…and I’m a Mormon


Maggie asked me:

“I believe in a similar fashion and lately I have been unable to call myself a Mormon because of it.  Is one a “true” Mormon if they do not take everything in the rigid literal?  I started to feel I couldn’t be much like I can’t call myself a vegetarian if I eat meat.  But now I’m not so sure.  Isn’t this what Mormonism is at its core, its base?”

I’ve also read similar sentiments – e.g.

“I [have x-y-z different opinion on this-or-that facet of Mormonism, yet still identify in some degree as “Mormon”].  As a result, when I speak to others [and] I say, “I am a Mormon.”  Am I being deceptive if I don’t reveal what that phrase means to me upfront?

This represents my ~4500 word response to that.

The religious experience of the gospel of Jesus Christ — at its core, its base — is the subjective and transcendent experience of God:

I was once told in conversation that:

“Mormons just don’t drink alcohol – that is the least that is expected of them.”

And I thought – really, that’s the least that’s being LDS means – abstaining from alcoholic drinks?  I’m sure if we are talking about LDS youth, then that person would probably say that the “least” is something related to body modesty or not having sex.  But again – that’s our least?

For a religion proclaiming Jesus Christ – the “least” ought to be pretty straightforward.  Jesus called people to consider themselves the servants of all – and act accordingly.  Having the same mind in you that was in Him:  who did empty himself and take the form of a servant [Philippians 2:5-8].  That’s it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is fluid.  It’s meant to be lived by every human who’s ever lived on the whole earth.  As such, it is flexible, adaptable to the variety of conditions that exist among people.  What makes nature so beautiful and awe-inspiring is its diversity.  Even though nature follows certain patterns, it is ever-new and always creating – never boring or monotonous.  [see, Going from Concrete to Flowers]

However, a “hardened” religious tradition cannot tolerate subjectivity and diversity.  So, when one’s mind is informed by such a belief system, God ceases to be the experience of the Supreme Being – and becomes instead This-Thing who sits Up-There in the sky ruling over nature and who must be related to according to in That-Way [see, Making an Image out of God].

The fundamental aspect of the gospel is people having a transcendent experience of God – one that experiences God as a continuous happening that we are all a part of.  It’s that experience of Joy that all our myths, stories, and rituals are telling about and pointing to – so that we may come to that same place where we too relate to God with an I-Thou relationship framed in terms of family and covenant [see, Taking our Myths Literally].

That relative experience is expressed outwardly in a material sense in various ways:

Now – the gospel does manifest itself outwardly as a physical space-and-time institution according to the doctrine of expediency.  Suiting itself to the conditions found among the people at that time and place [see, There are no “higher” or “lower” laws; there are only expedient laws and D&C 46:15].

But the base-layer, the common experience is always about coming to relate to the Power of the created universe in terms that break-down the left-brain sense of separateness and open-up the right-brain sense of complete continuousness and connectivity.

There may be behavioral or moral implications of a covenant with God – but it is not the jurisdiction of the gospel to lay down specific “hither thou shalt come and no further” fence-posts for human behavior that have a universal application across space-and-time.

So, within Mormonism, there is a wide range of possibility for diversity in belief and practice that can be characterized by having different people fill in the following blanks:

  • A Mormon is known for at least always ___________.
  • A Mormon is known for at least never ____________.

We should not be ashamed to display a bit of a bell-curve variability with respect to what a Mormon looks like, especially considering the subjective morality and the generally ambiguous nature of the standard works [see, Methods of Scriptural Interpretation].

But institutions patterned after the doctrines and commandments of men [such as corporations] generally dislike such variation — seeking instead to streamline and control naturally variable situations.  So, in Mormonism we see things like correlation, the CHI, etc.  But that’s a different matter entirely.

Specific manifestations of a common subjective experience express natural diversity:

The point is – [to go back to Maggie’s vegetarian who eats meat example] is there nuance within vegetarianism?  Certainly.

Is it animal meat only?  What about organs, or fish, or mollusks, or crustaceans, or dairy, or eggs – or is it all animal products altogether?  Is it only about the eating, or is it also about using them too?  Or is it really about a protest against the industrialized rearing conditions of the modern food system?  Or is it about choosing to only eat plants?  I’ve known vegetarians who could go a whole day and not eat a single vegetable – what with soy burgers, breaded tofu nuggets, and pizza.

There’s variation among a community that is informed by a common impulse – i.e. something is wrong with our current way of relating to the Life that we eat.

Fundamentally, all that matters is if you experience the miraculous works of the Father or not:

Being of this-or-that religion, practicing this-or-that model of worship, conforming to this-or-that belief system – none of that gives any indication about whether a person has experienced Jesus or not.  And therefore doesn’t matter.  The only standard for determining that a person is a true believer in Christ is the presence of the miraculous works of the Father, or signs that follow them that believe [D&C 84:64-72], in their life.  Anything else is not a righteous judgment [John 7:24] – but is a judgment based on the outward appearance or the works of men.

Telling me you read the scriptures, participate in the rituals, are active in the church, etc. – tells me nothing about the experiences you’ve had with Jesus.  Those things are just the retelling or reenactment of someone else’s story.  It is all pointless and vain unless it is pursuant to you having the same experience — seeing eye-to-eye with the seers who have laid down those stories before you.  Their stories will not save you.  Reenacting events from their stories as a ritual will not generate Joy in you.  Such things are meant to motivate you to get on the same pathway, to receive a similar connection with God, and to see eye-to-eye with them [see, The role of angels in Nephite preaching and How to receive what you ask for].

I don’t want to hear anything about what system of stories a person believes in their brain to be “true”.  Whether those stories “happened” or not is completely irrelevant to me – because what matters is what “happens”, right now – in you.  I don’t care if you believe in the stories about Adam or Abraham or Moses or Lehi or Joseph Smith having real experiences with the Father – I care if you’ve had them.

The only thing that discerns a good thing from a bad thing is its relationship to the thing that Alma termed the ever-good seed [Alma 32:28]:

the Son of God
that he will come to redeem his people
and that he shall suffer
and die to atone for their sins
and that he shall rise again from the dead
which shall bring to pass the resurrection
that all men shall stand before him
to be judged at the last and judgment day
according to their works.

