The Revelation of God in Jesus Christ

A “god” is the idea of a god — the idea of a god is a god:

The most basic meaning of the Hebrew “elohim” is that of “powers“.  The human mind names, personifies, and maps-out these various “powers” and their interactions, but ultimately the “gods” are the culturally-appropriate manifestations or mental vehicles for a given power/energy/idea.

The demons, angels, pantheons of deity, Gods and Goddesses — they are all the impulses that inspire and guide You — unpackaged and unfolded as poetry and story-form.  They are personifications of the “powers” arising from nature and found within human-nature, externalized and examined in their most potent and purest symbolic form.

They all exist in our right-brain — as the warring desires in our minds, which battle for dominance in our decision-making.  It is we who make the “gods” real by the ones we choose to be guided by and the ones we “make flesh” by our actions.

Thus — if my “guiding power” is violent, then my actions and worldview will be contentious and hostile.  If my “dominant god” is compassionate, then I will experience my life through the lens of acceptance, mercy, and forgiveness.  Etc.

The long-standing human tradition of myths, religions, mystical experiences, etc. — is the essential activity of differentiating yourSelf from the unconscious forces of existence by personifying them, and then bringing them into a relationship with yourSelf consciously.

“Gods” are the set of ideas and perspectives through whom we view our world and ourselves.  They are but a name for someone’s mode of being — relating to their inner-self and their external interactions.  Our beliefs are our reality tunnels — and every one of them is an individual and culturally-appropriate manifestation of the Singular God.

Which is why it’s not entirely respectful to comment on the specific beliefs of another religion/culture to which you do not belong — because God gives the portion of his Word that is expedient and culturally-tailored to the specific conditions found among the community of the seers/prophets who received it [not to your conditions or culture].

The revelation of God in Jesus Christ:

The “God” whom I follow is the story of Jesus Christ.  A belief-system which commits me to the basic concept of servanthood and compassion.

I have voluntarily bound myself to Christ and his Word by my covenant to obey his every commandment.  This voluntary servanthood [or yoke] binds me to the fundamental reality that “God” is found in being under the most, serving the most, and being connected to the most [instead of vice-versa].

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that the most basic fabric of all existence is “chesed” — the loving-kindness and compassion of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of “beriyth” — or a covenant.

God is not “self-existing” — for He does all things through covenant [including creation] — which actually binds Him to all things.  A “self-existing” Being is independent and cannot be bound.  This is why God could “cease to be God” if He acts in certain ways — because the power and unity of God is a product [not a starting point] — and He is God because of the covenant He’s bound Himself to.

Thus — faith is not a stop-gap measure, or transient state-of-mind that we can drop once we’ve crossed-over and are “with God”.  All things [including gods] must have and keep faith, for it is the necessary element of the trusting engagement and active cooperation that is “existence”.

God’s covenant relationship with all of creation means that He exists for us — not Himself.  Likewise, all things exist because they are bound in covenant with God as well.  That is why any damned thing in the created universe can return to outer-darkness [“return again to their own place“], where there is no existence.

Neither the elements of the universe nor God are self-existing or independent entities — because the existence of both parties is a covenantal relationship.

Belonging to the “true church” of God has no meaning or value

There is nothing special that I get for having joined the latter-day church of Christ.  In fact, it gives me nothing special or noteworthy — and that’s the point.  There is no advantage to being LDS, to having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, to holding the rights of the priesthood, or having access to temples, etc. — for me.

You can’t “pass the test” of Life — or “solve the problem” by aligning yourself with the “right religion” on earth before you die — thereby securing your “salvation”.  Life is not a bank you can rob — and “get out” of it with eternal treasure.

Things don’t “get solved” — they comes together and fall apart, and come together again.  “Salvation” or “Enlightenment” comes from letting-go and allowing there to be room enough of all of it to happen — without fearing failure or desiring success.

We naturally desire the immortality of our ego, our beliefs, our group, etc.  God reaches into human history through the person of Jesus Christ to extend immortality to all — on the condition that they accept it unconditionallyalone, meaning by abandoning the hope of securing it for “You” or your “in-group”.

When our “god” is not Jesus Christ — when we do not deny ourselves, cease to identify with this skin-encapsulated center-of-will in the universe, and take up the yoke of Christ — then our fundamental allegiance will always be to Self-preservation, Self-reliance, and Self-centered survival.

We can never be One with God or with others — because we constantly experience God and neighbor as something inherently “Not-Self”.

Having the “mind of Christ” in you means you pour yourSelf out, in love.  Because, in love, surrender is victory.

Instead of falling into Self-centered separation and sin — fall in love, into Christ-centered connectivity and intimacy.

And not just with God — but with your family and your neighbors, your enemies and those who would despitefully use, hate, and persecute you — and this love won’t leave out the animals and plants, the earth and the stars — because deep-down and far-in, it’s all one energy flowing from them, through us, and back out again.

One thing [a uni-verse] that we experience coming through in individual waves.

Next Article by Justin:  Fourth Chapter of Luke

Previous Article by Justin: The Written Records

(A Family that Lives Together…)

Who Loves Ya Baby?

