The faith of God, part fourteen: God is a miracle worker, not a scientist

Continued from part thirteen.

for behold [2 Ne. 27:23]

i am god

and i am a god of miracles

for behold [Mosiah 3:5]

the time cometh

and is not far distant

that with power the lord omnipotent

who reigneth

who was and is from all eternity to all eternity

shall come down from heaven among the children of men

and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay

and shall go forth amongst men

working mighty miracles

Omnipotent defined by Webster

Here is the definition of omnipotent from Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

OMNIPOTENT, a. [supra.]

1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.

The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

2. Having unlimited power of a particular kind; as omnipotent love.

The more scholarly 1913 edition defines it in the following manner:

omnipotent, a. [F., fr. L. omnipotens, -entis; omnis all + potens powerful, potent. See POTENT.]

1. Able in every respect and for every work; unlimited, or indefinitely great, in power, ability, or authority; all-powerful; almighty.

God’s will…and his omnipotent power. Sir T. More.

2. Unequaled; arrant; mighty.

Humorous. Shak.

Webster (apparently) corrected

On Sunday, October 1st, 2000, m_turner wrote the following:

Time and time again, throughout philosophy and everything, people challenge the omnipotence of the Christian God. Being such a public figure, I am certain that He gets this a lot.

The standard argument against the omnipotence of God runs as follows:

1.  If God is omnipotent, then He can do anything.

2.  Therefore, God can create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it.

3.  But if He cannot lift it, then He is not omnipotent.

4.  Likewise, if He cannot create such a rock, He is not omnipotent.

5.  Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent.

This paradox of omnipotence seems unsolvable. The main problem with this argument is the vagueness of the first premise – the definition of omnipotence.

The second premise of the argument is the main problem. It asks us to pit God’s omnipotence to create rocks against His ability to lift those rocks. For any rock that can be created it can be lifted. The existence of a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift is a logical impossibility.

Some object that the nature of omnipotence allows one to create logical impossibility. If He cannot, then He is not omnipotent. Consider the following argument:

a.  If God is omnipotent, then God can create a square circle.

b.  God cannot create a square circle (according to theists).

c.  Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

Of course, premise (a) can be any logical paradox from round triangles to impossible rocks. This argument has the form:

  p -> q

This is a valid argument known as modus tollens, hence, we must turn to the soundness of the premises to see if the argument fails. Premise (x) is fair, and it is the one that is agreed upon. Premise (a) must therefore to be examined. Premise (a) can be broken into the following:

I.  God is omnipotent (according to theists).

II.  Thus God can create or do anything.

III.  A square circle is a thing.

IV.  Thus God can create a square circle.

Please note that draws a conclusion from the premises of theism. If theists do not accept these premises, then the reduction ad absurdum of theism fails. The only objection to this is that theists have weakened the concept of omnipotence.

First off, theists overwhelming agree with (I). The problems begin with (II). What is omnipotence? The ability to create or do anything? Contrary to Webster, when a theist asserts that God is omnipotent, they claim that

God is a maximally powerful being

This means that God is the most powerful being that can exist—He can do anything that can be done.

What about premise (III)? Can God create a square circle? A circle is a “plane curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point”, while a square is “a rectangle having four equal sides”. Let us now look at this again.

God can create a square circle.

A maximally powerful being can create a four equal sided curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point.

It is obvious to all that such a thing cannot exist. If such a thing cannot exist, then it cannot be created.

God cannot create that which cannot be created.

This is a contradiction of (IV) above and (1) from the original argument, thus they are unsound and the argument fails. Clearly (III) is false—it is not a thing, nor is it even a valid abstraction.

Returning to the nature of a maximally powerful being, this means that God can do anything that can be done. God can create things that exist now such as people, rocks, trees, stars, planets. God can create things which do not exist now, such as Martians—as long as their existence does not involve a contradiction.

Once again, returning to a previous topic, the maximally powerful nature might be seen as a weakened version of omnipotence. The question is on what grounds? Is being maximally powerful and having the ability to create logical impossibilities more powerful than just maximally powerful? This objection just returns back to the being that reasserts square circles which has been shown as unsound. No being can create logical impossibilities simply because they cannot be created.

Does this limit omnipotence? If a being cannot create that which cannot exist, is He limited? This question is suspect, it does not assert anything that is not evident by logical analysis, nor does it assert anything about the nature of the being. It is trivially true. While it does not assert anything about the nature of God, it fails to show a contradiction from the theistic premises and is itself reducible to absurdity. Simply, a Being cannot be faulted for creating that which cannot exist, because that which cannot exist cannot be created. God does not lack any ability to create things that cannot exist, because there is no such ability.

To sum it up:

God is a maximally powerful being.

That which cannot exist, cannot be created.

There is no contradiction from these two assertions, neither has the omnipotence of God been demonstrated to be a paradox, rather the arguments against omnipotence have been shown to rest on absurdity.


The traditional, dictionary defined view says,

God is omnipotent, meaning that He can create or do anything at all, no matter how impossible.

This means that God can create and do all things that are possible to create or do within the laws of nature, as well as all things that are impossible to create or do within those same laws, without limitations. In other words, His power is not constrained by natural law, whatsoever. This view corresponds to the Webster’s definition but runs into paradoxes.

…or a maximally powerful being?

To skirt around these problems, a new view of God’s power has emerged, which says,

God is omnipotent, meaning that He is a maximally powerful being.  This means that there are things that are impossible for even God to create or do, or that His power has limits.

Thus, God is as powerful as it is possible to be within the laws of nature and can create and do all things that it is possible to create and do within the laws of nature, but cannot create or do things which are impossible to create and do within the laws of nature. In other words, God’s power operates solely within, and is constrained by, the laws of nature. This view discards the dictionary definition of omnipotent and wherever the word appears in scripture it re-assigns to it the meaning, “maximally powerful (within the laws of nature).”

The scientist and the miracle worker

The scientist

The modern perspective corresponds to, and is represented by, man, who works within an already established body of natural laws, who we will call the scientist. For the scientist some things are possible and some things are impossible, according to the laws of nature he is working within. The power of the scientist is limited only by his knowledge of the natural laws and the limits those laws inherently possess.

The miracle worker

The former perspective is that of (the traditional) God, which we will designate as that of the miracle worker. For the miracle worker, natural law imposes no limitations, whatsoever, therefore there is no such thing as an impossibility from His perspective, all things being possible. The miracle worker, then, can work both within the bounds of natural law, in contradiction of them, as well as in areas where law is completely non-existent.  He is limited only by His faith, by which He works His miracles.

God as an advanced scientist

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

At least since 1869, the LDS have been taught that God’s omnipotence only means that He is maximally powerful; that He operates only within natural law (including natural laws which preceded Him and constrain Him); that because He knows all the higher laws which are unknown to us, His miracles are just advanced science, but to us they appear to be magic because we are ignorant of these higher, natural laws He operates under. Therefore, in reality, there is no such thing as a miracle.

And so God has become a scientist to the modern Mormon.

The midi-chlorian menace

Remember the wonderful, mystical force of Star Wars, which had every kid from 9 to 90 giddy with excitement, imagining that they could wield light sabers and use the force? Remember the scene in Star Wars when Obi-Wan Kenobi feels, through the force, the death of a billion souls who were just killed by the Death Star? Even the atheists were enchanted by the mystical, spiritual force of Star Wars that permeated all things.

Now fast-forward to The Phantom Menace, when Qui-Gon Jinn reveals that the ability to use the force was based on the midi-chlorian count that people had in their bodies (i.e., on science) and not on something mystical. Well, that scene in The Phantom Menace caused the billion or so people who ended up seeing it to feel the death of their childhood romance with the Star Wars saga. The mystical, magical force had been converted into mere science and George Lucus caused a billion imaginations to die, killed in one fell swoop by The Phantom (Midi-chlorian) Menace.

The same collective death of the marvels of God can be said to have occurred fairly early in the Restoration due to speculative Mormonism, whose gung-ho leadership downgraded God’s wondrous, impossible omnipotence due to His faith into mere maximum, possible power due to His knowledge. I suppose their speculations were understandable, since they were trying to present a knowable God to people, so they tried to bring God down and package Him as something a bit more understandable to the common man. Thus, we got the following, “scientific” teachings:

Mormon speculations running rampant

Beginning, apparently, with Brigham Young in 1869, latter-day saints began speculating that God was a scientist operating under higher laws of nature, which were as yet unknown to mankind.

Brigham Young taught that “there is no such thing” as a miracle, and that “God is a scientific character, … he lives by science or strict law.”  (Testimony of David H. Bailey)

According to Brigham Young, “there is no such thing” as a miracle and only “the ignorant” see the works of God as miracles. In 1869 he taught the following:

Yet I will say with regard to miracles, there is no such thing save to the ignorant — that is, there never was a result wrought out by God or by any of His creatures without there being a cause for it. There may be results, the causes of which we do not see or understand, and what we call miracles are no more than this — they are the results or effects of causes hidden from our understandings.

A year later, in 1870, Brigham taught that “God is a scientific character, that he lives by science or strict law,” that He exists by this science or strict law and that “by law (science) he was made what He is,” which would mean that God was made a God by a science which preceded (existed prior to) His existence, and thus God is a scientific creation.

It is hard to get the people to believe that God is a scientific character, that He lives by science or strict law, that by this He is, and by law he was made what He is; and will remain to all eternity because of His faithful adherence to law. It is a most difficult thing to make the people believe that every art and science and all wisdom comes from Him, and that He is their Author.

(See Modern science and the LDS doctrine of natural law)

James E. Talmage, in his book The Articles of Faith, wrote that “Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable.” (Testimony of David H. Bailey)

Talmage made the above statement in 1899. More leaders followed suit on these speculations.

Several LDS leaders have expressed that miracles are part of higher natural laws. In a 1928 conference, for instance, Elder Orson Whitney said, “Miracles are not contrary to law; they are simply extraordinary results flowing from superior means and methods of doing things.” (Conference Reports, Oct. 1928, pp. 64-65.) Likewise, James Talmage once said:

Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable. However, as human understanding of these laws is at best but imperfect, events strictly in accordance with natural law may appear contrary thereto. The entire constitution of nature is founded on system and order; the laws of nature, however, are graded as are the laws of man. The operation of a higher law in any particular case does not destroy the actuality of an inferior one. (Talmage, 200.)

In a similar vein, LDS researchers, Smith & Sjodhal, have written:

It is assumed that the so-called laws of nature are immutable, and that nothing can take place that appears to be contrary to such laws. To this objection the answer is, that we do not know all the laws of nature. We can, therefore, not maintain that the miracles performed by the servants of the Lord are not in perfect accord with some law of which we are ignorant. All we can say is that they do not belong to any of the classes of ordinary events with which men are familiar. But that is far from saying that they are impossible. As a matter of fact, violations of the best established laws of nature appear to be occurring constantly. We raise a weight from the ground. That seems to be contrary to the law of gravitation. …God directs and controls His universe and all that pertains thereto, not contrary to, but in conformity with, laws and forces known to Him, even though unknown to us. (Smith and Sjodahl, 516.)

Lastly, to quote Parley P. Pratt:

     Among the popular errors of modern times, an opinion prevails that miracles are events which transpire contrary to the laws of nature, that they are effects without a cause.

     If such is the fact, then, there never has been a miracle, and there never will be one. The laws of nature are the laws of truth. Truth is unchangeable, and independent in its own sphere.

     That which, at first sight, appears to be contrary to the known laws of nature, will always be found, on investigation, to be in perfect accordance with those laws. For instance, had a sailor of the last century been running before the wind, and met with a vessel running at a good rate of speed, directly in opposition to the wind and current, this sight would have presented, to his understanding, a miracle in the highest possible sense of the term, that is, an event entirely contrary to the laws of nature as known to him. Or if a train of cars, loaded with hundreds of passengers or scores of tons of freight had been seen passing over the surface of the earth, at the rate of sixty miles per hour, and propelled seemingly, by its own inherent powers of locomotion, our fathers would have beheld a miracle—an event which would have appeared, to them to break those very laws of nature with which they were the most familiar.

     If the last generation had witnessed the conveyance of news from London to Paris, in an instant, while they knew nothing of the late invention of the electric telegraph, they would have testified, in all candor, and with the utmost assurance, that a miracle had been performed, in open violation of the well known laws of nature, and contrary to all human knowledge of cause and effect.

      …The terms miracle and mystery must become obsolete, and finally disappear from the vocabulary of intelligences, as they advance in the higher spheres of intellectual consistency. Even now they should be used only in a relative or limited sense, as applicable to those things which are not yet within reach of our powers or means of comprehension. (Pratt, 103 – 104.)

(Miracles by Michael R. Ash)

Btw, Pratt wrote the above in 1891.

According to this view, God is just a really smart scientist who does everything according to some higher natural laws, which are as yet unknown to man, and He performs these feats through His knowledge of all things. Therefore, there is no such thing as a miracle and anyone that calls the things that God does a miracle is simply ignorant themselves of the knowledge it took to do such things. God, then, is a God of miracles only insofar as the audience witnessing the miracle is ignorant. Also, nothing He does contradicts natural law and therefore, is not impossible. This, of course, precludes creatio ex nihilo, since that would clearly contradict natural law, thus making creatio ex materia the only Mormon standard.

Moroni asked,

who shall say [Morm. 9:17]

that it was not a miracle

that by his word the heaven and the earth should be

and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth

and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought

and who shall say [Marm. 9:18]

that jesus christ did not do many mighty miracles

The answer to Moroni’s questions is: Brigham Young, James E. Talmage, Orson Whitney, Smith & Sjodhal, Parley P. Pratt and many other Mormons who believe what these men have taught on this issue.

The Bible Dictionary on miracles

Such speculations have systemically affected the entire membership. As evidence of this, consider the Bible Dictionary entry on Miracles:

“Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher.”

The scientific trap: creation by knowledge

Thus, Mormons have fallen into what might be termed, the scientific trap, which glorifies the acquisition of knowledge over all other principles. We have wrested the scriptures and converted the pure doctrine of creation and miracles by faith

for it is by faith that miracles are wrought [Moro. 7:37]

into a false gospel of creation and miracles by knowledge.

The scientific age has brought out fantastic discoveries, fanciful theories and marvelous new inventions, and this age, coupled with the wonderful new revelations God has given during the Restoration, has inspired the Mormon man to wonder about God’s vast knowledge, whether perhaps His knowledge of all things could be the cause of these miracles. This wondering has led to speculation, which has led to indoctrination, and now all Mormons are taught the satanic gospel of knowledge, leaving aside the divine gospel of faith.

First things first: some definitions

The adjective potential means “existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality” and also “expressing possibility,” while the noun potential means “something that can develop or become actual.”

The adjective impossible means “incapable of being or of occurring.” An impossibility, then, is “the quality or state of being impossible” and also “something impossible”.

With all of this in mind, let’s go back in time, to before the creation of all things.

Creatio ex nihilo

In the beginning, prior to the creation of all things, there was a compound-in-one Nothing, from which we came into existence. In the compound-in-one, non-existent state, the Nothing was without purpose and perfectly useless. So, to make it (the Nothing) have a purpose, God caused an opposition in all things by dividing the compound-in-one into two parts.

This division was impossible to do, but God did it anyway.
Now, the impossibility of the division cannot be stressed enough. Non-existence has no potential, whatsoever. The Nothing wasn’t merely something with untapped potential, like a gaseous plasma which is inert in its natural state but when a voltage is applied, it suddenly lights up. A gaseous plasma is something, and may react to external stimuli, but the Nothing was, quite literally, the lack of any sort of something. External stimuli does not elicit a response from absolutely nothing.

Nevertheless, God shone in the darkness and the Nothing began to split. This was not based upon knowledge of any laws, for laws did not apply to the Nothing. In other words, laws were non-existent at this point but also, even if they could exist at this point, they could not apply to the Nothing, for laws do not work on non-existence, only on things that exist.  This division, then, was an impossibility, yet it occurred anyway. Under what principle did it occur? Under the principle of faith, for God had faith that the Nothing would begin to divide if He shone a light; He shone a light and the Nothing began to split. It was a bona fide miracle, beyond the scope of any natural law, and like all miracles, was accomplished by faith, not knowledge.

Inner sphere of light=unnatural state of existence;
outer darkness=natural state of non-existence

The non-existent, uncreated, compound-in-one, Nothing state we were in prior to the creation of all things is our natural state. God, through the creation of all things took us out of our natural, non-existing state and placed us in a sphere of light, even the created Universe.

all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

However, the created Universe is not a natural state for us. It is an unnatural state. As we all are still living within the confines of the created Universe, what we today call the natural state is in reality an unnatural state.

Everything in the Universe is kept within this unnaturally existing, created, divided or split or opposition-in-all-things state by the power of God.

as also he is in the sun [D&C 88:7]

and the light of the sun

and the power thereof

by which it was made

as also he is in the moon [D&C 88:8]

and is the light of the moon

and the power thereof

by which it was made

as also the light of the stars [D&C 88:9]

and the power thereof

by which they were made

and the earth also [D&C 88:10]

and the power thereof

even the earth upon which you stand

and the light which shineth [D&C 88:11]

which giveth you light

is through him

who enlighteneth your eyes

which is the same light

that quickeneth your understandings

which light proceedeth forth from the presence of god [D&C 88:12]

to fill the immensity of space

the light which is in all things [D&C 88:13]

which giveth life to all things

which is the law

by which all things are governed

even the power of god

who sitteth upon his throne

who is in the bosom of eternity

who is in the midst of all things

Should God ever withdraw His power, or cease to exist, all things in the Universe would revert back to their natural state and vanish away back into the Nothing.

and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon


all things must have vanished away

God’s omnipotence

This short prayer, given by the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, embodies the omnipotence and nature of God:

and he said [Mark 14:36]



all things are possible unto thee

take away this cup from me


not what i will

but what thou wilt

It stands to reason that if all things are possible to God, then nothing is impossible to Him. But I will go further than that and say that:

God is omnipotent, according to His will and pleasure

By this I mean both that God is omnipotent because it is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent and that God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure, which dispersal reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature. (I will elaborate on this later.)

Suffice it to say that this prayer shows that God had power to take the bitter cup away from Christ, which is why Jesus asked Him to do so.  In other words, God had power to work out the atonement through Christ, thus preparing the way for our salvation, or to work out the atonement in some other way without Christ having to suffer.  His power is omnipotent, or unlimited, therefore, Christ’s sacrifice was chosen not because it was the only way, but because it was the appointed way, according to God’s will and pleasure.

Nothing is impossible with God

God’s miraculous power does not come from His knowledge, but from His faith. He is omnipotent because He has a fullness (infinite amount) of perfect, unshaken faith. His knowledge is finite, but His faith is infinite. I will quote the scripture again in case you missed this fact.

all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

God has placed all truth—which is all knowledge, for

truth is knowledge of things [D&C 93:24]

as they are

and as they were

and as they are to come

—into a finite sphere. But His infinite faith extends beyond the boundaries of the sphere of light, into the infinite, eternal regions of outer darkness, where the non-existing, compound-in-one Nothing is found. Because of this, there are no limitations to His power, nor can there be. The only impossible thing to God, then, is a limitation to His power.

