will be another Babylon number 8. I know that most of you living in the USA believe she will never be overpowered and brought into captivity by another nation. We are told that in Ether 2:12 aren’t we?

Uh,…no we are not. The Lord’s decree regarding this land choice above all others is in Ether 2 8-10:

8 And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.
9 And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.
10 For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.
11 And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

Would you like to count the number of times the words “swept off” are used in those verses? Verse 12 says that if the people of USA do not serve Jesus Christ they will be swept off. I do not believe the people of the USA are serving Jesus Christ. In fact I would have to say I know they are not. Hence I know they will be swept off. Jesus prophesied this in 3 Nephi 21.

This is what I believe the LDS are not mentally or spiritually prepared for. When they see the US fall and none of the supposed divine protection in sight they will stop waiting on the Lord. They will think it is all a farce.

It will certainly be at complete odds with the words of their leaders. Here is what we have been taught:

“Our Article of Faith says that “We believe … in the restoration of the Ten Tribes.” This is in the future. It will occur when the Lord brings again Zion, according to the promises. Our Article of Faith says “the Zion (the new Jerusalem) will be built upon this [the American] continent.” This also is future and will occur after the Lord’s people have gained strength and influence and power in all the nations whither he hath scattered them. (Bruce R. McConkie Liahona Sep. 1977)

So according to this Zion will be established when the LDS get so strong in the nations and have influence to…to…to do what? In D&C 45 verses 67 to 75 the Lord explains Zion will be a nation unto herself and the wicked will not be able to go up against it. Do we think that the members of the church will get so strong and influential that they will be allowed to build a separate government within the borders of the USA? This is what we have been taught.

What and where will Zion be?

Zion will be a physical place. It will be a place of gathering for believers in Christ from all over the world. It will be a place of refuge where we do not have to bow to Babylon’s laws and are safe from Satan’s enslavement by unrighteous decrees. It will be its own nation and have its own laws. This last fact alone should tell us that Zion does not now exist upon the earth.

Now regarding the real Zion Jesus said in D&C 58: 1

“ 1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.
2 Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.”

And regarding the gathering He said in D&C 101: 20:

“20 And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints”

I wonder which of the brethren has the responsibility to explain to Jesus Christ the change in policy? I’m glad it isn’t me. But I will have to explain to Him why I believed a Sunday school teacher or manual or even the words of an apostle if they were in direct conflict with His own voice as recorded in the D&C and the Book of Mormon.

And as we consider the notion that this gathering and building of physical Zion will happen when Jesus comes, or in other words after or at the same time of His second coming please take these words of Christ in to account. Jesus said in D&C 49: 24-25:

24 But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.
25 Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed.

I do not buy for a second that “flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains” refers to the church being in Utah because the next phrase, “assembled together unto the place which I have appointed” refers to Jackson County, MO and no place else.

Now since Zion will be established and flourishing before the Lord comes and it is a place where Jesus will personally come then there must be a cleansing first just as in the Book of Mormon. Which is to say that the cleansing will come first to the USA and the American continents and it will spread like a fire to the rest of the world. Most people read what is in Revelations and think the destruction of the wicked will come as the Lord appears. Not so it will start years before hand. And it will start in earnest upon the hypocrites within the LDS church in the USA. (D&C 112:24-26)

Brigham Young said before Zion would be built up the land of western Missouri would be left desolate of all it inhabitants. I would not be surprised if Babylon 8 uses a few nukes placed in the heartland, in the fly over country of the US so as not to mess with the boss’s house in NYC or the delightful things they love on the west coast (Hollywood, Bohemian grove etc).

All it would take is a few nukes right around KC, Missouri and everyone would stay away for years. Because very few people realize that after 2 weeks fallout is not a problem. I think Satan will love to push the people to his death camps and so no one would think to go back to Jackson County area. But what a perfect cover for the gathering to begin. So even though you may hear there is nothing but death and disease there, if you hear some one claiming to be Joseph Smith is leading others to go there, think twice before you dismiss it out of hand.

The destruction of Babylon 7 is spoken of in Isaiah 10. Verses 1 to 6 talk about the destruction of the USA by Babylon 8. Then verses 7 to 19 talk about the King of Assyria or Babylon 8 who is an axe in the Lord’s hands to destroy the mighty gentile nation. This is why Jesus talking to Lehi’s seed says He will destroy the gentile nation.

