Spicing up your church experience: Women’s edition

There are a growing majority of people starting to recognize the difference between the doctrine of Mormonism and the culture of Mormonism — and who are finding it harder-and-harder to deal with the culture of it.  For example, Mike S at Wheat & Tares has an “If I Were in Charge:” series based on this idea — covering topics such as who can be “Mormon”, the church’s for-profit ventures, and garments.

This culture of being “A Mormon” — like it’s a brand-name or product — is sending too many good people running for the hills.  We say “The Church is the same everywhere you go” — like it would even be a good thing if it were — but I’ve found that it’s really not anyway.

We might participate in role-played discussions with pre-perscribed responses, but the impression of uniformity among Mormons is just a facade of being built on a solid foundation — but this image is built on the works of men and may have success for a season, but when shaken — it will suddenly crumble into its true picture: an institution built on sand, smoke, and mirrors.

The diversity is there among Mormons already — it’s just everyone knows what to do/say to keep up the appearance of conformity so that it doesn’t manifest outwardly.  Any time we’ve gotten closer with other members and talked openly about the church with them — I’ve always been surprised at how similar our views actually are — once we get to know each other.  So how to you break the ice and get to know other members who feel the same way you do?

Introducing a bit of anarchy — this time with women in mind:

I took Melissa’s suggestion, and with the help of my wife, I came up with some things sisters can do to spice up their church experience.  This was written in the same spirit as LDS Anarchist’s list — and therefore, everyone [female or male, LDS or not] should feel free to run with any of them and encourage family and friends to do the same.

The more people that are doing these small things, the quicker the church can be de-culturalized — leaving only the diverse spectrum that the pure doctrine of Mormonism manifests.  But even if you don’t change the whole world — it’s always fun to introduce a little anarchy, shake up the cult of conformity, taking a little boredom out of your own church experience.

Now, all things are lawful for you, but not all things are expedient or edify [1 Corinthians 10:23].  Some church leaders are often witch-hunters, always looking for someone to judge as unfaithful, apostate, etc.  And the only valid reason, in their minds, for “contrary” points-of-view or “unapproved” behavior is worthiness issues.  Although the scriptural law is innocent until proven guilty, when leaders see dissension, they take a guilty until proven innocent stance. So the best course of action is always to act prudently and not say more than is expedient.  But even in a state of affairs where persecution for dissension can be common — much change can be effected without jeopardizing your good standing as a member of the church.

But, in any event, this list of small acts could go on and on.  The point is that once agents of change, acting in these ways, are found among various congregations — it becomes obvious to even the most close-minded member that something is afoot.  This can be what allows a healthy dialogue about what this whole “church experience” is really all about to begin.

Right now, the problem is we have no dialogue — and thus the status quo appears safe and sound.  But that’s just hard-packed sand.

So take these and have fun with them.

Vote “opposed” to church callings:

It would be easy to just throw up your hand as opposed for every calling.  Or, if you want, you could use the rational that D&C 121:39 states:

that it is the nature and disposition
of almost all men [not women]
as soon as they get a little authority
as they suppose
they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion

So that unless you know for certain otherwise — just vote in accordance with the most likely nature and disposition:

  • For all women who are called to a position, whose character you are unfamiliar with — raise your hand in the affirmative, unless the Spirit tells you explicitly to oppose.
  • For all men who are called to a position, whose character you are unfamiliar with — raise your hand in opposition, unless the Spirit tells you explicitly to affirm.
  • If you come across another woman who indicates that she believes in maintaining the power or influence of any priesthood holder by virtue of his priesthood office and calling — then make a note to vote against her next time her name comes up.
  • If you come across a man who indicates that he gives no regard to the priesthood office of another man, and that his only qualifications for following, or being influenced by, another person are those found in D&C 121:41-45 — then make a note to vote for him next time his name comes up.

Or just vote however your conscience falls on the matter on that particular day.  The point is — it does not matter what the reason for your vote is, it only matters what the vote is.  Even if your reason is totally ludicrous, your vote is still valid.

You might think that a single vote can’t change anything — because by majority vote, the calling still passes.  However, if each week there is a single vote against, the claim to unanimity can no longer be made.  Even closed-minded people are naturally curious — and every always remembers if there was a time that someone voted against a calling.  The event is powerful and eventually certain members of the congregation will approach you and ask why you raise your hand against.  That is a teaching opportunity which may lead to two, or more, inspired hands starting to go up.

In a secret ballot [like our state elections], a solitary vote against is essentially meaningless.  But in the church, we have an open vote, where everyone in the congregation can see that one, contrary vote taking place.  It can be quite powerful — especially if it becomes a common occurrence.  Add two votes to the contrary and it becomes downright dangerous to any would-be priesthood abusers.

We are told that the practice of taking a dissenting member aside to find out the reason for their dissenting vote is a way to see if they have information on the worthiness of the person being called, which if known to the leader might make them reconsider the calling. But that is just how it is presented.  In reality, taking aside and interviewing is a method of control.  Leaders know there are secret dissenters among every congregation, meaning members who have dissension in their hearts but do not actively manifest it — but to discipline them, they have to get them to divulge their angst and get some dirt on them by which they can either be forced to conform to the standard of unanimity or be disciplined in some manner.

This is why the leadership have gotten to the point where they don’t use the word “vote” any more.  The act of raising your hand for [not against] is called “sustaining” — while raising your hand against is always called “not sustaining” — and it is continuously taught that it is your duty to “sustain our leaders” [presumably by raising your hand for them].

By getting away from the word “vote”, which has no stigma if you vote your conscience — and by using the word “sustain”, the leadership have invented a new sin and multiplied guilt and fear.  Now everyone is afraid to exercise their voice of consent and the priesthood is free to engage in ecclesiastical abuse with nothing to hinder its progress — without the voice of the sisters to keep them in check.

Talk incessantly about Jesus:

Mormonism has much truth – but as a church, we’ve essentially transferred all faith to the truths, and thus none of it is on Jesus.

Carry on every conversation at church by always getting it back to Jesus.  This can be devastating to an idolatrous worship of prophets and of doctrines.  More often than not — our conversations are centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment.

