Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin


The married Life:

Marriage proceeds from the mind first – and as a consequence results in a bodily, sexual event.  Satisfying sexual relationships are ones grounded on the trust, love, communication, and intimacy of two, real-life human beings who have covenanted to receive each other as husband and wife.  These intangible qualities exist first – and then spill-over into the bedroom.

This is because all creation consists of two basic aspects [2 Nephi 2:14]:

  • that which acts (called Spirit)
  • that which is acted upon (called Element).

The physical, the flesh, the Element is the component of existence that is acted upon.  Therefore, it cannot create any change in the Spirit.  The mind must be changed [“repentance”], the heart must be softened [“broken heart”], and the spirit must be crushed [“contrite spirit”] before anything genuine and lasting and joyful blossoms into material reality.

Adam and Eve were married before they even knew they were naked.  Their union as husband and wife was a solution to loneliness – not lust.

and the god YHVH said
it is not good that adam should be alone

[Genesis 2:18]

The sexual union is the chief means of physically expressing a genuine connection of Love between two people.  It is Love/unity dynamic of our sexual contact that distinguishes humans from other animals [who are sexual for procreation and pleasure].

In the garden, Adam and Eve lived in open-faced, fearless, and intimate fellowship:

  • with God
  • with each other

Once sin was conceived in the heart [Moses 6:55], it produced two alienations/separations:

  • from God
  • from each other

Thus, restoring the kingdom of God will:

  • restore the union of humans and God
  • restore the union of men and women

Intimacy [openness or “into-me-see”] is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden of Eden.  Before he found them – they were naked [Adam fully exposed to Eve and Eve to Adam],

and they were both naked
the man and his wife
and were not ashamed

[Genesis 2:25]

and it was Satan who taught them that such full-fellowship is shameful and showed them how to cover that shame with hiding and separation.

see
you are naked
take some fig leaves and make you aprons
father will see your nakedness
quick
hide

[The Garden]

It’s unfounded fears, rooted in this state-of-mind based on the concepts of sin, separateness, and shame – that keep us from having real community and bridging the gaps between the sexes.

An experience of Life that is founded on separateness:

The problem with any religious tradition that begins with the initial, out-right assumption that God is entirely separate from nature – is that it becomes impossible for the Mother and the Father to ever be one – because She is left with no voice and can never be His friend.

This idea that the “Supernatural” is something sitting on a throne, over-and-above our natural existence is killing any experiences of Joy.  Our lives just become a wasteland of stress and fear – where we all live out inauthentic lives, fulfilling purposes that are not truly our own, reliving and retelling the stories of a by-gone generation – having no Life.

We can never be one with God and with our neighbor from this perspective because we will always continue experiencing God and neighbor as something that is foreign and detached.  Attachment and connection become devalued – because they demand our vulnerability.  There is a fear that maybe if we really get into a relationship with another human that we might just start to care too darn much – or even worse, we might just lose our Self.  Like independence is the key to Life?  We are not separate one-person islands, our narratives are all intertwined with each other.

If your goal in life is Joy – then connectivity is key [see, Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons].  If you want to be “free” or “self-sufficient”, then you can knock yourself out with independence – but the way of Jesus is to stretch yourself out until you die to your “Self” as this all-alone and sufficient bag of skin.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of a tree of duality and separation [see, The Tree of This-and-That] – and it’s the experience of being in Jesus Christ that is the fruit of Life that brings you back to non-duality [“I and the Father are one”] and interconnection [“all mine are thine”].

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that [instead of separateness], the most basic fabric of all existence is chesed, loving-kindness or compassion [“to be passionate with”].  It’s the image of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of berith, or a covenant.  It’s an image of existence that’s based on the single concept of unconditional love [call it chesed, agape, whatever].

All things are included, loved, gathered-up, forgiven, and knit together into a single, vast organism – God.  The only difference between God and humans is that humans still see a different between God and humans – because they are using a mind hardened by the basic concept of sin and separation to look [see, The Split-brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man].

Having Life, or just having the image of it:

Religions become concerned with ethical behavior and doctrine – instead of changing people’s minds/hearts and how they view/experience their world.  The problem with approaching religion as though it were a method of relaying ethics and doctrines is that ethics only teach us how to live as though you were one with your neighbor.  You learn the modes of action that imply a compassionate relationship with another person.  It offers you incentive to act in a certain way – but it cannot generate the genuine feeling of it.

While there may be certain ethical implications of making a covenant with God – such things neither add to or subtract from current pool of human ethical wisdom.  It is not the domain of religion to be laying down specific “hither thou shalt come and no further” ethical guidelines for human behavior that transcendent time, space, culture, and circumstance.  Rather, religion is about providing the environment for people to experience the miraculous works of God and manifestations of the spiritual gifts – because once the experience is had – the very way in which a person approaches and experiences human problems/decisions will be altered.

The gospel is about that transcendent experience that smashes a hardened, left-brain sensation of separateness and opens a person up the fluid, right-brain awareness that all creation is a continuous and connected event that we are all a part of [see, Taking our Myths Literally].  The Supreme Being is all of creation – from beginning, until now, and on forever – as one continuous pattern, one symphonic arrangement.

Without the spiritual gifts, the power of God, the signs following the believers in Christ – Mormonism [or Christianity] is just another school of thought for civil policy and moral behavior.  When dead to the workings of the Holy Spirit – the gospel is used to work for people rather than working on them.  We use Jesus to meet our needs – rather than getting them judged by Him, falling to the earth and weeping at His feet.

It’s an approach to religion that mistakes the symbol for the Reality – the image for the Life – the stage-show act for the actual experience – the poetry for the prose.  It turns the preachers into the preached and pedestalizes the stories and experiences of someone else, making it into the one-and-only true formula.

It’s essentially idolatry [see, Making an Image out of God] – to look at the image that pointing and cling to and serve it, rather than to Look, Follow, and Live [see, …and the labor which they had to perform was to look…].

Next Article by Justin:

Previous Article by Justin:  Paul and the church at Judea

[In Search of a New Church Home].

Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons


My text for this post is Acts 2:37-47

37 Now when the people heard Peter preach the word of God, they were pricked in their hearts and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For this promise is to you, and to your children, and to all the Gentiles, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”  40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!

41 Then those who gladly received the word were baptized:  adding 3,000 believers that day.

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching, in fellowship with each other, in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  43 And fear came upon every one of them:  and also many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.  44 And all that believed gathered together and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and imparted them to all, according to anyone had need.   46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread at every house, they did share their meals with gladness and simplicity of heart,  47 all while praising God and having favor with all the people.

And the Lord was adding those being saved to their assembly daily.

After preaching a scriptural exposition along with an eyewitness declaration of the risen Christ, Peter instructs converted hearers [those with the softened, or “pricked”, hearts]:

  • Repent
  • Be baptized in the name of Jesus
  • Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Those who, with gladness received the word of God as delivered by an eyewitness were baptized.

Now what?

Once the heart had been softened, repentance had come, baptism had been performed, and the gift of the Holy Ghost had been received — these believers formed a community.  This group was characterized by:

This group of believers didn’t see things in terms of an institution and meetings — but as one family under God.  In the LDS context, we’d refer to this type of community as “Zion“.  Among these believers, open wonders and signs were commonplace and worship services and prayer were joyful experiences that were operated according to the best gifts of the Spirit.

This abundance of spiritual manifestations was seen because this group of believers was equal in the bonds of all things — earthly first, and then heavenly:

Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.

and

That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.  For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;

They did not see property as something exclusive to themselves alone, but as something for all to have equal claim on to meet their needs.  In such a community:

all children are alike unto [the members]; wherefore, [they] love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike [unto them].

When property rights are a concern, paternity is frantically ascertained and protected because when people own property as individuals in a money-based system — they want to project those rights for their future seed through inheritance.  This is the reason why polyandry is almost always a no-go for most people [LDS or not].  Disgust for even the idea of polyandry is the one place where Mormon monogamists and Mormon polygynists will find complete agreement.  Once women are allowed polyandrous marriage covenants — only maternity can be truly known, whereas paternity will always unknown.  And the heart of patriarchal societies is insecurity over paternity.

Zion:

The heart of a Zion society, by contrast, is charity.  Zion takes the “equal in the bonds of earthly things” principle to apply not only to money-free communities — but even further to include the bonds of matrimony, applying it to multihusband-multiwife communities.

Zion requires great intimacy and connection among the members.  The church lacks this intimacy and connection because we are all still strangers.  The only way to achieve Zion, or even a Zion-like atmosphere at church, is for the men and women to all be connected to each other through covenants.  As it stands, we are connected to Christ through covenants, but not to each other.  As long as we remain unfettered by covenant relationships with each other, we will never achieve Zion and our conversations [and actions] will never approach the level of intimacy and sharing required of that ideal.

Kinship ties:

The type of community described in Acts 2 [which is Zion] is not established by groups of unrelated people.  Without kinship ties, community will only be maintained by sheer effort of will.  When things get difficult, people will defend family first.  Most non-related groups of LDS that go off to form their own Zion community run into failure because, no matter how pure the intentions up front, when things get stressful or tough we align with family, which causes division.

The same thing is seen among other Christians who want to “get away” from the institutional church experience by starting a home church.  These attempts to “do church” more scripturally just end up being slightly less controlled replications of the same dynamic that they were trying to get away from.

This is all because a sense of familial love must exist prior to gathering — it does not come as a result of gathering.  Without charity pervading, such communities will only have joy in their works for a season.

The “church” are the called-out ones.  It is the assembly of justified believers in Christ — and it comes as a manifestation of the communal feelings generated by virtue of their relationship as one family under God.  Think about your own family.  You meet together — but you don’t have meetings.  You meet because of the feelings that being “family” produces — the feelings of family are not produced by your meetings.

In the church today, we invert the whole thing:

  • Instead of our congregations being a natural outflow of the connectivity we share — we try to have “church” be the precondition to creating it.
  • Instead of leaders who habitually serve the members, submitting to the will of the people — we have leaders who are used to being habitually obeyed by members.
  • Instead of the ministry bringing a miracle and then requesting a meal — we have leaders who demand support first, the blessings to follow.

If the church actually wanted Zion, then I think most would be surprised over the number of non-LDS who would be ready to sign on for it — if it meant living for a higher purpose.  But they don’t.  Marching orders are to get as much education as you can, so you can make as much income as you can, so you can pay more tithes and offerings.  It’s to live as normal of a life as you can — with just a bit of Mormon flare to it [e.g., serve a two-year mission, civilly marry in a temple, pay 10% of your paycheck to the church, abstain from the parts of the word of wisdom most important to Heber Grant, do hometeaching, etc.]

The current focus is on keeping many small, separate nuclear families [many small, separate Zions].  The tribal model takes this and connects the dots.  It says, establish Zion by connecting the already existing separate nuclear families into a bone fide tribe of Israel.  Connectivity is the key.

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

Previous Article by Justin:  Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender

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


Continued from part twelve.

Charity on a series about faith?

On December 20, 2007, I wrote the following on this blog:

Mormon also talked about faith (and hope and charity) in Moroni 7. Like Ether and Helaman, quoted in the previous part, Mormon explains that faith precedes hope. (See Moroni 7: 41-42 “…ye shall have hope…because of your faith…” and “…without faith there cannot be any hope…”) In fact, the order of these three grand principles is always given as “faith, hope and charity” because faith precedes hope, or allows hope to be engendered and then faith and hope allow charity to be engendered. (This is a topic for a different post and will not be covered here. I mention it merely to show that faith is different than hope and charity and required in order to obtain the other two necessary principles.) (The faith of God, part three bold type added.)

I had originally intended to address charity in a post separate from the faith of God series, but as I’ve researched the topic, I see now that it belongs here.

Paul’s definition of charity

Paul gives the universal definition of charity, used by all the Christian world, including us, found in the entire 13th chapter of Corinthians:

Paul said, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13)

Mormon’s definition of charity

Mormon also gives his definition of charity, which is nearly identical to that of Paul, except that Mormon expounds upon the principle a bit more, taking up the entire chapter of Moroni 7:

Mormon said, “And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moro. 7: 45-47; see also the entirety of chapter 7)

Charity encompasses all good things

All principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are found within charity. Using Paul and Mormon’s words, we find: patience (“suffereth long”), kindness (is kind), slowness to anger (“is not easily provoked”), joy in truth (“rejoiceth in the truth”), strength (“beareth all things”), belief (“believeth all things”), hope (“hopeth all things”), and endurance (“endureth all things”).