Then verses 20 to 27 the Lord speaks comfort unto the remnant who are escaped of the house of Jacob. The Lord says:

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

As you read the words of Jesus in 3 Nephi chapters 16 to 22 you will see these concepts stated by the Lord. And by applying what has been written here you can understand the words better.

In Revelations it is said that Babylon the 8th will rule only for 3 ½ years. This seems to be exactly what the lord is talking about when he says that He hides His face for a very little while in this and other scriptures.

What happens during the 3 1/2 years is the beginning of the actual gathering and establishing of Zion. After that Babylon the 8th tries to destroy Zion. But this battle will be fought by the power of God. Guess who wins.

I am not going to take any more of your time right now. But if you think about these principles:
That Zion does not exist, that there is only one gathering place which will not change
That the people of the LDS will become so corrupt that there will a great cleansing
That the gathering to Zion will not begin till after the USA government ceases to exist
That the USA will be invaded by Babylon 8 and they will rule for only 3 ½ years
That during this reign Zion will begin to be established
That Babylon 8 will then attack Zion and the power of God will fight the battle
Then the meek of the earth will gather to Zion and what is said in D&C 45:67-75 will then be fulfilled

Now what can you do? I suggest you read about the things here in LDS Anarchist blog and start seeing how you need to be free of every thing beneath the Celestial world. God only should be your lawgiver. Set up your tribe. Prepare them to understand that they need to get free of Babylon and flee Babylon. God has always had His people prosper rapidly by living from the abundance of the land. Produce you grow is non taxable. The land brings forth 60 to 100 fold. Even if everything you plant is destroyed, your experience and knowledge of how to prosper from the land can not be destroyed.

If nothing else just knowing what is coming can direct you to ask God the right questions.

The Garment


The following post has an updated version, “The Garment, with additions

Any member who has received initiation into the kingdom of God has been authorized to wear the garment of the holy priesthood — called “Garments” by most members.  My wife’s family, my ecclesiastical leaders, and my temple’s presidency spent a decent amount of time preparing me for receiving the garment.  These garments play an important role in the identity of Latter-day Saints.

What I was told:

  • Garments should be kept completely white in color.  No stains, etc.
  • Garments should not be left on the floor before or after doing laundry.
  • Garments should be laundered separate from other clothing.
  • Garments should not show under the other clothing you wear.
  • Garments should only be removed for absolutely necessary reasons, e.g. showering and having sexual relations with spouse, and should be put back on as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Garments must be touching your skin, i.e. no panties or bras under the Garments for women [my wife was told by a temple matron that during menstruation, the pad should be applied directly to the Garments instead of using panties].
  • Garments offer physical protection from injuries such as burns.

What the ceremony says: [Note, I was initiated post-2005]

  • The officiator is under proper authority
  • The garment is now authorized
  • The garment is to be worn throughout life.
  • The garment represents what was given to Adam/Eve when found naked in the garden.
  • The garment is called the garment of the holy priesthood.
  • Inasmuch as the garment is not defiled — meaning the wearer is true and faithful to the covenants — it will be a shield and a protection against the power of the destroyer until the earthly probation is finished.

What I see as divergent:

Where is the physical color of white stated as important?  My stake president put a lot of emphasis on laundering our garments — inspecting and destroying an pair that become discolored.  Is the focus on the outward color a manifestation of dogmatism and focusing on the outward [clothing, behavior, etc.] in general?  Why focus on getting the garment physically soiled as a manifestation of “defiling” it — instead of on turning away from the covenants?

Why should we worry so much about covering our coverings?  I mostly mourn for women in this regard.  Both in my ward and online [here, here, and here], I have found that most women fret constantly about whether or not their clothing is covering their garments or whether to wear panties/bras under or over the garment.  Shopping is difficult for them, etc.  If the garment is intended to be our covering — then why care so much about covering the covering?

