To serve Him is to follow Him; that where He is, the servant may be found


In 3 Nephi 13, Jesus outlines five disciplines that characterize His disciples.  The “disciple” is “one who follows another for the purpose of learning from him,” and the “discipline” is “the instruction imparted to disciples“, and is thus antithetical to doctrine”, which pertains to the doctor.  The latter being more concerned with abstract theory, while the former with practice or exercise.

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be

Where I am, there shall also my servant be…” — well where was Jesus to be found?  He was found doing alms, praying, forgiving, fasting, and denying Himself to seek after the kingdom of God.

Doing alms

Jesus said:

Verily, verily, I say that I would that ye should do alms unto the poor; but take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father who is in heaven.

Therefore, when ye shall do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.

In Matthew 6, the Greek for the word “alms” is eleēmosynē, which signifies mercy or pity.  Thus, to “do alms unto the poor” means to do acts of mercy or acts that show mercy towards the poor.  It is often equated with giving money, though it is more than that.  King Benjamin defined “substance” as:

for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind

and thus, doing alms is something more than the giving of money:

I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

Doing alms is about getting in there, getting your hands dirty, going through the dirt with someone – to feed, clothe, visit, and administer to them.  Legal tender doesn’t do these things.  Only people can.  This is doing alms.

Doing these acts openly is itself the reward, and nothing else will follow.  When alms are done anonymously, secretly, or without regard for being seen by others to be doing them – then heavenly Father will render reward for them.

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me…

…Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

The quickest way for an LDS to practice this discipline would be to stop filling out a donation form when they turn in their tithes/offerings in the envelope to the bishopric.  Those alms are not done in secret because a record is kept and is filed with the State.  It can also be done by connecting with other Christian ministry groups who do alms in the community [food shelters, prison ministry, protesting abortion clinics, etc.], as well as moving on some personal issue that moves your heart.

Prayer

Jesus said:

And when thou prayest thou shalt not do as the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

There is a common element between doing alms and praying – that of secrecy.  In both cases, that which is done openly to be seen of others carries with it its own reward, while that which is done in secret and seen by no one will be rewarded by our Father in heaven.

A hypokritēs is a stage-actor.  In the ancient Greek dramas, the hypocrite wore his mask [a “person“] and acted out his role, saying the right lines to portray the part.  Hypocrites are playing the part of a pray-er, aren’t saying a prayer at all.

A vain repetition is something that is said so often that it loses any meaning.  However, not all repetition is vain:

And [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying,

There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

A repetition is vain when the right-brain-heart is not broken/softened and the asker is unrighteous.  The prayer is vain because it will profit the pray-er nothing:

For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

Unless one’s heart has been broken by the guilt of their own guilt before God, all prayer is a vain repetition.  Meaning, if this event has not taken place, the only prayer that is not vain is a prayer for a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  This is because a person with a hard heart:

doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

Forgiveness

Jesus said:

For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The principle by which the atonement forgives sin is:

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Meaning that sin is not forgiven/punishment withheld because God effectively beat it out of Jesus on the cross or in Gethsemane.  Justice is not satisfied by punishing innocents.

will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother?  I say unto you, Nay.

The gospel [good news] is that Jesus can satisfy just accusers [those judging and condemning sin] and put an end to their demands.  He removes all accusers:

where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

The visual imagery of Jesus being:

filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice;

is that for an accuser to obtain [or “get to”] justice, they’ll first have to get through Jesus – who is standing there to present His suffering as evidence on a sinner’s behalf so justice will stop making its demands long enough for an appeal for compassion to be made by Christ.  His suffering was so great — not because that’s how much it takes for God to be happy with the sinners — but because the evidence had to be sufficiently moving to the entire created universe so accusers would stop making their just demands and drop all charges.  And where there is no condemnation [no demands of justice], there is no punishment.

Hell will be full of judgers, condemners, and withholders of forgiveness.  The kingdom of God will be full of those willing to forgo judgment, to withhold condemnation, and to forgive others.

Fasting

Jesus said:

Moreover, when ye fast be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Jesus said, “when ye fast,” not “if ye fast,” or “ye should fast.”  It was assumed that His audience was a people who fast.   Again, as was the case with doing alms and praying, fasting is a discipline to be done in secret.  When done openly, fasting carries with it its own reward, but when done so that only the Father in heaven knows it is happening, He will be the one to reward.