Charity has none of the evil gifts or principles. There is no envy (“envieth not”), boasting (“vaunteth not itself”), vanity and pride (“is not puffed up”), bad behavior (“does not behave itself unseemly”), stinginess (“seeketh not her own”), quick anger (“is not easily provoked”), evil thoughts (“thinketh no evil”) or joy in iniquity (“rejoiceth not in iniquity”).

In all cases, the principles encompassed by charity are in their fulness: “all things” not just some things. This means that charity is not given in portions (in one sense of that word), as are other gifts of the Spirit. You either have charity, or you don’t.

Charity is not the sum total

The gifts and principles of the gospel which are found within those who have charity do not equate to charity. In other words, merely possessing these gifts and principles in their fulness does not mean you automatically have charity. Charity, then, are these gifts plus something more. It is not the sum total of the gifts alone. This is why Paul says you can have a fulness of (name of principle or gift), but if you don’t have charity, you are nothing.

Mormon’s progression to charity

In chapter 7 of Moroni, Mormon gives a progression from faith to charity. He declares that “no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have” and then he lists 5 necessary principles: 1st, faith; 2nd, hope; 3rd, meekness and lowliness of heart; 4th, confession by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ; and 5th, charity. He demonstrates by his progression that it is impossible to have faith without the word of God, and that it is faith that allows one to lay hold on every good thing (see Moro. 7: 21-25; see also The faith of God, part four: the word of God), or, in other words, it is through faith (see the following note) that every good gift (which is “sent forth by the power and gift of Christ”—see Moro. 7: 16) is obtained from God, including the greatest of all the gifts of God, which is charity.

(Note: Mormon taught that the way to obtain charity is to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7: 48.) Christ said, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you” (Moroni 7: 26.) This shows that charity is obtained by the prayer of faith.)

Salvation = Charity and Charity = Salvation

Some may take issue with my statement that charity is the greatest of the gifts. They may bring up the following scripture:

The Lord said, “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D&C 6: 13)

For most LDS, the interpretation of the word “salvation” in this verse means “exaltation,” which all understand to be the greatest gift of all. Nevertheless, Mormon clearly states that charity “is the greatest of all.” (See Moro. 7: 46.) Paul also states the same in 1 Cor. 13: 13. There is no contradiction in these scriptures between Mormon, Paul and the Lord because charity and salvation are the same gift. I will explain why this is so later on.

Charity and Perfectness

Paul, Moroni and the Lord all aligned charity with perfectness:

Paul said, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” (Col. 3: 14)

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

The Lord said, “And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” (D&C 88: 125)

These scriptures indicate that charity is not your average love.

No inheritance without charity

Ether chapter 12 also talks of charity. Moroni in this chapter said the following:

And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. (Ether 12: 35)

Moroni makes it clear that charity is a prerequisite to salvation. No charity? No salvation. Have charity? Have salvation. This is why Mormon states in Moro. 7: 47 that “whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” In other words, if you possess charity at the day of judgment, you are guaranteed salvation because charity is all you need. You may possess anything else, in fact, you may possess all other things (gifts) possible to possess, but if you don’t possess charity, you don’t get saved. In other words, the possession of charity is the only thing that saves.

In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni reiterates this point:

And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God. (Moro. 10: 21)

The Nothing and things of naught

One of the more curious aspects of charity is that without it we are “nothing.” Paul said, “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13: 2). Mormon said, “If [a man] have not charity, he is nothing” (Moro. 7: 44). Nephi said, “Except [men] should have charity they were nothing” (2 Ne. 26: 30). The Lord said, “And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing” (D&C 18: 19).

Keep in mind that Lehi also spoke of “a thing of naught” which has no power, purpose or even existence. (See 2 Ne. 2: 11-13. This is a bit deeper doctrine than I will discuss here but if the reader wants more information, you can read the Deep Waters category articles, Lehi’s model of the universe and Creatio ex nihilo, creatio ex materia and creatio ex deo are all true doctrines.)

Weak things and strong things

Charity is associated with strength and makes weak things become strong or all-powerful. Said the Lord to Moroni:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. (Ether 12: 27-28)

Moroni then goes on to explain that the Lord “hast prepared a place for man…among the mansions of [His] Father” and that the whole purpose of the Lord’s atonement and resurrection was “to prepare a place for the children of men” so that they could “inherit that place which [He] hast prepared in the mansions of [His] Father” through men having charity. (See Ether 12: 32-34.) Thus, those who possess charity stay in the kingdom of God (see Moro. 10: 21), become strong and inherit a prepared place, while those who do not possess charity “must go down to hell” (Moro. 8: 14). These latter people lose all power and become nothing.

The pure love of Christ

When asked, “What is charity?” LDS will typically quote Moroni 7: 47 and say, “Charity is the pure love of Christ.” Obviously, this is a correct and scriptural answer, but it doesn’t exactly explain what charity is. Yes, it is love. Yes, it is the type of love that Christ demonstrated and possessed. But what the heck is it? And why is it so all important that its possession makes us saved beings?

All are alike

Moroni, in the above quote, when explaining that he possessed charity, made a point to state that “all children are alike unto [him].” For most of us, love comes in degrees and is prioritized. We love our wives more than anyone. We love our wives and children more than our own brothers and their wives and children. We love our brothers and sisters more than our in-laws, and more than our friends. We love our friends more than our acquaintances. We love our neighbors more than strangers. We love our fellow citizen more than foreigners. In other words, “all are not alike” unto us. This demonstrates that most, if not all, of the love that we manifest is not charity.

The opposite of charity

If you look at past and present history, and review the brutal murders, genocides and other atrocities committed by mankind, you will find that one of the ways these men, women and even children justified their actions against their fellow men was to view their victims as aliens. They viewed them as less than human, as animals even, as vermin, as alien invaders to be fought and exterminated at all costs. In other words, they viewed them not as “alike unto them,” but as completely different and even opposite in all things. This hatred, inspired by Satan, is the opposite principle of charity. It views others as altogether different and seeks to destroy such different “things.” Charity, on the other hand, views all things as part of the family and creation of God, and alike unto ourselves, and seeks to edify, save and exalt all things.

Between charity and hatred

The prioritized love that we feel towards those whom we consider worthy of our love, known to us as our “loved ones,” is not exactly charity and not exactly hatred. It is a mix. It has conditions. “As long as you don’t hurt me, I’ll love you.” Etc. But the moment one of our loved ones hurts us real badly, then the love we feel evaporates to be replaced sometimes by hatred. So, when circumstances are going good, the love we feel can manifest great pleasure and happiness, but when times are tough or people around us are making agency choices that hurt us, often that same loving feeling can disappear in an instant and cause us great emotional pain and anger, even hate.

Satan, who knows that the principal of hate allows him to control people, also knows that it is okay for a person to possess love, as it can easily be turned into hate, by simply changing the circumstances of the person from good to bad. It is only charity—which remains constant, or perfect, regardless of the circumstances—which altogether removes Satan’s hold upon men.

What charity really is: the LDS Anarchist definition

Charity is an over-whelming desire and willingness to share all that you have with everyone else.

In the beginning

A visitor named Doug once asked me,

This brings up the point, why is God all powerful? It’s because the intelligences TRUST him, because he never lies. Trust + a healthy dose of smarts is the key to Godliness. The intelligences not only trust God, but they adore him and do whatever he asks.

To which I answered,

All you write here is very true, but there is another, prime reason that precedes these other reasons as to why all things trust and obey God. I’m currently writing another article on this other reason. I’ll link this comment to that future post (if I remember to do so.)

God is motivated by charity and charity alone.  In fact, our current scriptural translations go even farther by saying that God is love, (or God is charity.)  Charity is the divine motivation behind both the atonement and plan of salvation and also the creation of all things.  God desires to bring the nothing into existence (or creation) so that all the many created things can share in everything He has.  It’s like a rich man in a mansion, opening his doors and saying aloud to all in the streets,

“Come in, one and all, and partake of all these riches!  Sit with me, dine with me, walk with me, learn of me and enjoy all the wealth and pleasures I have!  What is mine is yours if you but come!”

Everything He does is to facilitate the gathering of all things around Him, into His mansions, so that they can share in His treasures with others.  This is charity.  God, therefore, is the personification of charity.  In other words, God literally is love.

Man is also motivated by charity, God’s charity.  In fact, all things obey God because God has charity.   We, in the beginning, being on the outside of the mansion, in the streets (in outer darkness), entered into the kingdom of God, or came into existence, because of the offer He made of sharing all He has with us.  Who in their right mind would turn down the offer to enter into a rich man’s mansion and live there in wealth and prosperity for the rest of eternity?  And not just living there, but partaking of all of the riches as if you were the rich man, meaning unbridled sharing of all there is, with no stinginess, whatsoever.  Who would turn such an offer down?  None of us did.  No one ever does.  It is not in our nature.

Charity brought us into existence

When God first gave us awareness of the inner sphere of light, it wasn’t His intelligence or His trustworthiness or any of His many other qualities that caused us to leave outer darkness and enter into our existence in the inner sphere of light (the kingdom of God). It was that noble offer of His, His charity, His desire and willingness to share all He had with us, that caused us to enter His created mansion.  This is how created things get created, or are brought into existence.  God has a two-fold mission, one directed at the already created things which exist within the bounds of the kingdom (sphere) of light and one directed at the nothing found in outer darkness.  To the created universe, He works to facilitate their obtainment of all that He has through the atonement and plan of salvation.  To the nothing, he extends the offer of entering His sphere of light and partaking of everything He has.

The creation is ongoing because the nothing cannot resist the charitable offer.  And so the Universe expands.

All things love God

Why?  Because God loves all things.  He demonstrates that love by desiring to, being willing to, offering to, and working to give us everything He has.  This is what God is all about.  Giving.  Not selling.  Not having things earned (a meritocracy.)  But an unearned gift.  This is charity.  He likes to give gifts to all that like to receive them.  As long as we enjoy receiving, He’ll keep on giving.  He is willing to give us everything there is, without any degree of selfishness.  Not giving us a replica of what He has, but the very things He has, we becoming joint-owners of His things, or as the scriptures say, joint-heirs.  This is the greatest love there is.  There is nothing greater than God’s love, called charity.  Thus, it is the most powerful motivator, in all cases.  It motivates God and it is designed, or it is His design that charity be our motivation, also.  For all the created Universe, it is also their motivation.  They obey Him in all things because they love Him for His love for them, which defies all comprehension, for once it is even remotely understood just how much God has and is willing to give to us, all things are humbled by the magnanimity of God and all things bow the knee and bend the head in humble reverence and worship of the divine Lover of all things.

There are no two ways about it

There is only one type of charity: God’s charity.  If you don’t have an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything you have with everyone else, you don’t have charity.  (See the Deep Waters post,  How many wives?  How many husbands?, for how charity works in divine relationships).  Any degree of stinginess gets you kicked out of the kingdom.  The law of heaven is having all things common, or sharing all things with everyone else.

Sharing.  We learn this as children in the nuclear family.  Share your toys, our mothers teach us.  This is, in fact, a sure-fire way to make quick friends.  The more open and sharing you are with others, the more friends you’ll end up having.  The minute you say, “No, it’s mine!  I’m not sharing!” suddenly even close friends don’t want anything to do with you.

As adults, we learn to share with our spouses and children.  Parents provide for their children their necessities: food, clothing, shelter, nurture, protection, education.  We do this freely, as gifts.  The family is designed to be a gift society, so that we can better inculcate charity, which saves us.  The more generous and charitable we are, the more importance we put on people and the less we put on things.  Charity is the only lesson we need to learn here on earth.  Those who learn it qualify themselves for entering into the charitable society that exists in heaven.  They also prepare themselves to establish that society here on earth, otherwise known as Zion.

What charity is not

Charity is not giving of your surplus to a church, the poor or the needy.  It is not fast offerings or tithing.  Those things are important, but they are not what is charity.  We call them charitable donations because they mimic the work that charity does.  Nevertheless, unless a person has “an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything” he or she has with everyone else, what they have is something less than charity.  The love of a mother or father for his or her children is close to charity.  A parent will give everything, even their own life, for their children, and will share all that they have with them.  But until they have the desire and are willing to do the same for everyone, they don’t possess charity.