When worn, the garment will cover your nakedness.  We have previously discussed how this is only secondary — meaning the covering of nakedness is not the express purpose of the garment.  If this is the case, then why be so concerned with constantly wearing the garment?  That the garment covers nakedness does not imply that we should always cover it.  And, of course, there are the stories of members who believe in having intercourse will keeping the garment on — however, this may be an urban legend because I have never direct a direct anecdote from someone who does this [maybe someone here has].  Further, the garment is a shield and a protection inasmuch as it is not defiled — not inasmuch as you keep it on your body.

What I still wonder:

How does being instructed to wear the garment throughout one’s life relate to the truths learned from the Body Modesty post?

How problematic are the changes to the initiatory ordinance as it relates to nudity.  Mainly I wonder — when are we sprinkling?  I plan on redoing the washing, anointing, and clothing in the garment for my wife and me under tribal authority because I fear what the Church (TM) has done by succumbing to pressure to appease feelings of body modesty in members.

Next Article by Justin:  The World I See

Previous Article by Justin:  Connecting with Pixels

See also:  Body Modesty is not a principle of the gospel

Connecting with Pixels


By way of full disclosure, I volunteered to write this post because I have personal experience with the topic.  I’ve viewed online pornographic movies both before and since I joined the church.  I felt no guilt associated with viewing it before joining the church (which was also before I was married), but when I began to view it after joining (which was also after I had been married), I desired to repent and have since studied the topic to better understand it.

Pornography:

When I use “pornography” in this post, I will be referring to video or photographs of adults engaging in sexual relations.  Currently, there are more than 300 million pages of pornographic material on the internet, an increase of 1800% over the last five years.  More than 70% of American men, ages 18 – 34, visit a pornographic website in a typical month.  Further, in 2006, the pornography industry netted just short of $100 billion – more revenue than that of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, and Netflix combined.  The state that contributes the most to those profits – Utah.

The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Porneia is rendered “fornication” all 26 times it is used in the New Testament.  It is from the word used to designate the temple prostitutes the Gentiles used for fertility worship.

Dehumanizing:

The popularity of pornography relies on dehumanizing the subject, which is typically a woman.  The characters in pornography are not depicted as children of God with intellects and personalities – but as a collection of anatomical features that can be used to induce a physiological response.  Ask a man who watches pornography if he would want his wife or daughter to be in videos like the ones he watches – and 68.2689492137% will say, “No.”  (Note:  this figure was edited from 100% per comments below)  They want somebody else’s wife or daughter.  They prefer to do unto others’ daughters what they would not want done to their own.

The sexual climax is intended to be the sequel of the unification of two real persons.  The fact that the pleasure associated with the discharge can be produced in solitude demonstrates that the feelings are designed to conclude the sexual act – and are not a part of the unifying aspect of sex.  This is what I find most troubling about pornography use.  The release that ends sexual unification is designed to bind a person to the other person he or she is having relations with.  What are pornography users binding themselves to – a computer screen, pixels?  Humans are meant to make real connections with real people.

Hiding:

Recent discussion indicates that Satan introduced the concept of shame for nudity.  It is the same with sexuality.  Satan either covers up sexuality, teaching that it is too private to discuss openly, or he teaches only the physical biology of it, leaving out the spiritual connection that takes place.  He motivates sinners to hide from God and from others.  On the other hand, God sees all things, and thus He motivates sinners to be open, in full-fellowship and intimacy with Him and with others.

Sites like FightTheNewDrug promote addressing pornography by letting it into the light to be seen for what it really is – much like the “Truth” ads did for changing the discussion on cigarette smoking.  Having progressed, we can now look back on old cigarette ads as a deceptive venture to make an unhealthy practice popular for the sake of making money.  FightTheNewDrug focuses on addressing pornography by reducing demand – not supply.  When something is banned – rather by states, religions, etc. – without addressing the underlying motivations, the behavior is just pushed underground, becoming darker in the process.  When people learn that, for example, the reason for pornography actors shave their pubic hair is to make them look more like large children – people can choose to turn away from such perversions.  Instead of demonizing sexual expression or victimizing “porn addicts”, the rhetoric should focus on re-humanizing the people involved with pornography and re-emphasizing the sexiness of humans connecting with humans.

Intimacy is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden.  Before he found them, they were naked and were not ashamed.  Adam was fully exposed to Eve – and Eve to Adam.  This is the light that pornography should be seen in.  Humans are not meant to experience sexuality in front of computer screens, alone, feeling cycles of shame and guilt.