Instead, force every conversation with another LDS that starts to be about the relative, periphery matters — about how this-or-that issue of the day can be talked about in light of Mormonism – and get it back onto spiritual experiences with Jesus Christ.  You’ll either grow closer to other members — or you’ll see them stumble, act vague, express doubt, and likely just say nothing at all because most people have nothing to say.

we talk of Christ
we rejoice in Christ
we preach of Christ
we prophesy of Christ
and we write according to our prophecies
that our children may know
to what source they may look for a remission of their sins

[2 Nephi 25:26]

Stop shaving:

Leg, armpit, and pubic hair develop at the on-set of puberty and are visual cues of an adult women.  However, the ubiquitous pornography-culture has essentially taught an entire generation that bodies and genitals are “sexy” when fully-shaven [appearing pre-pubicent].  So when the de facto means of sex education for an entire generation has been porn, it becomes conditioned to be aroused at the sight of bodies with no hair.  Sadly, like Pavlov’s dogs — any encounter with fully-shaven genitals will trigger such a person’s neural reward-centers to pursue the reward.

Also, the pheromonal scent on a woman changes throughout her monthly cycle, depending on her fertility.  When fertile, her scent becomes sweeter.  The problem is that it is really hard to smell anyone these days.  Men and women both use anti-perspirants and deodorants to cover up their smell — and women typically will completely shave-off their armpit hair.  And both sexes also add additional chemicals in their perfumes, shampoos, lotions, etc.  The hair follicle itself, embedded into the skin, is designed [upon movement] to stimulate the glands beneath and release a scent.

Every man and woman has a unique odor.  If a woman allows her scent to be smelled [instead of the smell of chemicals], then there will be a physiological response in any heterosexual man around her.  If he were to act on that initial attraction, then her specific scent would be linked to the attraction [olfaction being the sensory organ most closely linked to memory] — and all that is needed to re-stimulate the response would be to allow the scent to be smelled again.

Of course, none of this works if the body’s scent is masked with chemicals — or if all the hair is shaved clean off.  So let that hair that develops at the time of sexual maturity — the hair designed by God to act as a visual cue of womanhood — grow as it is intended to grow.  That hair is a part of the image of God considered as a woman — that every adult female reflects — and is beautiful.

Encourage your husband [and adult sons] to grow full beards:

Many men desire to stop shaving and allow their beards to grow-out full, but don’t because their wives are against it.  They may think a beard is too rough or prickly or that it tickles when they kiss him, etc.  However, facial hair in men [just like body hair for women] is a visual cue of manhood — and is a reflection of the image of God considered as a man reflected by every adult male.

A heterosexual woman is [by nature] drawn to bearded men because it is a sign of manliness — and women love manliness.  So don’t complain when your husbands or adult sons haven’t shaved in a couple weeks — instead compliment them on the fine beards they are growing.

No longer promote body modesty as a gospel principle:

It was Satan who introduced the concept of body modesty to Eve and Adam — instructing them to cover up their genitals out of shame.  This created an enticement for sin that could allure people into uncovering “the sinful/secret parts,” followed by the guilt of acting “shamefully“.

The target of virtually all talks on body modesty is females:  It is she who is told how and how not to dress — and usually by men.  All of this repression, if ever gets let out, leads to rampant breaking of the law of chastity [which is Satan’s plan].  And if it isn’t let out, then it leads to depression and an unsatisfactory marital sex life [again, Satan’s plan].

We teach our daughters [from as early-on as parents teach kids things] that clothing has nothing to do with their respect for God or for yourself.  We teach them that “modest” has to do with being simple, plain, inexpensive, humble, and unpretentious — not with how much of the skin of their thighs or shoulders are showing.  We teach them that their bodies were made modestly by God.

Now — we explain that the reason we wear clothes is for the sake of others.  We teach them that when you are with those who are weak, you should share their weakness because you have a desire to bring the weak to Christ. It is best to try and find common ground with people, doing everything you can that you might save them.

We put clothing into its proper perspective.  Religion has, unfortunately, lumped “modesty” in with sexuality — like being “pure” or having “high standards” — when modesty is really about living life in such a way as to not draw undue attention to yourself.

But nudity and modesty are not opposites, and can co-exist even beyond the context of married persons in the bedroom with the door closed.  So focus instead on teaching your daughters to live the law of chastity, while practicing nudism in your own home.  Because, remember — if God wanted us all going around naked, then we’d have been born that way!

Breast-feed openly and in public:

In most states, it is legal for a mother to breastfeed in any place she is legally allowed to be at.  Meaning, if this is the case in your state — then even when asked to “cover-up” or to “stop doing that here“.  You are free to openly keep your child on the breast as long as she/he desires to be.

The sex-culture has completely co-opted the breast and made it into another sexual organ.  It shows how disconnected we all really are from our Mother — that anyone would dare insist that a woman feeding, bonding with, and comforting a child should “cover it up” or “go somewhere else“.

The ability to completely sustain a human life by your breasts is a Divine attribute that makes a woman the high priestess of her family.  Such a thing should never be covered-up or hidden away in a spare closet.

Most LDS meeting houses provide a “nursing room” for mothers to go to when their children want to be on the breast.  Stop using this room — and instead, as the men manifest the calling of a priest by openly displaying the image of Christ in administering the sacrament — stay in the meeting room and manifest the calling of a priestess by openly displaying the image of the Mother by administering life and love to a child.

Mark your own clothing as priesthood clothing:

Tired of trying to wear the garment of the holy priesthood by having two sets of clothing [one on top of the other]?  Tired of one-size fits all, frumpy, poor-fitting choices from Distribution Services?  Tired of difficulty finding working sizes?  Tired of a second set of clothing getting in the way of everything you try to do — especially when it’s hot?  Tired of fretting about whether or not your clothing is covering your garments — about whether you ought to wear panties/bras under or over the garment — about what to do during menstruation, pregnancy, or while nursing?  Is shopping is difficult for you?

Then stop dividing your closet into two categories:  clothes and garments.  And stop trying to make wearing two sets of clothing work.  Don’t subject yourself to poor fitting clothing, and certainly don’t cease from wearing your priesthood garment altogether.  The covenant to wear priesthood clothing is important if you have indeed made it.

The Church Handbook states that:

Church members who have been clothed with the garment in a temple have take upon themselves a covenant obligation to wear it according to the instructions given in the endowment

and the temple recommend interview asks:

Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

Neither references the “standard LDS practice” of wearing the priesthood garment as just a newer and more sacred form of underwear — instead all the emphasis is placed on being in accordance with the actual ceremony.

Insofar as the priesthood garment is given to represent the coats of skins given to Adam and Eve when they were found naked in the garden of Eden — it should be a practical piece of clothing.  However, most find it to be quite the opposite:  an irritation and a generally unpractical thing to have to wear under your everyday clothing, and something that most definitely does not conform to the local environment or climate.