In the absence of charity

Without charity, men go through various stages of selfishness and stinginess.  Babylon thrives in the absence of charity.  When charity enters the hearts of men, Babylon disappears and Zion becomes established.  In Zion’s absence, men have power to do all manner of wickedness and can be partially or totally controlled by the devil.  Once charity becomes the motivating impulse in men, Satan loses all power and God rules on earth in their hearts.  This is because charity is 100% divine.  It is not a human concept, principle or emotion.  It comes only from God.  As charity overwhelms with desire, its possession makes men relinquish all the less than perfect human emotions and allows them to embrace the divine nature.

Charity can only be obtained, as Mormon explained above, through faith, hope, meekness, etc.  So, as a strategy, the devil does all in his power to destroy faith, hope, etc.  Faith, in and of itself, is useless against Satan.  So is hope.  None of these principles can stop him. Only charity can.

“Let all men have faith, hope and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit,” says the evil one.  “As long as they possess no charity, these things are powerless to save them and can be a useful means of deception.”

The fastest way to obtain the gifts

As it is through faith that all other gifts are obtained, including charity, and as charity encompasses every other gift, it may be tempting to use one’s faith to seek all other gifts first and when one has fully developed them, to seek for charity. This is actually the slowest way to obtain the gifts because it puts the one seeking the gifts within Satan’s grasp.

It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49: 20)

This principle applies equally to the gifts of God. When we possess more gifts of God than our fellowman, or gifts which we believe are better than the one’s our neighbor has, Satan can lead us to sin in our thoughts by tempting us to think we are the better, or more righteous, man. Such thoughts can lead to sinful behavior and attitudes, which will end up damning us, despite our gifts.

The antidote is to first seek for charity and then, once it is obtained, to seek for the other gifts. This nullifies the devil’s power and facilitates and expedites the receipt of all the other gifts, for the Lord readily bestows His gifts upon possessors of charity because He knows already that they will use them to bless His other children.

The rewards in heaven will be based upon how close we came to charity

Those who enter into their exaltation are those whose lives on earth were denoted by this divine desire and willingness to share everything with everyone.  These men and women who actually obtained the divine gift of charity will receive everything God possesses and will become gods and goddesses themselves.

All others will receive according to how close they came to charity.  In the day of judgment, we will be assessed only by charity or our lack thereof.  Did we possess the desire but not the willingness to carry out the desire?  When presented with the opportunity, did we share all, most, a lot, a little or none at all?  Did we play favorites, sharing with him, her and them but not with those?  Or were we totally selfish, sharing nothing with no one and with an unwillingness and no desire to bless those around us with the good things of life?  Did we discard charity altogether and seek for its opposite, desiring and willing that others receive nothing but evil from our own hands or the hands of others?

Locations in heaven will be based upon charity or its lack

Those who receive the reward of exaltation (the ones who possessed charity in mortality) will reside in the midst of all things, like God Himself, at the center of the sphere of light (the created Universe or the kingdom of God).  Like God, they will receive all power (agency) from all things and all things will look to them (the center) and obey them for they have the same desire, willingness and now power to share everything they possess (which is everything) with all.

Persons who were less charitable in mortality will receive inheritances in other mansions or kingdoms (planets) which are located more towards the edges of the sphere of light.  These will possess less power (agency) than those who reside more towards the center of the Universe.

Repentance brings salvation (charity)

Obviously, almost all mankind will be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which means that just about everyone will eventually repent of their sins and go through Mormon’s steps, acquiring faith, hope, meekness, lowliness of heart and confessing by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ.  This means that they will finally obtain charity and become saved in the kingdom of God.  With this charity they will share all of what they have with everyone around them.  In the case of those exalted, “all of what they have” is everything there is to possess, even all that the Father has.  For everyone else, “all of what they have” is of a limited nature, but still everything that they were willing to receive, they not wanting or desiring to receive any more than the reward or gift which they obtained.

Only the sons of perdition lose out entirely, as they remain firm in their impenitence, refusing to receive charity, and being cast back into outer darkness.

Charity is not based upon a church

Baptism into a church is not what qualifies a person for the reception of the gift of charity.  It is one’s desires and willingness to share all with all.  Anyone who uproots the selfish spirit from their soul through Jesus’ words and the Holy Ghost’s actions, humbling him or herself before God, whether they are members of the baptized, covenant people of the Lord or not, can and will receive this gift and if so, they will receive the corresponding reward in heaven.  There will be many charitable “heathens” who will enter into greater rewards than uncharitable church members, regardless of how much tithing, fast offerings, service projects, temple work, meetings or callings they accept, attend or contribute.

The goal is charity

It may seem weird to bring up charity in the faith of God series, but I felt it was important to give an understanding of how charity fits in to God’s faith.  The faith of God is not the end of the matter.  It is merely a means to an end.  Through faith God obtains and maintains all things, granting Him possession of all things.  But possession is not the end all and be all.  The things possessed are to be used for a divine purpose.  Why get all if not to give all?  Underlying all that immense, godly power, knowledge and holiness is the divine motivation, which precedes both our own faith as well as God’s, for God works by faith in order to be able to share all that He has with everyone.  Charity, then, is God’s goal for both Himself and mankind.  Charity is both the first and the last principle.  It brought us into existence, it keeps us in existence, and using it, it can bring others into existence.  It is the reason for the happiness that is existence, the sharing of all things with all.  Charity is the Zion principle.

Everything that leads to charity is to be motivated by charity, thus, the Savior’s command of “freely ye have received, freely give” is according to the principle of charity and is to apply to all the gifts of God.  We are to use all that God gives us to benefit all His children and creations, freely, generously and openly, without reservation or respect to persons.  All are to be alike to us.

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

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

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

Between a man and a woman

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

Who forbids to marry?

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

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

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

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

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

But I must add one more:

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage is a covenant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

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

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

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

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

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

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

No mention of a State licensing requirement

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

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

No mention of a wedding ceremony

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

No mention of witnesses

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

Conflict between God and the Church

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

Consent in marriage

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

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

Sin in marriage

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

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

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

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

Polygyny is not sin

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

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

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

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

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

Polyandry is not sin

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

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

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

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

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

Objections to polyandry unfounded

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

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

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

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

Not giving consent to marry is sin

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

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

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

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

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

A secondary and third transgression

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

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

Plural marriage engenders charity

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

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

Plural marriage retains agency

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

Plural marriage creates Zion

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

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

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

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

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

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Inspiration behind this post

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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.

Wake_Up

Previous Guest Contributor article: Congruence vs. Obedience

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What The Priesthood Is


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 third 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, 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.

What The Priesthood Is

Whenever I ask this question, people invaribly answer with,

“The Priesthood is the authority to act in the name of God.”

Unfortunately, this rhetorical regurgitation does not even address the question.

To explain ‘what’ the Priesthood (PH) is requires first to know what its substance is. Only then can one understand its purposeful use. One must come to realize that the PH has parts and attributes to it that define ‘what’ it really is before one can be capable of attempting to ‘use’ PH power.

It would be very much like trying to use an automobile to convey one’s self down the street when lacking an understanding of what it is, or the manner in which each component functions to utilize it as it was created for – to safely travel down the street. Can you remember any time in your life when you were completely perplexed by something totally foreign to your knowledge? All of us have experienced this. Learning about the pro-creative powers of our bodies and the truth behind the ‘birds and bees’ astonished us all when we found out what ‘it’ was for. Coming to an understanding of ‘what’ the PH is, is no different.

Allow me to ask you a simpler question to help define where our focus should be in answering ‘what’ the PH is.

“What is a credit card?”

If your answer begins to explain what you can ‘do’ with it, or the responsibilities attached to it, or who can use one, then you have not told me the first thing to answer my question which should be an explanation about it being a piece of plastic. How perplexed would a person be 70 years ago in their attempt to describe a piece of plastic? Could anyone have conceived of such a substance that was neither wood, metal, leather or glass, yet was a substitute for them all? It didn’t exist then, but we take plastic for granted as it is everywhere a part of our daily lives now. It’s the same with the PH. Now you see that any answer that does not begin to define the nature and substance of the PH is a stumbling block to truly being able to function within it, or operate congruent to it.

So then, ‘What is the PH ?’

In reading the Holy Writ of God, we typically find certain nouns being used, but we rarely associate attributes to these nouns.  Further more, we don’t compare the sets of attributes of each noun with one another to obtain a much larger perspective on what God is telling us. Take ‘Truth’ for example. Like defining ‘PH’, we are stuck with rhetoric instead of enlightenment. ‘Truth’ has certain attributes as does ‘Spirit’, ‘Light’, ‘intelligence’, ‘charity’, ‘faith’ and of course, ‘PH’.  When we discern the attributes and nature of each these nouns, we begin to discover something odd – that they all share the same attributes and nature, though some are merely sub-sets of the others. In other words, God has apparently been holding our hand in a very detailed manner to explain to us everything about who He is, and how He operates ALL though scripture.  We just haven’t taken advantage gathering up all these details, and then standing back to look at them for what they are, and their relationship to each other.

All through this article, which is admittedly my own personal paradigm, you’ll find that each subject doesn’t really have a clear beginning and end because each item of discussion are all inter-related to the others and consequently I am talking about only ONE thing by taking several different perspectives in order that I might be understood. Consequently, my weakness in writing only compounds the already difficult task. My apologies, please bear with me through all of this.

Several times in scripture we are told about the attributes of PH, but we mistake them for ‘how’ we ought to be behaving BEFORE exercising the ‘PH’. The reality is that those attributes ARE the detailed description of the ‘PH’, and until we are indeed living congruently within those Godly attributes ourselves, we can forget about ‘using’ the powers “inseparably connected” to the PH.

Instead of listing those attributes here, I listed them above as ultimately ‘charity’ contains the exact same set of attributes as PH, because it is indeed “inseparably connected” – even the same thing with a little different descriptive perspective. Charity is ‘what’ Priesthood is – provided that you know ‘what’ charity truly is, you also know ‘what’ PH is.

While this turns authoritarian mindsets upside down, I want to remind you that men have consistently reversed the meaning of the truth of the Gospel. Sometimes unintentionally out of ignorance; most other times intentionally in attempts to obtain or maintain control upon men rather than to ‘let them go’ after the presentation of the truth. While it is true that a ‘church’ is an assembled body of believers, the intention was to refrain from stifling growth toward mankind’s pinnacle of potential – being Joint-Heirs with Jesus Christ; Godhood.

As long as men maintain control of ‘PH’, and only hand salvation out piecemeal to those who are required to believe a specific dogma before obtaining it, all mankind will remain in bondage. While it is true that PH authority is conferred, even that person can not hold onto it if they become incongruent to PH itself. NO ONE, by mere virtue of having been ‘ordained’, can justify acting in any Godly authority if they are incongruent to the attributes and methods of operation of PH. A person’s ‘calling’ or ‘office’ does not give them PH, and it can not sustain them in acting incongruent to the very powers they wish to violate or disassociate themselves from in ANY DEGREE.

Many people fear this paradigm because of the idea that God is somehow ‘inferior’ to PH. God is congruent to PH as He Himself has developed the nature and attributes of Godliness, which attributes and nature are those He has described as ‘charity’ or PH.

God ‘surfs’ the wave of PH. He doesn’t attempt to change it, or fight against it. The very principles that allow the entire universe to exist is the method of harmony God has found to be Eternally True, and thus He has made every effort to explain them to us, also.  Invariably, everything that Christianity teaches about Jesus being a person full of love is exactly the harmony existing in the universe.  Becoming congruent to that existence is what God has done, and what we must also discover for ourselves. We could fight against it, but we would then be like Lucifer. It’s our choice.  We have complete freedom to choose it just as God or Lucifer does.

The ‘spirit’ or ‘PH’ is not withdrawn from us the very moment we exercise any degree of unrighteous dominion, but we ‘fall’ from it.  When we choose to be incongruent to those attributes, we disconnect ourselves from the very powers of Heaven. God can also suffer the same consequence because He is just as free to choose as we are, but it would require Him to do something totally outside of His nature and character. It would require Him behaving in a manner that is totally unlike Himself. Just as it is inconceivable to the vast majority of us to commit murder, it is for God to become incongruent to PH. God can fall from being God, just like Lucifer did, and just like we can freely choose to become congruent to PH or to fight against it, and consequently God, too.