Confessing:

Boyd Packer told members during the most recent General Conference that:

The priesthood holds consummate power. It can protect you from the plague of pornography—and it is a plague—if you are succumbing to its influence. If one is obedient, the priesthood can show how to break a habit and even erase an addiction. Holders of the priesthood have that authority and should employ it to combat evil influences.

I think the evidence on this site should make it clear that you do not have to do anything with your bishop if you have viewed pornography.  A person that has viewed pornography has most likely committed adultery in his heart – if he were married, then confession to a spouse would be warranted.  But whether or not a person chooses to talk to his or her bishop is a personal decision – and it should be made in light of what will be the most helpful to the person.  When confession to a bishop is not expedient – as it would be in cases of unrepentant sin brought to the authorities by witnesses – then confession should be treated only as a tool to help the person.  One should weigh the risk of opening up grounds for a witch-hunt from an unprepared or unrighteous priesthood leader with the comfort that being completely open with a trusted and capable bishop can bring.  For example, I spoke with my bishop in the past when I had fell into a habit of viewing pornography – because I knew him to be a man of integrity and Godly love.  I received no formal or informal disciplines.  It was hard to speak openly about it with my wife, and I used my time with him to get many things off my chest.  I, unlike Packer, would not recommend confession to a bishop to everyone.  Many bishops are unprepared for dealing with such a nuanced situation and have been conditioned to use extreme measures with pornography because of inflated rhetoric about the subject.  So tread carefully.

Moving on:

I don’t mean to say porn can’t be a problem for some people.  However, it is more often the symptom of a different problem – e.g. poor socialization by parents on sexuality, unaddressed childhood abuse, an addictive personality, or feelings of insecurity.  The visual depiction of a man and women engaging in sexual relations is not, in and of itself, sinful – not any more than shopping is, or spending too much time on the computer.  The current state of pornography is a complicated issue and calling it evil or a plague doesn’t help anybody.  All you do is demonize something that, unless you have some dependence on it, isn’t bad for you.  Proclaiming some moral absolute on a mental health issue is just harmful to those involved.

We should take comfort in the fact that, for our generation, pornography is largely a problem of technology.  Just 30 years ago, to obtain pornography, a man would don a trench coat and sunglasses and go to the back of a dimly lit store to secretly purchase a VHS tape, hoping no one would see him walking back to his car – then he’d have to keep the tapes hidden at home, hoping kids or spouse didn’t find them.  However, today, I can type in a URL in the privacy of my home or office, instantly steam hours of free videos, and then delete my browsing history.  That’s it.  The reason this is a good thing for anyone who finds themselves habitually viewing pornography – if technology is the reason it is so available to you, then use technology to make it less available.  Effective webfilters are as readily available as free porn sites.  Humans should choose to connect with people — not pixels.

Next Article by Justin:  The Garment

Previous Article by Justin:  Tribal Relationships

Inculcating Anarchy


I am of the opinion that the greatest potential for change in our society comes first through the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ and second by how we raise children. Marianne Williamson, a spiritual activist, has said, “There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.”  The Lord has revealed that “the wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the traditions of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth” (D&C 93:39-40). With such a command, the issue of child rearing in light and truth is of highest importance. We must dispel and drive out any tradition that will take away light and truth from our children thus enabling them to reach higher than we can.

I hope for a better world. In my opinion a better world is one of harmony, peace, love, equality, freedom, truth and faith. Any action we take contrary to that better world can instill that negative action into a child’s nature.  The idea of a child being a sponge, soaking up all the information of the world around her, causes me to account for all my beliefs and values. Damage done to a child in their formative years is nearly ineradicable. Conversely, good and true principles and virtues established in their life from the day these children are conceived has the power and capacity to bring up children more fully in light and truth.

Ever since my son was conceived my wife and I have sought to minimize the impact of the traditions of men on him. We’ve had to critically look at the practices with which we were raised and compare those against others, guided by the Holy Spirit and using our best judgment when presented with scientific research and advice from other parents. I’ve come to the conclusion that Western methods of raising a child have been greatly influenced by the devil.