The intention of the priesthood garment is to cover your nakedness while you work out your mortal probation on the earth.  Given that purpose, it is obviously the intention that the priesthood garment [acting as the covering] be seen — rather than what is below the covering [the nakedness below].  Since it is the intention of the priesthood garment to be our covering — then why care so much about covering the covering?

Now — one is free to comply with the temple’s instruction to wear the priesthood garment both night and day by wearing two sets of clothing because the garment is still being worn, just covered up with other clothing.

However, one is equally free to wear only the priesthood garment that is the work of their own hands [D&C 42:40-41] by either making clothing from scratch or by converting their normal, everyday clothing into priesthood clothing by cutting and sewing in the marks — as you have been authorized and instructed in doing.

Modifying everyday clothing is more inline with what early LDS did.  In the minutes from an October 1870 meeting in Salt Lake it says that:

Some enquiry was made as to how many have their shirts marked — A few rose with them marked — President Young said he took scissors & soon made the marks.  Even if the shirt is colored, mark it — If there is flannel or buckskin between the shirt & garment, that also should be marked.  An overshirt worn as a vest should not be marked.

If anyone asks about your marks — tell them the symbolism you were instructed in during the ceremony.  Each marks directs the mind to Jesus Christ and represents a great missionary opportunity:

  • This mark suggests that I have exactness and honor in keeping the covenants I’ve made with Jesus
  • This mark suggests I keep an undeviating course leading to Jesus — and serves as a constant reminder that my desires, appetites, and passions are to be kept within the bounds Jesus has set — and that all truth may be circumscribed into one great whole
  • This mark suggests my need of constant nourishment from Jesus to both body and spirit
  • This mark suggests that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is the Christ

Non-members often joke about the garment being “secret, magic underwear” because that’s how many members treat them when around mixed company. When we do not hide the plain meaning and experience behind our garments — people respond openly with a, “Wow, I find that to be an interesting thing there that I could find value in…”

Now — it might bother the old ladies at church for my wife to wear a sleeveless dress to church [even though the marks of the priesthood are cut into the breasts] — but that’s what “spicing up your church experience” is all about!

Offer priesthood blessings to your family and friends:

It is not true that “men have the priesthood and women have motherhood,” — because the component to motherhood is fatherhood, and the component to being a priest is being a priestess.

The temple ritual establishes what’s called the “fulness of the priesthood” on earth – a priesthood order that is synonymous with kinship and salvation. There are no deacons, priests, or elders in heaven — only kings/priests and queen/priestesses.

The priesthood is the language of God — a language that uses the audible word and silent gestures to speak persuasion, patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, and genuine love.  Every adult receives the rights of the priesthood when they receive the key-words [audible word] and signs/tokens [silent gestures] of the priesthood.

Receiving the rights of the priesthood comes with all of the associated keys — albeit in an unactivated state.  The various keys needed to perform the work of the Lord are then activated by the consent of the members of the congregation to which that person belongs [whether that congregation is the church or your family].

The Gentile LDS church [as it exists physically as a corporate entity] limits the roles of women in the church because the priesthood has been put into a Gentile power-pyramid or hierarchy [where the greater are “above”, and are obeyed by, the lesser] — instead of a gospel-based anarchy, inverted pyramid where the greater are “under”, and are the servants of, the lesser.  Thus, when we talk about the “Priesthood”, it’s as this administrative arm of the Salt Lake oligarchical patriarchy.  Women can’t be said to hold that “Priesthood” — that’s the “power” to pass bread, to sit in high seats, and to control budgets.

None of those things are evidence that a believer in Christ “holds the priesthood” — or has actual “power in the priesthood” upon them.  Whether or not LDS women should hold that “priesthood” [which I think they should] is a separate matter entirely.  I do think the Relief Society should get back to being a quorum of priestess with their own jurisdiction – however I also think that women shouldn’t imagine that holding that priesthood will give them anything more than the appearance of authority and power [which is all that the current leaders “hold”].

Instead — endowed LDS women should worry about holding:

the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church
to have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven
to have the heavens opened unto them
to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn
and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the father
and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant

[D&C 107:18-19]

For that is real priesthood — not just the image of it.  That’s the power to call down angels to minister to your family, to call down healing by the laying on of hands, to work miracles, and to prophecy and see visions.

Wash and anoint your husband’s feet:

then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard
very costly
and anointed the feet of Jesus
and wiped his feet with her hair
and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment

[John 12:3]

and did wipe them with the hairs of her head
and kissed his feet
[…] Jesus said

seest thou this woman?

[Luke 7:38, 44]

she hath done what she could
she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying
amen I say unto you
wheresoever this gospel shall be preached
throughout the whole world
this also that she has done
shall be spoken of for a memorial of her

[Mark 14:8-9]

There is a similar story in the Egyptian myths — the goddess Isis gently aroused her dead husband, Osiris, back to life by caressing his body with her hair. As a priestess, it is your right to perform this ordinance for your husband.  Without it, he is not prepared for his burial.  In fact, without the performance of this ritual — we cannot truly be said to have the fullness of the gospel — for the scripture says women would be administering this ordinance “wheresoever this gospel shall be preached.”

There is a lot of power in a woman’s head of hair — which is why male-power always seeks to cut it short or cover it up:

for if the woman be not covered
let her also be shorn
but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven
let her be covered

[1 Corinthians 11:6]

Long hair on a woman is wildly erotic and luxurious.  It suggests a type of freedom that “restrictive purity”-type religions have always considered “demonic”.  A liberated woman [like Mary, liberated from the “seven devils“] is often commoditized, objectified, degraded, or abused.

Instead of covering-up and hiding-away for fear that the insecure among the male priestly class will have some “indignation within themselves” — celebrate that priestess dynamic.

Hold family sacrament meals:

All believers in Christ should meet together in group worship often to:

  • Bring forth bread and wine
  • Sit down upon the earth
  • Have one man set-apart among the group to break the bread, bless it, and give it to the group in remembrance of the body of Jesus
  • Eat the bread until filled
  • Have the one ordained man take the cup, bless it, and give it to the group in remembrance of the blood of Jesus
  • Drink from the cup until filled

And to:

  • Fast
  • Pray
  • Hear the word of God
  • Speak about the welfare of each other’s souls
  • Preach
  • Exhort
  • Pray
  • Supplicate
  • Sing

The current dynamic of group worship in the church of God is based on the doctrines and commandments of men — which is why there is no one prophesying or healing or speaking in tongues, etc. during our meetings.  The commandments of men are never accompanied by any manifestations of power [just good advice, nice music, etc.]