Back in the 1970’s there was a TV detective series named Kojak. Telly Sevalas played the title role. He was totally bald with a thin mustache and usually had a small lollipop he was sucking on. As I think about it this might be where Brad Pitt’s movie characters get their habit of constantly eating from. It’s a very similar effect. Besides constantly sucking a lollipop Kojak made heavy use of the phrase “Who loves ya baby?”

Now that you know how that quote entered the US popular culture let me explain what I plan to do with it. Each time I say the phrase Who loves ya, baby? I want you to consider the actions of the person or people just mentioned as an indicator of the quantity or quality of love they have for the people they acted toward.

So first let’s try and establish the “Gold Standard” of love.

Who loves you the most of anyone in the universe? You might have answered God and you’d be right. And of course by the term/title God we mean a group of exalted humans who are so united in all things, so much “one” as Jesus referred to in John 17, that it really doesn’t matter which of them was the direct Father and Mother of your spirit body. All of them are related to you. All of them are omnipotent, omniscient and they all have the same love for you. Each and every one of them will share everything they have with you and everybody else up there. Of all beings known to us none has a more hands off attitude towards your right to choose, your agency that God. In all He has ever done and said your agency has been preserved 100%.  Who loves ya, baby?

Heaven, the highest realm of the celestial kingdom. Wow think of it a place where there is no murder, no rape and every child is loved by all adults as if they were their own. It reminds me of the place in China I read about starting on page 167 in the book Sex at Dawn. You can download it for free right here.

The society are called the Mosuo and their group of about 50,000 people has existed for probably over 1000 years. Marco Polo reported about it when he passed through in 1265. The people were still living the same way in 1955. The only thing which has been partially successful in disturbing the peace of these people is the Communist Chinese government’s policy of enforcing monogamy laws via lies and terrorism. Yeah that same government who in the next few years attended to the death and murder of about 60 million of their own people in order to prevent them from using their agency. Who loves ya baby?

The most striking feature of Mosuo society is the fiercely defended sexual autonomy of all adults, women as well as men. There is no marriage as western culture thinks of it. And yet there is another kind of marriage. There is the freedom to be intimate with whatever woman or man you both agree to. The fidelity of this culture is their faithfulness to the agency of each person and the children these relations bring. Any attempt by a member of this culture to require exclusive sexual access to another person is met with intolerance as a very shameful act by the community. In any given night the sexually mature women all sleep in rooms with access to the outside. The women control who is allowed in. They can have several partners in one night or none. The strict requirement is that all of their lovers for the night must be gone by daylight. Also there is strict attitudes of not discussing the loves of the night. The adult siblings live in the same home and the brothers all care for the children borne by their sisters. The men are expected to not sleep in the family house but to go and be with women from other families. If a man is just not up to it he must sleep in another building away from the house. The word for father and uncle are the same. There is a word for mother but the word for aunt is literally “little mother”. The result is a place where there is not even a word for murder or rape. There are also no single moms and uncared for children. Each child is safe and loved in every home in the community. I said there is no marriage as the western culture considers it. Yet there is a joining or marriage of a very real sort. All men are married to all women. No man or woman is without sexual intimacy unless they desire to be without it. There is no competition. None of the women are owned by any man. None of the men are owned by any of the women. There is no divorce or broken homes. No jealousy nor loneliness of lack of intimacy. Who loves ya baby?

Now consider the western (western European and its descendant cultures such as US) culture Judeo-Christian monogamous marriage covenant and the culture it engenders. A covenant has been made to not have deep love for anyone except your spouse. If either spouse does start loving another person and desiring to be intimate with them it is grounds for divorce.

Notice I said if one spouse loves another person not if they have sex with another person? In fact if a spouse has sexual relations to someone other than the other contractual party of the marriage it can sometimes be forgiven if they can convince their contractual partner (spouse) that they didn’t love the other person. But if one spouse says they love the other person deeply and there has been no intimate relations but they will not “repent” of their love for the non contractual person the marriage will certainly be ended by the “innocent spouse”.

The divorce or separation (some legal jurisdictions do allow divorce) very often lead to single parent homes with all the attendant emotional scars of millions of children. Due to the inherent “risks” of marriage in these cultures many people have zero intimacy for the vast majority of their lives and some never experience this blessing for  their entire life. Rape is present if not common. Bitterness, hatred, endless legal wrangling in child custody and divorce matters is a huge part of this society. Huge amounts of resources in time and money are diverted to the legal, logistical  and emotional nightmares of these divorces and separations. And these divorces or separations often cause life long anger and even murder by one spouses in anger over their demands and expectations generated in the marriage contract. These are not isolated events which are only felt by a small minority of the population. All of us have people we know well or work with who have endured the pains and disastrous results of divorce. I had a work associate whose friend was always prone to have intimate relations outside his marriage. His loving wife finally took matters into her own hands got a gun and shot him in the back of the head. The point is it is not such an isolated event. Who loves ya baby?