Anything that persuades you to believe in and plant this ever-good seed into your right-brain-heart is itself a good seed.  While anything that persuades you not to believe and plant this ever-good seed is not a good seed.

Nothing in the gospel is based on the merits and works of men.  Righteous judgment has nothing to do with having mainstream LDS beliefs.  All things are judged to be good or evil with respect to how they measure up to the ever-good seed and whether they point people towards, or away from, it [Moroni 7:13-19].

Everything in the gospel is based on the merits of Christ and whether we harden or soften our hearts in response to the experience of His love.

The presence of miraculous works should be our only concern:

What should characterize LDS and be our over-riding passion is the experience and the celebration of the stories of people who’ve experienced faith as a principle of power, instead of action [see, The seeds of the powers of godliness] – which are the examples of the miraculous works of the Father being manifested.

The scriptures are our collective stories of such events.  But we should be celebrating the experience [nothing more, nothing less] – and with an emphasis on the newest miraculous experiences.  Because a proper celebration of the spiritual works of God invites others to receive the same experiences for themselves – so there would be no need to hold on to the stories of a by-gone generation.  Every country, culture, and local group needs to have their own body of miraculous works of the Father among themselves to celebrate.

It is dangerous to celebrate non-miraculous works [the works of men] and call that “faith.” All it does is encourage drudgery, or the non-miraculous works of men.  There are plenty of people of all religions who sacrifice for their beliefs and religions, but who have no works of the Father in their lives.

I’ve met people who receive multiple visions or prophecies, who’ve spoken in unknown tongues on demand, and who’ve been ministered to by angels.  On the other hand, I’ve also met people who’ve never received a revelation in their entire life.  In either case, every one of those people professed to believe in Jesus and came from different churches and belief systems.  The only substantial difference between the two groups is that the former manifested the works of the Father – while the latter manifested the works of men.

Someone who has denied their Self, experienced the transcendent joy of the Supreme Being, and received Christ will be totally obsessed with Jesus.  And only the truly obsessed have faith – and only those with faith demonstrate the manifestations of the fruits of the Spirit in their life.

Being a “good Mormon” or Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan – or any “faithful” [add-Religion-here] only tells me whether a person adheres to the creeds of their respective belief system.  That says nothing about whether they have faith in Christ or not.

We should only be concerned with having faith in Christ and experiencing the miraculous works of the Father.  Unless one has communed with God, been ministered to by angels, seen visions, received prophecies and revelations, etc. – all incessant talk that professes belief in Christ is just mental masturbation, feeling good but not producing any fruit.

The all-important, saving faith in Jesus Christ that we should be obsessed with is centered in Jesus only

With sufficient faith, a believer can come to know the truth of all things [Moroni 10:5].  But faith in this-or-that true doctrine does not blossom into experiencing the miraculous works of the Father.  If faith is ever transferred from Christ to true things about Christ – then even though what’s spoken may be true, there is no faith there.

Mormons have much truth – but they have essentially transferred all faith to the truths, and thus none of it is on Jesus.

The vast majority of our conversations at church are centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and the temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

In fact – a good test is to ask how much of our religious conversations are devoted to the relative, periphery matters and how much is devoted to the experience of God’s love.  How comfortable are we in talking about this-or-that issue of the day in light of Mormonism – and how comfortable are we talking about our spiritual contacts with Jesus Christ.  With the latter, I’ve found we stumble, are vague, express doubt, and likely just say nothing at all because most people have nothing to say.

Any church not based on the miraculous work of the Father may potentially be a true church, but will be a dead and blind church:

We may have true stories and properly authorized rituals – but they are not enlivened with the Spirit of God because none of them are experienced eye-to-eye as shared experiences.  Our standard for judgment is informed by outward appearances instead of by the light of righteous judgments informed by the fruits of the Spirit. [see, What does the phrase “only true and living church” mean?]

This has made the LDS successful in being exactly like the rest of Christianity.  There may be true doctrines, disciplines, and rituals – but such things have been made into absolutes and pedestalized as ends unto themselves – instead of being the means to an end – which is obtaining the experience of the miraculous works of the Father.

To convert a bona-fide revelatory experience with God into a prescribed system of creeds and approved practices dodges the real issue.  It’s easier to tell ourselves that the important thing is keeping certain rules and believing certain doctrines – instead of turning ourselves over to the transcendent idea that the fundamental nature of Reality [God] reaches into human history to covenant with humans and gather them into a family.

The basic purpose of what we call “the church” is to take unrelated believers in Christ and knit them together by covenant into a single body or family:

When people see a problem with their group worship dynamic – the temptation is always to get together with some like-minded and “do church” more scripturally.  However, this often will just create a slightly smaller, less-controlled replication of the same dynamic they were trying to get away from.

The problem lies in the fundamental way we feel towards God, towards the earth, and towards ourselves.  It is a model based on the underlying concept of separateness [see, Split-Brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man]:

  • God as the male-figure seated on a throne exerting control over nature,
  • relating only to a certain in-group by virtue of their religious behavior towards Him,
  • living as separate islands of skin-encapsulated centers of will that are plopped onto a earth of otherwise disorganized, inherently-flawed stuff.

The very ideas that are informing our relationship with the world and with other people has to change – the pattern or model of a hierarchy of religious rulers and approved ways of thinking is [itself] broken.

Putting different people in power can’t change a problem that exists because there are people in power.  Power must instead be pulled down [Alma 60:36].

You can’t have meetings with an instituted body of the like-minded become “more scriptural” – when the gospel is tribal in nature and meant to be experienced by a group of kin who naturally meets.

One can use religion to serve their Self or to serve God.  If you believe that only your collection of stories is the One, True Way of experiencing God – then you are using it to serve your Self.  This is the hardened or atrophied religare that creates feelings of superiority and maintains a sense of separation and conflict with others.

On the other hand, when in the service of God, a fluid religare is just the stories left behind by men and women who have had miraculous experiences with the governing Power of the universe that direct the community to receiving that experience for their selves, eye-to-eye.

Effectively, what we call the “Great Apostasy” represented a hedge that had been built up around an individual person and the experience of God.  The whole essence of a religious life was reduced to a commodity that needed to be brokered by a male-dominated priestly class.  And the “Restoration” was about taking scattered and disconnected people and gathering them – not by virtue of what they believe in the mind or confess with the mouth – but by covenant into a family.