Fasting is a part of the teaching of Jesus that:

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Denying the “self” or the “ego” includes going without the food and water the body needs.  It’s saying to the self, “I know there is food within reach, but we’re not doing that right now.  We’re focusing on something more important.  You’ll get your food soon enough.”

Though fasting, in this context, refers to not consuming food or drink for some extended period of time [as a part of the denial of self] it can include Lenten fasts of a certain vice or favorite activity, Ramadan-esque fasts that are only during sunlight hours, or a myriad of others ways the “self” can be denied.

Simplicity

Jesus said:

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

Jesus lists three things we ought to “take no thought for”:

  • Your life [what ye shall eat and what ye shall drink]
  • You body [what ye shall put on]
  • The morrow

As an example of what He means, Jesus teaches that:

  • Fowls of the air do not sow, reap, or gather into barns – yet are feed by Father in heaven.
  • Lilies of the field do not toil or spin – yet are clothed beautifully as they are.
  • Today has enough to devote ourselves to without being anxious for the next day.

The time and energy that taking no thought for food, clothing, and the morrow frees up should then be devoted to the building up of the kingdom of God.  Many reverse the order of “seek ye first…and all these things shall be added…” – thinking that they will work to amass a nice nest-egg/surplus and then really be able to get to work serving in the kingdom of God.  Thinking that they shall obtain riches if they seek them with the intent to do good, but still forgetting that seeking the kingdom of God always comes before there are any riches:

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good — to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

Anyone can rationalize all they want about how they pay tithing and a generous fast offering and are thus giving enough – so they will save the rest for themselves in the future, but the principle given in the scriptures is one of surplus [meaning anything that is above and beyond what you need to survive].  If you pay a full tithing and a generous fast offering, but still retain one penny of surplus, then you are coveting the drop and will be damned.

Under gospel law, riches [surplus] are never intended to be used by the wealthy [those with the surplus].  It is the intention that riches [surplus] be used by the needy [those who are less than poor, lacking sufficient for their needs] – so that both parties [the rich and the needy] become poor [have sufficient for their needs]. Any attempt to utilize surplus for the benefit of the rich or poor is wickedness.

When Jesus said:

ye have the poor always with you

this was to be the case in Zion, where all are continuously giving of their surplus [thus are scripturally “poor”] and it is only this type of poor [the givers of surplus and those who desire to give of surplus] that are the meek who will inherit the earth.

If the Lord does “prosper the righteous” [by placing wealth into their possession by some miraculous means], it is only because He entrusts that person to distribute the wealth as He would see fit [meaning he/she gives it to the needy, thereby becoming poor again].  If an entire community practices this [and thus there are no needy among them], then a different law for handling a surplus would be required.

There is a reason why Jesus sent out traveling priesthood missionaries without purse [money] or scrip [food], instead relying on the mercies of the world to provide for their needs.  It’s because only the poor are intended to teach and preach the gospel, in order to prove [test or try] the world.  Instead, we have turned things upside-down by calling wealthy men to the positions of leadership.  The priesthood becoming an honor of men, as can only be expected.

Thus there are five disciplines that characterize disciples of Christ:

  • Doing alms in such a way as to not be seen/recognized as doing them
  • Praying in secret, real prayer — not babbling to the sky
  • Judging not, condemning not, and forgiving
  • Fasting in such a way as to not be seen/recognized as denying the self
  • Living simplistically — taking no thought for storing up a surplus, or for getting food, drink, or clothing, or being anxious about the morrow

Next Article by Justin: The Garment, with additions

Previous Article by Justin:  Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons

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Punishment


The goal of punishment is to inflict something unpleasant on a person – whether physical [e.g., corporal striking, physical confinement, monetary penalties] or emotional [e.g., shaming, time-outs, or making a public example] – for the purpose of discouraging the repeat of a certain behavior.

As with all things satanic, the focus is on the external – i.e., how to control behavior – rather than on the internal – i.e., how to affect the right-brain-heart.  Heart-level change does not result from punishment.  Worthiness will not result from the struggle to conform one’s behavior to this or that standard.

Any church that bases itself on the works of men will place its focus on the outside being “good” – assuming that a “good” inside will, of necessity, follow.  However, God says that it is our hearts that matter most, and it is often the sins that we can’t see that are the most dangerous.

The external metrics of “worthiness” are never an issue with the Lord for there is no one worthy.  It is those with hard-hearts who are obsessed with worthiness.  You can do all the church service and works of man until you have wasted your strength and you will still be unworthy to receive anything from God – an unprofitable servant.  Nothing in the gospel is based upon our merits.  We are to rely solely on the merits of Christ.  He is the only worthy one among us.