What if you end up associating with a person who is kind to you. And you are kind to them and you both end up loving each other and wanting to be intimate? Does God frown on us loving someone so much that we want to be intimate with them? Did He frown on it when you started feeling that way toward your present spouse? As a rule through out the history of the world has God prohibited plural marriage? In case you are not sure the answer is no He did not. The ban mentioned Jacob chapter 2 of the Book of Mormon was the exception rather than the rule. Did you know that Joseph Smith taught and practiced polyandry (one woman having more than one husband)? Did you know it was a practice among the people generally until 2300 BC? Did you know it is allowed for in D&C 132? Do these fact make it appear that God also honors our sexual autonomy? Who loves ya baby?

Let’s consider a hypothetical situation (ever wonder what would happen if there were no hypothetical situations?). Suppose you have a friend who is married to another of your friends. So there are two married couples and they all are friends. We will call them couple A and couple B. No suppose one person from A has a lot of very natural association with a person from B. And these two realize they love each other so much they want to be intimate. They want to be the AB couple. Both members of the proposed AB couple still love fully their AA and BB spouse. And both the AB people honor the fact that they both want to retain and always be “married” to the normal spouse. So there is absolutely no thought of tearing apart a small family since they (AB) feel like part of a larger family.

Now imagine yourself as one of the AB couple. So you have someone you love in addition to your spouse. And that person loves you in addition to their spouse. So here is someone who is happy with you loving more than one person. They do not forbid you to marry. But your normal spouse does not give you that sexual autonomy even with some they know and “love”. Who loves ya baby?

Which person’s love is more like the love which God has for us?

And speaking of not being married like the Mosuo people mentioned in Sex at Dawn, I had a thought hit me on the answer of Jesus to the Sadducees regarding resurrection. This is found in Matthew 22 verse 30, Mark 12 verse 25 and Luke 20 verse 35. Because of the words in D&C 132:16 we are lead to think that the people mentioned in the three gospels are all second class non exalted beings or the servant class of those in the highest degree of the Celestial world.

 ”16 Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.”

As LDS I was always taught that Jesus knew the Sadducees were not going to be converted by His answer, their minds were made up, so He did not give them a straight answer. But the wording in Luke 20 is particularly striking. As I read it this time I could not help but believe that Jesus was not talking about second class angels.

 “35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

That part, “…they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world,…” sounds and feels to me like Jesus is speaking of the highest degree. The place where they continue to bear children. And with that in mind then look at what it says in Matthew 22.

“ 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

Moroni was certainly worthy to receive the highest glory in the celestial world and he introduced himself as and angel sent from the presence of God. I think Jesus was talking about the real heaven, not a lower servant class people. I could be wrong but I have heard Jesus say some things which were just to mess with people’s heads when the people were not serious about knowing the truth. He wasn’t lying or misleading just planting a thought which could someday make them say, “Now wait a minute, maybe I have been looking at things all wrong.”

And in our Babylonian programmed personal lexicon the word marriage refers to an agency limiting legal agreement. So my point is the angels spoken of in D&C 132 might not be the same angels spoken of in the gospels. The angels referred to in the gospels  might be the exalted ones and in Jesus’ mind there is not “marriage” in the celestial kingdom.

Hey wait a minute what am I talking about? There isn’t any marriage in heaven. Jesus said it straight up. Exactly as the scripture reads it makes perfect sense as applied to those in the highest kingdom.

 “they neither marry, nor are given in marriage…”

“Given in marriage” is when the woman under the mosaic law gave herself to her husband as his property thus limiting her autonomy and preventing her from having another husband. According to Jesus’ own words that law was given for the hardness of the people’s hearts. In other words the men would not have accepted the celestial order.

And so the men also were entering into a non celestial legal agreement. If for no other reason it was non-celestial because it violated the woman’s agency. So when Jesus used those terms He was 100% accurate and the scripture correctly says there is none of that agency limiting garbage going on in the Celestial world.

You might counter with, “Yeah but the Lord referred repeatedly to “marriage” in D&C 132.”  Well he was talking to a bunch of Victorian Era prudes who could not comprehend being joined without an old testament like marriage.

That reminds me of when Gordon B Hinckley once said in giving counsel to the youth and young people of the church, “We do not want you to be prudes.” Haha So way too late for that wish.

The LDS from the time of Joseph on have been the prude’s prude!. But God did want them to enter into life long and in fact eternity long bonds of love. He had to work with what the minds of the people at the time could comprehend. Just like The Written Word post explained.

But no covenant God would be part of would destroy the agency for people to love more than one person. Who loves ya baby?

What do you say? Can we accurately refer to a society which allows all members to be intimate as having marriages? Or are they all just sealed to each other?

 Who loves ya baby?

PS  Some of you might be in the situation described above. You are ready to live plural marriage but your spouse is not. And you might feel like they don’t love you as they should. What to do? Or more importantly how can we view this in a way that does not paint our spouse as the “bad guy” and end up feeling less love for them? Because if we do that then we really are being influenced by a bad spirit.

I believe it helps to realize that most people love others as much as they can. And a love which is less than divine is the result of fear and not being “healed” as Jesus says.  So their healing to see it not as a fearful thing but a great blessing is what we should seek and pray for.