But instead of having a passion for this tribal notion of a separate people-group bound by covenants, gathered out from their scattered state among the tribes of the earth – leadership patterned after the works of men care more about uniformity of thought than about making actual tribal connections between individuals.

Focusing on these outward appearances [which include prescribing behavioral standards and acceptable doctrines] is a manifestation of the current state of the church being guided by the doctrines and commandments of men.  While the gospel could be said to prescribe a certain approach to human problems and decisions – any ethical component is but a consequence of a person’s genuine relationship with God – not the basis for receiving one.

The mission of the church of God is to be the ministerial support for individual members becoming Kings and Priests, Queens and Priestesses in their own right – to teach them the word of God, explain and offer the covenants of the gospel, and then allow them to organize themselves accordingly as their local circumstances dictate – helping them as they go from an unrelated body of like-minded and knit them together into a bona-fide family.

As long as a part remains in the body – it is the body:

Most LDS speak about and relate to “the church” as this entity that exists outside of them or separate from their selves.  But there is no such thing as a group without the context of the individual people.  You cannot have a body without all the components that make it up all together.  A group is the sum-total of the individual units that make up that group.  The whole is the parts as they are arranged.

Thus, each person is the church.  You are the church – and so long as you remain in the church, your views are representative of what the church believes.  You are Mormonism — as it is lived out or as it is taken literally by you.  The only time that ceases to be true is when you cease to identify as a member of the church.

That’s why I would never advocate someone leaving the church.  The group is [hands-down] always better served if everyone who’s ever left over this-or-that doctrinal/history/etc. issue didn’t leave – but rather stayed and lived out their own story in the community.

By most estimates, there are at least as many, if not more, of them than there are of the toe-the-line, mainstream Mormons.  So, at this point, if they’d all stayed — they could potentially outnumber the rest, and we’d have an entirely different dynamic in the church.

You represent you – and that is representative of what it means to be Mormon – if it happens to be that you are Mormon.

Now, the Church [as it is organized currently as a corporate entity] is something altogether different.  None of us are their representative for what that group is or believes.  For that purpose, the Church has official Church spokesmen.  You can identify them by the corporate logo they wear on their name-tags.  If we all were official representatives of that corporate entity and what it says, then there would be no need to have a group of specially-called official representatives, now would there?

But when people tell me that they no longer find any value in the Mormon experience and want to leave – I get it.  I see in many respects how the church is laden with the doctrines and commandments of men, leader-worship, female repression, etc.  I truly empathize with people who feel disaffected with church because they’ve increasingly found the three-hour Sunday block [and all that comes with active participation] to be more of an obstacle, instead of a vehicle, for them experiencing the Lord.

I get why they don’t speak up to church leaders in an attempt to change things too.  There is no real platform for open and honest discussion among members without getting the:  “Well this is the way that the brethren have approved — so like it or leave it”-rhetoric.  I wouldn’t expect open and honest disclosure from people who feel put-out [even though I admit it would be better if they all did speak-up].

The environment provided by leaders at church leaves them with no voice and no room to have non-mainstream opinions [at least in some open and honest capacity] – so many don’t see how speaking-up matters.  They’ll just be told:

“Look here, if you do not want to subscribe to our form of worship of the Savior, then there are many other Churches to try out until one finds the one that provides that appropriate outlet or none may suffice.”

So they throw-up their hands and leave.  I get that.

Imagine a marriage relationship in which every time the wife brings up a certain issue she has with her husband, he gets defensive, he belittles her and yells, etc. — and nothing ever changes.

Now, the husband is doing that particular behavior one day and the wife has that look that women get when you know something’s wrong — she’s obviously bothered.  So he asks, “Honey, what’s wrong?”  And if you’re married, then you know her answer is, “Nothing.

Now — it’s not nothing, it’s most definitely something.  Why does she say “nothing”?

  • Because she’s a liar who doesn’t care about getting the marital issue resolved.
  • Because of her experience with her husband, she knows that bringing the issue up will only result in a fight and nothing will be resolved.

Are their marital problems her fault because she won’t be forthcoming about what’s wrong when asked?  Or are they his fault because he has failed to provide an environment where his wife feels comfortable talking about her issues in emotional-safety?

The key for me is that the church doesn’t belong to such people.  It belongs to Jesus – and He says you have a place in it:

To make that distinction further – each member was baptized into the church of God, not the Church.  None of us are listed on the corporate charter of that agency, and are therefore not their agent.  The scriptures only describe us as agents “unto ourselves”.  As believers in Christ – we ought to also consider ourselves to be agents “unto Him” – and act accordingly.

But our fundamental allegiance is to Christ and to the word of God – thus there is very little concern for whether this-or-that aspect is considered contrary to “general Church-approved practices”, the “long-standing traditions”, etc.

The assumed state of things in the church is to trust no one until you know them well enough to open-up and share your story with them:

Now, I’ve acknowledged that the leaders do not provide a platform for open and honest discussion among members – and there’s no outlet for the disaffected to express their nuance of opinion or their concerns about certain issues.  As such, church leaders cannot reasonably expect open and honest disclosure from people who are feeling on the outs.

In fact, in my experience, leaders are often witch-hunters [taking the “judge in Israel” thing to the extreme], always looking for someone to judge as unfaithful, apostate, etc.  The only valid reason, in their minds, for “contrary” points-of-view or “unapproved” behavior is worthiness issues.  And so although the scriptural law is innocent until proven guilty – according to my experience, when leaders see dissension, they take a guilty until proven innocent stance.

Which is why I’ve taken Alma’s admonition to “trust no one…” [Mosiah 23:14] to be my marching orders and usually keep my mouth shut.  I’ve seen that those who implicitly trust the leadership [not living Alma’s admonition to “trust no one” unless you know beyond a reasonable doubt that they are men of God], will often say more than is expedient to say and quickly get into trouble.

I’ve been protected by a revelation I received some years ago that the word of the day for me is, “Shhh” — or that it is always best to be silent, to say nothing, to openly answer no questions to church leadership — sticking with “Yea” for yea and “Nay” for nay if I am ever asked.

But whether you choose to remain in the church and identify yourself as “Mormon” has nothing to do with what the approved practices and long-standing policies of the corporation that runs the church:

“Mormon” is a lot like the term “Christian” — it is more about what the person professes to believe.  It is not a term that can be brokered by a particular class of rulers “in charge” of the word.