Wake_Up

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The Split-Brain Model of the Gospel


About this article: It was the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Dr. Betty Edwards that first got me comparing split-brain research with the gospel.  I had developed some ideas about it, but never wrote them down, though I did verbalize them to what4anarchy.  Recently, though, at the library, I picked up an old Stanislaw Lem book, Peace on Earth, which brought the research back into my mind.  So I again took the subject up, this time going a whole lot deeper.  Afterward, I passed it through what4anarchy and told him I was thinking of writing an article on this topic.  He suggested I do so immediately.  So, I put pen to paper and came up with the following…

Two Brains, Not One

Modern brain research has discovered that what we term our brain is really two brains working together. One brain resides in the right hemisphere, which I will call the right-brain, while the other resides in the left hemisphere, which I will call the left-brain. The right-brain controls the left side of the body, while the left-brain controls the right side of the body.

Each brain is the mirror image of the other, and like mirror images, they express themselves and perceive reality in opposing ways. However, the two brains are joined by a bridge of connecting tissue, called the corpus callosum, which allows them to communicate with each other and to combine their individual expressions, so that outside observers perceive a single message.

Inner Conflict

We all know that there is an inner conflict or turmoil within us, though no one else may be aware. We often desire two conflicting things at the same time and must make instantaneous decisions to suppress one desire over another. What we may not be aware of is that these conflicting thoughts, feelings, desires and impulses are coming from our opposing brains.

Observing the Conflict

The conflicting messages transmitted by the two brains are largely unobservable by outsiders. However, when a callotomy is performed, which severs the corpus callosum, neither brain can communicate with the other and thus they become incapable of coordinating all of their actions. Once this main communication line is cut, and by using specific tests, the independence of each brain can then plainly be seen.

Through these tests and observations of callotomized humans, modern research into the differences between the left and right brains has so far revealed the following:

Left and Right Brains Compared

The left-brain uses intellect.
The right-brain uses intuition.
The left-brain is convergent.
The right-brain is divergent.
The left-brain is digital.
The right-brain is analogic.
The left-brain is secondary.
The right-brain is primary.
The left-brain is abstract.
The right-brain is concrete.
The left-brain is directed.
The right-brain is free.
The left-brain is propositional.
The right-brain is imaginative.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is relational.
The left-brain is lineal.
The right-brain is nonlineal.
The left-brain is rational.
The right-brain is intuitive.
The left-brain is sequential.
The right-brain is multiple.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is holistic.
The left-brain is objective.
The right-brain is subjective.
The left-brain is successive.
The right-brain is simultaneous.

Thus, we see with the above list that there are “two ways of knowing.”

Left and Right Brains, Another Comparison

Here is another comparison between the left and right brains:

The left-brain is verbal; using words to define.
The right-brain is nonverbal; using non-verbal cognition to process perceptions.
The left-brain is analytic; figuring things out step-by-step and part-by-part.
The right-brain is synthetic; putting things together to form wholes.
The left-brain is symbolic; using a symbol to stand for something else. For example, the + sign stands for the process of addition.
The right-brain is actual, real; relating to things as they are, at the present moment.
The left-brain is abstract; taking out a small bit of information and using it to represent the whole thing.
The right-brain is analogic; seeing likeness among things; understanding metaphoric relationships.
The left-brain is temporal; keeping track of time, sequencing one thing after another, doing first things first, second things second, etc.
The right-brain is nontemporal; without a sense of time.
The left-brain is rational; drawing conclusions based on reason and facts.
The right-brain is nonrational; not requiring a basis of reason or facts; willingness to suspend judgment.
The left-brain is digital; using numbers as in counting.
The right-brain is spatial; seeing where things are in relation to other things and how parts go together to form a whole.
The left-brain is logical; drawing conclusions based on logic; one thing following another in logical order; for example, a mathematical theorem or a well-stated argument.
The right-brain is intuitive; making leaps of insight, often based on incomplete patterns, hunches, feelings, or visual images.
The left-brain is linear; thinking in terms of linked ideas, one thought directly following another, often leading to a convergent conclusion.
The right-brain is holistic (meaning ‘wholistic’); seeing whole things all at once; perceiving the overall patterns and structures, often leading to divergent conclusions.

Chinese Comparisons

The Chinese description of yin and yang is but a description of the brains, too. Notice in particular, those of you who subscribe to the notion that we were initially created as dual, composite beings, male and female, that one brain is female, while the other is male.

The yin (right-brain) is feminine.
The yang (left-brain) is masculine.
The yin (right-brain) is negative.
The yang (left-brain) is positive.
The yin (right-brain) is the moon.
The yang (left-brain) is the sun.
The yin (right-brain) is darkness.
The yang (left-brain) is light.
The yin (right-brain) is yielding.
The yang (left-brain) is aggressive.
The yin (right-brain) is the left side.
The yang (left-brain) is the right side.
The yin (right-brain) is cold.
The yang (left-brain) is warm.
The yin (right-brain) is autumn.
The yang (left-brain) is spring.
The yin (right-brain) is winter.
The yang (left-brain) is summer.
The yin (right-brain) is unconscious.
The yang (left-brain) is conscious.
The yin (right-brain) is emotion.
The yang (left-brain) is reason.

Two Ways of Seeing – Convergence and Divergence

Human eyesight has elements of both right and left brain characteristics.

Convergence Our eyes focus on a single point, the smaller and more defined that point, the clearer the vision. This is known as central fixation and is the key to superior eyesight. Thus, your eye must be single, or centrally fixated, to be able to see the light. Central fixation is typical of left-brain convergence, converging the attention on a single point.

Divergence However, we also see what surrounds that point. This is known as eccentric vision. Eccentric vision takes in the whole picture, the whole view, with less clarity than the central point we are fixating our eyes upon. With eccentric vision, we get a sense of where everything is in relation to everything else. None of what we see with eccentric vision is very clear.  In fact, it could almost be termed “dark.” This dark, eccentric vision is typical of right-brain divergence, as attention is diverged among all points and not just one.

In this way, using centric and eccentric vision simultaneously, we are able to see the one and the all at the same time. Both are necessary for proper vision, otherwise blindness, to a greater or lesser degree, results.

Two types of blindness If you were to become eccentrically blind, so that all you could perceive was a single point, you would not be able to determine where that point was in relation to everything else. You would literally be lost, having no idea (spatially) where anything was. And if your centric vision became blind, so that you could only see everything around the point you fixated your eyes upon, you would be able to determine that there were things around you, knowing (spatially) where everything was, but you wouldn’t be able to see it with any clarity, meaning that you wouldn’t really know what it was with any detail, nor would you know what the point you were focusing on was.

A Cerebral Struggle for Dominance

Just as both centric and eccentric vision are necessary for proper perception, so are the left-brain and right-brain necessary, yet modern man tends to favor the left-brain processes over the right-brain ones. In fact, the left-brain almost always dominates the right-brain in adults because the speech centers are typically located there, whereas the right-brain is mute. In a debate between a highly articulate man and a mute man, the articulate one wins every time.

As both brains are essentially opposites in every way, and compete for dominance over the man, it is not surprising that the left-brain has ridiculed the right-brain in every language. All words and verbal expressions come from the left-brain. It names everything. It also controls the right hand. So, it is not surprising that everything good is associated with the right hand, whereas everything evil is associated with the left hand, which is controlled by the right-brain. To give you two examples of how the left-brain builds itself up while putting the right-brain down, consider the words “sinister” and “adroit.” The etymology of “sinister” is left, while that of “adroit” is right. Sinister has a bad connotation, while adroit has a good one. The left-brain, in control of speech, takes every opportunity, in every language, to aggrandize itself and belittle the right-brain.

Again, I say, that such behavior is not surprising because, invariably, the right-brain actions—the messages it communicates to the outside world—are always believed over the words verbalized by the left-brain. The right-brain, being mute, communicates through gestures and body language. When a man talks to someone else, and his words do not match his body language, invariably the listener will believe the message communicated by the body language, over what is spoken in words. The left-brain’s words only gain credibility if the right-brain’s body language and gestures match them. Each brain, though, is independent and wants to make itself heard and to dominate, so the necessity of working together can be frustrating, which frustration is manifested by the left-brain calling the (right-brain controlled) left hand names.

In the gospel, we are taught to be one and we tend to think of that in terms of two or more people.  However, in its most fundamental practice, it means to harmonize the two brains so that they work in unity, instead of fighting between each other.

The term “one,” used in the scriptures to describe the Godhead and us in relation to God, should (says I) be translated “united.”  “United” is a more descriptive term; it recognizes the individuality of the parts while showing the harmonious relationship of the whole.  The left-brain, however, is the one that chooses the words of the scriptures and so it is understandable that “one” is the word used.  The left-brain does not want to even recognize the existence of the right-brain, therefore, according to its thought, we are to become one homogenized being, centered smack dab in the left hemisphere!

What the Left-Brain and Right-Brain Actually Are

If you were to ask a person to point with their finger where they are in their body, they would eventually figure it out and point to their brain.  For example, although they control their knee and can see and feel it, it is “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  If you ask where their mind is, they will point to their brain (either hemisphere).  When you ask where their heart is, they will point to their chest.  When you ask where their sentimental heart is, not the physical heart, they will point to the same location, the chest.

For most people, the sentimental heart and the physical heart are located, like the knee, “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  Yet, all sensations are sensed in the brain, not in the extremities.  It is the brain that interprets the signals coming from without as pleasure, pain, etc.  The organs at those extremities are designed to collect information about the inner and outer environments and to transmit the information to the brain, which then interprets it as “feeling.”  We can see physical organs at every location of the body, but the sentimental heart, which we say is located in the bosom somewhere, has no physical organ that collects sentimental information.  Where, then, is the location of the sentimental heart?  Where is the organ of the sentimental heart?  It is the right-brain.

In its quest for dominance of the brain, the mind of man (the left-brain), has named the location of the heart of man (the right-brain), as “out there,” somewhere in the bosom or chest area.  In the reality of the left-brain—which is the dominant brain in adults—the heart is something that is to be subject to the mind, like any other part of the body.  It, the left-brain, wants the man to believe that his mind (which is the left-brain) occupies the whole region of the cerebral area, both left and right hemispheres, while the heart (which is his right-brain) is in a nether region.

The truth of the matter is, though, that the left-brain, which deals in symbols, has created a symbolic location for the sentimental heart.  The actual location is unnervingly close to the mind, right across the corpus callosum bridge, and it, the heart, is every bit as big and complex as the mind.  In fact, the heart of man is not just the equal of the mind of man, but is actually the primary brain organ, while the left-brain is a secondary brain organ.

From this point on, I will refer to each brain by what they actually are: the left-brain-mind and the right-brain-heart.

Man is from the Beginning Right-Brain-Heart Dominant

We come into this world right-brain-heart dominant.  Over time the speech and other centers of the left-brain-mind develop and, due to the mastery of speech and writing, the left-brain-mind often and largely takes control of the man, dominating the right-brain-heart.  The return to a heavenly state, such as our pre-mortal state, indicates a return to right-brain-heart dominance.

In one of the lists above, the left-brain-mind is called the secondary brain, while the right-brain-heart is called the primary brain.  Let’s explore why this is.

Right-Brain-Heart: Primary; Left-Brain-Mind: Secondary

When Jesus visited the Nephites, he was complying with the commandments of the Father, who had given him a to-do list (and a to-say list.)  After finishing the list of tasks, he was to return to the Father and then to go to the lost tribes but he changed plans, because his right-brain-heart, the primary brain, which contains the emotional centers, felt compassion towards the Nephites.  He then stayed longer, said more and performed more acts than he had been instructed to by the Father.  In other words, Jesus took initiative and expressed his individuality.

The right-brain-heart trumps the left-brain-mind every time.  It takes precedence over the logic of the left-brain-mind.  We left-brain-mind dominant humans, when thinking of the oneness of the Gods, tend to think in mathematical logic like a computer program which gives the proper response to every conceivable situation, as if the Gods were robots.  Such thinking is uniquely left-brain-minded, in other words, it is convergent.  Although the Gods utilize their left-brain-minds, and thus are capable of convergent thought, they are right-brain-heart dominant, which is divergent.  There is not one proper response or solution, but an infinite number of proper responses and solutions.  Diversification and variety are functions of the right-brain-heart.

So, despite going beyond what the Father had told him to do, Jesus acted properly.