We are missing a reliance on the Spirit — a state in which it is the Spirit that directs and guides the conducting of our meetings [and not any man or group of men]?  In a meeting directed by the Holy Spirit — I’d also say that it would mean that nobody speaks a word unless the Spirit came upon them and led them to speak that word.  And the scriptures say that everything must be done at the very moment, which means spontaneously, as the Spirit directs [not outlined in a program in advance].

Many families feel d-r-a-i-n-e-d after 3-hours of church on Sunday because our current way of “doing” church like a business “meeting” takes the religious experience and turns it into some commodity that is brokered by an all-male merchant-class who deal in religion and religious paraphernalia.  It’s all image and no Life — because all the Life and Joy has been suffocated by the Box we’ve put Her in.

Now — the Church Handbook states:

Family home evening is sacred, private family time under the direction of the parents. Priesthood leaders should not give directions as to what families should do during this time.

And Dallin Oaks has said:

All priesthood authority in the church functions under the direction of one who holds the appropriate keys. But the authority that presides in the family [whether father or single-parent mother] functions in family matters without the need to get authorization from anyone holding [church] keys.

Priesthood found within a family setting, when authorized by the family members, is recognized as valid by the Lord.  So take the time you meet together as a family and organize a family sacrament meeting and worship service.

Go outside to “sit down upon the earth“.  Encourage your husband to show the image of Christ in your family by having him administer the emblems of the body and blood of Christ.  Pray together for the spiritual gifts in the true order of prayer.  Break bread and drink until you and your family “are filled” — instead of trying to feast on a morsel of bread and a thimble of water.  Let the Spirit move on whomever She listeth [John 3:8] to speak a word, to sing, to exhort, to pray or supplicate.  Give the kids something better to do than just sit there and be “Shhhh“ed for an hour.

Start skipping Relief Society:

If you’re not already.

Most of us spend more of our time making sure our family looks good on Sundays than actually preparing to receive the word of God.  The purpose of classes and meetings seems to just be to put on a good stage-play or an act — except no one’s having fun or doing it for actual play.  This can be many people’s experience with attending 3rd-hour Relief Society meetings.

Back when my wife used to go to Relief Society — during a lesson, a woman made a tear-filled comment about her husband wanting to leave the church and get a divorce. The teacher went right back to discussing the lesson topic — so my wife interrupted to say that since it seemed she just wanted to go on with the lesson and ignore that this woman needed some love and attention, that they should all stay after the class was over to give her some support.

*Class ended*

Everyone got up and left except for my wife and this woman.  The show was over.

A couple more stories like that — and she quit attending altogether.

Instead — administer actual Relief, skip the stage-show.

But what about:

Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

Though the one question is really asking three questions:

  • Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made?
  • Do you strive to attend your sacrament and other meetings?
  • Do you strive to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

You only provide one answer.  And more weight is given to some of the components of the questions and less given to others.  For example, my wife answers this question “No” — and when the interviewer probes further, she tells him that she purposefully avoids Relief Society meetings.

In our experience — every interviewer has told her that, “No one is going to keep you out of the temple just because you don’t go to Relief Society.”

Other ideas?

This obviously just scratches the surface.  Consider them ideas to get you started.

If you have any others to offer — or if you have a report about having done any one of these, or others — share it.

See also:  The first “Spicing up your church experience

Next Article by Justin: Paul and the church at Judea

Previous Article by Justin:  Group worship in the church of Christ

Two Plasma Interpretations of Portions of Revelation

Since posts on the subject of plasma cosmology and interplanetary interpretations of prophecy have already been written, in this post I will avoid expounding on particulars such as the sun darkened, moon turning to blood, hail mingled with fire, beasts, olive trees, thunderings and lightnings, etc. and focus on the new pieces of information I have received.

Even though I just said that — as an introduction, I will state here that it is my understanding that the prophetic narratives in scripture take as their template events that unfold in the heavens:  i.e. the movements of planets and their interactions with each other.  “Prophecy” is merely the description of planetary movements and plasma interactions.

The imagery in a prophetic story is imagery observed in the sky.  The mention of a “sword”, doesn’t mean a literal, physical sword floating around in outer space – but that there are planetary movements and plasma formations that, when seen from the perspective of Earth, create the image of a sword.

Prophecy is simply the movements of planetary bodies and the resulting plasma interactions, converted into a narrative that describe patterns that likewise play out in earthly evens.  Meaning that after the planets go through their described motions, fulfilling the elements of the prophecy every whit – the same story then plays out here on Earth.

The planets are not just big physical balls of gas and rock – but they are also the idea of what those planets mean – the planets being used as a way to represent a pattern of things taking place among mankind [or within yourself] as thought it is a physical event transpiring in the sky.

Mankind has a natural tendency or instinct to worship, which is tied to what happens in the heavens, among the planets. This is because human brain cycles are tied to the cycles of the heavenly bodies (planets, sun, comets, etc.), and when the planets are active, the urge to worship comes as a fanatical devotion.  This urge is as basic as our sexual urge and is a part of our natural state of existence [meaning atheism, like monogamy, is a more recent human invention].

When the heavens are active, the devil’s strategy is to direct that fanatical devotion in the wrong direction by introducing idolatry.  However, when the skies are asleep [like they are right now], the instinct to worship does not pull on us as greatly and so the devil works to suppress the urge to worship altogether.

Now — with that in mind, I want to introduce the following post as a new piece of information that I received with respect to two particular portions of the Book of Revelation.  In this post, I will not go into the planetary interpretations of the trumpet blasts, earthquakes, lightnings, moon turning to blood, the two witnesses, etc.  Nor will I go into the various earthly interpretations that these events may also represent.

Piece of Information #1:  When the calamities associated with the Book of Revelation begin to unfold, mankind is going to respond one of two ways. 

A Planet and a Plasma Column Descending to the Earth:

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:

The one who sits on the throne is the planet known as God, or Elohim.  His throne is a pillar or column of a plasma channel that reaches down to the earth.

Four Planetary Pass-bys Affect the Unrighteous of the Earth:

And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him.

A planetary body passes by that appears white in color, with a plasma discharge resembling a bow at the South pole and a crown at the North.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill on another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

A planetary body passes by that appears red in color, with a plasma discharge resembling a sword.

According to Velikovsky, “The Roman god Mars was pictured with a sword, and he became the god of war.  Of this same sword Isaiah spoke when he predicted the repetition of the catastrophe, a stream of brimstone, flame, storm, and reeling of the sky.  The ancients classified the comets according to their appearance.  In old astrological texts, as in the book of Prophecies of Daniel, comets that took the form of a sword were originally related to the planet of Mars,” — which planet just so happens to be red in color.