For example, LDS insist that we are Christian just like everybody else, based on our professed belief in Christ.  Others would claim that our more nuanced understanding of Christ, the Godhead, etc. are beyond the leeway allowed for by orthodoxy.  But since we profess to believe in Christ – we generally call ourselves “Christian”.

Likewise, the Church has a hard time with professed Mormons who practice polygamy – thinking the term “Mormon” belongs to the corporation.  However, polygamist Mormons are Mormons.  The Community of Christ are Mormons.  Everyone has a professed belief in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  We may have more nuanced approaches to certain things [polygamy being the key example], but [like “Christian”] the term is general and correctly identifies all of us [in a general sense].

A person that hears me identify as “Mormon” starts viewing my actions and words as representative of the church.  This is why the Church – as a corporate entity – is big on the members considering themselves walking “advertisements” for the Corporation, carefully monitoring the public image that the members “sell”, etc.

But I am not their spokesperson.  I am not a broker for their religious product.  I am Me.

People do not exist as Platonic Ideas — pure representations of terms or concepts.  Being Me means that I represent the unique symphony that is the arrangement of my Life.  I can’t pour the entirety of Me into your brain all at once.  Each human being is a storytale that has to be shared in order to be known.

We come to know people as we interact with each other.  The “whole truth” doesn’t come by “telling” – but by coming to know the real You through experiencing.  It cannot be shown all at once – but people do come to see it.

So I’d say, “I’m Mormon” is generally not a bad start for me.  Granted, my family does understand certain things differently and holds a bit more of a nuanced opinion on things like what church authority means, what the role of the church with respect to our family is, the priesthood keys and common consent, marriage and family relations, etc.  But those views aren’t applicable to every relationship we have with every other church member — just like my entire set of views on things like politics, diet, marijuana, vaccination, homeschooling, etc. don’t need to be put all out on the table every time I meet someone new.

Should the particulars come up, I don’t hide or obscure them — but I don’t hand them out like business cards either.

We should treat our religious identification like we would any other interpersonal interaction – we start basic and progress towards the more specific/personal as [or if] the relationship goes that way.  To attempt to disclose the whole picture of the entirety of the specific nuances and peculiarities all at once at a first meeting or in casual interactions is both impractical and unhelpful.

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Taking our Myths Literally


Myths are our Stories:

“Myth” is usually contrasted to “true” or “fact”, as in – “Oh, that’s just a myth.”  However, the “mythos” were ancient man’s stories about gods – they were their experiences with the governing powers of human nature, the earth, and the universe.  The myths were only declared “false” when the Christian religion conquered the nations who told the stories – and decreed that their way of relating to the natural world [their gods] were “false”.

They weren’t true-or-false or factual-or-inaccurate – in the way that we currently use those words.  The myths were just a different way for humans to speak about truth and about facts.  They were a metaphorical or poetic way of expressing true and factual things about life.  Myths would not have persisted as an integral piece of human culture if they failed to accord with reality and didn’t accurately describe the world.

Those who formulated the myths were not attempting to lay down historically-sound, verifiable, and literally-true presentations of what actually took place in a physical sense.  They were how people conveyed true facts about human nature and the natural world.  The myths are the poetic story-language by which those who’d had actual experiences with the governing powers of nature and of the universe [God] brought that transcendent experience back to the community.

Myths were how the community explained to its new members how the world in its present form came to be, how a human being ought to relate to the powers of the world, and what is expected of members of the community.

However, while myths may admittedly be stories – we cannot say that they are not true, real, or literal.  What’s missed [when “myth” gets labeled as “not real”] is that the stories were never meant to convey “history” with all the scientific rigor we’ve developed centuries after the stories were first told.  They were meant to convey the story of how this or that person experienced God – in a language that was metaphorical, poetic, or image-based – to bring that experience back for the community at large.

True Stories and False Stories:

All the ancient language gods were the magic gods as well [Mercury, Odin, etc.] because language shapes our whole consciousness and how we put ideas together [how we tell stories] – and that’s magical.  Casting a spell is really nothing more than spelling – or changing reality through the manipulation of symbols, forms, and images.

All such “magic” is drawn from our imaginations – the right-brain-heart [the spring of living waters inside each of us] – which is patterned after the eternal right-brain-imagination of God, from which the universe has been created [by the will of His left-brain-mind].

However, the mind of God is immeasurably greater than our own – which means there isn’t anything that we can think of that He hasn’t already thought of.  So what we do is take things that He’s imagined, represented, and given purpose [creating it by bringing it from His infinite imagination into the sphere of the created universe] – and run these through our right-brains to imagine, create, and give purpose to them anew [in our own life].

Some of the representations of things in play here on earth have a counterpart that will endure beyond death [a true/real image] – and some representations are empty [vain] and carry only an image of reality [a false image].

And that’s the probation [the test] of mortality – to see, when presented with various images, forms, and representations of things – if we will live out the ones that are of an enduring nature [e.g., power by persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, and meekness] and shun the ones that carry only the image, but no reality [e.g., power by compulsory means, coercion, or force].

God desires to inspire people by sending the Holy Spirit into their right-brain-hearts with images for them to create with.  Satan’s desire is that people be inspired with images that lack any enduring reality behind them.  God desires the Holy Spirit to be what’s found in our right-brain-hearts, from which our left-brain-minds draw inspiration from to create things in our world with – instead of us using the doctrines of devils or the commandments of men to create with.

Discerning True Stories from False Stories:

It all starts with someone’s story.  A man or woman experiences a manifestation of God.  By the power of the Holy Ghost:  they have obtained faith unto repentance by having a broken heart and contrite spirit, have wallowed in the fear of being cast-off from God forever, have trembled under a full-on awareness of their own guilt – and what they’ve sown in tears, they’ve reaped in Joy.  Experiencing the complete redemption of their soul from hell and forgiveness of their sins.

This person is now free from the power and captivity of the devil, is free from the separate-Self consciousness that sin causes, has denied their Self and identified with Christ, and has experienced God as a continuous aspect of their own being.