The greatest feat God can do

If you are purporting to be omnipotent and want to demonstrate your matchless strength, how do you do this? Is it by lifting more weight than any man can lift? No. Is it by lifting more weight than any group of men working together and pooling all their resources and technology could lift? No. Is it by lifting all the weight there is or was or will be? No. If you have unlimited strength, then all of these feats are well within your strength (non-)limits. No, the only way to truly demonstrate your omnipotence is to go beyond your limitations. That’s impossible, right? And that’s the point.

In order for God to demonstrate His omnipotence, He must do the impossible.

Because the scriptures call God the Lord God Omnipotent—which, according to Webster’s 1828 and 1913 dictionary editions does not mean “maximally powered” but literally possessing unlimited power—the only way for God to demonstrate His omnipotent power is by performing a feat which is impossible for Him to perform. Nevertheless, even such a feat would be easy for an omnipotent God.

ah lord god [Jer. 32:17]


thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm

and there is nothing too hard for thee

Regardless of its ease, though, going beyond His own limitations would most definitely demonstrate the full extent of His matchless power. Now, we must ask, what is impossible to a God that has unlimited power? The answer: a limitation on His power.

To glorify God

The purpose of the creation of all things was to glorify God. God, in the midst of the Nothing, took His unlimited power and created a limitation to His power, in the shape of a sphere of light. His power extends beyond the sphere (for it is faith-based power, which extends into the Nothing), but by creating the Universal sphere, He “gathered up” a portion of His unlimited power and created divisions and limitations on what He could and could not do within the sphere.

Prior to the creation, from God’s perspective, there were only possible things, for His power was unlimited. After the creation, His power was divided between the infinite Nothing, in which His power was still unlimited, and the sphere of light, in which He created limitations. In regards to the sphere, God created an unnatural state in which now there were unnatural laws (what we call the laws of nature) and according to these unnaturally made laws, there were now things that were possible and things that were impossible, both for God and man and beast and all other things.

These limitations on His power were His way of demonstrating that His power was so great that He could even bind Himself, an absolutely impossible feat. Binding God, or creating limitations on His own unlimited power was the greatest feat that God could do, hence the creation of the Universal sphere. It was meant to cause all that was in the Universe to wonder at His greatness, and to give glory to Him.

Giving impossible purpose to the impossible Nothing

wherefore [2 Ne. 2:12]

it must needs have been created for a thing of naught


there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation


this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of god and his eternal purposes

and also the power and the mercy and the justice of god

The genius of God is that He does the impossible. The Nothing is “a thing of naught” with no apparent purpose, therefore, God could not have created it, for He creates all things with a designated purpose in mind, which shows His great wisdom, power, mercy and justice. If God had created the Nothing, a thing with no purpose, whatsoever, its very creation (by God) would have destroyed God. As God still exists, we know that He did not create the Nothing, therefore the Nothing must be in its natural state of purposeless, impossible to use, non-existence. Nevertheless, even though God did not create the Nothing, and even though in its current state of non-existence, it is impossibly useless stuff, He still thought up a use for it, anyway.

wherefore [D&C 76:44]

he saves all except them

they shall go away into everlasting punishment

which is endless punishment

which is eternal punishment

to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity

where their worm dieth not

and the fire is not quenched

which is their torment

and the end thereof [D&C 76:45]

neither the place thereof

nor their torment

no man knows

neither was it revealed [D&C 76:46]

neither is

neither will be revealed unto man

except to them who are made partakers thereof

nevertheless [D&C 76:47]

i the lord show it by vision unto many

but straightway shut it up again

wherefore [D&C 76:48]

the end

the width

the height

the depth

and the misery thereof

they understand not

neither any man

except those who are ordained unto this condemnation

wherefore [D&C 29:28]

i will say unto them

depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire

prepared for the devil and his angels

and now [D&C 29:29]


i say unto you

never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth

that they should return

for where i am they cannot come

for they have no power

but remember [D&C 29:30]

that all my judgments are not given unto men

These scriptures show that God uses the Nothing as a holding place for the devil, his angels and the sons of perdition. This is, of course, impossible, for where is the Nothing? It is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. The most we can say is that it is outside of the sphere of light, but it contains no “end, width, height or depth” that man can understand, for outer darkness is a true eternal or infinite expanse. God can comprehend it, but we cannot.

Three impossible things, so far, and He’s just getting started

We see from this that God has accomplished, so far, three impossible feats. He created something from Nothing. He limited His own unlimited power by dividing it between within and without the sphere, and He has made use of the useless Nothing which He did not create.

None of these impossible miracles were accomplished by His knowledge, which remains in the sphere, but by His faith, which not only permeates the sphere but also penetrates into the darkness beyond.

But God doesn’t stop there, for He offers His children who now reside within the sphere the promise of eternal life, of receiving all He has. That includes His unlimited power. Now, this is entirely impossible, for how can we, who started out as the Nothing, go from the singular, undifferentiated, infinite Nothing to plural, differentiated, finite somethings to possessing unlimited power? We are finite beings in our current (unnatural) state, therefore it is impossible for us to comprehend the infinite.

and no man putteth new wine into old bottles [Mark 2:22]

else the new wine doth burst the bottles

and the wine is spilled

and the bottles will be marred

but new wine must be put into new bottles

neither do men put new wine into old bottles [Matt. 9:17]

else the bottles break

and the wine runneth out

and the bottles perish

but they put new wine into new bottles

and both are preserved

Thus, finite man must be made infinite again before the unlimited power of God can be put into him. Yet, such a conversion is also impossible, nevertheless, this is exactly what God intends to do, regardless.

To solve these impossibilities in our doctrine, those who have fallen into the scientific trap have opted to imagine that God’s power is finite, that He is merely maximally powered according to His knowledge, thus allowing for the possibility of man becoming like Him. According to this thinking, it will take a really long time and a lot of learning, but eventually we will be able to learn all that God knows, too, and become maximally powerful beings like Him.

The limitations created by God

Prior to the creation, all things were to God a set of infinite possibilities, a completely blank slate from which to do anything He desired. During the creation, God made a new set of possibles and also a set of impossibles, both for Himself and all created things.

Insofar as He Himself is concerned, the new set of impossibles consists of things in which He doesn’t exercise faith. Insofar as everything else is concerned, the impossibles set also follows the same principle and thus accord to the faith of God, meaning:

that the limitations of all things are the limitations that He has set by His faith upon all things;

that all things that we say God is able to do are still impossibilities made possible by His faith, meaning that it is all still a miracle;

that all things we say God is unable to do (or powerless to do) is another manifestation of his matchless power in creating impossible limitations in which there originally were no limitations; in other words, that the limitations of the Universal sphere and the laws given by God—along with all their bounds and conditions—are, themselves, miracles;

and that all talk of God being literally limited in what He can do comes from a limited understanding of how He wields His power, for He has all the power that exists in the Universe and uses all those powers according to the purposes He has given them, vicariously through agents, etc.

Now, having a power serves no purpose unless it is used. Therefore, God uses all of His powers, but not all of them Himself, for some of them He has delegated to agents who desire to use them, to further His many purposes. For example, God has the power to deceive and to destroy agency, but He has delegated this power to Satan and other agents. Because He has delegated these powers, we say and also read in the scriptures that God “cannot lie.”  Or that God cannot make slaves of people by destroying their agency, like Satan does.  These are true statements, but it merely attests to the delegated nature of these powers, they having been given to Satan and others inspired by the devil. This does not mean that God never had them, nor that He will never get them back, nor that He does not have power at this very moment to retrieve or take back these powers from Satan. He most certainly did, will and does. But it is the nature of God to use many agents to serve His many purposes.

Elder Chantdown recently wrote:

This is the strange act of the same Father who stood not in conflict but in conversation with Lucifer. Notice even in the super-sacred-secret, copyrighted, intellectual property of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Corporation Sole) video production of the Temple Drama, how cool and collect Elohim is in his correspondence with Lucifer. Lucifer ap-PARENT-ly sees his own PARENT as an enemy. But, God The Father appears to not be distressed in the slightest. Lucifer says “If you do that then I’ll do this!” God responds with a “Works for me” tone. Everything and everyone, including, yes, The Devil, works for Elohim.

Emphasis mine.

and worlds without number have i created [Moses 1:33]

for behold [Moses 1:35]

many worlds have passed away by my power

Therefore the Creator possesses all power, both to create and destroy, both to enliven and to kill, both to set limits and remove limits, both to bind and unbind. And He utilizes all His powers according to His divine purposes. What we see as a “limitation on His power” is a created limitation, meaning one of His creations. So, whenever people say God can’t do this or God can’t do that, claiming that He is not omnipotent because of these limitations, they are revealing their ignorance of His very nature, for it is in His very nature to set limitations and bounds to all things. Those bounds cannot be passed because no one or no group is more powerful than He is, meaning that nobody has more faith than He does.

So, when we find scriptures that state that God can’t lie or else He will cease to be God, this doesn’t mean that some greater power than God has bound Him, but that He has bound Himself, or set a limitation even to Himself, according to His nature. This is why He is both all-powerful, but not a dictator or tyrant. All things love and obey Him voluntarily because of His magnanimity in binding Himself to all things in these ways.

Reality altering faith

God’s unlimited power (agency) comes of His infinite, perfect, unshaken faith. If God exercises His faith in any way, He has power (agency) to do whatsoever that thing is. Because of this, He cannot be backed into a corner in which He has no out. He always has an out, for if He exercises His faith, reality is altered.

The nature of His faith is such that after binding Himself with an oath and covenant that He would not lie, if so He would cease to be God, and afterward changing His mind about the oath and deciding to lie and not cease to be God, He could violate the oath and escape the penalties invoked. How? By exercising faith to that end. Because His faith alters reality, God always has an escape clause. Square circles, rocks too heavy for Him to lift, lying and not ceasing to be God, violating and destroying agency and creating slaves like Satan does, ceasing to be God and then coming back into existence as fully God, etc. None of these things pose difficulty to Him, for He does not ever lose faith and faith is where His power to alter reality comes from.

The ability to alter reality is what created the Universe, for the Nothing is the state of nature, or the original, real reality, whereas the created Universe is an unnatural, or altered reality, made real by God’s faith. Any and every time God uses His faith, the action is always the same: reality is again altered and a new reality is created. This shows that every act of God, every miracle He does, is a new creation.

they [miracles] are created now and not from the beginning [Isa. 48:7]

None of these creative acts are done by natural means, meaning by science or knowledge of natural laws and their manipulation, but are accomplished by the miraculous power of reality-altering faith. This keeps all the acts of God firmly planted in the realm of the impossible (from man’s perspective), in order to keep man and the angels wowed, wondering and marveling at God’s matchless power, that they might give glory to Him. All things that come to know God are in a continual state of astonishment because of this infinite faith of His.

The principle is this: all things that God proposes to do, He does. Whatever He exercises faith in doing, is accomplished. Therefore, God’s power isn’t really limited in any way. All His so-called limitations are self-imposed limitations.

The movie Hancock had a Greek god, played by Will Smith, arrested and incarcerated, due to drunkenness, destruction of property, etc. He stayed in prison voluntarily. At any moment he could leave, but chose not to. In like manner, only God has power to limit His power, by choosing not to exercise His faith.

The nature of God is unnatural

i the lord am bound [D&C 82:10]
when ye do
what i say
but when ye do not
what i say
ye have no promise

Given the awe-inspiring, reality-bending faith God has, it is impossible to bind Him down with a contract or covenant. He can quite easily alter reality and get out of it by exercising His faith. So, how is it that God is bound when we do what He says? It is because of His nature, in which it pleases Him to be bound and so it is His will that He be bound.

Perhaps it may seem strange that God, the quintessential anarchist, possessing untrammeled freedom and unlimited power to do anything, with no restraints upon Him, whatsoever, as His very first acts creates beings so that He can be bound to them. Yet, this should not seem so perplexing, for just as there is a pleasure that comes from unbounded freedom, represented by the eternal expanse of the Nothing, there is also a pleasure that comes from being wrapped (bound) up in a warm blanket, all cozy and warm, represented by the created Universe. God, having all power, wanted all things, for what good is having power to experience all things if you aren’t going to experience them all?

So, the nature of God (in the Nothing) is to experience everything and He has created His will (the sphere) and determined what will please Him within it, in order to utilize His power to the fullest extent, granting Him both direct and vicarious experience (through agents) in all things. In other words, He determined a plan to obtain the fullest possible experience and then created His nature (the sphere) to accomplish it, which plan also manifests that nature, both within and without the sphere.

The created aspect of His nature shows, yet again, that He is not bound by even His nature, for at any moment, should it please Him to change His nature, He can do so, and can create a new nature, merely by exercising His faith in that direction. This is the nature of godhood, to ”do what thou wilt” and to “do as you please.” He chooses, then, what will be His will and what will be His pleasure. In other words, He determines His own nature.

Again, because His nature is a creation, it is unnatural, just as the Universal sphere is unnatural, for the only natural state is the Nothing.  If God’s nature was in a state of nature, it would be non-existent, like the Nothing.  We see from this that God’s power is absolute in the most literal of senses, for He can recreate Himself from scratch.

jesus answered [John 2:19]

and said unto them

destroy this temple

and in three days i will raise it up

So, even if God were to be destroyed, or become non-existent, becoming one again with the Nothing, He has power to come back into existence.

no man taketh it from me [John 10:18]

but i lay it down of myself

i have power to lay it down

and i have power to take it again

this commandment have i received of my father

This is obviously impossible, yet God does it anyway.  How?  By exercising His infinite faith to that end.  There is no science involved, there is no mechanism set up to bring Him back into existence.  He merely becomes non-existent, believing that He will come back into existence at whatever appointed instant He has determined.  His surety that He will awake is absolute, His faith perfect and unshaken, and so at the set moment, He comes back into being.  This exercise of faith has no match, yet God can do this, has done this, and will yet do this, for this is a power that He has, even power over life and death and rebirth.

God, then, and all that pertains to Him, is unnatural, for the natural state is non-existence, or the Nothing.

Impossible any way you look at it

Now, it is just as unnatural (and impossible) to go from existence into non-existence (annihilation), as it is to go from non-existence to existence (creatio ex nihilo)—for the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed; it merely changes form—yet the one scenario (the doctrine of annihilation) we Mormons readily accept,

god would cease to be god [Alma 42:13,22,25 & Morm. 9:19]

and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon


all things must have vanished away

while the other (creatio ex nihilo) we reject.  We console ourselves by saying that although God would cease to be God under that set of circumstances, which would cause all created things to also cease to be, that set of circumstances will never occur, therefore it is impossible for that to happen.  Nevertheless, we assign its impossibility not to a limitation of God’s power, but to a choice that God has made.  In other words, He has power to lie and cease to be God, but chooses not to, for then He and everything He created would vanish away.  But we do not apply the same principle to creatio ex nihilo.  With that doctrine, we say that creatio ex nihilo is impossible not because God chooses not to do it, but because He has no (and cannot possibly have any) power to do it.

We think, in this reasoning, that there is a fundamental difference between the two impossibilities, but there really isn’t, for if God has a power to cease to be God, which would cause all creation to vanish away, so that there is nothing that acts or is acted upon, you have just described a power as impossible as creating something from nothing, for if something vanishes away, so that it neither acts nor can be acted upon, you are describing the Nothing, or non-existence, which Mormons claim is, itself, impossible.

(Again, I repeat, for the sake of those who are still locked into the creatio ex materia idea: the death of God and subsequent vanishment of all things cannot mean that all things go back into a state of primordial chaotic matter, because Lehi’s words indicate that the resulting state would be one in which it neither acts nor can be acted upon.  Primordial chaos can be acted upon, therefore, Lehi is describing a state of Nothing, or non-existence.)

The truth is that the doctrines of annihilation and of creatio ex nihilo and of creatio ex materia and of creatio ex deo, are all true, but they are played out at the appointed time and in the appointed manner that God has before determined.  Just because they are true doctrines does not make them any less impossible, for all the doctrines of God are as impossible and unnatural as He is.  And just because they are impossible, does not make them any less true.

Ceasing to be God

How do we know that God ceases to be God from time to time? Because there is no power that He does not have and there is no power that He does not use, for to have a power and not use it would serve no purpose, which would destroy all His works. So we know, since He has all power, that He has the power to cease to be God. And we already know how this in accomplished. All He need to do is create something that has no purpose. And what has no purpose? The Nothing. How, then, does God cease to be God? By creating the Nothing, which has no purpose. This destroys Him, or annihilates Him, so that He becomes one with the Nothing again. And the cycle endlessly repeats with rebirth, life, death, rebirth, life, death, etc.

The word of God says that He is infinite and eternal.

which father son and holy ghost are one god [D&C 20:28]

infinite and eternal without end


and behold [Alma 34:14]

this is the whole meaning of the law

every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice

and that great and last sacrifice will be the son of god


infinite and eternal

by these things we know [D&C 20:17]

that there is a god in heaven

who is infinite and eternal

As the Universal sphere is finite, the infinite nature of God must deal with the Nothing, which is infinite. So, God is connected to the Nothing, meaning that the Nothing is the infinite part of God. God, then, is all there is, and also all there isn’t. Of what, then, does God create? Of Himself. Sure this defies logic, but that’s to be expected.

Even trusting God is an impossible miracle

If a man has the entire deck stacked in his favor; if he’s holding all the cards; if he’s the only business and game in town; if there is nobody double-checking or verifying his facts; if all verification comes from him; if there is no regulatory authority over him, nobody supervising him, no external force or entity that can keep him in check, or guarantee that he will keep his word; and if he can enter into a binding contract but change or violate the terms of it whenever he wants without any consequences to him, whatsoever; if at any moment he could force you to do anything that he wanted; if such a man existed and said to you, “Hey, just trust me! I won’t let you down!”; wouldn’t you find it absolutely impossible to put your trust in him?

This is the very situation we find ourselves in with God and His omnipotent, miraculous power to alter reality. He’s got a monopoly on everything. Heck, even the Nothing belongs to Him! These omnipotent, miraculous abilities do not instill confidence in Him, for He has power to do exactly the opposite of what He says and get away with it, without us even knowing it. Those who bring themselves to trust in God do so as a leap and act of faith. God’s omnipotence, then, serves to develop faith in us by creating an environment of distrust so that He can produce the miracle of trust.

In like manner, all gospel principles are impossible miracles, God turning things upside down from what we would expect as the normative way of doing things, all so that we might praise His greatness.