The Nonverbal Gesture Language of the Right-Brain-Heart

The right-brain-heart of man, although mute, possesses the language of gestures.  No matter what language you look at on this planet, you will find that human verbal expressions are often accompanied by hand and body gestures.  Try telling someone to describe a spiral staircase to you and see if they don’t make a spiral gesture with their hand as they give their description.  The gesture language of the right-brain-heart appears to be more or less the same regardless of language or culture.  We all use the same or similar gestures, with some variance among the like generalities.  When picking a mate, gestures or body language is virtually identical in every culture.  This is known as the pair-bonding sequence.  All of this mute body language is the right-brain-heart communicating with another right-brain-heart.

In the heavens, as everyone there is right-brain-heart dominant, the principal language is a gesture language.  The language given to Adam was also a gesture language.  (Think back to Adam’s prayer in the temple.)  The gospel ordinances consist of bodily movements and gestures.  This is the language of the right-brain-heart.

The language of the right-brain-heart cannot be expressed in words or written down.  The verbal left-brain-mind cannot understand the expressions of the right-brain-heart.  It is all a mystery, unknowable to the left-brain-mind.  That is, perhaps, why we find such curious passages of scripture in which Jesus prays to the Father and no one can speak or write “the things” they both saw and heard him speak.  Part of the reason could very well be because Jesus used the gesture language of his right-brain-heart in front of the multitude.

Later, on the second day of his visit, Jesus again prays a prayer that was impossible to speak or write.  Finally, on the third day, the babes and little children spoke unspeakable things, as did many of the later church converts.  (The children, still right-brain-heart dominant, were already in the proper dominance state, so right-brain-heart speak would come first and easiest to them.)  All of this may be indicative of the gesture language of the right-brain-heart.

A built-in lie detector; a built-in lying machine

The right-brain-heart always tells the truth that it perceives, whereas the left-brain-mind is capable of lying.  (The left-brain-mind has the ability of lying through its rationalization processes.)  If the left-brain-mind speaks a lie, even to the point where it attempts to control the person’s body language to make the deception complete, the right-brain-heart will nevertheless cause a body part to manifest that the words spoken and body language shown are untrue.  As much as the left-brain-mind tries to control the right-brain-heart’s bodily gestures, the message of truth always gets through, via so-called involuntary functions, such as pupil dilation/constriction, etc.  A person trained in these right-brain-heart body signs can always tell when someone is lying, just by careful observation of the body signals.

The Spiritual Center of Man: the Right-Brain-Heart

The residence of the Holy Ghost All spirituality is centered in the right-brain-heart.  When explaining how the spirit of revelation operates, the Lord said, “I will tell you in your (left-brain-) mind and in your (right-brain-) heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your (right-brain-) heart.”  (D&C 8: 2.)

In addition to residing in the right-brain-heart, the Holy Ghost utilizes the peculiar processes of that hemisphere to communicate divine knowledge.

Dreams As the right-brain-heart controls the subconscious, many prophets and seers, such as Lehi, received divine dreams.

Timelessness The right-brain-heart has no concept of time, so we find Joseph Smith matter-of-factly stating, after his visions with the angel Moroni, “After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that might.”  (JS-H 1: 47)

Children, in particular, routinely demonstrate the timelessness of the right-brain-heart.  Being right-brain-heart dominant, they have the innate ability to immerse themselves in the reality of the right-brain-heart, without very much input from their left-brain-minds.  Such a brain state might be termed R-mode.  Only by activating the time keeping function of their left-brain-minds, can R-mode be broken.

For example, when my youngest son is engaged in an enjoyable activity, which I need to interrupt because it is time to go, there is no way to disengage him without him becoming upset.  This is because he has no concept of time while in R-mode and feels cheated to be suddenly taken out of it.  Even if he has been playing for hours on end, to him it wasn’t enough time, since he wasn’t aware of time while doing it.  What I need to do in order to avoid a scene is to engage his left-brain-mind (or L-mode), which does keep time, by saying, “Okay, we’re leaving in 15 minutes!”  Instantly, the left-brain-mind of the boy starts a countdown, which overrides the right-brain-heart’s timelessness.  At intervals, he will ask me, “How much time is left?” because his left-brain-mind still has no concept of how long a minute is, let alone 15, and it needs information to pace the countdown.  When the time is up there is no scene when leaving because his rational left-brain-mind is telling his right-brain-heart that he was given “enough” time to play and “fair warning.”

As things really are The right-brain-heart is concrete, seeing things as they really, actually are, and not projecting symbolic relationships, so, when the Lord wishes to reveal truth, which is “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (see D&C 93: 24), he does so through the right-brain-heart of man.

More on Timelessness: Patience is Centered in the Right-Brain-Heart

Patience takes on a new meaning when in a timeless state.  There is no sooner or later in eternity or timelessness.  You either get something or you do not.  The right-brain-heart will ask God for something, believing that it will receive it.  “I do not know when I will get it, I just believe that I will get it,” says the right-brain-heart.  The right-brain-heart is, by nature, patient, because waiting an eternity to receive something is the same as waiting one day.  Without a concept of time, it is all the same.

The Exaltation of the Left-Brain-Mind (by Man)

Modern man, being left-brain-mind dominant, tends to idolize the left-brain-mind attributes, whereas the right-brain-heart attributes are considered inferior.  So, a man with strong intellectual powers, rational and analytic in thought, with strong verbal skills, who is punctual and can follow instructions precisely, is lifted up on a pedestal as ideal.  Such a man is a thinker, thinking things through and figuring things out, linking things together like a Sherlock Holmes detective until he comes to the “only logical conclusion.”  Logic, reason, intellect, mathematical concepts, with emotions being held in check at all times, so as not to cloud one’s thoughts, these are the qualities of the scientific, left-brain-mind dominant man.

The Use of the Right-Brain-Heart (by God)

Unfortunately, such a man, whose right-brain-heart is largely neglected, while the left-brain-mind becomes over-developed, misses every opportunity to hear the voice of God, because God dwells only in the right-brain-heart.

Spatiality God shows the spatial relationships of the heavens to man in vision through the right-brain-heart, not the left-brain-mind.  “These are the governing ones,” the Lord said to Abraham (in Abr. 3: 3), as he showed him the planets and their spatial relationships.  The left-brain-mind must rely upon telescopes and math to get a picture of where everything is, whereas the right-brain-heart has the built-in capacity to see the whole picture at once, so God uses it when giving vision.

Intuition When we have an “a-ha!” moment, that is the right-brain-heart in action.  We finally understand something, though we may not be able to put it into words, or the words we use to describe the understanding is inadequate.  Although the left-brain-mind processes, like advanced mathematical equations, are very complex, they still only deal with the one point or thought that is in the mind.  The right-brain-heart has the job of dealing with everything other than that one point or thought.  In other words, the right right-brain-heart sees the whole picture (eccentric vision), while the left-brain-mind sees only one point of the picture (centric vision).  Right-brain-heart processes embrace the all or infinite, while the left-brain-mind embraces the one or singular.  The left-brain-mind sees one thing at a time, sequentially; the right-brain-heart sees multiple things at a time, simultaneously.  As a result, the right-brain-heart is vastly more complex than the left-brain-mind.  Its processes are much too fluid and complex to be put into words.

Miracles As LDS, we often fall into the left-brain-mind track and approach the gospel in a left-brain-mind way.  Each side is to be fully developed and harmonized, or united, becoming “one.”  If one or the other must dominate, the right-brain-heart, the primary brain, is to be the one in the control seat, not the left-brain-mind.  If the order is reversed, we may find ourselves going through a list of gospel actions, which is inherently left-brained, without experiencing any of the miracles, visions, dreams, tongues, angelic visitations, etc., which are associated with right-brain development and dependence.

Gospel principles Faith, hope, charity and all the rest of the gospel principles are right-brain-heart centered.  It is impossible to exercise these principles utilizing the ordered left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, the right-brain-heart appears disordered, chaotic, anarchic, much too free and unrestrained.  The left-brain-mind likes to be told what to do, to be directed, guided, and confined into limitative schedules and restrictive borders.  This is because the left-brain-mind only sees one thing at a time and the dot or point it sees has specific boundaries, everything converging at the center.  The right-brain-heart, though, sees everything at once, and there are no boundaries to what it sees, all things diverging in all directions.  It enjoys the freedom of boundless space and the natural order that the things it sees “settle into.”  It doesn’t like to be confined and it has no sense of propriety.  All it sees is infinite variety, all of which it deems “proper.”

The Return to Right-Brain-Heart Dominance

Our task here on earth is to return to right-brain-heart dominance so that God can reveal the way to become one, so that both brains act in harmony, firmly under the control of the right-brain-heart, which sees the big picture.  This is why the scriptures state that God requires the heart of man.  Once God gets a man’s right-brain-heart, He can show man the big picture and man can see where he fits in the universe, what his potential is and how to obtain it.

As I said before, all mankind is born with a dominant right-brain-heart.  As infants, babes, toddlers and little children, we learn chiefly using the right-brain-heart processes.  At some point we learn how to speak, read, write and do arithmetic (which are left-brain-mind processes) and the left-brain-mind overpowers the right-brain-heart, suppressing the imaginative and creative right.  Such left-brain-mind dominance impedes our spiritual progression.  What then becomes necessary is that we become as little children, repent and be baptized (see 3 Nephi 11: 37) and also repent, be baptized and become as little children (see 3 Nephi 11: 38).  We must become as little children both before and after baptism.  In other words, we must become again right-brain-heart dominant.

Often many of the instructions given by the Lord to LDS are switched by the LDS, so that we try to perform a right-brain-heart function with the left-brain-mind and vice versa.  For example, when the Lord told the Nephite disciples to cease praying but not to cease praying in their hearts, we might confuse “praying in the heart” with praying with the mind.  The (left-brain-) mind uses words, while the (right-brain-) heart is mute.  It can feel and make gestures, but it cannot express itself in words.  Therefore, to pray in one’s heart is to express a feeling towards God.  It is entirely possible to continually pray in one’s heart to God while performing other tasks.

Likewise, pondering in one’s left-brain-mind and pondering in one’s right-brain-heart are two separate things and have different results.  Left-brain-mind pondering is analytic, abstract, propositional, temporal, rational, digital, logical and linear and leads to intellectual stimulation. Right-brain-heart pondering is synthetic, analogic, imaginative, nontemporal, nonrational, spatial, intuitive, holistic and nonlineal and leads to spiritual stimulation and revelation. Unless one ponders with the right-brain-heart, it may result in no spiritual progress.

Many of the “techniques” we are taught to use for gospel study are nothing more than left-brain-mind processes.  In fact, any and all studying engages only the left-brain-mind.  This is why the Lord said to Oliver Cowdery, “You must study it out in your mind.”  (See D&C 9: 8.)  Faith is right-brain-heart based and study is left-brain-mind based.  And so the Lord said, “And as all have not faith…seek learning, even by study (left-brain-mind) and also by faith (right-brain-heart).”  (See D&C 109: 7.)

To maximize gospel progression, the right-brain-heart must be engaged.  The more it is engaged, the more rapid the progress.  The right-brain-heart has the capacity to dwell on something continually, night and day.  Ask any broken-hearted fool if he feels the effect of his lost love continually and he’ll tell you.  By placing the affections of the heart upon the Lord (see Alma 37: 36), we keep it open to receive communications from that quarter.

United Brains – or, One Brain under (the Right-Brain-Heart, It Being under) God

The Lord has said that “children are whole from the foundation of the world.”  (Moses 6: 54.)  Another way of saying “whole” is “united,” “complete,” “not missing any parts,” “with no divisions or separations among the parts,” meaning that the two brains are united, each one working as they are supposed to work, in other words, with the right right-brain-heart in the dominant position.  Then they enter earth life, in which all the adults have brains in which the left-brain-mind is dominant, and as they grow up, “sin conceiveth in their (right-brain-) hearts” (Moses 6: 55.)  The effect of sin is that it separates us from God, so, as the right-brain-heart is our pathway to the divine, as soon as children allow their left-brain-minds to dominate or ignore the right-brain-heart, they begin to cut themselves off from Heavenly Father.