Anarchist Education

Considering the multiplicity of directions we could take this discussion, I wish to focus on anarchy in education. First off, I do not consider anarchism to be some nonsensical gimmick that I encourage or with which I affiliate myself for the sake of non-conformity. Though I am attracted to bohemian lifestyles, I truly believe that anarchism is the social order of a perfect society. This is a romantic notion but one worthy of study and active integration where possible.

One definition or explanation of anarchism that I like is that of being master of your own destiny.  It makes no sense to endorse an ideology devoid of unjustified rule, explicitly devoted to personal freedom in the grandest sense, and not give that very freedom to children from the beginning of their lives. As adults we are capable of exerting force upon children, either physically or psychologically, and satan would have us exploit that power. We must cast satan out of our midst and trust in the divine nature with which we have all been blessed by our great Creator.

I’ve mentioned this in at least three blog posts I’ve done in the last year (one of which can be found on my personal blog here) but I believe God has given us at least three important attributes that will bring us to Him if we allow them to develop:

1) Curiosity. This is what brings an infant to crawling, walking, talking, drawing, whatever in spite of the fact that it requires work and necessitates a move toward independence. If we were not curious, why would we ever want to do those things? Everything is done for us before we begin learning those things. I submit that humans naturally are curious.

2) Goodness. I do not believe that we enter this world desiring to sin. I think we are susceptible to sin but not inherently endowed with sinful tendencies. I believe people unfettered by the chains of the adversary will innately gravitate toward justice, peace, love, and kindness.

3) Aspiration. People want to become better and greater than they currently are. Children want to become effective adults. They observe adults carefully and closely and seek to emulate what they consider effective adulthood. Adults find models that they can look up to. The obvious hope is that we all look to the happiest being we know of, God our Father, and seek after Him.

I don’t think I will find much protest with those who frequent this blog in saying that I reject public education and the modern school system. But I also reject any attempt at indoctrination of children. Indeed one of the fundamental aspects of anarchism is the ability to critically examine anything with which we are presented. I therefore reject curriculum of any sort thrown upon a child. One critical aspect of casting satan out of our midst is to reject all forms of coercion or compulsion. Telling people what to learn or think is force. The doctrine of agency disallows anything that is forced.

So how can we teach our children? This issue is never one-sided. You can yak all day to me about anything you want but if I don’t decide to listen and learn, it’s just wasted breath. Freedom of choice is crucial to development, which is why it was so strongly guarded and fought for in heaven. Power and influence can only be had by persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge, without hypocrisy or guile (D&C 121:41-42). Those are the same principles upon which our Father teaches His children.

Do we trust our divine nature? Do we trust that we have, through extensive examination and spiritual guidance, arrived at the conclusions we have, making it possible for us to persuade another? God trusts Himself. Therefore he knows His doctrine is well founded and He needn’t resort to force to convince others to follow Him. If we are attempting to force others to do this or that, we must think that the subject is not self-justifying. Therefore no one should pursue it. Is our knowledge pure? Do people seek the knowledge we have without being tricked into it? If not, perhaps it is not knowledge worth having.

I hope I have portrayed this idea well enough to generate conversation. I am always willing to admit my logic may be flawed or faulty.

Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

Between a man and a woman

To start with, let’s make it clear that the words “marry” and “marriage” in this verse referred only to marriage between a man and a woman. This revelation was given in March/May 1831 and there was no concept of same-sex marriage back then, only marriage between the sexes.

Who forbids to marry?

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

Parents – Sometimes parents forbid to marry. If a young man or woman is underage, permission from the parents is needed in order for them to marry (with a valid state marriage license). In the high school I attended, there was a very pretty 16 year old girl in one of my classes who was legally married. She received permission from her parents and loved showing people her wedding ring. All the boys in the class (including myself) were kind of bummed that she was now off-limits. It was a strange situation because we all thought that parents normally would not give permission to one so young. She never had a teen pregnancy or anything. She just fell in love and wanted to get married and her folks said, “Okay.” But that doesn’t always happen.