The works of God defy logic

Faith is not logic-based. Therefore, the logical paradoxes to God’s omnipotence pose no problem whatsoever to Him. That we cannot understand how such-and-such a deed can be possible, given the rules of our reality, does not limit God from working miracles through His faith. Perhaps it can be asked, “Can God work miracles through knowledge alone?” The answer would be, “Yes.” In fact, the principle of God’s omnipotence can be summed up with two questions and their answers.

Question: Does God have power to do [fill in the blank]?

Answer: Yes, He does.

Question: Does He exercise this power?

Answer: Yes, He does, either personally or vicariously.

Paradoxes do not matter because reality is created on a foreseen basis. So, no matter what scenario one comes up with to test the validity of God’s omnipotence, God has already foreseen it and accounted for it in the present reality, if need be. In other words, if the test is to have God do something impossible using only current reality laws, without the exercise of reality-altering faith or any other godlike “cheat,” such as by having Him work miracles through knowledge alone, without altering reality, He could still do it because His foreknowledge of all things would have seen the test beforehand and provided a way in the current reality (by creating the reality with an “impossible law” exception that only applies to Him or to whomever the test subject is to be) to accomplish the task under the assigned rules. There is simply no way to back God into a no-way-to-escape, paradoxical corner.

It is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent

The will of God corresponds to His left-brain-mind, which is the Universal sphere, while His pleasure corresponds to His right-brain-heart, which resides in the Nothing.  The one is infinite and the other finite.  The one boundless and free, the other bounded and limited.  Because of this dual nature to God, His omnipotence must, of necessity, please or appeal to both halves of His being, therefore, it remains unlimited outside of the sphere and limited within the sphere.  The will craves confinement and limitations and conditions and bounds, by giving a law to all things, whereas the pleasure craves just the opposite.  Nevertheless, the will (sphere) expands into pleasure (Nothing) territory and what occurs within the will (sphere) is always according to the pleasure, for all things that happen in the will (sphere) were pre-planned (foreordained) by God’s pleasure as He looked out into the Nothing with faith, bringing His will into existence.

God must, of necessity therefore, be omnipotent, because of His will and pleasure.  His pleasure demands omnipotence because the Nothing, being a true infinity, can only be split and made into all the endless varieties of things that God sees by His eye of infinite faith, which produces unlimited power.  And His will demands omnipotence because it is expanding into the Nothing in an ongoing creation of a never-ending variety of newly existent things.  Also, because the exercise of God’s faith within the sphere alters its reality, which transcends the already established laws found therein, His will requires that He be able to do any impossible thing, even within the confines of the sphere.

Therefore, because it is God’s will and pleasure to be omnipotent, He exercises His faith to that end.

Dispersing His omnipotence reveals His nature

Inside of the sphere, God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure.  This dispersal, which we can observe or learn about through our mortal existence and also through the word of God and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature.

The nature of something is determined by observation of what it does. We can view lots of lions and see patterns that they all follow and then, when we see one lone lion do something different, that no other lion does, then we are justified in saying that that lion went against the nature of lions. But in the case of God, what do we have to compare Him with? He is the only God that we know of, therefore, all that He does, even when He does something different than what we’ve seen before, must all be part of His nature. We are not ever justified in saying that what He does goes against His nature.

So what do we see?  We see the powers of God delegated to three groups of people: the devil and his angels, men and women, and God and His angels, with a subset of the godly powers reserved for the Supreme Being to use alone.

All of God’s creations use delegated powers of God to do whatsoever it is that they do, even Satan himself.  The demonic powers, then, are simply a subset of God’s infinite set of powers, which He loans to the devil because of an expressed desire that he had to use them.  While the devil remains within the sphere of light, he and his angels may use these powers to tempt man and destroy agency, captivating and compelling the souls of men.  But once they are evicted and cast into outer darkness, their powers remain in the sphere and return back to their rightful owner: God.

The same scenario plays out with man and the angels.  As long as they remain in the kingdom of light (the sphere), their delegated powers remain with them.  If ever they get evicted, whatever power was lent to them stays in the kingdom.

This shows us the nature of God by which powers He reserves to Himself for personal use and which He delegates.  Some powers he delegates to devils, some to men, some to angels and others He uses Himself.  Even though the delegated powers are not used personally by Himself, He ends up using them vicariously through the agent to whom the power was delegated.  In this way, God uses all His powers, even those that we would say are “off limits” to Him, such as the demonic powers.

So, God lies, steals, murders, breaks covenants, and does every other horrible thing it is possible to do, vicariously, through the power He has delegated to agents who have asked to receive and use such powers.  Although the agents have received authorization, or priesthoods, to use these demonic powers, they have been instructed not to use them, therefore they are not on the Lord’s errand when they use them.

ADAM: What is that apron you have on?

LUCIFER: It is an emblem of my power and priesthoods.

ADAM: Priesthoods?

LUCIFER: Yes, priesthoods.

Thus, the saying that “God cannot lie” does not mean that God has no power to lie.  He has such a power, but has delegated it to others.  Eventually, that power will return to him, but at any moment He can exercise faith and get it back immediately.  Nevertheless, the nature of God is to always delegate that particular power.  So, the saying, “God cannot lie” isn’t saying that God’s power is limited, but is attempting to reveal the nature of God, which is that He never, personally uses this power, or gives anyone else instruction to lie, but He does disperse this power to those who desire it.  The same principle applies to other dispersed powers.

Infinite faith produces unlimited power (omnipotence)

Every dispersed or reserved power that is found within the sphere was produced first by God exercising His infinite faith to obtain it. The principle of the Nephites

having power given them to do all things by faith [2 Ne. 1:10]

equally applies to God, for the principle is patterned after Him. No power ever came into existence without God first exercising His faith to bring it into existence.

ELOHIM: I will place enmity between thee and the seed of the woman. Thou mayest have power to bruise his heal, but he shall have power to crush thy head.

LUCIFER: Then with that enmity I will take the treasures of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, popes and priests, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!

Where did the devil get the enmity? From God. Who created the gold and silver? God did.

Taking the extreme example of the demonic powers, we see that the devil received all his powers from God, who first exercised His faith to obtain these powers, and then delegated them to those who desired to use them. Thus, even though the devil has no faith, the powers he uses are of God and came of God’s faith. Should God ever exercise His faith to remove those powers, the devil would be stripped of them. This shows that all things, even the kingdom of the devil, are dependent upon the sustaining will and faith of God. The dispersed powers are lent because it serves the purposes of God, to further His plan. When it no longer serves His purposes, that is the end of the probation and everything returns back to Him, to give an accounting of what they did with what He dispersed to them.

Not restricted in the least

It is inappropriate and a misunderstanding, then, to view the limitations that God has created on how He operates within the sphere as a restriction of His matchless power.  He still is not restricted in the least and He still gets to experience the exercise of every single power that He has.  Also, all the powers that He disperses to others, which are then used to fight Him and His work, have no effect on frustrating Him, but actually end up serving His purposes.

the works and purposes and designs of god cannot be frustrated [D&C 3:1]

How is this possible?  It isn’t.  In fact, it is impossible.  The whole plan of God is stacked against Him, for He works using only agency, allowing all of creation to vote Him out of existence and delegates a large portion of His powers to the devil so that he can fight and attempt to frustrate His work and then He takes a more or less hands off approach (except when men exercise faith in Christ).  Logically, God’s plan ought to be easily frustrated, but it never is nor can be.  Why can’t it be?  Because God’s faith is absolutely infinite and is the means by which He accomplishes His miraculous works and purposes and designs.

God as a miracle worker

Agency is defined in the scriptures as “power to act and not to be acted upon.” So God’s omnipotent power is agency, which, as I explained in a previous post, comes only of faith.  Since God has all power to act and nothing can act upon Him, or force Him to do something against His will, He has a fullness of agency, meaning He’s omnipotent.

Now, since the consent of the governed is needed in the kingdom of God in order for Him to remain just, which is the law of common consent, one must ask, when the vote was taken and one-third rebelled, did God lose 33% of His agency?  In other words, is God’s agency tied to the agencies of the things that make up the Universal sphere?

The answer is: No.

Agency is only tied to faith.  As God’s faith is infinite, anything He exercises His faith towards will come to pass, regardless of what it is.  Our faith is centered externally in Him, or in His Son, but God’s faith is centered internally, in Himself.  This means that His faith is independent of the environment He finds Himself in.

So, if the entire sphere should vote God off the throne, and afterward He were to exercise His faith to get them to vote Him back on, they would do it.  Not because He compels them to have a new election, but because His faith causes miracles to happen.

The faith of God is equally miraculous inside the sphere, among the things which have agency, as well as outside of it, where the non-existent Nothing is (not).  The Nothing does not act, nor can it be acted upon, thus it has no agency, yet when God exercises faith to make it split, it splits.  If non-reacting Nothing miraculously reacts to God’s faith, how much more would somethings, which have the innate ability to react (for they have agency), react to it?

Thus we see that God is only a miracle worker.  He does nothing but miracles.  There is no science involved in anything He does.  Although He knows all the finite things that exist within the Universal sphere, this knowledge does not translate into power, because He operates solely on faith, which produces agency.

Nevertheless, as He possesses unlimited power, He has power to work by knowledge.  Does He use this power?  Yes, vicariously.

The devil as an advanced scientist

Satan has no faith, therefore, he cannot obtain agency through faith.  Where, then, does his agency come from?  From the one-third, who voluntarily gave up their agency to him and also through all those who transgress the laws of God.  He also obtains agency through force, the application of scientific principles and deceit.

The spirit of the devil is likely patterned after the spirit of the Lord, which is in the shape of a sphere or expanded toroid (a doughnut shape).  Like hanging, rotten fruit, the one-third and sons of perdition are attached to it by filaments or branches.  All of the light and truth these spirits once had is taken away by the devil.

and that wicked one cometh [D&C 93:39]

and taketh away light and truth

through disobedience

from the children of men

and because of the tradition of their fathers

Now, light is wisdom, which the devil converts, through his devilish alchemy, into dark cunning.  And truth is knowledge, as explained above.  (Which truth he converts into partial truth, lies and other falsehoods.)  So, like a vacuum cleaner, the devil has sucked up the combined wisdom and knowledge of all the one-third and all the sons of perdition.  In addition, he has collected light and truth of varying degrees of every living mortal sinner.  Finally, every person who has died in their sins and gone to hell have been vacuumed, as well, of every last bit of light and truth they ever had, causing their spiritual deaths.

Given that the hosts of heaven are spoken of as being innumerable to man, just taking the one-third of them alone we arrive at a body of light and truth incomprehensibly great.  If 100% of the number is innumerable, then 1/3 of “innumerable” is probably not countable, either.  Added to that is the combined knowledge of all the sinners who died in their sins from the time of Adam to now, which knowledge concerns the earth and heavens, and you end up with a devil whose cunning and scientific knowledge might as well be considered godlike.

This would give the devil an almost perfect knowledge of the earth, as well as of the heavens.  Although he is trapped here, he is, for all intents and purposes, the god of this world.  Using scientific principles of knowledge, the devil would be able to imitate, to a degree, many of the miraculous works of God done by faith.

For example, whereas God has power to prophesy of the future using His eye of faith, whereby he sees all possible futures and chooses the future He has faith in, the devil has power to predict the future, using his knowledge of all the variables that make up the past and present, and also the prophecies of the Lord concerning the future.  One causes the appointed future to come to pass by His faith and the other predicts the most logical future, given all the facts.  One creates a miracle contrary to the facts or science, while the other predicts the logical outcome based on the facts or science alone.

The way the devil makes it appear that he “performs miracles” is by keeping his knowledge hidden.  This occult knowledge is the great secret that allows the audience to remain ignorant, like a magician’s trick.  The audience is not aware that a natural or technological occurrence has happened and the event is presented as a miracle, thus allowing them to be deceived.

Because of his vast knowledge of the earth sciences, the devil can send forth false prophets to predict many things with uncanny accuracy.  For example, the devil can use his knowledge to predict earthquakes, eruptions, and other disasters, because he has been working with a full data set since the time of Adam and has been tracking all of the patterns and systems of this planet.  Coupled with secret, advanced technology, that his servants in sin have been fervently working to develop, the “miracles” the servants of Satan will perform at the appointed times are sure to deceive the masses and almost even the very elect.

These deceptions come of science, not faith working miracles, for the god of this world is not a god of miracles.  He’s a phony baloney, a pretender.  Nevertheless, the cunning mind of the devil is so smart that he could best all the men who ever lived on this planet, and all the computing power on it, combined, in a test of logic, strategy or knowledge, for he draws on the combined brain power of an innumerable host of captured spirits, making his IQ beyond measure.

Demonic and divine technologies

Whenever God gives a “technological” device or “technological” instructions to mankind, He does so after a patterned manner.  First, the commandments to build (by the hand of man), when accompanied by detailed, revealed instructions, always produce something remarkable, curious (skillful) and “not after the manner of men.”  Second, whatever the build is, it only ever works according to the faith of the children of men using it.  So, ships designed by God (Noah’s ark, Jaredite barges, Nephi’s ship) work by faith.  Have faith and they float.  Lose faith and they sink.  Temples designed by God also work by faith.  Have faith, and the presence of the Lord and angels and other manifestations of His glory attends and the ordinances are accepted.  Lose faith, and the miracles cease, the ordinances are rejected and the temple is eventually destroyed.  (Not every commanded edifice comes with such detailed building instructions, so I’m only talking of those things which God, Himself, designs from start to finish.)  Then, there are the devices that God, Himself, prepares by His own hand.  For example, the Liahona, which operated according to the faith and heed and diligence Lehi’s party gave to it.  When they were slothful, it ceased working.

All these divine “technologies” were faith-based, created by the hand of man through miraculously-given revelations, which contained the divine building instructions, or by the hand of the Lord, through His faith, creating the miracle object,

the miraculous directors [D&C 17:1]

which were given to lehi while in the wilderness

and also the ball or compass [2 Ne. 5:12]

which was prepared for my father by the hand of the lord

according to that which is written

which, in turn, produced a structure or an object that operated contrary to the laws of nature.  The temples produced sealings that reached beyond death, the ships floated miraculously, the Liahona guided in a way that wasn’t possible, the Urim and Thummim allowed the seers to read languages that they didn’t know, etc.  Faith was required in their making and in their use.  The object, then, in all these divine “technologies” was and is always the development of faith.

The devices and edifices of man have no such faith-to-work-miracles requirement to build or design, nor require such faith to work, nor necessarily produce or develop faith in God when used.  So the bulk of all technology can only be ascribed as either human ingenuity or satanic inspiration.

Keeping in mind that the devil is this world’s resident scientific expert on all subjects, we can presume that at least some of today’s technologies have been inspired directly of the devil, either entirely or partially.  It plays into the devil’s hands if every device or technology spiritually or physically harms us in some way, even if the harm is minimal.  Devices that poison by degrees, through radiation, or that hypnotize, or that distract, or that create pride in man’s genius, all such technologies are useful to the devil’s plans and so we must expect him to take an active part in guiding man’s ingenuity in directions he would like it to go.

Among the LDS, there is an idea that the upswing in technological inventions and scientific knowledge corresponds with the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, as if this was abundant evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was being poured out upon the people.  Another possibility, though, is that this apparent increase in technology may have been the devil’s response to the restoration.  The restoration restored the possibility of faith and miracles to the earth.  How does a devil respond to that?  Through imitations, by giving them “technological miracles” and thus keeping them firmly grounded and relying upon the arm of the flesh.

The scientific age in which we currently live may be a time when the spirit of the devil is poured out upon the people, giving them non faith-based technologies and precepts, in order to keep the masses turned away from faith.  Although we tend to idolize science as noble and pure, if this age has had as its main inspirational source that quintessential scientist, the devil, that assessment might be misguided.  Suffice it to say that God does not appear to be overly concerned about science or knowledge, only about faith and miracles.  It might not be entirely correct to ascribe God, the miracle worker, as the author of all this scientific knowledge and all these technological marvels.

But enough talk about the devil.  Let’s return to the topic of God’s faith.

Faith exercises faith

God corresponds to each man according to what He perceives. When He sees a man seeking faith in Christ, He corresponds by giving him a portion of His own faith. The faith obtained is a gift of God, had through His mercy, kindness and generosity, and not through the man’s own efforts. This takes away all cause a man might have to boast and allows him to fully acknowledge the greatness and hand of God in all things, which is one of the purposes of our creation, even that we might glorify His name. And when He sees a man seeking to exercise that given portion, He corresponds by exercising a portion of His own faith in their behalf so that they obtain the witness that they seek. The result is that God ends up doing everything, both supplying the needed faith and exercising it, too. All we are required to do is to show our own willingness. This principle is demonstrated by the following scriptures:

draw near unto me [D&C 88:63]

and i will draw near unto you

seek me diligently

and ye shall find me


and ye shall receive


and it shall be opened unto you

for intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence [D&C 88:40]

wisdom receiveth wisdom

truth embraceth truth

virtue loveth virtue

light cleaveth unto light

mercy hath compassion on mercy

and claimeth her own

justice continueth its course

and claimeth its own

judgment goeth before the face of him

who sitteth upon the throne

and governeth

and executeth all things

o god the eternal father [Moro. 4:3]

we ask thee in the name of thy son jesus christ

to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those

who partake of it

that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son

and witness unto thee o god the eternal father

that they are willing

to take upon them the name of thy son

and always remember him

and keep his commandments

which he hath given them

that they may always have his spirit to be with them



Knowledge (or law) requires existence, which requires a sphere, which did not exist before the creation, therefore God must not have created the Universe using knowledge, but by faith.  This shows that God is a miracle worker, capable of working outside of established law, and not a scientist, and also that God has faith.

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part thirteen: How charity fits in

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist


On September 14, 2008, Derek P. Moore made the following comment on this blog:

“Peter Kropotkin wrote the Anarchism article for the 1911 Encylopædia Britannica.”

Yesterday, I realized that the blog doesn’t really have any deep, scholarly explanation of anarchism and its history and so I started reading the anarchism entry in that Encylopædia.  I very much liked what I read and felt that it would be an outstanding reference post.  Should someone question me about what anarchism is and isn’t, I could just point them to the post (and you could, too, should you feel so inclined).  So, I am including it here, along with the entry on its author, Prince Kropotkin.

Entry on Anarchism from the 11th Edition (1910-1911) of the Encylopædia Britannica:

ANARCHISM (from the Gr. àv-, and àρχη, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government—harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions.  They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international—temporary or more or less permanent—for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary—as is seen in organic life at large—harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind.  He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings.  Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number.  He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state-socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).

The Anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a Utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates.  It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers.  The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of free initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity—including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state—are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.

As to their economical conceptions, the Anarchists, in common with all Socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility.  They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being.  The Anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress.  But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production.  Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the Anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system.  Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.

The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian empire, Roman empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies.  The Anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life—the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on—as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, &c.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny.  State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism.  True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.