Satanic Strategies

The devil has a few strategies to “deal with” the right-brain-heart.  As the right-brain-heart is the conduit to God, one strategy is to get people to completely ignore it.  Using the left’s power of words, the attributes of the left-brain-mind are exalted while those of the right-brain-heart are ridiculed as foolishness.  In this way, no one wants to develop the right-brain-heart qualities because of its stigma in the popular mind-set.  Right-brain-heart dominant artists, creators, visionaries, and prophets are looked upon as slackers, knaves, vagabonds, lazy, crazies, etc.  Their “heads are in the clouds” and they need to “get their feet on the ground” and “face the realities of (left-brain-mind dominant) life.”  Right-brain-heart dominant individuals are not punctual, can’t follow a set of instructions precisely (they are prone to change the order of a sequenced plan on the spur of the moment), they can’t focus on any one thing at a time, instead thinking of everything at once, they are irrational (nonrational), etc.  Who wants to be like that?!  Just about every right-brain-heart process has been marginalized and made unpopular by the left-brain-mind so that hardly anyone wants to develop it.

The universities are especially adept at atrophying the right-brain-heart so that a man can enter a university with faith in God (the right-brain-heart functioning) and leave it as an atheist, with near total reliance upon the left-brain-mind.  Universities and most schooling in general teach left-brain-mind development almost exclusively.

Another strategy of the devil is to inflame the desire and emotion centers of the right right-brain-heart so that hate, anger and rage pour out instead of the love and goodwill that is supposed to be there.  He will also incite desires for sex, power, fame and money because the desires of the right-brain-heart never tire as do the thought processes of the left-brain-mind.  So, if he can’t get a person to ignore the right-brain-heart entirely, he will try to get the individual to spend right-brain-heart energy in anything other than God.

If all of this fails and the person still seeks God and continues to develop the right-brain-heart, he will give them religion, a religion that is largely left-brain-minded, that professes God with its mouth (the left-brain-mind words) but whose (right-brain-) heart is far from Him.  Or, if a person’s right-brain-heart is very developed so that left left-brain-mind dominant religion has no appeal, the devil will present spiritualism and other esoteric religions and paths to the individual, causing him or her to divert right-brain-heart energy to something other than God.  Women, in particular, are susceptible to this latter strategy.

The Right-Brain-Heart, the Key to Combating the Devil

The way to combat these devilish deceptions is to open up the right-brain-heart to God and to develop it despite the stigma.  “Yielding up the (right-brain-) heart to God” (Hel. 3: 35) is how the scriptures describe it.  This causes the right-brain-heart to become sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost which will then dwell there and deposit the gifts of the Spirit, which gifts will discern the deceptions of the devil (see D&C 46: 8) and will reveal the truth via miraculous manifestations.  So, the right-brain-heart is the key to everything.

Belief, Doubt and Prayer

The right-brain-heart is the believing brain, whereas the left-brain-mind is the doubter, unless the belief is based upon logic, facts, peer-reviewed evidence, etc.  So, when the Lord instructs us to pray in faith, believing that we will receive, nothing doubting, he is explaining the manner of using both hemispheres of the brain.  Verbal prayers require the left-brain-mind, while faith and belief both originate in the right-brain-heart.  And by saying “nothing doubting” He is explaining that the left-brain-mind is to speak but do nothing more.  So, there is to be no conflict between left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart.  Belief and faith are to come from the right-brain-heart without any doubt from the left-brain-mind.  In our prayers, then, we are to be one, meaning that our left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are to be united, with the right-brain-heart in its proper role as the primary and dominant brain.  Prayer, then, becomes a means whereby we may train our left-brain-minds to be subservient to our right-brain-hearts.

Revelation and the Right-Brain-Heart

By changing our approach to the gospel from left-brain-mind to right-brain-heart dominant, suddenly one-way communication (prayer) turns into two-way communication (revelation) and God starts pouring down information about the nature of the Universe, expanding our horizons accordingly.  Joseph Smith, Jun., is the poster boy for what happens when you develop the right-brain-heart and turn it over to God: God fills it with visions of eternity.  Joseph’s left-brain-mind was in no way as developed as his right-brain-heart, which fact bothered him, but this did not present any obstacle whatsoever to him receiving messages from God.  The reason?  Because the left-brain-mind is not needed by God to communicate to us.  Only the right-brain-heart is. The Holy Ghost speaks to the left-brain-mind when the message needs to be put into words, as that is where the speech center is found.  If the message is only for the individual, the right-brain-heart alone can be used, but if the message is to be told to others, the left-brain-mind is also activated.

The Eternal Destiny of Man Requires an Organ that Can See Eternity: the Right-Brain-Heart

All of this talk of the importance of the right-brain-heart is not meant to imply that the left-brain-mind plays no part in the gospel.  It does, but it was always the intention that the left-brain-mind have a secondary, not primary role, in the gospel.  We are here on earth to learn to walk by faith (right-brain-heart) and not by sight (left-brain-mind).  The left-brain-mind, being of a limited nature, with narrow confines, boundaries, rules, etc., is designed to be a tool in the hand of the right-brain-heart to perform certain limited, sequential tasks.  The right-brain-heart has no limits, being as wide as eternity itself, and thus is designed to control the eternal destiny of man because its vision is large enough to see the big picture and man’s spatial relationship to all other things in the Universe.  The left-brain-mind is unsuited to control the eternal destiny of man because of its limited vision, seeing only one thing at a time and not knowing where it fits in the Universe.  But it is especially useful during mortality, to construct houses and perform other mortal tasks.

In eternity, the left-brain-mind is also used to perform tasks, but always in subjection to the right-brain-heart, which directs all things.  If you look on the lists above of left and right attributes, you’ll see the left hemisphere is “directed” while the right is “free.”  By nature and by design, the left-brain-mind is meant to be directed or to be given orders, whereas the right-brain-heart is meant to be free of direction.  Thus we see the resurrected Christ following the orders of the Father, performing left-brain-mind tasks, but when the right-brain-heart expresses itself, suddenly plans change.  Again, I repeat, the right-brain-heart is designed to do what it wants to do (freedom or anarchy, in other words, self-government); it is not designed to be directed.  Whereas the left-brain-mind is designed to be directed, and not to be free.  (The devil perverts this design by getting everyone’s left-brain-mind in the dominant position, with the devil doing the directing.  The Savior corrects this perversion with the Sermon on the Mount, whose instructions, if followed precisely, would put the right-brain-heart again in the dominant position.)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Appealing to Both Brains

The gospel contains elements meant to appeal to both left and right brains.  Gospel symbols, sequential commandments, prophetic directions, linear progression, the emphasis on study, the word of God, etc., all appeal to the left-brain-mind, while Gospel literalism, illogical and irrational commandments, faith and belief, the innumerability of the worlds (infinity), spatial relationships of kingdoms (planets), etc., all appeal to the right-brain-heart.  So, the gospel addresses the needs of both brains, but puts the major emphasis on the right-brain-heart as the primary organ that determines our eternal destiny.

The Lord’s Bountiful Sermon to the Nephites Corrects Brain Disunity

The pre-eminence of the right-brain-heart, the importance of it, cannot be over-stated.  The Sermon on the Mount given to the Jews and the Bountiful Sermon given to the Nephites, speak almost exclusively of the re-enthroning of the right-brain-heart, giving irrational, illogical rules to live by, such as turning the other cheek, etc., which rules fly in the face of the left-brain-mind’s sense of justice.  For example, “blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me” is contrary to left-brain-mind pride.  “Blessed are all they that mourn” is contrary to left-brain-mind concepts of happiness.  “Blessed are the meek” is contrary to left-brain-mind aggression.  To the left-brain-mind, these instructions given by the Savior are irrational.  To the left-brain-mind, it is the strong that inherits the earth, not the meek.  The left-brain-mind cannot see how being persecuted can be of any benefit.  Left-brain-mind dominant people, therefore, do not obey the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount, only insofar as the left-brain-mind sees a rational benefit associated with them.  To the degree that it views no rational benefit, it avoids this sermon like the plague.

The Sermon on the Mount is designed to present principles which are intentionally contrary to the nature of the left-brain-mind so that mankind can learn to obtain control over it, to re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the director and to become as a little child.

In particular, the Bountiful Sermon is a test, given to LDS, as to whether they will receive the “greater things” that were ministered to the Nephites by the Savior.  Of all the scriptures in the entire Standard Works, the four chapters found in 3 Nephi 11-14 are the most important. If a person were to throw away every other scripture and just read and live every principle found in these four chapters, the Lord would open up the heavens to that man and would re-reveal the rest of the scriptures, including scriptures the man never had, so that he would obtain, through the door of his right-brain-heart the keys of his salvation and enter into the rest of the Lord.  The fact that all these years have gone by and we still have not received the complete Nephite record shows that LDS are largely ignoring the Bountiful Sermon, perhaps complying with left-brain-mind commandments, but avoiding those that target the right-brain-heart.

As a result of this failure to comply with the Bountiful Sermon, choosing instead to let our left-brain-minds direct us, our right-brain-hearts have become hardened or atrophied.  All mankind begins life with dominant, soft hearts which, over time, grow hard and give up dominance to the left-brain-mind.  Like stones, hard hearts need to be broken open through repentance (a “broken heart and contrite spirit”) so that the Spirit of God can finally get in.  In other words, we need to become as little children again, with soft, dominant right-brain-heartsThe Bountiful Sermon is the way to achieve that goal.

(For The Anarchist Version of the Bountiful Sermon, see the post, The Words of Jehovah-Saves Anointed One, Spoken During His Nephite Ministry: DAY ONE.  That post is also my answer to the question posed in the post, If you could only read 3 chapters or sections…)

Hardness of Heart, Blindness of Mind and Looking Beyond the Mark

The scriptures refer to the left and right brains as being in a state of wickedness with the expressions “hardness of heart” and “blindness of mind.”  The left-brain-mind becomes blind only when it “looks beyond the mark.”  It can see, by design, only one single point or dot (mark).  If it attempts to see two or more things simultaneously, or if it attempts to see outside of the boundaries of its centrally fixated point, it cannot and becomes blind.  In other words, if the left-brain-mind attempts to see what the right-brain-heart can see, it fails and sees nothing, becoming blind.

Two Brains, Two Realities

The left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart perceive life in opposing ways.

A Circle Within a Circle The reality of the left-brain-mind consists of two circles, one smaller circle within a larger circle.  Within the smaller circle are all things the left-brain-mind has deemed “possible and probable.”  Outside of the small circle, but within the larger circle are all things it has deemed “possible, but improbable.”  Outside of the larger circle are all things it calls “impossible.”  The left-brain-mind sees reality in this way because, by nature, it is incapable of viewing it any other way.  It is designed by God to be an organ whose view of the Universe is limited, that is, it can focus only on the one and not the many.  It deals only in absolutes such as on or off, right or wrong, true or false, etc.

No Circles The reality of the right-brain-heart has no such labels, as it uses no words.  It merely sees all things at once as they are, or as they really look, and perceives their various spatial locations in relation to everything else.  It also perceives the similarities of the objects, as well as the differences or divergent paths.  As there is no end to the things it views, its view contains no boundaries, no symbolic circles, etc.  The reality of the right-brain-heart, therefore, is the reality of limitless eternity and infinite variety, in which “all things are possible.”  If all things are possible, then nothing is impossible or improbable.

The realities of the left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are conflicting and create a clash within us.  “Which view is correct?” you may ask yourself.  But such a question comes from the left-brain-mind, which sees things as right and wrong, correct and incorrect, proper and improper.  In other words, for the left-brain-mind everything is either a 1 or a 0, either on or off, whereas the right-brain-heart sees everything in infinite gradations and variations.  Because the gospel of Christ is one of eternity, it must be lived in the reality of the right-brain-heart.  Therefore, the real answer to such a question is that both perspectives are correct.

Possible, probable, improbable and impossible If we are ever on our knees for some miracle to occur, and we think any of the following thoughts—

“I’m just engaging in wishful thinking.”

“I don’t really believe this will happen.”

“Do I really believe this will happen?”

“Maybe I should state this as a hope, not a belief.”

etc.

—all of these doubtful thoughts are coming from the left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, if what you are petitioning the Lord for falls into the “possible, but improbable” category of its reality—or even worse, the “impossible” category—you are engaging in “wishful thinking,” “delusion,” or some other designation of an irrational mind.  The left-brain-mind is incapable of comprehending the reality of the right-brain-heart, in which all things are possible, and must label the right-brain-heart’s reality in left-brain-mind terms.