But that’s just my speculation on this particular planetary body.

And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

A planetary body passes by that manifests no color, with a plasma discharge resembling a pair of balances on either side.

And I looked, and behold a pale [green] horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.

A final planetary body passes by that is green in color, with an orbiting satellite.

There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hid us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”

The effect of these four near pass-bys of planetary bodies is a great earthquake, the sun being darkened, the moon glowing red, and asteroids falling to the earth.  When these events start to unfold, the great men of renown on the earth will seek out their underground compounds to hide from the asteroid collisions.  Others will merely seek out caves and mountain hiding places.

The Righteous do not seek Refuge Underground:

I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The meek of the earth will not seek refuge in underground compounds.  Rather, they will gather together under the shadow of the God who sitteth on the throne [within the plasma column].  Here, in his “temple”, the righteous will be fed by precipitating carbohydrate compounds [manna] and fountains of water.

Piece of Information #2:  The woman clothed with the sun and her relationship to the Babylon the whore.

A Planet Ready to Birth a Rocky Satellite:

A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve starts: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The woman is a radiant [or discharging] planet that is about to give birth to a rocky satellite out of one of her polar openings.

A Red Planet Attempts to Destroy the Birthed Satellite:

A great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

The great red dragon is a planetary body that displays a plasma discharge characterized by ten horn-like projections with seven orbiting satellites.  It will resemble a comet [because it will have a tail].  The Red Planet travels near to where the radiant Woman Planet is in an attempt to destroy the rocky satellite that she is about to expel.

The Woman Planet Births the Rocky Satellite:

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

After the rocky satellite comes out of one of the polar openings, it is captured by the gravity of the planet seated on the plasma “throne” where it will orbit – and not be destroyed by the Red Planet.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

After the birthing process, the Woman Planet departs to a different place in the sky, low on the horizon.

The Servant Planet Michael Wars with the Red Planet:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The Servant Planet known as Michael and his accompanying Servant Planets come in and scatter the Red Planet and cause it to be cast down low on the horizon.

The Red Planet Persecutes the Woman Planet:

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly unto the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now that the Red Planet is cast low on the horizon, it is near to where the Woman Planet traveled.  This Planet then manifests a plasma discharge resembling wings and travels out of sight below the horizon and out of the scene [for the time being].

The Two Beasts:

I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.  And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And all the world wondered after the beast.  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like unto the beast?  who is able to make war with him?”

The first beast is a planetary body that arises up from the horizon over an ocean, discharging ten horn-like projections and having seven orbiting satellites – much like the Red Planet earlier.  At this point, the interplanetary displays between the Red Planet and this new beast will cause real idolatry to return.

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast.  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men.

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.  For it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The second beast is a planetary body that arises up from the horizon over the land, discharging two horn-like projections.


And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

“Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand.

“I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”

The great Babylon is the same planet that had previously appeared as the radiant Woman Planet who birthed the rocky satellite.  After the manifestation of the plasma wings, the Woman Planet descended below the horizon – where she will reappear after “coming in remembrance before God”, who is that Planet who sits on the plasma “throne”.

The Queen of Heaven, or Virgin Mother, returns as Babylon the Whore.  Both of these characters in the story a different representations of the same planetary body.  Once it returns, the planet will form a polar stack with the planet that arose from the horizon above the ocean [the first beast].  And this event is the final event before the massive EEAAOOAAEE Planet returns to our solar system and encapsulates the earth in its plasma cocoon for the duration of the Millennium.

At first, I didn’t understand what it meant that I was being shown that the Woman clothed with the sun is the same as the Whore.  From Catholic school, I know that the Catholics associate this imagery with the Virgin Mary – so it was strange for me to think about this planet also being the Whore.

As I read through some material to see what might explain this dream, I came to realize that it all has to do with my perspective.

Clothed, she is the Mother.  Virgin because she is not yet known.  But upon her return she is the Whore, revealing herself to all mankind, that they all may know her – for in the scriptural language, “to know” expresses the sexual union.

And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.

We needn’t think that the “Whore” is an insult to the “Mother”.  Sex and nudity get labeled as vulgar or shameful because they represent the denial of individuality [the left-brain, masculine dynamic].  With sex, because it is the complete reception of another [becoming one flesh] – and with nudity because, well, we all look the same naked.  Clothed, I can distinguish myself into rank, class, or social group – but naked, I am Adam, retelling the creation drama of the garden of Eden.

So — she returns from her place in the wilderness, nourished, and now known as revelation — because she is fully revealed.  Of course, “revelation” is merely the Latin way of saying “apocalypse”, or the end of the world.  And it is her return that is the world’s destruction.

The cup of wine that she carries was given to her by God when she came in remembrance before Him.  It is the sacred cup – the sangreal – the bottomless chalice of compassion that King Arthur’s knights sought after so diligently, carrying their swords.  Which is, of course, the job of the knight – to break down the tower that holds the princess captive, to liberate her – to immerse the will in charity.

Thus, she is the Mother because of her compassion.  But the Whore because she receives all who come unto her and stoops low enough to encompass all things.  She represents the Heavenly Mother – the Womb that yields and receives, endlessly.  The outer darkness into which the Father’s seed will expand for ever and ever.

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

Jesus’ revelation will end the world as we know it – what we would call an apocalypse.  But the power by which God works is agency, meaning He only works through free agents choosing to act by way of persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, etc. [without compulsory means].  And Jesus showed the world what the kingdom looks like by the miraculous works of the Father that He manifested – showing us how to end the reign of the four horsemen and establish the Reign of God.

Those works that He did are what bring about an apocalypse – but we [as free agents] must do those works for it to become reality – instead of just being the idea of Zion.

Next Article by Justin: Split-brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man

Previous Article by Justin:  It maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no [one]‘s person

The Garment, with additions

The following represents a follow-up on my “The Garment” post, which was originally written as essentially an open-ended question on the subject.  In that post, I wrote the kinds of things was I told about priesthood garments prior to attending the temple, things like:

  • 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.

And then, I wrote out what I was told in the post-2005 ceremony, which was:

  • The officiator was under proper authority
  • The garment was 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.

I then wrote about some of the things I saw as divergent between what members are told about their priesthood garment and what we are actually instructed as the standard with respect to our priesthood garments — leaving the matter at that.

Well, between the comments I got on that post, as well as the subject of garments coming up at the-exponent and Wheat & Tares blogs and my comments at those sites — I’ve formulated this post [which is currently still included in the Gospel-based, Egalitarian, Multihusband-Multiwife Tribal Anarchy Model book project].