In common with most Socialists, the Anarchists recognize that, like all evolution in nature, the slow evolution of society is followed from time to time by periods of accelerated evolution which are called revolutions; and they think that the era of revolutions is not yet closed.  Periods of rapid changes will follow the periods of slow evolution, and these periods must be taken advantage of—not for increasing and widening the powers of the state, but for reducing them, through the organization in every township or commune of the local groups of producers and consumers, as also the regional, and eventually the international, federations of these groups.

In virtue of the above principles the Anarchists refuse to be party to the present state organization and to support it by infusing fresh blood into it.  They do not seek to constitute, and invite the working men not to constitute, political parties in the parliaments.  Accordingly, since the foundation of the International Working Men’s Association in 1864-1866, they have endeavoured to promote their ideas directly amongst the labour organizations and to induce those unions to a direct struggle against capital, without placing their faith in parliamentary legislation.

The Historical Development of Anarchism.The conception of society just sketched, and the tendency which is its dynamic expression, have always existed in mankind, in opposition to the governing hierarchic conception and tendency—now the one and now the other taking the upper hand at different periods of history.  To the former tendency we owe the evolution, by the masses themselves, of those institutions—the clan, the village community, the gild, the free medieval city—by means of which the masses resisted the encroachments of the conquerors and the power-seeking minorities.  The same tendency asserted itself with great energy in the great religious movements of medieval times, especially in the early movements of the reform and its forerunners.  At the same time it evidently found its expression in the writings of some thinkers, since the times of Lao-tsze, although, owing to its non-scholastic and popular origin, it obviously found less sympathy among the scholars than the opposed tendency.

As has been pointed out by Prof. Adler in his Geschichte des Sozialismus and Kommunismus, Aristippus (b. c. 430 B.C.), one of the founders of the Cyrenaic school, already taught that the wise must not give up their liberty to the state, and in reply to a question by Socrates he said that he did not desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class.  Such an attitude, however, seems to have been dictated merely by an Epicurean attitude towards the life of the masses.

The best exponent of Anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 B.C.), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-Utopia of Plato.  He repudiated the omnipotence of the state, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual—remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct—that of sociability.  When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the Cosmos.  They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money—free gifts taking the place of the exchanges.  Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations.  However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouth-piece.

In medieval times we find the same views on the state expressed by the illustrious bishop of Alba, Marco Girolamo Vida, in his first dialogue De dignitate reipublicae (Ferd. Cavalli, in Mem. dell’ Istituto Veneto, xiii.; Dr E. Nys, Researches in the History of Economics).  But it is especially in several early Christian movements, beginning with the 9th century in Armenia, and in the preachings of the early Hussites, particularly Chojecki, and the early Anabaptists, especially Hans Denk (cf. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer), that one finds the same ideas forcibly expressed—special stress being laid of course on their moral aspects.

Rabelais and Fénelon, in their Utopias, have also expressed similar ideas, and they were also current in the 18th century amongst the French Encyclopaedists, as may be concluded from separate expressions occasionally met with in the writings of Rousseau, from Diderot’s Preface to the Voyage of Bougainville, and so on.  However, in all probability such ideas could not be developed then, owing to the rigorous censorship of the Roman Catholic Church.

These ideas found their expression later during the great French Revolution.  While the Jacobins did all in their power to centralize everything in the hands of the government, it appears now, from recently published documents, that the masses of the people, in their municipalities and “sections,” accomplished a considerable constructive work.  They appropriated for themselves the election of the judges, the organization of supplies and equipment for the army, as also for the large cities, work for the unemployed, the management of charities, and so on.  They even tried to establish a direct correspondence between the 36,000 communes of France through the intermediary of a special board, outside the National Assembly (cf. Sigismund Lacroix, Actes de la commune de Paris).

It was Godwin, in his Enquiry concerning Political Justice (2 vols., 1793), who was the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of Anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his remarkable work.  Laws, he wrote, are not a product of the wisdom of our ancestors: they are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition.  The remedy they offer is worse than the evils they pretend to cure.  If and only if all laws and courts were abolished, and the decisions in the arising contests were left to reasonable men chosen for that purpose, real justice would gradually be evolved.  As to the state, Godwin frankly claimed its abolition.  A society, he wrote, can perfectly well exist without any government: only the communities should be small and perfectly autonomous.  Speaking of property, he stated that the rights of every one “to every substance capable of contributing to the benefit of a human being” must be regulated by justice alone: the substance must go “to him who most wants it.”  His conclusion was Communism.  Godwin, however, had not the courage to maintain his opinions.  He entirely rewrote later on his chapter on property and mitigated his Communist views in the second edition of Political Justice (8vo, 1796).

Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu’est-ce que la propriété? first memoir), the name of Anarchy with application to the no-government state of society.  The name of “Anarchists” had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI., and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).

Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word Anarchy to describe it.  Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of Communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided Socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the Collectivists.  When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that “Property is theft,” he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of “right of use and abuse “; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state.  At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on.  He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity.  Under such a system, which Proudhon described as “Mutuellisme,” all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent.  Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like 1%, or even less, for covering the cost of administration.  Every one being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it.  A general “social liquidation” would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation.  The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.

In a society of this type the state would be useless.  The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping.  The contests might be settled by arbitration.  A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon’s work.

It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a Communist; and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour’s Wrongs and Labour’s Remedy, 1839).  It had also its precursor in America.  Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen’s “New Harmony,” considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility.  These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods.  He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty.  In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first “Equity Store,” and which the people called “Time Store,” because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce.  “Cost—the limit of price,” and consequently “no interest,” was the motto of his store, and later on of his “Equity Village,” near New York, which was still in existence in 1865.  Mr Keith’s “House of Equity ” at Boston, founded in 1855, is also worthy of notice.

While the economical, and especially the mutual-banking, ideas of Proudhon found supporters and even a practical application in the United States, his political conception of Anarchy found but little echo in France, where the Christian Socialism of Lamennais and the Fourierists, and the State Socialism of Louis Blanc and the followers of Saint-Simon, were dominating.  These ideas found, however, some temporary support among the left-wing Hegelians in Germany, Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grün in 1845, who advocated Anarchism.  Besides, the authoritarian Communism of Wilhelm Weitling having given origin to opposition amongst the Swiss working men, Wilhelm Marr gave expression to it in the ‘forties.

On the other side, Individualist Anarchism found, also in Germany, its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige and sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay.

Prof. V. Basch, in a very able introduction to his interesting book, L’Individualisme anarchiste: Max Stirner (1904), has shown how the development of the German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, and “the absolute” of Schelling and the Geist of Hegel, necessarily provoked, when the anti-Hegelian revolt began, the preaching of the same “absolute” in the camp of the rebels.  This was done by Stirner, who advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian Communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds—the rehabilitation of the “I,” the supremacy of the individual, complete “a-moralism,” and the “association of the egotists.”  The final conclusion of that sort of Individual Anarchism has been indicated by Prof. Basch.  It maintains that the aim of all superior civilization is, not to permit all members of the community to develop in a normal way, but to permit certain better endowed individuals “fully to develop,” even at the cost of the happiness and the very existence of the mass of mankind.  It is thus a return towards the most common individualism, advocated by all the would-be superior minorities, to which indeed man owes in his history precisely the state and the rest, which these individualists combat.  Their individualism goes so far as to end in a negation of their own starting-point,—to say nothing of the impossibility for the individual to attain a really full development in the conditions of oppression of the masses by the “beautiful aristocracies.”  His development would remain uni-lateral.  This is why this direction of thought, notwithstanding its undoubtedly correct and useful advocacy of the full development of each individuality, finds a hearing only in limited artistic and literary circles.

Anarchism in the International Working Men’s Association.—A general depression in the propaganda of all fractions of Socialism followed, as is known, after the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 and the fall of the Republic.  All the Socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully twenty years.  Nevertheless, even Anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Cœurderoy), and especially Joseph Déjacque (Les Lazaréennes, L’ Humanisphère, an Anarchist-Communist Utopia, lately discovered and reprinted).  The Socialist movement revived only after 1864, when some French working men, all “mutualists,” meeting in London during the Universal Exhibition with English followers of Robert Owen, founded the International Working Men’s Association.  This association developed very rapidly and adopted a policy of direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation, and this policy was followed until 1871.  However, after the Franco-German War, when the International Association was prohibited in France after the uprising of the Commune, the German working men, who had received manhood suffrage for elections to the newly constituted imperial parliament, insisted upon modifying the tactics of the International, and began to build up a Social-Democratic political party.  This soon led to a division in the Working Men’s Association, and the Latin federations, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Jurassic (France could not be represented), constituted among themselves a Federal union which broke entirely with the Marxist general council of the International.  Within these federations developed now what may be described as modern Anarchism.  After the names of “Federalists ” and ” Anti-authoritarians” had been used for some time by these federations the name of “Anarchists,” which their adversaries insisted upon applying to them, prevailed, and finally it was revindicated.

Bakunin (q.v.) soon became the leading spirit among these Latin federations for the development of the principles of Anarchism, which he did in a number of writings, pamphlets and letters.  He demanded the complete abolition of the state, which—he wrote—is a product of religion, belongs to a lower state of civilization, represents the negation of liberty, and spoils even that which it undertakes to do for the sake of general wellbeing.  The state was an historically necessary evil, but its complete extinction will be, sooner or later, equally necessary.  Repudiating all legislation, even when issuing from universal suffrage, Bakunin claimed for each nation, each region and each commune, full autonomy, so long as it is not a menace to its neighbours, and full independence for the individual, adding that one becomes really free only when, and in proportion as, all others are free.  Free federations of the communes would constitute free nations.

As to his economical conceptions, Bakunin described himself, in common with his Federalist comrades of the International (César De Paepe, James Guillaume Schwitzguébel), a “Collectivist Anarchist”—not in the sense of Vidal and Pecqueur in the ‘forties, or of their modern Social-Democratic followers, but to express a state of things in which all necessaries for production are owned in common by the Labour groups and the free communes, while the ways of retribution of labour, Communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself.  Social revolution, the near approach of which was foretold at that time by all Socialists, would be the means of bringing into life the new conditions.

The Jurassic, the Spanish, and the Italian federations and sections of the International Working Men’s Association, as also the French, the German and the American Anarchist groups, were for the next years the chief centres of Anarchist thought and propaganda.  They refrained from any participation in parliamentary politics, and always kept in close contact with the Labour organizations.  However, in the second half of the ‘eighties and the early ‘nineties of the 19th century, when the influence of the Anarchists began to be felt in strikes, in the 1st of May demonstrations, where they promoted the idea of a general strike for an eight hours’ day, and in the anti-militarist propaganda in the army, violent prosecutions were directed against them, especially in the Latin countries (including physical torture in the Barcelona Castle) and the United States (the execution of five Chicago Anarchists in 1887).  Against these prosecutions the Anarchists retaliated by acts of violence which in their turn were followed by more executions from above, and new acts of revenge from below.  This created in the general public the impression that violence is the substance of Anarchism, a view repudiated by its supporters, who hold that in reality violence is resorted to by all parties in proportion as their open action is obstructed by repression, and exceptional laws render them outlaws.  (Cf. Anarchism and Outrage, by C. M. Wilson, and Report of the Spanish Atrocities Committee, in “Freedom Pamphlets “; A Concise History of the Great Trial of the Chicago Anarchists, by Dyer Lum (New York, 1886); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches, &c.).1

Anarchism continued to develop, partly in the direction of Proudhonian “Mutuellisme,” but chiefly as Communist-Anarchism, to which a third direction, Christian-Anarchism, was added by Leo Tolstoy, and a fourth, which might be ascribed as literary-Anarchism, began amongst some prominent modern writers.

The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise), and several others, whose names will be found in Dr Nettlan’s Bibliographie de l’anarchie.

A prominent position among the Individualist Anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer.  Starting from the statement that Anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and “mind every one your own business ” is the unique moral law of Anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others.  He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody’s rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary.  For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment.  Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement.  Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer’s opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of “defence” all the functions of the state.  His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful.  As regards his economical views B. R. Tucker follows Proudhon.

The Individualist Anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses.  Those who profess it—they are chiefly “intellectuals”—soon realize that the individualization they so highly praise is not attainable by individual efforts, and either abandon the ranks of the Anarchists, and are driven into the Liberal individualism of the classical economists, or they retire into a sort of Epicurean a-moralism, or super-man-theory, similar to that of Stirner and Nietzsche.  The great bulk of the Anarchist working men prefer the Anarchist-Communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the Anarchist Collectivism of the International Working Men’s Association.  To this direction belong—to name only the better known exponents of Anarchism—Elisée Reclus, Jean Grave, Sebastien Faure, Emile Pouget in France; Enrico Malatesta and Covelli in Italy; R. Mella, A. Lorenzo, and the mostly unknown authors of many excellent manifestos in Spain; John Most amongst the Germans; Spies, Parsons and their followers in the United States, and so on; while Domela Nieuwenhuis occupies an intermediate position in Holland. The chief Anarchist papers which have been published since 1880 also belong to that direction; while a number of Anarchists of this direction have joined the so-called Syndicalist movement—the French name for the non-political Labour movement, devoted to direct struggle with capitalism, which has lately become so prominent in Europe.

As one of the Anarchist-Communist direction, the present writer for many years endeavoured to develop the following ideas: to show the intimate, logical connexion which exists between the modern philosophy of natural sciences and Anarchism; to put Anarchism on a scientific basis by the study of the tendencies that are apparent now in society and may indicate its further evolution; and to work out the basis of Anarchist ethics.  As regards the substance of Anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin’s aim to prove that Communism—at least partial—has more chances of being established than Collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that Free, or Anarchist-Communism is the only form of Communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; Communism and Anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable.  He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city—if its inhabitants have accepted the idea—could organize itself on the lines of Free Communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day’s, or a five-hours’ work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by every one if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims—educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on.  In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work.  And in order to elucidate the main factors of human evolution, he has analysed the part played in history by the popular constructive agencies of mutual aid and the historical role of the state.

Without naming himself an Anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the 15th and 16th centuries, Chojecki, Denk and many others, took the Anarchist position as regards the state and property rights, deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of the Christ and from the necessary dictates of reason.  With all the might of his talent he made (especially in The Kingdom of God in Yourselves) a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws.  He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force.  Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government.  He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of the Christ he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars.  His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike.

It would be impossible to represent here, in a short sketch, the penetration, on the one hand, of Anarchist ideas into modern literature, and the influence; on the other hand, which the libertarian ideas of the best comtemporary writers have exercised upon the development of Anarchism.  One ought to consult the ten big volumes of the Supplement littéraire to the paper La révolte and later the Temps nouveaux, which contain reproductions from the works of hundreds of modern authors expressing Anarchist ideas, in order to realize how closely Anarchism is connected with all the intellectual movement of our own times.  J. S. Mill’s Liberty, Spencer’s Individual versus The State, Marc Guyau’s Morality without Obligation or Sanction, and Fouillée’s La morale, l’art et la religion, the works of Multatuli (E. Douwes Dekker), Richard Wagner’s Art and Revolution, the works of Nietzsche, Emerson, W. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, Alexander Herzen, Edward Carpenter and so on; and in the domain of fiction, the dramas of Ibsen, the poetry of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Zola’s Paris and Le travail, the latest works of Merezhkovsky, and an infinity of works of less known authors,—are full of ideas which show how closely Anarchism is interwoven with the work that is going on in modern thought in the same direction of enfranchisement of man from the bonds of the state as well as from those of capitalism.

1 It is important to remember that the term “Anarchist” is inevitably rather loosely used in public, in connexion with the authors of a certain class of murderous outrages, and that the same looseness of definition often applies to the professions of “Anarchism” made by such persons.  As stated above, a philosophic Anarchist would repudiate the connexion.  And the general public view which regards Anarchist doctrines indiscriminately is to that extent a confusion of terms.  But the following résumé of the chief modern so-called “Anarchist” incidents is appended for convenience in stating the facts under the heading where a reader would expect to find them.

Between 1882 and 1886, in France, Prince Kropotkin, Louise Michel and others were imprisoned.  In England, Most, one of the German Anarchist leaders, founded Die Freiheit, and, for defending in it the assassination of Alexander II. at St Petersburg, was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment with hard labour.  After this he moved to the United States, and re-established his paper there in New York, in May 1886.  During this period there were several Anarchist congresses in the United States.  In one at Albany, in 1878, the revolutionary element, led by Justus Schwab, broke away from the others; at Allegheny City, in 1879, again there was a rupture between the peaceful and the revolutionary sections.  The Voice of the People at St Louis, the Arbeiter Zeitung at Chicago, and the Anarchist at Boston, were the organs of the revolutionary element.  In 1883, at Pittsburg, a congress of twenty-eight delegates, representing twenty-two towns, drew up an address to the working men of America.  The programme it proposed was as follows:—

First, Destruction of the existing class rule by all means, i.e. energetic, relentless, revolutionary and international action.

Second, Establishment of a free society, based upon co-operative organization of production.

Third, Free exchange of equivalent products by and between the productive organizations, without commerce and profit-mongery.

Fourth, Organization of education on a secular, scientific and equal basis for both sexes.

Fifth, Equal rights for all, without distinction of sex or race.

Sixth, Regulation of all public affairs by free contracts between the autonomous (independent) communes and associations, resting on a federalistic basis.

This, together with an appeal to the working men to organize, was published in Chicago, November 1883, by a local committee of four, representing French, Bohemian, German and English sections, the head of the last being August Spies, who was hanged in 1887 for participation in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, 4th May 1886.  This affair was the culmination of a series of encounters between the Chicago working men and the police, which had covered several years.  The meeting of 4th May was called by Spies and others to protest against the action of the police, by whom several working men had been killed in collisions growing out of the efforts to introduce the eight hours’ day.  The mayor of the city attended the meeting, but, finding it peaceful, went home.  The meeting was subsequently entered by the police and commanded to disperse.  A bomb was thrown, several policemen being killed and a number wounded.  For this crime eight men were tried in one panel and condemned, seven—Spies, Parsons, Engel, Fischer, Fielden, Schwab, and Ling—to death, and one—Neebe—to imprisonment for fifteen years.  The sentences on Fielden and Schwab were commuted by Governor Oglesby to imprisonment for life, on the recommendation of the presiding judge and the prosecuting attorney.  Ling committed suicide in jail, and Spies, Parsons, Engel and Fischer were hanged, 11th November 1887.  On 26th June 1893 an unconditional pardon was granted the survivors, Fielden, Schwab and Neebe, by Governor Altgeld.  The reasons for the pardon were stated by the governor to be that, upon an examination of the records he found that the jury had not been drawn in the usual manner, but by a special bailiff, who made his own selection and had summoned a “prejudiced jury”; that the “state had never discovered who it was that threw the bomb which killed the policemen, and the evidence does not show any connexion whatever between the defendants and the man who did throw it,” or that this man “ever heard or read a word coming from the defendants, and consequently fails to show that he acted on any advice given by them.”  Judge Gary, the judge at the trial, published a defence of its procedure in the Century Magazine, vol. xxiii p. 803.