The Four Modes of Existence

There are four modes of existence: 1) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the left-brain-mind dominant, 2) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the right-brain-heart dominant, 3) L-mode expressing itself with the right-brain-heart silent and 4) R-mode expressing itself with the left-brain-mind silent.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that only modes #2 and #4 are acceptable.  God is always to be a part of our existence (the main part) and as He manifests Himself through right-brain-heart dominance, only #2 and #4 put Him in His proper place.  The natural man, forever an enemy to God, chiefly expresses himself in modes #1 and #3.  Our task on earth is to switch #1 to #2 and #3 to #4.  Again, this is accomplished by applying the principles found in 3 Nephi 11-14.

The Split-Brain Model Applied to God and the Universe

The Universe is a finite sphere of light with well defined, but ever-expanding limits.  It is composed of kingdoms of glory (light) and space.  All of creation exists within the Universal sphere.  Beyond it nothing exists.  This nothing region outside is called “outer darkness” in contrast to the inner light of the Universal sphere.  Outer darkness has no limits or boundaries to it.  It is truly infinite.  (See the post, Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe, for more info on this topic.)

God can see all created things within the Universal sphere through the capacity of His right-brain-heart, which sees everything simultaneously, but He also has the capacity to focus on the one, the individual creation, through the ability of His left-brain-mind, which sees only one thing at a time sequentially.

We know that God has already seen all things individually with His left-brain-mind, including each one of us, because He has stated that He has numbered every single thing that exists.  Numbering is a left-brain-mind process which requires centric vision, focusing on the thing being counted.

The capacity of God’s left-brain-mind to number things appears to be unlimited because we are told that the process of creation is ongoing and never-ending (“my works never cease”) and that He numbers all of His creations (“all things are numbered to me”).  We are also told that although all things in the Universal sphere are of finite number, the number is so very great that to man they are essentially infinite in number (“all things are numberless to man”).  This shows that the left-brain-mind of God, which is designed to deal only with the finite, is beyond the scope of comprehension of man and it, alone, is worthy of man’s worship and endless devotion.

Nevertheless, the left-brain-mind of God, though awe-inspiring and dumbfounding in its perfection and complexity, like the ultimate computer, is sub-ordinate to the right-brain-heart of God, which is designed to comprehend the infinite.  And where is the truly infinite?  Outer darkness.

God’s left-brain-mind does not gaze into outer darkness because that region is infinite and God would not use an instrument designed for finite measurements and counting to deal with the infinite, but if it did look, what would it see?  It would see nothing.  Why?  Because nothing is there.  The “mark” of God is the Universal sphere of light.  God’s left-brain-mind is not designed to “look beyond the mark.”  Were it to do so, it would become blind and see nothing.  Thus, to God’s left-brain-mind, outer darkness literally is dark.

Yet God does gaze into outer darkness.  And He sees an infinite number of things of infinite variety surrounded by boundless space.  He sees all these uncreated, non-existent things through the capacity of His right-brain-heart to imagine.  These are the future creations of God.

Thus, through the finite yet ever-expanding Universal sphere of light, God is able to fully engage the numbering and naming capacity of His left-brain-mind, while the infinite and divergent nothingness outside of the sphere fully engages the infinite imagination and eccentric vision of His right-brain-heart.  In fact, in a very real sense, God’s left-brain-mind is the Universal sphere of light (as mormonmilkman was cleverly able to determine), and, in like manner, His right-brain-heart is outer darkness.   See the post, Deep Waters: Creatio ex nihilo, creation ex material and creation ex deo are all true doctrines, for more on this topic.

(It is telling that God has His right-brain-heart’s eccentric vision continuously gazing into outer darkness, as it is His right-brain-heart and not His left-brain-mind that brings us into existence.  But that is a topic worthy of its own post, so I will take it up in the next installment of the Faith of God series.)

Finally, the Universal sphere of light converges at the center point where God resides “in the midst” of all things.  Outer darkness, though, is best described as divergent.

Justice and Mercy

Justice is a characteristic of the left-brain-mind, which sees things as black or white, on or off, good or bad, righteous or wicked.  Mercy is a characteristic of the right-brain-heart, which sees things as diversified and varied.  The gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to obtain the mercy that resides in God’s right-brain-heart by developing our own right-brain-heart to match that of God’s, so that He can speak to us heart to heart.  If we do not take advantage of the gospel, God will speak to us mind to mind and we will then be exposed to the justice that resides in God’s left-brain-mind.  The sense of justice of our left-brain-mind is patterned after the sense of justice of God’s left-brain-mind, so those who receive God’s judgment will find themselves confessing that God’s judgments are all just and that they are guilty of their crimes.  The key to avoiding God’s justice and obtaining His mercy is by using the gospel to submit our right-brain-hearts to God.

Conclusion

When the gospel is viewed through the split-brain model, many of the human and Godly behavioral mysteries suddenly clear up.  Once informed by this model, no longer need we spurn the characteristics of the right-brain-heart as embarrassing, primitive, unnecessary and unwanted, but can heartily embrace them as just as much a part of the human nature as any aspect of the left-brain-mind, for such they are.  Application of the model allows us to more accurately ascertain where we are on the gospel path, based upon the left or right processes we regularly use.  By taking inventory of how we act, we can determine whether we are directed by our left-brain-minds or by our right-brain-hearts.  And by using the Savior’s corrective Bountiful Sermon, we can unite our brains and re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the dominant organ, allowing the Lord to open up a direct channel to us and pour light and truth into our right-brain-hearts.

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The practice of hiding up treasures unto the Lord


Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies of a Curse

and behold | a curse shall come upon the land |

saith the lord of hosts |

because of the peoples’ sake | who are upon the land | yea | because of their wickedness and their abominations |

and it shall come to pass |

saith the lord of hosts | yea | our great and true god |

that whoso shall hide up treasures in the earth shall find them again no more | because of the great curse of the land |

save he be a righteous man | and shall hide it up unto the lord |

for i will |

saith the lord |

that they shall hide up their treasures unto me |

and cursed be they | who hide not up their treasures unto me |

for none hideth up their treasures unto me | save it be the righteous |

and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me | cursed is he |

and also the treasure | and none shall redeem it | because of the curse of the land |

and the day shall come | that they shall hide up their treasures | because they have set their hearts upon riches |

and because they have set their hearts upon their riches | and will hide up their treasures | when they shall flee before their enemies | because they will not hide them up unto me | cursed be they and also their treasures | and in that day shall they be smitten |

saith the lord |

behold ye | the people of this great city | and hearken unto my words | yea | hearken unto the words | which the lord saith |

for behold | he saith | that ye are cursed | because of your riches | and also are your riches cursed | because ye have set your hearts upon them | and have not hearkened unto the words of him | who gave them unto you |

ye do not remember the lord | your god | in the things with which he hath blessed you | but ye do always remember your riches | not to thank the lord | your god | for them | yea | your hearts are not drawn out unto the lord | but they do swell with great pride| unto boasting | and unto great swelling | envyings | strifes | malice | persecutions | and murders | and all manner of iniquities |

for this cause hath the lord god caused | that a curse should come upon the land | and also upon your riches | and this because of your iniquities |  (Helaman 13: 17-23)

Surplus and the Law of Consecration

Under the law of consecration, after the first consecration of properties to the church, any surplus afterward obtained (called residue in the scriptures) was also to be consecrated.  In this way, the poor would be taken care of on a continual basis.

Poor and Rich Defined

The scriptural definition of “poor” is “having sufficient for one’s needs without any surplus,” whereas the scriptural definition of “rich” is “having more than is necessary for one’s needs.”  Keep this in mind.  (There is also a third class of individuals who do not even have sufficient for their needs.  These are known as the “needy”.)

Surplus, Rich and Riches

A surplus, then, makes one rich, according to the scriptures.  Riches, then, as described in the scriptures, is anything in surplus.

Result of Obedience to the Law of Consecration

When a people begin to live the law of consecration and continue to live it, they become blessed of the Lord in all things.  Initially, as the poor and needy are provided for by the consecrations of the rich, there is an evening out of the properties.  However, as time goes by, the former needy (who now have sufficient for their needs) start to generate a surplus, too, like the former rich (who are continually consecrating their riches, which are surpluses, to the poor and needy.)  All, then, start to generate surpluses.

As an entire society is converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and lives the law of consecration (such as what occurred with the Nephites when Jesus visited them), very quickly the poor and needy disappear to be replaced only by people having surpluses.  The question then must be asked, “What is to be done with these surplus properties?”  They cannot be given to the poor, as there is no more poor.

Hiding up treasures unto the Lord, a gospel law

When a people reaches this point, where they can no longer give surpluses to the poor because there are no more poor people (and this is Zion), they begin to live the law of hiding up treasures unto the Lord.  The ancient saints, then, took of their surplus wealth (precious metals, jewels, etc.) and buried them in the earth, consecrating them unto the Lord, to be used as He sees fit for a future day, a future need, a future generation, in which there would again be poor people in the earth in need of these treasures.

This was a standard practice, a law of the Lord.  Hoarding riches was contrary to the gospel.  Riches were always to go to the poor and needy.  Yet, as riches could not be given to the poor (as there were none), riches had to be donated to future people.  A hill was selected, a hole was dug, treasures were laid and a rock was placed.  The treasure was dedicated or consecrated to the Lord and then it was blotted from the mind.  It was no more thought of, whatsoever, nor any record of its location recorded.

If the Lord, in a future day, had a righteous servant or servants in need, even if it turned out to be the very servant who hid up the treasure, He could utilize that consecration for that servant, his family, household, tribe, etc.  As the Lord alone knew where it was—it could only be located through revelation and righteousness on the part of the receiver—the Lord alone would decide of its need and whether someone would be given it.  In other words, the Lord alone would serve as the bishop in charge of its dispersal.  We see by this that in time, under the law of consecration, the role of (mortal) bishops in receiving consecrations was to be phased out, to be replaced by the Immortal Bishop receiving consecrations.

For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; (Helaman 13: 19)

Hiding up treasures unto the Lord was not optional; it was an actual commandment, a law of God, that when all needs were taken care of, surpluses were to be hidden up unto the Lord and forgotten about.  This was, in essence, the Lord’s banking provision. The earth itself was to serve as a bank, the Lord would be the banker, and there would be no further withdrawals on the account from the depositor.  It was a consecration, a gift, not a place to hoard one’s wealth.

For none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; (Helaman 13: 19)

The wicked can only view this practice as absurd.  Why create wealth, riches and treasures (surpluses), only to bury them in the earth and forget about them?  In their eyes this is the absolute height of folly and no wicked person would ever participate in such a practice.  Only the righteous live this law.  It follows then, that as this was a practice that distinguished between the righteous and the wicked, under the more excellent law of Christ, righteous saints in the future will again perform this rite.

Consequences of Disobedience

Those ancients living under the law of consecration who did not hide up their treasures unto the Lord were accursed:

Cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; (Helaman 13: 19)

There were two ways that this commandment could be broken.  1) A man could keep the surplus to himself (hoarding) and attempt to use it in excessive or riotous living.  2) A man could hide the treasure in the earth and make note of where it was, so that he could come back later and obtain it (using the earth as a safekeeping, a bank.)  Men who hid their treasures in this way would still be accounted as righteous by those who viewed them (as they appeared to be fulfilling the commandment of hiding treasures unto the Lord), but as their intent was selfish, they were accounted hypocrites and sinners by the Lord.

A Modern Parallel

The modern banking practice does not in the least resemble what these ancient saints did.  We open a bank account, deposit some money (often our surplus money) and expect to both receive interest and to be able to withdraw our money at any moment.  We know exactly were our money is and our chief concern is that our money grows and/or is protected from thieves and robbers.

So, as we face the prospect of losing every last penny we have by Summer of 2009, should we consider Samuel’s a double-fulfilling prophecy, first fulfilled upon the ancient inhabitants of this land and secondly to be fulfilled upon the modern inhabitants?

And he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land. (Helaman 13: 19)

Our money is no longer redeemable in gold or silver, but at least we can still purchase goods with it.  Soon, however, we won’t be able to do even that.  Is this the reappearance of the ancient curse because we’ve been given the law of consecration and a sneak peek into the law of hiding treasures unto the Lord but have failed to do either?

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to encourage everyone to go out and seek buried Nephite treasure.  Nevertheless, that IS an option for the righteous poor who can obtain revelation from the Lord to that end.  One of the purposes of those consecrated treasures, is, after all, for the needy. Also, in case questions come up regarding the Relief Mine, although I make no claim of its authenticity, there is at least scriptural precedent in the burying of treasure for future, holy purposes.  So, the existence of such a mine is not outside of the gospel framework.