The State – The State is the major perpetrator of forbidding to marry, with all the marriage laws and prohibitions on the books. For example, the State forbids a man from taking a second wife while his first wife is still alive. It also forbids a woman from doing the same thing. It introduces a monetary price on marriage, so that everyone must pay for the permission to get married. It places age restrictions on marriage, as well as health restrictions. Those who don’t meet the qualifications, can’t get married. In other words, they can’t get a marriage license. Additionally, it has cohabitation laws on many of the books so that anyone who tries to marry without a valid state marriage license and then live together can still be prosecuted and thrown into jail, effectively discouraging anyone who wishes to skirt around the State monopoly on marriage authorization.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Church is another major perpetrator of forbidding to marry. Although it has no power to stop anyone from getting married, by preaching a valid state marriage license requirement to its congregation, it supports the State’s restrictions and monopoly on marriage. Also, by excommunicating those who marry more than one living spouse (with or without a valid state marriage license, but most often without a license), it sets up its own restrictions with attendant judgments placed upon those who marry.

These three institutions, then, are not ordained of God when they forbid to marry.

But I must add one more:

A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.

Everything that is in the world is valid in the eyes of God…for a limited time

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132: 7, 13.)

What this means is that God recognizes “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” that are made among men “both as well for time and for all eternity,” regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them, “whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be,” as perfectly valid and binding only until “men are dead,” at which point such “contracts…have an end.” This applies only to contracts, oaths, etc., that are not made by the Lord or by His word.

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is accompanied by a covenant between a man and a woman (the marriage vows), therefore, it comes under the above conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. There are three types of marriage covenants covered by the conditions of this law.

Marriage covenant #1: “not by me nor by my word,” for time only

Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132: 15.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’till death do they part.” The marriage is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #2: “not by me or by my word,” for time and all eternity

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132: 18.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’for time and all eternity.” The covenant is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132: 44; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. (Moro. 8: 17.)

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Doctrine of Christ


My intent in writing this is that you and I may be enabled to correctly and completely act upon the doctrine of Christ. So that we may be redeemed from the fall and brought back into the presence of Jesus Christ just as the brother of Jared was. I am sure this must be done upon the same principles that it was for him. And I am sure this is Christ’s desire in giving us His doctrine.

The doctrine of Christ is as follows:

repent and believe in me [Christ].

That’s it. A whole universe of salvation just passed by your mind in 4 words. Repent, believe in Christ. Did you miss it? It is just two simple directives found in 3rd Nephi 11:32.
I think we all miss it and get it at the same time. I am sure Jesus intended it that way. We get part of it, the part we are ready for, based upon our present spiritual state. The rest is unknown to us.

I believe our stumbling block is caused by being children of Babylon. All of us have been raised in a society filled from the inside out with the false traditions of Babylon. Our minds and hearts are layered with these false ideas and beliefs. We have been fed upon them since birth. Being born and raised in a really good LDS home doesn’t prevent this from happening.

As Joseph Smith lamented in D&C 123 “that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion, and has been growing stronger and stronger, and is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.”

The introduction of the restored gospel of Christ cannot free us from these false traditions (ideas and beliefs) when we rely upon Babylon for our information source. Public school is nothing more than years of party propaganda perpetrated by the Satanic forces which now operate all earthly governments. In Alma’s day teachers were ordained of God not the government. And we then pass some of these teaching into our belief system (the philosophies of men,… mingled with scripture).

Don’t beat yourself or your parents up for not teaching you better. But do recognize that from our birth there is a stumbling block placed upon our ability to comprehend and therefore act correctly upon the doctrine of Christ. We are going to have trouble with correctly understanding the meaning behind the words “repent” and “believe”. We should be okay with the word “in” but we are going to be truly handicapped in comprehending that “me” which refers to Jesus Christ. It might help a little to define these terms in a way which is not steeped in false ideas. I know this alone will not enable us to fully implement the doctrine of Christ in our lives. But I believe it is an important step.

So number 1) What does repent mean? It means to change your mind and heart. That is all. But we attach to repentance emotions of, “I am evil and bad. God is mad at me. Jesus doesn’t like me, well at least He doesn’t accept me.” These type of ideas come from Satan’s false religion. They are damaging to our ability to follow Christ’s directive.
Sin simply means that which doesn’t work or is not real.

I have read many near death experiences where the person reports that while in the presence of Christ they felt complete acceptance. That although all of their personal actions we displayed and they felt bad about some of them He never had a negative reaction to any of them. Then they say they could see exactly why they did everything they did. They could see the exact reason for every horrible act and it changed their feelings from one of shame to complete compassion and forgiveness or rather that it was never a sin in the first place since they were only acting according to the knowledge they had at the time.