A number of outbreaks in later years were attributed to the propaganda of reform by revolution, like those in Spain and France in 1892, in which Ravachol was a prominent figure.  In 1893 a bomb was exploded in the French Chamber of Deputies by Vaillant.  The spirit of these men is well illustrated by the reply which Vaillant made to the judge who reproached him for endangering the lives of innocent men and women: “There can be no innocent bourgeois.”  In 1894 there was an explosion in a Parisian café, and another in a theatre at Barcelona.  For the latter outrage six men were executed.  President Carnot of the French Republic was assassinated by an Italian at Lyons in the same year.  The empress Elizabeth of Austria was assassinated in September 1898.  These events, all associated by the public with “Anarchism,” led to the passage by the United States Congress of a law, in 1894, to keep out foreign Anarchists, and to deport any who might be found in the country, and also to the assemblage of an international conference in Rome, in 1898, to agree upon some plan for dealing with these revolutionists.  It was proposed that their offences should no longer be classed as political, but as common-law crimes, and be made subject to extradition.  The suppression of the revolutionary press and the international co-operation of the police were also suggested.  The results of the conference were not, however, published; and the question of how to deal with the campaign against society fell for a while into abeyance.  The attempt made by the youth Sipido on the (then) prince of Wales at Brussels in 1900 recalled attention to the subject.  The acquittal of Sipido, and the failure of the Belgian government to see that justice was done in an affair of such international importance, excited considerable feeling in England, and was the occasion of a strongly-worded note from the British to the Belgian government.  The murder of King Humbert of Italy in July 1900 renewed the outcry against Italian Anarchists.  Even greater horror and indignation were excited by the assassination of President McKinley by Czolgoscz on the 6th of September 1901, at Buffalo, U.S.A.  And a particularly dastardly attempt was made to blow up the young king and queen of Spain on their wedding-day in 1906.           (ED. E.B.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—William Godwin, An Enquiry concerning Political Justice and its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, 1st edition, 2 vols. (1793).  Mutualism:—John Gray, A Lecture on Human Happiness (1825); The Social System, a Treatise on the Principles of Exchange (1831); Proudhon, Qu’est-ce que la propriété? 1er mémoire (1840) (Eng. trans. by B. Tucker); Idée générale sur la révolution (1851); Confession d’un révolutionnaire (1849); Contradictions économiques (1846); Josiah Warren, Practicable Details of Equitable Commerce (New York, 1852); True Civilization (Boston, 1863); Stephen Pearl Andrews, The Science of Society (1851); Cost, the Limit of Price; Moses Hess, “Sozialismus und Communismus, Philosophie der That” (on Herwegh’s Ein-und-Zwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz, 1843); Karl Grün, Die soziale Bewegung in Frankreich und Belgien (1845); W. Marr, Das junge Deutschland (1845).  Anarchist Individualism:—Max Stirner (J. K. Schmidt), Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum (1845) (Fr. trans., 1900); J. H. Mackay, Max Stirner, sein Leben und sein Werk (1898); V. Basch, L’ Individualisme anarchiste (5904).  Transition period:—J. Dejacque, Les Lazaréennes (1851); Le Libertaire, weekly, New York, 1858-1861, containing L’ Humanisphère (re-edited at Brussels, Bibl. des temps nouveaux).  Anarchist Collectivism of the International:—The papers Egalité, Progrès (Locle), Solidarité; James Guillaume, Idées sur l’organisation sociale (1876); Bulletin de la fedération jurassienne (1872-1879); A. Schwitzguébel, Œuvres; Paul Brousse, Le Suffrage universel (1874); L’ État à Versailles et dans l’association internationale (1874); newspaper L’ Avant-garde (suppressed 1878); Arthur Arnould, L’ État et la révolution (1877); Histoire populaire de la commune (3 vols., 1878); César de Paepe, in Rive gauche and La liberté (1867-1883).  Many others are in the Comptes rendus of the congresses of the International Working Men’s Association.  All these ideas, conceived as a whole, may be found in Bakunin’s Fédéralisme, socialisme et anti-théologisme, published first in portions under the names of L’Empire knouto-germanique, Dieu et l’ état, The State-Idea and Anarchy (Russian), and only now reproduced in full in his Œuvres (Paris, 1905 and seq.); Sozialpolitischer Briefwechsel (1894); Statuts de l’alliance internationale (1868); Proposition motivée au comité central de la ligue de la paix et de la liberté (1868).  The famous Revolutionary Catechism attributed to Bakunin, was not his work.  Biographie von Michael Bakunin, by Dr M. Nettlan, 3 large vols., contains masses of letters, &c. (hectographed in 50 copies; in all chief libraries).

MODERN ANARCHISM.—The best sources are the collections of newspapers which, although compelled sometimes to change their names, were run for considerable lengths of time and are appearing still: J. Most, Freiheit, since 1878; Le Révolté—La Révolte—Temps nouveaux, since 1878; Domela Nieuwenhuis, Recht voor Allen, since 1878; Freedom, since 1886; Le Libertaire; Pouget’s Père Pèsuard; Réveil-Risveglio; see Nettlan’s Bibliographie.  These papers and a great number of pamphlets are indispensable for those who intend to know anarchism, as the works published in book form are not numerous.  Of the latter only a few will be mentioned:—Elisée Reclus, Evolution and Revolution, many editions in all languages; “Anarchy by an Anarchist,” in Contemp. Review (May, 1884); The Ideal and Youth (1895); Jean Grave, La Société au lendemain de la révolution, many editions since 1882; La Société mourante et l’anarchie (1893); L’Autonomie selon la science (1882) La Société future (1895); L’Anarchie, son but, ses moyens; Sébastien Faure, La Douleur universelle (1892); A. Hamon, Les Hommes et les théories de l’anarchie (1893); Psychologie de l’anarchiste-socialiste (1895); Enrico Malatesta, Fra Contadini, transl. in all languages—Eng. trans. A Talk about Anarchist Communism, in “Freedom Pamphlets” (1891); Anarchy (do. 1892); Au café and many other Italian pamphlets, as also several papers started at various times in Italy under different names: F. S. Merlino, Socialismo ò Monopolismo? (1887).  Pamphlets, reviews and papers by P. Gori, L. Molinari, E. Covelli, &c.  The manifestos of the Spanish Federations contain excellent expositions of Anarchism; cf. also many books, pamphlets and papers by J. Lluñas y Pujals, J. Serrano y Oteiza, Ricardo Mella, A. Lorenzo, &c.  John Most, the paper Freiheit, of which a few articles only have been reprinted as pamphlets in the Internationale Bibliothek (“The Deistic Pestilence,” “The Beast of Property” in English); Memoiren, 3 fascicules. F. Domela Nieuwenhuis, Le Socialisme en danger (1895); C. Malato, Philosophie de l’anarchie (1890); Charlotte Wilson, Anarchism (“Fabian Tracts,” 4); Anarchism and Violence (“Freedom Pamphlets”); Albert Parsons, Anarchism, its Philosophy and Scientific Basis (Chicago, 1888); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches in Court; P. Kropotkin, Paroles d’un révolté (1884); Conquest of Bread (1906) (1st French ed. in 1890); Anarchist Morality; Anarchy, its Philosophy and Ideals; Anarchist Communism; The State, its Historic Rôle; and other “Freedom Pamphlets”; Fields, Factories and Workshops (5th popular edition, 1807); Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution (1904).  Modern Individualist Anarchists:—B. Tucker, the paper Liberty (1892 sqq.); Instead of a Book, by one too busy to write one (Boston, 1893); Dyer Lum, Social Problems (1883); Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, or the Science of Justice (Boston, 1891). Religious Anarchists:—Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Yourselves; My Faith; Confession; &c.

The best work on Anarchism, and in fact the only one written with full knowledge of the Anarchist literature, and quite fairly, is by a German judge Dr Paul Eltzbacher, Anarchismus (transl. in all chief European languages, except English).  Prof. Adler’s article “Anarchismus” in Conrad’s Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften, vol. i., is less accurate for modern times than for the earlier periods.  G. v. Zenker, Der Anarchismus (1895); and Prof. Edmund Bernatzik, “Der Anarchismus,” in Schmoller’s Jahrbuch, may also be mentioned—the remainder being written with absolute want of knowledge of the subject.

A most important work is the reasoned Bibliographie de l’anarchie, by Dr M. Nettlan (Brussels, 1897, 8vo, 294 ff.), written with a full knowledge of the subject and its immense literature. (P. A. K.)

Entry on Prince Peter Kropotkin from the 11th Edition (1910-1911) of the Encylopædia Britannica:

KROPOTKIN, PETER ALEXEIVICH, PRINCE (1842-), Russian geographer, author and revolutionary, was born at Moscow in 1842. His father, Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, belonged to the old Russian nobility; his mother, the daughter of a general in the Russian army, had remarkable literary and liberal tastes. At the age of fifteen Prince Peter Kropotkin, who had been designed by his father for the army, entered the Corps of Pages at St Petersburg (1857).  Only a hundred and fifty boys—mostly children of the nobility belonging to the court—were educated in this privileged corps, which combined the character of a military school endowed with special rights and of a Court institution attached to the imperial household. Here he remained till 1862, reading widely on his own account, and giving special attention to the works of the French encyclopaedists and to modern French history. Before he left Moscow Prince Kropotkin had developed an interest in the condition of the Russian peasantry, and this interest increased as he grew older. The years 1857-1861 witnessed a rich growth in the intellectual forces of Russia, and Kropotkin came under the influence of the new Liberal-revolutionary literature, which indeed largely expressed his own aspirations. In 1862 he was promoted from the Corps of Pages to the army. The members of the corps had the prescriptive right of choosing the regiment to which they would be attached. Kropotkin had never wished for a military career, but, as he had not the means to enter the St Petersburg University, he elected to join a Siberian Cossack regiment in the recently annexed Amur district, where there were prospects of administrative work.  For some time he was aide de camp to the governor of Transbaikalia at Chita, subsequently being appointed attaché for Cossack affairs to the governor-general of East Siberia at Irkutsk. Opportunities for administrative work, however, were scanty, and in 1864 Kropotkin accepted charge of a geographical survey expedition, crossing North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, and shortly afterwards was attached to another expedition which proceeded up the Sungari River into the heart of Manchuria.  Both these expeditions yielded most valuable geographical results.  The impossibility of obtaining any real administrative reforms in Siberia now induced Kropotkin to devote himself almost entirely to scientific exploration, in which he continued to be highly successful.  In 1867 he quitted the army and returned to St Petersburg, where he entered the university, becoming at the same time secretary to the physical geography section of the Russian Geographical Society.  In 1873 he published an important contribution to science, a map and paper in which he proved that the existing maps of Asia entirely misrepresented the physical formation of the country, the main structural lines being in fact from south-west to north-east, not from north to south, or from east to west as had been previously supposed.  In 1871 he explored the glacial deposits of Finland and Sweden for the Russian Geographical Society, and while engaged in this work was offered the secretaryship of that society.  But by this time he had determined that it was his duty not to work at fresh discoveries but to aid in diffusing existing knowledge among the people at large, and he accordingly refused the offer, and returned to St Petersburg, where he joined the revolutionary party.  In 1872 he visited Switzerland, and became a member of the International Workingmen’s Association at Geneva. The socialism of this body was not, however, advanced enough for his views, and after studying the programme of the more violent Jura Federation at Neuchâtel and spending some time in the company of the leading members, he definitely adopted the creed of anarchism (q.v.) and, on returning to Russia, took an active part in spreading the nihilist propaganda.  In 1874 he was arrested and imprisoned, but escaped in 1876 and went to England, removing after a short stay to Switzerland, where he joined the Jura Federation.  In 1877 he went to Paris, where he helped to start the socialist movement, returning to Switzerland in 1878, where he edited for the Jura Federation a revolutionary newspaper, Le Révolté, subsequently also publishing various revolutionary pamphlets.  Shortly after the assassination of the tsar Alexander II. (1881) Kropotkin was expelled from Switzerland by the Swiss government, and after a short stay at Thonon (Savoy) went to London, where he remained for nearly a year, returning to Thonon towards the end of 1882.  Shortly afterwards he was arrested by the French government, and, after a trial at Lyons, sentenced by a police-court magistrate (under a special law passed on the fall of the Commune) to five years’ imprisonment, on the ground that he had belonged to the International Workingmen’s Association (1883).  In 1886 however, as the result of repeated agitation on his behalf in the French Chamber, he was released, and settled near London.

Prince Kropotkin’s authority as a writer on Russia is universally acknowledged, and he has contributed largely to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Among his other works may be named Paroles d’un révolté (1884); La Conquête du pain (1888); L’ Anarchie: sa philosophie, son idéal (1896); The State, its Part in History (1898); Fields, Factories and Workshops (1899); Memoirs of a Revolutionist (1900); Mutual Aid, a Factor of Evolution (1902); Modern Science and Anarchism (Philadelphia, 1903); The Desiccation of Asia (1904); The Orography of Asia (1904); and Russian Literature (1905).

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Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War

Note: I found this essay while surfing the Internet this past week.  I took it from the mormon_anarchy Yahoo group.  Wake_Up posted it there on Sun Oct 6, 2000, as the seventh message and now I’m re-posting it here in a slightly edited fashion (I tried to correct some typos). I have also re-posted three more of his essays.  (See Why Father is an Anarchist, What the Priesthood Is, and Congruence vs. Obedience.)

Please keep in mind that I did not write this article. I tried to contact the author, (whose real name, according to Stirling D. Allen, is Jahnihah Wrede), but my email was returned as “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.”  If you want more information about him or his views, I suggest you visit his (now defunct) web site, which you can view by using the Way Back Machine.

Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War

Freedom of choice. Free agency. The absolute ability to choose.  Isaiah taught us about a great war in Heaven between Christ and Lucifer over which of two plans were to be implemented here on earth; one of freedom to choose to sin and repent to become congruent, and the other of compulsion to live only in obedience.  Both were presented to ‘save’ mankind. Both were based upon adherence to righteousness. Both recognized the availability of free choice prior to coming to earth, but only one attempted to violate that eternal principle. Lucifer’s plan of compelled righteousness was rejected by God, and he was cast down to earth according to Isaiah.

Today we have BOTH plans available to choose from. We are either exerting compulsion or refraining from exerting compulsion during our progression here. The principle of free agency can not be violated without violating Heaven itself for they are co-eternal (see: D&C 121 & King Follett Discourse). Lucifer’s attempt to end free agency violated eternal congruence and harmony as it always existed. His own end of congruence to those principles were available, ironically, only because he had the freedom of choice and exercised it.

According to all of Holy Writ, we have no other indication as to any other principle being of any issue or cause for this War in Heaven, except for that of free agency.

Today we have the opportunity to gravitate towards either compulsion, or freedom, as a matter of fulfilling our potential to become like Lucifer or to become like God, respectively. All of it has its foundation in the principle of freedom of choice. Without it, all of us could not experience either good or evil, and choose which one we would be congruent to, and consequently which Master we choose.

There is a grand Key in understanding free agency as a principle. It allows one to discern by what means a person or system is operating, and hence who it is they follow. If free agency is the single principle that Lucifer fell over, and caused a War to be waged in Heaven, then certainly it is a serious issue worthy of a great deal of attention and understanding.

Because agency is available to everyone, it is necessary to determine the parameters and boundaries someone’s agency extends before it violates another’s agency, else we may violate this eternal principle even as Lucifer did, and fall ourselves.

D&C 121: 34-46 (emphasis & colors, mine)

121:34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

(Please remember the context Father is speaking in, is to the Elders & High Priests, not gentiles who don’t even read the BoM.)

121:35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this ONE lesson–

121:36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon principles of righteousness.

(This means that righteousness alone – which [is] a correct attribute – is NOT the ‘controlling’ or ‘handling’ power of Heaven & Priesthood, but there IS SOMETHING ELSE.)

121:37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

121:38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

(He is an enemy to God at this point.)

121:39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

(Remember, this is spoken by Father to the High Priesthood, not to the world although the principles still apply there, too, in secular positions of ‘authority’.)

121:40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

Now we have the parameters within which the congruent operations of the ‘Priesthood’ can function on earth, and in Heaven. But now we need to find out what this ‘Priesthood’ is, so that we can operate it in the parameters congruent to Father’s will, and in Harmony with Heaven itself.  Continuing:

121:41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

(Again, “That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but…”, in any degree of unrighteous dominion, the Priesthood is immediately withdrawn – no ‘vote’ or court hearing’ is needed – and the conference is rendered invalid for the Priesthood is WITHDRAWN, and no man may by mere name of the ‘office’ – BY ‘VIRTUE’ – they now hold ultra vires officiate or exercise any authority without blaspheming Father, and condemning themselves.)

121:42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile–

121:43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou has reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

(This is an excellent verse, but it distracts from the focus of the attributes themselves, and their POWER, so try reading past this verse a few times before letting it enlighten you with it’s rich intent)

121:44 That he may know that thy faithfulness (Charity) is stronger than the cords of death.

(Faith is an attribute of Charity, and Charity never faileth, so ‘faithfulness’ does not convey the intent as accurately as ‘Charity’ does.)

121:45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

(These verses are the beginning of the ‘doctrine of the priesthood’.)

121:46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

In this is contained the fallacy of ‘obedience’ and ‘righteousness’ as the sole means whereby typical ‘Priesthood leaders’ rely to exert their will. It is time to uncover that darkness with Light and Truth.  Congruence and Free agency in operating Priesthood is the only way Father allows, withstanding all the traditions of men – be they called ‘prophets, seers, or revelators,’ or ‘president, father, or patriarch’.

To ignore this is to deny that Eternal foundation upon which men may become even as He is. This single principle of free agency is what the War in Heaven is fought over, and continues even now, because upon it hinges the Priesthood, it’s Rights, and Power both in Heaven and on Earth. They are all as Eternal as the rest, but to destroy free agency is to destroy everything; including saving every living soul without compulsory means.

Holding fast to free agency FIRST, and applying Priesthood only in the manner described above shall ensure being congruent to Father, for this is how He is Himself. Just as stated above, any degree – which includes INTENT – of violation of free agency, will IMMEDIATELY result as if they never had Priesthood in the first place, but because they HAD IT, and violated the covenant and Trust inherent in using it, they are accountable and left unto themselves as an ENEMY to God, until they fully repent.

There are only two verses of scripture that are identical, excepting ONE WORD, when discussing being an ‘enemy’ to God.

“Satan is an enemy to God….”
“Carnal man is an enemy to God…”

[Note by LDS Anarchist: the scripture being referred to appears to be Mosiah 16: 5.  There are other scriptures, though, that also speak of being an enemy to God.]