Now this seer [person who has seen] comes back to his or her community with the desire that everyone else experience this same thing.  They no longer perceive separateness among others the way that a mind still ensnared in sin does.  So once free from sin, the seer now fears and trembles for others.  She suffers for the sins of others.  He desires for all others to have the same privilege to be born of God, free from sin.

But it’s an experience, or a happening – it’s like a dance or a song.  To only come back to the community with a “telling” wouldn’t help anyone else see eye-to-eye with them.  They need to be able to sing the Song – so that other people will hear it – and will sing It along with them.

I may be able to break a dance apart into its rhythm, steps, and movements around the floor – I may be able to describe a song in terms of its meter, key, rhythm, tempo, notes, scale, and harmony – but that’s just putting a grid onto something wiggly so it can be perceived and described.  It’s just a “telling”.

The only way to have someone really know the dance or the song – is to dance it or sing it.  Then they’ll know.

Adam knew Eve
and she conceived

[Moses 5:16]

The scriptural euphemism for husbands and wives coming together is “knowing” for this same reason.  Eternal life is to know” God – because unless something is experienced [is known] – then the people will not see eye-to-eye, but will see instead through a glass, darkly.  They will only know about the experience in part, not fully [see 1 Cor. 13:12].

Musical notation [the myths, the story] has its place in telling people about a song – but one should not hand a person a sheet with musical notes on strings of lines when they really desire the Song.

This is what a false priest [not a seer] does.  A false priest simply re-tells the stories of a previous time.  He only administers in the images of an experience with God who was there before he came along — just putting on a show up on his stage every week.

A false priest is handed-down [by tradition] something that was originally experiential and relative — and because he has no first-hand relationship with this story, it get’s turned into something dogmatic and absolute.  He takes someone who was a preacher — and turns them into the preached.  Making a message out of a messenger by pedestalizing those who’ve had genuine experiences and who tried to tell others about it [so they could have it too].

This is why false priesthoods are obsessed with tracing the lines of authority:

Satan
we command you to depart

by what authority?

and

and it came to pass
that on one of those days
as he taught the people in the temple
and preached the gospel
the chief priests and the scribes
came upon him
with the elders
and spake unto him
saying

tell us, by what authority doest thou these things?
or who is he that gave thee this authority?

[Luke 20:1-2]

because their authority has no true basis in the reality of an actual experience – it’s based only on social convention and tradition – having the all the form but denying the reality.

On the other hand, the authority of a true and prophetic seer comes out of that person’s own experience.  He or she has been somewhere that I haven’t and comes to explain it to me.  Now, they may use ritual [right-brain gesture language] or use scripture [left-brain word-based language] to convey this inner experience in an outward form/image for me – but the key to discernment is that the true messenger speaks from his own experience and a false messenger speaks the stories of someone else.

I’ll Make Discernment Even Easier:

The scriptural standard is that if a person does not have the spirit of prophecy and revelation, then they “shall not teach” [D&C 42:14] — or in other words, they should keep silent.

So when anyone interprets the scriptures, presents a doctrine, or is in any other manner “teaching” — ask them:

  • Are you a prophet?
  • Do you have the spirit of prophecy and revelation?
  • Are you a seer?
  • Did you actually experience this manifestation for yourself?

If they say that it’s their own idea, their own guess, or they defer to some other authority, etc. — then stop listening.  You are free to just take it or leave it as you would if anyone else would have said something about any other subject. You can learn nothing extra-ordinary from such people.

If they say that they do have the spirit of prophecy and revelation or that they actually did experience a miraculous work, then listen closely to what they say — because now that means only one of two things:

  • They are true prophets sent from God
  • They are false prophets trying to deceive

A true prophet, when asked if they have the spirit of prophecy and revelation, will always answer in the affirmative.

A man giving his honest, but non-prophetic opinion [“inspired counsel”] will not claim to be a prophet or a seer – because he fears to speak a false prophecy and be called-out as an imposter.

However, a deceiver will also always say that he has the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

So once someone claims to be a prophet or a seer [comes out with a “Thus saith the Lord…”, for example], now the burden is on me, to compare what the word of God says to what the professed prophet has said and do as the Spirit indicates.  If he is declaring a miraculous work, then:

ye shall ask of the father
in the name of Jesus
and if he give not unto you that spirit
then you may know that it is not of god

[D&C 50:31]

Ritual is the Enactment of a Story:

The performance of rituals is an integral part of all religions.  It is through the reenactment of a shared story [a common myth] that the mind of the community is focused towards the same end.  It provides an element of shared experience that facilitates bonding between community members.  The performance of a ritual connects the participants to the specific morphic field that’s associated with that ritual and then each initiate can share the collective memory that is stored there.

The LDS temple endowment follows in this same tradition.

Joseph’s first “endowment” was the experience of seeing two heavenly personages face-to-face.  He went on to behold various ministering spirits, resurrected angels, Jesus Christ, etc. — all personal appearances, face-to-face.

After the Kirtland temple was dedicated and the ordinances there were administered, Joseph wrote:

The Saviour made his appearance to some, while angels ministered unto others, and it was a pentacost and enduement indeed, long to be remembered for the sound shall go forth from this place into all the world, and the occurrences of this day shall be handed down upon the pages of sacred history to all generations, as the day of Pentecost.

Seeing the Lord and ministering angels face-to-face is the foremost purpose of the temple ritual.  Such an eye-to-eye experience was key to what was formulated as “the endowment”.  It’s why temple-goers are taught the order of prayer and prepared in all things to receive further instructions at the veil.  It was all given with the assumption that a real experience would follow the image [or enactment] of an experience.

and inasmuch as my people build a house
unto me
in the name of the lord
and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it
that it be not defiled
my glory shall rest upon it
yea
and my presence shall be there
for I will come into it
and all the pure in heart
that shall come into it
shall see god

[D&C 97:15-16]

and

therefore
sanctify yourselves
that your minds become single to god
and the days will come
that you shall see him
for he will unveil his face unto you
and it shall be in his own time
and in his own way
and according to his own will

[D&C 88:68]

Essentially — that was the endowment Joseph was trying to give the church of God [not special underwear and secret hand gestures] – but the same experience that was had by all the ancient prophets.  Bringing us eye-to-eye with them, connecting them to us by a common experience, a common morphic field.