Typical View:  Garments ≠ clothing:

LDS will typically divide their closets and drawers into two categories:  garments and clothing.

A “modest” human being is expected to wear clothing at all conceivable times — whether they have been to the temple or not.  And then, once, as an LDS, you go to the temple, you will then begin wearing garments in addition to your clothing.

Garments are considered [in the typical view] to be nothing but a newer and more sacred form of underwear.  Your outside appearance as an LDS who has just started wearing your garments will not change — unless you were in the habit of wearing non-modest clothing before-hand — then, that would need to change so that the garments you are going to start wearing under your clothing won’t be seen.

Actual View:  Garments = clothing and clothing = garments:

There is a dividing line [of sorts] between clothing in your closet, but it is not a division between clothing and garments.  All garments are in fact clothing and all clothing are in fact nothing but garments.  What there is in actuality is two types of clothing [or two types of garments].  There are:

  • Normal, everyday clothing — as worn by all non-LDS
  • Priesthood clothing — as all temple-attending LDS have been authorized to wear

The words “clothing” and “garment” are synonymous.  They both signify that which is used to cover your nakedness.

clothing |ˈklōði ng |
1. items worn to cover the body


garment |ˈgärmənt|
1. an item of clothing.

So, that which are called “garments” [in the typical view] are actually [in the actual view] a special type of garments [or clothing] that endowed LDS have the authorization to wear and that are marked to show that they are in fact priesthood clothing [rather than normal, everyday clothing].  Your outside appearance as an LDS who has just started wearing your priesthood clothing would, of necessity, be different than before-hand — unless you get in the habit of wearing non-priesthood clothing on top of them — so as to appear just like everybody else on the outside.

Covering the coverings:

Insofar as the priesthood garment is given to represent the coats of skins given to Adam and Eve when they were found naked in the garden of Eden — it should be a practical piece of clothing.  However, I’ve found that most find it to be quite the opposite:  an irritation and a generally unpractical thing to have to wear under your everyday clothing.

This is all such a problem because LDS are taught through oral tradition to worry about covering their coverings?  And since the subject of the priesthood garment is linked closely to the subject of body modesty, women are uniquely impacted in this regard.  Among my family members, in my congregation, and online, I have found that most women must fret constantly about whether or not their clothing covers their garments or whether they ought to wear panties/bras under or over the garment, etc.  Shopping is difficult for them.  They experience poor fit, have difficulty finding working sizes, and complain about how garments get in the way of everything — especially when its hot.  If it is the intention of the priesthood garment to be our covering — then why care so much about covering the covering?

The intention of the priesthood garment is to cover the nakedness of men and women while they work out their mortal probation.  Given that purpose, it is obviously the intention that the priesthood garment [being the covering] be seen rather than what is below the covering [the nakedness].

Let all thy garments be plain […] of the work of thine own hands:

And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands; And let all things be done in cleanliness before me.

The issue with this verse is that most who read it have been raised according to the typical view of garments vs. clothing [rather than priesthood clothing vs. normal, everyday clothing] — as such, they will come to the text with the assumption that since this usage of “garment” came before the endowment proper was formulated and the garment of the holy priesthood administered to members — that the word obviously just means our normal, everyday clothing [which, funny enough, we don’t comply with anyway.  We all shop at stores don’t we?]

Prior to initiation, our garments [or clothing] are identical to those worn by other non-LDS.  In the temple endowment, LDS are authorized, put under covenant, and instructed in wearing priesthood garments [or clothing].  At the veil, we are taught what converts a normal garment into a priesthood garment — i.e. the marks.

What they misunderstand is that what the Lord is saying here is that any-and-all garments [or clothing] ought to be made by our own hand.  Meaning — the verse applies equally to normal, everyday garments and to priesthood garments.  Whether you wear one or the other — they are to be plain and their work and beauty should be done by your own hand.

Now people will typically comply with the temple’s instruction to wear the priesthood garment both night and day by wearing two sets of clothing — normal, everyday garments on top of priesthood garments.

However, one is equally free to wear only the priesthood garment that is the work of their own hands, in accordance with D&C 42:40-41, by either making clothing from scratch or by converting their normal, everyday clothing into priesthood clothing by cutting and sewing in the marks — as they have been authorized and instructed in doing.

After reading that scripture and doing some more research — I also found that this practice is more in line with what was done by early LDS.  The minutes from an October 1870 meeting in Salt Lake reveal that:

Some enquiry was made as to how many have their shirts marked — A few rose with them marked — President Young said he took scissors & soon made the marks.  Even if the shirt is colored, mark it — If there is flannel or buckskin between the shirt & garment, that also should be marked.  An overshirt worn as a vest should not be marked.

Thus, in accordance with the scriptural instruction and a historical precedent, any normal, everyday clothing that one would typically wear as a single layer may be made into priesthood clothing [garments] by cutting the marks of the holy priesthood into them and then stitching them up so they don’t fray.  Jackets and other second layer-type clothing need not receive any marks.

Keep your covenants:

The 2011 General Church Handbook of Instruction [CHI] states that:

Church members who have been clothed with the garment in a temple have taken upon themselves a covenant obligation to wear it according to the instructions given in the endowment.

This point of general instruction is based on the temple recommend interview question, which asks:

Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?

Though ecclesiastical leaders will read extra material to you after the temple recommend interview and though the CHI goes on to expound on a paragraph’s worth of extra instructions — neither of these are contained in the temple endowment  — and therefore can be ignored when any LDS is addressing their personal compliance with temple covenants.

What is important to remember is that an initiated LDS has covenanted to wear priesthood clothing for the remainder of their mortal life.  And, in the gospel, we must honor and keep all agency-based vows we have freely entered.  However, no one has covenanted to wear the priesthood clothing that is sold by Distribution Services — nor has any one covenanted to hide the priesthood garment from the eyes of others by wearing normal, everyday clothing on top of them.

This is not to say that if making two sets of clothing [normal on top of priesthood] works for you and the ones sold by the Distribution Centers fit you comfortably — that you are not free to continue to wear your priesthood garments in that manner or free utilize that resource to buy them because that still technically fulfills the vow to wear priesthood clothing throughout your life [albeit a strange way to do it].

However, for many, the sizes and fabrics do not fit well and do not conform to the local environment or culture.  If the latter is the case, then please do not go on subjecting yourself to poor fitting clothing and the uncomfortableness of trying to wear two sets of clothing at once.  And certainly do not cease from wearing priesthood clothing altogether.