Further, it is only by entering into a covenant relationship with Him that the nature [or heart] of a person can be sanctified.  It will not come after a life-long process of struggling to sanctify our behavior.

Punishment belongs to God:

The word of God, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword – is the only thing that may execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.  Truly we say that to the Lord alone belongeth judgment:  “For it is mine and I will repay.”

The inflicting of punishment is reserved by God the Father.  The only punishment which can be justly inflicted is the removal of a soul to hell [rather hell on this earth for a time or to outer darkness for eternity].  This punishment belongs to the Father alone because it is based on the hardness/softness of the right-brain-heart, which no man can ascertain.

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. [1 Samuel 16:7]

Humans are not to judge:

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: [Luke 6:37]

This is the principle on which the atonement of Jesus Christ forgives sin.  Sin is not forgiven and punishment withheld because God effectively beat it out of Jesus.  Justice is not satisfied by the punishment of an innocent.

[The Compassionate Empathy Model of the Atonement and How the atonement of Jesus Christ solves the “victim” problem]

The gospel teaches us that Christ can satisfy the demands of justice on the behalf of those who repent and believe in Him.  In other words, Jesus satisfies those seeking justice [judging/condemning] thereby putting an end to their demands.  He can remove all accusers as demonstrated in John 8: 10-11.

The visual imagery of Jesus being:

filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; [Mosiah 15:9]

is that for a person to obtain or “get to” justice — they would first have to go through Jesus.  And He is there to present His atonement as evidence in your behalf so that justice will pause from making its demands long enough for Christ to make his own demands of mercy.

Where there is no condemnation [meaning we do not accuse or judge], there can be no punishment:

where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; [2 Nephi 9:25]

Thus, saints who have been commanded not to judge, accuse, or condemn are thereby prohibited from punishing other people.

Further, even assuming that a temporal punishment [rather inflicted by circumstance or by the State] is just and comes from God, gives a person,

a great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. [Mosiah 4:17-18]

Problems with human punishment, in general:

When humans inflict punishment on others, it encourages them to hide their feelings rather than express them honestly and truthfully.  This can begin in childhood and can have a myriad of negative consequences well into adulthood — negatively affecting a person’s relationship with spouses, children, and friends.

When parents punish, children are not taught appropriate ways to deal with anger, instead they learn that expressions of anger will result in a spanking or time-out.  They are taught that crying will result in being given “something to cry about”.  They are taught that happy is the only acceptable emotion.

Punishment increases deceitful behavior in children.  Afraid to own up to mistakes — children learn to become secretive, lie, and hide their errors.   In addition, no motive to obey [other than by threat of punishment] has been generated — when the threat of punishment is removed, true desires and character will be manifest.

In criminal punishment, offenders are judged as the ultimate source of their socially deviant behavior — and then they are deemed deserving of punishment on the grounds that they could have overcome their environmental and biological circumstances, but simply chose not to do so.  Thus, incarcerations and executions are valued over rehabilitation, retribution to victims, and deterrence.

Those in favor of punishment [rather a parent-to-child or the State-to-criminal] will refer especially to the “rod” verses in the Old Testament:

He that spareth his rod hateth his son [Proverbs 13:24]

As though this evidences that physical punishment is mandated by scripture, if not at least permitted.

Many may even feel that a child’s salvation depends on a parent punishing them. Punishment is considered the method of paying for their sin and removing their guilt.

However, the message of the gospel is that all sins, including those of children, have already been suffered for by Christ.  If the message that Christ has taken the burden of sin for us all [especially little children] tells us anything at all, it tells us that as saints — we are:

to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [Isaiah 61:1-2]

Spanking, in particular:

Spanking is a bit of a controversial topic among parents.  Like the decision to homeschool, I have found that most will retort with:  “Well, I was spanked and I turned out fine.”  Not only does that assume that a person is capable of diagnosing their self as “fine” — but it ignores the very real fact many people who were spanked did not turn out “fine”.  Many of them are still, as adults, dealing with the results of their well-intentioned parents’ choice to punish.  Being “fine” in spite of something is not evidence that the thing is proper or necessary.

Further, the practice of spanking on the buttocks comes from the Victorian era — not from biblical times as is often assumed.  Spanking began under domestic discipline [a husband spanking his wife for not properly obeying him] and the history of the practice is sexual — both of which were enough reason for my family to refrain from spanking our children.