That’s what all rituals do – establish a morphic field that anyone connects to when the ritual is done according to the same pattern.  That’s why the ordinances of the gospel are strictly described in terms of the manner and wording of the ritual.

Paul warned the Corinthian church that their failure to administer the ritual of the sacramental meal in the worthy/appropriate manner was the reason there were many sick and dying among them.  There is a healing effect associated with the sacrament ritual — but it must be reenacted according to the pattern given by the Lord in order for us to be connected to the proper morphic field.  The same is true for the other ordinances of the gospel and their respective effects as well.  [See, The Healing Gifts]

The reverse side of this is seen in the hidden symbols, catch-phrases, etc. that are put into movies, TV, pop music, advertising, bank notes, buildings, orchestrated world events, etc. – where satanic secret combinations are working to achieve the same end.  Just like there are wars over physical land here in the material world — the mental world likewise has its own battles for control over the common-space there.

The more people connect to a certain idea – myth, story, system, etc. – the more powerful it becomes.  Were enough people to connect to a single morphic field [were it to ever reach a sort of “critical mass”] it could end the world.  The historical “Zion” communities have done such a thing [Enoch, Melchizedek, Nephites, etc.].  The latter-day Zion will in fact bring a complete end to this world – a revelation sufficient enough to melt away our current systems, politics, economics, and ideas about the world – and usher in a new earth.

Having Images with no Reality:

I think that it’s common for LDS to take little instruction from the current temple ordinance.  It is my opinion that this is because we have reached the point where the meaning of the images have been lost long enough ago — that even the priesthood among us have no idea what to make of the thing and what it’s all about.

However, it is not the jurisdiction of the priestly-class to give form [or life] to the images of our stories.  Is it be reasonable to expect church leaders to initiate members of the community into the meaning of the images and display what it’s like when they’re brought to life — rather than just initiating them into the empty-images themselves alone?  Sure.  But that’s simply not the state of affairs we have right now, in a church of God informed by and operating under the doctrines and commandments of men.

All that means is that it’s on you [not them].  They administer the forms — but you must then go on to make that word flesh – you must bring the forms to life, give the image reality.  To just take the empty forms they administer and do nothing with them only perpetuates the whole problem.  Our calling is to take the images and create with them.

Bringing Them to Life:

Religion, myth, stories, ritual, etc. – it’s about the experience.  It all begins as an attempt to tell stories about a connection with God – of an experience of the transcendent level of being called Joy – the communion of a human being with The Supreme Being or Ultimate Doing.

In this form, it’s fluid – like poetry or metaphor.  Apostasy and false priesthoods come in as the story gets reduced to a creed, as the relative gets hardened into the absolute, as the poetry is taken as prose.  The reality behind the image, myth, or story is lost — and only thing that remains is the the empty shell what what’s left after meaning or purpose departs from something.

The religion itself, the actual stories, the stage show-like enactments of ritual – they are purely functionary.  When it has nothing to do with actually having the experience — if it becomes an empty-image, a form without life – then it’s as harmful as additions to processed food, pornography, or social media can be.

Religion is the religare – the connecting bonds of ligaments and tendons that knit us together.  When the ligaments remain fluid [the relative, right-brain, poetic form], then we relate to God as a continuous experience, as a state of Supreme Being.  We don’t prescribe ethical or moral codes – but act out of expediency and charity.

But when they atrophy [harden into the absolute, left-brain, creedal form] – instead of knitting us together, religion binds us down – God becomes the This-Thing that must be related to in That-Way, that you must now believe/do accordingly to get Him to respond to you.

Reading the scriptures, participating in the rituals, etc. – they are just the retelling or reenactment of someone else’s story.  It is in vain unless it is pursuant to you having the same experience – connecting to the same morphic field and seeing eye-to-eye with them.

We cannot look to another to give the ideas and forms of our religion life because that is our job.  The scriptures are just the stories of Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi, Abinadi, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Moroni, John, etc.  They are simply their stories about their experiences with God.

Their stories will not save you.  Reenacting events from their stories as rituals will not generate real Life or Joy in you.  Such things are meant to motivate you to get on the same pathway, to receive a similar connection with God, and to see eye-to-eye with them.

However, history has shown the Gentile church of God to be a hard-hearted and faithless bunch — content with having one person sit atop a hierarchal power-pyramid and habitually obey what he says.  They largely receive equal “experience quotient” from images and representations compared with the reality of what is being imaged and represented.  It’s why advertising works, it’s why industrial food is so widely consumed, it’s why people enjoy pornography so much, it’s why social-media is so popular.  But that’s receiving the image with no reality behind it.

When Life and Joy are about the happening — about human beings being about the same thing as the Supreme Being.

Next Article by Justin: … and I’m a Mormon

Previous Article by Justin:  Going from Concrete to Flowers

Going from Concrete to Flowers


Nothing is as delicate and brittle as thing-oriented group of people – so easily shattered by envy, covetousness, and strife once the pressure is put on.

ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; […] [do] lift yourselves up in the pride of your hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities;

and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches,

more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

Zion is not a pie-in-the-sky utopia that falls in our laps once we’ve occupied our time long enough — waiting around for Jesus to return to sort everything out.

It is a permeating culture or way of life.  Jesus showed the world what this utopian kingdom looks like by the miraculous works of the Father that He manifested – showing us how to end the reign of the four horsemen [statism, war, famine, and death] and establish the Reign of God.

Those works that He did are what bring about an apocalypse –

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass

but we [as free agents] must do those works for the image to become reality – revealing Jesus Christ in ourselves, being the Jesus Christ in our own situations — making the Word become flesh in us.

If not, it remains the idea of Zion — what we wait around for and sit around and talk about.

We can spend our Life searching for salvation, enlightenment, etc. “out-there” — when all the time, we carry it around in us:

behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

We must surrender [or die to] all our earthly attachments, our vain imaginations, our worldly ideas, and our petty emotions — they must all be nailed to the cross of Christ so we can change our minds [repent] and move on —

— on to that immortal aspect we have in each one of us, You as God [or God as You] — and that’s who Jesus Christ was — God as a human, or humans as God.

That’s what Jesus was showing us:

Here, in that gold-lit realm of Zion lies our true reality, where we are who we are in our right-brain-hearts – once all pretense and personas have been dropped.  Where we are the fully naked-Self that just is.