So let’s repent of thinking “repent” means guilt and badness and accept it as a request to find and eliminate things in our hearts and minds and habits which did not come from Christ. And let us add things which do come from Him because all good comes from Christ.

Now number 2) “Believe in me”. I think to believe should be pretty straight forward. To trust that what Jesus says is true and accurate. Also to trust that He has already paid the price of all your sins and you have no need to fear that He is not willing to forgive you. In this I believe the “saved by gracers” have it right. The phrase “work out your salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord” does not refer to working hard to obtain forgiveness. That is really rude to Jesus to accuse Him of being slow to forgive. But more important than being rude (see there I go again saying ‘bad boy, bad boy!’) it messes up our view of the Father and the Son preventing us from receiving what they are so anxious to freely and instantly give.

The phrase “working out our salvation” should be applied to discovering the truth and eliminating the bad which is a completely guilt free enterprise. If I seem to be trying to avoid anyone feeling guilty it is because guilt is Satan’s tool not God’s. God sent Jesus to remove guilt by the atonement. He did. It is done. To believe in Him is to accept that fact.

I believe our lack of knowledge of the nature of Jesus and His thoughts and feeling towards us individually is our greatest stumbling block in acting upon His doctrine.

But the people in 3rd Nephi 11 seemed to have no problem getting it. Why? Because they had just had revealed to them the very being of Christ. In those near death experiences I read each of them speak of a being from who emanates an incomprehensible love and acceptance. Some of them knew Him as Christ others did not. But they all were overwhelmed with the complete love and acceptance of this being. I believe anyone in the presence of Christ has this knowledge fill their being and they comprehend how ready and willing He is to be their redeemer then and there right on the spot. And armed with this understanding they boldly approach Him and ask for what they need.

The people in the land Bountiful had the advantage of seeing and being in His presence even touching Him. So they knew personally and deeply the meaning of “me”.

Now having spent time on the terms I will say that alone is not enough. We children of Babylon still need something to enable us to live the doctrine of Christ. What is it? Let me explain and relate an experience that helped me learn a profound truth which must be applied in order to comprehend and live the doctrine of Christ.

My dad had a temper. He would get mad and yell at us kids and often spank us in anger.
I grew up with that anger and had it in myself also. At age 18 I was aware of it and hated having it. I wanted it to be out of my life. I was aware enough that I spoke plainly about it to my mother at the time. My parents were active LDS members when I was born. We always attended church and believed in the teachings of Christ. I had a strong witness of God and the Book of Mormon when I was 16 to 17. But I still had this anger problem. I tried for the next 22 years to overcome this negative facet of my being. I wasn’t as bad as my dad but my wife and children still suffered as well as myself.

Then after 22 years of suffering and trying without much success I suddenly overcame my anger weakness in a matter of a couple of weeks. My wife and children marveled how I had changed so completely and so rapidly. What happened?

Well since about age 18 I have been a hard worker. I have always had a good mental capacity and can see, very rapidly, how things work. Everyone who knows me says I am very smart and have a great memory. I have been willing to put in a lot of effort to accomplish the things I want.

So is that why I overcame my anger? No on the contrary, I just mentioned those qualities since I believe relying on them is what prevented me from ridding myself of the problem for 22 years.

My anger problem went away because in desperation I admitted that I was powerless to overcome it and that only Jesus could remove it. I said, “I can’t do it. I can’t overcome it.” I never spoke truer words. I begged for Him to do it. And He did.

We cannot of our own power live the doctrine of Christ. We must rely wholly upon the merits of Him who is mighty to save. What we can and must do is desire it and recognize that it can only come as a gift from God. So with this desire and understanding we will beg Him for the gift to know that He is a God of truth and cannot lie.

Don’t stop and say, “Well once I overcome this sin I will be worthy to really ask Him and receive it.” That is Satan’s lie. If you have a sin to overcome (and who doesn’t) that is one of the things you should ask for as a gift to overcome. I realized as a teenager, the very power to repent was itself a gift from God (don’t ask me why I keep forgetting this fact). You don’t have the power and you never will have the power to overcome transgression or sin. Jesus and Jesus alone is our redeemer from sin and death. No one else has that power in the whole of this creation and certainly not ourselves. The power to live the doctrine of Christ as well as all the rest of the gifts of the Spirit can only come as a gift. Thinking we need to condition ourselves first is a red herring that will actually prevent us from receiving the gift.