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The faith of God, part three


Continued from part two.

To summarize from part two: faith is not hope, nor hope faith, nor either of these charity, but these are three distinct principles. Also, faith is a noun, meaning that it is a thing or things that can be possessed or obtained, but that once the thing or things is obtained or seen, in other words, once the thing or things become perfectly known, faith becomes dormant in that thing or things and knowledge takes over. Knowledge and faith, therefore, are opposing principles, each one nullifying or canceling out the effect of the other. As God has all and perfect knowledge, it appears that my Buddhist ex co-worker monk was correct in his conclusion that it is impossible for God to have faith. Nevertheless, there are more evidences to consider.

Acts of faith summarized

The whole of the standard works records acts of faith from page one to the very last, but two writers in particular dedicate a chapter each to a summary of those acts. In Hebrews 11 and Ether 12, Paul and Moroni go through the list of things accomplished or obtained by faith. Essentially, they conclude that all things are accomplished “by the faith of men” (Ether 12: 8). Or, in the words of Ether, “by faith all things are fulfilled” (Ether 12: 3).

Mormon also talked about faith (and hope and charity) in Moroni 7. Like Ether and Helaman, quoted in the previous part, Mormon explains that faith precedes hope. (See Moroni 7: 41-42 “…ye shall have hope…because of your faith…” and “…without faith there cannot be any hope…”) In fact, the order of these three grand principles is always given as “faith, hope and charity” because faith precedes hope, or allows hope to be engendered and then faith and hope allow charity to be engendered. (This is a topic for a different post and will not be covered here. I mention it merely to show that faith is different than hope and charity and required in order to obtain the other two necessary principles.)

Living by faith is better than living by knowledge

One of the more curious aspects of faith is that in the scriptures it is emphasized more than knowledge is. The scriptures even go so far as to say those who live by faith are more blessed than those who live by knowledge. (See Scriptural Discussion #10 for these scriptures.) Both Alma and Jesus himself stated this. Strangely enough, though, modern LDS stress the acquisition of knowledge over the acquisition of faith. For example, we bear our testimony, not our belief, in fast and testimony meeting each month. We say, “I know the church is true,” not “I believe the church is true.”

If we follow the thought of Alma and Jesus and apply it to God, then we get that God is less blessed than us since he knows and sees all things and cannot (according to the Buddhist) exercise faith, whereas we mortals, seeing and knowing very little, can be more blessed than him if we exercise faith. But can anyone be more blessed than God? Such a thought seems impossible. God possesses all things. Can anyone possess more than God? Surely not.

The easy way out of this quandary is to simply say that the scriptures apply to mortals, only, and not to God. We exercise faith until we become like God, knowing and seeing all things, and then our faith becomes dormant and we live by our knowledge, as he does. Faith, then, becomes a crutch or means to obtain the knowledge that God has. Once obtained, we need faith no longer and rely upon our knowledge from then on.

A lot of LDS probably think along these lines. I think that the Buddhist was probably also thinking along these lines. But what if the scriptures apply equally to God, as they do to man?

Assuming that God has faith…

What if the principles communicated in the scriptures, beginning with the very first principle of the gospel, which is faith, are all part of the nature and characteristics of God, which must be developed by us in order to becomes like him? One of the comments to the previous article took the view that God does have faith, but that there are two types of faith: pre-knowledge (lower level) faith and post-knowledge (higher level) faith. Personally, I found the creativity involved in making this distinction quite refreshing. Most people never give the thought of God having faith more than, “yes, he does” or “no, he doesn’t.” The problem posed by the Buddhist is a valid one. If God has faith, how is this possible since knowledge nullifies faith? If God does not have faith, why are we continually striving to develop an attribute which is ungodly?

Let’s assume the impossible. Let’s assume that the scriptural principles are descriptions of the attributes of God and that God sees and knows all things but lives by faith, thus making him qualify, according to his own words, as “more blessed.”

In subsequent parts I will attempt to show that, in fact, God possesses all knowledge and all faith, that he walks both by sight and by faith in all possible ways, and that his power does not reside in his knowledge, but in his perfect faith. I will attempt to show that it is through his immense faith that he obtained his knowledge and that it is through his faith that he continually increases his knowledge and that it is through his continually increasing knowledge that his faith continues to increase. I will show the reader that God’s fullness of faith, knowledge, etc., are not a set amount, but that these things continually expand as his dominions increase.

This is probably going to be fairly deep doctrine, but I’m going to keep it out of the Deep Waters section, as faith is so basic to everything. I want to open it up completely and give everyone who reads a good long look at my understanding of why faith accomplishes all things, why faith is needed by us mortals, why it is the very first principle of the gospel, how it is obtained, how it is maintained, how it is expanded, why God possesses a fullness of faith, and why he would cease to be God if he didn’t both have and exercise all faith.

Once this understanding is communicated, it should be easier to see why the whole purpose of the gospel is “that faith…might increase in the earth” (D&C 1: 21). It is the acquisition and exercise of a fullness of faith that makes us like heavenly Father and it is the acquisition and exercise of a fullness of faith that keeps heavenly Father in power. That’s it, in a nutshell. We are here on Earth to obtain and live by faith and to increase it continually until we receive a fullness. Everything else is an appendage.

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part four: the word of God

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part two

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The faith of God, part two


Continued from part one.

Before one can talk about the faith of God, faith itself must be defined.

Small English Lesson – Faith is a Noun

Modern dictionaries do not give the scriptural definition of faith, as they record modern and ancient usage of terms, which may or may not correspond to the scriptures, however, they are, at least, helpful in determining whether faith is a noun, a verb, an adverb, etc. If you consult a good dictionary, you’ll find that faith is used as a noun most times, unless it is used in its archaic, transitive verb form. The archaic, transitive verb form is not used, to my knowledge, in the scriptures. An example of the archaic use would be the sentence, “I faith all that you say to me.” As a transitive verb, the construction in a sentence would be “to faith [something].” We no longer use this awkward construction in modern speech, and, as I said, in the scriptures it is always used as a noun. So, let’s begin this discussion by considering faith as a noun.

Scriptural Definition of Faith

The definition of faith can be assembled by some of the prophetic teachings found in the scriptures. As faith is a concept revealed from heaven, it is of no concern what we, the dictionary authors or anyone else give as the definition of faith, the important thing is to get the correct, heavenly-given definition, which comes from the scriptures.

Paul taught that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). He also taught that faith comes by hearing the word of God preached. (See Rom. 10: 14-17.) Alma taught that “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things” and also that if we have faith, we “hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (See Alma 32: 21.) He also explained that exercising the smallest bit of faith (“a particle of faith”) is nothing more than desiring to believe. (See Alma 32: 27.) Moroni, in my opinion, gave the clearest definition of faith when he said, “faith is things which are hoped for, and not seen” (Ether 12: 6).

I’ll come back to these scriptures later…

Faith as hope (noun) or to hope (verb)

I find that when discussing faith with LDS, the general definition given by them is “a hope of things not seen which are true.” I imagine they are extrapolating this definition from Alma 32: 21. They may also be getting it from the LDS Bible Dictionary, which states in the opening sentence on its entry on faith, “faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.” This grammatically incorrect sentence defines faith (a noun) as a verb (“to hope”). (The only way to cause the opening Bible Dictionary sentence to make grammatical sense is to understand that the author meant to put the words “to have” in front of faith, so that it reads “to have [verb] faith [noun] is to hope [verb] for things [noun]…” The second sentence of the entry does this very thing when it states, “To have [verb] faith [noun] is to have [verb] confidence [noun]…” The second sentence is grammatically correct, everything on one side of the “is” equalling everything else on the other side of the “is.” This could and should have been done with the opening sentence.) Even if we assume that the Bible Dictionary author was referring to the archaic, verb form of faith and not the noun form, the use of the word in the sentence is in the intransitive form, instead of the correct transitive form. So, whether used as a noun or a verb, the sentence is grammatically incorrect and makes no sense whatsoever. To illustrate, put any noun in the place of faith, for example, “Car [noun] is to hope [verb] for things…” It doesn’t make sense. But if you say, “To drive [verb] is to hope [verb] for things…” that makes more sense because you are stating a verb is a verb, not a noun is a verb. Had the author used faith correctly as an archaic, transitive verb, it should have read, “To faith [something] is to hope for things…” Okay, enough with invalidating this messy Bible Dictionary sentence.

(I pick on the Bible Dictionary’s grammar not to make a grammatical statement, which really isn’t all that important, as English is not a static language and its rules of grammar do and will continue to change. I pick on it because the entry’s author contributes to the strange custom that people have of calling faith “an action word.” Action words are verbs, of course, hence the tendency to incorrectly define faith, which is scripturally a noun, as a verb, such as to hope. The Bible Dictionary’s opening sentence contributes to this confusion and also to the modern trend of corruption of the English language. For example, the phrase “I couldn’t care less about that,” which grammatically means “that is the least of all the things I care about” has been corrupted into “I could care less about that,” which grammatically means “that is not the least of all the things I care about.” People still retain the meaning of the original phrase, but now, due to the laziness of speaking the necessary “n’t,” it means the opposite of its grammatical meaning. This is language corruption.)

Alma 32: 21 does not state that faith is a hope, only that if we have faith, we “hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” The faith-equals-hope definition arrived at by many LDS is an extrapolation from this scripture. Alma does not say, “to have faith is to hope for things which are not seen, which are true,” but instead he says, “if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” The two statements are saying entirely different things. In the first, Alma would be categorically stating that faith is hope, which of course he isn’t saying. In the second, Alma is stating that hope (or hoping) accompanies faith (or the possession of faith). This is a big difference that is lost to many people. It is like saying, “If you have this, you do that.” Or, “if you have chicken pox, you scratch your skin.” Having chicken pox and scratching skin are not the same things, but scratching skin accompanies having chicken pox. They go hand in hand, but are not the same thing. (I wish there were more English language majors among our people, instead of business and law majors, as these mistakes would not be made as often as they are.)Despite the lack of English majors in the church, I still find it strange that the LDS have the widespread tendency to think of faith as hope, given that our scriptures emphasize that there are three grand principles (faith, hope and charity) and the scriptures do not confuse faith as hope or hope as faith.

Hope defined

I suppose before I move on, I ought to define hope. I’ll use the dictionary definition, as it is scripturally accurate in this instance. To hope is “to desire with expectation of obtainment.”

Faith is power to obtain or to create or to do [whatever]

A person can hope all they want and yet never obtain. They can desire lots of things and expect to obtain or receive them all and still their desires may remain unfulfilled. Faith, though, is different. When a person possesses faith, he possesses power to obtain something or to create something or to do something. He has power to obtain whatever it is that he hopes for, or whatever it is that he “desires with expectation of obtainment.” This is why hope always accompanies faith. Once faith is possessed, the individual can now expect to receive according to his desires. This is why Ether taught that “hope cometh of faith” (Ether 12: 4). Another example of this principle is found in Helaman’s words. After he and his soldiers poured out their hearts to God in prayer, the Lord gave them faith (assurances, peace to their souls, great faith) and then they were able to hope:

Helaman said, “Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him. ” (Alma 58: 11)

When faith is dormant

Alma on the dormancy of faith:

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: 17-18 )

And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. (Alma 32: 21)

Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge. (Alma 32: 26)

Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge. (Alma 32: 29)

And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand. (Alma 32: 34)

Alma explained that faith is not a perfect knowledge, but that faith can grow into a perfect knowledge. He also explained that once faith grows into perfect knowledge, faith becomes dormant. If knowledge is given from the get-go via sight (“show us a sign” Alma 32: 17), there is no cause to believe, or faith cannot be engendered. Therefore, if a thing is seen or if one has perfect knowledge of a thing, faith goes down to a zero value in that thing.

The knowledge and sight of God

This brings up an interesting dichotomy when faith is applied to God. God sees all things, both past, present and future. “But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord” (D&C 130: 7). He also is omniscient, or all-knowing, both of the past, present and future. “But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning” (2 Nephi 9: 6). “O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it” (2 Nephi 9: 20).

So, based on these evidences, it would appear that faith cannot apply to God, or that God cannot exercise faith. It would seem that my ex co-worker, the monk, was correct in his assessment that God did not have faith, but accomplished (and accomplishes) all things according to his knowledge (and sight) of all things.

But there may be more than meets the eye here…

Next Faith of God article: The faith of God, part three

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