Unless that change has occurred:

  • where we have the same mind in us which was in Christ Jesus,
  • where we’ve stopped relating to God as the “out-there”, elderly man on the throne,
  • where we no longer just tag”the name of Jesus Christ” onto the words and actions of our left-brain concept of Self,
  • but have begun to identify ourselves with [or as] Christ in mind and in heart

we cannot expect a physical change in our environment to manifest.

Once we’ve denied [or disowned] our Self with the fear, trembling, sorrow, weeping, and broken heart brought about by the gospel of Jesus Christ preached in its purity [by the power of the Holy Ghost and in the spirit of prophecy and revelation], taken up our cross, and started doing the same works as Jesus — then may we begin to see eye-to-eye with those in Zion.

How beautiful upon the mountains have been the feet of the one

proclaiming good tidings,

sounding peace;

proclaiming good tidings,

sounding salvation;

saying to Zion, “Thy God has reigned!”

The voice of thy watchmen!

they have lifted up their voice, crying aloud together:

because, eye-to-eye, they see YHVH turning back to Zion.

Break forth into joy, sing together,

O waste places of Jerusalem:

for YHVH hath comforted his people,

he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

YHVH hath made his holy arm bare

in the eyes of all the nations;

and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Living out their story in our own life, seeing the things that they saw with our own eyes, making the word become flesh — comes as we stop working in our own names, and begin to connect as family [united order] through the bonds of covenant, which knit together strangers into joint-stewards:

And now, a commandment I give unto you concerning Zion, that you shall no longer be bound as a united order to your brethren of Zion, only on this wise— […]

they shall be organized in their own names; and they shall do their business in their own name.  And you shall do your business in your own name.

And this I have commanded to be done for your salvation, and also for their salvation, in consequence of that which is to come.

The covenants being broken through transgression, by covetousness and feigned words — Therefore, you are dissolved as a united order with your brethren, that you are not bound only up to this hour unto them,

And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning your stewardship which I have appointed unto you.  Behold, all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain, and ye are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made unto me are broken;

And if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards.  But, verily I say unto you, I have appointed unto you to be stewards over mine house.

And for this purpose I have commanded you to organize yourselves, […] For the purpose of building up my church and kingdom on the earth, and to prepare my people for the time when I shall dwell with them, which is nigh at hand.

In contrast to the current political/economic narrative of a selfish, depraved, calculating human –

Kinship governs who we are in ways current theories fail to account for:

In a world characterized by familial relationships, there is no such thing as “self-interest” [in a self-seeking, calculating sense].

For a time, humans gathered only according to their tribe and their land.  Familial ties are the natural form of human community.  “Advancement” has really just meant that we could begin “bonding” through other things like commerce or information – making communities out of largely unrelated persons.

The cost of this great advancement has been that few of us find joy in the work we do on this earth – few of us have time to cook healthy food and raise healthy families – and by the time most of us stop working the jobs we don’t really like, our health and family are so damaged that we’ll spend the remaining years alone, medicated in a nursing home.

When we are a thing-oriented society [instead of people-oriented] – we are all about the acquiring and the advancing.  Big concrete streets to accommodate big cars, to drive to big stores to buy big plastic-stuff – building the biggest house that’ll fit on the allotted property, having tiny backyards that are paved with concrete anyway, and then sitting inside in chairs to passively observe reality on pixelated screens – and that’s supposed to create joy?

That is so far detached from the Earth:

From the dirt that God gave us – that chaos from which we can create and nurture Life.  Truly living, as a people-oriented society is not about the acquiring – it’s about the connecting.  It’s not about the advancing – it’s about the enduring.  The struggle of human experience is to break through the barriers – and into connection, intimacy, and companionship.

This involves coming to know that – there is no value in things.  They are literally no-thing at all.

The only thing of enduring, true reality is the connections between human beings.  Connectivity is the key.

Humans are naturally social beings.  And the family is the charitable gift society that we are all born into – for the purpose of learning the only lesson we can learn that will save us – charity.  Those who learn charity will enter the charitable gift society that exists in heaven – the family of God.

For a gathered body of family is the only society that can be free and eternal – an everlasting Zion, worlds without end.

Nature [though it follows similar patterns] is ever-new and always creating:

Never boring.  Each new generation that comes along learns about the mystery of the Earth as it is – the world of nature, which was patterned after that eternal world where God resides.

One would think that stability and endurance in a society would breed utter boredom and monotony.  However, where we see utterly boring sameness is in our current skylines, TV shows, brand-names, and highways.  Where we see monotony is in our city-states, monetary systems, concepts of property, monogamy, monoculture, etc.  We are boxed-in with the whole world property-lined, zoned, speed-limited, paved, taxed, regulated, registered, addressed, and licensed.

But nobody left room for Life.

Life here on Earth is just a limited time in what is really a brief probationary situation.  It’s the same play acted out on the same stage for millennia.  The ancients faced the same trials and triumphs, had the same drives and desires that we do.

The props, the technology and fashions, etc. might get constantly replaced, but the plot always remains the same – to commune with God and with one another.

How many more different props and costume changes can a single play have?  How many more shiny things can I own?

It is we who take something like nature – which is amoral, impartial, and anarchic — come in and bring judgments and value-claims such as kindness and cruelty, meaning and order to the whole thing.  But nature itself, outside of a human left-brain-mind, is a blank canvas for our projection.

And humans have been working for millennia to make nature a safe, organized place:

But any attempt to control a single variable in a natural system will only result in more variables becoming chaotic.  This is because a natural system is at rest.  It is at equilibrium and can stay at equilibrium without any energy input indefinitely.

When force is applied to one part of the system, the other parts react proportionately in an attempt to restore that equilibrium point.

This is man’s fall [which is pride] — setting themselves up as Gods in their own right — trying to control the world with control, dominion, and compulsion – instead of just being spontaneously, naturally — as we suppose children or animals to be – and allowing our kingdom to flow unto us without compulsory means.

When Isaiah the prophet was told to prophesy to Israel, the Lord said:

Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot.  And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

God gave humans barefeet because He covered the Earth in dirt and grass.  But man thought he could do better than God and he covered the world in concrete.  So man had to invent shoes to walk on the concrete.

One thing we do begets the need to do another thing in response [so on and so forth], until we reach the point we are at currently, where we spend most of our energy fighting to control what our attempts at control have caused.