Now in summary let us look at what happened to the brother of Jared.

Ether 3:11-13
11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

Again, if we want to have faith as the brother of Jared let us ask it as a gift from God recognizing it is not from our merits but from the merits and gift of Christ. And while we are at it I believe we should act upon the words of the post – The seeds of the powers of godliness in this same way. We should with this same attitude ask for and covet earnestly the best gifts of the Spirit. We won’t obtain them any other way. We could spend the rest of our lives trying, or rather we could waste the rest of our lives trying another way.

Now for those of us who still need convincing that Jesus Christ really is that loving, that giving and that ready to bless us with truly great gifts let me relate part of a near death experience which is available here .

Before his near-death experience, Rev. Howard Storm, a Professor of Art at Northern Kentucky University, was not a very pleasant man. He was an avowed atheist and was hostile to every form of religion and those who practiced it. He often would use rage to control everyone around him and he didn’t find joy in anything.

He died in a hospital of stomach ulcers. His wife was sitting in the room when he died. But to his surprise death wasn’t oblivion. His efforts to interact with his wife were fruitless and enraged him. He became aware of dark beings out in a hallway which after further association he described as humans who were stripped of any impulse to do good, inviting him to follow them. He asked where they were going but they would not answer. Since it was the only interaction possible he followed. As they went further and further they began to be rude and cruel to him. Finally he would go no further with them they attacked him and he fought with all his might to prevent them from hurting him. He said there were hundreds and hundreds of them.

“My attempts to fight back only provoked greater merriment. They began to physically humiliate me in the most degrading ways. As I continued to fight on and on, I was aware that they weren’t in any hurry to win. They were playing with me just as a cat plays with a mouse. Every new assault brought howls of cacophony. Then at some point, they began to tear off pieces of my flesh. To my horror I realized I was being taken apart and eaten alive, slowly, so that their entertainment would last as long as possible.”

Finally he was powerless and literally torn in pieces. Lying there, helpless he was told by a voice within pray to God. He didn’t know how. But it repeated to him Pray to God. After the third time the voice told him he began to say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want … God bless America” and anything else that seemed to have a religious connotation. This made the dark beings crazy with anger and they said anything possible to get him to stop. He did not stop and soon they all left.

But he was alone. And in his own words:

I had no strength; it was all gone. It seemed as if I were sort of fading out, that any effort on my part would expend the last energy I had. My conscious sense was that I was perishing, or just sinking into the darkness. I knew then that this was the absolute end of my existence, and it was more horrible than anything I could possibly have imagined.
Then a most unusual thing happened. I heard very clearly, once again in my own voice, something that I had learned in nursery Sunday School. It was the little song, “Jesus loves me, yes I know …” and it kept repeating. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I wanted to believe that. Not having anything left, I wanted to cling to that thought. And I, inside, screamed, “Jesus, please save me.”
That thought was screamed with every ounce of strength and feeling left in me.
When I did that, I saw, off in the darkness somewhere, the tiniest little star. Not knowing what it was, I presumed it must be a comet or a meteor, because it was moving rapidly. Then I realized it was coming toward me. It was getting very bright, rapidly.
When the light came near, its radiance spilled over me, and I just rose up – not with my effort – I just lifted up. Then I saw – and I saw this very plainly – I saw all my wounds, all my tears, all my brokenness, melt away. And I became whole in this radiance.
What I did was to cry uncontrollably. I was crying, not out of sadness, but because I was feeling things that I had never felt before in my life.

We could add to this example that of Alma the younger, the 300 Lamanites in Helaman chapter 5 who were ready to kill two prophets of God and in the next hour were saved of God. None of these men did anything of merit other than to cry out in the depths of their souls, “Jesus save me” and they were saved. None of them had any thought that they could do anything of themselves. It was true for them and it is true for us.

They changed their way of thinking and believed in Christ.
And this is my doctrine,…repent and believe in me.

Let us repent of not believing and in believing ask.