Rather, you should strip away all the cultural conditioning and social pressures away from the covenant you have made with the Lord — and perhaps see if wearing priesthood clothing in accordance with D&C 42:40-41.

Next Article by Justin: It maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no [one]‘s person

Previous Article by Justin: To serve Him is to follow Him; that where He is, the servant may be found

You can check this out too — it’s unrelated but I really enjoy the author’s work [she’s a collaborator on the GEMTAM book as well]:  I Am You

The Tree of This and That

The left-brain-mind experiences existence as being some-one or some-thing that is apart from or other than the rest of creation.  This part of the brain is a tool, designed only to look upon the mark – thus it cannot see the fractal nature of the big picture.  From its point-of-view, life is reduced to the sum of its parts – losing all sense of connectivity and spark.  A living body has the same number of particles as a dead one.

Thus, life becomes a task or chore – something that must be done.  You get out of bed in the morning so you can go do life.  Every interaction, every connection, whether with another human, a book, or a sandwich is experienced as though it is foreign.  Life becomes that which implies that you are this.  However this is alone.  It has no role to play and no sense of identity.  This is naked – and always searches for a wardrobe.

There’s nothing wrong with being naked.  You were born naked, and you’ll die naked.  The nude self is the true self.  As the nude self, we are, respectively, Adam and Eve.  Naked, we are dressed for the universal drama – wherein Adams and Eves re-enter the garden from whence they’ve been removed and reenact the ordinance of creation.

Nudity is the experience of pure life – it is just being [as opposed to being this nor that].

God describes Himself as nude.  When Moses asked God:

Who should I say has sent me?

God replied:

I am.

Simply am.  The naked, which surpasses the distinctions of this and that.

Adam and Eve have partaken of a fruit of distinctions.  It grows on the tree of this and that – good and evil, day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, sickness and health, life and death, God and humans.  They leave the basic experience of “I am” and become this and that.  At this event, self-consciousness is born – replacing the God-consciousness that previously reigned.  Once Adam and Eve are this – this becomes aware of its nakedness.  There never was a problem with the nakedness, but when the self-consciousness gained reign – knowledge of the nudity brings with it shame and sin, which will reign until you lose consciousness [die].

The focus on clothing [and other outward appearances] is but the visual manifestation of the left-brain-mind’s obsession with acquiring a wardrobe – frantically trying to cover the nakedness with distinctions, labels, and boundaries.

The next thing Adam’s left-brain-mind reached for was busyness — labor.  The next step for God’s creation [according to the plan that was counseled on in the beginning] was to enter the Sabbath rest.  However Adams and Eves create a distraction from this rest.  The diversion enables this to ignore the nakedness – God providing associated physical coverings according to their desire.  Now this doesn’t have to be conscious of its nakedness because it is busy doing that.

The left-brain-mind expects life and everyone in it to provide its clothing – because it must be that’s fault that this is naked.  Adam and Eve will pluck from the tree fig leaves of labels for a covering.

The left-brain-mind gains dominion over others by assigning that – this way it can have a self-conscious purpose.  Naming that husband, then makes this become wife.  Now a desire has been formed – but not for the connection made between Adam and Eve – rather for the credentials received from the connectionThe fear of not having such a connection is just replaced with the fear of losing it.  When governed by the left-brain-mind, Adam and Eve are ready to freeze that – to box it up and own it – however, the left-brain-mind is ignorant of the fact that the connection is alive [everything is parts, no life].

Labeling it is a form of slavery, and the left-brain-mind is willing to shove a living, breathing human into a conceptual box and deny her/him the right to freely express their will – all in the name of pretending to be something it is not – clothed.

So we set up stakes and put up conceptual boundaries that suppress the intelligence of another – holding them hostage in order to play dress up in our minds.

The gospel is not a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – it is the unification of these things.  Putting the left-brain in unity with the right-brain – the Adam in unity with the Eve.

To cut thru the coverings acquired by your left-brain-mind, you must rest.  But rest doesn’t mean to stop.  Stopping just shifts the idolatry from being busy to being lazy.  The left-brain-mind proceeds to beat you calm— forcing you to relax, which is, of course, impossible.  No real rest is the passive yin principle, it is to be still and know that Jesus is God.

To yield, to submit, to rest, to sit down, to cease your frantic effort to be this or that.

Next Article by Justin:  The conditions of this law

Previous Article by Justin:  The Healing Gifts

Seeking the Good of Others

Meat Sacrificed to Idols:

One of the issues in the first-century church that was addressed in writing by Paul concerned meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  Debates over what to eat might seem strange within a church established by a man who said:

Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

However, as formerly pagan/Roman converts began joining congregations of the church of Jesus Christ, an issue arose concerning the eating of meat.

Pleasing the Romans gods thru animal sacrifice resulted in temples having more meat than their priests and priestesses could eat.  So, as a source of income, the temples would sell the extra meat to vendors — who would in turn sell that meat in the marketplace for general consumption.  Thus, it was common for meat sold in the marketplace to have been previously consecrated as a sacrifice to a Roman god.  The Jews stayed away from such meat because they were wary of the chances encountering the “unclean” food-handling practices and they believed that to partake of consecrated meat was to give second-hand approval of idol worship.  The Gentiles did not believe that meat could be tainted by a sacrifice they did not participate in.  Both parties brought these preconceived cultural views on the subject with them into the church of Jesus Christ — thereby making the matter a point of contention within the church.

The council recorded in Acts 15 urged Gentile converts to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols.  In essence, the council sought to assure that at the next church sacramental meal a formerly-Jewish believer could eat meat he was served with confidence — knowing it had never been part of a sacrificial cow, and a formerly-Roman believer could not be accused of participating in idol worship.

Applying the Matter to Ourselves:

Whenever I read Paul’s writings on the subject of members of the church of Jesus Christ eating meat that had was considered “unclean” by some — I can’t help but think of the current LDS views on things like meat, caffeinated drinks, beer, and wine.  So last week, I read thru 1 Corinthians 8-10, imagining that Paul was writing to church members today on the subject of the Word of Wisdom.

Paul’s Law of Offense = Seek the good of others instead of being concerned for your own good:

The following was taken from 1 Corinthians 8-10.

Some people might think that all things are lawful for them because of justification by faith or because of all the knowledge they have on the issue.  While the freedom in Christ or the knowledge you obtain may make you feel important, it is love that strengthens the church of God.  If you claim to know all the answers, then you don’t really know very much.  However, the person who loves God – the same is known by Him.

Whether or not everything is lawful for you – not everything is expedient or constructive.