In this light, on a personal level of understanding, the ‘man of sin (enemy to God) revealed in the Temple (body) of God’ IS the man/woman who violates the free agency of another, and repents not; being that the principle of free agency is the discerning Key to true or false Priesthood. Hence the War in Heaven continues with every choice; yea, even every intent of a man/woman’s heart. We wage war inside of ourselves to obtain congruence, and we manifest that outwardly in all of our choices. Are we violating free agency and thereby becoming an enemy to God as Satan? OR, are we taking seriously the weightiness of all our intents and choices, being careful to truly allow all men/women their agency, and thereby keep from falling and able to hold fast to the Holy Priesthood, and have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion?

I suspect a very serious and honest introspection is long overdue upon this one issue. I hope that we are filled with Charity to overcome the temptation to deny the strong delusion we’ve deeply slept under, in condemnation, and to fully repent of the awful situation that has come upon us to ourselves personally, and also to the world affected by the choices we each have made, that we are reconciled to the Father, that we are seen to BE even as He is: congruent.


Previous Guest Contributor article: Congruence vs. Obedience

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Congruence vs. Obedience

Note: I found this essay while surfing the Internet this past week.  I took it from the mormon_anarchy Yahoo group.  Wake_Up posted it there on Sun Oct 8, 2000, as the fourth message and now I’m re-posting it here in a slightly edited fashion (I tried to correct some typos). I have also re-posted three more of his essays.  (See Why Father is an Anarchist, What the Priesthood Is, and Agency: The Single Principle for a Continuous War.)

Please keep in mind that I did not write this article. I tried to contact the author, (whose real name, according to Stirling D. Allen, is Jahnihah Wrede), but my email was returned as “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.”  If you want more information about him or his views, I suggest you visit his (now defunct) web site, which you can view by using the Way Back Machine.

Congruence vs. Obedience

It is self-evident to any lover of free agency that obedience to law is wholly Luciferian.

You are wanting to discontinue reading, aren’t you?

It’s totally backwards, right?

It’s so backwards that this is what the definition of something being self-evident means, correct?

That something is so obviously erroneous that to continue to give it space is a waste of time, yes?

It is obvious that if someone came along and proposed a system of governance that required a fabricated punishment beyond the natural consequences for any type of infraction or breach, you would recognize it as being a fraud filled with agony under compulsion and even tending to abusiveness, right ?

It also would be glaringly apparent that if this same fellow proposed such a system no one would volunteer into it, for to force them into such a system would be giving away the true intention and nature of this fellow, OK?

So, to make a statement like the one at the top of this article, it is self-evident WHO the author is, right ?

The author is Jesus Christ Himself and He said it in D&C 121 :34-40 and to Ancient Israel about the 10 Commandments, and most specifically in 1 Timothy 1:9:

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers…”

Breathe Neo, just breathe… Heck of a way to start out, huh ? It’s OK. A very wise man I know and love said,

“Put your preconceived notions on the shelf for a while, and after you have considered this info without bias, if you like you can pick up the old perceptions right back off the shelf where you left them.”

I don’t mean to preach anything new to you. I only wish to clarify something eternal that we somehow allowed to escape our view.

We define different words with their own meanings even though they may be very similar to one another. We might describe someone as ‘eccentric’ and another as ‘insane’; or ‘zealous’ from ‘fanatical’. Indeed it is what the whole of being ‘politically correct’ is founded upon. Most people have a good understanding of what the terms ‘law’ and ‘obedience’ mean, and also of ‘order’ and ‘congruence’.

There is literally a world of difference between ‘law’ and ‘order’, and between ‘obedience’ and ‘congruence’.

Let us take the typical understanding of ‘obedience’ found in the scriptures. Of course, most Christians believe that if you are not obedient, you are going to wind up in Hell, but obedient to what?  The law of God, of course. So, to be obedient, you have to know what God’s law is. Where is the law of God found?

Some Christians believe that the 10 Commandments are the law of God, and others believe that The Beatitudes of Jesus on the Mount of Olives is God’s law, and others say both. I don’t have to convince you one way or the other to make my point. The mere fact is that as long as there is a ‘law’, then it is of NO EFFECT without a consequent punishment. Do the ‘laws’ of God assert a punishment? If you believe God has laws, then you must concede that punishments follow for breaches of the law, and rewards or blessings occur for obedience to the law, right?

Let us review Isaiah for a moment. Isaiah tells us of a War in Heaven that occurred as a result of the Son of the Morning’s plan of salvation through compulsion to save every soul was rejected for Father’s chosen plan of salvation from His other Son to save every soul via free choice. It is self-evident that the single premise for the War wasn’t over going to Heaven or Hell, but over the freedom to choose which plan to be saved under – that of compulsion to do righteousness, or that of freedom to sin and to repent.

In speaking about the ‘authority to act in the name of God’, a.k.a. the Priesthood (PH), Father has said in no uncertain terms that ‘…ANY degree of compulsion is cause for immediate withdrawal of PH.’ and that such a man was ‘…left unto himself… to be an enemy and fight against God.’ It is D&C 121: 34-40.

It seems that as long as you want to infringe on another’s agency in any degree, you are totally out of sorts with the plan of salvation of Jesus Christ, and His PH. How then can we justify ‘obedience’ to ‘law’ when it requires us to exact a punishment upon our fellowman for his ‘disobedience’? Where did we get the idea that ‘obedience’ means what we typically believe it means? Where did we get the idea that ‘law’ was an excuse to exert dominion over another without becoming an enemy to God?

Have we not heard so much of ‘obedience unto God’s law’ that we are all afraid of going to Hell? Lots of people are going to Hell then, huh? In fact we are so afraid of going to Hell, that we blindly obey the law without giving thought for the truth – that God ceases to BE GOD if any degree of compulsion is used to get us sinners to repent, right?

What kind of God would fabricate a law, assert some punishment in addition to natural consequence, and enforce it by compulsion (else the law would be of no effect), and claim to be Just when it contradicts His own explanation of how the Powers of Heaven and the Rights of the PH operate??? A Luciferian ‘god’ would. A light should have just gone on. What was self-evident at the top, is now taking a serious beating in your mind if you are paying attention.

Is it too far fetched to say that God is lawless right now? It would at least keep Him from violating the PH and the Powers of Heaven they are inseparably connected to, huh? But, is God an Anarchist?

Evidently the PH has no beginning of days, or end of days; no mother or no father. In short it is eternal. It also is inseparably connected to the Powers of Heaven, which God obviously has at His disposal provided He doesn’t exercise any degree of unrighteous dominion and fall from Godhood. This means that indeed there is an ‘order’ to everything that is eternal, but it isn’t what we have corrupted into ‘law’, and ‘obedience’ isn’t required, but ‘congruence’ is. Apparently, suffering the natural consequence of being incongruent is enough ‘punishment’ in God’s reality. No fabrication of abusive punishments are required to drive fear into the hearts of men so via this compulsion they ALL are saved.

So, what’s with all the fear about Hell? Let me define ‘Hell’ here as merely ‘separation from Father’ regardless of its degree or the imaginations of men. If one truly loved God, separation from Him is ‘Hell’ just as being separated from a spouse who has died is Hell regardless of the length of time of separation.

In the same manner are we to remain separated from God until we become congruent to His nature and attributes, which doesn’t include exerting laws and punishments via compulsion upon our fellow men, a.k.a.’obedience’. We either are seen as He is seen, and are known as He is known, or we remain separated from Him to some degree regardless of our level of ‘obedience’. As long as we play the part rather than Being true to the core, then we are deceiving ourselves and can only achieve something less than exaltation. It naturally would behoove us to come to a complete understanding of who God is, and what His nature and attributes are so we might KNOW if we could actually be happy living as He lives.  Good thing Joseph gave the King Follett Discourse.


Next Guest Contributor article: Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War

Previous Guest Contributor article: What The Priesthood Is

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Why (Heavenly) Father is an Anarchist

Note: I found this essay while surfing the Internet this past week.  I took it from the mormon_anarchy Yahoo group.  Wake_Up posted it there on Sun Oct 8, 2000, as the first message and now I’m re-posting it here in a slightly edited fashion (I tried to correct some typos). I have also re-posted three more of his essays.  (See What the Priesthood Is, Congruence vs. Obedience, and Agency: The Single Principle for a Continuous War.)

Please keep in mind that I did not write this article. I tried to contact the author, (whose real name, according to Stirling D. Allen, is Jahnihah Wrede), but my email was returned as “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.”  If you want more information about him or his views, I suggest you visit his (now defunct) web site, which you can view by using the Way Back Machine.

Why Father is an Anarchist

I was once accused of being an ‘anarchist’. Because of the negative meaning attached to it, I rejected it. Most people perceive of anarchy as being total chaos, when in fact, in it’s purest form, it is the simple absence of compulsion or a system of enFORCEment.

From Bovier’s 6th Edition (1856):

“ANARCHY. The absence of all political government; by extension, it signifies confusion in government.”

I do not espouse ‘confusion’ or ‘chaos’, and it is ONLY by extension that government is presumed to EXIST so as to have confusion within it in the first place. As the definition states, “The ABSENCE of ALL political goverment” is anarchy; which is a far cry from the definition of ‘confusion’ or ‘chaos’ itself.

Anarchy is therefore JUST AS VIABLE as an orderly and sane existence WITHOUT political government, regardless of what anyone would like to assert, just as the word itself testifies to.

This does not mean there are no consequences for one’s behavors, in fact chaos is the result of the reactive infliction of consequence as a response to an unfavorable choice.

When everyone reacts to reactions, the resulting environment is comparable to the 3 Stooges. At some point, people develop a method of ‘order’ to curb the resulting chaos because everyone knows that we are terribly undisciplined as a society that we need compulsion to prevent all these knee-jerk reactions from causing a domino effect. Instead of learning to be self-disciplined in a manner absent of excessive, artificial pain, we develop a compulsive artificial system to inflict a consequence upon people for not behaving like we want them to behave. Usually the artificial consequence is made so unpleasant, it curtails the ACTION but not the desire that leads to the action itself. Fear is the motivating force in this system. Compulsion is equally applied to everyone. Infliction of force against the will of a minority is mandated by the majority, even if the majority is completely incongruent to God – and that is where we begin to see the futility in developing and maintaining artificial systems of ‘order’.

Let us look at the very nature of ‘law’. It isn’t too difficult to define ‘law’ into two separate categories: God’s law, and men’s law.

God’s law is unchangable; men’s law consistently changes.

God’s law is Eternal – meaning it never had a beginning or will it have an end; men’s law is merely ink on paper and has a beginning at it’s writing, and has an end whenever it suits them.

God’s law allows complete freedom of choice and the consequences are applied by nature – be it blessings or condemnation; men’s laws asserts against free choice an artificial consequence of condemnation above and beyond that of God’s law, and provides no blessing whatsoever.

God’s law is merciful or just based upon the intent of one’s heart; men’s law denies the existence of intent and of truth for ‘facts’ alone.

God’s law is enduring reaping what you sow; men’s law is enduring whatever un-natural pains contrived beyond that of nature, and the only relief is an absence of pain – and an absence of pain does NOT equal happiness.

That is enough evidence to justify a separation between the two.

It is a matter of common sence that any law that has no consequence attached to it is of no effect – it is as though it didn’t exist at all. Nothing would happen if a law was violated if that law had no consequence attached to it. Scripturally we find this very principle espoused – that a law without a punishment is of no effect.

The dilema occurs when we look at the parameters of the methods of operation of PH power in relation to free choice. God’s ‘law’ is thus: When any violation of freedom of choice occurs, the powers of heaven, and the inseparably connected rights of PH authority are immediately withdrawn and are ineffectual. Thus, if God wishes to enFORCE a punishment upon you against your will, He falls from Godhood for violations of your own will. Seems like a catch 22 for God, right? If He makes a law, then He MUST enFORCE that law, yet the enFORCEment of that law violates your free agency,  so God is no longer congruent, and ceases to be God.

Sounds like either God has laws, but better not attempt to enFORCE them for fear of falling from Godhood; or, God has no laws and is an anarchist in the purest sence. So, which is it?

If God has laws, then He better have a way to enFORCE them else they become of no effect. Problem is that even the attempt to compel people by law is the intention that violates the natural congruence of who God is. If His heart is to inflict force against other’s will, then He isn’t true to what He espouses, and makes
Himself to be a Liar. Is God then a Liar? No, so we must conclude that something else is the reality of things.

Let me take another tact for just a moment so that things should begin to come into focus here.

What law does God require Himself to adhere to if He is already naturally congruent to it? What purpose would a law serve if God is already the type of person who wouldn’t break it? Don’t laws exist to curb the behaviors of those who otherwise WOULD violate it? If God already knows how to behave, why would any law be of use? Besides, who would enFORCE a law against an all powerful God? Why should He even regard it as it would be impossible for Him to suffer the consequence of it’s violation?

Could it be that God needs no law to be compelled into behaving any particular way, and that His perfection is in that He is wholly congruent and above the law? Would this status of being ‘above the law’ seem logical for a God who is the Greatest Sovereign? If so, then He is absolutely chaotic by standard paradigms  because in this type of existence there can be no ‘authority’ to curb His behaviors, and no ‘order’ for God because the standard paradigm believes a system of authority is required in order to have ‘order’ and eliminate chaos. Perhaps it’s we that have it backwards.

God is a God of Order, but not of compulsion. His order derives from pure intents which leads to proper action, not punishment which curb actions out of fear but do nothing to change the intents of men. Man’s law’s only desire is to obtain feigned peace by the heavy hand of force and compulsion to ‘eliminate chaos’ without any consideration for the eternal progression of each soul that REQUIRES becoming the type of BEing (within and without) that God is in order to return back home to Him. Man’s law ignores the heart and intent that must eventually become congruent to the very powers of Heaven for a counterfeit ‘order’ that requires only strict obedience without regard to what type of people we are inwardly.

Do you think God will allow unrepentant liars to exist in Heaven with Him? The scriptures say He won’t allow ANY unclean thing to abide His presence. The liar couldn’t anyway. To abide in the same existence with God requires us to be as He is. It requires being congruent to all that He Himself is congruent to. It would be like a non-smoker living amid an entire population who smoked constantly. It would be Hell to live with God if you are not that type of person.

Either you are the type of person who can live in true peace without being forced to do it, or compelled by fear to ‘behave’, or you are the type of person who requires law in order to live in a feigned peace. Jesus said,

“In me is the law of Moses fulfilled.”

That meant simply that He didn’t need the law of Moses to dictate how He was to live because He had already internalized the true intent behind it. We have further evidence that this is the case be cause of His enlightened Sermon on the Mount of Olives, a.k.a. The Be-attitudes.

If you love God sincerely, you naturally gravitate to becoming just as He is. Who He is is the reason you love Him, not because of what He can do for you, or what you hope to be rewarded with. To be obedient to God because you want the rewards promised, or because eternal salvation is offered is the same as marriage to a weathy person merely to obtain riches. It is to make love a lie. How many of you want a spouse or children that behave as you want just for what they can obtain from you, and not because they want anything to do with you as a person? What is ironic is that people believe that if they merely believe that God will save them, and/or if they do all sorts of ‘good works’, then He will save them regardless of what they are truly like inwardly. They believe that as a person, as long as you can behave outwardly according to God’s law, then it doesn’t matter that inwardly that someone is a house divided against itself. The spirit of the law has no life in them because they believe that ‘obedience is greater than sacrifice’, but are obedient liars instead of being congruently true to themselves, and hopefully to God.

Why should God have laws among those who already know how to behave as perfectly as He does out of a matter of true desire and BEing? Why should we lie to ourselves about what we really feel and desire as long as God knows the truth about it already? To succeed at such an attempted denial prevents us from changing because we refuse to even acknowledge our true state of being, or to feign justify our mere obedience thinking that God will accept us as we are. When we reach Heaven and realize that all those artificial, compulsive laws no longer exist, out true nature will surface and we will alienate ourselves from a God we are nothing like having never learned the lessons of congruence and thought only of obtaining reward by obedience.

God is an anarchist that already knows how to BE. He knows laws are a curse for the disobedient, and that they serve no purpose for those who already have the true principles written upon the tablets of their hearts. He allows mankind to choose freely in self-discovery of what they truly desire to BE, but that no one can live as a God, or with Him, as long as they can not become congruent and that the natural charater of a person is in harmony with the powers of Heaven and the rights of the Priesthood.


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Anarchy in action: congregational nullification

Jury Nullification

Jury nullification means making a law void by jury decision, in other words “the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her.”

Jury nullification is more specifically any rendering of a verdict by a trial jury, acquitting a criminal defendant despite the defendant’s violation of the letter of the law. This verdict need not disagree with the instructions by the judge concerning what the law is, but may disagree with an instruction, if given by the judge, that the jury is required to apply the law to the defendant if certain facts are found.

Although a jury’s refusal relates only to the particular case before it, if a pattern of such verdicts develops in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offense, it can have the practical effect of disabling the enforcement of the statute. “Jury nullification” is thus a means for the people to express opposition to an unpopular legislative enactment.

The jury system was established because it was felt that a panel of citizens, drawn at random from the community, and serving for too short a time to be corrupted, would be more likely to render a just verdict, through judging both the accused and the law, than officials who may be unduly influenced to follow merely the established law. Jury nullification is a reminder that the right to trial by one’s peers affords the public an opportunity to take a dissenting view about the justness of a statute or official practices.

(Taken from the Jury Nullification entry of the Wikipedia. See the entire entry for more information.)

Jury nullification occurs when a jury judges both the facts of a case and the law it is based upon. In modern times it doesn’t occur very often, perhaps because juries are not aware that they have this common law right or power due to modern judges not informing them of the entire jurisdiction of a jury. In fact, judges often do the opposite and give them instructions that they must apply the law. However, the truth is that juries do have this power regardless of what a corrupt judge may say.

Congregational Juries

Our system of church government consists of judges, courts and councils, with witnesses and advocacy, but apparently without juries. However, as all appointments/callings must be approved by the congregation through common consent vote before an appointment/calling is solidified, in reality and practice the congregational members are the juries of the church.

Again, any calling in the church needs to be ratified by the congregational jury. A name is read and a call to ratify is made to the members, who raise their hands in approbation or in opposition, or who do not raise their hands, at all. A count is made and if the voice of the people (the majority) is for the appointment, it goes through. If the voice of the people is against it, it does not go through. In this way the congregational jury renders a verdict of their approval or disapproval of the various appointments/callings. We call this vote sustaining. Nothing in the church happens, nor can happen, without a sustaining vote of the members of the congregation, as that would be tyranny and a usurpation of powers, because all things must be done with the consent of the congregation.

Congregational Nullification

There is, however, another way that the congregational jury renders a verdict. Sometimes policies or instructions are handed out to the members from their leaders without taking a vote. For example, recent First Presidency letters read in sacrament meeting contained instructions to the members concerning the passage of a constitutional amendment on marriage (for California saints) and sacrament meeting behavior, specifically, not using visual aids or asking the congregation to turn to a scripture while giving a talk. These instructions are similar to those received by trial juries from the presiding judge concerning how they are to apply the law to the case. In both instances, neither jury is instructed that they can pass judgment upon the judge’s instructions and discard them if wisdom so dictates.