The structure. 

We’ve separated ourselves within our little families with the minimum amount of adults required, each having our own properties and our own possessions – to such an extent that we miss out on the richness of oneness with others – the simple salve of being freely connected to all our human brothers and sisters.

That safety in numbers that comes as we gather.  Our souls cry-out for this connection and free association – but like when the body is missing a necessary component or nutrient, we may be able to cope but can never truly be made whole without it.

This satisfying level of community comes as human-beings connect with other human-beings.  A husband, wife, and resulting children look exactly like how the scriptures define a paradisaical, Zion community — the kind of community believers in Christ are supposed to be building, making it “on earth“, as it is “in heaven“.

Such a body of believers in Christ [who are bound by both kinship and shared belief] should continue to grow itself along the same lines — as a family.

Families meet together naturally, they do not “have meetings”.  Going door-to-door, handing out religious tracts – that’s advertising.  That’s marketing religion and religious paraphernalia.

Church and missionary work are about being engaged in gathering the tribes of Israel – gathering people out from among the tribes of the earth.  Everyone who comes unto Christ, whether they are of the direct bloodline of Israel [Jacob] or not [a Gentile], is automatically numbered among the house of Israel when they are converted to the Lord.   The covenants that the church priesthood administers are what takes unrelated believers in Christ and binds them [knits them] together into bona-fide tribes of Israel – the Lord’s family.

The reason we are all “one in Christ” is that we all become His sons and daughters.  That rebirth is fundamentally conceived of and described along tribal lines:

  • it is patterned after the image of being embraced by a bendoin sheik and being brought into his tent.
  • it is the chain of eternal family sealings going back to Adam and Eve.
  • it is the fathers’ hearts turning to children and the children’s hearts to the fathers.

It’s all tribal in nature.

When we take unrelated believers in Christ and knit them together by covenant into a family – we restore the tribal notion of Israel, a separate people-group, or nation of kings & priests and queens & priestesses.

Next Article by Justin: Taking our Myths Literally

Previous Article by Justin:  Falling to the Earth as a Sign of Conversion

Falling to the Earth as a Sign of Conversion


And now the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands; therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.

And they rehearsed unto his father all that had happened unto them; and his father rejoiced, for he knew that it was the power of God.  [Mosiah 27:19-20]

and

And it came to pass that they did call on the name of the Lord, in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father — Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth,

she knew that it was the power of God;  [Alma 19:16-17]

When Alma saw his son being carried home by his friends, rendered completely unconscious – his first reaction was to rejoice because he recognized that as a manifestation of the power of God working.

When Abish saw the Lamanite queen and king, all their servants, and Ammon laying prostrate on the ground, unconscious – her first reaction was that this obviously meant the power of God was working.

Falling to the earth in this manner is a sign that the power of God is rending the veil of unbelief and breaking the chains of hell that are on that person:

Alma and Abish share one thing in common that explains why their first thought after seeing someone fallen to the earth unconscious was that the power of God was at work – they both had first-hand experience with the miraculous works of the Father.

Alma had witnessed the word of God delivered by Abinadi in the spirit of prophecy and revelation:

…the Spirit of the Lord was upon [Abinadi]; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.  And he spake with power and authority from God;  [Mosiah 13:5-6]

Alma went on to organize a church of believers gathered in the wilderness, himself and the church manifesting the miraculous works of the Father:

…both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the Spirit

…Alma, having authority from God…  [Mosiah 18:14, 18]

Abish had witnessed a miraculous vision that had been given to her father in the spirit of prophecy and revelation:

…she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father…  [Alma 19:16]

Falling to the earth is a result of the fear of the Lord coming upon that person:

And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us.  [Alma 36:7]

It accompanies true recognition of one’s unjustified state before God, which is received when the word of God is preached in its fullness — in the spirit of prophecy and revelation, by the power of the Holy Ghost:

And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.

And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying:

“O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.”  [Mosiah 4:1-2]

Once the fear of being cast off forever from the presence of the Lord sinks into the right-brain-hearts of believers, it works there to create this “fear” spoken of in the scriptures.  Trembling/shaking and weeping/shedding tears follow next – working to rend the veil of darkness and remove the chains of hell attached to the brain of all sinners, and to manifest a broken heart and contrite spirit.

But, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”  [Psalm 126:5]:

Meaning the Lord is quick to hear the cries of his people and answer their prayers [Alma 9:26].  The conversion pattern found in the Book of Mormon shows that once the fear of the Lord comes upon a person/people, they’ve been overcome and have fallen to the earth, and have shed tears of sorrow and anguish for their carnal and sinful state – joy follows:

And it came to pass that after [the people of King Benjamin] had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.  [Mosiah 4:3]

and

And it came to pass that [Abish] went and took the[Lamanite] queen by the hand, … ; and as soon as she touched her hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying:

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, havecmercy on this people!”

And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood; and when she had done this, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and behold he arose and stood upon his feet.

[…] And it came to pass that when Ammon arose he also administered unto them, and also did all the servants of Lamoni; and they did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.  And behold, many did declare unto the people that they had seen angels and had conversed with them; and thus they had told them things of God, and of his righteousness.

And it came to pass that there were many that did believe in their words; and as many as did believe were baptized; and they became a righteous people, and they did establish a church among them.

And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.  [Alma 19:29-36]

and

I [Alma] was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.  Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments… the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

[…] And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart:

“O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.”

And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.  And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.  But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.  [Alma 36:12-23]

We must follow the example of the king of the Lamanites after he received the gospel from Aaron:

And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded [the gospel] unto him, the king said:

“What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day?”

Behold, said he, “I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.

But Aaron said unto him:

“If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.”

And it came to pass that when Aaron had said these words, the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried mightily, saying:

“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.”

And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.

[…] Now when the queen saw … she also began to fear exceedingly, lest there should some evil come upon her.  And she commanded her servants that they should go and call the people, that they might slay Aaron and his brethren.

Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he, also knowing the hardness of the hearts of the people, feared lest that a multitude should assemble themselves together, and there should be a great contention and a disturbance among them; therefore he put forth his hand and raised the king from the earth, and said unto him:  “Stand.” And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.

Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were converted unto the Lord.  [Alma 22:15-13]

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