You may be able to consume any food or drink without raising questions of moral conscience within yourself because you understand that everything from the earth comes from the Lord.  Why should your freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?  If you are capable of enjoying all things that come from God, then why should you be condemned for it?  We can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – you won’t lose anything if you abstain, and you won’t gain anything if you partake.  So whether you eat or drink – whatever you do – do it all to glorify God.

However, not all believers understand this.  Some are accustomed to thinking that words of wisdom concerning diet are commandments – and their weak consciences will be offended.

Should a non-member ask you over to his or her house, by all means go if you want to and eat whatever is offered to you, out of respect for their hospitality.  But then should a member there point out that the food or drink served ought to be considered morally objectionable to you because of your religion – don’t consume it out of consideration for the one who told you.  For you must be careful that your freedom doesn’t cause another of a weaker conscience to stumble.

If your superior knowledge on a subject were to encourage a believer to do something they believe is wrong, then you would be sinning against Christ because he died for that person too.

If my dietary choices would cause another believer to sin, then may I never break the “commandments” outlined in any words of wisdom concerning diet so long as I live.  I do not desire another believer to stumble.  Don’t give offense to Jews, Gentiles, or the church of God.  Try to please everyone in what you do.  Don’t just do what is best for yourself – do what is best for others, so that many may be saved.

When you are with those who are weak, you should share their weakness because you have a desire to bring the weak to Christ.  It is best to try and find common ground with people, doing everything you can that you might save some.

Even though you are a free person, with no earthly slave master, you must become a servant to all people to bring them to Christ.  When you are with Jews, live like a Jew to bring them to Christ.  When you are with members who strictly adhere to Church™ teachings, live under that law – even though you are not subject to that law, do so in order to bring Christ to them.  When you are with Gentiles who are without the law, then also live apart from that law for the purpose of bringing them to Christ.  But you must not ignore the law of God – always obey the law of Christ.


  • Is my characterization of Paul’s teaching on offense accurate?
  • What lessons can be drawn from his teaching?
  • Is my connection of his teaching on eating pagan meat with the Word of Wisdom™ fair?
  • Is this teaching consistent with the rest of the Scriptures?
  • How can we balance Paul’s law of offense with spicing up your church experience, rebelling against body modesty, or cheerfully doing all things?

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Cheerfully Doing All Things

In the beginning, there was man — and for a time, it was good.  But humanity’s civilization soon fell victim to materialism and covetousness.  Then man made a System in his own likeness — man becoming the architect of his own demise.  But for a time, it was good.

The Cynics were a philosophical group in Greece and Rome around two to three centuries before and after Christ.  They were named, by their critics, after dogs [The Greek kynikos] because of their shameless rejection of conventional manners, mores, and values.  They were a group of indifference towards the normality enforced by Luciferian control systems.  They were known for eating with hands, going naked and having intercourse in public, walking barefoot, sleeping outside, etc.  As dogs, who have a very discerning nature, they could recognize as friends and receive kindly those ready for their teachings and lifestyle – while they would drive away any unfitted or unfriendly.

I share, with the Cynics, a similar understanding of how happiness is attained in mortal life:

  • The goal of life is happiness, or joy – which is to live in harmony with Nature.
  • Happiness depends on freeing yourself from influences such as wealth, fame, materialism, or power – things that have no value in Nature.
  • Suffering is caused by assigning value falsely – striving after the wrong things leads to negative emotions and vicious character traits.

Paleoanarchism, or Anarcho-primitivism, is a critique of the origins and progress of human civilization.  As I studied human history I noticed a common trend, the shift from hunter-gatherer tribes to sedentary agrarian communities gave rise to the social stratification, coercion, and alienation from God, fellow humans, and Nature that have been the main reasons behind every success Satan has had with the human race.  Anarcho-primitivists advocate a return to non-“civilized” ways of life thru deindustrializing society, abolishing the division of labor, and abandoning large-scale organization power into states.

Satan’s first success story with using a mortal to alter conditions on earth was Cain.  Notice that Cain brought forth “of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord,” signifying his lifestyle of sedentary agrarianism.  He was the first to “build a city,” thereby establishing a rule of statism over his posterity.  His family initiated the first secret craft guild societies when they became “instructors of every artificer in brass and iron.”

This continued beyond the deluge in Noah’s time – with the great amalgamating power represented by Nimrod’s Babel.  As any statist, Nimrod was working to concentrate all power and knowledge at the top of his pyramid –archie.  Had the Lord not gone down and encrypted the human language, either Nimrod or someone following in his footsteps, would have succeeded.

Today, were are nearing that point again.  Babylon has brought all nations and people,

“to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression, supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of 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.”

Her “iron yoke” and “strong bands” represent the “very handcuffs, chains, shackles, and fetters of hell.”  The innocent are murdered by this System – and we, as the ones awakened to it – have an “imperitive duty” to “work with great earnestness” – even “that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness.”

Babylon has entrapped us to an unbelievable extent.  There is no way to be truly pure in the world today.  Babylon provides all who suck at her breast a simulated sameness that removes humans from the natural cycles of life.  Our planet has boasted extraordinary longevity because she has been allowed to go thru the cycles of waxing and waning, decay and renewal.  These cycles are necessary for humans too – for the rejuvenation of our cells.  However, we are provided food produced in industrial factories without respect to seasons, water on tap at any time without respect to seasons, housing at the same temperature and amount of light without respect to seasons – but everything comes at a cost.  Urbanization and industrialization of human life has resulted in persistent stress, rampant responsibilities, less sleep, less play, less sunlight, creation of new environmental toxins, new pathogens, and reduced fertility.

We have falsely assigned value to monogamy, body modesty, consumption of things, “cheap” food, allopathic medicine, statism, hierarchies, and public education [Note that in that last link, LDS are half as likely as the general population to homeschool].  These manifestations of the Luciferian control system are intended to entice and derail the energies of the saints – until we come to lose agency and consciousness.  Humans are only truly happy when we embrace that which is designed into our constitution and nature – this means rejection of all things that are the result of convention or earthly –archies.

I believe firmly that if we “cheerfully do all things that lie in our power” – we can then “stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”  In Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers gathered in that upper room — they immediately got up, left the room, and went to work.  Likewise, let us not focus on preaching to the choir, but instead focus on creating a little anarchy in the local congregations each of us has been placed into by the Lord [Examples of this can be found here, here, and here].

All things that lie in our power, which can restore humanity’s natural order, include:


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See also:  Zo-ma-rah’s Week in Faith October 17, 2010, comments at Tom’s Church Finance – Part III, and D&C 123: 7-15, 17

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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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