Many saints get offended when instructions they feel are overbearing or tyrannical come down from their leaders. To prove their point, they’ll sometimes take actions that end up pitting the church against them, such as taking a public stand against the church. This is not the wisest course to take and may lead to their being disfellowshipped, excommunicated or even them just leaving on their own.

The Lord has given us the means to nip all tyranny in His church in the bud via the law of common consent. Just as trial jury nullification exists as a common law right, it also exists as a right of the congregational juries. Simply ignoring all instructions deemed to be unjust, unwise, overbearing, tyrannical or humiliating nullifies the instructions. End of story.

Most instructions given today by leaders are called “counsel.” When members are asked to do something, usually that is the very word used: ask. Anybody can ask anything they want of you. Asking you to do or not to do something does not rob you of your agency. It also does not obligate you to do the thing asked. Like trial juries, congregational juries have the choice to obey instructions received by them from the leaders without another thought, or they can render the instructions null and void by ignoring them.

Anarchy in Action

Both congregational nullification and the raising of the hands in approval/disapproval during a sustaining vote is anarchy in action. Ultimately, always, the people decide all matters of the church. The leaders can do nothing without the consent of the people.

Taking the two examples given above, for those saints who agree with the First Presidency letter on the marriage bill, they can sustain the letter’s instructions by donating time, means and effort to that cause. For those saints who disagree with the letter’s instructions, they can ignore the petition entirely and donate no time, means or effort to it. Just as during sustaining votes, members do not campaign other members to sway votes in favor of or against particular church callings, campaigning need not occur for non-voting uses of the law of common consent. Everything remains peaceful, ordered and anarchic, each man, woman and child of the church casting a verdict on the instructions by their actions.

In the second instance mentioned above, congregational nullification can also occur, should the people think the instructions are unneccessary or unjust. Or, congregational ratification can occur should the people think the instructions are wise and timely. All that is necessary is that each speaker either obey the instructions and stop using visual aids or asking the audience to open their scriptures, or disregard the instructions and use visual aids and ask the congregation to turn to such-and-such a verse.

The bishop or other leaders may attempt to correct a single person who ignores counsel or instruction, but if that person continues to ignore the counsel, or if more than one person ignores the counsel and it becomes apparent that the congregation has passed a verdict against the counsel, by ignoring it, then congregational nullification has occurred and that counsel is now null and void. There is nothing a leader can do with a group of people who refuse to ratify an instruction by obedience to it.

In my own experience, eventually even the most power-tripping leaders will throw up their hands in frustration because peaceful, ordered, anarchic congregational nullification cannot be stopped. No one can be tried for ignoring counsel or petitions. There is no law against it in the church. There are only laws against sin.

Use of Common Consent Stops Tyranny

Jury nullification drives leaders up the wall with frustration, as it limits their power and control over a congregation, but it is one of the means the Lord has set up to stop tyranny in His church. Used as a proper check to usurpation of power, it properly balances the church and puts all saints, leaders and members alike, on equal ground.

So, the next time you receive instructions from your religious leaders you do not agree with, even after prayer and fasting, instead of publicly fighting them and becoming an apostate, instead of striving to get other members in your camp and pit member against member or member against leader, or instead of trying to win the leader over to your cause (which never works), just apply the principle of congregational nullification and ignore the instructions.

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Anarchy in Education

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: The dissolution of the corporate LDS Church via “gay marriage”

Next Common Consent article: Apathy is not a problem, it’s a symptom and a solution

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Deep Waters: Creatio ex nihilo, creatio ex materia and creatio ex deo are all true doctrines

For background on this post, please first read Lehi’s model of the universe.  This article begins where that one left off.

creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing)

Everything originally came from outer darkness, or out of the lake of fire and brimstone, into the inner light or sphere which is the kingdom of God (the created Universe.)  Everything in the created Universe (the sphere) has agency.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.  Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.   (D&C 93: 30)

This means that everything placed by God within the sphere of light exists, while everything without the sphere of light (in outer darkness) has no existence. In other words, what exists outside of the sphere of light?  Nothing exists outside of the sphere of light. The sphere of light is all there is. There is nothing else outside of it.  And yet, it is just from this “nothing” that God created the Universe and it is from this “nothing” that He is continually expanding His kingdom, for the sphere is growing.

Existence, as used in the above scripture, does not mean life. It does not mean that within the sphere of light things are alive and outside of it things are dead.  Instead, existence means “the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence.”  A dead thing, after all, although dead, still exists. However, an empty spot, in which there is nothing there, has “no life neither death,” which is Lehi’s description of what is found outside of the sphere of light, meaning that an endless void is out there.

Creatio ex nihilo, therefore, is a true doctrine, as God created (past) the whole created Universe from that which does not exist (the “nothing”) and is continuing (present) to expand His Universe by creating more Universe from that same “nothing.”  This creative act out of “nothing” will continue on forever (future).

Note: more information concerning this non-existent state outside of the sphere of light can be found in the article Lehi’s model of the universe.  That article described the “nothing” in terms of a material or an existence.  Nevertheless, in actuality, there was nothing out there, not any substance, material or existence.  Each time you read in that Lehi article the words exist, existence, substance, material, compound or any other term that indicates some type of material or thing in regards to outer darkness, it should be read as if there were quotation [“”] marks around it.

Also, the Lord makes it plain that if there is no agency, there is no existence, therefore all things inside of the sphere of light have agency and existence, whereas outside of the sphere of light—which is the location known as outer darkness—there is no agency and no existence, in other words, there is nothing. Agency is a gift of God given to us at the moment we came into existence (when we entered the sphere of light from outer darkness.)  When the Lord states “otherwise there is no existence” it presupposes that there are things that exist (on the one hand) and that there is also nonexistence (on the other hand), in other words, that there is an opposition in all things, including the state of existing and not existing.  Not existing is just as real as existing is and by giving us His definition of what are things that exist (independent truth and intelligence placed by God within the sphere of light and given agency) God has also given us the key in determining where such nonexistence is located (outer darkness.)  For a more in-depth treatise on agency, see The role of free agency in political systems, as well as The faith of God, part ten: The relationship of faith to agency (power) and Deep Waters: What would have happened if Lucifer had won the vote? )

Lastly, all truth and intelligence placed in the sphere is independent, meaning that these are individual bits, or individuals. Outside of the sphere, the void is a single mass, with no individuality or independence.  Inside, the Universe is made up of independent individuals.

creatio ex materia (creation out of pre-existent matter)

The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth; and no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.  Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.  And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.  For man is spirit.  The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.  The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.  The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.  Light and truth forsake that evil one.  Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed  man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.  And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.  But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.  But verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, you have continued under this condemnation; you have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your affliction.  (D&C 93: 26-42)

There are but two fundamental materials that make up the created Universe: spirit and element.  The scriptures call these two materials by different names according to what aspect of the material is being described.  And so we have fire (spirit) and brimstone (element), light (spirit) and truth (element), intelligence (spirit) and truth (element), wisdom (spirit) and knowledge (element), that which acts (spirit) and that which is acted upon (element).  We also have Spirit of truth (spirit of element) as well as descriptions of intelligence as both the light of truth (spirit of element) and light and truth (spirit and element).  (It is interesting to note that the scriptures never speak of truth of light or truth of spirit [both element of spirit], only of light of truth and spirit of truth [both spirit of element].)

The term “intelligence” throws everyone off.  For most LDS, when asked what an intelligence is, according to the scriptures, they would probably say it is the third part of us that is neither spirit nor element, that is our fundamental being, and which is neither created nor made but exists from all eternity.  This definition, of course, is an invention on their part, as the scriptures do not describe a third part of our being.  The scriptures only describe two parts of us: spirit and element.  The reason why the word “intelligence” is so confusing is that the Lord uses it to mean more than one thing, even in the above quoted scripture.

Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  (D&C 93: 29)

Intelligence, in this sentence, is referring to the “nothing” that has no existence located in outer darkness.  It is the compound-in-one, good-for-nothing “substance” described by Lehi and referred here by the Lord as intelligence.  (It is useful to refer to “nothing” intelligence as a “substance,” although a substance would technically be something.  Just keep in mind that I’m not actually saying it is a substance when I use the term “substance.”)  This “nothing” intelligence has no purpose and cannot be created or made, as it would destroy God and His purposes were He to create nothing (“something” that has no purpose according to Lehi.)  This “nothing” intelligence is also described as the “light of truth,” which allows us to understand that it is the compound-in-one substance from which the light (spirit) part was extracted from the truth (element) part, in the godly splitting operation which continuously makes an opposition in all things at the lake of fire and brimstone.

All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. (D&C 93: 30)

Intelligence in this sentence refers only to the spirit material that is split from the compound-in-one “nothing” intelligence.  Truth (element) and intelligence (spirit) are then the fundamental building materials, preexisting prior to the creation (formation or organization) of the Universe.  This process is creatio ex materia and is ongoing as the Universe both expands and is re-organized into its various stages of development.

There are two other uses of the word “intelligence.”  One meaning is of a spirit body, such as the spirit bodies of men, which were “organized before the world was.”  (See Abraham 3: 22.)  Another meaning of intelligence is “something” intelligence, as opposed to “nothing” intelligence:

The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.  (D&C 93: 36)

Whereas the “nothing” intelligence is the light of truth, the “something” intelligence is light and truth.  To recap: the “nothing” intelligence is the original “nothing”, namely, spirit and element compounded into one “substance,” good for nothing, not existing, and found outside the sphere of light in a region called outer darkness.  This “nothing” intelligence cannot be created or made by God (or anyone else.)  Creatio ex nihilo occurs at the lake of fire and brimstone whereby this “nothing” intelligence is split into two fundamental materials: spirit and element (or light and truth).  This creates the opposition in all things.  It is now “something” intelligence, meaning, it has purpose, existence, agency and can be useful for constructing or organizing an entire Universe (creatio ex materia.)

creatio ex deo (creation out of the being of God)

There are two ways or senses in which all things were and are created out of the being of God.  One is that everything came from the same nothingness, the “nothing” intelligence, including God:

Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.  (D&C 93: 29)

The “beginning” referred to in this scripture is the very first beginning, when we were part of the compound-in-one “nothing” intelligence that cannot be created or made.  We were there, in our uncreated nothing state, and God was there, too, in His uncreated nothing state.  We were all as one body. We did not exist as individuals, but as part of a single mass of nothingness, and in fact, we did not exist at all.   A portion of this mass was brought out of outer darkness before us, becoming the individual we now know as God.  Thus, God was brought out first.  Then, later, He brought us out along with all of the rest of the created Universe, so that we now all exist as individuals.  But keep in mind that originally, we all were part of the same whole, the same mass of nothingness, including God.  Thus, as the “nothing” intelligence literally was/is a part of the being of God and we were/are a part of it, too, creatio ex deo is a true doctrine.

Another way we are created out of the being of God is through the Light of Christ.  The Light of Christ is the (extended) body of God.  Through it He is able to both be in one single location at a time and also everywhere at once (omnipresent).  Although the Light of Christ is a creation of God, it has been endowed with all of His vast powers, knowledge and all other attributes in their fullness.  This is one of the reasons why the Light of Christ is indistinguishable to modern Christians from the real God that created it.  Nevertheless, as it is the arm of His power, extended throughout the Universe, it can be considered an extension of His very being, allowing Him to be both the one and the infinite at the same time.  It is the Light of Christ that has organized (creatio ex materia) and that maintains the entire Universe.  In this sense, creatio ex deo is a true doctrine:

Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.  This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.  As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; as also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; and the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.  And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88: 3-13)

God does it all

To summarize, God splits the nothingness of outer darkess into its two component parts, spirit and element, bringing the single-mass nothingness (singular intelligence) into individual somethingnesses (a plurality of intelligences), from nonexistence into existence, placing the individual spirit and element bits within the growing sphere of light (the created Universe) and granting both components agency.  This creative act occurs at the lake of fire and brimstone, is in reality creatio ex nihilo and is ongoing.  As the singular nothingness was/is part of the being of God, this creative act is also creatio ex deo.

Once inside the sphere of light, split into spirit and element and granted agency, God organizes these fundamental bits into spirit and physical bodies.  This creative act is creatio ex materia and is ongoing.  As the Light of Christ is (essentially) part of the being of God (an extension of Him) and as we are organized (created) by and of the Light of Christ, it being in us, powering us and maintaining us (and all other things), this creative act is also creatio ex deo.

Previous Deep Waters article: Deep Waters:Lehi’s model of the universe

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The faith of God, part twelve: Truth

Continued from part eleven.

Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth; and truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; and whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. (D&C 93: 23-25)

Here the Lord defined what truth is. He also defined, in the same sentence, what a lie is. Just about everyone understands this. If a man goes into a convenience store and robs it, taking exactly 10 dollars, and I see it happen and witness to its occurrence, I’ve spoken the truth. If I say he took exactly 11 dollars (more than the truth) or exactly 9 dollars (less than the truth), I’ve spoken a lie. In the economy of heaven, truth has bounds or limits, whereas the liar from the beginning has unlimited freedom to create fables.

Now get this: the word of God is the seed of faith, yet the word of God is truth, which is knowledge. How can faith be knowledge and knowledge be faith?

Knowledge creates faith and faith creates knowledge

That sounds like a reasonable statement, as the word of God, which is truth (knowledge), when planted in the heart of man and watered by the Spirit creates faith and faith eventually produces fruit (knowledge), however, it’s a bit simpler (or more complicated, depending on your viewpoint) than that.

Two types of knowledge*

There is the type of knowledge that you can see with your own two eyes and ascertain with a perfect surety that it exists. This is the first type. This can be termed perfect knowledge. This type of knowledge makes faith dormant in that thing, for the object of faith was to produce such fruit.

The other type of knowledge is awareness of something that really does exist, with witnesses or testimonies or evidence, but which you still haven’t seen with your own two eyes. This can be termed imperfect knowledge.

Faith requires imperfect knowledge

The word of God (the seed of faith) is imperfect knowledge which eventually produces the fruit of perfect knowledge. Imperfect knowledge does not nullify faith, only perfect knowledge makes faith dormant. This is why the obtaining of more and more of the word of God, through revelations, prophecies, visiting angels, visions, dreams, tongues, etc., only has the effect of increasing one’s faith. The more imperfect knowledge we obtain, the greater our faith can become, and the greater our faith becomes the more perfect knowledge we can obtain, or in the case of God, create.

God possesses all knowledge, both perfect and imperfect

Here is the kicker: it is because of God’s imperfect knowledge that he is able to have, maintain and increase his faith. More on this later.

God sees all the fables

Everything that isn’t the truth (what really was, what really is and what really will be) is a fable or a lie. Truth has limits, fables do not. Therefore, there are an infinite number of versions of what wasn’t, what isn’t and what won’t be. (Comic book fans might say these are alternate universes or alternate versions of reality, etc.) At any rate, God can see all the truth as well as all the fables. In fact, the devil’s ability to create fables or tell lies comes from the the Father’s ability to see the lies as well as the truth. The difference is that God presents lies as lies and truth as truth, whereas Satan presents the truth as lies and lies as truth.

Most people have an easy time dealing with the past and present when it comes to the gospel. Where people choke are the future elements of it. How can God tell the future? How can he know what will happen before it does? These and other questions like them are a great mystery to many people.

Some people invent theories such as predestination to explain how he does it. Others just don’t think about it, taking it on faith that this is just how it is and no one will understand it until the Millennium.

The one thing to keep in mind, though, is that God does not violate free agency. Ever. Therefore, theories like predestination are patently false, as they violate one of the revealed laws of heaven. And we know that if God violated one of his own laws he’d cease to be God, so that doesn’t quite work.

Back in the teacher’s quorum

I remember one Sunday being taught by my teacher’s quorum adviser a lesson which really shook up the quorum. The man said, “In the pre-existence, God could have pointed to people and said, ‘You will be saved. You won’t. You will. You will. You won’t.’ etc. He has foreknowledge of all things and knows beforehand who will be saved and who will not.” I don’t know how new this guy was to the gospel, but he seemed pretty sure of himself and no one shot him down. Nevertheless, I didn’t buy the argument, despite myself being new in the gospel.

This idea of his, though, is not unique. I have found many people believe the same thing. Some people try to explain away the problem of a person’s agency (which poses a problem to this line of thinking) by saying that God simply knows us so well that he can tell what we are going to do before we do it, like a parent knows the habits of a child.

The future is uncertain

Contrary to what these people believe, though, the future is uncertain. As we make choices, right or wrong, we are statistically more or less likely to make more right or wrong choices. However, despite statistics, repentance always offers us a way out, unless the last door to salvation is finally closed by us.

When the Lord looks to the future, he sees everything: what will happen, what won’t happen, what can’t happen, what might happen, what probably will happen, what probably won’t happen. Because he sees every possible variation of the future, the truth is in there somewhere along with all the fables. How does he determine what is the truth and what is fable? In a word: FAITH.

The sight of God has divisions

Although God sees all things, both past, present and future, his sight has divisions. For example, he sees all the fables, but not in actuality, as they don’t exist. He sees them in his mind’s eye, or using the incredible imagination that makes up his mind. The truth, however, past and present, actually exists or existed, and he sees or saw them in reality.

When the sight of God is turned to the future, however, the foreknowledge of God (and faith of God) comes into play. Remember, there are two types (or stages) of knowledge: perfect and imperfect. All truth that has existed and exists is perfect knowledge. All truth that will exist is imperfect knowledge. (The reason is because of agency, which is an open variable.) Nevertheless, imperfect knowledge is capable of generating faith and faith is capable of producing perfect knowledge. Therefore, God, when he sees the future (that which will occur) with his mind’s eye (as it is not yet a reality), sees it “with an eye of faith” until it becomes a reality. (See Ether 12: 19; Alma 5: 15 and Alma 32: 40.)

The other things he sees, the fables, he has no faith that they will happen, thus, they do not occur, as faith is what makes things happen, or that makes things reality.

This same principle applies equally to man as to God, which is why faith saves us.


* The prophets of the Book of Mormon emphasize that there are two states or types of knowledge: perfect and not perfect.

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part thirteen: How charity fits in

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part eleven: Why knowledge doesn’t save

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The faith of God, part eleven: Why knowledge doesn’t save

Continued from part ten.

A new visitor (RWW) to this blog recently made the following comment:

I must take issue with your statement that “A man is not saved by knowledge. A man is saved by faith.” I am fairly new to your blog, so I may be misunderstanding your meaning, but taken at face value, I can’t agree with that. Faith is only a step toward the sure knowledge that truly saves. A man cannot be saved in ignorance, which is the lack of knowledge (not faith).

As I was planning for this installment on faith to address knowledge, it seems the best time and place to explain why knowledge doesn’t save us.

Joseph’s words

RWW was paraphrasing the Prophet’s words, found in D&C 131: 6. These are instructions by the Prophet, not revelations, nevertheless, they are true. Here is the direct quote: “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.”