Besides, the physical punishment today rarely looks like the literal interpretation of the “rod” verses in the Old Testament.  The rod or shebet [which Proverbs tells us we are not to spare] was an implement that could kill a grown adult when being used to punish.  To be biblically-spanking [using the “rod” according to the original meaning] I would have to strike my children on the back with a shepherd’s staff large enough that I could conceivably kill them with it.

However, there is also another way to read the shebet that we are not to withhold.  As the staff of a shepherd, it would be used to guide [rather than strike].  As the scepter of a king, it would be

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.

As a measuring rod, it would be the standard works [or the word of God] by which all human behavior ought to be governed by.

Further, the Lord — in addition to proclaiming liberty to captives and opening prisons to those bound:

hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, [Isaiah 9:4]

Moved with compassion:

Because human punishment only teaches a person to obey — rather than why to obey or how to think for themselves — people have become more vulnerable to peer-pressure.  Already geared to be a people-pleaser, a child who is raised through fear of punishments will not have developed the necessary skills to be self-governing and say “no” — and will likely act out of fear of the negative consequences the group can inflict, as they learned in the home.

The punishments that humans inflict will not save a child, nor will it save a criminal.  That work is only wrought by Jesus Christ.  You cannot beat a person into salvation.  A child is not saved by a parent [nor a criminal by the State] who punishes him/her in order to “atone for his sin” or that he may learn how to “be good”.

No one is even saved by “being good” anyway.  A person is saved through a covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ — nothing more, nothing less.

Instead of helping people, punishment presents a distorted view of God.  God raises His children with compassion and mercy, not with punishment.  We cannot constantly beg at His throne for mercy and patience — while accusing and condemning our fellow-humans here on earth.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying:  “Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying:  “Pay me that thou owest.”

And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.”  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, “O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?”  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

By this you may know my disciples:

The unsanctified believer in Christ will always focus on verses intended for others.  In this case, many may refer to Ephesians 6:1

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

and yet ignore the following verse directed towards the parents:

ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

It is not the place of a steward to make the concerns of their stewardship obey them [rather we are talking about husband-wife, parent-child, or State-citizen].  Rather, it is only the steward’s duty to govern:

by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile — Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

One is only brought up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” by discipline [meaning the way of disciple-making] — not punishment.

The root of our word for both disciple [and therefore “discipline”] is that of a student or follower.  It is a relational word — just as the Savior spent His time with His disciples, teaching them by word and by deeds.  Discipleship is what we do with others when we

sittest in [our] house, and when [we] walkest by the way, and when [we] liest down, and when [we] risest up. [Deuteronomy 6:7]

with them.

Discipleship is how humans learn by sight.  In our pre-mortal life, we walked by sight — meaning we were discipled.  As we saw, so we did — imitating the beings around us, learning by copying what we saw them do.

Upon entering mortality as children, we bring this capacity to imitate others with us.  We imitate or emulate our parents, our brothers and sisters, our friends and associates, the celebrities of the day, etc.  Eventually we assimilate into whatever society we are born into.

Disciplining [in the sense of how to make a disciple] comes as a steward acts as the servant that he or she is.  A servant is one who goes “through the dust” with another.  Only example and repetition will effectively:

Train up a child in the way he should go [Proverbs 22:6]

Using punishment does not discipline [or teach] a person.  When we punish, we act as if human society has no other means of bringing weaker members up to a standard of conduct — except for waiting until a person does something non-sanctioned, and then punishing them [legally or morally] for it.

The family has complete jurisdiction over a person during the entire childhood period.  The whole period up to maturity can be used to it teach a person to be capable of rational conduct in life.

Parents who disciple in the home will teach their children diligently and freely to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands – before the age of eight.  Then shall their children be baptized for the remission of sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.  They will also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.  They will teach their children to read and write, having a language which is pure and undefiled.  They will engage in continual tribal rituals to strengthen the common morphic field that exists among disciples of Jesus Christ.

If you love God sincerely, then you will naturally gravitate to becoming as He is and gathering with others who do too.  You cannot not, by adhering outwardly according to a law or standard, come to love God.  Thinking that our behavior can affect our standing with God is what leads people to falsely conclude that we should punish — because “it’s worth it”.

When we pass from mortal life and realize that all the laws and traditions of human convention no longer exist — then the true nature [state of the right-brain-heart] will manifest and those who have not learned to be as God [even though they still managed obedience] will find themselves removed from God because of their new-found freedom.

Our Father’s kingdom is tribal anarchy because it is for people who already know how to be.  He wants to know what people want to be — not what they can be punished into acting like.

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