This quote, though, is taken out of context. The full item of instruction is the following:

The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood. It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. (D&C 131: 5-6)

In other words, the Prophet is saying that it is impossible to be permanently saved without knowing you are saved, as that knowledge is communicated by the Holy Ghost, which is what the more sure word of prophecy is, namely, a revelation from the Holy Ghost that you have overcome the world and thus are permanently saved. Therefore, in regards to permanent salvation (overcoming the world), if you don’t know if you are permanently saved, meaning you are ignorant of whether you have received the more sure word of prophecy, it means that you still haven’t overcome the world, or you still haven’t been permanently saved. (I may have to dedicate an entire post to the more sure word of prophecy, but hopefully I have sufficiently explained the principle.)

The important thing to understand is that both of these verses are speaking of the more sure word of prophecy and not of being saved by knowledge. Joseph wasn’t saying that it is knowledge that saves, but that knowledge of salvation comes with salvation, therefore it is impossible to be saved in ignorance.

Knowledge has no power to save

Returning to that exceptional sermon on faith, we find Alma also explaining the futility of knowledge to save.

Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe. Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it. (Alma 32: 16-18 )

If it was knowledge that saved, a sign from heaven would be enough. The Lord could send angels to all of his children, giving them knowledge of him and his kingdom and we would all be saved. Yet, Alma stresses the importance of belief and faith, even in the face of knowledge. Why? Because it is faith that saves.

If knowledge saved, who cares whether you believe or not, whether you have faith or not? Armed with knowledge, sufficient and of the right type, you’d be saved, right? Yet, Alma explains that “if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.” Alma is explaining that knowledge gained by means other than faith ruins, or does not generate, faith in the individual and that faith is really, really important. What is so important about faith that God doesn’t just reveal himself to all the world once and for all, giving them the knowledge of him that “supposedly” saves? It is namely that faith alone saves us and if he were to do that, we would possess knowledge, having no means to obtain faith unto salvation.

Lucifer, the light-bearer, the champion of borrowed knowledge

Any study of the occult will bring up that Lucifer, the bearer of light, is all about knowledge. Lucifer (Satan) gives occult (hidden) knowledge (science) without faith. As he has no faith, he has no faith to give. Yet, Satan has knowledge, lots of it and those who worship him on earth are seekers of knowledge, not of faith. They look for signs and wonders and cold hard facts that they can see with their own two eyes.

All of the Luciferian knowledge, though, is borrowed. It doesn’t come from the heart of man, as there is no planted faith to produce it. As such, those who seek knowledge to the exclusion of faith are doomed to hell, as Satan always abandons all his servants, leaving them in darkness and despair.

Faith alone saves

One of the Mormon blogs had a post a couple of years back about Atonement Theories and proposed a list of questions that needed to be answered by any new theory that was drawn up. One of those questions was: “How was the atonement efficacious before it was performed?” The question presupposed that it was the Atonement that saved us. But the author did not understand that it is not the Atonement that saves us, it is faith that saves us.

And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole. (Enos 1: 2-8 )

It is the Atonement that allows us to have faith unto salvation and it is faith unto salvation that saves us. The Lord’s words in this scripture are crystal clear. However, as we are conditioned to interpret Joseph’s words to mean that we are saved by knowledge, when LDS read the above words in the Book of Mormon, they look beyond the mark and invent theories to explain away the doctrine of salvation by faith. The reason why many LDS choke on this doctrine is that they don’t understand what faith is.

Additionally, if one does not understand what faith is, he cannot understand what knowledge is. The end result is a guessing game, each one inventing a theory or fantasizing about how it all works, instead of just taking the scriptures as they are written and believing them to say what they mean and mean what they say.

Knowledge and faith are two parts of the same thing

Alma explains in chapter 32 that the seed of faith is the word of God and that when planted by belief in the heart of man it begins to grow due to the action of the Holy Spirit. As it grows, we can know that the seed is good and by not laying aside our faith and belief, it will continue to grow. Alma then explains that the seed of faith eventually grows into a fruit tree, called the tree of life, which twice he states is a “a tree springing up [in you] unto everlasting life” (Alma 32: 41; 33: 23.) Therefore, it is the entire, mature tree of faith grown in you—seed, roots, trunk, branches, leaves and fruit—that grants eternal life, and not just one part of it.

Now, Jesus, on the other side of the world and at another time, explained in his intercessory prayer to the Father that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17: 3.) Notice that Jesus did not say, “this is life eternal, knowing (or to know) thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” Instead, he used the words “that they might know.” This indicates that Jesus is not referring to the fruit of the tree of faith, which is knowledge, even the knowledge that one is like God, possessing all of his attributes in perfection, for the only way to know God is to be like him, but is referring to the entire tree of faith, including the fruit (knowledge.)

Again, knowledge alone does not grant salvation. The fruit (knowledge) cannot come from another tree, it must come from a tree of life planted in your heart. It must be your tree, planted by the good sower (Christ), who plants individual trees in every heart of man that allows him to. It is these trees of faith that produce the fruit (knowledge) that you have obtained (eternal) life.

There is an expression in the church (though not in the scriptures) that “no one can endure on borrowed light.” The expression is a truism. Everything borrowed must eventually be returned. This is why if you cannot produce knowledge (fruit) yourself through a tree of faith planted in your heart, you will fall.

Once a person understands that faith and knowledge are part of the same organism (the tree of life), it becomes easy to see why the scriptures stress faith and faith alone to obtain all other things, including knowledge.

There are different trees

Just as there is a tree of life (faith) that can be planted and grown in one’s heart, there are other plants that can also grow there: the tares. Only the tree of faith, planted in one’s heart, sustains life in the kingdom of God. All other trees or plants will eventually be cut down and cast into the fire (the lake of fire and brimstone.) It is not, though, that you are cast out forcibly, as these scriptures are also written more express, to work upon our hearts, but that you possess no power (agency) to remain in the kingdom. Only the tree of faith grants agency.

Knowledge alone cannot keep you in the created universe. You need a tree of faith, planted in your heart. This is why Satan and his angels (and all the sons of perdition), despite their immense knowledge of the created universe, having never gone through a veil of forgetfulness, will not be able to keep themselves within the confines of the created universe and will go into outer darkness. They have no faith and thus have no agency and thus they cannot save themselves.

God is saved

As all who believe in God will concede that God is saved, and as the scriptures indicate that salvation comes only through faith, this is a further evidence that God possesses faith.

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part twelve: Truth

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part ten: the relationship of faith to agency (power)

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The faith of God, part ten: The relationship of faith to agency (power)

Continued from part nine.

Faith is not power

In part two, I erroneously wrote “faith is power” in one of the sub-headings. After catching the error, I decided to leave it up as a teaching point.

Many people equate faith with power, just as they equate faith with hope. Part two explained that faith is not hope and that hope comes after one has faith. The present article (part ten) seeks to likewise explain that faith is not power and that power comes after one has faith.

Two types of power

Free agency is one of the two types of power. Agency is the ability to act and not to be acted upon. (See 2 Nephi 2: 26.)

The other type is the ability to act upon something/someone against its/his/her will. There is no scriptural name (that I know of) for this kind of power, but we use descriptive words such as coercion, compulsion, force, enslavement, control, domination, manipulation, captivation, enchainment, etc., to describe its exercise. I suppose it can be termed “anti-agency” as it is diametrically opposed to an individual’s agency, but I will refer to it as coercion.

Coercion and agency both accomplish work or get things done, but free agency is only obtained through faith, whereas coercion is experienced in the absence of faith or with the permission of the free agent.

Another purpose of this article

When I wrote The role of free agency in political systems, I talked about the link between faith and agency (power) in two small paragraphs, which I hope to expound upon in the present article:

The precursor to agency is faith, another gift of God. It is faith that allows agency to be possessed, even faith centered in God. The more faith we possess, the more agency is granted, the less faith possessed, the less agency. If we lose all faith, we lose all agency and thus become like Satan, who is devoid of both faith and agency. If we gain all faith, we gain all agency, and thus become entirely like God.

Faith and agency are heavenly principles and the entire kingdom of God operates on them. This is why all things are done (the action or power to do being agency) according to the faith of men and why God works (the action or power to work being agency) according to the faith of the children of men. (The role of free agency in political systems)

However, before talking of faith, I must expound upon agency.

Free agency alone is the power of God

One of the common misconceptions among LDS is that God, our heavenly Father, uses the principle of coercion to accomplish certain things, such as punishing the wicked. The truth of the matter is that he doesn’t. Coercion is the power under which Satan operates. Free agency alone is the type of power that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost use.

There are scriptures (see D&C 19: 1-20 and especially verse 7) that conjure up visions of God forcing men to do certain things that they don’t want to do, but these scriptures are written “more express to work upon the hearts of the children of men.” For example:

Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (Moses 4: 3-4)

LDS are often quick to point out that Jesus (the Father’s Only Begotten) was the champion of free agency, whereas the devil wanted to destroy it and force us to obey his will, but they don’t bat an eye when they read the above scripture and think that Jesus used the satanic principle of force to cast Lucifer down out of heaven. As a people, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that coercion is okay if God does it, but evil when used by Satan. In other words, that force is merely a tool, it is neither good nor evil, but can be used for good in the hands of God and for evil in the hands of Satan. They will often quote the following scripture with emphasis on the words in bold:

That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. (D&C 121: 37)

Had the verse merely said, “in any degree” there would have been no further discussion, but as the modifier “of unrighteousness” was added, many LDS think that this means that when it comes “to exercising control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men,” there are both righteousness and unrighteousness degrees. Therefore, by their interpretation of this scripture in this way, there is a way to righteously exercise dominion, compulsion and control upon men.

In this line of thinking, if God or his servants are doing it, it is righteous. If Satan or his servants are doing it, it is unrighteous. The rules of English grammar do, in fact, allow this interpretation and as long as you eliminate the following verse in the same section, it might make sense:

The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. (D&C 121: 46)

However, when the two verses are taken together, they paint a proper (and different) picture, namely that the righteous dominion of God is based upon free agency, not coercion, whereas unrighteous dominion is based upon control or compulsion. Leaving mortal humans out of the equation, who routinely compel their fellows and/or allow freedom of choice by turns, and addressing only God himself, the Father’s everlasting dominion flows unto him without any compulsory means. In fact, the very reason why the scepter of God is righteous is because no one is compelled to obey him. All are given free agency. So, as it applies to God, there is no such thing as righteous compulsion. That would be a contradiction in terms.

God uses free agents

When Nephi was commanded to slay Laban, the Spirit said to him, “The Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.” Yet, who slew Laban, Nephi or the Lord? Nephi did. And also the Lord, vicariously, through Nephi, one of His free agents. Did Nephi have to slay Laban? Was he forced to do it? Of course not. The Lord gave Nephi the law written in D&C 98: 23-32, which has a spare clause: “and then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation” (verse 30). Nephi chose to use his free agency to justifiably slay Laban, but he could have equally spared him.

The power of Jesus Christ is free agency

In Moses 4: 3-4, quoted above, when the Lord says, “by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down,” the power being referred to is free agency. Jesus used free agency to “cast Lucifer down.” He did not use coercion or force. Jesus, like the Father, both has free agency and also works through free agents.

When LDS hear the words “cast down” they envision a forceful banishment, using coercion. But D&C 121: 37, quoted above, states that exercising compulsion causes “the heavens ” to “withdraw themselves.” It doesn’t state that it causes the individual to be banished from the heavens. Yet, the heavens moving or changing location, from where you are to a location above and beyond your reach, has the same result as if you were cast down or fallen from heaven. Again, these scriptures are written more express.

All of the saints and prophets of God are free agents of Jesus Christ. They voluntarily obey his will. As does all the spirit and physical matter that make up the created universe. It is through free agency and free agents alone, that Jesus accomplishes his work.

The power of the Holy Ghost is free agency

The power of the Holy Ghost, likewise, is free agency. The Holy Ghost forces no one to convert to the Lord. The Holy Ghost forces no one to believe. Those who desire to believe on the word of God invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit the gift of belief. Those who believe on the word of God invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit the gift of faith. Those who exercise that gift of faith invite the Holy Ghost to come and deposit other gifts and powers, such as sanctification, purification, justification, wisdom, knowledge, visions, prophecies and the like. Nothing is ever forced. Everything is done according to the desires of the children of men, according to their beliefs, according to their faith, they being free agents capable of choosing to invite the Spirit in. When faith is manifest, the Spirit brings additional manifestations of its power, meaning that the individual receives greater free agency. Remember, the scriptural definition of free agency is the ability to act and not to be acted upon, therefore, for example, a person with the gift of tongues has an additional ability to act (greater free agency) than one who doesn’t possess that gift. The same can be said of all other gifts, powers, fruits and signs of the Holy Ghost. They are all abilities to act and not to be acted upon in certain ways, meaning, they are all manifestations of greater free agency (the power of God) bestowed upon the individual.

Faith determines agency

Again, keep in mind that agency is the ability to act and not be acted upon. The greater your agency, the more ability you have to act and also the less you can be acted upon by others. It is the amount of faith you possess that determines how much agency you possess. If one has sufficiently great faith, nothing can act on you without your say so. The following scriptural examples demonstrate this principle.

Ammon could not be acted upon—due to faith

Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth. Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead. Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord. And it came to pass that when the multitude beheld that the man had fallen dead, who lifted the sword to slay Ammon, fear came upon them all, and they durst not put forth their hands to touch him or any of those who had fallen; and they began to marvel again among themselves what could be the cause of this great power [which is agency], or what all these things could mean. (Alma 19: 14, 22-24)

Alma and Amulek could not be acted upon—due to faith

When the saints were being burned by fire in front of them, Amulek turned to Alma and said something remarkable:

And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God [which is free agency] which is in us, and save them from the flames. (Alma 14: 10)

Amulek’s words indicate that he knew he and Alma had power to act (agency) to save the saints. Alma’s words also indicate that he knew he had such power:

But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; (Alma 14: 11)

In addition to ability to act, Alma and Amulek also had the ability not to be acted upon. After allowing the Amalekites to afflict them for many days, they finally decided to use their agency and stop their persecutors from acting upon them.

And it came to pass after they had thus suffered for many days, (and it was on the twelfth day, in the tenth month, in the tenth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi) that the chief judge over the land of Ammonihah and many of their teachers and their lawyers went in unto the prison where Alma and Amulek were bound with cords. And the chief judge stood before them, and smote them again, and said unto them: If ye have the power of God [which is free agency] deliver yourselves from these bands, and then we will believe that the Lord will destroy this people according to your words. And it came to pass that they all went forth and smote them, saying the same words, even until the last; and when the last had spoken unto them the power of God [which is free agency] was upon Alma and Amulek, and they rose and stood upon their feet. Alma cried, saying: How long shall we suffer these great afflictions, O Lord? O Lord, give us strength according to our faith which is in Christ, even unto deliverance. And they broke the cords with which they were bound; and when the people saw this, they began to flee, for the fear of destruction had come upon them. And Alma and Amulek came forth out of the prison, and they were not hurt; for the Lord had granted unto them power [which is free agency], according to their faith which was in Christ. (Alma 14: 23-26, 28 )

You know the rest of the story. The chief judge, teachers and lawyers all thought their power of coercion (forcibly imprisoning Alma and Amulek and torturing them) was greater than the power of agency. It wasn’t. Agency is a greater power than coercion, but agency only exists where there is faith.

Abinadi could not be acted upon—due to faith

And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad. And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them: Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time. But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad. Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord. And he spake with power [which is free agency] and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying: Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message. Yea, and I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities. Yea, and my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with anger. But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved. (Mosiah 13: 1-9)

Although the text doesn’t specifically say that Abinadi obtained the Spirit of the Lord through faith, other scriptures teach this principle. (For example, see D&C 42: 14.) Despite having the power to resist these men, Abinadi later allowed them to slay him.

Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands. Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day. (Mosiah 17: 9-10)

Jesus could not be acted upon—due to faith

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power [which is free agency] to lay it down, and I have power [which is free agency] to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10: 14-17)

All, therefore, that happened to Jesus was allowed by him to happen, as he had a fullness of free agency and thus none could act upon him unless he allowed it.

Enoch and Melchizedek could not be acted upon—due to faith

Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; and it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power [which is free agency], by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Genesis 14: 26-32)

Translation is the ultimate manifestation that great power not to be acted upon (free agency) has been bestowed, due to one’s faith, as the coercion of death itself is broken. Not every prophet or saint that reaches that level, though, is translated. Some, like Abinadi, choose to allow themselves to be killed, to seal up their testimony in the blood of the innocent.

The Three Nephites could not be acted upon—due to faith

Others choose translation. No matter how much coercion the wicked used against the Three Nephite disciples of Christ, it had no effect on their agency, because of their faith.

Therefore they did exercise power [coercion] and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word. And they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm. And they also cast them into dens of wild beasts, and they did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm. (4 Nephi 1: 30-33)

And they were cast into prison by them who did not belong to the church. And the prisons could not hold them, for they were rent in twain. And they were cast down into the earth; but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth; and therefore they could not dig pits sufficient to hold them. And thrice they were cast into a furnace and received no harm. And twice were they cast into a den of wild beasts; and behold they did play with the beasts as a child with a suckling lamb, and received no harm. (3 Nephi 28: 19-22)

Agency is the supreme power, which trumps or frees one from the power of all other things, including the power of death, if one’s faith is sufficient. This is one of the reasons why it is called free agency, because it gives you freedom or liberates you from the power of coercion. It gives you the power to choose life (translation and exaltation) or death (physical and spiritual death.) Those who obtain enough faith, are given by God the agency to overcome all things, including death, meaning that nothing can act upon them without their say so.

And now behold, as I spake concerning those whom the Lord hath chosen, yea, even three who were caught up into the heavens, that I knew not whether they were cleansed from mortality to immortality—but behold, since I wrote, I have inquired of the Lord, and he hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death; therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. (3 Nephi 28: 36-39)

How this relates to God’s faith

The scriptures teach that agency alone is the power of God; that coercion is the power of the devil; that agency is greater or more powerful than coercion; that agency is granted only when faith is present; that agency and coercion cannot co-manifest in the same circumstance, either coercion exercises its power to the reduction of agency (or with the permission of the free agent who chooses not to exercise his agency), or agency exercises its power to the elimination or reduction of coercion; that agency is linked to faith; that faith precedes agency; that agency comes of faith; that the amount of agency possessed is determined by the amount of faith possessed; and that if one loses faith, agency is also lost (see Matthew 14: 25-31 for Peter’s faltering faith.)

As we know that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), meaning that he has a fullness of agency, he must have gotten his agency through the only mechanism given in the scriptures for obtaining it: faith. And as God remains almighty, he must not have lost one iota of his faith, for to do so, according to the scriptures, would remove a portion of his agency. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude, based upon these scriptural evidences and teachings of the relationship of faith to agency, that God does, indeed, possess faith.

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